Page images

I left you.


calm ; his friends became uneasy, but still his On such employment! With far other thoughts optimism prevailed; he could afford to wait. And although he did at last admit the great Ord. (A side.] Ha! he has been tampering with her. movement was somewhat tardy, and that the

Alv. O high-souled maiden ! and more dear to me audience seemed rather patient than interested,

Than suits the stranger's name ! he did not lose his confidence till the tumult

I swear to thee

I will uncover all concealed guilt. arose, and then he submitted with quiet dignity

Doubt, but decide not! Stand ye from the altar. to the fate of genius, too lofty to be understood

[Here a strain of music is heard from behind the by a world as yet in its childhood.'

The next new play was also by a man of dis- With no irreverent voice or uncouth charm tinguished genius, and it also was unsuccessful. I call up the departed ! Julian and Agnes, by WILLIAM SOTHEBY, the

Soul of Alvar! translator of Oberon, was acted April 25, 1800. Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell : 'In the course of its performance, Mrs Siddons, So may the gates of paradise, unbarred, as the heroine, had to make her exit from the Cease thy swist toils! Since happily thou art one scene with an infant in her arms. Having to

Of that innumerable company

Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow, retire precipitately, she inadvertently struck the

Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion, baby's head violently against a door-post. Hap

With noise too vast and constant to be heard : pily, the little thing was made of wood, so that

Fitliest unheard ! For oh, ye numberless her doll's accident only produced a general laugh,

And rapid travellers ! what ear unstunned, in which the actress herself joined heartily. This What sense unmaddened, might bear up against "untoward event' would have marred the success The rushing of your congregated wings? (Music. of any new tragedy; but Mr Sotheby's is deficient

Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head ! in arrangement and dramatic art.

[Music expressive of the movements and images The tragedies of Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Proc

that follow. ter, and Milman-noticed in our account of these Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desert sands, poets—must be considered as poems rather than

That roar and whiten like a burst of waters, plays. Coleridge's Remorse was acted with some

A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion success in 1813, aided by fine original music, but

To the parched caravan that roams by night! it has not since been revived. It contains, how

And ye, build up on the becalmed waves

That whirling pillar, which from earth to heaven ever, some of Coleridge's most exquisite poetry

Stands vast, and moves in blackness! Ye, too, split and wild superstition, with a striking romantic The ice mount ! and with fragments many and huge plot. We extract one scene :

Tempest the new-thawed sea, whose sudden gulfs

Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff ! Incantation Scene from' Remorse.'

Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance,

Till from the blue swollen corse the soul toils out, Scene-A Hall of Armoury, with an altar at the back of the stage. And joins your mighty army. Soft music from an instrument of glass or steel.

(Here, behind the scenes, a voice sings the three VALDEZ, ORDONIO, and Alvar in a Sorcerer's robe, are

words, 'Hear, sweet spirit.' discovered.

Soul of Alvar! Ordonio. This was too melancholy, father.

Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker charm ! Valdez. Nay,

By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang My Alvar loved sad music from a child.

Of a half-dead, yet still undying hope, Once he was lost, and aster weary search

Pass visible before our mortal sense ! We found him in an open place in the wood,

So shall the church's cleansing rites be thine, To which spot he had followed a blind boy,

Her knells and masses, that redeem the dead! Who breathed into a pipe of sycamore Some strangely moving notes, and these, he said, Song behind the scenes, accompanied by the same instrument Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw

as before. Stretched on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank :

Hear, sweet spirit, hear the spell, And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep,

Lest a blacker charm compel! His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleased me

So shall the midnight breezes swell To mark how he had fastened round the pipe

With thy deep long lingering knell. A silver toy his grandam had late given him.

And at evening evermore, Methinks I see him now as he then looked

In a chapel on the shore, Even so! He had outgrown his infant dress,

Shall the chanters, sad and saintly, Yet still he wore it.

Yellow tapers burning faintly, Alvar. My tears must not flow!

Doleful masses chant for thee,
I must not clasp his knees, and cry, 'My father!'

Miserere, Domine!
Enter Teresa and Attendants.

Hark! the cadence dies away
Teresa. Lord Valdez, you have asked my presence

On the yellow moonlight sea : here,

The boatmen rest their oars and say, And I submit; but-Heaven bear witness for me

Miserere, Domine! My heart approves it not ! 'tis mockery.

(A long pause. Ord. Believe you, then, no preternatural influence? Ord. The innocent obey nor charm nor spell ! Believe you not that spirits throng around us?

My brother is in heaven. Thou sainted spirit, Ter. Say rather that I have imagined it

Burst on our sight, a passing visitant ! A possible thing : and it has soothed my soul

Once more to hear thy voice, once more to see thee, As other fancies have ; but ne'er seduced me

Oh, 'twere a joy to me! To traffic with the black and frenzied hope

Alv. A joy to thee ! That the dead hear the voice of witch or wizard. What if thou heardst him now? What if his spirit [To Alvar.] Stranger, I mourn and blush to see you Re-entered its cold corse, and came upon thee here

With many a stab from many a murderer's poniard ?

What if-his steadfast eye still beaming pity

thus extending over the long period of thirtyAnd brother's love-he turned his head aside, eight years. Only one of her dramas has ever Lest he should look at thee, and with one look been performed on the stage ; De Montfort was Hurl thee beyond all power of penitence?

brought out by Kemble shortly after its appearVald. These are unholy fancies ! Ord. [Struggling with his feelings.] Yes, my father, introduced in 1821, to exhibit the talents of Kean

ance, and was acted eleven nights. It was again He is in heaven ! Alv. (Still to Ordonio.) But what if he had a in the character of De Montfort ; but this actor brother,

remarked that, though a fine poem, it would never Who had lived even so, that at his dying hour be an acting play. The author who mentions The name of heaven would have convulsed his face this circumstance, remarks : 'If Joanna Baillie More than the death-pang ?

had known the stage practically, she would never Vald. Idly prating man !

have attached the importance which she does Thou hast guessed ill : Don Alvar's only brother to the development of single passions in single Stands here before thee-a father's blessing on him ! tragedies ; and she would have invented more He is most virtuous.

stirring incidents to justify the passion of her Alv, (Still to Ordonio.] What if his very virtues Had pampered his swollen heart and made him proud? which, though peculiarly predominant in the

characters, and to give them that air of fatality And what if pride had duped him into guilt ? Yet still he stalked a self-created god,

Greek drama, will also be found, to a certain Not very bold, but exquisitely cunning ;

extent, in all successful tragedies. Instead of this, And one that at his mother's looking-glass

she contrives to make all the passions of her main Would force his features to a frowning sternness !

characters proceed from the wilful natures of the Young lord ! I tell thee that there are such beings

beings themselves. Their feelings are not precipiYea, and it gives fierce merriment to the damned tated by circumstances, like a stream down a To see these most proud men, that loathe mankind, declivity, that leaps from rock to rock; but, for At every stir and buzz of coward conscience,

want of incident, they seem often like water on a Trick, cant, and lie; most whining hypocrites ! level, without a propelling impulse.'* The design Away, away! Now let me hear more music.

of Miss Baillie in restricting her dramas each to

[Music again. the elucidation of one passion, appears certainly Ter. 'Tis strange, I tremble at my own conjectures! to have been an unnecessary and unwise restraint, But whatsoe'er it mean, I dare no longer De present at these lawless mysteries,

as tending to circumscribe the business of the This dark provoking of the hidden powers !

piece, and exclude the interest arising from varied Already I affront—if not high Heaven

emotions and conflicting passions. It cannot be Yet Alvar's memory! Hark! I make appeal

said to have been successful in her own case, Against the unholy rite, and hasten hence

and it has never been copied by any other author. To bend before a lawful shrine, and seek

Sir Walter Scott has eulogised ‘Basil's love and That voice which whispers, when the still heart listens, Montfort's hate’ as something like a revival of the Comfort and faithful hope ! Let us retire.

inspired strain of Shakspeare. The tragedies of

Count Basil and De Montfort are among the best JOANNA BAILLIE.

of Miss Baillie's plays ; but they are more like the

works of Shirley, or the serious parts of Massinger, The most important addition to the written than the glorious drainas of Shakspeare, so full drama at this time was the first volume of JOANNA of life, of incident, and imagery. Miss Baillie's BAILLIE's plays on the Passions, published in style is smooth and regular, and her plots are both 1798 under the title of A Series of Plays: in original and carefully constructed ; but she has which it is attempted to delineate the Stronger no poetical luxuriance, and few commanding situPassions of the Mind, each Passion being the ations. Her tragic scenes are too much connected Subject of a Tragedy and a Comedy. To the with the crime of murder, one of the easiest volume was prefixed a long and interesting intro- resources of a tragedian ; and partly from the ductory discourse, in which the authoress dis- delicacy of her sex, as well as from the restrictions cusses the subject of the drama in all its bearings, imposed by her theory of composition, she is and asserts the supremacy of simple nature over deficient in that variety and fulness of passion, the all decoration and refinement. Let one simple form and pressure' of real life, which are so trait of the human heart, one expression of passion, essential on the stage. The design and plot of genuine and true to nature, be introduced, and it her dramas are obvious almost from the first act will stand forth alone in the boldness of reality, -a circumstance that would be fatal to their whilst the false and unnatural around it fades success in representation. away upon every side, like the rising exhalations of the morning. This theory-which anticipated

Scene from ' De Montfort.' the dissertations and most of the poetry of Wordsworth--the accomplished dramatist illustrated in De Montfort explains to his sister Jane his hatred of Rezenvelt,

The gradual her plays, the merits of which were instantly deepening of this malignant passion, and its frightful catastrophe, recognised, and a second edition called for in a are powerfully depicted. We may remark, that the character of few months. Miss Baillie was then in the thirty, his settled gloom, and the violence of his passions, seem to have

De Montfort, his altered habits and appearance after his travels, fourth year of her age. In 1802 she published been the prototype of Byron's Manfred and Lara. a second volume, and in 1812 a third. In the

De Montfort. No more, my sister ; urge me not interval, she had produced a volume of miscellane

again; ous dramas (1804), and The Family Legend (1810),

My secret troubles cannot be revealed. a tragedy founded on a Highland tradition, and From all participation of its thoughts brought out with success at the Edinburgh theatre.

My heart recoils : I pray thee, be contented. In 1836 this authoress published three more volumes of plays, her career as a dramatic writer

* Campbell's Life of Mrs Siddons.

which at last hurries him into the crime of murder.


Jane. What! must I, like a distant humble friend, De Mon. (Raising her, and kneeling.) Observe thy restless eye and gait disturbed

Thus let him kneel who should the abased be, In timid silence, whilst with yearning heart

And at thine honoured feet confession make. I turn aside to weep? O no, De Montfort !

I'll tell thee all—but, oh! thou wilt despise me. A nobler task thy nobler mind will give;

For in my breast a raging passion burns,
Thy true intrusted friend I still shall be.

To which thy soul no sympathy will own-
De Mon. Ah, Jane, forbear! I cannot, e'en to thee. A passion which hath made my nightly couch
Jane. Then fie upon it! fie upon it, Montfort ! A place of torment, and the light of day,
There was a time when e'en with murder stained, With the gay intercourse of social man,
Had it been possible that such dire deed

Feel like the oppressive, airless pestilence.
Could e'er have been the crime of one so piteous, O Jane ! thou wilt despise me.
Thou wouldst have told it me.

Jane. Say not so :
De Mon. So would I now—but ask of this no more. I never can despise thee, gentle brother,
All other troubles but the one I feel

A lover's jealousy and hopeless pangs
I have disclosed to thee. I pray thee, spare me. No kindly heart contemns.
It is the secret weakness of my nature.

De Mon. A lover's, say'st thou ?
Jane Then secret let it be:

urge no surther.

No, it is hate ! black, lasting, deadly hate ! The eldest of our valiant father's hopes,

Which thus hath driven me forth from kindred peace, So sadly orphaned : side by side we stood,

From social pleasure, from my native home, Like two young trees, whose boughs in early strength To be a sullen wanderer on the earth, Screen the weak saplings of the rising grove,

Avoiding all men, cursing and accursed ! And brave the storm together.

Jane. De Montfort, this is fiend-like, terrible ! I have so long, as if by nature's right,

What being, by the Almighty Father formed
Thy bosom's inmate and adviser been,

Of flesh and blood, created even as thou,
I thought through life I should have so remained, Could in thy breast such horrid tempest wake,
Nor ever known a change. Forgive me, Montfort ; Who art thyself his fellow?
A humbler station will I take by thee;

Unknit thy brows, and spread those wrath-clenched The close attendant of thy wandering steps,

hands. The cheerer of this home, with strangers sought, Some sprite accursed within thy bosom mates The soother of those griefs I must not know.

To work thy ruin. Strive with it, my brother ! This is mine office now: I ask no more.

Strive bravely with it; drive it from thy heart; De Mon. O Jane, thou dost constrain me with thy 'Tis the degrader of a noble heart. love

Curse it, and bid it part. Would I could tell it thee !

De Mon. It will not part. I've lodged it here too long. Jane. Thou shalt not tell it me. Nay, I'll stop mine With my first cares, I felt its rankling touch. ears,

I loathed him when a boy.
Nor from the yearnings of affection wring

Jane. Whom didst thou say?
What shrinks from utterance. Let it pass, my brother. De Mon. Detested Rezenvelt !
I'll stay by thee; I'll cheer thee, comfort thee; E'en in our early sports, like two young whelps
Pursue with thee the study of some art,

Of hostile breed, instinctively averse,
Or nobler science, that compels the mind

Each 'gainst the other pitched his ready pledge, To steady thought progressive, driving forth

And frowned defiance. As we onward passed All floating, wild, unhappy fantasies,

From youth to man's estate, his narrow art Till thou, with brow unclouded, smil'st again;

And envious gibing malice, poorly veiled Like one who, from dark visions of the night,

In the affected carelessness of mirth, When the active soul within its lifeless cell

Still more detestable and odious grew. Holds its own world, with dreadful fancy pressed There is no living being on this earth Of some dire, terrible, or murderous deed,

Who can conceive the malice of his soul, Wakes to the dawning morn, and blesses Heaven. With all his gay and damned merriment, De Mon. It will not pass away ; 'twill haunt me To those by fortune or by merit placed still.

Above his paltry self. When, low in fortune, Jane. Ah! say not so, for I will haunt thee too, He looked upon the state of prosperous men, And be to it so close an adversary,

As nightly birds, roused from their murky holes, That, though I wrestle darkling with the fiend,

Do scowl and chatter at the light of day, I shall o'ercome it.

I could endure it ; even as we bear De Mon. Thou most generous woman !

The impotent bite of some half-trodden worm, Why do I treat thee thus? It should not be

I could endure it. But when honours came, And yet I cannot- that cursed villain !

And wealth and new-got titles fed his pride; He will not let me be the man I would.

Whilst flattering knaves did trumpet forth his praise, Jane. What say'st thou, Montfort ? Oh, what words And grovelling idiots grinned applauses on him ; are these !

Oh, then I could no longer suffer it ! They have awaked my soul to dreadful thoughts. It drove me frantic. What, what would I giveI do beseech thee, speak!

What would I give to crush the bloated toad, By the affection thou didst ever bear me ;

So rankly do I loathe him ! By the dear memory of our infant days;

Jane. And would thy hatred crush the very man By kindred living ties—ay, and by those

Who gave to thee that life he might have taken? Who sleep in the tomb, and cannot call to thee,

That life which thou so rashly didst expose
I do conjure thee, speak !

To aim at his? Oh, this is horrible !
Ha ! wilt thou not?

De Mon. Ha! thou hast heard it, then! From all Then, if affection, most unwearied love,

the world, Tried early, long, and never wanting found,

But most of all from thee, I thought it hid.
O'er generous man hath more authority,

Jane. I heard a secret whisper, and resolved
More rightful power than crown or sceptre give, Upon the instant to return to thee.
I do command thee!

Didst thou receive my letter ?
De Montsort, do not thus resist my love.

De Mon. I did ! I did ! 'Twas that which drove Here I entreat thee on my bended knees.

me hither. Alas, my brother !

I could not bear to meet thine eye again.

Jane. Alas! that, tempted by a sister's tears, I ever left thy house! These few past months, These absent months, have brought us all this woe. Had I remained with thee, it had not been. And yet, methinks, it should not move you thus. You dared him to the field ; both bravely fought ; He, more adroit, disarmed you ; courteously Returned the forfeit sword, which, so returned, You did refuse to use against him more ; And then, as says report, you parted friends. De Mon. When he disarmed this cursed, this

worthless hand
Of its most worthless weapon, he but spared
From devilish pride, which now derives a bliss
In seeing me thus fettered, shamed, subjected
With the vile favour of his poor forbearance ;
Whilst he securely sits with gibing brow,
And basely baits me like a muzzled cur,
Who cannot turn again.
Until that day, till that accursed day,
I knew not half the torment of this hell
Which burns within my breast. Heaven's lightnings

blast him!
Fane. Oh, this is horrible ! Forbear, forbear !
Lest Heaven's vengeance light upon thy head
For this most impious wish.

De Mon. Then let it light.
Torments more fell than I have known already
It cannot send. To be annihilated,
What all men shrink from ; to be dust, be nothing,
Were bliss to me, compared to what I am !
Jane. Oh, wouldst thou kill me with these dreadful

words? De Mon. Let me but once upon his ruin look, Then close mine eyes for ever !Ha! how is this?' Thou 'rt ill ; thou 'rt very pale ; What have I done to thee? Alas ! alas ! I meant not to distress thee-O my sister !

Jane. I cannot now speak to thee.

De Mon. I have killed thee.
Turn, turn thee not away! Look on me still !
Oh, droop not thus, my life, my pride, my sister !
Look on me yet again.

Jane. Thou, too, De Montfort,
In better days was wont to be my pride.

De Mon. I am a wretch, most wretched in myself,
And still more wretched in the pain I give.
Oh, curse that villain, that detested villain !
He has spread misery o'er my fated life;
He will undo us all.
Jane. I've held my warsare through a troubled

And borne with steady mind my share of ill;
For then the helpmate of my toil wast thou.
But now the wane of life comes darkly on,
And hideous passion tears thee from my heart,
Blasting thy worth. I cannot strive with this.

De Mon. What shall I do?

And noble travellers, and neighbouring friends,
Both young and old. Within my ample hall,
The worn-out man of arms shall o'tiptoe tread,
Tossing his gray locks from his wrinkled brow
With cheerful freedom, as he boasts his feats
Of days gone by. Music we 'll have ; and oft
The bickering dance upon our oaken floors
Shall, thundering loud, strike on the distant ear
Of ’nighted travellers, who shall gladly bend
Their doubtsul footsteps towards the cheering din.
Solemn, and grave, and cloistered, and demure
We shall not be. Will this content ye, damsels ?

Every season
Shall have its suited pastime : even winter
In its deep noon, when mountains piled with snow,
And choked-up valleys, from our mansion bar
All entrance, and nor guest nor traveller
Sounds at our gate ; the empty hall forsaken,
In some warm chamber, by the crackling fire,
We 'll hold our little, snug, domestic court,
Plying our work with song and tale between.

Fears of Imagination. Didst thou ne'er see the swallow's veering breast, Winging the air beneath some murky cloud In the sunned glimpses of a stormy day, Shiver in silvery brightness ? Or boatmen's oar, as vivid lightning flash In the faint gleam, that like a spirit's path Tracks the still waters of some sullen lake? Or lonely tower, from its brown mass of woods, Give to the parting of a wintry sun One hasty glance in mockery of the night Closing in darkness round it? Gentle friend ! Chide not her mirth who was sad yesterday, And may be so to-morrow.

Speech of Prince Edward in his Dungeon. Doth the bright sun from the high arch of heaven, In all his beauteous robes of fleckered clouds, And ruddy vapours, and deep-glowing flames, And softly varied shades, look gloriously? Do the green woods dance to the wind ? the lakes Cast up their sparkling waters to the light? Do the sweet hamlets in their bushy dells Send winding up to heaven their curling smoke On the soft morning air ? Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures bound In antic happiness ? and mazy birds Wing the mid air in lightly skimming bands? Ay, all this is-men do behold all this The poorest man. Even in this lonely vault, My dark and narrow world, oft do I hear The crowing of the cock so near my walls, And sadly think how small a space divides me From all this fair creation.

Picture of a Country Life.

Even now methinks Each little cottage of my native vale Swells out its earthen sides, upheaves its roof, Like to a hillock moved by labouring mole, And with green trail-weeds clambering up its walls, Roses and every gay and fragrant plant Before my fancy stands, a fairy bower, Ay, and within it too do fairies dwell. Peep through its wreathed window, if indeed The flowers grow not too close ; and there within Thou 'lt see some half-a-dozen rosy brats, Eating from wooden bowls their dainty milkThose are my mountain elves. Seest thou not Their very forms distinctly?

I'll gather round my board All that Heaven sends to me of way-worn folks,

Description of Jane de Montfort.
The following has been pronounced to be a perfect picture of

Mrs Siddons, the tragic actress.
Page. Madam, there is a lady in your hall
Who begs to be admitted to your presence.

Lady. Is it not one of our invited friends?
Page. No ; far unlike to them. It is a stranger.
Lady. How looks her countenance ?

Page. So queenly, so commanding, and so noble, I shrunk at first in awe; but when she smiled, Methought I could have compassed sea and land To do her bidding.

Lady. Is she young or old ?

Page. Neither, if right I guess; but she is fair,
For Time hath laid his hand so gently on her,
As he too had been awed.

Lady. The foolish stripling !
She has bewitched thee. Is she large in stature ?


Page. So stately and so graceful is her form,

Save the hoarse raven croaking o'er his towers, I thought at first her stature was gigantic;

And the dank weeds muffling his stagnant moat. But on a near approach, I found, in truth,

Bertram. I 'll ring a summons on his barred portal She scarcely does surpass the middle size.

Shall make them through their dark valves rock and Lady. What is her garb ?

ring. Page. I cannot well describe the fashion of it :

Pri. Thou 'rt mad to take the quest. Within my She is not decked in any gallant trim,

memory But seems to me clad in her usual weeds

One solitary man did venture thereOf high habitual state ; for as she moves,

Dark thoughts dwelt with him, which he sought to Wide flows her robe in many a waving fold,

vent. As I have seen unfurled banners play

Unto that dark compeer we saw his steps, With the soft breeze.

In winter's stormy twilight, seek that passLady. Thine eyes deceive thee, boy;

But days and years are gone, and he returns not. It is an apparition thou hast seen.

Bert. What fate befell him there? Freberg. [Starting from his seat, where he has been Pri. The manner of his end was never known.

sitting during the conversation between Bert. That man shall be my mate. Contend not the Lady and the Page.]

with me It is an apparition he has seen,

Horrors to me are kindred and society. Or it is Jane de Montfort.

Or man, or fiend, he hath won the soul of Bertram. This is a powerful delineation. Sir Walter Scott Bertram is afterwards discovered alone, wandering near the conceived that Fear was the most dramatic fatal tower, and describes the effect of the awful interview which

he had courted. passion touched by Miss Baillie, because capable of being drawn to the most extreme paroxysm on

Bert. Was it a man or fiend? Whate'er it was, the stage.

It hath dealt wonderfully with me-
All is around his dwelling suitable;

The invisible blast to which the dark pines groan,

The unconscious tread to which the dark earth echoes, The Rev. CHARLES ROBERT MATURIN, author

The hidden waters rushing to their fall ;

These sounds, of which the causes are not seen, of several romances, produced a tragedy named

I love, for they are, like my fate, mysterious ! Bertram, which, by the influence of Lord Byron, How towered his proud form through the shrouding was brought out at Drury Lane in 1816. It was gloom, well received ; and by the performance and publi- How spoke the eloquent silence of its motion, cation of his play, the author realised about £ 1000. How through the barred visor did his accents Sir Walter Scott considered the tragedy 'grand Roll their rich thunder on their pausing soul ! and powerful, the language most animated and And though his mailed hand did shun my grasp, poetical, and the characters sketched with a mas- And though his closed morion hid his feature, terly enthusiasm. The author was anxious to

Yea, all resemblance to the face of man, introduce Satan on the stage--a return to the

I felt the hollow whisper of his welcome,

I felt those unseen eyes were fixed on mine, style of the ancient mysteries by no means suited

If eyes indeed were thereto modern taste. Mr Maturin was curate of St

Forgotten thoughts of evil, still-born mischiess, Peter's, Dublin. The scanty income derived from

Foul fertile seeds of passion and of crime, his curacy being insufficient for his comfortable

That withered in my heart's abortive core, maintenance, he employed himself in assisting Roused their dark battle at his trumpet-peal : young persons during their classical studies at

So sweeps the tempest o'er the slumbering desert, Trinity College, Dublin. The novels of Maturin- Waking its myriad hosts of burning death : which will be afterwards noticed-enjoyed con- So calls the last dread peal the wandering atoms siderable popularity ; and had his prudence been

Of blood, and bone, and fesh, and dust-worn fragments, equal to his genius, his life might have been

In dire array of ghastly unity, passed in comfort and respect. He was, however,

To bide the eternal summons

I am not what I was since I beheld him vain and extravagant-always in difficulties (Scott

I was the slave of passion's ebbing swayat one time generously sent him £50), and pursued

All is condensed, collected, callous, nowby bailiffs. When this eccentric author was en

The groan, the burst, the fiery flash is o'er, gaged in composition, he used to fasten a wafer on

Down pours the dense and darkening lava-tide, his forehead, which was the signal that if any of

Arresting lise, and stilling all beneath it. his family entered the sanctum they must not speak to him! The success of Bertram induced

Enter two of his band, observing him. Mr Maturin to attempt another tragedy, Manuel, First Robber. Seest thou with what a step of pride which he published in 1817. It is a very inferior

he stalks?
production ; 'the absurd work of a clever man,' Thou hast the dark knight of the forest seen;
says Byron. The unfortunate author died in For never man, from living converse come,
Dublin on the 30th of October 1824.

Trod with such step, or flashed with eye like thine.
Second Robber. And hast thou of a truth seen the

dark knight?
Scene from 'Bertram.'

Bert. [Turning on him suddenly.) Thy hand is A passage of great poetical beauty,' says Sir Walter Scott, 'in

chilled with fear. Well, shivering craven, which Bertram is represented as spurred to the commission of his Say I have seen him--wherefore dost thou gaze? great crimes by the direct agency of a supernatural and malevo- Long'st thou for tale of goblin-guarded portal? lent being.' PRIOR-BERTRAM.

Of giant champion, whose spell-forged mail

Crumbled to dust at sound of magic hornPrior. The dark knight of the forest,

Banner of sheeted flame, whose foldings shrunk So from his armour named and sable helm,

To withering weeds, that o'er the battlements Whose unbarred visor mortal never saw.

Wave to the broken spell-or demon-blast He dwells alone ; no earthly thing lives near him, Of winded clarion, whose fell summons sinks

« PreviousContinue »