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We propose to establish a place of refuge for small ingenious productions. A short poem, an original thought, a good jest, an interesting fact, a new discovery (in science or art), anecdotes (whether in philosophy, biography, natural history, or otherwise), shall all be welcome. We only stipulate that they shall be good. In a word, 'we mean to provide for the younger children of the Wits and the Muses, and others, who have been immemorially disabled from sheltering their own offspring. The character of our Miscellany will be brevity, which is the soul of wit, as every body knows. Independently of this, it will of course be very meritorious. We refrain from saying too much in our own behalf, lest our readers should suppose that we intend to do nothing.
Having premised thus much in a general way, we will proceed to our first article.
This gentleman (as Mrs. Mala- partly by the rumours of the vulgar, I was prop would have called him) was re- not willing to make experiment of all markable for something more than things, which may easily be tried by others; his Brazen Head :—not that his own but have resolved to express those things head was made of brass : ( quite judge requisite to the conservation of
in obscure and difficult terms, which I the reverse.” He had a hard head, health, lest they should fall into the hands to be sure, and a deep one, and one
of the unfaithful. that contained a great deal of learn- One of which things lies hid in the bowels ing. So much indeed , of this va
of the earth. (Gold.) luable commodity had he, that he Another in the sea. (Coral) was taken (by the vulgar) for a con- The third creeps upon the earth. (The juror. The silly monks of his own
viper.) order would scarcely admit his works. The fourth lives in the air. (Rosemary.). into their libraries. The Pope “ liked The fifth is likened to the medicine which not his learning," it is said: but kept comes out of the mine of the noble him many years in prison on a charge animrl. (Supposed to mean human of heresy and magic. He lived, how
blood.) ever, to the age of 78, and was buried The sixth comes out of the long-lived ani. in the Franciscan church at Oxford.
mal. (Bone of a stag's heart.) -Bacon was a person of great mind
The seventh is that whose mine is the plant
of India. (Lignum aloes.) and extensive erudition. He wrote on many subjects,-criticism, che
This is even more mysterious and mistry, music, astronomy, metaphy- quite as unsatisfactory as the semisics, astrology, logic, moral philoso- animated phrase (neither a living lanphy, &c.; and he wrote also though guage nor a dead one), which obhe did not believe in what is called
scures the merit of our modern prethe elixir vitæ) on the “ cure of old scriptions. But “ Vive la Mystére!' age, and the preservation of youth.” —what would men's heads or hearts The reader, who is not acquainted look like, if they were stripped as with the jealous and ignorant folly naked as truth? of those times, will scarcely credit
When Bacon surveyed his various to what straits Bacon was reduced productions, he must have felt a fine in communicating his discoveries and honourable pride. If he read We will make a short quotation from Horace, he might have quoted, aphis book, adding, in italics, the ex- pareutly with safety, the planations of certain parts, from the Exegi monumentum ære perennius ; key or notes at the end of the essay. but he would have been mistaken
For my own part, being hindered partly after all. “ The Head's the thing by the charge, partly by impatience, and by which he has caught the admiration of posterity. His studies, his and overwhelming as to crush the writings, his sufferings in the cause name or reputation of their foundof truth, are nothing,-mere “ leather ers, - witness the art of printing, and prunella.”. He lives in our ad- and the invention of gunpowder; to miration, enshrined, as the author of say nothing of our friend Cheops and the Brazen Head alone.
the pyramids of Egypt. Who hewed How ill do people calculate on the out the temple in the caverns of Eledeeds hy which they are to survive phanta? Who built the great wall of the grave! Petrarch lives in his son- China ? Who carved the great eagle nets, but his more elaborate works in the Corinthian palace at Balbec ? are unknown. A pearl added to Who lifted the masses at Stonehenge? Cleopatra's fame, and an asp secured What poet first wrote nonsense it. Canute, the king, is he who verses?' Who was the inventor of gave his courtiers a lesson on the toasted cheese ?-We pause for a resea-shore. The learning, and the ply. When these queries are satisfine qualities of Henry the Second, factorily answered, we can produce are little known: he is the paramour more. In the mean time, it is suffiof fair Rosamond ; nothing more. cient to say that we are satisfied The pebbles of Demosthenes, and with our own positions ; particularly the housewife's cake which our great as our friend, Friar Bacon, is not in Alfred burned, are conspicuous facts the predicament to which we have in their several histories. Sometimes, alluded.
4. indeed, the works of men are so huge
e now seem to have arrived at a " Scrap" of poetry: Poetry is--but it should always explain itself. Notes critical, illustrative, biographical, conjectural, and so forth, are well enough for prose, if it be good (otherwise it does not deserve it), and old (otherwise it should not require it). They wipe away the dust of Time as with a piece of diaper. Sometimes they ruh out the meaning, and sometimes they make it clear. These may either be offences or good deeds: all depends on the author. But the Muse, as we have said, should speak for herself; and here she is to do so.
TO AN UNKNOWN,
Painted by some Italian Artist.
Oh! nameless, peerless, beautiful, what fame
Our next contributor calls his paper “ Scraps of Criticism." We think that we know " the fine Roman hand," -- but let that pass. It is enough, perhaps, (for our readers) that the remarks are good. Whether we translate them froin the Syriac or Chaldee, or transcribe them from vellum or papyrus, is a question which we cannot now explain. The two first “Seraps" refer to Gray's Poems, and take novel (and, what is better, just) exceptions to two passages which they contain.-Johnson has been abused more, perhaps, for undervaluing the merits of Gray, than for any of his offences against literature. For our own parts, we think that he has been abused unjustly, Were we to cast a stone at bim, it would be for his life of Milton. But Gray has, of all poets in the English language, the least right to complain, His reputation is enormously too great for the foundation upon which it rests. No doubt that he had learning, and a pleasant way of commu. nicating his thoughts. But his language is, beyond even that of his contem, poraries, artificial ; and his poems are not remarkable either for original thought or even felicity of expression. His “ Elegy” is clearly the first of his compositions: there is a tender vein of melancholy running through it; and the reflections, generally speaking, if not very profound, are graceful and pleasing.--The “ Scrap” upon the word "villain” is a very material one ; inasmuch as it seems to be the key, or leading word, to the character of Richard, as it is seen on the stage. With regard to “ Howell's Letters,"-certainly our friend Howell has taken an odd pro and con view of the same subject. Perhaps he had one eye for the good, and one for the bad-and saw with them alternately. Thus s to wink at a person's faults” is to shut the bad eye.
SCRAPS OF CRITICISM. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid things themselves) before we can so
Some heart once pregnant with celestial with any proprietý apply them. Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
He saw, but, blasted with excess of light, Or waked to ecstacy the living lyre. Closed his eyes in endless night. Gray's Elegy.
Gray's Bard. There has always appeared to me Nothing was ever more violently a vicious mixture of the figurative distorted, than this material fact of with the real in this admired pas- Milton's blindness having been occasage. The first two lines may barely sioned by his intemperate studies, pass, as not bad. But the hands laid and late hours, during his prosecution in the earth, must mean the identical of the defence against Salmasiusfive-finger'd organs of the body; and applied to the dazzling effects of too how does this consist with their oc- much mental vision. His corporal cupation of swaying rods, unless their sight was blasted with corporal occuowner had been a schoolmaster ; or pation; his inward sight was not imwaking lyres, unless he were literally paired, but rather strengthened, by a harper by profession? Hands that his task. If his course of studies “ might have held the plough," would had turned his brain, there would have some sense, for that work is have been some fitness in the exstrictly manual ; the others only em
pression. blematically or pictorially so. Kings now-a-days sway no rods, alias sceptres, except on their coronation day; And since I cannot, I will prove a villain, and poets do not necessarily strum And hate the idle pleasures of these days. upon the harp or fiddle, as poets.
Soliloquy in Richard III. When we think upon dead cold fin- The performers, whom I have seen gers, we may remember the honest in this part, seem to mistake the imsqueeze of friendship which they re- port of the word which I have turned heretofore; we cannot but marked with italies. Richard does with violence connect their living not mean that because he is by shape idea, as opposed to death, with uses and temper unfitted for a courtier, he to which they must become meta- is therefore determined to prove, in phorical (i. e. less real than dead our sense of the word, a wicked man.
The word in Shakspeare's time had late letter, and the several good tid. not passed entirely into the modern ings sent me from Wales. In rea sense; it was in its passage certainly, quital I can send you gallant news, and indifferently used as such ; the for we have now a most noble new beauty of a world of words in that Queen of England, who in true beauage was in their being less definite ty is beyond the long-woo'd Infanta; than they are now, fixed, and petri- for she was of a fading flaren hair, fied. Villain is here undoubtedly big-lipp'd, and somewhat heavyused for a churl, or clown, opposed to eyed; but this daughter of France, a courtier; and the incipient dete- this youngest branch of Bourbon rioration of the meaning gave the (being but in her cradle when the use of it in this place great spirit and great Henry her father was put out beauty. A wicked man does not ne- of the world) is of a more lovely and cessarily hate courtly pleasures; a lasting complexion, a dark brown; clown is naturally opposed to them. she hath eyes that sparkle like stars ; The mistake of this meaning has, I and for her physiognomy, she may think, led the players into that hard be said to be a mirror of perfection." literal conception with which they He hath a rich account, in another deliver this passage, quite foreign, in letter, of Prince Charles courting this. my understanding, to the bold gay- same Infanta. “ There are Comedians faced irony of the soliloquy. Richard, once a week come to the Palace [at. upon the stage, looks round, as if he Madrid] where, undera great canopy, were literally apprehensive of some the Queen and the Infanta sit in the dog snapping at him; and announces middle, our Prince and Don Carlos his determination of procuring a look- on the Queen's right hand, the king ing-glass, and employing a tailor, as and the little Cardinal on the Inif he were prepared to put both in fanta's left hand. I have seen the practice before he should get home Prince have his eyes inimovably I apprehend“ a world of figures fixed upon the Infanta half an hour here,
together in a thoughtful speculative posture, which sure ičould needs be te
dious, unless affection did sweeten it.” Howell's Letters. “The treaty of the Again, of the Prince's final departure match 'twixt our Prince Cafterwards from that court. “ The king and his Charles I.] and the Lady Infanta, is two brothers accompanied his Highnow, strongly a foot: she is a very ness to the Escurial, some twenty comely lady, rather of a Flemish com- miles off, and would have brought plexion than Spanish, fair haired, and him to the sea-side, but that the carrieth a most pure mixture of red Queen is big, and hath not many and white in her face. She is full days to go. When the King and He and big-lipp'd; which is held a beauty parted, there past wonderful great rather than a blemish, or rather excess endearments and embraces in divers in the Austrian family, it being a thing postures between them a long time ; incident to most of that race; she goes and in that place there is a pillar to now upon 16, and is of a tallness be erected as a monument to posteri-, agreeable to those years.” This let- ty." This scene of royal congées ter bears date, 5th Jan. 1622. Turn assuredly gave rise to the popular, or we now to a letter dated 16th May, reformed sign (as Ben Jonson calls 1626. The wind was now changed it), of The Salutation. In the days about, the Spanish match broken off, of Popery, this sign had a more soand Charles had become the husband lemn import. of Henrietta. “ I thank you for your
MONTGOMERY'S “ Songs Of zion." We will now make an extract from a book, which is lying by our side, called the “ Songs of Zion.” It is written by Mr. Montgomery ; who is perhaps the best poet, after Cowper, that the religious classes of society may call one of themselves. They have reason to be proud of him. He is an unaffected, strenuous, and sincere advocate of the cause which he believes to be good. And among the many sneers and objections which we
have heard cast upon religious poets, we have never heard a breath against Mr. Montgomery. This is one of the triumphs of sincerity. He is as free from cant as a pupil of Voltaire can be ; and we think that he is at least as well entitled to his own self-respect. We shall extract one of the “ Songs of Zion,”-the 104th ; partly because it is one of the most sublime and difficult to be rendered in rhyme,-and partly because it is one of those in which Mr. Montgomery may be said to have eminently succeeded. He has failed certainly in one or two instances.
This goodly globe his wisdom plann'd, is no equivalent for “ Who laid the foundations of the earth that they should not be removed for ever;" and the simplicity of “ Thou covered'st it with the deep as with a garment,” is far beyond the paraphrase of the third stanza. But these are small objections. There is great breadth and spirit in the version. It reminds us, “not to speak it profanely,” of Campbell's “ Battle of the Baltic” (the best thing he has done). It is a rich and vigorous strain of song. It would become a vast cathedral, and a hundred instruments, harps and dulcimers and choral voices; for it tells finely a tale of earth and the heavens, and of things that shall endure for ever.
PSALM 104. My soul, adore the Lord of might;
And swells the grape, man's heart to With uncreated glory crown'd,
cheer: And clad in royalty of light,
- The moon her tide of changing He draws the curtain'd heavens around; knows, Dark waters his pavilion form,
Her orb with lustre ebbs and flows. Clouds are his car, his wheels the storm. The sun goes down, the stars come out; Lightning before Him, and behind
He maketh darkness, and 'tis night; Thunder rebounding to and fro; Then roam the beasts of prey about, He walks upon the winged wind,
The desart rings with chase and flight: And reins the blast, or lets it go :
The lion, and the lion's brood, - This goodly globe bis wisdom Look up, and God provides them plann'd,
food. He fix'd the bounds of sea and land.
Morn dawns far east ; ere long the sun When o'er a guilty world, of old,
Warms the glad nations with his beams; He summond the avenging main, Day, in their dens, the spoilers shun, At his rebuke the billows rollid
And night returns to them in dreams : Back to their parent-gulf again ;
Man from his couch to labour goes, The mountains raised their joyful heads, Till evening brings again repose. Like new creations, from their beds.
How manifold thy works, O Lord, Thenceforth the self-revolving tide
In wisdom, power, and goodness wrought! Its daily fall and flow maintains ;
The earth is with thy riches stored, Through winding vales fresh fountains glide,
And ocean with thy wonders fraught : Leap from the hills, or course the plains; Unfathom'd caves beneath the deep
There thirsty cattle throng the brink, For Thee their hidden treasures keep.
And the wild asses bend to drink. Fed by the currents, fruitful groves
There go the ships, with sails unfurl'd, Expand their leaves, their fragrance There, in his own mysterious world,
By Thee directed on their way; fing, Where the cool breeze at noon-tide roves,
Leviathan delights to play ;
And tribes that range immensity, And birds among the branches sing; Soft fall the showers when day de
Unknown to man, are known to Thee. clines,
By Thee alone the living live; And sweet the peaceful rainbow shines. Hide but thy face, their comforts fly; Grass through the meadows, rich with They gather what thy seasons give; flowers,
Take Thou away their breath, they die:
And all is life again, and love.
Joy in his works Jehovah takes,
Yet to destruction they return; - The stork amid the pine-tree rests.
He looks upon the earth, it quakes, To strengthen man, condemn'd to toil, Touches the mountains, and they burn; He fills with grain the golden ear;
-Thou, God, for ever art the same: Bids the ripe olive welt with oil,
I AM is thine unchanging name.