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produce little corn. The peasants of Swifferland (I mean those who inhabit the mountainous diftricts) live chiefly upon milk, and what refults from it, together with potatoes, which are here much culti vated. According to the price of provifions in England, the above lift will appear exceedingly cheap but then it ought at the fame time to be confidered, that money is very fcarce in thefe parts. Nor indeed is it fo much neceffary in a country, where there is no luxury; where all the peafantry have, within themselves, more than fufficient for their own confumption; and are tolerably well provided with every neceffary of life from their own little demefnes. I had, to-day, a long converfation with one of the lads, who came with us from Altdorf, and takes care of the horses. He lives upon the mountains of Uri; and, as their winter lafts near eight months of the year, during fome part of which time there can be little communication between the feveral cottages, every family is of course obliged to lay in their provifion for the whole winter. His own, it feems, confifts of feven perfons, and is provided with the following flores: feven cheeses, each weighing twenty-five pounds; an hundred and eight pounds of hard bread, twenty-five baskets of potatoes, each weigh ing about forty pounds; feven goats, and three cows, one of which they kill. The cows and horfes (if they keep any) are fed with bay, and the goats with the boughs of firs; which, in a scarcity of bay, they give alfo to their other cattle. During this dreary feafon the family are employed in making linen, fhirts, &c. fufficient for their own ufe: and, for this purpose, a small patch of the little piece of ground belonging to every cottage, is generally fown with flax. The cultivation of the latter has been much attended to, and with increasing fuccefs, in these mountainous parts of Swifferland.
The houses are generally built of wood; and it was a natural remark of one of our fervants, as we paffed through fuch a continued chain of rocks; that as there was ftone enough to build all the cottages in the country, it was wonderful they fhould use nothing but wood for that purpose: a remark that has been made by many travellers. But it should feem, that these wooden houses are much fooner conftructed, and are easily repaired; that they are built in fo folid and compact a manner (the rooms fmall, and the ceilings low) as to be fufficiently warm even for fo cold a climate. The chief objection to them arifes from the danger of fire; as the flames must rage with great rapidity, and communicate eafily from one to the other, This inconvenience, however, is in a great measure obviated by the method of building their cottages apart; all their villages confifting of detached and scattered hamlets. This obfervation, however, does not hold with respect to fome of their largest burghs: and thefe muft confequently be expofed to the ravages of this most dreadful of all calamities. I am, &c."
The Author gives a fummary account of the Helvetic Union, or confederacy, which prefents us with a pleafing view of political connexion, on the best of all principles, that of reciprocal fupport and benefit. We wished to extract this part of the work, for the information of fuch of our Readers as, have no A a 2
adequate idea of the poffible advantages of confederated, national fociety; but the prefent Article is already of fufficient extent.
The human paffions operate alike in all parts of the world, in proportion to the opportunities of exertion; hence Providence feems to intend human felicity for the rudeft fituations, where the temptations are few, Thefe mountainous fpots are fecluded from more favourable regions by natural barriers. To live comfortably there, requires an habitual industry; to live fecurely there, requires friendship and fortitude. They are difficult of access by individuals, and much less acceffible by multitudes; confequently, they cannot be invaded fo eafily as they can repulse an attack, where the very elements are their auxiliaries and what is perhaps more in their favour than all the reft, they are not, to other ftates,, worth the coft and dangers of fubjection; fince thofe virtues on which their political existence depends, would expire under the iron hand of foreign power,— like flowers torn from their natural roots, and put in water for the tranfient decoration of a palace!
ART. VII. Lucius Junius Brutus; or, the Expulfion of the Tarquins : An historical Play. By Hugh Downman. 8vo. 3 s. Wilkie, &c.
Trefis, O this very fingular play is prefixed the following fhort well worth the attention of all who admire, or cultivate, the drama:
To thofe who judge of dramatic merit from the Greek models, the rules of French critics, or the examples of modern writers, a juftification of the following piece would be attempted in vain. They would call it a motley performance, deficient in almost every article which conftitutes a true and proper tragedy. If the Author was to allege, that he never meant to compofe a tragedy, according to their acceptation of the word, but that his intention was to fill up a picture of real life, in a certain given time, the outlines of which were taken from hiftorical facts, his reafon would be deemed unfatif factory.
Regardless of the end propofed, they would continue to exclaim, that the unities were neglected, that the grave was intermingled with the ludicrous; that the business of the drama frequently food ftill; that the dialogue was too familiar, and the metre little better than measured profe.
How far fome of these objections may be valid, and how many more might, perhaps, with reafon be urged against particular palfages, the Author would not determine. The force of others of them he would endeavour to diminish, by answering, that they militate equally against human life itself; and that while he should be forry to have this denominated an artificial poem, he would flatter himself, it cannot be juilly thought an unnatural one.
• Dr. Johnson indeed, in the preface to his edition of Shakespeare, feems to have fufficiently vindicated this particular fpecies of writing, to which, thofe who pleafe, may (instead of tragedy) give the more fimple name of history. Neither are there wanting many good judges of compofition, who wish that the lefs ftudied diction, and more plain and level metre of the fchool of that immortal poet, (which feems to have ended with Southern) had been continued to the prefent time. Even this performance, with all its imputed irregularities and deficiencies, will, perhaps, be preferred by them, to thofe tranflated tragedies or imitations, which of late years have, through novelty, lived their nine nights on the ftage, and been damned for ever after in the closet: though they had been corrected and metamorphofed by managers, calculated to afford to favourite actors or actreffes opportunities of fhining, and curtailed by lord chamberlains. A diverfification of characters hath been attempted in this piece; and to give to every character the mode of fentiment and expreffion, peculiarly fuited to it. It is not at all difficult for a man of a very middling genius, to contrive a regular plot, to pen down a certain number of founding lines; and though his Dramatis Perfonæ are diftinguished by particular names, to put his own fentiments in their mouths throughout five acts. Had the Author been folicitous of adapting his plan to the ftage, or wifhed to conciliate the favour of the indifcriminating multitude, he might probably have followed the fame method.
However it may appear to us, when we are reading, no fmall attention is requifite in written dialogue of any kind, for an author entirely to caft off felf. This was the characteristic of Shakespeare ; and perhaps after all, the Author of this play hath deceived himself, and it may with reafon be applied to him,
Sudet multum fruftraq; laboret
That the Reader may, in fome measure, judge how far the Author has effected his own purpose, we fhall next lay before him fome part of the firft Act, not as the moft advantageous or unfavourable fpecimen of the whole, but as a paffage more eafily detached from the reft:
SCENE II. The Camp before Ardea.
Titus. Why, Aruns, in what corner fits the wind?
Unless 'tis living in inaction thus.
I would I was in Rome, or Rome was here,
Turning religious all at once, he built
Aye, and wifely too.
Still varying like the wind-Thy heart like mine!
Aruns. Well, be it fo, heaven speed us both! But Sextus!
Befriends him farther, one would fwear he kept
Thou reason't well, by Mars!
A fort of creeping kind of lethargy.
Are you e'er feiz'd thus? Hah! here comes my antidote. Titus. Brutus! true; he's a doctor for the fpleen.
You mention'd Delphos; when we two went thither
The fnake portentous, which with dreadful creft
A direful omen! Brutus then went with us.
The oracle too faid,
You may remember
Why, thou art running like a loaded horse.
That thou art pofting in this plaguy hurry?
We're in good health; we thank him for the meffage,
Brutus. Oh! my good Lord, I had forgot indeed.
As a cart-wheel.
Brutus. Indeed, my Lord, you've hit it; mine turns round,
Have you, my Lord?
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