Famous Reviews eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Famous Reviews.
taste of the Crutch.  He talks to me of Maga’s desertion of principle; but if he were a Christian—­nay, a man—­his heart and head too would tell him that the Animosities are mortal, but the Humanities live for ever—­and that Leigh Hunt has more talent in his little finger than the puling prig, who has taken upon himself to lecture Christopher North in a scrawl crawling with forgotten falsehoods.  Mr. Hunt’s London Journal, may dear James, is not only beyond all comparison, but out of all sight, the most entertaining and instructive of all the cheap periodicals; and when laid, as it duly is once a week, on my breakfast table, it lies there—­but is not permitted to lie long—­like a spot of sunshine dazzling the snow.—­Aug., 1834.


[From Blackwood’s Magazine, October, 1817]


When a man looks back on his past existence, and endeavours to recall the incidents, events, thoughts, feelings, and passions of which it was composed, he sees something like a glimmering land of dreams, peopled with phantasms and realities undistinguishably confused and intermingled—­here illuminated with dazzling splendour, there dim with melancholy mists,—­or it may be shrouded in impenetrable darkness.  To bring, visibly and distinctly before our memory, on the one hand, all our hours of mirth and joy, and hope and exultation,—­and, on the other, all our perplexities, and fears and sorrows, and despair and agony,—­ (and who has been so uniformly wretched as not to have been often blest?—­who so uniformly blest as not to have been often wretched?)—­ would be as impossible as to awaken, into separate remembrance, all the changes and varieties which the seasons brought over the material world,—­every gleam of sunshine that beautified the Spring,—­every cloud and tempest that deformed the Winter.  In truth, were this power and domination over the past given unto us, and were we able to read the history of our lives all faithfully and perspicuously recorded on the tablets of the inner spirit,—­those beings, whose existence had been most filled with important events and with energetic passions, would be the most averse to such overwhelming survey—­would recoil from trains of thought which formerly agitated and disturbed, and led them, as it were, in triumph beneath the yoke of misery or happiness.  The soul may be repelled from the contemplation of the past as much by the brightness and magnificence of scenes that shifted across the glorious drama of youth, as by the storms that scattered the fair array into disfigured fragments; and the melancholy that breathes from vanished delight is, perhaps, in its utmost intensity, as unendurable as the wretchedness left by the visitation of calamity.  There are spots of sunshine sleeping on the fields of past existence too beautiful, as there are caves

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