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the performance might not have been exactly in the form that he anticipated. Did any private fault disqualify my father for pronouncing censures on what he considered to be public wrongs committed, whether blindly or no, yet deliberately? Thoughtful persons will rather say that his strong sense of evil and fearless denunciation of it, from whatever quarter it came, whether from Statesman or Judge or Reviewer, Imperial Despot or popular Dramatist, together with his free confession of what he called his "sin," and earnest endeavor to save others from falling into the same snare by the darkest representation of its nature and consequences, go a great way toward expiating that error of his course, so far as aught of expiation can be imputed to the human will itself, apart from the Redemptive power by which it is filled and actuated, in all that it does and is, in conformity to the Divine Will and Reason. The unworthy thoughts which Lord Byron entertained on this subject, unworthy of his own better mind, found no entrance, I trust, into that of Sir Walter Scott, whether he was or was not aware of the warm admiration which my father felt and expressed for his genius, attended as the fruits of it had been, by a popularity and a success unspeakably more enviable than any that was enjoyed by the author of Bertram.

The critique lays to the charge of the play a spirit of immorality, not in the way of direct inculcation, but in the only way in which a modern British audience would have endured it, the only way in which it could have been insidiously pernicious. Now this is a charge that could have no effect except just so far as it was substantiated by the play itself and the moral sense of its auditors. When a man is accused publicly of private faults he may find it painful and difficult to clear away the cloud from his character; he must unveil his private life in order to justify it, and such a necessity is in itself a grievance. If his poetry is ridiculed it may be made the laughingstock of the public for a season, though destined to be held in esteem ever after; if his religious writings are accused of false doctrine on subtle points, -and all theology is subtle, he may have to bear the stigma of heresy during his whole life-time: Pantheism, Pelagianism, Socinianism, denial of Objective Religion or of the Inspiration of Scripture-all these fundamental errors may be plausibly though falsely imputed, and the accusations will, in certain cases, be more readily and generally admitted than the defence, because grounded on ordinary and popular modes of thought and expression, while the accused views presuppose a corrected and re-adjusted philosophy. But the charge against Bertram had nothing subtle in the nature of it, and the sentiments which it involves have since been adopted and brought to bear on the French stage in the Quarterly view. Englishmen have denounced the French dramatists for polluting the public mind by a stimulant display of atrocities and vilenesses "in all their odious details," though they admit such things to be abominable, and show that the end of them is destruction; shall they shelter and encourage any approach to such Jacobinism in literature at home?! We do not forget," says the article on the French Drama to which I refer, "that crime and the

* [Quarterly Review of March, 1834, p. 211.]

worst cause (sort?) of crime, has been in all ages the domain of tragedy. We do not forget the families of Atreus and Laius, and the whole tribe of mythological and historical tragedies, in all languages-but most of these inculcate moral lessons-none of them offend decency-none of them inflame criminal passions." The distinction between the ancient dramas and the vicious modern class, which my father stigmatized, is clear and broad. In the former guilty passion is not the immedi subject of the piece, or that in which the auditors are to be interested, but the consequences and punishment of criminal acts. They do not deal with low emotions at all, much less present them to advantage. They represent sin, not as it appears to the sinner in its rise and progress, its true lineaments and colors lost amid the glow of excited feeling; but as it appears after its consummation, livid, ghastly, and appalling. Sin seemed beautiful to Lucifer, when she was bringing about his fall; hideous and detestable after his fall, when he finds her at Hellgate and fails to recognize her features. The ancient drama presents her in the latter aspect,-not as she showed herself in the courts above. In the Orestean trilogy we are led to regard with awful interest the workings of Divine retribution; we sympathize with Clytemnestra not as the paramour of Ægisthus, who seems only the tool of her stern designs, but as the avenger of the bloody sacrifice of a child; we sympathize with Orestes as the avenger of a father's murder. Edipus and Jocasta are the victims of fate; to the latter not one light feeling or evil passion is imputed; and it is impossible to conceive a more dignified demeanor under humiliating circumstances than is assigned her in the play of Sophocles. We are interested for the former because his misfortunes exceed the measure of his crimes, so far as they were voluntary. In the Medea of Euripides it is the just punishment of Jason to which attention is directed; the Sorceress appears an avenging Fury in human form. These ancient dramas are staid and solemn in their procedure; they present to the mind awfully significant events, stern thoughts, and elevating reflections; they have no tendency to enervate and lower the tone of feeling. The corrupt drama, on the other hand, exhibits what is essentially base in a form as interesting as it can be made to assume; things in themselves "rank and gross," mean and contemptible, it arrays in a glittering veil of sentiment; its power consists in the force with which it appeals to the lowest and most easily excitable parts of man's nature.

How far this injurious character is fairly imputable to the play of Bertram readers will judge for themselves. That the author erred, if it be admitted that he did err, unconsciously, and considered his choice of subject to be quite ithin the legitimate range of tragedy, and justified by precedent, may be easily conceived; that he had talents, both as a writer and a man, is not impugned either by the critique itself or these remarks upon it.-S. C.]



IT sometimes happens that we are punished for our faults by incidents, in the causation of which these faults had no share: and this I have always felt the severest punishment. The wound indeed is of the same dimensions; but the edges are jagged, and there is a dull underpain that survives the smart which it had aggravated. For there is always a consolatory feeling that accompanies the sense of a proportion between antecedents and consequents. The sense of Before and After becomes both intelligible and intellectual when, and only when, we contemplate the succession in the relations of Cause and Effect, which, like the two poles of the magnet, manifest the being and unity of the one power by relative opposites, and give, as it were, a substratum of permanence, of identity, and therefore of reality, to the shadowy flux of Time. It is Eternity revealing itself in the phænomena of Time and the perception and acknowledgment of the proportionality and appropriateness of the Present to the Past, prove to the afflicted Soul, that it has not yet been deprived of the sight of God, that it can still recognize the effective presence of a Father, though through a darkened glass and a turbid atmosphere, though of a Father that is chastising it. And for this cause, doubtless, are we so framed in mind, and even so organized in brain and nerve, that all confusion is painful. It is within the experience of many medical practitioners, that a patient, with strange and unusual symptoms of disease, has been more distressed in mind, more wretched, from the fact of being unintelligible to himself and others, than from the pain or danger of the disease: nay, that the patient has received the most solid comfort, and resumed a genial and enduring cheerfulness, from some new symptom or product, that had at once determined the name and nature of his complaint, and rendered it an intelligible effect of an in

telligible cause even though the discovery did at the same moment preclude all hope of restoration. Hence the mystic theologians, whose delusions we may more confidently hope to separate from their actual intuitions, when we condescend to read their works without the presumption that whatever our fancy (always the ape, and too often the adulterator and counterfeit of our memory) has not made or can not make a picture of, must be nonsense, hence, I say, the Mystics have joined in representing the state of the reprobate spirits as a dreadful dream in which there is no sense of reality, not even of the pangs they are enduring-an eternity without time, and as it were below it-God present without manifestation of his presence. But these are depths, which we dare not linger over. Let us turn to an instance more on a level with the ordinary sympathies of mankind. Here then, and in this same healing influence of Light and distinct Beholding, we may detect the final cause of that instinct which, in the great majority of instances, leads, and almost compels the Afflicted to communicate their sorrows. Hence too flows the alleviation that results from "opening out our griefs:" which are thus presented in distinguishable forms instead of the mist, through which whatever is shapeless becomes magnified and (literally) enormous. Casimir, in the fifth Ode of his third Book. has happily* expressed this thought.

Me longus silendi
Edit amor, facilesque luctus
Hausit medullas. Fugerit ocyus,
Simul negantem visere jusseris
Aures amicorum, et loquacem
Questibus evacuaris iram.

*Classically too, as far as consists with the allegorizing fancy of the modern, that still striving to project the inward, contradistinguishes itself from the seeming ease with which the poetry of the ancients reflects the world without. Casimir affords, perhaps, the most striking instance of this characteristic difference.-For his style and diction are really classical: while Cowley, who resembles Casimir in many respects, completely barbarizes his Latinity, and even his metre, by the heterogeneous nature of his thoughts. That Dr. Johnson should have passed a contrary judgment, and have even preferred Cowley's Latin Poems to Milton's, is a caprice that has, if I mistake not, excited the surprise of all scholars. I was much amused last summer with the laughable affright, with which an Italian poet perused a page of Cowley's Davideis, contrasted with the enthusiasm with which he first ran through, and then read aloud, Milton's Mansus and Ad Patrem.

Olim querendo desinimus queri,
Ipsoque fletu lacryma perditur:
Nec fortis æque, si per omnes
Cura volat residetque ramos.

Vires amicis perdit in auribus,
Minorque semper dividitur dolor,
Per multa permissus vagari

I shall not make this an excuse, however, for troubling my readers with any complaints or explanations, with which, as readers, they have little or no concern. It may suffice (for the present at least) to declare, that the causes that have delayed the publication of these volumes for so long a period after they had been printed off, were not connected with any neglect of my own; and that they would form an instructive comment on the chapter concerning authorship as a trade, addressed to young men of genius in the first volume of this work. I remember the ludicrous effect produced on my mind by the first sentence of an auto-biography, which, happily for the writer, was as meagre in incidents as it is well possible for the life of an individual to be-" The eventful life which I am about to record, from the hour in which I rose into existence on this planet, &c." Yet when, notwithstanding this warning example of self-importance before me, I review my own life, I can not refrain from applying the same epithet to it, and with more than ordinary emphasis-and no private feeling, that affected myself only, should prevent me from publishing the same (for write it I assuredly shall, should life and leisure be granted me), if continued reflection should strengthen my present belief, that my history would add its contingent to the enforcement of one important truth, to wit, that we must not only love our neighbors as ourselves, but ourselves likewise as our neighbors; and that we can do neither unless we love God above both.

Who lives, that's not
Depraved or depraves? Who dies, that bears

Not one spurn to the grave-of their friends' gift?†

* Flectit, or if the metre had allowed, premit would have supported the metaphor better.

[Timon of Athens. Act i. sc. ii. "Their graves" in Shakspeare.—

S. C.]

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