MRS. DONALD KELLOGG
THE LIFE AND WORKS
a ARLENT EDWARDS. S?
Ctiition be Huxe
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY
Ilonbon ^eto ^orb
EDITION DE LUXE
One thousand copies of this
edition have been printed for
sale in america, of which this is
ttie reynolds gxvi-lery 1
Wordsworth's "excursion" 5
theatrical notices 25
first fruits of australian poetry ss
the gentle giantess 41
on a passage in "the tempest " 46
letter to an old gentleman whose edu-
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
cation has been neglected 51
biographical memoir of mr. listok 6l
autobiography of imr. munden 73
reflections in the pillory 78
the last peach 84
the illustrious defunct 8?
the religion of actors 97
the months 102
reminiscence of sir jeffery dunstan 109
captain starkey 112
THE ASS 118
IX RE SQUIRRELS 123
ESTIMATE OF DEFOE's SECONDARY NOVELS 125
RECOLLECTIONS OF A LATE ROYAL ACADEMICIAN 129
REMARKABLE CORRESPONDENT 140
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF AN UNFORTUNATE
MRS. GILPIN RIDING TO EDMONTON 146
SATURDAY NIGHT 148
THOUGHTS ON PRESENTS OF GAME, ETC. 152
A POPULAR FALLACY, THAT A DEFORMED PER-
SON IS A LORD 155
CHARLES lamb's AUTOBIOGRAPHY 158
LETTER OF ELI A TO ROBERT SOUTHEY, ESQ. l60
TABLE-TALK, AND FRAGMENTS OF CRITICISM 180
ELI A TO HIS CORRESPONDENTS 197
ON THE DEATH OF COLERIDGE 202
PROLOGUES, EPILOGUES, AND
PROLOGUE TO COLERIDGE's " REMORSE " 204
PROLOGUE TO GODWIN's " ANTONIO " 206
PROLOGUE TO GODWIN'S "FAULKENER" 208
EPILOGUE TO SHERIDAN KNOWLES' "WIFE" 210
EPILOGUE TO AN AMATEUR PERFORMANCE OF
"RICHARD II." 211
TO THOMAS STOTHARD, R.A. 212
TO CLARA N. 213
TO MY FRIEND THE INDICATOR 214
SAINT CRISPIN TO MR. GIFFORD 215
ON HAYDON's PICTURE OF CHRIST's ENTRY INTO
POLITICAL SQUIBS, EPIGRAMS, ETC.
TO SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH 217
THE TRIUMPH OF THE WHALE 217
THE THREE GRAVES 219
EPIGRAM WRITTEN IN THE LAST REIGN 220
LINES SUGGESTED BY A SIGHT OF WALTHAM
"ONE dip" 221
SATAN IN SEARCH OF A WIFE 222
ON THE POETICAL WORKS OF GEORGE WITHER 239
CONTENTS , ^
THE LONDONER 248
ON BURIAL SOCIETIES; AND THE CHARACTER
OF AN UNDERTAKER 252
ON THE DANCER OF CONFOUNDING MORAL AVITH
PERSONAL DEFORiMITY 261
OX THE INCONVENIENCES RESULTING FROM BE-
ING HANGED 271
ON THE MELANCHOI-Y OF TAILORS 2SG
HOSPITA ON THE IMMODERATE INDULGENCE OF
THE PLEASURES OF THE PALATE 293
EDAX ON APPETITE 298
MR. H : A FARCE 309
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PORTRAIT OF WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR frontispiece
Photogravure from the drawing by A. d'Orsay
EDMONTON, MIDDLESEX 98
From an old print
"'TIS UNPLEASANT TO MEET A BEGGAR" 181
From drawing hy K. Shirley Grant
PORTRAIT OF HENRY CRABB ROBINSON 314
O, MY CURSED UNFORTUNATE TONGUE 336
WRITINGS IN PROSE AND VERSE
THE REYNOLDS GALLERY
THE Reynolds Gallery has, upon the whole,
disappointed me. Some of the portraits are in-
teresting. They are faces of characters whom we
(middle-aged gentlemen) were born a little too late
to remember, but about whom we have heard our
fathers tell stories till w^e almost fancy to have seen
them. There is a charm in the portrait of a Rodney
or a Keppel, which even a picture of Nelson must
want for me. I should turn away after a slight in-
spection from the best likeness that could be made
of Mrs. Anne Clarke; but Kitty Fisher is a consid-
erable personage. Then the dresses of some of the
women so exactly remind us of modes which we can
just recall; of the forms under which the venerable
relationships of aunt or mother first presented them-
selves to our young eyes ; the aprons, the coifs, the
lappets, the hoods. JMercy on us ! what a load of head
ornaments seem to have conspired to bury a pretty
face in the picture of Mrs. liong, yet could not!
Beauty must have some "charmed life" to have been
able to surmount the conspiracy of fashion in those
days to destroy it.
The portraits which least pleased me were those
of boys as infant Bacchuses, Jupiters, etc. But the
artist is not to be blamed for the disguise. No doubt
the parents wished to see their children deified in
their lifetime. It was but putting a thunderbolt (in-
THE REYNOLDS GALLERY
stead of a squib) into young master's hands; and a
whey-faced chit was transformed into the infant
ruler of Olympus, — him who was afterward to shake
heaven and earth with his black brow. Another good
boy pleased his grandmamma by saying his prayers
so well, and the blameless dotage of the good old
woman imagined in him an adequate representative
of the infancy of the awful Prophet Samuel. But
the great historical compositions, where the ai^tisi was
at liberty to paint from Us own idea, — the Beaufort
and the Ugolino: why then, I must confess, pleading
the liberty of Table-Talk for my presumption, that
they have not left any very elevating impression on
my mind. Pardon a ludicrous comparison. I know,
madam, you admire them both ; but placed opposite
to each other as they are at the Gallery, as if to set
the one work in competition with the other, they
did remind me of the famous contention for the
prize of deformity, mentioned in the 173rd number
of the Spectator. The one stares, and the other grins ;
but is there common dignity in their countenances ?
Does anything of the history of their life gone by
peep through the ruins of the mind in the face, like
the unconquerable grandeur that surmounts the dis-
tortions of the Laocoon? The figures which stand
by the bed of Beaufort are indeed happy represen-
tations of the plain unmannered old Nobility of the
English Historical Plays of Shakspeare; but, for
anything else; — Give me leave to recommend those
THE REYNOLDS GALLERY
After leaving the Reynolds Gallery, where, upon
the whole, I received a good deal of pleasure, not
feeling that I had quite had my fill of paintings,
.1 stumbled upon a picture in Piccadilly (No. 22, I
think), which purports to be a portrait of Francis
the First, by Leonardo da Vinci. Heavens, what a
difference ! It is but a portrait, as most of those I had
been seeing ; but, placed by them, it would kill them,
swallow them up as Moses' rod the other rods.
Where did these old painters get their models ? I see
no such figures, not in my dreams, as this Francis,
in the character, or rather with the attributes, of
John the Baptist. A more than mortal majesty in
the brow and upon the eyelid; an arm, muscular,
beautifully formed ; the long, graceful, massy fingers
compressing, yet so as not to hurt, a lamb more
lovely, more sweetly shrinking, than we can conceive
that milk-white one which followed Una ; the picture
altogether looking as if it were eternal, — combining
the truth of flesh with a promise of permanence like
Leonardo, fi'om the one or two specimens we have
of him in England, must have been a stupendous
genius. I can scarce think he has had his full fame
— he who could paint that wonderful personification
of the Logos, or second person of the Trinity, grasp-
ing a globe, late in the possession of Mr. Troward
of Pall Mall, where the hand was, by the boldest
licence, twice as big as the truth of drawing war-
ranted ; yet the effect, to every one that saw it, by
THE REYNOLDS GALLERY
some magic of genius was confessed to be not mon'
strousy but miraculous and silencing. It could not be
("Quarterly Review,"" October 1814)
THE volume before us, as we learn from the Pref-
ace, is '*a detached portion of an unfinished
poem, containing views of man, nature, and society" ;
to be called the Recluse, as having for its principal
subject the "sensations and opinions of a poet living
in retirement"; and to be preceded by a "record in
verse of the origin and progress of the author's own
powers, with reference to the fitness which they may
be supposed to have conferred for the task." To the
completion of this plan we look forward with a con-
fidence which the execution of the finished part is
well calculated to inspire. — Meanwhile, in what is be-
fore us there is ample matter for entertainment : for
the "Excursion" is not a branch (as might have been
suspected) prematurely plucked from the parent tree
to gratify an overhasty appetite for applause ; but is,
in itself, a complete and legitimate production.
It opens with the meeting of the poet with an
aged man whom he had known from his school-
days; in plain words, a Scottish pedlar; a man who,
though of low origin, had received good learning
and impressions of the strictest piety from his step-
father, a minister and village schoolmaster. Among
the hills of Athol, the child is described to have be-
come familiar with the appearances of nature in his
occupation as a feeder of sheep; and from her sikat
influences to have derived a character, meditative,
tender, and poetical. With an imagination and feel-
ings thus nourished — his intellect not unaided by
books, but those, few, and chiefly of a religious cast
— the necessity of seeking a maintenance in riper
years had induced him to make choice of a profes-
sion, the appellation for which has been gradually de-
clining into contempt, but which formerly designated
a class of men, who, journeying in country places,
when roads presented less facilities for travelling,
and the intercourse between towns and villages was
unfrequent and hazardous, became a sort of Unk of
neighbourhood to distant habitations; resembling,
in some small measure, in the effects of their peri-
odical returns, the caravan which Thomson so feel-
ingly describes as blessing the cheerless Siberian in
its annual visitation, with "news of human kind."
In the solitude incident to this rambling life,
power had been given him to keep alive that de-
votedness to nature which he had imbibed in his
childhood, together with the opportunity of gainuig
such notices of persons and things from his inter-
course with society, as qualified him to become a
"teacher of moral wisdom." With this man, then, in
a hale old age, released from the burthen of his oc-
cupation, yet retaining much of its active habits, the
poet meets, and is by him introduced to a second
character — a sceptic — one who had been partially
roused from an overwhelming desolation, brought
upon him by the loss of wife and children, by the
WORDSWORTH S "EXCURSION"
powerful incitement of hope which the French Rev-
olution in its commencement put forth, but who,
disgusted with the failure of all its promises, had
fallen back into a laxity of faith and conduct which
induced at length a total despondence as to the dig-
nity and final destination of his species. In the lan-
guage of the poet, he
. . . broke faith with those whom he had laid
In earth's dark chambers.
Yet he describes himself as subject to compunc-
tious visitations from that silent quarter.
. . . Feebly must they have felt.
Who, in old time, attired with snakes and whips
The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards
Were turned on me — the face of her I loved;
The wife and mother ; pitifully fixing
Tender reproaches, insupportable ! — p. 133.
The conversations with this person, in which the
Wanderer asserts the consolatory side of the ques-
tion against the darker views of human life main-
tained by his friend, and finally calls to his assistance
the experience of a village priest, the third, or rather
fourth interlocutor (for the poet himself is one),
form the groundwork of the "Excursion."
It will be seen by this sketch that the poem is
of a didactic nature, and not a fable or story ; yet
it is not wanting in stories of the most interesting
kind, — such as the lovers of Cowper and Goldsmith
will recognise as something familiar and congenial
to them. We might instance the "Ruined Cot-
WORDSW ORTH'S "EXCURSION"
tatre," iind the Solitary's own story, in the first half
of the work ; and the second half, as being almost a
continued cluster of narration. But the prevailing
charm of the poem is, perhaps, that, conversational
as it is in its plan, the dialogue throughout is carried
on in the very heart of the most romantic scenery
which the poet's native hills could supply; and
which, by the perpetual references made to it either
in the way of illustration or for variety and plea-
surable description's sake, is brought before us as
we read. We breathe in the fresh air, as we do
while reading Walton's "Complete Angler"; only
the country about us is as much bolder than Wal-
ton's, as the thoughts and speculations, which form
the matter of the poem, exceed the trifling pastime
and low-pitched conversation of his humble fisher-
men. We give the description of the "two huge
peaks," which from some other vale peered into that
in which the Solitary is entertaining the poet and
companion. "Those," says their host,
if here you dweltj would be
Your prized companions. Many are the notes
Which in his tuneful course the wind draws forth
From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and dashing shores;
And well those lofty brethren bear their part
In the wild concert: chiefly when the storm
Rides high; then all the upper air they fill
With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow.
Like smoke, along the level of the blast
In mighty current; theirs, too, is the song
Of stream and headlong flood that seldom fails ;
WORDSWORTH S 'EXCURSION"
And in the grim and breathless hour of noon,
Methinks that I have heard them echo back
The thunder's greeting: nor have Nature's laws
Left them ungifted with a power to yield
Music of finer frame ; a harmony.
So do 1 call it, though it be the hand
Of silence, though there be no voice ; the clouds,
The mist, the shadows, light of golden suns.
Motions of moonlight, all come thither — touch.
And have an answer — thither come, and shape
A language not unwelcome to sick hearts.
And idle spirits: there the sun himself
At the calm close of summer's longest day
Rests his substantial orb ; — between those heights.
And on the top of either pinnacle.
More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault.
Sparkle the stars as of their station proud.
Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man.
Than the mute agents stirring there: — alone
Here do I sit and watch. — p. SJf.
Tg a mind constituted like that of Mr. Words-
worth, the stream, the torrent, and the stirring leaf
— seem not merely to suggest associations of deity,
but to be a kind of speaking communication with
it. He walks through every forest, as through some
Dodona ; and every bird that flits among the leaves,
like that miraculous one ^ in Tasso, but in language
^ With party-coloured plumes, and purple bill,
A wondrous bird among the rest there flew.
That in plain speech sung love-lays loud and shrill;
Her leden was like human language true ;
So much she talk'd, and with such wit and skill.
That strange it seemed how much good she knew.
Fairfax a Translation.
WORDSWORTH'S "EXCURSION "
more intelligent, reveals to him far higher love-lays.
In his poetry nothing in Nature is dead. Motion is
synonymous with life. "Beside yon spring," says the
Wanderer, speaking of a deserted weU, from which,
in former times, a poor woman, who died heart-
broken, had been used to dispense refreshment to
the thirsty traveller,
beside yon spring I stood.
And eyed its waters, till we seem'd to feel
One sadness, they and I. For them a bond
Of brotherhood is broken: time has been
When every day the touch of human hand
Dislodged the natural sleep that binds them up
In mortal stillness. — p. 27.
To such a mind, we say — call it strength or weak-
ness — if weakness, assuredly a fortunate one — the
visible and audible things of creation present, not
dim symbols, or curious emblems, which they have
done at all times to those who have been gifted
with the poetical faculty, but revelations and quick
insights into the life within us, the pledge of im-
the whispering air
Sends inspiration from her shadowy heights.
And blind recesses of the cavern' d rocks:
The little rills, and waters numberless,
Inaudible by day-light.
" I have seen," the poet says, and the illustration
is a happy one —
I have seen
A curious child, applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell
To which, in silence hush'd, his very soul
Listen'd intensely, and his countenance soon
Brighten'd with joy; for murmiirings from within
Were heard — sonorous cadences! whereby.
To his belief, the monitor express'd
Mysterious union Avith its native sea.
Even such a shell the universe itself
Is to the ear of faith ; and doth impart
Authentic tidings of invisible things :
Of ebb and flow, and ever during power;
And central peace subsisting at the heart
Of endless agitation. — p. 191.
Sometimes this harmony is imaged to us by an
echo; and in one instance, it is with such tran-
scendent beauty set forth by a shadow and its cor-
responding substance, that it would be a sin to cheat
our readers at once of so happy an illustration of the
poet's system, and so fair a proof of his descriptive
Thus having reached a bridge, that over-arch'd
The hasty rivulet where it lay becalm'd
In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw
A twofold image; on a grassy bank
A snow-white ram, and in the crystal flood
Another and the same! Most beautiful.
On the green turf, AAith his imperial front.
Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb.
The breathing creature stood ; as beautiful.
Beneath him, show'd his shadowy counterpart.
Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky,
WORDSWORTH'S "EXCURSION "
And each seem'd centre of his own fair world :
Antipodes unconscious of each other.
Yet, in partition, with their several spheres.
Blended in perfect stillness, to our sight ! — p. 4.07.
Combinations, it is confessed, "like those reflected
in that quiet pool," cannot be lasting: it is enough
for the purpose of the poet, if they are felt. — They
are at least his system ; and his readers, if they re-
ject them for their creed, may receive them merely
as poetry. In h\ui, faith, in friendly alliance and con-
junction with the religion of his country, appears to
have grown up, fostered by meditation and lonely
communions with Nature — an internal principle of
lofty consciousness, which stamps upon his opinions
and sentiments (we were almost going to say) the
character of an expanded and generous Quakerism.
From such a creed we should expect unusual re-
sults ; and, when r.pplied to the purposes of consola-
tion, more touching considerations than from the
mouth of common teachers. The finest speculation
of this sort perhaps in the poem before us, is the
notion of the thoughts which may sustain the spirit,
while they crush the frame of the sufferer, who from
loss of objects of love by death, is commonly sup-
posed to pine away under a broken heart.
. . . If there be, whose tender frames have drooped
Even to the dust, apparently, through weight
Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power
An agonising spirit to transmute,
Infer not hence a hope from those withheld
WORDSWORTH S "EXCURSION"
When wanted most; a confidence impaired
So pitiably, that, having ceased to see
With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love
Of what is lost, and perish through regret,
Oh no! full oft the innocent sufferer sees
Too clearly ; feels too vividly ; and longs
To realise the vision with intense
And over constant yearning; — there, there lies
The excess, by which the balance is destroyed
Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh,
This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs,
Though inconceivably endowed, too dim
For any passion of the soul that leads
To extasy ; and, all the crooked paths
Of time and change disdaining, takes its course
Along the line of limitless desires. — p. lJf8.
With the same modifying and incorporating
power, he tells us, —
Within the soul a faculty abides
That Avith interpositions, which would hide
And darken, so can deal, that they become
Contingencies of pomp ; and serve to exalt
Her native brightness. As the ample moon.
In the deep stillness of a summer eve.
Rising behind a thick and lofty grove,
Bums like an unconsuming fire of light
In the green trees; and, kindling on all sides
Their leafy umbrage, turns the dusky veil
Into a substance glorious as her own,
Yea, with her own incorporate, by p)ower
Capacious and serene. Like p>ower abides
In man's celestial spirit; Virtue thus
Sets forth and magnifies herself; thus feeds
A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire,
From the incumbrances of mortal life.
From eiTor, disappointment, nay, from guilt;
And sometimes, so relenting justice \\ills.
From palpable oppressions of despair. — j^- 1^^-
This is high poetry; though (as we have ventured
to lay the basis of the author's sentiments in a sort
of hberal Quakerism) from some parts of it, others
may, with more plausibihty, object to the appear-
ance of a kind of Natural IMethodism : we could have
wished therefore that the tale of INIargaret had been
postponed, till the reader had been strengthened
by some previous acquaintance with the author's
theory; and not placed in the front of the poem,
with a kind of ominous aspect, beautifully tender
as it is. It is a tale of a cottage, and its female
tenant, gradually decaying together, while she ex-
pected the return of one whom poverty and not
unkindness had driven from her arms. We trust
ourselves only with the conclusion —
. nine tedious years
From their first separation, nine long years.
She lingered in unquiet widowhood,
A wife and widow. I have heard, my friend.
That in yon arbour oftentimes she sate
Alone, through half the vacant Sabbath day;
And, if a dog passed by, she still would quit
The shade, and look abroad. On this old bench
For hours she sate ; and evermore her eye
Was busy in the distance, shaping things
That made her heart beat quick. You see that path;
There to and fro she paced through many a day
Of the warm summer, from a belt of hemp
That girt her waist^ spinning the long-drawTi thread
With backward steps. Yet ever as there pass'd
A man whose garments showed the soldier's ^ red^
The Httle child who sate to turn the wheel
Ceased from his task; and she with faultering voice
Made many a fond inquiry; and when they.
Whose presence gave no comfort, were gone by.
Her heart was still more sad. And by yon gate.
That bars the traveller's road, she often stood,
And, when a stranger horseman came, the latch
Would lift, and in his face look wistfully;
Most happy, if from aught discovered there
Of tender feeling, she might dare repeat
The same sad question. Meanwhile her poor hut
Sank to decay: for he Avas gone, whose hand.
At the first nipping of October frost,
Closed up each chink, and with fresh bands of straw
Checquered the green grown thatch. And so she lived
Through the long winter, reckless and alone;
Until her house by frost, and thaw, and rain
Was sapped; and, while she slept, the nightly damps
Did chill her breast; and in the stormy day
Her tattered clothes were ruffled by the wind,
Even at the side of her own fire. Yet still
She loved this -wretched spot, nor would for worlds
Have parted hence : and still that length of road.
And this rude bench, one torturing hope endeared.
Fast rooted at her heart: and here, my friend,
In sickness she remained; and here she died.
Last human tenant of these ruined walls! — p. Jf6.
The fourth book, entitled "Despondency Cor-
rected," we consider as the most valuable portion
of the poem. For moral grandeur ; for wide scope of
I Her husband had enlisted for a soldier.
WORDSWORTH'S "EXCURSION "
thought and a long train of lofty imagery ; for tender
personal appeals ; and a versification which we feel
we ought to notice, but feel it also so involved in the
poetry, that we can hardly mention it as a distinct
excellence ; it stands without competition among our
didactic and descriptive verse. The general tendency
of the argument (which we might almost affirm to