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ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTII STRUCK
he may show the fertility of his genius, the poig BLIND with nancy of his humour, and the exactness of his
judgment: we scarcely see a coxcomb or a fool ir.
common life, that has not some peculiar oddity ir. Imitated from the Spanish.
his action. These peculiarities it is not in the LUMINE Acon dextro, capta est Leonida sinistro,
power of words to represent, and depend solely Et poterat formâ vincere uterque Deos.
upon the actor. They give a relish to the humour
of the poet, and make the appearance of nature Parve puer, lumen quod habes concede puellæ;
more illusive. The Italians, it is true, mask some Sic tu cecus amor, sic erit illa Venus.*
characters, and endeavour to preserve the peculiar humour by the make of the mask ; but I have seen others still preserve a great fund of humour in
the face without a mask; one actor, particularly, REMARKS ON OUR THEATRES.
by a squint which he threw into some characters Our Theatres are now opened, and all Grub- of low life, assumed a look of infinite stolidity. street is preparing its advice to the managers. We This, though upon reflection we might condemn, shall undoubtedly hear learned disquisitions on yet immediately upon representation we could not the structure of one actor's legs, and another's eye- avoid being pleased with. To illustrate what I brows. We shall be told much of enunciations, have been saying by the plays which I have of tones, and attitudes; and shall have our lightest late gone to see : in the Miser, which was played pleasures commented upon by didactic dulness, a few nights ago at Covent Garden, Lovegold apWe shall, it is feared, be told, that Garrick is a pears through the whole in circumstances of ex. fine actor; but then as a manager, so avaricious! aggerated a varice; all the player's action, thereThat Palmer is a most surprising genius, and Hol- fore should conspire with the poet's design, and land likely to do well in a particular cast of cha- represent him as an epitome of penury. The racter. We shall have them giving Shuter instruc- French comedian, in this character, in the midst iions to amuse us by rule, and deploring over the of one of his most violent passions, while he apruins of desolated majesty at Covent-Garden. As pears in an ungovernable rage, feels the demon of I love to be advising too, for advice is easily given, avarice still upon him, and stoops down to pick up and bears a show of wisdom and superiority, 1 a pin, which he quilts into the Bap of his goatmust be permitted to offer a few observations upon pocket with great assiduity. Two candles are our theatres and actors, without, on this trivial lighted up for his wedding; he flies, and turns one occasion, throwing my thoughts into the formality of them into the socket: it is, however, lighted up of method.
again; he then steals to it, and privately crams it There is something in the deportment of all our into his pocket. The Mock-Doctor was lately players infinitely more stiff and formal than among played at the other house. Here again the comethe actors of other nations. Their action sits un
Jian had an opportunity of heightening the ridi. easy upon them; for, as the English use very little cule by action. The French player sits in a chair gesture in ordinary conversation, our English-bred with a high back, and then begins to show away actors are obliged to supply stage gkstures by their by talking nonsense, which he would have thought imagination alone. A French comedian finds Latin by those who he knows do not understand proper models of action in every company and in a syllable of the matter. At last he grows enthuevery coffee-house he enters. An Englishman is siastic, enjoys the admiration of the company, tosses obliged to take his models from the stage itself; his legs and arms about, and, in the midst of he is obliged to imitate nature from an imitation his raptures and vociferation, he and the chair fall of nature. I know of no set of men more likely back together. All this appears dull enough in to be improved by travelling than those of the the recital, but the gravity of Cato could not stand theatrica. profession. The inhabitants of the con
it in the representation. In short, there is hardly tinent are less reserved than here; they may be a character in comedy to which a player of any seen through upon a first acquaintance; such are real humour might not add strokes of vivacity tha the proper models to draw from; they are at once could not fail of applause. But, instead of this, striking, and are found in great abundance.
we too often see our fine gentlemen do nothing, Though it would be inexcusable in a comedian through a whole part, but strut and open their to add any thing of his own to the poet's dialogue, snuff-box; our pretty fellows sit indecently with yet, as to action, he is entirely at liberty. By this their legs across, and our clowns pull up their
breeches. These, if once, or even twice repeated,
might do well enough; but to see them served up An English Epigram, on the same subject, is inserted in in every scene, argues the actor almost as barrer the second volume, p. 110.
as the character he would expoxe.
The magnificence of our theatres is far superior to any others in Europe, where plays only are act- THE STORY OF ALCANDER AND SEP ed. The great care our performers take in painting
TIMIUS. for a part, their exactness in all the minutiæ of
Translated from a Byzantine Historian. dress, and other little scenical properties, have been taken notice of by Ricoboni, a gentleman of Italy, ATHENS, even long before the decline of the who travelled Europe with no other design but to Roman empire
, still continued the seat of learning, remark upon the stage ; but there are several im- politeness, and wisdom. The emperors and geneproprieties still continued, or lately come into rals, who in these periods of approaching ignorance, fashion. As, for instance, spreading a carpet still felt a passion for science, from time to time addpunctually at the beginning of the death scence, in ed to its buildings, or increased its professorships. order to prevent our actors from spoiling their Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, was of the number; he clothes; this immediately apprises us of the tragedy repaired those schools, which barbarity was sufferto follow; for laying the cloth is not a more sure ing to fall into decay, and continued those pensions indication of dinner, than laying the carpet of to men of learning, which avaricious governors bloody work at Drury-Lane. Our little pages also, had monopolized to themselves. with unmeaning faces, that bear up the train of a In this city, and about this period, Alcander weeping princess, and our awkward lords in wait- and Septimius were fellow-students together. The ing, take off much from her distress. Mutes of one the most subtle reasoner of all the Lyceum ; every kind divide our attention, and lessen our the other the most eloquent speaker in the academic sensibility; but here it is entirely ridiculous, as we grove. Mutual admiration soon begot an acsee them seriously employed in doing nothing. If quaintance, and a similitude of disposition made we must have dirty-shirted guards upon the thea-them perfect friends. Their fortunes were nearly tres, they should be taught to keep their eyes fixed equal, their studies the same, and they were naon the actors, and not roll them round upon the tives of the two most celebrated cities in the world; audience, as if they were ogling the boxes. for Alcander was of Athens, Septimius came from
Beauty, methinks, seems a requisite qualifica- Rome. tion in an actress. This seems scrupulously ob- In this mutual harmony they lived for some time served elsewhere, and, for my part, I could wish together, when Alcander, after passing the first to see it observed at home. I can never con part of his youth in the indolence of philosophy, ceive a hero dying for love of a lady totally destitute thought at length of entering into the busy world, of beauty. I must think the part unnatural; for l and as a step previous to this, placed his affections can not bear to hear him call that face angelic
, on Hypatia, a lady of exquisite beauty. Hypatia where even paint can not hide its wrinkles. I must showed no dislike to his addresses. The day of condemn him of stupidity, and the person whom I their intended nuptials was fixed, the previous cerecan accuse for want of taste, will seldom become monies were performed, and nothing now remainthe object of my affections or admiration. But if ed but her being conducted in triumph to the apartthis be a defect, what must be the entire perver- ment of the intended bridegroom. sion of scenical decorum, when, for instance, we An exultation in his own happiness, or his besee an actress, that might act the Wapping land- ing unable lo enjoy any satisfaction without making lady without a bolster, pining in the character of his friend Septimius a partner, prevailed upon him Jane Shore, and while unwieldy with fat, en- to introduce his mistress to his fellow-student, deavouring to convince the audience that she is which he did with all the gaiety of a man who dying with hunger!
found himself equally happy in friendship and love. For the future, then, I could wish that the parts But this was an interview fatal to the peace of of the young or beautiful were given to performers both. Septimius no sooner saw her, but he was of suitable figures; for I niust own, I could rather smitten with an involuntary passion. He used see the stage filled with agreeable objects, though every effort, but in vain, to suppress desires at once they might sometimes bungle a little, than see it so imprudent and unjust. He retired to his apartcrowded with withered or misshapen tigures, be ment in inexpressible agony; and the emotions of their emphasis, as I think it is called, ever so proper. his mind in a short time became so strong, that The first may have the awkward appearance of they brought on a fever, which the physicians new raised troops; but in viewing the last, I can-judged incurable. not avoid the mortification of funcying myself During this illness, Alcander watched him with placed in an hospital of invalids.
all the anxiety of fundness, and brought his mis tress to join in those amiable orfices of friendship.
The sagacity of the physicians, by this means, soon tirely without notice; and in the evening, when he discovered the cause of their patient's disorder; was going up to the prætor's chair, he was bruand Alcander, being apprised of their discovery, tally repulsed by the attending lictors. The at. at length extorted a confession from the reluctant tention of the poor is generally driven from one dying lover.
ungrateful object to another. Night coming on, It would but delay the narrative to describe the he now found himself under a necessity of seeking conflict between love and friendship in the breast a place to lie in, and yet knew not where apof Alcander on this occasion; it is enough to say, ply. All emaciated and in rags as he was, none that the Athenians were at this time arrived to of the citizens would harbour so much wretchedsuch refinement in morals, that every virtue was ness, and sleeping in the streets might be attendcarried to excess. In short, forgetful of his own ed with interruption or danger: in short, he was felicity, he gave up his intended bride, in all her obliged to take up his lodging in one of the tombs charms, to the young Roman. They were married without the city, the usual retreat of guilt, poverty, privately by his connivance; and this unlooked-for or despair. change of fortune wrought as unexpected a change In this mansion of horror, laying his head upon in the constitution of the now happy Septimius. an inverted urn, he forgot his miseries for a while In a few days he was perfectly recovered, and set in sleep; and virtue found, on this flinty couch, out with his fair partner for Rome. Here, by an more ease than down can supply to the guilty. exertion of those talents of which he was so emi. It was midnight when two robbers came to make nently possessed, he in a few years arrived at the this cave their retreat, but happening to disagree highest dignities of the state, and was constituted about the division of their plunder, one of them the city judge, or prætor.
stabbed the other to the heart, and left him welterMeanwhile, Alcander not only felt the pain of ing in blood at the entrance. In these circumbeing separated from his friend and mistress, but a stances he was found next morning, and this natuprosecution was also commenced against him by rally induced a further inquiry. The alarm was the relations of Hypatia, for his having basely given spread, the cave was examined, Alcander was her up, as was suggested, for money. Neither his found sleeping, and immediately apprehended and innocence of the crime laid to his charge, nor his accused of robbery and murder. The circumeloquence in his own defence, was able to with stances against him were strong, and the wretchedstand the influence of a powerful party. He was ness of his appearance confirmed suspicion. Miscast, and condemned to pay an enormous fine. fortune and he were now so long acquainted, that Unable to raise so large a sum at the time appoint he at last became regardless of life. He detested a ed, his possessions were confiscated, himself strip- world where he had found only ingratitude, falseped of the habit of freedom, exposed in the market- hood, and cruelty, and was determined to make no placc, and sold as a slave to the highest bidder. defence. Thus, lowering with resolution, he was
A merchant of Thrace becoming his purchaser, dragged, bound with cords, before the tribunal of Alcander, with some other companions of distress, Septimius. The proofs were positive against him, was carried into the region of desolation and ste- and he offered nothing in his own vindication; the rility. His stated employment was to follow the judge, therefore was proceeding to doom him to a herds of an imperious master; and his skill in most cruel and ignominious death, when, as if illu. hunting was all that was allowed him to supply a mined by a ray from Heaven, he discovered, precarious subsistence. Condemned to hopeless through all his misery, the features, though dim servitude, every morning waked him to a renewal with sorrow, of his long-lost, loved Alcander. It is of famine or toil, and every change of season serv- impossible to describe his joy and his pain on this ed but to aggravate his unsheltered distress. No- strange occasion; happy in once more seeing the thing but death or flight was left him, and almost person he most loved on earth, distressed at findcertain death was the consequence of his attempt-ling him in such circumstances., Thus agitated by ing to fly. After some years of bondage, however, contending passions, he flew from bis tribunal, and an opportunity of cscaping offered; he embraced it falling on the neck of his dear benefactor, burst inwith ardour, and travelling by night, and lodging to an agony of distress. The attention of the in caverns by day, to shorten a long story, he at multitude was soon, however, divided by another last arrived in Rome. The day of Alcander's ar- object. The robber who had been really guilty, rival, Septimius sat in the forum administering was apprehended selling his plunder, and struck justice; and hither our wanderer came, expecting with a panic, confessed his crime. He was brought to be instantly known, and publicly acknowledged. bound to the same tribunal, and acquitted every Here he stood the whole day arnong the crowd, other person of any partnership in his guilt. Need watching the eyes of the judge, and expecting to the sequel be related ? Alcander was acquitted, be taken notice of; but so much was he altered by shared the friendship and the honours of his friend a long succession of hardships, that he passed en- Septimius, lived afterwards in happiness and ease, and lef* it to be engraved on his tomb, “That no the care of their horses. If we gently desired circumstances are so desperate which Providence them to make more speed, they took not the least may not relieve.”
notice; kind language was what they had by no means been used to. It was proper to speak to
them in the tones of anger, and sometimes it was A LETTER FROM A TRAVELLER.
even necessary to use blows, to excite them to their
duty. How different these from the common peo. Cracow, August 2, 1758. ple of England, whom a blow might induce lo re MY DEAR WILL,
turn the affront seven fold! These poor people, You see by the date of my letter that I am arriv. however, from being brought up to vile usage, lose ed in Poland. When will my wanderings be at all the respect which they should have for them. an end? When will my restless disposition give me selves. They have contracted a habit of regarding leave to enjoy the present hour? When at Lyons, constraint as the great rule of their duty. When I thought all happiness lay beyond the Alps: they were treated with mildness, they no longer when in Italy, I found myself still in want of some continued to perceive a superiority. They fancied "hing, and expected to leave solicitude behind me themselves our equals, and a continuance of our by going into Romelia; and now you find me humanity might probably have rendered them inturning back, still expecting case every where but solent: but the imperious tone, menaces and where I am. It is now seven years since I saw blows, at once changed their sensations and their the face of a single creature who cared a farthing ideas; their ears and shoulders taught their souls whether I was dead or alive. Secluded from all to shrink back into servitude, from which they had she comforts of confidence, friendship, or society, 1 for some moments fancied themselves disengaged. feel the solitude of a hermit, but not his ease. The enthusiasm of liberty an Englishman feels
The prince of *** has taken me in his train, so is never so strong, as when presented by such that I am in no danger of starving for this bout. prospects as these. I must own, in all my indiThe prince's governor is a rude ignorant pedant, gence, it is one of my comforts (perhaps, indeed, it and his tutor a battered rake; thus, between two is my only boast,) that I am of that happy counsuch characters, you may imagine he is finely in- try; though I scorn to starve there; though I do structed. I made some attempts to display all the not choose to lead a life of wretched dependence, little knowledge I had acquired by reading or ob- or be an object for my former acquaintance to point servation ; but I find myself regarded as an igno- at. While you enjoy all the case and elegance of rant intruder. The truth is, I shall never be able prudence and virtue, your old friend wanders over to acquire a power of expressing myself with ease the world, without a single anchor to hold by, or a in any language but my own; and, out of my own friend except you to confide in.* country, the highest character I can ever acquire,
Yours, etc. is that of being a philosophic vagabond.
When I consider myself in the country which was once so formidable in war, and spread terror
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE LATE and desolation over the whole Roman empire, I
MR. MAUPERTUIS. can hardly account for the present wretchedness and pusillanimity of its inhabitants: a
MR. MAUPERTuis lately deceased, was the first every invader; their cities plundered without an to whom the English philosophers owed their being enemy; their magistrates seeking redress by com- particularly admired by the rest of Europe. The plaints, and not by vigour. Every thing conspires romantic system of Descartes was adapted to the to raise my compassion for their miseries, were not taste of the superficial and the indolent; the foreign my thoughts too busily engaged by my own. The universities had embraced it with ardour, and such whole kingdom is in a strange disorder: when our are seldom convinced of their errors till all others give equipage, which consists of the prince and thirteen up such false opinions as untenable. The philosoattendants, had arrived at some towns, there were phy of Newton, and the metaphysics of Locke, apno conveniences to be found, and we were obliged peared ; but, like all new truths, they were at once to have girls to conduct us to the next. I have seen received with opposition and contempt. The Ena woman travel thus on horseback before us for glish, it is true, studied, understood, and conse thirty miles, and think herself highly paid, and quently admired them; it was very different on the make twenty reverences, upon receiving, with ec- continent. Fontenelle, who seemed to preside over stacy, about twopence for her trouble. In general, we were better served by the women than the men
· The sequel of this correspondence to be continued occa on those occasions. The men seemed directed by
sionally. I shall alter nothing either in the style or substance a low sordid interest alone: they seemed mere ma- of these letters
, and the reader may depend on their being chines, and all their thoughts were employed in genuine.
the republic of letters, unwilling to acknowledge, that all his life had been spent in erroneous philo
THE BEE, No. II. sophy, joined in the universal disapprobation, and the English philosophers seemed entirely unknown.
SATURDAY, October 13, 1759. Maupertuis, however, made them his study; he thought he might oppose the physics of his coun
ON DRESS. try, and yet still be a good citizen; he defended our countrymen, wrote in their favour, and at last, as
FOREIGNERS observe, that there are no ladies in he had truth on his side, carried his cause. Almost the world more beautiful, or more ill-dressed, than all the learning of the English, till very lately, was those of England. Our countrywomen have been conveyed in the language of France. The writings compared to those pictures, where the face is the of Maupertuis spread the reputation of his master, work of a Raphael
, but the draperies thrown out Newton, and, by a happy fortune, have united his by some empty pretender, destitute of taste, and fame with that of our human prodigy.
entirely unacquainted with design.
If I were a poet, I might observe, on this occa The first of his performances, openly, in vindica
sion, that so much beauty, set off with all the adtion of the Newtonian system, is his treatise, entitled, Sur la figure des Astres, if I remember nist for the opposite sex, and therefore, it was wise
vantages of dress, would be too powerful an antagoright; a work at once expressive of a deep geometri- ly ordered that our ladies should want taste, lest cal knowledge, and the most happy manner of de- their admirers should entirely want reason. livering abstruse science with ease. This met with
But to confess a truth, I do not find they have a violent opposition from a people, though fond of novelty in every thing else, yet, however, in mat- of any other country whatsoever. I can not fancy,
greater aversion to fine clothes than the women ters of science, attached to ancient opinions with that a shop-keeper's wife in Cheapside has a greater bigotry. As the old and obstinate fell away, the
tederness for the fortune of her husband than a youth of France embraced the new opinions, and citizen's wife in Paris; or that miss in a boarding. now seem more eager to defend Newton than even school is more an economist in dress than ma. his countrymen.
demoiselle in a nunnery. The oddity of character which great men are Although Paris may be accounted the soil in sometimes remarkable for, Maupertuis was not which almost every fashion takes its rise, its inentirely free from. If we can believe Voltaire, he fluence is never so general there as with us. They once attempted to castrate himself; but whether study there the happy method of uniting grace and this be true or no, it is certain, he was extremely fashion, and never excuse a woman for being awkwhimsical. Though born to a large fortune, when wardly dressed, by saying her clothes are made in employed in mathematical inquiries, he disregarded the mode. A French woman is a perfect architect his person to such a degree, and loved retirement in dress; she never, with Gothic ignorance, mixes so much, that he has been more than once put on the orders; she never tricks out a squabby Doric the list of modest beggars by the curates of Paris, shape with Corinthian finery; or, to speak without when he retired to some private quarter of the metaphor, she conforms to general fashion, only town, in order to enjoy his meditations without in- when it happens not to be repugnant to private terruption. The character given of him by one beauty. of Voltaire's antagonists, if it can be depended Our ladies, on the contrary, seem to have no upon, is much to his honour. “You," says this other standard for grace but the run of the town. writer to Mr. Voltaire, "were entertained by the If fashion gives the word, every distinction of King of Prussia as a buffoon, but Maupertuis as a beauty, complexion, or stature, ceases. Sweeping philosopher.” It is certain, that the preference trains, Prussian bonnets, and trollopees, as like which this royal scholar gave to Maupertuis was each other as if cut from the same piece, level all the cause of Voltaire's disagreement with him. to one standard. The Mall, the gardens, and the Voltaire could not bear to see a man whose talents playhouses, are filled with ladies in uniform, and he had no great opinion of preferred before him as their whole appearance shows as little variety or president of the royal academy. His Micromégas taste, as if their clothes were bespoke by the colo was designed to ridicule Maupertuis; and probably nel of a marching regiment, or fancied by the same it has brought more disgrace on the author than artist who dresses the three battalions of guards. the subject. Whatever absurdities men of letters But not only laches of every shape and comhave indulged, and how fantastical soever the plexion, but of every age too, are possessed of this modes of science have been, their anger is still more unaccountable passion of dressing in the sune subject to ridicule
manner. A lady of no quality can be distinguished