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incumbent being then old. While in that situation, a mutual attachment took place between him and a young lady; and their union was delayed, only from prudential motives, till he should be inducted in the promised living. He had long been intimately acquainted with a College companion, and their intimacy had for some time been matured into friendship. This young man, who was now also licensed, came to reside in the same quarter of the country, and often visited his friend; and being well received in the family, most villanously contrived to ruin his friend, by secretly aspersing his character. The result was, that some slight pretence was found for dismissing the whose place was instantly filled by his infamous traducer. The old parson died in about a year after, and the false friend succeeded to the living. Not satisfied with the injuries he had already done, he contrived to inflict a still deeper and more poig- The youthful mower dropp'd his brawny nant wound; for in less than three months after his induction, he married the faithless woman, whose heart and hand were pledged to his friend. With a heart feelingly alive to the warmest sympathies of Friendship, and the still more tender endearments of Love, and thus basely betrayed by the one, and deceived in the other, Mr for some time almost renounced his intercourse with the world, earning a precarious subsistence by writing for the London booksellers. At length, by the death of a distant relation, he succeeded to a small fortune, which his retirement and temperance renders equal to his wants. He came to reside here,
arms; Relax'd, he laid him on the scented grass;
Beside him, beauty glow'd in rural charms,
His fond eye gazing on the ruddy lass. A dark cloud gather'd in the southern sky,
While sultry stillness hover'd o'er the plain;
And fondly rais'd was many an anxious eye
To hail the harbinger of genial rain;
For o'er the heav'ns, their bright ethereal bow
Sublimely stretch'd, embracing sea and land;
that he might, if possible, forget A glowing arch, that reach'd to earth be
scenes which he was determined never again to visit. While his heart overflows with "the milk of human kindness," the bitter gall of misanthropy drops from his tongue. "With few associates, and not wishing more," he is esteemed and beloved by all who know him well. He wished to become a member of the Club, as a relaxation and relieving variety, from the dull uniformity of his life. His introductory piece was the following; and all of us listened with melancholy pleasure during his recitation:
'TWAS Summer, and the radiant lord of
The flow'rs, erewhile, so fragrant, green, Bright on his golden car had mounted high:
In languor droop'd beneath a burning sky:
The birds were hush'd within the leafy brake,
And Echo silent in her dim wood-cave; The herds were hast'ning to the cooling lake,
Their thirst to quench, their panting sides to lave:
The trout was gasping in his shallow pool,
The nibbling sheep in languor nipp'd the blade; And urchins loiter'd as they crawl'd from school,
Or lay supine beneath the birchen shade:
Magnificently grand its glorious span,
Yet none could tell where this or that be-
The regular confusion was so fair.
No fairer painting graces Nature's page;
That old and young, the idiot and the
Delight to gaze, enraptur'd with the
"Fame's lofty temple stands on fairy- Must scorn its brightest, most illusive land,
And fix his hopes on bliss beyond the skies."
Magnificently tow'rs the magic pile; And, like the rainbow, ever seems at hand, While sunbright halos round its turrets smile.
"But, distant far, it stands upon a steep, And thronging crowds are jostling on the road;
Some ride, some run, some votaries slowly creep,
All fondly gazing on the blest abode.
"Ambition climbs, and, toiling, pants for breath;
His icy path is foul with human gore; He scatters round him famine, fire, and death;
And, on the journey, falls to rise no
' Philosophy and Science still are seen, Their matins early, or their vigils late; For both are votaries of the airy queen,
The characters of the other members admitted, along with these now mentioned, and the pieces recited by them, will form a subsequent communication to you, when our Secretary resumes his functions. Meanwhile, we are enjoying, by anticipation, his surprise, when he sees his own picture in your Miscellany; as we have all agreed, that not a whisper shall transpire concerning this paper, which, should you find less
And patiently press forward to the gate. "The moon-struck minstrel views the glittering fane,
And wields the pen, or strikes the worthy than some of the preceding, I would just beg leave to remind you, that the rich parterre contains the humble daisy beside the blushing rose; that the twitter of the wren, blending with the mellow song of the blackbird, adds to the harmony of the woods; and that Jupiter and Aldebaran shine with brighter lustre in the sky, when contrasted with the dim radiance of the milky-way. With respect to my share in the foregoing, I shall only remark, that Dryden, in the office of Poet-Lau and that the fool Johnny Ferguson, reate, was succeeded by Shadwell; for once, filled the chair of the sapient King James.
I am, very respectfully,
And hopes, with day-dreams floating o'er his brain,
To reach its portals on Parnassian wings.
"On buoyant wing he leaves the world behind,
Aloft he soars in Fancy's dizzying flight,
Till, lost in clouds, he wakes, and grieves
The fairy temple vanish from his sight. “Thus hallow'd Love, and Friendship's sacred flame, Like the gay rainbow, shines but to decay; And those who, panting, trace the path to Fame,
Behold the phantom melt in air away.
When this recital was finished, all of us saw, with regret, that our friend had not yet forgotten those injuries which had blighted his early hopes. We now proposed naming him The Bard of the Leasowes; but he insisted on being known among us by the appellation of The Misanthrope, and we reluctantly complied with
"Whoe'er aspires to pure perennial joys, Must teach his heart above the world to rise;
LITERATURE, like other sublunary things, is subject to constant changes, nay even to extreme revolutions; and what in one age is considered as the acmé of perfection, is often disregarded in the next, and, in a subsequent one again, held up as a model for imitation in its present state, it perhaps offers as striking a contrast to that of any preceding period, as the fluctuations of any age or time can present.
Till the latter end of the 17th century, the researches of the literati were, with very few exceptions, confined to the classic lore of Greece and Rome, and the sources offered by Western Europe: regardless of the mines of Eastern Europe, and Asiatic literature, that quietly awaited the exploring hand destined to remove the veil that covered them, and the mist that enveloped them, the learned world pursued the beaten track; and if, with the Latin and Greek authors, a Spanish romance, an Italian love-sonnet, or a Troubadour's ballad, engaged their attention, in addition to what the regular theatrical supply required, it was the utmost stretch to which they extended their regards. The eighteenth century made rapid strides towards diffusing a more comprehensive spirit; but the ninteenth bids fair to outstrip all preceding ones in the race after knowledge. How have the exertions of a Belzoni and a Burckhardt enlightened us on Egyptian and African subjects! What treasures may not be hoped for, what historical lights not expected, from the various literary stores of Asia, if the spirit of research, now on the alert, be but properly directed and perseveringly pursued! Strange to say, the immense quantity of manuscripts, &c. collected at the East India-House, still remains hermetically sealed to the world, as far as regards the only useful purpose of amassing them, that of communicating their contents. Would it not be worth while, instead of maintaining an institution for the instruction of a few youths in Indian languages, who have often shown that they will not be colleged into knowledge, to appropriate sufficient
funds for the purpose of having this mass of manuscripts investigated, and the result communicated to the world? Generally speaking, more real interest seems to exist on this subject on the continent than in England, which is so intimately connected with the East. But even nearer home, a large field remains to be explored, some parts of which are almost equally new to us.
Since the accession of the house of Hanover, German literature, though comparatively modern, has asserted its rights to consideration with much success; and Wieland, Klopstock, Schiller, and Goethe, have added the suffrages of the British public to the laurels gained in their own country. Much, however, still remains to be done, to place the two countries on a par, since English literature is much more thoroughly and correctly known in Germany than that of the latter country is in England. Among the countries unmeritedly slighted, Poland has perhaps most reason to complain, since, though the lower classes were destitute of both freedom and cultivation, the higher ones at no time neglected literature; in proof of which, may be adduced their numerous old works in the Latin and Polish languages, still extant. Their philosophical writers, such as Krasicke, Narusze wicz, Niemcewitz, &c, are held in great estimation by all the learned who have accquired a knowledge of their works; and Sniadecki, whose work against Kant's system obtained so much celebrity even in the country of the latter, deserves to be known in all.
It was, however, reserved for the present century to introduce a foreign literature, not only new to us, but also of very recent origin in itself, no portion of it having been in existence before the eighteenth century. Both the antiquary and the historian would doubtless find their labours richly rewarded, were they to explore all that belongs to their department in the immense Russian Empire, and ascend, in their researches, to the remotest periods; but, in literature, no one need travel far
ther back than Peter the Great, though its present activity, combined with the rich materials afforded it by its geographical and historical character, bids fair to make ample amends for the lateness of the period from whence it dates its commencement.
Bulgarin, may be productive of great advantage, by exciting a general interest in favour of researches in those departments.
Recent as Russian poetry is in date, it has already made a most rapid progress. Mr Bowring's meritorious work has lately introduced it into England, in a dress well calculated to insure it a favourable reception; and the French are likewise about to have their literature enriched by the chief productions in the dramatic line, since the eighth livraison of the Collection of Foreign Theatrical Pieces, now publishing at Paris, under the title of "Théâtre de l'Etranger," will contain the master-pieces of the Russian stage, translated by Count Alexis de St. Priest, being the first translations into French from the Russian language.
The most considerable recent production in poetry is a Romantic-Epic Poem, in two Cantos, entitled, "The Captive of Mount Caucasus," from the pen of a young poet named Puschkin, whose first work of the same kind (Ruslan and Lindmilla) had already given promise of talents, that, when fully matured, will place him high in the ranks of Russian literature. As it may be interesting to observe the subjects chosen by native talent for the exercise of its powers, I shall here give a short sketch of the argument of the one above-mentioned:
A young Russian, having been taken prisoner by one of the warlike tribes that inhabited the Caucasus, is kept in fetters, and set to tend their flocks, in which situation he engages the affections of a young
Periodical publications have, of course, formed a prominent means of communicating a literary spirit in this empire; hitherto, however, most of them have been edited in French or German, a circumstance in itself unfavourable to the cause these Journals are intended to promote *. But now a disposition seems manifesting itself for productions of this kind in the Russian language. The year 1823 presented the Russians with the first Almanack in their language, under the title of "The Northern Polar Star," on the plan of those so numerous in Germany, which Mr Ackermann has also introduced to the British public in a similar attempt, under the title of "Forget me not †.” This Almanack is edited by two well-known Russian writers, (Rueleew and Bestuschew,) and is to be supported by the principal talent of the country, as is pompously stated in an account of it in a German Journal, which announces, that "Articles from the pens of the most esteemed Russian writers, such as a Schukowsky, Wäsemsky, Gnieditch, Glinka, Wojeikow, the famous fabulist Krülow, and the celebrated poets Astolopou and Panaew, will find a place in it." A Journal, that enjoys great favour, has lately appeared, under the title of "The Northern Archives;" it is devoted to historical and geographical subjects, and, being very ably conducted by a Pole named
Not so much so, however, in Russia, as would be the case in most other countries, the majority of the well-educated Russians being masters of several languages, and of these two more particularly.
† I have not yet seen this publication, but I can hardly wish Mr Ackermann success in his undertaking, since he must well know, that the literature of his native country is far from being benefited by them; the greater part containing little else but tales of so trivial a nature, as neither to improve the heart nor instruct the mind. Some honourable exceptions there certainly are, but, generally speaking, they only serve to engross the reading public, to the exclusion of the more important productions of genius.
This is a very praiseworthy undertaking, and promises much towards banishing the rigid adherence to the unities from its strong-hold on the French nation. The first deliveries were devoted to Shakespeare, Schiller, &c., the seventh contained Müllner's "Guili," and Werner's " Martin Lüther,” and “24th February." I am not aware that we have any work on so comprehensive a plan in English.