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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 560 pages of information about Famous Reviews.
their own weapons, by virtue of that very terseness, clearness, and manliness which they neglect, has been gathered to the limbo of the Crashawes and Marines, his “Song of the Shirt” and his “Bridge of Sighs,” will be esteemed by great new English nations far beyond the seas, for what they are—­two of the most noble lyric poems ever written by an English pen.  If our poetasters talk with Wordsworth of the dignity and pathos of the commonest human things, they will find them there in perfection; if they talk about the cravings of the new time, they will find them there.  If they want the truly sublime and awful, they will find them there also.  But they will find none of their own favourite concetti; hardly even a metaphor; no taint of this new poetic diction into which we have now fallen, after all our abuse of the far more manly and sincere “poetic diction” of the eighteenth century; they will find no loitering by the way to argue and moralise, and grumble at Providence, and show off the author’s own genius and sensibility; they will find, in short, two real works of art, earnest, melodious, self-forgetful, knowing clearly what they want to say, saying it in the shortest, the simplest, the calmest, the most finished words.  Saying it—­rather taught to say it.  For if that “divine inspiration of poets,” of which the poetasters make such rash and irreverent boastings, have, indeed, as all ages have held, any reality corresponding to it, it will rather be bestowed on such works as these, appeals from an unrighteous man to a righteous God, than on men whose only claim to celestial help seems to be that mere passionate sensibility, which our modern Draco once described when speaking of poor John Keats, as “an infinite hunger after all manner of pleasant things, crying to the universe, ’oh, that thou wert one great lump of sugar, that I might suck thee!’”

ANONYMOUS

NOVELS FOR CHRISTMAS, 1837

[From Fraser’s Magazine, January, 1838]

If[1] against the inroads of the evangelical party the orthodox church has need of a defender, it hardly would wish, we should think, to be assisted tali auxilio.  Mrs. Trollope has not exactly the genius which is best calculated to support the Church of England, or to argue upon so grave a subject as that on which she has thought proper to write.

[1] The Vicar of Wrexhill.  By Mrs. Trollope.  London, 1837.

With a keen eye, a very sharp tongue, a firm belief, doubtless, in the high church doctrines, and a decent reputation from the authorship of half-a-dozen novels, or other light works, Mrs. Trollope determined on no less an undertaking than to be the champion of oppressed Orthodoxy.  These are feeble arms for one who would engage in such a contest, but our fair Mrs. Trollope trusted entirely in her own skill, and the weapon with which she proposed to combat a strong party is no more nor less than this novel of The Vicar of Wrexhill.  It is a great pity that the heroine ever set forth on such a foolish errand; she has only harmed herself and her cause (as a bad advocate always will), and had much better have remained home, pudding-making or stocking-mending, than have meddled with matters which she understands so ill.

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