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Misguided Spencers wherefore wouldst thou gain

The short renown of an ephem'ral strain;
Flutter awhile in realms of Taste, and be
A Petit-Maitre even in Poesy
True, that before, with all the Teian's fire,
Moore soar'd in regions of unblest desire;

His lays, like thine, had every charm of art,

But then they spoke the language of his heart:

Bright emanations of a feeling soul,
Victim to Passion’s unrestrained control.
Own then, it is not all to rhyme with ease,

And sing of something, or—for ever cease.

NOTES.

280

285

Mr. S. in his Preface (for every thing now has a Preface) talks

of risking the “contest” with Mr. Pye, another Translator, for

the honor of this paltry ballad. This is “ much ado about

nothing,” with a vengeance. “It is impossible,” said Dr. John

son, on a similar occasion of contested honors, “ to settle the

point of precedence between a flea and a louse.”

Yet, yet, leave Bürger's legendary lore,
Nor add new tales to Mother Bunch's store; 290
From nothing”, nothing ever can proceed,
And what, in German, nonsense is decreed,
Will still be nonsense to an English view,
In spite of Critics, Wits, and Ladies too.
But surely then, those Critics must decide 295
By some false principle, some adverse guide,
Who grant the same applause to both extremes,
And honor Crabbe's as well as Spencer's themes.
Spencer, with labor forms his easy strain,
Soften’d by art, and fashion'd by the brain; 300
As ductile gold-f, without the aid of fire,

Is drawn and lengthen’d into finest wire.

Not Es. * — gigni De nihilo, nihilum, &c. PERSIUs, Sat. 3. t Et son vers froid, mais poli, bien tourné, A force d'art, rendu simple et facile, Ressemble au trait d'un or pur et ductile,

Parla filière, englissant, façonné. MARMonTE. Just so much art does tedious Crabbe's bestow,

To roughen what can scarce be said to flow ;

NOTES.

* Mr. Crabbe is chiefly known to the Public by his “ Borough” and “Village Tales," of which it can only be said, that, if they please at all, they please rather by their novelty than by their subjects, or the style in which they are written. The attempt t to describe the common occurrences in a low station of life, with all the graces of Poetry, was certainly bold; and, if it had not been carried to excess, might probably have succeeded. But Mr. Crabbe, like the Actors in the Critic, would “ never have enough of a good thing;” and so A Carman's Horse could not pass by, But stood tied up to Poetry; No Porter's burthen passed along

But served for burthen to his song.
HuDIBRAs.

f The following observations, from a French Classic, appear to me so admirable, that I cannot refrain from quoting them on the present occasion. “La Poésie doit toujours montrer une sorte d'invention, donner par des fictions neuves un esprit de vie à tout ce qu’elle touche, et ne pas oublier que, suivant Simonide, la poésie est une peinture parlante comme la peinture est une poésie muette, Il suit de la que le vers seul ne con

stitue pas le poète.” Voyage du Jeune Anacharse.

To break a hemistich, to pun in rhyme, 305
And shun whatever might appear sublime.
From Peleus' Son he brings the Muses back
To homely Roger, and familiar Jack
And leaves “the flowery phrase of fairy land”

For all the flowery phrases of the Strand! 310

The younger Coleman” too, with hot-pressed page

And spreading quarto, profits by the age,

NOTES.

Disgusted with a continued repetition of common-place incidents and pot-house stories, the Reader is compelled to run the gauntlet through a long succession of rural Heroes, whose names and qualifications are described with a gravity, that is perfectly ludicrous. Added to this, Mr. Crabbe makes frequent use of that figure of speech called the Paranomasia, or Pun; where, as Pope says, “a word, like the tongue of a jackdaw, speaks twice as much by being split.” With this excellent qualification, and an affected harshness of versification, Mr. Crabbe's style is

become

a kind of hobbling prose, That limps along, and tinkles at the close.

* If a young man were to degrade himself by writing a lewd Draws on the name a gifted Sire bequeath'd,

Whose nervous line the power of knowledge breathed,

NOTES.

song or a loose tale, he would be regarded with mingled feelings of pity and contempt; but when a man, no longer in the “heyday of youth,” but rather descending in the vale of years, insults the world with indecencies, either in verse or prose, he should share the fate of Cleveland, and be held up to universal reprobation. Such I am compelled to say, has been the conduct of George Coleman the Younger. It is currently reported and believed, that the inducement was a considerable sum of money, offered to him by Mr. Elliston for the Copy-right of his Work (the Lady of the Wreck, &c.) This is, however, at the best, but a sorry apology for one whose talents had before placed him high in the rank of Dramatic Writers. Mr. C. is now preparing, as I

have been informed, a poetical reply” to the different Reviews.

* In the interval between writing and publishing this Poem, Mr. Coleman's reply has appeared, and, indeed, surpassed my expectations. What must the principles of that man be, who defends indecency upon the plea, that those who understand its allusions have learnt nothing but what they were before acquainted with, and those who do not understand them, can

receive no injury from their publication |

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