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Mirandola, more animated than the Martyr of Antioch, and
written in better verse than Sir Marmaduke Maxwell. It is
true, they are intelligible throughout; but this is no more
than may be said of Halidon Hill, and other compositions,
which are nevertheless read. Still they are not suited to the
taste of the age. They are too antiquated-too tramontane
in their subjects—too gross (see ourselves on Adam Blair, and
Gerard Montgomery on ourselves)-above all, they are a
great deal too loyal. There is likewise a patchy choppiness
in the disposition of the scenes (to use the words of Leigh
Hunt's happiest imitator) which tears the interest into mere
shreds. The plays before us are, in fact, neither more nor
less than a series of brisk dialogues, carried on amidst an
infinity of bustle and intrigue, between heroes of the Red-
mond O'Neale stamp, and pretty, meek-eyed, obliging young
ladies, with knaves and fools conformable ; for none of whom
do we (the present writer) care three pages of the Old
Monthly Magazine. They are made up of fighting, kissing,
drinking, plotting, hoaxing, and controversies on politics and
Platonic love. Suckling's animal spirits were his Muse, and
his writings are full of mirth and aimless jollity even to over-
flowing. Of Suckling's character as a poet, however, a con-
genial spirit has already said better things than we are
ever likely to say: and our purpose is not so much to criti-
cise as to extract a few of the passages, sententious, fanciful,
or impassioned, which appeared to us in the perusal calcu-
lated to minister delight or edification. Proceed we therefore
to business, with Lady Mary's leave; first warning the reader
not to stumble against the versification, which we fear in
some parts must appear intolerably rugged, even to those
who have read Barry Cornwall's Dramatic Scenes.
An ambitious Court-intriguer thus soliloquizes:
Ambition seems all things, and yet is none,
But in disguise stalks to opinion,
And fools it into faith, for every thing.
"Tis not with the ascending to a throne
As 'tis with stairs and steps, that are the same ;
For to a crown each humour's a degree,
And as men change and differ, so must we.
The name of virtue doth the people please,
Not for their love to virtue, but their ease:
And parrot rumour I that tale have taught.
By making love I hold the women's grace ;
'Tis the court double-key, and entrance gets
To all the little plots. The fiery spirits
My love to arms hath drawn into my faction;
Al but the minion of the time is mine,
And he shall be, or shall not be at all.
He that beholds a wing in pieces torn,
And knows not that to heaven it once did bear
The high-flown and self-lessening bird, will think,
And call them, idle subjects of the wind:
When he that has the skill to imp and bind
These in right places, will the truth discover,
That borrow'd instruments do oft convey
The soul to her propos’d intents.
A pair of disappointed courtiers philosophize as follows:
Brennoralt. I say, the Court is but a narrow circuit,
Though something elevate above the common ;
A kind of ant's nest in the great wild field,
O'ercharged with multitudes of quick inhabitants,
Who still are miserably busied to get in
What the loose foot of prodigality
As fast does throw abroad.
A most eternal place of low affronts,
And then as low submissions.
High cowards in revenges 'mongst themselves,
And only valiant when
they mischief others.
Dor. Stars, that would have no name,
But for the ills they threaten in conjunction.
Bren. A race of
(Here Julia Vernon began to shew unequivocal symptoms of weariness; and Clara Howard hung her lovely little head, like a rose-de-Meaux in a bower : we therefore skipped the remainder of this extract.) A lover is approaching the retirement of his mistress :
Softly, as death itself comes on,
When it doth steal away the sick man's breath
And standers-by perceive it not,
Have I trod the way unto these lodgings.
How wisely do the powers
That give us happiness, order it !
Sending us still fears to bound our joys,
Which else would overflow and lose themselves.
See where she sits,
Like day retir’d into another world.
Dear Mine! where all the beauty man admires
In scattered pieces, does united lie ;
Where sense does feast, and yet where sweet desire
Lives in its longing, like a miser's eye,
That never knew, nor saw satiety ;
Tell me, by what approaches must Í come
To take in what remains of my felicity ?
We shall string a few more pearls together at random.
Leave me ; for to a soul so out of tune
As mine is now, nothing is harmony;
When once the mainspring, Hope, is fall'n into
Disorder, no wonder if the lesser wheels,
Desire and Joy, stand still: my thoughts, like bees
When they have lost their king,
Wander confusedly up and down,
And settle no where.
Could I but call thee back as easily now!
But that's a subject for our tears, not hopes.
There is no piecing tulips to their stalks,
When they are once divorc'd by a rude hand;
All we can do is to preserve in water
A little life, and give by courteous art
What scanted nature wants commission for.
That thou shalt have ; for to thy memory
Such tribute of moist sorrow will I pay,
So purified by love, that on thy grave
Nothing shall grow but violets and primroses, ,
Of which too, some shall be
Of the mysterious number, so that men shall
Come thither not as to a tomb, but to an oracle.
What a strange glass they have shown me now myself in!
Our sins,"like to our shadows,
When our day is in its glory scarce appear,
* Towards our evening how great and monstrous
They are ! The dialogue which follows is a little out of Sir John's usual way, and very pretty.
Orsabrin. Keep off, keep off, thou brighter excellence,
Thou fair divinity ; if thou com'st near,
I shall grow saucy in desire again,
And entertain bold hopes; which will but draw
More and fresh punishment upon me.
Reginella. I see y' are angry,
But if you kill me too, I meant no ill ;
That which brought me hither,
Was a desire I have to be with you,
Rather than those I live with ; this is all,
Ors. With me? Oh thou kind Innocence !
Witness all that punish falsehood,
That I could live with thee,
Ev'n in this dark and narrow prison,
And think all happiness confin'd within the walls !
Oh, hadst thou but as much of love as I!
Reg. Of love! what's that?
Ors. Why, 'tis a thing that's had before 'tis known;
A gentle flame that steals into a heart,
And makes it like one object so, that it scarce cares
Fo: any other delights, when that is present,
And is in pain when it's gone; thinks of that alone,
And quarrels with all other thoughts that would
Intrude, and so dirert it.
Reg. If this be love, sure I have some of it.
It is no ill thing, is it, sir ?
Ors. Oh most divine !
The best of all the gods strangely abound in 't,
And mortals could not live without it; it is
The soul of virtưe, and the life of life.
Rey. Sure I should learn it, sir, if you would teach it.
Ors. Alas, thou taught'st it me ;
It came with looking thus.
(They gaze upon one another.) Moore (whose graceful footmarks may be traced throughout all the amatory poets of this period) is evidently familiar with Suckling
A princely gift, sir-but it comes too late ;
Like sunbeams on the blasted blossoms, do
Your favours fall ; you should have given me this
When 'twould have rais'd me in men's thoughts, and made
Me equal to Francelia's love ; I have
No end, since she is not.
She's gone! Life like a dial's hand hath stolen
From me the fair figure ere it was perceiv'd.
What will become of me? --Too late, too late
Y are come ; you may persuade wild birds, that wing
The air, into a cage, as soon as call
Her wandering spirit back.-
It (her lip) keeps a sweetness yet,
As stills from roses, when the flowers are gone. One more extract, and we have done. Two young ladies are both enamoured of the same object, who is supposed dead.
Blush not, Orithie ; 'tis a sin to blush
For loving him, though none at all to love him.
I can admit of rivalship without
A jealousy: nay shall be glad of it;
We two will sit, and think, and think, and sigh,
And sigh, and talk of love-and of Thersames.
Thou shalt be praising of his wit, while I
Admire he governs it so well ;
Like this thing said thus, th other thing thus done,
And in good language him for these adore,
While I want words to do it, yet do it more,
Thụs will we do, till death itself shall us
Divide, and then whose fate 't shall be to die
First of the two, by legacy shall all
Her love bequeath, and give the stock to her
That shall survive ; for n no one stock can serve
To love Thersames so as he'll deserve.
“L'imagination grossit souvent les plus petits objets par une estimation fan. tastique jusqu'à remplir notre ame."-Pensees De PASCAL.
“ I have spent all my golden time,
In writing many a luving rime;
I have consumed all my youth
In vowing of my faith and trueth;
() willow, willow, willow tree,
Yet can I not beleeved bee."-OLD BALLAD.
“ Do you take trifle ?" said Lady Olivia to my poor friend Halloran.
No, Ma'am, I am reading philosophy,” said Halloran; waking from a fit of abstraction, with about as much consciousness and perception as exists in a petrified oyster, or an alderman dying of a surfeit.-Halloran is a fool.
A trifle is the one good thing, the sole and surpassing enjoyment. He only is happy who can fix his thoughts, and his hopes, and his feelings, and his affections, upon those fickle and fading pleasures, which are tenderly cherished and easily forgotten, alike acute in their excitement and brief in their regret. Trifles constitute my summum bonum. Sages may crush them with the heavy train of argument and syllogism; schoolboys may assail them with the light artillery of essay and of theme; members of parliament may loath, doctors of divinity may contemn :-bag wigs and big wigs, blue devils and blue stockings, sophistry and sermons, reasonings and wrinkles, Solon, Thales, Newton's Principia, Mr. Walker's Eidouranion, the King's bench, the bench of Bishops all these are serious antagonists; very serious!--but I care not; I defy them; I dote upon trifles; and my name is Vyvyan Joyeuse, and my motto is · Vive la Bagatelle.'
There are many persons who while they have a tolerable taste for the frivolous, yet profess remorse and penitence for their indulgence of it; and continually court and embrace new day-dreams, while they shrink from the retrospect of those which have already faded. Peace be to their everlasting lainents, and their ever-broken resolutions! Your true trifler, meaning your humble servant, is a being of a very different order. The luxury which I renew in the recollection of the past, is equal to that which I feel in the enjoyment of the present, or create in the anticipation of the future. . I love to