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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 measure 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 every man of living entirely after his own taste, 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."

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JOSEPH ADDISON was born May 21, 1672, at Milston, of which his father was then Rector, near Ambrosebury in Wilshire. He was early sent to school, there, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Naish; from whence he was removed to Salisbury school, and then to the Charterhouse, under the tuition of the learned Dr. Ellis. Here he first centracted in talimacy with Mr. Steele, which continued almost to his death. At fifteen he was entered of Queen's College, Oxford, and in about two years admitted to the degrees of bachelor and master of arts in that college; at which time he was celebrated for his latin poems, to be found in a second volume of the Musae Britanicae, collected by Addison. Being at the university, he was upon the point of ceding to the desires of his father and several of his friends, to enter into holy orders; but having, through Mr. Congreve's means, become a favourite of Lord Halifax, he was prevailed upen by that nobleman, to give up the design. He successively filled the public stations, in 1709, of Commissioner of the Appeals in the Excise; 1707, Under-Secretary of State; 1709, Secretary of Ireland, and Keeper of the Records in Ireland; 1715 (the grand climacteric of Addison's reputation, Cato appeared) Secretary to the Lords' Justices; 1714 one of the Lords Commissioners of Trade; and at last, 1717, one of the first Secretaries of State. Dr. Johnson says, "For this employment he might justly be supposed qualified by long practice of business, and by his regular ascent through ether stukes; but expectation is often disappointed; it is universally confessed, that he was unequal to the duties of his place. In the House of Commons he could not speak, and therefore was useless to the defence of the Government. In the oflce, says Pope, he could not issue an order without losing his time in quest of fine expressions." He solated his damissal with a pension of 1500 pounds a year. He married the Countess Dowager of Warwick, 1716; cod is said to have first known her by becoming tutor to her son. Johnson says, "The Lady was at last prevailed span to marry him, on terms much like those, on which a Turkish princess is espoused, to whom the sultan is reported to pronounce, Daughter, I give thee this man for thy slave. The marriage made no addition to his happiBess; it wether made them nor found them equal." In 1718-19, he had a severe dispute on The Peerage Bill with Steele, who, inveterate in his political opinions, supported them in a pamphlet called The Plebeian, which Addian answered by another, under the title of The Old Whig. Some epithets, let drop by Addison, answered by a cutting quotation from Cato, by Steele, were the cause of their friendship's being dissolved; and every person acquainted with the friendly terms on which these two great men had lived so long, must vegret, that they should finally part in acrimonious opposition, Addison died of an asthma and dropsy, on the 17th June, 1719, aged 43, leaving only one daughter behind him. The general esteem ia which his productions, both serious and humorous in The Spectator, The Tailer, and The Guardian are held, "pleads (as Spakspeare says), like engels, trumpet-tongued, in their behalf" As • post, his Cams, in the dramatic, and his Campaign, in the heroic way, will ever maintain a place among the first-rate warks of tither kind.-And a good man's death displays the character of his life. At his last hour, he sent for a relaline of his, young Lord Warwick, whose youth he supposed might be influenced by an awful lesson, when, taking hold of the young man's hand, he said "See in what peace a Christian can die!" and immediately expired.

CATO,

ACTED at Drury Lane. 1715. It is one of the first of our dramatic poems, and was performed 18 nights succeswvely; this very successful run for a tragedy, is attributed by Dennis, who wrote a very bitter critique upon Cato, to proceed from Addison's having raised prejudices in his own favour, by false positions of preparatory criticism; and with his having poisoned the town by contradicting, in The Spectator, the established rule of poetical justice, because his own hero, with all his virtues, was to fall before a tyrant. Johnson says, "the fact is certain; the motives we most guess. Stecle packed an audience. The danger was soon over. The whole nation was, at that time, on firo wish faction. The Whigs applauded every line, in which liberty was mentioned, as a satire on the Tories; and the Tories echoed every elap, to shew, that the satire was unfelt." It was ushered into notice by eight complimentary copies of verses to the author, among which, one by Steele, leads the van; besides a prologue by Pope, and an epilogas by Dr. Garth: Dr. Johnson, with the abovementioned persons, nay, even Dennis's gall, has marked this tragedy as a British classic, and a succession of audiences for above a century has proved, that it has deserved "Golden opinsoss from all sorts of people," Johnson observes, "Of a work so much read, it is difficult to say any thing new. About things on which the public thinks long, it commonly attains to think right; and of Cato it has been not unjustly determined, that it is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama; rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant language, than a representation of natural affections, or of any state probable or possible in human life. Nothing here exCites or assuages emotion; here is no magical power of raising phantastic terror or exciting wild anxiety. The events we expected without solicitude, and remembered without joy or sorrow. Of the agents we have no care. Cato is a being above our solicitude, a man of whom "the gods take care," and whom we leave to their care with heedless canadence. To the rest, neither gods nor men can have much attention; for there is not one amongst them, that rogly attracts either affection or esteem. But they are made the vehicles of such sentiments and such expressions ti Liere is scarcely a scene in the play, which the reader does not wish to impress upon his memory.

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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 he go further, numbers would be wanting "Tis second life, that grows into the soul,
To form new battles, and support his crimes. Varms every vein, and beats in every pulse:
Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make I feel it here: my resolution melts-
Among your works!

Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Caesar,
In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
I'm tortur'd, e'en to madness, when I think
On the proud victor: ev'ry time he's nam'd
Pharsalia rises to my view!-I see
Th' insulting tyrant, prancing o'er the field,
Strew'd with Rome's citizens, and drench'd
in slaughter;

Por. Benold young Juba, the Numidian
prince,

With how much care he forms himself to glory,
And breaks the fierceness of his native temper,
To copy out our father's bright example.
He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her:
His eyes, his looks, his actions, all betray it;
But still the smother'd fondness burns within
him:

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 heav'n, What, 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 wanting in a Roman soul? Por. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave stings behind them. Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, show A virtue that has cast me at a distance, And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour? Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the way to

greatness,

And mix'd with too much horror to be envied:
How does the lustre of our father's actions,
Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him,
Break out, and burn with more triumphant
brightness!

His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round
him;

Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
Marc. Who knows not this? But what can
Cato do

Against a world, a base, degen'rate world,
That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to
Caesar?

Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
A poor epitome of Roman greatness,
And, cover'd with Numidian guards, directs
A feeble army, and an empty senate,
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
By heav'n, such virtues, join'd with such success,
Distracts my very soul! our father's fortune
Would almost tempt us to renounce bis precepts.
Por. Remember what our father oft has
told us:
The ways of heav'n are dark and intricate;
Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'd with errors,
Our understanding traces them in vain,
Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search;
Nor sees with how much art the windings run,
Nor where the regular confusion ends.

Marc. These are suggestions of a mind at

ease:

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[Aside.

Good morrow, Portius; let us once embrace,
Once more embrace, while yet we both are free.
To-morrow, should we thus express our
friendship,

Each might receive a slave into his arms.
This sun, perhaps, this morning sun's the last
That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty.

Por. My father has this morning call'd to
gether

To this poor hall, his little Roman senate
(The leavings of Pharsalia), to consult
If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent
That bears down Rome and all her gods before i
Or must at length give up the world to Caesa
Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rom
Can raise her senate more than Cato's presenc
virtues render our assembly awful,
They strike with something like religious fea
And make ev'n Caesar tremble at the head
Of armies flush'd with conquest. Oh,
Portius!

Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs
That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk
thus coldly.
Passion unpitied, and successless love,
Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate
My other griefs.-Were but my Lucia kind-His
Por. Thou seest not that thy brother is thy
rival;

But I must hide it, for I know thy temper.
[Aside.
Now, Marcus, now thy virtue's on the proof,
Put forth thy utmost strength, work ev'ry nerve,
And call up all thy father in thy soul:
To quell the tyrant love, and guard thy heart
On this weak side, where most our nature fails,
Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son.

Marc. Alas, the counsel which I cannot take,
Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness.

m

Could I but call that wondrous man my fathe
Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious
To thy friend's vows, I might be blest indee
Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou ta
of love
To Marcia, whilst her father's life's in dange
Thou might'st as weli court the pale, tre
bling vestal,

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