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clared to stand only on feet of base metal and perishable clay?

The multiplication of attacks on Mr. Montgomery since I began this appeal, induces me to add a few words to these prefatory remarks. How has Mr. Montgomery offended ? may be asked by men of probity, whom fortune happily has preserved from worldly knowledge of the social rancour with which worldliness is imbued. I will tell them briefly : he has offended envy deeply by talent and success. Talent alone is an offence; but, combined with success, unpardonable. His youth has been declared to be a crime; it appears to be a greater crime that a youth should adore his God. Altogether this is a dire accumulation of offence! But the pile is not complete—his name is Montgomery. Here, I am afraid, nothing will wash out the Ethiopian spot. Should he deny, disguise, or withhold his name? Or should he seek more favouring sympathy from some of his anonymous assailants by assuming another? Imitation is an insinuated compliment, and may earn a return.

It is said that some of the gentlemen who have lately attacked him have hitherto been his warmest admirers and friends. They are not their friends who impute to them the breach of friendship. But this I do not believe ; little minds were never friendly to great, nor bad writers to good: it is against the nature of things:

It is a curious circumstance, that all the more violent of Mr. Montgomery's latter critical assailants concur in the confession of envy as their motive. Not less than three or four begin with this reasoning: Here is Mr. Montgomery, a young man suddenly acquiring unusual public favor, when so many talented individuals are suffering the pangs of obscurity; therefore, we hate, we are indignant, &c. &c.; and it comes to this, we must pull him down, per fas et nefas. But it is a still more curious circumstance, that Dennis, and the heroes of the Dunciad, admitted the same unworthy motive of envy as the cause of their combined attack on Pope. Here is a similar passage from Dennis *, who had previously affirmed that he attacked the Essay on Criticism on account of the approbation it met with.'

I can safely affirm that I never attacked his writings unless they had success infinitely beyond their merit. This, though an empty, has been a popular scribbler. The epidemic madness of the times has given him reputation.'

Now Dennis was really a man of talent, and a critic well versed in critical laws, as he has shown in his forci. ble and just critique on that tame and cold, but elaborate performance, Addison's Cato. He therefore sinned against his conscience when he made his justice subservient to his passions in censuring Pope; and notwithstanding his talent, his injustice reacted on himself, and finally crushed him. Another curious circumstance is that almost all the verbal scurrilities which have been vented on Montgomery by his angry assailants, 'coxcomb, ass, nincompoop,' &c., of which a pretty literary bouquet might be collected, are the same as those which were lavished on Pope, who, among other names, as appears from the preface to the Dunciad, had been called ' a little affected hypocrite, a beast, a wild beast, a monster, a wild Indian, a Jesuit, an ass, a monk, a little ass, a hunch-backed toad,' and a crocodile.' His writings are “insipid,'—'wretched rhapsody,'— heap of common-place;' his thoughts are crude' and · lame evasions,' his verse ‘limping,' and his diction obscure,' &c. &c. *

* Preface to Dennis's Remarks on Pope's Homer.

Yet what has been the result of this phrenzied vituperation of bustling littleness ? Pope's fame remains unsullied and untouched, while the luckiest of the conspiring calumniators have found shelter in oblivion from the eternal gibbet of their colleagues. Oh! in rebus inane!'

Dismissing these personalities, it is my intention, in the succeeding pages, to show, First, That there is an invariable standard of admitted and long-established critical law, by the test of which all works ought to be tried, and by which the sentences of contemporary reviewers ought to be governed; and, Second, That, tried by such test, Mr. Montgomery must be admitted to belong to a high grade in poetical literature. In order to define and settle this grade, it will be ne

* Preface to the Dunciad.

cessary to prove the merit of his writings by internal evidence, and by bringing them to the test of comparison with preceding or existing poets. But first, in order to clear the ground, with the above view of definitively marking out his relative poetical position, it will be requisite to subvert or annul the arguments of those critical antagonists to his poetical station, whom, coldly supine, or probably nonexistent at the first promising dawn of his reputation, the light and heat of his progressive rise to the zenith appear to have animated or engendered.

When first wit's sun too powerful beams displays,
He draws up vapours which obscure its rays;
But e'en those clouds at last adorn its way,
Reflect new glories, and augment the day.

I BELIEVE it may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that the judgment of criticism on Mr. Montgomery's poems, up to the period of the publication of Satan, was all but unanimous.

There were some exceptions to that unanimity, in quarters of little weight, after the success of his poems had demonstrated, that public favor concurred with the acclamation of critical distinction. A different fate has attended the publication of Satan, which, notwithstanding some few defects, (and what mortal work can be without them ?-for

Whoever hopes a perfect work to see,

Hopes what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er can be)is superior to the others in the originality and sublimity of its conception, but more especially in the profuse power exhibited in its execution. But the judgments of the critics upon it are diametrically opposed—a suspicious phenomenon, worthy of investigation ; for free as the literary republic is and should be, the whole reading public are interested in preventing the predominance of anarchy.

When two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon Confusion

May enter 'twixt the gap of both! The London Literary Gazette is opposed, on this occasion, to the Edinburgh Literary Journal; and

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