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elementary inspiration of Greece.* The notions about poetry can no longer be controuled, like the fashions, by a coterie of town gentlemen. People have ceased to believe

* It is curious to see how circumstances influence every thing. It inay appear a joke if not a paradox, to say that Pope would have been a better poet, had he had a stouter pair of legs ; yet this nevertheless I believe to be very true. Not that delicacy of organization is incompatible with the poetical temperament; perhaps it is necessary to it's reception of vivid impressions ; but health and a proper strength are other matters ; and Pope, whom I consider a much greater poet by nature than he became from circumstances, was shut up by his bodily infirmities within a small and artificial sphere of life. He saw little or nothing of nature and natural manners. When he went out, he rode, and he was even carried into his boat in a sedan-chair. Thus he is always common-place in passion and description, except where he was personally touched by the living, or drew from his own grotto hy the Thames or his youthful recollections of Windsor Park. One of the most pathetic passages he ever wrote, as well as best pieces of description, (for most of the beauties of Abelard and Eloisa are in the original Latin letters), is a few lines which he enclosed in a letter to Lady Mary Montague, comparing a lover in a grotto to a bleeding stag:

that wit and verse are the great essentials of the art; much less cant phrases, and lines cut in two; or that any given John Tomkins, Esq. upon the strength of his stock of Johnson's Poets, can sit down, and draw upon our admiration in the usual formulas, as he would upon his banker for money.

A sensativeness to the beauty of the external world, to the unsophisticated impulses of our nature, and above all, imagination, or the power to see, with verisimilitude, what others do not,—these are the properties of poetry ; and in proportion as the enjoyer applies them according to his experience, to his sense of good, and especially his natural disposition, he turns what he possesses of them to account. This is a secret which I saw very early; and I attribute to the knowledge of it whatever popularity I may have obtained, whether in verse or prose. The three living poets, who may chiefly be said to have characters of their own, have found their advantage in it, especially

Byron and Moore, experience being the principal ground on which the former goes, and natural disposition the latter. The remaining one, Wordsworth, whose ground is morals, has not succeeded so well as either in one sense of the word; but taking every thing into

1 consideration, the novelty of his poetical system, and the very unattractive and in my opinion mistaken nature of his moral one, he has succeeded still more; and is generally felt among his own profession to be at the head of it. Among the poets who were bred up in the French school, Moore, who is a real musician also, has lately given a valuable proof of his approbation of a different system of verse in the new-modelled heroic numbers of his Lalla Rookh; and my noble friend, Lord Byron, who waits as little for his own genius to be admired, before he admires that of others, does justice, I know, to the new school, though his charity inclines him to say what he can for a falling one.


An unattractive creed, however 'the hypocritical or envious may affect to confound the chearful tendencies of our nature with vicious ones, or the melancholy may be led really to do so, is an argument against itself. Shall we never have done with begging the question against enjoyment, and denying or doubting the earthly possibility of the only end of virtue itself, with a dreary wilfulness that prevents our obtaining it? The fatality goes even farther; for let them say what they please to the contrary, they who are most doubtful of earth, are far from being the most satisfied with regard to heaven. Even when they think they have got at their security in the latter respect, it is through the medium of opinions which make humanity shudder; and this, except with the most brutal selfishness, comes round to the same thing. The depreciators of this world,—the involuntary blasphemers of Nature's goodness,-have tried. melancholy and partial systems enough, and talked enough of

their own humility. It is high time for them, and for all of us, to look after health and sociality; and to believe, that although we cannot alter the world with an ipse dixit, we need not become desponding, or mistake a disappointed egotism for humility. We should consider ourselves as what we really are,—creatures made to, enjoy more than to know, to know infinitely nevertheless in proportion as we enjoy kindly, and finally, to put our own shoulders to the wheel and get out of the mud upon


green sward again, like the waggoner whom Jupiter admonishes in the fable. But we persist in being unhealthy, body and mind, and taking our jaundice for wisdom; and then because we persist, we say we must persist on. We admire the happiness, and sometimes the better wisdom of children; and yet we imitate the worst of their nonsense"I can't-because I can't.”

For my part, though the world as I found it, and the circumstances that connected me


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