« PoprzedniaDalej »
Through the bright summer azure the north And equally sweet is her lip of the roses, breezes blow,
When it opens in smiles, or in silence reThat are cooled in their flight over regions poses.
of snow, Or westerly gales, on whose wandering wings O sooner the bird shall escape from the snare The wave of the ocean its silver dew flings. Of the fowler, than man from her thraldom Bright, bright is the prospect, and teeming beware ! the soil
If you meet but one glance of her magical With the blessings of promise with corn, eye, wine, and oil,
From your bosom for ever must liberty fly! Where the cypress, and myrtle, and orange Let there breathe but one thrilling and sil.
combine, And around the dark olive gay wantons the From the syren--your heart is no longer vine.
your own. Woods leafy and rustling o'ershadow the
scene, With their forest of branches and changes of green ;
VERSES And glossy their greenness where sunshine is glistening,
Recited by the Author, in a Party of his And mellow their music where Silence is Countrymen, on the Day that the News listening,
arrived of our final Victory over the And the streamlets glide through them with French.
glassier hue, And the sky sparkles o'er them with heaven- Now, Britain, let thy cliffs o’ snaw lier blue.
Look prouder o'er the merled main ! How deep and how rich is the blush of the The bastard Eagle bears awa, rose,
And ne'er shall ee thy shores again. That spreading and wild o'er the wilderness grows!
Bang up thy banners red an' riven! What waftures of incense are filling the The day's thy ain--the prize is won ! air!
Weel may thy lions brow the heaven, For the bloom of a summer unbounded is An' turn their gray beards to the sun. there.
Lang hae I bragged o' thine and thee, The soft and voluptuous Spirit of Love Even when thy back was at the wa'; Rules in earth and in ether, below and a. An' thou my proudest sang sall be, bove,
As lang as i hae breath to draw. In the blue of the sky, in the glow of the beam,
Gae hang the coofs wha boded wae, In the sigh of the wind, and the flow of the An' cauldness o'er thy efforts threw, stream!
Lauding the fellest, sternest fae, At his presence the rose takes a ruddier Frae hell's black porch that ever flew.
bloom, And the vine-bud exhales a more wanton O he might conquer idiot kings, perfume ;
These bars in nature's onward plan; E'en the hoarse surging billows have sof. But fool is he the yoke that flings tened their roar,
O'er the unshackled soul of man. And break with a musical fall on the shore.
'Tis like a cobweb o'er the breast, But less in this Eden has young Love his That binds the giant while asleep, dwelling,
Or curtain hung upon the east, Than in that virgin's bosom, wild throbbing The day-light from the world to keep!
and swelling, That bounds 'gainst her zone, and will not Come, jaw your glasses to the brim ! be represt,
Gar in the air your bonnets flee ! Whilst full of the god that possesses her “Our gude auld king!” I'll drink to him, breast.
As lang as I hae drink to pree. Love has kindled her cheek with his deep crimson dye,
This to the arms that well upbore And lit with his radiance her eloquent eye, The Rose and Shamrock blooming still Ever restless and changing, and darkening, An' here's the burly plant of yore, and brightening,
“ The Thristle o' the Norlan' hill !” Now melting in dew, and now flashing in lightning.
Auld Scotland !land o' hearts the wale ! 0, black is her eye,--black intensely; and Hard thou hast fought, and bravely won : black
Lang may thy lions paw the gale, Are the ringlets luxuriant that float down And turn their dewlaps to the sun ! her back;
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
A Series of Discourses on the Christiun magnificent and beautiful in itself, is Revelation, viewed in Connexion in danger of being considered as fitted with the Modern Astronomy. By only to be the creed of less enlightened THOMAS CHALMERS, D. Ď. 8vo. minds, and of failing in some measure, pp. 275. Third edition. Glasgow, from this unfortunate opinion, to Smith & Son ; Edinburgh, William produce those important effects upon Whyte; 1817.
mankind, for the accomplishment of
which it is so pre-eminently adapted. ONE of the worst features of the The volume before us is calculat. present times is the separation that ed, we think, in no common degree, has taken place between science and to counteract this unhappy deelenreligion. During the early part of the sion. It is written with an enthuhistory of English literature, we find siasm, and an eloquence, to which great talents combined with a sublime we scarcely know where to find any piety, and the most enlightened phi- parallel ; and there is, at the same Iosophy with a fervent and glowing time, so constant a reference to the devotion; and they who explained to improved philosophy of modern times, us the system of nature, defended the that it possesses an air of philocause, and venerated the authority, of sophical grandeur and truth, which revelation. The piety of Milton, of the productions of a more popular and Boyle, and of Newton, was not less declamatory eloquence can never atremarkable than the superiority of tain. Were the taste of the author their other endowments; and it will equal to his genius, and his judgment ever be regarded as a striking circum- always sufficient to control the fervours stance, that those giant minds, who of his imagination, the labours of Dr have exalted the glory of English li- Chalmers could not fail to be infinitely terature above that of all other na- beneficial. But here lies our author's tions, and whom we are accustomed chief deficiency. His genius is of to consider as an honour to the species the kind that is marked by its pecuitself, were distinguished above all liarities as much as by its superiority; other men for their habitual and so- and this circumstance, we think, is the lemn veneration of religion.
more to be regretted, as there is maniSince the age of these distinguished festly no necessary connexion between writers the connexion between sci- the excellencies and defects by which ence and religion seems gradually to his works are characterised. The have been becoming less intimate. natural relations of the intellectual We are unwilling to arrange ourselves powers might have been more correctly with those gloomy individuals who maintained in his mind, while all his are found in every age to declaim a faculties continued to be exerted with gainst the peculiar depravity of their the same constancy and vigour, own times; but it is impossible not to and the same originality and invensee, that the profound reverence for tion might have been combined with sacred things, which distinguished the greater dignity, and more uniform eleillustrious characters of a former age, gance. We have therefore but a short is not now the characteristic of those process to institute, in order to admit by whom science is promoted, and our readers into a knowledge of the knowledge extended. An enlarged character of our author's mind. In acquaintance with the works of nature our intercourse with the world, we oftis no longer the assured token of that en meet with persons in whom what deep-toned and solemn picty, which we call genius predominates over every elevated the character, and purified the feature; and who, though not manners, of the fathers of our philo- superior to their fellows in taste, judgsophy. Science is now seen without ment, or understanding, are yet infinreligion, and religion without science; itely superior to them in the capacity and the consequence is, that the sa of forming striking combinations of cred system of revelation, however ideas, or in the endowments of an exeurVOL. I.
sive or elevated imagination. This is Lord High Commissioner and for the
lieve that the public were as yet all aThe author of these discourses is so greed in their opinion of Dr Chalmers' well known to our readers in this part merits. His former publications had of the island, that it would be quite been distinguished rather by a fertility superfluous on their account to say of imagination than by a deliberate and any thing of his private history, but cool judgment. He had been accusfor the sake of our readers in the south, tomed, it was said, to take up an opiwe suspect it may be necessary to tell, nion as it were by accident, and to dein a single sentence, who Dr Chalmers fend it with enthusiastic ingenuity and is, and how he has attained that un energy, though at the same time he was common celebrity he now enjoys a- overlooking something so obvious and mong us.
palpable, that the most simple novice Tiil within these few years, Dr might detect the fallacy of his argu, Chalmers was scarcely known beyond ment. He had written on the national the circle of his personal friends. He resources, and had attributed every obtained, at an early period, a living thing to agriculture, demonstrating in an obscure part of the country; and our perfect independence of the luxus being naturally of an inquisitive and ries of trade and commerce. He had active disposition, he devoted himself, published a treatise on the Evidences in the leisure of his professional en- of Christianity, and had denied that the gagements, to an ardent prosecution of internal evidence was of any imporscientific knowledge. Accident, ac
Some detached sermons which cording to report, led him, some few he had given to the public had been years ago, to examine with more than deformed by an austerity at which the ordinary attention the foundations of polite world revolted ; and it was the Christian faith; and as the result thought that the new work which was of his investigations was a deep im- announced would be found obnoxious pression of the strength of the evidence to the same censures. With respect by which it is supported, he now to this work, now that it has been brought to the illustration and defence published, we conceive that there of religion a double portion of the en can be but one opinion—that it is thusiasm he had already devoted to a piece of splendid and powerful science. Hitherto he had been at- eloquence, injured indeed by many tached to that party in our church peculiarities of expression, by provinwhich aspires to the title of moderate cial idioms and colloquial barbarisms, or liberal-he now connected himself but, at the same time, more free from with those who wish to be thought more the author's peculiar blemishes than strict and apostolic. His reputation as a any of his former productions, and preacher, as might have been expected forming, notwithstanding its many from the warmth and fervour of his faults, a work likely to excite almost eloquence, began now rapidly to extend universal admiration. That it would itself; and the whole country was soon be improved, we think, every one will filled with the fame of his eloquence likewise allow, were there less sameand his merits. The reputation he had ness of sentiment and of expressionthus acquired was not diminished but were there fewer words of the author's enhanced, by his occasional appear own invention-were the purity of the ances in the congregations of this me- English language, in short, as much tropolis. His speeches last year in the attended to as its power and energy. General Assembly of the Scottish If the author would only cultivate his Church, and his sermons before the taste as much as his imagination, he
might do more for the cause he has at strongest manner, to the perusal of our heart, the cause of Christianity, than readers. To Dr Chalmers we would any other person with whom we are, earnestly recommend, in his future acquainted.
productions, to avoid that eccentric The principal object of the dis- phraseology, and that occasional uncourses in the present volume is to couthness and vulgarity of expression, prepare the mind for the direct evin which cannot but counteract, in a very dence of Christianity—to do away that considerable degree, the effect of his presumption which is supposed to existenthusiastic and touching eloquence. a priori against this astonishing dise His object is a style “ adapted to the pensation to shew the infidel that taste and literature of the times ;" and there are things in nature hardly less the common defence of popular theowonderful than the redemption of man logians, that they write to impress the --and that, amazing as is the scheme heart and the understanding, and not of revelation, it is yet in perfect ana to sooth or gratify a fastidious taste, logy with the known attributes of God. will not avail Dr Chalmers, who writes Men of science, who see the opera- expressly for the literary world, and tions of nature conducted according to who must be sensible that it cannot uniform laws, and without the visible benefit his cause to appear before them interference of an external agent, are with those very blemishes which are apt to take up a prepossession against most revolting to their peculiar habits any system of miracles; and when and associations. philosophy unfolds the volume of cre Upon the whole, we are convinced ation, and the understanding expatiates that the effect of these discourses must delighted on the laws and motions. be great and salutary. They will tend of planetary worlds, it is natural for to shew the worshippers of reason and us to imagine that science has out- of science, that Christianity is in reality stript the discoveries of religion, and something transcendently sublime, inthat the records of the gospel are teresting, and valuable; and to conthrown into the shade by the triumphs vince the world in general that a warm of reason. “ These are the prejudices and habitual piety is really one of the which lie at the foundation of natural characteristics of superior minds, while science ;” and our author has exposed scepticism arises from an incapacity of them with an ability and a success profound emotion or grand conception. scarcely inferior to that of Butler him- if the world were once convinced of self, and in a manner certainly “ bet- this, the associations of the young and ter adapted to the taste and literature the gay would no longer interest them of the times.” He shews, that the in favour of infidelity. Religion would faith of Christians is in reality some become again universally loved, honthing noble and sublime; and that, oured, and practised; and the English “ elevated as the wisdom of him may character, instead of being gradually be, who has ascended the heights of degraded to the diminutive model science, and poured the light of de- which is held out by the most flippant monstration over the most wondrous and unprincipled of our neighbours, of nature's mysteries—that even out would probably revert with unexpected of his own principles it may be proved, celerity to its ancient style of grandeur how much more elevated is the wisdom and simplicity. It is only necessary of him who sits with the docility of a that genius, which has been so long enlittle child to his Bible, and casts down listed, throughout all Europe, on the to its authority all his lofty imagina- side of infidelity, should again rouse tions."
itself in the cause of religion, to accomThe limits of a publication of this plish so desirable a revolution in the kind prevent us from entering into a opinions and character of men.
If a minute examination of the work before few great and original minds, like that us; and as we are sensible that we of Dr Chalmers, should arise to advocould do no justice to an analysis of cate the cause of Christianity, it would these discourses, without allotting to no longer be the fashion to exalt the it a greater space than is consistent triumphs of reason and of science, in with the plan of our publication, we order to throw contempt on the disshall conclude these general hints by coveries of the gospel. recommending the volume, in the
Harold the Dauntless ; à Poem. By demi-tints, possessing much of the
the Author of “ The Bridal of Trierlustre, freshness, and spirit of Rem. main." 1817, Constable & Co. pp. brandt. The airs of his heads have 200.
grace, and his distances something of This is an elegant, sprightly, and the lightness and keeping of Salvator delightful little poem, written appar- Rosa. The want of harmony and ently by a person of taste and genius, union in the carnations of his females, but who either possesses not the art is a slight objection, and there is like of forming and combining a plot, or wise a meagre
sheetiness in his contrasts regards it only as a secondary and sub- of chiaroscuro; but these are all re, ordinate object. In this we do not deemed by the felicity, execution, and widely differ from him, but are sensi- master traits, distinguishable in his ble meantime, that many others will ; grouping, by which, like Murillo or and that the rambling and uncertain Carraveggio, he sometimes raises from nature of the story, will be the prin- out the rubbish masses of a colossal cipal objection urged against the poem trifle." before us, as well as the greatest bar But the work has another quality ; to its extensive popularity. The char- and though its leading one, we do acter of Mr Scott's romances has ef- not know whether to censure or apfected a material change in our mode prove it. It is an avowed imitation, of estimating poetical compositions. and therefore loses part of its value, In all the estimable works of our if viewed as an original production, former poets, from Spencer down to On the other hand, regarded solely Thomson and Cowper, the plot seems as an imitation, it is one of the closest to have been regarded only as good or and most successful, without being bad, in proportion to the advantages either a caricature or a parody, that which it furnished for poetical descrip- perhaps ever appeared in any lantion ; but of late years, one half, at guage. Not only is the general manleast, of the merit of a poem is sup ner of Scott ably maintained throughposed to rest on the interest and man- put, but the very structure of the agement of the tale.
language, the associations, and the We speak not exclusively of that train of thinking, appear to be prenumerous class of readers, who peruse cisely the same. It was once alleged and estimate a new poem, or any poem, by some writers, that it was impossiwith the same feelings and precisely ble to imitate Mr Scott's style, but on the same principles as they do a it is now fully proved to the world, novel. It is natural for such persons that there is no style more accessible to judge only by the effect produced to imitation ; for it will be remarked, by the incidents ; but we have often (laying parodies aside, which any one been surprised that some of our literary may execute), that Mr Davidson and critics, even those to whose judgment Miss Holford, as well as Lord Byron we were most disposed to bow, should and Wordsworth, each in one instance, lay so much stress on the probability have all, without, we believe, intendand fitness of every incident which ing it, imitated him with considerable the fancy of the poet may lead him to closeness. The author of the Poetic embellish in the course of a narrative Mirror has given us one specimen of poem, a great proportion of which his most polished and tender style, must necessarily be descriptive. The and another still more close of his author of Harold the Dauntless seems rapid and careless manner; but all of to have judged differently from these them fall greatly short of The Bridal critics, and in the lightsome rapid of Triermain, and the poem now before strain of poetry which he has chosen, us. We are sure the author will laugh we feel no disposition to quarrel with heartily in his sleeve, at our silliness him on account of the easy and care and want of perception, when we cons less manner in which he has arranged fess to him that we never could open his story. In many instances, he un- either of these works, and peruse his doubtedly shows the hand of a mas- pages for two minutes with attention, ter, and (as the director-general of our and at the same time divest our minds artists would say,) " has truly studied of the idea, that we were engaged in and seized the essential character of an early or experimental work of that the antique his attitudes and drape- great master. That they are generally ries are unconfined, and yaried with inferior to the works of Mir Scott, in