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REVIEW OF BOOKS.
Marmión ; a Tale of Flodden Field. By Walter Scott,
[Continued from Vol. III. p. 332.] We shall now proceed to examine its merits as a poem. We have. before observed it is marked by the same excellencies, and the same defects as the “ Lay of the Last Minstrel,” and the criticism which was passed upon the versification of his former work is also applicable to this; but where there are so many beauties, and the pleasure they create is lessened by such trivial defects, the critic should in gratitude pass them by, and exclaim with Horace:
“ Verùm ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
Aut humana param cavit natura.” The language is, with a few exceptions, spirited and beautifully poetical; and what is perhaps a greater merit, in a poem approaching so near to the dramatic, it is always characteristically appropriate ; but the delight which we have received from several passages of the introductory epistles, has induced us to wish that Mr. Scott would for awhile neglect the deeds of chivalry, and devote his lyre to the expression of social feeling.
From amongst the beauties which impart the irresistible charm this volume possesses, we have, in ad. dition to those contained in our analysis, selected the following:
« November's sky is chill and drear,
So feeble trillid the streamlet through,
Now, murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen
No longer Autumn's glowing red
Page 5 *.
“ To mute and to material things
“ Nor yet suppress the generous sigh,
* Octavo Ed.
For talents mourn, untimely lost,
Pages 7, 10, and 13. The description of the Palmer is original and natural :
« When as the Palmer came in hall
Or looked more high and keen;
But his gauut frame was worn with toil;
His eye looked haggard wild.
She had not known her child.
And hlaunch at once the hair ;
More deeply than despair.
The apostrophe to woman, which follows Marmion's exclamation, when “left to die,” near the field of battle, is also uncommonly beautiful.
« They parted, and alone he lay;
Of all my halls have nurst,
To slake my dying thirst!'-
To the nigh streamlet ran :
The plaintive voice alone she hears,
Page 362. With these extracts we shall close our remarks upon a poen, which, however highly we inay have estimated its merits, renders our praise truth, and its application justice,
Siruggles through Life. 2 vols. By John Harriott.
[Corlinued from p. 336. Vol. III.) We were compelled for want of room, to break off in the middle of an extract from these amusing and ins structive volumes.----Mr. Harriott is describing some experiments he made on an artful impostor, one of the lowest casts of the Gentoos, who wished to have it under stood that his horror at having been touched by a Parriar had been so great as to kill him,
• 1 laid hold of his hand, and was some time before I could feel a pulse, which completely satisfied me; but I kept my own counsel, Again the people pressed forward tumultuously, with an apparent design to carry the body away by force ; but, ordering the Sepoys to advance with fixed bayonets, I made them retire to a distance, suffering only the head men to remain, In vain did I endeavour to persuade them that the man counterfeited, until, finding nothing else would do, I assured them I possessed powers they had no conception of, and, without touching the body again, I would convince them of the man being still alive, by drawing a flame from his body, which they should see, and which would continue burning and consuming him unless he arose from the earth. My brother officers listened with nearly as much attention as the natives.
" I set my Dubash, Punnapa, to enjoin silence to the multitude, as a miracle was going to be performed by a European Bramin, which he assured them I was, (knowing I officiated as a chaplain.)
« Ordering my travelling escrutoir to be brought, I placed it pear the man's head, and took from it a wax taper, a small match, and a little bottle; articles I cara tied for the convenience of getting a light when wanted : I also took out a bit of sealing-wax, wrapped within a piece of white paper. I then directed all to be silent while the ceremony was performing, under pain of their being struck with death. Having had this explained by Punpapa to the chiefs, and by them again to the people, I was well satisfied the dead man heard and understood the whole, by slight involuntary twitchings I saw in his muscles.
“ When all was quiet, I began by walking slowly' round the extended body four times, laying one of the four articles each time at his feet; uttering with a solema