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Of Love-songs we bave already had specimens; and by the bye, we did not think it necessary to give any French examples of our involuntary predecessors in this species of writing. The yeux and dangereux, moi and foi, charmes and larmes, are two well-known as well as too numerous to mention. We proceed to lay before the reader a Prologue; which, if spoken by a pretty actress, with a due sprinkling of nods and becks, and a judicious management of the pauses, would have an effect equally novel and triumphant. The reader is aware that a Prologue is generally made up of some observations on the drama in general, followed by an appeal in favour of the new one, some compliments to the nation, and a regular climax in honour of the persons appealed to. We scarcely need observe, that the rhymes should be read slowly, in order to give effect to the truly understood remarks in the intervals.
Here we have some respectable observations on the advan
tages of the drama in every age, on the wideness of its survey, the different natures of tragedy and comedy, the vicissitudes of fashion, and the permanent greatness of the British empire. Then the young bard, new to the dramatic art, is introduced. He disclaims any hope of reward for any merit of his own, except that which is founded on a proper sense of the delicacy and beauty of his fair auditors, and his zeal in the cause of virtue. To this, at all events, he is sure his critics will be just; and though he cannot help feeling a certain timidity, standing where he does, yet upon the whole, as becomes an Englishman, he is perfectly willing to abide by the decision of his countrymen's hands, hoping that he shall be found
to sense, if not to genius, true,
Should the reader, before he comes to this explication of the Prologue, have had any other ideas suggested by it, we will undertake to say, that they will at all events be found to have a wonderful general similitude; and it is to be observed, that this very flexibility of adaptation is one of the happiest and most useful results of our proposed system of poetry. It comprehends all the possible common-places in vogue; and it also leaves to the ingenious reader something to fill up; which is a compliment, that has always been held due to him by the best authorities.
The next specimen is what, in a more superfluous condition of metre, would have been entitled Lines on Time. It is much in that genteel didactic taste, which is at once thinking and non-thinking, and has a certain neat and elderly dislike of innovation in it, greatly to the comfort of the seniors who adorn the circles.
Time Sublime Fraught Thought Power Devour Rust Dust Glass Pass Wings Kings.
We ask any impartial reader, whether he could possibly want a more sufficing account of the progress of this author's piece of reasoning upon Time? There is first the address to the hoary god, with all his emblems and consequence about him, the scythe excepted; that being an edge-tool to rhymers, which they judiciously keep inside the verse, as in a sheath. Then we are carried through all the stages of human existence, the caducity of which the writer applies to the world at large, impressing upon us the inutility of hope and exertion, and suggesting of course the propriety of thinking just as he does upon all subjects, political and moral, past, present, and to come. We really expect the thanks of the bluestocking societies for this new-old piece of ethics, or at least of one of Mr. Southey's deputations of old women.
In Acrostics, the utility of our system would be too obvious to mention. But in nothing would it be more felicitous than in niatters of Satire and Lampoon. Contempt is brief. Bitterness and venom are the better for being concentrated. A generous indignation wishes to save itself trouble:-a scan
dal-monger would save himself detection and a beating; and every one would willingly be as safe as possible from the law. Now what can be briefer and more contemptuous than the mode in question? What a more essential salt or vitriolic acid, distilling in solitary and biting drops? What less exhausting to the writer's feeling? What more baffling to scrutiny, because able to dispense with all that constitutes style and peculiarity? What safer from the law, as far as any thing can be safe that is not supremely unlawful? Upon principles equally obvious it will be the same with flattery and panegyric, epithalamiums, odes on birth-days, &c. For instance
ANOTHER, WITH KNOTS IN IT. Hydrophoby Turn about on Go get your Yourselves,
Self taught Quoth the looby, Quoth the spout on, Beat your feature, The booby.
The doat on. You creature.