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MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST).
Hover around, ye angel bands
MBPHISTOPHELES. “She is condemn'd!
« VOICES FROM ABOVE.
“ Is pardon'd!
“ Hence, and flee!
[Vanishes with FAUST.
P. 263. It is scarcely within the powers of song to exceed the pathos of this touching scene. The skill with which the imagination of the reader is left to supply the links of action designedly omitted, and the purposed dimness which is thrown over the catastrophe, are among some of the loftiest triumphs of poetry, and sufficiently redeem the fame of Goethe from the mass of puerile matter with which he has allowed his drama to be deformed. The powerful conception of Mephistopheles, and the cold sarcasm with which the seducer poisons every sweet to which he allures, are the points upon which the German critics appear chiefly to have rested their eulogium. With all due regard for the force of genius so largely displayed in these, we must claim the part wbich Margaret bears, as more according with nature, more, as the painters would say, in just keeping, and, therefore, far more attractive than the wilder machinery; and we gladly escape from these night-mare horrors so legitimately German, to characters of real life, pourtrayed by one who must have been deeply acquainted with the springs of the human heart,
How well the noble translator has performed his part, the large extracts which we have already given, will sufficiently
evince. He is equally successful in the two minor pieces which he has appended. The “Song of the Bell,” is a most spirited piece by Schiller, on an unprofitable subject; but we must exclude it, in order to give entire the following exquisite paraphrase from the same writer.
“ The Partition of the Earth, from Schiller,
And had roll'd the proud orb on its way,
And the bright sun to rule it by day;
With the wisdom that govern'd its plan;
And he gave the dominion to man.
And the husbandman seized on the plain ;
And the merchant embark'd on the main.
When a figure came listlessly on;
When he found that the labour was done.
And the frenzy that flash'd from his eye,
Proclaim'd that the Poet was nigh ;
To the foot of the Thunderer's throne,
Had been given the Bard as his own.
Though he mourn’d the request was too late ;
When his lot was decided by fate.
Which from a vision too bright;
Entranc'd in these regions of light.
And it rode on thy glances of fire ;
It forgot every earthly desire.
And I cannot reverse the decree;
The lovers of German literature must rejoice to see justice done to two of its chief ornaments; and tħose who confine their love to the literature of England, are not a little obligedi' by the pleasing addition which Lord Francis Leveson Gower has made to their treasury.
ART. VII. Memoirs of Francis Barnett, the Lefevre of
“ No Fiction :" and a Review of that Work. With Letters, and Authentic Documents. 2 vols. 12mo. 12s.
Barnett. 1823. The readers of Methodistical novels may chance to have seen two well-advertised works by the Rev. Andrew Reed, "No Fiction, a narrative founded on fact,” and “Martha, a Memorial of an only and beloved Sister.” They are not so popular as the Dairymay's daughter; but bid fair to eclipse Mrs. Taylor, of Ongar. The Memoirs, now before us contain the secret history of Mr. Reed's romances, and if they referred to past times and worm-eaten pages, they would afford a rich treat to the lovers of literary scandal, Mr. Barnett informs the world that he is the hero of “ No Fiction;" and that the tale is a false and scandalous libel upon his character. To substantiate the charge, he enters into a long account of his life and adventures, his connection with the Reed family, the treatment which he experienced from the Rev. Andrew, and its disastrous and melancholy consequences. With the whole, or the greater part of the narra. tive, we humbly conceive that neither we or our readers have' any concern. It is no part of our duty to decide between Mr. Barnett and Mr. Reed. How far the former may have recovered the right use of his senses, how far the latter may have violated the rights of friendship, how much of " No Fiction” may be the invention of the compiler, and how little of Sister Martha may be founded on fact, are points which we confess ourselves unable to decide. But if Mr. Barnett be mad, there is a method in his madness; and some of his details respecting dissenting academies and dissenting preachers are too
curious to be passed over in silence. His mother was connected with the Wesleyan Methodists. He came to London at an early age, obtained a situation in the Post Office, and attached himself to the “ London Itinerant Society." Shortly after he became acquainted with Andrew Reed, a mąn somewhat younger than himself, and represented as under some serious impressions from the
preaching of the Rev. Samuel Lyndall. This acquaintance ripened into intimacy; and Mr. Barnett was " happy in uniting with a young man of similar tastes and pursuits with himself.”
« To improve our minds, and cement our friendship, 'we, in union with Mr. Jardine, a Mr. Palmer, a Mr. Liniker, and some others, formed, in 1806, a society called, · The Contending Brethren Society, which he has in “ No Fiction' dignified by the term • Literary Society,' and where he talks about our attention being turned to Languages, Natural Philosophy, History, English Literature, Theology," &c. by which, of course, the public would suppose that this Literary Society was formed of young men from the highest circles, and of previously good and liberal education, and that the place of our meeting was equal, at least, to that of the London Literary Society, in Aldermanbury, of which that extraordinary genius, and second Demosthenes, young John Wilks, the attorney, and the author of the Life of the Queen, is the secre. tary *. But I assure the public, that the whole is a gross misrepresentation; and as I am writing what I know to be truth, I am bound to state facts. The place in which we met was a small kitchen in the house of Mr. Reed's father, in Chiswell-street, where he kept a china.shop. I do not mention the kitchen out of any disrespect to Mr. and Mrs. Reed, sen, whoin I highly esteem, as if they would not let us have any other room, which I have no doubt they would have done, had not the remainder of their rooms (excepting the dining-room) been occupied by lodgers.
“ The members of this wonderful society were, myself (and I put myself first, because I was secretary, librarian, and treasurer,) a clerk on sixty pounds a year, with a common Yorkshire education! Palmer, à journeyman picture frame-maker ; Jardine, a shoemaker, who was journeyman to his father, and had to work very hard to get a living ; Liniker, who I believe was a journeyman currier ; and another, whose name I forget, but who was a journeyman baker, and who was so stupid, that he could hardly earn his own bread; and last, but not the least, was our young novelist ; who, after having been apprenticed to a watchmaker, persuaded his parents to purchase the remainder of his time, that he might devote it to the more easy, although much humbler employ of being delf-porter to his mother. I have often been amused since that time, when reflecting on our vanity and presumption, to think
“Since my reply to the · Threatening Letter,' I had a ticket of admission to this Society, when there was a debate on Fiction. This gentleman displayed his forensic, consistent and logical powers, by speaking against the Novels of Sir Walter Scott, and in praise of No Fiction ;' and particularly pointing out, while significantly looking at me, the folly of Lefevre, as be stated, in attempting to reply to that work. His nonsensical attempts to be eloquent excited my risible faculties, his personalities my contempt and pity! In his second edition of the Life of the Queen be can notice this.”
of our conceit and self-importance. We frequently pretended to lecture on points of which we had scarcely any knowledge, and to discuss subjects which overwhelm the intellect of men and angels. Reed's Lectures, which are referred to in the letter of the 13th of January, were on the Introduction of Moral Evil,” Cherubim,' &c. Thus foolish boys rushed in where angels dare not tread.
“ Our books consisted of Gill's Body of Divinity,' ' Adams's Lectures,' &c. the value of which, when our association broke up, was about five or six pounds." Vol. I. p. 8.
Mr. Reed improved so rapidly, that it was determined to educate him for the Ministry, and he was admitted into an academy at Hackney, under the direction of Mr. Mark Wilks and Mr. Collison. Here he pursued his studies for some time, and regularly communicated the result of them to bis bosom friend. His answer respecting the Established Church is sincere and pithy.
“ My mind, at this period, was much harassed with doubts, respecting the propriety of dissenting from the Established Church; and as I conceived no one would desert her pale without sufficient and substantial ground, I naturally thought a Dissenting Academy the most likely place to have those reasons assigned which I wanted, and by which my doubts might be removed. Under this impression I proposed my questions to Mr. Reed, who was prepare ing for a dissenting pulpit where I persuaded myself he would frequently find it necessary to defend that line of conduct which he had adopted ; and, consequently, that he would be able to direct me to such publications as contained arguments the most invincible. The public therefore may judge
of my surprise, when, in answer to my inquiries, I received from this grave and deepthinking student, the following laconic and unsatisfactory reply, • Never let it give you an uneasy moment !! Vol. I. p. 32,
We shall not trouble the reader with an account of his progress in divinity. He pronounced Bishop Patrick worse than he bad expected ; “ Daubeny and Co.” he discovered to be horrible, carnal, and desperately wicked, and Gill, Toplady, and Brine, were the works which he studied and recommended. Having prepared himself so admirably for preaching the Gospel, the next step was to procure a call; and the manoeuvres by which the call was evoked are described with great minuteness by Barnett. We prefer, however, presenting our readers with another series of intrigues, which were intended to supply the remaining wants of Mr. Reed.
“ What I mean to convey then, when I say Mr. Reed talked of marrying, is that he talked of it more as a matter of business than of love. The reader will of course bear in recollection, that this