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Jul. Alas! It is in vain that we would hide
Nay, wherefore look thus wildly? We shall wander,
Which brightest shine when envious frosts chain up
My mother has employ'd have traced us here,
We need not fear, and ere her subtle wiles
In hope for once:-I know her light built nest
Sinks in the ocean depths, the gentle halcyon
In safety builds upon the reeling wave,
And slumbers through the tempest.
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,
Is far too deep for storms. But here he comes'
Julio enters; and in reply to her inquiry of what affects him, he
Elv. Then thou shalt rest in my arms thus, my Julio;
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?
Ah! so cold!
Gave I my virgin heart for this?—a flower
Mean and perchance unworthy, yet 'twas spotless,
Thus scornfully. Oh Julio, though you loved not,
Not loved thee, my Elvira !
This worn and haggard brow,—this fever'd pulse,—
Till its own weight has sunk itself a grave
Of depth enough to hide it. Hast thou pray'd?
The hour of prayer has not arrived.
'Tis madness, thus in men to regulate
Each breath we draw tainted with charnel vapours,
The seeds of death within us. Ah! Elvira,
While thou art twisting those bright auburn locks,
Is mouldering in corruption.
His brain wanders!
True, it behoves us all to keep the soul
Hallow'd by frequent prayer; for true prayer opens
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
Crush more than those whose aged limbs refuse
At life's best season; when the world seems all
One land of promise; when Hope, like the lark,
Long years of happiness and health. 'Twas false-
Saw her a bleeding corse. Pray, pray, Elvira,
Why, what is this, my Julio?
As though this spot thou stand'st on were thy grave,
Deem me some solemn messenger to men,
Death! Is thy soul prepared?
Jul. I will not shock thy chaste ears with the cause
But, like the tree round which the ivy clasps,
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,
Of her own womb; nay, senseless things, stocks, stones,
Of tenderness beyond thee: the world shows
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
His last request
Which kills the thing it loves; with baneful hemlock,
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,
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
Contending for the prize; her radiant locks,
Whose dazzling whiteness gems the summer sky,
'Tis heaven's own blue they hide; her eyes, whose lustre
Save when deep thought or deeper feeling fills
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.
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