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increasing it to deception. The statue translators, in more than one instance. which is painted so as to be easily mis. Mr. Taylor, the author of the valuable taken for a man, loses in the process its "Survey of German Literature,” has whole value as a statue. Schiller did given us a translation of part of the not, even in his youthful dreams, think play in blank verse, and Colonel of reducing the language of the stage D’Aguilar has used metrical forms in to that of ordinary dialogue. His was all the more serious scenes, interposing the language of poetry, and being un as all our elder dramatists do, scenes, supported by the conventional forms of and even single speeches, in prose. poetry, becomes by that circumstance, Fiesco is not, in our opinion, among unnatural. It appears disproportionate Schiller's more successful dramas. The and exaygerated, because without the perfect, though momentary success of sustaining aid of verse. The elevation Fiesco's conspiracy—the short time of sentiment demands the music of into which so many, and such imporverse, or it is deprived of the means of tant events were crowded—the pictuadequate expression. The scene of the resque scenery—the characters and the Setting Sun in the “ Robbers," required country, are all of the kind that in the but this to be permanent in the litera- days of Rowe and the stage mechanists, ture of Germany, and so little does it is strange should have escaped the the power of the passage depend on hands of the play-wrights ; but the any peculiar associations of thought, subject is, as Schiller felt, essentially that we think, had it been conceived in undramatic. The accidental death of metrical form, it might, even in trans- Fiesco in the very moment of success, lation, have some chance of being ef- however impressive it may be in real fective. Poetic effect so much depends history, is a catastrophe wholly unmaon metre, that we would almost de- nageable by the dramatic poet. The scribe as being to poetic interposition of chance cannot be althought what the skin is to the ani- lowed in the drama, because in the mal frame-and more than dress or highest truth there is no such thing as ornament. Poetry, in its full effect, chance, and because the scheme of the
not exist without metre. There drama requiring to be complete within are scenes in M.Kenzie, scenes too in itself, does not allow us to look beyond Sterne, which nothing but the absence the circle of events which it includes, of this accompaniment could prevent to the purposes of a providence, which from being permanent in our literature. to interpret, could we be even sure that As it is, the pathetic parts of Sterne's we ever interpreted them aright, would works have no great chance of being require us to exhibit the particular fact long remembered ; having no hold on in other connections than those to the memory, their truth is not examin- which, by the very nature of his art, the ed and ascertained, as it were, by their dramatic poet is confined. The poet has recurring to us in different tempers sought to avoid the difficulty by varyof mind. The
story of Le Fevre has ing the catastrophe, and Fiesco, instead not the same chance of being remem of being exhibited as perishing accibered as if it had been in the very dentally, is made the victim of a humblest ballad measures. This was fellow-conspirator, who sees in his amfelt by Schiller, and all his later dramas bitious character the danger of new are in metre. It is a curious circum- chains for his country. Were the true stance that Fiesco, though written in story less known, the change would prose—“the prose of Schiller," sug- have been a judicious one ; as it is, it gested the use of verse to bis English would look as if Schiller was afraid to
We have not had time since the publication of his book to read any part of it except the dramatic criticisms; but with reference to this part of the volume, we have no hesitation in saying that, with the exception of an account of Mrs. Siddons's acting in Edinburgh, given in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1808, and which, without knowing on what authority, we have always ascribed to Sir Walter Scott, we regard Dr. Finlay's essays as the very best attempt we have ever met to fix in language, and thus perpetuate the triumphs of the actor, which, from the very nature of his art, are, above all other triumphs of genius, the most perishable and evanescent.
deal with his own additions to the story, come-and which Schiller has not disand was unwilling to bring them into proved, as great poets are very apt to full light-was afraid too, by so doing, disprove critical theories by the executhat another, and not Fiesco, would tion of successful works, in disregard, seem to be, in truth, the hero of the and rightful disregard of all that is arstory. The recollection of the real bitrary in criticism-is, that the story of facts, and the consciousness that in so Fiesco is essentially undramatic. The well-known a portion of history, the poet narrative is too well known to be could not exercise his power without varied, and the difficulty we have stated disturbing the prepossessions of his is therefore, we think, absolutely insuandience, made him dwell too slightly perable. The introductory scenes are on the scenes which required all his however all admirable ; court intrigue, care, and evade, as dextrously as he which we should suppose to be the could, a difficulty with which he could very Brocken of the unpoetical, is here not deal. In a polytheistic scheme of made an element influencing every theology the effect desired may per- thing, felt to belong, even as gravitahaps be produced by a description tion belongs to dead matter, to the sufficient for the immediate exigeneies dead material of common-place chaof the occasion by ascribing personality racters ; movements, the result rather to Fortune, and bringing in, as a part of the mechanism of society than of of the poet's machinery, a power above any living principle, are, by the very nature, and yet influenced by the ca- rapidity with which they are executed, pricious affections of humanity ; but and by the circumstance that the beings the fraud thus practised upon the ima- whose fate is involved, seem absolutely gination is soon detected by a faculty unaware of the tendency of the stream that, however willing to be deluded, along which they are hurried, are here does not readily submit to manifest and described with such power that while palpable deception. Illusion, because the reader never sympathises, he is illusion may be the mask of truth, is whirled along without a power of resistnot merely among the poet's privileges, ance; still, dramatic as is the effect of all but is the very condition on which he the earlier scenes, they but render the and his audience deal : imposition is disappointment created by the catasby both resented. The resources of trophe the more disappointing. The the dramatic poet, if we are to look to story of Fiesco is one which does not past experience, and not in the pro- of itself suggest any one of the lessons phetic spirit which expects better things which the dramatist professes to teach : from a fuller study of the principles of a conspiracy so meaningless that the obthe drama than is implied in our ever- jects of it could scarcely be covered lasting imitations, are less ample with with any decent pretext of public right, us, or are supposed to be less ample than and which, had it been successful, could with the classical poet. The circle of have had no better issue than that of events which the poet, whether he takes substituting one family for another in his materials from history or not, may the government of an aristocratic rebe said to separate from the surround- public ; its success so momentary, that ing chaos, and thus, as it were, to no other lesson can be learned from it create, is one over which he must have than that which the very nature of the the absolute control and govern as a drama precludes its teaching. The visible providence. The contradictions characters in Schiller are painted with and the perplexities of actual life—the colours supplied by Cardinal de Retz, old enigina from which we seek in vain to such an extent that the very speeches, to escape, of there being “one event (for the Cardinal imitates the classic to the wise and the foolish”—the seem historians in making his characters exing chance to which all human affairs plain their purposes by elaborate are subjected, and its benumbing effect speeches,) are now and then translated upon all manly exertion, is the very word for 'word; the female characters riddle which it is the dramatic poet's are Schiller's own, and they are beautipurpose to solve, and to represent the fully conceived, and delicately, though catastrophe as a casualty, is
, instead of we think somewhat faintly, drawn. The solving the difficulty, merely to restate scenery-the disturbing motives—the it. The conclusion to which we would tumults—the whirl of the passions in
Fiesco's mind—all yet overmastered Imagination bridges over the interval and calmed by the hope that to him with her "arch of rainbow and rose." as to thousands of noble spirits warped We have room but for a single scene; by ambition-makes the means wholly and we select one which is easily deforgotten in some imagined end-in tached from the context. As a specithe prospect of diffusing happiness men of the translation it is not perhaps when power has been obtained—the equal to the dialogue in the fourth imagined sunset of a warrior's life of act between Julia and Fiesco, but it storm: all this is before him, and is written with great power:
FIESCO.-Act 3. Scene 2d.
SALOON AT FIESCO's.
prospect of Genoa and the sea.)
Time-Dawn of day.
FIESCO (looking from a window).
empurpled with the morning dawn.)
( With hurried steps up and down the room.)
(The sun rises over Genoa.)
To think that it is mine!
(A pause, then with emphasis,)
The brightest angel, and the blackest fiend,
I am determined !-
THE VISIT OF THE GODS.
IMITATED FROM SCHILLER
Never, believe me,
Never alone :
With Divinities fills my
Terrestrial Hall !
Celestial Quire ?
O give me the Nectar!
O fill me the Bowl !
Hebe! pour free!
The Wine of the Immortals
Forbids me to die !
I FIORELLI ITALIANI. NO. III.
SONETTO DI FRANCISCO PETRARCA.
IN MORTE DI LAURA.
Passato è'l tempo omai, lasso! che tanto
Con refrigerio in mezzo 'l foco vissi :
Passata è quella di ch'io piansi e scrissi ;
Ma passando i dolci occhi al cor m'ha fissi,
Al cor già mio, che sequendo partissi
Ov or trionfa ornata dell'allora
Che meritò la sua invitta onestate.
Ch ’a forza mi tien qui, foss' io con loro
Alma felice, che soventi torni
A consolar le mie notte dolenti
A rallegrar di tua visti consenti
Così incomincio a ritrovar presenti
Or, come vedi, vo di te piangendo ;
Che quando torni, ti conosco e ’ntendo
I'vo piangendo i miei passati tempi,
I quai posi in amar cosa mortale
Senza levarmi a volo, avend'io l' ale
Re del cielo, invisibile, immortale
Soccorri all alma dìsviata e frale,
Mora in pace ed in porto'; e se la stanza
A qual poco di viver che m'avanza.
Tu sai ben che' n altrui non ho speranza.
• The author of some very elegant criticism in the earlier numbers of this periodical, speaking of this sonnet, well observes (vol. 1, p. 700)—“ Perhaps there is not in the whole army of sonnets one more exact or more beautiful than this.” It is, indeed, not less admirable for unity of subject and concentration of sentiment than for harmony of flow and pathos of cadence. The third sonnet does not possess