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"when the Philistines saw their champion
*' was dead, they fled."
By such means was the victory completed, and thus fell that terror to the Israelitisti bands, Goliah of Gath.
Having gone through the most important parts of this interesting duel, we have leisure for a few supplimental reflections, in the way of literary criticism. This Goliah of Gath reminds one of Homer's .Ajax ; and, indeed, the process of the engagement between the giant and David, is, in many particulars, like the ceremony of the single combat of Telamon and Hector. -The above description of Goliah's person, and warlike preparations, are more military and formidable than the hero of Homer. Let the foregoing character of the Giant of Gath be compared with what follows:
Now Ajax hrac'd his dazzling armour on, Sheath'd in bright steel, the giant warrior shone: He mores to combat with majestic pa%ce;
* - S«
So stalks in arms, the grizly god of Thrace.
Scarce any part of this description, nor of its original, will bear bringing near that of the " giant warrior" of the scripture. His moving with majestic pace to combat, is less terrific than Goliah's triumphant march in the full view of the astonished Philistines. There seems also less propriety in Hector's fause of fear\ than in the inapprehensive and intrepid conduct of David, who,. though not practised like Hector,
From right to left the dextrous lance to wield,
was, nevertheless, uniformly brave and heroic to the very heart, without ever finding that heroism suspended, even at the presence
ofGoliah. "All Trey" might, indeed, be supposed to tremble at the mighty son of Telamon, in the same manner as Saul and the tribes of embattled Israel, trembled before the arrogant Philistine: but for Hector's heart to fail him, though but for a moment, was, surely, such a falling off from the idea we wish to entertain of that celebrated hero, that one is almost angry . with Homer for doing our favourite so palpable an injury in the tenderest and brightest part of his character. It may be urged, indeed, that David had confidence in his God, and that his bravery emanated from inspiration. An argument, very similar, may be brought in favour of the Trojan hero, who, as we arc to believe, certainly trusted as much in the virtue of his cause, arid the goodness of his god, as the other; nor did the poet ever suffer him to go to the battle till those deities were first supplicated. Witness the address offered up, on the very occasion of the contest with Ajax.
Oh, Father of mankind, superior lord,
On lofty Ida's holy hill ador'd:
Who in the highest Heav'n has fix'd thy throne,
The shield of Ajax is, however, more particularly described than the shield of Goliah.
Stern TelaraOn, behind his ample shield,
But the circumstantial account of the giant's spear, the weight of its head, his greaves of brass, a'nd his target; his coat of mail, and his massey helmet, are all such evidences of his astonishing Strength, and, apparently, invincible vigour, that, without any parade or superfluity of words, they give us the exact image of the savage, who called out, in an exclamation, worthy of him, rt Give me a man, give me a man, "that we may fight together."
But if, indeed, we expect in any performance to find a character delineated with K 4 parallel parallel force—if we wish to read any description like Goliah of Gath, we must search for it in the writings of one, whose inspiration was chiefly drawn from the sources of sacred composition. Milton drank at the fountain-head,. and his poefry flowed
Fast by the oracle of God.
The sublimity with which he has drawn Satan, when
Front to front he stood,
In terrible array, .. •
is such a piece of poetry, and exhibits such an assemblage of grand images, as nothing but a genius altogether illimitable could possibly furnish. * Long quotations, however, net coming within the design or compass of this work, I shall only present such lines as shew the Prince of Darkness not very unlike—in point of warlike preparation, and personal appearance—to the giant.