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history, is now made, for the first time, to require the soothing of David's minstrelsy. He sings a sort of dull hymn; which serves the purpose, however; and goes home to his father, who sends him to see his brothers in the camp. Here, again, Mr Sotheby makes amends for his great deviations from the original, by exactly copying the language of the Bible, where it is neither grand nor pathetic.
"Thy brethren feek, if, haply, yet alive.
Hafte! to the captain of their thoufand, bear Ten cheefes, newly preft. And for my fons, Thy brethren, take an ephah of parch'd corn, And these ten loaves. Hafte to the camp with speed: Note how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge. P. 63. What follows, however, as to his reception of the giant's challenge, is executed with more freedom and effect.
Of the mail'd challenger, all Ifrael fled; Fled all, fave Jeffe's fon; whose spirit glow'd Within him, and high confidence in Heav'n. In vain the elder-born, rebuking, mock'd His rafhnefs. Loud again from Elah's vale The taunting of the challenger fent up To God defiance. To the shepherd youth. Its found was as the call of one from Heav'n. Nor David difobey'd. Still in their tents Lay Ifrael. On the trench, as half-refolv'd, Th' uplifted lances quivering in their grafp, Stood Jonathan and Abner :-here and there Many a chief defpondent. The book ends with a brief versification of the scripture story of the death of Goliah, and the discomfiture of his people.
The proem to the fourth book is in exaltation of Great Britain.
That bear him on to blood. Man fhall not yoke
Albion, thy fails, exultant; and diffufe,
Throughout the race and brotherhood of man,
The poet then introduces the song of the virgins celebrating the victory. This, we think, is rendered with considerable spirit.
"Daughters of Ifrael! praife the Lord of Hofts!
Break into fong! with harp and tabret lift
Shout ye! and ye! make anfwer, Saul hath flain
Sing a new fong. I faw them in their rage;
Sing a new fong. Spake not th' insulting foe?
Their chains. Each fide, their virgin daughters groan :
Shout ye! and ye! make anfwer, Saul hath flain
His thoufands; David his ten thousands slain.
Thou heard'ft, oh God of battle! Thou, whofe look
Daughters of Ifrael! from your cymbals fhakė.
Thus thefe came on
In dance and fong: Then, multitudes that fwell'd
Freely their offerings: and with one accord
Sang, "Glory, and praife, and worfhip unto God. "
Of a free people, from impending chains
There, many a wife, whofe ardent gaze from far
There, many a beauteous virgin, blushing deep,
Saul is filled with jealousy and envy, and secretly vows the death of the youthful warrior, who, unconscious of his danger, gives God the glory in another hymn.
The second part is introduced with a vision of old Palestine ; and proceeds to the description of Saul's obstinate hostility, and the love of Michal and Jonathan towards their young deliverer. In the second book, he wins the hand of Michal by his victo ries over the Philistines; and is again forced to retreat into the wilderness, from the hatred of his father-in-law. Samuel anoints him King of Israel; and he sees, in a pretty tedious vision, the whole line of his descendants, with their exploits, from Solomon to our Redeemer. The idea of this anticipation was probably borrowed
ture of cutting off Saul's skirt. However, the taking away of the spear, and sparing his life at Engeddi, is very well told. Saul's visit to the witch of Endor, is described in the very words of the Bible.
"I entreat thee, at my pray'r, divine By the familiar fpirit, and bring up
Him, whom I name.
"Thou know'ft: what need to tell?
How from the living land Saul has cut off
Com'ft thou to fnare my life?"
"Samuel, the prophet. "
"Name the man."
And the prophet rofe.
The forcerefs, at his rifing, with loud cry
Shriek'd out, "Thou haft deceiv'd me: thou art Saul. "
"What the form?"
"The form of one in years comes up, with veil O'ermantled. "
Saul perceiv'd it was the Seer,
Stoop'd, and low bow'd his forehead to the ground.
Saul anfwering faid,
"Oh, I am fore diftreft. Philiftia's hoft
Gathers against me. Terror fills the realm,
"Wherefore on me,
If God is clean departed, and become
What God by me foretold, is done,
Thy kingdom from thee rent. In David's rule
Thy fceptre. For that thou, oh man, didft fcorn
And Ifrael's army, into hoftile hands
God has deliver'd. " p. 183.5.
The catastrophe of Saul, and the song of his successor over him and Jonathan, are in like manner versified almost literally from the Chronicles: and the poem ends with this brief moralization.
Thus the Lord
From land to land, throughout the regions, fpread
Man! obey thy God!' p. 190. From the copious extracts which we have given, our readers will be able to judge for themselves of the merits of this performance. There is sweetness and delicacy in many passages; and an air of elegance throughout; but it is deficient in animation, in characters, and in action. Its beauties belong rather to pastoral and lyric poetry, than to epic; and are scarcely calculated to strike with sufficient force to command the attention of this fastidious age. The work, however, is respectable, and cannot be perused without giving us a very pleasing impression of the character and virtues of the author.
ART. XV. The Nature of Things: A Didactic Poem. Tranflated from the Latin of Titus Lucretius Carus, accompanied with the Original Text, and Illuftrated with Notes Philological and Explanatory. By John Mafon Good. 2 vol. 4to. pp. 1180. Longman. London. 1805.
THESE vaft volumes are more like the work of a learned German profeffor, than of an ungraduated Englishman. They dif play extenfive erudition, confiderable judgment, and fome tafte; yet, upon the whole, they are extremely heavy and uninterefting, and the leading emotion they excite in the reader, is that of fympathy with the fatigue the author must have undergone in the compilation. They contain, first of all, a moft learned preface, giving an account of all the editions of Lucretius, and all the verfions which have been made of him into modern languages; then a life of this author, dilated by biographical sketches of all his anceftors and famous contemporaries, and of the ftate of literature in the ancient world, into upwards of eighty clofely printed pages: and this, again, is followed by an appendix of thirty pages more, containing a long analysis and defence of the fyftem of Epicurus; a comparative view of all the other ancient fyftems of philofophy; and a fhort deduction from thefe, of all the celebrated theories of modern times, from the nominalifm of Abelard, to the tranfcendentalism of Kant. Then comes the original text of Lucretius, correctly printed from Mr Wakefield's edition, with Mr Good's tranflation in blank verfe on the oppofite page; and underneath, a vaft and most indigefted mass of notes, exhibiting not only a copious collection of parallel paffages, and alleged imitations, in