We are happy to find that our Recess has proved, at least in one respect, beneficial, by procuring us an ample supply for the entertainment of our audience. Mr Beauclerc’s third number of L’Acerbo is an interesting paper, and would command attention were it more carefully written. Several of the thoughts are, we think, not strictly just, but by a little qualification, and more correct expression, they would be rendered less faulty, if not entirely unexceptionable. Poetry in all countries is, in the first stages, bold, figurative, and hyperbolical. As civilization advances, taste corrects its extravagance and restrains the diction within the boundaries of truth, tho’ with a picturesque latitude that delights at once by its fidelity and strength of colouring. Gray says that our language is more deficient in picturesque expressions than it was two centuries ago, and assertion to which we do not implicitly assent, though it be certain that a more faithful attention to truth and nature has diminished its hyperbolical extravagance. This remark applies to some opinions advanced in L’Acerbo.
“Sir Gilbert’s Heiress” is called a fragment, but we think improperly, as it is more complete than may of Lord Byron’s poems. It has many of the excellencies and some of that want of connection which distinguishes the writings of the noble Lord but not more than may be easily supplied by the imagination of the reader. We do not wish to recommend by approbation this mode of writing which takes only the prominences of the subject, and overleaps the undulations which unite them. Such compositions are like a fabric with columns and arches of superlative magnificence but without the connecting walls which give them unity, and by contrast display their excellence. “Sir Gilbert’s Heiress” has so little of this fault, if we may call it so, that we may almost give it our unqualified praise. We easily discover that Emmeline is the poor neglected daughter of a clergyman, the younger son of Sir Gilbert, and Clara the pampered child of the eldest and favourite son. The rest may safely be trusted to the feeling and judgement of our auditors.
We have little to say on “The Parting Song” and the “Answer to a Sonnet by Dr Gregor” except that they are both elegant. The “Farewell” has the merit of expressing in pleasing language the feelings of every member of our circle on the approaching absence of one of its members, but we trust that this sacrifice to maternal affection will be amply repaid on herself and her family.
The Indian Tale beautifully concludes the series promised by the author in a former number and is equally pleasing for appropriate allusions and imagery with the Arabian and Persian Tales which preceded it. The story is more simple, the sentiments are characteristic of the tenderness which distinguishes the amorous effusions of that gentle race of people, and its lyric and dramatic form produces a graceful variety. The versification also is easy and elegant. We wish that the authro had furnished a few notes of elucidation to this, as he has done to the other tales, and that he would in the same way exemplify the manners and sentiments of Tartary and America.
Sir Pertinax Townly has given an amusing account of Lord Aircastle’s visit to Positive House. It is probable that the overturn of a Greenwish Stage at the Marsh Gate, mentioned in yesterday’s paper, was owing to the confusion occasioned by the stoppage of Lord Aircastle. We have nothing to add to Sir Pertinax’s observations on the Aeronautiad of Mrs Bustleton, which appears to be a correct history of the progress of Aerostaties, but we are induced to wish she had not proferred blank verse to the more graceful flow of rhyme.
The Letter of Mrs Betty Brush proves either her own natural good sense, or the inspiring power of the Voltaic Battery, for her style is infinitely superior to her orthography, and her blunders, tho very amusing, are in consequence addressed more to the eye than to the ear.