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& nominal partner in fame. This appears very clearly at an early period of the first canto, where he abruptly forsakes Lord Ronald, and all interested in his fate, to attend the storm-tossed King. Two stories are thus commenced which seem to have so little connexion with each other, that the mind is awkwardly divided in its attention; and though they are afterwards moulded into one, yet the union is not effected in a manner so satisfactory as entirely to overcome the first feeling of disappointment. To the adventures of Edith, as the dumb page, we do not object: perhaps they are not more extraordinary than those of many women in low life, who, completely concealing their sex, have braved the dangers of the field, that they might be in the same ranks with their lovers; but were they much more improbable than we deem them really to be, we are disposed to pardon them, for the pathos they produce. The historical part supports itself throughout by an internal spirit of vigour which never fails; the incidents, though not numerous, if not always skilfully arranged, regularly conducing to the end designed, and that end most important. But the interruptions to the stream of narration are so frequent, that it is obvious the mere story was only a secondary object; and the whole poem is too much like the exhibition of a national gallery, containing old historical paintings, characteristic portraits, heroic landscapes, and sea-pieces in great variety. Of the merit of some of these pieces we will now enable the reader to determine for himself.

We will begin with the first notice of the vessel in which Bruce is embarked.

“ Since peep of morn, my vacant eyes
Have view'd by fits the course she tries;
Now, though the darkening scud comes on,
And dawn's fair promises be gone,
And though the weary crew may see
Our sheltering haven on their lee,
Still closer to the rising wind
They strive her shivering sail to bind,
Still nearer to the shelves' dread verge
At every tack her course they'urge,
As if they fear'd Artornish more
Than adverse winds and breakers roar.”

(Canto. I. p. 19 and 20 of the 8vo edition.)

« Al day with fruitless strife they toila,
With eve tře ebbing currents boild ,

More fierce from strait and lake;
And mid-way through the channel met
Conflicting tides that foam and fret,

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And high their mingled billows jet,
As spears, that, in the battle set,'t wait

Spring upward as they break.
Then too the lights of eve were pass'd,
And louder sung the western blast

On rocks of Inninmore;
Rent was the sail, and strain'd the mast,
And many a leak was gaping fast,
And the pale steersman stood aghast,

And gave the conflict o'er.” (P. 25.) Finding all hope was gone of stemming the tides and facing the wind, Bruce resolves to rely on the sacred character of a guest, and to steer for Artornish Castle.

# The helm, to his strong arm consignd,
Gave the reef'd sail to meet the wind,

And on her alter'd way,
Fierce bounding, forward sprung the ship,
Like greyhound starting from the slip...'

To seize his flying prey.
Awaked before the rushing prow,
The mimic fires of ocean glow,

Those lightnings of the wave;
Wild sparkles crest the broken tides,
And, Aashing round, the vessel's sides

With elvish lustre lave,
While, far behind, their livid light
To the dark billows of the night

A gloomy splendour gave.
It seems as if old Ocean shakes
From his dark brow the livid flakes

In envious pageantry,
To match the meteor light that streaks

Grim Hecla's midnight sky.(P. 28, 29.) In lightness of touch, and freedom of hand, the commence ment of the voyage through the Hebridean Archipelago is admirable.

“ Merrily, merrily bounds the bark,

She bounds before the gale,
The mountain breeze from Ben-na-darch

Is joyous in her sail !
With fluttering sound like laughter hoarse,

The cords and canvass strain,
The waves, divided by her force,
In rippling eddies chased her course,

As if they laugh'd again.
Not down the breeze more blithely flew,
Skimming the wave, the light sea-mew,
Than the gay galley bore

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Her course upon that favouring wind,
And Coolin's crest has sunk behind,

And Slapin's cavern'd shore.
'Twas then that warlike signals wake wat
Dunscaith's dark towers and Eisord's lake, al
And soon, from Cavilgarrigh's head,
Thick wreaths of eddying smoke were spread;
A summons these of war and wrath, bon
To the brave clans of Sleat and Strath, 110
And, ready at the sight,

Each warrior to his weapons sprung,
And targe upon his shoulder Alung,

Impatient for the fight. Hoc
Mac-Kinnon's chief, in warfare grey,
Had charge to muster their array,
And guide their barks to Brodick-Bay.” (P. 135, 136.)
“ Merrily, merrily, goes the bark

On a breeze from the northward free,
So shoots through the morning sky the lark,

Or the swan through the summer sea.
The shores of Mull on the eastward lay,
And Ulva dark and Colonsay,
And all the group of islets gay

That guard famed Staffa round.
Then all unknown its columns rose,
Where dark and undisturb'd repose

The cormorant had found,
And the shy seal had quiet home,
And welter'd in that wond'rous dome,
Where, as to shame the temples deck'd
By skill of earthly architect,
Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise
A Minster to her Maker's praise !
Not for a meaner use ascend
Her columns, or her arches bend;
Nor of a theme less solemn tells
That mighty surge that ebbs and swells.
And stilī, between each awful pause,
From the high vault an answer draws,
In varied tone prolong'd and high,
That mocks the organ's melody.
Nor doth its entrance front in vain
To old Iona's holy fane,
That Nature's voice might seem to say,
“ Well hast thou done, frail Child of claydi
Thy humble powers that stately shrine
Task'd high and bard—but witness mine!".

(P. 140, 141, 142.) As a companion to the preceding pieces, we will give the approach to the isle of Arran, which excels in brilliancy of colour, ing and softness of finishing.


« Thither their destined course they drew;
It seem'd the isle her monarch knew,
So brilliant was the landward view,

The ocean so serene;
Each puny wave in diamonds rolla
O'er the calm deep, where hues of gold

With azure strove and green.
The hill, the vale, the tree, the tower,
Glow'd with the tints of evening's hour,

The beach was silver sheen,
The wind breathed soft as lover's sigh,
And, oft renew'd, seem'd oft to die,

With breathless pause between.
O who, with speech of war and woes,
Would wish to break the soft repose

Of such enchanting scene !"" (P. 145, 146.) Among the landscapes we will only select one, which possesses all the horrific grandeur and aweful sublimity of which inanimate nature is capable. When the king first sees the barren ridge of Coolin and the black lake of Corriskin, he exclaims,

“ A scene so rude, so wild as this,
Yet so sublime in barrenness,
Ne’er did my wandering footsteps press,

Where'er I happ'd to roam."".
No marvel thus the Monarch spake;
For rarely human eye has known
A scene so stern as that dread lake,
With its dark ledge of barren 'stone.

-here,-above, around, below,
On mountain or in glen,
Nor tree, nor shrub, nor plant, nor flower,
Nor aught of vegetative power,

The weary eye may ken,
For all its rocks at random thrown,
Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone,

As if were here denied
The summer sun, the spring's sweet dew,
That clothe with many a varied hue

The bleakest mountain-side.
And wilder, forward as they wound,
Were the proud cliffs and lake profound,
Huge terraces of granite black
Afforded rude and cumber'd track;

For from the mountain hoar,
Hurl's headlong in some night of fear,


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When yell'd the wolf and fled the deer,

Loose crags had toppled o'er;
And some, chance-poised and balanced, lay,
So that a stripling arm might sway to

A mass no host could raise,
In Nature's rage at random thrown,
Yet trembling like the Druid's stone

On its precarious base.esVom
The evening mists, with ceaseless change,
Now clothed the mountains' lofty range,

Now left their foreheads bare,
And round the skirts their mantle furl'd,
Or on the sable waters curl'd,
Or, on the eddying breezes whirl'd,

Dispersed in middle air.
And oft, condensed, at once they lower,
When, brief and fierce, the mountain shower

Pours like a torrent down,
And when return the sun's glad beams,
Whiten'd with foam a thousand streams

Leap from the mountain's crown." (P.98—101.) The scenes in which the habits and manners of the chivalrous age are pourtrayed are so extensive, and are só peculiarly adapted to the respective places which have been appropriated to them, that they scarcely admit of removal without injury. Nearly the whole of the 2d Canto is full of them. The feast, the introduction of the king, the fray, and the inspiration of the abbot, possess very considerable merit.

It has been a very prevalent opinion that Mr. Scott has evinced less ability in drawing and developing character, than in any other part of his art ; but this opinion we cannot think well founded, though we must acknowledge he sometimes appears to suppose that the charge of having "no character at all," which has been calumniously advanced against the generality of one sex, might be extended to a few of the other, who bear no inconsiderable rank in his own poems. What his powers are in this department, when he chooses to exert them, we hope will be shown by the extracts which immediately follow. What constitutes the more obvious part of Bruce's portrait?.

“ It is the form, the eye, the word,
The bearing of that stranger Lord;
His stature; manly, bold, and tall,
Built like a castle's battled wall,
Yet moulded in such just degrees,
His giant-strength seems lightsome ease.
Close as the tendrils of the vine
His locks upon his forehead twine,

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