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“We ought not, like the spider, to spin a flimsy web wholly from ons own magazine ; but, !
like the bee, visit every store, and call the most useful and the best."-GREGORY.
THE IDLE AND INDUSTRIOUS APPRENTICES. THE IDLE APPRENTICE BE him. The officers of justice are enter
TRAYED BY A PROSTITUTE, ing, and he is on the point of being AND TAKEN IN A NIGHT seized. The corpse of a gentleman, CELLAR WITH HIS ACCOM- who has been murdered, is with unPLICE
feeling indifference. put down in a Proverbs, ch. vi. verse 26.
cavity made in the floor for the pur. "The adultress shall hunt for the precious life.” pose of concealment. One of the gre.
padier company is seen in a true Dutch From the last subject, the reward of attitude, smoking in the corner. A diligence, we return to the consequence
scene of riot, likely to terminate in of sloth. The idle and incorrigible blood, passes in the back-ground. outcast, mature in vice, and lost to
Some cards scattered on the floor show society, is here represented in a night the amusements of this earthly Pandecellar.* In this dreary and horrid monium. cavern of vice and infamy, he is dividing the spoil produced by robbery with one of his wretched accomplices. THE THREE WISHES. The woman that seems his favourite,
The duke d’Ossona, Viceroy of and in whose garret. we saw him in Naples, often used to take delight in the seventh plate, deliberately betrays walking through the city in disguise,
The scene is laid in the cellar of a house with no other attendant than one lacnear Water-lane, Fleet-street, then known by quey; in order to discover what were the name of the Blood-Bowl House ; wbich the sentiments of the public in general curious appellation was given it from the with regard to his administration ; not there perpetrated.
that he might punish them for their
temerity in censuring his conduct, but very Instant, an officer who belonged that he might ease them of the griev-, to the guards, ordered him to inquire ances they complained of, as far as the names of these three soldiers, whom was consistent with his duty to his he showed him at a distance, and what sovereign.
company they belonged to; and to As he was going his rounds one bring him intelligence the next mornnight, he perceived three soldiers site ing without fail. ting upon a bench at the door of a The officer acquitted himself puncpublic-house, who by their mirth and tually of his commission, and waited festivity, seemed in want of nothing to on the duke at the time appointed, with complete their happiness.
the intelligence he desired; who sent The duke, who had a longing incli. an orđer to their captain to send those nation to know the subject matter of three soldiers immediately, "Speak their discourse, dismissed his lacquey, boldly,” said the duke, when they came and joined the soldiers, who gave him a into his presence, “and take heed you hearty welcome, and offered him share of do not deviate from the truth. What their liquor, which he accepted. When was the subject of your discourse last the bowl had gone round pretty freely, night at such an hour, and in such a and many jovial songs biad been sung, place?" The soldiers were astonished, one of the soldiers proposed to his and began to look at one another, but comrades, that by way of pastime, each dared not to make a reply. "Hark-ye, of them in their turn should wish for gentlemen," continued the duke, to that which he thought would render the point immediately, or I protest you him happiest during the remainder of shall all three be tied up to the halhis life ; " and to begin,” said the berds for your disobedience." The soldier, who first made the proposal, soldier who proposed the topic of “I wish I had the sum of one thousand wishing the preceding night, being the crowns; I should then think myself boldest of the three, took upon himself happier than the viceroy himself."- at length to be spokesman. “ That is a mercenary wish," quoth lord duke," said he, “ I confess we the second, “ beneath the garb of a were discoursing together last night, soldier ; but for my part, I wish he at such time, and in such place as your would make me one of the captains of excellency has mentioned; but our his guards; I should then esteem my discourse was general, and I really lot preferable to his,”—“If I might cannot recollect any thing in particuform a wish,” cries the third, “I do lar.”—“The discourse you then held assure you, that neither of your wishes was relating to me," said the viceroy, would have any charms sufficient to you know best whether I have been attract me. The height of my ambi. rightly informed. But let me advise tion would be to obtain a night's lodg- you, once again, not to excite me to ing with the vicereine, his spouse. I anger, by non-compliance with a known should then think myself far happier truth.' than both of you together."-"Come,” The soldier perceiving that the duke said they, addressing themselves to grew warm, thought he had better the viceroy, " let us now hear your comply with his orders, lest he should, wish."-“I wish,” said he, “that I as he threatened, proceed to extremi. were viceroy. I would endeavour to ties. My lord duke," said he, “I render each of you happy in his wish.” will tell your excellency the subject
“ An hearty fellow, egad!” cried of my discourse at that time, humbly the soldiers, shaking him by the hand, hoping that you will be pleased to “ though we would much rather foregó pardon the freedom of a conversation our wishes than change our viceroy ; that passed over the bottle. My comfor 'tis impossible to live beneath a rades and I, being in a merry mood, milder or a gentler sway. All our agreed, the more socially to pass away wants are amply supplied, and he go- the time, that each of us in his turn verns with the goodness and lenity of should wish for that which would a parent."
render him most happy for the reThis eulogium, though much short mainder of his days; and I remember of what he deserved, was yet far from to have said that the sum of one being displeasing to the viceroy. thousand crowns would render me
The soldiers now took their leave, in happier than your excellency." order to return to the garrison ; and The duke sent immediately for his the viceroy happening to meet, at that treasurer, and ordered him to pay one
thousand rowns to the soldier, who happy in your wish. Obtain her conwent away as happy as 'a man can be sent, and be assured I shall not oppose who is in possession of all he desires. your happiness." The 'soldier hung “ And you,” said the viceroy, turning down his head, and the vicereine, to the second, "what was your wish ?" highly offended at his insolence, would The soldier, emboldened by the duke's have ordered him the strapado, had liberality to his comrade, answered not the duke interposed, who sent him without hesitation, “ My lord, I said, away safe and sound, thinking the that if I was one of the captains of mortification he would undergo in not your excellency's guards, I should baving formed a more reasonable wish, esteem my lot infinitely preferable to in which he would probably have been yours.”_"Well," resumed the viceroy, indulged as well as his companions, you shall not have any cause to re- punishment sufficient. proach me for being less liberal to you than to your companion. From this LIVES OF THE BRITISH moment be happy in your wish. I will
POETS. promote one of the captains of my guards, and you shall enjoy his place.
DRYDEN. And now," continued he, addressing himself to the third, “let us hear your
[Continued from page 437.] wish.”“Ah! my lord," said the In 1673, Dryden produced two soldier, trembling and confounded, comedies, Marriage-a-la-mode, and “ I hope your excellency will be gra- the Assignation, or Love in a Nunciously pleased to excuse me. We nery; the former of which was indifwere at the public-house, where we ferently received, and the latter driven drank so freely that we knew not what off the stage. Amboyna, a tragedy, we said ; at least that was my case." intended to inflame the nation against “ Speak,” resumed the duke, “imme- the Dutch, was also written in the diately, and to the purpose, lest I make course of the same year. The next you repent of your disobedience." The year he published The State of Innopoor fellow, well knowing the duke cence and the Fall of Man, an opera, would be obeyed, replied, in a voice or rather a tragedy in heroic rhyme, as full of quavers as an opera singer, but of which the personages are such “ My lord, I was rash enough to say, as cannot be decently exhibited upon little imagining it would be brought to the stage. Dr. Johnson observes, that your excellency's ears, that a night's “this composition is addressed to the lodging with the vicereine would ren- Princess of Modena, then Duchess of der me happier than if I were to enjoy York, in a strain of battery which disthe wishes of both my comrades to- graces genius, and which is wonderful gether; but, my lord," continued he, that any man who knew the meaning casting himself at the duke's feet, of his own words, could use without “ pardon, I beseech you, the temerity self-detestation. It is an attempt to of a man, who spoke without think- mingle earth and heaven, by praising ing."
human 'excellence in the language of The viceroy commanded him to rise, religion. "I am sorry, friend," said he, “ that “The reason which he gives for it is not in my power to grant your printing what was never acted cannot request; if it was, you should return be overpassed. I was induced to it as happy as your companions. All in my own defence, many hundred that I can do to serve you is, to speak copies of it being dispersed abroad to her in your favour. Come, follow without my knowledge or consent, and me." The poor fellow, trembling every every one gathering new faults, it bejoint, would have given both his ears came, at length, a libel against me.' to be well extricated from this dilemma; “ These copies, as they gathered but the duke, who would take no de- faults, were apparently manuscript ; nial, insisted on his following him to and he lived in an age very unlike the apartment of the vicereine, whom ours, if many hundred copies of fourthey found at her toilette.
teen hundred lines were likely to be The duke having previously ac transcribed. An author has a right to quainted her with the soldier's wish, print his own works, and needs not took him by the hand, and presenting seek an apology in falshood ; but he him to his lady,“This,” said he, “is the that could bear to write the dedication, only person capable of making you felt no pain in writing the preface."
In 1676, he produced Aureng Zebe, as too indecent for the stage. Dryden a tragedy written in rhyme, which has confesses that its indecency was objected the appearance of being the most ela- to, but Langbaine, who seldom favours borate of all his dramas. Dr. Johnson him, imputes its expulsion to resentremarks on this play, that “the per- ment, because it “so much exposed sonages are imperial; but the dialogue the keeping part of the town." is often domestic, and therefore sus The following year he brought on the ceptible of sentiments, accommodated stage hís Spanish Friar, or the Double to familiar incidents. The complaint Discovery, a tragi-comedy, eminent for of life is celebrated, and there are the happy coincidence and coalition of many other passages that may be read the two plots. As it was written with pleasure."
against the Papists, it would naturally This play is addressed to the Earl of at that time have friends and ene. Mulgrave, afterwards Duke of Buck- mies; and partly by the popularity ingham, “himself,” says Johnson, “if it obtained at first, and partly by the not a poet, yet a writer of verses, and real power both of the serious and a critic.” In this address Dryden gave risible parts, it continued long a fathe first hints of his intentions to write vourite of the public. Dr. Johnson an epic poem. He mentions his de- observes, that it was Dryden's sign in terms so obscure, that he seems opinion, at least for some time, and he afraid lest his plan should be purloined, maintains it in the dedication of this as he says happened to him when he play, that the drama required an altertold it more plainly in his preface to nation of comic and ragic scenes, and Juvenal. “The design,” says he, “you that it is necessary to mitigate by alleknow, is great, the story English, and viations of merriment, the pressure of neither too near the present times, nor ponderous events, and the fatigue of too distant from them.”
toilsome passions. Whoever, says All for Love, or the World well Jost, he, “ cannot perform both parts, is a tragedy written in 1678, and founded but half a writer for the stage.” upon Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleo. In 1683, appeared the Duke of Guise, patra the author tells us “ was written a tragedy, written in conjunction with for himself; the rest were given to the Lee. It happened that a contract had people.” It is by universal consent been made between the two poets by accounted the work in which our author which they were to join in writing a has admitted the fewest improprieties play; " and he happened,” says Dry. of style or character ; but Dr. Johnson den,“ to claim the promise just upon remarks, that "it has one fault equal the finishing of a poem, when I would to many, though rather moral than have been glad of a little respite. Two critical, that by admitting the romantic thirds of it belonged to him; and to omnipotence of love, he has recom me only the first scene of the play, the mended as laudable and worthy of whole fourth act, and the first half, or imitation, that conduct, which, through somewhat more of the fifth. all ages, the good have censured as This was a play, written professedly vicious, and the bad despised as for the party of the Duke of York, foolish.”
whose succession was then opposed. The next year he formed, in conjunc- A parallel is intended between the tion with Lee, Oedipus, a tragedy from leaguers of France and the covenanters the works of Sophocles, Seneca, and of England ; and this intention proCorneille. Dryden planned the scenes, duced the controversy. &c, composed the first and third acts; In 1685, appeared his Albion and the rest of the piece was written by Albania, a musical drama, or opera, Lee. It was followed by Troilus and written, like the Duke of Guise, against Cressida, a play, altered from Skakes. the Whig party, whom Dr. Johnson, peare, to which,” says Langbaine, with intemperate zeal for the opposite * he added several new scenes, and party, called the republicans. Downes improved what he borrowed from the says, that happening to be first per. original. The last scene in the third formed the very day on which the act is a master piece.” It is intro- Duke of Monmouth landed in the West, duced by a Discourse on the ground of and the kingdom was in great consterCriticism in Tragedy.
nation, it ran but six nights. His comedy called Limberham, or Don Sebastian, supposed to have the Hind Keeper, produced in 1680, been one of Dryden's early dramatic after the third night, was prohibited performances, was not acted till 1690.
It appears to have been designed for a the theatre, when so many classes of tragi-comedy, for amidst the distresses the people were deducted from the auof princes and the vicissitudes of em- dience, were not great, and the poetpires, are inserted several scenes which had for a long time but a single night. the writer intended for comic; but The first that had two nights was which it seems that age did not much Southerne, and the first that had three commend, and the succeeding would was Rowe; a play, therefore, seldom most probably reprobate. There are, produced Dryden more than an hunhowever, in this piece, passages of ex- dred pounds, by the accumulated gains cellence universally acknowledged; of the third night, the dedication, and and the reconciliation of Dorax and the copy. Sebastian has always been admired. Dr. Johnson's remarks on the dra
The dedication to Amphitryon, a matic talents of our author, and the comedy, derived from Plautus and anecdotes he intersperses with them, Moliere, is dated October 6, 1690. It cannot fail of conducing to the inforsucceeded at its first appearance, and mation and entertainment of those has long been considered as a very di- readers who are attached to theatrical verting entertainment, having under- exhibitions ; to such, therefore, the gone various alterations and additions. following are presented :
Soon after he produced King Arthur, “ Almost every piece had a dedicaan opera, the incidents of which are tion, written with such elegance and extravagant, and many of them put- luxuriance of praise, as neither haughrile. It was revived some years ago, tiness nor avarice could be imagined with alterations, and, taken in a burable to resist. But he seems to have lesque point of view, has afforded much made Battery too cheap. That praise merriment.
is worth nothing of which the price is Cleomenes, a tragedy, performed in known. 1092, is remarkable for having occa “ To increase the value of his copies, sioned an incident related in the he often accompanied his work with a Guardian, and allusively mentioned preface of criticism ; a kind of learnby Dryden, in his preface. As he came ing then little known, and therefore out from the representation, he was welcome as a novelty; and of so flexile thus accosted by some airy stripling. and applicable a kind, that it might be “Had I been left alone with a young always introduced, without apparent beauty I would not have spent my time violence or affectation. By these dislike your Spartan.”—“That, sir," said sertations, the public judgment must Dryden, “perhaps is true, but give have been much improved ; and Swift, me leave to tell you, that you are no who conversed with Dryden, relates, hero."
that he regretted the success of his own His last dramatic production, called instructions, and found his readers Love Triumphant, a tragi-comedy, ap- made suddenly too skilful to be easily peared in 1694, and is said, like his satisfied. first essay, for the stage, to have been “His prologues had such reputareceived with much indifference. Thus tion, that, for some time, a play was he began and ended his dramatic la- considered as less likely to be well bours with ill success.
received, if some of his verses did not From the exhibition of such a number introduce it. The price of a prologue of theatrical pieces, it might reasonably was two guineas, till being asked to be supposed, that our author must have write one for Mr. Southerne, he deimproved his fortune ; at least, that manded three ; 'Not,' said he, young such diligence, with such abilities, man, out of disrespect to you, but the must have set penury at defiance. But players have had my goods too cheap.' it is to be observed, that in Dryden's “ Though he declares, that, in his own time, the drama was not in that uni- opinion, his genius was not dramatic, versal estimation it has since obtained. he had great confidence in his own The play-house was abhorred by the fertility; for he is said to have enPuritans, and avoided by those who gaged, by contract, to furnish four desired the character of seriousness or plays a year; and it is certain that, in decency. A grave lawyer would, in one year, he published six complete those times, have debased his dignity, dramatic productions, with a celerity and a young trader impared his credit, of performance, which notwithstanding by appearing in those mansions of dis. the charge of plagiarism alleged solute licentiousness. The profits of against him, shews such facility of