Imágenes de páginas

one of the Christabel,' of which it is a objects which bear the poet aloft on continuation.

seraph's wings, Come we now from the Castle of “And wake ta ecstay the living lyre." Sir Leoline to the castle of St. Aldo "The very Dramatis Persone of this brand. The change is so far an advan- performance sufficiently announces to tage to us, that we are no longer un- us wbat we are to expect, and particuder a necessity to grope in the dark larly the ominous line at the bottom of for a meaning. Every thing in this the page, “ Knights, Monks, Soldiers, quarter is obvious and palpable enough. Banditti, &c. &c." recalled to our iniods We are still, however, in the school of the alarm which we felt on reading the influence of which we have been Lord Byron's motto to his last redoubtacomplaining. Rotten principles and a ble performance, “ Guns, trumpets, bastard sort of sentiment, such, in short, blunderbusses, drums, and thuoder." as have been imported into this coun- The story of this piece is told in a try from German moralists and poets, very few lines. Count Bertram, a noform the interest of this stormy and bleman of Sicily, high in the favour of extravagant composition. The piece his Sovereign, was attached to Imogine, is so much in the taste of Lord Byron, a young lady of comparatively humble that the public have let that nobleman birth, who returned his love with an into a large share of the credit of the equal passion. By a sad reverse, the performance. How that may be we consequence of his ambition and rebeldare not say ; but we venture to advise lion, the count is deprived of all his the reverend dramatist, for the sake of fortune and bonours, and banished from the holy and immortal interests con- bis native land. With a band of des nected with his profession, to withdraw perate followers he continues to keep himself from all connexion with Lord the shores and the state itself in alarm. Byron's tainted muse, and to the great. His great enerny and fortunate rival, to est distance he possibly can from the whose ascendancy he was forced to circle within which the demons of sen. give way, is St. Aldobrand, a valiant timental profligacy exert their perni- and loyal subject, who, to complete the cious incantations. The best amulet mortification of the discomfiled rebel, we can recommend him to use by way obtains the hand of Imogine in the ab. of security against the influence of these sence of her first lover. The lady'e spells and sorceries, is the frequent, excuse for this breach of constancy is the perpetual perusal of the word of the starving state of a parent, wiwie God, of which it is bis happy privilege wants she is thus enabled to relieve. to be the organ and expounder. Let Count Bertram, with his desperate him bind it for a sign upon his hand, band of followers, is shipwrecked upon and let it be as å frontlet between his the coast near the monastery of St. eyes, and be may set at nought all the Anselm, and within a little distance of fascinations of depraved poetical ex. the castle of St. Aldobrand. They are amples. In that source of sublimity, received at the monastery with the hor. simplicity, and beauty, will be found pitality usual ia such places, and soca a boly standard of moral perfection, a after a message comes from the fair magnificent display of real grandeur, Liogine to invite the shipwrecked voyatowards which the soul may erect it- gers to the castle of St. Aldobrand, as self in an attitude of correspondent ele- being capable of affording them better vation, and carry its views safely be- accommodation and refresbment than yond the boundaries of material exist. the convent. In the mean time, in a ence into regions of intellectual splen- conversation with the prior of the con. dour, and among those happy inspiring vent, Count Bertram reveals himsali,

Yol. I. NO. 1,

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and makes a full declaration with all Pray, when thou tell'st thy beads, for one more the bitterness and rage of disappointed

wretched. Ber. Stay, gentle lady, I would somewhat

Rere passion, and his deadly bate towards St. Aldobrand, and determined purpose (Imogine retreats terrified) of destroying him. He is made ac- (detaining her)-Thou shalt not go

Imo. Shall not !-Wbo art thou ? speak quainted with the temporary absence Ber. And must I speak? of his enemy, then with the Knights of There was a voice which all the world, but thee, St. Anselm. Upon learning this he ex. ”

Might have forgot, and been forgiven.

Imo. My senses blaze--between the dead and presses a horrid joy, considering the living opportunity is now arrived of satiating I stand in fear-oh God !-it cannot be bis vengeance. He goes to the castle of Those thick black locks--those wild and sun.

burnt features St. Aldobrand, where his followers are He looked not thus-but then that voicefeasted.' His interview with Imogine, It cannot be-for he would know my name. and the dire impressions on his mind and the dire impressions on his mind us

Ber. Imogine-(she has tottered towards him

* during the last speech, and when he utters her when the full disclosure of her situation name, shrieks and falls into his arms.) is made to him, are exbibited in a scene Ber. Imogine-yes, 01 great tragic pathos and terror ; and, To be enfolded to this desolate heart

Thus pale, cold, dying, thus thou art most fit in justice to the poet, we will here A blighted lily on its icy bed place it before the reader.

Nay, look not up, 'tis thus I would behold thee,

That pale cheek looks like truth-I'll gaze no Bertram comes to the end of the stage, and stands


That fair, that pale, dear cheek, these helpless .. without looking at her.

arms, Imo. Stranger, I sent for thee, for that I If I look longer they will make me human. deemed

Imo. (starting from him) Fly, fly, the vassals. Some wound was thine, that yon free band might

of thine enemy wait chafe,

To do thee dead. Perchance thy worldly wealth sunk with yon Ber. Then let them wield the thunder, wreck;

Fell is their dint, who're mailed in despair. Such wound my gold can heal--the castle's al. Let mortal might sever the grasp of Bertram. moner

Imo. Release me--I must break from him-he · Bcr. The wealth of worlds were heaped on

knows not me in vain.

** Oh God! Imo. Oh then I read thy loss--thy heart is sunk w

Ber. Imogige---madness seizes memo

Why do I find thee in mine enemy's walls ? In the dark waters pitiless; some dear friend,

What dost thou in the halls of Aldobrand ! Or brother, loved as thine own soul, lies there

Infernal light doth shoot athwart my mind “I pity thee, sad man, but can no more".

Swear thou art a dependent on his bounty,
Gold I can give, but can no comfort give,
For I am comfortless

That chance, or force, or sorcery brought thee " Yet if I could collect my faltering breath

thither; “Well were I meet for such sad ministry,

Thou canst not be-my throat is swoln with "For grief hath left my voice no other sound"


Hell hath no plague-Oh no, thou couldst not Ber. (striking his heart) No dews give freshness to this blasted soil

Imo. "(kneeling)" Mercy. Imo. Strange is thy form, but more thy words Ber. Thou hast it not, or thou wouldst speak are strange

Speak, speak---(with frantic violence) Fearful it seems to hold this parley with thee.

Imo. I am the wife of Aldobrand, Tell me thy race and coun

To save a famishing father did I wed, Ber. What avails it?..

Ber. I will not curse hør---but the hoarded venThe wretched have no country: that dear name

geanceComprises home, kind kindred, fostering friends, Imo. Aye---curse, and consuminate the horrid Protecting laws, all that binds man to man

spell, - But none of these are mine ;-I have no country- For broken-hearted, in despairing hour And for my race, the last dread trump shall wake With every onen dark and dire I wedded The sheeted relics of mine ancestry,

Some ministering demon mocked the robed priest, Ere trump of herald to the armed lists

With soine dark spell, not holy vow, they bound! In the bright blazon of their stainless coat,

me, Calls their lost child again

Full were the rites of horror and despair. Imo. I shake to hear him

They wanted but the seal of Bertram's curse. There is an awful thrilling in his voice

.. Ber. (not heeding her)---Talk of her father “ The soul of other days comes rushing in them."

could'a father love thee If nor my bounty nor my tears can aid thee, As I have loved ? " the veriest wretch ou Stranger, farewell; and 'mid thy misery


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*** Doth cherish in some corner of his heart Bertram extorts a promise from Imo** Some thought that makes that heart a sanctuary gine to meet him under the castle walls, * For pilgrim dreams in midnight-hour to visit, " And weep and worship there.

and yield bim an hour's intercourse. 16 - And such thou wert to me and thou art The appointment is kept, and in a

lost. "-What was a father? could a father's love wretched moment we stain of guilt is “ Compare with mine?" in want, and war, and added to the sorrows of the unhappy peril,

wise. Immediately after the parting, Things that would thrill the hearer's blood to Bertram hesre that Lord Aldobrand bod tell of,

to Bertram hears that Lord Aldobrand bad My heart grew human when I thought of thee- received a commission from bis soveImogine would have shuddered for my danger- reign to hunt down the outlawed BerImogine would have bound my leechless wounds Imogine would have sought my nameless corse,

- tram. From this moment be forms an And known it well-and she was wedded-wed- inexorable determination to murder (for ded-..

wbatever gloss is given to the act, in Was there no name in hell's dark catalogue reference to the manner, place, and To brand thee with, but mine immortal foe's And did I 'scape from war, and want, and famine, time of doing it, no other name could To perish by the falsehood of a woman? properly describe it) bis devoted eneImo. Oh spare me, Bertram; oh preserve thyself.

my. His horrid purpose is declared to Ber. A despot's vengeance, a false country's the wretched wife, whose pitiable and curses,

mad despair, on being unable to move The spurn of menials whom this hand had fede. In my heart's steeled pride I shook them off,

him from his purpose, is certainly a As the bayed lion from his hurtless hide most distressing picture of female anShakes his pursuer's darts---across their path - guish. The murder is committed ; and One dart alone took aim, thy hand did bard it. Imo. He did not hear my father's cry---Qh

th all that succeeds is the utter misery, heaven.

madness, and death of Imogine, and Nor food, nor fire, nor raiment, and his child the death of the Count by his own Knelt madly to the hungry walls for succour E'er her wrought brain could bear the horrid thought,

• That there is much deep distress in Or wed with him---or---see thy father perish. ... the story of this tragedy, very consideBer. Thou tremblest lest I curse thee; tremble not

rable force in the expression of feeling Though thou hast made me, woman, very and passion, and both vigour and beauwretched

ty in the imagery and diction, we are Though thou hast made me---but I will not carse

very ready to admit; but in dignity, theeHear the last prayer of Bertram's broken heart, propriety, consistency, and contrast, in That heart which thou hast broken, not his the finer movements of virtuous tender

foes ! Of thy rank wishes the full scope be on thee..

ness, the delicacies of female sensibi. May pomp and pride shout in thine addered path lity, the conflict of struggling emotions, Till thou shalt feel and sicken at their hollow- heroical elevation of sentiment, and mo

ness--May he thou'st wed, be kind and generous to thee,

te ral sublimity of action, this play is ex. Till thy wrung heart, stabb'd by his noble fond. tremely deficient. The hero is that ness,

same mischievous compound of attracWrithe in detesting consciousness of falsehood-.. May thy babe's smile speak daggers to that mo

itiveness and turpitude, of love and ther

crime, of chivalry and brutality, which Who cannot love the father of her child,

in the poems of Lord Byron and his And in the bright blaze of the festal ball, When vassals kneel, and kindred smile around

imitators has been too long successful thee,

in captivating weak fancies and outMay ruined Bertram's pledge hiss in thine raging moral truth. Let but your hero

earJoy to the proud dame of St. Aldrobrand

be well-favoured, wo-begone, mysteWhile his cold corse doth bleach beneath her rious, desperately brave, and, above towers.

(Bertram, p. 25---30. all, desperately in love, and the interAt the next meeting of this luckless est of the female reader is too apt to be pair, which is at the convent of St. secured in his behalf, however bloody, Aaseln, after much painful conflict, dark, and revengeful, however bestile


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towards God and man, he may display fatigue of a journey. All this he rehimself in his principles and actions. The solves, and the deed is done, without whole theory and secret of this poeti. any tender visitings of nature, and with cal philosophy is amusingly detailed in less compunction or conflict in his bothe epilogue to the piece, from which, som than Milton's devil expressed on small as is our general esteem for these the eve of destroying the felicity of literary performances, we must, for the Paradise. And yet, says the epilogue, sake of the profound ethical maxims it in apology for all this, contains, exhibit an extract to the “Bertram! ye cry, a ruthless blood-stain'd reader.


He was ---but also was the truest lover! “Enough for Imogine the tears ye gave her; I come to say one word in Bertram's favour

We will present to our readers the Bertram! ye cry, a ruthless blood-stain'd rover! scene which takes place between the He was but also was the truest lover : lovers after that act of sbame by which And, faith! like cases that we daily view, Ali might have prosper'd had the fair been true. the mother, wife, and woman, were for

“Man, while he loves, is never quite deprav'd, ever lost. And woman's triumph, is a lover sav'd.

The branded wretch, whose callous feelings

" It is a crime in me to look on thee-
Crime for his glory, and disgrace for sport; But in whate'er I do there now is crime
If in his breast love claims the smallest part, Yet wretched thought still struggles for the
If still he values one fond female heart,

safetyFrom that one sced, that ling'ring spark, may Fly, while my lips without a crime may ware grow

Pride's noblest flow'r, and virtue's purest glow : Would thou hadst never come, or sooner parted.
Let but that heart-dear female lead with care Oh God-he heeds me not:
To honour's path, and cheer his progress there, Why comest thou thus ?" what is tl
And proud, though haply sad regret occurs

At all his guilt, think all his virtue hers.". I know Hou comest for evil, but its purport

(Epilogue, p. 81. I ask my beart in vain.”

Ber. « Guess it, and spare me." (a long pause, "The cardinal crime on which the during which she gazes at him.) story turns is the fatal act of infidelity Canst thou not read it in my face? committed under the walls of the castle Mixt shades of evil thought are darkening

Imo. I dare not ; of Aldobrand. And tbis crime is pro

there; posed and assented to by the contract. But what'my fears do indistinctly guess ing parties, in a manner as little con. We

in Would, blast me to behold-(turns away, a

pause)” sistent with common modesty in wo- Ber. Dost thou not hear it in my very silence ? man, and common generosity in man, as “That which no voice can tell, doth tell itself. can well be imagined. But if that which


Imo. My harassed thought hath not one point

of fear, ought most to soften a inan towards the Save that it must not think.” sufferings of a woman be the conscious. Ber. (throwing his dagger on the ground")

Speak thou for me, ness that he himself has been the cause Show

nas been the cause Show me the chamber where thy husband lies, of it, then is this Bertram one of the The morning must not see us both alive. worst specimens of a man and a soldier Imo. (screaming and struggling with him)

‘Ab! horror ! horror! off-withstand me that we have yet encountered in the

not, course of our experience. After crop- " I will arouse the castle, rouse the dead, ping this fair Aower, he treads it under To save my husband ; villain, murderer, monfoot, and scatters in the dust its blasted Dare the baved lionessbeauty. Witb ruthless delight, and de- “ Ber. Go, wake the castle with thy frantic moniac malice, he spurns the soft and cries :. melting prayers in her husband's behalf, Ye meling prayers in her husband soenall, Yea, pour it on thine husband's blasted ear.

Those cries that tell my secret, blazon thine. whom he resolves to murder in his own “ Imo. Perchance his wrath may kill me in its mansion, in the presence or hearing of how mercy. his wife and child, and, as it seems,

Ber. No, hope not such a fate of mercy from

him; while he rests on his couch after the He'll curse thee with his pardon,

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6 And would his death-fixed eye be terrible “Wouldst have him butchered by their rufian ** As its ray bent in love on her that wronged him ?

hands And would his dying groan affright thine ear " That wait my bidding ? "Like words of peace spoke to thy guilt-in vain? “ Imo (falling on the ground)-Fell and hos

Imo. I care not, I am reckless, let me perish. . rible “ Ber. No, thou must live amidst a hissing “ I'm sealed, shut down in ransomless perdition. world,

Ber. Fear not, my vengeance will not yield " A thing that mothers warn their daughters from,

its prey. “ A thing the menials that do tend thee scorn. " He shall fall nobly, by my hand shall fall " Whom when the good do name, they tell their “ But still and dark the summons of his fate, beads, .

“So winds the coiled serpent round his victim. ** And when the wicked think of, they do triumpb; Ill as the lady Imogine was used "Canst thou encounter this?

Imo. I must encounter it-I have deserved it; by her sanguinary and brutal lover, we Begone, or my next cry shall wake the dead. cannot say that her own character is Ber. Hear me.

such as to entitle her to much respect. Imo. No parley, tempter; fiend, avaunt. « Ber. Thü son. -- (she stands stupéfied.) Go, The author has endeavoured in a very

take him trembling in thy hand of shame, lame manner to support her constancy " A victim to the shrine of public scorn

Hem by the pretext, not a very new one, and “ Poor boy ! his sire's worst foe might pity him • Albeit his mother will not

me in the present instance clumsily enough

; " Banished from noble halls, and knightly con- inserted, of a starving parent whose life verse,

was saved by the sacrifice; and after " Devouring his young heart in loneliness “. With bitter thought-my mother was a

sea this first sacrifice to convenience or exiwretch.

gency, not unlike those which, in the · Imo. (falling at his feet) “I am a wretch, coarse arrangements of ordinary life,

but who hath made me so ? “ I'm writhing like a worm beneath thy spurn." parents are api 10 require os helt Hlave pity on me, I have had inuch wrong. • daughters, and daughterş are apt very

Ber. My heart is as the steel within thy grasp. cheerfully to submit to, she makes “ Imo. (still kneeling) Thou hast cast me down and from light,

w" another voluntary sacrifice of her honour, - From my high sphere of purity and peace, her husband, and her child, to another “Where once I walked in mine uprightness, sort of convenience or exigency wbich

blessed ^ Do not thou cast me into utter darkness."

is created by the urgency of nature or Ber. (looking on her with pity for a moment) the stress of passion. The events are Thou fairest flower

of ordinary occurrence and of ephemeWhy didst thou fling thyself across my path, My tiger spring must crush thee in its way,

ral frequency in vicious society ; and But cannot pause to pity thee.

though the author has raised them to Imo. Thou must,

tragic dignity by his manner of telling - For I am strong in woes"-I ne'er reproached - thee

and describing them, and the vivacious “ I plead but with my agonies and tears". touches of a very glowing pencil, yet Kind, gentle Bertram, my beloved Bertram, the real substratum of the tale is one of For thou wert gentle once, and once beloved, Have mercy on me--Oh, thou couldst not think it.- those turbulent triumphs of passion over (looking up, and seeing no relenting in his face, duty, which mar the peace of families she starts up wildly)

.. and make the practicers in Doctors' By heaven" and all its host," he shall not perish.

1: Commons. Ber. " By hell and all its host," he shall not live.

• That this murderous fellow of a count " This is no transient flash of fugitive passion is meant to engage our admiration and “ His death hath been my life for years of misery" Which else I had not lived

go interest our sympathies, is but too ap“Upon that thought, and not on food, I fed; parent. After Bertram has revealed “ Upon that thought, and not on sleep, I rested to the Prior his bloody trade as the lead. "I come to do the deed that must be doneNor thou, nor sheltering angels could prevent

yent er of a banditti, and his yet more horme."

rible purposes, the holy man, as he is Imo. “But man shall, miscreant"-help! called, thus addresses him :Ber. Thou callest in vain

Prior. High-hearted man, sublime even in thy The armed vassals all are far from succour

guilt. * Following St. Anselm's votarists to the con- and

con- And again, after the borrible murder,

in after the horrible murder Vent" My band of blood are darkening in theit halls... whicha certainly bad as little sablimity

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