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only five knights. The Count kept his promise; Garcia brought thirty-five, and seized him, but not till after a hard resistance, for the Castilians refuged in an Ermida, and defended it till they had secured their lives hy a capitulation. The five knights were released, the Count fettered and imprisoned.
A Lombard Count on pilgrimage to Santiago, visits Ferran in prison, and upbraids Sancha for her part in the wrong. She sent her damsel to see him, and then went herself; the marriage promise passed between them, and they fled together; his chains were heavy, and she at times sustained them. A priest who was riding with hawk and hound, discovers them, and only consents to let the Count escape on condition that Sancha abandons her person to him, she retires with him, contrives to throw him down, and Ferran kills him with a knife. They proceed, and meet the Castilians coming to his rescue, with a stone image of the Count before them, which they had sworn never to forsake.
Garcia infests Castillo till the patience of the Count fails, and he meets him in a pitched battle, defeats and takes him—he refuses to liberate him at Sancha's request, but she appeals to his knights, and pleads so well that they obtain his deliverance for her sake.
The King of Leon summons lu'm now to a Cortes, and immediately seizes him. Sancha sets out with her knights, leaves them concealed, and proceeds as on pilgrimage. The King of Leon allows her to see her husband and pass the night with him. In her pilgrim dress Ferran escapes and joins his troops; but their aid is made needless by an interview between Sancha and the King of Leon, the able mind of the Countess overpowers him, and all is settled.
Adam in Limbo beholding the light of the Annunciation. Simile,—suggested by Bettinelli's Sonnet, Pern. Mod. 19, p. 169.
Sabbath of Hell. See the legend of Judas and St. Brandon. How much more humanly is this conceived than Monti's Sonnet, vol. 17, p. 77, who describes Justice as writing upon the traitor's forehead as soon as he has expired, sentence of eternal damnation, with the blood of Christ I dipping her finger in the blood. This is hideous 1 The angels, says the second sonnet, made fans of their wings to shut out the sight.
Si fer de l'ale a gli occhi una visiera."
I thought I had done when at the end of the first sonnet, but it seems there is yet a third, to tell us that as the soul had resumed flesh and bone, the sentence appeared in red letters,—it frightened the damned —he tried to tear it out, but God had fixed it there.
"Ne sill aba di Dio mai si cancella!"
Perhaps this horrible absurdity suggested to Lewis his fine picture of the Wandering Jew.
A Good paper in the manner of Addison, might be made upon the motion of a Board of Suicide, instituted to grant licenses for that act, upon sufficient cause being shown.
Would thi* ttory mature into a useful
Oliver Elton is the second son of wealthy parents, who live up to the extent of their income; he is not their favourite; his mother had not nursed him. She would not perform maternal duty, and was therefore deprived of maternal affection. Oliver's provision was a good living; he has scruples, and cannot accept it.
The date must be 1793. During a vacation Oliver sets out for a long walk—to botanize, and to bo from home. At a country inn, he is requested by the landlady to sit in her room, the house being full. The landlord had been a respectable tradesman, by misfortunes bankrupt, and reduced to this employment. Dorothy, the daughter, had therefore been decently educated. Oliver soon after he leaves the inn sprains his foot violently, and returns, preferring it to home, and a practical comment follows upon the text from S. Augustin.
Mr. Elton refuses to support his son while he graduates in physic—the living, or nothing. Oliver who has lived parsimoniously at Oxford, sets off for London, his way lies by the inn, and he finds Palmer dying of a broken heart; in Dorothy's distress he becomes her comforter.
In London Oliver looks about for literary employment, he is unknown, his last ten pounds are stolen, and he must have walked the streets for want, of a lodging, had not a prostitute invited him in. This woman who would have infected him, hearing his distress, offers him money.
A letter from Dorothy finds him; her mother is in danger of an arrest, could he send twenty pounds? lie enlists as a soldier, and sells his watch to make up the sum.
On a review day he sees Dorothy, it disorders him, and she faints, he runs to her, and the Major strikes him, they had been schoolfellows and enemies, he knocks him down, and writes from his confinement to the Colonel, who interferes and dismisses him from the regiment.
One friend only knows Oliver's fate, he procures for him the place of gardener to Lord L. with a decent salary. Dorothy had been apprenticed to a milliner, he marries her, and lives in happy obscurity.
The story should be related in a narrative to his sister, who with her husband visiting Lord L. recognized Oliver.
Parkgate. Saturday Oct. 10, 1801.' The soldier part should be omitted. So will the history become that of a man who, by practical wisdom and useful knowledge, preserves himself from misery in difficult circumstances, and makes and deserves his own happiness.
1 These nre etvripai Qpomitt;—the former part dates from J798, or 1799.—J. W. NV.
Ground that may be built on.
Giovanni, the Judas Iscariot of S. Francisco's disciples, a man of blasted hopes, the slave of his own feelings,—sense enough to smell the saint for a fool and his disciples as rogues.
Some nun of St. Clara's school.
Frequent Portugueze shipwrecks on the coast of Africa. Some girl on her way to a nunnery—a Caffir—the good Negroes! the dfiifiovti dvBpwv. Here would be rich scenery.
A Couet fool at some tyrant's court.
A Dramatic romance with the good title of Merlin or the Round Table, magic and the sublime of pantomime.
A Jew family in Portugal, love and the inquisition.
Beast Poems. They would be difficult but of good purport, some tales of the affection between the bear and her cub, or the seal or walrus.
Pelayo the restorer would form a good hero for a poem which should take up Catholicism for its machinery.
Count Julian, Florinda, Egilona, Rodrigo in his state of penitence, Oppas, young Alonso, fine characters all. The cave of Toledo for a scene of enchantment, Covadonga for the battle.
Biscay seems to have been disputed between Pelayo, Eudon, and Pedro. Alonso was Pedro's son and married Ormisinda, Pelayo's daughter.
This is a grand subject for narrative, not for dramatic poetry, but as one bad play would be seven times as productive as a good poem six times its length, let us see what can dramatically be done with Pelayo.
End with the surprizal of Gigon, the death of Munuza, and the acclamation of Pelayo.
Ormisiuda a noble Virago, she refuses to marry unless her children can be free, the end then is her giving her hand to Alonso.
There may be a scene at her mother's grave.
Munuza wants her in marriage, this the necessary deviation from historical legend. The demand a little rouses Pelayo, for Munuza was becoming powerful by early submission.1
Epic writers have usually been deficient in learning. Homer indeed is all miracle, he knew every thing, and Milton has ornamented with the whole range of knowledge a story which admitted the immediate display of none. But the manners in Tasso are mixed, in Virgil they are of no time and no country; another deadly sin! I know no poet so accurate as Glover.
The following nations offer a rich field of civil and religious costume:
Celtic superstition is too little understood, and the documents of Celtic manners are scanty. Still there is an outline. The British Brutus has been too often thought upon, to remain for ever without his fame.
The Hindoo is a vile mythology, a tangle of thread fragments which require the touch of a faery's distaff to unravel and unite them. There is no mapping out the country, no reducing to shape the chaotic mass. It is fitter for the dotage dreams of Sir William Jones, than the visions of the poet. Let the wax-nose be tweaked by Volney on one side and Maurice on the other!
The Greenlanders are stupid savages, or there is a favourable wildness in their belief and in their country.
The Amortam might be the groundwork of a Hindoo poem, but the draught of im
'It is hardly necessary to say that here are the first ideas for Roderick, the Last of the Goths.—J. W. W.
mortality ought only to be sought by a bad man, and then Vathek would stand in the way of invention.
The deluge. Joshua. The first destruction of Jerusalem. The second. The Maccabees.
Judith is too short an action. Moses does too little himself;—besides, the end of this action is under Joshua.
Savage superstitions will balladize well.
Whoever reads Pausanias or the Mycologists will find that much of the best classical ground is yet unbroken. A hero is indeed wanting. Aristomenes? a hero in misfortune offers the best lesson; but a long and disjointed story, and Sparta in the wrong, that must not be! Lycurgus? the conqueror of human nature, perhaps the amender. The great Alexander? alas all perished with the mighty Macedonian.
Better some lesser story, imaginary, or of obscure record. The Pythoness, Endymion, not ill handled by Gombauld, but of much promise.
Stories connected with the Manners of
Feudalism. Robin Hood.1 The establishment of the Inquisition, St. Domingo's the prominent personage.
The superstitions of the dark ages would body well. Saints and angels through the whole hierarchy, and every order of demonology. They have rarely been used well, or never, the cursed itch of imitation has made them parodies of the Greek gods.
The conquests of Odin were suggested by
1 Since published—a Fragment—by Mrs. Smrthey, who took a part in it.—J. W. W.
Gibbon; but Odin must be the god, not the hero. The story must be wholly imaginary. The hjstory of savages is never important enough to furnish an action for poetry.
Zoroaster was a bad and bloody priest. Other personage their history offers not, for Cyrus is anterior to the system of the Zendavesta.
Thus then:—A Persian Satrap, persecuted by the powers of dnrkness. Every calamity that they inflict developes in him somevirtuewhich prosperity had smothered, and they end in driving him to emigrate with a Greek slave, and becoming a citizen of Athens. Here then the whole mythology, and the whole hatefulness of oriental tyranny come into the foreground. The Athenian slave, who chuses his master, for his pupil and son-in-law, may be as Jacobinical as heart could wish.
There is a singular absurdity in this system, prayers and penance have an actual, not a relative value; they are a sterling coin for which the gods must sell their favours, as the shopkeeper supplies the thief for ready money, Some of the most famous penitents have been actuated by ambition and cruelty.
By penance and prayer any gift may be compelled from the gods; add immortality, and there may exist an enemy formidable even to heaven.
The search of the Amortam by such a man, call him for the present Keradon1—he is a Bramin. An injured Pari a—Cartamen— follows him, finds him in the very presence of Yainen, who alone dispenses the draught
1 Here again we have the first germ of the Curse of Kehama. Writing to his early and valued friend, Ciiarles Danvers, May 6, 1801, Southey says, " I hnvc just and barely begun the Curje of Kirailon."—J. W. W.
of immortality, and immortalizes him in a more natural way.
On the coast of Malealon, Cartamen may meet Parassourama, who still exists there. The God for the sake of his mother Mariatale, may befriend the Paria.
Stung by some violent provocation, Cartamen kills the brother of Keradon. Mariatale, the despised goddess, protects the despised Paria, and preserves him from death. He is condemned to bear about the Bramin's skull, and eat and drink out of it; but his punishment is his glory.
The Hindoos admit the truth of nil religions,—Turk, Christian, Jew, or Gentile may therefore be introduced.
A daughter of the Paria shall be a prominent character,—a Grindouver descends for her love. Seevajee claims her for the wife of the god, that is, a temple-prostitute. Cartamen in vain alleges that their god is not the god of the Parias, hence the murder. She has nurst a young crocodile, to save herself she leaps into the river, the beast receives her.
Funeral of Seevajee. His ghost appears to Keradon, and tells him he cannot destroy Ledalma till the Amordam has made him equal with the gods. Keradon then curses the murderer, commands all the evil powers to persecute him, and forbids any good one to assist him.
When he is on the rocks near Mount Merou,—the fine incident of the bitch that left her whelps for want.
It is Kalya who saves herself and her father, when they are about to be executed, by calling on Mariatale, the mixed power. She with her father is cast out, but he leaves her when she is asleep, that she may not partake his sufferings. The Mouni—Willo-the wisps—misleads her. She sinks under a manchineel; then Eelia, the Grindouver, sees and saves her.
Parassourama advises Ledalma to appeal to Bcly, the just governor of Fadalon. Seevajee cannot be judged till the term appointed for his natural life had elapsed. His spirit therefore is at leisure to be mischievous. Ledalma may see Bely on the night when he visits earth, or attempt to descend by Yamen's throne.
The Sorgon might be conquered by Keradon and Padalon. Yamen calmly awaits him unmoved at his post, and gives him the cup, the consummation of bis conquests.
Eenia, after seeking other aid in vain, dares to appeal to Eswara, and complain that there is injustice in the world. Eswara tells him Death alone can aid Laderlad.
Eenia takes Kalyal1 to the Sorgon, and shows her all its joys; but she asks to be restored to her father. He knows not where he is, but asks Arounin, the charioteer of the sun. Thus Arounin's answer brings up the lee-way, and the clumsiness of a reverting story is avoided.
Eenia asks Manmadin to wound Kalyal also. The Love God cannot, her heart is full of stronger feelings.
Kalyal is exposed to violation in a temple. Eeniaguards her, and kills whoever attempts her. He daily tells her of her father.
Keradon takes Laderlad and leads him through Padalon to see with living eyes his after pain. Sure that Yamen must give the draught, he drags his conquered enemies to the spot of triumph, drinks, and dies. The wrath-eye of Eswara is on him.
When the father and daughter are about to be executed at Naropi's grave, Laderlad despairs, and therefore is abandoned. Kalyal is for piety exempted from the curse.
Naropi's spirit, animating his corpse, persecutes Laderlad and his daughter. When alone, she is led into a house where the spectre awaits her, and escaping from his Incubus attempt sinks at the foot of the manchineel tree.
Keradon's curse.—May he be shunned by all his own cast, and be in the same abomination to them that they are to the rest of the world; the sun shine to scorch him; no wind cool him; no water wet his lips. He shall
1 He reader will observe that in this early MS. the characters are variously spelt. In the poem itself we have Kalyal and Glendoveer— not Kalya and Grindonver.—J. W. W.
thirst, and the cool element fly from his touch; he shall hunger, and all earthly food refuse its aid. He shall never sleep, and never die, till the full age of man be accomplished.
When the dead Naropi attempts Kalyal, the eye of Eswara falls upon him and consumes him.
Keradon has obtained that none can destroy him but himself.
After Kalyal has fed her father with the Sorgon fruits, Keradon strikes her with leprosy, that the Grindouver may loath her. Then it is that Eenia flies to the throne of the Destroyer-God.
The Cintra cistern might be well painted. Laderlad lying by the water.
Kalyal is taken to the Sorgon to be recovered.
The giants join Keradon to get the Amortam.
The frozen bay by Pnrassourama's cave of sleep. Thence he may embark for the end of the world, to Yamen.
Thus then the arrangement. Funeral nnd curse. Its gradual effects till Laderlad leaves Kalyal asleep. Her adventure with the dead Naropi. Eenia bears her to the Sorgon. Search of her father. Arounin's account. The meeting. Keradon smites her with leprosy. First he exposes her in the temple. Eenia defends her. His request to Manmadin. Keradon then taints her with the leprosy. He attempts to destroy her. Mariatale saves her. After the disease Eenia goes to Eswara, as he is lending both to Yamen. The giants seize them. Parassourama wakes to their rescue. Their voyage. On the shore Keradon captures them. His triumph in Padalon, and the end.
1. The curse. 2. The manchineel. 3. The Sorgon. 4. The meeting. 5. The prostitution. 6. The leprosy. 7. The appeal to Eswara. 8. Parassourama. 9. The captivity. 10. The catastrophe.
Eenia's appeal to Eswara. An allusion to the fruitless attempt of Brahma and Vichenon to measure the greater god. The Grindouver finds him soon. Allegory, whom