Page images


ask you to hear the dialogue of a woman exchanging compliments at witty bargeman and a brilliant fish- Billingsgate ; but some of his verses per, when the pidgeons ought rather to of me. Then, what employment have I be laid to his feet! Ha, ha, ha!

for a friend ? " Foresight. His frenzy is very high “ Tattle. - Hah! A good open speaknow, Mr. Scandal.

er, and not to be trusted with a secret. * Scandal.-I believe it is a spring Angelica. - Do you know me, Valtide.

entine? Foresight. — Very likely.-- truly; “Valentine. -Oh, very well. you understand these matters. Mr. Angelica. Who am I? Scandal, I shall be very glad to confer " Valentine. - You're a woman, one with you about these things he has ut- to whom Heaven gave beauty when it tered. His sayings are very mysterious grafted roses on a brier. You are the and hieroglyphical.

reflection of Heaven in a pond; and he Valentine. -Oh, why would Angeli- that leaps at you is sunk. You are all ca be absent from my eyes so long? white - a sheet of spotless paper when * Jeremy.- She's here, Sir.

you first are born; but you are to be Mrs. Foresight. --Now, Sister! scrawled and blotted by every goose's “Mrs. Frail. -O Lord I what must I quill. I know you; for I loved a woman,

and loved her so long that I found out a *** Scandal. - Humor him, Madam, by strange thing: I found out what a woman all means.

was good for. Valentine. Where is she? Oh! I " Tattle.- Ay! prythee, what's that? see her: she comes, like Riches, Health, Valentine.

- Why, to keep a secret. and Liberty at once, to a despairing,

Tattle.- O Lord! starving, and abandoned wretch.

Oh " Valentine. -Oh, exceeding good to welcome, welcome!

keep a secret; for, though she should Mrs. Frail.-How d'ye, Sir? Can tell, yet she is not to be believed. I serve you?

Tattle. - Hah! Good again, faith. Valentine. -Hark'ee-I have a se « Valentine. -I would have music. cret to tell you. Endymion and the moon Sing me the song that I like.” — Cox. shall meet us on Mount Latmos, and GREVE: Love for Love. we'll be married in the dead of night. But say not a word. Hymen shall put There is a Mrs. Nickleby, of the year his torch into a dark lanthorn, that it may 1700, in Congreve's Comedy of “The be secret; and Juno shall give her pea- Double Dealer," in whose character the cock poppy-water, that he may fold his author introduces some wonderful traits ogling tail; and Argus's hundred eyes be of roguish satire. She is practised on by shut-bai Nobody shall know, but the gallants of the play, and no moro Jeremy.

knows how to resist them than any of the “Mrs. Frail.-- No, no; we'll keep it ladies above quoted could resist Congreve. secret; it shall be done presently.

" Lady Plyant. -Oh! reflect upon the " Valentine. - The sooner the better. honor of your conduct! Offering to perJeremy, come hither-closer — that none vert me" (the joke is that the gentleman may overhear us. Jeremy, I can tell you is pressing the lady for her daughter's news: Angelica is turned nun, and I am hand, not for her own] "perverting me turning friar, and yet we'll marry one from the road of virtue, in which I have another in spite of the Pope. Get me atrod thus long, and never made one trip cowl and beads, that I may play my part; - not one faux pas. Oh, consider it: for she'll meet me two hours hence in what would you have to answer for, if black and white, and a long veil to cover you should provoke me to frailty! Alas! the project, and we won't see one another's humanity is feeble, heaven knows! Very faces 'till we have done something to be feeble, and unable to support itself. ashamed of, and then we'll blush once for Mellefont. - Where am I? Is it day? all....

and am I awake? Madam "Enter TATTLE.

"Lady Plyant. - Lord, ask me the

question! I'll swear I'll deny it-thereTattle. - Do you know me, Valen- fore don't ask me; nay, you shan't ask tine?

me, I swear I'll deny it. 0 Gemini, you “ Valentine. - You! - who are you? have brought all the blood into my face; No, I hope not.

I warrant I am as red as a turkey-cock. “ Tatile. - I am Jack Tattle, your fie, cousin Mellefont! friend.

Mellefont. - Nay, Madam, hear me; " Valentine.- My friend! What to I meando? I am no married man, and thou “ Lady Plyant. - Hear you? No, no; canst not lye with my wife; I am very I'll deny you first, and hear you afterpoor, and thou canst not borrow money | wards. For one does not know how one's



on they were amongst the most fa- he was an “excellent young man.”
mous lyrics of the time, and pro- Richelieu at eighty could have hardly
nounced equal to Horace by his con- said a more excellent thing.
temporaries - may give an idea of When he advances to make one of
his power, of his grace, of his dar- his conquests, it is with a splendid
ing manner, his magnificence in gallantry, in full uniform and with
compliment, and his polished sar- the fiddles playing, like Grammont's
casm. He writes as if he was so French dandies attacking the breach
accustomed to conquer, that he has a of Lerida.
poor opinion of his victims. Noth “Cease, cease to ask her name,"
ing's new except their faces, says he: he writes of a young lady at the

every woman is the same. He Wells at Tunbridge, whom he salutes
says this in his first comedy, which with a magnificent compliment -
he wrote languidly* in illness, when

“ Cease, cease to ask her name, mind may change upon hearing-hearing

The crowned Muse's noblest theme, is one of the senses, and all the senses are

Whose glory by immortal fame fallible. I won't trust my honor, I assure

Shall only sounded be. you; my honor is infallible and uncomat

But if you long to know, able.

Then look round yonder dazzling row; “Mellefont. -For heaven's sake, Mad

Who most does like an angel show,

You may be sure 'tis she.” Lady Plyant. -Oh, name it no more. Here are lines about another beauBless me, how can you talk of heaven, and have so much wickedness in your ty, who perhaps was So well heart? May be, you dosn't think it a sin. pleased at the poet's manner of celeThey say some of you, gentlemen don't brating her — think it a sin; but still, my honor, if it were no sin - But, then, to marry my

" When Lesbia first I saw, so heavenly daughter for the convenience of frequent fair, opportunities - I'll never consent to that: With eyes so bright and with that awful as sure as can be, I'll break the match.

air, “Mellefont. — Death and amazement! I thought my heart which durst so high Madam, upon my knees

aspire Lady Plyant. - Nay, nay, rise up! As bold as his who snatched celestial come, you shall see my good-nature. I fire. know love is powerful, and nobody can help his passion. 'Tis not your fault; nor But soon as e'er the beauteous idiot I swear, it is not mine. How can I help spoke, it, if I have charms? And how can you Forth from her coral lips such folly help it, if you are made a captive? I broke: swear it is pity it should be a fault; but, Like balm the trickling nonsense healed my honor. Well, but your honor, too

my wound, but the sin! Well, but the necessity. O And what her eyes enthralled, her Lord, here's somebody coming. I dare tongue unbound.” not stay. Well, you must consider of your crime; and strive as much as can be Amoret is a cleverer woman than the against it--strive, be sure; but don't lovely Lesbia, but the poet does not never think that I'll grant you any thing. seem to respect one much more than O "Lord, no; but be sure you lay all the other; and describes both with thoughts aside of the marriage, for though exquisite satirical humorI know you don't love Cynthia, only as a blind for your passion to me- yet it will “Fair Amoret is gone astray: make me jealous. O Lord, what did I Pursue and seek her every lover. say ? Jealous! No, I can't be jealous; I'll tell the signs by which you may for I must not love you. Therefore don't The wandering shepherdess discover. hope; but don't despair neither. They're coming; I must fly. - The Double Deal

Coquet and coy at once her air, er : Act 2, sc. v. page 156.

Both studied, though both seem neg. * * There seems to be a strange affec

lected; tation in authors of appearing to have done every thing by chance. The old apparently composed with great elaborateBachelor" was written for amusement in ness of dialogue and incessant ambition the languor of convalescence. Yet it is of wit.”-JOHNSON: Lives of the Poets.


[ocr errors]


Careless she is with artful care, along with his scented billet. And Affecting to be unaffected.

Sabina ? What a comparison that is With skill her eyes dart every glance,

between the nymph and the sun! Yet change so soon you'd ne'er sus- The sun gives Sabina the pas, and pect them;

does not venture to rise before her For she'd persuade they wound by ladyship : the morn's bright beams are Though certain aim and art direct less glorious than her fair eyes : but them,

before night everybody will be frozen

by her glances : everybody but one She likes herself, yet others hates

For that which in herself she prizes; lucky rogue who shall be nameless. And, while she laughs at them, forgets Louis Quatorze in all his glory is She is the thing which she despises.” hardly more splendid than our Phæ

bus Apollo of the Mall and Spring What could Amoret have done to Gardens.* bring down such shafts of ridicule When Voltaire came to visit the upon her ? Could she have resisted great Congreve, the latter rather the irresistible Mr. Congreve ? Could affected to despise his literary reputaanybody? Could Sabina, when she tion, and in this perhaps the great woke and heard such a bard singing Congreve was not far wrong. A touch under her window? See,” he of Steele's tenderness is worth all his writes " Seel see, she wakes - Sabina wakes!

*"Among those by whom it (Wills's) And now the sun begins to rise ?

was frequented, Southerne and Congreve Less glorious is the morn that breaks were principally distinguished by DryFrom his bright beams, than her fair den's friendship.

But Congreye eyes.

seems to have gained yet farther than With light united, day they give;

Southerne upon Dryden's friendship. He But different fates ere night fulfil:

was introduced to him by his first play; How many by his warmth will live! the celebrated Old Bachelor being put How many will her coldness killiinto the poet's hands to be revised. Dry

den, after making a few alterations to fit. Are you melted? Don't you think with the high and just commendation, that

it for the stage, returned it to the author him a divine man? If not touched it was the best first play he had ever by the brilliant Sabina, hear the seen."-Scott's Dryden, vol. i. p. 370. devout Selinda :

† It was in Surrey Street, Strand

(where he afterwards died), that Voltaire “ Pious Selinda goes to prayers,

visited him, in the decline of his life. If I but ask her favor;

The anecdote relating to his saying And yet the silly fool's in tears,

that he wished to be visited on no other If she believes I'll leave her:

footing than as a gentleman who led a life Would I were free from this restraint,

of plainness and simplicity," is common to Or else had hopes to win her:

all writers on the subject of Congrere, and, Would she could make of me a saint,

appears in the English version of Vol. Or I of her a sinner?”

taire's “ Letters concerning the English

Nation,” published in London, 1733, as What a conquering air there is about But it is worthy of remark, that it does

also in Goldsmith's "Memoir of Voltaire." these! What an irresistible Mr. not appear in the text of the same Letters Congreve it is ! Sinner! of course in the edition of Voltaire's “ (Euvres he will be a sinner, the delightful Complètes " in the “Panthéon Lit-éraire.” rascal! Win her! of course he will

Vol. v. of his works. (Paris, 1837.)

« Celui de tous les Anglais qui à porté win her, the victorious rogue! He le plus loin la gloire du théâtre comique knows he will : he must — with est feu M. Congreve. Il n'a fait que peu such a grace, with such a fashion, de pièces, mais toutes sont excellentes dans

Vous y voyez partout with such a splendid embroidered suit. le langage des honnêtes gens avec des acYou see him with red-heeled shoes tions de fripon; ce qui prouve qu'il condeliciously turned out, passing a fair naissait bien son monde, et qu'il vivait jewelled hand through his dishevelled

dans ce qu'on appelle la bonne com.

pagnie." - VOLTAIRE: Lettres sur les periwig, and delivering a killing ogle | Anglais. Let. 19.

finery ; à flash of Swift's lightning, a We have seen in Swift a humorous beam of Addison's pure sunshine, philosopher, whose truth frightens and his tawdry playhouse taper is in- one, and whose laughter makes one visible. But the ladies loved him, melancholy. We have had in Conand he was undoubtedly a pretty greve a humorous observer of another fellow. *

school, to whom the world seems to

have no moral at all, and whose * on the death of Queen Mary he pubo ghastly doctrine seems to be that we lished a Pastoral - "The Mourning Muse of Alexis." Alexis and Menalcas sing alternately in the orthodox way. The

Nature herself attentive silence kept, Queen is called PASTORA.

And motion seemed suspended while she

wept !" " I mourn PASTORA dead, let Albion mourn,

And Pope dedicated the “Iliad” to the And sable clouds her chalky cliffs author of these lines and Dryden wrote adorn,"

to him in his great hand: says Alexis. Among other phenomena, " Time, place, and action may with pains we learn that

be wrought,

But Genius must be born, and never can ** With their sharp nails themselves the

be taught. Satyrs wound, And tug their shaggy beards, and bite

This is your portion, this your native

store; with grief the ground"

Heaven, that but once was prodigal be(a degree of sensibility not always found

fore, in the Satyrs of that period).


To SHAKSPEARE gave as much she could continues

not give him more.

Maintain your Post: that's all the fame " Lord of these woods and wide extended

you need, plains,

For 'tis impossible you should proceed; Stretched on the ground and close to

Already I am worn with cares and age, earth his face,

And just abandoning the ungrateful Scalding with tears the already faded

stage: grass.

Unprofitably kept at Heaven's expense, To dust must all that Heavenly beauty

I live a Rent-charge upon Providence:

But you, whom every Muse and Grace come?

adorn, And must Pastora moulder in the tomb?

Whom I foresee to better fortune born, Ah Death! more fierce and unrelenting

Be kind to my remains, and oh! defend far Than wildest wolves and savage tigers

Against your Judgment your departed

Friend! are; With lambs and sheep their hunger is

Let not the insulting Foe my Fame pur

sue; appeased,

But shade those Laurels which descend But ravenous Death the shepherdess

to You: has seized.”

And take for Tribute what these Lines This statement that a wolf eats but a express; sheep, whilst Death eats a shepherdess

You merit more, nor could my Love do that figure of the “Great Shepherd” lying

less.” speechless on his stomach, in a state of despair which neither winds nor floods This is a very different manner of welnor air can exhibit-are to be remembered come to that of our own day. In Shadin poetry surely: and this style was ad- well, Higgons, Congreve, and the comic mired in its time by the admirers of the authors of their time, when gentlemen great Cougreve!

meet they fall into each other's arms, with In the “Tears of Amaryllis for Amyn

"Jack, Jack, I must buss thee;" or, tas » (the young Lord Blandford, the

“Fore George, Harry, I must kiss thee, great Duke of Marlborough's only son), lad.” And in a similar manner the poets Amaryllis represents Sarah Duchess!

saluted their brethren. Literary gentle. The tigers and wolves, nature and mo- men do not kiss now; I wonder if they tion, rivers and echoes, come into work love each other better? here again. At the sight of her grief

Steele calls Congreye “Great Sir” and

"Great Author;" says “Well-dressed #Tigers and wolves their wonted rage barbarians knew his awful name," and forego,

addresses him as if he were a prince; and And dumb distress and new compassion speaks of Pastora”

as one of the most show,

famous tragic compositions,

should eat, drink, and be merry when Kind, just, serene, impartial, his we can, and go to the deuce (if there fortitude not tried beyond easy endurbe a deuce) when the time comes. ance, his affections not much used, We come now to a humor that flows for his books were his family, and his from quite a different heart and spirit society was in public; admirably - a wit that makes us laugh and wiser, wittier, calmer, and more inleaves us good and happy; to one of structed than almost every man with

the kindest benefactors that society whom he met, how could Addison I has ever had; and I believe you have suffer, desire, admire, feel much? I

divined already that I am about to may expect a child to admire me for mention Addison's honored name. being taller or writing more cleverly

From reading over his writings, than she; but how can I ask my and the biographies which we have of superior to say that I am a wonder him, amongst which the famous article when he knows better than I? In in “The Edinburgh Review”* may Addison's days you could scarcely be cited as a magnificent statue of the show him a literary performance, great writer and moralist of the last a sermon, or a poem, or a piece of age, raised by the love and the mar- literary criticism, but he felt he could vellous skill and genius of one of the do better. His justice must have most illustrious artists of our own; made him indifferent. He didn't looking at that calm, fair face, and praise, because he measured his comclear countenance those chiselled peers by a higher standard than comfeatures pure and cold, I can't but mon people have.* How was he who fancy that this great man- in this was so tall to look up to any but the respect, like him of whom we spoke loftiest genius? He must have stooped in the last lecture -- was also one of to put himself on a level with most the lonely ones of the world. Such men. By that profusion of graciousmen have very few equals, and they ness and smiles with which Goethe don't herd with those. It is in the or Scott, for instance, greeted almost nature of such lords of intellect to every literary beginner, every small be solitary — they are in the world, literary adventurer who came to his but not of it; and our minor struggles, court and went away charmed from brawls, successes, pass under them. the great king's audience, and cud*" To Addison himself we are bound which his literary majesty had paid

dling to his heart the compliment by a sentiment as much like affection as any sentiment can be which is inspired by him — each of the two good-natured one who has been sleeping a hundred and potentates of letters brought their we have long been convinced that he de- body had his majesty's orders. EveryAfter full inquiry and impartial

reflection star and ribbon into discredit. Everyserved as much love and esteem as can body had his majesty's cheap portrait

, justly be claimed by any of our infirm on a box surrounded with diamonds and erring race." - MACAULAY.

worth twopence apicce. A very great “Many who praise virtue do no more than praise it. Yet it is reasonable to and just and wise man ought not to believe that Addison's profession and praise indiscriminately, but give his practice were at no great variance; since, idea of the truth. Addison praises most of his life was passed, though his the ingenious Mr. Pinkethman : Addistation made him conspicuous, and his son praises the ingenious Mr. Dogactivity made him formidable, the character given him by his friends was never * " Addison was perfect good company contradicted by his enemies. Of those with intimates, and had something more with whom interest or opinion united charming in his conversation than I ever him, he had not only the esteem but the knew in any other man; but with any kindness; and of others, whom the vio- mixture of strangers, and sometimes only lence of opposition drove against him, with one, he seemed to preserve his dig. though he might lose the love, he retained nity much, with a stiff sort of silence.” the reverence." -JOHNSON.

POPE. Spence's Anecdotes.

« PreviousContinue »