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THE SIEGE OF CORINTH.

The grand army of the Turks, in 1715, under the prime vizier, to open themselves a way into the heart of the Morea, and to form the siege of Napoli di Romania, thought it best in the first place to attack Corinth, upon which they made several storms. The garrison being weakened, and the governor seeing it was impossible to hold out against so mighty a force, thought fit to beat a parley : but while they were treating about the articles, one of the magazines in the Turkish camp, wherein they had six hundred barrels of powder, blew up by accident, whereby six or seven hundred men were killed : which so enraged the infidels, that they would not grant any capitulation, but stormed the place with so much fury, that they took it and put most of the garrison to the sword. This is the historical event and catastrophe which suggested the subject of Byron's poem, “ The Siege of Corinth."

“ Many a vanished year and age,
And Tempest's breath and battle's rage,
Have swept o'er Corinth; yet she stands
A fortress formed to freedom's hands.
The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's shock,
Have left untouched her boary rock,
The Keystone of a land, which still,
Though fallen, looks proudly on that hill,
The land-mark to the double tide
That purpling rolls on either side,
As if their waters chafed to meet,
Yet pause and crouch beneath her feet.
But could the blood before her shed
Since first Timoleon's brother bled,
Or baffled Persia's despot fled,
Arise from out the earth which drank
The stream of slaughter as it sank,
That sanguine ocean would o'erflow
Her isthmus idly spread below :
Or could the bones of all the slain,
Who perished there, be piled again,
That rival pyramid would rise,
More mountain-like through those clear skies,
Than yon tower-capt Acropolis
Which seems the very clouds to kiss.

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APRIL, 1840.

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So near they came, the nearest stretched
To grasp the spoil he almost reached

When old Minotti's hand
Touched with the torch the train-

'Tis fired!
Spire, vaults, the shrine, the spoil, the slain,

The turbaned victors, the Christian band,
All that of living or dead remain,
Hurled on high with the shivered fane,

In one wild roar expired !
The shattered town—the walls thrown down
The waves a moment backward bent-
The hills that shake, although unrent,

As if an earthquake passed-
The thousand shapeless things all driven
In cloud and flame athwart the heaven,

By the tremendou blast
Proclaimed the desperate conflict o’er
On that too long afflicted shore :
Up to the sky like rockets go
Al that mingled there below :
Many a tall and goodly man,
Scorched and shrivelled to a span,
When he fell to earth again
Like a cinder strewed the plain :
Down the ashes shower like rain ;
Some fell in the gulf, which received the sprinkles
With a thousand circling wrinkles ;
Some fell on the shore, but, far away,
Scattered o'er the isthmus bay;
Christian or Moslem, which be they?
Let their mothers see and say !
When in cradled rest they lay,
And each nursing mother smiled
On the sweet sleep of her child,
Little deemed she such a day
Would rend those tender limbs away,
Not the matrons that them bore
Could discern their offspring more ;
That one moment left no trace
More of human farm or face

Save a scattered scalp or bone :
And down came blazing rafters, strown
Around, and many a falling stone,
Deeply dinted in the clay,
All blackened there and reeking lay.
All the living things that heard
That deadly earth-shock disappeared :
The wild birds flew ; the wild dogs fled,
And howling left the unburied dead;
The camels from their keepers broke;
The distant steer forsook the yoke-
The nearer steed plunged o'er the plain,
And burst his girth and tore his rein ;
The bull-frog's note, from out the marsh,
Deep-mouthed arose, and doubly harsh ;
The wolves yelled on the caverned hill,
Where echo rolled in thunder still ;
The jackall's troop, in gathered cry,
Bayed from afar complainingly,
With a mixed and mournful sound,
Like crying babe, and beaten hound :
With sudden wing, and ruffled breast,
The eagle left his rocky nest,
And mounted nearer to the sun,
The clouds beneath him seemed so dun ;
Their smoke assailed his startled beak,
And made him higher soar and shriek-

Thus was Corinth lost and won."--BYRON.

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Mark that pale and emaciated man, with his head bowed over a book, taken from one of those stands upon which the richest libraries of Florence expose their works for sale, and beside which he is standing ! He is too poor to purchase the treasure he holds, but he devours it with his eyes, and engraves its contents in ineffaceable characters upon the tablet of his memory. The copyists of Sarbonne have sent the work bither, in hopes of obtaining a higher price than at Paris.

It was a fête day; all Florence was out ; and gay and noisy crowds thronged past the reader. The Floreutine lords, with their pompous walk, and magnificent cloaks; and beautiful high-born girls ; noble matrons on ambling palfries, with suites of valets and pages supporting their embroidered trains ; processions, followed by long tiles of the people, filling the air with their acclamations; all alike passed unheeded and unnoticed by the solitary stranger. He remained as fixed and immoveable as a statue.

His dark olive complexion, thick beard, black and curling hair; his high and deeply-furrowed forehead, aquiline nose, and strongly-compressed lips ; his noble, grave, and poetic physiognomy_all, in his person, attracted attention, and commanded respect. The crowds involuntarily shrank back as they approached him; and more than one young girl cast her pious looks toward the stone madonna, in a niche at the corner, and crossed herself, as she passed him.

“Do not disturb him, but pass quietly on," said one of these to her companion.

“ And why, Camilla ?”.

“ He is one that can descend to the infernal regions, and transport thither the objects of his hatred, at pleasure !"

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