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half: the enervated Shah-Soofi shrunk term, a tyrant insatiable of blood and from a prolonged contest with the vengeance," appears on the first view energy and ferocity of Mourad; and too palpable a truth to be either denied a Persian envoy arrived at Constanti. or palliated. In utter recklessness of nople in September, bearing full powers human life, and in the sanguinary and to conclude a definitive treaty. The inexorable punishments which instantly pacification of 1555, between Soliman followed the smallest breach of his the Magnificent and Shah Tahmasp, mandates, even his ancestor Selim I., was assumed as the basis of the terri. though distinguished among the detorial arrangements. Eriwan was re scendants of Othman by the epithet of stored, as a frontier fortress, to Persia, Yavooz, or Ferocious, falls far short which solemnly ceded in perpetuity of him : and the catalogue of execuBag dad with its dependencies, and tions and massacres which mark his most of the other extensive territories reign, and particularly the last seven subdued by the Turks along the east years, after he had established his asern boundary: and the friendly rela- cendency over the janissaries, presents tions thus established remained undis. an appalling register of bloodshed. turbed for eighty years, till the over Yet justice requires, that before we conthrow of the house of Soofi by the Aff- sign Mourad to execration as a sullen ghans. But Mourad did not long sur. and brutal despot, (in which light the vive to enjoy the glory of having thus generality of European historians have victoriously terminated the tedious represented him,) we should take into strife between the Porte and her here. consideration the circumstances under ditary enemy. Early in the ensuing which he was placed on the throne, year he was seized with a fever, in and the state of the empire in the years consequence of a debauch of wine, a immediately preceding and following vice with which he had been infected his accession. By the murder of his from the example of the renegade Per brother Osman, (towards whom he is sian Khan of Eriwan, Emir-Gounah, said to have felt the strong attachment who had become, under the Turkish of a youthful mind,) and the deposiname of Yusuf. Pasha, one of his fa- tion of his uncle Mustapha, the nomivourite associates ; and, though the nal sovereignty devolved on him be. strength of his constitution at first fore he had passed his eleventh year ; promised to overcome the malady, the and his boyhood was spent amid scenes superstitious dread which overwhelmed of sedition and bloodshed from the unhim at an eclipse of the sun in the controlled violence of the soldiery, in same sign of the zodiac which it had which his friends and ministers were occupied at his birth, gave a fatal repeatedly sacrificed before his eyes, shock to his faculties; and, on Feb. and his own life more than once placed 9, 1640, “ Sultan Mourad," in the in the extremest peril : but he contiwords of the Turkish annalist, “ after nued to cherish a deep and deadly having been lord of the carpet (con- thirst for vengeance on the authors of fined to his bed) for fifteen days, quitted these outrages; and the dissimulation this transitory world for the kingdom which he was compelled for several of eternity” before he had completed years to practise, imparted a character the twenty-eighth year of his age. In of fierce and vindictive cruelty to the his last moments he gave peremptory retribution which he afterwards exorders for the death of his brother acted. Still his measures of severity, Ibrahim; but the execution of this sa- though unsparing even to exterminavage mandate, which would have ex. tion, were directed principally against tinguished at a blow the whole Impe. those guilty or suspected of offences rial family, was eluded by the contri. against the state : he is charged with vance of the officers of the palace and few of those wanton and capricious the Sultana-Walidah, and the eyes of acts of useless barbarity which stain Mourad were closed in death without the annals of the Seffavean monarchs his becoming conscious of the decep- of Persia ; and the new aspect which tion which had been practised. the administration assumed under the
The character and reign of Mourad. later years of his rule, shows that the Ghazi form a remarkable episode in searching and summary justice of the the drama of Ottoman history. That scimitar and bowstring had proved, at he was, as Von Hammer calls him, "a least for the time, an effectual remedy tyrant in the widest acceptation of the for the manifold disorders which the
imbecility of the sovereigns since Soli- distracted the provinces, every where man had suffered to take root, and disappeared or were crushed, and the which had reached their climax at this ancient frontiers were re-established juncture. The janissaries, who had by the conclusion of a triumphant disposed, according to their lawless peace with Persia. The Ottoman em. pleasure, alike of the throne of the pire, in a word, which seemed on the sultan and the property of the citizen, eve of disruption at the accession of were reduced to muteand awe-stricken Mourad, received, under his fierce but obedience: the spahis were reformed, energetic sway, an infusion of new life, and deprived of the public domains and continued to maintain its ancient which they had usurped: the profligate formidable aspect in the eyes of Europe peculation, before which the interior till the end of the century, when the revenues of the state had almost dis. defeat of Vienna, and the disastrous appeared, was checked by prompt war which succeeded, broke for ever punishment of the offenders, and by the spell of Turkish power, and prethe institution of a new and more accu. pared the gradual but inevitable derate system of finance regulation cline which marked its history during while the numerous revolts which had the course of the eighteenth century.
REVIEW OF AN UNPUBLISHED TRAGEDY.
It not unfrequently happens that the close written pages, "what a world some modest youth, some third cousin of sentiment, and thought, and chaperhaps, or other indescribably far off racter, put together doubtless with inrelative, who has written, be it prose finite pains, and not without bursts of or poetry, play or novel, desires above triumph, by this industrious architect all things that we should condescend -and all for nothing !” We glanced to read his production, and give him at a line here and there, not with the our candid opinion upon its merits. design of forming any judgment on We, with as many turns and doubles its deserts—we looked on it as a as a frightened hare, endeavour to doomed thing—but with an idle curiomake our escape from the honour sity to see what it was that had been about to be conferred. If escape is so carefully penned, only to be deimpossible, we practise as many tricks stroyed. The style seemed to be, at and artifices in order to convey, in the least, without affectation, simple, and gentlest of all manners, some advice, not so far removed from the conversa. which in substance is extremely un. tion of men as to be dramatically im. palatable. Of these matters, however, probable ; the thoughts, too, were we shall not speak at present; for we intelligible, and there was a touch of are just now in the vein of amiable melody in the verse ; a matter which and indulgent criticism. Amongst our playwrights very wisely give the manuscripts which have come into themselves little concern about. "At our hands, there is one that has this last, as we continued this desultory singularity connected with it ; the perusal, we took the generous resolu. writer seems really, and in good faith, tion of extracting some fragments from to have no idea of publishing, to have the poem, and thus saving them from never contemplated the use of printer's that total oblivion for which they were ink. When we mention that this per- destined. Our readers must deterformance is a tragedy !-it will be said mine how far we have allowed a caat once that it would be mere nonsense price of good-nature to steal a march to print it; for all this he is not the upon our critical judgment. less singular in his abstinence.
The subject of this picce-it is call. The knowledge that this manuscript, ed “ King Edgar, a play”-is the well after lying a certain space of time in known story of the Lady Elfrida, desk or escritoire, will assuredly be whom Athelwold was sent to woo for one day torn up in a general massacre King Edgar, and whom he, by treachof papers, gave it, by one of those ca- erously decrying her beauty, obtained prices of feeling which even critics are for himself. Dunstan, of course, is a subject to, a species of interest in our conspicuous figure. Fortunately we eyes. “ What a world was here!" we have no account to give of the plot ; said pathetically, as we turned over it follows the history with great fide
lity. In the characters only is there fanatical, is portrayed in Dunstan; any attempt at invention ; and here, but his fanaticism is represented as as the historical narrative is very that of a man of deep reflection; and meagre, some recourse to imagination we are interested in him by reason of was unavoidable. Of Athelwold the those struggles which we see passing writer has made a young nobleman, in his own mind. who, having been educated at Rome, Amongst Edgar's amours, history is not only complete in all the accom. has recorded one with a fair nun, plishments of a thane, but in all the whom he contrived to earry off from a learning of his age; a man of honour, convent. She is here met with under whose last bitterness, when the king the name of Gilbertha; and the first discovers bis deceit, is not the loss of scene represents the monarch and his life, but remorse for the unworthy new mistress, who are interrupted in falsehood he had uttered. Edgar is their toying by the ghostly Dunstan. such as we suppose all men would The penance which this subtle priest figure him, brave, but ostentatious, thinks fit to inflict upon the king, is fond of power, but devoted to pleasure. matter of history. The priest, at once ambitious and
“Edgar and GilberTHA.
I will believe,
Gilbertha. Meet scorn with scorn! Yes, when a woman's heart, .
No lears, my beautiful.
Dunstan. I am God's messenger. What privacy
Gifts to me!
Edgar. Oh, perfect priest! and priestly most of all
Scorns to acknowledge favours from bis kind :
He takes the boon, and saves his thanks for Heaven.
Dunstan. Thou art the king,
Edgar. Proceed, divine ambassador! Thy power,
Thou hast robb'd the church
Edgar. Humanity is weak—at least mine is.
And he shall.
Consider, righteous saint'Twere well the people knew I was submiss Pronounce some sentence that I can obey.
Dunstan. You must abstain, for seven whole years
I yield to the strict sentence of the church.
Dunstan. You must fast, too; nor may you slack your hand
I will fill
In the second act the characters, influence at the court of Edgar. He both of Dunstan and Athelwold, are endeavours to persuade the young thane made to reveal themselves in a dia. that the studies to which he is partial logue they sustain together. The may be pursued with more advantage saint endeavours to gain over to the in the church; while, if he continues church the young nobleman, whose separate from the ecclesiastical body, talents and elevation of character mark his learning will expose him to suspihim out as a worthy champion of her cion-amongst the clergy, of heresy, cause, and in whom, whilst a layman, amongst the people, of magic and unDunstan sees an obstacle to his own lawful studies.
“ Dunstan. You are a scholar, have been bred at Rome,
Athelwold. I am a scholar,