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village of Volderberg, then in sight, and running the risk of capture. So long as hunger and fatigue only were to be endured, he was willing to suffer all, in order that he might escape from his pursuers; but his bodily infirmity had now rendered him helpless; and danger could no longer be atoned for, by the excitement of braving it, and by the satisfaction of overcoming it.
Gathering all his energies, he crawled down the mountain ; and many hours after it had fallen dark, he reached the little village of Volderberg ; and sought a refuge in the same cottage which had formerly sheltered him and his family. He was received with kindness, -and found sympathy and succour; and his dislocation having been reduced, he remained in the cottage during the whole of the following day. But the good people, who would willingly have sheltered him, found that this could not be attempted, with any possibility of success ; and it was resolved accordingly to carry him to his own house at Rinn, a distance of two leagues. The owner of the cottage, and the surgeon who had attended him, fearful of making confidants, took the task upon themselves, and leaving Volderberg after night-fall, they carried him by bye-paths to Rinn, and laid him in his stable, which lies at a little distance from the dwelling house, amidst a clump of larch and beech trees.
Early in the morning, Speckbacher's old and faithful servant went as usual to look after the horses, and found his master : his joy at finding him, and his fear of discovery were equally mingled—and to avert the latter, he instantly adopted the best precautions : he dug a hole in the ground underneath where the cattle stood, but beyond the reach of their feet,-and having formed it just of a sufficient size to admit his master in a lying posture, Speckbacher was laid in it,--and Zoppel, his servant, covered the hole over and filled it up with straw and manure. During the long period of seven weeks, Speckbacher remained there, as if in his grave, never changing his position, and nourished with such provision as his servant could procure, and as he, in a recumbent posture, could partake of. All this while, the Bavarians were quartered in Speckbacher's dwelling-house; expecting, that wearied out with misery, he might at last return to his home; and as their horses were in the stable, they were in the habit of frequently visiting it. The utmost circumspection was therefore necessary; and, to so great a length did Zoppel carry that virtue, that even Speckbacher's wife was kept in ignorance of her husband's vicinity ; for he rightly supposed, that the visits of the Bavarians to the stable, would create so great agitation in her, that their suspicions might be roused. Many instances of Speckbacher's narrow escapes are recorded ; and, indeed, his condition became during the latter weeks so utterly miserable from filth, noxious air, and damp, that his resolution was at one time almost taken to screen himself no longer; but Zoppel kept up his hopes ; and the perfect quiet in which he had remained, having effected a complete cure of his hip, it was resolved that another effort should be made for liberty.
It was on the second of May, when the Bavarian soldiers had left Speckbacher's house, that he was lifted from his concealment; but in order to recover the use of his limbs, he remained during some days in the stable. Zoppel had now made known the secret to his wife; it was then that their first meeting took place,-a meeting, doubtless, memorable to both, from the joy felt at recovering a lost husband, and the pain which the knowledge of his sufferings gave to a loving wife. His departure was hastily resolved upon; he was newly clothed in the dress of his faithful Zoppel ; and being furnished with provisions, his wife set out along with him at the close of day, and accompanied him a league on his way.
Speckbacher held his course over the most deserted and wildest of the Alps to Dux, thence turning more to the eastward ; travelling and resting by turns, and avoiding every human habitation, till at length, having passed the Styrian Alps, he was no longer in danger; and safely arrived at Vienna on the 22d of May, after an extent and endurance of sufferings, which it is melancholy to think should have been the only reward of patriotism and valour. The wife of Speckbacher joined her husband at Vienna early the following year; and when the Tyrol again reverted to Austria, they returned together to their native valley, there to spend the remnant of their days. Some years after, however, they removed to the town of Hall; the health of Speckbacher being so much impaired, that he could no longer pursue the labours which must be performed by a Tyrolean peasant; and at the age of fifty-two he died, in the year 1820, and was interred with military honours.
Speckbacher's wife was living in 1831, and her family consisted of two daughters and a son, who resided with her; and another son, the eldest, named Andrew, who was brought up and educated by the King of Bavaria, at Munich, and who then filled an official situation in the Tyrol, under the Austrian government.-Vol. ii. pp. 230-236.
The remaining four chapters offer nothing of sufficient interest to justify us in prolonging this article ; we might, perhaps, except the last, that containing an outline of a tour. However, we must be content with referring the reader to the work itself; and we shall be much disappointed, if even the very inadequate account which we have given of its merits, does not prevail upon him to peruse the original for himself.
Art. VI.-Lectures on Poetry and General Literature, delivered
at the Royal Institution in 1830 and 1831. By James Mont
GOMERY. London: Longman. 1833. With a subject so universally admired as the individual who now occupies our attention, to permit our first accents to be other than those of praise, or of a character in any degree allied to its opposite, may lead to a suspicion of our own uncouthness, and bitter biliousness of constitution ; still, notwithstanding our anxious desire to avoid every thing like petulant invective, we feel ourselves compelled to declare, in the outset, that the impression left on our mind by a perusal of the volume, whose title is stated above, and which impression we find to be increasing in depth and painful working, was any thing but agreeable; but, without further prelude, the grievance is this,--the style of these lectures is so exquisitely beautiful, so highly imaginative, so appropriate to the topic, so enchanting, that we cannot but feel, that in attempting a notice of them, we are
holding up a lamp to show our own obscurity; that, in relation to the extracts we may make, we must acknowledge ourselves to be but the dull metal in which the bright jewel is set. As a poet, James Montgomery has always attracted our warm admiration, and it was matter of much regret to us that we had not opportunity to attend his lectures at the time of their delivery: we sat down, therefore, to the book with an eagerness of appetite, and a luxurious anticipation of delight, very similar to that of a child sitting down to a long-talked-of feast, his eyes sparkling with expectation, his limbs irrestrainably active. Nor were we disappointed, though on some few points we differ in judgment from our elegant-minded author. The whole book is so rife with truth and beauty, supplies and suggests so multiplied a variety of thoughts and feelings, that we scarcely know where to begin. Generalities, however, had perhaps better be discussed before entering on particulars.
The appearance of these lectures reminds us of an important, and, we may say, disgraceful deficiency in the literature of England, which cannot be imputed to that of either France or Germany. There are some books which treat of some parts of the subject; but we do not possess any work that can be considered a complete introduction to fine literature, which describes and illustrates, by examples drawn from the sources both of ancient and modern times, every species of composition. The lectures of Dr. Blair make some pretension to this character; but they are shallow and incomplete, and not to be compared with the works of Le Breton, Sulzer, and Eschenburg. M. Le Breton arranges his matter in a classified form, dividing the subjects into genus and species. A large portion of Le Breton is taken from Eschenburg, who adopts the connected order, a system far more interestin gand effective than that of Sulzer, who presents his work in the form of a dictionary. Mr. Black's translation of Schlegels Lectures on Dramatic Literature constitute an excellent introduction to that department, and have not been without effect; but we want an integral treatise, containing a definition of every term employed to designate the various kinds of literary composition, a description of the peculiarities which characterise and difference each class from every other, and copious illustrations and references to the best existing specimens. The work before us is not intended to be of so universal a range, and therefore cannot be subject on that account to any charge of imperfection. It would be unreasonable to complain of a work, because it does not accomplish, or rather contain, more than its author intended; we merely seize the opportunity to notice the deficiency and lament its existence. Mr. Montgomery's labours in the department of poetry will be recognised as, for the most part, successful-nor do we deem it disparagement to say, that a work falls short of perfection—and the Lectures on Poetry and General Literature will be read by every one having the slightest pretension to taste. But it is time we should introduce the reader to Mr. Montgomery himself, and proceed to a brief analysis of sentiments.
The work opens with an apologue, extracted from Sir Philip Sid. ney's Defence of Poesie, in which he describes the impassioned eloquence used by his riding-master, in depicting the beauties and excellencies of the only estimable being in existence—the horse. After asserting that personal courage and intellectual power are nothing worth, when compared with the qualities of the horse
Then would he add certain praises, by telling what a peerless beast the horse was ; the only serviceable courtier without flattery; the beast of most beauty, faithfulness, courage, and such more, that if I had not been a piece of a logician before I came to him, I think he would have persuaded me to have wished myself a horse.
Mr. Montgomery introduces this for the purpose of appending to it, in the form of an implied comparison of his love for poetry to the riding-master's admiration of the horse, an apology for the enthusiasm exhibited in the subsequent parts of the book. All, we are confident, will exclaim with us, that there is little need of apology for that which is matter of earnest congratulation. What mind more capable of elucidating such a subject, than that which is one of the most refined and imaginative of the present day.
The first lecture is devoted exclusively to the proof of the preeminence of poetry over the sister arts—of music, painting, and sculpture. Music is shown to be inferior, because, while the impressions it leaves are vague, transitory, and unproductive of moral improvement, those of poetry are definite, durable, and powerful to excite the soul to the highest pitch of noble inspiration. Painting yields, on account of her inferior capabilities of description : « poetry is progressive, painting stationary.”
Poetry is restrained neither to time nor place; resembling the sun himself, it may shine successively all round the globe, and endure till the earth and the works therein shall be burnt up. Painting exhibits its whole purpose at one view but with a generality of character, which requires previous acquaintance with that purpose, before the spectator can judge whether it has been effected; we must know all that has been intended to be done, before we can comprehend what has actually been done.
One point, however, is admitted, in which painting has the advantage of poetry, and that is in portrait: no description of poetry can equal the light and shade of the canvass, in respect of portraits; but, on the other hand, in landscape, poetry overtops painting with immeasurable superiority; witness these four stanzas from Thomas Campbell :
Ah! how long shall I delight
In the memory of that morn,
To the Fountain of the Thorn!
And beheld his waves and islands,
Flashing, glittering in the sun,
To the mountains of the Hun.
There was gladness in the sky,
There was verdure all around;
Look'd on rich historic ground.
Over Aspern's field of glory,
Noontide's distant haze was cast,
Teemed with visions of the past.
“What could a painter do with this ?” What, indeed! Poetry then challenges sculpture to chisel a form that shall suggest all the ideas she has given in her description of danger, in Collins' Ode.
The contest, however, is decided by a trial of skill: the subject is “ The Dying Gladiator," described by Lord Byron in his well known stanzas. All the first contains, sculpture has “ embodied in perpetual marble,” but here she stops. Painting might do more, by introducing the spectators, with their gloating eyes, and merci. less exultation. But in the second stanza we see how far poetry transcends both the one and the other. In the matter of emolument, however, with the exception of a very few instances, poetry is decidedly beaten by each of her sisters. The honours of poets, like those of Egyptian kings, are generally posthumous.
She is then contrasted with eloquence, history, and philosophy, and her pre-eminence asserted. « Cicero and Demosthenes have exercised no such power over posterity as Homer and Virgil have done.” “ Xenophon and Thucydides have failed to command the attention which has been won by Anacreon and Horace.” And it must be remembered that “ Pagan poetry, with all its sins, has survived Pagan philosophy, with all its merits.” The more enduring permanence of poetry is inferred as a legitimate deduction, independent on the adducible evidence. But the ultimate and most incontrovertible proof of its pre-eminence is the fact, that it constitutes “the highest of all mental, imaginative, and passionate enjoyments."
The second lecture contains an illustration of “What is poetical.” The hypothesis laid down is-“ that which is highest, purest, loveliest, and most excellent to the eye, or to the mind, in reference to any object, either of the senses or the imagination, is poetical.”