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as could find chairs were seated, he began to open woman, a very old one, the first night that she the intent of his visit. I told him I had no vole, for found herself so comfortably covered, could not which he readily gave me credit. I assured him I sleep a wink, being kept awake by the contrary had no influence, which he was not equally inclined emotions, of transport on ihe one hand, and the tear to believe, and the less no doubt because Nir. G- of not being thankful enough on the other." addressing himself 10 me at that moment, informed
pp. 347, 348. me that I had a great deal. Supposing that I could The correspondence of a poet may be exnot be possessed of such a treasure without knowing pected to abound in poetical imagery and it, I ventured to confirm my first assertion, by say. ing, that if I had any, I was utterly at a loss to sentiments. They do not form the most imagine where it could be, or wherein it consisted. prominent parts of this collection, but they Thus ended the conference. Mr. G-squeezed occur in sufficient profusion; and we have me by the hand again, kissed the ladies, and with been agreeably surprised to find in these letdrew. He kissed likewise the maid in the kichen; ters the germs of many of the finest passages and seemed upon the whole a most loving, kissing, in the "Task.” There is all the ardour of teel, and handsome. He has a pair of very good poetry and devotion in the following passages. eyes in his head, which not being sufficient as it
"Oh! I could spend whole days, and moon-light should seem for the many nice and difficult purposes nights, in feeding upon a lovely prospect! My eyes of a senator, he had a third also, which he wore drink ihe rivers as they flow. It every human be. suspended by a riband from bis button-hole. The ing upon earth could think for one quarier of an boys halloo'd, the dogs barked, puss scampered; hour, as I have done for many years, there might the hero, with his long irain of obsequious followers, perhaps be many miserable men among them, but withdrew. We made ourselves very merry with not an unawakened one could be found, from the the adventure, and in a short time seriled into our arctic to the antarctic circle. At present, the difformer tranquillity, never probably to be thus inter ference between them and me is greatly to their rupied more. I thought myself, however, happy advantage. I delight in baubles, and know them to in being able to affirm truly, that I had not that in, be so; for, rested in, and viewed without a referfluence for which he sued, and for which, had I
ence to their Author, what is the earth, what are been possessed of it, with my present views of the the planets, what is the sun itself, but a bauble ? dispute between the Crown and the Commons, 1 Better for a man never to have seen them, or to see must have refused him, for he is on the side of the them with the eyes of a brute, stupid and uncontormer. It is comfortable to be of no consequence scious of what he beholds, than not to be able to in a world where one cannot exercise any without say, 'The Maker of all these wonders is my friend! disobliging somebody.”—pp. 242—244,
Their eyes have never been opened, to see that Melancholy and dejected men often amuse they are trifles; mine have been, and will be, till themselves with pursuits that seem to indicate they are closed for ever. They think a fine estate, the greatest levity. Swift wrote all sorts of a large conservatory, a hot-house rich as a West In:
dian garden, things of consequence; visit them doggrel and absurdity while tormented with with pleasure, and muse upon them with ten times spleen, giddiness, and misanthropy. Cowper more. I am pleased with a frame of four lights, composed John Gilpin during a season of most doubtful whether the few pines it contains will ever deplorable depression, and probably indited be worth a farthing; amuse myself with a greenthe rhyming letter which appears in this col- house, which Lord Bute's gardener could take upon lection, in a moment equally gloomy. For
his back, and walk away with; and when I have
paid it the accustomed visit, and watered it, and the amusement of our readers, we annex the given it air, I say to myself—This is not mine, 'tis concluding paragraph, containing a simile, of a plaything lent me for ihe present, I must leave it which we think they must immediately feel soon.”-pp. 19, 20. the propriety.
“We keep no bees; but if I lived in a hive, I
should hardly hear more of their music. All the "I have heard before of a room, with a floor laid bees in the neighbourhood resort to a bed of mig. upon springs, and such like things, with so much nonetle, opposite to the window, and pay me for art, in every part, that when you went in, you was the honey they get out of it, by a hum, which, forced to begin a minuet pace, with an air and a though rather monotonous, is as agreeable to my grace. swimming about, now in and now out, with ear, as the whistling of my linneis. All the sounds à deal of state, in a figure of eight, without pipe or that nature utters are delightful, at least in this siring, or any such thing; and now I have writ, in country. I should not perhaps find the roaring of a rhyming fit, what will make you dance, and as lions in Africa, or of bears in Russia, very pleasing; you advance, will keep you still, though against but I know no beast in England whose voice I do not your will, dancing away, alert and gay, till you account musical, save and except always the braying come to an end of what I have penn'd; which ihat of an ass. The notes of all our birds and fowls you may do, ere madam and you, are quite worn please me, without one exception. I should not in. out, with jiggling about, I take my leave ; and here deed think of keeping a goose in a cagę, that I might you receive a bow profound, down to the ground, hang him up in the parlour, for the sake of his mel. from your humble me-W.C.”—p. 89.
ody ; but a goose upon a common, or in a farm As a contrast to this ridiculous effusion, we yard, is no bad performer. And as to insects, if the add the following brief statement, which, not- black beetle, and beetles indeed of all hues, will withstanding its humble simplicity, appears the rest ; on the contrary, in whatever key they
keep out of my way, I have no objection to any of to us to be an example of the true pathetic.
sing, from the knat's fine treble to the base of the “You never said a better ihing in your life, ihan humble bee, I admire them all. Seriously, how. when you assured Mr.- of the expedience of a ever, it strikes me as a very observable instance of gift of bedding to the poor of Olney. There is no providential kindness 10 man, ihat such an exact one article of this world's comforts with which, as accord has been contrived between his ear and the Falstaff says, they are so heinously unprovided. sounds with which, at least in a rural situarion, it is When a poor woman, whom we know well
, carried almost every moment visited. All the world is home two pair of blankets, a pair for herself and sensible of ihe uncomfortable effect that certain husband, and a pair for her six children, as soon as sounds have upon the nerves, and consequently the children saw them, they jumped ont of their upon the spirits; and if a sinful world had been straw, caught them in their arms, kissed them, filled with such as would have curdled the blood, blessed them and danced for joy. Another old and have made the sense of hearing a perpetual in.
convenience, I do not know that we should have for Christ, when he is fighting for his own notions. had a right to complain. There is somewhere in in. He thinks that he is skilfully searching the hearts finite space, a world that does not roll within the of others, while he is only gratifying the malignity precincts of mercy; and as it is reasonable, and even of his own; and charitably supposes his hearers scriptural, to suppose that there is music in heaven, destitute of all grace, that he may shine the more in those dismal regions perhaps the reverse of it is in his own eyes by comparison.”—pp. 179, 180. found. Tones so dismal, as to make woe itsell more insupportable, and to acurninate even despair.
The following, too, is in a fine style of But my paper admonishes me in good time to draw eloquence. the reins, and to check the descent of my fancy
“We have exchanged a zeal that was no better into deeps with which she is but too familiar.
than madness, for an indifference equally pitiable pp. 287–289.
and absurd. The holy sepulchre has lost its im. The following short sketches, though not portance in the eyes of nations called Christian; marked with so much enthusiasm, are con- them from a superstitious attachment to the spot,
not because the light of true wisdom bad delivered ceived with the same vigour and distinctness. but because he that was buried in it is no longer
“When we look back upon our forefathers, we regarded by them as the Saviour of the world. seem to look back upon the people of another na. The exercise of reason, enlightened by pbilosophy, tion, almost upon creatures of another species. has cured them indeed of the misery of an abused Their yast rambling mansions, spacious halls, and understanding; but, together with the delusion, painted casements, iheir Gothic porches smothered they have lost ihe substance, and, for the sake of with honeysuckles, their little gardens and high the lies that were grafted upon it, have quarrelled walls, their box-edgings, balls of holly, and yew. with the truth itself. Here, then, we see the ne tree statues, are become so entirely unfashionable plus ultra of human wisdom, at least in affairs of now, that we can hardly believe it possible that a religion. It enlightens the mind with respect to people who resembled us so little in their taste, non-essentials; but, with respect to that in which should resemble us in any thing else. But in every the essence of Christianity consists, leaves it perthing else, I suppose, they were our counterparts fectly in the dark. It can discover many errors, exactly; and time, that has sewed up the slashed that in different ages have disgraced the faith; but sleeve, and reduced the large trunk-hose to a neat it is only to make way for the admission of one pair of silk stockings, has left human nature just more fatal than them all, which represents that where it found it. The inside of the man, at least, faith itself as a delusion. Why those evils have has undergone no change. His passions, appetites, been permitted, shall be known hereafter. One and aims are just what ihey ever were. They wear hing in the meantime is certain ; that the folly and perhaps a handsomer disguise than they did in days frenzy of the professed disciples of the gospel have of yore ; for philosophy and literature will have their been more dangerous to iis interest than all the effect upon the exterior ; but in every other respect avowed hostilities of its adversaries.”—pp. 200, 201. a modern is only an ancient in a different dress."
There are many passages that breathe the
p. 48. I am much obliged to you for the voyages, very spirit of Christian gentleness and sober which I received, and began to read last night. My judgment. But when he talks of his friend imagination is so captivated upon these occasions, Mr. Newton's prophetic intimations (p. 35.), that I seem to parlake with the navigators in all the and maintains that a great proportion of the dangers they encountered. I lose my anchor; my ladies and gentlemen who amuse themselves main-sail is rent into shreds ; 1 kill a shark, and by with dancing at Brighthelmstone, must nec. signs converse with a Patagonian,-and all this without moving from the fire-side. The principal essarily be damned (p. 100.), we cannot feel fruits of these circuits that have been made around the same respect for his understanding, and the globe, seem likely to be the amusement of those are repelled by the austerity of his faith. that slaid at home. Discoveries have been made, The most remarkable passage of this kind, but such discoveries as will hardly satisfy the ex- however, is that in which he supposes the pense of such undertakings. We brought away an death of the celebrated Captain Cook to have Indian, and, having debauched him, we sent him home again to communicate ihe infection to his been a judgment on him for having allowed country--fine sports to be sure, but such as will himself to be worshipped at Owhyhee. Mr. not defray the cost. Nations that live upon bread. Hayley assures us, in a note, that Cowper fruit, and have no mines to make them worthy of proceeded altogether on a misapprehension of our acquaintance, will be but little visited for the the fact. The passage, however, is curious, future. So much the better for them; their poverty and shows with what eagerness his powerful is indeed their mercy."'--pp. 201, 202.
mind followed that train of superstition into Cowper's religious impressions occupied too which his devotion was sometimes so unfortugreat a portion of his thoughts, and exercised
.nately betrayed. too great an influence on his character, not to make a prominent figure in his correspond- much amusement, and I hope some instruction.
“ The reading of those volumes afforded me They form the subject of many elo- No observation, however, forced itself upon me quent and glowing passages; and have some with more violence than one, that I could not help times suggested sentiments and expressions making, on the death of Captain Cook. God is a that cannot be perused without compassion jealous God; and at Owhyhee the poor man was and regret. The following passage, however, content to be worshipped! From that moment, is liberal and important.
the remarkable interposition of Providence in his
favour, was converied into an opposition that “No man was ever scolded out of his sins. The thwarted all his purposes. He left the scene of his heart, corrupt as it is, and because it is so, grow's deification, but was driven back to it by a most angry if ir be not treated with some management violent storm, in which he suffered more than in and good manners, and scolds again. A surly mas- any that had preceded it. When he departed, he tiff will bear perhaps to be stroked, though he will lefi his worshippers still infatuated with an idea of growl even under that operation ; but if you touch his godship, consequently well disposed to serve him roughly, he will bire. There is no grace that him. Ai his return, he found them sullen, dis. the spirit of self can counterfeit with more success rustful, and mysterious. A trifling theft was com. than a religious zeal. A man thinks he is fighting | mit:ed, which, by a blunder of his own in pursuing
the thief after the property had been restored, was This volume closes with a fragment of a magnified to an affair of the last importance. One poem by Cowper, which Mr. Hayley was forof their favourite chiefs was killed, 100, by a blunder. Nothing, in short, but blunder and mistake tunate enough to discover by accident among attended him, till he fell breathless into the water
some loose papers which had been found in -and then all was smooth again! The world in. the poet's study. It consists of something deed will not take notice, or see that the dispensa- less than two hundred lines, and is addressed tion bore evident marks of divine displeasure ; but to a very ancient and decayed oak in the a mind, I think, in any degree spiritual, cannot vicinity of Weston. We do not think quite overlook them.''-pp. 293, 294.
so highly of this production as the editor apFrom these extracts, our readers will now pears to do; at the same time that we conbe able to form a pretty accurate notion of fess it to be impressed with all the marks the contents and composition of this volume. of Cowper's most vigorous hand: we do not Its chief merit consists in the singular ease, know any of his compositions, indeed, that elegance, and familiarity with which every affords a more striking exemplification of thing is expressed, and in the simplicity and most of the excellences and defects of his sincerity in which every thing appears to be peculiar style, or might be more fairly quoted conceived. Its chief fault, perhaps, is the too as a specimen of his manner. It is full of the frequent recurrence of those apologies for dull conceptions of a vigorous and poetical fancy, letters, and complaints of the want of sub- expressed in nervous and familiar language; jects, that seem occasionally to bring it down but it is rendered harsh by unnecessary into the level of an ordinary correspondence, versions, and debased in several places by and to represent Cowper as one of those who the use of antiquated and vulgar phrases. make every letter its own subject, and cor- The following are about the best lines which respond with their friends by talking about it contains. their correspondence. Besides ihe subjects, of which we have
" Thou wast a bauble once; a cup and ball, exhibited some specimens, it contains a good
Which babes might play with; and the thievish deal of occasional criticism, of which we do
Seeking her food, with ease might have purloin'd not think very highly. It is not easy, indeed, The auburn nut that held ihee, swallowing down to say to what degree the judgments of those Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs, who live in the world are biassed by the
And all thine embryo vasiness, as a gulp! opinions that prevail in it; but, in matters of
But fate thy growih decreed ; autumnal rains, this kind, the general prevalence of an opinion
Beneath thy parent tree, mellow'd the soil
Design'd ihy cradle, and a skipping deer, is almost the only test we can have of its
With pointed hoof dibbling !he glebe, prepar'd truth; and the judgment of a secluded man The sofi receptacle, in which secure is almost as justly convicted of error, when it Thy rudimenis should sleep the winter through." runs counter to that opinion, as it is extolled for sagacity, when it happens to coinciile with
Time made thee what thou wast-King of the
woods! it. The critical remarks of Cowper furnish
And time hath made thee what thou art-a cave us with instances of both sorts; but perhaps
For owls to roost in! Once thy spreading boughs with most of the former. His admiration of
O'erhung the champaign, and the numerous flock Mrs. Macaulay's History, and the rapture That graz'd it, stood beneath that ample cope with which he speaks of the Henry and
Uncrowded, yet safe-sheltered from the storm! Emma of Prior, and the compositions of
No flock frequenis thee now; thou hast ouiliv'd Churchill, will not, we should imagine, at
Thy popularity; and arı become
(Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing tract the sympathy of many readers, or sus
Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth!" pend the sentence which time appears to be passing on those performances. As there is “ One man alone, the father of us all, scarcely any thing of love in the poetry of
Drew not his life from woman; never gaz'd, Cowper, it is not very wonderful that there With muie unconsciouness of what he saw, should be nothing of it in his correspondence.
On all arvund him; learn'd not by degrees,
Nor ow'd arriculation to his ear; There is something very tender and amiable
But moulded by his Maker into man in his affection for his cousin Lady Hesketh; At once, upstood intelligent; survey'd but we do not remember any passage where All creatures; with precision understood he approaches to the language of gallantry, Their purpori, uses, properties; assign'd or appears to have indulged in the sentiments To each his name significant, and, fillid
With love and wisdom, rendered back to heaven, that might have led to its employment. It is
In praise harmonious, ihe first air be drew! also somewhat remarkable, that during the
He was excus'd the penalties of dull whole course of his retirement, though a good Minority; no autor charg'd his hand deal embarrassed in his circumstances, and With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his mind frequently very much distressed for want of With problems; History, not wanted yet, employment, he never seems 10 have had an
Lean'd on her elbow, wajching time, whose cause idea of betaking himself to a profession. The
Eventful, should supply her with a theme."
pp. 415, 416. solution of this difficulty is probably to be found in the infirmity of his mental health: On the whole, though we complain a little but there were ten or twelve years of his life, of the size and ihe price of the volumes now when he seems to have been fit for any exer- before us, we take our leave of them with tion that did not require a public appearance, reluctance; and lay down our pen with no and to have suffered very much from the little regret, to think that we shall review no want of all occupation.
more of this author's productions.
(October, 1808.) Memoirs of the Life of COLONEL HUtchinson, Governor of Nottingham Castle and Town,
Representative of the County of Nottingham in the Long Parliament, and of the Town of Nottingham in the First Parliament of Charles II. &c.; with Original Anecdotes of many of the most distinguished of his Contemporaries, and a summary Review of Public Affairs : Written by his Widow, Lucy, daughter of Sir ALLEN APSLEY, Lieutenant of the Tower, &c. Now first published from the Original Manuscript, by the Rev. Julius Hutchinson, &c. &c. To which is prefixed, the Life of Mrs. Hutchinson, written by Herself, a Fragment. pp. 446. 4to. London, Longman and Co.: 1806.
We have not often met with any thing more that history to more recent transactions, if we interesting and curious than this volume. In- have not a tolerably correct notion of the dependent of its being a contemporary nar- character of the people of England in the rative of by far the most animating and im- reign of Charles I.
, and the momentous pe. portant part of our history, it challenges our riods which ensued. This character depended attention as containing an accurate and lu- very much on that of the landed proprietors minous account of military and political affairs and resident gentry; and Mrs. Hutchinson's from the hand of a woman; as exhibiting the memoirs are chiefly valuable, as containing a most liberal and enlightened sentiments in picture of that class of the community, the person of a puritan; and sustaining a high Agriculture was at this period still the tone of aristocratical dignity and pretension, chief occupation of the people; and the truly though the work of a decided republican governing part of society was consequently The views which it opens into the character of the rustic aristocracy. The country gentlethe writer, and the manners of the age, will men—who have since been worn down by be to many a still more powerful attraction. luxury and taxation, superseded by the ac
Of the times to which this narrative be- tivity of office, and eclipsed by the opulence longs—times to which England owes all her of trade-were then all and all in England; freedom and all her glory-we can never hear and the nation at large derived from them its too much, or too often: and though their story habits, prejudices, and opinions. Educated has been transmitted to us, both with more almost entirely at home, their manners were fulness of detail and more vivacity of colour- not yet accommodated to a general European ing than any other portion of our annals, every standard, but retained all those national pecureflecting reader must be aware that our in- liarities which united and endeared them to formation is still extremely defective, and the rest of their countrymen. Constitutionally exposes us to the hazard of great misconcep- serious, and living much with their families, tion. The work before us, we think, is cal- they had in general more solid learning, and culated in a good degree to supply these de- more steady morality than the gentry of other ficiencies, and to rectify these errors. countries. Exercised in local magistracies,
By far the most important part of history, and frequently assembled for purposes of as we have formerly endeavoured to explain, national cooperation, they became conscious is that which makes us acquainted with the of their power, and jealous of their privileges: character, dispositions, and opinions of the and having been trained up in a dread and great and efficient population by whose mo- detestation of that popery which had been tion or consent all things are ultimately gov- the recent cause of so many wars and perseerned. After a nation has attained to any cutions, their religious sentiments had condegree of intelligence, every other principle tracted somewhat of an austere and polemical of action becomes subordinate; and, with re- character, and had not yet settled from the lation to our own country in particular, it may ferment of reformation into tranquil and regube said with safety, that we can know nothing lated piety. It was upon this side, accordof its past history, or of the applications of (ingly, that they were most liable to error: and the extravagances into which a part of applause, on the violin,-stout esquires, at them was actually betrayed, has been the the same time, praying and quafling October chief cause of the misrepresentations to which with their godly tenants, -and noble lords they were then exposed, and of the miscon- disputing with their chaplains on points of ception which still prevails as to their char- theology in the evening, and taking them out acter and principles of action.
a-hunting in the morning. There is nothing, In the middle of the reign of Charles I. al- in short, more curious and instructive, than most the whole nation was serious and devout. the glimpses which we here catch of the old Any licence and excess which existed was hospitable and orderly life of the country mostly encouraged and patronised by the gentlemen of England, in those days when Royalists; who made it a point of duty to the national character was so high and so deride the sanctity and rigid morality of their peculiar,—when civilization had produced all opponents; and they again exaggerated, out its effects, but that of corruption, -and when of party hatred, the peculiarities by which serious studies and dignified pursuits had not they were most obviously distinguished from yet been abandoned to a paltry and effeminate their antagonists. Thus mutually receding derision. Undoubtedly, in reviewing the anfrom each other, from feelings of general nals of those times, we are struck with a hostility, they were gradually led to realize loftier air of manhood than presents itself in the imputations of which they were recipro- any after era ; and recognize the same charcally the subjects. The cavaliers gave way acters of deep thought and steady enthusiasm, to a certain degree of licentiousness; and the and the same principles of fidelity and selfadherents of the parliament became, for the command, which ennobled the better days of most part, really morose and enthusiastic. At the Roman Republic, and have made every the Restoration, the cavaliers obtained a com- thing else appear childish and frivolous in plete and final triumph over their sanctimo- the comparison. nious opponents; and the exiled monarch One of the most striking and valuable and his nobles imported from the Continent a things in Mrs. Hutchinson's performance, is taste for dissipation, and a toleration for de- the information which it affords us as to the bauchery, far exceeding any thing that had manners and condition of women in the period previously been known in England. It is with which she is occupied. This is a point from the wits of that court, however, and the in which all histories of public events are writers of that party, that the succeeding and almost necessarily defective; though it is evithe present age have derived their notions of dent that, without attending to it, our notions the Puritans. In reducing these notions to of the state and character of any people must the standard of truth, it is not easy to deter- be extremely imperfect and erroneous. Mrs. mine how large an allowance ought to be Hutchinson, however, enters into no formal made for the exaggerations of party hatred, disquisition upon this subject. What we the perversions of witty malice, and the illu- learn from her in relation to it, is learnt incisions of habitual superiority. It is certain, dentally—partly on occasion of some anechowever, that ridicule, toleration, and luxury dotes which it falls in her way to recite—but gradually annihilated the Puritans in the chiefly from what she is led to narrate or dishigher ranks of society: and after-times, seeing close as to her own education, conduct, or their practices and principles exemplified only opinions. If it were allowable to take the among the lowest and most illiterate of man- portrait which she has thus indirectly given kind, readily caught the tone of contempt of herself, as a just representation of her fair which had been assumed by their triumphant contemporaries, we should form a most exaltenemies; and found no absurdity in believing ed notion of the republican matrons of Engthat the base and contemptible beings who land. Making a slight deduction for a few were described under the name of Puritans traits of austerity, borrowed from the bigotry by the courtiers of Charles II., were true of the age, we do not know where to look for representatives of that valiant and conscien- a more noble and engaging character than tious party which once numbered half the that under which this lady presents herself to gentry of England among its votaries and her readers ; nor do we believe that any age adherents.
of the world has produced so worthy a counThat the popular conceptions of the auster- terpart to the Valerias and Portias of antiquity: ities and absurdities of the old Roundheads. With a high-minded feeling of patriotism and and Presbyterians are greatly exaggerated, public honour, she seems to have been poswill probably be allowed by every one at all sessed by the most dutiful and devoted atconversant with the subject; but we know tachment to her husband; and to have comof nothing so well calculated to dissipate the bined a taste for learning and the arts with existing prejudices on the subject, as this the most active kindness and munificent hosbook of Mrs. Hutchinson. Instead of a set pitality to all who came within the sphere of of gloomy bigots waging war with all the her bounty. To a quick perception of charelegancies and gaieties of life, we find, in this acter, she appears to have united a masculine calumniated order, ladies of the first birth force of understanding, and a singular capacity and fashion, at once converting their husbands for affairs; and to have possessed and exerto Anabaptism, and instructing their children cised all those talents, without affecting any in music and dancing,—valiant Presbyterian superiority over the rest of her sex, or abancolonels refuting the errors of Arminius, col- doning for a single instant the delicacy and lecting pictures, and practising, with great reserve which were then its most indispensa