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النشر الإلكتروني


Он, sweet my baby! liest thou here,

So low, so cold, and so forsaken ?
And cannot a sad father's tear
Thy once too lovely smiles awaken ?
Ah, no! within this silent tomb
Thy parents' hopes receive their doom!

Oh, sweet my baby! round thy brow
The rose and yew are twined together;
The rose was blooming-so wast thou-
Too blooming far for death to gather.

The yew was green,-and green to me
For ever lives thy memory.

I have a flower, that press'd the mouth
Of one upon his cold bier lying,
To me more fragrant than the south,
O'er banks of op'ning violets flying;

Although its leaves look pale and dry,
How blooming to a father's eye!

Oh, sweet my baby! is thine head
Upon a rocky pillow lying,

And is the dreary grave thy bed

Thy lullaby a father's sighing?

Oh, changed the hour since thou didst rest
Upon a mother's faithful breast!

Oh! can I e'er forget the kiss


gave thee on that morn of mourning,— That last sad tender parting bliss

From Innocence to God returning !

May'st thou repay that kiss to me
In realms of bright eternity!


high placed in Smithfield.-CHURCHILL.

THE labour we delight in is precisely that which has seldom been selected by critics of a common order; it is the labour of tracing merit to its farthest recesses, of evincing its claims, and procuring its reward. The prosecution of this object hath exposed us more than once to the fury of the bigoted and the ignorant, and even writers of clear comprehension and sound probity have sometimes quarrelled with our motives, and disputed our deductions. This, however, may be explained by the words of honest Brantome: Que c'est d'avoir affaire à une langue et plume venimeuse, qui, quand elle est piquée, n'espargne rien. Such, at least, is the solution that experience has taught us to admit, and that anger, for we cannot conceal our feelings, excites us to apply.

In pursuance of this system, we went on Wednesday, the 6th of September, to Richardson's theatrical establishment in Bartholomew Fair, and we should falsify every notion with which the gaiety, splendour, and elegance of that delightful resort has impressed us, if we were to refrain from bestowing our enthusiastic approbation upon the taste and spirit with which its entertainments were pervaded. The liberal, acute, and enterprising Lessee of this concern had announced an entire "change of performance each day;" but owing to the truly electrical effect of the pieces originally produced, the public voice necessitated their repetition, and for eight-and-forty hours they were suffered to pursue their triumphant career of success, without abatement or interruption.

Fully conscious that the literary attributes of his theatre demanded the most serious consideration, the Proprietor devoted himself with intense ardour to the production of pieces distinguished by their poetical merit. For this purpose, a gentleman, well known in the world of letters by his designation of A. B., was re



gularly engaged, and the first fruits of his classical pen have been an "entire new tragic melo-drame," called the Roman Wife; or a Father's Vengeance! and an tire new comic pantomime," called Harlequin and the Devil! or, the Drunken Friar. The unprecedented success of these dramas might be fairly substituted in the room of criticism, but we owe too much to the cause of talent to shrink from the delightful, though elaborate duty it has imposed. We shall therefore proceed to furnish an outline of these magical pieces, and the archives of the stage have never been graced, it is probable, with a tragedy or a pantomime so happily planned, or so powerfully constructed.

Without entering into any disquisition upon the comparative merits of melo-drame and harlequinade, we shall abide by the common rule of precedence, and deliver our sentiments upon the first, before we attempt to develope the claims of the latter: a different course of proceeding will, perhaps, be expected from us, but we shall still take the liberty to follow our own ideas, and reserve the discussion of that abstract point till a fitter opportunity.

Gonzaria, Duke of Milan, is the parent of Horatius, whose mother died in child-bed, owing to the unskilfulness of her accoucheur. The passions of this aspiring youth, for want of maternal restraint, have led him into various excesses, in the course of which, though but forty-seven years of age, he has clandestinely wedded Eudocia, a virgin of unparalleled beauty, but vulgar connexións, without the sanction or privity of his royal father. This indiscretion arouses the fury of Marcia, Princess of Florence, who had fallen in love with his parts, and abetted by the whole military, marine, legal, clerical, and parliamentary strength of Gonzaria's dukedom, she pursues Horatius and his bride with unrelenting animosity. The upshot of this pathetic tale is soon told. Horatius and Eudocia are ensnared by the arts of their enemies; the duke assents to the death of his only son; and the headsman is on the point of performing his hateful office, when the Spectre of the deceased Duchess interferes, mollifies the rigour of Gonzaria's decree, and not only restores the lovers to life, but invests them with a plenitude of its enjoyments. They then shake hands with the ghost, the curtain falls, and the audience go out of the booth.

This plot, as it must immediately be seen, is not at

tenuated to that degree of labyrinthine intricacy which the appetite of a modern audience requires. Still, however, it commanded a fixed attention, and possessed a 'deep interest, alone interrupted by simultaneous bursts of applause, elicited by striking situations and complicated incidents, from numbers that were hourly increasing in judgment and respectability. This may be considered as a test of success, and the drama was therefore, without arrogance, classed high by Mr. Richardson himself amongst the most favourite productions of the Smithfield stage.

We think, however, that the chief merit of this popular play is much more fairly to be deduced from the brilliant coruscations of its language than the marked attributes of its characters, or the mazy windings of its fable. In support of this opinion, we shall adduce a few of the most striking speeches, for which we are indebted to the permission and kind assistance of the manager, who has favoured us with the loan of his MS. The following rich specimen of moralization is taken out of the mouth of a dignified ecclesiastic:

Life, my respected son, is like the sport

Where nine tall skettles fill a crowded court;
Struck by the ball that leaves its hurler's hand,
Some skettles tumble, while some others stand:
Chance is the fate to which mankind submits,-
Unbrib'd its misses, and uncheck'd its hits,-

And he, who, like the skettle, stands till shaken,

Maintains his credit, though he cannot save his bacon.

In the subsequent extract from a colloquy between Horatius and Eudocia, of course at a time when their marriage was broken off, we hardly know which to admire most, the sober prudence of the heroine, or the calm resignation of the hero:

Hor. O, what like woman in the world appears!
Man without woman's half a pair of shears,

A single boot, and solus, can but seem

Soup without salt, or coffee without cream.


Look there, ye gods, and say if every sweet
Your hot-house yields can with yon maid compete.
The purple sun-flower, and the azure rose,
Smile on her lips, and sparkle in her nose,
Extend their graces to her air and mien,
Laugh in her cheek, and light her eye of green.
Eud. Cease, my Horatius, cease, nor waste thy lays
On one whose charms can never reach their praise.
More tunable to me thy silver tones

Than soft Jew's harp, or bagpipe when it drones;
For thou'st a tongue, O truly be it told,

Might charm a bailiff to forego his hold.



Hor. And dost thou love me?
Eud. I could live with glee,

For fifty years upon a dish of tea,

To mark the music of thy face, and scan it,
Thy face far brighter than Miss Herschell's planet.
Hor. Now by the powers of love, the lease I hold
On Saffron-hill shall soon be turn'd to gold,
Or new bank-notes, and thou shalt shine
The best dress'd damsel of my royal line.

I'll send my watch to pawn, and with a high sense
Of your great kindness, get a marriage license.

Eud. Hold, my Horatius, hold; more slow and sure;
Let's see how long our transports will endure.
'Tis true, when married, that the plainest dishes
Would cloy my stomach, and content my wishes;
A pot of porter, when alone we dine,

Placed on the board, shall bar the want of wine;
But tho' these things thy own true love would please,"
I cannot see how you could furnish these.

Hor. Death and the devil! can my charmer stoop
With such low cautious thoughts as these to troop;
Can she to virgin boldness bid defiance,

And with prudential notions hold alliance?
Base is the maid that thinks +.

The "Saffron-hill" here mentioned is "Saffron-hill" in Milan, a place, like the spot which resembles it in London, of polite resort. For a parallel reference to Devonshire in Spain, see "Lock and Key," a farce by Hoare, 8vo. 1796.

This, it must be confessed, has all the air of an imitation from a well-known writer, in whose tragi-comedy of the "Queen of Arragon," fol. 1640, Act 2, Sc. 1, we find nearly the same phrase:

"Base is the wight that thinks."

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