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Antigonus the Great was asked by his son, “ at what hour the camp would break up ?” “ Are you afraid,” replied the father, “ that you will be the only one who will not hear the trumpet.” The king Lysi. machus asked Philippide, “ what he wished to have communicated to him;" « what your Majesty pleases,” answered he, “ provided they are no secrets."
According to the accounts of Suetonius, Julius Cæsar never said, tomorrow we shall do this, or to-day we shall do that; but only this, at this present hour, we shall do so and so; to-morrow we shall see what is to be done: John Duke of Marlborough in the wars of Queen Anne, perfectly imitated this example—the French could never get intellie gence of his measures tiil after the execution. Cecilius Metellus, being asked by one of his captains, “ At what time he would offer bata tle to the enemy?” answered, “ If I imagined that my shirt knew the least of my thoughts, I would barn it on the instant, and never wear another." Queen Olympius writing to her son Alexander, reproached him, that he had not discretion sufficient in the distribution of his liberalities; but, because Ephestion, his favourite, was present at the reading this letter, and that the secret was of consequence, Alexander, without enjoining him to secresy by word of mouth, made a motion of touching his lips with the royal seal.-A favourite courtier being urged by his Prince, to know " what he stood in need of?" answerel, “ of every thing, except the knowledge of your secret thoughts.” A Spaniard was desired by an absent friend, faithfully to keep a secret he had entrusted to him ; he answered, “I never knew your secret; if you have imparted any to me, I have certainly returned it to you, by remembering it no longer”_When our friends are desirous of making us the confidants of their secret thoughts, we ought to receive them, and be faithful to the last. A man desirous of prying into the secrets of others, is generally vain, and a fool. He will citen despise men of eminence and learning, because he beholds them in a situation far above his : therefore, Sophocles has judiciously remarked, do not be curious, and talk too much--for ears always open to the secrets of others, have also mouths ready to divulge them.
treated this his eldest son, heir of his crown, to allow his youngest Joun to enjoy the kingdom of Castile : “ My father,” answered Alphonsus, “ the glory of obeying you, will be always more dear to me, than my rights of eldership: should you even juuge, that my brother would kill your place better than me, I consent you give him all your possessions-I shall obey your orders, as I would these from God him. himself.”. Peter, Count of Savoy, presenting himself before the Empe. ror Otho, to be invested in the possession of a certain kingdom he had.. gained by his valour, was half covered on the right side with embroi. dery and jewels, and with shining armour on the left. The Emperor VOL. II.
surprized to see him so oddly accoutred, asked him the reason --" It is in order to shew your Majesty," said he," that on one side I am come to pay you my respects as a courtier, and on the other, to defend myself against all those, who shall attempt to deprive me of what I have conquered by force of arms.” Roger, Count of Pallant, made an offer to King Alphonsus, of killing with his own hand the King of Castile his en :my ; never think of such a horrid action,” replied the generous Alphonsus; “I would never consent to it, were it even to give me the sovereignty of the whole world.” Laurent, Prince Palatine, asked the Emperor Sigismond, " Why, instead of putting to death the enemies he had conquered in battle, he received them among the number of his friends, and heaped uncommon favours on them?” “ Those that are dead,” replied the emperor,
can do no farther harm, and as to the living, you are much in the right to say, that they ought to be killed also----I am doing of it as fast as I am able, for I no sooner receive into favour any of these, than I kill the enemy within then, and there immediately springs up a friend in the place." Christina Queen of Sweden wrote to the King of Poland, after he had raised the siege Vienna, capital of Austria, invested by the Turks, to express her sentiments on an action of that noble importance. “ I do not envy” (said she) “ your Majesty's kingdom, nor your riches, nor the spoil you have gained, I envy alone the fatigues and the perils your Majesty has undergone ; I envy you the title of Deliverer of Christendoin, the pleasure of giving life and liberty to so many friends and enemies."
(Continued from Vol. I. Page 571.) A
BOUT the period of his publishing, “ The Bablers” and “ Loui.
sa Mildmay,” he added to his income by becoming the Editor of the Public Ledger, an oilice which he was very well fitted for, and which circumstances rendered more so.
As it is one of the uses of biography, to connect as much of the customs and manners of the times as properly belongs to it, we must inform many of our readers, that at this period (1765) there were but four Morning Papers published in London, and that, as private scandal and self-importance had not as yet flowed in upon the public, some of the columns of those papers were filled with extracts from our best modern publications-sketches from history—theatrical criticisms-moral or humorous essays-poetry, &c. It was the first qualification of an Editor then to be able to execute this business in a creditable manner, in which he was occasionally assisted by the voluntary contributions of
a Thornton, a Foote, a Garrick, a Smart, a Colman, a Goldsmith, &c. &c: names that will be as long remembered for the intrinsic value of their pens, as they must be regretted by a comparison with their successors.
Kelly being thus situated in regard to settled work, did not stop here --the activity of his mind induced him to search for other objects for his pen, and the stage, the early mistress of his imagination, suon presented one.
It was now some years since Churchill had published his “ Rosciad;" and the well-known success of that poein, with the early fame that it established for him, spurred our author's genius to an imitation he, therefore, in the winter of 1766, produced a poem called “ Thespis; or, A Critical Examination into the Merits of all the principal perforiners belonging to Drury-Lane Theatre.”
When this poem was first announced by advertisement, the performers, who had scarcely recovered from the lash of Churchill's pen, were on the tip-toe for its publication; but no sooner did it appear, than the aggrieved of Drury-lane Green-Room were instantly up in arms; the men talked of little less than “ swords, pistols, and a saw-pit --- whilst some of the ladies said, “ they could not appear before the eyes of the public, thus shorn of their usual attractions."
The late Mrs. Clive and Mrs. Barry (now Mrs. Crawford) were both best heard on this occasion--their merits were most wantonly degraded. Barry had been charged with ".cramıning his moon-eyed ideot on the town,” whilst poor Mrs. Clive's person and temper were so coarsely caricatured, that the public were unanimous in their dis. approbation. Kelly himself soon became sensible of his fault, and publiciy atoned for it in his second edition of the same poem, in the fola lowing manner :
" And here, all-burning with ingenuous shame,
To sting with ceaseless justice in his own." This recantation, we believe, pacified Mrs Clive; and as the of fence to Mrs. Barry was not near so strong, she was so softened by a personal apology, that she some time after appeared in a principal character of our Author's first comedy, “ False Delicacy.”
But though the ladies were thus appeased, some from apologies and recantations, and some from the prudential fear,
“ that stirring our Author's resentment might make it worse”--the gentlemen were not so easily pacified. Some expressed their resentment generally, but one comedian felt himself so severely and personally ill-treated, that he publiciy denounced the Author in the "Green-Room, and said, “ if
ever he dared to subscribe his name to his poem, they two should not live a day afterwards in the same planet.”
Kelly, however, elated with the success and profits of his first poem, sat instantly down to his second, “On the Merits of the principal Performers belonging to Covent Garden Theatre;” and as he was anxious now to say who he was, publicly put his name to it, declaring him. self, at the same time, to be Author of the first.
The veil now removed, the praise and censure of the poem became more universal ;-some crying it up for its energy and critical discri: mination-others arraigning it for its boldness and calumny. In this mixture of opinions, the good-natured friends of the enraged Comedian of Drury-Lane did not forget his former threats. They not only reminded him of them, but egged him on as the champion of their cause, to call the delinquent poet to an account. The comedian agreed in the necessity of it, and said, “it should be done.” Some time, however, elapsed in a state of uncertainty, when, one morning coming into the Green-Room with rather an uncommonly brisk and satisfied air, he exclaimed, " Well, 'tis all over 'tis all settled.” Aye,” exclaimed his brother performers--" What-have you killed, or maimed the r-1?""
No, no,” says the more philosophic comedian, “ what I mean by settled is, that--that-upon a consultation with Mr. Garrick, he-he-(hesitating) ---said it was better to let it alone.”
Garrick, in considering his own interest, independent of his friend's honour, no doubt acted right in the advice, as on one side he might have lost a comedian not so easily replaced, and on the other, a rising flatterer of his merits ; for Kelly took care (and no doubt was actuated by his feelings) to speak of Garrick in the following strains of pane gyrick :
“ Long in the annals of Theatric fame
Than ever center'd in one mind before." Mr. Garrick's opinion, though decisive behind the curtain, could not prevent the whisper and out-door talk of the performers. They animadverted on it in their own way, and as one anecdote in these cases generally begets another, this was contrasted by the conduct of Mat. Clarke (late a performer of Covent Garden 'Theatre) to Churchill, a little after the publication of The Rosciad."! The circumstances were as follow :
Churchill supping one night at the Rose Tavern, Bridges-street, in a mixed company, found himself at a late hour, which he was always partial to, sitting down to an entremets between supper and breakfast with Clarke, and another performer of Covent-Garden Theatre, when the latter rather imprudently was complaining of the hardships which
some of his brethren were suffering under the lash of the poet's pen. “They deserve it,” says Clarke; " why do they suffer it?"
* And pray, Mr. Clarke,” says Churchill, looking him full in the face, ** What would you do in such a case ?” « Cut your throat in the church,” was the answer. “ Aye!” says Churchill, snatching up a knife and fork which lay upon the table" Aye!” says Clarke (doing the same), “ and as I see you are determined to have a trial of skill now, you take the end of that cloth, and I'll take the other, and let's see which is the best man."
Clarke's manly manner of announcing himself, and the character he had of being as good as his word in all those cases, made our poet pause for some moments, when laying down the knife and fork, and stretching his hand across the table, “ Clarke," says he, “ I believe you to be a very honest fellow; I had no right to put such a question to you, and I ask your pardon.”
The reconciliation on the part of Clarke was instantly accepted of, and they spent the remainder of the night in great harmony,
Previous to Kelly's publication of the second part of Thespis, viz. Strictures on the principal Performers belonging to Covent Garden Theatre,” the theatrical part of the public, as well as the performers themselves, were not a little anxious to know who he praised, or who abused. In this state of suspence, and on the evening previous to publication, the publisher happened to drop in at the public room Queen's Arms, St. Paul's Church-yard, where the booksellers, the tvits, the neighbouring tradesmen, and others, used generally to assemble. Upon his entrance the company one and all exclaimed, “ Well, what says Thespis in his second part?” “Why, not so severe, I think,” says the publisher, “ as the first, except in the case of poor Ross, which I'm really sorry for." “ Aye, of Ross!” they replied, “ what does he say of Ross? do recollect."' On this the publisher pulled out a proof sheet, which he happened to have in his pocket, and read as follows:
“ Ross, of various requisites possessid,