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represented as a surly, rough, and froward people. Our very sprightly neighbours on the Continent seem to have the exclusive claim to the term ennui, though they are supposed to be the most urbane and lively nation “ dans tout le monde," as they say of themselves,

Boswell and Johnson. On a first view of the subject, we are surprised that the mercurial spirit of Boswell should have so well amalgamated with the saturnine temper of Johnson. It may be said, indeed, that the respectful behaviour of Boswell to bis “phisosopher and friend,” might have rendered the Doctor's conduct to his adult pupil, at times, gentle and even kind. Yet Boswell often complains that Johnson, in company, would "toss him." Bat, perhaps, in private life, like man and wise, they saw the good policy of mutual forbearance, in a téte à tête. A vain man (as Johnson, though a very great genius, certainly was) lost in private that stimulus of praise and admiration which a large company would naturally excite, and carry beyond the courtesy of good manners. We find, in Horace, that it was in a private party his friend Lælius displayed his mitis sapientia.

* Book ii, sat, 1, Horat.

Greek Plays. We moderns lose much of the entertainment derived from the Greek dramas, from the want of the music and scenery which Aristotle* has considered as the most delightful parts of them. Their sentiments are yet sufficiently plain and instructive, but their dialogues are seldom animated by characteristic manners. The little variety in their subjects is another check in our amusements to be derived from them; and the bombastic phraseology both of Euripides and Sophocles too much reminds us of the writers, when we wish to hear the appropriate language of the actors. These dramas contain many passages of pathos and dig. nified sentiment, but have little to recommend them as dramatic compositions. We read them as moral poems with the best effect.

French Dramas.

The French, who are more pedantic imitators of the classics than might be suspected from the general character of the nation, write poems ratber than dramas. Aristotle (in the chapter before quoted) maintains that there were two ways in which the diction of the drama was carried on ; first, the familiar mode of speaking ; second, the

* Poetics, c. 6.

oratorical or declamatory; and says, the latter became in his time the most popular. In the French plays, the oratorical speeches in Corneille and Racine are very fine and sententious, or, to use the Gallic phrase, very “superb," but very long, very tedious, and very undramatic. In England, the inimitable Shakespeare gives us true examples of appropriate language. James Thomson (who, tho' a good poet, was little endowed with a genius for theatric composition) exhibits a very heavy proof how slightly mere declamation can animate the feelings of an audience or a reader. The · Cato' of Addison, and the • Irene' of Johnson, are fine moral poems, rather than dramas.

Character of Aristotle's Writings and Genius.

A very bold, but very sublime and very appropriate, description is given from an anonymous author in ` Suidas,' of this most illustrious ornament of Greek pbilosophy. Aristotle was the secretary of nature, and dipped his pen in intellect.” It was an happy coincidence in the mode of thinking, if Mr. Garrick had never seen the above, when he described the · Bard,' whom he so ably illustrated by his action. Shakespeare," said this inimitable actor, “ dipped his pen in the human heart."

Bullies in Conversation. Many men are ready to "vail their bonnets' to the loud and impetuous orator, whose hardy assertions and dogmatical harangues are grounded merely on the strength of his lungs, and his invincible impudence. The same auditors would feel little influence from the flashes of the speeches of a man of genius, should his sentiments be delivered with modesty and calmness. audience reminds us. of many persons, who are as little of philosophers as the others who tremble at the noise of thunder, but seem careless and unguarded, when

The vollied lightnings threaten instant death."

Such an


Why men swerve from this golden rule in society, is not that they are ignorant of its meaning, but that they do not like to comply with it. Let a man behave to others with the same gentleness and complaisance that he loves in their conduct, and he would be a very polite man.

We do not want a Lord Chesterfield to enter into minute circumstances, when we bave all the principles in our own bosoms; but vanity, pride, and other irregular passions will interfere, and prevent us from being that character we so much admire in others.

Petrarch's Sonnets.


These very elegant but very dispassionate love elegies of the Italian author, have given occasion to very different opinions of bim. Some critics have said that his niistress was ideal, and his passion possessed nothing real but the lady's

Others have supposed that his head, rather than his heart, supplied these metaphysical effusions, and that he borrowed his notions of love from his master Plato. His fame, however, as an elegant poet, is established, whatever becomes of his ardour as a lover. Waller has a pretty thought, taken from the story of Apollo pursuing Daphne, and enraged by her coyness, turning his mistress into a laurel, and applies it to some unsuccessful lover, and excellent poet of his time “ be lost his mistress,” says Waller, “ but filled his arms with bays."

Sympathy. The famous Dr. Adam Smiih, in his Theory of Moral Sentiment, has, with much sagacity and freedom of thought, stated bow little sympathy those experience from their hearers, who relate their amorous sorrows. “ We are interested,'' says this cool philosopher, “ by the situations in

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