صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the son of Finley, and the grandson of Rory, or Roderick; and that he was the husband of Gruoch, who was the daughter of Boedhe, and the grand-daughter of Kenneth IV. Macbeth thus united in himself all the power which was possessed by the partizans of Kenneth IV., all the influence of the lady Gruoch, and of her son Lulach, together with the authority of maormor of Ross, but not of Angus. With all these powers, in addition to his own character for address and vigour, Macbeth became superior to Duncan and the partisans of his family. Macbeth had to avenge the wrongs of his wife, and to resent, for himself, the death of his father. The superiority of Macbeth, and the weakness of Duncan, were felt, when the unhappy king expiated the crimes of his fathers, by “his most sacrilegious murder;" and Macbeth hastily marched to Scone, where he was inaugurated as the king of Scots, supported by the clans of Moray and Ross, and applauded by the partisans of Kenneth IV. If Macbeth had been in fact, what fiction has supposed, the son of the second daughter of Malcolm, his title to the throne would have been preferable to the right of Duncan's son, according to the Scottish constitution, from the earliest epoch of the monarchy. Whatever defect there may have been in his title to the sullied sceptre of his unhappy predecessor, he seems to have been studious to make up for it, by a vigorous and beneficent administration. He even practised the hospitality, which gives shelter to the fugitive. During his reign, plenty is said to have abounded; justice was administered; the chieftains, who would have raised disturbances, were either overawed by his power, or repressed by his valour. Yet, injury busied herself in plotting vengeance. Crian, the abbot of Dunkeld, who, as the father of Duncan, and the grandfather of his sons, must have been now well-stricken in years, put himself at the head of the friends of Duncan, and made a gallant, but unsuccessful attempt, to restore them to their rights. The odious crime, however, by which Macbeth acquired his authority, seems to have haunted his most prosperous moments. He tried, by distributing money at Rome, by largesses to the clergy, and by charity to the poor, to obtain relief from “the affliction of those terrible dreams that did shake him nightly.” Macbeth, and the lady Gruoch, his wife, gave the lands of Kirkness, and also the manor of Bolgy, to the Culdees of Lochleven. Yet, the friendship of the pope, and the support of the clergy, did not ensure Macbeth a quiet reign. His rigour increased with his sense of insecurity. The injuries of Macduff, the maormor of Fife, constantly prompted the son of Duncan to attempt the redress of their wrongs. With the approbation,


perhaps by the command, of Edward the Confessor, Siward, the potent earl of Northumberland, and the relation of Malcolm, conducted a numerous army into Scotland, during the year 1054. The Northumbrians, led by Siward and his son Osbert, penetrated, probably, to Dunsinane. In this vicinity, were they confronted by Macbeth, when a furious conflict ensued. "The numbers of the slain evince the length of the battle, and the bravery of the combatants. Osbert was slain : yet Macbeth, after all his efforts of valour, and vigour of conduct, was overcome. He retired into the north, where he had numerous friends, and where he might find many fastnesses Siward returned into Northumberland, and died, at York, in 1055. Meantime, Macbeth continued his bloody contest with Malcolm : and this uncommon character was at length slain, at Lumphanan, on the 5th of December, 1056, by the hand of the injured Macduff.


Old poets Hippocrene admire,
And pray to water to inspire
Their muse's birth and heavenly fire ;
Had they this seemly fountain seen,
Sack both their drink and muse had been,
And this pint pot their Hippocrene.

Had truly they considered it,
They had, like me, thought it unfit
To pray to water for their wit ;
But had ador'd sack as divine,
And made a poet, god of wine;
Then this pint pot had been a shrine.

Sack unto them had been, instead
Of Nectar, and the heavenly bread,
And every boy a Ganymede ;
And had they made a god of it,
And styled it patron of their wit,
This pot had been a temple fit.

Well then, companions, is't not fit,
Since to this gem we owe our wit,
That we should praise the cabinet,
And drink a health to this divine
And bounteous palace of our wine?
Die he of thirst that doth repine.

A Collection of Poems, chiefly of the 17th century,

in the Lansdown MSS. No. 777.


(From an American Paper.) The celebrated Elegy in a Church-yard, by Gray, is well known, and justly admired by every one who has the least pretensions to taste. But with all its polish, and deep poetic beauty and feeling, it always appeared to me to be defective, and I'have met with a remark in Cecil's Remains, to the same effect. Amid a scene so well calculated to awaken in a pious mind reflections on the sublime truths and inspiring hopes of Christianity, Gray, with the exception of two or three somewhat equivocal expressions, says scarcely a word which might not have been said by one who believed that

“ death was an eternal sleep,” and who was disposed to regard the humble tenants of those tombs as indeed “ each’in his narrow cell for ever laid.” With these views I have regretted, that sentiments similar to the following had not sprung up in the heart, and received the exquisite touches of the classic pen of Gray. I do not offer them to supply the deficiency. This would be as presumptuous and hopeless an attempt, as that of the English artists to repair the mutilations which time or accident had occasioned among the inimitable relics of Grecian genius. They might, with great propriety, have followed the stanza, beginning “ Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife.”

" No airy dreams their simple fancies fired,

No thirst for wealth, nor panting after fame ;
But truth divine, sublimer hopes inspired,

And urged them onward to a nobler aim.

From every cottage, with the day arose

The hallowed voice of spirit-breathing prayer;
And artless anthems, at its peaceful close,

Like holy incense, charmed the evening air.

Though they, each tome of human lore unknown,

The brilliant path of science never trod,
The sacred volume claimed their hearts alone,

Which taught the way to glory and to God.

“ Here they from truth's eternal fountain drew

pure and gladdening waters day by day;
Learnt, since our days are evil, fleet, and few,

To walk in wisdom's bright and peaceful way..

“ In yon lone pile, o'er which hath sternly pass'd

The heavy hand of all-destroying Time,
Through whose low mouldering isles now sighs the blast,

And round whose altars grass and ivy climb :

They gladly thronged, their grateful hymns to raise,

Oft as the calm and holy Sabbath shone;
The mingled tribute of their prayers and praise,

In sweet communion rose before the throne.

“Here, from those honoured lips, which sacred fire

From Heaven's high chancery hath touched, they hear Truths which their zeal inflame, their hopes inspire,

Give wings to faith, and check affliction's tear.

“ When life flowed by, and, like an angel, Death

Came to release them to the world on high,
Praise trembled still on each expiring breath,

And holy triumph beamed from every eye.

“ Then gentle hands their“ dust to dust” consign;

With quiet tears, the simple rites are said,
And here they sleep, till at the trump divine,

The earth and ocean render up their dead. “ Rhode Island, America."

Notwithstanding the modesty, which has prevented the author from claiming for these lines more than the merit of suggesting what is wanting in Gray's admirable Elegy, they accord so well with it both in elevation of sentiment, and force of diction, as to form of themselves no inappropriate supplement. It will not do, however, to intercalate them into the Elegy at the part suggested by the author, nor indeed any where else; for though the thoughts are not in opposition to those of Gray, they do not, in terms, sufficiently chime in with them. Besides, with all its faults, the work of Gray is one which should be held sacred.


The Papal dignity has sometimes condescended to interfere in affairs of very trifling importance; such was the war of Benedict XIII. against the wigs of the clergy. On the 20th of December, 1724, he published a bull, of which the following is an extract: “Statuit et mandat, ne ullus sacerdos, aut sacris initiatus, aut etiam clericus primæ tonsuræ, comam, quæ frontem auresque tegat, 'nutriat, multo minus peruccâ utatur, sub pænâ, toties quoties transgrediuntur, decem scutorum, illico operibus et locis piis applicandorum, necnon incarcerationis totidem dierum.” Ten days' imprisonment for wearing a wig! Let hair-dressers venerate this chieftain of the infallible church.




The two following extraordinary commissions, which were issued in the reign of Edward IV. shew the wretched state in which justice was administered in England in the fifteenth century. The first commission is directed to Richard, earl of Warwick, surnamed the King-maker, to preside as lord high steward on a very singular occasion,-no other than that of the trial of a King ReGNANT; and for no less a crime than than that of murder. The monarch thus accused was Henry VI. who was afterwards barbarously murdered in the Tower of London by Richard, (afterwards king Richard III.) at the instigation of his brother, king Edward. The commission is dated Dec. 3, A.D. 1461; 1 Edward IV.: and the preamble is as follows:

Quod in processu ejusdem actûs adversus et contrà tam HENR. nuper de facto et non de jure regem Angl. adversarium inimicum nostrum, quam quodam alios rebelles nostros, aliosque qui prænobilem principem et patrem nostrum Ricardum, nuper ducem Eborum, apud Wakefield, crudelissimè et

« السابقةمتابعة »