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| human concerns, and seemed to prophesy mutely of himself on his face upon the sand that was black with things that then were not; steeples, and battlements, the shadow of the rock, and Cain and Enos sate beand ships with naked masts. As far from the wood side him; the child by his right hand, and Cain by | as a boy might sling a pebble of the brook, there was his left. They were all three under the rock, and one rock by itself at a small distance from the main within the shadow. The Shape that was like Abel ridge. It had been precipitated there, perhaps by raised himself up, and spake to the child. "I know the terrible groan the earth gave when our first father where the cold waters are, but I may not drink; fell. Before you approached, it appeared to lie flat | wherefore didst thou then take away my pitcher?" on the ground, but its base started from its point, and But Cain said, “Didst thou not find favour in the sight between its points and the sands a tall man might of the Lord thy God?" The Shape answered, “The stand upright. It was here that Enos had found the Lord is God of the living only, the dead have another pitcher and cake, and to this place he led his father; God.” Then the child Enos lifted up his eyes and bat, ere they arrived there, they beheld a human prayed; but Cain rejoiced secretly in his heart. shape; bis back was towards them, and they were “ Wretched shall they be all the days of their mortal coming up unperceived when they heard him smite life," exclaimed the Shape, “who sacrifice worthy and bis breast, and cry aloud, “Woe is me! woe is me! acceptable sacrifices to the God of the dead; but after I must never die again, and yet I am perishing with death their toil ceaseth. Woe is me, for I was well thirst and hunger."
beloved by the God of the living, and cruel wert thou, The face of Cain turned pale; but Enos said, “ Ere O my brother, who didst snatch me away from his yet I could speak, I am sure, O my father, that I power and his dominion!” Having attered these heard that voice. Have not I often said that I re- words, he rose suddenly, and fled over the sands; and membered a sweet voice? O my father! this is it;" Cain said in his heart, « The curse of the Lord is on and Cain trembled exceedingly. The voice was sweet me—but who is the God of the dead?” and he ran indeed, but it was thin and querulous like that of a after the Shape, and the Shape fled shrieking over the fæeble slave in misery, who despairs altogether, yet sands, and the sands rose like white mists behind the cannot refrain himself from weeping and lamentation. steps of Cain, but the feet of him that was like Abel Laos crept softly round the base of the rock, and disturbed not the sands. He greatly outran Cain; sted before the stranger, and looked up into his face. and, turning short, he wheeled round, and came again And the Shape shrieked, and turned round, and Cain to the rock where they had been sitting, and where beheld him, that his limbs and his face were those of Enos still stood; and the child caught hold of his his brother Abel whom he had killed; and Cain stood garment as he passed by, and he fell upon the ground; like one who struggles in his sleep, because of the ex- | and Cain stopped, and, beholding him not, said, “he ceeding terribleness of a dream; and ere he had re has passed into the dark woods," and walked slowly covered himself from the tumult of his agitation, the back to the rock; and when he reached it, the child Shape fell at his feet, and embraced his knees, and told him that he had caught hold of his garment as cried out with a bitter outcry, “Thou eldest-born of he passed by, and that the man had fallen upon the Adam, whom Eve, my mother, brought forth, cease ground; and Cain once more sat beside him, and said la torment me! I was feeding my flocks in green pas -"Abel, my brother, I would lament for thee, but lates by the side of quiet rivers, and thou killedst that the spirit within me is withered and burnt up se; and now I am in misery." Then Cain closed with extreme agony. Now, I pray thee, by thy flocks (kis eyes, and hid them with his hands and again he and by thy pastures, and by the quiet rivers which spened his eyes, and looked around him, and said to thou lovedst, that thou tell me all that thou knowest. Enos, “What beholdest thou? Didst thou hear a | Who is the God of the dead? where doth he make voice, my son ?"_“Yes, my father, I beheld a man his dwelling? what sacrifices are acceptable unto him? la unclean garments, and he uttered a sweet voice for I have offered, but have not been received; I have fall of lamentation.” Then Cain raised up the shape prayed, and have not been heard; and how can I be that was like Abel, and said, “The Creator of our afflicted more than I already am?” The Shape arose latber, who had respect unto thee, and unto thy of- and answered—“O that thou hadst had pity on me, Sering, wherefore hath he forsaken thee?" Then the as I will have pity on thee. Follow me, son of Adam! Shape shrieked a second time, and rent his garment, and bring thy child with thee : " and they then passed and his naked skin was like the white sands beneath over the white sands between the rocks, silent as their their feet; and he shrieked yet a third time, and threw shadows.
Werner, or the Inheritance;
A TRAGEDY (1)
TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS GOETHE,
This Tragedy is Dedicated.
tion which it developes. I should also add conception, rather than execution ; for the story might, perhaps,
have been developed with greater advantage. Amongst The following drama is taken entirely from the those whose opinions agreed with mine upon this German's Tale, Kruitzner, published many years ago story, I could mention some very high names: but i in Lee's Canterbury Tales; written (I believe) by is not necessary, nor indeed of any use; for every one two sisters, of whom one furnished only this story must judge according to his own feelings. I merely and another, both of which are considered superior refer the reader to the original story, that he may set to the remainder of the collection. (2) I have adopted to what extent I have borrowed from it; and am not the characters, plan, and even the language, of many unwilling that he should find much greater pkasare parts of this story. Some of the characters are mo- | in perusing it than the drama which is founded upon dified or altered, a few of the names changed, and its contents. one character (Ida of Stralenheim) added by myself: I had begun a drama upon this tale so far back as but in the rest the original is chiefly followed. When 1815 (the first I ever attempted, except one at this I was young (about fourteen, I think), I first read teen years old, called Ulric and Ilvina, which I had this tale, which made a deep impression upon me; sense enough to burn), and had nearly completed a and may, indeed, be said to contain the germ of much act, when I was interrupted by circumstances. This that I have since writien. I am not sure that it ever is somewhere amongst my papers in England; buis was very popular; or, at any rate, its popularity has it has not been found, I have re-written the first, and since been eclipsed by that of other great writers in added the subsequent acts. the same department. But I have generally found The whole is neither intended, nor in any skape that those who had read it agreed with me in their adapted, for the stage. (3) estimate of the singular power of mind and concep Pisa, February 1822.
(1) The tragedy of IVerner was begun at Pisa, December the 18th, 1821, completed January the 20th, 1822, and published in London in the November after. The reviews of Wemer were, we believe, without exception, unfavour. able. One critique of the time thus opens :
on oa particular sfables? ona dramatist h
" Who could be so absurd as to think that a dramatist has no right to make free with other people's fables? On the contrary, we are quite aware that that particular species of genius which is exhibited in the construction of plots never at any period flourished in England. We all know that Shakspeare bimself took his stories from Italian novels, Danish sagas, English chronicles, Plutarch's Lives-from any where rather than from his own invention. But did he take the whole of Hamlet, or Juliet, or Richard the Third, or Antony and Cleopatra, from any of these foreign sources? Did he not invent, in the noblest sense of the word, all the characters of his pieces? Who dreams that any old Italian novelist, or ballad-maker, could have formed the imagination of such a creature as Juliet? Who dreams that the Hamlet of Shakspeare, the princely enthusiast, the melancholy philosopher, that spirit refined even to pain, that most incomprehensible and unapproachable of all the creations of human genius, is the same being, in any thing but the name, with the rough, strong-hearted, bloody. banded Amlett of the north? Who is there that supposes Goetbe to have taken the character of his Faust from the nursery rhymes and penny pamphlets about the Devil and Dr. Faustus? Or who, to come nearer home, imagines that Lord Byron himself found his Sardanapalus in Dionysius of Halicarnassus ?
“But here Lord Byron has invented nothing-absolutely NOTHING. There is not one incident in his play not even the most trivial, that is not to be found in Miss Lee's novel, occurring exactly in the same manner, brought about by exactly the same agents, and producing exactly the sarne effects on the plot. And then as to the characters, not only is every one of them to be found in Kruitaner, but every one is to be found there more fully and powerfully developed. Indeed, but for the preparation which we had received from our old familiarity with Miss Lee's own admirable work, we rather incline to think that we should have been unable to comprehend the gist of her noble imi. tator, or rather copier, in several of what seem to be meant for his most elaborate delineations. The fact is, that this undeviating closeness, this humble fidelity of imitation, is a thing so perfectly new in any thing worthy of the name of literature, that we are sure no one
who has not read the Canterbury Tales will be able to form the conception of what it amounts to.
"Those who have never read Miss Lee's book will, however, pleased with this production; for, in truth, the story is one most powerfully conceived, one of the most picturesque and same time instructive stories, that we are acquainted with all thus led as we are to name Harriet Lee, we cannot allow the opp tunity to pass without saying, that we have always pasidered works as standing upon the verge of the very first rank of excelen that is to say, as inferior to no English novels wbatever, Ice those of Fielding. Sterne, Smollett, Richardson, Defoe, Radekite Godwin, Edgeworth, and the Author of Waverley. It would perhaps, be going too far to say, that the Canterbury Tales e more of that species of invention which, as we bave already marked, was never common in English literature, than any of works even of those first-rate novelists we have named, with single exception of Fielding.
Kruitzner, or the German's Tale, possesses mystery, and yel clien ness, as to its structure, strength of characters, and admirable by trast of cbaracters; and, above all, the most lively interest, blends with and subservient to the most affecting of moral lessons main idea which lies at the root of it is the horror of an erring a who, having been detected in vice by his own son, has dared to fend his own sin, and so to perplex the son's notions of moral reci tude, on finding that the son, in his turn, has pushed the false print ples thus instilled, to the last and worst extreme-on hearing his sophistries Gung in his face by a-murderer."
The reader will find a minute analysis, introduced by the above remarks, in Blackwood, vol. xii, p. 710.-L.E.
(2) This is not correct. The Young Lady's Tale, or Tuo Emily's, and the Clergyman's Tale, or Pembroke, we contributed by Sophia Lee, the author of The Recess, the comedy of The Chapter of Accidents, and Almeydo, a tra" gedy, who died in 1x24. The German's Tale, and all the others in the Canterbury Collection, were written by Harriet, the younger of the sisters.-L. E.
(3) Werner is, however, one of Lord Byron's dramas that has proved successful in representation. It is still (1000 in possession of the stage.--L, E.
But much of good and evil; what I am,
Thou knowest; what I might or should have been,
Shall aught divide us.
(WERNER walks on abruptly, and then approaches
The storm of the night,
Perhaps affects me; I'm a thing of feelings,
And have of late been sickly, as, alas!
Thou know'st by sufferings more than mine, my love! |
In watching me.
To see thee well is much-
To see thee happy
Where hast thou seen such ? Scene-Partly on the Frontier of Silesia, and partly in
Let me be wretched with the rest!
But think Time—the Close of the Thirty Years' War. How many in this hour of tempest shiver
Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain,
Whose every drop bows them down nearer earth, WERNER.
Which hath no chamber for them save beneath
Wer. And that's not the worst : who cares
For chambers ? rest is all. The wretches whom
Thou namest—ay, the wind bowls round them, and The Hall of a decayed Palace near a small Town The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones in the Northern Frontier of Silesia—the Night The creeping marrow. I have been a soldier, tempestuous.
A hunter, and a traveller, and am WERNER (1) and Josephine his wife.
A beggar, and should know the thing thou talk'st of.
Jos. And art thou not now shelter'd from them all ? Jag. My love, be calmer!
Wer. Yes. And from these alone.
And that is something.
Wer. True-to a peasant. Yes, but not to thyself: thy pace is hurried,
Should the nobly-born And no one walks a chamber like to ours
Be thankless for that refuge which their habits
Wer. It is not that, thou know'st it is not; we | Wer, 'Tis chill; the tapestry lets through Have borne all this, I'll not say patiently, The wind to which it waves: my blood is frozen.
Except in thee- but we have borue it. Jos. Ah, no!
Well! | Wer. (smiling.) Why! wouldst thou have it so ? Wer. Something beyond our outward sufferings (tho' Jos.
I would | These were enough to gnaw into our souls)
Hath stung me ost, and, more than ever, now.
When, but for this untoward sickness, which
Hath wasted, not alone my strength, but means,
All-all. And leaves us--no! this is beyond me!-but Jos. Then canst thou wish for that which must For this I had been happy (3)--thou been happybreak mine?
The splendour of my rank sustain'd-my nameWer. (approaching her slowly.) But for thee I had My father's name-been still upheld; and, more been—no matter what,
Wemer- we mean Kruitsner-is admirably drawn. Who does not recognise in him the portrait of too comtaon a character? The man of shining talent, ardent mind, powerful connections, brilliant prospects, who, after squan. fering away all in wanton self-indulgence, baving lived only for himself, finds himself bankrupt in fortune and character, the prey of bitter regret, yet, unrepentant, as selfish in remorse as in his gaiety. All that is inconsistent in the cha. racter of Kruitzner is rendered still more so in the Werner of the drama. If he is made sometimes less criminal, be appears only the more weak, and his conduct is as wayward aus bis fate. His remorse at taking the rouleau from the man who was about to usurp his domains and throw him into prisou is somewbat overcharged; and though his horror at hearing of Stralen beim's death is natural, it seems unac. countably to absorb his joy at finding himself delivered from bis enemy, and restored to affluence. If his misfortunes should appear to exceed his errors, let it be remembered,
says his biographer, how easily both might have been avoided, since an adherence to his duties at almost any period of his life would have spared him more than half his sufferings.' This is the moral of the tale; but it is but faintly il. lustrated in the drama. Werner is more the victim of what would be called fate. Lord Byron has not felt the real force of the character.” Ecl. Rev.-L. E.
* In this play, Lord Byron adopts the same nerveless and pointless kind of blank verse, which was a sorrow to every body in his former dramatic essays. It is, indeed, most unmusical, most melancholy,'- Ofs,' tos,' 'ands, fors,' bys,''buts,' and the like, are the most common conclusions of a line; there is no ease, no flow, no harmony, 'in linked sweetness long drawn out:' neither is there any thing of abrupt fiery vigour to compensate for these defects." - Blackwood.
(3) “In this drama there is absolutely no poetry to be found; and if tbe measure of verse which is here dealt to
Jos. (abruptly.) My son-our son-our Ulric, of the third generation; but Heaven seems Been clasp'd again in these long-empty arms, To claim her stern prerogative, and visit And all a mother's hunger satisfied.
Upon my boy his father's faults and follies. Twelve years! he was but eight then:(1)—beautiful Jos. I must hope better still,—at least we have ye He was, and beautiful he must be now,
Baffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim. My Ulric! my adored!
Wer. We should have done, but for this fatal sick Wer. I have been full oft More fatal than a mortal malady,
(ness The chase of Fortune; now she hath o'ertaken Because it takes not life, but life's sole solace: My spirit where it cannot turn at bay,-
Even now I feel my spirit girt about Sick, poor, and lonely.
By the snares of this avaricious fiend;Jos.
Lonely! my dear husband ? | How do I know he hath not track'd us here! Wer. Or worse-involving all I love, in this
Jos. He does not know thy person; and his spie Far worse than solitude. Alone, I had died, | Who so long watch'd thee, have been left at Hambargi And all been over in a nameless grave.
Our unexpected journey, and this change Jos. And I had not outlived thee; but pray take Of name, leaves all discovery far behind: Comfort! We have struggled long; and they who strive None hold us here for aught save what we seem. With Fortune win or weary her at last,
Wer. Save what we seem! save what we are-sid So that they find the goal or cease to feel
Who would read in this form Jos.
We are not baffled. | The high soul of the son of a long line? Wer. Are we not pennyless ?
Who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands? Jos.
We ne'er were wealthy. | Who, in this sunken sickly eye, the pride Wer. But I was born to wealth, and rank, and power; Of rank and ancestry? In this worn cheek Enjoy'd them, loved them, and, alas! abused them, And famine-hollow'd brow, the lord of halls And forfeited them by my father's wrath,
Which daily feast a thousand vassals ? In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse
You Long sufferings have atoned. My father's death Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things, Left the path open, yet not without snares.
My Werner! when you deign'd to choose for bride This cold and creeping kinsman, who so long
The foreign daughter of a wandering exile. Kept his eye on me, as the snake upon
Wer. An exile's daughter with an outcast sos The fluttering bird, hath ere this time outstept me, Were a fit marriage; but I still had hopes Become the master of my rights, and lord
To lift thee to the state we both were born for. Of that which lifts him up to princes in
| Your father's house was noble, though decay'd; Dominion and domain.
| And worthy by its birth to match with ours. Jos. Who knows? our son
Jos. Your father did not think so, though it May have return'd back to his grandsire, and | But had my birth been all my claim to match (nobl | Even now uphold thy rights for thee!
With thee, I should have deem'd it what it is.
'Tis hopeless. Wer. And what is that in thine eyes ? Since his strange disappearance from my father's, Jos.
All which Entailing, as it were, my sins upon
| Has done in our behalf,-nothing. Himself, no tidings bave reveal'd his course.
How,--nothing I parted with him to his grandsire, on
Jos. Or worse; for it has been a canker in The promise that his anger would stop short Thy heart from the beginning: but for this,
us be a sample of what we are to expect for the future, we (1) “The story, which has great capabilities, is puzzle have only to entreat that lord Byron will drop the cere | and ill told, and the general structure of the piece, ce mony of cutting up his prose into lines of ten, eleven, or sidered as a dramatic performance, ridiculously inartificial twelve syllables (for he is not very punctilious on this head), For instance, take the very opening scene between Werni and favour us with it in its natural state. It requires no and his wife. You there see the old silly expedient, while very cunning alchemy to transmute his verse into prose, is resorted to by all incompetent play-writers ; viz. that nor, reversing the experiment, to convert his plain sen. making the dramatis persona inform one another of event tences into verses like his own.- When,' says Werner, which must have been so perfectly familiar to them. 11
but for this untoward sickness, which seized me upon never by any chance to be made matter of conversatio this desolate frontier, and bath wasted, not alone my but which are manifestly given for the benefit of the strength, but means, and leaves us-no! this is beyond dience. I thought The Critic had laugbed this mancun mel but for this I bad been happy.' -- This is indeed, be down so completely, that no one would now-a-days bat yond us. If this be poetry, then we were wrong in taking had recourse to it. Lord Byron might as dramatically his Lordship's preface for prose. It will run on ten feet as and more satisfactorily, have brought forward a god well as the rest-See ante, p. 532] :
devil to prologuise, as of old, or have adopted Terence • Some of the characters are modified
plan at once, and hauled up on the stage some unfortunat Or altered, a few of the names changed, and
Sosia, or Davus, to act the part of a channel, to convey One character (Ida of Stralenheim)
the audience information which the poet had not si Added by myself, but in the rest the Original is chietly followed. When
otherwise to communicate. Werner gravely informs his wie I was young (about fourteen, I think) I
that he had been married to her twenty years that I First read this tale, which made a deep impression father disinherited him in consequence-that they had on Upon me'
80n--that they had not seen him for twelve years Nor is there a line in these so lame and halting, but we his real name was not Werner-and other impertinences all could point out many in the drama as bad." Campbell. the kind." Dr. Maginn.-L.E. -LE.
We had not felt our poverty but as
Here in the prince's palace—(to be sure, Millions of myriads feel it, cheerfully;
His highness had resign'd it to the ghosts But for these phantoms of thy feudal fathers, And rats these twelve years--but 't is still a palace) | Thou mightst have earn'd thy bread, as thousands earn I say you have been our lodger, and as yet Or, if that seem too humble, tried by commerce, [it; We do not know your name. Or other civic means, to amend thy fortunes.
My name is Werner. Wer. (ironically.) And been an Hanseatic burgher? Iden. A goodly name, a very worthy name Excellent!
As e'er was gilt upon a trader's board :
[rows: Surgeon's assistant (hoping to be surgeon),
Oh, yes; we are, but distantly.
Well, I'm glad of that: la youth was such as to unmake an empire,
I thought so all along, such natural yearnings Had sach been my inheritance; but now,
Play'd round my heart!-blood is not water, cousin;
Our better acquaintance: relatives should be
Wer. You appear to have drunk enough already; The last sole scion of a thousand sires
And, if you had not, I've no wine to offer, Par I was then the last,) it hurt me less
Else it were yours: but this you know, or should know: Then to behold my boy and my boy's mother You see I am poor, and sick, and will not see Excluded in their innocence from what
That I would be alone ; but to your business! My faults deserved-exclusion; although then
What brings you here? Ay passions were all living serpents, and
Iden. Why, what should bring me here? Toined like the gorgon's round me.
Wer. I know not, though I think that I could guess
Patience, dear Werner! A knocking! Iden. You don't know wbat has happen'd, then ? Jos. Who can it be at this lone hour? We have Jos.
How should we? Pew visiters.
Iden. The river has o'erflow’d. Wer. And poverty hath none,
Alas! we have known Sure those who come to make it poorer still.
That to our sorrow, for these five days; since Well, I am prepared.
It keeps us here. (WERNER puts his hand into his bosom, as if to Iden.
But what you don't know is, search for some weapon.
That a great personage, who fain would cross, Oh! do not look so. I Against the stream and three postilions' wishes, Will to the door. It cannot be of import
Is drown'd below the ford, with five post-horses, In this lone spot of wintry desolation :
A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet. The very desert saves man from mankind.
Jos. Poor creatures are you sure? [She goes to the door. Iden.
Yes, of the monkey,
And the valet, and the cattle; but as yet
We know not if his excellency's dead
Are you But what is certain is, that he has swallow'd
Enough of the Oder to have burst two peasants; Iden. Not afraid !
And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller, Egad! I am afraid. You look as if
Who, at their proper peril, snatch'd him from 11 ask'd for something better than your name,
The whirling river, have sent on to crave
A lodging, or a grave, according as
It may turn out with ihe live or dead body. * Iden. Better or worse, like matrimony: what | Jos. And where will you receive him? here, I hope, Shall I say more? You have been a guest this month | If we can be of service--say the word.
11 "Werner's wife, Josephine, with the exception of lea, the only female in the drama, is an example of true and spotless virtue. A true woman, she not only well maintains the character of her sex by general integrity, but Squally displays the endearing, soft, and unshaken affection of a wife; cherishing and comforting a suffering husband throughout all the adversities of his fate, and all the errors o bis own conduct. She is a native of Italy, and thus con
trasts the beauties and circumstances of her own country with those of the frontiers of Silesia, where an instance of petty feudal tyranny has just excited her feelings.” M. Rev. -L. E.
(2) "The most amusing fellow in the drama is Monsieur Idenstein ; wbo makes the finest speech, too, beyond comparison, of any of the personages. The only wonder is, where he got it.” Ecl. Rev.-J. E.