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He made the magic stone, and taught me too ;
We toiled together first, but soon alone
I form'd the marvellous, gold-creating stone,
And oft did I my lessening wealth renew.
Varied the form and fabric, and not few,
This treasure's elements, the simplest-best,
And noblest, here ingenuously confest
I shall disclose, in this my verse, to you.
And what a list of nations have pursued.
This treasure. Need I speak of the Chaldee,
Or the untired sons of learned Araby?
All, all in chace of this most envied good.
Egypt and Syria, and the tribes so rude
Of the Orient-Saracens and Indians-all
Laboring in vain-tho' oft the echoes fall
Upon the west, of their songs'amplitude.
If what is passing now I have foretold,
In honest truth and calm sincerity,
So will I tell you of the events to be
Without deception and the prize I hold

La piedra que llaman filosofal
Sabia facer y a mi la enseño
Faciemosla juntas despues solo yo
Conque muchas veces crecio mi caudal
E bien que se puede facer esta tal
De otras materias, mas siempre una cosa
Yo vos propongo la menos penosa
Mas escelente e mas principal.

Tuve suso desta estudios de gente
De varias naciones, mas non ca en tal caso
De los Caldeos hiciese yo caso,
Nin de los Arabes nacion diligente,
Exipcios, Siriacos, e los del Oriente
Quel Indico habitan, è los Sarracenos
Ficieron mi obra è versos tan buenos
Que honran las partes del nuestro occidente.

El tiempo presente m'era conocido
De credito sano è de buena verdad
Para que vos en la posteridad
Non vos parezca que en algo he mentido

Shall be in literary lore enrolld:
Such power, such empire, never can be won
By ignorance or listlessness: to none
But to the learned state my truths be told.
So, like the Theban sphynx, will I propound
My mysteries, and in riddles truth will speak:
Deem them not idle words, for, if you seek,
Through their dense darkness, light may oft be found.
Muse, meditate, and look in silence round-
Hold no communion of vain language--learn
And treasure

up
the lore-if

you

discern What’s here in hieroglyphic letters bound.

My soul hath spoken and foretold : I bring
The voices of the stars to chime with mine;
He who shall share with me this gift divine,
Shall share with me the privilege of a king :
Mine is no mean, no paltry offering,
Cupidity itself must be content
With such a portion as I here present-
And Midas' wealth to ours a trifling thing.

Lo que yo quiero es non sea perdido
La grande valia de este magisterio
Mas non quiero dar un tan grande imperio
A ome quien letras non sea sabido.
Por ende fingime la sphinge Thebana
E

yuso de cifras propuse verdades
Maguer sea escura por ella sepades
Ca las sus palabras non son cosa vana
Si aveis entendido esta grande arcana
Non lo pongais en conversacion
Guardaldo en la cifra de aquesta impresion
Si vos entendeis como esto se esplana.
Mi alma presume è lo pronostica
Segund que los astros falla en tal sazon
Ca aquel a quien diere el cielo este don
A ser como rey el cielo lo aplica
Empero segundo de cosa non chica
Aquesto tesoro, avra de tener
Ca segundo a demas de gran menester
Mas
que

fue Midas a tal sera rica.

So when our work in this our sphere was done,
Deucalion to wend sublimely o'er the rest;
And proudly dominant he stood confest
On the tenth mountain—thence look'd kindly on
The sovereign sire who offered him a crown ;
Or empires vast for his reward, or gold
From his vast treasure, for his heirs, untold-
So bold and resolute was Deucalion.
I'll give you honest counsel, if you be
My kinsman or my countryman, if e'er
This gift be your's, its treasures all confer
On him who shall unveil the mystery;
Offer him all, and offer cheerfully,
And offer most sincerely; weak and small
Is your best offering—tho' you offer all-

Your recompense may be eternity.”

A long inexplicable solution follows. Thirty-five paragraphs, or stanzas, made up of cyphers, with an alphabet key at the end. Every letter has a variety of representatives; and as the pursuit of that, which when found would be wholly worthless, gives little encouragement to patient industry, (though life itself is, alas! but too crowded with shadows, chaced with an earnestness equal to their unsubstantiality), no busy idler has been yet found to open the door of this sacred arcanum-an arcanum richer than Potosi, or the caves of Sinbad.

Finido esta obra por nuestra horizonte
Subia la imagem de Deucalion
El cual dominante por aplicacion
Citaba el señor del decimo monte
Esta promete corona en la fronte
O gran principado por sus catamientos
O dar el tesoro a los nacimentos
Ca aquesta figura en algo les monte.
Si sois de mi patria o mi parentela
Consejo vos quiero dar non pequeño
Ca si del tesoro vos fueredes dueño
Lo deis todo à aquel que a vos lo revela
Con esto seredes señor esta tela
Si la dais a quien aquesto es poquito
Cabien tiene otro tesoro infinito
Eterno e librado de toda procela."

Though no ancient poet made Alexander the Great the subject of an epic, his marvellous history has been frequently sung in more modern time; and the remoteness of the distance has only served to give more activity to fiction, and to clothe in extravagant absurdity the events, which, marvellous in themselves, become monstrous, when blended with the exaggerations of fabulous inventions.

The history of Alexander, which bears the name of Quintus Curtius, is so overloaded with ornament, that its genuineness has been doubted as much on that account, as from the fact, that he is not quoted nor even noticed by any ancient author. His diction resembles, in some respects, that of the early romances; and this circumstance, we suppose, led one of his sceptical critics to deny his antiquity, and to attribute the production in question to some learned Italian of modern times. One of the justifications of his seeming credulity, or incorrectness, is rather curious, and has been adopted by Mariana, while describing the miracles of Spanish history. Equidem plura transcribo quam credo: nam neque affirmare sustineo de quibus dubito, neque subducere quæ accepi.”

It was hardly likely that the conquest of Persia by Alexander should be forgotten or unreferred to by the historians of that country, even though their wars with the Greeks in Europe seem not to have been the theme of any Persian writer. The important changes which affect mankind, in the seat of their domestic sympathies and national affections, live long in the spirit of tradition, and get, at last, permanently transferred to the tome of recorded story. Alexander has become one of the heroes of Persian song, and many and many a fable has been invented to conceal the disgrace of Darius's defeat. Truth is no friendly ally to him who is determined to find the phantom of national glory in the mists of former days; so some of the orientals have made Alexander the son of the Persian monarch himself: others, less daring in their misrepresentations, have adhered more closely to historical accuracy, but have embellished and obscured its facts with oriental adornings. On the whole, the best as well as the most celebrated Persian poem on this subject, is the Sekander Nameh of Nizami, who is said to rank next to Ferdusi in “ loftiness of thought.” Though the adventures of the hero are wrapped round and round with a tissue of falsehood, till they can scarcely be recognized, yet direct historical tradition has been the source of a great part of the poet's descriptions; and Sir William Ouseley has announced his intention of illustrating this period of the Persian annals from the works of Nizami. Though we have great doubts of his success, we expect, with much interest, the results of his investigations.

Walter de Castellon's Epic obtained in its day no small portion of praise. It is filled with puerilities. The ten books begin with the first ten letters of his Christian name, Guillermus. There is a constant strain at antithesis, and a wearisome and childish trickery of words. Among a great variety of poets who have treated of Alexander's history, Lambert li Cors translated into provençal Alexandrines some Latin production.

“ Lambert li Cors l'escrit,
Qui de latin la trest, & en roman la mit.”

The Spanish Alexandro el Magno, of which we are now about to speak, was first published in 1782 by Sanchez, from a MS. copy, apparently of the fourteenth century. Of the author's history, nothing is known. He has given us his name in one of his verses.

“ Joan Lorenzo bon clerigo e ondrado

Segura en Astorga." His Castillian is purer than that of Gonzalo de Berceo, in consequence probably of his being farther removed from the influence of the French and Lemosin dialects.

There are a number of absurd and ill-placed digressions ; abstruse discussions of scholastic philosophy—the pagan my. thology and the catholic calendar are blended in monstrous disorder : all laws of time and place are constantly violatedmonks, and convents, and benedictine nuns—churches, and altars, and vigils, and confessions, and masses-Mahomet and the Moors-grace and original sin-are mixed up with the wildest dreams and visions. There are long and ridiculous astronomical and geographical details-he makes his hero express a wish to see Toledo and Seville-the antipodes he talks of with incredulous scorn, for he says " I do not choose to lie”—yet he narrates the fable of the phoenix as a matter of sober history-he protests that in Alexander's time a man's voice might be heard at the distance of a three days' journey--he introduces the Acephali as real personages, with their heads in their bosom-and of the griffins, “ those valiant birds,” gives very satisfactory details.

The quadernated versification, as the author calls it, and on which he seems to have prided himself not a little,

“ La quaderna via A sillabas cuntadas ca es grant maestria," is not always preserved. When perplexed by his pentameters, he creates a word at will; thus, for rhyme's sake, he calls Ulysses, Ulixero, and Philip, Philippon. He changes the con

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