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SUPERSTITION has ever been a Netherlands which has been so much strong feature in the religious charac- frequented by Pilgrims as Halle. Soter of the Belgians, of which the town vereign Princes, in former days, used to of Halle affords a conspicuous example. vie with each other in the value and The Topographical accounts which I splendour of their offerings to the Mihave seen of this place having been raculous Image; nor has the shrine of written by bigoted Papists, seem to have Our Lady been more indebted to any almost lost sight of every topic but one. royal devotees than to Albert and Isabella, For be it known that Halle has been who governed the Spanish Low Counrenowned for ages as the favoured resi- tries during the early part of the sevendence of an image of the Virgin Mary, teenth century with distinguished equity which is called, by way of eminence, and benevolence. Those excellent the Miraculous Image of our Lady; and Sovereigns, who gave implicit credit to is regarded with no less veneration by all the traditionary legends of monks and the Flemish Devotees, than was the hermits, and who devoutly swallowed Wooden Image of Pallas, which the all the wonders that had been ascribed to Trojans firmly believed to have fallen the Image at Halle, were fully persuaded down from Heaven. As the Trojans that the patronage of the Holy Virgin reckoned their Capital secure while the was the surest guarantee of what they Palladium remained in the Citadel, so had most sincerely at heart, the prosperity the devotees of Halle regard the Miracu- and glory of their country; and they lous Image of their Goddess as the dedicated much of their time to the Palladium of their town. And as the worship of her Image at Halle. In the representative of the Tritonian Goddess study of human nature we sometimes is said to have emitted flames of fire from meet with strange anomalies; and the her eye-balls, on being conveyed by the Historian, in the delineation of character, sacrilegious hands of Diomedes and has often to record inconsistencies that Ulysses into the Grecian camp, so the excite the pity of a rational Christian, Image of our Lady at Halle is reported while they draw a smile from the Philosoto have shed copious floods of tears on pher, or a sneer of contempt from the the introduction of the Lutheran Heresy Infidel. This remark hath been suginto Belgium. There is no place in the gested by a review of the characters of Albert and Isabella, in whom the

TH ATHENEUM. Vol. 2.

242

Modern English Poets.-Lord Byron.

LVOL. 2. weakest superstition was united with wherein he gravely admits the truth of mental vigour and firmness in the gov- all the wonderful works which had been ernment of their subjects, and with per- ascribed to the Image of the Queen of severing application to business. It has Heaven; a Book, which a Topographer been remarked by a sensible and well- of Halle with no less gravity asserts, the informed Writer*, that "much of the Heretics have never been able to consuperstition of the Catholic provinces fute. If any reader will take the trouble may justly be traced back to the reign of of consulting Bayle's Life of Lipsius, I Albert and Isabella ;" and yet they were am inclined to think he will rise from the the munificent patrons of Genius and perusal of it with a strong suspicion that Learning. And in no æra of the history Lipsius must have been laughing in his of that country did the Arts and Sciences sleeve while he was descanting on the flourish with more lustre than during praises of his Goddess, as he styles her their mild and auspicious sway: the in a Copy of Verses which he presented Arts of Painting, Sculpture, and Archi- to her on the consecration of a Silver tecture, were eminently protected and Pen which he suspended before her altar. encouraged by them.

"Then Sculpture and her sister Art revive,

Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live:
With sweeter notes each rising temple rung."
POPE'S Essay on Criticism.

The Miraculous Image of Our Lady is preserved in one of the chapels of the parish church of St. Martin; and the Anniversary of the Kene-Masse, or, as we should term it, of the Wake Sunday, is a great day at Halle. On that day The celebrated Justus Lipsius, whose the Image of the Virgin is carried about name shines with such splendour in the the town in solemn procession, attended annals of Classical and Critical Learn- by the magistrates, and by deputies from ing, was honoured with peculiar marks twelve neighbouring cities and towns, of their favour; and their admiration of amidst a vast concourse of people. I that great Scholar was, no doubt, heigh- have never witnessed a procession at a tened by his coming forward as the Kene-Masse without thinking of the champion of the Miraculons Image of learned Dr. Middleton's comparison beOur Lady at Halle. Lipsius, whether tween Rome Pagan and Rome Papal, from the same superstitious weakness together with the following lines from which characterized his Sovereigns, or Pope's Dunciad : (which is more probable, from the general course of his life, as related by Bayle and others) from courtly adulation, And Pan to Moses lends his Pagan horn ; and a thirst of popular applause, publish- See graceless Venus to a virgin turn'd, ed a Book, entitled Hallensis Virgo, Or Phidias broken, and Apelles burn'd."

«See Peter's Keys some christen'd Jove

adorn,

PRESENT STATE OF ENGLISH POETRY.

From the Literary Gazette.

POETICAL STYLE OF LORD BYRON. same power of conveying all that is horIAM surprised, that amidst all the dif- rible and grand, through the medium of

ferent attempts made to classify the emotion, rather than of description. genius of Lord BYRON, he has never That singular fragment called Darkness, been compared with Dante. Both po- though without any adequate object in ets possess the same intensity of passion view, which could justify it as a compoand force of thought, the same neglect sition, contains, nevertheless, more conof grace, the same reiteration of stroke upon stroke, which produces in the aggregate, the effect of sublimity; and the

* Shaw's Sketches of the History of the Austrian Netherlands.

vincing proofs of this affinity between them, than any other of Lord Byron's sketches. So far as it goes, it may match with many passages of the Inferno, in terrific fancy, and in the pow

VOL. 2.]

Modern English Poets.-Lord Byron.

248

er of extracting poetical results from the present instance appropriate, is quaint philosophical causes. With all its faults, -so is too weak a word for a terminaI consider it the finest specimen we have tion-and homilies has neither rhyme hitherto had, of his Lordship's abilities. nor accent to recommend it. This is One may clearly perceive, in the suc- even a favorable specimen; but open cessive publications of this noble author, any where, and the same faults still apthe gradual improvement of his poetical pear.

peril's past."

"And fire unquenched, unquenchable--

faculties, as time and experience contri- "I've scaped a bloodier hour than this." "Now buted to mature them. Nay, one might even imagine such an improvement visible in the latter passages of his first Childe around, within thy heart shall dwell." Harold, as compared with its commenceEpithets, those vigorous auxiliaries of ment. But I regret to say, that neither poetry, are but thinly scattered through practice nor precept has produced any his poems, whose natural dryness and refinement in his style; on the contrary, austerity want the relief of such ornathis has sensibly deteriorated. If poetry ments. The following beautiful simile be the perfection of thought and lan- in the Childe Harold, starts out of the guage, and if language be the vehicle for gloomy canvas with all the grace of conconveying thought, both these qualities, trast. Speaking of the Spanish Heroines, and with them poetry itself, are injured who, though they fought for their counby carelessness of diction, But as other try, were not the less gentle and becritics have sufficiently animadverted on witching, the broader features of his writings, the plot, the sentiments, and the characters; and as they have almost totally neglected that sort of verbal criticism, which, though minute, is not therefore unimportant, and which every critic, from Longinus down to Blair, has conceived necessary, I shall confine myself, almost exclusively, both in this and subsequent essays, to the consideration of style.

So far, then, as style, by the glowing combination of words, by the nervous terseness of sentences, by harmony, by adequacy, and by magnificence, constitutes an essential part of good writing, so far Lord Byron fails. Almost every impurity and inaccuracy of diction, which had gradually been weeded from our language during the last century, we find again springing up in his works. I will take a passage at random.

"Is't not enough, unhappy thing, to know
Thou art? Is this a boon so kindly given,
That being, thou would be again, and go
Thou knowest not, reck'st not to what region,so
On earth no more, but mingled with the skies?
Still wilt thou dream on future joy and woe?
Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies.
That little urn saith more than thousand
homilies.

Here some of the pauses are placed too near the beginning or ending of successive lines. Is't is a most ungraceful abbreviation-saith, though perhaps in

""Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove, Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate.”

I shall now quote a stanza for the purpose of proving, that this author does not fail in elegance or correctness, from mere inability; and, that his thoughts, so far from being enfeebled, are much strengthened by these qualities.

"'Tis an old lesson; Time approves it true,
And those who know it best, deplore it most.
When all is won that all desire to woo,
The paltry prize is hardly worth the cost.
These are thy fruits, successful Passion, these!

Youth wasted, mind degraded, honor lost;

If, kindly cruel, early hope is crost,
Still to the last it rankles, a disease,

Not to be cured when Love itself forgets to
please."

On the whole, I would say, that Lord Byron displays in his performances, the mind of a great poet, but denies himself the benefit which he might derive from the art of poetry. From this art he borrows nothing but its metre. He does not adorn or refine, or elevate that me

tre.

He depends too much upon the strength of his conception, or upon the profundity of his emotion, and does not sufficiently consider, that a strong idea may be still strengthened, and a beautiful one made still more beautiful, by the language in which it is couched. Had he, for instance, told us, that the dove

244

Otto Von Kotzebue's Voyage round the World.

[VOL. 2 possessed both tenderness and fierceness, own genius; but that if he would select instead of a "tender fierceness," the some subject of popular and permanent thought would still have remained the interest and not unsuitable to his own same, but would assuredly have lost all peculiar genius, he might, by superadits poetical value. To conclude, I must ding the elegance and purity of modern assert, after a sedulous and candid ex- diction, to the force and freedom of anamination of his writings, that he has not cient thought, execute a work, which yet produced any which do justice to his "posterity would not willingly let die.”

OTTO VON KOTZEBUE'S VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD.

From the Literary Gazette.

Extract from the Journal of the not stir from the shore, many went up to circumnavigator Otto Von Kot- the knee in the water, and many more zebue, sent to his Father.---Com- swam round our boats. At last one municated by the latter.

FRO

Talcagnano, 3d of March, 1816.
(Continued.)

among them tried to drive the others away on the one side, but they rushed forward in crowds to the other, dancing, ROM this place I directed my course screaming, and throwing their bodies to Easter Island, and arrived on the into all manner of contortions. Schisch28th in Cook's Bay. Two boats rowed mareff, who had never been before to meet us, each of which had in it only among the Savages, was almost out of two Islanders, and could contain no his wits with astonishment, and at last more: a third was fishing at the end of began to think that they were not men the Bay. I was surprised at seeing but monkies.

three boats, as La Peyrouse had found I retired with my boats from the shore, there only three in all, and thought that hoping that the Islanders would be less the inhabitants would soon be without importunate, and many swam after us to any boats for want of wood. Those exchange fruit for iron. While I was which we saw perfectly agreed with La distributing some presents among them, Peyrouse's description, and were put we were saluted from the shore with a together of little pieces of wood. The shower of stones. Now I had a few savages did not venture to come close to musket-shots fired over their heads. This the ship, but remained at a little distance, had some effect on them, and they directly · showed us fruit, spoke very loud, and left the beach, and we landed without rowed in a little while again to shore. difficulty, but we got immediately among Lieutenant Schischmareff sought, and such a multitude, that in case of an attack, soon found a good anchoring place. we should have been in great danger; While he was taking soundings, a great even the retreat would have been difficult, many Islanders kept swimming around, as the boats stood in the surf, and it who gave him fruit for pieces of iron would have been hardly possible to reach hoops. I myself with seventeen men them. I could not venture farther into resolved to go on shore in the long-boat. the country, but looked directly for the About a thousand Savages seemed to be curious statues which distinguished this waiting with impatience on the beach for island, and which from the description our landing; they danced, screamed, must be near the place where I was: but and twisted their bodies in the strangest I discovered only the ruins of one of manner. As their number was so very them, with its pedestal, which is not great, and they had crowded altogether damaged; all the others seen to have in one place, I judged it proper not to been totally destroyed, for I was on the leave the boats till they had retired from very spot where the largest formerly the beach; but to induce them to do stood. It was not till we sailed round that was not very easy. They seemed the South point that we discovered some to understand my signs very well, but statues of no great height. God knows their curiosity was too great, they would whether the Europeans or the Islanders

VOL. 2.]

Russian Voyage of Discovery.

245

themselves performed this feat. I suspect all slept on deck. On the night of the the Europeans; for what else can have 10th of April, I was visited by an unexcited the distrust of the Savages, who expected guest: I felt something move received La Peyrouse with the greatest a little under my quilt; just awaking friendship? In general, these Savages from a sound sleep, I stretched forth are of a middle stature, well shaped, and my hand, much alarmed, to catch of a copper colour, but some of them are it. I felt something cold and alive; by tolerably white; all are tattooed, but a the light of the moon I saw it to be a few only over the whole body. Many flying-fish, and I am probably the only had painted their faces in a frightful person who ever caught a fish in bed. manner with a red and white; among those who were not painted we discovered some not unpleasing countenances. The few women who shewed themselves were old and ugly. To judge from the cheerfulness of the Savages, they were very well satisfied with their situation. Of provisions, they seem to have no want. They brought us a great quantity of banians, yams, and potatoes, sugarcane, &c. Their fields,covered with the most beautiful verdure, are regularly divided into squares, which afford the eye a very pleasing prospect. The seeds which La Peyrouse distributed there have probably not succeeded, for we gaw no fruit of them, nor any sheep, nor pigs, which ought to have increased very much. Poultry they seem not to have in much abundance, for they brought only one fowl for sale. Their habitations are just as La Peyrouse describes them. The long bouse which is marked upon his map stands still on the same seite, as does also the stone hut on the shore. As we retired to our boat a great many people collected on the shore, and their cries were dreadful. As we retired they again threw many stones at us, we could not therefore expect any better treatment the next day, and accordingly set sail immediately.

On the 13th of April, I was on the very same spot on which Arrowsmith's map marks the island of St. Pablo, but I had not the slightest sign of being near land. On the 15th, we had a high wind, accompanied with a heavy shower of rain, the sky was very black, and it lightened all around; but suspecting land to be near, I would not venture to continue my course in this dark night,but tacked. On the 16th, the man at the mast-head suddenly called out "land." This word made me start, as I did not expect land in this longitude, and consequently the hope of making a new discovery flashed across my mind. It was a small and very low Island, which one could see from the mast-head at the distance of ten leagues at most, of a pleasing appearance, in some places thickly covered with wood, and surrounded with coral reefs, on which the surf broke violently; in the middle of the island is a little lake. To land was too dangerous; we did not discover the slightest sign of inhabitants, nor any cocoa-trees. From the description, this island is something like the Dogs Island; but this proves little, as all coral islands resemble each other. Besides, there is a difference in the latitude of 21°. This discovery may therefore be a new one, The voyage from Cronstadt to Chili However I have called this island the had lasted longer than had been calcu- Doubtful Island, and leave others to lated, and therefore there remained not ascertain the fact hereafter. I next diso much time for the researches in the rected my course to the West, but laySouth Sea. I found myself obliged to to in the night, which is to be recomshorten the plan, and directed my course mended to every navigator in these directly to the Islands discovered by parts, as otherwise the reefs of this Schouten and Lemaire. The nights island are scarcely to be avoided. were very warm, for which reason we

To be continued.

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