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« himself and escape from the hands of justice;
to bring this about; he begins a story about his « killing a man in Aleppo, which he illustrates “ par example by stabbing himself, and so winds
up his story and his life in the same moment. " The author made his appearance in the person
of one Brabantio an old man, who makes his “ first entry from a window; this occasioned “ fome risibility in the audience: The part is of “ an inferior kind, and Mr. Shakefpear was “ more indebted to the exertions of his brethren, « than to his own, for carrying his play through. . «Upon the whole, we do not think the passion “ of jealoufy, on which the plot turns, fo proper « for tragedy as comedy, and we would recom“mend to the author, if his piece survives its “ nine nights, to cut it down to a farce and “ serve it up to the public cum micä falis in that “ shape. After this specimen of Mr. William « Shakespear's tragic powers, we cannot encou
rage him to pursue his attempts upon Mel« pomene; for there is a good old proverb, which “we would advise him to bear in mind-ne futer “ ultra crepidam-If he applies to his friend Ben, “ he will turn it into English for him.”
HE conduct of a young lady, who is
the only daughter of a very worthy father, and some alarming particulars respecting her situation which had come to my knowledge, gave occasion to me for writing my Paper, N. XLVI. in which I endeavour to point out the consequences parents have to apprehend from novels, which, though written upon moral plans, may be apt to take too strong a hold upon young and susceptible minds, especially in the fofter sex, and produce an affected character, where we wish to find a natural one.
As the young person in question is now happily extricated from all danger, and has seen her error, I shall relate her story, not only as it contains some incidents which are amusing, but as it tends to illustrate by example the feveral instructions, which in my Paper before mentioned I endeavoured to convey.
Sappho is the only child of Clemens, who is a widower; a passionate fondness for this daughter, tempered with a very small share of observation or knowledge of the world, determined Clemens to an attempt (which has feldom been found to
succeed) of rendering Sappho a miracle of accomplishments, by putting her under the instructions of masters in almost every art and science at one and the same time: His house now became an academy of musicians, dancing-masters, language-masters, drawing-masters, geographers, historians, and a variety of inferior artists male and female; all these studies appeared the more desirable to Clemens, from his own ignorance of them, having devoted his life to bufiness of a very different nature. Sappho made just as much progress in each, as is usual with young ladies so attended; she could do a little of most of them, and task of all : She could play a concerto by heart with every grace her master had taught her, note for note, with the precise repetition of a barrelorgan: She had stuck the room round with drawings, which Clemens praised to the skies, and which Sappho assured him had been only touched up a little by her master: She could tell the capital of every country, when he questioned her out of the newspaper, and would point out the very spot upon the terrestrial globe, where Paris, Madrid, Naples and Constantinople actually were to be found : She had as much French as puzzled Clemens, and would have ferved her to buy blonde-lace and Paris netting
at a French milliner's; nay, she had gone fo far as to pen a letter in that language to a young lady of her acquaintance, which her master, who stood over her whilft she wrote it, declared to be little inferior in stile to Madame Sevigné’s: In history, both antient and modern, her progress was proportionable ; for the could run through the twelve Cæsars in a breath, and reckon up all the kings from the conquest upon her fingers without putting one out of place; this appeared a prodigy to Clemens, and in the warmth of his heart he fairly told her she was one of the world's wonders ; Sappho aptly set him right in this mistake, by assuring him that there were but seven wonders in the world, all of which she repeated to him, and only left him more convinced that she herself was deservedly the eighth
There was a gentleman about fifty years old, a friend of Clemens, who came frequently to his house, and, being a man of talents and "leisure, was so kind as to take great pains in directing and bringing Sappho forward in her ftudies: This was a very acceptable service to Clemens, and the visits of Mufidorus were always joyfully welcomed both by him and Sappho herself : Musidorus ' declared himself overpaid by the delight it gave him to contem
plate the opening talents of so promising a young lady; and as Sappho was now of
years to establish her pretensions to taste and fentiment, Mufidorus made such a selection of authors for her reading, as were best calculated to accomplish her in those particulars : In settling this important choice, he was careful to put none but writers of delicacy and fensibility into her hands; interesting and affecting tales or novels were the books he chiefly recommended, which by exhibiting the fairest patterns of female purity (suffering distress and even death itself from the attacks of licentious passion in the grosser sex) might inspire her sympathetic heart with pity, and guard it from seduction by displaying profligacy in its most odious colours.
Sappho's propensity to these studies fully answered the intentions of her kind director, and she became more and more attached to works of sentiment and pathos. Musidorus's next solicitude was to form her stile, and with this view he took upon himself the trouble of carrying on a kind of probationary correspondence with her; this happy expedient fucceeded beyond expectation, for as two people, who faw each other every day, could have very little matter to write upon, there was so much the more exercise for invention; and such was