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The virgins saw me silent in the hall; they touched the harp of joy. The tear was on the cheek of Malvina; the virgins beheld me in my grief. Why art thou sad? they said; thou first of the maids of Lutha! Was he lovely as the beam of morning, and stately in thy sight ?”

Much as we may suppose these strains of sorrow to have agonised the paternal breast of Ossian, he suppresses his own emotions out of commiseration for the sufferings of his companion; and he endeavours to divert her attention, by relating some of his former heroic achievements.

“ Pleasant is thy song in Ossian's ear, daughter of streamy Lutha! Thou hast heard the music of departed bards in the dream of thy rest, when sleep fell on thine eyes, at the murmur of Moruth. When thou didst return from the chace in the day of the sun, thou has heard the music of bards, and thy song is lovely! It is lovely, O Malvina! but it melts the soul. There is a joy in grief when peace dwells in the breast of the sad.

But sorrow wastes the mournful! O daughter of Toscar! and their days are few! They fall away, like the flower on which the sun hath looked in his strength after the mildew has passed over it, when its head is heavy with the drops of night. Attend to the tale of Ossian, O maid! He remembers the days of his youth !” *

With this lovely and consolatory picture of the blind old bard, with youth and beauty, and affection as his guide, I wish to close the present essay, reserving what the subject of this and the preceding paper on the Grecian poet may have further to suggest, until the mighty name of Milton comes before us.

. See the opening of Croma; Ossian, vol. i. pp. 127, 128. No. XVIII.

Προς το αΐδιον εβλεπεν.


Looking to that which is eternal and incorruptible.

In resuming the consideration of Sir Thomas Brown's RELIGIO MEDICI, I think it necessary again to press upon the mind of the reader, that I have been induced to select thus copiously from the work, in consequence of the disparity which exists amongst the materials made use of for its construction. A lofty enthusiasm, and

, almost boundless eccentricity of thought, an irrepressible fervour of imagination, and a never satiated desire for penetrating into the deepest and most awful recesses of nature, have frequently led this great but singular writer into discussions placed far beyond the reach of human comprehension. And when he descends to topics of a less abstract and metaphysical nature, to subjects which come home to the bosoms and the business of his fellow men, his mode of illustration is often such, as from his choice of imagery and unhesitating openness of communication, may excite trains of ideas of a character little correspondent with the weighty and solemn import of his theme.

Amid these defects, however, which stand prominent on his pages, are scattered with no sparing hand, passages, whose beauty, sublimity, and moral wisdom, have never been exceeded; and of which, the diction can boast a purity and vigour, that would give added strength and power to any combination of thought however lofty and transcendant.

I feel, therefore, satisfied, that in recurring, on my former plan, to the pages of the Religio Medici, I shall be considered as prosecuting an attempt, which, if executed with any share of judgment, cannot fail of being in a high degree both useful and interesting; more especially, as I am about to introduce to my readers, that part of the work which is dedicated to the


object of Charity, a virtue which may be said to include almost every other which falls within the province of humanity.

After a few preliminary remarks, the author takes such a view of the foundation on which charity should be built, as proves him not only well acquainted with what constitutes the vital principle of religious duty; but with what too generally actuates the human heart, whilst employed in the office of extending relief to others.

“ It is a happiness,” he observes, “ to be born and framed unto virtue, and to grow up from the seeds of nature, rather than the inoculation and forced grafts of education; yet, if we are directed only by our particular natures, and regulate our inclinations by no higher rate than that of our reasons, we are but moralists; Divinity will still call us heathens. Therefore, this great work of charity must have other motives, ends, and impulsions; I give no alms to satisfy the hunger of my brother, but to fulfil and accomplish the will and command of my God; I draw not my purse for his sake that demands it, but his that enjoined it; I relieve no man upon the rhetoric of his miseries, nor to

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