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what was clear before becomes enveloped in mist and obscurity; and, after thus confounding, what he attempts to analyse, he subjoins with a hence, or whence, or therefore, what he imagines to be the result of the process. Thus, in the Song of Mopas, from Prince Arthur, which Molineaux so much ad. mired, we are told,

- How earth's wide ball, at Jove's command,
Did in the midst on airy columns stand;
And how the soul of plants, in prison held,
And bound with slugglish fetters, lies conceal'd.
Till with the Springs warm beams, almost releas'd
From the dull weight, with which it lay oppress'd,
Its vigour spreads, and makes the teeming earth
Heave up and labour with the sprouting birth:
T'he active spirit freedom seeks in vain,
It only works and trusts a stronger chain;
Urging its prison's sides to break away,
It makes that wider, where 'tis forc'd to stay :
Till having formed its living house, it rears
Its head, and in a tender plant appears.

Having, thus, as he thinks, satisfactorily deve. loped the process of germination, he proceeds to his conclusions :

Hence springs the oak the beauty of the grove,
Whose stately trunk fierce storms can scarcely move.
Hence grows the cedar, hence the swelling vine
Does round the elm its purple clusters twine.
Hence painted flowers the smiling gardens bless
Both with their fragrant scent and gaudy dress.

* The Cave of Æolus was one among the multiplicity of thoughts, which overwhelmed the author's intellect.

Illi indignantes magno cum murmere montis

Circum claustra frement. The motto of his Creation contains these lines, from another part of Virgil :

-Spiritus intus alit, totumque infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet.

Hence the white lily in full beauty grows;
Hence the blue violet, and blushing rose.

The same species of deduction characterizes his prose. “As to its efficient cause, (says be,) Wit owes its production to an extraordinary and peculiar temperament in the constitution of the possessor of it, in which is found a concurrence of regular and exalted ferments, and an affluence of animal spirits, refined and rectified to a great degree of purity; whence, being understood with vivacity, brightness, and celerity, as well in their reflections as direct motions, they become proper instruments for the sprightly operations of the mind; by which means the imagination can with great facility range the wide field of nature, contemplate an infinite variety of objects, and, by observing the similitude and agreement of their several qualities, single out and abstract, and then suite and unite those ideas which will best serve its purpose. Hence beautiful allusions, surprising metaphors, and admirable sentiments, are always ready at hand: and, while the fancy is full of images, collected from innumerable objects and their different qualities, relations and habitudes, it can at pleasure dress a common no. tion in a strange but becoming garb; by which, as before observed, the same thought will appear a new one, to the great delight and wonder of the hearer.'

There is no doubt, that Blackmore honestly supposed this to be a philosophical and clear account of Wit. “What we call Genius (he then proceeds) results from this particular happy complexion in the first formation of the person who enjoys it, and is Nature's gift, but diversified by various specific characters and limitations, as its active fire is blended and allayed by different proportions of phlegm, or reduced and regulated by the contrast of opposite ferments. Therefore, as there appears in the

composition of a facetious genius a greater or less, though still inferior, degree of judgment and prudence, one man of wit will be varied and distinguished from another.' We will transcribe a part of one more passage, which, in the opinion of Dr. Johnson, is better imagined, and better expressed, than could be expected from the common tenour of his prose.' What is ‘imagined,' or what 'expressed,' we have tried in vain to discover. • As the several combinations of splenetic madness and folly produce an infinite variety of irregular understanding, so the amicable accommodation and alliance between several virtues and vices produce an equal diversity in the dispositions and manners of mankind; whence it comes to pass, that as many monstrous and absurd productions are found in the moral as in the intellectual world.' Here may be a glimpse at meaning ; but it is smothered with a heap of words.

It is impossible, however, to have a general contempt for Blackmore, after reading his books upon Creation; and it is one of the numerous debts we owe to Dr. Johnson, that he has rescued that poem from the common fate of the author's productions. It is, in almost every respect, an exception to his other works. His arguments are acute, his descriptions rich, his expressions clear, and his numbers harmonious. The parts follow each other with logical order; and the philosophy is so intermingled with description, that the mind is led from sentence to sentence, and from book to book, with little irksomeness or fatigue. There is now and then, indeed, a bad line, or a flat allusion, which keeps us reminded of Blackmore; but occasional failure is lost in general success; and it is peculiarly in the perusal of such an author, that one feels disposed to excuse the blemishes of a part, when the work pleases him as a whole. We shall transcribe a spe. cimen both of the didactic, and descriptive pas.

sages. The author grants, for the sake of argument, that the earth might be composed, and placed where it is, without the aid of a Supreme Being; yet, what he asks, will set itin motion ? and, if not set in motion, what would it become, but an interminable desart? One half must be in endless night; and the other in perpetual day.

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This ne'er would see one kind refreshing ray;
That doom'd to light, and curs'd with endless day;
A cold Icelandean desert one would grow;
One, like Sicilian furnaces, would glow.
That nature may this fatal error shun,
Move, which will please you best, the earth or sun.
But, say, from what great builder's magazines
You'll engines fetch, what strong, what vast machines
Will you employ to give this motion birth,
And whirl so swiftly round the sun or earth?
Yet, learned heads, by what mechanic laws
Will you of either orb this motion cause?
Why do they move? Why in a circle? Why
With such a measure of velocity?
Say, why the earth-if not the earth, the sun
Does through his winding road the zodiac run ?
Why do revolving orbs their tracks sublime
So constant keep that from the birth of time?
They never varied their accustom'd place,
Nor lost a minute in so long a race ?

B. I.

The following description well speaks its own

praise :

See how sublime th' uplifted mountains rise,
And with their pointed heads invade the skies !
How the high cliffs their craggy arms extend
Distinguish states, and sever'd realms defend !
How ambient shores confine the restless deep,
And in their ancient bounds the billows keep!
The hollow vales their smiling pride unfold:
Wbat rich abundance do their blossoms hold !
Regard their lovely verdure, ravish'd view

The party colour'd flowers of various hue !
VOL. XV.

Not eastern monarchs, on their nuptial day,
In dazzling gold and purple shine so gay
As the bright natives of th' unlabour'd field,
Unvers'd in spinning, and in loom unskili'd.*
See, how the ripening fruits the gardens crown,
Imbibe the sun, and inake his light their own !
See the sweet brooks in silver masses creep,
Enrich the meadows, and supply the deep;
While from their weeping urns the fountains flow,
And vital moisture, where they pass, bestow!
Admire the narrow stream, and spreading lake,
The proud aspiring grove, and humble brake :
How do the forests and the woods delight !
How the sweet glades, and openings, charm the sight!
Observe the pleasant lawn and airy plain,
The fertile furrows rich with various grain :
How useful all! How all conspire to grace
Th'extended earth, and beautify her face!

B. I.

* We except this line, which, to be sure, is a most frigid para. phrase of the verse in St Luke: Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet, I say unto you, that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of those.' It is to Blackmore's credit, that he undertook to imitate so beauti: ful a passage; and, if we except the last line, he has imitated it with tolerable success. Milton had set him the example:

-Favonius re-inspires
The frozen earth, and clothes in fresh attire
The lilly and the rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.

Sonnet to Mr. Lawrance.

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