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a constant effort to keep himself without the walls of a prison. The pen was seldom out of his hand. Within the last seven years of his life, he wrote "Woman, or, Pour et Contre," in three volumes; "Melmoth the Wan. derer," in three volumes; "The Universe," a poem in blank verse; "The Albigenses," in four volumes; and in the Lent of 1824, preached and published six controversial sermons. In enumerating his works, it must not be forgotten that in 1815 he produced a successful prize poem on the Battle of Waterloo. Maturin died of a lingering illness, exhausted in body and wearied in mind, at his house in Yorkstreet, Dublin, on the 30th of October, 1824, in the forty-fourth year of his age. He was eccentric in his habits, almost to insanity, and compounded of opposites; an insatiable reader of novels; an elegant preacher; an incessant dancer, which propensity he carried to such an extent, that he darkened his drawing-room windows, and indulged during the daytime; a coxcomb in dress and manner; an extensive reader; vain of his person and reputation; well versed in theology; and withal, a warm and kind-hearted man. Amongst other peculiarities, he was accustomed to paste a wafer on his forehead, whenever he felt the estro of composition coming on him, as a warning to the members of his family, that if they entered his study they were not to interrupt his ideas by questions or conversation. Amongst his manuscripts was found a fourth tragedy in a complete state, entitled, Osmyn the Renegade, or the Siege of Salerno. It contains passages of great poetic beauty, superior to the best that could be selected from Bertram, Manuel, or Fredolfo. The subject bears some resemblance to Lord Byron's


Siege of Corinth," and is founded on historical incidents. The action passes in the fifteenth century, soon after the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, in the reign of Mahomet II. An elaborate review of this work, written by Lockhart, appeared in the Quarterly, and another, at a later period, in the DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE. The manuscript was placed in the hands of Mr. Macready, with a view of benefiting the widow and family of the de

ceased author. He enlisted Sheil in the cause, and they worked together with infinite zeal to promote their object. On Tuesday, the 30th of March, 1830, the play was announced for representation, being for the first time on any stage, at the Theatre Royal, Dublin, under the immediate patronage of the Duke of Northumberland, at that time Lord Lieutenant. The cast was as follows: Christians-Guiscard, Prince of Salerno, Mr. H. Cooke; Romoald, Mr. Cunningham; Flodoard, Mr. King; Sismondi, Mr. Shuter; Arnulf, Mr. H. Williams; Matilda, Princess of Salerno, Mother of Guiscard, Miss Huddart; Volonia, Miss Chalmers. Turks: Osmyn the Renegade, Mr. Macready; Ben Taleb, Mr. Calcraft; Syndarac, Mr. Barry; Murad, Mr. F. Cooke; Abdallah, Mr. O'Rourke ; Omar, Mr. Sutcliffe. Turn we now the hour-glass of time, and what shall we discover in the revolving mutations of twenty-five years? From the list of sixteen names here enumerated, nine must be deducted, who sleep the sleep that wakes not in this world; and three who have retired from the mimic scene, leaving only four who still toil on in the same monotonous round of service, which has become to them a second nature, and to the continuance of which their hopes are limited.

The trumpet of preparation had been well sounded in the papers; and on the production of Osmyn the theatre was filled to overflowing, and the applause incessant. The scene in which Osmyn relates the story of his life, and how he became a renegade, with the manner in which his wife was torn from him, and he himself plunged into a dungeon, produced the most powerful effect. The following passage in particular was greatly admired, and quoted in all the criticisms:


"I cannot tell my dungeon agonies;

Nor time, nor space was there, nor day, nor midnight.

I knew not that I lived, but felt I suffered.


"Didst thou not live for vengeance? "OSMYN.

"I lived for her! "She was the moonbeam of my maniac cell, That, lighting me to madness, still was light."

* Then managed by Mr. Bunn.

But with the first performance the success ended. On the second night the house was thin, and on the third it was literally empty. The tragedy has never, we believe, been attempted elsewhere; and there was little temptation to print what had failed to at

tract. Great pains had been taken by Mr. Macready to fit it for the stage, and his performance of the leading character was marked by all the strong conceptions and fiery energy which ever proved the distinguishing characteristics of his peculiar style.


SIR AUBREY DE VERE, a baronet of an ancient family, seated at Curragh Chase, near Adare, in the county of Limerick, is the author of four dramas, and a number of miscellaneous poems. Amongst the latter are two of greater length and importance than the rest; "The Song of Faith," and "The Lamentations of Ireland." They are written with the inspiration of a poet, and the taste of a scholar and a gentleman. Amongst Sir Aubrey's minor effusions, the "Sonnets" were pronounced by Wordsworth to rank with the best of modern times. The dramas, which are all historical, are, Julian the Apostate, first published in Dublin, about the year 1820; The Duke of Mercia, printed in London, 1823; and Mary Tudor, in two parts, which appeared in 1847, after the death of the author. From the construction and length of these plays, it is evident that they were never intended for the stage, and must be viewed as lucubrations for the closet only. So much so, that Julian, in particular, is called merely a dramatic poem. The subject is the least suited of the three for dramatic purposes, and involves matter which would be scarcely palatable to a mixed audience. It has too much of the metaphysical, and too little of the real, to be felt and understood, except after much study and reflection. There seems, at first sight, to be nothing gained by writing a play which cannot be acted, or investing a poem with the dramatic form while the dramatic essence is absent. Yet many authors have done this, and in recent times Lord Byron furnishes a remarkable instance. He complained with unavailing bitterness, when Marino Faliero was dragged on the stage without his consent or knowledge, and declared haughtily, that he had no idea of ever submitting to the ignorance of managers, the humours of overgrown actors, or the capricious taste of the public. Perhaps there was, at least, as much

affectation as sincerity in his expressed anger, which might have evaporated into air if his play had been received with rapturous warmth, instead of cold toleration. But he felt that it must break down under the hopeless conditions which attended its production, and was ready with a protest to salve his wounded pride. This same Marino Faliero was subsequently resuscitated under better auspicies, with marked applause, while Werner and Sardanapalus have proved eminently attractive. The success or failure of any play is a perfect lottery, the chances of which no experience can direct with certainty; and in nine cases out of ten the result depends less on intrinsic merit than on a clever calculation of "time and tide." It was little to be expected that theatrical speculation, in the nineteenth century, would, in the search after novelty, go back to first principles, and attempt to bring on the modern boards the severe but sublime simplicity of Sophocles and Euripides. It was still less likely that the experiment would be well received; yet we have seen that such has been the result, both in London and Dublin, with the Antigone and Iphigenia in Aulis of the two great Greek dramatists.

The story of the Duke of Mercia carries us back to the early Saxon times, when Edmund Ironside and Canute the Dane struggled in proud competitorship for the throne of England. There is an old novel on the subject which the author may have seen. In the play, fiction is blended with history, to bring about the catastrophe. The following passages will convey an idea of the general style and poetical imagery. The king thus describes the elected lady of his love :

"Nay, 'tis not
The grace of her meek, bending, snowy neck;
The delicate budding of her tender bosom,
Above a waist a stripling's hand might compass;
The flowing outline of proportion'd limbe,
Moving with health's elastic lightness, blent

With all that nameless suavity of air

That marks high birth; 'tis not alone a face
Whose features are all symmetry; an eye
In whose ethereal blue love sits enshrined,
A spirit in a star: cheeks eloquent
In changeful blushes, as her sweetest lips
In the harmonious utterance of pure thoughts:
'Tis not all these-the palpable ornaments
Of the material mould, love's pageantry
Floating o'er beauty's surface (as the galley
That, in its proud trim, bore th' Egyptian queen
Along the rosy-tinted waves, reflecting
The blazon of that mock divinity)!

No, no. It is not these that win my heart;
But 'tis the pure intelligence of mind,
That, like some inborn light, beams from her soul:
The virtuous thoughts that clothe her as a garment;
The chastity, the candour, and the meekness,
That, through her parted hair, look from a brow
And features, where the seal of heaven is set!
Oh! Edric, 'tis in truth a countenance

Whereon a saint might look, loving yet passionless:
A record of philosophy; a page

Where wisdom might peruse and learn, as on
A leaf of Holy Writ."

And, again, after his nuptials, he thus addresses his bride :

"Speak 1-Let me hear that voice of melody!
In its sweet music, like the summer air,
Chiding with almost inarticulate breath
The saucy flowers, that will not cease to load
Her wings with incense, till, overcome and faint,
She flutters o'er the perfumed flattery,
And dies amid a wilderness of sweets.
Speak on."

The drama abounds in action, and might easily be condensed for the stage, but the construction is too abrupt, and the character of the Duke of Mercia utterly repulsive, and unredeemed by any qualities calculated to excite the necessary interest. The play, with more propriety, might have taken the title of Edmund Ironside,

Mary Tudor comes nearer to our own times, and deals with actors and events with which all are familiar. We fancy that the author had been study. ing Schiller closely when he conceived and wrote this drama. It has something of the peculiar style of the great German master; an unusual number of characters, a perpetual shifting of the scene, multiplied variety of incidents, and language, forcible, appropriate and identical. The first part embraces the sickness and death of Edward VI., the conspiracy of the Dudleys to support Lady Jane Grey on the throne, the triumph of Mary, and the execution of her innocent competitor with her husband. The answer of Mary to her confessor Fakenham, who is pleading for the lives of the victims, contains the following political reasoning:

"Competitors for thrones,

For ever lose the right of privacy.

af tools of faction, what avail their virtues !

They represent opinion; are its leaders
And must confront the peril they provoke:
The penalty that gnaws the heart of treason;
Promethean pangs which the rous'd majesty
Of heaven inflicts on those who grasp its fires "

The second part commences with the debates respecting the marriage of Mary; then follows the rebellion of Lord Cobham, the union of the Queen with Philip of Spain; their nuptial unhappiness; the persecutions of the Protestants; the martyrdoms of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer; the announcement of the loss of Calais and the death of the Queen, in agony and despair; succeeded on the following day by that of Cardinal Pole. Elizabeth is introduced in both parts, but is kept rather in the background. The whole winds up with a summary of Mary's character, by Edward Underhill, called the "Hot Gospeller." Thus he describes her:

"Let me speak, sir,

For I have known, and been protected by her,
When fierce men thirsted for my blood. I say not
That she was innocent of grave offence;
Nor aught done in her name extenuate.
But I insist upon her maiden mercies
In proof that cruelty was not her nature
She abrogated the tyrannic laws
Made by her father. She restored her subjects
To personal liberty; to judge and jury;
Inculcating impartiality.

Good laws, made or revis'd, attest her fitness
Like Deborah to judge. She loved the poor,
And fed the destitute, and they all loved her.
A worthy Queen she had been, if as little
Of eruelty had been done under her
As by her. To equivocate she hated,
And was just what she seemed. In fine, she was
In all things excellent while she pursued
Her own free inclination without fear."

Of herself she speaks to her last, and almost her only sincere friend, Cardinal Pole, shortly before her death, as follows:

"Sum up my personal life. You knew me first,
A daughter, witness of her mother's wrongs
A daughter, conscious of her father's crimes-
A princess, shorn of her inheritance

A lady, tainted with foul bastardy

A sister, from her brother's heart estranged-
A sister, by a sister's hand betrayed-

A rightful Queen, hemmed by usurping bands-
A reigning Queen, baited by slaves she spared-
A maid betrothed, stung by the love she trusted-
A wedded wife, spurned from the hand that won



A Christian, reeking with the blood of martyrs-
And now, at length, a hated tyrant, dragging
Her people to unprofitable wars;

And from her feeble hold basely resigning
The trophy of long centuries of fame!

I have reigned-I am lost-now let me die!"

There is something very touching and exceeding melancholy in this ter rible summary, in which it can scarcely be said that truth is wrested or per verted to make out a case. Miss Strickland has also laboured hard to

rescue the memory of the sanguinary queen from the load of obloquy which has been heaped upon it; but the prevailing opinion will not be easily shaken, even although we admit that she was influenced, and perhaps compelled, by the still more bloodthirsty and relentless bigot to whom she had linked herself. Greater efforts have been made to whitewash Richard III., yet he still retains his hump, and no evidence can thoroughly absolve him from the murder of his nephews. Mary Tudor is certainly not a very promising subject for the heroine of a drama. Genius cannot render her either amia ble or interesting. But Sir Aubrey de Vere is not alone in his selection, for Victor Hugo has also chosen her for the same purpose. The episode of Lady Jane Grey has been dramatically handled by Rowe, who called his play An Imitation of Shakspeare.


would be difficult to discover the similarity, except in the title-page.

If Sir Aubrey de Vere, instead of being born to a title, with an hereditary property, had ranked amongst the obscure struggling sons of genius, who are doomed to labour for daily bread; if, instead of a recreation, he had been compelled to adopt poetry as a means of existence, he would nevertheless have made a name for himself, and that name would have placed him high in the list of those who vindicate their own claim to distinction. His life was so uneventful as to leave little materials for a biographical sketch, It was passed chiefly in discharging the duties of a resident country gentlemen, in the bosom of his family, in the cultivation of literature as a personal gratification, and in the im provement of his estate and park. He died in 1846, aged fifty-eight years. J. W. C.


Ir the reader will spread before him the map of Europe, and running his finger northwards, place it at the fiftyeighth degree of latitude, by the thirtyfirst of east longitude, he will find that point near Lake Ilmen, on which stands the ancient city of Novgorod.

Looking westward from this, let him cast his eyes across the Baltic to the southern part of Sweden, the ancient land of Gutæ, and the cradle of the stalwart warriors whose rude grasp was destined to overturn the empire of the west.

From this country the Goths issued, somewhere about the zenith of the Roman sway, and crossed the hundred miles of sea that separated them from the opposite continent. Three vessels transported this hardy expedition; and their several companies, swelling afterwards into as many nations, continued always distinct from, and even sometimes hostile to each other, though acknowledging and reverencing a common origin.

Penetrating the vast region before them, they dispersed or enslaved the wild tribes of the Venedi and Tschudi, and progressed in their conquests and migrations, until, in the age of

the Antonines, we find them located along the banks of the Vistula, in the district embraced between the modern towns of Dantzic and Thorn. Here, as ever after, the three divisions preserved the same relative position to each other, which had been caused by the accidental order of their first landing.

The pioneers, or the division farthest in advance, were distinguished as Ostrogoths, or those extending towards the east; next followed the Visigoths, or Goths towards the west; and in their tracks came the Gepidæ, or the loiterers, being the navigators of the third vessel of the expedition, which, either from slow sailing or some unavoidable accident, touched the shore so long after the others as to gain for its crew an appellation retained through succeeding ages.

Farther still to the west, the Vandals were cotemporaneously spread along the Oder; and we give them a momentary notice, because they numbered among their tribes the Lombards, or Longobards, whom we shall have to mention as being instrumental in the pressure which forced the northern migration of a Sclavonian tribe to that

point near Lake Ilmen, whither we shall speedily return.

Either from necessity or inclination, the Goths did not remain stationary on the Vistula, which they followed to its head, and once more striking boldly towards the east, under the renowned Amala, they traversed the intervening district to the meridional source of the Borysthenes.

The immense tracts through which the adventurers wandered were inhabited, or rather roamed through, by numerous and savage tribes of the Sclavi, the most extensive denomination of the great stock of the abori gines of those gloomy wilds.

Acting on their usual policy, the Goths either destroyed their opponents or incorporated them with themselves, and thus preventing the annoyance of an enemy in the rear, added to their own formidable numbers. The Borysthenes guided their course southwards, and as the multitude approached the Euxine, the bravest warriors of the Jazyges and the Roxolani (the latter of whom we would more particularly note), marched under the Gothic standard.*

Seventy years after leaving the Vistula, the Goths were spread over both sides of the Borysthenes, composing the modern Ukraine; and the reign of Alexander Severus was troubled by their irruptions into Dacia, when the venerable fabric of the empire felt the first blast of the storm that was soon to rock it to its centre.

The conquests of Trajan had converted Dacia into the semblance of a province, and had made the Tyras or Dniester the boundary of the Roman power. The Ister or Danube, therefore, which divided it from Moesia, was less carefully guarded, and the old fortifications, feebly garrisoned, were suffered partially to decay. Masia thus considered herself elevated from a jealous frontier into a settled state, and to be secure, by distance, from barbarian inroads.

But the restless and warlike Goths were not content with the fertility and abundance of the Ukraine, and animated by continued success, they cast greedy eyes over the Dniester, where plentiful harvests almost tempted the hand of plunder. Destined, there

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fore, to accomplish the will of an inscrutable Providence, they passed the barrier, and their martial trumpets echoed from the Dniester to the Pruth.

A heavy ransom saved the lives and gained a temporary respite for the properties of the Dacian husbandmen, and the Goths sweeping by them, the lax discipline or infidelity of the Imperial soldiers, suffered the violation of the sacred limits of the empire.

The Goths securely crossed the Danube, and Masia was terribly awakened from its dream of safety, and the omnipotence of the Roman name. But the irrevocable fiat had gone forth, and Terminus was to recede before a greater power. The third century of the Christian era had arrived, and the light, no longer to be concealed, was to brighten until it pierced and illumed the dark groves of Scandinavia and Sarmatia. The re volutions of the South were to be ef fected by the sons of the North, and to lead to their civilisation. A barbarian was to be worthy to succeed & Cæsar, and Decius trembled on his throne at the astounding intelligence, that the standard of Cniva, King of the Goths, was boldly unfurled before the walls of Marcianopolis.


Amid the general consternation, the Emperor sullied not the purple by declining the contest, and he led forth his legions to the relief of the province. Almost surrounded by the skill and tactics of the Romans, and awed by the shining armour and determined appearance of disciplined troops, the Goths would willingly have surrendered their booty and their pri soners; but death being preferable to unconditional surrender and slavery, the struggle was desperate and protracted, until the barbarians were overpowered by the irresistible weight of their adversaries, and Cniva retired to a morass in his rear. The Romans following in the heat of success, the heavy armed soldiers sunk in the oozy ground, becoming a sacrifice to the long spears of their tall and unincum

bered adversaries.

The day was soon decided; the Imperial army was engulphed in the swamp, nor could the body of Decius be ever after discovered.

The first anxiety of Hostilianus,

Tillemont, tom. iii. p. 346.

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