Imágenes de página

At these words, all the force of her character came again to her aid; and she disengaged herself from him, with a reviving dignity in her air, that shewed a decided resolution to resist his services: but she was still utterly silent; and he saw that she was obliged to sustain her tottering frame against the wall to save herself from again sinking upon the floor.

The foreigner seemed with difficulty to restrain his rage from some act of brutality: but, after a moment's pause, fixing his hands fiercely in his sides, he ferociously confronted the shaking Juliet, and said, "I have informed your family of my rights. Lord Denmeath has promised me his assistance and your portion."

Lord Denmeath!" repeated the astonished Harleigh.

He has promised me, also," the foreigner, without heeding him, continued, "the support of your half-brother, Lord Melbury,"

"Lord Melbury!" again exclaimed Harleigh; with an expression that spoke a sudden delight, thrilling, in defiance of agony, through his burning veins.

"Who, he assures me, is a young man of honour, who will never abet a wife in eloping from her husband. I shall take you, therefore, at first, and at once, to Lord Denmeath, who will only pay your portion to your own signature. Go, therefore, quietly into that room, till the chaise is ready, and I promise that I won't follow you though, if you resist, I shall assert my rights by force."

He held the door open. She wrung her hands with agonizing horrour. He took hold of her shoulder; she shrunk from his touch; but, in shrinking, involuntarily entered the room. He would have pushed her on; but Harleigh, who now looked wild with the violence of contending emotions; with rage, astonishment, grief, and despair; furiously caught him by the arm, calling out, "Hold, villain, hold! - Speak, Madam, speak! Utter but a syllable! Deign only to turn towards me! Pronounce but with your eyes that he has no legal claim, and I will instantly secure your liberty,even from myself! even from all mankind! — Speak! — turn! look but a moment this way! One word! one single word!"


• She clapped her hands upon her forehead, in an action of despair; but the word was not spoken, not a syllable was uttered! A look, however, escaped her, expressive of a soul in torture, yet sup plicating his retreat. She then stepped further into the room, and the foreigner shut and double-locked the door.

Triumphantly brandishing the key, as he eyed, sidelong, the now passive Harleigh, he went into the adjoining apartment; where, seating himself in the middle of the room, he left the door wide open, to watch all egress and regress in the passage.

Harleigh now appeared to be lost! The violence of his agitation, while he concluded her to be wrongfully claimed, was transformed into the blackest and most indignant despondence, at her unresisting, however wretched acquiescence, to commands thus brutal; emanating from an authority of which, however evidently it was deplored, she attempted not to controvert the legality. The dreadful


mystery, more direful than it had been depicted, even by the most cruel of his apprehensions, was now revealed: she is married! he internally cried; married to the vilest of wretches, whom she flies and abhors, yet she is married! indisputably married! and can never, never, -even in my wishes, now, be mine!

A sudden sensation, kindred even to hatred, took possession of his feelings. Altered she appeared to him, and delusive. She had always, indeed, discouraged his hopes, always forbidden his expectations; yet she must have seen that they subsisted, and were cherished; and could not but have been conscious, that a single word, bitter, but essentially just, might have demolished, have annihilated

them in a moment.

He dragged himself back to his apartment, and resolutely shut his door; gloomily bent to nourish every unfavourable impression, that might sicken regret by resentment. But no indignation could curb his grief at her loss; nor his horrour at her situation: and the look that had compelled his retreat; the look that so expressively had concentrated and conveyed her so often reiterated sentence, of "Leave, or you destroy me!" seemed rivetted to his very brain, so as to take despotic and exclusive, hold of all his faculties.'


This scene is finely imagined, and as finely painted. The English language, in its most essential powers, has not deserted the pen of Madame D'Arblay; and the French, in its most expressive neatness, is become familiar to her. Some gallicisms of style even occur occasionally. The ladies munt into their apartments, and into their carriages; and the gentlemen, and even the ladies also, are every where attended by grooms: which might be the etiquette in France while footmen were in requisition for the army, but was not the usage here. The French letters of Gabrielle are full of idiomatic beauties, of feeling, and of eloquence.

When a new edition of this novel is undertaken, we should recommend something of abridgment, especially of the comic portions; and of those dialogues which continue indeed a consistent behaviour of the inferior characters, but which add no new traits to an individuality that is sufficiently peculiarized on their first introduction.

ART. XI. Carmen Britanicum; or, the Song of Britain; written in honour of H. R. H. Geo. Augustus Frederick, Prince Regent. By Edward Hovell Thurlow, Lord Thurlow. 4to. PP-25. Longman and Co. 1814.



We have so lately and so fully considered the merits of Lord Thurlow's poetry, that very little remains for us to say on the subject of this new production of his muse; which, like its predecessors, contains a strange, ill-assorted, collection of Ee 2


classical images, 'borrowed from all quarters without taste or discrimination, and dressed up in very mawkish versification. His Lordship, however, has himself a much better idea of his production; since he tells us, or rather the Muses whom he begins by addressing,

I am the priest of him
Who sits enthron'd upon the triple shore,
And must maintain his glory, with my hymn.'

The poem is a sort of ode in honour of the Prince Regents whose pedigree is derived, in strict lineal descent, from Jupiter, who begat Hercules, who begat Glaucus, from whom came the family of the Actii, who migrated from Rome to Este, of which family was Azo son of Hugo, from whom the Brunswick family is descended. This puts us in mind of the authors of the old romances, who never omitted the pedigrees of their heroes, and who always established the clearest family-connection between Jason and Amadis, or Achilles and the Palmerins. -Speaking of the progeny of Glaucus, the bard contents him. self with stating that

The daughters chaste, and all the sons were brave;
But time has lapp'd them all in mere oblivion's wave.
Save, here and there, a name that cannot die,
Tied by inmortal verse to endless destiny ;'-

and (after a few lines to the same effect) he adds the following reflections, which we extract, as being rather better than the rest of the poem:

Is this the end of glory, thrice renown'd,
To be with night and sad oblivion bound?
All their Olympique acts, and battles fierce,

And worthy counsels, that the skies could pierce,
Gone, like the dateless world, for want of sacred verse?
Only, beneath the chaste and fickle moon,
With printless feet they by the rivers walk,
Or haunt the meadows in her silent noon,
Or o'er the scenes of passed battles stalk,
While, overhead, is heard the sweet bird's tune,
To be the theme of some poor shepherd's talk ;
When his young children o'er the embers cower,
And fear presides at night's unwholesome hour:
This is their end,

Who had no sacred poet for their friend,
But without golden hymns did to the grave descend.'

Some of our readers will perhaps feel more interest in the subsequent passage, which relates to an event so deeply and sincerely deplored by this nation:

• But,

But God, who virtue by affliction tries,
And, whom he loveth, chasteneth still the more,
Ere yet they gain the Amaranthine prize,
And sit enthron'd upon the tranquil shore,
Where sorrow never weeps, nor tempests roar,
When now the sceptre, for full fifty years,
He had in justice, and in mercy sway'd,
Then chang'd his hand, and 'mid the people's tears,
A heavy judgment on our father laid:

That beauteous mind, that did in truth delight,
He quench'd, alas! and hid in darksome night;
Yet, Britain, not repine: for what He wills is right.

Let prayers unfeigned from your hearths arise,
And all your churches echo with the same,
Fear not to weary the indulgent skies,
And let the organs make their sacred claim,
And the bassoon with pensive voices rise :
O Heav'n restore again,

From darkness and from pain,

Him, who in virtuous law did ever love to reign:
And all our waves shall yield their full encrease,
And all our fields their ripen'd corn present,
And all our meads the lowing herds of peace,
And our rich gardens, sweetly eloquent
With fair Pomona, our just vows content;
All is too little for this bounteous gift;
O gracious God, be in thy mercy swift,
To whom we bow the head, and our joint hands uplift.'

In addressing the Prince Regent, (the more immediate subject

of the poem,) the noble author, having already exhausted all meaner topics of praise, uses this most miraculous ascription:

Thames by thy victories is set on fire!
And London, like the starry cope of Heaven,
The flags wave ruffling from each taper spire,
And the bright peals unto the sky are given:
The cannons send thy glory to the air,
Which back returns it to the vaulted ground,
Men's tongues with thy great praises loaded are,
And the full concerts swell the grateful sound;
In ev'ry chamber, and in ev'ry street,
Is heard the thrilling harp, and the full

organ sweet.'

He implores his Royal Highness to be

• faithful to the sacred cause Of perfect freedom and the Bible's laws;'

and the poem then goes on to compliment the Prince on his attachment to literature, and on the honour done to him and the nation by the visits of the illustrious foreigners who so recently Ee 3


made London splendid by their presence. It concludes, with equal propriety and gallantry,

This is thy praise: but greater is thy bliss,
To sit enthron'd upon the regal chair,
And see around thee what no land, but this,
Can yield to thought of beautiful and fair;
Ladies, whom nature for a pattern made
In shape, in stature, in complexion pure,
Chaste, modest, noble, by soft reason sway'd,
And form'd to love, and to make love endure;
This is the pride of Albion's happy isle,
That makes our star above all nations smile,
And in the foaming floods augments our warlike style."

Such is the nature of the composition before us. Whether Britain will own it as her song, it is not for us to determine: but, as far as we have voices in the election, we say "No." We do not deem it necessary to stop to make verbal criticisms. In fact, his Lordship has a style almost wholly his own.

Reviewing such a work at the present moment, it is impossible not to feel acutely the reversal of the prospects of peace and extended happiness which the victories, eulogized by Lord Thurlow, had so dearly purchased, but which we now see clouded even to darkness by an event of which the history of the world affords no parallel. What may be the ultimate result of the sudden revolution which we have just witnessed, it would be the highest presumption to pretend to foresee: but we must still live in hope. As the last year gave birth to changes which few expected, so the present may yet accomplish objects that may enable us to say,

"Turne! quod optanti Divûm promittere nemo
Auderet, volvenda dies, en, attulit ultrò.”

ART. XII. Classical Recreations; interspersed with much Biblical Criticism. Volume the First. By Edmund Henry Barker, Esq. Trin. Coll. Cambridge. 8vo. 8s. 6d. Boards. Longman and

Co. &c.

WE E very much doubt whether either the adjective or the substantive of this title be correct. We can scarcely call a collection of citations from dictionaries, and from commentaries, classical; nor can we think so ill of the taste of scholars, partially spoilt as they may have been in the present day by a perverse preference of the notes to the text the text of antient authors, as to imagine that more than a very few of the most paradoxical and pedantic among them will derive any recreation


« AnteriorContinuar »