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would prefer Ariosto and Spenser to both. The disciples of each school defend warmly the tenets which they favour;, and it becomes a matter of dispute, not easily stated, and never to be decided, which readers possess the superior taste. The French have a stile of versification suited to familiar subjects, in which Prior, Swift, and R. L. Lloyd, have shewn great excellence, and have used a metre of eight feet very comformable to their light themes. An excellent critic and poet has, however, placed. Fancy as an indispensable attendanton the true bard:.
At every season let my ear,
Ode to Fancy, by Warton.. The words in italics express very strongly the real poet..
As some writers mistake coarseness of
express sion for strength of style and vigour of thought, so many persons in common life wish to attain the reputation of honest and firm men, thereby assuming a roughness of manners and speech. Yet surely the language of a highwayman is neither. smooth nor attractive. The nodosities of the oak may apparently, to the eye of him who knows little of natural history, pass for strength; but an Evelyn or Linnæus would tell him, that such excrescencies shew the diseases in the tree, as much as tumour and chalkstone swellings proclaim the debility of the human body.
Acting and Declamation. It was natural that actors on the French stage should recite the lines of Corneille and Racine “ with the same spirit as the authors wrote ;" but from the English stage declamation was driven by the taste and conduct of the inimitable David Garrick. The mystery of this great actor's excellence, and the opposite faults which prevailed before his brilliant career, are well described in the following lines. The merit of an actor, says the discerning Poet,
Lies not in trick, or attitade, or start-
Actor, by Robert Lloyd.
Novels. These fictitious histories having succeeded to tho ancient romances which chiefly appealed to the imagination, profess their facts and characters to be drawn from real life; and may, no doubt, if ably and faithfully executed, be of very extensive utility. Their readers are innumerable, whilst there are few who aspire to gain instruction from history. Multitudes look upon the novel as their friend, philosopher, and guide, in the middle stations of life. A writer of a novel should make it the stuff of his conscience' to end his tale with rewarding his virtuous, and punishing his vicious, characters; or he deprives his readers of much pleasure. So true does Horace sing
Amusive tales a double use will find,
This is a word very liable to be abused, and though often very vehemently uttered, widely differs from the “ still small voice" of self-approbation. In fact, no man has a right to set up a court of conscience in his own breast, and to square his own actions by his own rules of law and equity. As a member of society, he has tacitly subscribed to the common laws, by which experience has taught the communion to ensure the safety of a state, and procure advantages to every individual. If a man acts by the private canons of his own conscience, he is a very dan
gerous neighbour, and a very untrusty subject.. Pliny (lib. iii. lett. 20) has spoken justly and frankly " Multi famam, pauci conscientiam verentur.'
Queen Elizabeth. In Thomas Hearne's edition of Camden's His tory of this Maiden Queen, we read a singular anecdote of that royal coquet.
“ When the
queen (says Camden) passed through her state rooms, the ladies attending her in her advanced age used to remove the looking-glasses from their places, when the queen went through their rooms, least they might reflect the royal visage, then in the decline." Elizabeth, who was conversant with the Greek, language, had probably read a Greek epigram, so well turned into English by Prior,
Venus, take my votive glass,
A caution not to choose a wife merely for hier: fortune's sake, the honest and sensible Plutarch has offered to us, with a strong and beautiful illus.. tration. " As there is little or no use to be made of a mirror, though in a frame of gold, and enchased with all the sparkling variety of the richest
gems, unless it render back the similitude of the image it receives, so there is nothing of profit in a. wealthy dowry, unless the condition of the temper, and the bumour of the wife, be conformable to the natural disposition and inclination of the husband, so that he sees the virtues of his own mind exactly represented in hers.-- Plutarch's Conjugal Precepts.
Mutual Duties in a Married State.. Women, in honouring and submitting to their husbands, procure honour and respect to their husbands; but when they strive to get the mastery, they become a reproach, not only to themselves, but to those who are so ignominiously hen-pecked, But then again it behoves a husband to controul his wife, not as a master does his vassal, but as the soul governs the body, with the gentle hand of mutual friendship and reciprocal affection.-Ibid.
Night Thoughts, by Dr. Young. Obscurity hangs in lurid clouds over many passages in this celebrated composition, yet there are some very affecting and delightful by their splendour and sweetness. Shakespeare himself might have been honoured in adopting the following lines on sleep, had he wished to have repeated his efforts on the same subject.