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Jul. Alas! It is in vain that we would hide
The winter of the heart: its envious mists
Will rise and dim the fading cheek and
eye
With their betraying moisture. My Elvira,
We must away. This is no rest for us.

Nay, wherefore look thus wildly? We shall wander,
As the dove left the ark, soon to return,
Bearing the olive with us. Like yon stars,

Which brightest shine when envious frosts chain up
The earth below, so does all pitying Heaven
Look kindly on the winter of our fates,
And often send a brighter ray to guide us,
When all the friendships of this world grow cold,
And fail like ice from under us.
The spies

My mother has employ'd have traced us here,
And she hopes to surprise us by her presence.
But be of good cheer; open violence

We need not fear, and ere her subtle wiles
Can weave their web around us, thou shalt be
Safe in a distant shelter.

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In hope for once:-I know her light built nest
Weathers a thousand storms, which fear or foresight
Had vainly battled with. When the great ship

Sinks in the ocean depths, the gentle halcyon

In safety builds upon the reeling wave,

And slumbers through the tempest.

Jul.

My mother's voice.'

Ha! I hear

The Countess, who is resolved to wean his affections from Elvira, after some sharp reproaches on bis degenerate intention to ally himself with one so much his inferior, adopts that plan which she has conceived, and tells him that Elvira is the natural child of his late father. This false intelligence overwhelms the youth with horror, and in the delirium of grief, remorse, and despair, he resolves to wash out the stain of Elvira's unwitting guilt with her blood. The scene which ensues between Julio and Elvira

is of highly-wrought interest.

Elvira is grieving at his altered mien; she fears at first he may have ceased to love her, but dismisses that apprehension:

Can he prove false?

Can all my dark forebodings come to pass?

Yet wherefore should I doubt him? wherefore write

Thus painfully on memory's tablet one

Cold act of grief or haste, while all his love,

All his kind words, and all his generous deeds,

I bury in oblivion. But, alas!

'Tis ever so-for on the sands of life

Sorrow treads heavily, and leaves a print

Time eannot wash away; while Joy trips by,

With step so light and soft, that the next wave

Wears his faint footballs out. Be hush'd, be hush'd,
My dark misgiving spirit. Well I know
His constant, fervent, and unchanging love-
Like the sweet water-lily, a rude breath
May shake its leaves a moment, but its root

Is far too deep for storms. But here he comes'

Julio enters; and in reply to her inquiry of what affects him, he

replies

Sorrow, sorrow!

Untamed-untameable-undying sorrow!

Elv. Then thou shalt rest in my arms thus, my Julio;
And, as 'tis said reptiles obscene avoid

The sweetness of the rose, or perish near it,

So will I kill the monster sorrow with

My innocent kisses. Wherefore start'st thou thus?
Why dost thou shrink from the embrace of her,
Thy own-thy best beloved-thy wife?

Jul.

My wife!
Away, away!-there's guilt in this embrace,
And every burning kiss adds one link more
To the strong chain that fastens round my soul,
And drags it to perdition.

Elv.

Ah! so cold!

Gave I my virgin heart for this?—a flower

Mean and perchance unworthy, yet 'twas spotless,
And did not merit to be trampled on

Thus scornfully. Oh Julio, though you loved not,
You might have spared.

Jul.

Not loved thee, my Elvira !
That I do love thee, witness these salt tears,—

This worn and haggard brow,—this fever'd pulse,—
Witness this heavy heart, that only tarries

Till its own weight has sunk itself a grave

Of depth enough to hide it. Hast thou pray'd?
Elv. Pray'd, Julio! when?

Jul.

Elv.

To-night, Elvira.

Nay,

'Tis folly,

The hour of prayer has not arrived.

Jul.

'Tis madness, thus in men to regulate
By times and tides the offices of prayer,
When every spot we tread on is a grave,

Each breath we draw tainted with charnel vapours,
And every sun that shines serves but to ripen

The seeds of death within us. Ah! Elvira,

While thou art twisting those bright auburn locks,
See, they are turning grey, and this fair hand,
So soft and delicate, while thus I press it,

Is mouldering in corruption.

Elo.

His brain wanders!

True, it behoves us all to keep the soul

Hallow'd by frequent prayer; for true prayer opens
The chambers of the heart, for heaven's own breath

To breathe upon and purify. It is

A holy flame, which, kept well-fed, will burn

So bright, that even death's dark cave shall seem
A path of shining glory.

Jul.
Then pray, Elvira.
Life is uncertain, and the wheels of time

Crush more than those whose aged limbs refuse
To hurry them before him. I knew one-
Oh! she was fair, fairer than tongue can tell
Or fancy picture! She had just arrived

At life's best season; when the world seems all

One land of promise; when Hope, like the lark,
Sings to the unrisen sun, and Time's dread scythe
Is polish'd to a bright and flattering mirror,
Where youth and beauty view their growing image,
And wanton with the edge. Then her heart whisper'd
All youth's unutterable bliss, and counted

Long years of happiness and health. 'Twas false-
Care did not waste her, nor did sickness blanch
Her cheek untimely; yet the self-same sun
Which rose on her, the happiest in his sphere,
Ere he had finished his diurnal round,

Saw her a bleeding corse. Pray, pray, Elvira,
And ask those heavenly powers, who never turn
A deaf ear to the prayer of faith, to fit thee
For sudden death.

Elo.

Why, what is this, my Julio?
Why jest thus cruelly with one whose heart
Loves thee so well?

Jul.
Elvira, look on me-
And say, if there's a feature here betokens
A jesting spirit. Fitter for me to dance
Upon my father's grave, or lift this finger
In mad derision when the angry heavens
Deal their red bolts around, than now to wear
A mirthful brow. Then, for the love of heaven,
Cast every lighter thought aside, and be

As though this spot thou stand'st on were thy grave,
These robes thy cere-clothes, yon wan waning stars
Torches that light thy funeral, and I-

Deem me some solemn messenger to men,
To teach them, by a fearful providence,
That youth is but the triumph of an hour,
And beauty, dust and ashes.

Elo.

Ah! methinks
I read thy meaning now. Yet can it be?
What is this awful message, Julio? what
Imports it me?

Jul.

Death! Is thy soul prepared?
Elv. For death it is, but not a death like that
I read in thy wild eyes. Oh, pity! spare me!
If thy heart is not turn'd all marble, spare me!
Or
say, what is my crime? why must I die?

Jul. I will not shock thy chaste ears with the cause
Which dooms thee to the grave-yet thou must die-
Not by the hand of hatred or revenge,

But, like the tree round which the ivy clasps,
Whose fond embrace is fatal.

Elv.

[Stabs her.

Righteous Heaven!

[Dies.

Receive my spirit, pity, pardon him!

When the Countess learns from her distracted son the rash deed to which her false invention has driven him, she confesses that it was forged by her to prevent his union. He reproaches her in the following speech: Inhuman parent!

The wild bird of the desert wounds itself,

To save its young; the tigress' savage breasts,
That pant for cruelty and blood, yield food
As sweet as charity to the loved offspring

Of her own womb; nay, senseless things, stocks, stones,
Even the warring elements, have a touch

Of tenderness beyond thee: the world shows
Nought thou resemblest, save that poisonous tree
Which rains a withering dew upon the fruit
Itself has borne.'

Then bidding them bury him by Elvira, he dies. is full of beauty:

• Let no one

Tell our sad tale, no sweet flowers bloom about
Our resting-place; but plant it round with ivy,

His last request

Which kills the thing it loves; with baneful hemlock,
Whence the same sun, that from all other plants

Draws blessedness and fragrance, can exhale

Nothing but poison; and sad rosemary,

Mocking the winter of the year with perfumes,

Which the first blast that blows will ravish from it,
And waste midst howling tempests.'

The length to which we have been induced to make extracts from the first drama prevents our doing more than touch upon the others. The story of David Rizzio has an air of originality added to its intrinsic interest. The description of the Queen is at once true and eloquent :

'Her brow-another Ida, on whose top
Beauty, and majesty, and wisdom sit,

Contending for the prize; her radiant locks,
That o'er her forehead's white float gracefully,
Like waves of gold chafing an ivory shore;
Her lovely lids, fair as those fleecy clouds

Whose dazzling whiteness gems the summer sky,
And, like them, only chided at, because

'Tis heaven's own blue they hide; her eyes, whose lustre
A tender melancholy seems to shade;

Save when deep thought or deeper feeling fills
Those spirit-searching orbs-and then they flash
The mind's magnificent lightnings, and her face
Grows spiritually fine, as though her soul,
(Like a bright flame enshrined in alabaster)
Shone through her delicate and transparent skin,
Revealing all its glory.'

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The last drama is called Antiochus:' it is founded on the fact of Seleucus being about to marry Stratonice, who loves and is beloved by his son. The prince's passion affects his health, and he is near death, when the king's physician discovers his secret, and reveals it to the father, who gives up his destined bride. It is a difficult and passionate theme, which Mr. Neele has treated with great power and judgment.

We have perused this volume with great delight, and we close it with a wish that it was much larger. We have no hesitation in saying that its poetry is highly beautiful and original, and that its claims to the public favour are such as will be acknowledged by all lovers of English poesy.

87

ADA REIS, A TALE.

THERE are certain books, as well as certain men, who owe the importance and rank they hold entirely to the persons by whom they have been introduced into the world. We could mention them by name if we chose, or thought it was expedient to do so; but as in these pages our business is not with men, and only so much with books as applies to new ones exclusively, we confine our attention to Ada Reis. No man, however much of a philosopher he may be, and however little influenced by prejudices, could resist the impression made by a wove and hot-pressed title-page, with Ada Reis at the top, and John Murray at the bottom. A confusion of ideas must immediately occupy his sensorium, among which Lord Byron, and Mr. Beckford, and Mr. Hope, each of them accompanied by his elegant eastern fictions, must hold the highest places. The man who has money enough buys the book; some more humble readers patiently wait for the precarious luck of a circulating library, and feed their daily hopes upon the expectant reversion of leisure spinsters and indefatigable old maids, who have always the élite of those useful establishments; but the wiser reader seasons his admiration for a while, and pauses until the first of the month, when the pages of the British Magazine present him with a succinct account of the book, and enlighten him upon the subject of its contents and merits, exercising at once an anxious solicitude for the preservation of his purse, and a no less careful wish to direct his opinion. Then all the glare and imposing circumstance of the introduction we have alluded to are softened down, and the book stands upon its own merits. From the above exordium we venture to presume no reasonable person can hesitate to agree with us that the British Magazine is a most valuable publication, and ought to be universally read. Q. E. D.-But, to return to Ada Reis..

We may as well state in limine what must be perceived and acknowledged after reading a small portion of this work, viz. that it is an imitation of Mr. Beckford's Vathek; and we need not scruple to add, that it is in every respect inferior to that surprising and interesting romance. It is written with the intention of exemplifying the Eastern superstition of Manes, that the world is subject to the influence of the conflicting principles of good and evil; that these principles approach the children of earth in human forms,―the one to tempt them to sin-the other to encourage them to virtue, and to protect them from the assaults of the more active and powerful enemy. The history purports to be a translation from the MS. of its hero. Ada Reis, the once famous Corsair, the merchant, the traveller, the Don Juan of his day, wrote his life, and left it as a legacy to his successors. His treasures he buried, his slaves he strangled, his wives he suffocated, but this MS. he left for the benefit of mankind. The MS. was found in a little chapel on the banks of the Oronooko, which had been inhabited by an aged female, who had passed her life in religious offices and acts of charity.

The story begins with relating that Ada Reis was sold by his parents, at a tender age, to a Genoese merchant, who had him carefully edu

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