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fessedly tended and was in effect carried, levels all distinctions of nature and society; has no figures nor no fantasies' which the prejudices of superstition or the customs of the world draw in the brains of men ; .no trivial fond records' of all that has existed in the history of past ages; it has no adventitious pride, pomp, or circumstance, to set it off: the marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe;' neither tradition, reverence, nor ceremony • that to great ones 'longs ; ' it breaks in pieces the golden images of poetry, and defaces its armorial bearings, to melt them down in the mould of common humanity or of its own upstart self-sufficiency. They took the same method in their new-fangled metre balladmongering' scheme which Rousseau did in his prose paradoxes, of exciting attention by reversing the established standards of opinion and estimation in the world. They were for bringing poetry back to its primitive simplicity and state of nature, as he was for bringing society back to the savage state ; so that the only thing remarkable left in the world by this change would be the persons who had produced it. thorough adept in this school of poetry and philanthropy is jealous of all excellence but his He does not even like to share his

reputation with his subject, for he would have it all



proceed from his own power and originality of mind. Such a one is slow to admire anything that is admirable, feels no interest in what is most interesting to others, no grandeur in anything grand, no beauty in anything beautiful. He tolerates only what he himself creates ; he sympathizes only with what can enter into no competition with him, with the bare trees and mountains bare, and grass in the green field.' He sees nothing but himself and the universe. He hates all greatness and all pretensions to it, whether well or ill founded. His egotism is in some respects a madness; for he scorns even the admiration of himself, thinking it a presumption in any one to suppose that he has taste or sense enough to understand him. He hates all science and all art; he hates chemistry; he hates conchology; he hates Voltaire ; he hates Sir Isaac Newton ; he hates wisdom ; he hates wit; he hates metaphysics, which he says are unintelligible, and yet he would be thought to understand them; he hates prose ; he hates all poetry but his own; he hates the dialogues in Shakspeare; he hates music, dancing, and painting ; he hates Rubens; he hates Rembrandt; he hates Raphael ; he hates Titian ; he hates Vandyke; he hates the antique ; he hates the Apollo Belvidere; he hates the Venus of Medicis. This is the reason that so

few people take an interest in his writ.ngs, because he takes an interest in nothing that others do. The effect has been perceived as something odd; but the cause or principle has never been distinctly traced to its source before, as far as I know. The proofs are to be found everywhere, -- in Mr. Southey's · Botany Bay Eclogues,' in his book of Songs and Sonnets,' his Odes and Inscriptions 'so well parodied in the · AntiJacobin Review,' in his . Joan of Arc,' and last, though not least, in his. Wat Tyler,'





• When Adam delved, and Eve span,
Where was then the gentleman?'

(or the poet-laureate either, we may ask ) in Mr. Coleridge's Ode to an Ass's Foa, in his Lines to Sarah, his Religious Musings ; and in his and Mr. Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads,' passim.

Of Mr. Southey's larger epics, I have but a faint recollection at this distance of time ; but all that I remember of them is mechanical and extravagant, heavy and superficial. His affected, disjointed style is well imitated in the • Rejected Addresses.' The difference between him and Sir Richard Blackmore seems to be that the one is heavy and the other light, the one solemn and the other pragmatical, the one phlegmatic and the other flippant ; and that there is no Gay in the present time to give a Catalogue Raisonné of the performances of the living undertaker of epics. Kehama is a loose, sprawling figure, such as we see cut out of wood or paper, and pulled or jerked with wire or thread, to make sudden and surprising motions without meaning, grace, or nature in them. By far the best of his works are some of his shorter personal compositions, in which there is an ironical mixture of the quaint and serious, such as his lines on a picture of Gaspar Poussin, the fine tale of Gualberto, his Description of a Pig, and the Holly Tree, which is an affecting, beautiful, and modest retrospect on his own character. May the aspirations with which it concludes be fulfilled I? But the little he has

1 O reader, hast thou ever stood to see

The Holly Tree?
The eye that contemplates it well perceives

Its glossy leaves,
Ordered by an intelligence so wise
As might confound the Atheist's sophistries.
Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen

Wrinkled and keen;
No grazing cattle through their prickly round

Can reach to wound';
But as they grow where nothing is to fear,
Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with curious eyes,

And moralize ;


done of true and sterling excellence is overloaded by the quantity of indifferent matter which he turns out every year, prosing or versing,' with equally mechanical and irreAnd in the wisdom of the Holly Tree

Can emblems see
Wherewith perchance to make a pleasant rhyme,
Such as may profit in the after-time.
So, though abroad perchance I might appear

Harsh and austere,
To those who on my leisure would intrude

Reserved and rude,
Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be,
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.
And should my youth, as youth is apt, I know,

Some harshness show,
All vain asperities I day by day

Would wear away,
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.
And as when all the summer trees are seen

So bright and green,
The Holly leaves their fadeless hues display

Less bright than they ;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly Tree?
So serious should my youth appear among

The thoughtless throng,
So would I seem amid the



gay More grave than they; That in my age as cheerful I might be As the green winter of the Holly Tree.

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