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will-whether in town or country-in cart -all bitterness to thee, whatever life is
put his beds of justice and those uttered
an end to the ceremony. there's an end of the dialogue
Out upon it ! But with an ass, I can commune for cried I - but the interjection was ever.
equivocal — and, I think, wrong placed Come, Honesty! said 1-seeing it was 000—for the end of an osier, which had impracticable to pass betwixt him and the started out from the contexture of the ass's gate-art thou for coming in, or going pannier, had caught hold of my breeches out?
pocket as he rushed by me, and rent it in The ass twisted his head round to look the most disastrous direction you can imaup the street
gine--so that the Out upon it! in my opi. Well-replied I we'll wait a minute hion, Thould have come in here.
Sterne. for thy driver.
He turned his head thoughtful $ 72. Players in a Country Town deabout, and looked wistfully the opposite
The players, you must know, finding I understand thee perfectly, answered I this a good town, had taken a lease the if thou takelt a wrong step in this affair, last summer of an old synagogue deserted he will cudgel thee to death--Well ! by the Jews; but the mayor, being a prera minute is but a minute, and if it faves a byterian, refused to license their exhibi. fellow-creature a drubbing, it shall not be tions: however, when they were in the utset down as ill-spent.
most despair, the ladies of the place joined He was eating the stem of an artichoke in a petition to Mrs. Mayoress, who preas this discourse went on, and in the little vailed on her husband to wink at their peevith contentions of nature betwixt hun- performances. The company immediately ger and unfavouriness, had drop it out of opened their synagogue theatre with the his mouth half a dozen times, and pick'd Merchant of Venice; and finding a quack it up again.God help thee, Jack! faid doctor's zany, a droll fellow, they decoyed I, thou hast a bitter breakfast on’tmand him into their service, and he has since many a bitter day's labourand many a performed the part of the Mock Doctor bitter blow, I fear, for its wages-'tis all with universal applause. Upon his revolt
the doctor himself found it absolutely ne- eager lover talk of rushing into his miscessary to enter of the company; and, hav tress's arms; rioting on the nectar of her ing a talent for tragedy, has performed lips, and desiring (in the tragedy rapwith great success the Apothecary in Ro- ture) to “ hug her thus, and thus, for meo and Juliet.
ever;" though he always took care to The performers at our rustic theatre are stand at a molt ceremonious distance. But far beyond those paltry strollers, who run I was afterwards very much diverted at about the country, and exhibit in a barn the cause of this extraordinary respect, or a cow-house: for (as their bills declare) when I was told that the lady' laboured they are a company of Comedians from under the misfortune of an ulcer in her the Theatre Royal; and I assure you they leg, which occasioned such a disagreeable are as much applauded by our country stench, that the performers were obliged critics, as any of your capital actors. The to keep her at arms length. The enterfhops of our tradesmen have been almost tainment was Lethe; and the part of the deserted, and a croud of weavers and hard- Frenchman was performed by a South waremen have elbowed each other two Briton; who, as he could not pronounce à hours before the opening of the doors, word of the French language, supplied its when the bills have informed us, in enor- place by gabbling in his rative Welsh. mous red letters, that the part of George The decorations, or in the theatrical Barnwell was to be performed by Mr. dialect) the property of our company, are
at the particular defire of several as extraordinary as the performers. 0. ladies of distinction. 'Tis true, indeed, thello raves about a checked handker. that our principal actors have most of them chief; the ghost in Hamlet stalks in a poshad their education at Covent-garden or tilion's leathern-jacket for a coat of mail; Drury-lane; but they have been employed and Cupid enters with a fiddle-cafe flung in the business of the drama in a degree over his shoulders for a quiver. The apobut just above a scene-thifter. An heroine, thecary of the town is free of the house, to whom your managers in town (in envy for lending them a pestle and mortar to to her rising merit) scarce allotted the serve as the bell in Venice Preserved : and humble part of a confidante, now blubbers a barber-surgeon has the same privilege, out Andromache or Belvidera; the atten. for furnishing them with basons of blood dants on a monarch frut monarchs them- to besmear the daggers in Macbetń. Macfelves, mutes find their voices, and mef- beth himself carries a rolling-pin in his fage-bearers rise into heroes. The humour hand for a truncheon; and, as the breakof our best comedian consists in shrugs and ing of glasses would be very expensive, he grimaces; he jokes in a wry mouth, and dalhes down a pewter pint-pot at the fight repartees in a grin; in sort, he practises of Banquo's ghost
. on Congreve and Vanbrugh all those dif A fray happened here the other night, tortions which gained him fơ much ap- which was no small diversion to the audiplause from the galleries, in the drubs It seems there had been a great which he was obliged to undergo in pan. contest between two of those mimic heroes, tomimes. I was vastly diverted at seeing which was the fittest to play Richard the a fellow in the character of Sir Harry Third. One of them was reckoned to have Wildair, whose chief action was a conti- the better person, as he was very roundnual presling together of the thumb and shouldered, and one of his legs was shorter fore-finger, which, had he lifted them to than the other ; but his antagonist carried his nose, I should have thought he design the part, because he started belt in the tens ed as an imitation of taking fruff: but I scene. However, when the curtain drew could easily account for the cause of this up, they both rushed in upon the stage at single gesture, when I discovered that Sir once; and, bawling out together, “ Now Harry was no less a person than the dex. our brows bound with victorious terous Mr. Clippit, the candle-snuffer. wreaths,” they both went through the
You would laugh to see how ftrangely whole speech without stopping. the parts of a play are cast. They played
Connoifcar. Cato: and their Marcia was such an old woman, that when Juba came on with his $ 73. Players often mistake one Effea for “ Hail! charming maid !".
ancı her. the fellow could not help laughing. An The French have diftinguished the arother night I was surprized to hear an tifices made use of on the itage to deceive
the audience, by the expresion of Jeu de bias on the opposite fide, and to preserve, Tbeatre, which we may translate," the jug- in all their behaviour, the appearance of gle of the theatre.” When these little arts sentiments contrary to those which they are exercised merely to alliit nature, and set naturally incline to. Thus, as we are naher off to the best advantage, none can be turally proud and felfish, and apt to assume so critically nice as co object to them; but the preference above others, a polite man when tragedy by these means is listed into is taught to behave with deference towards rant, and comedy distorted into buffoonery, those with whom he converses, and to yield though the deceit may succeed with the up the superiority to them in all the commultitude, men of sense will always be of mon incidents of society. In like manner, fended at it. This conduct, whether of wherever a person's situation may naturalthe poet or the player, resembles in some ly beget any disagreeable fufpicion in him, fort the poor contrivance of the ancients, 'tis the part of good-manners to prevent ii, who mounted their heroes upon stilts, and by a fudied ditplay of sentiments directly expressed the manners of their characters contrary to those of which he is apt to be by the grotesque figures of their masks. jealous. Thus old men know their infir
Toid. mities, and naturally dread contempt from $74. True Pleasure defined. youth : hence, well-educated youth re. We are affected with delightful sensa- double their instances of respect and detions, when we see the inanimate parts of ference to their clders. Strangers and the creation, the meadows, flowers, and foreigners are without protection; hence, trees, in a flourishing itate. There mult in all polite countries, they receive the be some rooted melancholy at the heart, highest civilities, and are entitled to the when all nature appears smiling about us,
first place in every company. A man is to hinder us from corresponding with the lord in his own family, and his guests are, rest of the creation, and joining in the in a manner, subject to his authority: hence, eniversal chorus of joy. But if meadows he is always the lowest person in the comand trees in their chcarful verdure, if pany; attentive to the wants of cvery one ; flowers in their bloom, and all the vege- and giving himself all the trouble, in order table parts of the creation in their most
to please, which may not betray too visible advantageous dress, can inspire gladness an affectation, or impofe too much con into the heart, and drive away all fadness ftraint on his gueits
, "Gallantry is nothing but despair; to see the rationai creation but an instance of the same generous and bappy and flourishing, ought to give us a
refined attention. As nature has given pleafure as much fuperior, as the latter is man the fuperiority above woman, by ento the former in the scale of beings. But dowing him with greater strength both of che pleasure is still heightened, if we our
mind and body, 'cis his part to alleviate felves have been instrumental in contribut- that fuperiority, as much as posible, by the ing to the happiness of our fellow-crea- generosity of his behaviour, and by a ftudied tures, if we have helped to raise a heart deference and complaisance for all her indrooping beneath the weight of grief, and clinations and opinions. Barbarous nations revived that barren and dry land, where display this fuperiority, by reducing their no water was, with refreshing showers of females to the most abject lavery; by conlove and kindness. Seed's Sermons,
fining them, by beating them, by selling
them, by killing them. But the male fex, , $ 75. How Peliteness is manifested. among a polite people, discover their auTo correct such gross vices as lead us to thority in a more generous, though not a commit a real injury to others, is the part less evident, manner; by civility, by reof morals, and the object of the most ordi- fpect, by complaisance, and in a word, by nary education. Where that is not attend. gallantry. In good company, yoa need ed to, in fome degree, no human society pot ask, who is matter of the feast? The can fubfift. But in order to render conver. man who sits in the loweit place, and who fation and the intercourse of ininds more is always industrious in helping every one, easy and agreeable, good-manners have is most certainly the person. We must ei been invented, and have carried the matter ther condemn all such instances of generosomewhat farther. Wherever nature has sity, as foppish and affected, or admit of given the mind a propensity to any vice, or gallantry among the ret. The ancient to any pallion disagreeable to others, re Moscovites wedded their wives with a whip fined breeding has taught men to throw the instead of a wedding-ring. The same peos
ples in their own houses, took always pinnacles of the palace. Sometimes I wanthe precedenty above foreigners, even fo- dered along the mazes of the rivulet, and reign ambassadors. These two instances sometimes watched the changes of the of their generosity and politeness are much summer clouds. To a poet nothing can of a piece.
be useless. Whatever is beautiful, and
whatever is dreadful, myst be familiar to $76. The Business and Qualifications of a his imagination : he must be conversant Poet described.
with all that is awfully vaft or elegantly « Wherever I went, I found that poetry little. The plants of the garden, the ani. was considered as the highest learning, and mals of the wood, the minerals of the earth, regarded with a veneration somewhat ap and meteors of the sky, muft all concur to proaching to that which man would pay to store his mind with inexhaustible variety: the angelic nature. And it yet fills me for every idea is useful for the enforcewith wonder, that, in almost all countries, ment or decoration of moral or religious the most ancient poets are considered as truth; and he, who knows most, will have the best: whether it be that every other most power of diversifying his scenes, and kind of knowledge is an acquisition gra- of gratifying his reader with remote alludually attained, and poetry is a gift con fions and unexpected instruction. ferred at once; or that the first poetry of “ All the appearances of nature I was every nation surprised them as a novelty, therefore careful to study, and every coun. and retained the credit by consent which try which I have surveyed has contributed it received by accident at first: or whe- something to my poetical powers." ther, as the province of poetry is to de “ In so wide a survey,” said the prince, scribe nature and passion, which are always “ you must surely have left much unobthe same, the first writers took possession of ferved. I have lived, till now, within the the most striking objects for description, circuit of these mountains, and yet cannot and the most probable occurrences for fic walk abroad without the fight of some: tion, and left nothing to those that follow thing which I never beheld before, or ed them, but transcriptions of the same never heeded." events, and new combinations of the same “ The business of a poet,” said Imlac, images. Whatever be the reason, it is “is to examine, not the individual, but the commonly observed, that the early writers species; to remark general properties and are in possession of nature, and their follow- large appearances : he does not number ers of art; that the first excel in strength the streaks of the tulip, or describe the difand invention, and the latter in elegance ferent shades in the verdure o tle foreft. and refinement.
He is to exhibit in his portraits of nature “ I was desirous to add my name to this such prominent and striking fertures, as reillustrious fraternity. I read all the poets cal the original to every mind; and must of Persia and Arabia, and was able to re- neglect the minuter discriminations, which peat by memory the volumes that are fur one may have remarked, and another have pended in the mosque of Mecca. But I foon neglected, for those characteristics which found that no man was ever great by imi- are alike obvious to vigilance and caretation. My defire of excellence impelled leflness. me to transfer my attention to nature and « But the knowledge of nature is only to life. Nature was to be my subject, and half the task of a poet; he must be acmen to be my auditors: I could never de- quainted likewise with all the modes of life. scribe what I had not seen : I could not His character requires that he estimate the hope to move those with delight or terror, happiness and misery of every condition, whose interests and opinions I did not un observe the power of all the passions in all derftand.
their combinations, and trace the changes Being now resolved to be a poet, I of the human mind as they are modified by Saw every thing with a new purpose; my various institutions, and accidental insphere of attention was suddenly magnifi- Auences of climate or custom, from the ed: no kind of knowledge was to be over- fprightliness of infancy to the despondence looked. I ranged mountains and deserts of decrepitude. He must diveit himself of for images and resemblances, and pictured the prejudices of his age or country; he apon my mind every tree of the forest and must consider right and wrong in their abfower of the valley. I observed with stract and invariable state; he must disreequal care the crags of the rock and the gard present laws and opinions, a.id rise to
general and transcendental truths, which Thus I might safely confine myself to will always be the same: he must there- my native country: but if I would only fore content himself with the low pro- cross the seas, I might find in France a live grefs of his name; contemn the applaụse ing Horace and a Juvenal, in the person of his own time, and commit his claims to of the admirable Boileau, whose numbers the justice of posterity. He must write as are excellent, whose expressions are noble, the interpreter of nature, and the legislator whose thoughts are just, whose language is of mankind, and consider himself as pre. pure, whose fatire is pointed, and whose siding over the thoughts and manners of sense is close. What he borrows from the future generations, as a' being superior to ancients, he repays with usury of his own, time and place.
in coin as good, and almost as universally “ His labour is not yet at an end: he valuable; for, setting prejudice and partiamust know many languages and many lity apart, though he is our enemy, the sciences; and, that his ityle may be wore stamp of a Louis, the patron of arts, is not thy of bis thoughts, must by incessant prac. much inferior to the medal of an Augustus tice familiarize to himself every delicacy
Cæsar. Let this be said without entering of speech and grace of harmony.”
into the interests of factions and parties, Johnson's Raselas. and relating only the bounty of that king $ 77. Remarks on some of the best Poets,
to men of learning and merit: a praise lo
just, that even we, who are his enemies, both ancient and moderni
cannot refuse it to him. 'Tis manifeft, that some particular ages Now, if it may be permitted me to go have been more happy than others, in the back again to the confideration of epic production of great men, and all sorts of poetry, I have confessed that no man hiarts and sciences; as that of Euripides, therto has rcached, or so much as approachSophocles, Ariftophanes, and the reit, fored to the excellencies of Homer or Virgil; stage poetry, amongst the Greeks; that of I must farther add, that Statius, the best Augustus for heroic, lyric, dramatic, ele- versificator next Virgil, knew not how to giac, and indeed all sorts of poetry, in the design after him, though he had the model perfons of Virgil, Horace, Varius, Ovid, in his eyes; that Lucan is wanting both in and many others; especially if we take design and subject, and is besides too full into chat century the latter end of the of heat and affection; that among the mocommonwealth, wherein we find Varro, derns, Ariosto neither designed justly, nor Lucretius, and Catullus : and at the same observed any unity of action, or compass of time lived Cicero, Sallust, and Cæsar. A time, or moderation in the vaftness of his famous age in modern times, for learning draught: his style is luxurious, without in every kind, was that of Lorenzo de Me- majeity or decency; and his adventurers dici, and his son Leo X. wherein painting without the compass of nature and possibiwas revived, poetry flourished, and the lity. Tasso, whose design was regular, Greek language was restored.
and who observed the rules of unity in time. Examples in all these are obvious: but and place more closely than Virgil, yet was what I would infer is this, That in such an not so happy in his action : he confesses age, 'tis possible some great genius may himself to have been too lyrical, that is, to arise to equal any of the ancients, abating have written beneath the dignity of heroic only for the language ; for great contem- verse, in his episodes of Sophronia, Ermiporaries whet and cultivate each other; nia, and Armida ; his story is not so pleasing and mutual borrowing and commerce, as Ariosto’s; he is too flatulent sometimes, makes the common riches of learning, as and sometimes too dry; many times unit does of civil government.
equal, and almost always forced ; and be. But suppose that Homer and Virgil were fides, is full of conceptions, points of epithe only poets of their species, and that na gram, and witticisms; all which are not only ture was so much worn out in producing below the digniçy of heroic verse, but con. them, that fhe is never able to bear the like trary to its nature. Virgil and Homer again; yet the example only holds in he- have not one of them: and those who are roic poetry. In tragedy and satire, I offer guilty of so boyish an ambition in so grave myself to maintain, against some of our à subject, are fo far from being considered modern critics, that this age and the last, as heroic poets, that they ought to be torne particularly in England, have excelled the ed down froin Homer to Anthologia, from ancients in both thote kinds.
Virgii to Marcial and Owen's epigrains,