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ful opponent, and for the manly but unassuming manner in which he expressed the consciousness of his own integrity, amidst his private misfortunes, and asserted the merit of his public conduct as a citizen. The name of Guildhall is certainly not apt to inspire us with high ideas either of oratory, or of personal sympathy; yet there is something in the history of this transaction, which increases our respect, not only for Glover, but for the scene itself, in which his eloquence is said to have warmly touched his audience with a feeling of his worth as an individual, of his spirit as a politician, and of his powers as an accomplished speaker. He carried the sentiments and endowments of a polished scholar into the most popular meeting of trading life, and showed that they could be welcomed there. Such men elevate the character of a mercantile country.
During his retirement from business, he finished his tragedy of “ Boadicea," which was brought out at Drury Lane in 1753, and was acted for nine nights, it is said, successfully, perhaps a misprint for successively. Boadicea is certainly not a contemptible drama: it has some scenes of tender interest be. tween Venusia and Dumnorix; but the defectiveness of its incidents, and the phrenzied character of the British queen, render it, upon the whole, unpleasing. Beaumont and Fletcher, in their play on the same subject, 'have left Boadicea, with all her rashness and revengeful disposition, still a heroine ; but Glover makes her a beldam and a fury, whom we
could scarcely condemn the Romans for having carted. The disgusting novelty of this impression is at variance with a traditionary regard for her name, from which the mind is unwilling to part. It is told of an eminent portrait-painter, that the picture of each individual, which he took, had some resemblance to the last sitter : when he painted a comic actress, she resembled a doctor of divinity, because his imagination had not yet been delivered of the doctor. The converse of this seems to have happened to Glover. He anticipated the hideous traits of Medea, when he produced the British queen. With a singular degree of poetical injustice, he leans to the side of compassion in delineating Medea, a monster of infanticide, and prepossesses us against a high-spirited woman, who avenged the wrongs of her country, and the violation of her daughters. His tragedy of “ Medea" appeared in 1761; and the spirited acting of Mrs. Yates gave it considerable effect.
In his later years, his circumstances were greatly improved, though we are not informed from what causes. He returned again to public life; was elected to parliament, and there distinguished himself, whenever mercantile.prosperity was concerned, by his knowledge of commerce, and his attention to its interests. In 1770 he enlarged his “ Leonidas" from nine to twelve books, and afterwards wrote its sequel, the “Athenaid," and a sequel to “Medea." The latter was never acted, and the former seldom
read. The close of his life was spent in retirement from business, but amidst the intimacy of the most eminent scholars of his time.
Some contemporary writers, calling themselves critics, preferred « Leonidas” in its day to “ Paradise Lost;" because it had smoother versification, and fewer hard words of learning. The re-action of popular opinion, against a work that has been once over-rated, is apt to depress it beneath its just estimation. It is due to “ Leonidas” to say, that its narrative, descriptions, and imagery, have a general and chaste congruity with the Grecism of its subject. It is far, indeed, from being a vivid or arresting picture of antiquity; but it has an air of classical taste and propriety in its design; and it sometimes places the religion and manners of Greece in a pleasing and impressive light. The poet's description of Dithyrambus making his way from the cave of CEta, by a secret ascent, to the temple of the Muses, and bursting, unexpectedly, into the hallowed presence of their priestess Melissa, is a passage fraught with a considerable degree of the fanciful and beautiful in superstition. The abode of Oileus is also traced with a suavity of local description, which is not unusual to Glover; and the speech of Melissa, when she first receives the tidings of her venerable father's death, supports a fine consistency with the august and poetical character which is ascribed to her.
« A sigb “ Broke from her heart, these accents from her lips. “ The full of days and honours through the gate “ Of painless slumber is retir’d. His tomb “ Shall stand among his fathers, in the shade “ Of his own trophies. Placid were his days, “ Which flow'd through blessings. As a river pure, “Whose sides are flow'ry, and whose meadows fair, « Meets in his course a subterranean void; “There dips his silver head, again to rise, “ And, rising, glide through flow'rs and meadows
new; “ So shall Oileus in those happier fields, " Where never gloom of trouble shades the mind."
The undeniable fault of the entire poem is, that it wants impetuosity of progress, and that its characters are without warm and interesting individuality. What a great genius might have made of the subject, it may be difficult to pronounce by supposition; for it is the very character of genius to produce effects which cannot be calculated. But imposing as the names of Leonidas and Thermopylæ may appear, the subject which they formed for an epic poem was such, that we cannot wonder at its baffling the powers of Glover. A poet, with such a theme, was furnished indeed with a grand outline of actions and sentiments; but how difficult was it, after all that books could teach him, to give the close and veracious appearance of life to characters and manners beheld so remotely on the verge of the horizon of history ! What difficulty to avoid coldness and generality, on the one hand, if he delineated his human beings only with the manners which history could authenticate ; and to shun grotesqueness and inconsistency on the other, if he filled
outline of the antique with the particular and familiar traits of modern life! Neither Fenelon, with all his genius, nor Barthelemy, with all his learning, have kept entirely free of this latter fault of incongruity, in modernizing the aspect of ancient manners. The characters of Barthelemy, in particular, often remind us of statues in modern clothes. Glover has not fallen into this impurity; but his purity is cold: his heroes are like outlines of Grecian faces, with no distinct or minute physiognomy. They are not so much poetical characters, as historical recollections. There are, indeed, some touches of spirit in Artemisia's character, and of pathos in the episode of Teribazus; but Leonidas is too good a Spartan, and Xerxes too bad a Persian, to be pitied; and most of the subordinate agents, that fall or triumph in battle, only load our memories with their names. The local descriptions of “ Leonidas,” however, its pure sentiments, and the classical images which it recals, render it interesting, as the monument of an accomplished and amiable mind,
up the vague