Imatges de pÓgina

It is true,

lively, entertaining, quick in discerning the ridicule of life, and as ready in representing it; and on graver subjects there were few topicks in which he could not bear his part. It is injurious to the character of Garrick to be named in the same breath with Foote. That Foote was admitted sometimes into good company, (to do the man what credit I can) I will allow ; but then it was merely to play tricks. His merriment was that of a buffoon, and Garrick's that of a gentleman.

G. I have been told, on the contrary, that Garrick in company had not the easy manners of a gentleman.

J. Sir, I don't know what you may have been told, or what your ideas may be of the manners of gentlemen. Garrick had no vulgarity in his manners.

Garrick had not the airiness of a fop; nor did he assume an affected indifference to what was passing. He did not lounge from the table to the window, and from thence to the fire; or whilst you were addressing your discourse to him, turn from you and talk to his next neighbour; or give any indication that he was tired of his company. If such manners form your ideas of a fine gentleman, Garrick had them not.

I mean that Garrick was more overawed by the presence of the great, and more obsequious to rank, than Foote, who considered himself as their equal, and treated them with the same familiarity as they treated each other.

J. He did so, and what did the fellow get by it? The grossness of his mind prevented him from seeing that this familiarity was merely suffered, as they would play with a dog. Garrick, by paying due respect to rank, respected himself. What he gave was returned ; and what was returned was kept for ever. His advancement was on firm ground-he was recognized in public, as well as respected in private ; and as no man was ever more courted, and better received by the public, so no man was ever less spoiled by its flattery.

G. But you must allow, Dr. Johnson, that Garrick was too much a slave to fame, or rather to the mean ambition of living with the great-terribly afraid of making himself cheap even with them; by which he debarred himself of much pleasant society. Employing so much attention, and so much management upon little things, implies, I think, a little mind. It was observed by his friend Colman, that he never went into company but with a plot how to get out of

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it. He was every minute called out, and went off or returned, as there was or was not a probability of his shining.

J. In regard to his mean ambition, as you call it, of living with the great, what was the boast of Pope, and is every man's wish, can be no reproach to Garrick. He who says he despises it, knows he lies. That Garrick husbanded his fame, the fame which he had justly acquired both at the theatre and at the table, is not denied ; but where is the blame either in the one case or the other, of leaving as little as he could to chance? Besides, sir, consider what you have said. You first deny Garrick's pretensions to fame, and then accuse him of too great an attention to preserve what he never possessed.

G. I don't understand-
J. I can't help that.

G. Well, but Dr. Johnson, you will not vindicate him in his over and above attention to his fame; his ordinate desire to exbibit himself to new men; like a coquette ever seeking after conquests, to the total neglect of old friends and admirers.

“ He threw off his friends like a huntsman his pack,”always looking out for new game.

J. When you quoted the line from Goldsmith, you ought in fairness to have given what followed. " He knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back.” Which implies at least that he possessed a power over other men's minds approaching to fascination.

G. But Garrick was not only excluded by this means from real friendship, but accused of treating those whom he called his friends with insincerity and double dealing.

J. Sir, it is not true. His character in that respect is misunderstood. Garrick was, to be sure, very ready in promising; but he intended at that time to fulfil his promise. He intended no deceit. His politeness, or his good nature, call it which you will, made him unwilling to deny. He wanted the courage to say no, even to unreasonable de. mands. This was the great error of his life. His friends became his enemies; and those having been fostered in his bosom, well knew his sensibility to reproach, and they took care that he should be amply supplied with such bitter portions as they were capable of administering. Their impotent efforts he ought to have despised; but he felt them : nor did he affect insensibility.

And that sensibility probably shortened his life.

Even so.

While hostile banners, o'er thy rampart walls,
Wave their proud blazonry?

I stood
Last night before my own ancestral towers,
An unknown outcast, while the tempest beat

bare head—what reck'd it ?—There was joy
Within, and revelry; the festive lamps
Were streaming from each turret, and gay songs,
['th' stranger's tongue, made mirth. They little deem'd
Who heard their melodies !—but there are thoughts
Best nurtured in the wild; there are dread vows
Known to the mountain-echoes. Procida !
Call on the outcast when revenge is nigh.

Pro. I knew a young Sicilian, one whose heart
Should be all fire. On that most guilty day,
When, with our martyr'd Conradin, the flower
Of the land's knighthood perished; he, of whom
I speak, a weeping boy, whose innocent tears
Melted a thousand hearts that dared not aid,
Stood by the scaffold, with extended arms,
Calling upon his father, whose last look
Turned full on him its parting agony.
That father's blood gushed o'er him!--and the boy
Then dried his tears, and, with a kindling eye,
And a proud flush on his young cheek, look'd up
To the bright heaven.-Doth he remeniber still
That bitter hour ?

He bears a sheathless sword!
-Call on the orphan when revenge is nigh.

Pro. Our band shows gallantly—but there are men
Who should be with us now, had they not dared
In some wild moment of festivity
To give their full hearts way, and breathe a wish
For freedom!—and some traitor-it might be
A breeze perchance-bore the forbidden sound
To Eribert :-so they must die-unless
Fate (who at times is wayward) should select
Some other victim first !- But have they not
Brothers or sons amongst us?

Look on me!
I have a brother, a young, high-soul'd boy,
And beautiful as a sculptor's dream, with brow
That wears, amidst its dark, rich curls, the stamp
Of inborn nobleness. In truth, he is
A glorious creature ! But his doom is sealed

With theirs of whom you spoke ; and I have knelt-
Ay, scorn me not ! 'twas for his life-I knelt
E'en at the viceroy's feet, and he put on
That heartless laugh of cold malignity
We know so well, and spurned me.

But the stain
Of shame like this, takes blood to wash it off,
And thus it shall be cancell'd!-Call on me,
When the stern moment of revenge is nigh.

Pro. I call upon thee now ! The land's high soul
Is roused, and moving onward, like a breeze,
Or a swift sunbeam, kindling nature's hues
To deeper life before it. In his chains,
The peasant dreams of freedom !-ay, 'tis thus
Oppression fans th' imperishable flame
With most unconscious hands.

Now, before
The majesty of yon pure Heaven, whose eye
Is on our hearts, whose righteous arm befriends
The arm that strikes for freedom ; speak! decree
The fate of our oppressors.

Let them fall
When dreaming least of peril !- When the heart,
Basking in sunny pleasure, doth forget
That hate may smile, but sleeps not. Hide the sword
With a thick veil of myrtle, and in halls
Of banqueting, where the full wine-cup shines
Red in the festal torch-light; meet we there,
And bid them welcome to the feast of death.

Rai. Must innocence and guilt
Perish alike?

Mont. Who talks of innocence ? When hath their hand been stayed for innocence ? . Let them all perish !-Heaven will choose its own. Why should their children live? The earthquake whelms Its undistinguished thousands, making graves of peopled cities in its path—and this Is Heaven's dread justice—ay, and it is well! Why then should we be tender, when the skies Deal thus with man? What, if the infant bleed? Is there not power to hush the mother's


What, if the youthful bride perchance should fall
In her triumphant beauty ?--Should we pause ?
As if death were not mercy to the pangs
Which make our lives the records of our foes ?

Let them all perish !-And if one be found
Amidst our band, to stay th' avenging steel
For pity or remorse, or boyish love,
Then be his doom as theirs !

[A pause.

Why gaze ye thus?
Brethren, what means your silence ?

Be it so!
If one amongst us stay th’avenging steel
For love or pity, be his doom as theirs !
Pledge we our faith to this!

Our faith to this!
No! I but dreamt I heard it !--Can it be ?
My countrymen, my father !—Is it thus
That freedom should be won ?-Awake! Awake
To loftier thoughts !-Lift up, exultingly,
On the crown'd heights, and to the sweeping winds,
Your glorious banner !--Let your trumpet's blast
Make the tombs thrill with echoes! Call aloud,
Proclaim from all your hills, the land shall bear
The stranger's yoke no longer !—What is he
Who carries on his practised lip a smile,
Beneath his vest a dagger, which hut waits
Till the heart bounds with joy, to still its beatings ?
That which our nature's instinct doth recoil from,
And our blood curdle at-Ay, yours and mine-
A murderer !-Heard ye?-Shall that name with ours
Go down to after days ?-Oh, friends! a cause
Like that for which we rise, hath made bright names
Of the elder time as rallying-words to men,
Sounds full of might and immortality!
And shall not ours be such ?

Fond dreamer, peace!
Fame! What is fame ?-Will our unconscious dust
Start into thrilling rapture from the grave,
At the vain breath of praise ?–1 tell thee, youth,
Our souls are parch'd with agonizing thirst,
Which must be quench'd though death were in the draught :
We must have vengeance, for our foes have left
No other joy unblighted.

Oh! my son, The time is past for such high dreams as thine. Thou know'st not whom we deal with. Knightly faith, And chivalrous honour, are but things whereon They cast disdainful pity. We must meet Falsehood with wiles, and insult with revenge.

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