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small distribution of patronage that fell to his disposal. The appointment of Howe gave universal satisfaction; but the Admiral whom he is said to have made his third in command, affords an instance of a placable and forgiving disposition for an injury of the most serious nature, that cannot be too highly admired and extolled- He (Keppel) had been repeatedly urged to give this post to one of his early friends, but he resisted all solicitations, and appointed Sir Alexander Hood, because he de'clared, "Hood was the senior admiral of the two, and one of the best officers in his Majesty's service." When Hood's conduct to Keppel, at the time of the court-martial, is remembered, this appointment must be considered as an example at once both of his zeal for the public service and his great placability of temper.'*

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On the breaking up of the Coalition administration, Lord Keppel was succeeded in his office at the Admiralty by his friend and companion in arms, Lord Howe. From this period, he withdrew entirely from public life. In September 1785, he embarked for Naples to pass the winter, on the score of his health; the failure of it caused, or at least greatly aggravated, by that pestilential fever caught at the Havannah, which had carried off thousands of his comrades, accelerated the death of both his brothers, and from which, it is said, not one of the survivors of that dearly purchased conquest ever ultimately recovered. Lord Keppel returned to England in the spring of 1786; and on the 23d October, of the same year, expired in the sixty-third year of his age.

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The character of Lord Keppel, as justly observed by his biographer, is comprised in the pages which record his actions;' and which, we may add, are stated therein in a manner worthy of the recorder of them, by whose talents and diligence a page has been added to the history of the distinguished naval heroes of this country, which was wanting to complete the catalogue of those of our own times. Keppel had few enemies either in the service or out of it; and he lived long enough to conciliate the affections of all. I ever looked on Lord

Keppel,' says Burke, as one of the greatest and best men of his age; and I loved and cultivated him accordingly. He was

* This fact was communicated by Lord Keppel's nephew, the present Sir Robert Adair. Sir John Barrow states, though he does not mention his authority, that it was at Lord Howe's suggestion that Sir Alexander was appointed third in command. The two accounts are not inconsistent.

'much in my heart; and, I believe, I was in his to the very last 'beat.' Lord Keppel was something high. It was 'a wild stock of pride, on which the tenderest of all hearts had ' grafted the milder virtues.'

With the following extract, descriptive of his person, qualities, and opinions, we shall conclude this article:

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The epithet "little" fondly given by the sailors to Keppel, denotes him to have been low of stature. In his early manhood, a blow received from the but-end of a pistol, in a scuffle with foot-pads, fractured the bridge of his nose. His face, by this accident, was seriously and permanently disfigured; yet the fascination of his smile, and the lively and benevolent expression of his eyes, redeemed the countenance from extreme plainness. The hereditary charm" of his demeanour has been mentioned already. It combined a professional honesty and frankness with the ease and simplicity of address which, if not altogether acquired, are certainly confirmed and perfected by intercourse with the best society. His popularity with all classes appeared not only at his trial, but in the esteem with which both those under whom he served, and those whom he commanded, at all times regarded him; in the zealous affection of his friends, and in the enforced respect of his political opponents.

The political opinions of Keppel were inherited from ancestors who for centuries had been citizens of a free state, and whose descendants shared in our own revolution of 1688. Reason and experience confirmed these sentiments in him; and he was, throughout his life, the steady and fearless supporter of civil and religious freedom, even when an opposite course, or neutrality alone, would have smoothed and accelerated his professional advancement. His darling object was active employment; yet, when required to serve against his unrepresented brethren on the opposite shores of the Atlantic, Keppel courted neglect and misrepresentation rather than lend his services to a cause which his feelings and his principles equally disapproved. In his numerous encoun ters with the enemy, we find him, while in a subordinate station, distinguished for his gallantry and his nautical science; for sagacity in comprehending, for promptness in executing, his orders; and when in superior command, successful on every occasion except the indecisive action of the 27th of July. How far the result of that day was attributable to Keppel, as well as of the circumstances which caused the exception, the foregoing pages will, perhaps, have enabled the reader to judge. As a member of the legislature he made no pretensions to eloquence, or even to political eminence. Yet, on all subjects connected with his profession, he was listened to with attention, and distinguished for the impartiality of his representations, and the practical wisdom of his opinions. His letters exhibit similar features of character. On all public questions they display, without effort or pretence, a generous ardour, comprehensive views, and an active and temperate mind. And where they relate to his personal friendships and connexions, they reflect an ingenuous and affectionate nature which neither success nor disappointment could disturb.'

ART. III-Edwin the Fair: an Historical Drama. By HENRY TAYLOR, author of Philip Van Artevelde.' London: 12mo.

1842.

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TH HIS is a dramatic poem full of life and beauty, thronged with picturesque groups, and with characters profoundly discriminated. They converse in language the most chaste, harmonious, and energetic. In due season, fearful calamities strike down the lovely and the good. Yet Edwin the Fair' is not to be classed among tragedies, in the full and exact sense of the expression.

To purge the soul by pity and terror,' it is not enough that the stage should exhibit those who tread the high places of the earth as victims either of unmerited distress, or of retributive justice. It is further necessary that their sorrows should be deviations from the usual economy of human life. They must differ in their origin, and their character, from those ills which we have learned to regard as merely the established results of familiar causes. They must be attended by the rustling of the dark wings of fate, or by the still more awful march of an all-controlling Providence. The domain of the tragic theatre lies in that dim region where the visible and invisible worlds are brought into contact; and where the wise and the simple alike perceive and acknowledge a present deity, or demon. It is by the shocks and abrupt vicissitudes of fortune, that the dormant sense of our dependence on that inscrutable power in the grasp of which we lie, is quickened into life. It is during such transient dispersions of the clouds beneath which it is at other times concealed, that we feel the agency of heaven in the affairs of earth to be a reality and a truth. It is in such occurrences alone (distinguished in popular language from the rest, as providential) that the elements of tragedy are to be found in actual or in imaginable combination. There the disclosure of the laws of the universal theocracy imparts to the scene an unrivalled interest, and to the actors in it the dignity of ministers of the will of the Supreme. There each event exhibits some new and sublime aspect of the divine energy working out the divine purposes. There the great enigmas of our existence receive at least a partial solution. There, even amidst the seeming triumph of wrong, may be traced the dispensation of justice to which the dramatist is bound; and there also extends before his view a field of meditation drawn from themes of surpassing majesty and pathos.

Such is the law to which all the great tragic writers of ancient

VOL. LXXVI, NO. CLIII.

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or of modern times have submitted themselves-each in his turn assuming this high office of interpreting the movements of Providence, and reconciling man to the mysteries of his being. Thus Job is the stoic of the desert-victorious over all the persecutions of Satan, till the bitter sense of unjust reproach and undeserved punishment breaks forth in agonies which the descending Deity rebukes, silences, and soothes. Prometheus is the temporary triumph over beneficence, of a power at once malignant and omnipotent, which, at the command of destiny, is blindly rushing on towards the universal catastrophe which is to overwhelm and ruin all things. Agamemnon returns in triumph to a home where, during his long absence, the avenging Furies have been couching to spring at last on the unhappy son of Atreus-every hand in that fated house dropping with gore, and every voice uttering the maledictions of the Infernals. Edipus, and his sons and daughters, represent a succession of calamities and crimes which would seem to exhaust the catalogue of human wretchedness; but each in turn is made to exhibit the working of one of the most awful of the laws under which we live-the visitation of the sins of parents on their children to the third and fourth generation. Macbeth is seduced by demoniacal predictions to accomplish the purposes, by violating the commands, of Heaven; and so to meditate, to extenuate, and to commit, the crimes suggested by the Fiend in cruel mockery. Hamlet is at once the reluctant minister and the innocent victim of the retributive justice, to the execution of which he is goaded by a voice from the world of departed spirits. Lear is crushed amidst the ruins of his house, on which parental injustice, filial impiety, foul lusts, and treacherous murder, had combined to draw down the curse of the avenger. Faust moves on towards destruction under the guidance of the Fiend, who lures him by the pride of knowledge and the force of appetite. Wallenstein plunges into destruction, drawing down with him the faithful and the good, as a kind of bloody sacrifice, to atone for treachery to which the aspect of the stars and the predictions of the diviner had impelled him. And so, through every other tragic drama which has awakened the deeper emotions of the spectator or the reader, might be traced the operation of the law to which we have referred. How far this universal characteristic of tragedy-the perceptible intervention in human affairs of powers more than human-is to be discovered in Edwin the Fair,' the following brief and imperfect outline of the plot may sufficiently determine.

In the fresh and dewy dawn of life, Edwin and Elgiva had been wont to rove

O'er hill, through dale, with interlacing arms,
And thrid the thickets where wild roses grow,
Entangled with each other like themselves.'

But their sun had scarcely risen above the eastern horizon, when the dreams of childhood faded away before the illusions of youth. He ascended the Anglo-Saxon throne, and she plighted her troth to Earl Leolf, the commander of the English armies. The Earl was a man in middle age, busy and hard to please,' and not happy in the art of pleasing. Such, at least, was the more deliberate opinion or feeling of Elgiva. In a day of evil augury to herself, and to her house, the inconstant maiden crushed the hopes of her grave, though generous suitor, to share the crown of her early playmate.

It sat neither firmly nor easily on his brows. Athulf, the brother, and Leolf, the discarded suitor of his queen, were the chief opponents of the powerful body which, under the guidance of Dunstan, were rapidly extending over the monarchy, and the Church of England, the authority of the monastic orders. In the approaching alliance of Athulf's family to Edwin, the Abbot of Glastonbury foresaw the transfer, to an hostile party, of his own dominion over the mind of his young sovereign. Events had occurred to enhance and justify his solicitude. Athulf's energy had enabled Edwin to baffle the pretexts by which Dunstan had delayed his coronation. It was celebrated with becoming splendour, and was followed by a royal banquet. The moment appeared to the king propitious for avoiding the vigilant eye of his formidable minister. He escaped from the noisy revels, and flew on the wings of love to an adjacent oratory, where, before his absence had excited the notice and displeasure of his guests, he exchanged with Elgiva the vows which bound them to each other till death should break the bond. They little dreamed how soon it should thus be broken. Resenting the indignity of the king's abrupt desertion of the festive board, the assembled nobles deputed the Abbot and the Archbishop of Canterbury to solicit, and if necessary to compel his return. They found him in the society of his newly-affianced bride, and assailed them with gross imputations, which she indignantly repelled by an open avowal of her marriage. Availing himself of the disorder of the moment, and of the canonical objections to their union, founded on their too near consanguinity, Dunstan caused them to be seized and imprisoned. Elgiva was dispatched to Chester, the King and Athulf being secured in the Tower of London.

Leolf, who had absented himself from the coronation, was in command of the royal forces at Tunbridge, where he was quickly joined by Athulf, who had found the means of escaping from

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