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Invercauld. One of our modern Tourists mentions it as the highest mountain perhaps in GREAT BRITAIN; be this as it may, it is certainly one of the most sublime, and picturesque, amongst our “Caledonjan Alps.” Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows; near Lachin y. Garr, I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which, has given birth to the following Stanzas.
Away, ye gay landscapes ! ye gardens of roses!
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
For still they are sacred to freedom and love:
Round their white summits though elements war,
I sigh for the valley of dark Loch na Garr.
Ah! there my young footsteps, in infancy, wander'd,
My cap was the bonnet, my cloak was the plaid ;
As daily I strode through the pine cover'd glade ;
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star ;
Disclos’d by the natives of dark Loch na Garr.
“Shades of the dead! have I not heard your voices
Rise on the night rolling breath of the gale”
And rides on the wind, o'er his own Highland vale:
Winter presides in his cold icy car;
They dwell in the tempests of dark Loch na Garr :
“ Ill starred t, though brave, did no visions foreboding,
Tell you that Fate had forsaken your cause”
** This word is erroneously pronounced PLAD, the proper pronunciation (according to the Scotch) is shown by the Orthography.'
•f I allude here to my maternal ancestors, the “ GORDONS," many of whom fought for the unfortunate Prince Charles, better known by the name of the Pretender. This branch was nearly allied by blood, as well as attachAh! were you destin'd to die at Culloden t,
Victory crown'd not your fall with applause ;
Your deeds, on the echoes of dark Loch na Garr.
• Years have rolld on, Loch na Garr, since I left you,
Years must elapse, e'er I tread you again ;
Yet still are you dearer than Albion's plain:
To one, who has rov'd on the mountains afar ;
The steep, frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr.'
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
DRAMATIC CRITICISM. Among the many pages of Theatrical criticism, which have been displayed to the public eye, I do not recollect any attempt to develop the fundamental principles of the Thespian art. In the following essay, I shall make an effort to display them; believing that however. otherwise deficient, my hypothesis will at least have the merit of novelty. I have been principally incited to this exertion, by the desire of establishing the merit of a youthful votary of Thespis, to whom I am partial, in common with many whom I know to possess fancy, taste, and feeling.
Actors may in my opinion be divided into three Classes, not that I conceive any actor exclusively to belong to either; but that the leading
ment, to the Stewarts. George, the 2d Earl of Huntley married the Princess Annabella Stewart, daughter of James the 1st of Scotland, and by her he left four sons ; the 3d Sir William Gordon, I have the honour to claim as one of my progenitors,
" # Whether any perished in the Battle of Culloden, I am not certain; but as many fell in the insurrection, I have used the name of the principal action, “ pars pro toto.”
" || A Tract of the Highlands so called; there is also a Castle of Braemar.' • The Bagpipe.' VOL. I.
features of his performance, will be found to incline so much more to one line of acting, than to the other, as to justify the classification which I propose.
In the first class I place the original actor, or the poet of action, mimickry, and expression; who kindling with the spirit of his author, renews his fire; and losing his own character, in that which he assumes, yields to the magic power of fancy, and becomes no less transported by the pains and pleasures of fiction, than if they were real.
“ That in a fiction, and a dream of passion,
In the second class, I place the actor of taste, of study, and reflection, who diving with profound scrutiny into the meaning of his poet, attains a just conception of his part, and then for the means of doing it justice, by appropriate action, expression, and emphasis, turns the eye of contemplation towards the book of human nature.
· Actors of the third class, devoid of the innate fire of the first, and deficient of the taste or penetration of the second, are at best but feeble imitators of both.
Learning theatrical performance as an art, as it is much more easy to mimic the peculiarity, than to imitate the beauty of good acting, they often copy the defects, but rarely reach the excellence of their masters. Unfortunately, however, to this class, we must consign the mass of the *Thespian corps.
The little Roscius, who has of late excited so much attention in England, must be ranked with the first order; though it is highly probable, that in those parts where he might find nothing to enkindle his genius, he may have dwindled to the third. The immaturity of his age and education, would preclude him from 'much advantage by the route of the second, unless through the counsel of his seniors. Nothing but an innate warmth of feeling, or susceptibility to dramatic beauty, could have enabled one so very young to glow with the fire of the immortal Shakspeare. He must have felt with delicacy or ardour, every fictitious incident of the drama, and nature had endowed him with talents of action, emphasis, and expression, which were worthy of his feelings.
When in the character of Norval, he acted with so much success, I can easily conceive him to have forgotten that he was not the injured offspring of a nobleman, degraded to the humility of a shepherd.
The celebrated Cooper in my view, leans very much to the class of natural or poetical actors. At the period of his first appearance on the American stage, he seemed to rely too much on his natural powers; but he appears since to have improved very much, by the route of taste, study, and reflection. In the heroic, the proud, or the terrible, he appears to most advantage. In scenes of love, or of refined sentiment, or tenderness, he is less successful: they appear less congenial with his feelings.
The talents of another great performer, appear to place him rather with the second, than with the first order. Destined originally for the church, Fennel appears to be much indebted to the very handsome. attainments generally attached to the clerical profession, for that success in dramatic performance, which he has since so eminently attained. His delineations of the characters in Shakspeare, at an early period drew many a lover of polite literature to his recitations. Among these as an actor, he has always had many warm admirers; though Cooper has ever swayed the crowd. The errors of the latter, being on the side of vehemence, have a brilliancy which captivates and deludes the multitude, who can judge better of the energy, than of the correct. ness of feeling. The errors of the former being of the opposite cast, are palliated in the views of men of taste, because though sometimes cold, he is never incorrect; and though he does not always feel his part, he rarely misunderstands it. When he cannot feel, assuming no bad substitute, he becomes tame, Cooper is never tame, but rants when he cannot feel. The one sometimes disappoints the ardor of the many, the other no less often offends the judgment of the few. Those who had listened to the critique of Fennel on the character of Macbeth: in the outset of this part, while by the poet he is still represented as heroic and virtuous, were displeased to behold him personated by Cooper with the lowering aspect of a villain : whence the effect of that change of demeanour, which constitutes an indispensable feature in the acting of this piece, was irrecoverably lost.* But all who had heard Cooper
• This observation was made many years ago. It is probable that, improved by reflection, Cooper may now represent this part differently.
• This criticism may appear to clash with the opinion of a lively, ingenious, and elegant writer in the last number of The Port Folio, who considers Macbeth as a villain from the first. It seems to me, however, that on this point, there is room only for a nominal difference.
If to be free from guilt, and to have done much good, be virtuous: Macbeth is virtuous, at the outset of the play. If to be open to seduction
roaring in Richard, were chilled by the feebler efforts of Fennel ; when he ventured to assume that boisterous character.
. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse ! This exclamation amid the din of battle, would of course be uttered by every actor of ordinary judgment, with as much vehemence as possible. To Cooper's stentorian superiority, we may then attribute the superior effect of his vociferation, in uttering these words.
But in giving vent to the following, he seemed truly inspired with the thundering spirit of the tempestuous Richard.
A flourish, trumpets ! strike alarum, drums!
Rail on the Lord's anointed : Strike I say.The din of warlike instruments excited by this furious mandate, are finely contrasted with the possible violence of an angry man. Indeed Richard seems conscious of this, for no sooner does the noise cease, than he proceeds, as if desirous to prolong or emulate the clamour.
Either be patient, and entreat me fair;
is to be vitious, Macbeth is vitious from the first. But men who are unconsciously liable to seduction, will carry themselves as nobly as those who are more firm, and with looks no less innocent. This is sufficient to justify my critique: but I will further take the liberty to remark, that an unusual abhor. rence of vice, and a still more inordinate fondness for power, are the predominating principles in the character of Macbeth. Forced on evil conceptions by the one, he is invariably checked by the other; which with the aid of religion, and other considerations which may be allowed to come in to the as. sistance of virtue, would finally have preponderated, had not female seduction been thrown into the opposite scale. Perhaps I may be permitted jocosely to add, that against this, no son of Adam has any hereditary right to deem himself secure; and more especially our chivalric author, who has drawn forth these remarks.
The following lines finely display the horror excited by the idea of a crime in the mind of Macbeth. He could not thus regard vice, without abhorring it.
Why do I yield to that suggestion,