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Bertram. That man shall be my mate—Contend not with me— Horrors to me are kindred and society. Or man, or fiend, he hath won the soul of Bertram. Bertram is afterwards discovered alone, wandering near thefatal tovserf and describes the effect of the awful interview which he had courted. Bertram. Was it a man or fiend ?—Whate'er it was It hath dealt wonderfully with me— All is around his dwelling suitable;The invisible blast to which the dark pines groan, The unconscious tread to which the dark earth echoes, The hidden waters rushing to their fall, These sounds of which the causes are not seen I love, for they are like my fate mysterious— How tower'd his proud form through the shrouding gloom, How spoke the eloquent silence of its motion, How through the barred vizor did his accents Roll their rich thunder on their pausing soul! And though his mailed hand did shun my grasp, And though his closed morion hid his feature, Yea all resemblance to the face of man, I felt the hollow whisper of his welcome, I felt those unseen eyes were fix'd on mine,
If eyes indeed were there
Forgotten thoughts of evil, still-born mischiefs,
Foul fertile seeds of passion and of crime,
That wither'd in my heart's abortive core, Rous'd their dark battle at his trumpet-peal:So sweeps the tempest o'er the slumbering desert, Waking its myriad hosts of burning death:
So calls the last dread peal the wandering atoms Of blood and bone and flesh and dust-worn fragments, In dire array of ghastly unity, To bide the eternal summons— I am not what I was since I beheld him— I was the slave of passion's ebbing sway—
All is condensed, collected, callous now—
The groan, the burst, the fiery flash is o'er, Down pours the dense and darkening lava-tide, Arresting life and stilling all beneath it. Enter two of his band observing him.
Second Robber. And hast thou of a truth seen the dark knight?
Long'st thou for tale of goblin-guarded portal?Of giant champion whose spell-forged mail
First Robber. Mock me not thus—Hast met him of a truth ?— Bertram. Well, fool—
First Robber. Why then heaven's benison be with you.
Upon this hour we part—farewel for ever.
For mortal cause I bear a mortal weapon—
But man that leagues with demons lacks not man.
The description of the fiend's port and language,—the effect which the conference with him produces upon Bertram's mind,— the terrificdignity with which the intercourse with such an associate invests him, and its rendering him a terror even to his own desperate banditti,—is all well conceived, and executed in a grand and magnificent strain of poetry; and, in the perusal, supposing the reader were carrying his mind back to the period when such intercourse between mortals and demons was considered as matter of indisputable truth, the story acquires probability and consistency, even from that which is in itself not only improbable but impossible. The interview with the incarnate fiend of the forest, would, in these days, be supposed to have the same effect upon the mind of Bertram, as the 'metaphysical aid' of the witches produces upon that of Macbeth, awakening and stimulating that appetite for crime, which slumbered in the bosom of both, till called forth by supernatural suggestion. At the same time, while we are happy to preserve a passage of such singular beauty and power, we approve of the taste which retrenched it in action. The suadente diabolo is now no longer a phrase even in our indictments; and we fear his Satanic Majesty, were he to appear on the stage in modern times, would certainly incur the appropriate fate of damnation.
To return to the present work.—We observe, with pleasure, that Mr Maturin has put his genius under better regulation than in his former publications, and retrenched that luxuriance of language, and too copious use of ornament, which distinguishes the authors and orators of Ireland, whose exuberance of imagination sometimes places them in the predicament of their honest countryman, who complained of being run away with by his legs. "fhis excessive indulgence of the imagination is proper to a country where there is more genius than taste, and more copiousness than refinement of ideas. But it is an error to suffer the weeds to rush up with the grain, though their appearance may prove the richness of the soil. There is a time when an author should refrain, like Job, 'even from good words—though it should be pain to him.'—And although we think Mr Mathurine has reformed that error indifferently well, in his present work, we do pray him? in, his future compositions, to reform it altogether. For the rest, we dismiss him with our best wishes, and not without hopes that we may again meet him in the maze of fiction, since, although he has threatened, like Prospero, to break his wand, we have done our poor endeavour to save his book from being burned.
QUARTERLY LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS, From February to June 1818.
The Farmer's Magazine. No. 74. '"i •
An Essay on Agriculture, containing an Introduction, in which the science of Agriculture is pointed out, by a careful attention to the works of Nature; also the means of rendering barren soils luxuriantly productive; to which is added a Memoir, drawn up at the express desire of his Imperial Highness the Archduke John of Austria, on the Nature and Nutritive Qualities of Fiorin Grass, &c. By W. Richardson, D. D.
Considerations respecting Cambridge, more particularly relating to its Botanical Professorship. By Sir James Smith, M.D. F. R. S. 8vo. 2s. 6d.
Mr Kendall, architect, of Exeter, has just published an Elucidation of the first principles of English Architecture, usually denominated Gothic. The work comprises upwards of 20 finely engraved plates by Mr Storer, respresenting Elevations, &c. taken from the Cathedral Church of Exeter.
New Churches Considered, with respect to the Opportunities they offer for the encouragement of Painting. By B. R. Haydon. 8vo. Is. 6d.
No. I. of a Series of Twelve Portraits of Distinguished Living Characters of Scotland; containing heads of Walter Scott, Esq. Francis Jeffrey, Esq. and Henry Raeburn, Esq.; drawn and etched by William Nicholson; accompanied with short Biographical Notices. Size of the plates 11 inches by 9. Price of each number 1/. lis. 6d. for proofs on India paper; and 1/. Is. for plain impreseions. J
Vol, xxx. No. 59. R
The Elgin Marbles, from the Temple of Minerva at Athens; selected from Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens: To which is added, an Historical Account of the Temple, in Sixty Engravings. 4to. 5l. 5s.
The History and Antiquities of Gainsborough: together with a Topographical and Descriptive Account of Stow, principally in Illustration of its claim to be considered as a Roman Sidnacester. By Adam Stark, with plates. 8vo. 10s. 6d.;—royal 8vo. 1/. Is.
Delineations of Pompeii, Engraved by W. B. Cooke, from Drawings made in 1817. By Major Cockburn, R. A. Part I. fol. 4/. 4s.; Proofs, 61. 6s.; on India paper, 8/. 8s.
An Historical Description of the Monastery and Chapel Royal of Holyroodhouse, with the Curiosities, Monuments, &c. An Historical Account of the Palace, and its environs: and Biographical Anecdotes of celebrated Individuals connected with its History. Fine 6s.—common 3s. 6d.
A General Description of the Shire of Renfrew, including an Account of the Noble and Ancient Families, who, from the earliest times, have had property in that County, and the most remarkable Facts in the Lives of Distinguished Individuals. To which is added, a Geanological History of the Royal House of Stuart, and of the several Noble and Illustrious Families of that name, from the year 1034 to the year 1710; collected from Public Records, Chartularies of Monasteries, and the best Historians and Private MSS. published in 1710; by George Crawfurd, Author of the Peerage of Scotland, &C. Ac. and continued to the present period by George Robertson, Author of the Agricultural Survey of Mid-Lothian, &c. 4to. Small paper, 31s. 6d.—large paper, 52s. 6d.
An Account of the Life, Writings, and Character of the late Dr Alexander Monro, Secundus, delivered at the Harveian Oration, at Edinburgh, for the year 1818. By Andrew Duncan, sen. M. D. Price 2s. 6d.
Memoirs of J. Evelyn, Esq. the celebrated Author of the Sylva. By W. Bray, Esq. with many Engravings. 2 vol. 4to.
Letters from the Abbe Edgeworth to his Friends, written between the year 1777 and 1807, with Memoirs of his Life. By the Rev. .Thomas R. England. 8vo. 8s.
The Life of Jeremy Tayler, D. D. Bishop of Down. By the Rev. Henry Kaye Bonney. 8vo. 12s.
A Critical Examination of the Bishop of Llandaff's Posthumous Volume, entitled, " Anecdotes of his Life." 8vo. 3s.
The Annual Biography and Obituary, for the year 1818. Vol. H. 8vo.
"Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough, with his Original Correspondence, collected from the Family Records at Blenheim, and other authentic Sources. By William Coxe, M. A. 2 vol. 4to. 4/. 4s.