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And yet, perchance, 't is wiser to prefer
A hackncy'd plot, than choose a new, and err;
Yet copy not too closely, but record,
Morc justly, thought for thought than word for

word,
Nor trace your prototype through narrow ways,
But only follow where he merits praisc.

He sinks to Southey's level in a trice,
Whose epic mountains never fail in mice !
Not so of yore awoke your mighty sire
The temper'd warblings of his master-lyre;
Soft as the genuler breathing of the lute,
“Of man's first disobedience and the fruit"
He speaks, but, as his subject swells along,
Earth, heaven, and Hades echo with the song.
Still to the midst of things he hastens on,
As if we witness'd all already done;
Leaves on his path whatever seems too mean
To raise the subject, or adorn the scene;
Gives, as each page improves upon the sight,
Not smoke from brightness, but from darkness - light;

2

For you, young bard! whom luckless fate may lead
To tremble on the nod of all who read,
Ere your first score of cantos time unrolls,
Bewarc – for God's sake, don't begin like Bowles !!
“ Awake a louder and a loftier strain,"
And pray, what follows from his boiling brain ? -

Publica materies privati juris erit, si
Nec circa vilem paculumque moraberis orbem ;
Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus
Interpres, nec desilies imitator in arctum,
Unde pedem proferre pudor retet, aut operis lex.
Nec sic incipies. ut scriptor cyclicus olim :
“ Fortunam Priami cantabo, ct nobile belluun."
Quid dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu ?
Parturiunt montes : nascetur ridiculus mus.

Quanto rectius hic, qui nil molitur inepte !
“ Dic mihi, Musa, viruin, captæ post tempora Trojæ,
Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes."
Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fuino dare lucem
Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc iniracula promat,
Antiphaten, Scyllamque, et cum Cyclope Charybium.
Nec reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri,
Nec gemino belluin Trojanum orditur ab vo.
Semper ad eventum festinat ; et in medias res

terpretations ne parait étre la véritable." But by way of Mr. Townsend must not suppose me actuated by unworthy confort, it seems, fifty years afterwards, “Le lumineux inotives in this suggestion. I wish the author all the success Dumarsnis" mide his appearance, to set Horace on his legs he can wish himself, and shall be truly happy to see epic again, "dissiper tous les nuages, et concilier tous les disser- poetry weighed up from the bathos where it lies sunken with tinens ;” and soine tisty years hence, somebody, still more lu- Southey, Cottle, Cowley (Mrs. or Abraham), Ogilvy, Wilkie, minous, will doubtless start up and demolish Dumarsais and Pye, and all the " dull of past aud present days.” Even is lie his system on this weighty affair, as if he were no better than is not á Milton, he may be better than Blackmore ; if not a Ptolemy aud Tycho, or his comments of no more consequence

Homer, an intimachus. I should deem myself presumpthan astronomical calculations on the present comet. I am tuous, as a young man, in offering advice, were it not ad. happy to say, "la longucur de la dissertation" of M. D. pre- dressed to one still younger. Mr. Townsend has the greatest vents M. Gi from saying any more on the matter. A better dilliculties to encounter: but in conquering them he will find poet than Boileau, and at least as good a scholar as Sévigné, employment ; in having conquered them, his reward. I know has said,

too well " the scribbler's scoff, the critic's contumely;" and “ A little learning is a dangerous thing."

I am afraid time will teach Mr. Townsend to know

better. Those who succeed, and those who do not, must bear And, by this comparison of comments, it may be perceived

this alike, and it is hard to say which hare most of it. I how a good deal may be rendered as perilous to the pro- trust that Mr. Townsend's share will be from onry ; - he prietors. - (Dr. Johnson gave the interpretation thus-" He will soon know mankind well encugh not to attribute this cx. means that it is dithcult to appropriate to particular persons

pression to malice.- (This was penned at Athens. On his qualities which are common to all mankind. as Homer has

return to England Lord B. wrote to a friend :-" There is done."-" It seems to result from the whole discussion," says

a sucking epic poet at Granta, a Mr. Townsend, protégé of Mr. Croker, "that, in the ordinary meaning of the words, the

the late Cumberland. Did you ever hear of him and his passage is obscure, and that, to make sense, we must either

· Armageddon ?' I think his plan (the man I don't know) alter the words, or assign to them an unusual interpretation. borders on the sublime ; though, perhaps, the anticipation of All commentators are agreed, by the help of the context, what the general meaning must be; but no one seems able .verbum

the Last Day' is a little too daring: at least, it looks like

telling the Almighty what he is to do ; and might remind an verbo reddere tidus interpres.'(Boswell, vol. iii. p. 433.) - ill-natured person of the lineBut, in our humble opinion, Boileau's translation is precisely that of this " fidus interpres."']

* And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.'

But I don't mean to cavil - only other folks will; and he 1 About two years ago a young man, named Townsend, may bring all the lambs of Jacob Behmen about his ears. was announced by Mr. Cumberland * (in a review + since de- However, I hope he will bring it to a conclusion, though ceased) as being engaged on an epic poem to be entitled Milton is in his way." - All Lord Byron's anticipations, with “ Armageddon.' The plan and specimen promise much ; regard to this poem, were realised to the very letter. To but I hope neither to offend Mr. Townsend, nor his friends, gratify the curiosity which had been excited, Mr. Townsend, by recommending to his attention the lines of Horace to in 1815, was induced to publish eight out of the twelve books which these rhymes allude. If Mr. Townsend succeeds in his of which it was to consist. " In the benevolence of his undertaking, as there is reason to hope, how much will the heart, Mr. Cumberland," he says, “ bestowed praise on me, world be indebted to Mr. Cumberlandt for bringing him be. certainly too abundantly and prematurely; but I hope that fore the public! But, till that eventful day arrives, it may be any deticiency on my part may be imputed to the true cause douhted whether the premature display of his plan (sublimo - my own inability to support a subject, under which the as the ideas confessedly are) has not, - by raising expectation greatest mental powers must inevitably sink. My talents too high, or diminishing curiosity, by developing his argu. were neither cqual to my own ambition, nor his zeal to ment, rather incurred the hazard of injuring Mr. Towns. serve me.") end's future prospects. Mr. Cumberland (whose talents I

? (There is more of poetry in these verses upon Milton than shall not depreciate by the humble tribute of my praise) and in any other passage throughout the paraphrase. — Moore.]

• [On the original MS. we find, -" This note was written with the illustrious dead which surround us. (at Athens) “ before the author was apprised of Mr. Cum

subjects on divinity! there you will find the true Christian berland's death." The old littérateur died in May 1811, and spirit of the man who trusted in our Lord and Saviour Jesus had the honour to be buried in Westminster Abbey, and to Christ. May God forgive him his sins; and, at the resurrecbe eulogised, while the company stood round the grave, in tion of the just, receive him into everlasting glory!"] the following manly style by the then dean, Dr. Vincent, his schooliellow, and through life his friend. -" Good people! + The “ London Review," set up in 189, under Mr. Cumthe person you see now deposited is Richard Cumberland, an berland's editorial care, did not outlive many numbers. Ho author of no small merit: his writings were chiefly for the spoke great things in the prospectus, about the distinguishing stage, but of strict moral tendency: they were not without feature of the journal : viz. its having the writer's name affaults, but they were not gross, abounding with oaths and fixed to the articles. This plan has succerued pretty well both libidinous expressions, as, I am shocked to observe, is the in France and Germany, but has failed utterly as often as it case of many of the present day. He wrote as much as any has been tried in this country. It is needless, however, to go onc: few wrote betts; and his works will be held in the

into any speculation on the principle here; for the “ London highest estimation, is long as the English language will be Review," whether sent into the world with or without understood. He considered the theatre a school for moral

names, must soon have died of the original disease of dulimprovement, and his remains are truly worthy of mingling ness.)

Read his prose

Sits in the Senate ; gets a son and heir ;
Sends him to Harrow, for himself was there.
Mute, though he votes, unless when call'd to cheer,
His son's so sharp- he'll see the dog a peer!

And truth and fiction with such art compounds,
We know not where to fix their several bounds.
If you would please the public, deign to hear
What soothes the many-headed monster's ear;
If your heart triumph when the hands of all
Applaud in thunder at the curtain's fall,
Deserve those plaudits — study nature's page,
And sketch the striking traits of every age ;
While varying man and varying years unfold
Life's little tale, so oft, so vainly told :
Observe his simple childhood's dawning days,
His pranks, his prate, his playmates, and his plays;
Till time at length the mannish tyro weans,
And prurient vice outstrips his tardy teens !

Manhood declines - age palsies every limb; He quits the scene - or else the scene quits him ; Scrapes wealth, o'er each departing penny grieves, And avarice seizes all ambition leaves; Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets, O'er boards diminish'd by young Hopeful's debts ; Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy, Complete in all life's lessons — but to die ; Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please, Commending every time, save times like these ; Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot, Expires unwept — is buried - let him rot!

Behold him Freshman ! forced no more to groan O'er Virgil's 1 devilish verses and — his own; Prayers are too tedious, lectures tuo abstruse, He Aies from Tavell's frown to “Fordham's Mews;" (Unlucky Tavell?! doom'd to daily cares By pugilistic pupils, and by bears,) 3 Fines, tutors, tasks, conventions threat in vain. Before hounds, hunters, and Newmarket plain. Rough with his elders, with his equals rash, Civil to sharpers, prodigal of cash; Constant to nought- save hazard and a whore, Yet cursing both — for both have made him sore ; Unread (unless, since books beguile disease, The p-x becomes his passage to degrees); Fool'd, pillaged, dunn'd, he wastes his term away, And, unexpelld perhaps, retires M. A. ; Master of arts ! as hells and clubs * proclaim, Where scarce a blackleg bears a brighter name!

But from the Drama let me not digress, Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less. Though woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirr'd, When what is done is rather seen than heard, Yet many deeds preserved in history's page, Are better told than acted on the stage ; The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye, And horror thus subsides to sympathy. True Briton all beside, I here am French Bloodshed 't is surely better to retrench; The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow In tragic scene disgusts, though but in show; We hate the carnage while we see the trick, And find small sympathy in being sick. Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth Appals an audience with a monarch's death; To gaze when sable Hubert threats to sear Young Arthur's eyes, can ours or nature bear? A halter'd heroine 5 Johnson sought to slay We saved Irene, but half damnd the play,

Launch'd into life, extinct his early fire, He apes tbe selfish prudence of his sire ; Marries for money, chooses friends for rank, Buys land, and shrewdly trusts not to the Bank;

Non secus ac notas, auditorem rapit, et quæ
Desperat tractata nitescere posse, relinquit:
Atque ita mentitur, sic veris falsa remiscet,
Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.

Tu, quid ego et populus mecum desideret, audi.
Si plausoris eges aulæa manentis, et usque
Sessuri, donec cantor, Vos plaudite, dicat;
£tatis cujusque notandi sunt tibi mores,
Mobilibusque decor naturis dandus et annis.
Reddere qui voces jam scit puer, et pede certo
Signat humum ; gestit paribus colludere, et iram
Colligit ac ponit temere, et mutatur in horas.

Imberbis juvenis, tandem custode remoto, Gaudet equis canibusque, et aprici gramine campi ; Cereus in vitium flecti, monitoribus asper, Utilium tardus provisor, prodigus æris, Sublimis, cupidusque, et amata relinquere pernix.

Conversis studiis, ætas animusque virilis Quærit opes et amicitias, inservit honori; Commisisse cavet quod mox mutare laboret.

Multa senem conveniunt incommoda ; vel quod Quærit, et inventis miser abstinet, ac timet uti; Vel quod res omnes timide gelideque ministrat, Dilator, spe longus, iners, avidusque futuri; Difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti Se puero, castigator censorque minorum. Multa ferunt anni venientes commoda secum, Multa recedentes adimunt. Ne forte seniles Mandentur juveni partes, pueroque viriles, Semper in adjunctís, ævoque morabimur aptis.

Aut agitur res in scenis, aut acta refertur. Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quæ Ipse sibi tradit spectator. Non tamen intus Digna geri promes in scenam ; multaque tolles Ex oculis, quæ mox narret facundia præsens. Ne pueros coram populo Medea trucidet ; Aut humana palam coquat exta nefarius Atreus ; Aut in avem Progne vertatur, Cadmus in anguem. Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi.

a

I Harvey, the circulator of the circulation of the blood, used to Aing away Virgil in his ecstasy of admiration, and say, " the book had a devil." Now, such a character as I am copying would probably ding it away also, but rather wish that the devil had the book ; not from dislike to the poet, but ell-fou ed horror of hexameters. Indeed

the publi school penance of “ Long and Short" is enough to beget an antipathy to poetry for the residue of a man's life, and, perhaps, so far may be an advantage.

* " Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." I dare say Mr. Tavell (to whom I mean no affront) will understand me; and it is no matter whether any one else does or nc. To the above events, “quæque ipse miserriina vidi, et quorum pars magna lui, "all times and hirins bear testimony.'

[The Rev. G. F. Tavell was a fellow and tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, during Lord Byron's residence, and owed this notice to the zeal with which he had protested

against some juvenile vagaries, sufficiently explained in Mr. Moore's Notices, vol. i. p. 210.)

4“ Hell," a gaming-house so called, where you risk little, and are cheated a good deal. “ Club," a pleasant purgatory, where you lose more, and are not supposed to be cheated at all.

5" Irene had to speak two lines with the bowstring round her neck ; but the audience cried out Murder !' and she was obliged to go off the stage alive." -Boswell's Johnson. [These two lines were afterwards struck out, and Irene was carried off, to be put to death behind the scenes. “ This shows," says Mr. Malone, “how ready nodern audiences are to condemn, in a new play, what they have frequently endured very quietly in an old one. Rowe has made Moneses, in Tamerlane, die by the bowstring without offence." Davies assures us, in his Life of Garrick, that the strangling Irene, contrary to Horace's rule, coram populo, was sugested by Garrick. See Croker's Boswell, vol. i. p. 172.]

And (Heaven be praised !) our tolerating times
Stint metamorphoses to pantomimes;
And Lewis' self, with all his sprites, would quake
To change Earl Osmond's negro to a snake !
Because, in scenes exciting joy or grief,
We loathe the action which exceeds belief :
And yet, God knows what may not authors do,
Whose postscripts prate of dyeing “ heroincs blue?" 1

Above all things, Dan Poet, if you can,
Eke out your acts, I pray, with mortal man;
Nor call a ghost, unless some cursed scrape
Must open ten trap-doors for your escape.
Of all the monstrous things I'd fain forbid,
I loathe an opera worse than Dennis did; ?
Where good and evil persons, right or wrong,
Rage, love, and aught but moralise, in song.
Hail, last memorial of our foreign friends,
Which Gaul allows, and still Hesperia lends !
Napoleon's edicts no embargo lay
On whores, spies, singers wisely shipp'd away.
Our giant capital, whose squares are spread.
Where rustics earn'd, and now

may beg, their
bread,
In all iniquity is grown so nice,
It scorns amusements which are not of price.
Hence the pert shopkeeper, whose throbbing ear
Aches with orchestras which he pays to hcar,
Whom shame, not sympathy, forbids to snore,
His anguish doubling by his own“ encore ;
Squeezed in “ Fop's Alley," jostled by the beaux,
Teased with his hat, and trembling for his tocs;
Scarce wrestles through the night, nor tastes case,
Till the dropp'd curtain gives a glad release :
Why this, and more, he suffers - can ye guess ?
Because it costs him dear, and makes him dress !

So prosper eunuchs from Etruscan schools ; Give us but fiddlers, and they're sure of fools! Ere scenes were play'd by many a reverend clerk,3 (What harm, if David danced before the ark?) + In Christmas revels, simple country folks Were pleased with morrice-mumm'ry, and coarse jokes. Improving years, with things no longer known, Produced blithe Punch and merry Madame Joan, Who still frisk on with feats so lewdly low, 'Tis strange Benvolio 5 suffers such a show; Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place, Oaths, boxing, begging, - all, save rout and race.

Farce follow'd Comedy, and reach'd her prime, In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time: Mad wag! who pardon'd none, nor spared the best, And turn'd some very serious things to jest. Nor church nor state escaped his public sneers, Arms nor the gown, priests, lawyers, volunteers “Alas, poor Yorick !” now for ever mute ! Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote.

We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes Ape the swoln dialogue of kings and queens, When “ Chrononhotonthologos must die,” And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.

Moschus ! with whom once more I hope to sit, And smile at folly, if we can't at wit; Yes, friend ! for thee I 'll quit my cynic cell, And bear Swift's motto, “ Vive la bagatelle !" Which charm'd our days in each Ægean clime, As oft at home, with revelry and rhyme. 7 Then may Euphrosync, who sped the past, Soothe thy life's scenes, nor leave thee in the last; But find in thine, like pagan Plato's bed, s Some merry manuscript of mimes, when dead.

91

Neve minor, neu sit quinto productior actu Fabula, quæ posci vult et spectata reponi.

Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus Inciderit.

1 In the postscript to the“ Castle Spectre," Mr. Lewis tells us, that though blacks were unknown in England at the period of his action, yet he has made the anachronism to set off the scene ; and if he could have produced the effect " by making his heroine blue,"-I quote hinn - "blue he would have made her !"

2 (In 1706, Dennis, the critic, wrote an " Essay on the Operas after the Italian manner, which are about to be establishod on the English Stage;" in which he endeavoured to show, that it is a diversion of more pernicious consequence than the most licentious play that ever appeared upon the stage.]

3" The first theatrical representations, entitled Mysteries and Moralities,' were generally enacted at Christmas, by monks (as the only persons who could read), and latterly by the clergy and students of the universities. The dramatis persone were usually Adam, Pater Cælestis, Faith, Vice," &c. &c. - See Warton's History of English Poetry. (These, to modern eyes, wild, uncouth, and generally profane performances, were thought to contribute so much to the information and instruction of the people, that one of the popes granted a pardon of one thousand days to every person who resorted peaceably to the plays acted in the Whitsunweek at Chester, beginning with the "Creation," and ending with the “ General Judgment." These were performed at the expense of the different trading companies of that city. The

Creation" was performed by the drape ; the “Deluge" by the dyers ; " Abraham, Melchisedec, and Lot" by the barbers, the " Purification" by the blacksmiths; the " Last Supper by the bakers; the "Resurrection" by the skinpcrs; and the “ Ascension" by the tailors. In 'Mr. Payne Collier's work on English Dramatic Poetry, the reader will find an abstract of the several collections of these mystery. plays, which is not only interesting for the light it throws on the early days of our drama, but instructive and valuable for the curious information it preserves with respect to the strangely debased notions oi Scripture history that prevailed, almost universally, before transiations of the Bible were in common use. See also the Quarterly Review, vol. xlvi. p. 477.)

+ (Here follows in the original MS.-
“ Who did what Vestris - yet, at least, - cannot,

And cut his kingly capers sans culotte."] s Benvolio does not bet ; but every man who maintains race-horses is a promoter of all the concomitant evils of the turf. Avoiding to bet is a little pharisaical. Is it an exculpation ? I think not. I never yet heard a bawd praised for chastity, because she herself did not commit fornication !

6 (For Benvolio we have, in the original MS., "Earl Grosvenor ;” and for the next couplet

“ Suppressing peer! to whom each vice gives place,

Save gambling – for his Lordship lores a race.” But we cannot trace the exact propriety of the allusions. Lord Grosvenor, now Marquis ot" Westminster, no doubt dis. tinguished himself by some attack on the Sunday news. papers, or the like, at the same time that he was know to keep a stud at Newmarket - but why a long note on a subject certainly insignificant, and perhaps mistaken ?]

7 (In dedicating the fourth canto of “Childe Harold" to his fellow traveller, Lord Byron describes him as "one to whom he was indebted for the social advantages of an enlightened friendship ; one whom he had long known, and accompanied far, whom he had found wakeful over his sickness and kind in his sorrow, glad in his prosperity and firm in his adversity, true in counsel and trusty in peril:"_ while Mr. Hobhouse, in describing a short tour to Negroponte, in which his nobile friend was unable to accompany him, regrets the absence of a companion," who, lo quickness of observation and ingenuity of remark, united that gay good humour which keeps alive the attention under the pressure of fatigue, and softens the aspect of every difficulty and danger.")

8 Under Plato's pillow a volume of the Vimes of Sophron was found the day he died. - l'ide Barthélémi, De Pauw, or Diogenes Laertius, if agreeable. De Pauw calls it a jestbook. Cumberland, in his Observer, terms it moral, like the sayings of Publius Syrus.

Now to the Drama let us bend our eyes,

Ay, but Macheath's example — psha!— no more ! Where fetter'd by whig Walpole low she lies; ? It form'd no thieves — the thief was form'd before ; Corruption foil'd ber, for she fear'd her glance; And, spite of puritans and Collier's curse, 7 Decorum left her for an opera dance !

Plays make mankind no better, and no worse.
Yet Chesterfield ?, whose polish'd pen inveighs Then spare our stage, ye methodistic men :
'Gainst laughter, fought for freedom to our plays; Nor burn damn’d Drury if it rise again. s
Uncheck'd by megrims of patrician brains,

But why to brain-scorch'd bigots thus appeal ?
And damning dulness of lord chamberlains.

Can heavenly mercy dwell with earthly zeal ?
Repeal that act 3! again let Humour roam,

For times of fire and faggot let them hope !
Wild o'er the stage — we've time for tears at home; Times dear alike to puritan or pope.
Let “ Archer” plant the horns on “ Sullen's ” brows, As pious Calvin saw Servetus blaze,
And “ Estifania" gull her “ Copper” + spouse ; So would new sects on newer victims gaze.
The moral's scant - but that may be excused, E'en now the songs of Solyma begin;
Men go not to be lectured, but amused.

Faith cants, perplex'd apologist of sin !
He whom our plays dispose to good or ill

While the Lord's servant chastens whom he loves, Must wear a head in want of Willis' skill; 5

And Simeon 9 kicks, where Baxter only “shoves." 10 ! [The following is a brief sketch of the origin of the Play- look upon the bill now before us as a step for introducing ar. house Bill :- In 1735, Sir John Barnard brought in a bill " to bitrary power into this kingdom."] restrain the number of houses for playing of interludes, and

3 (Repeal that Act!"-After a lapse of nearly a century, for the better regulating of common players." The minis.

the state of the laws affecting dramatic literature, and the ter, Sir Robert Walpole, conceiving this to be a farourable opportunity of checking the abuse of theatrical representa

performance of the drama, has again become the subject of

parliamentary inquiry and report.) tion, proposed to insert a clause to ratify and confirm, if not enlarge, the power of the Lord Chamberlain in licensing Michael Perez, the " Copper Captain," in " Rule a Wife plays; and at the same time insinuated, that unless this ad

and have a Wife." dition was made the king would not pass it. But Sir John s(of this "skill," Reynolds, in his “Life and Times," Barnard strongly objected to this clause ; contending that the records a remarkable instance. The doctor had, it srems, an power of that otticer was already too great, and had been often "eye like Mars, to threaten and command." Threaten, in wantonly exercised. He therefore withdrew his bill, rather than every sense of the word; for his numerous patients stood as establish by law a power in a single officer so m'ich under the niuch in awe of this formidable weapon as of bars, chains, or direction of the Crown. In the course, however, of the session strait waistcoats. After a few weeks' attendance on the of 1737, an opportunity offered, which Sir Robert did not fail King, he allowed his Majesty a razor to share himself, and to seize. The manager of Goodman's Fields Theatre having a penknife to cut his nails. For this he was one evening brought to him a farce called " The Golden Rump,” which charged by the other plıysicians, before a committee of the had been proffered for exhibition, the minister paid the House of Commons, with rashness and imprudence. Mr. profits which might have accrued from the performance, and Burke was rery severe on this point, and authoritatively detained the cops.

He then made extracts of the most ex- demanded to know, "If the royal patient had become oui. ceptionable passages, abounding in profaneness, sedition, and rageous the moment, what power the doctor possesseti of blasphemy, read thein to the house, and obtained leave to instantaneously terrifying him into obedience ?" - Place the bring in a bill to limit the number of playhouses ; to subject candles between us, Mr. Burke," replied the doctor, in an all dramatic writings to the inspection of the Lord Chamber. equally authoritative tone, “ and I'll give you an answer. lain ; and to compel the proprietors to take out a license for There, Sir! by the eye. I should hare looked at him hus, every production before it could appear on the stage.)

Sir, thus! Mr. Burke instantaneously averted his head; 2 His speech on the Licensing Act is one of his most elo- and, making no reply, evidently acknowledged this basilisk quent efforts. - [Though the Playhouse Bill is generally said authority. This story was often related by the doctor him. to have been warmly opposed in both Houses, this speech of self.] the Earl of Chesterteld is the only trace of that opposition to 6 (Dr. Johnson mas of the like opinion. Or the “Beggars' be found in the periodical publications of the times. The

Opera” he says, in his Life of Gay :-" The play, like mans following passage, which relates to the powers of the Lord others, was plainly written only to divert, without any moral Chamberlain, will show the style of the oration :--" The bill purpose, and is, therefore, Dot likely to do good; nor can it be is not only an encroachment upon liberty, but it is likewise an conceived, without more speculation than life requires or encroachment on property. Wit, my Lorus, is a sort of pro- aulmits, to be productive of much eril. Highwaymen and perty; it is the property of those who have it, and too often housebreakers seldom frequent the playhouse, or mingle in the only property they have to depend on. Thank God! my any elegant diversion ; nor is it possible for any one to ima. Lords, we have a dependence of another kind; we have a gine that he may rob with safety, because he sees Macheath much less precarious support, and, therefore, cannot feel the reprieved upon the stage.". On another occasion, the common inconveniences of the bill now before us; but it is our duty question with regard to this opera having been introduced, he to encourage and protect wit, whosoever's property it may said, -" As to this matter, which has been very much conbe. Those gentlemen who have any such property are all, tested, I myself am of opinion, that more influence has been I hope, our friends; do not let us subject them to any unne- ascribed to it than in reality it ever had ; for I do not believe cessary or arbitrary restraint. I must own, I cannot easily that any man was ever made a rogue by being present at that agree to the laying of any tax upon wit; but by this bill it is representation.” – Sce Croker's Boswell, vol.iii. p. 242.] to be heavily taxed, it is to be excised ; for, if this bill passes, ? Jerry Collier's controversy with Congreve, &c. on the it cannot be retailed in a proper way without a permit: and subject of the drama, is too well known to require further the Lord Chamberlain is to have the houour of being chief

coinment. gauger, supervisor, commissioner, judge, and jury. But,

B ("If it rise again." - When Lord Byron penned this what is still more hard, though the poor author, - the proprietor, I should say, - cannot, perhaps, dine till he

couplet at Athens, he little imagined that he should so soon has found out and agreed with a purchaser, yet, before he

be called on to write an address to be spoken on the opening can propose to seek for a purchaser, he must patiently submit

of New Drury, and becoine one of the committee for man

aging its concerns.) to have his goods rummaged at this tew excise-office; where they may be detained for fourteen days, and even then he

, Mir. Simeon is the very bully of beliefs, and castigator of may find them returred as prohibited goods: by which his

good works." He is ably supported by John Suickles, a chief and best market will be for ever shut against him, with

labourer in the same vineyard : - but I say no more, for, acout the least shadow of reason, either from the laws of his cording to Johnny in full congregation, “no hopes for them as country or the laws of the staze. These hardships, this

laughs." - (The Rev. Charles Simeon, fellow of King's Col. hazard, which every gentleman will be exposed to who

lege, Cambridge,-a zealous Calvinist, who, in consequence writes any thing for the stage, must certainly prevent every

of his zeal, has been engaged in sundry warm disputations man of a generous and free spirit from attempting any thing

with other divines of the university. Besides many single in that war; and as the stage has always been the proper

sermons, he has published " Helps to Composition, or 500 channel for wit and humour, therefore, my Lords, when I

Skeleton Sermons," in five volumes; and " Horæ Homileti. speak against this bill, I must think I plead the cause of wit, cæ, or Discourses (in the form of skeletons) upon the whole I plead the cause of humour, I plead the cause of the British Scripture," in eleven volumes.) stage, and of every gentleman of taste in the kingdom. The 10 " Baxter's Shore to hcary-4d Christians" -the rerit. stage and the press, my Lords, are two of our out-sentries: able title of a book once in good repute, and likely enough to if we remove them, if we hoodwink them, if we throw them be so again.-(Richard Baxter is described by Granger as " a in fetters, the enemy may surprise us. Therefore, I must man famous for weakness of body and strength of mind; for

Or prune the spirit of each daring phrase, To fly from error, not to merit praise ?

Whom nature guides, so writes, that every dunce, Enraptured, thinks to do the same at once ; But after inky thumbs and bitten nails, And twenty scatter'd quires, the coxcomb fails.

Let Pastoral be dumb; for who can hope To match the youthful eclogues of our Pope ? Yet his and Phillips' faults, of different kind, For art too rude, for nature too refined, Instruct how hard the medium 'tis to hit 'Twixt too much polish and too coarse a wit.

Ye, who scck finish'd models, never cease, By day and night, to read the works of Greece. But our good fathers never bent their brains To heathen Greek, content with native strains. The few who read a page, or used a pen, Were satisfied with Chaucer and oid Ben; The jokes and numbers suited to their taste Were quaint and careless, any thing but chaste; Yet whether right or wrong the ancient rules, It will not do to call our fathers fools ! Though you and I, who cruditely know To separate the elegant and low, Can also, when a hobbling line appears, Detect with fingers, in default of ears.

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A vulgar scribbler, certes, stands disgraced In this nice age, when all aspire to taste; The dirty language, and the noisome jest, Which pleased in Swift of yore, we now detest; Proscribed not only in the world polite, But even too nasty for a city knight !

Peace to Swift's faults ! his wit hath made them pass, Unmatch'd by all, save matchless Hudibras ! Whose author is perhaps the first re meet, Who from our couplet lopp'd two final feet; Nor less in merit than the longer line, This measure moves a favourite of the Nine. Though at first view eight feet may scem in vain Form'd, save in ode, to bear a serious strain, Yet Scott has shown our wondering isle of late This measure shrinks not from a theme of weight, And, varied skilfully, surpassez far Heroic rhyme. but most in love and war, Whose Auctuations, tender or sublime, Are curb'd too much by long-recurring rhyme.

In sooth I do not know, or greatly care To learn, who our first English strollers were ; Or if, till roofs received the vagrant art, Our Muse, like that of Thespis, kept a cart; But this is certain, since our Shakspeare's days, There's ponip enough, if little else, in plays; Nor will Melpomene ascend her throne Without high heels, white plume, and Bristol stone.

Old comedies still meet with much applause, Though too licentious for dramatic laws : At least, we moderns, wisely, 't is confest, Curtail, or silence, the lascivious jest.

But many a skilful judge abhors to see, What few admire - irregularity. This some vouchsafe to pardon ; but 't is hard When such a word contents a British bard.

Whate'er their follies, and their faults beside, Our enterprising bards pass nought untricd ; Nor do they merit slight applause who choose An English subject for an English muse, And leave to minds which never dare invent French flippancy and German sentiment. Where is that living language which could claim Poetic more, as philosophic, fame, If all our bards, more patient of delay, Would stop, like Pope', to polish by the way?

And must the bard his glowing thoughts confine, Lest censure hover o'er some faulty line ? Remove whate'er a critic may suspect, To gain the paltry sufflage of correct ?"

Ex noto fictum carmen sequar, ut siti quivis Speret idem : sudet multum frustraque laboret Ausus idem : tantum series juncturaque pollet ; Tantum de medio sumtis accedit honoris.

Silvis deducti caveant, me judice, Fauni,
Ne, velut innati triviis ac pene forenses,
Aut nimium teneris juvenentur versibus unquam,
Aut immunda crepent, ignominiosaque dicta
Offenduntur enim, quibus est equus, et pater, et res :
Nec, si quid fricti ciceris probat et nucis emtor,
Æquis accipiunt animis, donantve corona.

Syllaba longa brevi subjecta vocatur iambus,
Pes citus : unde etiam trimetris accrescere jussit
Nomen iarnbeis, cum senos redderet ictus,
Primus ad extremum similis sibi: non ita priden,
Tardior ut paulo graviorque veniret ad aures,
Spondeos stabiles in jura paterna recepit
Commodus et patiens ; non ut de sede secun:lå
Cederet aut quarta socialiter. Hic et in Acci
Nobilibus trimetris apparet rarus, et Enni.
In scenam missos magno cum pondere versus,
Aut operæ ccleris nimium curaque carentis,
Aut ignorntæ premit artis crimine turpi.

Non quivis videt immodulata poemata judex ;
Et data Romanis venia est indigna poetis.

Idcircone vager, scribamque licenter, ut omnes
Visuros peccata putem mca, tutus, et intra
Spem veniæ cautus ? vitavi denique culpam,
Non laudem merui. Vos exemplaria Græca
Nocturna versate manu, versate diurna.
At vestri proavi Plautinos et numeros et
Laudavere sales ; nimium patienter utrumque,
Ne dicam stulte, mirati ; si modo ego et vos
Scimus inurbanum lepido scponcre dicto,
Legitimumque sonum digitis callemus et aure.

Ignotum tragicæ genus invenisse Camæna
Dicitur, et plaustris vexisse poemata Thespis,
Quæ canerent agerentque peruncti sæcibus ora.
Post hunc persona pallæque repertor honestæ
Æschylus, ct modicis instravit pulpita tignis,
Et docuit magnumque loqui, nítiquc cothurno.

Successit vetus his comadia, non sine multa Laude ; sed in vitium libertas excidit, et vim Dignam lege regi ; lex est accepta ; chorusque Turpiter obticuit, sublato jure nocendi.

Nil intentatum nostri liquere poeta; Nec minimum meruere decus, vestigia Græca Ausi de crere, et celebrare domestica facta, Vel qui prætextas, vel qui docuere togatas. Nec virtute foret clarisve potentius armis,

having the strongest sense of religion himself, and exciting a sense of it in the thoughtless and profligate; for prcaching more sermons, engaging in more controversies, and writing more books, than any other non-conformist of his age." Dr. Barrow says, that "his practical writings were never mended, his controversial seldoin confuted." On Boswell's asking Johnson which of themn he should read, the Doctor repliedi,

Any of them; they are all gooni."]

" ("They support Pope, I sec, in the Quarterly," - Wrote Lord Byron in 1920, from Ravenna-“it is a sin and a shame, and a damnation, that Pope !! should require it: but he does. Those miserable mountcbanks of the day, the poets, disgrace themselves, and deny God, in running down lore, the most faultless of poets." Again, in the saine year:-"I have at last lost all patience with the atrocious cant and nonsense about l'ope with which our present * s are overtlowing, and am

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