Imágenes de páginas

Valois. Didst thou not save me from the abyss of woe,
Bid wreaths of flowers crown the thorns of fate,
Replenish each deficiency of Nature,
And bless me with delight, and joy, and plenty?
Chaubert. And what is wealth ? And why does Nature

The lot of human life so different?
Why give to one a surplus of enjoyment,
But to diffuse it where her fcant supply
Has made it wanting; but to wake the flame
Of warm benevolence and social love?
Thus to supply her inequalities, .
And be ourselves the means of others blessings?

Valois. Hast thou not taken from the haggard lap
Of poverty, and rescued from his fate
The youthful heir of my a Alictions,
That follow'd on so early on my years ?
Hast thou not brought him up beneath thy care;
Been his preserver, teacher, father, friend?

Chaubert. And, Valois, hast not thou by far o'erpaid
Each petty service fortune help'd me do thee?
'Tis to thy friendship, and that sympathy
Of souls which joins each action of our lives;

I owe my highest joys.' The author obferves, wherever he could do it with propriety, he has availed himself of the language and characteristic events of the original *. Buty among some others, he wishes to point . out as his own the relation of the attempt to poison Chaubert ' in the speech of Valois preceding the last,' We shall leave our readers to determine whether this might not have been omitted without injury to the piece: ,

Valoiso' (To Chaubert.) Thou know'st not half-thank

: Heav'n when thou know'ft,
For Heav'n alone it was preserv'd thy life
Dost thou not well remember on the morn,
The fatal morn that saw, and seald our crime;
How, as thou lifted'ft to thy lips the cup,
Thy fav’rite dog, then jumping on thy knees,
Threw down the draught?-O! 'twas a pois'nous draught
That we'ad prepar'd for thee ;--and then thou beat'it

The cur for saving of thy life.' The eking out the last line by the particle of, and the elipfis of we'ad, are large poetical licences for one speech. There are a few grammatical errors we shall not so easily pass over should

* The Diary of Chanbert, published in Mr. Cumberland's Journal.

O 2


this juvenite dramatist again call for mercy. The following are too glaring not to be taken notice of at present :

- For what were life,
A tedious, dull, and frightful pilgrimage

,When undertook alone.' — , Chaubert and him are leagued in bonds of union.' Candour obliges us to suppose this last an error of the press; but it is hardly excuseable any way.

Art. XVI. The Fane of the Druids ; a Poem. Book the Second.

Comprehending an Account of the Origin, Progresi, and Establishment of Society in North-Britain. By the Author of the First Book. 4to. 25. Murray. London, 1789.

ve 170 luthor efs.

[ocr errors]

IN our Review for June 1787 appears our account of the first I book of this poem. The author continues his labours in the book now before us with equal success. Having, in the former publication, given (all that could be given) the most probable account of the druidical tenets and government, he, in the prefent work, relates the fall of that race, and the extinction of their government and power by the irruptions of the Scandinavian tribes. He marks the subsequent consequence of the bards in every transaction of that early period, traces the formation of clans, paints the manners of the predatory state of society, delineates the gradual advancement of civilisation by the introduction of agriculture, commerce, and the other arts which humanise mankind, and, lastly, completes the picture by describing the dawn of science, and characterising some of the early Scottis poets and historians. . A pleasing vein of poetry appears in the following description

of the fall of the druids; and the numbers are peculiarly harmonious :

« Long in the wilds of Caledonia's land
The Druid rulers held supreme command;
Long o'er a nation ruled with temperate fway,
And saw their happy fons with joy obey.
Even when the world's great sovereigns doom'd their fall,
And crush'd by ftern decrees th' imperious Gaul,
Beneath her spreading oaks, secure from harm,
Thy sons, Eritannia, lived, nor felt alarm:
Her northern race along the peaceful shore
Heard but the torrent dath, and ocean roar.
' 'Twas past. Revolving ages swept away
Race after race, successive in decay.

A fiercer

A fiercer band appear’d, whose hands defaced
The peaceful groves, and laid the nation walte:
A tribe commission'd by an angry God,
From Scandinavian deserts ruh'd abroad;
In search of foreign regions spread afar,
A lawless crowd, that menaced spoil and war.
To Caledonia's coast they held their course,
An hoft unmatch'd in number as in force ;
There, like some mighty river swell'd with rain,
Now rag'd the naked Pict or barbarous Dane;
Blood-thirsty crew, to furious battle bred,
That joy'd in slaughter, and in heaps of dead!
Nought stay'd their hands, in horrid league combined,
Vows, shrieks, and suppliant prayers, were lost in wind,
These o'er the ruin of their loft domain
The Druid people breathed, but breathed in vain.
· Hark, yon loud crash! the cleaving axe descends;

And lo, the monarch of the woodland bends,
From his old mansion cast! Supine he lies,
In age defaced, the fierce invader's prize;
On his own ground he falls, exposed and bare;
Shorn is his trunk, his leaves are loft in air.

• Yet these lo fell, so ruthless; as they eyed
The Fane in silence felt their rage subside;
They raised their hands, but trembled at the view,
Grew tame, and wond'ring at themselves, withdrew..

Mean time the Druid Priests, despised, o'erthrown,
As strangers roam'd o'er regions once their own;
Deep in the folitary vales they stray'd,
Or slept beneath the mountain's cheerless shade; i
Or fought, their fate in anguish to deplore,
Their ancient seats, the seats of joy no more.
A few, the reliques of the mighty dead,
Crept from their caverns; weak, oppress’d, dismay'd.
No grove around the sacred mansion rose,
No dark brown woods, or bowers of deep repose; •
No throng with reverence bow'd before the shrine,
Nor virgin's fix'd eye scann'd the Power divine:
Arm'd with keen faulchions, and resolved on death,
A barbarous people rulh'd to war beneath; .
War was their trade, and his the first reward,
Whose ruthless heart in battle greatly dared ;
Whose arm, if carnage stain'd the whirling spear,',
Knew no distinction in its mad career,
But ever bent on some disastrous end, i
Whelm'd in wide havock, brother, father, friend:
These they beheld, then with averted gaze

Sunk in their vales, and dream'd of ancient days. The following encomium on Wallace is well conceived, and '; expressed with energy:

O 3

O glorious

« O glorious chief! renown'd in every fight,
Thou brave defender of thy country's right!
Alike in virtuous thought and action great,
In all a Roman, but in prosperous fate!
Bold son of Liberty, whose mighty hand
Burst, nobly burst oppression's iron band!
Alone superior to thy fate's decree,

Alone amidst a conquer'd nation free.' The author purposes to complete his plan in a third book, in which he means to give the progress of society in Scotland to the present times; to exhibit its present flourilning situation in commerce, arts, literature, &c. and to assign the causes which have produced so happy an effect.

In the notes which accompany this work, much good sense, and conliderable erudition, are displayed. The author does not, however, enter upon the disputed facts of early Scottish history, as a critical investigation of that matter did not belong to his subject, and as the commonly-received opinion fully answered his purpose.


ART. XVII. Voyage de jeune Anacharsis en Grèce, dans le Milieu

du Quatrième Siècle avant l'ère Vulgaire. Svo, z vols. There

is also a Quarto Edition. ART. XVII. Travels of young Anacharfis into Greece, &c. Svo, 7 vols.

[ Concluded. ] , ANACHARSIS having passed the most valuable years of his

life in travelling, chiefly in Greece, had taken care to collect his observations of whatever merited attention. He had been per- , sonally acquainted with Epaminondas, Phocion, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, and other great men of that age, and had associated with many Athenians who had known Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Socrates, Zeuxis, and Parrhafius. While he was in Greece, the great works of Praxitiles, of Euphranor, and of Pamphilus, made their appearance, and likewise the first essays of Apelles and of Protogenes. On his arrival he had found Philip of Macedon living with Epaininondas, and imbibing his fpirit; he saw him ascend the throne of Macedonia; he was a spectator of the expiring glory of Greece, and of the revolution by which its states


fents is in this plea for the use of hiervations, a

were subverted. As soon as the battle of Cherónea had reno: dered Philip the master of the Grecians, Anacharsis returned to Scythia, where he arranged his observations, and wrote an aca count of his travels for the use of his friends..

It is in this pleasing shape that the Abbé Barthelemy pre{ents us with the picture of Greece, drawn from the best au.' thorities, and with the strictest historical truth. The era he has chosen to bring under the immediate view of his traveller is that in which the states were at the height of their glory, yet : at last felt under the dominion of Philip; but Anacliarsis gives a preceding view of Greece from the remotest times to the overthrow of Athens by Lyfander; which, that he inight not be

interrupted in the narrative of his own travels, he throws into · an introductory volume.

Vol. I. Having mentioned the savage state of Greece, he divides the introduction into two parts. The first part contains the history of the fabulous, or heroic ages, reflections upon them; and on the intellectual improvement of the Grecians. On the {ubject of religion he says, “ This irregular system inculcated a ( small number of tenets necessary to the peace of men in fo* ciety; the existence of the gods, the immortality of the foul,

rewards for virtue, punishments for vice; it ordained ceremo

nies that might contribute to establish these truths; festivals + and mysteries: to the statelinan it presented a powerful en

gine, by which he might turn the ignorance and credulity of the people to advantage; oracles, with the art of augurers and soothsayers; in short, it left every one at liberty to in. s vestigate the ancient traditions, and to be continually loading < the history and genealogy of the gods with some new legend.

So that the imagination, having the power of creating facts, 6 and of altering by supernatural pretensions those that were al

ready known, constantly gave a spirit of the marvellous to all ( their representations, that spirit fo contemptible in the light of (wise men, so captivating to infants and infant nations. A tra? veller entertaining his hosts, a father his children, or a singer

employed to amuse his sovereign, formed the plots of their stories, which were unravelled by the intervention of the gods ; and the system of religion became insensibly a system of fictions " and of poetry'. , ,

The Trojan war having had its origin in the heroic ages; fixes the attention of Anacharfis upon Homer, of whom, in concluding the first part of the introduction, he draws an exquisite picture, which he concludes in this manner: - Let those i who can resist the beaụties of Homer grow dull over his de. « fects, for why conceal it? he often reposes, and sometimes he flumbers; but his repose is like that of the eagle, who, after


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »