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industry, it is owing, that Enamel Paint- SIR ROBERT Cecil, second Son of ing has become a highly useful branch

Lord Burleigh. of a liberal art; and, as it is no longer Sir Francis Bacon, BARON VERUconfined to things merely ornamental, no longer differing from any other mode LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. of painting as much in its effect as pro- ANNE, LADY Bacon. cess, it consequently assumes the ap- Sir Francis Drake, the first Circumpearance of highly finished oil-painting, navigator. with the advantage of perpetual dura- SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM, Secrebility. As Enamel Painting, from its tary of State. nature, must be always copied, the style John Astley, Master of the Jewel of the

original should be so scrupulously Office. observed, as to convey an instantaneous Henry WRIOTESLEY, third Earl of recollection of the painter. In this re- Southampton. spect, the works of Mr. Bone are pre

SIR NICHOLAS THROCKMORTON. eminent, whether the severity of Leo- Sir John Norris, who commanded nardo, the purity of Raphael, the glow the Forces in Ireland. of Titian, or the splendour of Rubens, Ben Johnson, Dramatic Poet. is entrusted to his pencil, each is alike Thomas SACKVILLE, first Earl of successfully pourtrayed.

Dorset. The greatest performance of this WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR, Dramatic justly celebrated Artist, and that which Poet. would alone convey his name to poste

SIR THOMAS SMYTHE, a learned rity, is the Series of Enamel Paintings Writer, &c. of Illustrious

Characters in the Reign of Sir Walter MilDMAY, Privy CounElizabeth. We are extremely happy to

cellor. find that this splendid collection will be QUEEN ELIZABETH, open to public inspection, during the John FleTCHER, Dramatic Poet, &c. months of May and June ; and we can- Francis BeaUMONT, Dramatic Poet. not excite the public curiosity, more Sir Thomas GRESHAM, Merchant. effectually than by annexing a list of George ClIFFORD, Earl of Cumberthe distinguished characters that com- land. pose this interesting series.

EDWARD CLINTON, Earl of Lincoln.

Francis, second Earl of Bedford. WILLIAM Camden, Historian and EDMUND Spencer, Poet, &c. Antiquary Author of Britannia.

Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of Sussex. SIR WALTER Raleigh.

Sir RICHARD BYNGHAM, Governor of George LORD SETONE, who aided Connaught, &c. Mary Queen of Scots in her escape Henry Fitz-Allan, the last Earl of from Lochleven Castle.

Arundel of that name, EDWARD Courtney, the last Earl of Lord HUNSDON. Devonshire of that name.

Lady HUNSDON, Wife of Lord HunsSir Philip SYDNEY.

don. SırWilliam Cecil, LORD BURLEIGH. AMBROSE DUDLEY, Earl of Warwick.

Mary Queen of Scots, aged 17 Lady Cooke, Wife of Sir Anthony years.

Cooke. Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper. Thomas SUTTON, Soldier and Mer

The Lady ELIZABETH, afterwards chant.
Queen, about 25

years
old.

SIR THOMAS EGERTON, Founder Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. of the House of Bridgwater.

Charles LORD HOWARD, of Effing- MARY Queen of Scots, aged 32 years. ham.

ROBERT DUDLEY, Earl of Leicester. EDWARD SOMERSET, Earl of Worces. LADY ANNE RUSSELL, Countess of

Warwick. Sir EDWARD Core, Lord Chief Jus- Sir MARTIN FROBISTER, who comtice.

manded against the Armada. HENRY CAREY, LORD HUNSDON. MATHEW PARKER, Archbishop of Sir Robert Carey, afterwards Earl Canterbury. of Monmouth.

The Countess of LINCOLN, the Fair Sir Edward Rogers, Comptroller Geraldine. of the Household.

WALTER DEVEREUX, Earl of Essex.

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ESSAYS ON THE GENIUS OF THE BRITISH POETS,
BY THE AUTHOR OF “A CRITICAL DISSERTATION ON THE NATURE AND

PRINCIPLES OF TASTE."

No. III.

MILTON, CONTINUED. I have already observed, that a late of this immortal poet, to place him in writer of an “ Essay on Genius,” main- the same class with Pope; for the genetains that Pope had too much of that ral opinion is, that if he does not rank faculty to excel in poetry. If all men above Homer, at least he ranks next to agreed to attach one fixed and deter- him. It is obvious however, from what minate idea to this ambiguous term, I have observed in the preceding part we would have then sufficient grounds of this Essay, that the merits of a for enquiring into the truth of the as- writer cannot be ascertained from the sertion; but if the ingenious writer of class to which he belongs, but from the this Essay mean by genius something rank which he holds in that class; for that no man means but himself, who it must be recollected, that I am not can pretend to contradict him. If ge- now writing criticisms on the merits of nius be an attribute of mind unfavour- his works, and that my object is to able to poetry, and if Pope possessed ascertain the mould, stamp, or characthis attribute in an extraordinary de- ter of the mind, by which these works gree, no doubt the assertion is true; were produced. The classes into which but then it must be recollected, that no I have divided writers, embrace prose man can excel in poetry who has not writers as well as poets; but it is certain received a certain gift from nature, that those who belong to the first class and if genius be not this certain gift, are more formed to excel in poetry than a question naturally suggests itself; either of the other three. “As to the What is it? All men have agreed to last class, they can have no pretensions call it genius, and if the precept that to it, and the nearer any writer apusus est jus et norma loquendi has proaches to them, the farther he recedes been aniversally admitted; if no other from that original structure of mind name has been invented to express that which peculiarly qualifies its possessor faculty which enabled Pope to “ lisp in to excel in poetry. If Milton, then, numbers for the numbers came, belongs not to the first class, it does are necessarily obliged to retain a term not necessarily follow, that he is less to which has been sanctioned by the au- be admired than Homer; though it thority of all ages to express that fa- certainly follows that if he excels him, culty, without which no man can be a his excellence must be of a different poet. I believe, however, that if we character. A writer has considerable adopt the distinction which I have made difficulty in making himself clearly between genius and intellectual powers, understood on certain subjects; and we shall have little difficulty in as- perhaps there is no subject that eludes certaining what that faculty is which the tenacity of human reasoning more abounded in Pope, and which placed than enquiries into the mental and him on too proud and elevated a'situa- sensitive faculties. tion to excel in poetry. Pope, then, In the instance before us, it is diffihad in my opinion, too discerning, too cult to conceive how Milton can equal thoughtful, and too philosophic a mind Homer, unless he equals him as a poet, to excel in the softer charms and de- both of them being known to us only lightful blandishments of the enchant- as poets, and both deriving all the ceing muse: or, in other words, helebrity they possess from poetry alone. thought too much, and felt too little. To make this clearly understood, we His strength and powers of mind sur- must observe, that poetry possesses all passed the vigour and energy of his the charms, of which prose is capable, feelings; and this, I have no hesitation and some of which it is incapable. to say, was the character of Milton's Whatever serves to ennoble the style genius. Perhaps it may be thought to of a prose writer, may be transferred to derogate from the character and fame poetry, though every thing that tends Eur. Mag. Vol. 81. April 1822.

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to give poetry its charm, cannot be excellence. If then Homer be more transferred to prose. Sublimity, beau- pathetic than Milton, it necessarily ty, elegance, correctness, simplicity, &c. follows that he is more poetic, should belong as much to the one as to the it even appear that he was less sublime. other, but when we read a sublime pas. To determine then whether Homer or sage in poetry, we are apt to speak of Milton excelled most in the true poetic its author as a great poet not as a sub- spirit, we must compare the most pa. lime writer. if, however, there were thetic passages in their works with each nothing in this passage to distinguish other, not the most sublime. It is the it from prose, but its sublimity, it is passage that fires us with rapture, en. certain that the writer of it could have thusiasm, and delight, not that which no claim whatever to be entitled a poet. perplexes our understanding by its It is obvious, then, that if sublímity greatness, that will always be deemed alone cannot render a passage poeti- most poetic. To judge of Homer and cal, there must be some other essential Milton by this standard, I fear the reingredient necessary to do so; and it is sult would be greatly to the disadvanby the quantity of this ingredient which tage of the latter. Homer, throughout writers infuse into their work, that the Iliad, seems to write purely as he their poetical merits must be decided. feels, without having ever bestowed a If we suppose then two writers, one thought on the propriety or improprieof whom abounds in this ingredient, ty of what he says. We can discover the other in sublimity of conception, no traces of deliberation, comparison, it is obvious that the first excels as a judgment, &c. in his works, because the poet, the second as a sublime writer. ardour and energy that reign throughThe latter, consequently, cannot be a out, prevent us from attending to the greater poet than the first though he art of the poet, the genius which demay be far more sublime than the other signed so daring a structure, or the skill is poetical. His sublimity, however, which connected its individual members makes him neither more nor less poeti- into one harmonious whole. He makes cal, as a writer who has no talent what- us feel rather than think, and so strongever for poetry may be more sublimely are our feelings excited by his dethan he is, though it is certain that if scriptions, that we never stop to exahe unite sublimity of conception with mine whether his representations be the true poetic spirit, he attains to an true or false, whether they be sense or excellence which is placed beyond the nonsense. In Milton, on the contrary, reach of those who are poetic without we examine critically every sentence, being sublime, or sublime without being because we find ourselves accosted by poetic.

a writer of strong sense, and powerful But it will be asked, what is it that reasoning, who is more studious of say; renders a passage poetic without the aid ing what is right, than what would of sublimity, elegance, correctness, or banish all ideas of right and wrong any other quality of fine writing except from our minds. It is true, Milton is itself? I reply, that the pathetic is the often as interesting as his subject will true poetic, because the object of poe- permit him, but this is not his general try is to affect the feelings and the character. He scarcely begins to aniheart;-to rouse every latent faculty of mate and inspire us with the ardour of the soul, and to give life, and soul, and his description when he lets the interspirit, and animation to every scene est drop, and makes us begin once which it creates, and to every passion more to examine and reflect upon every which it describes. If therefore, three word he says. The pleasure, however, writers were to write on the same sub- which we derive from poetry, does not ject, each of whom aimed at being sub- arise from the critical degree of attenlime and poetic, at the same moment, tion which we pay to every expression and if one excelled in the sublime, of the poet. The more we find ourthough he failed in the pathetic, ano- selves obliged to examine, the less we ther excelled in the pathetic, but could feel ourselves pleased. The writer who not rise to the sublime, and the third pleases, is he whom we never think of excelled in both, it is obvious that the examining at all; or, in other words, first was no poet, though a sublime wri- the writer who pleases us, is he who ter, and the two latter equally poetic, speaks only to our feelings, because though not equal in point of general man is more the creature of feeling

a

or

event,

than of reason. The utmost that rea- In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, son, and all the acquirements which

And shook his throne. What though the are gained by a diligent exercise of

field be lost; its powers, can affect, is to convey a

All is not lost, the unconquerable will moral satisfaction to the mind; for And study of revenge, immortal hate, reason is acquired by a long and un

And courage, never to submit or yield.

And what is else not to be overcome ; wearied exercise of our intellectual faculties; it is not born with us, and

That glory never shall his wrath therefore it is incapable of inspiring Extort from me.

might

To bow and sue for natural emotions or passions. On the

grace contrary, its tendency is to controul, With suppliant knee, and deify his power, and if its progress be not attended by Who from the terror of this arm so late feeling, ultimately to eradicate from Doubted his empire; that were low indeed, the breast, all the original feelings That were an ignominy and shame beneath which are implanted in it by nature. This downfall, since by fate the strength Reason is therefore no source of plea- of Gods, sure, but pleasure or "happiness is" And this empyreal substance cannot fail; always “the sovereing feeling of poe

Since through experience of this great try.” It is not therefore the poet who reasons, but the poet who feels, and

In arms not worse, in foresight much who makes us feel, who revels in the

advanced, luxuriance of sensible representations, To wage, by force or guile, eternal war;

We may with more successful hope resolve and selects all his images from subjects Irreconcileable to our grand foe, connected with feeling alone, that car

Who now triumphs and, in the excess of ries us lightly along through the Ely

joy, sian creations of poetry; and who will

Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of always continue to be read with new

Heaven." and encreasing interest. So much are

Paradise Lost, Book I. we the creatures of feeling, and so little is reason attended to while feeling en- Here is a passage which no man but chants us by the witchery of her seduc- he who is “ fit for treasons, stratagems tive smiles, that we are frequently fired and spoils,” can read without emotion. to rapture, or filled with indignation, But whence does this emotion arise ? jealousy, or any other passion which not, surely, because reason, or virtue, the poet wishes to excite, though we or morality, or religion, approves of find that the passage or passages by Satan's blasphemy, but because the which we are thus transported, contains blasphemy is artfully concealed from the most execrable, impious, and blas- our view, and our reason is not called phemous sentiments, the moment we forth to detect the rancour and maligsubject them to the tribunal of reason. nity which characterizes this impious Who can read without emotion, (and speech of Satan. If Satan had here emotions of all kind are pleasing to the acknowledged the benificent meekness, soul,) the following passage in which forbearance, and all the milder and Satan blasphemes God, and expresses celestial attributes of that all-merciful his resolution never to ' repent or Being, whom he dared to oppose, we change."

should then, so far from sympathizing

with him, or with 6 Yet not for those, Nor what the potent victor in his rage

“ That fixed mind, Can else inflict, do I repent or change, And high disdain, from sense of injured Though changed in outward lustre that merit, fixed mind,

That with the mightiest raised " him “ to And high disdain from sense of injured contend," merit,

turn from him with horror, and perThat with the mightiest raised me to contend,

ceive instinctively the black enormity And to the fierce contention brought along and serpent nature of the fiend, who Innumerable force of spirits armed,

“ vaunted aloud” his opposition to the That durst dislike his reign, and me pre- Deity; and the interest which we unferring,

consciously take in his fate, would imHis utmost power, with adverse power mediately cease. Milton, however, very opposed

judiciously keeps the goodness of the

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Deity out of sight, not but he knew reasons and moralizes too much :that all his readers were already ac- Homer scarcely at all; or if he does, quainted with it, but he knew also (and his reasoning is what passion excites, Homer seemed to be still better ac- and not the calm result of deliberation, quainted with this truth than Milton,) comparison and enquiry. It is the reathat, in poetry, the reader is only af- son of passion, however, and not of fected by what is placed before him, deliberation or of truth, that affects us while the poet addresses himself to his in poetry. This truth cannot, perhaps, feelings alone, but that the moment he be better exemplified, than by compaaddresses himself to his understanding, ring the emotions produced by the he then suffers nothing to escape him, speech of God to his Son, vindicating and he perceives many things connect- his own conduct towards the Angels, ed with he subject on which the poet to those produced by the foregoing perhaps never bestowed a thought. If speech of Satan. The following speech the Deity were such a being as Satan's is the profoundest reasoning which speech would incline us to believe, every Milton could put into the mouth of assertion of his, would justly raise God, while Satan's speech was blashim in our esteem: it is a speech that phemous and impious, but yet far more would become Brutus, had he lived, poetical than the following, simply beafter the battle of Phillippi, substitu- cause it was the language of feeling ing Cæsar for God, and Rome, &c. for and of passion alone. Heaven; but the poet has artfully avoided using any expression that

“ Freely they stood who stood, and fell would make us think otherwise, or

who fell. put us in mind of the goodness of the

Not free, what proof could they have

given sincere Being against whom Satan thunders his vindictive wrath.

Of true allegiance, constant faith or love,

Where only what they needs must do In poetry, then, we are altogether appeared, governed by our feelings; and where Not what they would ? what praise could reason is brought in to argue with they receive? them, they immediately take their de- What pleasure I from such obedience paid parture, and leave her to enjoy the When will and reason (reason also is wisdom of her own councils. Unhappi

choice) ly, however, she cannot enjoy without Useless and 'vain, of freedom both desfeeling, for all enjoyments are only Made passive both, had served necessity; modes of feeling; so that when reason is left alone, and deserted by feeling,

Not me? They therefore as to right beshe may present herself to us in the

longed, most harmonious language which the

So were created, nor can justly accuse poet can devise, but we look upon her

Their Maker, or their making, or their

fate. with the greatest calmness, and uncon

As if predestination over-ruled cern, and seem to tell her that we did

Their will, disposed by absolute decree not expect to be favoured with her

Or high foreknowledge; they themselves company at present ; that we are sensi

decreed ble of the honour which she confers Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew, upon us, but that we would more wil- Foreknowledge had no influence on their lingly enjoy it, at another time, and in fault, other company, than that of the Muses. Which had no less proved certain unforeThe fact is, that though the poet re

known. quires to have reason always at his So without least impulse or shadow of fate, elbow, she must never appear in his

Or ought by me immutably foreseen, writings except in a mask, and when he They trespass, authors to themselves in all reasons most profoundly, he must not

Both what they judge, and what they seem to reason at all. Every thing in

choose; for so poetry, should seem to have life and

I formed them free: and free they must

remain, sense in it; and all its images should be such as affect the feelings and the

Till they enthrall themselves; I else most

change heart, not the reasoning or perceptive Their nature, and revoke the high decree faculties. It is in this, Milton appears Uncbangeable, eternal, which ordained to me to have failed, and Homer to Their freedom; they themselves ordained have excelled all mankind. Milton

their fall,

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