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Again---hark !---Sure it is the voice of pain!
And see where comes Mahalaleel; the storm
Hath pal'd his glowing cheek, and dimm'd the light
Of his young joyous eye. May nought but fear
Cain very poetically replies, and Have wrought upon thee thus! Unharm'd
Myself, and this be no delusion, then My wretched flight hath borne me to the spot
I should have shunn'd for ever. Oh, I know That giant tree, and those cloud soaring hills,
And---God of vengeance, hast thou drawn me here,
To make my doom more bitter, to assist The malice of the fiend ?--It is,---it is, The crimson spot of earth, the wither'd bound,
Where first into her sick'ning breast was pour'd
The draught of her son's blood. It is the spot,
Where these fell hands griped his imploring throat,
And smote upon his brain! He riseth !--
Up from the earth he comes, a blacken'd
To drag me to his grave,---to bid me share His deep and bloody bed !---Oh, agony,We sink !---together, ---down,---down,--deeper yet,--
The earth is closing o'er me.
SETH and MAHALALEEL enter. Mahalaleel. See, my father, Where, on the earth, unto the tempest's wrath,
Insensible the wretch extended lies. Wounded he is, and speechless, let us raise His head from that sad pillow.
Soth. Sorrowing man, Look up. Thy wounded head reclines
A pitying bosom, open to the light
That o'er its darkness soft compassion may Throw her sun-tinted hues.
Mahalaleel. Thy gentle tones Have back recall'd the scatter'd senses. See, He looks upon us. Father, can this be One of sweet Nature's sons? My trembling heart
Shrinks from his fiery glance.
Yea, let me hope I gaze upon a vision,---that the breath Of the blasphemer doth not file the air, So near the courts of Eden; that the foot Of the manslayer doth not press the soil Red with his victim's gore. Oh, righteous Heaven,
Before thee I have sinn'd; I would not then Curse the destroyer, but, I pray thee, send Him back unto his land, ere other sons Glut his revengeful malice.
Cain. Is humble! Father of mankind, behold The wretched, prostrate Cain. The earthabhorr'd;
The horror-struck---the wand'rer---demonscourged;
Of God and man abandon'd. I have worn Long on this aching brow the burning seal Of the Creator's vengeance. Now, I come Unto my father's hand, to raze the stamp, And take the malediction from my soul. Stárt not, Oh brethren! hither not my will, But the Eternal's, bore me; for I knew Nought of the path o'er which my frenzied speed
Drove furiously along. O Father, chief Of the earth's thousands, 'neath thy holy rule,
Within these sacred valleys, let my head Lie down in peace! I ask a tranquil spot Where I may die. I would not live among Mine own all sinful race, whose hands are arm'd
Against their father's life, who struck the head
To God's own wrath devoted."
The conversation between Adam and Cain becomes, after this, very dull and unexpressive indeed painful and
eemingly unnatural; so we pass it ver, and give the conclusion of the
Cain, after a long life of agony and uilt, lies stretched at last on the very rave of the murdered Abel; his faher is beside him, and God is thunering in the sky. The situation is randly, and sublimely, and terribly magined; and though the execution is carcely equal to the design, it certainy exhibits Mr Lyndsay's power in the nost favourable light, and justifies fully ll that we have now ventured to say n his praise. "Cain.
My brother's grave Is now my place of rest, for never more Shall I forsake that home. This is the bed Where I shall sleep for ever. Hark! there
For thy last expiation.' God, I pray thee,
And the dark fiend that doth beset my soul
The spurn'd of all, I turn me back to thee!
Unto thine eye,---avert it not, O God!
Have been an expiation,---if my soul
Then call me from this earth,---arm thy right hand
With thy tremendous bolt, and strike me dead!
Come, vivid lightning, spare no more this head,
But crumble it to cinders, and upon Thy wing of glory, bear my mounting soul,
To seek for pardon at th' Almighty's
Breaketh above the darkness. O my son, Have mercy on the fallen.- -Soft, the day Mine elder born, where art thou? Gone,--behold
The Eternal hath accorded his sad prayer,
In darkness hath departed. Lo! a heap
Devours the murderer, he is entomb'd
Still sacred to his God, and sacredly
The breath of the Almighty stirs them from
Their resting-place, and scatters them
Cain's atoms rise, no more a heap of dust,
But mingled with creation. Air, earth, water,
Take each your several offerings !"
from this poem, that our readers might We have given copious quotations have before them enough of Mr Lyndsay to decide on his merits. We do not fear to say, that he is a poet with much feeling and no little imagination. His chief fault is a dim and misty splendour indiscriminately flung over all his conceptions, by which the very eye of the mind is dazzled, and from which it would fain seek relief. There is no less touches at once awaken the heart; simplicity; for soft, tender, and careand nothing like delineation of character;-neither is there much curious or profound knowledge of passion; and the poet is sometimes weakest when he ought to be most strong. But Mr
Lyndsay conceives situations very finely and originally; his diction is often magnificent, and his imagery striking and appropriate; he seems to write in a sort of tumult and hurry of young delight, and therefore is often insensible to the monotony and even dulness of long passages, which sorely try the reader in a calm and composed perusal; he pitches his tone too high, and walks too much on stilts; his bad passages, accordingly, are extravagant, bombastical, and not to be read at all; but when the situation of his personages is pathetic or sublime, Mr Lyndsay is often most effective; and we have no doubt that we have quoted enough to prove, that if a young writer, which can scarcely be doubted, high hopes may be justly formed of him who, in a first attempt, has produced so much poetry true to nature, and belonging to the highest province of imagination.
Prefixed to this volume, we find the following Advertisement :
"It may be necessary for me to say something respecting the singular coincidence of my having chosen the same subjects as Lord Byron for two of my Dramas. I entreat permission to assert, and credit when I do assert, that it is entirely accidental that my Dramas were written long before Lord Byron's were announced,before I could have had any idea that his brilliant pen was engaged upon the Drama at all. The inferiority of the execution of mine may perhaps lead me to regret that I have selected the same subjects, otherwise I never can lament any coincidence with the admired Author of Manfred and Childe Harolde."
The coincidence certainly is very singular; and the overpowering influence of Byron's name may prevent full justice being done to Mr Lyndsay. But we are greatly mistaken if his Lordship himself will not admire many things in these first productions of a youthful muse, at once modest and ambitious. Our extracts have been wholly from one Drama-not because we think it absolutely the best, but that the public might judge of the force of the poet's mind in its continuous flow. The conception of the state of Cain is beyond doubt very terrible and poetical, and has occupied the writer's mind almost to the exclusion of all other permanent thoughts or feelings. But perhaps readers, according to their peculiar tastes, will prefer some of the other pieces. The
Deluge is conceived in a very awful mood of the imagination;-vast and dark images of horror and crime, like the shadows and the gloom of storms. move around the scene, and sugges associations of terror, far more thrilling than the most distinct portraiture of individual character. The Plague of Darkness, and the Last Plague, have already adorned our pages. Rizpah, as a delineation of the craze of grief, is full of strong and affecting touches of pathos. The description of the silent spirit of Saul hovering round the bodies of his sacrificed children, cannot be thought on without painful sentiments of sympathy and sorrow.
In Sardanapalus, the author will again be brought into comparison with Byron. In his conception of the situation, we doubt if the noble poet will be found to have surpassed him. In the appropriate expression of passion, Mr Lyndsay is not so successful, though here and there he darts gleams of the intensest feeling, and at times puts of Sardanapalus, that his soul appears such energy into the kindled heroism sparkling and glowing beneath the falling of his fortunes like the thunderbolts under the hammers of the Cyclops.
But Sardanapalus is here a full formed hero, already he has been the Hector of battles, and the young voluptuary is almost forgotten in the stern and gallant soldier. The interest is in consequence weakened
can anticipate from the first, that he will perish gloriously; and he is introduced to us as claiming and meriting our sympathy.
would have been to have shewn him What a triumph of dramatic art it in his state of abasement, and to have exhibited the first stirrings of his lahis powers, till the whole splendour tent energy, gradually developing all into that conflagration of spirit, with and pride of his nature had burst out which he at once met and avenged his doom. We know not, indeed, in the whole range of human passion, any incident so calculated to produce the noblest stage-effect, than the moment when Sardanapalus, awakened to the danger and greatness of his situation, roused himself, and bade
"The weak wanton Cupid Unloose his amorous fold, And, like a dew drop from the lion's mane, Be shock to air.”
CAPTAIN COCHRANE, AND THE NORTH-EAST CAPE OF ASIA.
In a late number of the Quarterly Review, we were informed that Henry Dundas Cochrane, a commander in the British Navy, had set out from St Petersburgh, under the auspices of the Imperial Government, to proceed through the interior of Russia to the East of Asia, with the view of ascertaining whether the " North East Cape" was really a Cape, or part of a continuous neck of land, by many supposed to unite the two Continents of Asia and America. All this we knew, as well as the journal in question; and being aware of the sources from which the Reviewer was accustomed to draw his information on all matters connected with Russian discoveries, we should never have expected any thing in the shape of a hoax. The "respectable correspondent," however, succeeded in making the Quarterly believe that Captain Cochrane was to perform his journey (only 11,000 miles,) on foot! Yes, gentle readers, on foot ! and the worthy Reviewer, in the simplicity of his heart, announces it to the world, and is believed by all but the readers of our journal, who, as we formerly announced, are, fortunately for themselves, somewhere under 9-10ths of the reading population of these realms. This threw such an air of doubt and ridicule over the whole matter, that we really began to think the Quarterly had condescended to be facetious with his readers, or in plain terms, was trotting them. However, we should not have thought more of it, but that we were personally and intimately acquainted with Captain Cochrane, admired his spirit of enterprize, and wished to rescue his character from a charge of Quixotism; we therefore resolved to make proper inquiry, availing ourselves of that extreme facility we enjoy through the popularity of our journal, for acquiring information on every subject of interest, foreign or domestic. Indeed, our readers must have perceived of late, that, like the Quarterly Review, and the Steward in the play of the Stranger," we have our correspondents in the principal cities of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America," although, hitherto, on account of our greater modesty (the usual accompaniment of true desert,) we have not chosen like them to say so. The following may be regarded as a short, but authentic account of Captain Cochrane's proceedings:
On the 6th of May, 1820, he addressed the Russian Government on the subject of his intended journey, stating that he wished to travel in the eastern parts of the Empire ;-his attempt to be considered as that of an individual unauthorised by his own Government, and requesting,
1st, Not to be molested on his jour
2d, Assistance and protection if required, and general facilities to be afforded.
3d, Permission to join the Russian Polar Expedition if he should fall in with it, and to accompany it as far as he might be inclined.
The Russian Government having, in the handsomest manner, granted him all he asked, the traveller immediately set out, making the best of his way to the Ouralian mountains, which our readers will be pleased to cross along with him, and accompany him to Tobolsk the capital of Siberia.
In order more easily to follow him in his route from thence, we request the reader to sit down with a map of Asia before him, (Arrowsmith's, published in 1818, for instance,) and the Magazine in his left hand.
Instead of keeping the high road to Irkutzk, along the Irtysh as far as Tara, Captain C. struck off soon after leaving Tobolsk, and making the string of the bow, reached Omsk, where he again fell in with the river. From thence he ascended the line of the Irtysh for 2000 versts, passing to the westward of lake Tchany; and skirting the famous country of Gog and Magog, arrived at Narym, a little village and rivulet forming at this point the line of demarkation between the empires of Russia and China. Captain C. describes the country around Narym as being of the most romantic beauty, and equal, in his opinion, to Switzerland. He particularly mentions the situation of the Fortress Bouchtarminskoi, as of uncommon grandeur. Here he embarked, and dropping down the rapid Irtysh to the town of Ubinsk, proceeded to view the mines of Izmaova and the works of Barnahoole, with which he was much gratified. At this place he met with his Excellency the Governor General Speransky, from whom he experienced the most friendly reception. Leaving Barnahoole, he rejoined the high road to Irkutzk at Tomsk, along which he held till he 5 A