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Nor can we perceive any symptoms of tation among our poets is a terrible recovery from this state of so suspended sameness or mannerism in each of those animation” in what has been lately who bave been encouraged to write added as the completion of the poem; much ; and the worst of it is, that each we shall watch, however, like one of of these luminaries, while he moves in the agents of the Humane Society, for his own orbit in perpetual parallelisin the signs of returning life, and consider with biinself, has a crowd of little moons the rescue of such a muse as that of attending him, that multiply the malig. Mr. Coleridge from suffocation by sub- nant influence, and propagate the demersion as some gain to the cause of ceptious glare. But the most insuffertrue poetry.
able of all the different forms which mo. • In the preceding paragraph of the dern affectation in composition has aspreface, Mr. Coleridge discovers no sumed, is the cant and gibberish of the small anxiety to obviate the suspicion German school, which has filled all the of having borrowed any part of this poem provinces, as well of imagination as of from any of “our celebrated poets,” science, with profound nonsense, uninand this accounts for his particularity telligible refinement, metaphysical mowith respect to the chronology of the rals, and mental distortion. lis perfecperformance, which, short as it is, ap- tion and its boast, is to be fairly franpears at each stage of it to have occa- chised from all the rules and restraints sioned so much mental exhaustion as to of common sense and common nalure ; demand long restorative intermissions, and if domestic events and social manWe never suspected Mr. Coleridge of ners are the theme, all the natural afplagiarism, and think he betrays an up- fections, ties, charities, and emotions of reasonable mistrust of the credit which the heart, are displaced by a monstrous the critics will give him for originality. progeny of vice and sentiment, an asOur own opinion most decidedly is that semblage of ludicrous horrors, or a rabshe is honestly entitled to all the eccen- ble of undisciplined feelings. We shall tricities of this poem; and that in as- hail the day, as a day of bappy auspi. serting his exclusive property in them, ces for the nioral muse,
when our prehe has done great negative justice to sent fanatic race of poets shall bave exthe rest of the literary world. Lord bausted all their “monstrous shapes Byron seems as anxious to remove from and sorceries,” and the abused underhimself the imputation of having bor- standings of our countrymen shall break rowed from the author of Christabel. these unhappy spells, forsake the socieWith this question we shall not trouble ty of demons, and be divorced from deourselves : where two are afflicted with formily. To us especially, whose duty an epidemic, it is of little importance condemns us to the horrible drudgery which caught it of the other, so long as of reading whatever men of a certain we can escape the contagion.
reputation may choose to write, it will • The epidemic among modern poets be a great refreshment, if it be only for is the disease of affectation, which is the novelty of the scene, to find ourfor ever carrying them into quaint, ab- selves once more, if not at the fount of surd, and outrageous extremes. One is Helicon, or on the summit of Parnassus, determined to say nothing in a natural yet at least in a region where fog and way, another is for saying every thing gloom are not perpetual, and poetry is with infantine simplicity, while a third so far mindful of its origin and ancient is persuaded that there is but one lan- character as to proceed in the path of guage for the drawing room, the Royal intelligibility, and to propose to itself Exchange, the talk of the table, and some meaning and purpose, if not some the temple of the Muses. One couse- moral end. quence of this fatal propensity to affec- • And now for this “wild and singularly original and beautiful poem" of time have some curiosity to see a little Christabel. Could Lord Byron, the of this “ wild and singularly original author of this pithy sentence, show us and beautiful poem,” the old toothless wberein consists its singular beauty ? bitch shall turn out for his entertainThis is the only specimen we have yet ment ; and he shall go with Christabel seen of bis lordship’s critical powers ; into the wood and attend her there until but from the experience we have had sbe meets with Lady Geraldine. of bis lordship's taste in these matters, we do not think he could give a better
“'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, account of the principles of his admira. And the owls have awaken'd the crowing cock; tion, or dilate with better success on the Tu--whit- -Tu-whoo! meaning of his sententious eulogium, And hark, again! the crowing cock,
. than the bookseller who has borrowed
“ Sir Leoline, the Baron rich, its magical influence in all his adver- Hath a toothless mastits bitch; tisements of this poern.
From her kennel beneath the rock
She makes answer to the clock, • We learn two things, and two things Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour; only, with certainty, from this “ wild Ever and aye, moonshine or shower, and singularly original and beautiful Sixteen short howls, not over loud ;
» Some say she sees my lady's shroud. poem :" that Sir Leoline was "rich, and that he had a toothless mastiff The night is chilly, but not dark.
“ Is the night chilly and dark ? bitch ;” and if any one should be so The thin gray cloud is spread on high, unpoetical as to ask in plain terms It covers, but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full; what these two circumstances have to And yet she looks both small and dul. do with the business, story, or catastro- The night is chill, the cloud is gray; phe of the poem, we must frankly con- 'Tis a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way. less that, wise as we are, we cannot
• The lovely lady Christabel, tell; nor do we know to whom to refer Whom her father loves so well, him for information, unless it be to What makes her in the wood so late, Lord Byron.
The last person he A furlong from the castle gate? should apply to in this distressing diff of her own betrothed knight; culty is the writer himself, who, if he Dreams that made her moan and leap, has written with the true inspiration of As on her bed she lay in sleep;
And she in the midnight wood will pray a puet of the present day, would laugh For the weal of her lover, that's far away at the ignorance of those who should “She stole along, she nothing spoke, expect him to understand himsell, and The breezes they were still also ;' tell them that by the laws and usages And nought was green upon the oak, of modern poetry it was for the reader She kneels bencath the huge oak tree, and the old toothless bitch to make out And in silence prayeth she. the meaning as they could between “ The lady leaps up suddenly, them.
The lovely lady, Christabel!
It moan'd as near, as near can be, • From the moment we leave the pic. But what it is, she cannot tell. turesque old lady (for we cannot but On the other side it seems to be, suspect the bitch to be a witch in that of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree. form) all is impenetrable to us, except Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
“ The night is chill; the forest bare ; the exact information which the poet There is not wind enough in the air gives us, that “ the night was chilly but To move away the ringlet curl not dark,” and the strong suspicion we There is not wind enough to twirl are led to entertain from its being “ the The one red leaf, the last of its clan, month before the month of May," that That dances as often as dance it can it could not be, after all, any other than Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky. that month which a plain man would
“ Hush, beating heart of Christabel! call April. As our readers may by this Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
spells were wrought both upon Christabel And stole to the other side of the oak. What sees she there?
and Sir Leoline, producing strange ex
ternal and internal transformations, is " There she sees a damsel bright, Drest in a silken robe of white;
evident; but what is meant to be underHer neck, her feet, her arins, were bare, stood to have been actually done, to And the jewels disorder'd in her hair.
what purpose, how produced, or with I guess, 'twas frightful there to see A lady so richly clad as she--
what consequences io the parties, we Bcautiful esceedingly !" (Christabel, p. 3–7. know as little as Mr. Coleridge himseli.
We should not be much surprised if the Now this strange lady, who is, to object of the poet was to make fools of be sure, sone preternatural personage, the public, having observed Lord Byron comes home with Christabel, and passes to have succeeded so well in this art; the night with her. What the result of and if it was really published on the this adventure was is so very darkly inti- first of " the month before the month of mated, that it would be hazardous to May,” we cannot altogether disapprove frame a conjecture. That all was not of the pleasantry.” as it should be, that some mysterious
ART. 3. Bertram, or the Castle of St. Aldobrand; a Tragedy in Five Acts. By
the Rev. R. C. Maturin. Fourth Edition. 8vo. pp. 80. Murray. London. THE
THE reverend Mr. Maturin, better lament it, if true, that since he has
known to our readers under the name thrown off the disguise of a fictitious of Dennis Jasper Murphy, as the au. name, under which he had long successThor of the Wild Irish Boy, the Fatal fully cloaked himself, he bas been de. Revenge, the Milesian Chief, &c. &c. graded from bis preferments in the has gone as far in outraging taste, mo- church. desty, virtue, nature, and religion, as The British Reviewers, to whom we the most admired of his cotemporaries. are indebted for the remarks on this All his productions bear strong marks Drama, have very justly availed them. of family likeness ;-all display talent, selves of so fair an opportunity to aniall teem with extravagance, all tend to madvert on the gross indecorum of immorality. The tragedy of Bertram making the solemnity of prayer a matis stamped with his characteristic linea- ter of mimicry. Appeals to heaven are ments, and is altogether worthy of his allowable only on important occasions genius.
of real life, and should be the aspiraHow such horrible fantasies, as he is tions of sincerity ; but when both the constantly, though unavailingly, exer- scene and the sentiment are feigned, cising, should ever have got possession they are shocking profanations. Were of a mind disciplined to the duties of it even possible for the spectators to bis sacred function, we are utterly at a enter into the illusion, it should yet be loss to imagine. The indulgence of remembered that there is One, who them seems scarcely compatible with cannot be deceived, and will not be the devoutness requisite in him, whose mocked.” office it is to · minister in holy things.' The following Review should be We have heard, indeed, and we cannot read in connexion with the preceding
one of the Christabel,' of which it is a objects which bear the poet aloft on continuation.
seraph's wings, Come we now from the Castle of
“ And wake to ecstasy the living lyre." Sir Leoline to the castle of St. Aldo
Drainatis Personæ of this brand. The change is so far an advan- performance sufficiently announces to tage to us, that we are no longer un- us what we are to expect, and particuder a necessity to grope in the dark larly the ominous line at the bottom of for a meaning. Every thing in this the page, “ Knights, Monks, Soldiers, quarter is obvious and palpable enough. Banditti, &c. &c." recalled to our minds We are still, however, in the school of the alarm which we felt on reading the influence of which we bave been Lord Byron's motto to his last redoubtacomplaining Rotten principles and a ble performance, “ Guns, trumpets, bastard sort of sentiment, such, in short, blunderbusses, drums, and thunder," as bave been imported into this coun. The story of this piece is told in a try from German moralists and poets, very few lines. Count Bertram, a noform the interest of this stormy and bleman of Sicily, high in the favour of extravagant composition. The piece his Sovereign, was attached to Imogine, is so much in the taste of Lord Byron, a young lady of comparatively humble that the public have let that nobleman birth, who returned his love with an into a large share of the credit of the equal passion. By a sad reverse, the performance. How that may be we consequence of his ambition and rebeldare not say ; but we venture to advise lion, the count is deprived of all his the reverend drainatist, for the sake of fortune and honours, and banished from the holy and immortal interests con- bis native land. With a band of desnected with his profession, to withdraw perate followers he continues to keep himself from all connexion with Lord the shores and the state itself in alarm. Byron's tainted muse, and to the great- His great enemy and fortunate rival, to est distance he possibly can from the whose ascendancy he was forced to circle within which the demons of sen- give way, is St. Aldobrand, a valiant timental profligåcy exert their perni- and loyal subject, who, to complete the cious incantations. The best amulet mortification of the discomfited rebel, We can recommend him to use by way obtains the hand of Imogine in the abof security against the influence of these sence of her first lover. The lady's spells and sorceries, is the frequent, excuse for this breach of constancy is the perpetual perusal of the word of the starving state of a parent, whose God, of which it is bis happy privilege wants she is thus enabled to relieve: to be the organ and expounder. Let Count Bertram, with his desperate him bind it for a sign upon bis hand, band of followers, is shipwrecked upon and let it be as a frontlet between bis the coast vear the monastery of St. eyes, and he may set at nought all the Anselm, and within a little distance of fascinations of depraved poetical ex- the castle of St. Aldobrand. They are amples. In that source of sublimity, received at the monastery with the hos. simplicity, and beauty, will be found pitality usual in such places, and soon a boly standard of moral perfection, a after a message comes from the fair magnificent display of real grandeur, Imogine to invite the shipwrecked voya. towards which the soul may ereci it- gers to the castle of St. Aldobrand, as self in an attitude of correspondent ele- being capable of affording them better vation, and carry its views safely be- accommodation and refreshment than yond the boundaries of material exist- the convent. In the mean time, in a ence into regions of intellectual splen- conversation with the prior of the con. dour, and among those happy inspiring vent, Count Bertram reveals himself VOL. I. No. !.
and makes a full declaration with all Pray, when thou tell'st thy beads, for one more the bitterness and
wretched. rage of disappointed
Ber. Stay, gentle lady, I would somewhat. passion, and his deadly bate towards
with thee. St. Aldobrand, and determined purpose (Imogine retreats terrified) of destroying bim. He is made ac
(detaining her)-Thou shalt not go
Imo. Shall not !--Who art thou ? speak quainted with the temporary absence Ber.. And must I speak? of his enemy, then with the Knights of There was a voice which all the world, but thee, St. Anselm. Upon learning this he ex. Might have forgot, and been forgiven.
I mo. My senses blaze--between the dead and presses a horrid joy, considering the
living opportunity is now arrived of satiating I stand in fear-oh God!—it cannot behis vengeance. He goes to the castle of Those thick black locks—those wild and sun.
burnt features-St. Aldobrand, where his followers are He looked not thus--but then that voicefeasted. His interview with Imogine, It cannot be ---for be would know my name. and the dire impressions on his mind
Ber. Imogine--(she has tottered towards hin
during the last speech, and when he utters her when the full disclosure of her situation name, shricks and falls into his arms.) is made to him, are exhibited in a scene
Ber. Imogine- yes, of great tragic pathos and terror; and, to be enfolded to this desolate heart
Thus pale, cold, dying, thus thou art most fit in justice to the poet, we will bere A blighted lily on its icy bedplace it before the reader.
Nay, look not up, 'tis thus I would behold thee,
That pale cheek looks like truth-I'll gaze iro Bertram comes to the end of the stage, and stands
That fair, that pale, dear cheek, these helpless without looking at her.
arms, Imo. Stranger, I sent for thee, for that I If I look longer they will make me buman. deemed
Imo. (starting from him) Fly, fly, the vassal Some wound was thine, that yon free band might
of thine enemy wait chafe,
To do thee dead. Perchance thy worldly wealth gunk with
Ber. Then let them wield the thunder, wreck;
Fell is their dint, who're mailed in despair. Such wound my gold can heal-the castle's al. Let mortal might sever the grasp of Bertram.
Imo. Release me-I must break from him-he Ber. The wealth of worlds were heaped on
Ber. Imogine-madness seizes mein the dark waters pitiless ; some dear friend,
What dost thou in the balls of Aldobrand ! Or brother, loved as thine own soul, lies there“I pity thee, sad man, but can no more"
Infernal light doth shoot athwart my mind Gold I can give, but can no comfort give,
Swear thou art a dependent on his bounty, For I am comfortless
That chance, or force, or sorcery brought thee
thither; “Yet if I could collect my faltering breath "Well were I meet for such sad ministry,
Thou canst not be--my throat is swoln with “For grief hath left my voice no other sound"
Hell hath no plague-Oh no, thou couldst not Ber. (striking his heart) No dews give fresh
do it. ness to this blasted soil
Imo. “(kneeling)” Mercy. Imo. Strange is thy form, but more thy words Ber. Thou hast it not, or thou wouldst speak-are strange
Speak, speak---(with frantic violence) Fearful it seems to hold this parley with thee. Imo. I am the wife of Aldobrand,Tell me thy race and country
To save a famishing father did I wed. Ber. What avails it?
Ber. I will not curse her---but the boarded venThe wretched have no country: that dear name
geance Comprises home, kind kindred, fostering friends,
Ino. Aye.--curse, and consummate the horrid
Some ministering demon mocked the robed priest,
With some dark spell, not holy vow, tbey bound
Full were the rites of horror and despair.
They wanted but the seal of Bertrani's curse. There is an awful thrilling in his voice
Ber. (not heeding her)---Talk of her fathema "The soul of other days comes rushing in them.”
could a father love thee If nor my bounty nor my tears can aid thee, As I have loved ? "--the veriest wretch on Stranger, farewell; and 'mid thy misery