Page images

My ever dear Sir, and most worthy friend, I have been shingled so cruelly, that I am still confined, and obliged to submit to the mortification of making Mr. Hatsell my proxy, as I am yours. The young Ruspini was numbered among the Christians of this island, this day. They say he was born with teeth!

It is now past ten o'clock. I stay'd so late on purpose to be able to send you news, I send you very bad-time and tide, and the post, will stay for no man.-Brief then let me be. The mob, then, with respect be it spoken, have proceeded so far, as to beset the King's Bench prison, and endeavoured, it is said, to rescue Mr. Wilkes, (who will not be rescued). The guards, horse and foot, attended, and blows ensued. They have fired several times—some half dozen are killed, fresh mob and fresh troops pour into St. George's Fields continually. The King is this moment come from Rich, mond. Every thing is in great confusion and tumult. God knows how the storm will end, and who may sink in it. I know no more, and must write no more, for the postman is impatient. I love you, I honour you, and that good woman who is yours: I will write again, and again, and again, and give you every mark of that affection, with which my heart is full, and live and die your obliged and affectionate Half an hour after Ten, a star light night,

R. BERENGER. May 10, 1768. We had intended to have trans- Sinking Fund) drew ll. 155. per cribed entire, the pay-list of Drury- night ; and the pensioners of the estaLane theatre, in 1765, but perhaps it blishment-how much, gentle reader, will be better to extract a few items dost thou think? Why, verily, of the only. The present expenses of Co- 69). 11s. 6d. expended nightly, the vent Garden theatre, are estimated, sum of 3s. 8d. was devoted to chawe believe, at 2001. a night. On the rity! This reminds us of Falstaff's 9th of February, 1765, the expenses bill, owing to the widow Quickly. of Old Drury were 69!. lls. 6d. per It is the halfpenny worth of bread to night. The company consisted of the quarts of sack. It bears the about one hundred and sixty per- same relation that the meat does to formers, among whom were names of the soup of a Frenchman, which high celebrity. Garrick was at the gives scarcely a weak relish to the head of the company, with a salary water. per night of 21. 158. 6d.

But, let us say no more.—We love

Per Night the theatre. Many and many a night Mr. Yates (the famous Othello) £. s. d. have we gone thither, with heavy

and his wife, received 3 6 8 hearts, and come away with light Palmer and wife .....

2 0 0

ones. A wink from Munden, or a King (the celebrated Sir Peter

smile from Liston, is always worth Teazle)

1 6 8 Parsons (a great name, too, in

the money we pay to see it, and the theatrical annals) only.

giggle of Grimaldi is a thing not to

recomanem 0 6 8 Mrs. Cibber

2 10 0

be estimated. Passing by Kean and Mrs. Pritchard

2 6 8

Macready, and John and Charles Mrs. Clive

i 15 © Kemble, all of whom we have seen Miss Pope (first of confidants and

again and again, who would not lay chambermaids,—the Miss Kel.

down his 38. 6d. readily to be perly of the last generation) the

mitted to gaze away hours, unmosmall sum of

0 13 4 lested, in the beautiful presence of Signior Guestinelli (chief singer) 1 3 4 Miss Foote,—or to hear the stream Signior Grimaldi and wife (chief

of sweet sound which perpetually dancers,—the Signior, we be

flows over Miss Stephens's lips ! lieve, was uncle of our present matchless clown).

Either the one or the other is surely,

1 0 0 Mr. Slingsby (immortal for his

at all times sufficient, to introduce us allemande)

to pleasant images, or delightful

0 10 0 Let us not omit to add, that Mr. malice of our stars, unless their as

thoughts, and even to out-charm the Pope (the barber) had 4s. a night- pect be more than ordinarily perverse. that the s. Fund (we presume the

X. Vol. III.


Town Conversation.

No. II.


at it !

It is as we predicted: the stage mencing lines of his Cato," The has at length fairly roused the atten- dawn is overcast, fc.” Ben Jonson tion of powerful writers,—and we makes Lentulus say, trust that booksellers

' and managers' It is, methinks, a morning full of fate! attention to their own interests,and a public, enlightened enough to Had all the weights of sleep and death hung

It riseth slowly, as her sullen care appreciate genius, and liberal enough to reward it, will still continue to af- Her face is like a water turn’d to blood, ford sufficient encouragement for the And her sick head is bound about with success of literature, in all its depart- clouds, ments of independent and honourable As if she threatened night e'er noon of day! exertion, without calling in suspicious allies. It is not long since we We think the original morsel the saw “ a fine old Roman story,” admi- best of the two. The following, also, rably dramatized, and welcomed with is a noble passage in this play :-Caa quick and true feeling, that did tiline is recommending secrecy and great credit to the judgment of our silence to the conspirators, till the audiences.-Our Dramatic Report moment comes for action. for this month records another instance of victory, equally creditable Seal'd up and silent, as when rigid frosts

Meanwhile, all rest to him by whom it has been won, Have bound up brooks and rivers, forced and those by whom it has been wild beasts awarded. The advantage of these Unto their caves, and birds into the wood, honourable events, will soon be more Clowns to their houses, and the country fully experienced, in their effect on

leeps : our dramatic literature. A poet, That when the sudden thaw comes, we may who possesses an unusual command break over nervous and energetic diction, Upon ’em like a deluge, bearing down combining this power with a rapid Half Rome before us,- and invade the rest and glowing imagination, that

rushes With cries and noise, able to wake the urns amongst the various rich elements of Of those are dead, and make their ashes

fear. moral and external beauty, -seizing and combining them into fair and no- Jonson's play, however, is in geble creations,-has, we hear, just neral heavy in its harangues, and finished a tragedy, on a subject, often ranting, and absurd in style.which, in such hands, excites our ex- Mr. Croly, we hear from the persons pectations in no common degree. who have necessarily seen his piece, Catiline is the name of this piece; may be at least said to treat Catiline and it suggests the idea of gigantic well. He takes him as a Colossus, grandeur. Mr. Croly,—for he it is under whose mighty stride the mawho has adventured on this arduous jesty of Rome is made to pass. His task,-has, we trust, well felt of character is that of a lofty and stern how much such a theme is capable, mind,—with sudden ebullitions of and how much it demands. Ben softness gushing out, like springs in Jonson has treated it--but not suc- the great desert. He is exhibited in cessfully; though there are splendid that situation of dreadful interest passages in his piece. Its opening fluctuating for a time, with conspiwith the appearance of Sylla's ghost, racy before him :- then he plunges uttering words of dreadful portent, into the gulph, and perishes. It and pointing to Catiline in his study, must be admitted, that this is the is very striking. In this play we find way to set about the subject; and a passage, which musthavesuggested, we long to see what the poet has to Addison, the well-known com- been able to execute.

are numerous.

SIR BOBRTON BRYDGES. Res Literariæ : Bibliographical and Critical, for October 1820. Naples. Sir Egerton Brydges is a gentle- The plan of the following work is at preman well known to be devoted to sent so much in use, that it requires no exliterature,-and now a traveller, who planation. may emphatically be said to drag at

Reviews and journals of modern books each remove a lengthening chain. It

There is, at least, as much has also happened to us lately to be necessity for bringing into notice what has

been thrown aside into oblivion, by the opetravellers, and wherever we went we

ration of time, as what is new. There found vestiges of Sir Egerton,-remnants of his mind, in the shape of sirable to retrace our steps, and to come

never was a period when it was more deEnglish books, printed in foreign back again to the period of more sound and parts, for the benefit, we presume, of sober times. the natives. At Geneva, early last Only seventy-five copies have been taken year, we encountered Sir Egerton's of this work. volume on political economy, with Naples, Dec. 6, 1820. Packhoud's imprint-drawn from our

The first article is on the life and countryman, no doubt, by his breathing the same air with Sismondi. At writings of Petrarch; of whom our Florence, he had dropped a volume

worthy Baronet, much to his honour, of tales and poetry. In the autumn,

is a passionate admirer : his reasons we were at Rome, and heard from for choosing this subject may be deour valet de place, as his first piece

duced-from his first paragraph. of news, that Sir Brydges had esta- Notwithstanding all that has been writblished a printing press in the eter- ten about Petrarch, in the last three hunnal city, under the protection of a dred years, a good life of him, and an adecardinal. At Naples, almost the first quate criticism upon him, are yet wanting. book we met with was the work, the

This does not arise from the paucity, but title of which stands at the head of from the abundance of the materials for this notice, and which is the com

them. Nor are they materials such as mencing number of a series, which

mere industry and labour will master.

They require a taste cultivated, enlarged, the Chevalier Du Pont (as Sir Eger,

tender, refined, exalted : they require an ton Brydges was called at Paris) in

intimate knowledge of the cotemporary histends perseveringly to continue, un- tory of the principal nations of Europe : less he should be stopped by an in- they require a profound and philosophic invasion, or an eruption. Every man sight into the movements of cabinets : but, has his hobby, says Sterne ; a print- what they most of all require, (next to ing press seems to be Sir Egerton's : taste) is an erudition, familiar with all the -but that he should go abroad to details of the revival of learning, which, at print and publish English books,

this time, was in the full vigour of the new is surely strange! His ambition once expanse of its wings. was to “ witch the world,” with Of all these required qualities, the smart volumes, from the private Baronet well knows (and the world press at Lee Priory;but, as if a ought to know) that he is possessed ! private press in his own country was Our admiration of Petrarch is almost not sufficiently secluded from the in- as warm as his; we think with him terference of the impertinent curi- that “ in finished grace, tenderness, osity of readers, he has now allowed and sweetness of expression, Petrarch his love of obscurity as an author, to has no rival ;" but when he seems carry him away to strangers alto- unwillingly to give the palm of pregether,-amongst whom he may ference to Dante, and asserts that, in reasonably hope to be able to print some respects, the merits of Pes and publish once a month, or oftener, trarch's genius are more extraordiwithout running any very imminent nary, our brows drop, and our hearts hazard of having his modest pages refuse conviction, for we have been rumpled or fluttered by the eagerness accustomed to consider Dante, as we of perusal.

consider Shakspeare, a holy star, Řes Literariæ is a sort of retros- with whose pure rays, the rays of no pective review, published in English, other planet can assimilate, and with in face of the island of Caprea! The whom to affect rivalry, or compaauthor's preface is succinct.

rison, is to be guilty of sacrilege.

The following eulogium we think « Mr. Hobhouse next attacks, in just.

harsh terms, De Sade's interpreta,

tion of the word “ ptubs into para To dwell for ever on the same subject ; tubus, instead of perturbationibus, as to give endless variety to that which ap- the printed copies have it.

But pears to common eyes always the same ; to

Baldelli has since found an ancient find language for the most transient and Ms. in the Laurentian Library, which hidden movements of the heart ; to reflect decides this question in De Sade's these images with a clearness, in which not a speck disturbs the transparency; seems

favour : for the MS. writes the word to be a proof, (if any proof of this can be patubs:” which must be taken to admitted) that poetry is really inspiration! be partubus," and not “perturba

This will appear, to the taste of many, tionibus.". The passage is in the extravagant praise ! But it is not said with. third dialogue between St. Augusout long and leisurely consideration. The tine and Petrarch, De Contemptu French have no sympathy for these simple Mundi, written in 1313.” effusions of what is properly called pure Sir Egerton gives ample extracts poetry; and they, and tireir followers, will

to gratify the curious reader: we more especially deny it the merit of pu: must, however, content ourselves with rity, on account of the occasional conceits the single one, so often givenwith which some of the least excellent of the poems are deformed. (Page 4.)

A. Non hoc quæritur, quantum

tibi lachrymarum mors illius formiWe are pleased to see our author data, quantumve doloris invexerit; support the reality of Laura, and the sed hoc agitur, ut, intelligas, quæ reality and purity of Petrarch's pas- semel concussit, posse formidinem sion: we have always been inclined reverti, eoque facilius quod et omnis to savoir mauvais gré to that cold dies ad mortem propius accedit, et earth-levelling spirit, which has at- corpus illud egregium, morbis ac crebris tempted to throw doubt and ridicule patubs exaustum, nullum pristini vigoris on these subjects: they have a fa- amisit." vourite romantic corner in our hearts, It seems to me (continues the from which we should with sorrow Baronet, after giving the extracts) see them expelled. To divide the most strange, that the account given name of Laura from Petrarch, would by the poet, of his passion for Laura, be like dividing the names of Hero should leave any reader in doubt of and Leander, of Abelard and Eloise, its existence; or of its purity, as names which, from our infancy, we well as of its force. The birth of two have been accustomed to hear toge- natural children, of whom the name ther, and which are rendered sacred, of the mother has not been preserved in their union, by long and delightful —and one of them (- a daughter,--) association. To disclose to us that apparently, a few months prior to Petrarch's love had no higher cha- the date of these Dialogues, is opposracter than a common amour, would ed by some critics to the sincerity of be to destroy one of our most che- this attachment. But Petrarch insists rished romantic feelings of which, on the unblemished and impregnaalas ! at present not many remain.* ble virtue of Laura: he admits that

We wish the worthy Baronet had, he has not been himself blameless. in his black letter researches, found “ Cum lorifragum et præcipitem(me more supporting arguments, for we Laura) « viderit, deserere maluit, would defend these subjects with a quam sequi.Incautus in laqueum triple wall of brass : what he says, offendi: amor, ætasque coegerunt. however, has its value. Our Baronet, Firmavi jam tandem animum labenthough not Hercules, triumphs, on tem,etc. these points, over Mr. Hobhouse, “ Others represent this love to whose notions are always grovelling. have been Platonic, because, in their

We have talked with many French people about Petrarch and Laura, and Petrarch's poetry; and we cannot call to mind a single instance in which the poetry was not ridiculed, and the passion disbelieved. The fair sex we have found particularly sceptical on the latter subject. We remember talking with a lady about Petrarch's pas. sion, shortly after the appearance of Mad. de Genlis’ Petrarque et Laure; she finished the conversation with this declaration : “ Oui-oui! c'est beau, c'est tres beau ! mais il y a une chose de certaine, qu'une telle passion n'ait jamais cristée, et n'existera jamais !--c'est tout--1-fuit hors de nature."

[ocr errors]

opinion, such a passion is a ridiculous that does not deserve notice.” De chimera. Without admitting this Sade's Memoirs he esteems highly, presumption, a reader of fancy and and regrets that the book is become sensibility will find both in these scarce. The best modern work conextracts, and in numerous passages of cerning Petrarch, he affirms to be a the poetry of Petrarch, signs of a tem- life of the poet, by Baldelli + (a Floperament sufficiently earthly. Yet a rentine nobleman still living) a book mind gifted by nature, like Petrarch's, little known in England. and trained as his faculties were, This long, curious, and unconnectcould easily give itself up to that ed article, after insisting on the neavisionary enthusiasm, which appears cessity of recalling the public taste so improbable to vulgar opinion, to good old established models, con&c. (P. 78.)

cludes thus: On the works of Petrarch our au,

It is astonishing that living popularity thor has advanced nothing new. To should be taken as a conclusive, or even as account for the inferiority of his a strong proof of merit. In my own time, Latin works, he extracts the follow- in the forty years that I have been old ing well known passage from enough to make observations, I have seen

L'Elogio del Petrarca," by Betti- the poetical taste and fashion change, in nelli.

England, at least eight times. The two “ Che se dimandassi come fosse il living poets, who held the sway when I Petrarca si elegante in volgare, e si first became capable of judging, were poco in latino, altro dir non saprei, se

Mason and Beattie. Soon after, the reign non che nel primo fu creator del suo

of Hayley commenced. Then came Cowper,

and Burns. Even the Della Crusca school stile da Cino* soltanto delineato ; glittered for its little day. Then came ma nel secondo fu educato dal suo

Darwin, whose dominion was as short as it secolo, e dall'esempio de' rozzi suoi was brilliant. The rest I leave the reader costumi, che non distinguevano ne' to fill up, lest I should offend those whom latini l'oro dali altri metalli."

I name, or those whom I omit. Of all The objects of this article, the things I hate literary warfare the most. Baronet tells us, are to give the En- I resort to literature as a balm to the mind; glish reader some knowledge of as a peaceful refuge from the troubles of Petrarch, “because (says he) I can

the world. To introduce angry and connot refrain from thinking, that in the tentious passions here, would be to pour present day, he knows but very little poison into the cup of gentlencss, harmony,

and delight. of this great poet: and that little, upon very superficial and tasteless We admire and respect the sentiauthorities.”—He would recall the li- ment contained in the last lines; and terary world to the study of that we hope Sir Egerton may long, congreat author, and conduct them to tinue to enjoy that “balm," and the original sources by which his cha- “ peaceful refuge,” on which he racter may be judged of. The bio- places so great and so just a value. graphers and critics of Petrarch he The article contains literal

prose treats rather harshly; the Memoir of translations of twenty-seven of the Lord Wodehouselee (he says) does most admired Sonnets of Petrarch, the author little honour: Tiraboschi, and of two of his fine Canzoni, made he says, is dry; Ginguenè retains á (as we are informed in a note) by a French taste; and Sismondi “ judges young lady, the daughter of the like a Frenchman of Petrarch's Son- writer: they certainly prove all that nets." Mrs. Dobson's work, he they were intended to prove, viz. styles, "a bungling, gossipping, un- “ translate his Sonnets in plain prose, educated abridgement of De Sade, and a high degree of the poetical

Cino was a celebrated lawyer, of Pistoia, of a noble family. His Rime were published by Nicolo Ricci, at Rome, 1559; and again by Faustino Tasso, at Venice, 1589. Crescimbeni pronounces him the most sweet and graceful 'poet before Petrarch. The Italians consider him the first who gave a grace to Lyric Poetry. His style is now a little antiquated, but his thoughts are just. He died at Bologna in 1336, with the reputation of a learned man.

+ We coincide with Sir Egerton in this opinion, and recommend the work in question to the lovers of Italian literature.

* Mr. Hazlite makes a similar assertion—we forget, however, the number he mentions.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »