CONCLUSIONS. it is now time to conclude our investigation of this poem; but we must pre viously observe how perfectly free it is from the least idea of indelicacy; that allusions to matri monial privacics which have been fancied in it, are absolutely groundless fancies; and that, not till the Filth Day, is there any allusion to so flinch as a kiss, and then it is covered by assimilation of the party to a sucking infant brother. The First Day is distance itself, in point of Conversation; the Second has no conversation but what passes from the garden below up to the first-floor win dow; the Third Day is the same in the morning, and the evening is an invitation to take an ex cursion and survey prospects; as to the compari son to a well, delicacy itself must admire, not censure, the simile. The Fourth Day opens with a dream, by which the reader perceives the inclina tion of the dreamer and the progress of her affec tion; but the bridegroom himself does not hear it, nor is he more favored by it, or for it ; on the contrary, the lady permits him in the evening to sport his military terms as much as he thinks proper ; but she does not, by a single word, ac quaint him of any breach he had made in her heart. Wc rather suspect that she rises to retire somewhat sooner than usual, thereby counterbal ancing, in her own mind, those effusions of kind ness to which she had given vent in the morning. The Fifth morning is wholly occupied by the ladies' praises of the bride's dress; she herself does not utter a word; but, in the evening of that day, as the marriage was to take place on the morrow, she merely hints at what she could find in her heart to do, were he her infant brother; and for the first time he hears the adjuration, "if his left arm was under her head" on the duan cushion, etc., and the discourse. though evidently meant for her lover, yet is equivocally allusive to her supposed fondling. It must be admitted that after the marriage they make a procession, accord ing to the custom of the place and station of the parties, in the same palanquin together, and here they are a little sociable; but modesty itself will not find the least fault with this sociability, nor with one single sentence, or sentiment, uttered on this occasion.
We appeal now to the candor, understanding and sensibility of the reader, whether it be pos sible to conduct a six-day conversation between persons solemnly betrothed to each other, with greater delicacy, greater attention to the most rigid virtue. with greater propriety of sentiment, discourse, action, demeanor and deportment. The dignity of the persons is well sustained in the dig nity of their language, in the correctness of their ideas and expressions; they arc guilty of no repe titions; what they occasionally repeat they vary, and improve by the variation; they speak in poetry, and poetry furnishes the images they use; hut these images are pleasing, magnificent, varied and appropriate; they are, no doubt. as they should be, local, and we do not feel half their propriety because of their locality; but we feel enough to admit that few are the authors who could thus happily conduct such a poem; few arc the personages who could sustain the characters in it, and few arc the readers in any nation, or in any time, who have not ample cause to admire it and to be thankful for its preservation as the Sovc OF SONGS.
6. Explanation of the Plates. Mr. Taylor has collected reprffentatinns of several descrip tions of those carriages which are used in the East, and which arc supposed to be alluded to in the opening of the second day of this poem. We select the most important.
Behold him ceatcd, placed in his carriage, thus: looking out through the ape, hoes, or front IA in dows. gleaming, thozoing himself. nr, rather, being just visible, just glimpsing through, or be hecen the lattice!, perhaps appended to the aper tures in front of the carriage. This engraving represent. a traveling carriage ; not a carriage for state or splendor. But in the Third Day we have the description of a superb and stately equipage, different, no doubt, from the former, be cause built expressly by the royal lover, to suit the dignity of his intended nuptials. Such a palan quin we have in the accompanying engraving, and this is what may be more particularly examined by the description given in the poem. "King Solomon hath built for himself a nuptial palan quin; its pillars" (or what we should call its poles) "are made of cedar wood"—Lebanon wood—perhaps, indeed, the whole of its wood work might be ce dar ; but the poles, as being most con spicuous, are men tioned in the first place. Now, it is every way unlikely that Solomon would make these pillars of silver, as we read in our common version ; the use of silver poles does not ap pear; but the top, covering, roof,can opy — literally the rolling and unrolling part, that which might be rolled up—was of silver tissue. This canopy, or roof, is clearly seen in the engraving ; and it is or namented with tassels and a deep kind of hanging fringe, perhaps of silver also. But the lower car riage, or bottom, was of golden tissue, meaning that part which hangs by cords from the pillars or poles ; that part in which the person sat—literally. the ridden-in part, which we have here rendered the carriage—was of gold. The internal part of this carriage was spread with arcgamen. Was this a finely wrought carpet, adorned with flowers, mot tos, etc., in colors, as some have supposed? How, then, was it purple, as the word is always held to denote? \Ve see at each end of the carriage a kind of bolster or cushion, or what may answer the purpose of easy reclining. Is this covered with chintz? or very fine calico? Was such the carriage lining of Solomon's palanquin, but worked with an ornamental pattern of needle-work, and presented to the king by the daughters of Jerusa lem? We presume we have now approached nearly to a just understanding of this poetical description ; no doubt the royal vehicle was both elegant and splendid. \Ve have attempted to distinguish its parts with their particular applications. The propriety of our departing from the customary mode of understanding these verses must now be left to the reader's decision ; but if the words of the original be so truly descriptive of the parts of this carriage as we have supposed, we may an ticipate that decision with some satisfaction.