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constitute the healthy state of the and him that takes.' Relation and soul, united with a consciousness friendship make the evils of anothof this health. The more lively er entirely our own.
The suffer affections invigorate and excite a ings are irremediable, or such as delectable vivacity, and harmonize we ought not to wish to remedy. the mind with every thing around.' Pride, avarice, selfishness withhold Uneasiness ningles with the be- our hand. In these cases we denevolence exercised towards the rive not pleasure but pain from . unhappy. But it is more than our access to the unhappy. Necompensated by the satisfaction of cessity or duty alone will keep us ministering to his relief; or even within the hearing of his plaints, the desire and effort to do it.' A and the view of his anguish. The sufferer in some form or other is Levite, who saw a traveller in a within our reach, whom duty per- wretched plight, kept on the other mits and inclination prompts us to side of the road, and passed on. serve. We feel it in our power to He was not willing to see the afinfuse joy into the heart, which is fiction, which he was determined now wrung with sorrow; and kin- not to relieve. There is one exdle smiles in the face, which is ception to these observations, where saddened by despondence. Com- the victim of misfortune is an inpassion enters into his feelings, teresting character, and suffers in and makes them partially its own. a manner to engage respect and The sufferer is the just object of admiration. A great and virtuour resentment. Mercy suppres- ous man, struggling with adversises anger, and pleads for his par- ty, is a spectacle, said an ancient don. He is an inferiour in station, philosopher, upon which the gods wealth, or talents. Condescension might look down with pleasure.' makes us wave our distinctions. He does not mean to intimate that He is a character to excite preju- the Deity is cruel, and takes delight dice,or censure; and candour does in the misery of his creatures ; but all she can to excuse his faults. that he, who bears the evils of life To be his friend requires conces- with magnanimity and resignation, sions, sacrifices,and toils ; and gen- possesses a moral pre-eminence, erosity foregoes advantages and which is worthy the attention of pleasures in his favour. If the de- higher orders of intelligences. sire of showing kindness cannot The object of our sympathetick gratify itself by affording substan- emotions is not onc, whose conditial relief; if we cannot even speak tion we can affect. It is a crimion the subject of his griefs, yet our nal led out to an ignominious death, manne: evinces that they touch or men engaged in the tumult and our hearts. “He sat down in an danger of battle, or opposed in armed chair by the side of his dis- deadly combat. It is the narrative tressed friend and said nothing.' of the historian, the tale of the nov. With these dispositions are any elist, a picture, a poem, a drama, willing to approach the afflicted; or a theatrical representation, disand do they find a luxury in their playing our fellow beings in situasympathies? The satisfaction is tions of trial and distress, or accertainly derived not from the tuated by painful passions ; that asight of sorrow, but from the ex- waken and enchain our attention. ercise of that benevolence, which The pleasure we obtain from these like mercy .blesses him that gives is not any delight that we take
in misery ; in the disasters, fears, I commit the remainder of this arsorrows, and torments of our race. gument to a critick and wriThe works of art, that we have ter of plays, deeply skilled in mentioned, possess many proper- the subject.*
the subject.* It cannot be any ties to excite our emotions, be- pleasure we receive from the sufsides the sufferings they exhibit. ferings of a fellow creature, which They gratify our love of the grand, attracts such multitudes of people the beautiful, the new, the marvel- to a publick execution ; though it lous. They are often distinguish- is the horrour we conceive for such ed by fertility of allusion, harmo- a spectacle, that keeps so many ny of language, and brightness more away. To see a human beand force of sentiment. They'ing bearing himself up under such lead us through regions of en-. circumstances, or struggling with chantment, created by imagination, the terrible apprehensions, which and embellished with ideal beau- such a situation impresses, must ties. The chief attraction of this be the powerful incentive, which class of objects and representations makes us press forward to behold arises from the interest, we take in what we shrink from, and wait the exhibition of human character. with trembling expectation for We possess what has been denom. what we dread. For though at inated a sympathetick curiosity con such a spectacle few can get near cerning our species. We love to enough to distinguish the expressee how beings like ourselves are sion of face, or the minuter parts affected in extraordinary situations of a criminal's behaviour, yet and under strong emotions, and to from a considerable distance will exercise our moral judgment and they eagerly mark whether he' feelings upon their qualities and steps firmly, whether the motion conduct. It is not their grief or of his body denotes agitation or perturbation, their fear or despair, calmness ; and if the wind does their perplexity and distress, which but ruffle his garment, they will, fix our attention ; but it is these even from that change upon the circumstances taken in connection outline of his distant figure, read with the qualities they call forth, some expression connected with the energies they awaken, and his dreadful situation. Though the degree of correspondence of there is a greater proportion of the language and behaviour of the people, in whoin this strong cupersons introduced to their char. riosity will be overcome by other acter and state. In ordinary life dispositions and motives ; though the characters of men are the sub- there are many more, who will jects of constant inquiry and spe- stay away from such a sight, than culation to one another. Children will go to it, yet there are very few and common people are awake to who will not be eager to converse the expressions of sentiment and with a person who has beheld it, feeling in those around them. In and to learn, very minutely, every uncommon situations men are ob- circumstance connected with it, served by each other with a pro- except the very act itself of inflictportionate interest. The indica- ing death. To lift up the roof of tions of energetick passion, that is raised by natural causes, are beheld with correspondent emotions. series of Plays on the Passions, 2d ed.
* See Introductory Discourse to a My readers will not complain that Lon. 1799.
his dungeon, like the Diable boi- those passions, which all have in teux, and look upon a criminal, some degree experienced, without the night before he suffers, in his feeling himself most powerfully still hours of privacy, when all that excited by the sight? I say, all disguise is removed, which respect have experienced ; for the bravest for the opinion of others imposes, man on earth knows what fear is, the strong motive by which even as well as the coward, and will the lowest and wickedest of men not refuse to be interested for one still continue to be moved, would under the dominion of this passion, present an object to the mind of provided there be nothing in the every person, not withheld from it circumstances attending it to create by great timidity of character, contempt.' The wild tossings of more powerfully attractive, than despair ; the gnashing of hatred almost any other.'
• When we and revenge ; the yearnings of afbehold any person under the pres- fection, and the softened mein of sure of great and uncommon ca- love; all the language of the agitatlamity, delicacy and respect for the ed soul, which every age and na. afflicted will indeed make us turn tion understands, is never addresourselves aside from observing sed to the dull nor inattentive.' • It him, and cast down our eyes in his is to this sympathetick curiosity of presence, but the first glance we our nature, exercised upon mandirect to bim will involuntarily be kind in great and trying occasions, one of the keenest observations, and under the influence of the how hastily soever it may be stronger passions, when the grand, checked; and often will are turning the generous, and the terrible atlook of inquiry mix itself by stealth tract our attention far more than with our sympathy and reserve.' the base and depraved, that the * What human creature is there, high and powerfully tragick of ev. who can behold a being like him- ery composition is addressed.' self under the violent agitation of
FROM THE LONDON MORNING CHRONICLE.
THE ART OF SCREAMING. Mr. Editor,
AS the, Publick have now had Having been for many years a leisure and opportunity to recover frequenter of publick places, and, from the shock,occasioned to their by virtue of my rank in life, adfiner feelings, by the late accident mitted to all the most fashionable at Sadler's Wells (which, by the circles, I have had sundry and exway, they have done surprisingly cellent opportuities to study the soon), I beg leave to trouble you whole theory aud practice of frights with a few desultory thoughts up- and fears; and I have, therefore, on the subject, in consequence of no hesitation at all in pronouncing, a conversation with some persons that the late accident was occasionpresent on that celebrated night. ed—not by pick-pocketsnor by I hope that now, when we are all fire-nor by water-but solely by calm and quiet, a little good advice SCREAMING.---Your readers may will not be refused a patient hear- exclaim poh! and pish ! at this oing.
pinion, but I trust they will at the same time permit me to explain the room, which is followed by the myself.
true musical shriek in alt. heard I repeat it, sir, that the whole all over the house, bringing up the mischief was occasioned by Scream- maids, and perhaps the footmen, ing, a genteel accomplishment u- to see that it don't come too near usually brought forward in all the open end of Miss's petticoats, cases where there is no danger, if she happen to be so far undrest and generally as carefully suppres- as to have any. sed where there is—Now, Sir, I From these lessons they are should have no objection whatever taught to advance pretty rapidly to to screaming, were it put under due the highest notes on the scale of regulations. I am aware that to screaming (which, like our modern scream is part of the education of pianos, has got additional keys), every young lady of fashion : but and they learn, at the same time although it is taught at school along (if their parents chuse to go to tre with other species of musick, along expence), the sostenuto, or crescenwith the piano-forte, the harp, do, the swell, and all the other grathe triangle, and the rest of the ces of exclamation, accompanied necessary branches of polite edu- with the usual prayers of Oh! cation, I am afraid that the theory L-d; Good G-d; help ; murand practice of it is very ill under der ; fire, &c. all which produce, I stood in some of our genteel sem- will do them the justice to say, a inaries, and therefore very auk- very fine effect in genteel compawardly performed at home.
yy ; overturning tables and chairs, The general routine of teaching spilling boiling water, bruising the the art of screaming is to give Miss lap-dop, or cat, and perhaps throwa few elementary lessons with a ing a lighted candle on the train of spider, or a father-long-legs, placed, a muslin gown: the father swears, first on her arm, and next, if she the mother faints, the daughters can go through that lesson with a are in fits, and the company jump pretty squall, the creeping intruder about ; and in a few minutes, it is is placed on her bosom, although unanimously agreed, that there it is well known that a spider had was nothing the matter, but they rather see a blue-bottle, than all the were 80 frightened ! bosoms of an Opera-benefit. But Now, Sir, in all this system of this by the bye. As soon as the education, genteel and useful as it pupil is perfect in the spider and is, there are some small defects. father-long-legs, she is to be taught Although the pupil is not only to scream at a mouse, and here told that screaming in company, there are several gradations, for or at a publick assembly, is a which, I believe, our governesses fine accomplishment, and mighgenerally make an extra-charge. ty attractive, but is likewise taught First, there is only the report of a how to scream from the lowest mouse, which may pass off with a note to the top of her gamut ; yet, few Good Lords ! or 0 La!'s. unfortunately, she is not taught Next the noise of a mouse is heard
the proper occasions when to behind the wainscot, and this gen- scream, and when to sit quiet, nor erally produces a very promising how elegant outcries should be and tolerably shrill cry-and last- managed so as to produce only elly, the little animal is introduced egant mischief, aukward mistakes, in propria persona running across and dress-disordering disclosures
of the dear me ! and bless me! there are always a great many of kind ; and other little rumplings that class, whom nobody knows, and rumpusses, which have a ten- there is less room for the display dency to draw people's attention, of graceful timidity; and the and make one be talked of. It is scream, or even a chorus of screams, plain that, for want of a due man- has too much the appearance of agement of the tonnish scream,some what passes among the vulgar, people have lost their lives, and when they see a man just going to others their limbs, which is not a be hanged, or to leap out of a winvery pleasant circumstance ; and dow, or fall from a scaffold, or any however we may speculate on of these things,which are performsuch matters, there is really no af- ed without an attention to the laws fectation, and nothing graceful in of etiquette, the musick of the dislocations, or compound fract. voice, or the graces of attitude. ures. How horrid, Mr. Editor, to I beg, however, that in thus enthink ! instead of a gay Colonel, deavouring to limit the practice of or a dozen of Bond-street beaux, screaming, I may not be thought hanging over one with hartshorn, to argue against that genteel coweau-de-luce, and burnt feathers ardice and beautiful timidity, those to have a filthy Coroner, and his captivating fears, and interesting dozen of jurymen, pawing one a- alarms, which have long been the bout, nobody knows where, to find privilege of well-bred persons. I out a verdict !
would not for the world strip them I would therefore, Sir, recom- of such terrours, as create a pleasmend it to those Governesses, who ing variety in the display of beauteach frights by the quarter, to ty, which are so ingeniously taught consider, whether it may not be at schools, and encouraged by the possible to reduce the science of perusal of novels, containing long screaming to some decent regula- galleries, blue lights, dark chamtions : for example, to teach their bers, deep dungeons, and ghastly pupils that an ear-wig may be kil- spectres. I argue against nothing led without ringing the family of the kind, from a shriek to a tocsin, and that a mouse may be convulsion, that can be practised caught without a posse comitatus of with eclat in company, and graced ushers, teachers, nurses, and ser- by the usual accomplishments of vants roused from their four-pair- chalked floors, and variegated of-stairs beds, and armed with flat lamps, displayed in festoons with candlesticks, pokers, and pewter infinite taste, and glimmering apots. They may also, while they mong evergreens. All I contend preserve the privilege of scream- for is, that where there is real daning in full force, hint to their pu- ger, they will sit still and reserve pils, that it would be as well, if vi- the scream, the shriek, and the olent outeries, and sentimental higher octaves of exclamation, for timidities, were confined to domes- the amusement of confidential partick circles, or ladies' routs at far- ties,where the sudden shutting
of a thest. Among friends such things door, the falling of a screen, the apare very becoming, and added to proach of a ravisher, or other,such the equally genteel accomplish- elegant timidities may be worked ment of fits, faintings, &c. give a up into a fit, heightened by vocifegrace, and a Je ne sçai quoi to the ration, and decorated with all the young votaries of artificial man- attitudes of the Grecian costume. ners. But in publick places, where Yours,&c. A QUIET SOUL.