Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

May we not one day be forced, by where all who approach to pay their new experiments upon this subject, to respects are ranged according to their return to that ancient principle so na- station and favour. All is attention tural and otherwise so conformable to his countenance; if he asks a ques. to all the phenomena which pass every tion, it is answered with the turn that day under our eyes ? The only source will please him: if he asserts, all apof the heat of our globe is the great plaud the truth : does he contradict, star which enlightens it; without it, all tremble : a multitude of domestics without the salutary influence of its appear in waiting, as silent and imrays, soon the whole earth, frozen on moveable as statues. This is the cere. all sides, would be only a lifeless mass

monial of paying conit. I speak not of ice and snow. Thus the history of the Durbar as the tribunal of jos. of winter in the polar regions would

tice : there injuries must cry alcud, be that of all our planet.

or will not be heard.

By the experience they have lsad of

Europeans, they deny us all pretextMANNERS of the INHABITANTS of tions to politeness. Our familiarities INDOSTAN.

appear shocking to their notions of From Orme's Historical Fragments.

awe and respect : our vivacities quite

ridiculous to their notions of solem1. Moors.

nity. I shall be pardoned for giving A

Domineering insolence towards an instance of this.

all who are in subjection to thein, The gentlemen of one of the Eu. ungovernable wilfulness, inhumanity, ropean factories in Bengal were invitcruelty, murders, and assassinations, ed to see the ceremony of a sacred deliberated with the same calmness and day at the Nabob's palace, where all subtlety as the rest of their politics; the great men of the city were to be an insensibility to remorse for these assembled. The Europeans were crimes, which are sarcely considered placed near the Nabob's person. The otherwise than as necessary accidents scene was in a large area of the pain the course of life, sensual excesses lace; in the middle of which, direci. which revolt against nature, un- ly opposite to the Nabob, a fountain bounded thirst of power, and a rapa- was playing. The Moors who enterciousness of wealth equal to the ex- ed approached no nearer than just travagance of his propensities and before the fountain ; there made obeivices, this is the character of an sance, and retired to their seats. A Indian Moor, who is of consequence man of soine distinction added a step sufficient to have any character at all. two too much. to his retreating

We find among the Moors, the bow, and fell backwards into the ceremonies of outward manners car- cistern of the fountain. I question ried to a more refined pitch than in whether half the foreign ambassadors any other part of the world, except of any cont in Europe could have China. These manners, are become suppressed their mirth on such an a fundamental of their education, as occasion; our foreign visitors burst without them a man would, instead of into repeated peals of laughter, and making his fortune,. be liable to lose flung themselves into all the attitudes his head.

which usually accompany the excess An uncivil thing is never said a- of it. Not a muscle was changed in Bongst cquals; the most extrava. the countenance of

any
other

person gant adulaiion, both of gesture and, in the assembly. The unlueky man words, is lavished upon the superior. went out with great composure to The grandce is seated in the Durbar, change his raiment; and all the at.

tention

or

a

eveil

same

course.

[ocr errors]

tention of the company was diverted to relieving the necessities of from him upon the boisterons mirth strangers : and the politeness of their of the strangers, which became real behaviour is retined by the natural matters of astonishment to these nice effeminacy of their dispositions, so as observers of decorum.

even to exceed that of the Moors. In Todostan, every man may

liter. The sway of a despotic governally be said to be the maker of his ment has taught them the necessity own fortune. Great talents, unawed of patience, and the coolness of their by scruples of conscience, seldom fail imagination enables them to practise of success : trom hence all persons of it better than any people in the distinction are seen running in the world. They conceive a conteinptible

' The perseverance ne- opinion of a man's capacity, who be, cessary to attain his end, teaches trays any impetuosity in his temper. every man to bear and forbear con- Slavery has sharpened the natural T:ary to the common instincts of hu-, fineness of allthe spirits of Asia : from. man nature; and hence arises their the difficulty of obtaining money and politeness.

the greater difficulty of preserving it, An expression of indignation bas the Gentoos are indefatigable in cost a considerable oilicer his life, business, and masters of the most exthree months after he had betrayed quisite dissimulation in all affairs of himseif to the apprehensions of his interest. They are the acutest buyers superior, who never afier thought and sellers in the world, and preserve himself secure from the resentments of through all their bārgains a degree a man, whose violence was capable of os calmness, which batiles all the arts transporting him to a pablic manifes. that can be opposed against it. tation of disgust; in the interiin, no- The children are capable of assistthing but the utmost complaisance ing them in their business at an age and respect has subsisted between when ours scarce begin to learn, It them. Just as the raslı man has is common to see a boy of eleven thought his peace was made, he has years enter into an assembly of confound' his destruction determined. siderable men, make his obeisance, I cannot ask credit for the multi

deliver his message, and then retire
plicity of facts of this nature which with all the propriety and grace of a
I could relate. How many princes very well-bred man.
have been stabbed in full durbar?
How many princes have been poison-
ed in their beds ? Chiefs of armies cir- Defence of the EDINBURGH Debating
cumvented and cut off at conferen.

Society.
ces in the field? Favourite courtiers
strangled without previous notice of

-Mutato nomini, de te
their crime ; 'or whilst they thought

Fabula narratur ago

HOR. themselves on the eve of destroying

SIR, their masters. A century of the politics of Indostan would afford A CERTAIN Gentleman, (tbro' more examples of this nature than the medium of your useful Miscan be found in the whole history of cellany of August last, p. 503,) has Europe since the time of Charle. made a puerile attempt to amuse magne.

the public, by ridiculing our Socie. 2. Gentoos,

ty. The Gentoos are very affectionate, The fact is, from 20 to 30 of us, parents, and treat their domestics with industrious tradesmen, 'meet every great mildness. They are charitable, Saturday night at 8 o'ciock, to exer

cise our rational powers, after the la. put into the mouths of James M'Al.
borious operations of the week. The pin, porter ; Charles Hodge, farrier,
principal end of the meeting is to and myself, it is sufficient to observe,
read the Weekly Journal, and your that they are the ignis fatuus of his
Magazine. But in order to have the own rickety pericranium, and were
whole members present before the never delivered in our society. When
reading commences, an additional this gentleman laid aside all consci-
hour is allowed, and the reading entious scruples, and launched out in-
commences at nine, whether all the to the wide ocean of fiction, it might
members are assembled or not. In naturally have been expected, that
the interval from eight to nine, in he would have produced something
order to prevent confusion, and di- capable of amusing the public.
rect the general attention of the so- But admitting(forargument's sake,)
ciety to one particular point, the that the speeches were delivered by
president proposes a question for dis- the persons to whom they are ascrið.
cussion, and every member who ed, I can discover no fund of enter-
chooses may deliver bis sentiments. tainment to amuse the public. The
This rational and cheap amusement only objection against me is, that I
costs, each of us about 4s. per an. am a tailor, and borrow similes from
num. Instead, therefore, of meritiog the terms of my art. Certainly there
censure, or being pointed out as ob is nothing either criminal' or ridicu.
jects of ridicule, I cannot conceive lous in being a tailor.
how we could spend a leisure hour, The charge against M’Alpin is
either more rationally, or more eco- that he wears a bonnet, and speaks
nomically.

Scotch. I know several noblemen,
Had the great Geldsmith, or the who wear a bonnet and a kilt too,
feeling Gray, been introduced to our and speaks broader Scotch than
society, how differently would they Jamie M'Alpin does.
have acted ? They would have bu. The charge against the well-dres-
sied themselves in discovering a Ci. sed man, Charles Hodge the farrier,
cero here, a Demosthenes there, &c. is much the same with that preferred
&c. and the only motions they would against myself, viz, that we borrow
have felt, would have been those of our similes from the terms of our re-
pity and regret, that we had not spective occupations. Had Mr S.
basked in the sun shine of erudition. been acquainted with human nature,
Though they might have disappro. either practically or theoretically, he
ved of our manner of handling a dis- must have known that the same
cussion, still they must have been thing takes place, more or less, a.
pleased with the efforts of untutored mong all ranks of mankind, particu-
genius.

larly in the navy It is certainly no blame of ours The sum of the whole is, that Mr that we did not receive a liberal edu. S. (according to his own account of cation, and Mr S. certainly does us the matter,) was introduced into a much injustice by asserting that we society of honest tradesmen, who meet to discuss subjects in every de- were conversing in their own homely partment of literature. We, on the style. Cabbage was a tailor, and contrary, make no pretensions to li. spoke of elbows and remnants. Jamie terature at all, but we conceive we M‘Alpin wore his own native dress, have as good a right as he has, to and spoke the language of his coundiscuss such subjects as come within try. Charlie Hodge the farrier, spoke the sphere of our knowledge. of circulation and cathartics. The As to the speeches which he has president committed the heinous

transnent

[ocr errors]

by the

pomp

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

transgression of being a jolly looking theatre. The vast and exalted imaman, and the still more heinous one ges,

which are raised in the mind, of wearing a tie wig.

of heroic verse, and the Proh pudor ! proh' mores! amplification of heroic fiction, shrink It occurs to me, that Mr S. is ei. into a degree of meanness, that bether a poor caterer, or the public are

comes quite ridiculous, when reduced easily gratified.

to the standard of ordinary nature, I am, however, inclined to think, that he had intruded and exhibited in the person of a himself on them in the same manner

modern actor. The impression which as he did on us, and that they will ap

the sight of Achilles on the French

stage first made upon me will never pretiate his merits accordingly.' He

be effaced : a more farcical and ludi. ought to recollect, that it is not the

crous figure could scarcely present want of education, but the affecta. tion of it, which makes a man ridicu.

itself to my imagination, than a pert lous ; and the little amusement he

smart Frenchman, well rouged, laced, may have afforded the public, is at

curled, and powdered; with the gait his own expence, not ours.

of a dancing master, and the accent To conclude, Mr Editor, I would of a milliner, attempting to personate advise this vapouring blade, (if he

that tremendous warrior, the nodhas the least remnant of common

ding of whose crest dismayed armies, sense lest to clout the elbows of his and the sound of whose voice made

even the war horse shudder. The folly,) to regulate his amusements according to his own mind, and let generality of the audience, indeed,

never having viewed the original us do the same. If I am troubled with more of his ridiculous nonsense,

through the dazzling and expansive I shall, (sans ceremonie,) rip up

medium of Homer's verses, thought his

only of the lover of Iphigenia : and Totten seams to some purpose. I am, Sir,

were, of course, as well satisfied with

Mons. Achille as with
Yours, &c.

other

any amorous hero, “ that struts and frets ANTHONY M.CABBAGE. Habit-maker, Edinburgh.

his hour upon the stage.” In this,

as in other instances, the habitual asP.S. If you insert this, I will make sociation of ideas makes the same ob

your next pair of over-alls for no- ject contemptibly ridiculous to one, thing.

and affectingly serious to another, A. M.

In this country, however, the charac. ters of the Iliad and Odyssey have

been so generally known since Pope's Character of the Heroes of the ILIAD splendid translation, that no tragedy and ODYSSEY.

has been popular, in which they have

been introduced ; and, I believe, From Knight's Enquiry into the Prin. Thomson's Agamemnon is the only ciples of Taste.

instance of their being brought upon HORACE's advice of preferring Horace drew his rules and instruc

the character and fictions of the tions from the practice of the Greek Iliad to those of common nature or theatre; where the actors were so history, as the materials of tragedy, disguised by masks and cothurni ; seems to me very ill adapted to the and the whole performance so much principle of modern drama, how more remote from ordinary nature, well soever it may have suited the than the modern drama, that inconsplendid exhibitions of the Greek gruities of this kind were less promi

[ocr errors]

the stage.

000,

[ocr errors]

nent and offensive. The most emi- dered human life in the abstract, as nert, too, of the Greek tragedians a delusive mockery of vain hopes and changed and perverted the characters fears, which it was almost a matter of the lliad and Odyssey, when they

of indifference either to preserve or brought them upon the stage : as destror. appears from the Ulysses and Mene- Had the 'Achilles of the Iliad, or laus in the plays of Sophocles and the Ulysses of the Odyssey, been Euripides, still extant; which are such as Horace has described the gross caricatures of the same chia- or Euripides exbibited the racters in the Homeric poeins. It Oiler, they would not have intereswas probably from some caricature ted the untutored, but uncorrupted of ibis kind ibat Horace took the feelings of an Homeric audience, how pori: aut of Achilles which he re. well soever they might have succeeded commends to dramatic writers : for on the Attic theatre : for men, in the it is extremely unlike the hero of the early stages of society, when manners Iliad, who is, indeed, impiger, ira- are general substitutes for laws, are cudus, acer; active, irrascible, and scrupulously observant of whatever eage: but so far from renouncing custom or public opinion has esta. or denying any of the established blished as a criterion of politeness or rights and institutions of law, mora- good breeding ; the principles of lity, or religion, that he is a steady which, as before obscrved, are the and zealous observer of all : pious to same in all ages and all countries, his gods, dutiful to his parents, hos- howsoever the modes of showing pitable and polite to his guests; kind them may vary. Hence neither the and generous to his subjects, faithful violent and attrocious passions of the and affectionate to his friends, and, first of these heroes, nor the wily are open, honourable, and sincere tifice and versatility of the second, e. wards all. Neither is he an inexorable ver make either of them deviate from enemy, till exasperated by the loss the character of a genileman, even of the man most dear to him, and according to our present notions of soured by despair and impending that character, allowing always for death.

the change of exterior forms or cere. Despising his own life, as a frail monies of fashion. Though the one and transitory possessionof little va- is impetuous, and the other tempe. lue; while the pride of conscious su. rate in his expressions of resentment; periority taught him to consider, that both equally preserve the digni. of others of sill less value, he be. ty of high pride and conscious su. comes sanguinary thro' magnanimity, periority; and both are invariably and gives an unbounded scope to his kind, civil, and attentive to all, whom resentment from not thinking the the weakness of sex or age entitled objects of it worth sparing. Consi- to their protection or compassion.dered in this point of view, the Any of that unfeeling rudeness with seeming incongruities in the charac. which the Ulysses of Euripides reters of several of the mighty heroes jects the supplications of the captive and conquerors of real history be. Hecuba for ihe life of her last rebecome consistent and united. In maining child, or any of that selfish their private and individual transac- coldness, with which the Æneas of tions, where their particular sympa: Virgiltreats the unfortunate princess, thies have been called forth, they whose. affections he had seduced, have been mild, generous, and com- would have so degraded either of the passionate ; but in dealing with man. Homeric heroes in the estimation of kind in the mass, they have consi- the simple but gallant warriors, to

whom

to

« ZurückWeiter »