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Vaughan’s Poems
by [?]

{Hosa esti prosphile–tauta logizesthe}.–ST. PAUL.

“What do you think of Dr. Channing, Mr. Coleridge?” said a brisk young gentleman to the mighty discourser, as he sat next him at a small tea-party. “Before entering upon that question, sir,” said Coleridge, opening upon his inquirer those ‘noticeable gray eyes,’ with a vague and placid stare, and settling himself in his seat for the night, “I must put you in possession of my views, in extenso, on the origin, progress, present condition, future likelihoods, and absolute essence of the Unitarian controversy, and especially the conclusions I have, upon the whole, come to on the great question of what may be termed the philosophy of religious difference.” In like manner, before telling our readers what we think of Henry Vaughan, the Silurist, or of “V.,” or of Henry Ellison, the Bornnatural, or of E. V. K., it would have been very pleasant (to ourselves) to have given, in extenso, our views de Re Poetica, its nature, its laws and office, its means and ends; and to have made known how much and how little we agreed on these points with such worthies as Aristotle and Plato, Horace and Richard Baxter, Petronius Arbiter and Blaise Pascal, Ulric von Huetten and Boileau, Hurdis and Hurd, Dr. Arnold and Montaigne, Harris of Salisbury and his famous uncle, Burke and “John Buncle,” Montesquieu and Sir Philip Sidney, Dr. Johnson and the two Wartons, George Gascoyne and Spenser’s friend Gabriel Harvey, Puttenham and Webbe, George Herbert and George Sand, Petrarch and Pinciano, Vida and Julius Caesar Scaliger, Pontanus and Savage Landor, Leigh Hunt and Quinctilian, or Tacitus (whichever of the two wrote the Dialogue De Oratoribus, in which there is so much of the best philosophy, criticism, and expression), Lords Bacon and Buchan and Dr. Blair, Dugald Stewart and John Dryden, Charles Lamb and Professor Wilson, Vinet of Lausanne and John Foster, Lord Jeffrey and the two brothers Hare, Drs. Fuller and South, John Milton and Dr. Drake, Dante and “Edie Ochiltree,” Wordsworth and John Bunyan, Plutarch and Winkelman, the Coleridges, Samuel, Sara, Hartley, Derwent, and Henry Nelson, Sir Egerton Bridges, Victor Cousin and “the Doctor,” George Moir and Madame de Stael, Dr. Fracastorius and Professor Keble, Martinus Scriblerus and Sir Thomas Browne, Macaulay and the Bishop of Cloyne, Collins and Gray and Sir James Mackintosh, Hazlitt and John Ruskin, Shakspeare and Jackson of Exeter, Dallas and De Quincey, and the six Taylors, Jeremy, William, Isaac, Jane, John Edward, and Henry. We would have had great pleasure in quoting what these famous women and men have written on the essence and the art of poetry, and to have shown how strangely they differ, and how as strangely at times they agree. But as it is not related at what time of the evening our brisk young gentleman got his answer regarding Dr. Channing, so it likewise remains untold what our readers have lost and gained in our not fulfilling our somewhat extensive desire.

It is with poetry as with flowers or fruits, and the delicious juices of meats and fishes, we would all rather have them, and smell them, and taste them, than hear about them. It is a good thing to know all about a lily, its scientific ins and outs, its botany, its archaeology, its aesthetics, even its anatomy and “organic radicals,” but it is a better thing to look at itself, and “consider” it how it grows–

“White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure.”

It is one thing to know what your peach is, that it is the fruit of a rosal exogen, and is of the nature of a true drupe, with its carpel solitary, and its style proceeding from the apex,–that its ovules are anatropal, and that its putamen separates sponte sua from the sacrocarp; to know, moreover, how many kinds of peaches and nectarines there are in the world, and how happy the Canadian pigs must be of an evening munching the downy odoriferous drupes under the trees, and what an aroma this must give to the resulting pork,[1]–it is another and a better thing to pluck the peach, and sink your teeth into its fragrant flesh. We remember only one exception to this rule. Who has ever yet tasted the roast pig of reality which came up to the roast pig of Charles Lamb? Who can forget “that young and tender suckling, under a moon old, guiltless as yet of the style, with no original speck of the amor immunditiae–the hereditary failing of the first parent, yet manifest, and which, when prepared aright, is, of all the delicacies in the mundus edibilis, the most delicate–obsoniorum facile princeps–whose fat is not fat, but an indefinable sweetness growing up toward it–the tender blossoming of fat–fat cropped in the bud–taken in the shoot–in the first innocence, the cream and quintessence of the child-pig’s yet pure food–the lean not lean, but a kind of animal manna–coelestiscibus ille angelorum–or rather shall we say, fat and lean (if it must be so) so blended and running into each other, that both together make but one ambrosial result.” But here, as elsewhere, the exception proves the rule, and even the perusal of “Original” Walker’s delicious schemes of dinners at Lovegrove’s, with flounders water-zoutched, and iced claret, would stand little chance against an invitation to a party of six to Blackwall, with “Tom Young of the Treasury” as Prime Minister.