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charm in that which they defied; and, accord-
ingly, we find this reactionary sentiment ex-
pressing itself in a base school of what was
called pastoral poetry; that is to say, poetry
written in praise of the country, by men who
lived in coffee-houses and on the Mall. The
essence of pastoral poetry is the sense of strange
delightfulness in grass which is occasionally
felt by a man who has seldom set his foot on
it; it is essentially the poetry of the cockney,
and for the most part corresponds in its aim
and rank, as compared with other literature, to
the porcelain shepherds and shepherdesses on
a chimney-piece, as compared with great works
of sculpture.

Of course, all good poetry descriptive of
rural life is essentially pastoral, or has the

effect of the pastoral on the minds of me
living in cities ; but the class of poetry which
I mean, and which you probably understand,
by the term pastoral, is that in which a far-
mer's girl is spoken of as a " nymph," and a
farmer's boy as a " swain," and in which,
throughout, a ridiculous and unnatural refine-
ment is supposed to exist in rural life, merely
because the poet himself has neither had the
courage to endure its hardships, nor the wit to
conceive its realities. If you examine the
literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, you
will find that nearly all its expressions having
reference to the country show something of
this kind; either a foolish sentimentality or a
morbid fear, both of course coupled with the
most curious ignorance. You will find all its
descriptive expressions at once vague and mon-
otonous. Brooks are always "purling;" birds
always "warbling;" mountains always "lift
their horrid peaks above the clouds; " vales
always "are lost in the shadow of gloomy
woods;" a few more distinct ideas about hay-
making and curds and cream, acquired in the
neighbourhood of Richmond Bridge, serving
to give an occasional appearance of freshness
to the catalogue of the sublime and beautiful
which descended from poet to poet; while a
few true pieces of pastoral, like the Vicar of
Wakefield and Walton's Angler, relieved the
general waste of dulness. Even in these better
productions nothing is more remarkable than
the general conception of the country merely
as a series of green fields, and the combined
ignorance and dread of more sublime scenery,
of which the mysteries and dangers were en-
hanced by the difficulties of travelling at the
period. Thus in Walton's Angler you have a
meeting of two friends, one a Dei-bywhire man,
the other a lowland traveller, who is as much
alarmed, and uses nearly as many expressions
of astonishment, at having to go down a steep
hill and ford a brook, as a traveller uses now
at crossing the glacier of the Col de Geant. I
am not sure whether the difficulties which,
until late years, have lain in the way of peace-
ful and convenient travelling, ought not to
have great weight assigned to them among the
other causes of the temper of the century; but
be that as it may, if you will examine the whole
range of its literature keeping this point in
view I am well persuaded that you will be
struck most forcibly by the strange deadness
to the higher sources of landscape sublimity
which is mingled Avith the morbid pastoralism.
The love of fresh air and green grass forced
itself upon the animal natures of men; but
that of the sublhner features of scenery had no



place in minds whose chief powers had been
repressed by the formalisms of the age. And
although in the second-rate writers continually,
and in the first-rate ones occasionally, you find
an affectation of interest in mountains, clouds,
and forests, yet whenever they write from their
heart you will find an utter absence of feeling
respecting anything beyond gardens and grass.
Examine, for instance, the novels of Smollett,
Fielding, and Sterne, the comedies of Moliere,
and the writings of Johnson and Addison, and
I do not think you will find a single expression
of true delight in sublime nature in any one of
them. Perhaps Sterne's Sentimental Journey,
in its total absence of sentiment on any subject
but humanity, and its entire want of notice of
anything at Geneva which might not as well
have been seen at Coxwold, is the most striking
instance I could give you ; and if you compare
with this negation of feeling on one side, the
interludes of Moliere, in which shepherds and
shepherdesses are introduced in court-dress,
you will have a very accurate conception of the
general spirit of the age.

It was in such a state of society that the
landscape of Claude, Caspar Poussin, and Sal-
vator Rosa attained its reputation. It is the
complete expression on canvas of the spirit of
the time. Claude embodies the foolish pas-
toralism, Salvator the ignorant terror, and
Caspar the dull and affected erudition. Lec-
tures on Architecture and Painting.


The real and proper use of the word romantic
is simply to characterize an improbable or
unaccustomed degree of beauty, sublimity, or
virtue. For instance, in matters of history, is
not the Retreat of the Ten Thousand romantic?
Is not the death of Leonidas? of the Horatii?
On the other hand, you find nothing romantic,
though much that is monstrous, in the excesses
of Tiberius or Commodus. So again, the bat-
tle of Agincourt is romantic, and of Bannock-
burn, simply because there was an extraordi-
nary display of human virtue in both those
battles. But there is no romance in the battles
of the last Italian campaign, in which mere
feebleness and distrust were on one side, mere
physical force on the other. And even in fic-
tion, the opponents of virtue, in order to be
romantic, must have sublimity mingled with
their vice. It is not the knave, not the ruffian,
that are romantic, but the giant and the dra-
gon ; and these, not because they are false, but
because they are majestic. So again as to
beauty. You feel that armour is romantic,
because it is a beautiful dress, and you are not

used to it. You do not feel there is anything
romantic in the paint and shells of a Sandwich
Islander, for these are not beautiful.

So, then, observe, this feeling which you are
accustomed to despise this secret and poetical
enthusiasm in all your hearts, which, as prac-
tical men, you try to restrain is indeed one
of the holiest parts of your being, It is the
instinctive delight in, and admiration for,
sublimity, beauty, and virtue, unusually mani-
fested. And so far from being a dangerous
guide, it is the truest part of your being. It
is even truer than your consciences. A man's
conscience may be utterly perverted and led
astray ; but so long as the feelings of romance
endure within us, they are unerring, they
are as true to what is right and lovely as the
needle to the north; and all that you have to
do is to add to the enthusiastic sentiment, the
majestic judgment to mingle prudence and
foresight with imagination and admiration,
and you have the perfect human soul. But
the great evil of these days is that we try to
destroy the romantic feeling, instead of brid-
ling and directing it. Mark what Young says
of the men of the world

" They, who think nought so strong of the romance,
So rank knight-errant, as a real friend."

And they are right. True friendship is ro-
mantic, to the men of the world true affection
is romantic true religion is romantic. Lec-
tures on Architecture and Sculpture.


If I freely may discover

What would please me in my lover,

I would have her fair and witty,

Savouring more of court than city;

A little proud, but full of pity;

Light and humorous in her toying;

Oft building hopes, and soon destroying;

Long, but sweet in the enjoying;
Neither too easy nor too hard,
All extremes I would have barred.

She should be allowed her passions,
So they were but used as fashions ;
Sometimes froward, and then frowning,
Sometimes sickish, and then swooning,
Every fit with change still crowning.
Purely jealous I would have her,
Then only constant when I crave her;
'Tis a virtue should not save her.

Thus, nor her delicates would cloy me,

Nor her peevishness annoy me.

BEN JONSON (1601).



Look on this brow ! the laurel wreath
Beam'd on it, like a wreath of fire ;

For passion gave the living breath,
That shook the chords of Sappho's lyre !

Look on this brow ! the lowest slave,
The veriest wretch of want and care,

Might shudder at the lot that gave
Her genius, glory, and despair.

For, from these lips were utter'd sighs,

That, more than fever, scorch'd the frame ;
And tears were rain'd from these bright eyes,

That from the heart, like life-blood, came.
She loved she felt the lightning-gleam,

That keenest strikes the loftiest mind ;
Life quenched in one ecstatic dream,

The world a waste before behind.

And she had hope, the treacherous hope,
The last, deep poison of the bowl,

That makes us drain it, drop by drop,
Nor lose one misery of soul.

Then all gave way mind, passion, pride !

She cast one weeping glance above,
And buried in her_bed. the tide,

The whole concentred strife of Love !



Child, amidst the flowers at play,
While the red light fades away ;
Mother, with thine earnest eye
Ever following silently;
Father, by the breeze of eve,
Called thy harvest work to leave,
Pray! ere yet the dark hours be:
Lift the heart and bend the knee.

Traveller, in the stranger's land,
Far from thine own household band;
Mourner, haunted by the tone
Of voice from this world gone;
Captive, in whose narrow cell
Sunshine hath not leave to dwell;
Sailor, on the darkening sea,
Lift the heart and bend the knee.

Warrior, that from battle won,
Breathest now at set of sun;
Woman, o'er the lowly slain,
Weeping on his burial plain :
Ye that triumph, ye that sigh,
Kindred by one holy tie,
Heaven's first star alike ye see,
Lift the heart and bend the knee.






LYDIA LANGUISH, her ward, a sentimental girl, too
fond of romances.


CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE, his son, who, under the name oj
BEVERLEY, has won LYDIA'S affections.

SCENE: A Rnom in MRS. MALAPROP'S Lodgings at Bath.

Mrs. Mai. There, Sir Anthony, there sits
the deliberate simpleton who wants to disgrace
her family, and lavish herself on a fellow not
worth a shilling.

Lyd. Madam, I thought you once

Mrs. Mai. You thought, miss! I don't
know any business you have to think at all
thought does not become a young woman. But
the point we would request of you is, that you
will promise to forget this fellow to illiterate
him, I say, quite from your memory.

Lyd. Ah, madam! our memories are inde-
pendent of our wills. It is not so easy to

Mrs. Mai. But I say it is, miss; there is
nothing on earth so easy as to forget, if a per-
son chooses to set about it. I'm sure I have
as much forgot your poor dear uncle as if he
had never existed and I thought it my duty
so to do; and let me tell you, Lydia, these
violent memories don't become a young woman.

Sir A nth. Why, sure she won't pretend to
remember what she's ordered not! ay, this
comes of her reading.

Lyd. What crime, madam, have I committed,
to be treated thus?

Mrs. Mai. Now don't attempt to extirpate
yourself from the matter; you know I have
proof controvertible of it. But tell me, will
you promise to do as you're bid? Will you
take a husband of your friends' choosing?

Lyd. Madam, I must tell you plainly, that
had I no preference for any one else, the choice
you have made would be my aversion.

Mrs. Mai. What business kave you, miss,
with preference and aversion? They don't be-
come a young woman; and you ought to know,
that as both always wear off, 'tis safest in ma-
trimony to- begin with a little aversion. I am
sure I hated your poor dear uncle before mar-
riage as if he'd been a blackamoor and yet,
miss, you are sensible what a wife I made!
and when it pleased Heaven to release me from
him, 'tis unknown what tears I shed! But



suppose we were going to give you another
choice, will you promise us to give up this
Beverley ?

Lyd. Could I belie my thoughts so far as
to give that promise, my actions would certainly
as far belie my words.

Mrs. Mai. Take yourself to your room.
You are fit company for nothing but your own

Lyd. Willingly, ma'am I cannot change
for the worse. [Exit.

Mrs. Mai. There's a little intricate hussy
for you.

SirAnth. It is not to be wondered at, ma'am,
all this is the natural consequence of teach-
ing girls to read. Had I a thousand daughters,
by Heaven! I'd as soon have them taught the
black art as their alphabet !

Mrs. Mai. Nay, nay, Sir Anthony, you
are an absolute misanthropy.

SirAnth. In my way hither, Mrs. Malaprop,
I observed your niece's maid coming forth from
a circulating library! She had a book in each
hand they were half-bound volumes, with
marble covers! From that moment I guessed
how full of duty I should see her mistress!

Mrs. Mai. Those are vile places, indeed!

Sir Antk. Madam, a circulating library in
a town is as an evergreen tree of diabolical
knowledge! It blossoms through the year!
And depend on it, Mrs. Malaprop, that they
who are so fond of handling the leaves, will
long for the fruit at last.

Mrs. Mai. Fy, fy, Sir Anthony, you surely
speak laconically.

Sir Anth. Why, Mrs. Malaprop, in modera-
tion now, what would you have a woman know ?

Mrs. Mai. Observe me, Sir Anthony. I
would by no means wish a daughter of mine
to be a progeny of learning; I don't think so
much learning becomes a young woman; for
instance, I would never let her meddle with
Greek, or Hebrew, or algebra, or simony, or
fluxions, or paradoxes, or such inflammatory
branches of learning neither would it be
necessary for her to handle any of your mathe-
matical, astronomical, diabolical instruments.
But, Sir Anthony, I would send her, at nine
years old, to a boarding-school, in order to
learn a little ingenuity and artifice. Then,
sir, she should have a supercilious knowledge
in accounts; and as she grew up, I would
have her instructed in geometry, that she might
know something of the contagious countries;
but, above all, Sir Anthony, she should be
mistress of orthodoxy, that she might not mis-
spell and mispronounce words so shamefully
as girls usually do.- and likewise that she might


reprehend the true meaning of what she is
saying. This, Sir Anthony, is what I would
have a woman know; and I don't think there
is a superstitious article in it.

Sir Anth. Well, well, Mrs. Malaprop, I will
dispute the point no further with you; though
I must confess, that you are a truly moderate
and polite arguer, for almost every third word
you say is on my side of the question. But,
Mrs. Malaprop, to the more important point
in debate you say you have no objection to
my proposal?

Mrs. Mai. None, I assure you. I am under
no positive engagement with Mr. Acres, and
as Lydia is so obstinate against him, perhaps
your son may have better success.

Sir Anth. Well, madam, I will write for the
boy directly. He knows not a syllable of this
yet, though I have for some time had the pro-
posal in my head. He is at present with his

Mrs. Mai. We have never seen your son, Sir
Anthony; but I hope no objection on his side.

SirAnth. Objection! let him object if he
dare! No, no, Mrs. Malaprop, Jack knows
that the least demur puts me in a frenzy directly.
My process was always very simple in their
younger days, 'twas "Jack, do this;" if he
demurred, I knocked him down and if he
grumbled at that, I always sent him out of the

Mrs. Mai. Ay, and the properest way, o'
my conscience! nothing is so conciliating to
young people, as severity. Well, Sir Anthony,
I shall give Mr. Acres his discharge, and pre-
pare Lydia to receive your son's invocations;
and I hope you will represent her to the captain
as an object not altogether illegible.

Sir Anth. Madam, I will handle the subject
prudently. Well, I must leave you; and let
me beg you, Mrs. Malaprop, to enforce this
matter roundly to the girl. Take my advice
keep a tight hand: if she rejects this proposal,
clap her under lock and key; and if you were
just to let the servants forget to bring her
dinner for three or four days, you can't conceive
how she'd come about.

MBS. MALAPROP, with a letter in her hand,

Mrs. Mai. Your being Sir Anthony's son ;
captain, would itself be a sufficient accommo-
dation; but from the ingenuity of your appear-
ance, I am convinced you deserve the character
here given of you.

Abs. Permit me to say, madam, that as I
never yet have had the pleasure of seeing Miss



Languish, my principal inducement in this
affair at present, is the honour of being allied
to Mrs. Malaprop; of whose intellectual accom-
plishments, elegant manners, and unaffected
learning, no tongue is silent.

Mrs. Mai. Sir, you do me infinite honour!
I beg, captain, you'll be seated. [They sit.]
Ah ! few gentlemen, now-a-days, know how to
value the ineffectual qualities in a woman! few
think how a little knowledge becomes a gentle-
woman! Men have no sense now but for the
worthless flower of beauty !

Abs. It is but too true, indeed, ma'am; yet
I fear our ladies should share the blame they
think our admiration of beauty so great, that
knowledge in them would be superfluous.
Thus, like garden-trees, they seldom show
fruit, till time has robbed them of the more
specious blossom. Few, like Mrs. Malaprop
and the orange-tree, are rich in both at once !

Mrs. Ma',. Sir, you overpower me with good
breeding. He is the very pine-apple of po-
liteness! [Aside.] You are not ignorant, cap-
tain, that this giddy girl has somehow contrived
to fix her affections on a beggarly, strolling,
eavesdropping ensign, whom none of us have
seen, and nobody knows anything of.

Abs. Oh, I have heard the silly affair before.
I'm not at all prejudiced against her on that

Mrs. Mai. You are very good and very con-
siderate, captain. I am sure I have done
everything in my power since I exploded the
affair; long ago I laid my positive conjunctions
on her, never to think on the fellow again;
I have since laid Sir Anthony's preposition
before her; but, I am sorry to say, she seems
resolved to decline every particle that I enjoin

Abs. It must be very distressing, indeed,

Mrs. Mai. Oh! it gives me the hydrostatics
to such a degree. I thought she had persisted
from corresponding with him; but, behold this
very day, I have interceded another letter from
the fellow; I believe I have it in my pocket.

Abs. Oh, the devil! my last note. [Aside.

Mrs. Mai. Ay, here it is.

Abs. Ay, my note indeed! the little
traitress Lucy. [Aside.

Mrs. Mai. There, perhaps you may know
the writing. [Gives him the letter.

Abs. I think I have seen the hand before
yes, I certainly must have seen this hand be-

Mrs. Mai. Kay, but read it, captain.

Abs. [Reads.] My sours idol, my adored
Lydia! Very tender indeed!

Mrs. Mai. Tender! ay, and profane too, o'
my conscience.

Abs. [Reads.] I am excessively alarmed at
the intelligence you. send me, the more so as my
new rival

Mrs. Mai. That's you, sir.

Abs. [Reads.] Has universally the charac-
ter of being an accomplished gentleman, and
a man of honour. Well, that's handsome

Mrs. Mai. Oh, the fellow has some design
in writing so.

Abs. Thathehad, I'llanswerfor him, ma'am.

Mrs. Mai. But go on, sir you'll see pre-

Abs. [Reads.] As for the old weather-beaten
she-dragon who guards you Who can he mean
by that?

Mrs. Mai. Me, sir! me! he means me!
There what do you think now ? but go on a
little further.

Abs. Impudent scoundrel! [Reads.] it shall
go hard but I ivill elude her vigilance, as I am
told that the same ridiculous vanity ivhich
makes her dress up her coarse features, and
deck her dull chat with hard words which she
don't understand

Mrs. Mid. There, sir, an attack upon my
language! what do you think of that? an as-
persion upon my parts of speech ! was ever such
a brute! Sure, if I reprehend anything in this
world, it is the use of my oracular tongue, and
a nice derangement of epitaphs.

Abs. Pie deserves to be hanged and quartered!
let me see [Reads. ] sameridiculous vanity

Mrs. Mai. You need not read it again,

Abs. I beg pardon, ma'am. [Eeads.] does
also lay her open to the grossest deceptions from
flattery and pretended admiration an impu-
dent coxcomb! so that I have a scheme to
see you shortly with the old harridans con-
sent, and even to make her a go-between in our
interview. Was ever such assurance!

Mrs. Mai. Did you ever hear anything like
it? he'll elude my vigilance, will he yes,
yes! ha! ha! he's very likely to enter these
doors; we'll try who can plot best!

,46s. So we will, ma'am so we will! Ha!
ha! ha! a conceited puppy, ha! ha! ha! Well,
but Mrs. Malaprop, as the girl seems so infat-
uated by this fellow, suppose you were to wink
at her corresponding with him for a little time
let her even plot an elopement with him
then do you connive at her escape while I,
just in the nick, will have the fellow laid by
the heels, and fairly contrive to carry her off
in his stead.



Mrs. Mai. I am delighted with the scheme ;
never was anything better perpetrated!

Abs. But, pray, could not I see the lady for
a few minutes now ? I should like to try her
temper a little.

Mrs. Mai. Why, I don't know I doubt
she is not prepared for a visit of this kind.
There is a decorum in these matters.

Abs. Lord! she won't miud me only tell
her Beverley

Mrs. Mai. Sir!

Abs. Gently, good tongue. [Aside.

Mrs. Mai. What did you say of Beverley ?

Abs. Oh, I was going to propose that you
should tell her, by way of jest, that it was
Beverley who was below; she'd come down fast
enough then ha! ha! ha!

Mrs. Mai. 'Twould be a trick she well de-
serves; besides you know the fellow tells her
he'll get my consent to see her ha! ha! Let
him if he can, I say again. Lydia, come down
here! [Calling. ] He'll make me a go-between
in their interviews! ha! ha! ha! Comedown,
I say, Lydia! I don't wonder at your laughing,
ha! ha! ha! his impudence is truly ridiculous.

Abs. 'Tis very ridiculous, upon my soul,
ma'am, ha! ha! ha!

Mrs. Mai. The little hussy won't hear.
Well, I'll go and tell her at once who it is
she shall know that Captain Absolute is come
to wait on her. And I'll make her behave as
becomes a young woman.

Abs. As you please, ma'am.

Mrs. Mai. For the present, captain, your
servant. Ah ! you've not done laughing yet,
I see elude my vigilance; yes, yes; ha! ha! ha!


Abs. Ha! ha! ha! one would think now that
I might throw off all disguise at once, and seize
my prize with security; but such is Lydia's
caprice, that to undeceive were probably to lose
her. I'll see whether she knows me.

[ Walks aside, and seems engaged in look-
ing at the pictures.

Enter LYDIA.

Lyd. What a scene am I now to go through !
surely nothing can be more dreadful than to
be obliged to listen to the loathsome addresses
of a stranger to one's heart. I have heard of
girls persecuted as I am, who have appealed
in behalf of their favoured lover to the gene-
rosity of his rival; suppose I were to try it
there stands the hated rival an officer too!
but oh, how unlike my Beverley! I wonder
he don't begin truly he seems a very negligent
wooer! quite at his ease, upon my word! I'll
speak first Mr. Absolute.

Abs. Ma'am. [Turns round.

Lyd. Heavens! Beverley!

Abs. Hush! hush, my life! softly! be not
surprised !

Lyd. I am so astonished! and so terrified!
and so overjoyed! for Heaven's sake! how
came you here?

Abs. Briefly, I have deceived your aunt I
was informed that my new rival was to visit
here this evening, and contriving to have him
kept away, have passed myself on her for Cap-
tain Absolute.

Lyd. charming! And she really takes
you for young Absolute?

Abs. Oh, she's convinced of it.

Lyd. Ha! ha! ha! I can't forbear laughing
to think how her sagacity is overreached.

A bs. But we trifle with our precious moments
such another opportunity may not occur;
then let me now conjure my kind, my conde-
scending angel, to fix the time when I may
rescue her from undeserving persecution, and
with a licensed warmth plead for my reward.

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