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The following anecdote is told of Mr.Guy, the founder of the hospital bearing his name. He had acquired an immense fortune from very small beginnings, chiefly by his own care and industry, and, as often happens in such cases, was extremely penurious; in so much, that it is said to have been his custom to dine on his shopcounter with no other table-covering than an old newspaper. Guy, however, took a fancy to a girl that lived with him as a servant, and at length agreed to marry her; and, preparatory to his nuptials, had ordered the pavement before his door, which was in a neglected state, to be mended as far as to a particular stone which he pointed out. The maid happening, while her master was out, to be looking on the paviours at work, saw a broken place which they had not repaired, and mentioned it to them; but they told her that Mr. Guy had directed them not to go so far. “Well,” said she, “ do you mend it; tell him I bad you, and I know he will not be angry.” The simple girl, however, reckoned without her host. The men obeyed; but Guy (to whom a few extraordinary shillings' expence was a matter of serious concern) was enraged to find his orders exceeded, immediately renounced his matrimonial scheme, and instead of settling a jointure on a wife, applied the whole of his property to the building of an hospital.
LOPE DE VEGA. AMONG voluminous authors and ready writers, few instanees, perhaps, exceed that of the Spanish Dramatist Lope de Vega, of whom it is said, in the history of his life, that no less than 1800 comedies, the production of his pen, have been actually represented on the Spanish stage; besides which there is a collection of his poems, of various kinds, in 21 volumes quarto. It is also said, that there was no puplic success on which he did not compose a panegyric; no marriage of distinction without an epithalamium of his writing; nor child whose nativity he did not celebrate; not a prince died on whom he did not write an elegy; no saint for whom he did not produce an hymn; no public holiday that he did not distinguish by some verses; no literary dispute at which he did not assist either as secretary or president. He said of himself, that he wrote five sheets per day, which, reckoning by the time he lived, has been calculated to amount to 133,225 sheets. He sometimes composed a Comedy in two days, which it would have been difficult for another man to have even copied in the same time.
John Perez de Montalvan (a Spanish poet) relates, that a comedy being wanted for the carnival at Madrid, Lope and he united to compose one as fast as they could. Lope took the first act, and Montalvan the second, which they wrote in two days;
and the third act they divided, taking eight sheets each. Montalvan seeing that the other wrote faster than he could, says, he rose at two in the morning, and having finished his part at eleven, he went to look for Lope, whom he found amusing himself in the garden. On enquiring what progress he had made in the verses, Lope replied, “ at five I began to write, and finished the comedy an hour ago; since which I have breakfasted, written 150 other verses, and watered the garden, and am now pretty well tired."
COUNT LESTOCK AND THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH. At the critical moment of that night, when Count Lestock, in 1741, was going to conduct the Princess Elizabeth to the Palace, to dethrone the Regent, and put her in possession of the Russian empire, fear preponderated, and the princess refused to set out. The count then drew from his pocket two cards, on one of which she was represented under the tonsure in a convent, and himself on a scaffold; on the other, she appeared ascending the throne, amidst the acclamations of the people. He laid both before her, and bade her choose her situation. She chose the throne, and before morning was Empress of all the Russias,
AQUINAS. AQUINAS, when asked with what compendium a man might best become learned, answered, “By reading of one book," meaning, that an understanding entertained with several objects, is intent upon none of them, and profits not,
SIR CHARLES SEDLEY. Lord MULGRAVE, in his Essays on Satire, 1682, represents Sir Charles Sedley as a voluptuary; but he is acknowledged, both by that writer, and others of his contemporaries, to have been extremely witty, and particularly happy in his similes. He condescended, however, sometimes to become a practical joker, as appears from some anecdotes concerning him, recorded by Oldys, in his Manuscript Notes on Langbaine.
Sedley, though somewhat inclining to corpulency, was a handsome man, and very like Kynaston, the actor, who was so proud of the resemblance, that he got a suit of laced cloaths after one that Sir Charles had worn, and appeared in it in public. In order to punish his vanify, Sedley hired a bravo, who, accosting Kynaston in St. James's-park in his fine suit, pretended to mistake him for the Baronet, and having picked a quarrel with him under pretence of having received a rude message from him, he caned the actor soundly. In vain Kynaston protested he was not the person the bravo took him for; the more he protested, the more blows the other laid on, to punish him for endeavouring to escape chastisement by so impudent a falsehood. When some of the poor actor's friends afterwards remonstrated with Sedley on this harsh treatment of an inoffensive man, he replied, that their pity was very
much misplaced, and ought rather to be bestowed on him, since Kynaston could not have suffered half so much in his bones, as he (Sedley) had suffered in his reputation, all the town believing that it was he who was thus publicly disgraced.
In those days, when a gentleman drank a lady's health as a toast, by way of doing her still more honour, he frequently threw some part of his dress into the flames, in which proof of his veneration his companions were obliged to follow him, by consuming the same article, whatever it might be. One of Sedley's friends, after dinner at a tavern, perceiving he had a very rich' lace cravat on, when he named the Lady to whom honour was to be done, made a sacrifice of his cravat, and Sir Charles and the rest of the company were all obliged to follow his example. Sir Charles bore his loss with great composure, observing, that it was a good joke, but that he would have as good a frolic some other time. On a subsequent day, the same party being assembled, when Sedley had drank a bumper to the health of some beauty of the day, he called the waiter, and ordering a tooth-drawer into the room, whom he had previously stationed for the purpose, made him draw a decayed tooth which long had plagued him. The rules of good-fellowship clearly required that every one of the company should lose a tooth also; but they hoped he would not be so unmerciful as rigidly to enforce the law. All their remonstrances, however, proving vain, each of his companions successively, multa gemens, was obliged to put himself into the hands of the operator, and while they were writhing with pain, Sir Charles continued exclaiming--- Patience, gentlemen, patience; you know, you promised I should have my frolic too,”
In the last age, when Bishop Walton's Polyglot was first published, there was at Cambridge a Mr. Edwards, passionately fond of Oriental learning; who afterwards went by the name of Rabbi Edwards, a good man and a good scholar: but being then rather young in the University, and not very rich, Walton's great work was far above his pocket. Nevertheless, not being able to sleep well without it, he sold his bed and some of his furniture, and made the purchase. In consequence of which he was obliged to sleep in a large chest originally made to hold his clothes. But getting into his chest one night rather incautiously, the lid of it, which had a bolt with a spring, fell down upon him and locked him in past recovery; and there he lay well nigh smothered to death. In the morning, Edwards, who was always an exact man, not appearing, it was wondered what was become of him; till at last his bed-maker, or the person who in better times had been his bedmaker, being alarmed, went to his chambers time enough to release him: and the accident getting air, came to the ears of his friends, who soon redeemed his bed for hiin.
Mutius Scavola, or the Roman Patriot. An Historical Drama, by
W. H. Ireland. Octavo. -Bent and Badcock, 1801.
The author has chosen a subject little calculated to excite interest. Roman patriotism has been so long the theme of the Tragic Muse, that any revival of it at present, however embellished by the charms of poetry, or diversified by ingenious incident, can give little pleasure in the closet, and must be disregarded on the stage. In this tragedy there is neither originality of thought, nor felicity of diction; yet it is not inferior in versification to many pieces that have, within these few years, been applauded by crowded theatres. Mr. Ireland's great defect is amplification ; but his numbers are, in most instances, natural and harmonious. The prologue tells us :
“Our Bard this night, a foe to German rule,
“ Erects his fabric on the ancient school." He has indeed preserved the unities, and banished from his composition all spectral shew and pantomimic trick; but he has neglected to erect his fabric on the true and permanent basis of the ancient school,-powerful interest naturally springing out of the fable and characteristic expression.
The Power of Religion on the Mind, in Retirement, Afliction, and at the
approach of Death; exemplified in the Testimonies and Experience of Persons distinguished by their greatness, learning, and virtue.
Ву Lindley Murray. The Tenth Edition, corrected and greatly enlarged, 12mo. 3s. 6d. Longman and Rees, London; Wilson and Spence, York, 1801.
It would be unnecessary to notice this excellent work, which has already gone through nine editions, were it not for several important alterations and improvements that have taken place in the present edition.
It has been augmented with nearly a hundred pages of valuable matter, several of the former passages, not immediately connected with the design, have been omitted; it is divided into chapters, and the pieces are arranged in chronological order.
We cannot express our opinion of the work more justly than by using the language of the editof, who observes, that it'" ExVOL. 2, -0.7.
hibits striking examples, which, in the quiet hour of reflection, may contribute to arrest the careless and wandering, to animate the sincere and virtuous, and to convince or discountenance those who have been unhappily led to oppose the highest truth and to forsake the fountain of all their blessings."
Lectures on Painting, by H. Fuseli, P.P.
[Concluded from Page 439 of our last.) Mr. Fuseli exercises much ingenuity, but in vain, to vindicate the throwing pf Agamemnon's mantle over his face in the celebrated picture of the immolation of Iphigenia, in Aulis, by Timanthes. The concealment of the countenance is an artifice repugnant to the first principles of the art, and the argument employed by Sir Joshua Reynolds remains unanswered. If difficulties overcome make a great part of the merit of the art, difficulties evaded can deserve but little commendation.” The imitations of the artifice, by Michael Angelo, and Raphael, the one in his figure of Abijam, and the other in the expulsion from Paradise, only shews that they have erred like their great predecessor Timanthes.
Mr. Fuseli's second lecture contains information of the most valuable kind, drawn from authentic sources, and arranged with skill. His observations on the styles of Lionardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Raphael, Titiano, and Corregio, are distinguished for many striking traits of candid and original criticism; and this part of the work possesses peculiar claims to the attention of the student. On the manner and respective merits and defects of the schools of Tuscany, Rome, Venice, and Lombardy, he has perhaps been more successful in his inquiries and illustrations than on any other topic. The German, Flemish, Dutch, French, and Spanish schools also abound in useful instruction. Of the state of the art in this country, from the age of Henry VIII. to our own time, the lecturer gives the following brief sketch:
“From that period to this Britain never ceased pouring its caravans of noble and wealthy pilgrims over Italy, Greece, and Ionia, to pay their devotions at the shrines of virtù and taste : not content with adoring the obscure scholo, they have ransacked their temples, and none returned without some share in the spoil: in plaister or in marble, on canvas or in gems, the arts of Greece and Italy were transported to England; and wnat Petronius said of Rome, that it was easier to meet there with a god than a man, might be said of London. Without enquiring into the permanent and accidental causes of the inefficacy of these efforts with regard to public taste and support of art, it is observable, that, whilst Francis 1. was busied, not to aggregate a mass of painted and shiselled treasures merely to gratify his own vanity, and brood over them with sterile avarice, but to scatter the seeds of taste over France, by calling, employing, enriching Andrea del Sarto, Rustici, Rosso, Primaticcio, Cellini, Niccolo; in England, Holbein and Torregiano under Henry, and Federigo Zucchero under Elizabeth, were condemned to gothic work and portrait painting. Charles indeed called Rubens and his scholars to proyoke the latent English spark, but the effect was in