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ing boy to her heart, murmuring, “My Douglas!" On her first awakening to a full sense of her loss and forlorn condition, it was only by presenting her son to her that she could be persuaded to live; and when her strength returned, she determined to go to Drumlanrig, and claim protection for herself and child; but the prudence of Ralph suggested the propriety of his first going to ascertain the state of the family, and, recommending his lady to the care of Gilbert Scott and his kind-hearted wife, he set out on his embassy. But sad was his welcome. The noble pile was a heap of blackened and smoking ruins, and the lady fled no one knew whither. Sad and sorrowful he returned to the mountain retreat, and was surprised at the calmness with which his honoured mistress heard his tale. Alas, he knew not that the pang she had already suffered made every loss appear trivial! The lonely shealing was repaired and furnished. Here lady Emma, in placid content, nursed her child, attended by her faithful foster-brother, who made occasional excursions to the neighbouring town to supply her with any necessary she might require. On an occasion of this kind, when the lovely boy was nearly two years old, she sat in the door of her humble dwelling, listening to his sweet prattle. It was the first time he had attempted to say the most endearing of all words. She forgot her sorrows, and was almost happy. Her attention was soon called to some domestic concern within the cottage.
The boy was on his accustomed seat at the door, when a shriil and piercing scream caused her to run out. Need her anguish and despair be painted, when she saw her lovely boy borne aloft in the air in the talons of a large eagle ! To run, to scream, to shout, was the first movement of the phrenzied mother'; but vain had been her efforts, had she not been almost immediately joined by some of her neighbours, whose united efforts made the fatigued bird quit his prey, drop it into the loch. Many a willing heart, many an active hand, was ready to save the boy. He was delivered to his mother, but, alas, only as a drenched and nerveless corse. Human nature could endure no more. Her brain reeled, and reason fled for ever. Her faithful and attached follower returned to find her lady a wandering maniac. Year after year did he follow her footsteps, nor, till death put a period to his sufferings, did his care slacken for one instant. After he had seen her laid by her husband and brother, he bade adieu to the simple inhabitants, and it is supposed he fell in some of the border raids of the period, as he was never more heard of.
Reader, this tale is no idle fiction. On the borders of Alemoor loch in Selkirkshire may still be seen a small clump of moss-grown trees, among which were one or two of the crab-apple kind, which showed that here the hand of cultivation had once been. Within this inclosure was a small green mound, to which tradition, in reference to the above story, gave the name of the Lady's Seat; and about half a mile to the south-west of the lonely loch, is an oblong bench, with a rising ground above, still called the Chieftain's Grave.
[ Cham. Ed. Jour.
POPULAR INFORMATION ON LITERATURE.
It is the lot of only a limited number of persons to become acquainted with ancient literature, or to have even the slightest knowledge of the languages in which it is chiefly written. Yet, owing to the importance of Greek and Roman literature and literary men, allusions to it are found at almost every step in our perusal of modern books—to the great puzzlement of unlearned readers, and the diminution of the utility of the works in which such allusions occur. By way of obviating this evil as far as possible, we shall give a brief account of the principal ancient authors and books referred to in modern literature, calculating our language for the use of those who know nothing on the subject.
By ancient, or, as it is sometimes called, classical literature, is meant the productions, in particular, of two civilized nations, which existed, two thousand years ago and upwards, at various places on the shores of the Mediterranean. These were the Greeks and Romans, of whom some account has already been given in the present work. People are sometimes heard to express wonder how the writings of these nations should be so much relished now-a-days, disguised as they are under foreign tongues, when there are so many books of as great literary merit, and more information, written in our own language. To this it must be answered, that, when our own nation had not as yet formed a literature for itself, the works of .the Greeks and Romans were the only works of merit which existed; and they were then studied with so much admiration in the seminaries where learned men were brought up, that a fixed prepossession in their favour has taken root among those classes, to the exclusion, in some measure, of a taste for even the best modern literature. Another cause of their keeping their ground so long in our schools, is the fact of our language containing a large proportion of Greek and Roman words, so that it cannot be properly studied without a previous acquaintance with those tongues. A third cause is that which has suggested the present chapter, namely, that so much of modern literature has a reference to the ancient, that there is no understanding the one without some knowledge of the other.
The first, and, as it happens, the greatest, of all ancient writers, was Homer, the author of two long Greek poems, respectively styled the Iliad and the Odyssey. So little is known about this man, that he is by many supposed to have been altogether an ideal person, and his poems only a series of fugitive ballads which were gathered together from tradition, and arranged under his name, as Ossian's Poems are supposed by most people to have been with us. By those who believe him to have existed, he is represented as having been an old blind minstrel, who went about singing his poems for the purpose of procuring a wretched subsistence. He is said to have lived some time between the tenth and eighth century before Christ, and to have been a native of the western coast of Asia Minor, now called Natolia. Like many modern poets, he would appear to have been little regarded during his life time, but some ages afterwards, when the people, by greater refinement, were more able to enjoy his verses, seven cities contended for the honour of having given him birth ; a ridi
culous circumstance in more ways than one, seeing that the mere accident of a great man having been born at a certain place cannot possibly argue any merit in that particular spot of ground. He was, most probably, an Ionian, born in the neighbourhood of Smyrna, which country was then called Ionia, being possessed by a colony of Greeks of that denomination, and which, is, indeed, one of the oldest names by which the Greeks are known in ancient history; and this accounts for his possessing so perfect a knowledge of the Ionic, a dialect of the Greek language, in which his poems are composed. His poems are of the class styled epics—that is, long narrative poems, of a certain regular structure. That called “the Iliad” contains an account of certain incidents in the Trojan war, a transaction which happened one or two hundred years before Homer's supposed age, and about the same time with the building of Solomon's temple. The Trojan war was probably a very obscure and paltry affair, for it occurred at a time when the Greeks, who carried it on, were little better than barbariansbut it has been elevated by the fancy of Homer into something very magnificent, interesting even the immortal gods in its progress and issue. Troy is represented as a great Asiatic city, of such strength as to have held out for ten years against the whole strength of the Greeks. who were provoked into besieging it, in consequence of the abduction of Helena, the wife of one of their petty princes, by Paris, a son of the king of Troy. The immediate subject of the poem is the quarrel of two chiefs of the Greeks, Agamemnon and Achilles, during the progress of the seige. In one of the encounters between the Greeks and Trojans, the former became the victors, and obtained considerable spoil, among which were several female captives, one of whom, the daughter of Chryses, the priest of Apollo, remarkable for her beauty and attractive manners, falls to the lot of Agamemnon: Chryses beseeches Agamemnon to restore his daughter, which the chief refuses to do, saying he loved her better than his wife Clytemnestra. Under these circumstances, the priest prays to his god Apollo for assistance, and a severe plague is consequently sent upon the Grecian camp. The Greek council of war consults about what is to be done to avert this sad calamity, and is informed by an augur, or diviner, that the only method to obtain relief is to restore the daughter of Chryses. Agamemnon, whose affections had been won by the young priestess, is enraged at the augur, and hesitates to comply with the demand. But upon weighing the motives in his mind, and seeing the necessity of returning the captive, he swears that he will have Briseis, another beautiful captive, who had fallen to the lot of Achilles, in her stead.. Upon his making this demand, Achilles declares himself grievously insulted, considering that he had shared the same perils and hardships as Agamemnon, and was, as well as he, an independent chief of Greece. To signify still more particularly the indignation which he felt, he withdrew his forces from the camp, and implored his mother, Thetis, (a fabulous divinity,) to exert her influence in his behalf. Thetis applies to Jupiter, the king of the gods, for his assistance, and, shortly after, the thunders of that mighty personage fall upon the Grecian army, and the deepest misery and distress experienced. In process of time, however, Achilles is reconciled to Agamemnon, and, by their united efforts, Troy is ultimately taken, and the object of the expedition accomplished. This is the whole subject of the twenty-four books or sections of the Iliad, though many characters and
incidents are introduced, which cannot be here specified. The mixture of divine and human agency in the poem gives it, upon the whole, a childish character; yet, if the reader gets over this objection, he cannot fail to be charmed by the dignity, and even sublimity, which the work exhibits throughout. There is no diffuseness nor extravagance in the imagery of the Iliad: every thing is dignified and concise, and from beginning to end one elevated strain is kept up. In the language there is often a surprising felicity, insomuch that one word will sometimes fill the mind of the reader with a delightful picture. But the great merit of the poem lies in the manly strength of thought, and the singular ardour of the imagination, which it displays. No poet was ever more happy, says Dr. Blair, in the choice of his subject, or more successful in painting his historical and descriptive pieces. There is a considerable resemblance in the style to that of some parts of the Bible-for instance, Isaiah—which must be accepted as a kind of testimony to the authenticity of the sacred writings, seeing that they are productions of nearly the same age, and of a part of the world not far from the alleged birth-place of Homer.
This illustrious bard composed another poem of about the same length, called the Odyssey, which looks like a production called forth by the success of a previous one, and inferior for want of the same interest in the subject. It relates the adventures of a distinguished Grecian chief, named Ulysses, on his way home from the Trojan war. Both
have continued for much more than two thousand years to enjoy the admiration of mankind; and it is certainly surprising that no effort in the same style of poetry, though made under circumstances infinitely more advantageous than those of the blind old min rel, has ever been in nearly the same degree successful. They are translated into almost all literary languages: in English, there are two excellent versified translations, one by Pope, and the other by Cowper, of which the former is considered the more pleasing, and the latter the more correct.
Another ancient Greek writer, of whom common readers must have heard a great deal, is Herodotus. As Homer is the first poet whose works have survived, so is Herodotus the first historian. He was born at Halicarnassus in Greece, now called Budrun, in the year 484 before Christ. In the part of Greece which gave birth to Herodotus, there was spoken a dialect called the Doric, which, like that of Scotland, as compared with English, was not considered a proper language for ordinary composition. But Herodotus, from disgust at his native government, removed in manhood to Samos, where the prevailing dialect was that elegant Ionic in which Homer had composed his poems; and he accordingly became familiar with this tongue, insomuch that his writings are said to exhibit it in a state of higher perfection than any other. Having formed a design of writing history, this ingenious man travelled for materials into Egypt and Italy, besides various parts of Asia, and in this manner acquired much valuable information respecting nations previously unknown, as well as of manners, customs, and habits, which have imparted great value to his pages. He is supposed to have profitted much by intercouse with the Egyptian priests, who for many centuries before this period had been remarkable for a mysterious kind of traditionary learning. After writing his work in nine books, and polishing it with much studious care, he read parts of it to his countrymen assembled at the Olympic games, and thus
obtained a larger and more immediate measure of fame than what was generally acquired by the writers of those ages, when there was no printing press to multiply copies of any literary composition. But for Herodotus, we should have now been ignorant of a large and important part of profane history. It is curious that this writer was more disbelieved in his
than in the present. Many of the things which he told of other countries were so wonderful that they startled his contemporaries, and were for many subsequent ages looked upon as doubtful; but not a few of these things have been ascertained by modern inquiry to be true, as Herodotus related them. This shows that scepticism or disbelief may be the mark of ignorance, as well as it sometimes is of knowledge, of which another remarkable illustration is afforded by Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia, which were scoffed at forty years ago, but have since been authenticated. At the same time, it must be mentioned that Herodotus communicates some fiction along with his facts, though apparently in no case where he was not himself deceived.
HAVING seen an article some time since in a Macon paper, purporting to be a history of the rise and progress of our Order, in the State of Georgia, and claiming for that city, the honor of having first introduced the order in this State, I have determined to give a plain and unvarnished history of its first introduction among us.
The first Lodge ever instituted in this State, was opened on the 4th March, 1842, by the Rev. ALBERT CASE, of Charleston, S. C., (on a dispensation granted to five brothers of the Order) in the Lyceum Hall, under the title of “Oglethorpe Lodge, No. 1," of the State of Georgia. Mr. A. N. Miller, of this city, was elected the first presiding officer, to whom the Order owes its origin in this State. As it was an entirely new Order, and its friendly precepts were not understood, it did not progress as rapidly at first as it was expected. At the end of the first quarter, however, we numbered about thirty members. We persevered, having full confidence in the institution, believing that it would not be long before it became known.
We met weekly and soon found that we continued to increase gradually, until the beginning of the present year, when one of our members, in conjunction with four others from other Lodges, applied for a dispensation for a Lodge in Macon, to be known as “Franklin Lodge No. 2." At the same time five members of our Lodge applied for a Lodge in this city, to be known as “Live Oak Lodge, No. 3,” both of which were granted.The Order from that time took rapid strides and members came flocking in, and we now number in this city, over two hundred members, composed of persons of all persuasions, professions and callings, from the Minister of the Gospel, down to the laborer, and among these members are some of the first men of our land, and the sons of the first settlers of our State.
I have, Gentlemen written much more than I intended, but I hope you will excuse it, as I was anxious to have it known where the Order was. first founded, and to whom the honor was due.