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back again to the perception of the soul | being did so much real loveliness and purity those mystic music strains which excite joy coexist with so much pernicious delusion! or grief in the human bosom!
We have, in our essayic character, to speak Gentle reader, how true is this of the of Shelley's poetic genius, and not particuname of that beautifully mystic youth:- larly of his life as a man, or his creed as a “ A pard like spirit, beautiful and swist- religionist; but the fact is, that it is impos
A love in desolation masked ;-a power sible to separate them, or to do justice to
noticing the latter. We always regard ShelA breaking billow ;-even while we speak, ley's divergence from the standard of religious Is it not broken? Ou the withering flower
truth as the result of his early religious eduThe killing sun smiles brightly on a cheek The life can burn in blood, even while the heart cation, and the cruel treatment he received
at the shrines of scholasticism for daring to The true.poet is seen as well as heard in think for himself, despite the maledictory his embodied inspirations. The spiritual vetos of doctors, who were more anxious to photograph beams forth, as from a sea-like dogmatize and manifest their pseudo-authomirror, in calm and storm. Splenetic critics, rity by reprobating and branding a sincere knowing this, have not unfrequently, with and potent spirit, than to act out the refiend like revelry, regardless of the poet's claiming principles of that which they merely manifest honesty, in self betrayal seized upon professed and panegyrized. We do not justhe revealed and suspected fact, and pointing tify the conduct of Shelley--we lament over to it, have, as if in the cause of human wel his errors; but we pronounce the conduct of fare, exclaimed, “Behold the man!” That those about him as most inconsistent and genius should be found the labyrinths of cruel. error, is a sorrowful fact, but that there Shelley was a truly great poet; and as should be found among men those who can such we shall regard him in two particulars. in the ear of the world upbraid or even taunt ist. In the poetic expressions of real and such wanderers, is still more lamentable. ideal sublimity and beauty. Some minds
We have no language equally expressive are naturally and highly endowed with this of our utter disgust for such critics. The lofty perceptivity. Sublimity and beauty to eventful though short career of Percy Bysshe such minds are not the happy results of Shelley is calculated to excite admiration material order, organization, and association, and love towards him in all refined and sym- so much as the expression of something pathetic minds. There is a high degree of spiritual and eternal as the soul itself. Submoral grandeur—the sublimest heroism-in limity and beauty present themselves to such the life and conduct of Shelley, which we minds as inherent principles and latent qualicannot but admire, notwithstanding the ties, of which matter is the simple vehicle
, numerous errors, practical and theoretic, and as far superior to mere matter as soulwhich cast their gloomy shade o'er all his perception is to optical vision, or as the imbeing! We regard him as a love in deso- mortal mind is to the perishable body. lation masked,” a beautiful, kindly, mighty, Hence, doubtless, the origin of Grecian Panmystic being--a soul enraptured in sorrow- theism, and the fascinating idea which Shela spirit meek and sincere, earnest to agony, ley so firmly believed and constantly mirrored resolute to martyrdom. The meekness of forth in his poesy, viz., that of a pervading his disposition, the affectionateness of his spirit, co-eternal with the universe." heart, the purity of his morals, the high
“Infinity within, fortitude of his soul, are so manifest in his Infinity without, belie creation ; character, that we know not how to reconcile The exterminable spirit it contains so much beauty of character and grandeur
Is nature's ouly God." of conduct, with such monster errors in belief, This beautiful conception was the basis of which we learn, from his prose and poetry, Shelley's religious love-creed, and may pass did constitute parts of his creed and primal for open Atheism with some; but when allied principles of action. Never, surely, did so with a life of manifest purity, earnestness, lovely a being exist with soul so divergent affection, and moral heroism, can never pass from fundamental truth! Never in one for such in the estimation of Omniscient
Deity, thus partially recognized in his works, dream-sleep of Ianthe—the majesty of the or in the estimation of any true soul! soul in its disembodied state:Pantheism, and the idea of an all-pervad
“ Sudden arose ing spirit, are true, and sublimely true, as Ianthe's soul! It stood far as they go; perhaps this is the utmost
All beautiful in naked purity,
The perfect semblance of its bodily frame, liinit that human conception, unaided by Instinct with inexpressible beauty and grace. direct scriptural revelation, can attain. It Each stain of earthliness is the right track; but the soul faileth to Had passed away: it re-assumed
Its native dignity, and stood pursue it, because of weakness and finity;
Immortal amid ruin." and enamoured of its sublimity and beauty, it grasps it, as in the case of Shelley, this
The weakness of this our mortality, and the grand product of its own conceptive its ultimate nothingness, compared with the might, unaided by Christian light and Bibli- nature and immortality of the soul:cal theology-grasps it as the absolute and Upon the couch the body lay ultimate truth, the deep and everlasting
Wrapt in the depth of slumber.
Its features were fixed and meaningless; basis of all things esistent-grasps it as the Yet animal life was there, key-stone to the universe, and the main- And every organ yet performed spring of all being! In the conception of
Its natural functions; 'twas a sight
Of wonder to behold the body and soul. the soul there is but one step beyond this The self-same lineaments, the same on the track of ultimate sublimity — the Marks of identity were there; Biblical revelation of the unity and person
Yet, oh, how different! One aspires to heaven,
Pants for its sempiternal heritage, ality of the Eternal Godhead! ould that
And ever-changing, ever rising still, Shelley had lived a few more fleeting years; Wantons in endless being. for, having survived the blighting influences
The other, for a time the unwilling sport
Of circumstance and passion, struggles on; of his training, he would most assuredly,
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly; under the influence of that wondrous book, Then, like a useless and worn out machine, the Bible, which he read and loved to the Rots, perishes, and passes.” last of his short career, have risen to the The mystic character of the Fairy Queen belief of its sublimest truth, the unity and - the magic car” —its ethereal course personality of Deity!
through “heaven's dark blue vault" — the Referring to “ ‘Queen Mab,” under this last glimpses of this atom world in the scale aspect, we shall find many illustrations. of the Universe:Regarding this poem in the simple indica- “ Far, far below the chariot's path, tions of his perception of, and power to
Calm as a slumbering babe,
remendous ocean lay. express in poetic syinbols, the sublime
The mirror of its stillness showed and beautiful, of the real and ideal, it The pale and waning starshas been truthfully styled,“ his glory as a The chariot's fiery trackpoet.”
And the grey light of morn The first and second sections of this poem,
Tinging those fleecy clouds
That canopied the dawn. with passages from the remaining sections Seemed it that the chariot's way of irreverent feeling, discontent, rabid decla
Lay through the midst of an immense concave,
Radiant with million constellations, tinged mation, and puerile presumption, are, we With shades of infinite colour, think, the most splendid lines of combined And semicircled with a belt real and ideal sublimity and beauty to be Flashing incessant meteors." found in modern poetry. There is all the The universality of the Divine Spirit, and grandeur of Miltonic epicism, without its the eternity of matter, and the perpetual cumbrous trampings and pomp of blank harmony of this vast and beautiful universe, verse composition. It may be read, as all as expressed in the concluding lines of the poetry ought to be, with ease. The verbal first section of this poem, are exquisite, viewed harmony and dictional symmetry, the sweet- in any point of criticism. The opening of ness and the smoothness of the parts of the second section is perhaps the purest, those poems already referred to, invest it sweetest, most beautiful, and sublime speciwith a power of enchantment which the men of all his writings, which, from its soul instinctively recognizes as the preroga- length and our want of space, we must not tive of the highest order of genius! The fully quote:
“If solitude hath ever let thy steps
none!” he said, in his actions; “ Away with To the wild ocean's echoing shore," &c., &c.
your college honours, your lordly status in Hitherto we have spoken of this poem in rotten society, your parliamentary renown, the poetic aspect of criticism, which is indeed and high marriage relationship! Give me the brightest aspect. How mournful is the freedom to think, act, and love, and I envy contrast as we turn to gaze upon its moral not the possessors or enamoured getters of and religious character, its bold presumption such; I count them trash when obtained at and maniac distraction, 'mid the manifest the cost of manhood's crown-Freedom!" light and glory of Him whoin he saw not, Reader, we may learn wisdom from Shel. although His name and love were written ley, and make his errors beacons on the sea on all the scenes, worlds, and wonders he in of life; and still more we may from him poetic inspiration saw. The soul of lanthe learn to be brave, and grow in moral courage. is summoned to pass through the vast tracks In moral heroism our degenerate days of of Infinity, of splendour, of harmony, of em. habit forfeiting manliness have seen few like bodied goodness and boundless benevolence, him. He has gone, and bas more fully to learn from the lips of one who knew some realised his words concerning his departed what of Deity from the light beyond the brother-poet Keats:tomb, that the God of the Bible is “venge
“I am borne darkly, fearfully afar, ful as almighty;" that the lovely Jesus
Whilst burning through the inmost veil of came veiling his horrible Godhead in the
Heaven, shape of man;” that He, whose words were
The soul of Adonais, like a star,
Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are." wisdom and actions love, was an hypocrite; and much more, horribilissimum dictu! Never Adonais, an Elegy on the Death of John was so much poetic beauty and sublimity Keats;” “ Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude;" associated with such deep impiety and hor- “ The Sensitive Plant;” “ To a Skylark;" ror! Looking upon this, the chief aspect of "The Cloud,” and some other minor pieces, the poet as a man, may we not exclaim, - are highly characterized with his intense 'How are the mighty fallen!” But we sit spirit of beauty. Each of these is worthy not in judgment here, the mystery is too of separate notice, but we must pass on to deep for us to explore. The wild waves of notice his two greatest productions, which the Gulf of Speiza, some thirty years back, will present the poet under our second aspect rolled o'er the boy poet, and from the watery of criticism. depth his immortal spirit took its ethereal We refer to the super-tragic“ Cenci," and flight to the just tribunal of God! Let it "Hellas, a Lyrical Drama.” Here the potent be remembered that this mysterious produc- genius of Shelley is supremely manifest, in tion was written at the age of 18, when his the production of a tragedy second to none deep disgust, and, to a great extent, just since Shakspere, and a drama displaying a abhorrence of the domination of a religious mind as classic as poetic. These may appear system was strongest upon his mind! These extravagant encomiums to those who have facts, which somewhat relieve the gloom not read Shelley's works, but we think they which hangs over the memory of him who are merely just statements of high merit. grew old in childhood—whose life was a “ The Cenci" has been attacked by some deep solemnity, for he pursued the paths of modern critics, as many of our best modern truth and error with giant strength and works have been. It would appear that most boundless impulse--whose very smile and great minds must act their part on the stage unfrequent mirth were prophetic of coming of mortality, amid misrepresentation, contrial and disaster—whose life was lovelier tempt, prejudice, and ofttimes wanton cruelty, and truer than his creed-whose religion with motives misconstrued, and characters was that of natural inspiration, love, and slandered—especially if such minds forsake purity-whose demeanour to friend and fue the common track of common minds—and was meekness and kindness, Christ-like that the toinb must become the home of though Christ-denying-whose freedom-lov- their mortality ere they gain the ear of the ing mind could not tolerate pseudo-cracy, world, or the unbiassed regard of men. All either in logic, morals, or religion. “Give history attests it. The despised of one me freedom; my freedom at the expense of generation becomes the worshipped of the future. The murmur of the Speizan waves | Cenci, or love, even to worship, the beautistopped and hushed in everlasting silence ful Beatrice, in all her purity of untainted the bitterness of criticism and pretended soul virginity. Surely that is not immoral piety, and o'er the ashes of the lovely boy which enamours us with the lovely, or fortimalignancy and prejudice are seen weeping! fies us against the horrible in human characWhen “ The Cenci” made its appearance, ter! He who sits down to the perusal of those who had shouted in hosts and thunders “ The Cenci,” or “Hamlet," and rises a worse "* Infidelity,” now cried “Immorality;" but man in moral character, did so with a soul the same charge has been thrown at our beyond redemption. The Bible would only immortal Shaks pere, and time and truth have feed his monster appetite for evil! The good shown in the estimation of wise and good he would make evil, and the very atmosphere men how shallow and empty it is. Its of Paradise pregnant with poisonous moral strength of argument lies herein. Because miasmata! the evils which afflict our common humanity Of “ Hellas" we must in conclusion say are in “ Hamlet” and “ The Cenci” held up little. The lyrics with which it abounds are to the world's gaze, they must necessarily highly poetic, and instinct with the sublime be immoral works, and tend to corrupt man- spirit of the “ Drama”—Liberty. It abounds kind. Forgetting in their blindness and with many sparkling truths, and displays a puerile weakness, that what they meant by deep intimacy with the human soul, in its
" world's gaze," Shakspere and workings under particular influences. Chiefly Shelley meant universal detestation and con- it presents the poet to us a classic-not sequent avoidance. This we remember was only in admiration, but in a knowledge which the great argument used by those who held, made him familiar with the poetry of Greek in the late controversy in these pages, that and Latin glory. Shelley, as a translator, Milton was a greater poet than Shakspere! is perhaps the purest and best. His transThe same argument will establish the evil lations of classic authors, though limited and tendency of that priceless book—the Bible! few, are as happy and beautiful as his
To the point. Regarding the vivid per- native poesy. sonality and bold exhibition of character in And then the writer of " Prometheus Un“ The Cenci," it is Shaksperian and grand, bound,” is beyond critical praise-claiming, and its tendency anything but immoral. unconsciously, brotherhood with the magnate None but a corrupt mind could do anything of the Grecian drama-Æschylus. less than loathe the incarnate fiend, "Count |
E. W. S.
YOUTHFUL NEGLECT.-Sir Walter Scott, in a narrative of his personal history, gives the following caution to youth:—“If it should ever fall to the lot of youth to peruse these pages, let such readers remember that it is with the deepest regret that I recollect, in my manhood, the opportunities of learning which I neglected in my youth; and through every part of my literary career, I have felt pinched and hampered by my own ignorance, and I would this moment give half the reputation I have had the good fortune to acquire, if by so doing, I could rest the remaining part upon a sound foundation of learning and science."
SELFISHNESS.—Live for some purpose in the world. Act your part well. Fill up the measure of duty to others. Conduct yourselves so that you shall be missed with sorrow when
you are gone. Multitudes of our species are living in such a selfish manner that they are not likely to be remembered after their disappearance. They leave behind them scarcely any traces of their existence, but are forgotten almost as though they had never been. They are, while they live, like one pebble lying unobserved amongst á million on the shore; and when they die, they are like that same pebble thrown into the sea, which just ruffles the surface, sinks, and is forgotten, without being missed from the beach.
DECIMAL COINAGE:-THE NECESSITY FOR ITS ADOPTION-ITS ADVAN
TAGES OVER THE PRESENT SYSTEM AND THE VARIOUS PLANS FOR CARRYING IT OUT WHICH HAVE BEEN PROPOSED.
APPENDIX No. I. Table showing the Decimal Value of the Leading Coins of Various Countries; also, their
Nearest Proximate Value in English Coinage, both in One and in One Thousand Coins; and giving the Difference in favour of the accuracy of the Decimal System.
1 2 7 104
£ S. d. 100 0 0
39 11 8 163 10 10 100 0 0 333 6 8 108 6 8
10 8 4 233 6 8 39 11 8 83 6 8. 36 9 2 39 11 8 39 11 8 208 6 8 83 6 8 73 19 2 34 7 6
•100000 Belgium. Franc.
•039643 Bremen Rix Dollar 163934 Bavaria Florin
•100000 China Tael.
333333 Denmark. Rigsbankdaler :108108 Paistre
010416 Elsinore. Specie Dollar. | .233333 France. Franc.
•039643 Frankfort. Florin
083333 Greece Drachmi. •035555 Genoa Franc.
•039643 Geneva Franc.
039643 Gibraltar Dollar
•208333 Holland .. Florin
083333 Madeira Milreis
•208333 Norway Specie Dollar. | .219780 Prussia Thaler
144752 Portugal. Milreis
225000 Rome. Scudi
208333 Russia Silver Rouble .156250 Sicily Oncia .. •500000
Banco Saxony. Thaler
•144752 Spain Dollar
.208333 Turkey Paistre
18 0 1 2 1 2
2 38 9 61
8 11 09
83 6 8 208 6 8 219 7 6 144 15 10 225 0 0 208
6 8 156 5 0 500 0 0
83 6 8
6 64 15 2