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Dingy and thread bare, though renew'd in patches
Till it has almost ceased to be the old one. 'I am a poet, Signor:-give me leave To bid you welcome. Though you shrink from notice,
The splendour of your name has gone before you;
And Italy from sea to sea rejoices, As well indeed she may! But I transgress,
I too have known the weight of praise, and ought To spare another."
Saying so, he laid. His sonnet, an impromptu, on my table, If his, then Petrarch must have stolen it from him,
And bow'd and left me; in his hollow hand
Receiving my small tribute, a zecchino,
We wish that our limits would admit of our giving the sketch entitled Foscari, because we think the amplest justice has been done to that fine subject. To the poet we should think this must have been the trial of He had to contend, in strength.
adopting it, with a mighty Giant in the same course; and it is no small praise or honour that he has not used his sling in vain. The Goliah of a certain poetic phalanx has not routed the champion of a better cause. The description of
"The venerable man, fourscore and upwards"
is pathetic and natural, and that of his adored and persecuted child, "with faint and broken accent," murmuring "Father" upon the wheel, is as affecting and excellent as the more laboured and lengthy illustration that Lord Byron has lately favoured us with on the same occurence. But as we cannot do justice to the theme by giving only a part, any more than we could describe Pompey's Pillar, or the Parthenon, by exhibiting a handful of the ingredients that compose them, we pass on to another of these tales which from it's brevity we can extract, and which we think is admirably and interestingly told. The story we have elsewhere read, but our recollection deserts us where. We have no objection, however, to have it again before us in another shape, nor are we so fastidious as some of our critical brethren have affected to be to object to the simplicity and the “trite and infantile style"
which characterizes it's commencement. We don't think the worse of a beautiful mansion because we have had to pass by hedge rows and cottages to reach it. But to the tale.
"If ever you should come to Modena, Where among other relics you may see Tassoni's bucket,-but 'tis not the true
Stop at a palace near the Reggio gate,
And rich in fountains, statues, cypresses,
And look a while upon a picture there.
He, who observes it,-ere he passes on,
Broider'd with flowers and clasp'd from head to foot,
An emerald stone in every golden clasp; And on her brow, fairer than alabaster, A coronet of pearls.
But then her face, So lovely, yet so arch, so full of mirth, The overflowings of an innocent heart,It haunts me still, though many a year has
fled, Like some wild melody!
Alone it hangs
Over a mouldering heir-loom, it's companion,
An open chest, half eaten by the worm, But richly carved by Anthony of Trent, With scripture stories from the Life of Christ;
A chest that came from Venice and had held
The ducal robes of some old Ancestor,That by the way,-it may be true or false,
But don't forget the picture; and you will not,
When you have heard the tale they told me there.
She was an only child,-her name Gine
By one as young, as thoughless as Ginevra, Why not remove it from it's lurking place?'
'Twas done as soon as said; but on the way
It burst, it fell; and lo! a skeleton,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold. All else had perish'd,- -save a wedding
And a small seal, her mother's legacy, Engraven with a name, the name of both, "Ginevra."
There then had she found a grave! Within that chest had she conceal'd herself,
Flattering with joy, the happiest of the happy,
When a spring lock, that lay in ambush there,
Fasten'd her down for ever!" Sed ibimus, O sen comitesque,—letus on, gentle readers; for it would be rank favour were we to admit this anonymously clever being to usurp the whole of our critical department. We trust we have given him full chance to ingratiate himself with our readers, and we hope that our quotations, like the first two or three glasses of real Falernian, will act to them as enticements to larger potations, and be the means of encouraging a closer acquaintance with the hooded author of "Italy," even though no name of power, nor badge of nobility, heads the van of his array.
We have, in conclusion, to observe, that we are taught to expect a second part of this poem. We hope then to be enabled to render unto Cæsar the feel more inclined than we now are to things that belong to him, and shall 'tell one who comes forward beneath a mask, of the faults that disfigure his production: for we cannot conceive, since he has not, as Terence has it, made great efforts for great trifles, that there will be the slightest cause in future to draw a veil over his appellations. Like the black knight in Ivanhoe, he has awakened curiosity and proved his prowess, and although he may not be in poetry, what Cœur de Lion was in arms, we are quite assured he need feel little apprehension by withdrawing his vizor or announcing S. W. X. Z.
May You Like It. By a Country Curate. 12mo. 272. London, 1822. It will, we hope, be considered as no impeachment of that impartiality which we are so studiously, and so constantly desirous of maintaining pure and unattackable, when we state our prepossession in favour of this very interesting little Volume, even before perusing a single page of it's contents. Will our friends hold us entirely exeused, if we also say, that this prepossession was excited by a most tempting frontispiece, in which all the charms of rural beauty, quiet, and retirement are depicted in a style and manner, that impressed us with every feeling which the work itself is so well calculated to excite? Certain it is we were thus captivated; and though we might not have told this story under any other circumstances, yet upon the present occasion we feel gratified in owning, that our love at first sight has not deceived us. The author is, we understand, a young Clergyman of Suffolk, who, as the tales before us do equal honour to his taste, his genius, and his piety, will, we trust, not long remain anonymous. The chief beauties of the Volume are simplicity and pathos, and even from the very brief extract which our limits will allow, it will be seen that it is imbued with these qualities in no common degree. While it's defects,-for it would be contrary to critical etiquette not to find some fault,-it's defects
are merely negative, and may be told in half a dozen words. We could have wished, then, that the author had exhibited some of his characters under happy circumstances, because, though it is good to demonstrate that religion sustains us under all afflictions, it is not advisable to paint the religious always as the suffering; as it leads to an involuntary association of what is not a necessary consequence; and thus alarms the wavering and timid from the supposed rough and thorny path of virtue.
These tales are all of familiar scenes, and consist of "Rosine, A Merchant's Son, Naomi, A Merchant's Wife, The Childhood of Charles Spencer, Two Young Mothers, The Brothers,” and some poetical pieces. Naomi is not only our's, but we believe the most general favourite, though The Brothers, of almost equal merit, appears to be the more eligible specimen of the author's talents and we shall preface it only by observing that his style is easy and pure, his narrative natural and affecting, and every moral of every tale calculated to teach the young that happiness here and hereafter depends on virtue. We need not add another word to assure parents that this is an excellent volume for rising families.
"It was a cold, gloomy day, and the rain fell fast; yet Arthur Western re
mained leaning against the wall, in one of those narrow dark alleys near Newgate; the large plashing eaves' drops fell on his shoulder, till they soaked into his sleeve; still he did not stir; he felt his eye-balls expanded, and his throat parched; he could scarcely think, for a dead weight seemed pressed upon all his mental faculties. Arthur did not long remain in that gloomy attitude, for a ray of thought darted into the darkness of his mind; he still, however, stood meditating on the idea which had presented itself to him: at last, he decided; and walked quickly away. No time must be lost,' he said to himself as he hurried through the streets; but every one who has hurried through the streets of the city, finds that the throng seem all to be impeding his course: he soon reached the house of the friend he was desirous
of seeing. You cannot see Mr. Merton yet, sir,' said the clerk to whom Arthur spoke, but if you wait a few minutes, he will be disengaged.' The few minutes proved more than an hour, aud Arthur did not regret it, for he had more time to think over the resolution he had taken; and the wildness and the heat of his appearance passed off. His looks were as calm as the tone in which he spoke, when he told Mr. Merton his intention of going to New South Wales. 'Are you mad,' he replied, pray tell me why? what can induce you to give up your prospects? who has put this into your head, for I am sure you had not thought of this rash scheme when you left me yesterday? You are not apt to act hastily, or like a mere romantic boy. My dear sir,' said Arthur, I am quite resolved; and no one has put this into my head: I have not consulted any one, but I have been to take leave of my poor brother; I had left him as one for whom I could only pray in future, and I never felt so miserable in my life: I knew not to what dangers he might be exposed, where every thing like self-respect would be destroyed; where he might be led away by the wretches he would be with; and where he might be indeed lost to us and to Heaven for ever.' But what will all the world say? who ever heard of such a step? it may be all very fine in theory, but it will never do; trust me, young man, it will never do. I know a little more of life than you do, and I'm sick of romance. I am very sorry for your brother, but he has disgraced you, and he is not worth thinking of; he has got into the scrape, and he must get out as he can. I can't see why all your prospects in life are to be destroyed by his villainy. He is good for nothing.
sir,' said Arthur very gravely, I did not call on you to hear my poor brother abused: I must request, nay, sir, I must insist, on your not speaking thus of him
in my presence. I well see how friendless
Ellen Merton however, approves of his resolutions, and cruel as the separation is, applauds his conduct.
"He had taken leave of her, and set off to see his mother and sisters also, before his departure. He travelled all night, and had to walk three miles to his native village. Every step awakened some painful remembrance; for he was passing through scenes where he had lived from his childhood in joy and peace with his brother, then happy in the careless innocence of youth: every thing looked as it was wont in those happy days, but every feeling of his heart was mournful. Being unwilling to pass through the village, Arthur turned down a dark sandy lane, half shadowed by large weeping beech trees. At the end of it, sloped away a deep valley, from one side of which a winding path led, by the side of a clear and broad stream, to a steep hill: on one side of this hill stood the cottage in which Mrs. Western resided. Arthur stopped, for all these objects interested him. The river was flowing on just as usual below, where he had so often bathed with his brother: he looked up, and he found that he was standing beneath a tree, on whose branches they had often climbed together; a bower which they had formed there, still retained something of it's shape, though many of the boughs had started back there was something in this that resembled the former and present habits and intimacy of
the brothers with each other; they had both once grown and twined together, and, though many a branch had started back and separated, they were still marked by a similarity of character, and joined in an nnion which could not easily be altered. As Arthwe looked up into the tree, he felt all this: he could not bear the feeling just then; and he hastened to the house. The shatters were partly closed in his mother's bed-room windows, and he saw the dull red light of the rushlight, which had burnt during the night in the sick chamber, vainly struggling with the bright clear daylight. The room all at once became dark, and one of the shutters was moved. Arthur retreated quickly behind a shrub, and observed the shutter quite unclosed, and then the window opened by his sister's hand; her countenance looked very sad as she stood for some time at the window; but he was sure that his mother spoke to her, for in a moment a smile came over her face, and opening her lips, as if to answer, she left the window.
where Eli, on hearing that the Almighty would punish his wicked sons, exclaims:
It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.' How did this mother receive the intelligence, that Arthur had determined to accompany his brother in his banishment? She looked at her son with an expression of perfect joy. I had hoped, I had dared to hope,' she exclaimed fervently, that in you I should not be disappointed. I am repaid for all my sufferings. I have no fears,' she continued, after a long pause. 7 He who hath blessed me in you, will guide you in safety through every danger: I have no fears that your future prospects, even in this life, will be injured by the conduct you are about to pursue; Our Father, to whom we are committing you, will, in his good time, give you an abundance of more than your heart can desire. His strength, and his peace, and his blessing, will go with you. You have given me new spirits. I am consoled for all the misery of my poor guilty Lawrence. God will make his brother the means of his salvation. Let me bless you,' she said, as she flung her arm around him. Let me bless you a again,' she added, for your brother I bestow the latter blessing.'
"Mrs. Western had been long in delicate health; the conduct of her son, Lawrence, made her suffer still more; she became dangerously ill, and was slowly recovering, when Arthur arrived; but, though her bodily strength had so nearly given way, her soul had never sank within her: during the whole of her long illness she had not once murmured; she had been pefectly resigned; she prayed in spirit and in truth;' and she ever prayed for the full assurance of hope.' When she was told, for no one ever concealed the truth from her, lest she should not be able to bear it, of her son's guilt, she had retired instantly to her room; and when her daughters left her that night she said, 'I shall go to London to-morrow: they found her too ill to rise the next morning; since then she had again resolved to go to her son, but her physician had positively forbidden her, and she quietly obeyed him though apparently sinking beneath the blow, she never betrayed that torpid timidity of character, which makes every one dread to communicate to the sufferer a surprize of sorrow, lest the burden should prove too great. She seemed ever prepared for, ever expecting, the worst; but with no feverish expectation. What passed to her as a sorrow, instantly became with her, a hope; the thorns which were with others without even a leaf to cool and shade the head round which they twined, on her brow budded into roses. When they told her that her son's life was spared, she looked down at the Bible she had just been reading, and wept; her daughters saw that she looked on a page which had often heen open before her,-it was the part
Arthur embarks privately as Settler on board the convict vessel in which his brother is to be transported, and secretly observes, during the voyage, that the latter is pale and penitent.
"Anxiously did Arthur now look forward to the time when he should make himself known to his brother; but on all accounts he judged it better to wait till their arrival at Port Jackson. The voyage was nearly concluded, when Arthur was one night awakened by a man who entered to put up the dead lights in his cabin; and who told him that the ship was in great danger. In a few minutes, Arthur was one of the foremost in endeavouring to save her; he went about every where, encouraging the sailors and assisting them: he had been for some time employed in helping, with many of the prisoners, to clear down part of the rigging; and had sought among those prisoners, vainly, for his brother; he had spoken to them all, but his brother's voice had not answered him. The storm increased, and he was rushing towards the quarter of the ship where the prisoners had been confined, that he might embrace his brother, perhaps, for the last time, in this world, when he beheld a person fall down exhausted beside the pump at which he had been working: Arthur stopped, he spoke to him, but the man had fainted; he thought his brother might be laying in his arms,