His kingdoms; for where light is there is right.

So thinks the sovereign head, whose messenger
Am I. Prepare to-morrow to depart,

So please you-I myself will be your guide,
With this array of worthy noblemen:
The festival is order'd and arranged,

And truly guests will not be wanting there-
No narrower circle, Tasso, than the world.

We shall give the Fifth Act, which takes place in Rome, almost entire. The first scene is a conversation between Lucretia, the Duchess of Mantua, and her sister Leonora, who, by the permission of Alfonso, had been allowed

to be present at the coronation of her former lover. It is comparatively unimportant to the progress of the play. The scene then changes to the Convent of St Onofrio, where Tasso had taken up his residence.

St Onofrio in Rome. A Balcony, from which a Colonnade leads.

Tas. (at the window.) How rich the scene before the eye. There lies The silent convent garden at my feet,

With all its rosy-blooming oleanders,

And walks of dusky-shaded cypresses;

There stands the oak where I have often rested,

And close beside the noiseless churchyard spreads,
Sown thick with crosses and with monuments;

Beyond the walls the distant city rises

With thousand towers, and domes, and palaces,
With all its fountains, all its obelisks,
With all the monuments of pomp and glory,
That centuries upon centuries have collected.
And through it rolls and flows in restless current,
The people, shouting forth the name of Tasso;
Head pressing head to catch a glance. The while
So worn, so weary unto death am I,

That for the churchyard's peace I rather long
Than for the garland on the Capitol.

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Princes, and lords, and dames in garbs of splendour,
Are in the hall assembled, to conduct you

Unto the Capitol. This is the day

That wakes my Tasso to a second life.

Tas. It is, indeed: Not for this outward glitter

Not for the laurel wreath that binds my brow-
Not that the people shout, or that in triumph

I enter to the lofty Capitol :

It is not these-with these I could dispense;

'Tis that I stand here as a worthy man!

That this acclaim bears witness that my labour

Has not been vain; that God who gave the pleasure

In poetry's creations, gave the power;

That for the pain one being laid upon me

Prince as he was-THE WORLD atonement makes

That I shall not descend to after times

As a chained maniac; that posterity

Shall see the poet's picture undistorted ;-
Such is the comfort that this day conveys.
And let me own my weakness-which for one
So near the grave perchance sits ill upon me.
Like rain that falls upon a thirsty land,
Long look'd for, does my soul drink in this day,

Grows green, and blooms again. All I have suffer'd
This hour wipes out; but oh! no second day
Would I survive, after a day like this!
Yes, Angioletta, yes! I will to rest;
As on the nurse's arm a child that sees
The meadows green, the many-tinted flowers,
With restless longing eyes their colours fair,
And through the lattice shoots his little hands,
So stretch I forth my arms towards the grave.
Ah me! what treasure has the world to give,
Which she hath not vouchsafed me-and denied?

Ang. Yes, Tasso ! yes-I feel as much as you,
That you have closed your reckoning with the world:
But when you go-O, hear me! take me with you;
What were my life then-what were I myself?
For I was Tasso's shadow, nothing more:
Where should the shadow be when he is gone?
For me as well as you, to-day I feel

Life's goal is gain'd, and come what may hereafter,
'Tis but a faint reflection of this day-
The distant echo of its choral song.
Life I might miss, had I belong'd to life.

Tas. It is no fond conceit that poets fable,
Through nature's web a magic tissue runs-
A charm, a spell-that to congenial spirits,
Congenial spirits binds. It is not choice
That heart to heart attracts, 'tis Destiny:
Not now I feel it first-I oft have felt it-
You are no being foreign to myself,
You are a portion of my own existence.

Ang. O speak those words again: it is too sweet
That you should feel what I have felt so long.

Tas. Now listen, girl, for something I could say,
I know that you can hear it without fear;
Poets and dying men, you know, are prophets,
And I, my faithful maid, am both in one :-
Your pilgrimage without me will be short-

Earth will not hold you long. When once my spirit
Shall call to yours from out another star,
You will not make me linger long for you :
These roses that are blushing on your cheeks
Are of a darker crimson than the hues

That youth diffuses on thy face of spring:

Theirs is a deeper glow-the glow of death!

Ang. My Tasso! you have said-I follow soon.

Tas. And now enough. No pining, no impatience

-Let me go first. When once the fruit is ripe,

In God's good time, by its own weight, it falls.

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Luc. Tasso, some friends of old are come to greet you.

Tas. Ha! what? You, princess-and your highness too

You here in Rome! How shall I thank you for it?

Too much of happiness for one short day.

Leon. We stood so near, and saw your merit's growth;

Could we be absent when such worth was crown'd?

Luc. In Italy you have but wellwishers

And friends-your enemies have disappear'd.
That even Alfonso now repents his rigour,
The presence of my sister may convince you.

Leon. What joy, beloved friend, it brings to me,

That the world knows you now as I have known.
Now is my heart at rest; and whatsoever
Of good or evil life hereafter brings,

I'll bear it with tranquillity. For you

That peace which came so late, but came at last,
My noble friend, O! may you long enjoy.

Tas. You wish me rest, and yet would have me live.
No, princess! Heaven, alas, has made me restless!
Even in this my hour I feel it so.

So long as I inhale the breath of earth

My element is conflict; and the flames

That smoulder here, though hills should stifle them,
One blast of wind would blow them up anew.

Leon. This is a gentle hour, which, after long
And devious wanderings, reunites us thus.

Let us enjoy it calm and undisturb'd;
Let not the tempests of the past stir up

A sea that scarce has sunk into a calm,
Even to its very deeps, and bring to light
The fragments of the shipwrecks it conceals.
Luc. No! rather let the morning breath of hope
Blow fair, and swell the sails of life anew.

No! like the diver

Tas. The smiling future that I long for, lies
Beyond this world, and fast I steer for it-
I feel it well-with full and swelling sails.
Then, while I may, let me retrace the past,
The present soon will be the past to me!
But fear not thou that any wild commotion
Shall call up ghastly relics from the deep
Which there should sleep conceal'd.
I'll plunge into its depths, and pearls of price,
And jewels of remembrance, rich, uncounted,
I'll bring to light. Let me récall the days,
When, in the paradise of Buon-Retiro,
I walk'd beside you, happy as a god!
My heart with images of glorious deeds,
With visions of a fair futurity,
Expanding while the world for my sensations
Too narrow seem'd-too narrow for my bliss!
Leon. O peace!-

O peace! enough of this-'twas but a dream.

Tas. No dream; it was the plenitude of life :
There was no wish, no hope, no thought, which I
Did not impart to thee :--no gentle feeling

But found an answering echo in thy heart.

I lived as blessed deities live on,

Within those haunts where storms are never heard,

And everlasting sunshine lights the sky!

What happen'd then-what lot was mine thereafter-
Let me in silence and oblivion hide.

And now I stand beside you as I did

Of old; and feel it is for the last time.

Yes, Leonora-yes, our parting's near!

Reach me your hand, reach me your hand again,
As you have done of yore.

And for a token

That ancient faith no time can alter that

I trust in you for ever, and for ever

I place this treasure in your cherish'd hand,

A rich and precious legacy of mine,

Well worthy to be cherish'd in your bosom→→

My Angioletta.


Tasso, what means this?

Tas. Receive this heart, and, when I am no more,

Preserve and value it on my account.

She will love you, even as she loved myself.


2 F

Luc. O Tasso! what is this? Heavens! what has happen'd,
You grow still paler?

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Luc. Oh, listen!-what an uproar !

Ang. The bells are knelling loud from every tower-
Luc. The cannon thunder from St Angelo's-

Leon. The hour is come. Here comes Aldobrandini.

[The sound of bells is heard, and from time to time cannon shots in the distance.



Ald. Pardon me, princess, that I must withdraw
Our friend from such a sweet environment.

The hour has struck, the guests are all assembled,
So, please you, follow me into the hall,

Where you are stay'd for, to conduct our Tasso,
In solemn state, unto the Capitol.

Luc. We are prepared to go.


You, too, my friend?

Come, then, and let the moment of our joy

No longer be delay'd. Let us be gone.

Tas. Now, then, proceed! I was prepared to drop
Into my opening grave, unknown, unhonour'd-

By few beloved, by few bewail'd-to lay

My wearied head unto its latest sleep!

But from the very churchyard comes the dance

Of giddy life to meet me! It returns,

And lures me onward with its richest treasures,
And bids me crown me with its fairest boughs.
It is the voice of God that speaks to me,

And I obey. It is his hand that brings

These changes-life, and death, and grief, and glory;
That bows me first, that crowns me at the last,
And brightens even the margin of the tomb

With light, that cheers and dissipates the gloom.

[Exeunt through the colonnade.

Ang. What feeling's this? my senses sure deceive me

I never saw him thus. That glance of his

Was not his glance-it was another fire

That sparkied from within; and all his features
Seemed to me changed and altered.

(Shrieks.) Woe is me!

O God! He sinks! They throng around him! Hence

O he is dead!

[She rushes out through the colonnade. [Louder cries are heard without of" Long live Tasso," accompanied by the music, the sound of the bells, and the cannon beyond the scene.


A large Hall, filled with Ladies and Nobles richly attired. Musicians, Pages, (one of whom holds a Laurel Garland on a satin cushion.) Halberdiers in the background.

In front, Tasso dead on a couch. At his feet, ANGIOLETTA kneeling, CORNELIA and the Princesses standing round him. Behind, MONTECATINO and other Strangers. In the extreme front, ALDOBRANDINI.

Ald. Yes, he has finish'd. Let the triumph cease-
Let all these joyous melodies be hush'd;

In mournful measures let the music wail-
The pride of Italy is gone! For him

This trying day of joy was all too much :
His race is run. Not to the Capitol

The knolling bell invites him now; his God
Has call'd the glorious spirit to himself—
Be ours to give his body to the tomb.

He had not reach'd those lofty halls, wherein
The laurel should his temples have encircled-
He sank o'erwearied at the Temple door.
Thus then I place the wreath, with which so gladly
I would have deck'd the living poet's head,
In silence on departed Tasso's brow.

Leon. With rich reward the poet lays him down! In life a Prison, and in death-a Crown!

[The curtain falls.


Ir it be allowable to entertain towards any writer that partial and affectionate admiration, which, if it does not altogether deny, yet refuses to take cognisance, of any blemish or defect-that writer is Shakspeare. From verbal criticism he seems to enjoy an immunity. His faults of style are so obvious, and of a kind so little likely to obtain imitators in the present age, that there appears to be no necessity for dwelling on them. Having once admitted that he has a hasty, headstrong way of entangling a plain meaning in abstruse and elliptical expressions, of huddling and crushing together all kinds of metaphors, with no sort of respect for their delicate fabric; and that he has an obstinate habit of sporting in the strongest conjunctures with riddling conceits-having once settled and allowed all this, which dulness itself could discover, and dulness is least likely to forgive-we care not to have it repeated, but pass on to that endless fund of every species of poetic enjoyment which his works afford. Criticism, moreover, is disarmed by the intimate persuasion we feel, that, in the dramas of Shakspeare, there are many things not his, and which never came there by any legitimate process of authorship. His plays, unpublished and unprinted, were lying for some time amidst others, the property of a theatre; and from this agitated mass they seem to have acquired a certain alluvial deposit, which the detergent care of the critic can never entirely remove. The players and the playwright have made sad com

mixtures and confusion amongst them. Who can read the play of Julius Cæsar without a conviction that the character of Cæsar has received damage at the hands of these gentry? It is out of nature that the same man who drew Cassius and Brutus, and gave to Mark Antony an eloquence surpassing any the Roman forum ever echoed with, should have set down in the same play that pompous and starched puppet, that rodomontade figure, which stalks through it under the name of Julius Cæsar. This portrait of the Dictator, if it were at all like the original, would decide for ever the famous question of the propriety of his assassination. Such a Cæsar assuredly deserved extermination, but hardly by the hand of the noble Brutus. Besides which, some few of Shakspeare's plays were themselves adaptations of oid pieces, belonging, like its wardrobe to the theatre for which he was engaged to write, and which, by additions of his own, and touches throughout of his pencil, he seems to have fitted for reproduction. Such is the conjectural account given of Pericles, Titus Andronicus, and some others; and this account, we think, might be extended to some plays of a still higher order than these. There is one which abounds in passages of poetic beauty, which nevertheless, if we might venture to deal in such conjectures, we should pronounce to have been fashioned on the stock or framework of some older piece. In Troilus and Cressida we see remnants, if we are not mistaken, of some previous work.

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