Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the late campaign, after he had driven us out of Spain, with the loss of our baggage, ammunition, military clieșt, and magazines; but His Majesty's Ministers expatiated on the advantages we had gained by this useful diversion, as they termed it, and- Parliament voted their thanks to such of our general officers as had the good fortune to get home safe to receive them. If a retreat was so glorious in this ailair, why may it not be equally so in that of His Royal Highness ? and indeed the cases seem to run parallel throughout. We lost the place for which we were contending, and our money, in the one; and His Rojal Highness lost his place, and emoluments, in the other. We saved our honour; and His Royal Highness, having been acquitted of corrupt participation and criminal connivance, has saved his honour too; and may fairly sing Te Deum. In order to put an end to all my perplexities on this point, I have decided to call my piece a Drama, a term which I hope will meet with your approbation.

Another point to be considered is, whether the representation should or should not have the adventitious aids of music, singing, and dancing. These are the great support of modern compositions; and may be introduced without any violation of the unities of time, place, or action. I have ready to my hand, Mr. and Mrs. Corri, and the boys whom he was in the habit of bringing to sing to Mrs. Clarke, in Gloucester-place. Mrs. Clarke may perform an accompaniment on the beautiful harp presented to her by Captain Huxley Sanden ; and 'a dance may follow with the greatest propriety. If you think this Italian music should be diversified with a few convivial songs, to please the galleries, I can give the Twelfth Night Supper-scene in Gloucester-place, so humorously described by Mr. Corri; when the gentlemen sat drinking to a very late hour, and laughed at himn for being such a fool, as to give the 2001. note to Mr. Cockayne the lawyer, who put it in his pocket very quietly, saying in the Italianised version of the dialogue, “ It is one act of very good generosity on your part, Mr. Corri.”

These, Sir, are the principal points ou which I wish to consult you, as to the composition of the piece : but now I have to adverí to a most unfortunate obstacle to my views of fame and profit that has lately presented itself in the conflagration of Drury-lane thea. tre. It was a leading feature in my plan, as Mrs. Clarke appears to have no engagement upon her hands at present; and I acquiesce from the bottom of my heart, in the sentiment of Mr. Donovan, that she would be s a treasure in every way," to have engaged her myself as soon as my Drama was ready for the stage. I should not have paid her so ill a compliment as to tell her, that “ if she was cleres, she would never apply to me for money;" but have relied in full confidence on her talents for maintaining such an establishment, as that to which she has been accustomed in Gloucester-place. My scheine would have been infallible, as you will adınit, when you recollect the attractive graces which this inimitable actress displayed at the bar of the House of Commons;. for I meant to advertise in the play-bills announcing the representation of my Drama, the part of Mrs. Clarke to be performed by herself. But alas, Sir, all my dreams of alluence, all my fond hopes of bliss, or to use Mr. Whitbread's

are

[ocr errors]

expressive metaphor, " of laying my head in the lap of this Delilah, and being shorn of my strength," now blasted: for how can I expect Mrs. Clarke will so far condescend as to - tread the boards of any of the minor theatres; or where can I now find room to accommodate the numerous audiences that would have flocked to the representation of my Drama ? And if I wait till Drury-lane or Covent-garden theatres are rebuilt, some new faux-pas in high life will probably intervene, to engross the

public attention, and the Duke and his Darling both be for1 gotten.

In this dilemma, I am strongly inclined to publish my play, while the impression of the subject is still strong upon the public mind; but am unfortunately rather embarrassed about the means of so doing, at the present moment, I cannot publish it by subscription, because my friends are already very impatient for the appearance of another work, the subscriptions for which I received about two years ago; and I cannot publish it in any other way, because I am entangled with a churlish ignorant bookseller, who has no other way of judging of the merits of his authors, than by looking at the debtor and creditor side of their accounts. I have therefore to propose to you, Sir, that if you will give my piece a few finishing touches and corrections, and make the necessary advances for printing and publishing, we will djvide the profits between us. If this proposal meets your approbation, the manuscript shall be immediately sent for your perusal, your concern in the undertaking shall remain a secret, and you will, of course, announce in your next number, that such a Drama is in great forwardness, speaking of it as a production that has excited the highest expectations in the literary world, as well from the uncommon interest of the subject, from the established reputation of its reputed author.

Sir,
Grub-Street,

Your great admirer
March 25, 1809.

and faithful servant,

MARGITES.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

as

I am,

eith

CORRESPONDENCE.

MR. LEVER requests us to state, that his work on Seamanship, noticed in our last, is sold for 31. 3s.

Colonel's Letters ; Theologus; and the excellent Essay of Mr.J -B-, with several other favours, shall appear in our next.

A letter will be forwarded to Mr. G.

The indisposition of the Theological Reviewver has occasioned the omission of the important subject of “Divinity" this month, which it is hoped will be speedily resumed.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Gli Stati deboli sempre fieno ambigui nel resoluersi, et sempre le deliberationi lente sono nociue.

MACHIAVELLI.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

An historical Review of the commercial, political, and moral

State of Hindoostan, from the earliest Period to the present Time: the Rise and Progress of Christianity in the East, its présent Condition, and the Means and Probability of its future Advancement. With an Introduction and Map, illustrating the relative Situation of the British Empire in the East

. By Robert Chatfield, LL. B. Vicar of Chatteris, in Cambridgeshire. 4to. pp. xlii and 451. Richardson. 1808. EVERY new publication relative to Hindoostan, which

either collects the detached information already before the public, or brings some original facts to our kuowledge, is a national service. A country so extensive and so important, we do not say essential, to the prosperity of the British empire, cannot be too well known or, too often described. It is true such minute explanations may also enlighten the enemy and expose our weak parts; but the security of British India should not depend on his igno.

Our government there ought to rest on the immu. table basis of public justice united with practical utility, and not on any of those temporary expedients which sooner or later render weakness contemptible. A system of policy indeed which seeks to support itself by expedients, will never lay the foundation of an extensive or permanent empire, neither will it long effect the security of that already established. It is in vain that our arms interpose to prevent the rapacity of native princes, if the exactions No. 130. Vol. 32. April. 1809.

Z

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

of our subordinate agents are equally distressing to the people. It is not less criminally foolish to violate their religious prejudices to-day, and flatter them to-morrow, when resistance is made. Such conduct being uninfluenced by reason, of course no rational motive for it can be perceived by the ignorant Hindao, who will soon learn to consider it as an irrefragable proof of wanton malignity and dastardly imbecility. Individuals, we know, have attempted to palliate such measures, by alleging the stupidity of the natives was such, that their thoughts never extended beyond the sensible objects before them. Were this allegation true, we should consider the original offence still more heinous. If they are influenced only by their feelings, it follows that we should always endeavour to make that impression upon them which would tend most to the general advantage. But it is not denied that Hindoos have memories as well as Europeans, that they remember insults or extortions with equal facility, and that they can also communicate their recollections to their offspring, These recollections, there is too much reason to fear, if not decidedly hostile, are by no means friendly, to British authority. Gratitude and revenge are common to the human race; and, although they often exist without reason, they seldom endure long without a motive. A wise government would seek to inspire the former emotion, and avoid every cause for generating the latter. The ignorance and illiterate ness of the natives no doubt render them extremely difficult to manage;' but, although they are not capable of abstract reasoning, or of duly appreciating what would eventually tend to their own interest, we might nevertheless make a strong impression on their feelings higbly favourable to the British government and laws, and above all to the immense power of our invincible arms. The effect however of objects on those who reason and those who only feel is very different; yet he who assiduously studies the latter may learn the means of influencing them as easily as reasoners are influenced by arguments. It would be foolish, indeed, to expect such acquirements in persons who only consider the speediest methods of accumulating wealth in order to return to their native country. But of these we shall have occasion to speak in the course of our analysis of this «Historical Review:" we must now turn to our author's introduction, which merits more than ordinary attention at the present crisis.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Mr. Chatfield begins with the earliest records of society, the increase of population, wealth, and the dawn of commerce and the arts in the East; in that country, the present inhabitants of which are accounted, by certain superficial declaimers, so incorrigibly stupid as to be incapable of all intellectual improvement. As population and wealth increased, new desires were created; new sources of pleasure or gratification were alternately discovered and exhausted; until what was at first only matter of taste or delicacy became at length an object of paramount importance. In this state, from its peculiar situation and products as well as the taste and ingenuity of its inhabitants, India could best supply the increasing refinements of the times; and its delicate fabrics were not only earnestly sought after, but became a subject of competition between adjacent nations. The importance of this traffic, which was probably a principal source of the opulence and power of the empires of Nineveh and Assyria, appears to have engaged the attention of mankind, at a period too early for ang

authentic records of its existence to remain. The origin, decline, and fall of the Syrian, Phænician, Egyptian, and Carthaginian commerce are better ascertained, as well as the more modern trade of the Venetians, Genoese, Florentines, and Portuguese. The fanatical crusades, however, like all other wars, extended the actual boundaries of civil refinement: the crusaders bebeld, admired, and secretly imbibed a taste for, the luxuries of Asia; while the discovery of the magnetic needle led to that of the Cape of Good Hope and the passage to India, which has since contributed to enrich and adorn the people of Europe.

" The Portuguese and Dutch," (observes our intelligent author) '" long possessed the sovereignty of these seas; and the power enjoyed in the East by the other nations of Europe was almost too inconsiderable to be deemed a matter of national concern, when a singular concurrence of events brought the Mogul. Empire to the brink of destruction, and transferred its fairest possessions to the dominion of Great Britain.

Of all the European naval powers, England was the only one which had not hitherto made any material territorial acquisitions in the East, when the ambition and the intrigues of France compelled her to fight for her independence, until, from having been only an ally of the Nabob of Arcot, she became, by her conquests, the novereign of a principal portion of the Carnalic, The English power grew under the dissensions of the native princes, and the jealousy of the Mogul Omrahs: a succession of brilliant victories

% 2

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »