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VIII, and Queen Elizabeth, ice. Yet even though portraits were used in books, I find no trace of single prints being wrought off in that age. Those I have mentioned in a former volume as composing part cf the collection of Henry VIII, were probably the productions of foreign artists. The first book that appeared with cuts from copper-pluses, at least the first that £0 industrious an enquirer as Mr. Ames had observed, was, " The Birth of Mankind, otherwise called, The Woman's Book," dedicated to Queen Catharine, and published by Thomas Rolande in 1540, with many small copper cuts, but to thele no name was affixed."
jtn EJkj on History, in tbrtt Epistles to Edward Gibbon, Esq. tuitb Nous. By William Hay ley, E/q.
IT has been the fortune of few potts : to begin their career with suili universal, and, we may add, undivided applause, as the author of the essay now before us. It is no small part of his merit, that in times, not perhaps so very deficient in poetic abilities, as remarkable for countenancing the most frivolous and licentious abuse of them, he has made choice of subjects which the English muse need not blulh to decorate. The Essjy on Painting is a convincing proof of his talents in that mixed Kind of poetry which is partly didactic, partly descriptive; and his EpilUe on the Death of Mr. Thornton, and the Ode to Mr. Howard, shew that he is no weak master of the pathetic.
His poeucal talents, without be
ing marked by any strong cast of original genius, are of that fort, which is well qualified to adorn philosophy, and illuminate the dictates of reason and good fense. He possesses a considerable command of figurative language: his versification, though it has no great compass or variety, is easy, flowing, and harmonious: his Invention is quick and fertile: his imagery new and various: his similies are novel, frequent, and happily applied.
The poem now before us is divided into three parts. In the first, after some general reflections on his subject, the author traces the progress of history from
—the rude symbol on the artiest flone—
to those models of historical composition which we owe to the genius of Athens. The following reflections on the scarcity of great historians, and the impossibility of* attaining to perfection, are equally just and beautiful.
Pure, faultless writing, like transmuted
gold, Mortals may wish, but never shall behold: Let genius llill this glorious object' own, And seek Perfection's philosophic'ftonc! "For while the mind, in study's toilsome
hours, Tries on the long research her latent
powers, New woniltrs rife, to fay her patient
thought, Inferior only to the prize she sought.
Nor are those lines less poetical in which he introduce- Herodotos at the head of his historic worthies.
-Behold the historic sire!
Ionic roses mark his soft attire)
When her 'pVoud' galley Biam-d the Persian
van, ■ •": ^
And yatelul Xerxes owf.'d her more'than
man!; ■ ,,.
. The cbancters of Thucydide:;, Xen/ophon, Folybius, Ssllult, l,tyy, and Tacirus, are afterwa ds drawn with great sp.rit and judgment. . , • •
• The- poet next addresses himself to Biography, of which he ieems to .consider Plutarch as the father. This mull be done rather on the account of his excellency, than the priority of his claim; since Diogenes Lacrtius 'has left us a valuable work of the. fame .kind. But probably the author has omitted this latter writer, as having compiled rather the history of philosophical opinions^ th in of the actions of mankind.— The characters of Marcel linus and Anna Comnena conclude this part.
The second epistle commences with the Mo.,kish historians, to whose merits and defects the author has done justice in a manner much to the credit Lo'h of his can dour ;;nd di cernniertt ■*—The principal Italian, Spanish, and Kronen writers lollow, ;md these are succeeded by the later hillcijns of our own c<uin:ry. The nemcrous extracts we have aheady given from liiis part of the poem, in our poetical article, makes it unnecessary to add more here, and will in a great measure enable our readers to judge for themselves cf our (author's abilities both as a poet and a critic.
The sources of the principal defects in hiliory, and its general laws, are the subjects of the third epistle.—This, as our author leems (0 have been well aware, is the
most imporrant and difficult part of his design.
It has been well observed of the fffay on tri,Jl..ttaVtrst, '• thatRoscomrnoo has indeed defer veJ his praises, had they been given with discernment, and bellowed i ot on the rules themselves, but the- art With which they are introduced, and the deco.ations with w ich they are adorned." As'to Mr. Haj ley, though we cannot allow t'-at he deserves no pra.fe Es the legislator of hiliory, yet we trull confess that he is very far from having given us a complete cc<!e. In enumerating the delect; of historians, he has confined i imlelf » what relates to the fuiject-n.atlcr of history, and has no. enteied at all into those which arise from faults in thesttle and manner. Tne rules which he afterwards lays down oa that subject, are too general and indefinite to'be capable 01 useful application.
Vanity, national and private, flattery, party-spirit, 'iur^trst'tioo, and false philosophy, are tfafc sources from which he derives the principal faults in history. These. tqpici he has touched with great spirit, and illustrated with a variey of poetical images. Speaking of flutery, lie fays:
Cut arts us deeper fanle, and baser wre-sg,
plume, Or stain with Slander's gall the Slaltsnwn'i
tomb: Stay, sacrilegious Caves! with reverence
tread O'er the blest allies of the worthy dead! See! where, uninjuaM by the eharneT*
damp, The Vestal, Virtues with undving limp.
F»nd oMiq: toil, and jealous of her trust-, Siti. the Jceen Guardian of their sacred
dust, And thus indignant, from the depth of
earth, Checks ypur vile aim, and vindicates their
worth: ** Hence ye! who buried excellence be
"lit'd,' u To sooth the sordid spleen of living
"Pride; "Co! gild with Adulation's feeble r»y "TV imperial pajeaul of your puffing
*«' oay 1 '.
*' Nor hope to stain, on base Detraction's
"scroll, "A Tutty's morals, or a Sidney's
*' foul I" Just Nature will abhor, ar.d Virtue scorn, T hit Pen, tho' eloquence its page adorn, Which, Lrib'd by Interest, or from vain
pretence To subtler Wit, and deep-discerning
Sense, Would blot the praise on public toils bc
stowV, And Patript passions, as a jest, explode.
The character of an accomplished historian is drawn with great force and boldness.
example of Milton. But the worst' defect in an historian, our author lays down to be, h:s supporting any system of tyranny. With his warm and animated expostulations on this subject, we shall conclude our extracts.
Neglect alone repays their flight offence, Whose wanu'iin^ wearies our' lewilder'd
fense: But just Abhorrence brands his guilty
Whod.r^s to vilify his Cuntry's fame;
g'-iss-! And pour from thence the poison of the
Asp; The jnurd'rous falsehood, stifling Honour's' ♦ breast. ,, -,
Th? slavish ten.-t, Public Virtue's death! With all ^ that unaerminea a Nation's
health, And robs the People of rheir richest wealth I Ye tools of Tyranny 1 whose servile guile Would jhuspol.ute the r-wrds of our iile, BthulJ your Leauur curst with public
hate, And read your just reward in Brady's
Far other views the liberal Genius fire, Whose toila to pure Historic praise aspire; Nor Moderation's dupe, nor Fact.oil's
brave, Nor Guilt", apologist, nor Flatters'* (lave; Wife, tu. not tunning; temperate, not
■ cold; Servant of Truth, and in that service bold; Free from all tiass, save that jull conttoul By which mild Nature sways the manly foul, And Reason's philanthrope spirit draws To Virtue's inrcreit, and Freedom's cause; Those great ennoblers of the human name, l'iire springs of power, of happiness, and fame 1
The necessity of chusing a subject that is important and interesting, is judiciouily shewn from the failure of Knolles; and the danger of dwelling on the distant and minute parts of a subject really interesting, is pointed ou, in the
Memoirs of the lift os David Garrick, Esq. inters cr/tJ -with Characters and AntcMes of his Theatrical Contemporaries. By Thomas Davies. 2 Vol. 8v«.
THE life of Mr. Garrick is so intimately connected with, the hist .ry of the stage, of which he was the unrivalled ornament and a successful manager for upwards of thirty yer.rs, that his biographer has judiciously chosen to join them in tnese volumes, i he lovers of theatrical anecdotes will find them a valuable: continuation ol the A/olojy of Coiley Cibb r, and both thole who act, and those who go to see plays, will meet with, Q.4 hints
hints for improvement, or subjects : for comparison.—The author appears to be everv way well qualified for t e ufk he has uncertain n. A Ion.' acquaintance with the stage, as he himself infurms us, and an e r> est inclination to excel m the p oiession of acting, to which he was ter many years attached, afforded him an opportunity to know much of plays and theatrical history. To this account of himself we must in justice add, that the many proofs of candour and good fense, which he has given throughout his performance, leave no room to suspect, that he h s wilfully misrepresented either facts or characters.
As we have already given our readers an account of the Life of Mr. Gatr'ck, which we do not find to differ materially from what is related of him in these memoirs, we Hull select for their entertainment, such parts of the work before us, as relate to the most celebrated of his cotemporaries.
Of Mr. Flectwood, the patentee, and the revolt of the comedians of Drury-lane, in 1743, he gives the followii g account.
*' Charles Fleetwood, Esq; was a gentleman of an ancient and respectable family, possessed of a large paternal estate. His person was genteel, and his manner elegant. His acquaintance, in the early part ot life, with certain persons of rank and distinction, proved fatal to him; they drew him into many fashionable irregularities and excesses; they gave him an unlucky and extravagant habit for p'a>. Amongst those who are addicted to gamiig, there are many young men of family and fortune, who are imprudent and
undesigning; they generally fall a prey to the artful, the avaricious, and fraudulent; the betrayed, in their turns, become the betrayers; nor from this censure was Mr. Fleet wood exempted.
With the remains of his fortune he was persuaded, by some of his acquaintance, to purchase the greatest part of Drury-lane patent. He fortunately bought at a time when the proprietors, by a run of ill success, were become weary of their bargain, and willing to fell cheap what they had bought at a high price. They had weakly fallen out with the mo'! esteemed of their players, 00 account of a small advance in salary, which they had demanded; the sum in dispute did not, I believe, much exceed 4001. per annum. The aitors revolted, and opened the little theatre in the Hay-market with some appearance of success.
Fleetwocd brought back the fecedi'rs, and united the two companies of Drury-lane and the Hay-market. When this was accomplished, he tried all methods to strengthen his troop, by gaining some actors of merit from Co* vent-garden theatre, with large and unusual offers. Mr. Quin was pir u.tied to leave his old master Rich, under whose theatrical banners he had fought twenty years, for the advantageous income of 500I. a salary till then unknown in any English theatre. This was, indeed, to him an annual increase of 20c 1. but it moft be confessed that Quin offered to remain in his old station for a lei's sum than that which Flectwood offered to give him; but Rich refused the proposal, and declared
that that no actor was worth more than 300I. per annum.
for some >tars, by the prudent advice of the princip-.il players, more especially, I bel'eve, ot Mr. Char] s Macklin, \v»io was the only player 1 ever heard of, that made acting a science; and the unremitted labours ot this actor, Quin. Cl:ve, Piitchard, and some others, the theatre at Drury-lane was in a Mate of considerable credit, and generally fi'led with the choicest company. But it was impoffibte to relirain so irregular and expensive a man as the patentee within the bounds of prudence and osconomy. After he had happily been obliged to forsake the practice of high play, and had deserted Arthur's *, he was seized with an unaccoun able passion for low diversion, and took a strange delight in the company of the meanest of the human species. This man of genteel address and polite manners conceived a peculiar fondness for the profess-rs of the art of b'xing; hi-, time was divided between sturdy athletics and ridiculous buffoons; .between Broughton, James, and Taylor, the most eminent of our boxers, and the tumblers of Sadler's-Wefls; the heroic combatants of Hockky in the Hole and the Bear-Garden graced the patentee's levee almost every morning.
Some time before Mr, Garrick's engagement with this manager, be had brought all the inmates of Sadler's-Wells upon his stage, and entertained the public with sights of tail monsters and contemptible rope-dancers.-—
The theatre was farmed to one
Pierson, his treasurer, who had lent large sums of money to the manager. This fellow consideredthe merits of the best actors in no other view than as they contributed to the payment of his loan; the just and legal demands of the actors were treated by him with insolence and contempt: he was civil to Mr. Garrick, indeed, because he hoped, by hi- acting, to get back the money he had niqued upon the patent.
In this distracted state of Fleetwood's management, the ill treatment of the players seemed to call aloud for redress. Bailiffs were often in possession of the theatre; and the properties, cloaths, and other stage ornaments of the comedians, were sometimes seized upon by these low implements of the law. Many ridiculous contests and foolish squabbles between the actors and these licensed harpies might here be recorded for the reader's amusement; 1 shall content myself with relating one of them. The hat of Kv»g Richard the Third, by being adorned with jewels of paste, feathers, and other ornaments, seemed, to the sheriff's officers, a prey worthy of their seizure; but honest Davy, Mr. Garrick's Welch' servant, told them, they did not know what they were about; " For, look you,'' said Davy, «« that hat belongs to the king." The fellows imagining that what was meant of Richard the Third was spoken of George the Second, resigned their prey, though with some reluctance.
Repeated, but ineffectual applications, were made to the patentee, for removal of grievances,
Generally called White's Chocolate-House.