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Stra.-- Prince, what ails thee? Collect thy- | king, that thus I weep an enemy. I cannot willself (approaching him).
hold my tears. The brave, the noble boy! Phil. (druwing back).—And thou too, Strato, Ari:l.-Yes, weep for him. I must also weep. thou! Oh, be generous! Kill me, but do not But come—my son-I must regain my sou. take me prisoner. But were ye all Stratos that did Blame me not, if at 100 high a price I ransom him, surround me, still would I defend myself against la vain has been this war, this bloodshed ; tbere ye-against the world. Do your best then, How, lies the victor! Give me my son but once again, and ye will not slay me? Cruel! Ye would take me no longer will I be king. Ambition is dead within alive-make me a prisoner; but I laugh ye to me! Give me but my son!
Me, alive and a prisoner ? Me! Sooner Lessing's fables, which constituted his next will I plunge this, my sword, in my heart thus-poetic publication, exhibit a simplicity of expres(stabs himself.)
sion, a deatness of versification, and an exhaustless Arid.-Oh, ye Gods !
variety of invention, which we rarely see equalled. Sira.--My king !
They have been very ably translated by Mr. Phil.-Yes, far sooner! (falls.)
Richardson. Arid.-Support him, Strato. Help! help!
“Minna von Barnhelm” was published in 1765. Prince, what madness nerved thine arm?
In the opening scenes of this comedy we find the false. I have escaped. I die, and my country, she has been for some time engaged to a Major Phil.--- Forgive me, King! I have played thee heroine and her lively attendant just arrived at an
inn. From their conversation we soon learn that will reap the benefit of my death. Thy son, oh! King, is a prisoner---the son of my father is free! Tellheim, and not liaving heard anything of him Arid.- What do I hear ?
latterly, has conceived the romantic project of Stra.—'Twas then thy purposeso, to act,
setting off in search of him. ller guardian had Prince? But as our prisoner, thou hadst nó accompanied her, but an accident having happened right over thyself.
to his carriage, she has come the last few stages Phil.-Say not so, Strato. Shall the blest without him. They learn that the rooms which privilege-10 die--which under all the circum- are given to them have been for some time occustances of life the Gods have left us-shall that be pied by a half-pay officer ; but, as he was not circumscribed by man?
quite punctual in paying, the landlord considered Stra.--My King! Horror hath turned him to himself justified in turning him out to make way stone. My King !
for these new comers. Minna sends a courteous Arid.- Who speaks?
message to the stranger, expressing her regret at Stru.—'Tis I, great King.
having been made the means of incoveniencing Arid.-Silence !
him ; but he takes no notice. The landlord conies Strato.-The war is over.
to endeavour to fish out the rank, names, and drid.-Over! Thou liest Strato! The war is business of his new guests, and shows Minna a not over. Prince, hear me, die--yes, die if thou ring, which has been pledged to him by the said wilt; but bear with thee this tormenting thought, officer, in payment of his debt, and asks her opinion the war is not over. Thou didst think, inex- of its value; she, to her surprize, recognises it perienced boy as thou art, that all fathers were as
to be one of two exactly alike, which she and iender and womanish as thine, but thou art mis- the major exchanged on their betrothal, and eagerly taken ; I am not so: What is my son to me? inquires where the officer now is, and gives the Thinkest thou that he, too, cannot die for his landlord more for it than he had advanced. lle country's good ? He die-oh, God!—That he sends the oflicer's servant to the ladies, but the cannot, by his death, save me from having to faithful Just, who does not understand the motive ransom him by heavy sacrifices ? Strato, I am a
of Minna's curiosity, replies roughly and guardedly childless man. Thou hast a son. Oh give him to
to her questions. Who would be childless ? Happy Strato!
Tellheim, who is actually there, has lost his Phil.-Thy son yet lives, and will live, king. the arrears of pay due to him; his honour, too, has
property through misfortunes, is unable to obtain I know it. Arid. —Yet lives! then must I have him again; all the evils of poverty and wounded sensibility
been wrongfully aspersed, and he is suffering from aye, die! still will I have him again, or I will so His delight at beholding Minna again is, therefore, mutilate, so dishonour thy corse! I will Phil.-The dead body! Nay, king; before thou states the whole truth to her, and releases her from
checked by a recollection of his situation, and he canst avenge thyself, thou must re-animate it.
her engagement. Minna finding him firm, and Arid.--Alas! what will become of me? determined to act up to what be deems just, pre
Phil.-I pity thee! Strato, farewell! In that tends to acquiesce, and to restore to him the ring he land where all the brave and virtuous are re-united, gave her, but actually gives him the one she has we shall meet again. Yes, in Elysium, king, even obtained from the landlord. When she is gone, we shall see each other once more.
her attendant utters some ariful expressions which Arid.-And be reconciled, prince.
lead him to question her further, and she gradually Phil.-Oh, receive my triumphant soul, ye suffers him to draw from ber the feigned narrative Gods! Goddess of peace, accept my self-immo- of all the persecutions to which Minna has been lation !
subjected by her relatives to induce ber 10 give Arid.—Hear me, prince.
him up, and, under the strictest promise of secresy, Stralo. He is dead! Deem me not a trailor, informs him that her mistress is at the present mo.
ment poor, and an outcast froin her family for his less from mass; she informs her mother how the sake. Tellheim instantly flies 10 Minna's feet, and prince followed her thither, knelt by her side, and intreats her to forgive him, and share his fortune, breathed impassioned vows in her ear during the hard as it is. But it is now her turn to refuse, whole service; her mother soothes and calms her, to play the magnanimous, and she does so; urging exulting while she does so, in maternal pride, at the all the arguments which he had previously made influence of ber daughter's charms, persuades use of, and turning his own words against himself. Emilia to forget it, and above all not to mention He receives a dispatch from court, fully exonerating the affair to her father or the count; and the young him from all suspicion and blame, and restoring girl, whose wish it was to have had no secrets from him to rank and honour, and the enjoyment of her husband, reluctlantly acquiesces. The marriage affluence, and now he pleads yet more vehemently takes place, and the bride and bridegroom, accombis suit. At length, feigning to be shaken in her panied by the mother, set out for the count's resolution by his entreaties, Minna says that had castle. They are attacked by the emissaries of she not returned the ring, she would still have Marinelli disguised as bandits; the Count is slain been his. At this moment Just enters and inforins in the conflict, and Emelia and her mother appahis master that the landlord has parted with the rently rescued by the marquis, and conducted to a hing they pledged to him, and that that lady was hunting castle in the immediate neighbourhood the purchaser of it. Tellheim, grieved and wounded belonging to the prince; who, in compliance with as he is by Minna's pretended indifference, sees in a hint from bis wily counsellor, is there 10 receive this incident only a fresh proof of her determination and bid them welcome, with every demonstration to free herself from all engagement to him, and is of astonishment and sympathy. They, deceived about to leave her for ever, when the arrival of her by his specious professions, and grateful for his uncle is announced. He returns to protect her courtesy and kindness, still look anxiously for the from the persecutions of this, as he supposes, arrival of the count, whose death is as yet unknown tyrannical relative; an explanation ensues, and all to all save Marinelli
. At this juncture, the countess ends happily.
Orsini, one of the prince's mistresses, but who has There is a lively under-current of jokes and love been neglected by him since he formed this new making between Minna's attendant Fransiska, attachment, arrives ; Marinelli receives her, and and Werner, a brave soldier, who formerly served tries all his arts to get rid of her again ; but her under the major, and had followed him in his mis- suspicions have been aroused by what she has fortunes to offer him his small but honest savings, heard respecting the encounter of the Count while he again seeks active service.
Apiani's people with banditti, her jealousy is This is a very lively and graceful comedy ; the excited, and she refuses to leave withoui seeing the characters are all those of every-day life, yet clearly prince. Odoardo, Emilia's father, also arrives full and vividly individualized, and the events and of anxiety, but still mistrusting nothing ; Marinelli situations are well managed. We follow the ge- is forced to leave him and the countess together, nerous, affectionate, true-hearted Minna through and she communicates her suspicions to him with all her schemes and plots with no little interest, all the exaggerated colouring of jealousy. Odoardo and are amused by the playful liveliness and conceals his horror, requests to see his family, coquetry of her merry-hearied, and attached and on his wife coming to him, intreats the maiden. The poor, but proud, brave, and noble
countess to take her back to town in her own carmajor, and his simple, faithful servant Just, also riage. They depart, and he has an interview with delight us; nor is Werner without his share of his daughter ; reveals 10 her the murder of her interest, and the artful, cringing, rapacious, inqui- husband, the snare into which she has fallen, the sitive landlord is a perfect picture.
stain already cast on her fair fame, and the shame “Emilia Galotti."--The prince of Guastalla and dishonour which await her. Emilia shrinks has seen and admired Emilia, and, in the opening terrified from the frightful picture, and reminds her scenes we find bim narrating his passion for this parent of the Roman father who slew his child to young maiden to Marinelli, his gentleman in save her from dishonour. Odoardo hesitates, afwaiting, and confident; from whom he learns that fection unnerves his hand, but he finally stabs her, she is the daughter of a staunch old patriot, and on and she dies blessing him. The prince enters, and the eve of being married 10 the Count Appiani, a Odoardo proclaims his deed, and delivers himself brave and influential nobleman. This has, however, up to justice, while the royal libertine stards petrino influence whatever on the prince, and he implores fied with horror and remorse. Marinelli to assist him in obtaining this object of The first four acts of this play are very good, his passionate desires. The marquis, who owes and contain many natural and effective situations his great influence to his being an unscrupulous and interesting incidents ; but the fifth we cannot pander to all his master's evil propensities, pro- but regard as exaggerated, and the catastrophe far mises to use his best endeavours, and commences 100 tragic. Emelia is by no means a striking by getting the count appointed to an honourable character, and perhaps for that reason the more embassy, which, however, requires him 10 set off natural; her simplicity and credulity are, however, to his post without a moment's delay. Appiani occasionally carried ioo far. Her mother offers a declines the honour, stating it to be his intention true picture of maternal vanity and affection, and to retire from public life to the enjoyment of the Countess Orsini a painfully faithful represendomestic felicity, and the marquis retires to concert tation of a depraved, jealous, and revengeful 110new schemes of villany. The beroine is frst man. The prince is not without his good points, introduced to us as returning terrified and breath and as a private individual would doubtless have been amiable: his vices seem rather those of edu- ' battle, to convey bis child to Nathan; the orders of cation and station than of the heart. Marinelli, the superior recall this circumstance to his mind, his evil genius, who plans and advises each act of and accordingly he goes straight to the Jew, invillany, and professes to be instigated solely by quires if that child yet lives, and gives into his love and obedience to his master , is a graphic hands a book containing the register of her birth
, sketch; and Odoardo, with his high stern principles, and that of all her family, which he found in his his deep parental affection, and his Virginius-like master's bosom after he was slain. determination, is perhaps the most marked charac- While all this has been developed, other scenes ter of the whole.
bave introduced us to Saladin, who is in great “ Nathan der Weise."- In the opening scene we distress for want of money to enable bim 10 carry find Nathan, a rich jewish merchant, just returned on operations, and what lies still closer 10 bis from a long journey. Daja, his housekeeper, a heart, relieve his father. In vain he has tried Christian woman, meets him, and relates how his 10 raise a loan, and at last, necessity overcomes house has been burned to the ground; and his child bis scruples, and he sends for Nathan, of whose Recha only saved from perishing by the bravery of riches he has heard, and resolves on forcing him to a young knight-templar, who rushed through the advance the required sum. But even when the man flames at the hazard of his life and bore her out in appears before him he cannot so far overcome his safety: how Recha is still almost delirious from naturally generous character as thus to act the ly. the effects of the fright, and persists in believing rant, and speaks first on indifferent topics, and then her preserver to have been her guardian angel in inquires what are Nathan's opinions respecting the human shape, and prays to himn and worships him ; relative value of the three religions, the Christian, and how slie, in order to efface this mania, has Jewish, and Musselman. The wisdom, toleration, been again and again to the young knight, implor- and picty of the old merchant's replies so win his ing him to come and receive the ihanks and bless- esteem that he is now less than ever inclined to ings of the grateful girl, but has been repulsed mention the motive for which he summoned him, with scorn and insult. Naiban delermines him- por has he any need to do so, for Nathan has self 10 seek out this proud hero, and compel him guessed it, and offers the loan, which the prince to accept a father's thanks. He finds him, wins gladly and gratefully accepts. Nathan then speaks on the young man's regard, lulls all his prejudices of the young knight, and Saladin, thus reminded, 10 sleep, and causes bim so completely to forget sends for him, and is still more struck than before all distinctions of race or sect, as eagerly to ac- at the striking resemblance he bears to his brother cept bis offered invitation. He comes, and the Assad, as is Sitlah the sultan's sister, who possesses artless gratitude and ingenuous frankness of the a miniature of that brother. Saladin gives the young lovely jewess complete the work which the mild- man his freedom, and offers him his friendship ness, benevolence, and wisdom of the old man had and protection; the knight gratefully accepts it, commenced. The young knight falls passionately in and won by the prince's kindness and affability love with Recha, in whose lieart he already reigns ; relates the iale of his love. Sittah, with a view to and eagerly seeks Nathan to plead his suit. The set all right, sends for Recha, who comes overprudent merchant hesitates, and inquires the name, whelmed with grief, for Daja has just communilineage, and history of his suitor, and is informed cated to her that she has not a child's claims on that he is by birth a German, of noble blood, was Nathan-that kind parent whom she so loved and taken prisoner with several of his brother knights, respected. Sittah easily discovers that the artless and that his life was spared because Saladin fan- girl loves her brave preserver, and Saladin is about cied be traced some resemblance between him and to join their hands, when Nathan, entering, proa loved but lost brother. Nathan appears still to nounces them to be brother and sister, children besitate, and the impetuous youth at last ceases to of the lost Assad, who quitted his country and urge his eager prayer, and quits him. Daja, who kindred for love of a noble German lady. Salahas furtively but anxiously watched the conference, din recognizes the proofs he brings forward in sup. follows the angry lover, learns from him the report of this assertion to be genuine, embraces his ception which his suit bas met with, and then re- newly found relatives, and the piece ends. veals to him that Recha is not Nathan's child, but This is the most original of all Lessing's drallie daughter of Christian parents, thrown in in- matic works, and is regarded in Germany as a fancy, on his bounty, and by him adopted and national classic. It is less of a play than a drareared as his own. This information adds fresh matic poem, and more calculated for the closet fuel to the fire of his wrath, and in the violence of than the stage ; an abridgment of it, however, by bis feelings he almost denounces Nathan to the Schiller has been performed with great success. superior of a Christian monastery, as a Jew who The dialogue, which is well adapted to the sentihas stolen a Christian child, and educated it in his ments of the piece, is simple, expressive, and own faith ; but the fierce bigotry of the priest re- graceful; and the metaphors made use of are at calls him to himself in time, and he pretends that once forcible and homely. There is also much of he did but invent such a case to learn what would learning and research displayed throughout the be its punishment. The priest is not, however, so whole composition, and the allusions, situations, easily deceived, and commissions one of the lay- and actions of the characters, are most carefully brothers to endeavour to discover who this Jew is. adapted to the period and locality in which the in The monk he selects happens to be the very man cidents are supposed to occur. who, years before, when he was squire to a warrior, the moral inculcated throughout this work were was commissioned by his lord, on the eve of a more generally disseminated. The characters are
It were well if
graphically delineated, and each is in its way a two of his beloved children. What was to be picture. Mendelsohn, speaking of Lessing, says, done? He sent in secret for a skilful artist, and “ He left no descendants, but a far more surely en- bade him make two more rings after the pattern of during memorial. He wrole Nathan der Weise.” the one he showed him, and spare nor trouble nor
The We cannot forbear extracting a portion of the expense to render them exactly similar, interview between Saladin and Nathan, where the artist did so well succeed that when he brought former questions the Jew as to which is, in his the work to the father, the man could not delect opinion, the true religion.
which was the original. Joyfully now did he summon each son separately, gave to each one his
fervent blessing and a ring, and so he died. Dost Act III. SCENE VII.
hear me, Sultan?
Saladin.--I hear, I hear ! only go on with your An aparlment in the Palace of the Sullan. tale. Saladin and Nathan.
Nathan.-I am already at the end, for what
follows might naturally have been expected. Saladin.-So, the field is clear? I hope I have his ring, claiming to be made the head of the
Scarcely was the father dead than each produced not returned 10 thee too soon? Thou hast had family. They examined, compared, quarrelled; time to arrange thy ideas. Speak then-no soul and argued, but all in vain ; the right ring could hears us. Nulhun.—I would that the whole world might awaits the Sultan's remarks, but finding him silent
not by any means be distinguished (pauses and
continues).— It was as indistinguishable as is now Saladin.-1s Nathan then so confident ?
Yet, the true faith. so should wisdom ever be- willing, nay, eager to Suladin.—How! And is this your reply to my promulgate truth; and for that good purpose to
question ? risk all-life, wealth, and blood.
Nathan.- Forgive me if I do not venture 10 Nathar.-Yes, yes; where such sacrifices are decide between those rings which the father purnecessary and can do good. But, Sultan, before I posely had made so much alike as not to be disdo wholly confide in ihee, wilt ihou permit me to linguished one from the other. relate a tale?
Saladin.—The rings—you trifle with me! Surely Saludin.—Wherefore not? I have ever loved the religions I did name to thee are distinguishto listen to a good lale, especially when 'tis well able apart, were it only from the dress, manners, narrated.
and characteristics of their professors? Nathan.-Well narrated— truly that I cannot Nathan.-But not from their principles ; since answer for.
all prosess to be founded on the histories which Saludin.- Again so proudly modest! Come, have been written or verbally handed down to us. make haste, and let us hear this lale.
And such histories can, I should conceive, be only Nathan.-In ancient days there dwell in the accepted by faith. We receive them from our East a man, who from a dearly loved friend had forefathers, from our parents—those who from our received a ring of inestimable value. The stone earliest childhood have given us incessant proofs was an opal, wherein a hundred colours played, of love, who eek but our benefit, who have ne'er and this gem was gifted with the magic power to deceived us, unless 'twas for our good. Why make its owner beloved of God and men, so he did should I believe my father less than thou dost but wear it in perfect confidence. It was not thine ? or, on the other band, how can I expect therefore to be wondered at that this man did that thou shouldst brand thy parents liars, in order never suffer it to quit his finger, and so arranged to justify the words of mine?. The same, 100, ihat in bis family it should ever remain. Thus may be observed respecting Christians. Is it not ran his will :-To the best beloved of his sons he did bequeath the jewel, with strict injunctions Saladin.-By the living God the man is right! that he again should leave it to the son he loved Nathan.-But let us return to our rings. The best, and so on throughout generations; and that sons laid each complaint against the other; each not seniority of birth, but the possession of this swore 10 the judge that he received his ring from ring should make that one the head of all the his father's own hand, who had long before prohouse. So passed it on from father unto son, mised it to him, and with it all the rights that ring until it came into the bands of one who had three entailed ; and each spoke truly. Each declared sons, all of whom were equally good, equally his confidence in his father's words, and vowed obedient, and whom he consequently loved with that e'er he could believe so good a parent capable equal love. Yet it would sometimes happen that of deceit, he must, however much it grieved him when with one he found himself alone, his over- so to do, accuse his brothers of soul play, and only flowing heart poured itself out on that child with hoped he might discover ihe traitor, and he would undivided affection, and for the moment he did soon revenge the fraud. deem him worthier than the other two to possess Saladin.And now the judge ! I long to hear the ring. Thus had it come 10 pass that at dif- what thou wilt make the judge to say. Quick ! ferent times he to each son had promised the continue. jewel. All went on well so long as it lasted ; but Nathan.-Thus spoke the judge: “Since you when death came the good old father fell into per- cannot summon your father here before me 10 explexity. It grieved him that he must disappoint plain the mystery, I dismiss the case. Think you, I sit here to solve riddles? Or do you expect rather be compared to drawings in crayon, gentle that the right ring will be endowed with voice to and subdued in hue, yet clearly defined. speak and claim its superiority? Yet stay! Did llis prose works inay be regarded as classic I not hear you say thai the right ring is gifted with models, and his countrymen owe him a deep debt the magic power to make its possessor beloved by of gratitude on this score ; for, under his auspices God and man? That must decide the point, for a new epoch dawned to theology, philosophy, and most assuredly the two false rings cannot possess the drama; a wide field of literature was thrown this wondrous charm. Now, whom love two of open, adorned with all that fertility of graceful you the most? Quick, speak! What, all silent ? | diction, and those flowers of æsthetic eloquence, Then are you all three deceived or deceivers, which Germany had before so much needed. His your rings all false! The right ring most pro- “ Dramaturgie
was the first work which made bably has been lost, and to repair the evil, did Shakspeare known to his countrymen. Ilis your father have one made for each of you.' “Laokoon" threw deep glances into the philosophy Saladin.--Excellent! excellent!
of arts, and his dialogues of the “Freemasons" Nathan.—' And so,' continued the judge, 'if and “ Antiquarian Leiters" are replete with vayou will not receive my advice, instead of my luable information. judgment, go at once. My advice, however, runs Nor was his private character inferior to his thus: you have each received a ring from your genius; as a friend, brother, and husband, he was father, and each of you believes his to be the true
ever kind, manly, and consciencious. To dry the one. Tis possible that your father was unwilling tears of the sorrowing, and soothe the trials of the to suffer one ring longer to tyrannize over all his afflicted was to him ever a consolation and delight; family; and, having loved you all alike, was not and even those who condemned that freedom and inclined to make two subservient to the other one. boldness of thought which he brought to bear on Well then, let each one strive to subdue all pre- religious subjects, could not deny that in all the judices, to give each virtue full play, and by bis
most essential points he was a sincere christian. own merits to establish the validity of bis ring. In society, his wit, varied information, and eloBring only to the struggle meekness, charity, quence rendered him a brilliant ornament; and on brotherly.love, constancy in well-doing, and fer-| the whole, it is seldom that we find so much vent piety, and the virtues of the stone shall be talent united with all those gentler qualities which manifest even in your children's children. I entitle a man to love and respect. invite them before this judgment-seat after the lapse of a thousand years again to appear. Then, perhaps, will a wiser man sit here to decide. Go!' So spoke the modest judge.
TRUE BEAUTY. Saladin,-God! God!
Nathan.-If thou, Saladin, feelest thyself to be this promised wiser man
Let others prize the outward form,
The blushing rose, the lily fair :
Give me a heart that's tender, warm;
I care not for the auburn hair.
Let others seek the snow-white skin, Ilis judgment-seat is not mine! Go!--go! But
The taper finger, rosy cheek : be my friend !”
Give me the heart that beats within, Lessing left several unfinished dramatic works,
If it be constant, kind, and meek. some of which display no inconsiderable portion of humour and talent, and lead us to regret that they
The cheek may be of palest hue; were never completed. Among these is a sketch
The hair not auburn; coarse, not finem
What care I if the heart be true? of the principal scenes and events for a drama to be called Faust, and one or two whole dialogues.
The shadow gone, the substance mine. This, doubtless, formed the ground-work and surnished Goethe with the first idea of his beautiful The rose's blush will quickly flee, dramatic poem, which appeared under that name.
The lily fair as soon will die; Although Lessing cannot be considered as a
Then mental beauty give to me, thoroughly cultivated writer, or one entitled to Which blooms to all eternity. rank among the most distinguished authors of any
W. nation ; yet few have written so carefully as he did, and the style he adopted had a most beneficial effect on German literature. It is brief, nervous, and vivid ; quiet, yet defined; and eloquent
EPIGRAM. without verbosity. As a critic, a philosopher, and a talented reasoner, he was distinguished; but as some say—“In this world nothing certain can a poet he both was, and considered himself, defi
be :" cient. He possessed, however, a rare felicity of But this I can safely dispute : expression, and his plays are mostly free from For if such is the case, then that certain must be; exaggeration, and possess a graceful, easy, poetic And who dare my logic confute ? life. They are not gorgeous paintings, but may
J. J. R.