Famous Reviews eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 560 pages of information about Famous Reviews.
nor can the Muse who dictated this to the slumbering Laureate be accused of any very extravagant or profuse invention.  We come, now, however, to allegory and learning in abundance.  In the first place, we are told, with infinite regard to the probability as well as the novelty of the fiction, that in this drawing-room there were two great lions couching at the feet of the Royal Pair;—­the Prince’s being very lean and in poor condition, with the hair rubbed off his neck as if from a heavy collar—­ and the Princess’s in full vigour, with a bushy mane, and littered with torn French flags.  Then there were two heavenly figures stationed on each side of the throne, one called Honour, and the other Faith;—­so very like each other, that it was impossible not to suppose them brother and sister.  It turns out, however, that they were only second cousins; or so at least we interpret the following precious piece of theogony.

Akin they were,—­yet not as thus it seemed,
For he of VALOUR was the eldest son,
From Arete in happy union sprung. 
But her to Phronis Eusebeia bore,
She whom her mother Dice sent to earth;
What marvel then if thus their features wore
Resemblant lineaments of kindred birth? 
Dice being child of Him who rules above,
VALOUR his earth-born son; so both derived from Jove.
p. 29.

This, we think, is delicious; but there is still more goodly stuff toward.  The two heavenly cousins stand still without doing any thing; but then there is a sound of sweet music, and a whole “heavenly company” appear, led on by a majestic female, whom we discover, by the emblems on our halfpence, to be no less a person than Britannia, who advances and addresses a long discourse of flattery and admonition to the Royal bride; which, for the most part, is as dull and commonplace as might be expected from the occasion; though there are some passages in which the author has reconciled his gratitude to his Patron, and his monitory duty to his Daughter, with singular spirit and delicacy.  After enjoining to her the observance of all public duties, and the cultivation of all domestic virtues, Britannia is made to sum up the whole sermon in this emphatic precept—­

  Look to thy Sire, and in his steady way
 —­learn thou to tread.

Now, considering that Mr. Southey was at all events incapable of sacrificing truth to Court favour, it cannot but be regarded as a rare felicity in his subject, that he could thus select a pattern of private purity and public honour in the person of the actual Sovereign, without incurring the least suspicion either of base adulation or lax morality....

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Famous Reviews from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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