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but he had in the mean time gone to work himself, and produced half an act, which he afterwards completed.

“Tickell's account of four acts being written at the university is strongly supported by the nature of the testimony afforded by all the other accounts, excepting Dr. Young's: for Tonson, Pope, Johnson, and Hughes, only speak of four acts. It is highly probable that Addison remitted his juvenile effort at tragedy to Dryden; and it is not unlikely that Dr. Young, who mentions this circumstance, might have mistaken the number of acts, or hastily concluded that an imperfect work would not have been remitted to Dryden. Tickell's incidental observation of there not being of that effort ‘a line as it now stands,' and that he performed the work abroad, and retouched it in England, supports the declaration of Tonson, that four acts were seen by him at Rotterdam; and shows that Pope had some foundation for his report, 'that the love-scenes were thrown in after.' Johnson says, 'Such an authority it is hard to reject; yet the love is so intimately mingled with the whole action, that it cannot easily be thought extrinsic and adventitious; for, if it were taken away, what would be left? or how were the four acts filled in the first draught?' The remark is, in my opinion, true; and he who has ever woven the contexture of a dramatic plot must know, that it would be next to impossible to introduce and completely infuse into the web one of the most important and uniting threads with every varying shade, harmonizing with the previously finished portion. The two interrogations seem to imply the same question, and therefore require this one answer,-a barren outline which could lead to no dramatic climax; an unformed mass, unfit either for the closet or the stage.

"I will propose, with humility, a solution of the enigma. Addison wrote four acts of a tragedy when at the university, and sent them to Dryden. After his judgment had become riper, and his taste more formed, he became displeased with his performance, yet remained satisfied with the subject. He erased all that his better judgment pointed out to him as unfit to stand, and retained all those thoughts he approved. With these materials, he, while abroad, may be said to have rewritten the four first acts, and to have added the fifth in England, when Hughes was composing the supplementary act. This solution at least removes the dilemma in which the various accounts had placed the authors of them, and shows that there was not more variation in their accounts than is seen every day in the details of occurrences in which all the witnesses intend to tell the truth."-OGLE, Life of Addison, pp. 56–60.

The reader may be pleased to see Pope's account of the first representation. It is in a letter to Sir William Turnbull.'

1 For fair specimens of the art of puffing in Queen Ann's day see Nos. 39, 49, and 59 of the Guardian,G.

“As to poetica. affairs, I am content at present to be a bare looker-on, and from a practitioner turn an admirer, which is (as the world goes) not very usual. Cato was not so much the wonder of Rome in his days, as he is of Britain in ours; and though all the foolish industry possible has been used to make it thought a party play, yet what the author once said of another may the most properly in the world be applied to him on this occasion,

'Envy itself is dumb, in wonder lost,

And factions strive who shall applaud him most.'

The numerous and violent claps of the whig party on the one side of the theatre, were echoed back by the tories on the other; while the author ́sweated behind the scenes with concern to find their applause proceeding more from the hand than the head. This was the case too of the prologue writer, who was clapped into a staunch whig at almost every two lines. I believe you have heard, that after all the applause of the opposite faction, my lord Bolingbroke sent for Booth, who played Cato, into the box, between one of the acts, and presented him with fifty guineas; in acknowledgment (as he expressed it) for defending the cause of liberty so well against a Perpetual Dictator. The whigs are unwilling to be distanced this way, and therefore design a present to the same Cato very speedily: in the mean time they are getting ready as good a sentence as the former on their side: so betwixt them it is probable that Cato (as Dr. Garth ex press'd it) may have something to live upon after he dies.-Pope's works.

"When this triumphant performance had been continued, as it should seem, during a greater number of nights than any play had before been suffered to run, the publication was of course the next step. This ordeal, which has proved too severe for many of the best acting plays, had in it nothing formidable for Cato. If the wise man of the Stoics, with his solemn dignity and impassive virtue, had been invested by the poet in his last tragic scene with enough of human interest to engage the sympathies of an audience, there could be little doubt of his conciliating the admiration and esteem of the reader. In effect, the experience of more than a century has now shown, that although this noble work may occasionally be restored to the stage with success during some particular states of political feeling, and when aided by the powers of an actor distinguished by the talent of impressive declamation, and endowed with sufficient dignity of figure and carriage fitly to impersonate the noble Roman, it is scarcely to be reckoned in the ordinary list of stock plays; but so long as English literature exists, it can scarcely lose its rank among closet pieces. Thus Dr. Johnson, after remarking with much more than enough of severity, on the failure of all the subordinate characters strongly to attract affection or esteem, adds, that "they are made the vehicles of such sentiments and such expression, that there is scarcely a scene in the play which the reader does not wish to impress upon his memory." The eminent

applicability of the last remark is evinced by the extraordinary number of quoted lines, with which Cato, even more than the other poems of Addi so has enriched our language of this number are the following:

"The woman who deliberates is lost."

"Plant daggers in my heart."

""Tis not in mortals to command success,

But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it." "The pale unripen'd beauties of the north."

""Tis not a set of features, or complexion,

The tincture of the skin that I admire."

"Painful pre-eminence."

"Curse on his virtues, they've undone his country{"

"These and others of the fine thoughts and pointed expressions with which the piece abounds, still circulate among us like current coin, though often now passed, it may be feared, with little thought or knowledge of the mint which issued them.

"When Dr. Johnson remarks, that the success of Cato 'has introduced or confirmed among us the use of dialogue too declamatory, of unaffecting elegance and chill philosophy,' he overlooks, or possibly was unskilled to explore, a more probable origin of the faults which he indicates, and which he has himself exemplified. These are found in Philips, Rowe, Hughes, and other contemporaries, to at least as great a degree as in Addison, in whom they are palliated, if not entirely justified, by the nature of his subject: and they may surely be traced to imitation of the masters of French tragedy, whose genius, like the ambition of their monarch, had gone near to giving law to all Europe. With respect to Philip's Distressed Mother, this origin is unquestionable, and little less so with respect to Cato; since Addison always expressed himself concerning Corneille and Racine with marked esteem, and seems to have laid the plan and begun the execution of his tragedy during his long sojourn at Blois, while he was making the study of the French language his principal occupation. In the conduct of his plot he has made considerable sacrifices to a rigid observance of the unities of time and place, as laid down by Aristotle, and it can scarcely be doubted that this restraint, unknown to our earlier dramatists, was imposed upon him as an indispensable law by the precepts and practice of the French school of dramatic art.

"That the tragedy of Cato does not appeal strongly to the passions, may be frankly conceded; but whatever be said of its ‘unaffecting elegance and chill philosophy,' it is at least free from the error which Boileau so forcibly remarked to Addison himself in the manner of Corneille. The speakers run neither into description nor declamation unconnected with the business of the scene, or unsuited to the persons or the occasion. Severe correctness and good taste preside alike over the sentiments and the diction.

"The versification, though deficient in the richness and variety of pause which charms in our elder dramatists, and like all blank verse at this period, constructed with too much resemblance to the rhymed couplet, is yet easy and graceful; and certainly far preferable to that of Rowe, then the most popular tragic writer."-AIKIN, Life of Addison, pp. 192–194.

VERSES

TO THE AUTHOR OF THE TRAGEDY OF CATO.

WHILE you the fierce divided Britons awe,
And Cato with an equal virtue draw;

While envy is itself in wonder lost,

And factions strive who shall applaud you most;
Forgive the fond ambition of a friend,

Who hopes himself, not you, to recommend,

And join th' applause which all the learn'd bestow
On one, to whom a perfect work they owe.
To my a light scenes I once inscrib'd your name,
And impotently strove to borrow fame:

Soon will that die, which adds thy name to mine ;
Let me, then, live, join'd to a work of thine.

RICHARD STEEI E

THO' Cato shines in Virgil's epic song,
Prescribing laws among th' Elysian throng;
Tho' Lucan's verse, exalted by his name,
O'er gods themselves has rais'd the hero's fame;
The Roman stage did ne'er his image see,
Drawn at full length; a task reserv'd for thee.

a Tender Husband, dedicated to Mr. Addison.

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