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condition, no sensible or decent family can be repaid for the con tinual annoyances they endure from the time they enter the place to the hour of their release. The
threshhold of the door is beset with a crowd that needs no description ; for as the Pro. prietors in their want of better management profess that they cannot afford a half-price, the company becomes indiscriminate the moment the doors open ; and after wading through this croud, and literally exchanging a scraping with every single person in the narrow passages, it is fortunate for you if you do not find your neighbouring bench occupied with persons who for a whole evening will pollute or terrify the ears of your family with conversation fit only for a brothel. Add to this, the heat of the sum mer weather, the noise of the lobbies, the continual laughter'and interruptions of idlers walking into the boxes, the wretchedness of all the inferior actors, and the general mediocrity or nonsense of the pieces represented, and it will argue no very fastidious taste either in morals or arts, if you and all your acquaintances resolve never to visit the place again. Such is the effect of bad management, and of bad management only. Under Mr. Colman, as he ought to be, the Haymarket theatre might revive the hopes, and occupy some of the pleasantest evenings, of the truest lovers of the drama :--under Mr. Colman, as he is, it is neither a comfortable nor a creditable place of amusement in any one respect.
Art. XIX.-Short Miscellaneous Pieces,
THE TRUE ENJOYMENT OF SPLENDOURA CHINESE
DOUBTLESS, saith the illustrious Me, he that gaineth much pos. session hath need of the wrists of Hong and the seriousness of Shian-Fee, since palaces are not built with a teaspoon, nor are to be kept hy one who runneth after butterflies. But above all it is necessary that he who carrieth a great burden whether of gold or silver, should hold his head as lowly as is necessary, lest in lifting it on high he bring his treasure to nought, and lose with the spec. tators the glory of true gravity, which is meekness.
Quo, who was the son of Quee, who was the son of Qucê. Fong, who was the five-hundred and fiftieth in lineal descent from the ever-to-be-remembered Fing, chief minister of the Emperor Yau, one day walked out into the streets of Pekin in all the lus. 0 %
tre of his rank. Quo, besides the greatness of his birth and the multitude of his accomplishments, was a courtier of the first ore der, and his pigtail was proportionate to his merits, for it hung down to the ground and kissed the dust as it went with it's bunch of artificial roses. Ten huge and sparkling rings, which encrust. ed his hands with diamonds, and almost rivalled the sun that struck on them, led the ravished eyes of the beholders to the more precious enormity of his nails, which were each an inch long, and by proper nibbing might have taught the barbarians of the West to look with just scoru on their many-writing machines. But even these were nothing to the precious stones that covered him from head to foot. His bonnet, in which a peacock's feather was stuck in & most engaging manner, was surmounted by a sapphire of at least the size of a pigeon's egg ; his shoulders and sides sustained a real burden. of treasure; and as he was one of the handsomest men at court, being exceedingly corpulent, and indeed, as his flatterers gave out, hardly able to walk, it may be imagined that he proceeded at no undignified pace. lle would have ridden in his sedan, had he been lighter of body, but so much unaffected cor. pulence was not to be concealed, and he went on foot that nobody might suspect him of pretending to a dignity he did not possess. Behind him, three servants attended, clad in the most gorgeous silks; the middle one held his umbrella over his head; he on the right bore a fan of ivory, whereon were carved the exploits of Whay-Quang; and he on the left sustained a purple bag on each arm, one containing opium and Areca-nut, the other the ravishing preparation of Gin-Seng, which possesses the Five Relishes. All the servants looked the same way as their master, that is to say, straight forward, with their eyes majestically half. shut, only they cried every now and then with a loud voice,
Vanish from before the illustrious Quo, favourite of the mighty Brother of the Sun and Moon,”
Though the favourite looked neither to the right 'nor to the left, he could not but perceive the great homage that was paid him as well by the faces as the voices of the multitude. But one person, a Bonze, seemed transported beyond all the rest with an enthusiasm of admiration, and followed at a respectful distance from his side, bowing to the earth at every ten paces and exclaim, ing, “ Thanks to my lord for his jewels !” After repeating this for about six times, he encreased the expressions of his gratitude, and said, “Thanks to my illustrious lord from his poor servant for his glorious jewels,"--and then again, “ Thanks to my illus. trious lord, whose eye knoweth not degradation, from his poor servant, who is not fit to exist before him, for his jewels that make the rays of the sun look like ink.” In short, the man's gratitude Tas so great, and it's language delivered in phrases so choice,
that Quo could contain his curiosity no longer, and turning aside, demanded to know his meaning: “I have not given you the jewels," said the favourite, “and why should you thank me for them?"
“Refulgent Quo!” answered the Bonze, again bowing to the earth,“ what you say is as true as the five maxims of Fo, who was born without a father :--but your slave repeats his thanks, and is indeed infinitely obliged. You must know, O dazzling son of Quee, that of all my sect I have perhaps the greatest taste for enjoying myself. Seeing my lord therefore go by, I could not but be transported at having so great a pleasure, and said to myself, 6. The great Quo is very kind to me and my fellow-citizens : he has taken infinite labour to acquire his magnificence, he takes still greater pains to preserve it, and all the while, I, who am lying un. der a shed, enjoy it for nothing.'”
A hundred years after, when the Emperor Whang heard this story, he diminished the expenditure of his household one half, and ordered the dead Bonze to be raised to the rank of a Colao,
ON THE WORD IIUMOUR.
Humour, in its sense of something ludicrous, is supposed to be a word to which there is nothing correspondent in any other lan.. guage. In the signification, however, which has unquestionably. led to this meaning, the English language is by no means peculiar; for the Italian umore, and the French kumeur, equally with humour, denote a certain natural disposition or temper of mind by which individual character is marked. When such a temper or disposition displays itself in a manner which excites ludicrous emotions, the representation constitutes an humorous delineation, according to what I suppose the most appropriate use of the term. Dr. Johnson, however, I must observe, gives no limita. ţion of it to the ridiculous in character, but makes it, in its comic sense, synonimous to “grotesque imagery, jocularity, and merriment.”
But that this is too lax an interpretation, is, I think, evident; since were humour identified with these words, there would be nothing national or peculiar in its meaning, but it might be rendered by equivalent terms in almost every language. A man may be very jocular, and excite merriment, by grimaces and distortions, by mimicking bodily defects or oddities of speech and gesture; but if this be humour, it is at least of a very trivial
kind. True humour, on the other hand, consisting in strokes by which the ridiculous in manners and character is displayed, is. often a refined and delicate address to the perception of the ludicrous, exciting the smile of the mind, rather than the grin of the countenance. Thus, when the Archbishop of Granada, after having urged Gil Blas to give him immediate warning should any of his pulpit compositions indicate a decay of faculties, preaches a sermon “ qui sentoit l'apoplexie ;” and his monitor, with the uta most caution hinting the falling off, is immediately dismissed as ope utterly destitute of critical taste though no reader laughs, all who possess discernment are much amused with the pleasantry of this trait of character. All good comedy consists almost ena tirely of this kind of humour; for comic incidents are a much ina ferior species of the ludicrous, except as they are contrived to bring out the otherHumour may be either broad or delicate, but still equally humour, if it proceed from the genuine source; for whether we laugh at George Dandin and Mons. Jourdain, or, smile at the Misantrope and Tartuffe, or do both alternately at the Malade Imaginaire, the entertainment still proceeds from delineations appropriate to the persons of the drama; like those in the pictures of Hogarth, who was as great a master of humour with his pencil, as any writer of comedy, or novellist, with his pen. It is commonly asserted that Congreve, with a profusion of wit, has no humour; but this is by no means the case. It is true, his men of the town, and his coxcombs, are framed in one mould, and all his personages occasionally make repartees; but there is much individual character among them, and his scenes of Sir Sampson, Foresight, Ben and Miss Prue, Lady Wishfort and Millamont, are full of genuine and exquisite humour. Humour was abundant in English comedy till its place was usurped by sen, timent. I fear it would not be too severe a censure to assert, that that the want of humour is now supplied by quibble, cant, and extravagance
A CURIOUS example of the manner in which ingenious men de lude themselves and run into inconsistencies in their reasonings by following pre-conceived systems, appears in a letter from Rous. seau to Voltaire. The latter had written a poem on the dreadful catastrophe of Lisbon, in which, painting in strong colours the horrors of the disaster, and the miseries of mankind in general,
he he deduces from them an argument (or rather a declamation) against the principle of optimism, or all for the best, maintained in the philosophy of Leibnitz and the poetry of Pope. Rousseau remonstrates with Voltaire on account of this attack on Provis dence, and easily shews that his conclusions are founded on a very partial view of the state of things in this world,--that his as. sumption of the omnipotence of Deity at the expence of his good. ness, is unphilosophical ; and that when he asks why the earth quake did not take place in a desert rather than in a populous city, he overlooks the great laws by which physical effects are governed in the creation, and which cannot be expected to give way to temporary and local considerations.
But Rousseau himself, in his eloquent declamations against cie rilized society, had dwelt in equally strong language upon the evils undergone by men in the actual state in which the greater part of the species exist, and had inculcated the idea that happi. ness could be found only in a certain savage condition, the draught of his own lively imagination. He is obliged, therefore, to justify himself from apparent inconsistency by saying, that the wretchedness which he painted was the consequence of man's own fault, and that he had at the same time taught him how it might be avoided.
But it is evident that the propensities which induce men to assem. ble in large bodies, to build towns, to form socialin stitutions, to cultivate arts and sciences, and improve to the utmost the intellec. tual faculties bestowed upon them, are equally natural, and part of the established order of things, with any physical phenomena ; and that the evils thence arising present difficulties as great to one who undertakes to "justify the ways of God to man” as earth. quakes, tempests, volcanoes, and the like, which are the (proba. bly) unavoidable consequences of those operations in Nature that maintain the universe in its regular course. The results of men's passions and other motives of action must have been as much the objects of God's foreknowledge, as those contentions of the ele. ments that occasionally produce devastation in the earth which man inhabits; and that such mischiefs proceed from the mistakes of his reason or perversions of his will, makes no difference with respect to that Being, who created him with erring reason and cor, ruptible will.
The true theory of optimism requires the arguer to take every thing that exists within the reach of human apprehension just as it is, with all its mixture of apparent good and evil, and to strike such a balance as may satisfy the mind that good was the grand purpose, and has been the effect, of the exertion of creative power, No evasions must be admitted by imputing faults to subordinate agents, who are only what their Creator foresaw that they would