Imatges de pàgina

-While the poor ploughman, when he leaves his bed, -
Sees the huge barn as empty as his shed.

Dark Night! couldst thou unfold the darker tale
Of craft and fraud thy raven pinions veil ;
Or thou, pale moon! take up the guilty theme,
When the stol’n goods, beneath thy trembling beam,
Pass thief-like on, to work a people's woe,
Where small canals to mighty rivers flow :
Thence could parental Thames, or Severn, tell
What freights of villany their bosoms swell,
What hoarded stores, that might a people save,
There find, alas! a banishment or grave;
Rat-gnaw'd and rotted-lost to human use,
Accursed avarice! by thy base abuse;
O what 'tremendous scenes would' meet the view,

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
Its drooping honours from insulting pride ;
And though, alas! the shell alone remains
Of what was once the wonder of the plains,
Still does the wreck affect an air of state,
The gapp'd park paling, and the gaping gate,
The towers dismantled, and the crumpling wall,
The mould'ring pillars, menacing a fall,
The garden weedul half, and half in flower,

The broken statues and disorder'd bower,
- The vista trees hewn down beside the way,

E'en like their lord, majestic in decay;
And, as in better days, the warning bell,
That i'd the social hour of joy to tell,
When gay festivity pour'd forth his trains,
And gave a general welcome to the swains,
Now sending forth, alas ! an empty sound,
To screen the ruin from the neighbours round,

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,
In times like these, a parent's throbbing breast;
Ah ! little think they, as in rooms of state,
'Midst fatt'ring mirrors and unweildy plate;
Or, fagg’d with yawning indolence, supine
On yielding down repose; from silver dine,
While swoln abundance the gorg'd banquet spreads,
And favoring fortune cloudless sunshine sheds
Thro' life, perchance, but as one summer day,
And every hour is taught to smile away;
Ah! little can they judge what Lucius knew,
As near his tott'ring hall fierce Famine drewi
Or, to prevent the fiend from ent'ring there,
And save his offspring from the last despair,
What thoughts annoy, what bitter fears invade,
What arts are tried, what sacrifices made;
How the fond mother, though to softness bred,
'Turns every thrifty talent into bread;
And every present, e'en of bridal day 3,
Converts to housewifery a thousand ways;
Or how the daughters, from the world to keep
Their fatber's wrongs and sorrows, work and wecp;
And, lest those wrongs and sorrows should be told,
Turn every youthful ornament to gold :
The hoarded tokens, and the keepsakes dear,
And love's soft pledge, is sold without a tear ;
Save that one precious drop perchance may rise,
When at their father's feet their small supplies
They blushing lay, and as they trembling kneel,
Daughters alone can tell what daughters feel..

While the lorn father, still from foes to hide,
And spare the cureless wound of generous pride;
Yet more from friends to veil his home-felt woes,
His food, his raiment, and his rest foregoes.

Yet, ah! with stern æconony extreme,
How hard to shun a grief still more supreme!
The frantic father sudden snatch'd away;
The daughters made of villany the prey ;
The sons, still buffeting misfortune's flood,
Or their hands bath'd in a betrayer's blood;
The widow to her morsel left alone,
Or, with her beauteous wrecks, promiscuous thrown
On the hard world, with every shock beside

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,
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign :
Now rolling from the steep amain,
Headlong impetuous see it pour ;

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
Componere æquus, Cætera fluminis
Ritu feruntur, nunc medio alveo
Cum pace delabentis Etruscum

In mare; nunc lapides adesos
Stirpesque raptas, et pecus, et domos,
Volvențis una; non sine montium

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

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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;

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