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Julian; a Tragedy, in Five Acts. BY MISS MITFORD.

Ir is so seldom that an opportunity has of late presented itself for noticing a successful tragedy, and one, too, which has deserved to be successful, that we feel sincere pleasure in mentioning Miss Mitford's Julian.

The scene lies in Sicily; the story is fictitious, but supposed to relate to the early history of the island. The tragedy opens with a scene in which Julian, son to the Regent, is lying on a couch, attended by his wife Annabel, and a page, Theodore. He is supposed to have returned home suddenly, about a week previous to the opening, accompanied by the young page, and has been lying in a state of delirium ever since. When he awakes, his speech is incoherent; but enough from it is gathered to understand that his father, the Regent Duke Melfi, had meditated the murder of the young prince, to gain the throne for himself; that Julian had rescued the youth, and in the attempt had wounded his father. The fear that he had killed him has driven him to distraction; but while he relates the horrid event to his wife, news is brought that his father has returned alive to the capital. The page, Theodore, is the Prince Alfonso in disguise.

Julian repairs to his father, who is about to be proclaimed king; he endeavours in vain to dissuade him from this design. The ceremony of coronation goes on, when Julian bursts into the church with Alfonso, whom he exhorts the surrounding nobles to recognise as king. This is done; and the Duke d'Alba accuses Melfi and Julian of an attempt to murder the prince; they are arrested and sentenced to banishment. Julian seeks his father, whom he finds expiring, and reaches him in time to receive his forgiveness. From the grief he feels at his father's death he is roused by learning that D'Alba has seized the occasion of his banishment to bear away Annabel, whom he had always loved, and had persecuted by his addresses. The unhappy lady is confined in an apartment belonging to the Duke, who endeavours to persuade her to marry him, on procuring a dispensation for her union with the outlawed Julian. She rejects him indignantly. Julian reaches her prison, and knowing that his life is forfeited, and that he is dogged by his enemies, he resolves to put his fair wife to death by his own hand, to save her from a more horrid fate. This is, however, prevented. The Duke d'Alba's emissaries have followed him, and now enter; he engages them; a blow is aimed at his bosom, which Annabel receives in her own, and falls dead. Julian kills two of the assassins; the third' escapes, and alarms the duke. Julian covers his dead wife with a cloak, and wraps himself in that of one of the bravoes. When the duke enters he takes him for the assassin; he approaches Annabel, and Julian uncovering her body, and discovering himself, transfixes him with horror. The young king and the nobles enter; D'Alba is made prisoner, and led off; and Julian dies.

The poetry of this tragedy is pretty, but not far above the ordinary run of smooth poetry. The great dramatic merit of the play is that it is constructed with consummate skill, and that the situations are highly striking, at the same time that they are natural and classical. In these respects the tragedy is alone among its modern compeers.

Miss Mitford is evidently well acquainted with the ancient Greek models; the opening speeches-nearly the whole of the two first pages are translated from the Orestes of Euripides; the incident of uncovering the body is that powerful one in the Electra of Sophocles. We have extracted the following as a favorable specimen of the poetry. It is the last scene between Julian and Annabel :


Canst thou save me, Julian?
Thou always dost speak truth. Caust save thyself?
Shall we go hence together?


One home.

Aye, one fate

Ann. Why that is bliss. We shall be poor-
Shall we not, Julian? I shall have a joy

I never looked for; I shall work for thee,

Shall tend thee, be thy Page, thy 'Squire, thy all,—
Shall I not, Julian?


Annabel, look forth

Upon this glorious world! Look once again
On our fair Sicily, lit by that sun

Whose level beams do cast a golden shine
On sea, and shore, and city, on the pride

Of bowery groves; on Etna's smouldering top ;-
Oh bright and glorious world! and thou of all
Created things most glorious, tricked in light,
As the stars that live in Heaven!


So sadly on me?


Why dost thou gaze

The bright stars, how oft

They fall, or seem to fall! The Sun-look! look!
He sinks, he sets in glory. Blessed orb,

Like thee-like thee-Dost thou remember once
We sate by the sea shore when all the Heaven
And all the ocean seemed one glow of fire—
Red, purple, saffron, melted into one

Intense and ardent flame, the doubtful line
Where sea and sky should meet was lost in that
Continuous brightness; there we sate and talked

Of the mysterious union that blessed orb

Wrought between earth and heaven, of life and death-
High mysteries!-and thou didst wish thyself

A spirit sailing in that flood of light

Straight to the Eternal gates, didst pray to pass

Away in such a glory. Annabel!

Look out upon the burning sky, the sea

One lucid ruby-'tis the very hour!

Thou'lt be a Seraph at the Fount of Light

Ann. What, must I die? And wilt thou kill me?
Canst thou? Thou cam'st to save-


I shall die with thee.


To save thy honour!

Oh no! no! live! live!

If I must die-Oh, it is sweet to live,

To breathe, to move, to feel the throbbing blood
Beat in the veins,-to look on such an earth

And such a Heaven,-to look on thee! Young life
Is very dear.'

Miss Mitford has thought fit to pay some very extravagant compliments to Mr. Macready. She of course best knows the extent of her obligations to that gentleman, but we must think she has taken an objectionable mode of acknowledging them. We cannot approve the custom of elevating actors into theatrical Mecænases, because it is highly injurious to the best interests of the drama. We cannot forget the indignant anger with which we once heard a player presume to insult an author, who, whatever may be his failings, is evidently a man of taste a scholar-and therefore entitled to be treated as a gentleman. We remember, and the public will never forget, this player talked of that author's having excited his personal compassion. At that circumstance we were ashamed and enraged; at this we only . laugh.


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