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was to reprove Arthur for mistrusting Heaven, and for neglecting the injunctions which had been given him. He had been forewarned, it seems, by Merlin, never to desert his host, and told, at the same time, and from the same authority, that the powers of hell were in league against him ; yet had he, seduced by Urda, in the friendly form of Gawaine, yielded to the illusions of magic, and left his fleet, and but for the interposing arm of Merlin, had perished in the attempt.
Arthur, repentant of his rashness and credulity, is consoled by Merlin, who assures him that his fleet is in safety, and, after inculcating the virtues of fortitude and resignation as the essentials of his future conduct, he recommends him to seek immediately the blessings of repose ; and with Arthur's submission to this advice and consequent retirement, the first book terminates.
(To be continued.)
Much of old romantic lore
The sudden appearance of Merlin having, as might naturally be supposed, struck the ruler of Ebuda and his chieftains not only with reverence but astonishment, he prepares to satisfy their curiosity, by informing them who he was, and what had given rise to the interference which they had just witnessed. He states, that, after a residence of
many years at the court of Uther, he had been blessed in his latter days with a daughter, whom he had named Inogen ; but that a prophecy concerning
; her, which had escaped from the lips of the priest at the period of her baptism, had, by its ambiguity, involved his mind in a perpetual conflict of hope and fear. It had declared, that, unless she fled from the man whom she most approved, and was by him rejected who loved her best, she should pine through life in sorrow; but that he who espoused her should from that hour not only reign supreme in Britain, but transcend all others in heroism and renown.
To render her worthy of the high destiny thus singularly unfolded, by adding to the beauties of her form the utmost cultivation of her mental powers, was now, he proceeds to relate, the object of his sole employ; and, with the view of more exclusively dedicating bimself to this purpose, he
, had sought a retirement on the banks of the river Dee in Merionethshire.
The description of this solitude, and its moral uses ; the motives which he assigns for at length quitting it, and his regret in so doing; the delight which Inogen experiences from the prospect of mingling with the world, and the estimate of human life with which the whole closes, contribute to form one of the most pleasing passages in the book.
Tired of mankind, and grandeur's irksome weight,
What deep instruction the reflecting mini,
At length resolved, but with reluctant heart,
How sweet the world's delights at distance ey'd !
B. ii. p. 30.
Merlin returns with Inogen to Carlisle *, and is welcoined by Uther in the most friendly manner, who tells him that a double blessing is about to crown the day, for that he is in momentary expectation of embracing his son, who has just regained his native shore, after a long and distant expedition to the East, in which, under the
of the monarch of Byzantium, he had acquired unrivalled glory against the infidels. Whilst he is yet speaking, the shouts of the populace and the voice of the clarions announce the approach of the youthful warrior, who is thus briefly but forcibly described :
His martial mien with pleasure strikes our view,
* “ Carlisle is said to have taken its name from a king Leil, an imaginary descendant of Brutus, who reigned A. M. 3021. He is supposed to have built it, and to have been buried there. Arthur is frequently represented, by our old minstrels, as holding his court in that city; and in the neighbourhood of it many romantic adventures are related as performed by himself and his knights.”-Hols, note.