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MEMOIRS OF A RECLUSE. There is no such thing as Beauty, abs
stractedly considered. We do not call a To the Editor of the European Magazine. thing beautiful merely because it is used SIR,
ful, but because wo attach some idea of AM the last new Member admitted ease, delicacy, or cheerfulness with it."
“We shall lose ourselves in this laby, poetic Legends bave obtained your no; rinth," said his next neighbour, smiling tice; but as my pretensions are only to contemptuously, “ let us return to the “ Commonsense,” I address you in plain first point. It by happiness our poct prose. The romantic founders of the means a succession of keen and ardent Hermitage have long since passed away, sensations, I cannot conceive an existand their successors are men of the ence entirely composed of them. It is modern world. We only retain the sep- as impossible as an army of generals tagon table and seven-branched cande- or a nation without subjects. 1. know labra which denote the perfect equality no pleasure which does not result from established among
but I sonie deprivation or pecessity, and. will not designate iny companions ; which has not its consequent and inlet them speak for themselves.
evitable balance of evil, as the strongest “ Friends and Brothers," said I, when lights in a picture are produced by coufirst admitted to their synod, “ the char- trasted shades. And therefore l' deem. ter of this community requires that its that man happiest wbose life affords the seven seats should be filled by professors most equal balance of pain and pleaof the seven liberal sciences : but in me sure." you will find only a student in the art of ** Your estimate would be just,” re. happiness.Another statute requires, plied the poet, “if there were not same that every member on his admission pleasures exempt from penalty. Of this should contribute to the amusement or class are all that spring from kind and advantage of this association. As nei- generous affections, and from an ima. ther my past life nor my subdued fancy gination einployed only on the riches of, afford apy supplies, I hope to fulfill this nature. Whatever exercises our faculrequisition by leading you to consider ties to a benevolent purpose, excites what happiness is. To koow where it those pleasing sensations which leave exists is half the business of life, and no languor or regret: those sensations, we possess it in some degree while we in short, which, without intoxicating consider it.”
the mind, afford it that food and support. A young man at the lowest corner of called bappiness.” the table, with a neglected coat and The only well-dressed man in our cirmeagre countenance, replied eagerly, cle shook bis snuff-box superciliously, “Can any one doubt what happiness is ? and answered, “It remains to be proved It is a quick and constant sense of what whether all useful employments are ever is graceful, beautiful, and just : pleasant ; and we cannot always agree Imagination gives us all that is lovely in what is useful. As for the beauty and Dature and sublime in morals without grace our poet talks of, the notions of alloy ;-therefore I ascribe our largest Holleulot, Chinese, and Indian con- 1 share of happiness to imagination." noisseurs, would make it as bard to
" Do you know (interrupted our third discover what Beauty is, as to decide Brother, raising bis eyes from an im- upon grace in a committee of ancient mense folio) that you speak tautologi- and inodern belles. For iny part, ! cally ? - Whatever is graceful must be have tried all kinds of happiness, and I beautiful, and whatever is beautiful, know vone that lasts above seven days. is just ; for grace is only the result of But I call myself happy when I ani in proportion, which is the true name of famion, and can find something new." beauty: and this proportion or fitness of “ Different opinions in various times things is what we call justice in morals and countries avail nothing,” resumed -ergo".
our lawyer: “ the Hottentot admires • °Stop, Counsellor !” interposed a his large-eared and round-posed consort Ican personage at his left hand this by the force of custom ; and we attach is a confusion of axioms. What you an idea of grace to certain manners and eall beauty is only an association of dresses when they are in general use, ideas. A large mouth or a small grey because only the capricious and the eve would be as useful, perhaps more so, arrogant are supposed to resist general than those it is fashionable to admire. custom, wbich (saith Bracton) is a law
not written: But, 1 repeat, the abs ral corruption may be as useful in the atract idea of beauty and grace is still system of society as the storms which the same, and always will be in all attend the equinox, or the attraction times and nations. We shall give the which balances the universe. Gentlename of beauty in general to the form men, there is nothing without its use; which excites agreeable sensations, and therefore there is no evil-tbe pains of call that manner graceful which ex- the mind are all of our own creation, presses thero."
and may be all avoided ; those of the We looked for the casting vote to our body, as they conduce to its pleasures, seventh Brother, on whom, in deference are not evils." to bis age and clerical functions, we be “What say you (said Dr. Beauclerc) stow the title of Abbot. He smiled, and to a fit of the gout, a shrewish wife, or said, “ Our poet places happiness in a an empty purse ?" contemplation of beautifal objects ; Counsellor Lumiere laughed aloud, but our philosopher tells us, that while our Professor declaimed against beauty is mere matter of opinion ; our evil with a countenance strongly ex. logician confines it to whatever is use- pressive of its effects." I say," added ful, and our physician considers the he, piqued by the comment made by beauty of nature only the balance of our risible muscles" } am so well some defect. Let us try to reconcile assured what we term misfortune is their systems by one which may amend only a remote and disguised benefit, them all. Since whatever is heautiful ia that no change or deprivation gives outward things is thus liable to the wać me concern. Nolnot even a divorce verings of opinion, we must build our from the greatest possible good-a happiness on moral beauty, in which friend who in pain and death mean there is no change or dependence on if pain and death were evils)—would buman caprice, Our religious system have been my comfort and support.” of moral justice combines whatever is His voice now absolutely failed, notbeautiful in imagination or useful in withstanding a severe struggle to rephilosophy : and if real beauty exists in gain it. Our physician smiled at the that which is best fitted to a noble pur- frail covering of the stoic seer, and pose, a man acting on this system is him. arcbly slid a bottle of champagne toself the most beautiful object in crea. wards him. If there is no positive tion."
evil, we know, at least, this is a positive A short pause followed this decision,' good! The world cannot be like an which enabled me to say, “ Since we Arabian manuscript, all flowers and have all different ideas of happiness, we gold; our friendships and our projects have proved at least that it is of a va. may fall into ruins, but the ruins of a rious and general kind. Instead of de- noble structure are still beautiful. Life tectiog the deficiencies in its growth,' alone is a miracle and a blessing ;let us take the paths allotted to our and the most unfortunate man has faculseveral professions, and glean whatever ties and enjoyments far, very far, supewe may find in them which tends to rior to the noblest animal. A stupid pecherish and enrich it. Our pupils of dant once said, he saw 15,000 proofs of fashion and philosophy shall sbew us Providence in one cabalistic word, but I the progress of science and social re see as many in every part of existfinement : our poet may endeavour to
ence !” represent the 'bappiest attitude of Counsellor Lumiere cast a shrewd things, and the rules by which poe- glance at the rueful philosopher, and try excites agreeable sensations ;-while added, “It is very difficult to agree ir physiciau, lawyer, and divine, col. about happiness, of which we may say lect those facts and evidences which ag St. Austin said of time, 'I know *** vindicate the ways of God to man.'” what it is till I am asked to explain it;'.
My proposal was received with ap-. but it will be easy to decide which is the plause ; but the spirit of disputation greatest evil !” had gained force, especially as the "Ah!" said our poet, " that is eatwelfth bottle began to traverse the sily answered—the greatest evil is to table. “I maintain (cried the philo- love nothing, or to have nothing to sopher, billing his seventeenth glass) love." that there is no evil in existence! St. Alme, our Abbot, replied gravely, What we call corruption in nature “ Can that ever occur to a rational is goly regeneration. Political or mo man: Can he ever dare to say nothing Barby. Mag. Lol. LXX. July, 1810.
concerns him, while the world is his of spectacle and pantomime than true home and his family ?”
dramatic poetry-Imogine is discovered Our youngest Brother, who had fallen sitting at a table, looking at a pictureasleep at the beginning of this debate, Now let ine crave your indulgence for and was roused by the last speaker's defective recitation, but the beauties of exalted voice, now suddenly spoke the passage will make their way through “ You may call evil by what pame any such deficiency; and I only beyou please, but I can tell you there speak your candid judgment in contrais one!"-We urged him to give us distinction at least to the severity of the fruits of his experience; and after the critique which we have just heardmuch hesitation and arch grimace, he Imo.
Yes, answered, “ It is a subject not to be The limner's art may trace the absent feanamed in this community, else I should
ture, say-a learned woman!"
And give the cye of distant weeping faitb Our Abbot looked grave, and the To view the form of its idolatry: philosopher closed his book. “Come,” But oh! the scenes mid which they met and said I, “ the fruits of experience ex
parted, ceed those of debate. Let'us compare The thoughts, the recollections sweet and
bitterthe portion of evil we have each suffered, and determine which is the hea- Th’ Flysian dreams of lovers, when they
loved viest kind. We shall at least enjoy the Who shall restore them? benefit of complaint, and the pleasure Less lovely are the fugitive clouds of ere, of consoling each other.”
And not more vanishing-If thou couldst Not a dissenting voice was heard. speak, As a signal of adjournment, our Abbot Dumb witness of the secret soul of Imogine, folded up a silver chain (his badge of Thou might'st acquit the faith of woman. office), and deposited it, according to
kind bis favourile custoin, in a basket of Since thou wast on my midnight pillow
laid flowers. On the following evening our
Friend hath forsaken friend - the brotherly youngest Brother began his narrative.
tie (To be conlinued.)
Been lightly looscd--the parted coldly A CONVERSAZIONE.
Yea, mothers have with desperate hands
wrought harm (Continued from Vol. LXIX. page 494.) To little tives from their own bosoms lent. TERY one listened with attention But woman still hath loved-If that indeed
Woman e'er loved like me. tor's Wife thus prefaced, and the pas “ Now, indeed, I do humbly consage which she was about to bring in ceive that in this passage there is much testimony of its justice was expected inupassioned thought, very poetically with a deep silence throughout the expressed."-With this remark the lady room. This silence was interrupted by was proceeding to select another exam. the prompt accommodation of the ple—when the Poet begged he might Lady of the House, who taking from be allowed to dissent from this conclu. a small set of book shelves that was sion, as he thonght there was not a suspended in a recess, the play of Ber more faulty part in the whole compotram, presented it to the lady who had sition than that which had just been volunteered her advocacy : “ here, read “It is certainly,” said he, “ as dear madam,” said she, " is the play completely confused, with respect to itself; we must not tax your memory poetical purity, as the mind of the so far as to expect an accurate repeti- speaker seemed to be in its notions tion of the passage ; and accuracy, you of moral propriety—“ The limner's art kuow, is in this case absolutely indis- may trace the absent feature"- This pensable to your cause.". Thank is a most glaring violation of figure you, madam," replied the Editor's - and a pretty dashing application of Wife—“ perbaps it will be better for the prosopopeia.- If I mistake not, me to read than quote-0, here is the the lady herself was tracing that fea. passage to which I was about to allude- ture which was present to the limner's it is in the fifth scene of the first act, art, but which vow she laments as ab. which I confess is the first in which any sent - but how any limer can trace thing like authorship is shewn – for the an absent feature by his art, it would previous sccocs certainly partake more puzzle the best portrait-painter of the
Academy to determine.”—“ O pardon when we are speaking of its poetical me,” cried the artist, “ this we do very claim to our consideration, otherwise I often by memory.”—“ At all events, might be tempted to say, that it is but Sir,” rejoined the Poet, “ the me- an unfavorable lesson for the daughters mory of Imogine was most employed of our land, who expect of course to bein this instance.--The eye of disiant come wives--to fall in love at sevenbeeping Faith is a pretty phrase, but teen with some unworthy object-marry really not very intelligible---perhaps, Perchance at twenty three or four some had the author transposed the word more eligible character-and then retain dislent to the following line-To view the portrait of the former for the compathe form of its idolatry-the passage nion of their pillow, and, forgetting their would then have read much more lu- duty to the lawful partner of their bed, cidly tbas,
talk to this portrait as the object of their And give the eye of weeping Faith, to idolatry—of their weeping faith tooview
and call up to their fancy “the ElyThe distant form of its idolatry.
sian dreams of lovers, when they loved." la the succeeding part of this incohe
--"Well, sir," resumed the Lady, "I reot apostrophe, ihe author trips again, would hope that the poetry is not the
more questionable, because the moral " If thou con]dst speak, Dumb witness of the secret soul of Imogine, be the case, what becomes of the
principle is not more apparent--if this Thou mightst acquit the faith of womankind."
Giaour, the Corsair, and the Bride of
Abydos.”_" I do not assert, madam,” Now really this is most ludicrous per. said the Poet, “ that it is necessary to sanification. The picture is wilness to be inoral to be poetical—but I do inher secret soul- then surely to her secret soul, this dumb witness had suffi- best pretensions when it loses sight of
sist upon it, that poetry forfeits all its cient power to acquit ber--without the those moral obligations of the soul faculty of speech. I admit that apos. wbich ought to constitute the very trophe and prosopopeia are two of the spring of all its energies. What can most elegant figures which the author be more poetical, and yet what more could call to his aid, but certainly there divjuely chastened with the purest sym. ought to be cousistency in the imagery, pathies of our nature, than Cowper's and here there is none. –The Tine, Address to his Mother's Picture ! - And Elysian dreams of lovers, when thry the reproaches with which Hamlet asloved, is a pleonasm which, if it means sails his mother's conscience, wbile any thing, must mean, that when lovers love they have Elysian dreams - but if gazing on bis father's picture, might
serve for a just representation mutalis lovers, as we know they do, more fre- mulandis or Imogine's unconjugal quentis dream than think, we are apt to dreams.- But, inadam, I entreat you conclude that they were not lovers un
would have the goodness to point out til they loved - so that the precise date the next beauty of lbis nondescript of their dreams is an unnecessary re- play, this dramatic compound of quesdundancy of recollection. The metre fionable character. -" This I can readily too is most unmercifully disjointed do, Sir - Imogine's description of Berthrooghout the whole of this apos. tram, in the same scene, is generally trophe--and what the rejections about allowed to be an indisputable proof of the brotherly lie being lig hily loosed the autho.'s talent-here it is, - by the by this word tightly is very ambiguous)--tbe cold meeting of the peried-mothers having with desperate
She was of hurable birth, hands wrought harın to fille lives fram
Yet dared to love a proud and noble youth. their own busoms lent (a very silly
' line His sovereign's smile was on bim, glory
blazed indeed) What all these circumstances
Around his path-yet did he smile on her had to do with the consequence which Oh then, what visions were that blessed Imogine draws, I defy any stretch of one's! conception to discover---wheo she adds, His sovereigo's frown came next" Bat woman still hath loved - If that in. Tien bowed the banners on his crested deed
walls, Woman e'er lov'd like me."
Torn by the enemies' hand from their proud
height, I suppose we must put the morality Where twice two hundred years they of this passage out of the question, mock'd the storm
The stranger's step profaned his desolate But Grief did lay his icy finger on it, halls
And chilled it to a cold and joyless statoe, An exiled outcast, houseless, nameless, ab- ' Methought she carolled blitbely in her ject,
youth, He fled for life, and scarce by flight did As the couched nestling trills his vesper save it
lay; No hoary beadsman bid his parting step But song and smile, beauty and melody, God speed-No faithful vassal followed And youth and happiness, are gone from him,
her.” For fear had withered every heart but her's
" Indeed, indeed Mr. T-;" exWho amid shame and ruin loved him bet
claimed Miss Julia, * here is no room ter." _In this description,” replied Mr. it is so sweetly natural-poor Imogine,
for the icy finger of your criticism, T, ".! grant your praise is just my heart bleeds for her.”—“ Pray, Miss -the author's talent has been evi- Julia," asked the Poet, “ did your dently assisted by a master's guidance heart ever bleed for Viola, in shak-but how inferior is even this cre
speare's Twelfth Night, when she tbus ditable effort, to our immortal Bard's describes the hectic waste of love-sick narrative of the rejected Richard !- despondency? however, it is not fair to compare the
- She never told her love, small things of modern playwrights with
But let concealment, like a worm i'the hud, the powerful greatness of Shakspeare's Feed on her damask cheek: she pin’d in genius--but when imitation provokes
thought; comparison, this cannot be avoided.".
And with a green and yellow melancholy “ Thank you, good Sir, even for this She sat like Patience on a monument slight assent to my commendation - Smiling at grief - Was not this love, in. And now, Sir, let me secure it by another deed? most brilliant image, in which poetry, “ Common-place as this quotation may genuine poetry, has fixed its print and appear, it sets the copy at a great disform.
tance from its original excellence; the In the lone hour of tempest and of terror, author of Bertram has indeed ma. Her soul was on the dark hill's side with naged the idea with considerable adroit. Bertram :
ness—and has transplanted a rose out Yea, when the launched bolt did sear her
of Shakspeare's garden into his own sense, Her soul's deep orisons were breathed for parterre with much good arrangement, him.”
yet it loses by the change much of its Certainly, Madam, you have hit native bloom and fragrance-for the upon a point that is sufficiently vin- author has planted under its odorifedicatory of the command of language ,rous branches a flower of a most rank which the author doubtless possesses- odour :it is, however, but a point in a long and Thou would'st not deem her wretchedunequal line of desultory descant-or,
outward eyes rather, it is a beam of day-light piercing Would hail her happy the clouds of a tempest of terror through They've decked her form in purple and in which he is continually launching his
pall. bolts of boisterous rant that sear the
When she goes forth, the thronging vassals very soul of common sense."-"Yet,” And bending pages bear her footcloth well
kneel, pursued the Lady; "bear the following No eye beholds that lady in her bower, beautiful description of a bopeless love That is her hour of joy, for there she - Here is no shaft of such tremendous
weeps, force burled with that boisterous impe- Nor does her husband hear. tuosity of which you unjustly complain what a lesson is this for our unmar- the secret undermining influence of ried females to learn-or even for maan insinuating malady, marks its way trons in the early years of conjugal life by more imperceptible yet equally to hear-What a criminal romance of sure destruction with the lightning's forbidden sympathy does this speech inbolt. They said her cheek of youth was beau
culcate-is love then so pestilential in tiful,
its power, so seductive in its sway, as to Till withering Sorrow blanched the bright destroy the nobler energies of the soul rose there
-and reduce the wedded heart to a And I have beard men swear her form was
mass of faithless falsehood and corrupt fair,
deceit.-Is that divine Aame which was