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CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
Literary Men, disorders of,
Madam Knight's Journal,
Mathison's Narrative of a Visit to Brazil,
Memoirs of Count Segur,
ART. I.-Hadad, a Dramatic Poem. By JAMES A. HILLHOUSE, author of "Percy's Masque," and "The Judgment." NewYork. Bliss & White. 1825. pp. 208.
Dr. C. Bryant
THOUGH the author of Hadad has chosen to give his work the more general denomination of a dramatic poem, it has all the incidents and characteristics of a tragedy. It is continued through the proper number of acts, is written with a sufficient regard to dramatic unities, and is furnished with a reasonable number and variety of characters. It has a regular plot and catastrophe, and the personages are all finally disposed of according to the fairest rules of poetical justice. Perhaps, however, the author was prevented from calling it a tragedy, by supposing that the nature of the subject, and the introduction of supernatural agents into the plot, would exclude it from the stage. Let it be a dramatic poem, then, since the author chooses to call it so-at all events, we are ready to acknowledge that it is a very good one.
The story of this drama is founded on the rebellion of Absalom. This is a very interesting event in the annals of the Jewish nation, and the actors in it were some of the most important personages of scripture history. How far subjects drawn from the sacred writings are proper for narrative or dramatic poetry, is a question about which there has been much discussion. It has been urged, among other objections to this use of such subjects, that it is a sort of unhallowed mingling of fiction with the pure truth of the sacred records, the tendency of which is to impair our reverence for the history of our religion, and our respect for the lessons which that history was intended to inculcate. We must say, however, that, with all proper deference for these scruples, we cannot help thinking them entirely unnecessary.
The human personages mentioned in sacred history must be considered as actual human beings, subject to the common passions and infirmities of our race, and, for the most part, to the ordinary influences of good and ill fortune. It cannot surely be VOL. I.