Sivut kuvina
PDF

Louisa, (springs up and retains him.) Hold, hold, my father, the rage of tyranny is feeble to the barbarous force of tenderness—What shall I do—I cannot—What must I do?

Miller. If a lover's kisses burn hotter than the tears of a father—die.

Louisa, (after a torturing struggle, with some firmness.J Father, here is my hand. 1 will. O God, what is it I do, what is it I will. Father, I swear,—alas! alas! wretch that I am! Ferdinand, to what is the traitorcss yielding—father, be it so, and God look down and help me to pluck out the fond remembrance, (tears the letter.)

Miller, (throws himself' on her neck in transport.) There spoke once more my daughter. Look up, Louisa, thou hast lost a lover, but thou hast made a father happy. My child, how little do I deserve this day. (embraces her between smiles and tears.) Sinful man that I am, how this angel became mine, God knows. My Louisa! my heaven '. little do I know of love, but that its cessation pains, I can conceive.

Louisa. Let us away, my father, from this place; where my companions mock at me, and my good name is gone; let us away from a spot, where every object reminds of my blasted happiness.

Miller. Whithersoever thou wilt, Louisa. The bread of God rains every where from heaven; he will not let ears be wauting to ray music. Let the worst come, 1 will set to notes the story of thy sorrow, and sing a ballad of the daughter, who, to honour a father, rent her heart in twain. We will beg from door to door, and sweet will be the alms moistened with the tear of sympathy.

This sceue is deeply pathetic, but it is not adequately prepared. The mass of characters in the play have a comic cast,and ignoble purposes; now a tragic catastrophe is in such circumstances always unwelcome, as is felt in Massinger's Sir Giles Overreach. This arises from the nature of things; for as those who have mean ends to gain, never stake life and all upon thein, l)ecause the profit would not be worth the risk; so it is improbable that their intrigues should terminate in any more grievous sorrow than ridicule, disappointment and disgrace. Shakspeare is instinctively careful to confine comic traits to those personages who are not involved in the tragic action of the piece.

Schiller had stationed himself at Manheim in a medical capacity, and had become member of a literary society there, which conferred on him the acquaintance and patronage of the

coadjutor Dalberg: but as he persisted in writing (or the stage, it was deemed wiser to patronize his mclinational than his professional exertions, and a place of theatre-poet was devised for him, accompanied with a salary from the government.

Schiller translated some foreign plays, and next produced his " Fiesco." The history of this conspirator has been well narrated by Robertson in the eighth book of his Charles V. Schiller has dramatized the fact with a careful regard to the real circumstances: only that he attributes the death of Fiesco to the republican jealousy of Verrina, and not to accident. Some female personages, unknown to record, are introduced, as Bertha and Julia; but these variations do not detract from its general character of an historic tragedy. This is the h ighest walk ofdramatic art. The modern or gothic drama, chiefly excels the anlient or Greek drama, by the magnitude of action which it can embrace, in consequence of relinquishing the unities of time and place. The usurpation and punishment of Macbeth, or the Conspiracy of Venice, would have appeared to the artist of antiquity subjects of too enlarged and comprehensive a class to be drawn within the limits of a single representation. It is most difficult, and consequently most meritorious, to excel in this more spacious walk of tragedy; to seize the spirit and bearing of such gigantic events; to delineate thein in few and well adapted scenes; and to bring before the spectator, without the aid of narrative, Ihe causes and consequences of such intricate and complex eutcrprizes. The hero of a Greek drama, however important from birth or station, is never known to the audience but as a member of a distressed family: while the hero of a gothic drama, an Egniont or a Fiesco, may be introduced as superintending that higher order of interests, which involve the fortunes of his country or his kind. The varieties of ethic peculiarity proportion themselves to the complication of the business of the scene; and a whole volume of jKschylus or Euripides may be perused, without noticing so many well-discriminated characters, or so many truly tragic situations, as are sometimes compressed within a single poem of Shakspeare or Otway, of Gotfthe or Schiller.

Of all the extant tragedies of the class just described, perhaps no one embraces greater compass of event, no one

exhibits exhibits greater variety of character, no one includes situations more pathetic than Fiesco; the action has majesty, unity, wholeness, and the interest arising from the incidents is perpetually on the increase. Some of the characters, that of Julia, that of the Moor, border perhaps too much on comic personages; had the author allowed himself the leisure to compose this tragedy in blank verse, the ignoble and caricatured passages would have fallen away of themselves, and (he entire drama would have approached nearer to a perfect work of art.

As the scenes of this play are much concatenated, it will be more convenient to detach a soliloquy than a dialogue: it occurs in the third act.

[Scene. An apartment in Fiesco s house: in the middle of the back scene a glassdoor, through which is a view of the sea, and of Genoa: the day is breaking.'] Fiesco. (at the window.) The moon is down, The morning rises fiery from the sea. Wild dreams of greatness overcome my

sleep, And knit my faculties round one idea. O let me breathe the pure fresh-blowing air. (He opens the glass-door: the town and sea appear red tvith the tint of morning .lie paces up and down the room.J And am I not the greatest man in Genoa; Should not the minor souls round greatness

cluster— Propt on it? 'Tis not trampling upon virtue, Virtue—can that for all ranks be the same? The hero's soul has stronger just temptations Than the mere vulgar—is he bound to

follow The same tunic rule? How can the puny

armour Shap'd for a pigmy be the giant's suit?

(The sun rises over Genoa: he spreads his arms as if to embrace it.J This stately city mine! My nod, its mover! To blaze above it like the god of day— With eagle-plumes to brood upon this nest; And on a boundless ocean's surge to launch My sailing wishes—Heaven-born ambition, Surely the prize ennobles the attempt, And guilt itself were glory. Though to

steal One purse be shameful, is it not allowed To covet millions—and to seize a crown Is deathless fame: shame shrinks as sins

enlarge. To rule, or to obey—to be, or not be— A giddy deep divides them,—and between Lies all that man holds precious—conquerors, Your victories, — artists, your immortal works,—

Your pleasures, epicures,—and your discoveries,

Ye bold explorers of untravers'd seas.

To rule, or to obey—to be, or not be—

So vast the space between, that but to gauge it

Is to compare creation with its maker.

Thron'd at his awful height, thence to look down

• On all the eddies form'd by fortune's

wheel, To quaffthe first of pleasure's foaming cup, To hold the giant Law himself in bonds, And guide tbe weapon'd captive with a

string, Mocking his idle struggles aim'd in vain At majesty—to curb the people's passions, And make them champ the bit and draw

the car— To quell the pride of vassals with a breath; And with the magic sceptre of command Call into life the dreams of every wish— Are these not thoughts to stir the spirit up, And make him bouud o'er bounds. An instant, Prince Shall deck the title of thy glory's book. Tis not the place we live in, jbut the station, Which gives to life its value, and its zest. The mingled murmurs that compose the

thunder Might singly lull to sleep a timid infant, 'Tis their united crash which rends the

heavens, And speaks with monarch-voice. I am resolv'd. (Fiesco stalks heroically about, and Leonora enters.)

This fine tragedy might, one would think, have been successful on the English stage; it is somewhat longer than our own plays usually are, and cannot easily be curtailed of any of its scenes, although several would admit abridgement.. Now that Italy is every where intent on the expulsion of her tyrants, and on the institution of liberty, such topics are acquiring additional interest, and would win their way to universal sympathy.

[To be continued.]

For the Monthly Magazine.

Account of the Isles of Loss; from

the Hydrographical Surveys of M.

Roussin, on Officer in the French

Navy. ,

IN the group of the Isles of Loss, on the coasts of Western Africa, there are only three that can be deemed interesting, or worthy of descriptive notice. These are Tamara, the Isle of Loss, by the English called Factory Isle, and the Isle Francoise, to which they have given the name of Crawford. The isle of Tumba, placed by some among the Isles of Loss, is so near to the Continent, and so joined to it by beds of sand, mostly dry, that it should be considered as belonging to the Continent rather than the Archipelago.

Tamara is the largest and most westerly of these islands; in fair weather it may be seen at the distance of seven or eight leagues. Approaching it from the east, it appears like a range of hills thickly wooded, its elevation moderate, and the northern part higher than the south. It is, in shape, like a crescent, with many good anchoring places in its southern concavity; six fathoms at low water. At the principal anchorage in the S.E. is a spring of fresh water that will yield eighty hogsheads in twenty-four hours. To the north of the island is a rock, named Doubtful in the charts, as it as never yet been explored, and M. Roussin regrets that the season prevented him from doing it. It was discovered, for the first time, in 1811, by the English frigate Arethusa, Capt. Collins, which was lost there. Also Le Rubis, a French frigate, was wrecked there, in 1813.

The Isle of Loss or Factory Island, the most easterly of the group, is the only one occupied by the English, and they have long had an establishment on the eastern coast. Recently they have also taken possession of the isle Francoise or Crawford, situated between the Isle Of Loss and Tamara.

The resources for shipping at the Isles of Loss are in great abundance, and of no less importance. Exclusive of wood and water, which it is easy to get, supplies may be had of cattle, rice, kids, poultry, giramont, bananas, oranges, and citrons. The cattle are small, but the flesh tastes well in eating. These articles would be dear enough if paid for in money, but come cheap in exchange for articles of merchandize; the following are sure to be called for: linen cloth, hardware, gunpowder, iron, fire arms, brandy, and tobacco.

Captain Roussin did not penetrate into the interior of the Archipelago, but from what he explored in the Southern part of it, he insists that the English chart of 1777, constructed by William Woodville, is by no means complete or correct. The instances in the Isle Tamara, as laid down in it, are too large, by nearly one-third.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

SIR,

I WAS much gratified by observing in your last, a continuation of the excellent Excursion in North Wales. Should you think the following sketch of the history of Powis Castle, by way of supplement to your Correspondents' notice, worthy of insertion, you are at liberty to make use of it.

The particular part of Powis-land where the castle was situated was obtained from the Welsh by Henry I. who about the year 1110 gave it to Cadwgan ap Bleddyn an Cynfyn, a Welshman, who had rendered himself eminent by his services and bravery. He began to erect a castle here with an intention of making this the place of his residence, but before the work was finished he was murdered by one of his relations. The castle appears to have been completed before the end of the same century; for in 1191, on various depredations having been committed by the Welsh in the marches, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the absence of Richard I. on the Crusades, hastened here, and with a powerful army besieged the Castle, at 'that time in the hands of the Welsh. The garrison did not, however, surrender till they perceived that the besiegers had undermined the walls, and they did this at last on honourable terms, notwithstanding the English forces being at least thrice their number. As soon as the archbishop had obtained possession of it, he fortified it anew, and left it with a very strong garrison; the Welsh, however, soon again attacked and retook it. It changed owners again not long afterwards ; for in 1233, it was attacked and seized by Prince Llewelyn ap Jorwerth. It descended to Llewelyn's Grandson Owen ap Griffith, and on his death to his daughter Hawys Gadarn. Four of her uncles disputed her title to the property, under allegation that a female was incapable of inheriting. King Edward II. however, taking her pait, she was married to John de Charlton, and the estates continued in their posterity for several generations. The barony and title went afterwards to Sir John Grey, of Heton, in Northumberland, by marriage with Joan, daughter of Edward Lord Powis, and remained with their descendants till the reign of Henry VIII. when the title became extinct. The estate went by purchase to Sir Edward

Herbert, Herbert, the second son of William, Earl of Pembroke, who died in the year 1594.

Shonen Bach.
Hampstead, May 12, 1S21.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
SIR,

I HAVE in my possession a copy of a little work; which, I believe, is scarce, entitled "An Exact Historie of the late Revolutions in Naples, and of their monstrous successes, not to be paralleled by any Antient or Modern History; published by the Lord Alexander Girafli in Italian, and (for the rarenesse of the subject) rendered to y English, by J. H. Esq. London, 1650." 'Though, from the unfortunate termination of the late struggle in that quarter, the subject may have lost some of its interest, yet as you express a desire for *ny information respecting Naples, a short analysis of this book, with a few extracts from it, will not, perhaps, be unacceptable.

The first thing which strikes the reader on the perusal of it is, the remarkable manner in which this tremendous explosion burst forth, and the rapidity of its progress, which might well excite the astonishment of the rest of the world, not excepting England, where a revolution had also so recently taken place, under different circumstances. "It would stumble any one's belief,"' says the translator in his preface, " that a young fellow, a petty, poor, bare-footed fisherman, should draw after him in lesse than three days, above forty thousand armed men, and shaking off his linen slop, blue waistcoat, and red bonnet, should the fourth day ride triumphantly upon his courser in cloth of silver, command all Naples, and consequently near upon six hundred thousand souls, as absolutely as ever monarch did: and all this by his own single orders, which were of force enough to plunder or burn any house, to banish the proudest lord, or chop off any head, without judicial proceeding."

The " Historie," after giving an account of the state of affairs in Sicily, where there- had also been some previous commotions, which had ended in the people's obtaining the abolition of the most burdensome taxes, goes on to detail the occurrences of the Neapolitan revolution, (if such it can properly be called) during the short space of ten

days which it lasted. Each day forms a separate head or chapter. In the first, which is the 7th of July, 1647, we are introduced to the extraordinary character who was the principal agent in these transactions, Tomatio AneUo of Amalfi, vulgarly called Masanello by contraction. "He was about twenty-four years old, a spriteful man, and pleasant, of a middle stature, black eyed, rather lean than fat, having a small tuft of hair. His profession was to angle for little fish with a cane, hook, and line, as also to buy fish, and to carry and retail them to some that dwelt in his quarter." This man " out of a kind of natural craft," observed the murmurs of the people which were increasing every day, against the gabells or taxes on fruit, corn, &c. and expressed to his companions a great desire to redress their wrongs. They laughed and jeered at him, but he tola them in reply, " Ye laugh at me now, but you shall shortly see what Masanello can do; let me alone, if I do not free you from so many slaveries, let me be held infamous for ever."

His first measure was to collect a number of boys, amounting in a short time to 2000, whom he formed into companies, giving each one a weak cane in his hand, and taught them to go about the city, crying " May the Pope live, may the King of Spain and plenty live, but may the ill government die! God gives plenty, but the ill government dearth!"—with other exclamations of a similar kind. A tumult took place this day in the market-place, in which Masanello was very active, and addressed the people in the following terms, "Be merry, dear companions and brothers, give God thanks, and to the glorious Virgin of Carmine, that the hour of our redemption draws near: this poor, bare-footed fellow, as another Moses, who freed the Israelites from Pharaoh's rod, shall in that manner redeem you of all gabells, from the first time that they were ever imposed. A fisherman, who was Peter, reduced with his voice from Satan's slavery to the liberty of Christ, Rome herself, and with 'Rome a world; now another fisherman, who is Masanello, shall release Naples, and with Naples a whole kingdom, from the tyranny of gabells. From henceforth ye shall shake from off your necks the intolerable yoke of so many grievances, which have depressed you hitherto."

Incited Incited by this and other speeches of the same nature, the populace set fire to the Gabell Houses, where the taxes were collected, and immediately proceeded to demand of the Viceroy the total abolition of the giibells, according to the terms of a charter which had been given them by the Emperor Charles tke 5th,

The detail would be too long of the evasions of this demand by the government during several succeeding days, in the hope, no doubt, of diverting the people from their object, or amusing them till military aid could arrive from Spain. A circumstance occurred, however, on the fourth day, which sets in a most revolting point of view the conduct of the aristocracy, who had universally sided with the government, and were, indeed, the chief authors of the people's grievances. A number of banditti from the adjacent country came into the town on horseback, professing friendship to the popular cause: they soon after, however, treacherously attempted to take the life of Masanello, who almost miraculously escaped seven shots which they fired at him unexpectedly. Hereupon they were attacked, and some being made prisoners by the people, confessed that they, with other troops of the same description, were in the pay of the Duke di Mataloni, one of tlie principal nobles, and that besides killing Masanello, they had planned, in the words of the Historie, " to set fire to certain mines under the great market-place, at such a time when it was fullest of people,and trod by armed men, which commonly was used to be about three hours in the night, {nine o'clock by our lime,) at the striking of which hour they were to give fire to the mine, which consisted of fifty cantaras of powder and more, amounting to fifteen thousand pounds or thereabouts, spread up and down through the bowels of the said marketplace, which had made fly into the air all the people then present, and blown up the edifices circumjacent, with the monastery and Church del Carmine, insomuch that there had perished at least, besides the destruction of the holy buildings and profane, about one hundred and fifty thousand soules. A case of infinite compassion, justifying any other bloody revenge which the people might have taken for such a barbarous and unheard of cruelty. When the mines had taken effect, the banditti were to disperse up and down,

joining with some of the gentry, whom they had brought in with them, and fall upon the rest of the common people, and put all to the sword."

"It was also discovered by the confession of other banditti, that by the machinations of Duke di Mataloui and his brother, the waters, which by aqueducts served the city of Naples, were poisoned, as aiso the corn, which after much diligence being found to be true, (for it was proved that (wo poor children had died by those waters) therefore notice was given by sound of trumpet and drum, with bills fixed onfall quarters of the city, that none should drink of those waters that passed through the formale, which was the common aqueduct." The information respecting the mines was also found to be correct, the powder being discovered in the subterranean places in which it had been concealed by the conspirators.

The insurrection had hitherto been attended with very little bloodshed, but it is not surprising that this atrocious attempt of the nobility should irritate the people to acts of terrible vengeance. The Duke di Mataloni had escaped out of the city, but his brother, Don Giuseppe Caraffa, fell into their hands, and was immediately put to death, and his body exposed to public view. Many of the banditti, and others who were implicated in ihe plots, met with the same fate. The citizens in the mean time, under the direction of Masanello, remaining firm in their demands, and their force being now too formidableto be longer trifled with, on the seventh day articles of agreement were made and solemnly sworn to by the Viceroy and the principal officers of state, by which the charter of Charles 5th was renewed, and all the gabells taken off. It was also engaged that these articles should be confirmed within three months by the court of Spain.

Thus did Masanello completely succeed in accomplising the object to which he had devoted himself in this bold and hazardous enterprize. His influence had continued to increase every day, and he was now arrived at the summit of his -power, having under his command 200,000 armed men, and the most absolute confront over every part of the city. His conduct appears at first to have been distinguished by moderation, combined with great resolution, prudence and vigilance in the cause of his fellow-citizens, which qualities, no d oubf, gained him their confidence,

and

« EdellinenJatka »