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Oh! it was indeed delightful to look upon! nay, I actually detected 4 drop of moisture oozing from my lips, and already was the lacerating knife uplifted, when it was arrested by the exclamation of an old epicure who sat by me,- what, eat salmon without sauce! 'twas really heathenish and uncivilized! do for mercy's sake let me help you to some.'-Gentle reader, my heart is naturally soft, but was rendered at that moment still softer by the balmy fragrance and inviting appearance of the salmon : could I then have turned a deaf ear to so pathetic an appeal ? especially as the perfect enjoyment of his own dinner seemed in some measure to depend upon my compliance. No! it was altogether impossible. Oh! that Horace had sent forth his defamatory iambics against stewed oysters, as well as garlick! Oh! that Catius, learned in the culinary art, had among other hellish decoctions, enumerated oyster sauce and cayenne pepper! but, alas ! I was then wofully ignorant as to those matters.
The cayenne was the primary cause of my subsequent sufferings. In the simplicity of my heart, I had deposited on my plate a quantity,
Tribus ursis quod satis esset ;-
Ye who have unwittingly helped yourselves to a quadruple portion of that murderous, throat-cutting ingredient, ye alone can imagine “ the pangs that tortur'd me within.” My eyes threatened to burst from their sockets; I foamed at the mouth; and Old Nick himself seemed to bave transferred a portion of his fiery abode into my throat. My epicurean friend,- Epicuri de grege porcus.' Hor.- busied no doubt in the contemplation of more sel-fish matters ---keeping one eye fixed upon his plate, with the other eyed me askance; and incited perhaps by my truly ludicrous contortions of countenance,
“ Grinn'd horribly a ghastly smile."
From this disaster, however, I soon recovered, but, alas! only to experience fresh agony. In the height of my jugular conflagration, I had safely deposited in my mouth-an oyster! I detected it immediately: though I was not aware of the neighbourhood of any such beings; though not one had hitherto ever approached within two yards of my mouth, - yet I detected it immediately. It was arrested in the midst of its descent, and there seemed willing to take up its permanent abode, to the great inconvenience of respiration and other life-supporting duties. I contrived, however, to swallow it; though the pains,-imaginary they might have been, but still they were pains that followed, -are beyond description. A faintness stole over me : the salmon, of late the object of my admiration, now appeared loathsome,
Valut si Canidia aff lasset, pejor serpentibus atris. “ As if Canidia, with infectious breath,
Worse than a serpent's, blasted it with death." Alas! for the evil consequences of that ill-fated day. If I chance to be strolling through the streets, every oyster-wench eyes me with a peculiarly fiendish expression, pointing at the same time to her tub of vendible
commodities, the water in which actually seems to bubble at my approach, I have twice been driven vi et armis from my lodgings, upon discovering that my landlord's family were in the nightly habit of regaling upon oysters. Once I mightily offended an acquaintance, by exhibiting symptoms of unfeigned horror upon his informing me, that he had accidentally met with an old school-fellow. I adjourned to a tavern, where he demolished-oh! ye Gods !-a whole barrel of oysters. An electric shock could not bave had more effect upon me than that piece of information. My blood curdled at the thought; and every individual hair of my head literally stood an end : indeed, I am half convinced, that had my hat at that moment chanced to have decorated my pericranium, it must have been gently listed off, after the fashion of the grenadier's cap in Tom Jones.
Oh! dura masserum ilia.
was my internal exclamation.
But the most fatal consequences of the afore-mentioned day, were the horrible dreams which thenceforth haunted my pillow. Oft have I dreamed, that far as the eye could reach, I was surrounded by myriads of oysters, some sliding along the slimy shore, some clinging to me, some with expanded shells even flying about me: some uttering hissing noises, others eyeing me most maliciously; others with open mouths,
One of a more tallow complexion, and less plump than the rest, wheeled round at the head of a whole tribe of companions to my right ear : and after an admonitory gripe, squeaked forth-Oh! those infernal notes still ring in my ears !--squeaked forth, I say-two a penny! Another even dared to insert itself between my teeth, from whence all efforts to dislodge it proved ineffectual : nay, it was actually proceeding to engage no inconsiderable portion of my colloquial member, when the horror of such a pollution caused me to awake, dispersing my dreams, and with them the Reminiscences of
My mind most deeply, and whene'er I strove
It clung unto me like a thought we love;
But aided it; to nature then I turn'd,
I look’d, I saw, I felt, and yet I mourn’d.
The silv'ry flowers, awakening from their sleep, ,
Down the bright dew-drops, only made me weep;-
TÆE SEVEN LARAS, MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, and TRANSLATIONS, of . IZAAK MARLOWE. Glasgow. M‘Phun; London. Simpkin and Marshall.
“The wife of RuY VALESQUEZ, Count of Castile, having conceived a passion for Lara, the youngest of the sons of GONZALVO Gustos, LORD OF LARA, and being denied, stimulated by her passion, engaged her husband in her revenge, by accusing the object of her resentment, of offering some imaginary insult. Lara is in consequence sent to Cordova, and there detained in confinement. Here he gains the affection of the daughter of the Moorish Prince, and by her assistance, escaped from prison. By her he had a son, named Mudarra, who, on reaching manhood, slew Ruy Valesquez, in a single combat. Being adopted for this action, by his stepmother, he succeeded his father, and was the founder of the noble family of the Laras."
The above very interesting story, which was one of the favourite subjects of earlier Romance and Song, is the foundation of a Poem of six Sestyads, written in imitation of the older English Poets; and carries through its pages all the freedom, liberty, and beauty, that characterize their productions.
The incidents in the Fiction, follow each other in quick succession; we have no long “episode,” or “interregnum," but a heated, poetical fire, through every line; no long tedious descriptions of remote scenery, but an interest in every Sestyad. Truly beautiful is the delineation of the Caliph's daughter, whose voice
Beneath his prison lone;
-Was sweeter than the seraph's song.
It reminds ns of the lovely Lalla Rookh. 's
'Tis young Zeyd, the Caliph's daughter--
Well Lara's bosom with delight
A dazzling mist come o'er his eye
The "first sight of the interesting Captive and the fair Zeyd, is extremely pretty.-One'morning, arrayed in her native beauty, she wandered Vol. i. 23.-- Fourth Edit.
where“ murmuring flowed a chrystal stream," and here she discovers Lara, sleeping in visionary joy, and is entranced to the spot by his beanty,
Her fond eye nearer now surveys
He arouses a little from his slumbers, 'and wonders
-who is she! that maiden bright,
On some blessed scene reposing
Her arms around him twining,
'Mid glory's tresses shining.
-And well might she—that gentle maid,
her arms in joy caressed
The delineation of an aged Troubadour is quite characteristic.
With Lara in that tower
Rise at the Necromancer's wand;
Loved in his native land,
The Lines from the Greek of Musæus, are worthy of insettion.
TO THE EVENING STAR.
Daughter of Eve! with tresses bright,
Throned in the crimson tents of heaven,
The first of years has given!
Hail! Star beloved !-- when gaudy day
When waning moons forsake the skies,
Where fond the maiden lies!
--Where, 'neath the wild acacia's shade,
With roses crown'd, she lies posing-
Unthought of bliss disclosing.
Well may we love, fair Star, thy light,
That shed'st thus on our hopes thy smiles !
Queen of the hundred isles,
The Notes to this Poem display much reading and research, and the * Translations, and the other smaller Pieces, have our approbation. We have only room for
THE ARABIAN LOVE SONG,
As on a rosy couch reclined
Young Zillah on my panting breast,
With lip to lip each other pressed !
What youth was e'er so blessed as I,
Within the arms of beauty toying,
The all of sweet and bright enjoying !
Ye gales that sport o'er sunny Ind,
O’er bright Socatrá unconfined,
Gazed, amorous, on so fair a flower!
Ye ne'er from one more bright in hue
The odours of your light wings drew,
And hung enraptured on my breast.
I knew it by the smothered sigh
Wafted to me from lips divine;