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Wip'd from his pallid front faint nature's dew?-
Then, as he slept, hast thon not stol'n towards him,
And hung in silent gaze o'er his wan cheek,
That on the chill stone rested ?”

" I fain would do so,
And ever in my prayers remember patience;
For hope of better days attends the good,
And virtue, like the wild-bee, can extract,
E'en from the bitter plant, adversity,
Sweet food to cheer the spirit.”

Cannot this plenitude of beautiful sentiment, imagery, and description, induce men of taste unanimously to decree the palm of distinguished genius to their author ? For my part, I am more and more charmed with the Mine, though I hinted to Mr Hayley, that I thought it had some flat speeches, and several needlessly inharmonious lines; that it might have been more pathetic; and that the language of Conrad had too much purity and tenderness for his licentious character, his villainous designs, the murky scene, and unprotected situation of her whom he endeavours to seduce.

The first speech in blank verse of the Gnome is perfectly Miltonic ; and I scarce know heroic rhymes more sublime than the ensuing :

« Of hoary fens exalt the stagnant breath,

And load the passing gale with plagues and death!

Thro' yelling gulfs outrageous whirlwinds urge,
Or curl the tossing pool with fiery surge !
Bid flaming cataracts round Vesuvius glow,

Bid Hecla thunder thro' incumbent snow !
• From Cotopasci's heights the deluge pour,

And melt a thousand winters' frozen store !
Beneath the main expansive vapours raise,
And with metallic embers feed the blaze,
Till the black vortex of the water boils,
And Ocean wonders at his new-form'd isles !"

But perhaps I ought to beg your pardon for thus drenching you perforce with Heliconian dews, springing up at Lavington, the seat of this other bard of Sussex, the emulous friend of the celebrated Hayley. My heart was in the subject, and the midnight clock has struck in vain.Adieu !

LETTER XIII.

Rev. T. S. WHALLEY, then on the Continent.

Lichfield, April 7, 1785. SURELY, dear friend, you do not reason like yourself upon the subject of literary fame, when

it is become posthumous ; since, however improbable it may be, that its blaze, or its cessation, can be an object of attention to the beatified spirit, whose exertions, while on earth, had produced it; so far, at least, an object of attention as inspiring, or gratifying vanity or ambition ; yet, if we retain any consciousness of what passed, and yet passes on earth, when ourselves have soared above it, the consciousness of being remembered with esteem and honour by our fellow-creatures on the score of virtuous compositions, will probably prove a source of delight, worthy to be admitted into the number of angelic gratifications. Grateful to the purest nature must be the consciousness that we had employed the talents committed to our cultivation, in alleviating sorrow and care in our fellow creatures, by compositions that soften, refine, and exalt the human mind; that foster its gentleness, and strengthen its virtue. There surely can be no degradation of angelic dignity, in the belief that it will have pleasure in perceiving that the fruits of its earthly industry continue to inspire virtuous pleasure through passing generations. That charming poen, Edwy and Edilda, so justly styled, by the Monthly Review, a domestic epic poem, is eminently calculated to improve and delight the mind of youth ; and I repeat my exhortations, that you will republish it with its new termination, so much more consonant to poetic justice, and the gratification of the reader.

You quote Madam Genlis. Do you not object to her system concerning the choice of books for young people? She wishes that authors of first-rate excellence should be withheld from our youth, during those fresh and vivid years, when the perceptions are in their first poignancy.

I differ from her totally. Whatever books are put into the hands of sensible ingenious young people, between the age of twelve and eighteen, will, I am convinced, fix their taste in reading. A work of mediocrity, if it is in any degree interesting, will, during that lively interval, inspire more delight, than can be produced by compositions of a far higher class, when the first fine edge of the feelings is taken off. The mind always acquires a fond predilection for that species of writing which had borne away the early fruits of its ripening sensibilities. It is therefore of the utmost importance to the future strength of intellect, that the literary taste in opening youth be set high.

What a treasure is your last letter! How completely does it place us in scenery so inevitably dear to a poetic imagination! As late you shewed me the calm, so now you make me see the

swoln and agitated waters of Vaucluse; and each are alike interesting. Ah! those cypresses!—what striking memorials! The detestable portraits of Petrarch and Laura, in the Castle of Sommane, ought to make people, whose personal representation is likely to interest generations yet unborn, careful how they leave behind them disagreeable pictures, which must hereafter disappoint the anxious gazer, and outrage his imagination, by forcing upon it an idea uncongenial to his preconceptions, and destructive of their enthusiasm. The winter has been, with us, very long and

A sharp, gloomy, and steril frost, attended with frequent storms of snow, even yet

severe.

“ Chills our pale morns, and bids the driving sleet
Deform our days delightless.”

By this time, it is broad and sultry summer with you. I know how much you luxuriate in glowing suns, and I hope you enjoy them on your classic plains of Petrarchian consecration. But I had much rather you were, at this instant, rubbing your hands over an English fire, and breathing phillipics on our wayward and disappointing climate.

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