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Artaxerxes. O fpeak-affist our pitying grace.
I cannot speak of guilt or of defence;
Nor can I find a motive to repent ; ·
And fhould you queftion me a thousand times,
Yes, yes, his fpeech, his filence
Alike declare him guilty: wherefore then
This long delay? What means the judge? Is this
My death, Mandane ?
Doft thou feek
Perfevere, my foul. [Afide.]
Artaban. Princess, thy juft reproach has rouz'd my virtue
Qf loyalty and juftice yet unknown.
I here condemn my son--Arbaces, die.
Mandane. O Heav'n! [Afide.]
[Signs the paper.
Defer, my friend, the fatal fentence.
Artaban. The deed is fign'd--I have fulfill'd my duty.
[Rifes and gives the paper. We have selected this paffage as a ftriking proof (though it is by no means fingular) that had Metaftafio wrote in English, his original would have been-this translation.
The dramas tranflated are, Artaxerxes, The Olympiad, Hypfipile, Titus, Demetrius, and Demophoon.
X. Anecdotes of Painting in England; with fome Account of the principal Artifts; and incidental Notes on other Arts; collected by the late Mr. George Vertue; and now digefted and published from his original MSS. By Mr. Horace Walpole. 2d Edit. In 4 Kols, 4to. Pr. 31. 35. Bathoe.
HERE is a term in the civil law which we think ought to be adopted into authorship; we mean, comitas curiæ ; by which is meant that candour and complaifance which one court of judicature either obferves, or ought to obferve, to another, though of a foreign constitution. It is with no small regret we obferve, (for we are not difpofed to quarrel with this author) that he has excluded from the liberal arts that politenefs which is admitted even by the ftrictness of law, and which the ferocity of intereft has not banished.
... In our review of the third volume of this work, we offered fome exceptions to the author's observation, that Corneille, Moliere, Boileau, and le Sueur, feem to have studied only in Sparta.' This cenfure has drawn from Mr. W. the following note.
It has been objected by fome perfons that the expreffion of Studying in Sparta is improper, as the Spartans were an illiterate. people, and produced no authors. A criticism I think very ill founded. The purity of the French writers, not their learning, is the object of the text. Many men travelled to Lacedæmon to study the laws and institutions of Lycurgus. Men visit all countries, under the pretence at leaft of ftudying the refpective manners: nor have I ever heard before that the term Studying was reftricted to meer reading. When I fay an author wrote as chaftly as if he had ftudied only in Sparta, is it not evident that I meaned his morals, not his information, were formed on the purest models ?'
This is perhaps, one of the most extraordinary apologies that ever appeared for an extraordinary blunder.-Harkee, Sir, you fhould not mention Sparta, without having very well ftudied your subject; and we are to inform you as a fecret, that you might as well have faid that thofe French writers feem to have studied only at the Cape of Good Hope, as the present Hottentots are a more cleanly, a more virtuous, a more pure, and a lefs beastly people, than the antient Spartans.
The Critical Reviewers fay, that in, opening the anecdotes of the artists in the reign of king William, Mr. W. grofly mifquotes and mifapplies a line of Mr. Montague, afterwards earl of Halifax. In anfwer to this obfervation, which is introduced without the least afperity, and is mentioned only as a flip of memory, Mr. W. entertains us with the following very polite note.
"It has been obferved that I have mifquoted lord Halifax, who does not promise king William an immortality in tapestry for his wound, but tells him, the French wo ld have flattered him in that manner. It is very true: I mistook, quoting only by memory, and happily not being very accurately read in fo indifferent an author. The true reading is but more appli. cable to my purpofe. Whoever delights in fuch piddling criticisms, and is afterwards capable of reasoning from a paffage when he has rectified it, may amufe himself in fetting this right. I leave the paffage wrong as it stood at first, in charity to fuchcommentators. Always the wrong end of the asparagus, Mr. W.! much good may it do you.
In our review of the catalogue of engravers, we made the following obfervations: Mr. W. mentions Theodore de Brie,
who undoubtedly was an early as well as an excellent engraver but he knows not whether he was a Hollander or a German. Had Mr. W. looked farther than the notes of Mr. Vertue (who very poffibly did not understand Latin) for his information, he would have found a very ready folution to his doubt, as de Brie or Bry, both in his dedications and title-pages of his works, defigns himself Theodorus de Bry, Leodienfis & civis Francofurtenfis; that is, a native of Liege, and a citizen of Francfort."
After this piece of information, we should have thought that Mr. W. would, at least, have given the Critical Reviewers credit for the discovery. Inftead of which, he introduces the article of Theodore de Brie in this manner : 'Was, as he informs us on his plates to Boiffard's Roman Antiquities, a native of Liege, and a citizen of Franckfort.' Is there a reader who does not perceive the meannefs (we had almost faid,) of finking our information, and of this author's affuming to himself a difcovery which evidently belonged to the Reviewers? Unirafcible as we are, we cannot forbear obferving that Mr. W. has hardly fkimmed the furface of this article. He mentions the curious plates defcribing the manners and fashions of the Virginians, as being a different work from the Defcriptio India Orientalis & Occidentalis; whereas it is actually a part of the fame work *.
Notwithstanding the provocations we have received, which we could scarcely have expected to fall from a liberal pen, or from a gentleman to whofe literary merits we have always wifhed to do juftice, we shall forbear to expose some other parts of this work, which he must be confcious lie open to censure ; especially as the public is certainly obliged to Mr. W. for many curious anecdotes, which, without his obstetric hand, probably never would have seen the light.
XI. Bagatelles. In this Collection is reprinted the Fragment: or, Allen and Ella. Which (unknown to the Author) appeared fome Years fince under the Title of Collin and Lucy. To which is fubjoined, a Journey to, and Defcription of, the Paraclete, near the City of Troyes, in Champagne, where Abelard and Eloïfa were buried. All by the fame Hand. 12mo. Dodfley.
HIS author very properly characterizes his compositions when he calls them bagatelles. They are certainly no extraordinary efforts of genius. Most of them are little pie
* See the introductory difcourfe, fuppofed to have been written by the great Mr. Locke, containing a character of most books of travels prefixed to Churchill's Voyages, p. 77.
ces, addreffed to ladies, odes, or fonnets, written, perhaps, without premeditation, in hours of gaiety and leisure. They are not distinguished by any sublimity of fentiment, beauty of imagery, or brilliancy of expreffion. Their greatest excellence confifts in an eafy, natural fimplicity.
A furreptitious copy of Allen and Ella appeared in the year 1755; and was faid to have been taken from an ancient MS. dated 1609. It has been inferted in feveral compilations fince that time, and is confequently well known to many of our readers. In our opinion, it is the best article in the present collection. Yet there are many others in which the reader will find fomething delicate and agreeable. There is a pleafing air of tenderness in the following ode to a lady on her going to Paris.
• "Tis filent grief which rends the breaft;
Tears, wash that grief away!
Fain wou'd I weep, to be at reft:
In time, perhaps ! I may.
To him! I leave the tedious cure;
No common hand I can endure;
• Ilov'd, I liv'd! nay, more, my flame,
Because, her welfare's all my aim;
Her virtue all my peace.
Yes; leave me, Stella, leave the friend
Pursue wild fortune to the end,
• Shou'd fickness waste that lovely form!
• Tho' fad affliction's heavieft hand,
And founds, which merit can't withstand,
Then fly and leave th' ungrateful croud,
Where, faithful to her hourly good,
This breaft fhall, ever, beat!
Thofe treasures which he, early, found,
He faw truth, pity, sense, abound;
Those glorious gifts will, yet, remain !
Nay, more! in age, they vigor gain,
In this firm hope, I bid adieu !
But, oh when hope is moft in view,
Betray'd, the more! the more, perceive,
The friend you leave behind!
He, like the mother, can forgive;
He'll wipe away affliction's tear;
Which offer'd ev'ry good;
Who may fuch gilded views withstand?
"At length! I found how rare the heart!
Like play'rs, the world but act a part;
Nay, often, act it wrong."
Thus we our mutual cares will join,
Forgiving as we hear!
May this my state be ever thine;
Nor know a future fear!
Fresh hope fhall banish former woes!
And flames feraphic they shall prove,
Who quench'd their paffions, here.'
There are fome imitations of Horace in this collection, which are ingenious. The following is of that number; notwithstanding the want of harmony in fome of the lines.