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fire, and pouring from a dozen new openings, as many rivers of red hot lava-as hot indeed as that same "bright day of the world," which, among other unheard of achievements, is to "melt Philosophy's Ice in the Sea of the Soul." Heaven preserve the well-scoured pewter dishes of our good housewives we fear many a one will rue that day! Whether there is any connexion between the volcanic eruption of the poet, and that which happened at Mount Etna, sometime in March last, must be left to the curious in these matters, for our parts, we seriously advise Mr. Paine, who seems to contain a prodigious quantity of positive electricity, never in summer time, to be without a lightning rod fastened to his cap-and if it happens that he wears a cocked hat, by all means to have one erected on each
The poet, as might reasonably be expected, goes out, almost immediately after this tremendous explosion, sufficient in all conscience to exhaust the bowels of any volcano in the whole world, not excepting Etna, Hecla, or Robert Treat Paine. He writes but one more verse, at the end of which, being quite consumed, he quietly ascends to the clouds, like the caput mortuum of an old newspaper, or a dry leaf in a whirlwind.
Several reasons have prompted us to pay more than ordinary attention to this little production, which is secured to the author by copy-right. Of course he has a right to all we can say on the subject. In addition to this, Mr. Paine is a gentleman of considerable reputation, at least in the enlightened east, which being the quarter whence the sun rises, is certainly a very respectable portion of the Union. His example, may therefore be in the highest degree dangerous to the youth of America, and his volcanic explosions, occasion many mischie vous imitations, to the great annoyance of the good citizens of the United States. In the happy and most enlightened city of New-York, there is a law, which is, however, never enforced, preventing the letting off of all manner of fireworks, the explosion of powder, and the firing of pop-guns; yet no sooner doth the famous Mr. De La Croix, exhibit at Vauxhall Garden his burning suns, brimstone stars, hissing serpents, and crackling skyrockets, but all the little urchins in the town, straightway expend their pocket money in powder, and what with blowing up of hats, and other scurvy devices, occasion much mischief by frightening old women, horses and militia officers. Thus, peradventure, might it have fared with the good citizens of Boston, who, seduced into an imitation of Mr. Paine's sublime eruptions of fancy, and fireworks, would henceforward have groaned under the dominion of those direful evils which desolate the fertile fields of classic Italy, and at length been buried like Herculaneum, under the burning lava of his
brain, had we not thus opportunely stepped forward to warn them against so dire a misfortune.
Thus far, with the greatest good humour, and without a particle of prejudice against our poet, have we made ourselves merry with the tumid style of one of his most hasty effusions, which, we are confident, Mr. P. by no means considers as the only pledge of his power. He has written variously, and he has often written well, with much of the ardor of patriotism and much of the enthusiasm of poetry, Our object is to warn him against the liberal use of that style, which, unhappily, is too fashionable among our brethren of New England. Let him invest some of his bold conceptions in the language of simplicity, perspicuity, and grace, and he need not shrink from the scrutiny of Criticism.
In the Boston Patriot, a gazette, published in the capital of New England, a column, withdrawn from Politics, is sometimes lent to Literature. The following animated ode, with the exception of an occasional obscurity, appears to merit the favourable regard of the patriotic public. The introduction, in terms warmly encomiastic, is the production of a friend, whose genius and taste demand that he should be regarded in any light but that of a mere flatterer. Mr. Paine is unquestionably a man of genius, and had he been educated at Oxford, or Edinburg, even his enemies would not have carped at his Muse. But, in his juvenile days at least, fustian was the fashion in the Eastern schools, and his fine talents have been injured, in the opinion of the fastidious, by an absurd and erroneous discipline, and the study of spurious models. But it is in his power amply to vindicate his Fame, and break all the shackles, which the Genius Loci has formed.-Editor.
The FAUSTUS ASSOCIATION celebrated its anniversary at the Exchange Coffeehouse. An appropriate ode was composed for the occasion by R. T. PAINE, jun. Esq.
"THE celebrity of Mr. Paine, cannot be augmented by any praise of ours. When the founders of the Federal-street theatre, to incite the genius of the nation, proposed a medal for a prologue; Mr. Paine, al
though a stripling, entered the lists and bore away the palm. The gentlemen selected for arbiters and who unanimously awarded the prize, possessed a pure and refined taste and impartial and enlightened minds. Since that signal triumph of his muse, he has occasionally written and published odes, songs, and poems, whose general success has been wholly unrivalled in America. He is now revising and enlarging what is already in the hands of the public, and is adding some new pieces of great merit; the whole of which will be shortly issued from the press of Mr. Belcher in an octavo volume. Mr. Paine is now solely devoted to his books and his muse, and if his feeble constitution does not prematurely yield, he will raise a monument to our national glory, whose splendor will dissipate the Baotian darkness which has hitherto so generally shrouded the genius of our literature.
"The present ode was written at the request of the Faustus Association, upon a short notice. It flashed from the poet's pen at a single heat. But it is nevertheless pregnant with the history of the art which it celebrates; with allusions and illustrations vigorously bold, and classically beautiful; and notwithstanding the shackles of writing to music, the style is masculine and poetic.
"The great stages of the art are poetically described in the three first verses; to each of which there is an appropriate chorus. Printing upon blocks with immovable types was invented by the descendants of Noah, 66 on the tent-plains of Shinah," and was nearly coeval with the first rude essays at agriculture. But the art remained in this state of imperfection, till "father Faust broke her tablet of wood," and invented the movable type. In succeeding generations the art received various improvements, prior to the era of Franklin, who first united the genius of philosophy to the art of the mechanic.
How would Antiquity hide her diminished head, could she burst her cearments, and survey the comforts and elegances, which flow from the art and science of modern life? Her heroes and sages would shed
"Tears of blood on the spot where the world they had led,"
at their limited means of greatness; but they would with holy aspira-
"The concluding verse impresses a salutary lesson and conveys a
Tune-" Adams and Liberty."
On the tent-plains of Shinah,-truth's mystical clime,
Should be buried, when Shem, Ham, and Japeth were scatter'd,
Man to man to impart
By a language, that speaks, through the eye, to the heart.
Yet rude was Invention, when Art she reveal'd,
For a block stamp'd the page, and a tree plough'd the field.
As Time swept his pennons, Art sigh'd as she view'd
For her symbols could move,
Ever casting new shades, like the leaves of a grove.
And the colours of thought in their elements run,
In the morn of the west, as the light roll'd away
Turn'd its beams thro' the mist, with which Art was enshrouded;
To kindle her shrine,
His Promethean line
Drew a spark from the clouds, and made Printing divine!
When the fire, by his rod, was attracted from heaven,
Ancient wisdom may boast of the spice and the weed,
Which embalm'd the cold forms of its heroes and sages;
Like Cicero's head,
Tears of blood on the spot, where the world they had led.