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beings come down to announce to us a new revelation, he could not have addressed us on the subject of his qualifications for the high task he had undertaken, with more particularity or solemnity. By him, with a seductive shew of modesty he sets out by informing us such is the imperfection of his nature, or the failure of his endeavours-we must be content to be shewn the mere broken arches and columns' of Dr. Parr's great mind-his publication, forsooth, with reference to the grandeur and the importance of the subject, standing a fair chance of disappointing our expectations, and of injuring the little literary reputation which he possesses in our eyes. Nevertheless, he does hold himself to be not without some requisites for the right execution of his undertaking, in those qualities of mind which he has made it the business of his life to cherish and cultivate. 'He so accustoms himself to look at human nature,'-' is too sincere a lover of candour and of truth,' &c. &c.-in short, is exactly the person to do all manner of justice to any subject he may choose to take in hand. The reader,' he then proceeds, will also remark, that the author manifests no particular zeal for one branch of literature more than another; and he has never been disposed so to narrow his mind, as to condemn what he does not understand (damnant quod non intelligunt.) All literature, and all science, however imperfectly he may be acquainted with either, (and the imperfection may be supplied in time) are equally dear to him, from men of every tongue and every clime, of every church and every sect. With him, truth has no gradations-he finds no pleasures, which this world can afford, superior to the acquisition and the communication of knowledge-and in disposition, though not in means, he is a determined promoter of talent and learning.' All which, we dare say, may be very true-as well as the additional piece of infor
mation that the author fears he will still continue to be employed for several weeks on The Index to the Greek Thesaurus of Henry Stephens,' but who is Mr. Barker, that the world should be thus magniloquently advised in regard to his character and doings? The picture he has drawn of himself is, doubtless, an imposing enough one, particularly when we add to it the finishing feature of his enthusiasm,' with its vitality, activity, energy, and brightness; but when did the public ever express a wish to be favoured with any such delineation? Mr. Barker lived, to be sure, for some years in habits of intimacy with Dr. Parr-but really this circumstance alone is hardly enough to entitle him to set up as one of the lions of the day. He and his brother paw-lickers (we do not use the term offensively) were only, he should remember, at best, the puppies in the lion's cage-nor, even if their lion had been a much more extraordinary animal than he was, would it have been possible for him to have reflected upon them any very large share of his own greatness.
But we leave Mr. Barker, or the author, if he will have it so,
though really it is the first time we ever heard of a man calling himself the author of a book, on the score merely of having written the preface to it-and proceed to introduce to our readers one or two of the more remarkable characters among the other contributors to the volume. The first to whom we shall direct our attention, is the Rev. John Stewart, Curate of Sporle cum Palgrave, in the county of Norfolk, whose name, it mortifies us to acknowledge, we have for the first time become acquainted with by finding it in the work before us. This Reverend gentleman, it appears, is actually one of the most distinguished of our living poets! A long list of his works is given by Mr. Barker, which begins with "The Pleasures of Love," published in 1806, and ends with "Bible Gems," which were scattered, we fear, before a very ungrateful world, in 1827. By the bye, the remarkable contrast between these two titles seems to evidence a decided improvement in the moral character of Mr. Stewart's Muse, during their twenty years' connection, whatever progress she may have made in other respects. It was a poem called "The Resurrection," in five books, which first made our author known to Dr. Parr. The Doctor, after designating it as an elegant production, had quoted from it a dozen execrably stupid lines in allusion to Mr. Fox, in his "Characters by Philopatris Varvicensis,” and Mr. Stewart immediately took advantage of the circumstance, to write his discerning eulogist a letter of acknowledgment for his kind notice, which, in due course, produced for him an invitation to Hatton. Never, certainly, were two men made for each other as were the Doctor and the bard. Their mutual suitableness shewed itself almost in the first moment of their first interview. Scarcely had they exchanged a few words together when, as Mr. Stewart expresses it, they were old friends. Whether they owed this instantaneous establishment in each other's affections to some happy barter of compliments the first time they opened their mouths in each other's hearing, or simply to an intuitive sagacity which did not need even a tone to direct it, we are not informed. But commence in what manner it might, their intercourse seems very soon to have become a continued discharge of adulation on both sides, such as human vanity has certainly not often broken out into. As a single specimen of the style in which this sort of thing was carried on between the two, we quote the following portentous scene, as detailed by our Reverend Poet:
'Doctor Parr retained a love for poetry to the last. His taste was exquisite, his judgment infallible. How delightful was this bewitching relaxation to a mind, that was so much wont to expatiate among the researches of philosophy-to be immersed in the depths of metaphysics! It was when on my last visit to him, that he ordered a port-folio to be brought forth, from which he took a MS. poem of considerable extent, and paid me the compliment to solicit my opinion of it, significantly assuring me, that few indeed had ever seen it. I read it aloud. betrayed the towering independence of Parr, in the nervous eloquence of
Dryden. It revealed its author. I characterised it in the language of truth. He was very reserved about it.
In a late periodical work, containing details of Dr. Parr, his opinion of the living poets is given. The account is perfectly correct as far as it goes. It contains the truth, but not the whole truth. I shall briefly.. state his conversation with me on the subject.
'One morning he sent for me to attend him in his library. I found him seated at one side of the fire, Mrs. Parr leaning against the mantle on the opposite, and a chair placed for me between them. "Mrs. Parr," (he began,) "you have seen Moore in this spot, some time ago; you now see Mr. Stewart. The race of true poets is now nearly extinct. There is you," (turning to me,)" and Moore, and Byron, and Crabbe, and Campbell, I hardly know of another. You, Stewart, are a man of genius, of real genius, and of science, too, as well as genius. I tell you so. It is here, it is here," (shaking his head, and sagaciously touching his forehead with his finger,)" I tell you, again, it is here! As to Walter Scott, his jingle will not out-live the next century; it is namby pamby. I do not enumerate him with poets!"-vol. i., pp. 86, 87.
It is impossible not to admire the serene and unfaltering consciousness of genius with which all this is narrated, and which, very properly, prevents the reporter from either introducing or dismissing it with any of those apologies for its insertion which would certainly have suggested themselves, on such an occasion, to a person less entitled to think loftily of his own powers. It does, to be sure, jar a little with the popular prejudices of the day, to find the author of the " Pleasures of Love," announced as one of the only four or five true poets,' in existence, and his unknown verses characterised as full of genius and destined for immortality, by a critic who tells us in the same breath that Sir Walter Scott is no poet at all, and that the "Lady of the Lake" and "Marmion" are mere jingle and namby-pamby ;-but these antiquated scruples will not, of course, annoy our posterity in the next century, when, the very name of his unworthy rival being forgotten, Mr. Stewart shall divide the veneration of his country with our Miltons and our Shakspeares, if indeed he and his compeers, Moore, Byron, Crabbe, and Campbell, do not extinguish altogether the fame of these older and ruder bards. We request the reader also to remark the laudable sense of what he owes to himself, which determines our tuneful clerk to lay before the public the whole truth' of Dr. Parr's opinion of the living poets.' Some previous reporter, it would appear, had in his ignorance understood the expressions of the learned Doctor, respecting the bard of Love, and the Resurrection, as if they had been merely uttered in jest or banter, and had accordingly omitted them altogether in his detail. But Mr. Stewart repeats them to us with the most commendable gravity and minuteness, as conveying the sincere and deliberately formed sentiments of the person by whom they were spoken, and that person one whose taste for poetry, we are at the same time assured, was exquisite,' and his judgment in
regard to it 'infallible.' Of a truth, if the world continue any longer to treat Mr. Stewart's pretensions with neglect, he may at least console himself with the reflection, that he does not owe his obscurity to any faint-heartedness he has shewn in sounding the trumpet of his own praises.
We take the liberty of passing over, without comment, the paper from the Spectator, on Dreams, and the ten or twelve pages on the same subject from Mr. Green's Diary of a Lover of Literature,' as well as the Extracts from the Birmingham Chronicle,' the Monthly Repository of Theology,' the 'Sunday Times,' the 'Lady's Magazine,' the Catalogue of Five Hundred celebrated Authors,' and a great variety of similar important records and works of authority, which occupy considerably above a hundred pages in this part of Mr. Barker's book—and only stop for a moment at his 17th article, entitled 'Recollections of Dr. Parr, by a Pupil,' to remark that the writer, notwithstanding his zeal as to some points of theological belief, about which he sermonizes at rather too much length, is upon the whole a person of talent and good sense; and although not altogether uninfected by that spirit of absurd exaggeration, in reference to the merits of the Reverend Doctor, which pervades the communications of most of his associates, does not offend us by any thing like the same imbecile idolatry to which they are so incessantly in the habit of descending. He details, too, the few anecdotes he has to communicate, in an easy, gentlemanly, and spirited style, and occasionally with a good deal of point and humour. The next of our author's anonymous contributors, however, is a person of a very different sort-and with regard to his reminiscences we must speak a little more at length.
This Reverend gentleman, whatever he may be called, is one of the most poetical story-tellers we have ever chanced to encounter in prose or verse. As Doctor Johnson said of poor Goldsmith, nihil tetigit quod non ornavit. What the phrenologists would call, we suppose, the bump of hyperbolism, must in him have truly a gigantic development. Like Hudibras himself,
"he cannot ope
His mouth, but out there flies a trope." Every person he has occasion to mention is, in his phraseology, a non-pareil. His rector, for example, was the most fascinating preacher that ever entered a pulpit.' Then nothing can be more authoritative or prononcé than the style in which he discusses, also like that celebrated authority, all sorts of subjects that present themselves. Thus, he does not profess to be conversant with the writings of Warburton, but he does not think that he will long continue to be much read; he has had his day-his Letters are poor, meagre stuff.' But the subject upon which he heaps his superlatives most lavishly, is the towering genius of Dr. Parr. In one of the Doctor's printed works, he assures us, found, and that not here and there, thinly scattered, but blazing
are to be
excellences, such a rich display of splendid eloquence, and such profound reasoning on political subjects, as have no equal from any other pen. In another place he becomes so enthusiastic in his declamation, that he absolutely forgets to finish the sentence he had begun, telling us that, in a particular sermon he (Dr. Parr) described in the finest style of eloquence that ever flowed from mortal pen;' but what might be the subject of the description the deponent sayeth not. But we must give at full length, for the edification of our readers, the comparison drawn by this consummate critic between the style of Johnson and that of Parr :
I have studied,' says he, 'with some degree of attention, the genius and gradual history of the English language, and do not hesitate to say, that by Johnson and Parr it has been brought to its present high state' of perfection. Johnson at times astounds by his awful solemnity; Parr captivates, delights, enraptures his reader, by sudden bursts of heavenly splendour, never before beheld by mortal eye. In the style of Parr there is a greater variety and originality; he has twisted our language into an endless variety of fascinating allusions; he has made it express more than ever Johnson did. General utility predominates in the Johnsonian scale; he balances his sentences with the nicest accuracy. So also does our Grecian sage; but he often makes one scale kick the beam by his sudden coruscations of wit, his matchless union of Athenian elegance with English manliness, of Spartan simplicity, with English policy and English liberty'!!!-vol. i. pp. 372, 373.
Our friend, Mr. Stewart himself, could have written nothing better than this, which indeed as a display of self-conceited, pompous, and precipitate ignorance, it would not, we verily believe, be easy to parallel in any language. After such an effusion we fear any other extract must seem tame and common-place; but the compositions of this anonymous scribbler are singularly rich in the absurd, and we shall venture therefore to submit one specimen more. We may give for this purpose his rhetorical description of the Doctor's personal appearance:
In speaking of the prints of him, that had been published, he observed, "All the artists, to whom I have sat, fail in one feature-none of them give me my peculiar ferocity." O that an artist had taken him, when he had assumed the ferocious in S. P.'s pulpit! M. G. and W. D., two young bankers, were quizzing him, as he mounted the pulpit-his figure, his wig, the fulness of his dress, &c.; they still kept playing the fool, after they were discovered. The Doctor set them like a pointer; but still they were undismayed. At length the singing is ended, there is silence, no preacher's voice is heard, all eyes are directed to the pulpit, there stands the Doctor; he turned direct to the offenders, ferocious as a lion ready to dart at his prey. The poor puppies are soon abashed, chop-fallen, and have no courage to lift up their heads during the remainder of the service. Here was his ferocity in all its wildest grandeur. An artist could not express it, while it was dormant. To express it properly, he must have seen it, as when excited into full action in S. P.'s pulpit.
'To me he never appeared more striking than when some emotion in