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found and energy of expression. Whe- tragedy than Lee; if, instead of favour.
ther this defect in our tragedies may ing the impetuolity of his genius, he
arise from want of genius, knowledge, had restrained it, and kept it within it's
or experience in the writers, or from proper bounds. His thoughts are won-
iheir compliance with the vicious talte derfully suited to tragedy, but frequent-
of their readers, who are better judges ly lost in such a cloud of words, that it
of the language than of the fentiments, is hard to see the beauty of them; there
and consequently relish the one inore is an infinite fire in his works, but lo
thai the other, I cannot determine. involved in smoke, that it does not ap-
But I believe it might rectify the con pear in half it's lustre. He frequently
duet both of the one and of the other, succeeds in the passionate parts of the
if the writer laid down the whole con tragedy, but more particularly where he
texture of his dialogue in plain English, Nackens his efforts, and eases the itile of
before he turned it into blank verse; and those epithets and metaphors, in which
if the reader, after the perutal of a he so much abounds. What can be
fcene, would contider the naked thought more natural, more foft, or more pal-
of every speech in it, when diverted of fionate, than that line in Statira's speech,
all it's tragic ornaments. By this means, where she describes the charms of Alex.
without being imposed upon by words, ander's conversation?
we may judge impartially of the

Then he would talk-Good gods! how he thought, and consider wliether it be

would taik! natural or great enough for the person that utters it, whether it deserves to That unexpected break in the line, Shine in such a blaze of eloquence, or and turning the description of his manthew itself in such a variety of lighis as ner of talking into an adnjiration of it, are generally made use or by the writers is inexpressibly beautiful, and wonderof our English tragedy.

fully suited to the fond character of the I mult in the next place observe, that perfon that speaks it. There is a simwhen our thoughts are great and just, plicity in the words, that outshines the they are often obscured by the founding utmost pride of expression. phrases, hard metaphors, and forceri Otway has followed nature in the expreffions in which they are cioathed. language of his tragerly, and therefore Shakespeare is often. very faulty in this shines in the passionate parts more than particular, There is a fine obiervation any of our Englith poets. As there is in Aristotle to this purpose, which I fomething familiar and domestic in the have never seen quoteil. • The expref: fable of his tragedy, more than in thole

fion,' says he, - ought to be very much of any other poet, he has little pomp, • laboured in the unactive parts of the but great force in his expressions. For

fable, as in descriptions, fimilitudes, which reason, though he has admirably narrations, and the like; in which the fucceeded in the tender and melting opinions, manners, and passions of part of his tragedies, he sometimes falls

men are not represented; for these, into too great a familiarity of phrase ' namely the opinions, manners, and in those parts, whichi, by Aristotle's rule, • pasions, are apt to be obscured by ought to have been raised and supported pompous phrates and elaborate ex by the dignity of expression.

prellions.' Horace, who copied most It has been observed by others, that of his criticisins after Arilto:le, seems to this

poet has founded his tragedy of Ve.. have had his eye on the foregoing rule, nice Preserved on fo wrong a plot, that in the following verses :

the greatest characters in it are those of E: Tragicus plerwngue delet sermone pedifiri: rebels and traitors. Had the hero of his Telephius et Prieus, cum pauper et exuluicque, play discovered the fame good qualities Pojivit ampulins e Jelqu pedalia verba,

in the defence of his country, that he Si curat our spatiwitis terigisle querela. Thewed far it's ruin and subversion, the ARS POET. VER. 95.

audience could not enough pity and Tragedians too lay by their fate to grieve:

adınire him; but as he is now reprePeleus and Telephus, exil'd and pour, sented, we can only say of him what the Forgot their swelling and gigantic words. Roman historian says of Catiline, that

ROSCOMMON, his fall would have been glorious (Bo pro

Patria fic concidiset) had he lo fallen
Among our modern English poets, in the lervice of his country.
Ahere is none who was beiter turned for

с No XL.


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Hor. Ep. II. 1. 203.

Pope: HE English writers of tragedy are the world, by making virtue sometimes

poffefted with a notion, that when happy and sometimes miserable, as they they represent a virtuous or innocent found it in the fable which they made person in distress, they ought not to choice of, or as it might affect their leave him till they have delivered him audience in the most agreeable manner. out of his troubles, or made him tri- Aristotle confiders the tragedies that umph over his enemies. This error were written in either of these kinds, they have been led into by a ridiculous and observes, that those which ended doctrine in modern criticism that they unhappily had always pleased the peoare obliged to an equal distribution of ple, and carried away the prize in the Tewards and punishments, and an im- public disputes of the stage, from those partial execution of poetical justice. that ended happily. Terror and comWho were the first that established this miferation leave a pleasing anguish in rule I know not; but I am sure it has the mind; and fix the audience in such no foundation in nature, in reason, or a serious composure of thought, as is in the practice of the ancients. We find much more laiting and delightful than that good and evil happen alike to all men any little tranfient start of joy and saon this fide the grave; and as the prin- tisfaction. Accordingly we find that cipal design of tragedy is to raise com- more of our English tragedies have miferation and terror in the minds of succeeded, in which the favourites of the the audience, we shall defeat this great audience link under their calamities, end, if we always make virtue and in- than thole in which they recover themnocence happy and successful. What. felves out of them. The best plays of ever croffes and disappointments a good this kind are the Orphan, Venice Preman suffers in the body of the tragedy, served, Alexander the Great, Theodothey will make but small impreffion on fius, All for Love, Oedipus, Oroonoko, our minds, when we know that in the Othello, &c. King Lear is an adminas last act he is to arrive at the end of his ble tragedy of the fame kind, as Shakewishes and desires. When we see him speare wrote it; but as it is reformed engaged in the depth of his afflictions, according to the chinerical notion of we are apt to comfort ourselves, because poetical justice, in my humble opinion we are sure he will find his way out of it has lost half it's beauty. At the them; and that his grief, how great so- same time I must allow, that there are ever it may be at present, will soon ter- very noble tragedies, which have been minate in gladness. For this reason the framed upon the other plan, and have ancient writers of tragedy treated men ended happily; as indeed most of the in their plays as they are dealt with in good tragedies which have been written



upon it.

since the starting of the above-mentioned have been so acted. I have seen Powell criticism, have taken this turn: as the very often raise himself a loud clap by Mourning Bride, Tamerlane, Ulyles, this artifice. The poets that were acPhaedra and Hippolitus, with most of quainted with this secret, have given Mr. Dryden's. I must also allow, that frequent occasion for such emotions in many of Shakefpeare's, and several of the actor, by adding vehemence to words the celebrated tragedies of antiquity, where there was no passion, or infiaming are cast in the same forin. I do not

a real passion into fuftian. This hath therefore dispute against this way of filled the mouths of our heroes with writing tragedies, but against the criti- bombast; and given them such fenticism that would establish this as the ments, as proceed rather from a swelling only method: and by that means would than a greatness of mind. Unnatural very much cramp the English tragedy, exclamations, curfes, vows, blafpheand perhaps give a wrong bent to the mies, a defiance of mankind, and an genius of our writers.

outraging of the gods, frequently pass The tragi-comedy, which is the pro- upon the audience for towering thoughts, duct of the English theatre, is one of and have accordingly met with infinite the most monstrous inventions that ever applause. entered into a poet's thoughts. An I shall here add a remark, which I author might as well think of weaving am afraid our tragic writers may make the adventures of Æneas and Hudia an i!l use of. As our heroes are genebras into one poein, as of writing such rally lovers, their swelling and bluitera motley piece of mirth and sorrow. ing upon the stage very much recomBut the ablurdity of chefe performances mends them to the fair part of their is fo very vilible, that I shall not infiit audience. The ladies are wonderfully

pleased to see a man insulting kings, or The same objections which are made affronting the gods in one scene, and to tragi-comedy, may in some measure throwing himself at the feet of his misbe applied to all tragedies that have a tress in another. Let him behave himdouble plot in them; which are likewise' self infolently towards the men, and more frequent upon the English itage abjectly towards the fair-one, and it is than upon any other; for though the ten to one but he proves a favourite of grief of the audience, in fuch perform the boxes. Dryden and Lee, in sereral ances, be changed into another passion, of their tragedies, have practised this as in tragi-comedies; it is diverted upon secret with good fuccess. another object, which weakens their But to Mew how a rant pleases beconcern for the principal action, and yond the moft just and natural thought breaks the tide of sorrow, by throwing that is not proncunced with vehemence, it into difierent channels. This incon- I would defire the reader, when he sees venience, however, may in a great mea the tragedy of Occipus, to observe how fure be cured, if not wholly removed, quietly the hero is dilmified at the end by the ikilful choice of an under- plot, of the third act, after having pronounced which may bear such a near relation to the following lines, in which the thought the principal defign, as to contribute is very natural, and apt to move comtowards the completion of it, and be passion: concluded by the same catastrophe. There is also another particular,

To you, good gods, I make my laft appeal; which may be reckoned among the ble

Or clear my virtues, or my crimes reveal.

If in the maze of fate I blindly run, milles, or rather the falle beauties, of And backward tread those paths I fought to our English tragedy: I mean those par

hun; ticular speeches which are commonly Impute my errors to your own decree: known by the name of rants. The

My hands are guilty, but my heart is free. warin and passionate parts of a tragedy are always the most taking with the aus Let us then observe with what thunderdience; for which reaton we often see claps of applaulę be leaves the stage, the players pronouncing, in all the vio after the impieties and execrations at the Jence of action, teveral parts of the tra end of the fourth act; -and you will wongedy which the author writ with great der to see an audience lo curfed and fo temper, and designed that they should pleased at the same time;

O that

that as oft I have at Athens feen


HAVING spoken of Mr. Powell, as [Where, by the way, there was no sometimes raising himself applause from

stage till many years after Oedi- the ill tatte of an audience; I must do pus.]

bim the justice to own, that he is exThe ftage arise, and the big clouds descend; cellently formed for a tragedian, and, So now, in very deed I might behold. when he pleases, deferves the admiration This pond 'rous globe, and all yon marble roof, of the best judges; as I doubt not but Meet, like the hands of Jove, and cruih man- he will in the Conquest of Mexico, *kind.

which is acted for his own benefit toFor all the elements, &c.

morrow night. !



OVID. MET. I. 654




OMPASSION for the gentleman for my dear, never man was so ena.

who writes the following letter, moured as I was of her fair forehead, fhould not prevail upon me to fall upon neck, and arms, as well as the bright the fair-lex, if it were not that I find jet of her hair; but to my great aitothey are frequently fairer than they nishment I find they were all the effects ought to be. Such impoftures are not of art; her skin is lo tarnished with this to be tolerated in civil society; and I practice, that when she first wakes in a think his misfortune ought to be made morning, the scarce seems young enough public, as a warning for other men al- to be the mother of her whom I carried ways to examine into what they admire. to bed the night before. I shall take

the liberty to part with her by the first SIR,

opportunity, unless her father will make SUPPOSING you to be a person of her portion suitable to her real, not her

general knowledge, I make my ap- assumed, countenance. This I thought plication to you on a very particular oc- fit to let him and her know by your cafion. I have a great mind to be rid means. I am, Sir, of my wife, and hope, when you confi

Your inost obedient, humble der my case, you will be of 'opinion I

servant. have very juft pretenfions to a divorce. I am a mere man of the town, and have I cannot tell what the law, or the very little improvement, but what I have parents of the lady, will do for this got from plays. I remember in The injured gentleman, but must allow he Silent Woman, the learned Dr. Cut has very much justice on his fide. I berd, or Dr. Otter, I forget which, have indeed very long observed this evil, makes one of the causes of reparation and distinguished those of our women to be Error Persone, when a man mar who wear their own, from those in bor. ries a woman, and finds her not to be rowed complexions, by the Picts and the the same woman whom he intended to British. There does not need any great marry, but another. If that be law, it discernment to judge which are which. is, I presume, exa&ly my case, For The British have a lively animated you are to know, Mr. Spectator, that afpect; the Pi&ts, though never so beauthere are women who do not let their tiful, have dead uninformed countebulbands see their faces till they are

The muscles of a real face married.

sometimes (well with soft paflion, sudden Not to keep you in suspense, I mean surprise, and are flushed with agreeable plainly that part of the fex who paint. confusions, according as the objects beThey are some of them so exquisitely fore them, or the ideas presented to skilful this way, that give them but a them, affect their imagination. But the tolerable pair of eyes to set up with, and Piets behold all things with the same they will make bolom, lips, cheeks, and air, whether they are joyful or fad; the eyebrows, by their own industry. As farine fixed insenlibility appears upon all

I 2



occasions. A Pict, though she takes face, pale as ashes on the other. Heall that pains to invite the approach of neycomb seized all her gallypots and lovers, is obliged to keep them at a cer washes, and carried off his handkerchief tain distance; a sigh in a languishing full of brushes, scraps of Spanish wool, lorer, if fetched ioo near her, would and phials of unguents. The lady dillolve a feature; and a kiss snatched went into the country, the lover was ,by a forward one, might transfer the cured.

complexion of the mistress to the ad It is certain no faith ought to be kept mirer. It is hard to speak of these false with cheats, and an oath made to a Piet fair ones, without saying something un is of itself void. I would therefore excomplaisant, but I would only recom hort all the British ladies to fingle therr mend to them to consider how they like out; nor do I know any but Lindamira coming into a room new-painted; they who should be exempt from discovery; may alfure themselves, the near approach for her own complexion is so delicate, of a lady who uses this practice is much that he ought to be allowed the covermore offensive.

ing it with paint, as a punishment fer Will Honeycomb told us, one day, chusing to be the worst piece of art exan adventure he once had with a Pict. tant, instead of the matterpiece of naThis lady had wit, as well as beauty, ture. As for my part, who have no at will; and made it her business to gain expectations from women, and consider hearts, for no other reason but to railly them only as they are part of the species, the torments of her lovers. She would I do not half so much fear offending a make great advances to insnare men, but beauty as a woman of sense; I hall without any manner of scruple break off therefore produce several faces which when there was no provocation. Her have been in public this many years, ill-nature and vanity made my friend and never appeared. It will be a very very easily proof against the charms of pretty entertainment in the play-house, her wit and conversation; but her beaut- when I have abolished this custom, to teous form, instead of being blemished fee fo many ladies, when they first lay by her falhood and inconftancy, every it down, incog, in their own faces. day increased upon him, and she had In the mean time, as a pattern for new attractions every time he saw her. iimproving their charins, let the sex study When she observed Will irrevocably her the agreeable Statira. Her features are Hlave, the began to use him as such, and enlivened with the chearfulness of her after many iteps towards tuch a cruelty, mind, and good-humour gives an alathe at laft utterly banished him. The crity to lier eyes. She is graceful with: unhappy lover trove in vain, by servile out affecting an air, and unconcerned cpistles, to revoke his doom; till at without appearing careless. Her havlength he was forced to the last refuge, ing no manner of art in her mind, makes à round fum of money to her maid. her want none in her perfon. "This corrupt attendant placed him early How like is this lady, and how unin the inorning behind the hangings in like is a Piet, to that description Dr. her mistress's dressing-roon. He stood Donne gives of his mistress ! very conveniently to obferve, without being seen. The Pict begins the face

Her pure and eloquent blood the designed to wear that day, and I spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,

That one would almost fay her body thought. have heard him protest the had worked a full half hour before he knew her to be the fame wornan. As soon as he

ADVERTISEMENT. saw the dawn of that complexion, for which he bad 10 long languished, he nineteen years of age (bred in the family

A YOUNG gentlewoman of about thougiit fit to break from his conceal- of a person of quality lately deceased) rient, repeating that of Cowley who paints the fineit fiel-colour, wants Th' adorning thee'with so much art, a place, and is to be heard of at the Is but a barb'sous skill:

houfe of Minheer Grotesque, a Durch "Tis like the pois'ning of a dart,

painter in Barbican. Too apt before to kill.

N. B. She is also well-skilled in tlie

drapery-part, and puts on hoods, and The Pi&t stood before him in the ut- mixes ribbons so as to suit the colours inoit confufion; with the prettiett smirk of the face with great art and success. isaginable on the finished fide of her


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