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قراءة كتاب The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 17, No. 491, May 28, 1831

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‏اللغة: English
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Volume 17, No. 491, May 28, 1831

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 17, No. 491, May 28, 1831

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
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which happened at precisely the same moment the apparition was seen by her! And when I add that the lady was not at all addicted to superstition, the strangeness of the occurrence is considerably increased. What inference is to be drawn from this extraordinary tale? I confess I cannot, and do not, believe that apparitions revisit the earth even at the "glimpses o' the moon," nor does this story at all change my opinion, and for one grand reason, which is this—That it is highly improbable that the course of nature would be interrupted for the production of so insignificant an effect, for it appears an unnecessary exertion of divine power, when the good attained would be little or none.

Let us, therefore, attribute it to a powerful imagination acting on a mind already affected with anxiety, and I believe we shall have no occasion for yielding to the idea of an apparition to explain the circumstance. I am acquainted with another tale of the same kind, but I am debarred from relating it, from my not being authorized to do so by the person, a gentleman of large property in Scotland, to whom it occurred. Lord Byron was much addicted to that species of superstition of which I am treating: the gloomy idea of spirits revisiting the earth to gaze on those who they loved, was congenial to his mind, and an overheated fancy indulged beyond its due limits, converted the morbid visionary into the superstitious ascetic.

There is an account of a ghost related in the Notes to Moore's Life of the Noble Poet (vol. i.) I have mentioned, which I shall detail here, as it may have escaped the memory of some of your readers. A captain of a merchant vessel was on a voyage to some port; having retired to rest, he was disturbed in the night by a horrid dream, that his brother, an officer in the navy was drowned. He awoke and perceived something dark lying at the foot of the hammock, and on putting out his hand discovered it was a naval uniform, wet. Some days after this his dream was confirmed by a letter informing him of his brother's death by drowning.

At Oakhampton, in Devonshire, there are the remains of a beautiful castle dismantled by Henry VIII. on the attainder of Henry Courtenay, which is situated in a park, concerning which many traditions exist, one of which I will give here as it was told by a native. A great many years ago, there lived a lady at Oakhampton Castle, who was famous for her love of cruelty and for unbounded ostentation. This lady was killed, and her ghost haunted some house in Oakhampton much to the discomfiture of all the inhabitants thereof. A conclave of "most grave and reverend signiors" was convoked, who ordained that the disturbed spirit should every night pluck a blade of grass till all should be gathered. And now, every night at the chilly hour of midnight, the lady in a splendid coach with four skeleton horses, a skeleton coachman, and skeleton footmen, is to be seen in the park obeying the dictum of the Oakhampton worthies. This legend will be found, I am told, in "Fitz, of Fitzford," by Mrs. Bray. I shall not comment on this, as it evidently appears a wild legend, on which we can found nothing.

There is another tale which I shall recount here, since I can vouch for its authenticity.

During the Irish Rebellion of 1798, a gentleman went to take possession of a house in a lone district of Ireland. The house had been uninhabited for some time, and was out of repair. Between nine and twelve at night, when the gentleman had retired to rest, he was alarmed by hearing a noise; he listened, the noise increased till the house rung with the repeated shocks; he hastily sprung out of bed, and imagining it was the Rebels, he rushed into the room where his servant slept; "Patrick, get up, the Rebels are breaking in," said he, "Don't you hear the noise?" "Lord bless yer honor's worship and glory, it's only the Daunder." "Daunder, sir, you rebel, the Daunder, what do you mean?" The servant explained that the knocking was regularly heard every night at the same time, and such was the case. Various parts of the wall were pulled down, and the house almost rebuilt, but to no purpose.

Foley Place.
An Antiquary.


(To the Editor.)

It is rather an unusual thing in the present age to hear of monarchs being authors, and much more so of being poets. It is true, there have been instances of this kind in former times; but perhaps none deserved more notice than Fath Ali Shah, the King of Persia. The author of a collection of elegies and sonnets, Mr. Scott Waring, in his "Tour to Sheeraz," has exhibited a specimen of the king's amatory productions. He also states that the government of Kashan, one of the chief cities in Persia, was the reward of the king to the person who excelled in poetical composition.

The four subjoined poems are the production of this celebrated monarch.

William Runting.


She who is the object of my love

Has just declared she will not grant me

Another kiss, but at the price of my existence:

Ah! why have I not a thousand lives,

That I might sacrifice them all on these conditions.

The flame which she has enkindled in my heart

Is so bright, that it dazzles the universe:

It is a torch enclosed within crystal.

This heart is a Christian temple,

Wherein Beauty has established her sanctuary;

And the sighs which escape from it

Are like the loud ringing bells.5

Ah! too fascinating object! how dangerous

Are thy looks!—they wound indifferently

The hearts of young and old: they are

More to be dreaded than the fatal arrows of the mighty Toos.6

Delight us with a glimpse of thy lovely form;

Charm our senses by the elegance of thy attitudes;

Our hearts are transported by thy glances.

The proud peacock, covered with confusion,

Dares not display before thee the rich

And pompous variety of his plumage.

Thy ebon ringlets are chains, which hold

Monarchs in captivity, and make

Them slaves to the power of thy charms.

The dust on which thou treadest becomes an ornament,

Worthy of the imperial diadem of Caus.7

Haughty kings now prostrate themselves

Before Khacan,8 since he has obtained

A favourable look from the object of his love.


That blessing which the fountain of life

Bestowed in former ages on Khezr 9

Thy lips can communicate in a manner

Infinitely more efficacious.

Nature, confounded at the aspect of thy lovely mouth,

Conceals her rubies within a rock;—

Our hearts, ensnared by