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need no comment to make them intelligible, as assuredly they need no eulogy to point out their power and beauty :Ion. What wouldst thou with me, My pomp must be most lonesome, far lady?
removed Clemanthe. Is it so? From that sweet fellowship of humanNothing, my lord, save to implore thy kind pardon,
The slave rejoices in: my solemn robes That the departing gleams of a bright Shall wrap me as a panoply of ice, dream,
And the attendants who may throng From which I scarce had waken'd, made
around me me bold
Shall want the flatteries which may To crave a word with thee ;--but all are basely warm fied
The sceptral thing they circle. Dark and lon. 'Twas indeed a goodly dream; cold But thou art right to think it was no Stretches the path which, when I wear
more, And study to forget it.
I needs must enter :-the great gods Clem. To forget it!
forbid Indeed, my lord, I will not wish to lose That thou shouldst follow in it! What, being past, is all my future hath,
Clem. ( unkind! All I shall live for; do not grudge me
And shall we never see each other? this,
lon. (After a pause.) Yes ! The brief space I shall need it.
I have ask'd that dreadful question of lon. Speak not, fair one, the hills In tone so mournful, for it makes me feel That look eternal; of the flowing streams Too sensibly the hapless wretch I am, That lucid Aow for ever; of the stars, That troubled the deep quiet of thy soul Amid whose fields of azure my raised In that pure fountain which reflected spirit heaven,
Hath tiod in glory: all were dumb; but For a brief taste of rapture.
Clem. Dost thou yet While I thus gaze upon thy living face, Esteem it rapture, then? My foolish I feel the love that kindles through its heart,
beauty Be still! Yet wherefore should a crown Can never wholly perish: we shall meet divide us ?
Again, Clemanthe! 0, my dear lon!-let me call thee so
Clem. Bless thee for that name; This once at least-it could not in my Pray, call me so again; thy words sound thoughts
strangely, Increase the distance that there was Yet they breathe kindness, and I'll drink between us
them in When, rich in spirit, thou to strangers' Though they destroy me. Shall we meet
indeed ? Seem'd a poor foundling.
Think not I would intrude upon thy cares, Ion. It must separate us ! Thy councils, or thy pomps ;-to sit at Think it no harmless bauble, but a curse distance, Will freeze the current in the veins of To weave, with the nice labour which youth,
preserves And from familiar touch of genial hand, The rebel pulses even, from gay threads From household pleasures, from sweet Faint records of thy deeds, and somedaily tasks,
times catch From airy thought, free wanderer of the The falling music of a gracious word, heavens,
Or the stray sunshine of a smile, will be For ever banish me!
Comfort enough:-do not deny me this; Clem. Thou dost accuse Or if stern fate compel thee to deny, Thy state too harshly; it may give some Kill me at once ! room,
Ion. No; thou must live, my fair one: Some little room, amidst its radiant There are a thousand joyous things in life, cares,
Which pass unheeded in a life of joy For love and joy to breathe in.
As thine hath been, till breezy sorrow Ion, Not for me ; comes
To ruffle it; and daily duties paid
Enter AGENOR. Hardly at first, at length will bring
Agenor. My lord, repose
The sacrificial rites await thy presence. To the sad mind that studies to perform Ion, I come.-One more embrace them,
the last, the last Thou dost not mark me.
In this world! Now farewell! [Erit. Clem. O, I do! I do!
Clem. The last embrace ! lon. If for thy brother's and thy Then he has cast me off!--10,--'tis uut father's sake
so; Thou art content to live, the healer Time Some mournful secret of his fate divides Will reconcile thee to the lovely things
us; Ofthis delightful world,-and if another, I'll struggle to bear that, and snatch a A happier-no, I cannot bid thee love
comfort Another! I did think I could have From seeing him uplifted. I will look said it,
Upon him in his throne ; Minerva's But 'tis in vain.
shrine Clem. Thou art my own then still? Will shelter me from vulgar gaze; I'll lon. I ain thine own! thus let me hasten, clasp me; nearer;
And feast my sad eyes with his greatness O joy too thrilling and too short!
[E.ril.] -r. 191. The last scene is again in the Great Square : on one side is the throne-on the other an altar. The people are assembled to witness the instalment of Ion in his royal dignity. The young king, attended by the High Priest Medon, the senators, Agenor, &c., advances in his robes. He is received with shouts-pauses in front of the throne, and speaks :Ion. I thank you for your greetings- As to forget what human frailty is; shout no more,
And order my sad country. But in deep silence raise your hearts to Agenor. Pardon meHeaven,
lon. Nay, I will promise 'tis my last That it may strengthen one so young request; and frail
Grant me thy help till this distracted As I am for the business of this hour.
state Must I sit here?
Rise tranquil from her griefs—’twill not Medon. My son! my son! What ails thee? When thou shouldst If the great gods smile on us now. Rereflect the joy
member, Of Argos, the strange paleness of the Meanwhile, thou hast all power my word grave
can give, Marbles thy face.
Whether I live or die. lon. Am I indeed so pale ?
Agenor. Die ! Ere that hour It is a solemn office I assume,
May even the old man's epitaph be mossWhich well may make me falter ; yet sustain'a
Ion. Death is not jealous of the mild By thee, and by the gods I serve, I take decay it.
[Sits on the throne. That gently wins thee his ;-exulting Stand forth, Agenor.
youth Agenor. I await thy will.
Provokes the glastly monarch's sudden lon. To thee I look as to the wisest stride, friend
And makes his horrid fingers quick to Of this afflicted people;- Thou must clasp leave
His prey benumb'd at noontide. Let me Awhile the quiet which thy life has earnid
The captain of the guard. To rule our councils; fill the seats of
Crythes. I kneel to crave justice
Humbly the favour which thy sire beWith good men, not so absolute in good.
Medon. Think of thee, my Lord ? Long shall we triumph in thy glorious
Argives! I have a boon To crave of you. Whene'er I shall re
join In death the father from whose heart in
life Stern fate divided me, think gently of him! Think that beneath his panoply of pride Were fair affections crush'd by bitter
wrongs Which fretted him to madness ;-what
he did Alas! ye know ;-could ye know what
he suffer'd, Ye would not curse his name. Yet never
Ion. I cannot mark thee, That wakest the memory of my father's
weakness, But I will not forget that thou hast shared The light enjoyments of a noble spirit, And learn'd the need of luxury. I grant For thee and thy brave comrades ample
share Of such rich treasure as my stores con
tain, To grace thy passage to some distant
land, Where, if an honest cause engage thy
sword, May glorious issues wait it. In our realm We shall not need it longer.
Crythes. Dost intend To banish the firm troops before whose
valour Barbarian millions shrink appali’d, and
leave Our city naked to the first assault Of reckless foes ?
Ion. No, Crythes !-in ourselves, In our own honest hearts and chainless
hands Will be our safeguard ;—while we do
not use Our power towards others, so that we
should blush To teach our children ;—while the simple
love Of justice and their country shall be born With dawning reason ; — while their
sinews grow Hard ʼmid the gladness of heroic sports, We shall not need to guard our walls in
peace One selfish passion, or one venal sword. I would not grieve thee ;-but thy vaFor I esteem them valiant-must no
more With luxury which suits a desperate
camp Infect us. See that they embark, Agenor, Ere night.
Crylhes. My Lord
lon. No more--my word hath pass'd. Medun, there is no office I can add To those thou hast grown old in; thou
wilt guard The shrine of Phæhus, and within thy
homeThy too delightful home-befriend the
stranger As thou didst me; there sometimes waste
a thought On thy spoil'd inmate.
Let the great interests of the state depend Upon the thousand chances that may
sway A piece of human frailty ; swear to me That ye will seek hereafter in yourselves The means of sovereignty: our country's
space, So happy in its smallness, so compact, Needs not the magic of a single name Which wider regions may require to draw Their interest into one; but, circled thus, Like a blest family, by simple laws May tenderly be govern'd-all degreesNot placed in dext'rous balance; not
combined By bonds of parchment, or by iron clasps, But blended into one-a single form Of nymph-like loveliness, which finest
chords Of sympathy pervading, shall endow With vital beauty ;-tint with roseate
bloom In times of happy peace, and bid to flash With one brave impulse if ambitious
bands Of foreign power should threaten. Swear
to me That ye will do this !
Medon. Wherefore ask this now ? Thou shalt live long ;—the paleness of
thy face, Which' late seem'd death-like, is grown
radiant now, And thine eyes kindle with the prophecy Of glorious years.
Ion. The gods approve me then! Yet I will use the function of a king And claim obedience. Swear, that if I die And leave no issue, ye will seek the power To govern in the free-born people's choice, And in the prudence of the wise.
Medon and others. We swear it! Thou wouldst hare weaned me from thee! Ion. Hearand record the oath,immortal Couldst thou think powers !
I would be so divorced ? Now give me leave a moment to approach lon. Thou art right, Clemanthe,That altar unattended.
It was a shallow and an idle thought; [He goes to the altar, 'Tis past; no show of coldness frets us Gracious gods!
now, In whose mild service my glad youth was No vain disguise, my girl. Yet thou spent,
wilt think Look on me now;—and if there is a On that which, when I feign'd, I truly Power,
spokeAs at this solemn time I feel there is, Wilt thou not, sweet one ? Beyond ye, that hath breathed through
Clem. I will treasure all, all your shapes
Enter Irus. The spirit of the beautiful that lives Irus. I bring you glorious tidingsIn earth and heaven ;-to ye I offer up Ha! no joy This conscious being, full of life and love, Can enter here. For my dear country's welfare. Let this
lon. Yes—is it as I hope? blow
Irus, The pestilence abates. End all her sorrows ! [Stabs himself, Ion. [ Springs to his feet.] Do ye not CLEMANTHE rushes forward.
hear? Clem. Hold ! Why shout ye not ?-ye are strongLet me support him -- stand away
think not of me; indeed
Hearken! the curse my ancestry had I have best right, although ye know it spread not,
O’er Argos is dispeli’d! My own To cleave to him in death.
Clemanthe! Ion. This is a joy Let this console thee — Argos lives I did not hope for this is sweet indeed, againBend thine eyes on me!
The offering is accepted--all is well!' Clem. And for this it was
[Dies,]-p. 204. We leave these specimens to vindicate our high praise of this performance. That Ion will not only be published, but acted hereafter, we cannot permit ourselves to doubt; and if these results are in any degree forwarded by this notice, our purpose has been attained.
It is now about a year since we introduced to our readers the noblest effort in the true old taste of our English historical drama that has been made for more than a century; and we have high gratification in seeing Philip van Artevelde followed, within so short a space, by this splendid attempt to recall into the power of life and sympathy the long-buried genius of the antique Tragedy of Fate.
Art. XI.-1. Mémoires authentiques de Maximilien Robes
pierre. 2 tomes. Paris, 1830. 2. Mémoires de Charlotte Robespierre sur ses deux Frères. Paris,
1835. THE most prominent, yet the most mysterious, figure in the
phantasmagoria of the French Revolution is MAXIMILIAN DE ROBESPJERRE. Of no one of whom so much has been said is so little known. He was at first too much despised, and at last too much feared, to be closely examined or justly appreciated. The blood-red halo by which his last years were enveloped magnified his form, but obscured his features. Like the Genius of the Arabian tale, he emerged suddenly from a petty space into enormous power and gigantic size, and as suddenly vanished, leaving behind him no trace but terror.
We therefore received with curiosity the two publications whose titles are prefixed to this article, in the hope that they might afford some insight into the personal, and perhaps some explanation of the public conduct of this mysterious man, who, in the guilty whirl of his revolutionary career, amidst the blaze of the most enthusiastic popularity, in the supreme and despotic omnipotence of a dictator, contrived to bury his private life in a deep and apparently modest obscurity. We have been entirely disappointed. The first, which affects to be an autobiography of Robespierre down to the close of the Constituent Assembly, is a manifest fabrication, and almost avowed to be so in the editor's preface. It contains a few small particulars of his early life, which might have been gleaned from persons who knew him, but the bulk is compiled from the files of the Moniteur. We therefore did not consider it worthy a separate notice, and are now only reminded of it by the still more impudent fabrication of the Memoirs of Charlotte Robespierre, of which the following is, we have reason to believe, a true account.
A young republican, of the name of Laponneraye, one of the heroes, it seems, of the Great Days of July, 1830, being grievously mortified at the result of that very untoward victory, betook himself to the task of enlightening the lower classes of the Parisians by certain lectures on the history of the French Revolution, which he delivered gratuitously on the Sunday evenings in a style that procured for their author we know not how many prosecutions and penal inflictions. In the course of these lectures he undertook the defence of Robespierre, whom he considers as the purest of patriots and the best of men. It happened that in an obscure quarter of Paris there still existed-on a pension originally granted by Buonaparte, but continued by those cruel and bigoted Bour