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Jerusalem ends the Epic of Tasso; but here the taking, and subsequent conflagration of a city five times as large as either of the two former, is so far from concluding the war or poem, that it is used only as the commencement of the revolution of a fortune; it is, in fact, nothing, when compared with what follows, except apparently as the matrix of thousands of horrible beings, who seem to have sprung up from its flames, arrayed in names which leave Homer's skill in onomatopojia far behind, and each of which is mentioned merely as a sample of unknown numbers, called by the same names, who are supposed to follow after. We are aware the liberty taken by the Poet on this head is unwarranted by authority; nor are we prepared to defend it by any arguments : but we may be allowed to suggest its great utility and poetical beauty as an excuse at least; and, since the Song combines all kinds of composition, perhaps it is here that the comic and satirical vein prevails, with reference always to that Pindaric fervour, which would not give the Poet leisure to go deliberately through all the names of his heroes, but prompted the happy idea of concluding them all under similar terminations. We persuade ourselves that no one will deny the merit of the lines in Italics ; they possess that indistinctness and appalling uncertainty which the best Critics and Poets have declared to be the truest source of the Sublime. The passage can be paralleled only by Milton's Death ; there is the same vague terror excited by the hideous half-conceived phantasm, with this advantage on the side of our aụthor;—that Milton has at length yielded to his curiosity, and let slip the real name of the Spectre ; whilst Mr. Southey gives no clue to a name, “ which is a terrible name," which, he declares, they all must know very well, but that nobody can speak it, or spell it. What can be more awful than this certain uncertainty, this unspeakable, unspellable, nameless name? We may be enthusiastic;—but, upon mature deliberation, we can remember nothing finer than this passage. The following lines, independent of their wit and skill, are defended by the common habit of the Greek Tragedians, 'who sometimes pun upon the names of their characters beyond all measure. We need not specify the manner in which poor Ajax iş so eternally twitted about his unfortunate syllables, because such liberties with men's names are common throughout the Greek plays ; but Æschylus refrains not even from the Ladies, and is rude enough to speak of fair Helena in these vile and graceless puns :-Ěréves, Erevopos, XAÉTTOM. This, therefore, the greatest authority, is on the side of our Song.
We now hasten on to the mortal catastrophe; desiring the reader to observe the singular consonance of the change of Nap's oaths with the change of his affairs. It is no longer the sportive
Morbleu! but the dreadful and despairing “ Sacrebleu!.” “ bleu” in both painfully reminding him of the colour of the which was 'now his enemy; remarking also the fearful d which the runaway Emperor gives his Satanic Majesty u his rear guard ; his utter nonplus in the midst of snow, and fro and Cossaques; and, at length, his ignominious flight; which the legitimate exit of the Hero.
6 And then came on the frost and snow,
All on the road from Moscow !
Sacrebleu ! Ventrebleu !
All on the road from Moscow,'
Morbleu ! Parbleu !
All on the road from Moscow!”. Here, no doubt, Homer, or Virgil, or Tasso, would have ended their Epic ; Sophocles or Shakspeare their Tragedy; Aristophanes, or Jonson, or Shakspeare, or Moliere their Comedy, Mr. Dimond or Mr. Terry their Melodrama. Be the whole composition what you please, still here the Hero is decidedly done up; and when such a Hero runs away upon a turnpike road, who would be able, or if able, would have the face to bring him on the stage again? Mr. Southey saw all this, and yet does not end here : original in this, as in all the other parts of his poem, he does not let his victim loose ; the wand of the enchanter is still upon the runaway; and, with a terrible boldness, to be found only in Dante's Inferno, he pronounces prophetically what will be his doom in another world. This exertion of poetical prerogative, like all others, will be viewed by many of the Whigs with great jealousy, and even indignation ; but besides our having, as we must need confess, a Tory twist, we think the “ Divina Commedia” sufficient warrant for any Poet against the charge of unauthorized novelty. Mais chacun a son goût-and we must leave this post-obituary denunciation to its fate. .
“ 'Twas as much too cold upon the road
As it was too hot at Moscow;
Morbleu! Parbleu !
We hinted before, that as a Song, this Poem requires, for the full developement of its beauties, the accompaniment of music and voice. By the particular favour of Mr. Southey we are able to state that this is likely to be accomplished soon; we have been informed of the plan, and we will shortly explain it to the Public. It is to be performed by a grand convention of all the Theatrical Talent in London; Bishop has submitted the scheme of an overture, which is to consist of three parts. The first an agitato movement in A, expressive of the troubled state of Nap's mind, before he has finally determined on his expedition. This is followed, secondly, by a minor, in the manner of the old chacone in which the case is decided, and Nap is quiet again ; and this movement dies away in five bars of minims, diminuenda from dolce to piano—to p.p.-to p.p.p.; and the last bar is not to be heard, but understood-for Nap hath fallen asleep. He is instantly awakened by a fine splendid Marcia en grand chaur, which concludes the overture. We cannot charge our memory with an exact account of all the ariette and recitativi, and their performers; Matthews, we think, was to execute the Russians; Macready to act the lines on the Admiral, with blacked eyebrows, amid thunder and lightning ; the “heigho for Moscow," by Miss Stephens; and the “ Morbleu, Parbleu,” by Miss Wilson. Angrisani was to be taught to pronounce one line, but we forget which; and Braham was to hold a D forte through six bars without shaking, to give some idea of the long shout of the Cossaque. Mr. Southey is to sit in the middle of the pit with a wreath of laurel on his head, and to prompt the performers. Towards the end Nap will be produced, and a very correct representation of Pandemonium, upon a more improved plan than that in “ Don Giovanni ;” Nap will try to coax Nick, but Nick will not stand bamboozling ;-after a short struggle, and two kicks on the shins, Nap is floored and unlaced, and shown to be all slush; and then he will descend, in his Majesty's arms, to a mournful dirge, expressive of justice, brimstone, pain, nitre, and birches. "
This is all we know of the intended exhibition ; but of course the Public will be more particularly informed of the place, and time, and price of admittance, by printed hand-bills. We do not mean to offer any remarks on the design, though we think it liable to objection in many parts; we will only suggest to Mr. Southey the expediency of the representation taking place on Easter Monday, instead of that stupid stuff, “ George Barnwell.” But we have written so much that we must needs stop here; entreating our Readers, if they have met with any thing odd or unaccountable in this Article, not immediately to suppose that we are in the wrong, but to take it for granted that some deep meaning lies concealed under the text; or, if they are dying for the secret, to write privately to us; and, if they appear worthy of confidence, we promise to gratify their curiosity. For, Messieurs the Critics, there are more things in Heaven and Earth (and par consequence in “ The Etonian”) than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
MAIDEN ! that bloom'st in solitude so still,
And through those eyes so gentle, yet so bright,
Pourest a soft and melancholy light,
Committed or design'd doth leave in spite
E'en of Religion's self. Thou, in the might
And harmony intense of this great Whole;
Hence never on thy brow doth Anger lour,
But sighs or smiles, in sad or happy hour,
TO A YOUNG RELATION.
The Muses to the welcome task;
That I can give, or thou should'st ask.
Thy tranquil way to Virtue's shrine;
Dear to a nobler heart than mine!
As now, upon thy sinless years !
The fondness of our hopes and fears!
VISIT TO A COUNTRY FAIR.
I HAVE been so emboldened, my dear Peregrine, by your approbation of my last petite morceau from the Country, that I have again determined to shock the ears of my fashionable Readers with one more description of rural manners and simplicity. Without further preface, then, I one evening, during my stay at the Rectory, started for a solitary walk soon after Dinner, which had been earlier than usual. The sky was without a cloud, and the Sun, still almost arrayed in his meridian glory, displayed his honest countenance receding through the wide expanse of the clear transparent hemisphere. Many an Exquisite would drawl out an affected titter at the idea of a rural walk till sunset; but, in spite of all the domineering power of fashion that affirms nothing is so beautiful as dusky walls and smoke-dried towers, and can conceive no fragrance equal to the delightfully varied odours of a town, I found sufficient, and even abundant objects of enjoyment. As I strolled along through fields of richest fertility, or lingered under the shade of blossoming, verdant hedge-rows, alive with the music of a hundred songsters, most deeply should I have pitied the man that delighted not in such a scene. I should pity him almost as much as a person who has so little taste for the Novels by the Author of Waverley, and is so miserably unable to digest their extraordinary beauties, as to affirm that they resemble high-flaunting descriptions copied from some gaudy picture. I know not how such a Spirit of Perverseness as this, or how a perfumed Fashionable would have liked my ramble ; and care not, so long as they didn't interrupt me in it, or disturb my meditations, which continued in full force during my wanderings over several fields, notwithstanding the unceremonious appearance of an ungentlemanly animal called a Bull. He certainly appeared inclined to pay very little regard to my love of country scenery ; but a neighbouring hedge enabled me to bid a rapid farewell to this unpleasant Visitor ; and I journeyed onwards, without further interruption, till I was led, by frequent shouts of merriment, to a scene unusual, perhaps, to some of my Readers. It was a Village Wake, or Fair, one of Nature's holidays; where she throws aside jerkin and spade to indulge in uncurbed festivity: or rather, where all the inhabitants of a Village meet annually to feast, drink, play, make love, and break heads. Such was the scene I now entered upon, though not quite unexpectedly, as I had gained some notice of it beforehand by several noisy groups of Peasants hastening past me to this attracting point of all that is pre-eminent, beautiful, or inte