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able length of the performance, urgently gies of a revolutionized people. They demanding to be horrified fora sixpence, are grossly mistaken. These energies and refusing to subtract more than an are oftener that tumultuous avarice of hour or two from trade, for the terrors power which its admiring victims have, of the new melodrame. We would be with bitter flattery, styled a glorious intoxicated indeed-not, however, by ambition ; the restlessness of disconthe sparkling etherealities of Cham- tented rapine, the craft of insatiable pagne, or the more gradual fascinations cupidity, groping among the holy vesof the cool nectar of Bourdeaux, but sels of the temple, and clutching the by the coarser instrumentality of un- regalia of the throne. The poetry of watered brandy. And even here we such a period is little more than the would compound for the trouble of the rough Pæan of civil massacres, the process, if the end could be ensured

venemous satire that stings alike the without it—imitating the wish of the friend it envies, and the foe it fears, worthy Hibernian who, on beholding the brutal ballad which is the hymn of a neighbour staggering in the seventh vulgar violence, and in which the heaven of potteen, is said to have Tyrtæus of the ale-house records past, earnestly contemplated the raptures of and instigates future robbery. The the ecstatic drunkard for a moment, peaceful smile of poetry has no claims and then broken out into the vivid for a nation which knows no distinction exclamation, “ Holy St. Patrick ! what save of the plunderers and the plunI'd give to be as drunk as the fellow dered, and the despotism of some is !" His imagination (trained in the fortunate assassin at the head of a tents of Donnybrook, or among the military banditti, to close a vista of factious chivalry of Tipperary) shot turbulence, has little to charm the coy through the tedious preliminary of nymph of the grove and the glade, consecutive naggins, it wisely spurned who, with sullied wings, cleaves her the seductions of sentiment, and the heaven-ward flight from a land acdelights of that quarrelsome conviviality cursed, when it has become (do we which are commonly supposed to be exaggerate ?) from one end to the other, the chief provocation of Irish intem- a filthy conflagration of all the grossest perance, and in the simplicity of a propensities of our nature ! disinterested love of beastliness, for its We think it may be observed that own sake, bounded at once to the the genius of these countries has, of glorious consummation of the whole. late years, been decidedly more favourNow-forgetting the atrocity of the able to scientific research than to the comparison, and rising to the gentler efforts of imagination. The utilitarianintoxication of fancy-reflect if there ism whose narrow scope of vision can be not a very similar process of pre- see no merit in the latter, is forced to ference in the neglect of the delicate acknowledge the practical benefits of stimulants of poetry, and the universal the former. It may coldly recognize adoption of the more vulgar material the beauties of a poetical “ Excursion," of the novel, whose effect is instan- but it cannot refuse its approbation to taneous, and whose powers operate

the convenient locomotion of the only on the inferior energies of imagi- steam-engine. We will not assert nation. We refuse to rise to literature, that these opposite tendencies may not or to be raised by her ; she must subsist in full vigour, in the same comdescend and soothe the caprices of an munity, and at the same time ; but we indolent ennui, or remain unnoticed do conjecture that the spirit of enand uninfluential. She must be, not couragement on which both so mainly the guide and mistress of elevated depend for progress, is, at the present action, but the plaything of our leisure conjuncture, rather unequally divided. hours, the Odalisque of an eastern And it is curious to remark that even seraglio.

in science, so slightly is the encourageAgain, the convulsions, or appre- ment connected with admiration of hended convulsions, of civilized states intellectual power or interest in the are not favourable to the beautiful discovery of pure truth, that it acts reveries of the muse. Some superfi- directly in proportion as the improvecial thinkers are pleased to declaim ments are of a practical tendency, and eloquently about the awakened ener, augment the resources not of the head,

even

but of the land. We prefer art to shall say that truth is not itself happiscience in the same ratio as we prefer ness to a being that is given to comscience to poetry.

We have read mune with the Spirit of God, and, if Bacon so attentively as to have gone not wholly to understand, or beyond his meaning: The discoveries hear, yet, at least, to catch through of science are indeed the road to revelation the dim and distant echoes the inventions of art ; but let none of decrees that issue from the majestic presume to say that they are not an council of the Holy Trinity ! end as well as an instrument. “ Know- The genius of poetry and that of ledge is power," but, in being know- science, like the Pleasure and Pain of ledge it is often something far higher Plato, are, perhaps, in their loftiest than power. Nay, inventive power is reach united, or even identical. The never so splendidly exerted as when it vivid imagination whose sagacious is employed as an instrument in the audacity suspects analogies, and inservice of knowledge, and thus repays vents the means of determining them, the gifts of its benefactress, either in has surely no inconsiderable resemincreasing her stores, or diffusing her blance to that which thrills with a blessings. Witness the invention of sensitive recognition of the beauty of the telescope, which, in the former nature's order, and sees perpetual department, has done far more for the correspondencies, moral or material, amplitude of the mind and concep- in the superficial aspect of things. tions of man, than it has ever done, The power which discovers the secret or can ever do, for his practical conve- principles of alteration in objects, nience ; and, again, remember the electricity, magnetism, heat, and the invention of the press, the noblest rest, is not unlike that other faculty present that Art ever made to Science, whose favourite task is to people naand which was thus admirable as a ture with the living agents of its work of art solely because it was the changes, and to set the world in means for the circulation of that motion by a spiritual machinery. knowledge which was its all-sufficing Those who will look deeper into the end. So miserably mistaken are we nature of these two forms of the intelif we confine the honours of science to lect, will perhaps observe that the its efficiency as an instrument for the genius of poetry tends to variety, and increase of our practical conveniences, that of science to simplicity, that the or imagine that its utility (in the cir- former loves to multiply her agents, cumscribed sense of that much-abused and the latter to reduce their number. term) was ever intended to be its (They will perceive that while its highest recommendation to a being poetry gave to antiquity a polytheistic formed as man is formed. Who shall theology, its science almost invariably say that Truth is not itself nobler than produced a monotheistic physics.) any of its applications ? Who shall But, what is more pertinent to the say that the universe (the mirror of conjecture with which we commenced God) ought not to have its mechanism this paragraph, they will also be explored and its analogies detected -- inclined to conclude, that, as the scale that the power which is deputed from of minds rises through the universe, the throne of the Supreme, to bind the scientific perception must contogether systems to their suns, and tinually increase with the capacity for systems to systems, and aggregates of possible, and extent of actual, knowsystems to other aggregates, until at ledge, while the imaginative, which last the one centre be attained where always wanders among the indistinctly the Great Spirit himself sits alone, known, must proportionably be lost in surrounded by his pomp of worlds ; the former ; until in that order of that this power, with its laws and results, being, if such there be, which comprewhatever they be, and as far as we hends all the laws of all the universe, can trace them in the changeful aspect knowledge exclusively fills the whole of the skies, should not be sought for mind, no analogy can ever be imagined the mind's own sake, unless the inferior which is not also known, nothing is practical interests of navigation or of specious or repulsive to the fancy, but geography justify the search? Who all true or false to the judgment, and

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imagination is literally become sci- slight connection may surely justify.

The feeling of beauty may. We were, in short, watching with proindeed be supposed still to occupy found attention the progress of our such a mind, yet it is questionable late fellowship examination! Nor could whether it would not have become a any time have been occupied with calm, scientific, perception of the more agreeable interest. There was a adaptation of means to ends, and an pleasing anxiety-for we must be peracknowledgment that any other dispo- mitted to describe our recollections, sition of things than at present obtains in marking the alternate successes and in nature, would involve some impro- failures of the young champions, the priety of which the limited science of struggles of reason and memory with man can, of course, form no conception. the ceaseless difficulties proposed by

But it is not for us, on the present the examiners, the calm aspect of the occasion, to wander in abstruse specu- latter contrasted with the earnest gaze lation, “ breathing the difficult air” of of expectation or anxious reflection those high contemplations to which that clouded the former, “ sicklied o'er" the readers of magazines are, it is too, it seemed, with the toil-worn exreported, notoriously averse. Let us pression of present solicitude for sucplay round the subject with a more cess and past midnights of study. Nor, sportive pen, and let us talk of poetry again, was it uninteresting to observe and science in connection with a theme in the latter, the striking differences of dear to all our readers and capable, it intellectual character and disciplinemay be, of arresting their attention from the modest confidence of the better than our mystic fantasies of more practised and prepared candidate other worlds, and our anticipations of to the less assured advances of a young that progressive exaltation which it rival inferior in universality of acquiremay yet be for our race to inherit. ment, but with an intellect of no comWe will say then that we never felt mon standard as an engine of analytic more strangely and strongly the oppo- solution or discovery. Then, the exsition, and yet affinity, of the genius of tent, difficulty, and lofty order of the poetry and that of science, than on a subjects of examination, the publicity late occasion, when both were suddenly and impartiality of the trial, the crowds forced on our mind in juxta position assembled to witness its fortunes, the and immediate contrast. The occa- importance of the result to the sucsion we will venture to narrate-tri- cessful candidate, being no less than the vial to many, it will "sound to the determination of his wholefuture life, the intelligent,” and our present disqui- splendour of the edifice in which it is sition does not affect extreme cohe- held, and perhaps more than all, the rency. We (if in critical etiquette the memory of the great spirits, who, at plurality must still be preserved,) we various times, have occupied it, and were, at the moment of our adventure, soine of whom, to assist the imaginaseated in the theatre of our national tion, still look down from its pictured University, and engaged in witnessing walls upon the scene of their academic an exhibition which might well be the ambition—all these things combine to honour of any seat of learning, which invest this examination with a chais probably equalled by no other in the racter of peculiar and elevated interest. world, and the introduction of which, But we have forgotten ourselves in the into the “ University Magazine," a very remembrance of a detail so gratifying

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* Startling as this conclusion may appear, we are persuaded it will be acknowledged on patient reflection. The fact is, that all imagination of beautiful analogies is imperfect science, and to a mind so accomplished as we have supposed, it would be as impossible to imagine without obvious absurdity—or rather, to represent at all in the imagination—any combination which does not really exist, as it is for us to admit a direct contradiction in terms, or to conceive a contrariety of attributes belonging to the same object at the same moment. All imagination will therefore be conversant with realities, and we may say with truth, either that imagination will have altogether perished, or perhaps better, as we have expressed it, that the perceptions of imagination, and those of science, will have become wholly identical.

to national and collegiate predilec- beat of joy, and our feelings nestled tions; and, in good sooth, when we among the summer leaves like a flight pass from this field of honourable con- of uncaged birds. We felt as if nature, dict to the reveries of a fancy, perhaps to whom we had so long proffered deover ardent, we know not how to jus- votion, seemed insulted at our daring tify our tastes, and half suspect that to anatomize the form which we were many readers will deem us too wildly destined only to love ; as if she brooked aberrant from the world of fact if we not that her exquisite darts of light venture to connect our fragile follies which fall so softly on our eyes, and with the sober dignity of such a scene. bring us their lovely message of distant But it will be. We remember then things should be received only on the that the accomplished professor of cold examination of philosophy, or natural philosophy was engaged in a that the web in which she has woven searching examination of the candi- her tissue of colour should be undates in the science of nature, ac- ravelled by one who was formed only cording to that mathematical dialect to admire' it. It was at that instant in which its minutest evolutions have the professor required some property found a language copious to infinity connected with the theory of harmonic and clearer than the conceptions of its sounds; but really the dulcet duet of acutest employer, a language which two goldfinches (those flowers of the teaches those who use it, and reasons air) seduced our attention from the of itself ;—and among other topics his philosophic investigation, and the aninquiries had reference to the physical swer escaped us. And what of all this? theories of light. We listened, and Simply that it is a momentary record our poetry was gradually forgotten! of the human mind, sensitively' alive to Fancy was exorcised to make room all things, and at home either in the for a sterner spirit-a spirit whose ex- closet where we are alone with wisdom, pressions are, alas! poetic only as they or on the mountain-peak where we are sometimes deal with imaginary, ex- physically and morally nearest the istences—whose similes are equations, heavens : loving the beauty of the and whose metaphors substitutions. universe and exploring its truth ; with We still listened—the ocean of the Newton calmly classifying worlds, or noontide-beams parted into its seven with Shakspeare, peopling them! canals for our attentive reason—the What eloquence shall we address to direct and the undulatory propagation a people who are dead to the sublimity of its subtle essence had each its advo- of the truth of fact, or the truth of cate and its arguments—and we soon fancy, to that which suits the real or became interested in the topic of the that which suits the ideal world ? examination as well as in its fortunes. What discipline will teach them the We thought of sight but as a subjectunrecognized wealth which mind posfor the optical dissector, and verily sesses, and prompt the admiration of took for granted that it had never vivi- knowledge and poesy as their own end? fied the universe for any other purpose or--if they stoop to subserve any other but the display of his ingenuity. 'En- -as only tending to themselves on a gaged in these profound contempla- higher level, that is, to the knowledge tions, we unconsciously looked up or the conception of the Spirit of the from the professor, or the candidates, universe himself

, his works, and his with that absorbed air which inarks holiness? Would that the habits of the intensity of abstraction-and what thought which the great Wordsworth saluted our eyes ?—saluted ? nay, what (great in despite of his occasional wooed, and courted, and caressed efforts to degrade the dignity of them? A flood of azure rays from his celestial muse to an overstrained the sky, and a flood of still softer bues and mistaken, because elaborate, simof green from a tree of a million plicity) perpetually inculcates, were many-twinkling leaves, whose summit more prevalent among us, in their waved and sparkled in the light just purifying and elevating influences ! above and beyond the high southern Not, indeed, that we would recommend windows of the hall. And this was all ; the adoption of either his style of ex. yet it dispelled our calculations, and pression or his theory of poetical our hearts met the glorious sky with a merit : both are suited to himself and

some

· Let none."

to himself alone : neither can another There is a wisdom in imagination venture to assume his lyre without his which is never indeed to be explored command of the instrument and his by arithmetic, or expressed by syllocompass of pathetic execution. Nor gism ; but which not the less is deepeven would we wish that the philoso- felt and wide-spreading—and for this phical poetry of that great master most simple reason, that it is the wisbecame a model, as to its form and dom of the feelings which never err,

of its obvious peculiarities : and not of moral calculation, which is poetry moulded in that shape is easy never wholly right. Poets are the legisfor mediocrity to imitate, and difficult lators of the heart, and a great poet is --without servile imitation--for even mightier than a Solon. genius to achieve. But it is the spirit says the divine Plato, in the spirit which it breathes, of exalted contem- of a guardian of the elder mysteries-plation combined with unbroken re- “let none intrude upon the lays of ference to nature, which we could wish Homer, who are uninitiated in wisdom, to see transfused into the minds of our lest they imagine that that hero wrote fellow-countrymen, and colouring the fables !"* And truly no fables were aspect of their imaginative productions, they, but the veritable records of huepic, lyric, dramatic, didactic. It is manity-no fiction but the profoundest the glory of our age, in its earlier years, truth; for what are the names and to have restored this characteristic of dates of three thousand years ago--the the loftiest verse: is there none who idle syllables which the pedant calls can continue the charm, without being history? Let the pedant's life, so disthe parasite of its living but mute ciplined, reply! And what are the masters ?

perfect pictures of universal natureAnd will all this prove of no ad- the lessons of morality, the examples vantage to the universal people? of excellence—but the sacred sources There are who read these pages and of instruction and the tablet of truth? smile at their author as a dreamer- "Let not any deen"--we quote the perchance there are those also who monition of another venerator of the

can understand the dream to inter- lord of ancient verse--" that these pret it.” If a crafty statesman asked poems were written merely to amuse only to be permitted to regulate the the hour : no! for a deeper spirit is ballads of the people in order to secure hidden in the lines !". For our part, their voices, there is some plausibility we believe it; not, indeed, a mytholoin attributing a powerful efficacy to the gic spirit, nor an allegorical transferballads that fill the ears and hearts of ence, which is a question for the critics, the educated—of those who are sus- but a spirit of social prudence, derived ceptible of finer, as well as of more from a wise and comprehensive collecimportant influences for good or evil. tion of human nature, a concentrated Who shall calculate how much English essence of practical science extracted character owes to the manly genius of from a copious experience of lives, and Shakspeare, and English piety to the actions, and events. And far does this stupendous pictures of Milton? Who deep spirit of humanity, which finds a does not perceive that the bright ideal home in every heart, transcend all the of greatness exhibited to the people minute correctness of detail which, from age to age by their gifted bards, with respectable accuracy, preserves has contributed to mature and consoli- the mutable accidents of modified sodate that national character which no ciety. Hence, when the British rival country has ever equalled, and which of Homer has crowded into a single unquestionably has given the strongest play and age, the incongruous nomensecurity for durability of empire which clature of a Cymbeline, a Posthumus, a mere character could ever confer upon Morgan, and a Tachimo, we i smile any country ? Let not the great claims rather in kindly sympathy with the of these great men be undervalued. triumphs of a genius by whom names

* In the Alcibiades. The original includes the metaphor which we have hinted; ου δεν τους αμύητους της σοφιας κ.τ.λ.

+ Plutarch de Musica: αλλα γαρ βαθυτερος εστι νούς εγκεκκρυμμενος τους επισι.

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