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 poorest 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 cer. which 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 doubt as 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.

humbler but more spirited boy, the parent It may be said that all characters, even 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 fellow, though in a fair stand-up fight,

severe marks of punishment on his school in its glow and splendour. The poet, had better keep out of the way of the therefore, has sacrificed effect to truth; tigress mother or the savage father, or and his object may have been to show

he that the slightest acts of oppression or in. This, however, though it does not much

may bitterly rue his own prowess. 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, plunges 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 lead upon his wit
To paint their meeting? Happy they who feel,
And all as irksome he who would fain tell.
And they are breathing warm, soul into soul,
Confused in spiritual joy; locked in embrace
As though they held their world of happiness
By that dear clasp. Where is it fled, the woe,
That late o'erwhelmed them? Nay, what height.
ens bliss

called rent-the remorseless proscription
levels all. He that cultivates the soil
alone has a right to the soil; (what is to
be done if another wishes to cultivate it,
and therefore claims an equal right, does
not appear to have been a contingency
contemplated under the new system);
to the fire with all title-deeds.
Cade's orders to pull down the Courts of
Law are unnecessary; they must fall of
themselves-there is but one tenure, that
of having driven the plough through the
field--but if two men happen to drive
their plough through the same field, what

Call it not woe; for our ills do but wait
Upon our blessings, as the Ethiop,
Swart eunuch, on the sultan's sunless fair,
Making grace goodlier.'-pp. 10, 11.

She insists on his changing his clothes,
and all this homely domestic scene is
drawn with so much truth and simplicity
(though here and there perhaps with an
expression rather too strong to be in
keeping) as to remind us of that tone of

Then wanted not

Embraces mutual, joy in disarray,
Conflict tumultuous: long 'twas ere he freed
His wife from the soft bond of his embrace
And turned away, there to distribute his love
Where 'twas next due: redoubling kiss on kiss
'Mong prattling lips: asking and answering

We are far from asserting that it has
ever 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 Doro-
England, corrupted as he is to his heart's thea.
core by the vitiating habit of receiving
tithes, can be otherwise than an object of
just and unmitigated abhorrence; that
there are men, hundreds of men, gentle-
men by birth, scholars by education,
meek, holy, self-denying men, who are
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
Is joy well earned; and a glad wife was she,
their calling, upon charity, education of When, her devotion o'er, she rose again,
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,
can holiness, can real Christian zeal and
love exist in a man who has his mark

The following is a successful imitation, as it seems to us, of Cowper :

upon a sheaf which he has not sowed, or
a hay-cock which he has not mown?
sad and awful truth, the whole political
theory is simply—you have, and we want
to have! we are (at least so we suppose)
the strongest, because we are the most
numerous-you have had your turn, now
is ours-and till this is done, till the
sovereign people is installed in its rights,
plunder is law-revenge is virtue-in-
surrection, patriotism-massacre, Chris-

We must take refuge from the appalling thoughts which its whole theory suggests in some of the gentler and more pleasing passages of the poem itself.

It commences with the description of a wild and tempestuous night, by which Frederick Hess is overtaken on his return to his peaceful home and the bosom of his family: he arrives and is welcomed by his wife.

'Anon the kettle breathed

Its invitation to familiar rites;
First gently murmuring with rise and fall
And stop, as who preludes before he plays;
Then blowing a more moody and deeper blast,
As summoning its strength, 'till at the last,
Brooking no more delay, it boils amain,
Impatient, as the enthusiast Pythoness,
Of his hot fumes.
That challenge.'—p. 13.

The housewife heard well

Then a short pause

By talk made shorter ere she 'gan dispense
Her gracious drink; that gracious drink transfused
Into its cognate cups of far Cathay,
And blended there with cream, soft temperature,
Its virgin harshness changed to a gentler kind,
Inviting taste-nor needed urgency

To strain the invitation; as when erst
Mad revelry, with stress that more beseems
The hangman's office and the poisoned cup,
Would force its swilling potion down the throat
Of the abject drunkard. Hail, thou blessed plant
Sacred to comfort and complacency,
Gentle refreshment! sure some providence,
Wiser than Pallas and more loving far,

Created thee to countervail the curse

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Of that luxurious vine, whose first effect
(Type of its proofs in all futurity)

Redounded to its Patriarch Author's shame,
Perverting reverence and pious dues
To ribald leer and rank obscenity,
Clean against nature. Then must grace go out
When riot rules: but thou dost still repress
Each passion in its dark cell of the brain,
There to lie still; whispering in the ear
Of mad distemperature a voice of calm,
Rebuking all misrule. Sure it was thou,
Though strangely named, didst once reform the

Shaking the stanchions, beating 'gainst the door,
Like to a maniac; aye, howl away
In frustrate fury, for that din the more
Endears our warm security within ;
To think what we might be, doubles the bliss
Of what we are.'-pp. 14, 15.

We must observe, however, that this innocent teetotalism is not the universal habit of these new patriots; there are occasions when the assurance that it has not paid excise recommends the mountain-dew to their lips; and on these occasions their valour is heightened by a more generous inspiration.

The joy of the meeting is enhanced by the expected appearance of Arthur Hermann, whose coming is announced by the pretty and graceful confusion of the daughter, Lucy, of course the object of his affections, and the cause of his visit. As Hermann is to play a distinguished part in the poem, we must insert the description of his personal appearance and character.


Of old Ulysses to humanity

From bestial lewdness, so reclaiming back
By thy mild potency those haggard souls;
And rendering them to their reason again,
Forgotten and foregone. Then was joy rife
'Neath that poor thatch-the minutes winged their

Like a glad dream-sportive as fairy sprites,
Dancing at eve with feet that but provoke
The springy grass to rise against their tread,
Leaving no trace. Their joy blazed as a star,
Needing naught else to feed it-from each brow
To each reflected, glancing eye from eye,
Well had it lustred every nook of the room,
Though light beside were none. Howled the Its slumberous dullard eyes, and became dawn,

fierce storm,

There he stood,
Wearing no natural stamp of sovereignty,
Nor mark of greatness on the outward man;
No radiance of beauty to light up
Love's torch with secret-darting sympathy;
Stately nor strong, but rather feeble of frame,
Feebler than were the fellows of his youth;
And stooping in such wise as his own weight
O'erwhelmed the spirit within him. At each fair
And festival, where thronging manhood meets,
'Mong thousands you might see him, and each one
For feat of strength and rustic exercise
Likelier than he. Who had looked hastily
Had so esteemed him-but the sager eye
Saw that within him which shone clearer forth
And nobler, like the worth of a native gem,
From closer view-a vase most delicate

And pure-and its lamp flamed so lustrously
As threw all o'er it a yet paler show
To scem more virgin-like and frail than it was.
And yet it was a burning, blazing lamp,
Though pure and heavenly, yet very intense,
Like lightning, where it blazes, there it blasts;
Take heed of it-oh! 'tis a perilous thing
When the proud soul rebels 'gainst the poor bounds
That would confine it—and, for it disdains
To be barred by them, rather dares all risk
To be 'whelmed under them.'-p. 20.

Arthur Hermann is the son of an old peasant, who has turned country schoolmaster, a 'maggot-headed man,' unworthy of such a son. The youth had been taken into the squire's dull family, to quicken, by emulation, the sons of its 'base lord,' that

'their dull vaporous spirit,
Kindled by him, touched by his quickening light,
Might burst into a blaze. So their fond sire
Had framed his hope, and orderly success
Gave substance to the shape; their darkness oped

Presaging day. Meantime that boy, well pleased,
Wore the rich habit of his daily life,

And in its various brightness pranked himself,
As 'twere his proper native quality,

No less than to the leopard its gay skin,
So born and so to die; alas for him
And his fond dream! for trust, since Paradise,
Was never wisdom. On a time it chaneed,
As the stream is swiftest and most foaming rash
At the fountain head; and so in boyish blood
And the hand strike; a fit of moodiness,
E'en as the humour stirs doth the tongue speak,
'Twixt him and one or other of his mates,
Biew their old friendship up-to it they went
Pell mell, as was the instinct of their rage,
With momentary passion. That old boast
Confounding all the fair and loving past
Of blood, is but opinion's idle brag,
And nature knows no scutcheons-in this truth
Was the arrogant young squire batter'd and bruised
And meeting, knew him not in that foul face.
To a raw monster, that his mother met,
Such was their boyish broil,-but the sire's wrath
Upon his son's so pitiful disgrace,
Rose to a boiling pitch. Base dunghill cur,
The din of oaths and lash of vengeful whips,
And starveling beggar's brat-this, and yet more,
Such was the gratulation and triumph loud
That hailed the victor home. Against that storm
He stood like a dull tortoise in its shell,
Biding all proof of it; with passiveness
Defying wrath to the worst-for his heart drew
All feeling to itself, full to o'erflow

With rush of its proud blood. But the brunt o'er,
When that his patience had fulfilled its task,
His rage took turn; shaking his frame all through,
Body and soul; and then he hied him forth
Like a wild beast broken from out its cage;
Not knowing where-no forethought and no sense,
Save only of its keeper's hateful rod

And threatening voice; purposed to feed hell

Rather than turn again; thus conscience.cursed
He wandered, branded worse than was Cain's brow,
A deep heart-brand; out-facing the rude storm,
Daring the desperation of the blast

To sweep him clear away. Oh, how he longed
To change his manhood with the rover hawk

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