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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, epilogue it was so jumbled together, and divided between jest and earnest, that, if you will forgive me an extravagant fancy,
I will here set it down. I could not but No. 339.] Saturday, March 29, 1712.
chem for it.
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 che great tenderness they express for the safety of our persons, and heartily thank But if that be all, pray, good ir, assure them, that we are none of us like o come to any great harm; and that, let hem do their best, we shall in all proba ility live out the length of our days, and freuent the theatres more than ever. What makes me more desirous to have some inormation of this matter is, because of an 1 consequence or two attending it: for a reat many of our church musicians being elated to the theatre, they have, in imitaon of these epilogues, introduced, in their arewell voluntaries, a sort of music quite reign to the design of church-services, to e great prejudice of well-disposed people. hose fingering gentlemen should be inrmed, that they ought to suit their airs to e place and business, and that the musian is obliged to keep to the text as much the preacher. For want of this, I have und by experience a great deal of mishief. When the preacher has often, with eat piety, and art enough, handled his bject, and the judicions clerk has with e utmost diligence culled out two staves oper to the discourse, and I have found myself and the rest of the pew, good ughts and dispositions, they have been, in a moment, dissipated by a merry jig m the organ-loft. One knows not what ther ill effects the epilogues I have been aking of may in time produce: but this m credibly informed of, that Paul Lor*has resolved upon a very sudden renation in his tragical dramas; and that, the next monthly performance, he de
The ordinary of Newgate at this time. See the
er, No. 63. OL. II.
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 a 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.
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 lighted up by Homer.
Milton, though his own natural strength of genius was capable of furnishing out a perfect work, has doubtless very much raised and ennobled his conceptions by such an imitation as that which Longinus has recommended.
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 I do not know any thing in the whole writers, who are strangers to the wonders poem more sublime than the description of creation. But as there are many glorious which follows, where the Messiah is restrokes of poetry upon this subject in holy presented at the head of his angels, as look writ, the author has numberless allusions to ing down into the chaos, calming its confuthem through the whole course of this book. sion, riding into the midst of it, and drawing The great critic I have before mentioned, the first outline of the creation: 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
And the great light of day yet wants to run
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 Omnipotence. What a beautiful description has our author raised upon that hint in one of the prophets! And behold there came
four chariots out from between two moun
tains, and the mountains were mountains of
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
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
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
The thought of the golden compasses conceived altogether in Homer's sp.rit, 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 agis 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, appear a very natural instrument in the hand of him whom Plato somewhere calls the Divine Geometrician. As poetry delights in sensible images, we find a magnificent declothing abstracted ideas in allegories and scription of the creation, formed after the same manner, in one of the prophets tect as measuring the waters in the hollow wherein he describes the Almighty Archiof his hand, meting out the heavens with
his span, comprehending the dust of the earth in a measure, weighing the moun tains in scales, and the hills in a balance Another of them describing the Supreme Being in this great work of creation, re presents 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 ex pressed in the following verse:
And earth self-balanced on her centre hung.
The beauties of description in this boo lie so very thick, that it is impossible t enumerate them in this paper. The po has employed on them the whole energy our tongue. The several great scenes o
the creation rise up to view one after another, in such a manner, that the reader seems present at this wonderful work, and to assist among the choirs of angels who are the spectators of it. How glorious is the conclusion of the first day!
-Thus was the first day even and morn,
By the celestial choirs, when orient light
We have the same elevation of thought
Immediately the mountains huge appear
We have also the rising of the whole vegetable world, described in this day's work, which is filled with all the graces chat other poets have lavished on their description of the spring, and leads the reader's imagination into a theatre equally surprising and beautiful.
The several glories of the heavens make heir appearance on the fourth day:
First in his east the glorious lamp was seen,
His mirror, with full face borrowing her light
ascended up in triumph through the ever-
So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day:
Resounded, (thou rememberest, for thou heard'st)
Open, ye heavens, your living doors! let in
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.'
One would wonder how the poet could
Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus hospes ?
of this visit.
poem, where the author describes the reat period of time, filled with so many lorious circumstances; when the heavens nd earth were finished; when the Messiah
What chief is this that visits us from far, Whose gallant mien bespeaks him train'd to war! I TAKE it to be the highest instance of a noble mind, to bear great qualities without 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 be of 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 ceremo must 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 be ority 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 ap Whether such, or any other, are the peared in public, while with us, rather to causes, all men have a yearning curiosity to return good-will, or satisfy curiosity, than behold a man of heroic worth. I have had to gratify any taste he himself had of being many letters from all parts of this kingdom, popular. As his thoughts are never tumulthat request I would give them an exact ac- tuous in danger, they are as little discomcount of the stature, the mien, the aspect of posed on occasions of pomp and magnifi the prince who lately visited England, and cence. A great soul is affected, in either has done such wonders for the liberty of case, no further than in considering the Europe. It would puzzle the most curious properest methods to extricate itself from to form to himself the sort of man my seve- them. If this hero has the strong incentives ral correspondents expect to hear of by the to uncommon enterprises that were re action mentioned, when they desire a de-markable in Alexander, he prosecutes and scription 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.
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 ap pears to have nothing in him but what every man should have in him, the exertion of his very self, abstracted from the circum stances 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 dis tant admiration would turn into a familiar good-will.
This I thought fit to entertain reader my with, concerning a hero who never was equalled but by one man:†, over whom also
has this advantage, that he has had an | tised by Mr. Dryden, who, if he was not portunity to manifest an esteem for him his adversity. T.
. 341.] Tuesday, April 1, 1712.
-Revocate animos, mæstumque timorem Virg. Æn. i. 206. Resume your courage, and dismiss your fear.
HAVING, to oblige my correspondent ysibulus, printed his letter last Friday, relation to the new epilogue, he cannot ke it amiss if I now publish another, which have just received from a gentleman who es not agree with him in his sentiments on that matter.
the best writer of tragedies in his time, was 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
'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.
'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 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 pleased. The same person who has supmirth, and send away the audience well ported the chief character in the tragedy Paris, Orestes and Lubin acted the same very often plays the principal part in the petite piece; so that I have myself seen, at night by the same man.
SIR,-I am amazed to find an epilogue tacked in your last Friday's paper, which s been so generally applauded by the wn, and received such honours as were ever before given to any in an English The audience would not permit Mrs. dfield to go off the stage the first night she had repeated it twice; the second ght the noise of ancora was as loud as bevice: the third night it was still called for re, and she was obliged again to speak it second time; and, in short, contrary to all cher epilogues, which are dropped after e third representation of the play, this as already been repeated nine times. I must own, I am the more surprised to nd this censure in opposition to the whole own, in a paper which has hitherto been mous for the candour of its criticisms. I can by no means allow your melanholy correspondent, that the new epilogue unnatural because it is gay. If I had a ind to be learned, I could tell him that e prologue and epilogue were real parts the ancient tragedy; but every one nows, that, on the British stage, they are stinct performances by themselves, pieces spondent gives against this facetious epi'The only reason your mournful correntirely detached from the play, and no ay essential to it. logue, as he calls it, is, that he has a mind The moment the play ends, Mrs. Old- to go home melancholy. I wish the gentleeld is no more Andromache but Mrs. man may not be more grave than wise. Oldfield; and though the poet had left AnTomache stone-dead upon the stage, as our ingenious correspondent phrases it, Ars. Oldfield might still have spoken a erry epilogue. We have an instance of his in a tragedy where there is not only eath, but a martyrdom. St. Catherine was there personated by Nell Gwin; she es stone-dead upon the stage, but upon hose gentlemen's offering to remove her ody, whose business it is to carry off the Jain in our English tragedies, she breaks ut into that abrupt beginning of what was hought a very good epilogue: very ludicrous, but at the same time
Tragi-comedy, indeed, you have yourself in a former speculation, found fault with very 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.
As the new epilogue is written conformis not such a one, which, as the duke of ably to the practice of our best poets, so it Buckingham says in his Rehearsal, might out of the occurrences of the piece it was serve for any other play; but wholly rises composed for.
cal genius complaining of the great mis-
Hold! are you mad? you damn'd confounded dog,
* Mr. Edmund Neal, alias Smith, 8vo. 1707. Addison wrote a prologue to this play to ridicule the Italian