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sions, did not forsake him in his ad- although considerably aged, Maidens ! versity. This junction enabled our whose toilet is made on the primerosed hero to rally, and pursue in his turn: banks of Helicon! Ye who, bending a pitched battle was again fought, o'er the mirror of its glassy water, somewhere about the Brigg of Doon gaze on your unfading charms, the or Alloway Kirk; when both sides, as soft carnation of whose cheeks no is usual, claimed a victory; but, how, years can wither, the lilies of whose ever this may have been, it is believed skin no sorrows have defaced ! Ye, that this disaster, which happened A. in whose school the youthful Homer D. 1712, had slaked the thirst of Bil- conned his immortal task, and who ly's ambition : He was many years in hung with the freshest garlands of the rccovering from the effects of this great sky the cradle of the infant Shakpolitical error ; indeed, it had nearly speare! Ye who appear to have lived proved as fatal to the fortunes of Billy for ever, yet are ever young,
who Marshal, as the ever memorable Rus- have sung for ever, yet have never tired, sian campaign did to Napoleon Bona- -whilst responsive to your melody, parte, about the same year in the suc- your accomplished leader and near receeding century:
lation, Apollo, strikes on his golden It is usual for writers, to give the lyre the inexpressive symphony,--hear character along with the death of their me, ye gentle ladies ! breathe but one prince or hero : I would like to be ex- whisper of approval ; bend but for a cused from the performance of any moment your illustrious eyes on these such task, as drawing the character incipient labours. Sprinkle
Sprinkle on the of Billy Marshal ; but it may be done head of your youthful votary in a few words, by saying that he little palmful of celestial dew; and had from nature a strong mind, with gild, with one immortal smile, his a vigorous and active person ; and daring efforts, who is about to soar that, either naturally or by acquire into the world of unknown existence.' ment, he possessed every mental and And now, having discharged my conpersonal quality, which was requisite science of this debt of invocation, I for one who was placed in his high can proceed with a lighter heart to my station, and who held sovereign power narration, confident of the assistance over his fellow creatures for so great a of these discreet gentlewomen, whom, length of time: I would be glad if you know well, sweet and judicious I could, with impartiality, close my reader, to be none other than the intelaccount here; but it becomes my lectual accoucheurs to all poets in the duty to add, that, (from expediency, straw. it is believed, not from choice) with The moment my aerial companion the exception of intemperate drinking, had waved her wand, a deep and siltreachery, and ingratitude, he prac- very cloud rose, as it seemed to me, tised every crime which is incident to from the little stream that murmured human nature,—those of the deepest hard by. Ascending slowly, but condye, I am afraid, cannot with truth stantly extending itself as it arose, it be included in the exception: In short, in a short time had enveloped the his people met with an irreparable whole prospect; and the hills, the loss in the death of their king and woods, the rivulet itself, and all the leader ; but it never was alleged, that lovely scenery of the landscape, began the moral world sustained any loss by to float before my eyes, like the green the death of the man.
L. fields of Yemen in the visions of the Edinburgh, May 26, 1817.
faithful. In a few moments they entirely vanished, and I found myself surrounded by the same thick cloud,
which seemed however to be gradualFRAGMENT OF A LITERARY ROMANCE. ly assuming a more decided colour, Continued from p. 387.
although its deep and waving curtain
still left me utterly unable to divine And now, when I consider the great- what was passing beneath it. ness of my subject, it is quite impos “ Listen,” said my Conductress, "and sible for me to proceed without a suit- try if you can discern any sounds in the able invocation.
cloud?” I listened deeply attentive, “Come, then, ye blessed Muses ! and methought I could distinguish ye immortal Nine! ye ever beautiful, something like the faint and distant
hum of voices. After a short time the and the sides of many of the lower sounds became deeper, and this was hills were richly fringed with woods, the first circumstance which gave me which extended themselves into the the suspicion, that, although insensi- valley, not in those unmeaning clumps ble to any thing like motion, I was affixed by the niggard rules of art, actually travelling through the heavens but in those grand and liberal masses to some unknown region. Of the which mark the unsparing hand of truth of this I became soon satisfac- Nature. Towards the upper end of torily convinced. For, keeping my the valley, and partly hid by the windeyes
fixed intently on the cloud be- ing form it had assumed, and the woods fore me, I could discern its whole which in some places broidered its body begin to assume slowly a mild banks, was a pure and transparent lake. and rosy hue (not unlike that lovely It was studded and beautified exceedcolour which, after sunset, you may ingly by many little islands; and as have seen in a clear December even its surface was as pellucid as a mirror, ing): the murmur of the voices I had it is impossible for me to describe that before heard became more audible, lovely and softened scene which shone and at last, looking stedfastly before reflected beneath the quiet of its wave. me, I could distinguish several dim These islands were partly wooded ; and indistinct figures, sometimes move and, embosomed in their groves, i ing, sometimes at rest, in the cloudy could discern the spires and colonnades medium.
which seemed to me the dwellings of “ We shall soon reach the end of this world above.* our journey,” said my beautiful Con Throughout the valley I perceived ductress. “You already discern in the many groups of figures, which, as they distance some of the inhabitants of the wandered along the borders of the Paradise of Philosophic and Literary lake, or winded through the alleys and Spirits. When I say Paradise, I here passes in the wood, seemed engaged use the word not so much in the sense in conversation or in search of amuseof your own language, as in that of its original Greek derivative, rapadors,
After writing this description of the an enclosed situation; for you will
Paradise of Literary Spirits (the outline of
which is borrowed from Bernier's beautiful soon perceive that there are many com
account of the Valley of Kashmere), I met paratively inferior spirits here, whom with the following fine picture of the Celtic you would hardly expect to meet with Paradise. in what you might have erroneously “ The isle spread large before him like supposed, from its being so much more a pleasing dream of the soul, where disbeautiful than your own earth, a li- tance fades not on the sight--where nearterary heaven.”
ness fatigues not the eye. It had its gently As she spoke we had arrived on a
sloping hills of green, nor did they wholly kind of eminence; the cloud with bright and transparent, and each involved
want their clouds. But the clouds were which we had been surrounded be- in its bosom the source of a stream: a beaucame gradually thinner; and, as its
teous stream, which, wandering down the waving folds tinged with a rosy hue, steep, was like the joint notes of the halffloated slowly in the breeze, it dis- touched harp to the distant ear. The val. closed from beneath it, at intervals, lies were open and free to the ocean. Trees that beautiful picture which now
loaded with leaves, which scarcely waved to stretched itself in varied extension be the light breeze, were scattered on the green low me. I saw an extensive valley, winds walked not on the mountain. No
declivities and rising grounds. The rude surrounded on all sides by a range
storm took its course through the sky. All green mountains, which appeared at a
was calm and bright. The pure sun of au. great distance. Their height was con tumn shone from the sky on the fields. He siderable, their outline bold and strik- hastened not to the west for repose ; nor ing. In the little vallies, which form was he seen to rise in the east. He sits in ed themselves between these moun his noonday height, and looks obliquely on tains, I could discern the sparkling of the noble isle. In each valley is its slow numberless rivulets, which, flowing
moving stream. The pure waters swell down their parent hills like so many fields. The showers disturb them not ; nor
over the banks, and yet abstain from the veins of diamond, watered and cooled
are they lessened by the heat of the sun. the valley, and gave an uncommon On the rising hills are the halls of the deverdure to the scenery through which parted, the high-roofed dwellings of the they flowed. The ground was varied; heroes of old.”
ment. Some companies were seated or Spirits of Gennistan, so deservedly on the green banks of the little streams famous in Arabian romance. They which flowed into the lake. Some are composed of so pure and etherial were walking in those islands which an essence, that if their little tunics studded its bosom, or were busy in were removed, you would be surprised culling the flowers, whose fragrance at the transparency and beauty of their perfumed the air around me. Others, shape. This is in some measure ocseated beneath some spreading tree, casioned by their living entirely on or reclined on the mossy carpet at its the odours of flowers, which they ime root, seemed devoted to philosophic bibe from those little baskets which discussion; whilst a few solitaries were you see in their hands.”—“Those little seen wandering in some of the more gentlemen then, said I, “who surprisdistant groves, or had retired to court ed me by burying their heads in their the solemn intercourse of their own baskets, are probably inhaling their thoughts in the more secluded corners fragrant dinner on the corner of the of the landscape.
cloud yonder.—“You are quite right,” We now entered the valley itself; she replied; and raising her wand in and looking up, I saw, to my aston- the direction where the Peris were asishment, in the air, a great number sembled, one of them immediately of beautiful little mortals, or rather perceived the signal, and came flying immortals, with wings on their backs, towards us, having slung his basof variegated colours and very rich ket or flower-scrip on his shoulder ; plumage, and dressed in airy vest- alighting, he bent one knee to the ments of every different tint which ground, and, placing his hand on his can be conceived. Some were stand- forehead, made the Eastern sign of ing in groups, seemingly as easily in obeisance,-then springing lightly up, the air as ourselves on the ground. he waited in silence for our orders. Others, fluttering about, were chasing “Peri," said my Conductress, “what each other in sport. Some, with bas- is going on amongst my literary friends, kets in their hands, and seated on the your masters, in the valley? I have corner of a cloud, were poring with brought a stranger with me, my partheir little heads into the baskets (an ticular friend, and I could wish to have occupation afterwards explained to something new and striking,-soine me). Others were employed in dan- great public sight, or rare and signal cing ; but the figure was unlike any occurrence, which might be worthy of thing I had ever seen before, being his notice.”—“Dear mistress,” replied half-flying, half-hopping ; whilst their the little Spirit, “you could not possimusician, a gay little gentleman, with bly have arrived at a more happy time. his pipe and tabor, sat in the air; and, The gaieties of our valley have but · whilst his eyes sparkled with delight, just commenced ; and this
very night, and his feet quivered with anxiety to Paulius Jovius gives a rout at his villa join them, kept clapping his wings in on the lake ; and to-morrow there is unison to his own music.
to be a select hop at Hugo Grotius', in At this sight I could not conceal my honour of his little daughter Cornelia. astonishment. An exclamation of de- The very last cards which I distributlight escaped me, and I turned to my ed were to Torquato Tasso and Sir Conductress. “These beings," said she, Thomas Urquhart; but it is most for“ whose appearance seems to give you tunate that, owing to Scipio and Læso much pleasure, are the servants or lius being absent on a tour, I have domestics of this Paradise. We em still two left.” Saying this, the dear ploy them in all our errands, and they Peri pulled out, from below the folds are none other than the Eastern Peris,* of his tunic, two purple-coloured cards
with golden letters on them, * and pre* “ Dans le Caherman Nama (Roman fameux de Perse) les Dives ayant pris en The agency of these little spirits has been guerre quelques unes de ces Péris les enfer at length introduced into English poetry in mèrent dans des cages de fer, qu'ils suspen Moore's very charming romance of Lalla dirent aux plus hauts arbres qu'ils purent Rookh, under the tale of Paradise and the trouver, où leurs compagnes les venoient de Peri, in which all the warm imagery, and temps en temps visiter, avec des odeurs les all the glowing colours of an Eastern imagiplus precieuses. Ces odeurs, ou parfums nation, are united to illustrate a nobler moral étoient la nourriture ordinaire des Péris." than is generally found in Oriental Poetry. D'Herbélot, Bibliothique Orientale, sous • The richest books of the ancients were le mot Péri.
written upon purple-coloured parchinent,
sented them to me and my Conduc- the first who introduced this verbiatress. On the first I could read, gerie. He was, however, a great man,
“ Paulus Jovius at home and I respect his genius. But this from 9 to 12."
lady, sir,--Why, Rousseau is nothing And on the second, Hugo Grotius re
to her.” quests the honour, in the usual style, I was so perfectly thunderstruck at and dated, Villa Grotiana. Having hearing this violent exordium of the acquitted herself in this polite manner, old sieur's, and directed too against the Peri addressed herself to flight, one of the most eloquent and popular but first pointing to a figure which we authors of the present day, that I now saw approaching us, see there,” stood for some time in perfect sisaid she, “ yonder comes the Sieur de lence. Montaigne, as talkative a gentleman He, however, like all Frenchmen, as any in the valley. He will give you more attentive to the elucidation of his all the news; and, as his acquaintance subject than to the dispositions of his is most extensive, you could not have audience, pursued the point in a still a better Cicerone.” Saying this, she severer strain of invective. Here, made another obeisance, sprung up sir,” said he, (holding out the small into the air, and joined her com Treatise De L'Influence, des Passions) panions. Montaigne coming up soon
“ here is a work, sir, professedly on after, immediately joined us, and
did the passions, but truly embracing alample justice to the character the Peri most every subject der heaven. This had given him. He was a dark, ill, I have had the consummate patience favoured, strong made, little man; and to read from beginning to end without I perceived he had been reading a understanding a single syllable. Nay, book, which, on addressing us, he im- had it been from end to beginning it mediately closed. With that spirit had been quite the same thing to me. of polite officiousness which is the This work, in short, sir,” said he, afcharacteristic of his nation, he told us fecting great gravity, but smiling insihe had observed the Peri giving us diously as he spoke, “ this work will cards, of course to Paulus Jovius' rout, be read when Pascal, Fontenelle, and and that he would think himself for- Voltaire, -when, in the words of tunate in having the honour of accom Madame herself, our grands prosateurs panying us. “ I was most agreeably are forgotten,*--but not till then. I interrupted," said he, “by your arrival, have been very prolix and talkative,” for I had just been reading, or rather said he, “but this was always a fault fretting, for the last hour, and that's a of mine. Long ago, in one of my Esgreat deal for me, over a work which says (the one on Books I think),
+ I has but lately arrived from your world professed my utter detestation of all (turning to me), a French work too, long winded introductions, all prefaces, and by a gentle countrywoman, Ma- divisions, etymologies, and exordiums. dame de Stael; but from such extra- What then must I think of this lady, ordinary verbiage, such unmeaning who is all preface and exordium theorizing, Heaven hereafter defend throughout. my poor head.
She's a remarkable “ But criticism is useless herewoman too, and has some great ideas she is too old, sir, far too old an ofand truly original thoughts about her, fender to mend.
Were she young, but such a volubility of words--such there might be some hopes of her, but a successful obscurity—such terms of she is past her grand climacteric. She unknown and nysterious meaning, has got pretty far down in that dark that to one who is an old author like avenue which she tells us terminates myself, and uninitiated in this new in the agony of age:-her style and school, all the sense there is seems obscurity, her philosophic mysteriousstrangled in the birth, and smothered ness, has
grown with her growth. Osin its efforts to get to light. “ That rascal of ours, Rousseau, was
“ These poems, said Porson (speaking
of some ephemeral productions of his own with letters in liquid gold. These gorgeous day), will be read when Homer and Virgil species of manuscripts are alluded to both are forgotten, but not till then.” by Propertius and Ovid. The covers of + Book II. C. 10. Vol. II. their manuscripts also were often enriched # In Delphine, Madame de Stael uses with precious stones.
this singular term.
sibus inhæret, It is quite irreclaima- begin. In writing those works, which ble.”
are occupied on subjects of reasoning “You certainly are much too severe, and philosophy, you must be conductsir,” I ventured to observe, although ed through passages, which ought to the old gentleman had worked himself be plain and perspicuous, to conclusions up into a state of irritation, which which are at once forcible and satismade it somewhat of a dangerous ser- factory. Then indeed, when in the vice to thwart him, especially as I was course of these reasonings, the author, a mere mortal and he an enraged ghost. conducted naturally by the greatness “ This lady has perhaps many of the of his subject, rises without effort from faults you mention, but you judge the more sober regions of demonstrafrom her earliest and most imperfect tive truth, into illustrations which acperformance. Read Corinne, sir; read quire an impressive eloquence from the De la Litterature ; read, said I, gain- dignity of the truths to which they ing courage, her work on Germany. relate, then indeed we can follow him It is in these you will recognise her with pleasure—we can peruse him genius,-it is in these you will dis- with enthusiasm. It is the gem of cover her real eulogium. I allow cer- eloquence glittering in the setting of tainly, that in these also there are truth; but when an author, who sets great faults. Her obscurity,-her high- out in obscurity, begins blustering sounding phrases,-her often unmean with unmeaning eloquence in his exing expletives,-and all the imposing ordium, or, before he has well stated apparatus of verbiagerie, are not un- his object, bursts out into some exsparingly employed; but these faults clamation of mysterious triumph, or are redeemed by so many brilliant pas- unintelligible rapture; this, sir, (with sages,-by such enchanting descrip- all due respect for your authoress) is tions,—by such touching and eloquent what I must, judging by my antiquatappeals,-and, pardon me most res- ed notions of criticism, call the very pectable sieur, by so high a strain,-by height of absurdity and self-conceit, so pure a tone of moral feeling, that But come, come; we have had quite few, very few, will rise from their enough of Madame de Stael ; I see I perusal without admiration for her have not convinced you, so we had uncommon and original mind.” better change the subject, and, fortun
“ Well, well,” said Montaigne, ately, here comes, in good time, a most you are evidently yourself infected intimate and amusing friend of mine, by this new style of philosophising, Sir Thomas Urquhart. Perhaps you and will probably be one day or other have met with his renowned works ; intruding upon your unfortunate world if so, I must tell you, he is just as some treatise or dissertation, contain- odd as they are. Amongst us here, ing as much brilliant nonsense, and indeed, he passes for one of our enchanting appeals, as your wrong most entertaining and extraordinary headed Instructress. But hear me for spirits. All his strange theories and a moment. I am, as you see, an old uncommon phraseology he has conand experienced ghost. You are evi- scientiously imported with him from dently a middle-aged and inexperience the other world. Sir Thomas,' ed mortal. Take my word for't, this continued he, as the learned knight style of writing won't last. It is not of Cromarty began solemnly to adof the re perennins kind. It won't, vance, • let me introduce you to a like some other unfading productions gentleman who has just arrived from of your age, strike its roots into one the other world. He is, I assure you, century, and flourish brighter and none of those self-sufficient spirits, fairer through the next. It is too whom, under the significant terms of much like Charlatanerie ; before one archæomanetick coxcombs and pristincan be eloquent he must be undere ary lobcocks, you censure in that ne. stood.* Mystery and verbiage must ver-to-be-forgotten treatise, your Incease before conviction or instruction troduction to Universal Language.'
Although Montaigne is evidently too unnecessary parade and premeditated elosevere, and very strongly prejudiced by his quence in writing. notions imbibed from the old French writers,
Ridentem dicere verum the literati of the ancien regime, yet there Quid vetat. is perhaps some truth in his criticisms on • Sce Sir Thomas Urquhart's Tracts. Vol. I.