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was a thousand times happier than he deserved to be, eating off crystal, and drinking out of gold, and voyaging in a balloon-pic-nic-ing by sunlight in groves, and caterwauling by moonlight on roofs with that pretty puss
On "the daughters of men" who eloped with angels and became Zaries, nobody who knows us would deem us capable of being ungentlemanly severe; but we entreat the Doctor to reconsider his judgment acquitting them of all sin in absconding for ever, without notice, from the houses of their parents, and entering upon that very questionable and quis-quis kind of life. It would have been most ungrateful-and far worse, most ungallant in Orpheal-to have so much as hinted to Japhet his real opinion of the fair run-a-ways; but it was the duty of the Doctor to put into a paren◄ thesis a saving clause to that effectfor sake of fathers of families in the World after the Flood. For what Postdiluvian male creature does not seem an angel in the eyes of some one woman or another? And did not the late Mr Colquhoun calculate the number of Zaries in a single city of ours at fifty thousand ?
Orpheal, with all his ingenuity, fails to make out, that neither the frailty of their sires, nor the earthly stain of their mothers, applies to the piccaninnies-the issue of those peccadilloes -because they were still withdrawn "ere from their mother's breast they drew pollution." Orpheal might have spared himself and others the pain of that expression. "Pollution is a strong word-and comes with a bad grace from his lips. But, alas! for Ulsannah! For were they not bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh, and blood of her blood? Dismal, indeed, must have been the accouchements in the Isle of Love! No preparation of baby-linen! No experimental creaking of cradle! No gossip! No ta! ta! ta! No little footsteps lightly printing the ground! Phaugh! a breeding-place to supply heaven with halfand-half cherubs! And shuddered not the Doctor to think how the milkfever must have been perpetually raging there-in every other house, a Zarie mother, furious as a tigress, robbed of her cubs-and in her brain's distraction giving vent to the most horrid curses?
While her grieved soul continues chain'd to earth;
And when released it takes its flight to heaven,
To attend it there, and usher it to bliss."" [Loud cries of oh, oh, oh !]
Continuing their journey, the pilgrims come within view of the walls of Paradise, the splendour of which, and the flaming weapons of the angelic guards that encircle the sacred place, overpower their vision, and they are unable to proceed until relieved by an unfallen angel, who conducts them in safety to the dominion of Shalmazar.
"The angel ceased, and from a fig
And thus equipped, he accompanies the angel, like Christopher North, with his Crutch in one hand and a bottle of Glenlivet in the other, ascending Ben Nevis.
At gloaming, the pilgrims come among the mountains, to the house of one Jotham, an extensive sheep-farmer, and worthy man, but an idolater; and they are grieved to see the whole family kneel before an image of Baal, the patron god of the Cainites. Jotham's pretty daughter, Isamell, in the middle of worship suddenly screams out, and with frantic gestures seems to be frightened with some dread shadow, till she swoons away on the floor. On coming to herself again, she tells her father that a horrid spirit had been addressing her with seducing words, and attempting to force her to his loathsome arms, and beseeches him to abjure idolatry, and worship the only living and true God. Japhet, "touched with holy zeal," enforces his prayer, bids Jotham dismiss all fears of Shalmazar, who has no power to harm his soul; and forthwith
"With holy fervour Jotham's spirit
The images he cast into the flames,
"The tuneful Irad, with poetic zeal," celebrates the heroic deed with lyre and song-fair Isamell joins in with "her melodious voice :
"And, as he gazed upon her youthful charms,
Within his heart a pulse of fondness beat,
Which sent a sweet sensation through his frame,
Dearer than aught he e'er had felt before."
In a few days he proposes, and is accepted, affording another example of those instant unions, with which this poem abounds, of love and religion springing up together from the reciprocating fountains that well up in every innocent heart.
One serene evening, when straying through the dewy shades, Isamell is suddenly torn from Irad's arms by 66 some foul demon," who hurries her with frightful rapidity along the vale. To Irad's eyes the demon is invisible, and Isamell must have presented a singular spectacle, flung across unseen shoulders, and transported, without any apparent prop, through the air. But
Japhet, who was walking "in a neighbouring grove in holy meditation," darts forth at her screams, and having that morning used the phial, sees a giant fiend" drag by the waist the struggling fair along." Fortunately, too, he has our Crutch-his wand we mean, in his fist-and gives chase to the demon. Both are in prime condition_ bang-up to the mark. Japhet, indeed, may be said to have been in regular running training for some monthshis wind is sound as a roach-Fugy's touched by the foul air of his subterranean crib—and the odds at starting are three to one on Methuselah's great-grandson. They were, in truth, the Bank of England to a China orange; for Isamell probably rode some nine-stone, and jockeyed the demon, so as to make it a sure thing that he should lose the race.
"The fiend beheld the dreaded wand, and wing'd
His flight o'er hills and dales with force,
Firm-bearing in his grasp his beauteous prize,
But, aided by an impulse from above,
And the dread wand the demon would have fix'd
A powerless statue on the spot. Just then He reach'd a horrid precipice, and plunged
Into a gulf of awful depth, and dark
To show more horribly the dismal place."
This pit, we presume, was not always open-only on occasions of emergency, like the present; but in perthe folly of trepidation on account of using this poem the reader soon learns any impending calamitous event, for an effectual prevention or remedy is sure to be provided for every evil, and Japhet, either from his own skill or angelic aid, always holds the game in his own hand. Accordingly,
"The prince a moment paused on the dread brink,
Call'd on his God for aid, and fearless leap'd
Into the asphaltic pit.'
The Crutch-beg pardon again-the wand, that instant, spread out " living leaves immense, resembling eagles
wings," and he alighted on his feet, "unshaken, on the Stygian bottom.' The demon, casting a look over his left shoulder, did not, you may rest assured, let the grass grow under his feet; and Japhet, "with fresh zeal, renewed the chase." The fiend, by a terrific mandate, makes a huge gate fly open in a mountain's side, that for a moment, like a solid wall, had seemed to obstruct his flight, and just as he is about to bang it after him, Japhet gets within reach and tips it a touch of the Crutch. The effect is just what might have been expected
it stands immovable-and Christopher pursues the ravisher into a large cavern, "whose limits spread within the central space, extensive as an empire." There he holds his unobstructed way, "for many a league," through a realm "named Hades". full of
And loathsome reptiles, venomous and foulToads, scorpions, alligators, vampires, snakes, Whose forked tongues sent forth incessant hiss,
That made even demons shudder in their dens."
Here Japhet is at fault, for the demon, who has stuck to his prize like wax, disappears "amidst a labyrinth of tangled streets in Tophet's fulsome city," and there is no running him by the foot in the general stink.
At length Japhet reaches the citadel -and enters the palace of Belial-who at sight of the Crutch is cowed, and sings small-saying, sotto voce, “ Declare thy wish.' In words
"For oh! ye fair apostates! Japhet found That ye were numerous in that loathsome vault,
In which, even while mortality ye wore, And madly wantoned with your husbandfiends,
Ye felt a foretaste of the heavier doom Which waits the wicked in profounder hell. How different that sad vault, accursed and foul,
From the bright Eden for those fair ones made,
Who for their spouses chose celestial spirits,
Like virtuous Isamell; but God on these With pity looked, and blest their mortal hour,
Which ever soon he sent for their release, When angels bore their ransomed souls on high."
Japhet emerges with Isamell from the Tartarean gulph, and finds himself on the shore of a dreadful sea. But at a touch of the Crutch its rage subsides,
"And with a sudden ebb,
It leaves the shore, on which a path is formed,
Broad, firm and dry, with pearl and corals paved,
And silver sand and shells innumerable Of many a glittering, gay, fantastic dye." Before sunset they reach the farm. Isamell is "to the heart of her rejoicing sire pressed with parental rapture; and the harp of Irad-who must have been for some time in a shocking state of suspense
"Woke to strains of ecstasy, Poured forth a lover's gratitude and joy For the sweet mistress of his heart restored."
But the pilgrims must march eastwards on their mission-too long neglected; and Jotham, afraid to remain in the realms of Shalmazar, receives from Japhet a token that will gain him aid and protection through Armon's provinces, and prepares to remove with Isamell and all his household to Noah's royal seat.
Passing through innumerable villages and many cities, the minstrels at last reach Gal-Cainah, which seems to us to have resembled Edinburghbut on a considerably larger scalebuilt of marble, instead of Craigleith freestone as beautiful as marble"At length they at Gal-Cainah's gates arrived,
The mighty capital of half the world,
"Mountain-like abodes, whose doors peared The mouths of mighty caves, and windows large
As full-spread sails worn by a stately ship." And of all the population these giants -fiend-begotten, like Shalmazar, but woman-born," deepest were in gross debauchery sunk.” They ruled the roast in the city
"Using them as serfs, Have ever since been ruled by tyrant lords, To furnish them with means of luxury, And in return contempt and stripes receive!"
Japhet is for a time much puzzled how to proceed-but thinks it prudent to pay court to the Anakims, who are passionately fond of music, and "showed favour to the wandering minstrel pair." The son of Noah, we are sorry to say it, compromises his principles so far as to perform " at sacrifices." But their chief occupation is in fiddling or harping, at "balls and banquets." They are all the rage-the Spindler and Wieppert of Gal-Cainah -no evening assemblage in the fashionable world without Japhet and Irad. There is no mention of terms
but they must have pocketed a good penny-and their meat and drink was the best
"Until their fame reached the luxurious court,
And by Shalmazar's order, they were brought
To minister their heart-enlivening strains For his enjoyment: he was pleased, and o'er The choral band that soothed his Har em hours,
Japhet as chief musician soon was placed, And next in station Irad was installed." what he could ever have pictured, in Elevated to a rank so far beyond the wildest dreams of youthful ambition, it is not to be wondered at that Prince Japhet, the son of Noah, should forget his mission as well as himself; but an accident soon occurred to recal both to his remembrance. Shalmazar had just returned from quelling a revolt in his empire's northern bounds, and chose to celebrate his victory by a splendid festival. He had failed in making any impression ou the heart of Hadallah; but Asmodeus whispered to him to place her that day beside himself on the throne, and to proclaim her Queen. Insensible to love, she might be overcome by ambition.
'Tis done;-and Hadallah, as she is proclaimed " Shalmazar's Queen," -hears instrumental music from on high, which sends "emotions through her frame she ne'er had known before;" and then a love-song, fraught with mysterious meaning, "that gives her virgin charms a sweeter, brighter glow." She looks up to the orchestra -and lo! Japhet-the leader-whom she recognises as the same beautiful being once seen in a dream. Japhet, too, recognizes in her a loveliest virgin, whom, in a dream, he had freed from a net wound round her by a demon.
"Oh! how his bosom burned His mission to accomplish, and achieve The glorious work of her deliverance.
Hadallah leaves the festal hall, puzzled to know whether she is Queen or not, attended by a splendid train of nymphs, who sing her praises, and strew her path with flowers. Having been put to bed by Jazeda, her thoughts ran on the noble minstrel who had "taught her virgin bosom how to love;" and Asmodeus, perceiving "some new emotion in her breast, of earthly nature, whether
pride or love he could not tell," acts as if it were both, and infuses "infectious fondness through her yielding frame," till she is ensnared to listen to the impassioned pleadings of Shal
"His mein so mild, and speech and tone so kind,
Seemed to possess an influence strange to her
That grieved her; for she scarcely could repel
His hateful suit, which then less hateful
Than she desired: and over her had come A something which alarmed her scrupulous mind.'
In short, she is half in love with Shalmazar, and, aware of her danger, prays for relief from Heaven. The music that warmed her soul in the hall "to pious ecstacy and virtuous love" is heard again; and, to the astonishment and rage of the demi-fiend,
"Cease to torment me with thy hated love, Nor seek a union which not all thy power, Though kindred demons aid thee, can enforce;
For Heaven, my soul's assured, will save me from
The doom abhorred of joining fates with thee."
We really cannot help thinking that, all things considered, Hadallah might have treated the demi-fiend more mildly; for her good sense must have told her that, for a son of Belial, his behaviour had not been so very much amiss! True, he began his courtship ill by doing what he could to burn her father. But Jathuran was in heaven;
and it is remarkable that Hadallah
never once mentions him—at least we do not remember her doing so-during the whole poem. What more could the demi-fiend do to show the sincerity of his passion, than to make her his queen? And his queen, she had suffered herself to be proclaimed in presence of the whole court. Farther, for a few minutes she had taken his protestations into consideration; nay, seemed to incline her ear favourably to his suit; and though she had done so under the evil influence of As
modeus, still she was not without some reason for self-reproach. But far above all his other claims on her good nature, she ought suitably to have acknowledged his forbearance
from any act of violence. We question if, in all the annals of mankind, such abstemious conduct will be found recorded of any other demi-fiend. Cyrus and Scipio were not demi-fiends; and there was just so much the less virtue in their abstinence. We suspect, indeed, that there was not a syllable of truth in Jazeda's story of the rape and murder of Adda, and that Shalmazar himself countenanced it merely as a
Hadallah owed to him many
pleasant hours with Captain Ellam; and as she never could have divined the demi-fiend's object in confiding her to the charge of that accomplished. person, she should have been obliged to him for the opportunity afforded
of converting the handsome guardsman to the true faith. Perhaps we may now safely venture to avow our regard for the demi-fiend. Cruel we cannot call him-for cruelty, like every thing else, is comparative and he sinks into a humane character, too prone to the womanly weaknesses of commiseration and pity, when compared with Nero, Caligula, or Domitian. Hadallah might have done worse than marry him—and we believe in our conscience-we do, indeed --that he would have made a very good husband-for a king. It would have been too much to expect that she could ever have made a convert of him like the Captain-but it cannot be doubted that she might have insisted, as the pious condition on which she would surrender the fortress, on the insertion of a clause in the marriage-settlement, binding him to pull down, on the nuptial morn, that golden statue. good might she not have wrought among that idolatrous people! Perhaps prevented the Flood!
We feel, somewhat sadly, that it is too late now to indulge longer in such speculations; and beg to turn attention to Japhet. He seems to have had the entrée; for, at midnight,
"Gently opening, moved her chamber-door And in her presence stood the minstrel youth."
He beseeches "the fairest of created forms," not to be alarmed-for that Heaven has sent him, "from distant
regions under Noah's rule," to deliver her from the tyrant's power.
"Our means of flight from this polluted land,