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pretend, that these are the words of Prometheus, not of the poet ? But the poet himself hath told us, that his Prometheus is meant to be the type of the highest perfection of moral and intellectual excellence. There are other passages, in which Mr. Shelley speaks directly in his own person. In what he calls an ode to Liberty, he tells us that she did
'groan, not weep, When from its sea of death to kill and burn
The Galilæan serpent forth did creep
And made thy world an undistinguishable heap.'—p. 213.
Of * * * * * * into the dust! or write it there,
Were as a serpent's path, which the light air
Ye the oracle bave heard :
Lift the victory-flashing sword,
Into a mass, irrefragably firm,
The sound has poison in it, 'tis the sperin
Disdain vot thou, at thine appointed term,
Into the hell from which it first was hurled,
Till human thoughts mighat kneel alone
Each before the judgement-throne : . Of its own awless soul, or of the power unknown!'--p. 218.
At present we say nothing of the liarshness of style and incon gruity of metaphor, which these verses exbibit. We do not even ask what is or cau be meant by the kneeling of human thought before the judgment-throne of its own awless soul : for it is a praiseworthy precaution in an author, to temper irreligion and sedition witļi nonsense, so that he may avail bimself, if need be, of the plea of lunacy before the tribunals of his country. All that we now condemn, is the wanton gratuitous impiety thus obtruded on the world. If any one, after a serious investigation of the truth of Christianity, still doubts or disbelieves, he is to be pitied and pardoned; if he is a good man, he will himself lament that he has not come to a different conclusion; for even the enemies of our faith
admit,' that it is precious for the restraints which it imposes on humán vices, and for the consolations which it furnishes under the evils of life. But what is to be said of a man, who, like Mr. Shelley, wantonly and unnecessarily goes out of his way, not to reason against, but to revile Christianity and its author ? Let him adduce his arguments against our religion, and we shall tell him where to find them answered: but let him not presume to insult the world, and to profane the language in which he writes, by rhyming invectives against a faith of which lie kuow's nothing but the nanje.
'The real cause of his aversion to Christianity is easily discovered. Christianity is the great prop of the social order of the civilized world; this social order is the object of Mr. Shelley's hatred; and, therefore, the pillar must be demolished, that the building may tunible down. His views of the nature of men and of society are expressed, we dare not say explained, in some of those • beautiful ideulisms of moral excellence, (we use his own words,) in which the ' Prometheus' abounds.
- The painted veil, by those who were, called life, which mimicked, as with colours idly spread, all men believed and hoped, is torn aside ; the loathsome mask has fallen, the man remains sceptreless, free, uncircumscribed, but man equal, unclassed, tribeless, and nationless, exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king over himself; just, gentle, wise : but man passionless ; no, yet free from guill or pain, which were for his will made or suffered them, nor yet exempt, tho' ruling them like slaves, from chance and death, and mutability, the clogs of that which else might oversoar the loftiest star of unascended heaven, pinnacled dim in the intense inane.'-p. 120, .
Our readers may be puzzled to find out the meaning of this paragraph; we must, therefore, inform them that it is not prose, but the conclusion of the third act of Prometheus verbatim et literatim. With this information they will cease to wonder at the absence of sense and grammar; and will probably perceive, that Mr. Shelley's poetry is, in sober sadness, drivelling prose run mad.
With the prophetic voice of a misgiving conscience, Mr. Shelley objects to criticism. If my attempt be ineffectual, (he says) let the punishment of an unaccomplished purpose have been sufficient; let none trouble themselves to heap the dust of oblivion upon my efforts. Is there no respect due to common sense, to sound taste, to morality, to religion ? Are evil spirits to be allowed to work mischief with impunity, because, forsooth, the instruments with which they work are contemptible? Mr. Shelley says, that his intentions
epure. Pure! They may be so in his vocabulary; for, (to say nothing of his having unfortunately mistaken nonsense for poetry, and blasphemy for an imperious duty,) vice and irreligion, and the
subversion subversion of society' are, according to his system, pure and holy things; Christianity, and moral virtue, and social order, are alone impure. But we care not about his intentions, or by what epithet he may choose to characterize them, so long as his works exhale contagious mischief. On his own principles he must admit, that, in exposing to the public what we believe to be the character and tendency of his writings, we discharge a sacred duty. He professes to write in order to reform the world. The essence of the proposed reformation is the destruction of religion and government. Such a reformation is not to our taste; and he must, therefore, applaud us for scrutinizing the merits of works which are intended to proavote so detestable a purpose. Of Mr. Shelley himself we know nothing, and desire to know nothing. Be his private qualities what they may, his poems (and it is 'only with his poems that we have any concern) are at war with reason, with taste; with virtue, in short, with all that dignifies man, or that man reveres. .
ART. IX.-1. Por Stellarum, a Loyal Almanac for the Year : of our Lord 1821. By Francis Moore, Physician and Philo
math. 2. History of Chemistry, prefired to a Manual of Chemistry, by · William Thomas Brande, Esq. London. 8vo. 1821: : W E have heard, and have some reason to believe, that the stars W have, for some period, looked with a malignant'aspect on the sale of the Loyal Almanac' of Doctor Moore, formerly the most popular publication of the kind. Its editors, the 'worthy Master and Wardens of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, continue, indeed, to present the public with the portentoús hiéroglyphic of the times,'accompanied by the dolorous predictions issued by the representative who assumes the name of the once venerated Philomath: but the purchasers, amongst whom this production yet lingers, only look to it for the falling of fairs and of markets, of Saints days and of holidays. Judicial astrology has been deprived of all its votaries; and a phenomenon, which at a period not far removed from the present age, caused the greatest apprehension in the minds of the learned and the wise, are now witnessed by the rudest vulgar with calm curiosity. If we enter the cottage, the barometer and the thermometer appear pendant from the wall. The labouring hind is well aware that those sure prognostications respecting the morrow's sky, its sunshine and its storms, which it would be in vain to seek in the meteorologic column of the almanac, are afforded by the instruments of philosophy. Although his comprehension of the power which raises and depresses the fluid metal in the glassy tubes may not be very clear or definite, yet he feels the profit which he derives from the common stock of knowledge; he is the member of a com-, : munity in which vague conjecture has been succeeded by the security "derived from useful learning. In a country where information is generally diffused amongst the better ranks of society, science exerts a power upon the uneducated classes of which they are not conscious ; the atmosphere is permeated by its electric aura, and those who are farthest from the animating energy are nevertheless vivified by the influence, though they cannot discern the radiant orb from whence it flows.
Certainly, if man may ever found his glory on the achievements of his wisdom, he may reasonably exult in the discoveries of astro. itomy; but the knowledge which avails us has been created solely by the absurdities, which it has extirpated. Delusion became thie basis of truth. Horoscopes and nativities have taught us to trace the planet in its sure and silent path; and the acquirements which of all others now testify the might of the human intellect, derived their origin froin weakness and credulity. No individual contributed more to the advancement of astronomy than Alonso of Castile, whom his friends called the Wise. His enemies, who triumphed in proclaiming that his wisdom had not availed him, though they too wondered at its failure, were accustomed to name him, Alonso the Astrologer. In his reign, the sages of Chaldea were naturalized in Spain. Science formed a bond of union between strange races and conflicting creeds; and the Jew and the Saracen met in friendship with the descendant of the Roman and the Frank, beneath the sway of the Gothic King.. .
Rabbi Judas the son of Moses, obedient to the command of Alonso, interpreted the treatise in which Avicenna had named the One Thousand and Twenty-two Stars of the Firmament till then unknown in these our Western Parts.' The canons compiled by Mahomet Ibn Geber Albathem the Syrian were written again in a more intelligible tongue by Rabbi Zag. Jehuda El Conheso, the Alfaqui, and Guillen Aremon Daspaso, the Priest, translated • the Book of the Constellations which are in the eighth Heaven, and the book of the Sphere.' And the Almagest of Ptolemy, which Al-Hazen Ben Yusseph had rendered into Arabic at the command of Almaimon the Miramamolin, received a new version from Rabbi Isaac Ben Sid, the Chief of the Synagogue of Toledo.
Latin Europe was indebted to Alonso for these books, which gave a powerful impulse to the study of astronomy: but the formation of the celebrated Alfonsine tables was the most important of the tasks accomplished under his patronage. From the ancient proeme prefixed to these calculations, and written by Alonso-him-. self, it appears that he suinmoned a council of the wisest Mathematicians and Doctors of the Astral Science-Aben Rayhel and
Alquibicio, and Rabbi Samuel and Rabbi Jehuda of Toledo ; Mahomet and Aben Musa of Seville, Yusseph Aben Ali and Jacob Ab Vena of Cordova, and many others from beyond the mountains, froin Gascony and from Paris. They were convened in the towers of the fabled Alcazar of Galiana,-she who had been loved by Charlemagne--and five years were employed in discussion, Alonso usually presided in the assembly; but if he was absent, Aben Rayhel and Alquibicio, who had been his masters, took the place of their Royal pupil. After the tables were completed, many noble privileges were granted to the Sages and their issue ; and they returned, richly rewarded, each to his hone.
Thrown from his high estate, heart-broken by the parricidal rebellion of his son and the treachery of bis subjects, Alonso yet retraced the benefits which science had derived from his ardour. And whilst he lamented his misfortunes, he recollected that his fame in foreign lands arose as much from his Algorisms as from his kingdoms and his swo:d.
A ti Fernan Perez Ponce el leal
Foe por sus tablas e por su cuchilla. Alonso endangered his orthodoxy by his opinions. Astrology, when employed as the means of discovering future events, was anathematized by the Church and condemned by the Fathers, as a vain, lying, and presumptuous art, Notwithstanding the denunciations of Tertullian, and Basil, and Bonaventure, Alonso was anxious to protect the dignity of his favourite pursuit by giving it such a legal sanction as would distinguish it from fraud and deceit. The code which he promulgated attests his sentiments. Astrology, he declares in the seventh Partida, is one of the seven liberal sciences.— And according to the law, the free practice thereof is granted to such as be masters therein and understand it truly: for the judgments and predictions which are given by this art are discerned in the natural course of the planets, and are taken from