Obrázky na stránke
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ABBEY. (Melrose Abbey) I thou would'st view fair Melrose aright, io visit it by the pale moon-light; for the gay beams of lightsome day ild, but to flout, the ruins gray. Vhen the broken arches are black in night, nd each shafted oriel glimmers white; 'hen the cold light's uncertain shower reams on the ruined central tower; 'hen buttress and buttress, alternately, em framed of ebon and ivory ; hen silver edges the imagery, d the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ; len distant Tweed is heard to rave,

the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave; en go-but go alone the while en view St David's ruined pile.



ACHITOPHEL. (Character of) For close designs and crooked counsels 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 storms; 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 he, with wealth and honour blest, Refuse his 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 trimm'd; but benefit po 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 frowns,
Some plunge in business, others shave 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 Man ; we find
Who does a kindness, is not therefore kind :
Perhaps Prosperity becalm’d his breast,
Perhaps the wind just shifted from the east.
Not therefore humble he who seeks retreat,
Pride guides his 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’ning, not in Acting, lies.

POPE. ACTION. (Springs of Lost) Nor will life's stream for observation stay : It hurries 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 heap, When sense 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 to 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 hung his 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.


ACTORS. ( Traits of) Here Havard, all serene, in the same strains, Loves, hates, and rages, triumphs, and complains : His easy vacant face proclaim'd a heart Which could not feel emotions, nor impart.

Next Holland came. -With truly tragic stalk, He creeps, he flies -A hero should not walk, As if with heav'n he warr'd, bis eager eyes Planted their batteries against the skies ; Attitude, action, air, pause, start, sigh, groan, He borrow'd, and made use of as his 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 wife, He aims at something in politer life, When, blindly thwarting nature's stubborn plan, He treads the stage, by way of gentleman,

« PredošláPokračovať »