Images de page

Of her the secret rare might get,
How different kinds amalgamate :
And he, who wilder studies chose,
Find here a new metempsychose;
How forms can other forms assume,
Within her Pythagoric room ;
Or be, and stranger is th' event,
The very things which nature meant ;
Nor strive, by art and affectation,

To cross their genuine destination.' The essence which makes coalescence; the rare secret by which different kinds amalgamate ; the new metempsychofes, of forms taking other forms upon them in the eisoleric obscurity of a Pythagoric room, and becoming the very things which nature meant, without ftriving to cross their genuine destination, are curious discoveries in experimental philosophy, and rank Mrs. Vesey with the first chemists of the age. But these hidden mysteries are only for the initiated. Procul, procul este profani.

• But sparks electric only strike

On souls electrical alike;
The flash of intellect expires,
Unless it meet congenial fires.
The language to thelect alone
Is, like the mason's mystery, known;
In vain th' unerring sign is made

To him who is not of the trade.' After this trade is learned, adds Miss Moore, at the fign of the blue-stocking,

• What lively pleasure to divine
The thought implied the hinted line;
To feel allufons artful force,

And trace the image to its fource,' The reader will observe that these delicate allufions are easier understood, than isosceles and parallel geometry, and have none of that turn and equivoque, which infected the hotel of Rambouillet. The powerful spell which works all these miracles is thus described.

• Ak you what charms this gift dispense?

'Tis the strong spell of common senfe.' In the first of these poems, good nature is reprefented as the chief qualification of the heroine ; and in the second, common Tense is the characteristic of the sisters of the blue-stocking.

It is lhrewdly said by Voltaire, that it is equally an insult to fay concerning a person that he has common sense, or that he wants it; the same observation applies to good nature, for

mere good nature is a fool *."

[blocks in formation]

Upon the whole, if Mifs More has not added much to her own fame by these poems, she has highly contributed to the entertainment and good humour of the public,

Art. VII. The Captives, a Tragedy; as performed' at the Theatre Royal,

Drury Lane. By the Autior of the Royal Suppliants. is, 6d. Cadell, London.


N an advertisement prefixed to this tragedy, the author in.

forms us that it was his intention, throughout his piece, “ to make experiment of a stile and diction different from *6 what are usual in modern tragedy. Overwrought orna« ments, and pompous versification, he thought ill-suited to " the manners of those early times in which the action of his

tragedy is supposed to have passed. In a word, he was of

opinion that the language of fimplicity would best accord 66 with the subject and the characters: but whether a plain, * intelligible, and unaffected stile would be acceptable to the " public taste was what he had dill to learn.”-Such was the plan of this writer, which, if he had executed properly, he would have had no occasion to arraign the taste of the public. The language of fimplicity, substituted instead of overwrought ornaments and pompous versification, if dictated by a knowledge of nature, and animated by the fire of true poetry, can never fail to produce the highest and most striking effects. But if a writer be posseffed of no real genius ; if he be incapable of expressing himself with folidity, purity, and brilliancy of imagination; his fimplicity will not prevent him from being infipid, nor protect him from contempt. Whether these observations be applicable or not to the present tragedy, our readers from the following extracts will be able to determine.

Malvina and Erragon, her husband, are prisoners at the court of Gonnal, who reigns over the northern part of Caledonia, He is enraptured with Malvina ; and, ignorant of her connection with Erragon, prevails on him to persuade her that her husband is dead. By a mistake of Malvina he is discovered, and the tyrant exclaims • Connnal.

Is't possible? again let me behold thee.
Turns't thou aside in scorn ? insolent man!

Connal fhall make thy haughty spirit shrink.
Erragon. That thou can't never do.-Behold again!

Search, with thy sharpeft eye, if thou can't see
The shadow of a fearNo; tho' unarmed,
And manacled, with all thy guards around,
I'll brave thee ftill. My wrongs thall call for justice !
S 3


Shall thunder in thy ears. -Restore my wife !
Whom thy adulterate luft would violate.
Tyrant ! restore my wife! or I'll rush on thee,

And dash these desperate chains!' Though no situation can be more interesting, and more worthy of veneration, than that of a man who supports a dignified fortitude of mind amidst surrounding danger and distress ; yet, to represent a prisoner as throwing his chains at an armed tyrant, encompassed by his guards, is surely too ridiculous a picture for the most common understanding to exhibit.-Yet the answer of Connal is quite equal to it in absurdity. Fearful of having his head broken by the chains, he cries out

Connal. On thy first motion

Thou dieft,
Malvina. These arms shall snatch him from the blow;

Or we'll together die.
Connal. Arunder force them.

Malvina. He is my husband !_dread the bursting bolt ! (This bursting bolt the author no doubt intends as an instance of his plain, intelligible, and unaffected stile.)

Connal. Villain's, beware!' (Great care undoutedly was necessary to prevent a man loaded with chains and his wife from running away or clinging too clofely for separation to each other, especially as there was only a few armed men to watch them.)

· Malwina. Yęt dearest Erragon!

My liie's in my own power,
Connal. Away and watch her,

With ftridteft guard,
Malvina A little while farewell!

We foon shall meet, my love, in yonder clouds,
'Mid troops of blessed souls ; where fiends like him
Can never come to part us!

Exit guarded. If our author was guilty of a small error in making Erragon too rash, he has recompensed it by converting Malvina into a complete philosopher. She becomes not only all at once recon'ciled to her husband's fate, but she makes an appointment with him in the clouds, with the same composure as if they were only to meet at breakfast.-But, left we should appear partial by too minute a criticism, we will present our readers with the laft scene without any comment. From this they will be able to conclude what claim the author has to call in question the taste of the audience, for condemning this effort of his ge


[ocr errors]

• SCENE, a grave

by the river fade;
Malvina supports the dead body of Erragon, attended by virgins.
Virgin. Ah, look not, sigh no: thus!--Can looks or fighs

Breathe vital warmth into his clay-cold breast?
Nor eye hath he to see, nor ear to hear
T'hy unavailing woe. Or, if he had,
Ah, wherefore wouldst thou vex his gentle ghost ?

Enter Everallin, Hidallan, Minla, &c.
Minla. There, prince, behold what passes all report!
Everallin. Was ever fight fo mournful!-In what words,

At this dread hour, Thall I address thy woes,
Ill-fated fair! yet may thy forrowing foul
Some melancholy consolation find !
The warrior lies not there a common corse ;
He died in the defence of a dear wife ;
Admired and wept by all. Check then, sad mourner,
This violence of grief; and freely ask,
Best, and most worthy of the worthiest lord !

Whate'er my power can give.
Hidallan. She hearkens not;

But, like some monumental image fixed,
Hangs pondering o'er the dead.

-Ah, what a figh'
Everallin. Nay, interrupt her not. That burft of grief

May more relief afford her, than our vain

Condolements all.
Malvina, This is a ghastly fight!

(Still looking at the body.
One hour ago, one little hour ago,
Fresh as an April morning, he went forth
Gallant to battle. Then he did not wear

These bloody marks of murder!
Minla, Höld, hold, heart.
Malvina. This manly face was not distorted then!
Hidallan. Some pitying power

affift! Malvina. Then his ftrained eye. balls

Started not from their spheres! Look there ! look there !

How .clotted! how congealed ! Everallin. Nature must fail

In such conflicting transports.
Malvina. We were once:

Or was't illusion ! Once, my Erragon,
We were the happiest pair love ever joined ;
One heart, one mind. --Thy death has broke the charm,
And the short vision's vanished.-Hark! I heard
His gentle spirit call.Rise, my loved lord !
Rise, and in pity take Malvina's foul.
Good Everallin shall in Selma see
Our rites performed, and all due honours done.
Yet happy, oh, thrice happy had we been,
Had Selma ne'er beheld us ! Foolish eyes !



What would ye weep for :-Safe the flumberer lies,
From the loud storms of fortune ; and with this

[Takes bis fword.
Points me to the same haven.Lo, I come !
Thus, thus, exulting come!

[Stabs berself,
Oh faithful sword !
Lord of my love! I'm thine-in Connal's spite
In cruel Connal's fpite-for ever thine !

Hidallan, Oh horror, horror!
Everallin. This surpasses all!
Minla. Cruel Malvina! thou haft kill'd thyself ;
And ah, thy wretched Minla!

[She faints. Everallin. Haste, affift!

She faints, poor maiu: de.irous, even in death,
To join her friend. These tributary drops,
Noblest of human kind! from Everailin
Take, and farewell !— And you attendant shades !
Who, couched in clouds and whirlwinds, oft behold
Virtue, unsullied as the morning star,
Making this melancholy close ! oh lead,
To the dark land of shadows lead along
This pair unparralleled. There (while our bards
Strike o'er their tomb the trembling lyres of woe),
Each heart-felt groan, mortality's hard lot,
To songs of joy triumphantly thall turn

'Mid kindred spirits of the great and good. [Exeunt. The prologue is a poor attempt at falfe wit.' The epilogue has considerable merit. In it the newspapers are considered as fea-monsters, who swallow up dramatic adventurers with a merciless rapacity. It was rather unfortunate that such an epilogue should be connected with fo exemplary a victim as the present tragedy.

ART. VIII. The Law's Disposal of a person's Eftate, who dies without

Will or Teftament ; Sewing in a plain, clear, cafy, and familiar manner, how a Man's Family or Relations will be entitled to his real and Personal Estate, by the Laws of England, and the Customs of the City of London and Province of York. The second Edition,

reviled, corrected, enlarged, and improved. To wbich is added, the Disposal of a Person's Erate by Will and Testament ; containing Inflructions and neceffary Forms for every Person to make, alter, and re-publish his own Will. Likewise, Direčtions for Executors how to act after the Teftator's Death, with respect to proving bis Will, getting in the Effects, and paying Debts and Legacies. By Peter Lovelass of the Inner Temple, Gentleman,

8vo, 35. 6d. sewed. Uriel, 1786. London. FROM all the venerable pile of law learning, there would not be a more useful selection than the doctrine respecting


« PrécédentContinuer »