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• Pilgrim. Pray what said your neighbours, when they saw you thus busied?
• Noah. At first, they could not imagine what I had in my head; some said, it must certainly be for a large house ; others surmised, that I intended nothing less than a - new town for my family; others again thought, that stables were all I had in view ; some guessed one thing, some another ; for I kept the whole a secret till matters were in such forwardness, that I could do without any help, should I be put to it ; and this really proved the case ; for on acquainting them with my design, one took up his axe, and went away; another, throwing his saw 'under his arm, followed; a third getting together his adze, line, plane, and hammer, threw them into a bag, and turned his back upon me.'
• Noah. At the place where I dwelt there was a great holiday, with a vast resort of people from all quarters. The markets were thronged with stands of ail kinds of goods, and the inns crowded with guests, who poured down wine as if it had been water. There was singing and dancing, fighting and wrestling, bowling, and every diversion, till night. Then instead of thinking upon God, they renewed their carousings, drolling on the divine menaces : This ark-builder now may break up his overgrown chest, and turn timber-merchant. Here's a fine night! The world be destroyed! An old dreamer ! Soon after, 1 heard an uproar at my door; Come out, you shipwright ; we'll quickly make an end of your world? You hypocritical villain, to pretend to make a parcel of timorous mopes of us with your prophecies.'' pp. 62, 63.
From the dialogue with Cleophas we give a portion of the history of the New Testament, relating to the death of Christ,
• Pilgrim. How, Father, so very few affected at the sufferings of so good a man!
• Cleophas. Every one seemed to exert himself in adding to his sufferings, from the High Priests to the soldiers, even to the malefactors, who were also under the same agonies of death. Nothing was heard on all sides byt hooting, mocking, and railing. As to Caiaphas, he looked as stately and supercilious as if now above all mischance, with all his enemies under his feet; but he and all his instruments, when the Romaps came to invest the city, found whom they had thus wantonly insulted. Some, however, began to relent and fear, when in broad day, it became suddenly so dark, that the stars might be distinguished, and this when, by the course of nature, there could be no eclipse, the sun being in Aries and the moon in Libra ; and accordingly Dionysius the Areopagite, a pagan philosopher, and well versed in astronomy, being then in Egypt, and observing this obscurity, declared that either the God of Nature was suffering, or the world was at an end. This supernatural effuscation of the sun struck the bystanders with exceeding consternation, some beating their breasts, others hastening back, all scared, into the city. Some cried aloud for pardon of their crimes, and particularly one of the criminals executed with him; and the benign Jesus was pleased to coma fort him with a promise of Paradise. Indeed, none shewed themselves more inflexible and hardened he men of rank and literature They who should have been shining luminaries, were as blind as moles.' The account of the rise of idolatry we cannot approve, It is not only most natural to suppose that the splendour of the heavenly bodies, that the mighty and beneficial effects of the operations of nature, would first lead to the worship of the sun with its light and heat, and the earth with its powers of reproduction ; but there is also a vast mass of evidence in the original names and attributes of the heathen deities, to induce a belief that the works of nature were the first objects of idolatry. There is also a very culpable defect in the account of the Redeemer's death ; for although the great transaction is made the most prominent and highly coloured picture in the volume, there is no account of its grand design.
pp. 333, 334
The style is well suited to the dialogue; but we were perpetually admonished by it, how much every production of human pens is outshone by the superior glories of the inspired Scriptures. The work before us often displays a charining naiveté, which sjoks the author in the subject, and engrosses the whole soul of the reader ; but frequently, in attempting to produce this effect, he has fallen into the quaint and ludicrous, and reminded us how the sacred volume, through all its extent, holds the soul in converse with God, unconscious even that the pen of man has been' employed in maintaining the intercourse. He often strains to make us wonder at the passing scenes ; but in the sacred Scriptures, where the passions are most exalted in devotion, they yet seem completely annihilated ; the narration of infinite wonders is carried on with a tone of coolness and unmoved dignity, which would be more miraculous than the prodigies themselves, were not the history dictated by him to whom all things are easy. The indignation that here bursts forth on the head of Judas, serves to enhance our admiration for that sacred superiority to the ebullition of human passions, which appears in the reciters of his treachery and punishment who sold our deliverance, and bought his own perdition.
This volume is bowever well calculated to interest young persons, and to convey to them, in pleasing and indelible impressions, that knowledge of sacred history, which they might not be disposed to receive from other modes of instruction. We therefore recommend it to those guardians of youth who will take the trouble of answering, at the time, the various questions which it must undoubtedly produce from youthful readers,
Art. VI. Poems by Mary Leadbeater, (late Shackleton), to which is pre
fixed her Translation of the thirteenth Book of the Æneid ; with the Latin Original, written by Maffæus. 8vo. pp. 420. Price 88. 6d. Dublin,
Keene ; Longman and Co. 1808. OUR readers are well aware that a certain mount is divided
into three regions, the upper, the middle, and the lower. Of these the middle region has been, time immemorial, laid under an interdict by the whole corporation of critics, and some say, by the gods themselves. They wish to keep the place a perfect solitude, and threaten vengeance on any one who dares to set foot there. No statute has been issued against peopling the base of the mountain, probably on the same principle as in some part of Greece there was no law promulged against parricide, because it was thought so monstrous a crime could never be perpetrated. But strange as it may appear, notwithstanding the inbibition of gods and critics, and the severe penalties which have at different times been inflicted on transgressors, the middle and lower regions of the mountain are still crowded with inhabitants, and the summit is almost deserted.
We are sorry to say that we have an action of trespass to bring against Mrs. Leadbeater (late Shackleton), who has not only resided long on the interdicted ground which lies between the upper and lower part, but has sometimes disregarded the inferior fence, and dared to shew herself at the very foot of the hill. Without farther preliminary we shall proceed to adduce our evidence.
• The Interment of Varus and his Legions.
yet unburied friends a tombo' p. 149.
Attunes the trembling strings ;
The tribute which she bringe.' p. 171.
"To B. H. on his Marriage.
To smile on me,
To worth and thee.
On love and truth;
Thou favour'd youth !' p. 307. We consider these as specimens of the middle order of poesy. We may say of Mrs. L., what cannot be said of every modern poet, that she seldom sinks below the tame, insipid, and neutral style displayed in the above citations. Now and then, however, she does become very ridiculous. After prosing in rhyme, with some notes of admiration, on the beauties of Beaconsfield, then the residence of Mr. Burke, she proceeds:
• Fain would I longer in these glades abide,
Where laurel bow'rs the calm recess enelose,' pp. 96-97. The last place of a line is certainly an emphatic one, but there are some monosyllables, however emphatically meant, which ought not to occupy it. We cannot therefore bring ourselves to admire the manner in which Mrs. L. has expressed her determination of blessing Mr. B.
Blest be the man ! and blest is head shall
In spite of the great vulgar and the small.' p. 99. The closing couplet of this passage is worthy of the first.
• This, this is Edmund Burke--and this his creed :
This is sublime and beautiful indeed! p. 100. This poem on Beaconsfield was presented in MS. to Mr. B. who very courteously sent a letter to Mrs. L. then Miss Shackleton, expressive of his thanks, and his admiration of her genius. He
some of the most beautiful and most original that have for many years been made upon any place or any persons.” It is probable Mr. B. did not sup
says the verses are
pose that the verses would afterwards be sent abroad into the world, accompanied with his friendly critique upon them. Be that as it inay, the fact should operate as a caution with some of our manuscript poets, not to mistake the applause of private and complaisant friends, as an earnest of a meed of praise from the public.
There is another letter from Burke printed in this volume, which came more from his heart than the one referred to above. It was, Mrs. L. observes, “ dictated by him in his last illness, and signed by his tremulous hand.” Our readers will be pleased to see, in the following passage, with what seriousness and humility he looked forward to his departure from the world.
P.S. I have been at Bath for these four months to no purpose ; and am therefore to be removed to my own house at Beaconsfield to-morrow, to be nearer a habitation more permanent, humbly and fearfully hoping that my better part may find a better mansion, p. 322.
The poem in this collection most deserving of attention, is a Latin composition written in the fifteenth century, under the title of the thirteenth Æneid by Maffei Vegio (called incorrectly by Mrs. Los Maffæus). It is inserted as an accompania ment to Mrs. Li's poetical translation. As the Latin piece is pot common, our readers may not be displeased with a brief account of it.*
It has been often observed, that Virgil ends his grand poem too abruptly, and disappoints the curiosity and expectation of the reader, who wishes to dwell a little on the happy union which must have taken place between Æneas and Lavinia, upon the death of Turnus
The Roman poet seems to have thought, like a recent bard of our own country, that all obstacles to their nuptials being removed, there was no need of describing so plain a consequence as the marriage.
· Nor sing I to that simple maid
Tu bless fair Clara's constancy, &c. Maffei was of opinion, however, that the Æneid ought to have been prolonged, and therefore composed a thirteenth book, in which he has described not only the hymeneals of the Trojan hero, but introduced several other interesting circumstances, which may be naturally supposed to have hap. pened. It was a formidable enterprize. A poet ruus a risk of being trebly ridiculous, when he obtrudes himself into a comparison with another of first rate excellence, and undertakes, as it were, to wield a cestys victoriously laid down :
* There is a travestię of this poem in “ English Hudibrastic” verse, which scarcely merits this cursory notice.