« AnteriorContinuar »
them has given to me, the more the here and there, so as to give a most repetition of them will give to you. sublime but indescribable view into Indeed I can never write without res- the white and glittering distance as traint, and so I never write at all, far as the eye can reach. but to the very few of whom I am “ I saw the house where Gibbon certain that this will be true. How lived, and the terrace and little sumapt one is, and how natural it is that mer-house where he used to write, one should be apt to indulge in little and like him better than I did before egotisms, that are not only forgiven for having the taste to choose such a but welcomed by a friend (properly retirement, and the power to be happy so called), for the very same reason, in it; which he undoubtedly was, more and in the very same proportion, that than during any of the other more they are (to say the least) insipid to busy and brilliant periods of his life. every one else. In thinking of these The terrace has a fine view of the places, you will have patience to let lake and the opposite mountains, but me share your thoughts with Rousseau its situation is not to be compared and Byron, and even with Nature here with many others in the town and self—but who else shall I find that neighbourhood. would ? Perhaps, indeed -- or why “On leaving Lausanne we descend should I say “ perhaps?”—I'm sure, to Vevai, which is followed by Clathat you will now anticipat the plea- rens, Chillon, and Villeneure. And sure of visiting these scenes even with here I must have done with descripmore earnestness than you used to do; tions-for even while I was among just as I, though I cannot imagine a these scenes I could not bring myself greater delight than it has been to see to look at them with a view-hunter's them as I have done, should, I am eye, beautiful as they are :—and now certain, have felt it doubled if you had that I have left them, my recollecbeen with me.
tions are so blended with the fancies “You know one of my objects in and imaginations that I had previoustaking the opportunity I had of com- ly clustered round them, and that ing here now, was to determine on were multiplied and rendered tenfold which part of this neighbourhood I more vivid when I did see them, that should hereafter choose for the pur- I can give you very little real infor
“ I have at once mation about them. Indeed if I could fixed on Lausanne :--not the town it- I think you would be better without self, but its immediate vicinity. No- it. It is much better that you
should thing can be finer than the site of make them just what you wish them Lausanne. It is built on an eininence, to be, till you do sec them; and when and from different parts commands á you do, i'll answer for them, that view of all the scenery that is in any the fairy-work they will destroy, will way connected with the lake of Gene- be replaced by a still more lovely reva, which includes every possible va- ality:-It was here, on the borders of riety of sublimity and beauty. Be- this lake, between Vevai and Villenhind rises the lofty and regular chain eure, that the genius of Rousseu luxof the Jura mountains-to the right uriated in all its beauty and in all its and left lie the lovely hills of the Pays power. In his earliest youth he de Vaud, beautified in a thousand learned to appreciate these scenes ; ways by towns, villages, country- and for ever afterwards, wherever his houses, vineyards, meadows, chesnut- perverse fortune might cast him, here groves, and forests—in front the lake and here only could his spirit find a stretches itself from Geneva on the resting place and a home. All his one hand, to Villeneure on the other, plans of future and possible good-for with the beautiful opening at the east- he lived in the future and the possiern extremity, giving an exquisite ble-were centered in this spot; and view into the valley of the Rhone and yet, sincere and simple as they were, the mountains the Valais—and on they could never be realized. The the opposite side of the lake, almost very ideal of his hopes and wishes perpendicularly from the water's edge, was confined to a cottage and an orrise the majestic Alps of Savoy ; not chard on the borders of this lake, forming a regular chain, as the Jura with a kind companion to talk to, and mountains do behind, but broken into a little boat to row himself about in. every conceivable form, and opening That part of his life over which he
can be said to have had any real con- for his sake--for without it we should trol, has proved, that this was what have been without them : and I, for his natural taste and his habits of one, should find it very difficult to thought and feeling would have led point out any one foreign writer that him to. But how did he, in fact, I would not rather part with than him pess his life-he whose love for nas -and as for the literature of his own ture and virtue was as ardent and language, I believe I should not be sincere as his conceptions of them long in deciding to sacrifice it all to were just and exalted? In the midst Rousseau. of a mob of unprincipled and heart- “ From Lausanne you descend to less men and women of the world, Vevai, Rousseau's favourite town ; whose loftiest notions of goodness and a sweet little town it is.-Clarens made it a theory, and that theory an is a short distance farther. The Chaaffair of convention ;-with whom teau and chesnut groves, which are truth was under the control of fa- the supposed scene of part of the Hé. shion, nature was a thing constructed louise, are situated on a slight eminby art, and love an invention of Ra- ence about a mile from the lake. A cine: and who could talk glibly of all few miles farther, and near to the exthese things, exactly in proportion as tremity of the lake, is the castle of they knew and felt nothing about Chillon. It is built in the lake--the then-and, indeed, for that very rea- entrance next the road being so near, son. In the eyes of such people as however, as to be reached by a small these, Rousseau, when first he came draw-bridge. Within a short disamong them, must have seemed a liv- tance of this castle there is a very ing libel on themselves—a standing small island, with two or three trees satire on all their habits and institu- on it. It is the only one on the lake. tions; and it must not be wondered Byron has here stepped in and disat, if, when his weakness and vanity turbed the associations which previhad once tied him to the stake, they ously belonged entirely to Rousseau should keep him there to “ be baited and history. We descended into the by the rabble's curse,” that thus dungeon which is the scene of his bound and hampered he should be poem. It is not near so gloomy as delivered over to the contempt and his darkening imagination has made hatred of those very persons who had it. You can see to read the names stood awe-struck before him in the that are cut on the stone columns and light of his natural simplicity. Still, walls. His own is among the rest however, it is some praise to him, that cut very small, on the column to he never learned to wear his shackles which Bonnivard is supposed to have gracefully; - and that the glitter and been chained ; and that of another noise of them could never destroy the poet, Percy Byshe Shelley, is cut on sights and sounds that came to his the neighbouring wall, and occupies imagination from the mountains of the space of any fifty others. Is his native land--that wherever his this characteristic?-Whereabout do weak and diseased body might be de- you thiuk I cut mine ?-On the cotained by his still more weak and lumn near Byron's, or on the wall diseased will-there was his spirit near Shelley's?-Or among those of and his heart. There is not a page the unknown multitude ? Or on the of his writings but what proves this. floor or the ceiling, where there was Even the existence of those writings none before ?--No where at all !I prove it--for if this had not been true, hope that this was characteristic, and they would never have been written. So that the other was not.” that it would be very idle in us to lainent such a state of things except
(To be continued.)
(From William of MalmesBURY.) The following Ghost Story must be known in some shape or another to most of our
readers. But not many, perhaps, are aware how long it has been upon record. The following are the words, a little abridged, of William of Malinesbury, written in the
12th century, of the reign of William the Conqueror. “THERE were in that city (Nantes) years allowed, to be priests, the bishop two ecclesiastics, ordained, ere their yielding the same rather to favour than to desert of a fair life ; at last, profitable to thee; but to me utterly the woful ending of the one instructed fruitless, whose sentence is pronouncthe survivor how their road went sheer ed into eternal punishment.' And to hell. But so far as the science of when the living man, for redemption letters they were excellently taught, of the dead, would promise to bestow and from very tender infancy so join- all his substance on monasteries and ed in pleasant friendship, that they on the poor, and himself to spend would have adventured peril of life for nights and days in fastings and prayone another. Wherefore one day, in ers, ' It is fixed,' quoth he, " that I more than wonted overflowing of mind, have said ; for the judgments God they thus secretly spake :-That for are without repenting, by which I am many years they, now in study of let- plunged into the sulphureous gulph ters, now in worldly cares, had exer- of hell. My doom is everlasting-my cised their minds, and had found no pains eternal and innumerable, though, satisfaction, intent rather amiss than all the whole world should seek re. aright. Meanwhile the day draweth medy. And that thou mayest underon which shall sever their loves ; stand something of my infinite sufferwherefore they should prevent this, ings,' stretching out his hand, distill, and provide that the same faith which ing with an ulcerous sore ; lo!' he had joined them living, go with the said, one of the least. Doth it seem first dying unto the kingdom of the to thee light?' And the other reply, dead. They compact therefore, that ing that it seemed to him light, he, whichsoever shall first depart, shall bending his fingers, cast three drops certainly, within thirty days, appear upon him of that trickling gore; whereto the survivor, waking or sleeping, of two touching the temples, and one and declare to him if it be as the Pla. the forehead, entered skin and flesh as tonists hold, that death extinguisheth with fiery cautery, making wounds not the mind, but restores it as re- that might hold a nut. He by a cry leased out of prison, unto its origin, testifying the greatness of the anguish God; if not, then must faith be given - This,' said the dead, shall be to to the sect of the Epicureans, who be- thee, as long as thou shalt live, an adlieve that the soul, loosed from the monishment of my great punishment; body, vanisheth into air. To this and, if thou slight it not, of thy own was their faith plighted, and in their deliverance. He then enjoined him daily discourses the same oath often- (as the historian goes on to relate) to tentimes renewed ; nor was it long proceed forthwith to Rennes, and there before death suddenly taketh one of to take the habit of a monk under the them away. The other remained, and holy Melanius.
And the other apthought with much seriousness of the pearing still to hesitate, the dead, cum promise, expecting momently that his oculi vigore perstringens, bade him, if friend shall come during the thirty he doubted, 'to read these letters; days; which being spent, giving up and opening his hand, showed him his hope, he turneth himself to other written on it thanks, addressed by Sabusiness, when suddenly the other tan and his whole crew, ecclestood beside him, being awake, and siastical society (cætui); because they going about some work, pale, and with neglected nothing of their own pleascountenance such as is of the dying ures, and suffered such numbers of souls while the spirit passeth away. Then to go down to hell, through the decay the dead first accosts the living, who of preaching, as former ages had never spake not-Knowest thou me :' he beheld. The sinner was overcome said. "I know thee,' he made an- distributed all his property to churches swer ; ' and I am not troubled at thy and the poor-took the habit under St unwonted presence so much, as I am Melanius and became an eminent in wonder of thy long absence.' But example to all, not only of a wonderhe having excused his delay- At ful conversion, but of a holy conversa. last,' said he, 'I come ; and my com- tion to the end of life.” ing, if thou wilt, dear friend, shall be
TRANSLATION OF AN ARABIC POEM.
Is the Appendix to the second volume of the “ History of the Crusades,” of Professor Wilken of Heidelberg, is given a literal translation of an Arabic poem, written in reproach of the indifference with which the Moslems prosecuted those wars.
Of the poet, Modaffar of Abiward (a town of Khorassan), nothing farther is known, than his song of upbraiding on the slackness of the Mussulinen in the contest for Islam against the Crusades, specimens of which are given in different historical works of the Arabians. Abulfeda, in his Annals, has adduced, as a specimen, some distichs, to which Reiske, from a Ms. of Ebn-Shohnah, has added three more (9, 11, 12). In the History of Jerusalem and Hebron, of which Professor Wilken had access to two MSS. in the Imperial Library at Paris, varying but little from one another in regard to this poem, and that chiefly in errors of the copyist, nor differing much from the text as given by Abulfeda, a few additional distichs are cited. Abulfeda has given only the better and more intelligible distichs (1, 2, 4—7, 16, 17), which does credit to his judgment.
It would appear, from the reference made to the poem in the body of the work, that it was written soon after the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, which assigns its date about the year A. D. 1100.
1. We have mingled our blood with streaming tears,
Therefore is there nothing of us now left for the stroke of the foe. 2. Oh! ill weapons of the man are tears, which he sheds
In the time when the fire of war is kindled by the glittering swords. 3 Hear, sons of Islam ! Yet are there appointed to you
*] Battles, in which heads must come under hoofs. 4. Bat how can it be that your eye sleeps, the lashes full (sc. of sleep)
Amidst sorrows, which would awaken every sleeper ? 5. And your brothers in Syria--their place of rest is
On the back of young horses, or in the maw of old vultures. 6. T'hem the Roman loads, burdens with dishonour, and ye
Draw after you the train of luxury, as if ye lived in peace. 7. And how much of blood is already poured out, and of the beautiful
How many a one guards the blushes of her beauty with her fingers spread over them. 3. During the time that stroke and thrust are but once exchanged,
Are both her sons grown gray. 9. And he that draws back in fear, from the whirlpool of this strife
To deliver his life, shall one day gnash his teeth for repentance. 10. This strife puts into the hands of the idolaters sharp-edged swords,
Which will one day wound neck and head of the faithful. 11. Soon will the prophet, the buried in Taijeba," cry out,
With loud voice, “ O race of Hashem ! 12. I see my people not pointing on the foe
Their lances, and the pillars of the Faith totter.” 13. They shun the fire, fearing to set their foot in it,
And consider not that shame follows without tarrying. 16. Can they endure such shame, the leaders in fight of the Arabs ?
Can they keep silence in such dishonour, the heroes of the Persians ? 17. Ah! if they will not out of zeal defend their faith,
Yet out of jealousy should they guard what is to them precious and holy.f 18. And if they dread, on naked fields without shelter, the raging of the fight,
Should they not yet engage in the fight for very lust of spoil ?”
* An appellation of Medina.
of Namely, the persons of their families.
When Britain first, at Heav'n's command,
Arose from out the azure main;
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves !
The nations, not so blest as thec,
Must in their turns to tyrants fall; While thou shalt flourish great and free, The dread and envy of them all.
Rule, Britannia ! &c. Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke; As the loud blast that rends the skies, Serves but to root thy native oak.
Rule, Britannia ! &c. Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their atiempts to bend thee down Will but arouse thy generous flameAnd work their woe, and thy renown.
Rule, Britannia ! &c.
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
Rule, Britannia! &c.
Shall to thy happy coasts repair,
Rule, Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!
Pelagi cavis recessibus caput extulit,
Fluctus regas, domina regas Britannia;
Nunquam Britannus imperanti servict.
Manet vícissim sors, jugum hostile: interim :
Ferrumque opes dabit peregrinum tibi :
Ut sæviat thronoque te dejectum eat:
Cives beant in urbibus commercia:
Viset tuam, visamque amabit insulam :
Fluctus regas, domina regas Brittania ,
Says Plato, why should man be vain,
Since bounteous Heaven has made him great ? Why look, with insolent disdain,
On those undeck'd with wealth or state? Can costly robes, or beds of down,
Or all the gems that deck the fair, Can all the glories of a crown
Give health, or ease the brow of care? The sceptred king, the burthened slave,
The humble and the haughty die;
In dust, without distinction, lie.
Who once the greatest titles worc; of wealth and poinp they're dispossest,
And all their honours are no more. So flies the meteor through the skies,
And spreads along a gilded train; Whe hot-'tis gone its beauty dies,
Dissolved to common air again. So 'tis with us, my social souls:
Let friendship reign while here we stay; Let's crown our joys with flowing bowls
When Jove commands, we must obey.
Cur vana mens homini, xogat Plato, ciet,
Eo ipse terram, qud prior venit pater :