Графични страници
PDF файл

which cries aloud in the breast of the heathen as in that of the Christian—“ Thou shalt do no murther." Before the final fall of the curtain, we see the high-souled Roman who could, so dearly did he prize the honour of his name, immolate even his child, the “ essence of his best blood,” for its preservation, sunk in mental apathy, and deprived of that towering majesty of reason on which he had built his acts, and justified his conduct. This is an humbling, but an admirable lesson; a lesson which impressively reiterates the undeniable axiom, that we are not justified in “ doing evil that good may come.”

It is gratifying, too, to see that the same hands which were imbued in the blood of the daughter, become the avenger of her wrongs, and even in the dotage of their possessor, the liberator of his country, Appius Claudius falls beneath the grasp of Virginius, and, this just retribution given, returning reason glances across the brain of the hapless father, and is completely reinstated in its throne by the sight of the urn which contains the spotless ashes of his Virginia. But life departs as mind is restored, and he expires in articulatiug that much-loved name.

The intention is here so good, the idea so impressive, that I wish I could forget that the incident of the urn has the appearance of stage trick, and that the humiliation of the Roman creates pain. I am happier in recalling to my recollection the admirable manner in which the love of Virginia for young Icilius is revealed at once to the audience and to her father.

Lucius Icilius, the lover, delivers some noble passages, but his character wants uniformity and sustained vigour. His “ free affianced bride” often reminded me of the beautiful maiden delicacy of Juliet. Is it possible to praise her more highly? The character of Siccius Dentatus, an old, and from his services, both long and warlike, a privileged adviser, and administrator of caustic reproof, is as felicitous in the conception, as it is spirited in the execution. The language is often bold, vigorous, and poetical. In short, Virginius, if it be not a tragedy of the Shakspeare calibre, may and will take a high place in the dramatic literature of an age which, till it appeared, produced nothing superior to the Bertram of Maturin, and the Brutus of Payne.

* * * * * * * * The Duc de Biron was either the most debauched and heartless villain that ever breathed, or the most mendacious braggart since the time of him to whom Ferdinando Mendez Pinto, that liar of the first magnitude, was but a type. Nursed in courts-patronised by ministersfavoured by a king-loved, as he says, by a queen-hospitably and munificently entertained in a foreign country, he yet became a Jacobin leveller, after having lived a grovelling and traitorous spy, and worthily met an unpitied fate on a scaffold to which he had sent others. That the court of France was debauched under the sway and example of Louis XV. will be admitted by all; that it had but little improved during the reign of his unfortunate son, many believe; nay, that courts and courtiers, under other dynasties than that of the Bourbons, are, from their nature some will say, examples of vice and its debasing effects, however polished and perfumed, may be with some truth asserted; but that in high and fashionable life in all countries, men and women indiscriminately, and in defiance of the most solemn engagements, violate the obligations of morality, cannot be believed on the evidence of such men as Lauzun.

* * * * * * In a curious work, called the “ Letters of a Jewish Spy," published in France many years ago, an Arabic theory of the earth is stated, which shows that the ideas of Dr. Hutton were not altogether new, and also that Neptuneism has anciently been carried to a much greater extent than it ever was in the present day.

The theory conceives all created beings to have been originally aquatic in their nature, and necessarily so, because it sets out with the belief that the earth from its creation was but “a world of waters, vast and wide,” till that element, gradually diminishing by evaporation and absorption, left the higher portions of the globe uncovered. · When this had taken place, accident and design, it inculcates, gradually, and in the progression of innumerous years, familiarised certain species of created beings to a life entirely on terra firma, and others to an amphibious state; and it supports these strange conceptions, by reference to the undoubted fact, that all animals can for a time, however brief, support life immersed in water.

'Twas summer's eve-yet winter clung

Close to the skirt of May,
Although the bawthorn blossoms hung

Like silver on the spray;

Yet balm was in each breath of air,

And sunshine on the plain,
For one who hallowed all was there-

But cannot be again!
And what was all the chill of spring-

Although in climes like ours
We find it not what poets sing-

And what these lingering showers,
Since she was kind, and from her eye

Love's radiance fondly beamed :
I could have wished even then to die,

Where earth so heaven-like seemed !
-'Tis past-that hour returns no more,

And we are far apart;
Yet still within the sheltering core

Of this poor broken heart,
The memory of that time shall dwell,

Like buried gems and gold,
- Still bright, within its silent cell,

As these, though still untold !

warm The Maximist. No. III. That light blue with which ladies threaten to line and trim their bonnets for the summer, is decidedly in good taste for fair complexions.

It is with the mind as with the soil-it must be allowed to lie fallow occasionally; and when so unemployed, its possessor is no more to be called idle, than a skilful farmer at one period of the rotation of his crops is to be called lazy.

The freaks of women of intellect it is easy to pardon; but in the follies of those without it, there is nothing redeeming or palli. ative.

To those of whom we stand in awe, we give, or have given, the command over our thoughts as well as our actions.

LOCAL LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.-No. II. Since our first article under this title, the extent to which we have been inundated with contributions for our second paper will hardly be credited. Why, we have as many notices beside us as, is inserted at length, would fill a volume of themselves, even if it were as large as the “ Edinburgh, Leith, and Glasgow Advertiser". for whose columns they seem much more adapted than for the pages of any periodical with pretensions to literature, however small. Positively-aware, perhaps, of our vast circulation did it come within the scope of our plan to accompany “ THE ANT"

with as many pages " not its own"-as certain periodicals do, like a man-of-war with a convoy of luggers laden with merchandisewe would make a fortune; but we will not trench upon the department of either a Free Press or a Scots Times, so must reluctantly reject the half-guinea which accompanies the card announcing where “ Young Ladies may be Taught to Languish, and Elderly Gentlemen to Ogle, with or without a Quizzing-Glass;" as also that offering for sale 73 Queen Anne Farthings and other Rarities, “ Warranted Genuine" and the suggestion for a Register Office, where Ready-Made Thoughts may be heard of, and Second oneswhich are often best-obtained at a fair price. The proposed “ History of Effects without Causes, and Causes without Effects” is, however, more in our way; as also the announcement of “ The Bridgegate Album, and St. Margaret's Place Magazine of New Jokes and Old Habits ;” and of « A Series of Ground Plans and Architectural Elerations for Castles in the Air, upon Tissue Paper, and with Fly-Leaves." To give the full title of the specification of the Patent for making Silk Purses from Sows' Ears, would exceed our limits, we fear; as also of that for Bleaching Cobwebs, and Fashioning them into Ladies' Ball Dresses. The • Echo" -“ Ancient Ruins in fine Preservation” and “ View over Nine Counties," must also be sold without our intervention; but we shall ourselves take up the. Historical Review of the Clubs of Glasgow, from “ The Post Office-King Cowl-Stallion and Hooker,” to the “ Royal Langside Encampment Lodge of Odd Fellows."

Silver sounds! ye form the key
That opes the gates of memory!
Music's tones ! yours is the spell
Can call deep love from out its cell —
Yea, more than woman's looks—her voice
Hath made me sorrow or rejoice.
Music! Passion! Love !-bright three,
I kneel before your trinity:-
And silver sounds will ever be
The casket spring of Memory!
Ob! the bliss that you have given,-
Foretaste of your native heaven!
Ah! the hours that have been mine,
Spell-bound at thy vocal shrine !
Ye have sped, but yet ye live
In the mem'ries that ye give.
Hear I not, when she is far,
Thy plaintive echoes, Lochnagar !
Ah, silver sounds! you'll ever be
The guardian of her Memory!


Wednesday Evening. If it were not, my charming coz. that the delight of writing to you repaid me for the dismal labour which I have sometimes to undergo in procuring materials for those hebdomadal reports, which your highness requires at my hands, of " what is going on in Glasgow,” I should almost repine to-night, that, in the performance of that duty, I was obliged, in thin shoes and a dirty drizzle, to leave Blackwood's two new numbers, and the Military Sketch Book, that I might not be tempted to draw upon my invention when writing to you, dearest, but only describe what I really saw. Yes, Mary, I actually braved the atmosphere of the Minor Theatre, in the blessed month of May, to be able to tell you that others beside its Magnus Apollo make beasts of themselves! The person calling himself Gouffe, whether he you have read and wondered at, I know not, with a face bedaubed with soot and brick.dust, made himself even more beastly than the ape he soared to personate, libelling Buffon and Cuvier, and bringing contempt upon the Simia tribe. The very ourang-outangs who had assumed - red coats, that I told you of, stayed away in disgust, so you may guess the miserable nature of the thing, where the major part of Alexander's company fight for dirty fragments of stale biscuit, thrown out of a greasy bag by the paws-upon which he had previously danced a hornpipe-of this monster, and munch them with all the greediness of men who had not seen the ghost of bread and butter for a fortnight. It was almost as offensive, though not half so diverting as the moon-struck rhapsodies, t'other night, of " Mr. Kirkland, brought up at the feet of the Talent, but especially the long time Favourite, and now, the only Successive disciple--Lecturer, -of the late celebrated Mr. Hamilton, Professor of Elocution, and the uni. versally acknowledged FATHER OF ELOQUENCE!” Somehow or other, he had contrived to collect an audience, tolerable in point of number, and singular in its composition, to hear his ravings on the “ Natural, Philosophical, Pathognomical, and Onomatopoeical” principles of Eloquence, drawn together by his absurd programme, and exhibition of himself through the streets across a raw-boned horse, whose stirrups reached to the calves of his “two wicked looking legs," which huny far. beneath their “ circumscription and confinement." — Ano ther quack, almost as mad, but not half so funny, lectured lately at great length, on Short-hand writing, and advertised himself as “ comic," although, to the cost of his auditory, their jaws were extended, during four hours, with a movement as violent but not so agreeable as laughter. But I will not be querulous; for, to be just, the pleasure I receive from going

« ПредишнаНапред »