Immagini della pagina

men tell us we should choose a king, as being a band, some capital to decorate the column of freedoms but that choice is not so easy a thing as they imagine: Where a crown descends from father to son by imme. morial usage, there is no difficulty in making kings ; but those who begin the trade have an up-bill road to travel, equally difficult and dangerous. The black guards of a country will indeed readily hail King Log, ihough they prefer King Crane, in the hope of sharing the plunder of a spoiler; but the wealthy, the eminent, and the considerate, will not rashly choose a master, nor tamely submit to one which others have chosen. Admitting, moreover, that it were easy, is it desirable to establish monarchy? The idea of a French republic was no doubt ridiculous, and the attempt fruitful in abominations; to overturn monarchy in Britain would be as absurd, and nearly as pernicious; and to propose a Russian or Prussian democracy, would be as wise a project as that of the Roman emperor, who wished to make a consul of his horse; but let those who are so proud of the monarchical trappings under which they prance, and who are so prodigal of censuré on the opinions and feelings of America, show what has been done by royal governments to suppress that hideous spirit of jacobinism, which is the theme of their abundant declamation. One nation bas indeed stood forth the bulwark of mankind; but that nation is governed more by an aristocracy, than by a monarch. According to the English law, the king can do no wrong-a modest expression of the fact, that he can do nothing. He can, it is true, choose ministers, but then his part is performed. The rest is theirs. Each and every of them, for each and every act of government, is liable to be tried by the peers, on impeachment of the commons. They are thus accountable to the aristocracy for if the peers are clothed with the national dignity, it is the property which makes and sits in the house of commons.' So little, indeed, is their king considered by them as an efficient part of the government, that the act in which he personally appears, and which of all others seems most especially his own, the speech which he makes, is considered and treated in their parliament, as the speech of his ministers; and so is the


fact: The British monarchy, if monarchy it must be éalled, is certainly a good government, well suited to that country. Whether it would suit America would be known only by experiment. Probably it would not, but certainly it could not now be established. If we inquire by what power it is sustained in England, we shall find it is the good sense and mild spirit of Englishmen—the same power by which it was established. A similar spirit, with a fair portion of common sense, induced the Americans to adopt that system under which they live, and it may reasonably be expected, that a continuance of the same mind and temper, will preserve to them, for a long time, the blessings of order, liberty, and law. Sabi Huiunt'I019389 இதமா பர்வம் soqolg FOR THE POCK





" Thou indeed
Art not the first, and wilt not be the last,
Whom an ungrateful vative land has scurned.
But thy lays will survive thee; and thy nawe
Will live immortal, Albion's niaidens too
Will cherish thy sweet songs
“ Hast thou been wafted to Elysian bowers,

In some blest star where thou hast pre-existed,
Inhaled the ecstatic fragrancy of flowers,

Around the golden harps of seraphs (wisted.”

POOR Keats left England * in September, 1820, and died at Rome on the 23d February, 1821, at the prema

The following little tribute addressed to him on his departure, is extracted froin "The Indicator;" as it shiews the high sense of his private virtne which was entertained by his friend, Mr. Leigh Hunt, who was the first to introduce his talents to the notice of the public. I trust its in. sertion will not be considered misplaced.-" Ah, dear friend, as valued a one as thou art a poet, -John Keats, we cannot, after all, find it in our hearts to be glad, vów that thou art gone away with the swallow, to seek a kind


ture age of twenty-five. Many of Mr. S. Skinner's

Just and eloquent observations on Henry Kirk White are extremely applicable to the interesting sube ject of the present article. It caynot be denied that there exists in all the productions of the young poeti we have just lost a beautiful spirit of melancholy gehe tleness, which may be easily traced to the disposition and temperament of the suffering author. The nature of the first poem he published, his “ Endymion, did not admit of an universal exhibition of this sort of feet ing, but even in that wildly beautiful and “singularly original” romance a constitutional pensiveness on the part of its writer was visible. This work has been well described as “ flushed all over with the rich lights of fancy, and so coloured and bestrewn with the flowers i of poetry, that even while perplexed and bewildered in their labyrinths, it is impossible to resist the intoxica-! tion of their sweetness, or to shut our eyes to the en. chantments they so lavisbly present." Like White, Keats considered that scarcely any thing was too pre. cious to be offered as a sacrifice at the shrine of the muse. Like White, regardless of personal and pecu-? lier clime. The rains began to fall heavily the momeut' thou wast to go; we do not say, poet-like, for thy depar. ture. One tear in an honest eye is more precious to thy sight, than all the metaphorical weepings in the universe, and thou didst leave many starting, to think how many months it would be till they saw thee again. And yet thou didst love metaphorical tears too, in their way; and couldst always liken every thing in nature to soniething great or small; and the rains which beat against thy cabin window will set, we fear, thy over-working wits upon many comparisons which ought to be much more hurtful to others than thyself. Heaven mend their envious and ignorant numskulls. But thou hast a "mighty sonl in a little body;" and the kind cares of the former for all about thee shall no longer subject the latter to the chance of impressions which it scorns; and the soft skies of Italy shall breathe balm upon it; and thou shalt return with thy friend, the nightingale, and make all thy other friends as happy with thy voice as they are sorrowful 10 miss it. The little cage thou didst sometimes share with us, looks as deficient without thee as thy present one may do without us; but, farewell for a while, thy heart is in our fields avd thou wilt soon be back to rejoin it." How sadly have the above fond hopes been disaprointed ! 210

niary considerations, Keats early relinquished an eminently lucrative, but rather unpoetical profession, in order that he might devote his time entirely to the luxurious passion that engrossed his soul. Like White, he was exposed to the attacks of grovelling and merciless critics, to whom his honesty and sincerity had given offence. It has been said that White's early death was attributable to the wounds his spirit received from the envenomed shafts of those self-constituted literary censors, who neglect the duties of an office, which might be rendered at once honourable and useful, if they would only act towards authors with candour and liberality, and with honesty and justice towards the public; but who, failing to act in this manner, pander for profit to the base appetites of a portion of the public, and degrade themselves to a level with the merest personal libellers. The truth of the above statement has been doubted ; and it may be that White's conscious superiority enabled him to sustain such attacks without injury; but this was not the case with his partner in talent and in misfortune: the mind of Keats (a fact which may be gathered from his writings) was peculiarly susceptible of the impres. sions which are generally made on poets by censure and neglect. He wanted a portion of that innate confidence which enables a contemporary bard to continue writing and printing on, awaiting with philosophic composure the time when his talents shall be justly appreciated, and his labours honourably rewarded; he ought also to have been a sharer in that proud spirit, influenced by which another and more popular writer is taught to smile at the puny efforts of his revilers, or at once to silence and expose them with his satire. The heart of Keats was peculiarly formed for the endearments of love and the gentle solaces of friendship. He was not bold or brave enough to encounter the struggles of life, and he shrunk iostinctively from the conflict. The purity and refinement of his manners, and the great tenderness of his heart, fitted him rather to be an inhabitant of his own beautiful regions of romance, a denizen of the bright realms created by his own fine and original imagination, than a wanderer in this lower world--a partaker in a scene of stir and

« IndietroContinua »