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THE MIDNIGHT REVIEW.
The following English version of this singularly wild ballad was published in the London Foreign Quarterly Review in 1829, and was said to have been written by a young Hungarian poet by the name of Sedlitz.
It is a second translation, having been translated into French, and then into English. Of course much of its -original force and vividness is probably lost. But still the reader of taste, will agree with the editor of the Quarterly, who considers it "one of the most remarkable ballads of modern times."
A short history of the introduction of the ballad into Fance, may be interesting. Two French Poets, Mery and Barthelemy, who, according to the editor of the Quarterly, wrote in partnership, sent presentation copies of their "Napoleon in Egypt," to some of the dispersed members of Napoleon's family, which, they say, was acknowledged "with august commendation, in letters written by hands that had once signed decrees." Thus encouraged, one of them proceeded to Vienna, to present a copy in person to Napoleon's son. But on his arrival, he was neither permitted to present his poem, nor allowed so much as an introduction. He, however, got sight of the young Napoleon at the theatre, and watched him with peculiar emotions, during the -evening, as he sat in an opposite box. His reflections while sitting in the theatre at Vienna, furnished matter for another poem, which was published in a pamphlet on his return to Pa:is, and among the notes in the pamphlet, appeared a French version of the following ballad, which he said had been furnished him at Vienna by the author. Whether this statement is correct, or whether it was the production of some Frenchman of revolutionary feelings, may admit of some doubt.
The pamphlet was seized by government on its first appearance, and a prosecution commenced against the author, printer, and two publishers, on the charges of attacks against the royal dignity, and the rights of the throne, which the king derives from his birth, and of provocation to overthrow the legitimate monarchy." Mr. Barthelemy defended himself at the trial in a poem recited from memory. He was sentenced to a fine of one thousand francs and three months imprisonment. The printer was fined twenty five francs, and the pubdishers were acquitted.
THE MIDNIGHT REVIEW.
At midnight from his grave,
-So strangely rolls that drum, So deep it echoes round! Old soldiers in their graves, To life, start at the sound. Both they in farthest north, Stiff in the ice that lay, And who, too warm, repose Beneath Italian clay;
Their burial place they quit,
Below the mud of Nile, And 'neath Arabian sand VOL. II.-No. 1.
And at midnight, from his grave,
And, mounted on his horse,
On aery coursers then
The cavalry are seen, Old squadrons erst renown'd, Gory and gash'd, I ween.
Beneath the casque their blanched skulls
Their long sharp swords they bear.
And at midnight, from his tomb,
A little hat he wears,
A coat quite plain has he, A little sword for arms,
At his left side hangs free.
O'er the vast plain the moon
The ranks present their arms, Deep roll the drums the while, Recovering then, the troops Before the Chief defile.
Captains and gen'rals round In circle form'd appear; The Chief to the first a word Then whispers in his ear.
The word goes round the ranks, Resounds along the Seine; That word they give is-FRANCE, The answer SAINTE-HELENE.
"Tis there, at midnight hour,
JERRY GUTTRIDGE'S REFORMATION.
OR AN IDLER'S NATURE CHANGED.
BY SEBA SMITH.
Он, for "the good old days of Adam and Eve!" when vagabond idlers were not; or the good old days of the pilgrim fathers of New England, when they were suitably rewarded! That they could not bide those days, there is extant the following testimony. In the early court records of that portion of the old Bay State called the District of Maine, in the year 1656, we have the following entry of a presentment by a grand jury:
"We present Jerry Guttridge for an idle person, and not providing for his family, and for giving reproachful language to Mr. Nat. Frier, when he reproved him for his idleness.
"The court, for his offence, adjudges the delinquent to have twenty lashes on his back, and to bring security to the court, to be of better behaviour, in providing for his family."