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We had composed, with infinite perusal of its face, that our eyepleasure and no pain, a New-Year's- beams, after dancing a while, beDay Address to our beloved friends, came concentred in a focus that and were glancing over it in type, seemed as if it would burn a hole in with eyes unstartled by the most the boards. Erelong that passionate extraordinary errata, when a bulky fit subsided; and well pleased to parcel, directed by the well-known know that age had not deadened our hand of our much respected Mr enthusiasm, in sobered mood and Rees himself, was deposited by a solemn, we set ourselves, with all young gentleman in black on the our soul, to enjoy, after the lapse of Board of Green Clotb, with a thud so many years, a continuation of the that made the ink sparkle from the series of Plays on the Passions. All mouth of the Dolphin. Our first the sense, and all the nonsense that sheet is always the last to go to had been so well and so ill spoken press; and our manuscript had so and written about the theory of nicely filled the measure, that, like the illustrious poetess, we knew had the Thames, or any other first-rate long sunk in the waters of oblivion ; river, the article was, “without o'er- here was the completion of a plan flowing, full," and we need not say which only the noblest genius could so translucent, that we could have have conceived ; and on laying down seen the silver gravel shimmering Volume First, which in the depth, had it not been for through, from beginning to end, at the reflected imagery of heaven. one reclination, we felt that Scott With a sure presentiment of the was justified in linking her name delightful, we seized our ivory pan with that of Shakspeare. per-folder, sharp as a casc knife, Nay, do not start with superciand cut asunder the cords that lious brow ; for Shakspeare was but confined the treasure. Strong
a man--though of men the most sunshine was at the moment stream wonderful and what woman's name ing through the old painted glass, would you, in poetry, place above that usually lets in a dim religious that of Joanna Baillie ? What the light upon us, sitting like a saint in Mighty Minstrel has said of her, let his sanctum, and fell upon three vo- no inferior spirit gainsay; and be lumes of dramas by Joanna Baillie! assured that his judgment, rightly We shoved the sheet aside, almost understood, is the Truth, and has with scorn, and lifting one of them been confirmed by all the Poets. from the illumination, we pressed it She has "worshipped at the Tem. to our heart, and then fell to such ple's imer shrine;" and her revela.
Longman, &c. 1836. Three Volumes. TOL. XXXIX. NO, OCXLIII.
tions are those of a Priestess, whose sympathy, so essential to our knowservices and ministrations have been ledge of the human mind, and withaccepted and consecrated by the out which there can be neither spirit of nature. Dark and dread. poetry nor philosophy, are necessary ful revelations they often are; for a largeness of beart, which willingly they are of the mysteries of the yields itself to conceive the feelings human heart, which is the dwelling and states of others, whose characplace of sin, or by sin often haunted ter of feeling is unlike to its own, at noon-day, when there are no and the freedom from any inordivisionarý spectres. Bright and beau- nate overpowering passion, which tiful they often are, too ; for the hu. quenches in the mind the feelings man heart has its angel visitants, and of nature it has already known, and then it is like the heavenly region, places it in babitual enmity to the and its pictured delight divine. natural affections and happiness of
Do you wonder how one mind can other men. To paint bad passions have such vivid consciousness of the is not to praise them : they alone feelings of another, while their cha. can paint them well who bate, fear, racters are cast in such different or pity them; and therefore Baillie moulds ? It is, indeed, wonderful- has done so far better than Byron. for the power is that of sympathy But we must not suffer ourselves and genius. The dramatic poet, to be carried away into dissertation, whose heart breathes love to all the sin which most easily besets us living things, and whose overflowing in common with all philosophical tenderness diffuses itself over the old gentlemen; for we desire now beauty even of unliving nature, may to show Specimens of true Dramatic yet paint with his creative hand the Poetry, and we know that by doing steeled heart of him who sits on a 80 we shall delight our friends a throne of blood-thelust of crime in a thousand times more than by our very mind polluted with wickedness-the happiest criticism. This article is the remorse of acts which could never first of a Series; and we love always pass in thought through his imagi. to present ample Specimens till we nation as his own. For, in the act have “paved our way" with gems, of imagination, he can suppress in and then, turning round and looking bis mind its own peculiar feelings back, we expatiate on the radiant its good and gracious affections, road we have travelled together, call up from their bidden places till love and admiration are rekin. those elements of his nature, of dled by the retrospect, and even which the seeds were sown in him burn in our bosoms with a brighter as in all-give them unnatural mag. flame. So let us single out one nitude and power-conceive the dis- Drama, and by some potent extracts order of passions, the perpetration of show what is the spirit of the whole, crimes, the tortures of remorse, or and its prevailing character ; and let the scorn of that human weakness, it be - Henriquez-a Tragedy"from which his own gentle bosom a tale of Jealousy, Revenge, and and blameless life are pure and Remorse. free. He can bring himself, in short, Don Henriquez is tlie victorious into an imaginary and momentary general of the King of Castile, sympathy with the wicked, just as Alonzo, surnamed the Noble ; * and his mind falls of itself into a natural Leonora, “the daughter of a hum. and true sympathy with those whose ble house," is his wife. During the character is accordant with his own; absence of her lord, her sister Men. and watching the emotions and cia has been residing iu their castle, workings of his mind in the spon- and been wooed by Don Juen, the taneous ant in the forced sympa. dearest friend of Henriquez, while thy, he knows and understands her heart was devoted to Antonio, a from himself what passes in the young gentleman of less exalted minds of others. What is done in birth. The frequent visits of Juen the highest degree by the highest have excited suspicions in the mind genius, is done by all of ourselves of Diego, the steward, of Leonora's in lesser degree, and unconsciously, virtue, and he drops a letter, charging at every moment in our intercourse her with guilt, in the way of Henriwith one another. To this kind of quez, on his return from the wars.
The poison instantly begins to letter, both sent for Mencia, but
“ Things have been done, that, to the honest mind,
And this man was my friend !
Night falls on some who never see the morn." Mean while Leonora, all uncon- sister Mencia, their respective chascious of any evil, is preparing a racters are manifested by a few proud and gorgeous pageant on ac- touches, which, under the circumcount of her lord's return, and in the stances, are very pathetic. following scene between her and her
Enter Leonora and Mencia, followed by Diego, speaking as they enter.
Diego. It sball be done ; I understand you, Madam ;
Leo. Yes ; and the chair of Don Henriquez's wife :
Never but once
Leo. Ay, good Diego, such meek humble dames
out). Lofty dame!
Men. Sister, you aggravate the mark'd dislike
Leo: O he dislikes me not; it is bis humour.
Men. Ay: but the meekness of his former lady,
Leo. Thou'rt fanciful.
Nay, nay! and why so fond
Wo the day! Poor dove !
Men. The sun hath scorch'd my wings, which were not made
Leo. Away with such benumbing diffidence !
Men. Tbou dost, indeed, reign in his heart triumphant;
Leo. And fear not but it will. These pageantries
Men. Weakness in yiclding to your will, indeed,
Leo. Ty! say not so. Ilush ! lct not that sad face
He will not yet.
Leo. I'll go myself.
Nay, Madam, do not yet.
that some cross humour has disturb'd him; Sleep will compose it. Lco.
Humour, dost thou say ! He ne'er was cross with me,