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OBJECTS OF PETITION.
Where then shall Hope and Fear their objects find ! Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant mind? Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate? Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise; No cries invoke the mercies of the skies? Inquirer, cease; petitions yet remain, Which Heaven may hear, nor deem religion vain. Still raise for good the supplicating voice, But leave to Heaven the measure and the choice. Safe in his power, whose eyes discern afar The secret ambush of a specious prayer; Implore His aid, in His decisions rest, Secure, whate'er He gives, He gives the best. Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervors for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will resign'd; For love, which scarce collective man can fill; For patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ill; For faith, that, panting for a happier seat, Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat: These goods for man the laws of Heaven ordain, These goods He grants, who grants the power to gain; With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind, And makes the happiness she does not find.
Vanity of Human Wishes.
THE FOLLY OF PROCRASTINATION.
To-morrow's action! can that hoary wisdom,
Tragedy of Irena
MRS. GREVILLE. OF Mrs. Greville, whose « Prayer for Indifference” has been so much ad, mired, I cannot, after the greatest search, give the least account.
PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE.
Oft I've implored the gods in vain,
And pray'd till I've been weary :
Of Oberon the fairy.
Who lurk'st in woods unseen,
Trip’st gayly o'er the green;
As ancient stories tell,
Thou sought'st a wondrous spell;
Haply some herb or tree,
Conceals a balm for me.
No tempting charm to please;
That sighs for peace and ease:
That, like the needle true,
But, turning, trembles too.
'Tis pain in each degree:
Beyond, is agony.
Which dooms me still to smart;
To pain new pangs impart.
My shatter'd nerves new string;
The nymph Indifference bring!
See Expectation fly!
That blasts the promised joy!
1 See Midsummer Night's Dream.
The tear which Pity taught to flow,
The eye shall then disown;
Shall then scarce feel its own:
Each moment then shall close;
To nights of calm repose.
This one kind comfort send,
Thy flowery paths attend !
Thy tiny footsteps lead
Unknown to mortal tread!
With heaven's ambrosial dew,
That shed fresh sweets for you!
I'll pass in sober ease;
Content but half to please.
ROBERT Lowth, a distinguished prelate in the English church, was born in the year 1710. He was educated at Winchester School, and at Oxford,' and after leaving the university he entered into the church, in which he rose by regular gradations, till he became, in 1777, Bishop of London. He died in 1787, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.
The writings by which Bishop Lowth is most known, are, “ A Short Introduction to English Grammar," for many years a text-book in the schools and colleges in England and in this country; his « Translation of the Prophet Isaiah,” with a large body of valuable notes; and his « Lectures on the Poetry of the Hebrews.” The latter is a work which unites a depth of learning to a discriminating criticism and a refined taste, in a very unusual degree; and while it is of inestimable value to the professed Biblical student, it affords equal pleasure and instruction to the general reader. From the first Lecture we extract the following just and tasteful remarks, upon
1 "I was educated," says Bishop Lowth, "in the University of Oxford. I enjoyed all the advantages, both public and private, which that famous seat of learning so largely affords. I spent many years in that illustrious society, in a well-regulated course of useful discipline and studies, and in the agreeable and improving commerce of gentlemen and of scholars; in a society where emulation without envy, ambition without jealousy, contention without animosity, incited industry and awakened genius; where a liberal pursuit of knowledge, and a genuine freedom of thought, were raised, encouraged, and pushed forward by example, by commendation, and by authority. I breathed the same atmosphere that the HOOKERS, the CHILLINGWORTHS, and the LOCKES had breathed before whose benevolence and humanity were as extensive as their vast genius and comprehensive know ledge."
With reference to this encomium of Lowth upon his Alma Mater, Gibbon, the historian, makes the following beautiful remark: “The expression of gratitude is a virtue and a pleasure: a liberal mind will delight to cherish and celebrate the memory of its parents; and THE TEACHERS OF SCIENCE ARS THE PARENTS OF THE MIND."
PHILOSOPHY AND POETRY COMPARED AS SOURCES OF PLEASURE AND
Poetry is commonly understood to have two objects in view, namely, advantage and pleasure, or rather a union of both. I wish those who have furnished us with this definition had rather proposed utility as its ultimate object, and pleasure as the means by which that end may be effectually accomplished. The philosopher and the poet, indeed, seem principally to differ in the means by which they pursue the same end. Each sustains the character of a preceptor, which the one is thought best to support, if he teach with accuracy, with subtlety, and with perspicuity; the other with splendor, harmony, and elegance. The one makes his appeal to reason only, independent of the passions; the other addresses the reason in such a manner as even to engage the
passions on his side. The one proceeds to virtue and truth by the nearest and most compendious ways; the other leads to the same point through certain deflections and deviations, by a winding but pleasanter path. It is the part of the former so to describe and explain these objects, that we must necessarily become acquainted with them; it is the part of the latter so to dress and adorn them, that of our own accord we must love and embrace them.
I therefore lay it down as a fundamental maxim, that Poetry is useful, chiefly because it is agreeable ; and should I, as we are apt to do, attribute too much to my favorite occupation, I trust Philosophy will forgive me when I add, that the writings of the poet are more useful than those of the philosopher, inasmuch as they are more agreeable. To illustrate this position by a wellknown example :-Who can believe that even the most tasteless could peruse the writings on agriculture, either of the learned Varro or of Columella, an author by no means deficient in elegance, with the same pleasure and attention as that most delightful and most perfect work, the Georgics of Virgil ? a work in which he has equalled the most respectable writers in the solidity of his matter, and has greatly excelled the most elegant in the incredible harmony of his numbers.
1 I cannot but insert here the following very fine remarks of Leigh Hunt, on the Utility of Poetry. "No man recognises the worth of utility more than the poet; he only desires that the meaning of the term may not come short of its greatness, and exclude the noblest necessities of his fellow-creatures. He is quite as much pleased, for instance, with the facilities for rapid conveyance afforded him by the railroad, as the dullest confiner of its advantages to that single idea, or as the greatest two-idead man who varies that single idea with hugging himself on his 'buttons' or his good dinner. But he sees also the beauty of the country through which he passes, of the towns, of the heavens, of the steam-engine itself, thundering and fuming along like a magic horse; of the affections that are carrying, perhaps, half the passengers on their journey, nay, of those of the great two-idead man; and, beyond all this, he discerns the incalculable amount of good, and knowledge, and refinement, and mutual consideration, which this wonderful invention is fitted to circulate over the globe, perhaps to the displacement of war itself, and certainly to the diffusion of millions of enjoyments."
But if it be manifest, even in authors who directly profess improvement and advantage, that those will most efficaciously instruct who afford most entertainment; the same will be still more apparent in those who, dissembling the intention of instruction, exhibit only the blandishments of pleasure; and while they treat of the most important things, of all the principles of moral action, all the offices of life, yet laying aside the severity of the preceptor, adduce at once all the decorations of elegance, and all the attractions of amusement: who display, as in a picture, the actions, the manners, the pursuits and passions of men; and by the force of imitation and fancy, by the harmony of numbers, by the taste and variety of imagery, captivate the affections of the reader, and imperceptibly, or perhaps reluctantly, impel him to the pursuit of virtue. Such is the real purpose of heroic poetry ; such is the noble effect produced by the perusal of Homer. And who so thoughtless, or so callous, as not to feel incredible pleasure in that most agreeable occupation? Who is not moved, astonished, enraptured, by the inspiration of that most sublime genius? Who so inanimate as not to see, not to feel inscribed, or as it were imprinted upon his heart, his most excellent maxims concerning human life and manners ? From philosophy a few cold precepts may be deduced; in history, some dull and spiritless examples of manners may be found : here we have the energetic voice of Virtue herself, here we behold her animated form. Poetry addresses her precepts not to the reason alone ; she calls the passions to her aid : she not only exhibits examples, but infixes them in the mind. She softens the wax with her peculiar ardor, and renders it more plastic to the artist's hand. Thus does Horace most truly and most justly apply this commendation to the poets :
What's fair, and false, and right, these bards describe,
Better and plainer than the Stoic tribe :Plainer, or more completely, because they do not perplex their disciples with the dry detail of parts and definitions, but so perfectly and so accurately delineate, by examples of every kind, the forms of the human passions and habits, the principles of social and civilized life, that he who from the schools of philosophy should turn to the representations of Homer, would feel himself transported from a narrow and intricate path to an extensive and flourishing field :-Better, because the poet teaches not by maxims and precepts, and in the dull sententious form; but by the har