Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

But Mr. Campbell thinks no such thing. It is all scandal; and, in order to let his fair readers see that he dissents totally and altogether from his author, he takes up the pen and gives vent to his gallant mind in the following manner

There's naught so delightful as woman,
Delectable source of all joy!

When lovely and kind,

And possess'd of a mind,
She's, by Heavens! no trilling toy!
Of a truth ('tis disputed by no man),
Kind woman of life is the soul;

With delicate case,

She fails pot to please,
When she sways man with gentlest control.
O woman! bewitching, sweet woman!
Thou idol, whom all must adore!

Let virtue inspire,

Each hallowed desire,

Then, rule thou the world evermore! There is, finally, no inconsiderable merit in this musical volume. Mr. Campbell is evidently a person of thorough-going industry; and though there is something quixotic in the solemnity with which he speaks of comparatively insignificant things, the general execution of the work does him as much honour as can well be attached to such an undertaking. Our fair readers have no occasion to regret that the music is not accessible; for if they will put any trust in our judgment on the subject, we can assure them that a Scotch Air is pounded all to pieces in a pianoforte.

ART. VII.--Intelligence in Science, Literature, and the Arts. 1. Inaugural Address, delivered in the Chapel of the University at Cam,

bridge, December 11th, 1816. By John Gorham, M. D., Erving Professor of Chymistry in Harvard University. Boston. Wells & Lilly.

1817. 8vo. pp. 23. 2. Inaugural Address, delivered in the same place and on the same day.

By Jacob Bigelow, M. D., Rumford Professor in Harvard University.

1817. 8vo. pp. 24. WE have been not a little gratified with the perusal of both these pam

phlets;—though the one which stands first has pleased us a great deal the most. A Professorship of Chymistry and Materia Medica was established in Harvard College in 1783; and about eight years afterwards William Erving, Esq. bequeathed a thousand pounds, lawful money, for the support of that departinent. Dr. Gorham's Address was delivered on the occasion of his being installed in the chair. It is written in perspicuous and classical language; and contains the best sketch of the origin, revolutions, and present state of chymistry which we have recently had occasion to peruse. To the general reader such a brief and comprehen. sive tract is better than a half of a dozen volumes.

We now take up Dr. Bigelow's Address. Count Rumford died at Auteuil, near Paris, on the 21st of August 1814. But says our author-reminiscitur Argoshe remembered New England;* for in his wills of September and October, 1812, and of October, 1813, he has bequeathed, besides other legacies,-one thousand dollars annually, together with the reversion of other sums to the University of Cambridge, in the state of Massachusetts, in North America, for the purpose of founding under the direction and management of the corporation, overseers, and government of that university, a new institution and professorship, in order to teach, by regular courses of academical and public lectures, accompanied with proper experiments, the utility of the physical and mathematical sciences, for the improvement of the useful arts, and for the extension of the industry, prosperity, happiness, and well being of society.' Dr. Bigelow was elected in October last the first Rumford professor; and his Address was delivered at the inauguration in December. We shall not give any detail of its contents; as they are little more than a repetition of what we have often heard before, -an account of what the inhabitants of New England have done and what they are going to do for the sciences. We are sorry that Dr. Bigelow could not get along without so much repetition of we and among us; by which our readers must understand, he constantly means New England.

“We have had little of the parade of operation, yet we have sometimes seen the fruits of silent efficiency and perseverance. We have had few learned men,

but
many
useful ones.

We have not often seen individuals among us, like the laborious Germans, spending their lives in endless acquisitions, while perhaps themselves add little to the general stock of knowledge; yet we have had men of original talents, who have been fortupate enough to discover some province in which they were qualified to be serviceable to their country and mankind. We have had ingenious mechanicians, skilful projectors, profound mathematicians, and men well versed in the useful learning of their time. The progress of our internal improvements, and the high state of the mechanic arts among us, as well as in our sister states, has entitled us to the character of a nation of inventors. The individuals who have originated and promoted such improvements, have often been men unambitious of fame, whose lives have past in obscurity; yet there have sometimes been those among us, whose labours have attracted the honourable notice of foreigners, and reflected lustre upon the country of their birth. It has even been our fortune to impose obligations on others, and there are services of our citizens which are now better known than their names. There are some things which, if gathered from the ashes of obscurity, might serve to shed a gleam upon our literary reputation, and to make known at least the light they have kindled for others. It is a fact perhaps not generally realized, that the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia, the Royal Society of Great Britain, and the Royal Institution of London, all of them are in a measure indebted for their birth and first foundation to natives or inhabitants of New England.'

Pocms. By Lord Byron. New York. 1817. 18mo. pp. 143. THE longest poem in this collection is a Third Canto of Childe Ha

rold's Pilgrimage. It opens with the Pilgrim's second departure from England;

• Whither he knew not; but the hour's gone by
When Albion's lessening shores could grieve or glad his eye.'

We have not adhered precisely to the doctor's translation; for we question whether all the classical fraternity of Cambridge can make "dulces' mean rocky:

He goes to Waterloo; writes some vigorous stanzas upon the subject; passes down the Rhine; describes its banks, as he describes every thing else,-with force and faithfulness; visits Lausane; describes its lake, and there leaves us. It is impossible that lord Byron should ever write tamely; but we do not think this Third Canto is so good as the two others. The author's own sufferings and feelings engrossed so much of his thoughts that he had very little time for attention to any thing else. The most as. quisite passage is his description of Leman.

Clear, placid Leman, thy contrasted lake,
With the wide world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring,

Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so moveck

It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dust, yet clear,
Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken'd Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear

Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more.

"He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes,
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on che hill,
But that is fancy, for the starlight dews
Al silently their tears of love instil,

Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.

• All heaven and earth are still,—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:-
All heaven and earth are still: From the high host
Of stars, to the lullid lake and mountain-coast,
All is concentered in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,

But hath a part of being, and a sense Of that which is of all Creator and defence.' As a contrast we should have extracted the stanza which describes a storm upon the lake,—were it not concluded in the following lame and impotent line:—The mountains shake their sides

• As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.' Of the other poems in this volume, The Prisoners of Chillon, a fable, is by far the best. Besides this there are a Sopnet to Chillon, an Apostro

phe to Rousseau-Voltaire-Gibbon-and De Stael, Stanzas to Darkness, Churchill's Grave, The Dream, The Incantation, and Prometheus;-of all which the one called Darkness bears the most characteristic marks of lord Byron's genius. We never recollect to have read any eighty lines which contained more vigour and imagination.

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright suo was extinguish'd, and the stars,
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went-and came and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed,
And men were gathered round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye,
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire-but bour by hour
They fell and faded-and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash-and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howld: the wild birds shriek'd,
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twined themselves among the multitude,
Hissing but stingless—they were slain for food:
And war, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again;-a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought-and that was death,
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devoured,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,

Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answered not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies; they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an upholy usage; they raked up,
And shivering scraped with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless-
A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirred within their silent depths:
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal; as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge-
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them-She was the universe.'

ERRATUM Page 116, line 8 from the bottom, for military read miliary.

« AnteriorContinuar »