« PředchozíPokračovat »
lingered contentedly, because they neither knew, nor receive the Greek baptism. One crowd succeeded to were capable of appreciating, a better order of things. another, and to each of these, in mass, was given the
It may, however, be stated, in reference to the subject name of a saint. He next carried to excess the virtues we are at present considering, that Christianity was not of Christianity, as he had formerly carried the vices of introduced into Russia till near the conclusion of the Paganism; he wasted the revenues of the state in alms, tenth century; and even then, and for several centuries in pious foundations, and in public repasts, to imitate afterwards, it was not actively encouraged, but rather the love-feasts of the primitive Christians; he no longer tacitly tolerated. It was under Vladimir, the Goth, dared to shed the blood of criminals, or even the enemies that the light of the Gospel first penetrated into Russia. of the country.”—P. 30-2. This conversion and its effects are vigorously described by Segur; and as the passage is altogether an intereste But Heaven had not destined that an empire, which ing one, we shall extract it:
comprehends one-half of Europe, and a third of Asia, THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO
and forms a ninth part of the habitable globe an em. pire capable of supporting one hundred and fifty mil.
lions of human beings-should remain forever lost in “ Vladimir's rude greatness, and the rumours of his darkness and wretchedness. A regenerator at length great warlike exploits, awakened the attention of the arose, a man who stands alone in history, who, trust. neighbouring religions ; four of them hastened to con- ing only to his own gigantic mind, did more for Russia tend for his conversion ; but Vladimir rejected Maho- in fifty-two years, than all his predecessors had been metanism, because it interdicted wine, which, he said, able to do since the creation of the world. We do not was indispensable to Russians, and was their de- talk of his victories and successes over foreign powers ; light; Catholicism, offered to him by the Germans, he they are nothing in the scale, when compared with disliked, because of its Pope, an earthly deity, which the revolutions he effected at home. He was a despot, appeared an unexampled thing; and Judaism, because no doubt; but, to use the powerful language of our it had no country, and because he thought it neither ra- author, he was so " by birth, by station, by necessity, tional to take advice from wanderers punished by Hea- by the ascendency of genius, by nature, and because ven, nor tempting to participate in their punishment. slaves must have a master ; yet, what seems utterly in. But, at the same time, his attention was fixed by the comprehensible, he was a despot more patriotic, more Greek religion, which his ancestress, Olga, had followed, constantly and wholly devoted to the welfare of his na. and which had recently been preached to him by a tion, than ever was any citizen of a modern, or even of philosopher of Byzantium. He summoned his Coun an ancient republic !" Such men as Peter the Great cil, took the opinion of his boyards, of the elders of the appear only once during the existence of a world ; and people, and deputed ten of them to examine those reli. it requires no common grasp of intellect, for posterity gions in distant lands, even in their native temples. even to speak concerning them as they deserve. His
“ Hitherto, notwithstanding their Beli. Bog and their life was like the transit of a comet, which bewilders, Tcheveric-Bog, (white god and black god,) and what, while it excites admiration, and which is only the more ever they might have gathered from the followers of sublime, because it sets at defiance all the ordinary laws Zoroaster and of Odin, it is affirmed that the Slavonians of astronomical science. He stepped at once out of the had not even dreamt of the existence and perpetual night of centuries, into the full sunshine of civilization struggle of a good and an evil principle; with different and knowledge ;-he extricated himself, by a single denominations, these Pagans had a mythology similar movement, from the ignorance and prejudices of the to all others that is to say, they had not only deified sixty millions of men by whom he was surrounded, and, their passions, but also their tastes, and the chief objects standing pre-eminent on the lofty elevation he had rearof their hopes and fears.
ed with his own hands, he collected around him the i “The envoys of the Grand Prince, meanwhile, plain, chosen spirits of his people, and with these he formed downright men, went forth, and returned ; Mahome " the nucleus of a nation, which thenceforth never tanism and Catholicism they had seen only in poor and ceased to aspire to the light, to proceed in its new and barbarous provinces, while they witnessed the Greek re- noble career, and to draw after it all the rest of his em. ligion in its magnificent metropolis, and adorned with pire.” It may be, that in tearing himself from the all its pomp: they did not hesitate Instantly con- barbarism of ages, some fragments of it still adhered to vinced, Vladimir marched to conquer priests and relics him; but the dark spots they left upon his character, so at Cherson : having done this, he, by his threats, ex- far from eclipsing, served rather to give an intenser lus. torted from the Greek empire a princess, whom he mar- tre to the glory he acquired. In his immense caner, ried, and became a Christian. 'Playing the tyrant to every thing bore reference to his one and great idea-the Heaven, as he did to earth, his Pagan divinities, those regeneration of his empire. If they are the greatest men divinities which he had formed entirely of gold, and fat- who are continually in Auenced by the grandeur and the tened with Christian blood, he now stripped for the sake energy of reason and passion, and whose lives exhibit of Christ, like disgraced favourites ; he went still far- the fewest unmeaning and fortuitous actions, then Peter ther ; he ordered thein to be dragged to execution at the was one of the greatest of all; for his persevering and tails of horses ; they were loaded with blows by his enthusiastic desire to do good to his subjects inspired guards, and were thrown into the Dnieper.
and directed the most trivial occurrences of his exist. “ The Prince, who thus treated the gods of Russia, enco. And what did he not achieve for Russia ? She was not more forbearing towards the men; he com is indebted to him for every thing. He found her a marded them to become Christians on a certain day and dead, barren, and frozen continent; he gave her three hour : "he commanded, and whole tribes were pushed seas, an extensive commerce, commodious harbours, a on like flocks, and collected on the banks of rivers, to regular and well-disciplined army, a powerful navy, an
admiralty, a police establishment, a code of laws, a • The Greek schism began in 857, when the patriarch Photius multitude of schools and colleges, an imperial library, excommunicated Pore Nicholas 1., because the Roman Church princely collections in anatomy and natural history, obordered fasting on Saturday, allowed milk food in Lent, cut off servatories, printing.offices, galleries of pictures and the first week from that season of mortification, forbade priests statues,-all that gives life a value, and refines and ento marry, and permitted them to shave their beards; and, lastly, maintained that the Holy Ghost proceeded not only from the Fa: nobles the species. ther, but also from the Son.
With such a hero, it is not to be wondered that Count administering the Sacrament in both kinds; in baptism by im. mersion : and in the Greek liturgy and the whole of its service Segur's work rises immensely in interest as soon as being in the vulgar tongue.
Peter the Great enters the scene ; we only regret, as we
The other differences consisted in
have already said, that he does not devote a greater por- selves, he had entered in order to share their pleasures.' tion of it to him exclusively. It is impossible to do jus. He then seated himself, and drank to his assassins, who, tice to a theme of so much magnitude in two hundred standing up around him, could not avoid putting the pages; and though our author has unquestionably pro- glass about, and drinking his health. But soon they duced a bold and masterly sketch, it is one which stands began to consult each other by their looks, to make nu. very much in need of filling up. Perhaps Count Se merous signs, and to grow more daring; one of them gur's chief fault, at least as an historian, is, that he is even leaned over to Sukanim, and said in a low voice, rarely willing to confine himself to a mere narrative of Brother, it is time!' The latter, for what reason, is facts. He is fond of indulging in reflections of his unknown, hesitated, and had scarcely replied, “ Not yet,' own, which are often both philosophical and profound, when Peter, who heard him, and who also heard at last but which ought to be sparingly introduced in works the footsteps of his guards, started from his seat, knock. whose principal object is to supply historical informa- ed him down by a blow on the face, and exclaimed, 'If tion. The Count is very apt to generalize; and his it is not yet time for you, scoundrel, it is time for me ! style, oddly enough, appears to be a kind of compound This blow, and the sight of the guards, threw the as. of Gibbon's and Hazlitt's ; in philosophy, he resembles sassins into consternation; they fell on their knees, the former; and in sparkling antithesis, and a wish to and implored forgiveness. Chain them !' replied the say fine things, he is not unlike the latter. In the short terrible Tzar. Then, turning to the officer of the guards, specimens, however, we shall give of his work, we pre- he struck him, and reproached him with his want of fer selecting from the less ambitious department of plain punctuality; but the latter showed him his order; and narrative, or at least narrative as plain as he ever allows the Tzar, perceiving his mistake, clasped him in his himself to write.
arns, kissed him on the forehead, proclaimed his fideAt the very outset of his career, Peter the Great very lity, and entrusted him with the custody of the traitors. nearly became the victim of a military conspiracy; and, “ His vengeance was terrible ; the punishment was indeed, his danger was such, that nothing but his own more ferocious than the crime. First the rack ; then the presence of mind could have saved him. The following successive mutilation of each member; then death, when scene strikes us as admirably adapted for the purposes not enough of blood and life was left to admit of the of the drama.
sense of suffering." P. 261-63. THE CONSPIRACY OF THE STRELITZ.
Without attempting to follow this great monarch “ Like all malcontents, the Strelitz believed that dis. through the magnificent adventures of his after-life, we content was universal. It was this belief, which, in content ourselves with subjoining one or two anecdotes, Moscow itself, and a few days before the departure of illustrative of the best part of his character_his defe. their sovereign, emboldened Tsikler and Sukanim, two
rence to reason and good sense, even where his own wishes of their leaders, to plot a nocturnal conflagration. They were most directly counteracted. knew that Peter would be the first to hasten to it; and,
ANECDOTES OF PETER THE GREAT. in the midst of the tumult and confusion common to such accidents, they meant to murder him without mer. “ The instance which they most delight to adduce is, cy, and then to massacre all the foreigners who had been the boldness of the senator Dolgousky, in the year of fa. set over them as masters.
mine, when, by an ukase, which was already signed, Pe. 6 Such was the infamous scheme. The hour which ter was about to sacrifice Novgorod to Petersburg : this they had fixed for its accomplishment was at hand. magistrate had not co-operated in the injustice; he found They had accomplices, but no impeachers; and, when it committed. But seizing in full senate the obnoxious assembled at a banquet, they all sought in intoxicating ukase, he, at the risk of his life, suspended the execuliquors the courage which was required for so dreadful tion of it, carried it away with him, and went to the an execution. But, like all intoxications, this produced next church, to receive the sacrament, which the priest various effects, according to the difference of constitu- was then administering. The intelligence of this oftion in those by whom it was felt. Two of these vil. fence, which was envenomed by envy and servility, was lains lost in it their boldness ; they infected each other, instantly speeded to the Tzar; he hurried to the senate, not with just remorse, but with a dastardly fear; and, and sent orders to Dolgousky to appear there immediateescaping from one crime by another, they left the com- 1y. But the latter, without turning his head, or divertpany under a specious pretext, promising to their ac. ing his attention from heaven to earth, replied, " I hear complices to return in time, and hurried to the Tzar to you,' and went on with his prayers. A second and more disclose the plot.
imperious message had as little effect upon him, I “ At midnight, the blow was to have been struck; and give unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto Peter gave orders that exactly at eleven, the abode of God the things that are God's,' replied he, unmoved ; tbe conspirators sliould be closely surrounded. Shortly and it was not till the Holy Sacrament was over that he after, thinking that the hour was come, he went singly took his way to the Tzar. As soon as the monarch saw to the haunt of these ruffians; he entered boldly, cer. him, he rushed furiously at him, seized him, drew his tain that he should find nothing but trembling crimi- sword, and with a threatening voice, exclaimed, 'You nals, already fettered by his guards. But his impatience shall perish!'
. But Dolgousky remained unmoved, and, had anticipated the time ; and he found himself, single pointing to his heart, * Strike !' said he, firmly ; ' I do and unarmed, in the midst of their unshackled, daring, not fear to die in a just cause ! On hearing these well-arned band, at the instant when they were vocife- words, the Prince dropped his hand, his voice softened, rating the last words of an oath that they would achieve he stepped back, and said, in a tone of surprise, But, his destruction. At his unexpected appearance, how. tell me, what could have made you so daring ?' 'Your. ever, they all arose in confusion. Peter, on his side, self,' replied the minister ; did not you order that the comprehending the full extent of his danger, exasperated truth should be told you, with respect to the interest of at the supposed disobedience of his guards, and furious your people ?' He then explained ; and Peter, who was at having thrown himself into peril, suppressed, never convinced by what he heard, thanked him for his cou. theless, the violence of his emotions. Having gone too rageous sincerity, and begged pardon for his violence." far to recede, he did not lose his presence of mind; he " On the occasion of the new and extraordinary la. unhesitatingly advanced among this throng of traitors, bour which was imposed for the excavation of the canal greeted them familiarly, and, in a calm and natural tone, of Ladoga, Dolgousky, indignant at such an abuse of said, that ' as he was passing by their house, he saw a power, dared to destroy, in the midst of the senate, the light in it; that supposing that they were amusing them. order which his master had himself dictated. On wit. nessing this unheard-of action, the senators started from England and Scotland respecting those foundations, &c. their seats in affright; they removed to a distance ; they connected with the Universities, that a perusal of Mr kept as far as possible from this sacrilegious being on Gilbert's indefatigable work will amply gratify them. whom the thunder was about to fall, for the terrible We hope that some industrious and able person in this Tzar had just entered. But Dolgousky remained in his country will take a hint from it, and present us on this place; and, unastonished either by his own boldness, or side of the Tweed with a Liber Scholasticus of our own ihe violence of the Tzar, he opposed to the first burst of less wealthy country ; its church, its lectureships, hoswrath from his irritated master, the glory of such a pitals or foundations, universities, bursaries, or exhi. noble reign, which he was on the point of tarnishing, bitions; and by whom they can be enjoyed. Such a and the good of his subjects, which, doubtless, he did publication is very much wanted, notwithstanding all not, like Charles XII., desire to obtain ! Then, he that has been said and written on Scotland; and who. stated the reasons of his indignation, while he, at the ever comes forward to supply the deficiency, shall hare same time, blamed its violence. It is said that the whole our hearty support. of the senators were struck with astonishment, to see the previous glances of their formidable Tzar lose their fierceness ; his features, which were swoln with anger, The History of Napoleon Buona parte, with Engrabecome composed ; his lips, which foamed with threats,
vings on steel and wood. Two volumes. Vol. I. acknowledge his error, and revoke his order ; and his
Being the first volume of the Family Library. pride, jealous as it was, far from punishing the brutal
London. John Murray. 1829. sincerity of his counsellor, be satisfied with the regret which he had expressed to him.”
We have heard that this Life of Napoleon is from “An ivoschick was a man who let out horses, which, the graphic pen of the author of “ The Subaltern." in the simplicity of his manners, the Tzar was accus. Whether this be the case or not, it bids fair to do the comed to hire in the same way as his people; but one writer much credit. It is temperately and judiciously day, being made angry by their slowness, he drove them composed, and will supply what has hitherto been a without mercy, and one of them having died in conse. desideratum in this country,-a distinct digest, within quence, the owner demanded the value of it.
a moderate compass, of all the principal events which fused to pay it: the ivo-chick had the boldness to resort distinguished the career of by far the most remarkable to the law. His sovereign agreed to abide by the deci- , man of modern times. We observe the author has sion of the tribunal, appeared before it, defended him. adopted the same spelling of the word Buonaparte as self, lost his cause, and submitted without a murmur to Sir Walter Scoit. This is a pity, because it is incorrect; the verdict which was given against him."--P. 366.9.
and is rather severely animadverted on by Louis BonaBefore concluding, we must remark that we are very parle, in his late Reply to Sir Walter. We could have far from being satisfied with the manner in which the also wished that more frequent references and authorities English translation of this work has been executed. The had been given. The publisher's part of the work has style is full of Gallicisnis, is frequently obscure, and is been very tastefully and liberally executed. The frontis. often much more infiated than it is in the original. Take piece, which is an engraving on steel by Finden, from an example or two :-"In Mikhail Romanoff, Russia David's celebrated picture of Bonaparte crossing the Alps, chose a name which was lustrous with two hundred and is itself almost worth the price of the volume. We can. fifty years of conspicuousness. “At the same time, not say so much for the engraving of Josephine ; but the the boyhood of Peter was banished to a village;" where passing of the Bridge of Arcola, the Battle of the Pyra. did Peter himself remain ? “The original propension mids, and the Death of D'Enghien, are exceedingly good. towards heat and light, which is so natural to the men of The paper and typography are unexceptionable ; and a the frozen shades of the north, but which had at first family library of such volumes would be all that a family been wrested aside by a great accident, now insensibly could desire. The price of each is five shillings. resumed its empire.” "One of them seized the Prince, and raised his sword; and that head which contained the seeds of the Russian glory was on the point of falling." The Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman. By a “ Truth is what is required from history, and when the truth which she has to record is all fire, is it with the
Barrister. London. J. A. Hessey. 1829. Pp. 231.
12mo. ice of a frozen unfeelingness that its flames can be made obvious ?" This may be fine writing, but it is not good English
This work is so tastefully got up, that its external appearance would almost entice one to peruse it. Its author, Mr Roberts, who, from his profession, is one
of those who are “ skilled in the law," has drawn so Liber Scholasticus, fc. London. Rivingtons. 1829. | very strict and minute a portraiture of a Christian 12mo. Pp. 500.
gentleman, that he who could act up to it, would
have no inconsiderable pretensions to the state of absoThis work, of which we have quoted only the head. lute perfection. He is evidently, however, a well-meanline, as its title-page is none of the shortest, is a most ing person ; and though his work is not original, great elaborate account of the Fellowships, Scholarships, and use having been made of some old and now almost-for. Exhibitions of the Universities of Oxford and Cam- gotten " Portraictures" on the same subject, we feel bridge ; by whom founded, and whether open to natives pleasure in recommending it to our readers. It conof England and Wales, or restricted to particular places tains, among other illustrations, some excellent remarks and persons; also of such colleges, public schools, en- on family devotion, unscriptural religion, and on the dowed grammar schools, chartered companies of the city politics, literature, family government, exterior inter. of London, corporate bodies, trustees, &c., as have Uni- course, familiar talk, worldly dealings, and education of versity advantages attached to them, or in their patron- the Christian gentleman. The chapters on the “ Force age; with appropriate indexes and references. The of High Example" are well written ; and we are precompiler, Mr Richard Gilbert, is an eminent printer in sented with spirited, though severe,“ portraitures" of London, and is profoundly learned in every thing con- John Wilkes, the author of Junius, and John Horde nected with the subject of this book. We can assure such Tooke. The characters of George II., Lord Bolingof our readers as are curious in these matters, and who broke, Horace Walpole, Lord Lyttleton, Gilbert West, wish to form a proper opinion of the difference between the Earl of Chatham, Edmund Burke, Mr Pitt, Mr
Perceval, and our late venerable sovereign, George III., of the Iliad. Of these the volume before us contains are also brought under our especial notice. The re- the first six, and we are informed that six will apnear marks, too, on the Sabbath of the Christian gentleman, annually till the whole is completed. We can do little are excellent. We greatly doubt, as we ‘have already more than call attention to the Poem, by a very brief hinted, whether it be possible for any individual to ap- description, and a few extracts. proach the model of the Christian gentleman which our As an epic, it enters into the historical detail,-much author has proposed ; nevertheless, we ought not to for- of it fictitious, no doubt, but by no means bound by the get the advice of Quintilian, “ always to be making unities to which a picture necessarily, and a drama proadvances towards that which is best ; for, even although perly, are limited. Byron, in his tragedy of Sardanawe be not altogether successful, we shall at least have palus, finishes the war in a day. In a note prefixed, he the satisfaction of seeing many far behind us."
says, “ In this tragedy, it has been my intention 10 fol. low the account of Diodorus Siculus ; reducing it, how. ever, to such dramatic regularity as I best could, and
trying to approach the unities. I, therefore, suppose The Fall of Nineveh, a Poem. By Edwin
Atherstone, sudden conspiracy, instead of the long war of the his.
the rebellion to explode, and succeed in one day, by a The first Six Books. London. Baldwin, Cradock, and tory.” The tragedy, therefore, has left subject enough Joy. 1828,
for the Epopée, and subject, which almost precludes TAE sublime subject of the “ Fall of Nineveh,” | ed. The theme is the revolt of the subject nations of
general comparison, even when the latter shall be finish. made lately a double attack upon the sensibilities of the Asia against the widely domineering, Nineveh; and, Metropolis
, namely, in a Painting and in a Poem. In after many defeats by the heroic, though sensual Sardathe former, Mr Martin, the truly original artist of Belo napalus, their final triumph. With all our notions of shazzar's Feast, of Joshua arresting the Sun, and of the Ninevite splendour, and our associations of an antiquity Deluge, (at present in Edinburgh, and, probably, the all but antediluvian, with a sort of venerative assimila. least worthy of his productions,) has outdone himself by tion of Assyrian with Scripture history, there can one of the most powerful
, nay, it is very generally als scarcely, we think, be a doubt, that if the lofty theme lowed, the most powerful picture which has yet come from a British pencil. Mr Martin seizes the eventful be only in the highest beroic and epic mode. For its
was to be " sung to the solemn harp" at all, it could moment of the storming rush of a million of victors in effects on the feelings to which it is addressed, poetry to the devoted Nineveh, while, in the foreground, the depends more on its subject than on its form ; and, sensual but determined Sardanapalus, surrounded by his much as the epic has gone by, it is assuredly not bewomen, is hurrying to the pile of all his wealth, devoted to the ready torch in the hands of his slaves. The yond human genius to revive it as fresh and colossal as queen is led captive by her maids, in the words of the
ever. If we may judge from the interest with which prophet, " plaining with the voice of doves, and tabour
we perused these six books, this poet's bids fair to be a
successful trial. ing on their breasts.” The councillors are upbraiding,
He invokes the Spirit of Poetry in a style of mingled -the slaves are drunken, the walls are crumbling, and the myriad Ninevites are falling and flying before veneration and self-distrust, which recalls the humble the countless foot, horse, chariots, and elephants, of the manner in which Milton
sometimes alludes to himself. triumphant Medes, and Chaldeans, and Arabians, and After announcing his subject, he proceeds thus : Bactrians, leagued for the deliverance of Asia from the Theme antiquated, haply, deem'd, and dull; most insolent and capricious thraldom that ever mocked Unseason'd in this gay and flowery age; the nations. It is midnight, but the artist reveals the Or else presumptuous ;-yet, well understood, amazing spectacle, with a flash of lightning, which in Not flat, nor profitless; nor without fear one moment declares an unequalled sum of the sublime By me approach'd ; nor with o'erweening pride ;and the gorgeous an almost inconceivable multitude of In silence ponder'd, and in solitude, human beings-- splendour of regal circumstance--a From busy cities far, and throng of men ; galaxy of female beauty, in all the variety of devoted. Save
few, uncheer'd : yet not with labour cold
By enemies untroubled,and by friends, ness, terror, and despair, surrounding one of the finest Pursued, and mind depress'd, nor vainly quite, personifications of monarchy which can be conceivedSo thou, Great Spirit, whatsoe'er thy name, the whole in the richest hues of colouring that, perhaps, Muse, Inspiration, or Divinity; have yet been realized on canvass.
Who the blind bard of Ilium did support, Now, we cannot give a better idea of the quality of And him, yet favour'd more, that Paradise, the Poem, than by saying that it is as like the Painting Chaos, and Heaven, and Hell, in verse sublime as its separate line of art will permit. As an epic poem Sang to the solemn harp,-50 sometimes thou of great length, it is, no doubt, an extended history, of wilt not disdain even me to cheer and aid ! which the painting is the final catastrophe. The poem To gaze upon the glory of thy brow?
Yet how should I invoke thee?--how presume would furnish forch many paintings, but they must all Even they, perchance, the strong, the eagle-eyed, be of the pitch of Martin's, to be worthy of it. And it Beholding thee grow dark,—how then might I will contribute a new idea, as well as a new feeling, to our Upon thy splendours hope to look, and live ?" readers, to be told that the poet and the painter are in. timate friends ; communicating reciprocally an increase The annunciation of the granted inspiration bursts of ardour, and an improvement of taste, in their kindred like " there was light," in the oratorio. though different treatment of their common there ; and that, when Sir Walter Scott visited the gallery of Mr The vision comes upon me !-To my soul Martin last spring, he found Me Atherstone denizened The days of old return; I breathe the air therein, cheering on the painter, who, with every touch, of the young world ;-I see her giant sons. was yet more animating the poet.
Like to a gorgeous pageant in the sky The Poem is a bold attempt for “ a gay and flowery Of summer's evening, cloud on fiery cloud regular epic of twenty-four books, the number Thronging unheap'd, -before me rise the walls
Of the 'Titanic city, brazen gates,
Towers,-temples,-palaces en mous piled, This Poem has been longer before the public than the works Imperial Nineveh, the earthly queen! generally reviewed in the Lilerary Journal; but it is not yet surhciently known in Scotland, and we have pleasure in directing In all her golden pomp I see her now,the attention of our readers to it.-Ed. Lit. Jour.
Her swarming streets-her splendid festivals,
Her sprightly damsels to the timbrel's sound
cil is Homeric, and so is the amazingly spirited plantAirily bounding, and their anklets chime,
ing of the rebel standard. Arbaces speaks Her lusty sons, like summer-morning gayHer warriors stern-her rich-robed rulers grave;
“ Your arms are on your limbs-your hearts are strong
Your cause is holy God is on our side
How can you doubt? Up with your banner,--up! I hear the laugh, the whisper, and the sigh,
Wait not the fifth pale morn ;-wait not an hour 1 A sound of stately treading toward me comes
This instant let me plant before the tent A silken wafting on the cedar floor;
The glorious standard ! Oh to see it wave As from Arabia's flowering groves, an air
Beneath the myriad dazzling eyes of heaven, Delicious breathes around. Tall, lofty brow'd,
Will nerve your arms, and lift your spirits up, Pale, and majestically beautiful,
To laugh at dangers, and make court to death! In vesture gorgeous as the clouds of morn,
Have I your voices ? Shall I plant the flag ?
Heaven bids you onward now: Oh waver not !"
Thus he; and toward the folding gonfalon
Eagerly pointing, two swift strides advanced ; Chariots like fire, and thunder-bearing steeds !
Then stood, and round the assembly shot his eye, I hear the shouts of battle; like the waves
Bright as a meteor, waiting their approof. Of a tumultuous sea, they roll and rush !
A noble glow was on his youthful brow: In flame and smoke the imperial city sinks!
His form heroic with unearthly strength
Seem'd to expand ; his voice was like the call
Of trumpets to the battle: in their hearts,
As a torch
Dazzling the eye, and roaring in the ear,
So at his burning words, the sleeping fire But joyous is the stirring city now :
In the still bosoms of the generous chiefs The moon is clear,--the stars are coming forth,
Burst to an instant flame.“ Up! up !" they cried The evening breeze fans pleasantly. Retired
“ Lift up the banner !We will trust in Heaven !" Within his gorgeous hall, Assyria's king Sits at the banquet, and in love and wine
As on his prey the hungry lion springs, Revels delighted. the gilded roof
So on the flag Arbaces. Hurrying then A thousand golden lamps their lustre fling,
Without the tent, the ensign in his hand, And on the marble walls, and on the throne
And the applauding captains crowding round, Gem-boss'd, that high on jasper steps upraised
Into the earth with giant strength he drove Like to one solid diamond quivering stands,
Deep down the quivering banner staff, steel-shod, Sun-splendours tlashing round. In woman's garb
Tall as a mast. "Loud rustling in the wind, The sensual king is clad, and with him sit
The monstrous pennon shook its silken folds,A crowd of beauteous concubines. They sing,
Waving defiance--beckoning to the field. And roll the wanton eye, and laugh and sigh,
But we can afford a mere glimpse of this spirit-stir. And feed his car with honey'd flatteries, And laud him as a God. All rarest flowers,
ring poem. The attempts by the Ninevite chiefs to in. Bright-hued and fragrant, in the brilliant light
duce the rebels, as they call them, to repent of their Bloom as in sunshine : like a mountain stream
rashness, before the king of kings shall even know of Amid the silence of the dewy eve
the mad revolt,—the heroic courtesy yet firmness of Heard by the lonely traveller through the vale,
Arbaces--the astonishment and indignation of SardaWith dream-like murmuring melodious,
napalus,-his contempt and rage the rush of his vast In diamond showers a crystal fountain falls.
armies, anticipating his wish,--the attack already made All fruits delicious, and of every clime,
on the advancing confederates by the Jerimoths, the Beauteous to sight and odoriferous,
Zimris, and the Sennacheribs, his generals, his own Invite the taste; and wines of sunny light, Rose-hued or golden, for the feasting Gods
gallant passage of the gates in his chariot, flaming with
diamonds, into the middle of his shouting hosts, the Fit nectar : sylph-like girls and blooming boys, Flower-crown'd, and in apparel bright as spring,
inimitable battle, which, although long, is not tedious, Attend upon their bidding: at the sign,
his wound from the hand of Arbaces, and return to the From bands unseen, voluptuous music breathes,
city, the flight of his armies, and the pursuit by the Harp, dulcimer, and, sweetest far of all,
exulting rebellion,-the devoted attempt of his neglect. Woman's mellifluous voice. What pamper'd sense,
ed queen to put on his armour, and rush out in his cha. Of luxury most rare and rich, can ask,
riot to reanimate the troops,--his own sudden revival Or thought conceive, is there.
and reappearance in the plain, with the astonishing ef.
fect of that heroic act in turning the battle, and, for the Nothing can be finer than the scene, to which we day, driving back the enemy to their tents, form a can only refer, where Sardanapalus reviews the vast tri- chain of events and a climax of grandeur which certainbutary hosts, with their kings at their head, which it is ly no living poet has surpassed. his caprice to encamp on the plain around the city, and The characters of this drama are well suited to the harass with marching and manæuvring. He waves his subject, and are one and all powerfully and discrimi. purple standard, “ gemmed with stars,” from the sum- nately individualized. As character in nature does not mit of the mountain tomb of Ninus, and his name is change, a character once fairly introduced into fiction shouted by millions around and within the city, while must be found the same in its essentials whenever it ra. the soaring eagle is startled, and the distant lion roars appears. Shakspeare never forgets this. The Sardana. in his den.
palus of Me Atherstone's first six books, therefore, must But the monarch is called to war. These tributary be his Sardanapalus throughout ; and we are enabled to armies conspire and defy him. Belesis the Babylonian judge of the propriety of the character now as well as priest, and Arbaces the Median king, gain the others, we shall ever be. Here we may allude to Lord Byron. hold a council in the night,--and Arbaces, another Sardanapalus' history is not the history of a really Achilles, is named chief of the confederates. The coun- effeminate, weak, and cowardly prince. According to