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Did ever poetry beguile a man into such an allusion? And to what does that piece of information tend, that Rome was mistress of the world ? If this is human nature, it would almost tempt one to reply in Sciolto's ow) words

I cou'd curse nature.

But it is no more like nature, than the following sentiments of Calista are like the sentiments of a Penitent, or a Christian

That I must die it is my only comfort.
Death is the privilege of human nature,
And life without it were not worth our taking

And again,

Yet Heav'n, who knows our weak imperfe&t natures,
How blind with passions, and how prone to evil,
Makes not too Ariet enquiry for offences,
But is aton'd by penitence and prayer.
Cheap recompence! here 'twou'd not be receiv'd;
Nothing but blood can make the expiation.

Such is the catastrophe of Rowe's Fair Penitent, such is the representation he gives us of human nature, and such the moral of his tragedy.

L 6

I shall

I shall conclude with an extract of two froin the catastrophe of The Fatal Dowry; and first, for the penitence of Beaumelle, I shall select only the following speech, addressed to her husband :

I dare not move you
To hear me speak. I know my fault is far
Beyond qualification or excuse ;
That 'tis not fit for me to hope, or you
To think of mercy; only I presume
To intreat you wou'd be pleas'd' to look upon
My forrow for it, and believe these tears
Are the true children of my grief, and not
A woman's cunning,

I need not point out the contrast betweera this and the quotations from Calista. It will require a longer extract to bring the conduct of Rochfort into comparison with that of Sciolto : The reader will observe rhat Novall's dead body is now on the scene, Charalois, Beaumelle, and Rochfort her father, are present. The charge of adultery is urged by Charalois, and appeal is made to the justice of Rochfort in the case.

Rochfort. What answer makes the prisoner
Beaumelle, I confefs

The

The fact I'm charg'd with, and

yield myself Mft miferably guilty.

Rochfort. Heaven take mercy
Upon your soul then! It muft leave your body

Since that the politic law provides that fervant,
To whose care we commit our goods, shall die
If they abuse our trust; tuhat can you look for,
To whose charge this most hopeful Lord gave up
All he receiv'd

from his brave ancestors,
All he cou'd lease to his pofterity ?
His honour-Wicked woman! in whose safety
All his life's joys and comforts were lock'd up,
Which thy lujt, a thief, hath flow flolen from kim!
And therefore

Charalois. Stay, jujt Judge--May not what's loss
By her one fault (for I am charitable,
And charge her not with many ) be forgotten
Iil her fair life hereafter ?
Rochfort. Never, Sir!

that's done to the chase married bed,
Repentant tears can never expiate :
And be alur'd to pardon fuch a fin,
Is an offence as great as to commit it.

The wrong

In consequence of this the husband strikes her dead before her father's eyes: The act indeed is horrid; even tragedy shrinks from it, and Nature with a father's voice instantly cries out— Is she dead then - and g'ou have kill'd her ?-Charalois avows it, and pleads his sentence for the deed; the

revolting

X

revolting, agonized parent breaks forth into one of the most pathetic, natural and expressive lamentations, that the English drama can produce

-But I pronounc'd it
As a Judge only, and a friend to justice,
And, zealous in defence of your wrong'd honout,
Brcke all the ties of nature, and cast off
The love and soft affection of a father :
I in your cause put on a scarlet robe
Of red dy'd cruelty; but in return
You have advanc'd for me no flag of mercy:
I losk'd on you as a wrong'd husband, but
You clos’d your eyes against me as a father.
Oh, Beaumelle! Oh, my daughter !

Charalois. This is madness.
Rochfort. Keep from me!-- Cou'd not one good

thought rise up
To tell you that she was my age's comfort,
Begot by a weak man, and born a woman,
And cou'd not therefore but partake of frailty ?
Or wherefore did not thankfulness step forth
Po urge my many merits, which I may
Object to you, fince you prove ungrateful?
Flinty-hearted Charalois!

Charalois. Nature does prevail above your virtue.

What conclusions can I draw from these comparative examples, which every reader would not anticipate? Is there a man, who

has

has any feeling for real nature, dramatic character, moral sentiment, tragic pathos or nervous diction, who can hesitate, even for a moment, where to bestow the palm?

No. LXXX.

I w

was fome nights ago much entertained

with an excellent representation of Mr. Congreve's comedy of The Double Dealer. When I reflected upon the youth of the author and the merit of the play, I acknowledged the truth of what the late Dr. Samuel Johnson says in his life of this poet, that amongA all the efforts of early genius, which literary history records, I doubt whether any one can be produced that more surpases the common limits of nature than the plays of Congreve.

The author of this comedy in his dedication informs us, that he designed the moral first, and to that moral inventeit the fable; and does not know that he has borrowed one hint of it any where. I made the plot, says he, as strong as I could; because it was single;

and

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