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Might bid those terrors rise, those sorrows flow;
The morn all blushing rose; but sought in vain
Along that dreary waste where lately rung The festal lay which smiling virgins sung, Where rapture echoed from the warbling lute, And the gay dance resounded, all is mute.Mute-Is it Fancy shapes that wailing sound Which faintly murmurs from the blasted ground, Or live there still, who, breathing in the tomb, Curse the dark refuge which delays their doom, In massive vaults, on which the incumbent plain And ruined city heap their weight in vain?
Oh! who may sing that hour of mortal strife, When Nature calls on Death, yet clings to life? Who paint the wretch that draws sepulchral breath, A living prisoner in the house of Death? Pale as the corpse which loads the funeral pile, With face convulsed that writhes a ghastly smile, Behold him speechless move with hurried pace, Incessant, round his dungeon's caverned space, Now shrink in terror, and now groan in pain, Gnaw his white lips and strike his burning brain, Till Fear o'erstrained in stupor dies away, And Madness wrests her victim from dismay. His arms sink down; his wild and stony eye Glares without sight on blackest vacancy. He feels not, sees not: wrapped in senseless trance His soul is still and listless as his glance. One cheerless blank, one rayless mist is there, Thoughts, senses, passions, live not with despair. Haste, Famine, haste, to urge the destined close, And lull the horrid scene to stern repose.
Yet ere, dire Fiend, thy lingering tortures ceaseAnd all be hushed in still sepulchral peace, Those caves shall wilder, darker deeds behold Than e'er the voice of song or fable told, Whate'er dismay may prompt, or madness dare, Feasts of the grave, and banquets of despair.Hide, hide the scene; and o'er the blasting sight Fling the dark veil of ages and of night.
Go, seek Pompeii now:-with pensive tread Roam through the silent city of the dead. Explore each spot, where still, in ruin grand, Her shapeless piles and tottering columns stand, Where the pale ivy's clasping wreaths o'ershade The ruined temple's moss-clad colonnade, Or violets on the hearth's cold marble wave, And muse in silence on a people's grave.
Fear not. No sign of death thine eyes shal
No, all is beauty, verdure, fragrance there.
Lie tombs and temples, columns, baths, and towers.
Advance, and wander on through crumbling halls, Through prostrate gates and ivied pedestals, Arches, whose echoes now no chariots rouse, Tombs, on whose summits goats undaunted browse, See where yon ruined wall on earth reclines, Through weeds and moss the half-seen painting
Still vivid midst the dewy cowslips glows,
Thou lovely, ghastly scene of fair decay,
The capital of the Corinthian pillar is carved, as well known, in imitation of the acanthus. Mons. de Chateaubriand, as I have found since this Poem was written, has employed the same image in his Travels.
It is the custom of the modern Greeks to adora corpses profusely with flowers
The wand of eloquence, whose magic sway
Now shall thy deathless memory five entwined
Each lofty thought of Poet or of Sage,
And live renowned in accents yet unknown;
THE BATTLE OF IVRY.
[KNIGHT'S QUARTERLY MAGAZINE, 1824.]
[HENRY the Fourth, on his accession to the French crown, was opposed by a large part of his subjects, under the Duke of Mayenne, with the assistance of Spain and Savoy. In March, 1590, he gained a decisive victory over that party at Ivry. Before the battle, he addressed his troops, "My children, if you lose sight of your colours, rally to my white plume-you will always find it in the path to honour and glory." His conduct was answerable to his promise. Nothing could resist his impetuous valour, and the leaguers underwent a total and bloody defeat. In the midst of the rout, Henry followed, crying, "Save the French!" and his clemency added a number of the enemies to his own army. Aikin's Biographical Dictionary.]
Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are!
Through thy cornfields green, and sunny vines, oh pleasant land of France
Oh! how our hearts were beating, when at the dawn of day,
The king is come to marshal us, in all his armour drest,
He looked upon the traitors, and his glance was stern and high.
Down all our line, in deafening shout, "God save our lord, the King.'
For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray
Press where ye see my white plume shine, amidst the ranks of war,
Hurrah! the foes are moving! Hark to the mingled din
The well-known name of Attila
Now God be praised, the day is ours! Mayenne hath turned his rein
Ho! maidens of Vienna! Ho! matrons of Lucerne !
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's souls'
[EDINBURGH REVIEW, JANUARY, 1843.]
to be made public. Our hopes, it is true, were not unmixed with fears. We could not forget the fate of the Memoirs of Dr. Burney, which were published ten years ago. That unfortu nate book contained much that was curious and interesting. Yet it was received with a cry of disgust, and was speedily consigned to oblivion. The truth is, that it deserved its doom. It was written in Madame D'Arblay's later style-the worst style that has ever been known among men. No genius, no information, could save from proscription a book so written. We, therefore, opened the Diary with no small anxiety, trembling lest we should light upon some of that particular rhetoric which deforms almost every page of the Memoirs, and which it is impossible to read without a sensation made up of mirth, shame and loathWe soon, however, discovered to our great delight, that this Diary was kept before Madame D'Arblay became eloquent. It is, for the most part, written in her earliest and best manner; in true woman's English, clear, na
THOUGH the world saw and heard little of Madame D'Arblay during the last forty years of her life, and though that little did not add to her fame, there were thousands, we believe, who felt a singular emotion when they learned that she was no longer among us. The news of her death carried the minds of men back at one leap, clear over two generations, to the time when her first literary triumphs were won. All those whom we had been accustomed to revere as intellectual patriarchs, seemed children when compared with her; for Burke had sat up all night to read her writings, and Johnson had pronounced her superior to Fielding when Rogers was still a schoolboy, and Southey still in petticoats. Yet more strange did it seem that we should just have lost one whose name had been widely celebrated before anybody had heard of some illus-ing. trious men who, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago, were, after a long and splendid career, borne with honour to the grave. Yet so it was. Frances Burney was at the height of fame and popularity before Cowper had pub-tural, and lively. The two works are lying lished his first volume, before Porson had gone up to college, before Pitt had taken his seat in the House of Commons, before the voice of Erskine had been once heard in Westminster Hall. Since the appearance of her first work, sixty-two years had passed; and this interval had been crowded, not only with political, but also with intellectual revolutions. Thousands of reputations had, during that period, sprung up, bloomed, withered, and disappeared. New kinds of composition had come into fashion, had gone out of fashion, had been derided, had been forgotten. The fooleries of Della Crusca, and the fooleries of Kotzebue, had for a time bewitched the multitude, who had left no trace behind them; nor had misdirected genius been able to save from decay the once flourishing She was descended from a family which bore schools of Godwin, of Darwin, and of Rad- the name of Macburney, and which, though cliffe. Many books, written for temporary probably of Irish origin, had been long settled effect, had run through six or seven editions, in Shropshire, and was possessed of consider and had then been gathered to the novels of able estates in that county. Unhappily, many Afra Behn, and the epic poems of Sir Richard years before her birth, the Macburneys began, Blackmore. Yet the early works of Madame as if of set purpose and in a spirit of deter D'Arbia, in spite of the lapse of years, in mined rivalry, to expose and ruin themselves. spite of 'ce change of manners, in spite of the The heir-apparent, Mr. James Macburney, popularity deservedly obtained by some of her offended his father by making a runaway rivals, continued to hold a high place in the match with an actress from Goodman's Fields. public esteem. She lived to be a classic. Time The old gentleman could devise no more judiset on her fame, before she went hence, that cious mode of wreaking vengeance on his seal which is seldom set except on the fame undutiful boy than by marrying the cook. of the departed. Like Sir Condy Rackrent in The cook gave birth to a son named Joseph, the tale, she survived her own wake, and over-who succeeded to all the lands of the family, heard the judgment of posterity.
side by side before us, and we never turn from the Memoirs to the Diary without a sense of relief. The difference is as great as the difference between the atmosphere of a perfumer's shop, fetid with lavender water and jasmine soap, and the air of a heath on a fine morning in May. Both works ought to be consulted by every person who wishes to be well acquainted with the history of our literature and our man ners. But to read the Diary is a pleasure; to read the Memoirs will always be a task.
We may, perhaps, afford some harmless amusement to our readers if we attempt, with the help of these two books, to give them an account of the most important years of Madame D'Arblay's life.
while James was cut off with a shilling. The
Having always felt a warm and sincere, favorite son, however, was so extravagant, hough not a blind admiration for her talents, we rejoiced to learn that her Diary was about
that he soon became as poor as his disin herited brother. Both were forced to earn their bread by their labour. Joseph turned dancing-master, and settled in Norfolk. James struck off the Mac from the beginning of his
name, and set up as a portrait-painter at that of fondling them. It would indeed have Chester. Here he had a son named Charles, well known as the author of the History of Music, and as the father of two remarkable children, of a son distinguished by learning, and of a daughter still more honourably distinguished by genius.
Charles early showed a taste for that art, of which, at a later period, he became the historian. He was apprenticed to a celebrated musician in London, and applied himself to study with vigour and success. He early found a kind and munificent patron in Fulk Greville, a high-born and high-bred man, who seems to have had in large measure all the accomplishments and all the follies, all the virtues and all the vices which, a hundred years ago, were considered as making up the character of a fine gentleman. Under such protection, the young artist had every prospect of a brilliant career in the capital. But his health failed. It became necessary for him to retreat from the smoke and river fog of London, to the pure air of the coast. He accepted the place of organist at Lynn, and settled at that town with a young lady who had recently become his wife.
At Lynn, in June, 1752, Frances Burney was born. Nothing in her childhood indicated that she would, while still a young woman, have secured for herself an honourable and permanent place among English writers. She was shy and silent. Her brothers and sisters called her a dunce, and not altogether without some show of reason; for at eight years old she did not know her letters.
In 1760, Mr. Burney quitted Lynn for London, and took a house in Poland Street; a situation which had been fashionable in the reign of Queen Anne, but which, since that time, had been deserted by most of its wealthy and noble inhabitants. He afterwards resided in St. Martin's Street, on the south side of Leicester Square. His house there is still well known, and will continue to be well known, as long as our island retains any trace of civilization; for it was the dwelling of Newton, and the square turret which distinguishes it from all the surrounding buildings was Newton's observatory. Mr. Barney at once obtained as many pupils of the most respectable description as he had time to attend, and was thus enabled to support his family, modestly indeed, and frugally, but in comfort and independence. His professional merit obtained for him the degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Oxford; and his works on subjects connected with his art gained for him a place, respectable, though certainly not eminent, among men of letters.
been impossible for him to superintend then education himself. His professional engagements occupied him all day. At seven in the morning he began to attend his pupils, and when London was full, was sometimes employed in teaching till eleven at night. He was often forced to carry in his pocket a tin box of sandwiches, and a bottle of wine and water, on which he dined in a hackney-coach while hurrying from one scholar to another. Two of his daughters he sent to a seminary at Paris; but he imagined that Frances would run some risk of being perverted from the Protestant faith if she were educated in a Catholic country, and he therefore kept her al home. No governess, no teacher of any an or of any language was provided for her. B one of her sisters showed her how to writ and, before she was fourteen, she began to fin pleasure in reading.
It was not, however, by reading that her in tellect was formed. Indeed, when her best novels were produced, her knowledge of books was very small. When at the height of her fame, she was unacquainted with the most celebrated works of Voltaire and Molière. and, what seems still more extraordinary, has never heard or seen a line of Churchill, who, when she was a girl, was the most popular of living poets. It is particularly deserving of observation, that she appears to have been by no means a novel-reader. Her father's library was large; and he had admitted into it se many books which rigid moralists generally exclude, that he felt uneasy, as he afterwards owned, when Johnson began to examine the shelves. But in the whole collection there was only a single novel, Fielding's Amelia.
An education, however, which to most girls would have been useless, but which suited Fanny's mind better than elaborate culture, was in constant progress during her passage from childhood to womanhood. The great book of human nature was turned over before her. Her father's social position was very peculiar. He belonged in fortune and station to the middle class. His daughters seem to have been suffered to mix freely with those whom butlers and waiting-maids call vulgar.
We are told that they were in the habit of playing with the children of a wig-maker who lived in the adjoining house. Yet few nobles could assemble in the most stately mansions of Grosvenor Square or St. James's Square, a society so various and so brilliant as was sometimes to be found in Dr. Burney's cabin. His mind, though not very powerful or capacious, was restlessly active; and, in the intervals of his professional pursuits, he had conThe progress of the mind of Frances Bur- trived to lay up much miscellaneous informaney, from her ninth to her twenty-fifth year, tion. His attainments, the suavity of his tem well deserves to be recorded. When her edu-per, and the gentle simplicity of his manners, cation had proceeded no further than the horn- had obtained for him ready admission to the nook, she lost her mother, and thenceforward first literary circles. While he was still at she educated herself. Her father appears to Lynn, he had won Johnson's heart by soundhave been as bad a fatner as a very honest, ing with honest zeal the praises of the English affectionate, and sweet-tempered man can well Dictionary. In London the two friends met be. He loved his daughter dearly, but it never frequently, and agreed most harmoniously. see'ns to have occurred to him that a parent One tie, indeed, was wanting to their mutual attachment. Burney loved his own art pas
other duties to perform to children than