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The Missionary ; a Poem. By the Rev. One of the Fancy, No IV.com
D. D. No I.am
18 Decorations of Edinburgh............a 76
micae Luctus, et Gratulationessmanne 47
THERE is no question many of our saying, that in regard to this and a readers will think we are doing a very very great number of subjects besides, useless, if not a very absurd thing, in they stand quite in a different situawriting, at this time of day, any thing tion from our English readers. The like a review of the poetry of Mr reading-public of England (speaking Coleridge. Several years have elapsed largely) have not understood Mr Colesince any poetical production, entitled ridge's poems as they should have to much attention, has been published done-The reading-public of Scotland by him--and of those pieces in which are in general ignorant that any such the true strength and originality of poems exist, and of those who are his genius have been expressed, by far aware of their existence, the great the greater part were presented to the majority owe the whole of their inworld before any of the extensively formation concerning them to a few popular poetry of the present day existo reviews, which, being written by men ed. In the midst, however, of the many of talent and understanding, could new claimannts which have arisen on not possibly have been written from every hand to solieit the ear and the fa any motives but those of malice, or vour of the readers of poetry, we are not with any purposés but those of inis. sure that anyone has had so much rea. representation. son to complain of the slowness and ina- The exercise of those unfair, and dequacy of the attention bestowed upon indeed wicked arts, by which the suhim as this gentleman, who is, com perficial mass of readers are so easily paratively speaking, a veteran of no swayed in all their judgments, was, inconsiderable standing. It is not in this instance, more than commonly easy to determine in what proportions easy, by reason of the many singular the blame of his misfortunes should eccentricities observable in almost all be divided between himself and his the productions of Mr Coleridge's countrymen. That both have con.
What was already fantastic, it ducted themselves very culpably—at could not be no difficult matter for least very unwisely-begins at length, those practised wits, to represent, as we believe, to be acknowledged by most utterly unmeaning, senseless, and abof those whose opinion is of any con- surd. But perhaps those who are sequence. As for us, we can never accustomed to chuckle over the ludi. suppose ourselves to be ill employed crous analysis of serious poems, so when we are doing any thing that may common in our most popular reviews, serve in any measure to correct the might not be the worse for turning to errors of the public judgment on the the Dictionnaire Philosophique, and one hand, or to stimulate the efforts seeing with what success the same of ill-requited, and thence, perhaps, weapons have been employed there, desponding or slumbering genius on (by much greater wits, it is true) to the other. To our Scottish readers transform and degrade into subjects we owe no apology whatever; on the of vulgar merriment all the beautiful contrary, we have no hesitation in narratives of the sacred books their Vol. VI.