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LAYS OF THE MINNESINGERS.
There is, we believe, no nation less of their rivals, the Troubadours and acquainted than ourselves with the Trouveurs, he awards the palm to the early literature of other countries. former; and, indeed, if we may form Till within these few years past, the an impartial opinion from the selecgreat story of the revival of learning tions contained in the volume before had been very imperfectly told; and, us, we should be inclined to coincide although considerable attention has in that judgment. There is certainly been recently paid to the rise and pro- much more nature and simplicity in gress of learning and refinement in the verses of the Minnesingers' than Italy, we still remain very ignorant are to be found in the lays of the of those events as they occurred in southern poets, which are frequently the other countries of Europe. How so overlaid with conceits, and tramscanty is our knowledge with regard melled with nice distinctions of metre, to the early literature of Spain—a that the reader is weuried and disrich and copious subject! and how gusted with such laborious frivolities. superficially are we acquainted even We would gladly have devoted a with that of France; while Germany little more space to this highly agreeabsolutely remains an almost un- able volume, but we must conclude trodden territory! For any intelli- our remarks while we have yet room gence which we inay possess on these for the following beautiful and chasubjects, we are for the most part racteristic lines, by Dietmar, of Ast, indebted to the French writers, a Minnesinger of the thirteenth cenamongst whom M. de Sismondi is tury :certainly the most agreeable guide, By the heath stood a lady so far as relates to the literature of All lonely and fair : the south of Europe. The nations,
As she watched for her lover, whose intellectual treasures we seem
A falcon flew near. thus to have despised, have by no
“ Happy falcon,” she cried,
“Who can fly where he list, means displayed a similar indifference
And can choose in the forest to the literature of England. The
The tree he loves best ! dramatic criticisms of William Schle
Thus too had I chosen gel prove how assiduously and suc
One knight for my own : cessfully our great poets have been
Him my eye had selected, studied in Germany; while Dr.
Him prized I alone. Pichot has just shown that the riches But other fair ladies of our literature are duly appreciated Have envied my joy; in France. We would gladly infer, And why? for I sought not from the appearance of the beautiful Their bliss to destroy. volume before us, that a more active As to thee, lovely summer! spirit of inquiry into subjects of Returns the bird's strain foreign literature is diffusing itself; As on yonder green linden and we hope that a portion of this
The leaves spring againzeal may be employed upon the early
So constant doth grief writers of Germany, who are at
At my eyes overflow;
And wilt thou not, dearest, present such complete strangers to
Return to me now? To the Specimens of the Minne
Yet come, my own hero !
All others desert! singers' a very valuable critical intro
When first my eye saw thee duction is prefixed,in which thewriter
How graceful thou wert! has traced the origin and rise of lyric How fair was thy presence, poetry in France, Italy, Spain, and How graceful, how bright! Germany. In comparing the merits Then think of me only, of the German minstrels with those
My own chosen knight !”. * Lays of the Minnesingers, or German Troubadours of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries : illustrated by Specimens of the Cotemporary Lyric Poetry of Provence and other Parts of Europe. With Historical and Critical Notices and Engravings from the M.S. of the Minnesingers in the King's Library at Paris, and from other Sources. 8vo. Longman and Co. 1825.
WOLFE's REMAINS. That merit alone is insufficient to deaux, but without effect--for be obtain literary justice even from the died at the Cove of Cork on the 21st intellectual portion of society, we of February, 1823, aged thirty-two have ample proof in the fate of the years. Rev. Charles Wolfe. The
grave had These brief particulars are taken closed over the mortal remains of this from the diffuse memoir before us; amiable young man, and no kindred and, whatever the public may think spirit was found to claim for him a of the neglect Mr.Wolfe encountered, single sprig of · Daphne's deathless we are quite sure there can be but one plant. Indeed, from the silence with opinion respecting his misfortune, in iwhich he was consigned to the tomb, having for a biographer a man of suwe are led to suspect that his col- perlative dulness. “Mr. Russell aplege acquaintances,' and ' circle of pears to have neither taste, talents, private friends, deemed none of his nor modesty. The absence of the two productions deserving of preserva- first are evinced in the volumes before tion : for, with the exception of one us, and the last is conspicuous in his piece, they are not to be found in any undertaking such a task-knowing, cotemporary publication. There was if intense stupidity did not prevent as little said about • The Burial of Sir him from knowing, that he had not a John Moore' as about the premature single qualification necessary for the death of its author, until it was made proper discharge of such a duty. We known that this exquisite ode was a do not mean to criticise the trifles favourite with Lord Byron. The attributed to Mr. Wolfe. He has left doubts which subsequently existed behind him one proof, at least, of a respecting its author served to excite poetical genius ; and perhaps it had additional interest; and it was not been as well to have left his fame deuntil the ode became fashionable pendent on this alone. His poetical that Mr. Wolfe's friends came forward pieces are extremely few; and of to assert his claim to that poetical these few, some of them bear evident production. The work before us ap- marks of having never been intended pears to have been an after-thought. for the public eye. A judicious friend
Charles Wolfe was born at Black- would have made a selection, but Mr. hall, county of Kildare, in the year Russell knew not how to discrimi1791. His family were respectable, nate. He ruminaged papers, and imand claimed kindred with the hero of portuned friends, and has been so Quebec and Lord Kilwarden. At an minute as to give us even the fragearly age he lost his father; and, his ments found in his friend's study. A mother removing to England, he re- small, a very small volume, would ceived the rudiments of his education have contained all that was necessary at Winchester and other schools. In to publish: but this would not answer 1809 he entered Trinity College, Mr. Russell's views. He wanted to Dublin, where he gave early indica- see himself in print, and accordingly tion of a poetic talent; and, for want we have one volume filled with serof better prospects, he was obliged to mons, which look very like the Lord devote himself to the service of a Lieutenant's chaplain's own (for they church-the richest in Europe—but do not seem to be the productions of remarkable for its indifference to de- Mr.Wolfe); and another, compoundserving merit.
Mr. Wolfe was or- ed of a stupidly written memoir, dained in 1817, and soon after ob- pieces of poetry, and private letters. tained a curacy in the north of Ire. These latter might have been withland, where he continued until 1821, held : and we question if even the at which time his health began to fail curate of St. Werburgh could tell us him. He made a journey to Scotland the utility of inserting the followand England, and a voyage to Bor- ing :
* Remains of the late Rev. Charles Wolfe, A.B. Curate of Donoughmore, Diocess of Armagh, with a brief Memoir of his Life. By the Rev. John A. Russell, M.A. Chaplain to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Curate of St.Werburgh's, Dublin. A. and W. Watson, Dublin. 1825.
• Exeter, February 18th, 1822. • Still oft those solemn scenes I view • My dear
In rapt and dreamy sadness; Welcome once more! I feel as if we Oft look on those who lov'd them too had a second parting when we last ex- With Fancy's idle gladness; changed letters, and now that we once Again I long'd to view the light more renew a correspondence, it looks like In Nature's features glowing; a meeting after a long separation. But, you Again to tread the mountain's height, may be assured, that neither you nor yours And taste the Soul's o’erflowing. were forgotten by me at those times when
•Stern Duty rose, and frowning fung I knew you would most wish to be remem
His leaden chain around me; bered-those seasons at which I trust I am
With iron look and sullen tongue remembered by you all. I will not trou
He mutter'd as he bound me-ble you with all the tedious reasons of my silence: the silence itself was tedious
" The mountain-breeze, the boundless
Heaven enough. Suffice it to say, that a man may
Unfit for toil the creature ; be very idle, and have no leisure ; espe
These for the free alone are given, cially, no leisure of mind,—and that a
But, what have Slaves with Nature ?" man's time may be in a great measure unoccupied, and yet not his own.
I will not
We cannot conclude better than tell you of the ler of time it takes to
with the ode, to which allusion has wind me up and set me a-going for the
been so often made. day, but I find that the toilette of an invalid is as long and as troublesome as that THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE. of a duchess,--and perhaps, the whole day often spent with little more profit. It will Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, be sufficient to tell you that I can scarcely
As his corse to the rampart we hurried ; make out an hour and a half a day for Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot actual study.
O’er the grave where our Hero we buried, • Yours, &c.
• C. Wi'
•We buried him darkly at dead of night, We now turn from the editor to the
The sods with our bayonets turning; specimens of Mr. Wolfe's poetry. By the struggling moon-beam's misty light, The following songs are pretty :- And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast, • Air-Viva El Rey Fernando.
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him ; · The chains of Spain are breaking- But he lay like a Warrior taking his restLet Gaul despair, and fly;
With his martial cloak around him. Her wrathful trumpet's speaking,
• Few and short were the prayers we said, Let tyrants hear and die.
And we spoke not a word of sorrow; • Her standard o'er us arching
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that Is burning red and far;
was dead, The soul of Spain is marching
And we bitterly thought of the morrow. In thunders to the war. Look round your lovely Spain,
• We thought, as we hollowed his narrow And say shall Gaul remain?
bed, • Behold yon burning valley,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow, Behold yon naked plain
That the foe and the stranger would tread Let us hear their drum
o'er his head, Let them come, let them come!
And we far away on the billow ! For Vengeance and Freedom rally, Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's And, Spaniards ! onward for Spain !
gone, • Remember, remember Barossa,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him, Remember Napoleon's chain, But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on Remember your own Sarragossa,
In the grave where a Briton has laid him. And strike for the cause of Spain
• But half of our heavy task was done, Remember your own Sarragossa,
When the clock struck the hour for reAnd onward, onward! for Spain !'
And we heard the distant and random gun ? Oh say not that my heart is cold
That the foe was sullenly firing.
From the field of his fame fresh and Or, that the ungenerous world can chill
gory ; One glow of fond emotion
We carved not a line, and we raised not For those who made it dearer still,
stone, And shar'd my wild devotion.
But we left him alone with his glory!'
THE TRIAL OF DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ.* We have seldom spent an hour individual I shall say but little : you more agreeably than in perusing the witnessed the contemptible exhibition he jeu d'esprit before us; and those made this day before you, and I do not who are fatigued with severer studies wish to lessen its effects by an unavoidable may find their minds much relaxed attempt to retouch the scene. Gentlemen,
Mr. Cobbett is a man of transcendent ta
The by following our example.
lent, but the bistory of literary prodigies grave and gay may take it up
does not furnish an instance of such a pergreat advantage; and the friends
version of the gifts of Heaven as his life and enemies of Mr. O'Connell will supplies. An intellectual elephant in the have no cause to quarrel with the calm huur of repose, he is of incalculable painphleteer, for he has cooked up use to those whom he serves ; but in the abundance of food adapted to their day of battle, in the day of danger, he respective palates.
is formidable alike to friends and foes, I'he Trial of Daniel O'Connell and, when goaded, he knows no distinction sounds fearfully! Has Mr. Attorney of persons or parties. Gentlemen, some General filed an er officio ? No, luonths since he undertook to advocate our gentle reader, the man of the peo- such 'acts of gratuitous friendship, we
cause, 'and, as we are unaccustomed to ple' was not indicted before an
hailed him with unequivocal regard. We Orange jury; he was only arraign
were indiscreet, I admit, in doing so ; and, ed in the High Court of Reason;
since he has himself developed his characand, we are glad to say, he was ho- ter, we fling the insiduous reptile to the nourably acquitted. Many will doubt ground, and trample upon him the more the existence of such a court in Ire- willingly, since he insinuated himself into land'; and we had our suspicions un- our friendship only to ruin us, by flinging til we found, by the introductory pa- ' among Irishmen the firebrand of discord. ragraph, that it was only opened, for • Gentlemen, the character of my noble. the first time during the last seven
minded and unsuspecting client is in your hundred years, for the trial in ques
bands. Your are the representatives of tion.
the Catholics of Ireland, and are selected
from that class of the people which is free In this age of the freedom of the
alike from the prejudices of aristocracy press, it is useless to quarrel with
and the ignorance of the populace. You those who make free with the cha
are deeply interested in the welfare of your racters of public men and public country, and can appreciate the services writers. Many are introduced into of Mr. O'Connell. I calculate on a this serio-comic judicial inquiry, favourable verdict. The people of Irewho, no doubt, would rather have had land have every where hailed Mr. O'Contheir names omitted. Ourselves are nell as their friend and champion, and, by among the number;
and we dare say
their simultaneous resolutions of confiMr. Cobbett would have given half á dence, have fiung back the false imputadozen • Registers’ to have been saved tions into the teeth of those who made the expose to which he is subjected. sacrifices are to be treated thus—if the
them. If virtuous purposes and noble We have laughed at his cross-examination until recalled, by the truths patriot is to be arraigned for every sup,
posed error that he may commit—who, I which are there elicited, to his real ask you, will be poetical enough to stand character. Never has man been forward as the advocate of the oppressed ? made to declare more openly his who will plead the cause of those who own baseness, hypocrisy, and incon- are unable to speak for themselves ? sistency. We refer the reader-es- Gentlemen, I know you will do your pecially the Irish reader-to it; and duty, and redeem the character of your we think no sensible and virtuous country. Ingratitude was never consider
ed an Irish vice ; and believe me, if Mr. man, after perusing it, will place any ed an confidence in Cobbett.
O'Connell is not honourably acquitted,
vur claim to consistency and virtue is lost The speeches of Mr. North and Mr.
for ever. The eyes of the nation are now Sheil are really eloquent. The follow
on you, and the public only wait for your ing extract from the defence, by, the verdict of acquittal, to hasten, like the latter, is not more energetic than just. Romans, to the temple of the gods, to re
«Gentlemen, this charge of bartering turn thanks for the glory which the name with the enemy rests solely on the autho- and services of O'Connell reflect upon rity of Mr. Čobbett. Respecting this their country.'
* The Trial of Daniel O'Connell, Esq. Robins, 1825.