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conqueror, Alonzo, and glories in the ruin of his spair and suicide, and the dramatic art evinced in the victim: characters and incidents, drew loud applause. The Gamester' is still a popular play.

Thou seest a prince, whose father thou hast slain,
Whose native country thou hast laid in blood,
Whose sacred person, Oh! thou hast profaned,
Whose reign extinguished-what was left to me,
So highly born? No kingdom but revenge;
No treasure but thy torture and thy groans.
If men should ask who brought thee to thy end,
Tell them the Moor, and they will not despise thee.
If cold white mortals censure this great deed,
Warn them they judge not of superior beings,
Souls made of fire, and children of the sun,
With whom revenge is virtue.

Dr Johnson's tragedy of Irene was performed in 1749, but met with little success, and has never since been revived. It is cold and stately, containing some admirable sentiments and maxims of morality, but destitute of elegance, simplicity, and pathos. At the conclusion of the piece, the heroine was to be strangled upon the stage, after speaking two lines with the bowstring round her neck. The audience cried out Murder! murder!' and compelled the actress to go off the stage alive, in defiance of the author. An English audience could not, as one of Johnson's friends remarked, bear to witness a strangling scene on the stage, though a dramatic poet may stab or slay by hundreds. The following passage in ‘Irene' was loudly applauded :—

To-morrow! That fatal mistress of the young, the lazy, The coward and the fool, condemned to lose A useless life in waiting for to-morrowTo gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow, Till interposing death destroys the prospect! Strange! that this general fraud from day to day Should fill the world with wretches undetected. The soldier labouring through a winter's march, Still sees to-morrow dressed in robes of triumph; Still to the lover's long-expecting arms To-morrow brings the visionary bride. But thou, too old to bear another cheat, Learn that the present hour alone is man's.

Five tragedies were produced by Thomson betwixt the years 1729 and the period of his death: these were Sophonisba, Agamemnon, Edward and Eleonora, Tancred and Sigismunda, and Coriolanus. None of them can be considered as worthy of the author of the Seasons: they exhibit the defects of his style without its virtues. He wanted the plastic powers of the dramatist, and though he could declaim forcibly on the moral virtues, and against corruption and oppression, he could not draw characters or invent scenes to lead captive the feelings and imagination.

Two tragedies of a similar kind, but more animated in expression, were produced-Gustavus Vasa by Brooke, and Barbarossa by Dr Brown. The acting of Garrick mainly contributed to the success of the latter, which had a great run. The sentiment at the conclusion of 'Barbarossa' is finely expressed :

Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction,
And oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
Serves but to brighten all our future days.

Aaron Hill translated some of Voltaire's tragedies with frigid accuracy, and they were performed with success. In 1753, The Gamester, an affecting domestic tragedy, was produced. Though wanting the merit of ornamented poetical language and blank verse, the vivid picture drawn by the author (Edward Moore) of the evils of gambling, ending in de

[The Gamester's Last Stake.]

Beverley. Why, there's an end then. I have judged deliberately, and the result is death. How the selfmurderer's account may stand, I know not; but this I know, the load of hateful life oppresses me too much. The horrors of my soul are more than I can bear. [Offers to kneel]. Father of Mercy! I cannot pray; despair has laid his iron hand upon me, and sealed me for perdition. Conscience! conscience! thy clamours are too loud: here's that shall silence thee. [Takes a phial of poison out of his pocket.] Thou art most friendly to the miserable. Come, then, thou cordial for sick minds, come to my heart. [Drinks it.] Oh, that the grave would bury memory as well as body! for, if the soul sees and feels the sufferings of those dear ones it leaves behind, the Everlasting has no vengeance to torment it deeper. I'll think no more on it; reflection comes too late; once there was a time for it, but now 'tis past. Who's there?


Jar. One that hoped to see you with better looks. Why do you turn so from me! I have brought comfort with me; and see who comes to give it welcome. Bev. My wife and sister! Why, 'tis but one pang more then, and farewell, world.


Mrs B. Where is he? [Runs and embraces him.] 0, I have him! I have him! And now they shall never part us more. I have news, love, to make you happy for ever. Alas! he hears us not. Speak to me, love; I have no heart to see you thus. Bev. This is a sad place.

Mrs B. We came to take you from it; to tell you the world goes well again; that Providence has seen our sorrows, and sent the means to help them; your uncle died yesterday.

Bev. My uncle? No, do not say so. O! I am sick at heart!

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and to redeem past errors, I sold the reversion, sold it for a scanty sum, and lost it among villains.

Char. Why, farewell all then.

Bev. Liberty and life. Come, kneel and curse me. Mrs B. Then hear me, heaven. [Kneels.] Look down with mercy on his sorrows! Give softness to his looks, and quiet to his heart! On me, on me, if misery must be the lot of either, multiply misfortunes! I'll bear them patiently, so he be happy! These hands shall toil for his support; these eyes be lifted up for hourly blessings on him; and every duty of a fond and faithful wife be doubly done to cheer and comfort him. So hear me ! so reward me!


Bev. I would kneel too, but that offended heaven would turn my prayers into curses; for I have done a deed to make life horrible to you.

Mrs B. What deed?

Jar. Ask him no questions, madam; this last misfortune has hurt his brain. A little time will give him patience.

Enter STUKELY. Ber. Why is this villain here?

Stuk. To give you liberty and safety. There, madam, is his discharge. [Gives a paper to Charlotte.] The arrest last night was meant in friendship, but came too late.

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Char. What mean you, sir?

Bates. Dawson and I are witnesses of this. Lew. And of a thousand frauds; his fortune ruined Stuk. The arrest was too late, I say; I would have by sharpers and false dice; and Stukely sole contriver kept his hands from blood; but was too late.


possessor of all.

Mrs B. His hands from blood! Whose blood?
Stuk. From Lewson's blood.

Daw. Had he but stopped on this side murder, we had been villains still.

Char. No, villain!

Yet what of Lewson; speak

Stuk. You are ignorant then; I thought I heard
the murderer at confession.

Char. What murderer? And who is murdered? Not Lewson? Say he lives, and I will kneel and worship you.

Stuk. And so I would; but that the tongues of all cry murder. I came in pity, not in malice; to save the brother, not kill the sister. Your Lewson's dead. Char. O horrible!

Bev. Why, ay; this looks like management. Bates. He found you quarrelling with Lewson in the street last night. [To Beverley.

Mrs B. No; I am sure he did not.

Jar. Or if I did


[Mrs B., on perceiving Lewson, goes into a hysteric laugh, and sinks on Jarvis. Stuk. Lewson! O villains! villains! [To Bates and Dawson. Mrs B. Risen from the dead! Why, this is unexpected happiness!

Char. Or is it his ghost? [To Stukely.] That sight would please you, sir.

Jar. What riddle is this?

Stuk. What witness?
Bates. A right one.

Bev. Be quick and tell it, my minutes are but few. Mrs B. Alas! why so? You shall live long and happily.

Lew. While shame and

punishment shall rack that viper. [Points to Stukely.] The tale is short; I was too busy in his secrets, and therefore doomed to die. Bates, to prevent the murder, undertook it; I kept aloof to give it credit.

Proceed, sir.

Bev. Silence, I charge you. Stuk. No; justice may stop the tale; and here's an heart.] And now it tears me! evidence.

Char. And give me pangs unutterable.

Lew. I felt them all, and would have told you; but vengeance wanted ripening. The villain's scheme was but half executed; the arrest by Dawson followed the supposed murder, and now, depending on his once wicked associates, he comes to fix the guilt on Beverley.

Lew. [To Beverley.] How does my friend?

Bev. Why, well. Who's he that asks me?

Mrs B. Tis Lewson, love. Why do you look so at him?

Bev. [Wildly.] They told me he was murdered!
Mrs B. Ay; but he lives to save us.

Bev. Lend me your hand; the room turns round. Lew. This villain here disturbs him. Remove him from his sight; and on your lives see that you guard him. [Stukely is taken off by Dawson and Bates.] How is it, sir?

Bev. 'Tis here, and here. [Pointing to his head and

Mrs B. You feel convulsed, too. What is it disturbs you?

Bev. A furnace rages in this heart. [Laying his hand upon his heart.] Down, restless flames! down to your native hell ; there you shall rack me! Oh, for a pause from pain! Where is my wife? Can you forgive me, love?

Mrs B. Alas! for what?

Bev. For meanly dying.
Mrs B. No; do not say it.

Bev. As truly as my soul must answer it. Had Jarvis staid this morning, all had been well; but, pressed by shame, pent in a prison, and tormented with my pangs for you, driven to despair and madness, I took the advantage of his absence, corrupted the poor wretch he left to guard me, and swallowed poison.

Lew. Oh, fatal deed!

Mrs B. 'Tis false, old man; they had no quarrel, there was no cause for quarrel.

Ber. Let him proceed, I say. O! I am sick! sick! Reach a chair. [Jarvis brings it, he sits down. Mrs B. You droop and tremble, love. Yet you are innocent. If Lewson's dead, you killed him not.

Bev. Ay, most accursed. And now I go to my account. Bend me, and let me kneel. [They lift him from his chair, and support him on his knees.] I'll pray for you too. Thou Power that mad'st me, hear me. If, for a life of frailty, and this too hasty deed of death, thy justice doom me, here I acquit the sentence; but if, enthroned in mercy where thou sitt'st, thy pity hast beheld me, send me a gleam of hope, that in these last and bitter moments my soul may

Enter DAWSON. Stuk. Who sent for Dawson?

Bates. "Twas I. We have a witness too, you little taste of comfort! And for these mourners here, O think of. Without there!

let their lives be peaceful, and their deaths happy. Mrs B. Restore him, heaven! O, save him, save him, or let me die too!

Look at him.

Bev. No; live, I charge you. We have a little one; though I have left him, you will not leave him. To Lewson's kindness I bequeath him. Is not this Charlotte? We have lived in love, though I have wronged you. Can you forgive me, Charlotte?

Char. Forgive you! O, my poor brother!

Bev. Lend me your hand, love. So; raise me-no; it will not be; my life is finished. O for a few short moments to tell you how my heart bleeds for you; that even now, thus dying as I am, dubious and fearful of a hereafter, my bosom pang is for your miseries. Support her, Heaven! And now I go. mercy! mercy!


Lew. How is it, madam? My poor Charlotte, too!
Char. Her grief is speechless.

Lew. Jarvis, remove her from this sight. [Jarvis and Charlotte lead Mrs Beverley aside.] Some ministering angel bring her peace. And thou, poor breathless corpse, may thy departed soul have found the rest it prayed for. Save but one error, and this last fatal deed, thy life was lovely. Let frailer minds take warning; and from example learn that want of pru

dence is want of virtue.


Of a more intellectual and scholar-like cast were

the two dramas of Mason, Elfrida and Caractacus.
They were brought on the stage by Colman (which
Southey considers to have been a bold experiment in
those days of sickly tragedy), and were well received.
They are now known as dramatic poems, not as act-A
ing plays. The most natural and affecting of all the
tragic productions of the day, was the Douglas of
Home, founded on the old ballad of Gil Morrice, which
Percy has preserved in his Reliques. 'Douglas' was
rejected by Garrick, and was first performed in
Edinburgh in 1756. Next year Lord Bute procured
its representation at Covent Garden, where it drew
tears and applause as copiously as in Edinburgh.
The plot of this drama is pathetic and interesting.
The dialogue is sometimes flat and prosaic, but
other parts are written with the liquid softness and
moral beauty of Heywood or Dekker. Maternal
affection is well depicted under novel and striking
circumstances the accidental discovery of a lost
child- My beautiful! my brave!'-and Mr Mac-
kenzie, the Man of Feeling,' has given as his opi-
nion that the chief scene between Lady Randolph
and Old Norval, in which the preservation and
existence of Douglas is discovered, has no equal in
modern and scarcely a superior in the ancient drama.
Douglas himself, the young hero, enthusiastic, ro-
mantic, desirous of honour, careless of life and every
other advantage when glory lay in the balance,' is
beautifully drawn, and formed the schoolboy model
of most of the Scottish youth sixty years since.'
As a specimen of the style and diction of Home,
we subjoin part of the discovery scene. Lord Ran-
dolph is attacked by four men, and rescued by
young Douglas. An old man is found in the woods,
and is taken up as one of the assassins, some rich
jewels being also in his possession.

[Discovery of her Son by Lady Randolph.]

The truth direct; for these to me foretell
And certify a part of thy narration;
With which, if the remainder tallies not,
An instant and a dreadful death abides thee.
Pris. Then, thus adjured, I'll speak to you as just
As if you were the minister of heaven,
Sent down to search the secret sins of men.

Some eighteen years ago, I rented land
Of brave Sir Malcolm, then Balarmo's lord;
But falling to decay, his servants seized
All that I had, and then turned me and mine
(Four helpless infants and their weeping mother)
Out to the mercy of the winter winds.
A little hovel by the river side
Received us: there hard labour, and the skill
In fishing, which was formerly my sport,
Supported life. Whilst thus we poorly lived,
One stormy night, as I remember well,
The wind and rain beat hard upon our roof;
Red came the river down, and loud and oft
The angry spirit of the water shrieked.
At the dead hour of night was heard the cry
Of one in jeopardy. I rose, and ran
To where the circling eddy of a pool,
My reach whatever floating thing the stream
Beneath the ford, used oft to bring within
Had caught. The voice was ceased; the person lost:
But, looking sad and earnest on the waters,
By the moon's light I saw, whirled round and round,
basket; soon I drew it to the bank,
And nestled curious there an infant lay.
Lady R. Was he alive?
Pris. He was.


For these, I say: be steadfast to the truth;
Detected falsehood is most certain death.

Lady R. Inhuman that thou art!

How could'st thou kill what waves and tempests

Pris. I was not so inhuman.
Lady R. Didst thou not?

This man has not the aspect of stern murder;
Anna. My noble mistress, you are moved too much:
Let him go on, and you, I hope, will hear
Good tidings of your kinsman's long lost child.

Pris. The needy man who has known better days,
One whom distress has spited at the world,
Is he whom tempting fiends would pitch upon
To do such deeds, as make the prosperous men
Lift up their hands, and wonder who could do them;
And such a man was I; a man declined,
Who saw no end of black adversity;
Yet, for the wealth of kingdoms, I would not
Have touched that infant with a hand of harm.

Lady R. Ha! dost thou say so? Then perhaps he

Lady R. Account for these; thine own they cannot Pursue thy story with a faithful tongue,

Pris. Not many days ago he was alive.

Lady R. O, God of heaven! Did he then die so lately!
Pris. I did not say he died; I hope he lives.
Not many days ago these eyes beheld
Him, flourishing in youth, and health, and beauty.
Lady R. Where is he now?
Pris. Alas! I know not where.

Lady R. O, fate! I fear thee still. Thou riddler,

Direct and clear, else I will search thy soul.

Anna. Permit me, ever honoured! keen impatience, Though hard to be restrained, defeats itself.

To the last hour that thou didst keep the child.
Pris. Fear not my faith, though I must speak my


Within the cradle where the infant lay
Was stowed a mighty store of gold and jewels;
Tempted by which, we did resolve to hide,
From all the world, this wonderful event,
And like a peasant breed the noble child.

[Anna removes the servants and returns.
Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset; let never man,
For sake of lucre, sin against his soul!
Eternal justice is in this most just!
I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal.

Lady R. O, Anna, hear! Once more I charge thee That none might mark the change of our estate,
We left the country, travelled to the north,


Bought flocks and herds, and gradually brought forth Till I shall call upon thee to declare,
Our secret wealth. But God's all-seeing eye
Beheld our avarice, and smote us sore;
For one by one all our own children died,
And he, the stranger, sole remained the heir
Of what indeed was his. Fain then would I,
Who with a father's fondness loved the boy,
Have trusted him, now in the dawn of youth,
With his own secret; but my anxious wife,
Foreboding evil, never would consent.
Meanwhile the stripling grew in years and beauty;
And, as we oft observed, he bore himself,
Not as the offspring of our cottage blood,
For nature will break out: mild with the mild,
But with the froward he was fierce as fire,
And night and day he talked of war and arms.
I set myself against his warlike bent;
But all in vain; for when a desperate band
Of robbers from the savage mountains came-

Lady R. Eternal Providence! What is thy name?
Pris. My name is Norval; and my name he


Lady R. 'Tis he, 'tis he himself! It is my son!
O, sovereign mercy! "Twas my child I saw!
No wonder, Anna, that my bosom burned.

Anna. Just are your transports: ne'er was woman's


Proved with such fierce extremes. High-fated dame!
But yet remember that you are beheld
By servile eyes; your gestures may be seen
Impassioned, strange; perhaps your words o'erheard.
Lady R. Well dost thou counsel, Anna; Heaven be-


On me that wisdom which my state requires!
Anna. The moments of deliberation pass,
And soon you must resolve. This useful man
Must be dismissed in safety, ere my lord
Shall with his brave deliverer return.

Pris. If I, amidst astonishment and fear, Have of your words and gestures rightly judged, Thou art the daughter of my ancient master; The child I rescued from the flood is thine.

Lady R. With thee dissimulation now were vain.
I am indeed the daughter of Sir Malcolm;
The child thou rescuedst from the flood is mine.
Pris. Blessed be the hour that made me a poor

My poverty hath saved my master's house.
Lady R. Thy words surprise me; sure thou dost not

The tear stands in thine eye: such love from thee
Sir Malcolm's house deserved not, if aright
Thou told'st the story of thy own distress.

Pris. Sir Malcolm of our barons was the flower;
The fastest friend, the best, the kindest master;
But ah! he knew not of my sad estate.
After that battle, where his gallant son,
Your own brave brother, fell, the good old lord
Grew desperate and reckless of the world;
And never, as he erst was wont, went forth
To overlook the conduct of his servants.

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Before the king and nobles, what thou now
To me hast told. No more but this, and thou
Shalt live in honour all thy future days;
Thy son so long shall call thee father still,
And all the land shall bless the man who saved
The son of Douglas, and Sir Malcolm's heir.

JOHN HOME, author of Douglas, was by birth connected with the family of the Earl of Home; his father was town-clerk of Leith, where the poet was born in 1722. He entered the church, and succeeded Blair, author of The Grave,' as minister of Athelstaneford. Previous to this, however, he had taken up arms as a volunteer in 1745 against the Chevalier, and after the defeat at Falkirk, was imprisoned in the old castle of Doune, whence he effected his escape, with some of his associates, by cutting their blankets into shreds, and letting themselves down on the ground. The romantic poet soon found the church as severe and tyrannical as the army of Charles Edward. So violent a storm was raised by the fact that a Presbyterian minister had written a play, that Home was forced to succumb to the presbytery, and resign his living. Lord Bute rewarded him with the sinecure office of conservator of Scots privileges at Campvere, and on the accession of George III. in 1760, when the influence of Bute was paramount, the poet received a pension of £300 per annum. He wrote various other tragedies, which soon passed into oblivion; but with an income of about £600 per annum, with an easy, cheerful, and benevolent disposition, and enjoying the friendship of David Hume, Blair, Robertson, and all the most distinguished for rank or talents, John Home's life glided on in happy tranquillity. He survived nearly all his associates, and died in 1808, aged eighty-six.

Among the other tragic writers may be mentioned Mallet, whose drama of Elvira was highly successful, and another drama by whom, Mustapha, enjoyed a factitious popularity by glancing at the characters of the king and Sir Robert Walpole. Glover, author of 'Leonidas,' also produced a tragedy, Boadicea, but it was found deficient in interest for a mixed audience. In this play, Davies, the biographer of Garrick, relates that Glover 'preserved a custom of the Druids, who enjoined the persons who drank their poison to turn their faces towards the wind, in order to facilitate the operation of the potion!' Horace Walpole was author of a tragedy, The Mysterious Mother, which, though of a painful and revolting nature as to plot and incident, abounds in vigorous description and striking imagery. As Walpole had a strong predilection for Gothic romance, and had a dramatic turn of mind, it is to be regretted that he did not devote himself more to the service of the stage, in which he would have anticipated and rivalled the style of the German drama. The Mysterious Mother' has never been ventured on the stage. The Grecian Daughter, by Murphy, produced in 1772, was a classic subject, treated in the French style, but not destitute of tenderness.

[Against the Crusades.]

I here attend him,

In expeditions which I ne'er approved,
In holy wars. Your pardon, reverend father.
I must declare I think such wars the fruit
Of idle courage, or mistaken zeal;
Sometimes of rapine, and religious rage,
To every mischief prompt.

* Sure I am, 'tis madness,
Inhuman madness, thus from half the world

To drain its blood and treasure, to neglect
Each art of peace, each care of government;
And all for what? By spreading desolation,
Rapine, and slaughter o'er the other half,
To gain a conquest we can never hold.
I venerate this land. Those sacred hills,
Those vales, those cities, trod by saints and prophets,
By God himself, the scenes of heavenly wonders,
Inspire me with a certain awful joy.

But the same God, my friend, pervades, sustains,
Surrounds, and fills this universal frame;
And every land, where spreads his vital presence,
His all-enlivening breath, to me is holy.
Excuse me, Theald, if I go too far:

I meant alone to say, I think these wars
A kind of persecution. And when that-
That most absurd and cruel of all vices,
Is once begun, where shall it find an end?
Each in his turn, or has or claims a right
To wield its dagger, to return its furies,
And first or last they fall upon ourselves.

THOMSON'S Edward and Eleonora.


Why should we kill the best of passions, Love?
It aids the hero, bids Ambition rise
To nobler heights, inspires immortal deeds,
Even softens brutes, and adds a grace to Virtue.
THOMSON'S Sophonisba.

[Miscalculations of Old Men.]

Those old men, those plodding grave state pedants,
Forget the course of youth; their crooked prudence,
To baseness verging still, forgets to take
Into their fine-spun schemes the generous heart,
That, through the cobweb system bursting, lays
Their labours waste.

THOMSON'S Tancred and Sigismunda.

[Awfulness of a Scene of Pagan Rites.]

This is the secret centre of the isle:

Here, Romans, pause, and let the eye of wonder
Gaze on the solemn scene; behold yon oak,
How stern he frowns, and with his broad brown arms
Chills the pale plain beneath him: mark yon altar,
The dark stream brawling round its rugged base;
These cliffs, these yawning caverns, this wide circus,
Skirted with unhewn stone; they awe my soul,
As if the very genius of the place
Himself appeared, and with terrific tread
Stalked through his drear domain. And yet, my friends,
If shapes like his be but the fancy's coinage,
Surely there is a hidden power that reigus
'Mid the lone majesty of untamed nature,
Controlling sober reason; tell me else,
Why do these haunts of barbarous superstition
O'ercome me thus? I scorn them; yet they awe me.

MASON'S Caractacus.

[Against Homicide.]

Think what a sea of deep perdition whelms
The wretch's trembling soul, who launches forth
Unlicensed to eternity. Think, think,
And let the thought restrain thy impious hand.
The race of man is one vast marshalled army,
Summoned to pass the spacious realms of Time,
Their leader the Almighty. In that march
Ah! who may quit his post? when high in air
The chosen archangel rides, whose right hand wields
The imperial standard of Heaven's providence,
Which, dreadful sweeping through the vaulted sky,
Overshadows all creation.

MASON's Elfrida.

[Solitude on a Battle Field.]

I have been led by solitary care

To yon dark branches, spreading o'er the brook,
Which murmurs through the camp; this mighty camp,
Where once two hundred thousand sons of war,
With restless dins awaked the midnight hour.
Now horrid stillness in the vacant tents
Sits undisturbed; and these incessant rills,
Whose pebbled channel breaks their shallow stream,
Fill with their melancholy sounds my ears,
As if I wandered, like a lonely hind,

O'er some dead fallow, far from all resort:
Unless that ever and anon a groan
Bursts from a soldier, pillowed on his shield
In torment, or expiring with his wounds,
And turns my fixed attention into horror.
GLOVER'S Boadicea.


So prone to error is our mortal frame,
Time could not step without a trace of horror,
If wary nature on the human heart,
Amid its wild variety of passions,
Had not impressed a soft and yielding sense,
That when offences give resentment birth,
The kindly dews of penitence may raise
The seeds of mutual mercy and forgiveness.

GLOVER'S Boadicea.


But, prince, remember then
The vows, the noble uses of affliction;
Preserve the quick humanity it gives,
The pitying, social sense of human weakness;
Yet keep thy stubborn fortitude entire.
The manly heart that to another's wo
Is tender, but superior to its own.

Learn to submit, yet learn to conquer fortune;
Attach thee firmly to the virtuous deeds
And offices of life; to life itself,
With all its vain and transient joys, sit loose.
Chief, let devotion to the sovereign inind,
A steady, cheerful, absolute dependence
In his best, wisest government, possess thee.
In thoughtless gay prosperity, when all
Attends our wish, when nought is seen around us
But kneeling slavery, and obedient fortune;
Then are blind mortals apt, within themselves
To fly their stay, forgetful of the giver ;
But when thus humbled, Alfred, as thou art,
When to their feeble natural powers reduced,
"Tis then they feel this universal truth
That Heaven is all in all, and man is nothing.
MALLET'S Alfred.


The comic muse was, during this period, more successful than her tragic sister. In the reign of George II., the witty and artificial comedies of Vanbrugh and Farquhar began to lose their ground, both on account of their licentiousness, and the formal system on which they were constructed with regard to characters and expression. In their room, Garrick, Foote, and other writers, placed a set of dramatic compositions, which, though often of a humble and unpretending character, exercised great influence in introducing a taste for more natural portraitures and language; and these again led the way to the higher productions, which we are still accustomed to refer to veneratively, as the legiti mate English comedies.

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