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serve to raise my spirits or improve my temper. Dismissing the venerable Triton who attended me on these excursions, I wandered listlessly along the margin of the still, calm Highland loch, and gave vent to my misery unobserved. What a contrast was all around me to the heart within. The dark massive mountains, the grey-clouded sky, the broad smooth waters, unruffled by a breath, all spoke of peace and repose; but the angry spirit that was chafing in my breast turned loathing from the quiet of the scene. I pined for action, I longed for excitement. I strove to subdue the restless workings of the mind by laborious fatigue of the body. Faster and faster I walked-Iran-hill after hill I surmounted, and prospect after prospect I turned away from in disgust. It was dark ere I returned to the Lodge, fevered and exhausted, but bearing about with me still the worm that never dies' the gnawing canker of remorse that comes too late.
Fortune divided her favours pretty equally among my friends, and I alone lost heavily. For this I cared little; the excitement was the thing; and like the immortal Fox, of playing memory, next to the pleasure of winning, was the pleasure of losing. At last the game began to get serious; once or twice had St. Heliers good-naturedly attempted to moderate the stakes, but in vain. Cigars and brandy and soda came in, and with these additional incentives, hundreds began to change hands rapidly-and still I lost. I could have borne to be beggared by my friend Hillingdon; to jovial Jack Lavish, or hospitable St. Heliers, I could have paid my last farthing unflinchingly, like a gentleman; but at the bottom of my heart there lurked a feeling of dislike towards Major Martingale, and it was galling beyond measure to lose to him those hundreds which were now so rapidly decreasing. At length, nettled by the tone of superiority which he was fond of assuming, especially after dinner, and maddened by my continued reverses, I invariably increased my set' heavily as soon as I saw him prepare to cover it;' and at last an absurdly large sum depended upon my cast of the dice. The others paused to see the throw, and Martingale, with an insolent sneer, asked if I would like to stand another hundred. Two,' I exclaimed, furiously, and two more besides that, if you dare;' and notwithstanding St. Heliers' remonstrances, the already enormous stake was increased by that amount. I dashed the box down upon the table, and one of the wished-for numbers was triumphantly landed-the other die as it rolled over on its corner struck against my adversary's hand, and I lost! I claimed another throw with vehemence, asserted that Martingale's hand had no right to be on the table, and insinuated it was done on purpose; he retorted (not courteously); and a wrangle ensued, which was referred to the party present, who gave it against me, deciding that it was impossible such a thing could have been done intentionally, but recommending that we should draw the stakes. To this we would neither of us consent, and the affair terminated in my losing all control of my temper, and pre
Why did my spirits rise higher and higher; why was my laugh the loudest, the most frantic in its mirth, when I took my seat at St. Heliers' luxurious board? Why did bumper after bumper that I poured down my unslaked throat fail to bring forgetfulness, and only serve to raise my craving for excitement to a maddening pitch? The party were jovial
sarcastic humour-Jack Lavish, with his merry, thoughtless laugh-Hillingdon's quiet smile, and Martingale's eternal Newmarket stories, were all as they had ever been; and as, in consideration of my departure on the morrow, an additional magnum made its appearance, they voted that I was in shamefully good spirits for one who was so soon to lose their agreeable society. But
the excitement of wine alone was insufficient for my boiling blood. Our usual whist-party, although the regular stakes we played nightly would have satisfied most men, was voted 'slow,' and at my instigation, the party, who had all drunk deep, were nothing loth to substitute
chicken-hazard' for 'four by honours and the odd trick.' The stakes were set,' the dice rattled, and first notes, then I.O.U.'s began to circulate freely round the table.
senting Martingale with a cheque for the money, whilst I informed him, that I distinctly begged him to understand I considered it a robbery, but not the less welcome or the more unusual to him on that account!' A dead silence ensued after this most unjustifiable demonstration. I saw his fingers quiver, and his fist clenched for an instant, but he curbed his temper in a manner that ought to have made me thoroughly ashamed of losing mine, and lighting a candle, marched out of the room without saying another syllable.
For two long hours did poor Hillingdon sit with me endeavouring by every argument in his power to prevail upon me to apologize for this unprovoked insult. But I was too obstinate to listen either to the dictates of my own better feelings or the remonstrances of my friend. No, the excitement I longed for had come at last; in the immediate prospect of a duel, my restless spirit found a sort of false repose; and strange to say, when Hillingdon left my room with a lingering step and clouded brow, to arrange with Lavish an early meeting for the morrow, I felt more composed than at any previous part of that eventful day. I undressed, went to bed, and slept soundly for hours.
Who has not felt the instinctive oppression with which we wake to misery, that our yet half-dormant faculties are unable to realize! Who does not know the steps of gradual torture with which the first dawn of discomfort swells to the full amount of anguish that appears too heavy to be borne ! As the faint streaks of early morning found their way into my apartment, I started from that deep slumber of thorough exhaustion, and woke to the realities of my position. Oh, the agony of that hour! ruin and misery stared me in the face-perhaps immediate death; I almost felt as if I could welcome its stroke, and forget all in the grave; but as I dressed, the mental strength which in most men rises with the requirements of the moment, enabled me to look upon my past conduct and present sitution with a clearness and fortitude of which the day before I had felt incapall knew myself in the Martingale was con
cerned, and although too proud to confess it, I determined that nothing should induce me to lift my hand against him. I made up my mind to receive his fire, and discharge my own pistol in the air. I felt more comfortable after this resolution and walked with Hillingdon to the destined scene of combat with a sang-froid and carelessness that surprised even myself.
It was strange that, knowing as did my antagonist to be an unerring shot, I could not realize the danger of my position. I tried to fancy I was on the brink of another world; I tried to think of the future, but in vain; the most trifling objects ar rested my attention, and my mind kept wandering through all the lev ties and frivolities to which I wa accustomed. Is this one of the weaknesses incidental to humanity? Can this powerlessness of mental concentration be the cause of that supreme indifference which we hear of even in criminals on the scaffold!
The mist was curling down the mountain tops as our seconds 'pat us up' at the longest ten paces ever measured by mortal stride, but which we owed to the generous length of Jack Lavish's legs. Hillingdon's lip quivered as he put my weapon in my hand. What hours seemed to elapse ere the signal was given. A sharp whiz, and quick, sup pressed report found me still unhurt, and lifting the muzzle of my weapon, I discharged it high in air. We shook hands, and walked back to breakfast. Sic transit, &c.; but as we neared the house, Hillingdon whispered to me, Touch and go, Digby-he put one' in sleeve;' and sure enough the coat and under garment were perforated by the mischief-meaning messenger. heavens!' said St. Heliers, as he delightedly welcomed us to breakfast, when I asked you fellows to shoot, I had no idea you meant to vary your sports by such a performance as this.
As I steamed southward towards the Scottish border, I could hardly fancy that the events of the last twenty-four hours were aught but a dream. Alas! I had Cartouch's letter to convince me of their reality; and as again and again I scanned the bitter paragraph that told of Flora's destiny, deeper and deeper the iron entered into my soul.'
TOETHE, we think-for we cannot cite chapter and verse-says somewhere something to this effect-that the realities of life present little that is either satisfactory or hopeful; and that the only refuge for a mind, which aspires to better views of society, is in the idealities of the theatre.
Without going to the full extent of this opinion, we may say, that the drama has been the favourite study of this portion of our plurality, and has furnished to us, on many and many occasions, a refuge of light and tranquillity from the storms and darkness of every-day life.
It is needless to look further than to the Athenian theatre and Shakspeare, to establish the position that the drama has combined the highest poetry with the highest wisdom; neither is it necessary to show that the great masters of the art have a long train of worthy followers, partially familiar to all who look to dramatic literature for amusement alone, and more extensively so to those who make it a subject of study.
Still there are many excellent dramas comparatively little known; much valuable matter bearing on the drama, remaining to be developed; and many dramatic questions, which continue to be subjects of controversy, and offer topics of interesting discussion.
It is our purpose to present our views of some of these subjects, in the form of analyses or criticisms; not following any order of chronology or classification, but only that in which our readings or reminiscences may suggest them.
QUEROLUS; OR, THE BURIED TREASURE.
A ROMAN COMEDY OF THE THIRD CENTURY.
This comedy, which, from internal evidence, is assignable to the age of Diocletian and Maximian, is the only Roman comedy which, in addition to the remains of Plautus and Terence, has escaped the ravages of time. It is not only on this account a great literary curiosity, but it is in itself a very amusing and original drama. It is little known in this country.
The first editors of this comedy had access to several manuscript copies of it. The last editor had access to two: the Codex Vossianus, now in the library at Leyden, in the margin of which Vossius had written the various readings of another, the Codex Pithoeus; and the Codex Parisinus, now in the library at Paris, a manuscript apparently of the eleventh century.
The first printed edition was edited by P. Danielis, in 1564. The second edition was edited by Rittershusius, and printed by Commelinus, in 1595. The third edition was published by Pareus, at the end of his edition of Plautus, in 1619. The fourth and last edition is that of Klinkhämer, published at Amsterdam in 1829. Of these editions, the first, third, and fourth are in the British Museum; the second and fourth are in our possession.
We have thus had the opportunity of consulting all the editions of the work. The first edition was inaccessible to Klinkhämer. The second edition contains all that is important in the first, with much that is not in any other; including a long poem by Vitalis Blesensis, a writer of the middle ages, in which the story is narrated in elegiac verse: the author professing, that he now does for a second comedy of Plautus what he had previously done for his Amphitryon. The author of the comedy is, however, as we shall subsequently notice, innocent of its ascription to Plautus.
In the three first editions, the text was printed as prose. Klinkhämer recognised the traces of metre, and arranged the whole into verse, printing the prose text on the left-hand pages, and the metrical arrangement on the right. The task is executed with much skill, and little arbitrary change. In this portion of his work, as indeed in the whole of it, he derived great advantage from having been the pupil of D. J. Van Lennep, at whose instigation he undertook the edition. The result is, a most agreeable reading, of which we regretted to come to the close.
The learned and accomplished editor of Terentianus Maurus. He completed the edition which Santenius had begun.
VOL. XLV. NO. CCLXVII.
This play is called Querolus, sive Aulularia- Querolus, or the Comedy of the Aula, or Olla,' a large covered pot or vessel of any kind, which in this case the depository of a treasure. The dramatis personæ areLAR FAMILIARIS. QUEROLUS. MANDROGERUS.
Plautus's comedy of Aulularia (the basis of Moliere's L'Avare) taks its name from a similar subject; but there is nothing in common betwee the comedies, excepting the buried treasure, the title, and the circumstanc of the prologue being spoken by the household deity, the Lar Familiaris
In Plautus's prologue, the Lar tells the audience, that the heads of the family had been a succession of misers, one of whom had buried a treasure the secret of which he had not the heart, even when dying, to reveal to i son; that the son had lived and died poor and parsimonious, and had shown no honour to him, the Lar; in consequence of which he had done nothing towards aiding him to discover the buried treasure; that the grandson, th present pater familias, was no better than his predecessors; but that l had a daughter who was very pious towards her household deity; on which account he had led the father to the discovery of the treasure, in order the the daughter might have a dowry.
The comedy of Querolus has no female character, and the hero does n appear to have a family. The Lar tells the audience, that Euclio, the father Querolus, going abroad on business, had buried a treasure before the domest altar; that, dying abroad, he had entrusted the secret to Mandrogers, and had given him a letter to Querolus, enjoining his son to divide the treasure with his friend Mandrogerus, as a reward for faithfully delivera the message; that Mandrogerus had made a scheme for getting surr titious possession of the whole; that he, the Lar, would frustrate this scheme and take care that the treasure should go to its right owner, whom he de scribes as not bad, but ungrateful.
The first scene consists of a dialogue between Querolus and the L Querolus enters, complaining of Fortune, when the Lar presents himse before him.
Quer. Oh, Fortune!-oh, blind Fortune! impious Fate!
What wouldst thou with me,
Be not angry.
Stay; I must talk with thee.
I have no leisure.
Fortune and Fate.
I am thy household god,
It is strange.
I know not what to think; but this appears
His robe is white, and radiance is around him.
Lar. Though thy complaint is baseless, Querolus,
The reason of thy state. Now, tell thy grievances.
* The MSS. and editions have all 'Pantomalus,' a barbarous composite, suitable, no doubt, to the age, but not to so correct and elegant a writer as the author of this comedy. 'Pantolabus' is classical (see Hor. Sat. i. 8, 11); and Take-all suits the character in question better than All-bad.
Quer. The day would not be long enough.
Well, briefly :
A few; the heaviest.
One only question.
Resolve me: wherefore do the unjust thrive,
The Lar proceeds to interrogate Querolus, as to his right to include himself in the latter class; and having led him to confess himself guilty of robbing orchards as a boy, of perjuring himself as a lover, of intriguing with his neighbour's wife as a man, and of sundry other peccadilloes, which da society tolerates and justice condemns, he concludes that he has no right to look on himself as an egregious specimen of injured virtue.
Querolus, nevertheless, insists that much worse men are much better off. He has suffered by a false friend; his father has left him nothing but his poor house and land; he has a slave, Pantolabus, who does nothing but eat and drink enormously; his last crops were destroyed by a storm; has a bad neighbour. To all which the Lar answers: Many fathers have not even left either house or land: others have had many false friends, many drunken slaves, many bad neighbours: he is well enough with only one of each. Querolus specifies somebody who abounds in worldly comforts. But, says the Lar, he has an incurable malady. How is your own health? Querolus is quite well. The Lar asks, Would you change conditions? Is not health the first of blessings? Querolus admits that he is the best off of the two; but still insists that, though positively it is well with him, it is ill, comparatively with others. The Lar then gives him his choice of conditions. Querolus first desires military glory; then civil honours. The difficulties and troubles of both being shown, he rejects both, and desires a private life of affluence, in which his riches may give him sufficient authority to domineer over his neighbours. The Lar tells him, that if he wishes to live where public law has no authority, he had better go to the Loire, where every man is judge in his own cause, and the stronger writes his decrees with a cudgel on the bones and skin of the weaker.
This passage, Klinkhamer is of opinion, relates to the Bagaude, who, about the end of the reign of Diocletian, established in that portion of Gaul one of the earliest combinations of Socialism and Lynch law: not without dreadful provocation from the cruelties and extortions of the Roman rulers: and were with difficulty reduced to submission, after a war of some years, by the Emperor Maximian. The history of this Bagaudic war may be read in Gibbon, Chap. XIII. Querolus, not without a sarcastic reflection on the innocence and happiness of sylvan life, renounces the offered share in this forest republic: goes through a series of wishes for different states of life, each of which, with the conditions attached to it, he successively rejects: then comes to persons, whose position he would like to occupy. Quer. Give me at least the money-chests of Titius. Lar. Yes, with his gout.
Quer. Why, give me, then, the troop of dancing-girls,
Quer. Ha! ha! and wherefore?
The old usurer has it.
The years and dancing-girls must go together.
Querolus seems to have thought with Butler:
'He that has but impudence
To all things has a just pretence.'