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thither from all quarters, and sold at mo. afterwards twist and hold it very tight. derate prices.
After this preparation, they strip them. ." The pachas of Bagdad have been selves naked, form a package of their considered at all times as the most power- clothes, and, tying it on their shoulders, ful in the Ottoman dominions, and are lay themselves flat on the goat skin; on supposed to possess a right to the title of which they float very much at their ease, caliph from inhabiting the capital in which paddling with their hands and feet, and the ancient Arabian pontiff's resided. smoking their pipe all the time. Not only Placed at the extremity of Turkey, they men, but women and girls, adopt this me. exercise an authority which is almost in. thod of crossing the river, and make the dependent of the porte; and great deli. air re-echo with their songs while they cacy is observed towards them on the part are passing. of the Ottoman court, that they may not “After the junction of the Tigris and be tempted to revolt. They assume to the Euphrates at the beautifully situated themselves, whenever they please, the town of Korna, their waters roll on for right of declining to send their forces to several miles without mixing. Those of cooperate with those of the grand seignor; the Euphrates are clear, in consequence and no objection is made to the reasons of its tranquil current; while those of the which they allege, provided that they be Tigris are turbid from its rapidity. Not accompanied by a sum of money. During far from Hilla, or Hela, in a northerly di. more than a century, all the pachas of rection, and towards the Euphrates, are Bagdad have been originally Georgian to be seen the relicks of the once mighty slaves, raised by intrigue and accident Babylon They are interesting only from from that humble station to the hazardous the recollections which they excite, and post of vizir. The forces of the govern. have not beauty in themselves like the re. ment of Bagdad may be increased in a mains of Palmyra, Balbec, or Persepolis, time of urgency to 30,000 men, infantry among which we meet at every step with and cavalry; and this number would be traces of magnificent architecture. The still greater if several Arab tribes had not remains of Babylon consist in a shapeless withdrawn themselves to join the Waha. mass of ruins, and are more calculated to bees, while others have set up the standard inspire melancholy than admiration. Like of independence. The Curds, of whom a all cities that have been built of brick, it great proportion have revolted, are the has no striking monument left standing. best horsemen; their arms consist of a The Arabs make a trade of digging the pistol, a lance, a sabre, and sometimes a ground for the purpose of finding medals carabine. The Arabs have only a lance: of bronze, silver, and sometimes of gold; as but, being robust and intrepid, they make well as vases, metal images, and utensils: a dexterous use of it. The Bagdad infantry even the bricks they carry off by water are armed with a musket and sabre, and à for the purpose of sale. These bricks are small part of them are disciplined on the all of a square form, five inches thick, European plan. The revenue is between and bearing on one of their sides a hiero. seven and eight millions of piastres, and glyphick inscription, the characters of would be more, were it not for the decline which are still very plain. The ruins of of the trade of Bussorah. The population Nineveh are on the Tigris, opposite to of Bussorah is now reduced to 50,000, a the city of Mosul, about three hundred diminution which is caused by the deso. miles above Bagdad. Mosul appears to lation that has been spread around by the have been built out of these ruins. The Wahabees, and by the insalubrity which remains of the ancient Nisibis consist, in has arisen from the neglect of the neigh. like manner, of mere ruins, and are worth bourhood of the city.
visiting chiefly for the beauty of the situa" The banks of both the Euphrates and
tion." the Tigris are infested with robbers, who
The account of the origin and are accustomed to swim aboard of the boats on the water, and to carry off what. Progress
progress of the Wahabees is given ever they can seize. Travellers have often in the same crude and ill-arranged been surprised at the length of the dis method as that of Bagdad. In contances which the Arabs will pass, floating sequence of the Wahabees having on the water. They accomplish these voy- been known in Europe only of late ages by means of a goat skin, of which
years, the publick in general are not they sow very compactly the different
aware that the origin of this sect openings, with the exception of the skin of one of the legs, which they use as a took place so far back as the middle pipe to blow up the rest of the skin, and of the last century. Their tenets differ from the Mohammedan, not possession of the whole property. in respect of their idea of the Su. În case of voluntary submission, a preme Being or of the sacred von Wahabee governour is put over the lume, the Koran, which they believe subjugated tribe, and a tenth of the to have been written in heaven by property exacted, as well as a tenth the hand of angels: but in regard of the male population levied for the to the power and character of Mo- military service. By these means, hammed, whom they consider to the Wahabee leaders have found have been a mere human being, the themselves in possession of largemessenger indeed of God on earth, treasures, and at the head of formi. but not worthy to have his name dable armies. Animated by religious joined with that of the Deity in the enthusiasm, these fanaticks rush foradorations of men. The Wahabees wards to danger with incredible are therefore not so much the pro- courage, and attack their enemies in pagators of a new faith, as the re- the firm belief that, by dying in the formers of the Mohammedan reli- field, they will receive the crown of gion. Like others of this sect they martyrdom. Were they possessed of are circumcised; and they observe the advantages of discipline, and similar forms of prayer, the same commanded by able leaders, they ablutions, the same abstinences, the might become the conquerors of same yearly fast (that of Ramadan) Asia. and the same solemnities. Their In the preface to this book, a hope mosques, however, are devoid of is expressed that the publick will ornament; and the name of Moham. extend encouragement to the author, med is not mentioned in their reli- and induce hini to undertake more gious exercises. They reject in the laborious researches. With such same manner the divine mission of encouragement, however, we can Jesus Christ. They imitate the early scarcely venture to flatter him, till Mohammedans most effectually in he has learned to condense his matthe vigour with which they spread ter into a smaller compass, and has their doctrine by force of arms; and accustomed himself to a clearer ar. they have been accustomed to pre- rangement. The account of the sent it to the neighbouring tribes at Yezidees is short, and is not the prothe point of the sword, calling on duction of the same author, but of a them in decisive language to a be- missionary named Garzoni; from lieve or die.” When they encounter whom the writer of the preceding resistance, their practice has been to tracts might have taken some hints sacrifice the males and spare the on the score of composition. females, but to confiscate and take
FROM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW. The Battles of Talavera. A Poem. 8vo. pp. 40. Dublin, London, Edinburgh. 1810.;
THERE is no point in which our ry, than the pens of contemporary age differs more from those which bards. St. James's had then its odes, preceded it, than in the apparent and Grub-street poured forth its apathy of our poets and rhymers to ballads upon every fresh theme of the events which are passing over national exultation. Some of these them. From the days of Marlbo- productions, being fortunately wed." rough to those of Wolfe and Hawke, ded to popular tunes, have warped the tower and park guns were not themselves so closely with our chamore certain procjaimers of a victo- racter, that, to love liberty and roast
Beef, is not more natural to an En quest over the Mahrattas: beginning glishman, than to beat tune toi
" Shout Britain for the battle of Assay, * Steady boys, Steady," and, « Rule Britannia.”
For that was a day Our modern authors. When we stood in our array, are of a different cast; some of Like the lion turned to bav, them roam back to distant and dark And the battle word was conquer or die! ages; others wander to remote countries, instead of seeking a theme in We are now happy to find, that the exploits of a Nelson, an Aber- another bard has advanced with a cromby, or a Wellesley; others contribution to adorn the most res amuse themselves with luscious son- cent and most glorious wreath won nets to Bessies and Jessies; and all by the same gallant general. The seem so little to regard the crisis promptitude as well as the patriotism in which we are placed, that we of the tribute might claim indula cannot help thinking they would gence as well as praise: but it is keep fiddling their allegros and ada- with pleasure we observe, that algios, even if London were on fire, though this volunteer has rushed or Buonaparte landed at Dover. forward without waiting to arm him.
We are old-fashioned men, and self in that panoply which is often, are perhaps inclined to see, in the after all, found too slight to repel loss and decay of ancient customs, the assaults of modern criticism, more than can reasonably be traced neither his adventurous courage nor from them: to regard, in short, that the goodness of liis cause, is his sole as a mark of apathy and indifference or his principal merit. 10 national safety and glory, which T he battle of Talavera is written may only arise from a change in the in that irregular, Pindarick measure manner of expressing popular feel. first applied to serious composition ing. Be that as it may, we think that by Mr. Walter Scott, and it is doing the sullen silence observed by our no injustice to the ingenious author present race of poets, upon all to say, that in many passages, we themes of immediate national con- were, from the similarity of the stanza cern, argues little confidence in and of the subject, involuntarily retheir own powers, small trust in the minded of the battle of Flodden, in liberal indulgence of the publick to the sixth book of Marmion. The extemporaneous coinpositions, and feeling, however, went no farther above all, a want of that warm in- than the perception of that kindred terest in such themes as might resemblance between those of the vell render them indifferent to both same family which is usually most considerations. Lord Wellington, striking at first sight, and becomes more fortunate than any contempo. less remarkable, and at length invirary English general, whether we sible, as we increase in intimacy with regard the success or the scale of those in whom it exists. In one rehis achievements, has been also spect, the choice of the measure is unusually distinguished by poetical more judicious on the part of the commemoration; and as his expioits nameless bard, than on that of Mr. form an exception to the train of Scott. The latter had a long narra. evil fortune which has generally at- tive to compose, and was necessarily tended our foreign expeditions, the forced upon passages in which the hearts of those capable of celebra- looseness and irregularity of his ung them, seem to have been pecu- versification has an extravagant and Jiarly awakened and warmed at the slovenly appearance. It is where the recital. Probably, many of our read. tone of passion is low, that the ers have seen the superb Indian reader demands a new interest from War-song, which celebrated his con- regularity of versification, and beauty
of selected diction. On the other are successfully and artfully intro. hand, in passages of vivid, and espe- duced to impress the dreadful scene cially of tumultuary and hurried upon the mind of the reader. The description, the force of the poet's following lines have peculiar and thought, and the intenseness of the picturesque merit. feeling excited, ought to support his language. He may be then per. “ Darkling they fight, and only know
If chance has sped the fatal blow, mitted to strip himself as to a com
Or, by the trodden corse below, bat, and to evince that “brave ne
Or by the dying groan: glect" of the forms of versification Furious they strike without a mark, which express an imagination too Save now and then the sulphurous spark much exalted, and a mind too much Illumes some visage grim and dark, occupied by the subject itself, to re. That with the flash is gone !" gard punctiliou ly the arrangement of rhymes or the measurement of In the succeeding stanzas, we have stanzas. In this point of view, few the repose after the action, and the themes present themselves which preparation for the general battle can better authorize a daring flight of the next day. The anxiety of the than that which has been selected British general is described, and a by the author of Talavera.
singular coincidence pointed out in The poem opens with the follow the sixth stanza. We shall transcribe ing stanza, of which the first nine it, and « let the stricken deer go lines are an exquisite picture of re. weep." pose, and the last somewhat more
“Oh heart of honour, soul of fire, feebly and prosaically expressed.
Even at that moment fierce and dire, “ 'Twas dark; from every mountain head
Thy agony of fame!
When Britain's fortune dubious hung, The sunny smile of heaven had fed,
And France tremendous swept along, And evening, over hill and dale
In tides of blood and flame. Dropt, with the dew, her shadowy veil;
E’en while thy genius and thy arm In fabled Tajo's darkening tide
Retrieved the day and turned the storm, Was quenched the golden ray;
E'en at that moment, factious spite, Silent, the silent stream beside,
And envious fraud essayed to blight
The honours of thy name."
The share which is assigned to And wearied all, and none elate,
lord Wellington in the conduct of With equal hope and doubt, they wait the fight, is precisely that which is A fiercer, bloodier day.
really the lot of a commander in Prance, every nation's foe, is there, chief. Generals were painted in arAnd Albion's sons her red cross bear,
mour long after With Spain's young Liberty to share, The fortune of the fray.”
" the fashion of the fight
Had laid gilt steel and twisted mail aside The attack of the French is then described with all the peculiar cir. cumstances of uncertainty and hor. And from some similar concateTour that aggravate the terrours of nation of ideas, modern poets, for midnight conflict. The doubtful and many a day after the “ eagle-glance" suppressed sounds which announce and commanding genius of a hero to the defenders the approach of the had been the attributes which deciassailants; the rush of the former to ded the field, continued to describe meet and anticipate the charge; the him mowing down whole ranks with reflection on those who fall without his sword, as if personal strength witnesses to their valour; and all the were as essential to his success as "I wonders of that gloomy fight," in the days of the Trojan war. This
foolish fashion, which, like every « Full fifty thousand muskets bright false and unnatural circumstance, Led by old warriours trained to fight.” tends obviously to destroy the probability of the scene, has been dis
Spears, we know, is used for spearcarded by good taste ever since the
men; but this is a license sanctioned publication of Addison's Campaign. by antiquity, and not to be extended The approach of the Gallick army
to modern implements of war. In is beautifully described.
other places, the ardour of the poet
is expressed in language too turgid “ And is it now a goodly sight,
and inflated. But the following stanOr dreadful to behold,
za may safely be quoted as avoiding, The poinp of that approaching fight, under very difficult circumstances, Waving ensigns, pennons light,
the extremes of simplicity and bomAnd gieaming blades and bayonets bright, bast; and describing the celebrated And eagles winged with gold;
charge of the British cavalry with And warriour bands of many a hue, Scarlet and white, and green and blue,
a spirit worthy of those whose galLike rainbows o'er the morning dew,
lantry was so memorable on that Their various lines unfold:
memorable day: While cymbal clang and trumpet strain, " Three columns of the flower of Frances The knell of battle tolled:
With rapid step and firm, advance, And trampling squadrons beat the plain, 'Till the clouds echoed back again,
At first through tangled ground,
O'er fence and dell and deep ravine;
The midnight battle's murderous scene Our bounds will not permit us to The valley's eastern bound. quote the opening of the battle, There in a rapid line they forin, though it contains some passages of Thence are just rushing to the storm great merit. Realizing his narrative
By bold Bellona led. with an art, which has been thought
w When sudden thunders shake the vale,
Day seems as in eclipse to fail, almost irreconcilable with poetry, the 'The light of heaven is fled; author next undertakes to give us a . A dusky whirlwind rides the sky, distinct idea of those maneuvres and A living tempest rushes by movements upon which the success With deafening clang and tread; of the day depended; and by clothing 'A charge, a charge,' the British cry, them with the striking circum.
' And Seymour at its head.” stances which hide the otherwise The miscarriage of this gallant technical and somewhat familiar body of cavalry amid the broken detail of the gazette, he has succeede ground in which the French again ed at once in preserving the form formed their column, its causes and and leading circumstances, and “all consequences, the main battle itself, the current of the heady fight;" and, and all its alternations of success, are generally speaking, in presenting described in the same glowing and them to the fancy in a manner as vivid language; which we will venpoetical as they are clear to the un- ture to say is not that of one who derstanding. In treading, however, writes with a view to his own disupon a line so very narrow, he has tinction as a poet, but who feels that sometimes glided into bombast on living fire glow within him which the one hand, or into flat, bald, and impels him to fling into verse his vulgar expressions on the other. animated and enthusiastick feelings Although, for instance, the word of exultation on contemplating such u fire-locks” be used technically, a subject as the battle of Talavera. and somewhat pedantically, to ex. The following description of a cirpress the men who bear them, we cumstance new to the terrours of cannot permit a poet to speak with battle, we shall insert, ere we take impunity of
our leave of Talavera: