Now followed a period in which many works were produced which were extremely popular in their day, but of which few now retain public appreciation. Amongst these none reached the same estimation as "Henry, Earl of Moreland: or, The Fool of Quality," by Henry Brooke. It was designed to show the folly and the artificial morale of the age, by presenting Henry as the model of direct and natural sentiments, for the indulgence of which he was thought a fool by the fashionable world. The early part of the work is admirable, and the boyhood of Henry is the obvious prototype of Day's "History of Sandford and Merton;" but as it advances it becomes utterly extravagant. Miss Frances Brooke, too, was the author of "Julia Mandeville" and other novels. Mrs. Charlotte Smith, long remembered for her harmonious sonnets, was the author of numerous novels, as "The Old Manor House," "Celestina," "Marchmont," etc.; there were also Mrs. Hannah More with her "C?lebs in Search of a Wife;" Mrs. Hamilton with her "Agrippina;" Bage with his "Hermstrong: or, Man as he is Not;" "Monk" Lewis with his "Tales of Wonder" and his "Monk;" and Horace Walpole with his melodramatic romance of "The Castle of Otranto." But far beyond Walpole rose Mrs. Ann Radcliffe, the very queen of horror and wonder, in her strange, exciting tales of "The Sicilian Romance," "The Romance of the Forest," "The Mysteries of Udolpho," "The Italian," etc. No writer ever carried the powers of mystery, wonder, and suspense, to the same height, or so bewitched her age by them.Lord Rawdon again attempted to mitigate the condition of debtors imprisoned by their creditors, but did not succeed; and after Dundas had drawn a very flattering picture of the condition of India in presenting his annual statement of Indian finance, and had procured some regulations for insuring the payment of seamen's wages to themselves or their families, the king prorogued Parliament on the 15th of June, still congratulating the country on the prospect of peace and of reducing substantially the National Debt.BY ERNEST CROFTS, R.A. FROM THE PAINTING IN THE WALKER ART GALLERY.
"I confess that the multiplied proofs which I have given at all times of my love for the people, and the manner in which I have always conducted myself, ought, in my opinion, to demonstrate that I was not afraid to expose myself in order to prevent bloodshed, and ought to clear me for ever from such an imputation."
But far above all rose, at this period, the already popular romantic poet, Walter Scott. Before him, in Scotland, Henry Mackenzie had occupied for a long time the foreground as a writer of fiction, in "The Man of Feeling," "Julia de Roubigné," etc., but in a very different class of invention. As Walter Scott (b. 1771; d. 1832) had opened up the romance of the Scottish Highlands in his poems, so he now burst forth, on the same ground, in historic romance, with a vigour, splendour, and wonderful fertility of imagination and resource of knowledge which far exceeded everything in the history of literature since the days of Shakespeare. We need not attempt to characterise the voluminous series of what are called the "Waverley Novels," which, in their ample range, occupied almost every country of Europe and every climate, from the bleak rocks of Orkney to the glowing plains of Syria and India; they are familiar to all readers, and closed this period with a splendour from the mingled blaze of invention, poetry, and science, which no succeeding age is likely to surpass.
[See larger version]Sir Hercules Langrishe " " 45,000
[See larger version]
Henry Purcell (b. 1658; d. 1695) produced the bulk of his works in William's reign. He composed the music to "The Tempest," "Dioclesian," "King Arthur," "Don Quixote," "Bonduca," and "Orpheus Britannicus." Many parts of these, and his sonatas, anthems, catches, rounds, glees, etc., are as much enjoyed now as in his own day. The music to Davenant's "Circe," by Banister, of Shadwell's "Psyche," by Lock, and of Dryden's "Albion and Albanius," by Grabut, had increased in England the liking for the lyrical drama; but Purcell's compositions wonderfully strengthened it, and from "King Arthur" may properly be dated the introduction of the English opera. Gay's "Beggar's Opera," six-and-thirty years after, however, was the first complete and avowed opera, and this did not establish that kind of entertainment in England. The wonderful success of this production, which was performed for sixty-two nights (not consecutive), was chiefly derived from the wit and satire of the composition itself, the abundance of popular airs introduced, and the party feeling which it gratified. The airs were selected and adapted by Dr. Pepusch, a German, who settled in London, and became celebrated there. He also furnished the overture, and wrote accompaniments to the airs. Eleven years after, Milton's "Comus" was adapted to the stage by the Rev. Dr. Dalton, with music by Dr. Arne, who afterwards composed the music for "Artaxerxes," and thence derived a high reputation.
The first debate arose on the subject of drunkenness and gin. Drunkenness had of late years appeared to grow rapidly, and to assume more horrible features from the increasing use of gin. Sir Joseph Jekyll proposed in committee that a heavy tax should be laid on this pernicious liquor, which should put it out of the reach of the working classes—namely, a duty of twenty shillings per gallon on all sold retail, and fifty pounds yearly for the licence to every retailer. This benevolent man had not arrived at the truth, that to tax a crime is only to stop up one vent of it, and to occasion its bursting out in half a dozen other places. Sir Robert Walpole saw this clearly, and though he would not oppose the Bill for this purpose, he predicted that Parliament would soon be called upon to modify its provisions. The small duties heretofore levied on this article had brought in about seventy thousand pounds annually, and, as the Excise had been made over to the Crown, this sum went to the Civil List. Walpole demanded, therefore, that whatever deficiency of this sum should be produced by the new regulations should be made up to the Civil List. The whole measure excited great clamour out of doors. It was regarded as an invidious attempt to abridge the comforts of the people, whilst those of the wealthy remained untouched. The clause proposed by Walpole to protect the revenue was assailed with much fury both in and out of the House. It was said that the Minister was quite indifferent to the morals of the people on the one hand, or to their enjoyment on the other, so that the revenue did not suffer.[See larger version]
SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY.Charles H. Coote, created Lord Castlecoote, with a regiment, patronage in Queen's County, and ￡7,500 in cash.
Mr. Torres, ditto 3,300
This tragedy produced a painful sensation through the whole community. The facts brought to light at the trial had the effect of dissociating the Bristol outrages from the cause of Reform, with which they had no real connection. Still the leading anti-Reformers were extremely obnoxious to the people; and as men's minds became more and more heated, in reiterating demands for national rights, withheld by a faction, extreme opinions grew into greater favour. For example, a national political union was formed in London, and held a great meeting, at which Sir Francis Burdett presided. This body issued a manifesto, in which they demanded annual Parliaments, universal suffrage, and vote by ballot. This was a legitimate demand; but they broached more disputable topics when they proclaimed "that all property honestly acquired is sacred and inviolable; that all men are born equally free, and have certain natural and inalienable rights; that all hereditary distinctions of birth are unnatural, and opposed to the equal rights of man, and ought to be abolished; and that they would never be satisfied with any laws that stopped short of these principles." The union was proclaimed by Lord Melbourne, but continued to assemble. Altogether, the country was in a most dangerous crisis in the autumn of 1831.SURRENDER OF BAILLIE TO HYDER ALI. (See p. 330.)详情
Copyright © 2020