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which they had preserved for us entire and unimpaired; and to restore these without an equivalent: but that the Directory, though always anxious to terminate the miseries of Europe, could not consent to Peace, because they were bound by our Laws to procure for us some terms which, however, they were unable to define, and were constrained by the spirit and letter of our Treaties to secure for our Allies what those Allies could not keep or recover; and do not want, and wish to give up. Nay, so anxious is the Bishop, even under the assumed Character of an English Plenipotentiary, to vindicate his employers from the unjust imputation of having ever offered any terms of Peace, of having ever listened to any, except · when they thought their own power in danger, or having condescended too far to consult the express wishes of their Allies, that he earnestly assures us they only “ permitted so those Allies to make such proposals as they should
judge useful;” and that “ the Batavians, sensibly af« fected by the loyalty of this conduct, shewed a disposi« tion to surrender Cochin and their Factories on the « Coast of Coromandel, and refused the proffered com“pensation of Negapatnam.” Now, I should wish to ask the Bishop, whether our Government did indeed carry their loyalty and their condescension even thus far? If so, why did TreILHARD and Bonnier think fit to claim in the name of the Dutch, what the Dutch had declared themselves disposed to abandon? Why was not this result of Batavian sensibility formally announced to our Enemies in the shape of a Counter-project? Such a measure would have afforded an ample field for the Bishop's pleasantry. He might have enjoyed the triumph of perplexing the plain sense of his adversaries by the juggle of his metaphysics, and of harrassing them by.
the sarcasm of his epigrams, and his Countrymen might have joined him in his amusement; but when he jocosely unfolds to us the prospect of endless carnage, when he jests upon the renewal of a War without an object, or a motive, or even a pretence, we cannot but be revolted by such cool malevolence, and we lose, in our horror of the Statesman, the smile that might have been excited by the misplaced buffoonery of the Bishop
Lisle, 6 Brumaire, 6.b Year.
INTRODUCTION TO THE POETRY
IN our anxiety to provide for the amusement as well as information of our Readers, We have not omitted to make all the enquiries in our power for ascertaining the means of procuring Poetical assistance. And it would give us no small satisfaction to be able to report, that we had succeeded in this point, precisely in the manner which would best have suited our own taste and feelings, -as well as those which We wish to cultivate in our Readers. · But whether it be that good Morals, and what We should call good Politics, are inconsistent with the spirit of true Poetry—whether “ the Muses still with Freedom " found” have an aversion to regular Governments, and ·
But while cood Politics, as the Muses se
require a frame and system of protection less complicated than King, Lords, and Commons ;
“ Whether primordial nonsense springs to life
and there only—or for whatever other reason it may be, whether physical, or moral, or philosophical (which last is understood to mean something more than the other two, though exactly what, it is difficult to say), We have not been able to find one good and true Poet, of sound principles and sober practice, upon whom we could rely for furnishing us with a handsome quantity of good and approved Verse-such Verse as our Readers might be expected to get by heart and to sing, as Monge describes the little children of Sparta, and Athens singing the songs of Freedom, in expectation of the coming of the Great Nation.
In this difficulty, We have had no choice but either to provide no Poetry at all,—a shabby expedient, or to go to the only market where it is to be had good and ready made, that of the 'Jacobins an expedient full of danger, and not to be used but with the utmost caution and delicacy.
To this latter expedient, hovever, after mature deliberation, we have determined to have recourse :-qualifying it at the same time with such precautions, as may conduce at once to the safety of our Readers principles, and to the improvement of our own Poetry.
For this double purpose, we shall select from time to time from among those effusions of the Jacobin Muse which happen to fall in our way, such pieces as may serve to illustrate some one of the principles on which the poetical as well as the political doctrine of the New SCHOOL
is established-prefacing each of them, for our Reader's sake, with a short disquisition on the particular tenet intended to be enforced or insinuated in the production before them and accompanying it with a humble effort of our own, in Imitation of the Poem itself, and in farther illustration of its principle.
By these means, though We cannot hope to catch a the 6 wood notes wild” of the Bards of Freedom, We may yet acquire, by dint of repeating after them, a more complete knowledge of the secret in which their greatness lies, than We could by mere prosaic admiration-and if We cannot become Poets ourselves, We at least shall have collected the elements of a Jacobin Art of Poetry for the use of those whose genius may be more capable of turning them to advantage.
It might not be unamusing to trace the springs and principles of this species of Poetry, which are to be found, some in the exaggeration, and others in the direct inver. sion of the sentiments and passions which have in all ages animated the breast of the favourite of the Muses, and distinguished him from the “ vulgar throng."
The poet in all ages has despised riches and grandeur.
The Jacobin Poet improves this sentiment into a hatred of the rich and the great.
The Poet of other times has been an enthusiast in the love of his native soil.
The Jacobin Poet rejects all restriction in his feelings. His love is enlarged and expanded so as to comprehend all human kind. The love of all human kind is without doubt a noble passion: it can hardly be necessary to mention, that its operation extends to Freemen, and them only, all over the world, VOL. I.
The Old Poet was a Warrior, at least in imagination; and sung the actions of the Heroes of his Country, in strains which “ made Ambition Virtue,” and which over,whelmed the horrors of War in its glory.
· The Jacobin Poet would have no objection to sing battles too—but he would take a distinction. The prowess of BUONAPARTE indeed he might chaunt in his loftiest strain of exultation. There we should find nothing but trophies, and triumphs, and branches of laurel and olive, phalanxes of Republicans shouting victory, satellites of Despotism biting the ground, and geniusses of Liberty planting standards on mountain-tops.
But let his own Country triumph, or her Allies obtain an advantage ;-straightway the “beauteous face of War" is changed; the “ pride, pomp, and circumstance,” of Victory are kept carefully out of sight-and we are presented with nothing but contusions and amputations, plundered peasants and deserted looms. Our Poet points the thunder of his blank verse at the head of the Recruiting Serjeant, or roars in dithyrambics against the Lieutenants of Pressgangs.
But it would be endless to chace the coy Muse of Jacobinism through all her characters. Mille habet ornatus. The Mille decenter habet, is perhaps more questionable. For, in whatever disguise she appears, whether of mirth or of melancholy, of piety or of tenderness, under all disguises, like Sir John Brute in woman's clothes, she is betrayed by her drunken swagger and ruffian tone.
In the Poem which we have selected for the edification of our Readers, and our own imitation, this day, the principles which are meant to be inculcated speak so plainly for themselves, that they need no previous introduction.