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death, and which, by the continuance of a short period, The following passage is also a fair specimen of our would have caused death itself-not torpidity, where va- author's general style: rious functions and secretions, capable for a time of sustain- THE GREGARIOUS SPIRIT OF ANIMALS." There is a ing the frame, are still going on.
wonderful spirit of sociality in the brute creation, indepen«The possibility of performing long journeys, as we dent of sexual attachment the congregating of gregarious must believe some species are obliged to do before arriving birds in the winter is a remarkable instance. Many horses, at their destination, at first appears nearly incredible; but though quiet with company, will not stay one minute in when brought to a matter of plain calculation, the difficulty a field by themselves: the strongest fences cannot restrain is much diminished. The flightfof birds may be estimated them. My neighbour's horse will not only not stay by himat from 50 to 150 miles an hour; and if we take a medium self abroad, but he will not bear to be left alone in a strange of this, as a rate for the migrating species, we shall have stable without discovering the utmost impatience, and enlittle difficulty in reconciling the possibility of their flight. deavouring to break the rack and manger with his foreThis, however, can only be applied to such species as, in feet. He has been known to leap out at a stable window, their migrations, have to cross some vast extent of ocean through which dung was thrown, after company; and yet, without a resting-place. Many that visit this country, par- in other respects, is remarkably quiet. Oxen and cows will ticularly those from Africa, merely skirt the coast, crossing not fatten by themselves, but will neglect the finest pasture at the narrowest parts, and again progressively advancing, that is not recommended by society. It would be needless until they reach their final quarters, and during this time to instance in sheep, which constantly flock together. But having their supply of suitable food daily augmented. this propensity seems not to be contined to animals of the
“ The causes influencing the migration of birds, appear same species ;' for we know a doe, still alive, that was more difficult to solve than the possibility of the execution brought up from a little farm with a dairy of cows; with of it. They seem to be influenced by an innate law, which them it goes a-field, and with them it returns to the yard. we do not, and cannot, comprehend, though in some mea- The dogs of the house take no notice of this deer, being sure dependent on the want of food or climate congenial to used to her ; but, if strange dogs come by, a chase ensues
, the systems of each, and which acts almost without the will while the master smiles to see his favourite securely leading of the individual. Neither this, however, nor the duties in her pursuers over hedge, or gate, or stile, till she returns to cumbent on incubation, can be the only exciting causes, as the cows, who, with fierce lowings and menacing horns, we may judge by the partial migrations of some to different drive the assailants quite out of the pasture. parts of the same country, where food and the conveniences
“ Even great disparity of kind and size does not always for breeding are alike; by the partial migration only, of a prevent social advances and mutual fellowship. For a very species from one country to another. differing decidedly in intelligent and observant person has assured me, that, in temperature, and where the visiting species thrives equally the former part of his life, keeping but one horse, he hapwith the resident one ; and by the males of some species pened also on a time to have but one solitary hen. These migrating while the females remain."— Pp. 77-9.
two incongruous animals spent much of their time toge We shall not, however, close this notice without doing ther in a lonely orchard, where they saw no creature but justice to Mr White as well as to Sir William Jardine. each other. By degrees, an apparent regard began to take The easy and popular style in which the former writes place between these two sequestered individuals. The fowl must make this book no less acceptable to the general would approach the quadruped with notes of complacency, reader, and especially to those more enlightened country would look down with satisfaction, and move with the
rubbing herself gently against his legs, while the borse gentlemen and landed proprietors who take a delight in greatest caution and circumspection, lest he should trample watching the habits of animals and in studying the pecu- on his diminutive companion—thus, by mutual good offices liarities of plants, than to the man of scientific pursuits each seemed to console the vacant hours of the other; so and attainments. Among other interesting observations that Milton, when he puts the following sentiment in the on the cuckoo, Mr White furnishes us with the follow- mouth of Adam, seems to be somewhat mistaken : ing :
• Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl, The Cuckoo.-" Your observation that 'the cuckoo does So well converse, nor with the ox the ape.'” not deposit its egg indiscriminately in the nest of the first -Pp. 221-2. bird that comes in its way, but probably looks out a nurse We have room for only one other quotation ; it is one in some degree congenerous, with whom to intrust its which agriculturists will peruse with interest : young,' is perfectly new to me, and struck me so forcibly, THE UTILITY OF EARTH-WORMS.-—“ Lands that are subthat I naturally fell into a train of thought that led me to ject to frequent inundations are always poor; and probably consider whether the fact was so, and what reason there the reason may be because the worms are drowned. The was for it. When I came to recollect and enquire, I could most insignificant insects and reptiles are of much more connot find that any cuckoo had ever been seen in these parts sequence, and have much more influence in the economy of except in the nest of the wagtail, the hedge-sparrow, the Nature, than the incurious are aware of; and are mighty in tit-lark, the white throat, and the red breast, all soft-billed their effect from their minuteness, which render the less insectivorous birds. The excellent Mr Willughby men- an object of attention; and from their numbers and fecuntions the nest of the palumbus (ring-dove), and of the pin- dity. Earth-worms, though in appearance a small and gilla (chaffinch), birds that subsist on acorns and grains, despicable link in the chain of Nature, yet, if lost, would and such hard food; but then he does not mention them as make a lamentable chasm. For, to say nothing of half the of his own knowledge; but says afterwards, that he saw birds, and some quadrupeds, which are almost entirely suphimself a wagtail feeding a cuckoo. It appears hardly pos. ported by them, worms seem to be great promoters ot' vegesible that a soft-billed bird should subsist on the same food tation—which would proceed but lamely without them-by with the hard-billed; for the former have thin membrana- boring, perforating, and loosening the soil, and rendering it ceous stomachs suited to their soft food; while the latter, pervious to rains and fibres of plants, by drawing stalks of the granivorous tribe, have strong muscular gizzards, leaves and twigs into it; and, most of all, by throwing up which, like mills, grind by the help of small gravels and such infinite numbers of lumps of earth called worm-cast pebbles what is swallowed." This proceeding of the cuckoo which being their excrement, is a fine manure for grain is such a monstrous outrage on maternal affection, one of and grass. Worms probably provide new soil for hills and the first great dictates of nature, and such a violence on in- slopes where the rain washes the earth away; and they afstinct, that, bad it only been related of a bird in the Brazils fect slopes, probably to avoid being flooded. Gardeners and or Peru, it would never have merited our belief. But farmers express their detestation of worms: the former, yet, should it further appear that this simple bird, when because they render their walks unsightly and make them divested of that natural crogyn that seems to raise the kind much work'; and the latter, because, as they think, woruss in general above themselves, and inspire them with extra- eat their green corn. But these men would find that this ordinary degrees of canning and address, may be still en- earth, without worms, would soon become cold, hard-bored dued with a more enlarged faculty of discerning what spe- and void of fermentation, and consequently sterile; and be cies are suitable and congenerous nurse-mothers for its dis- sides, favour of worms, it should be hinted, that grees regarded eggs and young, and may deposit them only under corn, plants, and Powers, are not so much injured by thes their care, this would be adding wonder to wonder, and in as by many species of coleoptera (scarabs), and tipule (long stancing, in a fresh manner, that the methods of Providence legs), in their larva or grub state ; and by unnoticeri my are not subjected to any mode or rule, but astonish us in riads of small shell-less snails, called slugs, which silent new lights and in various and changeable appearances.". and imperceptibly make amazing havoc in the field sa Pp. 147-8.
This volume of the Miscellany may not, perhaps, secure in which they were probably living in it. Beneath all so wide a circulation as some of those which have prece- this load of pompous matter, the poor clan Mackay peeps ded it; but we doubt not that, speaking as it does to the out like a mouse under a firlot, a tly in amber, or a writer interests, the studies, and the amusements, of so large a in Thurso under a pyramid of big-wigged lawyers. We class, its success will be such as to convince the publishers suspect that Mr Mackay's talents must either be of a they are right in studying variety. We should have been kindred order to those of Pope, who felt a pleasure in glad had an Index been added to the volume, by which adorning nothings, or of Wordsworth, who is well known the different subjects of which Mr White treats, scattered to treat his subject at all times as a mere accessory to his as they are throughout his work, could be at once seen own imagination. We speak, however, with hesitation, and referred to.
because it cannot but be difficult to discover, under the
disguise of an English translation, the peculiar tone of History of the House and Clan of Mackay. By Robert Mr Mackay's mind. When we have heard him in Gaelic, Mackay, writer, Thurso. Edinburgh. Printed for
we shall be better able to ascertain the peculiarities of his the Author, by Andrew Jack & Co. 1829.
The clan Mackay is so called, as consisting of the sons LEST any of our Saxon readers, whether north or south or descendants of a certain Iye. It is true, that they had asof the Tweed, should be misled by the title of this book, sumed the name of Mackay some centuries previous to the it may be as well to premise, that the modern historians birth of this worthy ; but this was the consequence of the (as they are called, for want of a better English word) second-sight having revealed to one of their seers the name of the Highland clans, are the representatives and de- of the progenitor who was afterwards to be born to them. scendants of the ancient Sennachies. Their business is This circumstance being known, we need scarcely add, not, as the title would imply to the uninitiated, to give a that our author clearly proves the clan to have been of correct and unbiassed narrative of their sept, but to com- Irish origin. There has been much controversy about pose an epic, more or less poetical, in its praise. This the derivation of the name Iye; but we agree with Mr simple fact may serve to explain, in some degree, the Robert Mackay, (p. 41,) that “the most probable supseeming anomaly, that not only are the Highlanders, as position is, that it is an Irish name, derived from O'Dona body, superior, in all moral and physical respects, to nel,” to which the reader will perceive it bears a strong every tongue and kindred under the sun, but that every resemblance. The clan Mackay seem originally to have individual clan is, and ever has been, immeasurably supe- been a most amiable people. “ They were behind none rior to all the rest.
in the Highlands of Scotland in comfort, health, and harKeeping this fundamental truth in view,—and it is mony,” (a delicate allusion to the bagpipes,) “ having only by so doing that we can justly appreciate the merits plenty to take and give, and hearts still larger than their of Mr Robert Mackay, writer in Thurso, and ex-dominie cellars ;” which is the beautiful turn of expression emof Edderachillis,—we have no hesitation in declaring this ployed by the Gaelic language to imply that they had no work to be one of the most splendid specimens of its kind cellars at all. Buchanan and other scandalous persons that has yet been submitted to the public. The clan Mackay have called the Highlanders thieves. This calumnious has inhabited, from the earliest period of its records, one aspersion, our author imagines that he triumphantly reof the most remote, uncultivated, and uninteresting dis- futes, at least in so far as his own clan are concerned, by tricts of Scotland ;-it has never been a leading sept even the following characteristie statement :-“ Mackay had in that unheard-of corner ;-it has produced few, if any, four or five foresters, the principal of whom resided at men rising above a respectable mediocrity, either in wealth, Auldanrinie, beside Lochmore, and latterly at Strathmore, adventurousness, or talents ;- and yet of such unpromi- at the side of Ben-Hope. These foresters would (could ?) sing materials has our author, by the united efforts of a distinguish Mackay's deer from all other, and chase them fertile imagination, and a logic of which we have seen back when they happened to stray to the Sutherland fofew prototypes south of the Forth, built up a goodly quarto rest. They had the art of driving them in any direction of six hundred mortal pages, which, we have no doubt, they chose.” Now, this was a very dangerous art which will keep their place, for time immemorial, on the shelves these foresters possessed, and puts us in mind of the hoof the learned, seeing that they contain nothing to induce nest servant,—who, we are credibly informed, was a Macany man to remove them from that distinguished situa- kay,-between whom and his master the following dialogue tion.
is said to have occurred on the morning of their departure But the manner in which these six hundred pages have from a friend's house : Master. Are you sure, John, been filled, is at once curious and instructive, and deserves that you have packed up all my clothes ?"-John.“ At a remark or two. Apropos of the first Lord Reay ha- the least, your honour.” ving raised a regiment for the service of the Elector of The head of the clan Mackay were of illustrious des Bohemia, out of whose ranks all the Mackays were speedi- scent. Donald, the first, married the daughter of Iye of ly weeded by the chance of war, and their places supplied Gigha. Now, as Mr Mackay very pertinently observes, by other Scotsmen, we have a detailed history of the wars Gigha is an island in the district of Kintyre, which of Gustavus Adolphus, and the exploits of a Colonel Pennant describes to be about six miles long, and one Munro, which occupies nearly a third part of the book. broad; and as, in ancient times, there were thanes of It is true, that, during the greater part of the time, the Gigha, this Iye might have been one of them.” No wonnoble Lord Reay was living in England, and that, when der that with such a lineage, and such a following, the be was on the Continent, he was guiltless of taking any merits of the House of Mackay were recognised so early prominent part in active service, and that the whole of as the latter part of the reign of James VI. of Scotland, the episode has therefore as much connexion with the and rewarded with a peerage. Donald, the first Lord clan Mackay, as with the fate of Troy ;—but what of Reay, is the same illustrious individual of whom we have that ?—it serves to make a large book, and a large book already had occasion to remark, that he led a reġiment must be made by any daring author who presumes to abroad, in whose exploits he took little share.
He was write a history of the clan Mackay. Again, another very in general more usefully employed recruiting at home for considerable portion of the work is devoted to the history foreign service. He is supposed to have been the great of the civil troubles of Scotland, from the Rebellion of original genius who first conceived the bold idea of deal1610 to the Restoration; and during that period no ing in soldiers. As is the case with by far the greater Mackay makes more than a nominal appearance ;—but proportion of those enterprising merchants who attempt still, what of that?—if we cannot learn any thing of that to open a new line of trade, his speculations were unsucdistinguished race, it is, at all events, interesting to know cessful, and he died in considerable embarrassments. An . what the condition of the world was at any given time ulogium worthy of him is dedicated to his memory by
the historian of his clan. For some generations after the ance with the interminable study of criticism, and mofirst Lord's death, the genius of Mackay seems to have destly apologises for the deficiences his book may contain. remained dormant. At last it awoke again in General | He tells us“ These Lectures are not intended for the Hugh Mackay. But it awoke only to struggle with re- biblical student or the advanced scholar--for sach persons verses ; for the gallant general was drubbed most uncere- the author has never had the presumption to write; but moniously by Dundee at Killicrankie. It is true, that for the unlearned Christian, whose wish it is to study Mr Robert Mackay (forgetting, in his love for his clans- the Bible to advantage, and to derive immediately from man, his Highland partialities) demonstrates most satis- the fount of inspiration those rich and copious streams of factorily that his ancestor was the better general of the two, the Divine beneficence which gladden the creation of God." and swears stoutly that Dundee's army was superior in So modest and benevolent a design is calculated to disarm numbers ; but this is poor and late consolation to the dis- criticism; but we may safely say, that both learned and consolate spirit of the tough old Celt, whom we can figure unlearned will reap instruction from this volume; and we to ourselves grimly sitting on his cold cloud, rubbing his would hope that the design of its publication will be exbruised and battered bones with true Ossianic dignity, and tensively promoted. The author's fitness for his present “ grinning borribly a ghastly smile” over Mr Mackay's task, is proved by the valuable works he has already given quarto. After another long and comfortable nap, the ge to the public, and the very favourable reception they have nius of the clan once more upreared its sleepy head; but met with. His “ Scientia Biblica” supplied a desidera it was only to sing, in the person of Rob Dow, in true tum that had long been felt; his “ Introduction to the guttural harmony to the mellifluous notes of the bagpipe, Study of the Scriptures” is a work of very considerable his own swanlike end. The historian wisely declines the ability; and his other publications of the same class, risk of compromising his clansman's reputation, by trans- though by no means faultless, or entitled to unqualified lating his poems. We can therefore only tell our readers, praise, are a testimony of his industry and application in in the bard's own words, that
that field of literature in which he has engaged. “ The cuckoo gay envied his lay."
This volume consists of eighteen lectures. The first We believe it was Rob who composed the affecting ad- of Biblical learning from the era of the Reformation to
is introductory, and contains an account of the progress dress “ To a Scotch Fiddle, found at Dover.” The
our own times—its present state-its importance and its description of his feelings on meeting, in a foreign land, difficulties. Upon this head alone a volume might have been with this primitive instrument of national melody, is written, and we have to regret that the author's observations beautiful and powerful. He says it made him “ fidging fain ;” and this expression Burns is supposed to have upon it are so brief, as to exclude any view of the progress
of this study on the Continent. The five succeeding leeborrowed from him in his Tam O'Shanter. We could have wished to devote a few more columns valuable matter, which, though perhaps familiar to the
tures are devoted to Biblical Criticism, and contain much to the individual character of our author-to have shown, scholar, will be found of great importance by the general by examples, his terse and irresistible logic—his liberal reader, and will save the laborious examination of many and kindly spirit towards all religious sects his free profound, scarce, and expensive works. The author treats, and gentlemanly morality, as exhibited at page 32 ; we must confine ourselves to one passage, which is to us
among other things, of the languages in which the Scrip peculiarly pleasing, as it shows how little he has suffered
tures were first published; and concludes that the Gospel from the contagious scepticism of the age. He tells (at
of Matthew, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, were oripage 521) a story of a brewer near Thurso, who was
ginally written in Greek, in opposition to the opinion much harassed by cats coming and drinking his ale. One which many eminent scholars have advanced, that they night, being on the watch, he fetched a stroke at the produced scarcely sufficient to overturn the arguments of
were written in Hebrew. We think the evidence he has hindmost cat, and cut off her leg, which, on examination, such critics as Grotius, Mill, Campbell, Michaelis, &c. in he found to be the leg of a woman. The witch was thus discovered, and our author proceeds to remark : _“ Pen- addition to the testimony of the fathers on this subject.
Were we inclined to venture our opinion, it would be, that nant, vol. I. p. 189, after giving a very imperfect account of this matter, adds, “The horrors of this story were con
we have the Epistle to the Hebrews in the original lansiderably abated in the place I heard it, by an unlucky lished by the Evangelist Matthew, the one in Hebrew or
guage, and that there were two editions of his Gospel pubenquiry made by one in company, viz. In what part would the old woman have suffered, had the man cut off Syro-Chaldaic, for the benefit of the Jews in Judea ; and the cat's tail ?' But both enquiry itself, and the question, and the Gentile converts throughout the Roman Empire.
the other in Greek, for the benefit of the Hellenistic Jews whether or not it was witty, might have been suspended, un
Our author next treats of the various schools of Hebrew til it was first ascertained that such cats had tails.” We know not by what oversight Mr. Robert Mackay the text-the comparative excellence of the Samaritan
philology—the labours of the Jewish literati to preserve has failed to make mention of the two living ornaments of his clan-Charles Mackay, the immortal representative the preference to the latter,)—the Septuagint version
and Hebrew texts, (giving, with great justice, we think, of bailiehood, and Benjamin Mackay, formerly of the Register Street Academy, and now an enlightened wielder thinking the story of Aristeas regarding their translation
of the Scriptures, and its origin and value. We agree in of the ferula in the New High School. Will not these twin stars of honour be one day sublimated to the sky,
untrue. The version appears, as the learned Hugh Brough
ton observes, to have been the work of different translaand installed presiding genii—the one of our smiles, the other of our tears ? Why then should our Thurso his- tors, and probably done at different times. Some of the
translators have executed their task with great ability, torian have overlooked them?
while others possess far inferior merit. As a source of
interpretation for the New Testament, however, the Sep Popular Lectures on Biblical Criticism and Interpretation. tuagint is invaluable; and did this assertion require cor
By William Carpenter, author of“ A Popular Intro- roboration, we have the testimony of Dr Adam Clarke, duction to the Study of the Scriptures," &c. Thomas who says—“ The study of this version served more to Tegg, London; Richard Griffin and Co., Glasgow. illuminate and expand my mind, than all the theological 1829.
wo I ever consulted.” Mr Carpenter next examine Tuese Lectures are well worthy of an attentive perusal. the Greek Scriptures, and notices the invaluable labours They are on a subject that must be allowed to be supreme- of Mill, Wetstein, Griesbach, and others, concluding this ly important; they are written in a more agreeable style division of his subject with some judicious remarks on than is usual in treatises of a similar kind; whilst the the various readings, their sources, numbers, and value. author, at the same time, pretends to no profound acquaint The second division of the work is devoted to Biblical
Interpretation, and consists of twelve lectures, which lished for some time back, is, that we have peremptorily possess various degrees of excellence. The observations withstood the pressing solicitations of the booksellers to on the use of commentaries, and the evils arising from an send our invaluable manuscripts to press. But though injudicious use of them, are, on the whole, just, But we nothing would be more easy than to pen an introduction believe they will not meet with universal concurrence. of this sort, we shall, for the present, waive the pleasant Many have 'derived much comfort and instruction from task, and prefer presenting our readers with a sober, and, the use of commentaries, who would have reckoned the we hope, correct account and appreciation of the different critical examination of the original, labour lost. Still the metrical essays before us. names of Chalmers, Cook, and Campbell, are certainly no Mr C. Redding, the author of “ Gabrielle," is a genmean testimony to the correctness of the opinion our au tleman well-known in the literary circles of the metropothor maintains. His rules for the interpreting the Scrip- lis, and is generally understood to take, along with Mr tures, and his observations on the moral qualifications of Thomas Campbell
, an active share in the management of an interpreter, are valuable and instructive. Under this the New Monthly Magazine. His “ Tale of the Swiss head he discusses the style, the sense, the grammatical ar- Mountains,” the incidents of which are of a simple and rangement, historical circumstances, the figurative and domestic kind, is more indicative of a well-cultivated literal meaning of the text, the parallelism of Scripture, judgment than of a very ardent poetical temperament. symbolical language, origin of writing, doctrine of types, The versification is smooth and flowing; and if his muse allegories, and adds the method and order of, and suggestions never soars a very lofty Alight, neither does she ever for. for, the practical reading of the sacred volume. The work get herself so far as to tumble over the crystal battle concludes with an excellent vocabulary of Scripture sym- ments of heaven, down into the abyss profound of earth. bols, calculated to facilitate the study, and promote the The story is that of a Swiss peasant girl,_lovely, and begeneral understanding of the sacred page. We subjoin loved, happy in her mountain freedom, and full of all the following passage as a specimen of the author's man- deep and gentle affections,—who is suddenly driven disner, and as containing some curious information not gene- tracted by witnessing the fall of an avalanche, which rally known :
overwhelms in ruin a whole village, and robs her of her Jewisu TRANSCRIBERS OF THE SCRIPTURES.-" In tran parents and her friends“ at one fell swoop.” The main scribing the Sacred Writings, it has been a constant rule with interest of the poem depends upon the descriptions which the Jews, that whatever is considered as corrupt shall never follow of the mild but hopeless insanity in which she is be used, but shall be burnt, or otherwise destroyed. A book condemned to linger, and which assimilates her character, of the law, wanting but one letter, with one letter too much, in some degree, to that of Shakspeare's Ophelia. We shall or with an error in one single letter, written with any thing give one or two short specimens of Mr Redding's style. bat ink, or written on parchment made of the hide of an unclean animal, or on parchment not purposely prepared for The following lines describe the catastrophe, the witnessthat use, or prepared by any but Israelites, or on skins of ing of which robbed Gabrielle of her senses : parchment tied together by unclean strings, shall be holden
“ It is the Avalanche, passing in his might to be corrupt ; that no word shall be written without a line
With his attendant thunders, swift as light first drawn on the parchment, no word written by heart,
In his destruction, sweeping mightiest pines or without having been pronounced orally by the writer ;
As stubble with his garment; oaks in lines, that before he writes the name of God, he shall wash his
Rooted a thousand years in strength of pride, pen; that no letter shall be joined to another; and that if
Strewing in desolation far and wide, the blank parchment cannot be seen all around each letter,
Or whirling, as in sport, high up heaven's dome, the roll shall be corrupt. There are certain rules for the
Mere sea-crack borne upon the breaker's foam, length and breadth of each sheet, and for the space to be left
What now is strength but vainness to the strongbetween each letter, each word, and each section These Maimonides mentions as some of the principal rules to be
What now is man, borne with the wreck along,
Swift as the sun-flash from the summer wave, observed in copying the sacred rolls. Even to this day it is an
Destroy'd and buried in one common grave! obligation on the persons who copy the sacred writings for
On to the smiling cottage, Gabrielle's home, the use of the synagogue, to observe them. Those who have
She sees astounded the wild havoc come; not seen the rolls used in the synagogues, can have no con She sees all vanish! in a moment's space ception of the exquisite beauty, correctness, and equality of
Herself the last, lone remnant of her race; the writing."-P. 51.
She closed her eyes, and then, more quick than thought, We take leave of Mr Carpenter, with best wishes for Unclosed their moveless orbs, that, terror-fraught, the success of his work.
Were straiu'd to bursting, now in horror gazed-
Speechless she stood, and wept without a sound,
And shed no tear, her woe was so profound !"-P. 10. ding. London. John Ebers. 1829. The Brunswick, a Poem, in three Cantos. London.
A page or two farther on, Gabrielle is presented to us William Marsh. 1829.
a confirmed but gentle maniac : Godesberg Castle, a Poem. By Miles T. Stapleton,
“ Now the morn sees her ope her cottage door ; Author of La Pia, or the Fair Penitent. London. 'Tis Gabrielle comes forth, to range once more James Ridgway. 1829.
Along the churchyard path: now slow she walks ; Retirement, a Poem. By Thomas Stewart, Esq. Lon Now, bending o'er the graves, in whispers talks ; don. Ridgway. 1829.
The breeze the while blowing the simple pride Ar Epistle from Abelard to Eloise. By Thomas Stew
Of her pale brow, her auburn locks, aside.
Uncover'd is her head; she loves to feel art, Esq. Second Edition. London. Ridgway. 1829.
The breath of morning round her temples steal, Walter and Emma ; or, a Tale of Bothwell Bridge ; with
Cooling the hot veins winding on her brows, other Poems. By John Strachan. Forres. 1829.
As dark streams wind along a waste of snows; Poems on various subjects, never before published. Ву Then she kneels down on what was mortal clay, M. A. Cookson. Leith. 1829.
Forgotten ashes—men of yesterday
And offers up her simple orison, UNDER cover of the text or texts copied above, we Strange, unconnected, the green sod upon, would gladly set down a few interesting and philoso A prayer of madness, artlessly addrest phical observations upon poetry in general, interspersed To Him who can alone afford her rest : with some most instructive reflections on its present state,
Give me, O God! a long unfever'd sleep, and some wise saws, clearly illustrative of our own high
When I may cease to wander and to weep : ly cultivated judgment, and strongly calculated to impress
For grief has been my lot so many years, our readers with the conviction, that the principal reason
I all things have forgotten but my tears.”—P: 13. - why no poetry of the very highest order has been pub We are still more pleased with the following passage,
in which there is both correctness of thought, and an To call it providential. I, perhaps, harmonious flow of words :
May name a few; but should I try to tell
Each case of providential interference, “O! fantasies of madness! who can tell
Before I finish'd it would be a year hence.
“ One henpeck'd gentleman had set his mind As near to all we wish, as those whose day
On going there quite early, but his wife Is lit by vaunted reason's prouder ray?
Most providentially was disinclined Your votary rustling on his straw-spread floor,
To hurry; so detain'd her dearest life,
Who, as is usual in such case, repined,
Grumbled, and then gave way, after short strife,
And reach'd the Brunswick sorely vex'd and bother'd,
Just too late by ten minutes to be smother'd.
“ Another would have shared the general crunch, All else of life, just wbat it is-a dream;
But providentially drank over-night That it may be his temple, lustrous, fair,
A monstrous quantity of whisky-punch, As ever rose on columns in mid air,
And waking in the morn bewilder'd quite, Gold-spangled, with its starry-fretted roof,
Incapable of breakfast or even lunch, And sculptured frieze, his Parthenon time-proof;
He stay'd at home to set his stomach right, Where he may worship, Cæsar of mankind,
Where bile and acid waged a horrid strife,
And nursing thus his liver, saved his life!
“ Another had engaged to meet a lady, Asking po sympathy from men, no heed
(Engagements which men punctually attend) Taking of good or evil, law or creed,
And at the time was sitting in a shady For his humanity, no one vain want
Apartment with his fair and smiling friend, Desire may in his fellow's bosom plant
Where, had be not this assignation made, he He is above them all he is a king
Must then bave met a brick and mortar end : And with that thought, feels he has every thing !" Thus evil may be done that good may come,Pp. 235. A sentence which I used to think a hum."
Pp. 42-4. Mr Redding has extended the size and value of his volume by the addition of several miscellaneous pieces,
Mr Miles T. Stapleton, the author of “ Godesberg some of which we recognise as having met with before in Castle,” has evidently read Byron's “ Siege of Corinth, the New Monthly Magazine and elsewhere.
of these and probably thinks his Der Stein equal to Alp, and his the best are, the - Untombed Mariners,” the “ Voiceless Giesela fully superior to Francesca. We think differentCity," and the translation of Korner's “ Sword Song."
ly, and so will all the world ; but, nevertheless, we dare
say Mr Miles T. Stapleton is a very gentlemanly, plea“ The Brunswick” is a poem in the Don Juan stanza, sant person. Virgil said long ago“ non omnia possicommemorative of the fall of the Brunswick Theatre, and mus omnes ;” and we only fear Mr Miles T. Stapleton meant to contain a suitable mixture of the grave and the mistook his profession, when he commenced imitator of gay. It has been a good deal praised in some of the Lon- Byron. don periodicals; but it is, upon the whole, a dull affair. We do not object to it upon the score of its being an imi
We do not exactly know the hidden impulses which tation of the style of Don Juan; because, in so far at influence the mind of Mr Thomas Stewart ; but why, in least as the mere artificial division of lines and rhymes is his “ Epistle from Abélard to Eloise," he should interfere concerned, every body has just as good a right to make
with a subject which Pope has consecrated, or why, in use of the Don Juan, as of the Fairy Queen stanza.
If his poem entitled “ Retirement,” he should bring himself a man really possess genius, nobody but a fool will accuse
into immediate comparison with Goldsmith, we are ra him of imitation, because he prefers the ottava rima to the ther at a loss to comprehend. Mr Thomas Stewart is octosyllabic, the heroic, or any other species of verse that neither a Pope nor a Goldsmith ; and, though he has a was ever invented. We dislike a poem in the measure of certain facility in the art of versification, we advise him, Don Juan, or in the measure of Marmion, or in the mea- | in his own words, sure of Lalla Rookh, only when we find that the dull “ No more again to tempt the wintry gales" rogue who has adopted it is unable to infuse into it any of literary criticism. of that inspiration which gives to these measures their grace and life.
The author of “ The Brunswick" is not “ Walter and Emma, or a Tale of Bothwell Bridge, a goose altogether ; but he is that kind of half clever, half with other Poems," by John Strachan, claims some lestupid sort of fellow, (a set of men amazingly prevalent niency at our hands, in consideration of the author's bunat present,) who are always bordering on something good, ble rank of life, and the few opportunities he can have but never reaching it, and yet never falling far enough enjoyed of cultivating his taste. Mr Strachan is a weaver back to make you give them up altogether. His pathos in Forres, and has certainly abilities above his station; is very commonplace, and easily got over,—his humour is and of these abilities, through the friendly patronage of of a very glimmering and milk-and-water description, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, the world has now an opporhis philosophical reflections are not quite so profound as tunity of judging for itself. There is a good deal of those of Hobbes or Priestley,_his satire wants the sharp smooth and sweet versification in this unpretending little and delicate edge, that gives it power to shave close to the volume ; but what we chietly desiderate, is a little more chin of the patient, and his poetry is good enough for a originality. We are afraid that Mr Strachan's excel wet day in the country, when we are not quite sure lence consists more in a certain facility in expressing his whether we are asleep or awake. The following four thoughts in poetical language, than in calling thoughts stanzas strike us as more than an average specimen of the into existence, which are themselves poetry. This is whole production. They are creditable to the cleverness the great distinction between the true and the pseudo of a young man, and we take it for granted the writer is poet. Every man, with a ready command of words, and oung :
a tolerably lively fancy, may rhyme on for ages; but it “ There happen'd some most wonderful escapes
is only the genuine poet who can extract from all comUpon the morning when the Brunswick fell ;
mon sights and sounds the odour and the music impe. Some call'd it mere good luck, in various shapes ceptible to senses of a less delicate organization. HowBut it's more orthodox, and quite as well,
ever, there are many gradations of merit beneath that of