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is no interest awakened about Florio for near two pages, because we do not see any purpose he had in view. It is a charming tale; pray reconsider the introductory parts. 'Page 67 :
Each ready flight at Mercy's call Divine
To distant worlds that undiscovered shine.
What is the meaning of " each ready flight"? To me it is nearly unintelligible. The structure, too, displeases me. My friend, let us suppose this passage right. Every particular introduced by the word " each" has certain effects separately assigned to it. Very well! But when you come to the last line to describe their joint effects my mind is not sufficiently severed from the particular cause and effects immediately preceding, on which you have bestowed three lines. (On looking again I suspect " undiscovered shine" refers to "worlds." Be it so. What is a "ready flight," and how does a flight" fling its living rays?" My mistake is a proof that you have not written clearly). Where the particulars in detail are so fully detailed you should not have included under the same couplet a part of one particular effect, and the aggregate effect of all the preceding particulars. There is something awkward '
The passage referred to in the above criticism is as follows. Speaking of the enchantress Memory' the poet says:—
But is her magic only felt below?
Say thro' what brighter realms she bids it flow?
in this. And so much by way of stricture, were I to put my commendations on paper they would fill six sheets.
'Not knowing your address I write to you at Dr. Bancroft's, and pray present my best respects to him. 'I am, most sincerely yours,
Another letter from one of the best known men of his time seems to have been called forth by a present from Rogers similar to that sent to Dr. Parr. The Rev. William Gilpin writes:
Vicarshill: July 23, 1796. 'I received, my dear sir, your agreeable packet, and return you many thanks for it, both as it was a token of your esteem and as it was the vehicle of much real pleasure and amusement. I am a great lover of nature, and find it is an instrument on which you have the art of playing many a pleasant tune.
'But now, my dear sir, you must not call my taste in question for not having read your poem before. Heard of it I often have. But as I rarely go out of my own parish, and live in a neighbourhood which, though a very agreeable one, is not very literary, I have seldom the opportunity of seeing anything new but what I purchase myself; and I have been so often disappointed
Each scene of bliss revealed, since chaos fled,
with new publications that I have at length learnt a frugal lesson that of bridling my curiosity, which, though often the handmaid of science, is as often the companion of folly. From the little acquaintance, however, I had with you, I conceived I should not be disappointed in the present case, and therefore sent for a copy, which I received the day after I got yours.
Scaleby Castle came often into my mind as I read it; which, though in some degree faded, is still a wellcoloured picture in my memory. The old mansion frowning through the trees-once the calm scene of many a simple sport-the hollow tower-the hospitable hall—the dusky furniture-the garden's desert path-the martin's old hereditary nest-are all ideas familiar to me: starting to life and whispering of the past.
'I believe I did not tell you why Mrs. Gilpin's recollection and mine presented Scaleby Castle to us in such different colours. It was equally familiar to us both in our youth. But I knew it chiefly in its cheerful days. She was a witness of its distressed state, when an uncle of ours, the possessor of it, through mere imprudence (cause enough, you will say) but without any vicious propensity, became an unhappy, embarrassed man, and was obliged to sell it.
'I cannot conclude my letter without saying I think the artist who has adorned your volume is a very considerable master both of picturesque composition and expression.
'Mrs. Gilpin desires me to add her best respects to those of, dear sir,
Your most obedient and obliged humble servant, 'WILL. GILPIN.'
One criticism on the poem which gave Rogers unfailing amusement appeared in the English Review, in the notice of the fifth edition. The writer quotes the lines describing the Gipsy, beginning Down by yon hazel copse at evening blazed,' with the approving statement that Cowper's Gipsy is not portrayed in livelier colours.' He then marks the alliterations in the passage, and adds: We have no objection to alliteration, but this writer is too fond of it.' In a note on this subject of alliteration the reviewer says: The second part opens with these lines
Sweet Memory, wafted by thy gentle gale
Allured by the alliteration we are almost tempted to turn our tail.'
The extracts I have given from the poem in the notes to Dr. Parr's letter will sufficiently exhibit its character to readers who may, as yet, be unfamiliar with it. Mr. Hayward, one of the most genial and generous of Rogers's later critics, thinks there is no reason for surprise at its immediate success. It struck, he says, into the happy medium between the precise and conventional style and the free and natural one. Rogers's only formidable competitor was Cowper. Crabbe's fame was then limited, Darwin never had much, and Burns was little known. Mr. Hayward points out with great force the absence from the poem of any passages which cling to the memory, which haunt and startle and waylay. Although it has long taken its place as an English classic, he says, none of its mellifluous verses or polished images are
freshly remembered like the coming events cast their shadows before' of Campbell, or Scott's 'Oh, woman, in our hours of ease!' or Moore's 'Oh, ever thus from childhood's hour!' or Byron's' He who hath bent him o'er the dead,' or Wordsworth's
Creature not too bright and good
In spite, however, of this shrewd and just criticism, I. must point out that there are many expressions borrowed from Rogers's Pleasures of Memory' which have passed into literature, though their original source may be forgotten. The treasured tales of legendary lore,' the 'dreams of innocent repose,' the admirable line
And the heart promised what the fancy drew; and the further line
And breathe the soul of inspiration round;
are illustrations from the first page or two of expressions which have passed into common use. The lines—151 to 1 56-which commemorate the virtues of Dr. Price and other of Rogers's early teachers have a familiar sound to readers who know not whence they come
Guides of my life! Instructors of my youth!
In Friendship's silent register ye live,
Mr. Hayward says that in the passage beginning—
So Scotia's Queen, as slowly dawned the day,