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ever, such an effect on the town, that on her first appearance on the stage in 1784, she was saluted with the cry of “ off! off!” Her friends at length obtained her a hearing; and her husband and brother, by means of uncommon exertions, succeeded in refuting the calumnies to which she had been exposed. She was accordingly restored to public favour. Although she had conducted herself during this contest with great composure, yet it made such an impression on her mind, that she determined to retire to Wales with the few thousands she had then saved: but the persuasions of her friends, and a consideration of the welfare of her family, made her alter this resolution.
Their majesties about this time paid her much attention. Her talent in reciting dramatic works had been highly spoken of, which reaching the ears of the royal family, she was frequently invited to Buckingham-house and Windsor, where she and her brother often recited plays.
As some relaxation on account of her health had now become necessary, she quitted Drury-lane for a time, and performed at Weymouth, Plymouth, Liverpool, &c. under the most honourable and flattering patronage, which, with her increasing reputation, rendered her journey very profitable.
On her return to town, she entered into a new engagement with the proprietors of Drury-lane, who paid her a certain sum for each night's performance, by which means she avoided injuring her health by the constant repetition of theatrical exertions.
Since her brother, Mr. John Kemble, became a proprietor of Covent-garden theatre, her services have been given to the interest of that property; and considering the declining state of the tragic muse, Mrs. Siddons has displayed her wonderful talents with great pecuniary advantage to the theatre.
This lady, who adorns the mimic hemisphere with such distinguished splendor, is now near sixty years of age; and though she has laboured under several severe fits of indisposition, she still retains every vigor of intellect and person, with all that majestic beauty which is the peculiar character of her countenance. Like her brother, she inherits a dignified person, with a cast of features happily formed to delicate all the great passions of the soul.
(To be continued.)
FOR THE MIRROR OF TASTE.
SHEE'S RHYMES ON ART; OR, THE REMONSTRANCE OF A
PAINTER At a time, when the presses of England and America are teeming with the nonsensical follies of superficial egotists,—when the productions of genius, and the sallies of vigorous imagination, are discarded for contemptible puerilities,- it will not be improper to solicit the attention of the citizens of Philadelphia, to the above named poem,
written by Samuel Archer Shee, esquire; in which will be found some of the most animated poetry and pungent satire of modern times. I am astonished that no edition of this truly valuable work, has yet been published in our city. The booksellers certainly cannot be ignorant of its various merits; and I am fully convinced, that, could they be prevailed upon to publish it, the demand would sufficiently recompense their trouble. The excellence of the versification, the justness and asperity of the satire, would undoubtedly be admired by every man of genius and taste. I do not pretend to say, that my judgment is infallible, or that my taste is uncommonly refined: but the exalted encomiums I have heard lavished upon the work, by men who are generally considered capable of deciding upon the merits of authors, (added to my thorough conviction of the unrivalled excellence of the poem) induces me to hazard the foregoing bold assertion. Whilst the Vision of Don Roderick (the feeblest production of Scott) has excited the greatest curiosity in the polite circles of Philadelphia, the “ Remonstrance of a Painter," a work of transcendent merit, is suffered to lie neglected or forgotten,-so partial are the “ distributers of literary honours," and so uncertain are the rewards of genius! But I cannot resort to a more powerful means of awaking public attention, than by observing that Mr. Shee has received the most distinguished honours from the London reviewers, as well as an elegant panegyric from the editor of the Port Folio,-a man who unites the acquirements of the scholar, to the candour and sincerity of the real gentleman. The notes to this little volume are copious and elegant; the style of the author is said to resemble that of Burke, by men
well qualified to decide a question of that nature: it doubtless possesses many of the beauties of that celebrated orator, and approximates more nearly to the general excellence of his style, than any other. The figures of Mr. Shee are often new, and polished with every elegance of diction. His observations are the “ ebullitions of a mind" intimately acquainted with the subject under discussion, in all its relations and tendencies. Of Shee it has been said, with much justice, that he is the first poet, painter, and critic, of this ages to these splendid appellations we may add, with equal propriety, that of the most correct and eloquent prose writer. These “contrarieties of excellence,” united in the same person, are surely enough to rouse the public from the “ frigid indifference" towards works of merit, into which they have been lulled by the cobweb productions of modern novelists. To conclude: the intrinsic excellencies of this poem are such, as must shortly procure it that unlimited applause to which it appears to be so justly intitled. The medium through which this hasty communication reaches the public, is so respectable, that I flatter myself it may be productive of some beneficial effects. To be in the least degree instrumental in promoting the pleasure and improvement of the society of which we happen to be members, is a source of satisfaction, to which the memory ever recurs with peculiar delight.
THE CHARACTER OF OUR SAVIOUR.
BY MR. BELSHAM.
The character of Jesus is perfectly original. It is unlike every thing which had ever appeared in the world. There had indeed been eminent persons who had assumed the office of instructers of mankind in religion and virtue. But Jesus differed widely from them all in the nature of his doctrine, in his mode of instruction, in his habits of life and manner of conversation, in the character which he assumed, in the dignity of his conduct, in the authority of his language, in the proofs which he exhibited of a divine commission, and in the manner in which he left those proofs to make their proper impression upon the mind without himself drawing the genuine conclusions.
He claimed to be the Messiah, the distinguished personage foretold by the prophets, and expected by the Jews. But the form was totally different from that in which he was expected to appear;
from that which an impostor would have worn, which all imposa tors did actually put on, and which the writer of a fictitious narrative would naturally have represented. He was expected to appear in all the splendor of a prince and a conqueror. He actually appeared under the formn of a pauper and a servant.
The character which he thus assumed, so entirely new, so utterly unexpected, and in many respects so very offensive to his countrymen, he sustained with the most beconsing propriety. The circumstances in which he was placed were numerous, various, and dissimilar to each other: some of them were very critical and difficult; nevertheless, upon all occasions he maintains the character of a prophet of God, of a teacher of truth and righteousness, with the most perfect consistency and dignity: in no instance does he forget his situation: upon no occasion, in no emergency, however sudden or unexpected, under no provocation, however irritating, is he surprised or betrayed to do any thing unworthy of himself, or unbecoming the sublime and sacred mission with which he was charged.
To support the consistency of a fictitious character through a considerable work, even though the character is drawn from common life, is a mark of no ordinary capacity and judgment. But to adhere from beginning to end to truth of delineation in a character perfectly original, in circumstances various and new, and especially where supernatural agency is introduced, is characteristic of genius of the highest order. Attempts to represent a perfect character have failed in the hands of the greatest masters. Defects are visible in the portraits of the philosopher and the hero, notwithstanding the masterly pencilling and exquisite colouring of Plato and Xenophon. But the obscure and illiterate evangelists have succeeded to perfection. Not one writer only, but four. Not in describing different characters, in which they would not have been liable to have interfered with each other, but in the representation of the same unblemished and extraordinary character; to which each has contributed something which the rest have omit. ted, and yet all are perfectly consistent and harmonious. The unity of character is invariably preserved.
Admit that this character actually existed, allow that there was such a person as Jesus of Nazareth, and that the historians describe nothing but what they saw and heard, and to which they were daily witnesses, and the wonder ceases; all is natural and easy; the nan
rators were honest and competent witnesses; and Jesus was a true prophet of the Most High. Deny these facts, and the history of the evangelists instantly swells into a prodigy of genius-a sublime fiction of the imagination, which surpasses all the most celebrated productions of human wit. The illiterate Galileans eclipse all the renowned historians, philosophers and poets of Greece and Rome. But who will affirm, or who could believe this, of these simple, artless, unaffected writers? It is incredible, it is impossible, that these plain and unlettered men should have invented so extraordinary, so highly finished a romance. Their narrative therefore must be true. The prophet of Nazareth is a real person, and his divine legation is undeniable. I know not how this argument may appear to others; but to me it carries the force of almost mathematical demonstration. I cannot conceive a proof which can be more satisfactory to a candid, an intelligent, and a well informed mind.
DISPROPORTIONED MARRIAGES. IlL suited matches are productive of such complicated misery, that it is a wonder it should be necessary to declaim against them, and by arguments and examples expose the folly, or brand the cruelty of such parents as sacrifice their children to ambition or avarice. Daily experience indeed shows, that this misconduct of the old, who by their wisdom should be able to direct the young, and who either have, or are thought to have, their welfare in view, is not only subversive of all the bliss of social life, but often gives rise to events of the most tragical nature. As any truth that regards the peace of families, cannot be too often inculcated, I make no doubt the following history, the truth of which is known to some in England, and to almost all France, where it happened, will prove acceptable to the public. At Paris, whose splendor and magnificence strikes every stranger with surprise, where motives of pleasure alone seem to direct the actions of the inhabitants, and politeness renders their conversation desirable, scenes of horror are frequent amidst gaiety and delight; and as human nature is there seen in its most amiable light, it may there, likewise, be seen in its most shocking deformity. It must beowned, without compliment to the French, that shining examples of exalted virtue are frequent amongst them; but when they deviate from its paths, their vices are of as heinous a nature as those of the most abandoned and disVol. H.