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In the French court my influence can do much;
But he refuses to change his faith , and in the middle of an argument, getting rather warm on the lady's side, Sir Charles suddenly appears close to them, and expresses his surprise at his lady's sudden interest in Walter and his fortunes.
But by what secret motive prompted,
The Lady urges the inequality of the match, and its consequent impropriety. Sir Charles maintains the higher ground, that virtue is the true nobility.
Though I a- descent from monarchs were derived,
And this topic is debated, though rather at too great a length, between them, till the Lady's opposition evokes a full exposition of Sir Charles's views in the following speech: —
I hold that honours honourably won,
Titles and coronets, renown and station.
Afford the purest stimulants to action,
Which men, untouched by heavenward desires,
Regardless of their everlasting crown,
And cent'ring in this world their sum of good,
Can raise their hopes, or bend their efforts to.
They far exalt fame's ardent votary
Above the miserable herd whose lives
Are wasted on the grovelling quest of gain,
Or dissipate on sensualities;
The noble name, acquired by noble deeds,
Lives the memorial of past excellence,
And, potent in the virtues it embalms,
Excites the aspiring soul, which yearns for fame,
To emulate the achievements it rewards.'
1 iut glittering orders and proud appellations
Are but as stigmas when the unworthy wears them;
And to degenerate from a father's greatness,
To soil the badge of honour with foul acts,
To shame by vice the rank by virtue won,
To have the state which speaks a gentleman,
Yet want the generous, humble, kindly spirit
Imported in the name, stamps a reproach
On the base scion of a noble stock,
Which sinks him so much lower than the people,
As were the heights above from which he fell.
This open declaration, in which the virtues of the heart aud the honour of the character are so raised above the splendour of rank and titles of society, begets some suspicion and alarm iu Lady Ellinor's mind that Sir Charles has some particular meaning applicable to her in what he says; and this leads to the fall disclosure of the guilty secret, which we most give in those winged words which the poet himself has chosen.
Sir Charles.— Think you then, and say,
Which is the nobly, which the basely born,
No longer urge our cause against her will;
So vehement a suitor 'gainst yourself?
Lady Ellinor.— Oh, Charles!
Sir Charles.— Is he?
Lady Ellinor.— He is our gon.
Sir Charles.—I am not childless.
Sir Charles.— My lost boy!
Sir Charles communicates therefore to Empsou that he has discovered in Walter a relation; yet that, notwithstanding his brightened prospects, he will make no alteration in their course of life or desires, but make them happy in the way they have chosen. He then joins their hands, and, on Walter owning his preference to a country life, Sir Charles thus at once unfolds his views, and concludes the drama in a very poetical and picturesque manner.
Your choice is wisely made, and shall be prospered.
There is a fertile wide demesne of mine,
Which shall to you and to your gentle Mary
Be confirmed fully. 'Til an ancient seat,—
A venerable patrimonial hall,
And nobly stands at Aber by the sea,
Hard by the coast—but oh I not such a coast
As in the bleak North or the barren East
Mocks at the labour of the husbandman,
Opposing to the lashing of the waves
A wild and desolate sterility;
But a rich tract, where to tke very verge
Of the blue ocean's tide the corn-fields stretch,
And flocks and herds the flowery meadows browze;
While the firm oak and dusky elm, secure
From the rude touch of all ungcnial blasts,
Lift up their heads unscathed, and spread their branches
Widely around in nndiminished growth.
There were my boyish haunts,—I love them yet;
And there shall be, with you and with your children,
The frequent home of my declining life.
It cheers me in anticipation now
To think upon our summer-evenings there;
As in some natural arbour we repose,
And look across the Menai's sparkling straits,
Where with its satellite isle, fair Anglesea,
Rests on a plain of waters, which, beyond,
Blend with the distant sky; while, to the east,
Huge Penmaenmawr, and mountains further still,
That girdle in old Conway's quiet bay,
Bask in the full light of the setting sun;
And Bangor's hallowed towers and solemn woods
Rise in deep shadow toward the glowing west.
Our tenants for our friends; our villagers
The humble family we'll live to serve:
In useful innocence we'll spend our days,
Above the world, its censure or applause.
So ends this little domestic or familiar tragedy, representing nature and truth under a poetical form, with less depth in the delineation of passion than the loftier tragedy,-yet conveying its mitigated impressions with greater ease and lighter colonring. The story is not a mere imitation of the prosaic reality of the world, bat dignified by ideality, and admitting picturesque associations and figures. The dramatic progress is slower than in the higher tragedy, but not less effective; and what is wanted in intensity of passion is compensated by the truth of the picture, and the readiness with which it excites sympathy, by beiug more on a level with our own feelings and situation. Perhaps it is to this class of fiction, whether in prose or poetry, that we recur with most pleasure; for there are accents that come from the poet's lyre, too deeply plaintive to bear frequent renewal, while those works will be most uniformly popular that, while they moderately affect the passions, at the same time seek to divert the fancy and exercise the taste. Nonnnllas credo esse materias, quae continuum desiderent affectum; nee tamen minus artis aut Usds hileniores habent.
Ma. Urban, Charterhovte, May 8. But a new era, even in the fame of
YOUR Correspondent, Mb. J. Bunyan, having as it were set in with
Allies, who requests information the editorship of Southey, perhaps
respecting John Bunyan, will probably others of your readers besides J. A.
have learned before seeing your next may thank me for requesting a little
number that another splendid edition of your space in order to do justice
has just been edited by Lewis Pocock, to the high principle displayed by the
esq. F.S.A., who has laid the frst laureate in the execution of the task
edition, with many other early ones, which he undertook at my request,
under such ample contribution «s It is a subject which perhaps no one
probably to settle every really import- but myself can speak of—on which
ant bibliographical question for the there will be but one opinion,—andean
future. be no mistake. Mr. Southey
from the first particularly anxious to improve the text; but, residing three hundred miles from London, he in the first instance corrected a common copy throughout with his own hand, consulting the folio edition as well as others which I had sent him, and this was done thinking it would therefore not be necessary to transmit each sheet to so great a distance as it came from the press: but as he proceeded in his task I was enabled to furnish him with so many valuable aids from various literary friends, that he determined to disregard his own extra labour, and wrote me thus :—
"Kenoick, 21 March, 1829.
"I duly received your parcel, and will in a few days return the copy for the press. It has put me upon a careful collation of the text, and I do not repent of the unexpected labour which has been thus occasioned, as it will be the means of presenting the work in Banyan's own vigorous vernacular English, which bad been greatly corrupted in the easiest and worst of all ways,—that of compositors and correctors following inadvertently their own mode of speech. The copy of Heptinstall's edition has been of use in this collation; and sometimes in the one which goes to press, corrupt as it is, I have found a better reading than in the folio. These are minute pains of which the public will know nothing, but of •which a few readers will feel the worth.
"A correct text has appeared to me (who, both as a verseman and a proseman, am a weigher of words and sentences,) of so much consequence, since I undertook this collation, that I should like to correct the proofs myself."
Accordingly, every proof sheet was transmitted to Mr.SoutheyatKeswick, and the modern printer* whom I lately heard honestly exulting in the beauty of a Large Paper bound copy, now mellowed and glossy with comparative age, was as happy in minutely following his "copy" as former mar-lex's seem to have been in perpetuating, if not engendering, the foulest error*.
I feel quite happy, Mr. Urban, in the idea that you will think I ought not to lose eo fair an occasion of
* Using accidentally the word modern here calls to my mind that the late Lord Spencer used to call my friend Mr. Wm. Nicol—of whom I am now speaking—the "modern Jenson!"
making known the sacred light in which the first prose writer of modern days viewed the editorship of such an author as Bunyan.
Yours, &c. John Majob.
P.S. 1 have examined the copy of the second edition in the British Museum, and it has not the portrait, but a gentleman of the highest bibliographical and biblical authority tells me has always considered it as imperfect on that account. The spurious third part (bound up with it,) wants the title-page; Scott adopted the second edition for his text—it was lent to him by a lady for the purpose—in all probability Mrs. Gurney, for there cannot be many persons who can boast of possessing even a second edition of this remarkable book.
ON THE PCARABjBUB.
IN every cabinet or museum of antiquities are to be seen numerous collections of stones, such as agate, cornelian, porphyry, basalt, &c. &c. which are worked into the shape of the scarabteuB or beetle, and have often some engraving or device on the flat surface. They have been found in great abundance in Egypt, and occasionally amongst the vestFges and ruins of the ancient Etruscan cities, and are of different sizes, and great variety of execution. Why this insect should have been selected so generally for an object of sculpture is by no means a clear point, and it may be a matter of some interest to inquire for what reason any consideration should have been attached to a creature of such comparative insignificance, and how far it may have been connected with the philosophy and mythology of the earliest nations of the world.
Lanzi, in his "Saggio di Lingua Etrusca," (p. 135, vol. 1,) has these observations on this subject:
"We will now say a few words on the Scaraboeus, which has served as a model for the form of a vast number of Etruscan sculptured stones.
"They are generally perforated with a hole lengthways, so that cither they may be strung on a thread or small cord, and thus worn as amulets, or, by means of a rivet, they may be fixed or set, so as to serve the purpose of a ring or signet. This description of superstition is derived from Egypt, where the scarabeena was held by many as an object of divine worship,* and was universally considered a symbol of the moon and the sun. It was likewise supposed to be emblematical of manly strength and vigour, from the received opinion that these insects were solely of the male species, and from thence were held as particularly adapted to form the subject of the ring or signet used by the military class. Thus, according to Plutarch, the scarabaeus amongst fighting men was engraved on their signets.t
"The same custom seems to hare passed over into Italy, either having been first adopted in Sicily, where the usages of Egypt prevailed from the earliest ages, or through the doctrines of Pythagoras, whose philosophy, being veiled in symbols, was copied from that of the Egyptians. There is every reason to suppose that the warriors of Italy held this same opinion respecting the scarabieus, since the figure of some hero was generally engraved on the flat surface of the stone, and it was probably not only considered as an amulet, but, from the image representing some person connected with religious veneration, it was classed and deposited amongst the household gods. Hence it follows, that, as the style of engraving in many instances is exceedingly rude and unfinished, it is to be supposed that these scarabiei were in use among the soldiery of the lower grades, since such as are more delicately executed are far less numerous."
The earliest mention in the Old Testament of religious worship rendered to any divinity connected with an insect occurs in the 1st chap. 2nd Book of Kings, 2nd and 3rd verses. "Ahaziah, King of Israel, having fallen through a lattice of his upper chamber, and having thus received come dangerous injury, sent to consult Beelztbub, the god of Ekron, to know whether he should recover of this disease." The name of this deity J is translated in the Septuagint as "The God-Fly of the Ekronites,"§ who were the inhabitants of a district belonging to the Philistines, situated near the Mediterranean, and originally allotted to the tribe of Judah. (Josh. chap. xv. ver. 45 and 46.)
* ./Egypt! magna Pars scarabieos inter nnmina colit. I'lin. Nat. Hist. Ixxx. c. 21.
•j* rots fa uu^t/uuv Tjv y\vr]»i ff<ftpayidos. De hide et Osir. p. 355.
; Baal, Beel. or Bel, signifying " lord" or " master," and " zebub," or " zevuv," .fly.
& BaoX /ii/rav 6*b» '\KKapiav.
Uent. Mao. Vol. XXII.
Calmet says,|| (and the same opinions are found in Baxtorfs Chaldee Dictionary, v. the word " Baal,") that
"This deity was called the god of the flies, either because he defended the people from the flies, (which were attracted in great numbers by the sacrifices,) or because the idol represented a fly or beetle, and the figure of this insect was according to Pliny an object of adoration. The Egyptians, with whom this worship originated, were at a short distance from the country of the Philistines, and it is observed that there are beetles in the picture* of Jsis, on which PignoriusT hasacomment. The author of the Book of Wisdom,** (chap. xii. ver. 8, 23, and 24,) having said that God sent flies and wasps to drive the Canaanitesand Ammonites by degrees out of their country, adds, that God made those very things, to which they paid divine honours, the instruments of their punishment, they therefore adored flies and wasps. There are said to be medals and old seals on which flies and beetles are represented. Some authors are of opinion that the name Achor ft (as quoted by Pliny) being the God invoked at Cyrene against flies, refers to Akron, the city where Tleelzebub was worshipped."
According to this extract from Calmet, it appears that winged insects, such as the fly, the wasp, and the beetle, were objects of worship amongst the Egyptians and the adjoining nations. It may further be observed, that one of the distinguishing marks on the calf, which
|| Vide Calmet's Dictionary under the word Beelzebub.
U Pignorius Laurentius of Padua, a canon of Treviso, died 1631. He wrote the Mensa Isiaca to illustrate Egyptian antiquities. Vid. p. 43.
** As Calmet evidently refers to the Vulgate, these verses are here given:
Wisdom xii. 8. Et misisti antecessores exercitus tui, vespas.
Ver. 23. Unde et illis, qui in vitA «ua insensate et injneU vixerunt./ier ln.r, qua coluenmt, dedisti surnma tormenta.
Ver. 24, Etenim in erroris via diutins erravernnt, Deos estimantes haec, qua; in animalibus cunt supervacua. Vulgate Version.
ft Cyreniaci Achorem Denm invocant, muscarum multitudine pestilentiam afferente, quse protinus intereunt, cum litatum est illi Deo. Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 10, c. 26. Cyrene, here mentioned, was a city and province of Libya Pentapolitana, lying between the great Syrtes and the Mediterranean.