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Since in me, round me, everywhere,
So twice five miles of fertile ground
But oh that deep romantic chasm which slanted
But yester-night I pray'd aloud
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
From the fountain and the caves.
A darnsel with a dulcimer
To such a deep delight 'l would win me,
So two rights pass’d: the night's dismay
THE PAINS OF SLEEP.
(Seo page 26).
was my good fortune to meet, in a dinner-party, with more men of celebrity in science or polite literature, than are commonly found collected round the same table. In the course of conversation, one of the party reminded an illustrious Poet, then present, of some verses which he had recited that morning, and which had appeared in a newspaper under the name of a War-Eclogue, in which Fire, Famine, and Slaughter, were introduced as the speakers. The gentleman so addressed replicd, that he was rather surprised that one of us should havē noticed or heard of the poem, and strengthens it. But the more intense and insane s it had been, at the time, a good deal talked of in the passion is, the fewer and the more fixed are the Scotland. It may be easily supposed, that my feel. correspondent forms and notions. A rooted hatred, ngs were at this moment not of the most comforta- an inveterate thirst of revenge, is a sort of madness, ble kind. Of all present, one only knew or suspect- and still eddies round its favorite object, and exerd me to be the author : a man who would have cises as it were a perpetual tautology of mind in established himself in the first rank of England's thoughts and words, which admit of no adequate living Poets, if the Genius of our country had not substitutes. Like a fish in a globe of glass, it moves decreed that he should rather be the first in the first restlessly round and round the scanty circumference, rank of its Philosophers and scientific Benefactors. which it cannot leave without losing its vital eleIt appeared the general wish to hear the lines. As my ment. friend chose to remain silent, I chose to follow his There is a second character of such imaginary example, and Mr. ***** recited the Poem. This he representations as spring from a real and earnest de could do with the better grace, being known to have sire of evil to another, which we often see in real ever been not only a firm and active Anti-Jacobin and life, and might even anticipate from the nature of Anti-Gallican, but likewise a zealous admirer of Mr. the mind. The images, I mean, that a vindictive Pitt, both as a good man and a great Statesman. As man places before his imagination, will most often be a Poet exclusively, he had been amused with the taken from the realities of life : they will be images Eclogue; as a Poet, he recited it; and in a spirit, of pain and suffering which he has himself seen inwhich made it evident, that he would have read and flicted on other men, and which he can fancy himrepeated it with the same pleasure, had his own self as inflicting on the object of his hatred. I will name been attached to the imaginary object or agent. suppose that we had heard at different times two
After the recitation, our amiable host observed, common sailors, each speaking of some one who had that in his opinion Mr. ***** had overrated the merits wronged or offended him: that the first with appaof the poetry; but had they been tenfold greater, rent violence had devoted every part of his adversathey could not have compensated for that malignity ry's body and soul to all the horrid phantoms and of heart, which could alone have prompted senti- fantastic places that ever Quevedo dreamt of, and ments so atrocious. I perceived that my illustrious this in a rapid flow of those outré and wildly-comfriend became greatly distressed on my account; but bined execrations, which too often with our lower fortunately I was able to preserve fortitude and pres- classes serve for escape-valves to carry off the excess ence of mind enough to take up the subject without of their passions, as so much superfluous steam that exciting even a suspicion how nearly and painfully would endanger the vessel if it were retained. The it interested me.
other, on the contrary, with that sort of calmness of What follows, is substantially the same as I then tone which is to the ear what the paleness of anger replied, but dilated and in language less colloquial. is to the eye, shall simply say, “If I chance to be It was not my intention, I said, to justify the publi- made boatswain, as I hope I soon shall, and can but cation, whatever its author's feelings might have once get that fellow under my hand (and I shall be been at the time of composing it. That they are upon the watch for him), I'll tickle his pretty skin! calculated to call forth so severe a reprobation from I wont hurt him! oh no! I'll only cut the a good man, is not the worst feature of such poems. the liver!" I dare appeal to all present, which of the Their moral deformity is aggravated in proportion to two they would regard as the least deceptive sympthe pleasure which they are capable of affording tom of deliberate malignity? nay, whether it would to vindictive, turbulent, and unprincipled Teaders. surprise them to see the first fellow, an hour or two Could it be supposed, though for a moment, that the afterward, cordially shaking hands with the very author seriously wished what he had thus wildly im- man, the fractional parts of whose body and soul he agined, even the attempt to palliate an inhumanity so had been so charitably disposing of; or even perhaps monstrous would be an insult to the hearers. But it risking his dife for him. What language Shakspeare seemed to me worthy of consideration, whether the considered characteristic of malignant disposition, we mood of mind, and the general state of sensations, see in the speech of the good-natured Gratiano, who in which a Poet produces such vivid and fantastic spoke “an infinite deal of nothing more than any images, is likely to coexist, or is even compatible, man in all Venice ;" with that gloomy and deliberate ferocity which a serious wish to realize them would presuppose. It
-Too wild, too rude and bold of voice!: had been often observed, and all my experience the skipping spirit, whose thoughts and words reciptended to confirm the observation, that prospects of rocally ran away with each other ; pain and evil to others, and, in general, all deep feel. ings of revenge, are commonly expressed in a few
-O be thou damn'd, inexorable dog!
And for thy life let justice be accused! words, ironically tame, and mild. Tho mind under so direful and fiend-like an influence seems to take a and the wild fancies that follow, contrasted with Shy. morbid pleasure in contrasting the intensity of its lock's tranquil “ I stand here for law." wishes and feelings, with the slightness or levity of Or, to take a case more analogous to the present the expressions by which they are hinted ; and in- subject, should we hold it either fair or charitable to deed feelings so intense and solitary, if they were believe it to have been Dante's serious wish, that all not precluded (as in almost all cases they would be) the persons mentioned by him, (many recently deby a constitutional activity of fancy and association, parted, and some even alive at the time), should acand by the specific joyousness combined with it, tually suffer the fantastic and horrible punishments, would assuredly themselves preclude such activity. to which he has sentenced them in his Hell and Passion, in its own quality, is the antagonist of ac- Purgatory? Or what shall we say of the passagos tion; though in an ordinary and natural degree the in which Bishop Jeremy Taylor anticipates the state former alternates with the latter, and thereby revives of those who, vicious themselves, have been the
cause of vice and misery to their fellow-creatures ?
I'm wae to think upon yon den, Could we endure for a moment to think that a spirit,
Ev'n for your sake! like Bishop Taylor's, burning with Christian love; Į need not say that these thoughts, which are here that a man constitutionally overflowing with plea- dilated, were in such a company only rapidly sugsurable kindliness ; who scarcely even in a casual gested. Our kind host smiled, and with a courteous illustration introduces the image of woman, child, or compliment observed, that the defence was too good bird, but he embalms the thought with so rich a for the cause. My voice faltered a little, for I was tenderness, as makes the very words seem beauties somewhat agitated; though not so much on my own and fragments of poetry from a Euripides or Simo-account as for the uneasiness that so kind and nides ;-can we endure to think, that a man so na- friendly a man would feel from the thought that he tured and so disciplined, did at the time of composing had been the occasion of distressing me. At length this horrible picture, attach a sober teeling of reality I brought out these words : “ I must now confess, to the phrases ? or that he would have described in Sir! that I am author of that Poem. It was written the same tone of justification, in the same luxuriant some years ago. I do not attempt to justify my past How of phrases, the tortures about to be inflicted on self
, young as I then was; but as little as I would a living individual by a verdict of the Star-Chamber? now write a similar poem, so far was I even then or the still more atrocious sentences executed on the from imagining, that the lines would be taken as Scotch anti-prelatists and schismatics, at the com- more or less than a sport of fancy. At all events, if mand, and in some instances under the very eye of I know my own heart, there was never a moment the Duke of Lauderdale, and of that wretched bigot in my existence in which I should have been more who afterwards dishonored and forfeited the throne ready, had Mr. Pitt's person been in hazard, to interof Great Britain ? Or do we not rather feel and un- pose my own body, and defend his life at the risk of derstand, that these violent words were mere bubbles, my own." flashes and electrical apparitions, from the magic I have prefaced the Poem with this anecdote, becaldron of a fervid and ebullient fancy, constantly cause to have printed it without any remark might fuelled by an unexampled opulence of language ? well have been understood as implying an uncondi
Were I now to have read by myself for the first Lional approbation on my part, and this after many time the Poem in question, my conclusion, I fully years' consideration. But if it be asked why I rebelieve, would be, that the writer must have been published it at all? I answer, that the Poem had sonne man of warm feelings and active fancy; that been attributed at different times to different other he had painted to himself the circumstances that ac- persons; and what I had dared beget, I thought it company war in so many vivid and yet fantastic neither manly nor honorable not to dare father. forms, as proved that neither the images nor the From the same motives I should have published feelings were the result of observation, or in any perfect copies of two Poems, the one entitled The way derived from realities. I should judge, that they Devil's Thoughts, and the other The Two Round were the product of his own seething imagination, Spaces on the Tomb-Stone, but that the three first and therefore impregnated with that pleasurable ex- stanzas of the former, which were worth all the rest ultation which is experienced in all energetic exer- of the poem, and the best stanza of the remainder, uon of intellectual power; that in the same mood were written by a friend of deserved celebrity; and he had generalized the causes of the war, and then because there are passages in both, which might personified the abstract, and christened it by the have given offence to the religious feelings of certain name which he had been accụstomed to hear most readers. I myself indeed see no reason why vulgar
often associated with its management and measures. superstitions, and absurd conceptions that deform the 1 I should guess that the minister was in the author's pure faith of a Christian, should possess a greater
mind at the moment of composition, as completely immunity from ridicule than stories of witches, or
aralis, dvatuósapkos, as Anacreon's grasshopper, and the fables of Greece and Rome. But there are 4 that he had as little notion of a real person of flesh those who deem it profaneness and irreverence to and blood,
call an ape an ape, if it but wear a monk's cowl on
its head; and I would rather reason with this weakDistinguishable in member, joint, or limb,
ness than oflend it. as Milton had in the grim and terrible phantoms (half The passage from Jeremy Taylor to which I reperson, half allegory) which he has placed at the ferred, is found in his second Sermon on Christ's gates of Hell. I concluded by observing, that the Advent to Judgment; which is likewise the second Poem was not calculated to excite passion in any in his year's course of sermons. Among many remind, or to make any impression except on portic markable passages of the same character in those readers ; and that from the culpable levity, betrayed discourses, I have selected this as the most so.“ But at the close of the Eclogue by the grotesque union when this Lion of the tribe of Judah shall appear, of epigrammatic wit with allegoric personification, then Justice shall strike and Merey shall not hold in the allusion to the most fearful of thoughts, I her hands; she shall strike sore strokes, and Pity should conjecture that the rantin' Bardie," instead shall not break the blow. As there are treasures of of really believing, much less wishing, the fate spo- good things, so hath God a treasure of wrath and ken of in the last line, in application to any human fury, and scourges and scorpions ; and then shall be individual, would shrink from passing the verdict produced the shame of Lust and the malice of Envy, even on the Devil himself, and exclaim with poor and the groans of the oppressed and the persecutions
of the saints, and the cares of Covetousness and the But fare ye weel, avid Nickie-ben!
troubles of Ambition, and the indolence of trailors Oh! wad ye tak a thought an' men'!
and the violences of rebels, and the rage of anger and Ye aiblins might--1 dinna kenSull hae a stake
the uneasiness of impahence, and the restlessness of
unlawful desires ; and by this time the monsters and nor by reference and careful re-perusal could disdiseases will be numerous and intolerable, when cover, any other meaning, either in Milton or Taylor, God's heavy hand shall press the sanies and the in- but that good men will be rewarded, and the impentolerableness, the obliquity and the unreasonableness, itent wicked punished, in proportion to their disposithe amazement and the disorder, the smart and the tions and intentional acts in this life ; and that if the sorrow, the guilt and the punishment, out from all punishment of the least wicked be fearful beyond our sins, and pour them into one chalice, and mingle conception, all words and descriptions must be so far them with an infinite wrath, and make the wicked true, that they must fall short of the punishment that drink of all the vengeance, and force it down their awaits the transcendently wicked. Had Milton stated unwilling throats with the violence of devils and either his ideal of virtue, or of depravity, as an indiaccursed spirits."
vidual or individuals actually existing? Certainly not! That this Tartarean drench displays the imagina- Is this representation worded historically, or only hytion rather than the discretion of the compounder; pothetically? Assuredly the latter! Does he express that, in short, this passage and others of the kind it as his own wish, that after death they should suffer are in a bad taste, few will deny at the present day. these tortures ? or as a general consequence, deduced It would doubtless have more behoved the good from reason and revelation, that such will be their bishop not to be wise beyond what is written, on a fate? Again, the latter only! His wish is expressly consubject in which Eternity is opposed to Time, and a fined to a speedy stop being put by Providence to death threatened, not the negative, but the positive their power of inflicting misery on others ! But did he Oppositive of Life ; a subject, therefore, which must name or refer to any persons, living or dead ? No! of necessity be indescribable to the human under- But the calumniators of Milton dare say (for what standing in our present state. But I can neither find will calumny not dare say ) that he had Laud and nor believe, that it ever occurred to any reader to STAFFORD in his mind, while writing of remorseless ground on such passages a charge against Bishop persecution, and the enslavement of a free country, Taylor's humanity, or goodness of heart. I was from motives of selfish ambition. Now, what if a not a little surprised therefore to find, in the Pur-stern anti-prelatist should dare say, that in speaking suits of Literature and other works, so horrible a of the insolencies of traitors and the violences of rebels, sentence passed on Milton's moral character, for a Bishop Taylor must have individualized in his mind, passage in his prose-writings, as nearly parallel to HAMPDEN, HOLLIS, Pym, Fairfax, IRETON, and Milihis of Taylor's as two passages can well be con- ton? And what if he should take the liberty of conceived to be. All his merits, as a poet forsooth-all cluding, that, in the after description, the Bishop was the glory of having written the PARADISE Lost, are feeding and feasting his party-hatred, and with those light in the scale, nay, kick the beam, compared individuals before the eyes of his imagination enjoywith the atrocious malignity of heart expressed in ing, trait by trait, horror after horror, the picture of the offensive paragraph. I remembered, in general, their intolerable agonies? Yet this bigot would have that Milton had concluded one of his works on Re- an equal right thus to criminate the one good and formation, written in the fervor of his youthful im- great man, as these men have to criminate the other. agination, in a high poetic strain, that wanted metre Milton has said, and I doubt not but that Taylor with only to become a lyrical poem. I remembered that equal truth could have said it, “ that in his whole in the former part he had formed to himself a perfect life he never spake against a man even that his skin ideal of human virtue, a character of heroic, disin- should be grazed.” He asserted this when one of his terested zeal and devotion for Truth, Religion, and opponents (either Bishop Hall or his nephew) had public Liberty, in Act and in Suffering, in the day called upon the women and children in the streets of Triumph and in the hour of Martyrdom. Such to take up stones and stone him (Milton). It is spirits, as more excellent than others, he describes known that Milton repeatedly used his interest to as having a more excellent reward, and as distin-protect the royalists ; but even at a time when all guished by a transcendent glory : and this reward lies would have been meritorious against him, no and this glory he displays and particularizes with an charge was made, no story pretended, that he had energy and brilliance that announced the Paradise ever directly or indirectly engaged or assisted in Lost as plainly as ever the bright purple clouds in their persecution. Oh! methinks there are other and the east announced the coming of the sun. Milton far better feelings, which should be acquired by the then passes to the gloomy contrast, to such men as perusal of our great elder writers. When I have from motives of selfish ambition and the lust of per- before me on the same table, the works of Hammond sonal aggrandizement should, against their own light, and Baxter : when I reflect with what joy and dearpersecute truth and the true religion, and wilfully ness their blessed spirits are now loving each other: abuse the powers and gifts intrusted to them, to it seems a mournful thing that their names should bring vice, blindness, misery and slavery, on their be perverted to an occasion of bitterness among us, native country, on the very country that had trusted, who are enjoying that happy mean which the human enriched and honored them. Such beings, after that TOO-MUCH on both sides was perhaps necessary to speedy and appropriate removal from their sphere of produce. “ The tangle of delusions which stified and mischief which all good and humane men must of distorted the growing tree of our well-being has been course desire, will, he takes for granted by parity of torn away! the parasite weeds that fed on its very reason, meet with a punishment, an ignominy, and a roots have been plucked up with a salutary violence. retaliation, as much severer than other wicked men, To us there remain only quiet duties, the constant as their guilt and its consequences were more enor-care, the gradual improvement, the cautious une mous. His description of this imaginary punishment hazardous labors of the industrious though contented presents more distinct pictures to the fancy than the gardener—to prune, to strengthen, to engraft
, and extract from Jeremy Taylor ; but the thoughts in the one by one to remove from its leaves and fresh latter are incomparably more exaggerated and hor-shoots the slug and the caterpillar. But far be rific. All this I knew; but I neither remembered, it from us to undervalue with light and senseless detraction the conscientious hardihood of our prede. even by the Schoolmen in subtlety, agility and logic cessors, or even to condemn in them that vehemence, wit, and unrivalled by the most rhetorical of the to which the blessings it won for us leave us now fathers in the copiousness and vividness of his exneither temptation or pretext. We antedate the pressions and illustrations. Here words that confeelings, in order to criminate the authors, of our pres- vey feelings, and words that flash images, and words ent Liberty, Light and Toleration.” (THE FRIEND, of abstract notion, flow together, and at once whirl p. 54.)
and rush onward like a stream, at once rapid and If ever two great men might seem, during their full of eddies; and yet still interfused here and there, whole lives, to have moved in direct opposition, though we see a tongue or of smooth water, with some neither of them has at any time introduced the picture in it of earth or sky, landscape or living name of the other, Milton and Jeremy Taylor were group of quiet beauty. they. The former commenced his career by attack- Differing, then, so widely, and almost contrarianting the Church-Liturgy and all set forms of prayer. ly, wherein did these great men agree? wherein The latter, but far more successfully, by defending did they resemble each other? In Genius, in both. Milton's next work was then against the Pre-Learning, in unseigned Piety, in blameless Purity lacy and the then existing Church-Government- of Life, and in benevolent aspirations and purposes Taylor's in vindication and support of them. Milton for the moral and temporal improvement of their fel. became more and more a stern republican, or rather low-creatures! Both of them wrote a Latin Accian advocate for that religious and moral aristocracy dence, to render education more easy and less painwhich, in his day, was called republicanism, and ful to children; both of them composed hymns and which, even more than royalism itself, is the direct psalms proportioned to the capacity of common conantipode of modern jacobinism. Taylor, as more and gregations; both, nearly at the same time, set the more sceptical concerning the fitness of men in general glorious example of publicly recommending and supfor power, became more and more attached to the porting general Toleration, and the Liberty both of prerogatives of monarchy. From Calvinism, with a the Pulpit and the Press! In the writings of neither still decreasing respect for Fathers, Councils, and for shall we find a single sentence, like those meek Church-Antiquity in general, Milton seems to have deliverances to God's mercy, with which Laud acended in an indifference, if not a dislike, to all forms companied his votes for the mutilations and lotheof ecclesiastic government, and to have retreated some dungeoning of Leighton and others !—nowhere wholly into the inward and spiritual church-commu- such a pious prayer as we find in Bishop Hall's nion of his own spirit with the Light, that lighteth memoranda of his own Life, concerning the subtle every man that cometh into the world. Taylor, with and witty Atheist that so grievously perplexed and a growing reverence for authority, an increasing gravelled him at Sir Robert Drury's, till he prayed to sense of the insufficiency of the Scriptures without the Lord to remove him, and behold! his prayers the aids of tradition and the consent of euthorized were heard; for shortly afterward this Philistine interpreters, advanced as far in his approaches (not combatant went to London, and there perished of indeed to Popery, but) to Catholicism, as a conscien- the plague in great misery! In short, nowhere shall tious minister of the English Church could well ven- we find the least approach, in the lives and writings ture. Milion would be, and would utter the same, of John Milton or Jeremy Taylor, to that guarded to all, on all occasions: he would tell the truth, the gentleness, to that sighing reluctance, with which whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Taylor the holy Brethren of the Inquisition deliver over a would become all things to all men, if by any condemned heretic to the civil magistrate, recommeans he might benefit any; hence he availed him- mending him to mercy, and hoping that the magisself, in his popular writings, of opinions and repre- trate will treat the erring brother with all possible sentations which stand often in striking contrast with mildness —the magistrate, who too well knows what the doubts and convictions expressed in his more would be his own fare, if he dared offend them by philosophical works. He appears, indeed, not too acting on their recommendation. Severdy to have blamed that management of truth The opportunity of diverting the reader from my(istam falsitatem dispensativam) authorized and ex- self to characters more worthy of his attention, has emplified by alraost all the fathers: Integrum omnino led me far beyond my first intention ; but it is not Doctoribus et catus Christiani antistibus esse, ut dolos unimportant to expose the false zeal which has occatersend, falsa veris intermisceant et imprimis religionis sioned these attacks on our elder patriots. It has hostes falland, dummodo veritatis commodis el utilitati been too much the fashion, first to personify the inserviant.
Church of England, and then to speak of different The same antithesis might be carried on with the individuals, who in different ages have been rulers elements of their several intellectual powers. Mil- in that church, as if in some strange way they conton, austere, condensed, imaginative, supporting his stituted its personal identity. Why should a clergytruth by direct enunciations of losty moral senti- man of the present day feel interested in the defence ment and by distinct visual representations, and in of Laud or Sheldon? Surely it is sufficient for the the same spirit overwhelming what he deemed false-warmest partisan of our establishment, that he ean hood by moral denunciation and a succession of pic- assert with truth, --when our Church persecuted, it tures appalling or repulsive. In his prose, so many was on mistaken principles held in common by all metaphors, so many allegorical miniatures. Taylor, Christendom; and, at all events, far less culpable eminently discursive, accumulative, and (to use one was this intolerance in the Bishops, who were mainof his own words) agglomerative ; still more rich intaining the existing laws, than the persecuting spirit images than Milton himself, but images of Fancy, afterwards shown by their successful opponents, who and presented to the common and passive eye, rather had no such excuse, and who should have been than to the eye of the imagination. Whether sup- taught mercy by their own sufferings, and wisdom by porting or assailing, he makes his way either by ar- the utter failure of the experiment in their own case. gument or by appeals to the affections, unsurpassed We can say that our Church, apostolical in its faith,