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and diabolical republican, a wretch who “ horrifies the pure and amiable nature" of royal personages, a plotter with Cobbert, whom I never saw in my life, and an instrument of the designs of HORNE TOOKE, whom I never wish to see. It is equally in vain that I have taken such pains to secure the gratitude of the dramatists. I understand they never could be brought to regard me in the proper light; and a variety of criticisms, as well as the reports of my "good-natured friends," have conveyed to me, at divers times, the most positive assurances that I was an uninformed, an unwarrantable, and an unfeeling critic-a malignant critica bad critic-no critic at all-nay, a blackhearted being who delighted in tormenting a sort of critical RhynWICK WILLIAMS who went about slashing in the dark-and in fine-what I must confess I really was at one period of my life—a boy. The worst publications that attacked me I abstained from noticing, not only from a proper respect to myself, but upon the principle
that their own vices had already given them their death blow. However, they still continued fighting, like the vivacious deceased in the romance, who had not time, you know, to discover he was dead:
Il pover' uomo che non sen era accorto,
But you see they die off, one after the other. The process is the same, though slower, with those “ living dead men,” the dramatists: and even the attorney-general and his right honourable friends, whose vigour consists in the persecution of newspapers, and whose genius in the waste of their country's blood, will recollect, I trust, that the inevitable hour awaits them also, and a much more serious one than can be contemplated in jest.
But enough of this egregious history. Disinclined as I was at first to the publication of this little memoir, I am at length not dissatisfied, I confess, with having an opportunity of contradicting, under my name, all those motives of envy or of ill temper, to which my humble efforts in the cause of taste and reason may have been attributed. To envy Mr. Cherry or Mr. Dibdin is no easy task; but to feel a personal ill will against bad writers would be, I trust, a still harder with me, if possible. If such persons lose their reputation or their profits, and become by. words for bad writing, they must attribute the misfortune to its real cause, and make the plain shoulder-shrugging confession which the other day escaped Mr. REYNOLDS, who has now given the town not only a fair warning, but a better proof of bis sense than all his comedies put together. The just severity of criticism regards nothing but what is public; and had I made any answer to those poor reprobates, who, when they could find nothing personal to attack in me, attacked the character of those who were related to me, I should have challenged them to produce a single passage, in which I have made any personal attack on the deformities, morals, or hearts of those whom I criticised. Political stricture is another thing; and to be bitterly severe on men who grow wealthy and wanton in the lavishment of English blood, requires nothing but to be commonly virtuous. But I have heard that even some of our present rulers cut a very good figure at their fire sides, and I have no doubt that our bad writers cut much better. So far from meddling with either of them there, who would not wish them there, wrapped up forever in social enjoyment? The dramatists would at once make the proper use of their talents by fitting up baby theatres for their children; and Mr. PERCEVAL, instead of sending his countrymen to prisons and graves, would hit the exact pitch of his genius in the forging of cherry-stone chains and the blowing of bubbles. But as criticism is not to invade the privacies of men, so private considerations are never to issue out upon, and obstruct, public criticism; still less are they to be sacred in the defence of political character, when they are so continually þrought into play by the politicians themselves, and elevated to the room and to the rank of public virtue. As I began, therefore, I shall proceed. I am not conscious of ever having given praise for policy's sake, or blame for malignity's; and I never will. A strict adherence to truth, and a recurrence to first principles, are the only things calculated to bring back the happier times of our literature and constitution ; and however humble as an individual, I have found inyself formidable as a lover of truth, and shall never cease to exert myself in its cause, as long as the sensible will endure my writings, and the honest appreciate my intentiens. Yours, my dear Sir, very sincerely,
ON A MOONLIGRT VIEW OF HIGALAND SCENERT
HOW sweet, my friend, at this lone hour, to scale
These moonlight mountain cliffs, and view below
With all its shadowy isles ;-- to list alone
And summer rills adown the rocks that creep
Falls on the ear that deep and nameless tone,
Made of all mingling sounds-so like the moan
Thus look'd the infant world ere yet the groan
TO THE SAME.
They call'd us brother bards!—The same blue streams
Witness'd our youthful sports ; our tears have sprung
Together, when those ancient tales were sung,
And still, as riper years and judgment came,
Our tastes, our friendships, and our faith the same :But not the same our task!—Thy loftier lyre,
Which, with the tide of feeling, swells or falls, Shall charm tumultuous camps and courtly halls,
And rouse the warrior's arm and patriot's ire
While I shall chant my little madrigals To happy circles round the cottage fire.
When the sky is black above, and the billows white below,
When the ship is on her beams, and the masts are all a wreck,
W. M. T.
(From the Reflector, edited by Leigh Huné.]
The airy ship at anchor rides ;
Impatient of delay;
She floats upon her way.
Ilow swift! for now I see her sail
And speeding up the sky;
She cheats my dazzled eye.
Bright wonder! thee no flapping wing,
Urged on thy fleet career:
Along the silent sphere.
No curling mist at close of light,
No cloud at brcezy dawn,
Or shadow o'er the lawn.
Yet thee, e'en thee, the destined hour
Rapid in prone descent;
The breath ethereal spent.
Thus daring Fancy's pens sublime,
Thus Hope, her soul elate,