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reject with contempt, even though injudiciously offered, the advice of the companion of Plato.

The object of these papers being merely to present a few specimens of each of the plays of Euripides, I need only remark that the present tragedy is supposed to take place after the destruction of Troy, when Hecuba and her daughter Polyxene are captives in the camp of the Greeks. Hecuba. Maiden, with a voice so mild,

And a face so like my child,
While upon thy arm I lean,
Memory goeth forth to glean.
From the

flowers of other years
'Tis a harvest-home of tears!
List! the festal-song is pealing,
And the warrior minstrel kneeling ;
But the spirit's joy is o'er,
I am Hecuba no more!
Maiden, link thy hand in mine,
Let my bosom rest on thine.
Voice of the thunder, cloud of night,
Visionings of fear and fright,
Wherefore, in the love-watch, tell,
Doth my heart shudder at your spell,
When a dim-seen face goes by,
Shrouding its features from my eye?
Earth, thou darkness of a wing,
Dream of our imagining !
In the midnight hushid

and deep,
A voice of grief is on my sleep,
And a vision'd form is taking
The eyes of one I love when waking.
Powers of earth, be reconciled,
The mother prayeth for her child
The one on whom her hope is rested,
The one on whom her heart is nested.
There will be a voice to-morrow
Singing to the child of sorrow,
For my heart doth shrink and swell,
It knows the song of sighs too well.
Oh, that my watching eyes might trace
The future on Cassandra's face!
I saw a white fawn dappled o'er,
But its breast was stained with gore,
It look'd up in its woe to me-
The red-wolf tore it from my knee!
Listen! on his glory's token,
Achilles' phantom-voice hath spoken,
Cold and deep a whisper ran,
From lip to lip, from man to man.
The cry of blood rose dark and wild,

Father of heaven! my child-my child ! The fears of the mother are realised the lot has fallen upon her daughter, who is doomed to make an atonement with her blood, to the injured shade of Achilles. It remains with Hecuba to communicate the intelligence.

Polyx. 'Mother, mother, thy tiding should be joyful,

That like a bird from its festivity,

Thou call'st me forth, to listen to thy charming.
Hec. Woe is me, my child—my child !
Polyx. Why dost thou sigh my child'? it tokeneth

Sadly to me.
Hec. My blessed daughter!
Polyx. Speak to me, mother, for my heart doth shrink

And shudder at thy meaning.
Hec. My darling child, thou art the nursling

Of thy mother's sorrow.
Polyx. Why dost say so?
Hec. Thy days are numbered, my child !
Polyx. O ever sorrowing, ever grief-worn mother,

The spirit's hand lieth heavy on thee;
Thy home; thy friends,-all, all are vanished,
And even this thy child is taken from thee!
Ņever, oh, never more, my voice shall be
A memory to thee-my feet shall toil
With thine no more—the link of our bondage
Is rent asunder;
For thou shalt see me, like a gleeful fawn
Nursed i' the forest, torn e'en from thy fondling
From, light to darkness, and thy waking eye
Shall find me not-I shall be garnered
Into the bosom of our kindred.
Not for my youth of tears, the sigh that lullabyed
My infancy-oh, not for these I sorrow,
Tis for thee, my mother,--but as to me,

To die, to be at rest, 'twere far better!
My concluding specimen shall be

O pride of my country! the cheek of the foeman

Shall never more pale at the flash of thy name,
The song of thy beauty is wither'd, and no man

Will bow down his head at the shrine of thy fame.
Lift up thy voice, for the crown of thy brightness,

Pour out thy tears for the child at thy knee,
Thy altars--the smoke is over their whiteness,

Ilium the beautiful, Ilium the free!
Farewell to thy cloud-mantled temples, the rout,

The rush of the battle is foaming along,
The laugh of the war-horse goes up with the shout,

The prayer of the fainting, the curse of the strong.
O fairest of cities! the voice of the singer

May never more sound in thy desolate halls,
Thy Priestess shall mourn, for the night prayer will bring her

No fire to her altar, no spell to her calls.
'Twas night, and the dancer's foot, flower-breath'd, dying,

Like the voice of a Grecian stream lonely and deep,
And the wandering voice of the cittern came sighing

In the glow of a thought on the hush of our sleep.

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Thy garlanded tresses hung darkling around me,

(The charm* of my early days slept by my side)
I loosened the bright wreath of jewels that bound me,

In the day of my gladness, the night of my pride.
A fearful voice broke like a cloud on our slumber,

The rushing of chariots, the trampling of feet,
Daughter of Ilium, the foe without number! -

The cry of the stranger is heard in thy street!
I started from rest, roll'd billowly and deeper

On the thick breath of midnight the death-cry of joy,
The red-sabre glared on the face of the sleeper,
The ruin-cloud dwelt on the towers of Troy!



One of the most promising improvements in the literature of modern times is that which has taken place in the recording of time as it passes. From the ancient periods almost the only thing that has come down to us, detailed in any thing like a circumstantial manner, is the success with which one part of the species harassed and destroyed another, and the instruments and means which they employed for that purpose. In spite of the wars and desolations, the over-runnings, depopulatings, and carryings into captivity, of which ancient story is so full, the sciences must have been studied and the arts cultivated ; because, apart from the written records that have come down to us, the memorial of the conqueror is seldom found except in the ruins which he made of the labours of others.

It is true that we have some particulars of the philosophers, and one or two anecdotes of mathematicians and artists; but the former are the histories of systems rather than of men, or of the means by which they arrived at those systems—and the second have more affinity to those baseless marvels which we are accustomed to hear about the mechanics and artists of our own times, than to any analysis of the process by which grace of form is delineated, or efficiency of combination effected. There is hardly a country of which we cannot name the conqueror, either in ancient or modern times; and we come not to a ruin, without being able to name the man by whom, and the year in which it was razed. But when we pass from the progress of evil, and turn our attention to that of good, when we turn from the spoilers of mankind, and seek to know what were the steps and proceedings of those by whom they have been civilized and benefited, we find it less than a blank. We are well informed as to who have most largely prevented the culture of the fields, or trampled down their produce after they have been cultivated; but as to who invented the plough or the spade, the record of fact is silent, and the record of fiction bears imposture upon its front. Look into any history of inventions,-take eyen the labours of such interminable turners over of leaves and collaters of codices as Professor Beckmann; and to what conclusions do you arrive even by the most laboured and level of their ways? The general conclusions are these: first, great uncertainty as to who was the inventor or discoverer of the substance or the operation in question ; and secondly, equally great uncertainty as to whether the ancient substance or operation was identical with, or totally different from the modern one of which the inquirer is labouring to find the origin. Of all that has come down to us from periods earlier than the fifteenth or even the sixteenth century, we have the result merely; but we must receive the operator with extreme caution; and of the operation itself we know nothing. Now it is not the thing done, but the how to do it that forms the permanent value of human labour; for the choicest result may be deranged and must decay; but the process by which it is produced, when accurately registered and duly remembered, is permanent as the human race. The truths of geometry hardly form an exception to this; for though we know in whose writings they are first recorded, we seldom have any collateral evidence that the recorders were the inventors; and as they are generally first mentioned in a synthetical form, and must have been arrived at by the analytical process, the presumption, amounting to more than a probability, is, that they were discovered long before the date of the record.

* Priam.

It is the same in all nations: those whom we call the ancients went back to the gods and the demi-gods: the Hindoos do very much the same thing; the Fo-his and Fum-yoos of the Chinese put one in mind of the words of consolation given by one Highlander to another, when greatly affected by some tale of cruelty, distant both in space and time

-“ Whisht! whisht, Donald! dinna greet-its sae far awa,' an' sae lang syne, may be it's no' true.” The cairns and circles of stones are usually attributed to the Druids; the Welsh give the devil the credit of the great dyke by which they have at some time or other been built up; the Scotch Lowlanders refer all the “out-of-date castles” to the Picts; and the Highlanders give the giants credit for all the artificial, and some of the natural, wonders of the land,-as for instance, the mountain of Craig-Ellachie, in Strathspey, which is neither a tender nor a trifling one, was hacked from the neighbouring group by one blow of the scimitar of Fingal; and a mass of loose stones in Inverness-shire, which would twice load all the ships in the Thames, were carried forty miles one morning in the apron of Fingal's lady, and might have been carried forty more before sun-set if the string had not broken where they now lie. Those facts shew that in the absence of truths in this most important department of history, the imaginations of men will invent superstitions; and thus it is perfectly evident that while there is great value in the information itself, there is a natural appetite in mankind greedy and glad to receive it.

In this department of philosophical history, and it is more philosophical than much which gets the name, the academies and societies have been of considerable service to the world; by rendering studious life, which had previously been altogether solitary, or social only in the monastic cells, to a certain extent social among laymen. It is true

that establishments of this kind are to a great extent aristocratic and exclusive; but the real value must not be despised on that account. They were not, as it were, the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which was to diffuse and sustain intellectual strength among the people; but they were the blossoms-the petals, gay and pleasant to look upon,they sheltered the germ in its nascent state ; could not then have been dispensed with till it fecundated and had begun to swell, though they may not be essential to it when further expanded; and may, from the analogy of the vegetable world, be supposed to become useless and probably to drop off, before it comes to full maturity. Now to prepare against this casualty--to make its happening or not happening a matter of indifference, and to answer the far more important purpose of sowing genius and success, by first sowing the love of them, few means are more effective than keeping individuals, industrious for their talents, and the application of those talents, frequently before the public; not in the way of dull and tedious chronologies, but by touches of their real character, and of that of their labours. No man, now living, is better adapted for this purpose than John Leslie, Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh.

Though Mr. Leslie has had more extensive opportunities of acquiring information than most other philosophic men of the day, those opportunities have in general not only been improved, but sought for and obtained by the activity of his own genius, and the ardour of his love for information. Indeed, that he went to College at all, or was put in the way of gaining renown in any one of those numerous fields in which he has subsequently gained so much, was more the result of his own genius than of any predetermination on the part of others. He was born in the village of Largo, on the south coast of Fifeshire, where his father was a respectable farmer, and where his brother still pursues the same avocation, joined to that of timber merchant. Both the father and the brother were and are very respectable in their character and information—the brother, in particular, is a man of sterling good sense.

As most of Leslie's relations were engaged in rural affairs, it is probable that he himself was originally destined for the same occupation. As is the case with boys in many parts of the Lowlands of Scotland, he attended school during the winter months, and kept the cattle in the summer, though the near vicinity of the school enabled him to attend partially all the year round.

By this means the chain of his early studies was never broken; and probably his rural occupation during part of the summer days was in all respects of considerable advantage. To his physical constitution it unquestionably added strength, and we are inclined to think that it gave to his mind much more vigour and elasticity, than if he had had nothing to attend to but scholastic exercises. The mind must be formed, and if it is to be a philosophical and by consequence an inventive one, we suspect it must in all cases form itself; and therefore, if we were to point out the ladder by which the eminence of knowledge were to be climbed, we should place time to form the mind, apart from all didactic education, and circumstances under which to form it, as among the most essential steps.

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