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Noted their import; nay, with earnestness,
Not willing then our union, besought me
To quit the castle, and though afterwards
She gave herself the lie-

PIERPOINT.

Audacious!

LYDIA (interrupting.)

Nay! hear him, for although we have no wedding,
We'll have the mirth of one.

MORDAUNT.

Though afterwards she gave herself the lie!

"What!" exclaims one sapient critic, "give a lady the lie?" "Twice and publicly," adds a second, with a meaning shrug and a look of exquisite horror, to convey his notion of May-fair susceptibility. "An officer present, and permit it!" cries a third, with an indignant start, speaking volumes for his sense of honour, and his aptitude to defend it. Poor poet! who hast only the truth of passion to justify thy ill-breeding. Pity that etiquette cannot be taught to breaking hearts, that Othello should have been so ungentlemanly to Desdemona, and that Hamlet should have violated all filial observances in wringing the conscience of the guilty Gertrude.

It is not, we have said, our present intention to review this play. We may, however, notice that the present edition is considerably enlarged, and is perhaps the most striking specimen of the author's additions; we extract the concluding scene:

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Love! aid me to my chair,

My strength is failing fast, I am as one

Who has striven hard to distance grief, and gained

The goal before her; my strength but sufficing
To win the triumph! Mordaunt, I shall die
With thy love for my chaplet, and in peace!

MORDAUNT.

And thou wilt live in peace for many years! (Aside) What demon gives my fear-struck heart the lie?

MABEL.

I've much to say, and but brief time to speak it,
Thou knowest now I love thee; but thou canst not-
Thou canst not tell how deeply. That our lips
Should so belie our hearts! Couldst thou read mine-

MORDAUNT.

Or thou read mine- the thoughts of agony
Remorse sears on it with a brand of fire!

MABEL.

Oh! couldst thou know, how often in my walks
My soul drank gladness, from the thought that thou
Wouldst share them with me, and the beautiful
Grow brighter as thy voice interpreted

Its hidden loveliness-and our fire-side!
How I should greet thee from the stormy roar
Of public conflict, kneel beside thy chair,
And cause thee bend thine eyes on mine, until
Thy brow expanded, and thy lips confess'd
The blessedness of home.

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THE EARL (to MORDAUNT.)

see, sir, the wound is deep enough!

(Mordaunt, overcome by emotion, retires to a chair and sits.)

MABEL (taking the EARL's hand.)
Nay, speak not harshly, for in noble minds
Error is suffering, and we should soothe
The breast that bears its punishment within,
Tell him that you forgive him! Do not pause,
Stint not the affluent affection now,

That hitherto outran my need in granting!

All dimly floats before me,-while I yet

Can hear his voice, tell me, that you forgive him.—

(In the earnestness of her entreaty she has gradually raised herself from the couch, and now stands erect.)

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Your punishment almost atones your sin!
To us, the world henceforth presents no lure,
And bear life, we must invoke the aid

Of solemn contemplation, Christian love,
And to every grace that meetens man for heaven.

A holy calm is on me; anger dead.

Come to my arms-(to Mabel)-1 thus obey thy will,
Mabel! dost hear me call him?-Come, my son !

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Dramatically speaking, this tragedy is not without obvious defects, some of them important; yet naturally incident to a first effort. In VOL. I. (1843) No. II.

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the earlier acts, the progress of the story is slow; and the scene wants that animated appearance, which the skilful introduction of mere characters would have supplied. We perceived, too, that in these scenes, the interest was too unvaried; and required the relief of gaiety and humour. We are now speaking of the drama in its relation to the stage. Perhaps, simply considered as a poem, which may be laid down and resumed at pleasure, its transitions from the lighter to the deeper shades of passion, give sufficient diversity. But whatever the defects of the play, they do but afford additional evidence of the truth of the principles it recognizes. Cordially do we thank Mr. Macready for the part which he has taken in the developement of this experiment. That the ideal and the poetical is to be worshipped in the present, is a truth, the importance of which is not confined to the drama. The scepticism that discredits contemporary greatness, prevents it. The ideal is only unmanifested, or rather unapprehended, because it is unreverenced. We thank Mr. Macready, then, for his assertion of a great truth-the truth, perhaps, most required by the age. That in spite of the doubts of those who rely on mere precedent, and the sneer of those who discern but the commonplace aspect of their age, he should have produced this tragedy, -is consistent with those honourable exertions which he has made for the drama,-exertions which will rank him with posterity, not only as the noble illustrator, but as one, through whose instrumentality of his art, new developements and perceptions of that art were given to the world.

ART. XII.-The Last Year in China, to the Peace of Nanking: as sketched in Letters to his Friends. By a Field Officer, actively employed in that country. Longman.

OUR conflict in Affghanistan has given birth to a far larger list of volumes than our Chinese expedition; while those relative to the flowery land have, for the most part, been books of moderate size and modest pretension. The Field Officer's work does not prove an exception to this welcome state of matters,-being brief, but satisfactory, so far as it professes to go, and very pleasant besides, whether tone, or talent and observation are to be regarded. The writer possesses also a piquant, but the reverse of an ill-natured humour; and although frequently as familiar in manner as if he chatted to you as an old acquaintance at your own fire-side, he never oversteps the boundaries of courtesy or of correct taste.

The letters for the book pretends to no higher character-consist of communications to the Field Officer's private friends in England, or other in India, and relate to such matters as any observant person connected with the expedition might gather for memoranda, or for

the entertainment of his correspondents, and as any one in high command might speak of, without divulging secrets, or even going deeply into the policy of the war, or the mode of its conduct. Still, the acute reader will find abundance in the present pages to engage reflection with regard to the conflict and its issues, and to suggest speculative trains of thought concerning our probable relations with the Chinese for the future.

It cannot be denied that although in the meanwhile the British Plenipotentiary has obtained from the Celestials whatever terms his discretion prompted him to dictate, our relations with the jealous and flowery people stand in such a ticklish posture, and will have to be maintained amid so many delicacies and difficulties as to suggest fears. How, for instance, is the smuggling of opium from India to China to be checked? Will the opening of four new ports for our trade conduce to this end, and render prohibition effectual practically? But a report has reached this country that Sir Henry Pottinger had promised to the Emperor, in order to get the treaty confirmed the sooner, to prohibit English vessels importing the drug to any of the five ports named in the preliminary arrangement. Now, this measure will amount to our establishing a coast-guard to prevent the traffic; and surely this would not only be a most obtrusive interference, but be sure to become worse than an entire failure, in so far as repression is concerned; while the misunderstandings that would ensue from the impotency of any such maritime police, would daily grow more inextricable, and the jealousy of the Chinese authorities more bitter. It appears that the course to be pursued by us, on the contrary, is the maintenance of a moderate and unmeddling, but firm and intelligible policy; leaving it to time and to the quick discernment of the Chinese themselves, to appreciate our superiority to them in the arts of peace, and the transactions of commerce, just as they have been made already smartly to feel what we are in the practice of war. In confirmation of this view, let the Field Officer's representation be cited of the effects of the English triumphs at the time he wrote, or rather, we should say, when his letters received those corrections and additions which the issues of the war enabled him to make to first impressions. He thus expresses himself:

The English will henceforth be respected in China as elsewhere, and they will never again deem it necessary to submit to degradation or ill treatment to obtain the highest commercial advantage. These must be the results of the expedition, for us. For the Chinese there will be liberty and enlightenment, if they have virtue and sense enough to know and use their power. What respect can they continue to have for their own government, when they compare it to ours? Their chiefs rely on treachery, bribes, and assasination. The English are only dreadful as open enemies. How can the Chinese continue to believe in the power of their "great Emperor," when a few thousand of what he styles barbarians (but they know better) set him

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