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He would be a Soldier. A Comedy, in Five Aes. As performed
at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden. Written by Frederick
Pilon. 8vo. Iso 6d. Robinsons. THIS play is chiefy grounded on an event not new to our
stage. Colonel Talbot leaves his son, whose birth was concealed because the marriage was clandestine, to the care of Wilkins, from whom he eloped at wwelve years of age, in consequence of an ardent passion for a military life. In fact, ? he would be a soldier.' The colonel went to India ; and, in his absence, heard nothing of his fon.
On his return, Wilkins, at the instigation of his wife, introduces his own son to the colonel, as the person committed to his care. This incident, under a different direction, is introduced in miss Lee's comedy, with good success. It it too meagre for a principal plot, though it fucceeds as an episode ; and perhaps would have made a very proper subject for a farce, as it would then have admitted of that kind of humour which the delią Çacy of comedy should reject, Mr. Pilon found that it would not alone fill the scene ; and has added two episodes, which are neither interesting or entertaining. Colonel Talbot brings with him, from India, captain Crevelt, a young man of great merit, who, at the age of twenty-three, had arisen from the fanks to the command of a company. The vulgar impertinence of Caleb is well contrasted with the spirited dignity and refined decorum of the manners of Crevelt; and colonel Talbot, who possesses the acute sensibility of the man of fafhion and education, feels feverely the disadvantages of his
be expected, Crevelt at last appears to be the real son of colonel Talbot, who had followed a serjeant of the fame name to India, when he belịcyed himself to be the offspring of Wilkins. The catastrophe is unfolded with some address; but the conclufion is lame and impotent,' without fpirit or interest. The language of this play iş very unequal, and scarcely ever arises to elegance, though, as a dramatic representation, it is not without its merit.
We fhall felect a short specimen, from the contrast which we mentioned, which is not only well conducted, but may be easily separated from the rest.
Enter Caleb, in Regimentals. • Ca. Here I am, father, in full feather, ! Col. What, fir," is your dancing master gone already
• Ca. Bless your heart.! no master of any kind for me today; I never put on a new suit of clothes in my life that I did not make holiday.
• Man. (afide to Col.) We had better, I think, in some degree, give way to him: you cannot expect immediately to reform manners so long confirmed by babit.
Col. (alade.) I believe you're right, fo I'll try what effect indulgence may have on him. Well, it sha'l be as you wou'd have it ; this day shall be devoted to pleasure and amusement: Crevelt, give ine leave to introduce you to my son.
Crev. I don't know any circumftance of my life affe&s me more than the high honour I now enjoy. [ Introducing himself.
• Ca. Why, look ye, young man, as my father desires it, I'll make hands with you with all my heart : but I wou'd not make so free with every old soldier's fon.
• Col. How dare you, fir, insult a man of his merit with language so gross ?
Ca. Why, is'nt he an old soldier's son ?-pretty company truly to introduce me to!
Creu, The humility of my birth I acknowledge, but must tell you, this is the first time it ever brought a blush into my cheek-I am choaked with rage - Unused to insult, I cannot receive it without indignation, even from the son of colonel Talbot !
• Col, I in Gift upon your aking that gentleman's pardon. • Ca, Why, is he a gentleman ?
• Col. A man of his worth, his honour and abilities, is a gentleman, though sprung in the lowest vale of society.
• Ca, Nay, if you say he's a gentleman, I ask his pardon with all my heart; nothing so common now-a-days as one gentleman's alking pardon of another; it makes up a quarrel in a grice.'
Agaia, • Ca. (Brutting about,) So then, I am to be difipherited after all, and for an old soldier's fon too!
Crev, What's that you fay, firi
Ca. Say, fir !»Damme! he looks fo fierce, I do'nt know what to say to him these old soldier's sons are so used to cutting of throats, it's the devil to quarrel with them,
• Man, I am alhamed of you, coulin-If you proceed in this manner you must be lock'd up from all fociety,
• Ca. I'll beg his pardon again : I know that's all he wants.
• Crev, I'll spare you, sir, the niortification of descending to fo humiliating an act; in respect to your father, I overlooks every thing you have hitherto said I now çoolly behold all that had past through a different medium; and rather feel for a youth, who, from his prospect of immense wealih, has been perhaps from his childhood surrounded with fycophants, wha never let him know what it was to be acquainted with himself, and persuaded him into an opinion, that wealth supplies the absence of every accomplishment and virtue.
• Ca. I don't rightly understand you, captain ; but I fancy, (only you mince the matter), that you meant to say I was much, better fed than tąught-Well, no matterme. Are we good friends again ? : Creve Very good!
! Ca. • Ca. Then give me your hand. (afide). He, he, he ! I can't help laughing, after all, to think of such a fellow's being a gentleman-But I say, captain, they tell me you are a devil of a fellow for fighting: now, do you see me, as I am an officer as well as yourself, I'd be glad to know how you generally found yourself before you went into the field of battle.
Crev. Much as I do at present. • Ca. What, no more frighten'd ? • Crev. No, sir.
• Ca. Come, come ; no tricks upon travellers, captain; do you think I'm such a fool as to believe you?
• Crev. Sir! • Ca. (terrify'd), Sir! He looks at me like a tiger-I'll ask him no more questions-be has half fright'ned me out of my commiflion already eh! (looking out). Ecod, yonder I see niy father talking to cwo fine girls! I'll go have a peep at them; cousin Mandeville, good bye-captain your servant (flifling a laugh); a gentleman truly! What a fine thing it is to be born one---it saves a world of trouble in learning.'
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
(Continued from p. 66.) HERE is an author on the continent whom we have not
yet been able to introduce to our readers-M. Bailly. He has chiefly distinguished himself by astronomical and geogra. phical descriptions of this globe, and enquiries into the Itate of its inhabitants, in periods previous to tradition. His writings are ingenious, sometimes fanciful, but always entertaining and instručtive. He occurs to us at present, in consequence of a memoir, read to the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, on the Chronology of the Indians. Europeans are astonished at the great antiquity of Indian traditions; and are eager to defpife the fiatics for their forward credulity, or to demonftrate the futility of their pretensions. M. Bailly takes neither kep: he endeavours to reconcile the Indian and the European accounts.
The Indians divide the duration of the world into four ages : the firit contains 1,728,000 years ; the second 1,296,000 ; the third 864,000; the fourth is expected to last 432,000 years : it is the æra of our present existence. In the first appearance, this Chronology will ftrike the reader as an absurdity; and M. Bailly, with the same opinion, recurred to its authority. It is contained in the Bagavadam, or the Divine History, which the translator, Maridas Poullé, declares is a sacred canonical work, of incontestible authority among the adorers of Viftnou.
The Bagavadam contains the institutes of their religion, the facts, and chronology of their history. The facts and the inttitutes are mixed with the most absurd fables; but this seems ra
ther ther to support their antiquity ; for fables contain the wisdom of the early ages of every country, and every early record of India carries this mark ot a remote origin. This work is coin. posed of detached pieces of different ages; they are the initructions of successive patriarchs. The first lessons are short, for when writing is difficult, books increase but slowly. There are some details, however, in this divine history, which fcem authentic. The two firit ages contain but few facts, and a few absurd fables ; but the third is filled by seventy-eight fuccellive generations, by the duration of two families of princes, whose collateral branches are pursued with equal exactness. The facts are very fimple; and if they are supposed to be faise, the national vanity can gain but little. There is sometime; a flight confufion, but it is surprising that there is no more; and our author thinks that this confusion is a proof of the authenticity of these dynasties ; fiction would have been more exact. In the fourth age the sums of the years are counted ; and this period extends from the three thoutand one hundred and second year tefore the Christian era, to about A. D. 1530; from this time, the æra of the permanent establishment of the Moguis in India, no reckoning has been kept, because they are under a complete subjection. The astronomical tables of the Bramins inform us, that we are now in the four thousand eight hundred and eightseighth year of this æra. There is something imposing in this high antiquity; and we are apt to believe a narration properly connected. M. Bailly seems to think that when we read the annals of a nation in its own language, equity requires us to consider them as the evidence of witnesses, who have written what they have seen ; nor can we accuse any chronology of error, except when it contradicts one that is well established and allowed.
The latter part of the Chronology of the Bagavadam does not contradict the knowlege we have of past ages. There is sufficient room for these 4888 years, in our reckoning of the time elapsed from the creation of the world. Whatever may be the duration of this fourth period, iis bounds are at prefent very reasonable. This seems to be true; and the former are very probably false, or a new measure of time was introduced between the third and the fourth period. The third æra is distinguished
the description of successive generations, and connected details. It certainly relates to times when the events were better known, and the remembrance of them more carefully preserved.
This new mode of reckoning is not hypothetical. The Bagavadam tells us that 360 years of men make a divine
year. is probable then, that by years they meant days only; for if they had been really years, the epithet would have been added. The Indian year is the lunar one, and consists of 35.4 days; and they have reductions and corrections to bring their nominal 360 to this lower number. Another support of the author's opinion is, that, in the third period, they reckon seventy-eight generations,
very near its nuinber of divine years, if we allow, as usual, thirty years to a generation. The fourth age confills of real folar years, ascertained by events, and the sum of the third age reduced in the way mentioned, added to the real years of the fourth age, will amount to 7287 years; a period not beyond the computations of many judi. ious chronologers: the two firit ages are, in this way, fupposed to be entirely fabulous.
The Persians have the same epochs, the fame duration, and the faine divitions. They have allo a fabulous period of 2000 years, without the support of facts. If this be allowed, their chronology amounts to a period of 5590 years befure the Chriftian æra. This is the date affigned alfo by Josephus, from the Jewish records, and by the Egyptian chronicle, properly reduced in the manner pointed out in the histories of Egyp.
The allronomical tables of India are also established on an epoch, placed in the year 3102 before Christ, the commencernent of the fourth æra, M. Bailly tells us, if we compare by our tables the longitudes of the fun and moon for that instant, they are found in be exact, and of course that the fourth is a true period. The Indi ns, therefore, at that time, subsisted as a people, and puffessed the knowlege of astronomy as a science. Some other ast:onomical arguments are added, which we omit, because they seem not to be so well founded. It may be useful, however, to observe, that our author tells us, in the Indian language, the fame word fignifies a year, a month, and a day.
The chronology of the Indians then appears to M. Bailly to be an authentic monument. No nation has a history which contains such connected details, which ri'es to such high antiquity, and whole anriquity, properly confidered, is so well esta. blished. This, he thinks, they owe to their indolence and cowardice. Yielding to every conqueror, they have never been exterminated. Submitting, in peace, they have preserved their cuftoms and manne:s, their knowlege and their pursuiis. Con. tented in themfelveș, indifferent to the manners and the sciences of strangers, their ages have rolled on with little variety, and they are well fitted for-chronologers.'
Among the focieties on the continent little known, but of in-. creasing reputation, is the Oeconomical Society at Madrid, The Spanish nation is emerging from its indolence : they are becoming good chemists, good philosophers, good phyficians, and good patriots. The Oeconomical Society is a truly patriotic inftitution; and we shall give a short account of their last pro. gramma. The Society proposes, for the first distribution of the prizes in 1787, on the day of faint Isidore, to reward with a prize of 2250 rials (a rial at Madrid is equal in value to about 6d.), the best memoir on the following question: What is the true Spirit of a Legislation favourable to Agriculture, Induttry, Arts, and the Commerce of a great Kingdom?' The author is expected to apply his opinions to the different poffeffions of