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Perhaps there will be danger of assuming too much the air of the verbal critic, if we remark that there still exist traces of another Persian dialect, called the “ Zend.” This was the language of the priests and sages, and exhibited those more solemn religious truths, on which only a commentary was offered to the vulgar in the Pehlevi tongue. The Zend, however, may be fairly considered as extinct, for although the writings of Zeratusht or Zoroaster were composed in this character, yet there are few, even among the priests, who can be said to understand it. The Pehlevi bears an obvious similarity to the Chaldee and Hebrew, and may possibly have been derived from it*. But the Deri, or the Parsi, formed the foundation of that modern dialect which survived the shock of Mahomet's career, and was afterwards dignified

poems of Hafiz and Sadi, of Ferdousi and Noureddin Jami t. For the present we will quit the vast empire of Iran or Persia, and turn to the sister nation of Arabia. It is a singular fact that the Arabs have never been entirely subdued ; no impression on them has ever extended beyond their borders. As a nation they have ever continued independent. If portions of their vast tracts have yielded to the torrent of vehement irruptions : if Mecca and Medina have been vanquished by the Scythian; and the grasping sway of Rome could establish for herself a province within their districts t; if the Othmans have attempted to exercise over them a faint semblance of sovereignty Ś, yet as a distinct class of mankind they have ever remained free and unrestrained.

We have endeavoured to sketch in a former paper the general manners of the Arabs: it may be amusing to examine whether climate could have produced any influence on them. The natives of Arabia are divided into those of Hejaz and of Yemen. Desolate beyond the wildest wastes of European land are the tracts of Arabia Petræa. The green and luxuriant herbage which sheds its lustre over the dreary levels of Tartary, and offers some relief at least to the

weary traveller, never cheers the eye which wanders over the Eastern Desert. Boundless masses of conglomerated sand obstruct his path ; except where the wide expanse is broken by a chain of bleak and barren mountains. The oppressive rays of the midday sun descend directly on the plain. The heat is fanned by no cooling breezes, for the winds of Arabia breathe only pestilence and noisome vapour, or serve to increase the desolation, by the billows of rolling sand which they raise or scatter, and which have been known to bury whole caravans and whole armies in their turbulence.

- The letters of the Arabic resemble those of the Persian ; the latter only comprising four additional to the number 1!. In spirit and expression the two idioms mainly differ. The Persian has the superior softness; it has more delicacy, more elegance, more beauty. Even the English reader who is acquainted with the translations of Sir William Jones, will confess that the Gazels or Odes of Hafiz and Sadi will scarcely yield in competition with some of the better order of our poets. The Persian is besides remarkable for a variety of the most copious . combinations *, and may probably have been among the sources of the Greek—the language which the world has confessed to have surpassed all others in energy, comprehensiveness, and vigour.

* Familiar nouns, as those of water, fire, &c. are common to these languages. + This subject has been admirably treated by Sir William Jones in his Discourses.

• The Romans maintained the residence of a centurion and a place of tribute on the coast of the territory of Medina ; and the Emperor Trajan considered this a sufficient reason to designate Arabia as a Roman province. These facts rest on the authority of Arrian.

Soliman I. conquered Yemen, or Happy Arabia, A.D. 1538, but no revenue was ever transmitted to the Ottoman Porte ; and the Turks were finally expelled A. D. 1630.

|| There are thirty-two Persian, twenty eight Arabic letters.

With the Sanscrit, the Arabic appears to have no connexion : among other reasons for this conclusion may be mentioned, that it is altogether, unacquainted with that matchless power of the combination of words, which gives such inexpressible force to the Persian, and to languages of a similar original.

We disclaim at the present having as yet acquired any knowledge of the Sanscrit. But to those who are accustomed to trace a language to its roots, (the only method, according to the polite Earl of Chesterfield, of thoroughly understanding it,) another difference is presented between the Arabic and Sanscrit, together with those derived from a corresponding origin-that in the former, as in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and others, the roots are formed of three letters: in the latter they are almost universally biliteral. This circumstance would alone teach the etymologist to infer their having owed their several inventions to different races of men t.

We hope in a future paper to give some account as well of the literature of the golden age of Persia, as of the productions of Arabia, antececlently, as well as at times immediately succeeding to the era of Mahomet. But we have promised some account of the career of that extraordinary man, and of the effect which we think it might have had on the language and the manners of his subjects.

The influence of the spirit of warfare upon a nation varies, according as that nation is composed of freemen or of slaves. When the subjects of a despot make conquests, their exertions serve only to extend the power and the dominion of their lords. When freemen are victors, they vanquish for themselves; for their own advantage or their own glory I. If the spirit of just legislation do not pervade a nation, we cannot expect any rapid advances in the amelioration of the species. The dictates of a lord are readily obeyed; the generous intercourse of free thought is absent; the place of pure religion is usurped by ceremony and superstition; and the people are the easy machines of some grasping mind, which can direct their hopes and employments at its own discretion. Thus the Arab race, wild and disjointed, was peculiarly fitted to display the talents of Mahomet. Their

The combinations with “ Gul" a rose, “ Peri" a fairy, are sufficient to indicate the power and flexibility of the language. (See Sir William Jones's Persian Grammar.) We are afraid we ought to apologise for these dry etymologies ; but the reader of taste must recollect that these numes have been familiarized to every ear by the delicious poem “ Lalla Rookh" and by “The Bride of Abydos."

+ Both languages have, however, a wonderful extent of derivatives. The scholar may smile at the enthusiasm of the Oriental remark, but he will allow its ingenuity, “ That if the deity Indra of the Hindus were to descend, he would scarcely comprehend the full power and versatility of their language."

Herodotus, 1. 5.

country had never been-subdued, and no impression on it had extended beyond its borders; but internal feud had wasted the vigour and stayed the advancement of its power; and the character of - Mahomet by nature fitted him to influence the jarring tribes, and to combine their interests in the pursuit of one great and important end.

Mahomet has often been represented as of low and vulgar origin; but the assertion is groundless and illusory*. He was the grandson of an opulent merchant, whose liberality preserved the citizens of Mecca from famine. A genius enterprising, a judgment sound and mature, features engaging, general habits and demeanour conciliatory, marked a mind destined to soar, whatever might have been its path of exertion.

The first exploit of Mahomet, in the display of his pretended mission, was the conversion of his own family. His wife Cadijah, his nephew Ali, and his servant Zeid, were the first who embraced his cause. The bold and romantic Ali, fired with the enthusiasm of youth, offered himself as the companion of his relative through all his perils. But the citizens of Mecca were his foes : they sought to destroy the bold innovator, who threatened to abolish the worship of their idols; and it was only the unshaken attachment of his kinsman Abu Taleb which protected the son of Abdallah.

The death of this aged and respected chieftain left him open to the vengeance of his enemies. The chief of the hostile tribe collected his adherents, and proposed to them, as the only method for the extermination of the new sect, the destruction of their leader. Imprisonment, he said, would exasperate him; banishment would only serve to propagate his tenets. The conspirators decided that he should die, and resolved that a sword from each hand should transfix his body,' in order to conceal the immediate authors of the bloody deed.

But it was not destined that the talents of Mahomet should thus perish. He was reserved for higher and more hazardous achievements. The scheme of the assassins was disclosed, and the intended victim of their malevolence sought security in flight. The youthful Ali arrayed himself in the vest of his friend and patron, undertook to assume his character, and reposed on the couch in his place. A conduct so noble and disinterested, his adversaries viewed with admiration and astonishment: they respected his piety, and spared his devoted valour ; and by this signal act of generous enthusiasm, the young hero preserved his own life, in addition to that of his celebrated associate.

The vicissitudes of fortune are singular and mysterious. It was little within the conjectures of the adverse faction, that the measures adopted for their security should terminate in their utter ruin. In a pilgrimage to the temple at Mecca, some of the principal citizens had learned the doctrines of Mahomet, and had already become converts to his system. These received the new fugitive with rapture. They convened a solemn assembly of their fellow-citizens : they exhi. bited before the people the tenets and the promises of Mahomet, and invited them with earnestness to embrace the sacred cause. Five hun

* See the eloquent and interesting narrative of Gibbon.

dred warriors assembled round his standard, and bound themselves by the strongest engagements to follow his banner. After the custom of the eastern nations, he was chosen to the double office of priest and sovereign : he was invested with the royal purple, and the air was rent with the piercing acclamations of his infatuated adherents.

To recover authority in his native city, Mecca, was now the leading object of the chieftain. For this purpose the Arabs, already sufficiently bent on warlike exploits, received a new incitement by the hope of future reward. The sword, proclaimed the champion, shall conduct you to happiness; and he that shall shed his blood in the sacred cause, shall sup that night in Paradise. Death, which had been contemned before, now became an object of warm desire; and soldiers elevated with such expectations, as well as careless of danger, would stand the shock of the fiercest attacks. The events of three successive engagements decided the fate of Mecca, and the capitulation of that important city was soon followed by the reduction of all Arabia.

The years of the warrior-prince were now advancing towards their close. A fever, which was to terminate his existence, had commenced to prey upon his vitals. A few days before his death, with affected condescension and humility, he proclaimed to the people, that if any man should conceive himself to have suffered wrongfully, ample reparation should be now offered. One voice amidst the crowd was heard to complain ; and the dying chieftain called him into his presence, heard his request, and satisfied his demand.

It was now his office, previously to his departure, to consummate the supposed evidences of his mission. He called accordingly for the Koran, and dictated a few sentences to be added to the volume. This done, he sank on the bosom of Ayesha, the best-beloved of his wives, raised his eyes to heaven, and uttering a few tremulous words, expired.

P. W.R.

SONNET.

ANGELO DI COSTANZO.

“ Qualor l'età che sì veloce arriva."
When the cold touch of withering Tine comes on,

To shake the frame and dull the cheek's pure dye-
And reason, arm’d with thoughts sublimely high,
Expels the vanquish'd senses from their throne-
When strength, the nurse of vain desire, is gone,

In every breast love's fading fire must die,
And those who dearly loved must deeply sigh
O’er erring hopes and years untimely flown.
Then all amidst this stormy sea must strain

To gain the welcome port, ere evening close

And Heaven grow darker in the coming night.
My love alone must even in death remain :

The flame divine that in my spirit glows,
Is one where reason may with sense unite.

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SKETCHES OF ITALY IN PROSE AND VERSE.

No. 1.-Passage of the Alps.
Hail, lovely land! from cliffs where Winter reigns
Stern midst his snows, I seek thy sunny plains,
And gazing, breathless with the new delight,
Far, far beneath me bend mine eager sight,
To watch the radiance of thy beauty break
Through vapours frowning round each rugged peak.
One spot appears, one line of tender blue
Are those the hills I loved, the vales I knew
E’en from my childhood in the Poet's strain ?
Behind yòn beetling crag they're lost again;
And Desolation re-assumes her sway,
And forms of Terror close around my way:
Once more the clouds dispart; yon gorge between
A line of brighter, clearer light is seen,
Wide and more wide its spreading circles swell,
Pale tints of saffron glance o'er tower and fell,
And rays of purple mingling with the shade
Stream o'er the plain, and in the horizon fade;-
Ilere, weary pilgrim, rest thine anxious eye,
That is the land you seek; there, there lies Italy.

- And yet I linger-Yes, thou Power sublime,
That dwell'st exulting 'mid the wrecks of Time,
I pause e'en at the portal of thy fane,
And feel that even Beauty woos in vain,
Whilst thou, encircled by majestic forms,
Stalk’st wildly by, and through the deep-toned storms
Speak’st to the elements. Thy word is past;
The icy mountain quivers to the blast,
The overhanging avalanche impends,
It crashes, toppling downward, it descends
With repercussive echoes, sweeping wide
Forest and hamlet in its furious tide ;
Now in broad cataracts of splendour tost,
Now shatter'd into sparkling gems of frost,
Now thund’ring o'er the precipice's verge
Through the black glen, and bursting into surge.
Dread symbols of omnipotence Divine,
Works of the Eternal Intellect, whose shrine
Is universal Nature, in this hour
Of solitude I feel, I own your power
With keener sense: ye mountains, tempest-riven,
From peak to base; ye torrents, madly driven
With wreck of crag and forest to the night
Of fathomless gulphs ; ye snowy floods of light,
Ridged like the billows of a shoreless inain
Behind the pathway of the hurricane-
There is a spirit in you, which comes o'er
The mind's lone contemplations—let me pour
Its feeling in my breast, and as I gaze adore.
Eternity speaks from your heights, around
Your icy brows sweeps the awakening sound
That hails us as immortal : this vile earth,
This body, prison of our heavenly birth,
Holds not communion with you; 'tis the soul
That mingles with your terrors, in the roll
of your deep thunders, in the distant voice
Of cataracts, commanding to rejoice

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