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How few are found with real talents bless'd, Who aim'd at wit, though, levell’d in the dark, . Fewer with Nature's gifts contented rest.
The random arrow seldom hit the mark,
Where, quiet as her strains their strains do flow,
But think not, though these dastard chiefs are fled, And prudent Dullness mark'd him for a mayor. That Covent Garden troops shall want a head :
What then could tempt thee, in a critic age, Harlequin comes their chief ! -See from afar, Such blooming hopes to forfeit on a stage?
The hero seated in fantastic car! Could it be worth thy wondrous waste of pains Wedded to Novelty, his only arms To publish to the world thy lack of brains? Are wooden swords, wands, talismans, and charms; Or might not Reason e'en to thee have shown On one side Folly sits, by some call's Fun, Thy greatest praise had been to live unknown? And on the other, his arch-patron, Lun. Yet let not vanity, like thine, despair :
Behind, for liberty a-thirst in vain, Fortune makes Folly her peculiar care.
Sense, helpless captive, drags the galling chain. A vacant throne high plac'd in Smithfield view, Six rude mis-shapen beasts the chariot draw, To sacred Dullness and her first-born due,
Whom Reason loaths, and Nature never saw ; Thither with haste in happy hour repair,
Monsters, with tails of ice, and heads of fire; Thy birthright claim, nor fear a rival there. Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire. Shuter himself shall own thy juster claim,
Each was bestrode by full as monstrous wight, And venal Ledgers puff their Murphy's name, Giant, Dwarf, Genius, Elf, Hermaphrodite. Whilst Vaughan or Dapper, call him which you The town, as usual, met him in full cry; will,
The town, as usual, knew no reason why. Shall blow the trumpet, and give out the bill. But Fashion so directs, and moderns raise
There rule secure, from critics and from sense, On Fashion's mouldering base their transient praise. Nor once shall Genius rise to give offence;
Next, to the field a band of females draw Eternal peace shall bless the happy shore,
Their force; for Britain owns no Salique law : And little factions break thy rest no more.
Just to their worth, we female rights admit, From Covent Garden crowds promiscuous go, Nor bar their claim to empire or to wit. Whom the Muse knows not, nor desires to know. First, giggling, plotting chamber-maids arrive, Vet'rans they seem'd, but knew of arms no more Hoydens and romps, led on by gen'ral Clive, Than if, till that time, arms they never bore: In spite of outward blemishes, she shone Like Westminster militia train'd to fight,
For humour fam'd, and humour all her own.
Sparks at his glass sat comfortably down She pleas'd by hiding all attempts to please.
Among the merry troop conspicuous seen,
See lively Pope advance in jig and trip, Statira, with her hero to agree,
Corinna, Cherry, Honeycomb, and Snip. Stood on her feet as fast asleep as he ;
Not without art, but yet to Nature true, Vacklin, who largely deals in half-form'd sounds, She charms the town with humour just, yet new. Who wantonly transgresses Nature's bounds, Cheer'd by her promise, we the less deplore Whose acting 's hard, affected, and constrain'd, The fatal time when Clive shall be no more. Whose features, as each other they disdain'd, Lo! Vincent comés — with simple grace array'd, At variance set, inflexible and coarse,
She laughs at paltry arts, and scorns parade. Ne'er know the workings of united force,
Nature through her is by reflection shown, Ne'er kindly soften to each other's aid,
Whilst Gay once more knows Polly for his own. Nor show the mingled pow’rs of light and shade, Talk not to me of diffidence and fear No longer for a thankless stage concern'd,
I see it all, but must forgive it here.
Candour and Reason still take Virtue's part;
Let Tommy Arne, with usual pomp of style, Dull cits and grave divines his praise proclaim, Whose chief, whose only merit 's to compile, And join with Sheridan's their Macklin's name; Who, meanly pilfering here and there a bit, Shuter, who never car'd a single pin
Deals music out as Murphy deals out wit, Whether he left out nonsense, or put in,
Publish proposals, laws for taste prescribe,
And chant the praise of an Italian tribe ; . A gentleman who published, at this juncture, a Let him reverse kind Nature's first decrees, poem entitled The Retort.
And teach e'en Brent a method not to please ;
But never shall a truly British age
Struck with her grief, i-catch the madness too! Bear a vile race of eunuchs on the stage.
My brain turns round, the headless trunk I view ! The boasted work 's call'd national in vain, The roof cracks, shakes, and falls ! - New horrours If one Italian voice pollutes the strain.
rise, Where tyrants rule, and slaves with joy obey, And Reason buried in the ruin lies. Let slavish minstrels pour th' enervate lay;
Nobly disdainful of each slavish art, To Britons far more noble pleasures spring, She makes her first attack upon the heart : In native notes whilst Beard and Vincent sing. Pleas'd with the summons, it receives her laws, Might figure give a title unto fame,
And all is silence, sympathy, applause. What rival should with Yates dispute her claim? But when, by fond ambition drawn aside, But justice may not partial trophies raise,
Giddy with praise, and puffd with female pride, Nor sink the actress in the woman's praise.
She quits the tragic scene, and, in pretence Still hand in hand her words and actions go, To comic merit, breaks down Nature's fence; And the heart feels more than the features show : I scarcely can believe my ears or eyes, For, through the regions of that beauteous face, Or find out Cibber through the dark disguise. We no variety of passions trace;
Pritchard, by Nature for the stage design'd, Dead to the soft einotions of the heart,
In person graceful, and in sense retin'd; No kindred softness can those eyes impart ;
Her art as much as Nature's friend became, The brow, still fix'd in Sorrow's sullen frame, Her voice as free from blemish as her fame, Void of distinction, marks all parts the same. Who knows so well in majesty to please,
What 's a fine person, or a beauteous face, Attemper'd with the graceful charms of ease? Unless deportment gives them decent grace?
When Congreve's favour'd pantomime to grace, Bless'd with all other requisites to please,
She comes a captive queen of Moorish race; Some want the striking elegance of ease;
When Love, Hate, Jealousy, Despair, and Rage, The curious eye their awkward movement tires; With wildest tumults in her breast engage ; They seem like puppets led about by wires. Still equal to herself is Zara seen; Others, like statues, in one posture still,
Her passions are the passions of a queen. Give great ideas of the workman's skill;
When she to murder whets the timorous Thane, Wond'ring, his art we praise the more we view, I feel ambition rush through ev'ry vein; And only grieve he gave not motion too.
Persuasion hangs upon her daring tongue, Weak of themselves are what we beauties call, My heart grows flint, and ev'ry nerve's new-strung, It is the manner which gives strength to all.
In comedy -“ Nay there," cries Critic,“ hold, This teaches every beauty to unite,
Pritchard 's for comedy too fat and old. And brings them forward in the noblest light. Who can, with patience, bear the grey coquette, Happy in this, behold, amidst the throng,
Or force a laugh with over-grown Julett? With transient gleam of grace, Hart sweeps along. Her speech, look, action, humour, all are just; If all the wonders of external grace,
But then, her age and figure give disgust."
Are foibles then, and graces of the mind,
In any set circumference of waist ?
When fear, which rank ill-nature terms conceit, Why should we bar them in the copy here? By time and custom conquer'd, shall retreat ; The nice punctilio-mongers of this age, When judgment, tutor'd by experience sage, The grand minute reformers of the stage, Shall shoot abroad, and gather strength from age; Slaves to propriety of ev'ry kind, When Heav'n in mercy shall the stage release Some standard-measure for each part should find, From the dull slumbers of a still-life piece; Which when the best of actors shall exceed, When some stale flow'r, disgraceful to the walk, Let it devolve to one of smaller breed. Which long hath hung, though wither'd on the All actors too upon the back should bear stalk,
Certificate of birth,-time, when ;--place, where. Shall kindly drop, then Bride shall make her way, For how can critics rightly fix their worth, And merit find a passage to the day;
Unless they know the minute of their birth? Brought into action, she at once shall raise An audience too, deceiv’d, may find too late Her own renown, and justify our praise.
That they have clapp'd an actor out of date. Form’d for the tragic scene, to grace the stage, Figure, I own, at first may give offence, With rival excellence of love and rage,
And harshly strike the eye's too curious sense ; Mistress of each soft art, with matchless skill But when perfections of the mind break forth, To turn and wind the passions as she will; Humour's chaste sallies, judgment's solid worth; To melt the heart with sympathetic woe,
When the pure genuine Hame, by Nature taughi, Awake the sigh, and teach the tear to flow; Springs into sense, and ev'ry action's thought; To put on Frenzy's wild distracted glare,
Before such merit all objections fly; And freeze the soul with horrour and despair ; Pritchard's genteel, and Garrick's six feet high. With just desert enroll’d in endless fame,
Oft have I, Pritchard, seen thy wondrous skill, Conscious of worth superior, Cibber came. Confess'd thee great, but find thee greater stil,
When poor Alicia's madd’ning brains are rack’d, That worth, which shone in scatter'd rays before, And strongly imag'd griefs her mind distract : Collected now, breaks forth with double pow's.
The Jealous Wife! on that thy trophies raise, For how should moderns, mushrooms of the day, Inferior only to the author's praise.
Who ne'er those masters knew, know how to play? From Dublin, fam'd in legends of romance Grey-bearded vet'rans, who, with partial tongue, For mighty magic of enchanted lance,
Extol the times when they themselves were young, With which her beroes arm’d victorious prove, Who, having lost all relish for the stage, And like a flood rush o'er the land of Love, See not their own defects, but lash the age, Mossop and Barry came — names ne'er design d Receiv'd with joyful murmurs of applause, By Fate in the same sentence to be join'd. Their darling chief, and lin'd his fav'rite cause. Rais'd by the breath of popular acclaim,
Far be it from the candid Muse to tread They mounted to the pinnacle of Fame;
Insulting o'er the ashes of the dead, There the weak brain, made giddy with the height, But, just to living merit, she maintains, Spurr'd on the rival chiefs to mortal fight.
And dares the test, whilst Garrick's genius reigns ; Thus sportive boys, around some bason's brim, Ancients in vain endeavour to excel, Behold the pipe-drawn bladders circling swim : Happily prais'd, if they could act as well. But if from lungs more potent, there arise
But though prescription's force we disallow, Two bubbles of a more than common size,
Nor to antiquity submissive bow;
Though we deny imaginary grace,
Yet real worth of ev'ry growth shall bear
No actor ever greater lıeights could reach
Speech! Is that all ? - And shall an actor found
Parrots themselves speak properly by rote, And stands alone in indeclinables;
And, in six months, my dog shall howl by note. Conjunction, preposition, adverb join
I laugh at those, who, when the stage they tread, To stamp new vigour on the nervous line :
Neglect the heart, to compliment the head; In monosyllables his thunders roll,
With strict propriety their cares confin'd Hr, she, IT, AND, WE, YE, THEY, fright the soul. To weigh out words, while passion halts behind. In person taller than the common size,
To syllable-dissectors they appeal, Behold where Barry draws admiring eyes !
Allow them accent, cadence, - fools may feel ; When lab'ring passions, in his bosom pent, But, spite of all the criticising elves, Convulsive rage, and struggling heave for vent; Those who would make us feel, must feel themselves. Spectators, with imagin'd terrours warm,
His eyes, in gloomy socket taught to roll, Anxious expect the bursting of the storm :
Proclaim'd the sullen habit of his
soul. But, all untit in such a pile to dwell,
Heavy and phlegmatic he trod the stage, His voice comes forth, like Echo from her cell ; Too proud for tenderness, too dull for rage. To swell the tempest needful aid denies,
When Hector's lovely widow shines in tears, And all a-down the stage in feeble murmur dies. Or Rowe's gay rake dependant virțue jeers,
What man, like Barry, with such pains can err With the same cast of features he is seen In elocution, action, character ?
To chide the libertine, and court the queen. What man could give, if Barry was not here, From the tame scene, which without passion flows, Such well-applauded tenderness to Lear?
With just desert his reputation rose; Who else can speak so very, very fine,
Nor less he pleas’d, when, on some surly plan, That sense may kindly end with ev'ry line? He was, at once, the actor and the man. Some dozen lines before the ghost is there,
In Brute he shone unequall'd: all agree Behold him for the solemn scene prepare.
Garrick's not half so great a brute as he. See how he frames his eyes, poises each limb, When Cato's labour'd scenes are brought to view, Puts the whole body into proper trim.
With equal praise the actor labour'd too ; From whence we learn, with no great stretch of art, For still you 'll find, trace passions to their root, Five lines hence comes a ghost, and ha! a start. Small diff'rence 'twixt the stoic and the brute.
When he appears most perfect, still we'find In fancied scenes, as in life's real plan, Something which jars upon, and hurts the mind. He could not, for a moment, sink the man. Whatever lights upon a part are thrown,
In whate'er cast his character was laid, We see too plainly they are not his own.
Self still, like oil, upon the surface play'd.
Nature, in spite of all his skill, crept in :
Next follows Sheridan - a doubtful name,
Quin, from afar, lur’d by the scent of fame, This, fondly lavish in his praises grown, A stage Leviathan, put in his claim,
Gives him all merit; that allows him none. Papil of Betterton and Booth. Alone,
'Between them both we 'll steer the middle course, Sullen he walk'd, and deem'd the chair his own. Nor, loving praise, rob Judgment of her force.
Just his conceptions, natural and great : But, only us'd in proper time and place, His feelings strong, his words enforc'd with weight. Severest judgment must allow them grace. Was speech-fam'd Quin himself to hear him speak, If bunglers, form'd on Imitation's plan, Envy would drive the colour from his cheek : Just in the way that monkies mimic man, But step-dame Nature, niggard of her grace, Their copied scene with mangled arts disgrace, Deny'd the social pow'rs of voice and face. And pause and start with the same vacant face; Fix'd in one frame of features, glare of eye, We join the critic laugh; those tricks we scorn, Passions, like chaos, in confusion lie:
Which spoil the scenes they mean them to adorn. In vain the wonders of his skill are try'd
But when, from Nature's pure and genuine source, To form distinctions Nature hath deny'd.
These strokes of acting flow with gen'rous force, His voice no touch of harmony admits,
When in the features all the soul 's pourtray'd, Irregularly deep and shrill by fits :
And passions, such as Garrick’s, are display'd, The two extremes appear like man and wife, To me they seem from quickest feelings caught : Coupled together for the sake of strife.
Each start is Nature, and each pause is Thought. His action 's always strong, but sometimes such, When Reason yields to Passion's wild alarms, That candour must declare he acts too much. And the whole state of man is up in arms; Why must impatience fall three paces back ? What but a critic could condemn the play'r, Why paces three return to the attack ?
For pausing here, when Cool-Sense pauses there? Why is the right leg too forbid to stir,
! Whilst, working from the heart, the fire I trace, Unless in motion semicircular ?
And mark it strongly flaming to the face; Why must the hero with the Nailor vie,
Whilst, in each sound, I hear the very man; And hurl the close-clench'd fist at nose or eye ? I can't catch words, and pity those who can. In royal John, with Philip angry grown,
Let wits, like spiders, from the tortur'd brain, I thought he would have knock'd poor Davies Fine-draw the critic-web with curious pain : down.
The gods, - a kindness I with thanks must pay, Inhuman tyrant ! was it not a shame,
Have form'd me of a coarser kind of clay ; To fright a king so harmless and so tame ?
Not stung with envy, nor with pain diseas'd, But, spite of all defects, his glories rise ;
A poor dull creature, still with Nature pleas'd; And Art, by Judgment form’d, with Nature vies : Hence to thy praises, Garrick, I agree, Behold him sound the depth of Hubert's soul, And, pleas'd with Nature, must be pleas'd with thee. Whilst in his own contending passions roll;
Now I might tell, how silence reign'd throughout, View the whole scene, with critic judgment scan, And deep attention hush'd the rabble rout: And then deny him merit if you can.
How ev'ry claimant, tortur'd with desire, Where he falls short, 't is Nature's fault alone; Was pale as ashes, or as red as fire: Where he succeeds, the merit 's all his own. But, loose to fame, the Muse more simply acts,
Last Garrick came. - Behind him throng a train Rejects all Hourish, and relates mere facts. Of snarling critics, ignorant as vain.
The judges, as the several parties came, (claim, One finds out, -“ He 's of stature somewhat With temper heard, with judgment weigh'd each low
And, in their sentence happily agreed, Your hero always should be tall, you know. In name of both, great Shakspeare thus decreed. True nat'ral greatness all consists in height.
“ If manly sense; if Nature link'd with Art; Produce your voucher, Critic. Sergeant Kite.” If thorough knowledge of the human heart; Another can't forgive the paltry arts
If pow'rs of acting vast and unconfin'd; By which he makes his way to shallow hearts; If fewest faults with greatest beauties join'd; Mere pieces of finesse, traps for applause
If strong expression, and strange pow'rs which lie “ Avaunt, unnat’ral start, affected pause."
Within the magic circle of the eye; For me, by Nature form'd to judge with phlegm, If feelings which few hearts, like his, can know, I can't acquit by wholesale, nor condemn.
And which no face so well as his can show, The best things carried to excess are wrong: Deserve the pref'rence - Garrick, take the chair ; The start may be too frequent, pause too long; Nor quit it till thou place an equal there."
EDWARD Young, a poet of considerable celebrity, the “ Night Thoughts.” This production is truly was the only son of Dr. Edward Young, fellow of original in design and execution : it imitates none, Winchester College, and rector of Upham, Hamp- and has no imitators. Its spirit is, indeed, gloomy shire. He was born at his father's living, in 1684, and severe, and its theology awful and overwhelmand was educated at Winchester school, whence he ing. It seems designed to pluck up by the roots was removed to New College, and afterwards to every consolation for human evils, except that Corpus Christi College, Oxford. By the favour of founded on the scheme of Christianity which the Archbishop Tenison he obtained a law-fellowship writer adopted; yet it presents reflections which at All-Souls. At this time his chief pursuit are inculcated with a force of language, and subappears to have been poetry; and it is little to his limity of imagination, almost unparalleled. It credit, with respect to his choice of patrons, that he abounds with the faults characteristic of the writer, has sought them through all the political changes of and is spun out to a tedious length, that of nine the time. Tragedy was one of his favourite pur- books; but if not often read through, it will never suits, in which his « Revenge," dedicated in 1721 sink into neglect. It was evidently the favourite to the Duke of Wharton, was regarded as his work of the author, who ever after wished to be principal effort. Many other performances, how known as the composer of the “ Night Thoughts." ever, took their turn, of which the most noted at The numerous editions of the work sufficiently this time were his “ Paraphrase on Part of the prove the hold which it has taken of the public Book of Job ;” and “ The Love of Fame, or the mind. Universal Passion."
The lyric attempts of Young were singularly Young, now in his forty-fourth year, having unfortunate, not one of his pieces of that class given up his prospects as a layman, took orders, having a claim for perusal ; and, indeed, many of and was nominated one of the Royal Chaplains. his other poetical writings display inequalities, and He published some prose works as the fruits of his defects of taste and judgment, very extraordinary new profession, of which were, “The True Estimate for a writer of his rank. In an edition of his of Human Life," representing only its dark side ; works, published during his life, in four vols. 8vo., and “ An Apology for Princes, or the Reverence he himself excluded several compositions, which he due to Government,” a sermon, well suited to a thought of inferior merit, and expunged many de. court chaplain. In 1730 he was presented, by his dications, of which he was doubtless ashamed. A college, to the rectory of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire; letter to him, from Archbishop Secker, proves, and in the following year he married Lady Eliza- however, that at a late period of life he had not beth Lee, widow of Colonel Lee, and daughter of ceased to solicit preferment. He latterly fell unthe Earl of Lichfield. This lady he lost in 1741, der domestic sway, and was entirely subdued to after she had borne him one son. Other affecting the controul of a housekeeper. Young continued family losses occurred about that period, and aggra- to exist till April 1765, when he expired in his vated his disposition to melancholy; and it was in 84th year. this year that he commenced his famous poem,
ON PART OF
THE BOOK OF JOB.
And spotted plagues, that mark'd his limbs all o'er