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mind to throw itself entirely into the subject on which it is for the time engaged. Thus the very effect which his author produces is reproduced by him; and, as the Edinburgh Review has said, his work (with a few improvements [?] which they suggest, but which we trust will never be adopted) is "amongst the few translations which, in any language, hold substantive rank in their own country, and are admired, cited and imitated in lieu of their originals." There is not, in our language, a translation of any work of length which produces so entirely the effect of original poetry on the mind; and this without the slightest omission of any image in the original which could with propriety be retained, and with little more of addition or expansion than was absolutely necessary for the purpose of explanation.

On the continent the book is frequently quoted in the same way that Schubarth and Ekermann are. But its value is far higher than that of any commentary on the original can be. It is as an English poem that Anster's Faust must be regarded; and it is really astonishing with what felicity thoughts, the highest and deepest in German theology, and the subtlest in their metaphysics, find adequate expression in our language; and how scenes which-if we look at any other exposition of them-seem shapeless as the most misty reveries of the Swedenborgians, assume shape and colour and life. In the first interview between the hero of the poem and the demon, the exorcisms of the conjuror gradually recovering from his perplexity-the half-heard whisperings and low chaunt of spirit-voices breaking in upon each successive charm-and the last song of the unseen spirits, where every phantom-image, each growing out of the last, or connected with it by the faintest and most delicate ties of association, is supposed to rise like an exhalation to each note of the enchanted music, and pass before the eyes of Faustus till they at length close in sleep(that dreamy song best interpreted by Retzch's pencil, or Radzewill's music* soft, as is the flying gossamer of a summer's evening"


"Vanish, dark arches,

That over us bend,
Let the blue sky in beauty
Look in like a friend!")

all-all is of unsurpassed and almost magical beauty. The dialogue between the presumptuous magician and the Spirit of the Earth, and the after-scene, in which despair has subdued and fatigued the restless spirit of the unhappy Faustus into momentary calm, are given with great power. But it is not in the more serious passages, where the interest of the situation, and the readers' sympathy, once successfully awakened, are, of themselves, sufficient to sustain attention, that we feel surprise at the triumph achieved by the translator of this wonderful poem. The difficulties which we should have imagined insurmountable, and which yet have been completely overcome, are of another kind. In the character of Mephistophiles there are constant touches of humour, which are brought before the English reader with perfect fidelity. When it is considered how difficult it is to communicate any perception of the humour of one nation to another-how absolutely unknown Quevedo or Scarron are in trauslation, though Goldsmith translated Scarron-and how little, for instance, of the character of the original has ever been communicated by any translator of Rabelais, though few translators were ever equal to Urquhart, and how every thing peculiar in Cervantes is lost or disguised by every one of his dozen of distinguished translators-we shall be better able to estimate what has been accomplished by the translator of Faust. The scene of wild dissoluteness in the wine-cellar at Leipsic-the bewildering dialogue with the perplext student coming fresh from the country to a German university, when the demon assumes the costume of a professor, and lectures on theology and logic and medicinethe same worthy person's account of the death of Martha's husband, where he keeps the poor wife's hopes and fears alive by the fugacious prospect of his having brought her a legacy-the mad chamberlain's arrangements for the witches' ball-are all given in the English Faustus as amusingly as any of the

See Goethe's correspondence.



stories of Peter Pindar, or the metaphysical discussions in Hudibras; and it is really curious, in comparing Anster's translation with the original, to see how nearly literal it often is, and by what skilful touches-when literal translation would have plainly destroyed the effect of the original-that effect is, in some different way, produced.

Mr. Anster is the author of various essays on general literature, in prose, contributed to the magazines-written in an easy and pointed style. We may refer to his preface to the FAUST, for no unfavourable specimen of his characteristic qualities in this species of writing.

Of Anster's professional life we can only spare room to say, that he was called to the Irish bar in 1824. Whether owing to his supposed devotion to the Muses, (a quality that seldom finds favour amongst the acute practitioners of the law), or to a want of that confident address and flippant elocution essential to the success of a popular advocate, his advance at the bar has not kept pace with his talents as a man, or his large and varied acquirements as a lawyer. There are few men of sounder learning and judgment in his profession, nor any more habituated to close research and patient investigation: it is, therefore, a matter of surprise to his friends, that his practice has not been more extensive. But the plague of SCOTT is upon him. He is a poet, and must be content with immortality. The church, perhaps, had been more his element, had he thought it his vocation. But the die has been cast. The appointment which he holds in the Court of Admiralty is certainly unworthy of his talents. It was given and accepted, we apprehend, under a mistaken notion of its value. Since the decadence of the Court, the office is of little importance.

We cannot, perhaps, more appropriately close this sketch than with the following beautiful tribute of one true poet to the genius of another :



"Enchanter! thou hast made the spell thine own,
Buried in silence with the mighty dead;

The wierd light from the wizard's grave is shed,
Dancing on rubied pane and pillared stone.
Hark! through the haunted choir the swelling tone-
That midnight chaunt of dolour and of dread
A wailing from death's cold and startled bed:
And now 'tis woman's broken-hearted moan.
Margaret! poor child! thy choking sob I hear,

And the fiend's laugh rings wildly thro' the pile.
Margaret!-forsaken one!-The spell hath stood,-
And, in charmed might, enchanter! wins the ear,
Yea, and the heart of SHAKESPEARE'S own proud isle,
To grant by Rhine's green wave meet rivalhood."




I HAVE the scene before me now! It is years since it took place, and yet I can recal its minutest features. I have seldom, even within the walls of a London theatre, seen so brilliant an assemblage as that which, in the fashionable town of B- had gathered to witness the debût of the young and lovely actress, Harriet Elliott. I remember not only the circle of fair faces in the boxes, the suffocating crowd in the pit, the noisy gods in the gallery, but the episodical circumstances of the beautiful girl in the centre box, who wept so bitterly for the feigned sorrows of the heroine of the night; and the bald-headed critic in the pit, with his golden-headed cane and eye-glass, and the boisterous sailor, who, more than half-seas-over when he came in. was thrust out in the midst of a whirlwind of mingled execrations and sobs, elicited from him by the pathos of the mimic scene before him. And, above all, do I recal that lovely debutante, who came forward so timidly, and looked towards her audience with such an appealing, deprecating glance-then, gathering courage from the cheering reception she experienced, became at length so absorbed in her part, that her tears were real, and her impassioned earnestness unfeigned. The curtain fell amidst deafening plaudits, and the actress's triumphant success was acknowledged by all.

Beautiful Harriet Elliott! I know not in whose possession is the portrait of which I was the painter; the faint resemblance of her exceeding loveliness. It was easy to pourtray the white, spotless neck, the features, so delicate, yet so noble in their outline, the full, deep, speaking, blue eyes, the abundant waves of golden hair-the difficulty lay in the fluctuating expression of the countenance, the cheerful lights and shadows of thought, that flitted over it in the course of a single sitting. It was impossible to tell whether pathos or mirth was the predominant characteristic of her mind, so equally were they blended. In tragedy or comedy her success was the same. I have, in my long life, been acquainted with many of her profession, but I have never known any one who seemed so completely fitted for it by nature as Harriet Elliott. During the few weeks that she remained at B-, I saw her very frequently, and was sorry to observe that after the first pleasant excitation, caused by her success, had subsided, Miss Elliott was subject to occasional fits of dejection. It would have been impertinent to attempt to fathom their cause, but from a few words spoken sometimes to herself, rather than to me, I conjectured that she was of good family, that she had been strictly brought up, that Elliott was not her real name, and that she had most seriously disobliged her relatives, by yielding to her uncontrollable inclination for the stage. I fancied, too, that the realities of her position were beginning to be apparent to her; that her lofty mind and fresh feelings were already wounded and distressed, by persons and things with which she was forced into contact; but still, her intense love for her art, and her cravings after excitement, were gratified, and she said she was happy. As surely as I left her one day in a melancholy mood, did I find her on the next in high, even wild spirits; with smiles on her lips, gladness in her eyes, and eloquent mirth on her tongue.

I can truly say, I was sorry when her portrait was finished, and I could find no further excuse to plead for one sitting more. Similarity of taste, in many things, an equal love of the beautiful and romantic, and above all, the idea that some deep mystery hung over this enchanting creature, had made me feel deeply interested for her. She evidently saw and was grateful to me for that interest, and when we parted, our farewell was like that of old and tried friends.

She went to London, and I soon heard of her splendid successes on metropolitan boards; but circumstances kept me for some time in the country, and it happened that, when I returned to town, she was making the tour of the provincial theatres, so that years elapsed before I had an opportunity of seeing her again. During those years my interest in her had abated for many reasons. Rumours to her disadvantage, garnished with many mysterious dashes and asterisks, were current in the public prints-then came bolder assertions, and

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