Page images

That if we venture to peruse the Book,
We shall not need, or Hobbes, or Bolingbroke,
Or any such,—for smooth the path and clear,
Plain to the mind, harınonious to the ear; 390
Vainly he'll search, who looks the volume through,
For flowing numbers or conceptions true.
There, stately jargon dins the aching head*,
And pretty see-saws move with measured tread;


and Mr. Barrett's craniology would have puzzled Dr. Gall, if I may judge from a contemplation of his mentes penetralia.

* The first four lines are a very fair specimen of the whole, and a beautiful instance of the jargon. To wit :

Young, and enamourd of a youthful theme,
I sing the sex opprest by man supreme,
Opprest by bards, who first its heart revile,
Then sleek the dittied sonnet on its smile."

“What a noble confusion!” and again, the beginning of the last book:

Yes, woman, gentle Woman, all inspires,

Let man tyrannic call his awful fires; –
His au:ful fires let man tyrannic call,
Yet woman, gentle Woman, conquers all,” &c. &c.

Proverbs in rhyme*, quaint sayings without end, And labored thoughts+ their potent magic lend.

[blocks in formation]

Oh! if the axiom that thy line imparts,
Barrett! be true, " weak heads have fickle hearts :"


* Last of creation, best of all create."

Fair peril-despot dear"

her only enemies - The Libertine, the Pedant, and the Clown; with

“ Thou, whom maidens woman-hater call,

Some lep'rous miscreant art thou loath'd of all,
Form'd to blaspheme all human, all divine,
And drug with poison sacramental wine :”

and him he bids

“ On hissing keel the huge Atlantic ride,

Lurd by Potosin gold.”

To suckle is

To crush a rill ambrosial from thy breast.”

Speaking of a mother who had been overwhelmed in a house by an earthquake, he says:

“ Till her dear baby with imploring sounds

Complains, and presses uureplenish'd rounds,"

This will at least afford “ the sons of men,"
The hope, in rhyme, to meet thee ne'er again; 400
But should this hope, (as chance it will) prove vain,
And thou renew once more the votive strain,


And then, to set herself free,

“ She scrapes the gritty wall with bleeding nails,” &c.

To extract from Mr. Barrett's “ Poem" all that is either tedious or ridiculous, would be to transcribe the whole.

The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
But (Barrett) never deviates into sense.
Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
Strike through, and make a lucid interval;
But (Barrett's) genuine night admits no ray,
His rising fogs prevail upon the day.

DRYDEN'S M'Fleckenoe.

Mr. B. finishes his preface with a hope that he shall not murmur if he be condemned to the meaner office of compressing the ringlets of the fair. He may really think himself happy if he do not compress butter and cheese.

Yet hear this friendly counsel ere we part :-
Get Blackstone, Burns, and Lyttleton by heart;
Stick to the statutes, study England's laws, 405
Nor quit good suits, but for a better cause :
So shalt thou thrive, nor aim inspir'd to sing
Save the old song, « Pleas of our Lord the King!”


If these the fruit of Learning's vain parade,
Rise, Education! for we need thine aid.
Rise, Education! on the wings of mind,
Or wings which Bell and Lancaster* can find ;


• Th'invention all admir'd, and each how he

To be th' inventor miss'd, so easy it seem'd
Once found, which, yet unfound, most would have thought


I do not mean to enter into the separate merits of Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster's systems; but, whether the former have a just claim to priority or not, I think the latter has been treated in an unfair, and often in an ungentlemanly manner, by men whose profession ought to have taught them liberality,

« PreviousContinue »