Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

bards of Greece/ were confined within the narrow circle of the Ch'orus, and hence they found themselves constrained to practise (for the m'ost-part) the precis`ion, and co`py the details of nature. I' followed them, and knew not that a larger circle might be d'rawn, and the dr ́ama/ extended to the whole reach of human genius. Convinc`ed, I see that a more compendious nature may be obtained; (a nature of effects o'nly) to whi'ch/ neither the relations of plac'e, nor continu'ity of ti'me, are always ess'ential. N'ature (condescending to the faculties and apprehen'sions of m'an) has drawn through human life a regular chain of visible* caus'es and effects: But po'etry/ delights in surpris`e, conce'als her steps, sei'zes at on'ce upon the he‍art, and obtains the sublim'e of things/ without betraying the rounds of her asc'ent: True poesy is m'agic, not nature; an effe'ct/ from causes hi'dden or unknown. To the MAGICIAN/ I prescribed no'-laws; his la'w and his power/ are one'; his power/ is hi's-law. Hi'm/ who neither imitates, nor is within the reach of imitation, no precedent c'an, or ou`ght to bind, no limits to cont`ain! If his en'd is obtained/, who shall question his course? Me'ans (whether appa'rent or hidden) are justified in po`esy by succ'ess; but then most perfect and most a'dmirable/ when m'ost conce'aled.”—But wh'ither am I going! This copious and delightful to'pic/ has drawn me far beyond my design: I hasten ba'ck to ject, and am gu'arded (for a time at least) against any further temp'tation/ to digre'ss.

my

sub

CATO'S SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL.

ADDISON.

Ir m'ust be so-Pl'ato, thou reasonest we'll—

E'lse/ whence this pl ́easing ho`pe, this fo`nd desir ́e,
This lon'ging after immort'ality?

Or/ whence this secret dread, and inward h'orror,

Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul

* Nouns ending in ity, and adjectives in ible, should be pronounced as if terminating in ēty and eble, due attention being paid to the percussion of the accent: thus, "cha'rêty, va'nety, po'sseb'le, se'nsēble," &c.

[blocks in formation]

Back on herself, and startles at destruction? 'Tis the Divi'nity, that stirs withi ́n us ;

'Tis He'aven itself, that points out an hereafter,*
And i'ntimates/ eternity to ma'n.

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreaˆdful thought!
Through what variety of untried be`ing,

Through what new sc'enes and changes/ must we p'ass
The wi'de, the unbo^unded prospect/ lie's bef'ore me;
But sha'dows, clouds, and da'rkness/ re'st upo'n it.
H'ere will I ho'ld. If there's a power

ab'ove us,

(And that there i^s, all Na'ture/ cries aloud

Through all her works,) he must delight in virtue ;
And that which h^e delights in/ must be happy.

But wheˇn, or whe^re ?-This world was made for Cæsar.
I'm weary of conje'ctures-th'is/ must en'd them.
Thus am I doubly armed-my dea'th and life',
My ba'ne and a'ntidote/ are both before me.
Th'is (in a moment) bring's me to an e'nd;
But this infor'ms me/ I shall ne ́ver die' !
The soul (secured in her exi'stence,) sm'iles
At the drawn da'gger, and defi'es its poi'nt:
The st'ars/ shall fa'de awa'y, the su'n himse^lf
Grow di'm with a'ge, and Na'ture/ sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immo'rtal yo'uth,
Unhu`rt/ amidst the war of e'lements,

The wrecks of ma'tter, and the cru'sh of worlds.-
What means this hea'viness/ that hangs up'on me,-
This lethargy/ that creeps through all my se'nses?
Na'ture (oppressed and harassed out with c'are)
Sinks do'wn to res't. This o'nce/ I'll fa`vour her;
Tha't/ my awakened so'ul/ may take her flight,
Renew'ed/ in all her strength and fre`sh with life,
An offering/ fit' for heaven! Let guilt or fe`ar
Disturb man's re'st: Ca to/ knows ne`ither o'f-them,
Indifferent/ in hi's cho'ice, to sleep, or die!

Lower

and

slower

*It is proper to use an before words where the h is not mute, when the accent is on the second syllable, as, an heroic action, an historical account, &c.

PROSPECT FROM THE SUMMIT OF
MOUNT ETNA.

BRYDONE.

ON the twenty-seventh of M'ay, we set off at midn'ight/ to see the rising su'n/ from the top of Æ'tna. Our gui'de/ conducted us over "antres vas't and deserts wi'ld," where scarcely human foo't/ had ever tro'dden: sometimes/ through gloomy fore'sts, which by day'-light were delightful, but n'ow/ from the universal dark'ness, the ru'stling of the tre`es, the heavy, du'll-bellowing of the mountain, the vast expa'nse of o'cean (stretched at an immense distance below-us,) inspired a kind of a'wful horror. After incredible la'bour and fatigue, (mixed at the same time with a great deal of pleˇasure,) we arr ́ived, before daw'n, at the ruins of an ancient str'ucture, supposed to have been built by the philo'sopher/ Empedocles, who took up his habitation here, the be'tter to study the n'ature of Mount-Etna.

We had now time/ to pay our ador'ations/ in a silent contempla'tion of the sublime o'bjects of nature. The sk'y/ was perfectly clear, and the immense vault of the heavens/ appeared in a'wful m'ajesty and splen'dour. We found ourselves more struck with veneration/ than below, a'nd/ at fir`st/ were at a loss to know the ca'use; till we observed (with asto ́nishment) that the number of star's/ seemed to be in'finitely incre'ased; and that the light-of-cach-of them/ appeared brighter than u`sual. The whit'eness of the m'ilky-way/ was like a pure fla'me/ that shot across the he'avens; and, with the n'aked-eye, we could observe clusters of stars/ that were inv'isible in the re'gions below. We di'd not/ at first/ attend to the cause, nor re collect/ that we had now passed through t'en or twelve thousand feet of gross vapour, that blu'nts and confuses every ra'y, before it reaches the surface of the earth. We were amazed at the distin'ctness of vision, and excl'aimed (tog'ether), "What a glorious situation for an observatory!" We regretted that Jupiter was not visible, as I am persuaded/* we might

Besides the necessary pause before the personal pronoun "We," the observant reader will perceive another reason for it, namely, the conjunction "that" being understood.

have discovered some of his sa'tellites with the n'aked-eye, or at lea'st/ with a small gl'ass/ which I had in my pocket. We observed a light a great way below-us/ on the mountain, which seemed to mo've among the forests; but, whether an Ignis Fatuus, or what it was, I shall not pretend to say'. We likewise took notice of several of those m'eteors/ called "falling stars," wh'ich/ still appeared to be as much elevated abo've us, as when seen from the plain; so th'at/ in a'll probab'ility/ those b'odies/ move in regions/ much beyond the bounds/ that some philosophers/ have assigned to our at mosphere.

After contemplating these objects for some time, we set o'ff, an'd/ in about an hour's climbing, arrived at a place/ where there was no snow; and/ where a warm and comfortable vapour/ is'sued from the mountain, which induced-us/ to make another-halt. From this s'pot/ it was only about three hundred yards to the highest s'ummit of the mo`untain, where] we arrived in full time to s'ee-the most won'derful, and most subliˇme-sight/ in'-nature.

But here desc'ription/ must ev'er fall sh'ort; f'or/ n'o imagin'ation/ has dared to form an idea of so glorious and so magn'ificent-a-scene. Neither is there on the surface of this gl'obe, any o'ne-point/ that un'ites so many awful and sublimeobjects; the immense elevation from the surface of the ear'th, (drawn as it were to a single poi'nt,) without any neighbouring mountain for the senses and imagina'tion to rest upo'n, and recover from their aston'ishment/ in their way down to the world;-this point or pin'nacle, (raised on the brink of a bottomless g'ulf,) often discharging rivers of fire, and throwing out burning rocks, with a noise/ that shakes the whole i'sland;-a'dd to thi's, the unbounded extent of the prospect, (comprehending the greatest diversity and the most beautiful scenery in n'ature); with the rising sun, advancing in the ea'st, to illuminate the wondrous scene.

The whole atmosphere by degrees kindled up, and sh ́ewed (dimly and fai'ntly) the boundless pro'spect around. Both sea and land looked dar'k and conf'used, (as if only emerging from their original ch'aos,) and light and dar'kness/ seemed still undiv'ided; till the morning, (by degrees advan ́cing,) complet'ed-the-separation. The sta'rs are extinguished, and the shades disappear. The forests (which but now seemed black and bottomless gu'lfs, from which no r'ay was reflected to show

Change of

Voice.

their form or colours,) appear a new crea'tion/ rising to the sight; catching li`fe and be'auty / from every increas`ing-beam. The scene still enlar'ges, and the horizon/ seems to widen and expand itself on all sides; till the su'n/ appears in the ea'st, a'nd, with his pla'stic-ray, comple'tes-the mighty-scene. -A'll seems enchantment; and it is with difficulty that we can believe our'selves/ to be still on earth. The se'nses (unaccustomed to the sublimity of such a sc ́ene,) are bewi'ldered and confounded; and it is not/ till after some time, that they are capable of se'parating and judging of the ob ́jects that compo'se it.-The bo'dy-of-the-sun/ is seen rising from the ocean, immense tra'cts/ both of se'a and la'nd interve'ning; the adjacent i'slands (with their smoking sum'mits,) appear under your f'eet; and you look down on the whole of Sicily as on a ma^p; and can trace every river, through all its winding, from its so'urce/ to its mouth. The view is absolutely boundless on every-side; n'or/ is there any one ob ́ject/ within the circle of vision, to interrupt it; so that the sight is every where lo'st/ in the imm'ensity; and I am persua'ded/it is only from the imperfec'tion of our o'rgans, that the coasts of Africa, and e'ven of Greece, are not disc ́overed, as they are certainly abo've the horizon. B'ut/ the most beautiful part of the s'cene/ is certainly the mountain itself, the island of Sicily, and the numerous i'slands/ lying rou`nd it. All th ́ese, (by a kind of magic in vi`sion/ that I am at a loss to accoun't-for,) se'em/ as if they were brought close round the skirts-of-Etna; the dis'tances appearing reduced to no'thing.

We had now time to examine th`at region of the mountain, (which has undoubtedly given being to all the rest) — I mean the region of fir^e.

The present crater of this immense vol'cano/ is a circle of about three miles and a half in circumference. It goes shelving down on each si'de, and forms a regular h'ollow/ like -a vas't-amphitheatre. From many places of this spa'ce, issue volumes of sulphureous smo`ke, wh'ich (being much heavier than the circuma'mbient a'ir,) instead of ri'sing-in-it, (as smoke generally d'oes,) immediately on its getting out of the c'rater, rolls down the side of the mountain/ like a tor`rent, t'ill (coming to that part of the atmosphere of the same specific gravity with itself,) it shoots off horizontally, and forms a large track in the a'ir, according to the dire'ction of the wind; wh'ich,

« ElőzőTovább »