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prove that they never shone more conspicuously; than during the present reign. We think that those who peruse these. agreeable dissertations, without prepossession, will not hesitate to acquiesce in the author's inference, however they may contest particular instances. They will doubtless exclaim against Ossian appearing to support the glory of modern epopea against Milton; they will remark that Shakspeare stands confessedly unrivalled; they will consider the Doctor as singular in his unqualified condemnation of the courtly Waller ; and they will censure the omission of Butler, the wittiest of Eng. lish satirists, who lived and died within the first of these periods.
No. 28 and 29. On the Superstitions of the Highlands of Scot. land.
• A firm belief in a future state, in the perpetual visitation of departed spirits, and in the existence of supernatural Beings. who sported in the elements, and inhabited the mountain of the rock, form, the outlines of the Celtic mythology as it is. drawn in the poems of Ossian.” To this, indeed, is the whole. reducible ; for no expression occurs, indicative of a belief in the superintending agency of a deity. This system of mythology (if it may deserve that appellation) will not supply the poet with much novel imagery; and, as the subject of philosophic speculation, the first inquiry will naturally be, for what; portion, eyen of this contracted scireme, are we indebted to Ossian, and for what to his translator :- We have so frequently alladed to Dr. Drake's prepossession for the melancholy and solemn, that it were almost superfluous to state that he is an enthusiastic admirer of Ossian. His readers will find many beautiful selections from the Bard of Cona in this essay.' No. 30. Agnes Felton, a Tale; Stanzas ; Ode to Content.
The tale exhibits the well-traced picture of a romantic scene, and an interesting family. The ode is highly poetical, and we insert it without inutilation.
• Ode To CONTENTS
Her sweet, her variod arcam shall weaver
For thee, thy wood-girt thatch adorn
The calm, the golden light of eve.
The green, the winding, vale along,
When wilt thou bless my longing arms,
Her gems that idly fire the night,
In lustre Aing their garish light.
In terror cloth’d, the scythed car,
The dark, the death-fraught spear of war.
From guilt and pale-ey'd sorrow free. • Ah! let the Great by error led,
To many a gorgeous city fly,
In peace and humble privacy.
At grey.clad eve, from labour won,
And wistful watch the setting sun.
Flings o'er the stream his moss-hung bough,
And mourn till morn his cheerless lot.
This is a pleasing poem, but the attributes are not the attributes of Content. The votary of Content should neither listen to the wood-lark's plaintive song, nor mark the waves dashing on the rocks; and still less mourn his cheerless lot. The skylark's merry note, the fields waving with golden harvests, and the innocent pastimes of cheerful industry, would have been more appropriate.
We liave now analysed the contents of a volume which has afforded us much pleasure in the perusal, and which will probably become a favourite with the public, as containing an ample fund of valuable, amusing, and generally candid criticism.
ART. VI. The Oriental Collzctions. 4to. Nos. III. and IV.
il. is. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. We resume our account of this interesting and curious pub
lication, 'of which the third and fourth numbers are now offered to the public, and terminate the first volume.
Number 3d. — The geography of Asia may undoubtedly derive important corrections from native itineraries; and we are pleased to find, by the present Geographical Extracts, that this object has attracted the attention of the editor. At the foot of the mountain of Bisitûn, in the province of Curdistan, in a recess hallowed in the rock, three figures are to be seen, carved in relief on a large cornice, of which the middle one seems to represent a king, that on the left, a queen, and the third an oslicer or person of high rank. Near these is an equestrian statue of gigantic size, armed at all points--besides trophies, camels, elephants, and the figures of shepherds with their flocks. In another recess of the rock are different figures, with various inscriptions ; all these are close to a stream which gushes from the mountain, and runs in an artificial channel hollowed in the rock. Some of these sculptures represent archers-others, musicians performing on the harp, and others, hunters pursuing deer.' These antique remains are by some supposed to be the same which, according to Diodorus Siculus, were hewn out of the mountain of Baghistan by order of Semiramis. ::The Persic tradition refers them only to the 6th. century; and involves a romantic story of the loves of Khusru Parsiz and Shirin, which Nezami has .celebrated in a very affecting poem.''
The Reverend Mr. Gerrang has supplied some observations on the Persic language, which (he maintains) is the most descriptive, copious, and regular in the world.' "To the last opia ihet is has an indisputable claim; the two former are more
doubtful : but, when he asserts that it is the same at present as in the times of the kings of Israel, (excepting in the intro. duction of Arabic words,) we cannot help wishing that he had favoured us with some proof of so singular a position. Among innumerable words purely Persian, (says Mr. Gerrans,) which have been always used in common both by the antient and mo.' dern inhabitants, there are two to be met with more frequently than others;' the first of which is “stan," signifying a station ; and in this sense he finds it used by the prophet Hezekiah. We apprehend that this example is rather unhappily selected, the word being a Sanscrit one, and incorporated, with a thou, sand others, into modern Persic. That the latter was the ori. ginal dialect will scarcely be affirmed; and it admits of easy demonstration that the Sanscrit has borrowed from no other. We must also confess our inability to discover any trace of the Persic“ dar," in the proper name Oerotrus.
Among the translations comprised in this number, we find two odes of Hafiz; a tale from an original MS. of the Arabian Nights, and another from the Behardanish ; the two latter by Capt. Scott.
Number 4th-commences with a paper from General Vallancey on the Oriental emigration of the antient inhabitants of Britain and Ireland.' The title is inaccurately expressed ; for what the General undertakes to demonstrate is that the original inhabitants of Ireland were shepherds from the banks of the Indus, who, colonizing with the Chaldæans of Dedan, formed that body of Phoenicians which at length settled in these western islands. It is not, therefore, an Oriental emis gration of British and Irish, as the title indicates, but an occidental emigration of Indians, that is maintained. The proof adduced in support of this position are, ist, the polar star being placed in the tail of the Dragon by the Bralimans, as well as by the Druids : 2dly, The constellation Argo has no derivation in Greck, yet that word signifies a ship in Irish and in Sanscrit. . (This, however, is a mistake ; Argha is the name of a dish used in sacrifice, and it is shaped in the form of a boat; in allusion to a mystery explained by Captain Wilford: but certainly neither boat por ship were ever turmed Argha in Sanscrit, but nov, whence the Latin navis.) 3dly, Other verbat analogies constitute the remaining proofs.
Captain Scott and Mr. Ouseley have enriched this number with a variety of pleasing translations : but we must not pass. over in silence an extract from a Sunscric book entitled Sri
Baghavat, translated by John Marshall, auno 16777'. without semnarking that it is not wlut it professes to be, an extract, but the substance of a portion of that work as explained to Ms.
Marshall by a Brahman. Were an illiterate Englishman to explain to a foreigner, who was imperfectly acquainted with our language, the beauties of Milton, his fine epic poem would scarcely excel this version of the Baghavat, when transfused by the latter into his native dialect.
We are informed that it is not proposed to continue the publication of this work by subscription, but that the numbers will be sold at the price of half a guinea each.
Art. VII. Biographiana. By the Compiler of “ Anecdotes of dis
tinguished Persons ;” (the late William Seward, Esq. F.R.S.)
2 Vols. 8vo. 1os. Boards. Johnson. "1799. Iris Tis obvious that the duty of Reviewers should be exercised
with strict impartiality, and that, though as men they will have their friendships and their aversious, they should be actuated by neither in the execution of thcir oilice as critics. They may be permitted, however, occasionally to proclaim their acquaintance with an estimable character, especially 'when his removal from the world must obviate all suspicion of personal adulation. When, therefore, we presume to mention that we long knew and long esteemed the lamented compiler of the volumes now before us, we are persuaded that the public will not only permit the avowal, but will envy the plea, sure which we enjoyed, and condole with us on the loss which we have sustained.
No man, indeed, ever more merited the regret of his friends than Mr. Seward, for perhaps no man was ever more ardently, devoted to their service. Yet not to his friends alone was his beneficence confined; whoever wanted assistance was sure of his hand; whoever was in distress had the command of his purse; and while nothing was either too difficult or too costly for his indefatigable efforts to do good, he thought nothing unbecoming, nor beneath him, that could conduce to oblige. His conduct was still more courageous and disinterested than his sentiments were elevated and kind; for, in the service of others, he held no one too high for, exhortation, and no one too mean for entreaty. It seemed, indeed, whether for friends or for strangers, -whether for those in whom he delighted, or for those of whom he knew nothing but their wants,--to be ihe very necessity of his existence to be active in good offices. -Such a man must not die without a tribute to his memory ! Such a man cannot die without still living in the memory
of his surviving friends!
In these volumes, which appeared so shořtly before the event thus to be regretted, the indefatigable compiler once more