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views, and therefore there is less dan- fault that brings more ridicule upon ger of deviating from propriety in the him, and which is more dwelt upon execution on the one side than on by those who deny his qualifications the other. Angelo would find it more for dramatic excellence, than his play ditñcult to do justice to his own de- upon words. His admirers have been sizds than an inferior painter ; or per- sadly distressed in labouring to justify haps it may be said more properly, him in this puerile amusement; but his thai the execution of the latter might justification can only be found in that exceed his expectation, while no feli- affectation of wit which characterizes city of execution would enable the the manners of all ages emerging from former to reach that grandeur and barbarism). Nor is it, indeed, necesterrifie sublimity which he had sketched sary to go back to ancient times to in his own mind. Hence, in a contest seek for proofs of this propensity in between two eminent painters while human nature, antecedent to civilizathey were yet in their apprenticeship, tion and refinement. We have only their master justly awarded the prize to look to the common herd of manto bim who committed most faults, be- kind in our own days, and to mingle in, cause he displayed, at the same time, their societies, and we shall find the a power of mind and a vastness of same flippapcy of mind, and the same conception of wbich the other was in- ambition of excelling in low humour, capable. Shakspeare then has fre- and verbal witticism. I can say from quently deviated from propriety of my own experience, and every man manner: bis faults are as numerous may make the trial if his pride will as his beauties; but to defend them permit him, that the lower orders of is certainly not to defend Shakspeare, English are particularly devoted to but to defend error, and to bring the this species of witticism ; that the established rules of criticism into lower order of Irish are still more coatempt. The pre-eminence of his s0; and that the lower order of the genius is easily defended without Scotch, if I can depend on the tesdefending it's aberrations, while to timony of Scotsmen themselves, are prove him free from faults and ble- by no means behind hand withi the misbes, would be in fact to prove him English and Irish. The philosopher altogether destitute of genius. Even can easily account, in my opinion, now, when the rules and precepts of for this propensity in human nature. fine writing are so multiplied, as to the lower orders of mankind have but render it impossible for any writer few ideas; and as the ambition of well acquainted with them to mistake intellectual endowments and penetrahis way, or the line which he should tion is common to all men, they seek pursue in the conduct of his work, to turn the small stock they possess to it is still impossible to avoid faults. the best advantage.
As they are, He, then, who could avoid them before therefore, confined to few ideas, they these rules and precepts were known, have more frequent opportunities of would prove himself to be a writer of returning to these ideas than those such few thoughts and conceptions as who travel over a vast circumference required neither plan nor arrange- of science, and consequently they can ment, and consequently neither guide examine those ideas in which they are nor director. He who would attribute perpetually hacknicd, in more difiergenius to such a writer would demon- ent points of view. But as ideas are strate that he possessed none of it expressed in words, the more frehimself.
quently they ponder on the ideas, It is certain, however, that a great the more frequently have they an portion of Shakspeare's faults must opportunity of perceiving the difbe ascribed to the necessity under feient imports which the same word which he was placed of accommo- couveys, and consequently the difdating himself to the temper and ferent modes which they possess of manners of the age in which he wrote, meaning one thing and expressing and not to his want“ of greater another. It is in this, properly, a skill," or more refined judgment. He play upon words consists; and these often knew when he was transgressing are the reasons, if I mistake not, against the laws of propriety, and the why a play upon words is so common feelings of a more refined age than among ihe vulgar. We are deceived, that in which he lived. There is no however, if we imagine, that Shak
speare did not perocive it's absurdity, I shall, therefore, copclude my obthough he had recourse to it merely to servations on this immortal poet by obaccommodate himself to the humour serving, that all his faults originale of the times; and those critics are from circumstances in no wise conequally deceived who labour to jus- nected with the character of inteltify in Shakspeare a fault which in lectual endowments; that those crihim was by no means the effect of tics who enumerate his faults in order ignorance or want of better sense, to depreciate his fame, can only serve and which he knew to be faulty at to the very time that he affected to con « Amuse the unlearn'd and make the sider them beauties. Of this, if we learned smile ;" have any doubt, the following pas- and that those who defend his faults, sage from his own works will serve to through their over eagerness to secure convince us.
the immortality of his fame and the si () dear discretion, how his words are
pre-eminence of his genius, ought to suited!
recollect, that The fool hath planted in lis memory “ Errors like straws upon the surface An army of good words : and I do know
flow; A many fools, that stand in better place, He who would seek for pearls must dive Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word
below." Defy the matter.
M. M, D.
THE BOAT OF THE STARS.
As eastern sages tell!“
And reach the stars as well.
It sails through the clouds to find;
It leaves upon earth bebind.
It's sail is a gossamer spun
Or threads from her cobweb won.
To traverse a brighter sphere
Unearthly Venus near.
Where the placid moon reposes ;
As memory feeds life's roses.
Let the boat of Hope go free!
But return again for thee.
• The moon's atmosphere is said to yield no rain.
THE KING'S VISION.
-all that dreary night
By Queen Ulricas side reclining,
While joy was through his palace shining;
Sorrow is ever o'er us stealing;
Whatever subject hearts are feeling:
forget bath been.”
Have I maintain'd my stand;
And palsied was my hand!
Woman will oftentimes put on,
We fain would think that all are gone ;
'Twas not a sight for mortal eye?"
And spake of future destiny!”
To say what wondrous sights you view’d.".
Said Charles, -" I do not oft talk o'er
The adventures of that midnight story; For though the firmest heart I bore,
It makes but little for my glory. But yet, perchance, as thou dost say, My fitful mood 'twill drive away, To speak of what alarm'd me then, And half unman myself again; The tale to thee I will relate, And thou shalt own my heart was great. Bụt,-give thy faith to every line, That sun does not more surely shine, Than all my story shall unfold Myself and followers did behold!" He paused,--and fear his blush display'd, While thus his hurried tale he said:
DECEMBER'S moon o'er Stockholm cast
The splendours of a milder day, And every eye was closed fast,
Save mine, which tired yet open lay: My crown and sceptre's worth were vain The bliss of slumber to obtain, Though wearied, sad, and heart opprest, I tried, yet could not sink to rest. 'Tis strange, that Kings, whose royal power
With honours, fame, and wealth can bless Cannot command one little hour
To fall into forgetfulness !-When too, on lowliest subjects' eyes It's blessed influence ever flies; Though Poverty around their beds, Within their hearts, and o'er their heads, His reign of everlasting care Most firmly hath establish'd there : While I,--the Lord of Sweden's shore, Whom envious thousands bow before, Lay gazing on the moon's pale beam, Less blessed--than the least of them. But let that pass,-all annals shew It hath been,-ever shall be so; For look ye through the rolls of Time, In every age and every clime, Judah and Persia, Greece and Rome, In distant kingdoms, and at home ; Through all, ye view the self-same scene, That still shall be,-and still hath been. I started,--for in nights like those A moment will the eyelids close, One instant will the fancy stray To sweet forgetfulness away ; Then back the wearied sense is swept As sad as if she had not slept.-I started,-to the midnight skies I slowly turn'd my opening eyes, As if some direful spectre's blaze Should dart on it's returning gaze, So loathly from that passing dream To break it's slumber did it seem. Oh, Powers of God !-- were demons there,
Was that the hour when fiends assembled, Spread through the world their fiery glare?
I am no coward,--but I trembled !
My Audience-Hall one sheet of flame,
What lights in yonder buildings shine!
Or do they glitter but to mine?'
Most strangely felt, -as if a fever
And would not for one moment leave her,
To witness that phenomenon;
And I composed myself once more;
My mind was restless as before :