the ground, mournfully exclaiming, “Finis and in this country, he lived for many years Poloniæ !"

in retirement in the neighborhood of Paris. His words were too true. Within a few He saw through the selfish ambition of Nadays after his defeat and capture, the Rus-poleon, and honorably refused either to serve sians drove the remnants of the Polish armies under him himself, or to try to persuade his before them into Warsaw. On the 4th of No-countrymen to become soldiers of fortune vember, Suwarrow stormed Praga, the forti- under the French eagles. When solicited to fied suburb of that city. Warsaw itself ca- do so, he replied, “ What, despotism for despitulated on the 6th, and the final treaty of potism? The Poles have enough of it at partition ensued, by which Austria, Russia, home, without going so far to purchase it at and Prussia divided the last remains of Poland the price of their blood.” In 1814, he wrote among them, and one of the most ancient, and to the Emperor Alexander in favor of the at one time of the most splendid and powerful Poles, asking for an amnesty for all exiles, states of Christendom, ceased to exist. for a free constitution, like that of England, to

Kosciusko himself was recognized and re- be given to Poland, and that schools might spected by the Russian soldiery on the fatal | be founded for the education of the serfs. field of Maciovice. His wounds were cured, Disappointed in the hopes that he had formed and though the Empress Catherine caused respecting Alexander's treatment of his counhim to be imprisoned at St. Petersburg, ber try, Kosciusko retired to Soleure, in Switzersuccessor Paul released him in 1796. He land, where he closed his blameless and hondeclined rank in the Russian service; and, orable existence in 1817. after passing some time in the United States i

Memoirs OF ALEXANDER Dumas.---This dinner-having wandered far and wide, popular and copious romancer is about to taking life as it came—now dining with a publish his own "memoir.” The Paris cor- king, anon sleeping with a brigand-one day respondent of the Literary Gazelle thinks | killing lions in the Sahara, and the next (acthe chances are that the work will be one of cording to his own account) being devoured the most brilliant of the kind that has yet by a bear in the Pyrenees-having edited a been published ; and that is saying a great daily newspaper and managed a theatre, and deal, when we call to mind the immense host failed in both-having built a magnificent of memoir writers which France possesses. chateau, and had it sold by auction-having Only a few of Alexander's feats make a commanded in the National Guard, and done sufficiently imposing sentence. “Having mix- fierce battle with bailiffs and duns—having ed familiarly with all descriptions of society, been decorated by almost every potentate in from that of crowned heads and princes of Europe, so that the breast of his coat is more the blood, down to strolling players-hav- variegated with ribbons than the rainbow ing been behind the scenes of the political, the with colors—having published more than any literary, the theatrical, the artistic, the finan- man living, and perhaps as much as any cial, and the trading worlds--having risen man dead-having fought duels innumerable unaided from the humble position of subordi

--and having been more quizzed, caricatured, nate clerk in the office of Louis Philippe's and lampooned, and satirized, and abused, accountant, to that of the most popular of and slandered, and admired, and envied, than living romancers in all Europe—having any human being now existing-Dumas must found an immense fortune in bis inkstand, have an immensity to tell, and none of his and squandered it like a genius (or a fool) - contemporaries, we may be sure, could tell it having rioted in more than princely luxury, better—few so well. Only we may fear that and been reduced to the sore strait of it will be mixed up with a vast deal of wondering where he could get credit for his imagination. But n'importe !"

'From Blackwood's Magazine.


There is no living writer whose rank in trayed in it is, in every sense of the word, literature appears to be more accurately so utterly monstrous, (for Shelley has comdetermined, or more permanently secured to bined, for purposes of his own, a spirit of him, than the author of Philip Van Arterelde. piety with the other ingredients of that diaNot gifted with the ardent temperament, the bolical character, which could not have covery vivid imagination, or the warmth of existed with them,) that, notwithstanding all passion which are supposed necessary to its beauty, we would willingly efface this carry a poet to the highest eminences of his poem from English literature. If one of art, he has, nevertheless, that intense reflec- those creatures, half beautiful woman and tion, that large insight into human life, half scaly fish, which artists seem, with a that severe taste, binding him always to a traditional depravity of taste, to delight in, most select, accurate, and admirable style, were really to be alive, and to present itself which must secure him a lofty and impreg. before us, it would hardly excite greater nable position amongst the class of writers disgust than this beautifully foul drama of who come next in order to the very highest. the Cenci. There have been greater poems, but. in


fact of our author having won so modern times we do not think there has distinct and undisputed a place in public appeared any dramatic composition which estimation, must be accepted as an excuse can be pronounced superior to the master- for our prolonged delay in noticing his writpiece of Henry Taylor. Neither of the ings. The public very rapidly passed its Sardanapalus of Lord Byron, nor the Remorse verdict upon them: it was a sound one. The of Coleridge, nor the Cenci of Shelley, could voice of encouragement was not needed to this be said. We are far from asserting that the author; nor did the reading world reTaylor is a greater poet than Byron, or quire to be informed of the fresh accession Coleridge, or Shelley; but we say that no made to its stores. If we now propose to dramatic composition of these poets surpas- ourselves some critical observations on the ses, as a whole, Philip Van Artevelde. dramas of Mr. Taylor, we enter upon the These writers have displayed, on various task in exactly the same spirit that we should occasions, more passion and more pathos, bring to the examination of any old writer, and a command of more beautiful imagery, any veritable ancient, of established celebrity. but they have none of them produced a more We are too late to assist in creating a reputacomplete dramatic work; nor do any of them tion for these dramas, but we may possibly manifest a profounder insight, or a wider throw out some critical suggestions which view of human nature, or more frequently may contribute to their more accurate appreenunciate that pathetic wisdom, that mixture ciation. of feeling and sagacity, which we look upon In Philip Van Artevelde, the great object as holding the highest place in eloquence of of the author appears to have been to exhibit, every description, whether prose or verse. in perfect union, the man of thought and the The last act of Shelley's drama of the Cenci man of action. The hero is meditative as has left a more vivid impression upon our Hamlet, and as swift to act as Coriolanus. mind than any single portion of the modern He is pensive as the Dane, and with somedrama; but one act does not constitute a thing of the like cause for his melancholy; play, and this drama of the Cenci is so odious but so far from wasting all his energies in from its plot, and the chief character por- moody reflection, he has an equal share for * Philip Van Artevelde : A Dramatic Romance,

a most enterprising career of real life. He -Edwin the Fair: An Historical Drama; and

throws his glance as freely and as widely Isaac Comnenus: A Play.The Eve of the Con

over all this perplexing world, but every quest, and other Poems. By HENRY TAYLOR. footstep of his own is planted with a sure given full

and eertain knowledge, and with a firm will. “He is a man of singular address His thoughts may seem to play as loose as In catching river-fish," the air above him, but his standing-place is always stable as the rock. Such a character, says a sarcastic enemy, who knew nothing we need not say, could hardly have been of the trains of thought for which that anselected, and certainly could not have been gling was often a convenient disguise. A bint portrayed with success, by any but a deeply given in the drama will go far to explain meditative mind.

what their hue and complexion must have It is often remarked that the hero is the been. The father of Philip bad headed the reflection of the writer. This could not be patriotic cause of the citizens of Ghent; it very correctly said in instances like the pre- had triumphed in his person ; the same citisent. A writer still lives only in his writings, zens of Ghent had murdered him on the lives only in his thoughts, whatever martial threshold of his door. When he was a boy, feats or bold enterprises he may depict. We the stains of his father's blood were still visicould not prophesy how the poet himself ble on that threshold : the widowed mother would act if he had been the citizen of Ghent. would not suffer them to be removed, and, It is more accurate to content ourselves with nursing her revenge, loved to show them to saying that the delineation of his hero has the child. There was something here to scope to the intellectual character color the thoughts of the young

fisherman. of the author, and to his own peculiar habits But passion and the world are now knockof thought. For if the great citizen of Ghent ing at the heart of the meditative student. combines in an extraordinary degree the re

Love and ambition are there, and, moreover, flective and the energetic character, our au

the turbulent condition of the city of Ghent thor unites, in a manner almost as peculiar, seems to forbid the continuance of this life two modes of thinking which at first appear of quietude. The passions of the world crave to be opposed : he unites that practical sa admittance. Shall he admit them ? The gacity which gives grave, and serious, and great theatre of life claims its new actor. useful counsels upon human conduct, with Shall he go? Shall he commit himself once that sad and profound irony—that reasoned and for ever to the turmoil and delusions of despondency—which so generally besets the that scene-delusions that will not delude, speculative mind. All life is—vanity. Yet but which will exercise as great a tyranny it will not do to resign ourselves to this gene

over him as if they did ? Yes; he will

go. ral conclusion, from which so little, it is plain, As well do battle with the world without, as can be extracted. From nothing, nothing eternally with his own thoughts ; for this is

We must go back, and estimate by the only alternative youth presents to us. comparison each form and department of this Yes, he will go; but deliberately: he will human life—which, as a whole, is so nuga- not be borne along, he will govern his own tory. Thus practical sagacity is reinstated footsteps, and, come what may, will be alin full vigor, and has its fair scope of action, ways master of himself, though ever and anon a philosophic despon

Launoy, one of Ghent's bravest patriots, dency will throw its shadow over the scene.

has been killed. The first reflection we hear As it is a complete man, so it is a whole from the lips of Artevelde is called forth by life that we have portrayed in the drama of this intelligence. It does not surprise him. Philip Van Artevelde. The second part is not what is understood by a “ continuation I never looked that he should live so long. of the first, but an essential portion of the He was a man of that unsleeping spirit, work. In the one we watch the hero rise to

He seemed to live by miracle : his food his culminating point; in the other we see

Was glory, which was poison to his mind him sink—not in crime, and not in glory, but | And peril to his body. He was one

thousand such that die betimes, in a sort of dim and disastrous twilight. We | Whose story is a fragment, known to few. take up the hero from his student days; we Then comes the man who has the luck to live, take him from his philosophy and his fishing And he's a prodigy. Compute the chances, line, and that obstinate pondering on unsol

And deem there's ne'er a one in dangerous times vable problems, which is as much a character- Who wins the race of glory, but than him istic of youth as the ardent passions with

A thousand men more gloriously endowed

Have fallen upon the course; a thousand others which it is more generally accredited; we

Have had their fortunes foundered by a chance, take him from the quiet stream which he tor

Whilst lighter barks pushed past thein; to whom ments, far more by the thoughts he throws add upon it, than by his rod and line.

A smaller tally, of the singular few



Who, gifted with predominating powers, reflects, render back the life they have
Bear yet a temperate will, and keep the peace. destroyed :-
The world knows nothing of its greatest men.

-“ Life for life, vile bankrupts as they are,

Their worthless lives for his of countless price, If ambition wears this ambiguous aspect is their whole wherewithal to pay the debt. to his mind, it is not because he is disposed Yet retribution is a goodly thing, to regard the love of woman too enthusiasti- | And it were well to wring the payment from cally.


Even to the utınost drop of their heart's blood." “It may be I have deemed or dreamed of such.

Still less does the patriotic harangue of But what know 1 ? We figure to ourselves

Van Den Bosch find an enthusiastic response The thing we like, and then we build it up As chance will have it, on the rock or sand : He was already too much a statesman to be For thought is tired of wandering o'er the world, a demagogue; not to mention that his faAnd home-bound fancy runs her bark ashore.” ther's career had taught him a better esti

mate of popularity, and of all tumultuary enYet, Artevelde is at this time on his way thusiasm :to Adriana to make that declaration which

Van Den Bosch. Times are sore changed, I the Lady Adriana is so solicitous to hear. This a lover! Yes; only one of that order That answers to the name of Artevelde.

There's none in Ghent who hang over and count the beatings of Thy father did not carp or qnestion thus their own heart.

When Ghent invoked his aid. The days have Launoy being destroyed, and the people been of Ghent having lost others of their leaders, When not a citizen drew breath in Ghent and growing discontented with the stern rule But freely would have died in Freedom's cause. of Van Den Bosch, some new captain or

Artevelde. With a good name thou christenest

the cause. ruler of the town is looked for. The eyes of True, to make choice of despots is some free men are turned to Philip Van Artevelde.

dom, He shall be captain of the Whitehoods, and the only freedom for this turbulent town, come to the rescue of the falling cause ; for, Rule her who may. And in my father's time of late, the Earl of Flanders has been every- We still were independent, if not free ; where victorious. Van Den Bosch himself And wealth from independence, and from wealth makes the proposal.

It is evident, from Enfranchisement will partially proceed. hints that follow, that Artevelde had already And were 'l linked to earth no otherwise

The cause, I grant thee, Van Den Bosch, is good ; made his choice; he saw that the time was

But that my whole heart centred in myself, come when, even if he desired it, there was

I could have tossed you this poor life to play ro maintaining a peaceful neutrality. But with, Van Den Bosch meets with no eager spirit Taking no second thought. But as things are, ready to snatch at the perilous prize held out I will resolve the matter warily, to him. He is no dupe to the nature of the And send thee word betimes of my conclusion.

Van Den Bosch. Betimes it must be ; for some offer, nor very willing that others should

two hours hence fancy bim to be one.

I meet the Danes, and ere we separate

Our course must be determined. “Not so fast.


In two hours,
Your vessel, Van Den Bosch, bath felt the If I be for you, I will send this ring
storm ;

In token I have so resolved."
She rolls dismasted in an ugly swell,
And you would make a jury-mast of me,

He had already resolved. Such a man Whereon to spread the tatters of your canvas.” would not have suffered himself to be hem

med in within the space of two hours to It is worth noticing how the passion of make so great a decision; but he would not revenge, like the others, is admitted to its rush precipitately forward; he would feel post; admitted, yet coldly looked upon his own will at each step. He had already He will revenge his father. Two knights, resolved ; but his love to Adriana troubles Sir Guisebert Grutt and Simon Bette, (we him at heart: he must first make all plain wish they had better names,) were mainly and intelligible there, before he becomes instrumental in his murder. These men captain of the Whitehoods. From this inhave been playing false, by making treacher- terview he goes to Adriana ; and then follows ous overtures to the Earl of Flanders ; they a dialogue, every sentence of which, if we will be in his power. But they cannot, he were looking out for admirable passages for quotation, would offer itself as a candidate. I brings him news that the people are ready We quote only, from a drama so well known, to elect him for their captain or ruler. for the purpose of illustrating the analytic view we would present of its chief hero ; but • Artev. Good! when they come I'll speak to the passages selected for this purpose can

them. hardly fail of being also amongst the most

Van Den B.

'Twere well. beautiful in themselves. Artevelde is alone, waiting for the appearance of Adriana :- Canst learn to bear thee high amongst the com

mons ? “There is but one thing that still harks me back. Canst thou be cruel? To be esteemed of them, To bring a cloud upon the summer day

Thou must not set more store by lives of men

Than lives of larks in season.
Of one so happy and so beautiful,--
It is a hard condition. For myself,


Be it so.
I know not that the circumstance of life

I can do what is needful."
In all its changes can so far afflict me
As makes anticipation much worth while.

The time of action is at hand. We now
Oh, she is fair!

see Van Artevelde in a suit of armor ; he is As fair as Heaven to look upon! as fair

reclining on a window-seat in his own house, As ever vision of the Virgin blest

looking out upon the street. There is treaThat weary pilgrim, resting by the fount

son in the town; of those who flock to the Beneath the palm and dreaming to the tune

market-place, some have already deserted his Of flowing waters, duped his soul withal. It was permitted in my pilgrimage

cause. To rest beside the fount, beneath the tree, Beholding there no vision, but a maid

" Artev.

Not to be feared - Give me my Whose form was light and graceful as the palm,

sword! Go forth, Whose heart was pure and jocund as the fount, And see what folk be these that throng the street. And spread a freshness and a verdure round.”

(Exit the page.

Not to be feared is to be nothing here. Adriana appears, and in the course of the And wherefore have I taken up this office,

If I be nothing in it? There they go. dialogue he addresses her thus :--

(Shouls are heard.) “Be calm;

Of them that pass my honse some shout my name, And let me warn thee, ere thy choice be fixed,

But the most part pass silently; and once What fate thou may'st be wedded to with me.

I heard the cry of Flanders and the Lion!' Thou hast beheld me living heretofore As one retired in staid tranquillity :

That cry again! The dweller in the mountains, on whose ear Sir knights, ye drive me close upon the rocks, The accustomed cataract thunders unobserved ; And of

my cargo you're the vileet bales, The seaman who sleeps sound upon the deck, So overboard with you! What, men of blood ! Nor hears the loud lamenting of the blast, Can the son better auspicate his arms Nor heeds the weltering of the plangent wave,-- Than by the slaying of who slew the father ? These have not lived more undisturbed than I. Some blood may flow because that, it needs must, But build not upon this; the swollen stream But yours by choice--I'll slay you, and thank May shake the cottage of the mountaineer,

God. And drive him forth; the seaman, roused at length,

(Enler Van Den Bosch.) Leaps from his slumber on the wave-washed

Van Den B. 'The common bell has rung ! the deck ;

knights are there ; And now the time comes fast when here, in Thou must come instantly. Ghent,


I come, I come. He who would live exempt from injuries

Van Den B. Now, Master Philip, if thou miss Of armed men, must be himself in arms.

thy way This time is near for all,--nearer for me:

Through this affair, we're lost. For Jesus' sake I will not wait upon necessity,

Be counselled now by me; have thou in mind. And leave myself no choice of vantage-ground, Take thou thy stand beside Sir Simon Bette,

Arlev, Go to, I need not counsel; I'm resolved. But rather meet the times where best I may, And mould and ashion them as best I can. As I by Gruti : take note of all I do, Reflect then that I soon may be embarked

And do thyself accordingly. Come on." In all the hazards of these troublesome times, And in your own free choice take or resign me. They join the assembly; they take their Adri. O Artevelde, my choice is free no more.” stand each by one of the traitor knights ;

the debate on the proposal of the Earl proAnd now he is open to hear Van Den ceeds; three hundred citizens are to be given Bosch. That veteran in war and insurrection I up to him, and on this, and other conditions,

« VorigeDoorgaan »