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And lion crest unconscious of the comb;
The opponent, dexterous and wary,
Will fend and parry ;
Enormous, ponderous, and pedantic,
Are desperately sped
At his devoted head.
Scene EURIPIDES, BACCHUS, ÆSCHYLUS.
B. What, Æschylus, don't you speak? You hear his language.
E. He's mustering up a grand commanding visage A silent attitude
the common trick That he begins with in his tragedies.
B. Come, have a care, my friend; you'll say too much.
E. I know the man of old-I've scrutinized
Æ. Say'st thou me so ? Thou Bastard of the earth,
B. There now, Æschylus, You grow too warm. --Restrain your ireful mood.
Æ. Yes; but I'll seize that sturdy beggar first, And search and strip him bare of his pretensions.
B. Quick! Quick! A sacrifice to the winds—Make ready; • I see the storm there gathering. Bring a victim.
Æ. -A wretch that has corrupted every thing;
B. Dear, worthy Æschylus, contain yourself;
E. I'm up to it. I'm resolved, and here I stand
Ready and steady-take what course you will ;
B. Well, Æschylus, determine. What say you ?
Æ. I wish the place of trial had been elsewhere :
B. As how?
B. Come let them bring me fire and frankincense,
The vagaries of learned ambition,
(Or poetical contests inspecting,
All the struggles of style and invention)
Your refin'd and enlighten'd suggestions ;
And address in their answers and questions,
With inordinate uproar and bawling;
All are waiting and attending
B. Come, say your prayers, you two, before the trial. [Æschylus offers incense.
Æ. O Ceres, nourisher of my soul, maintain me,
E. Well, I will ;
B. Heh, what? Your own? Some new ones?
E. Thou foodful Air, the nurse of all my notions,
-But, as it appears to me,
B. Come now, begin, and speak away ; | but first I give you warning:
E. At the first outset, I forbear to state my own pretensions;
E. In the meanwhile, the Chorus
B. I lik’d that silence well enough; | as well, perhaps, or better Than those new talking characters.
E. That's from your want of judgment, Believe me.
B. Why, perhaps it is ;-but what was his intention? E. Why, mere conceit and insolence ;-o keep the people waiting Till Niobe should deign to speak,--to drive his drama forward.
B. O what a rascal !--Now I see the tricks he us'd to play me. [To Æschylus, who is shewing signs of indignation by various contortions. ] -What makes you writhe and wince about?
E. Because he feels my censures. Then having dragg’d and drawl'd along, half-way to the conclusion, He foisted in a dozen words of noisy boisterous accent, With “ nodding plumes and shaggy brows,” | mere bugbears of the language, That no man ever heard before.
Æ. Alas! alas !
B. [To Æschylus. ] Have done there! E. His words were never clear or plain.
B. [To Æschylus. ] Don't grind your teeth so strangely.
B. Well, I confess, for my part,
Æ. A figure on the heads of ships, \ you goose, you must have seen them.
then-thou paltry wretch, explain—What were your own devices?
I fed her with plain household phrase, I and cool familiar salad,
Æ. 'Twas well at least that you forbore | to quote your extraction.
E. From the first opening of the scene, | all persons were in action : The master spoke, the slave replied ;---the women, old and young ones, All had their equal share of talk.
Æ. Come then, stand forth, and tell us, What forfeit less than death is due | for such an innovation ?
E. I did it upon principle, | from democratic motives.
Æ. I say so too.—Moreover,
É. The rules and forms of rhetoric,—the laws of composition ;
Æ. I grant it all-I make it all-my ground of accusation.
E. The whole in cases and concerns occurring and recurring,
B. Theramenes ! --a clever hand, I a.universal genius;
E. Thus it was that I began,
B. Yes, by Jove--and now we see
DR STERNSTARE'S LETTERS. of human nature. They have always
been remarkable for a certain cold and No II.
unadmiring shrewdness, of which self
love is the true foundation. Sawney Acknowledgment of Aberdeenshire Heads-- feels no love of great and beautiful
Nature of Religious Feeling among Co. objects for their own sakes, but stands venanters Self-love of Lowland Scots aloof, and measures them with a scepAspects it assumes Young Frenchman's tical eye. The Lowland dialect is reApplication—Meleager and Antinous
plete with certain vernacular phrases, Imperfections of Portraits.
which betray his inclination to view I HAVE received the three specimens all persons and things through a diof Aberdeenshire heads. That they minishing glass; and, for instances of must have been as remarkable for the this, I refer to the national novels of savoir faire, as you say they were, is Waverley, Guy Mannering, &c. No evident from their structure. One of passion for the arts touches his soul; them now stands on a shelf, with his no longings after the great ideal. The cheek close to the “ Ready Reckoner.” more homely and limited the objects You urge me strongly to pronounce, which are presented to him, the more in the meantime, some rough esti- comfort he draws from them; and mate of the Scottish character ; but this is an infallible symptom of the cautious induction is ever the mark of predominance of self-love over the the true philosopher, and in no science generous and aspiring affections. Even is it so necessary as in that which the metaphysics of this singular race, treats of human faculties and propen are the metaphysics of littleness, and sions. It is evident that the other have never led into the love of beauhead which you sent cannot be that ty, as with most other nations. of a Covenanter ; at least of a truly The Lowland peasant, however, with zealous and obdurate one, willing to all his self-love, never betrays a Gasgo all lengths. It is too little deve- conading spirit. The caution and loped in the organs of self-love and coldness of his character will not allow of firmness. Devotion assumes dif- him to hazard any thing of that sort. ferent aspects, according to the differ. Neither does his pride assume a stura ent natural dispositions which it finds dy, manly, and combative attitude, in the individuals whom it animates. as it does with the English; but he In the Covenanters, religious feeling wraps himself prudently in his blandid not meet with many of the bland, ket, and, eyeing the world askance benign, forgiving, and beautiful disa over one shoulder, employs the keenpositions, which have their seat in the ness of a northern sagacity to supply region above the forehead. It was himself mentally with reasons of disrather connected with conscientious- paragement against every sort of preness and severe justice, which, in the tensions. Even religion is made by first place, gave no quarter to them- him subservient to the gratification of selves, and which also engendered, by his human passions ; for, as it inculinternal reaction, something like a cates the vanity of all worldly objects, feeling of unrelenting bitterness to- and the insignificance of all human wards others. It was also strongly merits and distinctions, it so far utconnected with will or determination, ters to him a soothing voice ; and he and, through it, with self-love. The finds a consolation in thinking, that Covenanters were also addicted to doc- those who enjoy better fare than oattrinal discussions which exercised their meal, or wear any thing finer than a dialectical understanding, and which blue bonnet, are so much the more often ended in exciting more activity likely to go to a bad place in the end. of opinionative self-love, than of de- None of the divine or good feelings votional sentiment, and in drawing have any exclusive tendency, except down their thoughts into the sphere against qualities that are destructive of the human passions. If their re to themselves. You will perhaps ligiousness had been of a nobler qua- think some of the foregoing strictures lity than it was, we should have heard too severe, and perhaps they are ; but less of them in history. Upon the I have no patience with the love of whole, I am inclined to suspect the littleness, which, whoever indulges Lowland Scots of a meagreness in the in, as a great poet observes, wars enthusiastic and disinterested elements against his own soul.”