Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

of wrestling through rings than Will was, of Liddle, and in the match between him although the latter was always considered and Richardson, the latter certainly had a more pains-taking Wrestler. Many of no chance with hini. Respecting his beRichardson's friends assert, and among haviour towards the spectators on that them are some well qualified to judge, occasion, we will remark that there is a that he was the fairest stander, and best very material difference between wrest. Wrestler, of his time; while those rather ling a private match, and contending for a hostile to him, contend, that he was a public prize. The latter is expressly for sulky (which is tantamount to an unfair) the amusement of the spectators, and they stander, and was as much indebted to have a right, as in a theatre, to express, that, and his tremendous strength of arm, in a certain degree, their opinion of the as to his science. For our part, we have conduct of the performers; but with the no reason to applaud or condemn;-we former they have no right whatever, exdo not think any of our readers will deem cepting to preserve fair play between the us incapable of forming an opinion, and ment; and when it is well known that we assure them it is a free and unpreju- this was neither the second nor third in. diced one. We have not the least doubt stance in which matches with Richardbut that he was for a number, or even for son never were decided, we have room to one fall, a competent match for any man infer that the fault in taking hold might in the kingdom for very many years. For not be all Weightman's. The grand ques. us to endeavour to particularize his con- tion now is- Is there one man in the quests would be absurd ; and we have present list who can throw him amain ? noticed his occasional defeats for the Our opinion is, if there be one, there are purpose of reflecting lustre on those who not two. John Liddle, the victor at Kesthrew such a hero, and not by any means wick, and from whom much was anticito detract from the great and well-me- pated at Carlisle, is upwards of fourteen rited renown he universally possessed.” stones, and about five feet ten inches

We now bring this long, but, thanks high. It is scarcely fair to make lengthy to Mr Litt, this interesting article, to remarks upon those who may again apa close, with his account of the Car pear in the ring, therefore we sball only lisle wrestling in 1822.

- observe, that, with one erception, there is “ The first prize was won by W. Cass, no wrestler of, or under his own weight and the second by John Weightman. As at present, that can throw him. James those who wrestled may yet be consider Graham had for some time been laboured in possession of the ring, that circum ing under a bad state of health, and in stance must of course circumscribe our appearance, as well as powers, had eviaccount of them. Cass is not far from dently declined. We likewise think that six feet high, and weighs sixteen stones. T. Richardson cannot be what he has been. The action he displays is an outside As a hipper, he is certainly the quickest stroke with his left foot, but its fatality and best on the list. He is taller, but consists in the swing, or twist, with not so heavy as Liddle; and though we which it is accompanied, and his method do not think him a T. Nicholson, yet of parting with his men. He was not very few at present are an equal match for much noticed previous to his throwing him. John Fearon, who threw WeightWeightman; but in our opinion he will, man at Carlisle, is about the same height, and is the only man who ought to throw but heavier than that hero. The fame of him again. Cass is equally as strong, full Weightman was liis principal inducement as heavy, and Weightman will find it dif- for entering that ring, and by throwing ficult to improve his hold, and command him he accomplished his object. Rehim as he does all his other opponents. specting the contest between them, it Cass certainly won very cleverly, and was a bad one, and Weightman lost the though we must admit he wrestled for- fall at a time when he ought to have been tunately through the ring, we think him certain of winning it. John Laughlen, the likeliest person to win again. The the fourth stander on that occasion, is redoubted Weightman is above six feet near six feet six inches high, and at prethree inches high, and weighs upwards of sent weighs about seventeen stones. Had fifteen stones. Weightman has certainly he been in practice, and taken more pains a very good-natured, and indeed we might in procuring an equal hold, Weightman with truth say, a prepossessing appear. ought not to have thrown him; as, though ance. The whole science he appears mas- not excelling in action, he is by no means ter of is the address he displays in the deficient in science. Having been some application of his tremendous strength in years married previous to his present setbreaking his adversary's, and improving tlement in Whitehaven as a publican, his his own hold. He appears to be master practice must have been latterly very con

17

fined, otherwise he ought, and we think, The wrestling at the meeting 1823 would have been the present champion, is just over ; and the prize was won

-Weight and age considered, no Wrest. by Weightman, who is now believed ler more distinguished himself at Carlisle to be the most powerful wrestler in than Robert Waters, the third stander. the world, and could be backed for He appeared a little one, is a very young five, eight, or eleven falls, against the one, and gave most convincing proofs of hunuan race. his science and quickness-the two great

In conclusion, we thank Mr Litt for essentials which constitute a finished

his well-written, candid, manly, and Wrestler.-T. Todd, the last loser, is full

scientific “ Wrestliana.” Should he five feet ten inches high, and weighs

ever come to Edinburgh, most happy twelve stones and four pounds. Putting

shall we be to meet him at Ambrose's. hearsay out of the question, and giving our opinion of what we have personally

Neither of us are so young as we were

ten or fifteen years ago ; yet we should witnessed, Todd is the best and most finished Wrestler we ever saw. He has not

like to see the man who would shove the power of Nicholson, but excepting

the one or the other of us off the “crown him, we never saw a thirteen, nor is there

o'the causeway;" and surely nostrongat present any fourteen stone man, in our

er argument in favour of athletic exopinion, able to throw him the best of

ercises in general is required, than the three, or five falls. The prize given for sound, stout, hale, ruddy appearance Lads afforded much amusement, and many which we both exhibit, being most of them displayed infinite science, and beautiful and perfect specimens of that seemed quite at home, in the ring. The perfection of human nature so concisetwo last, though not the tallest, or hea- ly expressed by the poet, viest, among the competitors, were both, we were told, above the age specified in

“Mens SANA IN CORPORE SANO." the advertisement."

NOTICES OF THE MODERN BRITISH DRAMATISTS.

No. II--Beddoes.* This is precisely one of those com- without fear of the fowler. Young positions that a cold, clear, shrewd, men, now-a-days, are not only perand sarcastic critic would delight in mitted to write like young men, but clutching into his merciless grasp, to praised and encouraged while doing tear it into pieces and strew the floor so; and the whole world regards them of his study with its shivering frag- with smiles of complacency and kind. ments. Had it appeared during the ness, when they are seen to enjoy the blood-thirsty youth of the Edinburgh favour of one benevolent Greybeard, Review, a much more cruel murder who will not suffer his rising progeny would have been perpetrated upon its to be maltreated by the vain or the vebody than that which causes its own ca- nal critic-crew. tastrophe,and all hands would have been The Brides' Tragedy is the work of held up in wonder and scorn of young a Minor-and, although no doubt there Mr Thomas Lovel Beddoes. He would have been many instances of Minors have gone moping about for years in writing better than they ever did after disconsolate solitude, silent and sullen they became Majors, nevertheless we as a ghost, or would have rent the air admit the plea of nonage an old head with unavailing shrieks and lamenta- has no business on old shoulders; and tions. But he has been born during an extremely wise, rational, sober, a happier era--the mild and benig, pretty-behaved and judicious springnant spirit of Christopher North has ald, is not, to our taste, a commendable 0.come the truculent spirit of Fran- specimen of human nature. Now, Mr cis Jeffrey-that “old man eloquent" Beddoes is very far indeed from beinig gathers all the youths of genius under a boy-wiseacre. He is often as silly as his wing, protects them from every may be,-trifling to a degree that is cutting blast, and bids them all go as “quite refreshing,"-as childish as bis basking in the sunshine of public fa- best friends could desire to see him in vour, like so many partridges on a a summer's day,-fantastic and capri. bank adjusting their fair plumage cious as any Miss-in-her-teens, and

The Brides' Tragedy. By Thomas Lovell Beddoes. London, F. C. and J. Ri. vington, 1822.

VOL. XIV.

4

Y

pathetic to an excess that absolutely found interest, when, by and by, it unmerits the strappado. Why not? all expectedly and strongly arrives. so much the better. He is a fine, “ The following scenes were written, as open-hearted, ingenuous, accomplish you well know, exclusively for the closet, ed and gentlemanly youth; and we,

with and we founded upon facts which occurred at Ox.

fulalled ford, and are well detailed and illustrated whose prophecies have been fulfilled

by an interesting ballad in a little volume somewhat more frequently than those

of Poems, lately published at Oxford, enof the Editor of the Blue-and-Yellow,

titled the Midland Minstrel, by Mr Gillet: pronounce him a promising poet,-We and may thus be succinctly narrated. tie a wreath of laurel round his fore " The Manciple of one of the Colleges head, and may it remain there till early in the last century had a very beaudisplaced to make room for a bolder tiful daughter, who was privately married branch of the sacred Tree.

to a student without the knowledge of the The subject of the Drama is a good parents on either side. one, deeply, terribly tragic"a tale " During the long vacation subsequent of tears, a rueful story,”—a murder

to this union the husband was introduced

to a young lady, who was at the same time strange and overwhelming to the ima

proposed as his bride ; absence, the fear of gination, yet such a murder as the

his father's displeasure, the presence of a mind can image and believe in its wild

lovely object, and, most likely, a natural and haunted moods. Mr Beddoes de

fickleness of disposition, overcame any reserves praise for choosing such a subject gard he might have cherished for his ill. - for all true Tragedy must possess its fated wife, and finally he became deeply strength in a spirit of terror. His enamoured of her unconscious rival. In reading seems to have lain among the the contest of duties and desires, which elder Dramatists, and his mind is was the consequence of this passion, the much imbued with their tragic charac- worse part of man prevailed, and he formter. We sup full of horrors, but

ed and executed a design almost unparallelthere are some gay and fantastic gar

ed in the annals of crime. nishings and adornments of the repast,

“ His second nuptials were at hand when be disposed quite in the manner and spi

returned to Oxford, and to her who was now

an obstacle to his happiness. Late at night rit of those great old masters. Joy and

he prevailed upon his victim to accompany sorrow, peace and despair, innocence him to a lone spot in the Divinity Walk, and guilt, saintliness and sin, sit all to-, and there murdered and buried her. The gether at one banquet ; and we scarce- wretch escaped detection, and the horrid ly distinguish the guests from each deed remained unknown till he confessed other, till something interrupts the flow it on his death-bed. The remains of the of the feast, and they start up in their unfortunate girl were dug up in the place proper character. Yes, there is a dark described, and the Divinity Walk was deand troubled, guilt-like and death-like

serted and demolished, as haunted ground. gloom flung over this first work of a

Such are the the outlines of a Minor's truly poetical mind, sometimes alter

Tragedy." nating with an air of ethereal tender

There is nothing very imposing in ness and beauty, sometimes slowly and

the office of a manciple; and accordin a ghastly guise encroaching upon

ingly Mr Beddoes has left the peculiar and stilling it, and sometimes break

character of his heroine's status in

society undefined. She and her parents ing up and departing from it, in black masses, like clouds from a lovely val

are poor and humble, and live in a cot. ley on a tempestuous and uncertain

tage—that is all we know, and it is day. Dip into the Poem, here and

enough. The fair Floribel is the bride there, and you cannot tell what it is

of Hesperus, a youth of high birth, about-you see dim imagery, and in

and their marriage remains, for obvidistinct figures, and fear that the au

ous reasons, concealed. The first scene thor has written a very so so perform

in which they appear at evening in the ance. But give it a reading from the

garden of the lowly cottage, and feast beginning, and you will give it a read

on love's delicious converse, is very ing to the end, for our young poet

pretty, although not very rational, and writes in the power of nature, and

serves to interest us for the simple, when at any time you get wearied or

beautiful, and affectionate Floribel. disappointed with his failure in passion

Come, come, my love, or shall I call or in plot, you are pleased-nay, de

you bride ? lighted, with the luxuriance of his

Floribel. E'en what you will, so that fancy, and with a strain of imaginative

you hold me dear. feeling that supplies the place of a pro

Hesperus. Well, both my love and

bride ; see, here's a bower founder interest, and also prepares Of Eglantine with honeysuckles woven, the mind to give way to that pro. Where not a spark of prying light creeps in,

Hesp.

So closely do the sweets enfold each other. The dread diseases of the place will come 'Tis Twilight's home; come in, my gentle And kill me wretchedly. No, I'll be free. love,

Hesp. Aye, that thou shalt. I'll do ; And talk to me. So! I've a rival here;

what will I not? What's this that sleeps so sweetly on your I'll get together all the world's true hearts, neck ?

And if they're few, there's spirit in my Flor. Jealous so soon, my Hesperus ?

breast Look then,

Enough to animate a thousand dead." It is a bunch of flowers I pulled for you ; Lord Ern.

My son, Here's the blue violet, like Pandora's eye, We need not this ; a word of thine will When first it darkened with immortal life.

serve. Hes. Sweet as thy lips. Fie on those Hesp. Were it my soul's last sigh, I'd taper fingers,

give it thee. Have they been brushing the long grass Lord Ern. Marry. aside

I-cannot. To drag the daisy from it's hiding-place, Lord Ern. But thou dost not know Where it shuns light, the Danäe of flowers, Thy best-loved woos thee. Oft I've stood With gold up-hoarded on its virgin lap ?

upseen, Flor. And here's a treasure that I found in some of those sweet evenings you re. by chance,

member, A lily of the valley ; low it lay

Watching your innocent and beauteous Over a mossy mound, withered and weep

play, ing

(More innocent because you thought it seAs on a fairy's grave."

cret, After some soft talk and fond en- More beautiful because so innocent ;) dearments, not unmixed with some

Oh! then I knew how blessed a thing I natural tears, Floribel gives utterance

was to those thoughts “ that in the happi

To have a son so worthy of Olivia. ness of love make the heart sink"-they

Hesp.

Olivia!

Lord Ern. Blush not, though I name part, and the short scene passes by like

your mistress, a dream.

You soon shall wed her. Hesperus has a rival in the affece Hesp. I will wed the plague ! tions of Floribel, “ the Diana of our I would not grudge my life, for that's a Forests," named Orlando, who throws thing, old Lord Ernest, the father of Hes. A misery, thou gavest me: but to wed perus, into prison, on account of a debt, Olivia ; there's damnation in the thought. is of which his whole estate is scarce Lord Ern. Come, speak to him, my a fourth.” This debt, however, is not

chains, for ye're a voice to be claimed, provided Hesperus con- 10 conquer every

To conquer every heart that's not your sent to wed Olivia, in which case

kin?

Oh ! that ye were my son, for then at least Orlando hopes to espouse Floribel.

He would be with me. How I loved him This is a clumsy contrivance, but it

once ! cannot be helped. Accordingly Hes- Aye, when I thought him good; but now perus is admitted to his father, in chains

-Nay, still and in a dungeon, when the following He must be good, and I, I have been dialogue ensues. “ Lord Ernest. Oh set me free, I cannot I feel, I have not prized him at his worth ; bear this air.

And yet I think if Hesperus had erred, If thou dost recollect those fearful hours, I could have pardoned him, indeed I could. When I kept watch beside my precious Hesp.

We'll live together. boy,

Lord Ern. No, for I shall die; And saw the day but on his pale dear But that's no matter.

Hesp. Bring the priest, the bride. If thou didst think me in my gentlest Quick quick. These fetters have infected moods,

him Patient and mild, and even somewhat With slavery's sickness. Yet there is a kind;

secret, Oh give me back the pity that I lent, 'Twixt heaven and me, forbids it. Tell Pretend at least to love and comfort me.

me, father ; Hesp. Speak not so harshly; I'm not Were it not best for both to die at once ? rich enough

Lord Ern. Die ! thou hast spoke a word, To pay one quarter of the dues of love,

that makes my heart Yet something I would do. Shew me the Grow sick and wither; thou hast palsied way,

me I will revenge thee well.

To death. Live thou to wed some worthier Lord Ern. But whilst thou'rt gone, maid;

.

harsh,

face;

a cause;

Know that thy father chose this sad seclu- scination of a beautiful woman of his sion;

own rank, and that misery and death (Ye rebel lips, why do you call it sad?) are about to knock at the door of that Should I die soon, think not that sorrow humble cottage. caused it,

Floribel, But, if you recollect my naine, bestow it

I would not have thee cross my path to Upon your best-loved child, and when you

night ; ... give him

There is an indistinct dread purpose form. His grandsire's blessing, add not that he in

ing, perished A wretched prisoner.

Something, whose depth of wickedness apHesp. Stop, or I am made

pears

Hideous, incalculable, but inevitable; I know not what,-perhaps a villain.

Now it draws nearer, and I do not shud. Curse me,

der; Oh if you love me, curse. Lord Ern. Aye, thou shalt hear

Avaunt! haunt me no more ; I dread it

not, A father's curse ; if fate hath put a moment

" But almost-hence! I must not be alone.” Of pain into thy life ; a sigh, a word, A dream of woe ; be it transferred to In this unhallowed state of mind he mine;

retires to rest, but finds none, and And for thy days ; oh! never may a starts up from horror-haunted dreams. thought

Hesperus discovered in a disturbed Of others' sorrow, even of old Ernest's,

slumber. Darken their calm uninterrupted bliss,

Hesperus, (starting from his couch.) And be thy end-oh! anything but mine.

Who speaks ? Who whispers there ? A Hesp. Guilt, thou art sanctified in such

light ! a light !

I'll search the room, something hath called Guards ; (they enter) I am ready. Let me

me thrice, say't so low,

With a low muttering voice of teadish So quickly that it may escape the ear

hisses, Of watchful angels; I will do it all.

. And thrice I slept again. But still it came Lord Ern. There's nought to do ; I've Ne

Nearer and nearer, plucked my mantle from learned to love this solitude.

me, Farewell, my son. Nay, never heed the And made mine heart an ear, in which it fetters,

poured We can make shift to embrace.

Its loathed enticing courtship. Ho! a light. Hesp. Lead him to freedom,

Enter Attendant roith a torch. And tell your lord I will not, that's I will.

Thou drowsy snail, thy footsteps are asleep, (Exeunt Lord Ernest and guards.)

Hold up the torch. Here, fellow; put your hand upon my Attend. My lord, you are disturbed. mouth

Have you seen aught ? Till they are out of hearing. Leave me Hesp. I lay upon my bed, now.

And something in the air, out-jetting night, No, stay; .come near me, nearer yet. Now Converting feeling to intenser vision, fix

Featured its ghastly self upon my soul The close attention of your eyes on mine.”

Deeper than sight. Soon after his father's liberation, Attend. This is Delusion surely; Hesperus visits his Floribel in her cot

She's busy with men's thoughts at all night tage, but finds her rather coy and frete

hours, ted by his too-long absence. During

And to the waking subtle apprehension

The darkling chamber's still and sleepy air this lovers' quarrel, Orlando's boy gives

Hath breath and motion oft. a letter to Floribel, who reads it, and Hesp. Lift up the hangings, mark the then dismisses him with a kiss. Hespe

doors, the corners; rus either feels or feigns jealousy, and Seest nothing yet ? No face of fiend-like parts from his unhappy wife, with dis

mirth pleasure and anger. He is next intro More frightful than the fixed and doggish duced to Olivia, who proves to be a

grin most engaging and delightful crea. Of a dead madman ? ture ; and Hesperus, alas! transfers

Attend. Nought I see, my lord, his affection to her, from his own Flo

Save the long, varied crowd of varlike

Da ribel. This scene is managed with

shapes considerable skill, and reminds one of

Set in the stitched picture. something in Ford or Massinger. We

Heard ye then ?

There was a sound, as though some mar. see that the affection of the fickle, ble tongue weak, and unprincipled Hesperus for Moved on its rusty hinge, syllabling harshly Floribel, bas given way under the fa. The hoarse death-rattle into speech.

Hesp.

« PoprzedniaDalej »