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athers of modern improvement. Some basses are commonly covered ftrings, had very agreeable tones; but all that they may be of a moderate were deficient in delicacy and justness. length. The bass notes are also of The performer was by no means cer. brass, which has a confiderably lower tain of producing the very strength tone than a steel wire of the same of found that he intended. And, as diameter and tension. Yet even this Mr Mason observed, they all required substitution for steel in the bass strings an artificial peculiarity of fingering; is not enough. The highest of them without which, either the intended are much too Nack, and the lowest ftrength of tone was not brought ones must be loaded, to compensate out, or the tone was destroyed by re- for want of length.

This greatly peated rattling of the mallet on the diminishes the fullness, and still more wire. Mr Mason removed all these the mellowness and distinct ess of the imperfections, by detaching the mallet tone, and frequently makes the very entirely from the key, and giving lowest notes hardly appreciable. This them a connection quite momentary; inequality of tone about the middle and by this principle of his, the Eng- of the instrument is somewhat dimi.. lifh piano forte is diftinguished from uished by constructing the instrument all others

with two bridges; one for the iteel, After a minute description of the and the other for the brass wires. inftrument, which we omit, as it re- But still the bass notes are very much fers to a plate, the author of this ar- inferior to the treble. It would sure. ticle concluded with observing, that, ly be worth while to construct fome " As the blow of fo light a mallet piano fortes, of full fize with naked cannot bring much sound from a basses. If there were made with all wire, it has always been found necef- the other advantages of the grand sary to have two strings for each piano furtts, they would su.pals all

Another circumstance contri- other instruments for the regulating butes to enfeeble the found. The power of their thorough bass. We mechanism necessary for producing it will that the artists would also try to makes it almost impossible to give any conltruct them with the mechanism considerable extent to the belly or of mallets, &c. above the found sound board of the instrument. There board. This would allow to it the is seldom any more of it than what full extent of the instrument, and occupies the space between the tun- greatly improve the tone. It does ing pins and the bridge. This is the not seem impoffible, 'nor, we think, more to be regretted, because the very

difficult."

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note.

REMARKS ON THE FOETRY OF COWPER *.

By George Knox, Esq. AMIDST the fportive varieties of fionally obscured by passing clouds,

the fashionable world, and the is by vo mean's extinguished--and more awful viciffitudes of the politi- that the real majority of society talie cal, it is matter of confolation to and feel, and relih ard prefer pretty Perceive that the radical characters of nearly as they did in less questionable human nature ftill remain the same times.

common sense, though like the Amongst many other obvious marks grea jaminary in the heavens, occa. of undechning humanity, there is one

which From the Flapper, a periodical paper, published at Dublin in 1796.

Ed. Mag. Jan. 1801.

that

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which I always think of with pecu. poem, keep the unlettered reader at liar pleasure-I mean the reception an awful distance, and preclude that which the poems of the excellent degree of familiarity

which is essenCowper have met with from all tial to enjoyment. Thomfon, on the classes of readers. His two volumes, contrary, though elegant, is acceffi. which were first published about four- ble ; though he thinks with the teen years ago, have pasied already wise, he speaks a language intelligithrough at least seven editions ; and ble even to the vulgar; he describes while love for the man mingles in for the most part what the village every instance with admiration of the fwain has contemplated in common poet, even republicanism itself feems with the philosopher; and he expresto relax from its wonted sternness at fes feelings which every well-formed the mention of that well-known act mind has experienced, though it may of munificence, by which his present not always be able to clothe them in Majesty has done equal honour to suitable language : He paints with Mr Cowper and to himself.

justness of design and in the most To point out the reasons why glowipg colours, from originals gepoetry pleases to analyze its cha- nerally known and generally interestracters and to shew that its laws are ing ; and because all can judge of the founded on the nature of things likeness, all derive pleasure from the these form the appropriate task of performance. the professor of polite literature. But To fimilar causes we may attribute common experience is sufficient to the popularity of Cowper'; he too, prove, that the gratification arising perhaps in as high a degree as any from poetry is not limited to the man who ever lived, is the poet of knowledge of its principles; and if nature ; led by his excursive muse we observe attentively, we shall pro- through many a mazy path, he rebably find, that even amongst com- turns to the scenes, which nature mon readers, the degree of the plea- herself has formed, with ever new fure bears a near proportion to the delight; from these he takes the merit of the performance ; at least it darling subjects of his poetic pencil; will appear, that where poetry is and though in his hands they seem really excellent, it never fails more to display new beauties, and appear or less to interest the human mind, more interesting, they lose nothing except in cases of absolute insensibi- of their familiarity: His defcriptions lity.

ftrike every mild which is endued At the same time it must be al- with the common powers of discernlowed, that some fpecies of poetic ment ; his thoughts ineet something composition may be inuch better in unison with themselves in every calculated than others to obtain ge- heart that is human. neral acceptance. For initance, it I believe I need not scruple to ascan hardly be supposed that the Pa- sert, that in the power of giving uniradife Loit of Milton, transcendent versal gratisication, Cowper very much as it is, should be as popular as the exceeds Thomson himself. Seasons of Thomson. In the for- Thomson undoubtedly describes what mer, the grandeur of the subject, the every man may fee, and what indeed loftiness of the conceptions, the pro

almost every man has seen at one fusion both of classical and scientific time or other ; but Cowper describes learning, together with that transpo. what every man must fee; he takes fition of language, it might almost his materials from the every day be said, that Latinized English which walks of life;' he feizes on those lit. obtains throughout the whole of the tle domestic circumstances, which

perhaps

even

perhaps no poet before him ever lence, nor, on the other hand, has it Thought of making use of; and he any thing to apprehend from the afforms from them pictures which a- say of candid criticism. But the itonish no less than they please. We excellence of Cowper has no need of wonder at the interest we now, for being illustrated by contraft-to know the first time, take in what we have him is to adınire him. In particular, so often seen without any pleasure, it is impossible to look into his invaable sensation ; and we wonder still luable Task (the work in which he more that such an effect should be so has given the most unbounded license easily produced ; we observe no la- to his fancy) without being charmed bou, no search for ornament, but on even to transport at the wildly beauthe contrary an execution as artless tiful varieties, of vivid description as the conception is vigorous. In and glowing thought, of images the this perhaps also Cowper has a ma. graveft and

the gayeft, the most huterial advantage over Thomson ; the mourous and the most pathetic, the latter leaves no circumstance unex. most obvious in substance, and in pressed, no grace neglected, no aid manner the most novel, which followof colouring omitted-all is beauti- ing each other in rapid fucceffion, ful, but all is elaborate. Cowper, on would almost bespeak a magic creathe contrary, looks out for nothing, tion, like that of the airy phantoms he takes juit so much as has made an in the cave of Prospero. impression on his own mind, and The limits which I have assigned which will of course produce the myself would almost forbid my insame effect on the mind of his read. dulging in quotation, were it not er; and having completed his de- necessary to snpport, by a few instanfign with a few masterly ítrokes, heces, what might otherwife appear to hurries on to some new subject. The those who are but slightly acquainted descriptions of Thomson are like the with Cowper's poetry, a fanciful most highly finished paintings of the negyric. I transcribe the following Flemish school; those of Cowper are description of the coming in of the little more than sketches, but they post in a winter afternoon, not beare the sketches of a Raphael. cause it is the most beautiful I could

Let it not be thought that I wish find, but because it is the first palto depreciate, by an invidious com- {age which happens to occur, and parison, the admirable author of the being the exordium of a book, its Seafons: His pure gold could not be meaning is independent of any thing tarnished by the breath of malevo- preceding.

Hark! 'tis the twanging horn! on yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but useful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright,
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist and frozen locks,
News from all nations lumbring at his back.
True to his charge, the close-pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the deitin'd inn,
And having dropp'd th' expected bag-pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light hearted wretch,
Cold and yet chearful; mellenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to fome,
To him indifferent whether grief or joy.

Houses

:

Houses in afhes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears that trickled down the writers cheeks,
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous fighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect

His horse and him, unconscious of them all. The lovely domestic picture which cribed, and yet too beautiful to be follows almost immediately, and which entirely omitted; the part which I introduces a most whimsical, yet most shall give will perhaps excite a wish literally just description of a news-pa- to read the remainder, and then my per, is too long to be wholly tranf- purpose will be answered.

Now ftir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fail the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud' hissing urni
Sends up a steamy column, and the cups
Which chear but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not such his evening, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and squeez'd
And bored with elbow points through both his fides,
Out-scolds the ranting actor on the stage.
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon

the breath
Of patriots bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev'n critics criticise; that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Faft bound in chains of filence, which the fair
• Tho' eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it but a mass of busy life,
Its fluctuations and its vast concerns ?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge
That tempts ambition, &c.

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Here rills of oily elequence in soft
Meanders, lubricate the course they take.

Cataracts of declamation thunder here,
There forests of no meaning spread the page.

The rest appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confusion, roses for the cheeks,

,
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothlefs, ringlets for the bald,
Heav'n, earth, and ocean, plunder'd of their sweets,
Nectareous ffences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feasts, and fav’rite airs,

And Katterfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wond'ring for his bread.

The

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The discerning reader will easily very thing which he intended; but perceive that fimplicity is a prevails on a closer view, he appears freing character in the poetry of Cow- quently to have formed tome preper, and that his thoughts appear to vious plan, from which the fervid. retain on paper the very order and ness of his mind carries him away, shape which they assumed at first in and he wanders on through a wilderhis mind. One consequence of this ness indeed, but, like that of Eden, certainly is that his verses are une- “ a wilderness of sweets," over which qual, and that many of his lines, if the fancy of his reader delights to they stood alone, or were fraught follow him. He describes this verwith less noble matter, could not be satile tura in his own happy manner, considered as more than prese which in a palige with which for the prehad fallen by accident into a metrical fent I shall conclude, requesting only form. In such cases Cowper seems the permission of my readers to rinever once to have thought of stop- sume this subject (which I acknowping to correct or improve. He was leuge to be a favourite one) at fome too powerfully attracted by the ob. future opportunity. jects that lay before him ; perhaps After defcribing in a vein of poigalso he considered the occasional oc- nant hunour " the world's time as currence of verses comparatively flat, “ time in masquerade”as advantageous on the whole, and that the remark of Horace,

His pinions fledg'd

With motley plunies, Opere in longo fas eft obrepere fomnum,

tinctured black and red with card implied a precept as well as a per- spots, furnished with a dice-box in mission.

liet, of an hour-glass, and a billiard Another consequence of Cowper's mace as a subititute for his fcythe ; writing precisely as he thought, is a and having touched on the modern total dereli&tion of all method. This education of young misles, who at might seem at first sight to be the the age,

66 their mothers wore
The backstring and the bib, assume the dress
Of womanhood, fit pupils in the school
Of card-devoted time, and night by night,
Plac'd at some vacant corner of the board,
Learn ev'ry trick-

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He proceeds,

But truce with censure. Roving as I rove
Where shall I find an end, or how proceed?
As he that travels far, oft turns aside
To view fome rugged rock' or mould'ring tower,
Which seen delights him not; then coming home,
Describes and prints it, that the world may

know
How far he went for what was nothing worth ;
So 1, with brush in hand and pallet spread
With colours mix'd for a far different use,
Paint cards and dolls, and every idle thing
That fancy finds in her excursive lights.

REMARE

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