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even this glimmering of knowledge is emotion of pleasure, or that every thing confounded by Milton, who represents
is incapable of exciting them as sensible beings, whereas, "the this emotion. If, as Solomon observes, dark glass” of faithi, represents them there be “ nothing new under the sun, as unembodied essences. It is true, there cannot consequently be any thing that Milton could not have represented to excite emotions, but admitting that them otherwise, but then he should not every day presents us with something have undertaken to represent or des
it is still certain, that mere novelcribe them at all.
ty is no cause of pleasure at any time, This is the true reason why the “Pa and that what pleased us forty years radise Lost is one of those books, ago, will please us now as much as which,” as Dr. Johnson justly oh ever, provided we still retain the same serves, “the reader admires and lays susceptibility of enjoyment. What down, and forgets to take it up again. pleasures are more delightful, than None ever wished it longer than it is. those which pleased us in our earlier Its perusal is a duty rather than a years? Even the recollection of them pleasure. We read Milton for instruc frequently imparts a more tender and tion, retire harrassed and over-burden impassioned delight, than we can aced, and look elsewhere for recreation. quire from most of the novel objects We desert our master, and seek for which we are accustomed to meet with companions,” Dr. Johnson, indeed, is through the general occurrences of generally accused of severity and il
life. liberality in his criticisms; but I doubt whether those who make the
-"Ask the faithful youth charge, have not laid it down as a prin- Why the cold urn of her, whom long he ciple, that unmerited commendation is Joved, preferable to censure, even when it is So often fills his arms, so often draus just, and consequently more liberal. His lonely footsteps at the silent hour To this creed I cannot subscribe, and
To pay the mournful tribute of bis tears?
O! he will tell thee that the wealth of I believe it may be safely said of Dr.
worlds Johnson, what he himself
says of Boil
Should never seduce his bosom to forego eau, that he will be seldom found in
That sacred hour, when, stealing from the If, however, he has been ever
noise wrong, and who is always right, I
Of care and envy, sweet remembrance suspect he is so in the cause which he
soothes, assigns for the want of interest in the With virtue's kindest looks, his aching “Paradise Lost.” “The truths which it
breast, contains," he says are too important And turns his tears to rapture." to be new; they have been taught to
Akenside. our infancy; they have mingled with our solitary thoughts and familiar con What once pleased us then, will versations, and are habitually inter- please for ever; nor will any thing woven with the whole texture of life. please us, simply because it is novel; Being therefore not new, they raise no for if it have nothing to recommend it unaccustomed emotion in the mind; to us but its novelty, it may, instead of what we know before, we cannot learn, pleasing us, create disgust, or perhaps, what is not expected cannot surprize." excite no attention at all. I have eise
This criticism appears to me, entire where observed, that “the sense of noly erroneous. Whatever is true in it, velty,” (it has been considered a sense is inapplicable to the“ Paradise Lost,' by all writers on taste,)is a sense which and whatever is applicable to it, is not we do not possess.
When a new obtrue. I agree with him, that impor- ject is presented to us, it is the object tant truths are seldom new, because, itself that affects us, and not the abwhatever is of real importance to us, stract idea of novelty; for if we were is generally made known to us in our moved only by the novelty of the obearly years, and “ mingle with our jeet, all new objects would affect us solitary thoughts;” but I deny his alik This is never the case. Every conclusion, that “ being not new, they object affects us by its own distinct raise no unaccustomed emotion in the qualities, and therefore, we experience mind,” because it is far from being a very different emotion when we first true, that every thing new raises an see a tyger or an elephant, from what
we felt when we first gazed upon a so, than their being taught to us in our dove or a butterfly. Our feelings are infancy. When Dr. Johnson says, that entirely engrossed by the appearance “ what we knew before we cannot of the object itself, not by the reflec- learn ; what is not expected cannot tion that we have never seen it before. surprise,” he tells us what is very true, This reflection may not occur to us at
but what is still nothing to the purpose; all, and therefore, it does not necessarily because it is not what we learn, that enter into the sensation of the moment; confers an interest upon poetry, but whereas, the sensation produced by the what affects : and if surprise be one of object itself, is irresistible, and always the charms that give interest to poetry, determined by its proper nature. The it is certain that few poems contain reflection that we never saw it before, is more of the marvellous and surprising not a feeling or sensation, but an act of than “ Paradise Lost.” The fact is, the understanding ; whereas the impres- that the evil results from its being too sion made by the object, is not an act surprising to be credited even by the but a passion. A novel object then, is most credulous, and therefore the readpleasing or disagreeable, on the same ers of it are not carried away by that principle with objects with which we passion and enthusiasm which is felt in are acquainted.*
reading what we believe to be true, or It is obvious, then, that the want of at least, what carries no glaring eviinterest in the “ Paradise Lost" does dence along with it of being otherwise ; not arise from the truths which it for the moment we find ourselves cheatcontains being “ taught in our infan- ed, we withhold our sympathy. Imcy," but because its descriptions are possibility, and possibility produce very not calculated to please us at any time; different impressions on the readers of and if they could be made at all inter- poetry. esting, nothing could make them more
(To be continued.)
Critical Dissertation on the Nature and Principles of Taste by M. Mc. Dermot,
pp. 376, 377.
LOVE NOT OF THIS EARTH.
On Love, no inhabitant of earth thou art !
An unseen seraph, we believe in thee:
But never eye hath seen, or ere shall see,
Thy unimagin'd form as it should be.
Ever with its own desiring fantasy;
Byron, In presenting this exquisite bijou to our readers, we deviate from our usual plan of originality. It is a peace offering to the admirers of Lord Byron's poetical talents for the gratuitous attack upon his Lordship in our last number. Vide Conversazioné.
APHORISMS, OPINIONS, AND THOUGHTS ON MORALS.
WERE we to trace up to their commendations, is, I fear, common to
sciousness of mutual benefit and assistOur duties are
so closely linked together that, as the breaking one We are all of us too apt to repeat pearl from a string of pearls hazards stories to the prejudice of others, even the loss of all, so the violation of one though we do not believe them.-Well duty endangers the safety of every indeed does St. James say, that “the other.
tongue is an unruly member." Where is the mortal, who can ven There are defects in character, which ture to pronounce that his actions can be known only by means of an inare of importance to no one, and that timate connection, and which co-habithe consequences of his virtues and tation can alone call forth-for inattenhis vices will be confined to himself tion to trifles is a general and a most alone ?
destructive failing, and many a conjuWomen reason, and men feel, when gal union, which has never been aspassing judgment on female beauty; sailed by the battery of crime, has and when a woman declares another to fallen a victim to the slowly underbe plain, the chances are that she is mining power of petty quarrels, trivial right in her opinion; as she cannot, unkindnesses, and thoughtless neglect; because she is a woman herself, feel like the gallant officer, though after
“that something than escaping unhurt from the rage of batbeauty dearer,” which often throws a tles both by land and water, tempest, veil over irregularity of features, and or sea, and earthquake on shore, resometimes obtains for even a plain turns perhaps to his native country, woman, from men at least, the appella- and perishes by the power of a slow tion of pretty:
fever. A woman is never so likely to be Some persons are so deficient in what the fool of love, as when it assails her
may be called delivery of mental talk, late in life; especially if a lover be as that they are nearly unconscious of the great a novelty to her as the passion wounds, which they inflict by itself—“Love" it has been wittily observed, “ like the small-pox, pits deep
--The word whose meaning kills, est in old subjects."
The speaker wonders that you thought it Any connection between the sexes,
cold.” that is founded on a guilty disregard of sacred and positive institutions, can They are unconscious that opportuninot long be productive of happiness; ties of conferring large benefits, like even though the reasonings of per- bank bills for £1,000, rarely come into verted intellect, and the persuasions of use; but that little attentions, friendly self-love, have convinced the offending participations, and kindnesses are wantparties that such an union is wise and ed daily, and, like small change, are virtuous.
necessary to carry on the business of Such offenders, while secluded from life and happiness. society, may fancy themselves happy ; Where the conduct is not founded on but as soon as society resumes, in any religious, and consequently, on immuway, its power and opportunity of oper- table principles, we may not err while ating on their happiness, that happi- temptation is absent; but when once we ness must necessarily vanish; as a dead are exposed to its presence, and its body, which has been preserved from power, we are capable of falling even decay by being entirely excluded from
into the very vices the most abhorrent the external air, moulders into dust as to our nature. soon as ever it is exposed to its influ It is only too true that wounds how
ever little, which are inflicted on our The wish to say lessening things of self-love, are never forgotten or forthose, of whom one hears extravagant given, and that it is safer to censure
the morals of our acquaintance, than vengeance, and is himself the only sufto ridicule a defect in their dress, a ferer from the blow. peculiarity in their manners, or a fault Natural affection, as it is called, is in their persons.
chiefly in human beings the result of To bear and forbear is the grand habit, and a series of care, tenderness, surety of happiness, and therefore mutual kindness, and good offices. ought to be the great study of life, and There is nothing more dangerous to what is it but that charity which "suf- the virtuous, and to the interests of virfereth long and is kind, and is not tue, than association with the guilty, easily provoked."
who possess amiable and attractive quaWhat a forcible lesson, and what an lities—for that salutary hatred, which impressive warning to the tempted we feel towards vice itself, must necesamongst women, are contained in the sarily be destroyed by it; and I believe following extract from a work of Ma- that our detestation of vice can be dame de Stael's !• “ Though it is pos securely maintained, only by keeping sible to love and esteem a woman, who ourselves at a degree of distance from has expiated the faults of her youth by the vicious. a sincere repentance; and though be Love, like some fair plants of rare fore God and man her errors may be quality, flourishes most in retired obliterated, still there exists one being, places. It flies the glaring sunshine of in whose eyes she can never hope to crowded scenes, or puts forth a few efface them—and that is, her lover, or gaudy feeble flowers there, which live her husband.” No-she has obscured their little hour, then droop and die. her own image in his bosom, and though But in retirement, and in the still shade he must as a fellow-sinner forgive, he of solitude, it strikes a deep and lasting can never forget her degradation. root-it requires no hand to plant it
It is certain, that though the agency there, no care to nourish it, no rich of the passions be necessary to the soil to manure it. existence of society, it is on the cultiva The pen of the anonymous letter is tion and influence of the affections, that held by a hand that would, but for the the happiness and improvement of so fear of the law, delight to wield the cial life depend.
stiletto of the assassin ; for in his heart A child's education ought to begin lurk feelings the most terrible and dealmost from the first hours of its exis. praved, while he cruelly calumniates the tence; and the mother, who understands unoffending innocent, by accusing them her task, knows that the circumstances, either to themselves or others, of crimes which every moment calls forth, are the most abhorrent to their natures; the tools with which she is to work, in and pores over his baleful manuscript order to fashion her child's mind and with the grin of a fiend, as he thinks he character.
is about to impel a poisoned arrow into How pernicious is an aptitude to call the breast of those, who never perhaps, the experience of ages, contemptible even in thought, offended him. prejudices-how dangerous it is to our Every one has some kind friend who, well-being, to embrace and possess on pretence of expressing his or her opinions, which tend to destroy our sorrow for one's injuries, takes care to sympathies with general society, and inform one of some detracting obserwhich are likely to make us aliens to vation of which one has been the object; the hearts of those amongst whom we
and which, but for their odious officiouslive.
ness, one should never have known. Whatever may be the ill conduct of Ce n'est que le premier pas qui a husband, that wife must be deluded coûte, and those, who have once so far indeed, who thinks his culpability an compromized with their consciences as excuse for her's, or seeks to revenge to resist its pleading's to sincerity, and herself on her tormenter by following can be contented to be praised for acthe bad example which he sets her. tions, which they have performed, She is not wiser than the child, who have laid the foundation stone of future to punish the wall against which he vice; and obscured, perhaps for life, the has struck his head, dashes his fist fair image of virtue in their bosom. against it in the vehemence of his
(To be continued.)
#Recuiel de morceaux detachés."