« EelmineJätka »
though the most prominent and general points of character may have been fully represented in their narration yet, from the particular circumstance of their being foreigners, they could not penetrate fairly into the minutiae. A series of writings, which brand the vicious with the mark of shame and punishment, and level the shaft of irony and laughter at folly, while they encourage and support real virtue and good sense, explained and put in their true light, with as much impartiality as human nature will allow in speaking of one's own country, must open a good field for the display of character. Hence the whole is accompanied with notes, explanatory of the localities and such circumstances as are liable to a double interpretation.
We cannot conclude this preface better than by laying before our readers a passage from the “lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres,” by that excellent critic Dr. Blair. In the third volume, when comparing the French and English comedy, he says, "from the English there we are naturally led to expect a greater variety of original characters in comedy and bolder strokes of wit and humour than are to be found on any other modern stage: Humour is in a great measurc the peculiar province of the English nation. The nature of such a free government as ours, and that unrestrained liberty which our manners allow to cvery man of living entirely after his own lasle, afford full scope to the display of singularity of character and to the indulgence of humour in all its forms. Whereas in France the influence of the court, the more established subordinations of ranks and the universal observance of the forms of politeness and decorum, spread a much greater uniformity over the outward behaviour and characters of men. Hence comedy has a more ample field and can flow with a much freer vein in Britain, than in France."
ORPHAN OF CHINA.
hit. He was early sent to sehool, there, under the care of the Rev. Nr. Naish; from whence be was'rcred ta valisbury school, and then to the Charterhouse, under the tuition of the learned Dr. Ellis. Here he first Esinsied an intimacy, with Mr. Siecle, which continued almost to his death. At fifteeu bic was entered of Queen's Colege, Oilard, and in about two years admitted to the degrees of bachelor and master of arts in that college; ut
to be sus celebrated for his latin poems, to be found in a second volume of the Musae Britanicue, collected * Adás. Beng at the uuiversity, he was upon the point of coding to the desires of his father and several of his luiends, to ea, er is to hely orders; but having, through Mr. Congreve's means, become a favourite of Lord Halifax, he was prevailed topsa boy that aybleman, io give up the design. He successively filled the public stations, in 1709, of Commissioner of the Appeals in the Estise ; 10, Under-Secretary of Stale ; 1709, Secrelary of Ireland, aud Keeper of the Records in
; 115 (lae pand climacteric of Addison's repatation, Cato appeared) Secretary to the Lords' Justices; 1714 ono 3. Lures Commissioners of Trade; and at last, 1717, one of the first Secretaries of Staie. Dr. Johnson says, "For
ex pajzeet he might justly be supposed qualified by long practice of business, and by his regular ascent through L et aces; but expectation is ollen disappointed; it is universally confessed, that be was unequal to the duties of bogste the House of Commons he could not speak, and ther:love was useless to the defence of the Governcicat.
4453 Pope, he could not issue an order without losing his time in quest of fino expressions." He so10.4 as dismissal with a peasion of 1500 pounds a year. He married the Countess Dowager of Warwick, 1716; 26. i to have first known her by becoming tutor to ber son. Johnson says, “The Lady was at last prevailed en to sury bin, on terms much like those, on which a Turkish princess is cspoused, to whom the sullau is repereed to fr Erance, Daughter, I give thee this man for thy slave.' The marriage made no addition to his lappia
* Aber de Iben nor found them equal." Iu 1718 - 19, he had a severe dispute on The Peerage Bill
skel, bw, inveterate in bis political opinions, supported them in a pamphlet called The Plebeian, which Addia #narn... aatler, under the title of The Old Whis. Some epithets, let arop by Addison, answered by a cui
** a sé. Calo, by Steele, were the cause of their friendship’s being dissolved; and every person acquainted & de mots terms on which these two great men had lived so long, must Tegres, that they should finally pari iu
10. P.142. Addison died of an asthma and dropsy, on the 17th June, 1719, aged 4*, leaving only ono da od lim. The general esteem ia which his productions, both serious and humorous in The Spectator, The T.". Te Guardian are held, "pleads (as Spakspeare says), like engels, trumpel-longued, in their behalf.” As ... Catur, in the dramatic, and his Campaign, in the heroic way, will ever maintain a place among ihe first-rate ne! ier kind - And a good man's death displays the character of his life. At his last hour, he sent for a re
beste roang Lord Warwick, whose youth he supposed might be influenced by an awful lesson, vien, laking bas ofis yang mze's hand, he said "See in what peace a Christian can die!" and immediately expired.
# Tervices sul run for a tragedy, is attributed by Dennis, who wrote a very bitter critique upon Caro, to Fisse Alison's having raised prejudices in his own favour, by false positions of preparatory criticism; and *hn 58 poisoned the town by contradicting, in The Spectator, the established rule of poetical justice, because ko ste kers, wish all his virtues, was to fall before a tyrani. Johnson says, "lle jact is certain; the molives we Selle packed an audience. The danger was soon
The whole nation was, at that time, on firo = $(*.The Whiss applauded every line, in which liberty was mentioned, as a satiru on the Torics; and tho 2. escry clap, to abew, that the satire was unfelt." It was ushered into notice by eight complimentary co
to the author, among which, one by Steele, leads the van; besides a prologic by Porc, and an epilo• Dr. Garth: Dr. Johnson, with the abovementioned persons, pay, even Dennis's gall, has marked this tragedy - belone, and a succession of audiences for above a century has proved, that it has deserved “Golden opin
sorts of people." Johnson ubservcs, “Of a work so much read, it is dishcult to say any thing new.
**** o5 which the public thinks kng, it commonly allains to think right; and of Calo it has been not unjustly dr. tat it is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama; rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant lan, as a ripresentation of natural affections, or of any, slate probable or possible in buman life. Nothing here con
**_m[es' emotion; here is no magical power of raising phantastic terror or exciting wild anxiety. The evenis * 10 without solicitude, and remembered without joy or sorrow. of the agents we have no care. Calo is a ** Lit o solicitude, a man of whom “lhe gods take care,” and whom wc leave to their care with heedless
To the rest, neither gods nor men can have much attention; for there is not one amongst them, that
als either affection or esteem, But they are made the vehicles of such sentiments and such expressious >> warcely a scene in the play, which the reader does not wish to impress upon his memory.
MUTINEERS. GUARDS. etc SCENE.-The Governor's Palace in Ulica,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, th' important day, big with the fate
And close the scene of blood. Already Caesar
Has ravag'd more than half the globe, and sees, Love is not to be reason'd down, or lost Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword: In high ambition and a thirst of greatness; Should be
furtber, numbers would be wanting/"l'is second life, that grows into the soul, To form new battles, and support bis crimes. arms every veio, and beats in every pulse: Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make I feel it here: my resolution mellsAmong your works!
Por. Benold young Juba, the Numidian Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
prince, Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Caesar, With bow much care he formas bimself to glory, In the calm lights of mild philosophy; And breaks the fierceness of his native temper, I'm tortur'd, e'en to madaess, when I think To copy out our father's brigui example. On the proud victor: ev'ry time he's nam'd He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her; Pharsalia rises to my view!-I see
His eyes, bis looks, his actions, all betray it Th' insulting tyrant, prancing o'er the field, But still the smother'd fondness burns within Strew'd with Rome's citizens, and drench'd
him: in slaughter;
When most it swells, and labours for a vent, His horses hoofs wet with patrician blood! The sense of honour, and desire of fame, Oh, Portius! is not there some chosen curse, Drive the big passion back into his heart. Some hidden thunder in the stores of hear'n, Wbat, shall an African, shall Juba's heir Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man Reproach great Cato's son, and show the world Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin? A virtue vanling in a Roman soul? Por. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave greatness,
stings behind them. And mix'd with too much horror to he envied: Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, show How does the lustre of our father's actions, A virtue that has cast me at a distance, Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, and thrown me out in the pursuils of bonour? Break out, and burn with more triumphant Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the way to
brightness! His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, him;
Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. Greally unfortunate, he fights the cause Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
of friends! Marc. Who knows not this? But what can Pardon a weak, distemper'd soul, that swells Cato do
With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, Against a world, a base, degen’rale world, The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes: That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to He must not find this softness hanging on me. Caesar?
[E.rit. Pent up in Utica, be vainly forms
Enter SEMPRONIUS, A poor epitome of Roman greatness,
Sem. Conspiracies neser should be And; coverd with Numidian guards, directs
form'd Å feeble army, and an emply senate, Than executed. What means Portius here? Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain. I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, By heav'n, such virtues, join'd with such success, And speak a language foreign to my heart. Distracts my very soul! our father's fortune
[Aside. Would almost templuş to renounce bis precepts. Good morrow, Portius; let us once embrace, Por. Remember what our father oft has Once more embrace, while yet we both are free told us:
To-morrow, should we thus express our The ways of heav'n are dark and intricate; Puzzled'in mazes, and perplex'd with errors, Each might receive a slave into his arms. Our understanding traces ihem in vain, This sun, perhaps, this morning sun's the last Lost and bewilderd in thc fruitless search; That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. Nor sees with bow much are the windings run, Por. My father has this morning callid to Nor where the regular confusion ends.
gether Marc. These are suggestions of a mind al To this poor ball, bis liule Roman senate
(The leavings of Pharsalia), lo consult Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk That bears down Rome and all
her gods before i thus coldly.
Or must at length give up the world to Caesa Passion unpitied, and successless love,
Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rom Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate
Can raise her senate more than Cato's presenc. My other griefs.—Were but my Lucia kind- His virtues render our assembly awful, Por. Thou seest not that thy brother is thy They strike with something like religious fea rival;
And make ev'n Caesar Iremble at the head But I must hide it, for I know thy temper.
of armies flush'd with conquest. Oh, [Aside.
Portius! Now, Marcus, now thy virlue's on the proof, Could I but call that wondrous man my fathe Put forth thy utmost strength, work ev'ry nerse, Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious And call up all thy father in thy soul: To thy friend's vows, I might be blesi indee. To quell the lyrant love, and guard thy hearl Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou ta On this weak side, where most our nature fails,
of love Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son. To Marcia, wbilst ber father's life's in dange
Mari. Alas, the counsel which I cannot take, Thou might'st as weli court the pale, trei Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness.