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pliments of Monsieur Le Blanc, for a plea- Well-replied I-we'll wait a minute sant voyage down the Rhone- -when I for thy driver. was stopped at the gate
He turned his head thoughtful "T'was by a poor ass, who had just about, and looked wistfully the opposite turned in with a couple of large panniers way. upon his back, to collect eleemosinary tur- I understand thee perfectly, answered I-nip-tops, and cabbage leaves, and stood if thou takest a wrong step in this affair, dubious with his two fore-feet on the in. he will cudgel thee to death -Well! side of the threshold, and with his two a minute is but a minute, and if it saves a hinder feet towards the street, as not fellow-creature a drubbing, it shall not be knowing very well whether he was to go set down as ill spent. in or no.
He was eating the stem of an artichoke Now, 'tis an animal (be in what hurry as this discourse went on, and in the little I may,) I cannot bear to strike there peevish contentions of nature betwixt hunis a patient endurance of sufferings, wrote ger and unsavouriness had dropt it out of so unaffectedly in his looks and carriage, his mouth half a dozen times, and pick'd which pleads so mightily for him, that it it up again—God help thee, Jack! said always disarms me; and to that degree, I, thou hast a bitter breakfast on't-and that I do not like to speak unkindly to many a bitter day's labour-and many a him; on the contrary, meet him where I bitter blow, I fear, for it's wages—'tis will-whether in town or country—in all bitterness to thee, whatever life is cart or under panniers—whether in liberty to others.
—And now thy mouth, if or bondage I have ever something one knew the truth of it, is as bitter, I civil to say to him on my part; and as dare say, as soot—(for he had cast aside one word begets another (if he has as little the stem) and thou hast not a friend perto do as I)—I generally fall into conversa- haps in all this world, that will give thee tion with him; and surely never is my
In saying this, I pulled imagination so busy as in framing his re- out a paper of them, which I had just pursponses from the etchings of his counte- chased, and gave him one and at this nance and where those carry me not deep moment that I am telling it, my heart enough-in flying from my own heart smites me, that there was more of pleainto his, and seeking what is natural for an santry in the conceit, of seeing how an ass ass to think—as well as a man, upon the would eat a macaroon- than of beneoccasion. In truth, it is the only creature volence in giving him one, which presided of all the classes of beings below me, with in the act. whom I can do this: for parrots, jack
When the ass had eaten his macaroon, daws, &c.—I never exchange a word I press'd him to come in the poor beast with them nor with the apes, &c. for was heavy loaded-his legs seemed to pretty near the same reason; they act by tremble under him-he hung rather back. rote, as the others speak by it, and equally wards, and, as I pulled at his halter, it make me silent: nay, my dog and my cat, broke short in my hand—be look'd up though I value them both and for my pensive in my face" Don't thrash me
(“ dog, he would speak if he could)—yet, with it—but if you will, you may.”. somehow or other, they neither of them If I do, said I, I'll be d-d. possess the talents for conversation--I can The word was but one half of it
promake nothing of a discourse with thein, nounced, like the abbess of Andoüillei's-beyond the preposition, the reply, and re. (so there was no sin init)—when a person joinder which terminated my father's and coming in, let fall a thundering bastinado mother's conversation, in his beds of jus- upon the poor devil's crupper, which put tice-and those uttered there's an end an end to the ceremony. of the dialogue----
upon for ever.
cried 1-but the interjection was equiCome, Honesty! said I-seeing it was vocal -and, I think, wrong placed too
I impracticable to pass betwixt him and the for the end of an osier, which had started gate-art thou for coming in or going out from the contexture of the ass's pan
nier, had caught hold of my breeches The ass twisted his head round to look pocket as he rushed by me, and rent it up the street
in the most disastrous direction you can
imagine--so that the Out upon it! in my and repartees in a grin: in short, he pracopinion, should have come in here. tises on Congreve and Vanbrugh all those
Sterne. distortions which gained him so much
applause from the galleries, in the drubs $63. Players in a country lown de
which he was obliged to undergo in panscribed.
tomimes. I was vastly diverted at seeThe players, you must koow, finding ing a fellow in the character of Sir Harry this a good town, had taken a lease the Wildair, whose chief action was a contia last summer of an old synagogue deserted nual pressing together of the thumb and by the Jews; but the mayor, being a pres- fore-finger, which had be lifted them to byterian, refused to licence their exhibi- his nose, I should bave thought he detions: however, when they were in the ut- signed as an imitation of taking snuff: most despair, the ladies of the place joined but I could easily account for the cause in a petition to Mrs. Mayoress, who pre- of this single gesture, when I discovered vailed on her husband to wink at their that Sir Harry was no less a person than performances. The company immediately the dexterous Mr. Clippit, the candleopened their Synagogue theatre with the souffer. Merchant of Venice; and finding a quack You will laugh to see how strangely doctor's zany, a droll fellow, they decoyed the parts of a play are cast. They played him into their service; and he has since Cato; and their Marcia was such an old performed the part of the Mock Doctor, woman, that when Juba came on with with universal applause. Upon his re- his“ Hail! charming maid !”. volt, the doctor himself found it absolutely the fellow could not help laughing. An-, necessary to enter of the company; and, other night I was surprised to hear an having a talent for tragedy, has performed eager lover talk of rushing into his miswith great success the Apothecary in Ro- tress's arms, rioting on the nectar of her meo and Juliet.
lips, and desiring (in the tragedy rap The performers at our rustic theatre are ture) to “ hug her thus, and thus, for far beyond those paltry strollers, who run ever;" though he always took care to about the country, and exhibit in a barn stand at a most ceremonious distance. or a cow-house: for (as their bills declare) But I was afterwards very much diverted they are a company of Comedians from at the cause of this extraordinary respect, the Theatre Royal; and I assure you they when I was told that the lady laboured are as much applauded by our country under the misfortune of an ulcer in her critics, as any of your capital actors. The leg, which occasioned such a disagree.. shops of our tradesmen have been almost able stench, that the performers were deserted, and a crowd of weavers and obliged to keep her at arm's length. The hardwaremen have elbowed each other entertainment was Lethe; and the part two hours before the opening of the of the Frenchman was performed by a doors, when the bills have informed us, South Briton ; who, as he could not in enormous red letters, that the part of pronounce a word of the French lanGeorge Barnwell was to be performed guage, supplied its place by gabbling in by Mr.
at the particular desire of his 'native Welsh. several ladies of distinction. 'Tis true, The decorations, or (in the theatrical indeed, that our principal actors have dialect) the properties of our company, most of them had their education at Co. are as extraordinary as the performers. vent-garden or Drury-lane; but they have Othello raves about in a checked handbeen employed in the business of the dra. kerchief ; the ghost in Hamlet stalks in a ma in a degree but just above a scene- postilion's leathern jacket for a coat of shifter. An heroine, to whom your mac mail; and Cupid enters with a fiddlenagers in town (in envy to her rising me- case slung over his shoulders for a qui-, rit) scarce allotted the humble part of a The apothecary of the town is free confidante, now blubbers out Andro- of the house, for lending them a pestle and mache or Belvidera ; the attendants on mortar, to serve as the bell in Venice a monarch strut monarchs themselves, Preserv'd : and a barber-surgeon has the mutes find their voices, and message- same privilege, for furnishing them with bearers rise into heroes. The humour. basons of blood to besmear the daggers of our best comedian consists in shrugs in Macbeth. Macbeth himself carries and grimaces; he jokes in a wry mouth, a rolling-pin in his hand for a truncheon;
and, as the breaking of glasses would be happy and flourishing, ought to give us a very expensive, he dashes down a pewter pleasure as much superior, as the latter is pint-pot at the sight of Banquo's ghost. to the former in the scale of beings. But
A fray happened here the other night, the pleasure is still heightened, if we ourwhich was no small diversion to the audi- selves have been instrumental in contribut
It seems there had been a great ing to the happiness of our fellow-creacontest between two of those mimic he- tures, if we have helped to raise a heart roes, which was the fittest to play Richard drooping beneath the weight of grief, and the Third. One of them was reckoned revived that barren and dry land, where to have the better person, as he was very no water was, with refreshiog showers of round-shouldered, and one of his legs was love and kindness. Seed's
Sermons, shorter than the other; but his antago
$ 66. How Politeness is manifested. nist carried the part, because he started best in the tent scene. However when To correct such gross vices as lead us to the curtain drew up, they both rushed in commit a real injury to others, is the part upon the stage at once ; and bawling out of morals, and the object of the most orditogether, “ Now are our brows bound nary education. Where that is not attend. with victorious wreaths,” they both wented to, in some degree, no human society through the whole speech without stop
can subsist. But in order to render converping.
sation and the intercourse of minds more
easy and agreeable, good-manners have $64. Players often mistake one effect for been invented, and have carried the matter another.
somewhat farther. Wherever nature has The French have distinguished the ar- given the mind a propensity to any vice, or tifices made use of on the stage to deceive to any passion disagreeable to others, rethe audience, by the expression of Jeu de fined breeding has taught men to throw the Theatre, which we may translate," the juge bias on the opposite side, and to preserve, gle of the theatre.” When these little arts in all their behaviour, the appearance of are exercised merely to assist nature and sentiments contrary to those which they set her off to the best advantage, none can naturally incline to. Thus, as we are nabe so critically nice as to object to them; turally proud and selfish, and apt to assume but when tragedy by these means is lifted the preference above others, a polite man into rant, and comedy distorted into buf- is taught to behave with deference towards foonery; though the deceit may succeed those with whom he converses, and to yield with the multitude, men of sense will al- up the superiority to them in all the comways be offended at it. This conduct, mon incidents of society. In like manner, whether of the poet or the player, resem- wherever a person's situation may naturalbles in some sort the poor contrivance of ly beget any disagreeable suspicion in him, the ancients, who mounted their heroes 'tis the part of good manners to prevent it upon stilts, and expressed the manners by a studied display of sentiments directly of their characters by the grotesque figures contrary to those of which he is apt to be of their masks.
Ibid. jealous. Thus old men know their infir
mities, and naturally dread contempt from $65. True Pleasure defined.
youth : hence well-educated youth redouWe are affected with delightful sensa- ble their instances of respect and defertions, when we see the inanimate parts of ence to their elders. Strangers and fothe creation, the meadows, flowers, and reigners are without protection, hence, in trees, in a flourishing state. There must all polite countries, they receive the highbe some rooted melancholy at the heart, est civilities, and are entitled to the first when all nature appears smiling about us, place in every company.. A man is lord to hinder us from corresponding with the in his own family, and his guests are, in a rest of the creation, and joining in the manner, subject to his authority, hence he universal chorus of joy. But if meadows is always the lowest person in the comand trees in their cheerful verdure, if pany; attentive to the wants of every one ; flowers in their bloom, and all the vegeta- and giving himself all the trouble, in order ble parts of the creation in their most ad- to please, which may not betray too visible vantageous dress, can inspire gladness into an affectation, or impose too much conthe heart, and drive away all sadness but straint on his guests. Gallantry is nothing despair; to see the rational creation but an instance of the same generous and refined attention. As nature has given served, that the early writers are in posses. man the superiority above woman, by en- sion of nature, and their followers of art: dowing him with greater strength both of that the first excel in strength and invenmind and body, 'tis his part to alleviate tion, and the latter in elegance and refine. that superiority, as much as possible, by ment. the generosity of his behaviour, and by a “I was desirous to add my name to studied deference and complaisance for all this illustrious fraternity. I read all the her inclinations and opinions. Barbarous poets of Persia and Arabia, and was able nations display this superiority, by reduc- to repeat by memory the volumes that are ing their females to the most abject sla- suspended in the mosque of Mecca. But very; by confining them, by beating them, I soon found that no man was ever great by selling them, by killing ihem. But the by imitation. My desire of excellence male sex, among a polite people, discover impelled me to transfer my attention to their authority in a more generous, though nature and to life. Nature was to be my not a lest evident manner; by civility, by subject, and men to be my auditors: Í respect, by complaisance, and in a word, could never describe what I had not seen: by gallantry. In good company, you I could not hope to move those with deneed not ask, who is master of the feast? light or terror, whose interests and opiThe man who sits in the lowest place, and nions I did not understand. who is always industrious in helping every Being now resolved to be a poet, I one, is most certainly the person. We saw every thing with a new purpose ; my must either condemn all such instances of sphere of attention was suddenly magnigenerosity, as foppish and affected, or ad- fied; no kind of knowledge was to be mit of gallantry among the rest. The overlooked. I ranged mountains and deanciont Muscovites wedded their wivesserts for images and resemblances, and picwith a whip instead of a wedded ring. tured upon my mind every treo of the The same people in their own houses, forest and flower of the valley. I obtook always the precedency above fo- served with equal care the crags of the reigners, even foreign ambassadors. These rock, and the pinnacles of the palace. two instances of their generosity and po- Sometimes I wandered along the mazes of liteness are much of a-piece.
the rivulet, and sometimes watched the Hume's Essays.
changes of the summer clouds. To a $67. The Business and Qualifications of is beautiful, and whatever is dreadful,
poet nothing can be useless. Whatever a Poet described.
must be familiar to his imagination : he “Wherever I went, I found that poetry must be conversant with all that is awwas considered as the highest learning, fully vast, or elegantly little. The plants and regarded with a veneration somewhat of the garden, the animals of the wood, approaching to that which man would the minerals of the earth, and meteors of pay to the angelic nature. And it yet the sky, must all concur to store his mind fills me with wonder, that, in almost all with inexhaustible variety: for every idea countries, the most ancient poets are con- is useful for the enforcement or decorasidered as the best: whether it be that tion of moral or religious truth: and be every other kind of knowledge is an ac- who knows most will have most power of quisition, gradually attained, and poetry diversifying his scenes, and of gratifying is a gift conferred at once; or that the his reader with remote allusions and unfirst poetry of every nation surprised them expected instruction. as a novelty, and retained the credit by “ All the appearances of nature I was consent, which it received by accident at therefore careful to study, and every coun. first: or whether, as the province of try which I have surveyed has contributed poetry is to describe nature and passion, something to my poetical powers." which are always the same, the first wri- “ In so wide a survey,” said the prince, ters took possession of the most striking “ you must surely have left much unobobjects for description, and the most pro- served. I have lived, till now, within the bable occurrences for fiction, and left no- circuit of these mountains, and yet cannot thing to those that followed them, but walk abroad without the sight of sometranscriptions of the same events and new thing which I never beheld before, or combinations of the same images. What never heeded.” ever be the reason, it is commonly ob- “ The business of a poet," said Imlac,
" is to examine not the individual, but the especially if we take into that century the species, to remark general properties and laiter end of the commonwealth, wherein large appearances; he does not number we find Varro, Lucretius and Catullus : the streaks of the tulip, or describe the and at the same time lived Cicero, Sallust, different shades in the verdure of the fo- and Cæsar. A famous age in modern rest. He is to exhibit in his portraits of times, for learning in every kind, was nature such prominent and striking fea. that of Lorenzo de Medici, and his tares as recal the original to every mind; son Leo X. wherein painting was revived, and must neglect the minuter discrimina- poetry flourished, and the Greek language tions, which one may have remarked, and was restored. another have neglected, for those charac- Examples in all this are obvious: but teristics which are alike obvious to vigi- what I would infer is this, that in such lance and carelessness.
an age, 'uis possible some great genius “ But the knowledge of nature is only may arise to equal any of the ancients, half the task of a poet : he must be ac- abating only for the language; for great quainted likewise with all the modes of contemporaries whet and cultivate each life. His character requires that he esti- other; and mutual borrowing and commate the happiness and misery of every merce makes the common riches of learncondition, observe the power of all the ing, as it does of civil government. passions in all their combinations, and But suppose that Homer and Virgil trace the changes of the human mind as were the only poets of their species, and they are modified by various institutions, that nature was so much worn out in proand accidental influences of climate or ducing them, that she is never able to bear custom, from the sprightliness of infancy the like again ; yet the example only to the despondence of decrepitude. He holds in heroic poetry. In tragedy and samust divest himself of the prejudices of his tire, I offer myself to maintain, against some age or country; he must consider right of our modern critics, that this age and and wrong in their abstract and invariable the last, particularly in England, have state; he must disregard present laws and excelled the ancients in both these kinds. opinions, and rise to general and trans- Thus I might safely confine myself to cendental truths, which will always be the my native country; but if I would only same: he must therefore content himself cross the seas, I might find in France à with the slow progress of his name; con- living Horace and a Juvenal, in the person temn the applause of his own time, and of the admirable Boileau, whose numbers commit his claims to the justice of poste- are excellent, whose expressions are noble, rity. He must write as the interpreter of whose thoughts are just, whose language is nature, and the legislator of mankind, pure, whose satire is pointed, and whose and consider himself as presiding over the sense is close. What he borrows from thoughts and manners of future genera- the ancients, he repays with usury of his tions, as a being superior to time and place. own, in coin as good, and almost as upi
“ His labour is not yet at an end: he versally valuable ; for, setting prejudice must know many languages and many and partiality apart, though he is our enesciences; and, that his style may be wor. my, the stamp of a Louis, the patron of thy of his thoughts, must by incessant arts, is not much inferior to the medal of practice, familiarize to himself every deli- an Augustus Cæsar. Let this be said cacy of speech and grace of harmony."
without entering into the interests of facJohnson's Rasselas, tions and parties, and relating only the $ 68. Remarks on some of the best Poets, bounty of that king to men of learning both ancient and modern.
and merit; a praise so just, that even we, 'Tis manifest, that some particular ages who are his enemies, cannot refuse it to have been more happy than others in the him. production of great men, and all sorts
Now, if it may be permitted me to go of arts and sciences; as that of Eu, back again to the consideration of epic ripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and poetry, I have confessed that no man bithe rest, for stage poetry, among the therto has reached, or so much as apGreeks ; that of Augustus for heroic, proached to the excellencies of Homer or lyric, dramatic, elegiac, and indeed all Virgil; I must farther add, that Statius, sorts of poetry, in the persons of Virgil, the best versificator next Virgil, knew not Horace, Varius, Ovid, and many others; how to design after him, though he had