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the eyes of the artist melting into tears, more than once teltined what were his emotions. When Melai had now finished, Melonion began,-Oh monarch!
Melai. Monarch no more; I am only an old man. “no Melonion. Noble, generous, godlike old man, how deeply has thy fate affected me; with what warmth and fincerity do I thank you, for refolving to intrust to my slender abilities, a task, which at first indeed appeared to be degrading, but which I no confider as of more dignity, than that of commemorating many princes. Two requests you must how. ever grant me.
Melai. (Smiling.) Two for one: well, what are they? Melonion. Keep your jewel. Fortune has already fufficiently enriched me; and I can eafily afford to spend some of my time, in working entirely for my own fatisfaction. This was my first request, and here is my fecond; however well grounded may be your hatred of mankind, carry it not; I befeech you, fo far, as to difbelieve entirely in human virtue. What inftinct, without the affiftance of reason, so frequently produces among the inferior animals, reflection and feeling, however feldom, will furely fometimes effect among ourselves. I have indeed no crown to offer you, as an atonement for the one which you have loft; but the last and fevereft of all your loffes, the lofs of a friend, I may be able to fupply.
Melonion. Yes; abandon your folitude, and truft yourself to me. In my. houfe you fhall always be master; nay more, you fhall be my father and my king; and then you can behold with your own eyes, the gradual progrefs of that monument, from which your favourite is to receive immortali ty.
The fource from which this history was drawn begins here unfortunately to fail. It is only added in a few words, that the old man, after many denials, at last resolved to påss his life with Melonion; that he never had any reafon to repent his refolution; and that a beautiful monument of the finest ` alabafter, was erected to the memory of his faithful dog. To moft of thofe however, by whom it was beheld, the meaning and intention of it must have been totally a fecret, although, ta
after the death of the venerable monarch, we may suppole that his history would no longer be concealed.
It is more than probable that this monument was remaining at the time that Conftantinople was taken by the Turks. What might afterwards become of it I know not, although I would not abfolutely difcourage my readers from hoping, that fo precious a fpecimen of fculpture may ftill exist in fome neglected, corner, where fome future traveller may perhaps light upon it, and reftore it to the curiolity of the admirers of art, and to the tears and enthusiasm of the lov ers of virtue.
Remarks on fome English Plays, from Miscellanies in profe and verfe..
Mabomet the Impoftor, a Tragedy, from Voltaire. THIS collection is wretched, but fuited to the taste of thofe gentlemen called bookfellers. I give it a place in my collection, only as a parch to Shakespeare, and a monument (may it be fhort lived) of bad taste. From this hard cenfure, I mean to except the Siege of Damafcus. It has fome merit; and there is indulgence enough in this admiffion; perhaps the beft critics may blame it. But to proceed, as to the merits of the play in queftion, Monfieur Voltaire could not abide Shakespeare, which is not furprifing. They were moft perfect oppofites, as a man of profound abilities and witdom, is oppofite to a pleafant fuperficial fop. A total want of genius, and even of tafte and propriety for tragic compo→ fition, is remarkable in every line of this piece; yet it has a great run at London. The general admiration of this, and many other dramatic pieces of the fame caft, affords full proof that we are degenerate and Au~ pid. Douglas, the fingle good tragedy of this age, was at first rejected at London. Mahomet, Barbaroffa, &t. &c. live and flourish there.
The Siege of Damafcus, a Tragedy, by Hughes.
THE epilogue, fpoken by Mr. Wilks, is filly, and very like thofe in vogue at prefent. The prologue, fpoken by Lord Sandwich, is finely poetical, and worthy of the occafion, and the actors.
The play, indeed, is fitter for fuch occafional performance, than common exhibition on the public theatre, having various beauties, and great imperfections.
The Chriftian Hero, a Tragedy, by Lillo.
THE Compofition of this play is as full of dullness and abfurdity as Mahomet, and lefs interefting in the plot.
Lady Fane Gray, a Tragedy, by Rowe.'
I CANNOT read an hiftorical play, without thinking of a comparison with Shakespeare, by whom the characters of nature are perfectly preserved, and yet raised above the pitch of nature, by the force of a great and inimitable genius.
Don Sebaftian King of Portugal, a Tragedy, by
THIS play is full of abfurdities and unnatural flights; yet we may dif tinguish them as the abfurdities of a poet and a man of genius, unlike the nonfenfe of the moderns. The moral is rigorous indeed.
Fane Shore, a Tragedy, by Rowe..
How ftrangely different is the Gloucester of Shakespeare from the Gloucefter of Rowe. An audience of true judgment and taste, could not bear this comparison on the fame theatre.
The Country Wife, a Comedy, by Wycherley.
THERE are wit, humour, eafy and lively conversation, variety of character, and pleafing adventure in this play. But there is a very unpar donable want of delicacy and decency. A lewd young fellow gains full credit to a report, that he had, by a fashionable misfortune, loft his virility. By this means, he cuckolds all the husbands, and lies with all the women of the drama. There are, however, weak fcenes in the play, improbabilities, and, I think, the characters both of Pinchwife and Sparkish are outré,
To make a dance of cuckolds at the end of this play, is a judicious conduct in the author, but a fhameless exhibition on a public theatre.
Erratum iu this Number, p. 65.
In the mufic, laft note but one, tenor, for G read E. It is requested this may be corrected by the pen.
LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 1791.
To the Editor of the Bee.
Hiftory of a Fortunate Idler.
I HAVE read with confiderable pleasure, and not without edification, the effays of Albanicus on the subject of the art of idlenefs, which I hope he will continue, for the amufement and inftruction of your readers, applying his principles to the practical benefit of the numerous fons and daughters of idlenefs, whofe fituation, when floating on the furface of fashion, without a guide or direction, one cannot look at without compaffion, mixed with contempt, or without wifhing, that their labours of idleness might be converted into the channel of their own real happiness, and the good of fociety.
For my own part, Mr. Editor, I will frankly acknowledge, that I am, with refpect to artlefs idleness, as a firebrand plucked out of the fire, and a living VOL. III: + L
monument of mercy derived from the principles f that art, which your correfpondent laudably endeavours to explain.
I was born, Sir, to the fucceffion of a farge entailed eftate; the pride of my father, and the darling of my mother: I was educated with the greatest care, and received every instruction and accomplishment that Great Britain, and the tour of Europe, could afford. When I returned from abroad at two and twenty, I was thought (I may fay without vanity) one of the most elegant and accomplished young men that had been imported from the continent for half a century. After the first joy of my family on my return was over, and I had received all the encomiums of my father, mother, and aunts, and all the admiration of the fquires and miffes in our neighbourhood in the country, I found an irrefiftable defire to leave the barbarity of a provincial refidence, for the elegant amufements of the capital. I went to London for the winter, was prefented at court, drew upon my father, with his approbation, for three thousand pounds, the price I paid to a broker for a Cornish borough, got into Brookes's club, and the other fashionable focieties in town, kept a girl, fhook my elbow with the beft company, and in the elegance of conviviality, was able, in confequence of an excellent conftitution, to be at the fame time an excellent bottle companion. I played the violincello at private concerts, fung a catch with the beft in the club, and finished the winter with the reputation of being one of the most promifing young men in England. Next fummer was paffed in the country with my father, who had one of the best packs of fox hounds in the kingdom, with a ftable of first rate hunters, which, with my other qualities, made me the prince of our fociety. I had not paffed above a couple of the hunting months after this summer had elapfed, before I began to feel my distaste for the rough and uncultivated provincials wearing off, and a liking to the chace and the bottle taking poffeffion of my time, to the ex