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thought proper to trouble your high, gone! - Dead do you mean? No, ness with questions about it. The not dead, he ran off! Good people, precognition and all the proceedings do not say so of my Jacob, he never are lying in chancery.' 'Let the writ- could treat me so ill.' 'It is perfectings be brought;' said the prince ; ly true; he ran off and took with him
and let the fellow himself appear, all he could carry away.' ! O Jacob, as soon as dinner is over.'
Jacob, on whose faith and honesty I “ The register of process went 'all could have built a second Petersburgh. round the table : when it came to me, How is it possible ? it cannot be! I observed with consternation, that how is it possible?' 'Yes, indeed, you, my dear Limbach, were the un- as we tell you; an infamous woman fortunate prisoner; all the rest is seduced him.' "A woman !!' said known to yourself. What think you Limbach ; and fell to the ground, as now of the lady? Can a person who if struck by a thunderbolt, and never exposes a worthy man to imprison- rose more. ment for sport, —who then coolly gazes at him, as at a wild beast for Whenever Jannes had stopt reading, show,—who does not say a word to we awoke with “What were you sayapologize for the sufferings she has ing about the old professor of astronocaused,
---can we call such a silly crea- my?” ture good-natured? Has she a com- Jannes. O! he is gone to bed an passionate heart? Can we call her an hour since. angel of Heaven? No, she is a mon- Editor. Well, then, we had better ster,-she is destitute of all the finer all follow his example. feelings of the soul.'
"I stood silent, and sunk in a deep Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund reverie on my wonderful fate, which Stands tip-toe on the misty mountain-tops. was spun by the hands of the women. The Count roused me, as from a The crowds below are now dispersed, dream, and said, “Don't dwell any and you can get to your own garrets longer upon it,--the thing is now without molestation. Ah! it was
Come to my house, my old just on such a morning as this that honest friend. Refresh yourself there we saw, as we were taking our early as long as you please, after all your rounds, poor Porteous dangling at the hardships in prison, and, when you dyester's door! The streets were as are in spirits, do me the favour to quiet, and the dawn of day as serene. write me your life.'
We remember it as well as yesterday, “ I accepted my friend's invitation, though it is nearly a century ago. passed several comfortable weeks in Aye, ayemfugit hora sine mora, --sic his house, and, to please the generous transit gloria nrundi. Go home now, Ossek, have become my own biogra- you dogs; but come and give us some pher. I am now about to set out on more German stories another evening. my return to
and heartily rejoice at the thought of seeing my good Jacob again.
“ The worthy man never saw him No. II.-The Alcestis of Alfieri. more. When he arrived at the door of his house, a neighbour, with his THE Alcestis of Alfieri is said to face turned away, and with tears in have been the last tragedy he composhis eyes, gave him the key, and quiet, ed, and is distinguished to a remarkly disappeared, without stopping to able degree by that tenderness, of speak. Limbach went in and found which his former works present so the house as deserteil and bare, as few examples. It would appear as if thirty years before he had found that the pure and exalted affection by which of Rosa. Jacob, Jacob,' he cried in the impetuosity of his fiery spirit was all the apartments. No Jacob ap- ameliorated during the latter years of peared. In the mean time, some of his life had impressed its whole chathe neighbours had, from curiosity, racter on this work, as a record of that come in. He asked them if they domestic happiness in whose bosom knew what was become of his servant. his heart at length found a resting
"O he is gone! 'My Jacob place. Most of his earlier writings
bear witness to that “ fever at the Alc. He shall, to thee.
Confirms the oracle be thou secure. tameable aspirations after a wider Phe. O sounds of joy! He lives ! sphere of action, by which his youth Think not that e'en for this the stranger
Alc. But not for this, was consumed ; but the poetry of Al
Joy cestis must find its echo in every heart Shall yet revisit these devoted walls. which has known the power of do
Phe. Can there be grief when from his mestic ties, or felt the bitterness of
bed of death their dissolution. The interest of the Admetus rises ? What deep mystery lurks piece, however, though entirely do. Within thy words ? What mean’st thou ? mestic, is not for a moment allowed Gracious Heaven ! to languish, nor does the conjugal af- Thou, whose deep love is all his own, who fection, which forms the main-spring
hear'st of the action, ever degenerate into the The tidings of his safety, and dost bear pastoral insipidity of Kletastasio. The Transport and life in that glad oracle character of Alcestis herself, with all With death, and on thy 'pure ingenuous
To his despairing sire ; thy cheek is ting'd its lofty fortitude, heroic affection, and
brow subdued anguish, powerfully recalls To the brief lightning of a sudden joy. to our imagination the calm and tem
Shades dark as night succeed, and thou art pered majesty distinguishing the mas- wrapt terpieces of Greek sculpture, in which in troubled silence-speak! oh! speak ! the expression of mental or bodily Alc. The gods suffering is never allowed to trans- Themselves have limitations to their power gress the limits of beauty and sub- Impassable, eternal and their will limity. The union of dignity and af
Resists not the tremendous laws of fate : fliction impressing more than earthly Nor small the boon they grant thee in the
life grandeur on the countenance of Nio
Of thy restored Admetus. be, would be, perhaps, the best illus
Phe. In thy looks tration of this analogy.
There is expression, more than in thy The following scene, in which Al
words, cestis announces to Pheres, the father which thrills my shuddering heart. Deof Admetus, the terms upon which the clare, what terms oracle of Delphos has declared that his Can render fatal to thyself and us, son may be restored, has seldom been The rescued life of him thy soul adores ? surpassed by the author, even in his Alc. O father! could my silence aught
avail most celebrated productions. It is, however, to be feared that little of its
To keep that fearful secret from thine ear, beauty can be transfused into transla- Still should it rest unheard, till all fulfill'd
Were the dread sacrifice. But vain the wish; tion, as the severity of a style so com
And since too soon, too well it must be pletely devoid of imagery must ren
known, der it dependent for many incommu- Hear it from me. nicable attractions upon the melody · Phe. Through my curdling veins of the original language.
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-sould consort of my son !
More than a daughter; and thine infant Alc. Weep thou no more-0 monarch !
race, dry thy tears,
The cherish'd hope and glory of my age ; For know, he shall not die ; not now shall And, unimpair'd by time, within my, Fate
breast, Bereave thee of thy son.
High, holy, and unalterable love, Plie. What mean thy words?
For her, the partner of my cares and joys, Hath then Apollo---is there then a hope? Dwells pure and perfect yet. Rethink Alc. Yes! hope for thee-hope, by the thee, then, voice announced
In what suspense, what agony of fear, From the prophetie cave. Nor would I I wait thy words; for well, too well, I see yield
Thy lips are fraught with fatal auguries, To other lips the tidings, meet alone To some one of my race. For thee to hear from mine.
Alc. Death hath his rights, Phe. But say! oh! say,
Of which not e'en the great Supernal Shall then my son be spared ?
May hope to rob him. By his ruthless Than his lov'd parents than his children
hand, Already seized, the noble victim lay, More than himself !-Oh ! no, it shall not The heir of empire, in his glowing prime
be! And noon-day, struck :-Admetus, the re- Thou perish, 0 Alcestis ! in the flower ver'd,
Of thy young beauty !-perish, and destroy The bless'd, the lov’d, by all who own'd Not him, not him alone, but us, but all,
Who as a child adore thee! Desolate By his illustrious parents, by the realms Would be the throne, the kingdom, reft of Surrounding his,--and oh! what need to
And think'st thou not of those, whose tenHow much by his Alcestis ?-Such was he,
Demand thy care ?-thy children! think Already in th' unsparing grasp of death,
of them! Withering, a certain prey.- Apollo thence O thou, the source of each domestic joy, Hath snatch'd him, and another in his Thou, in whose life alone Admetus lives, stead,
His glory, his delight, thou shalt not die, Though not an equal,-(who can equal While I can die for thee !—Me, me
alone, Must fall a voluntary sacrifice.
The oracle demands—a wither'd stem, Another, of his lineage, or to him
Whose task, whose duty, is, for him to By closest bonds united, must descend
die. To the dark realm of Orcus in his place, My race is run the fulness of my years, Who thus alone is saved.
The faded hopes of age, and all the love Phe. What do I hear ?
Which hath its dwelling in a father's heart, Woe to us, woe!-what victim ?--who And the fond pity, halt with wonder blent, shall be
Inspired by thee, whose youth with heaAccepted in his stead ?
venly gifts Alc. The dread exchange
So richly is endowed ; all, all unite E’en now, 0 father ! hath been made; the To grave in adamant the just decree, prey
That I must die. But thou, I bid thee Is ready, nor is wholly worthless him
live! For whom 'tis freely offered. Nor wilt Pheres commands thee, O Alcestis ! live ! thou,
Ne'er, ne'er shall woman's youthful love O mighty goddess of th' infernal shades !
surpass Whose image sanctifies this threshold An aged sire's devotedness. floor,
Alc. I know Disdain the victim.
Thy lofty soul, thy fond paternal love; Phe. All prepar'd the prey !
Pheres, I know them well, and not in vain and to our blood allied ! o heaven !--and Strove to anticipate their high resolves. yet
But if in silence I have heard thy words, Thou bad’st me weep no more !
Now calmly list to mine, and thou shalt Alc. Yes! thus I said, And thus again I say, thou shalt not weep They may not be withstood. Thy son's, nor I deplore my husband's Phe. What can'st thou say doom.
Which I should hear ? I go, resolved to Let him be saved, and other sounds of woe Less deep, less mournful far, shall here be Him who with thee would perish ;-to the heard,
shrine Than those his death had caus'd.-With E'en now I fly. some few tears,
Alc. Stay, stay thee! 'tis too late. But brief, and mingled with a gleam of Already hath consenting Proserpine, joy,
From the remote abysses of her realms, E’en while the involuntary tribute lasts, Heard and accepted the terrific vow The victim shall be honour'd, who resign'd Which binds me, with indissoluble ties, Life for Admetus._Would'st thou know To death. And I am firm, and well I prey,
know The vow'd, the willing, the devoted one, None can deprive me of the awful right Offer'd and hallow'd to th' infernal gods, That vow hath won. Father ! 'tis I.
Phe. What hast thou done ? O heaven! Alc. Yes! thou may'st weep iny fate, What hast thou done ? And think'st thou Mourn for me, father! but thou can'st not he is sav'd
blame By such a compact ?-Think’st thou he My lofty purpose. Oh! the more encan live
dear'd Bereft of thee?-Of thee, his light of life, My life by every tie, the more I feel His very soul !_Of thee, belov'd far more Death's bitterness, the more my sacrifice
Is worthy of Admetus. I descend Ador'd like her before ? Yet this is she, To the dim shadowy regions of the dead The cold of heart, th' ungrateful, who hath A guest more honour'd.
left Her husband and her infants! This is she,
() my deserted children! who at once Alc. In thy presence here
Bereaves you of your parents. Again I utter the tremendous vow,
Alc. Woe is me! Now more than half fulfilled. I feel, I I hear the bitter and reproachful cries know
Of my despairing lord. With life's last Its dread effects. Through all my burn
powers, ing veins
Oh ! let me strive to soothe him still. ApTh’insatiate fever revels. Doubt is o'er.
proach, The Monarch of the Dead hath heard-he My handmaids, raise me, and support my calls,
steps He summons me away- and thou art sav'd, To the distracted mourner. Bear me hence, O my Admetus !
That he may hear and see me.
Adm. Is it thou ? In the opening of the third act, Al And do I see thee still ? and com’st thou
thus cestis enters, with her son Eumeles, To comfort me, Alcestis ? Must I hear and her daughter, to complete the sa
Thy dying accents thus ? Alas! return crifice by dying at the feet of Proser
To thy sad couch, return ! 'tis meet for me pine's statue. The following scene There by thy side for ever to remain. ensues between her and Admetus.
Alc. For me thy care is vain. Though
meet for thee Alc. Here, O my faithful handmaids ! Adm. O voice! O looks of death! are at the feet
these, are these Of Proserpine's dread image spread my Thus darkly shrouded with mortality couch,
The eyes that were the sunbeams and the For 1 myself e'en now must offer here
life The victim she requires. And you, mean- Of my fond soul ? Alas ! how faint a ray while,
Falls from their faded orbs, so brilliant My children! seek your sire. Behold him there,
Upon my drooping brow! How heavily Sad, silent, and alone. But through his With what a weight of death thy languid veins
voice Health's genial current flows once more, as Sinks on my heart ! too faithful far, too free
foud, As in his brightest days : and he shall live, Alcestis! thou art dying and for me ! Shall live for you. Go, hang upon his neck,
Alcestis ! and thy feeble hand supports And with your innocent encircling arms With its last power, supports my sinking Twine round him fondly.
head, Eum. Can it be indeed,
E'en now, while death is on thee! Oh! Father, loy'd father! that'we see thee thus
the touch Restored ? What joy is ours !
Rekindles tenfold frenzy in
my heart, Adm. There is no joy!
I rush, I fly impetuous to the shrine, Speak not of joy ! away, away! my grief The image of yon ruthless Deity, Is wild and desperate ; cling to me no Impatient for her prey. Before thy death, more !
There, there, I too, self-sacrificed, will fall. I know not of affection, and I feel No more a father.
Vain is each obstacle.--In vain the gods Eum. Oh! what words are these ? Themselves would check my fury-I am Are we no more thy children ? Are we not
lord Thine own ? Sweet sister ! twine around Of my own days and thus I swear his neck
Alc. Yes! swear More close; he must return the fond em- Admetus ! for thy children to sustain brace.
The load of life. All other impious vows, Adm. O children! O my children! to Which thou, a rebel to the sovereign will
Of those who rule on high, might'st dare Your innocent words and kisses are as
to form arts,
Within thy breast; thy lip, by them enThat pierce it to the quick. I can no more chained, Sustain the bitter conflict. Every sound Would vainly seek to utter. See'st thou Of your soft accents but too well recals
not, The voice which was the music of my life. It is from them the inspiration flows, Alcestis ! my Alcestis !- was she not Which in my language breathes ? They Of all her sex the flower? Was woman e'er
lend me power,
They bid me through thy strengthened
Chorus of Admetus. soul transfuse High courage, noble constancy. Submit,
'Tis not enough, oh! no ! Bow down to them thy spirit
. Be thou To hide the scene of anguish from his eyes ;
Still must our silent band calm,
Around him watchful stand,
And on the mourner ceaseless care bestow, treme
That his ear catch not grief's funereal cries. To which I now approach, from whom but thee
Yet, yet hope is not dead.
Oft when all joy is fled,
Who on its care in pious hope repose. The chorusses with which this tra
Then to the blessed skies gedy is interspersed are distinguished Let our submissive prayers in chorus rise. for their melody and classic beauty. Pray! bow the knee, and pray ! The following translation will give our What other task have mortals, born to readers a faint idea of the one by tears, which the third act is concluded. Whom fate controls, with adamantine Alc. My children ! all is finished. Now O ruler of the spheres ! farewell !
Jove! Jove! enthron'd immortally on To thy fond care, O Pheres ! I commit
high, My widow'd Lord, forsake him not.
Our supplication hear ! Eum. Alas!
Nor plunge in bitterest woes, Sweet mother! wilt thou leave us ? from Him, who nor footstep moves, nor lifts his thy side
eye, Are we for ever parted ?
But as a child, which only knows Phe. Tears forbid
Its father to revere. All utterance of our woes. Bereft of sense, More lifeless than the dying victim, see The desolate Admetus. Farther yet, LETTERS ON DRAMATIC POETRY, AND Still farther let us bear him from the sight MORE PARTICULARLY ON THE COMOf his Alcestis.
THE ANCIENT AND
MR EDITOR, Her struggling voice! that last keen pang The following remarks, thrown tois near.
gether many years ago, rather hastily Peace, mourners, peace!
and unconnectedly, seem to me to Be hush’d, be silent, in this hoar of dread! contain some principles which have Our cries would but increase
scarcely been attended to, and which The sufferer's pangs ; let tears unheard be' yet, I flatter myself, are not quite unshed,
deserving of attention. I am emboldCease, voice of weeping, cease! ened to send you them very much Sustain, O friend !
as they were originally written. Upon thy faithful breast,
There are some questions relative to The head that sinks, with mortal pain op- dramatic poetry, which have never prest!
been very accurately examined. To And thou, assistance lend
begin with the time which a drama To close the languid eye,
may be supposed to occupyi;—it has Still beautiful, in life's last agony. been recommended by the critics that Alas ! how long a-strife !
this should not exceed the space of a What anguish struggles in the parting day. In strict propriety, a day is too breath,
long a time, if the reason of the limiEre yet immortal life
tation be, that the spectator shall be Be won by death! Death ! death! thy work complete !
fully satisfied of the probability that Let thy sad hour be fleet,
those occurrences of which he is a Speed, in thy mercy, the releasing sigh! witness, may have actually taken No more keen pangs impart
place in the time during which they To her, the high in heart,
have been presented to him. It is, Th' ador'd Alcestis, worthy ne'er to die. however, imagined, that if the story