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It was a people's loud acclaim,
The voice of anger and of shame,
A nation's funeral

cry,
Rome's wail above her only son,
Her patriot, and her latest one.

LOVE, HOPE, AND BEAUTY.

Love may be increased by fears,

May be fann'd with sighs,
Nurst by fancies, fed by doubts ;

But without Hope it dies !
As in the far Indian isles

Dies the young cocoa-tree,
Unless within the pleasant shade

Of the parent plant it be:
So Love may spring up at first,

Lighted at Beauty's eyes ;-
But Beauty is not all its life,

For without Hope it dies.

THE EMERALD RING,

A SUPERSTITION.

It is a gem which hath the power to show
If plighted lovers keep their faith, or no:
If faithful, it is like the leaves of spring;
If faithless, like those leaves when withering.
Take back again your emerald gem,

There is no colour in the stone ;
It might have graced a diadem,

But now its hue and light are gone!
Take back your gift, and give me mine-

The kiss that seal’d our last love-vow,
Ah, other lips have been on thine, -

My kiss is lost and sullied now!
The is pale, the kiss forgot,

And, more than either, you are changed ;
But my true love has alter'd not,

My heart is broken-not estranged !

gem

At length,

guished themselves by their eloquence, he might now exclaim, with nonest pride, “I taught the boys to speak !" But in all these changes be felt that his proper office was still in abeyance, and he endeavoured to procure a repre. sentation of his Virginius. None who are acquainted with the politics of our theatres will wonder that his repeated applications were unsuccessful: eren Shakspeare himself, had he risen from the dead, would have been unheeded in the same manner without an influential introduction to a manager. however, the perseverance of Knowles procured him the attention of Macreads, by whom his play was brought upon the boards under the most favourable cir. cumstances, after which his reputation was established beyond the power of accident. From that period to the present time, he has been placed without a rival at the head of our modern drama.

His diligence in maintaining that ascendancy has been equal to the perseverance which he displayed in acquiring it, so that since 1820, the period when he first became known to fame as the author of Virginius, thirteen plays have proceeded from his pen, all of various but distinguished merit, and whose titles are now as familiar with the public as household words. Of these, his Hunchback is perhaps the most popular, the most perfect of his productions.

The great quality of Knowless pieces, for which they are justly admired is. their dramatic effectiveness. In poetry, his claims are certainly not very high : he has no powerful and finished pictures which could stand out by themselves in the shape of extracts—but if he could even produce these he would perhaps throw them aside, as impediments of the dialogue and action. His aim is to strike, to astonish, and interest, by the number and variety of his situations, and in this he shows the skill of a finished play-wright. He also seldom or nerer

o'ersteps the modesty of nature," notwithstanding the examples of his own immediate predecessors.

Above all, he has pointed the way to a better dramatic era, which we trust will be occupied by still abler successors.

as it is

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

App. Do you see my lictors?
Den. There are twelve of them.
App. What, if I bid them seize thee?
Den. They'd blush to do it.

App. Why now, Dentatus, I begin to know you;
I fancied you a man that loved to vent
His causeless anger in an under breath,
And speak it in the ear—and only then
When there was safety! Such a one, you 'll own,
Is dangerous; and, to be trusted as
A friend or foe, unworthy. But I see
You rail to faces-Have you not so much
Respect for Appius as to take him by
The hand; when he confesses you have some
Pretence to quarrel with his colleagues' plans,
And find fault with himself? Which, yet you'll own,

When the modern revolution occurred in the literature of our country, it was felt that a change was as necessary in the Drama as in the other departments of poetry. Unfortunately, however, wben the works of the German dramatists were applied to, for the purpose of infusing a fresh spirit into our decaying theatre, the worst authors were adopted; and thus our stage was inundated with translations and adaptations from Kotzebue, and his class of sickly sen. timentalists, instead of such writers as Goethe and Schiller. It was in a happy hour, therefore, that Knowles appeared, to rescue us from perverted morality and bombastic sentiments, ghosts, trap-doors, and rusty daggers, and lead us back to truth and nature.

James Sheridan Knowles was born in Ireland towards the end of the last century, and is now about fifty years old. His father was a teacher of consider. able repute, and the Dictionary of the English Language which he published a few years ago, is a respectable monument of his talents and industry. We are unacquainted with the particulars of the education of the future dramatist; but his intimate scholastic knowledge of the ancient drama evinces, that his classical education was carefully attended to. The predilection of his early studies was towards that department of poetry in which he has since excelled; and his peculiar tastes during his early years made him an actor by profession, and a lecturer on the drama, in both of which capacities he spent several years. Thus ad. mirably was he fitted for that revolution of the English Stage which was so imperiously needed. He was by nature a poet; by study he had made him. self familiar with the whole range of dramatic writing, and especially that of our own country; and as a practical orator he was well acquainted with all the mechanical powers and intellectual resources, which are so necessary to consti. tute stage effect. He was thus qualified by his peculiar a vocations for combining the racy old spirit of the Elizabethan age, with those modern improvements which are so essential to fill and gratify the eye in spectacular representation. From his native country he removed to Glasgow, where he taught elocution with great success; and of several of our northern orators who have since distin. guished themselves by their eloquence, he might now exclaim, with honest, pride, “ I taught the boys to speak !" But in all these changes he felt that his proper office was still in abeyance, and he endeavoured to procure a representation of his Virginius. None who are acquainted with the politics of our theatres will wonder that his repeated applications were unsuccessful: even Shakspeare himself, had he risen from the dead, would have been unheeded in the same manner without an influential introduction to a manager. At length, however, the perseverance of Knowles procured him the attention of Macready, by whom his play was brought upon the boards under the most favourable cir. cumstances, after which his reputation was established beyond the power of accident. From that period to the present time, he has been placed without a rival at the head of our modern drama. His diligence in maintaining that ascendancy has been equal to the perseverance which he displayed in acquiring it, so that since 1820, the period when he first became known to fame as the author of Virginius, thirteen plays have proceeded from his pen, all of various but distinguished merit, and whose titles are now as familiar with the public as household words. Of these, his Hunchback is perhaps the most popular, as it is the most perfect of his productions.

The great quality of Knowles's pieces, for which they are justly admired is, their dramatic effectiveness. In poetry, his claims are certainly not very high : he has no powerful and finished pictures which could stand out by themselves in the shape of extracts but if he could even produce these he would perhaps throw them aside, as impediments of the dialogue and action. His aim is to strike, to astonish, and interest, by the number and variety of his situations, and in this he shows the skill of a finished play.wright. He also seldom or nerer “o'ersteps the modesty of nature," notwithstanding the examples of his own im. mediate predecessors. Above all, he has pointed the way to a better dramatic cra, which we trust will be occupied by still abler successors.

JAMES SHERIDAN KNOWLES.

DEATH OF DENTATUS.

Scene_The FORUM.
App. Do you see my lictors ?
Den. There are twelve of them.
App. What, if I bid them seize thee?
Den. They'd blush to do it.

App. Why now, Dentatus, I begin to know you;
I fancied you a man that loved to vent
His causeless anger in an under breath,
And speak it in the ear—and only then
When there was safety! Such a one, you'll own,
Is dangerous; and, to be trusted as
A friend or foe, unworthy. But I see
You rail to faces—Have you not so much
Respect for Appius as to take him by
The hand; when he confesses you have some
Pretence to quarrel with his colleagues' plans,
And find fault with himself? Which, yet you'll own,

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