Sidor som bilder

Command your audience or to smile or weep, All persons please when nature's voice prevails,
Whiche'er may please you-many thing but sleep. Scottish or Irish, born in Wilts or Wales.
The poet claims our tears; but, by bis leave,
Before I shed them, let me see him grieve.

Or follow common fame, or forge a plot :
Who cares if mimic heroes lived or not?

One precept serves to regulate the scene:-
If banish'd Romeo feign'd nor sigh nor tear, Make it appear as if it might have been.
Lull'd by his languor, I should sleep or sneer.
Sad words, no doubt, become a serious face,

If some Drawcansir(1) you aspire to draw,
And men look angry in the proper place.

Present him raving, and above all law: At double meanings folks seem wondrous sly,

If female furies in your scheme are plannid, And sentiment prescribes a pensive eye;

Macbeth's fierce dame is ready to your hand; For nature form'd at first the inward man,

For tears and treachery, for good or evil, And actors copy nature—when they can.

Constance, King Richard, Hamlet, and the Devil! She bids the beating heart with rapture bound,

But if a new design you dare essay, Raised to the stars, or levell’d with the ground;

And freely wander from the beaten way, And for expression's aid, 'tis said, or sung,

True to your characters, till all be past, She gave our mind's interpreter-the tongue,

Preserve consistency from first to last. Who, worn with use, of late would fain dispense

'Tis hard to venture where our betters fail, (At least in theatres) with common sense;

Or lend fresh interest to a twice-told tale; O'erwhelm with sound the boxes, gallery, pit,

And yet, perchance, 't is wiser to prefer And raise a laugh with any thing --but wit.

A hackney'd plot, than choose a new, and err;

Yet copy not too closely, but record,
To skilful writers it will much import, (court; | More justly, thought for thought than word for word;
Whence spring their scenes, from common life or | Nor trace your prototype through narrow ways,
Whether they seek applause by smile or tear,

But only follow where he merits praise.
To draw a “Lying Valet,” or a “Lear,"
A sage, or rakish youngster wild from school,

For you, young bard! whom luckless fate may lead A wandering “ Peregrine," or plain “ John B:1ll;"

To tremble on the nod of all who read,

Vultum verba decent; iratum, plena minarum;
Ludentem, lasciva; severum, seria dictu.
Format enim natura prius nos intus ad omnem
Fortunarum babitum ; juvat, ant impellit ad iram;
Aut ad humum murore gravi dedacit, et angit;
Post effert animi motus interprete lingua.
Si dicentis erunt fortunis absona dicta,
Romani tollent equites peditesque cachinnum.

Intererit multum, Davusne loquatur, an Heros;
Maturusne senex, an adhuc florente juventa
Fervidus; an matrona potens, an sedala nutrix;
Mercatorne vagus, cultorne virentis agelli;
Colchus, an Assyrins; Thebis nutritus, an Argis.

Aut famam sequere, aut sibi convenientia finge Scriptor. Honoratum si forte reponis Achillem;

Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,
Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis.
Sit Medea ferox invictaque ; flebilis lno;
Perfdns Ixion ; lo vaga; tristis Orestes.

Si quid inexpertum scenæ committis, et andes
Personam formare novam, servetur ad imum
Qualis ab incepto processerit, et sibi constet.

Difficile est proprie communia dicere ;(2) tuque
Rectius liacum carmen deducis in actus,
Quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus.
Publica materies privati juris erit, si
Nec circa vilem patulainque moraberis orbem ;
Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus
Interpres, nec desilies imitator in arctum,
Unde pedem proferre pudor vetet, aut operis lex.
Nec sic incipies, ut scriptor Cyclicus olim:

(1) See the Rehearsal:

comfort, it seems, fifty years afterwards, "Le luminear “ Johnson. Pray, Mr. Bayes, who is that Dra wcansir ?

Dumarsais" made his appearance, to set Horace on his legs

again, "dissiper tous les nuages, et concilier tous les dis“Bayes. Why, sir, a great hero, that frights his mis

sentimens ;” and some fifty years hence, somebody, still more tress, snubs up kings. baffles armies, and does what he

luminous, will doubtless start up and demolish Dumarsais will, without regard to numbers, good sense, or justice."-L.E.

and his system on this weighty affair, as if he were no bet (2) “Difficile est proprie communia dicere.".- Madame ter than Ptolemy and Tycho, or his comments of no more Dacier, Madame de Sévigné, Boileau, and others, have left consequence than astronomical calculations on the present their dispute on the meaning of this passage in a tract con. comet. I am happy to say, "la longueur de la dissertation" siderably longer than the poem of Horace. It is printed at of M. D. prevents M, G, from saying any more on the mat. the close of the eleventh volume of Madame de Serigne's ter. A better poet than Boileau, and at least as good s Letters, edited by Grouvelle, Paris, 1806. Presuming that | scholar as Sévigne, has said, all who can construe may venture an opinion on such sub

"A little learning is a dangerous thing." jects, particularly as so many who can not have taken the same liberty, I should have held my “fartbing candle "as And, by this comparison of comments, it may be perceived awkwardly as another, bad not my respect for the wits of how a good deal may be rendered as perilous to the preLouis the Fourteenth's Augustan siècle induced me to sub prietors.-(Dr. Johnson gave the interpretation thus:-"He join these illustrious authorities. Ist, Boileau : “1 est dif. means that it is difficult to appropriate to particular perficile de traiter des sujets qui sont à la portée de tout le sons qualities which are common to all mankind, as Homonde d'une manière qui vons les rende propres, ce qui mer has done."_“It seems to result from the whole diss'appelle s'approprier un sujet par le tour qu'on y donne." cussion,” says Mr. Croker, “that, in the ordinary mcaning 2dly, Batteux : « Mais il est bien difficile de donner des of the words, the passage is obscure, and that, to make traits propres et individuels arx ètres parement possibles.” sense, we must either alter the words, or assign to them an 3dly, Dacier : "Il est difficile de traiter convenablement ces unusual interpretation. All commentators are agreed, by caractères que tout le monde peut inventer." Mde. de Sé the help of the context, what the general meaning must be; vigne's opinion and translation, consisting of some thirty but no one seems able 'verbum verbo reddere fidus interpages, I omit, particularly as M. Grouvelle observes, “La pres.'(Boswell, vol. iii. p. 438.) But, in our humble chose est bien remarquable, aucune de ces diverses inter opinion, Boileau's translation is precisely that of this "fidus prétations ne parait être la véritable.” But, by way of interpres."-L.E.

Ere your first score of cantos time unrolls,

And truth and fiction with such art compounds, Beware--for God's sake, don't begin like Bowles!(1) We know not where to fix their several bounds. - Awake a louder and a loftier strain," -And pray, what follows from his boiling brain?-- If you would please the public, deign to hear He sinks to Southey's level in a trice,

| What soothes the many-headed monster's ear; Whose epic mountains never fail in mice!

If your heart triumph when the hands of all Not so of yore awoke your mighty sire

Applaud in thunder at the curtain's fall, The temper'd warblings of his master-lyre;

Deserve those plaudits-study nature's page, Soft as the gentler breathing of the lute, e

And sketch the striking traits of every age; -of man's first disobedience and the fruit”

While varying man and varying years unfold
He speaks, but, as his subject swells along,

Life's little tale, so oft, so vainly told.
Earth, beaven, and Hades echo with the song.(2) Observe his simple childhood's dawning days,
Still to the midst of things he hastens on,

His pranks, his prate, his playmates, and his plays; As if we witness'd all already done;

Till time at length the mannish tyro weans,
Leaves on his path whatever seems too mean

And prurient vice outstrips his tardy teens!
To raise the subject, or adorn the scene;
Gives, as each page improves upon the sight,

Bebold him Freshman! forced no more to groan Not smoke from brightness, but from darkness-light; O'er Virgil's (3) devilish verses and-his own;

Fortunam Priami cantabo, et nobile bellum."
Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor biatu ?
Partarient montes : nascetur ridiculus mus.
Quanto rectius hic, qui nil molitor inepte !
* Die mibi, Musa, virum, captæ post tempora Troja,
Qui mores hominum multorum vidit, et urbes."
Xon fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucern
Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat,
Antipbaten, Scyllamque, et cum Cyclope Charybdin.
Net reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri,
Nee gemino bellum Trojanum orditur ab ovo.
Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res
Noa secus ac notas, auditorem rapit; et quæ

Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit:
Atque ita mentitur, sic veris falsa remiscet,
Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.

Tu quid ego, et populus inecum desideret, audi.
Si plausoris eges aulæa manentis, et usque
Sessari, donec cantor, “ Vos plaudite," dicat;
Ætatis cujusque notandi sunt tibi mores,
Mobilibusque decor naturis dandus et annis.
Reddere qui voces jam scit puer, et pede certo
Signat humum ; gestit paribus colludere, et iram
Colligit ac ponit temere, et mutatur in horas.

Imberbis juvenis, tandem custode remoto,
Gaudet cquis canibusque, et aprici graniine campi;

1 About two years ago a young man, named Townsend, Ogilvy, Wilkie, l'ye, and all the “dull of past and present was announced by Mr. Cumberland* (in a review + since de- days. Even if he is not a Milton, he may be better than ceased) as being engaged in an epic poem to be entitled Blackmore; if not a Homer, an Antimachus. I should deem Armageddon, The plan and specimen promise much; but

myself presumptuous, as a young man, in offering advice, I hope seither to offend Mr. Townsend, nor his friends, by were it not addressed to one still younger. Mr. Townsend recommending to his attention the lines of Horace to which

has the greatest difficulties to encounter: but in congnering I these rhymes allnde. If Mr. Townsend succeeds in his un

them he will find employment; in having conquered them, dertaking, as there is reason to hope, how much will the his reward. I know too well u the scribbler's scoff, the criworld be indebted to Mr. Cumberland for bringing him be. tic's contumely ;” and I am afraid tiine will teach Mr. Town. fore the pabbie! But, till that eventful day arrives, it may send to know them better. Those who succeed, and those be donbted wbether the premature display of his plan (sub who do not, must bear this alike, and it is hard to say which fime as the ideas confessedly are) has not,-by raising ex: have most of it. I trust that Mr. Townsend's share will be pectation too high, or diminishing curiosity, by developing from envy he will soon know mankind well enough not his argument, rather incurred the hazard of injaring Mr. to attribute this expression to malice.-- (This was penned Townsend's future prospeets. Mr. Cumberland (whose ta at Athens. On his return to England Lord B. wrote to a leats I shall not depreciate by the homble tribute of my friend :-“There is a sucking epic poet at Granta, a Mr. praise) and Mr. Townsend must not suppose me actuated Townsend, protege of the late Cumberland. Did you ever by noworthy motives in this suggestion, I wish the author hear of him and his Armageddon ? I think his plan (the man all the success he can wish himself, and shall be truly happy I don't know) borders on the sublime; though, perhaps, the

ple poetry weighed up from the bathos where it lies anticipation of the Last Day' is a little too daring: at santen with Southey, Cottle, Cowley (Mrs. or Abraham), least, it looks like telling the Almighty what he is to do;

and might remind an ill-natured person of the lineOn the original MS. we find,-"This note was written at Afhen "before the author was apprised of Mr. Cumberland's

And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.' arata. Tan old littérateur died in May 1811, and had the honour bebe buried in Westininster Abbey, and to be ealogised, while the

| But I don't mean to cavil-only other folks will; and he Gaupany stood reand the grave, in the following manly style by the may bring all the lambs of Jacob Behmen about his ears. Then Dean, Dr. Vincent, his schoolfellow, and through life his friend: However. I hope he will bring it to a conclusi Good people! the person you see now deposited is Richard Cum.

Milton is in his way.”-All Lord Byron's anticipations, with Serland, an anthor of no small merit: his writings were chiefly for

regard to this poem, were realised to the very letter. To Be stage, but of strict moral tendency: they were not without faults, ut they were not gross, abounding with oaths and libidinous ex

gratify the curiosity which had been excited, Mr. Townsend, presto, as, I am shocked to observe, is the case of many of the in 1815, was induced to publish eight out of the twelve print day. He wrote as much as any one : few wrote better; and books of which it was to consist. "In the benevolence of us works will be held in the highest estimation, as long as the

his heart, Mr. Cumberland," he says, “bestowed praise on English language will be onderstuxod. He considered the theatre a Hol for moral improvement, and his remains are truly worthy of

me, certainly too abundantly and prematurely; but I hope Singling with the illustrious dead which surround us. Read his that any deficiency on my part may be imputed to the true press sabjeets on divinity! there you will find the true Christian cause-my own inability to support a subject, under which purit of the man who trusted in our Lurd and Saviour Jesus Christ.

the greatest mental powers must inevitably sink. My tay God forgive him his sins; and, at the resurrection of the just,

lents were neitber equal to my own ambition, nor his zeal reserve him into everlasting glory!"_L.E. The London Review, set up in 1809, under Mr. Cumberland's

to serve me,"-L. ET ularial care, did not outlive many numbers. He spoke great things

(2) “There is more of poetry in these verses upon Milton w the prospectus, abont the distinguishing feature of the journal; than in any other passage throughout the paraphrase.”

is baring the writer's name aftred to the articles. This plan Moore.-L.E. was t eeded pretty well both in France and Germany, but has

(3) Harvey, the circulator of the circulation of the blood, iled atterly as often as it has been tried in this country. It is netless, however, to co into any speculation on the principle here;

used to fling away Virgil in his ecstasy of admiration, and at the London Review, whether sent into the world with or without

say, “the book bad a devil." Now, such a character as I nor, mest soun have died of the original disease of dulness.-L. E. am copying would probably fling it away also, but rather

people! tbe pro small merit: they were nof Wibidinous en an anthetrict moral tendences with oaths are of many of the

line rich Himprovemenderimod. Chestimation

Prayers are too tedious, lectures too abstruse,
He flies from Tavell's frown to “Fordham's Mews;"
(Unlucky Tavell!(1) doom'd to daily cares
By pugilistic pupils, and hy bears :) (2)
Fines, tutors, tasks, conventions threat in vain,
Before hounds, hunters, and Newmarket plain.
Rough with his elders, with his equals rash,
Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash;
Constant to nought--save bazard and a whore,
Yet cursing both,- for both have made him sore;
Unread (unless, since books beguile disease,
The p—x becomes his passage to degrees);
Foolid, pillaged, dunn'd, he wastes his term away,
And, unexpell’d, perhaps retires M.A.;
Master of arts! as hells and clubs (3) proclaim,
Where scarce a black leg bears a brighter name!

Launch'd into life, extinct his early fire,
He apes the selfish prudence of his sire;
Marries for money, chooses friends for rank,
Buys land, and shrewdly trusts not to the Bank;
Sits in the Senate; gets a son and heir;
Sends him to Harrow, for himself was there.
Mute though he votes, unless when call’d to cheer,
His son's so sharp-he'll see the dog a peer!

Manhood declines-age palsies every limb;
He quits the scene or else the scene quits him;
Scrapes wealth, o'er each departing penny grieves,
And avarice seizes all ambition leaves;
Counts cent. per cent., and smiles, or vainly frets,
O'er hoards diminish'd by young Hopeful's debts;
Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy,
Complete in all life's lessons--but to die;
Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please,
Commending every time, save times like these;
Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot,
Expires anwept—is buried- let him rot!

But from the Drama let me not digress, $
Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less.
Though woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirr'd,
When what is done is ratber seen than heard,
Yet many deeds preserved in history's page
Are better told than acted on the stage;
The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye,
And horror thus subsides to sympathy.
True Briton all beside, I here am French
Bloodshed 'tis surely better to retrench;
The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow
In tragic scene disgusts, though but in show;
We hate the carnage while we see the trick
And find small sympathy in being sick.
Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth
Appals an audience with a monarch's death;
To gaze when sable Habert threats to sear
Young Arthur's eyes, can ours or nature bear?
A halter'd heroine(4) Johnson sought to slay-
We saved Irene, but half damn'd the play,
And (Heaven be praised!) our tolerating times
Stint metamorphoses to pantomimes;
And Lewis' self, with all his sprites, would quake
To change Earl Osmond's negro to a snake!
Because, in scenes exciting joy or grief,
We loathe the action which exceeds belief:
And yet, God knows what may not authors do,
Whose postscripts prate of dyeing "heroines blae ?"(5)

Above all things, Dan Poet, if you can,
Eke out your acts, I pray, with mortal man;
Nor call a ghost, unless some cursed scrape
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I'd fain forbid,
I loathe an opera worse than Dennis did;(6)
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise, in song.

Cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper,
Utilium tardus provisor, prodigus aris,
Sublimis, cupidusque, et amata relinquere pernix.

Conversis studiis, utas animusque virilis
Quærit opes et amicitias inservit honori;
Commisisse cavet quod mox mutare laboret.

Multa senem circumveniunt incommoda ; vel quod
Quærit, et inventis miser abstinet, ac timet uti;
Vel quod res omnes timide gelideque ministrat,
Dilator, spe longus, iners, avidusque futuri;
Difficilis, querulus, lauda tor temporis acti
Se puero, censor castigatorque minorum.
Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum,
Multa recedentes adimunt. Ne forte seniles
Mandentur juveni partes, pueroque viriles,

Semper in adjunctis ævoque morabimur aptis.

Aut agitur res in scenis, aut acta refertur.
Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem
Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quæ
Ipse sibi tradit spectator. Non tamen intus
Digna geri promes in scenam; multaque tolles
Ex oculis, quæ mox narret facundia præsens.
Nec pueros coram populo Medea trucidct; 2
Aut humana palam coquat exta nefarins Atreus;
Aut in avem Progne vertatur, Cadmus in anguem.
Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.

Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu
Fabula, quæ posci vult, et spectata reponi.
Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus

wish that the devil had the book ; not from dislike to the round her neck; but the audience cried out Marder ! and poet, but a well-founded horror of hexameters. Indeed, the I she was obliged to go

she was obliged to go off the stage alive.Boswell's Jaka public school penance of “Long and Short” is enough to son. --These two lines were afterwards struck out, and Iread beget an antipathy to poetry for the residue of a man's life, was carried off, to be put to death behind the scenes and, perhaps, so far may be an advantage.

“This shows," says Mr. Malone, "how ready modern a (1) “Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." I dare diences are to condemn, in a new play, what they bave fre say Mr. Tavel to whom I mean no affront) will understand quently endured very quietly in an old one. Rowe bal me; and it is no matter whether any one else does or no. made Moneses, in Tamerlane, die by the bowstring withou To the above events, “ quæque ipse miserrima vidi, et quo offence." Davies assures us, in his Life of Garrick, tha rum pars magna fui," all times and terms bear testimony. the strangling Irene, contrary to Horace's rule, coram po

(2) The Rev. G. F. Tavell was a fellow and tutor of Tripulo, was suggested by Garrick. See Croker's Bospell, vel nity College, Cambridge, during Lord Byron's residence, and i. p. 172.-L. E. owed this notice to the zeal with which he had protested (5) In the postscript to the Castle Spectre, Mr. Lexi against some juvenile vagaries, sufficiently explained in Mr. tells us, that thougb blacks were unknown in England . Moore's Life.-L. E.

the period of his action, yet he has made the anachronisi (3) " Hell," a gaming-house so called, where you risk to set off the scene: and if he could have produced the e little, and are cheated a good deal. “Club," a pleasant fect "by making bis heroine blue," - I quote him- blue purgatory, where you lose more, and are not supposed to would have made her!” be cbcated at all.

(6) in 1706, Dennis, the critic, wrote an Essay est (4) " Irene had to speak two lines with the bowstring Operas after the Italian manner, rohich are ubout to be est

Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends

Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place, Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends! Oaths, boxing, begging,-all, save rout and race. Napoleon's edicts no embargo lay On whores, spies, singers wisely shipp'd away.

Farce follow'd Comedy, and reach'd her prime Our giant capital, whose squares are spread

In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time: Where rustics earn'd, and now may beg, their bread,

Mad wag! who pardon'd none, nor spared the best, In al iniquity is grown so nice,

And turn'd some very serious things to jest. It scorus amusements which are not of price. | Nor church nor state escaped his public sneers, Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear

· Arms nor the gown, priests, lawyers, volunteers: Aches with orchestras which he pays to hear,

“ Alas, poor Yorick!" now for ever mute! Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,

Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote. His anguish doubling by his own "encore;”

We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes Squeezed in "Fop's Alley," jostled by the beaux,

Ape the swoln dialogue of kings and queens, Teased with his hat, and trembling for his toes;

When“ Chrononhotonthologos must die,” Scarce wrestles through the night, nor tastes of ease

And Arthur struts in mimic majesty. Till the dropp'd curtain gives a glad release: Why this, and more, he suffers---can ye guess?-- Moschus! with whom once more I hope to sit Because it costs him dear, and makes him dress! And smile at folly, if we can't at wit;

Yes, friend! for thee I'll quit my cynic cell, So prosper eunuchs from Etruscan schools;

And bear Swift's motto, “Vive la bagatelle!" Give us bat fiddlers, and they're sure of fools! Which charm'd our days in each Ægean clime, Ere scenes were play'd by many a reverend clerk (1) As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme. (5) (What harm, if David danced before the ark ?)(2)

Then may Euphrosyne, who sped the past, la Christmas revels, simple country folks jokes.

Soothe thy life's scenes, nor leave thee in the last; Were pleased with morrice-mummery and coarse But find in thine, like pagan Plato's bed, (6) Improving years, with things no longer known, Some merry manuscript of mimes, when dead. Produced blithe Punch and merry Madame Joan, Who still frisk on with feats so lewdly low,

Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes, Tis strange Benvolio (3) suffers such a show;(4) Where fetter'd by whig Walpole low she lies;(7)

blished on the English Stage: in which he endeavours to tinguished himself by some attack on the Sunday newspa. show, that it is a dirersion of more pernicious consequence pers, or the like, at the same time that he was known to thaa the most licentious play that ever appeared upon the keep a stud at Newmarket but why a long note on a

subject certainly insignificant and perhaps inistaken ?-L, E. (1) "The first theatrical representations, entitled · Mys (6) In dedicating the fourth canto of Childe Harold to tering and Moralities,' were generally enacted at Christmas, his fellow-traveller, Lord Byron describes him as “one to by monks (as the only persons who could read), and latterly whom he was indebted for the social advantages of enby the dergy and students of the universities. The drama. lightened friendship; one whom he had long known, and tus persone were usually Adam, Pater Cælestis, Faith, accompanied far, whom he had found wakeful over his Sice, etc. etc.-See W arton's History of English Poetry. sickness and kind in his sorrow, glad in his prosperity and (These, to modern eyes, wild, uncouth, and generally pro firm in his adversity, true in counsel and trusty in peril:” fase performances, were thought to contribute so much to -while Mr. Hobhouse, in describing a short tour to Negrothe information and instruction of the people, that one of pont, in which his noble friend was unable to accompany the popes granted a pardon of one thousand days to every him, regrets the absence of a companion, “ who to quickperson who resorted peaceably to the plays acted in the ness of observation and ingenuity of remark, united that gay Whitsan-week at Chester, beginning with the Creation, and good humour which keeps alive the attention under the ending with the General Judgment. These were performed pressure of fatigue, and softens the aspect of every difficulty a the expense of the different trading companies of that and danger.”—L, E. city, The Creation was performed by the drapers; the (6) Under Plato's pillow a volume of the Mimes of Soveinge by the dyers; Abraham, Melchisedec, and Lot by the phron was found the day he died.-Vide Barthélémi, De barbars, the Purification by the blacksmiths; the Last Pauw, or Diogenes Laërtius, if agreeable. De Pauw calls it apper by the bakers; the Resurrection by the skinners; and a jest-book. Cumberland, in his Observer, terms it moral,

e Ascension by the tailors. In Mr. Payne Collier's recent like the sayings of Publius Syrus. work on English Dramatic Poetry, the reader will find an (7) The following is a brief sketch of the origin of the abstract of the several collections of these mystery.plays, Playhouse Bill :-In 1735, Sir John Barnard brought in a waich is not only interesting for the light it throws on the bill “to restrain the number of houses for playing of interearly days of our drama, but instructive and valuable for ludes, and for the better regulating of common players." I cunous information it preserves with respect to the The minister, Sir Robert Walpole, conceiving this to be a Prangely debased potions of Scripture history that prevailed, favourable opportunity of checking the abuse of theatrical alabost baiversally, before translations of the Bible were representation, proposed to insert a clause to ratify and in common use. See also the Quarterly Review, vol. xlvi. confirm, if not enlarge, the power of the Lord Chamberlain p. 171.-L, E.)

in licensing plays; and at the same time insinuated, that (2) Here follows in the original MS.

unless this addition was made the King would not pass it. . Who did what Vestris-yet, at least, cannot,

But Sir John Barnard strongly objected to this clause; conAnd cut bis kingly capers sans culotte."--L. E.

tending that the power of that officer was already too great,

and had been often wantonly exercised. He therefore with 3) Beavolio does not bet; but every man who maintains TACE-borses is a promoter of all the concomitant evils of the

drew his bill, rather than establish by law & power in a turf. Avoiding to bet is a little pbarisaical.

single officer so much under the direction of the crown. In

Is it an ex: calpation? I think not. I never yet heard a bawd praised

the course, however, of the session of 1737, an opportunity

offered, which Sir Robert did not fail to seize. The manager ex chastity because she herself did not commit fornication, For Benvolio we have, in the original MS,, “Earl

of Goodman's Fields Theatre having brought to him a farce GreyCaor; and for the next couplet :

called The Golden Rump, which had been proffered for ex.

hibition, the minister paid the profits which might have "Sappressing peer! 10 whom each vice gives place,

accrued from the performance, and detained the copy. He Save gambling for his Lordship loves a race."

then made extracts of the most exceptionable passages, Le cannot trace the exact propriety of the allusions. | abounding in profaneness, sedition, and

abounding in profaneness, sedition, and blasphemy, read Lord Grosvenor, now Marquis of Westminster, no doubt dis them to the House, and obtained leave to bring in a bill to

Corruption foil'd her, for she fear'd her glance; But why to brain-scorchid bigots thus appeal?
Decorum left her for an opera dance!

Can heavenly mercy dwell with earthly zeal?
Yet Chesterfield, 1) whose polish'd pen inveighs' | For times of fire and faggot let them hope!
'Gainst laughter, fought for freedom to our plays; Times dear alike to puritan or pope.
Uncheck'd by megrims of patrician brains,

As pious Calvin saw Servetus blaze,
And damning dulness of lord chamberlains. - So would new sects on newer victims gaze.
Repeal that act!(2) again let Huinour roam

E'en now the songs of Solyma begin;
Wild o'er the stage--we've time for tears at home; | Faith cants, perplex'd apologist of sin!
Let “Archer” plant the horns on “Sullen's” brows, While the Lord's servant chastens whom he loves,
And “Estifania" gall her “Copper (3)" spouse; And Simeon (8) kicks, where Baxter only "shoves."(9)
The moral 's scant-but that may be excused,
Men go not to be lectured, but amused.

Whom nature guides, so writes, that every dunce, He whom our plays dispose to good or ill

Enraptured, thinks to do the same at once; Must wear a head in want of Willis' skill;(4) But after inky thumbs and bitten nails, “Ay, but Macheath's example" — Psha!--no more! And twenty scatter'd quires, the coxcomb fails. It'form'd no thieves—the thief was form'd before;(6) And, spite of puritans and Collier's curse, (6)

Let Pastoral be dumb; for who can hope Plays make mankind no better, and no worse.

To match the youthful eclogues of our Pope? Then spare our stage, ye methodistic men!" Yet his and Phillips' faults, of different kind, Nor barn damn'd Drury if it rise again. (7)

For art too rude, for nature too refined,

limit the anmber of playhouses; to subject all dramatic cords a remarkable instance. The doctor had, it seems, an writings to the inspection of the Lord Chamberlain; and to "eye like Mars, to threaten and command." Threaten, in compel the proprietors to take out a license for every pro every sense of the word; for his numerous patients stood as daction before it could appear on the stage.-L.E.

much in awe of this formidable weapon as of bars, chains, (1) His speech on the Licensing Act is one of his most or strait-waistcoats. After a few weeks' attendance on the eloquent efforts.- Though the Playhouse Bill is generally King, he allowed his Majesty a razor to shave himself, and said to have been warmly opposed in both Houses, this a penknife to cut his nails. For this he was one evening speech of the Earl of Chesterfield is the only trace of that charged by the other physicians, before a committee of the opposition to be found in the periodical publications of the House of Commons, with rashness and imprudence. Mr times. The following passage, which relates to the powers Burke was very severe on this point, and authoritatively of the Lord Chamberlain, will show the style of the oration : demanded to know, "If the royal patient had become oat- The bill is not only an encroachment upon liberty, but it rageous at the moment, what power the doctor possessed is likewise an encroachment on property. Wit, my Lords, of instantaneously terrifying him into obedience 7» * Place is a sort of property: it is the property of those who bave the candles between us, Mr. Burke," replied the doctor, in it, and too often the only property they have to depend on. an equally authoritative tone, "and I'll give you an ar Thank God! my Lords, we have a dependence of another swer. There, Sir! by the eye. I should have looked at hina kind; we have a much less precarious support, and there thus, Sir--thus !Mr. Burke instantaneously averted his fore cannot feel the inconveniencies of the bill now before head; and, making no reply, evidently acknowledged this us: but it is our duty to encourage and protect wit, whose- basilisk authority. This story was often related by the soever's property it may be. Those gentlemen who have doctor himself.-L. E. any such property are all, I hope, our friends : do not let (5) Dr. Johnson was of the like opinion. Of the Beggar's us subject them to any unnecessary or arbitrary restraint. Opera he says, in his Life of Gay: “The play, like many I must own, I cannot easily agree to the laying of any tax others, was plainly written only to divert, without any mo. upon wit; but by this bill it is to be heavily taxed, it is to ral purpose, and is, therefore, not likely to do good; bor be excised: for, if this bill passes, it cannot be retailed in a can it be conceived, without more speculation than life re. proper way without a permit; and the Lord Chamberlain is quires or admits, to be productive of much evil. Highway, to have the honour of being chief guager, supervisor, commis. men and housebreakers seldom frequent the playhouse, or sioner, judge, and jury. But, what is still more hard, mingle in any elegant diversion ; nor is it possible for any though the poor author,-the proprietor, I should say, one to imagine that he may rob with safety, because be cannot, perbaps, dine till he has found out and agreed with sees Machenth reprieved upon the stage.” On another aca purchaser, yet, before he can propose to seek for a pur. casion, the common question with regard to this opera chaser, he must patiently submit to have his goods rum. having been introduced, he said :-"As to this matter, which maged at this new excise-office; wbere they may be de- has been very much contested, I myself am of opinion, that tained for fourteen days, and even then he may find them more influence has been ascribed to it than in reality it ever returned as prohibited goods, by which his chief and best bad; for I do not believe that any man was ever made a market will be for ever shut against him, without the least rogue by being present at that representation. See Cro. shadow of reason, either from the laws of his country or the ker's Boswell, vol. iii. p. 242.-L. E. laws of the stage. These hardships, this hazard, which (6) Jerry Collier's controversy with Congreve, etc. on the every gentleman will be exposed to who writes any thing subject of the drama is too well known to require further for the stage, must certainly prevent every man of a gene comment, rous and free spirit from attempting any thing in that way; (0) "If it rise again." --When Lord Byron penned this and as the stage has always been the proper channel for couplet at Athens, he little imagined that he should so soon wit and humour, therefore, my Lords, when I speak against be called on to write an address to be spoken on the openthis bill, I must think I plead the cause of wit, I plead the ing of New Drury, and become one of the committee for cause of humour, I plead the cause of the British stage, and managing its concerns. L. E. of every gentleman of taste in the kingdom. The stage and (8) Mr. Simeon is the very bally of beliefs, and castigator the press, my Lords, are two of our out-sentries: it we of good works.” He is ably supported by John Stickles, remove them, if we hoodwink them, if we throw them in a labourer in the same vineyard :-but I say no more, for, fetters, the enemy may surprise us. Therefore, I must according to Johnny in full congregation, “No hores far look upon the bill now before us as a step for introducing them as laughs." [The Rev. Charles Simeon, fellow of King's arbitrary power into this kingdom.”—LE.)

College, Cambridge,-a zealous Calvinist, who, in conse (2) "Repeal that act!- After a lapse of nearly a cen. quence of his zeal, has been engaged in sundry warın dis. tury, the state of the laws affecting dramatic literature, putations with other divines of the university. Besides and the performance of the drama, bas again become the many single sermons, he has published Helps to Composi. subject of parliamentary inquiry and report.-L.E.

tion, or 500 Skeleton Sermons, in five volumes; and Hore (3) Micbael Perez, the “Copper Captain," in Rule a IV Homiletice, or Discourses in the form of skeletons) upon the and have a life.

whole Scripture, in eleven volumes.-L. E.] (4) of this "skill," Reynolde, in his Life and Times, re. (9) Baxter's Shore to heavy-a-d Christians--the reri

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