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and of the captives whom they bring pire, the givers of laws, and the inhome to torture, by some uncouth fi- ventors of arts, to the list of their die gures scratched upon the bark of trees. vinities. And, by their ignorance, All those nations, though unacquaint- their credulity, and the wildness of ed with that happy art which neither imaginations, they are led to afcribe paints ideas, nor expresses words by to those superior beings, actions, pasarbitrary marks, but merely uses signs, fions, and characters, which are, ale to denote simple articulate founds ; most wholly, ideal and imaginary. are, yet, able to perpetuate the me. Hence, in our inquiries into the carmory of events, by means different ly history of nations, we find, to refrom oral tradition. We may then ward our labours, and to gratify our reasonably conjecture, that the Greeks, curiosity-often only allegory and fico who, at the time of the fiege of Troy, tion,-che legends of enthusiasm and do not appear to have been in a more superstition : we find the peculiar deibarbarous state than fonie of those na- ties of every nation, establishing gotions, would also endeavour to hand vernment, promulgating laws, and down to posterity, by some kind of inventing arts : we see these fame di. record, an account of their circum- vidities continuing to protect their de. kances and transactions; and that Ho• fcendants and worshippers, to bless and mer may have received his informa- favour the arts which they have intion from nonuments of indisputable vented, and to punish the violation of authority,
those laws which they have instituted. 2dly, Though we meet with many We may, indeed, exclaim against the absurd and improbable stories in the vanity and imposture of those people, Grecian mythology, and even in the who thus place themselves under the earlier periods of Grecian history ; peculiar care of heaven, and represent yet the Greeks do not appear to bave themselves as being so nearly related been more addi&ed to falsehood and to the gods. But those tales and lefiction than other nations in similar gends, which we juftly reject as fabucircumstances. In the carly stages of lous, spring from a different source : fociety, while men are yet in a favage they proceed not from vanity and imftate, or, at least, have not advanced potture, but from wonder, ignorance, far towards knowledge and refinement; enthusiafim, and superstition. Not ontheir ignorance, their wants, their ly the earlier period of the Grecian hopes, and fears, naturally lead them biltory is involved in fiction of this to form many notions concerning the kind; but the Romans, the Egyptibeings to whom they are related, and ans, the Mexicans, and the Peruvithe circumítances in which they are ans, entertain us with as marvellous placed, which a more accurate know. stories, concerning their origin, as the ledge of nature, and of themselves, Grecks. Had Juvenal reviewed, with would teach them to reject as ground- liberal impartiality, the early hittory of less and absurd. At this period, they Rome, he would have found that the regard all their pains and sufferings as Greeks were not more inclined to the inflicted, and all their comforts and marvellous than his ancestors. The pleasures as bestowed, by the imme. Romans, envying the elegant taste and diate agency of some fuperior beings; genius of the Greeks, lo superior to and the objects of their worship be- their own in philosophy and the fine come almost as numerous as the differ- arts, were unwilling to allow them the ent accidents or circumstances which palm, also of patriotism and salour. affect them with pleasure or pain. As They, therefore, bafely prefumed to they advance farther towards civiliza. insinuate, that the Greeks owed the tion, they add the founders of em- fame of the Perban and Pelopoppes
fian wars, rather to the artful and e- authentic. Here then we perceive, loquent relations of their historians, that the erroneous account was not than to their valour and virtue. If universally received, nor was there a. Thucydides and Diodorus Siculus ny want of genuine records. But no complain of the imperfection, and con- cotemporary of Homer's contradicts tradictory infoi mation of those early his account of the Trojan war ; no records which they had occasion to record, of an equally ancient date, re. consult; let us reflect, that, historians mains, to prove that he has misreprehave always been disposed to affect sented its circumstances or events. complaints of this kind, in order to And if we examine the accounts magnify, in our eyes, their own in which the Grecian historians, orators, dustry and discernment, and to make and poets, have handed down to us, us overlook their partialities and mis- concerning the circumstances and trane takes. The story of Harmodius and factions of their countrymen; we will Aristogiton may, indeed, be regarded find them no lefs probable and confift. as an inttance of the inaccuracy of ent than the early history of the As. Grecian records. But how could fyrians, Romans, and Britons. Nay, Thucydides have corrected the gene- we find such a variety of historical ral mistake concerning it, if that ac. monuments aniong the Greeks, as we, count which he rejects had been unie in vain, with and search for among versally believed ? He must have re- other nations. ceived his information from fome me. The argument which the author of morial, more authentic than that on the dissertation draws from the prowhich the common opinion was found- pensity of the Greeks to falsehood, ed ; and the date of this memorial and from their inattention to the hiss must have been nearly co-eval with tory of their ancestors, falls, therefore, the murder of the tyrant'; otherwise to the ground. Thucydides advances a fiction, or prefers what was plausible to what was
[To be conclnded in our next.]
A Letter from Lisbon, containing an Account of a Theatrical Representation DEAR BROTHER,
to permit such a school of immorality HEN I promised in a for- in a public manner, much less would
mer lecter to give you an ac- she suffer women to exhibit on the count of a theatrical representation we stage, were it open ; being of opinion, had been present at the evening which that, permitting women thus to act in preceded all our confusion, I did not public, would have too much the apo then imagine I should be able to join pearance of patronizing the favourite to it the account of a real farce I have vice of her country; for the principal feen performed by this whole Court object is to obviate public scandal, and fince, which is ridicule and burlesque this agrees with what I have mentioned exceeds, in my opinion, every thing on former occasions, as well as with a the grossest of all farcical performances standing advice the old Fryars in this ever produced, in the groffest times, country are ever giving to the young upon a theatre.
ones, fi non caste, tantum modo caute, There is no public theatre here at pre- • if you cannot be chaste, at least be sent(1779) the pious Queen not chuling cautious.' Accordingly the wits here
say, From Sketches of Society and Manners in Portugal. In a series of Letters from Asthur: William Coatigan, Éfg. 2 vols. 8vo.
say, her Majesty, by virtue of her acquainted with a few days ago by an absolute authority, may prevent the old and respectable English merchant women from acting in public, but, they of this place, to whom I happened to thank God, it is not in her power to pay a forenoon vifit, as I think it comes prevent them from playing their parts in somewhat to the purpose. in private.
We were leaning over the balcony It was on occasion of the anniver- of his apartment, conversing about in. fary of a marriage, that we were invi- different matters, when the old gen. ted to dine, as well as the Britis En- tleman desired me to remark a itout voy a d several other persons of note, at big man coming on horseback; he was a Nobleman's country-house, about fix dressed in a scarlet uniform with very miles from hence, where there was a broad gold lace ; he looked fierce, numerous company assembled. Dur- haughty, and stiff, as he went along, ing dinner, and especially the desiert, observing all the rules of equitatiet which was elegant, the Motes, and with a scrupulous nicely. I suppose the Glozas * flew about in abundance. (laid I to my friend) he is a Fidalgo, Among others, two grave and learned and a German officer. You are right, Fryars, laying aside the usual aofterity (replied_he) sit down and you ihall of their behaviour, seemed entirely de- hear. During the war in 1762, that yoted to wit, mirth and good humour, gentleman raised a troop of horse for and one of them eren plied his glass the service at his own expence, and so heartily, that the effects of it were in return he then obtained the rank perfectiy visible before the dessert was of Captain in the army: having fereover, and before the whole company ral good horses in his troop, there rose from table his Reverence was led was a fine Spanish one particularly, for reeling to bed; a light many of the which Major Luttrel, of Colonel Burcompany appeared to be extremely goyne's Englith regiment of Light shocked at, being here so very uncom- Dragoons then serving here, took a mon: the men at dinner drink fine fancy, and was desirous of purchaling cold water in abundance, and seldom him : They accordingly entered on a above two half glasses of wine, and as bargain before witnesses, and it was afor the ladies, scarce any of them greed he was to have the horse the know the taste of it. A drunkard is fame evening for fixty moidores; but held in contempt and detestation, and before evening came the Captain chanthe very appellation of Bebado) drunk- ged his mind, and sent the Major word ard, seriously applied, is reckoned e. he could not let him have the horse, qual to the bittereft term of reproach unless he advanced considerably bethat can be bestowed in the English yond the price agreed on. Major Lutlanguage : on the contrary, nothing is trel, justly provoked at such a glaring more common among friends and ac- breach of integrity, went with his ito quaintance in conversation, than to terpreter to wait on the Captain, tellgive and receive the lie reciprocally, ing the interpreter beforehand, tha in serious as well as jocular discourse, though he could not speak the lanwithout any sort of offence being taken. guage of the country, yet he underSuch are the opposite customs of differ- stood it so well as to know if he inent nations, even in our limited conti- terpreted faithfully whatever he should nent of Europe, and this should teach tell him in English; and swearing, that us not to be surprised at finding a still if he did not, he would instantly run greater difference when we look farther him through the body. When they abroad into the world. And here I came to the Captain, Major Luftrei mult fubjoin an anecdote I was only asked him if he had not agreed in the
farendon * Extemporary Verses,
forenoon to sell him such a horse at every thing was covered with crimson such a price? To which the other rea- damasis, the curtains and draperies dily answered in the affirmative. He were of the same stuff, and ornamented then asked him why he now receded with a profusion of mock lace, both of from his bargain? The Captain said, gold and silver. A considerable deal he had receded from it because the more of company attended in the horse was too cheap, and that he evening than we had seen at dioner, would not part with him unless he and the front rows of the boxes were gave him eighty, instead of sixty moi- full of ladies, who looked charmingdores. Major Luttrell now ordered ly, and seemed to be there in the prohis interpreter to tell the Captain, per point of view. Their hair was that by his infamous behaviour he had done up in a wonderful variety of plaits Thewn himself to be a liar, a rascal, and braids, with a great degree 'of and a scoundrel. The Captain at this taste, and without caps, but a quanThrugged up his shoulders, and replied tity of beautiful flowers, both natural to the interpreter, he was forry the and artificial, supplied their place, and gentleman should take offence where were richly intermixed with sprigs of Done was intended; but said, he would diamonds, besides
breast-knots, part with his horse on no other terms. solitaires and pendants of the same, and On finding this, the Major directed the other precious stones. The performers interpreter to accquaint the Captain, were mostly of the proseslion brought that in France or England, if it hap- from Lisbon for the occasion, and our pened that one officer bestowed on entertainment consisted of three parts : another such epithets as he had just The first was a Portuguese comedy, done on him, the officer so grossly intermixed with some extraordiinsulted must and certainly would die nary singing ; the second was a most rectly call the other out and fight him. uncommon medley, but which I uns
The Captain, still preserving his derstood better, as I had formerly Jang froid, replied to the interpreter seen something like it in a puppet-low very deliberately, that what the gen- at Madrid ; the last was called a Span, deman said might be very true, for ish farce, or Entremez, in which the what he knew to the contrary, but actors attempted to speak Spanish, but that he as yet faw no good reason for did it wretchedly. preferring the practice of foreigners in The performers had a way of drawl. the present instance to that of his own ing out their words, and speaking country; that if he considered himself through the nose, so much more than as affronted, he should never be such I have perceived in ordinary conversa. a fool or a madman, as by calling out tion here, that I confess I lost much his antagonist, to offer him an equal of the wit and salt of the first part, and chance of taking his own life, while even many of the sentences, and the he knew of a safer and more certain thread of the plot, if it had any. One method of obtaining such fatisfaction thing I remarked was, that the laugh as he should judge adequate to the af. was chiefly kept up by the smut and front received. In other words, by repartees of an old woman, who was Stabbing him unaware, or by hiring employed as a procuress, or go-beaffallins to do so.'--Such is the point tween, and every time the opened her of honour in this high-spirited coun- mouth was followed with bursts of aptry.
plause. One scene I particularly noBut to return to the dramatical en- ticed was, that, where a young countertainment The theatre was neat, tryman, deeply smitten with the charms ly fitted up, but entirely in the fame of one of the ladies of the piece, look tafte with their churches and chapels; to bed, the uncle, in great confterna. Vol. VII. No 40.
tion, sends for a physician, who ap- As soon as the scene was shifted, pears at the patient's bedside, feels his the Eternal Father was seen again pulse, and makes him put out his descending, but now in great wrath, tongue, on which he makes some witty and without any lights or angels at. remarks, though not very decent: he tending him. He immediately calafterwards asks the patient where his led for Noah, who, it seems, was chief complaint lay? The patient re- ready in waiting, telling him he was plies, that he has had violent pains in fo provoked by the wickedness of manhis stomach and bowels, but that sincè kind, that he was resolved to drown he had a hearty fit of bralch---g them all together, and said he was a little before, he was much easier. heartily vexed that he had taken the This indecent joke produced a hearty trouble of creating such a set of unlaugh.
grateful scurvy fellows. But here the The next piece was more compre- piety of Noah interceded in their fa. hensive, and included more important vour, and at last, it was agreed that scenes of action, beginning, as it ought Noah should build an Ark, according to do, with the creation of the world: to the directions the Eternal Father Here we saw the (Padre Eterno) gave him; he therefore orders Noah Eternal Father, with a long white to go to the King's dockyard in Lif. beard, descend in a cloud, with a great bon, and call John Gonsalves (which number of lights and angels about him, is the name of the present Master Buil. and give orders for the creation of the der here) whom he defired Noah to world; over his head was drawn an employ under his own inspection in equilateral triangle, as an emblem of the work, assuring him he preferred the Trinity.
John Gonsalves's method to those of The next scene presented us with all their boasted French and English the serpent tempting Eve to eat the Builders, (this compliment to the na. apple, and, his Infernal Majesty the tion produced a great clap of approbaPrince of Darkness passed the most tion from the audience) after which exaggerated encomiunis on her beauty, the Eternal Father went up again to in order to engage her to eat, which, Heaven, and Noah to build his Ark. as soon as the had done, and had made Let no snarling French critic henceAdam do the same, there came a ter- forth cavil with your Shakespeare, for rible storm of thunder and lightning, the irregularity of his historical plays, in the midst of which we had a dance which only included the small period of Infernal Spirits, with the Devil in of twenty or thirty years, which va. the middle, all in high glee, and con- nish into a point when compared to gratulating their Monarch on the suc. the distance of time between the Crecess of his scheme against mankind; ation and the Flood, or between this the Devil was dressed in black, with lalt and the following scene of our scarlet stockings ; long ruffles, the frill piece, which confted of a conversation of his shirt, a broad lace on his hat, between St Christopher, (a Giant) and a large feather in it, all of the our Saviour, who was represented as same colour. While they were ex
a very pretty boy of about ten of ceedingly well diverted with their twelve years old, but very poorly drefdance, a voice from behind the stage sed, and the Devil, whom I readily pronounces, in a loud and folemn tone, knew again, having the same dress he the word JESUS, on which the whole appeared in before. The Devil comcompany of Devils sunk immediately plains grievously to the Saint of the irunder the stage through trap-doors, reparable mischief the coming of Chrift from which flames and black smoke had done to himself and his kingdom, were seen rising, till they were shut. faid, that he could now scarcely put