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fection of the drama: but, in defiance of his principle, they do not attract, they repel; and their admirers mistake astonishment for an impression of the grand; and a horror and revulsion from scenes of dreadful suffering, for an impression of the pathetic.

But, on this system, the interest in the representation ought to be proportioned, not only to the bustling of the scene, but to the bustling disposition of the spectators. This . must be allowed, if the abhorrence of indolent repose, and the delight in being stirred, be the secret cause. which attracts us to misery; and derives to us a pleasure in spec tacles which in their nature are painful. But this is utterly contrary to fact; and the attention to fact, in this instance, as in what I have already noticed, will demonstrate the incompétence of Du Bos? theory; and discover the-true source of the phænomenon. Men of the most active turn, who with hardly any other motive than to follow the violent impulse of their own turbulent spirits, can throw society into convulsions, and


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feast as it were on those continually renewed scenes of distress and terror which mark their ferocious path, are not the persons on whom


the representations of tragedy to produce their natural and most powerful effect; but the gentle, the flexible, the compassionate, and benevolent. The former resemble the characters which, in the introduction to this essay, I have noticed among the Romans, Goths, Spaniards, Indians, and bull-baiting Englishmen. But the man of composed and tempered manners, in whose breast compassion, mercy, and benevolence sovereignly reign, is shocked at such characters; nor could possibly encounter their rude and brutal entertainments; yet his heart is the theatre whereon tragedy acts all her glorious wonders.

The same objection bears with almost equal force against the system of Hume. It is not the man of letters, who may


supposed to be the best judge of composition and eloquence;, nor yet the man of a lively imagination, to whom the effect of tragical


representations is peculiarly appropriate. Though if a heart mellowed to pity be joined to these advantages, the interest in such spectacles will perhaps receive an increase from this superadded source; but tragedy exercises her utmost power on even the unlearned and untutored, if there be found a feeling and benevolent heart.

The same judgement is further illustrated from the powerful effect on an audience of a story happily adapted to the purpose, though the composition be materially faulty. It shall awake all the passions in which tragedy rejoices, more than all the faultless productions of the Greek and French drama. Banks and Southern are poets of but a middle fame; yet the Earl of Essex and Oronooko will dissolve an audience in tears, so long as the human heart and the inclinations which it has received from its Maker shall endure. If tragedy owe her attractions to the eloquence of the poet; it is to the eloquence of nature, not of art. An untutored genius, having strong conceptions, a heart


that can enter into the feelings of a fellow heart, quick in catching the most striking features of distress, judgement to select a happy tale of virtuous suffering, and simplicity to follow nature in her plain walk, will in the fabrication of tragedy reach its highest excellence. Such was Shakespeare, and such, in a less degree, were a few of his neglected cotemporaries ; it was to their exquisite sensibility, to their ignorance of art and fastidious refinement, which might have diverted them from the resistless eloquence of nature, that they owe their superiority over the lettered sons of every age and nation. But, whatever be the skill of the poet, whether that of nature, or art, or of both, this skill is not critically examined into during the representation; it is felt; it no more requires the critic's acumen to capacitate us for this effect, than the philosopher's penetration into nature to feel the lightning. It is not wisdom, but the affectation of it, which in so interesting an hour is attentive to all the finesses, delicacies, and ingenuity


of the

poet. The ingenuous simplicity of a plain feeling heart is better employed; it is worth a thousand such wise ones; it is the spectator and judge, whom tragedy more delights in, from whom she will receive a more abiding sentence.

Mr. Hume very justly observes, that the force of imagination, the energy


expression, and the power of numbers, are all of themselves naturally pleasing to the mind, But the connection between this position and the following conclusion is wide as heaven and earth, when he adds : that if the object lays hold of some affection, the pleasure still rises upon us, by the conversion of this subordinate moment into that which is pre. dominant. The predominant emotion hę assumes to be the pleasure excited by the eloquence of the artist; the affection laid hold upon is the painful sensation of the spectacle. Which of these two emotions is most likely to be predominant has been just now discussed ; but that a pleasurable emotion of one kind should lay hold of a painful


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