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more flagrant trespasses against social sition on which the catastrophe of the virtue ; and when have we seen more heroine's madness and the hero's vil. folly in fashion, and more crime in lainy turns, is too gross for the imagiconduct?
pation to dwell upon. Much of the sucBut you will ask, bow. happens it that cess of this favourite play depended the stage is only to be accused of this upon Mr. Kean's acting, and all bis fruitless effort; why has not the pulpit powers were" written up to," as the say, succeeded better for you will naturally ing is. The Apostate, you will say, bad contend, that if this be a just descrip- nothing of this meretricious character tion, the latter more sanctified source about it; may be so: but the speeches of instruction might as well be in- of the principal character seem to bave veighed against as the stage, if merely been 'framed with the direct design of the effect is to be the criterion of its calumniating Christianity; or, at least, usefulness? The answer I must draw of casting the Christian profession into from your own premises. The theatre the shade of opprobrious misrepresentais a source of amusement, the pulpit tion; and this, I think, cannot be called one of graver consideration, and those a useful lesson in a Christian country. who prefer the former to the latter, are One or two of Massinger's plays have most likely to furnish us with the ex. been revived, but not for the purpose amples of vitiated mind and heart to of their utility, except to the funds of which I have alluded ; and with such the tbeatre. The principal character in persons the lessons of the pulpit cannot the Duke of Milan is a compound of be expected to prevail. I am, how every opamiable passion of the heart, erer, much disposed to think, that ex. sufficiently disguised by a pretended cept furnishing the memory with a few sensitiveness of honour and feeling to passages for quotation, and some light pervert that juster sense of both which topics for common-place talk, that the a young mind ought to cberish, withdrama of the present day, produces out any reservation whatever, It more harm than good. This you will would be too much to take every mosay is a sweeping clause of condemna. dern effort of this kind for our discustion which you cannot assent to, and sion; but I am convinced, that out of in the phraseology of the day you the whole we should not be able to se. may term it illiberal; but the proof of lect more than one or two which dethe liberality or illiberality of any sen serve our unmixed commendation, as timent is the truth of it. Now then having a direct tendency to justify your let us bring some of the most popular idea of the useful. There are two tra. plays to this test. What think you of gedies which, as they are grounded up the modern tragedies? I know not one on domestic scenes, may, perbaps, put tbat can with justice be applauded, as in this claim to our adoption. I mean conveying that useful instruction for the Gamester and George Barnwellmat which you contend. The major part least they have generally been extolled of them are extravagant in subject, im as such. Of the former of these, notprobable in incident, and distorted in withstanding, a very sagacious critic of style. We will select one from the these productions has given quite a dif. rest; Bertram, for instance; this ought ferent opinion. Mrs. Inchbald does not to serve your purpose as to pub. hesitate to declare, that no confirmed lic impression, for it had as conti- gamester is likely to be converted by nued a run as any tragedy that has it, and that the passion for play has not been written for these fifty years. at all been diminished by its impressiou. It will also serve mine, as an example of I believe this to be the case, because gamthe public taste ; and I really cannot ing is more than a contingent foible; it qualify my rejection of it with one sin. is a criminal passion, which roots itself gle allowance of its usefulness. Its cha- in the mind, and absorbs all the conracters are either weak or wicked. Its sciousness of the heart. The same may. plot outrages all dramatic justice; and be said of George Barnwell, only with a ils style is inflated beyond even the lu- different application; the desire of illidicrous bombast. You will, perhaps, cit gratification grows by indulgence, quate me half a hundred beautiful lines and subverts every honest principle of - I thank you—but tell me, are they self denial. And whether this play was useful? They are pretty, doubtless, or not founded in fact, we have not and poetically descriptive, but nothing seen the instance more rarely exemplie more. And theu the infamous suppo- fied; which speaks little for the usefas
ness of this play. True, indeed, the could pretend to excuse himself by such murderous means used by Barnwell may an apology as this, “ had I seen my pernot have been applied to the same petration previously represented on the purpose, and under the same circum. stage, I should never have committed it.” stances yet we are not to conclude As to Stakspeare's Tragedies and bis that any wicked and dissipated young Historical Plays, if I were to hazard an man, placed in an office of trust, who opinion with respect to the " utile” of has formed similar vicious associa which we are speaking, I might perhaps tious to that of Barnwell, has been de- be regarded as guilty of an unpardonterred from such a perpetration, merely able profanation in the eyes of nine because he was conscious of its iniquity, play-goers out of ten ; but I must run but because it has not been necessary to ihe risk of the unholy trespass, and debis enjoyments. Besides, the character clare that, in my conscience, I do sot of Milwood is so disgusting in repre. perceive their usefulness. That they sentation, that it totally frustrates the are fraught with the finest imagery, the purpose of the author; and every youth most sublime sentiments, and The most who hears her speak, wonders more at masterly delineations of the human the folly of her victim, than shrinks heart, I am proud to join with every from the probability of hinuself being so English classic in admitling; and I have ensnared.
no hesitation in asserting, that every I am still willing to grant, that both Englishman, for the honour of his these plays may be seen without any country, ought to read thens, because bad effect; but I lament to add, that the genius of Shakspeare soars far above the experience of society will not justi- that of any dramatic writer wbom the fy me iv asserting, that they have been world has produced. pseful in deterring the gamester or the The characters of Sbakspeare are pecuyoung man from that criminal indul. liarly bis own, and, with his grasp of gence, the ruinous consequences of the passions, bis insight into the heart which they so well pourtray.
of man in every condition, and with his There is a story on your side of the discriminating powers of original deli. question which I have often heard re neation, he has moulded them as no Jated, but never seen or heard attested; man before or since could do ;- but I That a young apprentice, who had seen question wbether, with all this excelMr. Garrick in George Barnwell, was lence, bis plays may be deemed, in the so strongly influenced by the reproach. strict sense of the word, useful. The es of his conscience, as to call upon knowledge wbich they convey is that of that gentleman, and in the most pathe. character only, and this is in no degree tic terms confessed to him that he had applicable to ihe personal experience of saved bim from destruction, by his in the auditors. His Dramalis Persona imitable personation of that character ; speak and act consistently enough with far that he was so deeply impressed with their individual relation to each otber, the interest which his acting had given but this relation forms a coupection of to it, that he felt himself quite an alter. circumstantial event which belongs ed man.
I cannot take upop myself to entirely to other times. The ambition deny the truth of this anecdote, but one of Macbeth, the jealousy of Othello, thing I may presume npoo, that if the the madness of Lear, and the subtilty play itself was the cause of the youth's of Richard, are all most admirably conversion, it would have effected it as consonant with the subject of each of well in his closet as in a theatre; and these exquisite tragedies ; and the if it was not the cause, it was the principles of each character are wonderactor, and not the play, that was useful, fully preserved and distinguished in the aud as the crimes of robbery and mur. sentiments and conduct of each. It is neder must have been sufficiently evi. vertheless certain, that the inspressions dent in their atrocity to any mind en upon the understanding and the feelings dowed with the slightest portion of in. of the spectators, depend more upon the telligence or refleetion, it does not re- precision with which such principles are quire the young man to go to the thea- marked by the actor, than they arise tre to pick up the convictioư ; and I out of any conviction which refers them should inake a very low estimate of his to ourselves. It certainly is an accompirtuous strnggles against such borrible plishment to understand Sbakspeare and designs, wire, having suffered himself to to taste his beauties, but it is the acbe Opercorze by vicious propensitics, complishmcut of a well educated intele
lect, rather than a useful attaioment Colman have a claim to honourable menfor the purposes of life. The repre: tion : but for those writers who have sentation of these plays, therefore, can made some effort to amuse the public, bave little other effect upon the gene with what they liave taken upon them, Fal mind than to delighi it. It is a selves to call comedies, no more can, refined amusement, but not a useful be said in their praise than to acknow one. Still, if you will not give up the ledge, that they have furnished the poiut of usefulness, in this case, and slage with litile else but farcical caricayou insist upon it that, independent of tyres of personal absurdities: to fill up the representation, they are useful in the useless aggregate, I may add the. themselves, then I should say, make melo-dramas and spectacles, which arc them a part of your reading, for they most of them as disgraceful to the, are so intrinsically excellent that the public taste as they are intolerable in: mind can enjoy them in the closet as trusions upon the regular drama. I satisfactorily as in the theatre; for pone hope, therefore, I shall not be consis, of them is so dependent for its effect dered by you as drawing a conclusion upon scene decoration as not to be from false premises, while I am anxious, equally enjoyed without as with it. The to convince you, that no useful result same may be said of his Comedies as I
can ensue tu a young man, who inconhave presumed to assert of his Trage- siderately barters so large a portion of dies and Historical Plays, with this ex his richest possession, as he ought alception, that the force of character is ways to esteem bis time to be, in so more individualized in the former, and unprofitable a pursuit. I have, per-, is pol so much blended with the business haps, extended this letter somewhat beof the scene; and, among them all, I do yond the streich of your patience, for not call to my recollection one that, by I know how ill we brook any lengthy. its affinity to the character and manners remonstrance against a favourite indulof our own age, conveys any conviction gence. of its vices, its follies, or its pursuits. I do not, however, despair of having Their usefulness, therefore, might be induced you to give the observations called in question, if it is to be mea which it contains some seasonable re: sured by their applicatory nature. flection ; and I think I may trust to
I would not be fastidious, nor be your candour and good sense for your thought to overstrain this point; far drawing a just balance between the , otherwise; for I am inclined to grant, profit and loss of such an employment that a masterly personification of Shaks- of your time :--the embarking of so, peares principal characters, is a high serious a capital in so ambiguous a venintellectual treat; and an bour or two ture is at all events, to say the least of it, spent in such an amusement affords an imprudent speculation : and I have. much rational entertainment; but I thus far taken upon me lo caution, think an hour or two quite enough to be you, because I am anxious to secure so engaged. Nor ought it to be often to you a more assured gain in a more repealed, since our time is of too much justifable appropriation of your revalue to be prodigally expended on any amusement. This admission, however, flis ulere mecum, my dear GI do not choose to extend towards the and take me in as a partner of your empty productions of the dramatists of better satisfactions, to promote which, our time, which have been dignified by has ever been the earnest wish of the title of tragedies or comedies. The Your ailectionate father, W. literary talent of the stage never was at a lower ebb, and this never was more
THE WANDERER. truly demonstrated than by our modera, comedies, the majority of which have
Chapter 11. not the slightest pretensions to drama Y father was an officer in a regio tic geuius. Bad puns, stale jests, cant phrases, forced situations, and confused in an engagement some months before plots unnaturally developed, make up I was born; when the netes of his death the hotch-potch of almost all of them arrived, the suddeness of the shock, The muse of Sheridan and Cumberland pressing upon a delicate constitution, has fled with their shades beyoud the a good deal broken by anxiety and soin reach of any comedy.writer of the pre row, threw my mother into a premature rent day. The uanes of Burgoyne and labour, the consequence of which was,
that the samne moment wbich disclosed was with him necessary was synonimous to me the light of the world rendered with just. me an orphan.
He suffered no circumstance to ese At this time my mother was residing cape him, which could be rendered usewith her father, a clergyman of the ful to the progress of my education.Church of Scotland, to whose care I de- The situation in which we lived affordvolved; by him I was brought up, and ed a most rich and varied description of to him am ! indebted for the share of scenery. The broad sea, on one side, religious and moral knowledge which I presented, during fair weather, a beaupossess.
tiful view; and, during a storm, the At the period when iny narrative be- roughness of the coast rendered it more gins, I was living with him in the vil. sublime than any other spectacle I ever lage to wbich bis pastoral duties bad beheld. On the land side, a large cbain called him ; it was situated on the eas of mountains bounded us, and a rich tern coast of Scotland.
valley, in wbich the village was sitoated, Our family consisted of a girl, who lay between. did the bousehold work ; and a man, of all these various objects my grandwho performed the duties of gardener father made use, by imprinting on my and steward of our small establishment; memory the subjects in ancient and he had been a soldier in my father's re. modern poets and histo ans to which giment, and was his servant; he had they might be applied. Not a rock, a fought by his side in the engagement in tree, a brook, a beautiful view, or a which he fell, had caught bim in his picturesque scene, to which be did not arms as he received the shot which had attach some allusion, which, associating killed him; and, after performing the itself with the object, impressed it more last duties to his master, had borne the strongly on iny miod. By these means news of his death to bis afflicted widow. my studies were rendered gratifying to His fidelity and affection bad epdeared me, and I should have been more pubim to my grandfather, who treated nished by being debarred from my leshim more as a friend than as a servant; sons, than most school-boys would have he had received, like most of the pea been pleased with havivg a holiday. santry of Scotland, an education, which Often have I wished, when passing ia England seldom falls to the share of through a rocky defile in our neighbourpersons in a much higher sphere of life. bood,
that I could there conjure up LeA spirit of wandering (perhaps the onidas, with his trusty Spartans, as at effect of his education, bad led himn Thermopylæ, and mix in the glorious into the army at an early age; he had strife for liberty, that idol of warmbeen much attached to niy father, and, hearted youth. As often, when looking on his death, he had obtained his dis- from a tremendously overhanging cliff, charge; and retired to spend the remain. have thought on Leucadia's steep, and der of his life in the retirement of his wept over the sorrows of the hapless native village.
Sappho. 'Tis true, this method bad My grandfather's duties, bis village something of a romantic tendency, and being small
, Jeft him much leisure, imparted a perhaps too great keenness which he devoted to my education. to my feelings; but whether this was Would it were in my power to describe productive of good or evil, is a point bis excellencies! His spirit was cast in which I shall leave to be mooted by the gentlest of nature's moulds; his those who thiuk it worth wbile to distemper was a model of Christian humi- pute upon. lity and forbearance; bis reproofs were I lived with my grandfather until mixed with kiudness, and he conveyed about my thirteenth year, when he was the most salutary truths under the most seized with a suddeo illness, wbich re. pleasing forms, contrary to the method sisted all medical skill, and he died in a pursued by many, who have the office of few weeks after his first attack. Some opening the youthful mind to know- hours previous to his dissolution, he Jelge; his instructions appeared the ef sent for me, and op my approaching his fects of his love, and he did not seek to bed, he told me that he felt he had but give weight to them by making himself few hours to live, and therefore would feared. “His coinmands were rendered give some directions for my future conpleasing, hy the conviction that they duct, which he charged me to observe. were necessary and just; indeed, what I promised most implicit obedience to
them. He then told me that his daugh. shall not weaken and destroy that fortiter, my mother, had been educated with tude which is the most ornamental and some of her relations, at a town in Flan- noble part of the character of man.” ders, where my father had been station Very soon after this conversation, the ed with his regiment; a mutual affee- earliest and best friend I ever possessed tion took place, and they were secretly breathed his last in my arms, for I would married : his consent was not asked un- not be removed from him. To attempt til refusal would have been of no effect. to describe my grief at his loss would be He told me that my father's family were in vain; it was violent, like all youthof considerable rank; that my grand- ful passions, and I then thought I should father by the paternal side was Lord Tre never recover it; but a few days modeTayoc, a statesman of great infuence, rated my sorrow, and I thought of it whose pride had been so much burt by with resignation. Tben I felt the force his son's misconduct, as he termed it, in of the religious instruction which my marrying one of a rank so much below grandfather had bestowed on me, and ju him, that he would never see him. My the hour of sorrow I turned for consofatber's regiment, he said, was shortly · lation to Him who alone can impart it. after ordered to America, and my mo After my grandfather's burial, I prether's state of health, not permitting her pared for my journey to London, in to accompany bim, she had returned to consequence of his directions. Andrew, my grandfather, where, after my father's our servant, whom I have before mendeath, she died in giving birth to me. tioned, accompanied me. Our route He said, that with him would cease all was marked by no occurrence worth rethat he possessed, and that be was there- lating, and I arrived at the splendid fore under the necessity of bequeathing mansion of the Earl of Trevayne, and me to the care of Lord Trevayne, to was introduced to the possessor of it; whom, immediately after his illness, he but a description of this, and of his bad written, informing him of my situa. Lordship, deserves better than the faya tion; and, he added, that his Lordship end of a chapter. had requested me to be sent to him. He said it was his wish that I sbould, im Number of KNOWN VEGETABLES. mediately on his death, (which be felt THE number of plan is yet known
T was not far distapt,) go to London to amounts, according to the calLord Trevayne and rely on his care and culation of Baron Von Humboldt, to protection. “ My child,” he said, “the 44,000, of which 6,000 are agamous, bitterest pang in dying, is to leave you that is, plants which have to sexual in a state of dependance; but Heaven's organs, such as champignons, lichens, will be done ; and remember, that he &c. Of the remainder there are found, whose actions are truly just, and whose In Europe
7,000 beart is correct, can not be said to be In the temperate regions of Asia 1,500 dependant but on the goodness of Pro- in Equinoxial Asia and the adjavidence, which will never desert him. cent Islands
4,500 God has given you talents, my child, In Africa .
3,000 wbich, if properly directed, will con In the temperate regions of Ameduce to your own happiness, and ren rica in both hemispheres 4,000 der you ao ornament to your country; In Equinoxial America.. 13,000 but I have also observed ihat, joined to In New Holland and the Islands of the most lively sense of virtue, the easi the Pacific Ocean.
5,000 ness of your disposition will, under some temptations, lead you to actions
38,000 which you must repent, unless under the constant curb of your reason; and To the Editor of the European Magazine. you possess also a sensibility which, if you do not check it, will render you N answer to a question of “What is easily assailable by the impositions of the square root of two ?” proposed artful persons, many of whom you will by J. Mcl. in your last month's Magameet with in your journey through life. zine; I answer, 1,41421356237309+. I would not have you to understand me I have calculated it, as you perceive, to to wish you to repress the feelings of 14 places of decimals, which, I think, your soul; but I would have you keep must be accurate enough for a calculaihein so much under restraint, that they tion requiring the greatest nicety,