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cheffras, by fingers the most compalling and smooth toned, have concurred in winging the shafrs of his song to our inmost sensibility. The paintet's magnificent perspectives, the dazzling pageants of the decorator, the easy floating motions of groupes of graceful dancers, and all the magic glories of realized mythology, have mingled at the theatre their influence with that of the poet, and have a lulled in liiiring up within us that luxurious irritation and tumult of feeling, which form the highest scope of the artist and the purest enjoyment of the connoisseur. Strips, however, of all these circumstances of effect, Metastalio has acquired a reputation for genius and abilities, which the philosopher who peruses his writings in the closet will not, probably, hesitate to ratify. Yet how often does it happen that, removed from within the glare of theatric illumination, the. god of the operahouse has withered into an ordinary man; and that the liquid language of the skies had lent an oracular solemnity to simple thoughts, or a bewitching harmony to in'gnificant insipidities? Be this, however, as it may, and even supposing that the literary character of Metastasio himself lhould be fated to suffer depreciation by time and revolutions in taste; -should his dramatic writings even become a mere school-book for the learner of Italian ;—yet he has resided so much at courts, and has been the darling of Ib many artists, that his life can never be an object of indifference to thole whose gentle eye preferably fixes on those places and periods, in which the pleasures of prim have been the chief occupation of his rulers; and in which

factions have confined their blood* less struggles to the establishment of a theory of music, and have never extended their proscriptions beyond the condemnation of a tragedy.

To the inherent fashion of the subject of these volumes, is superadded the stronger recommendation which they derive from the celebrity of the author. The historian of music is accustomed to convene and to satisfy an elegant audience; and, whether he touches the harp or the monochord, he displays a masterly hand, His materials have been industriously collected at Vienna and in Italy, and comprehend, besides the wellknown biographies of Retzer and ofChristini, many works of inferior note, as well as the posthumous edition of the poet's letters The bulk of (his publication consists indeed ofa translation of those letters, connected by the requisite interstices of narrative; all which form a very nmusirgwWf.

Metastalio was born at Rome in 1698, where his father had settled as a confectioner. At school he displayed early talents as an impriyviia'.ore, and before eleven years of age could sing extemporaneous verses. Gravina, the civilian, known by having written tragedies on the Greek model, heard, admired, and adopted the youug bard; to whom he gavea literary education, getting him admitted to the bar, and to deacon's orders, that civil and ecclesiastical preferment might be alike open to him. When 22 years of age, Metaftasio visited Naples, having inherited the property of Gravina, and attached himself as cicifbeo to the female singer Roraauina. He there wrote an opera, which succeeded,

and and from this time he applied wholly to theatric poetry. In 1729 lie was invited to Vienna as the Imperial Laureate, and continued to furnish such dramas as his patron bespoke, until his death in 1782.

Dr. Burney well observes that it is possible for a man of learning, study, and natural acumen, to be a good critic on the works of others without genius for producing original works himself, similar to those which he is able to censure. The opinion of Metastalio, therefore, may have its weight even when he criticises the great operawriters of antiquity: for the modern opera is the only faithful imitation of the antient tragedy. From his practice it appears, however, that he entertained one fundamental error in theory, and had not discovered that, in the opera, the means or imitation being peculiarly apparent, the distress thould be more harrafling and the crimes more atrocious, in order to exci;e an equal degree of tragic emotion with these representations which approach more nearly to real and common life. We had selected

some passages in order to give, an idea of the spirit of his criticism: but, finding them too long for our insertion, we must refer our readers to the 3d vol. in which they occur, p. 356—379.

Let it not be a reproach to our estimable biographer, (hat he has described, with the voluminous gravity of history, a groupe of poets, singers, actors, and musicians. It is well that a work of this kind should make its appearance. We are scarcely accustomed as yet to allign, in human story, a place to each proportioned to the extent of his intluence on human happiness. The crowned and the titled have their peculiarities immortalized, although they may have never added to the enjoyments of a nation ten evenings of glowing delight. The amusers of our leisure, the artists of our pleasures, may justly be ranked among the benefactors of society. Let ic belong, then, to the museoffatre to elevate monuments (v.-r their remains, and to strew flowers oil their grave, in token of our grateful remembrance!


Printed by J. Crowder, Warwick-Stuart.

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Chap. r.

Situation of the French Nation and Government, and Views of the DireBoty,

Difficulties to be encountered by France at the Close of \7 95.—State of

Parties in England.-Temper of the British Nation.Ajfemblies for the

Purpose of a Parliamentary Reform, and Peace with France.A great and

dangerous Scarcity of Provisions.—Meeting of Parliament.Insults and

Outrages of an immense Mob against the King, on his Way lo the House of

Lords.The regret of all People of Sense at this Treatment of the King.

Speech from the Throne.Debates thereon,In the Hoitfe of Commons.

And in tfiat of the Lords , . . , .J.


A Proclamation offering a large pecuniary Reward for the Discovery of any

Persons guilty of the recent Outrages against the Person of the King.-

Conference between the Lords and Commons on this Subject.A Bill for the

Safety and Preservation of the King's Person and Government .—Debates

thereon in both Houses of Parliament.—A Bill for the Prevention of Sedi-

tious Meetings.Debates thereon.-The two Bills under Discussion in Par-

liament occasion a general Alarm, and much Opposition without Doors.—

In this Opposition the lead •a.-as taken by the JVhig-Club.Which was fol-

lowed by the Corresponding Societies and other Associations.—As well as

different Bodies legally incorporated.The MiniJIry still persevere in their

, Measures.Debates on the numerous Petitions against the two Bills now

pending in Parliament.General Indignation against the Principles and

Qbjecls of these.The two Bills passed into Laws • , • . 1G


fn the House of Commons, Regulations respecting the Sale of Flour, and the
Making of Bread.Motions by Mr. Lechmere and Mr. Whitbread, re-
specting the Causes of the Scarcity of Whealen Flour, and the Hardstiips
incident to the Labouring Poor Negatived.—Bill for Encouraging the
Cultivation ofJP'aste Lends.Motions for the Support of the Land and Sea
Service.Stri(litres on the Conduct of Ministry in the War Department.
Replied to bu Mr. Wyndham.Debates on the Erection of Barracks.
A Slateme-'t of the Expences of 1796, amounting from twgrify-J'even ta

you xxxvin. ?" /«# -

twenty-eight Millions sterling.Debates concerning the Terms of the Lorn,
Vote approving the Conduct of the Minister on this SubjeR.—Aen
Taxes.Debates thereon.Me/sage from the King, intimating his Dis-
position to enter into a Negotiation with the present Government of Frame,
An Address moved, expressing the Readiness of the House to concur in
such a Measure.Amendment thereon, moved by Mr. Sheridan.This
rejeeltd, and the Address carried.Motion for Peace, by, Mr. Grey.
Negatived . , . , , . .47


Free Negroes in the Island of Jamaica.Hunted by Blood-Hounds.*—Motim,
by Air. Grey, in the House of Commons, for an Inquiry into the State of
the Nation.—Negatived.Farther Taxes.For paying the Interest os an
additional ljoaii.Mortality among the Troops sent against the French
West-India Islands.NeglecJ and Distresses of the Troops.Motion Jor
Documents on these Subjecls by Mr, Sheridan.Debates thereon.Mr.
Sheridan's Mo/ion agreed to.—-Motion, in the House os Peers, for the
Production of Papers refpeSing aVote of Parliament, in 17S3, recognizing
the Necessity of certain Public Reforms.Debates thereon.The Motion
negatived,Report of site Committee of Supply on the Resolution for
granting a Subsidy to the King os Sardinia. Conversation on that SubjeS.
—Charges laid again/I Mini/try, by Mr. Grey, as Ground of Impeach-
ment; and a Motion on that Subjccl.—Negatived.Motions, in bot!:
Houses of Parliament, against the Continuation of the War.Negativcd.-r-
Motion, by Mr. Wilberforce, for the Abolition of the Slavc-Trade, on a

certain Day.Negatived.'—7'/ie Session of Parliament closed by a Speech
from the Throne , , , , . ,60


First Cares and Employment of the French Directory.—Determination to
keep alive the Martial Spirit of the French Nation.And to Extend their
Victories as far as possible.—But, al the fame Time to make a shew of
Pacific Inclinations.—Preparations for War on the Part of the Allies.
Attempt towards Negotiation between the French and the Allies at Base,
in Switzerland.Rupture threatened between the French and Suiss Can-
tons.Prevented.^-Plan of Directory for Military Operations.^Mani-
festo of Charette.Revival of the War in La Vendee..New Complexion
of this.—Total Defeat of the Insurgents.Capture and Execution of Cha-
rette and Stostet.—Manifesto of the Dire&ory for Restraining the Cruel/its
of their Soldiers.Lenient Measures.Good Effc&s of these . , IS


Address of the DireSory to the French Armies.Determination to carry the
War into Italy.Difficulties to be encountered in carrying this Plan into
jLxcculion,Buonaparte.The Frenfh Arjny, under his Command, make;

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