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promised reward ; so he was seized with the ceiving the great reward of all his hedisease of envy, which preyed in Aames roism in the embrace of Ibla. We upon his heari and his body, particularly would hope Mr Hamilton's diligence when he heard that Antar had slain the son of his uncle; then he resolved to betray to lay before our readers an abstract of
may be such as to enable us, ere long, Antar, and make him drink of the .cup of perdition. So he waited till both were in his ulterior progress. volved in dust, when he drew from under In the meantime, even the short and his thigh a dart more deadly than the mis- imperfect account which we have given, fortunes of the age ; and when he came near will furnish some idea of the species Antar he raised his arm and aimed at him of amusement to be met with in this the blow of a powerful hero. It started from very novel publication. We forbear, his hand like a spark of fire : but Antar was for the present, entering into any critiquick of mind, and his eyes were continually cal disquisition concerning its merits, was amongst a nation that were not of his satisfied that a few extracts will be own race, and that put him on his guard, more instructive than any remarks we and he instantly perceived Bahram as he could offer ; and satisfied, moreover, aimed his dart at him; and then casting that the book itself will soon be uni2way his spear out of his hand, he caught versally in the hands of old and young. the dart in the air with his heaven-endowed One remark, however, we shall hazard, force and strength, and rushing at the Greek, and this is, that Antar is the only conand shouting at him with a paralysing voice, siderable work of fiction of Arabic he struck him with that very dart in the chest, and it issued out quivering like a flame origin, which our readers have in their through his back ; then wheeling round possession. It is long since M. Langles Abjer, like a frightful lion he turned down asserted his belief that the tales of the upon Bahram ; but Chosroe, terrified lest thousand and one nights are not original Antar should slay Bahram, cried out to his in the Arabic, from which we have reattendants-Keep off Antar from Bahram, ceived them, but translations from the or he will kill him, and pour down annihila- old Persian or Pelheri. This hypothesis tion upon him. So the warriors and the
has been adopted by the great Orientsatraps hastened after the dreadful Antar, and conducted him to Chosroe, and as the his history of Persian poetry; a most
alist of our time, Von Hammer, in foam burst from his lips, and his eye-balls Aashed fire, he dismounted from Abjer, and important work, of which we shall soon chus spoke:
give some account to our readers. “. May God perpetuate thy glory and Were any thing wanting to confirm happiness, and mayst thou ever live in eter- the opinion of these scholars, it might nal bliss! O thou king mighty in power, be found abundantly in the contrast and the source of justice on every occasion presented by Antar to the Arabian I have left Badhramoot prostrate on the Nights. The simplicity of scenery and sands-wallowing in blood. At the thrust action, and the almost total absence of the prey of the fowls of the
air. "I left the supernatural agency or the one side, gore spouting out from him like the stream compared with the endless richness and on the day of the copious rain. I am the pomp, the exquisitely artificial interrible warrior ; renowned is my name, and trigues, and the perpetual genii, talis1 protect my friend from every peril
. Should mans, and sorcerers, on the other; all Cæsar himself oppose thee, 0 King, and these circumstances, and a thousand come against thee with his countless host, I minor ones, which the reader will will leave him dead with his companions. easily gather, even from the limited True and unvarnished is this promise. extracts we have given, are sufficient to King, sublime in honours—illustrious and shew incontestibly that the two works, stay in every crisis. Be kind then, and though written in the same beautiful grant me leave to go to my family, and dialect, and perhaps much about the to prepare for my departure : for my same time, belong in truth to two anxiety, and my passion for the noble- several nations, differing widely from minded, brilliant-faced Ibla are intense. each other in faithe, in laws, in modes Hail for ever-be at peace-live in ever. of life, and in character. lasting prosperity, surrounded by joys and It is the highest compliment which pleasures !
can be paid to Thalaba, that it looks Soon after the narration of this ex- as if it were merely a more polished ploit, the present translation closes. Strain, framed for the same ear, which Antar is left returning towards his own had been long accustomed to the story country, loaded with honours and gifts, of Antar. Our perusal of this real by Nushirvan, and intent op at last re- Bedoueen story has vastly inereased
our love for that most exquisite and dence in their own impressions. The most characteristic of all Mr Southey's uniformity of habits, imposed by most poems; because it has satisfied us of trades and professions, has eradicated its perfect fidelity. No man of high freedom and variety of volition from original genius ever possessed the power those who exercise them, and has of imitation in the same measure as caused every unfolding of character, Mr Southey. His genius seems to be- except what bears on a certain point, come intensely infused into his imita- to be considered as superfluous and tion.
pernicious. Novelists have therefore, for some time past, found more per
sons in the highest circles fit for exTHOUGHTS ON NOVEL WRITING. hibition than any where else, except
in life approaching to barbarism. UnSince, in modern times, the different shackled by the drudgeries of life, and modes of national existence are no standing in awe of few persons' opilonger capable of being represented in nions, the leaders of fashion have been epic poems, it has become the task of able to let their minds shoot forth in the novelist to copy, in an humblera considerable variety of forms and afstyle, the humbler features exhibited fectations, which, although neithet by human life. Of all novels, Don noble nor useful, have served to afford Quixote (which was the earliest great some amusement to gaping spectators work in that line) has most resem- in the other classes. Only such indiblance to an epic. It has little to do viduals of the lower class have drag. with cities, but relates chiefly to the ged in, as happened to retain some unindigenous national manners remain- couth traits of physiognomy. ing visible in Spanish country-life, However, as the manifestations exand to chivalry; which, being unable hibited in fashionable life are without any longer to hold its place in society, system or coherency, and have no root could not be introduced among con- in any thing permanent, they cannot temporary objects, except in masque- be painted, once for all, in any standrade. Fielding also represented Eng- ard performance; and hence a succeslish country-manners with their roots sion of flimsy publications keeps pace still fixed in their native soil. Le Sage with their changes. The manners and and Smollet both bear traces of the concerns of the iniddle classes have aladulteration which natural character- so been handled in works, which are istics undergo, when plucked up, and not written like the highest novels, boiled together, in the town cauldrons. for the sake of recording the developeGoethe has preserved the rural life of ments exhibited by the human mind, the Germans in Herman and Doro- but which may be called moral novels; thea ; which, although written in the because they have generally a didactic forın of a poem, bears a close affinity purpose, relating to existing circumto some of the higher sorts of novels. stances, and are meant to shew the And, lastly, some person, who seems causes of success or failure in life, or averse to have his name too often re- the ways in which happiness or misery peated, has fairly pasted the flowers of is produced by the different manageScotland into his herbals of Guy ment of the passions and affections. Mannering, Old Mortality, &c. for Tojudge how far the modes of existperpetual preservation.
ence of the different classes are worth These form the highest class of the painting, it would be necessary to take novels which have dealt in actual exis- a glance at the objects, passions, or tences, and not in pastimes of imagi- employments which respectively fill up nation. In proportion as society has their lives. The highest class has more undergone the influence of detrition, room than any other, to sprout forth succeeding novels of the pourtraying in spontaneous forms; but its aims are class have grown more limited in their for the most part neither high nor seobjects, more slight in their execution, rious, and its force like that of rockets, and more ephemeral in their interest. is spent chiefly in vacuo, without being The external aspect of town-life no directed towards any manly or rational longer affords any thing worthy of be- purposes. Their volitions, not being ing painted for posterity; and the sufficiently tasked against obstacles, country-people, feeling the influence want nerve and concentration; and the of an intellectual ascendancy proceed- rapid whirl of objects around them ing from the cities, have lost confi- prevents any faculty from being exert,
ed, for so long a continuance, as to at- it would lighten the pressure of a taxatain its full growth. Except in so far tion which preys upon the daily comas the tone of theirexistence is strength- forts of their existence. Vanity and ened by political -partizanship (which ambition do not lead them to hate their among them is not conducted so as to superiors ; they only wish to be reexercise the higher faculties), their time lieved from physical causes of sufferis either spent in enjoyments and ing. In this class, the uniformity of amusements, quite ephemeral and occupations is such, as to destroy all selfish, or in contests of vanity, relat- variety in the developements of the ing to objects of no practical import- mind. The external aspect of their ance, except within the circles of existence is without any features fashion. Persons of the learned pro- worthy of being represented ; but a fessions have a line chalked out for source of internal life is often lighted them, in which direction they must up within them by the most beautiful spend their energies. Perseverance, sentiments of piety, and by the feeland a regular exercise of the under- ings engendered out of domestic restanding, are the things chiefly requit- lations. ed from them; and their leisure time, Since external existence no longer of course, is not apt to produce any presents the same striking objects as very spirited or forcible manifestations it has done at former periods, a new of character. It is chiefly spent in species of novels (of which Werter and squaring their manners to those of the the Nouvelle Heloise are examples) higher classes, and in partaking of simi- has sprung up, and has for its purpose lar amusements. The next compre- the exhibition of the internal growth hensive class is that of shop-keepers and progress of sentiments and pasand master-tradesmen, whose existence sions, and their conflicts. Great geseems to be chiefly occupied by the nius may be shewn in works of this passion for money-making, and the kind, and probably no kind of writing enjoyments of physical luxury, and has exerted more influence over mooften by the sectarian forms of religion. dern habits of thought; yet they canAmong the richer portion of this class, not well be considered as any thing the advantages, and the external show more than a spurious sort of literature, procurable by wealth, serve to engross and one that is not perhaps very saluthe attention of their self-love, and to tary in its effects. They are not meconfine its operations within the circle morials of what has existed ; for such of their own acquaintances; but, among combinations of sentiment as they rethe poorer set, self-love, being unable present never took place in any human to spend itself in that manner, takes a mind. Neither are they didactic different direction, and assumes the form works ; for no person, in reading of political fanaticism. Unsatisfied pride, them, ever picked up rules of practical finding nothing in the station which it prudence, or gained more control over occupies, to allay its fever, grasps at an his passions. Mastery over our feelincrease of political functions, withings is gained by exerting the will in which to dignify its existence; and, the course of our personal experience; being always at war with the lazy and but, in reading a novel, the will reinactive importance of property, wishes mains totally inactive. And, lastly, to change the field of society in a in novels of this kind, such is the crude gymnastic arena, where advantages are mixture of beauty and deformity, and to be gained or lost, according as indi- of what is to be chosen with what aviduals possess that sort of activity and voided, that they cannot be regarded address, which
are inspired by envy as works of art, holding up models of and ambition. The sturdy malcontent, perfection to the imagination. Therefinding no peace within, wishes to ex- fore, the only purpose they can serve ereise his itching sinews in wrestling is to afford a temporary excitement, matches with those members of society neither very pure in its kind, nor even who feel more at ease, and whose mus- always agreeable to feel, from its want cular powers are not in the same fever- of harmony and consistency. ish state of excitement. In the next When literature has become so relower class, that of workmen and me- dundant, and conceptions have been chanics, the desire of political change, so largely accumulated, as in this counwhere it exists, proceeds from different try, the spirit of system is needed to motives ; namely, from the belief that enable authors to discover the true places which ideas should occupy, and ties of that wonderful region of lakes the proper forms in which they should and mountains. I have indeed lived a be arranged. Every unprejudiced month in Paradise, and scarcely know, spectator most perceive that English when I return-as I must doto that literature is running waste, and sink- dull native city of mine, how I shall be ing into degradation, from the want of able to endure existence. But to begin. a philosophy to guide its combinations. You know that I had too long been The earliest forms given to literature kept, sorely against my will, in the are generally dictated by instinctive dreariest part of England, and when impressions which authors have re- I found myself among the mountains ceived from real life. Later authors of the north, I felt as if I had been are apt to bewilder themselves among dropt from the sky into some far disthe variety of existing models, and to tant land of enchantment. My very choose modes of writing which do not soul seemed changed with the scenery always harmonize with the principal around me, and I gave myself up to a ideas they mean to convey." When crowd of delightful emotions that the lights and instincts of nature have formed, as it were, a new and combeen lost sight of (as they always must plete life of themselves, independent be after a long series of artificial com
of all former recollections. I was inpositions), it is only by the influence sulated, among the dreary sea of human of philosophy that literature can be existence, in a spot that seemed sacred regenerated, and made to spring up to happiness,-care, sorrow, and anxiagain in pure and symmetrical forms. ety, were shut
out by an everlasting bar. English literature, indeed, has all a- rier of mountains; there was a bright long been more remarkable for sub- regeneration of all the brightness of stance and vigour, than for fine pro- early youth, and I walked along like a portions or flowing outlines. The ex- being who had never suffered the de ternal causes of that vigour, however, pression of mortality, but was strong are now on the decline; and there re- in the spirit of gladness that seemed mains but one chance for our litera- to pervade universal nature. These ture, namely, that of being regenera- feelings may seem exaggerated or inted by a spirit of system, proceeding comprehensible to those who have out of a more profound analytical ex- lived all their days in a beautiful and amination of human nature, than has magnificent country, or to those whose hitherto taken place in England. If hearts are bound only to cities and nothing of that sort comes round, our
communities of men. The first canliterature must go rapidly down the not fully understand the glorious ex. hill. Schlegel has a passage on this ultation of novelty that expands the subject, which we have already quo- soul of an enthusiast, admitted but ted in a former number of this publi- “ in angel-visits short and far becation. It contains so much truth, tween" to communion with those that we earnestly request our readers great and lovely forms of nature, to turn back to No XVII. Vol. III. among which they themselves have page 509, and read it over again. passed all their tranquil lives--while
the second can yet less sympathize with that devotional feeling excited by objects which to them yield, at best, but a transitory entertaipment. It is
perhaps on persons such as I that naTranslated from the German of Phi- ture most omnipotently works, persons lip Kempferhausen--written in the who have known enough of her and Summer of 1818.)
her wonders to have conceived for her
a deep and unconquerable passion, but LETTER I.
whom destiny has debarred from fre
quent intercourse, and chained down XY DEAR FRIEND,
among scenes most alien indeed to all I may now safely say that I know her holiest influences. something of the character of the north of England; and if you afford
“ My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky." me any encouragement to write long letters, I shall attempt to give you Those little secret haunts of beauty some description of the infinite beau. which one sometimes sees near the
LETTERS FROM THE J.AKES.
suburbs of a great smoky city, never peculiar light over the face of Nature. fail to touch my heart with inexpressi- For a while I was haunted by a deble pleasure. They seem vestiges of lightful perplexity concerning the momy past youth-groves of gladness ral character of the happy people, left sacred in the melancholy waste whose figures, faces, dresses, fields, of time and peopled with a thou- gardens, houses, churches, all seemed sand visions. They have often made to me so interesting and so imprese me feel how imperishable is the love sive. Nature, thought I, is in herself of nature-a love that may sleep, but most beautiful and beautiful would may not be extinguished--that, like an this region be, even were it a region of early attachment to a human soul, can lifeless solitude. But here, there is a live for ever on occasional or recollect- suborclination of all the various works ed smiles, and is unconsciously strong of man to the spirit that reigns over in the mournfulness of absence as in all the vast assemblage of these various the bounding bliss of enjoyment. For works of nature. The very houses nearly fifteen years of a life yet short, 'seem to grow out of the rocks--they I had seen mountains, and glens, and are not so much on the earth, as of the cataracts only on the canvass-silent earth—every thing is placed seemingly shadows of thunderous magnificence, just where it ought to be there is a -fair gleamings of light and verdure, concord and a harmony in the disruptthat no art can steal from the bosom ed fragments of the cliffs that have of inimitable Nature. But now I was overstrewed the plains with treerestored to my birth-right-the moun- crowned natural edifices, no less than tains, the rocks, the lakes, the clouds, in the artificial habitations that are the very blue vault of heaven itself mingled with that mountain-architecwere feit to belong to me, and my ture, in every imaginable shape of fansoul, expanding like a rainbow, em- tastic beauty.--Here must dwell an inbraced the whole horizon in its own digenous population--their outward brightening joy.
forms and shews of life are moulded The circumstances in which I was, visibly by the influence of these super. drew around me a peculiar atmosphere incumbent mountains the genius of of feeling. I was a stranger-a fo- the place the“Relligio Loci" has made reigner-in this heavenly land. All what it willed of the human life over the mountains that rose up before which it presides. Never before had me had each its own name unknown I seen nature so powerful in the birth to me-on every hand streams came of beauty, harmony, solemnity, gendancing by me, that doubtless gave tleness, and peace, all blending with appropriate appellations to the long and sustaining the works and the spirit winding vallies which they made so of animated existence. beautiful-cottages peeped from every For the first day or two I understood little covert of wood, and shone in every thing I sawimperfectly, but there clusters on every hill-side, filled with was unspeakable delight in the conhappy beings all strangers to me, and stant flow of images that kept passing now for the first time brought into the through my soul. In a foreign country existing world of my imagination-an- almost every thing is, to a certain des cient halls, impressed with a solemn gree, new to us. Things so familiar shade of hereditary grandeur, at times to the natives as not even to be seen lifted themselves above the fine oak by them, touch a stranger with an inwoods—there hung a mossy bridge that quiring emotion, and as he is becoming for centuries had spanned the cliffy tor- gradually acquainted with the meanrent-there stood a chapel bright in ing, and purposes, and character of a green old-age of ivy-there lay a every thing around him, his mind engray heap of stones—burial-place, or joys a singular union of the pleasure cairn, or shapeless and undistinguish- of mere perception, with that of imaable ruin of some dwelling of the days gination, and even of the reasoning fagone by. The great objects of nature culty. It is like acquiring a new lanherself speak an universal language, guage, when words seem gradually to and I understood at once the character brighten into things, and when the of the noble mountains of England. page of a book, at first dim and perBut here, there were under tones new plexing, seems at last crowded with to my heart; the spirit of human life pictures brightly painted and clearly breathed a peculiar music-shed A defined. I had not slept two nights