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her almost incredible fatigues with an air of the poet preferred for its beauties, but it was ease which took away every appearance of rendered inaccessible to him in bad weather hardship. Notwithstanding her trials, she by the intervening road of mud, and in sultry preserved a great fund of gaiety, and laughed weather he was fatigued before he reached upon the smallest provocation. Her know it, and when he reached had not time to enledge and intelligence were both considerable. joy it. Though the Throckmortons were She was well-read in the poets, and had a anxious to have him for a tenant for the sake true taste for what was excellent in literature. of his society, and he was equally anxious to Cowper had the highest opinion of her judg-embrace the offer for the sake of their walks ment. He submitted all his writings to her and prospects, as well as their company, his criticism, and asserted that she had a percep. inability to bear the expense of furnishing tion of what was good and bad in com- would not permit him to entertain the proposition that he never knew deceive her. He ject. No sooner did Lady Hesketh appear always abided by her decision, altered where upon the scene than she insisted upon defrayshe condemned, and, if she approved, had no ing the cost of the removal ; and November fear that anybody else could find fault with saw her cousin comfortably housed in the reason. Such a rare combination of merits Lodge' at Weston. He had not shifted was not likely, with a person of Cowper's dis- his quarters before it was necessary. The position, to be cast into the shade by the ceilings of his miserable tenement at Olney cleverness, vivacity, and personal charms of were cracked, the walls were crumbling; and Lady Austen. He proved, indeed, by his when a shoemaker and a publican proposed conduct a few years later, that his attachment after his departure to share it between them, to his admirable Mary was as deep as hers the village carpenter pronounced that unless had been to him, and that he realised in it was propped they would inbabit it at the practice the beautiful ideal which he had hazard of their lives. Once the poet returned drawn of friendship in his "Valediction,' to take a look at his old tottering dwelling. where he describes it as a

• Never,' he says, 'did I see so forlor and • Union of hearts without a flaw between.'

woful a spectacle.' Cold, dreary, dirty, and

ruinous, it seemed unfit to be the abode of The literary fame of Cowper caused some human beings. His eyes notwithstanding of the friends and relations, who supposed had filled with tears when he first bid adieu him lost to themselves and the world, to re- to it, for he remembered how often he had open their intercourse with him. Foremost enjoyed there in happier days a sense of the among the number was his cousin Lady Hes- presence of God, and that now, as he supketh. Their correspondence had been sus- posed, he had lost it for ever. pended for nearly nineteen years, when she Any gratification which may have been once more addressed him in October, 1785. produced by the removal to Weston was He was transported with pleasure at the re-quickly dispelled. He had not been there newal of his intimacy with this dear com- above two three weeks when Mr. panion of his youth. His letters to her Unwin caught a fever and died. Cowper thenceforth overflow with fondness, and were spoke of the loss with calmness in his letters; only interrupted by her annual visits to him. and, affectionate and united as the friends She went to Olney in June, 1786, and was had always been, they met so seldom that lodged in the rooms which Lady Austen had the event could have left little void in his vacated at the vicarage. Never did the poet life. Mrs. Unwin bore her heavier share in look forward to any event with more eager the calamity with the resignation she had delight than to the anticipated meeting, and acquired from prolonged trials and habitual the reality did not belie his expectations. piety; but, depressed herseif, she must have Her company, he said, was a cordial of which been less equal than usual' to cheering her he should feel the effect as long as he lived. companion, and the deeper gloom which Her arrival brought with it another advan-overshadowed him may have been the cause: tage. Cowper had become friendly with the of the fresh attack of lunacy which shortly Throckmortons, a Roman Catholic family, after supervened. There is a gap in his corwho lived at the pretty village of Weston, respondence from January 18 to July 24, about a mile from Olney. They had a house 1787; and he passed the interval in a state of to let, which was commodious in itself, and almost total insanity. As in his two previous had the additional recommendation that it attacks, he attempted suicide. He banged adjoined their own pleasure-gronnds, where himself, and was only saved by the accident a slipper would not be soiled even in winter,' of Mrs. Unwin coming in before he was dead and where in summer avenues of limes and and cutting him down. When he recovered elms afforded a delicious shade. Of all the be informed Mr. Newton that for thirteen places within his range it was the one which years he had believed him not to be the friend




he loved, but somebody else. He considered It was fortunate for the poet that before it at least one beneficial effect of his illness his attack he had embarked in an occupation that it had released hiin from this disagree which engaged without trying his faculties, able suspicion, and that he no longer doubted and which assisted to promote bis returning the identity of his old fatniliar companion, convalescence. When he had completed the nor was compelled to act a deceitful part ·Task' he found that a fresh scheme was when he addressed him. No limits can be essential to draw off his attention from his placed to the hallucinations of a disordered distempered thoughts. He was unable, he understanding; and it would be possible in says, to produce another page of original the nature of things that, when he emerged poetry, for as he did not go out of himself from the visitation of 1773, he might fancy, for his materials he soon exhausted the stock in spite of the evidence of his senses, tbat of his experience. In his early manhood he the pastor at the vicarage was a mockery and had read Homer with a fellow-Templar, and a cheat, and only the outward semblance of as they read they compared the original with the genuine man. In this case, however, it is the translation of Pope. They were disgusted certain that no such delusion had existed, and to find that puerile conceits, extravagant methat the impression was a chimera engendered taphors, and modern tinsel had been substiby the disease of 1787. After Mr. Newton tuted for the majesty and simplicity of the settled in London Cowper wrote to him once Grecian, and they were often on the point of a fortnight, or oftener, and his letters have burning his unfaithful representative. The none of the constraint which the alleged recollection came back upon Cowper when conviction must have produced. They are, he was at a loss for employment, and induced on the contrary, peculiarly confidential. They him, as an experiment, to take up the “Iliad' chiefly turn upon those fearful secrets of his and turn a few lines into blank verse With heart which he would bave been the least no other design than the amusement of the willing to lay bare to a stranger, and display hour he went on with the work, till, pleased throughout a strong attachment and a reve- with his success, he resolved to translate both rential regard. They have not the same the Epics of Homer. He determined that he playfulness as his sportive epistles to Mr. would accomplish at least forty lines a day; Unwin, but this was because he thought it and as he was firm in his purpose, and never due to the apostolical character of Mr. New- intermitted his task, the vast project proton to abstain from trifling. Religion had ceeded rapidly. He had been two years been the original bond of their intimacy; engaged upon it when it was interrupted by and when the poet ceased to partake of the his illness, and he resumed it with eagerness consolations of Christianity, the point of sym- the moment his madness abated. His first pathy was not changed, though the instru- version was full of the quaint language of the ment sent forth a melancholy, instead of a writers of the fifteenth century, which he cheerful sound. He poured his spiritual imagined was the kind of English that made grief, as he had once poured bis spiritual joys, the closest approach to the simplicity of the into the ears of his confessor, and told him Greek. His friends objected to his obsolete that to converse with him, even upon paper, phraseology. He began by altering it with was the most delightful of all employments

, reluctance, and ended by wondering that since it helped to make things scem as they he had ever adopted it. His corrections had been. He would not have penned these amounted to a re-translation of the work, words if he had believed that he was address and his re-translation went through two elaing an impostor, any more than he would borate revisions. Five years of incessant have signified to him, as he did, the extreme labour were expended on the undertaking, satisfaction he had derived from his society nor was it time thrown away. His Homer when this honoured friend came to stay with is a great performance. He has preserved him at Olney. He gave practical proofs of the vivid pictures, the naked grandeur, and the sincerity of his professions. He submit- the primitive manners of the original. He ted his first volume of poems to Mr. New- does not excel Pope more in fidelity than in ton's revision, asked him to write the preface, true poetic power. The style may seem and requested that he would allow his name austere at a casual glance, but will be found on to appear on the title-page as editor. His a close acquaintance to be full of picturesquehabitual words and acts all alike discoun- ness, dignity, and force. In the passages tenance the idea that in his more lucid years where he creeps, the old bard himself has his madness was carried to the pitch of dis- seldom soared very high. The combined crediting the identity of one of his dearest majesty and melody of the ancient measure intimates. It was a retrospective notion could not be approached, but the blank verse created and fixed in his mind during his of Cowper's translation has a fuller swell and litest fit of frenzy.

greater variety of cadence than his “Task, and is, in general, sufficient to sustain the attack. "I feel,' he said, 'the shock in every ideas. His version is not, and never will be nerve. God grant that there may be no repopular, but those who turn from the Eng. petition of it!'. The repetition came neverIish Homer with distaste would probably be theless, and with increased severity, in May, devoid of a genuine relish for the Greek. 1792. She lost her powers of speech, and

In 1789, while ‘Homer' was still in pro- the use of her legs and right arm, and could gress, John Johnson, than an undergraduate neither read, nor knit, nor do anything to at Cambridge, and grandson of Roger Donne, aiuse herself. I have suffered,' wrote the who was the brother of Cowper's mother, poet, 'nearly the same disability in mind on made a pilgrimage into Buckinghamshire, out the occasion as she in body.' He abandoned of pure admiration for his kinsman's works. Milton, took upon himself the office of nurse, Charmed with the young man's simplicity, and wore out his strength and spirits in atenthusiasm, and affection, the poet treated tending on her. He who had been unable him like a son. Through his means a com- to bear his burthen without her assistance, munication was opened with some of the liad now to carry her load as well as his own. great author's other maternal relations; and Bowed down by the double pressure, his a cousin, Mrs. Bodham, sent as a present to gloom increased upon him. His dreams were Weston the portrait of his mother, which more troubled; he heard voices more freproduced the famous lines that are known quently, and their language was more threatand treasured by thousands who care little ening. He was prevailed upon to visit Hayfor poetry. He tells us that he wrote them ley at his place in Sussex, in the hope that * not without tears,' and without tears they his patient would be benefited by the change. have rarely been read. The description was His long seclusion and his shattered nerves as usual the literal transcript of his feelings, made a stage-coach journey appear more and the language was the worthy vehicle of alarming to him than a campaign would be bis life-long affection for the revered mother to men of sterner stuff. He set off in August, who inspired them. He struck a chord which 1792, and remained at Eartham six or seven found an echo in every heart that ever loved; weeks. Mrs. Unwin derived no substantial adand the touching allusions to his own tragic vantage, and shortly afterwards grew weaker story redoubled the pathos. It is the glorious both in mind and body. Cowper said of the distinction of Cowper that he is the domestic lines on his mother's picture that he composed poet of England, and has his hold upon the them with more pleasure than any he bad mind by more pervading and charming sen- ever written, with a single exception, and that timents than any other writer of verse. exception was the sonnet in which he cele

His · Homer' dismissed, Cowper had again brated the devoted woman whom one of his to seek a scheme on which to employ his friends described as an angel in everything thoughts. His publisher projected a splendid but her face.' The poet now addressed to edition of Milton's works, and engaged him her a more famous piece. His verses To to translate the Latin poems and annotate the Mary' are among the most touching and English. Hayley was employed about the beautiful ever penned. The intensity of his same time to write a Life of the illustrious affection for his poor paralytic inforins every bard for another edition; and the newspapers line, and is summed up in the exclamation represented the two editors as antagonists. My Mary!' which forms the burthen to each Upon this Hayley sent a sonnet and a letter stanza. Simple as is the phrase, he has made to Cowper disclaiming the rivalry, and express-it speak volumes of love and tenderness by ing the warmest admiration of his poetry. its connection and repetition. From being total strangers, a vchement friend- The steady decline of his Mary's' unship sprang up between them. An invitation derstanding dragged his down along with it. to Weston was accepted by Hayley. The Lady Hesketh paid him her annual visit in personal intercourse increased their mutual the winter of 1793. He then hardly stirred attachment, and dear brother' was the title from the side of Mrs. Unwin, who was fast they bestowed on one another. Shy and relapsing into second childhood. He took reserved as Cowper was, and little as he was no exercise, nor used his pen, nor even read disposed to seek acquaintances, he was no a book, unless to her. To watch her suffersooner brought in contact with a congenial ings in bleak despair, and to endeavour to respirit than his social feelings flamed forth. lieve them, was his sole business in life. By His later correspondence glows with affection the spring of 1784 he was reduced to that for the new friends who were attracted to him state that he refused to taste any food except by the delight they had received from his a small piece of toasted bread dipped in writings. But he did not long enjoy this water. He did not open his letters, nor accession to his pleasures. In December, would suffer them to be read to him. Lord 1791, Mrs. Unwin had a slight paralytic Spencer procured him a pension from the Crown of 3001. a year, and he was not in a | at it steadily as of old, till he had gone condition to be told of the circumstance. He through the whole. He completed his task abandoned his little avocations of netting and on the 8th of March, 1798, and a few days putting together maps, and, goaded by the afterwards he wrote The Castaway.' This restless spirit within him, walked up and was his final effort at original composition. down the room for entire days. He lived in The rack of mind he had undergone for years hourly terror that he should be carried away, allowed his genius to burn at intervals as and once stayed from morning till evening in brightly as ever. His last is one of his most bis room, keeping guard over his bed, under powerful pieces, and its only fault is, that it the apprehension that somebody would get is too painful in its pathos. During the possession of it in his absence, and prevent two remaining years of his pilgrimage he athis lying down on it any more. The sole tempted nothing of more moment than to hope of his restoration was in change of sceno translate little Latin poems into English, or and air, and with much difficulty young John- English poems into Latin. In the spring of son at last prevailed on the sufferers to accom- 1800 symptoms of dropsy appeared in his pany him to Tuddenham, in Norfolk. The feet, and quickly proved fatal. A physitransference was effected in July, 1795, and in cian who visited him asked him how he felt? August they moved on to the village of Mun- Feel!' he replied ; 'I feel unutterable dedesley, on the coast-a place impressive from spair. Such despair he continued to feel the gloom of its sea and cliffs, but ill suited while consciousness remained, and he expired to cheer the desolate mind of Cowper. The on the 25th of April, to wake up from his most forlorn of beings,' he wrote on his ar- delusion in a happier world. rival, I tread the shore under the burthen of infinite despair, and view every vessel that approaches the coast with an eye of jealousy and fear, lest it arrive with a commission to seize ine.' The feeling that he should be Art. VII.—1. A Bill to extend the right of suddenly laid hold of, and hurried away to Voting for Members of Parliament, and to torment, continued to grow on him. In amend the Laws relating to the RepresentaJanuary, 1796, he informed Lady Hesketh tion of the People in Parliament. Pre'that in six days' time, at the latest, he should pared and brought in by Lord John Russell, no longer foresee but feel the accomplishment Sir G. Grey, and the Chancellor of the of all his fears; and in February he wrote Exchequer (Sir C. Wood), and ordered by her a letter, in which he bid her adieu, and the House of Commons to be printed, 12th told her that, unless her answer arrived next February, 1852. day, he should not be on earth to receive it. 2. A Bill further to amend the Law relating His afflicted Mary was the first to be released. to the Representation of the People in She calmly sunk to her rest in the December England and Wales. Prepared and brought of this year, at East Dereham, in Norfolk, 'in by Lord J. Russell and Sir J. Graham, where Mr. Johnson had taken a house. and ordered by the House of Commons to Cowper uttered no allusion to her danger, nor be printed, 16th February, 1854. seemed to be conscious of it, till the morning 3. A Bill to amend the Laws relating to the of her dissolution, when, on the servant com- Representation of the People in England ing in to open his shutters, he said, “Sally, is and Wales, and to facilitate the Registrathere life above stairs ?' A few hours after tion and Voting of Electors. Prepared she breathed her last, and when he was in- and brought in by the Chancellor of the formed of it he conceived the idea that she Exchequer (Mr. Disraeli), Lord Stanley, was not really dead, but would wake up in and General Peel, and ordered by the the grave, and undergo, on his account, the House of Commons to be printed, 28th horrors of suffocation. He therefore expressed February, 1859. a wish to see her, and, under the influence of 4. Information for Reformers respecting the his preconception, he fancied he observed her Cities and Boroughs of the United Kingstir. On a closer view he plainly discovered dom, Classified according to the Schedules that she was a corpse. He flung himself to of the Reform Bill proposed by John the other side of the room, as froin an object Bright, Esq., M.P. Prepared, at the rethat was much too painful to behold, and quest of the London Parliamentary Comnever mentioned her again. Her memory was mittee, and also showing the Results of the associated with happier days, and to speak of Government Reform Bill

, by Duncan Mcher in his present depths of misery would Cluer. have aggravated his distress.

In the winter of 1797 he was beguiled into It was once observed by that remarkable revising his translation of Homer, and worked man whose sad and almost sudden loss the

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whole country has had so recently to deplore,* | which has always characterised the legislation that history, when we look at it in small of this country through all its history. We fragments, may prove anything or nothing; may therefore learn from that history-whenbut that it is full of useful and precious in- ever it is contemplated, as it ought to be, acstructions when we contemplate it in large cording to the remark of Lord Macaulay, in portions, or rather when we take in at one large portions, and not fragmentally—that if view the whole lifetime of great societies. we are to make any further alterations in our This observation is so just, and yet at the representative system, such alterations should same time it is so little regarded, that in our always be effected by the same methods, and last number we thought it advisable to bring based as it were upon the same principles, as into one continuous review all the instances those by which we have hitherto been guided. in which Parliament has interfered by legis. Since the question has been completely relative action either with reference to its own opened by four administrations in no less than functions, or as regards its own composition. four successive Parliaments, it would be most At the same time the reasons which led to inconvenient, as Lord Derby stated when he that interference, and the principles which accepted office in 1858, to leave such a subguided it when any change was introduced, ject still dangling in the air, to be tossed were stated and explained. Moreover, we about in this or that direction as chance or endeavoured to fix in our own minds, as well folly might happen to carry it. However deas to make present to the minds of others, sirable it may have been that the subject 'the whole lifetime of the great society' in should not have been re-opened, Parliament which we are living, before we would break is now bound to consider it fully; and that up or even propose any material alteration in with the view, as both Houses have themthat very remarkable but prescriptive form of selves declared, ‘of removing every just cause government, which, according to the remark of complaint, of increasing general confidence of a distinguished American, made to Lord in the Legislature, and of giving additional John Russell on the eve of his proposing the stability to the settled institutions of the Reform Bill

, has lasted so long and has been State."* Acting in that spirit, and desirous so strong. It is indisputably clear from that of lending a helping hand towards the attainreview that our ablest statesmen, whenever ment of so important an object, we now prothey suggested any material changes in the pose to redeem our pledge by discussing the constitution of the State, have declined to whole matter in all its bearings. We shall proceed upon mere theories of their own. disguise nothing, and we shall flinch from They have always required, in justification of nothing; for the constitution of this country such changes, the plain proof of some actual and the well-being of the people are matters grievance, some tangible abuse, some practi- too serious to be hastily taken up or lightly cal injustice, to which they might apply an passed by. actual, tangible, or practical remedy. As The questions which arise are these :soon as they ascertained that a remedy was First, whether there are are not some classes needed, they never failed, at least in inten- of persons and some kinds of property to tion, carefully to adapt it to the malady to whom or to which the franchise may be exbe cured. We scarcely know of a single in- tended ; secondly, whether there are still any stance in which they have had recourse to unrepresented places to which representatives innovating experiments or crude empiricism. might advantageously be given ; thirdly,

To ignore the past; to speculate on the whether the present law relating to elections future; to act on mere theory, however in- might be further improved, so as to ensure genious; or to import any novelties which their more perfect freedom, without intimimay work well in other Institutions, but dation and without corruption ; fourthly, which are not in harmony or consistent with whether the existing duration of Parliament our own—these are notions totally at variance is upon the whole the best which can be dewith that wise, safe, and practical policy vised ; and fifthly, as a corollary from these

propositions--or rather as an incident to be

borne in mind in considering each of them* Lord Macaulay.

whether the supposed advantages to accrue + See Hansard, xoix. 920. 'I remember,' said from such changes would or would not be Lord John Russell, in 1847,‘on the night before I was to bring in the Reform Bill, speaking to an

more than counterbalanced by the inconveAmerican of distinguished talents, who then repre- niences attending them. These points will sented his country at this Court. I said to him, necessarily embrace the whole subject; and " I cannot but feel great anxiety in proposing to they may be stated broadly, as challenging make an alteration in the Constitution which has lasted so long.' “Yes," he replied, “ so long and BO strong."

.” That is past the truth with regard to * See the Address in answer to the Speech from our constitution.

the Throne in 1854.

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