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and sensibility has sobered into mechanism. The glory of Calypso, too, has passed away with the changed spirit of the times; for the imagination that peopled her ocean-isle with deities has almost faded from the mind of man.
But the genuine admirer of the heavenly visions of antiquity, when he sails by the residence of the goddess, will think of the times that are gone by, and call to mind the remembrance of their glories. He will think of the hero Ulysses, who passed his hours of dalliance on the fond bosom of Calypso, and the pleasures that awaited him at her island. He will think of the affectionate woman who offered to resign even her immortality for the sake of her admirer, and preserred a cottage with the object of her love, to the proudest gifts of heaven without him. To him Calypso will ever be immortal; and her woodland haunts the sanctuary of affection. The west wind that wafts the fragrance of the island across the bosom of the ocean, shall sink upon his ear as the evening song hymned by the forest nymphs to the honour of their deity; and when the summer breeze dies mournfully along the wave, it shall come to him as the sweet plaint of the goddess for the departure of her lover. When the wind is abroad, and the tempests are high in air, they shall be the same wind and the same tempests that first stranded Ulysses on the coast, where he afterwards spent years of unalloyed felicity. Sorry indeed should we be that the beautiful Calypso should ever be forgotten! She was the imaginative being that passed before us in our days of childhood; the object of our early love, of our more matured admiration. The story of her divinity was the most touching fiction that ever inspired the mind of man, and merits immortality as much as the poet that created it.
But even her tale, with all its imaginative richness, must soon bow before the sober shrine of truth; for as our intellect becomes matured, the visions that delighted us in youth fade from our mind, and leave no token of what once was. Youth is the poetry-age is the prose of life-the one is the generosity-the other, the selfishness of existence. In youth we have a buoyant spirit, sensibly alive to all the finer impressions of our nature, that connects imagination with reality, and love with life; but as age creeps on us, the sensibility of existence vanishes; and as day after day we see our dearest friends dropping into the grave, we shut out enthusiasm from our hearts, and begin to live solely for ourselves. We then see the folly of our juvenile enthusiasm; look back on the past with regret and with a tear perhaps in our eye, while we cling to what can never be recalled ; then make one last, one closing exertion, and sink calmly into our grave, forgetting and forgotten by all.
And the time must come, sweetest Island of the ocean, when, in the torpid sobriety of age, we shall think with indifference of thee, and thy beautiful deity. The time must come, when thy forest caverns and woodland grottoes, that now dance gaily before our youthful imagination, shall be but as the idle follies of the past, the glittering meteors of a moment. Even now the hour is approaching; and as the chill of age comes on us, it deadens the youthful inspiration that once coursed cheerily through our veins : we ridicule many of our earliest and fondest prepossessions; and even thy name, divine Calypso, the magic, the talisman of our spring, must soon be forgotten in the autumn of our life.
THE ISLAND OF ULYSSES.
ITHACA, which with two adjacent islands once formed the kingdom of Ulysses, or the “ wise Laertides," as he is frequently termed in Homer, is now a desolate, barren region, a blighted ghost that bears no memorial of past greatness, but merely exists, as it were, to show that it once was. And yet the time has been when it bloomed in meridian splendour, and was celebrated above all other island children of the ocean, for the beauty, number, and power of its inhabitants.
Homer, Virgil, and many other ancient writers, have mentioned it in terms of the warmest admiration; and the far-famed wisdom of its monarch, the proverbial purity of his wife, and the filial affection of his son, have each contributed to shed a halo of splendour around the spot that can never be obliterated from the imagination. The twilight breezes still blow, as when they blew around the woe-worn Ulysses, while he stood on the brow of the hill, and surveyed the scenes he loved; the midnight moon still lights home the Greek, as of yore it lighted home the wanderer, and all but man is unchanged. He is gone down into the valley of the OF ANECDOTE
DIA OF ANECDOTE shadow of death; the clouds of many years have clused around him; and like the crumbling piles he erected, he has become but a clod of the valley. Even Ulysses, the great Ulysses, the subtle conqueror of Ajax, the warrior and the sophist, is now but “ a kneaded clod ;” and the very dust that you tread beneath your feet, while wandering through his beautiful ocean island, may perhaps have animated the mighty monarch of his day, the exulting husband of Penelope.
The wisdom of Ulysses, patronized as he was by his tutelary deity, Minerva, had gone into almost every part of the known world. The blind Mæonian bard had sung of his achievements, and people were anxious to know where so great a man had flourished. The spot was found, and from that instant became consecrated ground. Strangers, centuries and centuries ago, approached it with as much reverence as they do now, and said to themselves, “ Here Ulysses reigned, here Penelope wove her interminable web, and here perhaps the mighty bow was bent to the destruction of the suitors.” This, probably, has been the language of all who have ever visited the island, and will be so to the end of time. It is the language of nature, it is the language that instinct suggests, and sensibility forces one to utter.
Homer and Fenelon have made every one acquainted with the island of Ithaca ; for it is in the Odyssey that we read the account of the forty suitors, who during the ten years absence of Ulysses at the Trojan war persecuted Penelope with their addresses ; it is there we read her ingenious reply to their importunities, that she would choose one when the web which she was then busy in weaving, was completed, a task which she took care to unravel in the night, and thus rendered abortive; and it is there too that we have the affecting story of the poor dog, who, when his master, a solitary outcast from society, returned home after his weary wanderings, recognized the pilgrim through his disguise, and jumping up to lick his hand, died with the exertion. But these times have passed away from us for ever, and though the remembrance of them lingers like wild flowers on the dreary coast of eternity, Ithaca, the object of such hallowed recollections, is a wild and desolate ruin. The billows dash proudly against its shore, as if they mocked its gloomy silence; the sun shines proudly down on its grey misty headlands, as if there were still palaces, and sumptuous buildings, “ to reflect back its lustre ;” and the night-wind still breathes the language of departed glory.
Let us imagine for an instant the return of Ulysses from the grave. How would he be astonished to witness the havoc that time has effected in his kingdom ? He would perhaps inquire for his palace, and a modern Greek would point to a heap of mouldering ruins, as he exclaimed, * Behold all that is left !” He would then speak of his son Telemachus, of his friends who were with him in life, and those who survived his death. He would talk of them as the creatures, the animalculme of yesterday, and would say, “ But where are they?" A stranger would take up a skull that was rotting in his path, and reply to the agonized parent“ Yes ! this was Telanachus, this was him who filled earth with the fame of his exploits, and now occupies a small part of that world which was once unable to contain him.” Then would he perhaps ask for his flourishing kingdom, his myriads of subjects, and his regal magnificence; the stranger would reply, “ Look around, spirit of former days, and you will see all that is left. The mighty are laid low and silent now, but their conqueror still lives, and twines his lazy folds around the carious skeletons. Come, and you shall behold him whose trophies have eclipsed the fame of the proudest conquerors of the world.” Then would the heart of the monarch rejoice that it had not lived to witness the decay of his kingdom, the ruin and extinction of his subjects.
With remorseless energy, the hand of time has indeed set its withering mark on the desolated island of Ithaca. Her proud palaces he has crumbled to the dust, nor has he spared even the inhabitants themselves. He has deadened their zeal, lowered their character, and rendered them a sad memorial of all that was once great and commanding; and perhaps the island and its inhabitants were never so thoroughly degraded as by a circumstance that has lately occurred; when Ithaca, that in former times had equipped thousands of gaily burnished warriors, was taken, not by an army of veterans proportioned to its former notoriety, but by an army consisting of seven English soldiers and a serjeant.
From the Press of Oxberry & Co. 8, White Hart Yard.
AN Emperor kneels before the Pope, who is about to place a crown upon his head. A Death behind, leans with one hand upon the Pope's chair, with the other upon a crutch. The ceremony is attended by Cardinals and Bishops: one of the former is ludicrously personated by another Death. The variations in this cut from the original are very considerable, and two grotesque Devils are entirely omitted.
(To be Resumed.)
MEMOIRS OF MR. KEAN.
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The principles of this society are sufficiently evident from this speech, yet an erroneous opinion got abroad, that the VOL. II.]