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pathetic scenes. To this class belong the Lady of Pleasure, Hyde Park, the whimsical play of Love in a Maze, the Constant Maid, the Gamester, the Example, and one or two others. Shirley's comic, like his tragic powers, are rather fertile and various than rich and original; he is easy and playful rather than broad and vigorous. Of course, even his more serious and tragic plays are relieved, according to the invariable practice of his school, by the humours of the clown or the buffoon. In some of the romantic tragic-comedies, as in the Sisters, a play which we cannot but think might succeed on the modern stage, the main interest is altogether comic; and even in this last class, the comedy of Manners, occur many of those passages of gentle and quiet sweetness, which are characteristic of Shirley. As a satirical painter of manners, as a playful castigator of the fashions, the follies, the humours of the day, he is to Jonson what, in his serious efforts, he is to Fletcher. In all such pictures the very excellence, in some degree, endangers the lasting popularity; the more accurately the resemblance of the poet's own times is drawn, the more alien it is to the habits and feelings of modern days; in

precise proportion that such pieces are valuable to the antiquarian, they are obsolete and unintelligible to the common reader. Much, therefore, of the zest and raciness of the following scene must, of course, be lost; it is from the Lady of Pleasure, a play which, but for one wanton and unnecessary blemish, might be quoted almost throughout as a very curious and lively description of fashionable manners in the days of Charles I. Aretina, the wife of Sir Thomas Bornwell, is the Lady Townley, or the Lady Teazle, of an older date :

Steward. Be patient, Madam; you may have your pleasure.

Lady Bornwell. "Tis that I came to town for. I would not
Endure again the country conversation,
To be the lady of six shires! The men,
So near the primitive making, they retain
A sense of nothing but the earth ; their brains,
And barren heads standing as much in want
Of ploughing as their ground. To hear a fellow
Make himself merry and his horse, with whistling
Sellinger's Round! To observe with what solemnity
They keep their wakes, and throw for pewter candlesticks !
How they become the morris, with whose bells
They ring all in to Whitsun-ales ; and sweat,
Through twenty scarfs and napkins, till the hobby-horse
Tire, and the Maid Marian, dissolv'd to a jelly,
Be kept for spoon meat!
Stew. These, with your pardon, are no argument

To

To make the country life appear so hateful;
At least to your particular, who enjoy'd
A blessing in that calm, would you be pleas'd
To think so, and the pleasure of a kingdom;
While your own will commanded what should move
Delights, your husband's love and power join'd
To give your life more harmony. You liv'd there
Secure, and innocent, beloved of all;
Prais'd for your hospitality, and pray'd for :
You might be envied; but malice knew
Not where you dwelt. I would not prophesy,
But leave to your own apprehension,
What may succeed your change.

Lady B. You do imagine,
No doubt, you have talk'd wisely, and confuted
London past all defence. Your master should
Do well to send you back into the country,
With title of superintendent-bailiff.
Stew. How, Madam!

Enter Sir THOMAS BORNWELL.
Born How now? What's the matter?
Stew. Nothing, Sir.
Born. Angry, sweetheart ?

Lady B. I am angry with myself,
To be so miserably restrain'd in things,
Wherein it doth concern your love and honour
To see me satisfied.

Born. In what, Aretina,
Dost thou accuse me? Have I not obey'd
All thy desires ? against mine own opinion
Quitted the country, and removed the hope
Of our return, by sale of that fair lordship
We lived in ? changed a calm and retired life
For this wild town, compos'd of noise and charge ?

Lady B. What charge, more than is necessary for
A lady of my birth and education ? .....

Born. Your charge of gaudy furniture, and pictures
Of this Italian master, and that Dutchman;
Your mighty looking-glasses, like artillery,
Brought home on engines; the superfluous plate,
Antique and novel; vanities of tires;
Four-score pound suppers for my lord your kinsman,
Banquets for t’ other lady aunt, and cousins,
And perfumes that exceed all: train of servants,
To stifle us at home, and shew abroad
More motley than the French or the Venetian,
About your coach, whose rude postillion
Must pester every narrow lane, till passengers
And tradesmen curse your choking up their stalls ;

And

And common cries pursue your ladyship,
For hindering of their market.

Lady B. Have you done, sir?

Born. I could accuse the gaiety of your wardrobe,
And prodigal embroideries, under which
Rich satins, plushes, cloth of silver, dare
Not shew their own complexions ; your jewels,
Able to burn out the spectators' eyes,
And shew like bonfires on you by the tapers :
I could urge something more.

Lady B. Pray do, I like
Your homily of thrift.

Born. I could wish, madam,
You would not game so much.

Lady B. A gamester too !

Born. But are not come to that acquaintance yet,
Should teach you skill enough to raise your profit.
You look not through the subtilty of cards,
And mysteries of dice ; nor can you save
Charge with the box, buy petticoats and pearls,
And keep your family by the precious income;
Nor do I wish you should : my poorest servant
Shall not upbraid my tables, nor his hire,
Purchas'd beneath my honour. You make play
Not a pastime but a tyranny, and vex
Yourself and my estate by it.

Lady B. Good! proceed.

Born. Another game you have, which consumes more
Your fame than purse ; your revels in the night,
Your meetings callid THE BALL, to which repair,
As to the court of pleasure, all your gallants,
And ladies, thither bound by a subpæna
Of Venus, and small Cupid's high displeasure;
'Tis but the Family of Love translated
Into more costly sin !

Lady B. Have you concluded ?

Born. I have done ; and howsoever
My language may appear to you, it carries
No other than my fair and just intent
To

your delights, without curb to their modest And noble freedom.- vol. iv., pp. 5-10. We conclude with a few observations on this . editio princeps' of Shirley. The plays, as we have before observed, were collected, arranged, and edited by the late Mr. Gifford; and his was a task of no light labour-for never had unhappy author suffered so much from careless and ignorant printers as Shirley. Some errors of the press, which have either crept into this edition or have remained uncorrected, show that the keen eye of that most accurate 'scholar was somewhat bedimmed before his work was concluded; but the fame of Shirley is deeply indebted to the collector of his dramas. Many passages of poetry, which had been crowded into halt and disjointed prose, have been brought back, as near as possible, to their original harmonious flow: in some places, the sense, which might have appeared irrevocably lost, by the dislocation of sentences and the transposition of lines, has been restored by conjectural emendations, both bold and felicitous; in others, where words or lines have been lost, the hiatus is marked, and the reader is spared much unprofitable waste of time, iu endeavouring to elucidate the meaning of vocables which might seem cast at random from the types.* No one, in short, who has not attempted to acquaint himself with the beauties of Shirley's drama, through the old quartos, can appreciate the luxury of reading them in the clearer letter, and more genuine text of the present edition. Mr. Dyce has performed his humbler task as editor of the poems, with his accustomed ability; and, on the whole, it is no fault of the edition, if justice be not at length fairly done to the merit of Shirley. One of his cotemporary poets ventured to prophesy,

accurate

That ages yet to come shall hear and see,

When dead, thy works a living elegy. For the first time, in the nineteenth century, this elegy has been removed from the obscure and inaccessible quarter where it had long mouldered unseen; it has been transcribed in legible characters; and fully asserts the claim of this last of our Elizabethan dramatists, to be admitted to a high place among the second class of the poetical hierarchy of England.

Art. II.-Mémoires de René Le Vasseur, de la Sarthe, ex-Con

ventionnel. 4 vols. Paris. 1829-1832. THESE Mémoires profess to be written by one Le Vasseur, an

old Jacobin and regicide, who is still, or lately was alive, and are preceded by an introduction and a biographical notice avowedly from the pen of an editor, M. Achille Roche.

We had not, however, read half-a-dozen pages of the Mémoires before we began to suspect that they were not the actual composition of Le Vasseur—that this was a fresh instance of French fabrication, and that the editor was also substantially the author. As we proceeded in our perusal, this suspicion became certainty. We did not doubt that M. Roche might have had some communication with Le Vasseur and his sanction for the use of his name, but it was evident that Roche was the writer of the whole, and that Le Vasseur's share in the work must be very

* In the fine and eloquent tragedy of Chabot, the obscurity of Chapman's man. ner, the hardness of which his contemporaries called his 'full and heightened style,' is greatly increased by the incorrectness of the press. This play, as bearing the name of Shirley in its title-page, conjoined with that of Chapman, onght not to have been omitted: yet it is very difficult to assign any part of it to Shirley; even the comic scenes are more in Chapman's close and pregnant manner than in the light and airy style of Shirley

that

inconsiderable. We noted, as we read, several proofs of fabrication which we intended to lay before our readers; but when we came to the conclusion of the fourth volume (which was published two years after the first), we found that we might spare ourselves the trouble of a critical examination of that point, for that the fact of fabrication, to the full extent we suspected, had been already established in a court of justice.

The case was this. The two first volumes were published in 1829, and in Feb. 1830 they were prosecuted before the tribunal de police correctionelle, as immoral and seditious—as a justification of regicide, irreligion, and anarchy; and on the trial it appeared, that Roche had been employed by the son of Le Vasseur to edite his father's memoirs under the following circumstances.

Le Vasseur the younger says, that his father had a wish to write his own apology, and had in fact made many scattered memoranda, but that his great age and infirmities (he was above eighty) had interrupted his work. He gave, however, these notes to the son, who put them into some kind of order, and with the help of verbal explanations from the old gentleman, and large extracts from the Moniteur, completed a manuscript-equivalent in size to about one volume. On his return to Paris he offered this volume to the bookseller Rapilly. In the then state of France, an apology for regicide and a panegyric on the republic fell in luckily with the conspiracy

de quinze ans,' against the legitimate monarchy, which was already so far matured as to have obtained full possession of the press ; and Rapilly entered readily into the speculation ; but one volume, he said, would never do-it must be swelled into four at least, in order to make it lucrative as well as mischievous—for these liberals have always a careful eye to the main chance. Le Vasseur consented; a young litterateur, M. Roche, was selected for the business--and into his hands the manuscript was delivered. The bookseller's evidence, and the sentence of the court, describe the manuscript delivered to Roche as being only heads of chapters and scattered materials for about one volume; but Le Vasseur the younger, alarmed for his profits, is very indignant with the bookseller for having given so poor an account of his materials ; ' which were not,' he says, ' scattered, but collected by himself into a volume. Both these stories may be true--the bookseller's substantially-Le Vasseur's verbally. The materials were, we have

no

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