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ABBEY. Melrose Abbey.
If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moon-light;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted 'oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot oʻer the dead man's grave;
Then gombut go alone the while-
Theo view. St David's ruined pile.
ACHITOPHEL. Character of
For close designs and crooked coupsels fit;
Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;
Restless, unfix'd in principles and place;
In pow'r unpleas'd, impatient of disgrace;
A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
Fretted the pigmy body to decay,
And o'er-inform’d the tenement of clay.
A daring pilot in extremity;
Pleas'd with the danger when the waves went high,
He sought the stornis: but, for a calm unfit,
Would steer too nigh the sands to boast his wit.
Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide;
Else why should be, with wealth and honour blest,
Resuse nis age the needful hours of rest?
Punish a body which he could not please;
Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease? Dryden.
Action. In Defiance of Evil Tongues.
If I am traduced by tongues which neither know
My faculties, nor person, yet will be
The chronicles of my doing, let me say,
'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through. We must not stint
Our necessary actions, in the fear
To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
That is new trimmid; but benefit no further
Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
Not ours, or not allow'd: what worst, as oft,
Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
For our best act. If we shall stand still,
In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
We should take root here where we sit, or sit
State statues only.
ACTIONS. Do not always show the man.
Behold! if Fortune, or a Mistress firowns,
Some plunge in business, others share their crowns:
To ease the soul of one oppressive weight,
This quits an Empire, that embroils a State;
The same adust complexion has impell’d
Charles to the Convent, Philip to the Field.
Not always Actions show the Mag; we find
Who does a kiudness, is not thereforc kind:
Perhaps Prosperity becalm'd his breast,
Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east.
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
Pride guides bis steps, and bids him shun the great.
Who combats bravely is not therefore brave;
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave;
Who reasons wisely is not therefore wise;
His pride in Reas'niug, not in Acting, lies.
Action. Springs of Lost.
Nor will life's stream for observation stay:
It burries all too fast to mark their way;
In vain sedate reflections we would make,
When half our knowledge we must snatch, not take.
Oft in the passions' wild rotation tost,
Our spring of action to ourselves is lost:
Tir'd, not determin'd, to the last we yield;
And what comes then is master of the field,
As the last image of that troubled beap,
When sepse subsides, and fancy sports in sleep
(Tho' past the recollection of the thought)
Becomes the stuff of which our dream is wrought.
Something as dim 10 our internal view,
Is thus, perhaps, the cause of most we do.
ACTORS. Of last Year gone. Where the prime actors of the last year's scene; Their port so proud, their buskin, and their plume? How many sleep, who kept the world awake With lustre, and with noise? Has Death proclaimed A truce, and bung bis sated lance on high? 'Tis brandish'd still; nor shall the present year Be more tenacious of her human leaf, Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.
Young Actors. Traits of. Here Havard, all serene, in the same strains, Loves, hates, and rages, triumphs, and complaios: His easy vacant face proclaim'd a beart Which could not feel emotions, nor impart.-
Next Holland came. With truly tragic stalk,
He creeps, he flies—A bero should not walk,
As if with heav'n he warr’d, his eager eges
Planted their batteries against the skies;
Attitude, action, air, pause, start, sigh, groan,
He borrow'd, and made use of as bis own.-
In characters of low and vulgar mould,
Where Nature's coarsest features we behold,
Where, destitute of ev'ry decent grace,
Unmanner'd jests are blurted in your face,
There Yates with justice strict attention draws,
Acts truly from himself, and gains applause.
But when, to please himself or charm his wise,
He aims at something in politer life,
When, blindly thwarting nature’s stubborn plan,
He treads the stage, by way of gentleman,
The clown, who no one touch of breeding knows,
Looks like Tom Errand dress'd in Clincher's clothes.
Fond of his dress, fond of his person grown,
Laugh'd at by all, and to bimself unknown,
From side to side he struts, he smiles, he prates,
And seems to wonder what's become of Yates.-
Woodward, endow'd with various tricks of face,
Great master in the science of grimace,
A speaking Harlequin, made up of wbim,
He twists, he twines, he tortures every limb,
Plays to the eye with a mere monkey's art,
And leaves to sense the conquest of the heart.
We laugh indeed, but, on reflection's birth,
We wonder at ourselves, and curse our mirth.-
By turns transform'd into all kinds of shapes,
Constant to none, Foote laughs, cries, struts and
Now in the centre, now in van or rear,
The Proteus shifts, bawd, parson, auctioneer.
His strokes of humour, and his bursts of sport,
Are all contain'd in this one word, Distort.-
Next Jackson came.-Observe that settled glare,
Which better speaks a puppet than a player:
List to that voicedid ever Discord hear
Sounds so well fitted to her untun'd ear?
When, to eoforce some very tender part,
The right hand sleeps by instinct on the heart,
His soul, of every other thought bereft,
Is anxious only where to place the left;
He sobs and pants to sooth his weeping spouse,
To sootb bis weeping mother, turns and bows,
Awkward, embarrass’d, stiff, without the skill
of moving gracefully, or standing still:
One leg, as if suspicious of his brother,
Desirous seems to run away from t'other.-
Sparks at his glass sat comfortably down
To sep’rate frown from smile, and smile from frown:
Smith, the gentecl, the airy, and the smart,
Smith was just gone to school to say his part;
Ross (a misfortune which we often weet)
Was fast asleep at dear Statira's feet;
Statira, with ber hero to agree,
Stood on her feet as fast asleep as he:
Macklin, who largely deals in half-formed sounds,
Wlio wantonly transgresses nature's bounds,
Whose actiog's hard, affected, and constrain'd,
Whose seatures as each other they disdain'd,
At variance set, inflexible and coarse,
Ne'er know the workings of united force,
Ne'er kindly soften to each other's aid,
Nor show the mingled pow'rs of light and shade,
No longer for a thankless stage concern’d,
To worthier thoughts his mighty genius turn'd.
Quin, from afar lur'd by the scent of fame, A stage Leviathan, put in his claim, Pupil of Betterton and Booth. Alone, Sullen he walk'd, and deem'd the chair his own.His words bore sterling weight, nervous and strong In manly tides of sense they roll'd along. Happy in art, he chiefly had pretence To keep'up numbers, yet not forfeit sense. No actor ever greater heights could reach lo all the labour'd artifice of speech.-