« ZurückWeiter »
But Thou, alone eternally sublime,
Swell on, ye waves, and whirlwinds, sweep along,
We had intended to direct those lines and expressions which are most outrageous in their fury, to be printed in italics; but we found so many of both entitled to that type, that it would have ceased to be a distinction. We have therefore left the passage as it is in the original, commending it as a proof of Mr. Montgomery's “wonderful powers,”-of the " sublime tenor” of his poem, and of that magical genius which “consecrates the ground.”
After soliloquising in this style for some time, and admiring every thing around him, Satan commences his tour, in the course of which he visits Jerusalem, Bagdad, Damascus, and all the famous cities of the East; proceeding by way of Hindostan to China, thence to America, and across the Atlantic to Europe, where, of course, in compliment to his patron and friend, Robert Montgomery, he pays marked attention, and, indeed, devotes a great part of his precious time, to England. It will not be in our power to attend him in all his excursions, or to give the reader an idea of the many sage reflections which he makes upon human life and manners. We have said, however, that Mr. Montgomery's Satan was a "good sort of a person, with whom any body might spend an hour without danger to his morals,” and we now produce the proof.
Whentgomery, his precious his excunich he makesir! Montgo might
"To the vast silence of primeval gloom
Hath wept the laurels that it once adored !'-pp. 80–82. Certainly there is not a word in this passage which at all betrays - the Tempter. It is delightful to hear him talk in this way of a
'purer state,' "holy joy,' brighter worlds, and of those human phantoms, “Learning, Luxury, and Fame.' We know of no old woman in England who might not be trusted near such a proper devil as this.
We have said that the new Satan “ often speaks like a polished Tigentleman.” Behold him in that amiable character.
The atmosphere that circleth gifted minds
And that, the throbbing of the fires within !—pp. 82—83.
and even an eloquent philosopher.”
Beyond the Libyan wild,
So sink the monuments of ancient might,
pp. 30–32. Indeed, a few lines farther on, Satan becomes quite ethical, and claims to himself the honour of having been the original founder, not only of philosophy, but of poetry.
" 'Tis human actions stamp the chart of Time,
A certainty sublime, in that great soul,
And show imagination shapes of Hell !’-pp. 33, 34. We have at hand abundant proofs of Satan's love for the picturesque, but we shall content ourselves with a single specimen; admitting, at the same time, that there are other passages of very considerable merit in this style of writing to be found in the poem under our consideration.
• How rich
A mountain charm, to solemnize the scene.'—pp. 239, 240. Of the other novel features of character which we have ascribed to Mr. Montgomery's Satan, we might furnish the most complete evidence from the pages before us. This, however, would be to many of our readers, we fear, a tedious operation, and we shall therefore close the book, after extracting from it the commencement of a sermon, with a regular text, which is really too good to be omitted. To induce Satan to preach against Carlile, is one of the triumphs of poetry which has been reserved for the present author.
• " What Understanding cannot grasp, Belief
And men may wonder, but it still beats on !'-pp. 36, 37. It is not to be doubted that the observations we have made on the poems which form the subject of this article, will be ascribed to personal feelings, either against the authors, or the booksellers who have published their works. Such imputations are always the resource of empirics in every art. Those who make them, must
well know that the conductors of this journal have no reason to entertain personal feelings against any of the parties here alluded to, and if they had, that they would disdain to express them in an indirect and unmanly manner. Instead of throwing out charges of this description, the flatterers and friends of the two authors here reviewed, would be much more usefully employed in defending the criticisms by which they have endea voured to palm upon the world, as true poetry, the tinsel and the bombast which we have been obliged to quote, in order to justify the judgment which we have now pronounced.
Art. II.-A Treatise on Atmospherical Electricity ; including Lightning Rods and Paragréles. By John Murray, F.S.A., &c., &c. 1 vol. 8vo. pp. 149. London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Co.; Edin
burgh: Daniel Lizars. 1830. When we consider how extensively amongst all classes the fear of the effects of lightning prevails, and particularly when we remember how reasonable are the grounds on which, to a certain extent, this apprehension is founded, we are at a loss to account for the apathy so generally to be found amongst the public, respecting the means by which life and property may be protected from so fearful a visitation. But though we cannot find a motive for this indifference, we cease altogether to wonder at its existence, since we know that week after week, human beings are consumed in their beds by nocturnal fires, and yet not a single effective movement is made either by the Government or the public towards preventing such calamities. We hear indeed of a project of one of the members for the county of Surrey, for regulating the construction of houses in and near London, with the view of checking the progress of a conflagration, in case it commences in any part of a building. But this measure, supposing it to be capable of answering its professed object, can of necessity be only prospective, and must leave the inhabitants of the actual metropolis in the same state of dangerous liability as that to which they are exposed at this very hour.
That a ready and effectual means of protection from each of the dreadful casualties to which we allude may be provided, we have not the slightest hesitation in affirming. At all events, we can boast that the wonderful element-Electricity, to whose power the heavens and the earth bear witness, has so far submitted to the importunate curiosity of man, as to yield, at length, a knowledge of those laws by which its malignant fury and its arbitrary caprice may be controlled. Ever since the illustrious Franklin practically established the theory, which was first advanced by the ingenious Abbè Nollet, namely, that the lightning of the heavens and the electricity excited by the hand of man here on earth, are identical, -philosophers are enabled to maintain with that astonishing agent