Obrázky na stránke


in it as the murders of Radcliffe High- tender object of the love of both its way, the saintly Prior meets the bloody parents, stands pretty much without Bertram with this exclamation : defence, even at the bar of that tribunal Prior. This majesty of guilt doth awe my spi- where love holds its partial sessions. rit--

• On the stage there should be no Is it the embodied fiend who tempted him Sublime in guilt?”

tampering with the Majesty of Heaven. Never was a murderer of a man in

Neither appeals, or addresses, nor power let off so well. He walks abroad prayers, nor invocations to the King a chartered ruffian ; and he who but a

of kings, nor images taken from his relittle before had been proclaimed as an

vealed word, or from his providences, outlaw, and his life declared to be for

or bis attributes, can be decorously or feited, is left, after the assassination of

safely introduced on the stage, or the greatest and most honourable man

adopted for the purposes of mere poeti

cal effect, in the country, to bold a long parley Objects of such tremendous reality are

or pretended situations. with monks and friars, and at last to die at his own leisure, and in his own

not the proper appendages of fiction. What occasioned the fall of They were intended only for ballowed Count Bertram and his banishment is uses, and not for entertainment or ornanot disclosed, but we are at liberty to

ment. Upon these grounds it seems to suppose it was rebellious and treasona

us to be a practice that cannot be justible conduct. The Prior, wbo seems

fied by any prescriptive usage of the to have known him well, alludes to the

drama, to blend the pure idea of Heaven similarity of his case to that of the and Heaven's King with the corrupt "star-bright apostate ;” and the main display of human passions, and repreground of his implacable hostility to sentations of earthly turinoils and disLord Aldobrand is the patriotic office before us as peculiarly deserving of

tractions. We do not mark the play with which he is invested of preventing

censure in this respect; but the passhim, if possible, from infesting the coast as a marauder, and chasing him out of age which follows has given us the opthe woods wherein he and his banditti portunity of boldly declaring ourselves were secreting themselves. It does not

on this subject, whatever credit we may appear that Aldobrand had vowed his

lose by it in the opinions of the more

liberal critics of these times. destruction, but on the contrary the Prior thus advises him,

Imo. Aye, heaven and earth do cry, impos.

"Flee to the castle of St. Aldobrand,
His power may give thee safety."

The shuddering angels round the eternal throne.
Veiling themselves in glory, shriek impossible,

But hell doth know it true."
* 30 that upon the whole there seems
to be a want of a sufficient provocation

• We take our leave of Christabel and to the horrid crime which Bertram com- Bertram, but not without adverting, as mitted, except a tendency by nature in justice we ought, to the great disto acts of blood and cruelty be suppo- parity between these productions in sed to have pre-existed in his mind, "the merits of the compositions. The and to bave prepared the way to the poem which has been denominated villany wbich followed. And when - wild and singularly original and beauall this is properly weighed, the despe- tisul,” is, in our judgment, a weak and rate love towards such a restless ill-dis- singularly nonsensical and affected perposed person in the mind of a gentle formance ; but the play of Bertram is Lady, unsubdued by a union with a kind a production of undoubted genius. The and noble husband, distinguished by descriptive as well as the pathetic force public fidelity and private worth, the of many passages is admirable, and the fruit of which union was a child, the rhythm and cadence of the verse 19

musical, lofty, and full of tragic pomp. lent itself to the trickery of Lord By. As the reader has observed, we have ron's cast of characters, and employed many serious objections to the piece, itself in presenting virtue and vice in and we cannot but greatly regret that a such delusive colours, and unappropriate mind like that of its author should have forms.'

ART. 4. Airs of Palestine, a Poem. By Job Pierpont, Esq. Baltimore.

B. Eddes.


SOON after the discovery of America, citizens, to names that would adorn the and when little was known of it, with annals of any age or nation ;

and in certainty, but its existence, a theory point of general information, intelliwas started, by some of the philosophers gence, ingenuity, and enterprise, we of the old world, highly derogatory to dread comparison with none. the importance of their new acquisition; It is true we have produced but sew -which was no less than that this authors ;-yet fewer bad ones, in proContinent was a sort of after-creation, portion, than is generally the case. when nature was in her dotage ; and we do not often see any but the more that in all her efforts in this hemisphere, approved works that appear abroad, we she betrayed manifest indications of are led to judge of the remainder by imbecility. A notion so suited to it. these specimens. From fallacious preter European pride readily obtained; mises, it is not wonderful that we should and as more pains are usually taken to draw a false conclusion. Probably not circulate calumny than to refute it, the one work in ten, that is published in belief may possibly yet prevail where Great Britain, survives the first edition, it was propagated.

and scarcely one in ten of this decima. The philosophers, however, bappen- tion ever reaches this country. We ed, for once, to be mistaken,- the fact have little idea of the number of volumes being directly the reverse of the hypo- that fall daily still-born from the press theses. The aspect of nature is both in the British metropolis. grander and more beautiful in America, But still, we are reproached because -her mien is more majestic, her fea- we have produced so few authors.--let tures are more varied and more lovely, their merits be as they may. We susher disposition is kinder, and her pro- pect that the old leaven of the original ducts are more liberal and diversified, error in regard to this country is at the than in any other quarter of the globe ; bottom of this argument, which is urged --and whatever grade, in the scale of by cavillers. The reason of this alleged, intellect, may be assigned to the abori- and admitted deficiency, is perfectly gines, we can now boast a 'race of men obvious, and in no degree impeaches who are able to vindicate their claims our capacity. Books are the manufacto the prerogative of talent.

ture of the mind ;--and precisely the We have no reason to blush at the same reason which has led us to rely character of our countrymen. We can on foreign skill and industry for many point, in the catalogue of our illustrious other fabrics, has indaced us to import

these--we could buy them cheaper ry other respect, and who are so fond of than we could make them.

praise, that they are wont to laud themLabour, both mental and manual, has selves on the slightest pretences, should been in too great demand, beretofore, in be willing to waive an undoubted right, this country, to permit us to weave and acquiesce in a charge of inferiority either poetry or cambric to advantage. in a particular, where degradation is Any man whose education and talents most galling to pride. We trust that our qualified him for authorship, could ob- countrymen will not, always, so undertain a more lucrative employment; and value their privileges and debase their there were few among us who could af- understandings. ford to make sacrifices to inclination. If under all these disheartening cir.

Even now, when the professions are cumstances, native genius still rears its crowded, and there are surplus talents crest, we may imagine what it would that

may be purchased at a reasonable achieve under more encouraging auspiprice, nobody is willing to bid for them, ces. The poem before us gives indu

-and why? We observed that books, bitable indications of poetic talent, like most other manufactures, might be which it requires only the ray of paimported cheaper than they could be tronage to mature to excellence, In wrought ;-this is emphatically true, vigour of fancy, richness of imagery, though the analogy does not strictly hold, and fertility of allusion, it is surpassed by for we pay nothing for foreign literature, the productions of no cotemporary bard; --that is to say, and it would seem rather whilst in chasteness of style, and purity paradoxical without this explanation, of sentiment, it forms a striking and our booksellers pay nothing for the copy- honourable contrast with the polluted right of foreign publications,—and, of taste and prostituted morals of the pocourse, our own writers can never fairly pular poetry of the age. enter into competition with foreigners,

The “ Airs of Palestine,” we are inin fancy articles, till they can afford to formed by the author, in an introduction offer their commodities on equally ac- of some length and much interest,“ is commodating terms. Yet even in that intended purely and exclusively as a event, we doubt whether disinterested religious poem.” The connexion belove of fame be as powerful a stimulus tween poetry and religion, was as ear. as the sordid love of gold ; though no ly as we have any evidences of the doubt a much more honourable source existence of either; and the best inte. of inspiration.

rests of both have suffered from their But even this meed is grudgingly be- severance. We rejoice that the muse stowed. We have so accustomed our- is returning to her first love, and hope, selves to read English books, that we that no rude hand may hereafter violate have adopted English prejudices ; and their union. Let us not be misunderare ready to join in a sneer at any stood ; we do not wish to check her attempt towards literary independence. cheersulness, nor to inhibit her gambols; It is a little extraordinary that a people —we would make her the sister, and svho are so jealous of their fame in eve- not the slave of virtue. The subject of

less rose.


this poem is . Sacred Music ;' and to See, there Parnassus lifts his head of snow ;

See at his foot, the cool Cephissus flow; trace the affinity between the exaltation There Ossa rises; there Olympus towers ;

Between them, Tempe breathes in beds of produced by sublime strains of solemn

flowers, harmony and the fervour of devotional Forever verdant ; and there Peneus glides

Through laurels whispering on his shady sides. feeling, and hence to infer its appro. Your theme is music :-Yonder rolls the wave,

Where dolphins snatch'd Arion from his grave, priateness as an accompaniment to so. Enchanted by his lyre :-Citheron's shade cial worship, is, apparently, the design Those potent air, that froin the yielding earth, of the poet; in the prosecution of Charm'd stones around him, and gave cities birth.

And fast by Hæmus, Thracian Hebrus creeps which he adduces many apt and forcible O'er golden sands, and still for Orpheus weeps, illustrations from sacred history, and Whose gory head, borne by the stream along,

Was stiil melodious, and expired in song: the volume of nature.

There Nereids sing, and Triton winds his shell;

There be thy path-for there the Muses dwell. The poem commences with the con

No, nom a lonelier, lovelier path be mine : fusion of language on the destruction of Greece and her charms 1 leave for Palestine.

There, purer streams through happier valleys the tower of Babel. Yet we are told


And sweeter flowers on holier mountains blow. that in this general wreck,

I love to breathe where Gilead sheds her ballu ; * All was not lost, though busy Discord Aung

I love to walk on Jordan's banks of palm; Repulsive accents, from each jarring tongue ;

I love to wet my feet on Hermon's dews; All was not lost; for Love one tie had twin'd,

I love the promptings of Isaiah's muse :

In Carmei's holy grots, I'll court repose, And Mercy dropp'd it, to connect mankind : One tie, that winds, with soft and sweet control, And deck my mossy couch, with Sharon's deathIts silken fibres round the yielding soul ; Binds man to man, sooths Passion's wildest strife,

The description of David's deliveAnd, through the mazy labyrinths of life, Supplies a faithful clue, to lead the lone rance of Saul, by the magic of his lyre, And weary wanderers, to his Father's throne. That tie is Music.

from the enchantment of the evil spirit, Our limits will not allow us to attempt

is highly animated, and contains a fana delineation of the plan of the poem.

ciful and original suggestion. We must content ourselves with pre

* As the young harper tries each quivering

wire, senting to the reader some detached It leaps and sparkles with prophetic fire, pictures. After celebrating the empire of And, with the kindling song, the kindling rays

A round his fingers tremulously blaze, musicover brute instinct,-its.sovereign. Till the whole hall, like those blest fields above,

Glows with the light of melody and love. ty over the soul, the poet proceeds, Soon as the foaming demon hears the psalm,

Heaven on his memory bursts, and Eden's balm, • To her, Religion owes her holiest flame :

He sees the dawņings of too bright a sky; Her eye looks heaven-ward, for from heaven she Detects the angel, in the poet's eye;

With grasp convulsive, rends his matted hair; And when Religion's mild and genial ray, Through his strain'd eye-balls shoots a fiend-like Around the frozen heart, begins to play,

glare; Music's soft breath falls on the quivering light ; And flies, with shrieks of agony, that hall, The fire is kindled, and the flame is bright;

The throne of Israel, and the breast of Saul ; And that cold mass, by either power assail'd, Exil'd to roam, or, in infernal pains, Is warm'd-made liquid—and to heav'neshal’d.' To seek a refuge from that shepherd's strains,

He cannot refrain from glancing, as But were we to copy every thing he passes, at the poetic traditions of that pleases us, we should extend our classic mythology

extracts beyond the bounds we have * Where lies our path ?--though many a vista prescribed to ourselves. Yet we do call,

not consider the performance perfect, We may admire, but cannot tread them all. Where lies our path ?-a poet, and inquire even in reference to its object; much, What hills, what vales, what streams become the lyre !

less would we assign to it a rank to VOL. 1. NO. I.




which it does not aspire. It possesses Displays his purple robe, his bosom gory,

His crown of thorns, his cross, his future glory; great merit; but we value it more for And, while the group, each hallowed accent

gleaning, what it promises to hope, than for what

On pilgrim's staff

, in pensive posture leaningit yields to fruition. We trust that this Their reverend beards, that sweep their bosoms, essay will meet with such a reception With the chill dews of shady Olivet, as to induce the author to give scope

Wonder and weep, they pour the song of sorto his imagination in some undertaking With their lov'd Lord, whose death shall shroud

the morrow.' equally worthy of his genius, and more

There are, too, some instances of commensurate with bis powers.

verbal alliteration that we cannot apWe have but one specific objection prove. This is an ornament that should to the · Airs of Palestine'-it annoys be used sparingly ; us with the frequent recurrence of dou- «The cross is crumbled, and the crosier crushid, ble rhymes.

In our opinion, they is, we think, carrying it a little too far, never consist with the dignity' of heroic though it is, generally, applied with verse, but, at any rate, should not be judgment and effect. brought into such proximity, as pains It is worthy, however, of particular the ear in the following lines.

remark and commendation, in these

slovenly times, that there is not a false • There, in dark bowers imbosomed, Jesus flings His hand celestial o'er prophetic strings;

quantity or rhyme in the whole poem.

ART. 5. A Sketch of the Life and Character of President Dwight, delivered as an

Eulogium, before the Academic Body of Yale College, by Benjamin Silliman,

Chem. Min. and Phar. Prof. New Haven. Maltby, Goldsmith & Co. IN Ñ the death of Dr. Dwight, the world His reputation as a writer may not, in

bas sustained a loss to which it is rarely deed, be enhanced by the present perexposed,

-that of a great and good man. formance ; but he has shown his good The Eulogy before us, is one of the many sense in not aiming, in a production of expressions of grief and affection ex- this nature, at a display of his rhetorical cited by this calamitous event through- powers. He has adhered, with laudable out our country. Professor Silliman, fidelity, to the discharge of the duty from his collegiate connexion and perso- assigned him, without diving into nal intimacy with the deceased, enjoyed pathos, or straggling into sublimity. an opportunity, which he knew both It is so rarely that we see either an how to appreciate and to improve, oration, or an address, written with any of becoming acquainted with the events degree of modesty or appropriateness, of his life, and of analyzing his character. that we cannot withhold the acknowHe has acquitted bimself creditably in ledgment of our obligation to Professor this attempt to exhibit a sketch of both. Silliman, for his signal forbearance on He has presented us with an interesting an occasion where his feelings were so outline of the bistory, and a just esti- likely to bave triumphed over his mate of the moral and literary merits of judgment. We hope that this commenthe distinguished subject of his Memoir. dable observance of decorum will be

« PredošláPokračovať »