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With ominous designation; yet I scoff
Your poor and trivial terrors-Know ye
Michol !

Ben Cathla

The noble lady, she whose fathers
Dwelt beyond Jordan


Michol ?

Second Jew.

Yes, we know her,
The tender and the delicate of women,
That would not set her foot upon
For delicacy and very tenderness.

the ground

Ben Cathla. The same!-We had gone forth in quest of food:
And we had entered many a house, where men
Were preying upon meagre herbs and skins ;
And some were sating, upon loathsome things
Unutterable, the ravening hunger. Some,
Whom we had plundered oft, laugh'd in their agony
To see us baffled. At her door she met us,
And "We have feasted together heretofore,"
She said, "most welcome, warriors!" and she led us,
And bade us sit like dear and honour'd guests,
While she made ready. Some among us wonder'd,
And some spake jeeringly, and thank'd the lady
That she had thus with provident care reserved
The choicest banquet for our scarcest days.
But ever as she busily minister'd,
Quick, sudden sobs of laughter broke from her.
At length the vessel's covering she rais'd up,
And there it lay-

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What lay? Thou'rt sick and pale.

Ben Cathla. By earth and heaven, the remnant of a child!
A human child!- -Ay, start! so started we-
Whereat she shriek'd aloud, and clapp'd her hands,
"Oh! dainty and fastidious appetites!

The mother feasts upon her babe, and strangers
Loathe the repast"-and then--" My beautiful child!
The treasure of my womb! my bosom's joy!"
And then in her cool madness did she spurn us
Out of her doors. Oh still-oh still I hear her,
And I shall hear her till my day of death.
High-Priest. Oh, God of Mercies! this was once thy city!


Joy to thee, beautiful and bashful bride!

Joy! for the thrills of pride and joy become thee;
Thy curse of barrenness is taken from thee.
And thou shalt see the rosy infant sleeping
Upon the snowy fountain of thy breast;

And thou shalt feel how mother's hearts are blest
By hours of bliss for moment's pain and weeping.
Joy to thee!'-p. 107-120.


After this the business of the drama proceeds rapidly, and it is no common praise to say, that its interest does not decline. Simon and John come out in high exultation from the banquet, chide the desponding crowd to their homes, and retire to dreams of future glory and victory, leaving the stage for Miriam to deplore the infatuation of those most dear to her. As she is endeavouring to compose her soul to prayer, the storm bursts from heaven. The noise of the thunder blends with that of the Roman engines battering the walls, with the trumpets and shouts of the Gentiles mounting to the assault, and already victorious in the streets of the city, and with the clamours and outcries of the inhabitants, flying from the slaughter, or rallying in defence of the (Temple.

Simon, indeed, instead of appearing, as might have been expect ed, at the head of his troops, the fiercest among the guardians of the sanctuary, comes forth unarmed and inactive, and, after thrusting himself on the stage from time to time, and interrupting the current of our feelings with his persevering anticipations of a supernatural deliverance, is, without resistance, taken prisoner by the Romans, and gravely gives up his last hopes of the redemption of Israel on perceiving that the thunder-storm abates, and that the flame kindled by the Gentiles has actually power over the Temple. But we turn from this strange failure in the delineation of one of Mr. Milman's principal characters-to his lovely heroine, who is still herself, and for whom all our fears and admiration are kept alive, while we follow her flight through the blazing streets, and amid all the horrors of


swords and men and furious faces, Before her, and behind her, and around!——'

Nor are other circumstances of terror wanting. She meets an old man, one of those who recollected Christ on earth, and had joined in the cry of Crucify him!-He is now convinced, by the misery which has overtaken himself and his nation, of the divine authority of the person whom he had joined in condemning and blaspheming. But he is convinced too late of his error;-he believes only to despair; and aggravates his own misery and self-condemnation by calling to mind the many circumstances of awful sublimity which had attended the person and dignified the death of the Man of Nazareth,' and which now terrify and distract, though they had then no power to soften him. He disregards, in this temper, the intreaties of Miriam that he would still seek for salvation, and leaves her, shaking his grey locks, with curses on himself and her.

Salone now enters, the bridal crown yet hanging from her loose tresses, but pale, half-naked, and bleeding. Amariah had been roused from his nuptial bed by the noise of the assault, and yet,'




says the poor lovesick enthusiast, there was no sound I heard.'
He had looked forth and seen the inevitable ruin of his nation.
He came back and kiss'd me, and he said—
I know not what he said-but there was something
Of Gentile ravisher, and his beauteous bride,--
Me, me he meant, he call'd me beauteous bride !—
And he stood o'er me with a sword so bright
My dazzled eyes did close. And presently,
Methought, he smote me with the sword, but then
He fell upon my neck, and wept upon me,

And I felt nothing but his burning tears.'-p. 141.

While Miriam is yet weeping over her sister's body, a Gentile soldier, whom she had often before observed as having singled her out, but whose pursuit she had hitherto eluded, approaches to sieze her. Escape is now impossible; 'every where are more ;' and she has no resource but in a passionate appeal to his natural feeling-to his love for his own wife, his own child, his own sister— and by an adjuration in the name of Christ, of whatever evil thoughts might haunt him, to excite his compassion and veneration, and commit herself to his guidance. His mien is somewhat Tess savage than the rest he makes, however, no answer, but grasps her arm and leads her away in silence,' through darkling street and over smoking ruin,' to the fountain of Siloe and her accustomed trysting-place.

We write not for that simple maid,
To whom it must in terms be said'---

that this seeming gentile is Javan, who has availed himself of a warlike disguise to save the object of his tenderest solicitude. In the embrace of her lover she blends her tears of joy with those of sorrow for her father and sister. Other Christians join them to take a last leave of the Holy City and its blazing sanctuary, and a splendid chorus follows, in which the Fall of Jerusalem is characterized as typical of the great and final consummation of all created things.

Thus ends this most striking poem, on the merits and defects of which even the imperfect sketch which we have given will have enabled our readers to pass judgment. In the delineation of its characters we have detected no failure but that remarkable one of Simon; and this has arisen not from poverty of imagination, or ignorance of the stronger passions of the human heart, but from the author's having formed the idea of a more striking and less un- A amiable fanatic than history represented, while he neglected to alter those historical traits which are inconsistent with his own conception. In consequence we have two distinct and irreconcileable Simons; the one, who is that of Josephus, a haughty, remorseless

remorseless zealot, a fiery warrior, and a crafty politician; the other a humble, a holy and well-meaning, though crazy and misguided enthusiast. The cure for this defect will be simply to divide the characters, and to assign, with some additions and alterations, to different individuals, those speeches and actions which now agree no otherwise than the plumage of different birds on the same nondescript animal Of the other persons of the drama, John is well drawn, though not very fully developed; and he expresses himself in the defence of his heresy with an art and eloquence which we are almost sorry to see in Mr. Milman's pages unaccompanied by such an antidote as he well knows how to supply, and which might be introduced with perfect propriety into the mouth either of the High Priest, of Simon or Eleazar. Of Amariah we rather hear than see any thing; and Javan is only so far important or interesting as he developes the character and influences the fortunes of Miriam. But the main attractions of the poem are to be found in Salone and Miriam, and the contrast which they offer to each other. Both are in love, both are actuated by strong religious as well as natural feelings; but the former only is an enthusiast; and, glowing as are the colours in which her peculiarities are drawn, it is no small praise to the distinctness and truth of the artist's pencil, that our admiration and our preference are uniformly directed to the chastened affections, the calm fervour, the resolute self-devotion and self-denial of her milder and more humble sister.

Of the plot-if that name can be given to an inartificial succession of incidents no otherwise connected with each other than by the identity of the persons whom they befall-the Stagyrite would certainly not have spoken with approbation. And, even of those who do not require a more obvious dependance of events and causes than is usually found in nature, who can admire the beauty and sublimity of the separate links without too closely inquiring into their mutual connexion and coherence, there are many who will wish that the author had found for Miriam some more prominent and active share in the events of the siege and the fortunes of her family, than the mere secret conveyance of food to her father's mansion. Nor, deeply as we all are interested in our heroine's escape, will some of us fail to censure the contrivance by which Javan at first is made, out of pure tenderness, to keep his mistress in ignorance of his person and intentions, as if the apprehension of death, and outrage worse than death, were less intolerable than the sudden joy of finding herself in friendly hands.

But in spite of these defects, and of some few instances of heaviness and inflation in Mr. Milman's language, we do not envy those critics who can read his work without abundant delight, or speak of

it without warm admiration. To ourselves, who have watched for some years back, with no unfriendly eyes, the improvement of his taste and the development of his genius, it is an additional source of pleasure to find our most favourable prognostics confirmed, and the promise of the youth so completely answered by the ripened fruits of the man. His juvenile lines on the Apollo Belvidere, with more originality than such productions commonly exhibit, had nevertheless all the characteristics, good or bad, of juvenile poetry. In bis Fazio,' with many remarkable proofs of genius, there was much to prune away, and much yet wanting which care and cultivation might supply; and his Samor' was so overloaded with beauties, that the attention was lost and wearied amid a maze of fragrance, and required some sterner and more naked features from which to derive new vigour and refreshment.


Τρις μεν ορέξατ' ίων, το δε τέταρτον---


He has now produced a poem in which the peculiar merits of his earlier efforts are heightened, and their besetting faults, even beyond expectation, corrected ;-a poem to which, without extravagant encomium it is not unsafe to promise whatever immortality the English language can bestow, and which may, of itself, entitle its author to a conspicuous and honourable place in our poetical pantheon, among those who have drunk deep at the fountain-head of intellect, and enriched themselves with the spoils, without encumbering themselves with the trammels of antiquity. But he must not stop even here. He has yet something to unlearn; he has yet much to add to his own reputation and that of his country. Remarkably as Britain is now distinguished by its living poetical talent, our time has room for him; and has need of him. For sacred poetry, (a walk which Milton alone has hitherto successfully trodden,) his taste, his peculiar talents, his education, and his profession appear alike to designate him; and, while, by a strange predilection for the worser half of manicheism, one of the mightiest spirits of the age has, apparently, devoted himself and his genius to the adornment and extension of evil, we may be well exhilarated by the accession of a new and potent ally to the cause of human virtue and happiness, whose example may furnish an additional evidence that purity and weakness are not synonymous, and that the torch of genius never burns so bright as when duly kindled at the Altar. 13.

ART. XI.-Voyage dans l'Intérieur de l'Afrique aux Sources du Sénégal et de la Gambie, fait en 1818, par ordre du Gouvernement Français. Par G. Mollien. Paris. 1820.

EFORE we attend to M. Mollien, whose voyage' will occasion us little trouble, we must advert to a subject which we VOL. XXIII. NO. 45.—Q. R.



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