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"Love that is love, bestoweth all it can!
It is protection, if 'tis anything,
Which nothing in its object leaves exposed
Its care can shelter."

And again

"Love should seek its match; and that is, love
Or nothing! Station-fortune-find their match
In things resembling them. They are not love!
Comes love (that subtle essence, without which
Life were but leaden dulness!-weariness!
A plodding trudger on a heavy road!)
Comes it of title deeds which fools may boast?
Or coffers vilest hands may hold the keys of?
Or that ethereal lamp that lights the eyes
To shed their sparkling lustre o'er the face,
Gives to the velvet skin its blushing glow,
And burns as bright beneath the peasant's roof
As roof of palaced prince ?"
Lydia's lover thus describeth her-

"No mood but doth become her-yea adorn her.
She turns unsightly anger into beauty!

Sour scorn grows sweetness, touching her sweet lips,
And indignation, lighting on her brow,

Transforms to brightness, as the cloud to gold
That overhangs the sun!"

Wonderfully delicate and attractive are the lines which dwell upon her hand, a subject that most minute painters would either render disagreeable or unintelligible.

"And here's a hand!-A fairy palmFingers that taper to the pinky tips,

With nails of rose, like shells of such a hue,

Berimm'd with pearl, you pick upon the shore."

The only objection that we would offer to the phraseology which comes readiest to Sheridan Knowles, or is affected by him, relates to that quaintness and inversion which frequently put one in mind of the old dramatists, and is certainly not essential to the utterance of any sentiment or the grace of speech required in elegant comedy. But while the soul that pervades and animates every scene and character is so unaffected, natural, and fresh, and since the action throughout is so healthy and brave, as to remind us of those lifecommunicating creations of our elder dramatists, it is of comparatively little consequence what the vehicle be, whether according to most modern fashion, or that which has acquired the mellow flavour of a bye-gone age.

We conclude our notice of the play by inserting the longest extract from it that is to enter into our pages. It contains a spirited and highly-descriptive account of the chase by Constance, who

has adopted the riding habit with the view of falling in with what she deems to be Wildrake's ruling taste in the way of pastime. On the other hand he has laid aside the style of garb suited to rural life and sport, with the hope of pleasing her in the costume of the modish flatterers of the town.


Worthy sir,

Souls attract souls, when they're of kindred vein.
The life that you love, I love. Well I know
'Mongst those who breast the feats of the bold chase,
You stand without a peer; and for myself
I dare avow 'mong such, none follows them
With heartier glee than I do.

Wildrake. Churl were he


That would gainsay you, madam !

Const. (courtesying) What delight

To back the flying steed, that challenges
The wind for speed!-seems native more of air
Than earth!-whose burden only lends him fire!—
Whose soul, in his task, turns labour into sport l-
Who makes your pastime his! I sit him now!
He takes away my breath!-He makes me reel !
I touch not earth-I see not-hear not-All
Is ecstacy of motion !

Wild. You are used,

I see, to the chase.

Const. I am, Sir. Then the leap,
To see the saucy barrier, and know
The mettle that can clear it! Then your time
To prove you master of the manage. Now
You keep him well together for a space,

Both horse and rider braced as you were one,
Scanning the distance—then you give him rein,
And let him fly at it, and o'er he goes,
Light as a bird on wing.

Wild. "Twere a bold leap,

I see, that turn'd you, madam.

Const. (courtesying) Sir, you're good!
And then the hounds, sir! Nothing I admire
Beyond the running of the well-trained pack.
The training's everything! Keen on the scent!
At fault none losing heart!-but all at work!
None leaving his task to another!-answering
The watchful huntsman's caution, check, or cheer,
As steed his rider's rein! Away they go!
How close they keep together!-what a pack !
Nor turn nor ditch nor stream divides them-as
They moved with one intelligence, act, will!
And then the concert they keep up!-enough
To make one tenant of the merry wood,
To list to their jocund music!

Wild. You describe

The huntsman's pastime to the life!
Const. I love it!

To wood and glen, hamlet and town, it is
A laughing holiday!-Not a hill-top

But's then alive!-Footmen with horsemen vie,
All earth's astir, roused with the revelry

Of vigour, health, and joy! Cheer awakes cheer,
While Echo's mimic tongue, that never tires,
Keeps up the hearty din! Each face is then
Its neighbour's glass-where gladness sees itself
And, at the bright reflection, grows more glad!
Breaks into tenfold mirth!-laughs like a child!
Would make a gift of its heart, it is so free!
Would scarce accept a kingdom, 'tis so rich!
Shakes hands with all, and vows it never knew
That life was life before !"

ART. XII.-The Alcestis of Euripides, with Notes, &c. Edited by the Rev.
J. R. MAJOR, Head-Master of King's College.
London: A. J. Valpy.


It may be true that the present age has but few scholars like the Scaligers, Casaubons, and Bentleys of days departed; but such mighty names are not of frequent occurrence in the literary history of any age. And yet the Hermanns, Boeckhs, Thirsches, to say nothing of living scholars in England, will stand a fair comparison, in point of wide and deep learning, with the most celebrated names in the annals of scholarship, while in elegance of taste and the arts of composition, their superiority is immense and unquestionable.

But as a good education now means a great deal more than a knowledge of Greek and Latin, classical learning is not held in such exclusive estimation as it has been in times gone by. Hence some people are naturally led to think that the study of ancient letters is fast losing the public regard. This study has gone through a change, it is true, but a change leading to a broad cultivation of the understanding, and furnishing the means of a just, as well as liberal, estimate of the value of the classics. The endless field of modern literature is opened to the student of polite letters; and he is taught that taste and genius were not the exclusive possession of the Greeks and Romans. He is allowed to form his judgment by comparing the master-pieces of antiquity with the kindred works which have upon them the freshness and glow of modern thought. Thus he may set Homer by the side of Dante, Tasso, Milton, or the Book of Heroes, and the mental exercise involved in doing so is not only delightful by itself, but the comparison will throw a new light on the

wonderful genius of the old bard of Greece. Eschylus and Shakspeare may be read together; and the lover of English poetry will be at least entertained by the beautiful analogies, both in thought and expression, between the two greatest masters of tragic passion. Sophocles and Euripides may be finely illustrated by a parallel course from the dramatic poems of Alfieri, Schiller, and Goëthe, as well as by the curious contrast of the miscalled classical drama of France. The express imitations of the classics by the poets of modern Europe, also afford the tasteful reader an agreeable subject of comparison. Milton's Sampson Agonistes has the daring sublimity of the Prometheus Bound. Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris has the tenderness of Euripides, with the exquisite finish and just sense of harmonious proportion which belong to Sophocles. The Agamemnon, Antigone, Orestes and Alcestis of Alfieri bring upon the scene the chief personages of the Attic drama, invested anew with dramatic life. This illustrious poet is not perhaps the best example of the modern classic style. The heroes of his poems breathe a fury too much like the violence of his own headstrong passions, for the sustained dignity and sculpture-like simplicity of Attic tragedy. Orestes, in particular, is always in a storm, and will exclaim, over and over again, "Oh, rabbia," in the very teeth of the usurper, when the fulfilment of his revenge, his own life and the life of his friend, are suspended on the issue. Ægisthus is a modern villain, though some of his speeches show a spirit of classical propriety worthy the best days of Athens. His soliloquy on approaching the palace of Agamemnon is full of terrific sublimity. These and other dramas of Alfieri, on Greek subjects, afford an interesting and instructive commentary, both by their beauties and faults, upon the theatrical literature of Athens. In this way it is easy enough to show that a wide study of modern literature, which the opinions of the age favour daily more and more, will strengthen rather than weaken a discriminating love of the ancient classics. It will sharpen the judgment, and refine the taste; for both judgment and taste are more the result of many comparisons and of gradual approximation, than is apt to be supposed. The kind of taste for ancient literature thus acquired, a love of antique poetry for poetry's sake, is doubtless more common now, than it has ever been before.

Written as these poems were, to undergo the searching criticism of the most fastidious people, on whose severe judgment the poet's triumph or defeat was depending, they were wrought up with consummate art, out of the materials furnished by the most copious and flexible of languages. Besides this, an intense feeling of nationality was to be conciliatad. The history of renowned ancestors, the exploits of heroes and demigods, were to be chanted in choral songs, intermingled with moral and religious reflections, naturally suggested by the downfal of mighty families, and the awful

retributions of fate, which were the groundwork of most of them. The difficulty of understanding them is still farther heightened by the obscure allusions to remote historical events amidst the highest strains of lyrical poetry, uttered in the forms of the venerable Doric. The Attic drama is moreover idiomatic to the last degree. Expressions growing out of the manifold relations of cultivated life, mingled with forms of speech naturally springing to the lips of a people who were lovers of war and rulers of the sea, make it necessary to build up anew in our imaginations the structure of Athenian Society, if we would enter fully into the spirit of the raciest portion of their literature. A commentator, therefore, on the Attic tragedy ought to be at home in the whole circle of Greek history and fable, beside having a taste trained to feel the delicate blending of shades of meaning, in the finely-linked constructions of poetry.

It cannot have failed to strike the tasteful reader that many learned commentators on the classics have been wanting in some of the qualities most necessary to a philosophical criticism. Spending their lives in the study of grammatical niceties, poring fourteen hours a day over manuscript readings, and conjectural emendations, and choral metres and allegorical interpretations, the fountains of sympathy with human feeling have been dried up in their bosoms, the majestic forms of nature have become lifeless to their eyes, and the myriad voices, uttered from every part of God's world, have grown unmeaning to their souls. The friendly collision of mind with mind in the common intercourse of life, the genial glow of thought in conversation, the softening, refining, animating influence of cultivated society, touch no responsive chord in their hardened natures. For they,

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They think every hour given to the calls of friendship, or the amenities of life, lost to the world because it is lost to their barren studies. They are stiff, dry, formal, pedantic; and they write over their study doors such sage apophthegms as "Temporis furis amici." How can such people feel the spirit of tragedy, or understand the inspiration of the lyric muse? There have been some learned commentators to whom these remarks will not apply. Mitscherlich's notes on Horace are touched with the delicate taste of his author. Heyne's commentary on Homer shows a fine appreciation of antique poetry, in the midst of an amazing mass of scholastic erudition. Bloomfield's Eschylus has some specimens of eloquent criticism and beautiful illustration. Arnold's Thucydides exhibits no small amount of minute learning, with a skilful application of all the resources of modern geography and topography to the clearing up of obscure passages in the difficult text of the historian.

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