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two years after Selina's marriage, her fortune of fifteen thousand pounds was dissipated. Feather after feather had long been falling from the jackdaw who had plumed himself upon her fortune, and palmed himself upon her credulity; but, when the last guinea was gone, he stood before her in the unadorned dignity of his real character and name, which were Benjamin Button, a journeyman tailor, the son of a travelling tinker and a gypsy fortune-teller.
"Notwithstanding all this, Benjamin was a genius in his way; and, had any sense or any strength of character existed in his deluded wife, their affairs might have been retrieved; at least utter destruction averted. But such an issue to her visionary hopes overwhelmed her; her husband forsook her to seek his fortune on the Continent, and she, many years his senior, mortified and aimless, sunk into a consumption. A relation of her despised mother-in-law offered her, from motives of the purest pity, an asylum, and there the sentimental is dragging out the remainder of her days a miserable dependent.'
M. L. G.
MUNDI ET CORDIS CARMINA.*
THE appearance of this volume will be warmly greeted by all those of our readers whose poetical appreciation has been made a source of pleasure by the poems which have appeared in the Monthly Repository' under the signature of *W*. The greater portion of it is original, but it includes, amongst others, the Phosphor and Hesper,' 'The Copse,-to Alphonse de Lamartine,' The Glowworm,' To a Water-Drop,' Nymphs,' and The Life of Flowers;' and to these we may refer as specimens of its contents which will at once decide its character to all by whom they are remembered. Those who see nothing in them need look no further, for they will see nothing more. Let them and the author shake hands at the threshold, and part with a friendly de gustibus. Others we invite onwards to the gratification which awaits them in the expanse of the Templum Mundi,' or the recesses of the Adyta Cordis,' not pretermitting the occasional stimulus of the Temporalia.' Under these titles has the author distributed his effusions; and, bating that we think the English language might have served his turn for the inscription over the portal of the temple, as it does for the service within its gates, the classification commends itself to us as made in a poetical spirit, and giving a promise which is amply redeemed.
To the further division, into Poems and Sonnets, we decidedly object. Although many of the author's poems be not sonnets, it would be difficult for him to produce a sonnet which should not be a poem. There is a rare felicity in his compositions
* Mundi et Cordis: de rebus sempiternis et temporariis, Carmina; Poems and Sonnets; by Thomas Wade.' 2 L
of this description. He does not construe its laws in their utmost strictness, but it still presents impediment enough to display a graceful power, only surpassed amongst living writers by that of Wordsworth.
The Templum Mundi' is a poetical philosophy of the universe, exhibited as a poetical philosophy is best exhibited, not in the regular arrangement and with the technical details of system building, but by varied views from different points, fragments, particular objects or impressions, and sometimes momentary glimpses of the entire structure, opening upon the vision like the enchanted castle in the Valley of St. John.
Although a brick may not serve as a specimen of a house, any more than a quotation of a work of science, yet of such a temple as that whereof we speak, with its towers, and pinnacles, and clustering pillars, and rich tracery, and delicate foliage in eternal marble, there may be a specimen, even perchance in some minutest ornament, which shall by its peculiar beauty convey distinct notice of the artist's skill; and such we find in this quaint fragment of fretwork :
Ye must wait till the spring unfoldeth
The sun and earth;
And then in mirth
Ye may rejoice,
Chant to the sphere which her beauty holdeth;
And our thoughts must await
The great life beyond fate,
Sweet birds! sweet birds!
That the author is an admirer of Shelley might have been certainly inferred, had he not put it upon record. The congenialities of spirit are obvious. There is no imitation nor blind homage, but a strong affinity of quality and tendency. The same addictedness to creations of mist, and rainbow, and filmy frostwork. The following sonnet shows how a poet is appreciated by a poet:
Holy and mighty poet of the Spirit
That broods and breathes along the Universe!
Is the great breath the sphered heavens inherit
No human song is eloquent as thine;
Thou feel'st the soul of things; and thereof singing,
The last two words were better away. Hemused upon their wakefulness,' but we doubt whether he smiled.' The conclusion jars more upon the mind than would the unfinished line upon the ear. Shor measure is better than false fact. If the smile did come, it must have been a slow and melancholy one; such as might not have misbeseemed Jacques, in the Forest of Ardennes, encountering there some intolerant and conceited interloper from the city. To this sonnet succeeds another, from which we cannot separate it, inasmuch as it is, perchance, an amplification of the aforesaid smile's meaning, as excited by one class of objects:
'SHELLEY AND KEATS, AND THEIR "REVIEWER."
'Two heavenly doves I saw, which were, indeed,
In the Adyta Cordis' there is a redolence of beauty which must place the author high amongst erotic bards; yet with something too much of mere sensation, and too little of that true power of love which he professes to celebrate. It seems as if, with the author, love had been the offspring of poetry, rather than poetry the offspring of love. His descriptions are of the phenomena of sense, passion, and the general perception of beauty, rather than of that strong and permanent individualization of them, in which consist the power and purity of love; of that love which refines and elevates the best natures, and is the motive and the recompense of the noblest actions.
In Lord Brougham's Natural Theology,' we are taught that the final cause of the passion of love is the perpetuation of the species, and such would probably have been the purpose assigned to it in the calculations of Jeremy Bentham; yet may the Utilitarian philosophy and the theology of nature yield a better oracle to the inquirer, and indicate its proper and noble agency in those impulses to the exertions of the poet or the patriot, which no other stimulus can so well supply. The author's perception of this agency, and his want of an entire, consistent, and uniform recognition of the power which exercises it, may perhaps both be illustrated by the poem entitled 'Pain and Solace, a Vision.'
'PAIN AND SOLACE.
With her I love I enter'd a proud chamber,
And Syrinx, piteous nymph! transformed as she ran.
""Thou hast destroy'd me, traitor!" wildly turning
Her fine eye flashing, and her fair cheek burning:
""Begone!-I shall not die!"--she said, and faded,
'But with the solemn echoes as I quivered
p. 141, 142.
The Temporalia' contains a glorious lyric burst of feeling on The Three Great Days of France,' with some spirited Reform Bill Hymns,' and two or three minor poems of various merit.
The most characteristic and sustained flight of the author's fancy is the 'Ode to Poesy,' which stands at the commencement of the volume, the lofty-pillared porch of his Templum Mundi.' Some fragments of it must conclude this very imperfect notice; they will be its most efficient portion to all poetical spirits.
"Thou "wine of demons!" by dull flesh abjured,
But the true essence of all things divine!
Deep Poesy! I come to thee, allured
By all that I do hear, scent, touch, or see;