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The lines which followed, reflecting on Frederick of Prusa sia, are expunged. For (at line 109. original edit.)
“ Craft with prowess join'd Soon tam'd the generous fierceness of mankind,” we now read (see 1. 93. new edit.)
• Craft with prowess join'd Subdued the liberal spirit of mankind.? Calld him a King,” is altered to Calld him a Monarch, Line 124 of original edition
“ Set up a little idol of their own" now stands
• Fashion'd these idols to their Sires unknown.' For these two lines after line 130 in the first edition,
« No; ?twas their baffled pride whose last resource
Dragg'd this perdition on their heads by force," we have these four,
• No; 'twas their pride which know not how to yield,
Their rage for conquest in the tented field,,
And on their heads a just perdition drew.' The word bewaild" at l. 171 of the old edition is now judiciously exchanged for 'behold.' « Merit a sound" 1. 182, is changed to
• Good works an empty sound.? Line 189, for ruthless joy" we now read matchless joy,' Line 258, for
“ Murders and sorceries, and men whose heart
," ve read at 1. 245 of the present edition,
• Murders, and sorceries, and th' obdurate heart
Ne'er prompting one humane, one generous part.? Line 261, “ While some vain mortal, arbiter of ill,
Govern'd the rest,"--altered to ! While some capricious arbiter of ill
Govern'd the pliant nations.” Line 278, “ Fomenting some unnecessary strife," is chang
• Impeli'd to perish in some idle strife.' The couplet following line 280 in the original edition,
“ Stoop then, ye sons of reason, stoop, and own
The veriest beast more worthy of a throne," is happily exchanged for
• Stoop then, ye vain Philosophers, and own
Line 292, for “ Partaking of the soil which gave him birth," we now read • And venerates the soil which gave him.birth,' 1. 278, new edit.
" Where Commerce never rears her impious head,” is altered to
• Where Rapine never lifts her impious head.' After having gone through the several classes of society, and pointed out their dependence on each other, like the several links of what is called an endless chain, where extremities unite, the view in the original edition thus concludes, on describing the Eastern monarch:
• Is not a wretch like this, to either side
Of Life's perverse extremities allied ?
Here close the points and here the circle ends."
• Stands not a wretch like this, on either side,
With Life's perverse extremities allied ?
A general good, a blessing unconfin'd," we now read (1. 323. new edit.)
• In ancient days was Monarchy designd
To guard the menac'd rights of Human Kind.' A line or two below, Kings were said, in the old edition, to “ vindicate the laws :" the new edition makes them rectify the laws.' For “ Stung by a snake, the pious Priest expir’d,
While Folly gaz’d and ignorance admir’d,” we now read
• By venom'd serpents stung, the Priest expir'd,
While Folly gaz'd and awe-struck throngs admir'd.' Clarendon, in his account of Lord Brooke, as the first edition of this poem tells us, 1.376,
“ Shews half the Royalist and half the Saint ;'? here he
• Shews half the subtle Lawyer, half the Saint.' Then follow twelve additional lines, containing a spirited comparison between the Hero and the Historian, for which we must refer to the poem.
There are also some additions and alterations in the account of the exertions of Caledonia for her religione
The following couplet (1. 433, 4)
“At Truth's historic shrine shall victims smoke,
And a fresh Stuart bleed at every stroke,'' in the present edition stands thus :
• Then, boldly entering Truth's historic fane,
Will Britons ever loathe a Stuart's reign.' 1. 435. The address to 'perfidious Albemarle,' which concludes with
“ Shall meet the felon's undistinguish'd fate,
Sure of contempt, unworthy of our hate,' 1. 442. is altered to
• Shall meet the Traitor's doom, borne down by Fate,
Sure of contempt, too abject for our hate,' 1.443. At 1.457 in the first edition we read,
« Succeeding Kings extend the generous plan,
And Brunswick perfects what Nassau began;" now it stands,
The Brunswick line improv'd each generous plan
Ordain'd to perfect what Nassau began.' The author's sentiments respecting the politics of the day are pointedly expressed by the alteration which the following lines have undergone :
6 But if in Faction's loud and empty strain, (1. 465.)
Yon frontless rabble vex a gentle reign,
Mere artless, unsuspecting British fools,” * In the new edition, we read at l. 467,
But if thy Children, to themselves untrue,
As Tyre and Carthage fell, to rise no more.'
“ Untaught to serve, unable to be free.” In the present edition, the poet is still more displeased with his countrymen ; for he tells them that they are
• Too proud to serve, too abject to be free.'' The poet asks whether the peasant be to rise from his grave to slavery, and the monarch in a future state be to wield a mimic sceptre ?-but, not contented, as in the first edition, with proposing these queries, he now adds the two following lines:
• If on these terms, to thee, O Truth, we live,
What joys, what honors, what hast thou to give?' To the new edition are subjoined the lines which follow,
These artless notes the rustic Muse began,
For Priests, or Peers, or Kings, to sacrifice Mankind.' There is certainly elegance in this rustic muse : but it does not appear, by this specimen, that age has either abated its fire, or taught it prudence and moderation. A great part of the poema has little relevancy to the title ; and the motto to the postscript would have served as a motto to the whole :
“ Quod Regum tumidas contuderit minas." To this poem on the. Equality of Mankind, are annexed Verses on Mr. Hollis's Print of the Rev. Dr. Mayhew, the first sketch of which, we are told, was published in the Gentleman's Magazine ; and a Poem on the Use of Poetry, part of which has already appeared in the Morning Chronicle, under the title of “ The Origin of Fable."--In these, Mr. W.'s prominent sentiments are vigorously expressed: he laments that poetry should ever have wreathed a garland but for the brow of Liberty; and he hopes that, in future, the Muses may only be employed in cxalting the fame and embalming the memory of the good and the wise.
Art. XVII. An Examination of the leading Principle of the Nero
System of Morals, as that Principle is stated and applied in Mr,
generally conceals itself in their assumptions and most prominent principles. To allow the leading proposition, which
stands in the foremost rank of the argument, and claims all the respect and honour due to an axiom, is often to grant to the constructor of a theory all that he wishes and requires. The grand postulatum admitted, one doctrine follows another in regular systematic order; and conclusions, however unexpected and alarming, obtrude themselves as most fairly and legitimately deduced. It was suspected by the ingenious author of the Examination' before us, that this was the case with the New System of Morals which Mr. Godwin has offered to the public in his “ Enquiry concerning Political Justice ;" and we are of opinion that he has justified his suspicions, by detecting the sophistry which lurks in that performance.
• My sole wish' (says this author in his Advertisement) is to expose in its elements, and while it may yet avail, a system of ethics which has long, in its principle at least, been stealing into favour; and which in its certain tendency to undermine the foundation of whatever is excellent or valuable in the human heart, is exactly adapted to qualify us for either of the two descriptions of character which form the shame and scourge of the age--for the unprincipled and obsequieus tool of political corruption, on the one hand, and the vain desperate votaries of political empiricism, on the other.'
Apprehensions more terrific than the case itself justifies may, perhaps, be entertained by this .gentleman, in contemtemplating the Godwinean system; he may imagine it to be more stealing into favour than it really is, for we are of opinion that it does too great violence to the principles and affections of human nature ever to be current; yei it comes in “ so questionable a shape," that it demands examination, and he who ably refutes it must be allowed to have rendered service to the cause of morals.
We should be sorry, therefore, to be thought to give cold and stinted praise to the author of these pages, for the pains which he has taken to place this theory in its true light. He has, we think, “ laid the axe to the root of the tree;"_he has exposed it in its elements; and he has evinced its foundation: principle to be erroneous.
Mr. Godwin's radical position is,
• That we are bound in justice to do all the good we can, and that al moral duty therefore is comprised in Justice. It is just to do all she good we can ; it is unjust not to do all the good we can. Being bound in justice to do all the good we possibly can, the only just motive for preferring either our own good to thaty of others, or of other persons, the good of any one individual to that of any other, must be a sense of the superior quantity of good which that indiviuual, whether it be ourselves or another, is capable of producing ; becaire, by pursuing this plan only, can we produce all the possible good in our power; whatever therefore leads us to prefer either oure