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ried round the tvorld for twenty years longer; and is at last moved by an irresistible impulse, when old and shattered and lonely, to seek his native town, and the scene of his youthful vows. He comes and finds his Judith like himself in a state of widowhood, but still brooding, like himself, over the memory of their early love. She had waited twelve anxious years without tidings of him, and then married: and now when all passion, and fuel for passion, is extinguished within them, the memory of their young attachment endears them to each other, and they still cling together in sad and subdued affection, to the exclusion of all the rest of the world. The history of the growth and maturity of their innocent love is beautifully given: but we pass on to the scene of their parting.
"All things prepar'd, on the expected day Wag seen the vessel anchor'd in the bay. From her would seamen in the evening come, To take ih' advent'roua Allen from his home; With his own friends the ñnalday he pass'd, And every painful hour, except the last. The grieving Father urg'd the cheerful glass, To make the moments with less sorrow pass; Intent the Mother look'd upon her eon. And wish'd th' assent withdrawn, the deed undone; The younger Sister, as he took his way, Hung on his coat, and begg'd for more delay; But his own Judith call'd him to the shore, Whom he must meet—for they might meet no
And there he found her—farhful, mournful, true,
The sad and long-delayed return of this ardent adventurer is described in a lone of genuine pathos, and in some places with such truth and force of colouring, as to outdo the efforts of the first dramatic representation.
"Bui when relurn'd the Youih ?—the Youth no Reiurn'd exuliing to his native shore! [more
But forly years were past; and then there came
"No one was present; of ils crew bereft,
'The Booth*! yet live they?' pausing and op
Then spake again :—' Is there no ancient man. David his name 1—assist me, if you can.— Flemings liiere were !—and Judith.' doth she livt! The woman gaz'd, nor could an answer giYe; Yet wond'ring stood, and all were silent by. Feeling a strange and solemn syropaihy."
pp 31, 32.
The meeting of the lovers is briefly told.
"But now a Widow, in a village near, Chanc'd of the melancholy man 10 hear: Old as she was, to Judith's bosom came Some strong emoiions at the well-known name: He was her much-lov'd Alien.' she had stay'd Ten troubled years, a sad afflicted maid." ¿tc.
"The once-fond Lovers met: N or grief nor ag*. Sickness or pain, their hearts could dienn^age: Each had immediate confidence; a friend Both now beheld, on whom they might depend: 'Now is there one to whom I can express My nature's weakness, and my soul's distress.
There is something sweet and touching, and in a higher vein of poetry, in the story which he tells to Judithof all his adveniur»-. and of those other ties, of which it still wrings her bosom to hear him speak.—We canafforí but one little extract.
"There, hopeless ever to escape the land,
v" pp. 35, 36.
The close is extremely beautiful, aad leaves upon the mind just that'imprf'Ssion of sai!nt-; which is both salutary and delightful, became it is akin to pity, and mingled л€'Л admiration and esteem.
"Thus silent, musing through the day, 11* ft0f
"'Tis now her office; her atiention e*e!
"And where is he f Ah! doubiless in those Of his best days, amid tht. vivid greens. Fresh with unnnmber'd rills, where ev'ry gale Breathes the rich fragrance of the neighb'nngvjle: Smiles not his wife Î—and listens as there com« The night-bird's music from the thick'ninggloomtf And as he sits with all these treasures nigh. Gleams not with fairy-light the phosphor fly. When like a sparkling gem it wheels illumin'd by t This is Ihe joy that now go plainly speaks In the warm transient flushing of his cheek;; For he is list'ninff to the fancied noise ¡
The*e strong emotions in her friend to spy;
Vor ehe can fully of their nature deem
Out see! he breaks the long protracted theme, And wakes and cries—' My God! 'twas but a dream !' "—pp. 39, 40.
The third tale is "The Gentleman Farmer,1' and is of a coarser texture than that we have ¡usl been considering—though full of acute observation, and graphic delineation of ordinary characters. The hero is not a farmer turned gentleman, but a gentleman turned farmer—a conceited, active, talking, domineering sort of person—who plants and eats and drinks with great vigour—keeps a mistress, and speaks with audacious scorn of the tyranny of wives, and the impositions of priests, lawyers, and physicians. Being but a «hallow fellow however at bottom, his confidence in his opinions declines gradually as hi? health decays; and, being seized with vtme maladies in his stomach, he ends with marrying his mistress, and submitting to be triply governed by three of her confederates; :n the respective characters of a quack doctor, я methodist preacher, and a projecting land steward. We cannot afford any extracts from :his performance.
The next, which is called "Procrastination." has something of the character of the "Parting Hour;'' but more painful, and less refined. It is founded like it on the story of i betrothed youth and maiden, whose marriage is prevented by their poverty; and this youth, too, goes to pursue his foitune at sea; while the damsel awaits hie return, with an oM female relation at home. He is crossed with many disasters, and is not heard of for many years. In the mean time, the virgin gradually imbibes her aunt's paltry love for wealth and finery ; and when she comes, after long sordid expectation, to inherit her hoards, ¡*-ls that those new tastes have supplanted every warmer emotion in her bosom; and, «ecretly hoping never more to see her youthful lover, gives herself up to comfortable gossiping and formal ostentatious devotion. At last, when she is set in her fine parlour, with h"r china and toys, and prayer-booka around her. the impatient man bursts into her presИГ.ГР. and reclaims her vows! She answers eoldfy, that she has now done with the world, and only studies how to prepare to die! and exhorts him to betake himself to the same n"(M\ful meditations. We shall give the conflusionof the scene in the author's own words. The faithful and indignant lover replies:—
Heav'n's spouse thou art not : nor can I believe Thai Cnid accepts her. who will Man deceive: Iroe I am shatter'd, I have service seen. And Mrviue done, and have in trouble been; My cheek (it shames me not) has lost its red, And ihe brown buff« o'er ray features spread; ^«rebanee my speech is rude ; for I among 'IV uniam'd have been, in temper and in tongue; But «peak my fate! For these my sorrows past, Tim« lo«, youth fled, hope wearied, and at last Thit doubt of thee—a childish thing to tell, B'rt certain truth—my very throat they swell; They пор the breath, and but for shame could I •• .(Ute wir in wAnknpM. лпЛ with пяяяшп r.rv:
'• Here Dinah eigh'd as if afraid to speak— And then repeated—' They were frail nnd weak: His tmil she lov'd ; and hop'd he had the grace To fix his thoughts upon a better place.'"
pp. 72, 73.
Nothing can be more forcible or true to nature, than the description of the effect of this cold-blooded cant on the warm and unsuspecting nature of her disappointed suitor.
"She ceased :—With steady glance, as if to eee
The very root of this hypocrisy,—
He her small lingers moulded in his hard
And bronz'd broad hand; then told her his regard,
His best respect were gone, but Love had still
Hold in his heart, and govern'd yet the will—
Or he would curse her !—Saying this, he threw
The hand in scorn away, ana bade adieu
To every ling'ring hope, with every care in view.
"In healih declining as in mind dialress'd, To some in power his troubles he confess'd, And shares a parish-gift. At prayers he sees The pious Dinah dropp'd upon her knees; Thence as she walks the street with stalely air, As chance directs, oft meet the parted pair! When he, wiih ihickset coat of Badge-man's blue, Moves near her shaded silk of changeful hue; When his thin locks of grey approach her braid (A costly purchase made in beauty1 s nid); When his frank air, and his unstudied pace, Are seen with her soli manner, air, and grace, And his plain artless look wilh her sharp meaning It might some wonder in a stranger move, [face; How these together could have talk'd of love!"
pp. 73, 74.
(1 The Patron," which is next in order, is also very good; and contains specimens of very various excellence The story is that of a young man of humble birth, who shows an early genius for poetry; and having been, with some inconvenience to his parents, provided with a frugal, but regular education, is at last taken notice of by a nobleman in the neighbourhood, who promises to promote him in the church, and invites him to pass an autumn with him at his seat in the country. Here the youth, in spite of the admirable admonitions of his father, is gradually overcome by a taste for elegant enjoyments, and allows himself to fall in love with the enchanting sister of his protector. When Ihe family leave him with indifference to return to town, he feels the first pang of humiliation and disappointment; and afterwards, when he finds that all his noble friend's fine promises end in obtaining for him a poor drudging place in the Customs, he pines and pines till ne falls into insanity; and recovers, only to die prematurely in the arms of his disappointed parents. We cannot make room for the history of the Poet's progress—the father's warnings —or the blandishments of the careless syren by whom he was enchanted—though all are excellent. We give however the scene of the breaking up of that enchantment ;—a description which cannot fail to strike, if it had no other merit, from its mere truth and accuracy.
"Cold grew the foggy morn ; the day was brief; Loose on me cherry hung the crimson leaf; The dew dwelt ever on the herb ; the woods Roar'd wilh sirnng blasts, wilh mighty showers the flnnii«.
Save the green holly with its berries red,
“The Frank Courtship,” which is the next in order, is rather in the merry vein; and contains even less than Mr. Crabbe's usual moderate allowance of incident. The whole of the story is, that the daughter of a rigid Quaker, having been educated from home, conceives a slight prejudice against the ungallant manners of the sect, and is prepared to be very contemptuous and uncomplying when her father proposes a sober youth of the persuasion for a husband;—but is so much struck with the beauty of his person, and the cheerful reasonableness of his deportment at their first interview, that she instantly yields her consent. There is an excellent description of the father and the unbending elders of his tribe; and some fine traits of natural co
“The Widow’s Tale” is also rather of the facetious order. It contains the history of a farmer's daughter, who comes home from her boarding-school a great deal too fine to tolerate the gross habits, or submit to the filthy drudgery of her father's house; but is induced, by the warning history and sensible exhortations of a neighbouring widow, in whom she expected to find a sentimental companion, to reconcile herself to all those abominations, and marry a jolly young farmer in the neighbourhood. e account of her horrors, on first coming down, is in Mr. Crabbe's best style of Dutch painting--a little coarse, and needlessly minute—but perfectly true, and marvellously coloured.
“Us'd to spare meals, dispos'd in manner pure,
“The Lover's Journey” is a pretty fancy; and very well executed—at least as to the descriptions it contains.—A lover takes a long ride to see his mistress; and passing, in full hope and joy, through a barren, and fenny country, finds beauty in every thing. Being put out of humour, io. by missing the lady at the end of this stage, he proceeds through a lovely landscape, and finds every thing ugly and disagreeable. At last he meets his fair one—is reconciled—and returns along with her; when the landscape presents neither beauty nor deformity; and excites no emotion whatever in a mind engrossed with more lively sensations. There is nothing in this volume, or perhaps in any part of Mr. Crabbe's writings, more exquisite than some of the descriptions in this story. The following, though by no means the best, is too characteristic of the author to be omitted:—
“First o'er a barren heath beside the coast Orlando rode, and joy began to boast. [bloom, “‘This neat low gorse,' said he, with golden Delights each sense, is beauty, is perfume; And this gay ling, with all its purple flowers, A man at leisure might admire for hours; This green-fring'd cup-moss has a scarlet tip, That yields to nothing but my Laura's lip; And i. how fine this herbage : men may say A heath is barren; nothing is so gay." “Onward he went, and fiercer grew the heat, Dust rose in clouds beneath the horse's feet; For now he pass'd through lanes of burnin Bounds to thin crops or yet uncultur'd land; Where the dark poppy flourish'd on the dry And sterile soil, and mock'd the thin-set rye. “The Lover rode as hasty lovers ride, And reach'd a common pasture wild and wide; Small black-legg'd sheep devour with hunger keen The meager herbage; fleshless, lank and lean: He saw some scatter'd hovels; turf was pil'd In square brown stacks; a prospect bleak and wild! A mill, indeed, was in the centre found, With short sear herbage withering all around; A smith's black shed oppos'd a wright's long shop, And join'd an inn where humble travellers stop.” pp. 176, 177.
The features of the fine country are less perfectly drawn: But what, indeed, could be made of the vulgar fine country of Englan 3 If Mr. Crabbe had had the good fortune to live among our Highland hills, and lakes, and upland woods—our living floods sweepin through forests of pine—our lonely vales an rough copse-covered cliffs; what a delicious picture would his unrivalled powers have enabled him to give to the world!—But we have no right to complain, while we have such pictures as this of a group of Gipsies. It is evidently finished con amore; and does appear to us to be absolutely perfect, both in its moral and its physical expression.
“Again the country was enclos'd ; a wide
SaJden a look of languor ho descries,
The next story, which is entitled "Edward Shore," also contains many passages of exquisite beauty. The hero is a young man of aspirin? genius and enthusiastic temper, with an ardent love of virtue, but no settled principles either of conduct or opinion. He first conceives an attachment for an amiable girl, who is captivated with his conversation ;— bat being too poor to marry, soon comes to spend more of his time in me family of an elderly sceptic (though we really see no object ;л smns him that character) of his acquaintance, -who had recently married a young wife, and placed unbounded confidence in her virtue, and the honour of his friend. In a moment of temptation, they abuse this confidence. The husband renounces him with dignified composure; and he falls at once from the romantic pride of his virtue. He then ««•fes the company of the dissipated and gay: and ruins his health and fortune, without reeaming his tranquillity. When in gaol, and miserable, he is relieved by an unknown hand; and traces the benefaction to the friend whose former kindness he had so ill repaid. This humiliation falls upon his proud spirit and »battered nerves with an overwhelming force; »nd bin reason fails beneath it. He is for «orne lime a raving maniac; and then falls :n:o a state of gay and compassionable imi "i-ility. which is described with inimitable beauty in the close of this story. We can afford but a few extracts. The nature of the »eductions which led to hie first fatal lapse we well intimated in the following short рае
"Then as the Friend repoe'd, the younger Pair
Sat down to cards, and play'd beside his chair;
"This was obey'd; and oft when this was done
pp. 193, 199.
The ultimate downfall of this lofty mind, with its agonising gleams of transitory recollection, form a picture, than which we do not know if the whole range of our poetry, rich as it is in representations of disordered intellect, furnishes any thing more touching, or delineated with more truth and delicacy.
"Harmless at length th' unhappy man was found,
"And now his freedom he attain'd—if free
"That gentle Maid, whom once the Youih had Is now with mild religious pity mov'd; [lov'd, Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Will for a moment fix'd and pensive be; And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs; С harm'd by her voice, th' harmonious sounds invade His clouded mind, and for a time persuade: Like a pleas'd Infant, who has newly caught From the maternal glance, a gleam of thought; He stands enrapl, the half-known voice to hear, And stans, half-conscious, at the falling tear!
"Rarely from town, nor then unwatch'd, he goes, In darker mood, as if to hide his woes; But soon returning, with impatience seeks [speaks; His vouthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and Speaks a wild speech, with action all as wild— The children's leader, and himself a child; He spins their top. or at their bidding, bends FHs back, while o'er it leap his laughing friends; Simple and weak, he acts the boy once more, And heedless children call him Silly Shore,"
pp. 206, 207.
"Squire Thomas" is not nearly so interesting. This is the history of a mean domineering spirit, who, having secured the succession of a rich relation by assiduous flattery, looks about for some obsequious and yielding fair one, from whom he may exact homage in hie turn. He thinks he has found such a one in a lowly damsel in his neighbourhood, and marries her without much premeditation;— when he discovers, to his consternation, not only that she has the spirit of a virago, but that she and her family have decoyed him into the match, to revenge, or indemnify themselves for his having run away with the whole inheritance of their common relative. She hopes to bully him into a separate main tenance—but his avarice refuses to buy his peace at such a price; and they continue to live together, on a very successful system of mutual tormenting.
"Jeese and Colin" pleases us much better, Jesse is the orphan of a poor clergyman, who goes, upon her father's death, to live with a rich old lady who had been his friend; and Colin is a young farmer, whose father had speculated away an handsome property; and who, though living in a good degree by his own labour, yet wished the damsel (who half wished it also to remain and share his humble lot. The rich lady proves to be suspicious, overbearing, and selfish; and sets Jesse upon the ignoble duty of acting the spy and informer over the other dependents of É. household; on the delineation of whose characters Mr. Crabbe has lavished a prodigious power of observation and correct description:—But this not suiting her pure and ingenuous mind, she suddenly leaves the splendid mansion, and returns to her native village, where Colin and his mother soon persuade her to form one of their happy family. There is a great deal of good-heartedness in this tale, and a kind of moral beauty, which has lent more than usual elegance to the simple pictures it presents. We are tempted to extract a good part of the denouement.
“The pensive Colin in his garden stray'd,
proac Of rattling wheels' and lo! the evening-coach; Once more the movement of the horses' feet Makes the fond heart with strong emotion beat: Faint were his hopes, but ever had the sight Drawn him to gaze beside his gate at night; And when with rapid wheels it hurried by, He griev'd his parent with a hopeless sigh; (sum And could the blessing have been bought—what Had he not offer'd, to have Jesse come 2 She came !-he saw her bending from the door, Her face, her smile, and he beheld no more; Lost in his joy! . The mother lent her aid To assist and to detain the willing Maid; Who thought her late, her present home to make, Sure of a welcome for the Vicar's sake; But the good parent was so pleas'd, so kind, So pressing Colin, she so much inclin'd, That night advanc'd; and then so long detain'd No wishes to depart she felt, or feign'd ; s. Yet long in doubt she stood, and then perforce re
“In the mild evening, in the scene around,
The Maid, now free, peculiar beautics found;
Blended with village-tones, the evening gale
“The Struggles of Conscience,” though visibly laboured, and, we should suspect, a favourite with the author, pleases us less than any tale in the volume. It is a long account of a low base fellow, who rises by mean and dishonourable arts to a sort of opulence; and, without ever committing any flagrant crime, sullies his mind with all sorts of selfish, heartless, and unworthy acts, till he becomes a prey to a kind of languid and loathsome remorse. “The Squire and the Priest” we do not like much better. A free living and free thinking squire had been galled by the public rebukes of his unrelenting pastor, and breeds up a dependent relation of his own to succeed to his charge. The youth drinks and jokes with his patron to his heart's content, during the progress of his education;–but just as the old censor dies, falls into the society of Saints, becomes a rigid and intolerant Methodist, and converts half the parish, to the infinite rage of his patron, and his own ultimate affliction. “The Confidant” is more interesting; though not altogether pleasing. A fair one makes a slip at the early age of fifteen, which is concealed from every one but her mother, and a sentimental friend, from whom she could conceal nothing. Her after life is pure and exemplary; and at twenty-five she is married to a worthy man, with whom she lives in perfect innocence and concord for many happy lo. At last, the confidant of her childhood, whose lot has been less prosperous, starts up and importunes her for money—not forgetting to hint at the fatal secret of which she is the depository. After agonising and plundering her for years, she afiast comes and settlesherselfin fier house, and embitters her whole existence by her self. ish threats and ungenerous extortions. The husband, who had been greatly disturbed at the change in his wife's temper and spirits, at last accidentally overhears enough to put him in possession of the fact; and resolving to forgive a fault so long past, and so well reired, takes occasion to intimate his knowedge of it, and his disdain of the false confidant, in an ingenious apologue—which, however is plain enough to drive the pestilent visiter from his house, and to restore peace and confidence to the bosom of his grateful wife. “Resentment” is one of the pieces in which Mr. Crabbe has exercised his extraordinary o of giving pain—though not gratuitousy in this instance, nor without inculcating a strong lesson of forgiveness and compassion, A middle-aged merchant marries a o: of good fortune, and persuades her to make it all over to him when he is on the eve of bankruptcy. He is reduced to utter beggary; and his wife bitterly and deeply resenting the wrong he had done her, renounces all connection with him, and endures her own re