Sunday, February 19, 1730

Grub Street Journal

Location: London, Middlesex

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Text Content of Page 1 of Grub Street Journal on Sunday, February 19, 1730

Grub-Street Journal (Newspaper) - February 19, 1730, London, Middlesex Numb. The Grub-ftreet Journal. Cfjtttjefoap, FEBRUARY, 19. 1730. What "Things are thefe y who would be Poets thought, By Nature not injfir'd, nor Learning taught ? D. of Buck. EfTay on Poetry, ROM the exact detail of the whole Fable of The' Humours of Oxford, which, I don't doubt, has been, in proportion, as diverting to the candid Reader, as the Comedy itfelf, the admirable contrivance.of the Plot is very ev.ident : which is- fo well woven together, that the omif-_______ (ion of one (ingle circumftance would have made a breach in the texture, and fpoil'd the continuity of the whole. " As to the three Unities of Time, Phce, and Action, the Author has (hewn the greatnefs of his Art in obfer-ving the two former, and that of his Genius in neglecting the laft. The Time allow'd by the Critics is carefully obferv'd, the whole bufinefs Ijeing tranfacted within the compafs of a natural day, or 14 hours. Nay, in this refpect, the affair is conducted fo artfully, that there is fcarce any perceptible diftindtion betwixt d3y and. night : and it might as well be reduc'd within the (pace of a natural day, or iz hours, did -not Gainlove, in the beginning of Act V. fay, Victoria has made her efiape this morning. In the common way of thinking, one w-ould have imaging, that' fhe fhould rather have choftn the preceding night, in which, as Gainlove tells us, pag. 56. Lady Sci~ tut* was determined to have the marriage tonfummated With eld Mudbra'ms: in which refolution fhe feems more tiSpfrfrn'd, pag. 60 (as indeed fhe had good reafon) by the difcovery which had been made of Gainlove, difguis'd like that intended Bridegroom. This muft be allow'd by all unprejudie'd Perfbns to be an admiral contrivance, for a young Lady to run away in the morning, in order to avoid being married againft her inclination the night before. The unity of Place is as exactly obierv'd s� that of Time, the Scene of the whole tranfaction lying within the compafs of the City of Oxford, either in Paraoile Walks, or at a Tavern, or at Lady Science's lodgings ; which may be all juftiy fuppos'd to be very near one another. With refpect to the third Unity, that of Action, it is highly unreafonabie to Jay down fbict rules, in order to confine the Genius of a Poet within fuch narrow bounds as are proper only for that of a Critic. It is faid, that a Dramatic Writer, ought to aim at one great and corn-pleat AcTton, to the promoting of which, every thing in the flay'muft be fubftfvient. And tVr. Dryden, in his EfTay on Dramatic Poetry, tells us, in the Perfon of Crites, tbattw* ABions, equally laboured and[drivenvon', would de-ftroy the unity of the Poem, jo that it would be no longer fine Flay, but two: and in the perfon cf Meander, that Coordination in a Play h as dangerous and unnatural) as in a State. But with all due deference to the authority of this great Poet and Critic, I cannot fee the realbnablenefs of what is here advane'd. On the contrary, if one fingic Action, carried on by a good Under-plot, diverts the Audience, and (hews the capacity of the Author; by parity of reafon, muft not two Actions, promoted bv two Undcr-plots, (hew a double capaciry in the Author, and give the Audience a doube diverfion? And it can be no , jiift objection againft fuch a Piece, that it is no longer one Play, but twoy if two Piays thus united are really more entertaining, and confequently better than one. As to the Political comparifon, it is built upon a mi-ftakc. For Co-ordination in the State has been plainly prov'd, fcveral able Wfirers, to be neither dangerous, nor unnatural And the reverend and learned Dr.Croxail, ;" oil /are excellent Sermon before the Houfe of Com->s on Jan. 50. afleits it to be according to the nature ;{eur Conftitmtion, ' Notwithstanding therefore any thing laid down by the Critics to the contrary, our Author has (hewn his fupe-rior abilities in this excellent Comedy, by fetting on foot two equal Actions, namely, the marriage of Trumore with Clarinda, and that of Gainlove and Victoria : which he has likcwife promoted by two different Under-plots, carried on by Ape-all, Shamwell, Haughty, &c That therefore which Conundrum (who being an excellent Punfter declares himfelf Dramatis perfona, pagr ^2.) fays of ])rams, p3g. so. may as juftiy befaid of dramatic Entertainments, That if'one glajfs of Cherry is good, fo if one Action in a Play is good, two are rather better. To the three unities befora mentioned, fome Critics add a fourth, the rinity of Character. In refpect of which, it has been objected, that the fudden converfion of Gain-love from libertinifm, in the third Act, oceafion'd by the repulfe he met in attacking Viftoria's honour, is very unnatural. But the learned Gentleman who made this objection, had forgotten the' example of Terence, in the fifth Act of The Brothers : where Demea, from morofe and covetous, turns complaifant and profufe, in an intrant; 'and Middy who always abhorred a married life, refolves on a fudden, at the requeft of his Brother, and of hi3 Nephew, to niarry an old Woman without a portion. Having no room to inlarge upon the propriety of the Characters, each of which juftiy deferves a Diflertation as long as this, I (hall proceed to the Thoughri, and the Language, the finenefs of both which will likcwife give us fome iniighi into the former. Ape-all, fpeaking of the Fellows of his College, fays, pag. 6, 7. If one of us mifs [prayersj but two mornings in a week, they'll fet one a plaguy Greek Impofition to do-that ne'er a one of them can read when 'tis done. -�� � And fo, igad, I write it in French ;for they-don't know one from t'ether. At pag. 17. he tells Kitty, I'll [wear I to//Id never writtin my life." And at pag. 25. he fays to&'a- rnda, My two firft years I [pent -very vilely, I corfefs.-. I had a good for Mthing mufly Fellow for a Tutor, who made me read Latin and Greek. Upon which ic was obferved, as a thing very furpvifing, that Ape-all's Tutor, who could not read Greek, and did not know Greek from Frerch (for ne'er a one of the Fellows of his College had more .learning,) fhould make him read Latin and Greek-for two years} and that this young Gentleman, who could never write in his life, fhould write a plaguy Greek Impofition in Wrench. To this it was anfwered, that all this ieenning inconfiftency was clearly reconciled by two lines in pag. 18. where Ape-all proves himfelf a Wit by the fhortnefs of his memory. I have a fad trtxekerous memory. --This Wit is .a,plaguy incroaching quality-- it always kicks poor memory out of doors. Trumore's character of Ape-all, pag. 5, 6. makes this Mill more confident. To his being a Fool by birth, and Rake by education [at Oxfcrd,] he has added a Supplement of impudence, with an Appendix of modern foppery} and is come out a little Abridgment of the follies of the age, and a compleat Burlefque on Wit and Fajhion. This tompleat Burlefque, with both a Supplement, and an Ap-- pend'ix'"to it, m-king in all but a little Abridgment, is certainly a great curiofity. But Gainlove, one of the fine Gentlemen in the Play, in his firft foiiicquy, at firft coming an the Stage, prefenrsus withagreater, and that in natural Phiiofophy. Igentrally find my ph'dofopkical -Genius rr.'eunts in proportion to the �weight of my Purfe, as the-Spirits in a~ Barometer do to that of the Air. This furpnzing fimile is alcne a fuffi-cient proof of the Author's philofophical Gmius; the Spirits in a Barometer, which mount in proportion to the weight of the Air, b;ing a Phanomenon not taken notice of; either in Mr. Boyle's Works, or in the Philofophicai Transitions. This extraordinary knowledge is the more remarkable in this Gentje|i�n bite, becaufe when he is interrogated by Lady Science, in tne fourth Act, he doet not know the Ptolemaic Syftem from the Cofernican. But his knowledge in reipect of himfelf, which is undoubtedly the beft, appears from this firft foliloquy to be very uncommon : for he know9 his own Father f and that by a certain Criterion, the inheritance he injoys. With all due refpeft to my Mammy,-1 do verily be^ lieve,' � ' I am a Son of a Whore.- � � I was certainly begot by fame Slsr-gazer, Poet, or Projector, by my inheriting their juft nothing at all, pag. 1, *. But he is miftaken� his Fortune mends 5 and without one (billing in bis Pocket he courts a young Lady with 2rOOOO and fucceeds. To thefe difcoveries of Gainlove's, 1 fhall add one of Clarinda's, who has found out a new way of being fi-lent, which, I believe, her own Sex will highly approve, it laying no reftraint at all upon the tongu?. She tells Haughty, pag. a 1: You are as filtnt as Pythagoras in ef-fecty..... becaufe you never talk to be underflood. It being abfolutely necefiarjr |� thefuccefs of any Play to animate it with lively image* & Things, reprefenred ia the prurient ftile, our Author has taken care not to omit the eflcntial ornaments of double f.ntendresj when, are generally put in the mouths of libfrfme Character.' of both Sexes. But He produces them from thofeCharactfs from which one would left expect them; and by rh*t meant has made them the more fbrprrz,ing. For who isnotfurprizedtohear the grave Lady Science, 2nd her Niece ' Clarinda, Ladies of ftrict virtue, talk in the following manner ? Lady Sdence, pag. 1 z. calls Clarinda empty Cilrnder, ar.d exhaufted Receiver. She, to be even wirh her Aunt, tells her, pag. t?. Why truly, Au*t, there art f me things in Natural Philosophy I (hoult like well enough to wder-ftand; but you can't teach 'em to me.- - 7 thnk your Experimental Phiiofophy is reckoned the beft. She iiys to Trumore, p. 14- Tou think us Denies, a>sd ado-e mj tn courtfhipA but as foon as you art let into the fecret,&c. She tells Victoria, pag. 19, �0. If a Women ha.s the good breeding rut to cart an ace for her Husband ; **d the good contrivance to be miftreft of his purfe ; fhe has both the power and opportunity of taking all the joys of life in a more unlimited degree, than whenftngle.^knj^iiix if fhe marry Ape-all, flie may enjoy her tenierrmmamnt unmolefted. And afterwards, p. 3 8. The fear of dying it always worfe than the thing itfelf,--but if he be too wild for you, marry him, marry himf � and you'll foon make him tame enough, I'llivarrar.tyou, Girl. Lady Science 'to Gainlove, in difguiie. Do yen think it ever poffible to find out the Longitude, Sir ? -7> it fuch a vaft Profundity, that I fear it is beyond the reach of any man to fathom it. And pag. 59. AUs fhe is * Girl, --a mere Girl;-however, I don't qu-ftiov, Sir, but you will ufeytur utmoft endeavours to m*h her more like her Mother. This fhe (peaks to him, fuppo-fing him to be Mudbrainj, an old Fellow of 9. CohVge, "whom fhe had never feen^ and-refolving to marry far Daughter, who had looool. to him, thit veiy night. Mr. Ape all's opinion of thefe Colicgians is very different from that of her Ladyfhip; for he givrs us this character of them, pag. 8. Tour Fellows of Colleges are a parcel of fid, muzzy, humdrum, ignorant, old Cater-pillars. And of haughty in particular, he fays, pag. 2 J. that he is � Fellow of a College j that's to fay, a rude, hoggift), proud, p duntick, gcrmandizingjprqruj-a dreaming dull Sot that lives and rots,ffidie&ii, ditch, and $#s to the Devil at U/l, hi&ig)^ Msny more of thefe E'eganticJ nedj but frorn what has been already ted, I believe it is evident, ,how wej|||j�| executed his Dclign: which, he tells, Mk$P*> refcue the Stage ftW thoftmm tftfti *jffig0m

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