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in Churchill, while it always displayed benevolence in Cowper. His satire is at once playful in its ridicule, and keen in its invective. The purest benevolence is conspicuous in his severest censures.
But we must bring this sketch to a close, which we shall do with two extracts; the one from the most delightful of our living poets, the eloquence of whose prose is nearly as enchanting as the witchery of his verse and the other from the pen of the most celebrated critic of the age. -" Cowper's graphic touches are more close and minute than those of Thomson; not that Thomson was deficient or undelightful in circumstantial traits of the beauty of nature, but he looked to her as a whole, more than Cowper. His genius was more excursive and philosophical. The poet of Olney, on the contrary, regarded human philosophy with something of theological contempt. To his eye the great and little things of this world were levelled to an equality, by his recollection of the power and purpose of Him who made them. They are, in his view, only as toys spread on the lap and carpet of nature, for the childhood of our immortal being. This religious indifference to the world, is far indeed from blunting his sensibility to the genu. ine and simple beauties of creation; but it gives his taste a contentment and fellowship with humble things. It makes him careless of selecting and refining his views of nature beyond their casual appearance. He contemplated the face of plain rural English life, in moments of leisure and sensibility, till its minutest features were impressed upon his fancy; and he sought not to embellish what he loved. Hence his landscapes have less of the ideally beauti ful, than Thomson's; but they have an unrivalled a charm of truth and reality."-Campbell's British Poets. Hel "The great merit of this writer" (Cowper) "appears to us to consist in the boldness and originality es of his composition, and in the fortunate audacity with which he has carried the dominion of poetry into reregions that had been considered as inaccessible to her
ambition. The gradual refinement of taste had, for nearly a century, been weakening the vigour of original genius. Our poets had become timid and fastidious, and circumscribed themselves both in the choice and the management of their subject, by the observance of a limited number of models, who were thought to have exhausted all the legitimate resources of the art. Cowper was one of the first who crossed this enchanted circle, who regained the natural liberty of invention, and walked abroad in the open field of observation as freely as those by whom it was originally trodden; he passed from the imitation of poets to the imitation of nature, and ventured boldly upon the representation of objects that had not been sanctified by the description of any of his predecessors. In the ordinary occupations and duties of domestic life, and the consequences of modern manners, in the common scenery of a rustic situation, and the obvious contemplation of our public institutions, he has found a multitude of subjects for ridicule and reflection, for pathetic and picturesque description, for moral declamation, and devotional rapture, that would have been looked upon with disdain, or with despair, by most of our poetical adventurers.
"The great variety and truth of his descriptions; the minute and correct painting of those home-scenes and private feelings with which every one is internally familiar; the sterling weight and sense of most of his observations, and, above all, the great appearance of facility with which every thing is executed, and the happy use he has so often made of the most common and ordinary language; all concur to stamp upon his poems the character of original genius, and remind us of the merits that have secured immortality to Shakespeare."-Edinburgh Review, vol. ii.
Si te forte meæ gravis uret sarcina chartæ,
A. You told me, I remember, glory, built On selfish principles, is shame and guilt; The deeds, that men admire as half-divine, Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears The laurel, that the very lightning spares; Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust, And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
B. I grant that, men continuing what they are,
Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days;
The wretch, to nought but his ambition true;
Who, for the sake of filling with one blast
A. 'Tis your belief the world was made for man;
To nurse with tender care the thriving arts,
To give Religion her unbridled scope,
A. Guard what you say; the patriotic tribe
And, of all lies (be that one poet's boast)
Those arts be theirs, who hate his gentle reign;
A. Your smooth eulogium to one crown address'd; Seems to imply a censure on the rest.
B. Quevedo, as he tells his sober tale, Ask'd, when in hell, to see the royal jail; Approved their method in all other things; But where, good sir, do you confine your kings? There said his guide the group is full in view. Indeed!-replied the don-there are but few. His black interpreter the charge disdain'd Few, fellow!-there are all that ever reign'd. Wit, undistinguishing, is apt to strike The guilty and not guilty both alike. I grant the sarcasm is too severe, And we can readily refute it here; While Alfred's name, the father of his age, And the Sixth Edward's grace th' historic page. A. Kings then, at last, have but the lot of all: By their own conduct they must stand or fall.
B. True. While they live, the courtly laureat His quit-rent ode, his peppercorn of praise: [pays