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of death in certain minds, he mentions might exclaim." Send us to our a great man, who spent his last hours caves again-strip us to the wind, in arranging the honours of his own and rain, and sun; give us our gross funeral. Haying earnestly solicited loves—our fierce hatred-our bloody the attendance of his friends of rank revenge ;-any thing, if it be but naand wealth, and settled with mi- ture." Such a burst over, we soon nute exactness the whole method and take heart again, and perceive that order of this his final show, he seemed there is no pressing necessity for quite at ease, and died content. “I adopting so tremendous a remedy. have seldom heard,” adds Montaigne, Etiquette, in its mawkish mixture of “ of so long-lived a vanity."
stateliness and imbecility, though the On such a system of refinement as exclusive currency of the “ first sothis, the great, that is, the very great, ciety," does not certainly represent found their claims to superiority over human nature in an attractive dress. the bulk of mankind-the vulgar, the But civilization is not responsible for people, the rabble, or any other con- its abominations, and she can point temptuous collective you please, that to millions upon millions of useful, shall designate the active, thinking, intelligent, and happy creatures of feeling crowd, whose pitiful lot it is, her work, to refute such a scandal. to fill up their time with useful indus- We may remember too for our try, or natural enjoyments. He is the comfort, that even in the class which, first in rank who is least independent by right of station, is most chargeof rules and ceremonies. The Court able with the sins of vanity and affecCalendar, that unanswerable distri- tation, there are numberless illusbutor of degrees, so determines, and trious examples, with whom high there can be no doubt of it. A peer rank is but subsidiary to all that can is greater than a baronet, a duke is exalt and adorn human nature. The greater than a peer, and a king takes mere puppets of etiquette are, in this precedence of all. Greater than a country at least, in a minority, even King !-Inconceivable! A Welsh bi- at court. The capability of folly is shop made an apology to -James I, pretty equally distributed among all for preferring God to his Majesty. classes: we can only say, that it is The question of precedence was deli- most likely to meet with dangerous cate, but the Deity, it was believed, encouragement among those who in the phrase of the court, had the are farthest removed from the repas.
straints of wholesome labour, and Contemplating enormities like these, the sobering cares of common life. one is disposed almost to justify A man who has his bread to get, has Rousseau, or any man, in abhorring no time to make himself very ridithe very name of civilization, and, in culous. a paroxysm of overpowering disgust,
11, R. A.
SIR MARMADUKE MAXWELL, &c. BY ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.*
The Dramatic Poem, which occu-. myself, in a very sunny day, and with one pies the chief bulk of this agreeable of Bramah's extra patent-pens. I cannot volume, has been so highly spoken make neat work without such appurof by the first literary authority in
tenances. this country that it is almost need- Captain Clutterbuck. Do you mean Alless, not to say impertinent, to add
lan Ramsay ? our mite of approbation to it. The I mean Allan Cunningham, who has just
Author. No, nor Barbara Allan either, Author of Waverley thus expresses published his tragedy of Sir Marmaduke his cordial opinion of it in his Pres' Maxwell, full of merry-making and mür. face to the Fortunes of Nigel. dering, kissing and cutting of throats, and
Author. There is my friend Allan has passages which lead to nothing, and which written just such a play as I might write are very pretty passages for all that. Not
• Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, a Dramatic Poem ; The Mermaid of Galloway; The Legend of Richard Faulder; and Twenty Scottish Songs. By Allan Cunningham. Second Edition. Taylor and Hessey, 1822.
a glimpse of probability is there about the crowned with more triumphant sucplot, but so much animation in particular cess, for our author does not want passages, and such a vein of poetry through resources in feeling or nature. In the whole, as I dearly wish I could infuse
case Mr. Cunningham gives us aninto my Culinary Remains, should I ever be tempted to publish them. With a po vise him (as far as he may think
other Scottish tragedy, we would adpular impress, people would read and admire the beauties of Allan-as it is, they our opinion worth attending to) to may, perhaps, only note his defects –or, get rid of the mixture of quaint what is worse, not note him at all." But proverbial phrases and northern never mind them, honest Allan ; you are a dialect. A pastoral drama (like credit to Caledonia for all that.—There Allan Ramsay's GENTLE SHEPHERD) are some lyrical effusions of his too, which may be written entirely in the you would do well to read, Captain. " It's Scottish idiom: a tragedy, or even hame and it's hame," is equal to Burns. a dramatic poem, with stately and
We ourselves agree to this une-. heroic characters in it, should (we quivocal and enviable testimony in conceive) be written entirely in its favour; and we are the more glad English: the jumbling the two lanto avail ourselves of it, as (besides guages together is decidedly bad in private reasons which would lead us either case, and is only proper to the to avoid any thing that might be narrative or ballad style, where the construed into a puf") it enables us dignity of no individual is committed, to speak our minds more freely with and where the author is privileged (as respect to a few faults which strike a remote spectator of the scene) to us (like specks on the sun's disk) in speak either in his own person or to this very interesting performance. throw in occasional sprinklings of We think (though we do not know local and national expression, with a that this is a fault) that the effect of view to produce a more lively sense this Dramatic Poem is more that of reality and to give it a dramatic which arises from the perusal of a air. But where the form itself is romance than of a tragedy. The in- dramatic, the same licence (to our terest of the story prevails over the feelings) is neither necessary nor alforce of the dialogue, though the last lowable. In a romantic description is spirited and natural : the charac- of an invincible knight of old, it may ters serve more as vehicles to convey be a peasant that speaks, or from a series of extraordinary incidents, whom we have learnt the story-we than to display the extreme workings may avail ourselves therefore of all of the passions or the hidden springs the bye-resources, the quaint or caof action, We read on, without sual 'varieties of the language, to being violently stimulated or much touch, to identify, to surprise. But startled, with an unabated and per- where the knight himself speaks in sonal anxiety about the event of the his own character, his language fable and the fate of the different should be one, and it should be (accharacters—with a love of the good, cording to the prevailing prejudice) and a hatred of the vicious agents in dignified. Otherwise, “ the blank the plot-as we should read the nar- verse halts for it." Such words as rative of any striking occurrence in shealing, and cushat, and cummer, actual life, put into pleasing and fan-' and doul, come in very well among ciful verse. Perhaps Mr. Cunning- the rude rhymes of a ballad-strain, ham too often lays aside the tragic which (for any thing that appears to buskin to assume the Minstrel’s harp, the contrary) might have been said or to rehearse the affecting passages or sung by an old Highland bagpipeof Traditional Literature. We can player five hundred years ago-they attribute this not more to a want of assist the illusion, which is favourable confirmed practice than to an amiable to the poet, and flattering to the reamodesty. Scarce conscious of uni- der-and we can turn at leisure to versally acknowledged merit in his the glossary to know the meaning, as favourite pursuits, it is no wonder an improvement of the mind and an that he touches the strings with a enlargement of our knowledge. But trembling and uncertain hand in a it is not so well, when a noble and new department of art. Increased accomplished person is speaking in experience would give greater bold- good set lines of ten syllables, to have ness; and greater boldness would be to stop him' repeatedly with “ What was that you said, Sir?' A tragedy the inherent incongruity of the thing is known to be a modern production hangs an air of mystery over the -it has not the smack of antiquity in whole narrative, much greater than it-and though it places us imme- that which arises from the preternadiately in contact with the Dramatis tural agency either of witches or Persona, it is not · by carrying us spirits. That Halbert Comyne, the back to them, but by bringing them next heir to the title and estate of down to us. The poet, who intro- the old lord, should come to Caera duces them to the modern public, like laverock Castle with a crew of desa Gentleman-usher of the Black-Rod, perados—that, on the third night must see to it that they have their after, the owner and his family should proper cue and costume. We would, disappear—that Halbert Comyne in a word, make the same remon- should wake up the servants in the strance to Mr. Cunningham that a middle of the night to tell them what late Scotch peer did (we think some- has happened—and that not a shadow what prematurely) to Mr. Mathews of suspicion should light upon him or on a parallel occasion. The noble his accomplices, except from the cir. person we allude to had been to see cumstance of Simon Graeme and one of Mr. Mathews's Ar Homes, Mark Macgee being clandestinely and afterwards went into his dress- stationed so as to see two of the viling-room to congratulate him on his Jains depositing the body of Lord success. “ I admire your perform- Maxwell under a tree, and through ance much-it is quite charming the incantations and preternatural Your Frenchman is excellent, not forebodings of Mabel Moran, seems that I'm a judge myself, for I have to us quite out of the question. never been in France; but J
As to the introduction of spiritual says it's excellent ; so it must be so. machinery into the tragedy of Sir There is, however, one thing, my Marmaduke Maxwell, we do not, dear friend, that I would advise you nor are we disposed to object to it to-leave out your old Scotchwoman. generally, nor could we, if we would. Depend upon it, it won't do. It's Mr. Cunningham has too many, and bad. The Scotch dialect is a thing too great authorities on his side. that is at present quite obsolete, no- But we think he has brought real body understands it. In foc, mon, and fantastic apparitions into contact, we in Edinburgh now speak pure St. on one or two occasions, in a way to James's !” The serious Scottish distract the attention, and conseMuse may, at least, aspire to be upon quently to stagger belief. Thus a par with the good people of Edin- Halbert Comyne, when he visits Mas burgh.
bel Moran in the cave, is terrified The only important drawback on first by the real ghost of Lord Maxthe effect of the poem before us is well, deceased, and next by the prewhat strikes us as the improbability tended apparition of Lady Maxwell, of the main incident on which the who is still in the body. A real story hinges. Halbert Comyne and ghost, we certainly think, to chalhis comrades enter Caerlaverock lenge our faith, should have the Castle as old friends and acquaint- field to himself, and not enter the ances, and in the middle of his hall lists with the living. The contrast murder Lord Maxwell, and carry off annihilates the continuity of our ideas by force his wife and son, without its - the substantial spirit overlays the being once suspected by the servants shadowy one, and one or other is and neighbours that the deed was infallibly rendered ridiculous. We done by these unhallowed inmates. are frequently reminded, in the marWhat adds to the singularity is, that shalling of these dreadful appearanthey are not murdered or seized upon ces, of Richard and Macbeth. in their beds, or in some obscure But enough, and indeed too much of corner of the forest, but in the midst captious criticism. We will now of their own castle, the menials being proceed to lay before our readers one sent out of the way to a merry- or two passages, which will enable making for that express purpose. them to judge of the beauty and feThe discovery of this strange secret licity of execution to be found in this forms the chief business of the plot; attractive performance. and as it is continually recurred to, We give the following scene be
tween Lord and Lady Maxwell, as a Life's heavenly jewel to the pit ? and page, mild and interesting effusion of pa- With cap and cringing knee, him, match'd triotic and pastoral feelings.
with whom Lady Maxwell. Thou must not stand on
A murderer's hand is milk white, and the
brow earth, like a carved saint Which men do bow to, but which ne'er re
Of a gross peasant, smutch'd with hovel
The brow of an archangel ? Their gratulation.
Lord Marwell. Say no more : Lord Vaxwell. Love, there is a voice Still whispering, that all' we love or hate My Scotland, whilst one stone of thine is
left All we admire, exalt, or hope to compass, Till the stars wax dim amid our meditation,
Unturn'd by ruin's plowshare—while one Is but as words graved on the ocean sands, Grows green, untouchd by the destroyer's Which the returning tide blots out for ever. For I'm grown sick of the world's compa. While one foundation stone of palace or nionship,
church, Of camp and city, and life's pomp-the song Or shepherd's hovel
, stands unmoved by Of bards impassion'd, who rank earth's
The rocking of artillery - while one stream, With things immortal—of the gladsome Though curdling with warm life's blood, sound
can frequent Of dulcimer and flute--the corrupt tongue
Its natural track-while thou hold'st holy
dust O'the shrewd politician. O! for a rude Of princes, heroes, sages, though their graves
den In some vast desart—there I'd deem each
Flood ankle-deep in gore-O, I will love
thee, star, That lumined me in loneliness, was framed And weep for thee ;—and fight for thee,
while heaven To coronet my brows-that the bloom'd
Lends life, and thy worst foes are but of bough On which the wild bees cluster’d, when its And can feel temper'd steel.
flesh, Fill'd all the summer air, graced my hand Him thou so lovest, thy fiery cousin, he
Lady Maxwell. Oh! had we here
Who would have heir'd thee had I not been Than a dread sceptre : and the little birds
blest Would know us, love; the gray and plea- Above all hope in winning thee !--he was Would hang her mansion for her golden In execution swifter :-Halbert Comyne,
One bold in thought, and sudden in resolve; young Even in our woodland porch.
Of thee our peasants love to talk, and draw Lady Maxwell. Thy country's woes
Thy martial aspect, and thy merry glance Have robb’d thee of thy peace—have pluck'd Among the maids at milking time. Yet
they thy spirit Down from its heaven, and made sweet
Pause mid their rustic charactering, and
cough, sleep to thee The bitterest bliss of life.
And with a piece of proverb or old song Lord Maxwell. Is there a bosom
They close the tale, look grave, and shake
the head, Full of a loyal heart ?-Is there a knee That seeks the dust at eve?-a holy tongue,
And hope thou may'st be blest and bide abroad.
(P. 31, &c.) Whose orisons find heaven ? a noble mind, Whose pure blood has flow'd down through
The following soliloquy of Halbert the pure veins Of a thousand noble bosoms ?-a brave Comyne, in the beginning of the se
cond act, may challenge comparison Who loves his country's ancient name and with some of Shakspeare's delinealaw,
tions of moody, blood-thirsty misAnd the famed line of her anointed kings ? anthropy. Oh heaven! give him swift wings: the sword, the rack,
'Tis said there is an hour in the darkness, The halter, and whet axe hold him in chace,
when And make a den of Scotland, for the fiends Man's brain is wondrous fertile, if nought To howl and revel in.
holy Lady Maxwell. But shall we sit, Mix with his musings. Now, whilst seekEven as the dove does on the doom'd tree
ing this, top,
I've worn some hours away ; yet my brain's Until the axe strews to the weazel's tooth
dull, Her young ones in their down ?- shall we As if a thing call'd grace stuck to my heart, go cast
And sickend resolution. Is my soul tamed
And baby-rid with the thought that flood And, with a heart e'en soft as new press'd
curd, Can render back, to scare men and the Away he walk'd to wooe. He swore he moon,
loved her : The airy shapes of the corses they en
She said, cream curds were sweeter than womb
lord's love : And what if it is so ? Shall I lose the crown He vow'd 'twas pretty wit, and he would Of my most golden hope, because its circle
wed her : Is haunted by a shadow ? Shall I go wear
She laid her white arm round the fond Five summers of fair looks ---sigh shreds
loril's neck, of psalms,
And said his pet sheep ate her cottage kale, Pray in the desart till I fright the fox, And they were naughty beasts. And so Gaze on the cold moon and the cluster'd they talk'd; stars,
And then they made their bridal bed i' the And quote some old man's saws 'bout grass, crowns above,
No witness but the moon. So this must Watch with wet eyes at death-beds, dandle pluck the child,
Things from my heart I've hugg'd since I And cut out elder whistles for him who
could count knocks
What horns the moon had. There has Red earth from clouted shoon ? Thus may
been with me I buy
A time of tenderer heart, when soft love Scant praise from tardy lips ; and when I hung die,
Around this beadsman's neck such a fair Some ancient hind will scratch, to scare the string owl,
Of what the world calls virtues, that I stood A death's head on my grave-stone. If I Even as the wilder'd man who dropp'd his
staff, May the spectres dog my heels of those C And walk'd the way it fell to. I am now slew
More fiery of resolve. This night I've I' the gulph of battle ; wise men cease
wiped their faith
The milk of kindred mercy from my lips ; In the sun's rising ; soldiers no more trust I shall be kin to nought but my good blade, The truth of temper'd steel. I never lovedAnd that when the blood gilds it that flows him.
between He topt me as a tree that kept the dew Me and my cousin's land.-Who's there? And balmy south wind from me: fair
(P. 40, &c.) maids smiled ;
The following speech of the enGlad minstrels sang; and he went lauded amoured Sir Marmaduke is tender forth,
and beautiful. Like a thing dropt from the stars. At every step
How sweet is this night's stillness :-soft Stoop'd hoary heads unbonneted; white
and bright caps
Heaven casts its radiance on the streams, Hung in the air ; there was clapping of
and they hard palms,
Lie all asleep, and tell the vaulted heaven And shouting of the dames. All this to him The number of her stars. I see the doves Was as the dropping honey ; but to me Roosting in pairs on the green pine tree tops; 'Twas as the bitter gourd. Thus did I The distant ocean 'mid the moonlight hang,
heaves, As his robe's tassel, kissing the dust, and All cluster'd white with sleeping water flung
fowl.Behind him for boys' shouts, for cotman's Now where the moon her light spills on yon dogs
towers, To bay and bark at. Now from a far land, I turn my sight, but not that I may try From fields of blood, and extreme peril Í If her chaste circle holds a world more worth come,
Man's worshipping than this. See-seeLike an eagle to his rock, who finds his nest
oh see Fill'd with an owlet's young.- For he had Lights at her window !_blessed is the air
Her blooming cheek that kisses :- looks she One summer's eve a milkmaid with her pail, forth, And, 'cause her foot was white, and her To see if earth hold aught that's worth her green gown
love ? Was spun by her white hand, he fell in Olet me steal one look at her sweet face love :
For she doth still turn her dark eyes from Then did he sit and pen an amorous ballad ; me; "Tien did he carve her name in plum-tree And she is silent as yon silver star
That shows her dwelling place. (P. 44.)'