« PreviousContinue »
On the Name of the Swedish Botanist.
But Thor unbound his storms,
And heaps on the shuddering shore The winds among its branches roar'd,
The terrible weight of his waves.
Surtur with flaming besom sweeps
The giant sisters stalk on iron sole
Around the groaning palace-walls, At sumtrer's shrine;
Bow the tall columns to the dust,
And crumble every stone.
(Hela, was goddess of death, and guarded Not so the blasted ivy's bough,
the hellbounds. Its sear and faded leaf
(Tbe ravin leads.) A raven decorated the Shall sprout no moie.
Danish banner. Go, blasted ivy, go
(Bridge of gods.) It was on the rainbow To jeck the hearse of death.
that the ghosts of heroes walked to Valhalla. No tear tity reen restores ;
(Iduna,) the wife of Braga, look charge of No dew of song restores.
the apples of immortality. Pale Hela bears thee hence
(Tuisko,) the god of discord, presented To worl's below.
armor to the heroes on their admission into « No! not to worlds below,"
Odin's hall. His arm was bitten off by the The soaring sisters shot;
wolt Feuris. A one-handed idol of this god “ Hail to her who feil in blood,
is shewn in the library of saint Genevieve at Her the free maids lav« chose
Paris by the name of Hercules Ogmius. " To grace Valhalla's bowers."
(Heimdal) kept the gates of heaven.
(Tbe equal sisters.) The Valkyrics were Edw. My lust is guilty of this chain of gigantic virgins, whose office it was to exehor or.
cute the orders of the superior deities. They H Monarch, how wilt thou that this mon- selected the slain in battle, punished the ister die ?
brought the chosen to Valhalla, and Edw. Let him escape. My heart is rent preser ted mead to the guests of Odia. in twain
(Dance of May.) The games of Hertha Alfather, grant me to devote the rest
celebrated at this season are not yet obliterated. Of this sad lite to actions of atonement.
(The virgin i hat unwedded dies.) The Goths They say the Christian godsallow their priests had these gloomy notions of the fate of those To pardon crime, and bind the wounded con- who died unrearried. See the For Skirnis science,
in Sævund's Edda That bends the knee of penitence to heaven. (Lok) was the god of evil: the charlock, a I'll send and ask their aid; for I am wretched. sort of thistle common on barren ground, suill (EDWARD and HAROLD go Oitt sejarasely.
retains his name. Minstrels remain.)
(Alfatber) is the name attributed to the Miastrels sing.
supreme god by the northern nations, after When on a land of crimes
they had learned to separate him from their Alfather frowns,
deified lieroes. Black storm-clouds lour above,
(O'er Gwynetb.) Pentaskeworth was de Flames flash below;
stroyed by Caradoc, a prince of Gwyneth who Earth yawns-huge cities sink
rebelled against Edward. The steam of guilt ascends.com
(Surtur) was chief of the deuses, or genii of And o'er the widening waste
To the Editor of the Alonthly Magazine. Shall not Alfather frown,
SIR, And speak the words of wrath,
TAKE the liberty to add a few words The doom that gods fuláll?
to Dr, Sinitli's letter in your last Mas · He shall he does,
gazine, as a somewhat fuller answer to From world to world
your correspondent, p. 123 in the Mar The awful sentence rolls. From cleaving skies the gods descend;
gazine for March.
It is a wise maxim, not to speak before The shades of mig'ey dead Stand on the moustains round,
we think; and one equally wise, not
to assert a fact for which there is not To view Pentasheworth's fall. The father of slaughter has roar'd,
undoubted proof. Your correspondent And shaken o'er Gwyneth his shield ;
seems liule acquainted with the several From her blue mountains pour
volumes published by the illustrious The bande of war.
Swede himself, or he would not have lis. No living soul escapes.
garded the assertion that he had discarded Huge Niord has heard in the deep, the word Limæus and adopted a Linné,
or Von Linné I happen to be possessed Nature in its sublimity, is its congenial
of several letters from him, in which sphere: the rising and the setting sun, 'the former name is constantly used. the impervious desert, aw the majestic In the titles of more than twenty vo- waves of a storiny sea, awaken its enthulumes published by himself, he con. siasm; it delights in the tremendous rock, stantly retains it. I hope therefore the the massy ruin; in thunders, whirlwinds, more barbarous appellation will now be and volcanos; its powers unfold within Jaid aside; and the Linnæan society dis. the pale sharines of Gothic superstition, card their moderu, but fancitul ortho- and its fancy revels amidst the dreariness graphy, in imitation of their illustrious of enchantinent, Nor are Pope, Swift, founder; who, both before and after he and the other bright luminaries of the received those honorary distinctions due age of queen Anne, exceptions. Ou a to his excellent character, used the first close examination of their works it will appellation.
be found, that they all possessed more of Whilst I have the pen in hand, allow wit than genius; and, moving in a circle me just to remark, that it has long been of artificial splendour, became incorpomatter of regret that such a number of rated with it, and cultivated talentsas dit uncouth and unclassical names are in- ferent from the sublime, as wüter-works troduced into the nomenclature of botany. from Niagara. Taste must be disgusted with their an- Wits are born convivial: they love nual, nay their monthly, increase. We the busy hum of men, the festive board, already see the pages of botanists filled the jovial glee; variety and folly are their with Crowæa, Gemphena, Geodia (for element; multiplicity of objects forms Goodenough), Celebreshia, Elshelttzia, their delight. Gevius has but one: to this Blackstonea, Sowerbaa, Hebenstrelia, it adheres with undistracted force; and Fortkola, Woodfordia, Woehendertia, Dillo its sensations are no less keen than wynia, and Wiggii; and we soon expeet strong. Wit has perception without Crabbæa, Wagstaffea, Hunphreyia, Ed. feeling; and merriment and scoff being wardsin, Pitchfordia, Hailstenea, Scriin- parts of its nature, nothing is unwelcome shiria, Beckhensia, Robsonia, and a long to its taste, or unattainable to its efforts, list of others. I wish some more unex- but the sublime. ceptionable method could be devised But what is genius? Of all the terms to to perpetuate the labours of ingenious which strong signification is annexed,
How must the lovers of pure Latin opinion has been most varied concernbe disgusted with such barbarisms! ing its definition. The ancients believed it April 7, 1810.
II.C. inspiration : the moderns, everything but
this. Montesquieu considers it as an effect For the Monthly Magazine. of climate; Ilelvetius, of a favourable OnGenius; extracteil from the JOURNAL education: and the French critics deny of a REFLECTOR.
il to every author who writes equally well N commerce with the world, by which on all subjects.
That climate has some effect on the the fashionable, it is difficult to preserve inagination cannot be denied. Natives of enthusiasm or cherish genius; nor is there Switzerland and St. Giles's, (even supe an instance of a mind which exclusively posing it possible to preserve morals in preferred this circle, and long retained the district of the latter,) would forin very either.
different modes of thinking, from the “ Powder, and pocket-glass, and shew," different objects presented to their belong to a class litile distinguished by senses: but objects, however influential reason, imagination, or magnanimity, on character, or favourable to genius, It must be observed, we are speaking of would not create it; and when we rephilosophical, and of the higher order of trace the authors who have written sub. poetic genius; for painting and music limely, or philosophers who have thought have eminently flourished in the soil profoundly, in situations the least analo. of luxury and courts. Ridicule and wit gous to their subjects and circuminay be said to be in their proper ele stances, the most depressive to their ment, amidst objects which afford such fancy, we cannot admit climate to be an ample materials; witness the reign of elficient cause of genius. Charles II., which teemed with authors Thomson the poet composent his of this description; but the superior Seasons in London; Wieland cultivated mind, the profound thought, seeks for his rural muse in the air of Versailles, orher scenery and other associates, and amidst the marshes of Flanders;
(June 1, and Erasmus the wit was born at Rot. has strength and expression, suited the terdam,
character of the Romans; wartike, and Education, (of which government engaged in battles and commotions. forms a considerable part) appears to
It was adspirably adapted to history and influence genius far more ihan climate. nervous popular eloquence, in wbich they Bacon lived under Elizabetli, when excelled; more figurative than the Eng. science was a fashion, and when people lish, less pliant than the French, less copia
accustomed think deeply: ous than the Greek, and less melodijus Shakspeare also adorned her reign; than the Italian. and though endowed with every faculty
The Italian indeed is a proof that of mind which could be defined genius, language degenerates with the genius we can scarcely suppose he would have of a nation into effenzinacy: its swectbeen equally sublime, had he written in ness, smoothness, and harmony, are the present day.
substituted for strength; and it furnishes
an instance that the character of, a peo" Whenever criticism flourishes, a severe and minute taste will be cultivated, and ple, yet living under that sky where
valour once the luxuriances of imagination lopp'd off."*
was universal, is more
influenced by government than climate. The peculiarity of his phrase, in which
In the east, where temperature and his genius appears as conspicuously as Mahometanism combine to influence his thought, the concise amplitude, vigour the imagination, the human mind has and boldness of his expressions, are cen- lost much of its capacity and powers, sured by a critic of our own, partial It has been observed by an admired the French sciool, who tauntingly writer, that the Arabic, the sweetest and observes among the faults of English most copious of the eastern tongues, authors, " that they would be all ge- was peculiariy adapted to charm the nius."
shepherd and the soldier, (with whom it Cowley, it must be acknowledged,
was vernacular), in those wild and beau. was a wit: but he lived wben the times
tiful compositions of their poets, in were not frivolous. The poets of the which were celebrated their favourite seventeenth century were nicn of learn- occupations of love and war; and it ing; and it was essential for the reader became, in the hands of Mahomet
, ą to be learned also, to receive any pie: powerful instrument of fascination to sure from their works, or even to under
men little qualified to judge of any works stand them. But though the fancy was
of genius, but those addressed to the uncitarmed, and the passions urafiected, fancy and the heart. the understanding was fully exercised, In the west, under the auspices of a and all the powers of recollection and berter government and a better religion, inquiry awakened by the perusal: we the mind attained a vigour in its intelcannot bui respect an age (whatever be lectual exertions, an extent in its intelour opinion of its taste) when a poet dis lectual pursuits, and a success in their tinguished by scholastic speculation, and cultivation, utterly unknown in any other a wit by metaphysical icscarcles, "eie period of their history. held in such higli estimation.
The English las copiousness and Milton wroie when England was a strength: nor is it deficient in harmony, republic, and he was embued win the
as its poetry, without the aid of rhyme, spirit of bis party: we can always dis. evinces. Ii derives its very forcible and cern under republican governments a significant words from the Greek, strenge bof thought, and energy of expres- which are formed on the model of the sion, in its writers; which are lost under Greek compounds; it may retain some monarchies, in times of refinement,
Uiing of the Gothic roughness, and someThe genius of a people will have a times remind us of those who framed our corresponding language; the Greck was language; but we have enriched it with that of a polite people, who cultivated a
every tongue, and cultivated it with great taste for arts and sciences: the use every art. The brightest passages of Mido Orche participles gives it a peculiar force ton and Shakspeare, (says an ingenious and brevity, without taking any thing essayist) are so closely connected with from its perspicuity: it is copious, sono- the genius of our own language, that ng rous, and varied. The Latin, which foreigner can ever taste them in the
original, nor can any translation convey * Shaitesbury. an idea of their beauties: but this is not
defect, but excellence; it is the inimita- monly accompanied by an impatience of ble in poetry, as well as painting, labour; and it it inspire confidence which is
that the intricacies of art and depths of “ The grace beyond the reach of art."
science can be penetrated by a careless Some have supposed the patronage of the glance (which seems what sir Joshua
ineant when he guarded against depengreat was necessary to bring genius to
dance upon genius), if application cease, perfection; but we have many instances of the contrary : the most eminent works iinprovement ends, and nothing which is have been produced without it; and rich in the temple of faine.
produces will ever have a permanent when it has been bestowed in early
To close these observations with the youth, it has proved not only injurious, opinion of the first ancient, and the first but fatal. The mind, whose powers
modern, critic: would stagnate unstimulated by faine and
li Genius is that energy wliich collects, favour, wants that radical principle of vigour which alone can arrive at 'excel. combines, amplifies, and animates; active, lence. Few who obtain distinction at a
ambitious, enterprising; alweys imagining juvenile period of life, preserve or merit endeavouring something better than it per
something greater than is known; always it long; effort is abated, not by difficulty, forms ; that power without which jud:ment but success: indeed it is the obstacles is cold, and knowiedye inert."-- Jobnson. which it overcomes, that evince the - To attain excellence in any art, three strength of genius.
things are necessary: nature, study, and Praise, till the reasoning faculties are practice.”-Aristcile. matured, weakens the inoral powers (which have a close alliance with the To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, intellectual); and inspires a conceit and
SIR, self-sufficiency, obstructive of all progress I Magazine for the inclosed letter
in in genius no less than virtue. A great painter and an acknowledged critie, ex. written by Mr. Mathias upon the death clusive of his own art, has left on record of lois friend, the Rev. Norton Nichols; his opinion of this confidence, in some feeling as I do, that by admitting it you admirable lectures to his young pupils. will gratify many of your readers, who, “ Ilave no dependance on your own though acquainted with the deceased, genius, was bis reiterated counsel; may not have had an opportunity of indeed he impresses it in a manner that seeing this tribute to his memory. Few would lead superficial observers to sup- men have had the happiness of enjoying, pose he thought that industry could sup- during their lives, a more extensive cire ply its place; he continually tells them cle of refined and elegant society, than that genius can achieve little without it, Mr. Nicholls; few have been gifted with and self-sufficiency for ever preclude an equal share of those polished manners advancement in their art.
and that' engaging benevolence, which Noone had better opportunities than sir cause their company to be universally Joshua Reynolds, of observing the effects courted; and feiv have by their deatís of resolute perseverance, even with moder- created a greater vacuum, or been more até talents; and the perfection it might generally lamented; so that, though Mr. attain when operating with a mind Maibias, having been induced by the potent and original.
pressing solicitations of his friends, prie Without industry, knowledge cannot vaiely to print a few copies of the letter, be acquired: geniuś will soon be ex- has endeavoured to distribute these copies hausted if the soil is unenriched by wherever be thought the memory of the foreign stores; it will have no materials deceased was cherished with esteem, to work upon, no ideas for imagination it is scarcely possible but that he must 10 combine; and it can become fruitful have overlooked many, by whom it would only in proportion to its resources. have been prized and valued. I feel
'T'he treasures of ancient 3d modern therefore, sir, that in sending it to you art are essential to its fertility, and in- I am periorming an acceptable service to dustry alone can collect tliei.
numbers, though I may not be fulfilling I acknowledge that gemus seizes and the wi-lies of the anthur; and I hey leave, combines, with a rapidity inconceivable not only to adid my tribute of respect, to slower capacities; and this is one of bowever inconsiderable, to the memory its most strihing characteristics : but of a man whoin, when alive, I was althis quickness of apprehension is coma lowed to call my friend, and whose loss
MY DEAR SIR,
424 Letter on the Death of the Rev. Norton Nicholls. (June 1, I most sincerely and most deeply lament, excellence ovlich is the reward of abisty but also to express the obligation which, when fostered by application. In adin common wiih every otber friend of Mr. dition to the attentions which be expeNicholls's, I feel to Mr. Mathias, forrienced from the celebrated Dr. Barnard, this mark of pure and affectionate friend.. then master of the school, I have heard ship, which does honour to the heart of hin frequently express his grateful sense a man whose talents and attainments the of the assistance he received at Eton world has long been accustomed justly from the voluntary private instruction of to appreciate.
Dr. Suniner, whose classical erudiuos April 9, 1810.
SUFFOLCIENSIS. was deep and extensive. By such men
he was formed for the intercourse of those COPY of a LETTER, occasioned by the highly cultivated minds, educated in the DEATH of the rev, NORTON NICHOLLS,
groves of our Academe, which were des IL.B. 86.
tined to be the future ornaments and che Lordon, Dec. 10, 1809. supports of literature, of the church, and
of the state. It is my melancholy office to inform
At the time when Mr. Nicholls became Foul of the death of our friend, the a student in Trinity Hall, the university rev. Norton Nicholls, LL.B. rector of of Cambridge was the chosen residence Lound and Bradwell, in the county of of Mr. Gray: Suffolk, who died at his house at Blan
A'sì gran nome sorga deston, near Lowestoft, in that county, Tutto il coro à inchinarsi dei Parnaso! on Wednesday the 22d of Noveinber It was natural to feel a gratification in 1809, in the 68th year of his age. As being a member of the same learned som you well knew the genius, the accom- ciety with him; and it was natural also plishments, the learning, and the virtues, to aspire (if possible) even to a distant of this rare and gifted man, your gene. intercourse with such a man. rous nature must think that some little To see Mr. Gray was desirable ; to memorial of him should be recorded, how-, speak to him was honourable; but to be ever frail and perishable in my delineation. admitted to his acquaintance or to his
To be born and to die did not make familiarity, was the height of youthful, up all the history of our friend. Many or indeed of any, ambition..
By the of the chief ends of our being, which he intervention of a common friend, Mr. fulfilled during the placid and even tenor Nicholls, when between eighteen and of a long and exeniplary life, proved that nineteen years of age, was introduced he had been; and they fully evinced that to Mr. Gray. I remember he told me, he brad de served well of all who had ene' what an aue he felt at the time, at the joves the intercourse of his society, lightning of his eye; at that“ folgorante Many were enlivered by the cheerfulness sguardo," as the Tuscans term it; but of lois disposition, and all partook of his Mr. Gray's courtesy and encouraging albenevolenice. His chosen companions fability soon dispersed every uneasy seawere delighted and improved by his sation, and gave him contidence. reading to communicate the rich trea- Shortly after this Mr N. was in a select SUTES of his cultivated mind, in all the con pany, of which Mr. Gray was one; hrighe diversities of erudition and of taste. and, as it became his youth, he did not Judeed those studies which can alone enter into the conversation, but listened be the aliment of youth and the conso- with attention. The subject however lation of our declining days, engaged his being general and classical, and as Mr. attention from his carliest years. “ Am- Nichols, even at that early period, was plissimam illam omnium artium benè acquainted not only with the Greek and vivendi disciplinam, and wrâ magis quam Latin, but with many of the best Italian litteris feliciter persecutus."
poets, he ventured with great dimndence Even when a school-boy, he was never to otler a short remark; and happened to desul cory in his apprication; and he was illustrate what he said by an apposite disiinguished for those exercises which citation from Dante. At the name of mark sirength of unrherstanding and soli- Dante, Mr. Giny (and I wish every young dity of judgment. He wandered not in man of genius inight hear and consider vam among those fields and bills, so justly the ralue of a word spoken in due seas u, sty'ed. happy' by our greatest lyric poet; with modesty and propriety, in the isists and be leit Eton for the university of est, I mean in the must learned and Cambridge, with a mind prepared for virtuous, company) suddenly tuned greater atlainments, and capable of that round to bill, and said, “ Rightbut 1