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elegant taste-though on the occasion there but of the native simplicity and amiableness mentioned, the flowers were aided by a less of this Eastern highlander. delicate sort of excitement.
“My solicitude to visit my western dominions is "This day I ate a maajûn. While under its in- boundless, and great beyond expression. The fluence, I visited some beautiful gardens. In dif- affairs of Hindustan have at length, however, been ferent beds, the ground was covered with purple reduced into a certain degree of order; and I trust and yellow Arghwan flowers. On one hand were in Almighty God that the time is near at hand, beds of yellow flowers in bloom; on the other hand, when, through the grace of the Most High, every red Aowers were in blossom. In many places they thing will be completely settled in this country: sprung up in the same bed, mingled iogether as if As soon as matters are brought into that state, I they had been flung and scattered abroad. I took shall, God willing, set out for your quarter, with my seat on a rising ground near the camp, to enjoy out losing a moment's time. "How is it possible the view of all the Hower-pois. On the six sides that the delights of those lands should ever be of this eminence they were formed as into regular erased from the heart?. Above all, how is it possibeds. On one side were yellow flowers; on another ble for one like me, who have made a vow of ab. the purple, laid out in triangular beds. On two stinence from wine, and of purity of life, to forget other sides, there were fewer flowers; but, as far the delicious melons and grapes of that pleasant as the eve could reach, there were flower-gardens region? They very recently brought me a single of a similar kind. In the neighbourhood of Per. musk-melon. While cutting it up, I felt myself shậwer, during the spring, the Hower-plois are ex- affected with a strong feeling of loneliness, and a quisitely beautiful."
sense of my exile from my native country; and I
could not help shedding tears while I was eating it!" We have, now enabled our readers, we think, to judge pretty fairly of the nature of On the whole, we cannot help having a this very curious volume; and shall only liking for “the Tiger?—and the romantic, present them with a few passages from two though somewhat apocryphal account that is letters written by the valiant author in the given of his death, has no tendency to diminish last year of his life. The first is addressed our partiality. It is recorded by Abulfazi, to his favourite son and successor Hûmâiún, and other native historians, that in the year whom he had settled in the government of after these Memoirs cease, Hûmâiùn, the beSamarcand, and who was at this time a sover- loved son of Baber, was brought to Agra in a eign of approved valour and prudence. There state of the most miserable health: is a very diverting mixture of sound political counsel and minute criticism on writing and while several men of skill were talking to the em.
" When all hopes from medicine were over, and composition, in this paternal effusion. We peror of the melancholy situation of his son, Abul can give buí a small part of it.
Baka, a personage highly venerated for his know"In many of your letters you complain of sepa case the Almighty had sometimes vouchsafed to
ledge and piety, remarked to Baber, that in such a ration from your friends. It is wrong for a prince receive the most valuable thing possessed by one to indulge in such a complaint.
There is certainly no greater hondage than that friend, as an offering in exchange for the life of in which a king is placed; but it ill becomes him to life was dearest to Hûmâiun, as Hûmaiún's was to
another. Baber, exclaiming that, of all things, his complain of inevitable separation.
" In compliance with my wishes, you have in. him, and that, next to the life of Hûmâiûn, his own deed writen me letters, but you certainly never
was what he most valued, devoted his life to Hearead them over; for had you attempted to read ven as a sacrifice for his son's! The noblemen them, you must have found it absolutely impossible, around him entreated him to retract the rash vow, and would then undoubtedly have put them by. i and, in place of his first offering, to give the dia? meaning of your last leiter, but with much diffi- that it was the dearest of our worldly possessions contrived indeed to decipher and comprehend the mond taken at Agra, and reckoned the most valu.
able on earth: That the ancient sages had said, culty. It is excessively confused and crabbed. Who ever saw a Moamma (a riddle or a charade) in alone that was to be offered 10 Heaven. But he prose? Your spelling is not bad, yet not quite persisted in his resolution, declaring that no stone, correct. You have written iltasat with a toe (in his life. He three times walked round the dying
of whatever value, could be put in competition with stead of a le), and kuling with a be (instead of a kaf). Your letter may indeed be read; but in prince, a solemnity similar to that used in sacrifices consequence of the far-fetched words you have and heave-offerings, and, retiring, prayed earnestly employed, the meaning is by no means very intel- 'I have borne it away! I have borne it away!
to God. After some time he was heard to exclaim, ligible. You certainly do noi excel in letter-writing, The Mussulman historians assure us, ihat Hûmâiên and fait chiefly because you have too great a desire almost immediately began to recover, and that, in to show your acquirements. For the future, you proportion as he recovered, the health and strength should write unaffectedly, with clearness, using of Baber visibly decayed. Baber communicated plain words, which would cost less trouble both to his dying instructions to Khwajeh Khalîteh, Kamber the writer and reader."
Ali Beg, Terdi Beg, and Hindu Beg, who were The other letter is to one of his old com- then at court commending Hùmâiûn to their propanions in arms;-and considering that it is tection. With that unvarying affection for his written by an ardent and ambitious conqueror, of his life, he strongly besought Hûmâinn to be
family which he showed in all the circumstances from the capital of his new empire of Hin- kind and forgiving to his brothers. Hùmâiûn produstan, it seems to us a very striking proof, mised-and, whai in such circumstances is rare, not only of the nothingness of high fortune, kept his promise."
(March, 1819.) Specimens of the British Poets; with Biographical and Critical Notices, and an Essay on English
Poetry. By THOMAS CAMPBELL. 7 vols. 8vo. London: 1819.
We would rather see Mr. Campbell as a If he were like most authors, or even like poet, than as a commentator on poetry :-be- most critics, we could easily have pardoned cause we would rather have a solid addition this; for we very seldom find any work too to the sum of our treasures, than the finest or short. It is the singular goodness of his critimost judicious account of their actual amount. cisms that makes us regret their fewness; for But we are very glad to see him in any way: nothing, we think, can be more fair, judicious --and think the work which he has now given and discriminating, and at the same time us very excellent and delightful. Still, how- more fine, delicate and original, than the ever, we think there is some little room for greater part of the discussions with which he complaint; and, feeling that we have not got has here presented us. It is very rare to find all we were led to expect, are unreasonable so much sensibility to the beauties of poetry, enough to think that the learned author still united with so much toleration for its faults; owes us an arrear: which we hope he will and so exact a perception of the merits of handsomely pay up in the next edition.. every particular style, interfering so little
When a great poet and a man of distin- with a just estimate of all. Poets, to be sure, guished talents announces a large selection are on the whole, we think, very indulgent of English poetry, "with biographical and judges of poetry; and that not so much, we critical notices,” we naturally expect such verily believe, from any partiality to their own notices of all, or almost all the authors, of vocation, or desire to exalt their fraternity, whose works he thinks it worth while to as from their being more constantly alive to favour us with specimens. The biography those impulses which it is the business of sometimes may be unattainable—and it may poetry to excite, and more quick to catch and still more frequently be uninteresting—but to follow out those associations on which its the criticism must always be valuable; and, efficacy chiefly depends. If it be true, as indeed, is obviously that which must be we have fornerly endeavoured to show, with looked to as constituting the chief value of reference to this very author, that poetry proany such publication. There is no author so duces all its greater effects, and works its obscure, if at all entitled to a place in this more memorable enchantments, not so much register, of whom it would not be desirable to by the images it directly presents, as by those know the opinion of such a man as Mr. Camp- which it suggests to the fancy; and melts or bell—and none so mature and settled in fame, inflames us less by the fires which it applies npon whose beauties and defects, and poetical from without, than by those which it kindles character in general, the public would not within, and of which the fuel is in our own have much to learn from such an authority. bosoms,-it will be readily understood how Now, there are many authors, and some of these effects should be most powerful in the no mean note, of whom he has not conde- sensitive breast of a poet; and how a spark, scended to say one word, either in the Essay, which would have been instantly quenched or in the notices prefixed to the citations. Of in the duller atmosphere of an ordinary brain, Jonathan Swift, for example, all that is here may create a blaze in his combustible imagi. recorded is "Born 1667—died 1744;" and nation, to warm and enlighten the world. Otway is despatched in the same summary The greater poets, accordingly, have almost manner-Born 1651-died 1685." Mar- always been the warmest admirers, and the lowe is commemorated in a single page, and most liberal patrons of poetry. The smaller Butler in half of one. All this is rather ca- only-your Laureates and Ballad-mongers pricious:-But this is not all. Sometimes the are envious and irritable-jealous even of the notices are entirely biographical, and some-dead, and less desirous of ihe praise of others times entirely critical. We humbly conceive than avaricious of their own. they ought always to have been of both des- But though a poet is thus likely to be a criptions. At all events, we ought in every gentler critic of poetry than another, and, case to have had some criticism, -since this by having a finer sense of its beauties, to be could always have been had, and could better qualified for the most pleasing and imscarcely have failed to be valuable. Mr. C., portant part of his office, there is another we think, has been a little lazy.
requisite in which we should be afraid he would generally be found wanting, especially | bell was himself a Master in a distinct school in a work of the large and comprehensive of poetry, and distinguished by a very pecunature of that now before us—we mean, in liar and fastidious style of composition, withabsolute fairness and impartiality towards the out being apprehensive that the effects of this different schools or styles of poetry which he bias would be apparent in his work; and that, may have occasion to estimate and compare with all his talent and discernment, he would Even the most common and miscellaneous now and then be guilty of great, though unreader has a peculiar taste in this way—and intended injustice, to some of those whose has generally erected for himself some ob- manner was most opposite to his own. We scure but exclusive standard of excellence, are happy to say that those apprehensions by which he measures the pretensions of all have proved entirely groundless; and that that come under his view. One man admires nothing in the volumes before us is more adwitty and satirical poetry, and sees no beauty mirable, or to us more surprising, than the in rural imagery or picturesque description; perfect candour and undeviating fairness with while another doats on Idyls and Pastorals, which the learned author passes judgment on and will not allow the affairs of polite life to all the different authors who come before him; form a subject for verse. One is for simplic
--the quick and true perception he has of the ity and pathos; another for magnificence and most opposite and almost contradictory beausplendour. One is devoted to the Muse of ties—the good-natured and liberal allowance terror; another to that of love. Some are all he makes for the disadvantages of each age for blood and battles, and some for music and and individual—and the temperance and moonlight-some for emphatic sentiments, brevity and firmness with which he reproves and some for melodious verses. Even those the excessive severity of critics less entitled whose taste is the least exclusive, have a lean- to be severe. No one indeed, we will venture ing to one class of composition rather than to to affirm, ever placed himself in the seat of another; and overrate the beauties which fall judgment with more of a judicial temperin with their own propensities and associations though, to obviate invidious comparisons, we While they are palpably unjust to those must beg leave just to add, that being called which wear a different complexion, or spring on to pass judgment only on the dead, whose from a different race.
faults were no longer corrigible, or had already But, if it be difficult or almost impossible been expiated by appropriate pains, his temto meet with an impartial judge for the whole per was less tried, and his severities less progreat family of genius, even among those voked, than in the case of living offenders, quiet and studious readers who ought to find and that the very number and variety of the delight even in their variety, it is obvions that errors that called for animadversion, in the this bias and obliquity of judgment must be course of his wide survey, must have made still more incident to one who, by being him- each particular case appear comparatively self a Poet, must not only prefer one school insignificant, and mitigated the sentence of of poetry to all others, but must actually be- individual condemnation. long to it, and be disposed, as a pupil, or still It is to this last circumstance, of the large more as a Master, to advance its pretensions and comprehensive range which he was obabove those of all its competitors. Like the liged to take, and the great extent and variety votaries or leaders of other sects, successful of the society in which he was compelled to poets have been but too apt to establish ex- mingle, that we are inclined to ascribe, not clusive and arbitrary creeds; and to invent only the general mildness and indulgence of articles of faith, the slightest violation of his judgments, but his happy emancipation which effaces the merit of all other virtues. from those narrow and limitary maxims by Addicting themselves, as they are apt to do, which we have already said that poets are so to the exclusive cultivation of that style to peculiarly apt to be entangled. As a large which the bent of their own genius naturally and familiar intercourse with men of different inclines them, they look everywhere for those habits and dispositions never fails, in characbeauties of which it is peculiarly susceptible, ters of any force or generosity, to dispel the and are disgusted if they cannot be found. - prejudices with which we at first regard them, Like discoverers in science, or improvers in and to lower our estimate of our own superior art. they see nothing in the whole system but happiness and wisdom, so, a very ample and their own discoveries and improvements, and extensive course of reading in any departundervalue every thing that cannot be con- ment of letters, tends naturally to enlarge our nected with their own studies and glory. As narrow principles of judgment; and not only the Chinese mapmakers allot all the lodgeable to cast down the idols before which we had area of the earth to their own nation, and formerly a based ourselves, but to disclose to thrust the other countries of the world into us the might and the majesty of much that little outskirts and by-corners—so poets are
we had mistaken and contemned. disposed to represent their own little field of In this point of view, we think such a work exertion as occupying all the sunny part of as is now before us, likely to be of great use Parnassus, and to exhibit the adjoining regions to ordinary readers of poetry—not only as under terrible shadows and most unmerciful unlocking to them innumerable new springs
of enjoyment and admiration, but as having With those impressions of the almost in- a tendency to correct and liberalize their evitable partiality of poetical judgments in judgments of their old favourites, and to general, we could not recollect that Mr. Camp-l strengthen and enliven all those faculties by
which they derive pleasure from such studies. I being a mere bookseller's speculation.-As Nor would the benefit, if it once extended so we have heard nothing of it from the time of far, by any means stop there. The character its first publication, we suppose it has had the of our poetry depends not a little on the taste success it deserved. of our poetical readers ;—and though some There was great room therefore, -and, we bards have always been before their age, and will even say, great occasion, for such a work some behind it, the greater part must be as this of Mr. Campbell's, in the present state pretty nearly on its level. Present popularity, of our literature ;-and we are persuaded, that whatever disappointed writers may say, is, all who care about poetry, and are not already after all, the only sa se passage of future glory; acquainted with the authors of whom it treats
-and it is really as unlikely that good poetry 1, and even all who are cannot possibly do should be produced in any quantity where it better than read it fairly through, from the is not relished, as that cloih should be manu- first page to the last—without skipping the factured and thrust into the market, of a extracts which they know, or those which may pattern and fashion for which there was no not at first seem very attractive. There is no demand. A shallow and uninstructed taste reader, we will venture to say, who will rise is indeed the most flexible and inconstant, from the perusal even of these partial and and is lossed about by every breath of doc- scanty fragments, without a fresh and deep trine, and every wind of authority, so as sense of the matchless richness, variety, and neither to derive any permanent delight from originality of English Poetry: while the jux. the same works, nor to assure any permanent ta position and arrangement of the pieces not fame to their authors ;-while a taste that is only gives room for endless comparisons and formed upon a wide and large survey of en contrasts,—but displays, as it were in miniaduring models, not only affords a secure basis ture, the whole of its wonderful progress; and for all future judgments, but must compel, sets before us, as in a great gallery of pictures, whenever it is general in any society, a salu- the whole course and history of the art, from tary conformity to its great principles from all its first rude and infant beginnings, to its who depend on its suffrage. –To accomplish maturity, and perhaps its decline. While it such an object, the general study of a work has all the grandeur and instruction that belike this certainly is not enough:--But it longs to such a gallery, it is free from the would form an excellent preparation for more perplexity and distraction which is generally extensive reading—and would, of itself, do complained of in such exhibitions ; as each much to open the eyes of many self-satisfied piece is necessarily considered separately and persons, and startle them into a sense of their in succession, and the mind cannot wander, own ignorance, and the poverty and paltriness like the eye, through the splendid labyrinth of many of their ephemeral favourites. Con- in which it is enchanted. Nothing, we ihink, sidered as a nation, we are yet but very im- can be more delightful, than thus at our ease perfectly recovered from that strange and to trace, through all its periods, vicissitudes, ungrateful forgetfulness of our older poets, and aspects, the progress of this highest and which began with the Restoration, and con- most intellectual of all the arts—coloured as tinued almost unbroken till after the middle it is in every age by the manners of the times of the last century:-Nor can the works which which produce it, and embodying, besides have chiefly tended to dispel it among the those flights of fancy and touches of pathos instructed orders, be ranked in a higher class that constitute its more immediate essence, than this which is before us.—Percy's Relics much of the wisdom and much of the morality of Antient Poetry produced, we believe, the that was then current among the people; and first revulsion-and this was followed up by thus presenting us, not merely with almost Wharton's History of Poetry.—Johnson's Lives all that genius has ever created for delight, of the Poets did something ;-and the great but with a brief chronicle and abstract of all effect has been produced by the modern com- that was once interesting to the generations mentators on Shakespeare. Those various which have gone by. works recommended the older writers, and The steps of the progress of such an art, reinstated them in some of their honours;- and the circumstances by which they have but still the works themselves were not placed been effected, would form, of themselves, a before the eyes of ordinary readers. This large and interesting theme of speculation. was done in part, perhaps overdone, by the Conversant as poetry necessarily is with all entire republication of some of our older dra- that touches human feelings, concers, and matists-and with better effect by Mr. Ellis's occupations, its character must have been im; Specimens. If the former, however, was pressed by every change in the moral and rather too copious a supply for the returning political condition of society; and must even appetite of the public, the latter was too retain the lighter traces of their successive scanty; and both were confined to too narrow follies, amusements, and pursuits; while, in a period of time to enable the reader to enjoy the course of ages, the very multiplication the variety, and to draw the comparisons, by and increasing business of the people have which he might be most pleased and instruct- forced it through a progress not wholly dised.—Southey's continuation of Ellis did harm similar to that which the same causes have rather than good; for though there is some produced on the agriculture and landscape of cleverness in the introduction, the work itself the country ;-where at first we had rude and is executed in a crude, petulant, and super- dreary wastes, thinly sprinkled with sunny ficial manner,-and bears all the marks of spots of simple cultivation--then vast forests and chases, stretching far around feudal cas-, has complied perhaps too far with the popular tles and pinnacled abbeys—then woodland prejudice, in confining his citations from Milhamlets, and goodly mansions, and gorgeous ton to the Comus and the smaller pieces, and gardens, and parks rich with waste fertility, leaving the Paradise Lost to the memory of and lax habitations-and, finally, crowded his readers. But though we do not think the cities, and road-side villas, and brick-walled extracts by any means too long on the whole, gardens, and turnip-fields, and canals, and we are certainly of opinion that some are too artificial ruins, and ornamented farms, and long and others too short; and that many, cottages trellised over with exotic plants ! especially in the latter case, are not very
But, to escape from those metaphors and well selected. There is far too little of Marenigmas to the business before us, we must lowe for instance, and too much of Shirley, remark, that in order to give any tolerable and even of Massinger. We should have idea of the poetry which was thus to be rep- liked more of Warner, Fairfax, Phineas resented, it was necessary that the specimens Fletcher, and Henry More-all poets of no to be exhibited should be of some compass scanty dimensions and could have spared and extent. We have heard their length several pages of Butler, Mason, Whitehead, complained of—but we think with very little Roberts, Meston, and Amhurst Selden. We justice. Considering the extent of the works do not think the specimens from Burns very from which they are taken, they are almost well selected; nor those from Prior--nor can all but inconsiderable fragments; and where we see any good reason for quoting the whole the original was of an Epic or Tragic charac- Castle of Indolence, and nothing else, for ter, greater abridgment would have been Thomson—and the whole Rape of the Lock, mere mutilation, and would have given only and nothing else, for Pope. such a specimen of the whole, as a brick Next to the impression of the vast fertility, might do of a building. From the earlier and compass, and beauty of our English poetry, less familiar authors, we rather think the cita- the reflection that recurs most frequently and tions are too short; and, even from those that forcibly to us, in accompanying Mr. C. through are more generally known, we do not well his wide survey, is that of the perishable nasee how they could have been shorter, with ture of poetical fame, and the speedy oblivion any safety to the professed object, and only that has overtaken so many of the promised use, of the publication. That object, we con- heirs of immortality! Of near two hundred ceive, was to give specimens of English and fifty authors, whose works are cited in poetry, from its earliest to its latest periods; these volumes, by far the greater part of whom and it would be a strange rule to have fol- were celebrated in their generation, there are lowed, in making such a selection, to leave not thirty who now enjoy any thing that can our the best and most popular. The work be called popularity—whose works are to be certainly neither is, nor professes to be, a col- found in the hands of ordinary readers-in lection from obscure and forgotten authors- the shops of ordinary booksellers-or in the but specimens of all who have merit enough press for republication. About fifty more may to deserve our remembrance ;-and if some be tolerably familiar to men of taste or literafew have such redundant merit or good for- ture :—the rest slumber on the shelves of col-tune as to be in the hands and the minds of lectors, and are partially known to a few antiall the world, it was necessary, even then, to quaries and scholars. Now, the fame of a give some extracts from them,—that the Poet is popular, or nothing. He does not adseries might be complete, and that there dress himself, like the man of science, to the might be room for comparison with others, learned, or those who desire to learn, but to and for tracing the progress of the art in the all mankind; and his purpose being to delight strains of its best models and their various and be praised, necessarily extends to all who imitators.
can receive pleasure, or join in applause. It In one instance, and one only, Mr. C. has is strange, then, and somewhat humiliating, declined doing this duty; and left the place to see how great a proportion of those who of one great luminary to be filled up by recol. had once fought their way successfully to dislections that he must have presumed would tinction, and surmounted the rivalry of conbe universal. He has given but two pages to temporary envy, have again sunk into neglect. SHAKESPEARE—and not a line from any of his We have great deference for public opinion; plays! Perhaps he has done rightly. A and readily admit, that nothing but what is knowledge of Shakespeare may be safely pre- good can be permanently popular. But though samed, we believe, in every reader; and, if its vivat be generally oracular, its pereat aphe had begun to cite his Beauties, there is no pears to us to be often sufficiently capricious; saying where he would have ended. A little and while we would foster all that it bids tó book, calling itself Beauties of Shakespeare, live, we would willingly revive much that it was published some years ago, and shown, as leaves to die. The very multiplication of we have heard, to Mr. Sheridan. He turned works of amusement, necessarily withdraws over the leaves for some time with apparent many from notice that deserve to be kept in satisfaction, and then said, “This is very remembrance; for we should soon find it well; but where are the other seven volumes ?', labour, and not amusement, if we were obliged There is no other author, however, whose to make use of them all, or even to take all fame is such as to justify’a similar ellipsis, upon trial. As the materials of enjoyment and or whose works can be thus elegantly under- instruction accumulate around us, more and stood, in a collection of good poetry. Mr. C. Imore, we fear, must thus be daily rejected, and