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The Poetical Works of James Thomson; ened, by the poet who has sung of her in
with Memoir of the Author. By Sir all her seasons."
The poems for the first time printed THIS is the most complete and the in a collected edition of Thomson's best edition of Thomson extant, for it Works, and taken partly from the contains a very excellent Life by the Edinburgh Miscellany and partly from Editor, and numerous poems not to be manuscripts, amount to no less than found in any other. The biography one-and-twenty, and
are valuable of Thomson will be found enriched
as showing Thomson's original defiwith much of the author's corresponde ciencies, both in language and metre, ence not previously collected, and with and his progressive improvement in very judicious observations on his the poetic art. Of these poems we shall poetical talents and productions. We select four, all of which will be new to quote the concluding passage. the general reader. "Lord Lyttleton has justly said of
STANZAS SENT TO GEORGE LYTTLETON, Thomson's writings that they contain
No line which, dying, he would wish to blot;' and, considering the taste of the age in which he lived, this praise is perhaps the
Go, little book, and find our friend, highest which could be pronounced. With
Who Nature and the Muses loves, a slight alteration the same eulogy might
Whose cares the public virtues blend be passed on his whole life ; for it was
With all the softness of the groves. free from a single act which could create
A fitter time thou canst not choose remorse.* To his relations he was liberal
His fost'ring friendship to repay; and affectionate,--to his friends faithful
Go, then, and try, my rural Muse, and devoted. Viewing all mankind with
To steal his widow'd hours away. beneficence and love, he performed with exemplary but unostentatious piety that first of Christian virtues--to teach the (From a MS. in the possession of the world to reverence the Creator in His
present Lord Lyttleton.) works, and to learn from them veneration for His wisdom and confidence in His Come, dear Amanda, quit the town,
And to the rural hamlets fly; mercy. Secure from the revolutions of taste or time, Thomson's labours are des. Behold, the wintry storms are gone,-tined to descend with undiminished ad
A gentle radiance glads the sky. miration to the latest posterity, (?) and it The birds awake, the flowers appear; may be predicted with confidence that Earth spreads a verdant couch for thee : future generations, like the last and pre. 'Tis joy and music all we hear, sent, will have their reverence for the 'Tis love and beauty all we see. God of Nature excited, and their earliest attachment to Nature herself f strength
Come ! let us mark the gradual Spring ;
How peeps the bud, the blossom blows,
Till Philomel begins to sing, * Sir Harris Nicolas has not alluded in
And perfect May to swell the rose. his Life of Thomson to the story, related E'en so thy rising charms improve, (we think) in Mr. Taylor's Records, of As life's warm season grows more bright, Thomson being married, and concealing And, op'ning to the sigbs of love, his wife in a state of privacy unknown to Thy beauties glow with full delight. his friends. We know on this head nothing further than what we find in that work, and are unable to state the evidence, on the subject of “the God of Nature" if any, on which the circumstances are re
and “ Nature” would to some convey the lated. Rev.
impression of Pantheism, and certainly † The only remark wbich we have to in theological expression might not be make on this is, that Thomson's language deemed correct. Rev. GENT. MAG. VOL. XXVIIJ.
ON MRS, Mendez' BIRTHDAY
What does " carved” mean? is it a (Who was born on Valentine's Day). misprint for curved ? or is it a ScottiThine is the gentle day of love,
cism? When youths and virgins try their fate, P. 11, The Morning in the Country. When, deep retiring to the grove,
Down upon easy moss he lays, (praise. Each feather'd songster weds his mate.
And sings some charming shepherdess's With temper'd beams the skies are bright, Earth decks in smiles her pleasing face ;
Here the deficiency of metre in the Such is the day that gave thee light,
first line and the active form of the And speaks as such thy every grace.
verb lays both show that the word
himself is omitted :AN ELEGY UPON JAMES THERBURN,
Down upon easy moss [himself] be lays, IN CHATTO.
&c. Now, Chatto, you're a dreary place, .
P. 11, On a Country Life-
The pleasing bleatings of the tender lambs, And now, and now, ah me! alas!
Or the indistinct mum'ling of their dams. The carl lies dead.
We suppose mum'ling is a Scotch Having his paternoster said,
provincial phrase ; but here also the He took a dram, and went to bed ; line is deficient in a foot. He fell asleep, and Death was glad
P. 21, Psalm CIV.
Establish’d, a lófty cloud's thy car.
It ought to have been printed-
Established, a lofty cloud's thy car.
By Nature taught, on thee they rear their He might have come to flee or skare
nests, The greedy gripe.
That with inimitable art are dressed. Now, had he but a gill or twae,
That man may be sustain'd beneath the
Of mánuring the ill-producing soil. The fumbling fellow, some folks say,
Observe the Scottish pronunciation of Should be jobb'd on both night and day;
“ mánuring," with the accent on the She had withouten better play
'Tis then that Leviathan sports and plays. Therefore they say he got some help
Here the accent is on the penultiIn getting of the little whelp ;
mate, Leviúthan, not Leviathan. But passing that, it makes me yelp,
P. 28, A Pastoral.
To a deluge of grief and tears gives way;
the accent on the last syllable of Therburn, for evermare farewell!
delúge ;-so ignorant of English proAnd be thy grave both dry and deep,
nunciation was Thomson when he first And rest thy carcase soft and well, began writing: and the same vulgarFree from * *
ities and inaccuracies may be found * * * * no night *
in the original edition of the Seasons. Disturb * *
P. 31, A Pastoral Entertainment,(The MS. is imperfect in these places.)
Prece in these places.) Ere care and trouble were pronounced In the poems which we have not
ou .... extracted we wish to remark, p. 1, in And sin had blasted the creation's bl... “ The Happy Man,”—
supply the blank thus :Whose valleys smile, whose gardens breathe Ere care and trouble were pronounced our the Spring ?
doom, Whose carved mountains bleat and forests Or sin had blasted the creation's bloom.
43 P. 44, On the Hoop.
you would be sure he was bred at court. Should you go search the globe throughout
Indeed he is notable for his comportment You'll find none so pious and devout,
and alluring person. Nevertheless, I have
sometimes seen him transported beyond There is something wrong in this his usual behaviour; and cannot help couplet, as it is a foot shorter in mea smiling at a story of himself I have heard sure than those which precede and bim relate to his friends. follow; and the second line is also Angler. I beseech you, let us hear it. wanting in harmony. It appears that
“ Host. Well, sir, you are to know Mr. some word is to be supplied in the
Cotton will sometimes have a slight bind. first, and then the second reads thus,
rance in his speech ; and so on a time he
found a stout beggar that sat under the Should you go search the varied globe great yew-tree, near to the door of the throughout,
hall; whereupon he asked him with an You will find none so pious and devout. hesitation, • What d-dost d.do here,
f-friend?' Now it chanced the beggar had
the same infirmity of speech with noble The River Dove; with some quiet Mr. Cotton, but greater; so he began to
thoughts on the happy practice stammer in his answering, and make wry Angling
words and looks. Upon this Mr. Cotton, THIS very pretty and pleasing book thinking he mocked at him, seized the is intended as a worthy tribute to the man on a sudden, and declared he was a memory of the best masters of the art sturdy rogue, and he would teach him -Mr. Izaak Walton and Mr. Charles manners, and have him put into the stocks. Cotton; and the author, in recom
Therefore the other, in his fright, could
not but stut the more, seeing how obmending it to the reader, expresses noxious he was to so fine a gentleman, till his hope " that we may all have a
at length Mr. Cotton, finding it to be a south wind when we go a-fishing, and
real entanglement in the fellow's speech, be blest with a virtuous cheerful spirit, was at once mollified, and did humbly ask a peaceful conscience, and at last eternal pardon for his severity, and after that fell rejoicings in the kingdom of angels." a laughing, and with pleasant persuasions It is written in that quaint and yet called him into his house, and feasted him pleasing style which is so captivating there till the beggar thought himself as in Walton's own work, and has the g-great as a l-lord.'” same qualities of purity of thought, And now, like all other story-tellers, kindness and benevolence of expres- having once begun, we find we must sion, gaiety of manner, and beauty of proceed ; and so we listen a second description. The motto both of the time to the host, who saysmaster and the pupil is the same:
“ Yes, sir, the gardeners have enough Let other men their pastimes then pursue, to do : and this brings to my mind a story And on their pleasing fancies feed their fill,
of Mr. Cotton-but it is not worth your So I the fields and meadows green may view,
hearing. And by the rivers fresh may walk at will.
“ Angler. I pray you let me hear it, We shall quote (and it is a pleasure whatever it is. to quote from such a book on such a * Host. Well, sir, I need not tell you subject) the account of Mr. Cotton, my master is the furthest possible from an from p. 75:
avaricious man, for his hand and purse
are open to the poor, and he will always " Painter. I pray you what age is Mr. have his servants well provided ; but the Charles Cotton ?
cook is sometimes a pinch-crust, and then Host. Sir, Mr. Cotton was born forty- the servants will grumble. Now it chanced seven years gone the 26th of last month; one day in the last summer, as Mr. Cotton but he is yet in the morning and flower of walked down this way to fish, the mowers his life, and to look at him you might be were cutting the grass badly, and so he lieve him to be less than forty, by reason
cried out to them- How now, fellows! of his youthful carriage and comeliness ; what do you call this? a grass-plat, or a and when he converses with bis inferiors, meadow.land? I pray you let me see it such as myself and otbers who have the better done, and smoothly.' Thereupon happiness to call him master, the sweet they looked at one another doubtingly, ness of his discourse and his discreet fami and whispered among themselves. At liarity espels every fear. And then, sir, length one that was known to be someif you could see him, as I often have done, thing of a dry wit among them, after some in his suit of slashed velvet or rich taffeta, persuasive winks and nods from the others,
came forward with his hat in hand to be poral warfare is accomplished we may respokesman. Then, in an humble tone, ceive an eternal crown, and rest and repose and with something of a facetious look, ourselves beside the pure river of water which always takes with Mr. Cotton, he of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out said
of the throne of God and of the Lamb.' · Little meat, and half enough,
Once more, farewell !" Makes the scythe cut high and rough.'
The History of Rome from the first So, because Mr. Cotton has no austerity
Punic War to the death of Constantine. of behaviour towards the lowest and poor.
By B. G. Niebuhr, M.A. in a series est man that speaks to him civilly, he inquired what his meaning was, and then the
of Lectures. Edited by L. Schmitz, truth came out. Well, well, honest man,
Ph.D. 8vo. 2 vols., pp. xxvii. 434, (he replied,) go to your work, and I'll and xii. 406. presently see to it.' And so he walked A History of Rome, from the earliest home to the hall, and there made a rout
times to the death of Commodus. By at the cook, and ordered the servant to
Dr. L. Schmitz, F.R.S.E. Post 8vo. take down provisions enough and plenty ; and in the afternoon he found his rascals
pp. xii. 673. hard at work, bending lustily over their
ALTHOUGII these works have apscythes. Then he goes and looks at them, peared at different times, it will be and then out steps the poet, with his hat mutually serviceable to notice them in his hand as before, and says to him, together, as they are not only con• Now we've meat, and some to spare, nected by the subject, but the editor It makes the scythe both wipe and pare.' of the one is the author of the other,
which also, in its views and its lanMeaning the grass should be cut smooth
guage, is mainly based upon the former. and fine. So Mr. Cotton laughed at his rustical wit, and said—'Go to, go to !
The earlier of these works is con
structed from notes of the lectures thou art a wag :' and so he turned away, and took his recreation a-fishing; and I
delivered by Niebuhr in the univeram sure he was more entertained than he sity of Boun, 1828-29, the last time he chose to tell them.”
ever lectured upon the subject. His To wander leisurely through the
intention was to carry it down to the
fall of the Western empire, but the pages of this book is like seeing a
time did not suffice. The notes were diorama of the scenes themselves gently taken by the editor, Dr. Schmitz (now pass before us,-a succession of pic- Rector of the High School of Edintures, with all their pleasing and ro
burgh), who was then one of Niebuhr's mantic accompaniments of light and sound. To listen to the conversations
pupils; but the task of preparing them
for the press has been very great, as of the angler and the painter is to
not only did Niebuhr deliver his lecenjoy the company of those who knew
tures quite extempore, so that no help how to make recreation itself instructive, and the purity and cheerfulness
could be derived from papers of the
author's, but there was a repugnance of whose minds seem to sanctify and
among his pupils to publish imperfect adorn every subject on which they
sketches of their great master's preeven casually touch. Let us end then, as the author ends, with the farewell
lections. Other difficulties are de
scribed in the preface, which make us words of the angler to his friend :
glad that so much has been recovered “ Farewell, brother ! and remember als from various quarters; for we must ways how the ornament of a meek and balance the imperfect state of the requiet spirit is in the sight of God of great mains against the loss of the whole, price. Follow peace with all men, and which would otherwise have been inholiness, without which no man shall see evitable, even as we estimate the Laothe Lord.' We have led some innocent
coon, not by the missing arm of the days of leisure amidst the beauties of the natural world ; but let us not forget to
principal figure, but by the beauty and give all diligence in our journey to the
symmetry of what is still existing. In glories of the spiritual world; for these
this respect Dr. Schmitz may be styled pleasures of the earth are but a faint shadow
the historical retriever. "The subof the blessedness of the heavenly Sion. stance of Niebuhr's lectures (he inLet us be prepared in the whole armour forms us) is preserved throughout, and of Christian soldiers, that when our tem there are only a few instances in which
the omission of explanatory matter is changed the history of a nation. Experceptible." (Pretace, p. xiv.)
ceptions may be taken to his hypoThe lectures are ninety-one in theses, apologies may be offered for number; twelve on the sources and traditions that he has displaced; Livy study of Roman history, and the rest may still find defenders, as in MM. on the history itself, beginning with Poirson and Duroisoir ; but no one the first Punic war, and ending at the will now venture to write the early death of Constantine. The editor has Roman history as it used to be written. added numerous references, endea- Nor without him would it, at least in vouring as he proceeded to verify our days, have taken this turn. Men Niebulir's statements, and in one or wrote it under a yoke, as is evident two instances giving his own opinion, from Hooke's notes, to go no further, where he had failed of doing so. The and many disbelieved it; but no protwo volumes were originally intended essed writer of a history dared to to form a continuation of Niebuhr's treat it as a fable en masse. Whether own “ History of Rome," and refer a partial reaction may not one day ences are interspersed where differ take place, and Livy be treated as a ences appear in Niebuhr's opinions or metallum, instead of a sentina, it would inferences, and the indexes adjusted be premature to ask. But age bas accordingly. But this plan, the best scarcely less likelihood of returning to that could then have been devised, is childhood than Roman history of refortunately, now superseded, as the verting to the Trojan origin and septieditor has been able to procure mate regal succession. rials for another volume, from the ear In the preliminary examination of liest times to the first Punic war, which historical sources the author considers will thus constitute the lectures a dis Valla the first who proved that there tinct and complete production.* Yet were impossibilities in Livy's narraas such they will occupy a contiguous tive; and it is one of his own most place to the “History” in our libraries, pleasing recollections that he discovered as Mosheim's “ Commentary,” which is Valla's tombstone, and induced the his chief work, accompanies his more Chapter of the Lateran to replace it in popular Institutes" in well-furnished their church, of which he had been a collections of books.
In this, we may add, he reA passage in the preface to M. minds us of Cicero, who discovered the Michelet's llistory of the Roman Re- tomb of Archimedes, of which the public is so characteristic that we magistrates of Syracuse were ignorant, gladly introduce it, and the more so among the branıbles and rubbish of as its author is by no means a servile an ancient cemetery. (Tusc. Disp. l. follower of the master whom he v. c. 3.) reveres :
Ile speaks of Pighius and others as " It must be admitted Niebuhr knew being in possession of good ideas, antiquity, as antiquity does not always
which they did not carry out successknow itself. What, compared with him,
fully. “ The investigations of Periare Plutarch and many other Greeks in
zonius are masterly.” (p. 3), and Niecomprehending the rude genius of the pri. buhr regrets that he did not devote mitive ages ? He understands ancient
his whole attention to the subject. barbarian Rome the better for bearing Beautort, and before him Pouilly, something of her in himself. He is as
“Went so far as to reject the wheat one of the long-haired authors of the
with the chaff . ... and men grew Salic law, Wisogast or Windogast, who, ashamed of believing Roman history, as it having acquired the right of citizenship, was transmitted to them ... After sits with the sage Coruncanius, the acute such a state of things a sound criticism Scævola, and the elder Cato. Do not
must follow, or else the subject is lost." venture to attack this colleague of the de
(Vol. i. pp. 4, 5.) cemvirs, or to speak lightly of him.”
In a note at p. 47, he remarks that To Niebuhr, indeed, belongs the Mai has published many things with an rare distinction of having entirely
unfortunate variety, and his country
man Ciampi has censured him for his * This volume, we understand, is likely want of candour, “which, however, to appear in the course of the summer. must not prevent our acknowledging
lectures univertime he Et His
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