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thing of the witchery of romance. They are prose poems, in which we find to our taste more poetry than in his
The writer has true poetic sensibility, but it flows not so readily in his verse as in his prose.
The Dramas are the production on which the author no doubt sets his heart. His great ambition is to be a successful dramatic author. We have read his Dramas through, read them attentively, and with no disposition to find fault with them. We are too ignorant of the stage to know whether they are good acting plays or not. Read as Dramatic Poems without any view to the stage, they possess considerable merit. For acting plays we should think they lacked real dramatic character and position ; have not enough of dramatic action and passion, abound too much in long speeches and yet remain undeveloped. The Sculptor's
. Daughter, perhaps the best of them, contains several fine passages, and the characters of the Father and Daughter
, are happily conceived, but they are characters not at all original or new on the stage. Maldonado the brigand has been familiar enough since Schiller's Robbers. The only novelty is Gian-Angelo, the brother of Maldonado, and the only novelty here is that of converting a sister into a brother. The author has mistaken the sex of Gian-Angelo, and has given us as a boy a true-hearted woman, with genuine sisterly affection, whose heart and soul is wrapped up in the love of her brother. Gian-Angelo is no boy, never was, and never can be a boy, any more than his mother.
The Sculptor Perelli, a Roman, loving his art, pursuing it with a sort of idolatry, but poor, and little known, has an only daughter Enrica, beautiful, accomplished, affectionate, and most dutiful, as all only daughters are, who is betrothed *to Orazio, a worthy citizen, and their marriage is to take place on the morrow of the opening of the play.
Ottavio, a sprig of the Orsini family,—the time is in the Sixteenth century during the pontificate of Sixtus Quintus,—sees Enrica and seeks to make her his mistress. Failing with her he has the impudence to make his infamous proposals to her father, and seeks with gold to win his consent to the dishonor of his daughter. The father, justly indignant, spurns the offer, seizes Ottavio's dagger, and with it strikes him to the earth, and, as he supposes, kills him. Frightened at the deed, and fearing the vengeance of the powerful Orsini, he carries away the body and prepares instantly to fly from Rome. While he was doing all this, Enrica and Orazio have had a lover's quarrel, made it up, and Orazio has gone home dreaming of the happiness that awaits him the morrow morning. Camilla, Enrica's aunt, has been fretting that the lovers have kept her so long from her bed, and her patience is well-nigh exhausted when Enrica at her call enters.
And is Orazio gone at last ?
He had his supper, doubtless, ere he came,
Nay, blaine not him, dear aunt,
last night of freedom. The last time
But which Orazio knew not.
The friends whose company is aye preferred
I have no patience With what he calls devotion to his art, And love for things that have nor life nor reason! Had he but listened to a fool's adviceYet one, perhaps, who knows as much as some Who make more boast—he might, with half the labor
He throws away upon his senseless idols,
Art thou my father's sister ? But thou art weary. Kiss me, and good night. (Kisses
her.) Now hie thee to thy bed. I've here some work, Will till my father comes beguile the time.
[Exit CAMILLA Enrica, taking her work, sits down at a table. After a
short time lets it fall from her hands, and continues. ]
PERELLI, (in a whisper.) Are we alone ?
Where is thy aunt?
In bed, and doubtless sleeping.
That is well.
In Heaven's sweet name, dear father, speak thy news.
Thou lovest this old palace ? which, forsaken
It is, it is. And lov'st thou Rome?
The mistress of the world! My heart leaps up when I but think upon Her wondrous past, and still more wondrous present, A miracle of God's protecting love For him who fills the place of holy Peter. O who that is so blessed as t' have been born A child of hers, would love not glorious Rome? Ay, glorious 'mid decay !
And well as these
Thou lov'st Orazio ?
I'm to be his wife;
Cling not to me, child, But nerve thy heart to hear the worst at once. My crime is—murder! and I must- (she faints) 0