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scene changing with them. For the first, the back-ground changes o into groves, temples, and mountains, such as those of Delphos and Parnassus; and a music striking up, consisting of pipes, lyres and ** timbrels, with a smell of incense accompanying, there passes through the air a line of ancient deities, Jupiter, the Muses, Venus, Apollo, Mercury, Cupid and Psyche, &c. who, vanishing all at once, are succeeded by the forms of Homer, Pindar, Theocritus, and the Greek tragedians, all crowned with laurel, and seated on a cloud in chairs of marble. “These vanish in the same manner; the back-ground shifts into a delicious scene of gardens and palaces, with castles at intervals and spots of wildness; and the music after a short and rustic amatory strain on the harp, changes into an ardent flourish of trumpets, when a vision, in two groups, of horse and horsemen appears, part riding with dignity, others with a lightsome ease, others with a forward or rearing eagerness. The horses are variously trapped, but the horsemen all mantled with red cloaks over their suits of armour; and by their banners are recognized, in the first group, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Launcelot, . Tristran, &c. and in the second, Charlemagne and his Peers, Roland, Rinaldo, and others, They are followed by bearded enchanters attired in long cloaks, and riding on griffins and other animals, with wands and books in their hands; when the whole suddenly vanishing are succeeded by the forms of Pulci, Ariosto, o Tasso, and Spenser, crowned with laurel and seated on thrones of tapestry. - +,- - - - “The back-ground then changes, for the third time, to an ethereal scene, in which hangs the Earth like a planet with the Moon moving round it; and to the sound of various and delightful music, a troop of fairies first cross the air with gestures of quaint pretension and tricksome loveliness, then a company of ordinary human beings from the king to the peasant, and then again, creatures of the fancy, Ariel, Caliban, Comus, &c. ending with the majestic but melancholy form of Satan, sailing along in a swarthy mist. These vanishing in their turn, are replaced by three Gothic seats, in which are enthroned the shapes of Chaucer, Shakspeare, and Milton, crowned with laurel, and holding globes in their hands,- the first a terrestrial, the third a celestial, and the second a double one of both. The whole then disappears; a tremendous and small - music is heard as in conclusion ; and while the original scene is returning in the back-ground, Poetry descends on the wing, and o seats herself in a reclining posture, on an upper part of the cloud, a little behind the head of Liberty.” P. 58. - o
When we are called upon to imagine Homer, &c. sitting on a cloud in chairs of marble, we must really call impossibility into our aid, and totally forget all the ideas which we ever yet attached either to a cloud or to marble. We would willingly produce a P favourable
" Vol. Iv. AUGUST, 1815.
favourable specimen of Mr Hunt's poetical powers; the following perhaps is altogether the best which we can discover.
* "Tis my brethren of the sky,
Echoes dying off. Rejoice : Rejoice!” P. 15.
Aar. XIII. Metrical Essays. By John Ambrose Willians.
MR. Williams begins his preface with an assertion, the truth of which we must deny. “ Critics,” says he, declaim against self-taught poets.” Where did he learn this We think, on the coutrary, that, if the subject be carefully enquired into, they will be found to have simmed more on the side of indulgence than of severity. To “self-taught poets” meaning by this expression, which, however, is an awkward and equivocal one, those uneducated writers who have manifested poetical talents, they have, in at least ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, lent a helping hand. To every labourer or journeyman manufacturer, who, because he could rhyme and mete out ten syllables, took it into his head to fancy that he was a poet, they certainly have not given encouragement to quit his beneficial calling for the idle and starving trade of stringing verses together. But their conduct in this case, far from deserving censure, deserves gratitude and praise, not only from the public, but from the misled writers themselves. Having thus rebutted Mr. Williams's groundless accusation, we will prove that we are in charity with its author. Considered as “the juvenile offspring of a mind indebted to little except its own assiduity, for whatever degree of superiority it may possess over absolute ignorance and mere vulgarity,” his productions, which he modestly declares to be “nothing more than trifles,” do him considerable credit. His volume, amidst much incorrectness and tameness, contains several lines, and some passages, which are by no means contemptible. In one or two of his poems, that of “Napoleon” for instance, he is not wanting in sprit. Still we would not advise him to devote a large portion of his time to the courtship of the Muses, and still less would we advise him to be too liberal in making known to the public the result of that courtship.
ART. XIV. Parnassian Wild Shrubs; consisting of Odes;
THERE is nothing in the world more common, and at the same time more ridiculous, than that inveterate self-delusion, which induces men to believe that they are admirably gifted to act those very parts for which nature has wholly disqualified
P 2. them.
them. We, for example, every day see persons ogling at the glass, smirking complacently, and proving, by a hundred similar tricks, that they ...]
charms of Adonis, while, in fact, they are more fit to perform the office of a scare-crow, or a raw head and bloody bones; others, who look on themselves as Hampdens and Ciceros, but who are nothing more than vulgar demagogues, and Palace Yard bawlers; and others, who live in certain hope of seeing their
names enrolled with those of Milton and Dryden, though they
are only humble rivals of those bards who compose Christmas verses for the Bellman and the Lamplighter. This last class is, unfortunately, a numerous one, and is that by which we critics are the most annoyed. We do not, however, mean to say that Mr. W. Taylor has any such lofty expectations as are indulged by many of the rhymers to whom we have alluded. On the
contrary, in his preface, he speaks of his productions with a
laudable modesty. The title, too, of his book is undoubtedly
meant to be an unassuming one. It claims, nevertheless, more than we dare, in justice, to allow. It implies that his shrubs,
though wild, are still the growth of the Parnassian Mountain. Now, we must take leave to deny, in the most positive manner, that they are so. If they really came from Parnassus, though
they might not possess the grandeur of the tree, or the beauty
of the cultivated flower, we should receive them with pleasure. But they do not come from that consecrated ground. Mr. Taylor seems a good-natured, moral man, but he knows not a single step of the road to Parnassus; and we hope that he will not again commit the mistake of going astray upon a moor, and them bringing to market, under a false name, a basket of arrant weeds, devoid of scent and of colour. t
ART. XV. An Attempt to establish a pure scientific System of Mineralogy by the Application of the Electro-Chemical Theory. By Jacob Berzelius, M.D. F.R.S. Professor of
Chemistry at Stockholm. Translated by John Black. 12mo, pp. 139. 6s. Baldwin. 1814. .
THIS little essay treats upon an important point in the united provinces of Mineralogy and Chemistry, in which we have little doubt but that further discoveries will be rapidly made. We have received much curious information from its perusal, and we doubt not but that it will be read by every professed mineralogist with much interest and advantage. The following extract will afford a very fair motion of the Theory which Ber
ieve themselves to be possessed of all the « .
“Through the influence of electricity on the theory of chemistry, this last science has experienced a revolution, and received a greater and more important accession of influence, than it did through the doctrines of either Stahl or 1,avoisier. The influence of the electro-chemical theory extends even to mineralogy, whose doctrines must receive an equal extension with those of the parent science, although no attempt has yet been made to apply this theory to mineralogy. - .. “From the electro-chemical theory we have been taught to seek in every compound body for the ingredients of opposite electro-chemical properties, and we have learned from it that the combinations cohere with a force which is proportionate to the degree of opposition in the electro-chemical nature of the ingre-, dients. Hence it follows that in every compound body there are one or more electro-positive with one or more electro-negative ingredients”, which, as the combinations consist of oxides, means the same as that every body in the combination, called by us a. basis, must be answered by another which acts the part of an acid, even supposing that in its isolated situation it does not possess the general characters for which acids are distinguished, namely, a sour faste, and the property of changing vegetable blues to red. The body, which is in one case electro-negative when combined with a stronger electro-positive, that is, which is acid when combined with a stronger basis, may in another case be electropositive, and be united to a stronger electro-negative body, or, which is the same thing, may be the basis to a stronger acid. ' Thus in the union of two acids.the weaker acid serves as the basis. to the stronger. “Thus every combination of two or more oxides possesses the mature of a salt, i.e. has its acid, And, if we suppose this combination decomposed by the galvanic battery, the first will be collected round the positive pole, and the second round the negative, Hence in every mineral composed of oxidised bodies, whether of an earthy or saline mature, we must seek for the electro-negative and electro-positive ingredients; and after the nature and qualities of these are found, a critical application of the chemical theory will tell us what the fossil in question is.” P. 11.
“* I must once for all inform the reader that, from the consideration I have recently bestowed on this subject, I have been led to introduce this alteration into the nomenclature of which I have already given some account, in my Essay on Nomenclature and the Electro-Chemical System. (K. Wat. Ac Handl. 1812, i. H.) By electro-positives, is to be understood such as have inflammable bodies or salts for bases; and by electro-negatives, the oxygen and oxides which go to the positive pole of the galvanic battery.” - -