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the river becomes too narrow for navigation, The father having invited our traveller to REVIEWS
you continue in the same direction, and after assist at Complies, they repaired again to the Voyage à l'Abbaye de la Trappe de Melleray. threading the forest of Vioreau, arrive at chapel. Everything here was simple, even Par M. Edouard Richer.
to rudeness. The cross, the chandeliers, the Na Mel
the bourg of Melleray. The convent is linet-Malassis.
situated at some distance beyond, at the end ornaments of the altar, all were of wood,
of a wood of tall, straight, branchless, spectre- except the lamp and censor, which were lined Among the strange things that are pre- like trees, and near a smooth, silent, lonely with metal to resist the action of fire. The sented daily to our eyes and minds in
lake. You are surrounded by clouds of dark costume of the monks was the same, in all this, perhaps the most extraordinary period foliage ; the trees are everywhere marshalled ranks and offices; and each, on entering, in the history of the human race, we
in still and solemn ranks along the horizon ; took his turn at ringing the bell. This was reckon an advertisement which appeared and in the middle space are only the calm the only sound heard within the cloister, till the other day in the London newspapers surface of the water reflecting the gloomy from the Monks of la Trappe. What an idea! The Monks of la Trappe competing face of the sky, and the grey walls of the the voices of the devotees burst forth in the
plain solemn strain of the early Christians, with Miss Zouch, or “a small family," in monastery whispering of the peace of death
and the rest of the grave. the Times for the "patronage of the public,"
now replaced by all other societies of the with the Patent Brandy men on one hand,
The building belonged, in former times, to Church by the more refined music of the
Gregorian chant. and the Blacking men on the other, for the order of St. Bernard, a monk of some
After complies, the Trappists glided one bottle-holders! This wrings a smile from us, genius, and an admirer of the glory, although even in these days of terror, when a man
not of the danger of crusades. The Abbot by one into the middle of the church, and dares not eat a cherry for fear of the pesti- de Rancé, a reformed libertine, who had be- prostrated themselves before an image of the lence;---but it is not at the thing itself we
come a Bernardine, finding the rules of the Virgin, bearing this inscription :- Come to smile, but at the indignant tears which so brotherhood not severe enough to mortify me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. During this cereprofane a travesty of romance would have the flesh of so great a sinner, nor even to drawn from us in the days of love, wonder, priestly decorum, retired, in 1663, to the
restrain his followers within the rules of mony the silence was intense; but at its conand Mrs. Radcliffe.
clusion, a single monk at the bottom of the The great convent of the Trappists, at
convent of La Trappe de Mortagne, and nave began with a loud majestic voice the Melleray, in Brittany, has been broken up, there instituted the severe and singular re- Salve Regina; and all the others, bent to
wards the earth, repeated the burthen like a it seems, by the French government, and the form which still bears the name of its birthholy brethren scattered abroad upon the face place. St. Bernard, notwithstanding, con- mournful dying echo. At a signal from the of the earth. This is a consummation which tinues to be looked on as the founder of the superior, they then fell flat upon their faces,
and remained completely motionless during we do not grieve for, although we are sorry order, and his portrait is among the most conit should have been brought about by the spicuous objects in the parlour of Melleray. the Miserere; till at length, rising up, they exercise of authority, however lawful. With
At the French revolution the monks emi- vanished slowly and silently from the church, put entering into a question which has at grated from La Trappe to Frieburg in Switzer- each receiving the holy water from the prior least two sides to examine, if not more, we
land, from whence they dispersed themselves as he passed. shall, in the mean time, treat our worthy in various colonies, through Spain, Piemont, At supper, in the parlour, there was neither friend, the public, if it will allow us, to a little Westphalia, Hungary, and England. After meat nor fish provided for the guest, but gossiping on the customs and manners of this the battle of Waterloo, these colonies mostly abundance of vegetables, eggs, and milk. disfranchised burrow.
returned to France, and, among others, the The fare of the monks themselves, however, There is a little book before us—and a very English establishment, whose house was at is less rich even at dinner, their only meal. little one-which will do some service on the Lulworth, near Wareham, in Dorsetshire. It consists of a soup made of vegetables, occasion, although, perhaps, under other cir- The abiding place chosen by the last-men- boiled in salt and water, without butter, a cumstances, it would not have aspired to the tioned enthusiasts was the ancient Bernar- little rice in milk mixed with water, a few honour of a notice in the Athenæum. The dine convent of Melleray, in Brittany, at the potatoes, and half a pound of black bread. author is M. Richer, a citizen of Nantes, who door of which we now find ourselves. While this frugal meal is going on, one of possesses a sufficiently ductile imagination, When M. Richer was admitted to the
them reads aloud, sometimes in French, which, however, returns the impression with parlour, he stood for some time contemplating
sometimes in English, a religious book; but somewhat of the dimness of outline that ren- the features of St. Bernard. The door at every now and then the prior's bell sounds, ders a bread seal less effective than a stone length opened, and two very old men, dressed
and both readers and eaters suddenly stop As for ourselves, being in the habit, in a long robe of white linen, the head cover
in the midst of a word or a mouthful, and in imitation of a more ancient and eminented with a cowl, entered the room with a slow
the brethren pray in deathlike silence. Ima individual, of “ going to and fro in the earth, and solemn pace, and prostrated themselves mediately after dinner, the whole body walk and walking up and down in it,” we have at the feet of the stranger! They then beck in procession to the church, and recite the seen the convent of Melleray with our own oned him to follow, and led him into the
Miserere and De profundis. eyes, and shall therefore be able to eke out, chapel, where the whole three remained long
The dortoir is a long gallery with a range from the stores of our own memory, anything enough to utter inwardly a prayer. He was
of little cells at each side, separate, but that may be wanting in the budget of the then marshalled back again by his spectre- without doors. The beds consist of two traveller.
like hosts to the parlour, where one of them planks, a straw pillow, and a woollen cover. The direct route from Nantes to Melleray is broke silence for the first time, by reading a
The monks lie down without undressing, for by the river Erdre, which resembles a juvenile chapter of the “ Imitation of Jesus Christ.” they wear no linen. They go to bed at Dead Sea. The very dip of the oar seems to The father hotelier, whose office it is to re-eight o'clock in the evening, and rise at halfawaken a muffled echo as you glide along the ceive strangers, and who is consequently past one in the morning. slumbrous wave, and the cry of the birds on the permitted to speak, at length made his ap- The Trappists not only make vows of low, dark, and marshy banks, has something pearance, and proved to be a polite and in- poverty, but of gaining their living by the dismal and lifeless. Landing at Nort, where telligent man.
l.sweat of their brow. They exercise, in this
convent, the profession they have learnt in what her eloquence can do; and when words a particular age; but the individual and drathe world. They are mechanics, agricul- fail, she begins to scatter flowers of all hues matic character which forms the groundwork, turists, and gardeners; but, in the midst of and odours. Shakspeare she has by heart; is strongly discriminated; and being maken from all, they remain profoundly silent. The she is deep in Schlegel, whom she raptu- general nature, belongs to every age. In Beamoment they enter the society, they cease to rously admires; her acquaintance extends to
trice, high intellect and high animal spirits belong to the world. They abandon their Italian literature, and we may safely call her meet, and excite each other like fire and air. In baptismal and family name, and take that of a learned lady; though if any one imagines her wit, (which is brilliant without being imagitheir patron saint. Their head is shaved, and that she wears her learning
as a clown would native,) there is a touch of insolence not unfre:
quent in women, when the wit predominates over their hair burnt; and they kiss the feet of a court dress, they do her much wrong; for on reflection and imagination. In her temper, too, their comrades in token of humility and sub- no one can it sit more gracefully. The cha- there is a slight infusion of the termagant, and jection. The death of a relation, however racters on which the authoress exercises her her satirical humour plays with such an unrenear, is never heard of. “My brethren,” | taste and fancy are all to be found in Shak- spective levity over all subjects alike, that it says the abbot aloud, addressing the whole speare; they are divided into four classes : required a profound knowledge of women to community—“one of us has lost a father!" 1. Characters of Intellect; 2. Characters of bring such a character within the pale of our A grave, dug at a general meeting of the Passion and Imagination ; 3. Characters of sympathy. But Beatrice, though wilful
, is not monks in the churchyard, always gapes for the Affections; and 4. Historical Characters. wayward, she is volatile, not unfeeling. She its expected tenant; and on this desirable We shall give some portions of these deline- has not only an exuberance of wit and gaiety, object are fixed the longings of the whole ations; we must, however, confess that half but of heart, and soul, and energy of spirit
; community. When one of them is about to a dozen flowers can no more be considered comedy,—whose wit consists in a temporary
and is no more like the fine ladies of modern die, he is carried into the church to receive as representing one of the royal gardens, allusion or a play upon words, and whose petuthe last sacraments, and then to the infir- than as many passages can be said to give lance is displayed in a toss of the head, a list of mary, where he is laid upon straw and ashes, an image of the contents of this very sin- the fan, or a flourish of the pocket handkerchief till released by death. gular work :
-than one of our modern dandies is like Sir “ Each of us, said the hôtelier," writes an
Philip Sidney. anonymous author," had hopes that this open Portia, Isabella, Beatrice, and Rosalind, “ In Beatrice, Shakspeare has contrived that grave was for him; but alas! it now seems may be classed together, as characters of intel- | the poetry of the character shall not only soften, to be reserved for father Stanislas. He is lect, because, when compared with others, they but heighten its comic effect. We are not only only twenty-five years of age, yet it is he are at once distinguished by their mental supe
inclined to forgive Beatrice all her scornful airs, who will gain the prize! He cannot live riority. In Portia it is intellect, kindled into
all her biting jests, all her assumption of supeout the day; but he has sufficient strength
romance by a poetical imagination; in Isabella, riority; but they amuse and delight us the more, left to repress the joy and pride, which such it is intellect elevated by religious principle; in when we find her, with all the head-long sima preference causes; and he tries to console Beatrice, intellect animated by spirit ; in Rosa- plicity of a child, falling at once into a snare the rest of us in our disappointment, seem
lind, intellect softened by sensibility. The wit | laid for her affections. When we see her, who ing to beg our pardon for the sort of larceny ed, or sparkling, or playful—but always femiwhich is lavished on each is profound, or point- thought a man of God's making not good enough
for her,—who disdained to be o'ermastered by he is guilty of!" We conclude with a sennine; like spirits distilled from flowers, it always
a piece of valiant dust,' stooping like the rest tence or two from the correspondence of a reminds us of its origin;-it is a volatile essence,
of her sex, vailing her proud spirit, and taming brother of Chateaubriand, who died in a
sweet as powerful; and to pursue the compari- her wild heart to the loving hand of him whom Trappist convent:-“We have here a number
son a step further, the wit of Portia is like attar she had scorned, flouted, and misused, 'past the of little contradictions, which, running coun- of roses, rich and concentrated; that of Rosa
endurance of a block. And we are yet more ter to our habits, disgust us at first. For lind, like cotton dipped in aromatic vinegar; completely won by her generous enthusiastic example, we must never hen seated, the wit of Beatrice is like sal volatile; and that attachment to her cousin. When the father of nor sit down when fatigued; because, man
of Isabel, like the incense wafted to heaven. Hero believes the tale of her guilt; when Clauis born to labour in this world, and should of these four exquisite characters, considered dio, her lover, without remorse or a lingering never expect repose till the term of his pil- cult to pronounce which is most perfect in its remains silent, and the generous Benedick him
as dramatic and poetical conceptions, it is diffi- doubt, consigns her to shame; when the Friar grimage. We lose also all property in our
way, most admirably drawn, most highly finish- self knows not what to say,--Beatrice, confiown body; if we happen to wound it even ed. But if considered in another point of view,
dent in her affections, and guided only by the severely, we must accuse ourselves of the
as women and individuals, as breathing reali- impulses of her own feminine heart, sees fault on our knees, just as if we had broken ties, clothed in flesh and blood, I believe we through the inconsistency, the impossibility of a vase of clay. If at any time, leaning must assign the first rank to Portia, as uniting the charge, and exclaims, without a moment's against a wall, I fall asleep through fatigue, in herself in a more eminent degree than the hesitation some charitable brother passing by, rouses others, all the noblest and most loveable quali
0, on my soul! my cousin is belied !" me, seeming to say—thou wilt repose in ties that ever met together in woman ; and pre
Rosalind. thy father's house, in domum æternitatis !!” senting a complete personification of Petrarch's
Though sprightliness is the distinguishing One wonders what political offence the exquisite epitome of female perfection : characteristic of Rosalind, as of Beatrice, yet French government can see in such a socie
Il vago spirito ardento,
we find her much more nearly allied to Portia
E'n alto intelletto, un puro core. ty! At all events, it is to be hoped that the
in temper and intellect. The tone of her mind breaking up of their convent may be the It is singular, that hitherto no critical justice | is, like Portia's, genial and buoyant; she has means of restoring these poor enthusiasts to has been done to the character of Portia : it is something too of her softness and sentiment; reason and to mankind.
yet more wonderful, that one of the finest writers there is the same confiding abandonment of on the eternal subject of Shakspeare and his self in her affections; but the characters are
perfections, should accuse Portia of pedantry otherwise as distinct as the situations are disCharacteristics of Women, Moral, Poetical, and affectation, and confess she is not a great similar. The age, the manners, the circumand Historical. By Mrs. Jameson.
favourite of his,-a confession quite worthy of stance in which Shakspeare has placed his Por
him, who avers his predilection for servant tia, are not beyond the bounds of probability; (Second Notice.) We have said that this is a work of great Pamelas over the Clementinas and Clarissas. fancy her a cotemporary of the Raffaelles and
maids, and his preference of the Fannys and the nay, have a certain reality and locality. We depth of feeling and knowledge of human Schlegel, who has given several pages to a rap- the Ariostos; the sea-wedded Venice, its mernature-it is much more: the authoress is
turous eulogy on the Merchant of Venice, simply chants, and magnificos,--the Rialto, and the lively, eloquent, and discriminating ; she has designates Portia as a “rich, beautiful, clever long canals,-rise up before us when we think great quickness of fancy, readiness of illus- heiress:' whether the fault lie in the writer or of her. But Rosalind is surrounded with the tration, and a sense of whatever is noble, translator, I do protest against the word clever. purely ideal and imaginative; the reality is in heroic, and natural. There is, however, a Portia clever ! what an epithet to apply to this
the characters and in the sentiments, not in the good deal of idle gossip in the introductory heavenly compound of talent, feeling, wisdom, circumstances or situation. While Portia is
beauty, and gentleness !" portion, and something approaching to an
splendid and romantic, Rosalind is pastoral and overflow of fine words when discussing the
picturesque: both are in the highest degree
poetical, but the one is epic and the other lyric. merits of her heroines, real and imaginary; Shakspeare has exhibited in Beatrice a spi- “ Everything about Rosalind breathes of yet we never tire in the company of the in- rited and faithful portrait of the fine lady of his youth's sweet prime. She is fresh as the morn, telligent and exuberant lady: when she sees own time. The deportment, language, manners,
ing, sweet as the dew-awakened blossoms, and we are weary of her sprightliness, she tries and allusions, are those of a particular class in light as the breeze that plays among them. She
is as witty, as voluble, as sprightly as Beatrice; individuals rather than as heroines, Imogen is | embellished; some of the designs are clever, but in a style altogether distinct. In both, the the most perfect. Portia and Juliet are pic- though not a little German; but we may wit is equally unconscious; but in Beatrice it tured to the fancy with more force of contrast
, spare all comment on the subject, for we plays about us like the lightning, dazzling, but more depth of light and shade ; Viola and Mi- have not met with a work for some time also alarming; while the wit of Rosalind bubbles randa, with more aërial delicacy of outline ; but which less required the attractions of the up and sparkles like the living fountain, re- there is no female portrait that can be compared
graver. freshing all around. Her volubility is like the to Imogen as a woman-none in which so great bird's song; it is the outpouring of a heart a variety of tints are mingled together into such filled to overflowing with life, love, and joy, and perfect harmony. In her we have all the fervour all sweet and affectionate impulses. She has as of youthful tenderness, all the romance of youth- Letters on Natural Magic, addressed to Sir much tenderness as mirth, and in her most pe. ful fancy, all the enchantment of ideal grace,- Walter Scott, Bart. By Sir David Brewster, tulant raillery there is a touch of softness— By the bloom of beauty, the brightness of intellect, K.H., LL.D., &c. this hand it will not hurt a fly!'”
and the dignity of rank, taking a peculiar hue
from the conjugal character which is shed over
, like a consecration and a holy charm. In No work of importance pressing on us this " The character of Miranda resolves itself
Othello and the Winter's Tale, the interest ex- week, we return with pleasure to this pleainto the very elements of womanhood. She is
cited for Desdemona and Hermione is divided sant volume, and shall glean a few more inbeautiful, modest, and tender, and she is these
with others; but in Cymbeline, Imogen is the teresting facts :only; they comprise her whole being, external
angel of light, whose lovely presence pervades and internal. She is so perfectly unsophisti- and animates the whole piece. The character
Of Spectral Apparitions. cated, so delicately refined, that she is all but altogether may be pronounced finer, more com
“ In his admirable work on this subject, Dr. etherial. Let us imagine any other woman
plex in its elements, and more fully developed Hibbert has shown that spectral apparitions are placed beside Miranda-even one of Shak
in all its parts, than those of Hermione and nothing more than ideas or the recollected speare's own loveliest and sweetest creationsthere is not one of them that could sustain the placed is not, I think, so fine—at least, not so Desdemona; but the position in which she is images of the mind, which in certain states of
bodily indisposition have been rendered more comparison for a moment, not one that would
vivid than actual impressions, or, to use other effective, as a tragic situation.” not appear somewhat coarse or artificial when
words, that the pictures in the mind's eye' are brought into immediate contact with this pure
more vivid than the pictures in the body's eye. child of nature, this · Eve of an enchanted Pa.
“Of all Shakspeare's female characters, Mi- This principle has been placed by Dr. Hibbert radise.' randa and Cleopatra appear to me the most
beyond the reach of doubt; but I propose to go What, then, has Shakspeare done?-0
wonderful. The first, unequalled as a poetical much farther, and to show that the mind's eye' wondrous skill and sweet wit of the man!'--he
conception; the latter, miraculous as a work of is actually the body's eye, and that the retina has removed Miranda far from all comparison *If we could make a regular classification is the common tablet on which both classes of with her own sex; he has placed her between of his characters, these would form the two ex
impressions are painted, and by means of which the demi-demon of earth and the delicate spirit
tremes of simplicity; and all his other charac- they receive their visual existence according to of air. The next step is into the ideal and ters would be found to fill up some shade or
the same optical laws. supernatural, and the only being who approaches gradation between these two.
“ In the healthy state of the mind and body, Miranda, with whom she can be contrasted, is
“Great crimes, springing from high passions, the relative intensity of these two classes of imAriel. Beside the subtle essence of this etherial grafted on high qualities, are the legitimate pressions on the retina are nicely adjusted. The sprite, this creature of elemental light and air, source of tragic poetry. But to make the ex
mental pictures are transient and comparatively thatóran upon the winds, rode the curld clouds, tremes of littleness produce an effect like gran
feeble, and in ordinary temperaments are never and in the colours of the rainbow lived'-Mideur-to make the excess of frailty produce an
capable of disturbing or effacing the direct randa herself appears a palpable reality, a effect like power-to heap up together all that images of visible objects. The affairs of life woman, 'breathing thoughtful breath,' a woman, is most unsubstantial, frivolous, vain, contemp. intrude bright representations of the past into
could not be carried on if the memory were to walking the earth in her mortal loveliness, with
tible, and variable, till the worthlessness be lost
the domestic scene, or scatter them over the
external landscape. The two opposite impres" I have said that Miranda possesses merely do this belonged only to Shakspeare, that workersions, indeed, could not co-exist: The same the elementary attributes of womanhood, but of miracles. Cleopatra is a brilliant antithesis
nervous fibre which is carrying from the brain each of these stand in her with a distinct and -a compound of contradictions--of all that we
to the retina the figures of memory, could not peculiar grace. She resembles nothing upon most hate, with what we most admire. The
at the same instant be carrying back the imearth ; but do we therefore compare her, in our whole character is the triumph of the external pressions of external objects from the retina to own minds, with any of those fabled beings with over the innate, and yet like one of her coun
the brain. which the fancy of ancient poets peopled the try's hieroglyphics, though she present at first
“ In darkness and solitude, when external forest depths, the fountain, or the ocean ?- view a splendid and perplexing anomaly, there objects no longer interfere with the pictures of Oread or dryad fleet, sea-maid, or naiad of the is deep meaning and wondrous skill in the
the mind, they become more vivid and distinct; stream? We cannot think of them together. pareni enigma, when we come to analyze and
and in the state between waking and sleeping, Miranda is a consistent, natural, human being. decipher it. But how are we to arrive at the
the intensity of the impressions approaches to Our impression of her nymph-like beauty, her solution of this glorious riddle, whose dazzling habits, who are much occupied with the opera
that of visible objects. With persons of studious peerless grace and purity of soul, has a distinct complexity continually mocks and eludes us ? and individual character. Not only she is ex- What is most astonishing in the character of tions of their own minds, the mental pictures quisitely lovely, being what she is, but we are Cleopatra is its antithetical construction-its
are much more distinct than in ordinary permade to feel that she could not possibly be consistent inconsistency, if I may use such an ex
sons; and in the midst of abstract thought, exotherwise than as she is portrayed. She has pression--which renders it quite impossible to
ternal objects even cease to make any impres. never beheld one of her own sex; she has never reduce it to any elementary principles. It will,
sion on the retina. caught from society one imitated or artificial | perhaps, be found on the whole, that vanity and
“ If it be true, then, that the pictures of the grace. The impulses which have come to her, the love of power predominate ; but I dare not
mind and spectral illusions are equally impresin her enchanted solitude, are of heaven and say it is so, for these qualities and a hundred
sions upon the retina, the latter will differ in no nature, not of the world and its vanities. She
others mingle into each other, and shift, and respect from the former, but in the degree of has sprung up into beauty beneath the eye of change, and glance away, like the colours in a
vividness with which they are seen; and those her father, the princely magician; her compa- peacock's train.”
frightful apparitions becoming nothing more nions have been the rocks and woods, the
than our ordinary ideas, rendered more brilliant many-shaped, many-tinted clouds, and the silent
This, as our readers will see, is no every- by some accidental and temporary derangement stars; her playmates the ocean billows, that day book : we scarcely ever met with any of the vital functions. Their very vividness stooped their foamy crests, and ran rippling to thing so thoroughly enthusiastic : the au- too, which is their only characteristic, is capable kiss her feet. Ariel and his attendant sprites thoress speculates upon the character of her of explanation. I have already shown that the hovered over her head, ministered duteous to sex with singular ease and boldness, and in- retina is rendered more sensible to light by vo. her every wish, and presented before her pa- clines generally to the gentle and affectionate luntary local pressure, as well as by the invogeants of beauty and grandeur."
side : she sees tender mercies in Lady Mac- luntary pressure of the blood vessels behind it; Imogen. beth. We have neither room nor leisure to
and if, by looking at the sun, we impress upon
the retina a coloured image of that luminary, “We come now to Imogen. Others of Shak- question the accuracy of some of her notions; which is seen
even when the eye is shut, we speare's characters are, as dramatic and poetical
nor can we do more than allude to the beauty may by pressure alter the colour of thật image, conceptions, more striking, more brilliant, more
and truth of others. We consider this as by in consequence of having increased the sensipowerful; but of all his women, considered as far the best of her works. It is profusely bility of that part of the retina on which it is
impressed. Hence we may readily understand / gravest import. This divulgence of scandal | mandate commends both his
prose how the vividness of the mental pictures must continued for a considerable time, till the eager Labour and perseverance rendered him
perbe increased by analogous causes.
curiosity of one of the dilettanti was punished, fect at last; in his later poetry, he is natural, " In the case both of Nicolai and Mrs. A. the by hearing his wife's avowal of her own infi- nervous, varied, and flowing; all the early immediate cause of the spectres was a deranged delity. This circumstance gave publicity to the Dalilahs of his fancy, as he called them, are action of the stomach. When such a derange whispering peculiarity of the cathedral, and the banished; his knowledge strengthens his ment is induced by poison, or by substances confessional was removed to a place of greater thoughts without oppressing them; and no which act as poisons, the retina is peculiarly secrecy.” affected, and the phenomena of vision singularly
poet has written so many rhymed lines of
heroic metre, without becoming cloying and changed. Dr. Patouillet has described the case “ The echo which is produced by parallel monotonous. He has been fortunate too in of a family of nine persons who were all driven
walls is finely illustrated at the Marquis of Simad by eating the root of the Hyoscyamus niger monetta's villa near Milan, which has been de
his biographers : the labours of Johnson and or black Henbane. One of them leapt into a
Scott were labours of love; nor is the present scribed by Addison and Keysler, and which we pond. Another exclaimed that his neighbour believe iš that described by Mr. Southwell in Life, by the Rev. John Mitford, unworthy of would lose a cow in a month, and a third voci. ferated that the crown piece of sixty pence would pendicular to the main body of this villa there the Philosophical Transactions for 1746. Per- being named after them; on the contrary
is clever and discriminating, abounds with in a short time rise to five livres. On the fol.
extends two parallel wings about fifty-eight happy passages, and gives us a clear idea of lowing day they had all recovered their senses, paces distant from each other, and the surfaces the poet and the man, and much insight into but recollected nothing of what had happened. of which are unbroken either with doors or his household. On the same day they all saw objects double, windows. The sound of the human voice, or and, what is still more remarkable, on the third
We shall say nothing of the birth and rather a word quickly pronounced, is repeated education of Dryden, save that the latter was day every object appeared to them as red as scarlet. above forty times
, and the report of a pistol from by no means extensive, though it was respectNow this red light was probably nothing more than the red phosphorescence produced by the
fifty-six to sixty times. The repetitions, how
ever, follow in such rapid succession that it is able; we prefer taking a look with Mr. Mitpressure of the blood-vessels on the retina, and difficult to reckon them, unless early in the
ford at some of his brother bards, whose chaanalogous to the masses of blue, green, yellow, morning before the equal temperature of the
racters are thus briefly and accurately deliand red light, which have been already menatmosphere is disturbed, or in a calm still even
neated : tioned as produced by a similar pressure in headaches, arising from a disordered state of the
ing. The echoes appear to be best heard from “The metaphysical productions (to use the
a window in the main building between the two common phrase) of Cowley and Donne, cheir digestive organs.”
projecting walls, from which the pistol also is wild unlicensed flights and strange inharmoA curious proof of the influence of imagi- tired. Dr. Plot mentions an echo in Woodstock nious lines, once so admired as to eclipse even nation is given in the life of Peter Heaman,
Park which repeats seventeen syllables by day | Milton's fame, now found but few imitators. a Swede, executed at Edinburgh in 1822.
and twenty by night. An echo on the north | Waller, and especially Denham, had looked back The following are his own words :
side of Shipley church in Sussex repeats twenty- on Fairfax and our elder poets with advantage, " One remarkable thing was, one day as we one syllables.”
and had shown that a simpler and easier style, mended a sail, it being a very thin one, after
a more melodious and smoother system of verse laying it upon deck in folds, I took the tar
might be attained without much difficulty. The
ALDINE POETS.-Vol. XXI. brush and tarred it over in the places which I
light and sprightly manner of Suckling in his thought needed to be strengthened. But when Poems of John Dryden. Vol. I. London:
Vol. I. London: ballads and smaller poems was much admired. we hoisted it up I was astonished to see that
In Marvell true poetry might be found; nor the tar I had put upon it represented a gallows | Or all our great poets, no one commenced though lost too soon by him. They were full of
must some of Withers's earlier notes be forgotten, and a man under it without a head. The head was lying beside him. He was complete, body, den: his taste was bad ; his style forced and
the race of fame with less promise than Dry- the simplest melody, the sweetest music. It was thighs, legs, arms, and in every shape like a
the gentle voice of his captivity, wild pastoral man. Now, I oftentimes made remarks upon exaggerated, and his verses harsh and unmu- songs that beguiled his imprisoned hours, and it, and repeated them to the others. I always sical. Till he attained the age of thirty years then were heard no more. Dryden had evidently said to them all, you may depend upon it that or so, he never deviated into true poetry; his looked with somewhat of admiration or affecsomething will happen. I afterwards took down muse danced, indeed, but she seemed to dance tion to the poetry of Davenant, and notwiththe sail on a calm day, and sewed a piece of in gyves, and her contortions and grimaces standing the ridicule of the wits
, and with the canvas over the figure to cover it, for I could were such as excited merriment rather than
confession of much that is absurd, and more not bear to have it always before my eyes." pleasure. Compared to the early works of
that is tedious, Gondibert is the work of a man
of powerful intellect and fine genius; it is full
of fanciful images, ingenious reflections, and Among the numerous experiments with untuneable, and, what was worse, prosaic : majestic sentiments : ' Hobbes has praised its
similitudes unlike; ideas far fetched, and vigour and beauty of expression. Davenant inwhich science astonishes and sometimes even strikes terror into the ignorant, there is none
not worth the carriage; and in short, all the deed, in all his poetry, throws out gleams of more calculated to produce this effect than that evils which unite in a man destined by the loftier and brighter creations, pathetic touches
, of displaying to the eye in absolute darkness
Gods to be dull, were gathered together in sweet pensive meditations, imaginative and the legend or inscription upon a coin. To do his earlier pieces. But men of genius are like visionary fancies, and lines that run along the this, take a silver coin, (I have always used an the trees of an orchard, some of which bear keen edge of curious thoughts, such as comold one,) and after polishing the surface as summer, others autumn, and a few winter manded the attention of Dryden beyond any much as possible, make the parts of it which fruits : Dryden was of the latter sort; his
other poet of the age, and such as long after are raised rough by the action of an acid, the ripening was late; his mind had to go through
Pope was not too proud to transplant into the parts not raised, or those which are to be rendered darkest, retaining their polish. If the discovered that nature had a greater share a long course of severe discipline, before he
most impassioned, and the most imaginative of
all his productions. This early style of Dryden, coin thus prepared is placed upon a mass of red than art in all works of talent. There are,
or Davenant, is chiefly faulty, because the auhot iron, and removed into a dark room, the
thors have not the courage, or inclination to inscription upon it will become less luminous it is true, many glimpses of real grandeur,
reject an ingenious allusion, however remote, or than the rest, so that it may be distinctly read
and many bursts of fine nature in his rhymed by the spectator." dramas written in middle life; while in his the surface of their poetry glitters with similes,
a brilliant thought, however superfluous. Hence An Extraordinary Whispering Gallery.
prefaces, he exhibits a deep sense of all that is crowded with learned analogies, and sur
was material for the poet who desires to rounded with unnecessary illustrations ; what“A naval officer who travelled through Sicily live hereafter: yet these excellencies are ever is subtle, laboured, and unusual, is forced in the year 1824, gives an account of a powerful coupled with many deformities; and we into the subject. The interest of the story is whispering place in the cathedral of Girgenti,
must come far into Dryden's life before encumbered with imagery, and the progress of where the slightest whisper is carried with per
we have him in his strength and freedom the narrative impeded by reflection. Davenant fect distinctness through a distance of 250 feet, and glory. It was not, however, in poetry
himself confesses, that • Poetical excellence confrom the great western door to the cornice be
sists in the laborious and lucky resultances of hind the high altar. By an unfortunate coinci- | alone, that his vigour was acknowledged":
thought, having towards its excellence as well a dence the focus of one of the reflecting surfaces he was the first of this island who laid down
happiness as care, and not only the luck and was chosen for the place of the confessional , and rules for composition, and expressed them
labour, but also the dexterity of thought, roundwhen this was accidentally discovered, the too in language yet unequalled for force and
ing the world like a sun with unimaginable moovers of secrets resorted to the other focus, and variety ; of this, the King was not unaware hus became acquainted with confessions of the when he made him Poet Laureate; the royal | universal surveys.'”.
tion, and bringing swiftly home to the memory