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Evremond, are sustained with skilled the sword and the pen with equal and propriety. We can, in some success, but we have never found measure, perceive their national the politick and intriguing mind of distinctions, and can trace the gay, a Mazarine united with the wit and fantastick Frenchman in St. Evre- fancy of a Cowley. There seems to mond, and the thoughtful English- be a fatal incapacity for a busy and man in Waller. About this time, too, active life attendant on all born the manners and principles of the with a highly poetical turn of mind. courts began to be brought near the To repose in the shades of some sesame standard; the same polish and questered forest and listen to the elegance of behaviour, the same re murmurs of its fountains; or to be finement of wit, the same contempt rapt by the enchantment of fancy inof religion characterized both. A re to the ideal retreats of Armida, concurrence, therefore, of the same stitute the poet's sole delight. That ideas, and a coincidence of thought illusive sensibility which enables and sentiment, from more than one him to paint to the passions, and to cause, are to be expected on both rule imperiously the sympathies of sides of this correspondence. Minds the heart, is the source of those ercast after the same mould, like rours that mislead his understanding. those of Waller and St. Evremond, Some of the highest favourites of harmonize in all their antipathies Apollo have been the victims of and prepossessions. They are bound shame and misfortune. Dwelling in together by kindred ties, and con the emporium of poetry, they are too nected by a secret and unalterable much transported by the intoxicasympathy.
ting afflatus of the god, to look down Edmund Waller, one of the finest from their elevation, on humble and poets and geniuses of his time, was
terrestrial objects. born in March, 1605. The first part
Waller complimented the usurper, of his life was remarkable for a though he detested him in his heart, feat of gallantry in which he dis- and exhausted his remaining stores played some spirit and address. He of panegyrick in congratulating also early embarked in politicks, not Charles the Second, on his restorawith that success, however, which tion. Being told by that monarch might have left his character fair that his praise of Cromwell surpassand unimpeached. The pusillanimity ed his congratulatory address, he and weakness he manifested on one replied: “ Poets succeed besť in occasion, nothing but his shining ta fiction.” To this eulogium on Cromlents as a wit could have prevented well, St. Evremond alludes in his from covering his name with per second letter.petual dishonour. He was the author
“What arts of ingenious blandishment of a plot in which he basely deserted were exerted to sooth the usurper, and and betrayed his associates. Chester to soften the idea of usurpation! I remem field, speaking of his manners, says ber that the finest poet of the age lent his they were contemptible, and that he persuasive powers to effect these purpo
ses. I own, I do not envy the reputation he always spoke with a silly and dis
acquired by it, when I consider that there gusting grin upon his countenance.
are, in the next world, such people as This, says he, to those who were un
Minos, Rhadamanthus and Eacus." acquainted with Mr. Waller's endowments, gave him the air of an Had the easy and voluptuous idiot. Concerning the cloud of infa. Charles been endowed with the vinmy which obscures Waller's politi- dictive spirit of Sixtus Quintus, or cal character, we may observe that of some of his predecessors, he those who are beloved by the muses would for ever have incapacitated are seldom calculated to shine in the the poet for future libels or pane cabinet and council. Camoens wield- gyricks. Waller, however, escaped VOL. III.
with impunity, and was permitted to “ I never think of the glorious fate of increase the galaxy of wits that ancient genius, without a sigh that rises shone around the person of that gay
from the most sensible part of my soul. and facetious monarch, and truly Je meurs D'envie, which is descriptive of
You have an expression in your language, not a more dazzling star gilded the it. To be carried down the current of hemisphere of his brilliant court. time, my St. Evremond, undestroyed by Waller was a great refiner of the the wrecks of two thousand years ! To English language, and among the have our best productions, the productions first who improved the structure
of the mind, confirm and maintain their and cadence of its verse. He subo when our ashes have been so long the
existence in the souls of surviving ages, jected its rude genius to the laws of sport of winds, that even the winds cannot just and harmonious metre, and evi- find them. Heavens ! what glory is in the dently led the way to that style of hope! my soul is on fire at the prospect ! poetical numbers, which we find de. The spirit of this ambition is irresistible ! yeloped in the versification of Dry. It is enchantment ! It is magick!!! den and Pope. For those who are anxious for a specimen of his poeti- covered symptoms of that fatal sen
In the twenty second letter are discal talents, we select the following sibility, which diversifies the poet's
life with the dreams of Elysium, or harmony and numerousness of the
the pains of distress. Waller died verse, than for the delicacy and pro
on the 21st October, 1687. priety of the thought.
Charles de St. Denis de St.
Evremond, descended from an an! On my lady Isabella playing on the lute.
cient and illustrious family of Lower “Such moving sounds, from such a care. Normandy, was born at St. Denis le less touch!
Guast on the 11th of April, 1613. So unconcerned herself, and we so much! He early devoted his talents to the What art is this, that with so little pains
profession of arms, and served under Transports us thus, and o'er our spirits the prince of Condé, and others, in The trembling strings about her fingers the pursuits of war and gallantry
several important campaigns. As crowd, And tell their joy for every kiss aloud: are usually associated in Frenchmen, Small force there needs to make them the softness and repose of a courttremble so;
life were not more congenial to his Touched by that hand, who would not feelings than the tumult and asperi
tremble too? Here love takes stand, and, while she
ties of the camp. He could freely charms the ear,
exchange the blandishing charms
war." His character rensinds us of
De l'ombre du repos, ils volent aux hazards, The heart and genius of Waller Vils falleurs a la cours, heros aux champs
de Mars." is strongly stamped upon some of these epistles. They have that pen
In these letters, however, St. sive and melancholy cast of thought Evremond appears to be more of which
gave so much delicacy and sweetness to his poetry. Sometimes the Sybarite than the soldier. his fancy blazes with the fire and
“When I had done with making war, I rapture of ecstacy, as in the follow. betook myselfto making songs and making ing:
love. When they would no longer let me
fight in France, I sat down to write verses St. Evremond! comment malheureur ! You in England, and took up the belle passion will be happy, when I assure yon, that, for the sole end of inspirating and embel- whatever I might once have wislied, there lishing my poetry:
is not one of these compassionate persons "If the delight I have experienced in with whom I would change my station.” the cultivation of a successful amour, has not been equal to that of a general after He died at the age of ninety, in victory, neither was it attended with those September 1703, and was interred painful reflections, which the very means at Westminster abbey. and circumstances of conquest, must give to a mind that has the least sensibility:
From what we have remarked in For my part, when I bore arms, though'i these letters, the reader may be never went into the field of battle without enabled to form some judgment of pleasure, I never quitted it without tears. their merits. We shall, therefore, A strange, ferocious kind of joy that must dismiss them, after pointing out be, which arises from beholding the bodies and citing some passages which of the brave, either in death, or in chains.
." I found, in the refined philosophy of struck us in the perusal, and which wit and gallantry, in the religion of love appear worthy of note. In the 6th and beauty, and in the conversation and letter, the character of Hobbs is defavour of the most distinguished persons scribed, and some observations added of the age, materials of happiness suffi. on the genius of his philosophy, The cient for the whole circle of time.” violent condenination pronounced on When Charles II. was restored to sincerity, in the 8th letter, is justly
ascribed to the man who complihis throne, St. Evremond, attended the embassy of the count De Soise mented Cromwell, and afterwards sons, to the court of that prince. The 12th letter of Waller is em
made his court to Charles II.Here he contracted an intimacy with some of the most conspicuous of ployed to reanimate his friend, and those who figured in that
to console him on the subject of his
banishment. voluptuous court. His vivacity and accomplishments attracted admirers
“ To be reconciled," says he, "implicitly and gained him friends, of whose li- to every event, and to pass through life berality and friendship he was des. without anxiety or disappointment, is certined soon after to avail himself. tainly a most valuable effect of philosophy. Though beloved in the army and at This is the object of your ambition, and court, St. Evremond, not long after this is what you will learn from me. No, his return to France, became the no, St. Evremond, do not deceive yourself.
You would not be without your anxieties; victim of adverse fortune. He had you find a charm in your disappointments the imprudence to draw upon him- that flatters your vanity, when you conself the vengeance of the cardinal sider the hardships of suffering merit, and Mazarine, from whose resentments your misfortunes serve to show us how he was forced to become a fugitive elegantly you can complain.
“Would you loose the pleasure of paintand an exile. England presented an ing to the dutchess of Mazarine, in such assylum from persecution, and, in delicate colours, your mutual misfortunes; the society and conversation of his would you be deprived of the honour of former acquaintance, he found that being a fellow sufferer with such a woman ? species of solace which is the most A similarity of sufferings makes people
friends." healing charm that can be applied to the wounds of misfortune.
The 14th letter commences hapIt was during this period of his
pily: life, that a correspondence between him and Waller is supposed to have compelled him to prophecy, could not be
“The charm that bound Proteus, and taken place.
more powerful than that you have found
out to make me philosophize. For as Pro“In the language and memory of those teus, though, possibly, something more of few friends,” Dr. Langhorne has made him a god, was not by your account, more vo. to say, "I hare in France, I am still paurre latile than myself, nothing less than the
magick in the name of Mazarine could more elastick kind; and, like the nymphs have fixed me to the sober point of philo. of your country, they will dance till sophy."
they die.” The 15th, 16th, and 17th letters,
The criticisms on Milton's Lycicontain a sprightly attack and defence of the sex. In the succeeding, This poem, the most beautiful per
das displays feeling and judgment. the character of Cowley is given haps of the pastoral kind which our with much warmth of panegyrick, language furnishes, Dr. Johnson and some remarks of a pleasing kind added in the poetical uses of speaks of with coldness and disthe heathen mythology. The 20th respect. But Johnson was insensible
to the exquisite touches of pathos letter announces the death of the dutchess of Mazarine. This lady, in and reluctant praise on Paradise
and tenderness. Waller bestows cold whose praise St. Evremond was so lavish, was gifted with every attrac- das. The truth is, not only Paradise
Lost, but speaks feelingly of Lycitive accomplishment. Her house was the resort of wit and elegance, and Milton were undervalued in Wal
Lost, but all the minor poems of it was in her society that the unfor
ler's time. Nor is it supposed that tunate Frenchman found a refuge age which delighted in the quaint from all those tender remembrances and affected conceits of Cowley which, in early life, had been im- could have relished the force and pressed indelibly upon his heart. His letter breathes the deepest, and majesty of Paradise Lost, or the most sincere affliction; and is a spe
simple charms of Lycidas. No read.
er that is fond of the humorous can cimen of that feeling mode of writ
pass over the 33d and 40th letters. ing to which every bosom is made to
The 37th, is a letter of St. Evre. respond. In the 24th letter St. Evre- mond to the dutchess of Mazarine, mond strikes a melancholy chord:
dissuading her from a monastick "Oh Waller! what destruction of the life, to which are added some stanzas human species have you and I lived to be. on the same subject. The last letter hold! What havock of our cotemporaries, contains some sprightly remarks on of our friends! Of what miserable times, monastick institutions. We do not do we stand the melancholy monuments ! assent to the applause given to HenThe storm that tore up the forest still
ry the eighth. Whilst we acknowleft our solitary trunks unbroken !--To what
purpose -To drop the tears of pity ledge the beneficial effects resulting and anguish on the ruins that lie beneath from the abolition of monasteries in us!”
England, we cannot help detesting
the tyrant who laid a rapacious hand In the 26th letter, Waller sug on the property of others, and who, gests his intention of relinquishing alike insensible to the pleadings of the pursuits of poetry; and in the justice and humanity, reduced a concluding part writes after the fol- useful and unoffending body of men lowing manner to his friend:
from affluence to beggary. That St.
Eyremond was not an " It is not many years since I attempt avowed infidel, we readily admit. He ed some poems on divine subjects, think. did not, like Voltaire, preach the dition. But I cannot boast of success, not dogmas of the anti-christian system, even of satisfaction in those performances, with the vehemence of a sectary. He They may be pleasing to devout minds;
was a philosopher and his mind was but there is something wanting. It is the equally free from the intolerance of vis ingenii, the vigour of imagination and expression that has failed. You will consi- fidel; but he was certainly at bottom,
a bigot, or the unholy zeal of an in. der these frank acknowledgments as an unanswerable apology for the silence of
a free thinker. No blame, therefore, What you call my muses. Yours are of a can attach to Dr. Langhorne, for
tincturing some of these letters derstanding, a ready explanation of with the principles of natural reli- all its precepts, duties and ordinangion. In
that addressed to the ces. The refinements and doubts of dutchess of Mazarine, there is much reason, are as adverse to morals as of the reasoning and cant of a forte the blindest and most implicit creduesprit. Indeed, it is not difficult to lity. It is never safe to commit our conceive, that Waller too might duties to doubt and speculation. have been infected with principles Doubt begets disobedience, and in which had become contagious from the train of disobedience follow the examples of some men of shining those vices, crimes and passions, talents, and which will always be which rend asunder the ligaments fashionable
the inhabitants of that bind society together. a voluptuous court. Accordingly, in On the whole, though these letters the letter on Hobbs, the utility of are, in some respects, inferiour to scepticks and infidels is suggested, those ascribed to lord Littleton, they not only in stimulating inquiry and are not unworthy of being ranked promoting knowledge, but in bene- with them in the merit of composifiting religion and morals. Of what- tion. The wit and humour they conever service scepticism and doubt tain, are sometimes recherché and may be to the interest of science, we overstrained, yet are there passages are not inclined to think them equal touched with most excellent fancy." ly beneficial to the cause of reli- They abound with grave and sengion and morality. Christianity is tentious reflections on life, and are not a theme for ingenious specula- not wholly an uninstructive comtists. It is addressed to the heart, and ment on the times in which they are finds in every well constituted un- supposed to have been written.
FROM THE UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE.
Letters from an Irish Student in England, to his Father in Ireland. 2 vols. 1809.
OUR readers must not be de. to take with us into a stage coach, or ceived by this title page. These let- to find in the parlour of an inn while ters may be written by an Irish stu. waiting for dinner to be served up. dent; but they have never been sent We will extract one letter as a speci. to Ireland. They are home manufacé men of the manufacture. ture, and intended for home consumption. They contain nothing new. They « COURTS OF JUSTICE. consist of anecdotes, bon mots, scraps
“ After having frequently visited our of information, pretended visits, fac
courts of justice in Dublin, I need not titious introductions to literary din. say how disappointed I was upon viewing ners, imaginary acquaintance with ce. those of this metropolis. Every thing, exlebrated characters, &c. &c. gleaned cept women, appears to be valued in this from no higher source, in a majority country for the sake of its antiquity. We, of
on the contrary, care but little for age; chit chat.
newspaper Their origin is to be found in the wish upon all occasions, where we can, giving
the preference to strength, use, and ornaof the bookseller and the writer to
ment. make a saleable commodity: their “ The courts of justice at Westminster contents are such as we have descri- hall are very old, very shabby, and very bed them. Yet we do not mean to inconvenient. You would be surprised, too, deny that the book may be read with
at the awful distance which is preserved
between the judges and counsel, and the amusement, and perhaps by some
latter and the solicitors; whereas with us with instruction. It is light and va there is the greatest and most agreeable riaus: such a one as we would wish familiarity. I have heard an Irish judge,