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and peace ;

not demanding any undue must repeat that the printer seems to have share of the common plunder ; overawed as little notion of subordination as the by the solemn equity which prevails in the writer. new councils ; and putting off at once But it is in the conduct of the story, and their rabid desires for pillage, bloodshed, in the characters, that the strength and and revenge, which have, up to the mo- the extravagance of the author are most ment of triumph, been held such genuine strikingly manifest. It is as extraordinapatriotism. Having been taught and led ry that a poem of such length, with so to practice such noble lessons of respect little action, with so few incidents to anifor property and life ; having been in- mate so vast a mass of harangue, and obstructed to seize the land of the propri- servation, and description, should main. etor, they are to respect the corn of the tain anything like interest, as that such husbandman, or the flock of the shepherd ; appalling sentiments and opinions should having pillaged the landlord, to spare the permit us to sink into placid insensibility, manufacturer. Behold them, with some si- from the prolixity to which they are multaneous impulse, subsiding into a drawn out." A man must be an ardent quiet contented life, on the very scanty admirer of poetry or of Chartism to purproduce of their own industry, and be- sue his unflagging course through the coming at once orderly, unambitious, twelve books of Ernest.' Its dangerwell-regulated citizens. Let the poet fol. ousness is combated by its immense bulk: low out a little, and embody in shape and if it were reduced by one-half, it would form some of the invariable proceedings be much finer, and much more mischiev. of anarchy—a spirit easily raised by the ous. But it is the great proof of the ex. potent conjuration of man, but which re-traordinary powers of the poet that he has quires a higher power—a power for whose been able to throw a grandeur and beauty protection there must be a better guaran- over the heroes of his tale. Reduced to tee than the faith of a fierce fanaticism, their unpoetic and imaginative descripto awe into peace.

tion, they are a young self-educated disThe composition of Ernest is in some senting teacher of a few humble and ig. degree in harmony with its wild political norant peasants; a ruined farmer, who theory. Its style is as lawless as its ob- has lost his property in a tithe-suit with ject. Blank verse is dropped occasion- a tyrannical rector; a spendthrift nobleally for wild lyrical measures; but man, who, having run through his patri. on this it is not worth while to dwell. In monial wealth, retires to a cottage, and the main narrative, to passages of clear vindicates his right of poaching on his passionate eloquence, sweet and true de neighbours' estates. These, with Lucy, scription, occasionally of tender feeling, the daughter of the farmer--for whose fucceed turbid and obscure pages, where affections there is a rivalry between the rude and incongruous metaphors are preacher and the Count-a shepherd, a gathered in loud and disorderly strife, harper, and a few more subordinate chaand images crowd upon each other in racters, form the heroes of the Chartist such strange tumult, that we long, if we epic. We object not, of course, to the thought that we should be heard, to read station of these personages. The poet the Riot-act of sober criticism. Through has a right to create his own aristocracy. out the perusal there is a constant feeling We require not, either our narrative poeof misapplied force, and misgoverned and try or our stage to confine itself to kings misdirected energy. The author is ever and nobles. It is a proof that the poet and anon working himself up to cause- possesses the real magic of his art, that less passion ; and that passion either can he can array in mental grandeur, or awaknot find words, or breaks out into a kind en impressive interest in favour of those, of stormy riot, of which we cannot trace who, by their position and station, cannot the meaning The blank verse, which command it. We protest, with most resometimes flows on with a rich and varied publican earnestness, against the oligarcadence, seems suddenly to become im- chical principle, that what is lowly must patient of control, not merely of the more be vulgar. Vulgarity is of all ranks and arbitrary regulations of metre, but of orders; and if it offends in a poem, it is those eternal laws of harmony which are the vulgarity of the poet's mind, not that the inborn and indispensable music of po-l of his subject; even as it is his true nobiletry. Lines of harsh, abrupt, and rugged|ity and delicacy of sentiment and feeling structure constantly arrest us, and jar which may make a gentleman or a patriupon our ear; though, in justice, we cian of the most humbly born or the poor

est of mankind. But our great objection connection-some kind of proportion to to these characters -and if we were the important events to which they lead. Chartist readers we should feel the ob- The crime which is to be so severely visjection more strongly--is, that not one ited on an aristocracy ought to be a real of the poet's heroes is enlisted in his crime, directly arising out of their politicause by free, spontaneous, or unselfish cal position, not a mere anomalous and motives. Personal grievances, and griev- accidental cause of offence, which might ances which, after all, do not necessarily happen in any order or class of any society. arise out of the social system against Arthur Hermann (the preacher) is cerwhich they rebel, are the first actuating tainly the noblest, and, on the whole, the principles of their patriotism. They are most disinterested of these heroes; but all soured by petty evils into apostles of his aversion to the inequality of ranks freedom: they do not receive that inspi- arises out of his being received as com. ration from deep and intent meditation, panion to some youths of wealth and rank, or from an enforced and deliberate con- with whom he quarrels, as the best-conviction of the rectitude of their intentions, ditioned youths may, and beats the young but from personal disappointments and re- squire to a mummy. The parents are sentment against individuals.

very wroth at this, order the boy a severe

flogging, and turn him out of doors. Now • The world is not their friend, nor the world's law: this, no doubtmas they do not seem to therefore they will convulse the world, inquire into the right or the wrong in the and abrogate the law, or make a new code,

original quarrel was very cruel and unwhich, while it shall be their own very

just ; and since young squires, and even good friend, may turn its hostile aspect young noblemen, as the annals of our on those whom law now protects and public schools will testify, are often much

benefited by a good thrashing from a favours.

It may be said that all characters, even humbler but more spirited boy, the parent the noblest, receive their bias from the squire would have been, perhaps, wiser if small, and sometimes almost impercepti- Still foolish parents, in all ranks, will be

he had settled the matter more amicably. ble, incidents of their lives. We are the slaves of circumstances; and though the angry when they see their children malsoul, like the flint, may be instinct with treated ; and the boy who, in the lowest the brightest fire, it is not till it is struck village school, should happen to leave very by some rude collision that it bursts out

severe marks of punishment on his school in its glow and splendour. The poet, had better keep out of the way of the

fellow, though in a fair stand-up fight, therefore, has sacrificed effect to truth; and his object may have been to show tigress mother or the savage father, or that the slightest acts of oppression or in. This, however, though it does not much

may bitterly rue his own prowess. justice may awaken antagonists, who, for that apparently trivial act, would have justify his subsequent patriotic measures, slumbered on in undangerous inactivity effect assigned to it on a youth of Her

was not perhaps unlikely to produce the or careless apathy.

mann's peculiar temperament and situa• Haud ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco.'

tion. But there is something more un

satisfactory in his conduct in joining the The compassion even of true patriotism conspirators : he demurs at first, and by for the injuries of our fellow-creatures that loses his hopes of Farmer Hess's may be first awakened, or at least daughter, and only appears to join them in a strengthened, by the sense of our own. fit of indignation, because his own father, It is the actual experience of individual thinking himself ill-used by old Hess, in suffering which in general goads to in- not allowing him a sufficiently prominent surrection : a man learns, by tasting it part in the affair, determines to betray himself, how bitter is the cup of slavery them. He then, apparently, without any to his neighbours. There is, no doubt, fresh reasons for his conviction, plunge's much in this : but when such long and headlong into the midst of the plot. Now, cherished resentments are assigned to this may be very generous, as concerns remote causes; when the whole charac- his endangered friends, but not quite so ter receives its colouring from incidents as regards the unhappy landholders, of unmerited suffering, and all this is whom, from this time, he thinks himself brought to bear on the greatest political justified in devoting to massacre. It is questions, there should be some ultimate true that the magistrates are represented

as the aggressors: that is they attempt to of 'Ernest,' though he represents these disperse an illegal meeting by a few con- secret motives as operating on the devestables; but they do so because rebellion lopment of his character, when he comes is manifest, is avowed. Hermann, how-to the full and explicit assertion of his ever, as far as appears, on this petty pro- principles, avows them in the plainest, the vocation, on this accidental turn of affairs, most naked, most abstract truth. It is a becomes profoundly convinced of the just calm and deliberate declaration of war ice of his cause: the Preacher, accord- against property; an assertion that the iny to the poet's language, of faith, the earth and the fullness thereof belongs to gospel, and love,' becomes the head of a the people ; that the French Revolution body of blood-thirsty insurgents, stifles committed its fatal error in not seizing all remorse, enlists the worst ruffians in and confiscating at once all landed prohis cause, and actually persuades himself perty. It is one axiom of the new politithat all the while he is doing God ser- cal scheme, that property in land (of vice'-God, the Father of Him, who, course tithe is an impious as well as an when he was oppressed and afflicted, unjust and inhuman demand) is an usuropened not his mouth; who was welcomed pation upon the common rights of the inon earth by angels, as the Prince of Peace. habitants of any country. No matter And all this justified by a wild misappli- how the land has been obtained, by what cation of the prophetic text, which show- title it is held ;—whether it has been oried that Christianity, on its first promul- ginally brought into cultivation and pro. gation, was likely to be a cause of dis- ductiveness by the dexterity or the skill cord : 'I am not come to send peace upon of its owner or his ancestors; whether earth, but a sword.'

it is held by purchase; whether it belongs In fact, in the Chartist Poem, as in to some Arkwright or some Watt, who every Chartist insurrection, there is no has increased the national wealth by case made out which can enlist the sym- countless millions—who by his skill and pathies of any generous or wise lover of wonderful invention has brought comfort freedom. There is no real evidence of and comparative luxury into the reach of any grievance which really or necessarily myriads :-if he has vested some part of arises out of the social institutions. God his hard-earned, though splendid profits, knows that much evil, much tyranny, in land, he shares the common spoliation. much individual suffering must exist un- Possession is the crime which warrants der our present political arrangements, confiscation; it is an unjust, and unjustias in what state of human society will fiable--yes-even a punishable and wickthere not be ?

ed invasion of the rights of man. For We know who has said that offences monstrous as all this may seem, we are will come :'—but every incident which not arrived at the worst; the whole senworks up these men to their deeds of timent of the poem enforces a rancorous blood is the act of some individual who hatred and implacable feeling of revenge might fairly be rejected by his class or against these usurpers of the public proorder as their representative: the social perty. The ban is upon them as a class arrangement gives him indeed, or seems and an order ; if they are not permitted to give, the power of indulging his proud to starve, this is considered as treating and unjust and inhuman disposition ; but, them with an excess of generous humaniuntil pride and injustice and inhumanity ty, and a bounty which they had no right are extinguished in the human heart, (and to expect. They may have been the when will that be ?) is there any con- best of men, but they are landed proprie. ceivable social system where they will tors or tithe-holding parsons; away with never find occasion for their outbreak, them, why cumber they the ground? where they will be so entirely suppressed They may be descended from the most by the vigilance of law, or the authority popular families, and be the lineal repreof opinion, as to be in no instance inju- sentatives of the boldest and most conrious to individual welfare or to individ- sistent asserters of popular rights; they ual feeling.

may have all the blood of the Russels and We deny not that some political insti- Sidneys in their veins; they may have tutions foster these vices more than others, shown in themselves the best patent of but before they are assumed as their na- nobility, purity of character, the most tural fruits, they must be shown to be self-devoted philanthropy, the most lavish their necessary, or at least general and beneficence ; yet they presume to hold ordinary results. But in fact, the author their paternal acres by a parchment title ;

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they actually live on the ungodly profit But who shall lay such load upon his wit
called rent-the remorseless proscription To paint their meeting? Happy they who feel,
levels all. He that cultivates the soil And they are breathing warm, soul into soul,
alone has a right to the soil ; (what is to Confused in spiritual joy; locked in embrace
be done if another wishes to cultivate it, As though they held their world of happiness
and therefore claims an equal right, does By that dear clasp. Where is it fled, the woe,

That late o'erwhelmed them? Nay, what height. not appear to have been a contingency

ens bliss contemplated under the new system); Call it not woe ; for our ills do but wait to the fire with all title-deeds. Jack Upon our blessings, as the Ethiop, Cade's orders to pull down the Courts of Swart eunuch, on the sultan's sunless fair, Law are unnecessary; they must fall of Making grace goodlier.'-pp. 10, 11. themselves—there is but one tenure, that She insists on his changing his clothes, of having driven the plough through the and all this homely domestic scene is field-but if two men happen to drive drawn with so much truth and simplicity their plough through the same field, what (though here and there perhaps with an then ?

expression rather too strong to be in We are far from asserting that it has keeping) as to remind us of that tone of rever entered into the Author's imagina- common-life reality which Goethe has so tion that a clergyman of the Church of well thrown into his Herman and DoroEngland, corrupted as he is to his heart's thea. core by the vitiating habit of receiving

· Then wanted not tithes, can be otherwise than an object of Embraces mutual, joy in disarray, just and unmitigated abhorrence ;—that Conflict tumultuous : long 'twas ere he freed there are men, hundreds of men, gentle- His wise from the soft bond of his embrace men by birth, scholars by education, Where 'twas next' due : redoubling kiss on kiss

And turned away, there to distribute his love meek, holy, self-denying men, who are 'Mong prattling lips : asking and answering devoting their whole lives to the moral All in one breath. But she, the wife , meantime, and religious improvement of their flocks; As is her sex, more lively changeable, who are of very various shades of cha-O'erpowered by the warm gush of her own heart,

Sank on her chair in silent pensiveness racter, and, on some points, of doctrine, Of prayer ; then her soul, deep from within, so that some at least must approximate Breathed itself forth pure as from angel lips ; to the truth; who in fact spend twice as And her thanksgiving doubled to her heart much of their own upon the objects of The blessing that it owed. Duty well done their calling, upon charity, education of When, her devotion o'er, she rose again,

Is joy well earned ; and a glad wife was she, the poor, and other sacred objects, as the To do whate'er her husband's hungry need ill-gotten and extorted income which they Demanded done.'--p. 12. obtain from their parish. But can virtue, The following is a successful imitation, can holiness, can real Christian zeal and

it seems to us, of Cowper :love exist in a man who has his mark

• Anon the kettle breathed upon a sheaf which he has not sowed, or Its invitation to familiar rites ; a hay-cock which he has not mown?. In First gently murmuring with rise and fall sad and awful truth, the whole political And stop, as who preludes before he plays; theory is simply—you have, and we want Then blowing a more moody and deeper blast, to have ! we are (at least so we suppose) Brooking no more delay, it boils amain,

As summoning its strength, 'till at the last, the strongest, because we are the most Impatient, as the enthusiast Pythoness, numerous—you have had your turn, now of his hot fumes. The houscwife heard well is ours—and till this is done, till the pleased sovereign people is installed in its rights, That challenge.'—p. 13. plunder is law---revenge is virtue-in

• Then a short pause surrection, patriotism-massacre, Chris. By talk made shorter ere she 'gan dispense

Her gracious drink; that gracious drink transfused tianity.

Into its cognate cups of far Cathay, We must take refuge from the appal. And blended there with cream, soft temperature, ling thoughts which its whole theory Its virgin harshness changed to a gentler kind, suggests in some of the gentler and more Inviting taste--nor necded urgency

To strain the invitation; as when erst
pleasing passages of the poem itself.

Mad revelry, with stress that more beseems
It commences with the description of The hangman's office and the poisoned cup,
a wild and tempestuous night, by which would force its swilling potion down the throat
Frederick Hess is overtaken on his re. Of tho abject drunkard. Hail, thou blessed plant

Sacred to comfort and complacency,
turn to his peaceful home and the bosom

Gentle refreshment! sure some providence, of his family: he arrives and is welcomed Wiser than Pallas and more loving far, by his wife

Created thee to countervail the curse

as

crew

Of that luxurious vino, whose first effect

And pure-and its lamp flamed so lustrously (Type of its proofs in all futurity)

As threw all o'er it a yet paler show Redounded to its Patriarch Author's shame, To scem more virgin-like and frail than it was. Perverting reverence and pious dues

And yet it was a burning, blazing lamp, To ribald leer and rank obscenity,

Though pure and heavenly, yet very intense, Clean against nature. Then must grace go out Like lightning, where it blazes, there it blasts; When riot rules: but thou dost still repress Take heed of it--oh! 'tis a perilous thing Each passion in its dark cell of the brain,

When the proud soul rebels 'gainst the poor bounds There to lie still; whispering in the ear

That would confine it-and, for it disdains Of mad distemperature a voice of calın,

To be barred by them, rather dares all risk Rebuking all misrule. Sure it was thou,

To be 'whelmed under them.'-p. 20. Though strangely named, didst once reform the

Arthur Hermann is the son of an old Of old Ulysses to humanity From bestial lewdness, so reclaiming back

peasant, who has turned country schoolBy thy mild potency those haggard souls ;

master, a "maggot-headed man,' unwor. And rendering them to their reason again, thy of such a son. The youth had been Forgotten and foregone. Then was joy rise taken into the squire's dull family, to 'Neath that poor thatch—the minutes winged their

quicken, by emulation, the sons of its way Like a glad dream-sportive as fairy sprites,

base lord,' that Dancing at eve with feot that but provoke The springy grass to rise against their tread,

their dull vaporous spirit, Leaving no trace. Their joy blazed as a star,

Kindled by him, touched by his quickening light, Needing naught else to feed it-from each brow Might burst into a blaze. So their fond sire To each reflected, glancing eye from eye,

Had framed his hope, and orderly guccess Well had it lustred every nook of the room,

Gave substance to the shape ; their darkness oped Though light beside were none. Howled the Its slumberous dullard eyes, and became dawn, fierce storm,

Presaging day. Meantime that boy, well pleased, Shaking the stanchions, beating 'gainst the door,

Wore the rich habit of his daily life, Like to a maniac; aye, howl away

And in its various brightness pranked himself, In frustrate fury, for that din the more

As 'twere his proper native quality, Endears our warm security within ;

No less than to the leopard its gay skin,

So born and so to die ; alas for him
To think what we might be, doubles the bliss
Of what we are.'—pp. 14, 15.

And his fond dream ! for trust, since Paradise,

Was never wisdom. On a time it chanceu, We must observe, however, that this As the stream is swiftest and most foaming rash innocent teetotalism is not the universal At the fountain head; and so in boyish blood habit of these new patriots; there are And the hand strike; a fit of moodiness,

E'en as the humour stirs doth the tongue speak, occasions when the assurance that it has 'Twixt him and one or other of his mates, not paid excise recommends the moun- Biew their old friendship up-to it they went tain-dew to their lips; and on these occa

Pell mell, as was the instinct of their rage, sions their valour is heightened by a more with momentary passion. That old boast

Confounding all the fair and loving past generous inspiration.

Of blood, is but opinion's idle brag, The joy of the meeting is enhanced by And nature knows no scutcheons—in this truth the expected appearance of Arthur Her- Was the arrogant young squire batter'd and bruised

To a raw monster, that bis mother met, mann, whose coming is announced by the

And meeting, knew him not in that foul face. pretty and graceful confusion of the Such was their boyish broil,—but the sire's wrath daughter, Lucy, of course the object of Upon his son's so pitiful disgrace, his affections, and the cause of his visit. Rose to a boiling pitch. Base dunghill cur, As Hermann is to play a distinguished the din of oaths and lash of vengeful whips,

And starveling beggar's brat—this, and yet more, part in the poem, we must insert the de- Such was the gratulation and triumph loud scription of his personal appearance and That hailed the victor home. Against that storm character.

He stood like a dull tortoise in its shell,

Biding all proof of it; with passiveness

• There he stood, Defying wrath to the worst-for his heart drew Wearing no natural stamp of sovereignty,

All feeling to itself, full to o’erflow Nor mark of greatness on the outward man; With rush of its proud blood. But the brunt o'er, No radiance of beauty to light up

When that his patience had fulfilled its task, Love's torch with secret.darting sympathy; His rage took turn; shaking his frame all through, Stately nor strong, but rather feeble of frame, Body and soul ; and then he hied him forth Feebler than were the fellows of his youth ;

Like a wild beast broken from out its cage; And stooping in such wise as his own weight Not knowing where—no forethought and no sense, O’erwhelmed the spirit within him. At each fair Save only of its keeper's hateful rod And festival, where thronging manhood meets, And threatening voice; purposed to seed hell 'Mong thousands you might see him, and each one flames For feat of strength and rustic exercise

Rather than turn again ; thus conscience.cursed Likelier than he. Who had looked hastily He wandered, branded worse than was Cain's brow, Had so esteemed him—but the sager eye

A deep heart-brand; out-facing the rude storm, Saw that within him which shone clearer forth Daring the desperation of the blast And nobler, like the worth of a native gem, To sweep him clear away. Oh, how he longed From closer view-a vase most delicate

To change his manhood with the rovor hawk

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