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on many accounts I should be sorry that such a view were taken of the narrative by those who may have happened to read it. And therefore, I assuré Mr. Montgomery, in this public way, that the entire Confessions were designed to convey a narrative of my own experience as an Opium-eater, drawn up with entire simplicity and fidelity to the facts; from which they can in no respect have deviated, except by such trifling inaccuracies of date, &c. as the memoranda I have with me in London would not, in all cases, enable me to reduce to certainty. Over and above the want of these memoranda, I laboured sometimes (as I will acknowledge) under another, and a graver embarrassment:-To tell nothing but the truth-must, in all cases, be an unconditional moral law: to tell the whole truth is not equally so: in the earlier narrative I acknowledge that I could not always do this: regards of delicacy towards some who are yet living, and of just tenderness to the memory of others who are dead, obliged me, at various points of my narrative, to suppress what would have added interest to the story, and sometimes, perhaps, have left impressions on the reader favourable to other purposes of an auto-biographer. In cases which touch too closely on their own rights and interests, all men should hesitate to trust their own judgment: thus far I imposed a restraint upon myself, as all just and conscientious men would do: in every thing else I spoke fearlessly, and as if writing private memoirs for my own dearest friends. Events, indeed, in my life, connected with so many remembrances of grief, and sometimes of self-reproach, had become too sacred from habitual contemplation to be altered or distorted for the unworthy purposes of scenical effect and display, without violating those feelings of self-respect which all men should cherish, and giving a lasting wound to my conscience.
Having replied to the question involved in the passage quoted from the Iris, I ought to notice an objection, conveyed to me through many channels, and in too friendly terms to have been overlooked if I had thought it unfounded: whereas, I believe it is a very just one :—it is this : that I have so managed the second narrative, as to leave an overbalance on the side of the pleasures of opium; and that the very horrors themselves, described as connected with the use of opium, do not pass the limit of pleasure.-I know not how to excuse myself on this head, unless by alleging (what is obvious enough) that to describe any pains, of any class, and that at pera fect leisure for choosing and rejecting thoughts and expressions, is a most difficult task: in my case I scarcely know whether it is competent to me to allege further, that I was limited, both as to space and time, so long as it appears on the face of my paper, that I did not turn all that I had of either to the best account. It is known to you, however, that I wrote in extreme haste, and under very depressing circumstances in other respects.—On the whole, perhaps, the best way of meeting this objection will be to send you a Third Part of my Confessions : * drawn up with such assistance from fuller
* In the Third Part I will fill up an omission noticed by the Medical Intelligencer, (No. 24,) viz.—The omission to record the particular effects of the Opium between 1804_12. This Medical Intelligencer is a sort of digest or analytic summary of contemporary medical essays, reviews, &c. wherever dispersed, Of its general merits I cannot pretend to judge: but, in justice to the writer of the article which respects myself, I ought to say, that it is the most remarkable specimen of skilful abridgement and judicious composition that I remember to have met with.
memoranda, and the recollections of my only companion during those years, as I shall be able to command on my return to the north: I hope that I shall be able to return thither in the course of next week: and, therefore, by the end of January, or thereabouts, I shall have found leisure from my other employments, to finish it to my own satisfaction. I do not venture to hope, that it will realize the whole of what is felt to be wanting : but it is fit that I should make the effort, if it were only to meet the expressions of interest in my previous papers, which have reached me from all quarters, or to mark my sense of the personal kindness which, in many cases, must have dictated the terms in which that interest was conveyed.
This, I think, is what I had to say. Some things, which I might have been disposed to add, would not be fitting in a public letter. Let me say, however, generally, that these two papers of mine, short and inconsidere able as they are, have, in one way, produced a disproportionate result though but of a personal nature, by leading to many kind acts, and generous services, and expressions of regard, in many different shapes, from men of talents in London.
To these hereafter I shall look back as to a fund of pleasant remembrances. Meantime, for the present, they have rendered me a service not less acceptable, by making my residence in London, in many respects, agreeable, at a time when, on other accounts, it should naturally have been far otherwise.
I remain, Sir,
Your faithful friend and servant, London, Nov. 27, 1821.
X. Y. Z.
Lion's Head regrets that it must defer many Answers to Correspondents till next Month.
The Early French Pcets. [An article appeared in a former Number of the London MAGAZINE, entitled “ Notices of the Early French Poets,” which, had the writer completed his design, would doubtless have been followed by several others of the same kind. We are happy to announce, that one of our Correspondents has taken up the subject with the intention, as will be seen in the following paper, of continuing it.]
In the course of this last summer, ready to pardon, in consideration of I happened to reside for some weeks higher excellence, or even to welin a place where I had free access to come, as so many means of aiding a large collection of books, which us in that escape from the tameness of formerly belonged to the kings of common every-day life, which is France; but, like other royal pro one great end of poetry to effect. I perty, having been confiscated at the do not know of any other people Revolution, still continues unre
unre- who have set up an exclusive standclaimed, and is now open to the use ard of this sort. What would the of the public. Of this occasion I Greeks of the age of Pericles have gladly availed myself, to extend my said to a literary censor, that should acquaintance with some of their have endeavoured to persuade them earlier writers, whose works are not to throw aside the works of Homer commonly to be met with in our own and Hesiod, because he could have country; and amongst these, fixed pointed out to them, in every page, my attention principally on such of modes of expression that would not their poets as were of most note at have passed muster in a coterie at the restoration, or more properly Aspasia's ? What reply should we speaking, the general diffusion of po- make to a critic, that would fain put lite learning in Europe. What the us out of conceit with some of the result of this inquiry has been, I in- finest things in Spenser and Shakvite my readers to judge.
speare, because they were cast in a The French of the present day, I mould utterly differing from that imknow, set but little store on these pressed on the language of our porevivers of the poetical art. Their liter circles, though similar enough to extreme solicitude for what they call the stamp of our
country-folks' talk ? the purity of their language, makes Let any one take up Voltaire's comthem easily offended by phrases, the mentary on the tragedies of Corneille, irregularities of which we should be and he will see to what a pitch this Vol.ly.
fastidiousness has been carried in the The whole poem is indeed so fan-
the wind; and the other deities themWe will begin with Marot; not selves, submitting to his power. But because his works are of very rare observing that Marot continued still occurrence, (for there have been refractory, he resolves to tame the many editions of them,) but because, rebel ; and taking an arrow out of though frequently spoken of, and his quiver, executes his purpose so even recommended as a model of effectually, as to render the unhappy elegant "badinage" by Boileau, he poet an object of commiseration to is but little known amongst us; all who have a heart capable of which indeed is not much to be pity. In order to assuage his sufferwondered at, when his own country- ings, Marot resolves on a far-off men seem to have almost lost sight journey in search of the goddess of him. “ Marot is much talked of, Ferme-amour, a pure and chaste but seldom read,” says one of their dame, whom Jupiter had sent upon critics. * “ We do not read with earth, committing the government pleasure that which has need of a of loyal spirits to her care. A long dictionary to explain it. Almost all time did the Poet compass land and his expressions are antiquated.”— sea, like a knight-errant, on this “ Villon and Marot, and some others, quest. Of all to whom he came he are satirical poets; and their epi- inquired whether she dwelt in their grams may be said to be the only land ; but of none did he gain any titles they have to celebrity in the tidings of her. At length he deterpresent day,” says another.f All this mines to go to the Temple Cupidique, may show the little taste the French in the hopes of finding her there; now have for their elder poets. How and setting out early in the morning, otherwise could they have overlooked has no difficulty in discovering his those exquisite sketches, the Temple way; for many a passing pilgrim of Cupid, and the Eclogue of Pan had sprinkled it with roses and and Robin, by Marot; the latter of branches of rosemary; and as he which is worthy the author of the advanced, he fell in with other pilFaerie Queene, I as the former is of grims who journeyed on, sighing and Chaucer?
relating their sad haps. Joining their We might almost suppose our company, he arrives with them at selves to be reading an imitation of the royal temple ; where, in the enthe proem to the Canterbury Tales, closure that surrounded it, the sweet in the following verses with which breath of the west-wind, and Tityrus, the Temple of Cupid opens : and the god Pan with his flocks and Sur le printemps que la belle Flora herds, and the sound of pipes and Les champs couverts de diverse fleur a, flageolets, and of birds answering to E son amy Zephyrus les esvente,
them, soon refreshed his wearied Quand doucement en l'air souspire e vente. spirits.
M. Dussault, in a review of a Selection of Marot's Works, inserted in his Annales Littéraires, t. i. p. 198.
+ M. Avenel, one of the writers in the Lycée Français, t. ii. p. 106, an entertaining miscellany that lasted but a short time after the decease of Charles Loyson, a young poct of considerable promise, who was a chief contributor to it. He died in the course of last year.
# Indeed ne has closely copied it in the Shepheard's Kalendar, Ecl. 12.
His heart assured him that this was the residence of Ferme-amour; and Hope led him onward to the delightful place. It seemed as if Jove had come from heaven on purpose to frame it; and there was wanting nothing but Adam and Eve to make one believe that it was the terrestrial paradise itself.
Over the portal he observes a scutcheon with the arms of Love engraved on it; and higher up the figure of Cupid himself, with his naked bow out-stretched and ready to discharge an arrow at the first comer. He now enters; and is welcomed by Bel-accueil, who takes him by his right hand, and leads him through a narrow path into the beautiful enclosure of which he was the first porter.
Le premier huis de toutes fleurs vermeilles
For ever in that place y-blooming were.
We now come to the great altar, which is a rock of that virtue, that every lover who would flee from it is drawn nearer, like steel to the magnet. The canopy is a cedar, which stretches so wide as to cover the altar, on which body, and heart, and goods, must be given up as an offering to Venus.
De Cupido le diademe
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