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that passage which describes him as, with portunities have been many, whose candour noble impartiality, showering his favours is unquestioned, and who have been possessed alike upon all, and being no respecter of with an anxious desire to save their souls by persons. When we find passages like these getting at the truth-have differed about -"God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth;” its most important teachings, and have dis“Vengeance is mine, and I will repay, saith puted about original sin, the Godhead of the Lord;” we turn to where it is written, Christ, the punishment of the wicked, free "God is love," and we know that with love will, necessity, &c. The claim of the secudwelleth neither jealousy nor vengeance. larist is the same as that set up by every When Jesus threatens those who do not christian sect,—that he shall be allowed to accept his message with endless and un- judge for himself what he shall accept and speakable torments, we see no proportion in what he shall reject. What he finds in harthe punishment, or no wise end to be served mony with experience and the moral sense, by it, and we reject the fearful threat so he takes, and rejects what is found not conrepugnant to the moral sense, and accept | sonant with these. rather his magnanimous appeal to Deity op “Science, with mighty power, has borne behalf of his enemies, “Father, forgive them, her testimony against Secularism,” we are for they know not what they do." We fol- told; but how, when, or where she has done low Paul, when he instructs us to “Prove it we are not told, and therefore do not all things, and hold fast that which is attach much importance to such an assertion, good ;” but when, after doing this, he de- unsupported by even an attempt at proof. nounces us because we cannot honestly come The harmony of science and revelation to his conclusion, we turn away from him. “Rolla” supposes he settles by an unsupWhen, in his lofty discourse on charity, the ported assertion. same apostle tells us that it is greater than “ Rolla” assumes that Christianity is the faith and hope, we catch, as if it were by only way to social happiness, and then turns intuition, the transcendent truth; but when round upon Secularism, and declares, because he promulgates his Anathema maranatha, it rejects that way, it cannot lead to the and deals condemnation to those who cannot desired result; and this is "the greatest, the put faith in some dogma of his, we see nei- most conclusive and unanswerable argument ther charity nor consistency in his speech. which can be brought to bear upon this John charms us, when he enjoins us to love question” by “Rolla." Because Secularism one another, and sets before us what seems is not Christianity, it is not "consonant to him the highest incitements so to do; but with the highest amount of social happiwhen he urges us to treat rudely those who ness,” is the argument of this writer, a reply do not believe as we believe, and to refuse to which is unnecessary. We are gravely them succour, we reject unhesitatingly the informed that history--sacred and profane, loveless mandate. We fail to see the hand experience, reason, and philosophy attest of Divine Wisdom in a book whose meanings “that Christianity is the only power that are so perplexed and double that the whole can secure the real happiness of society." race of critics have been unable to fix them, We are afraid that “Rolla” has not interroand are disputing about them still, as they gated these witnesses, else their testimony have been doing ever since they were given might have been found to lean to the other to the world. That book, in which the side. Christianity has had eighteen centyrant, the slaveholder, the soldier, the peace turies of trial, and society is yet far from preacher, the patriot, and the abolitionist real happiness. Its history has been written find their defence, and from which Catholic, in wars, inquisitions, persecutions for scienCalvinist, and Unitarian deduce their creeds, tific discovery, St. Bartholomew massacres, cannot be so plain that a wayfaring man Smithfield fires of martyrdom, and Clavershall not err therein; and, falling below house raids against freedom of conscience acknowledged human productions in point in Scotland: Catholics answering Huss with of consistency and perspicuity, cannot, with-faggots, Calvin silencing Servetus by a slow out disrespect, be attributed to God. Men, fire, and Cotton Mather zealously executing whose abilities have been great, whose op- | vengeance upon supposed witches and wizards, are episodes in its records. In our day it / wasted and our best blood spilt is a religious seats a despot in the chair of St. Peter; a one. Sectarian rivalries, animosities, bittermurderer, stained with the blood of hundreds ness, and contentions, and “noonday gropings of his fellow-citizens, and disgraced by his for deliverances, in the midst of darkness broken oath, on the throne of France; and it which can be felt, and of strife which is to keeps up a church establishment in our own be deplored,” are amongst the benefits this land, which is a stain on our civilization. age owes to Christianity. The war in which our treasure is being
THOMAS MOORE. AMONG the greatest men of genius of whom of its symbols and varied illustrations, are Erin may boast with national pride, stands perhaps the chief sources of that poetic oneThomas Moore, the friend, admirer, brother ness which pervades the whole. It is the poet, and biographer of Lord Byron. Eng- most equally sustained poem in our literature land, Ireland, and Scotland, in the persons of poetic romance. We peruse it with all of Byron, Moore, and Walter Scott, presented, that romantic interest with which we regaled in one age, to the world of literature a sin- many an hour of captivated boyhood over gular and glorious triad :—singular in several “ Arabian Nights." We seem to grow young aspects. They all published in their own again, and revel in the outgoings of our day their great standing works. They all common passion, amid the gorgeous scenery obtained the popularity which is ever due to of the eastern world; and, as we close the genius, but which does not often attend the book, and awake from our dreams, we are works of men of genius in their own times. ready to use the words of the Empress of They all lived to silence, by their splendid Russia, who personated “ Lalla Rookh" at productions, the voice of critical dogma- the Chateau Royal of Berlin—"Is it, then, tism in the school of poesy. They all showed all over? are we now at the close of all that that the poet's gift is an inspiration, and has given us so much delight?” dependent on nothing that is merely artistic. There is no redundancy of either passages Then, gentle reader, mark the deep and or words. There is no sentence which the bitter moral lesson which the eventful lives best perception of poetic melody would avoid of these famed men teach us! how that in on the thousandth perusal. There is a their individual experience they found the mystic thread of genuine poetic power runfame of greatness, and the worship of men, ning through the whole assemblage of best defined in the words of the wisdom of thoughts, sentences, and symbols, constithe son of Sirach, “ All is vanity!”
tuting the fourfold poem a unity, not a The limits of this essay will be devoted to casket of fragments, like so many of our that beautiful poem, “ Lalla Rookh.” The modern poems—fragments of intrinsic exceltwo most palpable facts which present them- lence they often are, but spoiled by a patchselves to our mind concerning this poem are work form;- rather is it a golden chain,
-1. The beauty and perfection of the poem each link set with precious gems, or a perfect itself. 2. The remarkable display of the melody, each pote instinct with a power to poet's acquaintance with eastern history, enchant, not of itself so much, as in assolife, scenery, costume, religions, and manners. ciation with all the rest.
As it regards the beautiful perfection of Though there are, indeed, many passages the poesy, it is difficult, if not impossible, to of such deep pathos, sublimity of thought, define analytically its various elements. The and lake-like beauty, that they linger in the poetic grace, the verbal harmony, the com- | mind altogether unconnected with the part positional symmetry, the beauty and aptness or character to which they belong in the
poem, yet are they most pathetic, sublime, Shedding a glow of such mild hue,
So warm and yet so shadowy too, and beautiful in their natural connection.
As makes the very darkness there Take, for instance, the following:
More beautiful than light elsewhere." “Yes, yes," she cried ;“ my hourly fears, My dreams have boded all too right;
These and many like passages need little We part for ever-for ever part--to-night! comment and no praise. There is a perfectI knew, I knew it could not last'Twas bright, 'twas heavenly, but 'tis past !
ness of poetic beauty about them which Oh! ever thus, from childhood's hour,
baffles all analytical criticism, and in this I've seen my fondest hopes decay;
sense leaves the enchanted reader, like the I never loved a tree or flower,
mighty-tongued and giant-souled Coleridge, But 'twas the first to fade away. I never nursd a dear gazelle,
while gazing on “enthroned Blanc," in the To glad me with its soft black eye,
joy of vision--speechless! But when it came to know me well,
But the deductions of criticism concernAnd love me, it was sure to die."
ing the genius of the poet are palpable and How expressive is this of the holiest natural. While the poetry of this “celepassion under the cloud of darkest disap- brated oriental romance” demonstrates the pointment! In its embodiment of the sad perfect mastery of the poet in verbal science experience of all true and loving hearts, how and rhythmic harmony, it also presents him to it becomes the universal soul-language of all the reader as mighty in the soul's domain who know its import from experience!
in embodying passion in fictitious character Dante for Beatrice, Petrarch for Laura, so naturally and yet so vividly, that the or Goëthe in his “ Sorrows of Werter.” have personages of the poem appear before us as nothing so pathetic and deeply expressive of realities in human life. We know them, and, the wild agony of the soul that has loved. , according to their distinct characters, admire, but, alas! lost-of the heart that has learned / fear, love, or hate them. This is no mean the mystic philosophy of the poet's words- test of poetic genius-a test, indeed, to the
high standard of which very few poets, down "I hold it true, whate'er betide,
from Homer, the chief of epicists, to ShakI feel it wuen I sorrow most;
spere, the prince of poets, in the delineation 'Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all."
of moral character and the mystic workings
of the passions and powers of the eternal Beautiful as is this, the language of the soul of man; and onward from the immortal true soul in the inevitable sorrow of this life, I dramatist down to our own time;-a test, 18 it not more so, coming warm and wild we repeat it, to the high standard of which from the lips of the lovely Hinda ? It is very few poets can come with so just a claim because we are so deeply enamoured with as Moore. the beautiful being who speaks, that the Azim, the young, brave, and devoted passages come with such power to the heart, warrior -- Mokanna, the misanthrope, the that it becomes at once the symbol of our vicious and Satan-like, subtle and mighty in own experience.
“ dark vice” and error-Zelica, the loving, “Oh, what a pure and sacred thing
deluded, and bewildered Zelica—the GheberIs beauty!
youth, whose soul, though enamoured of the
angel Hinda, would not, could not forsake, Light as the angel shapes that bless
even for love and beauty, the cause of his An infant's dream, yet not the less Rich in all woman's loveliness :
down-trodden country, or for a moment With eyes so pure, that from their ray forget his oath to avenge her wrongs or Dark Vice would turn abash'd away,
perish-are to us as living characters; hence, Blinded, like serpents, when they gaze Upon the emerald's virgin blaze,
perhaps, the truth of Byron's words concernYet filled with all youth's sweet desires, ing Moore-he is “the poet of all circles, Mingling the meek and vestal fires
and the delight of his own." He makes the Of other worlds with all the bliss, The fond, weak tenderness of this:
subjects of his pen to us as real, though A soul, too, more than half divine,
wondrous characters. Where, through some shades of earthly “Happiness of nature,” says Hazlitt, “and Religion's soften'd glories shine,
felicity of genius are the pre-eminent chaLike light through summer foliage stealing, racteristics of the Bard of Erin.” This,
Dassa meg gone W1
perhaps, contains the most truth of any of the romance-The remarkable display of this critic's remarks on Moore as a poet. the poet's acquaintance with eastern history, The criticisms of Hazlitt, as regards our life, scenery, costume, religions, and manners. author, are, taken as a whole, poor and un- Well might it be asked, “Whether it was worthy of his famed insight and power. true that Moore had never been in India?” They bear the seal of his originality, and by one who was familiar from contact with that is all. They lack both vigour and pro- many of the facts with which Moore has fundity, and sound like table-talk after the enriched his romance. It requires a mind beauty of Jeffrey's, or the silent march of of great observation in reading in so vast a Macaulay's critiques. Hazlitt seems to have field as that in which Moore must have long been as blind to Moore's real claims as a studied, in order to bring together so many poet of high standard, as another master- | topographical, antiquarian, and other facts. mind in the province of criticism was to the A mind as powerful in minute inspection and claims of Southey, Wordsworth, and others. research as poetic could only produce & So true is it, as a general rule, that contem “Lalla Rookh.” Moore was a man of travel, poraneous criticism is one-sided, partial, and it is true, but he never opened his natural worthless. While Hazlitt, and especially eye in the East, the grand theatre of this Jeffrey, wrote the most splendid criticisms poem. Herein is the marvel, that such on Shakspere and other poets of the past, “extraordinary accuracy" should characterneither in their writings did justice to ize the whole. The fact that the poem has modern poets. But who, gentle reader, now passed into the Persian language is a testithat Moore and Hazlitt, Wordsworth and mony to its intrinsic excellence. The mysJeffrey, are shrouded in the light-revealing tery may somewhat be solved if we take into and truth-unveiling past, who are the losers consideration two remarkable characteristics by such error and short-sightedness? Is of the poet. Moore was a man of great there any doubt? While the poetry of industry in research and observation. He Moore and Wordsworth has invested our says, “I took the whole range of all sach Literature and language, and the literature oriental reading as was anoncours to me and and language of other nations, with a peren- became, for the time, indeed, far more connial glory, the criticisms of these men are versant with all relating to that distant daily becoming dimmer and drier in the vast | region than I have ever been with the library of “ Dry-as-dust." We acknowledge scenery, productions, or modes of life of any the merit of Hazlitt and Jeffrey in a degree of those countries lying most within my beyond the reach of a Gilfillan's pen or might reach.” With what a glory does this invest of applause; but for the sake of their fame the media of information—books! but how let not their criticisms on these poets, whom much greater is the glory which crowns the they knew not, always live.
transcendent powers of the immortal mind We deny not the pleasure-loving and in such wondrous effort! pleasure-taking spirit of Moore - we confess. But this does not clear the fact of its he was too Anacreontic; neither do we defend mystery. We must remember that Moore, the moral character of some of his writings, l in this work, brought not only the knowany more than we should some of Byron's or ledge and research of a Wordsworth, but Shelley's? But what has this to do with them the intense admiration and worship of what as poets and men of extraordinary genius? | men call Nature, of a very Coleridge or ipseWho thinks of talking about the Pantheistic Shelley! and erratic tendencies of Homer, the objec “ How calm, how beautiful comes on tionable theology of Ovid, or the still more
The stilly hour, when storms are gone;
When warring winds have died away, objectionable morality of Horace, as matters And clouds beneath the glancing ray of iinportance in our decision of them as the Melt off, and leave the land and sea sons of inspiration? Yet modern poets are
Sleeping in bright tranquillity,
Fresh as if day again were born, to be measured by their orthodoxy in creed
· Again upon the lap of morn. and conduct ! and nineteenth century criti When the light blossoms, rudely borne, cism is to sit in judgment on men's con
And scatter'd at the whirlwind's will, sciences and beliefs !
Hang tloating in the pure air still,
Filling it all with precious balm, Not less remarkable is our second aspect of In gratitude for this sweet calm,"
The numerous things in the course of the singularity of the facts used as poetic ornapoem to which reference is made poetically, ments. Neither Wordsworth nor Southey if it were possible to collect, would form an are free from the failing here pointed out, unrivalled museum of beautiful antiquarian not to mention the trash of some would-bevaluables, the sight of which would at once called poets, whose names must not appear bring to the mind the ideas of each which among the aristocracy of poetic literature. Moore has given them in the poem, with all | The remark is sufficiently pungent, without that peculiarity of beauty and curiosity the mention of either names or "flaming which betray the poet's happy genius. We titles.” know of no poetry in which the curious and The poet has displayed not a little skill beautiful are better used, or with so good and humour in those prose links which unite effect. Not a little modern poetry is inferior the four parts of the romance—especially in to good prose, arising, to a great extent, from the character of the great chamberlain--as a the subordination of beauty to curiosity; literary critic. violating that nice balancing of the two, The effect of this upon some of our modern which often constitutes the soul of poesy. pseudo-critics must have been as complete,
In the perusal of “Lalla Rookh ” we are, though more secret, than that which followed from the beginning to the end, led captive the publication of “English Bards and Scotch with the intense spirit of beauty which runs Reviewers." Fadladeenism, though on the through the whole; while we are, at the wane, is not yet gone out. same time, struck with the novelty and Buckingham.
E. W. S.
YOUNG MEN'S ASSOCIATIONS. In these pages it has been truly said that having for its object the method of render"the hope of the future is in the young.” | ing the society more beneficial being adopted, Acting on this truth, various means have old members retire, and the association bebeen adopted to render the young of the comes extinct. As exciting the natural desire present generation fit to act their part nobly of the mind for knowledge, the purpose of the in the future. Of these means, the estab- society has been fulfilled. The mind, resolishment of mutual improvement societies lutely bent on self.culture, cannot rest satisand young men's christian associations are fied with superficial knowledge; and, so long prominently set forth as auxiliaries towards as it continues in connection with such socierendering " the hope of the future” real-ties, as at present constituted, no other kind izable. Much good has already resulted of knowledge can be acquired, because the from such associations, but we fear they do method of pursuing the object of the society not entirely fulfil the object for which they is defective. A syllabus of a mutual imwere originated, and that they are not so ad- provement society is before us, and the subvantageous to the young men of Britain as jects of the essays are—“Chemistry," “ John they might be made. Our reason for this Howard,” “ Electricity,” “ Description of fear, and the manner in which we think the Jerusalem,” “Water," "" Ornamental Art," obstacles to their success might be removed, &c., &c. Is the benefit to be derived from We venture to lay before our readers in the hearing these essays read equivalent to the following hints.
time occupied? We are afraid not. To I. Young Men's SOCIETIES FOR MU- I speak on the topics, and criticize the style TUAL IMPROVEMENT are in general self- and treatment of these essays, the mind. originated. A want is felt, and to supply that is compelled to pass from one subject to want a society is formed, having for its object another, the result of which is a dissipation the intellectual and moral improvement of its of the intellectual powers, and a surfacemembers. Such societies continue for a time, knowledge of various subjects. The concenand are dissolved. After the minds of the tration of the energies of the mind on one members reach a certain stage of develop- subject is necessary to acquire solid informent, the mutual improvement society is mation, and ensure genuine progress. Such found to be unserviceable. No alteration concentrated thought cannot be acquired in