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continued, as he remarked the death. livion, and proceeded quickly to undo like stillness of Nina,
the cords that bound him. Fainted, no — that delicate frame, “Quick, Signor Porro, you must so beautiful in its stillness, so solemn come with me immediately, for soon it in its aspect, lay there never to move will be no longer in my power to save again. The agitation of Porro's presence—the sight of her destroyer-the “Yes, yes; I will leave immediately, fierce struggle that had ensued- the but not alone-the corpse of my bride danger of Porro, still beloved in the must accompany me.” inmost recesses of her heart's core “ Are you mad, signor ? you never all combined, had been too much for could pass the streets unquestioned her constitution, weakened and tor- with a corpse as a burden, and will tured, and there had expired, without you ruin me by this delay ? Come, a word, a sign of departing life, the signor, come; I will bury the corpso soul of Nina Ezzelinni. Beautiful carefully, and promise you no one sball victim! true spirit of Italia's (laugh touch it.” ters! thy fate still lives within the “ A moment longer and I am with minds of many an exile ; and rest as- you; wait without for me. sured, soul now in eternity, the hour The moment the man had left the must, and will come, when the sword dungeon, Porro knelt once more by of avenging justice, beaming brightly the corpse, so calm, so still, and in the light of heaven, will
carry de- pressed her cold lips to his own. struction on the enemies of thy peace, “Nina! farewell, even in death! and of thy country's welfare. Hour I leave you but to revenge you; for of joy! of heartfelt gladness ! I kneel never shall this hand clasp an Austrian before thy approach, and in carnest save to slay him, in memory of this prayer thank ihat God who, in placing hour. Once more, Nina, farewell !” faith within my heart, assures me of Rising from the ground, and with its speedy and certain coming. Glo- one look more, he passed from the rious be that hour! the hope of the dungeon, and following the person exile! the ray of Italy's sunshine!
who waited for him in the passage, he With jeering tones of consolation, soon arrived without the walls of that sounded like a mockery of death, Milan. did the menials of the police depart from the dungeon, leaving Porro alone Along a narrow path, near the Lomstretched on the floor-the corpses of bard frontier, rode a solitary horsethe victim and the destroyer untouched man. Armed to the very teeth, he by their hands. Scarcely had the kept his eye glancing from side to sounds of their steps died away in the side, as if in expectation of some mo. distance, when Porro, bound as he mentary danger, which he knew not was, made effort after effort to reach from what quarter might arise. The the corpse of his bride. After bruising path he was pursuing led up to an himself severely, he succeeded in reach- eminence, from which a person could ing all that remained of ber so much obtain a view of the country around. loved, so much prized. With frantic The instant the horseman had reached expressions of grief, with bitter sobs, it, he took a small telescope from his did he press again and again that pocket, and placed it carefully to his corpse, even in death still so dear to eye. For a few moments alone did him, and bedewed her face with his he take a survey, and then setting tears. Exbausted by the agony of spurs to his horse, he dashed on, carethe mental torture Le endured, by the less of accident, exclaiming to himself, fearful excess of his grief, he at length “The King is betrayed !". lay in a kind of utter forgetfulness on Away, away, over field and hill, the ground. In deathlike silence spurred that gallant horse and his passed away another hour, and then rider, now swimming across the river was heard, creeping along, the foot- Glavellone, and narrowly escaping steps of some person. A key inserted two or three shots that were fired after in the door soon opened it, and the them by some Austrian sentinels. In person who had first introduced Porro half an hour more, and that panting entered the dungeon. Approaching steed was drawn up before a small Porro, he after a short time succeeded body of soldiers wearing the cross of in rousing him from his state of ob- Savoy.
“Where is your leader?” exclaimed the horseman to one of the soldiers.
“ He is there, signor," answered the man, pointing to a group of persons who stood a short distance off.
Riding to the spot, Alberico Porro, for it was he, recognised in the leader the gallant Manara.
Signor Manara, quick, for the love of country; are you not aware the Austrians, in large masses, are passing the bridge of Glavellone ?"
“ Can it be possible, signor? -I fear you are deceived."
“ No, no, I have seen them with my own eyes, and before long they will be upon you. Is this the only force you have to oppose their progress?”
• With the exception of some pickets, the entire force under my command is here. General Ramorino's* division is on the other side of the Po."
" Then he is either a traitor or a fool. Not a moment is to be lost,
however. Send a message to inform him of the fact; and, Signor Manara, I know well you will do your duty as becomes a Lombard. Farewell; I will instantly forward and give the alarm."
Scarcely had Porro uttered the words, when the trumpets sounded to arms, and Manara, the true and noble, marched with his men to resist the advance of an overpowering force. Passing through La Cava, without resting his steed for an instant, he sped onwards towards the town of Novara, everywhere giving notice of the approach of the Austrians, and, fatigued and tired, he at length, after informing General Chrzanowski, the commander-in-chief, of the passage of the Austrians, who received the news with surprise and astonishment, entered the small town, which soon was to give name to the battle-field on which would fall, for a time, the hopes of poor Italy's freedom.
CLYTEMNESTRA, AND OTHER POEMS. AUGUSTUS VON SCHLEGEL, in his ini. tion of power and suffering, of intel. mitable lectures on dramatic litera- lect and moral grandeur, and made ture, has finely compared the Greek them immortal. Nor do the more tragedy to the Greek sculpture, and finished and symmetrical compositions illustrates the genius and power of of Sophocles, or the luxuriant and orthe former by constant references to pate, but feebler, works of Euripides, the latter. This is profoundly true as fail to find apt exponents in the gracea criticism, as well as exceedingly ful and exquisite works of sculpture beautiful as a theory; and in both which the chisels of Greek artists have senses capable of being followed and wrought, and which time has left unwrought out to an extent and perfec- touched, to be the wonder and the intion that at first sight can be little struction of modern students. anticipated. The grand, sublime, and After all, it is not strange that this terrible images of Æschylus-strong,
should be so. The Beautiful, in its massive, and sharp in their outlines — human developments, sensuous and vigorous, passionate, and energised moral, was the great thought that in their postures — solemn and severe filled the souls of the Greek sculptors. in their expression—ever ren ind us of This they worshipped with earnestness those wondrous works of Phidias, and single-minded simplicity, and this whereby the genius of the great sculp- thought they reproduced. The Greek tor wrought into stone the impersona- tragedian had ever before him the same
* General Ramorino was the principal favourite of the Mazzini party, and time has only too truly shown he was an enemy of his country. On his trial, revelations of a most unpleasant import to the Republican section were made, which it is earnestly hoped will warn Italy of the danger of entrusting her liberties to men who forget every claim of honor and dignity, in the insatiable desire to gratify their own wild ambition.
† "Clytemnestra, and other Poems." By Owen Meredith. London: Chapman and Hall. 1855.
Beautiful in thought, but he had it, sion, is but little changed since Agamtoo, in the creations of the sculptor, memnon and Creon immolated their a study for his eye, even as bis spirit daughters - since the matricide had it for intellectual contemplation. Orestes, or tbe double sin of Clytem. In them he saw all the poetry of phy- nestra—yet the religion which justified sical loveliness and power, of action these crimes on the principle of an and passion, take a bodily shape and avenging justice, or extenuated them significance; and so he learned from as the results of an inexorable fatality, them bow, with most force, and dignity, has given place to the light of and effect, to represent in language Christianity, which inculcates a towhat they represented in form. Hence it tally diverse standard of morals. The is, at this day, that we invariably asso- Greek tragedy was essentially religious, ciate the Greek drama with the Greek as well in its institution as in its consculpture ; that all its personages and stant allusions to the gods, and the situations partake so largely of the elucidation of their power and dealing statuesque ; so that, to use the striking with mankind. It must therefore reobservation of Schlegel, “it is only sult from these considerations, that it before the groups of Niobe or Lao- could find but little place in the symcoon that we enter into the spirit of pathies of modern times. The chaSophocles."
racters which evoked, and not unna. In one other respect the analogy turally, the admiration of an audience between Greek sculpture and Greek in the Theatre of Bacchus at Athens, tragedy holds good. While both have would excite unmixed disgust if prehad a large influence, in all succeeding sented on our own stage; while those to ages, upon literature and the fine arts, whom the ancient Grecian would freethey have never been so thoroughly ly accord his pity, the modern Eurofused into them as to lose their own pean would hate as criminal, or despise distinctive existences. The great
as guilty of unpardonable error. Thus, works of the Greek sculptors, even in even if the structure and scenic pecuthe best days of Italy, have never been liarities of the Greek drama offered no equalled — they stand far removed in impediment, the total change of moral unapproachable excellence, when com- feeling would make its permanent repared with the schools of modern vival impossible. It would no longer Europe. The tragedies of the Grecian appeal to popular sympathy, because poets stand also insulated and distinct ; it would no longer be true. This is they have few imitators, and of these well expressed by a modern critic:few, scarcely one, who bas been success- “ The Greek tragedy, in its pure and ful. But the causes that have operated unaltered state, will always, for our to produce this distinctiveness in each theatres, remain an exotic plant which are different. The great, strong, sim- we can bardly hope to cultivate, with ple, poetic element that inspired the any success, even in the hot-house of band of Phidias, and Polycletus, and learned art or criticism. The Grecian Lysippus—that filled their whole hearts mythology, which furnishes the maand occupied their every thought - terials of ancient tragedy, is as foreign would seem not to be present, in such to the minds and imaginations of most measure and potency, in the souls of of the spectators, as its form and man. men in times when society is more ar- ner of representation.” tificial, and life more full of distrac- It is true, that within a few years tions. And thus perhaps it is--if we an attempt was made to revive the may venture a speculation upon the ancient tragedy in all its primitive feasubject — that we fail in approaching tures of plot and scenery, and though the works of the antique, though the the musical genius of Mendelssohn, and externals, so to speak, of humanity, the classical purity of gesture, action, in passion and feeling as well as in and conception of Helen Faucit, in. bodily configuration, remain unchang- duced the scholar to witness, night ed, and make Greek statuary at this after night, the representation of the moment as truthful exponents of the Antigone of Sophocles with refined beautiful, physical and moral, around pleasure, and compelled the uneducated us, as they were at the time they were to look on with a strange wonder, yet produced beneath the hand of the artist. there was no kindly element in the But it is not so with the Greek tragedy. popular feeling to sustain the exotic While mankind, in action and in pas. the forced vigour which the warmth of And again
momentary excitement gave it was trophises first Justice and then Love; but short-lived. Thymele and chorus, the latter at once brings to our recol. logeum and encyclema, have passed lection one of the choruses of the Antiaway, in all probability, for ever, goneleaving, indeed, our memories baunted «"Έρως ανίκατε μαχαν»-κ. τ. λ. by the chastely severe acting and de
And these two linesilicious tones of the artiste, and the richly sonorous but somewhat too florid " Thou art unconquered in the fight, music of the maestro.
Thou rangest over land and sea," We have been led into this train of
Are manifestly suggested by the line thought by the principal production in the volume of poems before us. The “φοιτάς δ' υπερποντιος έν τ' αγρονομοις αυλάις." “ Clytemnestra" of Owen Meredith (if any such person there be, for we must confess the words are strongly
“Why light thy red couch in the damask cheek?" suggestive of a pseudonym), is an
is nearly the same, but unquestionably attempt to reproduce a Greek tra
inferior, to the thought of Sophocles gedy, such as a Grecian dramatist would have written it five hundred
«ός εν μαλακάις παρειάις years before the birth of Christ. The
νεάνιδος εννυχένεις.” subject which he has chosen is one pre- There is another chorus which for eminently suited for the Greek drama;
melody, and pathos, and true poetic indeed, the misfortunes of the fated
excellence, we know not how to praise house of Atreus was a favorite theme
too highly; nevertheless, its very exof the three great dramatists with whom
cellence detracts from it. Where it is the sun of Greek tragedy may almost
strictly classical, it leaves upon our be said to have risen and set. The
mind the feeling that the author is wretched queen is one of the dramatis
so imbued with the Agamemnon of persone in the trilogy or Oresteia of Æschylus, that he unconsciously plagiÆschylus ; in the Electra of Sophocles,
arises from him. Where be is most me. and the Electra and Iphigenia in Aulis
lodious in his rhythm, most rich in his of Euripides. If, on the one hand, imagery, most affluent in picturesque this gives our author the advantage of
language, we feel that he is not Grean almost personal knowledge of his cian but English-not Æschylean but principal character, it, on the other
Tennysonian. We shall give the first hand, places him in a position whose
two portions of this chorus, to exhibit perils are infinitely greater than any
both the detractions we bave alluded such advantage. The more thoroughly he is imbued with the spirit of his pro.
to, and the poetic powers of the autotypes, the more is he in danger of degenerating into mere imitation; the more he ventures to depart from the “ The winds were lull'd in Aulis ; and the historical characteristics and feelings
day, with which antiquity has invested those
Down-sloped, was loitering to the lazy personages of his drama, the more lia. ble is he to be untrue to the times, and
There was no motion of the glossy bay,
But all things by a heavy light opprest. the country, and the people, back into
Windless, cut off upon the destined way which he seeks to transmit himself
Dark shrouds, distinct against the Jurid and his readers. It appears to us that
lull both those results have attended him.
Dark ropes hung useless, loose, from mast He has, in a great degree, availed him
to hull self of the advantages which the selec- The black ships lay abreast. tion of subject held out to him. We Not any cloud would cross the brooding find throughout the drama the evidences
skies. of extensive scholarship and intimate
The distant sea boom'd fuintly. Nothing acquaintance with the language and spirit of the great Grecian masters; but
They walked about upon the yellow shore; he is sometimes even too strongly tinc
Or, lying listless, huddled groups supině,
With faces turn'd toward the flat sea-spine, tured with this spirit, and the imitation
They plann'd the Phrygian battle o'er, and becomes painfully apparent. Thus, in o'er; the fifth scene, the chorus, which is Till each grew sullen, and would talk no singularly beautiful and classic, apos. more,
But sat, dumb-dreaming. Then would in the Grecian dramas; their treatment some one rise,
more particularly resembles the AgaAnd louk toward the hollow hulls, with
memnon of Æschylus, in which, we haggaru, hopeless eyes
may observe, the character of ClytemWild eyes, — and, crowding round, yet
nestra is brought out with a vigour wilder eyesAnd gaping, languid lips ;
and fullness that is not to be found in And everywhere that men could see,
any of the other dramas. In the piece About the black, black ships,
before us, the Argive Queen is also the Was nothing bint the deep-red sea; engrossing personage; but she is neiThe deep-red shore;
ther the Clytemnestra of Æschylus, nor The deep.red skies;
of Sophocles, though she bas somewhat The deep-red silence, thick with thirsty of each. Bold, baughty, and detersighs ;
mined, like her of the elder dramatist, And daylight,dying slowly. Nothing more.
the resemblance to Lady Macbeth is The tall masts stood upright; : And not a sail above the burnish'd prores;
even greater than in the Agamemnon ;
she has some of the weaknesses that The languid sea, like one outwearied quite,
detract from the tragic power of the Shrank, dying inward into hollow shores, And breathless harbours, under sandy bars;
heroine of Sophocles, though she is And, one by one, down tracts of quivering
neither so sensual nor so superstitious; blue,
her love for Ægisthus is brought out The singed and sultry stars
not in as odious, but certainly in as Look'd from the inmost heaven, far, faint, strong a light as in the Electra, while and few,
it is relieved of all coarseness by a ten. While, all below, the sick, and steaming derness and devotion that are scarce in brine
accordance with the strong and haughty The spill'd-out sunset did incarnadine.
character of the Queen. Nevertheless, "At last one broke the silence; and a word
we must admit that the author has
shown no small skill in the delineation Was lisp'd and buzz'd about, from mouth to mouth;
as a whole. „She is, in his hands, nei. Pale faces grew more pale; wild whispers
ther the bold virago, indifferent to stirr'd;
consequences, of Æschylus, nor, the And men, with moody, murmuring lips, depraved woman, by turns violent, conferr'd
sophistical and weak, that Sophocles In ominous tones, from shaggy beards represents her. She is a woman haughuncouth :
ty, proud, self-willed, yet possessed by As tho' some wind had broken from the
one sentiment, her love for Ægisthus, blurr'd
which exhibits her a woman in her And blazing prison of the stagnant drouth,
heart, and is the mainspring of all her And stirr'd the salt sea in the stifled south. The long-robed priests stood round; and,
errors and sins : in the gloom, Under black brows, their bright and greedy eyes
“Whate'er I am, be sure that I am that Shone deathfully; there was a sound of
Which thou hast made me—nothing of sighs,
myself. Thick-solu'd from choking throats among
Once, all unheedful, careless of myself, the crowd,
And wholly ignorant of what I was, That, whispering, gather'd close, with
I grew up as a reed some wind will touch, dark heads bowd;
And wake to prophecy- till then all mute, But no man lifted up his voice aloud,
And void of melody-a foolislı weed ! For heavy hung o'er all the helpless sense
My soul was blind, and all my life was dark, of doom."
And all my heart pined with some igno
rant want. The similarity between this and the
I moved about, a shadow in the house,
And felt unwedded though I was a wife; latter portion of the first chorus in the
And all the men and women which I saw Agamemnon will, at once, occur to
Were but as pictures painted on a wall: the classical scholar. The passage we To me they had not either heart, or brain, allude to is familiar to every reader of Or lips, or language-pictures ! nothing Æschylus, and commences thus :«Ευτ απλοια κεναγγεί βαρυ
Then, suddenly, athwart those lonely hours νoντ Αχαιικός λεως."-κ. τ. λ.
Which, day by day dreamed listlessly away,
Led to the dark and melancholy tomb, The plot of the play, the action, and Thy presence passed and touch'd me with the characters, are those which we find a soul.