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".0, great master! I am young !" that his victim was armed, or that some

“ I tell thee, thou unfortunate knave, wall of bars or net-work shielded him from leave clinging to my feet. Come, time his fury. Step by step he approached flies; the whole theatre waits;. hark to his taily moved more swiftly, with the their clamours ! they are impatient for quick excited joy of a cat springing upon their sports. Come, thou who wast so a mouse--his growl deepened to a roar. bold and haughty in the portico, let us “ Now, Commodus!” shrieked Cosee thy bearing on the arena. See! the drus. A low laugh of the emperor was huge beast has actually laid himself down heard through the whole concave. On as far from us as he can get. By Mer- and on, step by step, stalked the gigantic cury! I believe ye are afraid of each beast. His mighty jaws were extended other. Come out with him to the -he tore the ground with his foot-he

shook the very foundations of the amphi« For the love of Jupiter !” cried theatre with his yet more tremendous Codrus, clinging to the centurion who roar; glowing faces leaned forward over had seized him to lead him forth.

the balconies, and frequent murmurs of « And hark thee !” cried the em- intense delight broke from lips beautiful peror,

“ when thou art fairly out upon as rosebuds. the arena, shrink not thou close to my “Oh, gods! oh, Commodus !” screamfeet here, or thou art gone. I cannot ed the now husky voice of Codrus as the shoot down; take thy place quietly in lion drew nearer, and he stood motionthe centre; dost hear? Smite the knave less; for terror had paralyzed his limbs, till he answer.”

and turned him to marble. As Codrus felt the blow he seemed to “Oh, Cornmodus ! thine arrow! thine gather in his courage.

arrow! He will spring! he will spring !" “Emperor, he cried, “allow me a and, as his voice failed him, the wretch weapon ?

sank prostrate on his side and elbow. "No!”

“ Not yet! not yet !” murmured the “ A single arrow ?"

sweet voice of a Roman lady-a great « No! I say."

critic in the elegant amusements of the “ But thy club?"

day. “Nothing. Strip him and hurl him At this instant arose a shout, sudden forth !”

and deafening The arrow of the emAs the officers were about to obey, peror had sped to its mark, and quivered the victim, his eyes starting from their in the broad chest of the beast ; but the sockets, his face white as death, sprang latter, no more heeding it than a fake forward toward the tyrant, gnashing his of down, had sprung with mighty roar teeth.

upon his prey; already his claws and * By the god Hermes ! would the hairy jaws were encrimsoned—the head desperate knave smite his emperor. of poor Codrus had disappeared — his Hurl him forth, I say !

limbs were torn from his trunk, and his And Codrus was literally flung upon bowels and gore had left broad marks on the arena. He sprang to his feet, and the snowy sand. A more successful clasped his hands together. One look arrow now laid the lion quivering on he cast around. The huge monster was his back--rolling, tearing and biting the two hundred feet distant, and he had ground. A third stretched him motionnot yet seen his human victim. Codrus less in death ; and, in a few moments remained motionless. Once again he more, slaves had borne off the two carlooked around upon the mighty circle of casses, and had respread the white sand, his fellow-creatures, piled up one above so as to leave no trace of the event. another, a stupendous wall of faces, and “ Peace to the last of the Antonines !” all waiting to enjoy the sight of a lion cried the shrill voice from the gallery ; tearing his flesh and crunching his bones. and general laughter, and a peal of goodA small arrow from Commodus, sent, natured applause, rewarded the humour not to injure, but to arouse the beast, of the unseen speaker, and announced the caused him to start and roar, and then hearty gratification which the spectators he beheld, as he turned, this unarmed, had derived from their morning sports. helpless stripling totally in his power. One other gladiator was turned in to At the sight, he shook his shaggy mane, another lion, but the beast fell before -he lashed his huge sides with his tail the first arrow of the emperor; and as if -his eyes kindled lik burning coals. satisfied with us redeeming his skill, He stepped slowly at first, with a deep the entertainments were closed. awful growl, as if he suspected either

arms.

The amphitheatre had disgorged its Soothed by her blandishments, the monthousands, the last of the long train of arch slept. When his heavy breathing the emperor had disappeared in the palace, announced the consummation of his and Commodus prepared to enjoy his slumber, Marcia slowly and cautiously voluptuous repose, after a luxurious repast. arose, and disengaged herself from his He dismissed all his attendants, and re

His head sank down upon the mained alone, with his favourite Marcia. couch. The girl stood by him a mo

“Well, my Commodus,” cried the ment, in an attitude of intense emotion. girl, “this day thou hast outdone thy- She bent her head toward him. Stupeself. Posterity will read of it with more fied by his banquet, he lay, with unbraced pleasure than the whole reigns of other limbs and relaxed features, like a dead emperors.”

body. Her face had undergone a change; “ Flatterer- beautiful flatterer !" her eyes glared; her lips were half apart, They were alone.

as if afraid even of her own breath. “What is it, oh Commodus, that Then pale and trembling, she glided makes my worship of thee grow ever noiselessly to a door, which she softly more and more strong-more burning ? opened. Three figures entered, Lætus, Thou hast occupied all my imagination. Eclectus, and one other.

The last was Even when I look abroad on nature; the slave who had been cast to the on the heavens filled with fleecy clouds; second lion of the amphitheatre. on the mountains capped with silver Did he take the draught ?" demandsnow; on the broad, green fields and ed Lætus. flowing rivers; I say, only to myself, “ Every drop.” these are his; these belong to Commo. “ But, lest he should wake, and, perdus!”

haps, in his desperation, sacrifice us to “ Sweet child; fervid and tender girl; his fury, I have brought one of his thy lips-again. I do think, Marcia, if friends with me. I love any thing on earth childishly, it is He smiled, and pointed to the slave. thee.”

Marcia looked a moment at her sleepShe drew closer to him, and laid her ing, lover, and then, in a low voice, cheek on his bosom.

said, “Let me whipe the moisture from thy "Is the slave strong ?” brow. Ah, how godlike thou seemest The gladiator replied by exhibiting his to me, Commodus.

Oh, who, but thou, brawny and muscular arms. was ever born to be an emperor ?"

“Quick, then, in the name of Jupiter ! “ Beautiful, fragile girl ; when thus I Lætus—the door. Eclectus his feet. press thee in my arms, Marcia, thou I will hold his head. Now, slave! for awakenest in me something gentle— thy life! Ha! gods! he wakes."something boyish !"

A moment rolled on.-There was a “Love, love, Commodus. Is it not struggle as of an ox bound and under the love? And yet how canst thou, with the knee of the butcher. – No voice the world upon thy ahoulders, have time broke the profound stillness.-- A blackto love a lowly flower like me ?"

ened and distorted face hung from the “ Tush! tush! let me kiss those tears; crimson couch.- In a secret recess of an but, since these dewdrops, my pretty adjoining room, a sack, with a heavy Marcia, copious though they be, are not burden, that might have been sand or enough to quench my thirst, reach me clay, was flung, heedlessly, into a corner. yon goblet. My lips are dry. Fill it -For one instant, though it knew it

not, the earth was free.

F. She knelt affectionately, and lifted the goblet to his lips. He drained it at a draught.

When we laugh, we experience a sen“ Ha! how it spreads its deep joy sation of delight and a sense of superiority through my veins ! Immortal wine! —sometimes real, sometimes imaginary. I bless the great gods for such a gift !" The character may, in a measure, be • Thou art weary.”

discovered by the idea or the object

which chiefly excites our laughter. The “ Thine eyes are heavy. Let my malevolent laugh from pleasure in the bosom be thy pillow.”

misfortunes of their neighbours; - the The despot of the world extended him. benevolent, from sympathetic mirth ;self in the lap of bis best friend. She the intellectual, from a keen insight into laid her blue-veined hand upon his fore the ridiculous ;-and the foolish, from head. She kissed his closed eyelids. an excess of folly.

up, girl.”

LAUGHTER.

" I am."

If you

CHORUS.

LETTER

twenty, garrets for your food and your FROM DR. ERASMUS DARWIN. amusement.--O permit me this afternoon

to lay at your divine feet the head of an (Now first published).

immense Norway rat, who has even now

stained my paws with his gore. [The following has been sent us from will do me the honour to sing the fola much valued contributor, and we think lowing in the evening, I will bring a that the pleasing conceit therein, cannot band of cat-gut and cat-caul to accombut amuse our readers :7

pany you in chorus : “ From Dr. Darwin, to Miss Se

1 vard's Cat,

Cats I scorn, who, sleek and fat, “Litchfield Vicarage, Nov. 8th, 1780. Shiver at a Norway Rat; “ Dear Miss Pussy,

Rough and hardy, bold and free, As I sat the other day basking myself Be the cat that 's made for me. in the sun in the Dean's Walk, and saw

2 you in your stately window, washing He, whose nervous paw can take your beautiful round face and elegant My lady's lap.dog by the neck ; brinded ears with your velvet paws, and With furious hiss attack the hen, whisking about with graceful sinuosity And snatch a chicken from the pen. your meandering tail, that treacherous

3 hedgehog, Cupid, concealed himself If the treacherous swain should prove behind your tabby beauties, and shot one Rebellious to my tender love, of his too well-aimed quills and pierced My scorn the vengeful paw shall dart, -O cruel Imp !-my fluttering heart. Shall tear his fur, and pierce his heart.

“ Ever since that fatal hour have I watched day and night, in my balcony, hoping that the stillness of the starlight Quów, wow, quall, wall, moro. evening might induce you to take the “Deign, most adorable charmer! to pur air on the leads of your house. Many your assent to this my request, and beserenades have I sung under your win- lieve me to be, with the most profound dow, and with the sound of my shrill respect, your true admirer. voice made the whole vicarage re-echo through all its winding lanes and dirty alleys. « All heard me, but my cruel fair one!

THE LADY AND KNIGHT. -she, wrapt in fur, sat purring with contented insensibility, or slept with untroubled dreams!

(For the Parterre.) Though I cannot boast the shining tortoise-shell that clothes my fair They met—then bowed his waving crest •brinded charmer; though I cannot boast As bowed his head her lips to press;

those delicate varieties of melody, with The white plumes swept her whiter . which you sometimes ravish the ear of breast, night, and stay the listening stars ! Like pillowed birds in fond caress. Though you sleep hourly, lulled on the Well might he love! a face so sweet, lap of the favourite of the Muses; or But seldom here on earth is seen, patted by those fair fingers, every day Where smiles with mingling blushes with her permission dip your white meet, whiskers in delicious cream !-Nor am I Such as adorn Love's stateliest queen, utterly destitute of all advantages of She might have been the Queen of love, birth and beauty; derived from Persian Or some sweet-lipped attendant Grace, kings, my white fur still retains the Sent out to find a wandering dove, splendour and softness of their ermin. Deep in the forest's shadiest place. . This morning as I sat upon the Doctor's The whispering gale in wanton play, tea-table, and saw my reflected features Amid her auburn hair did twine in the slop-basin, my long white whiskers, Now o'er some ringlet it would stray, ivory teeth, and topaz eyes ;-and sure And wave it like an amorous vine. the slop-basin does not flatter me, which And then her lips seemed made to kiss ; shews the azure flowers upon its border Like flowers with which the bees are beauteous than they are. . You know fed, not, my dear Miss Pussy, ue of Cha their dewy sweets dismiss, the heart you slight. New milk have I Then fold their bells of blue and red, in flowing streams, and mice pent up in And soon again new banquets spread.

SNOW.

BY T. MILLER.

mind;

Beneath her spanning eyebrows lay less, that is no good reason why a poor Such orbs as stream with soul and plodder in the stubble should be discou

raged. Let him gather together as he Such glances as do never stray,

best may what others have passed by, But they a willing captive find. : and see that it be sound and wholesome For they were like the golden sun, -neither blighted nor mildewed ; let

That cheers all Nature by his rays, those laugh that have little better to do Bidding the streams in laughter run, at his unostentatious handful,

While every flower its cup displays. In speaking of the inconveniences of Her voice was softer than the lute, seeing Shakspeare acted, let us pass by, That sounds o'er ocean's echoing in quiet resignation, the more purely shore,

imaginative of his plays-his “ Tem. When silence bids the waves be mute, pest,” and “ Midsummer Night's Dream.”

And listening sailors drop the oar. These wild and delicate pieces of fancy And sighs from her fair bosom rose, were never intended for the hard hand

Her father would her true knight slay, ling and business calculations of stage She wonders why they should be foes; managers and their underlings. A sum

And dare not meet her love by day- mer's day would be all too short to But the portcullis now is drawn, detail the strange wrong, the mutilation,

She heard the warder's watchful note, the degradation they suffer on the stage. And stole across the flowery lawn, They should be for the hours of privacy And silently undid the boat,

alone; and even then, a man should not And in it all alone she stept,

trust himself to read some of the

pasThen shot across the narrow flood; sages in the latter play (or dream) aloud; For well she knew her father slept, they are of too fine a texture for the And where her Knight was in the harsh human voice, and should be imwood.

bibed and conveyed to the senses by the But hark! the warder's trumpet sounded, eye alone. But to hear them in a

Those lovers must no longer stay; theatre! To have them remorsely bel. The knight upon his swift steed bounded, lowed forth from the foot-lamps by the And pressed her lips, then rode away. lumps of clay who do the scavenger work

of the drama, is absolutely terrible! It A FEW OF THE INCONVENI- is worse than assassinating Handel or

ENCES OF SEEING SHAKS. Mozart with a bagpipe, or playing
PEARE ACTED.

Hadyn's symphonies on a hurdy-gurdy!
And yet, what will not mortals attempt ?

The most of us have actually heard a In the mass of miscellaneous reading stage Bottom issue. such directions as that is constantly meeting the eye and these to some silly, fat, flobby child in passing from the memory, you occasion. white or green-" Monsieur Cobweb; ally meet with a remark or odd saying good monsieur, get your weapons in of an adhesive quality like a bur," it your hand, and kill me a red-hipped will stick.” It is long ago since the fol- humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and lowing came in my way; so long, indeed, good monsieur, bring me the honey. that I have forgotten the precise form bag. Do not fret yourself too much in of words in which the meaning was the action, monsieur ; and good moncouched, but the purport of the sentence sieur, have a care that the honey-bag was—" that Shakspeare lost by repre- break not; I would be loth to have you sentation in the same proportion that overflown with a honey-bag, signior;" others gained by it;—that the one was

while Moth, Peas-blossom, Mustard. like a spruce apprentice set off by his seed, and the other elves who Sunday clothes--the other like Apollo “ Creep into acorn cups and hide them there," tricked out by a tailor.” I dare say the have been represented by the brothers and same thought has struck many a man sisters of Cobweb, the juvenile produce after reading or seeing Shakspeare, and and property of some industrious matron been illustrated by many men in many connected with the establishment. This modes before this time; still, let the is as bad as Snout, the joiner, represent, reapers and gleaners go ever só carefully ing the wall. And with all our vaunted over the field, there are always soine few improvements in stage decoration, how stray ears to be picked up by a straggler much worse off was the poor Athenian -patches, remnants the bounteous company for their lion, and wall, and harvest that has already been gathered moonshine, than the unfortunate modern in by the first in the field. Neverthe-scene-painter or property-man, who is

called upon by the text to furnish a bank has stamina for any thing ; and they as per order ?

think right, though they act wrong. “I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,

Scenery, machinery, dresses and decoWhere ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;

rations,” however, may be amended, Quite over.canopied with lush woodbine, “ that's comfort yet ;” but alas ! what With sweet musk roses and with eglantine : mental millwright - what skilful ma. There sleeps Titania.”

chinist, will put in order and wind up No! there are scenes and materials the talking machines that “ do” the about the “ Tempest" which may, in subordinate parts about the theatre to some slight degree, excuse its introduc- the true Shaksperian pitch, and set them tion on the stage, and atone for the a-going for the night! Is the school. manifold barbarities committed upon it master yet abroad ordained to shed a ray when there ; but never let the “Mid- of light upon their benighted under. summer Night's Dream”-that fine film standings concerning the meaning of the —that pure abstraction—that delicate author, or make them sensible of the fret-work of an ethereal imagination, simple but important fact, that blank have a tangible existence.

verse is not prose, and ought to be Let us pass to the common acting spoken differently? Here it is where plays-Macbeth. You are sitting by our great dramatic poet principally sufthe fire on a winter's evening, "wrapped” fers. The exuberant genius of Shaksin the perusal of this masterpiece of peare could not stoop to petty calculanature's masterpiece, preparatory to tions. It never entered into his thoughts visiting the theatre to see it played. In what unimaginable pieces of mortality your mind's eye you perceive the “blast- would, in after times, give utterance to ed heath," the scene of Macbeth's tempt- the glorious poetry that is scattered ination, sterile and wild, covered with discriminately over his pages. Small masses of primeval and “herbless gra- occasion had he to play the niggard, and nite,” and untenanted save by the lonely carefully apportion out his sweet fancies plover or shy and solitary moorcook. and rare conceits to those who would be Beside some rude cairn are clustered the likely to give the most effect in the reweird sisters, “posters of the sea and presentation; and hence it is that the land,” récounting their exploits, and Goodmen Dulls" of the theatre- the holding devilish consultation; in the honest plodding gentlemen with small distance is the army of Macbeth. There salaries and corresponding capacities, is a bleak and gloomy grandeur in the who, in other authors, have language picture you have drawn, and you hasten to admirably adapted to their modes of the theatre to have it realized. Does not thinking and expression put into their your enthusiasm receive a shock? Before mouths, have frequently, when doing you is some old, confined “wood-scene” their work in subordinate characters in used on all occasions, with Macbeth and Shakspeare, to utter passages redolent Banquo, the three beldames, and divers with beauty, which they do in a way ill-drilled supernumeraries, huddled to- that very satisfactorily shows these “imgether in most unseemly proximity ; perfect speakers" have little occasion to while the bags, "So wither'd and so thank the gods for having made them wild in their attire,” are generally re- “poetical.” presented (for what reason managers Of all Shakspeare's characters there only know) by three low comedians, for are not any so systematically ill-used as the most part hearty, plump, oleaginous these same witches in Macbeth. It has personages, with whom all sorts of odd, been thought by many who know someout-of-the-way associations are connected, thing of the matter, that there are a in patched red and tartan petticoats, and wildness and sublimity in the character stationed in the full glare of the gas- and attributes of those malignant hags, lamps! True, some of this cannot be that are perfectly inapproachable by any remedied; but much of it might, were one below Shakspeare's calibre. And, a tithe part of the money and attention be it noted, they are not only of wondrous directed towards it that are wasted on import of themselves, but the mainspring some gaud or pantomime; and much of all the principal events in the great that is now vulgar, common-place and drama to which they belong. The ridiculous, might, by the aid of a little talent and intellect of the greatest ornaliberality and common-sense, be rendered ments the stage has produced, would not grand and impressive. But the mana- be misapplied in endeavouring to give an gers think that Shakspeare may be used adequate idea of these strange and fanand abused after any fashion ; that he tastical creations. Yet what are they at

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