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passionately accompanying just cause of lamentations, or for rightly painting out how weak be the passions of wofulness ?
Is it the bitter, but wholesome Iambic, who rubs the galled mind, in making shame the trumpet of villany, with bold and open crying out against naughtiness? Or the Satiric, who,
“Omne vafer vitium ridenti tangit amico," who sportingly never leaveth, until he make a man laugh at folly, and at length, ashamed to laugh at himself; which he cannot avoid, without avoiding the folly ? who, while circum præcordia ludit (plays about the heart), giveth us to feel how many head. aches a passionate life bringeth to ? How, when all is done,
" Est Ulubris, animus si nos non deficit æquus ?”+ No, perchance it is the Comic, whom naughty play-makers and stage-keepers have justly made odious. To the arguments of abuse, I will after answer; only this much now is to be said, that the comedy is an imitation of the common errors of our life, which he representeth in the most ridiculous and scornful sort that may be; so as it is impossible that any beholder can be content to be such a one.
Now, as in geometry, the oblique must be known as well as the right, and in arithmetic the odd as well as the even; so, in the actions of our life, who seeth not the filthiness of evil, wanteth a great foil to perceive the beauty of virtue. This doth the comedy handle so in our private and domestical matters, as, with hearing it, we get, as it were, an experience of what is to be looked for of a niggardly Demea, of a crafty Davus, of a flattering Gnatho, of a vain-glorious Thraso : and not only to know what effects are to be expected, but to know who be such, by the signifying badge given them by the comedian. And little reason hath any man to say that men learn the evil by seeing it so set out, since, as I said before, there is no man living, but, by the force truth hath in nature, no sooner seeth these men play their parts, but wisheth them in Pistrinum, although, perchance, the sack of his own faults lie so behind his back, that he seeth not
• Who slily touches the faults of his friend, who laughs the while.
himself to dance to the same measure : whereto, yet, nothing can more open his eyes, than to see his own actions contemptibly set forth. So that the right use of comedy will, I think, by nobody be blamed.
And much less of the high and excellent Tragedy, that openeth the greatest wounds, and showeth forth the ulcers that are corered with tissue ; that maketh kings fear to be tyrants, and tyrants to manifest their tyrannical humors : that, with stirring the affections of admiration and commiseration, teacheth the uncer. tainty of this world, and upon how weak foundations gilded roofs are builded: that maketh us know, Qui sceptra savus duro imperio regit, Timet timentes ; metus in authorem redit.* But how much it can move, Plutarch yieldeth a notable testimony of the abominable tyrant Alexander Pheræus, from whose eyes a trag. edy, well made and represented, drew abundance of tears, who, without all pity, had murthered infinite numbers, and some of his own blood ; so as he that was not ashamed to make matters for tragedies, yet would not resist the sweet violence of a tragedy. And if it wrought no farther good in him, it was that he, in despite of himself, withdrew himself from hearkening to that which might mollify his hardened heart. But it is not the trageds which they do mislike, for it were too absurd to cast out so excellent a representation of whatsoever is most worthy to be learned.
Is it the Lyric that most displeaseth, who, with his tuned lyre and well-accorded voice, giveth praise, the reward of virtue, to virtuous acts? who giveth moral precepts and natural problems? who sometimes raiseth up his voice to the height of the heavens, in singing the lauds of the immortal God? Certainly, I must confess mine own barbarousness, I never heard the old songt of Percy and Donglas, that I found not my heart moved more than with a trumpet; and yet is it sung but by some blind crowder, with no rougher voice than rude style : which being so evil apparelled in the dust and cobweb of that uncivil age, what would it work trimmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindar? In Hungary, I have seen it the manner at all feasts, and other such-like
* The cruel prince who sways the sceptre of a severe government, fean those who fear bim, and terror returns upon its author,
† The Ballad of Chevy Chase.
meetings, to have songs of their ancestors' valor, which that right soldier-like nation think one of the chiefest kindlers of brave courage. The incomparable Lacedæmonians did not only carry that kind of music ever with them to the field, but even at home, as such songs were made, so were they all content to be singers of them: when the lusty men were to tell what they did, the old men what they had done, and the young, what they would do. And where a man may say, that Pindar, many times, praiseth highly victories of small moment, rather matters of sport than virtue; as may it be answered, It was the fault of the poet, and not of the poetry; so, indeed, the chief fault was in the time and custom of the Greeks, who set those toys at so high a price, that Philip of Macedon reckoned a horse-race, won at Olympus, among his three fearful felicities. But as the inimitable Pindar often did, so is that kind most capable and most fit to awake the thoughts from the sleep of idleness, to embrace honorable enterprises.
There rests the Heroical, whose very name, I think, should daunt all backbiters. For by what conceit can a tongue be directed to speak evil of that which draweth with him no less champions than Achilles, Cyrus, Æneas, Turnus, Tydeus, Rinaldo? Who doth not only teach and move to truth, but teacheth and moveth to the most high and excellent truth? Who maketh magnanimity and justice shine through all misty fearfulness and foggy desires ? Who, if the saying of Plato and Tully be true, that who could see virtue would be wonderfully ravished with the love of her beauty. This man setteth her out, to make her more lovely, in her holiday apparel, to the eye of any that will deign not to disdain until they understand. But, if anything be already said in the defence of sweet poetry, all concurreth to the maintaining the Heroical, which is not only a kind, but the best and most accomplished kind of poetry. For, as the image of each action stirreth and instructeth the mind, so the lofty image of such worthies most inflameth the mind with desire to be wor. thy, and informs with counsel how to be worthy. Only let Æneas be worn in the tablet of your memory, how he governeth himself in the ruin of his country, in the preserving his old father, and carrying away his religious ceremonies; in obeying God's commandments, to leave Dido, though not only all passionate kindVOL. IV.
ness, but even the human consideration of virtuous gratefulness, would bave craved other of him : how in storms, how in sports, how in war, how in peace, how a fugitive, how victorious, how besieged, how besieging, how to strangers, how to allies, how to enemies, how to his own : lastly, how in his inward self, and bow in bis outward government; and I think, in a mind most prejudiced with a prejudicating humor, he will be found in excellency fruitful. Yea, as Horace saith, melius Chrysippo et Crantore : but truly, I imagine it falleth out with these poet-whippers as with some good women, who often are sick, but, in faith, they cannot tell where. So the name of Poetry is odious to them, but neither his cause nor effects, neither the sum that contains him, nor the peculiarities descending from him, give any fast handle to their carping dispraise.
Since, then, poetry is of all human learning the most ancient, and of most fatherly antiquity, as from whence other learnings have taken their beginnings; since it is so universal, that no learned nation doth despise it, nor barbarous nation is without it: since both Roman and Greek gave such divine names unto it, the one of prophesying, the other of making, and that, indeed, that name of making is fit for him, considering that where all other arts retain themselves within their subjects, and receive, as it were, their being from it, the poet only bringeth his own stuff, and doth not learn a conceit out of the matter, but maketh matter for a conceit. Since, neither his description nor end containing any evil, the thing described cannot be evil; since his effects be so good as to teach goodness, and delight the learners of it: since therein (namely, in moral doctrine, the chief of all knowledge) he doth not only far pass the historian, but, for instructing, is well-nigh comparable to the philosopher; for moving, leaveth him behind him. Since the holy Scripture (wherein there is no uncleanness) hath whole parts in it poetical, and that even our Saviour Christ vouchsafed to use the flowers of it: since all his kinds are not only in their united forms, but in their severed dissections fully commendable, I think (and think I think rightly) the laurel crown appointed for triumphant captains doth worthily, of all other learnings, honor the poet's triumph.
BISHOP Wilson. [Dr. Thomas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor-and-Man, was an eminent Divino of the latter part of the last century. His works are of a practical character, and are still extensively used. He died March 7, 1755, at the age of 92.]
“ And take double money in your hand ; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand ; peradventure it was an oversight."--GENESIS xliii. 12.
A man of justice and integrity in his dealings is a character very desirable; and most people are apt to claim it as their right. On the other hand, there are so many ways of forfeiting this char. acter, without a man's being exposed to the world for his dishonesty, nay, very often without taking notice of it himself, that one cannot be too earnest with people to consider this matter a little more seriously, if it were but to convince them how often they claim a character which they are not always careful to deserve.
But then, when it is considered that for every act of injustice a man is accountable to God, and that restitution, where it can be, must be made as we hope for salvation, though it is a duty which people are very hardly persuaded to submit to,--these things considered, it is everybody's concern to know and to avoid a sin of so much deceit and danger.
Now, there are several parts of injustice, or ways of forfeiting the character of an honest man, which I shall not now insist upon ; such are,—the taking what is another man's right by se. cret or open force, that is, by theft or robbery; by oppression, when he is not able to contend with us; or by extortion, when his necessities force him to submit to the hardest terms we think fit to impose upon him : these are all crimes of so ill fame, that all people pretend to abhor them; the laws are severe in punishing them : and such as are guilty are, for the most part, convinced they do ill.
But, then, there are acts of injustice which, though they are