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seen that the lady has acquitted herself well, evidently borrowing the spirit and feeling of the passage, without giving a servile transcript.We doubt if Victor Hugo, the prince of modern dramatists, or Delavigne himself would have handled such a passage in a more striking and effective manner. There are weak points here and there, and one or two more serious faults, but not such as to obscure the general merit and vigorous spirit of the drama. Char. Oh that delicious voyage! you remember;

'Twas I sat at the helm, and play'd the syren. Iras. And I a nymph to greet our sovereign lady.

That was a sight for gods! I see it yet-
The stately barge--the poop all blazing gold-
The purple sails outspread to catch the sun-beams-
Swelling to th’amorous sighs of perfumn'l gales.
Then the proud rowers, with quick flashing eye,
In each dark hand grasping a silver oar,
The masts gay garlanded with wreaths of flowers,
And everywhere those sportive elf-forms, deck’d,
Like Cupids, with their glad eyes laughingly

Bent on their queen! oh brave!
Cleo. (smiling).

It was a day.
And he who came t'accuse-to call me rebel?
Iras. Gods! how amazed he stood, dazzled with beauty.
Cleo. Yet when I sail'd, compelled to justify me,

I went array'd-as to a sacrifice.
He swore to punish me-I had fed the hate
Of that stern Brutus ! all excuse were vain
The dread suspicion flash'd—'twas on my lips-
He spoke not o' the “last Roman" all that day!
Ah ! how I love the memory of that triumph!
What joy of joys! as then, again he'll see me:
I'll wear the gem-bright links that bound him there
A willing slave--the chain he wore and toy'd with-
Haste-bring it me!

Act II., Scene 11. Now for a single passage from our glorious and immortal poet, not with any idea of cruelly annihilating a lady, but to show the resemblances in description-in expression there can be none-and to point out how fairly and skilfully she has made use of so splendid a model without trenching too closely upon dangerous and “ holy ground.”

The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Beam'd on the water; the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them-the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke-and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description-she did lie
In her pavilion (cloth of gold of tissue,)
O'er picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy out-work nature:-on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.

Antony and Cleopatra. With both the preceding, let us just for dramatic curiosity' sake, compare Corneille's young Cleopatra, arrayed in all the attractions of seventeen, in all the charm of sensitive, bright and blooming girlhood-not yet either the accomplished woman, or the queen. Cleo. The souls of princes should be royal-clear

Pure as their blood-born with the stamp of honour

Making high thoughts and acts their ruling passion.
A generous fire should kindle all to glory-
Reflect on all its splendour, where they trust

Their greatness, and prove true to their high mission.
And then of her youthful love for the great Julius, she nobly says,

I nurse my passion like the holy fire
No mortal taint may touch-a love even worthy

Of Cæsar's fame.
Char. And you possess his heart?
Cleo. Learn that the princess who respects her fame

When she has said she loves, must be beloved,
And that the generous fires which kindle hearts
To honour true-dare not expose to shame

Or the least soil of man's contempt, such passion.
And once again, when charged with ambition, she exclaims,

Yes ! I'm ambitious ; I adore the sun
Of the aspiring soul-be it vice - be it virtue;
Guard it and cherish as the one bright passion
Should fire all princes to divinest action;
Yet 'tis true glory I would have them aim at,
A greatness without blot-and spurn a throne,

Were it to win with crime and ignominy. From Pompée, Act II. It would appear from all these generous and magnanimous sentiments, as if the extremes and contradictions said to have formed the character of Cleopatra had been severally represented, and in parts, by her dramatisers, rather than combined and harmonised in one and the same picture. Shakspeare's—the closest to nature-presents the infinite variety that never stales ;" Corneille's aspires to a dignity and grandeur almost “ above all Greek, above all Roman fame," while Madame de Girardin's is the grand intellectual creation, the accomplished woman full of talent and genius, but the criminal and abandoned queen. Perhaps none embrace the singularly contradictory and indescribable features, we might almost call them transformations, of her witch-like character. The description so wildly dashed off by Collins in his “ Ode to the Passions,” would seem best to embody our ideas of what Cleopatra was, or perhaps like her Egypt's own sphynx-a mystery and an enigma to all who have studied it.

In the succeeding scenes, Mark Antony struggles manfully for his liberty, but no ambition, no jealousy, no fears of Cæsar, could parry the resistless weapons, the arts of the Protean Queen. He steals upon her in disguise, to surprise and convict her ; but it is only to remain faster enchained, and his heroic lieutenant succeeds only for the moment in exciting a feeling of honour and indignation, till he at last whispers in his ear :

Ven. Come! come! the slave is there! what, no more jealous-
Ant. (apart.) Away ! that word rekindles all my rage.
(aloud.) Farewell, then ! in two days-

And must I bear it ? Antony then departs with Ventidius, and Cleopatra, after gazing after them for a time, raises her head, and speaks in a low voice to Charmian.

Quick! let my spies report me what they do,
Who wait them at the port. They lied—they falter'd-
I'll feign the dupe, and loose their chain, the better,
To bind them fast-to sift, and to forestall them.
Go, bid Seleucus try his utmost art
To gain the secret of their flight-nor dally.

Cleo.

From the royal terrace she beholds the sails of Antony, already unfurled to the breeze. C leo. 'Tis he! see, he embarks ! ye gods-he dare!

Oh ! my heart's torments, and what dread suspicion

Haunts every thought. Iras.

Fear not! they make the port ! Here the Greek slave is seen with a bow crossing the stage, in the distance.

Cleo. Hark! heard you not a stealthy step?
Iras.

'Twas but
The evening zephyr playing 'mong the leaves.
Cleo. 'Twas some one.
Char.

No ! be calm, my royal lady.
Cleo. There, on the wall! the shadow of a bow

Stretch'd to the arrow-head! there, by the Sphynx.
An arrow falls at the queen's feet.
Cleo. Girls ! said I not an arrow! now I know

Cæsar, thy infamous arts-the archer thine,

The aim at me.
Char. (picking up the arrow.) My queen, it is a missive.
Cleo. Laugh at my terror, girls ! and yet how came it-

Deceiv'd my guard ? What says the arrow? Read !
Char. “Queen ! Antony is false—you hope in vain”.
Cleo. (seizing it, reads.) “ Unworthy slave ! he scorns thy yoke divine.

His old ambition cloys: he joins with Cæsar-
He weds Octavia. Be not angry with
The legate of this dark perfidious treaty :
To Egypt's queen 'tis due to speak the truth.”
Ah, Cæsar's sister ! now the mystery's clear.
He shuon'd the ligl:t of a display too public,
Conceald he enter'd, lay concealed within
My palace walls—to ransom his caged spirit,
And wage a last war with the tyrant-Love,
Perfidious conquest o'er a passion chillid-
True to his nature-dupe--and doubly cheated-
Humble and lofty-player, hero, and buffoon-
Bewailing Cæsar-flattering his murderers-
I know him! the same man who robb'd the house
Of the great Pompey at Rome-slew Cicero
Most vilely-mean and dastard in resentment !
Death for a speech, that tongue of glorious truth
Cut to the gorge ; shame, shame! and yet I lov'd him.
Who shall dare say it-lov'd as I lov'd Cæsar?
Never! I heed him not-ah! wretch, what sayst thou?
When e'en the thought is death ! to fly, to love
Another! is't true? the mad and insolent!
Quit me-prefer the Roman matron-proud,
Silent, and sad—who is she-who dare contest
In power with Cleopatra ?

Act II., Scene iv. She summons her secretary, Diomed ; questions him about Octavia, whom he had seen at Rome, and commands Iras to accompany her. She will that night set out in the disguise of a Greek slave for Tarentum, and the next scene opens in its villa-gardens.

Ventidius is exhorting
Antony to remain firm, and act the hero.
Ven. 'Tis thou alone can breast our fortune's currents-

Direct Rome's struggles-rampart afresh our rights-
Save from the rocks on which thy rival drives us.
What is our ancient valour-freedom-virtue ?
A shadow-Rome's last hope her rival tyrants.

Leave us at least the dream of what once was-
Respect its vestiges ! league not with Cæsar,
Or Rome and Romans perish your pride's victims.

That my experience tells me.
In vain he seeks to inspire Antony with magnanimous ideas; he is
eager only to patch up a peace with Octavius, become the emperor of the
East, and the paramour of Cleopatra.
Ant. You'd have me strike at the boy-power of Cæsar?

Then let's away ! for here I am a slave ;
'Tis Cleopatra arms me for the battle.
Egypt's my country; there I reign imperial,
There boast my love, my court ! live as it lists me-
Where none dare lecture, and I'm thought a god.
But in this forum a dark spectre haunts me,
And makes me rage and fear. Stern Tully eyes me ;
I hear his voice; I feel his thunders strike me
Silent, transfix'd. Rome holds but him-even now
I see him; its very echoes vaunt his accents.

Act 111., Scene I. This harrowing feeling of the guilty mind produces a powerful impression, after Cleopatra's passionate denunciations in the preceding scene. A short, cold scene between Antony and Octavius is followed by the appearance of Cleopatra, disguised as a Greek slave. While concealed behind a colonnade, Octavius and his sister enter. She beholds her hated Roman rival; she hears her intercede for Mark Antony with all the magnanimity of a heroine ; and is excited to the highest pitch of jealousy and despair. Octavius grants her request, and then withdraws. It is then Cleopatra bursts from her concealment, and exclaims :

Cleo. This torture is too great.
Iras. (in sudden terror.) Ye gods! ah save us!
Octavia advances towards them; she inquires what has happened.
Iras. 'Tis a young slave-a Greek—just reach'd Tarentum.
Oct. She is pale—she suffers-speak, what is your name?
Iras. She does not know your language-is from Athens,

Torn from her family.
Oct.

She interests me strangely.
I would enfranchise her--give liberty-

Peace-
Iras.

What joy! Oct.

Philotas must attend her, He is skill'd in his own art-he saved my children, (to Iras.) Let him be call’d-and take all care of her. Act III., Scene V.

The writer has acted judiciously in leaving much to be imagined by the audience ; she gives only the impression of such a scene on Cleopatra.. Deeply humiliated, she exclaims with the concentrated energy of grief, Cleo. Iras! 'tis time we were gone-Antony's faithless.

He loves, he is bound to love.
Iras.

But what said Cæsar?
That he ador'd you.
Cleo.

She defended him.
Iras. The senate's rebel ! such he's pronounced.
Cleo.

And then how lovely!
Iras. Fair! but no beauty without art can please him.
Cleo. Antony hates Cæsar, but respects his sister.

Yes! thy weak pity balms my wounds in vain.
I've seen Octavia, and I know my fate,
Seek Diomed, bid him prepare all sail,

'Tis in his skill our lives, our allJan.-VOL. LSXXII, NO, cccxxv.

I

Iras.

I haste. Cleopatra now indulges in a soliloquy too long for any audience, except a French one. It is relieved by the spirited scene which follows. The Greek slave, whom she believes dead, like her bad angel, still hovers round her, and at length confronts her, as she thus darkly alludes to him:Cleo. True, I lov'd Cæsar! 'twas his wish to espouse me,

And of what other love lives man to accuse me ?
The past? my priests shall answer, “she is spotless,"

Then who shall say aught or of crime or shame? (She perceives him.) Thou, thou! art come, dread shade, to warn me whence ?

From shadowy worlds, funereal gloom? who op'd thee
Those doors of death, clos'd on my silent victims,
To visit me ? I who pronounc'd myself

Without shame or remorse.
Slave.

Hear me, oh queen.
Cleo. He knows me: lies cannot deceive the dead.

Art come for vengeance?
Slave.

I, who love thee, vengeance ?
Cleo. To insult, to crush me? by proclaiming-
Slave.

What?
Insult a queen to whom we kneeling speak?
I am here to save you! fly, you are deceiv'd,
And grieve not, royal lady, that death's prey

Was snatch'd from him-nor think I glory in it.
Cleo. What when I'd murder thee? wouldst love, wouldst save me?
Slave. Ay! laugh at death, what is't for love like thine!

Oh queen!
Cleo.

But such a death!
Slave.

I quaff 'd it joyously,
It was for thee, and if I liv'd'twas only
To hate thy foes-reveal their treachery-

'Twas I who sent the arrow. Cleo.

Ah! foul plot
That gave him to another's arms! he scorns me.
Slave. Never! who once has seen must wish thee ever,

Who once blest with thy love, love thee, thee only.

No beauty more can render him unfaithful.
Cleo. (in a triumphant tone.) He will return
Slave.

Trembling to seek thy chains.
He loves thee still ! I feel it by my hate.
Cleo. Ile comes! it is his voice, I ought to know it!
Slave. Then to thy covert, slave! for lo! thy master !

[Erit.

Act III., Scene VII. In this, and similar scenes, Mademoiselle Rachel must have taxed her powers to give dignity to a source of interest so dubious; and there is one which, had it been previously submitted to her acknowledged tact and judgment, would have been considerably modified, if not suppressed. It is that between Cleopatra and Octavia, in which very personal and lively epithets are exchanged—rather a petty conflict of two rival scolds than queenly aspirers to the heart of Antony. Had the writer always observed the rules laid down by Aristotle, and recommended by Horace and Boileau, to preserve the dignity of tragedy; had she read William Schlegel as much as William Shakspeare, or Corneille, she would have avoided some errors in taste and judgment—those "cineres dolosos,” so difficult even for the best actors to pass over without burning their toes, incurring the vengeance of the gods,” and risking the failure of the piece. If surmounted, they must add another leaf to Mademoiselle Rachel's well-earned laurels; and

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