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• Bright as that beauteous bud of rain bow dies.'
• Thy merry masques, and moonlight carnivals.' Lines of this kind occur perpetually, and the effect is at all events very unpleasing.
Another fault which a young poet is almost sure to fall into, is the perpetual occurrence of some favourite word or epithet, either bis harp or his heart, starry or beavenly, magic or moonlight. Mr. Hervey's favourite word is holy. Thus we have the holy twilight hour,' the holy gleam' of moonlight;
- echo breathes a holier tone;' a lady's sigh is holy, for we are told, that
• The evening gale that wanders by
The rose is not so holy.' A little extravagance is pardonable, but Mr. Hervey's maturer taste will revolt from such expressions as 'the heaven of thy • heart' (addressed to Ellen),
Starlight is a gala of the skies,' and again, speaking of Van Diemen's land, adventure's younger
child Sits, like a bud of beauty, in the wild.' This is Darwin out-Darwinized. The best passage in the leading poem is the following.
• Isles of the orient-gardens of the east !
If Afric's dusky children sought the soil
Bright with the brightness which the poet's eye
The minor poems are elegant. The least promising is ' My • Sister's Grave:' the subject should have inspired something much better. The Bacchanalian song at p. 124.,
ought not to have appeared in a volume dated froin Trinity College, Cama bridge ; and Mr. Hervey ought to reserve adoration (p. 113.) for higher objects than departed spirits, even if they be those of the “ just made perfect.”. To convince him that we throw : out these hints with no unfriendly feeling, we make room for one of the most pleasing poems in the volume.
His scarce seen web, like a far delight;
A curtain hung 'twixt earth and sky,
And spirits are fitting on shadowless wings;
Seems fraught with the breath of a young heart's sigh; 1. And beautiful things are all gliding about,
And all that is fair-save the fairest—is out!
Awake my love !—'tis love's own hour!
Art. XII. A Narrative of the Conversion and Death of Count Stra
ensee, formerly Prime Minister of Denmark. By Dr. Munter. Translated from the German in 1774, by the Rev. Dr. Weddere born. With an Introduction and Notes. By Thomas Rennell,
B.D. F.R.S. Vicar of Kensington, &c. 8vo. Price 8s. 1824. THE history of the accomplished and profligate Count
Struensee, up to the period of his apprehension and imprisonment, together with the fact of his execution, must be well-known to our readers; but few among them are, peshaps, aware that, like Lord Rochester, whom he resembled in his life, be died a believer and a penitent. The present volume is a re-publication of a scarce book, written by tbe clergyman appointed to visit the Count during his imprisonment, and giving an account of the conversations which were the means of his conversion. Mr. Rennell, the Editor, enjoins upon his readers to bear in mind, that this is no high-wrought tale of instaotaneous conversion, nor was it written for the sake of serving any fanatical purpose, or of producing effect; an intimation not unnecessary, perhaps, considering that the class of readers whom it was wished to conciliate, would stumble at the very word conversion.
It has not,' he adds, even the peculiar solemnity and eloquence to recommend it, which we find in Bishop Burnet's account of the death-bed of Rochester. It is a plain and simple diary of the occur. rences which took place at each interview, which Munter regularly recorded after leaving the Count.'
Dr. Munter had a task of no ordinary delicacy, of which fie
appears to have acquitted himself with equal prudence and ability. At the first interview, the Count received him with
a sour and gloomy countenance, in the attitude of a man who ' was prepared to receive many severe reproaches, with a si• lence that shewed contempt. His benevolent visiter succeeded, however, in gaining his confidence so far as to obtain from him the following declaration of his infidel creed.
• It was true, he was very far from being a Christian, though he acknowledged and adored a Supreme Being, and believed that the world and mankind had their origin from God. He could never persuade himself, that man consisted of two substances. He looked upon himself and all other men as mere machines : he had borrowed this system, not from de la Mettrie, whose book he had never read, but had formed it by his own meditation. It was God that first ani. mated this human machine ; but, as soon as its motion ceased, that is, when man died, there was no more for him either to hope or fear. He did not deny that man was endowed with some power of liberty, but his free actions were determined only by his sensations. Therefore, man's actions could be accounted moral, only as far they related to society. Every thing that man could do, was in itself indifferent. God did not concern himself about our actions, and if their consè. quences were in man's power, and he could prevent their being hurtful to society, nobody had a right to reproach him about them. He added, he must own that he was sorry for some of his actions, and, in particular, that he had drawn others into his misfortunes; but he feared no bad consequences or punishments after this life. He could not see, why such punishments were necessary to satisfy. the justice of God, even though he allowed that God regarded our actions. Man was punished already enough in this world for his transgressions. He himself was certainly not happy during the time of his greatest prosperity. He had, at least during the last months of it, to struggle with many disagreeable passions. One of his principal objections against Christianity, was, that it was not universal. If it were really a divine revelation, it absolutely should have been given to all mankind.' pp. 10, 11.
Such are the vague, gratuitous assumptions which form the creed of the credulous sceptic; the result, as Mr. Rennell justly remarks, not of investigation, but of indolenceli not of knowledge, but of ignorance. Struensee frankly confessed, at the second interview, that his views were nothing more than a . philosophical hypothesis ; but his mind was not composed or serene enough, he alleged, in his present situation, to examine his principles : 'it was now tou late. He consented, however, to read a volume of religious meditations, which his Visiter left with him. The perusal of this book seems to have made a very favourable impression. “Oh, I hope now,' he exclaimed at the next interview, and wish for immortality.' Dr. Munter,
satisfied with this concession, judiciously desisted from prosecuting the philosophical argument. 'I was afraid,' he says, * that these speculative truths might detain us too long, and "mislead us to various researches which are but little adapted ! to make the heart better. He now endeavoured to convince the Count, that, in that future life which he hoped and wished for, he could not promise himself an agreeable fate; that even according to his own principle, he would be unable to account for his actions at the bar of God. Perceiving that he was not by any means so much grieved at thinking be had offended God and made himself miserable, as that he had entailed ruin on his friends, Dr. Munter · laid hold on this sensation,' and endeavoured to support and increase it. I hoped,' he says, • his pain might by degrees become more general, and extend
itself over his other crimes.' The Editor's remarks on this point in the narrative are highly judicious.
• This view of Munter is quite correct and worthy of attention. All attempts to eradicate confirmed infidelity by abstract argument alone will be fruitless. A sceptic has seldom any objection to enter into discussions respecting the nature, the immateriality, the immortality of the soul, or such sort of subjects, as they give him ample scope for the display of his sophistry and ingenuity. And even if by an able opponent he should be utterly defeated, he is still as far removed from conviction as ever. His pride, the very enemy whom it is our object to subdue, is flattered and increased by the contest. If intidelity proceeds ultimately from corruption of the heart, the heart must be the object of attack; otherwise, the understanding, influenced as it always is in such cases by the passions, will never have free play, nor come to an unbiassed determination. Some good feeling which yet remains, must be awakened and brought into aetion. Such was the course pursued by Munter in the case before us. He touched the heart of Struensee upon one of the few good points which yet remained his affection for his friends; and we see the beneficial result.'
Struensee was evidently much softened by this interview. Touched by Dr. Munter's reference to his friends, he burst into tears, and owned that he found himself in this respect very culpable, asking if the Dr. did not think that God would forgive him on the ground of such philosophical repentance.' He was answered :
• “ According to my notions of repentance, I can give you no hopes. I know but one way to receive God's pardon, and that is, not by a philosophical, but a Christian repentance. I cannot yet produce the reasons why I am obliged to think so ; but if you reflect on God's mercy, in which you trust, you will find that it is this very mercy which makes it necessary for him to be just, and to shew his