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This fault is indeed a common one, but to a reader of taste it is nevertheless disgustful; and it is mentioned here, as the error of a man of genius and judgment, that men of genius and judgment may guard against it.
Mr. Collins speaks like a true poet, as well in sentiment as expression, when, with regard to the thirst of wealth, he says,
“ Why heed we not, while mad we haste along,
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold ?” But however just these sentiments may appear to those who have not revolted from nature and simplicity, had the author proclaimed them in Lombard Street, or Cheapside, he would not have been complimented with the understanding of the bellman.—A striking proof, that our own particular ideas of happiness regulate our opinions concerning the sense and wisdom of others !
It is impossible to take leave of this most beautiful eclogue, without paying the tribute of admiration so justly due to the following nervous
“ What if the lion in his rage I meet !-
lis. uncags many ocier passages to be met
une ving of CS, shors that his aus vis perfect capable of the grand and magnicent n descroco. notwithstanding what a tanei vie has actance to the contrary. ang, certains. cocd be more greatly conceived or more adequately expressed, than the image in the last complet.
That deceçoica, sometimes used in rhetoric and poetry, watch presents us with an object or sentiment contrary to what we expected, is here introduced to the greatest advantage:
* Fue ell the youth, wbom sigts could not detain,
But this, perhaps, is rather an artificial prettiness, than a real or natural beauty.
That innocence, and native simplicity of manners, which, in the first eclogue, was allowed to constitute the happiness of love, is here beautifully described in its effects. The sultan of Persia marries a Georgian shepherdess, and finds in her embraces that genuine felicity which unperverted nature alone can bestow. The most natural and beautiful parts of this eclogue are those where the fair sultana refers with so much pleasure to her pastoral amusements, and those scenes of happy innocence in which she had passed her early years; particularly when, upon her first departure,
“ Oft as she went, she backward turn'd her view,
This picture of amiable simplicity reminds one of that passage where Proserpine, when carried off by Pluto, regrets the loss of the flowers she has been gathering :
“ Collecti flores tunicis cecidere remissis :
The beautiful but unfortunate country where the scene of this pathetic eclogue is laid, had been recently torn in pieces by the depredations of its savage neighbours, when Mr. Collins so affectingly described its misfortunes. This ingenious man had not only a pencil to portray, but a heart to feel for the miseries of mankind ; and it is with the utmost tenderness and humanity he enters into the narrative of Circassia's ruin, while he realizes the scene, and brings the present drama before us. Of every circumstance that could possibly contribute to the tender effect this pastoral was designed to produce, the poet has availed himself with the utmost art and address, Thus he prepares the heart to pity the distresses of Circassia, by representing it as the scene of the happiest love:
“ In fair Circassia, where, to love inclined,
To give the circumstance of the dialogue a more affecting solemnity, he makes the time midnight, and describes the two shepherds in the very act of flight from the destruction that swept over their country:
“ Sad o'er the dews, two brother shepherds fled,
There is a beauty and propriety in the epithet wildering, which strikes us more forcibly, the more we consider it.
The opening of the dialogue is equally happy, natural, and unaffected; when one of the shepherds, weary and overcome with the fatigue of flight, calls upon his companion to review the length of way they had passed. This is certainly painting from nature, and the thoughts, however obvious, or destitute of refinement, are perfectly in character. But as the closest pursuit of nature is the surest way to excellence in general, and to sublimity in particular, in poetical description, so we find that this simple suggestion of the shepherd is not unattended with magnificence. There is a grandeur and variety in the landscape he describes :
“ And first review that long extended plain,
There is, in imitative harmony, an act of expressing a slow and difficult movement by adding to