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TO MY WIFE.
“ Bloom, children, bloom, then bear your fruit and die.”
He who can what he will is a fortunate man :
And drive the cheerful wine about;
Lovely sleep! thou beautiful image of terrible death,
TO A CLASSIC.
Yes! thou hast talent-thine the golden store
RALPH AND I.
You always evil speak of me,
Conscience paid old Nunks a visit,
Thy ivory teeth, thy auburn hair,
TO A TRANSLATOR OF HOMER.
Hopest thou to go unpunish'd, Ned?
Were I to call thee booby, Sam !
I should not epigrammatize;
TO A LONG NOSED LADY.
be kiss'd—your lips say soBut your long nose says plainly-No!
Your head is bald—but don't with Fortune quarrel,
ON THE ANCIENTS.
Why should I distract my head,
Your map of travels—just to catch the unwary-
You gave a kiss-a kiss that best of blisses,
Dick is no fool, friend! be assur'a,
However it may strike you;
RICHARD THE THIRD,
AFTER THE MANNER OF THE ANCIENTS.
In bicipiti somniâsse Parnasso
Memini...Persius. I was engaged, a short time since, and well-known pages of the Grecian in looking over some Cambridge drama. My only aim therefore in i Prize Compositions, among which the following sketch will be, to conwere imitations, in Greek iambic vey a general notion of the manner metre, of speeches from Coriolanus in which, as I imagined, each poet: and Henry the Eighth. While con- successively applied himself to the sidering these ingenious attempts to subject, drawing from it such mateinvest British poetry with the tragic rials, and imparting to these such garb of ancient Athens, I was led form, colour, and arrangement, as into a fanciful speculation on the were most agreeable to his own temmanner in which Æschylus or so- per of mind and peculiar bent of phocles would probably have arranged genius. the materials employed by Shak- It will readily be supposed that speare in the construction of his dramatists of the ancient school matchless scenes. This meditation would not undertake to present in lasted so long, and proceeded so far, one fable the variety of incidents and as to become rather a dream than a multitude of characters comprehendreverie, and it terminated in a kind ed in an English historical play: of illusion, such as Corelli is said to Euripides, as I thought, allowed have experienced when the Devil himself the widest range; and, in (as he fancied) came before him in following his modern master, he must the form of a musician, and regaled be considered either to have crowdhim with a strain of inconceivable ed an unreasonable number of events harmony. The spirits that waited into a short space of time, or to have on my visionary hour were of a purer dispensed in some measure with the class. It seemed to me that the unities ; I need not say that such three renowned masters of Grecian freedoms are by no means unprecetragedy were, by some unknown dented, even in the small portion of means, personally assembled, and Greek tragedy that has descended to holding a poetical conference, of modern ages. which I was permitted to be a hear- The drama of Euripides took its er. They had tasked themselves, in name, and derived its chief interest, a fit of sportive rivalry, to produce, from Elizabeth, the widow of Edward each after his own manner, a drama- IV. The scene was laid in London, tic poem, founded on the scenes of near the Tower. As usual, the poet Shakspeare; and it was agreed that ushered in his fable with a long prothe experiment should be made on logue, which was delivered by the Richard the Third.
Ghost of Henry VI. He began by To attempt more than a general apostrophising his ancestor Bolingoutline of these extraordinary prolu- broke, lamenting the day when that sions would, I fear, be thought pre- rebellious chief disembarked on the sumptuous, even if my remembrance shores of England, and laid the founof them were more perfect. Corelli, dation of so many national woes, so I believe, after awaking from his many public and private crimes, and dream, could never recollect one such unquenchable hatred and mu. note of all that the fiend had fiddled tual carnage among his kindred and to him. My mind, though somewhat descendants. He touched upon the more tenacious, has preserved few and vicissitudes of the civil war; the death indistinct traces of its visionary enter- of York, the prowess of his three tainment; and, while endeavouring sons; the murder of Prince Edward to recal the phraseology of particular at Tewksbury, and the imprison. passages that appear at times to float ment and death of Henry himself. across my memory, I have found my- Entering more fully into the transself unconsciously recurring to the old actions immediately connected with
this drama, he related the marriage The water swell before a boist'rous storm.of Edward IV. with the widow Eli. But leave it all to God. zabeth, and the mischiefs which
In the ensuing scene Richard and arose from that alliance; the poet Buckingham entered, having just of course not omitting to reflect with conducted the young king to his his usual severity upon the female
apartments in the Tower. A consex as the source of all evils. The sultation followed on the expediency character and ambitious projects of of withdrawing Elizabeth and her Richard were then disclosed; the murder of Clarence, Edward's death, ingham urged at great length, and
son from their sanctuary, and Buck and the defenceless situation of his with added subtlety, the arguments royal progeny were all shortly de- assigned to him by Shakspeare, for scribed; and the Ghost, after pre- violating the sacred retreat, if gentler saging further crimes and calamities, means should fail. The chorus, like withdrew, announcing the approach Shakspeare's Cardinal, made a show of of Elizabeth. The queen entered, leading in her opposition, but the design proceeded
notwithstanding, younger son, and bewailing the death
As to the character of Richard, it of her husband. A messenger was
must at once be acknowledged that introduced, and communicated
the neither Euripides nor the other Grearrest of Rivers, Grey, and Vaughan, cian dramatists appeared to conceive, at Pomfret. The queen, alarmed, much less to have the power of convey, and bursting into fresh lamentations, ing, any
perfect idea of that wonderful determined on taking sanctuary, and creation. Indeed, the qualities of was confirmed in her resolution by Richard, as we see them finally dethe sympathising Chorus, which in veloped in the play that bears his this scene performed the short and name, after tracing them through the obsequious part assigned by Shak- busy scenes of Henry VI, are entirespeare to the Archbishop of York.* ly beyond the scope of Greek tragedy; The manner in which Elizabeth be- and to compare a tyrant of the moaned her children's danger, the Athenian stage with the “ proud, untimely fate of their royal sire, and subtle, sly, and bloody," the satirical, her own altered and forlorn condition, testy, superstitious, aristocratic, imgave this part of the tragedy a re- petuous, lion-mettled usurper of our semblance to the opening of Euripi- historic drama, would be to contrast des's Hercules Furens, where Me
an ancient monochromatic drawing gara, in the absence of the demi- with the masterpiece of a Venetian God her husband, whom she sup- colourist. poseś lost to her for ever, ineffectu
Euripides, as I thought, gave more ally takes refuge, with her children, variety
to the character, and threw in Jupiter's temple, from the tyranny into it a larger share of the peculiariof Lycus.
ties that distinguish the original, than Euripides found a chorus already either of his competitors. His Ri, designed, in that scene of Shak- chard showed alternately the smooth speare's play where the three Citizens and almost ironical hypocrisy of (to whom no other business is al. Polymiestor,ß the insulting ferocity lotted) confer upon the aspect of the of Lycus,|| and the brave, uncomprotimes, compare their several recol- mising violence of Eteocles. I lections of former days, and give vent to their common forebodings.t be used towards Elizabeth and the
After deciding on the conduct to These were precisely the topics em- younger prince, Richard and Buck, braced in the lyrical strain that fol- ingham were joined by Hastings, lowed Elizabeth's departure, and the exulting at the downfal of Rivers, descant concluded with a slight am Grey, and Vaughan. In the ensuing plification of these lies :
soene Richard gave
intimation of his Before the days of change, still is it so :
ambitious projects, which BuckingBy a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust ham favoured and Hastings opposed. Ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see An altercation followed, and the cons
Rich. III. Act ii. Sc. 4.
+ Ibid. Act ïi. Sc. 3. # Hercules Furens.
* Ibid. Act iii. Sc. 1, Phønissae.