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all, by his fear lest Neoptolemus, de- yields to this supernatural agency, and terred by his situation, should abandon consents to accompany them. There him, and leave him to the practices is something exceedingly tender in his of his enemies, Diomed and Ulysses. farewell address to Lemnos.
After a short slumber he awakes, "Thou cave, that long hast been 'my refreshed and relieved from pain. Now habitation, se that Neoptolemus had obtained the Ye nymphs that guard the meadows and the bow, and was freed from the terror of fountains, that formidable weapon, he confesses
Ye jutting rocks, from which the briny spray to Philoctetes that he was in league
Has often showered upon my naked head, with Ulysses, and that it was his ob
Borne by the south winds and ye dashing
waves, ject to carry him to Troy.
Farewell. Farewell, thou hill of Mercury, ft. Phil. Destructive as the fire ! waker of That oft hast echoed to my lamentations. mischief !
Ye fountains, ye sweet waters, and green
From this view of the play of Phi-
loctetes, it will appear, that nothing To you again do I address my plaints:
can be more simple than its fable. Oft have ye seen my tears and heard my The stratagems used to decoy him cries.
from the island, their failure, and the See what the cruel man has done to me! intervention of a supernatural agency, He pledged his faith that he would bear me which for such a purpose is quite unhome,
necessary, form the whole of the plot. And now betrays me to mine enemies.
The interest of this drama does not By guile he has obtained the sacred bow,
then arise out of an intricate and elaDrawn by the mighty hand of Hercules, Yet he will vaunt him of the victory
borate action. Its whole charm conThat he has won over a dead man's corpse. sists in the character, or rather the Oh! I am like the shadow of the smoke,
circumstances, of Philoctetes-the roThe image, not the substance, of a man. mantic nature of his situation, and the Were I what once I was, he had not tri. hopelessness of his distress his helpumphed,
lessness and solitude his longings And not even now, but by a stratagem. after his native country and the soAlas! dost thou refuse to speak to me ?
ciety of his kindred-and his pathetic By a mean treason thou hast ruined me,
We appeals to the rocks, and the valleys, And spurn'st me from thee like a hideous thing.
and the mountains of Lemnos, which Thou tave, my shelter from the winds and
had become as the friends and comDit rain,
panions of his long exile from his 1 Without one beam of hope I enter thee. fellow men. It would not be easy My bow no longer shall procure me food, to conceive a form of distress of which
But I shall die of famine, and my limbs the poet has not availed himself to - Shall be the banquet of the fowls of heaven." heighten the picture. The solitary
Ulysses now comes on the stage, and suffers from the excess of bodily pain confesses to Philoctetes that he had and extreme infirmity, from famine, been betrayed through his agency. A and from almost all the privations to long dialogue ensues, but he resists all which man is exposed ; and yet there the advices and all the stratagems of is no deviation from nature, and the · Neoptoletnus and Ulysses, till, near poetry is of exquisite simplicity and
the conclusion of the play, the ghost beauty.
that it was for his sake that he had in view the exhibition of one char*n descended from heaven, commissioned acter in some situation of deep dis
by Jupiter ; that a mansion was pre- tress, or under the influence of some pared for him among the Gods ; but one of the more violent passions ; that heo must first repair, to Troy, and neglected the subordinate personwhich could not be taken but by ages. There is nothing original in the means of the bow which he had be conception of the characters of Ulysses queathed to him, and chat there only and Neoptolemus: sdThey are mere tre donld be cured of his wounds, He copies from Homer, ana, like all other
OITEETAN od srl
copies, fall greatly short of the origine in Shakespeare alone that we breathe als. In Ulysses, wisdom degenerates the atmosphere of real life. He alone into low cunning; and Neoptolemus, unites the accurate observation and the son of Achilles, is, like his father, faithful delineation of the minutest guileless and impetuous : but, in the shades of human character with the contemplation of both, the mind is led divine inspiration of poetry. He alone to their prototypes in Homer, and not never declaims, nor ever appears in to nature. Even in Philoctetes the his own person ; and in him alone poet is more studious of making us every character seems to be formed for acquainted with his sufferings, and of the place assigned to him, and no exciting our sympathy by them, than other; and expresses his own feelings, of giving an individuality to the por- and his own sentiments, in his own trait to which he has chosen to give language, which is always the voice of that name.
Nature. It is rather extraordinary that, with the example of Homer before their eyes, whose characters are always men
MEMOIR OF JAMES GRAHAME, AUTHOR of nature, each marked by his own individual peculiarity,—the Greek tra
OF “ THE SABBATH." gedians should have often been so The contemplation of superior eIcareless, or so unsuccessful, in this cellence is perhaps the most impressive, most important department of drama as well as interesting, subject of meditic writing. Of Philoctetes I have no tation in which the human mind caa notion but what is connected with a be engaged. For it is impossible to certain transaction supposed to have reflect on exalted virtue, without feelhappened in the island of Lemnos. ing our own nature improved, or upor Not so in Shakespeare. Having once extensive acquirements, without being seen his characters, I remember them inspired with some degree of emulsfor ever, independent of all situations. tion. But when genius is added to They seem to be men and women with these perfections of which our comwhom I have been intimately ac- mon nature is susceptible, the charas quainted, and the scenes in which I ter of the individual is raised to a highhave seen them, only a portion of the er standard of excellence ; and while great drama of life. It is not in the our admiration is increased, we conleast necessary to my conception of the sider the mind so gifted, as belonging character of Hamlet that he should be to a superior species of beings, in whom the avenger of his father's murder; are qualities quite beyond our powers but I feel convinced, that if he were of attainment; and, dazzled by the lus. so, or expostulated with his mother on tre by which they are surrounded, we her unnatural conduct, he would speak look up to them as from a humbler and act exactly as we see him do in sphere, with a sort of mysterious Fe the wonderful play that bears his name. neration. In the mind, of which I He is, in my mind, as much an indi- am now to attempt a delineation, those vidual being as Cæsar or Alexander. powers were so happily blended, as to I could suppose him placed in ten produce a result of the most endearthousand other situations, and should ing nature. It is not so much the life, recognise him in all. His sentiments as the character of the Bard of the Saband actions are the result of his char bath, with which I would make my acter, and never ert in consistency. readers acquainted. In the first there We have a similar example in the was nothing remarkable, in the latter character of Sir John Falstaff, whom there was every thing to engage the we are tempted to believe Shakespeare attention and to amend the heart ! copied from real life, and then invent- JAMES GRAHAME was born in Glas ed situations for him; and in every gow, on the 22d of April 1765, and situation there appears so much of the was there educated in the usual routine truth of nature, that we could be easi- of public classes, in which he eminently persuaded that the poet is repre- ly distinguished himself. He wrote senting an action that really happened. some elegant Latin verses when very
The Greek tragedians are eminently young; and, although averse to the ap successful in the natural and simple pearance of being particularly studiexpression of sorrow, and abound in ous, he was, even then, so ardently de passages of beautiful poetry; but it is voted to literary pursuits, that he al.
ways carried a volume of the ancient I marked the tear presageful fill her eye,
Aglimmering bean athwart the mighty dead,
Say to what sphere her sainted spirit flew, his mind was chiefly formed, and the
That thither I may turn my longing view, seeds of that genuine piety and bene. And wish, and hope, some tedious sorrows u volence cultivated, which nature had
. . so liberally planted in his breast. In To join a long lost friend and part nomore." his parents he was peculiarly happy. The early death of this admirable His father possessed an enlightened woman, is also feelingly lamented, in mind, and a heart glowing with un- a beautiful elegy, by the author of bounded love of his fellow-creatures. "Home,' an esteemed friend of the From his sentiments respecting Ame- family. And it is said that Mr Camprican independence, James, at an early bell's elegant Stanzas to Painting, were age, imbibed that ardent attachment suggested by seeing her portrait after to the cause of liberty, which after her death. wards formed one of the most striking The early propensities of our poet's features of his character. In him it mind would have led him to the study was a liberal and humane sentiment, of divinity, but he was dissuaded not an adherence to a particular poli from this by his father, who was a tical party. His mother was the coun- writer* in Glasgow, and whose emiterpart of this excellent man, and the nence and success entitled him to form influence of their virtues spread through sanguine expectations for his son in the whole family. It was like a well- the same profession.' James yielded tuned instrument, the chords of which this point with reluctance, for he vibrated in perfect unison, producing was not ambitious of wealth, and an effect the most harmonious; the ex. loved the quiet of the country, the ercise of every endearing domestic vir- cultivation of literature, and the ex: tue was the delight of her life, and her ercise of the pious and benevolent lessons of piety were enforced by ex. affections, more than the bustle of ample more than by precept. Relia public life, and the turmoils of the gious duties appeared in her a delight, law' In pursuance, however, of his ful enjoyment, and their effect upon father's advice, whose slightest wish: her temper and conduct was an induce- was always sacred to him, he came to ment for her children to participate in Edinburgh, was entered an appren." them. In such a family it is needless tice to his cousin, Mr Lawrence Hill, to add, that James found companions and after the usual period, commenced in his brothers and sisters. To his writer to the signet. youngest sister, who was very early He had the misfortune to lose this married, he felt the most tender at revered parent about the same time, tachment; but betwixt him and the an event with which his mind was
eldest, who was nearer his own age, deeply affected, and his desire for the so there subsisted a peculiar affection, clerical profession again revived; but hele from a perfect similarity of taste and he was persuaded by his friends, once pursuits. She excelled in music, to
more to relinquish this favourite inclithe charms of which he was exquisite
nation, and he continued to practise as a i ly susceptible; and she was not only writer for several years; finding, how
skilled in the science, but possessed a ever, the duties of this department of pod voice of such touching harmony, that the law repugnant to his feelings, and it one of the first of our living poets, in the confinement it required hurtful to".
the warmth of youthful enthusiasm, his health, he afterwards passed ad-. et used to call her the Angel of Music. vocate, imagining that the studies
Her voice had a power over her bro- which belonged to the bar would alther's feelings inconceivable to com- low of a longer vacation, and be more mon minds. She lost it some time be- congenial to hig. taste and favourite ?
fore her death, from indisposition. His pursuits : for literature, particularly. i regret is pathetically expressed in these poetry, was still the object of his de i tender lines, written on revisiting Mel voted attention. (protimmt i 107939. rose Abbey. list , ,.
ut la 101102_10 pelo « Alas! I heard that melting voice decay, 'A profession which corresponds with
Heard seraph tones in whispers die away; that of attorney in England. EDITOR.
Soon after this, he published in the his respectable publisher, Mr Pillars, Kelso Mail, under the signature of always held their necessary interviews Matilda, a succession of beautiful pic-' at some tavern, and seldom more than tures of nature, through several months once at the same place. On its publiof the year, beginning with April, cation he brought the book home with which were afterwards extended, and him, and left it on his parlour table printed in an edition of his works, Returning soon after, he founi Mo with the title of “ The Rural Calen- Grahame engaged in its perusal ; bæt dar." About the year 1800, he wrote without venturing to ask her opinion, Mary Stuart, a tragedy. This latter he continued walking up and down piece was rather a favourite with the the room in breathless anxiety, till she author, and though not adapted to the burst out into the warmest eulogium stage, it contains many fine poetical on the performance; adding, “ Ah! passages, and must ever be considered James, if you could but produce a an elegant dramatic tale.
poem like this !”—The disclosure of From a sense of duty, however, he the author will readily be anticipated; paid all due attention to the labours but the mutual happiness of such a of his profession, especially after his moment, when the timid reserved marriage, which took place in March the poet yielded, in the fulness of de1802. He married Miss Grahame, light, to the applause of a judge so it eldest daughter of Richard Grahame, spected and beloved, may be better in Esq. of Annan, a woman possessed of agined than described. very superior powers of understanding, From this time he became stil and much kindness of heart. On her more attached to poetry; and at Kirkjudgment and affection he relied with hill, a beautiful retirement on the unlimited confidence. In political and banks of the Esk, where he residel moral principles they were perfectly during two successive summers, be congenial ; but his poetical propensity composed the poem of “ The Birds of she was led to discourage, from an Scotland.” In this neighbourhood were idea that it interfered with his pro- the ruins of the once splendid abode fessional duties. On discovering, how- of the sanguinary M'Kenzie, and the ever, that he was the author of the humble cottage of John Kilgour, which Sabbath, which his timidity induced he has in that poem so interestingly him to keep a profound secret even from contrasted. her, she became convinced, that to About this period, his original desire check his natural bias to poetry, would of entering into the church revised be like extinguishing the mental vision with irresistible power; and the writer that was destined to explore the most of this Memoir will never forget the interesting beauties of the natural, and eager longing with which he surveyed the most refined modifications of the the humble church of Borthwick, ons moral world ; and from that period she. fine summer evening, when the sun's was proud of his genius, and deeply last rays had gilded the landscape, interested in its success. The unfa and rendered every object in nature vourable review of the Sabbath she more sweet and impressive. He cast was much less willing to excuse a look of delighted complacency around than he was himself. He indeed the peaceful scene, and said, with a never indulged any displeasure against accent of regret, “ I wish such a place its author; he loved the man so much, as that had fallen to my lot." Add and felt such respect for his critical when it was remarked, that continued powers, that he bowed in acquiesence retirement might become wearisome, to the decision, and was rather offend- “Oh! no," he replied, “it would be ed with those friends who expressed delightful to live a life of usefulness themselves indignantly upon the occa- among a simple people, unmolested sion..
with petty cares and ceremonies." The extreme delicacy and diffidence In the following spring, having se of Grahame's character, are strikingly riously formed the design of quitting exemplified in some circumstances the bar, he left Edinburgh, and, after which attended the first publication of spending a few months at Annan, prothis beautiful poein. None of his friends ceeded to Chester, and from thence had the slightest previous intimation or, to London, where he was ordained by rasuspicion of its existence. To avoid ob- the Bishop of Norwich. He was soon
servation while it was printing, he and after appointed curate of Shipion in
Gloucestershire, at which place he re- months as an interim curate, and sided with his family for above a year, was extremely popular; after which and then returned to Annan on a visit. he was appointed to the curacy of While there, St George's Chapel in Sedgefield in that see. In this
Edinburgh becoming vacant, he was place he preached before the bishop, # induced, by the persuasion of his who expressed high approbation of
friends, to offer himself a candidate. him, and warm interest in his fa125 He caine to Edinburgh for that pur- vour ; but before there was time for
pose, and preached several times. The any preferment from his lordship's performance of his sacred duties was patronage, the bad health to which he in unison with his character, simple, had always been subject increased to elegant, and affecting. He evinced, an alarming degree. Being afflicted both in his manner and his doctrine, with violent headach, and oppressive the deepest impression of those impor- asthma, he was induced to come to tant truths he was to explain ; but Edinburgh for change of air. He ar
laboured more to inspire his hearers rived at the house of Mrs Archibald will with pious feelings, and to imbue Grahame, his only surviving sister,
their minds with love, and peace, and very much indisposed. He was often et de charity, than to bewilder their under- agonized with excruciating pain in his
standings, or dazzle their imaginations. head; yet he had intervals of ease, He appeared like the Apostle of Peace, and was able occasionally to see and making mankind ashamed of every converse with many of his friends ; at turbulent and unruly passion. He which times he evinced all that play
forgot not the awful justice of his ful cheerfulness which in former days a Divine Master ; but mercy was the was so attractive in his manners. He
attribute on which he loved to dwell. found in this amiable sister a soothing me His appearance, in the robes of his and an attentive nurse ; but his mala
sacred office, was solemn and devout, dy wearing an alarming aspect, Mrs while the deep tones of a voice, rich Grahame joined him in Edinburgh ; in natural pathos, were rendered still and on his expressing an ardent desire more impressive by the pale hue to go to Glasgow, she accompanied him which sickness had spread over his in his last journey to that place. Though fine features; and he seemed like a very ill before he set out, and aware of messenger sent from Heaven, that was his danger, he did not imagine his disto lead the way to that happier state solution so near; but was animated with of living to which he was directing his the idea of visiting the scenes of his fellow travellers. His excellence as a early days and happiest recollections. preacher was acknowledged ; and at He even hoped to preach in his native one time there appeared to be a ma- town, and took two sermons for that
jority of the electors in his favour; purpose, the subjects of which bear a · but, upon the final trial, another can- striking analogy to the situation of didate was successful.
their author; the text of one of them **"!!! This disappointment was most pain- being “ O death, where is thy sting?" house ful to his friends, who were eager to The victory indeed was soon to be his.
again enjoy the society of one in whom He became worse by the way, and two
they so much delighted, but he bore days after, having arrived at WhiteEl it without a murmur, and replied to Hill, near Glasgow, the residence of -: the impatient and indignant lamenta- his eldest brother, he expired on the
tions of a much interested friend, in 14th of September 1811, in the forty-3**? the language of meekness and consola- seventh year of his age. E 'tion, 'saying, “ It mattered not where Immediately afterwards, there was
we passed our time for a few short published a beautiful monody on his years.". Before returning to Annan, death, peculiarly soothing to the feelhe paid a last visit to his respected ings of his friends ;-the elegant aumother, who resided in Glasgow, and thor seemed to have wandered in his who died soon after,"
favourite haunts, and to have caught, When the affair of St George's with affectionate ardour, bis very tone chapel was finally settled, he went to of simple pathos and holy enthusiasm. Durham, and became a candidate for It appeared from the report of the a minor canonry, but failed there also, medical attendants, that the complaint as it had been promised to another in his head had been of many years before he applied. He officiated three duration, and must have occasioned.