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the desert, she tantalizes us with a delusion that distance creates, and that contiguity destroys. Yet, when unsought, she is often found, and when unexpected, often obtained; while those who seek her the most diligeotly jail the most, because they seek her where she is not. Anthony sought her in love; Brutus in glory; Cæsar in do. minion;-the first found disgrace, the second disgust, the last ingratitude, and each destruction. To soine she is more kind, but not less cruel; she hands them her cup, and they drink even to stupefaction, until they doubt whether they are men with Philip, or dream that they are gods with Alexander. On some she smiles as on Napoleon, with an aspect more bewitching than an Italian sun; but it is only to make ber frown the more terrible, and by one short caress to enbitter the pangs of separation. Yet is she, by universal homage and consent, a queen; and the passions are the vassal lords that crowd her court, a wait her mandate, and move at her control. But like other mighty sovereigos, she is so surrounded by her envoys, her officers, and her ministers of state, that it is extremely difficult to be admitted to her presence chamber, or to have any immediate communication with herself. Ambition, Ava. rice, Love, Revenge, all these seek her, and her alone: alas! they are neither presented to her, nor will she come to them. She dispatches, however, her envoys unto them -mean and poor representatives of their queen. To Ambition, she sends Power; to Avarice, Wealth ; to Love, Jealousy; to Revenge, Remorse; alas! what are these, but so many other names for vexation or disappointment. Neither is she to be won by flatteries or by bribes: she is to be gained by waging war against her enemies, much sooner than by paying any particular court to herself. Those that conquer her adversaries, will find that they need not go to her, for she will come unto them. None bid so high for her as kings; few are more willing, none more able to purchase her alliance at the fullest price. But she has no more respect for kings than for their subjects; she mocks them indeed with the empty shew of a visit by sending to their palaces all her equipage, her pomp, and her train, but she comes not herself. What detains her? She is travelling incognita to keep a private assignation with Contentment, and to partake of a tete a tete, and a dinner of herbs in a cottage. Hear then, mighty queen! what sovereigns seldom hear, the words of soberness and truth. I neither despise thee too little, nor de
sire thee too much; for thou wieldest an earthly sceptre, and thy gifts cannot exceed thy dominion. Like other poteptates, thou also art a creature of circumstance, and an ephemeris of time. Like other poteptates, thou also, when stripped of tby auxiliaries, art no longer competent even to thine own snbsistence! pay, thou canst not even stand by thyself. Unsupported by Content on the one hand, and by Health on the other, thou fallest an unwieldy and bloated pageant to the ground.
SKELTON, WHO was Poet Laureat to Oxford University, and tutor to Prince Henry, afterwards Henry VIII. was a determined enemy to Cardinal Wolsey; his remarkable boldness, in singly daring, in his poetical character to attack the Car
nal's imperious manner at the council board, is shown as a remarkable coincidence by Neve, in his Cursory Remarks on English Poets. The fifteenth article of the charges against the Cardinal, by the Parliament of 1529, being precisely the same, only divested of rhyme :
• Then in the Chamber of Stars,
EPITAPH ON ROBIN HOOD,
Hear undernead dis laitl stean
obiit 24 kal. Nekembris, 1247.
MASQUERADES EW travellers but almost universally condemn the ('arnivals of Venice as the most irrational and absurd custom of that interesting country. They however flit away a few hours amidst their boisterous mirth, and for a time, seem to enter into the spirit of what they afterwards strongly censure. For my part, I have con
tented myself with travellers descriptions, and the splendid Panorama exbibited a few years since in the Strand, allowed to be the most chaste and accurate representation of its kind. Venice is indeed classic ground; and were it only admired for the picturesque beauty of its situation, it would form one of the most delightful spots in Europe. We have heard much of its seventy-two islands and its five hundred bridges; its stone mansions and marble halls, cooled by silver fountains, and adorned with some of the most exquisite specimens of the chisel, and many elaborate triumphs of the artists' skill. Sbakspeare appears to have been much attached to Venice and Verona, and here he laid some of the most admired scenes in his dramas; and innumerable are the stories of love, murder, and revenge, which are recorded in the annals of these territories. Indeed, a finer field can scarcely be chosen for romance; its vineyards and plantations are blended with the most fascinating associations, and they kindle, as it were, a fervour of imagination, which raises NO. VII.
the lover of fiction and romance into unspeakable extasies. In short, who can fail to be enchanted with the illuminated squares, the gay processions, and the buoyant spirit of light-heartedness, which carries along the willing partici. pator in the felicities of a Venetian Carnival.
Masquerades in-England are but puny modifications of these vagaries. They are tame, dull, and insipid, because they are not suited to the grave and ibinking character of an Englishman. Folly and harmless mirth are here too frequently perverted into vice and low dissipation. All this denotes bad taste in the English; but it may be as. cribed to the action of the cliipate, which renders the but cold and indifferent actors in such vivacious scenes. But to such persons as have only been accustomed to wit. ness stage masquerades, such as those in Romeo and Juliet and Don Giovanni, a London entertainment of this description is certainly a treat. Such opportunities usually present themselves three or four times during the season at the King's Theatre in the Hayınarket, twice or, thrice at the Argyle Rooms, and perhaps as often at Willis's." Vauxhall Gardens were formerly opened two or three nights during the season for masquerades, but owing to some people having persuaded themselves that the world is more corrupt than it was a few years siuce, they are not allowed at that enchanting resort.
In my earlier years, I imbibed a strong predeliction for masquerades and theatrical representations, and many are the hours and shillings that I have expended in characters, scenery, tricks, and stage appurtenances, at West's little print-shop, behind the Lyceum, in the Strand. At that time too, I belonged to a company at school, and our Midsummer and Christmas holidays were usually passed in collecting novelties for the ensuing season, as is the custom with most theatrical managers. Thus we success. fully got up the Blood Red Knight, Blue Beard, the Secret Mine, the current Pantomimes at the great theatres, and one or two pantomimic entertainments spun out from our own creative fancies. We occasionally enacted the parts in personis, when a few masks and a sçanty ward. robe, were put in requisition. Indeed, it was for some time feared that I should “throw myself away” upon the stage; but the vulgar prejudices with which I was surrounded, and the sage counsels of older heads, gradually taught me to consider the mere study of pleasing others as one of the most capricious of all pursuits, and as least calculated to realize the sterling expectations
which are commonly raised in such efforts. Tbis distate for the life of an actor, however, left behind it the zest of a spectator, and the love of the drama has “ grown with my growth," and I have been led to consider the senti. ments which it disseminates, as the source of much good or evil, according to the spirit in which they are received by the community. Masquerades, considered as mere amusements, are perhaps, more outré in their character, but in their real sense, they are so many vivid representations of what poets and philosophers are continually labouring to delineate; embodying great originality of conception, and illustrating many of the most curious and interesting incidents of motley-coloured life.
The frequenters of the London Masquerades are, for the most part, consisted of all ranks mixed in heterogeneous confusion, from the man of fashion to the liveried menial, with a thju sprinkling ofgay and vitiated nobility. The first masquerade last winter at the King's Theatre was undoubtedly, the best-but, as the vulgar say, bad was the best. The company flocked to the gay scene in suffocating crowds. The bill of fare was unusually full, and promised every thing that could be wished for; but, in truth, there was little beyond the illumination which may be seen at the west end of the town on a royal birthnight, aided by two or three bands of crazed musicians. The characters were miserably supported, except a dance of Death and the Devil, a Jack in the Green and May-day Sweeps, and two or tbree of the heroes of Life in London. There was a miserable attempt at Richard the Third, but as the Morning Chronicle said the day afterward,"Oh! what a Richard!" The masquerade was certainly not calculated to enhance that species of entertainment in public favor, so that we need not be surprised at finding it the subject of general animadversion. The two subsequent carnivals were still more miserable, but the two guinea entertainments at the Argylle, were what may be terr Splendid failures. The Spanish Fete at Covent Garden Theatre followed, and was by far the most sumptuous affair ; but here the restrictions of rank were enforced, and when that is the case, numbers must yield to priority of fortune.