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When grapes are crushing I have seen the spot,
She was a Grecian maiden ; and, by some,
shaped such beauty : and her thoughts
It lived again. Oh, happy_till she loved !"
“ Pity her! 'twas Love
He rais’d his eye,- and in its flash-she died!"" This is rich and rare poetry, and cannot fail to meet with the admiration it deserves.
We give the following as a specimen of the undramatic manner in which Catiline is frequently made to express himself in the course of the work. However good it may be in its way, it is merely what may be said in the case in question-not what would be said. Catiline draws his sword in preparation for the last desperate effort on which his hopes depend :
“ This emblem of all miseries and crimnes,
The robber's tool, that breaks the rich man's lock,
Or the wild fury of the all-swallowing sea!" Almost immediately after this, Catiline is brought in from the field of battle, mortally wounded, and he dies in an insane paroxysm of ambitious images and hopes. Springing from the ground by a last effort of supernatural energy, he exclaims :
“ Is there no faith in Heaven? My hour shall come!
This brow shall wear the diadem, and this eye
We must find room for two or three short detached passages, which are exceedingly good in their respective classes.
Sounds angry, and those swift and dizzy clouds,
“ Why, my lord, Your brow grows cloudy, and
clench your hand, As if it held your spear.
“ Arise! must we be brain'd
That whets men's swords, and sows in noble hearts
[To the Secretary.
A lover's music at night.
This comes of evil company. Your lyre
Up through the moonshine." The space we are enabled to devote to our notices of contemporary literature, seldom permits us to go into the detail of those minor faults which are to be found in almost every poetical work of any length ; and in this among the rest. If we ever regret our circumscribed limits, it is not on this account; for the pointing out of such trifling errors and oversights as those now alluded to we regard as but a secondary and very unimportant duty of criticism; and we willingly pass it over in the present instance.
The volume before us contains a few other poems besides the tragedy of Catiline, some of which possess extreme delicacy and beauty, but the chief of which we recognise as having appeared in print before; and upon the whole we close t with a high opinion of the author's
poetical talents, but an opinion not heightened by the present publication. It possesses fewer defects than its predecessor, but it also evinces less power, and displays less beauty. Indeed, we think Mr. Croly capable of much better things than he has yet done. He has shewn us all the faults of which his style is susceptible, but not all the beauties; and when he chooses to look for a subject properly adapted to his powers, (and such a one is probably to be sought, with the best chances of success, among the gorgeous imagery and romantic fictions and traditions of the East,) we think him not unlikely to construct a work that shall place his name in a distinguished and permanent rank among those of his poetical contemporaries.
There is an hour, when all our past pursuits,
The dreams and passions of our early day,
The unripe blessedness that droppd away
Of one we loved and lost, or dying tone
Haunting the heart with music that is flown,
With images of things no more to be:
And sweeter dreams of love and purity:
They loved for years, with growing tenderness ;
They had but one pure prayer to waft above
One heart-one hope—one dream—and that was Love.
Became the mark of hate and obloquy-
Would walk alone beneath the evening star,
MʻQUEEN ON NORTHERN CENTRAL AFRICA
It has been the singular ill fortune of all our African expeditions, that they have failed. Some attribute this general failure to the injudicious selection of the travellers, none of whom, excepting Louis Burckhardt, were masters of the travelling language of that continent. If we read the reports of these various travellers, we shall perceive that the grand object of their several researches was, to ascertain the termination of the Niger; hence we are led to enquire, What purpose would have been answered by this discovery? None, we apprehend, unless it had been discovered that it communicated with the Nile of Egypt, thereby affording a navigable communication with the interior of Africa, by means of Alexandria. It should be recollected, that when this inquiry first excited the attention of England and of France, Bonaparte was master of Egypt, and that he then contemplated other conquests in Africa, together with the establishment of an extensive commerce with India and Africa, through Egypt. The inquiry was revived when our navy, under the immortal Nelson, changed the destiny of Egypt. Hopes were entertained, that our possession of that country would afford us a communication with Sudan, or the interior of Africa, by navigating the stream of the Nile. All reports, and all the information collected by our travellers since that period, have tended to corroborate this water-communication from Timbuctoo to Alexandria, but nothing certain has yet been established. In this state of things, the public is presented with A Geographical and Commercial View of Northern Central Africa, containing a particular Account of the Course and Termination of the great Riter Niger, in the Atlantic Ocean. The first who suggested this opinion was Sidi Hamed, as reported by Riley, the American sailor; and at the same time that Mr. M Queen brings forward this new African hypothesis, it certainly has received a strong corroboration by the narrative of Alexander Scott, a sailor, who has been lately redeemed from captivity, and who belonged to the Montezuma, a Liverpool trader, that was wrecked in 1810, on the coast of the Sahara, on the Sehel, or flat coast between Cape Nune and Cape Bojador : a narrative of the interesting adventures of whom is given in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal; and an explanatory dissertation (rather than a review) of which will be found in the New Monthly Magazine for 1821.
Our author's arguments in favour of this new hypothesis appear to be very plausible, and several quotations tend to support and corroborate it.
“ As these sheets were preparing for the press, a further confirmation of this important point (alluding to the discharge of the Niger into the Gulf of Guinea) was received, in the account given by a sailor named Scott, belonging to Liverpool, who was wrecked about Cape Nune, and carried into slavery by the Arabs of the Desert. While in this state, he journeyed along with a tribe across the desert into Sudan, and with it he crossed the lake Dibbie, or what he calls Bahar Tee-eb*. There he was told by some negro boatmen who rowed
* See note in New Monthly Mag. No. 3. p. 356.
them over the lake, that very far to the south there lay a great saltwater sea, and that the one they were on ran into it ; that there was no end to it; that there were plenty of Safina kabeer (large ships) upon it; and that they called it Bahar elkabeer, that is, the Great Sea, or Atlantic ocean." (Edinb. Philos. Journal, No. 7.)
In confirmation of this termination of the Niger in the Gulf of Guinea, Mr. M'Queen says, “ Perfect accuracy in these things, at present, is impossible; nor does the want materially alter the grand features which it is my chief object to delineate.” Jackson says that a lake is formed by the waters of the Neel el Abeed, of which the opposite shore is not visible. He says it is navigated by large vessels, which sometimes come to Timbuctoo, manned by a particular kind of people. On its eastern bank begins the territory of white people, denominated by the Arabs, N'sarreth (Christians). From this description it is quite evident, that the lake here mentioned is a different lake to that represented as being situated 450 miles east of Timbuctoo; it is clearly the sea on the Gold Coast, the Bight of Benin and Beafra, a lake whose opposite shore is not visible, and on the eastern bank of which is the territory of Christians! The fact of large vessels coming up from this lake to Timbuctoo, manned by a particular kind of people, is an additional proof that the navigation of the Niger is unobstructed from the ocean to Timbuctoo (p. 118.) Our author's third argument in favour of his hypothesis is as follows : “ From Sego to Baedo, according to Park, is thirty days journey in a southerly direction. One month's travel,' says he, south of Baedo, through the kingdom of Gotto, (Moosee) will bring the traveller to the country of the Christians, who have their houses on the Ba-se-feena. This water is incomparably larger than the lake Dibbie, and the water sometimes runs one way and sometimes another. (Park, vol. ii. p. 229. 8vo edition.) The words Ba-se-feena are very properly shewn by Jackson to be a corruption of the Arabic words, Bahar sefeena, signifying literally the sea of ships, or the sea where ships are seen! The direction, the distance, and every other particular mentioned, however, clearly point out the European settlements on the coast of Guinea. The water running sometimes one way and sometimes another, obviously relates to the Aux and reflux of the sea, a phenomenon which could not fail to arrest the attention of a negro from the interior.” p. 119.
A fourth argument in favour of Mr. M'Queen's hypothesis is related as follows :—" Before turning our attention to the coast, it is worth while to consider the explanation which Mr. Jackson gives of the Arabic words, Bahr Kulla; the term, he says, in proper Arabic, is Bahar Kûlha, which term signifies the ocean, and also an alluvial country. If this explanation be correct, and which there seems little reason to doubt, we have the clearest account of the termination of the Niger.—Numerous authorities state, that in its middle course it turns to the southward, and flows till it joins the Bahr Kulha—the sea, or the alluvial country. This it certainly does do at the points we have mentioned ; we therefore conclude, that after all the Gulf of Guinea will turn out to be the true sea of Sudan.” p. 125.
. From the following account there appears to be good reason to suppose that the salt pits, mentioned by Ibn al Vardi (or more properly Ben al Wardi), are those on the sea-shore of Bening, and at the island