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secondary *. Thus, perhaps, there cannot be finer fubjects for a drama, than Phædra, Romeo, Othello, and Monimia. The whole diftress in these pieces arifes fingly from this unfortunate paffion, carried to an extreme +. The GREATER paffions were the constant fubjects of the Grecian, the TENDERER ones of the French and English theatres. Terror reigned in the former; pity occupies the latter. The moderns may yet boast of some pieces, that are not emafculated with this epidemical effeminacy. Racine was at last convinced of its impropriety, and gave the public his Athaliah; in which were no parts, commonly called by the French l'amoreux

* L'Amour furieux, criminel, malheureux, suivi de remords, arrache de nobles larmes: Point de milieu: il faut, ou que l'amour domine en tiran, ou qu'il ne paroiffe pas. Oeuvres de Voltaire. Tom 12. Pag. 153. I have just been told, that Crebillon has also very lately made poor Philoctetes in love, in his Defart Ifland.

+ The introduction of female actreffes on the modern ftage, together with that importance which the ladies in these latter ages have juftly gained, in comparison to what the ancients allowed them, are the two great reasons, among others, of the prevalence of these tender tales. The ladies of Athens, had not intereft enough to damn a piece of Sophocles or Euripides.

et

et de l'amoreufe, which were always given to their two capital actors. The Merope and Oreftes of Voltaire, are likewise free from any ill-placed tenderness, and romantic gallantry. For which he has merited the praises of the learned father Tournemine, in a letter to his friend father Brumoy.* But LEAR and MACBETH are also striking instances what interesting tragedies may be written, without having recourse to a love-ftory. It is pity, that the tragedy of Cato in which all the rules of the drama, as far as the mechanism of writing reaches, is not exact with respect to the unity of time. There was no occafion to extend the time of the fable longer than the mere representation takes up; all might have pasfed in the compass of three hours from the morning, with a description of which the play opens; if the poet in the fourth scene of the fifth act, had not talked of the setting fun playing on the armour of the foldiers.

HAVING been imperceptibly led into this

*Les Oevres de Voltaire, tom. 8. 38.

M m

little

little criticism on the tragedy of Cato, I beg leave to speak a few words on fome other of Addifon's pieces. The first of his poems addreft to Dryden, Sir John Somers, and king William, are languid, profaic, and void of any poetical imagery or fpirit. The Letter from Italy, is by no means equal to a subject fo fruitful of genuine poetry, and which might have warmed the most cold and correct imagination. One would have expected, a young traveller in the height of his genius and judgment, would have broke out into fome ftrokes of enthusiasm. With what flatness and unfeelingness has he spoken of statuary and painting! Raphäel never received a more flegmatic elogy. The flavery and fuperftition of the prefent Romans, are well touched upon towards the conclufion; but I will venture to name a little piece, on a parallel fubject, that greatly excells this celebra

* Tickell has ridiculously marked the author's age to be but twenty two and twenty feven; as if these verses were extraordinary efforts at that age! To these however Addison owed his introduction at court, and his acquaintance with that polite patron Lord Somers.

ted

ted Letter; and in which are as much lively and original imagery, ftrong painting, and manly sentiments of freedom, as I have ever read in our language. It is a Copy of Verses written at Virgil's Tomb, and printed in Dodfley's * Miscellanies.

THAT there are many well wrought defcriptions, and even pathetic ftrokes, in the Campaign, it would be stupidity and malignity to deny. But furely the regular march which the poet has observed from one town to another, as if he had been a commiffary of the army, cannot well be excufed. There is a paffage in Boileau, fo remarkably oppofite to this fault of Addison, that one would almost be tempted to think he had the Campaign in eye, when he wrote it, if the time would admit

his

it.

Loin ces rimeurs craintifs, dont l' efprit phlegmatique Garde dans fes fureurs un ordre didactique ;

* Vol. 4. pag. 114.

But the Art of Poetry was written in the year 1672, many years before the Campaign. Addison might have profited by this rule of his acquaintance, for whom he had a great respect.

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Qui chantant d' un heros les progrés éclatans,

MAIGRES HISTORIENS, SUIVRONT L'ORDRE DES

TEMPS ;

Ils n' ofent un moment prdre un sujet de vüe, Pour prendre Dole, il faut que Lille foit rendüe; leur vers exact, ainfi que Mezerai,

Et

que

Ait fait déja tomber-les remparts de * Coutrai.

with energy

The most spirited verses Addison has written, are, an Imitation of the third ode of the third book of Horace which is indeed performed energy and vigour; and his compliment to Kneller, on the picture of king George the first. The occafion of this laft poem is peculiarly happy; for among the works of Phidias which he enumerates, he felects fuch ftatues as exactly mark, and characterise, the last six British kings and queens.

+ Great Pan who wont to chase the fair,
And lov'd the spreading OAK, was there;

*L' Art poetique. Ch. 2.

Old

+CHARLES II. famous for his lewdnefs; the allufion to his being concealed in the oak is artful. JAMES II. WILLIAM III. Queen MARX, who had no heirs, and was a great work-woman. Queen ANNE married to the PRINCE of Denmark, who loft the

D. of

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