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Canton, a Swiss, gentleman to his lordship. His fole business through the play, is to flatter his master and laugh at his jokes. Our only objection to this, gentleman is, that he happens to have been born in a wrong country.
We are of opinion, he might with much greater propriety have been created a Frenchman.
Mrs. Heidleberg, lifter to Sterling, the rich widow of a Dutch merchant. She is a person of great importance in Sterling's family, on account of her riches. The entertainment which fhe affords the spectators is owing chiefly to the comic talents of Mrs. Clive, by whom the part is played.
Miss Sterling, the young lady who was to have been married, to Sir John Melvil,
Fanny, her younger sister, married clandeftinely to Lovewell,
The rest of the characters are of little importance. Let us now proceed to the story. Scene, Sterling's Country-house.
AC Τ Ι. - Fanny, in a private conversation with her husband, expresses great uneasiness at concealing their matrimonial connection any longer. The indelicacy of a secret marriage grows every day more and more shocking to her, and the earnestly intreats him, for very particular reasons, to disclose the affair to her father. Sterling finds them together. She retires, and Lovewell delivers a letter to his master, informing him that Lord Ogleby and Sir John will certainly arrive that night. In the next scene we have a conversation between the two sisters, in which the eldest triumphs in the expectation of her approaching magnificence. The remainder of the act is taken up in giving orders for the proper reception of my lord and his nephew,
ACT II. Opens with a scene between his lordship’s valet de chambre and a chambermaid, from which we learn, that Fanny the youngest daughter is esteemed, by the servants, for her affability, and her sister disliked for being proud. Lord Ogleby now crawls forth from his bed-chamber, is invited by Sterling to take a walk in the garden, where the whole family assemble, and where his lordship has an opportunity of fhewing his gallantry to the ladies, and contempt for Mr. Sterling's taste. The sest of the good folks continuing their walk, Sir John and Lovewell remain upon the stage, where the latter is surprized by a declaration from the former, of his violent passion for Miss Fanny, alias Mrs. Lovewell; the happening at this moment to be walking alone in the garden, Sir John pursues her, repeats his solicitations, and at laft, finding her still inflexible, falls on his knees, and seizes her fair hand. In this situation they are pnluckily furprized by Miss Sterling. Sir John sneaks off; poor Rev. Mareh, 1766.
Fanny Fanny is left to be abused by her enraged fifter ; and thus ends this very long act.
ACT III. Opens with the arrival of three lawyers, who come to settle the marriage-contract between Sir John and Miss Sterling. Whilst there formal gentlemen are in conversation with Mr. Sterling concerning the particulars, they are interrupted by Sir John, who has matter of importance to communicate to his hoft.' The lawyers are desired to amuse themselves in the garden, and then Sir John disclofes his passion for the youngest daughter, imploring the father's consent to marry her instead of her elder sifter. Sterling is at first offended, but becomes reconciled on Sir John's proposing to relinquish 30,000l. of the 80,cool, which he was to have had with Miss Sterling. This proposal is the only new, incident by which the story advances, during this whole act, the latter part of which is employed in a fruitles attempt to obtain Mrs. Heidleberg's consent to the intended transfer.
ACT IV. Mrs. Heidleberg, who rules the roast in this family, refolves to send Fanny to town next morning; to prevent which, Lovewell persuades his wife to disclose their marriage to Lord. Ogleby; who, he tells her, seems to entertain a visible partiality for ber, and from whose influence in the family a reconciliation will most probably be brought about. Fanny, determined to disclose the dreadful secret, accofts his lordship in the garden. She begins her story; but for want of resolution, speaks so equivocally, that his lordship, whose vanity has ever the ascendant, mistakes the whole of her conversation for a declaration of love to himself. She retires, and my lord, fully persuaded of her paflion for him, determines to marry her. His mistake gives rise to another scene, partly of the same kind, between Lovewell and his lordship, who continues in his errour to the end of the act. He proposes the match to Sterling, and obtains his confent; and Lovewell is ordered immediately to London to fetch some papers necessary on the occasion.
ACT V. Lovewell, considering that he was dispatched on a needless errand, instead of setting out for London, retires to his Fanny's bed-chamber; where, raising his voice rather too loud, he is overheard by Miss Sterling, listening at the door, she having been already informed by her maid that there was a man in her fister's chamber, which man Miss Sterling naturally concludes to be her faithless Sir John Melvil. Big with this idea, the fallies forth, in the dark, conducting Alis. Heidleberg to the door of her sister's room. Having no doubt but that. Sir John
ånd Miss Fanny are together, laying a plan for their elopement in the morning, they determine, in revenge, not only to disappoint but to expose them; and therefore begin to make a horrible uproar, in order to raise the family. Sterling appears first, then Canton, then the lawyers, and then his lordthip, all greatly terrified at Mrs. Heidleberg's outcry of thieves ! The company being thus assembled, they are informed that Sir John is locked up with Fanny, in her bed-chamber. Lord Ogleby, having no doubt of his Fanny's affection, disbelieves the fact; and, calling aloud for Sir John Melvil, the baronet enters, not from Miss Fanny's chamber, but on the opposite side of the stage, to the great astonishment of the whole company. Lord Ogleby now requests that Miss Fanny may be desired to come forth and dispel all their doubts. She appears, but soon faints away. This occasions a fresh alarm; on which Lovewell rushes from the same apartment, catches her in his arms, and she recovers. They now confess their having been four months married. Sterling threatens to turn them out of doors, upon which Lord Ogleby generously declares that he will receive and patronise them. After a little expostulation, however, all parties are reconciled; the play concludes; and is followed by a very singular and very entertaining Epilogue.
It may possibly be said, with some appearance of justice, that in this comedy we are presented with no entire new characters; but if that be a fault, we shall more readily excuse it, when we consider the difficulty of finding any real character which hath not already been exhibited upon the stage; so that in this respect any thing truly original is hardly to be expected. As to moral, it certainly contains none; on the contrary, the only offenders, are the only perfons made happy in the catastrophe : for, as to Miss Fanny's sufferings, we are of opinion there are not many young ladies who would scruple to suffer twice as much during tbe honey-moon with the man of their heart.
On the whole, however, tho' this comedy may not (in the perusal) have quite answered our expe&ation, to greatly raised by the united names in the title-page, yet, considering it merely as a piece of entertainment, it certainly deserves the applause which it has so generally received. Some of its scenes are truly comic, the story is well conducted, and the final event, or unravelment of the plot, judiciously brought about. We cannot, however, take leave of our ingenious Authors, without expressing our surprize at their address to the spectators, in the last fentence of the play; in which they have offended against a most essential rule of the drama : which invariably supposes the whole action performed independent and entirely regardless of the spectators. It is, indeed, not only injudicious, but has too obviously the appearance of being merely intended to coax the audience into good humour.
B...t. Q a
Philosophical Transactions, VOL. LIV. concluded. See p. 63.
N our Review for Dec. Jast, we gave an account of the
papers in this Vol. of the Philosophical Transactions, relative to physics, natural history, &c. In our number for January, those on medical and anatomical subjects were mentioned ; and now we proceed to the inathematical, mechanical and astronomical communications. The first of these is Article III. The description of a new and safe crane, which has four dif
ferent powers ; invented by Mr. Jaines Ferguson, F.Å. S.
This machine, which cannot be easily understood without the engraved figure that accompanies it, is very well adapted to prevent the many fatal accidents that often happen by using the common tread-wheel crane. But either from the multiplicity of its parts, the considerable friction they occasion, the loss of time, or, perhaps, from the inflexible bigotry of the persons concerned in these machines, to their old methods, it has not yet been carried into execution. For we must observe, that though this piece of mechanism has never before appeared in any printed work that we have feen, yet a model of it was some time since presented by Mr. Ferguson to the society for the encouragement of arts, &c. and is now in their machine room ; so that the contrivance has been long enough known to mechanics for it to have been carried into execution. Indeed the machine before us does not seem calculated for raising heavy weights with that dispatch which is necessary on the public wharfs. For though it is well known that the force of one man may, by this, or almost any other machinery, be fufficient for raising the most enormous weights; yet, as what is gained in power will always be loft in time, it becomes necessary, where dispatch is required, to proportion the power to the weight intended to be raised; fo that the work may be performed in a reasonable time; and this is perhaps the principal reason why our mechanical gentlemen have not attempted to introduce Mr. Ferguson's machine instead of the common cranes now in use. IV. Of the Moon's Dirance and Parallax: a Letter to Andrew
Reid, Esq; from Dr. Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch has in this paper given an easy method for determining the moon's distance, from the received theory of central forces.
The method is this : Sir Isaac Newton concluded, from ar investigation of the law of gravitation, that the gravitation at the earth's surface, being diminished as the square of the distance from the earth's centre increases, would, at the distance of the moon, produce a fall from rest, in one second, precisely equal to that verfed fine. Or, that the gravitation of the moon toward the earth, being increased as the square of that distance is diminished, would, ai the earth’s furface, be of the fame quantity
and x=?) VXD is the distance foughe
as that of falling bodies is actually found to be.---This law of gravitation Mr. Murdoch assumes as given, and makes the moon's distance the quantity fought.
Thus writing F for the number of feet which a body falling from reft, describes, in vacuo, at the equator in one second, V for the verled fine of the arc of the inoon's orbit described in the fame time, to the radius unity, D for the femidiameter of the equator in feet, and the ratio of the distance of the centres of the earth and moon, to the femidiameter of the earth, that of X to 1: we have, by the general law, the moon's fall in i second, equal to but the fame fall is equal to VXDXX; X
But as this distance will be fomewhat increased by the revo-
XXXI. XLV. Observations on the eclipse of the sun, the first of
As there is nothing yery particular in these observations, we
the observatory of the Marine at Paris, on the third of January,