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So, struck at once aghast and still,
Stands at the tidings Earth ;
The last one of the Man of Fate ;
Of mortal foot, that proud one's mate,
Will spring to birth.
“My Genius saw his sparkling throne,
Saw, and had nought to say ;
He fell, — arose, - and lay ;
It mingled not one cry.
Froin coward insult free,
Should fade so suddenly, -
That may not die.
“ From the Alps to the Pyramids,
From the Rhine to the Manzanare,*
Sped with the lightning's glare; -
From one to the other sea.
That high decree. We low
Supreme, which chose to show
In him could be.
“The stormy and the trembling joy
Of a grand enterprise, -
With kingdoms in its eyes, -
’T were mad to have hop'd from fate.
Heightened by perils o'er ;
We take the same liberty with the name of this Spanish stream, that we find in the original, - cutting off the final z.
The headlong flight, - the victory,
The palace, - exile's shore.
“ He nam'd himself; and ages twain,
Arm'd with a mutual hate,
As if to know their fate.
Between them, but above.
Clos’d on that shore's small bound ;
Of pity, too, profound, -
And quenchless love.
The billow whirls and weighs ;
Stretches his eager gaze,
To spy the distant land ;
Of recollections roll’d.
self to unfold ;
Fell the tired hand. " How often, as the idle day
Was dying into rest,
His arms across his breast,
Came up the memories thick !
The rampart's battered force, -
The surges of the horse,
Obeyed as quick.
The panting spirit Aed,
Strong from the Heaven was spread,
" And to more respirable air,
Pitying, that soul conveyed ;
To everlasting fields ;
More than our wishes yields,
Silence and shade.
ART. VIII. - Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Si
nai, and Arabia Petræa. A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838, by E. Robinson and E. Smith. Undertaken in reference to Biblical Geography. Drawn up from the Original Diaries, with Historical Nlustrations. By EDWARD ROBINSON, D. D., Professor of Biblical Literature in the Union Theological Seminary, New York ; Author of “A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament," &c. With New Maps and Plans in Five Sheets. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. Vols. I., II., III.
pp. 571, 679, 721. 8vo.
THERE has been no lack of travellers to the Holy Land. Tourists from nearly all the civilized countries of the West have flccked thither, in every succeeding century since the birth of Christ. First, we have an uncounted number of credulous story-tellers, prepared to put faith in every thing, and to retail signs and wonders to multitudes as wise as them* This alludes to the crucifix, that lay on the pillow of the dying Emperor.
selves. Every rock, with them, is the scene of a miracle ; all the old oaks sheltered some venerable patriarch ; caves and wadys, without number, are hallowed as the last restingplace of prophets and apostles, except the honored relics have been exported for the benefit of less favored regions. We have heard of itinerant merchants, in a certain district of New England, who were accused of leaving their conscience on a particular plain, till they could conveniently accommodate the troublesome guest on the homeward journey. So, it should seem, has it fared with many who have made the tour of Western Asia. They have not permitted their good sense to cross the Red Sea, or they have left it when they were disembarking at Smyrna or Akka. No better account can be given of the incredible mass of silly or of lying legends, which have been palmed off upon the Christian world.
Another class of travellers in Palestine, are the imaginative. They visit the plain of Sharon and Mount Tabor, in order to write poetry." Their fancy had long revelled in the dreamy and delicious East. They had anticipated the ecstasies which they should feel, if they could but tread the paths of holy seers and evangelists. They go, not to collect instruction, but to be excited. Their journals are not trustworthy records of what they saw and heard, but highly wrought descriptions of the ever-changing hues of their own feelings and imaginations. It is fortunate, if they do not so mingle truth and fiction, that we are lost with them in a labyrinth of ingenious fancies. The reader of taste and intelligence is often utterly wearied, if he is not fatally misled. How little valuable knowledge does one get from the pages of Chateaubriand ! The object at which he aims is not, if we may judge from our own experience, at all secured. We have no power to accompany him in his poetic flights, or to sympathize in his wordy declamation. We should much prefer the honest fables of some good, easy monk of the middle ages. It is due to one tourist of this class, M. Lamartine, to say, that he gives the reader fair warning. When we can find no correspondence between the descriptions of this French poet and the real objects of nature, we are to remember, that we were candidly advertised, that such might prove to be the case.
In the journals of a third class of travellers in Syria, we discover much which is attractive. Their object is to provide entertainment. They give us lively sketches of manners and customs. They deal with the living inhabitants, rather than with the memorials of the past. As their principal design is to furnish agreeable narratives or startling incidents, they are more apt to communicate first impressions than well-reasoned and consistent results. Such travellers however full an important purpose.
Many of the habits and customs of the oriental world suffer no change in the lapse of centuries. What a sharp-sighted observer sees and reports now, gives us a faithful impression of the contemporaries of Moses and Solomon. The Midianite of the Pentateuch reappears in the predatory Bedawy of 1840; the Sheikh, who has seen Admiral Napier face to face, is a fair representative of the patriarch who stood in the door of his tent,” before the Exodus from Egypt. Hence a journal like that of our countryman Mr. Stephens helps to illustrate the incidents recorded by Joshua, or the apothegms uttered by the sage son of King David.
The remaining class of travellers in the Holy Land and Arabia, that we shall notice, are unhappily few in number. When we have mentioned half-a-dozen names, like those of Maundrell, Niebuhr, Burckhardt, Rüppell and Seetzen, our list is exbausted. Such men have gone forth with some adequate sense of the responsibleness of their errand, determined to use their own eyes, and to be rigidly honest in the investigation and statement of facts. Into the besetting sin of journalists, — fanciful embellishment, exaggerated coloring, – they did not fall. They had no intention of imposing on the credulity or ignorance of their readers. They scorned to practise the arts of the mere book-maker, or of him who is resolved, at all events, to tell an interesting story. With such men, carelessness is not a venial offence. Why be at the trouble, they would ask themselves, to visit distant countries, and submit to an intelligent public a report of our observations, unless we make that report as accurate and as complete as it is in our power to do ? Our libraries have enough already of fables and fancy sketches.
It may here be worth while to inquire, why the number of veracious and well-trained travellers in Syria and Arabia has been so limited. Why has not Germany sent out a second Niebuhr? Why could not England, which swarms with VOL. LIII.
- No. 112. 23