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for his support. He went on prosperously for many years, but, meeting with a sudden reverse of fortune in some great speculations, had sent for his son to marry a rich heiress, in order to prop up his falling fortunes, the tottering state of which he had much ado to conceal. What a flood of agony did these dreadful tidings pour upon the heart of young Hector O'Hara, on his arrival at Calcutta! He often rallied his sinking spirits, and resolved to impart the secret of his marriage to his father; but the moment the old man appeared with his stern eye and care-worn brow, his resolution vanished. How could he hurry him into the grave, by saying he had wedded with the daughter of a beggar? How blast all those budding hopes, from the blossoming of which he anticipated such pleasure and advantages?
"The father alternately endeavoured to threaten and cajole him into a consent to the marriage with the heiress-his mother on her bended knees besought him to save her from poverty and ruin; and his sisters turned with eyes full of tears and imploring looks upon him. Oppressed with their unrelenting persecution for many weeks, he had passed the night in dreaming agony. The whole family were gathered round him in the breakfast-room, assailing him with tears, threats, and bitter reproaches-his fevered blood rushed wildly through his veins; his heart beat convulsively in his breast; his sight grew dim; his brain whirled, and I fear the fatal consent was just quivering on his white lip, when the folding doors of the apartment suddenly burst open, and the pale face and slender figure of his Peggy appeared before him. "My wife! my dear wife!" was all that he could utter, and he bounded into her encircling arms. The father stood aghast, the women shrieked, and the young wife and her husband were still locked to each other's breast when I entered the room, and with a low obeisance introduced myself as a relation of the bride. The amazement of all instantly increased; and the face of old Hector assumed an expression of unfeigned horror and deep disgust, as I threw the old patched cloak of the Buchaugh at his feet, loudly proclaiming it to be the marriage portion of his son's wife. The sudden jerk loosened some of the stitches, and a shower of bright gold covered the floor. In a few words I explained every thing. The winning ways of Peggy soon moved the hearts of the family in her favour; her husband was happy in her love; and the old gold and great money-bonds of the wandering Buchaugh effectually saved the sinking fortunes of the proud old Hector O'Hara.
"The grateful young couple implored me to pass the remainder of my days under their roof; but my heart yearned for the land of my forefathers. How could I die happy in a foreign country, with only one of my own dear kinsfolk to close my eyes and wail over my cold corpse? How could I rest under any turf but that of old Erin? The sun seemed to look upon me with a strange aspect-the moon had not half the sweet quietness in her white face, the stars did not shed the same soft light as in my own native land. There were no smiling maidens to look out upon me as I passed-no bright-eyed children to listen to my tales-no hoary grandsires to drop the tear at my pathetic ditties-no festal merry-meetings on All Hallow Eve-no willing voice to join with me in loudly chanting the soul-stirring anthem of Erin-go-bragh. My heart was in Ireland, all my affections were cen
tered in my own country; and I quickly bade adieu to my kind friends, and cheerily set sail again for my own little Isle of the Ocean."
The old Buchaugh and the merry piper continued to amuse us for the greatest part of the night; nor did the rustic party break before many of the youngsters were dozing in their seats, the piper's eyes twinkling with the effects of the strong Pothien, the merry cock crowing out his matinal salutation, and the grey dawn glimmering over the summit of the lofty Knock-na-ree.
LINES WRITTEN ON THE FIELD OF CRECY, 1820.
EVENING'S warm hues are on the hill,
Nor shock of arms, nor havock's rout,
It was not thus when England's might
When here the white and waving crest
Was bathed in slaughter's dye.
There at yon cross, aged, feeble, blind,
That scorns at destiny,
Died 'midst his foes the hoary king,
Tore his tall plumes away.
Yet lives the tower† where Edward stood
A tottering monument,
A silent solitary thing,
And Gaul's pale standards rent:—
But little deeming that an hour
Would strew in dust their mail-clad power,
Like wreck upon the wave.
Boast of my Country-storied field!
Where now are they who once could wield
Her sword so mightily?—
Where are my fathers?-they are gone;
And by the record, only known
Of what thy glories say.
Crecy, farewell! I've trod thy plain
With thoughts that thrill'd through every
And high romantic pride,
That England gave to thee thy fame,
And bore the sons of deathless name
A stone cross still marks the place where the king of Bohemia fell.
A building, resembling a ruined windmill, is still shewn as the tower where
Edward III. overlooked the battle.
ON ARABIC AND PERSIAN LITERATURE. NO. II.
THE earliest accounts we have received of the Persian nation contain very few tokens of their having cultivated the composition of language. However accomplished, and accomplished they were, according to the testimony of the most interesting historian* among the most polished as well as the most extraordinary people that the world has ever seen, the Persians studied rather such arts as give grace to the person, than bestow elegance on the mind. Riding, wrestling, and throwing the javelin, are the pursuits assigned to the youth of Persia by the biographer of Cyrus; and Herodotus informs us that their young men were exercised chiefly in three things-in hurling the dart, in riding, and in the practice of virtue.
The warrior-philosopher Xenophon, although, from his acquaintance with the younger Cyrus, he must have conversed in Persian with ease and fluency, has not transmitted to us any composition on that idiom. There is not even an historian of Alexander, although these are sufficiently numerous, who has left us the desired information: we must look therefore to a later date, to the era of Mahomet and Anushirvan, for the first accounts which can be received as genuine.
At the birth of Mahomet, Nushirvan or Anushirvan, the Chosroes of the Byzantine writers, reigned over the vast empire of Iran or Persia. The Oriental historians designate this monarch by the title of Just; but in a nation of slaves such a title is obtained without many sacrifices on the part of the sovereign, and no extraordinary efforts of clemency and humanity may be expected to have decorated his career. At this period, however, long before that which is termed the golden age of Persian literature, and which was adorned by so great a brilliancy of philosophers and poets, we begin to receive some accounts respecting the state of that language. There had been founded at Ghandisapor, a city of Khorasan, a school of physic; and as the study of this useful science advanced, the arts of literature began to assume the rank they merit in the scale of human pursuits. But unfortunately, as is common in the early growth of reason, scholastic disputes and the jargon of metaphysic subtleties usurped the place of a pure and enlightened philosophy. It happened, notwithstanding, that although these studies did not enlarge the boundaries of science, nor extend the limits of human knowledge,-that although mankind has not been indebted to Ghandisapor for any useful inventions to adorn or to improve life, yet they produced a remarkable influence on the purity and correctness of its dialect. Controversy, if it does not add to the grasp of an understanding, at least sharpens and gives nerve to a language, Hence the idiom of polished life became distinguished from that of the vulgar, and the name of the "Deri" was given to the former, while the latter was distinguished by that of " Pehlevi."
It would be a fitting subject of investigation among antiquaries and philologists, to ascertain the etymology of these names. The more probable account of them appears to be, that the Deri was a perfect specimen of the "Parsi," so called from the country of which Shiraz is the capital; and that the Pehlevi had its name from the " Pehlu," or heroes who spoke it in its earlier ages.
Perhaps there will be danger of assuming too much the air of the verbal critic, if we remark that there still exist traces of another Persian dialect, called the "Zend." This was the language of the priests and sages, and exhibited those more solemn religious truths, on which only a commentary was offered to the vulgar in the Pehlevi tongue. The Zend, however, may be fairly considered as extinct, for although the writings of Zeratusht or Zoroaster were composed in this character, yet there are few, even among the priests, who can be said to understand it. The Pehlevi bears an obvious similarity to the Chaldee and Hebrew, and may possibly have been derived from it. But the Deri, or the Parsi, formed the foundation of that modern dialect which survived the shock of Mahomet's career, and was afterwards dignified by the poems of Hafiz and Sadi, of Ferdousi and Noureddin Jami +.
For the present we will quit the vast empire of Iran or Persia, and turn to the sister nation of Arabia. It is a singular fact that the Arabs have never been entirely subdued; no impression on them has ever extended beyond their borders. As a nation they have ever continued independent. If portions of their vast tracts have yielded to the torrent of vehement irruptions: if Mecca and Medina have been vanquished by the Scythian, and the grasping sway of Rome could establish for herself a province within their districts; if the Othmans have attempted to exercise over them a faint semblance of sovereignty §, yet as a distinct class of mankind they have ever remained free and unrestrained.
We have endeavoured to sketch in a former paper the general manners of the Arabs: it may be amusing to examine whether climate could have produced any influence on them. The natives of Arabia are divided into those of Hejaz. and of Yemen. Desolate beyond the wildest wastes of European land are the tracts of Arabia Petræa. The green and luxuriant herbage which sheds its lustre over the dreary levels of Tartary, and offers some relief at least to the weary traveller, never cheers the eye which wanders over the Eastern Desert. Boundless masses of conglomerated sand obstruct his path; except where the wide expanse is broken by a chain of bleak and barren mountains. The oppressive rays of the midday sun descend directly on the plain. The heat is fanned by no cooling breezes, for the winds of Arabia breathe only pestilence and noisome vapour, or serve to increase the desolation, by the billows of rolling sand which they raise or scatter, and which have been known to bury whole caravans and whole armies in their turbulence.
The letters of the Arabic resemble those of the Persian; the latter only comprising four additional to the number || In spirit and expression the two idioms mainly differ. The Persian has the superior soft
* Familiar nouns, as those of water, fire, &c. are common to these languages. †This subject has been admirably treated by Sir William Jones in his Discourses. The Romans maintained the residence of a centurion and a place of tribute on the coast of the territory of Medina; and the Emperor Trajan considered this a sufficient reason to designate Arabia as a Roman province. These facts rest on the authority of Arrian.
§ Soliman I. conquered Yemen, or Happy Arabia, A.D. 1538, but no revenue was ever transmitted to the Ottoman Porte; and the Turks were finally expelled A. D. 1630.
|| There are thirty-two Persian, twenty-eight Arabic letters.
ness; it has more delicacy, more elegance, more beauty. Even the English reader who is acquainted with the translations of Sir William Jones, will confess that the Gazels or Odes of Hafiz and Sadi will scarcely yield in competition with some of the better order of our poets. The Persian is besides remarkable for a variety of the most copious combinations*, and may probably have been among the sources of the Greek-the language which the world has confessed to have surpassed all others in energy, comprehensiveness, and vigour.
With the Sanscrit, the Arabic appears to have no connexion: among other reasons for this conclusion may be mentioned, that it is altogether unacquainted with that matchless power of the combination of words, which gives such inexpressible force to the Persian, and to languages of a similar original.
We disclaim at the present having as yet acquired any knowledge of the Sanscrit. But to those who are accustomed to trace a language to its roots, (the only method, according to the polite Earl of Chesterfield, of thoroughly understanding it,) another difference is presented between the Arabic and Sanscrit, together with those derived from a corresponding origin-that in the former, as in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and others, the roots are formed of three letters; in the latter they are almost universally biliteral. This circumstance would alone teach the etymologist to infer their having owed their several inventions to different races of men t.
We hope in a future paper to give some account as well of the litera- : ture of the golden age of Persia, as of the productions of Arabia, antecedently, as well as at times immediately succeeding to the era of Mahomet. But we have promised some account of the career of that extraordinary man, and of the effect which we think it might have› had on the language and the manners of his subjects.
The influence of the spirit of warfare upon a nation varies, according as that nation is composed of freemen or of slaves. When the subjects of a despot make conquests, their exertions serve only to extend the power and the dominion of their lords. When freemen are victors, they vanquish for themselves; for their own advantage or their own glory. If the spirit of just legislation do not pervade a nation, we cannot expect any rapid advances in the amelioration of the species. The dictates of a lord are readily obeyed; the generous intercourse of free thought is absent; the place of pure religion is usurped by ceremony and superstition; and the people are the easy machines of some grasping mind, which can direct their hopes and employments at its own discretion. Thus the Arab race, wild and disjointed, was peculiarly fitted to display the talents of Mahomet. Their
* The combinations with "Gul" a rose," Peri" a fairy, are sufficient to indicate the power and flexibility of the language. (See Sir William Jones's Persian Grammar.) We are afraid we ought to apologise for these dry etymologies; but the reader of taste must recollect that these names have been familiarized to every ear by the delicious poem "Lalla Rookh" and by "The Bride of Abydos."
+ Both languages have, however, a wonderful extent of derivatives. The scholar may smile at the enthusiasm of the Oriental remark, but he will allow its ingenuity,' "That if the deity Indra of the Hindus were to descend, he would scarcely comprehend the full power and versatility of their language.”
Herodotus, 1. 5.