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land, if all Christians would display the same enlarged charity; would learn to believe that even out of the pale of orthodoxy there may be men worthy of esteem, and that such men, though they may be wrong in religion, are rather objects of tender solicitude, than pharisaical scorn. This enlarged charity and philosophy were the more remarkable in one who at that time was not free in other respects from a habit of dogmatizing. He could allow for errors of faith, and believe that even a sceptic might be a poet; but we are not quite so sure that he would have been equally indulgent to a difference of taste, or have discovered, with equal readiness, the merits of a man whose position in society was at all equivocal, or whose coat was threadbare.
Our desire to become intimate with Mr. Kaye was soon gratified, and seldoin have we felt prouder of any friendship than we do of that which now subsists between us. Of his merits as a writer, we shall endeavour to speak out impartially, and, most assuredly, undet red from using censure by any fear of giving offence to him. Our estimate of his talents will be seen in the sequel. Of his worth, we shall sav little, because, in support of our estimate of it, we could appeal only to the experience of those who know him ; and, in addressing them, it is unnecessary to dwell on those qualities of his heart which have won for him their esteem and regard. To all the frankness of the military character, Mr. Kaye unites the kindness of a benevolent nature, and the courtesy of polished society, without its insince itv. Warm in his friendships, he is weak in his enmities, if any such he hath ; and he is about the last man who would feel it a complimint to be called “a good hater.” He has a high sense of honour, and is, we firmly believe, as incapable of any thing mean as he is of abstaining from any generous act within the limit of his power. He is yet, as we have said, very young. and our experience of the pernicious influence of what is called society here, in hardening the heart against the more generous sympathies of our nature, might justify in us a fear for Mr. Kaye, who of late has been much more in that society than he used to be, and who has been exposed to the greater danger of admiration, arising from his reputation as an author, a sore temptation to a youthful mind; but we will trust him, and, even if deceived, we should trust again; for there is a pleasure in a confidence in human worth, in contemplating the bright side of the picture of humanity, for the loss of which no advantages of caution and suspicion can ever compensate.
We have now to speak of Mr. Kaye in his literary capacity; the personal and literary character, however, are often so blended, that, in tracing the latter, we may very probably have to indulge again in remarks illustrative of the former.
We have already alluded to the commencement of Mr. Kaye's literary career. His first Essay appeared in the Calcutta Literary Gazette of the 25th January 1834, and is the first of a series of papers entitled “The Essayist,” which were chiefly contributed by himself and D. L. R. ; the latter had hoped, no doubt, to enlist other Essayists, and so he did, but not to the extent anticipated; and soon after Mr. Kaye was driven away to Europe by sickness, “The Essayist” ceased.
The subject of Essay No. I is, “The Pen and the Pencil.” It is written in a pleasing style, and with a modest diffidence, which leaves the question of relative advantage undecided. The subject is considered in two points of view; 1st, in that of the peculiar advantages of the respective arts ; next in that of the relative pleasures derived from the practice of them. The first, we think, are sufficiently obvious, nor are we aware that the Essayist has thrown any new light upon them. The Poet's works may live for ever ; the Painter's cannot, even though his fame may be handed down by tradition. Then, again, the wide diffusion of the Poet's productions. He can address himself to the whole reading world; the Painter to comparatively few. Godwin considers it doubtful, whether the wisest Mandarin in China may not be indebted for part of his energy and sagacity to the writings of Shakespeare and Milton 2 This may be justly deemed an extravagance, if taken too literally ; but regarded
merely as a figurative illustration of the diffusiveness of a great writer's influence, and his works, it is a just and striking remark. The Painter enjoys no such advantages. Of course these obvious distinctions have not escaped Mr. Kaye, but he has also put the case of painting very ingeniously. We will confine ourselves to a specimen of the manner in which he has discussed the relative pleasures of the practice of these arts as to which, we are fully persuaded, that Hazlitt is right. At least we never met with an author who felt any pleasure in composition (though we have read of authors who did), and we cannot conceive the idea of any pleasure in such labour; but the practice of painting is enjoyed by all who can paint:
I would next consider which is the pleasantest avocation. Hazlitt has written an essay upon the “Pleasures of Painting,” which contains, as all his writings do, much truth, mixed up with many fallacies. He makes out his case in favour of the pencil, without giving the pen a fair chance, in his arguments. Hazlitt certainly ought to have been a competent judge; for he had been both an artist and an author. But then he never wrote poetry, and at the time of his conposing the “Table Talk,” painting was the past—authorship the present. How differently do we estimate things when they are gone by, to what we do when they are actually with us; and this I imagine to be the reason why Hazlitt was so vehement in his praises of the delights experienced by the painter, whilst he speaks of “the drudgery of authorship.” He says that he takes no pleasure in writing, but rejoices when he gets to the end of an essay. I do not doubt this, for I have experienced the same sensation myself; and Johnson used to say, that he took so little pleasure in writing poetry, that he frequently paused to run his finger down the paper and count how many lines he had composed. But Johnson was not one who appears to have written “con amore.” Were we not positively informed to the contrary, there are few people who would not say that he wrote with extreme labour, this I attribute to the little pleasure he took in composition. But who could ever read one of Keats's poems without saying that he delighted in the task of creating ! I have never read that he did so, but his poems bear internal evidence, at least, that he never ran his fingers along the margin, or rejoiced when it was time to throw aside his pen. Tasso is another example: how he regretted when his “long-sustaining friend of many years,” his “Gierusalemme Liberata,” was at length brought to a close ! This is not poetical fiction, but fact turned into poetry. His letters bear evidence of the “craving void left aching in his breast.” The loss, as of an old fiend departed—a friend, whom he could not replace.
But, after all, I am not sure whether Hazlitt was not right. There is pleasure in painting. I have experienced it myself, though but I am an indifferent performer, and but rarely call into practice the few ideas I have upon the subject. The chief pleasure I hold to be in the sudden production of effect that often takes place. A man, after labouring for days, frequently produces by a chance stroke, or a sudden flash of thought, the very effect he has been long aiming at. This I imagine to be about the height of human felicity. But one beautiful idea will not give a tone to a whole poem—beauty in poetry is not to be produced by a singly epithet or isolated phrase —one word may make a fine couplet, not a fine poem, but one stroke will give expression to a whole picture. This is because we can take in a painting with our eyes at one effort, but a poem must be perused, line after line, till the whole is finished. I am almost sure that Hazlitt has not taken this view of the subject, but I forbear entering further upon the “Pleasures of Painting.” for fear of encroaching upon fordidden ground. There is much pleasure, I repeat, in the actual process ; but it is liable to in any disadvantages that poetry is not. We need no instruments in the composition of a poem—many in that of a picture. You can make as good verses in the dark as in the daylight. I he blin iman's poetry is equal, and in two splendid instances, superior to that of the man who seeth. You can compose when tossed about on the ocean—when travelling over the earth, in all weathers, in all places—by day, by night—on a bed of sickness – amidst thunder and lightning ; but I defy a man to paint in such situations. Gainsborough was a rare instance of a man colouring by lamp-light , and I know a solitary ex umple of a man drawing upon a stage-coach ; this is Dr. Crotch, the famous musician, who is likewise a beautiful draftsman. However rapid the motion may be, he is not prevented from indulging in his favorite avocation.
We have said more than we intended on this first Essay ; but we have not space to discuss the merits or doctrines of all those which succeed it; we shall, therefore, merely make a few exracts from them, remarking on the most striking passages only of our quotations:
But this is a digression, and to come somewhat nearer to my subject, let us continue our observation of the human face. In it are contained the external types of our principal sensitive organs. Above, in its ivory nansion, sits reason, throned like a monarch, and below, are the habitations of our senses, sitting like the ministers of intellect at the feet of the sovereign, whom they serve. The very arrangement of our features is typical of the internal moral constitution. of whose component parts they are symbols. Look at the seat of reason, how exalted it is, above all else. Look at the organs of sight, as being the most immediate communicators of our ideas, holding the greatest propinquity to the brain, that receives them. And next in order come he vehicles of sound—their position is regulated by their importance. Throughout the whole face we perceive the same resemblance between the outward and inward organization—the execution is worthy of the design.
It has been said that the face is the very citadel of beauty—arr fome facies. May it not be said, with equal truth, that the brow is likewise the citadel of the face, exalted above, and overhanging all the other strongholds of the city. It is indeed a noble thing; it giveth a gravity, an intelligence, a sublime to the whole—it is associated in our minds with an idea of intellectual prowess—it recalls to our remembrance, what we are told in the Scriptures, that God created mankind after the image of himself. , Apart, however, from all associations, there is something really grand in the contemplation of a fine forehead, over-arching as it does the rest of the human face, the broad and lofty mass, “pale with high and passionate thoughts,” and overshadowed with a profusion of waving hair, streaming down like the veil of the temple of thought, and reminding us of the old men in the pictures of Domenichino. The brow is to sublimity what the eves are to beauty, and the mouth to grace; it is not capable of the sudden flashes of expression that burst from the one, nor of the delicate and minute allernations of feeling exhibited by the former; but it remains in grand and unaltered stateliness, save when an occasional thought throws a gloom over the whole, like the shadow of a cloud upon the face of some mighty mountain.
What lovely, what delicate things are the human lips How rich is their colour, how elegant is their formation, how capable they are of expressing the most varied alternations of feeling ! In this point they excel all other features, even the eye, out of all comparison. Of what intricate changes are they susceptible ! They are almost ever in motion, whether we be conversing or in silence. They speak of love, of scorn, of hatred, of sorrow, of joy, one after the other, in rapid succession. Now they are extended with a gentle smile, now they are quivering with disdain, now they are pouting with anger, and yet how small is the actual change which creates all this variety of expression. I have a peculiar partiality towards the mouth above every other part of the human face. I make my estimate of character more from this than from any other feature. I like full, rosy, open lips, inclining rather upwards at the corners. I cannot bear the “downward drag austere” which Leigh Hunt speaks of in one of his poems, nor do I like the thin, compressed lips that we see in some people ; they give me the idea of a want of frankness; they look as though they were keeping constant guard, lest something should escape from them unawares. Shelley says, in his remarks upon the Florentine gallery, that “with fine lips a person is never wholly bad, and they never belong to the expression of emotions wholly selfish—lips being the seat of the imagination,” and I am inclined to think that he was right in this respect ; for if we look over a number of portraits we shall, almost invariably, find that the poets have the finest mouths in the batch. I have a small miniature painting, copied from a printed portrait of the very person who made this remark, and there is an extraordinary degree of grace and sensibility in the small, parted, full-lipped mouth of this inaginative being ; it looks as though a common-place could never proceed out of it. Coleridge's is another; what a dreaminess there is about its whole appearance, what a look of abstraction and utter absence of worldly feeling ! There is a small portrait of this gifted individaul in Galignani's edition of his poems; it must have been taken many years back, but it is still a capital likeness Not that the resemblance of feature is so strikingly correct, but that the expression is so admirably pourtrayed. In doing this consists the chief skill of the portrait painter. There is nothing in hitting of a dead likeness; but it requires the hand, the mind of a master, to thow the “unembodied beauty” over the whole.
In an Essay “On the Magnifying Mediums,” Mr. Kaye treats of Hope and Memory, and expresses his dissent from those who prefer the former.
Now I am inclined to think differently upon this subject, and attach more importance to the past than to the future, inasmuch as I prefer certainty to doubt, upon all occasions, even though the certainty be involved in less pleasant considerations. It is something to be able to say,
“I die—but first I have possess'd ;
The poet, who wrote these two lines, must have known human nature well, at least in this respect. The passage I have quoted is one of the finest illustrations I remember of the power of past events upon the present. The strong feeling of the immutability of things gone by, setting the future at stern defiance ; the knowledge, the certainty of past happiness triumphing over the fears of wretchedness that was to come, and throwing a kind of proud satisfaction over the present tumult of agony, and giving vent to itself, in these impassioned words,
“And, come what may, I have been blest.”
The philosophy of this one line points out the advantages of the past over the future. Hope is involved in the dark clouds of obscurity ; Memory is radiant with the broad light of certainty and truth. It is in the power of all men to say, “I have been”—of none to say, “I will be.” The position of man, in this world, is that of the traveller journeying from one city to another.
He looks back with a kind of foud regret upon the one he has passed, and finds a complacent satisfaction in contemplating the pleasures and hospitalities he met with there. He journeys onward, hoping earnestly in his heart that the next may be even still more abundant in delight, than the last. He reaches his destination, and perhaps his hopes are realized ; perhaps partially so; or what is still more frequently the case, he is perhaps altogether disappointed. But we do not pay for remembrance in this manner; there is no cheatery here—no elevation of our souls to render the fall more crushing, when it does come. We know the past, and all the circumstances of life cannot alter one tittle of that which has been. We may, it is true, discover that we have been imposed upon; we may, as our knowledge increases, perceive that we have been labouring under erroneous impressions; we may find, perhaps, that what we took for gold was nothing but alloy; and that what we esteemed as friendship and sincerity, was nothing better than selfishness and hypocrisy. An increase of years and of worldly wisdom may undeceive us in these respects; but it cannot prevent us from remembering that we were once happy, even though it were under a delusion. The past is still the same, although our present view of it is changed by experience.
It may be said that the pleasures of memory depend upon the degrees of happiness and of wretchedness that have chequered the surface of our past existence, but that Hope, on the other hand, being the child of ignorance, receives no tone from the future. Whatever of weal or woe there may be in store, it is all the same. Hope smiles upon us, although with a lie upon her face. I grant all this to be true; but the man, who can look back upon the past and say, “In the desert of existence, I can call to mind no spots of greenery—no bubbling fountains—no places of refuge from the the scorching blasts of extreme agony — my life has been one continued scene of struggles and vexations, unvaried by one redeeming hour of quiet bliss ;” must indeed have trodden the flowers of life under foot with a wilful and unpardonable blindness. He must have closed his eyes, in the obstinacy of a perverted spirit, on purpose to complain of the darkness of the world. He must have thrown a veil over his face in the midst of beauty, and then lamented that existence contained nothing worth the living for. When a man complains that he has never, known happiness, he convicts himself upon his own evidence; he makes an unwilling confession of his own depravity, and ; instead of exciting our compassion, he excites our contempt. I know nothing more pitiful in human life, than to look upon every thing with a jaundiced eye; to enter the arena with a determination of expressing our disapprobation; to shut up the channels of our hearts, and to make a positive resistance against any attempt to open them ; to become, like the “self-torturer” of Terence, a wretch of our own creating.
One of the most manifest advantages of Memory over Hope is, that as we grow older, the former increases, while the latter diminishes. Every day gives us less to desire, more to remember. Memory moves with the past, Hope with the future, until the latter becomes but as an uncertain span, while the former has swollen itself into a bulk of many years. I put little faith in anything that grows smaller every hour of the day. I do not like to contemplate a diminution of happiness, and watch its gradual decline, from much to little, from little to less. Memory is like the magnifying glass ; the further we remove it from the object we are inspecting, the larger that object will become. Every day, whilst it gives us fresh food for remembrance, renders our older recollections more beautiful and bright. We cannot see the smaller defects at a distance ; we are only struck with the serene harmony of the whole. Thus we go on daily increasing in happiness, until, old age steals upon us with gradual advances, and we have gained the summit of the mountain of life. Then it is that we look back upon long series of past years with infinite satisfaction; we have nothing to do with Hope, save that which is beyond the grave. Remembrance has become to us the “ one thing needful,” and we hug it to our bosoms, as we would an old and tried friend. We look down, as from an eminence, upon the vast truct of country we have travelled over, and if there are some shadows upon the surface, they only render the remainder even more dazzling than it really is. All joys and sorrows are by comparison. I would give little for that man's happiness who has never known what it is to suffer. Besides, I think the remembrance even of suffering is often times pleasant unto our heats, when we feel a consciousness that our misfortunes were not brought on by our own unworthiness, and rejoice in the thought that they are now over.
I am not a very disconsolate individual, nor am I aware that the early hours of my existence have been more fraught with happiness, than those of other people. And yet I derive but little consolation from the “Pleasures of Hope" much from the “Pleasures of Memory.” I can enter more into the feelings of Rogers than of Campbell, when they wrote those two excellent poems under the above titles. Hope is essentially selfish—Memory is not. Hope is full of excitement— Memory of quietness and composure. I do not know, whether I am singular in this respect; but to me Hope but seldom comes, unattended by ambition; at all events, it is a dissatisfied feeling, looking forward for something better than the present holds out to us. It is a state of restless and feverish anxiety, redolent of disappointment. It renders man a moral Sisyphus, striving with his whole soul to reach the summit of the hill, with his rocky burthen upon his shoulders, and as often beholding the stony mass roll down the descent just as he is on the verge of the highest pinnacle. It is a continued scene of elevation and depression. Now we are with our heads almost touching the clouds—now we are grovelling in the dust with utter helplessness. At one hour, Hope touches us with her fairy wand, and we become like Cinderella at the prince's ball, all that we desire to be ; but the clock strikes the next hour, and the delusion is over. We return again o former condition of ragged filthiness, and our lot is even less endurable than it had been
In the conclusion, Mr. Kaye describes Memory as an oasis in the desert of life, and dwells with enthusiasm on the delight of recalling the pleasures of one's youth. This is because lie has never experienced the sorrows which render the remembrance of the past so painful as to make us sigh for “some sweet oblivious antidote” to this baneful memory for ever, recalling the images of “joys departed never to return.” We wish Mr Kaye may always derive pleasure alone from his reminiscences; but he will be fortunate indeed if that should be the case. Chateaubriand observes, that “the pleasures of youth, reproduced by memory, are ruins viewed by torchlight.” We think Chateaubriand is right; and we are in a better condition to form a judgment on that point than Mr. Kaye can be for twenty years to come. This is certain, that while memory must serve to remind us of our sorrows as well as our pleasures, hope is conversant only with the agreeable. We never hope for evil, although we may dread it. The imagination may indeed fill the prospect of the future with all the forbidding sights, which Mr. Kaye describes as occasionally pre: sented to him in his dreams of futurity; but this is an effect of melancholy and of a morbid state of mind. and has nothing to do with hope. On this point Mr. Kaye has overlooked a distinction of importance to his subject. A man may, no doubt, take gloomy views of the future, but that is when Hope has deseribed him. Hope never darkens the soul with gloomy images of the future. We do not deny that there are green “spots in memory's waste;” but they are indeed generally few and far between. Pleasures of Memory there are ; but, alas ! these are also sorrows of memory; and he must be very young or very fortunate to whom she presents not, more of grief than of joy. The Essay to which we refer, concludes with a remark that we do not clearly understand. “I would rather,” says the Essayist, “ have written all Machiavelli's inhuman Treatises, than those obnoxious lines upon a blank leaf of Rogers's “Pleasures of Memory,” setting forth, in lamentable strains, “that their author had never met with any.”
Surely this is a mistake, at least we are unable to trace, in the lines in question, any such confession as that described. As the lines are not very numerous, however, we subjoin.them that the reader may judge for himself.
lix Es whitre N on A blank leaf of “the pleasures of Memory.”
Absent or present, still to thee,
As all can tell who share, like me,
But when the dreaded hour shall come,
And “M E Mony,” o'er her Druid's tomb,
How fondly will she then repay
And blend, while ages roll away,
We confess we cannot discover in these lines, any obnoxious confession that their noble author had never met with any “Pleasures of Memory.”
We can only afford to give a very short extract from an Essay “On the good and bad fortunes of Authors,” in which there are many just and striking remarks, combined with some errors into which we have not time to follow the writer.
ExCITEMENT OF PUBLICATION.—DISAPPOINTMENT OF GENIUS.
It is not alone the excitement of composition that torments the man of genius, but the excitements of publication is at times even more distressing. Genius is never unattended by a strong desire after fame. The young poet stakes his happiness upon a chance throw, and he stands “the hazard of the die.” In nine cases out of ten, the most highly gifted is the least likely to command success. He trusts too much to his own powers, perhaps ; indeed, he knows not aught besides the