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Nuit d'ivresse! un tumulte ! ah ! le désordre est doux;
Fernando-(à voir basse.)
St. Moi !
St. (Qui se leve en souriant)
Dernier des Faliero je suis sur de mes coups,
Fer. Insulter une femme est tout votre courage.
They appoint the Church of San Giovanni e San Paolo for the place of immediate meeting, and the act closes. Acte troisième-Scene premiere. La place de St. Jean et Paul.
Pietro, Bertram, Strozzi, aiguisant un stylet sur les degrès du piédestal.
Pi. Bertram, tii parles trop.
Ber Quand mon zèle m'entraine
Pi. J'ai droit d'en murmurer, puisqu'un de tes aveux
Pie. Pietro le gondolier ne prend pour confidens,
Ber. Muet comme un des Dix, hormis les jours d'ivresse.
Pi. C'est vrai, pieux Bertram ; chacun a sa faiblesse ;
Ber. Tu profanes ce nom.
Stroz. Foi de condottiere! si tu tiens ta parole
Pi. Que fait Strozzi.
Str. J'apprête aux pieds d'un oppresseur
Pi. Le Doge!
Ber. Il insulta dans un jour de colère,
Pietro. Fais trève à tes lecons
Ber. Il en est qu'on épargne.
Pi. Aucun, Bertram, ecoute,
Ber. On ne l'est pas sans doute,
Str. Pas un !
Pi. Respect au serment qui nous lie!
Ber. Qui donc, Pietro ?
The Doge is, shortly after this, brought upon the stage, and the contrast between his burning desire of vengeance, and the coarser and less concentrated passions of his coadjutors, is ably and powerfully depicted, in the following scene, which our limits, however, forbid us to extract. It is unnecessary to go at length into the remainder of this play, which, excepting those portions relating to the Duchess, necessarily resembles, in its general features, the English tragedy of the same name. Elena confesses her crime, for no apparently sufficient reason, to her husband; he, subsequently mollified, perhaps, by the death of Fernando, whose duel with Steno ends fatally to himself, pardons her; the plot is discovered by the agency of Bertram, and the drama closes like that which it closely resembles, by the annunciation of the Doge's execution.
This brief enumeration is all that we may allow ourselves of a production which deserves a far more elaborate investigation. How much more power, how much more even of the vis comica, is there in the above extracts, than in the dignified and harmonious monotony of the Comédiens" or the on Vépres Siciliennes.” And, yet, there are very prominent defects in the conduct of this play, which require the compensation of not a little vigour and originality. All that relates to the love of Elena and Fernando is wholly out of place, and unnecessary. The historical interest, as Byron perceived, is amply sufficient, and this secondary plot is, in M. Delavigne's play, now wholly lost to sight, and anon lugged in by the head and shoulders, to the exclusion of the expected personages, until we are somewhat at a loss to know who is the hero, and what is to be the dé nouement.
Yet with this, and several other blemishes, which it were invidious too minutely to notice, this play deserves ail commendation ; and it is not unsafe to predict, that should this endeavour to dethrone the Juggernauts of the drama be successful, the bel age of the French theatre is yet to come; and that if M. Delavigne will avoid subjects already appropriated—in treating which, to escape imitation, he is driven into eccentricities and unnatural combinations-he will secure even a higher reputation in the new school, than he has obtained in the old.
In July, 1824, Delavigne failed in an attempt to obtain a seat in the French academy, and this, which was not his first unsuccessful effort of the same kind, drew forth a consolatory "Epître,” addressed to him “sur les choix academiques," from a person styling himself Eugene de Monglave. This individual thus describes the first appearance of our author above the literary horizon:
“C'est en vain que Fontane avec de longs efforts
“ L'esperance” indeed; which has not, as yet, been absolutely fulfilled. But though M. Delavigne be not a Voltaire, he is certainly equi-distant from a Mong lave, and we quoted the above extract simply as a specimen of the fulsome eulogy, even at that day, heaped upon him. In February, 1825, our author was more successful, and, by a nearly unanimous vote, was chosen to replace the Count Ferrand in that peerage of intellect, of which, at the time, he was, we believe, the youngest member.
We have thus endeavoured to give our readers a just conception of the writings of M. Casimir Delavigne. His claims to consideration belong to two distinct departments of literature. We have passed, in review, his lyrical pieces, generally devoted to subjects of national interest, and his dramas. As a lyrist, he possesses decided merit, but as a national poet, we have already said, that we are not inclined to assign him any very bigb rank.
His influence would appear principally to lie with the literary circles, which, in no country, form the mass of its intellect, or its virtue; and from which its future destinies can never be cal
VOL. VIII.-No. 15.
culated. With that class, politely termed the lower class, peasantry, canuille, bas-peuple, composed of individuals most difficult to be understood by those who are not of them, but most easily comprehending each other-bound together by common interests, and common feelings, and now, in our day and generation, aroused, for the first time, to a full sense of their uncontrolled and uncontrollable power-individuals quick to perceive, and eager to acknowledge any sympathy in their cause, but singularly unapt to take in the force of a classical allusion, or the appropriateness of a Latin quotation-with this class, for reasons already given, we can scarcely imagine M. Delavigne to have acquired an extensive, or predominant influence.
As a dramatist, although his first four productions will scarcely be singled out for immortality, from amongst that “rabble rout,” with which they may easily be confounded, and though his “ Marino Faliero” may not find many admirers among the readers of Byron, we still think it indisputable, that he possesses great powers, and we have confident hopes that his lately chosen Pegasus will strike forth from the hard-trodden Parnassus of French literature, a new Helicon—the gushing waters of wbich will delight us and our successors, as much as they amaze and perplex the devotees of the ancient drama.
ART. V.-1. Remarks on Canal Navigation, &c. By WILLIAM
FAIRBAIRN, Engineer. London. 1831. 2. A New Theory of the Resistance of Fluids, compared with the best experiments. By Mr. THOMAS TREDGOLD, Civil Engineer, &c. Art. 41, Philosophical Magazine, and Annals of Philosophy, April. 1828. 3. Mechanics' Magazine. N. A. Series. 1830, 1831.
“The important interests of society, affected by the Steam-Engine and by Rail-Roads,” have already induced us to devote a portion of our pages to these subjects. The experiments made with locomotive engines, on the Liverpool and Manchester railway, have turned the attention, not only of engineers, but of men of science—the neglect of which has been too long felt in practical mechanics, althougb intimately connected with it—toinvestigations and researches of this nature. The intense interest excited by the late experiments on canal navigation, from the novelty of their results so unexpected by practical men, though in strict conformity with the long established elementary principles of science-induce us to devote a few more of our pages to these subjects.
The interesting experiments on railways would appear to have decided the question of the superiority of this mode of conveyance over every other, until the still more recent experiments on canal navigation, exhibited in Mr. Fairbairn's publication, have fairly, and it would appear, successfully contended for this superiority.
As these experiments involve questions of immense public utility, it will be still necessary-before any final decision or conclusion can be legitimately arrived at, with regard to their comparative practical merits—to exhibit their results in different points of view, and to consider a variety of collateral subjects so intimately connected with them, as entirely to change the results in proportion as they are involved in, or excluded from, the investigation.
In whatever light the practical engineer, or speculating monopolist inay consider these results and the views of the one generally extend no further than to the success of his engine or plan, and of the other, to the immediate profits resulting from the works in which his capital may be engaged—the man who cultivates science for its own sake, or the man of enlarged views, who regards improvements as connected with public utility, will estimate their value with far different motives. The love of country is a principle so strongly ingrafted in the soul of man, that the honest patriot is more anxious for its future prosperity, and the rank which it is to preserve among the nations of the earth, than for any immediate emolument or selfish consideration. On the other hand, the speculator, the contractor, or by what other name the infinity of modern undertakers or would-be-engineers, are called, have their own interest, and seldom any other in view. In our opinion, the practical investigations and researches of men of science, ought to be impartially directed to the real and permanent advantages likely to result, not only to a nation in general, but likewise to the respective individuals composing the mass of the population of that nation, who contribute to its general fund of prosperity. For they are all concerned in these great results, and they are particularly interested in the investigation of any and of every scheme, calculated to mon