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There is nothing, therefore, to be But the procession of the Misses wondered at or to be explained, re- Molly has past by—and we again look specting our dramatic genius. With upon men. Now men do not come the exception of Byron-no living poet forward at the Cockney cry. Who deacknowledged to possess first-rate manded Childe Harold ? Who were powers-las attempted the drama- mutinous for Marmion? Who asked and yet they have all eminently suc- for the Scotch Novels, and they came? ceeded. We say eminently--for Ba- Who ordered Wordsworth to write sil, Remorse, the City of the Plague, his exquisite Lyrical Ballads, and they and the Fall of Jerusalem, affect were written? Their own souls instithe mind as strongly as any other gated these men to their work. God modern poetry whatever ; and yet none created these poets—and they were of them seem to be equal to what true to their nature. Cockneys also the genius of their respective au- have been created, and they are true thors might produce. Had all cur to theirs. But it was reserved to the great poets tried the drama, and failed spirit of atheism of an age, to talk of in it-or had our inferior poets all a Cockney writing a tragedy. When tried it, and written mere stuff-then the mind ceases to believe in a Provithere would have been something puz- dence, it can believe in any thing else ; zling in the case, and we should cer- but the pious soul feels that while to tainly have called on the Schlegels to dream, even in sleep, that a Cockney explain it But, as it is, it so happens had written a successful tragedy, would that only one poet, deemed great, has be repugnant to reason ; certainly a written dramas, and very good ones;
more successful comedy could not be and several other poets, not deemed imagined, than the utter destruction great, have also written dramas, and of Cockaigne and all its inhabitants
. very good ones; and from these pre- An earthquake, or a shower of lara
, mises it does certainly not seem a very
wonld be too complimentary to the lawful deduction, that the present age Cockneys; but what would you think is unaccountably deficient in dramatic of a shower of soot from a multitude genius.
of foul chimneys, and the smell of gas The truth is, that, every now and from exploded pipes? Something might then, some senseless clamour or an- be made of the idea. other, is set up about the state of li
When Byron published his drama terature, and for a time prevails. -the Doge these authors of success“ Give us dramas,” is now all the ery. ful tragedies, forscoth, and all their At first it was only the cry of the Cockney cronies of the daily or weekly Cockneys; and, indeed, none but press, declared that his Lordship hede Cockneys have bestirred themselves at the cry. But the voice of the town is got himself. They had themselves
no dramatic genius-that he never for not the voice of the country. Prigs shewn that it is easy for a man to foto will be preaching-and nothing but get himself, and yet be no dramatie conceit cometh out of Cockaigne. What genius. But the truth is, that these an emasculated band of dramatists mongrel and doggrel drivellers have an have deployed upon our boards! A instinctive abhorrence of a true poet; pale-faced, sallow
set, like the Misses and they all ran out like so many curs of some Cockney boarding-school, ta- baying at the feet of the Pegasus king a constitutional walk, to get rid which Byron rode. One kick was of their habits of eating lime out of enough for one critic. What could
, since ly Procter, Virginia Knowles, and that they never saw Kean in that characa Irish gentleman, who conceived “The ter? -They cannot conceive a drama kol Bridal Night” to be a tragedy in five acted on the theatre of the Alps, with acts. My conscience-but there is a storm-clouds for a Milesian for you with a vengeance! lamps, and an orchestra of cataracts.
irea per as they go ! The tear is in every side, and little back-parlour incest
, eye, and the
drop at every nose ! Pray what could they imagine of the unit who is that smock-faced eunuch, min- duceable spirit of the spotless Angio author_ of The cing his way in the procession ? “ The lina, happy in the guardian affection GEDY!!!” We can no more.
of her father's noble friend ? -When Elliston, ignorant of what one gentle
curtain, stars for
an owes to another, or driven by stu- ment, who is not a contributor to our Edity to forget it, brought the Doge Work ; but that circumstance has no n the stage, how crowed the Bantam influence on our judgment; and when
; ocks of Cockaigne to see it damned ! a clever contributor writes a bad book, he hen-like cackle of the chicken- we tell him so without any scruple, earted tragedian was heard in pit and not doubting that he will write a good allery, and folly shook its bells on one the next time. At first we gave ne alleged failure of a great genius, offence by our candour; and indeed 2 what he had never attempted. neither Mr Brougham nor Sir James
But Manfred and the Doge are not. Macintosh have written in this Magaead; while all that small fry have zine for some years ; but they were so isappeared in the mud, and are dried much accustomed to praise themselves p like so many tadpoles in a ditch, in the Edinburgh Review, that our nder the summer drowth.
strict justice was not found by them “ Lord Byron,” quoth Mr Leigh to be palatable-so that they write sunt, “ has about as much dramatic now, we believe, almost exclusively in enius as OURSELVES!!" He might that Work, and its illustrious coadjus well have said, “ Lucretia had tor, the Morning Chronicle. bout as much chastity as my own he
Dramas of the Ancient oine in Rimini ;” or, “ Sir Philip World” are not arranged in chronoloydney was about as much of the gen- gical order, and are entitled, “ The leman as myself!".
Deluge, the Plague of Darkness, the Now, gentle reader, the hints you Last Plague, Rizpah, Sardanapalus, lave been perusing about dramatic ge- the Destiny of Cain, the Death of Cain, tius and so forth, were jotted down and the Nereid's Love." y us as materials for an introduction “ The Destiny of Cain," and " The o a critique on Lord Byron's new vo- Death of Cain," are, as it were, two ume. But unluckily for us, and for parts of one dramatic poem. It opens ur Magazine, Mr Murray has pub- with a scene in the country at sunished on a most absurd day of the rise, where a band of youths and nonth, and we must go to press with- maidens are assembled to watch the ut his Lordship. Accordingly, we great luminary, and to hail its aplave not taken the trouble of writing a pearance with gratulatory hymns. regular introduction to a critique which While these innocent and happy bes not to exist ; but have merely strung ings are engaged in poetical responses, i few thoughts together, of which the an alarm is given, and :eader may make the most he can,
6 A Youth enters hastily. hough at the same time we are conident that they are extremely shrewd
Break off! break off and judicious.
Your sacred ceremonies, holy songs ; However, though we have not Lord Descend this mountain, for a stranger step Byron's volume, we have another in Pollutes its holiness !-A giant form hand, which comforts us, in some de- Of demon grandeur doth ascend its steep, gree, under the disappointment, and With threatening gestures, and with rolling from which we think some extracts Strain’d and distorted, and his lips with
eyes may be given, not equal certainly to
foam the best things that may be to be found Are cover'd, a5d his hair doth stand erect, in the “ Mystery,” but far above me- Disclosing on his brow a horrid stain, diocrity, and decisive of this author In hue like that red flower, but not so being a man of talents and of genius; bright !his name is David Lyndsay, and that His words are curses !-And unto our God is all we know of him, except that he Franticly doth he toss his mighty arms, once or twice sent us some dramatic And strides with giant step of desperation! sketches for this Magazine.
It is an evil angel, or that fiend We write, therefore, now, as indeed Which did beguile our mother! "always, without fear or favour; and
Fly! Oh fly! the extracts will speak for themselves. It is the murderer Cain ?-The wretch who
Far worse than evil angel he who comes ! If we were not the most incorruptible
bears of critics, we do not very well know Blood on his soul and brow. Away ! he is how we should manage with literary The elder-born of Murder, he hath slain men in general. There is scarcely an Man..--And his God hath cursed him ! author of any mérit, in any depart- Fly ! Oh fly! Vol. X.
He hath admitted Death into our world, Shakes, while I pause upon her breas.-
Not here my place of refuge !"
The next scene opens on the coast, To curse us with his presence, and to and the time is evening ; so that the choose
imagination has to feel that Cain had From our dear hills new victims !-Hence, all day long been driven onwards in away!
his frantic career, and from an inland Hear him not, see him not ! Earth's region had reached the sea. Jared, children, fly
a Patriarch, and his sons and daughTh’ abhorred of his mother ;-she who ters, have just finished their day's shakes
bour, and are about to retire to the And groans beneath his tread, th' unna- well-earned banquet of the night, when
the murderer The horror-struck, the wand’rer !--Hark! the bloody sign that flames upon
and concealing he comes ! His eye doth bear pollution.-Shun it !.
brow, he entreats permission to rest Fly!”
a while in these fields of peace. It is Cain the Murderer, and the
I am Cain, hymning troop disperse in horror and The first-born of mankind, the elder son consternation. Cain, whose doom it Of this world's children, the second man is to wander forever over the earth, Who breath'd the air of earth. and to find no rest on its bosom, which Our homes, our herds, our riches, are thine
Great father, stay! quakes and shudders as soon as he pauses in his flight, breaks forth into Live but among thy children, —from thy
own, the following passionate exclamation :
face “ Lonely and sad, one victim. I will on, Throw down thy shaggy mantle, and perPursue, destroy ;-I will walk o'er this mit earth,
Our eyes to gaze upon the hallowed brow And leave the track of footsteps dyed in Of fair earth's elder-born !
My brow !-Thou shalt ! I will sweep off all living from her face, 'Tis not permitted that I should conceal And be but one!-alone! Azura shunn'd My features longer. must tell thee,
Why thus--but wherefore dost thou groan, Fled from my horror-breathing sight, and sought
My face is to thee known ? The bosom of her father. What is there Jared.
Son of the world, Now left of hope for me, not peace !-Ha, Vo sound escaped my lips, nor did I hear power!
Aught from another's. What if I spare these gaudy sons of joy, Cain. No!-Again !-It comes Who sing away their lives in gentle sliades, Up from the earth,—it is my brother's And live their master !_Yes, dominion blood shall
Groaning from depths immeasurable ! Blot out remembrance, and softer thoughts Stili Be banish'd by its powers. Hope and love Crying aloud, as once before it cried Died with the murder'd Abel ! --Rage and Unto the stern avenger,--and the earth, strength
Heaveth again beneath me. Shall I on ? Live with the wanderer Cain. Come, ab- Not here my place of rest ;– I will not ! jects, come!
, return ! provoke me not to tear I will not heed these signs.-What should Your fear-bound bodies from the dreary I fear
Even from their utmost vengeance ?Where ye lie crouching! Trust not my Power divine fierce hands;
Hath chain’d their devastating strength to They that spared not a brother, will not me, pause
And bade all danger shun me. Earth may To dash your dainty forms against the gape, rocks,
But dare not swallow !_Lightnings fierce Spoiling the symmetry of those light limbs,
may play And leaving them a bleeding lump of clay, Around my brows, but harmlessly, they Like his who_horrible remembrance, die ! know Let me a moment rest-one moment stay The mark, and dare not strike !—I will In these soft groves untortur'd!Hark! defy them, Of the denying thunder, and the earth
And rest here,—even here. Now, wonder
Look on the face which thou hast pray'd to
66 So I could shun but man ! But what see,
is that It is the brow of Cain !
Which darkly moveth on the water's edge ? Enos.
Oh, father, fly! More foes ! -Look, dear Azura, for mine Linger not near that man of horrors !_Go, eyes Horrible stranger, from our peaceful land ; Are dried by the stern spirit which hath Thou art accursed ; never face like thine fill'd Belong'd to Nature's children. Father, Them, and my burning soul ! fly!
It is a tree Some fiend abuses thee!
Fell'd down, and floating ; the returning Cain.
Thou wretched thing, Rouse not my sleeping wrath. Begone! Hath raised it from its bed, and now it
begone! Another moment, and thy sunny locks Proudly on its broad surface. Shall circle round thy neck in closer folds, Cain.
That shall be Grip'd by this desperate hand! Avoid Our hope of rest ;-on earth we are ac
cursed; I would not mar thy beauty !
Those waters then shall bear us to an earth Jared.
Unsullied by the hated breath of man !This man of wrath ; thou hast most justly See'st thou that land, round which these drawn
waters roll ? His anger on thy head; for though I feel We shall find refuge there! This tree shall Strange horror as I look upon his eye,
bear Yet, till I hear his tale, suspicion base,
The wanderer to his rest ! Nor yet ungracious comment, shall pollute
The sea! Oh heaven ! My heart, nor stain my lip. Retire all, The fierce devourer of all things. Sure And leave me with the stranger.--Now Thou knowest nothing on her surface then, son
stays.Of the progenitor, into my breast
E'en on our own Euphrates thou hast seen Pour forth thy tale of grief !”
The flocks sink to the dark, where human
Could not behold their fall. But the broad Cain then gives a long and somewhat heavy narration of all the feel; Oh go not, husband. Man is far less wild ings, and their causes, that at last led
Than him to the murder of Abel. Mr Lynd
yon devouring wave! Cain.
Wilt thou forsake say is not so powerful here as he might Thy husband, for he goes ? The elements have been, which we regret, as the Have been commanded all to harm me not, subject was a fine one; and failure The sea is one of them, and he will curse here awoke a suspicion in us that he My soul by his obedience. He will spare was not equal to situations of high and My God-protected life, and aid my will ! terrible passion ; but in some other Seat of the storm, throne of the tempest passages which we shall quote, he re- wild, deems himself pobly.
I love thee; for, of all of nature's works, Jared, at the conclusion of Cain's Thou, thou alone, in thy stern angry mood, confession, commands the wanderer to Hark! thunder ! and the earth doth rock !
Dost hold alliance with my tossed soul ! leave these happy vales; and Cain's
It is fury being roused by the Patriarch's The signal for my flight! and see, where cruelty, he leaps upon him, and is in the act of rending him to death, when The band of the blood-hunters. Spring, Azura, his long-lost wife, who he Azura ! thought had forsaken him, but who Trust to the seas for safety !-So! gone, has been following, in love and sorrow, his haunted flight, rushes on between Reptiles, it is not yours to bind the arms them, and calms the tempest of her of the death girt, the arrow of his might ! husband's miserable soul. Jared alarms Hence to your homes ! the elements obey the country; and Cain, who knows Your baby hope of vengeance ! Not to man
My will, and bid me laugh, to bitter scorn, that he bears a charmed life, espies a Belongs the destiny of Cain ! nor shall huge tree floating on the sea, and ta- The feeble stroke of human justice reach king Azura in his arms, commits him- The brow of the God condemn’d ! self to the waves. The conclusion of Jared.
Oh, prodigy! the first part of the poem, or the The waters bear them onward to the shore “ Destiny of Cain," is, though border- Unpeopled, or by Angels ! On they go ! ing on extravagance, not without su- In all his giant majesty of sin, blimity.
He sits the crowned demon, on his breast
Pale terror taking refuge. Lightnings play I weep and pray no longer. Thou hast
steals upon him, and flings a javeThe rising wave, and both now curtain him lin at his heart. Cain starts up, and From our astonish'd sight ! It is the will Of Heaven we watch no longer,
nor attempt sues between the wanderer and his
a fearful colloquy of recrimination enTo look into the mysteries of God! Now, murderous son. Irad curses him away
hence, The murderer is gone.—Oh, may he ne'er from the city; and while Cain's soul Again pollute our land !
is black with hellish rage, Azazel, one
of the fallen angels, rises up before Roll, oceans, roll! him, to tempt him to deliver up his Part us for ever from the bloody eye, soul to hell by promise of power over Which seald the heavy curse of destiny, the elements. There is much poetry in And pour'd the night of Death upon the this scene, but also much exaggeration; soul;
and Azazel is by far. too wordy an oraYea, mountains high between us and the
tor an angel ; he occasionally refoe,
minds us of Dr Hall of Leicester, and Who first hath made th' ensanguin'd
now and then of Dr Chalmers. A few fountain flow, Roll, oceans, roll! strong touches would have produced
more effect on Cain than all that pompRoll, oceans, roll! ous and elaborate declamation. Cain Bear to some desolate and distant shore, resists the tempter, and rushes out, The man who feels humanity no more. exclaiming, Who bears the linked demon with his
How his words soul !
Pour overwhelming on my sinking soul, wide between us and that distant Like cataracts grown mad !-I will not land.
hear! Which yields its stores unto that spotted While reason yet is left ine, let me dy! hand,
I know not, reck not whither ; but I go Roll, oceans, roll !”. To shun this demon's goadings –What
if I The Death of Cain opens with a
Sink at the last ! I have no hope, and may picture of the murderer sitting alone Fall by the chace exhausted. Demon'! in ghastly horror by the corpse of Fiend ! Azura. God has stricken down his Spare thy unhallow'd triumph!-Smile only comfort, and the sullen and hope
not yet ; less wretch thus vents his complaints The race is still to win !-Oh that thou and curses : 66 The Avenger saw
But for one moment mortal, that I could I had a gleam of peace; the light by which Gripe thee close, breast to breast, and thy It was reveal'd was my Azura's life.
broad limbs He quench'd that light, and plunged my Rend in the desperate conflict. I will try harrow'd soul
My earthly force against thee, for I deem Deep into utter darkness! She is gone ! Thy heaven-scarr'd form is palpable, and She, whose unchanging love still stepp'd
I tear thee in my vengeance. Ha ! the Me and the goad of vengeance. She,
brow whose soul,
Of Abel, smear'd with blood !-Oh face Unloosen'd, clung to mines whose wound
I dare not touch thy form! Oh, mockery Untiring, follow'd mine, through all the Of madness !—Murderer, fly!--Look not paths
again Of danger and distraction,--she is dead ! Upon that ghastly sight! Now, chase of Wrapp'd in the sleep of Abel, she reclines hell, Silent and cold before me. For her sake, Thy wild flight is begun. [Rushes out. When first I saw the shadowy hand up
To close in death raised,
Distracted and despairing.” To beckon her away, I wept and pray'd ! The scene changes, and we behold I might have spared humility, and now Seth, the chosen son of Adam, and