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sonne par le lien mysterieux du souvenir." —Necker. Sur VEgalite.
Awkwardness at Court.
"A Man unaccustomed to converse with the masters of the world, enters their magnificent palaces with slow and distrustful steps. Wisdom and virtue are unequal to the task of walking with elegance and ease through the unstudied road of imperial etiquette. Want of familiarity with surrounding objects forbids ease; while prejudices, like nurses' midnight tales, are at the same time recollected, despised, and yet feared." —Robinson's Ecclesiastical Researches.
Images for Poetry.
When we were within half a mile of the sea in a very clear day, it appeared as if the water was flowing rapidly along the shore in the same direction as the wind; a kind of quick dizzy motion, which I should have thought the effect of having dazzled my eyes by looking at the sun, if we had not both observed it at once.
The river in a very hot day has the same appearance.
The sudden wrinkling of the water when the wind sweeps it, as it were sparkling up a shower.
Where the river is visible at its windings, it forms little islands of light.
In a day half clear half cloudy, I observe streaks of a rainbow green upon the sea.
The cormorant is a large black bird, and flies with his long neck protruded; when full, he stands upon the beach or some sand bank, spreading his wings to dry them, very quaintly.1
It is pleasant to see the white-breasted swallows dart under a bridge.
The bark of the birch is much striped across with a grey-white moss.
1 "Tlie cormorant stands upon its shoals, His black and dripping wings Half opened to the wind." Thalaba, xi.
J. W. W.
Trees are grey by torch light.
A sea-mew sailed slowly by me; the sun edged his wings with silver.
The richest peacock green-blue is under the bend of the cliff".
I Intend to be a hedge-hog and roll myself up in my own prickles: all I regret is that I am not a porcupine, and endowed with the property of shooting them to annoy the beasts who come near enough to annoy me.
TuEFrench legislators have done as much as the nature of the people would permit. Who can carve a Venus de Medicis in freestone?
When the cable of happiness is cut, surely it is better that the vessel should sink at once, than be tost about on the dreary ocean of existence, hopeless of a haven.
L? Momus had made a window in my breast, I would have made a shutter to it."
The loss of a friend is like that of a limb. Time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.
Mysteries. He who dives into thick water will find mud at the bottom; no stream is clearer than that which rolls over golden sands.
A Man is a fool if he be enraged with an ill that he cannot remedy, or if he endures one that he can. He must bear the gout, but there is no occasion to let a fly tickle his nose.
3 The reader is referred to Tristram Shandy's remarks on this head. Vol. i. p. 129, c. xxiii.
J. w. w.
"To best and dearest parents filial grief Hallows this stone: the last of duties this; But memory dies not, but the love, that now Sleeps in the grave, shall wake again in heaven."—Jan. 18, 1798.
Wednesdat Feb. 22, 1797. Prospect Place, Newington Butts. This morning I began the study of the law: this evening I began Madoc.1
These lines must conclude the poem. I wrote them for the commencement.
"Spirit of Song! it is no worthless breast That thou hast filled, with husht and holy awe
1 It may bo as well to give here, at length, such information as is in my hands relative to Madoc. On the fly-leaf to the First Fragment of Marine (in my possession), Southey has written, "This portion of Madoc was written in the summer of 1794, after Joan of Arc hod been transcribed, and some months before this poem was sent to press and recomposed." At the end of the precious little volume ho has added, "Thus far in 1794. I began to revise Feb. 22, 1797, and finished the revisal March 9."
The extract next following is from a MS. letter of Southey's to his friend C. Danvers. It is without date, but the post-mark is Oct. 24, 1803.
"The poem has hung long upon my hands, and during so many ups and downs of life, that I had almost become superstitious about it, and could hurry through it with a sort of fear. Projected in 1789, and begun in prose at that time—then it slept till 1794, when I wrote a book and a half—another interval till 1797, when it was corrected and carried on to the beginning of the fourth book,—and then a gap again till the autumn of 179S, from which time it went fairly on, till it was finished in your poor mother's parlour on her little table. Book by book I had read it to her, and passage by pussage as they were written to my mother and to Peggy. This was done in July 1799—four years! I will not trust it longer, lest more changes befall, and I should learn to dislike it as a melancholy memento!"
The above, with the preface to the last edition of Madoc, contains the whole history of that poem's composition. The lines here referred to were not inserted.—J. W. W.
I felt thy visitation. Blessed power,
To thee, and pour'd the song of bet tert things.
Images for Poetry.
The white foam left by the wave on the shore trembles in the wind with rainbow hues.
The clouds spot the sea with purple. The white road trembling on the aching eye.
The water spider forms a shadow of six spots at the bottom of the stream, edged with light brown yellow; the legs four, and two from the head. The reflection of the body is a thin line only, uniting the rest.
In a hot cloudy day the sea was pale grey, greener at a distance, and bounded by a darker line.
Half shadowed by a cloud, beyond the line of shadow light grey, like another sky.
The ripe redness of the grass.
Sunday, July 16, 1797. I saw the lightning hang in visible duration over the road.
Shadows of light roll over the shallow sands of a stream wrinkled by the wind. An overhanging bough reflects this prettily.
The flags sword leaves.
Up the Stour, the swallows cavern their nests in the sand cliff.
I saw a dick-duck-drake leaping fish.
The reed-rustling breeze.
The sea like burnished silver. Morning.
"tiiree things restored will prolong aman's life:
The country where in childhood he was
brought up; The food that in childhood nourished him;
And the train of thoughts that in childhood amused him."
G. Williams, note, v. 2, p. 36.
The three Names of this Island.
"The first—Before it was inhabited it was called the water-guarded green spot; after it was inhabited, it was called the honey-island; and after its subjection to Prydain, the son of Aedd Mawr, he gave it the name of the Isle of Prydain."—Cam. Register, v. 1. p. 22.
Sonnet by B. W. H.
"Wiit tell ye me of heaven, and of that bliss Which much-enduring saints will sometime know! Til own no heaven beyond my Harriet's kiss,. No joys but what from her sweet converse flow.
Ye talk to those whom poverty's stern power Loads with the weight of soul-subduing care,
Bid them expect that lingering distant hour When the bright flash of hope shall blind despair.
For me, if youth eternal crown my joys; If love attend me through the paths of life, And affluence guarding well from worldly strife,
Til quafl" the cup of pleasure till it cloys; Blessing the auspicious hour that gave me birth,
Then sink to nothing in my native earth."
B. W. II.1
Virtues of Gems. From the Mirror of Stones, by Camilixs Leonabdus, Physician at Pisaro. Dedicated to Cffisar Borgia, Eng. Trans. London, 1750.
"Tub Diamond helps those who are troubled with phantasms or the Night Mair.
1 I can assign no reason why such a sonnet was transcribed by Southey, neither do I know whom the initial*! represent.—J. \V. W.
"The Amethyst drives away drunkenness; for being bound on the navel it restrains the vapour of the wine, and so dissolves the ebriety.
"Alectoria is a stone of a christalline colour, a little darkish, somewhat resembling limpid water; and sometimes it has veins of the colour of flesh. Some call it Gallinaceus, from the place of its generation, the intestines of capons, which were castrated at three years' old and had lived seven; before which time the stone ought not to be taken out; for the ohler it is so much the better. When the stone is become perfect in the capon, he do'nt drink. However, 'tis never found bigger than a large bean. The virtue of this stone is to render him that carries it invisible; being held in the mouth it allays thirst, and therefore is proper for wrestlers; (so will any stone by stimulating the glands, but what if the wrestler should swallow it ?) makes a woman agreeable to her husband; bestows honours, and preserves those already acquired; it frees such as are bewitched; it renders a man eloquent, constant, agreeable, and amiable; it helps to regain a lost kingdom, and acquire a foreign one.
"Borax, Nosa, Crapondinus, are names of the same stone, which is extracted from a toad. There are two species, the which is the best is rarely found; the other is black or dun with a cerulean glow, having in the middle the similitude of an eye, and must be taken out while the dead toad is yet panting, and these are better than those which are extracted from it after a long continuance in the ground. They have a wonderful efficacy in poisons. For whoever has taken poison let him swallow this; which being down, rolls about the bowels, and drives out every poisonous quality that is lodged in the intestines, and then passes through the fundament and is preserved. It is an excellent remedy for the bites of reptiles, and takes away fevers. If it be made into a lotion and taken, it is a great help in disorders of the stomach and reins, and some say it has the same effect if carried about one.
"The carbuncle is male and female. The females throw out their brightness, the stars appear burning within the moles.
"Some imagine- that the crystal is snow turned to ice which has been hardening thirty years, and is turned to a rock by age. (affonso Africa.no, c. 2, p. 43).
"Chemites is a stone that has the appearance of ivory; not heavy, and in hardness like marble. It is said to preserve the bodies of the dead a long time from being hurt by the worms and from putrefaction.
"Corvia or Corvina is a stone of a reddish colour, and accounted artificial. On the calends of April boil the eggs taken out of a crow's nest till they are hard; and being cold, let them be placed in the nest as they were before. When the crow knows this, she flies a long way to find this stone; and having found it returns to the nest, and the eggs being touched with it, they become fresh and prolific. The stone must immediately be snatched out of the nest. Its virtue is to increase riches, to bestow honours, and to foretell many future events.
"Draconites,—Dentrites,—Draconius, is a stone lucid and transparent of a cristalline colour. Albertus Magnus says it is of a black colour, and that its figure is pyramidal and not lucid. Some say it shines like a looking glass, with a blackness; that many seek after but never find it. It is brought from the east, where there are great dragons; for it is taken out of the head of dragons, cut off while the beast is yet panting. It loses its virtue if it remains in the head any time after the death of the dragon. Some bold fellows in those eastern parts search out the dens of the dragons, and in these they strew grass mixed with soporiferous medicaments, which the dragons when they return to their dens eat^ and are thrown into a sleep; and in that condition they cut off their heads and extract the stone. It has a rare virtue in subduing all sorts of poison, especially that of serpents. It also renders the possessor of it bold and invincible; for which reason the kings of the east boast they have such a stone.
"Fingites is of a white colour, hard as marble, and transparent like alabaster; it is brought from Cappadocia. Some report that a certain king built a temple of this stone without windows; and from its transparency the day was admitted into it in so clear a manner as if it had been all open.
"Galatides or Galactica is a white lucid stone, in form of an acorn, hard as the adamant, and so cold that it can hardly be warmed by fire; which proceeds from the exceeding closeness of its pores which will not suffer the heat of the fire to penetrate.
"Kinocetus is a stone not wholly useless, since it will cast out devils.
"Sarcophagus, the stone of which the ancients built their monuments, so called from its effects, for it consumes a human body that is placed in it, insomuch that in forty days the very teeth are gone, so that nothing appears ; nay, farther, if this stone be bound to a man while he is alive, it has the force of eating away his flesh.
"The asbestas is a stone of an iron colour, produced in Arcadia and Arabia; being set on fire it retains a perpetual flame, strong and unquenchable, not to be extinguished by showers or storms. It is of a woolly texture, and many call it the salamander's feather. Its fire is nourished by an inseparable unctuous humid flowing from its substance."
Turkish Idea of Thunder.
"when the Turkish ambassador, Esseid AH Effendi, saw some electrical experiments at Lyons (Messidor 14th) (July 2, 1797) and heard the analogy between electricity and lightning explained, he seemed astonished at the ignorance of the Europeans, who did not attribute lightning to the breath of an angel, and the noise of thunder to the chipping of his wings."—Star, Thurs. July 20.
Novogorod God of Thunder.
"When Wolodemir introduced Christianity into Russia (a. D. 990) to prove the sincerity of his conversion, he caused the brazen image of Perun, long worshipped at Novogorod as the God of Thunder, to be thrown iuto the river after being bruised with clubs. It is not long since (as Olearius writes) that the inhabitants believed that Perun from the deep still exerted his loud and dissonant voice once every year; and excited all that heard it to broils and battery."—Ambas. Travels. Andrews, vol. 1, p. 42.
"Novogorod is situated in a very fair spacious plain upon the Wologda. This river derives its source from the lake Ilmen, about three miles above the city, from whence it falls into lake Ladoga. There are falls or rapids in the Ladoga lake with dangerous rocks."—Peter Henry Bruce.
Epitaphs. "As careful nurses to the bed do lay Their children which too long would wanton play,
So to prevent all my ensuing crimes Nature my nurse laid me to bed betimes."
In some part of Yorkshire.
"Here lize Sarre FFlougger who dyde by the krewill youzitch ov hur usbun."
In Upham Church yard, Hants.
"As I lay sleeping here alone
"Ah! she bids her friends adieu!
Some angel calls her to the spheres; Our eyes the radiant sun pursue
Thro' liquid telescopes of tears."
"Life is a city full of crooked streets, And Death the market place where all men meets.
If Life were a merchandize which men could buy
The rich would purchase it, and only the poor would die." Worpletou.
Sopra le due Citta sttbissate dal Trema'oto.
"Qui pur foste o Citta; ne in voi qui resta
Testimon di voi stcsse, un sasso solo;
In cui si seriva, qui s'aprerse il suolo
Voi sovente in voi cerco, e trovtrsolo
Un xilenzio, un orror, che d'alto duolo M' empie, e gli occhi mi bagua, e il pie
m'arresta, E dico, o formidabile! oh tremendo
Divin giudizio! pur ti veggio, e sento, E non ti tcmo ancor, ne ancor t' intendo!
Dch sorgeste a niostrar' 1' alto portento Subissate Cittadi, e sia l'orrendo
Sehcletro vostro ai secoli spavento."
VlNCENZO DA FlLACAJA.
"Here, cities, ye once stood; but there does not remain in you a testimony of your existence, not a stone on which might be written, 1 Here the ground opened, there wan Catania, and this is Syracuse.' Often, as I wander over the silent and deserted strand, do I look about for you in yourselves; but all I find is a silence, a horror, which fills me with deep grief, bathes mine eyes and stops my foot, and I exclaim, O formidable, O tremendous judgments! I see you, I feel you all around, and still do not fear, still cannot fully understand you. Rise then once more, ye engulphed cities, show the portentous desolation, and let your horrible skeleton be the terror and lesson of ages to come."—In Matt's Review, from a collection of Italian Sonnets translated into Latin hexameters by Jasseus.1
1 These sonnets were intended to be enst into English ones. The translation implies the time when Southey was not the able Italian scholar he was in his latter days. His own version of some of them may be seen in subsequent pages, e. g. pp. 81, 82. They were composed mostly in 1799.—J. W. W.