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and from this time he applied whol

‘ly to theatric poetry. In 1729 he

was invited to Vienna as the Imperial Laureate, and continued to furnish such dramas as his patron bespoke, until his death in 1782. Dr. Burney well observes that it is possible for a man of learning, study, and natural acumen, to be a good critic on the works of others without genius for producing original works himself, similar to those which he is able to censure. The opinion of Metastafio, therefore, may have its weight even when he criticises the great operawriters of antiquity: for the modern opera is the only faithful imitation of the antient tragedy. From his practice it appears, however, that he entertained one fundamental error in theory, and had not discovered that, in the opera, the means of imitation being peculiarly apparent, the distress should be more harrasling and the crimes more atrocious, in order to excite an equal degree of tragic emotion with these representations which approach more nearly to real and common life. We had sclected

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