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Abbot. That which should shake me, but I fear The world invisible, and make himself it not:
Almost our equal ? — Can it be that thou I see a dusk and awful figure rise,
Art thus in love with life ? the very life Like an infernal god, from out the earth;
Which made thee wretched ! His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form
Thou false fiend, thou liest! Robed as with angry clouds : he stands between My life is in its last hour, - that I know, Thyself and me - but I do fear him not.
Nor would redeem a moment of that hour; Man. Thou hast no cause - he shall not harm I do not combat against death, but thee thee-but
And thy surrounding angels ; my past power
But by superior science penance — daring
And length of watching. strength of mind and Nerer - till I have battled with this fiend :
skill What doth he here?
In knowledge of our fathers - when the earth
Abbot. Alas I lost mortal! what with guests like Upon my strength - I do defy — deny -
Spurn back, and scorn ye! -
But thy many crimes Ah! he unveils his aspect : on his brow
Have made thee The thunder-scars are graven; from his eye
What are they to such as thee ? Glares forth the immortality of hell
Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, Araunt !
And greater criminals ? — Back to thy hell! Man. Pronounce — what is thy mission ?
Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel; Spirit.
Come ! | Thou never shalt possess me, that I know : Albot. What art thou, unknown being? answer! | What I have done is done; I bear within speak!
A torture which could nothing gain from thine: Spirit. The genius of this mortal. -Come! 'tis The mind which is immortal makes itself time.
Requital for its good or evil thoughts -
Spirit. Thou 'lt know anon - Come ! come ! When stripp'd of this mortality, derives
I have commanded No colour from the fleeting things without,
But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy, And striven with thy masters. Get thee hence ! Born from the knowledge of its own desert. Spirit. Mortal! thine hour is come — - Away! Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not
tempt me; Man. I knew, and know my hour is come, but not I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy preyTo render up my soul to such as thee :
But was my own destroyer, and will be Asay! I'll die as I have lived - alone.
My own hereafter.. Back, ye baffled fiends! Spirit. Then I must summon up my brethren. The hand of death is on me — but not yours ! [Other Spirits rise up.
[ The Demons disappear. Abbot. Avaunt ! ye evil ones !-- Avaunt! I say;
Abbot. Alas! how pale thou art — thy lips are Te have no power where piety hath power,
white And I do charge ye in the name —
And thy breast heaves - -and in thy gasping throat Spirit.
Old man ! The accents rattle: Give thy prayers to Heaven We know ourselves, our mission, and thine order; Pray - albeit but in thought, - but die not thus. Faste nct thy holy words on idle uses,
Man, 'Tis over--my dull eyes can fix thee not; It were in vain : this man is forfeited.
But all things swim around me, and the earth Once more I summon him — Away! away!
Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee wellMan. I do defy ye,- though I feel my soul Give me thy hand. Is ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye;
Coldcoldeven to the heartNor will I hence, while I have earthly breath But yet one prayer - Alas ! how fares it with thee ? To breathe my scorn upon ye-earthly strength Man. Old man! 't is not so difficult to die. I To wrestie, though with spirits; what ye take
[MANFRED erpires. Shall be ta'en limb by linib.
Abbot. He's gone his soul hath ta'en his earthless Spirit. Reluctant mortal!
flight Is this the Magian who would so pervade
Whither? I dread to think — but he is gone. ?
(In the first edition, this line was accidentally left out. On discovering the ornission, Lord Byron wrote to Mr. Jurras – You have destroyed the whole effect and moral of the poem, by omitting the last line of Manfred's speaking.")
(In June, 1820, Lord Byron thus writes to Mr. Murray: - Enclosed is something which will interest you to wit, the opinion of the greatest man in Germany - perhaps in Earne - upon one of the great men of your advertise Beats all famous hands,' as Jacob Tonson used to say of
is ragamuffins) — in short, a critique of Goethe's upon Manfred. There is the original, an English translation, and an Kalian ote : keep them all in your archives ; for the opinions
of such a man as Goethe, whether favourable or not, are always interesting and this is more so, as favourable. His Faust I never read, for I don't know German ; but Matthew Monk Lewis, in 1816, at Coligny, translated most of it to me viva voce and I was naturally much struck with it: but it was the Staubbach and the Jungfrau, and something else, much more than Faustus, that made me write Manfred. The first scene, however, and that of Faustus are very similar."
The following is the extract from Goethe's Kunst und Altherthum (i. e. Art and Antiquity) which the above letter enclosed :
“ Byron's tragedy, ' Manfred,' was to me a wonderful phe
nomenon, and one that closely touched me. This singularly intellectual poet has taken my Faustus to himself, and extracted from it the strongest nourishment for his hypochondriac humour. He has made use of the impelling principles in his own way, for his own purposes, so that no one of them remains the same; and it is particularly on this account that I cannot enough admire his genius. The whole is in this way so completely formed anew, that it would be an interest. ing task for the critic to point out, not only the alterations he has made, but their degree of resemblance with, or dissimilarity to the original : in the course of which I cannot deny, that the gloomy beat of an unbounded and exuberant despair becomes at last oppressive to us. Yet is the dissatisfaction we feel always connected with esteem and admiration.
“ We find thus, in this tragedy, the quintessence of the most astonishing talent born to be its own tormentor. The character of Lord Byron's life and poetry hardly permits a just and equitable appreciation. He has often enough confessed what it is that torments him. He has repeatedly por. trayed it ; and scarcely any one feels compassion for this into. lerable suffering, over which he is ever laboriously ruminating. There are properly speaking, two females whose phantoms for ever haunt' him, and which, in this piece also, perform principal parts - one under the name of Astarte, the other without form or actual presence, and merely a voice. Of the horrid occurrence which took place with the former, the following is related : - When a bold and enterprising young man, he won the affections of a Florentine lady. Her husband discovered the amour, and murdered his wife ; but the murderer was the same night found dead in the street, and there was no one on whom any suspicion could be attached. Lord Byron removed from Florence, and these spirits haunted him all his life after.
“This romantic incident is rendered Wrighly probable by innumerable allusions to it in his poems. As, for instance, when turning his sad contemplations inwards, he applies to himself the fatal history of the king of Sparta. It is as follows:Pausanias, a Lacedæmonian general, acquires glory by the important victory at Platæa, but afterwards forfeits the confidence of his countrymen through his arrogance, obstinacy, and secret intrigues with the enemies of his country. This man draws upon himself the heavy guilt of innocent blood, which attends him to his end ; for, while commanding the fleet of the allied Greeks, in the Black Sea, he is inflamed with a violent passion for, a Byzantine maiden. After long resistance, he at length obtains her from her parents, and she is to be delivered up to him at night. She modestly desires the servant to put out the lamp, and, while groping her way in the dark, she overturns it. Pausanias is awakened from his sleep - apprehensive of an attack from murderers, he seizes his sword, and destroys his mistress. The horrid sight never leaves him. Her shade pursues him unceasingly, and he implores for aid in vain from the gods and the exorcising priests.
" That poet must have a lacerated heart who selects such a scene from antiquity, appropriates it to himself, and burdens his tragic image with it. The following soliloquy, which is overladen with gloom and a weariness of lise, is, by this remark, rendered intelligible. We recommend it as an exercise to all friends of declamation. Hamlet's soliloquy appears improved upon here."- Goethe here subjoins Manfred's soliloquy, beginning, “ We are the fools of time and terror," in which the allusion to Pausanias occurs.
The reader will not be sorry to pass from this German criti. cism to that of the Edinburgh Review on Manfred.--" This is, undoubtedly, a work of great genius and originality. Its worst fault, perhaps, is that it fatigues and overawes us by the uni. formity of its terror and solemnity. Another, is the painful and offensive nature of the circumstance on which its distress is ultimately founded. The lyrical songs of the Spirits are too long, and not all excellent. There is something of pedantry in them now and then ; and even Manfred deals in classical allusions a little too much. If we were to consider it as a
proper drama, or even as a finished poem, we should be obliged to add, that it is far too indistinct and unsatisfactory. But this we take to be according to the design and conception of the author. He contemplated but a dim and magnificent sketch of a subject which did not admit of more accurate drawing or more brilliant colouring. Its obscurity is a part of its grandeur ; - and the darkness that rests upon it, and the smoky distance in which it is lost, are all devices to increase its majesty, to stimulate our curiosity, and to impress us with deeper awe. — It is suggested, in an ingenious paper in a late number of the Edinburgh Magazine, that the general conception of this piece, and much of what is excellent in the manner of its execution, have been borrowed from 'The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus,' of Marlow t; and a rariety of passages are quoted, which the author considers as similar, and, in many respects, superior to others in the poem before us. We cannot agree in the general terms of the conclusion; but there is no doubt a certain resemblance, both in some of the topics that are suggested, and in the cast of the diction in which they are expressed. Thus, to induce Faustus to persist in his unlawful studies, he is told that the Spirits of the Ele ments will serve him,
* Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids,
Than have the white breasts of the Queene of Love.' And again, when the amorous sorcerer commands Helen of Troy to revive again to be his paramour, he addresses her, on her first appearance, in these rapturous lines
• Was this the face that launcht a thousand ships,
In wanton Arethusa's azure arms !' The catastrophe, too, is bewailed in verses of great elegance and classical beauty —
* Cut is the branch that might have growne full straight,
Only to wonder at unlawful things!' But these, and many other smooth and fanciful verses in this curious old drama, prove nothing, we think, against the originality of Manfred; for there is nothing to be found there of the pride, the abstraction, and the heart-rooted misery in which that originality consists. Faustus is a vulgar sorcerer, tempted to sell his soul to the devil for the ordinary price of sensual pleasure, and earthly power and glory; and who shrinks and shudders in agony when the forfeit comes to be exacted. The style, too, of 'Marlow, though elegant and scholarlike, is weak and childish compared with the depth and force of much of Lord Byron ; and the disgusting bus foonery and low farce of which his piece is principally made up, place it more in contrast, than in any terms of com, parison, with that of his noble successor.
In the tone and pitch of the composition, as well as in the character of the diction in the more solemn parts, Manfred reminds us much more of the Prometheus' of Æschylus t, than of any more modern performance. The tremendous solitude of the prin. cipal person – the supernatural beings with whom aloue be holds communion — the guilt — the firmness – the misery are all points of resemblance, to which the grandeur of the poetic imagery only gives a more striking effect. The chief differences are, that the subject of the Greek poet ras sane: tified and exalted by the established belief of his country, and that his terrors are nowhere tempered with the sweetnes which breathes from so many passages of his English rival.")
. (" The grave confidence with which the venerable critic traces the fancies of his brother poet to real persons and events, making no difficulty even of a double murder at Florence to furnish grounds for his theory, affords an amusing instance of the disposition so prevalent throughout Europe, to picture Byron as a man of marvels and mysteries, as well in his life as his poetry. To these exaggerated, or wholly false notions of him, the numerous fictions palmed upon the world of his romantic tours and wonderful adventures, in places he never saw, and with persons that never existed, have, no doubt, considerably contributed ; and the consequence is, so utterly out of truth and nature are the representations of his life and character long current upon the Continent, that it may be questioned whether the real ' flesh and blood' hero of these pages,—the social, practical-minded, and, with all his faults and eccentricities, English Lord Byron, - may not, to the over-exalted imaginations of most of his foreign admirers, appear but an ordinary, unromantic, and prosaic personage." - Moore.]
Con reading this, Lord Byro wrote from Venice :Jeffrey is very kind about Manfred, and defends its originality, which I did not know that any tody had attackel. As to the germs of it, they may be found in the Journal which I sent to Mrs. Leigh, before I left Switzerland. I have the whole scene of Manfred before me, as if it was but yesterday, and could point it out, spot by spot, torrent and all”
1 [" of the Prometheus' of Æschylus I was passionately fond as a boy (it was one of the Greek plays we read thrice? year at Harrow); indeed, that and the Medea' were the only ones, except the Seven before Thebes," which ever muck pleased me. The Prometheus, if not exactly in my plan, ta always been so much in my head, that I can easily conceiro its influence over all or any thing that I have written; but ! deny Marlow and his progeny, and beg that you will do the same." - Byron Letters, 1817.)
Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice:
AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY,
IN FIVE ACTS.!
“ Dux inquieti turbidus Adriæ."
most singular government, city, and people of modern
history. It occurred in the year 1355. Everything The conspiracy of the Doge Marino Faliero is one of about Venice is, or was, extraordinary - her aspect the most remarkable events in the annals of the is like a dream, and her history is like a romance.
(On the original MS. sent from Ravenna, Lord Byron misanthropy or pity - containing nothing voluptuous and has written :-“ Begun April 4th, 1820 — completed July 16th, nothing terrific -- but depending, for its grandeur, on the 1023 – finished copying August 16th.17th, 1820; the which anger of a very old and irritable man; and, for its attraction, trpying makes ten times the toil of composing, considering on the elaborate representations of conjugal dignity and the weather-thermometer 90 in the shade – and my domestic domestic honour,- the sober and austere triumphs of cold daties." He at the time intended to keep it by him for six and untempted chastity, aud the noble propriety of a pure and Fears before sending it to the press ; but resolutions of this disciplined understanding. These, we think, are not the most Ind are, in molern days, very seldom adhered to.
promising themes for any writer whose business is to raise | published in the end of the same year ; and, to the poet's powerful emotions ; nor very likely, in any hands, to redeem great disgust, and in spite of his urgent and repeated remon the modern drama from the imputation of want of spirit, strances, was produced on the stage of Drury Lane Theatre interest, and excitement. But, for Lord Byron to select them early in 1821.' The extracts from his letters sufficiently ex. for a grand dramatic effort, is as if a swift-footed racer were plain his feelings on this occasion.
to tie his feet together at the starting, or a valiant knight to Marino Faliero was, greatly to his satisfaction, commended enter the lists without his arms. No mortal prowess could warmly for the truth of its adhesion to Venetian history and succeed under such disadvantages. The story, in so far as it Danners, as well as the antique severity of its structure and is original in our drama, is extremely improbable, though, language, by that eminent master of Italian and classical like most other very improbable stories, derived from authentic literature, the late Ugo Foscolo. Mr. Gifford also delighted sources : but, in the main, it is original; being, indeed, merely him by pronouncing it “ English-genuine English." It another · Venice Preserved,' and continually recalling, though was, bowever, little favoured by the contemporary critics. certainly without eclipsing, the memory of the first. Except There was, indeed, only one who spoke of it as quite worthy that Jaffier is driven to join the conspirators by the natural O Lord Byron's reputation. “ Nothing," said he," has for a impulse of love and miscry, and the Doge by a resentment so long time afforded us so much pleasure, as the rich promise of outrageous as to exclude all sympathy, -- and that the disdramatic excellence unfolded in this production of Lord closure, which is produced by love in the old play, is here Byron. Without question, no such tragedy as Marino Faliero ascribed to mere friendship, - the general action and catashas appeared in English, since the day when Otway also was trophe of the two pieces are almost identical ; while, with inspired to his masterpiece by the interests of a Venetian regard to the_writing and management, it must be owned story and a Venetian conspiracy. The story of which Lord that, if Lord Byron has most sense and vigour, Otway has by Byron has possessed himself is, we think, by far the finer of far the most passion and pathos ; and that though his con. tée two, --- and we say possessed, because we believe he has spirators are better orators and reasoners than the gang of adhered almost to the letter of the transactions as they really Pierre and Reynault, the tenderness of Belvidere is as much trok place." - The language of the Edinburgh and Quarterly more touching, as it is more natural, than the stoical and Reviewers, Mr. Jeffrey and Bishop Heber, was in a far dif self-satisfied decorum of Angiolina." ferent strain. The former says
* Marino Faliero has undoubtedly considerable beauties, After an elaborate disquisition on the Unities, Bishop Heber I both dramatic and poetical ; and might have made the fortune
thus concludes: of any young aspirant for fame : but the name of Byron raises “ We cannot conceive a greater instance of the efficacy of expectations which are not so easily satisfied; and, judging of system to blind the most acute perception, than the fact that I by the lofty standard which he himself has established, we Lord Byron, in works avowedly and exclusively intended for We compelled to say, that we cannot but regard it as a failure, the closet, has piqued himself on the observance of rules, both as a poem and a play. This may be partly accounted for which (be their advantage on the stage what it may) are frata the inherent difficulty of uniting these two sorts of evidently, off the stage, a matter of perfect indifference. The ficellence - of confining the daring and digressive genius of only object of adhering to the unities is to preserve the poetry within the forms and limits of a regular drama, and, at illusion of the scene. To the reader they are obviously the same time, imparting its warm and vivifying spirit to the useless. It is true, that, in the closet, not only are their suppractical preparation and necessary details of a complete posed advantages destroyed, but their inconveniences are also, theatrical action. These, however, are difficulties with which in a great measure, neutralised : and it is true also, that poetry dramatic adventurers have long had to struggle ; and over so splendid has often accompanied them, as to make us wholly skich, though they are incomparably most formidable to the overlook, in the blaze of greater excellences, whatever inconmost powerful spirits, there is no reason to doubt that the veniences result from them, either in the closet or the theatre. powers of Lord Byron would have triumphed. The true But even diminished difficulties are not to be needlessly history of his failure, therefore, we conceive, and the actual courted, and though, in the strength and dexterity of the use of his miscarriage on the present occasion, is to be found combatant, we soon lose sight of the curbrous trappings by in the bad choice of his subject -his selection of a story which which he has chosen to distinguish himself; yet, it those not only gives no scope to the peculiar and commanding trappings are at once cumbersome and pedantic, not only will 732es of his genius, but runs continually counter to the master his difficulty of success be increased, but his failure, if he fails, currents of his fancy. His great gifts are exquisite tenderness, will be rendered the more signal and ridiculous. und demoniacal sublimity; the power of conjuring up at
" Marino Faliero has, we believe, been pretty generally pleasure those delicious visions of love and beauty, and pity pronounced a failure by the public voice, and we see no reason and purity, which melt our hearts within us with a thrilling to call for a revision of their sentence. It contains, beyond and etberial softness - and of wielding, at the same time, that all doubt, many passages of commanding eloquence, and some Infernal fire which blasts and overthrows all things with the of genuine poetry; and the scenes, more particularly, in which dark and capricious fulminations of its scorn, rancour, and Lord Byron has neglected the absurd creed of his pseudoTevenge. With tbe consciousness of these great powers, and Hellenic writers, are conceived and elaborated with great * 1 in wilful perversity to their suggestions, he has here tragic effect and dexterity. But the subject is decidedly illDhen a story which, in a great measure, excludes the agency chosen. In the main tissue of the plot, and in all the busiest of either; and resolutely conducted it, so as to secure himself and most interesting parts of it, it is, in fact, no more than against their intrusion; a story without love or hatred - another · Venice Preserved,' in which the author has had to
The story of this Doge is to be found in all her except that of Cæsar at Alesia, and of Prince Eugene Chronicles, and particularly detailed in the “ Lives | at Belgrade. He was afterwards commander of the of the Doges," by Marin Saruto, which is given in fleet in the same war. He took Capo d'Istria. He the Appendix. It is simply and clearly related, and was ambassador at Genoa and Rome, - at which last is perhaps more dramatic in itself than any scenes he received the news of his election to the dukedom; which can be founded upon the subject.
his absence being a proof that hc sought it by no Marino Faliero appears to have been a man of intrigue, since he was apprized of his predecessor's talents and of courage. I find him commander in death and his own succession at the same moment. chief of the land forces at the siege of Zara, where But he appears to have been of an ungovernable he beat the King of Hungary and his army of eighty temper. A story is told by Sanuto, of his having, thousand men, killing eight thousand men, and many years before, when podesta and captain at keeping the besieged at the same time in check; an Treviso, boxed the ears of the bishop, who was someexploit to which I know none similar in history, what tardy in bringing the Host. For this, honest
contend (nor has he contended successfully) with our recol. petrator than to wound the object ; and we cannot pity a lections of a former and deservedly popular play on the same death incurred in such a quarrel." subject. And the only respect in which it differs is, that the Jatřer of Lord Byron's plot is drawn in to join the conspira
The following extract from a letter of January, 1821, win tors, not by the natural and intelligible motives of poverty,
show the author's own estimate of the piece thus criticised. aggravated by the sufferings of a beloved wife, and a deep and
After repeating his hope, that no manager would be so auwell-grounded resentment of oppression, but by his outrage
dacious as to trample on his feelings by producing it on the ous anger for a private wrong of no very atrocious nature.
stage, he thus proceeds :The Doge of Venice, to chastise the vulgar libel of a foolish “ It is too regular - the time, twenty-four hours- the boy, attempts to overturn that republic of which he is the first change of place not frequent -- nothing melo-dramatic - no and most trusted servant ; to massacre all his ancient friends
surprises - no starts, nor trap-doors, nor opportunities for and fellow soldiers, the magistracy and nobility of the land. tossing their heads and kicking their heels' - and no love, With such a resentment as this, thus simply stated and taken the grand ingredient of a modern play. I am persuaded that singly, who ever sympathised, or who but Lord Byron would a great tragedy is not to be produced by following the old dra have expected in such a cause to be able to awaken sympathy? matists - who are full of gross faults, pardoned only for the
It is little to the purpose to say that this is all historically beauty of their language, but by writing naturally and retrue. A thing may be true without being probable ; and such gularly, and producing regular tragedies, like the Greeks; a case of idiosyncrasy as is implied in a resentment so sudden but not in imitation, merely the outline of their conduct, and extravagant, is no more a fitting subject for the poet, adapted to our own times and circumstances, and of course than an animal with two heads would be for an artist of a dif no chorus. You will laugh, and say, Why don't you do so ?' ferent description.
I have, you see, tried a sketch in Marino Faliero ; but many " It is true that, when a long course of mutual bickering people think my talent 'essentially undramatic. and I am had preceded, when the mind of the prince had been pre not at all clear that they are not right. If Marino Faliero pared, by due degrees, to hate the oligarchy with which he don't fail – in the perusal - I shall, perhaps, try again (bat was surrounded and over-ruled, and to feel or suspect, in not for the stage); and as I think that love is not the prinevery act of the senate, a studied and persevering design to cipal passion for tragedy (and yet most of ours turn upon it), wound and degrade him, a very slight addition of injury might you will not find me a popular writer. Unless it is love ftsmake the cup of anger overflow; and the insufficient punish rious, criminal, and hapless, it ought not to make a tragic ment of Steno (though to most men this punishment seems subject. When it is melting and maudlin, it does, but it not unequal to the offence) might have opened the last flood ought not to do ; it is then for the gallery and second-price gate to that torrent which had been long gathering strength boxes. If you want to have a notion of what I am trying, from innumerable petty insults and aggressions.
take up a translation of any of the Greek tragedians. iri " It is also possible that an old man, doatingly fond of a young said the original, it would be an impudent presumption of and beautiful wife, yet not insensible to the ridicule of such mine: but the translations are so inferior to the originals, an unequal alliance, might for months or years have been that I think I may risk it. Then judge of the simplicity of tormenting himself with the suspected suspicions of his plot,' and do not judge me by your old mad dramatists; countrymen ; have smarted, though convinced of his consort's which is like drinking usquebaugh, and then proving a foun. purity, under the idea that others were not equally candid, tain. Yet, after all, I suppose you do not mean that spirits is and have attached, at length, the greater importance to a nobler element than a clear spring bubbling up in the sun ? Steno's ribaldry, from apprehending this last to be no more and this I take to be the difference between the Greeks and than an overt demonstration of the secret thoughts of half the those turbid mountebanks - always excepting Ben Jonson, little world of Venice.
who was a scholar and a classic. Ór, take up a translation of “ And we cannot but believe that, if the story of Faliero Alfieri, and try the interest, &c. of these my new attempts in (unpromising as we regard it in every way of telling) had the old line, by him in English; and then tell me fairty your fallen into the hands of the barbarian Shakspeare, the com. opinion. But don't measure me by YOUR Owx old or are mencement of the play would have been placed considerably tailor's yard. Nothing so easy as intricate confusion of plot earlier ; that time would have been given for the gradual and rant. Mrs. Centlivre, in comedy, has ten times the bustle developement of those strong lines of character which were of Congreve ; but are they to be compared ? and yet sbe to decide the fate of the hero, and for the working of those drove Congreve from the theatre." subtle but not instantaneous poisons which were to destroy the peace, and embitter the feelings, and confuse the under.
Again, February 16., he thus writes, standing, of a brave and high-ininded but proud and irritable “ You say the Doge will not be popular: did I ever write veteran
for popularity? I defy you to show a work of mine (except * But the misfortune is, (and it is in a great measure, as a tale or two) of a popular style or complexion. It appears we conceive, to be ascribed to Lord Byron's passion for the to me that there is room for a different style of the drama; unities,) that, instead of placing this accumulation of painful neither a servile following of the old drama, which is a grossly feelings before our eyes, even our ears are made very imper. erroneous one, nor yet too French, like those who succeeded fectly acquainted with them. Of the previous encroachments the older writers. It appears to me that good English, and a of the oligarchy on the ducal power we see nothing. Nay, severer approach to the rules, might combine sornething not we only hear a very little of it, and that in general terms, and dishonourable to our literature. I have also attempted to at the conclusion of the piece ; in the form of an apology for make a play without love; and there are neither rings, por the Doge's past conduct, not as the constant and painful mistakes, nor starts, nor outrageous canting villains, nor feeling which we ought to have shared with him in the first melodrama in it. All this will prevent its popularity, but instance, if we were to sympathise in his views and wish suc does not persuade me that it is therefore faulty. Whatever cess to his enterprise. The fear that his wife might be an fault it has will arise from deficiency in the conduct, rather object of suspicion to his countrymen is, in like manner, than
in the conception, which is simple and severe. scarcely hinted at; and no other reason for such a fear is " Reproach is useless always, and irritating - but my feel named than that which, simply taken, could never have pro ings were very much hurt, to be dragged like a gladiator to duced it a libel scribbled on the back of a chair. We are, the fate of a gladiator by that . retiarins,' Mr. Ediston, therefore, through the whole tragedy, under feelings of sur to his defence and offers of compensation, what is all this to prise rather than of pity or sympathy, as persons witnessing the purpose ? It is like Louis XIV. who insisted upon buying portentous events from causes apparently inadequate. We at any price Algernon Sydney's horse, and, on his refusai, an see a man become a traitor for no other visible cause (how taking it by force, Sydney shot his horse. I could not shoot ever other causes are incidentally insinuated) than a single my tragedy, but I would have fung it into the fire rather than vulgar insult, which was more likely to recoil on the per have had it represented."