Imagens das páginas

Abb. My lord, I obey you.

Count. Anselmo and Conrad, too, wish to bury their regrets in some monastic retreat: they shall be provided for-and for you, my children, Angelina and Theodore, I trust no accident will intervene to blight your happiness in future-Ambrose and Theresa shall be your pensioners, Angelina; little Edwy and his mother must not be forgotten; and then to rebuild the Castle of Lichtenstein in all its pristine splendor.

[blocks in formation]


The style and incidents of this opera are of the German school. On this account it is not to our taste; but we do not presume to set up our opinion as wiser than that of the public, by whom the productions of German genius have been so much patronised. In its class, THE BANDIT will be found a very respectable performance, and much better than many of the same kind which have been produced at the public theatres to the degradation of the English drama.

In operas, the probable procession of those natural causes, which induce true dramatic events, is not expected. Some violence is necessarily committed on common sense in order to amuse the fancy, and it would therefore be unjust to apply to the opera the same rules by which we judge of the regular drama. It is not requisite that the incidents and characters of an opera should be probable accidents and persons. But it is necessary that they should be managed in such a manner as to be consistent with one another, and produce an effect which shall please the spectator, by the ingenuity and fancy displayed in the contrivance. In this particular THE BANDIT has undoubtedly considerable merit. While, therefore, we object to the piece as an exhibition of things out of nature, and as such not agreeable to our taste, we are obliged to

confess that the characters and incidents accord with each other, and that so far the piece is intitled to our approbation. Our objection, indeed, is not to the piece, but to the class of productions to which it belongs. We think, as the ancients delighted to represent only the higher and nobler qualities of the human character, the Germans have taken the opposite extreme, and bring into the broadest light and most prominent exhibition those blemishes of feeling and reason which the ancients judiciously obscured and keptdown in shadow. It is this peculiarity of the Germans to which we object. They seem to forget that there is a moral, a police operation, arising from the ties of social life, which renders even the worst men diffident in the disclosure of bad wishes and wicked purposes. They think that the same principle leads those who have the art of pleasing in conversation to adapt the topics of discourse to the hunior of the moment with those whom they address, does not rule in the communication of good and evil inclinations. As there are times when the best proposals would seem impertinent to the best men, there are also moments when vice is disgusting even to the most inveterate villain. Accordingly all the great masters of the human mind have uniformly represented bad men as cautiously sounding their way before divulging malignant desires, and choosing the time and place with solicitude and ingenuity. But the Germans rarely appear sensible of this: they seem to assume that when a character is bad he must always be in a humor for mischief, and upon this erroneous hypothesis they make their villainous characters talk with as much ease and freedom of wicked intentions as if they were not sensible that the state of the mind should be ascertained, or aware that we have intellectual appetites which are subject to satiety. The metaphysical skill which Schiller and his countrymen often display, is frequently deserving of admiration, but the notions which they entertain of the nature of the vicious mind are

founded on ignorance of the world, and appear to us morbid, and incapable of exciting sympathy. It is not the object of the serious drama to represent the imitations of vice so as to excite the same feelings as the real acts, but to give such a representation of the moral effects of evil deeds as will warn us from indulging those propensities which entail calamity. In doing this the mind must be interested, and the judgment so satisfied with the logical arrangement that during the representation or perusal pleasurable emotions shall predominate. The German authors only endeavour to interest the feelings; considering the drama only in its lightest character of an amusement, they seem to think that the judgment sleeps when the imagination is amused.

It would afford us sincere pleasure to hear that the author of THE BANDIT had renounced the German school, and composed a drama more within the range of human events. He possesses so much knowledge of the business of the stage, that we are convinced he might compose a successful aud much superior piece.




[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »