« PreviousContinue »
THE DREAM OF MOHAMMED THE SECOND.
The empire of the Ottomans is the age, could hope to oppose. On its most extraordinary instance in history way, it trampled down the army of of an empire raised by the sword, Hungary, which had the madness to governed by the perpetual effusion of meet it; and marching over the bodies blood, despising all civilisation, cor- of 20,000 men, with their monarch, rupted by the grossest excesses of on the field, converted the kingdom private life, disordered in every func- into a Turkish province, and invested tion of government, constantly ex- Vienna. The strength of the ramposed to the greatest military powers parts and the approach of winter of Europe, yet advancing from con- alone saved the Austrian capital from quest to conquest for three centuries following the fate of the Hungarian. without a check, (from 1299 to 1566,) But while all Christendom trembled and retaining its vast possessions un- at the sight of the horse-tails, Soliman impaired for three centuries more. died-living and dying, the greatest
The first approach of the Turks to conqueror since Charlemagne. Europe was at the close of the thir- But with him the empire had reach- . teenth century, when Othman, the ed its fated height. Thenceforth it son of a Turcoman chieftain in the was to descend. The seraglio has service of Aladin, Sultan of Iconium, been the ruin of Turkey. on the memorable 27th of July 1299, cresy of its bloody transactions—its made a descent on the rich territory habitual separation of the sovereign of Nicomedia. The Asiatic domin- from the people--its desperate dissoions of the Greek Emperors were lost Juteness and the sullen ignorance, in a struggle of two centuries, when brute vengeance, and helpless effeMohammed the Second assaulted minacy, which must be nurtured withConstantinople, on the 29th of May in such walls, extinguished all the 1453. The body of the last emperor rude virtues of the barbarian. Soliwas found buried under a heap of man, a hero and å legislator, always slain, and Constantinople became the exposing his life in the field, or holding capital of a new faith, a new people, in his own hand the helm of his vast and a new sovereignty. His imme- empire, reigned almost half a century. diate successors wasted the blood, but The reigns of bis successors have exercised the valour of their troops, been proverbial for their brevity. The in expeditions to Armenia, the Cau- janizaries became the true disposers of casus, and Persia. But the nobler the throne. From the time of Mustaprize lay to the west. All solid sove. pha the First--whom they strangled reignty belongs to the hardy_frames for his effeminacy, and Achmet, whom and the regular opulence of Europe. they placed on the throne and then Soliman the First, named the Magni. strangled for his usurpation—the jani. ficent, and if a conqueror can deserve zaries were the recognised makers the name, deserving it by the vastness and executioners of the sultans. of his designs and the splendour of his The first decisive recoil of the Otsuccesses, threw himself upon Hun- toman power was in 1683, when Sogary. Combining the unusual tac- bieski, at the head of the Polish army, tique of an army and fleet, in itself an forced the Vizier Kara Mustafa to raise evidence of the superiority of his ge the siege of Vienna, on the 12th of Sepnius to that of his time, he at once tember. But a power more formidable overran the dominions of the Hunga. than even Austria now began to rian king, and assaulted Rhodes, held threaten the Porte on the feeblest part by the famous Knights of St John of of its frontier. Peter the Great, breakJerusalem, and regarded as the bul. ing the treaty of Carlowitz, invaded wark of Christendom. · By the reluc- Moldavia in 1711. But, though forced tant aid of the Venetians, Rhodes was to make an ignominious convention stormed, after a desperate siege. Son for his escape, the Russian never forliman marched to the conquest of got the hope of conquest, and has Austria at the head of 200,000 men- since never abandoned the opportuan army which no European potentate, nity. in the rudeness and distractions of the The nineteenth century commenced
in in aggravation of those horrors which and when all human probability looked
There is a tradition, that on the night of the capture of Constantinople, the conqueror saw in his sleep, like the Babylonish king, a vision, unfolding the fates of his dynasty.
There is pomp in that chamber 66 Is this the roused desert
Before the simoom?"
“ Those clouds are thy Moslems, The loom's Indian dye.
The armies of doom." The wall sheeted with gems,
Then the Danube was blood
And Buda was flame,
Lay fetter'd and tame.
Then fell proud Belgrade ; Who hears thy lips rave,
Nor the torrent was stay'd, And hears that heart-groan,
Till, Vienna, it rollid
“ Ho, princes of Christendom,
Old King, triple crown'd !
All is despair ; The wringings of woe
Thy Saints have forgot thee ; From the heart and the brain.
No Charlemagne is there !"
Swept over the sun ;
All was still as the dead.
Then the plain was a sea Before that closed eye,
Of magnificent blue; There are thousand shapes sweeping And in pomp o'er its waters From earth and from sky;
The crescent flag flew. Sons of splendour and heaven, There the haughty Venetian On pinions of flame;
Came, sullen and pale, Sons of guilt unforgiven,
And on wall and on rampart Whom chains cannot tame!
The gun pour'd its hail ; The Sultaun feels a grasp
Where thy warriors, St John, Like a serpent's strong clasp ;
Stood like lions, alone, And from earth he upsprings,
Till the trench was a grave
For the last of the brave.
Fleet and rampart were gone ;
The trumpet's last tone. Then he shoots down again,
But o'er the wild heath He is standing alone
Fell the rich eastern night, On a measureless plain :
The rose gave her breath, And around him are strown
The moon gave her light. Wrecks of time-moulder'd bones 'Twas the Bosphorus' stream Crush'd under their thrones,
That reflected her gleam, And the viper's dark swarms,
And the turrets that shone
In that light were his own.
Now look on thy shame!"
Lay a vice-decay'd frame; Who the future will know,
And before his faint gaze, Shall see clouds on his dawn.". To voice and to string, 6 Come weal, or come woe,"
Danced his soft Odalisques, High spoke the Sultaun.
Like birds on the wing. Then the plain seem'd to reel There was mirth mix'd with madness, With a clashing of steel ;
Strange revel, strange sadness : And upburst a roar,
The bowstring and bowl, Like the sea on the shore.
The sense and the soul.
Where are now his old warriors ? Then the plain was thick darkness All tomb'd in their mail;
Through ages of sleep: Where his crescent of glory?
But, what son of the lightnings Let none tell the tale!
Seems round him to sweep ? But, the gilded caïque
He sees the Death-angel, Swept the waves like a dove,
The King of the tomb ! And the song of the Greek
At his call ride the Spirits
Of war on the gloom.
From South and from North
Come the torturers forth;
Till the flags of the world
Round Stamboul are unfurl'd. But vengeance was nigh!
Why pauses the sword On the air burst a yell;
Still athirst in the band ? And the cup from the grasp
Does the thunder-cloud wait Of the reveller fell.
The final command ? Who rush through the chambers It shall burst like a deluge, With hourra and drum!
The terrible birth The Janizar thousands,
Of the crimes of the world,
The avenger of Earth ;
When sovereign and slave
Shall be foam on the wave.
Thy kingdom is gone,
Sultaun, Sultaun !
SCENE-THE CHURCH OF ST JEROME, GRANADA.
A Traveller --A Spaniard.
T. Whose grave is this ?-a stranger-eye, like mine,
Can hardly trace the legend's time-worn line :
Which of the three lies here?
The last ;-who died
And buried here?-and yet my note-book calls
The church we see St Jerome's, not St Paul's.
For Cordova's Great CAPTAIN sleeps below :
POETICAL TRANSLATIONS OF FAUST.
The first translation on our list ex- excellence that strikes us, is the exquihibits Goethe in the light of rather an site freedom, elasticity, and finish of elegant poetaster: the last does not the language. Here we find the most leave him, so to speak, the likeness of complete realization of what our great a dog. The intermediate metamor- poetical reformer Wordsworth has phoses which the illustrious German been contending for all his life, both is made to undergo, differ considerably by his theory and his practice-an exact in degree: in some of them he ap- transcript in the highest poetry of the proaches nearer, and in others he re- language “ really used by men. cedes farther, from the common stand- When, on the other hand, we turn to ard of humanity—but in none of them the rhymed translations, that which is he elevated into the rank of a hu- strikes us most is, we will not say the man being, much less into that of a total absence of every thing like good great poet. It is only of those por- English, (for that would but feebly extions of Faust that are executed in press the case,) but the entire abandonrhyme that we are now speaking, or ment of every thing approaching to huthat we intend to speak ; for, when man speech. In defence of their barbathe translators employ blank verse, rous dialect, and strange grammatical their work is frequently praiseworthy, contortions, we are aware that these and that of Dr Anster, in particular, translators will plead the hard necessiappears deserving of considerable ty of rhyming, and the grievous difficommendation. But the original culties it throws in their way, particu“Faust” is written in rhyme, and in larly in a dramatic composition. And our opinion, cannot be translated into we at once accept this plea as a very any other form of language without satisfactory explanation of their failits true spirit entirely evaporating. ures : but it appears to us to afford no In blank verse the difficulties are alto sufficient reason why we should not ingether evaded the pith and dramatic sist upon obtaining, at the hands of: point both of the dialogues and soli? every English writer, whether translaloquies are lost-the clear, ard, and
tor or not, whether poet or proseman, well-defined outlines of the original a current of real language identical are thawed down into a comparatively with that actually spoken by his coun. watery dilution, and melt away like trymen. We suspect, however, that icebergs that have drifted into the la- some of these translators may be in. titude of summer seas.
clined to show fight on this point, and We apprise our readers, therefore, to argue that“ Faust," being a rhyming that it is our intention to sit in judg- play, is already through that circumment on these translations, only in so stance, and in its very conception, so far as they are executed in rhyme: unnatural a species of composition, (inand, looking at them in this respect, asmuch as actual men never converse in the contrast between them and the ori. rhyme,) that it can make but little ginal is very remarkable. In the difference in respect to our feelings of original “ Faust," the first and greatest the reality of its language, though the
Faust: a Drama, by Goethe, &c. Translated by Lord Francis Leveson Gower. London : 1823.
Faust: a Tragedy, by J. W. Goethe, Translated, &c., by John S. Blackie. Edinburgh : 1834.
Faust : & Tragedy. Translated from the German of Goethe, by David Syme. Edinburgh : 1834.
Faustus : a Tragedy--(Anonymous)--London : 1834.
Faustus : a Dramatic Mystery, &c. Translated by John Anster, LL.D. London : 1835.
The Faust of Goethe. Attempted in English Rhyme by the Honourable Robert Talbot. London : 1835. Second Edition, revised and much corrected. London : 1839.
Faust: a Tragedy by J. Wolfgang von Goethe. Translated into English Verse, by J. Birch, Esq. London--- Leipzig : 1839.