« ForrigeFortsett »
From venison rose the smoke of our Dost thou still shed tears for the fair repast;
[was the wave. nymph Our drink from Treig ; *
Of softest grace and whitest hand ? I Though spirits shriek'd, and moun- Endless joy to the tender cheek’d, tains roar'd, [our repose.
Who will never leave the narrow Stretch'd in the grot how sweet was bed!
* There are a small lake and stream in Lochaber which still bear this name.
| Gaelic, lon. This word is generally understood to mean an elk. It is now quite obsolete, and is found powhere but in old poems.
† The bard here addresses his son. The next three or four stanzas are obscure. Mr Clark translated from a different version. As the traditional account which he gives of this part may render it more intelligible, it is here subjoined.
“ The bard, who was hiinself a chief, had an only son, who fell deeply in love with Lavinia, (Lavín ?) the beautiful daughter of Thalbar. Lavinia was drowned as she was bathing in the lake of Triga, ( Treig ?) Morlav, the bard's son, becoming desperate, sailed for the Orkney Isles, hoping to fall in the wars of that prince, who was then at variance with the King of Norway. His valour and good conduct, however, gained him great fame; and after the Norwegians were defrated and expelled the Isles, the Prince, in consideration of his services and personal merit, offered Morlav his daughter in marriage, which he refused, and retired to a cave in a lonely isle, where his father heard that he still continued to mourn his lost Lavinia."
Now hush'd the lay; her soft, white, Oh! bear me near the sounding fall, breast
That pours with murmurs from the Is press'd unto her lover's heart, And he with ardour oft salutes, Beside me lay my harp and shell, Her blooming cheeks like And the shield which shelter'd my red.
sires in war.
May bappiness attend that age
Come thou mildly over the deep,
Hast thou forsaken me, charming Where are the heroes that lived of vision ?
old, Return, a little while return.
Who, sleepless, listen to their songs ? Alas! thou hearest not unhappy me! Open your hall, Ossian and Dâlo; Beloved mountains, now farewell! By night the bard is no more!
Farewell, ye sprightly sons of youth,
But oh! before my shade depart
SONG SUNG AT THE SYMPOSIUM IN THE SALOON, 3D OF JANUARY 1840.
• Gaelic-Flad innis. The heaven of the old Scots. None of the Highland bards who lived subsequent to the universal prevalence of Christianity talk in this strain ; and therefore it is to be inferred that the author of this poem flourished previous to that period.
and his articles almost agree;
Miss MARTINEAU's name is very dual cases.
What should we say of widely known-more widely, we think, Tales illustrative of the Rule of Three? than her works. Almost all those who They are not, indeed, mere fictions of have formed a judgment for them- the moment. Who does not rememselves allow that she is a woman of ber the long and interesting statements genius, and we believe that her most of conditions which enlivened the arithbitter enemies have never raised a metic books of our childhood ? the whisper against her personal charac- imaginary walls that were built by so ter ; yet among the better classes of many men in so many days, that other society, and especially among women, problematical walls, by help of more her writings are looked upon with men, might be built in fewer days ? peculiar suspicion and dislike. Some above all, the ever-recurring horsepart of her unpopularity she has no dealer, who, at the rate of a farthing reason to regret; for she has incurred for the first nail in his horse's shoe, it knowingly, and must have been and a halfpenny for the second, realprepared for the malice and slanderized we know not how many thouof the idolaters of almsgiving, or the sands, the established hero of geo. pions promoters of pauper marriages: metrical progression ? It is not, how. much of it has arisen from the sys- ever, for the sake of science that we tematic attacks which some of our deprecate the attempt to popularize it contemporaries have long been in the by representing it in practical operahabit of making upon her weak points, tion. A tale of Miss Martineau's is or even upon the pretended incon worth more than many argumentative gruity of her views with the assumed essays, and we regret that they should proprieties of her sex: but besides all involve an error in their original conthis, there is a large residue of honest ception. The scientific instruction disapprobation to be accounted for, which is conveyed by them is, after all, and we think that she has in most of contained principally in the conversaher former works naturally provoked tions, which the characters are more lit, and in some justly incurred it. or less awkwardly made to hold with
In her first publication, Tales illus- each other, on poor.laws, corn-duties, trative of Political Economy, Miss and currency restrictions-matters utMartineau displayed a rare power of terly inappropriate to fiction, as they delineating character, and of presenta are independent of individual feeling ing a succession of vivid and interest- and character. In a good fiction every ing pictures of the everyday occupa. part ought to be objectiveto the writer, tions of life. Her skill in reducing and subjective to the dramatis persone; to the concrete, the scientific proposi- the introduction of the absolutely obtions of Smith, Malthus, and Mac. jective places the hero in the same cateculloch, showed that her ingenuity was gory with the author-that is, it makes as remarkable as her imagination; him external to the plot. This rule but there is a fundamental error in is incontrovertible; but the converse the attempt to combine creative art of it is very often adopted in the prac. with instruction. We hope that most tice of novelists. Sir Lytton Bulwer, of her readers entered too heartily into for instance, constantly dwells upon the interest of her tales to tolerate the reflections or feelings which are sublist of practical inferences, ó polos jective to himself, and therefore exörhoi's which she thought proper
ternal to his fictitious characters. Sir append to each. Didactic poetry is Walter Scott and Miss Austin seldom no poetry except where it forgets to or never violate the rule. The most teach. The Georgics, of which the glaring examples of the absurdity of true subject is the praise of a country doctrinal fiction may be found in the life, would form a perfect poem if it theological volume of Tremaine, and were possible to remove from them the in Sterne's publication of his sermons agricultural precepts with which they under the character of his own Yorick. are encumbered. The laws of supply If, however, Miss Martineau had and demand are peculiarly capable of confined herself to the illustration of being expressed in general formulæ, admitted or demonstrable propositions, and proportionally liable to confusion none could have been offended, though when they are entangled with indivi. some might have been tired; but, un
NO, CCXCII, VOL. XLVII,
luckily, the questions on which she Miss Martineau should be intolerant, writes are in many cases still unde- but we blame her for being anti-nacided ; and it cannot be agreeable to tional: on this point we can listen to a disputant who has enough to do in no argument. If England were the maintaining his ground against argu- meanest of nations, it would be our ment, to find his opinions dramatically duty to abide by her, to borrow insti. personified in characters who are re- tutions, if necessary, from America or presented as combining every kind of from Japan, but not to speak of her meanness and folly with the primary with contempt or with alienation, crime of heretical illiberality. We Σπαρτην ελαχες, ται την κοσμεί. Nationthink Miss Martineau in most of her ality is too sacred a thing for sophistry politico-economical views clearly right, or speculation. England is more to in a few utterly wrong ; but we can us than any theory of despotism or conceive ourselves to have differed pantisocracy, and we have no right to from her far more frequently, and are make our patriotism dependent on the by no means flattered by the moral improbable casualty that our governand intellectual character of the ficti- ment should embody ideal perfection, tious representatives whom she would When Miss Martineau gives a zest to in that case have assigned to us. her six volumes by sneers directed
After all, the faults of the Tales are against her country, and even hunts out trifling in comparison with their great stray instances of steam-boat rudeness, and varied excellencies; and we be- for the purpose of showing that the lieve that the authoress would in a perpetrators were Englishmen, we short time have outlived the partial think that her opponents are excusable dislike which they occasioned against for some warmth of criticism, and her her literary character. Her next admirers for disapproval and regret. work of importance had far graver But of all her work on America, the faults and peculiarities, which made it most objectionable part was the in. more obnoxious to the higher classes considerate chapter on religion. She of English society. She went to
She went to advocates no particular sect or class America with an evident determination of opinions, but an unbounded indif. to find good results, and to attribute ferentism to all-a many.coloured them to the institutions, which, by an heresy for the sake of heresy. In a priori process, she had already de- formertimes heresy was like treason,termined to be good. Now this was “ when it prospered, no one called in itself no more than the spirit of it" heresy ; but Miss Martineau has partisanship in which Mrs Trollope discovered that its spread in all direcidolized the paternal government of tions is a proof of the advance of Austria, or the honest enthusiasm with truth. We are satisfied that she is which Lord Londonderry admired the historically wrong: schism has often parades and jewels of the Czar, We proceeded from religious earnestness, might regret that Miss Martineau but multifarious refinements of beshould so far diminish the weight of lief never--the sophists of Socrates' her authority ; but we could not deny time were essentially heretics, but that her opinions, however hastily they cared too little about the truths adopted, were in themselves natural they undermined to become separaand plausible. But, unfortunately, there tists--the Lutherans, Calvinists, and runs through all her eulogies of Ame- Socinians of the 16th century were inricą, a meaning bitterness which shows deed heretics to each other, and to the that she delights in preferring it to church which they left; but their priEngland. We will not enter on the mary object was never to establish vast question of the relative superiority speculative propositions, but to form of the two countries ; let her retain for themselves a saying rule of faith, her opinion ; it is not ours; and we The meaning of this loose phraseology might perhaps claim some toleration must be collected from the general for doubts as to the prospects of Ame- views of religion which accompany it. rica, which were felt by Niebuhr, The clergy of all denominations are which are admitted by De Tocqueville, attacked-hopes of a new reformation which are almost universal among are expressed, and every kind of fixed educated Englishmen, and which seem institution is considered as pernicious, on her own showing to spread in Ame- (which impedes the separation of the rica itself, wherever knowledge and pure spiritual essence of Christianity refinement extend, We are sorry that from its outward forms and symbols.