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together, than death comes upon us and spoils all.” Death, however, overtook him on the 15th of October, 1793, in the ninety-second year of his age. He was succeeded in his title and estate by his only child John, who had a numerous family.
FOR THE POCKET MAGAZINE. MR. EDITOR.-The following is an extract from my Journal, which I shall feel obliged by your inserting in the Pocket Magazine.
Your constant reader, . Dec. 24, 1818.
SPANISH SUPERSTITION. “ Í HAD already witnessed many instances of Spanish superstition, but none at which I felt more indignant than that which I am about to relate. During my stay in the city of S*** ***, it chanced to be the season for bathing; which the Spaniards of Andalusia appear particularly fond of. I was walking one evening on the banks of the river, in expectation of meeting a friend who had gone out for the abovementioned recreation ; and I had already come near enough to speak to him, when I perceived a youth in the middle of the river, who seemed struggling for his life, as I suppose from an attack of the cramp. I immediately called to my friend, who was not yet quite dressed, and directed his attention to the person in danger. He stripped, and plunged into the water; but, although an excellent swimmer, was but just time enough to catch the hair of his head, by which, after great exertions, he at length succeeded in dragging the unfortunate youth to the shore. By this time a number of Spaniards had collected, with whose assistance he was laid upon the grass; but the vital spark appeared to have flown for ever.'
My friend advised that he should he taken to the nearest house, till medical assistance could be procured; but this the Spaniards unanimously opposed, saying, it would be much better to carry him to: a neighbouring convent, and there place him before the
figure of a favourite saint, by whose power he would be restored, if possible; human assistance being now in vain. As it would have been next to madness for us to attempt any opposition, he was accordingly carried to the convent, where, after covering him over with an old cloak, they left him with no other companion than the wooden image, whose influence was to restore him. But alas, poor youth! when we enquired the next day what had been the result of this experiment, we found he had moved his hand (which, when we left him, lay by his side) up to his head, but his spirit had flown for ever. Such was the end of this unfortunate young man, who, if he had met with proper assistance in the first instance, it is probable might have been now alive; for we may naturally suppose somelife was in him, by the altered position of his arm; but this the ignorapt and misguided Spaniards attributed to the power of their senseless image."
FOR THE POCKET MAGAZINE.
SCHILLERS' TRAGEDY OF THE ROBBERS. IT is indisputable that of all the works of Schiller, the play of the Robbers is the best and the most deeplj interesting. The contemplation of the character of Francis has the same effect upon the mind of the reader, as the acting of that great tragedian Kean, has upon the mind of the spectator. He is a villain about whom, like Lord Byron's heroes, we cannot help feel. ing interested; he has no extenuating motive for his crimes, and those crimes are of the most diabolical hue; yet our abborrence of him does not make us turn away our eyes from his actions, we only watch him with the more scrutinizing carefulness. Nature has loaded him with a burden of deformity, and in return he vows eternal hatred against her. He sees no other human being like him, therefore he will blast all her works. The sweet fraternity of souls he cannot know
--the soft persuasive eloquence of love he cannot use. Force, therefore, force and cunning are the deities whom he invokes.
M. Schlegel in one of his ingenious lectures, makes the following observation on this play:—- The Robbers, wild and horrible as it is, produced such a powerful effect as even wholly to turn the heads of youthful enthusiasts. The defective imitation of Shakspeare is not to be mistaken. Francis Moor is a prosaical Richard the Third, ennobled by none of the propensities which in the latter unite admiration with aversion."
It is clear that the effect which the • Robbers' had upon the minds of the young students, was owing to the very wildness and horior of which M. Schlegel speaks. They were captivated with the strength, and sorrow, and enthusiasm of Charles Moor's nature, and were struck with the Robber's daringness in his pursuits, and with his noble heroism in the dark hours of suffering. The moral of the piece is bad, inasmuch as vice is made tou attractive, but the poetry and character of the Drama are worked up in a manner which nothing can surpass. It is not possible to agree with M. Schlegel as to the similarity which he finds in the characters of Francis Moor and Richard the Third. The first has none of that readiness of mind in the moment of danger; none of that instantaneous and terrific courage which characterise the mind of the last.' When he seizes a pistol and advances against Herman, his intentions relax on discovering that his victim is armed for defence : Richard would have shot him through the head. Francis in the latter scenes of the Tragedy becomes all fear and suspicion. He prays to heaven in the thick of crimes when all hopes of rescue from the hands of the robbers is lost; he shrieks for help in the wood, and clings to that brother whom he has made a plunderer and a murderer, Francis has no heroism-no power of mind : is that what M. Schlegel means in saying the character is prosaical? The heart of Francis is maddened and betrayed by its own passions. Richard was never overcome by woman: he never felt for woman. Richard goes on secure in his deceits, and finally dies boldly in battle. It will be seen by this examination of the two characters that M. Schlegel's assertion is wrong. The mental qualities of the two characters are directly opposite. The German lecturer has not spoken of the Robbers as a German ought to speak of it. It was written by Schiller in his youthful days, and has all the romantic beauty of heroic character and rich scenery which a young mind de
to dwell upon. Horror glares through some of the dark scenes like a torch, and every object is dimly seen by its light. Love, in this play, is a ferocious rapture-a madness. The characters pursue it like furies. Who can ever forget the feelings that are stirred up in the bosom on the first perusal of this mysterious and terrific drama? No one. The imagination is shaken as if a storm passed through it. Coleridge bas written a fine wild sonnet to Schiller, expressive of his deep delight on the first reading of the Robbers. The note to the sonnet is worth extracting. “ One night in winter, on leaving a college-friend's room, with whom I had supped, I carelessly took away with me “ The Robbers,' a drama, the very name of which, I had never before heard of. A winter midnight-the wind high-and the Robbers' for the first time! The readers of Schiller will conceive what I felt. Schiller introduces no supernatural beings; yet his human beings agitate and astonish more than all the goblin rout--even of Shakespeare.”.
An able writer in a late number of the Edinburgh Review also speaks to the same effect." But we cannot so easily give up our old attachment to the Robbers. The first reading of that play is an event in every one's life which is not to be forgotten.” The character of Charles Moor is drawn in the most powerful manner. Moor is a robber. He is young, and romantic, and heroic. The crimes which his pursuits lead him into, throw a fearful sadness over his * nature, which reflection ever turns into bitterness. He becomes interesting from his devoted affection, from his noble courage, and his fierce pursuits. He loves silence and solitude as a relief to his mind, though of the saddest sort. In retirement, he pours forth his hatred of mankind, and becomes violently
misanthrupical from the remembrance of his own injuries.--Man! man! false hypocrite! deceitful crocodile !—Thy eyes overflow, but thy heart is iron.Thou stretchest forth thine open arms, but a poniard is concealed in thy bosom. Lions and leopards feed their young, the raven feasts its little ones on carrion, and he he! Experience has made me proof against the shafts of malice. I could smile, while my enemy quaffed my heart's blood—but when the affection of a father is converted into the hatred of a fury, let manly composure catch firem let the gentle lamb become a tyger let every nerve in my frame be braced, that I may spread around me vengeance and destruc'tion.”
Perhaps the expressions of this passage are somewhat excessive; but the Germans are always violent in their language; it is the only way by which they can put forth the enthusiasm of their feelings. Bcsides, poetry with them is the light of their existence; it is held by them higher than the passions which it illustrates. The late eloquent and amiable Madame de Stael bas observed that “ Poetry, philosophy, in
short, all the ideal, bave often more command over the . Germans, than nature and the passions themselves.” Poetry is thus made more than a momentary possession of all the soul desires..
The character of Amelia, the young girl to whom Charles Moor is attached, is beautifully drawn. I cannot do better than give a passage from the work of Madame de Stael relative to it. ** The love scenes betwixt the young girl and the chief of the robbers, who was to have been her husband, are admirable in point of enthusiasm and sensibility; there are few situations more pathetic than that of this truly virtuous woman, always attached from the bottom of her soul, to him whom she loved before he became criminal. The respect which a woman is accustomed to feel for the man whom she loves, is changed into a sort
of terror or pity; and one would say that the unfor· tunate female flatters herself with the thought of be
coming the guardian angel of her guilty lover, in heaven, now, when she can no longer hope to be the happy compavion of his pilgrimage on earth.” ,