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form of government, being ardent partizans of democracy, to which the party alluded to is opposed.

Mr. Grund's advice to Irish emigrants is so good, that we cannot refrain from inserting it, and would that we could make it reach the ears of those poor fellows who are daily leaving for ever their native land, to seek a refuge and a home in the United States :

Let the Irish, on arrival, be, above all things, careful not to disturb the peace by revels of any kind : the Americans are proud of voluntary submission to the laws, and cannot respect those who infringe them, or are given to excess. Let them abstain from all share in political quarrels, before they are able form a correct opinion on the subject. Let them refrain from violence of any kind, even though provoked. If they are wronged, let them appeal to the law, and the Americans will assuredly procure them justice ; for the Americans love peace, and liberty, and justice more than any people in the world.”—p. 97.

Let the Irish follow these rules, our author says (as those of them in Boston have already begun to do), and they will make for themselves a home and fast friends at the other side of the Atlantic.

In the very brief notice that our limits enable us to give of the rest of this valuable work, we could not, perhaps, do better than allow Mr. Grund's general opinions on America to appear in his own words:

“ The American commonwealth consists of a community of reason and good sense; its empire, therefore, is the largest, and its basis the most unalterable on which the prosperity of a people was ever established. ... The Americans have kept good faith with all nations; and, with the most unexampled economy, have discharged their national debt. Their credit is unrivalled, their honour unquestioned, and the most implicit confidence is placed in their ability to fulfil their engagements. They have not monopolized a single branch of industry, but let foreigners and natives compete fairly. They have established liberty of conscience, abolished all hereditary privileges, and let all start free and eqnal. In short, they have made their country the market for talent, ingenuity, industry, and every honest kind of exertion. ... There are no conflicting elements that threaten an immediate change or overthrow of her established institutions. ... As long as these latter are productive of such happy results, it is but natural that the people should cling to them as the principal cause of their boundless national prosperity:"_vol. i. p. 262, 272, 273, 280.

In conclusion, we would heartily recommend to such of our readers as are desirous of obtaining a good and sound knowledge on the subject of America, to peruse attentively and weigh well the works of M. de Tocqueville and Mr. Grund. The principles laid down in either, and the effects deduced from certain

causes, may not always seem right and sound, but the reader may be assured that he will meet with no ebullitions of prejudice, and that, if there be mistakes, they are those of candid, liberal, and enlightened minds. These works are full of valuable and interesting information, and will supply the amplest materials for the most practical comparison with the institutions of our own or other countries, as well as for the most speculative consideration of the present state and future destiny of the New World.

Art. VI.-1. The Daughter. A Play, in Five Acts. By James

Sheridan Knowles, author of “ Virginius,” &c. London, 1837. 2. Cosmo de' Medici. An Historical Tragedy. By R. H.

Horne, author of “ The Exposition of the False Medium,"

&c. London, 1837. 3. Marcus Manlius. A Tragedy, in Five Acts. By David

Elwin Colombine. London, 1837. THE English drama has undergone a series of transitions

during the last fifty years, which, for variety, frequency, and contrast, are unparalleled in the drama of any country in Europe during the same, or any former period. A glance at the state of the stage in France, Spain, and Germany, will sufciently prove the correctness of this assertion.

The classical school was rigorously observed, even so late as the reign of Louis XVIII, by all the writers for the theatre in France. Boileau, Racine, Corneille, and Voltaire, who implicitly followed the laws of Aristotle and his successors, were the models for modern imitation, and it was not until very recently that those extraordinary innovations were introduced, which have completely changed the character of the French stage. Even Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas, who are at the head of the Romantic school, and who have carried its extravagance farther than any of their contemporaries, commenced their careers with plays which, although they do not strictly fulfil the conditions of the Stagyrite, and are deformed by some eccentricities, must still be regarded as belonging, in a certain degree, to that more sober and weighty class of dramas which has of late been altogether superseded. The “ Hernani” of Hugo, written in the antiquated and restrictive form of rhyme, and the “Henry III," of Dumas, written in prose, display some respect for order in the distribution of the action, and for the higher style of the elder poets in the tone of the dialogue, and the general treatment of the subject; but both Hugo and Dumas have subsequently abandoned even these concessions to system in their numerous and successful productions, falling at last into the worst excesses of an impure taste, and openly outraging, not merely improbability, which might admit of some slender excuse, but the decencies of life, which admits of none. It is to be observed, however, that the decline of the French drama, from the chaste, but cold and stilted elevation of Racine and Corneille, to the coarse levities and monstrous incongruities of such playwrights as Scribe and Delavigne, has been a gradual course of decadence in a particular direction: it was not marked by any features of incidental novelty, or checked by divergence into other channels. It was a constant progress towards the emancipation of the stage from all rules and trammels, whether of art or morality; and, except that it acquired increased impunity, and betrayed still deeper laxity as it proceeded, it displayed no farther transitions than were necessarily included in the general tendency of its altered spirit.

The drama of Spain presents a still slighter deviation from its original condition. Lope de Vega and Calderon, especially the former, (whose inedited MSS. are in quantity treble the amount of his published works, and who is said to have produced eight hundred pieces on the stage), did not very scrupulously adhere, even in their most elaborate dramas, to the laws of the ancients, but, yielding to the licentious taste of their age, surrendered themselves to an exuberance which could not be restrained within the established limits. These poets being the earliest standards of Spanish dramatic literature, the present state of the Spanish stage, in which, unquestionably, even the show of regularity and decorum is not affected, cannot be considered to involve any more grave dereliction from the period of its highest excellence, than an extension of the license which was adopted by the first Spanish dramatists. Nor, indeed, has the character of the Spanish theatre undergone any greater change than may be easily accounted for by the universal changes in habits and institutions to which the country itself has been exposed.

In Germany, the stage has hardly yet secured a fixed and definite reputation. The literature of that thinking and acquisitive people is but the growth of yesterday; and until the appearance of Lessing and Klopstock, who may be said to have dissolved the ice that locked up the springs of thought and poetry, the national mind was unrepresented both in books and plays. When the theatre at last became of some importance, two different styles struggled together. into existence-the grave, but picturesque, genius of Schiller at the head of one, and the motley and sentimental imagination of Kotzebue originating the other—followed by such contemptible play-wrights as Grillparzer (der Schauspielschrieber, contra-distinguished from der Schauspieldichter), and the rest of the inventors of mere spectacles.

Our stage alone, then, has suffered a succession of novel mutations, which are rendered the more remarkable by the fact, that the English drama exhibits, in its purest and best manifestations, none of those rigid and repulsive models from which, in France at least, they had some excuse for venturing to depart. We disowned the authority of Aristotle at once, and began with nature. The field was vast and inexhaustible: we were not shackled by any limitations, or oppressive formulæ ; we were not required to torture humanity into a prescribed shape; we cast away the Procrustian bed, and gave the figure in its original, living proportions. We, therefore, had no reasonable pretext to offer for going in search of ingenious absurdities, for surrendering our judgment to temporary expedients, that exercised no worthier influence than as they captivated the fancy of the multitude, and that were equally obnoxious to the stern creations of the ancients, and the freer, and bolder, and more natural productions of our own school. It may be said, perhaps, that, having no arbitrary laws, and being amenable to no settled system, such deviations are incidental to the nature of our drama, which is, in itself, irregular and capricious; but this argument is as illogical as it is untrue. The fact, that our drama is irregular and capricious, cannot be admitted in justification of every species of irregularity and caprice; for it must be obvious, that if we proceeded upon such a principle, there would be no bounds to the incongruities it would introduce, since there could be no definition of the extent to which one irregularity might be justified by another. Nor does it follow, because our drama is not governed by arbitrary laws, and is not amenable to a settled system, that, therefore, such deviations are incidental to its nature. It certainly does not exact the observance of the unities : the few instances—take Addison's “ Cato” as an example

-in which they are attempted to be followed, are found to be unfit for the stage, because they contradict, not merely our own experience, but that of all social intercourse throughout civilized Europe. The only instances in which the Greek tragic drama, with its interpolated and explanatory chorus, has been imitated in our language, were especially intended for the closet, and could not be represented upon the stage without risking a transformation of the sublime into the ridiculous. It is true that our drama does not recognize any express restraints in the conduct of the action, the regulation of the time, or the choice and change of place: in one of his plays, Shakspeare introduces upon the scene a grown woman, who is supposed to have been born in the preceding act; in another he shifts the scene, within the same act, from Britain to Rome: and he comprises the events of a period of seventeen years in a third. These are by no means the most striking examples which might be selected from the English stage, of contempt for classical usages; a multitude of still more curious instances might easily be accumulated to the same purpose, were it not superfluous to attest an admitted truth by a crowd of familiar illustrations. But all such violations of the laws of antiquity refer exclusively to the construction, and not to the materials of the play. The characters are still retained in all their original breadth and power; there is no sacrifice to false splendour, or meretricious effects: truth is preserved entire, sometimes exhibited in minute detail, and sometimes in its general feautures, but never distorted or set aside. It is in the plan, therefore, and not in the elements that enter into the substance of the play, that our drama is irregular and capricious. The ground-work is nature,—the most comprehensive, the most fertile in varieties, and the most accessible to criticism that can be conceived. And this leads us directly to the consideration of the difference between the irregularities that have been introduced of late years upon our stage, and those which constitute the difference between what we call our legitimate drama, and the drama of the ancients.

It would carry us out of our way to enter at any length upon the influence which the doctrine of Necessity—the mysterious power of an inexorable Fate-exercises over the conduct of the Greek tragedy, and to which, according to some high authorities, much of its sublimity may be referred. The enquiry is one of deep interest, and would demand more space and consideration than the subject before us requires. It is enough for our present purpose to observe, that the operation of an invincible Destiny-such as that which, for the fulfilment, no doubt, of an awful and overwhelming retribution, devoted the whole Argive house to destruction--relieved the Greek poets from the necessity of exhibiting in the action of their plays a sufficient body of motives to account for the deeds of the persons of the drama. An irresistible Fatality urged them into críme. It was not requisite to satisfy the moral sense by the exhibition of adequate human causes for the perpetration of enormous guilt : was sufficient that an overruling power worked unseen, and controlled the progress of events.

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