Imatges de pÓgina
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EDINBURGH:

Printed by David Willison,
FOR ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND COMPANY, EDINBURGII ; AND
LONGNAN, HURST, REES, ORME AND BROWX,

LONDON.

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EDINBURGH REVIEW,

JUNE 1815.

No. XLIX.

Art. I. Roderick: The Last of the Goths. By Robert

SOUTHEY, Esq. Poet-Laureate, and Member of the Royal Spanish Academy. 4to. pp. 477. London. 1814.

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Vis is the best, we think, and the most powerful of all Mr

Southey's poems. It abounds with lofty sentiments, and magnificent imagery; and contains more rich and comprehensive descriptions--more beautiful pictures of pure affection-and more impressive representations of mental agony and exaltation than we have often met with in the compass of a single volume.

A work, of which all this can be said with justice, cannot be without great merit ; and ought not, it may be presumed, to be without great popularity. Justice, however, has something more to say of it: and we are not quite sure either that it will be very popular, or that it deserves to be so. It is too monotonous too wordy-and too uniformly stately, tragical, and emphatic.Above all, it is now and then a little absurd—and pretty free quently not a little affected.

The author is a poet undoubtedly; but not of the highest order. There is rather more of rhetoric than of inspiration about him and we have oftener to admire his taste and industry in borrowing and adorning, than the boldness or felicity of his inventions. He has indisputably a great gift of amplifying and exalting; but uses it, we must say, rather unmercifully. He is never plain, concise, or unaffectedly simple, and is so much bent upon making the most of every thing, that he is perpetually overdoing. His sentiments and situations are sometimes ordinary enough; but the tone of emphasis and pretension is never for a moment relaxed ; and the most trivial occurrences, and.. fantastical distresses, are commemorated with the same vehemence and exaggeration of manner, as the most stariling incidents, or the deepest and most heart-rending disasters. This VOL. XXV. NO. 49.

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