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foreseen it as soon as she came on pering, voluptuous and a coquette, the stage. This madness of the im- with neither the scz leness of tirtue, agination, incited by climate and des- nor the greatness of crime : potic power; these woman's, queen's,
" Nature meant me prostitute's nerves; this marvellous self. A wife ; a silly, harmless household dove, adandonment to all the fire of invention Fond without art, and kind without deceit." • and desire-these cries, tears, foam on the lips, tempest of insults, actions, Nay, Nature meant nothing of the kind, emotions; this promptitude to murder, or otherwise this turtle dove would not announce the rage with which she would have tamed or kept an Antony ; a worush against the least obstacle and be man without any prejudices alone could dashed to pieces. What does Dryden and the fire of genius. 'I can see al
do it, by the superiority of boldness effect in this matter with his written phrases ? What of the maid speaking, ready from the title of the piece why in the author's words, who hids her Dryden has softened Shakspeare : half-mad mistress “ call reason to as
All for Love; or, the World weil Lost. sist you ?" * What of such a Cleopa. What a wretchedness, to reduce such tra as his, designed after Lady Castle events to a pastoral, to excuse Anto maine, t skilled in artifices and whim- ny, to praise Charles II. indirectly, to
bleat as in a sheepfold! And such With greasy aprons, rules and hammers, was the taste of his contemporaries. shall
When Dryden wrote the Tempest after Uplift us to the view.
Shakspeare, and the State of Innocence Saucy lictors Will catch at us, like strumpets ; and scald
after Milton, he again spoiled the rhymers
ideas of his masters : he turned Eve Ballad us out o'tune ; the quick comedians and Miranda into courtesans ; t he ex. Extemporally will stage us, and present Our Alexandrian revels; Antony
tinguished everywhere, under convenShall be brought drunken forth, and I shall tionalism and indecencies, the frank
ness, severity, delicacy, and charm of Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my great the original invention. By his side,
Settle, Shadwell, Sir Robert Howard I'the posture of a whore. .. Husband, I come:
did worse. The Empress of Morocco, Now to that name my courage prove my by Settle, was so admired, that the title !
gentlemen and ladies of the court learnI am fire and air; my other elements I give to baser life. So; have you done? ed it by heart, to play at Whitehall be Come, then, and take the last warmth of fore the king. And this was not a pass
ing fancy ; although modified, the taste Farewell, kind Charmian ; Iras, long fare was to endure. In vain poets rejected well. Dost thou not see my baby at my they had mixed their native metal ; in
a part of the French alloy wherewith breast, That sucks the nurse asleep?"
vain they returned to the old unrhymed Shakspeare's Antony and Cleopatra, 5. 2. These two last lines, referring to the asp, are vain Dryden, in the parts of Antony,
verses of Jonson and Shakspeare; in sublime as the bitter joke of a courtesan and an artist:
Ventidius, Octavia, Don Sebastian, and Iras. Call reason to assist you.
Dorax, recovered a portion of the old Cleopatra. I have none, And none would have: My love's a noble
naturalness and energy; in vain Otway, madness
With broken murmurs, and with amourous Which shews the cause deserved it: Modest
I'll say, you were unkind, and punish you, Fits vulgar love, and for a falgar man ; And mark you red with many an eaga But I have loved with such transcendant kiss."-AU for Love, V. 3. 1. passion,
All for Love, 4. s. I soared, at first, quite out of reason's Dryden's Miranda, says, in the Tempest view,
(2.2) : “ And if I can but escape with life, I had And now am lost above it.”-All
for Love, rather be in pain nine months, as my father
threatened, than lose my longing:" Miranda Cleop. Come to me, come, my soldier, to has a sister ; they quarrel, are jealous of each
other, and so on. See also in the State of In You've been too long away from my em- nocence, 3. !, the description which Eve given braces;
of her happiness, and the ideas which her comBut, when I have you fast, and all my own, fidences suggest to Satan.
V. 2. I. 66
who had real dramatic talent, Lee and
V. Southern, attained a true or touching
But let us pause a moment longer to accent, so that once, in Venice Preserved inquire whether, amid so many apor it was thought that the drama would tive and distorted branches, the old be regenerated. The drama was dead, theatrical stock, abandoned by chance and tragedy could not replace it; or to itself, will not produce at some point rather each one died by the other; and a sound and living shoot. When a their caion which obbed them of
man like Dryden, so gifted, so well in strength in Dryden's time, enervated formed and experienced, works with a them also in the time of his successors. will, there is hope that he will some Literary style blunted dramatic truth; time succeed ; and once, in part a! ramatic truth marred literary style; least, Dryden did succeed. It would * work was neither sufficiently vivid be treating him unjustly to be always nor : ufficiently well written; the author comparing him with Shakspeare; but was too little of a poet or of an orator; even on Shakspeare's ground, with the he had neither Shakspeare's fire of im- same materials, it is possible to create agination nor Racine's polish and art.* a fine work; only the reader must for He strayed on the boundaries of two get for a while the great inventor, the dramas,' and suited neither the half- inexhaustible creator of vehement and barbarous men of art nor the well-pol. original souls, and to consider the imi ished men of the court. Such indeed tator on his own merits, without forc was the audience, hesitating between ing an overwhelming comparison. two forms of thought, fed by two oppo
There is vigor and art in this tragedy site civilizations. They had no longer of Dryden, Ail for Love.
“ He has in the freshness of feelings, the depth of formed us, that this was the only play impression, the bold originality and po- written to please himself.”* And he etic folly of the cavaliers and adven- had really composed it learnedly, ac, tures of the Renaissance; nor will they cording to history and logic.
And ever acquire the aptness of speech, gen: what is better still, he wrote it in a tleness of manners, courtly habits, and manly style. In the preface he says: cutivation of sentiment and thought
The fabric of the play is regular which adorned the court of Louis XIV. enough, as to the inferior parts of it; They are quitting the age of solitary and the unities of time, place, and acimagination and invention, which suits tion, more exactly observed, than pertheir race, for the age of reasoning and haps the English theatre requires. Parworldly conversation, which does not ticularly, the action is so much one, suit their race; they lose their own that it is the only of the kind without merits, and do not acquire the merits episode, or underplot; every scene in of others. They were meagre p ets the tragedy conducing to the main de and ill-bred courtiers, having lost the
sign, and every act concluding with a art of imagination and having not yet turn of it.”+ 'He did more; he aban: acquired good manners, at times dull doned the French ornaments, and te or "brutal, at times emphatic or stiff. turned to national tradition: “In my For the production of fine poetry, race style I have professed to imitate the and age must concur. Thiş, race, di, divine Shakspeare; which that I might rerging from 's own age, and fettered perform more freely, I have disincum It the outset by foreign imitation, bered myself from rhyme. : : . Yet, ] formed its classical literature but slow- hope, I may affirm, and without vanity; ly; it will oniy attain it after transform that by imitati him, I have excelled ng its religious and political condition: myself throughout the play; and par. the age will be that of English reason. ticularly, that I prefer the scene be Dryden inaugurates it by his other twixt Antony and Ventidius in the firs works, and the writers who
act, to anything which I have written the reign of Queen Anne will give it its in this kind." to Dryden was right ; completion, its authority, and its splen. Cleopatra is weak, if this feebleness dor.
* See the introductory notice, by Sir Waltes This impotence reminds one of Casimir Scott, of All for Love, v. 290. Delavigne.
Ibid. v. 310
# Ibid. v. 307.
of conception takes away the interest |
My hard fortuno and mars the general effect, if the new
Subjects me still to your unkind mistakes.
But the conditions I have brought are such, rhetoric and the old emphasis at times
You need not blush to take: I love your suspend the emotion and destroy the honour, likelihood, yet on the whole the drama Because 'tis mine ; it never shall be said
Octavia's husband was her brother's slave. stands erect, and what is more, moves
Sir, you are free ; free, even from her you on. The poet is skilful; he has planned, loath ; he knows how to construct a scene, to For, though my brother bargains for your represent the internal struggle by which love,
Makes me the price and cement of your two passions contend for a human
peace, heart. We perceive the tragical vicis- I have a soul like yours; I cannot take situde of the strife, the progress of a Your love as alms, nor beg what I deserve. sentiment, the overthrow of obstacles,
I'll tell my brother we are recraciled;
He shall draw back his troops and you shali the slow growth of desire or wrath, to
march the very instant when the resolution, To rule the East : I may be dropt at Athens; rising up of itself or seduced from No matter where. I never will compiain, without, rushes suddenly in one groove.
But only keep the barren name of wife,
And rid There are natural words; the poet
of the trouble." # thinks and writes too genuinely not to This is lofty; tuis woman has a proud discover them at need. There are heart, and also a wife's heart: she manly characters : he himself is a man; knows how to give and how to bear; and beneath his courtier's pliability, and better, she knows how to sacrifice his affectations as a fashionable poet, herself without self-assertion, and calmhe has retained his stern and energetic ly ; no vulgar mind conceived such a character. Except for one scene of soul as this. And Ventidius, the old recrimination, his Octavia is a Roman general, who with her and previous to matron; and when, even in Alexan- her, comes to rescue Antony from his dria, in Cleopatra's palace, she comes illusion and servitude, is worthy to to look for Antony, she does it with a speak in behalf of honor, as she had simplicity and nobility, not to be sur-spoken for duty. Doubtless he was a passed. “Cæsar's sister,” cries out plebeian, a rude and plain-speaking Antony, accosting her. Octavia an soldier, with the frankness and jests of swers ;
his profession, sometimes clumsy, such “ That's unkind.
as a clever eunuch can dupe, "a thickHad I been nothing more than Cæsar's sise skulled hero,” who, out of simplicity ter,
of soul, from the coarseness of his Know,'1 had still remain’d in Cæsar's camp: training, unsuspectingly brings Antony But your Octavia, your much injured wife, Though banish'd from your bed, driven from back to the meshes, which he seemed your house,
to be breaking through. Falling into In spite of Cæsar's sister, still is yours. 'Tis true, I have a heart disdains your cold
a trap, he tells Antony that he has
seen Cleopatra unfaithful with Dola. ness, And prompts me not to seek what
bella: But a wife's virtue still surmounts that pride.
“ Antony. My Cleopatra ?
Ventidius. Your Cleopatra. I come to claim you as my own ; tc show
Dolabella's Cleopatra, My duty first, to ask, nay beg, your kind
Every man's Cleopatra. Your hand, my lord ; 'tis mine, and I will
Antony. Thou liest.
Ventidius. I do not lie, my lord. have it." *
Is this so strange? Should mistressrs be latin intony humilitated, refuses the par. You know ste's not much used to lonely
And not provide against a time of cnange? Jon Octavia has brought him, and tells nights." +
It was just the way to make Antony “ I fear, Octavia, you have begg'd my life, jealous and bring him back furious to Poorly and basely beggʻd it of your brother. Octavia. Poorly and basely I could never has this Ventidius, and how we catch,
Cleopatra. But what a noble heart beg, Ner could my brother grant.
when he is alone with Antony, the
manly voice, the deep tones whică had AU for Lon, V. 3. 1.
tipico do Bo
been heard on the battlefield ! He For, I have seen him in such various shapes loves his general like a good and hon
I care not which I take: I'm only troubled.
The life I bear is worn to such a rag, est dog, and asks no better than to die,
'Tis scarce worth giving. I could wish, in: so it be at his master's fee: He growls deed, stealthily on saeing hir cast down,
We threw it from us with a better grace ; crouches round him, and suddenly
That, like twc lions taken in the toils,
We might at least thrust out our paws, and weeps :
wound " Ventilius. Look, emperor, this is no com
The hunters that inclose us. mon dew.
Weeping. Antony begs him to go, but he refuses; I have not wept this forty years; but now My mother comes afresh into my eyes,
and then he entreats Ventidius to kill i ca inot help her softness.
Antony. Do not deny me twice.
Antony. Kill me first,
Thy friend, before thyself. Ventidius. I'll do my best.
Ventidius. Give me your hand. Antony. Sure there's contagion in the tears We soon shall meet again. Now, farewell, cmof friends :
[Embrace. See, I have caught it too. Believe me, 'tís
I will not make a business of a trifle : not
And yet I cannot look on you, and kill you. For my own grief, but thine. Nay, Father!” * Pray, turn your face. As we hear these terrible sobs, we
Antony. I do: strike honie, be sure. think of Tacitus' veterans, who escap
Ventidius. Home, as my sword will reach.", ing from the marshes of Germany, And with one blow he kills himself. with scarred breasts, white heads, These are the tragic, stoical manners limbs stiff with service, kissed the of a military monarchy, the great pro hands of Drusus, carried his fingers to fusion of murders and sacrifices wheretheir gums, that he might feel their with the men of this overturned and worn and loosened teeth, incapable to shattered society killed and died. This bite the wretched bread which was Antony, for whom so much has been given to them:
done, is not undeserving of their love :
he has been one of Cæsar's heroes, the No; 'tis you dream; you sleep away your first soldier of the van; kindness and
hours In desperate sloth, miscall's philosophy. generosity breathe from him to the Up, up, for honour's sake ; twelve legions last; if he is weak against a woman, And long to call you chief: By painful jour muscles and heart, the wrath and pas
he is strong against men ; he has the nies, I led them, patient both of heat and hunger, sions of a soldier; it is this fever heat Down frc: the Parthian marshes to the of blood, this too quick sentiment of Nile
honor, which has caused his ruin ; he 'Twill do qua good to see their sun-burnt faces,
cannot forgive his own crime ; he Their scarred cheeks, and chopt hands ; possesses not that lofty genius which, there's virtue in them.
dwelling in a region superioi to ordi. They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer nary rules, emancipates a man from Than trim bands can buy," t
hesitation, from discouragement and yon And when all is lost, when the Egyp: not forget that he has not executed the
remorse ; he is only a soldier, he can. sjans have turned traitors, and there is orders given to him : nothing left but to die well, Ventidius says;
“ Ventidius. Emperor !
Antony. Emperor? Why, that's the style o • There yet remain
victory; Three legions in the town. The last assaul The conquering soldier, red with unfelt woande Lopt off the rest: if death be your design,- Salutes his general so ; but never more As I must wish it now,--these are sufficient Shall that sound reach my oan. To make a heap about us of dead foes,
Ventidius. I warrant you. An honest pile for burial. . .
Antony. Actium, Actium! Ohdeath;
Ventidius. It sits too near you. * A4 for Love, i. 8. Ibid.
• Ibid. y.
Antony, Here, here it lies ; a lump of lead touched the ancieat árama, and brought by day;
its emotion away with him. And in my short, distracted, nightly slumbers, The hag that rides my dreams. ...
By his side anc ther also has felt it, a Ventidius. That's my royal master ;
young man, a pocr adventurer, by turns And, shall we fight?
a student, actor officer, always wild Antony. I warrant thee, old soldier. and always poor, who lived madly and Thou shalt behold me once again in iron; sadly, in excess and misery, like the And at the head of our old troops, that beat The Parthians, cry aloud, Come, follow their fire, and who died at the age of
old dramatists, with their inspiration,
thirty-four, according to some of a He fancies himself on the battlefield, fever caused by fatigue, according to and already his impetuosity carries others of a prolonged fast, at the end him away. Such a man is not fit to of which he swallowed too quickly a govern men; we cannot master fortune morsel of bread bestowed on him in until we have mastered ourselves ; this charity. Through the pompous cloak man is only made to belie and destroy of the new rhetoric, Thomas Otway himself, and to be veered round alter- now and then reached the passions of nately by every passion. As soon as the other age. It is plain that the times he believes Cleopatra faithful, honor, he lived in marred him, that he blunt. reputation, empire, every thing van- ed himself the harshness and truth of ishes :
the emotion he felt, that he no longer “ Ventidius. And what's this toy,
mastered the bold words he needed, In balance with your fortune, honour, fame? Antony. What is't, Ventidius ? it outweighs phrases, the classical declamation, the
that the oratorical style, the literary them all. Why, we have more than conquer'd Cæsar well-poised antitheses, buzzed abou:
him, and drowned his note in their sus My queen's not only innocent, but loves me...
tained and monotonous hum. Had he Down on thy knees, blasphemer as thou art, And ask forgiveness of wrong'd innocence !
but been born a hundred years earlier 1 Ventidius. I'll rather die than take it. Will In his Orphan and Venice Preserved we you go?
encounter the sombre imaginations of Antony. Go! Whither? Go from all that's Webster, Ford, and Shakspeare, their excellent! Give, you gods,
gloomy idea of life, their atrocities, Crive to your boy, your Cæsar,
murders, pictures of irresistible pas. This rattle of a globe to play withal,
sions, which riot blindly like a herd This gewgaw world ; and put him
cheaply off : I'll not be pleased with less than Cleopatra." I of savage beasts, and make a chaos of
the battlefield, with their yells and Dejection follows excess; these souls tumult, leaving behind them but devasare only tempered against fear; their tation and heaps of dead. Like Shakcourage is but that of the bull and the speare, he represents on the stage lion; to be fully themselves, they need human transports and rages—a brother bodily action, visible danger ; their violating his brother's wife, a husband temperament sustains them; before perjuring himself for his wife ; Poly. great moral sufferings they give way: dore, Chamont, Jaffier, weak and vio. When Antony thinks himself deceived, lent souls, the sport of chance, the prey he despairs, and has nothing left but of temptation, with whom transport of to die :
crime, like poison poured into the “ Let him (Cæsar) walk veins, gradually ascends, envenoms the Alone upon't. I'm weary of my part. My srch is out; and the world stands before whole man, is communicated to all
whom he touches, and contorts anc Lire a black desert at the approach of o'ght; casts them down together in a convul l'il lay me down, and stray no farther on." I
sive delirium. Like Shakspeare, he Such verses remind us of Othello's has found poignant and living words, * gloomy dreams, of Macbeth's, of Ham- which lay bare the depths of humanity, let's even; beyond the pile of swelling the strange creaking of a machine which tirades and characters of painted card is getting out of order, the tension of the board, it is as though the poet had
Monimia says in the Orphan (s, end • AU for Love, s. I.
t this. a. ,
end. when dying, “How my head swims' 'Ti
very dark ; good night."
Ihith go s.