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could not literally translate) that pas- II, but more remotely from the masage unexce'led even by Æschylus lediction laid by Henry, the first himself, in glowing and terrific elo- crowned Plantagenet, on his guilty quence,
and rebellious children. They asked
how long the family of York should -But at hand, at hand
live " the thrall of Margaret's curse," Ensues his piteous and unpitied end : Earth gapes, hell burns, fiends roar, saints
(an expression like that of Æschylus,
ύμνος εξ 'Εριννύων δέσμιος φρενών. pray, To have him suddenly convey'd from hence; Eumenides, 340, 341,) and concluded Cancel his bond of life, dear God, I
with a determination to cherish hope,'
pray, That I may live to say, 'The dog is dead!
be steadfast in their fidelity, and
await the will of Heaven. A sound of arms and warlike mu- In the following scene Richard apsic announced Richard's approach: peared engaged with Norfolk in the Queen and Duchess prepared to drawing the form and model of confront him, but Margaret with-, his battle.” Æschylus took occadrew, uttering a solemn and bitter sion from a short speech in Shaksfarewell to the tyrant, as to one peare's tragedy + to introduce here a whose living face she would never delineation of the appearance, chabehold again.
racters, and warlike qualities of the A Chorus forined of warriors at- hostile leaders, with an account of tending on the King's person (and their stations in the field and of the afterwards stationed about his tent), forces under their command. The now poured upon the stage, invoking detail was not unlike those given in Victory and Fortune to baffle their the Persae and Seven Chiefs. Richard adversaries, and sweep back the bil- commented like Eteocles on each delow of invasion. Richard had begun scription, and expressed, as in Shaksto address his followers, when the peare's play, his scorn of the base appearance of the two matrons, pale, and “vagabond"Bretons. Æschylus, squalid, and in mourning weeds, as- I thought, went even beyond Shakstonished and disturbed the Chorus. peare in portraying the contempt so “Who intercepts me?" was the im- naturally felt by Richard, an old and patient demand of Richard; and his hardy soldier, for the unwarlike mother then broke silence in Shak. breeding of Richmond. speare's words. The women became The King now issued some com« copious in exclaims," till, over- mands, and, the night being far adwhelmed with their reproachful la- vanced, prepared to pass an hour in mentations, the monarch cried “ a sleep. Before he retired within his flourish, trumpets!”. and drowned tent, it was communicated that Bucktheir voices with the “clamorous re- ingham had paid the penalty of his port of war;" A short dialogue fol- insurrection, an event in which the lowed, concluding with the Duchess's Chorus once again acknowledged the solemn farewell, and keen maternal fatal efficacy of Queen Margaret's curse.
In the ensuing ode they moThe interval between this and the ralized on the blindness of those who, ensuing scene was filled with a lofty like the imprudent nobleman just put and elaborate descant of the Chorus, to death, forsake ancient alliance and who confessed with awe and grief make shipwreck of their fortunes by that the fierce avenging spirit (ó precipitately shifting their course. sadalos apyvs addswp.- Agam. 1512), While commiserating this new vicwho had followed the house of Anjou tim of civil discord, they were alarmfrom of old, was not yet laid asleep, ed by unusual sounds from the royal but thirsting for new sacrifices. They tent, and Richard burst forth upon deduced the late calamities imme- them, distracted, and exclaiming that diately from the murder of Richard he was beset by horrible phantoms.
It will casūly be believed that the rude and untimely pun of Richard, about “ Hum, phrey Hour," was not adopted by the Greek imitator of this scene. Yet the practice of playing on names was not despised by Æschylus and his contemporary tragedians; and Shakspeare himself never quibbled inore audaciously than Æschylus, where he says that Helen was rightly so named, because she was 'Enevas, flosspos, NATONIS--Agam. 692, &c.
+ Act IV. Sc. 5.
• Æschylus, as it seemed to me, had Tower, the fatal prison of Henry, of 80 contrived this scene that the mere Clarence, and of Edward's children; reader or hearer might, at his discre- and they gave this fortress in their tion, imagine the Spectres actually description all the visionary and exhibited on the stage, or suppose mysterious terrors bestowed by Æsthem only present to the disturbed chylus on the ensanguined house of
fancy of Richard. It is well known Atreus. They observed that 10 that the poet wanted neither courage power can charm back the life-blood to introduce phantoms visibly on the once fallen to earth,|| but that expiascene, as in the Persae and Eumenides, tion, with the favour of heaven, might nor address to make the audience yet be made ; they prayed therefore sympathise with a personage, who, for an auspicious end of this day's like Orestes in the Choëphoræ, saw conflict, and a brighter season after forms invisible to all beside. In the the present gloom, deducing, in a present scene, Richard, by his earnest manner somewhat fanciful and oband hurried exclamations, imperfect- scure, the connexion between prosly but strongly indicated the figures, perity at one period and humiliation aspects, and demeanour of his dreadó at another. ful visitants; and the manner in The king re-appeared, looked forth which Æschylus would conceive the upon the ranks, now nearly formed apparitions of Henry VI, of Anne, for battle, and addressed some arand of the young princes, may be dent words of exhortation to his ata imagined by those who recollect his tendant chiefs. A messenger, anDarius issuing from the earth amidst nounced that “the enemy had pass, the prostrate and awe-struck Per- ed the marsh.” Æschylus could not sians, his Clytemnestra pointing to express more nobly than by adopting her wounds as she rouses the slum. Shakspeare's manner the swell and bering Furies, or those shadowy mounting of Richard's fiery spirit at forms of murdered children which the well known moment of onset; Cassandra (in his Agamemnon) sees but the stirring appeal sitting at the gate of the Atridae. Fight, Gentlemen of England ! fight, bold Repeated and earnest expressions Yeomen! of awe and terror burst from the Chorus ; and the Tyrant's agitation was beyond the reach of a Grecian was at last wound up to a giddy poet, nor do I think his language whirl of thoughts and words, as ve
could have furnished him with terms hement as the frenzy of lo.*
At productive of any similar effect. To this pitch of passion the avenging ter
an English ear, even the cry 'Q Taides rors left him, and his mind gradually 'Elvjvwv ire at the battle of Salasank into calmness. And now the mis, appears insipid in comparison. hour was come when
After Richard's departure the mes
senger continued with the Chorus, who -Flaky darkness breaks within the East.f guarded their monarch's tent. While Norfolk and another leader of Ri- he was briefly describing to them chard's army entered to receive his the advance of Richmond's force, the orders, and the king retired to first crash of conflict was heard with“ buckle on his armour."
out. Then the Chorus divided themThe Chorus, still agitated by the selves into separate groups, imparecent horrors, poured forth a sup- tiently straining their sight to catch plication to the shades that had dis- some glimpse of the battle, striving turbed the king's repose, entreating with anxious ears to gather intellithat their angry and vengeful influ- gence from the confused din of the ences, their ’Epivvies, might not in armies, and each party alternately the ensuing battle “ sit heavy.” conveying in short energetic bursts on the royal breast. They wished of description, the news or the conthat earthquake or lightning would jecture, the hope, fear, or triumph remove from heaven's view the of the moment. Every verse rea
* Æsch. Prometheus. of Rich. III. Act v. Sc. 2. # A similar form of expression is used in the Seven Chiefs, l. 698, where Eteocles declares that his father's curses mocīs áx.có 5005 õne pool to poorténeo, or, as we should say,
Sits heavy on his parched and tearless eyes. § Æsch. Agamemnon, 1197, &c. ! Ibid, 1026. Æsch. Persae, 100.
sounded with the clang of armour, the scene, he was not under the nethe rush of arrows, the neigh and cessity of sacrificing to stage effect trampling of steeds, the ringing of by slaying him in single combat. harness, and the fiery call of trum- Richmond and some of his partipets.*
zans now entered proclaiming anew At length a second messenger re- that “ the Boar” was dead, and ported that the king, after enacting announcing that his followers, dis
more wonders than a man,” had couraged by this event and the prefallen by a thousand wounds in the vious defection of Stanley, had yield. thickest press of battle. Æschylused, fallen, or been dispersed. The appears to have thought it too much victor gave orders for securing the honour for Richmond, a novice in royal tent, which the Chorus, still war,
faithful to their charge, indignantly One that never in his life
prepared to defend. They were Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow.t checked, however, by assurances that
no hope remained of successful oppoto conquer with his own hand the sition.
Richmond, who appeared redoubted Richard, the valiant son of not to be a favourite with Æschylus, York and his fellow soldier in so pronounced a tame speech of exhormany hard fought fields. The Greek tation and self-applause, and the poet had no public prejudice to con- Chorus after hinting the advantages Bult, no reigning family to flatter; of moderation, submitted sullenly to and, as he did not kill his tyrant on the conqueror.
* I justify this phrase by the authority of Æschylus, who says, in describing the battle of Salamis, that at day-break the trumpet with its loud call, ávrh, —inéqreying fired all the coast.
† Rich. III. Act v. Sc. 2.
SPECIMENS OF SONNETS
FROM THE MOST EMINENT POETS OF ITALY.
MICHEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI.
Giunto è già il corso della vita mia
Mà l'alta affettuosa fantasia,
Gli amorosi pensier, già vani e lieti,
s'a due morti m'avvicino ?
Nè pinger, nè scolpir fia più che queti
Che apersc in croce, a prender noi, le braccia.
At length from Fancy's wild enchantments free,
Vain dreams of love! once sweet, now yield they aught
Nor painting's art, nor sculptor's skill e'er brought
GIO. BARTOLOMEO CASAREGI. I
Lungi da quel che piace al volgo insano
Scorro l'Assiro e 'l Perso, e quivi invano
Nini, Ciri, Alessandri, omai sorgete
Ah che pur polve e' sono : e, se gli eroi
Tempo distruggitor, che fia di noi ?
I range o'er Persia and Assyria's plain,
Dust are they all—if such their destiny,
Se dentro al pensier mio fallace un zelo
Lasso ! egli avvenne, come avvenir suole
Che sforzati a fissar gli occhi nel Sole,
Splendor gli oscuran d'un perpetuo nembo.
If zeal, that of my strength would wrongly deem,
Alas! I suffer from the same mishap
Forced in the sun's full radiance to gaze,
BUONACORSI DA MONTEMAGNO.
Non mai più bella luce, o più bel Sole
Nè quando l'età verde aprir si vuole,
Dal bel guardo vezzoso par che fiocchi
Amor s’ è posto in mezzo a' suoi begli occhi,
Troppo ardente favilla a sì poca esca.
Never, when opening buds first scent the air,
From her mild gracious looks a dewy shower
In midst of her bright eyes Love makes his bower,
GALEAZZO DI TARSIA.
Spalmati legni, alme vezzose e liete
Lasso ! verrà ben tempo che ritorni
A me serene notti, o chiari giorni,
Non fia che 'l mio tiranno unqua m'apporte.
From thee is fled each joyous thing, the glee
Alas! the time is near, when will return The season calm, and all thy waves be gay, And thou this fellowship of woe forsake :
The mistress of my soul can never make Serene the night for me, or clear the day, Whether the sun be hid, or cloudless burn.