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The same words might have been used connecting us with distant countries, nay, about Sir John Moore, or Pompey. Mrs. connecting us with distant worlds. GraviBrowning's verses are far superior. Some- tation has, amid all her immensity, wrought times, indeed, we see her clipping at a no such lovely work as when she rounded a character, in order to fit it better into the tear. place she has prepared for it. Sometimes From this beautiful poem alone, we she crams the half of an author into a verse, might argue Mrs. Browning's capacity for and has to leave out the rest for want of producing a great domestic tragedy. We room. Sometimes over a familiar face she might argue it, also, from the various pecuthrows a veil of words and darkness. But liarities of her genius—her far vision into often her one glance sees, and her one the springs of human conduct-into those word shows, the very heart of an author's viewless veins of fire, or of poison, which genius and character. Our readers may wind within the human heart-her symparecur to the lines already quoted in refer- thy with dark bosoms—the passion for ence to Lucretius, as one of her best por- truth, which pierces often the mist of her traitures. Altogether this style, as gene- dimmer thought, like a flash of irrepressible rally prosecuted, is a small one, not much lightning-her fervid temperament, always better than anagrams and acrostics-ranks, glowing round her intellectual sight-and indeed, not much higher than the inge- her queen-like dominion over imagery and nuity of the persons who transcribe the language. We think, meanwhile, that she “ Pleasures of Hope” on the breadth of a has mistaken her sphere. In that rare atcrown-piece, and should be resigned to mosphere of transcendentalism which she such praiseworthy personages. By far the has reached, she respires with difficulty best specimen of it we remember, is the and with pain. She is not “native and very clever list involving a running com- endued” into that element. We would mentary of the works of Lord Byron, by warn her off the giddy region, where temDr. Maginn ; unless, indeed, it be Gay's pests may blow, as well as clouds gather. Catalogue Raisonné of the portentous , Her recent sonnets in Blackwood are sad poems of Sir Richard Blackmore.
Who failures,—the very light in them is darkshall embalm, in a similar way, the endless! ness--thoughts, in themselves as untangible writings of James, Cooper, and Dickens ?
| as the films upon the window pane, are “ Lady Geraldine's Courtship,” as a concealed in a woof of words, till their transcript from the “red-leaved tablets of thin and shadowy meaning fades utterly the heart”—as a tale of love, set to the away. Morbid weakness, she should rerichest music-as a picture of the subtle member, is not masculine strength. But workings, the stern reasonings, and the can she not, through the rents in her cloudy terrible bursts of passion-is above praise. tabernacle, discern, far below in the vale, How like a volcano does the poet's heart at fields of deep though homely beauty, where length explode? How first all power is she might more gracefully and successfully given him in the dreadful trance of silence, exercise her exquisite genius ? She has and then in the loosened tempest of speech only to stoop to conquer. By and bye we What a wild, fierce logic flows forth from his may-using unprofanely an expression orilips, in which, as in that of Lear’s madness, ginally profane--be tempted to say, as we the foundations of society seem to quiver like look up the darkened mountain, with its reeds, and every mount of conventionalism flashes of fire hourly waxing fewer and is no longer found; and in the lull of that feebler, “ As for this poetess, we wot not tempest, and in the returning sunshine, what has become of her.” how beautiful, how almost super-human, While we are venturing on accents of seem the figures of the two lovers, seen now warning, we might also remind her that and magnified through the mist of the there are in her style and manner peculireader's fast-flowing tears! It is a tale of arities which a wicked world will persist in successful love, and yet it melts you like a calling affectations. On the charge of tragedy, and most melts you in the crisis of affectation, generally, we are disposed to the triumph. On Geraldine we had gazed lay little stress-it is a charge so easily as on a star, with dry-eyed and distant got up, and which can be so readily swelled admiration ; but when that star dissolves into a cuckoo cry; it is often applied with in showers at the feet of her poet lover, we such injustice, and it so generally attaches weep for very joy. Truly a tear is a sad to singularities in manner, instead of insinyet beautiful thing; it constitutes a link cerities in spirit and matter. But why should a true man, or a true woman, expose ancient magicians, is equally adapted for themselves needlessly to such a charge ? humorous sport, and for serious thought We think in general, that true taste in and enterprise. We have in spirit been this, as in matters of dress and etiquette, visiting her cavern, and have come back in dictates conformity to the present mode, the mood of prophesying. She has, if not provided that it does not unduly cramp the taught, confirmed on us impressions, in refreedom and the force of natural motions. ference to the future progress of Poetry, There is, indeed, a class of writers who are which we may close this lucubration by exchartered libertines—who deal with lan-pressing. guage as they please—who toss it about as That Poetry, notwithstanding its present the autumn wind leaves; who, in the degraded and enfeebled condition, is not agony of their earnestness, or in the fury of extinct, nor ever shall be extinguished, we their excitement, seize on rude and un- may at once assume. As long as the sky polished words, as Titans on rocks and is blue, and the rainbow beautiful-ag mountains, and gain artistic triumphs in long as man's heart is warm and the face of opposition to all the rules of art. Such woman fair-Poetry, like seed-time and are Wilson and Carlyle, and such were harvest, summer and winter, shall not Burke and Chalmers. These men we must cease. Nay, may we not apply to it just take as they are, and be thankful for the words of Campbell, applied originally them as they are. We must just give to Hope-them their own way. And whether such a
“Eternal Art, when yonder spheres sublime permission be given or not, it is likely to Pealed their first notes to sound the march of time, be taken. “ Canst thou draw out Leviathan Thy joyous youth began, but not to fade: with a hook, or his tongue with a cord When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow,
When all the sister planets have decayed, which thou lettest down? will he make And heaven's last thunder shakes the world below, many supplications unto thee? will he Thou undismayed shalt o'er the ruins smile, speak soft words unto thee? Will the Uni- And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile. corn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy But in two things especially we perceive crib? canst thou bind him with his band in a provision being made in the present day, the furrow ? 'will he harrow the valleys after for the sustenance of the Poetic spirit, and thee? wilt thou believe that he will bring for the further development of the Poetic fahome thy seed, and gather into thy barn ?"culty. One is the advancement of scientific No: like the tameless creatures of the wil-truth. This, so far from being, as in the vulgar derness—like the chainless elements of the notion, adverse, is favorable to the progress air-such men obey a law, and use a lan- of Poetry. Poetry, as a true thing, must guage, and follow a path of their own. be furthered by the advance of every other
But this rare privilege Mrs. Browning section of truth. Poetry can rule by divicannot claim. And she owes it to herself sion as well as by multiplication. Poetry and to her admirers to simplify her manner stands ever ready to pour her forces through -to sift her diction of whatever is harsh the smallest breaches which science makes. and barbarous--to speak whatever truth is Nay, all the sciences are already employed, in her, in the clear articulate language of and shall yet be more solemnly enlisted into men—and to quicken, as she well can, the the service of Roetry. Botany goes forth dead forms of ordinary verbiage, by the into the fields and the woods, collects her spirit of her own superabundant life. Then, fairest flowers, and binds with them a chapbut not till then, shall her voice break let for the brow of Poetry. Conchology fully through the environment of coteries, from the waters and from the sea shores cliques, and Magazine readers, and fall gathers her loveliest shells, and hark ! upon the ear of the general public, like the when uplifted to the ear of Poetry, "pleassound sweet in its sublimity, simple amid ed, they remember their august abodes, its complex elements, earthly in its cause and murmur as the ocean murmurs there." and unearthly in its effect upon the soul, of Anatomy lays bare the human frame-80 a multitude of waters.
fearfully and wonderfully made--and PoeAt present she seems to have seated her- try breathes back a portion of the spirit self, like a second witch of Endor, in a which that cold clay has lost, and its dry cave of mystery and vaticination-her bones and withered sinews begin to live. “ familiar,” her gifted husband, a spirit Chemistry leads Poetry to the side of her well worthy of holding high consultation furnace, and shows her transformations with herself; and who, like the famuli of scarcely less marvellous and magical than her own. Geology lifts, with daring yet polar star for a thousand years." We are, trembling hand, the “veil that is woven however, slowly nearing that star! And, with night and with terror,” from the his- when men have become more enlightened, tory of past worlds, of cycles of ruin and more welded into unity, more penetrated with renovation of creations and destroyings, high principle, more warmed with the emoand allows the eye of Poetry to look downtion of love-when the earth has become in wonder, and to look up in fire. And more worthy of shining between Orion and Astronomy conducts Poetry to her observa- the Great Bear-between Mars and Venus tory, and enjoys her amazement at the ---there shall break forth from it a voice of spectacle of that storm of suns, for ever song, holier far than Amphion's; sweeter blowing in the midnight sky. In the pro- than all Orphean measures; comparable to gress of astronomy, indeed, we see opening that fabled melody, by which the spheres up the loftiest of conceivable fields for the were said to attune their motions; comparpoet. Who has hitherto adequately sung able, say rather, to that nobler song, the wonders of the Newtonian-how much wherewith, when Earth, a stranger, first less of the Herschellian heavens ? In prose appeared in our sky, she was saluted by her alone (excepting, indeed, some splendid kindred orbs" when the morning stars passages of the Night Thoughts”)-prose sang together, and all the Sons of God often kindling into poetry; the prose of shouted for joy." Chalmers and of Nichol, have these themes been worthily treated. But who is waiting, with his lyre in his eager hand, to be ready
SCULPTURE FOR THE British MUSEUM.--Several to sing the steep-rising glories of the Ross
cases of Assyrian sculpture, intended for deposit in ian heavens ? We have the “ Night the British Museum, have arrived in the Thames in Thoughts,” which are a century behind the the vessel Grecian, from Bombay, and have been present stage of the science; but who shall landed from the importing ship, and delivered, by write us a poem on " Night,” worthy, in
the especial directions of the Treasury, free of duty,
to the establishment mentioned. some measure, of vieing with that solemn
GERMANY.—The several States comprise 20,158,yet spirit-stirring theme? Sooner or later 957 Protestants, 16,880,104 Romanists, 507,519 it must be done. The Milton of Midnight Jews, 242,791 of various other sects, and 5,184 must yet arise.
Greeks. In 1820, the numbers were about 13,690,Another security for the future triumphs and 3,280 Greeks. In Hungary and Transylvania
000 Romanists, 15,215,500 Protestants, 350,000 Jews, of Poetry is to be found in the spread of the there are 860,840 German Romanists, and 610,720 Earnest Spirit. That such a spirit is com- Protestants : in Switzerland, 1,039,279 Protestants, ing over the age, men feel as by a general and about 50,000 Romanists, all Germans. Of the and irresistible intuition. There are, be- 6,000,000 and upwards of individuals of German
extraction, in the United States of America, the sides, many distinct evidences, and in nothing number of Romanists does not exceed 300,000. 'The more so than in the present state of Poetry. number of Germans who have seceded from Rome, Its clouds, long so light and gay, are rapid- since Ronge's movement began, is under 40,000, ly charging with thunder, and from that and they constitute 219 flocks, the two largest of
which are thc 8,000 in Breslau, and 2,000 in Berlin. black orchestra, when completely filled, -Kutscheit's Church in Germany. what tones of
RELICS OF NINEVEH.— A large room on the ground pected. All the leading poets of our later day floor has been prepared at the Louvre for the frag. - Tennyson, Browning, Mrs. Browning, ments brought from Nineveh. It is to be called the
Salle de Nineveh.–Paris paper, Emerson, and Bayley-are avowing and acting on their belief that Poetry is no the whole of the coast around Southend was visited
EXTRAORDINARY Flight of INSECTS.-On Friday, child's pastime, but one of the most serious by one of the most numerous flights of insects on of all serious things. This fills us with record. They consisted of at least five species of hope and high expectancy. It recalls to us lady-bird, and they came in such dense numbers, as,
for miles along the coast, to resemble a swarm of a past period, when the names of prophet bees during hiving. The sea destroyed countless and of poet were the same; when bards millions of them, -the grass and hedge-rows, and were the real rulers; when the highest every crevice that afforded shelter from the wind, truth came forth in melody; when rhyme miles it was impossible to walk without crushing and reason had never been divorced. It
numbers beneath the tread. The insects cvidently points us forward, with sunbeam-finger, to came from the east, the wind having veered round a future day, when, in Emerson's fine lan-to that point during the night. Every true friend of Poetry shall lead in a new age, as insects, as they are well known to be the destroyers
agriculture, however, hails the appearance of these guage, there is a star in the constellation Harp, of aphides,-a race of flies the most injurious to which shall yet, astronomers tell us, be the vegetation.
The last few years have presented tempt- pected to see in parliament, still less as one ing opportunities to aspiring young barris- of the constitutional advisers of the legislaters; and, if we take cognisance of the ture. His own handsome face would have abilities and claims of those who are at been the first to break into a gay laugh at present the most rising men at the bar, it the bare thought of such a thing ; for his seems probable that an equally seductive abilities did not appear to lie in the direcfield will be offered for some time to come. tion chosen by senators. He was (and is) The death of Sir William Follett, and the the beau idéal of a nisi prius lawyer, at least elevation of Sir Thomas Wilde to the in cases which call forth character in an adbench, created a vacuum in the sphere of vocate, and require persuasive eloquence, parliameutary and official honors, which it and a keen, quick insight into the follies was not easy for the ministers at the several and weaknesses of human nature. Had it periods adequately to fill. Causes, per- been our ill-luck to be concerned in an sonal in their nature, were held to be suffi- action for (forbid it Heaven !) crim. con.; cient to exclude the individual who was or even (scarcely less serious !) in a runningpointed out by gencral opinion as the most down case, or a horse cause ; or had it been fit person to fill the vacant post in the one our hard necessity to unravel and defeat the case; and, in the other, although an able finesse and machinations of some skilful but man was chosen, yet it was not possible to recreant limb of the legal profession, or to find in the ranks of the parliamentary bar- expose some artfully schemed imputation risters on that side one confessedly worthy of indecorous improprieties, or, more than to hold an office which even in more recent all, a full-blown charge of breach of prodays had been illustrated by the eloquence mise:--that young, handsome, active, gayof a Copley, the skill of a Scarlett, or the looking, clear-eyed, stuff-gownsman, who laborious but admirable legal exactitude of talked so loudly and so volubly, who crossa Campbell. It was under such circum- examined so skilfully, whose by-play was stances that Sir Frederic Thesiger was as perfect as that of a Farren, and who was attorney-general for about a year, and that on such capital terms with a jury that they Sir John Jervis has succeeded him in the scarcely seemed to know, or care, which post, which he has also held for about the side of the case he was for, because, of same period.
course, he was only doing his Sir Frederic Thesiger has been at once a to come at the truth,-he would have been most successful and a most unlucky man. the man we should have pitched upon for Paradoxical as this may appear, å very our cause, in spite of attorneys putting forslight reflection will show it to be true; for ward, conscientiously, claims of flowery he has advanced both at the bar and in par- Talfourds, or heavy, boisterous Platts, or liament to a much higher position than his shrewd, argumentative Campbells. For most sanguine hopes could ever have aimed his grace and manner half won a cause of at, and yet, by an unaccountable caprice, the kind. With the jury he was so conFortune turned her back on him, about a fidential, with witnesses (on his own side) year ago, at the very moment when he had so winning and amiable, with those called almost within his grasp still more bril- for the opposite party so searching and liant promotion. Fifteen, or
Fifteen, or even ten, sarcastic, towards the judge so respectfully years ago, no one would have predicted that deferential. Watchful and wary, well Sir Frederic would, in seven years from knowing human nature, with tact inimithe latter date, have risen to the post of table, and a style of speaking and of bearing solicitor-general. An excellent nisi prius himself so popular and engaging, it was not advocate, suspected of being less learned in at all surprising that he should soon become the law than in the physiognomies of juries, the favorite of attorneys, for all cases in he was almost the last man whom one ex- ' which a counsel carrying much ballast was Vol. XII. No. II.
not required. In cross-examination, how in less than two years more, the death of easy and nonchalant his manner! None Sir W. Follett placed the attorney-geneof that stern pomposity, that ferocious ralship within his grasp : so that within six arrogance, which some young men mistake years of his entrance into parliament he for impressiveness, frightening the witness, had risen to the highest attainable post in perhaps, but also putting him on his guard his profession which he could hold consistNo, a good-humored air; a light, indifferent, ently with a seat in the House of Commons. smiling, off-hand manner of putting ques- What made this rapid rise the more retions, as though they were matters of course ; markable in his case was, that neither the drawing out the points with inimitable skill, profession nor the leaders of parties had but pouncing down upon them with a hawk-given him credit for any such pre-eminence like avidity as soon as the game was start-as a lawyer, or such parliamentary talents, ed! And his running fire of gestures to as would, in the case of Follett or even of the jury, commencing by a smile, or a shrug, Kelly, have been held to justify such proor a lifting of the eye-brow, nay, even motion; for, great as Sir Frederic Thesisomething very like a wink of the eye, and ger's merits undoubtedly are, they did not so preparing their minds, by making them lie in the direction of political promotion. laugh, and joining them with him, as it But close on the heels of the success came were, in the management of his case, for a piece of provoking ill-luck. Scarcely had the views he was afterwards to expound in Sir Robert Peel resigned office, when the his speech or his reply! Nor is his address Chief-justiceship of the Common Pleas beto a jury less appropriate or artistical : it came vacant. Had that event happened a is a sort of confidential chat upon the mat- few weeks earlier, precedent would have ters that have been before them, inter- justified Sir Robert Peel in giving the apspersed with shrewd suggestions, and occa- pointment to the attorney-general, however sionally with a good argument or a strong unsatisfactory such a choice might have appeal; the whole calculated to disabuse been to the profession ; but, as it was, Sir their minds of all suspicion that they are Thomas Wilde was the fortunate man, and being played upon or bamboozled. Infe- no one was to be found who did not feel rior as Sir Frederic Thesiger is to the late satisfied that matters so turning out, turned Lord Abinger in most other respects, he, rightly. of all men now prominent at the bar, ap- Sir Frederic Thesiger has not been sucproaches nearest to him in the admirable cessful in parliament. His performances, finesse and acting with which he embellished have not kept pace with his promotion. his advocacy. But beyond these minor but Although the necessity of his position has most essential requisites of the nisi prius made him a constant talker, he has never lawyer, Sir Frederic's excellence goes not. done or said anything by which he could be In all other attributes he is respectable, but remembered. Sir William Follett, years in this he stands supreme. For impres- before he received any office from governsiveness in addressing a jury, where the ment, had stamped on the mind of the issue is serious, or for readiness in grap- House such a conviction of his powers, that pling with any incidental legal argument, the political accident which kept his party he is not to be nained in comparison with out was almost deplored as the cause of a Follett, Wilde, or Kelly. And in a dry, continued injustice. Sir Thomas Wilde, hard, legal argument, he is behind all those, too, although his parliamentary eloquence and Sir John Jervis to boot. But the was too much of the forensic order, yet qualities in which he did excel soon brought achieved eminence by his speech on the him into very general request, until, on a Privilege question; and Sir F. Kelly, lucky opening being afforded on the home although he has not equalled as a parliacircuit, he suddenly became the first man in mentary orator the expectation formed of all the leading business. Called to the bar him, still has created on his behalf the idea in 1818, two-and-twenty years elapsed be- that he possesses latent power. But Sir fore he attempted to enter parliament. His Frederic has talked, and talked, too, volufirst attempt, when he contested Newark bly and pretentiously, yet to no purpose. with Sir Thomas Wilde, in February, 1840, Considering his opportunities, he has done was a failure, but in March of the same less for his reputation than his juniors in year
he was returned for the Duke of Marl- the House. Even Mr. Watson, or Mr. borough's borough of Woodstock. In four Dundas, or Mr. Stuart Wortley, have creyears after, he was solicitor-general; and lated a stronger prestige in their favor. Yet