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think upon thee, which is more virtuous than the sterner pangs of noble ambition; or the perils of unbending heroism!'
"Thus did I continually talk to myself. On one of those days, which I had spent within the house, among my books, and in deep musings, twilight was coming on, when a sudden gust burst open the folding doors at each end of the room, and I thought I saw distinctly pass through them the figure of Mrs. Bruce, who held a bloody dagger in her hand, and seemed to frown and shake her disheveled locks at me. Horror seized me; my hair stood an end; drops of cold sweat stood on my face, and for some moments my senses fled: a little time afterwards my servant found me with eyes fixed, and my lips muttering slowly some inaudible words. Many days passed before I recovered this afflicting vision.
"But why should I detail to The Sylvan Wanderer these rovings of an intellect which most persons will deem maniacal? How much I have since suffered; and the tale of torn affection that I have yet to tell, are you or your readers inclined to listen to? If you are, strange as it may appear, it will be a relief to my bursting heart to relate it! To interest the melancholy, to purify by agitation the stagnant bosom, is now my best, almost my only amusement!
» H. w. w."
September 6, 1813.
The Sylvan Wanderer dedicates the present number to two beautiful Sonnets, received this morning from the eloquent, and highly-gifted author of "Childe Alariqve" which, though not intended for publication, he ventures to take the liberty to make this use of, confident that every reader of taste will think of them as he does.
TO THE REDBREAST.
August 24, 1813.
And thou already hast renewed thy lay,
How many a glittering train in rich array
Of visions wild that wont to charm my way!
That frequent on my harassed fancy prey.
O soothing Influence of Autumnal skies,
And gleams of Hope and Confidence arise:
There is nothing which gives a poetical description more interest than obscure allusions to ancient circumstances of National History, which, when softened by the veil of Time, allow the imagination its full range, and give it room enough to trace its characters with a freedom and wildness that satisfy a picturesque and romantic taste. With what skill and vividness does the following short poem touch the chords of the fancy, and set them into play!
On Visiting the mined Castle O/finella, Countess of Angus.*
When on the melancholy heath no ray
Mid these wild scenes, how sweet to waste the day,
Sooth'd by reviving Fancy's magic sway;
And all around obscure illusions play!
Then tones aerial meet the charmed ear,
Departed chiefs and glittering dames appear,
Wild voices shout Revenge! in accents clear,
11. p. G.
■ Who contrived the assassination of Kenneth II. in revenge for that monarch's murder of her son at Scone.
"«<**$♦ ^^ 4-^«►. .
"To bitter scorn a sacrifice,
September 7, 1813.
A Dark day, with rain by fits, and a stirring wind, which begins already to shake the leaves from the trees, renews something of an Autumnal vigour of mind. Fancy loves to recall the dead from their graves, and converse not only with their books, but their persons.
Robert Greene and his Writings have been among the objects of research of literary curiosity for eighty years. So far back I have seen a note of Oldys registering his anxious inquiries about them: for even then they rarely occurred even to a diligent collector. Large prices are now given even for his most trifling pamphlets. Mr. Haslewood, in " Centura Literaria" viii. p. 380, has given a Memoir of this author, in which he has endeavoured to rescue his character from the obloquies so generally thrown on it.
I must confess, that in the posthumous pamphlet, entitled, " Greene's Groats-worth of Wit, bought with a Million of Repentance? 1592, of which there were
six more editions between 1600 and 1637, there are passages which give too much reason to think that the vicious character, which has been given by most biographers, of this unhappy author, is too well founded. Mr. Haslewood had probably not seen the pamphlet here spoken of, when he drew up his very interesting account.
This poet was born at Norwich, and was educated at Cambridge, where he took the degree of A.M. in 1583. He died in September, 1592, probably not more than thirty years old.
Whatever may be said of Greene's conduct, there is a simplicity and purity of sentiment and imagery, in many of his pastoral poems, which in my opinion are convincing evidence that his mind at least was capable of virtuous impressions, and never entirely abandoned.
There is a pliancy and ductility in genius, which too often yields to the pressure of circumstances, and falls into those snares which a sterner and duller temperament is proof against. I mention this as some little extemiation (not excuse) of his irregularities.
Dr. Gabriel Harvey, the friend of Spenser, and antagonist of Tom Nash, was the author of "Four Letters and certain Sonnets, especially touching Robert Greene, and other Parties hy Him abused" 1592, in which are some admirable lines, entitled, "John Harvey (the Physician's) welcome to Robert Greene."*
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* See " D'Israeli's Calamities of Authors" ii. p. 18. See also in the same volume, p. 235, " The Dying Author's supposed Letter to his Wife Dot."