« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
THE EMPEROR AND THE RABBI. THERE are some curious and some interesting reliques of tradition still to be found among the Jewish people. Their dispersion, and the infinite miseries inflicted on them, in every country where they fled from their own, inevitably extinguished their general cultivation of literature ; but they still possessed scholars, philosophers, and teachers of the Law, who might have been distin. guished in better times, and among a more prosperous people. The Talmud is well known to European scholarship as containing, amid much extraordinary and fantastic matter, some valuable records of the national history and feelings. Its sententious and moral narratives, its Agadetha, are sometimes striking and noble; and the allegories, mysticisms, visions, and parables of the Medrası biim are sometimes not less sagacious than sublime.
The subject of the following verses is from a tradition of the wisdom of Rabbi Joshuah. The Jews to this day speak with malediction of Titus, the destroyer of the temple, and of Hadrian, the destroyer of the nation. But Trajan is sometimes spoken of with more respect, probably from the contrast of his character, stern as it was, with that of his fierce and sanguinary successor, Hadrian; and from the comparative security of the Jews under an emperor who was too much engrossed with his incessant wars to have any leisure for persecution. « Old Rabbi, what tales
“ He is seen when the lightnings Would'st thou pour in mine ear; Are shot through the heaven, What visions of glory,
And the crests of the mountains
In embers are riven. " Of a God, all the gods
He is heard when the tempest
Has sent up its roar,
And the ocean in thunder A more ancient than Jove !"
Is flung on the shore." « Let me look on those splen
- Those are dreams," said the modours,
narch, I then shall believe;
« Wild fancies of old; 'Tis the senses alone
But what God can I worship,
When none I behold ?
Can I kneel to the lightning, If earth is his shrine,
The wave, or the wind ? And your Israelite God
Can I worship the shape Shall, old dreamer, be mine."
That but lives in the mind ? 'Twas Trajan that spoke,
“ I'll show thee his footstool, And the stoical sneer
I'll show thee his throne :" Still play'd on his features
Through the halls of the palace Sublime and severe.
The Rabbi led on, And round the proud hall
Till above them was spread As his dark eye was thrown,
But the sky's purple dome, He saw but one God,
And like surges of splendour And himself was that one.
Beneath them was Rome. « The God of our forefathers !" Round the marble-crown'd mount Low bow'd the seer;
Where the Emperor stood, s Is unseen by the eye,
Like a silver-scaled snake, Is unheard by the ear.
Swept the Tiber's bright flood ; He is Spirit, he knows not
Beyond lay the vales The body's dark chain ;
Of the rich Persian rose, Not the Heaven of the Heavens All glowing with beauty, Can his glory contain.
All breathing repose ; 6. He is seen in his power
And flaming o'er all, When the storm is abroad:
In the glow of the hour, The clouds by the wheels
The Capitol shone, Of his chariot are rode.
Earth's high altar of powerHe is seen in his mercy,
A thousand years old, When mountain and plain
Yet still in its prime; Rejoice in the sunshine
A thousand years more And smile in the rain.
To be conqueror of time!
But the East now was purple,
66 What! gaze on the sun,
And be blind by the gaze?
No eye but the eagle's
Can look on that blaze !"
“ Ho, Emperor of earth,
If thine eyeball is dim,
To see but the rays
Of the sun's sinking limb,"
Cried the Rabbi, “ what eyeball
Could dare but to see
And the Sovereign of thee ?"
Mary-le-bone Vestry-Room. May 10. To the EDITOR OF Blackwood's MAGAZINE. Sir,- Though folks say you are not one of we Liberals, 'tis allow'd on all hands you are all straight and fair like, and don't begrudge lending a lift to any thing in the poetry line, British or foreign, or what not, when good of the sample. Now, sir, I take liberty to hand you over the case of my nephew Alfred Mulgrave Timms, which I think have been a Scandalous victim of Tory oppression. I don't, for my part, understand Latin or Oxford doings, nor don't want to, neither: hows’ever, the case is as thus. My nephew having been brought up at my expense for seven years as a parlour boarder in the Academy of the Reverend Jubb of Little Pedlington, which I can well afford, which is neither here nor there; well, sir, this youth is an honour to his family, and bids fair to be a Parliament man, and go to court, as the great Mr Owen does, whose ideas, however, I don't go thorough-stitch with, as some of our gents of the board, as keeps ladies, and has whitewashed with their creditors, do,-well sir, I booked his name regular, I mean Mulgrave's, at one of the places in Oxford College, and made it all right to qualify
him to walk off with all the prizes, as in course with fair play he ought to; but having some inkling of a Commissionership from a high quarter not one hundred miles from Kil. kenny, whom I served in times past, he has not settled his mind as to lodging and vittling with the Collegers, some of which is no better than they should be, and dangerous at times to a timid youth ; not as the money is any object, nor not as Mulgrave is anyways timid in the talking way.-- Well, sir, the prize gave out this year being about the Great Plague of London, which was plaguy odd when there was so many genteeler topics, and more suiting the late auspi. cious nuptials ; so what does Mulgrave do, but he gives his concern a neatish twist like of his own, to teach the Big-Wigs what was what, and as he says, says he, “ to correct their bad taste as to subject.” Well, sir, lo and behold! here comes his copy-book returned, costing me eightpence out of my own pocket by post, with a pencil scribble on the back to say, cannot be ad. mitted to competition, having nothing to do with the subject, and savouring of political bias."
This is a burning shame, sir : envy and jealousy is at the bottom of the " tottle of the whole," as my friend above quoted says; and so thinks Mulgrave himself; what's more, he has touched it up again, and stuck a regular stinger in the tail, which will make the doctors and proctors, and suchlike, look about them. The great Mr G., our city member, who was a Cambridge scholar, and counted by the Liberal interest to be an uncommon good judge of foreign tongues, says it reminds him of one Junival, (a Frenchman, I suppose, by the turn of his name.) Mr G. Englished it to me and my friend not one hundred miles from Kilkenny, as before quoted, and we both think the sentiments is quite prime, and nothing else. Whereby, if you would print it in your next, I would stand any loss under a five-pound pote; for, as I said before, money's no object, particularly when a man feels his back up under the sense of tyranny.-Yours, Sir, to command,
PESTIS LONDINUM DEVASTANS.
O quis me vatem regali sistet in aulâ ? *“ Eheu! quàm suave est,” &c.-Ita Lathamus in Corintho. 1809. † Sir De L. Evans,
Quis tubicen me imponet equo? (licet artis equestris
ALFREDUS CONSTANTINUS MULGRAVE. TIMMS TIMMS,
* Doctor illustris ille, et comitiis suburbanis pergratus.
-Æn. lib. 6, NO. CCXCVI, VOL. XLVII.
The disposition of our minds to ina " In vain through every changeful year vest inanimate objects with imaginary
Did Nature lead him as before ; life and feeling, is more deeply im. A primrose by a river's brim planted and more variously displayed A yellow primrose was to him, than superficial observers are ready
And it was nothing more. to believe. « Homo sum: nihil hu.
Nor was it till the face of Nature mani a me alienum puto," was the had looked on him with a fearful inprinciple of Terence's philanthropist. telligence, and her voice had sounded But the affections of man are not cir- in his mind's ear with an awakening cumscribed even by the limits of his solemnity, that the outcast's heart beown species. The meanest of nature's
gan to exchange its stony hardness for works may sometimes excite or occupy a softer structure, and his eyes to colhis most passionate emotions.
lect those drops which, descending in " The centre moved, a circle straight suc. a plenteous shower, were to wash out ceeds,
the stains of his guilt and revive his Another still, and still another spreads :
deadened spirit. Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will Not less salutary, as a preservaembrace,
tive of virtue, is the kindly commun. His country next, and next all human ion which good men habitually hold
with inanimate nature; and the alaWide and more wide the o'erflowings of crity with which they interpret her the mind
looks and language when fit occaTake every creature in, of every kind.” sion arises, bears à proportion to the When our feelings are thus strongly healthiness of their feelings and the affected towards insensate objects, we
innocence of their lives. We see how have a tendency to see in them, as in a
readily the pure and pliant minds of mirror, the features of our own moral
children give admission to an affection frame, and to bestow on them a com
for inanimate things, and yield to the munity or correspondence of sentiment pleasing illusions which clothe the with ourselves. In our ordinary mood objects of their love with life and senwe look at existence as it is : we re. sibility; and in this respect, as in others, cognise in the material world merely it is well for us, if, as far as permissithe mechanical qualities which move
ble, we become “ as these little ones.” our senses: and with some persons
There seems to be scarcely any this condition is seldom or never ex
strong emotion which may not place changed for livelier or loftier impres. inanimate objects in such a relation sions. But those who are condemned towards us as to give them the aspect to see things always in their literal of living beings. Terror, wonder, and everyday aspect, are little to be love, joy, grief, are each able to proenvied and not greatly to be loved.
duce this marvellous change. There is generally some torpor of the “ A potent wand doth sorrow wield: heart where this peculiarity is percep,
What spell so strong as guilty fear!” tible; and, even supposing it to proceed The lifeless objects of any violent defrom a defect of imagination, it is not
sire or aversion assume in the whirllikely that one important faculty should wind of our passion the characters of be thus deficient without implying or producing a corresponding inefficiency buoyant with happiness, the face of
human expression. When we are in the other powers, and among the
nature seems to reflect our smiles ; rest, in the moral qualities. The unregenerate state of Wordsworth’s
pot- extended to surrounding scenes, as
when we are sorrowful, the gloom is ter was indicated by symptoms of this if they shared our sadness: when description.
dejected beyond the point to which “ He roved among the vales and streams,
external things can be brought to harIn the green wood, and hollow dell:
monize with our sufferings, we re« They were his dwellings night and day; proach them for withholding their symBut Nature ne'er could find the way pathy, and regard the light of heaven Into the heart of Peter Bell.
and the beauty of earth as if they were