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liberality too well to blame “ Christopher," for using the word cant, as 'tis quite impossible that the moral philosopher,' can know any thing at all about it.
" The concluding stanza," he proceeds,“ seems to be a general favourite:
• And I have loved thee Ocean—and my joy, &c.' and is often quoted—nor is it uninteresting as characteristic of the Poet's youth. But it comes awkwardly upon the heels of its predecessor, and is but poorly written: nor could we ever see the grandeur of
_ ' And laid my hand upon thy mane,' though we never could fail to see the absurdity of as I do here' -his lordship being at that moment on ship-board, whereas in his ‘joy of youthful sports' we presume he was swimming-occasionally on his back-and we are willing to believe, borne like thy bubbles onward,' fairly out of his depth and without bladders.
Alas! poor Byron! and must thou owe to the land that nurtured thy promise-bud, and first fed the fount of thy youthful inspiration, the damning blot, of being the earliest to crush thy opening beauties--the last to vilify thy almighty genius ?.-shall the land of mountain and of flood,' the land of
Thy boy feelings-all thy gentler dreams
Like Banquo's offspring—" be the only soil that could generate a Zoilus of posthumous vituperations—a renegade who could wrench in misappliances the upward stirrings of thy daring spirit,and unallow thy Promethean aspirations to be judged by aught save the standard of mathematical frigidity ? Shall the might--the power the intellect the immortal mind that wrung fame from eternity and anticipated futurity, be now food for the intempestive pasquils of hyperborean gall, or subject for the poison-ypointed stylum of malign criticism. And shall he who inhaled the poet's life on the shores of the Archipelago-who, like a sea-bird sported in the classic waves round old Ægina's rock and Idra's isle,' and cut the Hellespont like a native of the deep-' a child of the billows'-shall he be catechised by one whose utmost limit of voyaging transgressed not the shores of the Bass Rock or Burnt Island, or haply extended during long vacation to a cruise in a fishing smack as far as Cromarty Bay or the Pentland Firth* _Neptune forbid !
We have not room to mention the many 'bah's'-' ha. ha's'— 'nonsense's'—'folly's '—'absurdity's'-'this big-mouthed bluster with an infant's cry-and phrases such like with which this amiable criticism abounds; but we shall take leave to conclude our notice by two extracts, in "The Laird of Cock-pen's” own words, written soon after the publication of Canto 4, of Childe Harold, and whichi must plainly indicate the present dotage of Christopher among
* We beg the reader's pardon-we have since ascertained that our Criticship did make one extensive voyage from Leith harbour to St, Catherine's Docks.
the Mountains,' or the rancorous spleen of the Scotch Reviewer, because England chooses to elevate in her temple of Fame, a statue to the greatest of all modern poets. Yes, that is the secret! A monument is about to be erected in Westminster Abbey to Lord Byron, and straight an army of Scotian saints and English casuists starts up in horror and dismay at such a profanationhis lordship, be it known, not being as immaculate as a bishopand Christopher, the great northern mouth-piece, thunders forth his anathemas and his spleen-the first, because the Church must be endangered from so awful a departure from moral judicature-the last, because his modesty tells him, when he dies, the utmost he may hope for is, a waxen continuation of his portly person, in Baker-street, at Madame Tussaud's exhibition of generals and cut-throats. We have done-let · The Laird of Cock-pen' conclude by giving himself the contradiction direct.'
[" The whole of this canto (the third,) is rich in description of nature. The love of nature now appears as a distinct passion in Byron's mind. It is a love that does not rest in beholding, nor is satisfied with describing, what is before him. It has a power and being, blending itself with the poet's very life. Though Byron had, with his real eyes, perhaps seen more of nature than ever was before permitted to any great poet, yet he never before seemed to open his whole heart to their genial impulses. But in this he is changed; and in this and the fourth cantos Childe Harold, he will stand a comparison with the best descriptive poets, in this age of descriptive poetry.”] Contrast that with the first part of this notice. ["It was a thought worthy of the great spirit of Byron, after exhibiting to us his pilgrim amidst all the most striking scenes of earthly grandeur and earthly decay-after teaching us, like him, to sicken over the mutability, and vanity, and emptiness of human greatness, to conduct him and us to the borders of 'The Great Deep.' It is then that we may perceive an image of the awful and unchangeable abyss of-eternity, into whose bosom so much has sunk, and all will one day sink, -of that eternity wherein the scorn and the contempt of man, and the melancholy of great, and the fretting of little minds, shall be at rest for ever. No one but a true poet of man and of nature, would have dared to frame such a termination for such a pilgrimage. The image of the wanderer may well be associated, for a time, with the rock of Calpe, the shattered temples of Athens, or the gigantic fragments of Rome; but when we wish to think of this dark personification as of a thing which is, where can we so well imagine him to have his daily haunt as by the roaring of the waves? It was thus that Homer represented Achilles in his moments of ungovernable and inconsolable loss for Patroclus. It was thus he chose to depict the paternal grief of Chriseus• Bν δ'ακεων παρα 9ινα πολυφλοισβοιο θαλασσης. "
.'”] DES--D RY_N. REVIEW OF BOOKS.
Leila; or, The Siege of Granada : and Calderon the Courtier. By Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, W. Longman & Co.
This book relates to the last dynasty of the Moors in Spain; but being a work of fiction, treats more on machinations of a noble Jew, and on the barbarous usage of the Hebrews by the Christians, than on the differences between Spaniard and Moor. The incidents of the tale are meagre, and of a common class; but they are written with such force, power, and elegance, that the want of interest is scarcely noticed in the admiration that is felt for the language. Why it was called Leila we cannot imagine. The Jew, Almamen, is decidedly the hero; and his beautiful daughter, Leila, though intended for the heroine, has so little to do with the tale, that the character deserves not that appellation. The Jew is a character drawn in the most powerful manner, with a strength of imagination rarely surpassed; and though acting the part of an impostor, it is with a dignity and nobleness superior to that barbarous age. Almamen's hold over the mind of the Moorish king, by the aid of supposed magic, is adapted to the superstition of the age, and is well described; the vacillating temper of the king under the sway of the enchanter's arts, is exceedingly natural. The scene in which the Jew is brought before the Holy Inquisition,” is well and powerfully told, though rather overstrained, and the flames that envelop Almamen's person most unaccountable. Very finely described is the interview between the Queen of Spain and the Jew, wherein she informs him of the apostacy of his daughter; but for power of language, nothing in the book equals the description of the last battle fought for the monarchy of Granada; and the following short extract not only shows the elegance and beauty of the language, but well depicts the noble firmness and courage of Muza, chief of the Moorish army.
“ But still a small and devoted remnant of the Moorish Cavaliers remained to shed a last glory over defeat itself. With Muza, their soul and centre, they fought every atom of ground: it was, as the chronicler expresses it, as if they grasped the soil with their arms. Twice they charged into the midst of the fue: the slaughter they made doubled their own number; but gathering on and closing in, squadron upon squadron, came the whole christian army-they were enco
ncompassed, wearied out, beaten back, as by an ocean. Like wild beasts driven, at length, to their lair, they retreated with their faces to the foe; and when Muza came the last, -h imitar shivered to the hilt,—he had scarcely breath to command the gates to be closed and the portcullis lowered, ere he fell from his charger in a sudden and deadly swoon, caused less by his exhaustion than his agony and shame. So ended the last battle fought for the monarchy of Granada."
The scene in the convent, when at the moment Lelia is about to renounce the faith of her fathers and take the vows of the Christian religion, Almamen and Muza appear, is one of the most interesting, but cannot be dwelt upon with pleasure. The rising of the populace, after terms of capitulation are offered to and accepted by the Moors--the threatened attack on the Spanish camp -the offer of Almamen to lead the mob-and his subsequent murder, are decidedly the most powerful and interesting incidents, and are written with nearly as much beauty of language as any part of the work. The character of the Jew throughout is most admirably drawn, and is very superior to the heroes of most novels of the present day. The character of the noble warrior, Muza, is well told, and his love for the Jewess most sweetly described : the scene between him and Leila in the garden of Almamen's house, is most delightfully written, and one of the happiest in the tale. Ferdinand of Spain, and Boabdil of Granada, are well told common characters; but Tornas de Torquemada, chief of the Inquisition, is worthy of more notice: this character is drawn with a master's hand. The holy priest is a fanatic, gloating on the blood of his victims: we imagine the author gently glides over some of these fine qualities; but the wily means by which the priest prevails on Ferdinand to sanction his horrible proceedings against the Jew and his daughter, well depicts the character of the man. The females of this tale, and of all Bulwer's productions, meet not our expectation; they are over-perfect, love-sick, childish creatures—wanting that something that soul which, excepting JAMES, no existing novel writer realises. Leila should have been a fine and noble character: she is beautiful-very beautiful-but that is all, and the other females of this novel are of the same cast. Beauty and force of language are the most predominant features of this production: it is one of the most elegant of Bulwer's works, and, with the illustrations, (fifteen in number, and, of course, a portrait of the author,) as an additional recommendation, Leila will become as popular as The Pilgrims of the Rhine. The engravings, however, are inferior in choice of situation, design, and execution, to those in the latter work.
A short tale, Calderon the Courtier, makes up the volume. We have, however, devoted too much space to Leila, to enter into detail either on the incidents or the merits of this work. It is an interesting and serious story, written with much the same elegance and beauty of language as the preceding; and relates to some intrigues at the Court of Spain, in the time of Philip V. The characters are drawn with great skill and power, and we heartily recommend our readers to peruse the volume.
Several new works have appeared lately, amongst which we may mention, “Woman of the World,” “ Glanville Family,” “ Duty and Inclination,” “ Land Sharks and Sea Gulls,” &c.; but as we have not had time to read them, we '
must defer any further notice till our next number,
Two new pieces in the course of the month have been produced with success at this theatre. Mr. Buckstone's comedy, A Lesson for Ladies, and Mr. Haynes Bayly's farce, Tom Noddy's Secret.
A Lesson for Ladies, (brought out on the 5th ult.,) is taken from the French, and contains far too much nonsensical intrigue to greatly please an English audience. It is needless for us, at this time, to enter into any detail of the plot-suffice it to state, that it is complicated. There are, however, some whimsical scenes that are worthy of notice, and cannot fail to amuse. That wherein the Countess de Clairville and her daughter-in-law, Mademoiselle Delbieuz, are waiting the return of their messenger, is very ridiculous; but the best scene in the comedy, is the meeting in the garden at night between Mademoiselle Delbieux and Gibelotte, and the confession, by the supposed lover, of a previous marriage. The conversation between the pair being carried on, “ for decorum sake,” through the lady's maid, elicits roars of laughter, and is certainly the happiest in the comedy. The last scene is good, but has not the wit and humour of the two we have mentioned. Miss Taylor did her best in Mademoiselle Delbieux, and were it not for the affectation of her manner, her acting would be excellent. Mrs. Glover performed the Countess Clairville with her usual spirit and judgment, but did not look the character so well as she usually does the parts she undertakes. Mrs. Fitzwilliam's Barbara, (the lady's maid), was excellent, and she sang a burlesque operatic song with much humour, which only escaped an encore on account of its length. Mr. Walter Lacy acted the part of St. Val with great spirit; it is not, however, a character in which any great power of acting is required. This gentleman has a peculiar mannerism in walking the stage and in his action, which he will do well to avoid as much as possible—we shall be happy to see him in some better character. Mr. Webster performed the trifling part of Gibelotte extremely well. Mathieu, of itself a mere nothing, was made to tell by Mr. Buckstone; his acting was vastly amusing, and produced roars of laughter. The comedy was well received, and at the fall of the curtain the author was unanimously called for by a large and fashionable audience. We cannot close these remarks without stating that great praise is due to the management for the superb excellence and consistency of the dresses of every character in the comedy. We could wish that the lessees of other theatres would pay the same attention to costume as Mr. Webster does. In most plays at other theatres the performers are dressed