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falent of the author, as a describer' The happiness of the lovers is also of manners and characters. -- "But a long time retarded by the inif this had been the only intent of trigues of the monks, the schemes this novel, it would merely have of the Archbishop, and by Julia satisfied coriosity without exciting being carried off and shut up in a any interest.
Not until after many Every work must have an action, 'vain efforts and painful researches, an object, and a catastrophe. The does Florentius' find and release love of Florentius for Juliá Severa Julia. Every devise of hatred and is the subject of the romance. Both superstition is employed to excite of them possess brilliant and uoble the Romans,' and even the Barbaqualities; but the father of Several rians against Florentius. still adheres to the Pagan religion, Like a new Asmodens, the author and the bishop of Tours, who is aco has penetrated the secret dormitoquainted with this circumstance,ries and mysterious prisons of the endeavours to foment discord be monasteries; which gives rise to tween the senator Severa and Clo a great variety of descriptions and vis, and to prevent the marriage of portraits ; in which we are pleased Jalia with Florentius, who ape and surprised to find the lively gepears to the Bishop already too nius of a romance writer united to: powerful, from the great influence the sound judgment of an historian he had acquired over the Gauls.
Don Carlos; or, Persecation after generations, "it has been the A Tragedy, in Five Acts, By Lord enviable lot
' of many titled families John Russell .pp. 119. .. London. above the spirit of the age, have
to produce individuals, who, soating 870.
stamped their genlus on the charac
ter of their countrnien, have awakened We believe, that the reputation in them exalted sentiments, 'ör lead of literary works more frequently them to deeds of permanent utility depends upon the standard by which or of the brightest
heroisth. From they are criticised, than' upon their the great example of this thaintrinsic qualities. Many a work racter in the martyred Russell, it of little merit enjoys at least a tem has been the pecúřar privilege of porary fame, whilst others, of con. this distinguished family always to siderable desert, are doomed to an take the lead of society, to exhibit abortive struggle for 'eminence, and to their country' a spirit of freedom simply from the degree of expecta- beyond the tenour of the times, to tion or of indifference with which patronize its arts and to advance they are originally received by the its literature, and to wean it from critic, or by the public at large. all that is degenerate, by an example The hereditary fame of the Russell of all that is disinterested and moble. family, and the personal celebrity The highest species of literary com: of the noble author of the work we position, emanating from such a are about to criticise, will naturally source, will naturally exoite expecs challenge a high standard as a test tations which few works would be of its merits; but we are bound to fourid. to gratify In addition to confess our anticipation, that
, after this, we must observe, that "Tras the severest ordeal, Don Carlos will gedy, always trie most difficult spe be pronounced by the public worthy cies of composition, except the eren of the pen of its distinguished Epopee, is now rendered more dif: author. Weighed in the balance, it fićult than the Epic by, the prewill not be found wanting, but it occapation of the best subjeets, and, will add a wreath to the brow which particularly, by the pre-occupation literature and eloquence have already of those incidents of a nature to crowned with laurel. - At those produce the highest degree of dra. critical junotures, which so often de- matic excitement, or calculated to termine thie condition of society for exhibit: situations of stage effects
« Tout-est dit," says La Bruyere, be supposed to address ourselves;
be with Corneille, Ra- dents of the play, or by apparently cine, Crebillon, or Voltaire, they casual communications from the chaare not infatuated to the degree of racters, is an excellent art, which excluding all other pretensions. seems peculiar to Shakspeare. The These observations have naturally scene between Valdez and the King presented themselves to us, on con reminds us of that between Othello sidering the subject, and they must and lago. Where Philip forgets his not be construed into palliation of kingly rigidity, and moved by his faults, or into deprecations of se affections exclaims" Oh! think verity in favour of Don Carlos. To on this, and doubt—but say, the those, who expect in this tragedy Queen what said you of the the rival of Macbeth or of Othello, Queen ?" and his following speech, we cannot, after what we have said, display much pathos and nature..
The second act, in point of con- and the dreadfnl superstition of the straction, is of the nature of the King, is very finely drawn. Don first. The scenes and speeches are Carlos, speaking of the burning of · long and staid; but it contains the heretic, says, ' proofs of the poetic spirit. The first scene, of twenty pages, deve
-Cazalla, he lopes the fine character of Don Car That stood so tall before me in the los, and gives us the stratagem
by of a high soul; was now a ciader, tost which the infatuated King at once convinces himself of his son's at
And scattered by the air ! tachment, and of his damning sin of heresy. The conclusion of this ligious and metaphysical, are sug
What an infinity of reflections, relong scene appears to us conceived gested by these three lines, but how from Timon of Athens. The next beautifully touching is the circumscene, representing the Queen plead- stance of the victim's entreating the ing to the King for Don Carlos, Prince's protection “ for his poor thongh not a plagiarism, is too
sister's offspring !" A powerful lesanalogous to Desdemona's pleading son might be taken from this scene for Cassio. Don Carlos, in the rav- by those bad, or at least mistaken ings of his unhallowed passions, ex.
men, who would now revive a spirit claims “I combat - conquer of religious persecution amongst us! tremble-suffer-sink."
The third act is more full of inOh! had the idol of my heart been terest, and the examination of Don scornful,
Carlos by the Inquisition is finely Rejected all my prayers, spurn'd at conceived, and as finely executed. my love,
It is what poetry seldom is-it is And met my adoration with contempt, pathetic, ratiocinative, and grand: I could have borbe it ; then, indeed, There are numerous passages of methinks,
great power, but they are finer in The simple recollectlon of her form,
connection with the whole scene, The faintest image of a smile gone by, and we regret that our limits do not The feelings of a moment fed away,
allow us to make either numerous And fled for ever, were to me a feast, That lodia could not buy-my life
or lengthened quotations. The ap
pearance of the father, as an evidence Bat viewing her perfections with my against the son, is skilfully divested
by the poet of extravagance or of eyes, To be obliged to chase ber from my being unnatural. Superstition knows thought
not ties of blood. This scene, disTo view myself with loathing the playing the horrors of tyranny and rank soil
persecution, and the sophistry with In which a poison growsnowl'll no which we gloss oppression, must
suggest to the reader many reflecThe very speaking it is horrible.
tions on the passing scene of life.The King, speaking of the disso. Finally, the entrance of and pleadnance between regal pomp and hap-ing of the tutor of Don Carlos inpiness, uses the following new and duces the King to postpone the trial appropriate simile,
to the succeeding day.
In the fourth act, Valdez, distrust. our vain pemp ful of the King's fortitude to witGives bat. a bollow joy, and lasting ness the sacrifice of his son, plots
grief; 'Tis for onr subjects' honour, not for
the perpetual imprisonment, of Don
Carlos by the hands of Don Luis our's.
Cordoba. The speeches to Lucero The garland and the gold that deck
in which Valdez pourtrays his own the bull Denote the sacrificing peoples' pride, .
fiery' and ambitious nature, and And not the victim's fortune, ,
traces his loss of human sympathies
to the criminal nature of the monasThe description of the “ Act of tic institution, are replete with the Faith,” given by Don Carlos, and verba ardentia, they are full of vethe whole scene descriptive of the hement description, and are equalled horrors of the Inquisition, are very only by the subsequent speeches, in powerful, and the contrast between which Don Carlos indignantly rethe generous humanity of the Prince fuses to purchase his safety by
betraying his friends. This act ends this author's Simple Plan, we may with the escape of Don Carlos' ont be allowed to state our thorough of tho prison of the Inquisition by accordance with Mr. Malthus's great the activity of his friends, and after principle, that there is no possible his refusing to effect his liberation means of diminishing pauperism, by generous efforts on the part of and, consequently, mendicity, but the Queen, which might compromise by preventing population exceeding her safety and character.
or pressing too closely upon supply ; The fifth act is replete with ex:
and this is to be etfected only by planations. Don Carlos is betrayed the diffusion of moral instruction in his flight by Don Luís Cordoba, among the poor, and by creating in and a conflict between them ends in them a species of humble luxury the death of Cordoba, and in Don a love of certain factitious comforts, Carlos being mortally wounded. An without the attainment and probainteresting scene takes place between ble security of which, they will not the distracted father and the dying be induced to marry. This is the son. The father is convinced by only method of preventing pauperthe last confessions of Don Carlos, ism, whilst the only possible means that both his child and wife are in- of relieving it must be found in the nocent, and, consigning Valdez to transportation of superfluous numperpetual imprisonment, the play is bets to spots of the earth now uninclosed. The last speech of Valdez habited or thinly peopled. What is perfectly demoniac. It is obvious ever schemes políticians may devise, that the real climax of the play is they must prove impracticable, unin the third act. The interest of the less they are founded on those two piece is there at the highest pitch, great principles, and those princiand every thing after seems rather çiples being established, there can supplementary than an integral part be no difficulty in carrying thein of the drama. There are very many
into operation, but what arises from faulty lines throughout the piece, prejudices, and that inherent at which; however, appear to us to be tachment to the opinions and practhe effect of haste or negligence ra
tices of our forefathers, which is ther than of a want of ear or want almost always carried too far; and of judgment. The author seems
which consequently retards improvefond of the Latin principles of ac
ment and is the great bane of centuation-thus Lncéro, Granada human happiness. The author of have the accent on the penultimate the work before us is a person of whilst Cordoba, on the contrary, judgment and humanity; his gemust have the antepenultimate ac
neral principles on the objects of cent from the double consonant in government and society are sound the first syllable. Valladolid also and enlightened, and they are stated must be metamorphosed by the pri. with clearness and propriety, Upon mary accent on the antepenultimate the immediate subject of the werk; But there are frequent gingles of he asserts, that the aggregate evil proximate words beginning and end of our present parochial system ing with the same syllable, whilst greatly preponderates over the good. there sometimes pleonasms This is a fact, we believe, that none amounting almost to bad grammar.
will contradict. It has become alHowever, these observations are hy: most ca truism. But the sole diffi. percritical, and must be lost in the culty is, how to get rid of the evil, predominant merits of so fine a and what to substitute for parochial drama-a drama which, in the exes
relief to the houseless and unfed. cution of our literary duty, we have We hold the author's plan to be read with infinite pleasure, and from
more bénévolent than practicable. a future perusal of which, we anti. A voluntary society is to be formed cipate renewed satisfaction.
á funds are to be subscribed-cot
tages with gardens are to be built Sketch of a Simple, Original, and poor lands are to be brought into Practical Plan, for Suppressing Men: cultivation-the paupers are to effect dicity, &c. &c. London, 1823. 8vo. but from the funds of the society,
all this; they are to be paid nothing,
and the produce of their toil ;, they Before informing' our readers of are to be well clothed, housed, fed,
and instructed. - Surely, all this is temporaries, to submit their writings visionary and Utopian. The bene to more severe and cautious reflecvolent anthor cannot have considered tion, before they suffer them to the animal nature of man. Finally,. appear before the public. Should we bave but two further observations some future Longinus ever class the to make on this scheme. First, the numerous ages of literature, and bringing of poor lands into cultiva- attach to each its discriminative cogtion is a policy strongly denied by nomen, whatever may be the merits our best political writers.--Secondly, or the demerits of the present period, the scheme, if now practicable, con we are convinced, that an epithet. tains the principles of its speedy synonymous with prolific would sudissolution :—for making the great persede any terın of its other chabody of the poor so free from want, racteristic features. Lord Byron and so reckless of consequences, himself was formerly in a similar. would act as a greater bounty upon train of thought, when he observed population, even than our present in his “ English Bards and Scotch disastrous parochial system, and, Reviewers. that, formerly, it reconsequently, population would soon quired an age or century to produce exceed supply in a greater ratio than an Epic, but that Mr. Southey at present, and misery would, there- poured forth his Epics at least in fore, be proportionately increased, the ratio of ope every year. A Tra
gedy has always been considered Werner, a Tragedy. By Lord one of the most sublime and diffiByron. 8vo. pp. 188.
cult of compositions, and now we
have his_lordship, as well as an We have not to accnse ourselves Oxford Professor, publishing at of any inclination to be “niggards the rate of two or three tragedies in our praise" of Lord Byron, but, per annum. Fielding thought himon the contrary, we have always con self indụstrious and his genius fersidered ourselves bound in justice to tile, if, in conjunction with his join in that homage which the world , sister, he produced at the rate of pays to his genius, and which has a moderately sized novel, with one always appeared to us to be the re or two farces, in six years. Pope salt of critical acumen, and of that kept his pieces four or five years, infidence which his lordship’s wri- and some of them much longer betings are calculated to have upon fore he thought them sufficiently mankind. But, however exalted revised to meet the public judgmay be our opinion of “ The poet of ment. Now every work is sent into the age,” we must confess without the world hot from the anvil, and hesitation, that we took up the Tra.
we are almost continually comgedy of Werner with bat little hope pelled to reflect upon Addison's obof amusement, and with as little ex. servation, that 'many a ponderous pectation that the work would add folio, or voluminous set of octavos, freshness to his lordship's laurels. reduced to its quintessence, would He who every year sends forth two
occupy but a very small space upon or three tragedies, with as many our shelves. mysteries, and with some scores of These observations, it may be lyrical stanzas, can have little dif said, can scarcely be elicited by the fidence of public opinion, or be little
appearance of Werner, as the presolicitous for his own fame ;'what- face inform's us that part of the ever may be his genius, he must tragedy was written so long ago as publish much of what is common- 1815; but we may be allowed to place, and with the alloy of what is reply, that the drama itself bears even worse. To us who feel a li- evident marks that the long interval, terary anxiety, for the fame of all between the conception and the great nen, heightened, in a case
writing of the play, arose from other fike the present, by something of canses than criticism and a revision national pride, it becomes a para- of the subject; and the accidental mount daty to contribute to the dis procrastination is no exception to semination of those opinions and the rapidity with which the noble sentiments which would induce Lort author pours forth his effusions on Byron, and one or two of his con. the public. Eur, Mag. Jan. 1823.