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tures feel a similar, a kindred plea- of this existence, that thy foftening soul
sure, in the deep-wrought distresses At length may learn, what energy the
of the well-imagined scene? Here. of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide
the endeavour is, to introduce of Puffin, swelling with distress and pain,
whatever is dreadful or pathetic, To mitigate the sharp, with gracious drops
whatever can harrow up the feel. Of cordial Pleasure. ilk the faithful
ings, or extort the tear. And the youth,
deeper and more tragical the scene Why the cold urn of her, whom long he
becomes, the more it agitates the So often fills his arm? So often draws
several passions of terror, grief, or His lonely footsteps, at the filent hour,
pity-the more intensely it de- To pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
lights, even the most polished minds. O! he wiil tell thee, that the wealth of
They seem to enjoy the various and should ne'er feduce his bofom to forego
vivid emotions of contending paf. That sacred hour, when stealing from the
fions. They love to have the tear noise
trembling in the eye, aud to feel of care and envy, sweet remembrance
the whole foul rapt in thrilling sen- With Virtue's kindest looks, his aching
fations. For that monent, they breuit,
seem to forget the fiction; and af. And turns his tears to rapture. Ask the
terwards commend that exhibition croud,
most, in which they most entirely Which fi es impatient from the village-
loit light of the author, and of their
own situation, and were alive to all To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when

far below
the unutterable vibrations of strong The cruel winds have hurled upon the
or melting fenfibility.

coast “ Taking it, then, for granted, Some helpless bark: whilst sacred Pity that in the contemplation of many The general eye, or Terror's icy hand

melts scenes of distress, both imaginary Smites their distorted limbs, or horreng and real, a gratification is felt, let us hair, endeavour to account for it, by While every mother closer to her breaft mentioning some of those princi. Catches her child; and, pointing where ples, woven into the web of hu- Foam through the shattered vessel, ihrieks man nature, by its benevolent

aloud, Creator, on which that gratification As one poor wretch, that spreads his pia depends.

“ Dr. Akenside, with his accuf. For succour, swallowed by the roaring tomed strength and brilliancy of


As now another, dashed against the rock, colouring, describes, and accounts Drops lifeless down. O deemelt thou infor it in the following manner.


deed will make no apology for the length No kind endearment here, by nature of the quotation.


To mutual terror, and compassion's tears? « Behold the ways

No sweetly melting fuftness, which atof heaven's eternal destiny to man!

tracts For ever juit, benevolent, and wife!

O'er all that edge of pain, the social That Virtue's awful steps, kowe'er pur. To this their proper action, and their

powers. sued

end ?" By vexing fortune, and intrusive pain, Should never be divided from her chaste, The Poet pursues the sentiment in Her fair attendant, Pleasure. Need Turge the same animated imagery, deThy tardy thought, through all the varie ous round

fcribing the strong, but pleasurable


teous arms


fersations, which the soul feels, in tion. The cause assigned by Mr. reading the sufferings of heroes, Addison, the fense of our own fe who nobly died in the cause of li- curity, may be supposed to have berty, and their country :

some share in the mass of feelings

That of Dr. Akentide may be al“ When the pious band of youths, who fought for freedom, and lowed to have a still larger proportheir fires,

tion. Let us attempt to trace fome Lie Gde by side in gore.”

of the rest.

6. There are few principles in Or, in the strong movemonts of in- human nature of more general and dignation and revenge againit the important influence, than that of tyrant, who invades that liberty, sympathy. A late ingenious writ. and enslaves that country.

er, led by the fashionable idea of • When the patriot's tear

fimplifying all the springs of huStarts from thine eye, and thy extended man nature into one iource, has, in

his beautiful Theory of Moral SenIn fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove, timents, endeavoured to analyfe a To fire the impious wreath on Philip's very large number of the feelings

brow, Or dash O&avius from his trophied car;

of the heart into sympathetic vibraSay-Dues thy secret soul repine to taste

tion. Though it appears to me The big diftress? Or, would'nt thou then most probable, that the human exchange

mind, like the human body, polThose heart-ennobling sorrows for the lot feffes various and distinct springs of Of him, who fits amid the gaudy herd of mute barbarians, bending to his nod,

action and of happiness, yet he has And bears alost his gold-invested front, fhewn, in an ainazing diversity of And says within himself, “I am a king, instances, the operation and im. And wherefore should the clamorous voice portance of this principle of human of woe

nature. Intrude upon mine ear ?"

Let us apply it to our

present subject. * The sentiment of this charm- “ We naturally sympathize with ing and moral poet is, that sympa- the passions of others. But, if the thetic feelings are virtuous, and passions they appear to feel be not therefore pleasant. And from the those of mere distress alone; if

, whole, he deduces this important midst the scenes of calamity, they conclufion; that every virtuous display fortitude, generofity, and emotion must be agreeable, and that forgiveness ; if,“ rifing fuperior this is the sanction, and the reward to the cloud of ills which covers of virtue. The thought is amic them,” they nobly stand firm, col. ble. The conclusion noble. But lected, and patient; here, a full still the solution appears to me to higher source of pleasure opens be imperfect.

upon us, from complacence, admi. “ We have already said, that the ration, and that unutterable fym. pleasure ariting from the contem- pathy, which the heart feels with plation of diftreisful scenes is a com- virtuous and heroic minds. By the pounded feeling, arising from feveral operation of this principle, we place distinct sources in the human breatt. ourselves in their fruation; we The kind and degree of the sensa- feel, as it were, some share of that tion must depend upon the various conscious integrity and peace, which hlendings of the feveral ingredi- they must enjoy. Hence, as before ents which enter into the compofi- observed, the pleasure will vary,



Eoth as to its nature and degree, ac- term. How agreeable it is, to have
cording to the scene and characters the soul called forth to exertion and
before us. The shock of contend- sensibility, let the Gamester wit.
ing armies in the field,--the ocean nefs, who, unable to endure the
wrought to tempeít, and covered lassitude and sameness of unanimated
with the wreck of ihatiered vefsels, luxury, runs with eagerness to the
-and a worthy family silently, yet place where, probably, await him
nobly bearing up against a multi- all the irritation and agony of tu-
tude of surrounding sorrows, will multuous passions.
excite very different emotions, be- “ Again ; it a law of our nature,
cause the component parts of the that opposite passions, when felt in
pleasurable senfation consist of very succession, and, above all, when
different materials. They all ex- felt at the same moment, heighten
cite admiration; but admiration, and increase each other, Ease suce
how diversified, both as to its de- ceeding pain, certainty after fa-
gree and its caufe ! These feveral spense, friendship after averfion, are
ingredients may, doubtless, be so unspeakably stronger than if they
blended together, that the pleasure had not been thus contrasted. In
fhall make but a very small part of this conflict of feelings, the mind
the mixed sensation. The more a- riles from passive to active energy.
greeable tints may bear little pro- It is roused to intense sensation; and
portion to the terrifying red, or the it enjoys that peculiar, exquisite,
gloomy black

and complex feeling, in which, as
“In many of the infiances which in many articles of our table, the
have been mentioned, the pleasure acid and the sweet, the pleasurable
muft arise chiefly, if not solely, and painful pungencies are so hap-
from the circumitanccs, or accom- pily mixed together, as to render
panyments of the scene. The sub- the united sensation amazingly more
lime feelings excited by the view of strong and delightful.
an agitated ocean, relieve and soften “ We have not yet mentioned.
thote occafioned by the shipwreck. the principle of curiofity, that busy
And the awe excited by the pre- and active power, which appears fo
fence of thousands of men, acting early, continues almost unimpaired
as with one soul, and displaying so long, and to which, for the wifest
magnanimity and firmness, in the ends, is annexed fo great a fenfe of
molt folemn trial, tempers those enjoyment. To this principle, ra-
sensations of horror and of pain, ther than to a love of cruelty,
which would arise from the field of would I ascribe that pleasure, which

children sometimes seem to feel The gratification we are at. from torturing flies and lesser anitempting to account for, depends mals. They have not yet formed also, in a very confiderable degree, an idea of the pain they inflict. upon a principle of human nature, It is, indeed, of unspeakable confeimplanted in it for the wifest ends; quence, that this practice be checkthe exercise which it gives to the ed as toon and as effectually as posmind, by routing it to energy and fible, because it is so important, feeling.' Nothing is so infupports that they learn to connect the ideas able, as that languor and ennui, of pleasure and pain, with the mofor the full expression of which, tions and actions of the animal creour language does not afford a ation. And, to this principle may 1785.



we also refer, no small share of that nate. In others, there will be ex. pleasure in the contemplation of quitite enjoyment. distressful feenes, the springs of " The final cause of this conftiwhich, in the human heart, we are tution of the human mind is pronow endeavouring to open.

bably, that by means of this strong " To curiosity, then-to sympa- sensation, the foul may be preserva thy-to mental exertion—to the ed in continual and vigorous moidea of our own security-and to tion—that its feelings may be kept the strong feelings occafioned by lively and tender-that it may learn viewing the actions and passions of to practise the virtues it admiresmankind in interesting situations, do and to aslist those to whom its symwe ascribe that gratification, which pathy can reach-and that it may the mind feels from the survey of thus be led, by these social exer many scenes of sorrow. We have cises of the heart, to soften with called it a pleasure ; but it will ap- compassion--to expand with beneproach towards, or recede from plea- volence--and generously to aslift in fure, according to the nature and every case, in which asistance can proportion of the ingredients, of be given. An end this sufficient, which the sensation is composed. “ To allert eternal Providence, In some cases, pain will predomi- And justify the ways of Gud to man.”

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[ From Heron's Letters of Literature. ] OUR opinion of the co- farce ; for it is the character of that

medy of Le Mechant 1 nation always to be in extremes. heartily subscribe to, though Mr. In short, if we except Fontaine, I Gray has pronounced it the best co- know of no writer in the French medy he ever read. It is perfectly language who has real claiin to poin the style of the French tragedy, etical merit. Their language is not inactive, and declamatory. Yet I the language of verfe ; nor are do not wonder at Mr. Gray's fa- their thoughts, or their costume, vourable opinion of it, when he ad. those of poetry. Fontaine uses their mired the hilly declamation of Ra- language familiarly, in which way cine so much as to begin a tragedy only it can be used to advantage. in his very manner; which how. His thoughts are likewise in the ever he was fo fortunate as not to style of mere familiar humour. Cogo through with.

mic tales may be well written in "Our stage, thank heaven, refuses French, but nothing else. Their the infipidity of the French drama; prose writers, I readily allow, yield and requires an action, a business, a to none in the world; but of their vigour, to which the run of Ge- poetry the bon mot faid by one of rontes and Damons, which all their themielves to Voltaire, which was, comedies are stuffed with, are mere Les François n'ont pas la tête estrangers. Moliere, in atteinping pique, may be with great justice en. to introduce laughterinto the French larged thus, Les François n'ont pas comedy, has blundered upon inere la tête poerique.

" In English comedy Congreve, written without a strong character I believe, stands without a rival. in it, witness Douglas. The chaHis plots have great depth and art; racters of tragedy therefore cannot perhaps too much : his characters have too much truth: but those of are now and strong: his wit genu- comedy ought to resemble the paintine; and to exuberant, that it has cd scenes, which, if examined too been alledged as his only fault, that nearly, are inare daubings; but at he makes all his characters inherit a proper dittınce have the very his own wit. Yet this fault will truth of nature, while the beauties not be imputed by adepts, who of more delicate paintings would know that the dialogue of our co- not be perceived. medy cannot poffibly be too spirited “ Sentimental comedy, as it is and epigrammatic, for it requires called, though of late birth in Enga language as well as characters land, is yet the comedy of Menanstronger than nature.

der and of Terence. Terence is "Shakspeare excelsin the strength quite full of sentiment, and of a of his characters and in wit ; but tenderness which accompanies its as plot must be regarded as an er and so barren of wit and humour, sential of good comedy, he must not that I only remember two paffages be erected as a model in the comic in his fix comedies that provoke a academy ; a loss sufficiently com- . smile ; for a smile is all they can pensated by the reflection, that it provoke. The one is that scene were vain to place him as a model which passes after the eunuch is whose beauties transcend all imita- supposed to have ravilhed a young tion.

lady. This is the only proof of “ Tragedy and comedy both the humour of Terence : and the ought certainly to approach as near only sample of his wit we have in the truth of life as possible ; info- the reply of an old miser to one much that we may imagine we are who he expected brought him tida placed with Lc Diable Boiteux on ings of a legacy, but who instead the roof of the house, and per- thereof makes very gravely a most ceive what passes within. This rule ral observation to the impatient old in tragedy cannot be too ftri&tly ob- man, who peevishly retorts,“What! ferved, though it has escaped al- haft thou brought nothing here but most every writer of modern tra- one maxim ?” gedy; the characters of which speak “ Sentimental comedy bore & fimiles, bombalt, and every thing very short sway in England. In except the language of real life; deed it was incompatible with the so that we are eternally tempted to humour of an English audience, exclaim, as Falstaff does to Pistol, who go to a coinedy to laugh, and “ Pr’ythee speak like a man of this not to cry. It was even more abworld."

furd, it may be added, in its faults “ In comedy this rule ought by than that of which Congreve is the no means to be adhered to; as infi- model ; for sentiments were spoken pidity is the worst fault writing can by every character in the piece, have; but particularly comedy; whercas one sentimental character whose chief quality it is to be poig- was surely enough. If a man met nant. Now poignancy cannot be with his mistress, or left her ; if he effected without itrong character; was suddenly favoured by fortune, but an excellent tragedy may be

or suddenly the object of her ha.

H 2


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