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South. Come, Mr. Porson, grant him his merits: no critic is better contrived to make any work a monthly one, no writer more dexterous in giving a finishing touch. Por. Let him take his due and be

gone.

The plagiary has a greater latitude of choice than we; and if he brings home a parsnip or turniptop, when he could as easily have pocketed a nectarine or a pine-apple, he must be a blockhead. And now we are both in better humour, I must bring you to a confession that in your friend Wordsworth there is occasionally a little trash.

South. A haunch of venison would be trash to a Brahmin, a bottle of burgundy or tokay to the xerif of Mecca.

Por. I will not be anticipated by you. Trash, I confess, is no proof that nothing good can lie above it and about it. The roughest and least manageable soil surrounds gold and diamonds. Homer and Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, have each many hundred lines (as we are alone I will say some thousands) worth little ; lines without force, without feeling, without' fancy; in short, without beauty of any kind.

South. In so wide and untrodden a creation as that of Shakespeare, can we wonder or complain that sometimes we are bewildered and entangled in the exuberance of fertility ? Drybrained men upon the continent, the trifling wits of the theatre, accurate however, and expert calculators, tell us that his beauties are balanced by his faults. The poetical opposition, the liberal whig wiseacres, puffing for popularity, cry cheerily against them, his faults are balanced by his beauties. In reality, all the faults that ever were committed in poetry would be but as air to earth, if we could weigh them against one single thought or image, such as almost every scene exhibits, in every drama of this unrivalled genius.

Por. It will be recorded to the infamy of the kings and princes now reigning, or rather of those whose feet put into motion their rocking-horses, that they never have made a common cause in behalf of learning, but on the contrary have made a common cause against it. They pretend that it is not their business or their duty to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. This is not an internal affair of any : it interests all ; it belongs to all; and these scrupulous men have no scruple to interfere in giving their countenance and assistance, when a province is to be torn away or a people to be invaded.

South. To neglect what is recoverable in the authors of antiquity, is like rowing away from a crew that is making its escape from shipwreck. The knowledge of books written in our language is extending daily in our country, which, whatever dissatisfaction or disgust its rulers may occasion in you, contains four-fifths of the learned and scientific meņ now on earth.

Por. Do not attempt to defend the idle and inconsiderate knaves who manage our affairs for us; or defend them on some other ground : prove, if you please, that they have, one after another, been incessantly occupied in rendering us more moral, more prosperous, more free;

but abstain, sir, from any allusion to their solicitude on the improvement of our literary condition. With a smaller sum than is annually expended on the appointment of some silly and impertinent young envoy, we might restore all, or nearly all, those writers of immortal name, whose disappearance has been the regret of genius for four entire centuries. In my opinion a few thousand pounds, laid out on such an undertaking, would be laid out as creditably as on a Persian carpet or a Turkish tent; as creditably as on a collar of rubies and a ball-dress of Brussels-lace for our Lady in the manger, or as

on gilding, for the adoration of princesses and their capuchins.

SECTION XXXIII.

OCTAVIO-MAXIMIN.....S. T. Coleridge.

Maximin. If thou hast believed that I shall act
A part of this thy play-
Thou hast miscalculated on me grievously.
My way must be straight on.

True with the tongue,
False with the heart-I may not, cannot be;
Nor can I suffer that a man should trust me-
As his friend trust me—and then lull my conscience
With such low pleas as these : :-" I asked him not
He did it all at his own hazard-and
My mouth has never lied to him.”—No, no!
What a friend takes me for, that I must be.
-I'll to the Duke ; ere yet this day is ended
Will I demand of him that he do save
His good name from the world, and with one stride
Break through and rend this fine-spun web of yours.

South. Come, Mr. Porson, grant him his merits: no critic is better contrived to make any work a monthly one, no writer more dexterous in giving a finishing touch.

Por. Let him take his due and be gone. The plagiary has a greater latitude of choice than we; and if he brings home a parsnip or turniptop, when he could as easily have pocketed a nectarine or a pine-apple, he must be a blockhead. And now we are both in better humour, I must bring you to a confession that in your friend Wordsworth there is occasionally a little trash.

South. A haunch of venison would be trash to a Brahmin, a bottle of burgundy or tokay to the xerif of Mecca.

Por. I will not be anticipated by you. Trash, I confess, is no proof that nothing good can lie above it and about it. The roughest and least manageable soil surrounds gold and diamonds. Homer and Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, have each many hundred lines (as we are alone I will say some thousands) worth little ; lines without force, without feeling, without' fancy; in short, without beauty of any kind.

South. In so wide and untrodden a creation as that of Shakespeare, can we wonder or complain that sometimes we are bewildered and entangled in the exuberance of fertility ? Drybrained men upon the continent, the trifling wits of the theatre, accurate however, and expert calculators, tell us that his beauties are balanced by his faults. The poetical opposition, the liberal whig wiseacres, puffing for popularity, cry cheerily against them, his faults are balanced by his beauties. In reality, all the faults that ever were committed in poetry would be but as air to earth, if we could weigh them against one single thought or image, such as almost every scene exhibits, in every drama of this unrivalled genius.

Por. It will be recorded to the infamy of the kings and princes now reigning, or rather of those whose feet put into motion their rocking-horses, that they never have made a common cause in behalf of learning, but on the contrary have made a common cause against it. They pretend that it is not their business or their duty to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. This is not an internal affair of any : it interests all ; it belongs to all ; and these scrupulous men have no scruple to interfere in giving their countenance and assistance, when a province is to be torn away or a people to be invaded.

South. To neglect what is recoverable in the authors of antiquity, is like rowing away from a crew that is making its escape from shipwreck. The knowledge of books written in our language is extending daily in our country, which, whatever dissatisfaction or disgust its rulers may occasion in you, contains four-fifths of the learned and scientific meņ now on earth.

Por. Do not attempt to defend the idle and inconsiderate knaves who manage our affairs for us; or defend them on some other ground : prove, if you please, that they have, one after another, been incessantly occupied in rendering us more moral, more prosperous, more free; but abstain, sir, from any allusion to their solicitude on the improvement of our literary condition. With a smaller sum than is annually expended on the appointment of some silly and impertinent young envoy, we might restore all, or nearly all, those writers of immortal name, whose disappearance has been the regret of genius for four entire centuries. In my opinion à few thousand pounds, laid out on such an undertaking, would be laid out as creditably as on a Persian carpet or a Turkish tent; as creditably as on a collar of rubies and a ball-dress of Brussels-lace for our Lady in the manger, or as

on gilding, for the adoration of princesses and their capuchins.

SECTION XXXIII.

OCTAVIO—MAXIMIN.....S. T. Coleridge.

Maximin. If thou hast believed that I shall act
A part of this thy play-
Thou hast miscalculated on me grievously.
My way must be straight on.

True with the tongue,
False with the heart-I may not, cannot be;
Nor can I suffer that a man should trust me-
As his friend trust me—and then lull my conscience
With such low pleas as these :-"I asked him not-
He did it all at his own hazard-and
My mouth has never lied to him.”—No, no !
What a friend takes me for, that I must be.

I'll to the Duke ; ere yet this day is ended
Will I demand of him that he do save
His good name from the world, and with one stride
Break through and rend this fine-spun web of yours.

He can, he will !>I still am his believer.
Yet I'll not pledge myself, but that those letters
May furnish you, perchance, with proofs against him.
How far may not this Tertsky have proceeded
What may not he himself too have permitted
Himself to do, to snare the enemy,
The laws of war excusing ? Nothing, save
His own mouth shall convict him-nothing less !
And face to face will I go question him.

Octavio. Thou wilt?
Max. I will, as sure as this heart beats.

Octa. I have, indeed, miscalculated on thee.
I calculated on a prudent son,
Who would have blest the hand beneficent
That plucked him back from the abyss—and lo!
A fascinated being I discover,
Whom his two eyes befool, whom passion wilders,
Whom not the broadest light of noon can heal.
Go, question him !-Be mad enough, I pray thee.
The
purpose

of thy father, of thy emperor,
Go, give it up free booty !-Force me, drive me
To an open breach before the time. And now,
Now that a miracle of heaven had guarded
My secret purpose even to this hour,
And laid to sleep suspicion's piercing eyes,
Let me have lived to see that mine own son,
With frantic enterprise, annihilates
My toilsome labours and state-policy.

Mar. Aye—this state-policy? O how I curse it?
You will some time with your state-policy,
Compel him to the measure ; it may happen,
Because ye are determined that he is guilty,
Guilty ye'll make him. All retreat cut off,
You close up every outlet, hem him in
Narrower and narrower, till at length ye force him-
Yes, ye,-ye force him, in his desperation,
To set fire to his prison. Father! Father !
That never can end well-it cannot—will not!
And let it be decided as it may,
I see with boding heart the near approach
Of an ill-starred, unblest catastrophe.
For this great monarch-spirit, if he fall,
Will drag a world into the ruin with him.
And as a ship (that midway on the ocean
Takes fire) at once, and with a thunder-burst

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