Puslapio vaizdai
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verse.

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.

CAMILLA.

And is Orazio gone at last ?

ENRICA.

At last.

CAMILLA.

He had his supper, doubtless, ere he came,
Or he had not so long remained with thee,
Though to discuss your wedding. 'Twas the least
He could have done, to leave thee to thyself
For this one night. I should have had by this
My first sleep o'er, if it had pleased him go
At seasonable time. But what cares he
How others suffer, so no injury
Fall to his share.

ENRICA.

Nay, blaine not him, dear aunt,
The fault was none of poor Orazio's.
'Tis
my

last night of freedom. The last time
That I can play the tyrant. And I could not,
For life of me, forego the chance of showing
The power that still is mine. The silly youth
Had got some jealous fancy in his head,
About that stranger, whom I told thee of,
That, like an evil spirit, has of late
Hung on my steps, and tempted me with offers
Of wealth and pleasures for myself

, and—what
He knew would weigh far more with me than these-
Provision for the of dear father,
If for his love I would but give him mine.

age

my

CAMILLA.
And thou didst treat his offers with the scorn
They merited.

ENRIC A.

But which Orazio knew not.
And so I threw out hints about this stranger,
That set his fiery temper in a blaze ;
And then took pains to feed it, 'till his rage
Had grown a conflagration. Then I had
My own work to undo—no easy task-
Ere I could let him go; for 'twould be strange
To part in anger on our wedding eve.

CAMILLA,
Perhaps, perhaps ; yet, after marriage, parting
With downright hate is now a thing so common,
That people seldom think to call it strange.
With all thy wisdom, child, thou yet hast got
A deal to learn. But what can keep thy father ?

ENRICA.

The friends whose company is aye preferred
To all the world; the gods and goddesses
Of the old time, who have their worshippers
Even in our day 'mong those within whose souls
True love is cherished of the beautiful;
Though to my eyes, and to my heart as well,
The holy meekness of the Virgin Mother,
The love that radiates the infant face
Of Him she folds so fondly to her bosom,
More deeply are imbued with beauty than
Aught classic art hath sculptured. But my father
Thinks not with me. His soul is in the past,
And all his efforts but to reproduce it.
And though his hand, with ready skill obeying
The promptings of his genius, has bestowed
Whate'er of grace or grandeur they possess,
The forms that crowd his studio are to him
As full of life as thou or I; and sometimes
I think he hath a stronger love for them
Than me-his only child.

CAMILLA.

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,
By any handicraft, have made more money
Than would the sale of twenty Venuses,
Junoes, or Dians, each a master-piece,
Put in his purse.

ENRICA.

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. ]
And so to-morrow morn I am to wed !
To-morrow morn rise up in maiden freedom ;-
And then ;–What then? Why, with a word, resign
My sovereignty into another's hands,
And be thenceforth whate'er that other wills-
In every thing, perhaps, but name, a slave !
Well, after all, 'twere not so very hard
To be even that, when love has forged the chain
Which to the master binds the slave. (Starting up.)

My father!
Enter PERELLI, (cautiously bolting the door behind him.)

PERELLI, (in a whisper.) Are we alone ?

ENRICA,

We are.

PERELLI,

Where is thy aunt?

ENRICA,

In bed, and doubtless sleeping.

PERELLI.

That is well.
Enrica, my poor girl! I bring thee news
Will test thy courage. What, already pale
And trembling? How wilt thou abide the tempest
When the first breathings of the gale affright thee?

ENRICA.

In Heaven's sweet name, dear father, speak thy news.

PERELLI.

Thou lovest this old palace ? which, forsaken
By its proud lords, has now for many years
A kindly shelter been to such as we.

ENRICA.
I do indeed. It is the only home
I e'er have known. The rudest but on earth
Is dear to him whose childhood it hath sheltered,
For 'tis so natural to love the thing
That one bas earliest known.

PERELLI.

It is, it is. And lov'st thou Rome?

ENRICA.

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 !

PERELLI.

And well as these

Thou lov'st Orazio ?

ENRICA.

I'm to be his wife;
And in a wife's affection for her husband
Is love of home, of country-all things lost.

PERELLI.
Then, with so much to love, thou wilt less miss
Thy father when he's gone. Listen, Enrica.
I have done that to-night which puts my life
In peril.

ENRICA.

Father!

PERELLI.

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

Heaven!

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