The first production of the Modern Shakespeare, for such is the title by which his judicious friends have chosen to distinguish the author of a tragedy in which the diction is laboriously effeminate, the various compartments of the dialogue dove-tailed into each other with scrupulous exactness, and one eternal effort to astonish and delight, destroys the charm of the successful passages, and aggravates the disappointment and disgust of the reader at occasional examples of bathos or insipidity. We willingly confess indeed that we have read Mr. Coleridge’s tragedy with considerable pleasure; as one of the best productions of a vicious and pedantic school, exhibiting frequent examples of original genius surmounting the fetters of prejudice and false taste by which it was encumbered; and as containing many insulated passages of considerable pathos and beauty, notwithstanding their faults of tumor and affectation, it possesses unusual and unexpected merit; but that it has any pretensions to superior excellencies as a drama; that it displays an intuitive knowledge of the human character; a magic power of exciting and developing the complicated passions of the soul; or that practiced skill in the business of the drama, which atones by the irresistable interest of incident and situation for the absence of more important qualities, we firmly deny. The perusal and reperusal of the tragedy, has more and more impressed us with a conviction that Mr. Coleridge may have been born a didactic or descriptive poet, but that to an intimate knowledge of the human heart, or a minute acquaintance with the character and operation of the human passions, he has no legitimate pretensions.