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FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
IT is the opinion of some per have not only attended, but written sons by no means deficient in good plays, it will follow, that theatres sense and respectability, that the are by no means so dangerous as atrical representations are injuri. bigotry and ignorance apprehend. ous to the morals of a people. Im- Addison, Young, and Johnson prest with this conviction they op. were not men, who would knowposed the establishment of a thea- ingly have encouraged immoraltre in this town, and now, in many ity, or have lessened the influence instances, abstain from attending it. of religion. · Prejudices of this nature arise The first of these writers wrote from a narrow education and ig: in defence of revelation, and was norance of the world ; since no not less distinguished by his piety civilized people ever existed, at than his literature. Since the inmong whom the dramatick muse vention of letters, no mortal author was not a distinguished favourite, ever produced so wonderful an efwhose smiles have been courted, fect on the morals and manners and whose labours have been ap- of society. He brought philosoplauded by the best and wisest phy from the libraries of the learnmen of all nations.
ed, and introduced her at the It would be superfluous to recur toilettes of ladies. During the to the sages of antiquity, and in- publication of the Spectator, nat form the reader, that Socrates and tional improvement became visible, Cicero were in the habit of attend- conversation took a more intering theatrical exhibitions, the lat- esting and edifying turn, dulness ter of whom was bound by the and impertinence fled before the closest ties of intimacy and affec- mighty magician, and even infideltion to the celebrated Roscius. It ity lost a portion of her audacity, might plausibly be objected, that and grew more modest and unasthese men, though virtuous and suming. Now this great sage not wise, were yet pagans, and conse- only attended plays, but in the quently not obliged to lead the immortal work alluded to, which strict exemplary life which chris. was expressly written for the relitianity requires. It ill becomes gious and moral improvement of those, who have embraced the gos- a nation, frequently discusses thepel, to encourage by their pres- atrical subjects, and passes numeence the idle amusements of a rous encomiums on his contemwicked world, and to sit listening porary dramatists. Nay, he wrote for hours together, amidst a pro- plays himself, and his tragedy of miscuous crowd, to the studied hu- Cato, whilst it increased his lepumours and fictitious distresses of tation as a writer, in no respect buffoons and mimicks. But if it diminished his authority as a moral can be shown, that the great and religious instructor. teachers of christian inorality, and Dr. Young was distinguished defenders of christian doctrines, by a religious sensibility, which
Vol. III. No. 4. Z
bordered on enthusiasın. Yet worth of Addison, Young, and christi.in and clergyman as he Johnson, inveigh against the iniwas, he thought it neither incon- moral tendency of dramatick exsisiunt with his profession, nor hibitions. The charge is not true derogatory from his dignity, to at the present day, and were Jerewiite plars. His Revenge, one nry Collier to rise from the grave, of the noblest productions in our he might justly ridicule the insiplanguage, will remain an ever. idity, but could not truly arraigo lasting monument of his genius, the morality of the modern drana. and will be read and acted as long Unfounded censures of this nature as that language shall be under- ought to be confined to the monks stoci.
of the cloister, or the fanaticks of If any man of the last century the tabernacle. As Johnson exstands enainently high in his re- presses it in my motto, harmless Iizious, moral, and literary char- mirth and salutary wo' are at presacier, that man is Dr. Samuel ent the innocent offspring of the Joinson. Tuis great moralist, theatre, and I have someumes exDotwithstanding the strictness of perienced as much edification from his principles, was fond of the a good play as from a good serdrama, and was the intimate friend mon. But should the play chance of David Garrick. He would to be some modern novelty, of no probably have written many plays, intrinsick worth, yet still I can dehad bis Irene succeeded, but on' rive much amusement from the the ill success of this piece turned talents of the more distinguished his attention to other departments performers, the broad farce of of literature.
Twaits, the chaster humour of Let none therefore, who do not Bernard, and the buskined dignity surpass the moral and religious and electrifying energy of Cooper.
THE SLAVE OF DISCONTENT.
Franslated for the Anthology from La Decade.
We somietimes meet in the celebrated city in the universe. world those pleasant originals, He was most uncommonly prone whose part here below seems in- to be dissatisfied with every thing tended to serve only for the amuse- around him. At the age of twenty ment and instruction of their schow he made an examination of every creatures. I have just made an different government, without beacquaintance with a being of this ing able to discover one to which nature. His history might fill he could accommodate himself. volumes ; but as I have neither This throne was founded on the the time nor inclination to write, ruins of liberty, that was tottering shall content myself with offering to its fall ; on a third was seated a only a slight sketch of his charac- vicious prince; in another moter.
narchy, there were too many wise Giacomo Della Rocca was born institutions ; farther on,every thing in Italy on the banks of the Tiber, seemed to him in disorder. In and not far distant from the most one republick riches only were es
termsd ; in another all was dis. is too much ceremony. The ice of simulation ; this was composed the Northis melancholy and dangeronly of speculators ; that of proud ous. The Helvetian is not polished supercilious nobles : and as to all enough. Batavia is a bow,marsiy the others it was diflicult to deter country. The air of Brabant is mine what they were. Though damp, thick, and unhealthy. In he had a choice, and though the Turkey the women are condemned forms of government were very to seclusion, or only permitted to various, yet S. Della Rocca, from appear veiled. Poland is a flat,uniThese circumstances, was not more form country, and S. Della Rocca happy. Sole heir of an immense loves variety. All that might have fortune, he was highly caressed determined bim for this last country by his parents, who,observing with is, that his mother possessed a great anxiety the gloomy and discontent- estate there. But interest was not ed character of their son, proposed bis inducement for travelling, and that he should travel.
in this respect all countries were But alas here was another em- indifferent to bim. Assailed by a barrassment ! what climate could thousand desires, he sees only a find attractions for him who was tiresome uniformity in the happiborn under the mild skies of Italy, ness he enjoyed : a mild, tempoin the bosom of that country, the rate climate was necessary to Gia. nursery of the arts, on that fertile, como, where there was a variety favoured soil! He might indeed of seasons; a land inhabited by as seek for other men in order to com- miable, lively, graceful, sensible pare them with his fellow country- women, and by men of an aflabili. men, to gain experience and know- ty of manners, whose occupations ledge of human nature ; but to were varied, and to whom the ennui seek a country more blessed by of life was unknown. .... Behold the orb of day, more caressed by then S. Della Rocca in the road to nature ! .... this would be mad- Paris. Kess. No matter ; it is the wish However teeming with pleasures of S. Della Rocca to travel : it is is this theatre of wonders, it is yet indeed the only means of diverting incompetent to fulfil the wishes his mind. His parents agree to it, of a madman, whose misfortune is and consent to the departure of an eternal desire of noveliy. The their son.
women were not such as his imaTo what country shall he go? gination had painted them : there This is not easy to decide upon was to much assurance in their To England ? There the weather air ; no modesty bowed down their is too cold, the atmosphere is thick- heads ; they possessed the talent ened with fog ; there they burn of smiling,without the inclination ; coal ; the people are so independ-, of being absent from design ; of ent, that they can insult you with looking upon one object without impunity ; in that country they perceiving it, only to contemplate live on flesh ; a most horrible re- another to which their eyes were past for S. Della Rocca. No, we not apparently directed; of listenwill not go to England.
ing without hearing; of welcoming Shall we to the North? Then with kindness those, for whom they. we should perish with cold. I will felt only disgust; one held negli. not hear of Scandinavia. Prussia gently to her eye an opera glass, iş too military. In Germany there for which she had no need ; an
other supported the gaze of the and the reader will permit me to beholder with an air of ignorance leave him to pay a visit, alone, to that she was the object of con- the East and West Indies, and to templation, and, in order to shew Africa, that he might there disapa delicate hand, knew how to re. prove of whatever was done, blame move a lock of hair which in no all customs, all institutions, find. way incommoded her; in short, ing that the man of nature was too the eyes of this one would have ap- savage, and that civilized people peared entirely lifeless, without the were too far removed from nature. fire of voluptuousness, or the After an absence of ten years, lightning of envy ; and the red he returned to Europe ; and arand white had replaced on her rived just at that period, when the complexion the roses and lilies. division of Poland took place, three He did not tell me under what as- portions of which had been made pect he beheld the men, or what he without its consent. The estates thought of them ; all that I know of our traveller's mother, situated is, that he soon embarked for in a palatinate of the centre, America.
were divided into three lots, and The war had just ceased, and each of them confiscated ; one by the new world offered to the old the empress of Russia, who was a forın of government which pos- not enriched by it ; another by the sibly might satisfy S. Della Rocca. king of the Romans, who had no But he carried also into this coun- expectation of advantage from it ; try his melancholy character. and the third by the king of PrusLife appeared to him only a mo- sia, who rendered justice only to ment, tediously prolonged; the his ancient subjects. Here cerair was always too thick or too tainly was sufficient to offend a far sharp; the foliage had not variety more gentle disposition than that enough of shades ; the morning of S. Della Rocca. But, by an inwas scarcely different from the conceivable contradiction, he was evening, and one day constantly only moderately affected by jr resembled another. Besides,they and as he saw nothing more than might have formed much better an abuse of the generality of inlaws at Philadelphia; the people stitutions, and being most singuhad not sufficiently profited by Jarly whimsica), he consoled himtheir lessons of experience; they self by arguments that would have ought to have better consulted the discouraged any other being but manners and relations of the state. himself. “ Had I to contend with As to the country, it was in vain but one crowned head,” said he to that the striking beauties of an himself, “I would hazard a few immense view, varied by the lux- remonstrances ; but to complain uriant hand of nature, offered to three different princes, one of themselves to his eye. It was not whom might send me into Sibefor him that bloomed the enamel ria, another imprison me, and of the meadows, that the birds the third make me a proposition. warbled their songs of melody, that to enter his army....I find that the flowers exhaled their perfumes, either of these rewards is not or the rivulets meandered through worth the trouble that I should verdant plains.
give myself in obtaining them."I shall not follow our discontent. Therefore he remained quiet. ed friend threugh all his travels, This diminution of his fortune,
seemed to render him more rea- that he inhabited, he had remarksonable. What was the cause of ed that he had in no one of them his reconciliation with mankind discovered a single being contentwould have been for others a mo, ed with him self or with those tire for renouncing all connexion around him. At first loud exclawith them. But he learns that mations were uttered; then, frozen the most powerful nation of the by terror, all where hushed to si. world has suddenly changed its lence, and driven to concealment : government and is desirous of give was there a change, they inveighed ing itself new laws. Here is a against it i was it followed by fine opportunity for a visionary another, they complained. At reformer of constitutions, in whose length order appeared on firm eyes all are bad or imperfect ! foundations, property was secured S. Della Rocca suffers it not to and respected, the adversary was escape, and behold him anew in deprived of the means of injuring, the capital of this regenerated peo- the inclination only remained to ple. He mingles among schem him. The fugitives were recalled, ers, he examines, he approves, he and the honest man retired to comments, he adopts. But the his evening's rest, without being work, in which he has been assist tormented by the recollection of ing, is soon replaced by some the past, or fear of the future. other. His labour commences Very happily for S. Della Rocca, anew : and this project has the and without doubt for the people fate of the first ; that is to say, it in the bosom of whom he lived, is adopted, overthrown, and re- this new order of things coincided placed.
with his ideas. But what was Whilst he mingled in what did his astonishment at the sight of not concern him, those things these men, who had ardently des which ought to have occupied him sired the reestablishment of order, vere disposed of without his and of those, to whom it 'restored knowledge. To be brief, his large tranquillity ! Some shook their fortune is annihilated. The blow heads, others shrugged their had been felt as far as his native shoulders, a third appeared to supa, country, and his estates no longer press something even while he belonged to him in consequence of approved, a fourth spoke mysteria a measure about which it had been ously, and without explanation. forgotten to ask his advice.
Impatient of these ifs and these The result of this event was ands, S. Della Rocca, having very happy because it obliged him become a man of gallantry since he to call into exercise his resources had inhabited a country famed for and his talents to gain a subsist the reign of the fair 'sex, cultience. He soon contracted the vated the society of the las habit of employment, and this hab- dies. It was quite another thing! it dissipated the ennui, which till The old found not the French of then had overwhelmed him. Every the present day sufficiently gallant; inoment being occupied, there re-- the young complained of the rea mained no time for him to blame, forms that were wished to be inor, like too many other idlers, to troduced among some very agreea, regulate the state.
ble customs, that had come into Having followed all the periods vogue within the last seven or of the revolution of the country eight years..