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At such a time-That look doth wrong me, Rofinberg!
• Ref. Yes, I will go.
• Baf. Why doft thou stop?
• Rof. 'Tis for my wonted caution,
Rof. Nay Rosinberg, I am impatient now.
word!P. 85. If our limits would permit, we could trace with pleasure the progress of the count's attachment through the whole of this admirable tragedy. It is the production of one who has studied nature deeply. Perhaps it is impossible to bestow upon it higher praise, than to say that it reminded us of our old and excellent dramatic writers.
The artifices of the duke are successful; and Bafil is de tained at Mantua till the battle of Pavia has been fought, From his high notions of military honour, shame and pride overpower him, and he destroys himself, preserving till death his affection for Victoria, though its consequences proved so fatal.
We cannot refrain from particularising one exquifite line in this drama. The princess is speaking of a child.
• How steadfastly he fix'd his looks upon me,
His dark eyes Mining thro' forgotten tears !! There' is, however, an oversight in the passage ; for he was before represented as the
.- little blue-ey'd, sweet, fair-hair'd Mirando." Crit. Rey. Vol. XXIV, Sep. 1798.
The comedy is not inferior to the tragedy. Here also the author has delineated the love of a calm and manly character. To try the extent of the lover's reason as well as of his afa fection, his mistress affumes the appearance of extravagance and ill temper : the effect of this behaviour upon him may be seen in the following extract.
• Harwood. What brings you here, Thomas? « Thom. Your bell
sir. 16 Har. Well, well, I did want something but I have forgot it. Bring me a glass of water. ' [Exit Thomas. Harwood fits down by a small writing-table, and rests his head upon his hand. Re-ena ter Thomas, with the water.] You have made good hafte, Tho
• Thom. I did make good haste, fir, lest you should be impatient with me.
Har. I am sometimes impatient with you, then? I fear indeed I have been too often so of late; but you must not mind it, Thomas, I mean you no unkindness.
• Thom. Lord love you, sir! I know that very well! a young gentleman who takes an old man into his service, because other gentlemen do not think him quick enough, nor smart enough for them, as your honour has taken me, can never mean to show him any unkindness, I know it well enough; I am only uneafy because I fear you are not so well of late.
• Har. I thank you, Thomas, I am not very well I am not ill neither, I shall be better. (Pauses.) I think I have heard you fay, you were a soldier in your youth? • Thom. Yes, fir.
• Har. And you had a wife too, a woman of fiery mettle, to bear about your knapsack?
• Thom. Yes, fir, my little stout spirity Jane ; she had a devil of a temper, to be sure. • Har. Yet you loved her notwithstanding?
Thom. Yes, to be sure, I did, as it were, bear her some kindness.
• Har. I'll be sworn you did !--and you would have been very forry to have parted with her.
• Thom. Why death parts the best of friends, fir : we lived but four years together.
• Har. And so, your little fpirity Jane was taken so soon away from you? Give me thy hand, my good Thomas. (Takes his hand and prelis it.)
• Thom. (Perceiving tears in his eyes.) Lord, fir! don't be fo distress’d about it; she did die, to be sure, but truly, between you and I, although I did make a kind of whimpering at the first, I was not ill pleased afterwards to be rid of her; for, truly, fir, a man who has got an ill-tempered, wife, has but a dog's life of it at the best.-Will you have your glass of water, fir?
• Har. (Looking at him with disatisfaction.) No, no, take it away; I have told you a hundred times not to bring me that chalky water from the court-yard.' P. 253.
The merit of this comedy is not confined to the developement of a fingle passion in one character : the other dramatis personæ are drawn in a manner equally true to nature.
The third play is founded upon the effects of hatred. The author has done wisely in representing it as destroying a character otherwise excellent; for, the more interesting is the character of the person whom it destroys, the more strongly are the fatal effects of fo deteftable a passion exposed. But to us it appears that a mind like de Monfort's could not be capable of an aversion so rooted, so malignant. Such an averfion might have implanted itself in a meaner, a weaker, a more envious mind, and, by trifles light as air,' have worked it up even to the commission of murder. But de Monfort is too noble, too affectionate, to authorise the supposition that he could have been an affaffin. This fault renders the third inferior to the other pieces ; but the fame genius, and the same knowledge of the human heart, are discoverable in most of the seenes. We will present our readers with a part of the scene subsequent to the murder, when the dead man and de Monfort are both in the convent. • Abb. to De Mon. Most miserable man, how art thou thus?
(Pauses.) Thy tongue is silent, but those bloody hands Do witness horrid things. What is thy name? • De Mon. (Roused; looks steadfastly at the Abbess for
some time, then speaking in a short hurried voice.)
I have no name. • Abb. to Bern. Do it thyself: I'll speak to him no
• Sift. O holy faints ! that this should be the man,
• De Mon. (Starting.). He calls again!
• Sift. No, he did call, but now his voice is still'd.
• De Mon. (In great anguish.) 'Tis paft!
falling by the monks. A noise is heard without.)
• Bern. It is the body: I have orders given
(Enter men bearing the body of Rezenvelt, covered with a
white cloth, and set it down in the middle of the room :
The abbess and nuns fhrink back and retire to some di-
De Monfort. A long pause.)
those bloody wounds, See how he lies, who but so fhortly since A living creature was, with all the powers Of fenfe, and motion, and humanity? Oh! what a heart had he who did this deed ! "If Monk. (Looking at the body.) How hard those
teeth against the lips are press’d, As tho' he struggled ftill! 2d Monk. The hands, too, clench’d: the last efforts of
goes to the body, and raising up the head a little, turns
« Thom. Ha! dost thou then confess the dreadful deed ? Haft thou against the laws of awful heav'n Such horrid murder done? What fiend could tempt thee?
(Pauses and looks steadfastly at De Monfort.) • De Mon. I hear thy words but do not hear their senseHast thou not cover'd it ? Bern. to Thom. Forbear, my brother, for thou see'st
right well He is not in a state to answer thee. Let us retire and leave him for a while. These windows are with iron grated o'er' ; He cannot 'scape, and other duty calls. 6 Thom. Then let it be.
Bern. to Monks, &c. Come, let us all depart. (Exeunt abbess and nuns, followed by the monks. One
monk lingering a little behind.) • De Mon. All gone! (Perceiving the monk.) O stay
thou here! • Monk. It must not be. . De Mon. I'll give thee gold ; I'll make thee rich in
gold, If thou wilt stay e'en but a little while.
+ Monk. I muf not, must not stay.
(Catching hold of him eagerly.)
(Monk covers the body, and exit. • De Mon. (Alone, looking at the covered body, but at à
distance.) Alone with thee! but thou art nothing
'Tis done, 'tis number'd with the things o'erpaft,
(Pauses and shudders.)
(Looking feadfastly at the body.)
(Runs to the corps and tears of the cloth in despair.)
They look me still.' P. 386. Such are the plays that compofe this volume. They form only a small part of the projected plan; but they are fufficient to prove that the design is excellent, and that the author is equal to the task of properly executing it. On one account we are glad that he has yet proceeded no farther in it, as we think his versification bad. It wants the freedom of dramatic blank verse; there is a wearying monotony in it.
We would advise this writer to study the verfification of Shakfpeare, and the other dramatists of that time. He foon versify with their facility; and we may then place his volumes near those of Malfinger and of Beaumont and Fletcher. He has already avoided the faults of our modern theatrical authors; we meet with no whining dullness, no idle