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learned that are bred in English univer- | been the model of our author in the followsities. But we have no longer lest room for ing :any considerable extracts; though we should
• That woe could wish, or vanity devist.” have wished to lay before our readers some
"Sick without pity, sorrowing without hope.” part of the picture of the secretaries—the description of the inns—the strolling players
Gloom to the night, and pressure to the chain"and the clubs. The poor mai's club, which and a great multitude of others. partakes of the nature of a friendly society, On the other hand, he appears to us to be is described with that good-hearted indulgence frequently misled by Darwin into a sort of which marks all Mr. Crabbe's writings.
mock-heroic magnificence, upon ordinary oc
casions. The poet of the Garden, for instance, “The printed rules he guards in painted frame, makes his nymphs And shows his children where to read his name.
* Present the fragrant quintessence of tea.” We have now alluded, we believe, to what is best and most striking in this poem ; and,
And the poet of the Dock-yards makes his though we do not mean to quote any part of carpenters what we consider as less successful, we must Spread the warm pungence of o’erboiling tar.” say, that there are large portions of it which
Mr. Crabbe, indeed, does not scruple, on appear to us considerably inferior to most of
some occasions, to adopt the mock-heroic in the author's former productions. The letter
good earnest. When the landlord of the on the Election, we look on as a complete Griffin becomes bankrupt, he says failure-or at least as containing scarcely any thing of what it ought to have contained.
The insolvent Griffin struck her wings subliine," The letters on Law and Physic, too, are tedi- and introduces a very serious lamentation ous; and the general heads of Trades, Amuse over the learned poverty of the curate, with ments, and Hospital Government, by no means this most misplaced piece of buffoonery: amusing. The Parish Clerk, too, we find dull, “Oh! had he learn’d to make the wig he wears !" and without effect; and have already given our opinion of Peter Grimes, Abel Keene, and One of his letters, too, begins with this Benbow. We are struck, also, with several wretched quibbleomissions in the picture of a maritime borough.
“ From Law to Physic stepping at our ease, Mr. Crabbe might have made a great deal of We find a way to finish-by Degrees.” a press-gang; and, at all events, should have given us some wounded veteran sailors, and
There are many imitations of the peculiar some royagers with tales of wonder from rhythm of Goldsmith and Campbell, too, as foreign lands.
our readers must have observed in some of The style of this poem is distinguished, our longer specimens ; — but these, though like all Mr. Crabbe's other performances, by they do not always make a very harmonious great force and compression of diction--a sort
combination, are better, at all events, than of sententious brevily, once thought essential the tame heaviness and vulgarity of such to poetical composition, but of which he is verses as the following: now the only living example. But though this
"As soon is almost an unvarying characteristic of his could he have thought gold issued from the moon.” style, it appears to us that there is great "A seaman's body--there'll be more to-night.” variety, and even some degree of unsteadi
“ Those who will not 10 any guide submit, ness and inconsistency in the tone of his ex
Nor find one creed to their conceptions filpression and versification. His taste seems
True Independents: while they Calvin hate, scarcely to be sufficiently fixed and settled as They heed as little whar Socinians state.”—p. 54. to these essential particulars; and, along with
“ Here pirs of crag, with spongy, plashy base, a certain quaint, broken, and harsh manner
To some enrich th’unculiivated space,” &c. &c. of his own, we think we can trace very frequent imitations of poets of the most opposite
Of the sudden, harsh turns, and broken concharacter.
The following antithetical and ciseness which we think peculiar to himself, half-punning lines of Pope, for instance :
the reader may take the following speciSleepless himself, to give his readers sleep;"
“Has your wife's brother, or your uncle's son, and
Doné aught amiss; or is he thought t' have
one?” "Whose trifling pleases, and whom trifles please ;have evidently been copied by Mr. Crabbe in Stepping from post to post he reach'd the chair ;
And there he now reposes :-hat's the Mayor !" the following, and many others :
He has a sort of jingle, too, which we think “And in the restless ocean, seek for resi. is of his own invention ;—for instance, " who taught thee Scraping they lived, but not a scrap they gave." " And formandens as that will forever fashion "Bound for a friend, whom honour could not bind."
“We term it free and easy; and yet we · Among the poor, for poor distinctions sigh’d.” Find it no easy matter to be free.”
In the same way, the common, nicely bal- We had more remarks to make upon the anced line of two members, which is so char- taste and diction of this author ; and had noted acteristic of the same author, has obviously several other little blemishes, which we meant
to have pointed out for his correction : but we mirable account in maintaining the interest, have no longer room for such minute criticism and enhancing the probability, of an extended —from which, indeed, neither the author nor train of adventures. At present, it is imposthe reader would be likely to derive any great sible not to regret, that so much genius should benefit. We take our leave of Mr. Crabbe, be wasted in making us perfectly acquainted therefore, by expressing our hopes that, since with individuals, of whom we are to know it is proved that he can write fast, he will not nothing but the characters. In such a poem, allow his powers to languish for want of exer- however, Mr. Crabbe must entirely lay aside cise; and that we shall soon see him again the sarcastic and jocose style to which he has repaying the public approbation, by entitling rather too great a propensity; but which we himself to a still larger share of it. An author know, from what he has done in Sir Eustace generally knows his own forte so much better Grey, that he can, when he pleases, entirely ihan any of his readers, that it is commonly relinquish. That very powerful and original a very foolish kind of presumption to offer performance, indeed, ihe chief fault of which any advice as to the direction of his efforts; is, to be set too thick with images—to be too but we own we have a very strong desire to strong and undiluted, in short, for the diges see Mr. Crabbe apply his great powers to the tion of common readers-makes us regret, construction of some interesting and connected that its author should ever have stopped to be story. He has great talents for narration; and trifling and ingenious -or condescended to that unrivalled gift in the delineation of char- tickle the imaginations of his readers, instead acter, which is now used only for the creation of touching the higher passions of their naof detached portraits, might be turned to ad- I ture.
(November, 1812.) Tales. By the Reverend GEORGE CRABBE. 8vo. pp. 398. London: 1812. We are very thankful to Mr. Crabbe for their venial offences, contrasted with a strong these Tales; as we must always be for any sense of their frequent depravity, and too thing that comes from his hands. But they constant a recollection of the sufferings it proare not exactly the tales which we wanted. duces ;-and, finally, the same honours paid We did not, however, wish him to write an to the delicate affections and ennobling pas. Epic-as he seems from his preface to have sions of humble life, with the same generous imagined. We are perfectly satisfied with testimony to their frequent existence; mised the length of the pieces he has given us; and up as before, with a reprobation sufficiently delighted with their number and variety. In rigid, and a'ridicule sufficiently severe, of these respects the volume is exactly as we their excesses and affectations. could have wished it. But we should have If we were required to make a comparative liked a little more of the deep and tragical estimate of the merits of the present publicapassions; of those passions which exalt and tion, or to point out the shades of difference overwhelm the soul—to whose stormy seat by which it is distinguished from those that the modern muses can so rarely raise their have gone before it, we should say
that there flight-and which he has wielded with such are a greater number of instances on which terrific force in his Sir Eustace Grey, and the he has combined the natural language and Gipsy Woman. What we wanted, in short, manners of humble life with the energy of were tales something in the style of those true passion, and the beauty of generoas two singular compositions—with less jocu- affection ;-in which he has iraced out the larity than prevails in the rest of his writings course of those rich and lovely veins in the --rather more incidents—and rather fewer rude and unpolished masses that lie at the details.
bottom of society ;-and unfolded. in the mid; The pieces before us are not of this descrip-dling orders of the people, the workings of tion ;-ihey are mere supplementary chapters those finer feelings, and the stirrings of those to “The Borough,” or “The Parish Register.” loftier emotions which the partiality of other The same tone—the same subjects—the same poets had attributed, almost exclusively, to style, measure, and versification ;-the same actors on a higher scene. finished and minute delineation of things We hope, too, that this more amiable and ordinary and common-generally very en consoling view of human nature will have gaging when employed upon external objects, the effect of rendering Mr. Crabbe still more but often fatiguing when directed merely to popular than we know that he already is, insignificant characters and habits ;-the same among that great body of the people, from strange mixture too of feelings that tear the among whom almost all his subjects are taken, heart and darken the imagination, with starts and for whose use his lessons are chiefly inof low humour and patches of ludicrous ima- tended : and we say this, not only on account gery ;-the same kindly sympathy with the of the moral benefit which we think they humble and innocent pleasures of the poor may derive from them, but because we are
! inelegant, and the same indulgence for persuaded that they will derive more pleasure
from them than readers of any other descrip-1 classes, there are not as many as thirty tion. Those who do not belong to that rank thousand. It is easy to see therefore which of society with which this powerful writer is a poet should choose to please, for his own chiefly conversant in his poetry, or who have glory and emolument, and which he should not at least gone much among them, and at- wish to delight and amend, out of mere tended diligently to their characters and occu- philanthropy. The fact too we believe is, pations, can neither be half aware of the that a great part of the larger body are to the exquisite fidelity of his delineations, nor feel full as well educated and as high-minded as in their full force the better part of the emo- the smaller; and, though their taste may not tions which he has suggested. Vehement be so correct and fastidious, we are persuaded passion indeed is of all ranks and conditions; that their sensibility is greater. The misand its language and external indications fortune is, to be sure, that they are extremely nearly the same in all. Like highly rectified apt to affect the taste of their superiors, and spirit, it blazes and inflames with equal force to counterfeit even that absurd disdain of and brightness, from whatever materials it is which they are themselves the objects; and extracted. But all the softer and kindlier that poets have generally thought it safest to affections, all the social anxieties that mix invest their interesting characters with all with our daily hopes, and endear our homes, the trappings of splendid fortune and high and colour our existence, wear a different station, chiefly because those who know least livery, and are written in a different character about such matters think it unworthy to symin almost every great caste or division of pathise in the adventures of those who are society; and the heart is warmed, and the without them! For our own parts, however, spirit touched by their delineation, exactly in we are quite positive, not only that persons the proportion in which we are familiar with in middling life would naturally be most the types by which they are represented.- touched with the emotions that belong to When Burns, in his better days, walked out their own condition, but that those emotions in a fine summer morning with Dugald Stew- are in themselves the most powerful, and art, and the latter observed to him what a consequently the best fitted for poetical or beauty the scattered cottages, with their white pathetic representation. Even with regard walls and curling smoke shining in the silent to the heroic and ambitious passions, as the sun, imparted to the landscape, the present vista is longer which leads from humble poet answered, that he felt that beauty ten privacy to the natural objects of such pastimes more strongly than his companion could sions; so, the career is likely to be more imdo; and that it was necessary to be a cottager petuous, and its outset more marked by strikto know what pure and tranquil pleasures ing and contrasted emotions :-and as to all often nestled below those lowly roofs, or to the more tender and less turbulent affections, read, in their external appearance, the signs upon which the beauty of the pathetic is of so many heartfelt and long-remembered altogether dependant, we apprehend it to be enjoyments. In the same way, the humble quite manifest
, that their proper soil and and patient hopes—the depressing embarrass- nidus is the privacy and simplicity of humble menis—the litile mortifications—the slender life ;—that their very elements are dissipated triumphs, and strange temptations which arise by the variety of objects that move for ever in middling life, and are the theme of Mr. in the world of fashion ; and their essence Crabbe's finest and most touching represen- tainted by the cares and vanities that are lations—can only be guessed at by those who diffused in the atmosphere of that lofty region. glitter in the higher walks of existence; while But we are wandering into a long dissertathey must raise many a tumultuous throb and tion, instead of making our readers acquainted many a fond recollection in the breasts of with the book before us. The most satisfacthose to whom they reflect so truly the image tory thing we can do, we believe, is to give of their own estate, and reveal so clearly the them a plain account of its contents, with secrets of their habitual sensations.
such quotations and remarks as may occur to We cannot help thinking, therefore, that us as we proceed. though such writings as are now before us The volume contains twenty-one tales ;must give great pleasure to all persons of taste the first of which is called “The Dumb Oraand sensibility, they will give by far the great- tors.” This is not one of the most engaging; est pleasure to those whose condition is least and is not judiciously placed at the portal, to remote from that of the beings with whom tempt hesitating readers to go forward. The they are occupied. But we think also, that second, however, entitled "The Parting it was wise and meritorious in Mr. Crabbe to Hour," is of a far higher character, and occupy himself with such beings. In this contains some passages of great beauty and country, there probably are not less than pathos. The story is simply that of a youth three hundred thousand persons who read for and a maiden in humble life, who had loved amusement or instruction, among the mid- each other from their childhood, but were too dling classes* of society. In the higher poor to marry. The youth goes to the West
İndies to push his fortune; but is captured By she middling classes, we mean almost all by the Spaniards and carried to Mexico, those who are below the sphere of what is called where, in the course of time, though stilí fashionable or public life, and who do not aim at sighing for his first love, he marries a Spandistinction or notoriety beyond the circle of their ish girl, and lives twenty years with her and equals in fortune and situation.
his children-he is then impressed, and car
pp 31, 32.
ried round the world for twenty years
The Booths ! yet live they?' pausing and op. longer; and is at last moved by an irre
press'd: sistible impulse, when old and shattered and Then spake again :— Is there no ancient man,
David his name assist me, if you can.Jonely, to seek his native town, and the Flemings there were !—and Judith! doth she live? scene of his youthful vows. He comes and The woinan gaz'd, nor could an answer give; finds his Judith like himself in a state of Yet wond'ring stood, and all were silent by, widowhood, but still brooding, like himself, Feeling a strange and solemn sympathy."' over the memory of their early love. She had waited twelve anxious years without
The meeting of the lovers is briefly told. tidings of him, and then married : and now when all passion, and fuel for passion, is “But now a Widow, in a village near, extinguished within them, the memory of Chanc'd of the melancholy man io hear : their young attachment endears them to each Old as she was, to Judith's bosom came other, and they still cling together in sad and He was her much-lov'd Allen! she had stay'd
Some strong emotions at the well-known name; subdued affection, to the exclusion of all the Ten troubled years, a sad afflicted maid," &c. rest of the world. The history of the growth “ The once-fond Lovers met : Nor grief nor age. and maturity of their innocent love is beauti- Sickness or pain, their hearts could disengage: fully given: but we pass on to the scene of Each had immediate confidence ; a friend their parting
Both now beheld, on whom ihey might depend :
Now is there one to whom I can express
My nature's weakness, and my soul's distress.'" " All things prepar'd, on the expected day Was seen the vessel anchor'd in the bay.
There is something sweet and touching, From her would seamen in the evening come, and in a higher vein of poetry, in the story To take th' advent'rous Allen from his home ;
which he tells to Judith of all his adventures. With his own friends the final day he pass'd, And every painful hour, except the last.
and of those other ties, of which it still wrings The grieving Father urg'd the cheerful glass,
her bosom to hear him speak.-We can afford To make the moments with less sorrow pass; but one little extract. Intent the Mother look'd upon her son, And wish'd th' assent withdrawn, the deed undone; There, hopeless ever to escape the land, The younger Sister, as he took his way,
He to a Spanish maiden gave his hand; Hung on his coat, and begg'd for more delay ; In cottage shelter'd from the blaze of day, But his own Judith call'd him to the shore, He saw his happy infants round him play; Whom he must meet-for they might meet no Where summer shadows, made by lotry trees, more!
Wav'd o'er his seat, and sooth'd his reveries; And there he found herfaithful, mournful, true, E'en then he thought of England, nor could sigb, Weeping and waiting for a last adieu !
But his fond Isabel demanded “Why?'
The close is extremely beautiful, and leaves
upon the mind just that impression of sadness The sad and long-delayed return of this which is both salutary and delightful, because ardent adventurer is described in a tone of it is akin to pity, and mingled with admira. genuine pathos, and in some places with such tion and esteem. truth and force of colouring, as to outdo the Thus silent, musing through the day, he sees efforts of the first dramatic representation. His children sporting by those lofty trees,
Their mother singing in the shady scene, “But when return'd the Youth ?-he Youth no Where the fresh springs burst o'er the lively green; Return'd exulting to his native shore ! (more So strong bis eager fancy, he affrighis But foriy years were past; and then there came The faithful widow by iis pow'rful flights ; A worn-out man, w th wither'd limbs and lame ! For whai disturbs him he aloud will tell. Yes! old and griev'd, and ireinbling with decay, And cry—“'Tis she. my wife! my Isabel!'-, Was Allen landing in his native bay:
• Where are my children?'— Judith grieves to hear In an autumnal eve he left the beach,
How the soul works in sorrows so severe;In such an eve he chanc'd the port to reach: Watch'd by her care, in sleep, bis spirit takes He was alone; he press'd the very place
Its flight, and watchful finds her when he wakes. Of the sad parting, of the last embrace:
"'Tis now her office; her attention see! There stood his parents, there retir'd the Maid, While her friend sleeps beneath that shading tree, So fond, so tender, and so much afraid ;
Careful, she guards him from the glowing heat, And on that spot, through many a year, his mind And pensive muses at her Allen's feet. (scenes Turn’d mournful back, half sinking, half resign'd. "And where is he? Ah! doubiless in those
"No one was present; of 118 crew berefi, Of his best days, amid the vivid greens, A single boat was in the billows left;
Fresh with unnumber'd rills, where ev'ry gale Sent from some anchor'd vessel in the bay, Breathes the rich fragrance of the neighb'ring vale; Al the returning tide to sail away:
Smiles not his wife?--and listens as there comes O'er the black stern the moonlight softly play'd, The night-bird's music from the thick'ning glooma? The loosen'd foresail flapping in the shade
And as he sits with all these treasures nigh, All silent else on shore; but from the town Gleams not with fairy-light the phosphor fly, A drowsy peal of distant bells came down : When like a sparkling gem it wheels'illumin'd by! From the call houses, here and there, a light This is the joy that now so plainly speaks Serv'd some confus'd remembrance to excite: In the warm iransient flushing of his cheeks; "There,' he observ'd, and new emotions felt, For he is list'ning to the fancied noise • Was my first home-and yonderJudith dwell,'&c. Of his own children, eager in their joys!A swarthy matron he beheld, and thought
All this he feels ; a dream's delusive bliss She mighi unfold the very iruths he sought ; Gives the expression, and the glow like this. Confus’d and trembling, he the dame address'd: And now his Judith lays her knitting by,
pp. 35, 36.
pp. 72, 73,
pp. 73, 74,
These strong emotions in her friend to spy;
“Here Dinah sigh'd as if afraid to speakFor she can fully of their nature deem
And then repeated — They were frail and weak; But see! he breaks the long protracted theme, His soul she lov'd; and hop'd he had the grace And wakes and cries— My God! 'twas but a To fix his thoughts upon a better place.'”
dream!'"-pp. 39, 40. The third tale is "The Gentleman Farmer," Nothing can be more forcible or true to naand is of a coarser texture than that we have ture, than the description of the effect of this just been considering—though full of acute cold blooded cant on the warm and unsuspectobservation, and graphic delineation of ordi- ing nature of her disappointed suitor. nary characters.
The hero is not a farmer turned gentleman, but a gentleman turned - She ceased :-With steady glance, as if to see farmer-a conceited, active, talking, domi- The very root of this hypocrisy;neering sort of person-who plants and eats And bronz’d broad hand; then told her his regard, and drinks with great vigour-keeps a mis- His best respect were gone, but Love had still tress, and speaks with audacious scorn of the Hold in his heart, and govern'd yet the willtyranny of wives, and the impositions of Or he would curse her!-Saying this, he threw priests, lawyers, and physicians. Being but The hand in scorn away, and bade adieu a shallow fellow however at bottom, his con- Toevery ling'ring hope, with every care in view. fidence in his opinions declines gradually as To some in power his troubles he confess’d, his health decays; and, being, seized with And shares a parish-gift. At prayers he sees some maladies in his stomach, he ends with The pious Dinah dropp'd upon her knees; triply governed by three of her confederates; When he, with thick set coat of Badge-man's blue, marrying his mistress, and submitting to be Thence as she walks the street with stately air, in the respective characters of a quack doctor, Moves near her shaded silk of changeful hue ; a methodist preacher, and a projecting land When his thin locks of grey approach her braid steward. We cannot afford any extracts from (A costly purchase made in beauty's aid); this performance.
When his frank air, and his unstudied pace, The next, which is called “Procrastina- are seen with her soft manner, air, and grace, tion," has something of the character of the And his plain artless look with her sharp meaning
It might some wonder in a stranger move, [face; "Parting Hour;" but more painful, and less How these together could have talk'd of love!" refined. It is founded like it on the story of a betrothed youth and maiden, whose marriage is prevented by their poverty; and this
“ The Patron,” which is next in order, is youth, too, goes to pursue his fortune at sea; also very goods and contains specimens of while the damsel awaits his return, with an very various excellence The story is that old female relation at home. He is crossed of a young man of humble birth, who shows with
many disasters, and is not heard of for an early genius for poetry; and having been, many years.
In the mean time, the virgin with some inconvenience to his parents, progradually imbibes her aunt's paltry love for vided with a frugal, but regular education, is wealth and finery; and when she comes, after at last taken notice of by a nobleman in the long sordid expectation, to inherit her hoards, neighbourhood, who promises to promote him feels that those new tastes have supplanted in the church, and invites him to pass an auevery warmer emotion in her bosom; and, tumn with him at his seat in the country. secretly hoping never more to see her youth. Here the youth, in spite of the admirable adful lover, gives herself up to comfortable
monitions of his father, is gradually overcome siping and formal ostentatious devotion. At by a taste for elegant enjoyments
, and allows last
, when she is set in her fine parlour, with himself to fall in love with the enchanting her china and toys, and prayer-books around sister of his protector. When the family her, the impatient man bursts into her
leave him with indifference to return to town,
presence, and reclaims her vows! She answers he feels the first pang of humiliation and discoldly, that she has now done with the world, appointment; and afterwards, when he finds and only studies how to prepare to die! and that all his noble friend's fine promises end exhorts him to betake himself to the same in obtaining for him a poor drudging place in needful meditations. We shall give the con- the Customs, he pines and pines till he falls clusion of the scene in the author's own words. into insanity; and recovers, only to die preThe faithful and indignant lover replies:
maturely in the arms of his disappointed pa
rents. We cannot make room for the history "Heav'n's spouse thou are not: nor can I believe of the Poet's progress—the father's warnings That God accepts her, who will Man deceive: True I am shatter'd, I have service seen,
-or the blandishments of the careless syren And service done, and have in trouble been;
by whom he was enchanted—though all are My cheek (it shames me not) has lost its red,
excellent. We give however the scene of the And the brown buff is o'er my features spread ; breaking up of that enchantment;-a descripPerchance my speech is rude; for I among tion which cannot fail to strike, if it had no Th’untam'd have been, in temper and in tongue; other merit, from its mere truth and accuracy. But speak my fate! For these my sorrows past, Time lost, youth fled, hope wearied, and at last “Cold grew the foggy morn; the day was brief; This doubt of thee-á childish thing to tell, Loose on the cherry hung the crimson leaf; But certain truth-my very throat they swell; The dew dwelt ever on the herb; the woods They stop the breath, and but for shame could I Roar'd with strong blasts, with mighty showers Give way to weakness, and with passion cry;
the floods ; These are unmanly struggles, but I feel
All green was vanish’d, save of pine and yew, This hour must end them, and perhaps will heal.”- That still display'd their melancholy hue;