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of guilt" in an adulterer and an assassin. Again, he is addressed as one, who
« O'er thy stormy grandeur flingest A struggling beam that dazzles, awes, and vanishes." Now really in the character before us we can find nothing of “stormy grandeur,” except the bitterest execrations against the human race in general, and the most implacable malice against those whom he chooses to fancy his enemies in particular. He first “ unpacks bis heart with curses like a drab," and arms his hands with poignards like an assassin. This grand, sublime, and stormy personage stands redeemed by no one good or generous quality, and yet he is to be held up to a sort of staring and stupified admiration. It is true that he falls at last, but how? Not contemptibly, like Iago, or Zanga, by the hands of justice ; but triumphantly by his own. The following are the concludiug lines of the play, .
“ I died no felon's death. A warrior's weapon freed a warrior's soul.” Leaving the spectators iu mute astonishment at the magnificenco and the intrepidity of his mind. Now all this has the strongest tendency to recommend (and who shall say that the minds of many half-educated young men are proof against such a recommendation) treason, piracy, adultery, and murder to public applause, provided they are accompanied with bursts of stormy grandeur, indignant feeling, and sublimity of soul. 'Against all this miserable morality and mawkish sensibility, we enter our most powerful protest. We are not desirous of serinonizing the theatre, for the pulpit and the stage never can be kept too distinct; but we do protest against the avowed exhibition of triumphant crime, guarded by no moral, attended by no reverse; we do protest against the character of Bertram being left on the mind of the spectators an object of admiration and of pity, and not of hatred and execration; we do expect that the incident, the plot, and the language of a Tragedy be so constructed, as, at its conclusion, to leave upon the minds of the spectators pity alone for suffering virtue, and detestation for successful crime.
Should Mr. Maturiu be tempted by his success to try the stage again, we trust that his second production will, in this respect, at least be far superior to his first, in which we have all that is objectionable in Schuller, without his genius. We acquit Mr. Maturin however of any intentional offence against the laws either of dramatic or of moral justice; we attribute his failings to a hurried and inconsiderate imitation of the noble lord, upon whose writings and whose school we have already expressed our opinions too strongly to need repetition.
We have been informed, from good authority, that in the first manuscript of the Tragedy, there was not only half an hour's more storm, but also a volcano, and the devil (in the shape of whom we know not) issuing from it. We understand that the author did not willingly part with either the storm or the volcauv; but that it was with peculiar reluctance that he was induced at length to give up his devil. We trust, after so auspicious a resignation of this personage himself, that, in a second attempt, he will not retain him in a human forın ; or, if he does, that he will hold him up to the contempt and the detestation which he and his fellows so amply deserve.
Art. V. A Biographical Memoir of the late Sir Peter
Parker, Buronet, Captain of his Majesty's ship Menelaus, of 38 Guns, killed in Action while storming the American Camp at Bellair, near Baltimore, on the 31st of August, 1814. 4to. pp. 111. 1815.
OF all those officers who, since the death of the great Nelson, have combated in the service of their country, no one has been animated by a nobler spirit, or displayed more talent or virtue, than the lamented subject of this volume. It is well observed. by the writer of the Memoir of Sir Peter Parker, that the lives of such men ought to be recorded, as “ they nurture, by their example, the heroic passions of the soul. They kindle by their moral effect on the rising race, those generous and elevated feelings, which ennobling the profession of arms above every other, constitute alike the shield and ornament of the military breast, · and excite therein that spirit of patriotism, that thirst of distinca
tion, and that equal contempt of wealth and danger, which, exalting the human mind above its common level, lift it, in life, to happiness, and in death, to glory."
Sir Peter Parker was descended from an ancient and respect able Irish family, four generations of which have devoted their lives to the naval service of their country. He was the grandson of the distinguished admiral of the same name, and son of admiral Christopher Parker, who died young, but not without having acquired the reputation of an able and gallant officer. His mother was Miss Byron, aunt to the present Lord Byron; and she, as well as her husband, was snatched away, while he was yet an infant. From his father he inherited his bravery and love of a naval life; and from his mother a more than usual portion of personal beauty,
At the age of thirteen he quitted Westminster school, and sailed in the Lancaster, with Sir Roger Curtis, to the Cape of Good Hope. Under Sir Roger he learned the rudiments of his profession, and was engaged in much active service. In the year 1800, he returned to England, in the Arethusa, passed his examination at the Admiralty with great credit, and was made lieutenant, in which capacity he sailed with the expedition to Ferrol, and afterwards with that more fortunate one, which conveyed the British army to Egypt. He then served at the siege of Porto Ferrajo. Un all occasions his gallantry was con spicuous. While yet a midshipman, and only sixteen, he was wounded in the thigh and the cheek, and had his coat shot through in several places. With a laudable pride, his grandfather hung up the coat in his hall, as a trophy, and often exhibited it with exultation to his naval friends.
By the influence of his grandfather, and with a strong recommendation from Earl St. Vincent, he was now placed in the Victory, as lieutenant, under the command of the immortal Nelson, whose warmest friendship he speedily obtained.
“ And here, in truth, it was,” says his biographer, “that those feelings which were before but as germs half ripened in the bud, expanded themselves, and formed into fixed and settled principles of action. Henceforth his soul was filled entirely with that ardent spirit of distinction, that thirst of professional knowledge and fame, and, generally, those heroic virtues which blazed so brightly in the character of his great model, contempt of difficulty and danger, and that proud indifference to the acquisition of wealth in a noble profession, which constitute the very life and essence of the naval and military character."
Such is the mighty effect of splendid examples.
After having acted as master and commander of the Weasel, he was made post-captain, in the year 1805, when he was under twenty years of age, and was promoted to the command of the Melpomene, a frigate of thirty-eight guns. While up the Mediterranean, on a cruise, his ship was nearly lost in a hurria cane, and on this occasion he displayed an astonishing degree of firmness, and of presence of mind. At Malta, he materially assisted in the reduction of Fort Ricasoli, which had been seized by a body of mutineers, on the day previous to his arrival. In the defence of Gaeta, likewise, he manifested equal zeal and valour, was foremost in several desperate sallies, and received the thanks of the brave governor, the Prince of Hesse. He incessantly harassed the enemy's coasting trade, made numerous attacks on them, and captured many of their vessels and privateers.
About the middle of 1808, he was dispatched to Vera Cruz, to convey back to Cadiz an immense treasure. This he performed; but on his return home, he caught the yellow fever from one of his midshipmen, whom he nursed in his own cabin, and for several days his life was in imminent danger. On his recovery, he married the second daughter of Sir George Dallas. He did not long, however, enjoy the sweets of conjugal happi. ness; for in March, 1809, before even his health was perfectly re-established, he was dispatched to the Baltic. There, though constantly assailed by dreadful gales, he severely annoyed the Danes, and captured several Davish and Russian vessels. At length his constitution yielded to fatigue, and he was compelled to solicit a short leave of absence, which was granted, and the temporary command of his ship was given to captain i arren. In a severe contest with some gun-boats, which shortly after occurred, and was nobly maintained by Captain Warren, the Melpomene was so shattered, that she was obliged to return to port, and was put out of commission. On hearing that his ship had been in action, Captain Parker burst into tears, and ex. claimed, that he would sooner have died than been absent at such a moment.
For the re-establishment of his health, he remained at home twelve months, which time, however, was not wholly lost to his country. He was chosen member for Wexford, early in 1810, and on the very day that he took his seat, he strenuously defended the policy of giving that succour to Portugal, which though deprecated by the opposition, as a waste of money, was ultimately productive of such beneficial consequences.
In May he was appointed to the Menelaus of thirty-eight guns, a new frigate, and one of the finest in the navy. In this vessel, he was dispatched to St. Helena, to convoy to England, the East India Aeet. On his arrival he learned the temporary ascendant which the French had gained at the Mauritius, by the capture of the Africaine and the Nereide, and he instantly took on himself the responsibility of sailing to reinforce the British commander on that station. He bore an active part in the conquest of the isle of Bourbon, was sent home with the intelligence and colours, and received the thanks of parliament for his conduct.
By the death of his grandfather, Captain Parker now became a Baronet. His next station was in the Mediterranean, where he greatly distinguished himself by his courage and his incessant vigilance. Two French frigates, one of them of the largest class, were sent from Toulon to bring him to action; but perceiving that he lay to, with the resolution of giving them battle, they took flight, and were pursued by the Menelaus to their
own harbour. Shortly after this, his bravery and seamanship were splendidly manifested in an engagement with the batteries of Escamberon, and in the manoeuvres which he employed to extricate himself from the French squadron, by which, during his contest with the batteries, he was, in reality, cut off from the British fleet. This exploit was succeeded by another, in which he disabled a seventy-four gun ship, and blew up one of the forts. On the first of June, he landed on the isle Verte, near Ciotat, aud carried a powerful half-moon battery, which was intended to cover the entrance of the bay.
At the latter end of August, he was ordered to cruize between the islands of Elba avd Ponza, for the purpose of harassing the coasting trade, aud interceptiog naval stores which were destined for Toulon. Soon after his entering on this duty, he chased a convoy into Port St. Stefano, and determined to cut it out. With only one hundred and thirty seamen and forty maFines, he landed in the face of the citadel, several batteries, and a force of four hundred men, drove the enemy before him, stormed a four gun battery, boarded and destroyed the vessels, brought out a brig laden with warlike stores, and returned in safety to his ship, with the loss of only five in killed and wounded. In September, he performed an atchievement of a similar kind at the mouth of the lake of Orbitello.
A war with America having broken out, Sir Peter Parker in the Menelaus, and the houourable Captain Paget, in the Superb, were ordered on a cruize, to intercept Commodore Rodgers, who had sailed, in the President, "to prey upon our commerce. On this occasion Sir Peter read to his crew the letter of Captain Broke, which announced the capture of the Chesapeake, and he declared his firm resolution never to strike his fag to that of America. The cruize was continued for five months, over a space of five thousand leagues ; but the two officers had the mortification not to meet with any of the enemy's vessels.
The last opportunity which, previously to the cessation of hostilities with France, was afforded him of shewing his gallant spirit, occurred while be was cruizing off Brest. After a long chase, he compelled the Atalante, a large French frigate, to take shelter behind the rocks of Concarneau ; and as he could not reach her in that situation, he sent a challenge to her captain, to come out and engage. The captain, however, deemed it prudent to decline the invitation, and the gallant Briton felt the · disappointment very deeply, and for a long time.
The close of the contest with France did not put a termina. tion to his labours. Just as he was on the point of resigning the command of the Menelaus, and retiring for a while into the bosom of a family, which he tenderly loved, he was called on