Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• The words yaiq. and menas occasion an obscurity, which probably originated in some ignorant transcriber. The antithesis between fights by land and by sea is lost, if yaią be retained : for yalz and x Jords. mean the same thing. If, instead of yaig and márces, we read, with a small change of letters, Siyos áros, the antithesis will be preserved. Aivass shrow are the poet's own words in another

place.

place. Potter reads Savaidu äexais gaiak. But, by admitting this conceit, the lines

« Δεινώισιν αρχάις αμφιδηριωμένων, is wrested from that sense, which is at once obvious and important. In the room of this strange expression, órūves aucovat nánas, another, more pertinent, may be easily substituted; pówon hvorvor dywas.

These slight alterations will assist the sense, and rescue the passage from that obscurity, which must not, in the present instance, be ascribed to Cassandra. Thus:

· Ilonad 8 cywAs zai Cóvos MetohxMi106
Accuei žydção, os fes en Dívaş Aacs,
Δεινάισιν αρχαις αμφιδηριωμένων,
Oi dev Merapporosso Bouerpétus x morcs,

*Ew5---
Multæ verò et internecivæ cædes :
Dissolvent certamina virorum, partim in vorticibus maris,
De gravibus imperiis contendentium, , :
Partim in dorsis aratis terre,

Donec- . Another extract, which contains a specimen of the author's translation of the Cassandra, must conclude our account of this work:

. . SECT. 23. The Greeks for the Crime of Ajax shipwrecked on the coast of Eubea

through the Perfidy of Nauplius.
*XXIII. For one man's guilt shall Greece with tears complain

Of empty tombs, and sons untimely slain ;
Whose scatter'd limbs, exposed to wind and wave,
Shall bleach on rocks, unshelter'd by a grave.
No faithful urn, by pitying friends prepar'd,
Shall guard those ashes which the flames had spar'd.
A wretched name is all that now remains,
And that a sculptur'd cenotaph contains :
Wives, parents, orphans, all assembled here,
Shall bathe th' inscription with a tender tear.
Opheltes, Zarax, whom deep clefts deform;
Trychates, Nedon, that defy the storm ;
And all Dirphossus' and Diacria's steeps,
Within whose gutter'd caverns Phorcus sleeps ;
How will your hollow sides repeat the sound
Of dying wrecches, wreck'd their ships around !
How will those rocks, which boisterous waves divide,
Crush your frail barks, and whelm them in the tide!
Of Grceks what shoals, like dolphins tempest-driv'n,
Dash'd on your pointed crags, shall there be riv'n!
Whom, wrapt in darkness and a billowy be:1,
Jove's bolts shall pierce, and number with the dead;
What time, to baffle every pilot's aim,
The watchman's wily art shall point the fame;

Through

Through night's thick shade shall gleam th' illusive ravi
And, sunk in sleep and wine, th’unwary Greeks betray.

Note.
Opheltes, Zarax-] High rocks on the coast of Eubæa; into
whose cavities the sea had forced its way, and formed, as the poet
speaks, an habitation for sea-guds.'

We regret that accident has delayed our notice of this tract, for a considerable time.

o.W.

Art. IV. Belinda. By Maria Edgeworth. 12mo. 3 Vols.

16s. 6d. Boards. Johnson. 1801. The name of Miss Edgeworth does not now require any

introduction to our readers; and the account which we gave of her elaborate treatise on Education (Rev. vols. xxx. and xxxi. N. S.) will, in particular, have produced considerable respect for her talents. We are here called to notice á production apparently of a different nature, but which may in reality be considered as designed to answer purposes somewhat similar, since the author offers it as a Moral Tale' The spirit and vivacity conspicuous in the first part of it, and the high colouring and boldness of outline which it exh:bits in the drawing of some of its characters at the com. mencement of their action, are in unison with the reputation which Miss E. has already acquired; since they mark this work as the production of no common pen, and evince powers capable of superior productions. We must acknowlege, how. ever, that the imagination of the fair writer seems to have been fatigued and exhausted by the vigour of its first exertions; or, having too highly excited the feelings of the reader by the brilliancy of its first fiashes, a tameness and insipidity of elfect are hence conceived to prevail in its subsequent efforts. The character of the heroine herself creates so little interest, that she appears to have'usurped the superior right of Lady Delacour to give the title to the work : for it is to the character and agency of the latter, in our opinion, that the tale -owes its principal attractions. Yet even here the rule of Horace is violated,

. Servetur ad imum , Qualis ab incepto processerit, et sibi constet.Lady Delacour, while she continues to appear as the votary of vanity and fashion, and heroic under excruciating corporeal suffering, is a Being who interests and even commands some respect: but Lady Delacour reformed, (however favourable to the moral effect of the work this reformation may be,) and unexpectedly

rescued

rescued from bodily pain, is a comparatively flat and vapid creature.

We must confess, also, that there is one circumstance in the conduct of the intended heroine, Belinda Portman, which does not altogether meet with our approbation. Old as we are, and cold too, perhaps, as critics ought to be, we have still so much romance within us, as to deem the virgin's first love an almost sacred bond; to regard with reverence and respect an inviolable constancy to its object; and to feel a kind of repugnance at the admission of a second attachment. We do not mean to deny the justice of the author's arguments against a belief in the unextinguishable nature of a first flame; they may be occasionally introduced into the pages of a novel, or form the subject in a moral essay, with great propriety; we only object to the 'exemplification of them by the conduct of the present heroine. According to our ideas, (we have pleaded guilty to a little romance,) it lessens her amiability ; and we should have been better pleased to have seen her in the weeds of widowed affection, than in the gay attire of a second courtship. To enforce the observance of a moral duty by the example of an amiable object is certainly very proper: but then the duty ought to be unequivocal, and the conduct by which it is exemplified should be unambiguously laudable; and neither of these circumstances, we apprehend, exists in the instance to which we are alluding, since celibacy (even voluntary celibacy) is no sin, and a want of constancy is no virtue. For these reasons, therefore, as Miss Belinda Portman was once in love with Mr. Clarence Hervey, and afterward admitted and encouraged the addresses of Mr. Vincent; though we may allow her to be a good reasoner, a great philosopher, and a very proper example for some of our outrageously romantic ladies of the present day; yet she has not called forth in us a great portion of interest in her behalf, nor intitled herself to our highest love and admiration, as a perfect model of the female character.

After these remarks on the principal personages of this work, we shall present our readers with a specimen of its execution in the following extract: which we do not select as the best that we could have chosen, but as containing the most novel circumstance, a female duel. Lady Delacour speaks :

• Mrs. Luttridge, as I hoped and expected, was beyond measure enraged at the sight of the caricature and epigram.-She was, beside being a gamester and a politician-what do you think? -an excellent shot !--She wished, she said, to be a man, that she might be qualified to take proper notice of my conduct-The same kind friends who showed her my epigram, repeated to me hier observation upon Rev. APRIL, 1802.

Bb

it. Harriot Freke was at my elbow, and offered to take any mess sage I might think proper to Mrs. Luttridge. I scarcely thought her in earnest, till she added, that the only way left, nowadays, for a woman to distinguish herself, was by spirit ; as every thing else was grown cheap and vulgar in the eyes of men.'—That she knew one of the cleverest young men in England, and a man of fashion into the bargain, who was just going to publish a treatise opon the Propriety and Necessity of Female Duelling;' and that he had demon. strated beyond a possibility of doubt, that civilized society could not exist half a century longer without this necessary improvement. I had prodigioas deference for the masculine superiority, as I thought it, of Harriot's understanding. She was a philosopher, and a fine lady.--I was only a fine lady-I had never fired a pistol in my life ; and I was a little inclined to cowardice; but Harriot of. fered to bet any wager on the steadiness of my hand, and assured me that I should charm all beholders in male attire- In short, as my second, if I would furnish her with proper credentials, she swore she would undertake to furnish me with clothes, and pistols, and courage, and every thing I wanted. I sat down to pen my challenge. When I was writing it, my hand did not tremble much

not more than my lord Delacour's always does. The challenge was very prettily worded - I believe I can repeat it.

" Lady Delacour presents her compliments to Mrs. Luttridgeshe is informed that Mrs. L-- wishes she were a man, that she might be qualified to take proper notice of lady D- 's conduct. Lady Delacour begs leave to assure Mrs. Luttridge, that though she has the misfortune to be a woman, she is willing to account for her conduct, in aný manner Mrs. I may think proper-and at any hour and place she may appoint. Lady D- leaves the choice of the weapons to Mrs. 1- Mrs. H. Freke, who has the honour of presenting this note, is lady Delacour's friend upon this occasion.”

I cannot repeat Mrs. Luttridge's answer; all I know is, it was not half as neatly worded as my note; but the essential part of it was, that she accepted my challenge with pleasure, and should do herself the honour of meeting me at six o'clock the next morning --that miss Honour O'Grady would be her friend upon the occasion-and that pistols were the weapons she preferred. The place of appointment was behind an old barn, about two miles from the town of ****. The hour was fixed to be early in the morning, to prevent all probability of interruption. In the evening, Harriot and I rode to the ground. There were several bullets sticking in the posts of the barn :--this was the place where Mrs. Luttridge had been act customed to exercise herself in firing at a mark. I own my courage

oozed out a little at this sight. The duke de Rochefoucault, I believe, said truly, that many would be cowards if they dared.'

There seemed to me to be no physical, and less moral necessity for my fighting this duel, but I did not venture to reason on a point of honour with my spirited second. I bravadoed to Harriot most mag. nanimously, but at night, when Marriot was undressing me, I could not forbear giving her a hint, which I thought might tend to pre

« PreviousContinue »