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called, tableaux vivants, the various types which were drawn from the Old Testament for the purpose of illustrating each successive scene in the tragedy. The chorus, which in Greek tragedy was composed of fifteen persons, here consisted of eleven, four men and seven women or girls, all attired in white vests or togas, with velvet flowing robes suspended from their shoulders, their heads being surmounted with large feathers of various colours. One of them, as in the old Greek Chorus, sustained the office of coryphæus or leader, offering moral reflections or explanations to the audience, and chanting them in recitative, or in unison with some or all of his followers. They were accompanied by a musical band, placed below the stage, in which a lusty priest seemed to take a prominent share. But whereas on the Greek theatre, the Chorus frequently performed the part of an actor, singing or declaiming with the persons of the drama, in the present case it entered into no dialogue whatever, but was confined to the moralising upon and explaining the the above-mentioned tableaux, in their relation to the events or antitypes in our Saviour's life and passion, and it withdrew altogether while these last were represented.
The interlocutors in the sacred drama, and the persons who enacted the tableaux from the Old Testament, had been judiciously selected, and performed their parts well. The former employed much action and intonation. Our Saviour was personated by a fine looking young man, (a glover by trade,) who greatly resembled the portraits given of him by Leonardo da Vinci, while the part of his mother Mary was performed by a very handsome woman, who reminded the spectators of Vandyke's heads of the blessed Virgin. Mary Magdalen appeared as an ungainly personage, awkwardly wiping the feet of Jesus with her superabundant tresses. One or two passages were even calculated to excite laughter, as when the crowing of the cock was imitated, at the time of Peter's denial of his Master, and when repentant Judas flings the thirty pieces of silver with a heavy bang at the head of the chief of the Sanhedrim. But the general performance was effective, and produced a great impression, some of the spectators being so much overcome with grief, as to feel themselves compelled to retire. From the construction of the stage, little change of scenery was practicable. Such scenes however as were exhibited, appeared correct; and with regard to the tableaux, the attitudes and entire grouping of them were really natural, and in good keeping, and the dresses were appropriate.
After singing a brief prologue, the Chorus divided, six taking one side, and five the other. The curtain was drawn up, and a tableau vivant was exhibited, representing Abraham prepared to offer up his only son Isaac at Mount Moriah, upon which, as foreshadowing the self-immolation of our Saviour, the leader made some pious and pertinent reflections. The drama then properly commenced. It was divided into four acts, the first comprising the time between Christ's entry into Jerusalem, and his being taken in the Mount of Olives; the second from the taking of our Saviour, until his crucifixion; the third exhibiting Christ's passion and death; and the fourth, his resurrection. These acts were subdivided into many scenes, wherein the dialogue was carried on in prose, and every scene was introduced by the exhibition of one, two or three types, as already described, each type or tableau being explained or commented upon in Lyric verse by the Chorus. The following is translated by way of specimen from the third act, the scene from the New Testament being intended to represent “Christ taken before Caiaphas, accused by false witnesses, declared guilty, and maltreated by the servants of the High Priest.”
Ist Tableau.—The innocent Naboth is condemned to death by means of false witnesses.
Their deeds of mercy, or their cruelty. 2nd Tableau.—Job afflicted-taunted by his wife and friends.
For patience long renown'd!
Now poor and sick is found.
His substance gone-his children dead,
In ashes all forlorn :
With ridicule and scorn.
Sharp pains attack his life.
Maintain th' unequal strife.
Foreshadowing Christ our Lord;
And died to save a world.
No place to lay his head ;
A Lamb to slaughter led.
Give utterance to your sighs ;
Your warmest sympathies.
A long time was occupied in the performance of this third act, all the circumstances immediately preceding and accompanying Christ's passion being minutely detailed. The awful event of the crucifixion was shown forth in frightful verisimili. tude. The living actor appeared suspended on a cross between two thieves, his limbs writhing in agony, his feet and hands transfixed and streaming with gore. A soldier advancing, pierced his side, and the spear being withdrawn, was followed by a gush of blood. The head of the Redeemer began to droop, his eyes were closed, and he meekly gave up the ghost. Then followed the earthquake and other portents recorded in Holy Writ. The taking down of the body was most touching, and presented a group precisely such as Rubens has depicted in his celebrated painting at Antwerp. The nails were extracted from the stiffened limbs, and the agonized friends of Jesus were seen hanging over his corpse, and freely giving vent to their bitter sorrowings and despair. This act finished with the interment of the body, and the watching at the grave.
The fourth and last act opened with the tableau or type of Jonah safely delivered from the whale's belly, followed by that of the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, both being intended to foreshadow the resurrection and ascension of Christ, which were accurately represented.
The whole piece was brought to a conclusion amidst the loud Hallelujahs of the full Chorus.
During the entire performance, the immense audience remained rivetted in mute attention, saving that in the more touching passages, stifled sighs were at intervals heard, while tears were observed to steal down the cheeks of many a hardy mountaineer. Thus without the incongruities of the old moralities, or the formal precision of the Greek drama, the sympathies of the human heart were touched in a degree never surpassed by the Athenian tragedians, or by any who have followed them.
At the conclusion, before which no one had offered to depart, excepting such as were overcome with grief, interesting groups of peasants were seen taking leave of one another, and engaging themselves, by the blessing of God, to meet once more at the next decennial representation. Each set out for his distant home, full of pious gratitude to a suffering Redeemer, and humbly trusting that he had that day advanced, in his own imperfect measure, in learning how to live, and how to die.
Art. III.—THE HERESY OF A HUMAN PRIESTHOOD
TRACED IN LETTERS ON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE VISIBLE CHURCH OF CHRIST. By R. M. BEVERLEY.
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Mr. Beverley will be remembered by many of our readers as the author of several very striking and popular pamphlets on the state of the Church of England and the Universities. He is marked, as we think, by a strong tendency to exaggeration, and by a disposition to take symptoms of a probable, for proofs of an actual state of things; and, again, proofs of an actual, though limited state of things, for symptoms of a general. He possesses an eye keenly alive to the signs of any danger which he suspects, and in reading his publications we must put down a great deal to fear and imagination, which would otherwise appear to be the result of observation and experience. In the Letters before us, with much that is both true and valuable, there are abundant indications of these peculiar qualities. Take for example the following strange confession—we were very near writing,-assertion :-“I never yet was fortunate enough to hear a sermon, whether in Church or Chapel, on the important topic of the love of the brethren; nor have I been able, by diligent search, to find a published discourse on the subject; so that, apparently, no doctrine has of late years been so much neglected.”—Letter XIX. The process in Mr. Beverley's mind here, as in many other passages of his Letters, is this : he thinks, and very justly, that brotherly love is one of the first Christian duties; he fears, and probably with some cause, that it is not as much or as frequently insisted upon as it ought to be, and then pens the sentence which we have just quoted, leaving the impression that apparently the subject of Love to the Brethren has slipped out of the memory and the consciousness of the whole Church of Christ. We are thus too frequently obliged to say in reference to Mr. Beverley's statements—"very alarmingif correct." Not that we in the slightest degree impugn his veracity, but that we think his fear is too often father to his thought, and that in unconscious compliance with this fear, he puts up with too limited an induction of facts. Mr. Beverley's province in the religious world is that of an alarmist, and his slashing style would be shorn woefully of its glory and of its effect, if he were to admit into it too freely the spirit of palliation, or a disposition to account, on less melancholy grounds, for the phenomena which he describes. Nevertheless there is truth, very