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ominous line across the very lawn, and before the very windows of Elleray.
We may now add, that John Wilson, one of the finest geniuses that Scotland has produced, one of the noblest, wittiest, most imaginative and most eloquent writers of any country, never seemed to recover the shock of his beloved wife's death. The powers of his great mind from that period evidently drooped and gave way. Feeling the approach of age and infirmity, he resigned, in 1852, his professorship of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh; but not before the Queen, in passing through that city to Balmoral, in 1851, had conferred on him a pension of 300l. per annum. He died on the morning of the 3d of April, 1854, aged about sixty-eight, at his house in Gloucester-place, Edinburgh. His remains were interred in the Dean Cemetery, within a stone's throw of the resting-places of Jeffrey, and David Scott, the artist. He left a family of two sons and three daughters, already mentioned. “Such," says his memorialist, was John Wilson ; eccentric, versatile, discursive to the last, never seeming to have arrived at the full possession of his vast powers, his varied knowledge. A very Alcibiades amongst modern intellects.” The world will rarely see an abler, or more variously endowed, still more rarely a more noble-hearted man. We are glad to see his son-in-law, Professor Ferrier, publishing a complete edition of his writings.
BRYAN WALLER PROCTER.
As the most beautiful flowers are found in the most arid deserts, so out of the dry study of law comes forth now and then the most genial and tender spirit of poetry. Such has been the case with Mr. Procter, or Barry Cornwall, for we delight in that old favourite nom de guerre; and although I have been able to obtain but little knowledge of his homes and haunts, still these volumes would be incomplete without some notice of a man whose writings hold so firm à place in the public heart.
About seven-and-thirty years ago, Mr. Procter, then a young man, just called to the bar, and in very delicate health, published his first volume of poetry. Byron, Shelley, Keats, Campbell, and Leigh Hunt, were then pouring out volume after volume ; and Scott, who was crowned with the laurels of his metrical romances, was riveting the attention of the whole world by his prose ones; whilst Crabbe, as if woke up out of his slumber of twenty-two years by this great constellation of genius, had just put forth his new work, the Tales of the Hall. It was not a moment when a poet of ordinary power had any chance of sustaining his existence; but the young aspirant stood among those gigantic men, as one who, if not equal to them in all points at that moment, was yet kindred with them; and although the Sicilian story, Diego de Montilla, Mirandola, and the Flood of Thessaly, have rather become pleasant memories than the actualities of the present day, the poet has established a lasting reputation by his volume of English Songs, and other small Poems, –a volume in which there are gems of as noble and perfect poetry as any in the language, and which abounds with the most healthy, manly sentiment, and the broadest sympathies with suffering and struggling humanity. It is now the fashion to sympathise with the people—and a noble fashion it isthe only fear being of this otherwise holy Christian sentiment becoming, in some minds, morbid, if not mawkish. In Barry Cornwall it is as genuine as any other part of his nature ; feigning and falsehood are as impossible to it as darkness to the sun. He has the clearest understanding of moral truth, and a detestation of the cold sordid spirit of the world. According to his faith
"Song should spur the mind to duty,
Nerve the weak, and stir the strong:
Should be crowned by starry song;" and like a true man, who proclaims no more than he himself praetises, his song becomes a watchword in the cause of man.
In CDfirmation of this, let me select one little poem, A Lyric of London which contains a deeper moral than most sermons.
WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
From the roof comes plunging the drowning rain,
Sobbeth aloud her grief, her pain !
But Hunger, her friend, with his bony hand
Yet riot and luxury brawl within ;
Waiting the nod of a child of sin.
Up in each glass to its beaded brim :
Ah! she once had a village fame;
Had gentleness, vanity, maiden shame :
Prodigal's curses; self-disdain ;
There is an end unto every pain.
Disdain, despair; by to-morrow's light
And so she'll be given to dusty night!
She's gone-poor life and its fever o'er!
He who doth rest on his couch of down,
Under the feet of the trampling town.
What is the doom for his dastard sin ?
-Unbar yon palace, and gaze within !
There upon silken seats recline
Watching him rise from the sparkling wine.
Men of high honour salute him 'friend;
World ! oh where do thy wonders end?"
Again, here is another poem, worthy to take its place beside Burns's A Man's a Man for a' that.
RIND AND PRUIT. You may boast of jewels,-coronets,- “ Running o'er with tears and weakuess; Ermine,-purple, all you can
Flaming like a mountain fire; There is that within them nobler :
Racked by hate and hateful passions; Something that we call a man!
Tossed about by wild desire;
There is still within him mingled
With each fault that dims or mars, As to man is high archangel;
Truth, and pity,-virtue,-courage.As is to archangel-God!
Thoughts--that fly beyond the stars ! " You, who prize the book's poor paper
Above its thoughts of joy and pain;
More than its soul,-the blessing, rain;
Use them nobly, if you can ;
The true, warm, strong heart of man!" Mr. Procter was born and spent his youth at Finchley, iv a house which we understand is now pulled down. He was educated for the bar. He was some years at school at Harrow, where he was the cotemporary of the present Duke of Devonshire, Lord Byron, and Sir Robert Peel. On leaving Harrow, it had been the intention of his father to send him to one of the Universities ; but from this he was deterred, in consequence of the son of some friend or acquaintance having run a wild and ruinous career at one of these seminaries of extravagance and dissipation. From Harrow he, therefore, went to Calne, in Wiltshire, where he remained for some time under the care of an excellent man of the name of Atherton, who lived, it was said, in the house which at one time had been the residence of Coleridge, and opposite to another called the “Doctor's House,” because it had once been occupied by Dr. Priestley. Two miles from Calne was Bremhill
, the rector of which place, William Lisle Bowles, was on friendly terms with young Procter.
With a head and heart much more fitted for the noble business of poetry than law, Mr. Procter devoted himself for twenty years to his profession, until some years ago he was appointed one of the Government Commissioners of Lunacy, with a good income, but with less leisure than ever for his favourite studies. He has resided altogether in London, for some time, in Gray's-inn; and, after his marriage with the step-daughter of Mr. Basil Montague, in what was in those days a very pretty cottage and suitable poet's home, at No. 5, Grove-endplace, St. John's-wood ; latterly, in Upper Harley-street, Cavendishsquare; and now in Weymouth-street, Portland-place; where we sincerely hope he may yet find leisure, if not to write some noble drama, for which we consider him eminently qualified, at least to enrich the lyrical poetry of his country with fresh lays that will add honour to his reputation, at the same time that they assist struggling humanity in its great contest with the cruelty and selfishness of tho world.
There is a healthy, active vigour about all the later writings of Barry Cornwall, that show that he has never yet fairly and fully developed his whole power. His reputation is of the firsť class ; but
every one feels, in reading one of his lyrics, that he would not surprise us now to come forth with some high and stirring drama of real life, that would stamp him as a true tragic poet. The elements of this lie everywhere in his poems. There is a clear and decided dramatic tact and cast of thought. Pathos and indignation against wrong live equally and vividly in him. His thoughts and feeling are put forth with a genuineness and a perspicuous life, that tell at once on the reader, making him feel how real and how earnest is his spirit. Spite of the long and continuous labours of his daily life, we shall still trust to some future outburst of his powers and inpulses in a fitting form. In the meantime, the prompt and quick spirit of his lyrics is doing great service to the cause of progress far and wide.
He has recently published a new, illustrated edition of his Dramatic Sketches, with other poems now first printed.