Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

think particularly happy; and though attended with the equivoque, of late so common on our stage, and often used most coarsely, is truly natural and affecting. We think we cannot give a more favourable specimen of the comedy :

Enter CLARINDA and JULIA to Lady Bell BLOOMER. Clar. Come, child, don't faint ! - You had more cause for terror half an hour ago.

L. Bell. Heavens, Julia! where have you been?

Clar. Ay, that's a circumstance you would not have known, but for an accident; and I am very sorry it fell to my lol to make the discovery.

Lady Bell. (taking Julia's band) Speak, my love!

Julia. Miss Belmcur will tell you all the knows.-I am too wretched !

Clar. Nay, as to what I know,-I know very little.—I can tell what I saw, indeed.--Having received intimations not quite con-' sonant to one's notions of decorum, I pretende a frolick, and called on Mr. Beauchamp, and there I found this Lady concealed.

L. Bell. Heavens, Julia ! 'Tis impoflible.

Clar. Nay, the can't attempt to deny what I myself saw. Other discoveries bad like to have been made too; but Miss Manners may explain them herself; for I see your rooms begin to fill.-I Mall report that your Ladythip is a little indisposed, as an excuse

for your not immediately appearing.

[Exit Clarinda. L. Bell. (with a countenance of terror) Julia! You at Mr. Beauchamp's !

Julia. Lady Bell, tho' I have acted rashly, and was indeed found there, I am not the guilty creature you imagine.-I am married !-I will no longer conceal it! (bursting into tears.)

L. Bell, Married! Oh Heavens! (throws herself in a chair, with ber back to Julia.)

Julia. I dared not reveal it to my guardian, and for that reason fied from your house.

· L. Be'l. O Julia, and you are married! What a serpent have I nourilhed !--But forgive me !-You knew not -alas ! I knew not Irysell, vill this moment, how much

Julia. My dearest Madam, do not add to my afflictions !--for in. deed they are severe.

* L. Bell. Ungenerous Girl! why did you conceal from me your firuation?

Julia. Good Heavens! is it destin'd that one imprudent step is to lose me every blefling! In the agonies of my heart I flew to your friendship, and you kill me with reproaches. L. Bell

. And you have killed me by your want of confidence ! Oh, Julia! had you revealed to me

Julia. I dared not; for when Mr. Belville prevailed on me to give him my hand

L. Bell. (eagerly) Mr. Belville !—Mr. Belville, say you?

Julia. Yes; it was in Paris we were married. L. Bell. (afde) So, so, fo; what a pretty mistake I made !-But it was a miltake!

And so my sweet Julia is married ! married in Paris! Sly thing! But how came you at Mr. Beauchamp's

married ther.

my love?

[ocr errors]

Julia. In my rafh flight this morning, my wicked maid betray'd me into Lord Sparkle's house.—There Mr. Beauchamp. Saatch?d me from ruin, and gave me a momentary asylum in bis lodgings.

L. Bell. Did Beauchamp? —But what is his worth and his gallantry to med Can't he do a right thing, but my heart mult triumph? (ajde.)

Julia. A: Mr. Beauchamp's my husband found me;- and found me bid with so suspicious a lecrecy !-Hah! Here comes Mr. Fitx. berbert! How can I see him :

Enter FITZHERBERT, Fitz. My Julia ! -My dear Julia!

Julia. On Sir! Fitz. Come, I know all ; and to relieve one cause of your distress, will tell you that the loyer ! Mock'd you with to-day, was only my agent in the little revenge I had resolv'd to take for your having marsied, without my consent, the very man for whom all my cares defign'd you.

Julia. (clasping his hands) -Is it posible! : Fitz. At the moment he left Paris for Florence, you received my directions to return home : thus Belville's letters miss'd you, and he zemain’d ignorant that you were in London.

Julia. Oh Sir! had you reveal'd this to me this morning, what evils Thould I have escap'd?

Filz. My dear girl, I decreed you a little punishment; but your own rathness has occasioned you a severer portion than you deservd.

L. Bibl. But where is the Bridegroom? I long to see the necromancer, whose spells can thaw the Veltal's heart, and light up flames ia the cold region of a monallery,

Fitz. He is without, satisfied from the mouth of Beauchamp of your conduct (to Julia), and impatient to fold his Julia to his beari.

Julia. On Sir, lead me to him !- to find my husband, and to be forgiven by you, are felicities soo great. (Exit led by Fitzherberi.

i L. Bell. What a discovery has Julia's marriage made to me of my own heart! I have persuaded myself it knew no paflion but the degre of conqueft; that it knew no motive to admiracion but vanity; but ihe pangs of jealousy provd to me, in one moment, that all its sense is love!

[Exit L. Bell.' it having been reported that this comedy was written by a military character, the Prologue ailumes the Atyle of an officer, but without much execution.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ART. XIII. The My?ericus Huland. A Tragedy in Five Afts,

as it is acted at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden. By Richard Cumberiand, Esq. 8vo. 1 s. 6d. Dilly. 1783. THE world has been told a long time of a domeftic tragedy of great

,

THRiot's MOTHER ; the work of a man ot taihion, who, in a loose age, has hed the cekivation of titerature preferable to diflipation. Whe:

ther the story of that play first gave birth to the idea of the present uagedy, we will not even enquire ; but we have little doubt, that the name of it, at least, suggested the title of The MYSTERIOUS HusBAND.

Real faits are often captivating as they are extraordinary, and de. rive an additional interest from their being uncommon.. Filiun, ca the cootrary, though it ought to be composed of materials calculated to work upon the passions, yet requires from the composer the stricteft attention to probability. It is easy for a tragic writer, like the old framers of romance, to huddlc one distress upon another ; to com, mit rape, incest, massacre, and murder; to serve the bowl of poison, and draw the dagger; to deal death and destruction, and to say; with Drawcanfir, All this I do, beCAUSE I DARE! But, if reason does not govern the fable; if the marvellous is not mitigated by the probable; in short, if the events represented are unnatural in themselves, or brought about by unnatural means, we are filled with laughter and disgust, instead of picy and terror; and the critic cries out in the words of Horace,

Quodcunque oflendis mihi fic, incredulus odi. The fable of The myfterious Husband is founded on these circumstances: Lord Davenant obtains the hand of Miss Travers, by an ac of the blackest treachery to his young friend, Captain Dormer. After his marriage, he goes over to Flanders, where he meets with the fifter of shis very Captain Dormer, and, under the feigned name of Brooke, massies her, his first wife living; and, after cohabitation of three months, goes to Paris, from whence he causes news of his death to be communicated to Miss Dormer. She, supposing herself a widow, becomes acquainted with the son of Lord Davenant, who carries her to England, and clandestinely marries her. Bringing her home to his own house, on the wedding day, a discovery of the existence and the ferson of the supposed Brooke, her first 'hulband, immediately ensues, and urges Lord Davenant to suicide.

Such a fable is as full of horror as that of the Oedipus of Sophocles, or of the Fatal Curiosity of Lillo, but wants the nature and verifimilitude of either. Nor is the improbability of the general abltract softened, or redeemed, by the particular incidents, which are con-' ducted more according to the perplexity of modern comedy, than in the simple severity of tragedy. The main part of the plot rolls on the wheels of Sir Harry Harlow's chariot, which gives birth to a Thallow mistake, without which the play would terminare, almalt directly after its commencement. The fituation of Lady Davenant, Marianne, Captain Davenant, and Dormer, all involved in the con'fequences of the crimes of Lord Davenant, is not affecting; and even at the death of Lord Davenant, the chief revolution effected by the catastrophe, is, that all obstacles being now removed, Dormer may. be united so Lady Davenant, and Captain Davenant may contummate his marriage with Marianne.'

This tragedy is said to be written in prose; the Prologue even calls it humble proje; but we will venture to afiert, and refer to the printed tragedy itself for the proof, that it was written in blank verle, and that there has scarce been any confiderable effort ufed, besides the niode or printing, to throw it out of metre. The language.js far

fron

Paget.

Paget.

Paget.

from familiar, and there is scarce a single scene, or even speech, that will not, with very little difficulty, resolve itself into meafure; so that we are at a loss to conceive, to what end the Author chose here and there to interrupt the verse, and throw off the bukin, merely to tread the stage, like Prince Prettyman, with one boot. From the following short extract, which we have priored as blank verse, we leave the Reader to judge in what style the tragedy was originally written, afsuring him, that the fame measured prose prevails in every scene.

'* Enter Lord DAVENANT and Pager. • Lord D. The air is fresher here ; motion revives me.

I wish it may: and yet your colour changes ;

Your eyes look heavy, and becokep pain.
Lord D. I've' wearied them with writing. Take the papers

This to my son; to Lady Davenant this;
And this to Dormér.-Ab!

What's that? another pang?
And now it makes you like an ague fit:

Pray be persuaded ; let your physician be sent for. Lord D. What can he do? my wounds are in the foul. Give me your arm.

How cold your hand is on me! • Lord D. No matter : 'cwill pass off. - I'm better now.

Make all things ready. I will be gone to night. Paget.

How can you travel with these pains upon you ? Lord. D. I thall feel no pain upon my journey. Paget.

I fear, my Lord, You are not fit to undertake your journey. « Lord D. I fear fo too:-but, be that as it may,

Let me have all things ready.

Have you put up those parchments for my son ? Paget. They are in the box, seal'd and directed

For Mr. Davenant. « Lord D.

That's very well.-
Now tell my Lady that I desire to see her -
A word with you before you go :-You will find
I have not forgot your services;
They wou'd have donc credit to a better cause;
But as I have put you now above necessity,

I hope I have put you above meanness allo.
. Paget. It has not been my choice, but my misfortune.

I thall send Lady Davenant to you, and hope

She will prevail with you to poftpone your journey. [Exit. Lord D. My journey must be quickened, not poftponed.

This medicine works too lowly;
But here's a remedy of more dispatch :-
Apply it then !- Misery like mine
Acquits the suicide; when law strikes short,
Juftice should arm the culprit's hand. The occafion's apt:--
In death there's but one pang, in life
A thousand thousand multiplied calamities. -

Now, now I'll do it.-Hah! I'm interrupted.' The Prologue and Epilogue have each poetical merit; but the Prologue is in every sense entitled to the firfi place.

ART.

A

Art. XIV. A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for

High Treason, and other Crimes and Misdemeanours. The 4th Edidition. To which is prefixed a new Preface, by Francis Har. grave, Esq. Folio. I Vols.

11 Guineas in Sheets. Cadell, &c. 1781.

S this edition is at length completed, it acquires, in its

collective state, a degree of importance, which, in its progress through a periodical publication in numbers, it did not seem to command.

The respectable name of Hargrave, prefixed in the title page, and advertised in the public papers, has led many into an opinion of the superiority which the whole of this edition would derive from the labours of so able and enlightened an Editor: nor can it be questioned, that if this gentleman had poflessed sufficient leisure to have annexed explanatory notes to the different Trials as the work advanced, it would have added highly to the utility of this compilation. That this was expected by many purchasers is very certain ; that it was ever promised is positively disavowed by Mr. Hargrave, in his Preface to the 11th volume ; wherein, after referring to the Preface to the first volume, he proceeds to state the nature of his engagement in this work :

• Io my Preface to the first volume of this edition of STATE Trials, I thought, that I had suficiently explained myself to guard against any responsibility beyond what really belongs to me. But from the manner of placing my name in the title to the collection, which I now think might have been lefs ambiguous, a very erroneous notion has prevailed, as to the extent of my very limited share in the undertaking. I therefore deem it proper to be more explicit on this head; and with that view, I here take the opportunity of declaring, that the only parts of the work for which I am in any respect accountable, exclusive of the present Preface, are the Preface with my name in the first volume; and the selection of the trials and cases for this volume, with such annotations as I have given in the course of it, particularly those before the several trials. As to the trials in the ten preceding volumes, they were printed literally from the last of the former edition ; nor did I see so much as one sheet of those volumes before it was printed and published, except only the sheet containing my Preface and the title to the first volume. I am equally free from responsibility for the Alphabetical and Chronological Tablés of all the Trials in this collection, and for the General Index of matter ; all of which are placed at the end of this volume. These Tables and Index were prepared by another gentleman. The Chronological Tables of the Trials is quite a new accession to the work; there being no such table to the former editions; though the utility of it is apparent, as it in a great measure obviates the disadvantage from the dire orderly arrangement of many of the trials in point of time. This disorder was a necessary consequence of continuing the first fix volumes of the work by supplemental volumes. The merit of leffening

« AnteriorContinuar »