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while he was speaking, but I could not observe the least change in the expression of his countenance. When he was done, and even the soldiers that stood about appeared to be expecting his answer-a single bitter motion of derision passed over his lips, and he nodded, as if impatiently, to the Prætorian whose lips were upon the end of the trumpet. The man blew, and while yet the surrounding arches were echoing the sound, the sword-bearer had executed his office, and the headless trunk fell heavily upon the pavement. Instinctively I turned me on the instant from the bloody spectacle, and my eye rested again upon the couch of Athanasia but not upon the vision of her tranquillity. The clap with which the body of Cotilius fell upon the smooth stones of the court, had, perhaps, reached the sleeping ear, and we all know with what swiftness thoughts chase thoughts in the wilderness of dreams. So it was that she started in her sleep, at the very moment when the mortal blow was given."
Difficulties continue to crowd round the lovers, till, by the lenity of Trajan, and the persevering friendship of the Prætorian Sabinus, they leave behind them the dangerous grandeurs of the Imperial City, and embark for Britain. Sabinus marries the widow, and Sextus, made happy with a young er and more gentle bride, inhabits the Roman villa of Valerius. Before he leaves Italy for ever, the Briton is witness to the rejoicings on his friend's marriage.
"At the gate way, which opened a little farther on into the gardens, we found the two faithful freedmen, Boto and Dromo, waiting for us with horses richly caparisoned, (for they knew not how we might travel from the city,) and with change of dress for the whole of us. We passed under the porch of a small rural chapel that stood near the gate, and there Sabinus and I exchanged our military attire for the peaceful gown, in which alone we could with propriety appear in the nuptial celebration. Athanasia, for her part, threw over all her dress a long veil of white, for she alone durst not shew her face in the precincts, where of right she was mistress. We then mounted the new steeds that had been prepared for us, and dashing through the grove that edged the lawn, joined the bridal procession just at the moment when it had come in front of the villa-and all the merry clamour of shouting, and all the bursting melody of lutes and cymbals, saluted the first appearance of the curtained litter, in which the young Sempronia was borne in the midst of her attendant pomp of horsemen and chariots.
"Conspicuous in front of all rode, in his lofty car, the Flamen of Jupiter, arrayed in his long purple robe, and wearing on his head the consecrated diadem. The priestess of Apollo, too, was there, surrounded with all her damsels, ruling, or seeming to rule with her own hand, the milk-white horses of the sun that pawed the ground before her burnished wheels. Gay horsemen checked their steeds amidst the blaze of torches, and the peals of music. White-robed dam sels and youths, advancing from the portal, chaunted the Hymenæan. Far and wide nuts and rose-buds were scattered among the torch-bearing throng. Young Sextus leaped from his horse, and the litter touch
"He pointed through an opening among the thick trees on the right hand, and we perceived, indeed, at some distance below us by the river side, innumerable symp-ed the ground, and the bride, wrapped all toms of magnificent festivity. The great arcades of the villa were blazing from end to end with lamps and torches, displaying in distinctness that almost rivalled that of noon-day, every gilded cupola and sculptured porch, and all the long lines of marble columns that sustained the proud fabric of the Valerian mansion.
"In front of the main portico, and all along the broad steps of its ascent, stood crowds of people, as if in expectation. Before them, girls and boys all clad in white raiment, were dancing on the lawn to the sound of a joyful tabor. A confused hum of gladness ascended from every part of the illuminated pile. Come, my boy, push on cheerily,' quoth the Centurion; if you don't, we may chance after all to be too late for the great moment. The procession, it is evident, can be but a little way before us-and I, Valerius,' he added in a whisper, must not lose the benefit of the rehearsal.' VOL. XI.
over in her saffron-coloured veil, was lifted, gently struggling, over the anointed threshhold. Sabinus swelled the hymenaal cho rus with his ever-cheerful voice; while poor Athanasia-my own unsaluted bride-she stood apart from all the clamour, gazing through her veil-it may be through her tears-upon the festal pageant.
"We ventured not into the blazing hall, till all the rest had entered it. The symbolic fleece had already been shorn from the spotless lamb, and all were preparing to pass into the chambers beyond, where the tables appeared already covered with the wedding-feast. Every one was glad, and every one was busy, and no one regarded us as we stood beneath the pillars of the hall,-contemplating the venerable images of my ancestors, that were arranged all around us-from the mouldered bust of the great Publicola, down to the last of the lineage, the princely Cneius, whose inheritance was and was not mine. There were
moments, I cannot conceal it, in which some feelings of regret were mingled with the admiration, which I could not refuse to the spectacle of all the ancient grandeur that for the first, and for the last time, I was gazing on. But Athanasia leaned upon me as I stood there, and all things seemed well, when I felt the pressure of her bosom. "Ere long, Dromo approached us, and led us aside from the scene of all the noisy merriment into an upper chamber, where, divested of her veil, the lovely bride of Sextus stood waiting to fold Athanasia in one parting embrace to her bosom. I turned aside, and witnessed not their farewell
"Licinius, Lucius, Velius, and the Priestess, came into the bridal chamber, with the wreathed cup. It was then that, in their presence, I proclaimed Athanasia for my bride. They kissed her pale cheek -once and again she returned the salute and with slow steps we took our departure. Sabinus, the good Sabinus, walked along with us down the dark alley that led to the river side. The two freedmen were already sitting at their oars-we bade adieu to the
Centurion-tenderly the kind man bade us both adieu-and I lifted my Athanasia, weeping natural tears devoid of bitterness, into the little boat which had been prepared for us."
The extent of our quotations is the best evidence of our gratification in the work. It has some trivial peculiarities of style. The cadence of the prose is sometimes too measured; it has even a scriptural formality. Occasional phrases occur unusual to, at least, a Southern ear. "Of a surety-so saying-a certain man-ere long-in a word-mine for my," &c.
Those blemishes are too trivial to be observed on, but as matters of simple alteration. The writer has shewn highly valuable acquirements, for the illustration of ancient times, in the most pleasing form of graceful fiction; he has the learning, the language, and the imagination. His triumph is se
NEW-YEARS'S DAY CONGRATULATIONS.
THERE exists in the bosom of every parent, as you well know, a bond of natural affection, which, while it acts as a corrective of all animosity towards his children, likewise operates as an incentive to a free and unreserved communication of sentiment. Therefore, as you are quite aware of our regarding you with truly fatherly affection, it is to be expected that we sometimes descend from our lofty seat of magisterial authority, unbend ourselves before you, and, forgetting the formalities of wisdom, lay open those minutiae of the heart; which, of however little importance they may be of themselves, form a great part of the happiness or misery of every human being.
Sure never Editor was more respected, or had greater cause for being contented with mankind in general than ourselves. Universally read at home, or nearly so,―translated into the continental languages-transported to America, perhaps to New South Wales-and the text book of either India—we are quite a citizen, and civilizer of the world, and perhaps a greater philanthropist than Mr Bennet himself. Contributions crowd in upon us from the four winds of heaven; and we can boast of being a favourite in almost every considerable city of the earth,-always excepting Tombuctoo; the reading public being there, we should suspect, things of futurity.
But, notwithstanding all this happiness, we have a small complaint to make, and it regards you, my dear Public. Does it never strike you (with reverence be it spoken,) that your overwhelming civility may not a little usurp the time, that would otherwise be dedicated to the promotion of science, and to the cause of loyalty and good humour? But errors, which proceed from excess of goodheartedness, we shall ever be the first to pardon, and to pass over quietly. Here are we, on the 10th January; nor, since Christmas day, have we been allowed an hour's solitude in our study, or a single meal, save breakfast, in our domicile; and, for a fortnight to come, we have partial engagements for every day,
save one. Do not, we beseech you, mistake us for an alderman; and recollect, that your mistaken kindness is only adding fuel to the fire of gout. Oh! attend we pray you.
We had just written thus far, when Grizzy taps at our door.-"Come in; what do you want now ?"
"Nothing at all," answers Grizzy, somewhat snappishly, "it is only this collection of letters, which Peter the postman handed in. They come to seven shillings and three pence."
"Seven devils and three pence!" returned we very unphilosophically, ". we wish they may be worth half as much. There is the money," said we, taking the silver from our black silk breeches' pocket, and the three pence from the chimney-piece. "And shut the door after you, burd Grizzy.”
A rare collection, indeed, thinks we to ourself, where the deuce have they all come from. Let us see, said we, adjusting our spectacles. By the powers this resembles the fist of the "laurel-honouring Laureate." What was our pleasure, surprise, and gratification, when, on breaking the seal, we found our hopes realised, and read as under.
KATAPAI, QE KAI TA AAEKYPYONONEOTTA, OIKON AEI OYE ΚΕΝ ΕΠΑΝΗΞΑΝ ΕΓΚΑΘΙΣΟΜΕΝΑΙ.
I laid me down in melancholy mind;
My bosom's grief it foil'd me to gainsay;
Far off I heard the murmurs of the wind,
The cataracts roaring, and the watch-dogs bay;
And, in a little space, the dews of sleep
Fell on me with an influence calm, but deep.
Methought that on a glorious mount I stray'd,
And, stretching far around, a city lay,
And open sky their towering summits sent;
Methought that then I met a little Man,
With glittering black eye, and with bristling hair;
And in the front he stepp'd with haughty air;
"Behold his cabbage laurel!" one exclaim'd;
And pray'd Destruction's wheels might o'er them roll:
Nor was my prayer in vain; they hobbled on
A more beatic vision on me broke ;
Me he beheld, admiring as he ought,
Whom Fame hath to her inner chamber brought,
Around that masked man, as I have said,
Sate a great crowd of chosen spirits bright;
And cheer the land with intellectual light;
My nobly won supremacy they own'd,
Own'd as they ought to do; and, in return,
But, chiefly, on that Veiled Man on high,
I fix'd upon his chin my stedfast eye,
And instant felt the workings of the god,
I condemn every foe
In torture and toil
There to burn, bake, and boil
Whoe'er shall come forth
As their master on thee,
May they long take their doses,
Bravo! Laureate, L. L. D. and member of the Royal Spanish Academy. Let the paltry dogs bark as they will, but thou art a noble fellow; and, even allowing the hexameters not to be in the best possible taste, there is not a poet living who would not jump, on being called to father the Thalaba, the Madoc, and the Roderic. Long for thee may the butt of sherry run sparkling; may the laurel adorn thy living temples; and may thy enemies find, that " curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost!"
So, laying thee aside, who is this that comes next? The hand-writing is truly very neat, and unauthor like. Let us see, said we, it bears the London post-mark. Crack goes the vermilion seal-another poem! the initials T. C. What, can this be Campbell? If so, why so diffident, as not write his name at large.
EFFUSION OF FRIENDSHIP.
As, at the sun's uprise, the shades of grey
Shrink from the landscape's breast, and melt away,
More bright her forests bend, her rivers flow,
Star of the Northern sky! whose glittering ray
Hail to thee, North! in vision'd bliss, I see
Turns many a wistful look, and longs for thee;
And, by the dying embers' fitful glow,
Proclaims thee wisest of thy kind below.
Unrivall'd North! when discord was abroad,
Then did'st thou mount thy steed, and take the road;
By thee the plotting crew were overthrown,
And their dark omens on the breezes strown:
When thou must yield-far distant be the hour,
Admiring pilgrims from all lands will come,