Imatges de pÓgina

regard due to a trust, are not compatible with their situation. The men who have occasion for the prostitution, the perjury, the faithlessness of voters, and the most perfect indifference on their part to the interests of their community, must beware how they appear to have any regard for morality before such persons, or any regard for country. The appearance they put on is a curious one; it is that of feigned scorn for all the public virtues, and a real hatred. This mixture of feeling gives a curious character even to the countenance of persons of the higher ranks in this country, distinguishable in most, and very marked in some.” *

It is needless to add a single observation on the immoral tendencies of the Marquis of Chandos’s amendment, aggravated as they must be by the Countydivision Clause of the Bill, as indeed we fear it is needless to express our regret that Ministers could have been so wanting in energy and decision as to permit its being adopted, and that too in a House pledged to the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill! Your true Whig, we are inclined to guess, is but an Ornithorynchus at best. Neither shall we at present stop to inquire how far the Ballot would be a remedy to the evils of both the County division and the Tenant-at-will Clauses, because, without underrating its importance and utility, and, under existing circumstances, even necessity, we think a Reformed Parliament will be able to devise a much more efficacious remedy, and one far more conducive to lofty priuciples of action.

25th. The DUBLIN ELECTION DISCUSSION.We had intended to call the attention of our readers to this audacious imposture, but the lateness of the period of the month on which it was exhibited, prevents us doing it and ourselves justice. We, therefore, shall merely quote two paragraphs, which we lately met with in turning over the Reports on the East Retford and Penryn farces. The first, which differs very much from the other in tendency and spirit, is to the following effect:

“ Old virtuous rugged Cato, on a day,

Thus, to the soothsayers, was heard to say :-
' Augurs, by all the gods, it is a shame
To gull the mole-eyed millions at this rate ;
Making of gaping blockheads such a game,
Pretending to be hand and glove with fate.
On filth and garbage when ye meet
To carry on the holy cheat,
How is it you preserve such solemn graces,

Nor burst with laughter in each other's faces.'”+
The next quotation will, we take it, make the motives for all the prudish hor-
ror betrayed by their immaculate worships very palpable to the dullest reader.
It is from the speech of Mr. Canning, the great arch-enemy of Reform, on the
Penryn disfranchisement humbug.

“I think, Sir, we have sufficient evidence to warrant our disfranchising the Borough of Penryn. I agree to this course with the more readiness, because, I think, the true way to avoid what I should consider as one of the greatest evils that could happen to this country, a sweeping and overwhelming Reform, is carefully to cure those llots (like the present) which it is impossible for the House to pass ly without seeming to shut its eyes wilfully to the defects of the present system.

And such was the real, though covert, object of Bum Gordon's words, on Resolutions which occupied the House from four o'clock to three in the morning. But the country sees through this flimsy pretext, and is no longer to be bam. boozled by gnat-straining, while camels obstruct every avenue to good governmeut.

* While these sheets were going through the press, we were informed by a gentleman intimately acquainted with Kent, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Bucks, and the other agricultural counties in the southern district of England, that the farmers themselves prefer holding their farms from year to year, with a half yearly notice to quit- the tenure-atwill to leasehold, and that they have expressed themselves very solicitous for the right of suffrage. These facts tend very much to lessen our apprehensions of Lord Chandos's amendment, the rather when the increasing influence of public opinion in the doings of landlords is taken into consideration.

.+ Parliamentary Review, 1828.

[ocr errors]


1.-FULLER'S BIRD. I have read of a bird, which hath a face like and yet will prey upon a man ; who coming to the water to drink, and finding there by reflection that he had killed one like himself, pineth away by degrees, and never afterwards enjoyeth itself.”-Fuller's Worthies.

Tue wild-wing'd creature, clad in gore,
(His bloody human meal being o'er,)

Comes down to the water's brink;
'Tis the first time he there hath gazed,
And straight he shrinks--alarm'd-amazed,

And dares not drink.
“ Have I till now,” he sadly said,
Prey'd on my brother's blood, and made

His flesh my meal to-day ?"
Once more he glances in the brook,
And once more sees his victim's look;

Then turns away.
With such sharp pain as human hearts
May feel, the drooping thing departs

Únto the dark wild wood;
And where the place is thick with weeds
He hideth his remorse, and feeds

No more on blood.
But in that weedy brake he lies,
And pines, and pines until he dies;

And when all's o'er,
What follows ?-Nought! His brothers slake
Their thirst in blood in that same brake,

Fierce as before!
-So fable flows :-But would you find
Its moral wrought in human kind,

Its tale made worse ;
Turn straight to Man, and in his fame
And forehead read “The Harpy's " name,
But no remorse!.

2.-NAPOLEÓN. (For Music.)
Hark! The world is rent asunder!

Nations are aghast; and kings
(Mingling in the common wonder)
Shake-like humbler things.
Only thou art left alone,

Napoleón! Napoleón!
Plague, from out her trance awaking,

Quits her ancient hot domain;
And War, the statesman's fetters breaking,
Shouts to thee-in vain !
Both to thee are now unknown,

Napoleón! Napoleón!
He who rode War's fiery billows

Once, and ruled their surges wild,
Now beneath Heléna's willows
Sleepeth-like a child !
All his soaring spirit flown;

Napoleon! Napoleón!


In his grave the warrior sleepeth,

Humbly laid, and half forgot,
And nought, besides the willow, weepeth
O'er that silent spot !
Calm it is, and all his own;

Napoleón! Napoleón! But, what columns teach his merit?

What rich ermines wrap him round ?-
None!-His proud and plumed Spirit
Crowns, alone, the ground !

Proud, and pale, and all alone,
Thou art, dead Napoleon !

0–Napoleón! 3.-Song. 0, sweet Valley! happy Valley!

What have I to do with thee?
With thy flowers or falling fountains ?
I must seek the barren mountains,

Where the tempests be.
Pretty valley! pleasant valley!

Calm and tender is thy breast;
But I have ruled on sea and river
All life long, and I may never

In thy bosom rest.
I have roam'd where clouds and waters

Met and mingled near the skies,
Where red Etna's heart is riven,
And the sand-storm dark is driven,

And all daylight dies !
These rough sights have forced my spirit

Love all wild delights, and be
A wanderer 'neath the eyes of Heaven,
From all beauty flying,-even

From the sight of thee!

5.--HEREAFTER. (For Music.) Bear us on thy sweetest wings,

O Music, to that distant shore,
Where all human thoughts and things

Die-for evermore!
Fill us with harmonious sounds,

Such as tongues of angels send,
When they wing their golden rounds,

And through the azure bend ! Not a dream of humble earth,

Not an earthly glance is there,
To remind us of our birth,

Ancient joy, or care,
But new Elysian pleasures start,

Blooming aye and lasting long :. . Is it so ?--Alas!—My heart

Fainteth at thy song!
All the past forsook ?-forgot

Is it so in Heaven above?
No, Heaven! thou wilt divide us not

From the hearts we love

DAVID GARRICK AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES. * The life of an actor is a life of lives. He lives in the world's eye and in the world's heart. He has no solitude; his study is hung round with living portraits, and his books are living lexicons and walking cyclopedias. If he withdraws a moment from the society of men, it is to study humanity; and if for a while he eschews the talk and tongue of the individual, it is that he may come closer to the species. He has nothing to do with aught but life; history is not to him, as it is to the rest of mankind, a thing of dry dates and dead intrigues ; and when he touches the dusty parchment, he makes it forthwith instinct with life. And as his study is of life, so his reward is of life. It is not a solitary triumphing over abstract difficulties, or a coming immortality to be preserved in leaves that shall be unfolded by a yet unborn posterity. He feels his living triumph, and sees his visible immortality. He catches not the praise of his genius drop by drop through the circuitous alembic of the paper channels of public opinion, but it comes rushing loudly, fully, gloriously upon him at once. A poet may immure himself in a repulsive solitude, eating out his own heart, coining his groans into drachmas, and twisting the eccentricities of genius into the distortions of madness; a painter may busy himself with shapes and colours, and may give to the outward and visible world so much of the absorbed attention of his eye, that he shall have no ear for its audible harmonies, and no heart for its emotions and inward feelings : but the dramatic artist is bound heart and soul to life and the living. Homo sum, et nihil humanum à me alienum puto, is the inseparable motto of the actor, for he finds wisdom in every passion, and instruction in every developement of passion. We should like to have heard the hurricane of applause, for it must have been more than a tempest, that followed the utterance of the above sentiment in the hearing of a Roman audience. It was a volume of truth and beauty condensed into a sentence; it was a spark of moral electricity. Herein consists the interest of dramatic memoir, correspondence, and biography—there is so much of life in it, such a strong infusion of humanity; and it is life in its most interesting attitudes, in the pride of its joy, or the despair of its sorrow, in the romance of its love, or in the malignity of its hatred, in the condensed littleness of its selfishness, or in the expanded effervescence of its generosity. It is humanitas humanissima.

The name of Garrick is as intimately blended with the British drama as the name of Shakspeare; and no man ever gave himself more, or more effectually to his art, than did Garrick give himself to the stage. The intense connexion which he had with human life in its various conditions and interests is seen in the copiousness and variety of his correspondence, which developes more characters than one. We have not merely Garrick, but his contemporaries, and most pleasantly are they illustrated by their own pens, themselves perhaps as unconscious as the pens with which they wrote, that they were thus exhibiting themselves to the keen eye of the moral anatomist. What can be more amusing, for instance, than that part of the Correspondence in which Arthur Murphy is perpetually fretting and fidgeting himself into the attitude of an ill-used man? His own play of “ All in the Wrong,” is his ownself at full length. Perpetual misunderstanding-a constant looking about for something to take offence ata pathetic and magnanimous statement of imaginary grievances—making mountains of molehills-flouncing at fancied slights, and looking as if he thought that the world had nothing else to do than to pity him—these were the life of his soul, the amusement and food of his humour. There are some people so exceedingly fond of being ill-used, that you cannot do them a greater kindness than to give them something to take offence at, if it be ever so trifling, -only let them take a “ little umbrage,” and you shall have such pathetic tones from their lips, and such rounded periods from their pens, as shall do your heart good hear and read them. Then we have Richard Cumberland again, though we

• The Private Correspondence of David Garrick with the most celebrated Persons of his Time. London : Colburn and Bentley.

have had him before in Sir Fretful Plagiary ; but in this volume we have him under his own hand giving Sheridan a most Aattering testimony of the aceuracy of the portrait. What can be finer than the following :


[ocr errors]

Jan. 5, 1770. " I am as ready to adopt unfavourable sentiments of my own performances as any man living, and therefore do not allow that we differ in opinion about 'Salome." I gave it to you (as I have done every other performance of mine) as the best I could write, but I did not insist upon it that you was to approve of it. "I fear now it is not within the bounds of my genius to give you satisfaction. However, as these points are soon settled in conversation, and read very ill upon paper, I hope you will not think it much trouble to indulge me with a few minutes' conversation ww-morrow morning; and that I may not interrupt better business, I will call between ten and eleven.

“ The motives of “Salome,' if I mistake not, are revenge, ambition, and disappointment. These are strong principles for guilty action : perhaps they are not so forcibly marked in her character as they might be, but a very few touches might finish that part of the piece as highly as you please. Her life twice attempted by Mariamne, her ambition defeated by Antipater, and her revenge frustrated by Alexander: I know no other principle, but love, that could add to the motives she has for what she commits. You see I have still a little partiality left

, a small feeling for a performance which has been many years under my pen, and which hitherto no friend (not even Mr. Colman himself) has assisted with an objection.

“With your leave, I will wait upon you, and I dare say I shall submit my prejudices to your better judgment. I can by no means wish to have any piece put into a performer's hand which a manager disapproves, and therefore beg it may not be shown to Mrs. Barry, unless it was honoured with your recommendation. “ I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

RICHARD CUMBERLAND." How very edifying is the readiness which Mr. Cumberland shows in the above letter “ to adopt unfavourable sentiments” of his own performances ! But let us not lose sight of Garrick while gazing at the eccentricities of bis satellites. These indeed are the things which contributed to the developement of his character, and in his occasional collisions with them may be seen the dexterity of his movements and the strength of his powers. The outlines of Garrick's life are well known, and the character of his performance is well appreciated, but this Correspondence shows the inward spirit of the man. In this volume are seven or eight hundred letters embracing a period of thirtyeight years. The letters were selected and preserved by Mr. Garrick himself for the purpose, as the editor seems to imagine, of constructing an autobiography; but that which Mr. Garrick has left undone, the readers of this Correspondence may do for themselves,--they may form their own biography of the great artist.

One of the first features which strikes us in this Correspondence is the cheerfulness and self-possession of the man, the general happy ease and coolness with which he meets his quarrelsome and critical correspondents. This was partly cause and partly effect; in one point it was a virtue, and in another it was an accident of situation : one of the moral causes of his great success in his profession was the buoyant cheerfulness with which he engaged in it, that exquisite self-command which gave him power over smiles or tears. Look at him as he is painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds between tragedy and comedy, be seems bursting with an inward glee, that may ooze out in ungovernable smiles, or melt into the wantonness of tender tears. This elasticity of spirit helped him up the steep of eminence, but at the same time success itself gave vigour and cheerfulness to his mind. The res angusta domi pressed not upon him to ex linguish lis vivacity, or to damp his spirit, or to sour his temper. As soon as he faced the public, they put him in good humour with himself, and during the course of his theatrical life he ruled without a rival. From the calm eminence of a high success, and from the pleasant luxury of a well-appointed home, he could look forth on the little world with composure, and could, bear with the pettishness of the Murphies and the blockishness of wholesale tragedy-weavers.

« AnteriorContinua »