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dikracted me for a week; and whether I fould be
• Letit. And is it pofli ble that you felt no other care!
• Hardy. And pray, of what sort may your cares be, H: L
Letit. Indeed, Sir, I have not. .
* *, more to a young girl, to å handsome man? And
2 5 lancholy for, I say? Mrs. Rack. Why, because he is handforce
z cause she's over head and ears in love with bim; 2 : your foreknowledge had not told you a word oć. • Letit. Fye, Caroline !
Hardy. Well, come, do you tell me wts:1* you don't like him, hang the signing and leaS11 ES. and yet I can't say that neither; for you koos his father and me upwards of four core thoutas s
g him if you won't have him : if he won't have 101.
e i yours. All that's clear, engross'd upon parci nest. I ne man set bis hand to it whilft he was a-dying.-" 41 : “ see you'll never live to see 'em come togete: : : * fhall be christened 'Jeremiah after you, bez ! Jomite come, I say, what is the matter? Don't you Ca 193 Letit.' I fear; Sir-if I must speak- isa
in Mr. Doricourt's eyes, than he appeared in se
• Hardı. There you are mistaken; for 1 aže: me he liked you vastly. 'Don't you think benne to her?
* Mrs. Rack. Why really I think fo, a: Is
• Lerit. My dear Sir, I am convinced be iz fpirit or invention in woman, he shall.
• Hardy. Right, Girl; go to your toilet
my toilette that cas 2
Hardy. Oppose it ! not I indeed! W . • Letit. Why, Sir-it may seem a lite
1. Sirmit may seem a te conto does not like me enough, I want him to live like me enough, I want hlin tollte
2 our next interview endeavour to heighten interview endeavour to neigaret E
· Latit. As serious as the most import mands.
Mrs. Rack. Why endeavour to make tieto • Letit. Because 'ois much eafier to oppofite, than to transform indifference to re-en I Mrs. Rack. That may be good philcom
2.4 zrazi find it a bad maxim.
• Letit. I have the strongest confidence unusual spirits, and on this 'zard bappiness. I am impar
aven and earth! Les
form indifference 11
ngest confidesz:and on this bar tog e
In the next interview, wherein Letitia endeavours to heighten Doricourt's indifference into dislike, she succeeds in her purpose; which is what we can hardly say for the Author: fince that in. ' terview exhibits little more than a vapid imitation of the ideot behaviour of Maria in The Citizen. The Author indeed seems to fink under the idea of imitation; and rises proporcionably, as it were by rebound, when she proceeds to exhibit her heroine, in all her attractions, at the masquerade. Mrs. Cowley is then triumphant, as well as Miss Hardy; and we will transcribe the passage, as we cannot lay a more favourable specimen of the comedy before our Readers :
Doricourt and Letitia come forward. -- Dor. By Heavens ! I never was charm'd till now.-English beauty-French vivacity-wit-elegance. Your name, my Angel!-tell me your name, though you perlit in concealing your face.
• Let, My name has a spell in it..
• Dor. Hang Harriet, and Charlotte, and Maria—the name your Father gave ye!
• Lei. That can't be worth knowing, 'tis fo tranfient a thing.
• Dor. How, tranfient? . Let. Heav'n forbid my name should be lasting till I am married.
Dor. Married! The chains of Macrimony are too heavy and vole gar for such a spirit as yours. The flowery wreaths of Cupid are the only bands you should wear.
• Let. They are the lighteit, I believe : but 'tis poflible to wear those of marriage gracefully.-Throw 'em loosely round, and twift 'em in a True-Lover's Knot for the Bosom.
Dor. An Angel! But what will you be when a Wife? • Let. A Woman.-If my husband thould prove a Churl, a Fool, or a Tyrans, I'd break his heart, ruin his fortune, elope with the first pretty Fellow, that ask'd me- and return the contempt of the world with scorn, whilst my feelings prey'd upon my life.
• Dor. Amazing! [Afide] What if you lov'd him, and he were worthy of your love? . Let. Why, then I'd be any thing and all!-Grave, gay, capricious--the soul of whim, the fuirit of variety-live with him in the eye of fashion, or in the shade of retirement change my country, my sex,--feast with him in an Esquimaux hut, or a Perlian pavilion
join him in the victorious war-dance on the borders of Lake Ontario, or sleep to the soft breathings of be fute in the cinnamon groves of Ceylon-dig with bio in the mines of Golgonda, or enter the dangerous precincts of the Mogui's Sragiio-cheat him of his withes, and overturn his empire, to reitore the Husband of my Heart to the blessings of Liberty and Love. .. Dor. Delightful wildness! Oh, to catch thee, and hold thee for ever in this little cage!
(Attempting to clap ber.
• Lit. " Hold, Sir! Tkough Cupid muft give the bait that tempts me to the soare, ’ris Hymen must spread the net to catch me.
• Dor. 'Tis in vain to assume airs of coldness-Fate has ordain'd you mine.
• Let. How do you know?
• Dor. I feel it here. I never met with a woman so perfealy to my tafte ; and I won't believe it form’d you fo, on purpose to cantalize me.
• Let. This moment is worth my whole exitence. [Afide. . • Dor. Come, thew me your face, and rivet my chains.
• Let. To-morrow you shall be satisfied.
• Dor. Where then thall I wait on you to-morrow? Where fee you? · Let. You shall see me in an hour when you least expect me.
Dor. Why all this mystery? · • Ler. I like to be myfterious. At present be content to know that I am a Woman of Family and Fortune. Adieu! .
• Enter Hardy. • Har. Adieu! Then I am come at the fag end. [Äfide.) a
• Dor. Let me see you to your carriage. i Let. As you value knowing me, ftir not a lep. If I am follow'd, you never see me more.
[Exit.' Most of the fable, that relates to Lætitia's stratagem, is conducted with adroitness, elegance, and vivacity; but there is unfortunately grafted on it, after the manner of our late comedies, an underplot, which divides the interest, and interrupts the current of the story. The idea of the character of Sir George Touchwood, with the little circumstance of his jealous cruelty to the bird, is, if we recollect, taken from the Contes Moraux of Marmontel; but, borrowed or original, the interests of Sir George and his Lady might have been more advantageously disa played, and had better have been made the ground of a separate drama, than thus interwoven with the adventures of Miss Hardy.
In regard to the manners and dialogue, though the play contains many lively traits of character, as well as lucky hits of wit and humour, yet they do not seem to proceed from a person familiarly acquainted with the habits of high life, or the converfation of men; the representations of both which the Author seems to have gathered from novels and news papers, rather thean to have transcribed them from the book of Nature. Some of the dialogue is indeed in a style that we never before met with in any writings, or any conversation. “I could (says Sir George Touchwood) weep over that purity, exposed to the fullying breath of falhion, and the ton, in whore latitudinary vortex chafa tity herself can scarcely move unspotted !' U 2
The characters are not all discriminated. Those of the Heroine, Doricourt, and Hardy, are pre-eminent. On the whole, the Comedy of The Belle's Stratagem approaches much nearer to dramatic excellence, than any other piece yet produced by Mrs.
Doricourt, in Belle's Stratagem piece yet pro
Art. XI. Scottish Ballads. Small 8vo. 2s. 6d. sewed. Nichols. 1781. DESIDES a corrected edition of such tragic Ballads as are
D to be met with in former collections, this publication contains four others, that have hitherto been preserved only by tradition, and a second Part or continuation of the beautiful fragment of Hardyknute. For the recovery of this last the Editor acknowledges himself indebted to the memory of a Lady. The Public will recollect that it was to something more than to the memory of a Lady they were indebted for the former Part *. Our Editor, however, sturdily denies the possibility of Mrs. Wardlaw, or, indeed, any one of modern times, having that share in its production which Dr. Percy, and all competent and impartial judges, have hitherto supposed, “That she did not refuse the name,' says he, of being the original composer is a ftrange argument: would not the firft poet of Europe think it added to his reputation ?' We are as ready as the Editor to think it would: but it implies a strange opinion of the spirit and honesty of such poet, to suppose he would submit to be indebted for his reputation to a lye. But even though the antiquity of the former Part rested upon the moft immoveable bafis, we should have had many doubts respecting the authenticity of this; which, though not without merit, is evidently the production of a very inferior hand.
As the Reader may perhaps with to have fome specimen of these reliques of traditional poetry, we shall lay before them the following; which, however, as far as its antiquity is concerned, must be taken upon the faith of the Editor.
" THE DEATH OF MENTEITH.
And rudelie blew the blait;
The Speidy lichining palt.
* See Reliques of ancient English Poetry, Vol. II. p. 87. See also the same work, Vol. III. p. 98. d. 109, where the Reader will find in the ballad of Child Maurice, or as it is, perhaps, improperly ftiled, Gill Maurice, a ttanza and half which the present Editor has omitted, as the interpolation of a modern and very inferior hand; but surely without reason.
• bear • hear ye pae, frae mid the loch,
• Arise a deidly grane?
• Whao we fum deche maun mane,
"Ye are nae safe wi me:
• Sold in my calle drie!'
“ I'm ay safe whan wi chee ;
" I here wad wish to die.
Wi wallow cheik belyve :
• And ye maun flie or frive.
Thrie speirmen to your ane :
• We speid, or ye'll be slain.'
" To hide your shyning mail:
“ Owr the braid loch to fail.”
" That sough'd upo my eiri"
• But the rouch blast ye heir.'
Whan they were bown'd to gae,
Sir John's corse on the brae.' Prefixed to these Ballads are two introductory Dissertations ; on the Oral Tradition of Poetry, and on the Tragic Ballad.
They tell us a great deal about Ægypt and Ofiris, and the Magi and Moses, and Deborah and the Druids, &c, with erudite references to Ariftot. ; Scalig.; Dubos; Trapp; Burke; Herodot. ; Diodor. Sicul.; Jambl. de vit. Pythag.; Ælian. Var. Hift.; Ammian. Marcel. ; Saxo Grammat. ; Jo. Mag. Forfæ. ; Jones Comment. Antiq. Hibern.; Dissert. de Bar.; Rousleau Dict. de Muf.; Hickes Ling. Vet. Ther. ; Le Clerc Biblioth. Univ. ; OI. Worm. ; Macpherson, &c. &c. &c. And what is all this dilplay of most profound and marvellous erudition to prove? Why, that before men could write, they trusted to their memories; and that oral tradition is both safe and easy; and, ergo (for this seems to be the principal, though concealed, drift of the whole), that the long poems of Ollian have been faithfully transmitted down to us. Be it so: as we mean not, at present, to take any decisive part in U 3