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As it is the object of these sheets to narrate some of the actions, as well as to make some remarks on the writings of Mrs. More, it will not, I conceive, be unacceptable to the reader, and it will be doing justice to the world, now that her controversy with the Curate of Blagdon is still raging, and while his friends, the clergy of the church, by her secret manæuvres are defamed by her and her co-adjutors, to contrast the sentiment in the last quoted passage, by inserting one from the “ Controversy."
“ Thus, Mrs. H. More refuses to the Curate of Blagdon, “ contrary to every principle of equity, to every rule of jus“ tice, what the laws of the land never denies to any cul“prit, to the most atrocious felon, to the most detestable " traitor; namely, a copy of the charge, and a list of the “ witnesses. Yes, H. More, not openly but covertly, ac“ cuses a regular bred clergyman of the church of Eng“ land; with palpable design to ruin his reputation; to alien66 ate his friends ; and surreptitiously snatch from his possess6 sion the moderate remuneration of unreinitted attention " and assiduous labour ; for no other apparent reason but 6 that he dared to apprize her of her teacher's extravagancies « in his own parish. THIS AND THUS, DID Mrs. H.
“ MORE.” Bere's Cont. p. 3. : False rhymes enough-" come & room;" “ known and bon-ton;" “ own and town,"
Another sentiment extracted from Florio, with a contrasting action from the Blagdon war.
" When malice longs to throw her dart,
« Then by one slight insinuation,
« And scars indelible remain.” “ For Mrs. More's retractive behaviour, and her people's “ uncommon virulence, I could not account, nor was I in“ formed of it till the 5th of Aug. when Dr. Crossman, at « Monkton, gave me to understand that accusations against « me, which I could never see nor hear, had been sent by 6 Mrs. H. More to the Chancellor and the Bishop, that
those were forwarded to him ; that in his reply, he spoke 6 of me as a person he had well known near 20 years; that 66 this his letter had been sent to Mrs. H. More; that in “ consequence, the lady opened immediately a correspondence “ with him, and added more accusations, and also enclosed “ a letter of Mr. Descury's, containing similar matter.”
One more sentimental selection from this poem, with a TRANSACTION, to prove how piously H. More can write, and how virtuously she can act.
" That night no sleep his eyelids prest,
“ The broken images of things;
- Swallowing the draught Despair had mixt;
To Dr. CROSSMAN. “ Dear Sir, “ Grosvenor Place, Jan. 17, 1801. “ I have heard so much of Mr. Bere's conduct, and am 66 so justly offended at it, that I think it my duty to recom.66 mend it to you, to dismiss him from your curacy. Your 66 own good sense and zeal for the cause of religion, will 6 immediately point out the propriety of it. I am, dear Sir, “ your faithful and humble servant,
« C. Bath and Wells.” “ Notwithstanding the object you proposed, pursued, and “ had apparently once nearly effected, was to rob me of my “ character; and although you then proceeded to deprive me 66 of my curacy and living, and degrade, and dismiss me, “ aged and infirm, stamped with ignominy, branded with “ crimes, a houseless wretch, to wander about my solitary " way, soliciting and living on the casual bounty of abhor“ ing man,” &c. Bere's Address, p. 2.
We meet next with a short poem on the SLAVE TRADE; and almost in the threshold two obscure lines are a stumbling-block.
“ Since no resisting cause from spirit flows
“ Thy universal presence to oppose.”
But although I commiserate the guilt of the woman rather than despise her, a gleam of congenial fire, a spark of genius, even though it should be at second-hand, shall not pass unnoticed. I will be just, even to an enemy. Although I know whence they came, I like to see them, even in their present form.
“ Perish the proud philosophy, which sought
“ Does matter govern spirit? or is mind
« No: they have heads to think, and hearts to feel,
“ From the wild vigour of a savage root.”
The following twelve lines are, in the matter and verse, I believe, original; and if any theme could inspire, the fate of the noble Qua-shi must awake.
“ No Muse, O Qua-shi !* shall thy deeds relate, - No statue snatch thee from oblivious fate! « For thou wast born where never gentle Muse “ On valour's grave the flow'rs of Genius strews; “ And thou wast born where no recording page “ Plucks the fair deed from Time's devouring rage. -“ Had Fortune plac'd thee on some happier coast, “ Where polish'd Pagans souls heroic boast,
* It is a point of honour among negroes of a high spirit to die rather than to suffer their glossy skin to bear the mark of the whip. Qua-shi had somehow offended his master, a young planter, with whom he had been bred up in the endearing intimacy of a play-fellow. His services had been faithful ; his attachment affectionate. The master resolved to punish him, and pursued him for that purpose. In trying to escape, Qua-shi stumbled and fell; the master fell upon him: they wrestled long with doubtful victory; at length Qua-shi got uppermost, and, being firmly seated on his master's breast, he secured his legs with one hand, and with the other drew a sharp knife; then said, “ Master, I have been bred up with you from a child ; I have loved you as myself: in return, you have condemned me to å punishment of which I must ever have borne the marks -thus only I can avoid them :” su saying, he drew the knife with all his strength across his own throat, and fell down dead, without a groan, on his master's body.
Ramsay's Essay on the treatment of African Slaves.
6. To thee, who sought'st a voluntary grave,
“. Altars had smok’d, and temples had been rear’d.” Pious and scrupulous as H. More professes herself to be, we yet see that her religion, to use her own words, is “ a convenient one," and that if it favours poetry, any thing can be got by or made of the idea, she has no objection to employ the Pagan mythology, nor to express her approbation of selfmurder, which is called a "fair deed.” Whatever may be said of the Pagan mythology, which indeed has afforded elegant subjects for the fine arts, I am not so happy as others by invariably approving of it. Pure philosophy, the boundless circuit of nature, genuine history, sacred and profane, afford abundant subjects equally for the poet as the painter and statuary, without any recourse to fable.But, as she has it, “ Poets, indeed, to do them jus« tice, are always ready for any mischief.”
The following passage is the information laid before the House of Commons, thrown into verse,
There is no poetry; but my extracts are the best the volume can furnish.
• Whene'er to Afric's shores I turn mine eyes,
The shrieking babe, the agonizing wife!