Imágenes de página


Another evening;-yon red cloud, which rests Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they stood On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then,- Within a bowshot, where the Cæsars dwelt, So like that it might be the same; the wind And dwell the tuneless birds of night amidst Was faint and gusty,and the mountain-snows A grove which springs through levellid Began to glitter with the climbing moon;

battlements, Count Manfred was, as now, within his And twines its roots with the imperial tower,

hearths, How occupied, we knew not, but with him Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth ;The sole companion of his wanderings But the gladiator's bloody Circus stands, And watchings-her, whom of all earthly A noble wreck in ruinous perfection! things

While Cæsar's chambers, and the Augustan That lived, the only thing he seem'd to love,As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do, Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.The lady Astarte, his_Hash! who comes And thou didst shine, thou rolling Moon, upon here?

All this, and cast a wide and tender light,

Which soften'd down the hoar austerity Enter the ABBOT.

Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up, Abbot. Where is your master ?

As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries; Herm. Yonder, in the tower.

Leaving that beautiful which still was so, Abbot. I must speak with him.

And making that which was not,till the place Manuel. 'Tis impossible,

Became religion, and the heart ran o'er He is most private, and must not be thus With silent worship of the great of old! Intruded on.

The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who Abbot. Upon myself I take

still rule The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be- Oar spirits from their urns. — Twas such But I must see him.

a night! Herm. Thou hast seen him once 'Tis strange that I recal it at this time; This eve already.

But I have found our thoughts take wildest Abbot. Herman! I command thee,

flight Knock and apprize theConntof my approach. Even at the moment when they should array Herm. We dare not.

Themselves in pensive order.
Abbot. Then it seems ( must be herald

Enter the ABBOT.
Of my own purpose.
Manuel. Reverend father, stop-

Abbot. My good Lord! 1 pray you pause.

I crave a second grace for this approach; Abbot. Why so?

But yet let not my humble zeal offend Manuel. But step this way,

By its abruptness—all it hath of ill And I will tell you further. (Eseunt. Recoils on me; its good in the effect

May light upon your head could I sayheartSCENE IV.- Interior of the Tower. Coald I touch that, with words or prayers,

I should
MANFRED alone.

Recal a noble spirit which hath wanderd; Manf. The stars are forth, the moon But is not yet all lost. above the tops

Manf. Thou know'st me not; Of the snow-shining mountains.- Beautiful! My days are number'd, and


deeds llinger yet with Nature, for the night

recorded : Hath been to me a more familiar face Retire, or 'twill be dangerous - Away! Than that of man; and in her starry shade

Abbot. Thou dost not mean to menace me? Of dim and solitary loveliness,

Manf. Not I;
I learn'd the language of another world. I simply tell thee peril is at hand,
I do remember me, that in my youth, And would preserve thee.
When I was wandering,-upon such a night

Abbot. What dost mean?
I stood within the Coloseum's wall,

Manf. Look there! Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome; What dost thou see? The trees which grew along the broken Abbot. Nothing archies

Manf. Look there, I say, Wared dark in the blue midnight, and the And steadfastly;- now tell me what thou stars

seest? Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar Abbot. That which should shake me,The watchdog bayed beyond the Tiber; and but I fear it not More near from out the Cæsars' palace came I see a dusk and awful figure rise The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly, Like an infernal god from out the earth; Of distant sentinels the fitful song,

His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form Begun and died upon the gentle wind. Robed as with angry clouds; he stands Somecypresses beyond the time-worn breach between

Thyself and me, but I do fear him not. Almost our equal ? - Can it be that thou Manf. Thou hast no cause—he shall not Art thus in love with life? the very life harm thee - but

Which made thee wretched ! His sight may shock thine old limbs into Manf. Thou false fiend, thou liest! palsy.

My life is in its last hour,-that I know, I say to thee-Retire!

Nor would redeem a moment of that hour, Abbot. And I reply

I do not combat against death, but thee Never-till I have battled with this fiend— And thy surrounding angels; my past power What doth he here?

Was purchased by no compact with thy crew, Manf. Why-ay-what doth he here? But by superior science-penance-daringI did not send for him,- he is unbidden. And length of watching-strength of mind Abbot. Alas! lost mortal! what with

-and skill guests like these

In knowledge of our fathers—when the earth Hast thou to do? I tremble for thy sake. Saw men and spirits walking side by side, Why doth he gaze on thee, and thou on him? And gave ye no supremacy: I stand Ah! he unveils his aspect; on his brow Upon my strength-1 do defy- denyThe thunder-scars are graven ; from his eye Spurn back, and scorn ye! Glares forth the immortality of hell — Spirit. But thy many crimes Avaunt!

Have made thee Manf. Pronounce-what is thy mission ? Manf. What are they to such as thee? Spirit. Come!

Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, Abbot. What art thou, unknown being? And greater criminals?— Back to thy hell! answer!-speak!

Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel; Spirit. The genius of this mortal. -Come! Thou never shalt possess me, that I know: 'tis time.

What I have done is done; I bear within Manf. I am prepared for all things, but A torture which could nothing gain from deny

thine: The power which summons me. Who sent 'The mind which is immortal makes itself thee here?

Requital for its good or evil thoughtsSpirit. Thou'lt know anon-Come! come! Is its own origin of ill and endManf. I have commanded

And its own place and time- its innate sense, Things of an essence greater far than thine, When strippd of this mortality, derives And striven with thy masters. Get thee No colour from the fleeting things without; hence !

But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy, Spirit. Mortal! thine hour is come- Born from the knowledge of its own desert. Away! I say.

Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldet Manf. I knew, and know my hour is

not tempt me; come, but not

I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy presTo render up my soul to such as thee: But was my own destroyer, and will be Away! I'll die as I have lived - alone. My own hereafter. - Back, ye baffled fiends! Spirit. Then I must summon up my The hand of death is on me, but not yours! brethren.-Rise

(The Demons disappear. [Other Spirits rise up. Abbot. Alas! how pale thou art - thy Abbot. Avaunt! ye evil ones!-- Avaunt! lips are white

And thy breast heaves—and in thy gasping Ye have no power where piety hath power,

throat And I do charge ye in the name – The accents rattle. – Give thy prayers to Spirit. Old man!

Heaven We know ourselves, our mission, and thine Pray, albeit but in thought, – but die not order;

thus. Waste not thy holy words on idle uses, Manf. Tis over -


dull eyes can fis It were in vain; this man is forfeited.

thee not; Once more I summon him-Away! away! But all things swim around me, and the earth

Manf. I do defy ye, though I feel my soul Heaves as it were beneath me.Fare thee wellIs ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye; Give me thy hand. Nor will I hence,while I have earthly breath Abbot. Cold-cold-even to the heartTo breathe my scorn upon ye - earthly But yet one prayer – alas! how fares it strength

with thee?-To wrestle, though with spirits; what ye take Manf. Old man ! 'tis not so difficult to die, Shall be ta'en limb by limb.

(Manfred espires. Spirit. Reluctant mortal!

Abbot. He's gone- his soul bath ta'en Is this the Magian who would go pervade its earthless flightThe world invisible, and make himself Whither? I dread to think-but he is gone.

I say,


* Dux inquiet turbidus Adriæ."


lished by the indefatigable Abbate Morelli,

in his "Monumenti Veneziani di varia letTas conspiracy of the Doge Marino Faliero teratura," printed in 1796, all of which I is one of the most remarkable events in the have looked over in the original language. annals of the most singular government, The moderns, Daru, Sismondi, and Laugier, city, and people of modern history. It nearly agree with the ancient chroniclers. occurred in the year 1355. Every thing Sismondi attributes the conspiracy to his about Venice is, or was, extraordinary- jealousy; but I find this nowhere asserted her aspect is like a dream, and her history by the national historians. Vettor Sandi, is like a romance. The story of this Doge indeed, says, that “Altri scrissero che.... is to be found in all her Chronicles, and dalla gelosa suspizion di esso Doge siasi particularly detailed in the “Lives of the fatto (Michel Steno ) staccar con vioDoges,” by Marin Sanuto, which is given lenza,” etc. etc.; but this appears to have in the Appendix. It is simply and clearly been by no means the general opinion, nor related, and is, perhaps, more dramatic in is it alluded to by Sanuto or by Navagero; itself than any scenes which can be founded and Sandi himself adds a moment after, upon the subject.

that “per altre Veneziane memorie traspiri, Marino Faliero appears to have been a che non il solo desiderio di vendetta lo disman of talents and of courage. I find him pose alla congiura, ma anche la innata commander in chief of the land-forces at abitaale ambizion sua, per cui anelava a the siege of Zara, where he beat the King farsi principe indipendente.” The first of Hungary and his army of 80,000 men, motive appears to have been excited by the killing 8000 men and keeping the besieged gross affront of the words written by Michel at the same time in check, an exploit Steno on the ducal chair, and by the light to which I know none similar in his- and inadequate sentence of the Forty on tory, except that of Cæsar at Alesia, and the offender, who was one of their “tre of Prince Eugene at Belgrade. He was Capi.” The attentions of Steno himself afterwards commander of the fleet in the appear to have been directed towards one

He took Capo d'Istria. He of her damsels, and not to the “Dogaressa" vas ambassador at Genoa and Rome, at herself, against whose fame not the slightest which last he received the news of his insinuation appears, while she is praised election to the Dukedom; his absence being for her beauty, and remarked for her youth. I proof that he sought it by no intrigue, Neither do I find it asserted (unless the since he was apprized of his predecessor's hint of Sandi be an assertion) that the Dage death and his own succession at the same was actuated by jealousy of his wife; but moment. But he appears to have been of rather by respect for her, and for his own an ungovernable temper. A story is told honour, warranted by his past services and by Sanuto, of his having, many years before, present dignity. when podesta and captain at Treviso, boxed I know not that the historical facts are the ears of the bishop, who was somewhat alluded to in English, unless by Dr. Moore tardy in bringing the Host. For this honest in his View of Italy. His account is false Sanuto “saddles him with a judgment,” as and flippant, full of stale jests about old Thwackum did Square; but he does not men and young wives, and wondering at tell us whether he was punished or rebuked so great an effect from 80 slight a cause. by the Senate for this outrage at the time How so acute and severe an observer of of its commission. He seems, indeed, to mankind as the author of Zeluco could have been afterwards at peace with the wonder at this is inconceivable. He knew church, for we find him ambassador at Rome, that a basin

of water spilt on Mrs. Masham's and invested with the fief of Val di Marino, gown deprived the Duke of Marlborough in the March of Treviso, and with the title of his command, and led to the inglorious of Count,

by Lorenzo, Count - Bishop of peace of Utrecht – that Louis xiv. was Ceneda. For facts my authorities are, Saplunged into the most desolating wars benuto, Vettor Sandi, Andrea Navagero, and cause his minister was nettled at his finding the account of the siege of Zara, first pub- fault with a window, and wished to give

same war.

[ocr errors]

him another occupation that Helen lost rack seems to argue any thing but his having Troy--that Lucretia expelled the Tarquins shown a want of firmness, which would from Rome – and that Cava brought the doubtless have been also mentioned by Moors to Spain- that an insulted husband those minute historians who by no means led the Gauls to Clusium, and thence to favour him: such, indeed, would be conRome– that a single verse of Frederic II. trary to his character as a soldier, to the of Prussia on the Abbé de Bernis, and a age in which he lived, and at which he jest on Madame de Pompadour, led to the died, as it is to the truth of history. ! battle of Rosbach-that the elopement of know no justification at any distance of Dearbhorgil with Mac Murchad conducted time for calumniating an historical characthe English to the slavery of Ireland—that ter; surely truth belongs to the dead and a personal pique between Maria Antoinette to the unfortunate, and they who have died and the Duke of Orleans precipitated the upon a scaffold have generally had faults first expulsion of the Bourbons — and, not enough of their own, without attributing to multiply instances, that Commodus, Do- to them that which the very incurring of mitian, and Caligula fell victims, not to the perils which conducted them to their their public tyranny, but to private ven-violent death renders, of all others, the geance—and that an order to make Crom- most improbable. The black veil which is well disembark from the ship in which he painted over the place of Marino Faliero would have sailed to America, destroyed amongst the doges, and the Giant's Stairboth King and Commonwealth. After these case, where he was crowned, and disinstances, on the least reflection, it is indeed crowned, and decapitated, struck forcibly extraordinary in Dr. Moore to seem surprised upon my imagination, as did his fiery chathat a man, used to command, who had racter and strange story. I went in 1819, served and swayed in the most important in search of his tomb, more than once, to offices, should fiercely resent, in a fierce the church San Giovanni e San Paolo; and age, an unpunished affront, the grossest as I was standing before the monument of that can be offered to a man, be he prince another family, a priest came up to me or peasant. The age of Faliero is little to and said, “I can show you finer monuments the purpose, unless to favour it.

than that." I told him that I was in search

of that of the Faliero family, and particu“The young man's wrath is like straw on fire, larly of the Doge Marino's. “Oh," said he, But like red-hot steel is the old man's ire.'

“I will show it you;” and conducting me “Young men soon give and soon forget affronts,

to the outside, pointed out a Sarcophagus “Old age is slow at both."

in the wall, with an illegible inscription

He said that it had been in a convent adLaugier's reflections are more philoso- joining, but was removed after the French phical :-"Tale fù il fine ignominioso di came, and placed in its present situation; un' uomo , che la sua nascita , la sua età, that he had seen the tomb opened at its il suo carattere dovevano tener lontano dalle removal; there were still some bones repassioni produttrici di grandi delitti

. I suoi maining, but no positive vestige of the detalenti per lungo tempo esercitati ne'mag- capitation. The equestrian statue of which giori impieghi, la sua capacità sperimentata I have made mention in the third act as ne' governi e nelle arnbasciate, gli avevano before that church, is not, however, of a acquistato la stima e la fiducia de' cittadini, Faliero, but of some other now obsolete ed avevano uniti i suffragj per collocarlo warrior, although of a later date. There alla testa della republica. Innalzato ad un were two other Doges of this family prior grado che terminava gloriosamenta la sua to Marino : Ordelafo, who fell in battle at vita, il risentimento di un'ingiuria leggiera Zara, in 1117, (where his descendant after insinuò nel suo cuore tal veleno che bastò l wards conquered the Huns ) and Vital a corrompere le antiche sue qualita, e a Faliero, who reigned in 1082. The family, condarlo al termine dei scellerati; serio originally from Fano, was of the most ilesempio, che prova non esservi età, in cui lustrious in blood and wealth in the city la prudenza umana sia sicura, e che nell of once the most wealthy and still the most uomo restano sempre passioni capaci a dis-ancient families in Europe. The length I onorarlo, quando non invigili sopra se stesso.” have gone into on this subject will show Laugier, Italian translation, vol. iv. p. 30. the interest I have taken in it. Whether

Where did Dr. Moore find that Marino I have succeeded or not in the tragedy, I Faliero begged his life? I have searched have at least transferred into our language the chroniclers, and find nothing of the an historical fact worthy of commemoration, kind; it is true that he avowed all. He It is now four years that I have meditated was conducted to the place of torture, but this work, and before I had sufficiently there is no mention made of any application examined the records, I was rather dispofor mercy on his part; and the very cir- sed to have made it turn on a jealousy in cumstance of their having taken him to the Faliero. But perceiving no foundation for

this in historical truth, and aware that | Baillie, and Milman, and John Wilson jealousy is an exhausted passion in the exist. The "City of the Plague” and the drama, I have given it a more historical “Fall of Jerusalem” are full of the best form. I was, besides, well advised by the materielfor tragedy that has been seen late Matthew Lewis on that point, in talk- since Horace Walpole, except passages of ing with him of my intention, at Venice, Ethwald and De Montfort. It is the fashion in 1817. “If you make him jealous,” said to underrate Horace Walpole; firstly, he, “recollect that you have to contend because he was a nobleman, and secondly, with established writers, to say nothing because he was a gentleman; but, to say of Shakspeare, and an exhausted subject; nothing of the composition of his incom-stick to the old fiery Doge's natural parable letters, and of the Castle of character, which will bear you out, if pro- Otranto, he is the “Ultimns Romanorum,” perly drawn; and make your plot as regular the author of the Mysterious Mother, as you can." Sir William Drummond gave tragedy of the highest order, and not a me nearly the same counsel. How far I puling love-play. He is the father of the have followed these instructions or whether first romance, and of the last tragedy in they have availed me, is not for me to our language, and surely worthy of a higher decide. I have had no view to the stage; place than any living writer, be be who in its present state it is, perhaps, not a he may. very exalted object of ambition; besides, In speaking of the drama of Marino I have been too much behind the scenes to Faliero, I forgot to mention that the desire have thought it not at any time. And I of preserving, though still too remote, a cannot conceive any man of irritable feeling nearer approach to unity than the irregularputting himself at the mercies of an au-ity, which is the reproach of the English dience ;-the sneering reader, and the loud theatrical compositions, permits, has ineritic, and the tart review, are scattered duced me to represent the conspiracy as and distant calamities; but the trampling already formed, and the Doge acceding to of an intelligent or of an ignorant audience it, whereas, in fact, it was of his own prean a production which, be it good or bad, paration and that of Israel Bertuccio. The has been a mental labour to the writer, is other characters (except that of the duchess), a palpable and immediate grievance, height-incidents, and almost the time, which was ened by a man's doubt of their competency wonderfully short for such a design in real to judge, and his certainty of his own im- life,are strictly historical,except that all the prudence in electing them his judges. Were consultations took place in the palace. Had I capable of writing a play which could I followed this, the unity would have been be deemed stage-worthy, success would give better preserved; but I wished to produce me no pleasure, and failure great pain. It the Doge in the full assembly of the conis for this reason that, even during the spirators, instead of monotonously placing time of being one of the committee of one him always in dialogue with the same inof the theatres, I never made the attempt, dividuals. For the real facts, I refer to and never will.) But surely there is dra- the extracts given in the Appendix in Italian, matic power somewhere, - where Joanna with a translation.

While I was in the sub-committee of Drury Lane and of whom I know nothing. The long complaints Theatre, I can vouch for my colleagues, and I hope of the actual state of the drama arise, however, for myself, that we did our best to bring back the from no fault of the performers. I can conceive legitimate drama. I tried what I could to get "De nothing better than Kemble, Cooke , and Kean, in Montfort" revived, but in vain, and equally in vain their very different manners, or than Elliston in in favour of Sotheby's "Ivan," which was thought an gentleman's comedy, and in some parts of tragedy. acting play; and I endeavoured also to wake Mr. Miss O'Neill I never saw, having inade and kept Coleridge to write a tragedy. Those who are not a determination to see nothing which shonld divide in the secret will hardly believe that the School or disturb my recollection of Siddons. Siddons and far Scandal" is the play which has bronght least Kemble were the ideal of tragic action ; ! never money: averaging the number of times it has been saw any thing at all resembling them, even in perleted since its production ; 80 Manager Dibdin as- son: for this reason,

we shall never see again Ered me. of' what has occured since Maturin's Coriolanus or Macbeth. When Kean is blamed for "Bertram," I am not aware ; so that I may be tra- want of dignity, we should remember that it is a ducing, through ignorance , some excellent new grace and not an art, and not to be attained by writers: if so, I beg their pardon. I have been study. In all SUPERnatural parts he is perabsent from England nearly five years, and, till fect; even his very defects belong, or seem to last year, I never read an English newspaper since belong, to the parts themselves, and 'appear truer ay departure, and am now only aware of theatri- to nature. But of Kemble we may say, with real matters throngh the medium of the Parisian ference to his acting, what the Cardinal de Retz English Gazette of Galignani, and only for the last said of the

Marquis of Montrose , "that he was the twelve months. Let me then deprecate all offence only man he ever saw who reminded him of the to tragie or comic writers, to whom I wish well, heroes

of Plutarch.“


« AnteriorContinuar »