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Gentleman's Magazine :
From JANUARY to JUNE, 1819.
(BEING THE TWELFTH OF A NEW SERIES.)
PART THE FIRST.
PRODESSE ET DELECTARE.
E PLURIBUS UNUM.
By SYLVANUS URBAN, Gent.
LONDON: Printed by JOHN NICHOLS and SON,
at Cicero's Head, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street ;
and by Perthes and Besser, Hamburgh. 1819.
THE IPHIGENIA OF TIMANTHES.
The subject of the NewDIGATE Prize at Oxford for 1819. FANCY! fair, radiant, goddess of the Speechless her lips, yet resolute her eye, skies,
In mute appeal for mercy to the sky : Rob'd in the rifled rainbow's thousand E'en such a look sad Pity's self might dyes ;
wear ; Thou, that of Eld so rapt Timanthes' view, It taught Diana's savage soul to spare. Reard'st the sad group his daring pencil drew;
But mark that form! amid the group Say in what mould of unessential light
In dumb distraction tow'rs the warrior The vision'd pageant pass'd before his
sight; What forms of veriest wretchedness up. Deep in his heart the father yearns to rose,
spare, In spectral train, and what, and which he But all the King repels the impulse chose ;
there; Bid pilfering Time again restore his prey,
Not his a struggle for the vulgar eye, And check the sacrilege of dark Decay.
The dim eclipse of fearful majesty. First, where the foremost shed the pitying Consummate art! 'twas thine to veil bis tear,
woe, In sober sorrow stands the priestly seer; To draw from Fity twice her wonted throe ; Ulysses by, in unavailing'woe,
'Twas thine to shroud a monarch mortal's Could almost dare to deprecate the blow;
face, And sorely Ajax proves his bosom wrung, That grief might blend with grandeur and As passion'd pity thunders from his tongue, While sorrow.chasten'd Menelaus sighs,
This ! Aulis ! this! we owe thy piteous His heart's full anguish gushing at his
tale, eyes; This is the throe that bleeding bosoms bear,
Of kings and princes turu'd in horror pale.
The deep tradition smote Timanthes' heart, The scorpion-sting of desolate despair.
Till genius kindling call'd the aid of art, In sadder, stiller, prominence of pain, The sileut princess proves resistanee vain; And o'er the dread, stupendous, perfect Her conscious spirit owns the godhead
Outpour'd its full magnificence of soul. And chill conviction chains the tongue of Britain ! thy genius owns no rival claim, prayer.
If once it ask eternity of Fame; Fixt and forlorn, in terror's breathless Thine be the task to bid a father slay, calm,
And “ Jeptha's Vow" shall bear the palm Her big soul palpitates with mad alarm ;
HYMN FOR SUMMER*.
That on the rippling waters play! Which many a gentle slope adoro,
Ye fleecy flocks! ye lowing herds ! Gild the tall promontory's head,
And ye melodious singing birds, Then, kindling with the Sun's first beam, That joyous bail the season gay, Shed lustre on the silver stream,
Sporting on many a leaf-clad spray ! That glides in silence thro' the vale ! Glad influence join with one accord, Ye flowers, which balmy sweets exhale, And teach me to confess the Lord ! And as ye blossom fresh and fair,
Oh! while I view the rip’niog store Perfume the circum-ambient air !
Of blessings, may I still adore,
So may my renovated joy,
His mercy sets before my eyes,
* Sequel to the Hymn for Spring. See Gent. Mag. for May last, p. 465.
FIRST PART OF THE EIGHTY-NINTH VOLUME,
We are called upon, as usual, at the close of a Half-yearly Volume, to open a new Season of our Literary Theatre, by a Prefatory Address. Of course we must adopt a language suited to the occasion, and a costume adapted to the times. We must do what is indispensable in such situations-make fair promises, and be sure to keep them. We must summon confidence to appeal to the past, as a probable pledge of the future.
“ The object of Philosophy," says Stewart, “ is to ascertain the Laws which regulate the succession of events, in order that, when called upon to act in any particular combination of circumstances, we may be able to anticipate the probable course of Nature from our past experience, and regulate our conduct accordingly." We know what has been repeatedly said about Plebophobia; but we are not convinced that the alarm is unsound. We think that there is one leading cause of our public vexations—too extensive population. Our very virtues and also our vices augment the evil. This paradox is explained by Franklin. Industry and frugality, with an easy means of acquiring subsistence, are the leading causes of increasing population. But our manners are luxurious; and how much manners influence States, is evident from Switzerland and other countries, where there is not a greater sum expended in subsistence than ought to be consumed. Scotland, where the necessaries of life are as dear, or dearer than in London, yet where the people of all ranks marry, is a proof how manners operate on the numbers of a country. Thus we see how both rich and poor countries co-operate in the process of overstocking Nations : and how much luxurious habits tend to render provision for the poor more difficult.
Dismissing a subject which promises to end unsatisfactorily, let us turn to better prospects. Peace will give occasion to the increase of knowledge and inventions in a very ample degree. Numbers of our youth will now adopt the Learned Professions; and it is known that the cheap and instructive habit of reading obtains twice as much in peace as in war. Inventions, where there is a strong desire of making speedy fortunes, will multiply of course, and some may prove very important.
This is, indeed, a wonder-working age. The fall of Buonaparte was only a signal-rocket. It is said that the very sexes do, by volition, change their nature; and males become females, under the peculiar appellation of Dandies. The antient habit of walking seems likely to be consigned to funeral processions only. Medical Free-thinkers have long ago deprived us of souls, and legs are no longer legs; they are become paddles, and the body is only the steam-cylinder which impels them. We may now think that there will come a time when we shall not be able to walk (the word escaped us unawares) along the streets of London without danger of being knocked down by a flying wheelbarrow. Such has been the improvement of Machinery, that we shall soon expect to hear of talking Steam-engines, and their making long speeches in Parliament and at the Bar.
These last probabilities we do not contemplate with: agreeable sensations, for fear of Cast-iron Magazines being invented; but we shall not be sorry if, old as Sylvanus Urban may seem to be, he should learn to acquire a velocipedal pace in public encouragement.
Leaving off the dulce est desipere, &c. in which we like to indulge, because innocent humour generates shrewdness, facilitates combination of ideas, and promotes common sense, we can seriously promise our Friends that we shall always endeavour, as we trust we have hitherto done, to merit their kindness.
June 30, 1819.