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At fourteen years of age, besides two manu. icile, to plunge into that paradise of honor and script volumes of his verses, he had composed a fame which fancy had so gorgeously depicted. mock-heroic poem of a thousand lines, in three Ho was not an articled apprentice, and therefore cantos: it was an imitation of " The Frogs and he violated no contract by his elopement. He Mice” of Homer. From his companions and was at this time but sixteen years of age, and thus friends he received praises which excited him to young he cast himself upon fortune, a wild and fresh exertions. He planned several epic poems, inexperienced adventurer. for nothing short of an epic would satisfy his The usual result followed. The world had apcraving desire for literary fame, till after muchpeared a fairy picture in his imagination, but it of resolve and re-resolve, he began one under proved in reality to be just what it is, a region the title of “Alfred the Great.” Of this poem he of struggles and disappointments. On the fourth completed two books; the boldness of the attempt day after his departure from Fulnick, he found soems to have alarmed the good fathers of the himself obliged to enter into a situation similar Fulnick academy. Such a flight by a youth des- to that which he had held but a short time prelined for the study of divinity (the profession viously, at a place called Wash. From thence which they had in prospect for their pupil being he wrote to his late employer and demanded a that of a minister), was by no means suitable to character, for he had hitherto preserved his their ideas of the fitness of things. The young own without the slightest moral taint. The maspoet panted for the great world, to live among ter consulted his Moravian
ds, who respectand study mankind; the brethren strove to stifle ed the virtues and talents of Montgomery, and these desires, and to lead back the erring ima- agreed to give him any character necessary, but gination of their pupil to serious realities, and desired that ho might be invited to return to devotional resignation. The world to him was them. The worthy man set off accordingly, and yet a pure mystery, while his longing desire to met Montgomery in an inn-yard, on his arrival mingle in it no discipline could repress. His at Wash, and they rushed at once by a sort of health became affected in the contest. The irre. kindred sympathy into each other's arms. It sistible promptings of genius, however, were was in vain, however, that the master invited ultimately triumphant. The Moravian brethren, his late pupil to return, by the most flattering finding they could not succeed in recalling him offers of profit; the young poet resisted them to the line of conduct and study which they all. The benefactor was not the less kind. He deemed proper for a minister of their persuasion, supplied his wants; sent him the clothes and and seeing that an opposite desire was fixing it. property he had left in his possession, and gave self deeper and deeper in his heart, had the good him a testimonial of his esteem in a written sense to give up their object, and to place him document to exhibit when required. In his new in trade with a brother believer, who was in situation he remained about a year, during which business at Mirfield, near Wakefield, in the same period he punctually fulfilled the duties of his county.
station; but nursed at the same time the somMontgomery thus affords another instance of bre character which his peculiar religious educathe triumph of genius over almost insuperable tion, and the bent of his genius, both contributed obstacles. Nature awoke in his bosom those to encourage. mysterious impulses which have been developed Mr. Harrison, a bookseller of Paternoster-row, in many other minds similarly constituted—in having received a volume of his poems in mannmany other master spirits, which have made script, before ho quitted Wash for London, took to themselves immortal names in all ages and him on his arrival into his employ, and recomcountries, breaking the gloom in which the acci- mended him to cultivate his talents, which in dents of birth and fortune may havo placed time, he told him, he had no doubt would render them, and becoming shining lights to the world. him distinguished. The toil of a bookseller's In his new situation, little congenial to an aspiring clerk, in the dingy purlious of the Row, was a mind, Montgomery continued but a year. He complete cure for Montgomery's delusion re. had formed in his imagination the most elevated specting the great world, its glorious honors, and erroneous ideas of tho great world; he saw and all its bright dreams of immortality. Having it in perspective, all glorious and honorable; he in vain endeavored to induce a booksellor to panted to be distinguished among men; and full treat with him for a prose tale, ho left Mr. Har. of the delusions of youth in this respect, in which rison's employ at the end of eight months, and we are all more or less prone to indulge in the returned into Yorkshire to the situation ho bad morning of life, he penned a letter to his master, previously held. It is no slight proof of Montand with a few clothes and three shillings and gomery's excollont character and disposition, that sixpence in money in his pocket, he left his dom-lhe won the allection of his employers succes.
sively, who all treated him like a son. So strong quitted England, was unluckily published from was the attachment of his master at Wash, his office. It was written by a clergyman to that even in the future troubles of the poet's commemorate the destruction of the Bastile in life he supported him, not merely with empty 1789, and was sung openly at Belfast in 1792. consolation, but with more solid and substantial The war broke out nine months after it was writaid. The master sought out his former servant ten, and half the newspapers in the kingdom when he was on the point of being tried in a had printed it; yet the unlucky ballad-singer, at court of law for libel, and comforted and con- whose suggestion it was carried to the press to soled him.
strike off a few copies, was arrested selling them The bent of Montgomery's mind was still to. at Wakefield, became evidence against the printwards literaturo. A newspaper which had been er, and in 1795 Montgomery was found guilty very popular, published at Sheffield by a Mr. of publishing." This would not do for the ser. Gales, had received many of the young poet's vile judges, who made the jury re-consider their contributions. This papor was called the “Shef. verdict, and, after an hour's hesitation, they field Rogister.” It does not appear that Mont-brought in a verdict of guilty. Montgomery gomery contributed any political writing to its was fined twenty pounds, and imprisoned for pages, his communications being chiefly poctical; three months in the Castlo of York. As always but he assisted Mr. Gales in his occupation, and happens in a country like England, when freedom removed to Sheffield for that purpose in 1792. of mind is interfered with, the sufferer is borne In the following year Montgomery was assailed above persecution by those honest sympathizing by illness, during which he was nursed, and spirits that step forward to his support. Montgomost kindly treated, in the family of Mr. Gales, mery found his newspaper and business carefully having been, as usual, successful in winning the superintended by a friend, and he was welcomed sympathies of those around him. It was not from prison as the victim of an unjust sentence. long after this that a political prosecution was in-On his deliverance from his incarceration, he stituted against the proprietor of the “Sheffield resumed his professional labors, and avoided Registor," and Mr. Gales left England to avoid a every extreme in politics. He printed numerous prosecution. At that time the quailing cause of essays in his paper, under different heads; some arbitrary authority, and divine political right, was humorous, others serious, but all agrecable and making its last struggles against freedom and entertaining. These essays were published in a common sense. Libels were sought for, and pros- volume, long out of print, and now not easily ecuted with rigor, and not even the most cau. attainable. tious individual of honest principles could be
When the emissaries of the law lic in wait deemed safe from attack. Montgomery, on the to entangle a victim, they never fail to discover departure of Mr. Gales, being assisted by a friend, some charge, that may be twisted to bear them became the publisher of the newspaper himself; out in their object. Montgomery had scarcely the name of which he changed to that of the resumed his duties, when two men were killed "Iris.” It was now conducted with less party in a riot in the streets of Sheffield by the sol. violence than before, while a greater variety of diery. He gave a narrative of the circumstances, miscellaneous matter was to be found in its col. correct enough, there is no doubt; but a volun. ums. The causo supported by Montgomery was teer officer, who was also a magistrate, feeling always that of political independence, humanity, his dignity or honor hurt by the statement, and freedom. The tone of his paper was ex- preferred a bill of indictment for libel against ceedingly temperate, but firm : indood it was so the printer. It was tried at Doncaster in January moderate as to give offence to all violent party 1796. The defence made justified the truth of men who dealt in extremes, and imagined the the statement on very satisfactory testimony; cause of liberty could only be supported by but in vain-Montgomery was found guilty, and noisy declamation. In his newspaper he had a sentenced to six months' imprisonment and a series of articles inserted under the title of “The fine of thirty pounds. It is remarkable, that Enthusiast," which attracted particular attention before the death of the individual who was the from being pictures of his own mind. There were cause of this prosecution, he seemed conscious other articles which drow much notice, from the of the injustice ho had done Montgomery, by impress of genius they exhibited.
treating him with sedulous attention after the Notwithstanding the moderation of our poet- expiration of his term of imprisonment; and editor, it was not long before the fangs of the har- once, when presiding in a court of justice, callpies of the law were upon him. A song written ing him from among the crowd to sit by his and prepared for publication before Mr. Gales side on the bench, that he might be kept from
the annoyance and pressure of the mob. The moniously and touchingly written. The “World poet took his seat accordingly; and it was, no before the Flood,” which appeared in 1812, is doubt, a proud triumph to his feelings.
perhaps the least popular of his productions, During this imprisonment it was that he wrote In this work his wonted piety and the effects of his poems entitled “Prison Amusements," though his early education strongly appear, while he he did not publish them until 1797. In the has introduced various enlivening incidents to prison he was well accommodated, and had every break the uniformity of the subject. Since this indulgence afforded him; a large yard supplied poem, “Greenland,” “The Pelican Island," and him with an airy promenade. He is also said numerous occasional pieces, have dropped from to have amused himself in composing a work his pen. His thoughts are all remarkable for of some bulk of a humorous character, but which their purity. He is the poet of religion and has not seen the light. He went to Scarborough morality. His political principles are those of a for the benefit of his health, as soon as he was free Englishman. liberated. This happened in July 1796, his In person, Montgomery is below the middle health having been much affected by anxiety height, and of slender frame; his complexion and imprisonment. It was from a visit to the fair, and hair yellow. His limbs are well prosame place subsequently, that he composed his portioned, There is a cast of melancholy over his poem of “The Ocean" in 1805. It was singular features, unless when they are lighted up by conthat the author of the “Prison Amusements" versation, and then his eyes show all the fire of should have suffered that and other published genius. In manner he is singularly modest and works to sleep from want of making them more unobtrusive, especially among strangers. It is known-he allowed them to drop into complete only in intercourse with his friends that he oblivion. In 1806 appeared “The Wanderer of opens with a power and eloquence which few Switzerland,” which, in spite of a severe criti. would expect of him. Though kind and amiable, cism in the Edinburgh Review, conferred upon he can wound keenly by wit and sarcasm in him great and deserved celebrity. It was not argument, but it is without a tincture of ill-na. until then that he took his station among the ture, and he generally conveys himself the cure better order of his country's poets. It is said for the wounds he inflicts, by the kindness with he was on the point of publishing another poem which he winds up his conclusions. As a poet, in preference, which has not yet been given to be ranks only in the second class of British living the world, though nearly ready for the press at writers. He never falls low, and rarely rises high; the time “The Wanderer of Switzerland” ap- his character may be designated as that of the peared. Mr. Bowyer printed Montgomery's next calm river, rather than the romantic torrent; work, “ The West Indies," in a most expensive but his course is peculiarly his own. He is very form, with superb embellishments: nearly ten little of an imitator, and deserves immortal eulogy, thousand copies of the different editions were in that he has written no line sold. The humane feelings of the author ap
which dying he could wish to blot. pear to predominate in this work; it is har.
Switzerland, then, gave thee birth ?"
“O'er thy mountains sunk in blood,
SHEPHERD. · Yet will Time the deluge stop : Then may Switzerland be blest ; On St. Gothard's 'hoary top Shall the Ark of Freedom rest."
WANDERER * No!—Irreparably lost, On the day that made us slaves, Freedom's Ark, by tempest tost, Founder'd in the swallowing waves."
SHEPHERD. Welcome, Wanderer as thou art, All my blessings to partake; Yet thrice welcome to my heart, For thine injured country's sake.
The Wanderer of Switzerland.
IN SIX PARTS.
The historical facts alluded to in THE WANDERER of SWITZERLAND may be found in the Supplement 10 Core's Travels, in Planta's History of the Helvetic Confederacy, and in ZsCHOKKE's Invasion of Switzer. Larud by the French, in 1798, translated by Dr. Aikin.
A Wanderer of Switzerland and his Family, consist.
ing of his Wife, his Daughter, and her young Children, emigrating from their Country, in con. sequence of its subjugation by the French, in 1798, arrive at the Cottage of a Shepherd, beyond the Frontiers, where they are hospitably entertained.
* WANDERER, whither dost thou roam ?
“On the western hills afar
“ Here mine arme a wife enfold,
* Spouse, I bring a suffering guest,
* These her infants-Oh their Sire,
1 St. Gothard is the name of the highest mountain in the canton of Uri, the birth-place of Swiss independence.
WANDERER Stranger-friend, the tears that flow Down the channels of this cheek, Tell a mystery of woe Which no human tongue can speak.
1 More properly the Avalanches; immense accumulations of ice and snow, balanced on the verge of the mountains in such subtle suspense, that, in the opinion of the natives, the tread of the traveller may bring them down in destruction upon him. The Glaciers are more permanent masses of ice, and formed rather in the valleys than on the summits of the Alps.
“ Not the pangs of Hope deferr'd'