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late; he assured the coachman, that though his baggage seemed so bulky, it was perfectly light, and that he would be contented with the smallest corner of room. But Jehu was inflexible, and the carrier of the Inspectors was sent to dance back again with all his papers fluttering in the wind. We expected to have no more trouble from this quarter, when in a few minutes the same figure changed his appearance, like harlequin upon the stage, and with the same confidence again made his approaches, dressed in lace, and carrying nothing but a nosegay. Upon coming near, he thrust the nosegay to the coachman's nose, grasped the brass, aud seemed now resolved to enter by violence. I found the struggle foon begin to grow hot, and the coachman, who was a little old, unable to continue the conteft; so, in order to ingratiate myself, I stept in to his assistance, and our united efforts sent our literary Proteus, though worsted, unconquered still, clear off, dancing a rigadoon, and smelling to his own nosegay.
The person, who after him appeared as candidate for a place in the stage, came up with an air not quite fo confident, but somewhat however theatrical ; and, instead of entering, made the coachman a very low bow, which the other returned, and defired to see his baggage ; upon which he instantly produced some farces, a tragedy, and other miscellany productions. The coachinan, casting his eye upon the cargoe, assured him, at present he could not poffibly have a place, but hoped in time he might afpire to one, as he seemed to have read in the book of Nature, without a careful perusal of which none ever found entrance at the temple of fame. " What !" replied the disappointed poet, “ shall my tragedy, wo in which I have vindicated the cause of liberty and “ virtue!"_" Follow Nature,” returned the other; " and never expect to find lasting fame by
in a rage.
“ topics which only please from their popularity. “ Had you been first in the cause of freedom, or
praised in virtue more than an empty name, it is possible you might have gained admittance; but
at present I beg, fir, you will stand aside for " another gentleman whom I see approaching.'
This was a very grave personage, whom at some distance I took for one of the most reserved, and even disagreeable figures I had seen; but as he approached his appearance improved, and, when I could diftinguish him thoroughly, I perceived that in spite of the severity of his brow he had one of the most good-natured countenances that could be imagined. Upon coming to open the stage door, he lifted a parcel of folios into the seat before him, but our inquisitorial coachman atonce shoved them out again. “What! “ not take in my dictionary !” exclaimed the other
" Be patient, sir," replied the coachman, " I have drove a coach, man and boy, these “ two thousand years; but I do not remember to “ have carried above one dictionary during the whole “ time. That little book which I perceive peeping “ from one of your pockets, may
may I presume to atk “ what it contains ?" " A mere trifle," replied the author, “it is called, “The Rambler." “ Rambler !" says the coachman, “ I beg, sir, you'll “ take your place; I have heard our ladies in the “ court of Apollo frequently mention it with rap“ ture ; and Clio, who happens to be a little grave, “ has been heard to prefer it to the Spectator ; “ though others have observed, that the reflections, " by being refined, sometimes become minute."
This grave gentleman was scarcely feated, when another, whose appearance was something more modern, seemed willing to enter, yet afraid to ask. He carried in his hand a bundle of essays, of which the coachman was curious enough to enquire the
contents. « These," replied the gentleman,
rhapsodies against the religion of my country. “ And how can you expect to come into my coach, " after thus chusing the wrong side of the question ?"
Ay, but I am right,” replied the other ; " and if you give me leave, I shall in a few minutes ftate the
argument." Right or wrong,” said the coachman, “ he who disturbs religion is a blockhead, " and he shall never travel in a coach of mine." " If
then," said the gentleman mustering up all his cou. rage,
66 if I am not to have admittance as an es. sayist, I hope I shall not be repulsed as an historian; " the last volume of my history met with applause. “Yes,” replied the coachman, “but I have heard
only the first approved at the temple of Fame ; “ and as I see you have it about you, enter without “ further ceremony.” My attention was now diverted to a crowd, who were pushing forward a person that seemed more inclined to the flage-coach of riches ; but by their means he was driven forward to the fame machine, which he however seemed heartily to despise. Impelled however by their solicitations, he steps up, flourishing a voluminous history, and demanding admittance. “Sir, I have formerly heard your name mentioned,” says the coachman, “ but never as an historian. Is there “ no other work upon which you may claim a place?" “ None,” replied the other, "except a romance; but " this is a work of too trifling a nature to claim fu“ ture attention.” “You mistake,” says the inquisitor, “ a well-written romance is no such easy “ talk as is generally imagined. I remember for“ merly to have carried Cervantes and Segrais, and you
think fit, you may enter." Upon our three literary travellers coming into the same coach, I listened attentively to hear what mig! be the conversation that passed upon this extraordi
nary occasion ; when, instead of agreeable or entertaining dialogue, I found them grumbling at each other, and each seemed discontented with his companions. Strange! thought I to myself, that they who are thus born to enlighten the world, should still preserve the narrow prejudices of childhood, and by disagreeing make even the highest merit ridiculous. Were the learned and the wise to unite against the dunces of society, instead of sometimes liding into opposite parties with them, they might throw a lustre upon each other's reputation, and teach every rank of subordinate merit, if not to admire, at least not to avow dislike,
In the midst of these reflections, I perceived the coachman, unmindful of me, had now mounted the box. Several were approaching to be taken in, whose pretensions I was sensible were very just; I therefore desired him to stop, and take in more passengers ; but he replied, as he had now mounted the box, it would be improper to come down ; but that he should take them all, one after the other, when he should return. So he drove away, and for myself, as I could not get in, I mounted behind, in order to hear the conversation on the
way. (To le continued.)
A WORD OR TWO ON THE LATE FARCE,
HIGH LIFE BELOW STAIRS.
Just as I had expected, before I saw this farce, I found it formed on too narrow a plan to afford a pleasing variery. The fameness of the humour in every scene could not butat lait fail of being disagreeable. The poor, affecting the manners of the rich, might be carried on through one character or two at the most with great propriety ; but to have almost every personage on the scene almost of the same character, and reflecting the follies of each other, was unartful in the poet to the last degree.
The scene was also almost a continuation of the fame absurdity; and my Lord Duke and Sir Harry (two footmen who assume these characters) have nothing elle to do but to talk like their masters, and are only introduced to speak, and to shew themselves. Thus, as there is a fameness of character, there is a barrenness of incident, which, by a very small thare of address, the poet might have easily avoided.
From 'a conformity to critic rules, which perhaps on the whole have done more harm than good, our author has facrificed all the vivacity of the dialogue to Nature ; and though he makes his characters talk like ferrants, they are feldom absurd enough, or lively enough, to make us merry. Though he is always natural, he happens seldom to be hu
The fatire was well intended, if we regard it as being masters ourselves; but probably a philosopher would rejoice in that liberty which Englishmen give their domestics; and for ny own part I cannot avoid being pleased at the happiness of those poor creatures, who in fome measure contribute to mine. The Athenians, the politest and best-natured people upon earth, were the kindest to their flaves ; and if a person may judge, who has seen the world, our English servants are the best treated, bem cause the generality of our English gentlemen are the politest under the fun.
But not to lift my feeble voice among the pack of critics, who probably liave no other occupation but that of cutting up every thing new, I must own,