Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

9

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No VII.

OCTOBER 1817.

VOL. II.

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE “ B10- it were, in triumph beneath the yoke GRAPHIA LITERARIA” OF 8. T.COLE- of misery or happiness. The soul RIDGE, ESQ.-1517.

may be repelled from the contempla

tion of the past as much by the brightWhen a man looks back on his past ness and magnificence of scenes that existence, and endeavours to recall the shifted across the glorious drama of incidents, events, thoughts, feelings, youth, as by the storms that scattered and passions of which it was com the fair array into disfigured fragposed, he sees something like a glim- ments; and the melancholy that mering land of dreams, peopled with breathes from vanished delight is, phantasms and realities undistinguish- perhaps, in its utmost intensity, as ably confused and intermingled-here unendurable as the wretchedness left illuminated with dazzling splendour, by the visitation of calamity. There there dim with melancholy mists,-or are spots of sunshine sleeping on the it may be, shrouded in impenetrable fields of past existence too beautiful, darkness. To bring, visibly and dis- as there are caves among its precipices tinctly before our memory, on the one too darksome, to be looked on by the hand, all our hours of mirth and joy, eyes of memory; and to carry on an and hope and exultation,-and, on image borrowed from the analogy bethe other, all our perplexities, and tween the moral and physical world, fears and sorrows, and despair and the soul may turn away in sickness agony,-(and who has been so uni- from the untroubled silence of a reformly wretched as not to have been splendent Lake, no less than from the often blest ? --who so uniformly blest haunted gloom of the thundering as not to have been often wretched?) Cataract. It is from such thoughts, -would be as impossible as to awak- and dreams, and reveries, as these, en, into separate remembrance, all the that all men feel how terrible it would changes and varieties which the sea, be to live over again their agonies and sons brought over the material world, their transports; that the happiest -every gleam of sunshine that beau. would fear to do so as much as the tified the Spring,-every cloud and most miserable ; and that to look back tempest that deformed the Winter. In to our cradle seems scarcely less awful truth, were this power and domination than to look forward to the grave. over the past given unto us, and were But if this unwillingness to bring we able to read the history of our before our souls, in distinct array, the lives all faithfully and perspicuously more solemn and important events of recorded on the tablets of the inner our lives, be a natural and perhaps a spirit,—those beings, whose existence wise feeling, how much more averse had been most filled with important must every reflecting man be to the events and with energetic passions, ransacking of his inmost spirit for all would be the most averse to such over- its hidden emotions and passions, to whelming survey-would recoil from the tearing away that shroud which trains of thought which formerly agi- oblivion may have kindly flung over tated and disturbed, and led them, as his vices and his follies, or that fine

« PreviousContinue »