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little hussey has been telling tales Car. Now, let alone, good people, from school' before the time. So Mr for you plainly see it is a joke of his. Albert knows
si. 0-0, the devil, no! it is no Al. Yes, yes, I know the whole. joke of mine.--(Beating his breast.)Si. And you consent ?
O blockhead! blockhead (To HeimAl. Why should I not? How can I feld.)-Hand the paper here, young make objections, if your brother will gentleman-here with it. draw back?
Heim. Stop! I'll lose this paper Si. Well then, my little bride, give only with my life. I now begin to me your hand, and you (to Albert) comprehend your blessing.
Si. You have purloined it. Here Al. What?
with it—it is not valid. Car. How?
Al. Friend, it is your brother's will Si. Why such ceremony? she and that that young man should keep it. I have settled all.
Si. No, no, no--I tell you it is not Car. What can that mean?
his will. Al. What whim is that?
So. Good heavens! Did you not Si. Why all this feigning, friend? say yourself, that I should give it to My brother ceded me his bride-she the man I loved ? And I have done and I have made it up together---you so. give your consent, and so
Heim. One sees clearly from the Al. But
very paper, that it is your brother's Heim. With your permission, we will-know nothing, Sir, of any ceding in Si. Old Satan take you, no! I must your favour, Sir.
know better what my will is. Si. What? pray what have you to Car. Your's is not the question say in this ?-(To Albert.)- Dear Al- here—your brother's will. bert, what is that man doing here ? - Si. No, no, my brother is myselfthat is the man who
this is not my brother-it is I! Al. Softly-now we know the pret Al. My God! Of that we do not ty story—it has cost me dear enough. doubt, and for that very reason
Car. I'm half inclined to pick a Si. O the devil ! no-I am not Iquarrel with you, but, as all turns out I am that other-I am he-Zounds! I so well, I'll pass it you for once. no, I am not he-I am the one who
Si. My good friend Albert, as I see, stands before you—I'm myself that you have allowed them to make game very brother.
Car. Yes, yes, that we know. Al. Come, leave off, leave off! You, Si. No, d-n! that you do not as I see, friend, are a rogue. You know-Your brother I am not-I am knew the whole from the beginning my own-I am-0! to the devil with all was told you by your brother. you all-you make me crazy-I am Si. Pray, of what? I do not under- I-I am Sirillo. (He throws off his
false hair, and stands with his bare Al. Come, leave off, I say—the joke pate.) How? what? who am I? must not be carried farther. it is who? (what follows goes on so rapidclear you must have known the whole. ly that Sirillo can't get in a word.).
Si. May Heaven not know of me, Al. O bravo ! bravo! dear Sirillo, if I know any thing of what you say let me, pray, embrace you—What a I know !
stroke! I swear that nothing can exAl. My God! how could you other. ceed it—there you make a couple wise have given that paper to my happy, and have nobly won the bet. niece, that she might make her friend Si. Ah! what? unseal it?
Heim. How shall I thank you, Si. (stands with open mouth, and much esteemed Sirillo, for your goodlooks at all by turns.)
ness, for your generosity-I owe my So. And, as I was lately going to all to youconfess to you the footing I am on So. Good Sirillo, I'm really at a with Heimfeld, you assured me that loss-am quite ashamed—your noble you knew it.
mind oppresses meHeim. After our adventure of the Car. Accept my hearty thanks, Sitables, you declared the same to me. rillo, your surprise is as ingenious, as
MILTON AND SHAKESPEARE.
great, and noble, and I feel it as a now remains, but tractably and patientfavour done myself.
ly to dance, as if I were å married Si. Ah! what? I am not generous, man, to any tune they play me. I am not noble-minded, nor inge Al. Bravo! friend of mine, Bravisnious-ingenious I do not wish to simo! bemit is the girl I wish.
Si. But then our bet ? Al. But, friend Sirillo, pray, re Al. You see that I have won ; for flect; you have given up my niece to at the moment you were going to play Mr Heimfeld of your own accord. off upon us your surprise, we have
Heim. You have renounced her, prevented you by one much greater. and the writing is in my possession. Si. Well, yes, then; in the name
Si. That is just the devilish mis- of God, Amen. I'll pay with all my take-it should not be in your pos- heart, but, I beseech you, never cast it session-it was never meant for you, in my teeth. (to Sophia) May you be young gentleman-the note belongs to happy, my good girl.” As to your me I wrote it for myself.
husband there, I wish,-You never Al. Well, that is pleasant! for may surprise him : These surprises, yourself?
after all, are good for nothing. Si. Why, yes, and can't you comprehend it? For our wager's sake, I wrote the note: The little serpent was to give it me in this unusual dress, and what a fine surprise I
SHAKESPEARE and Milton may be thought it! how delighted was I? truly called the gods of England's Blockhead that I am ! to be so blind. idolatry. The productions of the first
Al. Ah! now I have you-now I are known either by perusal or by resee the thing. But, friend of mine, presentation to the learned and uns you likewise see how matters stand; learned in every class of our country. this youthful couple have been lovers Their author, without much effort on for a year-when love has said the his own part, and wielding with ease, blessing, it is best for us in years to and even carelessness, the mighty say, Amen.
powers with which he was endowed, di. Well, must I not at last give in has held his way to that throne of then, in this devilish affair? Whatgood
eternal adamant to which Nature does opposition in a case like this? had predestinated him. The works of But tell me, Sir, (to Heimfeld) did
Milton are less known. They are you not own to me yourself, 'that more generally read, and more pasyou?
sionately adınired, by the learned a. Heim. I don't know what you un- mongst our nation. But his fame is derstood : at all events, however, it nearly equal to that of his great compewas an error of your own.
titor. He was, undoubtedly, the first Si. (to Caroline) And, madam, you! scholar of his age. He culled the mas I heard it with my ears, how you !
terials for his wondrous fictions from Car. But, as you now have heard, every tongue, and nation, and people. that also was a mere mistake.
Years of painful study, and severe and Si. (to Sophia) And you, young restless labour, were employed in lady, you—you certainly did 'say— quarrying from every quarter of the you-you-you loved me.
earth those spotless gems which were So. Dear Sirillo, that's another to compose and adorn his strucgreat mistake.
ture. By early exertion he became Și. Mistake! mistake! Ah! I be- master of every language, both ancient gin to see, a man in love at fifty-one and modern, in which the bards who is sadly subject to mistakes.
preceded him had taught and sung: Car. But, that the last may not To Shakespeare these were all a dead be worse than all the rest, I should letter. The avenues were shut which imagine, dear Sirillo
led to those secret recesses where they Si. (after a short pause.) Well, sung. He heard, indeed, through yes, yes, you're right, Madam, it the medium of translation, the faint would, of all my crazy tricks, for cer- echo of their song, but its sweetest tain, be the craziest, to wish to take cadences were lost, and its finest pasa wife, who brought me, as a dowry to iny house, a love-affair. So nothing Pope's Temple of Fame, l. 183.
sages destroyed ere it reached his ear. his eye had been glancing from To Milton, on the other hand, they “ heaven to earth and earth to heaspoke in a language almost as much ven.” Nature was to him all in all
. his as theirs. He could answer, and Her influence over his mind was nearly rival them. The Hebrew controlled by no system of instrucwriters had conducted him to those tion, and no principles of imitation. retreats of sacred song,
Man had formed the subject of his “ Near Siloa's fount that flow'd
study in all his different stages, from Fast by the oracle of God.”
the infant “ puling in his nurse's The Grecian muses had nursed him arms,” till he shifted into that last on that “ Aonian Mount,” whose stage of mere oblivion which ends height was too little for his am- of Nature came not to him through
the history of his being. The scenery bition; and above which, he tells us the faded descriptions of Greek, or in his exordium to his great poem, Roman, or Italian writers. He paintthat he means " to soar with no middle flight.” How deeply he had cil as fresh and dewy as the landscape
ed what he saw before him with a pendrank of the beauties of the Nantuan in which he wandered. The feelings bard, is well known to all who are and the passions of our feverish befamiliar with the works of both these poets. But these were not all his ing, the pangs of love, or jealousy, or sources of study. After a due discipline scribed by him according to those
disappointed ambition, were not deat home, under such ancient masters, rules of poetical fitness, or those exand a careful perusal of the greatest amples of poetical propriety which writers in his own language, he had
Milton had studied in Aristotle, increased his stores by foreign travel. His residence and studies in Italy, this as ignorant as a child ; but his
Homer, and Virgil. He was of all -his friendship with the learned and eminent men of that coun
ignorance formed his strength. It try, -his intimate acquaintance with compelled him to dive into the intris their poetry and literature, and his and darker concealments of the hu
cate windings, the troubled motions, perfect knowledge of their language,
man heart. He studied his own enabled him to compare the pro- mind; he analysed the minds of others gress of modern with that of an- with a vigour, a truth, and boldcient poetry, and to return at last laden with those manifold stores of ness, which scems to have been more
intuitive than acquired. “ He drew," and glowing with all this rich and says Dryden," not laboriously, but and glowing with all this rich and luckily; and when he describes any his great work; that work which he thing, you more than see it, you feel
it too.” There is not any of his readhimself tells us had long formed the subject of his private musings.
ers, from the most gay and trifling, Shakespeare, on the contrary, bad from the loversighing like furnace,"
to the inost grave and saturnine; sat still at home, and his mind, to the silent gentlemen, whose visages unimproved by travel, was ignorant of every country and every lane “ Do cream and mantle like a standing guage but his own. 'He knew no pool," thing of all these multiplied and who will not recognise themselves, artificial sources of inspiration. Yet their feelings, and their frailties in the
pages of this wonderful poet. The Richardson. Notes on Milton, p. 13. effect of his poetry upon the mind is “ For my part, I can say that my lips like that of one musical instrument are not only moistened with these two lan. when it is sounded beside another. guages, Greek and Latin, but as much as The chords of our hearts re-echo to my age allowed, I have drank as large cups the tones of his lyre, and we cannot ! as any one. Yet notwithstanding I come hear the sound of the one without a with joy and delight to your Dante and simultaneous vibration in the feelings Petrarch. Nor has even attic Athens it. self so held me upon the shore of her clear of the other. Yet all this is perfect Jlyssus ; nor that dear old Rome upon the nature in him. The moral machinery þanks Tyber, but that I often love to visit with which the effect is produced was your Arno and the hills of Fesole.” not, as in Milton, the result of severe
Milton's letter to Buonmattco. discipline in the books of ancient au
thors. Shakespeare has nothing about to draw a parallel between them, hím of the gravity, and learning, and wherever, from the nature of the subclassic dignity of the schools of Greece ject, such a comparison can justly be and Rome. All is native, natural, and made. We shall see the different original. If he soars, it is with the lights in which they have beheld naa firm and easy pinion of the eagle. If ture, and described man. The influhe warbles, it is with as unstudied a ence of what is called a classical taste note as “ nature's own choristers." will be observable in the severe simIf he is sublime, it is a sublimity plicity of the one, and its absence in which he found not in Longinus, but the careless luxuriance of the other. in his own bosom. Nature found him, We shall be enabled, perhaps, to disin all that regarded human learning, cover some regulating principles in abandoned by man. Like Moses in the formation of a correct poetical the bulrushes, he became the child of taste, and if nothing else were to reher adoption. She endowed him with sult from it, the occurrence of so many. " that large and comprehensive soul” noble passages of poetry as must gem which she knew could create a learn- and sparkle in the road we travel, ing for itself. She led him to her would itself be enough to repay us. own secret and solitary haunts. She spread before him the book of her
Milton's first great poem was coFar from the sun and summer gale,
mus,* which he composed at the age In her green lap was Nature's darling ed his academical education, and lived
of twenty-six, when he had concludlaid, What time where lucid Avon stray'd
in retirement with his father. PreTo him the mighty mother did unveil
vious to the publication of this poem, Her awful face the dauntless child its author had gone through a course Stretch'd forth his little arms—and smil'd: of severe preparatory study. + He This pencil take, she said, whose colours clear
Comus was written in the 1634, at Richly paint the vernal year.
Horton near Colne Brooke in BuckingThine too these golden keys--immortal
hamshire. boy, This can unlock the gates of joy,
+ “ I had my time, readers, (says he
in his Apology for Smyetymnus,) as others of horror that and thrilling fears,
have who have good learning bestowed upon Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic o them, to be sent to those places where the tears.
opinion was it might soonest be attained,
and as the manner is, was not unstudied It was after such nurture and admoni- in those authors which are most commendtion that he came forth into the con- ed, whereof some were grave orators and gregations of men, and he came con- historians, whose matter me-thought I quering and to conquer."
loved indeed, but as my age then was so I If the distinction which has been understood them. Others were the smooth drawn between these two great poets elegiac poets, whiereof the schools are not be correct; if, in the first, we find the of their numerous writing, which in imita
scarce. Whom both for the pleasing sound greatest example which our English tion I found most easy, and most agreealiterature affords of powerful talents, ble to Nature's part in me, and for their assisted by the highest degree of cul matter which what it is there be few that tivation, and in the other, of great and know not, I was so allured to read, that uneducated genius, I know not that no recreation came to me better wel. there could be a more pleasing task come.” than to follow them in an examination “ Thus, from the laureat fraternity of some of their most celebrated works of poets, riper years, and the ceaseless through the course of their poetical life round of stuly and realing, led me to the ---to endeavour to trace their progress shady spaces of philosophy, but chiefly to to that height from which they have the divine volumes of Plato and his equal long continued to look down on suc
Xenophon."— Apology for Smectymnus.
" I betook me,” he continues in the ceeding generations of poets, who have
same Apology,“ to among those lofty fables been passing below them into oblivion. and romances which recount in 'solemn In examining their different works, cantos the deeds of knighthood founded by according to the order in which they our victorious kings, and from hence had were composed, we shall be enabled in renown all over Christendom. There
had been engaged, as he himself tells Masques, in the time of Milton; were us, “ in a ceaseless round of study and generally light and trifling composireading;" and the composition of Co- tions, the offspring of revelry and idlemus, although it was his first sustain- ness, the painted gauds which Dan ed effort, was not by any means his Cupid strewed in the path of love. earliest essay in poetry. His Latin Shakespeare tells us, that poems, and, in particular, one of the Revels, dances, masks, and merry hours, most beautiful of his sonnets, were all Forerun fair love, strewing her path with written before the Masque. He has flowers. given us, in his prose works, some curi Love's Labour Lost, Act IV. sc. 3. ous particulars of these early labours. He had studied and had imitated the But Milton's genius was not of that smooth elegiac poets, and he appears at pliable nature which was moulded by this period to have formed his versiti- the temper and taste of the times
. cation on the model of what he terms of the dignity of the poetical charac
he had alrealy formed his own ideas " the pleasing sound of their numerous writing." He had read, with the felt them to be of that proud and un
ter. He hai tried his powers, and he delight and enthusiasm of youth, the works of the age of chivalry, “ those tameable kind, which were more fitlofty fables and roinances," as they are
ted to conquer the taste of the age, termed by himself
, “which recount in than to coincide with it. His masque solenın cantos the deeds of knight
of Comus, therefore, was perfectly orihood," and after having filled his ginal. It is a grave and moral poem, mind, and enriched his imagination, whose object it is, through the mediwith all the pomp and circumstance numbers, to inculcate the love and the
um of noble sentiments and flowing of chivalry, he had reined in his past practice of virtue. sion for this seductive species of reading, and betaken himself to a dili Mortals, who would follow me, gent examination of the works of the Love virtue, she alone is free. philosophers and moralists of Greece, She can teach you how to climb but chiefly
to the divine vo Higher than the starry chime ; lumes of Plato and his equal Xeno
Or, if virtue feeble were, phon.” Such was the school in which
Heaven itself would stoop to her. this great master of the lyre was
The opening is quite in character armed, and educated. Under the with this high design. A heavenly poets, the romancers, and the mora- inhabitant of another world, clothed lists of Greece, he was trained to the in “ pure ambrosial weeds," descends love of melody, and honour, and vir
this earth. tue. The traces of these masters are clearly distinguishable in the struc- Before the starry threshold of Jove's court ture, the morality, and the versifi- My mansion is, where those immortal cation of Comus. The structure is
shapes entirely Grecian. The morality con
Of bright aërial spirits live unspher'd sists of the noblest parts of the In regions mild, of calm and serene air. Greek philosophy engrafted upon After this solemn and beautiful exthe divine truths, and sublimed by ordium, he declares his message to be the purer creed of the Christian alone to those, system. The versification is infinite
that by due steps aspire lý above his models--the elegiac poets. To lay their just hands on that golden key It is “ musical as Apollo's lute." That opes the palace of eternity;
informing us in this manner, that we read it in the oath of every knight, that he should defend, to the expence of his best
are not to expect, under the title of a blood, or of his life, if it so befell him,
the masque, some light and trifling poem, honour and chastity of virgin or matron.
some work, as its great author himFrom whence, even then, I learnt what a self says, in speaking on another subnoble virtue chastity sure must be, to the defence of which so many worthies by so Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost. In dear an adventure, had bound themselves. describing the power of love, he declares
• This expression of Milton's, when he him to be describes divine philosophy to be “musical Subtle as sphinx--as sweet and musical as is A pollo's lute," is borrowed from As bright Apollo's lute.