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Ter. Thus, hear me, Titus.
Tit. Off, from my knees! away!
But push thee from my heart. He is soon agonized with remorse; and, hastening back to the conspirators, to retract his pledge, is seized with them. The distress of Brutus is extreme, but his judgment is clear, and he resigns himself as to an inevitable doom :
Since then, for man's instruction, and the glory
The scene in which he reconciles Titus to his fate, and takes a final farewell of him, is powerfully written. We select one speech.
"O Titus-0 thou absolute young man!
Our limits will not allow us to go on extracting at this rate. We must give over, although in Theodosius there is a rich mine, yet untouched. One specimen, from it, of the manner in which a Persian Prince woos the daughter of his tutor.
“ I disdain
And a beautiful little extract from the Duke of Guise, and we will, positively, have done.
“ Speech is morning to the mind;
Theodosius was long regarded as the ablest production of our author: we demur to this estimate, although there are, perhaps, not more than two which have our decided preference to it, the Brutus and Mithridates.-Constantine the Great, the only play to which we have not adverted (with the exception, before noticed,) is the most utterly worthless of all his compositions.
It is creditable to the taste and judgment of Lee, that he was not seduced by the example of Dryden, or by the applause lavished upon other compositions of that species, into the artificial walks of tragi-comedy. The heroes of his comedies are sometimes dignified, and those of his tragedies can be occasionally jocular: he drew from man as he is; but he never aimed at displaying ingenuity, by blending together grave and farcical plots in the same drama; he delights not in the strange alternation of scenes of buffoonery and slaughter; he has not sent Democritus and Heraclitus, tied together, through the streets, each destroying sympathy with the other, and preventing our either laughing or crying, by trying to make us do both at once. His plots are always extremely simple, nor does he ever so entangle himself in labyrinths of his own construction as to be reduced to the necessity of extricating himself by some highly improbable event, or still more improbable change of disposition or character, in the personages of his drama. They are themselves, to the last. He never cuts his knots. We do not feel, as often happens in reading Massinger, for instance, as if some strange metamorphosis had taken place, to qualify the agents for undoing their own work; or as if such a trick were put upon us, as in a pantomime ormelo-drame, when somebody being to be blown into the air, or hurled down from the clouds, a stuffed figure is substituted for the actor, and the identity of the coat, or of its colour, is to be taken for that of the person. We make our voyage, with him, under favour of the usual winds and tides, and they bring us into port. His poetic omnipotence does not obtrude itself, by working miracles; but operates, according to the laws of nature, in such a manner as to produce all the required results. His characters are deficient in those discriminative touches which give a lively impression of their individuality, and make us feel that they are something more than the representations of a class; yet they are often developed with considerable skill. He excels in making them not too conscious. They do not analyze their own motives, but act from the impulse given to them. We know more of their hearts, than they do themselves; and can better judge of their strength and weakness. The manner in which persons engaged in affairs of the deepest interest are made to philosophize upon their feelings, and read lectures upon the anatomy of their own minds, is one of the capital defects in works of fiction. This is a blunder which Lee rarely commits. When he does, it is with his villains. They are his greatest failures. He makes them all villain; and they know it. Towards them he has been too niggardly of those soothing opiates of conscience, those self-reconciling statements, of which human nature stands in need, when the soul is to be bowed to debasing actions, and which his less guilty personages lay hold of so readily, and apply so dexterously. .
He has given us several excellent specimens, slightly varied, of the old soldier, a character which was also a great favorite of Beaumont and Fletcher. Grillon, Archilaus, Marcian, Clytus, are all of this class. Bluntness, often more than verging upon rudeness, and with a little disposition to boast; a staunch fidelity, rather diminished in its worth by frequent obstinacy;, a morality which sits somewhat loosely about them, but a soldier's honour close buckled to their hearts; are the characteristics of this species, and they are dramatic ones. Who does not honour honest old Clytus, who would
“ Rot in Macedonian rags, Rather than shine in fashions of the east !"
and who admires not Grillon's conscience, who will not stain his sword with murder, though his king commands; yet loyally undertakes to protect his master after its commission, because that is “the honest part o' the job”?
Commend us to Lee for lovers too, in whatever form the universal passion is to be exhibited. He has sketched it in its purest and its grossest shapes; the timorous flutterings of the young heart, when first disordered by the delicious poison; and mad pulsation of the voluptuary's veins, inflamed by new charms, and used to conquest; the fondness that feeds on every look, to which a frown is misery, and separation death; and the sublime passion, that prefers the glory of its object to possession, or to life: the impatient jealousy that demands an unbounded despotism over the soul ; and the meek devotedness, that would be a rival's handmaid, for the ample recompense of a distant gaze : all are painted, in poetry, and from nature; nor is there an attribute of the blind deity for which he has not furnished a worthy hymn of celebration. We appeal to the characters of Massina and Sophonisba ; Ziphares, Semandra, Mithridates, and Monima ; Varanes and Athenais ; Cyara, Gloriana, and the Princess of Cleves ; in proof of our remarks. Especially has he succeeded in depicting that deep, gentle, unpresuming, inextinguishable passion of woman's heart, which will exist even without hope, by which all other passions are absorbed, and, in its strength, all sufferings endured; which can neither be inflamed by jealousy, nor chilled by coldness; which feeds on the heart in which it is inshrined, and consumes its devoted and patient victim in the intensity of her own feelings. Such is Narcissa, in Gloriana ; and, in a less degree, Cyara and Monima. He is little to be envied, whatever be his general estimate of the merits of Lee's dramas, who can read the scenes in which they appear, without emotion. We challenge any one, of common sensibility, to the trial. We are not afraid of introducing them with the appeal of the Roman orator, “ If you have tears, prepare to shed them now." The author made no unbecoming or unwarranted boast, when he said, “ Such characters every dauber cannot draw." We are of his opinion. And though he is seen to a disadvantage in extracts, by which, indeed, the real and peculiar beauties of dramatic composition, those which belong to character and passion, rather than to mere sparkling expression or felicitous imagery, can be but imperfectly exhibited in any case, yet we think those which we have presented to our readers may probably give sufficient pleasure, to occasion their enjoying the higher gratification of perusing entire, at least, his Theodosius, Mithridates, and Brutus. If they have hitherto rested in the common prejudices against the author, we have no doubt of having earned their gratitude. Art. V. Monteville, compose par Messire Jehañe Monteville,
Chevalier Natif d'Angleterre de la ville de Saint Alain : le a'l parle de la terre de promission de Hierusalem, et des plusieurs pays, villes, et isles de mer, et des diverses et estranges choses, et du voyage de Hierusalem. Q’to: Imprime à Lyon, par Barnabe
Chaussart. The Voiage and Travaille of Sir John Maundeville, Knt. which treateth of the way to Hierusalem, and of Marveiyles of Inde, with other Islands and Countryes. Now published entire from
an original MS. in the Cotton Library. Octavo. London, 1727. Des vortrefflich welterfahrnen auch hoch und weit berühmten Herren Doctor und Engländischen Ritters Johannis de Montevilla, kurieuse Reisebeschreibung, wie derselbe in das gelobte Lund Palästinam, Jerusalem, Egypten, Türkey, Judäam, Indien, Chinam, Persien und andern nah und fern anund abgelegene Königreiche und Provinzen zu Wasser und Land angekommen, und fast den ganzen Weltkreis durchzogen seye. Von
ihme selbst beschrieben. Köln am Rhein und Nürnberg. Joanne de Mandavilla, nel quale si contengono molte cose Mara
vigliose. Venet. 1567. 12mo.
Among the numerous literary and scientific obligations of Europe to the talent and industry of the Mahometans during the earlier portion of the middle ages, none ought to be more gratefully acknowledged than their labors in the cultivation of geographical science, and their zeal in observing and describing the manners, customs, and natural history of the countries over which their dominion extended. Their schools at Salernum and Cassino, at Cordova, Toledo, and the other Spanish universities, grace a splendid period of learning and civilization. They occupy a space between the distant shores of ancient and modern literature, which would otherwise have been a dreary void. For a long series of years, their translations and expositions were the only channels for European acquaintance with classic authorities; and they also imparted the personal experience of numerous Mahometan travellers, as well as a variety of information collected for official purposes by intelligent and powerful governments.
A desire of knowledge respecting the natural and civil relations of distant regions, and the consequent taste for foreign travel, can only arise in a state of considerable advancement in civilization, and will owe its origin in different countries to va