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Could e'er hare been the crime of one so piteous, Feel like the oppressive airless pestilence.
O Jane ! thou wilt despise me.
I never can despise thee, gentle brother.
No kindly heart contemns.
No, it is hate! black, lasting, deadly hate !
Which thus hath driven me forth from kindred peace, Like two young trees, whose boughs in early strength From social pleasure, from my native home, Screen the weak saplings of the rising grove,
To be a sullen wanderer on the earth, And brave the storm together.
Avoiding all men, cursing and accursed. I have so long, as if by nature's right,
Jane. De Montfort, this is fiend-like, terrible! Thy bosom's inmate and adviser been,
What being, by the Almighty Father formed I thought through life I should have so remained, Of flesh and blood, created even as thou, Nor ever known a change. Forgive me, Montfort; Could in thy breast such horrid tempest wake, A humbler station will I take by thee;
Who art thyself his fellow! The close attendant of thy wandering steps,
Unknit thy brows, and spread those wrath-cleprhed The cheerer of this home, with strangers sought,
hands. The soother of those griefs I must not know.
Some sprite accursed within thy bosom mates This is mine office now: I ask no more.
To work thy ruin. Strive with it, my brotber! De Mon. Oh, Jane, thou dost constrain me with thy Strive bravely with it ; drive it from thy heart ; love
'Tis the degrader of a noble heart. Would I could tell it thee!
Curse it, and bid it part. Jane. Thou shalt not tell me. Nay, I'll stop De Mon. It will not part. I've lodged it here too minc ears,
long. No, from the yearnings of affection wring
With my first cares I felt its rankling touch.
De Mon. Detested Rezenvelt!
E’en in our early sports, like two young whelps To steady thought progressive, driving forth
Of hostile breed, instinctively averse, All floating, wild, unhappy fantasies,
Each 'gainst the other pitched his ready pledge, Till thou, with brow unclouded, smilest again ; And frowned defiance." As we onward passed Like one who, from dark visions of the night,
From youth to man's estate, his narrow art
And envious gibing malice, poorly veiled
Still more detestable and odious grew.
With all his gay and damned merriment,
Above his paltry self. When, low in fortune, That, though I wrestle darkling with the fiend, lle looked upon the state of prosperous men, I shall o'ercome it.
As nightly birds, roused froin their murky holes, De Mon. Thou most generous woman!
-Do scowl and chatter at the light of day,
The impotent bite of some half-trodden worm,
I could endure it. But when honours came, Jane. What sayst thou, Montfort ? Oh! what words And wealth and new-got titles fed his pride; are these!
Whilst flattering knaves did trumpet forth his praise
, They have awaked my soul to dreadful thoughts. And groveling idiots grinned applauses on him ; I do beseech thee, speak!
Oh! then I could no longer suffer it! By the affection thou didst ever bear me;
It drove me frantic. What, what would I give By the dear memory of our infant days;
What would I give to crush the bloated toad, By kindred living ties-ay, and by those
So rankly do I loathe him! Who sleep in the tomb, and cannot call to thee, Jane. And would thy hatred crush the very man I do conjure thee speak!
Who gave to thee that life he might have taken! Ila! wilt thou not?
That life which thou so rashly didst expose Then, if affection, most unwearied love,
To aim at his? Oh, this is horrible! Tried early, long, and never wanting found,
De Mon. Ha! thou hast heard it
, then! From all O’er generous man hath more authority,
the world, More rightful power than crown or sceptre give, But most of all from thee, I thought it hid. I de command thee!
Jane. I heard a secret whisper, and resolved De Montfort, do not thus resist my love.
Upon the instant to return to thee. Here I intreat thee on my bended knees.
Didst thou receive my letter! Alas! my brother!
De Mon. I did! I did ! 'Twas that which drore me De Mon. [Raising her, and kneeling.]
hither. Thus let him kneel who should the abased be, I could not bear to meet thine eye again. And at thine honoured feet confession make.
Jane. Alas! that, tempted by a sister's tears
, I'll tell thee all-but, oh! thou wilt despise mc. I ever left thy house! These few past months, For in my breast a raging passion burns,
These absent months, have brought us all this mo. To which thy soul no sympathy will own
Had I remained with thee, it had not been. A passion which hath made my nightly couch And yet, methinks, it should not move you thrs. A place of torment, and the light of day,
You dared him to the field ; both brarely fought; With the gay intercourse of social man,
He, more adroit, disarmed you; courteously
Returned the forfeit sword, which, so returned, Shall, thundering loud, strike on the distant ear You did refuse to use against him more;
Of ’nighted travellers, who shall gladly bend And then, as says report, you parted friends.
Their doubtful footsteps towards the cheering din. De Mon. When he disarmed this cursed, this worth- Solemn, and grave, and cloistered, and demure less hand
We shall not be. Will this content ye, damsels ? Of its most worthless weapon, he but spared
Every season From devilish pride, which now derives a bliss Shall have its suited pastime: even winter In seeing me thus fettered, shamed, subjected In its deep noon, when mountains piled with snow, With the vile favour of his poor forbearance ; And choked up valleys from our mansion bar Whilst he securely sits with gibing brow,
All entrance, and nor guest nor traveller And basely baits me like a muzzled cur,
Sounds at our gate ; the empty ball forsaken, Who cannot turn again.
In some warm chamber, by the crackling fire, Until that day, till that accursed day,
We'll hold our little, snug, domestic court, I knew not half the torment of this hell
Plying our work with song and tale between. Which burns within my breast. Heaven's lightnings
blast him! Jane. Oh, this is horrible! Forbear, forbear!
[Pears of Imagination.] Lest Heaven's vengeance light upon thy head Didst thou ne'er see the swallow's veering breast, For this most impious wish.
Winging the air beneath some murky cloud
In the sunned glimpses of a stormy day,
Or boatmen’s oar, as vivid lightning flash
Tracks the still waters of some sullen lake? Jane. Oh! wouldst thou kill me with these dread- | Or lonely tower, from its brown mass of woods, ful words?
Give to the parting of a wintry sun
Closing in darkness round it! Gentle friend !
And may be so to-morrow,
[Specch of Prince Edward in his Dungeon.]
And ruddy vapours, and deep-glowing flares, Jane. Thou, too, De Montfort,
And softly varied shades, look gloriously? In better days was wont to be my pride.
Do the green woods dance to the wind ? the lakes De Mon. I am a wretch, most wretched in myself, Cast up their sparkling waters to the light? And still more wretched in the pain 1 give.
Do the sweet hamlets in their bushy dells O curse that villain, that detested villain!
Send winding up to heaven their curling smoke He has spread inisery o’er nuy fated life ;
On the soft morning air? He will undo us all.
Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures bound Jane. I've held my warfare through a troubled world, In antic happiness ? and mazy birds And borne with steady mind my share of ill; Wing the mid air in lightly skimming bands ! For then the helpınate of my toil wast thou.
Ay, all this is--men do behold all this-
The poorest man. Even in this lonely vault,
And sadly think how small a space divides me
From all this fair creation. [Femule Picture of a Country Life.]
[Description of Jane de Montfort.] Even now methinks Each little cottage of my native vale
[The following has been pronounced to be a perfect picture Swells out its earthen sides, upheaves its roof,
of Mrs Siddons, the tragic actress.] Like to a hillock moved by labouring mole,
Page. Madam, there is a lady in your hall And with green trail-weeds clambering up its walls, Who begs to be admitted to your presence. Roses and every gay and fragrant plant
Lady. Is it not one of our invited friends! Before my fancy stands, a fairy bower.
Page. No ; far unlike to them. It is a stranger. Ay, and within it too do fairies dwell.
Lady. How looks her countenance ? Peep through its wreathed window, if indeed
Page. So queenly, so commanding, and so noble, The flowers grow not too close ; and there within I shrunk at first in awe; but when she smiled, Thou'lt see some half a dozen rosy brats,
Methought I could have compassed sea and land Eating from wooden bowls their dainty milk
To do her bidding. Those are my mountain elves. Seest thou not
Lady. Is she young or old ? Their very forms distinctly?
Page. Neither, if right I guess ; but she is fair, I'll gather round my board For Time hath laid his hand so gently on her, All that Heaven sends to me of way-worn folks, As he, too, had been awed. And noble travellers, and neighbouring friends,
Lady. The foolish stripling! Both young and old. Within my ample hall, She has bewitched thee. Is she large in stature! The wom out man of arms shall o'tiptoe tread, Page. So stately and so graceful is her form, Tosing his gray locks from his wrinkled brow I thought at first her stature was gigantic; With cheerful freedom, as he boasts his feats
But on a near approach, I found, in truth, Of days gone by. Music we'll have; and oft She scarcely does surpass the middle size. The bickering dance upon our oaken floors
Lady. What is her garb?
Page. I cannot well describe the fashion of it: in 1813, aided by fine original music, but it has She is not decked in any gallant trim,
not since been revived. It contains, however, some But seems to me clad in her usual weeds
of Coleridge's most exquisite poetry and wild superOf high habitual state; for as she moves,
stition, with a striking romantic plot. We extract Wide flows her robe in many a waving fold,
the scene in which Alhadra describes the supposed As I have seen unfurled banners play
murder of her husband, Alvar, by his brother, and With the soft breeze.
animates his followers to vengeance. Lady. Thine eyes deceive thee, boy; It is an apparition thou hast seen.
[Scene from 'Remorse.'] Freberg. [Starting from his seat, where he has been sitting during the conrersation between the Lady
The Mountains by Moonlight. ALHADRA alone, in a and the Page.]
Alhadra. Yon hanging woods, that, touched by Or it is Jane de Montfort.
As they were blossoming hues of fire and gold; WILLIAM GODWIN-WILLIAM SOTHEBY.
The flower-like woods, most lovely in decay,
The many clouds, the sea, the rocks, the sands, MR Godwin, the novelist, attempted the tragic Lie in the silent moonshine; and the owl drama in the year 1800, but his powerful genius, (Strange, very strange !)—the screech-owl only wakes, which had produced a romance of deep and thrilling Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of beauty! interest, became cold and frigid when confined to the Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching song rules of the stage. His play was named Antonio, or To a herd of wolves, that skulk athirst for blood. the Soldier's Return. It turned out 'a miracle of Why such a thing am I? Where are these men ! dulness,' as Sergeant Talfourd relates, and at last I need the sympathy of human faces, the actors were hooted from the stage. The author's To beat away this deep contempt for all things, equanimity under this severe trial is amusingly re- Which quenches my revenge. Oh! would to Alla lated by Talfourd. Mr Godwin, he says, "sat on The raven or the sea-mew were appointed one of the front benches of the pit, unmoved amidst | To bring me food! or rather that my soul the storm. When the first act passed off without a Could drink in life from the universal air! hand, he expressed his satisfaction at the good sense It were a lot divine in some small skiff, of the house ; " the proper season of applause had Along some ocean's boundless solitude, not arrived;" all was exactly as it should be. The To float for ever with a careless course, second act proceeded to its close in the same unin- | And think myself the only being alive! terrupted calm; his friends became uneasy, but still My children !- Isidore's children !-Son of Valdez, his optimism prevailed; he could afford to wait. This hath new strung mine arm. Thou coward tyrant' And although he did at last admit the great move- To stupify a woman's heart with anguish, ment was somewhat tardy, and that the audience Till she forgot even that she was a mother! seemed rather patient than interested, he did not [She fixes her eyes on the earth. Then drop in, one after lose his confidence till the tumult arose, and then he another, from different parts of the stage, a considerable numsubmitted with quiet dignity to the fate of genius, ber of Morescoes, all in Moorish garments and Moorish armour. too lofty to be understood by a world as yet in its | They form a circle at a distance round ALHADRA, and remain childhood.' The next new play was also by a man silent till the second in command, Naomi, enters, distinguished of distinguished genius, and it also was unsuccessful. by his dress and armour, and by the silent obeisance paid to Julian and Agnes, by WILLIAM SOTHEBY, the trans- him on his entrance by the other Moors.) lator of Oberon, was acted April 25, 1800. In the Naomi. Woman, may Alla and the prophet bless course of its performance, Mrs Siddons, as the heroine,
thee! had to make her exit from the scene with an infant We have obeyed thy call. Where is our chief? in her arms. Having to retire precipitately, she in- And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish garments ! advertently struck the baby's head violently against Alhad. [Raising her eyes, and looking round on the a door-post. Happily, the little thing was made of circle.) wood, so that her doll's accident only produced a Warriors of Mahomet! faithful in the battle! general laugh, in which the actress herself joined My countrymen! Come ye prepared to work heartily.' This untoward event would have marred An honourable deed? And would ye work it the success of any new tragedy; but Mr Sotheby's In the slave's garb? Curse on those Christian robes! is deficient in arrangement and dramatic art. We They are spell-blasted; and whoever wears them, may remark, that at this time the genius of Kemble His arm shrinks withered, his heart melts away, and Mrs Siddons shed a lustre on the stage, and re- And his bones soften. claimed it from the barbarous solecisms in dress and Naomi. Where is Isidore ! decoration which even Garrick had tolerated. Neither Alhad. (In a deep low roice.) This night I went from Kemble nor Garrick, however, paid sufficient atten. forth my house, and left tion to the text of Shakspeare's dramas, which, even His children all asleep; and he was living ! down to about the year 1838, continued to be pre- And I returned, and found them still asleep, sented as mutilated by Nahum Tate, Colley Cibber, But he had perished ! and others. The first manager who ventured to re
All Morescoes. Perished ? store the pure text of the great dramatist, and present
Alhad. He had perished ! it without any of the baser alloys on the stage, was Sleep on, poor babes! not one of you doth know Mr Macready, who made great though unavailing That he is fatherless-a desolate orphan! efforts to encourage the taste of the public for Shak. Why should we wake them? Can an infant's arm speare and the legitimate drama.
Revenge his murder?
One Moresco to another. Did she say his murder!
Alhad. Murdered by a Christian! [They all at once The tragedies of Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Procter,
draw their sabres. and Milman (noticed in our account of these poets), Alhad. [To Naomi, who adrances from the circle) must be considered as poems rather than plays. Brother of Zagri, fling away thy sword; Coleridge's Remorse was acted with some success | This is thy chieftain's ! [Xe steps forward to take it.]
S. T. COLERIDGE,
I left you.
Dost thou dare receive it!
And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep, For I have sworn by Alla and the prophet,
His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleased me No tear shall dim these eyes—this woman's heart To mark how he had fastened round the pipe Shall heave no groan-till I have seen that sword A silver toy his grandam had late given him. Wet with the life-blood of the son of Valdez !
Methinks I see him now as he then looked
[A pause.] Even so! He had outgrown his infant dress, Ordonio was your chieftain's murderer!
Yet still he wore it. Naomi. He dies, by Alla!
Alv. My tears must not flow! AU. (Kneeling.) By Alla!
I must not clasp his knees, and cry, My father! Alhad. This night your chieftain armed himself,
Enter TERESA and Attendants. And hurried from me. But I followed him
Ter. Lord Valdez, you have asked my presence here, At distance, till I saw him enter-there!
And I submit; but (Heaven bear witness for me) Naomi. The cavern? Alhad. Yes, the mouth of yonder cavern.
My heart approves it not ! 'tis mockery.
Ord. Believe you, then, no preternatural infuence ! After a while I saw the son of Valdez
Believe you not that spirits throng around us? Rush by with flaring torch; he likewise entered.
Ter. Say rather that I have imagined it There was another and a longer pause;
A possible thing: and it has soothed my soul And once methought I heard the clash of swords !
As other fancies have; but ne'er seduced me And soon the son of Valdez reappeared :
To traffic with the black and frenzied hope He fiung his torch towards the moon in sport,
That the dead hear the voice of witch or wizard. And seemed as he were mirthful; I stood listening,
[To Alvar.] Stranger, I mourn and blush to see you Impatient for the footsteps of my husband !
here Naomi. Thou calledst him?
On such employment! With far other thoughts Alhad. I crept into the cavern*Twas dark and very silent. [Then wildly.) What
Ord. (A side.] Hal he has been tampering with her ? saidst thou ?
Alv. 0 high-souled maiden! and more dear to me No, no! I did not dare call Isidore,
Than suits the stranger's name!
I will uncover all concealed guilt.
Doubt, but decide not! Stand ye from the altar. O Heaven! I heard a groan, and followed it;
[Here a strain of music is heard from behind the scene. And yet another groan, which guided me
Alv. With no irreverent voice or uncouth charm Into a strange recess, and there was light,
I call up the departed! A hideous light! his torch lay on the ground;
Soul of Alvar! It's flame burned dimly o'er a chasm's brink.
Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell : I spake; and whilst I spake, a feeble groan Came from that chasm! it was his last—his death-Cease thy swift toils ! Since haply thou art one
the gates of Paradise, unbarred, groan!
Of that innumerable company Naomi, Comfort her, Alla.
Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow, Alhad. I stood in unimaginable trance,
Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion, And agony that cannot be remembered,
With noise too vast and constant to be heard : Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan!
Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless But I had heard his last, my husband's death-groan ! | And rapid travellers! what ear unstunned, Naomi. Haste ! let us onward.
What sense unmaddened, might bear up against Alhad. I looked far down the pit
The rushing of your congregated wings? Muu My sight was bounded by a jutting fragment;
Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head ! And it was stained with blood. Then first I shrieked,
[Music erpressire of the movements and images My eyeballs burned, my brain grew hot as fire!
that follow.] And all the hanging drops of the wet roof
Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desert sands,
That roar and whiten like a burst of waters,
A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion
To the parched caravan that roams by night!
And ye build up on the becalmed waves
That whirling pillar, which from earth to heaven
Stands vast, and moves in blackness! Ye, too, split Spirit of Isidore, thy murderer lives !
The ice mount! and with fragments many and huge Away, away!
Tempest the new-thawed sea, whose sudden gulfs All. Away, away! [She rushes off, all following. Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff ! The incantation scene, in the same play, is sketched Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance, with high poetical power, and the author's unrivalled Till from the blue swollen corse the soul toils out, musical expression :
And joins your mighty army. (Here, behind the scenes,
a voice sings the three words, ' Heur, sweet spirit.') Scene-A Hall of Armory, with an altar at the back of the
Soul of Alvar! stage. Soft music from an instrument of glass or steel. VALDEZ, Ordonio, and Alvar in a Sorcerer's robe are dis- By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang
Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker charm! covered.
Of a half dead, yet still undying hope, Ord. This was too melancholy, father.
Pass visible before our mortal sense! Vald. Nay,
So shall the church's cleansing rites be thine,
Her knells and masses, that redeem the dead !
[Song behind the scenes, accompanied by the same To which spot he had followed a blind boy,
instrument as before.] Who breathed into a pipe of sycamore
Hear, sweet spirit, hear the spell, Some strangely moving notes; and these, he said,
Lest á blacker charm compel! Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw
So shall the midnight breezes gwell Stretched on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank:
With thy deep long lingering knell.
And at evening evermore,
curate of St Peter's, Dublin. The scanty income In a chapel on the shore,
derived from his curacy being insufficient for his Shall the chanters, sad and saintly, comfortable maintenance, he employed himself in Yellow tapers burning faintly,
assisting young persons during their classical studies Doleful masses chant for thee,
at Trinity college, Dublin. The novels of Jaturin Miserere Domine!
(which will be afterwards noticed) enjoyed consider. Hark! the cadence dies away
able popularity; and had his prudence been equal
[A long pause. to his genius, his life might have been passed in comOrd. The innocent obey nor charm nor spell!
fort and respect. He was, however, vain and extraMy brother is in heaven. Thou sainted spirit,
vagant-always in difficulties (Scott at one time Burst on our sight, a passing visitant !
generously sent him £50), and haunted by bailiffs. Once more to hear thy voice, once more to see thee, When this eccentric author was engaged in compo'twere a joy to me!
sition, he used to fasten a wafer on his forehead, Alv. A joy to thee!
which was the signal that if any of his family enWhat if thou heardst him now! What if his spirit
tered the sanctum they must not speak to him! Re-entered its cold corse, and came upon thee With many a stab from many a murderer’s poniard ? The success of • Bertram' induced Mr Maturin to
attempt another tragedy, Manuel, which he published What if (his steadfast eye still beaming pity
in 1817. It is a very inferior production : "the abAnd brother's love) he turned his head aside,
surd work of a clever man,' says Byron. The unior Lest he should look at thee, and with one look
tunate author died in Dublin on the 30th of October Hurl thee beyond all power of penitence !
1824, Vald. These are unholy fancies ! Ord. [Struggling with his fedings.] Yes, my father,
[Scene from · Bertram.') He is in heaven! Alv. [Still to Ordonio.] But what if he had a [A passage of great poetical beauty, in which Bertram is brother,
represented as spurred to the commission of his great crimes Who had lived even so, that at his dying hour by the direct agency of a supernatural and malevolent being. The nanie of heaven would have convulsed his face -Sir Walter Scott.) More than the death-pang ?
Prior. The dark knight of the forest,
He dwells alone ; no earthly thing lives near him,
Save the hoarse raren croaking o'er his towers, Had pampered his swollen heart and made him proud ? And the dank weeds muffling his stagnant mnat. And what if pride had duped him into guilt ?
Bertram. I'll ring a summons on his barred portal Yet still he stalked a self-created god,
Shall make them through their dark valves rock and Not very bold, but exquisitely cunning;
ring. And one that at his mother's looking-glass
Prior. Thou'rt mad to take the quest. Within my Would force his features to a frowning sternness?
memory Young lord ! I tell thee that there are such beings- One solitary man did venture there Yea, and it gives fierce nierriment to the damned Dark thoughts dwelt with him, which he sought to To see these most proud men, that loathe mankind, At every stir and buz of coward conscience,
Unto that dark compeer we saw his steps, Trick, cant, and lie; most whining hypocrites! In winter's stormy twilight, seek that passAway, away! Now let me hear more music.
But days and years are gone, and he returns not.
[Music again. Bertram. What fate befell him there! Ter. 'Tis strange, I tremble at my own conjectures ! Prior. The manner of his end was never known. But whatsoe'er it mean, I dare no longer
Bertram. That man shall be my mate. Contend Be present at these lawless mysteries,
not with me This dark provoking of the hidden powers !
Horrors to me are kindred and society. Already I affront—if not high Heaven
Or man, or fiend, he hath won the soul of Bertram. Yet Alvar's memory! Hark! I make appeal
[Bertram is afterwards discovered alone, wandering near the against the unholy rite, and hasten hence
fatal tower, and describes the effect of the awful interview To bend before a lawful shrine, and seek
which he had courted.]
Bertram. Was it a man or fiend? Whate'er it was,
The invisible blast to which the dark pines groan,
, i The Rev. CHARLES ROBERT MATURIN, author of The hidden waters rushing to their fall; several romances, produced a tragedy named Bertram, These sounds, of which the causes are not seen, which, by the influence of Lord Byron, was brought I love, for they are, like my fate, mysterious ! out at Drury Lane in 1816. It was well received; How towered his proud form through the shrouding and by the performance and publication of his play, gloom, the author realised about £1000. Sir Walter Scott How spoke the eloquent silence of its motion, considered the tragedy 'grand and powerful, the How through the barred vizor did his accents language most animated and poetical, and the cha- Roll their rich thunder on their pausing soul! racters sketched with a masterly enthusiasm.' The And though his mailed hand did shun my grasp, author was anxious to introduce Satan on the stage, And though his closed morion hid his feature, a return to the style of the ancient mysteries by no Yea, all resemblance to the face of man, means suited to modern taste. Mr Maturin was I felt the hollow whisper of his welcome,