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mountains finking in appearance unexceptionably picturesque and from a spectator's change of fitua- beautiful: tion, can have no real analogy with
Old castles on the cliffs arise, the degradation of a statesman, hero, Proudly towering in the skies! or other elevated character. The Ruhing from the woods the fpires, ideas in these couplets, “ Still the Seem from hence ascending fires !
Half his beams Apollo sheds, prospect, wider,” &c. are so exten
On the yellow mountain heads ! live, that they approach to the true
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks, sublime :
And glitters on the broken rocks! About his chequer'd fides I wind,
" The downward view of GronAnd leave his brooks and meads behind, gar itself, has equal merit; the epi. And groves and grottos where I lay,
thets of the different trees are well And vistas fbooting beams of day: Wide and wider spreads the vale ;
chosen : Like circles on a smouth canal:
Below me trees unnumber'd rise, The mountains round, unhappy fate
Beautiful in various dyes; Sooner or later of all beigbt,
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue, Withdraw their summits from the skies,
The yellow beech, the sable yew,
I And lefsen as the o: hers rile:
The slender fir that taper grows, Still the prospect wider spreads,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs. Adds a thousand wnods and meads, Still it widens, widens still,
" This poem has been celebrated And links the newly-risen hill.
for the frequency of its moral reSome readers may think the follow flections. After describing a ruined ing alterations no improvement;
castle or palace, it was natural for but the arrangement is certainly
such sentiments as the following to preferable in point of correctness ; occur ; but they might have been
expressed with more conciseness. Wider and wider spreads the vale, The pen of expunction should have Ais circles on a smooth canal;
passed over the words marked in itaThe mountains round that reach the skies Subside, and others o'er them rise.
licks, as snperfluous; rule and favay Still the prospect, &c.
are synonymous ; pomp and firay
would have done better. The con6 Had all the next paragraph, clution, this little defect excepted, except the first two lines, been sup:
is truly excellent : pressed, the poem would have suffered no material loss. After the
Yet time has seen, that lifts tbe lete,
And level lays the lofty brew, landscape was said to lye below, it
Has seen this broken pile compleat, was surely needless to say that it Big with the vanity of state; spread beneath the fight : nor does But tranfient is the smile of fate! the face of Nature, wearing the
A little ruie, a little fway,
A sun-beam in a winter's day, hues of the rainbow, convey to the
Is all the proud and mighty have, mind any distinct or graphical idea :
Between the cradle and the grave. Now I gain the mountain's brow,
“ The ensuing description of the What a landscape lies below! No clouds, no vapours intervene,
rivers is agreeable, and prettily ilBut thc gay the open scene,
lustrates the course of human life. Does the face of Nature inox,
The thought of Nature's oeffure, is In all the bues of heaven's bow! not so happy : her dress could not And swelling to embrace the light,
be at once grave and gay; and the Spreads around beneatb tbe light.
fame appearance which iufiraits or We have pow a scene almost produces serious reflection, can
" In English comedy Congreve, written without a strong character I believe, itands without a rival. in it, witness Douglas. The chaHis plots have great depth and art; racters of tragedy therefore cannot perhaps too much : his characters have too much truth: but those of are now and strong : his wit genu- comedy ought to resemble the paintine; and to exuberant, that it has cd scenes, which, if examined too been alledged as his only fault, that nearly, are inere daubings; but at he makes all his characters inherit a proper distince have the very his own wit. Yet this fault will truth of nature, while the beauties not be imputed hy adepts, who of more delicate paintings would know that the dialogue of our co- not be perceived. medy cannot poffibly be too spirited “ Sentimental comedy, as it is and epigrammatic, for it requires called, though of late birth in Enge language as well as characters land, is yet the coinody of MenanItronger than nature.
der and of Terence. Terence is "Shakspeare excelsin the strength quite full of sentiment, and of a of his characters and in wit ; but tenderness which accompanies its as plot must be regarded as an er and so barren of wit and humour, sential of good coinedy, he must not that I only remember two passages be erected as a model in the comic in his fix comedies that provoke a academy ; a loss sufficiently com- smile ; for a simile is all they can pensated by the reflection, that it provoke. The one is that scene were vain to place him as a model which passes after the eunuch is whose beauties transcend all imita- supposed to have ravished a young tion.
lady. This is the only proof of " Tragedy and comedy both the humour of Terence: and the ought certainly to approach as near only sample of his wit we have in the truth of life as possible ; info- the reply of an old miser to one much that we may imagine we are who he expected brought him tida placed with Lc Diable Boiteux on ings of a legacy, but who instead the roof of the house, and per- thereof makes very gravely a moet ceive what passes within. This rule ral observation to the impatient old in tragedy cannot be too stri&tly ob- man, who peevishly retorts, “What! served, though it has escaped al- halt thou brought nothing here but most every writer of modern tra- one maxim ?” gedy; the characters of which speak « Sentimental comedy bore a fimiles, bombast, and every thing very short sway in England. In. except the language of real life; deed it was incompatible with the to that we are eternally tempted to humour of an English audience, exclaim, as Falstaff does to Pistol, who go to a coinedy to laugh, and “ Prythee speak like a inan of this not to cry. It was even inore abworld.”
surd, it may be added, in its faults " In coinedy this rule ought by than that of which Congreve is the no means to be adhered to; as infi. model ; for sentiments were spoken pidity is the worst fault writing can by every charaéter in the piece, have, but particularly coinedy; Whercas one sentimental character whole chief quality it is to be poig. was surely enough. If a man met nant. Now poignancy cannot be with his mistress, or left her; if he ettected without Itrong character; was suddenly favoured by fortune, but an excellent tragedy may be or suddenly the object of her ha.
tred; if he was drunk, or married; position, and most declares the hand he spoke a sentiment: if a lady was of a master. angry, or plealed ; in love, or out “ By the School for Scandal the of it ; a prude, or a coquet; make style of Congreve was again brought room for a sentiment! If a servant into falbion; and sentiment made girl was chid, or received a prelent way for wit, and delicate humour. from her mittreis ; it a valet re- That piece has indeed the beauties ceived a purse, or a horsewhipping; of Congreve's comedies, without good heavens, what a fine lenti- their faults : its plot is deeply e. inent!
nough perplexed, without forcing " This fault I say was infinitely one to labour to unravel it; its inmore absurd than that of Congreve; cidents sufficient, without being too for a peasant may blunder on wit, numerous ; its wit pure; its tituto whose mind sentiment is totally ations truly dramatic. The chaheterogeneous. Belides, Congreve's raciers however are not quite so wit is all his own; whereas inoit of Itrong as Congreve's; which may the said sentiments may be found in be regarded as the principal fault of the Proverbs of Solomon.
this excellent piece. Lesser faults .“ No wonder then this way of are Charles's sometimes blundering writing was soon abandoned even by upon sentiments ; nay sometimes him who was its chief leader. upon what are the worst of all fenGoldsmith in vain tried to stem the timents, such as are of dangerous torrent by opposing a barrier of low tendency, as when Rowley advises humour, and dullness and absur- him to pay his debts, before he dity, more dull and absurd than makes a very liberal present, and English sentimental comedy itself. fo to act as an honest man ere he
" It is very much to the credit acts as a generous one. of that excellent writer Mr. Col. “ Rowley. Ah, fir, I wish you man, that, while other dramatists would remember the proverb were lost in the fashion of sentiment, " Charles. Be just before you are his comedies always present the hap- generous.—Why so I would if I piest mediums of nature; without could, but Justice is an old lame either affectation of sentiment, or hobbling beldame, and I can't get affectation of wit. That the able her to keep pace with Generoficy translator of Terence should yet for the soul of me.” have sufficient force of mind to keep " This sentiment, than which his own pieces clear of the decla- nothing can be more false and immatory dulness of that ancient, is moral, is always received by the certainly a matter deserving of much filly audience with loud applause, applaule. The Jealous Wife, and whereas no reprobation can be too the Clandestine Marriage, with o- severe for it. A lefser blemish lies thers of his numerous drarsas, may in the verses tagged to the end of be mentioned as the most perfect the play, in which one of the chamodels of comedy we have : to all racters addrefles the audience. The the other requisites of fine comic verses are an absurdity, the address writing they always add just as a fill greater; for the audience is Inuch rentiment and wit as does by no good actor supposed to be them good. This happy thedium present : and any circumstance that is the most difficult to hit in all con, contributes to deatroy the apparent
CHARACTER OF HANDEL as a COMPOSER,
[From Dr. Burner's Sketch of his Life.]
6 THAT Handel was fupe. manner; being possessed, in his mid
rior in the strength and dle age and full vigour, of every boldness of his style, the richnets of refinement and perfection of his his harmony, and complication of time : uniting the depth and elaboparts, to every composer who has rate contrivance of his own counbeen most admired for such exceltry, with Italian elegance and facilencies, cannot be disputed. And, lity; as he feems, while he resided while fugue, contrivance, and a south of the Alps, to have listened full score, were more generally re- attentively in the church, theatre, , verenced than at present, he re- and chamber, to the most exquisite mained wholly unrivalled.
compositions, and performers, of " I know it has been said that every kind, that were then existing. Handel was not the original and "And though we had cantatas immediate inventor of several spe- by Carissimi, Aleffandro Scarlatti, cies of music, for which his name Gasparini, and Marcello ; ducts by has been celebrated ; but, with re- Steffani and Clari ; vocalchorusses, spect to originality, it is a term to without instrumental accompaniwhich proper limits should be set, ments, by Palestrina, and our own before it is applied to the produc- Tallis, Bird, and Purcell; and, tions of any artist. Every inven- with accompaniments, by Carissimi tion is clumsy in its beginning, and as well as' Paolo Colonna; with Shakspeare was not the first writer violin sonatas and concertos by Co. of plays, or Corelli the first com- relli and Geminiani; yet it may poser of violin folos, fonatas, and with the utmost truth be asserted, concertos, though those which he that Handel added considerable produced are the best of his time; beauties to whatever style or species nor was Milton the inventor of epic of composition be adopted, which, poetry. The scale, harmony, and in a larger work, it would not be cadence of music, being settled, it difficult to demonstrate, by examis impossible for any composer to in: ples. At present, I shall only venvent a genus of composition that is ture to give it as part of my music wholly and rigoroully new, any cal profesion de foi, that his air or more than for a poet to form a lan- melody is greatly superior to any guage, idiom, and phraseology, for that can be found in the otherwife himself. All that the greatest and charming cantatas which Carissimi boldest musical inventor can do, is seems to have invented ; that he is to avail himself of the best effu. more natural in his voice-parts, and fions, combinations, and effects, of has given more movements to his his predecessors; to arrange and ap- bafes than Alef. Scarlatti; that he ply them in a new manner; and to has inore force and originality than add, froin his own source, what, Gasparini or Marcello ; that his ever he can draw, that is grand, chamber duets are, at least, cqual graceful, gay, pathetic, or, in any to those of Steffani and Clari, who other way, pleasing. This Handel were remarkable for no other spedid, in a molt ample and superior cies of composition; and though
velty, is the superlative qualifica- " A work, immoral and unwife, tion of poetry, and nothing can has yet been found to live by its contribute more to procure it per- style, in spite of these defects. Style manent admiration. Yet invention is therefore a quality of writing en itself is interior to strong sense even qual, if not superior, to good tente: in poetry; for there are poems in for the latter without the former which the invention is rich, yer will by no ineans preierve a work, disgusts by its futility ; not being though the reverle of the rule lä conducted by that accr animi vis, true. Indeed a fine style is comthat keen force of mind, which al. nonly joined with good lense; both ways accompanies true genius. being the offspring of the same lu
16 If good sense is therefore a minous mind. praise superior to invention itself in " Can a work live long which is poetry, we may with great lasery defective in style? Impotibble. Hopronounce it one of the very firit mer's style is the richest in the Greek qualities that ensures applause to language. Style has preferred Hecomposition.
rodotus in spite of his abfurdities. 6 A beautiful work of genius Every ancient, who has reached uig may be aptly compared to a beau- has an eininent style in his reipec. tiful woman. Good sense may be tive walk and manner. Style bas called its health, without which it faved all the Latin writers, who are cannot live, charming as its other only good imitators of the Greeks. powers may be. But though a wo- Terence is only the translator of man has good health, it does not Menander ; Sallust an imitator of follow that flie is fair; nay we of. Thucydides ; Horace is an imitator ten applaud a morbidezza, or an ap- and almost a translator in all his pearance of fickly, delicacy, as an odes, as we may boldly pronounce improver of female beauty ; and in an comparing them with iuch very this the comparison fails. A work, - minute fragments of Grecian lyric as well as its present parallel, must poetry as hare reached us. Yet it have the bloom and the features of was he who exclaimed beauty, with grace and elegance in
O imitatores fervum pecus ! its motions, to attract admiration. The bloom and fine features, the Style has saved Virgil entirely, who grace and elegance, of a work con- has not the most distant pretence to fist in its style; which is the part any other attribute of a poet. that is most recommendatory of it, " Good sense I have called the as outward beauty and grace are of health of a work, without which it a woman considered as an object of cannot live ; but a work may bire sight.
without much applause: and the - The bloom and the features of first quality of writing that attracts composition lie in the verbage and universal and permanent fame was figures of its style ; the grace in the subject of the present discus. the manner and movement of that fion. This we have found to be style.