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Look on me as a prophetess, Cassandra,
Unheeded in her wilderness of mind ;
In her extreme despair cut off ; yet truly
Telling of woe and ruin. Oh! I shall be

Deep in the earth, and feel it not."
She is removed into the imperial tent Julian enters.

6 JULIAN EUSEBIA.
“ I quit her not, while there is breath, pulse, heat.

I like not the look of her eye, beneath the lid.
Is your hand cool, Eusebia? Lay it here
Upon my brow, that burns. My brain is sear'd,
My mind is numb'd, is numb'd. Yet in my heart,
There is a recklessness. Why, I could laugh now !
Is it not strange ?

5. EUSEBIA.
" For mercy's sake, be calm !

“6 JULIAN.
Why, so I am-Do you not see me calm ?
As cold and passionless as any statue-
Still as the breathless pause before an earthquake.

*

c. CONSTANTIA.

“ Julian! my husband Julian!
Oh, Julian-Julian--come to me

Let me look once more on hiin :
A film is on my sight, Oh, my best love,
Thy lineaments are in my heart, or scarcely
Could I now trace them.

Oh-thou wert strong in virtue,
And shalt be yet.

As thou hast fallen, repent;
Repent-and God is merciful !
One moment more, sweet Heaven! I cannot see
I cannot hear thee-give me a sign-a kiss
In token of

4 JULIAN.

Upon thy dying lips,
Thou blessed saint, I pledge my prostrate soul.

“ CONSTANTIA. “Now I die happy-remember

Then follows a hymn, very pretty and innocent, but not such, we suspect, as a chorus of virgins would have sung at that time. It is too Christian for the Emperor, and not enough so for the Empress.

· Next enters, by moonlight, the Traitor Maximus. We
can scarce believe that a man bent on a treasonable assigna-
tion, would either feel or describe the calm and loveliness of
nature in such poetry as the following:
“ The moon has passed the midnight; the hour is past

That Nohordates pledged: would it were over !
How calm it is. No sounds come through the air,
Though they might pass the impalpable element
Like light through the clear deep of waters. I
Would rather front the whirlwind of the desert,
Or voice of thunder with its wild concomitants,
Lightning and swelling winds, and sheeted rains,
Than this placidity of nature. Gazing,
Thus on yon stedfast star I could half fancy
That supernatural eyes

looked down on me
From the calm depth of Heaven : and this breathless
Pause in the world's life, seems as if all the earth
Was hush'd, that not a sound might interrupt

The ear of omnipresent Deity.” It is a great deviation from dramatic propriety, when villains are made thus fancifully tender. Such iinaginations might occur to a virgin who had imprudently agreed to meet a lover, but could have no place in the thoughts of a veteran sinner like Maximus. Nohordates, the emissary of Sapor, arrives to break off his reflections. The fiery meanness of the Persian is well contrasted with the cool, haughty, selfcomplacent villainy of the Pontiff, who appears with more dignity than usual. The plot is laid

“We raise our leaguer of Proud Ctesiphon,
And plunge into the desert after

you:
Be wary, and we scape not the decoy.

NOHORDATES.
Oh! fear not-we shall fly you like the sand
Swept by the breeze: till with its mighty arm

The storm collects its pillars~ Then we crush you." We do not recollect many similes more exact, more appropriate, more suited to the character and country of the speaker, than this of the sandy pillars.

The mutiny of the troops, the burning of the vessels, and the firmness of Julian, occupy the next scene; which, though far from bad, is not in Sir Aubrey's best vein. His soldiers are too poetical.

After the death of Constantia, (for the two scenes which farnish our extracts, are, we think, unskilly severed,) we

are carried, according to the agreement of Maximus, into the sandy desert. The ensuing portion of the Drama is not sufficiently rapid. The catastrophe is so clearly foreseen, that its delay is rather painful than agreeable. Lines and speeches of great beauty might be selected; but they are not such as belong rightly to a hard march, or a field of battle. Our dramatists are apt to forget, that men seldom describe what is before their eyes. The scene in the Persian camp is the best. Sapor is an excellent despot, most royally lavish of his subjects blood.

“Slave, I ask not
The Gods to spare men's lives : 'tis victory

That I command. Forward, I say." Poetical justice is done upon Maximus, who, discovered in treason, dies by the hand of Julian; who is shortly after wounded, and dies with the memorable exclamation

“Oh! Galilean thou hast conquered me!" which concludes the play.

From this rapid sketch, and still more from our extracts, it will appear that Sir Aubrey's forte is the lovely, the tender, the beautiful. The gloom of the metaphysics, and the dark workings of villainy, he seems to shrink from; and the exquisite repose of his style is unfitted to depict the violence of passion, or the bustle of active life. He is rather a poet than a dramatist. He invests all things in the light of his own mind, and presents them to the imagination at a softening distance; but he is evidently possessed of greater powers than he has yet fully displayed. He has not " screwed up his courage to the sticking place." But we thank him for what he has done, and hope to see him again ere long.

ART. III. Essays on Petrarch. By Ugo Foscolo. Murray.

1828.

There is an interest excited by the name of Petraroh which is quite anacoountable. It is universal and apparently genuine: it is professed equally by the old and the young; it is partaken by either sex; it seems congenial with every age and with every clime. Italians, Spaniards, French, English, Scotch, write, and talk, and quarrel about Petrarch ; the Germans also weave annotations upon him, the Dutch paraphrase him, the Russians translate him. The lover

quotes him, the metaphysician quotes him, the divine quotes bim. He reclines together with many a youthful boardingschool scholar on the inclined plane; he sleeps in sweet vicinage with the Irish melodies, and Don Juan, under many a snow-white pillow. He reigns despotically in the theoretical limbo of lovers; he inspires'fortune-hunters with generosity and elderly young women with amatory babblings; he hath laid Tibullus under a perpetual injunction, and shoved Ovidius Naso from his ancient throne! Yet Petrarch is not read through by many; he is thoroughly understood by few; amongst the few, fewer still feel with him and can speak with him; whence is his reputation and his influence? We scarcely know; perhaps from the prestige of a mighty name!

It is not that we mean to deny or underrate the claims of Petrarch ; no such thing. We intended to hint at the foundation on which they now actually rest, namely, the remembrance and the shadow of fame. There is nothing singular or surprising in this ; the reputation and influence of greater men than Petrarch rely upon similar grounds. Every one admires Spenser and Milton ; ten in the hundred is too large an average of those who have perused either. Shakspeare is known but a tritte better, and that chiefly by means of theatrical mutilation; and Lord Bacon shall be loaded with deserved honours by a round dozen of excellent literali, twelve of whom we will warrant guiltless of any more intimate conversation with him than the neat frontispiece of the duodecimo British Essayists may have procured for them. Now if Spenser, Sbakspeare, Bacon, and Milton, are admired by scores, who know next to nothing about them, why should not Petrarch (for his book is written in very choice Italian, and therefore a good primer for young ladies) receive a portion of similar incense from similar worshippers ? It is a fair analogy.

Ugo Foscolo's book consists of three essays on the Love, the Poetry, and the Character, of Petrarch, to which is added a parallel between him and Dante. The volume is mag. nified to a royal octavo, by reprivting divers of Mr. Moore's facetious imitations of Anacreon, intermingled with sundry less facetious imitations of other Greek amatory writers by other hands. This part of his work shows how clever and observant of manners Ugo Foscolo is ; we know not if there be any compound in modern Italian for the thing; it is called in English par excellence book-making. Some translations, by Lady Dacre and Miss ***, are published, with their originals, by way of conclusion to the appendix.

We have no wish to speak slightingly of this work, though in point of fact it is but a slight performance. There is little new matter in it, and no very masterly comprehension of the metaphysical portion of the subject; but then there is a freedom from extravagance, an abstinence from rant, which, under all the circumstances, is remarkable, and a general coolness and good sense pervades the criticism, which cannot fail to impart some value to its decisions. Of Lady Dacres' translations we think very highly; as we shall show hereafter ; of Lord Byron's we think as ill. That translation from the Afried we will engage shall be beaten in every quality by more than one of our young friends at Eton, within twelve hours notice. Is Ugo Foscolo gulled also by a name? The text is written in good English; but this must belong to some of his English friends. This gentleman may probably write English better than he speaks it, but we are certain he could not himself have written his book as we have it now

before us.

We remember few occurrences in the annals of literature, except the recent extermination of Barry O'Meara, more amusing than the Abbé de Sade's famous discovery at Avignon. The story of the enthusiast who went to pay bis respects at the tomb of Collins, and, upon its being shown to him, kneeled down and looked and sighed, and sighed and looked, till the sexton tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I beg your honour's pardon; that's where old Collins, the tailor, lies, rest his soul ! Collins, the scholar, is buried on the other side of the church,”-is nothing to it. That the inspirer of such ardent poetry, the idol of such unparalleled fidelity, the cynosure of all true lovers' eyes for full four hundred years, that Petrarch's Laura should turn out to have been--a married coquet, with a large family ;-Oh! in most serious soberness, it was well fitted to be “an argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever!” The spleen, the rage, the despite that was excited: the quarrellings, the bickerings, and the disputings; the pamphlets and the books, are enough to make any man, not suffering under rheumatism or the gout, laugh “ till his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up.

We have before us at present as much letter-press as would fill a gigantic folio intorno, as the Italians well phrase it, a Madonna Laura. One noble contributor to this precious inass of deliberate inanity, actually lays down seven grave canons of criticism, by the light of which he means to decide the question at once.

The fourth of these profound rules shows how well its author was fitted even to have edited a Greek play, we quote from an Italian translation, as we have not the Scotch original before us.

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