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thought proper to trouble your highness with questions about it. The precognition and all the proceedings are lying in chancery. Let the writings be brought,' said the prince; and let the fellow himself appear, as soon as dinner is over."

"The register of process went all round the table: when it came to me, I observed with consternation, that you, my dear Limbach, were the unfortunate prisoner; all the rest is known to yourself. What think you now of the lady? Can a person who exposes a worthy man to imprisonment for sport,-who then coolly gazes at him, as at a wild beast for show, who does not say a word to apologize for the sufferings she has caused,- -can we call such a silly creature good-natured? Has she a compassionate heart? Can we call her an angel of Heaven? No, she is a monster, she is destitute of all the finer feelings of the soul.'

"I stood silent, and sunk in a deep reverie on my wonderful fate, which was spun by the hands of the women. The Count roused me, as from a dream, and said, 'Don't dwell any longer upon it, the thing is now over. Come to my house, my old honest friend. Refresh yourself there as long as you please, after all your hardships in prison, and, when you are in spirits, do me the favour to write me your life.'

"I accepted my friend's invitation, passed several comfortable weeks in his house, and, to please the generous Ossek, have become my own biographer. I am now about to set out on my return to -, and heartily rejoice at the thought of seeing my good Jacob again.

No,

gone! Dead do you mean? not dead, he ran off!" Good people, do not say so of my Jacob, he never could treat me so ill.' It is perfectly true; he ran off and took with him all he could carry away.' Jacob, Jacob, on whose faith and honesty I could have built a second Petersburgh. How is it possible? it cannot be! how is it possible?' 'Yes, indeed, as we tell you; an infamous woman seduced him.' A woman!!" said Limbach; and fell to the ground, as if struck by a thunderbolt, and never rose more."

"The worthy man never saw him more. When he arrived at the door of his house, a neighbour, with his face turned away, and with tears in his eyes, gave him the key, and quietly disappeared, without stopping to speak. Limbach went in and found the house as deserted and bare, as thirty years before he had found that of Rosa. Jacob, Jacob,' he cried in all the apartments. No Jacob appeared. In the mean time, some of the neighbours had, from curiosity, come in. He asked them if they knew what was become of his servant. "O he is gone! My Jacob

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The crowds below are now dispersed, and you can get to your own garrets without molestation. Ah! it was just on such a morning as this that we saw, as we were taking our early rounds, poor Porteous dangling at the dyester's door! The streets were as quiet, and the dawn of day as serene. We remember it as well as yesterday, though it is nearly a century ago. Aye, aye-fugit hora sine mora,-sic transit gloria mundi. Go home now, you dogs; but come and give us some more German stories another evening.

ITALIAN LITERATURE.

No. II.-The Alcestis of Alfieri.

THE Alcestis of Alfieri is said to have been the last tragedy he composed, and is distinguished to a remarkable degree by that tenderness, of which his former works present so few examples. It would appear as if the pure and exalted affection by which the impetuosity of his fiery spirit was ameliorated during the latter years of his life had impressed its whole character on this work, as a record of that domestic happiness in whose bosom his heart at length found a restingplace. Most of his earlier writings

bear witness to that "fever at the ," that burning impatience of recore, straint, and those incessant and untameable aspirations after a wider sphere of action, by which his youth was consumed; but the poetry of Alcestis must find its echo in every heart which has known the power of domestic ties, or felt the bitterness of their dissolution. The interest of the piece, however, though entirely domestic, is not for a moment allowed to languish, nor does the conjugal affection, which forms the main-spring of the action, ever degenerate into the pastoral insipidity of Metastasio. The character of Alcestis herself, with all its lofty fortitude, heroic affection, and subdued anguish, powerfully recalls to our imagination the calm and tempered majesty distinguishing the masterpieces of Greek sculpture, in which the expression of mental or bodily suffering is never allowed to transgress the limits of beauty and sublimity. The union of dignity and affliction impressing more than earthly grandeur on the countenance of Niobe, would be, perhaps, the best illustration of this analogy.

The following scene, in which Alcestis announces to Pheres, the father of Admetus, the terms upon which the oracle of Delphos has declared that his son may be restored, has seldom been surpassed by the author, even in his most celebrated productions. It is,

however, to be feared that little of its beauty can be transfused into translation, as the severity of a style so completely devoid of imagery must render it dependent for many incommunicable attractions upon the melody of the original language.

Act I.-Scene 2.
Alcestis, Pheres.

Alc. Weep thou no more-O monarch!
dry thy tears,

For know, he shall not die; not now shall

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Nor small the boon they grant thee in the

life

Of thy restored Admetus.
Phe. In thy looks
There is expression, more than in thy
words,

De

Which thrills my shuddering heart.
clare, what terms
Can render fatal to thyself and us,
The rescued life of him thy soul adores?
Alc. O father! could my silence aught
avail
To keep that fearful secret from thine ear,

Still should it rest unheard, till all fulfill'd
Were the dread sacrifice. But vain the wish;
And since too soon, too well it must be
known,
Hear it from me.

Phe. Through my curdling veins Runs a cold, death-like horror; and I feel I am not all a father. In my heart Strive many deep affections. Thee I love, O fair and high-soul'd consort of my son! More than a daughter; and thine infant

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Than his lov'd parents-than his children

more

More than himself!-Oh! no, it shall not be!

Phe. What hast thou done? O heaven! What hast thou done?—And think'st thou he is sav'd By such a compact?-Think'st thou he can live

Bereft of thee?-Of thee, his light of life, His very soul!-Of thee, belov'd far more

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Thy lofty soul, thy fond paternal love; Pheres, I know them well, and not in vain Strove to anticipate their high resolves. But if in silence I have heard thy words, Now calmly list to mine, and thou shalt

own

They may not be withstood.

Phe. What can'st thou say

Which I should hear? I go, resolved to

save

Him who with thee would perish ;-to the

shrine E'en now I fly.

Alc. Stay, stay thee! 'tis too late. Already hath consenting Proserpine, From the remote abysses of her realms, Heard and accepted the terrific vow Which binds me, with indissoluble ties, To death. And I am firm, and well I know None can deprive me of the awful right That vow hath won.

*

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Alc. Yes! thou may'st weep my fate, Mourn for me, father! but thou can'st not blame

Oh! the more en

My lofty purpose.
dear'd

My life by every tie, the more I feel
Death's bitterness, the more my sacrifice

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Eum. Oh! what words are these? Are we no more thy children? Are we not Thine own? Sweet sister! twine around his neck

More close; he must return the fond embrace.

Adm. O children! O my children! to my soul

Your innocent words and kisses are as darts,

That pierce it to the quick. I can no more
Sustain the bitter conflict. Every sound
Of your soft accents but too well recals
The voice which was the music of my life.
Alcestis! my Alcestis !-was she not
Of all her sex the flower? Was woman e'er

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They bid me through thy strengthened soul transfuse

Chorus of Admetus.

'Tis not enough, oh! no!

High courage, noble constancy. Submit,

Bow down to them thy spirit. Be thou To hide the scene of anguish from his eyes;

calm, Be near me. treme

Aid me. In the dread ex

Still must our silent band
Around him watchful stand,
And on the mourner ceaseless care bestow,
That his ear catch not grief's funereal cries.

To which I now approach, from whom but
thee

Should comfort be derived? Afflict me not,
In such an hour, with anguish worse than

death.

O faithful and belov'd! support me still!

*

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prest!

And thou, assistance lend

To close the languid eye,

Still beautiful, in life's last agony.

Alas! how long a strife! What anguish struggles in the

breath,

Ere yet immortal life
Be won by death!

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Yet, yet hope is not dead.
All is not lost below,

While yet the gods have pity on our woe.
Oft when all joy is fled,
Heaven lends support to those
Who on its care in pious hope repose.
Then to the blessed skies

Let our submissive prayers in chorus rise.

Death! death! thy work complete!
Let thy sad hour be fleet,
Speed, in thy mercy, the releasing sigh !
No more keen pangs impart
To her, the high in heart,
Th' ador'd Alcestis, worthy ne'er to die.

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Peace, mourners, peace!

Be hush'd, be silent, in this hour of dread!
Our cries would but increase

The sufferer's pangs; let tears unheard be yet, I flatter myself, are not quite un

shed,

Cease, voice of weeping, cease!

deserving of attention. I am emboldened to send you them very much as they were originally written.

There are some questions relative to

eye,

But as a child, which only knows
Its father to revere.

LETTERS ON DRAMATIC POETRY, AND
MORE PARTICULARLY ON THE COM-
PARISON OF THE ANCIENT AND
MODERN DRAMA.

LETTER I.

Sustain, O friend!

Upon thy faithful breast,

The head that sinks, with mortal pain op- dramatic poetry, which have never

MR EDITOR,

THE following remarks, thrown together many years ago, rather hastily and unconnectedly, seem to me to contain some principles which have scarcely been attended to, and which

been very accurately examined. To begin with the time which a drama may be supposed to occupy;-it has been recommended by the critics that this should not exceed the space of a parting day. In strict propriety, a day is too long a time, if the reason of the limitation be, that the spectator shall be fully satisfied of the probability that those occurrences of which he is a witness, may have actually taken place in the time during which they have been presented to him. It is, however, imagined, that if the story

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