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Fling down your sceptres :-take the rod and In scorn upon those chairs ;-your palaces Shall see the soldier's revels, and your wealth
And make the murder as you make the law. Cic. (interrupting him.) Give up the record of his banishment. (To an Officer. [The Officer gives it to the Consul, in the
Cat.(indignantly.) Banish'd from Rome! What's banish'd, but set free From daily contact of the things I loathe? Tried and convicted traitor! Who says
this? [With growing violence. Who'll prove it, at his peril, on my head? Barish'd?-I thank you for't. It breaks my chain !
I held some slack allegiance till this hourBut now my sword's my own. Smile on, my lords;
I scom to count what feelings, wither'd hopes,
Strong provocations, bitter, burning wrongs,
Hatred and full defiance in your face.
Shall go to deck his harlot and his horse. Then Cicero, and his tools, shall pay me blood
Vengeance for every drop of my boy's veins ;
And such of you, as cannot find the grace To die with swords in your right hands, The life, life worse than death, of trampled
The Senators cry out,
Go, enemy and parricide, from Rome! Cic. Expel him, lictors! Clear the senate-house! [They surround him. Cat. (struggling through them.) I go,— but not to leap the gulf alone: I go; but when I come 'twill be the burst
Of ocean in the earthquake-rolling back In swift and mountainous ruin. Fare you well!
You build my funeral pile, but your best blood
Shall quench its flame. Back, slaves! (to the Lictors)-I will return!
[He rushes through the portal; the Scene closes.
We cannot quote anything from ACT FOURTH; but from the last act we must quote, and in spite of whatever we have already done, we must quote largely. The character of Aurelia, the daughter of old Marius, Catiline's proud and Roman wife, admirably preserved throughout the whole piece, is here wrought out and developed in the midst of all sights, and sounds, and thoughts of terror, in a style which, were the part adequately represented on the stage, would, we far more powerful than anything are certain, be productive of an effect our modern tragedy has been able to boast of. The scene is in the rebel camp-Catiline has fought and been defeated-hope is scarcely cherished by him, or by any of his nobler associates but they, in the midst of the murmurs and whispers of some of the meaner soldiers, are stirring up their own spirits for a last effort, and victory, or a warlike death, when AuRELIA is all at once seen within the tent by the side of which they are conversing. We request particular attention to the fine speech beginningPerhaps so, for in truth I've been of late," &c.
Her cloudy sails;-and those small, whisper'd sounds,
Thus dying sweet, the airy surges' swells, That break before her slow and dusky stem. Aur. "Twas on a night like this Í sail'd by Crete,
When all the waves were lull'd with silver sounds,
And all the mountains moonlike with pale fires
Of Cybele's altars. (A chorus is heard.)
Cat. (smiling.) Those are our minstrels.
The dark and frowning goddess of the night,
To guard their pillows from all evil dreams; For in their rudeness still lives ceremony. And well may they commend themselves to Heaven, [Despondingly. Who, flung to sleep in danger's iron grasp, May never welcome in another morn. Aur. (with impatience.) When do we march for Rome?
Ca.t You shall be safe! All is provided for. A troop to-night Will see you through Etruria. Go! to-night! Abandon you in your extremity! Am I your slave, Patrician? I have stood Your equal from the first;-have never turn'd
From sorrow, toil, or danger, by your
For I was Marius' daughter, and your
Cat. Be wise! The time is short. Go,
Our canopy the forest's dripping boughs,
That famine wrings from the step-mother earth,
Our rusty swords must be our health,
Our life be battle, flight, and stratagem,-
Strangely beset, and sunk into the prey
A cloud-the shadow of a shaken bush-
Terrors and tortures, that the waking sense
From mountain tops, or hung, by failing hands,
To precipices, fathomless as hell ;— Sometimes, engulf'd in the outrageous sea, And down its depths sent strangling,— then flung loose
As many leagues aloft, above the moon, To freeze along the desarts of the sky ;Sometimes, in hot encounter with the foe, I feel a sudden javelin in my heart,And then I'm crushed by heaps of dying
And hear the battle turning o'er my head And, fainting, strive to shout;-then, in this death,
See spirits and plunge downwards,--till I wake,
Madden'd and blinded, thinking all around A remnant of my tortures;-and thus, night
Is lost to me, and sorrow's comfort, sleep, Is made my agony.
[Cecina enters, pale and wounded: Catiline suddenly turns. What brings that spectre here? Vanish, or speak !
Cec. My lord, I am-Cecina!
What mist was on my eyes ?-He bleeds
[Calls. Cec. By and by, I bear ill news. Cat. Tell it at once: if we had hearts to break
By piteous tales-we had not lived till now. Cec. You are undone !
Cat. (fiercely.) I know it,-banish'd,
A price set on me,-hunted to the grave,—
Your friends in Rome-
One day more,
And they shall see me at their prison gates,
Laying their sentence on their sentencers.
Cec. My lord, your friends, last night, were sacrificed!
Cat. What,-dead?-all dead?
[He covers his head with his robe.
And I was lingering here!
Then, cach man to his tent, and take thearms That he would love to die in,-for, this hour, We storm the farewell!
Consul's camp.-A last [He takes their hands.
Cec. This hour they lie, each in his cell, When next we meet-we'll have no time
How parting clouds a soldier's counte
We shall not quote the concluding scenes, but our reader may rest assured that the terrible catastrophe is terribly represented. Catiline, breathing blood, madness, pride, scorn, wrath— every thing but hope, dies in the midst of the camp which he has scaled; and when the curtain drops upon him, the imagination of the reader-we had almost said the spectator-remains behind it, while memory recals the awful description of the dead Catiline in Sallust," CATILINA verô longe a suis inter hostium cadavera repertus est, et paululum etiam spirans; ferociamque quam
habuerat vivus in vultu re
On the whole, there can be no doubt that this, whether considered as a poem or as a drama, is a splendid performance, and one which must greatly elevate the name of CROLY. Without very minute criticism indeed, and very copious quotations, we could scarcely hope to make our readers agree in all the praise we have bestowed on it. Let them read the tragedy for themselves, and we shall be satisfied to abide by their judgment.
The rapidity and vigour of the dialogue and the action-the strength with which the characters are conceived, and the ease and simplicity with which they are developed, and the unflagging spirit with which the interest is kept up from the beginning to the end-these are the true merits of CATILINE. If it be brought upon the stage, and do not succeed there, we shall be as much astonished as we should be by a tragedy from the pen of Lord Byron, which we could not read with delight.
* GRECIAN ARCHITECTURE.-LORD ABERDEEN.
THE republic of letters consists of a single sex-community; it contains neither Lords nor Commons, men nor women, but only authors. We hope that the Earl of Aberdeen is fully aware of this, and that he will not insist on the consideration due to his British privileges, in declaring himself a member of the genus irritabile, because we have not for a long time been thrown into such a splenetic humour, as by the appearance of his Inquiry into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture; not so much on account of the book itself, which is certainly creditable to the taste and talent of his Lordship, as from our aversion to all books on the theory and standards of art, from persons of fortune and quality, especially when it happens, as in the present case, that, in regard to general affairs, the authors are highly considered in society. For it cannot be questioned that in no one thing is the deference paid by the generality of the world to the sentiments of the higher classes, so great as in matters of taste in art; and the dictum of Christopher North himself, might be found insufficient with many to counteract the opinions of Lord Aberdeen, however erroneous, with respect to the antique, and the fine arts. But to suppress as much as possible this feeling or prejudice, we shall endeavour to give a dispassionate view of his Lordship's reasoning; and with that freedom which authors are privileged to use with each other, we shall not hesitate to call in question the propriety and justness of some of his premises.
"All nations, in the most advanced state of civilization," says Lord Aberdeen," have been unanimous in their admiration of Grecian architecture; and, indeed, such admiration appears to have been generally considered as inseparable from the existence of real taste and knowledge in art." Now, this is only true in a very special degree; for although we are quite as much disposed as his Lordship to admire the Greek temples, and to concede that they have obtained the admiration of every scientific mind, yet that they contain in their architecture any principle of beauty beyond that of particular appropriateness, we most
decidedly and peremptorily deny; and, we would ask, in what respect is the Grecian architecture admirable as applied to any other species of building than the temple, in which it has been seen and contemplated by ourselves, perhaps, as long and as warmly as by his Lordship?-we mean in those of Greece, and particularly in the Parthenon of Athens. In every other situation, the columns and ornaments of the Grecian architecture appear heavy and inordinate; and perhaps no better proof can be given of this truth, than by referring to that monstrous two-storied combination of sandstone and masonry, which stands with its pillars up to the ankles in the dirt and mud of the High Street, and which, with a degree of ignorance quite into→ lerable, we so often hear spoken of as a copy-a copy of the Erectheum.
By not considering that the architecture of the Greek temples owes its principal beauty to its appropriateness the only source and cause of all that unanimous admiration which has been extended even to its parts in every situation-Lord Aberdeen has been seduced into a very thriftless metaphysical inquiry as to " whether the sentiment be excited in us by any qualities or properties peculiar to the style itself, operating previously to the intervention of the judgment, or whether it be not the effect of intellectual association only." In so far as this inquiry proceeds, it is sensibly conducted and elegantly written, but being in a wrong track, it is necessarily in the result inconclusive. It seems indeed singular, that a person possessed of so much ingenuity, should have fallen into the mistake of considering the source of the pleasure derived from the contemplation of Grecian architec ture, as susceptible for a moment of being attributed to any properties in the lines and forms of the style, or to any other cause than the appropriateness of the composition. The mind of the spectator, in looking at a Grecian temple, only requires to be previously informed that it is destined for the worship of a divinity of a single and elegant nature, to become instantaneously sensible that the edifice is admirably appropriate to that purpose. But
An Inquiry into the Principles of Beauty in Grecian Architecture; with an Historical View of the Rise and Progress of the Arts in Greece, by George Earl of Aberdeen, K. T. H.-Murray, London, 1822.
it requires a long process of reasoning
produces? In a word, beauty in art neither has nor can have anything to do with the pleasure arising from intellectual associations. It is a thing of itself, and by its own peculiar laws and influences produces that satisfaction and admiration, which, in the contemplation of a Grecian temple, arises from the appropriateness of the general edifice to its uses and purposes.
Assigning therefore, as we thus do, the whole peculiar effect of the Grecian architecture on the mind to its appropriateness, as seen in the temples, we feel disposed to enter the lists with Lord Aberdeen, and, paradoxical as it may appear, to maintain and assert, that the Grecian architecture, in any other appropriation than that of the temple, is among the clumsiest styles extant. We admit that the preservation of what may be called the pervading principle of simplicity in the Grecian orders is exceedingly pleasing, but after all, it is more curious than beautiful. In one remarkable instance, and we believe the only one known, it is exhibited in preserving in the interior architecture the same proportions as those of the exterior, a peculiarity which we are rather surprised that Lord Aberdeen has not noticed. It will be better, perhaps, understood by a sectional sketch than by description.