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of comedy is, that philosophical plea- much pleasure as the Greeks in mere santries and satires would not gain so intellectual perceptions; and the only much as ordinary dramas do from Greek audience which now remains, being acted. Sentiment and passion consists of men of talent and taste, acquire a new warmth and interest in who are sprinkled over the world at the person of a good actor; and his such distances from each other, that looks and gestures take an irresistible they have no chance of meeting withhold of our sympathies; but every in the confines of a theatre. He that one must have observed, that mere re- looks along the benches of our playpartees or reflections, when they are houses, and observes the fine rows of'. once known by rote, fall very coldly human heads which are nodding afrom the stage, because they are little round him, would do well to rememimproved by looks or gestures. A good ber how much respect is due to huactor, in representing passion, knows man nature : for, if he sees more how to kindle the flame anew in our traces of the porter and ale which we bosoms, although we may have seen have been drinking for so many genethe same piece twenty times before. rations back, than of Athenian perspiAnd there is also a species of humour cacity, there may be found an ample consisting in the exhibition of feeling, excuse for it in our national extraction, contrasted with situation, which gains which certainly has had little to do from the actor, because it hinges up- with those southern amalgamations on sentiment, and cannot be definitely now talked of by philosophers. and adequately expressed in words. But the species of pleasantry, consisting in the play of abstract ideas, capable of being fully conveyed by language, and which is the one peculiar to Aristophanic and allegorical comedy,
(From the German of Schiller.) is rather an intellectual perception than a personal feeling, of such a nature as might more easily be translated into French,
“ CASSANDRA, another work of Schiller's, to be enforced by gesture and sympa- although its poetical language is extremely thy.
bold. At the moment when the festival to An Aristophanic comedy, however, celebrate the marriage of Polyxena and might have all the advantages of a Achilles is beginning, Cassandra is seized melo-dramatic spectacle ; and some with a presentiment of the misfortunes practical pleasantries might be repre- which will result from it,-she walks sad sented by such a brilliant apparatus, and melancholy in the grove of Apollo, and as would prevent them from appear,
laments that knowledge of futurity which ing tedious. Allegory would afford
troubles all her enjoyments. We see in this many, subjects fit for the display of Ode what a misfortune it would be to a
human being could he possess the premachinery and decorations, in which science of a divinity. Is not the sorrow of particulars the Greek theatres seem to the prophetess experienced by all persons have been scantily provided. The in- of strong passions and suprem minds? tellectuality of the piece would thus Schiller has given us a fine moral idea unbe relieved by something addressed to der a very poetical form, namely, that true the senses, and the wonder excited by genius, that of sentiment, even if it escape bold flights of wit and imagination, is frequently the victim of its own feelings
suffering from its commerce with the world, would be supported by wonders better Cassandra never marries, not that she is adapted to thick and cloudy capacities. either insensible or rejected, but her peneIt cannot be denied, nevertheless, that trating soul in a moment passes the boundsuch an exhibition would please only aries of life and death, and finds repose only once, unless it contained such diversi- in heaven.”-MADAME de STAEL's Gerfied stores of thought as not to be easi- many, vol. i. p. 348. ly remembered.
These remarks are made merely for Joy was heard in Ilium's walls, the sake of discussion. If any writer Ere her lofty turrets fell, were now to succeed in the species of Songs of jubilee filled her nalls, composition above-mentioned, his dra- Rests each warrior's weary sword
Warbled from the golden shell. ma would be known only in the closet, From the work of blood and slaughter ; and would not find its way to the While Pelides, conquering lord, stage. Few nations have taken so Sought the hand of Priam's daughter, VOL. III.
Crowned with many a laurel-bough, Each present good fleets past antasted-
The future fills and mads my brain-
Youth's brightest hours in anguish wasted, The altar of the Thymbrian God.
Take thy treach'rous gift again.
Have I dared my locks to twine,
Since I vowed upon thine altar
Service at thy gloomy shrine. Joyless in the midst of joy,
Youth to me has brought but tears, See, her solitary way
Grief has been my only lot ;To the grove Cassandra bends
What the woes that Troy has borne,
And I have doubly felt them not ?
“ See those hearts with whom my pleasures From her burning brow she cast
Once were shared--a festive crowd, The wreath that bound her streaming hair. Treading light Youth's frolic measures,
I only wrapt in Sorrow's cloud. “ Yes! the stream of joy spreads wide, Spring returns to gladden all, Every heart beats light and gay,
But it shines in vain to me, Troy's proud hopes are mounting high,
What bliss knows she who dares to scan
The dark depths of Futurity.
“ Happy thou, my sister, lulled Ruin vast, with eagle-sweep,
In the dream of Fancy sweet ; Rushing on these walls I see.
Soon the mightiest chief of Greece,
As thy spouse thou hopest to greet.
Envy not her dream of joy.
E'en this heart, tho' withered now,
Loved, and had its love returned ; Come to crush it to the ground.
Long sued the youth,and in his eye
Love's bright expressive glances burned. “ Yes ! they mock my silent grief,- O how blest in humble guise, Laugh my bitter tears to scorn,
With a heart like this to dwell ;There alone I find relief
But a shade at midnight hour
Steps between us,-dark as hell.
“ Whence, ye paley phantoms, are ye? Hard the lot thou hast assigned,
Come ye from the Queen of Night? 0, unpitying God of Day.
Where I wander, where I turn me,
Shapes of terror cross my sight. “ Why hast thou thy prophet spirit See, they crowd—a ghastly train ! To a mortal maiden dealt ?
To scowl away youth's lightsome glee ; What can I from this inherit,
Life, in all its weary round,
Holds no longer joy for me.
“ Ha! the murderer's flashing steel ! Still the hovering cloud must break, Again ! his darkly-gleaming eye! The day of dread roll on its course.
On right, on left, by terrors closed,
I cannot turn, I cannot fly; “ Why, where terrors crowd the scene, Nor yet my straining eyes avert, Back the veil of ages throw ?
Fixed in shuddering trance I stand : Where but ignorance is bliss,
It comes ! the fate which crowns my woes.. Only knowledge leads to woe.
A captive in a stranger land.”
Hark! from out the temple's gate,
Ere the priestess checked her breath,
Bursts the wild distracted shriek To read thine awful mysteries !
“ Thetis' son lies stretched in death."
Eris shakes her vengeful snakes, “ Give me back those days of blindness, Al the Guardian Gods are fled, While this heart yet blithely sung ;- Heavy hung the thunder cloud Joy's light carols left me only
Over Ilium's fated head. Since I spoke with prophet's tongue.
LETTERS TO THE SUPPORTERS OF THE could have selected. But, although
you have applied to sacred subjects a
more vigorous style, and a more enerNo I.-To the Reverend THOMAS getic imagination, than are commandCHALMERS, D.D.
ed by any other preacher of your day,
you are not to suppose that you have SIR, -I know no man who has less not been immeasurably surpassed in reason when a letter is brought to your own field by many illustrious him, to dread that it may contain predecessors. Your reasoning is lame something disagreeable to his feelings, and weakly, when compared with that than Dr Chalmers. You have over- of Butler and Paley. Your erudition come many disadvantages, and achiev- is nothing to that of a Lardner, a Wared many triumphs ; your enemies are burton, or a Horsley. Your eloquence few, and the nature of the reproaches is jejune, when set by the side of Barwhich they pour out against you be- row, or any of the great old English trays very distinctly the meanness and preachers ; and must always seem envy from which they are sprung.- coarse, and even unnatural, to those Your friends are numerous; all of who are familiar with Massillon and them admire your genius as an author, Bossuet. Nevertheless, you are assurand venerate your zeal as a clergyman; edly a great man. Your mind is cast and not a few of them, add to all this, in an original mould. Your ardour is a sincere and ardent love of the sim- intense, and no one can resist the plicity and the kindness which form stream of your discourse, who has eithe best ornaments of your character ther heart to feel what is touching, or in private life. Your reception in the soul to comprehend what is sublime. world is such as might spoil a mind A man, situated as you are, cannot less pure and dignified than yours. fail to be the subject of much converThe flattery of women, and the vulgar, sation among those who are acquaintyou could not of course fail to despise ; ed with his merits. But the “ Digito but the most dangerous of all tempta- monstrarier et dicier hic est,” are sometions, the “ Laudari a viris laudatis," times the penalty, as well as the prize, has been abundantly served up to you; of eminence; and the same causes you have been extolled by every one which secure every exertion of your of your eminent contemporaries who virtue or your genius from neglect, has had occasion to hear you preach. cannot fail to draw upon every departYou have overcome the cold dignity ure from the one, and every misappliof Lord Castlereagh, and the reluctant cation of the other, the eye of a most scepticism of Mr Jeffrey, with equal minute and jealous scrutiny. Your ease;
you have taken a station in faults are likely to be blazoned with the
eye your country, above what the same clamour which waits upon is, or has lately been, occupied by your excellencies; and the world, any clergyman, either of the Eng- which is in no case fond of giving too lish or of the Scottish church.
much praise, will hasten to atone for The praises which have been heap- the violence with which it has applauded upon you, have indeed, in many ed, by the bitterness with which it instances, been extravagant and ab- will condemn. surd. I consider you as a man of Do not fear that I have made these strong intellect and ardent imagina- observations by way of a' prelude to tion; but I believe, that both in rea- abuse. You have no admirer more son and fancy, you have, at the pre- sincere than myself. Although not sent time, many superiors; and that, personally acquainted with you, I love had you selected for the subject of and respect your character and every your disquisitions any other topic part of it. I by no means coincide than that of religion, your labours with some extravagant positions of would have attracted much less notice the rhapsodist who praised you some than they have done. I say not this months ago in the pages of this Magaby way of disparaging your talents, zine ; but the admiration I feel for for almost every great man is calculate you is as sincere as his can be; and if ed to shine in one department, not in you be displeased with any part of my many; and that in which your great- address, remember, I beseech you, that ness has been shewn, is eertainly as my officiousness is only another illusworthy of respeet as any which you tration of the old Greek proverb, which
says, that “ Love hates to be silent," presence lends to pleasure its greatest sgws 8 01ası To givãr. I think you cannot charm, whose absence, or coldness, possibly be the worse of being told, would be sufficient to throw a damp that in my apprehension, and in that over every exertion, and to chill the of many who admire and love you as very fountain of all our enjoyment. I do, you have lately fallen into a great We must go out of the world altogeand dangerous error. I by no means ther, if we are never to mingle in the wish to set up my voice with any thing society of the ungodly; but, say you, in like petulance or pertinacity against no moment of our intercourse with the the conduct of one entitled to so world, and the men of the world, much respect. You may have rea- should we allow ourselves entirely to sons, perhaps good ones, for what you forget that we ourselves have our treahave done. But, be assured, the world sure laid up elsewhere-far less should is very anxious to hear them; and till we ever, by any deportment of ours, they are explained, in the eyes of all confirm the evil principles, or countegood Christians, and, I will add, of all nance the evil deeds, whose existence honest men, you are not what
we cannot but observe among those Your conscience has already spoken. with whom we are thus, at times, come -There is no need for going about pelled to associate. On the contrary, the bush with a man of your stamp. we should take every opportunity of You are sensible that the world has letting all men see what we are reason to wonder at your conduct in we should remember, that the faith becoming a contributor to the Edin- which we possess is not a thing to be burgh Review; and you confess, be- worn like a gala garment, and laid afore I ask you to do so, that, by as- side at pleasure for weeds less likely to suming this character, you have tar- attract attention-we should take care nished the purity of your reputation. that civility to our neighbours do not As you have committed the offence, make us forgetful or careless of the however, more frequently than once, duty which we owe to ourselves. I shall not ask your leave to tell you, If an ordinary Christian be thus at somewhat greater length, both the bound to preserve and shew his Chrisgrounds and the nature of the opinion tianity in the midst of all his occupawhich the public is likely to form in tions, it follows, I apprehend, pretty respect to every Christian Minister clearly, that a Christian author must who lends his support to the declin- lie under an obligation no less binding ing credit of that once formidable with regard to the conduct, purport, Journal.
and probable effect of all his writings. From all that I have either heard or The Bible informs us, that the Chrisread of your discourses in the pul- tian ought to consider himself as pit, if there is one thing more than city set upon a hill;" surely the saany other characteristic of you as a cred preacher, the pious author, cannot preacher, it is the zeal with which you but consider himself as occupying the are never weary of telling your audi- most prominent part of this conspicuence, that Christianity should exert an ous situation. He cannot but know, intense and pervading influence, not that it is his fate to be “ seen and read only over their solemn acts of devotion, of all men.” Beza wrote obscene but over their minds, even when most songs; but this was in the days of his engaged with the business and the re- youth, and he lived abundantly to recreations wherein the greater part of pent and atone for his errors. Marot every life must of necessity be spent. wished to expiate the sin of his MaTrue religion, according to the doc- drigals; and he composed, with that trine which you support with such view, his metrical version of the persuasive and commanding eloquence, Psalms. It was reserved for Dr Chalis not the dark Sybil of some Pythian mers to exhibit the apparent converse cell, consulted only on great emergen- of their conduct; and after publishing cies, surrounded with mysterious va- a powerful treatise on the Historical pours, and giving utterance to enig- Evidences of Christianity, and a series matical responses. --She is, or ought to of masterly sermons against Modern be, the calm and smiling attendant of Infidelity, to delight the malignant, all our steps, the tutelary angel of and startle the friendly, by coming all our wishes and hopes, the confi- forth as the prop and pillar of a Deistdential friend and guardian, whose ical Review.
The articles which you have as taking up any number of a periodical yet contributed to the Edinburgh work, to which he had been informed Review (such of them, at least, as Dr Chalmers was a contributor. He are generally known, or suspected would never suspect, that the sentito be yours), appear to me to be by ments of those who conduct this Journo means among the most happy of nal, and the main tenor of their disyour productions. You are an orator, quisitions, could be at all at enmity to but you are nothing else. Your style those principles and feelings of which is formed for the pulpit, and no living he already knew you to be so zealous a preacher can there compete with you. partaker, and so vigorous a defender. But it was not more absurd in Vol- If he happened to be a weak man taire to attempt an epic poem, or in and all good Christians are by no Mr Fox to attempt a history, than it means to be expected to have strong is in you to imagine that you can gain intellects), he would much rather honour to your name by writing in the question his own eyes or understandEdinburgh Review.-But this has no- ing, than the moral or religious tendthing to do with the subject of my ad- ency of any thing which he might read dress to you. Although you had written in these so consecrated pages. The like an angel-although you had shewn sanctity of your name would shed an yourself to be more witty than Mr Jef- air of reverence over all with which it frey, more logical than Mr Brougham, should be associated ; and he would and more scientific than Mr Playfair-I never dream that treason might lurk
could have had no rea- under those banners of which you were son to pique yourself upon your laur- pleased to declare yourself the champiels. I maintain, that by writing in on. If any man is told, that some parthis Review, you are injuring the cause ticular work is supported by a person of your faith and of your Master ; and of acknowledged genius, he takes it for I know, that you are incapable of con- granted that the general talent of this soling yourself for wrong done to them, work is at least respectable, and that by any gratification which your indi- the great man, for whose name he envidual vanity might receive.
tertains so much regard, would never In one of your late publications—a stoop to be the coadjutor of a herd of work with which, by the way, I was drivellers. Are we to rely with more much more pleased than most people confidence upon the consistency of inseem to have been—you caution your tellect than upon that of principle ? readers against blaming too much the Are we to allow more license to your papistical submission to creeds, coun- Christianity than we would to the gecils, and fathers, while they themselves nius of another man? The faith which are, in all probability, the equally un- you profess, should teach you that the questioning disciples of some less ven- talents you possess must all hereafter erable authorities. Believe me, the be accounted for. If the Judge be secircle in which you yourself move, vere upon him who buries his talent above all, the audience to which you in the napkin, how, think ye, will he preach, have great need to take this, look upon that man who pawns his your admonition
into their serious treasure to be the surety of the adverconsideration. I know of no man sary ? Take heed, sir, í beseech you ; whose ipse dixit affords at this mo- you know not into what serious evils ment a more common, or a more un- the indiscretion of a momentary vanidisputed, argument, among many ex- ty may bring the character and the tensive classes of society than your usefulness of a minister of Christ.
You are the oracle of a few; It is not necessary to suppose, that but many, very many, who make no many men can be found so ignorant, man their oracle, are inclined to listen or so obtuse, as to believe that the with the utmost attention to your ad- Edinburgh Review is a Christian vice, and to follow, without much ex- work, even although Dr Chalmers amination, any path of conduct which contributes, now and then, its leading seems to have the recommendation of articles. But may not much evil be your favour.—This much is certain, done, although the infatuation should that any foreigner, a stranger to our stop very considerably short of this? country and our popular literature, Is there no danger that they who see after a perusal of your avowed works, the difference between your avowed would think himself extremely safe in principles and those of the Journal