« ZurückWeiter »
scribing the progress from vice to quish all hopes of happiness, but he virtue as easy and pleasant, not as will seek gratification elsewhere. rugged or impracticable. We for. Let this be formed into habit, and give the benevolent errour which farewell virtue, comfort, prosperity; seduces an individual into virtue.- farewell the attachments of the We commend the solicitude of the heart, and the thousand tender ties squire to improve the morals of his which bind an individual to his own, villagers, by giving employment and with bands incomparably stronger favour as encouragement to the most than those of iron or brass. The afdeserving. Not less exemplary is fections are vitiated; on what can the humanity of his lady, in contri- advice or persuasion act? This vo. ving to amend the tempers of the lume is extremely well fitted for the wives, in order to make home com- persons for whom it is designed; and fortable to the husbands. This, at we shall be happy to hear, that the least, shows an intimate acquaint villagers throughout our country ance with human nature; for a man emulate the example of the villagers will naturally frequent most con- before us; and that Mr. and Mrs. stantly that spot where he enjoys the Andrews are patterns to our rural greatest satisfaction. If that be his squires, and their ladies. The apwife's fireside, there will be his pendix, containing rules, monitions, abode; but if his wife's fireside be and advice, adds essentially to its the station of torment, from what- value. ever cause arising, he may relin
FROM THE MONTHLY REVIEW.
Martin Luther, &c. i. e. Martin Luther, or the Consecration of Energy, a Tragedy, by
the Author of the “Sons of the Valley." 12mo. pp. 380. Berlin. IN consequerce of the passion of examined the theory of the drama. the great king of Prussia, for French tick art with more completeness, and literature, the German poets of his with not less elegance, than had time were employed to translate for been displayed in the prefaces of the theatre at Berlin the best trage. Dryden, or the Poesie Dramatique dies of the French dramatists. of Diderot. Warned by judges sa Weisse, in particular, with great sagacious, against real imprudence, felicity, transferred into German and invited by fashion to lean toAlexandrie rhymes, several master wards French models, what have the pieces of Corneille, Racine, and Vol- subsequent German poets done? taire. The leading theatres of the They have forsaken the forms of country, of Dresden, Manheim, French, for those of English art; Frankfort, and Hamburgh, were the patent moulds of Racine, for eager to flatter the taste of an ad- those of Shakspeare; the Grecian mired monarch, and to diffuse the for the Gothick drama. From theory, celebrity of such noble works of art. and from experience, the Germans In native productions, the German have, finally, awarded the preference drama was at that time scanty, and to our native, northern, historick trathe tragedies of the French were gedy. received with universal applause. The unity of time, they find, is
Criticks then arose, deeply versed needless, and the unity of place is in ancient and modern literature, hostile to illusion. By prolonging such as Sulzer and Lessing, who the implied duration of the piece, it becomes possible to dramatize with traits. His scenery, like that of Schilprobability, events of greater mo- ler, is well imagined, not merely for ment, interest, and complexity, than picturesque effect, but for emble. can be squeezed into the limits of natick operation on the spectator; and any Parisian play, that is confined his dialogue, though much too difto twenty four hours; no one of fuse, has at least not the French which could unfold the conspiracy fault of sinking into epic poetry; of Venice, or the usurpation and de- but is uniformly dramatick. Still his thronement of Macbeth. By fre- piece tir s before it closes; and this quently shifting the scene, the spec- defect principally results from a tator's eye is delighted; his flagging breach of unity of action. attention is aroused; and his imagi- Luther's burning of the pope's nation is assisted to wander on the bull, and his consequent citation to wings of the words, and is silently Worms, forin the original points of provided with numberless instruc- interest. His heroick determination tive particulars, about the costume to go to the place where he might of the age, and the localities of the expect the fate of Huss; his danger incidents. Where the course of the while he was there; the collection plot does not compel a change of of the votes of the diet; and the place, the wise dramatist will seek casting vote of the emperour, which pretences for repeated removals grants him a safe return, constitute of his personages.
a complete series of action. But the Unity of action or design, how. untired author, instead of concluding ever, is, in the historick tragedy, of his play with the rejoicings of the indisputable value; and the great art populace, on the discharge of Luof adopting a fragment of history, or ther, proceeds to paint the reformer an individual hero, to this form of in love, and diverts his audience delineation, is to seize, in the event, with a religious courtship of the or in the person, on the character nun Catherine Bore; which, though istick feature; and to direct atten. not borrowed out of the book of Detion with singleness of view, to- foe, is nearly as ludicrous, from the wards this principal point. Thus analogous attempt to veil the desires Schiller, in his tragedy of Wilhelm of nature, in the forms of spiritual Tell, having undertaken to draw the aspiration. portrait of a meritorious tyrannicide, The composition of historick trakeeps this aim in his eye, through- gedy deserves to be revived in this out every apparent episode; and in- country. Dramas, on that plan, are troduces, really for a purpose of in- apt to be too long; but they might structive contrast, the other and be given without any afterpiece; esa culpable tyrannicide, Johannes Par- pecially if the poet, as in this instance, ricida, of Swabia, whose appearance would contrive a conclusion full of seems, at first sight, so needless. musick, show, pageantry, bustle,
The author of Martin Luther cer. song, and machinery. The biography tainly possesses not the loftiness and of Luther is interesting in all propathetick force of Schiller, nor that testant countries; sufficiently so, perperpetual concentration of attention haps, for the transplantation of this on the main purpose, which distin. very piece, into our own theatres. guished the later productions of this We, therefore, give an analysis of it, lamented genius. But he manifests scene by scene. skill in the art of painting the spirit Act I, Scene 1. Miners are at work of the times in a short dialogue be in the caverns of Freiberg in Saxotween boors, and in the art of cha- ny. They converse about the comracterizing eminent men with strik, motion which Luther is causing; his ing likeness by little significant father is one of the workmen, and is
questioned concerning his son. Thus been translating psalms into rhyme; the popular operation of his opi- the door is spotted with ink; and, on nions, and the outlines of his early being questioned, he relates the sto). biography, are unaffectedly brought ry of his throwing an inkstand at out.
the celebrated apparition of the de. Scene 2. A convent of nuns at vil. Much nature, much historick Wittenberg is exhibited. They are fidelity, and much philosophy, are seen in the chapel, through a grate, exhibited in this delineation. Me. performing their devotions; and a lanchthon informs Luther of the cimiserere, accompanied by an organ, tation to Worms, and advises him is sung in chorus. The chancellor not to go, lest he should be burnt of Saxony, and other attendants, ar alive. The father and mother concur rive, to announce the sequestration of in the dissuasion: but the noble the holy property, and the dismissal firmness of Luther prevails. This of the nuns, on a pension, into private scene is too long: but it contains life. Interesting contrasts of charac- affecting displays of character. ter are displayed between the grief Scene 2. The disbanded nuns are of the elderly and the subdued joy again produced, for little purpose; of the younger nuns. While the for- unless to reveal the progress of Camal process is going on, a mob of therine's attachment, who deteryouths break into the holy precincts, mines, in the dress of a pilgrim, to and more than one snatches his be follow Luther to Worms. loved from imprisonment. The dig- Act III. Scene 1. A hall in the nified indignation of Catherine Bore imperial palace exhibits the assemoverawes the rudest. An officer, who bled majesty of the German empire; was in love with her is vainly a the electors, the knights, the cardisuitor; and she reproves him for his nals, the bishops, the emperour attachment to Luther.
Charles V. and his fool, Bossu. Scene 3. The college-square at The debate turns on the protestant Wittenberg is displayed. Students troubles; the several characters are are assembled to witness the burning brought forwards in exact proporof the pope's bull by Luther. The tion to their historick importance; daring character of this step is and to each his individual learning painted by the alarm of Melanchthon, is assigned with solicitous preciby the hesitation of the people, and sion: but we have too much of the by the intrusive protest of the dis- emperour's fool. banded nuns, who are marched past Scene 2. Luther has arrived at at the time. Luther makes his Worms, accompanied by Melanchspeech, and burns the bull. Cathe. thon. The cardinal Aleander practi. rine Bore feels her abhorrence ses with him, and offers preferment overcome by an involuntary venera- if he will retract: but Luther re. tion.
mains firm, and wanders through Act II. Scene 1. The famulus, or the streets, singing with a chorus of apprentice-student, of Luther, by the people his own psalms. The name Theobald, is waiting in Lu- emperour passes on horseback, and, ther's anti-room, and is visited by being curious to see Luther, slack. Melanchthon, whose cautious, timid, ens his pace. While he is gazing, scrupulous virtue is accurately por- the sceptre drops from his hand; trayed. Luther is locked within his and this emblematick or ominous study. His father and mother come incident is well managed by the from Freiberg to visit him. The door poet. The dialogue is affectedly inis burst open. He is found half en- sipid, while the page picks up the tranced, from want of food, and from sceptre, and the emperour desires excess of literary labour. He has the elector of Saxony to carry it for VOL.V.
him. But Luther, looking calmly and the convent, and to reintroduce the silently at the incident, and continu. chorus of nuns, who are allowed to ing his psalmody, excites an inde- reunite on this occasion. During scribable thrill, arising from a recol. the service, protestant iconoclasts lection of the mass of depending rush in, tear down the pictures, and events, which reveals the use and the carry off the candlesticks; and thus place of omens in dramatick histo- the reformation, hitherto so imporriography.
tant, is degraded into a church-robAct IV. Scene 1. Luther is called bery, hostile to the fine arts! An before the diet, is exhorted to re- opportunity is seized for exhibiting tract, and refuses. When he has re- Luther in lay-apparel, when he tired, a deliberation commences makes his offer, and is accepted by whether he shall be burnt for heresy. Catherine Bore; occasion is also The votes are divided: but the em- taken to kill off two personages, now perour's casting vote decides in fa- become supernumerary, the boy. vour of Luther, who retires with widower Theobald, and the discarthe acclamations of the people. ded lover of Catherine; and thus
Scene 2. A forest near Worms. the tragedy terminates. Here Luther is benighted, with his The merits of this poem must be famulus; and here Catherine Bore, sought, first, in the author's happy in her pilgrim's dress, with the fair portraiture of character and manners, novice who accompanies her, is be- and in ethick discrimination; secondnighted also. Certain soldiers attend ly, in his wise choice of the interas an escort. The parties meet, and views, so as to teach a large portion club their suppers, spread them- of historick truth, with a moderate selves on the ground, and sing in number of agitating scenes; thirdly, concert. The spectacle may be ima. in decorative contrivance, an opporgined to be picturesque; and the tunity being skilfully afforded for soldier's bugle, with the voices of various and magnificent scenery the performers, alternately sounding, and pageantry; yet in this departto be very melodious: yet the dia- ment of art, the law of climax is not logue itself is vile and ludicrous, sufficiently observed; and fourthly, and abolishes all that reverence for in historick fidelity.--Its faults will Luther and Catherine, which had be found; first, in the trailing and previously been excited. After ha- sentimental style of the dialogue; ving fallen in love, they fall asleep; secondly, in exuberance of personand their dreams are exhibited in age, incident, anecdote, and parade; the air, in pleasing illuminated ma thirdly, in repetitions of situation, chines. Theobald and the fair no- such as that of the nuns at worship; vice also fall in love, as well as their and fourthly, in the decaying chamaster and mistress.
racter of the interest, which, from In the fifth act, still grosser ab- being originally of the heroick, besurdities occur. The fair novice comes finally of the comick kind. dies, in crder to exhibit a funeral at
SPIRIT OF THE MAGAZINES.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA. FEMALE HEROISM, AS EVINCED DURING THE REIGN OF TERROUR OF
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
[Concluded from page 137.) Mademoiselle de Bussy and Ma- ges and sat down on the stairs, near demoiselle de Brion, one aged 15, the door of the dungeon where her and the other 19, had both accom. mother was. There she listened a panied their mothers to a prison. long while, and when she heard They were not prisoners, and might nothing, she sighed, shed tears, and have gone out; but they preferred to in a low tone said sorrowfully: O my share their captivity, and the decree mother, my fond, my unfortunate ordering the expulsion of the nobi- mother! When she heard her walk lity from Paris, forced them to part or move, she conversed with her, from them. They shed tears, and every and to prolong the dire pleasure of day, in the country where they such an intercourse, she remained breathed pure air, they were heard for several hours on the landing to regret the insalubrity of that hor- place. She was not satisfied with rid abode, out of which they had talking; she carried, every day, to her been violentiy driven away.
mother, some of her own victuals, Madame Grimoard, now Madame which was giving her life, as they Potier, showed also a most affecting sometimes forgot to feed the unforanxiety for her mother, Madame tunate woman. But when she came Lachabeaussiere. She had been sent to request the turnkeys to open the to another prison. She begged, though dungeon to her, how many brutal she was pregnant, to be carried to refusals, disgusting interrogations, Port Libre, to accompany her mother and indecent jokes, had she not to and take care of her; but she found endure to obtain the favour? She her in close confineinent, and treated disregarded them, and suffered every with the greatest cruelty. She was thing, in order to carry food to her so shocked at it, that at intervals her mother, and to embrace her for a mind was deranged. She neglected few moments. It seemed as if materher dress, and in her delirium, at nal anxiety were wholly transfused which every heart was moved, she into the bosom of this affectionate stood for some time on a spot, look- daughter! ing around her without seeing any The same praise is due to Madebody. Sighs heaved her bosom, and moiselle Delleglan. Her father, who her face and body were distorted was ordered to be removed from a with convulsions. Then she arose dungeon in Lyons, to the Conciersuddenly, darted through the passa- gcrie, was setting out for Paris.