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haps only recommended to the public through the very superior style in which the managers of the several theatres have brought it forward, and the talents of the actors who have sustained its principal characters. It certainly has gained a considerable degree of popularity, but in our unbiassed opinion it is unworthy of its author's fame.
The following is an outline of the fable:
Guido, the only son of the reigning duke of Mirandola, is secretly attached to Isadora, one of the Count Navarro's nieces; and his affection is returned with reciprocal ardorshe is equally devoted to him, and vows of constancy are pledged between them. Guido's destiny carries him to the wars, where he earns a reputation "worthy the fair and great name of Mirandola," but his absence allows those schemes of villainy to be concerted which form the more immediate cause of the catastrophe. Isabel, the duke's sister, who wishes to obtain the reversion of the dukedom for her son, to the exclusion of the rightful heir (though this purpose cannot be distinctly ascertained until towards the conclusion of the piece,) works on the ambitious hopes of Gheraldi, her brother's confessor, and through their influence gains his assistance in the furtherance of her iniquity. In consequence of a dangerous wound, a report of Guido's death spreads abroad, and gains credit from the circumstance of Gheraldi's having intercepted the letters which he wrote to his father and Isadora from his bed of sickness. Isadora, also, is thus induced to believe it, and "grieves awhile in virgin widowhood;" and in the mean time, the duke, who is a widower, totally ignorant of the attachment which subsisted between her and his son, and introduced to her by Isabel's contrivance, professes himself her ardent admirer. Urged by her mother's want, she accepts his offer of marriage.* The remaining incidents are few. The business of the stage commences with the return of Guido, who discovers that Isadora has "left the son to marry with the father." The duke now for the first time hears from Gheraldi the fact of Guido's attachment, and a jealousy, which Gheraldi is careful to arouse, is fed by the cold despondency of his son, and the melancholy of Isadora. Isabel contrives to alarm him still further, by procuring from Isadora a ring, which had been the Duke's wedding favor, and giving it to Guido as a token of his step-mother's friendship; and when the duke sees this
This savours strongly of Bertram, though not dwelt on so long or so naturally.
on Guido's finger, his jealous fears which had almost subsided raise his passions to frenzy. Finding no hope of happiness at home, Guido determines on travelling; but Isadora, ignorant of his intention, requests an interview in order to recover the fatal ring, and he returns in the evening and meets her in the garden. The duke receives information of this from Isabel, and on discovering them together, without listening to their endeavours to exculpate themselves, maddened with jealousy and rage, orders Guido to execution. The unfortunate Isadora is carried off fainting; and when Casti, Guido's friend, brings in the intercepted letters which he had torn from Gheraldi, the duke dies on learning his son's innocence too late to save him. Isabel and Gheraldi are led out, (we suppose to punishment.)
We do not design to enter minutely into the defects of this production, but to glance at its broad and glaring imperfections, and we are anxious to avoid the enumeration of trifling faults when we are obliged to extend our censure to those that are of consequence. Were we to analyse the plot, we could not only detect much similitude to other plays, but expose the mismanagement of interest which deforms it in many places; but as our space will not permit us to go into detail, we will simply observe:-Firstly, that the character of Isadora, which, from the construction of the fable, should be the most prominent, is but a trifling part in which to place an actress of talent; she creates but little interest, has but little to say in extenuation of her marriage, or in the expression of her sorrow, and she appears so seldom, comparatively with the feeling she should excite, that we almost forget there is such a person in the contemplation of Guido and the Duke.-Secondly, that Gheraldi and Isabella, who are the designers of all, have less to do than any 'tragic devils' we have ever met, and they are so tame and dull while they are plotting villainy, that we would be inclined to suppose them at some quiet, sober employment, rather than what we are told occupies them.-Thirdly, that the catastrophe, gives conquest to the guilty, and death to the innocent, following up a melancholy story in the destruction of those who were abused before, and in the full triumph of those whose ends and desires, according to moral justice, should have returned with aggravated vengeance on themselves.
These are the glaring errors which it is impossible to pass over; and when we reflect how easily they might have been
Review of Mirandola.
amended in the original design, we are surprised the author neglected them. The plot conjures to the mind ideas of an immoral tendency, or at least such as it were better to avoid. A father marries his son's mistress-and the subsequent interviews between them are colored by a revolting feeling over which we are unwilling to linger. There is no originality in the general outline-Lord Byron's "Parisina" gives us the whole fable in another shape. But little can be said of the language; it aims at being colloquial without being poetical, and while it fails in realizing the simplicity of the one, it rarely attains the elegance of the other; the dialogue is heavy in many scenes, and, generally speaking, wants pathos and feeling. We cannot give it the credit of excellence in any one point of view to redeem the poverty of the rest.
It has, however, "with all its imperfection on its head," some beauties; many of the scenes are naturally conceived, and worthy of considerable praise; that in which Guido hears of Isadora's marriage,-his meeting with her,-and the two scenes with his father are very good ;-still they want fire and energy. The poetical passages are few;the following is the best (perhaps we might say the only one) in the piece;-it is not, however, original, and concludes with a conceit which we cannot admire :
My own sweet love! oh! my dear peerless wife!
VOL. I.-NO. IV.
The author appears attached to a few favorite images that occur in every page; the moon,'-' blue sky,'-' stars,' &c.
Fire, clothes, and meat.-What more?-Meat, clothes, and fire.
We conclude with the following extract; it is in our estimation the best scene in the play; its subject is the parting of Guido and his father:
Review of Mirandola.
Lord Guido, I am told you wish
If you have suffered wrong and pray relief,
Guido. Oh! my lord,
I beg you to cast off this garb.
The garb of justice; treat it with honor, Sir,
Guido. Why is this?
Duke. Why have you aught to ask? if so, speak on.
Who (if I must speak truth) have wronged me much,
Go on, go on
I like your boldness,-not your spirit. Well!
Guido. You think me traitor, as I hear, but surely
Duke, Be not too sure,
Guido. That's as you will, my lord:-but away with this. My lord, my lord! I ask you, can I be
The same in soul as when we fought at Mantua—
Duke. Yes: I own to that.
You speak it doubtfully you saved my life:
You have affronted Heaven; and the sad day
Review of Mirandola.
Conspired with others ;-plotted, writ, or thought,-
And lent them help or countenance-strike me down!
Guido. And doubt me still?
If you have said? you have: why then good even.
Guido. Once more.-That ring
(The Dutchess's ring) was given to me as a pledge
Guido. Oh! my lord, do not doubt me.-Once more, Sir,
I ask you to remember what I was,
And now believe.-My lord !-Nay,-not a word?
I see that 'tis in vain to hope to stay
Where do you think to travel?
Guido. I know not where: somewhere about the world.
What matters it where I am?
This is sudden.
Your resolution 's sudden,--but 't is wise.
You have my full consent,-my wish: what more? Guido. Will you not say farewell?
(Rising.) Shall you stop first
At Naples ›
First at Rome.
Guido. Yet say farewell.
Guido. Oh, Father, I
Perhaps you may hear further from me there.
Am going far-for ever.
This cold hand
Farewell! mountains and seas
Must rise and roll between us: then, perhaps,