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IN FOOLSCAP OCTAVO,
SCENES AND HYMNS OF LIFE;
A VOLUME OF SACRED POETRY.
BY FELICIA HEMANS,
IN ONE VOLUME, QUARTO,
LINEAGE, LIFE, AND WRITINGS,
JOHN NAPIER OF MERCHISTON, ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE HISTORY OF SCOTLAND AND OF SCIENCE,
COMPILED FROM HIS FAMILY PAPERS, AND OTHER ORIGINAL SOURCES.
By MARK NAPIER, Esq.
ON THE 25TH MARCH WILL BE PUBLISHED, IN 8vo,
VOL. I. PART I.
NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND,
UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
A COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE
SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE CLERGY.
It is expected that the WORK will not exceed Ten Volumes, Octavo. Each Volume will consist of Three Parts; one Part to be published each alternate month. Subscriptions to be intimated to the Pabiisher, Mr BLACKWOOD, George Street, Edinburgh, and to all the other Booksellers in town and country.
The Iliad was written by Homer. an Eidolon begotten by the imagiWill Wolf and Knight tell us how it nation on the air of night, or some happened that all the heroic strains night-like day, and is visible but to about the war before Troy, poured his own frightened father. Now, forth, as they opine, by many bards, Achilles was an Apparition; and his regarded but one period of the siege? seer was a blind old man, with a front By what divine felicity was it that like Jove's, and a forehead like all those sons of song, though apart Olympus. “ All power was given in time and place, united in chanting him in that dreadful trance;' and the wrath of Achilles ? The poem is Beauty and Terror accompanied the one-like a great wood, whose simul- Destroyer. He haunted Homer, who taneous growth overspreads a moun- no longer knew that he had himself tain. Indeed one mighty poem, in created the sublimest of all Phanprocess of time, moulded into form toms. But the Muse gave the maout of separate fragments, composed ker command over his creature ; by a brotherhood of bards-not even and, at the waving of his hand, the coeval-may be safely pronounced imaginary Goddess-born came and an impossibility in nature.
went obedient, more magnificent Achilles was not the son of many than any shadowy form that at the sires ; nor was the part he played bidding of sunlight stalks along written for him by a succession of mountains into an abisme of clouds. “eminent hands," all striving to find The Odyssey-also and likewise fit work for their common hero. He -was written by Homer, and the is not a creature of collected tradi- proof lies all in one word-Ulysses. tions. He stands there-a single con- - There he is—the self-same being ception-in character and in achieve. as in the Iliad, and the birth of one ment;-his absence is felt like that brain. Had Homer died the day he of a thunder cloud withdrawn behind said, “ And thus they celebrated the a hill, leaving the air still sultry ;- obsequies of Hector the Tamer-ofhis presence is as the lightning in Horses,” before no mortal eye would sudden illumination glorifying the have stood on the threshold of his whole field of battle. Kill, bury, and own hall, pouring out from bis quiforget him, and the Iliad is no more ver all the arrows at his feet, that an Epic.
vision of a ragged beggar, suddenly No two men at the same time ever transfigured into an Avenger more yet saw a ghost; because a ghost is glorious far than Apollo's self trans
VOL. XXXY, NO, CCXVII,
fixing the Python,-for Laertiades His daughter there the sorrowing chief stretched along his ancestral floor reclaims, the whole serpent brood.
And ever with smooth spirit, insidious The opening of the Iliad is very
seeks simple-and so is the opening of the To wean his heart from Ithaca, meantime Odyssey-and both openings are
Ulysses, happy might he but behold you will agree with us in thinking The smoke ascending from his native -sublime. In the one you are
laud, brought in a moment into the midst Death covets.
Canst thou not, Olymof heaven-sent death threatening the
pian Jove, annihilation of a whole host; and,. At last relent? Hath not Ulysses oft
With viction's slain amid Achaia's fleet in pacifying Apollo, Agamemnon incenses Achilles, whose wrath lowers Thee gratified, while yet at Troy he calamity almost as fatal as the visita- How, therefore, hath he thus incensed
fought? tion of the Plague. Men's minds are troubled_there is debate of doom
Thee, Jove ?" in Heaven-nation is enraged a- At once we love the Man of whom gainst nation-and each trusts to its the Muse is to sing-longing for his auxiliar gods. In the other there is home-his wife—and his son-and no din below—the earth is silent- pitied at last by Jove, at the interand you hear not the sea. Corn cession of Minerva, because of his grows where Troy-Town stood- piety. That she should fly to Ithaca, and you feel that Achilles is dust. and that Hermes should wing his All the chiefs who fought there way to the Isle of Secrecy-on beand fell not-as Sotheby solemnly half of Ulysses-seems demanded of says
the justice of heaven. And simple " At home once more
as all this is-we said it was sublime Dwell free from battle and the ocean -for our sympathies are already roar''
awakened for and there is an almost melan
" A good man struggling with the choly peace. There is mysterious
storms of fate.” mention of shipwreck on account of sin-and one guiltless and
Ulysses longs for Ithaca — but vivor is spoken of and then named- knows not what may have passed, who is to take the place in our ima- or may be passing there-if Peneginations of all the other heroes living lope and Telemachus be alive or or dead—affectingly named-for he dead. All we are told is, that year has been and is to be a Sufferer after year he has been lamenuing “ All but Ulysses !” And shall the for his native Isle-sighing for å Celestial Synod care for that One sight of its ascending smoke, ere he Man! Aye, Minerva says to Jove, dies-unforgetful of Ithaca even in “ With bosom anguish-rent I view
Calypso's arms. Ulysses, hapless chief! who from his
How finely Sotheby has given Mifriends
nerva's "alighting,” and the sudden Remote, affliction hath long time en- shewing of the scene--the first sight dured
of wbich reveals to us all the lawIn yonder woodland isle, the central boss less life of the Suitors, and the evils of ocean. That retreat & Goddess holds, to which the kingless Island has been Daughter of sapient Atlas, who the so long a prey! We are at once in abyss
the heart of it all—and the thought Knows to its bottom, and the pillars high comes across us in the midst of the Himself upbears which separate Earth revelry, “if Ulysses were here!”
• Then on her feet her golden sandals laced,
Then downward flew from steep Olympus' height,
66 • Hail! stranger--welcome-now the banquet share,
6 He spakemand at the word, the blue-eyed Maid
Telemachus is no favourite with he was assuredly a great favourite many critics. But we hope you ad- with Homer. So well did Homer mire and love the Princely Boy-for know his worth, that he is at no great
pains to describe his character. He
me that I am the son of puts him, however, into some situa- Ulysses—but I know it not." tions that serve to shew what is in this, says Pope," there seems somehim—and he behaves, we think, like thing very shocking,”—but as Mi. heir-apparent to the throne. Here
nerva approved of it-and said cheerhe allows the dicers to shake their ingly," heaven shall one day grace elbows undisturbed—in their pas- thee, not nameless, nor of a nametimes perhaps playing for the Queen. less race, sprung from Penelope,”But he is picturing in his mind an- there can be no doubt that it was other kind of game-in which his fa- the answer usually returned to such ther will play the Lion, and he the a question, in that simple age, a sort Lion's Whelp. Mentes, the leader of of apophthegm, that conveyed no imthe Tapbian Band, though no vulgar putation on any mother's fidelity to stranger, is disregarded
bythe Suitors, her husband, but, on the contrary, heralds, and menials—but how cour- entire reliance on every mother's teous is the Prince !
“ Manners truth. That Telemachus in this conmaketh the man," and Telemachus, versation expresses no tenderness we feel, will be a hero. He takes not for his mother, has been foolishly his guest into some nook or corner, to said to shew a want of due filial atquestion him of his Sire--but places fection. But he knew she was pretty him on a stately seat, with a foot- well, up-stairs—while he feared his stool, “and near it drew his own re- father was dead or in misery-and splendent throne." Let all the Suit- that was the thought that wrung his ors behold them two in converse- heart. It would have been exceednor dare to intrude upon their pri- ing silly to begin puling about Pevacy - apart but open-and confi- nelope to a person who was not dential during the measure prelud- much troubling his head about her ing the Poet-Laureate's song. Mi- --but who had paid her, neverthenerva must have been pleased with less, a high and just compliment. such graceful and dignified reception There can be no doubt that he loved —and how wisely does she insinuate and honoured her but he was now in into his heart, by half-truth and half- his twentieth year—and at that age fable, hopes even of his sire's return !
sons are shy of seeming before stranTrue that Telemachus speaks like gers too fond of their mothers-nay one that will not be comforted; but even before their mothers themhis looks belie his words, for we see selves--especially when surrounded his face brightening as he listens to by suitors. But hear him on his the stranger's counsel.
Who does father. not see that he believes his father
“ Once I had hope while here my sire will return, as Minerva, after foretel
remained, ling that return, says,
That wealth and virtue had our house “ But this I urge—now truly this declare,
sustained; Art thou, for such thou seem'st, Ulysses'
But heaven, devising ill, not this deheir ?
signed, Thy features such, thy eyes so beaming And left his fate obscurest, ʼmid mankind; bright,
Nor could bis death so sharply have im. Such as the chief oft towered before my sight,
The sting of sorrow in my filial breast, Ere with their bravest heroes, Argos' If, with his brave compeers, in Phrygia boast,
slain, The Warrior moor'd his fieet on Phrygia’s Or, 'mid his friends from Troy returned coast.”
again. Pallas was not a goddess addicted Then all the Greeks had raised his fu. to the complimentary—and she loved
neral mound, Ulysses too well to be easily satisfied And by his father's fame the son rewith his son. But she was satisfied
nowned. with his beaming, eyes—nor at all
But him the Harpies from the light of dissatisfied with his answer about
day his mother, though it has given se
Unknown, unseen, unheard, have swept rious offence in certain quarters, not
away." in the contemplation of Telemachus. The poble boy listens with deThe Prince said, “my mother as- light to the recital of his Father's