« FöregåendeFortsätt »
• Since the first light on Henry's head arose ;' other authors would have said, “Since Henry first faw the < light;'or,
• Since the first light on Henry's eyes arose.' But our author very properly mentions the head, as this old light was a type of that new light which was afterwards to enter his head-through a crack in his scull.
When Henry the hero of our author had thus attained his ninth year, a venerable old gentleman called Acasto desired him to take a walk in a fine summer's morning, which is thus described :
* Soon as the larks their early song begun, (Anglice began]
And thousand cobwebs floated in the sun. While they were thus quaffing fresh breezes of the purest air,' Acasto began to moralise, or rather to preach, in a very fingular manner, A person whose devotion was founded on reafon, and enlightened by philosophy, would have led his pupil from the beauties of nature before his eyes, to the wisdom, goodness, and power of the Deity, the original source of the order and happiness which prevails in the world. Instead of this Acafto puts the query to Henry, that, if he was to die that morning, what sort of figure he would make at the day of judgment? and advises him to beware of fancy, for
By fancy led adventurous Adam fell.' We have always understood, both from Moses, and from Milton (who is the better poet of the two), that Adam fell from a fond and foolish complaisance to his wife and the devil; but we are happy to be corrected in our opinion. After this, in the common methodistical cant, Acasto makes overtures to Henry for his conversion, which, after fome murmurs and remonstrances from reason and self, were humbly received, and Henry was conyerted, like a good boy, in the ninth year of his age.
Being thus fairly regenerated, he very naturally began to inquire about his generation. He observed to Acasto that the
lambkins had ewes for their mothers; that the thrushes and blackbirds fed their half-fledged young; and that his school( fellows too had both fathers and mothers, while he was entirely ? ignorant of his origin;' probably believing that he had sprung from a cabbage-stock. Acaíto then told him that he was bis grandson by a daughter; and that both his father and mother were dead and rotten long ago. It is a little fingular that he had never told him this before; but grandfathers have their fancies ! The death of his father and mother, according to Acasto, was
followed by a general mourning, not in the court, nor among their friends and relations, but through all nature :
• A solemn gloom bespread the fertile vale;'
• Night o'er the land her sable curtain drew,
A teary drop on every blossom hung.'
• The pallid liftning moon, with quivering light,
Behind some friendly cloud retires to weep.'
queen, In concert join, and twinkle o'er the green.' Sir Richard Hill tells us in his preface that the publication of this poem was without the knowledge and against the consent of his brother, the author. These meretricious airs of modesty are as well known, and have become as ridiculous among authors, as the common complaints about seduction and rapes among a certain class of females, where, in nipe cases out of ten, the seduction and the rape originate with the complainer.
ART. XII. Love in the East; or, Adventures of Twelve Hours:
a Comic Opera, in Three Ats. Written by the Author of the Strangers at Home. As performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury. Lane. 8vo. Is. 6d. Lowndes. London, 1788.
over genuine comedy; but it is a natural effect of the indolence of luxury. As the Romans degenerated, their theatrical representations gradually dwindled into pantomime; the enervated mind was fatigued with the smallest exertion, and could be pleased only through the medium of the eye. From the fame cause we facrifice sense to sound, and listlessly dose over musical notes. As the callow bird can only open its beek to receive food, its sole enjoyment, so the only inlet to pleasure which remains to us is the ear, To relish lense, wit, or humour,
requires intellectual exertion, and the energies of mind are now, too laborious to give delight.
This depraved taste naturally induces writers for the stage to decline the more difficult task of sterling comedy. They content themselves with tacking together a few scenes as a vehicle for the more important part of the production, the music; and should only two or three of the songs happen to take, the piece has a run, and the author is amply rewarded.
The scene of the opera now before us lies in Calcutta. Warnford
pays his addresses to Ormellina the supposed ward, but real daughter, of Colonel Bentley, who whimsically conceals the re·lation he bears to her, left he should spoil her by overfondness.
Yet this expedient answers fo ill, that his paternal tenderness is mistaken for amorous attachment, and it is suspected, from various circumstances, that he means to marry his supposed ward. The whole ambiguity is, however, at last cleared up, and the Lovers are made happy. There is another plot carrying on af the same time. Eliza, under the disguise of Mr. M Proteus, a Scotchman, comes to Calcutta in search of her lover, Mr. Stanmore. This couple too, after the usual maneuvres, are landed in the haven of matrimony. The intrigues of Mrs. Mushroom, her quarrels with her husband, the gallantries of old Colonel Baton, a Frenchman, who thinks every woman in love with him, and is himself an universal lover, with the droll embarrassments of Twift a tailor, fill up the rest of the canvas.
As a specimen both of the dialogue and poetry, we lay the following scene before the public: • SCENE, The Garden--Room belonging to Colonel Bentley's House.'
Enter Colonel Bentley and Stanmore. • Bent. It does not signify talking, Stanmore; I will not discover to Ormellina that she is my daughter. I love the flut so weil, that I must not let her know it.
• Stan. And fo, Sir, you will still continue the impostion of letting her suppose the is an orphan, supported and educated by your bounty.
• Bent. Certainly. It is that happy ignorance of her birth which has faved her from the ill effects of my fondness; for I am sure if I had once owned her for my daughter, I should certainly have spoiled her. You know, Stanmore, I am one of those fools who are vulgarly called good-natured people, and who find themselves involved in thousand difficulties, merely because they can't say no to any thing.
• Stan. Yes, I know that is your infirmity.
• Bent. Whenever a man wanted to borrow a few guineas, which he never meant to repay, Jack Bentley was the man applied to; and I had the exclusive privilege of being pigeon'd by my friends, merely because I was the best creature in the world. However, I soon found it was a damn'd misfortune to be so agreeable ; fo I e’en parted with
may character to save my money, and affronted my acquaintance to prevent my being obliged to quit society.
• Stan. Ay, there it is, now. -What a pity that good-nature, like the dress of an officer in battle, should be only a dangerous mark of distinction for the enemy to aim at.
Bent. How often have 1 envied poor Sam Sulky! He was a happy fellow-bleft with the worst temper I ever knew, and had the finest forbidding frown-never lent a man a filling in his life--nobody praised him, and he praised nobody--fo 'he grew rich because people did not like his company well enough to ruin him.
* Stan. Ah, Colonel! you would not liave changed places with him for al that-your natural difpofition
• Bent. For heaven's fake, Stanmore, don't betray me by calling me a good-natur'd man.-Do act the part of a friend--and abuse me bebind my back.
✓ Stan. Here comes Mr. Warnford.
* Bent. For his answer, I suppose. He ask'd my consent yesterday to marry Ormellina.
< Stan. Well, Sir; and
• Bent. And I mean to try the force of his attachment by leaving him a little while in suspenceBut he is here.
« Enter Warnford. • Warn. My dear colonel, I rejoice to see you.-Mr. Stanmore, yours.--I read your consent to my marrying Ormellina in your countenance.
• Bent. He who believes all he reads, young man, must be often wofully mistaken,
• Warn. I cannot be mistaken here, Sir-I depend on my author -Nature has traced benevolence and good-humour in every feature; and her characters have not been defaced by malice or hypocrisy. '
• Bent. Sir, you do me a great deal of honour to fancy my face a gazette extraordinary of good news to you. But I say again that you are mistaken; I am not benevolent-I am ill-temper’d, Sir, and mosose; and as for all the silly cant of lovers, I consider it as the halfform'd dialogue of children, an abuse of language, which they correct as they grow
older. • Warn. It is the language of my heart, Sir; and while that heart beats such must be its effusions.
• Bent. And so I am to infer from all this that if I refuse my confent you will run away
with the girl. · Warn. Why look ye, colonel—I will not answer for myself—if Ormellina will agree
to it. • Bent. [afide] A fine fellow, i'faith!--[to him] This is beyond bearing, Warnford.
? Warn. Nay, I predi&t that you will forgive me. You have a friend who will infallibly make my peace with you— a constant friend, to whom you now owe some of your happiest moments.
• Bent. Eh!-what friend do you mean?
• Warn. The remembrance of what you were at my age-I'll be hang's if you would not have done the same thing.
• Bent. No, no-indeed no, Warnford-though, to be sure, at your age, I did not want for fire. • Warnf. You were in love, Sir?
Bent. In love !-Who could have seen my dear Sophia, without loving her? Oh, Warnford ! such a pair of eyes ! such a winning smile! -But I am a vile hand at description- I shall never for get when she got into the chaise to elope with me.
• Warnf. You eloped with her then, Sir ?
Warnf. Her guardian had refused his consent ?
Warnf. Bravo, Colonel Bentley ;-and so, glowing with youth, love, and high spirits, you asserted the privilege of a lover, and snatch'd a fine girl from the tyranny of caprice, as I would do
• Bent. Eh!-Snatch a fine girl ! Caprice! Why, what the devil, I must explain myself, Warnford.
Warnf. The voice of Nature needs no explanation, Sir.
And with frowns strikes him mute,
Well, what's to be done?
The lady's in tears,
Till love interferes,
And cries, off you must run :
The laws of a monarch, whose throne is the heart.
The picture is yours, Sir, the likeness is juft,
Like you, I the dictates of Nature pursue :
[Exit. « Bent. Zounds! Stanmore, why didn't you stop me, when you saw me exposing myself so ? The dog took me unawares, and unfortun surprised me into a fit of good humour. He is a fine highmettled fellow, faith.