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me look upon all such noble achievements | signs, instead of a penitential psalm, to disas downright silly and romantic. What the miss his audience with an excellent new rest of the audience felt, I cannot so well ballad of his own composing. Pray, sir, do tell. For myself I must declare, that at the what you can to put a stop to these growing end of the play I found my soul uniform, evils, and you will very much oblige your and all of a piece; but at the end of the humble servant, pilogue it was so jumbled together, and divided between jest and earnest, that, if you will forgive me an extravagant fancy,

'PHYSIBULUS.'

I will here set it down. I could not but No. 339.] Saturday, March 29, 1712. fancy, if my soul had at that moment quitted my body, and descended to the poetical shades in the posture it was then in, what a strange figure it would have made among them. They would not have known what to have made of my motley spectre, half comic and half tragic, all over resembling a ridiculous face that at the same time laughs on one side and cries on the other. The only defence, I think, I have ever heard made for this, as it seems to me the most unnatural tack of the comic tail to the tragic head, is this, that the minds of the audience must be refreshed, and gentlemen and ladies not sent away to their own homes with too dismal and melancholy thoughts about them: for who knows the consequence of this? We are much obliged, indeed, to the poets, for the great tenderness they express for the safety of our persons, and heartily thank them for it. But if that be all, pray, good sir, assure them, that we are none of us like to come to any great harm; and that, let them do their best, we shall in all proba bility live out the length of our days, and frequent the theatres more than ever. What makes me more desirous to have some information of this matter is, because of an ill consequence or two attending it: for a great many of our church musicians being related to the theatre, they have, in imitation of these epilogues, introduced, in their farewell voluntaries, a sort of music quite foreign to the design of church-services, to the great prejudice of well-disposed people. Those fingering gentlemen should be informed, that they ought to suit their airs to the place and business, and that the musician is obliged to keep to the text as much as the preacher. For want of this, I have found by experience a great deal of mischief. When the preacher has often, with great piety, and art enough, handled his subject, and the judicious clerk has with the utmost diligence culled out two staves proper to the discourse, and I have found in myself and the rest of the pew, good thoughts and dispositions, they have been, all in a moment, dissipated by a merry jig from the organ-loft. One knows not what further ill effects the epilogues I have been speaking of may in time produce: but this I am credibly informed of, that Paul Lor-lighted up by Homer. rain has resolved upon a very sudden reformation in his tragical dramas; and that, at the next monthly performance, he de

The critic above-mentioned, among the rules which he lays down for succeeding in the sublime way of writing, proposes to his reader, that he should imitate the most celebrated authors who have gone before him, and have been engaged in works of the same nature; as in particular that, if he writes on poetical subjects, he should consider how Homer would have spoken on such an occasion. By this means one great genius often catches the flame from another, and writes in his spirit, without copying servilely after him. There are a thousand shining passages in Virgil, which have been

The ordinary of Newgate at this time. See the

Tatler, No. 63.

VOL. II.

6

-Ut his exordia primis

Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis,
Tum durare solum et discludere Nerea ponto
Cœperit, et rerum paullatim sumere formas.
Virg. Ecl. v. 33.
He sung the secret seeds of nature's frame:
How seas, and earth, and air, and active flame,
Fell through the mighty void, and in their fall
Were blindly gather'd in this goodly ball.
The tender soil then stiff ning by degrees,
Shut from the bounded earth the bounding seas,
The earth and ocean various forms disclose,
And a new sun to the new world arose.-Dryden.
LONGINUS has observed that there may

be

loftiness in sentiments where there is no passion, and brings instances out of ancient authors to support this his opinion. The pathetic, as that great critic observes, may animate and inflame the sublime, but is not essential to it. Accordingly, as he further remarks, we very often find that those who excel most in stirring up the passions very often want the talent of writing in the great and sublime manner, and so on the contrary. Milton has shown himself a master in both these ways of writing. The seventh book, which we are now entering upon, is an instance of that sublime which is not mixed and worked up with passion. The author appears in a kind of composed and sedate majesty; and though the sentiments do not give so great an emotion as those in the former book, they abound with as magnificent ideas. The sixth book, like a troubled ocean, represents greatness in confusion; the seventh affects the imagination like the ocean in a calm, and fills the mind of the reader, without producing in it any thing like tumult or agitation.

of genius was capable of furnishing out a Milton, though his own natural strength perfect work, has doubtless very much raised and ennobled his conceptions by such an imitation as that which Longinus has recommended.

42

poem more sublime than the description I do not know any thing in the whole which follows, where the Messiah is represented at the head of his angels, as looking down into the chaos, calming its confusion, riding into the midst of it, and drawing the first outline of the creation:

In this book which gives us an account of clouds which lay as a barrier before of the six days' works, the poet received them. but very few assistances from heathen writers, who are strangers to the wonders of creation. But as there are many glorious strokes of poetry upon this subject in holy writ, the author has numberless allusions to them through the whole course of this book. The great critic I have before mentioned, though a heathen, has taken notice of the sublime manner in which the lawgiver of the Jews has described the creation in the first chapter of Genesis; and there are many other passages in scripture which rise up to the same majesty, where the subject is touched upon. Milton has shown his judgment very remarkably, in making use of such of these as were proper for his poem, and in duly qualifying those strains of eastern poetry which were suited to readers whose imaginations were set to a higher pitch than those of colder climates.

Adam's speech to the angel, wherein he desires an account of what had passed within the regions of nature before the creation, is very great and solemn. The following lines, in which he tells him, that the day is not too far spent for him to enter upon such a subject, are exquisite in their kind:

And the great light of day yet wants to run
Much of his race, though steep; suspense in heav'n
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he hears,
And longer will delay to hear thee tell
His generation, &c.

The thought of the golden compasses is conceived altogether in Homer's spirit, and is a very noble incident in this wonderful description. Homer, when he speaks of the gods, ascribes to them several arms and instruments with the same greatness of imagination. Let the reader only peruse the description of Minerva's ægis or buckwould overturn whole squadrons, and her ler, in the fifth book, with her spear which helmet that was sufficient to cover an army drawn out of a hundred cities. The golden compasses, in the above-mentioned passage, of him whom Plato somewhere calls the Diappear a very natural instrument in the hand vine Geometrician. As poetry delights in sensible images, we find a magnificent declothing abstracted ideas in allegories and

The angel's encouraging our first parents in a modest pursuit after knowledge, with the causes which he assigns for the creation of the world, are very just and beautiful. The Messiah, by whom, as we are told in scripture, the heavens were made, goes forth in the power of his Father, surrounded with a host of angels, and clothed with such a majesty as becomes his entering upon a work which, according to our conceptions, appears the utmost exertion of Omnipo-scription of the creation, formed after the tence. What a beautiful description has same manner, in one of the prophets, our author raised upon that hint in one of tect as measuring the waters in the hollow wherein he describes the Almighty Archithe prophets! And behold there came of his hand, meting out the heavens with four chariots out from between two moun- his span, comprehending the dust of the tains, and the mountains were mountains of brass:' earth in a measure, weighing the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance. Another of them describing the Supreme Being in this great work of creation, represents him as laying the foundations of the earth, and stretching a line upon it; and, in another place, as garnishing the heavens, stretching out the north over the empty place, and hanging the earth upon nothing. This last noble thought Milton has expressed in the following verse:

And earth self-balanced on her centre, hung.

About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and seraph, potentates and thrones,
And virtues, winged spirits, and chariots wing'd
From the armoury of God, where stand of old
Myriads between two brazen mountains lodg'd
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand,
Celestial equipage! and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord: heav'n open'd wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound!
On golden hinges moving-

On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains to assault
Heav'n's height, and with the centre mix the pole.
"Silence, ye troubled waves; and thou, deep, peace
Said then th' omnific Word, "Your discord end!"
Nor staid, but, on the wings of cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice. Him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stay'd the fervid wheels; and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepar'd
In God's eternal store to circumscribe
The universe, and all created things:
One foot he centred, and the other turn'd
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, "Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O world!"

I have before taken notice of these chariots of God, and of these gates of heaven; and shall here only add, that Homer gives us the same idea of the latter as opening of themselves; though he afterwards takes off from it, by telling us, that the Hours first of all removed those prodigious heaps

lie so very thick, that it is impossible to The beauties of description in this book enumerate them in this paper. The poet has employed on them the whole energy of our tongue. The several great scenes of

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First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,
Regent of day, and all the horizon round
Invested with bright rays, jocund to run
His longitude through heavn's high road; the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd,
Shedding sweet influence. Less bright the moon,
But opposite in levell'd west was set,
His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
From him, for other lights she needed none
In that aspect, and still the distance keeps
Till night; then in the east her turn she shines,
Revolv'd on heav'n's great axle, and her reign
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand stars, that then appear'd
Spangling the hemisphere-

One would wonder how the poet could be so concise in his description of the six days' works, as to comprehend them within the bounds of an episode, and, at the same time, so particular, as to give us a lively idea of them. This is still more remarkable in his account of the fifth and sixth days, in which he has drawn out to our view the whole animal creation, from the reptile to the behemoth. As the lion and the leviathan are two of the noblest productions in the world of living creatures, the reader will find a most exquisite spirit of poetry in the account which our author gives us of them. The sixth day concludes with the formation of man, upon which the angel takes occasion, as he did after the battle in heaven, to remind Adam of his obedience, which was the principal design

of this visit.

ascended up in triumph through the everlasting gates; when he looked down with pleasure upon his new creation; when every part of nature seemed to rejoice in its existence, when the morning-stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.

The poet afterwards represents the Messiah returning into heaven, and taking a survey of his great work. There is something inexpressibly sublime in this part of the poem, where the author describes the great period of time, filled with so many glorious circumstances; when the heavens and earth were finished; when the Messiah

So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day:
Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up return'd,
Up to the heaven of heavens, his high abode,
Thence to behold his new created world
The addition of his empire, how it show'd
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea. Up he rode,
Follow'd with acclamation and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tun'd
Angelic harmonies, the earth, the air,
Resounded, (thou rememberest, for thou heard'st)
The heavens and all the constellations rung,
The planets in their station list ning stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
"Open, ye everlasting gates!" they sung,
"Open, ye heavens, your living doors! let in
The great Creator from his work return'd
Magnificent, his six days' work-a world!"

I cannot conclude this book upon the creation without mentioning a poem which has lately appeared under that title. The work was undertaken with so good an intention, and is executed with so great a mastery, that it deserves to be looked upon as one of the most useful and noble productions in our English verse. The reader cannot but be pleased to find the depths of philosophy enlivened with all the charms of poetry, and to see so great a strength of reason, amidst so beautiful a redundancy of the imagination. The author has shown us that design in all the works of nature which necessarily leads us to the knowledge of its first cause. In short, he has illustrated, by numberless and incontestable instances, that divine wisdom which the son of Sirach has so nobly ascribed to the Supreme Being in his formation of the world, when he tells us, that He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works,'

No. 340.] Monday, March 31, 1712.

Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus hospes ? Quem sese ore ferens! quam forti pectore et armis! Virg. Æn. iv. 10. What chief is this that visits us from far, Whose gallant mien bespeaks him train'd to war! noble mind, to bear great qualities without I TAKE it to be the highest instance of a discovering in a man's behaviour any consciousness that he is superior to the rest of the duty of a great person so to demean the world. Or, to say it otherwise, it is himself, as that, whatever endowments he may have, he may appear to value himself upon no qualities but such as any man may arrive at. He ought to think no man valuable but for his public spirit, justice, and integrity; and all other endowments to be esteemed

* By Sir Richard Blackmore.

only as they contribute to the exerting | who forced the trenches at Turin: but in those virtues. Such a man, if he is wise or general I can say, that he who beholds him valiant, knows it is of no consideration to will easily expect from him any thing that other men that he is so, but as he employs is to be imagined, or executed, by the wit those high talents for their use and service. or force of man. The prince is of that He who affects the applauses and addresses stature which makes a man most easily beof a multitude, or assumes to himself a come all parts of exercise; has height to be preeminence upon any other consideration, graceful on occasions of state and ceremomust soon turn admiration into contempt. ny, and no less adapted for agility and deIt is certain that there can be no merit in spatch: his aspect is erect and composed: any man who is not conscious of it; but the his eye lively and thoughtful, yet rather sense that it is valuable only according to vigilant than sparkling; his action and adthe application of it, makes that superi- dress the most easy imaginable, and his beority amiable, which would otherwise behaviour in an assembly peculiarly graceful invidious. In this light it is considered as in a certain art of mixing insensibly with a thing in which every man bears a share. the rest, and becoming one of the company, It annexes the ideas of dignity, power, and instead of receiving the courtship of it. fame, in an agreeable and familiar manner, The shape of his person, and composure of to him who is possessor of it; and all men his limbs, are remarkably exact and beauwho are strangers to him are naturally in-tiful. There is in his looks something subcited to indulge a curiosity in beholding lime, which does not seem to arise from the person, behaviour, feature, and shape his quality or character, but the innate of him in whose character, perhaps, each disposition of his mind. It is apparent that man had formed something in common with he suffers the presence of much company, himself. instead of taking delight in it: and he appeared in public, while with us, rather to return good-will, or satisfy curiosity, than to gratify any taste he himself had of being popular. As his thoughts are never tumultuous in danger, they are as little discomposed on occasions of pomp and magnificence. A great soul is affected, in either case, no further than in considering the properest methods to extricate itself from them. If this hero has the strong incentives to uncommon enterprises that were remarkable in Alexander, he prosecutes and enjoys the fame of them with the justness, propriety, and good sense of Cæsar. It is easy to observe in him a mind as capable of being entertained with contemplation as enterprise; a mind ready for great exploits, but not impatient for occasions to exert itself. The prince has wisdom and valour in as high perfection as man can enjoy it; which noble faculties, in conjunction, banish all vain-glory, ostentation, ambition, and all other vices which might intrude upon his mind, to make it unequal. These habits and qualities of soul and body render his personage so extraordinary, that he appears to have nothing in him but what every man should have in him, the exertion of his very self, abstracted from the circumstances in which fortune has placed him. Thus, were you to see prince Eugene, and were told he was a private gentleman, you would say he is a man of modesty and merit. Should you be told that was prince Eugene, he would be diminished no otherwise, than that part of your distant admiration would turn into a familiar good-will.

This I thought fit to entertain my reader with, concerning a hero who never was equalled but by one man:† over whom also

|

Whether such, or any other, are the causes, all men have a yearning curiosity to behold a man of heroic worth. I have had many letters from all parts of this kingdom, that request I would give them an exact account of the stature, the mien, the aspect of the prince who lately visited England, and has done such wonders for the liberty of Europe. It would puzzle the most curious to form to himself the sort of man my several correspondents expect to hear of by the action mentioned, when they desire à description of him. There is always something that concerns themselves, and growing out of their own circumstances, in all their inquiries. A friend of mine in Wales beseeches me to be very exact in my account of that wonderful man who had marched an army and all its baggage over the Alps; and if possible, to learn whether the peasant who showed him the way, and is drawn in the map, be yet living. A gentleman from the university, who is deeply intent on the study of humanity, desires me to be as particular, if I had an opportunity, in observing the whole interview between his highness and our late general. Thus do men's fancies work according to their several educations and circumstances; but all pay a respect, mixed with admiration, to this illustrious character. I have_waited for his arrival in Holland, before I would let my correspondents know that I have not been so uncurious a Spectator as not to have seen prince Eugene. It would be very difficult, as I said just now, to answer every expectation of those who have written to me on that head; nor is it possible for me to find words to let one know what an artful glance there is in his countenance who surprised Cremona; how daring he appears

He stood godfather to Steele's second son, who was named Eugene after this prince.

↑ The duke of Marlborough, who was disgraced about

this time.

he has this advantage, that he has had an | tised by Mr. Dryden, who, if he was not opportunity to manifest an esteem for him the best writer of tragedies in his time, was in his adversity.

T.

allowed by every one to have the happiest turn for a prologue, or an epilogue. The epilogues to Cleomenes, Don Sebastian, The duke of Guise, Aurengzebe, and Love Triumphant, are all precedents of this

No. 341.] Tuesday, April 1, 1712.

-Revocate animos, mœstumque timorem
Mittite-
Virg. Æn. i. 206.
Resume your courage, and dismiss your fear.

Dryden.

HAVING, to oblige my correspondent Physibulus, printed his letter last Friday, in relation to the new epilogue, he cannot take it amiss if I now publish another, which I have just received from a gentleman who does not agree with him in his sentiments upon that matter.

SIR,-I am amazed to find an epilogue attacked in your last Friday's paper, which has been so generally applauded by the town, and received such honours as were never before given to any in an English

theatre.

'I must further observe, that the gaiety at the end of a French play; since every of it may be still the more proper, as it is one knows that nation, who are generally

The audience would not permit Mrs. Oldfield to go off the stage the first night till she had repeated it twice; the second night the noise of ancora was as loud as before, and she was obliged again to speak it twice: the third night it was still called for a second time; and, in short, contrary to all other epilogues, which are dropped after the third representation of the play, this has already been repeated nine times.

esteemed to have as polite a taste as any in Europe, always close their tragic entertainment with what they call a petite piece, which is purposely designed to raise mirth, and send away the audience well pleased. The same person who has supported the chief character in the tragedy very often plays the principal part in the petite piece; so that I have myself seen, at Paris, Orestes and Lubin acted the same night by the same man.

I must own, I am the more surprised to find this censure in opposition to the whole town, in a paper which has hitherto been famous for the candour of its criticisms.

self in a former speculation, found fault with Tragi-comedy, indeed, you have yourvery justly, because it breaks the tide of the passions while they are yet flowing; but this is nothing at all to the present case, where they have already had their full course.

choly correspondent, that the new epilogue is unnatural because it is gay. If I had a mind to be learned, I could tell him that the prologue and epilogue were real parts of the ancient tragedy; but every one knows, that, on the British stage, they are distinct performances by themselves, pieces entirely detached from the play, and no

As the new epilogue is written conformI can by no means allow your melan-ably to the practice of our best poets, so it is not such a one, which, as the duke of Buckingham says in his Rehearsal, might serve for any other play; but wholly rises out of the occurrences of the piece it was composed for.

way essential to it.

"The only reason your mournful correspondent gives against this facetious epilogue, as he calls it, is, that he has a mind to go home melancholy. I wish the gentleFor my own part, I must confess, I think man may not be more grave than wise. it very sufficient to have the anguish of a fictitious piece remain upon me while it is to bed in a good humour. If Physibulus is, representing; but I love to be sent home however, resolved to be inconsolable, and not to have his tears dried up, he need only continue his old custom, and when he has had his half-crown's worth of sorrow, slink out before the epilogue begins.

cal genius complaining of the great misIt is pleasant enough to hear this tragichief Andromache had done him. What was that? Why she made him laugh. The poor gentleman's sufferings put me in mind of Harlequin's case, who was tickled to

a

The moment the play ends, Mrs. Oldfield is no more Andromache but Mrs. Oldfield; and though the poet had left Andromache stone-dead upon the stage, as your ingenious correspondent phrases it, Mrs. Oldfield might still have spoken a merry epilogue. We have an instance of this in a tragedy where there is not only death, but a martyrdom. St. Catherine was there personated by Nell Gwin; she lies stone-dead upon the stage, but upon those gentlemen's offering to remove her body, whose business it is to carry off the slain in our English tragedies, she breaks out into that abrupt beginning of what was a very ludicrous, but at the same time thought a very good epilogue:

nature.

'I might further justify this practice by that excellent epilogue which was spoken, a few years since, after the tragedy of Phædra and Hippolytus;* with a great many others, in which the authors have endeavoured to make the audience merry. If they have not all succeeded so well as the writer of this, they have however shown that it was not for the want of good-will.

*Hold! are you mad? you damn'd confounded dog, I am to rise and speak the epilogue.'

*Mr. Edmund Neal, alias Smith, 8vo. 1707. Addison wrote a prologue to this play to ridicule the Italian This diverting manner was always prac-operas. The epilogue was written by Prior.

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