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heads are admirably drawn; no images improper, and most surprisingly beautiful. The Redcross Knight runs through the whole steps of the Christian life; Guyon does all that temperance can possibly require; Britomartis (a woman) observes the true rules of unaffected chastity; Arthegal is in every respect of life strictly and wisely just; Calidore is rightly courteous.
"In short, in Fairy land, where knights-errant have a full scope to range, and to do even what Ariostos or Orlandos could not do in the world without breaking into credibility, Spenser's knights have, under those six heads, a full and truly poetical system of Christian, public, and low life.
"His legend of friendship is more diffuse, and yet even there the allegory is finely drawn, only the heads various : one knight could not there support all the parts.
"To do honour to his country, Prince Arthur is a universal hero; in holiness, temperance, chastity, and justice, super-excellent. For the same reason, and to compliment Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana, queen of fairies, whose court was the asylum of the oppressed, represents that glorious queen. At her commands all these knights set forth, and only at hers the Redcross Knight destroys the dragon, Guyon overturns the Bower of Bliss, Arthegal (i. e. Justice) beats down Geryoneo (i. e. Philip II. king of Spain) to rescue Belge (i. e. Holland), and he beats the Grantorto (the same Philip in another light) to restore Irena (i. e. Peace to Europe).
Chastity being the first female virtue, Britomartis is a Briton; her part is fine, though it requires explication. His style is very poetical; no puns, affectations of wit, forced antitheses, or any of that low tribe.
"His old words are all true English, and numbers exquisite; and since of words there is the multa renascentur, since they are all proper, such a poem should not (any more than Milton's) consist all of it of common ordinary words. See instances of descriptions.
Causeless jealousy in Britomartis, v. 6. 14, in its restlessness.
Like as a wayward child, whose sounder sleep
Is broken with some fearful dream's affright,
But kicks and squalls, and shrieks for fell despite;
Curiosity occasioned by jealousy, upon occasion of her lover's absence. Ibid. Stan. 8, 9.
Then as she look'd long, at last she spy'd
One coming towards her with hasty speed:
And where is he, thy lord, and how far hence?
Care and his house are described thus, iv, 6, 33–35.
Not far away, nor meet for any guest,
They spy'd a little cottage, like some poor man's nest.
There entering in, they found the good man's self,
Full busily unto his work ybent,
Who was so weel a wretched wearish elf,
With hollow eyes and rawbone cheeks far spent,
As if he had in prison long been pent.
Full black and griesly did his face appear,
Besmear'd with smoke that near his eye-sight blent,
With rugged beard and hoary shaggy heare,
The which he never wont to comb, or comely shear.
Rude was his garment, and to rags all rent;
These be unquiet thoughts that careful minds invade.
"Homer's epithets were much admired by antiquity: see what great justness and variety there are in these epithets of the trees in the forest, where the Redcross Knight lost Truth. B. i. Cant. i. Stan. 8,.9.
The sailing pine, the cedar proud and tall,
The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors,
The carver holm, the maple seldom inward sound.
"I shall trouble you no more, but desire you to let me conclude with these verses, though I think they have already been quoted by you. They are directions to young ladies oppressed with calumny, vi. 6. 14.
The best (said he) that I can you advise,
Is to avoid the occasion of the ill:
For when the cause whence evil doth arise
Abstain from pleasure and restrain your will,
Shun secrecy, and talk in open sight;
So shall you soon repair your present evil plight."
N° 541. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1712.
Format enim natura priùs nos intùs ad omnem
HOR. Ars Poet. v. 108.
For nature forms and softens us within,
And writes our fortune's changes in our face :
And these are all interpreted by speech.-RoscOMMON.
Y friend the Templar, whom I have so often mentioned in these writings, have determined to lay aside his poetical studies, in order to a closer pursuit of the law, has put together, as a farewell essay, some thoughts concerning pronunciation and action, which be
has given me leave to communicate to the public. They are chiefly collected from his favourite author Cicero, who is known to have been an intimate friend of Roscius the actor, and a good judge of dramatic performances, as well as the most eloquent pleader of the time in which he lived.
Cicero concludes his celebrated books De Oratore with some precepts for pronunciation and action, without which part he affirms that the best orator in the world can never succeed and an indifferent one, who is master of this, shall gain much greater applause. "What could make a stronger impression," says he, " than those exclamations. of Gracchus?-Whither shall I turn? Wretch that I am! to what place betake myself? Shall I go to the Capitol? Alas! it is overflowed with my brother's blood. Or shall I return to my house? Yet there I behold my mother plunged in misery, weeping and despairing!" These breaks and turns of passion, it seems, were so enforced by the eyes, voice, and gesture, of the speaker, that his very enemies could not refrain from tears. insist," says Tully, " upon this the rather, because our orators, who are as it were actors of the truth itself, have quitted this manner of speaking; and the players, who are but the imitators of truth, have taken it up."
I shall therefore pursue the hint he has here given me, and for the service of the British stage I shall copy some of the rules which this great Roman master has laid down; yet without confining myself wholly to his thoughts or words and to adapt this essay the more to the purpose for which I intend it, instead of the examples he has inserted in this discourse out of the ancient tragedies, I shall make use of parallel passages out of the most celebrated of our own.
The design of art is to assist action as much as possible in the representation of nature; for the appearance of reality is that which moves us in all representations, and these have always the greater force the nearer they approach to nature, and the less they shew of imitation.
Nature herself has assigned to every motion of the soul its peculiar cast of the countenance, tone of voice, and manner of gesture through the whole person; all the features of the face and tones of the voice answer, like strings
upon musical instruments, to the impressions made no them by the mind. Thus the sounds of the voice, according to the various touches which raise them, form themselves into an acute or grave, quick or slow, loud or soft, tone. These, too, may be subdivided into various kinds of tones, as the gentle, the rough, the contracted, the diffuse, the continued, the intermitted, the broken, abrupt, winding, softened, or elevated. Every one of these may be employed with art and judgment; and all supply the actor, as colours do the painter, with an expressive variety.
Anger exerts its peculiar voice in an acute, raised, and hurrying sound. The passionate character of King Lear, as it is admirably drawn by Shakspeare, abounds with the strongest instances of this kind.
Fiery! what quality?-why Gloster! Gloster!
I'd speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.
Sorrow and complaint demand a voice quite different; flexible, slow, interrupted, and modulated in a mournful tone: as in that pathetic soliloquy of Cardinal Wolsey on his fall:
Farewell! a long farewell to all my greatness!
And then he falls as I do.
We have likewise a fine example of this in the whole part of Andromache in the Distrest Mother, particularly in these lines