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dence and real modesty which cha- figare his creatures! If the comedies racterized his life. The impressions of Congreve did not rack him with of virtue, however, were too feeble remorse, in his last moments, be to resist the strong. pleadings of must have been lost to all sense of necessity, and he yielded to that virtue.” We cannot, however, agree licentiousness of manner, and ob- with Lord Kaimes in laying the enscenity of description, which could tire blame on the writers of comedy. alone crown his dramatic composiIf the taste of the nation at large tions, if not with fame, at least with had not been vitiated, immodest
He lived to lament the writers would find no encourageimmorality of his plays, but he did ment, and, consequently, would not not live to behold the stage re cultivate that species of comedy, formed, or disposed to reject profli- which tended neither to increase gate characters, and indelicate scenes. their wealth, nor their reputationThe English stage, or rather the at least, the greater censure must English nation, has surpassed all attach to the nation, for what will other countries for its indelicate not a writer do, who lives by his comedy. “ Accustomed to the in- profession? That excuse, which delicacy of our own comedy,” says Churchill pleads in his own behalf, Dr. Blair, “ and amused with the will always be found stronger in de wit and humour of it, its immorality fence of writers than any plea which too easily escapes our observation. the nation can ever advance in deBut all foreigners, the French espe- fence of itself. cially, who are accustomed to a better regulated and more decent stage,
“ What proof might do; what hunger speak of it with surprise and astonishment.” Voltaire, who is, as
What famish'd nature looking with nesuredly, none of the most austere
glect moralists, plumes himself not a little on all it once held dear; what fear, at upon the superior bienseance of the strife French theatre ; and says, “ that the With fainting virtue for the means of language of English comedy is the life, language of debauchery, not of po. Might make this coward flesh, in love liteness." M. Moralt, in his letters with breath, upon the French and English na Shuddering with pain, and shrinking tion, ascribes the corruption of man
back from death, ners in London to comedy, as its
In treason to my soul descend to bear, chief cause.
“ Their comedy,” he Trusting to faie, I neither know hor says, “ is like that of no other country; it is the school in which the youth of both sexes familiarize them.
We do not, by this, mean to advoselves with vice, which is never re
cate profligate writers: we only presented there as vice, but as mere
mean to say that, culpable as they gaiety." “ As for comedy," says
are, they are still less so than the Diderot, in his observations upon
nation that encourages then. While dramatic poetry, “ the English have
the stage continued to be the great none; they have, in their place, nursery of voluptuous writers, it was satires full, indeed, of gaiety and
not wonderful, indeed, that those force, but without morals, and with the contagion which it was so highly
who frequented it, did not escape out taste, -Sans mæurs et sans gout." calculated to infuse. Of this pleaLord Kaimes, his “ Elements of
sure it Criticism," las censured the indeli
may be truly said, cacy of English comedy in terms still stronger than Dr, Blair's, con
Principium dulce est, at finis amoris cluding his invective against it in
amarus, these words :—" How odious ought
Læta venit Venus, tristis abire solet. those writers to be, who thus spread
BUCHANAN. infection through their native country, employing the talents which Ovid himself, the prince of amathey have received from their Maker tory poetry, confesses the danger of most traiterously against himself, by the voluptuous muse, though he endeavouring to corrupt and dis says, in making this confession, he
brings discredit on his own produc- But soon the reasons why you're loved tions:
Grow infinite, and so pass reason's Eloquar invitus, teneros ne tange poetas,
reach; Submoveo dotes impius ipse meas.
Then back again to implicit faith I fall,
doth teach. Eren Shakspeare, who is, at bottom, perhaps the most moral of all writers, is so replete with that in. Donne's “ Hymn to God in his delicacy which was the growth of Sickness,” gives us so clear a porhis own age, and with which he was trait of his manner, his total want necessarily obliged to conform in of nature, and the length to which part, that he is too gross for his he carried pun and conceit when he greatest admirers at present; and, could not avoid them, even in so accordingly, we have an edition of sacred a subject, that I shall dismiss his works, in which the obscene pas. him with the following quotation sages are expunged. When the from it: mental powers are once vitiated in any of their functions, and become Since I am coming to that holy room, subject to an improper or immoral Where with the choir of saints for ever. influenc the contagion becomes, in a manner, universal, and the mind I shall be made thy music, as I come takes a false and distorted view of
I tune the instrument here at the door, all its objects. Accordingly, we find
And what I must do then, think here
before. that the perversion of moral sentiment which sacrificed truth and
Whilst iny physicians by their love are modesty to obscenity and licentious
grown ness, banished nature altogether Cosmographers, and I their map, who from the literary productions of the lie time; and servility became the na Flat on this bed, that by them may be tural consequence of false sentiment shewn and conceit. Cowley, Donne, and That this is my South-west discovery, Clieveland unite, perhaps, more than Per fretum febris, by these straits to all the rest, this prostrate servility . die, of adulation to a total abandonment of nature, whose modesty they left 1 joy that in these straits I see my West, at an immeasurable distance behind For though those currents yield return them. Donne, not satisfied with
to none, transforming the Countess of Bed
What shall my West hurt me? As West ford into a goddess, endows her with Jn all dat maps (and I am one) are one,
and East that divinity which is the object of So death doth touch the resurrection. Christian adoration. In one of his epistles, he addresses her in the fol
We think that Paradise and Calvary, lowing unintelligible rant : Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood
in one place;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met Reason is our soul's left hand, faith her right;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my By these we reach divinity, that's
face, you :
May the last Adam's blood my soul Their loves, who have the blessing of
embrace. your light, Grew from their reason; mine from fair faith grew.
Were these lines addressed ironi.
cally to some Pagan idol, they might Therefore I study you first in your
pass for wit: addressed to the God saints,
of his faith, they are impious in the Those friends whom your election glo- bigliest degree.
Of Clieveland, little remains to be Then'in your deeds, accesses, and re
said, as all our observations on Donne straints,
and Cowley are applicable to him.-And what you read, and what yourself He has not a single poem worthy the devise.
attention of a reader of taste; and it
is doubtful, whether a copy either of Pity thyself, then, if not me, his or Donne's poems will be extant
And hold not out, lest, like Ostend at the close of the nineteenth cen
thou be, tury, if nature, united with a correct
Nothing but rubbish at delivery. and elegant taste, continue to be cultivated and progressively improved.
To the Memory of Mr. Edward King,
who was Drowned in the Irish Seas. At present, indeed, we have so many schools of poetry, so many heresies I am no poet, here my pen 's the spout in matters of taste, that little can be Where the rain water of my eyes run said with certainty with regard to out, the future; but if false taste, and In pity of that name whose fate we see arbitrary notions of poetic beauty. Thus copied out in fate's hydrography. were once exploded, the works of The muses are not mermaids, though Donne, Clieveland, and their meta upon physical contemporaries, would soon
His death the ocean might turn Helicon. glide into oblivion. Their names,
The sea 's too rough for verse, who no doubt, will travel down to pos
With Xerxes strives to fetter the Hel. terity, while antiquarian research
lespont. continues to hoard up the useless
My tears will keep no channel, own no lumber of ancient times. But if it
laws ever becomes popular to reject what
To guide their streams, but, like the ever is not stamped with the impress
waves, their cause of native excellence,-if it ever be Run with disturbance, till they swallow deemed wise not to encumber the
me, mind with useless knowledge, and As a description of his misery. to pervert the taste by the perusal of false models, we have no hesitation Perhaps it would be wrong to in prophesying the fate of their conclude, that Clieveland felt no works. The following lines from real sorrow for the loss of his friend; Clieveland will shew how exactly his but if the greatest scribbler of the genius and manner correspond with present day wrote such lines, they those of Donne and Cowley. would be deemed animpious mockery
of the dead. It may be safely asserted, To Julia, to expedite her Marriage. that many poets of our own time, Think but how soon the market fails; edition, and who are never more
whose works never pass beyond one Your sex lives faster than the males; Now since you bear a date so sbort,
destined to be heard of in the lists Live double for't.
of fame, are not merely superior to How can thy fortress ever stand,
Donne and Cowley, but possess merit If it be not manned?
which would become the theme and The siege so gains upon the place,
the admiration of future ages, had Thou'lt find the trenches in thy face. they lived at the same time.
M. M. D.
SONNET. By BuondELMONTE.
Spesso amor sotto la forma
Oft will Love his radiant eyes
APHORISMS, OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS ON MORALS.
How often are persons led to de may possess it. One definition of tract from the merit of others, by it is, the power of moving with ease a feeling of competition, of which and dignity, and with appropriate they are wholly unconscious.--"I gesture; and it requires a discrimican have no envious motive for un nating mind to teach and to bestow dervaluing Selina's accomplishments, this power — without it, the best because I have no pretensions to ac
made man, or woman, would be no complishments myself,” says Lavi more than the well-made, well-stufnia; “ therefore we come into no fed, and well-coloured clay figure in competition.”—“As I do not sing, the room of the artist; whose beauty I cannot be envious of Leander's is powerless and valueless, till the. singing," cries Sophia, “ because creative mind of the painter puts its we come into no competition.” Cer- limbs into graceful and appropriate tainly they come into no particular attitudes. competition, but there is a general one, which answers the same pur
66 Before such genius all objections fly, pose, and excites equal envy: name
Pritchard's genteel, and Garrick six feet ly, competition for notice. While high,” Selina is displaying her accomplish
says Churchill; ments, Lavinia obtains no notice.
genteel” is While Leander is singing, Sophia's
now become a vulgarism, and fashion
is arbitrary over words as well as powers of conversation are unde
dress, I would rather read it thus : sired and unvalued, and she is not attended to. To be noticed, if not
“ Pritcbard is graceful, Garrick six admired, is the general wish; and feet high." none, however insignificant in the eyes of their acquaintances, are suf If I were not withheld from lying ficiently so in their own as to be by any better motives, I should be satisfied, while a display of the ta deterred from it, by its being conlents of others causes them to be temptible, because it is so easy; nay, wholly disregarded.
the very easiest thing in nature ; for The person who lies, in order to children and fools excel in it. Chilconceal a weak or wicked action, is dren are not conscious of the probano more sure of effecting the pur- ble mischievous consequences of the pose, than the slattern, who ties a disgrace of a lie, and fools regard clean apron over a dirty petticoat, is them not. Those who are older and of concealing her untidiness—the wiser, too weak to resist temptation slightest gust of wind may blow to falsehood, yet too strong not to the apron aside; and the slightest see the difficulties and dangers which cross examination may detect the surround it, are apt to betray thenlie,
selves, even while committing the The vain man is he, who values vice of lying ; and by an involunhimself on the qualities and advan- tary blush, à snapping eye-lid, and tages which he really possesses ; a downcast eye, do homage to that the conceited man values himself on truth, against which they are requalities which he has not, and adds belling. poverty of intellect to arrogance of Though no one can deny that rapretension.
rious evils are mingled with the Some one has said, and said truly, blessings of existence; still, if we that a woman can be handsome only were to take from the catalogue of one way, but she can be graceful a miseries those, which are merely the thousand; and the French expres result of our own diseased imaginasion of “ la grace plus belle encore tions, and the distorted or mistaken que la beauté" (grace still more beau view which'we take of circumstantiful than beauty), is a sort of kind ces and persons, I am convinced that red observation to this. But what the list would be astonishingly diis grace? Not external conforma- minished. tion certainly ;—the finest form may I have often heard the cry of “the be devoid of it, and the clumsiest church is in danger !” and I always Eur, Mag. Vol. 82.
wonder that it has stood so long :- tire from the tumult of the world to for what edifice can be considered the quiet of retirement? secure, of which so many of the There is nothing which requires newest pillars are rottenWhile so much mental courage, and so the dunce, the idler, the spendthrift, much firm principle, as to tell the the profligate, of whom nothing else strict truth, in spite of strong tempcan be made, is thought good enough tation to tell the lies of interest, of for a clergyman; and he is licenced pride, and of complaisance; because to take care of the souls of others, no fame, no honor await the person who has notoriously proved that he who so does; as there is scarcely an cannot take care of his own. Well individual in society who values may the friends of the establishment
spontaneous truth, or indeed any exclaim that “ the church is in dan truth :--to tell a little fib, a white ger;" for the traitors are within its lie, is thought even meritorious on walls, and far more formidable than some occasions; while a strict adall the conventicles of sectaries, and herence to truth on small, as well as the orations of demagogues and in on great points, exposes the person fidels.
who so adheres to be ridiculed, if Enviable, indeed, are those who, not despised, by people in general: when the hand of faithlessness, trea therefore, he who can act up to his chery, or death has blighted all their own sense of right, in defiance of own prospects in this life, can delight ridicule and example, and also, unto busy themselves in promoting the stimulated by aught but the whisper public or private welfare of their of conscience, is capable of what I fellow-creatures. Though bankrupts must call the most difficult moral themselves in happiness, by trading heroism. on commission for others, they will A man of moderate talents is alby that means gain in time a small ways contented with himself-a man capital of their own.
of sterling talents, on the contrary, I always consider the sceptic, who is always discontented, because he endeavours to deprive his compani- continually discovers powers and ons of their religious belief, by his acquirements beyond what he posarguments and his eloquence, as in sesses :-thus is the balance in life fluenced by the same motives as the kept even--and those who are the fox in the fable; who having lost his best gifted, are not the most happy. tail, and feeling the misery of the How very easy, and how very comprivation, could not bear that his mon it is to become ridiculous, and brethren should possess an advan a mark for petty detraction, though tage of which he was deprived; and possessed of great personal qualities, therefore selfishly endeavoured to rare talents and superior wit, unless persuade them to cut off their brush a constant watch is kept over the es in imitation of him.
vanity; and how often does one see Men and women of talent, who live superior men or women rendered in the country,orina provincial town, objects of ridicule by an inferior and are very apt to overrate their own contemptible one, who has the power abilities, and to become conceited: of playing them off, as it is called, those who are in retirement have no and of putting the springs of their one to compare themselves with, and vanity, unconsciously, in motion :are, therefore, ignorant of their de- when so played upon, they lose their ficiencies ;-and those who live in a shining and marked superiority of country town have, generally, only character, and are levelled, for the pigmies to measure with, and natu- time, with the most ungifted of their turally enough, therefore, suppose companions as the toy called the themselves to be giants.
whiz-gig, however rich and handWhich is the happiest, or most en some it may be from the outward viable person that being who, hav, decoration bestowed on it, when it ing just pretensions to fame and is whirling round under the hand of universal homage, is in full and un the player, loses every trace of its disturbed possession of them; or external beauty, and looks no better that being who having possessed than one made of the most common them, and feeling their emptiness, materials. has chosen to resign them, and re