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Homer finely imagines his deity turning elegance, as others have done, yet the away with horror from the prospect of a reader may be assured, he shall have as field of battle, and seeking tranquillity much of both as I can. He shall, at least, among a nation noted for peace and sim- find me alive while I study his entertain. plicity. Happy could any effort of mine, ment; for I solemnly assure him, I was but for a moment, repress that savage never yet possessed of the secret at once pleasure some men find in the daily of writing and sleeping. accounts of human misery! How gladly During the course of this paper, therewould I lead them from scenes of blood fore, -all the wit and learning I have are and altercation to prospects of innocence heartily at his service ; which if, after so and ease, where every breeze breathes candid a confession, he should, notwithhealth, and every sound is but the echo standing, still find intolerably dull, low, of tranquillity.
or sad stuff, this, I protest, is more than I But whatever the merit of his intentions know. I have a clear conscience, and am may be, every writer is now convinced, entirely out of the secret. that he must be chiefly indebted to good Yet I would not have him, upon the fortune for finding readers willing to allow perusal of a single paper, pronounce me him any degree of reputation. It has been incorrigible; he may try a second, which, remarked, that almost every character as there is a studied difference in subject which has excited either attention or praise and style, may be more suited to his taste : has owed part of its success to merit, and if this also fails, I must refer him to a part to an happy concurrence of circum- third, or even to a fourth, in case of extrestances in its favour. Had Cæsar or mity. If he should still continue to be Cromwell exchanged countries, the one refractory, and find me dull to the last, might have been a sergeant, and the other I must inform him, with Bayes, in the an exciseman. So it is with wit, which Rehearsal, that I think him a very odd generally succeeds more from being hap- kind of a fellow, and desire no more of pily addressed, than from its native poig- his acquaintance. nancy. A bon mot, for instance, that It is with such reflections as these I might be relished at White's may lose all endeavour to fortify myself against the its flavour when delivered at the Cat and future contempt or neglect of some readBagpipes in St. Giles's. A jest calculated ers, and am prepared for their dislike by to spread at a gaming table may be re- mutual recrimination. If such should ceived with a perfect neutrality of face impute dealing neither in battles nor should it happen to drop in a mackerel scandal to me as a fault, instead of acboat. We have all seen dunces triumph quiescing in their censure, I must beg leave in such companies, when men of real to tell them a story, humour were disregarded, by a general A traveller, in his way to Italy, hapcombination in favour of stupidity. To pening to pass at the foot of the Alps, drive the observation as far as it will go, found himself at last in a country where should the labours of a writer who designs the inhabitants had each a large excreshis performances for readers of a more cence depending from the chin, like the refined appetite fall into the hands of a pouch of a monkey. This deformity, as devourer of compilations, what can he it was endemic, and the people little used expect but contempt and confusion ? If to strangers, it had been the custom, time his merits are to be determined by judges immemorial, to look upon as the greatest who estimate the value of a book from its ornament of the human visage. Ladies bulk or its frontispiece, every rival must grew toasts from the size of their chins, acquire an easy superiority who, with per- and none were regarded as pretty fellows suasive eloquence, promises four extraordi. but such whose faces were broadest at the nary pages of letter-press or three beauti- bottom. - It was Sunday ; a country ful prints, curiously coloured from nature. 'church was at hand, and our traveller was
But to proceed: though I cannot pro- willing to perform the duties of the day. mise as much entertainment, or as much Upon his first appearance at the church
IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.
door the eyes of all were naturally fixed and actors, without, on this trivial occaupon the stranger; but what was their sion, throwing my thoughts into the foramazement, when they found that he mality of method. actually wanted that emblem of beauty, a There is something in the deportment pursed chin! This was a defect that not of all our players infinitely more stiff and a single creature had sufficient gravity formal than among the actors of other (though they were noted for being grave) nations. Their action sits uneasy upon to withstand. Stifled bursts of laughter, them ; for as the English use very little winks, and whispers circulated from visage gesture in ordinary conversation, our Eng. to visage, and the prismatic figure of the lish bred actors are obliged to supply stranger's face was a fund of infinite stage gestures by their imagination alone. gaiety ; even the parson, equally remark- | A French comedian finds proper models able for his gravity and chin, could hardly of action in every company and in every refrain joining in the good humour. Our coffee-house he enters. An Englishman traveller could no longer patiently con- is obliged to take his models from the tinue an object for deformity to point at. stage itself; he is obliged to imitate nature 'Good folks,' said he, ‘I perceive that I from an imitation of nature. I know of am the unfortunate cause of all this good no set of men more likely to be improved humour. It is true I may have faults in by travelling than those of the theatrical abundance; but I shall never be induced profession. The inhabitants of the Conto reckon my want of a swelled face tinent are less reserved than here ; they among the number.""
may be seen through upon a first acquaintance : such are the proper models to
draw from; they are at once striking, and ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK are found in great abundance. BLIND WITH LIGHTNING.
Though it would be inexcusable in a
comedian to add anything of his own to LUMINE Acon dextro capta est Leonida sinistro, the poet's dialogue, yet, as to action, he
Et poterat forma vincere uterque Deos. is entirely at liberty. By this he may Parve puer, lumen quod habes concede puellæ ; show the fertility of his genius, the poig. Sic tu cæcus amor, siç erit illa Venus.
nancy of his humour, and the exactness
of his judgment. We scarcely see a coxREMARKS ON OUR THEATRES. comb or a fool in common life that has Our theatres are now opened, and all not some peculiar oddity in his action. Grub Street is preparing its advice to the These peculiarities it is not in the power managers. We shall undoubtedly hear of words to represent, and depend solely learned disquisitions on the structure of upon the actor. They give a relish to the one actor's legs and another's eyebrows. humour of the poet, and make the appearWe shall be told much of enunciations, ance of nature more illusive. The Italians, tones, and attitudes ; and shall have our it is true, mask some characters, and enlightest pleasures commented upon by deavour to preserve the peculiar humour didactic dulness. We shall, it is feared, by the make of the mask; but I have be told that Garrick is a fine actor, but seen others still preserve a great fund of then, as a manager, so avaricious! That humour in the face without a mask ; one Palmer is a most surprising genius, and actor, particularly, by a squint which he Holland likely to do well in a particular threw into some characters of low life, caste of character. We shall have them assumed a look of infinite solidity. This, giving Shuter instructions to amuse us by though upon reflection we might condemn, rule, and deploring over the ruins of yet immediately upon representation we desolated majesty ať Covent Garden. As could not avoid being pleased with. To I love to be advising too-for advice is illustrate what I have been saying by the easily given, and bears a show of wisdom plays which I have of late gone to see : and superiority-I must be permitted to in the Miser, which was played a few offer a few observations upon our theatres nights ago at Covent Garden, Lovegold
appears through the whole in circum- with no other design but to remark upon stances of exaggerated avarice; all the the stage ; but there are several improplayer's action, therefore, should conspire prieties still continued, or lately come into with the poet's design, and represent him fashion. As, for instance, spreading a as an epitome of penury. The French carpet punctually at the beginning of the comedian in this character, in the midst of death scene, in order to prevent our actors one of his most violent passions, while he from spoiling their clothes: this immediappears in an ungovernable rage, feels the ately apprises us of the tragedy to follow ; demon of avarice still upon him, and for laying the cloth is not a more sure stoops down to pick up a pin, which he indication of dinner, than laying the carquilts into the flap of his coat pocket with pet of bloody work at Drury Lane. Our great assiduity. Two candles are lighted little pages, also, with unmeaning faces, up for his wedding; he flies and turns that bear up the train of a weeping one of them into the socket: it is, how- princess, and our awkward lords in waitever, lighted up again ; he then steals to ing, take off much from her distress. it, and privately crams it into his pocket. Mutes of every kind divide our attention, The Mock Doctor was lately played at and lessen our sensibility; but here it is the other house. Here again the comedian entirely ridiculous, as we see them seriously had an opportunity of heightening the employed in doing nothing. If we must ridicule by action. The French player have dirty-shirted guards upon the thesits in a chair with a high back, and then atres, they should be taught to keep their begins to show away by talking nonsense, eyes fixed on the actors, and not roll them which he would have thought Latin by round upon the audience, as if they were those he knows do not understand a syl- ogling the boxes. lable of the matter. At last he grows
Beauty, methinks, seems a requisite enthusiastic, enjoys the admiration of the qualification in an actress.
This seems company, tosses his legs and arms about, scrupulously observed elsewhere, and, for and, in the midst of his raptures and my part, I could wish to see it observed vociferation, he and the chair fall back at home. I can never conceive an hero together. All this appears dull enough in dying for love of a lady totally destitute the recital, but the gravity of Cato could of beauty. I must think the part unnot stand it in the representation. In natural ; for I cannot bear to hear him short, there is hardly a character in comedy call that face angelic, where even paint to which a player of any real humour cannot hide its wrinkles. I must conmight not add strokes of vivacity that demn him of stupidity ; and the person could not fail of applause.> But, instead whom I can accuse for want of taste will of this, we too often see our fine gentle seldom become the object of my affections men do nothing, through a whole part, or admiration. But if this be a defect, but strut and open their snuff-box; our what must be the entire perversion of pretty fellows sit indecently with their scenical decorum, when, for instance, we legs across , and our clowns pull up their see an actress that might act the Wapping breeches. These, if once, or even twice, landlady without a bolster, pining in the repeated, might do well enough ; but to character of Jane Shore, and, while unsee them served up in every scene argues wieldy with fat, endeavouring to convince the actor almost as barren as the character the audience that she is dying with he would expose.
hunger! The magnificence of our theatres is far For the future, then, I could wish that superior to any others in Europe, where the parts of the young or beautiful were plays only are acted. The great care our given to performers of suitable figures ; performers take in painting for a part, for I must own I could rather see the stage their exactness in all the minutiæ of dress, filled with agreeable objects, though they and other little scenical proprieties, have might sometimes bungle a little, than see been taken notice of by Ricoboni, a it crowded with withered or misshapen gentleman of Italy, who travelled Europe figures, be their emphasis, as I think it is
called, ever so proper. The first may have did with all the gaiety of a man who found the awkward appearance of new raised himself equally happy in friendship and troops ; but in viewing the last I cannot love. But this was an interview fatal to avoid the mortification of fancying myself the peace of both; for Septimius no sooner placed in an hospital of invalids.
saw her, but he was smit with an involuntary passion. He used every effort, but
in vain, to suppress desires at once so THE STORY OF ALCANDER AND SEPTIMIUS,
imprudent and unjust. He retired to his
apartment in inexpressible agony; and the Translated from a Byzantine Historian. emotions of his mind in a short time became ATHENS, even long after the decline of so strong, that they brought on a fever, the Roman empire, still continued the seat which the physicians judged incurable. of learning, politeness, and wisdom. The During this illness Alcander watched emperors and generals, who in these him with all the anxiety of fondness, and periods of approaching ignorance still felt brought his mistress to join in those amiable a passion for science, from time to time offices of friendship. The sagacity of the added to its buildings, or increased its pro- physicians, by this means, soon discovered fessorships. Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, was the cause of their patient's disorder; and of the number : he repaired those schools Alcander, being apprised of their diswhich barbarity was suffering to fall into covery, at length extorted a confession decay, and continued those pensions to men from the reluctant dying lover. of learning which avaricious governors had It would but delay the narrative to monopolized to themselves.
describe the conflict between love and In this city, and about this period, friendship in the breast of Alcander on this Alcander and Septimius were fellow- occasion; it is enough to say, that the students together : the one the most Athenians were at this time arrived at such subtle reasoner of all the Lyceum, the refinement in morals, that every virtue was other the most eloquent speaker in the carried to excess. In short, forgetful of his Academic grove. Mutual admiration soon own felicity, he gave up his intended bride, begot an acquaintance, and a similitude in all her charms, to the young Roman. of disposition made them perfect friends. They were married privately by his conniTheir fortunes were nearly equal, their vance; and this unlooked for change of studies the same, and they were natives of fortune wrought as unexpected a change the two most celebrated cities in the world; in the constitution of the now happy for Alcander was of Athens, Septimius Septimius. In a few days he was perfectly came from Rome.
recovered, and set out with his fair partner In this mutual harmony they lived for for Rome. Here, by an exertion of those some time together, when Alcander, after
talents of which he was so eminently pospassing the first part of his youth in the sessed, he in a few years arrived at the indolence of philosophy, thought at length highest dignities of the state, and was of entering into the busy world, and, as a constituted the city judge, or prætor. step previous to this, placed his affections Meanwhile Alcander not only felt the on Hypatia, a lady of exquisite beauty. pain of being separated from his friend Hypatia showed no dislike to his addresses. and mistress, but a prosecution was also The day of their intended nuptials was commenced against him by the relations fixed, the previous ceremonies were per- of Hypatia, for his having basely given formed, and nothing now remained but her up, as was suggested, for money. her being conducted in triumph to the Neither his innocence of the crime laid to apartment of the intended bridegroom. his charge, nor his eloquence in his own
An exultation in his own happiness, or defence, was able to withstand the influence his being unable to enjoy any satisfaction of a powerful party. He was cast, and conwithout making his friend Septimius a demned to pay an enormous fine. Unable partner, prevailed upon him to introduce to raise so large a sum at the time his mistress to his fellow-student, which he appointed, his possessions were confis
cated, himself stripped of the habit of free. It was midnight when two robbers came dom, exposed in the market-place, and to make this cave their retreat; but hapsold as a slave to the highest bidder. pening to disagree about the division of
A merchant of Thrace becoming his their plunder, one of them stabbed the purchaser, Alcander, with some other other to the heart, and left him weltering companions of distress, was carried into in blood at the entrance. In these cirthat region of desolation and sterility. cumstances he was found next morning, His stated employment was to follow the and this naturally induced a farther inherds of an imperious master; and his skill quiry. The alarm was spread, the cave in hunting was all that was allowed him was examined, Alcander was found sleepto supply a precarious subsistence. Con- ing, and immediately apprehended and demned to hopeless servitude, every morn- accused of robbery and murder. The ing waked him to a renewal of famine or circumstances against him were strong, toil, and every change of season served and the wretchedness of his appearance but to aggravate his unsheltered distress. confirmed suspicion. Misfortune and he Nothing but death or flight was left him, were now so long acquainted, that he at and almost certain death was the conse- last became regardless of life. He detested quence of his attempting to fly. After a world where he had found only ingratisome years of bondage, however, an op- tude, falsehood, and cruelty, and was portunity of escaping offered ; he embraced determined to make no defence. Thus, it with ardour, and travelling by night, lowering with resolution, he was dragged, and lodging in caverns by day, to shorten bound with cords, before the tribunal of a long story, he at last arrived in Rome. Septimius. The proofs were positive The day of Alcander's arrival Septimius against him, and he offered nothing in his sat in the forum administering justice; and own vindication; the judge, therefore, hither our wanderer came, expecting to was proceeding to doom him to a most be instantly known and publicly acknow- cruel and ignominious death, when, as if ledged. Here he stood the whole day illumined by a ray from Heaven, hé disamong the crowd, watching the eyes of covered, through all his misery, the fea. the judge, and expecting to be taken notice tures, though dim with sorrow, of his long of; but so much was he altered by a long lost, loved Alcander. It is impossible to succession of hardships, that he passed describe his joy and his pain on this strange entirely without notice; and in the evening, occasion; happy in once more seeing the when he was going up to the prætor's person he most loved on earth, distressed chair, he was brutally repulsed by the at finding him in such circumstances. Thus attending lictors.
The attention of the agitated by contending passions, he flew poor is generally driven from one un- from his tribunal, and, falling on the neck grateful object to another; night coming of his dear benefactor, burst into an agony on, he now found himself under a necessity of distress. The attention of the multitude of seeking a place to lie in, and yet knew was soon, however, divided by another not where to apply. All emaciated and object. The robber who had been really in rags as he was, none of the citizens guilty was apprehended selling his plunwould harbour so much wretchedness, and der, and, struck with a panic, confessed sleeping in the streets might be attended his crime. He was brought bound to the with interruption or danger: in short, he same tribunal, and acquitted every other was obliged to take up his lodging in one person of any partnership in his guilt. of the tombs without the city, the usual Need the sequel be related ? Alcander retreat of guilt, poverty, or despair. was acquitted, shared the friendship and
In this mansion of horror, laying his the honours of his friend Septimius, lived head upon an inverted urn, he forgot his afterwards in happiness and ease, and left miseries for a while in sleep; and virtue it to be engraved on his tomb, that “no found on this flinty couch more ease than circumstances are so desperate which down can supply to the guilty.
Providence may not relieve.”