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system of religious belief, we cannot leave out of consideration the agency of time. The Hindoos, by the character of their institutions, and by the depressing influence of foreign subjugation, are apparently what they were at least three centuries before the Christian æra. Two thousand years have done nothing for them, every thing for us. We must therefore, in fairness, compare them with their contemporaries, with the people of antiquity ; and we shall then have reason to believe, that they occupied a very foremost station among the nations. They had a religion less disgraced by idolatrous worship than most of those which prevailed in early times. They had a government, which, although despotic, was equally restricted by law, by institutions, and religion : they had a code of laws, in many respects wise and rational, and adapted to a great variety of relations, which could not have existed except in an advanced condition of social organization. They had a copious and cultivated language, and an extensive and diversified literature ; they had made great progress in the mathematical sciences; they speculated profoundly on the mysteries of man and nature; and they had acquired remarkable proficiency in many of the ornamental and useful arts of life. Whatever defects may be justly imputed to their religion, their government, their laws, their literature, their sciences, their arts, as contrasted with the same proofs of civilization in modern Europe, it will not be disputed by any impartial and candid critic, that as far as we have the means of instituting a comparison, the Hindoos were in all these respects quite as civilized as the most civilized nations of the ancient world, and in as early times as any of which records or traditions remain.”

The passage which we have extracted from Mr. Thornton's History of the British Empire in India is taken from the third part of the serial publication, which although not so elaborately full as the work which Mr. Wilson edits, has yet a more popular character. It will deserve a lengthened notice when completed. In the meanwhile the specimen we have quoted will recommend the publication to the general reader, and exhibit the attractive fluency of a writer who is well informed relative to our Eastern empire, and who takes a deep and enlightened interest in the welfare of the natives as well as of the Anglo-Indians, and of the people at home.

Art. X.-1. Martinuzzi: a Tragedy. Performing at the English Opera

House. By GEORGE STEPHENS. 2. Count Clermont, a Tragedy ; Caius Toranius, a Tragedy ; with other

Poems. By ARCHIBALD Bell, Esq. Advocate. 3. Lost and Won; a Play, in Five Acts. By Henry SPICER. “ Martinuzzi, or, the Patriot,” has been adapted for the stage from Mr. Stephens's dramatic poem, " The Hungarian Daughter," which we, among many other persons who are in the habit of

reading poetry, were of opinion contained several of the great qualities necessary for effective representation. We have not had an opportunity of seeing and hearing it when submitted to the court of appeal which has been instituted by a certain number of dramatists, who consider that they have been injured and unjustly treated by the rejections which their productions have met with from the hands of the managers of the patent theatres. We have, however, listened to conflicting accounts of Martinuzzi; and on a perusal of the tragedy feel that the author frequently sins by his extravagance of diction and overlaying of imagery, as well as by introducing improbable incidents and preposterous situations. But after all that may be objected to the piece, whether when the dialogue halts and is fatiguing, or when the events are needlessly rapid and awful, “ The Patriot” is nobly conceived and often greatly tragic; while very many of the sentiments are as poetically rich as they are gorgeously clothed.

Mr. Bell's tragedies are imitations of an enchanted tale by Ariosto, and are much plainer and direct than the story by which Mr. Stephens seeks to carry captive and exalt the feelings. But then there is a sad want of poetry and of the results of the creative faculty about the Advocate. Mr. Bell is sometimes a good quaint humourist, however, and has the knack of keeping up the reader's attention agreeably, even when the matter is simple and the manner prosaic. He is too sensible and natural to offend or fatigue.

“Lost and Won," by the author of the “Lords of Ellingham," has merits and also faults that are not slight. We object to several of the principal incidents, not merely because they are improbable to absurdity, but because while they are the hinges of the plot, they are trifling and silly to a ludicrous degree. The situations are sometimes far-fetched, and the surprises quite gratuitous. The language, too, presents frequently the cant phraseology which those who affect to admire the old dramatists are apt to borrow from a former age when it was honestly used and with heartfelt satisfaction understood; instead of embodying such thoughts as these masters revelled in, and instead of making the most suitable appeals to the nature that still stirs within man, common as it is with what it was in the times of Shakspere.

It cannot, however, be denied that excellences and real beauties distinguish Mr. Spicer's play. There is a downright stamp of mind in his poetry; for poetry of depth and true passion he not seldom writes. There is no want of action in the piece, and the dialogue is dramatic and forcibly brief.

The hero, Athenry, is a baron in the time of the first Edward, and is a hot-headed, headstrong character. He marries under a sudden impulse a girl, between whom and his supposed son a pure and a profound affection exists (how came the lady to be so easily and

hastily won ?); and when thus unsuitably mated she exhibits the
most perfect instance of meek duty that can be conceived. And
yet shể is foully aspersed; how foully and grossly let the following
scene between her and her true love tell. The passage is very
beautiful, for it pictures the gentle and pious Constance with a fine
hand :-
" Constance.

Nay, but be comforted;
O Ernest, think !-what is this hour of grief-
This petty human spite—this drop of gall-
To the long peace of God's eternity ?
Why, let us smile, dear friend, as half repaid,
Smarting for virtue's sake! Remember, too,
(For this is much) how wide soe'er the paths
May seem, that mark our earthly pilgrimage,
By the same light we tread—the same our strength-
Our hope our home-our resting-place the same;
Wherein at length the high reward obtained
Of him that overcometh, we sit down,
And feel no sorrow more.
Ernest.

Most beautiful
And patient, meek instructor . . . . Angels keep thee
Under their balmy wings--I will but kiss
This marble-(Takes her hand)--and begone.
Constance.

Pray you, no more.
These new and heavenly vestments of our hope
Let us not soil with weeping.

[Enter behind, Lord Athenry and Basit.

Take this gem ; [Gives a ring.
And when its sparkle shall attract thine eye,
Think that so bright, so free from speck or flaw,
We have preserved dear honour. Let me dwell
In thy remembrance as a friend who comes
But by another distant path to meet thee
At some appointed goal, and so would fain
With virtue's grace, and bosom fair and clean,
Come freshly to thy view. Thou 'dst have it so.
I am assured thou would'st; and even now
The manly resolution lights thine eye-
And where are tears ?

Ernest (Kneels, and kisses her hands). Heaven guard thee." We have said that the incidents are frequently improbable to absurdity; such as those which represent a father poisoned by his own son, when unconscious of the relationship, while the same father is jealous of his reputed son. The poisoned man also acts in a very unusual way towards the catastrophe. There is a scene, however, in which the victim of poison is suddenly called to the battle-field, which deserves to be quoted.

« Lord Athenry.

'T is well ;
Where stands my chair? My sight grows strangely dull-
I thank you ... Of this matter, cousin, we must think
What's to be done . ... My brain seems wandering-
Alive with dark, fantastic images-
Do I grow paler?--ha!

[Trumpet without. And enter an armed Retainer. Relainer.

My lord, the band
Of Ronald Greystoke halts beside the moat;
Their leader sends a soldier's greeting, and
Entreats you to the field.
Lord Athenry.

I come .... Alas!
This mistimed sickness !-Is 't of common use
That ills which aim but at the spirit's harm,
Should wring man's vigorous and knitted frame
With pangs like these? ... Give me my mail !-O cousin-
A son so bound to me!.... My corslet-so-
This steel can ne'er repel a deadlier wound
Than that it locks within. If I should fall,
Be gentle, coz— with my-with Constance-I-
I would not take mine anger to the grave,
How deeply wronged soe'er-Look, if I die,
She is forgiven.

[Trumpet again. And enter another Retainer. Retainer.

Sir Halbert of the Mount
Draws rein before the castle, and entreats
Your instant help, my lord. The king himself
Cheers on his scanty train, demanding oft,
“Where lingers Athenry?"
Athenry.

Death! do I sleep?
My sovereign in the field--and feebly trained -
Am I a laggard ?-Ho! to horse! ( Leans on his sword.) Alas!
Mine eyelids droop as if the sense they veil
Did court eternal rest: and these fierce

pangs
Run momently throughout my shivering frame,
As tyrant death did make a toy of me,
Plucking me to and fro. Support me, cousin ;
Bid them to horse-despatch !-and let me find,
At least, a soldier's grave!
Basil.

Nay, nay, good uncle !

[Enter a Messenger. My lord is ill-your tidings? Messenger:

Our brave king,
Bleeding and worn from his victorious strife,
Ordains, that when the lord of Athenry
Hath dined, and drunk, and said his evening prayer,
He shall seek out the ford of Deverleigh,
And aid his perilled country with more love
Than he has served his king.

[Exit.

Lord Athenry.

What do they say ?
There is a sound of battle in mine ear,-
Trumpets and shouting; but my sense is dull,
Well aimed, sir archer—thou hast hit me homem
Hurrah!... the field is won ... Nay, nay, my liege,
I did but do my duty—all is well-
Let me be buried in mine armour ....

... Ha!
Night, like a ready mourner, comes and waves
Her sooty pinions 'fore mine eyes, and now
All's dark . . .. My Constance, is it thou ?-sweet wife,
I wronged thee, did I not ?—All's over now
Forgiven--all ....

[Sinks back." Our concluding specimens, which like the foregoing we have had pointed out to us as favourable examples, may suggest the hope that Mr. Spicer's Play will some day figure in the court of appeal mentioned above. " Julian.

Describe me, now,
In its true colours, Hope.
Basil.

That scanty draught
Doled to the tortured wretch, that he may live
And suffer on.
Julian.

Despair?
Basil.

A fearful realm,
Lying between the help that men refuse
And Heaven affords us.
Julian.

Friendship?
Basil.

That's a game
Played at on holydays. A living thing :
Bold-laughing-prodigal of pleasant jests--
Full of sweet words --- professions, always--gold
When needed not, till some sad brother comes
To ask, or beg, or borrow, or demand ;
And then-poor friendship!
Julian.

Well- and Love?
Basil.

A word
Spelt with four letters, and in common use;
A lapdog's name.
Julian.

Alas, for love! There's none !
Basil. yes !—the exception, Julian, not the rule.
To put our hot, aspiring thoughts to school-
To check and chain our fiery-crested pride-
To buy the distaff with the lion's hide-
To bend the haughty neck and kiss the cup
That murders hope and peace-to treasure up
Cold, bitter words, serenely, as a mild,
Fond mother cherishes her graceless child-
To act, speak, think,-to bear, believe, and view,
As that most dear eye watched the things we do-

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