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I think, articulate, I laugh and weep,
Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine.' The poem intitled Tyrocinium, or, a Review of Schools, displays the talents of a vigorous mind and lively imagination. Mr. Cowper is particularly happy in his fatire on the abuses practised in public schools ; but, as this is a subject on which the opinions of some of the wiseft and the best of men are divided, we cannot, in every respect, give our author credit for the aversion he betrays against public schools in general. In as far, however, as he turns into ridicule the gross abuses of them, his poem will be read with approbation. - John Gilpin's marvellous Hiftory concludes the volume. The accidental celebrity, which this piece of levity acquired, probably induced the author to acknowledge it, and print it with his other works.
On the whole, we can recommend Mr. Cowper's poems as abounding in many of the most valuable requisites of true poetry in the beauties of harmony ; in imagery ; in just and fine sentiments; and as breathing a spirit of pięty and philanthropy, which engages the heart and captivates the affections. Here and there a vapid line appears, or a turgid epithet; but the instances are so few, that the general merit of the poems will conceal them from every eye but the prying one of a faitidious critic.
Art. XII. The Letters of Charlotte, during her Connexion with
polished, and agreeable stile, no considerable novelty of fentiment, and no striking exhibition of talents. They are, however, considerably superior to the common run of performances of this fort. In the perusal they will gratify the passion for amusem ment; and, if ftudied and copied by the fairer class of readers, will lead them to a correct and inartificial mode of composition. They have the rare merit, without advancing any claim to our admiration, to poffels in the stricteft fenfe, what is called a stile. To evince this, we will present our readers with an example of the author's manner of treating unimpaffioned and speculative subjects; and then will select one or two of these short letters, that relate to the story of the volume. it is thus that Charlotte reasons upon the subject of Platonic love,
s No! I by no means think it “ indelicate" in you to contend against the existence of Platonic friendship : it is mere matter of opi. nion. But against your opinion I bring a fact ; I produce my vouchers-Werter and Theresa. There is Platonic friendship in the Arięteft sense. But you will, perhaps, ask me, will it continue such? Will not Albert's preience-Ah, my dear friend ! do not flatter me with ideal peace. Can Werter's presence make me forget Albert? will not my esteem remain for Werter, when Albert comes ? In Albert's presence will Werter's fame expire ?
• If the friendship which I envy would terminate in love, I should indeed be happy. But I fear my Carolina prophesies in vain.
• Respecting Platonics, I admire your candour, though I do not subscribe to your creed. Poflibly I may be mistaken ; I may
have too high an opinion of human nature. We all believe, that angelic intercouse is intellectual ; and we all know and feel, that our most fupreme felicity originates in mind; that our affections are stronger in proportion as they are refined, and are refined in proportion to the cultivation of our intellectual faculties. And why may not minds be so cultivated, and so rapt, as it were, in the exercise and contemplation of their own powers, as to hold an independent intercourse ? I do not say this is common. I contend only for the possibility of its existence. Holy men hold converse with Heaven : they have a spiritual intercourse with the “ Father of lights;" yet holy men are mortal.
•But this you will call a summer evening's reverie.--Be it so : I love to indulge myself in such reveries as impress on my mind a favourable idea of human nature, which makes me respect mankind and myself; and so long as these impressions remain, I cannot easily be Jed to do any thing unbecoming the duty ani the dignity of a ratiopal being
• My last letter from Albert informs me, that he has settled his father's affairs ; has great hope of succeeding in his application to the minister ; and that he shall soon be able to fix the day for his return 10 Walheim. My dear Carolina, adieu!'
Her panegyric of epiftolary correspondence is also expressed with perspicuity and neatness.
. I am afraid my dear Carolina must have discovered, in some of my late letters, an appearance of vanity. But you will recollect, that they are chiefly narrative. In relating what has passed between Werter and myself, I could not avoid giving you his own words; and little regard is to be paid to the language of paflion, whether of love or anger. You see, my dear, how nearly abufe and compli. ment are allied : so nearly, that sometimes one is mistaken for the other.
• I should find myself extremely at a loss to give, verbally, an ac. count of the circumstances which I communicate to you by letter.But in a confidential correspondence, and especially with my
Carolina, I can lay open my heart, and reveal all its weaknesses.
• I have always regarded letters as a sort of proxies, sometimes infructed to deliver such sentiments as one could not freely communicate otherwise.
• Some very grave, and some very light people, look on a correspondence of this kind as very filly. The contents of the corre. spondence may frequently be filly enough ; but the practice is not the worse for that; like every thing else, it may sometimes be abused. To put our thoughts in writing, and habituate ourselves to give them language, will soon enable us to do it with facility; and, surely, that is an accomplishment well worth cultivation.
• But this is not the only advantage resulting from a confidential cor. respondence. If we made it a rule to give an account of our actions, it might be one way of preventing some from doing things which they would be ashamed to acknowledge. Hence, the vast importance in our choice of friends : virtue, as well as vice, is strengthened by connexion ; example comes dire&tly home, and has its full influence on the mind. Those, therefore, who contend against the confidential correspondence of virtuous friends, would prevent their progress in a necessary accomplishment, and deprive them of one of the guards of virtue.
• Believe me, my dear Carolina, I regard your friendship as one of the chief blessings of my life ; and the communication of your sentiments as one of my most exalted pleasures. The hemisphere of my friendship is very imall; I look on you as no less than the sun in it: and all your letters as rays, conveying light and comfort to your Charlotte. Adieu.'
The narrative of this publication cannot be better explained than by the language of Charlotte, when she is supposed first to have discovered ihe passion of Werter.
• Ah, my dear Carolina !-I see my error, and I acknowledge the justice of your remark.-An attachment so sudden and so strong!
I see my error, Carolina, but could I see it then ; and could I avoid
first discovered the flame in his bosom"-It was then too late to apply your remedy : it was then too late to " throw on the water of cold releive.” Werrer knew the candour of Charlotte : he knew she was incapable of affecting what she did not feel--and to treat with indifference that affection which she could not return.And how could I speak to him on the subject of a passion which he had never declared?
• When I discovered the flame in his bosom, and saw it sparkle in his eyes; when his visits became more and more frequent, and his conversations were interrupted by involuntary fighs; when I saw him come like a bounding roe over the fields, with all the ardour of youth; and when I saw him return, melancholy and dejected, measuring his pace with funeral steps; then, my Carolina, then I began to tremble : I stood aghaft at the innocent mischief I had done ; like
poor villagers that from a hill behold their cottages in flames, and can only lament their fall; so I regarded the pallion of Werter :- I saw, but could not relieve. I put confidence in his realon; I opposed the strength of his philosophy to that of his pasiion, and derived confo. lation from the great English poet :-“Violent love," he says, “ soon evaporates ; furious fames quickly expire."
• Yes, I see my error : I should not have admitted an intimacy with one fo susceptible of the finer feelings; - yet these, alas, were the flken threads that formed the cord of friendship; the unfortunate friendship of Werter and Charlotte !--Yet, why unfortunate !-let
is cast the fashion of uncertain evils :" Werter may conquer his paflion ; Charlotte may lose the lover, and regain the friend ; and all may yet be well.-May Heaven so speed the hours ! Adieu !'
To this we will add the last interview between the letterwriter and her unfortunate inamorato, which is supposed by the author to have been immediately preceded by the funeral procession of the distracted lover of Cha lutre; the admirable description of whom must be so well remembered by every one acquainted with the performance of Goethe.
• Chance-no, it is not chance ; for what, - Father of lights !what has chance to do in a world governed by thy providence ? No; it is thy will that Charlotte should suffer; that one woe should fucceed another, as clouds follow clouds, and gather into forms -- but let thy goodneis disperse them—mercifully disperse them, before they overwhelm me!
• A few hours after I had seen the melancholy spectacle of Henry's funeral, my mind had become in fome tome degree calm ; and in the evening I fat muling on the vicissitudes to which 'even a
life of retirement is exposed. I thought on Werter: I recalled to my mind paft scenes ; and lamented the fate of an attachment from which I promised myself the pleasures of an innocent friendship-I felt, deeply felt, for the anxiety of Albert, who, in his absence, might think too much of Werter, when-to my inexpressible astonishment
I heard the voice of Werter on the stairs ! It was too late to be denied. I was distressed, and reproved him. For some minutes I knew not what to do; at last I sent to desire Sophia Andran to come and fit with me; she had company. I sent to others, but before the fervant returned it rained violently. I then thought of calling in my maid ; but, conscious of my own innocence, and ashamed to take so unusual a step, I sat down to my harpsichord, and, after playing a few minutes to prevent Werter entering into conversation, I desired him to read fomething, and gave him his own translation of Offian. I saw his heart was full ; and the passage he read affected me to tears. It conveyed an idea of our mutual sufferings. Werter leized my hand, and kissed it with an agitation that made me tremble.1 desired him to proceed with the poem : “ To-morrow," he read, “ fhall the traveller come; he that saw me in my beauty fhall come: his eyes will search the field, but they will not find me."The heart of Werter funk at these words : a torrent of tears ran down his cheeks; he threw himself at my feet, and, whilst his whole frame fhook, he put my hands against his forehead. --Horror, instantly converted into pity, seized me; my heart told me his fatal resolution : a thousand sensations arose in my bosom-fear-pity-was predominant:- trembling, I funk in his arms ;- for the first time, these lips met the lips of Werter. The ardour of his embrace recalled my bewildered senses: “ Werter!" I said, with a tremulous accent,but he pressed me to his bofom ;-raising myself and turning my face from him, the picture of my dear mother met my eyes. The full idea of virtue rushed into my mind: I was instantly collected, and with a determined tone, I repeated “ Werter !"--He fell on his knee before me - O Carolina !What emotions at that moment filled my torn bosom !-at that moment, at once pitying and resenting, I pronounced the words of eternal separation !" This is the last time!
-Werter, you will never see me more !"-My heart bled, Carolina, as I spoke the words - I spoke them, and with a last look flew into my room.
: 0, my Carolina ! what a night of terror and distress! - How did my
heart beat when I heard the door shut after Werter !-the rain poured ; and the dreadful idea he had raised in my mind-my imagination presented such fearful images !- It was in vain to seek repose : a thousand recollections kept me awake. A new sensation pervaded my bosom-yes, my Carolina, I felt a friend hip too tender for Werter; and, for the first time, I dreaded the looks of Albert !
Long and dismal was the night; my hurried fancy was filled with sad ideas :--the new-made grave of Henry ;-the floods of water that Werter, in despair, mult pass in his gloomy road to Walheim ! At one moment the fervour of his kisses thrilled through my heart, whilft blushes burned my cheeks :--the next, my veins ran cold, when I thought I heard his fighs in the howling wind, that almost