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painter, but has no reference to any does justice to the merit of that adparticular person. It will perhaps mirable painter of manners, conbe found, that not any very new tains a censure, on which occafion remarks are introduced on a sub- he inserts the following note, in ject, relative to which so much has which every fober chaste judgment been written; but the rules and ob- must heartily concur. servations are at leait delivered with " There probably never was a taste and perspicuity.

more striking instance of misappli“ The opening is poetical. cation of talents than in him From sunny Adria's sea-surrounded (Sterne): with superior powers for

the pathos, he chose to descend to From Tyber's vales and Arno's viny ribaldry, that affronted the taste, howers,

and corrupted the morals of the The Muse of painting seeks Britannia's public. What pity that the gold had

plain, And leads to Thames's barık her favourite not been separated from the dross, train.

and the latter contigned to an obli“ His observation is very juston vion it fo richiy merits.” the superiority and permanence of

“ He pays the following complithe reputation acquired by the ment to the memory of my ingenihigher style of painting and poetry, ous friend Mr. Mortimer. in the sublime and the pathetic, 0! where is he, whose thoughts such compared with the lower class of

grandeur gave, humour and common life.

To bold Fitzwalter, and the barons brave,

When'rang'd in arms along their Thames's 'Tis general nature, in thy art and mine, strand, Must give our fame in future times to

They fuatch'd their charter from a tyrant's shine :

hand ? Sublime and pathos, like the sun's fix'd Thro' all the scencs his 'rapid troke beflame,

ftow'd, Remain and please thro'every age thesame: Rofa's wild grace and daring spiritglow'd; Humour's light shapes, like vapours in the In him----ah! loft ere half his powers sky,

were shown, Rife, pass, and vary, and for ever fly : Britain perhaps an Angelo had known. Hogarth and Swift, if living, might de. plore

“ The volume is closed with a Half their keen jukes, that now are jokes few sonnets, and other copies of

verses written on temporary sub" Among several subjects point- jects, foine of which are of a very ed out as proper for the pencil, he early date (1766), and one dated 6 instances the Maria of Sterne, which far back as 1756." paffage, at the same time that it

no more.


[ From the late Mr. Scott's Critical Essays on some of the Poems of

feveral English Poets. ]

fcriptive poem, of very presented an extensive and beautiful considerable merit, fpirited and plcal prospect in fo agreeable a manner.


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But it is not without its imperfec. ard Savage, in the year 1726, in
tions : there is a redundance of which it appears in that form, very
thought in some instances, and a incorrect, and with the initial lines
carelessness of language in others. as follows :
The versification, like that of Mil-

Farcy, nymph that loves to lie
ton's L'Allegro and Il Penforofo,

On the lonely eminence; is an irregular mixture of iambick Darting notice through the eye, and trochaick lines : a circumstance Forming thought and feasting sense : rather difpleasing to a nice ear.

Thou that must lend imagination wings,

And stamp distintion on all worldly things, The poem opens thus :

Come, and with thy various hues, Silent Nymph, with curious eye!

Paint and adorn thy fifter muse.
Who, the purple ev'ning, lie

As the passage stands at present,
On the mountain's lonely van, there must be either a designed vio-
Beyond the noise of busy man,
Painting fair the form of tbings,

lent ellipsis or accidental omission of While the yellow linnet fings,

the particle at, in the second line, Or the tunesul nightingale

It might be read thus :
Charms the forest with her tale ;
Come with all thy various hues,

Silent nymph with curious eye !
Come and aid thy lijker Muse;

Who at purple evening lyem-
Now while Phæbus riding high The following paragraph rather de-
Gives lustre to the land and sy !

stroys the unity of defign, by di-
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong. viding attention between paft action,

and present, of which lat the prinDyer in general wrote with remark- cipal part of the poem confiits. The able fimplicity and clearness, but image of the poet feated on a bank here is an instance in which his of flowers, by the fide of a founfenfe is almoit inexplicable. What tain, is nevertheless pretty, and has fictitious person is addressed by the perhaps merit enough to justify its appellation of Silent Nymph, it seems

retention :
scarcely possible to discover. Paint-
ing, from the expressions Sister

Grongar, in whose moffy cells

Swectly musing Quiet dwells ;
Musē, and various hues, might be

Grongir in whose lilent shade,
meant; but why should painting be For the modest Muses made,
described as lying on the mountain's So oft I bove, the evening still,
lonely van? Evening, as a profo-

At the fountain of a rill,

Sat upon a flowery bed, popeia, could not be intended; for

With my hand beneath my head; evening cannot with any propriety While firay'd my eyes o'er Towy's Bood, be said to paint the form of things. Over mead and over wood, Faney may be thought to have a From house to house, from hill to hill, better claim to the title, but to her,

Till Contemplation had her fill. some of the above circumstances " The author now agreeably deare not applicable. That Fancy, scribes the circumstance of ascendhowever, was really designed, is a ing a hill, with the consequent grafact that can be fully ascertained. dual enlargement of the surroundFew readers are perhaps apprized ing horizon. The trite limile of that Grongar Hill was originally circles on water, is here happily apwritten, and even printed, as an plied. The comparison of material irregular ode. There is a Miscel. with metaphorical eminence, unlany volume of poeins, collected and happy fate, &c. interrupts the depublifhed by the celebrated Rich. scription, and is not strictly jutt;


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mountains finking in appearance unexceptionably picturesque and
from a spectator's change of fitua- beautiful:
tion, can have no real analogy with

Old castles on the cliffs arise, the degradation of a statesman, hero,

Proudly towering in the skies! or other elevated character. The Rushing from the woods the fpires, ideas in these couplets, “ Still the Scem from hence ascending fires !

Half his beams Apollo sheds, prospect, wider,” &c. are so exten

On the yellow mountain heads ! live, that they approach to the true Gilds the fleeces of the flocks, sublime :

And glitters on the broken rocks! About his chequer'd fides I wind, 6. The downward view of GronAnd leave his brooks and meads behind, gar itself, has equal merit; the epiAnd groves and grottos where I lay,

thets of the different trees are well And vistas fbooting beams of day:

chosen: Wide and wider spreads the vale ; Like circles on a smouth canal :

Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
The mountains round, unhappy fale

Beautiful in various dyes;
Sooner or later of all bright,
Withdraw their summits from the skies, The yellow beech, the sable yew,

The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
And lefsen as the o: hers rile:

The slender fir that taper grows,
Still the prospect wider spreads,

The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs.
Adds a thousand wnods and meads,
Still it widens, widens fill,

“ This poem has been celebrated And links the newly-risen hill.

for the frequency of its moral reSome readers may think the follow- flections. After describing a ruined ing alterations no improvement;

castle or palace, it was natural for but the arrangement is certainly such sentiments as the following to preferable in point of correctness :

occur ; but they might have been

expressed with more conciseness.
Wider and wider spreads the vale, The pen of expunction should have
As circles on a smooth canal;
The mountains round that reach the skies licks, as snperfluous; rule and favay

passed over the words marked in ita-
Subside, and others o'er them rife.
Still the prospect, &c.

are synonymous ; pomp and fivay

would have done better. The con6 Had all the next paragraph, clution, this little defect excepted, except the first two lines, been sup: is truly excellent : pressed, the poem would have suffered no material loss. After the

Yet time has feen, that lifts tbe lewe, landscape was faid to lye below, it

And level lays the lofty brew,

Has seen this broken pile compleat, was surely needless to say that it

Big with the vanity of state; spread beneath the fight: nor does But transient is the smile of fate ! the face of Nature, wearing the

A little ruie, a little fway, hues of the rainbow, convey to the

A sun-hcam in a winter's day,

Is all the proud and mighty have, mind any distinct or graphical idea : Between the cradle and the grave. Now I gain the mountain's brow,

“ The ensuing description of the Wbat a landscape lies below! No clouds, no vapours intervene,

rivers is agreeable, and prettily ilBut thc gay the open scene,

lustrates the course of human life. Does the face of Nature inox,

The thought of Nature's veffure, is in all the burs of heaven's bow !

not so happy : her dress could not And swelling to embrace the light, Spreads around beneatb tbe ligbt.

be at once grave and gay; and the

fame appearance which inftru&s or 16 We have gow a scene almost produces serious reflection, can




scarcely divert or disperse care : W bich to those who journey near,

Barren, brown, and rough appear; And see the rivers how they run,

Still we tread the same coarse way, Thro'woods and meads, in shade andsun,

The present's still a cloudy day. Sometimes swift, sometimes flow, · Wave succeeding wave they go; By crouding too many thoughts to

A various journey to the deep, gether, writers often produce con•
Like human life to endless sleep! fufion. Part of the above is un.
Thus is Nature's vefture wrought,
To inftruet our wand'ring thought ;

commonly ainbiguous. There is in Thus the dresses green and gay,

it one couplet, which seems, Janus To disperse our cares away.

like, to look both ways ; we know “ Among the various component

not whether to join it with those parts of a rural prospect, few are

which precede, or with those that more pleasing than the disposition of follow; and there is no punctuae cultivated ground, the different di. tion that can determine the matter. mensions and forms of the inclo. The supposed narrowness of the fures, and the different colours of stream very well illustrates the fen. their productions. Dyer's obferv. timent, that danger in idea is die ant eye had not iniffed this appear

minished in proportion to its di ance; and he has here introduced itance; and that sentiment is simply, part of it, with the circumstance of forcibly, and fully expressed in one diminution, occafioned by distance : See on the mountain's southern fide,

So little diftant dangers seem. Where the prospect opens wide,

If to this verse we add the twa Where the evening gilds the tide; How close and finall the hedges lie! What streaks of meadows cross the eye!

So we mistake the future's face, The use of triplets arbitrarily in- Ey'd througb Lope's deluding glass, troduced in couplet verse, should be

we have a superfluous expatiation sparingly indulged. There can be

on the thought : Hope's glass, allo, no apology for it, but where the fenfe is too extensive for two lines, circumstance, must be an inverted

to bear any relation to the natural and not sufficient for four. In the present instance, the second line the object. In this case the lines

telescope, which removes and lessens might have been omitted without should have closed the sentence thus disavantage. Every reader must re. collect the poets fuppofed fituation, So we mistake the future's face,

Ey'd tbrougb bope's deluding glass. Still the prospect wider spreads, &c. and of course know that the prospect

. But here the context, by an impro. was wide. But this paragraph re- per introduction of the relative quires confideration in another point sense : « As yon summits which ap,

quhich, is rendered absolute nonof view :

pear brown and roigh, still we How close and small the hedges lie!

tread,” &c. But by substituting What streaks of meadows cross the eye! Aill for which, we may obtain pros A step methinks may pass the stream, priety of expreffion : " As yon lume So little distant dangers seem;

inits soft and fair, fill when apSo we mistake the future's face, Ey'd through bope's deluding glass ;

proached appear brown and rough, As yon summits soft and fair,

to still we tread,” &c. This dire Çlad in colours of the airg

putable couplet will, however, on 17854



doubtful ones,

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the other hand, connect as eafily less, it is the smalleft proof of his with its successors :

abilities. The Ruins of Rome, and So ave' miftaka the future's face,

the Fleece, howerer neglected by Ey'd through bope's deluding glass.; superficial readers, or degraded by As yon summits fofr and tair, injudicious critics, justly intitle hin Clad in colours of the air,

to the highest praise." Which to those, &c. This reading, also, will give us

16. Since the above was written, grammatical construction :“ We the author has seen a very ingenimiitake the future's face, as we mis

ous work (Obfervations on the Ritake yon fummits, which are airy ver Wye, by Mr. Gilpin), in which and beautiful when disant, but this poem has obtained considerable when near, brown and rough.” notice. Dyer is there considered as The thought in this passage is one a landscape painter, painting with that seems naturally to occur to the words instead of colours ; and is human mind : we feel the same kind

pronounced defective in his execuof fenfation when the eye views a

tion, as wanting contrait of fore. delightful prospect, as when the ground and distance. It is justly imagination contemplates fuppofed observed, that the objects immedifuture happiness : we think the place ately beneath his eye, and those where we are, less pleasant than the more remote, are marked with ea place wę behold; we think the pre- qual strength and distinctness; the fent hour less happy than the hours

trees close at hand, are distinguishin expectation. " There is a remarkable spright castle afar off, by ivy creeping on

ed by their firapes and bucs, and the liness in the movement of the verses, its walls. Where the describer is in which the poet exults in the en- fupposed to stand, the former muit joyment of his pleafunt fituation :

be visible, the latter could not; Now, even now, my joys run high, and therefore fiould not hare been As on the mountain-turf I lie ;

mentioned. When a man proposes While the wanton zephyr sings, And in the vale perfumes his wirgs;

much, and fails of doing it, he discoWhile the waters murmur deep;

vers inability or negligence ; when While the shepherd charms his sheep; he professes nothing, and does litWhile the birds untouuded fly, tle, we may wish he had done more, And with music fill the sky;

but we should not estimate his powe Now, even now, my joys Tun high.

ers by his performance. Dier's Be full ye courts, be great who will, Search for peace with all your skill:

poemseems designedly without plan; Open wide the lofty door,

it is defultory and diffuse, sketching Seck her on the marble flour;

at random a number of unconnected Ju vain you search, she is not there; objects. His hill's extentive view In vain ye search the domes of care !

would probably have afforded for Grongar-Hill, had Dyer written no- ral complete landscapes ; but it is thing else, would have obtained for not clear that he aimed at producing him the name of a poet; neverthe- any."


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