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wholly unrequired, we might seem left and every turn almost of his drama's to guese, from the ingenious, if we varying fable, to what the reader, no should not almost say excessive pains doubt, will own to be now enough which he ever afterwards takes to at- weighted with blood and retributiontach the mischiefs successively arising, the Golden Fleece.


The Second Part renews the history, voice, which, either from an habitual after an interval, apparently, of years, irresistible ascendancy, parental and Medea, stricken, if this can be said, kingly, held by him over her - or with remorse of her father's crime, (in from the sense of duty, she does not which, however in a degree ministere disobey. She bears a torch, which the

a. ing to it, the poet does not consider her king, whom light offends, desires her as participating,) bowed with agony of to extinguish. He then asks, by what the deed-still more, perhaps, with leave, forsaking the protection of the the terrific foresight which haunts her paternal roof, and holding fellowship of its consequences—the vision glaring but with the desert and her own wild in the prophetess's soul, and refusing mood, she has refused compliance with to be dispelled, of wrath disturbed a message from him, calling her to out of darkness, inexorable, inexpia. him. Her answer is in a strain, meant, ble-has fled from human commerce, doubtless, as more deeply tinged with and shut up in an old desolate tower imagination, to be the expression of a amongst woods, there mixing past mind acting upon itself in long so and future in her ceaseless miserable litude, with vehement and extraordream, she broods over woe. Hither, dinary thought. It well expresses, by night, Aietes, with his son Absyr- though perhaps too apparently in the tus, now first introduced, comes, seek forms of a later and different age of ing her counsel and succour; for the thought, one distinguishing constituRevengers, the ARGONAUTS, claiming ent in our author's invention of his the spoils of the murdered Phryxus, heroine's character-boldly assigned and above all, the splendid and fatal and well applied, for the most part, to Fleece, are on his land. Absyrtus, support the interest of his poem-and whose innocence of extreme youth, not often much taken out of its drajoined with the aspirations of dawn- matic propriety--the Moral Sensibiliing heroism, and with much manly ty with which he has endowed her tenderness of filial and brotherly af- and to which, if the reader will add fection, is very happily thought and passion measureless in depth and force depicted, leads, with the sprightly -self-reliance indestructible and an pride of a boy, making their way understanding in comprehensiveness, through the thicket with his newly insight, and clearness, of the highest given sword. The old King follows, order-he will possess the outline of full of irritation and apprehensions, Grillparzer's Medea. Need we observe incensed by the approach of his ene- to him, that the impressions which she mies, trembling at once with belief of appears here as suffering, the constertheir power, and with reflections that nation, from retrospect and prospect, rise and are not to be kept down on fallen upon her spirit, evidenced in the cause of their coming, and seeing dubitably in the manner we have den listeners or spectres, in stones and scribed, and seeking utterance in her trees. After some words which explain words, all tell in tragic effect, far bethe posture of affairs, Medea’s altered yond the moment of the drama in teinper, and her manner of life made which they are made present to sight available by her, it appears, for the and hearing, that the gloom thus loadprosecution of her magical studies, Ab- ed upon its opening scenes, passes pot syrtus, at the King's bidding, summons along with these from the spectator's her to descend. She hesitates, till heart. compelled by her father's will and

Medea (speaks.) Hear if thou canst, and if thou dar’st, be wroth !.~
O that I might be silent, ever silent !
Thine house is hateful to me. I am fill'd

With shuddering, being near thee. When thy hand
Fell on the stranger, shielded of the Gods,
The Guest, and took his wealth into thine House
It brought a spark, that glimmering lives, and lives
Unquenchable, though thou didst on it pour
The upwellings of the holy fountain, pouredst
Rivers and sea, the innumerable streams,
And the salt flood's limitless-depthless waters all-

Unhappy! what hast thou done?
A fire from thee goes forth, and wraps around
The pillars of thine House, that crashing falls,
Burying all.


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Aietes. Hast thou sought in the stars ?

Deem'st thou that I
Had power?--An hundred times have I look'd up
To the glittering signs on the broad heaven of night,
And all the hundred times mine eye return'd,
Fear-vanquish’d, to the earth, and uninform’d.
The skies to me have seem'd an unrolld book,
And MURDER therein written, thousand fold
In adamantine letters writ-REVENGE,
On its black ground. But look not thither Thou !
Oh! not of yonder bright immortal fires,
Not the betokenings of mute nature ask,
Nor voice, through the god's quivering temple peal'd.
Observe in the still brook those wandering stars,
That under thy dark brows gleam loweringly,
The tokens which the deed hath left on thee,
The god who in thy silent bosom speaks
For they can give thee oracle and sign,
Clearer and more assured far than my poor art,
From what is, and hath been, and is to be !

On being told that Greeks are come, sently afterwards Jason, and Milo, and with what intent, Medea ex- another Argonaut, come upon the claims, “ Woel the stroke has fallen!" stage. Upon much solicitation, conceiving They have left their companions the emergency to be out of hope, she suffering, it seems, or in danger of doconsents to use her Art, first, in learn, ing so, from hunger, - with the ships, ing if it be permitted her to afford and are in quest of food and intelassistance to her father and her coun- ligence. They are led by the voices, try, and should it appear so, in giving but, on coming before the tower, find it: On condition, however, that, this no one. Light is visible, however, in need answered, she shall return for it, and Jason resolves to enter. They ever to her solitude. They enter the converse on their enterprise, of which tower, in which the preparations for Milo believes the purpose to be desher consulting the invisible powers perate, and regrets it was undertaken. are immediately to be made, and pre- He goes on.

Milo. Well! right if thou hadst led me any whither,
Only not to this God-forsaken land !
Comes a man elsewhere into peril, good!
'Tis but-Out Sword! and Courage, on !-But here,
In this foul region's dank and sullen air,
Rust to the spirit clings as to our swords.
You hear the surges, one incessant roar;
The pines that murmur, and the blasts that rave;
Scarce through the grisly covert sees the Sun
Of air-hung mist, and uncouth matted boughs.
Nothing, all round, of men, no hut, no trace,

It makes the heart seem empty, hollow, starved,
Till one grows half-affrighted with himself,
I, who, a boy, in admiration heard,
When men told of a thing called Fear-almost
I turn ghost-seer here. Each blasted trunk
Looks like a giant to mę; and a light
Appears a walking man of fire.---'Tis strange!
What is indifferent elsewhere, here seenis frightful;
And what is elsewhere hideous, common here.
'Tis not an hour ago, I saw i' the wood
A Bear, perhaps the hugest I have seen ;
It was to me almost as I should stroke
The shaggy monster with familiar hand,
An 'twere some fawning Fondling at my foot,
So small and insignificant it shew'd,
To the grim lowering world of which it was.
-Thou hear’st me not !
Jason (who has been observing the tower.) 'Tis 80-I'll enter.

Jason. I' the tower there.
Milo. Art thou raving ?-(Seizing his arm.) Hear me, Jason !

Jason (disengaging himself, and unsheathing his sword.)
I will—and who shall stay me?-See, my sword :
My help with foes, and inconvenient friends.
Here the first human traces have I found,
And I will in. With menace of my sword
One of this building's dwellers I enforce
To follow with me, and to lead our band
Securely from the circuit of this wood,
Where hunger, and the ambush of the foe,
Strike them much surer, than me danger here.
Say not !--It is resolved !-Return thou to them
Hearten our band. I bring them speedy rescue.

Milo. Think!

It is thought!
Jason, in reconnoitring the antique lamp which she carried, but had pre-
structure, has remarked an opening in sently set down, he is surprised at her
the dilapidated wall, by which he beauty. His discourse, heard by her
proposes to enter, using the good of- silent and motionless, discovers the
fices of the sea, that flows deep be- sudden passion which has touched
neath, to reach it. Much against the him, and enforces the similar imprese
will and reason of his elder and more sion made by the unexpected, adven-
circumspect, though perfectly tried turous appearance of the young and
and intrepid friend, he now leaps in fiery warrior on her till the sound of
from the cliff on which they stand, arms, of approaching feet, and there-
and swims to it.

upon the entrance of Absyrtus, with a It lets him into vaulted and secret number of followers, who have found chambers, dedicated, it seems, by the their way, we do not well know how secluded Princess, to religious or ma- --for the king and his son came ungical rites, or what at once are both, attended and secretly to the solitary and which her attendants have just tower-break it off. There is now been disposing for her use.

some clashing of swords; and Jason ceals himself behind a Statue, till she, fights his way through—but not till entering soon after, has proceeded far Medea, by opposing her brother's first enough in her invocation to make her assault upon him, has made it appear known to him in the character of a to the so far successful intruder that Sorceress, when he leaps out upon his safety is not indifferent to her. her, his sword being still drawn in This ends the first Act. his hand, and, in the darkness of the The two which follow, are taken place, unintentionally wounds her. up with effecting such changes in the On holding up to her face the single position and relations of the divers

He con

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parties, as are needed to leave Medea herself to assist in the destruction of at the point of conducting her so far the invaders. triumphaut lover to the cavern, where The Scene changes to an open place the ulterior prize of his great adventure in the forest, with

the King's tent in is mysteriously and fearfully guarded. the background. Eight delegates of The new emotion which invades her the Argonauts appear, on the King's bosom, has in a few hours wrought invitation, to a conference. Whilst such alteration there, that when, on they await him, under some dismay, her reappearance amongst ber dam- from the prolonged absence and sursels on the following morning, with mised possible loss of their leader, which the Second Act begins, one of Jason and Milo join them. Presently them, whose charge he was, comes, the King enters to the conference. full of trepidation, to tell her, that, Jason--in whom is fitly represented during the confusion of the night, the adventurer of a desperate, almost her favourite Tiger-Horse has escaped, of an impossible enterprise, that must she answers simply that“ it is well ;' speed, not by prudence, but out of -and upon Peritta, whose disgrace is the hope of prudence, by a will mofresh in the reader's recollection, pre- ving, rushing irresistibly to its aim, senting herself to her, to implore as- kindling at the show of opposition, , sistance in her distress, her husband and leaping, like one allured, into the having been made a prisoner, and their arms of danger,-in a few words exhut burnt by the strangers, Medea changed, so daunts and masters the leans her head upon her shoulder and spirit of the Barbarian with haughty bursts into tears. Either she does not and reckless defiance, as to betray him understand her feelings, or seeks to into acknowledging, after he had dehide them from herself ; for, in con- nied, his possession of the Fleece: if versing with Gora (who witnesses all that information indeed, may be needthis mutation with surprise enough) ed, from his mouth, by the Argonauts, on the transactions of the night, she who appear to have come well instructe communicates to her her conviction, ed in respect not only to the country which the shrewd old woman can by which contains it, but the particular no means be brought to partake, that art and terrors by which it is secured. the stranger, whose sudden presence The King is not so, however, disarmdisturbed her ceremonies, was Heim- ed of his wiles. question which he, dar, the God of Death! Heimdar, wont in his turn, extorts from Jason reto manifest himself to mortals at the specting the tower in the forest, unpoint of their passing under his power covers the power which he holds over

who had come to set on her his seal him, and he sends for Medea ; who -(we did not say that Jason, ere he brings, as on the like former occasion, yielded to retreat from the arms of the draught, by her father again reAbsyrtus and his followers, had pla- quired, of fatal sleep. She is veiled, but ced on her lips a hasty and unresisted Jason recognises her habit, and though kiss)—and presignify her approach, he has till now steadily refused the ing fate. She could know, by the an- offer of Aietes' dangerous hospitality, nihilation of her spirit as he stood be giving solid and plain reasons for fore her, that he was not of terrestrial doing so, he instantly accepts the ofbirth; as the oppression that gathers fered cup, and would drink, when Me. over her, the fading away of her senses, dea warns him of the treason mingled and the desire that draws her to the with it, and he throws it from him. grave, all give promise of her near He now plucks away her veil; and dissolution. If she has deceived her. twice saved by her, begins on this plea self, she is speedily undeceived. For to press with eager words, the pretenher father, entering with her brother, sions of his passion; from which she demands account of her conduct, in escapes into her father's tent. rescuing the bold violator of her mys- The curtain falls and rises again, teries from the sword bent to punish the interval sufficing to transfer the him, and placing it out of question audience from without to the interior that he was no God, but a Greek, of the Royal Pavilion, into which Jae taunts her quiet endurance of the in- son is seen endeavouring to force an sult offered her. She is overwhelmed entrance, opposed by Aietes. The with shame, and impatiently proffers Colchian soldiers, hitherto inactive as Vol. XXIV.


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in truce, incited by Medea, assail the a bridge over the river. The last is Argonauts, who are driven back, fight- made choice of. As she is departing, ing, towards their ship. In the tent her father again slighting her repuge is now consulted what further shall be nance and horror for every thing which done. To her father's angry reproaches threatens to connect her with the of her faithless preservation of his blood stained sorrow-teeming Fleece, enemy, Medea replies by entreaty, forces into her hand the key of the earnest and inspiriting, that he will hidden entrance, or falling-door as the muster his strength, and before the Germans have the advantage of calling coming dawn, have cast out the strane it, to its subterranean strong-hold: gers from his land. To her further and she takes her leave. urgently expressed desire, he grants We extract, chiefly for the view that she shall proceed, under her bro- which they present of her feelings and ther's escort, to some concealed place character, one or two speeches of hers of safety in the heart of the country: out of this scene, although perhaps “ Thither,” says he, “ where is the chargeable with the same fault, in a Fleece kept;" to which she vehement- still higher degree, on which we have ly but fruitlessly objects. There are already remarked. The passage

will two roads. One, passing near the explain for itself the connexion in encampment of the Greeks; the other, which it occurs. rough, difficult, and less trodden, by

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Aietes. Good, then! I arm my friends. Thou goest with us.
Med. I?

Aietes. Strange one, thou. Not only from the bow
To wing, I know, the shaft, but thou art train'd
To whirl the ponderous spear, and swing on high
The sword in dreaded hand. Come on with us:
And drive the foe.

Med. Never.
Aietes. No?

Med. Send me back
To the land's heart, my father, deep, where only
Woods, and dark-rifted vales are,—where no eye,
Ear, voice, finds way–where solitude shall dwell
Alone with me. There will I sue the Gods
For thee,--for aid, strength, victory to thee ;-
Pray, father, but not fight !- And when thy foes
In flight are driven, and not one stranger's foot
Wounds more our gentle soil, then will I, father,
Come back to thee, and stay by thee, and tend
Truly thine age,-till Death, the peaceful God,
With hushing finger laid to breathless lip,
Steals nigh, and on his pillow of dust and moss
Bids the thoughts sleep, and the quick wishes rest.

Aietes. Thou wilt not with us ! and shall I believe thee?
Tremble, thou unadvised !-Jason !-Ha?-

Med. Why ask me, if thou know’st it? Must thou hear
From my own lips what I unto this hour
Hid from myself?-I hid ?--the Gods hid from me.
Let not my troubled transport, the warm flush
That clothes, I feel, my cheeks, mislead thee. Thou
Willest to hear, and I will bear to tell.
Not amid darkness can I guess and fear :
Light must be round Medea. It is said,
And truly I have found it-in our being
Is something that, unmaster'd of our will,
Blindly draws and repels. Like that which calls
Lightning to metal, iron to the wondrous stone,
Felt and unknown, a strong coercion flows
From human breast to breast. It is not Form,
Not the soul's winning Grace, not Virtue, Right,

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