Page images
PDF
EPUB

asserted that “Ford interests us in no passion, but in that of love;" there can be no doubt, that in depicting love he principally excels. When we recollect, that with the exception of Otway, no writer, perhaps, since the Restoration has escaped the sickly infection of the French love-scenes, with how much pleasure should we not look back on Ford, as being in this respect the Ultimus Romanorum!We shall not enter at length on the merits of the question, which has so long divided the most eminent critics—we mean, the probability of that scene in which Calantha, in spite of the calamities which are momentarily announced to her, continues the revelry in which the court is engaged, and though her mind is shaken to its centre, preserves the external countenance of health and pleasure. In this war of critics, magno se judice quisque tuetur, Mr. Gifford, and Mr. Hazlitt, are on one side : Mr. Lamb, and the Edinburgh Review, on the other! But, while we refer the curious reader to their more elaborate arguments on this point, we shall just observe, that it is rather too much to expect the audience of the Globe, to pare down their likings and dislikings to a level with those of a Drury-lane pit; or that the merry critics of the Mermaid should sympathise with the loungers in Mr. Murray's drawing-room! Surely there is nothing absolutely unnatural in the supposition, that Calantha, fearing to drive her soul back on its own resources, lest she should quail in spirit before her arduous duties were performed, strives for a time with the full rush of her grief, and calls in the aid of choral revelry to combat those emotions, by indulging which, her country might be ruined. It is unquestionably a terribly-contrived scene; but unnatural we cannot think it: and it would shew equal unfairness and narrowness of mind, to judge merely by the standard of our more refined and feebler taste, of those terrible bursts of dramatic power, which were so frequently called forth by the fantastic genius of the older poets.

(To be continued.)

ON UTOPIA.

Arva, beata
Petamus arva, divites et insulas.--HOR.

What and where is Utopia ? That dwelling place of all that is blissful on earth; that scene of more than human delight; that country which every enthusiast has peopled with the creatures of his own imagination, and given them occupations consistent with his ideas of felicity; what and where, I say, is that country, in which alone the “ summum bonumis to be found ? Whether does it repose on the tranquil bosom of the Pacific, or brave the surges of the Atlantic; is it to be discovered amid the fervour of the torrid zone, or in the genial climate of the temperate? where shall we place, and how shall we define, this island of islands, this Paradise upon earth; where no wish is without its completion, and where no care can dwell; where all inclinations are alike satisfied ; in short, where that true and perfect felicity, which, though continually sought, has never yet been found, exists in its genuine and primitive excellence ?

What is Utopia ? “Utopia," cries Lady Arabella Wilmot, “is a town where there is perpetual spring, so that nobody thinks of going into the country; where every body dines at sunset, and goes to bed at sunrise; where there are no vulgar people, that get up before noon, where every house has a ball and concert room, and where new novels are published every day.”

What is Utopia ? “Utopia,” simpers Miss Selina Sensitive, “is a country where the trees are always clothed with the freshest verdure ; where Philomela pours forth her plaintive melody the livelong night; where Cynthia's orb is never veiled in clouds ; where the lambkins frisk along the grassy meads ; where all nature bears tokens of innocence and love."

What is Utopia ? “ “Utopia,” growls Mr. John Timon, “ is a cluster of islands, with one inhabitant in each, and a sea so stormy between them as to prevent all intercourse; they are all well stocked with animals, particularly mastiffs, for they fawn upon none but those they love."

What is Utopia ? “Utopia," swears Mr. Augustus Dashaway, “is a place where there are no duns nor blacklegs, where there are horses to which Eclipse is but a cart-horse, and Childers a market-woman's pad-nag : Where every body keeps up the honour of the turf; and where no one is invisible on settling day.”

What is Utopia ? “Utopia,” grunts Mr. Gastrophilus Gourmand," is an island on whose shores are turtle, and in whose forests are deer; where French cooks constitute a great proportion of the population; and where the air is so pure, that one is never at a loss for appetite; where the wines are of the first quality, and where nobody eats fewer than seven meals per diem.”

What is Utopia? Mr. John Simpkins affirms, that Utopia is a place where every body minds his own business, and leaves other people to mind theirs ; where

pro

ܪ

perty is secure without the precaution of bars and bolts; where debts are paid without the interference of a bailiff; where every thing is conducted upon the principles of fair dealing, and where no monopolies are allowed.

Utopia !" cried Bombastes Fustiano. “Utopia is like the garden of the Hesperides; Utopia is like the groves of Elysium ; whatever delights Nature from her heavenly treasury draws forth she loves to shower upon Utopia ; joys interminable ; pleasures ineffable; matchless, supernatural, irresistible afflations of sublime, empyreal rapture; these, these are the joys of Utopia ; these are the emanations which gladden this seat of the blessed, this habitation of incontaminate felicity; this unimpairable, undefinable, undiscoverable Paradise."

“Utopia!" whispers Bartholomew Bouverie, “Utopia is to be found at home : to what purpose do we delude our minds with dreams of happiness, and think that in another climate those joys are to be found, which spring alone from a contented mind. Is it in the power of season or of place to change the affections of the heart; or, if it were, would it be for our advantage to be freed from those petty annoyances which give a double zest to the manifold pleasures we enjoy? No: in vain does that man seek for tranquillity who seeks it only in change of scene, and variety of occupation; while the greatest, the most important change, the reformation of his own mind, remains unaccomplished.”

What, then, is Utopia? Utopia is that nurse of liberty, that empress of the world, whose name is England. In vain may we traverse the colures to find her equal; if happiness is tobe found upon earth, assuredly England is her dwelling-place. The various scenes of the world

may afford gratification to the traveller; the discovery of new lands may please the scientific; the sailor may view with triumph the banner of his country waving over islands hitherto unknown; but where is the man who has not hailed the white cliffs of Albion as the boundary of all that is dear to him

upon

earth. But with the blessing of a contented mind, Utopia may even be found in a desert. What child of Arabia would change the sands of his country for the pastures of Andalusia; or would quit the tents of his fathers, might he inhabit the halls of the Escurial? So true are the words of the poet :

Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
His first, best country, ever is at home.

TODE

THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE.
Calm flow'd the stream, nor seem’d to hear,
Or sign, or murmur, boding fear,
Flash'd all around in bright career

The Orange Standard's chivalry.
A monarch check'd his courser bold
One moment, where the blue waves rollid,
And “ On,” he cried, “ On, to uphold

The Orange Standard's gallantry!"
An instant-and the cannons roar
Shook to its base each frighted shore;
Yet still aloft those warriors bore

The Orange Standard's majesty.
Then throbb'd each soldier's blood with ire,
As blaz'd around the battle's fire ;
And still they saw wave high, and higher,

That Orange Standard's canopy.
The Stuart saw his bravest die,
The red light darken’d in his eye ;
For flight and gloom foretold it nigh-

That Orange Standard's victory.

ANA

« PreviousContinue »