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fayour. Credulity is not so bad as unbelief, and the historian who relates only what he believes to be true, is much to be preferred to one who fetters the imagination with perpetual doubts, and leaves the reader adrift on the ocean of uncertainty, or, as they politely express it, “ to draw his own conclusions."

Thus the early historians of every country are always most valuable, because they are a class of people who seldom doubt any thing, and are never deterred from setting down any exploit to the credit of their countrymen, on the score of its impossibility. It is of little consequence how much they deal in the marvellous; so long as their stories tell to the credit of their native country, they will always find a good number of believers. But wo to him who relates any thing to its disadvantage without disguising a good part of the truth. His history will be called the lying history to a certainty. It is not a little remarkable that almost all the ancient histories now extant are full of the marvellous, and were probably preserved by the monks on account of their great resemblance to the romances which were so fashionable in the darker

ages

of literature, rather than from any intrinsic superiority over cotemporary works. Probability soon dies, but the wonderful and the incomprehensible, like the mighty turtle of eastern mythology, survives even the dissolution of nature, and triumphs over the wreck of worlds.

All the early historians of other countries abound in these immortal incongruities; and if they are believed, it would be a singular exception to refuse the same indulgence to our author. It is very true that distance of time, like distance of space, allows the imagination füll room to expatiate in boundless luxuriancy, and gives free scope tothe airy and fantastic gambols of credulity. Things related to have happened but yesterday, and within a short distance, are subject to the test of inquiry, and may be proved or disproved; but of events beyond the sphere of examination, we can only judge by what we conceive to be the limits of possibility. How many things are thought to have been possible in the early ages of the world that are not so now, either because the limits of human power, or the bounds of human credulity have been circumscribed? Convinced of this, the later historians are content to record only such events as come within the limits of our present capacity of

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belief, and are one and all lamentably deficient in the marvellous, relating only such things as might have happened anywhere, and every day, without making any great figure in the almanac or parish register. This is it that makes many of them so dull that very few people, except those who want to be put to sleep in an easy way,

will read them. This, too, is the case with our historians, with the exception of the author of the History of Connecticut, who has laudably endeavoured to give our early annals an air of romance which will render them peculiarly attractive. While other nations number among their progenitors heroes, monsters, demi-gods, and most illustrious robbers ; and pretend to exploits that could only have been performed by the assistance of Beelzebub; we, when we grow old, and want to boast of our ancestors, will have nothing to show but a band of pious pilgrims who sought the interminable forests of the new world, not in the glorious hope of plunder or of conquest-not in search of a more mellow clime or fertile soil not for the

purpose

of ransacking the maternal bosom of the earth for hidden gold—but for the liberty of worshipping their maker in the manner they thought best.

When, in after times, we are called upon to vie with the nations of the old world in splendour of descent, or in traditional renown, how will we shrink from the contrast between the peaceful pilgrim whose shield was his trust in Providence, whose sword the word of truth—and the prowling robber, or marauding pirate, who, smitten with the smiling aspect of some devoted land, poured in his hungry followers sword in hand, exterminated the ancient possessors, founded a new nation, and when he died, from a monster became a god! How will we then repine that we did not stimulate the inventive genius of our author to the production of some great work that might have vied in wonders and monstrous exploits with the most renowned of the early historians! As it is, our history is likely to become a mere hum-drum, true history, not like that of Lucian, abounding with strange people living on the scent of frogs roasted on the coals—who, we suppose, were the ancestors of the French-or with others having each a goodly cabbage growing out behind, who were doubtless the forefathers of the valiant sour-krout eaters of Germany-but a mere matter of fact chronicle, abounding in no other romance but that of real life. Such matters, however strange, are not to be compared with the relations of the early historians of the enviable old world, which are so beautifully incongruous, or so delightfully improbable, as to tickle the imagination in a wonderfully pleasant manner.

А real event, however extraordinary, if its causes be clearly explained, ceases to be an object of wonder; whereas a most agreeable astonishment is excited by a fictitious circumstance related in such a manner as to make it appear quite impossible. There is a symmetry in truth that diminishes its apparent greatness, whereas falsehood is generally magnified, like a building, by the disproportion of its parts—we feel much less surprise at seeing a tall man whose frame is in perfect proportion, than a little stinted dwarf whose very want of symmetry renders him a monster.

For these reasons, and in the hope that at some remote period, when improbability shall have become ballowed by time, and impossibility consecrated by the belief of ages, the relations of our anthor may become the foundation of a chronicle that shall vie with those of Archbishop Turpin, or Sir Richard Baker, we are anxious that the History of Connecticut should be preserved. Time, that can do any thing but make people young again, will give it value as he plies his ceaseless course, and time will increase our faith in the wonders its records. When truth is buried in the rubbish of ages—when all cotemporary testimony is swept away

when detection has quenched her taper--and the mists of time, like those of the natural world, have given to distant objects an indistinct, mysterious, and exaggerated outline -- then it is that credulity riots in the fertile fields of the marvellous, and romance becomes history.

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Among the cluster of poets that have lately sprung up in Great Britain, the most fashionable, at the present day, is Lord Byron. Independent of his literary merits, his popularity may be attributed, in some degree, to bis rank, youth, and the eccentric and romantic cast of his private character. He is descended from a

noble and illustrious family, that may be traced back to the reign of William the Conqueror. Two of his ancestors fell in the field of Cressy, another fought under the banner of Earl Richmond at the battle of Bosworth, and several lost their lives in the armies of Charles I.

Lord Byron inherited the title at an early age, in immediate succession from his granduncle William. He passed several of his youthful years in Scotland, but received the chief part of his education at the celebrated school of Harrow, and finished it at the university of Cambridge. While at school, he evinced those peculiar traits of character, and that poetical talent, which have since distinguished him. He was independent, and rather haughty in his manners; limited in his friendships; eccentric in his opinions; and of a proud reserve that approached to misanthropy, Still he does not seem to have been unpopular; his schoolmates, though they were repelled from his intimacy, yet gave him credit for high and generous qualities, and strong sensibilities; he was accounted an apt student and a good scholar, and was remarked as excelling in poetical exercises. Shortly after leaving school, and before he was of age, he published a volume of miscellaneous poems, entitled “Hours of Idleness, by Lord Byron, a minor." This volume fell under the lash of the Edinburgh reviewers, who animadverted upon it in a strain of coarse but highly ludicrous satire. Their strictures, though severe, were in general just, and though their ridicule may have been galling to the individual, yet if it could operate in any degree to restrain that fatal eagerness to rush into notoriety, which is the misfortune of so many young writers, we cannot but think it highly beneficial. Still we consider their censure of the poems as too unqualified-many passages in the volume are stamped with considerable poetical merit; several of the poems, which, from their date, must have been written when his lordship was but fifteen years of age, are surprising productions for such early youth, and, indeed, the whole collection, as the writings of “a minor," certainly bore the air of very great promise.

One of the best of the poems is an elegy on Newstead Abbey, the family seat of the Byrons. Here his lordship dwells on the former power and feudal grandeur of his ancestors, recounts their gallant exploits, and pours forth, in elevated language, the feelings of a high-born soul, meditating on the ruins of past magnificence. The concluding stanzas apply immediately to himself, and are selected as being characteristic of the poet.

“ Newstead! what saddening change of scene is thine !

Thy yawning arch betokens slow decay;
The last and youngest of a noble line

Now holds thy mouldering turrets in his sway.
** Deserted now, he scans thy gray worn towers ;

Thy vaults, where dead of feudal ages sleep;
Thy cloisters, pervious to the wintry showers;

These, these he views, and views them but to weep.
“ Yet are his tears no emblem of regret,

Cherish'd affection only bids them flow;
Pride, Hope, and Love, forbid him to forget,

But warm his bosom with impassion'd glow.
“Yet, he prefers thee to the gilded domes,

Or gewgaw grottoes of the vainly great;
Yet lingers mid thy damp and mossy tombs,

Nor breathes a murmur 'gainst the will of fate.
“ Haply thy sun, emerging, yet may shine,

Thee to irradiate with meridian ray;
Hours, splendid as the past, may still be thine,

And bless thy future, as thy former day."

It is worthy of remark, that in one of the poems in this collection, he seems to have anticipated the castigation of criticism, and even to have acquiesced in its justice:

“ Still I must yield those worthies merit,
Who chas:en with unsparing spirit,

Bad rhymes, and those who write them;
And though myself may be the next
By critic sarcasm to be vext,

1 surely will not fight them.
“ Perhaps they would do quite as well
To break the rudely sounding shell

Of such a young beginner;
He who offends at pert nineteen,
At thirty may become, I ween,

A very hardened sinner.”

But with all this apparent meekness, and professed submission to the rod, Lord Byron possessed the inseparable irritability of an author, and retorted upon the Edinburgh critics in the well-known

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