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Guilio. This, however, is prevented by the intervention of a supposed page (Mrs W. West) who loves Malvesi, because he deserves to be hated, just as Malvesi hates his brother because he deserves to be loved. The king at length discovers the deceit which has been put upon him, and sends for Malvesi with the intention, as the latter supposes, of conferring new honours upon him, but, in reality, to confound and overwhelm him by a sudden and unexpected display of the acquittal of his brother, and his marriage with the lady whom Malvesi himself loves. This drives him to distraction, and he dies in a paroxysm of rage and despair.
The character of the Dwarf shall be explained by himself; and the extract may be taken as a fair but favourable example of the author's manner. After in vain endeavouring to conciliate his brother's favour by kindness and affection, Guilio, seeing that his presence only irritates Malvesi, leaves him.
Guilio is about to marry the lady whom Malvesi fancies he loves. If the character of Malvesi were ever so consistently supported, with reference to the principle on which it professes to be constructed, it would still not gain our sympathy-for he is a mere wretch,
nulla virtute redemptus." He is not, like Richard or Iago, lifted above our ordinary nature by a superiority of intellect, and consequently of power; so that we cannot gaze on him, as we do on them, with a sort of diseased interest, and as we might be supposed to do at a malignant star passing across our hemisphere, and scattering pestilence and death in its path. His mind is as paltry, as little, and as deformed as his person; and consequently his plans and his power to do mischief are too circumscribed to excite our awe or wonder. All that he does or can do is to go fretting and fuming about, and with an air of ludicrous self-importance, uttering his insane egotisms to the walls and the winds; and every now and then falling into an agony of impotent rage, because he does not happen to be so rich or so good looking as some of his neighbours: and at last actually dies out of pure spite at witnessing the happiness of those he ought to love.
ing, and unnatural; and would, no This is all very tiresome, disgustdoubt, have been delivered over to its merited contempt, but for the extraordinary acting of Mr Kean-for whom the part is expressly written. It is intended to shew off his genius; and it does shew it off, just as a tawdry and ill-conceived dress shews off the person of a beautiful woman: it cannot conceal or destroy her beauty; but, for the time, it totally spoils its effect: we cannot help seeing that she is beautiful, but we do not feel it.
Whatever may be our opinions respecting the genius of this actor (and we shall not be accused of underrating its efforts, or of wishing to depre ciate any work that may be calculated to call them forth naturally, and in their proper place) yet we cannot help feeling and speaking with unmixed reprobation of this writing to and for a particular faculty of a particular person, whatever the genius of that person may be. Mr Kean's genius is valuable, not for this or that abstract quality, which may be brought into view by the contrivance of a certain
Malvesi combines in his own person the malignity without the amusement of all the diminutive persons who have appeared in this age of dwarfs all the Nains, Jaune, Vert, Noir, Couleur de Rose, &c.: and his hatred of what other people love seems to spring from the same cause as their's did, namely, disappointed vanity, and the loss of their idol-for
situation-not only, or even chiefly because it enables him to express hatred or agony, joy or love, more vividly and intelligibly than any other person. It is valuable for its extraordinary power of embodying and giving a" local habitation" to conceptions that would otherwise escape the ken of persons not on that account unworthy or unable to enjoy and appreciate such conceptions, where they can be made tangible to them. It is valuable from its unequalled faculty of detecting, bringing to light, and making level to ordinary understandings, the mental images and operations of genius kindred to itself; and which, but for it, would have remained at least latent, if they had not been lost. We put it to the candour of the most enlightened and enthusiastic admirers of Shakspeare himself, whether they have not received new ideas and impressions respecting him from the performances of Mr Kean. It is, above all, valuable for its admirable power of seizing the one grand and leading feature of a character, and perpetually keeping it in view; and yet bringing out all its collateral parts in perfect subservience to, and consistency with that, so as to form one intelligible whole a true dramatic unity.
Thinking as we do of the powers of this action, it vexes us to see them tampered with, and cast away upon such a work as that before us. We have said that his performance of Malvesi was an extraordinary, but it was neither a fine nor a pleasing one; because there was no nature in it-no true passion-no consistency even with itself. From the nature of the character, the performance was altogether a tawdry and catch-penny one; and yet we were very sorry to observe that Mr Kean seemed to be fond of it himself. And the mere fact of its suggesting such a feeling or opinion as this, is enough to prove it worthless. In Mr Kean's really fine displays we never think of HIM at the time; and here we thought of nothing else.Would he wish this to be the case? Does he really think it would be conducive to his true fame? If he does, he has yet to learn, and we cannot doubt that he some day will learn, the true nature of that purest, loftiest, and least selfish of all human aspira
But there is a popular and tangible VOL. V.
fame that Mr Kean can, and no doubt, does appreciate, even now. A fame that is the best and most legitimate reward that can be given and received in return for the immediate delight which he conveys to others. In this way there is nothing in the world equal to the waving of hats, the clapping together of hands, and the shoutings of human voices, in so disinterested-so truly a "popular assembly" as is collected together at a great national theatre. There is no reward so cheap to the giver, and yet so satisfying to the receiver: like charity, it blesses both. And, for our parts, we are not among those who are so fasti dious as to object to the audience calling Mr Kean forward, after a successful performance, to pay him this meed which so justly belongs to him, even as a matter of right. On the contrary, we think this the very best time at which it can be offered, because it is perhaps the only time at which he is at leisure to receive and feel it-which surely he cannot do in the course of his performance, agitated as he is by the real passion which he represents. The laurel was made to encircle the living head of genius in old times; and why should it not now? The actor, too, can less than any other votary of the fine arts, anticipate immortality: for even if his name should live for an age or two, his works must die with him; and most probably before him. If he reaches the natural term of man's life, he must feel the melancholy certainty that he has outlived himself. Let not, then, a paltry and short-sighted economy withhold from him his due; or refuse to bestow it in the way most likely to please and satisfy him. Criticism-written criticism-may be either unjust, or interested, or insincere; or it may never reach him. But the involuntary and unpremeditated applause that bursts from an assembled multitude is quite conclusive. It goes directly to its mark-and there is no gainsaying it.
The Castle of Wonders.
This is a very strange affair indeed. It is like Mr Coleridge's Reading Public, "a Voonder above Voonders." A certain young gentleman (Mr H. Kemble) marries a niece (Mrs W. West) without her uncle's consent. This, by the bye, is not one of the "Wonders"
of the Castle for now-a-days uncles and aunts never coincide in opinion, on any subject, with nephews and nieces, -least of all on that of marriage. In travelling through switzerland-which is the fashion among new-married people at present-the bride and bridegroom find themselves at an inn, where they are told strange stories of an old castle in the neighbourhood, which is haunted by ghosts, fairies, and the like, who amuse themselves by disturbing the peasantry in their daily and nightly occupations, and frightening them out of their wits. The travellers are informed likewise, that several brave knights have lost their lives in endeavouring to discover the mysteries of this enchanted spot. This latter part of the tale particularly arrests the attention of the young bridegroom, and he determines to try his fortune on the occasion; but very prudently conceals his intention from his wife naturally concluding that, as they have been married but a very short time, she may find some objection to the enterprise, considering its probable termination. He immediately proceeds to the scene of action, accompanied by his servant (Mr Harley)—and on their arrival the "wonders" begin. Red writing appears on the walls, warning the intruders off the premises-which of course induces them to proceed. Then thinly-clad ladies issue from among the thorns and bushes that seem to choak up the ruins of the old building, and dance round about the young soldier in a very attractive mannerusing a variety of female blandishments, and above all, exhibiting very extraordinary talents for silence-not one of them uttering a word! The knight resists all these temptationseven the last; and replies by doling out sundry "wise saws, and modern instances;"-which is a little extraordinary, seeing that he came thither for the express purpose of penetrating into all the mysteries of the place. However, we must not forget his late change of situation. When it becomes evident that this whole hive of beauties, buzzing about him, are not able to hum him into a compliance with their wishes, the queen-bee herself appears. She, unlike the rest, has the faculty of speech, and she uses it a bundantly; but he is still inexorable. She then tries various expedients
among others, the rather barbarous one of suspending little children, dressed like Cupids, on strings twenty or thirty feet from the ground, in order (as we conjecture) to terrify him into compliance by the prospect of the poor little things falling and breaking their necks. This seemed to have no effect whatever on our hero-probably on account of his not having any children of his own; but it produced a very strong sensation on the audience, who seemed in as much agony all the time as the little children themselves. Finding that conciliatory measures are unavailing, the queen and all her lightheeled and lively train, disappearhaving previously handed over the unfortunate object of their solicitude to a band of soldiers, who, as far as we can remember, tie him to a tree, and leave him to the repose which he so much needs. In the meantime, however, and as if to prevent this seasonable relief, the wife arrives in search of her lord; and, after numerous other undergoings which we cannot enumerate, a person introduces himself, who is exactly the last in the world that either we or they would have suspected of contriving and executing a fairy-talenamely, a wise and elderly uncle, who, it now appears, had invented all the foregoing, in order to discover whether his self-elected nephew was worthy to be acknowledged and adopted by him. The contrivance is somewhat late, to be sure; but its success is complete, and every body is satisfied. Where this accomplished stage-manager had procured his corps de Ballet-whether from the Scala at Milan on the one side, or the Academie de Musique on the other, and how he had transported them to the mountains of Switzerland-does not appear.
The scenery of this piece, excepting that in which the fairies are concerned, was by no means appropriate, because it was extremely beautiful and natural; -particularly an exquisite view of a lake, with its surrounding mountains, and also one of a richly cultivated valley.
Mr H. Kemble performed the hero of this piece; and we must do him the justice to say, that he looked exactly the sort of person that would be likely to resist the kind of temptations that were offered to him. Chiefly in consequence of this gentleman's un
happy taste in the choice of his wigs, whatever character he may perform, the upper part of his person always has the appearance of having sat for
the portraits in the Evangelical Magazine-for they are all pretty much alike.
THE SHEPHERD'S CALENDar.
THESE Constitute the various eras of the pastoral life. They are the red lines in the shepherd's manual-the remembrancers of years and ages that are past-the tablets of memory by which the ages of his children, the times of his ancestors, and the rise and downfall of families, are invariably ascertained. Even the progress of improvement in Scots farming can be traced traditionally from these, and the rent of a farm or estate given with precision, before and after such and such a storm, though the narrator be uncertain in what century the said notable storm happened. "Mar's year," and "that year the hielanders raide," are but secondary mementos to the year nine and the year fortythese stand in bloody capitals in the annals of the pastoral life, as well as many more that shall hereafter be mentioned.
tenth days, the shepherds began to build up huge semi-circular walls of their dead, in order to afford some shelter for the remainder of the living; but they availed but little, for about the same time they were frequently seen tearing at one another's wool with their teeth.
When the storm abated, on the fourteenth day from its commencement, there was on many a high-lying farm not a living sheep to be seen. Large misshapen walls of dead, surrounding a small prostrate flock likewise all dead, and frozen stiff in their lairs, were all that remained to cheer the forlorn shepherd and his master; and though on low-lying farms where the snow was not so hard before, numbers of sheep weathered the storm, yet their constitutions received such a shock, that the greater part of them perished afterwards; and the final consequence was, that about ninetenths of all the sheep in the south of Scotland were destroyed.
The most dismal of all those on record is the thirteen drifty days. This extraordinary storm, as near as I have been able to trace, must have occurred in the year 1620. The traditionary stories and pictures of desolation that remain of it, are the most dire imaginable; and the mentioning of the thirteen drifty days to an old shep-ed herd, in a stormy winter night, never fails to impress his mind with a sort of religious awe, and often sets him on his knees before that Being who alone can avert such another calamity. It is said that for thirteen days and nights the snow-drift never once abated-the ground was covered with frozen snow when it commenced, and during all that time the sheep never broke their fast. The cold was intense to a degree never before remembered; and about the fifth and sixth days of the storm, the young sheep began to fall into a sleepy and torpid state, and all that were so affected in the evening died over night. The intensity of the frost wind often cut them off when in that state quite instantaneously. About the ninth and
In the extensive pastoral district of Eskdale-moor, which maintains upwards of 20,000 sheep, it is said none were left alive, but forty young wedders on one farm, and five old ewes on another. The farm of Phaup remain
without a stock and without a tenant for twenty years subsequent to the storm, at length one very honest and liberal-minded man ventured to take a lease of it, at the annual rent of of a gray coat and a pair of hose. It is now rented at £500. An extensive glen in Tweedsmuir, belonging to Sir James Montgomery, became a common at that time, to which any man drove his flocks that pleased, and it continued so for nearly a century. On one of Sir Patrick Scott of Thirlestane's farms, that keeps upwards of 900 sheep, they all died save one black ewe, from which the farmer had high hopes of preserving a breed; but some unlucky dogs, that were all laid idle for want of sheep to run at, fell upon this poor solitary remnant of a good stock, and chased her into the
lake, where she was drowned. When word of this was brought to John Scott the farmer, cominonly called gouffin' Jock, he is reported to have expressed himself as follows: "Ochon, ochon! an' is that the gate o't?-a black beginning maks aye a black end." Then taking down an old rusty sword, he added, "Come thou away my auld frien', thou an' I maun e'en stock Bourhope-law ance mair. Bessy, my dow, how gaes the auld sang?
that night." Wattie was obliged to bear all this, for the evening was fine beyond any thing generally seen at that season, and only said to them at parting, "Weel, weel, callans, time will try a'; let him laugh that wins; but slacks will be sleck, a hogg for the howking; we'll a' get horns to tout on the morn." The saying grew proverbial; but Wattie was the only man who saved the whole of his flock in that country.
The years 1709-40, and 72, were all likewise notable years for severity, and for the losses sustained among the flocks of sheep. In the latter, the snow lay from the middle of December until the middle of April, and all the time hard frozen. Partial thaws always kept the farmer's hopes of relief alive, and thus prevented him from removing his sheep to a lower situation, till at length they grew so weak that they could not be removed. There has not been such a general loss in the days of any man living as in that year. It is by these years that all subsequent hard winters have been measured, and, of late, by that of 1795; and when the balance turns out in favour of the calculator, there is always a degree of thankfulness expressed, as well as a composed submission to the awards of Divine providence. The daily feeling naturally impressed on the shepherd's mind, that all his comforts are so entirely in the hand of Him that rules the elements, contributes not a little to that firm spirit of devotion for which the Scottish shepherd is so distinguished. I know of no scene so impressive, as that of a family sequestered in a lone glen during the time of a winter storm; and where is the glen in the kingdom that wants such a habitation? There they are left to the protection of Heaven, and they know and feel it. Throughout all the wild vicissitudes of nature they have no hope of assistance from man, but are conversant with the Almighty alone. Before retiring to rest, the shepherd uniformly goes out to examine the state of the weather, and make his report to the little dependant group within-nothing is to be seen but the conflict of the elements, nor heard but the raving of the storm-then they all kneel around him, while he recom mends them to the protection of Heaven; and though their little hymn of praise can scarcely be heard even by
It is a pity that tradition has not preserved any thing farther of the history of gouffin' Jock than this one saying.
The next memorable event of this nature is the blast o' March, which happened on the 24th day of that month, in the year 16-, on a Monday's morning; and though it lasted only for one forenoon, it was calculated to have destroyed upwards of a thousand scores of sheep, as well as a number of shepherds. There is one anecdote of this storm that is worthy of being preserved, as it shows with how much attention shepherds, as well as sailors, should observe the appearances of the sky. The Sunday evening before was so warm that the lasses went home from church barefoot, and the young men threw off their plaids and coats and carried them over their shoulders. A large group of these younkers, going home from the church of Yarrow, equipped in this manner, chanced to pass by an old shepherd on the farm of Newhouse, named Walter Blake, who had all his sheep gathered into the side of a wood. They asked Wattie, who was a very religious man, what could have induced him to gather his sheep on the Sabbath day? He answered, that he had seen an ill-hued weather-gaw that morning, and was afraid it was going to be a drift. They were so much a mused at Wattie's apprehensions, that they clapped their hands, and laughed at him, and one pert girl cried, " Aye, fie tak' care, Wattie; I wadna say but it may be thrapple deep or the morn." Another asked, "if he wasna rather feared for the sun burning the een out o' their heads?" and a third, "if he didna keep a correspondence wi' the thieves, an' kend they were to ride