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is, that all the talent as well as the valour of the country should be engaged in her service; the discriminating eye of administration should search into every corner of the kingdom for merit unemployed. I see neglected numerous officers of the line, who have seen service, walking the streets at leisure, or rụminating at their country cottages, on the danger of the country. It is not numbers alone that can succeed against a daring foe, it must, to apply a term used in law, be number and value. It is not an association of brave minds and bodies in the cause, talents must instruct, and experience direct the movements of an army, the veteran must aid the volunteer, and good officers lead good men to victory,
:“ Whether a country be at peace or at war, it is a carmen necessarium for politicians to engage and employ the merit best suited to the particular situation of things. In peace, acute financiers ; in war, the strength of naval and military talent; in tumult, men of high civil authority and great good private character, aided by the militia, should be called forth to curb licentiousness, and to dismay the enterprize of the insurgents. In all cases the strength of talent is. most invulnerable; the strength of valour is rashness without it, and often of no avail,
“ Wherever I direct my eye upon the movement and measures of the men engaged in the great administration of affairs, I discover the best intentions; from whence then can proceed the neglect so apparent, and so inimical to the interests of the country? Is it from the difficulty occasioned by the punctilios of service, which frequently, when rank is bestowed, puts the meritorious officer who arrives to it, as it is called, upon the shelf; and the same man whose services would have been esteemed as a major-general is lost to the country, only because he has arrived to the rank of a lieutenant-general, and cannot be engaged in the brilliant career of military glory, because he cannot, with propriety, have any other than a chief command. Surely this is a bad organization, and some way might be found to distribute all the merit of the line among the forces of the kingdom that might not be derogatory to military ettiquette, if that paltry non-efficient word must govern in the field of battle, as in a dancing-master's ball-room.
“ In addition to the above reasoning may be urged, the accession of discipline and professional courage that would disseminate through the volunteer ranks; they would admire and become intimate with that regular and mechanical courage, (if I may so call it) which goes as regularly and composedly to fight, as a workman to his daily labour, and which is the effect of military education and of habit.
“ The French know the courage of the British, and they know that all they have to trust to against so brave a nation, is the ingenuity of talent, the successfulness of intrigue, and the discipline of soldiers accustomed to the field. Eustace de St. Pierre, in the
English Dramatist, (Colman junior's play of the Surrender of Calais,) defines the sentiment of the French on this subject:
“ I like these English, they are a noble and a down-right foe, who
when we spin our subtle webs of state, come to our doors and pull the work to pieces."
" Let then the talent of the country be recruited from all points where it is hid in obscurity, that it may brighten with its clear enlivening flame the mind of valour.
“ The Man in the Moon joins most fervently in the prayer, that England may repulse the rash invader; and that, notwithstanding the arrogant boasts and threats of the enemy, hopes that he shall, according to good old custom, again regale his olfactory nerves, at the approaching Christmas, with the usual fragrant exhalations of roast beef and plumb pudding ascending from the tables of the undisturbed and cheerful families, who love not ambition, and respect not conquerors, that he may be able to say, not only “ I see you,” according to his motto, but “ I see you, and am glad to see you so happy."
MAN IN THE MOON.
" RERUM MISTURA."
Wednesday, 23d Nov. 1803. ON last Saturday evening I observed, from my visible in the Moon, an extremely full house at Drurylane Theatre; it was the representation of a new play, when being by right of my office, and without any favour from managers, on the free list, I witnessed, through the aperture occasioned by raising a ventilator, the whole of the performance. The Piece was called, or rather miscalled, “ Hearts of Oak,” for, like Bayes's Epilogue, it would have suited any other play just as well. It is my duty, as a critic, to point out the faults which have blurred and deformed a good dramatic sketch, and by shewing what a Comedy ought to be, appreciate the value of the present attempt of Mr. Allingham, and show how far it falls short.
Comedy is a happy combination of design, character, manners, unities, and incidents, assisted by passion, expression, the sentiment of the heart, wit, whim, repartee, vivacity, peculiarity, and humour; and these should never be at variance with nature or
probability ; a perfect plot is that which contains moral, instruction, variety, humour, and novelty, neither too simple or too complex; it should ridicule folly, degrade vice, aid the cause of virtue, and publish no defects or infirmities but such as subtract from morality. The unities, that is, the agreement of time and place, should be so well preserved, that an audience may become wrapt up in the scene, and lose sight of its being mere representation. Let me then examine and detect the defects of a play, by no means a bad one,
, and decompose the materials of which it is formed. We find, in the first place, a meagre and indeed improbable story for a plot; a fond husband, on the bare suspicion excited in his mind by seeing his wife embrace a stranger, without ever making enquiries into her conduct, flies from her; for seventeen years leaving her child, which he contrives to get from her, in the care of a friend. To effect a meeting between these unhappy parties a progression of interest is certainly attended to, but that progression is frequently broken in upon by the lame incidents of a weak under-plot, which take considerably from the developement of character, and the climax of the drama.
The other materials, with which this Author has chosen to build his play, that is, his characters, are worthy notice; he has enlisted a countryman, a country girl, a good-natured choleric old man, an honest Irishman (for to make an Irishman a rogue would be perfectly undramatic), a little busy impertinent Moorfields broker, a lover disguised as a music master, a