Billeder på siden

lina, by Dr. Bartholo. The old Dr. is persuaded to marry the Duenna; while Figaro and Susan are rejoiced at the removal of the great obstacle to their union. The Counters then, to reclaim the Count by expofing his infidelity, perfuades Susan to write a billet, promising to meet him that evening in the pavilion in the garden. Figaro having difcovered that his bride had made an affignation with the Count, torments himself with a thousand jealous apprehenfions, and carries Dr. Bartholo, the judge, Bafil, and Antonio, to be witnesses of the infamy of his spouse. The Countess and Susan having exchanged dresses, the Count makes love to his own wife taking her for Susan; and Figaro, in his paroxyfm of jealousy,wishing to retaliate on his master, finds he is endeavouring to debauch his own bride. After much comic embarrassment and confusion, every thing is at last cleared up, mutual explanations and forgiveness take place, and the Count acknowledges that he has been rightly 5 ferved."

Such is the outline of the work, which in general is filled up with spirit and judgment. The characters are well supported ; and Figaro, Susan, and their associates disentangle themselves from the embarrassments to which they are frequently reduced by their plots with much dexterity. But a clearer idea of the stile and manner will be formed from an extract than from any detail that we could give. Figaro, in the second act, that he might divert the Count from his pursuit after Susan by rendering him jealous of his wife, fends him an anonymous letter, informing him, “ that a

gallant, meaning to profit by his neglect and absence, is at " present with the Countess.' At the same time, to make him consent to his marriage, he persuades Susan to promise the Count a meeting in the garden, where a page in her dress was to be her representative. This rogue of a page is in love with all the women about the castle, from the Countess her: self to the old Duenna Marcelina ; and the Count had taken such umbrage at his particular attentions to the females, that he had dismissed him with a commission and supposed him then with his regiment. The Page is introduced into the apartments of the Countess to be dressed ; at that moment the Count arrives stung with jealousy by Figaro's letter, and has all his suspicions confirmed by hearing his wife: speaking to fome body in her chamber, and finding the door locked. He is admitted after the Page had locked himself into the dressing-room. The jealous passion of the Count, and the various emotions of the Countess have the force and colouring of nature, and all the little circumstances which are introduced, and which give interest to the scene, discover


[ocr errors]

much knowledge of the human heart, The Countess, thinking that her lord could not be jealous of the Page, confesses that he is locked up in her dressing-room; this, from former suspicions, raises her husband's fury to the higheit pitch. In the mean while the Page leaping out of the window, escapes unseen; and Susan, with infinite dexterity, perfuades her master, that she alone was the object of his jealousy, and that the apparent terror of her lady was assumed to punish him for his unjuft fufpicions. Confounded and humiliated, he asks pardon, and obtains it with seeming difficulty. In these circumstances the following scene is intro duced. Enter ANTONIO, the Gardiner, with a broken Flower-pot

under his arm half drunk. * Antonio. My LordMy good Lord-If so be as your Lord, fhip will not have the goodness to have these windows nailed up,

I shall never have a nolegay fit to give to my lady—They break all my pots, and spoil my Howers ; for they not only throw other rubbith out of the windows, as they used to do, but they have just now toffed out a man.

Count. A man!(The Count's fufpicions all revive.)
. Antonio. In white stockings ! (Countess and Sufan discover their

fears, and make signs to Figaro tp alliji them if posible.)
Count. Where is the man ?

(Eagerly.) Antonio, That's what I want to know, my lord I wish I could find him, I am your lordship's gardener; and, tho' I say it, a bet, ter gardener is not to be found in all Spain ;-but if chambermaids are permitted to toss men out of the window to save their own repu. tation, what is to become of mine ?" It will wither all


flowers to be sure.

Figaro, Oh fie! What fotting fo foon in a morning? Antonio. Why, can one begin one's day's work too early? Count. Your day's work, Sir?

Antonio. Your lordship knows my niece, there she stands, is to be married to day; and I am sure the would never forgive me if

Count. If you were not to get drunk an hour sooner than ufual But your story, Sir~What of the man?-What followed ?

Antonio. I followed him myself, my lord, as fast as I could ; but, somehow, I unluckly happened to make a falfe step, and came with such a confounded whirl against the garden-gate that I-} quite form-forgot my errand.

Count. And fhould you know this man again?

Antonio. To be sure I should, my lord?-If I had seen him, that is.

+ Count. Either speak more clearly, rascal, or I'll send you pack, ing to

Antonio. Send me packing, my lord ?-Oh, no! If your lordship has not enough-enough (Points to his forehead) to know when you have a good gardener, I warrant I know when I have a good place.

on with



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

when one

Figaro. There is no occasion, my lord, for all this mystery! It was. I who jumped out of the window into the garden.

Count. You?
. Figaro. My own self, my lord.

' Count. Jump out of a one pair of stairs window and run the risk of breaking your neck ?

"Figaro. The ground was soft, my lord.
Antonio. And his neck is in no danger of being broken.

' Figaro. To be sure I hurt my right leg, a little, in the fall; just here at the ancle I feel it still.

(Rubbing his ancle.) Count. But what reason had you to jump out of the window?

Figaro. You had received my letter, my lord, fince I must own it, and was come, foncwhat sooner than I expected, in a dreadful pallion, in search of a man.

Antonio. If it was you, you have grown plaguy fast within this half hour, my thinking. The man that I saw did not seem so tall by the head and shoulders. Figaro. Pfhaw! Does not one double one's self

takes a leap ?

Antonio. It seem'd a great deal more like the Page.
Count. The Page !

* Figaro. Oh yes, to be sure, the Page has gallop'd back from Seville, horse and all, to leap out of the window !

Antonio. No, no, my lord! I faw no such thing! I'll take my oath I saw no horse leap out of the window !

Figaro. Come, come, let us prepare for our sports,

Antonio. Well, since it was you, as I am an honest man, I ought to return you this paper which drop'd out of your pocket as

Count. (Snatches the paper. The Countess, Figaro, and Sufan are all surprised and embarrassed. Figaro shakes himself, and endeavours to recover his fortitude.) Ay, since is was you, you doubtless can tell what this paper contains (claps the paper behind his back as he faces Figaro) and how it happened to come in your pocket?

Figaro. Oh, my lord, I have such quantities of papers (searches his pockets, pulls out a great many) no it is not this ! -Hem This is a double love-letter from Marcelina, in seven pages---Hem ! Hem! It would do a man's heart good to read it-Hem!. And this is a petition from the poor Poacher in prison. I never presented it to your lordship, because I know you have affairs much more seri. ous on your hands, than the complaints of such half-itarved rascals --Ah!--Hem!-this--thisno, this is an inventory of your lordThip’s sword knots, ruffs, ruffles, and rofes--must take care of this--(Endeavours to gain time, and keeps glancing and bemming to Susan and the Countess, to look at the paper and give him a hint.)

Count. It is neither this, nor this, nor that, nor t’other, that you have in your hand. Countess. Tis the commission.

(49de to Sufan.) Susan. The Page's commission,

(Aside to Figaro) Count. Well, Sir!-So you know nothing of the matter?

Antonio. (Reels round to Figaro) My lord says you-know nothing of the matter.

Figaro. Keep off, and don't come to whisper me. (pretending to recollcet himself. Oh Lord! Lord! What a stupid fool I am !--I

you fell.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

declare it is the committion of that poor youth, Hannibal-which I like a blockhead, forgot to return him-He will be quite unhappy about it, poor boy. Count. And how came you by it?

Figaro. By it, my lord? Count. Why did he give it you?

Figaro. To-to-toe ( Count. To what?

Figaro. To getCount. To get what ? It wants nothing ! Countesso (to Susan) It wants the seal. Susan. (10 Figaro) It wants the feal.

Figaro. Oh, my lord, what it wants to be sure is a mere trifle. Count. What trifle ?

Figaro. You know, my lord, it's customary to« Count. To what?

Figaro. To affix your lordship’s seal. Count. (Looks at the commission, finds the seal is wanting, and exclaims with vexation and disappointment) The devil and his imps ! -It is written, Count, thou thalt be a dupe !'

This scene, with the account of the preceeding ones with which we introduced it, will, we think give the reader no unfavourable idea of the performance. We have already said, that it is professedly an imitation of the Spanish stile of comedy; and in that line it undoubtedly poffefses considerable merit. The plot is perhaps too intrícate in some places; in the last act particularly we are not sure that the effect is not lessened by over fatiguing the attention. Judge Guzman is too fervile a copy of the stuttering lawyer in the Conscious Lovers. The foliloquies of Figaro are too long, especially his monologue in the fifth act. We besides think the subjeót not accommodated to the situation. That Figaro, tortured with jealowfv, his mind filled with tire supposed infidelity of Susan, and he himself watching with the utmost agitation to detect her çrimitiality, should give us a long history of his life, which fills three pages, is surely contrary to probability. These imperfections however do not detract from the merit of the whole; and we are happy that the public has given Mr. Holcroft fubftantial marks of its approbation.

ART. IX. The Hiftory and Practice of Aerostation, by Tiberius

Cavallo, F. R. S. 8vo. gs. in boards. Dilly. THE public are certainly obliged to this philofopher for

his present publication. No one in this country had yet written fcientifically upon this new and philofophic art. Mr. Cavallo's work is divided into two parts; the first gives the history, the second, the practice of aerostation. In the



former part, the writer proves the modern date of the dis-
covery. There are two methods of preparing a balloon, so
as to make it afcend in the atmosphere, the one is by filling
it with heated or rarefied air, the other by filling it with in-
flammable air. The former of these methods was first

put in
practice by Messrs. Montgolfier, to whom the idea was sug-
gefted as early as the year 1782, upon the simple principle of
the ascension of smoke, and the floating of the clouds in the
atmosphere. The other mode with inflammable air depend-
ed upon more complex principles, and particularly upon
knowing the properties and the weight of this air, circum-
stances which we owe to the late inquiries of modern philo-
sophers, and particularly to Mr. Henry Cavendish, whofe
paper upon this subject was published in the philosophical
transactions for the year 1766.

It appears from a letter of Dr. Black's, to Dr. Lind, dated the 13th of November, 1784, that it had occurred to the former of these gentlemen, as an obvious consequence of Mr. Cavendish's discovery, that if a sufficiently thin and light bladder, was filled with inflammable air, the bladder and air in it, would necessarily form a mass lighter than the same bulk of atmospheric air, and would rise in it.

This was mentioned by Dr. Black in his lectures in the year 1768, but he never had tried the experiment.

The first person who really did try it, appears to have been our author, who in the year 1782, filled soap balls with inflaminable air, which immediately ascended by themselves rapidly in the atmosphere. Mr. Cavallo's account of these experiments, was read at a meeting of the Royal Society on the 20th of June, 1782, but here from the failure of other experiments on the matter, together with the expences and loss of time, the author deferred the prosecution of them.

It seems that after Mr Montgolfier's discovery, the real principle upon which the effect of the aerostatic machine de pended, was still unknown ; for Mr. Montgolfier attributed it, not to the rarefaction of the air, which is the true cause, but to a certain gas specifically lighter by one half than common air-This circumstance not agreeing with the properties of inflammable air, which was known to be eight or ten times lighter than common air, it was thought that Mr. Montgolfier had discovered a new species of gas, which was accordingly called by his name. This created a kind of confusion, inasmuch as in the accounts, the balloons filled with rarefied air, and those filled with inflammable air, were equally said to be filled with gas, a term which properly belongs only to the latter fort of balloons. However, if a. balloon filled with Mr. Montgolfier's gas, as it was called,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »