« AnteriorContinuar »
on the 3697 fol. of which the following is a translation ;
Urom gronter gruder grout gropstock,
Zordur zoop, &c.
With his imps and his devils around,
That all Erebus echoed the sound.
Full swift to the portal the young devils flew,
And the long gloomy passage unbarr'd ;
That the devils all trembled and star'd.
His nose was projecting and wide,
And two volumes* he bore at his side.
So foul were his breath and the words that he said,
That his teeth had long rotted away.--
And brought him where Beelzebub lay.
And stood for a moment in dread ;
And the other had horns on his head.
"Whence art thou ? said Beelzebub ; ' stranger, proclaim,
For if Satan can rightly divine,
With figure so hellish as thine.'
With voice that was hollow and shrill ;
* I have not been able to discover what these volumes were. There is a short note in the German, which implies that they were intitled Dulder Soudth,
I have cheated, and bullied, and swindled, and lied,
And in mischief I never was still.
• My name is
;' no sooner he said,
All Hell echo round with their din.
A REPLY To certain observations contained in pages of the Ordeal, 135-6.7. I AM perfectly aware that I misspend my time in making this reply. Yet as I have taken the affirmative, however trifling the subject of altercation, it is unquestionably my duty to support it. It is a fact, that whenever a person mistakes the general ground of argument, all his deductions must be ridiculous, irrelevant and false. The writer in the Ordeal presumes, that my intention in the Repertory of Feb. 24th, was critically to review that inimitable farrago, The Pilgrims, and on this presumption he founds his following observations. I had no such intention, and therefore all such observations are ridiculous and false. The absurdity of this presumption must be obvious to all. The club of Hercules was never intended to destroy mosquitoes, nor the lever of Archimedes to exalt pebble stones into the air. How despicable then would be the employment of Criticism upon such ephemeral productions as the Pilgrims. But since I have come into the business, I shall review these observations, as they occur, and I hope to the author's satisfaction.
The gentleman commences his remarks by telling us what is certain. ly nothing to the purpose, that “ so far from being an enemy to theatrical criticisms, he has sometimes dabbled in them himself.” I really do not doubt it ; but neither this nor what immediately follows, has any thing to do with my observations. They were never intended as a criticism, as this writer has foolisly supposed, but were written on the evening of the play, as loose remarks ; and had this writer known any right rule of criticism, he never would have make such a stupid suppo. sition. But this gentleman has applied certain lines to me, by the way of compliment ; yet he has rather a better right to them than I have. But as it is proper that I should return the compliment, I will give him these, as peculiarly applicable to himself:
Jocky ma Jory,
I'll tell you a story,
Jocky ma Jother,
I'll tell you another,
And now my story's done. He next proceeds to inform us what he is fond of; he is fond of American plays, he is fond of seeing them performed, and I suppose he is fond of peas in summer. The gentleman next observes, 'it is unreasonable to expect that historical personages are to be represented by actors, resembling them in person, and that such resemblance is not to be expected.' I have no design of displaying any astutia in reply to this observation, for the gentleman has luckily furnished me with an argument already. "Garrick renounced Othello, because he was too small to give effect to the part.' What then? why the gentleman has completely overthrown himself. We are not to expect resemblances between the personages and the actors; and yet Garrick renounced the part of Othello, because this resemblance did not exist.
I know very little, says this gentleman, of the costume of our stage. The gentleman does not know the meaning of the word. «The audidience would have been convulsed with laughter to have seen (what, with their ears ?) our mothers, represented by young women, dressed in long waists, wide sleeves and ruffs :' certainly they would, and so much the better ; this was not so very tragical, surely. The gentleman wishes to know what language I would substitute for the English, to be used by the Indians; none at all ; this should have been a pantomime, so far as respected any intercourse between the English and the Indians. But this illiterate gentleman insinuates that the objections against the kind of language made use of' by the Indians are sound, because certain expressions imply civilization. I gave no such because, it was absurd that they should talk English at all; and if they did, the more so, that some of them should use such expressions as were quoted. Further, the gentleman observes that the metrical composition, spoken by the Genius, was existing at the beginning of the seventeenth century; before the year sixteen hundred and fifty. The gentleman is mad. He either is ignorant what the composition was, or does not understand the method of computing years.
I have done-It is my sincere hope, however, that I may never become acquainted with any person, as the author of the stuff to which I have now replied. For I certainly view him as a person of wretched talents, and pitiful arguments.
What remains to be done concerns the collective body of the people. They are now to determine for themselves, whether they will firmly and constitutionally assert their rights; or make an humble, slavish surrender of them at the feet of the ministry. To a generous mind, there cannot be a doubt, we owe it to our ancestors to preserve entire those rights, which they have delivered to our care; we owe it to posterity, not to suffer their dearest inheritance to be destroyed.
THE NEW PRESIDENT. THE period, which all America has expected to arrive with the strongest emotions of hope, fear and solicitude, is now past ; and it is at this moment as difficult to determine what we are to expect of Mr. Madison, and what is to be the ultimate destiny of the nation, as it was a year ago. The time of the inauguration of the new President was peculiarly adapted in the present deranged state of our publick affairs, and distressed condition of the publick mind, to unfold his principles of pátional policy, and to trace with some little precision the future course of his conduct. Not only America, but the whole world, will consider attentively the opinions of the new President at his induction to office as an index, which will point out with some degree of accuracy the the contents of his political works ; from this, the two great belligerent powers will expect to determine in what light they are to view him, whether as an open or concealed enemy; or as a friend to one and an opponent of another power. All that we can discover from the address of his Excellency is the truth of our former predictions, that he would support the old system which his predecessor had erected, and which every thinking man in the community believed was rotten at the foundation.
Throughout this speech, we can trace that same tendency to indecision of expression, from which nothing can be drawn, that charaéterized his predecessor, as well as the same cant of friendship to all nations and to all his fellow citizens, of economy, the discharge of the publick debt, of the diffusion of knowledge and civilization among the Indians, and of information among the people, &c. &c. The editor of the New-York Evening Post refrains from making any remarks
upon the address, because he hopes Mr. Madison will appoint Federalists to offices of trust, and adopt an entirely different policy from thật practiced by Mr. Jefferson ; but for our part, whilst we shall be ready to acknowledge at any moment, whatever dignified or honourable act the President may think proper to perform, we cannot refrain from remarking that we cannot discover in the sentiments of this first speech, any foundation for such a bélief, or any the most remote allusions to such praiseworthy intentions. · Our remarks therefore will be perfectly unrestrained upon the subject. We confess we have strong prejudices against inaugural speeches in general; we have been dosed with their hypocrisy before now, and perhaps we may form a rash judg. ment in respect to this of Mr. Madison's. At any rate, we hope we shall hear no more'of the white sattin and letters of gold, which the inaugural address of another President most shamefully disgraces. . If the talents of the new President are not to be made more evident by his transactions than they are in this address, well may he declare that he repairs to the post assigned him with no other discouragement than what springs from his own inadequacy to its duties. If he has a proper sense of his own inadequacy, we should imagine that were alone sufficient to render his new office intolerably burthensome.17 * Mr. Madison begins his career of duty, with a non-intercourse act, which he expects will afford him a temporary popularity, by the partial repeal of the embargo daw, which it includes. This act was probably dictated by the new President; it is hiszsit is incorporated in his administration ; it does not begin to operate until hisappointments have been made. The motives of this act, however, we really believe principally resulted from calculations of popularity; and it is doubtful whether the good of the country had any share in the decision. Congress believed it requisite they should do something. War was out of the question ; there is no preparation for its notwithstanding all Mr. Jefferson's talk; and all Europe, to our eternal disgrace, are sensible that our national spirit and honour can never be exalted any higher than to a calculation of profit and loss. All that Congress dared to do was to hold out a threat, which both Great Britain and France perfe&tly well know will end in its concession. This conclusion can be drawn from the face of the whole transaction ; if France or Great Britain do not rescind their decrees, where is our power to enforce our rights, and maintain our honour? Distance, and distance alone is our safety ; the only reason which enables us to preserve our national existence. For as to any trinsick energy which we ever possessed, it has evaporated through our calculating brains. The non-intercourse is worse than the embargo, because it cannot be considered merely a municipal regulation ; it is a measure of hostility, a war measure, a measure of defiance. It is like a child running at a man with a wooden sword from a toy shop: the injury to the belligerent powers, will be just about as effectual, and it