Imágenes de página

How oft, since then, the star of spring, that pours

A never failing stream, hath drench'd thy head!
How oft the summer cloud in copious showers

Or gentle drops its genial influence shed ?

How oft, since then, the hovering mist of morn

Hath caus d thy locks with glittering gems to glow?
How oft hath eve her dewy treasures borne
To fall responsive to the breeze below?

The matted thistles, bending to the gale,

Now clothe those meadows once with verdure gay;
Amidst the windings of that lonely vale

The teeming Antelope and Ostrich stray :

The large ey'd mother of the herd, that flies

Man's noisy haunts, here finds a sure retreat,
Here tends her clustering young, till age supplies

Strength to their limbs and swiftness to their feet.

Save where the swelling stream hath swept those walls,

And giv'n their deep foundations to the light, (As the retouching pencil that recalls

A long-lost picture to the raptur'd sight.)

Save where the rains have wash'd the gather'd sand,

And bar'd the scanty fragments to our view, (As the *dust sprinkled on a punctur'd hand

Bids the faint tints resume their azure hue.)

No mossy record of those once lov'd seats

Points out the mansion to inquiring eyes ;
No tottering wall, in echoing sounds, repeats

Our mournful questions and our bursting sighs.

Yet midst those ruin'd heaps, that naked plain,

Can faithful memory former scenes restore,
Recall the busy throng, the jocund train,

And picture all that charm'd us there before.

Ne'er shall my heart the fatal morn forget

That bore the fair ones from these seats so dear
I see, I see the crowding litters yet,

And yet the tent poles rattle in my ear.

* It is a custom with the Arabian women, in order to give the veins of their hands and arms a more brilliant appearance, to make slight punctures along them, and to rub into the incisions a blue powder, which they renew occasionally as it happens te wear out.

I see the maids with timid steps ascend,

The streamers wave in all their painted pride, The floating curtains every fold extend,

And vainly strive the charms within to hide.

What graceful forms those envious folds enclose!

What melting glances through those curtains play! Sure Weira’s Antelopes, or Tudah's Roes

Through yonder veils their sportive young survey.

The bandmov'd on-to trace their steps I strove ;

I saw them urge the camel's hastening flight,
Till the white * vapour, like a rising grove,

Snatch'd them forever from my aching sight.

Nor since that morn have I NAWARA seen,

The bands are burst which held us once so fast,
Memory but tells me that such things have been,

And sad Reflection adds that they are past.

* The vapour here alluded to, called by the Arabians Serab, is not unlike in appear. ance (and probably proceeding from a similar cause) to those white mists which we often see horering over the surface of a river in a summer's evening after a hot day. They are very frequent in the sultry plains of Arabia, and, when seen at a distance, resemble an expanded lake ; but upon a nearer approach, the thirsty traveller perceives his deception.


Thomas B. Wait and Sons, of Boston, propose to publish a collection of the state papers and public documents of the United States, relating to their intercourse with foreign nations, from the period of the accession of Mr. Jefferson to the presidency. As it most unfortunately happens that instead of a regular annual register, which, for the credit of the country, as well as for its great utility, we ought certainly to have had, we have nothing more than a broken series of abortive attempts at such a publication, we think this proposed collection of state papers not only highly useful, but, in fact, almost indispensable to our public men, and, indeed, to every man of education who takes an interest in the history and politics of his country. The publishers promise that nothing shall be omitted, and that no political remarks shall be made. It is intended to be merely a book of commodious reference, on the plan of Debrett's State Papers. This is as it should be; and we confidently trust that no narrow, party feeling will induce them to swerve from this laudable impartiality. It is to be printed with a copious index, in three or four octavo volumes, of about 500 pages each.

The same booksellers propose to publish, by subscription, a uniform and elegant edition of all Cicero's writings, in the best English translations, together with his life by Middleton, and some valuable tracts connected with it. This is a spirited undertaking. We should not have supposed that there was any demand which could warrant such a publication ; but the booksellers are the best judges in these matters, and if, in the present instance, they are right in their judgment, it will only afford an additional proof to those which are every day afforded of the increase of literary curiosity and good taste in the great body of the reading public in the United States. In this instance, as in several others, we have anticipated the enterprise of the British booksellers. There is no uniform English edition of the translations of Cicero's works. A friend of ours some time ago sent out an order to London for a complete set of these translations. It was executed with some difficulty; and when they arrived a squeamish book collector would not have been a little shocked by the motley and irregular appearance of the set. It would be ridiculous to attempt to recommend this undertaking by any eulogy of Cicero, a writer to whom the common suffrage of the learned world for nearly two thousand years has awarded the palm of every species of eloquence. No translation has yet done full justice to the elevation, the harmony, and the grace of his style; but, though these flowers of language may fade when transplanted to another soil, there must always remain a solid and imperishable trunk of sound learning and rich sense.

This edition is to be introduced by the life of the author, by Dr. Conyers Middleton, a writer who, in spite of Pope's sneer at his

easy. Ciceronian style So Latin, and yet so English all the while,"

has secured to himself the rank of a second rate English classic and is one of those authors whom we always expect to see in every library next after the works of Shakspeare and Milton, of Addison and Johnson, and the other Dii majorum gentium of British literature. Several minor critical tracts are to be added to this life. We know little of the principal

ones which are mentioned, but we doubt not that they are judiciously chosen. These are to be followed by the best English translations of Cicero, including those of Melmoth, Guthrie, Middleton, Jones, and M‘Cartney. Melmoth is an excellent translator, and his notes are filled with agreeable scholarship. We have no acquaintance with any of the other translations, except that of Guthrie, which we recollect to have looked at three or four years ago, and then thought it feeble and inelegant. It is, however, faithful enough, and is, probably, the best English version of the orations.

The publication will be arranged and superintended by the Rev. Joseph V Kean, Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory in Harvard University, and will be comprised in fifteen or sixteen volumes 8vo. averaging from 400 to 500 pages each. The price to subscribers, two dollars and fifty cents volume, in extra boards.

Boston edition of Dr. Reid's Works, with notes by American editors.-After a long delay the second volume of this edition has at length been pub. lished. It is a remarkable fact, and one which ought to be made known to the transatlantic despisers of American literature, that the first complete editions of the entire works of Reid, Paley, and Beattie, were collected and published in the United States. The notes of the American editors of Reid are very well, but we confess we could quite as well have spared them, and we can see no particular necessity for any of those yet published. Yet we must not pronounce judgment precipitately. The editors intimate that they reserve their remarks chiefly for Reid's last work on the active powers. We presume that they intend to combat his opinions on liberty and necessity If this is well and simply done, by giving a concise statement of the opposite side of the argument, it will increase the value of the edition. But we earnestly exhort the editors to beware of defacing the pages of this profound and original thinker with empty declamation on the familiar, commonplace topics of metaphysical discussion.

Sermons by the lale Rev. I. S. Buckminster. 8vo. Baston.-In a literary point of view,


one of the most valuable original publications which have for some years issued from the American press. Mr. Buckminster's religious opinions were of the same class with those which are now very prevalent in many parts of Massachusetts, and are denominated by their opponents Socinian, and termed by their friends Catholic or Liberal. There must, of course, exist a very wide difference of opinion as to the theological merit of this publication. But as the opinions of the author are rather to be inferred from what is passed over in silence, than from any thing actually expressed, whatever may be thought of these compositions as sermons, we have no hesitation to recommend them in the strongest manner as moral essays. We have not had leisure to read the volume with that deliberation and critical accuracy which we deem necessary to enable us to give a formal criticism on the character and style of such a work. It appears to us, however, that the distinguishing characteristics of Mr. Buckminster's writings are, great fertility and accuracy of thought, delicacy of taste, a certain calmness of manner, a little resembling that of Paley, but united with a more feminine elegance, and which, while it but seldom strongly excites the feelings, has an inexpressible power of engaging the attention-much felicity of illustration, and a considerable degree of ornament, but so far removed from every thing gaudy and florid that the first effect of his compositions upon a hasty reader is that of the utmost simplicity. His style is equable and flowing, and reminds us a good deal of that of Dugald Stewart, though it wants much of the richness and

magnificence of his smooth and full stream of expanded eloquence. When we say that Buckminster but seldom strongly excites the feelings, we must, at the same time, observe, that he has a remarkable power of impressing the mind with a tender solemnity, which has sometimes the effect of pathos, and now and then even approaches to sublimity. Some of the sermons on the internal evidences of christianity display much ingenuity of argument, and are in the best manner of Paley.

To the sermons is prefixed a short sketch of the life of their author, by one of his most intimate friends. We have seldom read a narrative of greater interest. The vivid picture which it displays of the life and study of a young scholar, ardent in the pursuit of knowledge, and most indefatigable in his application, struggling with infirm health, and weighed down by the dismal apprehension of the most awful of human calamities--the derangement of reason-is singularly interesting and pathetic. Mr. B. died before his 28th year, and we do not know of any man of our own times who had, at that early age, acquired a greater stock of various learning, or produced a more powerful impression upon the public mind. We cannot close this brief article without remarking the great accuracy of style which is discernible in this volume. This quality is so rare in posthumous publications, and, indeed, in all publications not revised in the proof by the author himself

, or else carefully corrected by him after some interval had elapsed from the time of composition, that, if it is not owing in this instance (as we partly suspect it is) to the friendly care of the editor, it ought to be noted as a remarkable peculiarity in the literary character of Mr. Buckminster.

We are happy to observe that amidst the din of arms the interests of learning have not been forgotten. The munificence of the great states of New-York and Massachusetts to their several collegiate establishments are known to most of our readers. This has lately called forth two splendid instances of private liberality. The University of Cambridge, (Mass.) has received, from an unknown benefactor, the sum of 20,000 dollars towards founding a Greek professorship; and the Rev. Mr. Van Benschouten, of Ulster county, (N. Y.,) has lately presented 14,500 dollars to Queen's College, (New Jersey,) to be applied to the endowment of the theological faculty in that institution.

Life of Barlow.-We have been asked how we defend the use of the phrase, incompatible with an enlightened philosopher, in the life of Barlow in the last number of this magazine. We do not defend it at all. It arises from a slight error of the press. The phrase intended to be used was, incompatible with un enlightened philosophy. The reader may also correct, in the same page, (144.,) the words sat off by substituting set off. We are not very studious of this minute accuracy, and should not have noticed this last error had we not remarked the confusion of the words sit and set, as well as of lie and lay, to be of frequent occurrence among our writers or printers. Having corrected these verbal mistakes, it may be as well for the author to correct some others in facts.

Barlow's oration on the 4th of July, 1787, upon a second perusal, appears entitled to higher praise than was bestowed upon it. Another oration delivered by him at Washington, July 4, 1809, has been omitted in the list of his writings, a neglect which it by no means deserved, for it possesses a vein of original thinking very uncommon in productions of this class. Mr. Barlow did not build, but purchased the house at Washington, where he resided ;-and in saying that “Barlow was the first poetical ambassador since the days of Prior,” the author did not recollect the Duke de Nivernois, Lord Strangford, and our own countryman, Colonel Homephreys.

« AnteriorContinuar »