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ashamed to acknowledge that I had been carried over the sentence by its mere euphony, -though, perhaps, there was no good reason why I should have been ashamed. Had my friend possessed much susceptibility of ear for the music of poetry, the grandeur of the phrase he objected to would have entranced his mind, and for the moment made him incapable of looking further. But as my ear grew familiar with the euphony of the above expression, and was sated with it, I should naturally have sought out its other merits, its intellectual supply of gratification. I have often done this; often repeated the phrase with a hope that its meaning would, as it were, lighten over my mind, which is all that I require; but after many trials, I am inclined to think that the sound of the syllables is the only merit they possess. There is a passage in Milton's Comus, which similarly, though not in the same degree, tantalizes the intellectual apprehension of a reader, gratifying his ear as this does. Where the poet speaks of music that did

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The image were palpable if it had been light which smoothed the raven down of darkness till it smiled; but I confess myself unable clearly to apprehend how such a visible quality can, even figuratively, be attributed to sound. If it be merely meant that music made even the gloom of night pleasant, this indeed is plain enough; but such fine words cannot have so ordinary a sense.

There is, however, in the preceding extract from Job, enough of remaining and unequivocal sublimity to challenge admiration. Its merits have been illustrated in a paper of the Guardian, to which I refer my reader, if indeed he requires any assistance in appreciating them. To the above remark on one phrase of this extract I will merely subjoin another on the last verse. There are two perilous extremes to which sublimity is always verging: the unintelligible and the ridiculous. Those who are indisposed to concede the faculty of judgment in any great degree to any poet

may probably change their creed, or become somewhat more liberal when they reflect upon this undeniable truth which I have just asserted. So delicate a judgment does it require exactly to determine that bound which the "vaulting. ambition" of a poet's mind cannot overleap without an offence to good sense or good taste, that no author who has ever dared to ascend" the brightest heaven of invention" can be found who has always sustained himself in that high medium with perfect steadiness. He is either lost in the clouds by some extravagant reach at loftier points, or " plumb down he drops' in some awkward attempt at original excursions. It is to this nodding judgment that we owe such images as" legs like pillars of marble,"

eyes like the fish pools of Heshbon," a "nose like the tower of Lebanon," &c. &c. in the Song of Solomon; it is to this that we are to trace Shakspeare's ridiculous bombastics, and Milton's occasional incomprehensibilities. It is to the want of this nice faculty of discriminating between imagery or sentiment, purely and impurely sublime, that we must at

tribute the errors of the German and French schools of composition. The former cannot perceive the distinction between sublime and grotesque imagery, nor the latter that between sublime and inflated sentiment. When the war-horse in Job is described as saying " among the trumpets, ha! ha!" the poet, I conceive, has gone the very uttermost length that any poet could go with impunity. One step farther, and he would have inevitably incurred ridicule. What led him to the brink of this precipice, where another step would have been destruction?-his imagination, which gloried in snatching a wreath from off that pinnacle where a less sublime genius would have feared to tread. What withheld him at the extremest limit of safety?-his judgment, which told him that so far he could go, but no farther. And this in poetry is the peculiar province of judgment,—to restrain the transgressions of a roving imagination, to chastise the insolence of an over-peering fancy. Hence if a daring imagination be essential to the constitution of a supreme poet, is not a refined judgment also indispensable? How therefore can



conclude that judgment and the poetic faculty are inconsistent?

It is not now my intention to enter upon the consideration of Scriptural sublimity in its full extent; but whilst I relinquish this subject for the present, I cannot help asking my reader if the habit of repeating the Psalms by rote has prevented him from noticing the tremendous energy of a passage which he must have frequently read with his outward eye. Thy feet shall be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongues of the dogs

shall be red with the same.

There is something terrible in the vindictive sublimity of this threat, from which a modern imagination would shrink, however audacious. No one but a servant of Omnipotence would dare to utter such a menace; no enemies but those of the most High could deserve such a fierce anathema to be hurled against them. Another passage in the private letters of a celebrated individual of our own age and country has always impressed me with a sensation of indescribable awe when I thought of it:

As to you, it is clearly my opinion, that you have nothing to fear from the Duke of Bedford. I reserve some things expressly to awe him, in case he should think of bringing you before the House of Lords. I am sure I can threaten him privately with such a storm, as would make him tremble cven in his grave.

The author of these letters (whoever he may have been) was a man of the most energetic powers of mind; but they were nevertheless unequal to the above passage. It is taken, word for word, from the Scriptures. Before I detected this, I had admired the genius which invented such a powerful expression; I now only admire the taste which selected it.

My having accidentally adverted to the book of Job will serve to introduce the subject upon which alone I at first intended to speak. There are one or two fine passages in those parts of the Sacred Writings known as the work of Moses; but I cannot think he was, as has been con

tended, the writer of the book of
Job. The pervading spirit of that
poem (deservedly so called) is dar-
ing, arrogant, high-reaching sublimi-
ty. The style of the great legislator
of the Jews is, both with respect to
sentiment and phraseology, simple
even to homeliness, equable, and un-
ambitious. Sublimity, though always
purest when couched in the simplest
language, springs from a double
fountain: with simplicity of diction
must unite to form the true sublime.
a compatible grandeur of sentiment
There is little of this latter quality in
the books of the Pentateuch. That
instance which occurs in the first
chapter, and upon which so much
needless eloquence has been spent, is
what may be called involuntary sub-
limity. An historian of that simple
age relating such a magnificent fact
as the creation of the world could
not well have avoided being sublime.
The fact in itself and independent of
the historian was sublime: the sim-
ple relation of it must be so too; and
the relation of it by an historian of
that age must have been simple.
Hence are the three first verses of
Genesis necessarily sublime.
same may be said of the description
of the Flood, the passage of the Red
Sea, and others. This sacred author
and parent of all authors seldom goes
out of his way to be sublime. He is
Less of an
every where simple, concise; often
homely, and jejune.


orator than an historian, less of an
historian than a chronicler. But
though a writer so meek in his litera-
ry aspirations that he rather admits
than introduces the sublime; of so
didactic a mind that he rarely de-
viates from the straight forward road
of narrative into the pleasure grounds
of description or embellishment; yet
neither the modesty of his style nor
the brevity of his manner has pre-
vented him leaving us a specimen of
the beautiful, one of the most perfect
on record. It is indeed but a dimi-
nutive though an invaluable gem.
Like a solitary snow-drop it endea-
vours to escape observation amidst
the waste in which it smiles. Though
its beauty be of the most attractive
kind when laid open to view, the

* Locke's definition of wit is just as applicable to poetry and "pleasant" prose so as it be metaphorical, whether witty or not, as to that which he meant to define. And his arguments go as well to prove judgment and poetry incompatible, as judgment and wit.

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flower is so small and so retiring that we pass over the spot where it grows without seeing it. I have never heard any one speak of the "Finding of Moses" as a story offering any peculiar beauty to the reader's contemplation; yet I think I should have heard every one speak of it as such. I cannot account for this, inasmuch as to me the beauty contained in it is as clear as starlight; except in the supposition that as a little star, though perhaps more intrinsically brilliant than the moon, is unobserved by reason of its littleness, so the beauty I allude to, though more exquisite than that which glares in many a larger circuit of words, has been left unnoticed by reason of the exceedingly small space it occupies on the page. In fact, though palpable when specifically contemplated, it is nearly imperceptible when surveyed at large with other objects. It is contracted into five words.

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

And the woman conceived and bare a son; and when she saw him that he was a good. ly child, she hid him three months.

And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and put the child therein, and she laid it in the flags by the river brink.

And his sister stood afar off, to wit what

should be done to him.

And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe herself at the river, and her maidens walked along by the river side: and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

And when she opened it, she saw the child: and behold!-the babe wept. And she had compassion on him and said, This

is one of the Hebrew's children.

Exodus, Chap. II. Here is a picture!-or rather a miniature, touched by the pencil of a fairy. It would make a delicate subject for Ariel to paint in the tender leaf of a cowslip. No!--no artist could possibly do it justice, but he who paints in words, to the soul not to the sense. A painter could never reach the whole beauty of the phrase "wept." He could only give the silent meaning of that word, which is but part of its true meaning, and belongs as well to other less piteous modes of distress than is to

be understood by the term weeping. But the excess of pathos in the above five words is consummated by the choice of the word "wept," in preference to all others of the same class. Had the word-cried been used, it would perhaps have expressed the babe's little history as well; but there is a depth of woe, a gentleness and yet a bitterness of complaint, an utter feeling of desertion and helplessness, indicated by the termwept, as here employed, which no other word could convey. The particular choice of this term may be the merit of the translator; but the whole phrase is beautiful, and presents such an exquisite picture of innocence, desertedness, and distress, as cannot but interest the finest feelings of the heart. I would have it observed too that the story would have been complete without these five words; it is therefore to be considered as having flowed merely from the spirit of poetry and tenderness in the author's breast. It is sufficient to redeem pages of barren chronicle.As a description of helpless innocence the above passage from Exodus is unrivalled. There is however a description of the same subject in the works of a profane writer which approaches its model more nearly than any other I can now recollect. It also resembles its prototype in being nearly invisible to the general reader; at least I have never heard it cited. We find it in a strange book too, and where we should by no means have expected it to appear,-The History of a Foundling! The benevolent Allworthy is described as listening to the speech of his servant, who advises him to expose the little foundling to the inclemency of the night,-to let it (as she says) " die in a state of innocence." But the voice of Nature in Allworthy's heart outpleaded this sordid piece of eloquence:

the infant's hand, which by its gentle pressure seemed to implore his assistance.

He had now got one of his fingers into

Nothing can exceed the pathos and beauty of this description, unless it be the combination of those same qualities in the " Finding of Moses."



ON leaving the monks of Capaccio, we descended to the Paestan plain, crossed the fiume salso, and passed close to the walls of the ancient city, at Spinazzi, a farming establishment which belongs to the Prince of Angri. Near here we saw a great number of breeding mares, horses, and colts. Beyond Spinazzi, we soon got among the macchioni, immense thickets, chiefly of high myrtle bushes-places admirably adapted to robbers, and which have often been illustrated by their deeds. As we walked along the narrow shady paths, buffaloes close by stuck out their ugly muzzles at us, as if in contempt; for the way they elevate their black snouts, has certainly that expression; they paid no attention to our shouts, but stood gazing at us unmoved.

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From Spinazzi to Acropoli is about four miles; in that distance we passed but three or four houses and a martello tower, and until close to Acropoli, we did not meet a human being. This space was covered with the Sybarite city of Posidonia; the soil is still rough and stony with its fragments; due examination might, as Mr. Eustace opines, bring forth some monument of the opulence and the refinement of its founders ;' but recourse must be had to excavation, for the whole surface, which has been duly examined," offers nothing more important than a morceau of a frieze, a perforated stone, or a piece of a column. The cause of malaria, all along the coast of Italy, is here found in perfection: the water that descends from the mountains has not sufficient courses to the sea; it deluges a great part of the soil in the winter and spring, carrying off in its violence almost every thing it finds in its way; and it stagnates in the summer, poisoning the pure air that nature and climate have given. Yet how easy would it be to convert the fiumari into canals, and render this desert plain the seat of cultivation and prosperity! How easy, but how hopeless the experiment, in a country where individual spiritlessness and indolence equal the apathy of government!

The approach to Acropoli is delightful: a considerable stream flows before it, and irrigates a number of fine gardens, almost entirely hedged in with the Indian fig; the romantic little town, with an old castle, a dilapidated wall, and numerous small towers in ruins, stands on a pleasant sloping green hill about a hundred and thirty feet above the sea; the gentle cape of Tresina throws itself out beyond it, and the hills behind it are exceedingly well cultivated, and speckled with neat white casini, and a spacious monastery. This Cecropea of Posidonia, for such it was according to Mazzocchi and Pontanus, has long outlived its mighty parent; it was erected into a city by the Greeks, who found it a convenient sea-port in the beginning of the sixth century, and in 599 it became the see of a bishop: the Saracens took it and held it for some time, and a flat on the outside of the walls is still called Campo Saraceno. At present its population is inconsiderable, it gives employment to only four paranzelle (large open boats) that carry produce to Salerno and Naples, and to a few fishing boats. Here we took a guide for Leucosia; he was a smart jolly fellow that had served the English when in Sicily, and had afterwards, without knowing two words of Greek, married a Greek woman at Cephalonia, who did not know a word of Italian. On leaving Acropoli, we immediately ascended Monte Tresina; fine views of the mountains of the Cilento, a beautiful and fertile district which comprises several considerable towns and many villages, presented themselves to us: on a lofty wooded point we saw Santa Maria la Tempatella, a renowned monastery of the Cumaldolesi, now deserted; and on a separate hill, a Franciscan monastery, still occupied. Our guide pointed out to us another monastery on a mountain still more distant, where is held weekly a great market, called Il Mercato di Sabato dentro Cilento. Pier di Fiume is the nearest town to it, but it is frequented by the inhabitants of at least a hundred towns and villages.

Beyond Monte Tresina, we crossed a loftier mountain, La Serra dell' Alano, from whose summit the prospect is superb; it includes the whole sweep of the bay of Salerno, from Capo Campanella to the Punto di Licosa, with its beautiful indented coasts, and the grand mountains that look over them. The road or path is almost as bad as can be imagined; it was once paved, but like all the works of public utility, in the pro ́vinces, it has been suffered to go to decay, and the poor asses and mules find it sad work indeed to cross it. As we descended the sides of La Serra dell' Alano, we got into a fine fertile country, abounding with corn, festooned vines, immense numbers of fig-trees and pear-trees, (the latter beautifully in blossom), many white farm-houses spread about, and a very pretty one at the foot of the mountain, with a large Italian pine-tree overshadowing it. Here we saw some flocks of sheep of an uncommonly fine breed, with very long wool, silky and snowy white.

After a fatiguing walk of nearly three hours, we arrived at La Marina del Castello, a large village situated on the sea-shore, just under Castellabbate, an old town on the peak of a steep mountain. A pleasant path, mostly along the margin of the sea, led us to the Marina of San Marco, consisting of a taverna, a little chapel, and one or two huts: we then ascended a hill, and continued our way on heights above the sea, sometimes close on their edge, sometimes inward, leaving cultivated slopes between us and the precipices. The hills that rose to our left were rich and blooming in the extreme; there were the pale olive, the flaunting vine, the rich orange-trees, the blue rinded fig-trees, contrasted with the emerald green corn growing among them, the pear-trees in blossom, and the long defensive lines of the speary Indian fig.

falling to ruin, and a cottage, stand near the shore, and about a dozen cottages are spread about at the foot of the hill, the Enipeon Promontory. We found two customhouse soldiers, four sailors, and the tavernaro and his wife, who all complained of the loneliness of the spot. The sailors conducted us to the Syren Isle, which is now not above three hundred paces from the shore; the strait between is very shallow, not being more than six feet deep in the middle. Imagine a low reef, based on rocks, three hundred paces long and from forty to sixty broad, matted with robust weeds and myrtle bushes, a few detached masses of masonry, a choked up bath, some little hillocks of loose stone mixed with pieces of marble-such is now the Insula Leucosia !

As we landed, the screams of some marine fowls that we startled, and not the enchanting voice of the Syren, saluted our ears; and as we advanced, instead of meeting the beauteous form, the poetical creation of Greek fable, we saw a troop of timid white rabbits retreating before us.

According to Antonini,* some labourers who were employed on the island to erect an hospice for the monks travelling to and from Sicily and Calabria, discovered, in 1696, several very ancient vestiges, some wonderfully thick walls, and some sepulchres in which were found human bones, of enormous size of course.

In the evening we looked from our dilapidated chamber; the little island lay like an ocean monster sleeping upon the rippling waters, a large black cross spread out its broad arms on the still main-land shore, as if to guard it from the approach of evil; two or three boats were reverted on the sands, some large fishing nets were spread on poles near the cottage, and the moon shining brightly on these simple objects and on the


Chiare le onde faceva, tremule e crespe.

It was about half-past five on a .delicious evening in spring, when we arrived at the solitary Punto di As circumstances did not permit Licosa, which is about four miles us to extend our excursion along this from the Marina del Castello. A interesting coast, the next morning rude taverna, the remains of a little we turned our steps backward, confort blown up by the English during soling ourselves with the hope of the last war, a large white house crossing "the noble river Hales," of

Lucania, Part ii. Disc. 8.

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