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former lord. In the sixth Canto, Tardetz is delivered by Rolando; the Moors fly in consternation and dismay : but the unhappy warrior is overwhelmed in the pass of Roncesvalles, by the treason of Theodebert the duke of Gascony. This tragical event has formed the argument of more poems than one ; in our language it has given birth to a very beautiful and classical
production entitled “Orlando in Roncesvalles, by Mr. Merivale,
with a sketch of which we presented our readers a few months since. The episode is here introduced with much success; it is not too long, but aptly coincides with the style and the events
of the poem. The following stanza is worthy of record.
“Ye hapless warriors, thus to death consigned,
, Your deeds, that long in time’s abyss have lain P’ Vol. I. P. 161.
In the seventh Canto we are conducted into the presence of Didier, king of the Lombards, who glows with resentment at the disgrace and abandonment of his daughter by Charlemagne. His peers assemble, and by the advice of the crafty Longin they resolve to march to Rome, to avenge themselves on the Pontiff, who is considered as the author of the divorce. Near the frontiers of Italy, Rodmir meets with Armelia in her flight, she throws herself into his arms, he swearing never to rest, till he has laid the head of Charlemagne at her feet. We are now transported to Rome, whose inhabitants are busy in defending the city against the attack threatened by the united armies of Didier and Ezelin the duke of Salernum, who had married a younger sister of Armelia. In the the eight Canto, Charles leads his army towards the frontiers of Italy. In this place is introduced, according to the establighed usage of the the epic, the catalogue of the Paladins, which is neither wanting in variety or spirit. The army ascend the Alps, they meet the hermit of Mount Jove, who relates to Charles the cruelties of Ezelin, and the death of Adelard, whose murder the monarch vows to avenge. The passage of the Alps is forced, and Charles pur
sues the enemy who guarded it along the plains beneath. In the ninth Cauto Dr. Butler resigns the wand of translation to Mr. Hodgson, and though highly satisfied with our former conductor, we nevertheless feel no ordinary pleasure in submitting mitting ourselves to his guidance. The argument of this
canto is given in one tremendous word HELL. The opening
Tucien reprobates the Miltonian idea of regal splendour in a place of penal woe, and instead of placing Satan “High on a throne of state,” he introduces him amidst the curses of those whom he has deceived, pursuing a restless path through the
burning regions of Hell. As he rises through the black chaos to
the earth, a voice is heard from Heaven. X.
“AGAINST THE CHURCH, weAK MAN SHALL NEE’R PREVAI;;
“On calcined rocks, where lava's boiling stream
the true spirit of poetry, and the sudden burst at the beginning of the second may be considered one of the most splendid passages in the Poem. - -
- - XXI. . -
“. . . . Up stands the horrid hair of shrieking Cain . . .
. Among the ancient, Atreas, Thyestes, Clytemnestra, Orestes, occupy the station allotted to the murderous band. Then Roemulas, Alexander, Augustus. The reader may perhaps be astionished at the place assigned to the latter: But
“The blissful reign of many a year of rest,
Both the Bruti are here also to be found. Among the moderns Clothaire, Chilperic, Fredegonde, and Athalia. Many scriptural characters are also here introduced, Saul, Doeg, Abimilech, Herod. Next follow Galerius, Diocles, Alaric, Attila. The following stanza is finely conceived by the poet, and admi*ably expressed by his translator. - o - - * - XXXV. * These ravenous tigers, whose abhorted offence Martyred fair youth and virgin innocence, Cry out for ever from the eaves of woe, pisturb the black immensity below:
—Fixed by a lake of blood, in borror stand,
- Vol. I. P. 256,
Nor must we omit the sublime description of Iscariot.
“The deicide apostle crowns the band,
“On a rock’s point extended Judas lies:
In the tenth Canto Satan up-springs to the earth, and directs
his flight to the forest of Eresbourg, in Germany, where human
victims are sacrificed before the shrine of Irmensul. The de
scription of the sacrifice is both grand and animated. While
JRodmir hopes to spare the Christian victims, Satan causes the statue of Irmensul to shake, upon which omen a general slaugh
ter ensues. The troops march onward, breathing vengeance
against France and Rome. In the mean time the troops of
Chailes who had forced the passage of the Alps, enter Milan,
while the scattered Lombards retreat to Pavia; they are pursued by Charles, who prepares for an assault upon the city. Satan now assumes the form of Timantius, an ambassador from
JDidier, and from Armelia, whom he represents to have died with grief, and in her last moments to have entreated that Charles, for her sake would spare her father and the Lombards. The stratagem succeeds, and Charles retreats for a while to
Milan. Satan now directs the ship of Laurentia, the widow of Carloman, the younger brother of Charles, to the coast of Spain. Laurentia and her children are brought captives to the coast of Marsilius,
Marsilius, the Moorish prince, who is persuaded by Longin to place the child of Laurentia on his paternal throne of Austrasia, which Charles had accepted to his prejudice. Laurentia at first refuses, but soon after yields to the designs of Marsilius, and accepts the offer of his assistance. Charlemagne is now made acquainted with the treachery of the false Timantius, and with the invasion of France by Didier, and the victory of the Saxons. The vow of the monarch is finely expressed.
“Though ceaseless war should still my life infest,
Charles in the beginning of the thirteenth Canto returns to France to embody new troops, which flock in from every quarter. The rebellion of Gaiffre of Aquitamia is next described, who arrives at Oria time enough to witness the parental honours
paid by Laurentia to the body of the brave, Roland. The
oraison funebre of the priest is worthy of attention. XXXVI.
* ... . .,,. ... How frail is human bliss?
* Light as the scattered blossom of the heath, That sammer chases with her evening breath, The phrenzied passions, and the power of man, And crested pride, that triumphs for a span, Before eternal Justice disappear! Let transitory glory’s bright career . . . * - w Our