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the rudeness of staring. It was composed of a coarse Beloochee shirt, and trowsers that had once been white, but now, from being worn six weeks, bordered on brown, and were almost in tatters; a blue turband; a piece of cotton rope in lieu of a waistband; and a bludgeon in my hand, which I found very useful in walking, as well as a protection from dogs."
Mr. Pottinger remained at Kirman till the 25th of May, in hopes of receiving a letter from Captain Christie, from Heerat, and spent the interval in acquiring a knowledge of the city and province, together with the Persian manners and character; of all which he has given a brief, but perspicuous account, in the 15th and 16th chapters of his work. As be did not receive any intelligence of his friend, be joined a caravan from Kirman to Sheeraz; which place they reached on the morning of the 5th of June. About fifty miles from this city, they passed a river, over a bridge of twelve arches; which, to a traveller so long unaccustomed to the sight of such a current, was a very pleasing and welcome sight. On the deficiency of water in the country through which he had passed, our traveller makes the following remark.
“ Since landing at Soumeany, I had now performed a journey of upwards of one thousand five hundred miles, of which thirteen hundred were in as direct a line as the paths would admit from east to west; and yet this was the first place in which I had seen a running stream sufficiently deep to have taken a horse above the knee ;--a conclusive proof of the extraordinary aridity of the intermediate countries, and furnishing an example, perhaps unparalleled on the face of the globe, when the diversity of soil, temperature, and appearance of the surface, that I found in them, is taken into consideration."-p. 239.
Mr. Pottinger quitted Sheeraz on the 11th of June, for Isfahan, where he arrived on the 27th, and soon after had the pleasure of meeting his friend and fellow-traveller, Captain Christie, at that place. We shall leave our readers to conceive the sensations to which this meeting must have given: rise. As it took place unexpectedly, and in the dark, the two travellers had conversed together for some time before they recognized each other; and Mr. P. observes, “ the moment we did so, was one of the happiest of my life.” They now once more set out together on the 9th of July, to join Sir J. Malcolm, at Cojan, where the royal camp was then established, which place they reached on the 1st of August, and found themselves once more in the society of their friends, from whom they had parted, just seven months before, at Bombay. Within this period, Captain Christie computes that be had traversed a distance of two thousand two hundred
and fifty miles; while Mr. P. had performed not less than two thousand four hundred and twelve. The mission soon afterwards set out on its return to India, by way of Bagdad ; and our traveller arrived at Bombay on the 6th of February, 1811; but Captain Christie was one of the officers selected to remain in Persia, to fulfil that part of the treaty relative to the organization of the Persian troops, and was unfortunately killed, in an attack made upon the Persian camp by the Russians, on the night of the 31st of October, 1812.
The second part of the work contains much historical, geographical, and statistical information, relative to the various provinces of Beloochistan; and a summary account of the province of Sinde, and of the proceedings of the mission to its rulers, in 1809. But the nature of this information is such, that it can be acquired only from the work itself. Here the inquisitive reader will find much inte resting matter, which strongly evinces the author's industry in collecting materials, and his habits of examining what fell under his own observation, while the simple and
artless manner in which it is given, leaves no room to doubt his veracity.
The Appendix contains an interesting abstract from Captain Christie's journal, from the time of their separation at Noosbky to that of their meeting at Isfahan. The whole is accompanied by a good sheet map of the various provinces through which they passed, which adds greatly to the value of the work. The River Indus very properly engaged Mr. Pottinger's particular attention; and there is strong reason to believe that his map of it is more correct than any hitherto published; while the concordant accounts of the best informed natives, respecting the positions of the places he has laid down, inspire a strong confidence in the whole.
Arr. II.-Christabel: Kubla Khan, a Vision: The Pains
of Sleep. By S.T. COLERIDGE, Esq. Murray. 1816. D'Herbelot relates, that the celebrated Al-Farabi was commanded by Seifeddoulat to sing one of his own compositions before him and his courtiers, who valued themselves not a little on their critical skill; that this command being obeyed, the auditors were thrown into violent fits of laughter, and presently into a deep sleep. Whether the Vision of Kubla Khan was the soporific employed on that memorable occasion, the learned Orientalist does not inform us. We know, however, that in the perusal of it, and of the two other things bound up with it, we experienced the effects which the production of Al-Farabi is reported to have wrought; and, from that experience, we are led to the conclusion, that the said production could not well have been more extravagant, more dull, more affected and childish, than are these of Mr. Coleridge.
It is unpleasant to have to pronounce a sentence which some may think severe, while others, who only echo the judgement of Lord Byron instead of using their own, will pretend to think so. We are confident that the expectations excited by the noble poet's praises of Christabel, will be disappointed: and, although those who admired the unintelligible sublimities, the mysticism and the methodism of Mr. Coleridge's former writings, may continue to admire many kindred beauties in the poems before us; yet more rational readers, who deplored those errors and absurdities, while they reverenced the genius that made even faults splendid, will perceive and lament the absence of those efforts of the Muse beneath whose steps flowers used to spring up:
Few of our readers can need to be informed, that Mr. Coleridge is one of those poets whose opinion it is, that the lakes and mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland are the avia Pieridum loca, which those “Syren daughters of Dame Memory" almost exclusively delight to haunt. In spite of its errors, many of the principles of the school of Poetry to which we allude, are most enchanting. Their enthusiastic reverence of Nature,—their lofty admiration of Virtue,—their ardent love of Liberty,—and a constant aspiring after a purer state of existence,-something, in short, finer, more ethereal, and more animating than the dry bones
which surround us in this valley of tears,—all these are captivating to a warm imagination: and we cannot help thinking that the success of the new school would have been almost complete, had not its founders carried their affectation of simplicity so far as to really render themselves ridiculous. We do not stand up for monotonous pomp and cumbrous dignity; but we do think that Mr. Wordsworth, and his brethren of the Lakes, have most egregiously erred in mistaking the vulgarisms of the Dalesmen, and the stammering of their children, for the songs of the Muses. We hasten to give some account of Mr. Coleridge, who has some characteristics distinct from those of the other members of the confraternity.
In the words of old Purchas, bis genius “ delights more in by-wayes than high-wayes, in things above nature than in things merely natural.” He has some of the spirit of Spenser, and is not without a portion of the romantic tenderness of Collins, He professes himself to be of the school of the divine Spenser; and he certainly possesses a similar talent for embodying abstract ideas with felicity; while he has the same grand fault of making us wind through the mazes of his allegories and similes till we are nearly exhausted. His poetry is made up, in its best parts, of abstractions, adorned with the gorgeous colours of his imagination, and usually expressed in harmonious language. He is apt, however, to make his pictures too gaudy: they want shadows--and, by their excess of brillianey, the eye is fatigued, and the images rendered indistinct. The melody of his verse, too, often degenerates into a monotonous and affected pompousness: at the same time that the wretchedness of the matter forms a strange contrast with the stateliness of the rhyme. These, we repeat, are peculiarities in Mr. Coleridge's poetry
His peculiar graces and defects may be clearly traced to the same source--his study of the old writers. He has drunk copiously of that well of English undefiled, which they made to flow. In both his prose and verse, the lofty march, the glorious though confused imagery of these giants in intellect, are apparent. He has not, indeed, escaped the contamination of their faults of style;-a style which, with all its beauties, is always obscure, elaborate, and debased by conceits. We do not mean to say that Mr. Coleridge has copied their style; but only that his genius is of the same order with theirs, and that, through the study of their writ
ings, his productions seem identified with them. These remarks apply more particularly to his prose, which, in some of the papers in the Friend, is equal to other men's poetry. In indignant and pathetic eloquence, we do not remember any thing superior to the story of MARIA;—a story which will exist in the memory of many readers, when all other traces of the book shall have faded.
Mr. Coleridge's poetry has more of ideality about it than that of any other living author (we borrow this term from Doctors Gall and Spurzheim, no expressive one of English coinage being at hand); it has more of that highly-wrought metaphorical language, by the use of which Shakspeare and Spenser bave presented such delightful and vivid pictures to the imagination. These pictures seem to have been produced at once and without effort. The conception, too, is almost always embodied in the most FORTUNATE WORDS ; and, so far is their love of this quality carried, that the commonest thoughts and objects are arrayed in them. Shakspeare speaks of enjoying “the HONEY-HEAVY DEw of slumber,"—and Spenser of a tree“ SPREADING A GLADSOME GLEAM upon the hills.”+ Who ever read these, and similar passages in the works of their authors, without an intense feeling of delight ! But we are venturing too near inchanted ground; and must retrace our steps, in order to proceed to our proper purpose.
Christabel is in the manner of Walter Scott and Lord Byron; that is to say, it resembles the productions of these authors in its general structure, while the foundation and embellishments are decidedly in the Lakish taste. The absurdity, by the way, of attempting to support the bold and massive entablatures of the former artists, upon the slender and grotesque columns of the architects of the Lakes, must be evident.
The story (in which the persons resemble the indistinct and obscure figures in a confused dream, more than any earthly beings) is, as far as we profess to understand it, as follows:-A certain young lady, called Christabel, disturbed by dreams, leaves her bed in the middle of a cold April night, and goes forth to pray for her lover under
By the OLD WRITERS, we must be understood to mean, not only the early poets, but Hooker, Chillingworth, Taylor, Henry More, and the constellation of authors which appeared about that time.
+ Visions of Bellay, Verse IV.