Imágenes de páginas

always full of spirit and vivacity-abounding in images, that are striking at first sight to minds of every contexture-and never expressing a sentiment which it can cost the most ordinary reader any exertion to comprehend. Upon the whole, we are inclined to think more highly of the Lady of the Lake than of either of its author's former publications. We are more sure, however, that it has fewer faults, than that it has greater beauties; and as its beauties bear a strong resemblance to those with which the public has been already made familiar in these celebrated works, we should not be surprised if its popularity were less splendid and remarkable. For our own parts, however, we are of opinion, that it will be oftener read hereafter than either of them; and that if it had appeared first in the series, their reception would have been less favourable than that which it has experienced. It is more polished in its diction, and more regular in its versification; the story is constructed with infinitely more skill and address; there is a greater proportion of pleasing and tender passages, with much less antiquarian detail; and, upon the whole, a larger variety of characters, more artfully and judiciously contrasted. There is nothing so fine, perhaps, as the battle in Marmion-or so picturesque as some of the scattered sketches in the Lay; but there is a richness and a spirit in the whole piece, which does not pervade either of these poems-a profusion of incident, and a shifting brilliancy of colouring, that reminds us of the witchery of Ariosto-and a constant elasticity, and occasional energy, which seem to belong more peculiarly to the author now before us."-JEFFREY.]







A grey-hair'd sire, whose eye intent

Was on the vision'd future bent.-P. 42.

If force of evidence could authorize us to believe facts inconsistent with the general laws of nature, enough might be produced in favour of the existence of the Second-sight. It is called in Gaelic Taishitaraugh, from Taish, an unreal or shadowy appearance; and those possessed of the faculty are called Taishatrin, which may be aptly translated visionaries. Martin, a steady believer in the second-sight, gives the following account of it:"The second-sight is a singular faculty, of seeing an otherwise invisible object, without any previous means used by the person that used it for that end: the vision makes such a lively impression upon the seers, that they neither see, nor think of any thing else, except the vision, as long as it continues; and then they appear pensive or jovial, according to the object which was represented to them.

"At the sight of a vision, the eyelids of the person are erected, and the eyes continue staring until the object vanish. This is obvious to others who are by, when the persons happen to see a vision, and occurred more than once to my own observation, and to others that were with me.

"There is one in Skie, of whom his acquaintance observed, that when he sees a vision, the inner part of his eyelids turns so far upwards, that, after the object disappears, he must draw them down with his fingers, and sometimes employ others to draw them down, which he finds to be the much easier way.

"This faculty of the second-sight does not lineally descend in

« AnteriorContinuar »