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-While the poor ploughman, when he leaves his bed, -
Dark Night! couldst thou unfold the darker tale
To make wrong’d England start, and tremble too!" P. 53. Mr. Pratt calls loudly for the interference of government. The same outcry has been generaland violent; butour ministers have been happily firm, knowing that the evil lies beyond their power. It is not the interference of the legislature that can awaken good feelings, or counteract that love of gain which is the main spring, the very heart and life, of the commercial system. The moralist may do something—the clergyman máy do inor.. Perhaps Mr. Pratt himself has chosen the best mode of admonition, by appealing to the feelings of individuals. How much is in the power of individuals, his own notes amply evince.
The second part is devoted to the present state of the middle classes. The poet describes the situation of a reduced gentle. man-an affecting situation, which Mrs. Smith has powerfully delineated in one of her novels, and which has afforded intera esting subjects for our theatres.
• Mark yon grey doine, which still attempts to hide
The broken statues and disorder'd bower,
E'en like their lord, majestic in decay;
But oh! heart-piercing sight! see yonder bed, Where high-born Lucius lays his anguish'd head ; A modest patrimony called him lord,. And frugal plenty smil'd upon his board ; That plenty well a numerous race supplied, Nothing superfluous, nothing was denied Which virtue wish’d, or nature pure might claim, And smooth his life till public robbers came; Till trebled each demand for daily bread, And not increas'd the means by which they fed, Then sire and husband in his breast contend, While brooding misery excludes a friend; To her who shar'd them, scarce he dares impart The thronging horrors that devour his heart. In some dim room, with ragged tapestry spread, As if already number'd with the dead, On his dire fate he seeks to muse alone, While at each thought bursts forth a dismal groan; The dread of want comes rushing to his brain, He smites his boding heart, and groans again!' P. 250,
"Ah! little know the rich what pains molest,
While the lorn father, still from foes to hide,
Yet, ah! with stern æconony extreme,
Of fallen fortunes and of wounded pride.' P. 28. In satire Mr. Pratt is less happy : his gentlemen and lady farmers are coarse caricatures, not likenesses. ,
The author proposes remedies in the third part; and his ad vice is alwảys humane, and generally judicious : he wishes, and every good man will sympathise with him in the wish, that a system of kindness and encouragement towards the poor should be adopted; that, instead of being driven to the miserable asylum of a workhouse, they should be assisted at home, and enabled by early aid to support themselves; and that the means of obtaining decent comfort by labour should always be given to the industrious. There are some affecting instances, in his notes, of successful exertion on the part of the poor, when their efforts have been encouraged.
The merit of the poem may be estimated by our extracts, Mr. Prati’s ‘Sympathy' has had inany admirers; and they who, have been gratified by that work may certainly derive equal pleasure from the present performance.'
ART. XII.-Specimens of Literary Resemblance, in the Works of
Pope, Gray, and other celebrated Writers; with Critical Observations: in a Series of Letters. By the Rev. Samuel Berdmore, D. D. Bii 8vo. 45. Buards. Wilkie. 1801.
To trace the resemblances of one author to another is a task more of amusement than of importance. Oftentimes the likeness is fortuitous, and frequently it is the effect of memory mistaken for invention. The writers upon this subject some times weary us by their pedantry--sometimes insult us by their malevolence. After the infamous forgeries of Lauder had been detected, a Frenchman re-published the Sarcotis of Massenius, and insisted upon every remote resemblance with the busy ma. lice of affected candiour, ai though he, with his foul bicath,
could have tainted the laurels of Milton. The early reading of our great countryman has been investigated in England with a better spirit, that detracts not from established fame, though it restores their value and reputation to our old and long neglected writers. The worshippers of the great river have visited the streams and rivulets and little springs that feed its waters;- if their patience may have been sometimes misdirected, it is always pardonable.
There are other critics who delight in heaping together paral, lel passages, a toil equally laborious and of less utility, and which is more the work of a good memory than a sound judgement, The observations of Dr. Berdmore are likely to be more valu. able, for they are such as have occurred to him, unsought, during a long course of classical studies. We will present our reader with the following specimens.
• We have often, you will recollect, read together, and been as often charmed with the introductory stanza to the first of Mr. Gray's two Pindaric odes--the Progress of Poetry, where you have these admirable lines :
“ Now the rich stream of music winds along,
The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar." • The great excellencies of the sublimest poetry are here united with an ease and elegance which give to the composition so much the air of an original, that none of Mr. Gray's editors, or commen, tators on his works, seem to have suspected an imitation.' P. 14.
• Now allow me to submit to your consideration the following lines, which I am inclined to believe you have already in imagination anticipated, from one of the sublimest odes in Horace:
" Quod adest, memento
In mare; nunc lapides adesos
Clamore, vicinæque sylvæ.” B, III. O. 29, With this stanza before us, will there not arise in the mind some, thing like suspicion, that Mr. Gray, when he wrote the fine lines quoted above, had his eye on Horace. Allow me to mark the principal features of resemblance. We have in each poet a stream, ap. plied by the one to the varicus forns of poetry, by the other to the
vicissitudes of human affairs, with especial reference to political revo. lutions. It is conducted by both, first in a course of placid serenity, then in torrents of rapid impetuosity, and marked at the close by the same striking and impressive consequence
“ The rocks and nodding groves rebellow to the roar :" .. . very nearly a verbal translation of the Latin text,
« Non sine montium ·
. Clamore, vicinæque sylvæ.”
" Here is certainly in these two passages an extraordinary coincidence of thought and imagery : in addition to which, the varying circumstances described in both follow each other exactly in the same order. The attentive reader will however discover, under this gene. ral similitude, a considerable difference in the mode of composition between the British and the Roman Pindar. Enough, perhaps you will think, to remove all appearance of direct imitation. It is most probable that Gray, without recurring to the text of Hurace, has only copied from the traces which a frequent perusal had left upon his memory. This hypothesis will appear more credible when we analyse the different forms of composition. While the stream of Horace glides quietly into the Etruscan ocean, with no other distinction than that of gentleness
“ Cum pace delabentis Etruscum
In mare,'' the stream of Gray winds along with a marked character, appropriate to his subject
“ Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong.” Mr. Gray gives also peculiar grace and beauty to the piece by his
kilful use of the metaphorical style ; blending the simile with the subject, so much in the manner of Pindar; and not making, as Horace has done, a formal comparison of the one with the other.' P. 16.
in the firste verdant valesanded upon the
? Mr. Gray, it will be seen, has still further improved upon the Roman bard, by the addition of those verdant vales and golden fields of corn, through which, in the first division of his subject, he conducts the peaceful stream .
“ Through verdant vales and Ceres' golden reign.” In the second division he simply describes it, now swollen into an overfiowing river, rolling impetuously down the steep descent; which Horace emphatically expresses from Homer by the effects.
• You, who are wont to view all works of taste with so correct and critical an eye, cannot fail to observe, and at the same time to admire, the masterly skill of these great artists in the execution of their separate designs.
In Mr. Gray's Ode, the varying movements of music or poetry are very happily illustrated by the inconstant current of a river;