« TrướcTiếp tục »
ed by the dignity of my ftation, I would have willingly run after her, and difcovered my paffion, by throwing my armsabout her delicate neck, and printing a thousand kiffes upon her coral lips.
.i *** !
I ordered her, however, to be called back. She turned about, and it was like the appearance of the fun, when in the midst of some day of darkness and of gloom, he breaks forth in his beauty, and the clouds fly before him.
I have fet thee at liberty, fair Gulmanac, faid I; and as a proof of thy freedom, it is now in thy option to give to thy fovereign, before all this affembly, either a favourable or an unfavourable reply. Could you condefcend to accept of a place among my women?
"My monarch commands me.
"But what if he is not inclined to command ?
"It must always afford the highest happiness to his flave, "to be able to gratify the leaft of his withes."
From that moment, the alone was the mistress of my. heart. The whole women of my haram were immediately difmiffed; for I thought it was injuftice to deprive others, from a vain affectation of magnificence and parade, of that which I myself could no longer enjoy. Gulmanac's power over me, was from henceforth as unlimited, as that which I exercifed over any of my subjects.
A man was foon afterwards brought before me, accused of an intention to murder his nephew; and what made the affair peculiarly remarkable, this very nephew appeared as his defender. He contradicted the accufers with warmth and with eagerness; related the many good offices his uncle had done him; and pleaded his cause in a much more powerful manner, than it was poffible the accufed perfon could have done it himself. He delivered this defence with fuch eloquence and grace, and difplayed, in the course of it, fo much knowledge of mankind, and fuch an uncommon attachment to humanity and virtue, that he gained at once both my affection and esteem. I raised him immediately from the mediocrity of his ftation; gave him one poft of honour after another; and found him in each of them so use ful and incorruptible, that I at last declared him my grand Vifier, and gave him the name of Ebu Mahmud.
My fon, in the mean time, grew up, He was the most beautiful youth in the whole kingdom; and by far the most expert in every manly accomplishment; nor did his foul ap pear unworthy of the body which it inhabited. He had al ready diftinguished himself in two fuccefsful expeditions “a gainst fome of my neighbours who had taken up arms; and amid all the fame and triumph which attended his return, he forgot not that modefty which is becoming in a youth, nor that refpect and obedience which is proper for a fon.
Where is the perfon, who at this feafon would not have esteemed me the happiest of mortals; and not only concluded, that my happiness was complete, but even confidered it as beyond the reach of alteration.-A wife of fuch beauty and worth; a vifier of fuch experience and fidelity; and both of them the more clofely attached to my intereft, the more intimately I knew, and the higher I raised them: A fucceffor, who appeared rather to dread than to with for my death; a nation which adored me: Bleft with peace abroad, and profperity at home; and though now arrived at the middle period of life, still enjoying all the health and the vigour of youth. To all this was added another bleffing, which is feldom found in a cottage, and fcarcely ever on a throne; but that which of all others is the most valuable, the bleffing of a confcience without reproach. How enviable was then my fituation; how unneceffary appeared to me the warning of my father; and how fuperfluous the prefent with which it was accompanied! But alas! it was not long afterwards, before I difcovered the utility of both. To be concluded in our next.
Remarks on fome English Plays, from Mifcellanies in profe and verfe.
Meafure for Measure.
THERE are fome very high-ftrokes of genius in this play, which, upon the whole, is admirable, and bears all the marks of the writer's ufual fuperiority over our other dramatic poets.
The additional lines, fo much approved of by our critics, are truly modern, and fufficiently diftinguish themselves from the original text. To intimate the Duke's kind purpose to Ifabella, Shakespeare faid juft
enough in one fignificant line, which is only fpun out, in the five finical modern ones, for no other reafon, but that the fag end of the act may have a rhyme to jingle at it, to please a London audience. The Conduct of the catastrophe, in fpite of our moft wretched critic's cenfure, is admirably judicious, interesting, and entertaining.
The Indian Emperor, a Tragedy,
(From what is called a Select Collection of Plays, in three volumes, by Mr. Donaldson, Bookfeller, Edinburgh.)
As booksellers, in general, are the dullest of mankind, there can be no wonder, that their felect collections are very ill chofen. One of our poets gives a pleasant enough reafon for this character of bookfellers.
"Unlearned men, of books affume the care,
The ill tafte of London has been gratified with great variety. It is hard to fay when it was at the worst, Heroic plays, as they were called, were long in vogue, till exploded by The Rehear fal. A new train of dramatic writings fucceeded, without the genius, and with all the abfurdities of Dryden. Vide Bufiris, Zara, Mahomet, Barbaroffa, the Chriftian Hero, &c. &c. A new Rehearsal is much wanted.
All for Love, a Tragedy.
In this elaborate play, Dryden imitates Shakespeare; and, by that imitation, excels himself, though ftill far fhor of the judgment, genius, and happy expreffion of that great mafter. How wretched our modern prologues and epilogues, compared to thofe of Dryden! How wretched Dryden's plays, compared to thofe of the older poets! But the taste of every age feems to be happily fuited to the talents of cotemporary poets. We have been charmed with the quaint prologues and epilogues of Garrick; and we are daily pleased with the flat laboured productions of our nameless dramatic poets.
Theodofius, or the Force of Love, a Tragedy, by Lee.
A RAPTUROUS romantic play: It pleafes men, women, and children, who have not formed their tafte upon the fenfe and genius of Shakefpeare, but on modern novels and plays.
Oroonokoo, a Tragedy, by Southerne.
Tuis is the only good play in the bookfellers felect collection.
THE BE E,
LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 1791.
Efay on the Art of Idlenefs, continued.
I HAVE endeavoured to give a flight sketch of the art of idleness; and I now proceed to lay in its colours and its fhadows, in hope that I may gradually finish a picture fit for the cabinet of the curious, and fuch as has not hitherto been ever put upon the eafel, far lefs exhibited to the view of the public.
Could my adventurous pencil fortunately produce any thing that could enhance the value of the Bee, my industry would be redoubled in its service; for I highly efteem the industry of the Bee, and would willingly fow and rear a fucceffion of flowers, to fill its combs with honey, and provide for the winter.
The art of idlenefs will be best and easiest set forth by the productions of artifts: I fhall in this paper therefore give another specimen of a difciple of idleness, that my readers, who wish to go to school, may have a
leffon of the rudiments, and confult their genius, before they enter into their academical career.
The specimen I mean now to offer, is from a gentleman whofe father was rich and powerful, and placed him in a fituation of opulence in the early part of his life, fending him to vifit foreign nations, with a companion of the most enlightened understanding, and elegant tafte.
He returned from his travels, after having stored his mind with useful knowledge, and his imagination with the beautiful objects of refined fpeculation. He went abroad, not to affociate with fox-hunting or lounging Englishmen, to keep the most fafhionable opera girls at Paris or Naples, and to gallop over Europe, that he might take a feat in parliament, and begin his career at home with being prefented at court on his return from the grand tour of the continent; but to render himself wifer and better, like the king of Ithaca, by feeing many cities, and ftudying the laws, manners and improvements of fociety in foreign countries.
This gentleman, my moft excellent friend, in whofe converfation and correfpondence I have delighted for more than five and twenty years paft, in spite of the infirmities of old age, and the enervating as well as excruciating pains of the gout, has retained the relish of life, by being well acquainted with its materials, and knowing, how, like a fkilful cook, to mix what are nourishing with what are palatable, and to serve up the dainties of it for his daily use and enjoyment, and the enjoyment of his friends.
Living in a venal country, debafed by political corruption, and distracted by faction, he affociated himself with those who were fuperior to the firft, because they would not fuffer theinfelves to be entangled by the latter. Full of rational curiofity himself, he gathered together around him, by a moral power of attraction, thofe who were under the influence of this divine energy, which,