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ance of plays. From these particulars it would appear, that the dramatic representations which were carried on in the inn-yards in the city, as well as in the public theatres afterwards, generally took place in the day-time. At the public theatres, such as the Fortune and Red Bull, the prices of admission varied from sixpence to twopence, the latter being in general the rate for the galleries. In the time of Shakespeare, the price of admission to the best boxes was one shilling. It was the practice of the day for young men of fashion to sit upon the stage, upon a stool or tripos, for which the same sum was commonly paid. At this period it would seem, that moveable painted scenery had not been much, if at all, used in the theatres. Steeples, rocks, tombs and trees, and other such

. articles, were, however, frequently introduced upon the stage, and the gods and godesses were lowered from their heaven, and elevated to it, by means of pullies. If it had not been convenient to represent to the eye a town or a house, the name was simply written upon a board, and that was deemed sufficient. Until after the Restoration, the curtains, which were usually composed of arras and worsted, ran upon a rod in front of the stage, and opened in the centre. The stage, in which there were trap doors, was usually strewed with rushes ; upon extraordinary occasions it was matted. Each theatre had a sign outside it, and when the performances were about to begin, and while they continued, a flag was hoisted at the top, to give notice. Inigo Jones is said to be the first inventor of moveable scenes in this country, which do not appear to have been frequently introduced upon the stage until the reign of Charles I. Even then the custom continued of writing in large letters upon the scene, not only the name of the place in which the action was laid, but also the title of the play. In the regular theatres, the performances commenced about three o'clock in the afternoon, and seldom were extended beyond the period of two hours, only one dramatic piece being represented, which was generally followed by a jig," the more cheerfully to dismiss the spectators.” The jig was not a mere dance, in the sense which we attach to the term. It seems,' says Mr. Collier, to have been a ludicrous composition in rhyme, sung, or said, by the clown, and accompanied by dancing and playing upon the pipe and tabor.' In the earliest period of the stage, the announcement of the intention to exhibit theatrical performances was made by sound of trumpet, by persons called vexillators, who were employed for that purpose. The same purpose was accomplished by beat of drum, a practice which we ourselves witnessed in the country, not many years ago. Soon after the invention of printing, however, bills were introduced. Dramatic poets, many of whom were also actors, were admitted into the theatres gratis. When plays were first printed, those in blank verse were printed in the form of prose, in order to economise the page, and render the book saleable at a popular price. The copyright of a play was, in 1612, about £12, and at that

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period, those who were ambitious of having a play dedicated to them, paid £2 for the honour. The actors, at least the principal members of the company, were generally share-holders, and the profits of the establishment were divided amongst them by way of salary. Music seems to have been introduced into theatres from a very carly period.

ART. VI.-An Essay on the Origin and Prospects of Man. In three

volumes. 8vo. By Thomas Hope. London: Murray. 1831. It was pretty generally known in the literary circles, that for several years before his death, Mr. Hope had given himself up, without a thought of any other occupation, to philosophical and metaphysical pursuits, and that it was his intention to present to the world the result of his labours. There was something more than commonly interesting in the expectations which were formed, from the application of such a mind as his, to subjects which now so rarely engage the attention of learned men, and which have, hitherto, been treated in an unsatisfactory manner. The spectacle of a gentleman of distinguished rank and ample fortune, who had already gained an enviable celebrity in letters, who was surrounded by all the luxuries which this life could bestow,-a splendid country seat in the bosom of the most enchanting scenery; a wife whom he worshipped, a family which he tenderly loved ; society of the most intellectual, as well as the most fashionable description ; an extensive library; numerous works of art of the most exquisite character, -the spectacle of a highly accomplished individual, thus withdrawing from the most attractive scenes of life, and devoting himself with ardour, for many years, to the contemplation of the origin and prospects of his fellow-creatures, was calculated greatly to augment the general curiosity, and to prepare us to receive a bequest, made under the solemn sanction of the tomb, with the greatest respect.

I have already,' says the author, in his Introduction, during the best period of my existence, not only sacrificed social enjoyments to recluse studies, but, moreover, in doing so, greatly impaired my health, and thus lessened my chance of a prolonged existence. I may thus with reason apprehend that by trying to do much better than I have thus far done-by delaying for that purpose much longer to communicate the fruits of my laboursmy days may come to an end before niy task is completed. I therefore prefer publishing what still remains full of flaws and imperfections, to what, more elaborately finished, might only be doomed to follow me to the grave. Hence it is impossible not to give Mr. Hope credit, for the utmost sincerity of desire to promote by his labours the general welfare of mankind. Indeed, whatever we, or others, may think of the moral tendency of many

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of his opinions; however inconsistent they may be with the facts disclosed, and the doctrines inculcated, in the Sacred Writings, we should deeply wound our own feelings, were we to animadvert upon the very peculiar theories which are maintained in this treatise, in the language of severity. If they be wrong, it is evident that the author strenuously and uniformly endeavoured to be right. There was not a particle of malignity in his disposition. Though he broaches opinions, often at variance with those which are entertained upon the authority of Holy Writ, and though his ideas, upon many points of doctrine, be distinct from those, which the Redeemer came on earth to establish, yet we may say with truth that Mr. Hope always writes in the spirit of a Christian philosopher. His charity is unbounded, and knows of no distinction of persons. He holds out motives for the cultivation of virtue and for aversion from vice, which, to many minds, may carry the force of conviction. Those motives are not founded upon the basis of religion; and so far they must be considered not only imperfect, but liable to condemnation. At the same time, we must acknowledge how very

different the work of such a writer as this is from those of a Rousseau, or a D'Alembert. Though Mr. Hope seems to have believed that we might have discovered all it would be useful to us to know, concerning our origin and prospects, and might have fixed upon adequate rules of moral conduct, though we had never received the Bible, yet he would deprive us of none of the consolations which the sacred volume affords. An enthusiastic, and, perhaps, too curious an inquirer, in a sphere bounded on all sides by clouds and darkness, he would seek to lead us to the same results as the Bible does, though by a path of his own formation, or rather, as he thought, of his own discovery. His object was at least amiable, if it be not worthy of praise and imitation. But we shall more than once have reason to lament his want of success in attaining it, and to pity that excessive pride of a fine intellect, which, attempling to execute things far beyond the scope of its limited powers, falls from its towering height, confounded by its ineffectual struggles, and debased by them almost to the wretched state of madness. Gratuitous hypothesis supplies the place of ascertained data; imagination of reason, chimera of inference, and wild and visionary abstractions are set down as consistent and practical theories. The author tells us that he believes in revelation, yet he thinks that the men through whom revelation was made, might be deceived, or might deceive, as he cannot suppose that they differed in any respect from himself. Solicitous, therefore, as he was, that his life here should be prolonged to a happier existence hereafter, he sought ground for his belief of a future state, not in revelation merely, but in the unerring course of that nature which, when rightly viewed, admits of no deceit.' In other words, he was of opinion, that natural religion was a much safer one than the religion of the Scriptures, and he conceived that his own reason,

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acting by reflection on the objects around him, would arrive, ultimately, at the same results, as those to which revelation points, with this difference, that his conclusions would be more satisfactory and more certain, because they would be attained by the exercise of his own intellectual powers.

Such being the course which he proposed to himself to pursue, he sets out with making an admission, which destroys at once the whole foundation of his theory, namely, that he advances nothing as an absolute certainty. That,' he very truly says, 'of which man may be actually certain, amounts to very little!' If this be so, what greater satisfaction, what greater certainty can be attained, by means of the human intellect acting independently of revelation, than in conjunction with it? At most, he admits, our circle of knowledge that is free from error, is limited to sensations of mere time and space of quantity and number of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. Even with respect to these sensations, many philosophers have doubted whether we really do acquire any thing like certainty. The sensations of time and space, we submit, are more liable to error than almost any other that we experience. Those who are pleasantly occupied, think and feel that their hours are minutes; while the idle and unhappy believe that their minutes are hours. As to sensations of space, what can be more deceptive than they? not to speak of the variations of taste and smell, which, to different persons, convey so many dissentient ideas, that it is ludicrous to speak of their amounting to certainty. Certainty is truth, and truth is uniform. But if the taste, for instance, tell one man that an object is agreeable, and another that it is disagreeable, there is here no uniformity, no truth, no certainty. Such is the miserable basis upon which this philosopher erects the fabric of his speculations.

As a very natural consequence of this process, instead of bringing his arguments to a fixed and invariable conclusion, he confesses that more than once he had drawn ultimate conclusions, 'wholly opposite to those which he had previously expected to establish! Instead however, of favouring the world with the con. clusions so drawn, he preferred going back to his premises, and remodelling them in every part, until, at length, the system of his reasoning assumed an appearance of consistency, at least, whatever may be said of certainty. We are astonished that the experience which Mr. Hope thus acquired of the fallibility of his own mind, did not convince him that it was incompetent, as every mind must be, unaided by revelation, to deal with such a subject as that which he proposed for examination and developement. Whatever system' he says, 'I might already, through dint of much labour, have reared, has again been unhesitatingly sacrificed to the love of truth, the moment that truth seemed to lean on the side of another system, opposite to the former, more probable and better founded. Even when I had, as I thought, attained the very conclusion of my

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arduous task,

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some new light arose and was reflected back on the parts more early and more fundamental of my theory, so as to give them a new and a different aspect, I have retraced all my steps,

a retrograded till I again reached the doubtful point, pulled asunder piece by piece the whole superstructed fabric, and, with the new materials added or substituted to the former, remodelled my entire work.' This is an ingenuous acknowledgement, made by a philosopher of a very high order of intellect. But what a picture does it afford us of the limited and erring faculties of the human mind! Yesterday one doctrine, that seemed well established by innumerable reasons : to-day the whole is swept away by a new light that breaks in upon the understanding, and a new system is reared, which is destined the next day to give place to another! What certainty, nay what faith, what hope of a future existence, can any man in his senses think of founding upon such a fluctuating basis as this ? Let us further hear the admissions of this author, who has ventured to touch upon so mighty a theme.

"A slow and short-sighted mole, creeping underground in the dark, as is each human being, when engaged in the contemplation of objects so high and distant as those here submitted to the reader, 1 have been content with groping my way, as I was fitted to do, earth to earth. From each truth which I fancied I had mastered, I have advanced the next step only with the utmost caution. When I found myself inextricably arrested in my progress in one direction, I have wriggled round, or turned back, till I found, in another different direction, more to the right or left, another path more circuitous, but more wide, through which I could perceive and pursue the light.

• Ever continuing, in common with all other things created, to move on in space with that intangible point in time called the present, from a past already gone by, to a future not yet come; ever only able from the fleeting perceptions of that fugitive and upfixable present, to infer the past, in its turn, to conjecture the future, I have yet dared, from the small number of events simultaneously and successively experienced by my diminutive self, to draw inferences respecting surrounding things, as remote, one way, as the first creation of matter, and the other, as the final destination of

If I have dared too much, my work itself will condemn me.'--vol. i. pp. 26, 27.

The course of argument which the author adopted as best fitted for his purpose, necessarily led him into a very extensive examination of physical phenomena, with respect to which, as he was no experimentalist himself, and very little of a natural historian, he depended almost entirely upon the researches of others. For a knowledge of the faculties and movements of the mind, he trusted to his own experience. Having collected as many data as he thought necessary under both these heads, external nature, and the internal faculties of the intellect, his next care is 'to fix the eye more on the unbroken connexion between the different parts of the universe of matter and of mind, than on the distinction of certain of these parts from others. Thus by diving one way,' he adds,

man.

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