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"HERE is perhaps no sensation of the human breast
made more the subject of conversation than that of feeling. Every person is desirous of being diftinguished for the possession of an ample share of it, though the acute observer of human nature will often discover less of its amiable infuence in the actions of those who are the most forward to acknowledge its effects.
How frequent do we hear the plaintive language of commiseration fall from the lips of those, whole hearts never fickened, and whose eyes never shed a tear at the fight of woe ; who without painful agitation can behold the most amiable of their friends closing their eyes for ever? The agonizing tortures of disease, the throb. bings of distress, the pale cheek of hopeless penury, give them no real concern, wring not their bosoms with
anguish, nor does it check the pursuit of one trilling, one momentary gratification! But though persons of this unfeeling difpofition must necessarily be despised, yet it must be remembered, that this amiable emotion of the heart should have its restrictions. It is possible to indulge it to an undue and injurious extent.
Characters of this cast are generally feminine. Endowed by nature with souls alive to pity, refined by education, and heightened by reflection, the fine chords of the heart vibrate too freely at the slightest touch, which eventually enfeebies the whole system. But feel. ing, regulated by reason, imparts the highest and most permanent pleasure. A man of this character never surveys even a group of children at their diversions, but at first his heart gladdens with joy; experience next pictures to his imagination the many cares they must encounter on the journey of life, now elated with hope, and now depressed with disappointment; till evil palfions with magic power seduce them from the paths of truth and virtue, and plunge them into an abyss of wretchedness. Surrounded by the tumult of the city, or embofomed in the rural shade, wandering through the flowery vale, or climbing the cloud-invested hill ; creeping along the green-margined bank of a-noiseless stream, or standing with admiration on the shores of the restless ocean, each of these different scenes yields him a sensation either of unmingled pleasure, or of rapturous joy. In society, the converse of intelligent friends, the mutual communication of knowledge, and the interchange of sentiments, afford him exquisite delight, nor can any thing diminish this social pleasure, but the intrusion of petulant difputation, or of unyielding prejudice. Attached to civil and religious liberty, under the direction of an ardent benevolence, he wishes every man to enjoy his own opinion. If, however, difference of sentiment proves the source of contention, he pities the weakness of his friends, and with regret relinquishes their society. But has poverty seized their hearts ? Do their cheeks look sad and pale with grief, that wont to be illumed with joy, and glowed with health? his heart instantly expands with the fincerest concern; he flies to their relief; his services are tendered; fortune, time, exertion, and consolation are not wanting to cheer, and permanently relieve his distressed friends.
Does he behold oppreffion trampling on the neck of liberty, and violating the rights of man? Are the privileges of his countrymen wrested from them by lawless power? Then may we behold his eyes flash with indig. nation, and hear his lips utter the strong feelings of his soul. Bold and unconquerable is his fpirit in the holy cause of truth and freedom. Nor would he stoop to flatter tyranny, or veil corruption, were the wealth of worlds the prize. Hoftile to savage persecution and murderous war, he sighs in secret at the mad infatuation that difposes men to delight in carnage, and in the desolating calamities of hostility. “ Is man (he exclaims)
made by the same creator, and are not all the candidates for a crown of glory which will never fade away ? Why then feek by means fo terrible a perishable wreath, so transient in its beauty, that the flightest breath of regal caprice, or of popular displeasure, will blast its charms for ever? Ohl why will not man delight in peace ? Or if differences must arise, why not calmly discuss the causes of complaint ?"
Thus the man of virtue, and of pure patriotism, feels and reasons. For his country's welfare he cherishes the most fervent desire. But his mind enlarged by experience, cannot approve of her conduct when she arro. gantly presumes to dictate laws to others. He looks with kindness upon all mankind; as branches from the same stock, he reverences the virtuous of all nations ; ardently anticipating the blissful period when the weapons of war will be converted into implements of hufbandry, and when every nation will embrace each other as brethren :
O! cherish the fair vision : Time may bring
TRIUMPHS OF WAR. June 3, 1798,
LEADING TRAITS OF
THE CHARACTERS OF PUBLIC MEN,
BY A FRIEND OF THE VISITOR,
Long conversant in the Circles of Fashion and Literature.
R. B. S
-, ESQ. M. P. FOR ST.
[Continued from page 54.] HE first introduction of Mr. S- to the then fplen
did sovereign of beauty and fashion, the Duchess of D -e, which he had passionately defired, and his friend Mr. F had often promised him, was as follows: A Mr. O•B— who held come office in the Portland family, wrote a play, and prevailed with the Duchess of De to send it to Mr. S-, the manager, with her exprefs desire that it might be got up, and played at his House immediately. This was exactly what the mana's ger wanted : he waited instantly on her Grace, and like a true courtier, pretended he had carefully examined the play, and found it admirable ; returned her Grace a thousand acknowledgments for the honour lhe had been pleased to confer on him ; which in fact (as he pretended) was also doing him a favour of consequence ; hince the House was quite out of new pieces, at the moment, and that the excellent play her Grace had obliged them with, would, in all probability, be at least a couple of thousand pounds in their way. The Piece was im. mediately got up with all the strength of the House, played, and damned ; and a damned play it surely was. The crafty manager now waits on the amiable Duchess
again, with well-feigned forrow for such an untoward event, as the damnation of the play ; deploring and execrating the bad taste of the Public, and protesting to her Grace, that he himself could never think of writing for them again, since they had taken upon them to damn a play, not only fo intrinsically fine and excellent, but which had even the sanction of her Grace's fuperior judgment.
We sincerely hope we are now about to repeat a piece of arrant scandal ; but we should hold ourfelves highly culpable in concealing any kind of information from the Public, granting it to be of such nature as to admit of contradičtion from the parties falsely accused. Thus all parties may be satisfied, at least enjoy and exercise their rights.
It has been asserted confidently, but we hope with much more confidence than truth, that at the theatres, they have the custom of copying every new dramatic performance offered to them, even such as are rejected; for the not easily defensible purpose of having a stock by them, from which, on presling occasion, to select, garble, and patch up a new play. To such a manæuvre it has been laid, the celebrated comedy of the School for Scandal owed its birth; and that Mr. S- was no otherwise its author, than as he formed it into a whole, and reduced to shape (with no doubt some additions of his own) the different passages which he selected from va. rious plays, entrusted to his inspection as manager. As one proof of this, it was adduced, that about two years before the appearance of the School for Scandal, a Miss Richardson, allisted by Dr. K-, of Brazen-Nose Col. lege, wrote a comedy, which had a screen-scene in it, and which abounded with sentiments and situations such as we find in Mr. S—'s play. The comedy of Miss Richardson, it seems, was offered to the manager of Drury-lane House, and rejected. Another claim of a similar kind was made by a Gentleman, openly and publicly, at Coachmaker's-hall. Mr. S- is faid to haye been employed full fifteen Vol. IV.