人民网电视--吉林频道--人民网

Contemporary with Cowper was Mrs. Tighe, the author of "Psyche," an allegorical poem, in which the beauty of the sentiment made acceptable that almost exploded form of composition. But there was at this period a number of writers who had much more false than true sentiment. The euphuism of the reign of Queen Elizabeth broke forth in another fashion. A kind of poetical club was formed at Batheaston, the residence of Lady Miller, near Bath. She and her guests, amongst whom was Miss Seward, wrote verses, which they published under the title of "Poetical Amusements." A still more flaunting school set themselves up amongst the English at Florence, one of whom, a Mr. Robert Merry, dubbed himself "Della Crusca," whence the clique became known as the "Della Cruscan School." Amongst the members of it figured Mrs. Piozzi, the widow of Thrale the brewer, Boswell, Johnson's biographer, Mary Robinson, the younger Colman, and Holcroft, the dramatist, with others of less name. They addressed verses to each other in the most florid and extravagant style under the names of "Rosa Matilda," "Laura Maria," "Orlando," and the like. The fashion was infectious; and not only were the periodicals flooded by such silly mutual flatteries, but volumes were published full of them. Gifford, the editor of the Quarterly Review, and translator of Juvenal, attacked this frenzy in a satire called the "Baviad," and continued the attack in the "M?viad," which, however, was more particularly a censure on the degraded condition of the drama. This put an end to the nuisance, and Gifford won great fame by it; though, on referring to his two celebrated satires, we are surprised at their dulness, and are led to imagine that it was their heaviness which crushed these moths of literature. Gifford had himself a great fame in his day, which was chiefly based on his formidable position as editor of the Quarterly Review.

One of the events of the early part of this year was the capture of the Dutch island of Cura?oa, by a squadron under Captain Brisbane; but by far the most prominent naval transaction of the year was the seizure of the Danish fleet off Copenhagena proceeding which occasioned severe censures on Britain by Buonaparte and the Continental nations under his domination. The Opposition at home were equally violent in the outcry against this act, as in open violation of the laws of nations, Denmark then being nominally at peace with us. But, though nominally at peace, Denmark was at heart greatly embittered against us by our bombardment of its capital in 1801, and it was quite disposed to fall in with and obey the views of Napoleon, who was now master of all Germany, at peace with Russia through the Treaty of Tilsit, and, therefore, able any day to overrun Denmark. Buonaparte was enforcing his system of the exclusion of Britain from all the ports of the Continent, and it was inevitable that he would compel Denmark to comply with this system. But there was another matter. Denmark had a considerable fleet and admirable seamen, and he might employ the fleet greatly to our damage, probably in endeavouring to realise his long-cherished scheme of the invasion of England; at the least, in interrupting her commerce and capturing her merchantmen. The British Ministers were privately informed that Buonaparte intended to make himself master of this fleet, and they knew that there were private articles in the Treaty of Tilsit between Russia and France, by which he contemplated great changes in the North, in which Denmark was believed to be involved. Upon these grounds alone the British Government was justified, by the clearest expressions of international law, in taking time by the forelock, and possessing themselves of the fleet to be turned against them; not to appropriate it, but to hold it in pledge till peace. Grotius is decisive on this point:"I may, without considering whether it is manifest or not, take possession of that which belongs to another man, if I have reason to apprehend any evil to myself from his holding it. I cannot make myself master or proprietor of it, the property having nothing to do with the end which I propose; but I can keep possession of the thing seized till my safety be sufficiently provided for." This view would fully have justified the British Government, had nothing further ever become known. But subsequent research in the Foreign Office of France has placed these matters in their true light. The Treaty of Tilsit contains secret articles by which Alexander was permitted by Napoleon to appropriate Finland, and Napoleon was authorised by Alexander[540] to enter Denmark, and take possession of the Danish fleet, to employ against us at sea. These secret articles were revealed to the British Government. No man at this time was so indignant as Alexander of Russia at our thus assailing a power not actually at war. He issued a manifesto against Britain, denouncing the transaction as one which, for infamy, had no parallel in history, he himself being in the act of doing the same thing on a far larger scale, and without that sufficient cause which Britain could show, and without any intention of making restitution. We only seized a fleet that was on the point of being used against us, and which was to be returned at the end of the war; the horrified Czar invaded Sweden, while at peace, and, without any declaration of war, usurped a whole countryFinland, larger than Great Britain. Russia, in fact, had brought Denmark into this destructive dilemma by its insidious policy; but, having seized Finland, in five years more it committed a still greater robbery on Denmark than it had done on Sweden, by contracting with Bernadotte to wrest Norway from Denmark, and give it to Sweden.

MARSHAL SOULT. (From the Portrait by Rouillard.)