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The Hubble-Shue   By:

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THE HUBBLE SHUE.

BY

MISS CARSTAIRS.

Harry, harry, hobillischowe! Se quha is cummyn nowe.

THE CRYING OF ANE PLAYE.

[THIRTY COPIES PRINTED.]

EDINBURGH: Printed by ANDREW SHORTREDE, Thistle Lane.

INTRODUCTORY NOTICE.

If originality be a test of genius, the authoress of the Hubble Shue bids fair to rank highest amongst the dramatic writers of the last century. This rare merit even the most fastidious critic must allow: but her histrionic essay is, in another respect, equally remarkable. We are told that obscurity is one of the sources of the sublime; and who will presume to deny that this drama is not sufficiently obscure? Perhaps the most remarkable feature in it is that singular, partially intelligible mystification, which we in vain look for in other writers: thus, when Gustard enters with his sword drawn, is it possible to figure any thing more intelligible and natural than that the cat should run in beneath the bed? But, on the other hand, who was Gustard? why was his sword drawn? what did he want? how came the cat there? are questions, the solution of which is not easy. Then we have the interesting Lady Gundie, who flits across the stage without saying a word, like one of the phantom kings in Macbeth, leaving the beholder in a state of the most feverish excitement. In short, so much is left to the imagination, that the mind gets quite bewildered, and we regard with most profound veneration a drama capable of producing such extraordinary sensations.

Perhaps there is not in the forcible vernacular of our country, a more touching description than the interesting child's graphic account of the horrid crocodile devouring a yellow Indian for his luncheon, with as much relish, and as little remorse, as the pitiless black men seized upon the blessed missionary, and "eat him all up."[1] Hard must that heart be, which cannot feel for the situation of the hapless daughter who but a Cannibal or a Whig would refuse a tear of sympathy? and who does not fondly hope that the charming little story teller will be relieved by the "little senna," and "the puke" which the tender apothecary, in the fulness of his heart, prescribes for her? Touches such as these mark the poet. Were we, however, to dwell upon all the beauties, our pages would swell into a large folio; but we must restrain our inclinations, as we intend gratifying our readers with a few extracts from the poetical lucubrations of the amiable writer, of whose personal history, we regret to say, little is known.

[1] The lamentable occurrence, to which allusion is here made, is as follows:

A venerable missionary was put ashore on one of the South Sea Islands, where he was most graciously received by the king, queen, and the rest of the royal family. During the time the vessel remained, which was only a few days, this useful person was fed most luxuriously, and every attention was paid to him the result of which was, that in a short time he became uncommonly plump. The vessel which brought him, had occasion a few months afterwards to touch at the island, and inquiry was made for the excellent person who had been left there. But the king and court did not seem inclined to afford much information, merely contenting themselves with answering, "Squi wab squob squavarab skoi rig," which, being interpreted, runs thus, "Very fine man the missionary." At last the captain got the king and some of the chiefs to dinner, when his majesty, (after having got drunk, in answer to an inquiry after the missionary,) exclaimed, "Squi wab squob squavarab skoi rig, skadery shoy oy lig baggary bhum;" meaning, "Fine man the missionary eat him all up one day."

It turned out that the missionary, in consequence of good usage, had got so fat and sleek, that the king and chiefs could not resist the inclination, which, during the progress of his fattening had been increasing; so they gave a public feast, at which the missionary, cooked in a variety of ways, formed the standing dish... Continue reading book >>




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