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acts, “and we would take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds." The present play appears to go on by fits and starts, and to be made up too much of unmatchable events. It is inlaid with facts of different colour, and we can see the cracks which the joiner's hand could not help leaving.
After these little objections, all our observations on this compilation are full of praise.
Great ingenuity is displayed, and we should think Kean had a hand in it. The author has extracted veins of gold from a huge mine, and he is liberal enough to share it with other people. The workings of Richard's mind are brought out as it were by the hand of the anatomist, and all the useless parts are cut away and laid aside.
But with all we fear the public will not take the obligation as it is meant, and as it ought to be received. The English people do not care one fig about Shakespeare, -only as he flatters their pride and their prejudices. We are not sure that this has not been remarked before, though we do not remember where; nevertheless it is our firm opinion. But let us say a few words of the actors.
Kean stands like a tower. He is “all power, passion, self-will." His animations flow from his lips “as musical as is Apollo's
It is impossible to point out any peculiar and little felicitic where the whole piece of acting is of no mingled web. If we were to single a favourite part, we should choose that in which he parts with his son, young Rutland, just before the battle. It was pathetic to oppression. Our hearts swelled with the feeling of tears, which is a deeper feeling than the starting of them in the eye. His tongue lingered on the following passage as fondly as his eyes clung to the object which occasioned them, and as tenderly as the heart dwells and doats upon some long-loved object :
"Bring in my dear boy, Rutland.
(Enter RUTLAND with attendants.
If I should fall, I leave thee to thy brothers,
His death was very great. But Kean always “ dies as erring men do die.” The bodily functions wither up, and the mental faculties hold out till they crack. It is an extinguishment, not a decay. The hand is agonized with death ; the lip trembles with the last breath, as we see the autumn leaf thrill in the cold wind of evening. The very eye-lid dies. The acting of Kean is Shakespearian-he will fully understand what we mean. There is little to be said of the rest. Pope as a Cardinal (how aptly chosen) balances a red hat. Holland wears insipid white hair, and is even more insipid than the hair that he carries. Rae plays the adulterous Suffolk, and proves how likely he is to act amiss. Wallack, as young Clifford, “ towers above his sex.” Mr. Maywood is more miserable in “Henry VI." than winters or wet nights, or Death on a pale horse, or want of money, or deceitful friends, or any other crying evil.
The comic parts are sadly mangled, owing to illness of Munden and Oxberry. Jack Cade dies of a lock-jaw; and Dick the butcher is become a grave man. Mrs. Glover chews the blank verse past endurance ; her comedy is round and comfortable ; her tragedy is worse than death.
One thing we are convinced of on looking over the three parts of “ Henry,” from which this play is gleaned; which is, that Shakespeare was the only lonely and perfectly happy creature God ever formed. He could never have a mate, -being most unmatchable.
ANOTHER VERSION OF KEATS'S “HYPERION.”
HYPERION, A VISION.*
Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave
Methought I stood where trees of every clime,
* The passages within brackets are those which are to be found in the printed poem.
Soft-showering in mine ears), and (by the touch
When sense of life return'd, I started up
Turning from these with awe, once more I raised