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proceeding,) was a stroke of utter base difference between their ages, we must ness, beyond even our anticipations of say, that it appears to us as if few what Mr Brougham might do. No things could be more ludicrous than matter what that ferocious and reck- the notion that the one of these two less partizan says or does; but we are men could possibly have any idea of surprised indeed, that any man, having his own life as likely to last longer than the sense of a man, and the feelings of the other's certainly not to any exan Englishman, should, whatever his tent worth mentioning. But any one opinions on the Catholic Question who understands human nature will might be, venture to find fault with bring the question to an easy issue. what is attributed to the Duke of The Duke of York must know the York upon this occasion. There are King rather better than Mr Henry only two grounds, so far as we under- Brougham. Is it not a pretty good stand the business, on which the Duke specimen of impudence, to see a sulky has been blamed the first, that it lawyer like him laying down the rules was indelicate in him to make, in the of fraternal delicacy to George IV. and House of Lords, any allusion whatever Frederick, Duke of York and Alto the possibility of his outliving his bany? brother, and being one day King of As to the unconstitutional nature of England; the second, that it was un. his Royal Highness's speech, we conconstitutional in him to say anything, fess ourselves quite as much at a loss. not being King of England, about Has the Duke of York, as a Peer of what his conduct, in relation to any Parliament, no right to express his particular question of policy, would be opinions, whatever they
may be, about if he should be King of England. the Catholic Question? He is a man
Now, in regard to the first of these turned of sixty, and has seen someheads of abuse, we wish to know who thing of the world. If his opinions as it is that is the best judge of what de to questions of that sort be not pretty licacy between these royal brothers well fixed now, when are they likely demands. Is it Mr Brougham? or to be so ? And, they being fixed, has the Duke of York himself? We all he not quite as good a right to say, know that the King and the Duke are that he intends to oppose the Catholic not merely affectionate brothers, but claims to the end of his time, as Mr intimate companions and friends. We Brougham has to tell all England, (as all, as it happens, know also pretty he has done we not how often, this surely, that they are, both of them; very Session,) that he, Mr Brougham, men of sense, talent, and knowledge, intends to advocate them to the end of much above the contempt of Mr the chapter? The Duke of York said, Brougham, or Mr Anybody. Now, "So help me God;". would it have really, this being the state of the case, altered Mr Brougham's annonce, if he a plain man, we think, would have had said," So help me Devil ?" naturally concluded, when he heard of The Duke of York, by that solemn the Duke's making such a speech as asseveration, declared his resolution to is 'ascribed to him, either that he had discharge his duty to his God and his made it after telling the King what he country. He will never declare his meant to do, or in the knogledge, from opinion to be changed, until he has long fraternal intiu. , that, by ma- satisfied his mind that, by declaring king such a speech, he should in no and acting upon such a sange, he is 'way whatever offend the feelings of his to serve his country and his God. brother and his prince. That one or Neither of these, if that should be, will other of these was the real state of the record against him a manly disavowal, case, we no more doubt than we doubt in whatever terms expressed, of an opiour own existence. Really, when one nion deliberately forined, and of a thinks a little of the matter, and re- consequent resolution, avowed in a members that the King and the Duke manner alike worthy of a Peer, a are brothers, with not two years of Prince, and a Patriot.
ANALYTICAL ESSAYS ON THE MODERN ENGLISH DRAMA.
On Babington. A Tragedy.*
GRANTING that a man possesses a the subject
matter of poetry undergoes powerful intellect, a vivid imagination, less change from its original form in and a keen insight into human nature, life, in tragedy, than in any other especially its passions, where is the kind of dignified poetical composition. prodigious difficulty of writing a good If so, then to minds of power it must tragedy? We think it self-evident that be the easiest of all kinds of highpoem it is easier to construct such a compo- try. sition, than any other of a lofty kind. Accordingly, the multitude of noble A drama is, in fact, a representation tragedies is immense
say a thousand of human life, as it exists, and acts, while the number of effective, aland suffers. Take an impressive story, though not first-rate compositions of and interesting agents-revolve inci. the same class, is altogether incalculadents and characters in your mind, as ble. People wonder at the endless sucyou see them revolving in the real cession of glorious novels, as they are world, and a tragedy will almost create called, from one extraordinary living itself. Let there be the presence of writer. They are all dramas many strong, and if possible various pas- of them of the highest and deepest
, sion, and let there be a processional tragedy. Nor can any reason be shown march of events towards the accom. in the nature of things why that great plishment of some great catastrophe, genius should not annually illustrate of which the imagination is for ever human life by a new creation. What dimly divining the
consummation, and a world of life breathes in what we scene after scene will, of themselves, call the Old English Drama ! shift before the eye of Genius, till the So far, therefore, from joining in the curtain drops over the dead or dying, cry, " Where is dramatic genius?" and shrouds up the stage in the dark- we aver that it is kindling over the ness of destiny. In no other kind of whole land, True, that the playcomposition-for example, take the wrights of the day are a miserable race, epic poem-is life depicted in the or
and fit only to round periods for the der and colour of its real on-goings, mouthing of a Macready. But turn but is subjected to the transformations away from the stage and its pompous of art and science. The Iliad and whine, and the strong spirit of dramaParadise Lost, are not life and death, tic poetry will be found to animate the like Lear and Macbeth. The Muse whole body of English literature. inspired them—but Shakspeare wrote Scott, Byron, Coleridge, Baillie, Milfrom his human soul. Existence comes man, Wilson, and Shelley, have indeed pouring upon him who conceives a tra- all written tragedies which may be gedy-he has but to enter the body of compared, without obscuration of their a fellow-creature, whom fate may have power, with the compositions of our placed in pathos or peril; and, retain- best dramatic writers." De Montfort, ing the self-possession of his own iden- Basil, The Imorse, Sardanapalus, tity, in this sidst of his impersonațion Cain, Fazio, The City of the Plague, of another, to tell what has been re- The Cenci-Do they contain less poem vealed to him of bis nature by a closer try, less passion, less pathos, than the intimacy with agonies hitherto unex- dramas of Ford or Massinger? In our perienced even by his imagination. opinion infinitely more; but with all We do not mean to say that the rules our boasted freedom, we are still enand laws of poetry, as a science, do slaved beneath the bondage of great not apply to the tragic drama. But names, and no tragic poet is thought we say, what every thoughtful reader great, unless his dimensions loom giwill agree with us in thinking, that gantic through the darkness of past
Babington ; a Tragedy. By T. Doubleday, Author of “ The Italian Wife," &cWilliam Blackwood, Edinburgh ; and T. Cadell, Strand, London.
time, and on the verge of that distant of power far beyond the common pitch horizon.
employed for other purposes, purposes We are now about to support there legitimate in themselves no doubt, our opinions by some account of a tra- and full of the tenderest and deepest gedy-ay, a regular tragedy in five interest, but which, in our humble good acts-entitled Babington, by Mr apprehension, ought to have been seDoubleday, a writer not altogether condary and subordinate. unknown to the public, and whose Having made this criticism, we shall great merits cannot fail of very soon not seek to establish its truth by any attracting general notice and admira- argument,
but proceed to give extracts tion. Of the “ Italian Wife,” an ex- from Mr Doubleday's Tragedy, and to ceedingly beautiful, romantic, and af- tell, in not many words, wherein its fecting drama, suggested by the story chief merits consist. of Fair Rosamond, we shall ere long Babington, the chief conspirator, present our readers with an account; has long loved his ward—the gentle but at present we must confine our at- and beautiful Agnes-and, unknown to tention to “ Babington,” which is by each other, that love has been mutual. far the more powerful composition of The first intimation that there is affecthe two, and such as, unless we are tion between them, is very elegantly greatly mistaken, will give Mr Dou- given in a playful dialogue between bleday a place among the best living the lady and Plasket, a privileged chapoets.
racter, a sort of philosophical jester, The conspiracy of Babington, which who bears his part admirably through is told by Hume in his best manner,
out all the five acts. is an excellent subject for tragedy. Methought I should come over you at and although we do not think that Mr
lastDoubleday, admirable as are his ta- Said I not well? Tichbourne's the man. lents, has made the most of it, in an
Ey'n he, historical point of view, yet he has The gallant Chidiok, gay Southampton's produced a composition truly tragic,
star, and shown great mastery of the pas- As light and sparkling as the gossamer sions of pity and terror.
That seems a thread of sunshine, and as When we say that Mr Doubleday quick, has not made enough of the conspi- And yet as gentle, as the swallow's flight; racy, we mean that the grand purpose Soft as the stream whereon the moonof the conspirators here, no less than
beams sieep, the dethronement and death of Eliza- As clear in honour, and in soul as deep, beth, does not sufficiently breathe and Ay, and as rash when stirr’d. I'faith, I beat forth over the drama. There are
clinch no bold sentences ripening in our
Your choice—he is mine own favourite,
after all! sight, no great events brought close upon our imagination, no alternations Agnes. Too fast, good Plasket. Trust of hope and fear so quickly succeed- me, yon have ta'en ing each other as to form one tumul
No easy gear in hand. Tichbourne's too tuous passion. The atmosphere is not
light; sufficiently grim and lowering-nor
In course too like the summer butterfly, tinged with lurid lights and a ghastly
That flutters on and on with glittering
wing, splendour. We are not made to feel that the chief actors are men design
But recks not why nor whither. As the
friend ing to overthrow thrones and altars, and to set up a new Government and But
he's too gay, in truth.
Of Babington, I would not speak him ill, a new Faith. From the very begin
Now, say you so ? ning they are even caught in the In truth, I would he might infect my lord toils. No desperate struggles are With that same gaiety you marvel at; made
the danger does not sublime He's wondrous grave o late. He hath their characters—they do not play well almost sour'd the parts of lost and infatuated men. My store of jokes, as thunder doth small Indeed, the author has not so design
beer, ed his drama. We have not to com- For the last two months. plain of inadequate power exerted in Agnes. Fie, you wrong him, Plasket, vain to produce a certain effect; but The noble Babington is not severe.
High-thougbted gravity may haply sit L. Maud. What should she say? List Upon his brow enthioned, and loftier to me, childish trifler; promptings
In wedding Tichbourne, thou wedd'st Make the shrunk world look little, that
worth and honour: perchance
That is the first; and, in the next degree, He recks not of it, like a meaner man. Prosperity beyond the reach of chanceBut mark that brow when it unbends it- A name, nobility, and splendour, grace, self;
Which shame nor poverty have e'er obAnd mark his eye, when it declines, at
Nor ever shall, or can. If Heaven would On Pleasure, who sits smiling at his feet; stoop And show me one whose port bespeaketh To please your sickly fancy with a husband, more
And fashion him to the pattern, tell me, High nobleness and courtly gallantry,
girl, Friendship, and all that doth become a What could'st thou ask for more?-Speak man.
to her, son. Pla. (Aside.) Comes the shaft thence ? Agnes. I pray you spare me, madam. You're an enthusiast, lady,
Babington, Agnes. It may be so. Hath he not been Are you dumb too? my brotier,
Madam, an' if my breath My play-mate, guardian, tutor, all in one? Could, in its sway, outvie the winds of Pla. Asids.) And thou would'st make spring,
him husband; would he were ! That from their plumes drop beauty, (Aloud.) It is true, lady. Marry, by my youth, and health, fay.
"Twere not too much for my dear friend's Here comes our lady mother.
Heaven hath shower'd down on him After this kind of conversation has
prosperity, been for some time continued between
And may God grant it lasting-may it Agnes, Plasket, and Lady Maud, Ba
'scape bington's mother, Babington himself The blight of tyrannous power--ay, and appears. Throughout the whole drama,
the sweep with the exception already made, the That ever must attend on vengeance! character of this conspirator is excel- wing lently conceived and supported. The Whene'er she lights upon a darken'd land. following dialogue seems to us espe- L. Maud. This is another theme. cially beautiful :
Madam, forgive me
That I forestall your words. Pray, bear Enter BABINGTON.
with me L. Maud.
How now, son?
You gave me life, and, next You are just in time to end a controversy,
to that Ay, and reclaim a dangerous heretic, In value, Truth, and reverence for the Who hath blasphemed against your dear
truth. friend Tichbourne
I will speak truly. Tichbourne is a spirit I pray you put in your authority. That beauty's self miglit be content to Bab. That were much pity, madam. worship; When soft means
So let her take him. But, in this drear Wil work a core, the church disclaims
time, all violence,
When to be faithful is to be suspected And bere they have done so ever. To When to be honourable is to be distrust. say truth,
ed I should most vilely play the guardian When change strides o'er men's heads, now,
and sets her foot My place so long hath slept into disuse. Upon the noblest necks-who is so good, But if truth, honour, generosity- But he shall be a mark for those whose A mind as pure as is the blood sustains archery
Is bent to strike the fairest? Who so A tongue match'd only by the speaker's humble, deeds,
But he shall be an eye-sore unto those May win a woman, why, then, gallant Whose best religion lies in innovation ? Tichbourne
In nature's throes, when inward motion Can never luck an argument of mine.
shakes What say you, Agnes ? --How nos?- The frighted earth, and the tumultuous
Not a word ! Vol. XVIII.
Rage like the wild despair, 'twere worse
I would not meet them than vain
With trace of aught remorseful in mine Sometimes to cast an anchor.
eyes, I have spoken; Lest it infect theirs 100-though it is Now, madam, say what you would say.
Hear me. To chase the bosom's shadows from the Beseech you-here I have the deepest
They say, that when the Ocean's surface Although the weakest player. Hear me, stirs,
The depths are still at rest ; but when For you are honourable; and hear me,
All is commotion, where's the power can For you are kind. -Oh, sir! answer but
The waves keep down their heads, and to If in some storm, such as e'en you now
a calm spoke of,
Smooth the blue superficial ? Yet must I You were to risk your whole-if in one Essay this task, and with sad bosom go
To welcome pleasure, while the heart says Went all that should be dearest-peace and love,
[BABINGTON goes out. And those you loved, and those that have
The character which Mr Doubleday loved you
has most elaborated, is Ballard a JeState, happiness, content, soul, heart, and
suit, who, if we mistake not, was a all, Would you not pause ?-Would you not
true conspirator, and died on the scaf
fold, but who is here represented as a hesitate, Tremble, and stop, and shrink, as I do traitor. Great knowledge of human now?
nature, and admirable powers of comOh, press me not-am I not happy here? position, are exhibited in the delineaAnd here I know I can be, so please tion of this subtle villain. The scenes, Heaven
too, in which he figures, are all esAnd you to suffer me. Alas! alas! sentially dramatic, and convince us I grieve you.
that Mr Doubleday is the man to write Bab. (With agitation.) No; no more a good acting tragedy. We quote the I am not well.
following passage, however, rather for L. Maud. Sure thou turn'st pale. its poetical than dramatic power. How came these shadowy fancies
Bal. Speak low.- Art thou sure ? To cross your mind in such unlucky wise?
Gif. As sure as one well-crafted poliYou take these things too strongly. This
tician springs, son,
Is of another. What I did impart
They swallow'd, as you'd have them.
Art thou sure Where are your hawks, or those two fo
They traced thee not ? If thou hast been reign hounds
a trail That Charnock sent you? This is phan
To draw their bloodhounds hither, woe tasy.
to thee! mark me, Bab. I pray you chide me not. 'Tis
Art sure they track'd thee not ? nothing, madam.
Gif I'll pawn my soul on't. Agnes and Lady Maud go out, and Bal. Pawn something better ! noted'st Babington utters the following fine
thou of any soliloquy :
That met thee on the way, or else outHow light a whisper can awake the heart !
rode? Methought my bosom steel that I could Gif. No one have I beheld, -except,
go To danger as 'twere to a marriage rite- A squinting fellow in the corridor ; With such composed cheerfulness-when A falconer of Master Charnock. duty
Oh! And honour bade me there ; and lo! the He hath been here belike to babble of softness
Some foreign hounds, or something of Or yon meek girl, and the unconscious
such sort. pleadings
Thou hast done well; retire. The buof maiden fearfulness, have moved my
That's now in hand requires some space To very childishness.