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though the most prominent and general points of character may have been fully represented in their narration yet, from the particular circumstance of their being foreigners, they could not penetrate fairly into the minutiae. A series of writings, which brand the vicious with the mark of shame and punishment, and level the shaft of irony and laughter at folly, while they encourage and support real virtue and good sense, explained and put in their true light, with as much impartiality as human nature will allow in speaking of one's own country, must open a good field for the display of character. Hence the whole is accompanied with notes, explanatory of the localities and such circumstances as are liable to a double interpretation.
We cannot conclude this preface better than by laying before our readers a passage from the “lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres,” by that excel!ent critic Dr. Blair. In the third volume, when comparing the French and English comedy, he says, “from the English there we are naturally led to expect a greater variety of original characters in comedy and bolder strokes of wit and humour than are to be found on any other modern stage: Humour is in a great measure the peculiar province of the English nation. The nature of such a free government as ours, and that unrestrained liberty which our manners allow to cvery man of living entirely after his own lasle, assord full scope to the display of singularity of character and to the indulgence of humour in all its forms. Whereas in France the influence of the court, the more established subordinations of ranks and the universal observance of the forms of politeness and decorum, spread a much greater uniformity over the outward behaviour and characters of men. Hence comedy has a more ample field and can flow with a much freer vein in Britain, than in France."
GEORGE BARNWELL. 1
ORPHAN OF CAINA,
JOSEPI ADDISON was born May 21, 1672, at Milston, of which his father was then Rector, near Ambrosebury in Wiltshire. He was early sent to school, there, under the care of the Rey. Nr. Naish; from whence he was redored to Salisbery school, and then to the Charterhouse, under the tuition of the learned Dr. Ellis. Here Je first teatracted as intiaacy with Mr. Siecle, which continued almost to his death. Al fifteeu he was entered of Queen's College, Oxferd, and in about two years admitted to the degrees of bachelor and master of arts in that college; at vbick time he was celebrated for his latin poems, to be found in a second volume of the Musae Britanicae, collected by Addison. Beios at the university, he was upon the point of coding to the desires of his father and several of his friends, to enter iata holy orders; but haying, through Mr. Congreve's means, become a favourite of Lord Halifax, he was prevailed tpes by that nobleman, to give up the design. He successively filled the public stations, in 1709, of Commissioner of the Appeals is the Excise : 1707 Under-Secretary of State ; 1709, Secretary of Ireland, and Keeper of the Records in Ireland: 17.5 (the grand climacteric of Addison's reputation, Cato appeared) Secretary to the Lords' Justices; 1714 ono of the Lords Commissioners of Trade; and at last, 1717, one of the first Secretarics of State. Dr. Johnson says, "For this explayweat he might justly be supposed qualified by long practice of business, and by his regular ascent through other obces; but expectation is often disappointed; it is universally confessed, that he was unequal to the duties of this place. In the House of Commons he could not speak, and therefore was useless to the defence of the Governacat. In the olive, says Pope, he could not issue an order without losing his time in quest of fino expressions." He solierted his dismissal with a pension of 1500 poinds a year. He inarried the Countess Dowager of Warwick, 1716; and is said to have first known her by becoming tutor to her son. Johnson says, “The Lady was at last prevailed
prie to any him, og terms much like those, on which a Turkish princess is espoused, to whom the sultan is reperted to pronounce, Daughter, I give thee this man for thy slave.' The marriage made no addition to his lappi. Bess; it neither made the nor found them equal,” Iu 1718 — 19, be had a seyere dispute on The Poerage Bill with Steele, who, inveterate in his polilieal opinions, supported them in a pamphlet called The Plebeian, which Addima astered by another, under the title of The Old Whig. Some epitheis, let drop by Addison, answered by a cuttias pastata from Cato, by Steele, were the cause of their friendship's being dissolved; and every person acquainted with the friendly terms on which these two great men had lived so long, must begres, that they should finally part in
Criosidus opposition, Addison died of an asthma and dropsy, on the 17th June, 1719, aged 4%, leaving only one daughta behind him. The general esicem ia which his productions, both serious and humorous in The Spectator, The T er. and The Guardian die beld, pleads (as Spakspeare says), like ongels, trumpet-tongued, in their behalf” As
t, Ris Cido, in the dramatic, and his Campaign, in the heroic way, will ever maintain a place among the first-rate ork, ef either kind.- And a good map's death displays the character of his life. At his last bour, he sent for a relatise of his, yoang Lord Warwick, whose youth he supposed might be influenced by an awful lesson, Wien, taking Ladd of the young man's hand, he said "See in what peace a Christian can die!” and immediately expired.
ACTED at Drury Lane, 1715. It is one of the first of our dramatic poems, and was performed 18 nights succes. wely; this very successful run for a tragedy, is attributed by Dennis, who wrote a very bitter critique upon Caco, to proceed from Addison's having raised prejndices in his own favour, by false positions of preparatory criticism ; and
a hús having poisoned the town by contradicting, in The Speclatur, the established rule of poetical justice, because his or hero, nih all his virtues, was to fall before a tyrant. Jolinson says, "the fact is certain; the motives we
est zuess Stecle packed an audience. The danger was soon over. The whole nation was, at that time, on firo il faction. The Whigs applanded every line, in which liberty was mentioned, as a saliru ou the Tories; and the Toris echoed every clar, lo sbew, that the satire was unfelt," It was ushered into notice by eight complimentary copies af vers to the auihor, among which, one by Steele, leads the van; besides a prologne by Pore, and an epilo. ne by Dr. Garth: Dr. Johnson, with the abovementioned persons, nay, even Dennis's gall, has marked this tragedy
. British classic, and a succession of audiences for above a centary has proved, that it has deserved “Golden opini s from all sorts of people,” Johnson obseryes, "Of a work so much read, it is difficult to say any thing new. About things on which the public thinks long, it commonly allains to think right; and of Cato il has been not unjustly determaged. tbat it is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama; rather a suceession of just sentiments in clegant lanchage, thaa a representation of natural aflections, or of any state probable or possible in human life. Nothing here exsites or a stages emotion; here is no magical power of ruising phantastic terror or exciting wild anxiety. The events
e expected without solicitade, and remembered without joy or sorrow. Of tre agents we have no care. Cato is a Leisg abare var solicitude, a man of whom "the gods take care," and whom we leave to their caro with heedless canadence. To the rest, neither gods nor men can have much attention ; for there is not one amongst them, that
od atracts either affection or esteem. But they are made the vehicles of such sentiments and such expressions as there is scarcely a scene in the play, which the reader does not wish to impress upon his memory.
CATO. FORTLOS. MARCUS.
JUNIUS. MUTINEERS. GUARDS. etc.
And heavily in clouds brings on the day, : SCENE I.-4 Hall. .
The great, th' important day, big with the fate Enter PORTIUS and MARCUS. of Cato and of Rome-our father's death Por. The dawn is overcast, the morning Would fill up all the guilt of civil war, low'rs,
And close the scene of blood. Already Caesar
Has ravag'd more than half the globe, and sees Love is not to be reason'd down, or lost
Por. Bewold young Juba, the Numidian Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
prince, Can look on guilt
, rebellion, fraud, and Caesar, With how much care ne forms bimself to glory, In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
And breaks the fierceness of his native temper, I'm tortur'd, e'en to madness, wben I think To copy out our father's bright example. On the proud victor: ev'ry time he's nam'd He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her: Pharsalia rises lo my view!-I see
His eyes, bis looks, bis actions, all betray it Th’ insulting, tyrant, prancing o'er the field, But still the smotber'd fondness burns within Strew'd with "Rome's citizens, and drench'd in slaughter;
When most it swells, and labours for a vent, His horses hoofs wet with patrician blood! The sense of honour, and desire of fame, Oh, Portius! is not there some chosen curse, Drive the big passion back into his heart
. Some hidden thunder in the stores of hear'n, Wbat, shall an African, shall Juba's heir Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man Reproach great Cato's son, and show the world Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin? A virtue wanting in a Roman soul? Por. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave grealness,
stings behind them. And mix'd with too much horror to be envied: Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, show How does the lustre of our father's actions, A virtue that has cast me at a distance, Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, And thrown me out in the pursuits of bonour? Break out, and burn with more triumphant Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the way to
brightness! His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, him;
Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
of friends! Marc. Who knows not this? But what can Pardon a weak, distemper'd soul, that swells Cato do
With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, Against a world, a base, degen'rate world, The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes: That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to He must not find this softness hanging on me. Caesar?
[Exit. Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
Enter SEMPRONIUS. A poor epitome of Roman greatness,
Sem. Conspiracies neper should be And; coverd with Numidian guards, direcls
form'd Å feeble army, and an emply senate,
Tban executed. What means Portius here? Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain. I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble By heav'n, such virtues, join'd with such success, And speak a language foreign to my heart. Distracts my very soul! our father's fortune
[Aside Would almost templ us to renounce bis precepts. Good morrow, Portius; let us once embrace Por. Remember what our father oft has Once more embrace, while yel we both are free told us:
To-morrow, should we thus express ou "The ways of heav'n are dark and intricate;
friendship, Puzzled'in mazes, and perplex'd with errors, Each might receive a slave into his arms. Our understanding traces them in vain, This sun, perhaps, this morning sun's the last Lost and bewilderd in the fruitless search; Thal e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. Nor sees with how much art the windings run, Por. My father has this morning call’d to Nor where the regular confusion ends.
gether Marc. These are suggestions of a mind at To this poor ball, bis little Roman senale
(The leavings of Pharsalia), to consult Oh, Portius, didst thou laste bul half the griefs If he can yet oppose the mighly torrent That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk That bears down Rome and all her gods before i thus coldly.
Or must at length give up the world to Caesa Passion unpilied, and successless love, Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rom Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate
Can raise her senate more than Cato's presena My other griess.-Vere but my Lucia kind- His virtues render our assembly awful, Por. Thou seest not that thy brother is thy They strike with something like religious fea rival;
and make ev'n Caesar Iremble at the head But I must hide it, for I know thy temper. Of armies slush'd with conquest. Ob,
Portius! Now, Marcus, now thy virlue's on the proof, Could I but call that wondrous man my fathe Put forth thy utmost strength, work ev'ry nerve, Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious And call up all thy father in thy soul: To thy friend's vows, I might be blesi indee To quell the lyrant love, and guard thy heart Por Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou ta On this weak side, where most our nalure fails,
of love Would be a conquest worthy Calo's son. To Marcia, wbilst ber father's life's in dange
Mare, Alas, the counsel which I cannot take, Thou might'st as weli court the pale, trei Instead of bcaling, but upbraids my weakness.