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Cowper was now incapable of deriving the slightest satisfaction. From the spring of 1794, until the summer of 1795, the vigilance of lady Hesketh was unabated. A change apa peared essential to the preservation of the life of Cowper; and, in July 1795, his benevolent kinsman, Mr. Johnson, removed him, with Mrs. Unwin, to North Tuddenham, in Norfolk.
In the spring of 1796, the notes to Wakefield's edition of Pope's Homer, which had been received by Mr. Johnson, awakened suddenly the attention of the dejected bard, and induced him to resuine the revisal of his translation: but, in the ensuing autumn, his derangement returned. In December, Mrs. Unwin died.
On the morning of that day he said to the servant who opened the window of his chamber : “Sally, is there life above stairs?” A striking proof of his bestowing incessant attention on the sufferings of his agt d friend, although he had long appeared almost totally absorbed in his own.
• In the dusk of the evening he attended Mr. Johnson to survey the corpuse; and after looking at it a few moments, he started suddenly away, with a vehemen: but unfinished sentence of passionate sorrow.
• He spoke of her ro more.' Vol. ii. P. 203.
In September 1797, the kindness and intelligence of Mr. Johnson so far prevailed over his inalady, as to occasion the renewal of his attention to Homer; which was continued, at intervals, until March 1799, when he composed his last poem—thie Cast-awav--a few plaintive stanzas, founded on an anecdote in Anson's voyage.
In January 1800, he translated fables of Gay into Latin verse. A complication of maladies soon assailed him; and on the 25th of April he expired. His dissolution was gentle, and scarcely perceived by the attendants. He was buried in Dereham Church, Norfolk. His person and disposition are thus mentioned by Mr. Hayley:
"He was of a middle stature, rather strong than delicate in the form of his limbs; the colour of his hair was a light brown, that of his eyes a blueish grey, and his complexion ruddy. In his dress he was neat, but not finical; in his diet temperate, and not dainty.
• He had an air of pensive reserve in his deportment, and his extreme shyness sometimes produced in his manners an indescribable mixture of awkwardness and dignity; but no being could be more truly graceful, when he was in perfect health, and perfectly pleased with his society. Towards women in particular, his behaviour and conversation were delicate and fascinating in the highest degree. .' Nature had given him a warm constitution, and had he been prosperous in early love, it is probable that he might have enjoyed a more uniform and happy tenour of health. But a disappointment of the heart, arising from the cruelty of fortune, threw a cloud on his juvenile spirit. Thwarted in love, the native fire of his temperament turned impetuously into the kindred channel of devotion. The smothered flames of desire uniting with the vapours of constitutional melancholy, and the fervency of religious zeal, produced altogether that irregularity of corporeal sensation, and of mental health, which gave such extraordinary vicissitudes of splendor and of darkness to his mortal career, and made Cowper ac times an idol of the purest admiration, and at times an object of the sincerest pity.' Vol. ii. f. 221.
He understood the Greek, Latin, French, and Italian languages. Ilis reading, however, was limited:-' non multa, sed multum,' The events of his life prove, to the honour of female scosibility, that he could engage the best alicctions of accomplished women. In this female society perhaps his frequent trifles in rhyine originated..
We have already overstepped our boundary; and, from the original poetry, can only admit a short specimen of the serious class, • To the reverend Mr. Newton, on his return from Ramsgate.
· That ocean you of late survey'd,
Those rocks I too have seen,
You tranquil and serene.
Saw stretched before your view,
No longer such to you.
Upon the dang'rous coast,
Of all my treasure lost.
And found the peaceful shore;
Come home to port no more.' Vol.ii. P. 292. From the Hare and many Friends, we give a few Latin verses.
« Venatorum audit clangores ponc sequentum,
Fulmineumque sonum territus erro fugit.
Respicit et sentit jam prope adesse necem.
Unde abiit mirâ calliditate, redit;' Vol.ii. 1.390. We cannot further pursue Mr. Hayley through his appendix, which contains á few original poeins, with translations from Greuk verses, and from Latin poetry, ancient and mo
dern. We have laboriously endeavoured to trace the extraordinary life of a poet, whose misfortunes add a melancholy interest to his writings.
Forcible, though minute, as a painter of domestic and of rural scenery-a keen observer of character, and an affecting moralist, Cowper, in his versification, is usually harsh. We are neither lulled by the melting euphony of Pope, nor elevated by the sonorous magnificence of Milton. Violent contrasts frequently recur. The burlesque and the solemn clash together, unharmonised by intermediate chords.
At the conclusion of these volumes, Mr. Hayley proposes that a monument in the metropolis should be raised to Cow, per, from funds to arise in part by public contribution, and in part by the profits of an edition of Milton, with translatous of his Italian and Latin poems, decorated with plates. These decorations, we hope, will exceed in merit the portraits introduced into the work before us. The first engraving is discreditible to the taste of the artist: the head from Lawrence is of moderate execution; and the portrait of Cowpcr's mother would disgrace an engraver's apprentice.
It remains for us to appreciate the merits of Mr. Hayley as a biographer. Allowing for the partiality of friendship, he has discharged his duty in a respectable manner. His compilation, however, is too diffuse : bis materials are loosely arruiged; and his style, sometimes elegant, is often languid and verbose, charged with cpithets, and sullied by affectation.
The distressing insanity of a friend should be revealed in the language of feeling rather than of art. The calamitous eclipses of his effullgent minul' we select from other artificial phrases, in which we can discover no 'graceful propriety.'
Art. II.-Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of
London. For the Year 1802. Part II. 4to. 17s.6d. sewed. Nicol. 1802.
WE hasten to overtake this interesting annual publication, which has, on several accounts, been too long delayed. We, shall not, however, detain the reader by apologies, or a te. dious introduction. The different articles are too valuable to require any assistance from our comments.
i Obser ations on the two lately discovered celestial Bodies. Br William llerschel, LL.D. F.R.S.?
We have already announced these two new planets, disco. vered by MM. Piazzi and Olbers, and have remarked their appropriate situation in a place where there was a considerable
chasm in the planetary system, as well as their disproportioned size to the other planets. We, sore time since, suggested, that they were perhaps comets brought into less eccentric orbs, by the joint attractions of Jupiter and the sun; and our author's observations seem to confirm the suspicion. From these observations, the diameter of Ceres seems scarcely to exceed 160 miles, and that of Pallas, taking the mean of two measures, about 130 miles. If we compare them with the planets, we shall find that-
"1. They are celestial bodies, of a certain very considerable size. • 2. They move in not very eccentric ellipses round the sun.
• 3. The planes of their orbits do not deviate many degrees from the plane of the earth's orbit.
4. Their motion is direct.
5. They may have satellites, or rings. • 6. They have an atmosphere of considerable extent, which however bears hardly any sensible proportion to their diameters.
• 7. Their orbits arc at certain considerable distances from each other.
• Now, if we may judge of these new stars by our first criterion, which is their size, we certainly cannot class them in the list of planets : tor, to conclude from the measures I have taken, Mercury, which is the smallest, if divided, would make up more than 135 thousand such bodies as that of Pallas, in bulk.
• In the second article, their motion, they agree perhaps sufficiently well.
The third, which relates to the situation of their orbits, seems again to point out a considerable difference. The geocentric latitude of Pallas, at present, is not less than between seventeen and eighteen degrees; and that of Ceres between fifteen and sixteen; whereas, that of the planets does not amount to one half of that quantity. If bodies of this kind were to be admitted into the order of planets, we should be obliged to give up the zodiac; for, by extending it to them, should a few more of these stars be discovered, still farther and farther deviating from the path of the carth, which is not unlikely, we might soon be obliged to convert the whole firmanient into zodiac ; that is to say, we should have none left.
In the fourth article, which points out the direction of the motion, these stars agree with the planets.
• With regard to the fifth, concerning satellites, it may not be easy to prove a negative; though even that, as far as it can be done, has been shewn. But the retention of a satellite in its orbit, it is well known, requires a proper mass of matter in the central body, which it is evident these stars do not contain.
• The sixth article seems to exclude these stars from the condition of planets. The small comas which they shew, give them so far the resemblance of comets, that in this respect we should be rather inclined to rank them in that order, did other circumstances permit us to assent to this idea.
. In the seventh article, they are again unlike planéts ; for it apo pears, that their orbits are too near each other to agree with the ge
neral harmony that takes place among the rest ; perhaps one of them might he brought in, to fill up a seeming vacancy between Mars and Jupiter. There is a certain regularity in the arrangement of planetary orbits, which has been pointed out by a very intelligent astronomer, so long ago as the year 1772; but this, by the admission of the two new stars into the order of planets, would be completely overturned ; whereas, if they are of a different species, it may still remain established.' P. 224.
This reasoning is, however, too rigorous. By a similar argument, it might be contended that there should be no more than seven planets, seven colours, &c.: to which we mav and, that the vacant space may be as aptly filled by two smaller bodies as by one larger. Had we found a large planet, three times the united diameter of the two now under our eyes, we should not have contested its title; and we see · not, as we shall presently show, that we ought, from any
considerations, to combat the claim of either Cercs or Pallas. The other oljection is still weaker. If we admit bodies, it is said, of such great geocentric latitudes, we must resign the zodiac. But what power fixed its limits the motions of planets, which did not wander beyond it; and now some more eccentric are found, its limits must be, for the same reason, extended. If, however, these bodies be not planets, we may ask, What are they? We know only of three kinds of celestial bodies; planets revolving about the sun, deriving their light from it, with a determined annual parallax, and a diameter subtending a sensible angle; fixed stars shining with a light peculiarly their own, without any parallax, and subtending no sensible angle ; and comets, deriving their light from the sun, which they seem to con. vey in a peculiar form, that of a coma, and a tail projected in a direction opposite to the sun, with a very considerable geocentric latitude - in other words, moving in a plane greatly inclined to that of the earth's orbit. Ceres and Pal. las are certainly observed with come : are they not, therefore, comets?—Let us attend to our author.
'1. They are celestial bodies, generally of a very small size, though how far this may be limited, is yet unknown.
2. They move in very eccentric ellipses, or apparently parabolic arches, round the sun.
3. The planes of their motion admit of the greatest variety in their situation.
4. The direction of their motion also is totally undetermined.
5. They have atmospheres of very great extent, which shew themselves in various forms of tails, coma, haziness, &c.
'On casting our eye over these distinguishing marks, it appears, that in the first point, relating to size, our new stars agree sufficiently well; for the magnitude of comets is not only small, but very unlia
Crit. Rev. Vol. 39. May, 1803,