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VINDICATION OF ELOISA.
5 Founder of Dulwich College. I am calling or trade. At length a charter happy in being able to satisfy him on was obtained bearing date June 21, that head. It was founded by Edward 1619, calling it The College of God's Alleyn, a celebrated comedian in the Gift.* Mr. Alleyn himself was the first reign of Queen Elizabeth, born in the master of his College, and so mingled parish of St. Botolph, London, Sept. 1, his humility and charity, that he be1560. Such marks of private munifi- came his own pensioner, submitting
requ ently proceed from to that proportion of diet and clothes vanity and ostentation, than from real which he had intended to bestow on piety; but this of Mr. Alleyn's has been others. He continued to reside there ascribed to a very singular cause, for his until his death which happened Nov. 25, Satanic highness himself has been said to 1626, in the 61st year of his age, and be the first promoter of it.* Mr. Aubrey was buried in the chapel of his new reptions a tradition, that Mr. Alleyn College. He was thrice married, but playing the part of a Demon with six left no issue. Your's, &c. A. Y., others, in one of Shakspeare's plays, was Conduit Street, June 16, 1818. in the midst of the performance surprised by an appearanceof the devil, and that this so worked upon his fancy, that MR. EDITOR, he made a vow, which he fulfilled by ALTHOUGH it may admit of some building Dulwich College.
doubt whether we have equalled the It may appear surprising how one ancient Greeks and Romans in works of of Mr. Alleyn's profession should be genius, there can be no dispute but enabled to erect such an edifice, and that we have greatly surpassed them in to endow it liberally for the maintenance true dignity and refinement of manners. of so many persons. But it must be ob- This remarkable distinction is chiefly served that he had a paternal fortune, to be attributed to the greater elevation which laid the foundation of his future and consequence of the female sex in afluence; and it may be presumed that modern times. The women of antithe profits he received from acting, con- quity appear to have been comparatively sidering that his excellence in this art depressed and obscure; their importdrew after him such crowds of spectators, ance was almost altogether confined to were very great, and his being of very the domestic circle; and they seldom obparsimonious habits. Besides he was tained public celebrity, except by their not only an actor, but proprietor of a personal qualities. A few indeed, such theatre called the Fortune Playhouse, as Cleopatra, Portia, and Zenobia have near White-cross street,t and keeper of been distinguished by their heroic conthe King's wild beasts, or master of the duct; in literature, however, we can Royal Bear-garden, which was fre- recognize only the solitary name of quented by persons of the first circles of Sappho. But, in all the elegant and infashion, and the profits of which are said genious arts, innumerable modern ladies to have amounted to 500l. per annum. have risen into eminence ; and the
The foundation of Dulwich College public and dignified intercourse of the was laid in 1614, under
the superintend- sexes has diffused a splendour and an inence of Inigo Jones. The building was terest over the whole face of society uncompleted in 1617, and the ground laid known to ancient times. This extraorout in the same year; the expense being dinary improvement in the condition of estimated at 10,000l. After the erection the female sex has been commonly asof the College some difficulty was ex- cribed to the introduction of the roperienced in obtaining a charter for mantic system of chivalry; but, I think settling his lands in mortmain, for he with more truth to the mild, just, proposed to endow it with 800l. per and liberal maxims of christianity.annum, for the maintenance of 1 master, Of this last supposition a striking proof 1 warden, 4 fellows, three whereof occurs in the instance of the well known were to be clergymen, and the fourth a Eloisa, celebrated for her attachment to skilful organist ; six poor men and as Abelard; of whom it may be asserted many women, besides 12 poor boys, to that she was among the firstt of disbe educated till of the age of 14 or 16, tinguished modern ladies in sublimity of and then to be placed out to learn some genius, and in all the generous virtues Antiq. of Surrey, vol. i. p. 190.
she has never yet been surpassed. What Langhaine's Histrionica, 1662.
For the Laws and Rules of this Institu1 Antiq. of Surrey, vol. i. p. 190.
tion, see Stowe's Surrey, p. 759. Both to be named Alleyn, or Allen. + She was born in the eleventh century,
Vindication of Eloisa.
a superior character do even her poet himself was secretly conscious of amours with all their irregularities pos- culpable grossness; for it is known that segs, when compared with the loose and in his latter years this piece got out of trivial intrigues of the pagan world.- his favour. Of this Dr. Johnson is at a “ The mixture of religious hope and loss to guess the reason; but had he resignation (as Dr. Johnson remarks on taken the trouble to compare the poem this oecasion) gives an elevation and with the real letters on which it is dignity to disappointed lore, which founded, he would have been able, I images merely natural cannot bestow.- think, to have formed a very probable The gloom of a convent strikes the ima- conjecture. Having lately perused the gination with far greater force than the correspondence of these celebrated solitude of a grove."
lovers, I was agreeably surprised to find Eloisa is principally known in this it wholly free from the indelicate allucountry by Pope's poctical version of sions which are so abundantly spread her letters to Abelard ; a work more over our elegant translation. This ex. remarkable for extreme beauty of dic- traordinary, I should say this criminal, tion than delicacy of sentiment. It is deviation from truth, it will be deemed the practice, and indeed the duty of a highly important to expose to view not poet or a novelist, when he describes the merely for the sake of criticism, but for real incidents of life to conceal common the sake of morality. By thus pervertand vulgar circumstances, to select such ing and vitiating the original, Pope was as are noble and refined, and if neces- the more inexcusable, as the lofty and sary to embellish them by fictitious ad- generous ideas which there predominate, ditions. Pope, however, in the present would certainly have made a better fiinstance, has taken quite a contrary gure in poetry. Had Eloisa expressed course. Instead of elevating, he has her attachment to Abelard in warm gedegraded the sentiments of his heroine. neral terms, it might have been supposWhatever was intellectual, moral, ored that he had misapprehended her, as sublime, he has concealed or mentioned every one naturally measures another's slightly; his chief study was to invest the feelings by the standard of their own; whole in the grossest colours of imagi- but her language is too particular and nation. He continually represents Eloisa definite to admit of such an apology. in her cloistered retirement as still in- We must, therefore, conclude that, conflamed with the recollection of sensual scious of his own defects, he knew that pleasures; and supposes that the loss of he could not paint in the glowing colours them constituted the chief cause of her of nature what he was utterly incapable grief. Her supposed reflections on this to feel; on which account deliberately subject constitute a more glowing pic- debased her sentiments to the level of his ture of dissolute feeling than is any own. where else to be found. This represent. It would occupy too much of your ation is not only contrary to truth, but room to quote all the verses in Pope's may also be pronounced unnatural; for poem in proof of this adulteration.--lovers possessed of genius when they Your readers will easily recollect that look back with regret on their past hap- the terms by which he describes her piness, are never found to fill their ima- love are of the lowest kind, and are all gination with such circumstances. Not- figurative of mere passion. She is withstanding Pope's extraordinary re- made to represent herself as “ warm in finement in poetical matters, his ideas love;" “ feeling a long-forgotten heat;" on the subject of love were far from be- being conscious of a “ tumult kindled in ing sublime. He appears to have adopt her veins ;'' “ lost in love ;" “ dissolved ed the vulgar notions of the dramatic in raptures of unholy joy ;" devoted to poets of his time; and particularly those the “ altar of forbidden fires ;" " the of his great predecessor Dryden, whom, slave of love and man;" “ her plunging in this respect, he strongly resembled. soul is drowned in seas of fame;" she is These poets not themselves possessing said to be raging with desireany native fund of passion, found it All my loose soul unbounded springs to easiest to learn that which is the most obyious and common.
I shall not pollute your pages by quotI am rather surprized that, among the
& ing the lines which thus begin,many criticisms on Pope's Eloisa, I do not recollect to bave observed any notice Still on that breast enamoured let me lieof this glaring and capital blemish. It is Had there been any foundation for highly probable, however, that the great them in the original, a decent writer,
eren in a professed translation would now have entirely taken away that have suppressed them. But they are doubt. Even here I love you as much wholly a vile addition: in Eloisa's letter as I did in the world. If I loved pleathere is not the smailest approach to sures could I not have yet found means such loose imaginations.
to gratify myself? I was not above Nothing can be conceived more dif- two-and-twenty years old, and there ferent, or indeed more directly opposite were other men left though I was deto Eloisa's than the vulgar notions com- prived of Abelard ; and yet, did not I monly ascribed to her by Pope. One bury myself alive in a nunnery, and expression only of her's might have been triumph over love at an age capable of misunderstood “ among those who are enjoying it in its full latitude ?" Again : wedded to God, I serve a man;" which he “We may write to each other, so inthus basely interprets, “ the slave of love nocent a pleasure is not forbidden us. and man," which plainly means that her When you write to me you will write to love was purely sexual. Had the words your wife; marriage has made such a corbeen ambiguous he ought, charitably, to respondence lawful. Let us not lose the have annexed to them the most degent only happiness that is left us, and the only sense they could bear; and he could not one which the malice of our enemies can be ignorant that, according to the strict never ravish from us. Having lost the notions of the devoted Religieuses, every substantial pleasures of seeing and posworldly attachment, even the most in- sessing you, I shall in some measure Rocent, was deemed improper: “ Re- compensate this loss by the satisfaction member," says Abelard, writing to her, I shall find in your writings. I shall “ the least thought of any other than read your most secret thoughts ; I shall God is adultery.” But although she always carry them about me; I shall kiss adopted the language of the convent, it them every moment. That writing may was not its theological dogmas, but a be no trouble to you, write always to me natire sublimity of genius, and a heart carelessly, and without study. I had penetrated with the most generous sen- rather read the dictates of the heart timents which prompted her to soar than of the brain. I cannot live if you “ above the vulgar flight of low desire.“ do not tell me you always love me. I Of the purity of her love the whole of I am not only engaged by my vows, her letters is one continued proof; but which might possibly be sometimes nea remarkable event in the history of her glected, but the barbarity of an uncle is life, peculiar to herself, brought it to a security against any criminal desire, the test of demonstration. It is well which tenderness, and the remembrance known, that after her marriage with of our past enjoyments might inspire. Abelard, he had the singular fate to be There is nothing that can cause you deprived of his virility by the wanton any fear. You may see me, hear my barbarity of her uncle. Referring to sighs, and be a witness of all my sorrows this circumstance in one of her letters to without incurring any danger, since you him, with equal spirit and modesty, she can only relieve me with tears and does justice to herself and places her words."--" Nothing but virtue joined love in the proper point of view :- to a love perfectly disengaged from the " After that cruel revenge upon you, commerce of the senses could have instead of observing me grow by degrees brought me to this perpetual imprisonindifferent, you never received greater ment. Vice never inspires any thing marks of my passion. I was young like this: it is too much enslaved to the when we were separated, and (if I dare body. When we love pleasures we love believe what you was always telling me) the living and not the dead. We leave worthy of any gentleman's affections. off burning with desire for those who If I had loved nothing in Abelard but can no longer burn for us. This was sensual pleasure, a thousand agreeable my cruel uncle's notion; he measured young men might have comforted me my virtue by the frailty of my sex, and upon the loss of him. Adunire, then, thought it was the man, not the person my resolution in shutting myself up by I loved. But he has been guilty to no your example.” In another letter, with purpose ; I love you more than ever ; all the dignity of innocence, she ex- and, to revenge myself of him, I will still patiates in the same noble and affecting love you with all the tenderness of my strain. “ When we lived happy together soul till the last moment of my life. If you might have made it a doubt whether formerly my affection for you was not pleasure, or affection united me more to so pure; if in those days the mind and you; but the place whence I write must body shared in the pleasure of loving
Strictures on Mr. Loudon's Curvilinear Hot-Houses. [Aug. 1, you, I have often told you, even then, I erections of the Paraclete ; and which, was more pleased with possessing your too, in the poem itself, is said to be comheart than with any other happiness, posed and the man was the thing I least valued Of such plain roofs as piety could raise, in you." Such extraordinary purity and And only vocal with their maker's praise. elevation of sentiment, it is likely, was
W. N. either unintelligible, or incredible, to a May 23, 1818. poet who thought that “ every woman was at heart a rake." Eloisa, however, STRICTURES ON MR. LOU DON'S CURVIwill readily command the assent of all
LINEAR HOT-HOUSES. who are in any degree possessed of con- Thron'd on the centre of his thin designs, venial sensibility, not less by the force of Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines. her eloquence than the soundness of her
IN a late number of your magazine, * reasoning. Many similar passages might have been extracted from her letters,
there is some account of the sash-bar which
is to accomplish wonders in the conwhich, I have no doubt, would have been
struction of hot-houses; and as the manperused with satisfaction by your read
ner in which it is written lays it fairly ers, not only as a proper antidote and
open to criticism, I shall take the liberty corrective of Pope's licentious and inflammatory descriptions, and a vindica
of offering the following remarks on the
subject. tion of the character of the most accomplished woman of her age, but also :
The speedy decomposition of wrought on account of their own intrinsic merit.
iron, when exposed to the steam and But although Pope's Eloisa be repre
high temperature of a hot-house, is suf
ficiently well known to enable any one hensible in a moral point of view, its
to judge of the durability of the matepoetical beauties are numerous. What, fur instance, can be more finely con
rial; the security that can be given by
tinning or painting being very imperceived, or more exquisitely expressed, than the following description of the
| fect, and though it may be kept in to
lerable condition in a place constructed effects of melancholy on surrounding ob
for the professed purpose of exhibition, jects :But o'er the twilight groves, and dusky
it will soon get out of repair, and break caves,
the glass in a place where it will meet Long sounding isles,and intermingled graves, with less attention. Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
The durability, however, is not of A death-like silence and a dread repose: much importance; but it seems that this Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene, invention is peculiarly adapted to the Shades every flower, and darkens every building of a new kind of hot-houses, green;
which are supposed to be vastly superior Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
to the old ones, both in respect to utility And breathes a browner horror on the and beauty
woods. In a similar strain are the first lines
The form, which Mr. Loudon so highly In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
recommends, is a section of a sphere, and Where heavenly pensive Contemplation
this, I believe, was first suggested by Sir dwells,
G. S. Mackenzie, in the Transactions of And ever-musing Melancholy reigns,
the London Horticultural Society (vol. What means this tumult in a vestal's veins ? II. p. 171). The only advantage sup
Lord Kaims has here remarked, that posed to be gained by this new form is the language is most happily adapted to the admission of a greater quantity of the subject; the words are long, dignified, light, for the beauty of a glass roof is and smooth; the motion of the verse is wholly out of the question, of which any slow and harmonious, and may be ad- one may be satisfied by the inspection of duced as a signal example of that rare a hot-house or skylight, whether it be poetical beauty of the sound being an conical, spherical, or shed-like. echo to the sense. At the same time I The most useful light for plants is inust observe, that when I read in that given by the direct rays of the sun, Elvisa's description of her gloomy habi- and glass transmits the greatest quantity tation, of awful cells, long-sounding isles, of those rays when they fall perpendiand elsewhere of moss-grown domes, cularly upon its surface. Hence it hapspiry turrets, awful arches, dim windows pens, that a spherical hot-house will reshedding a solemn light, &c. I can hardlyceive the full effect of the sun in one reconcile these splendid images of gothic * New Northly Magazine, No. 52, puge architectural magniticence with the mean 313.
9 point only, and in all other parts, a that are in themselves beautiful. The quantity of rays, directly proportional to reader will remember that these forms the angle of incidence, will be reflected are to be executed in a species of glass and dispersed in the atmosphere.
patch work. Now the common hot-house receives As the imagination almost always rethe full effect of the sun's rays equally in quires some assistance in the conception erery part in the middle of the day, and of a new idea, no doubt many of the though the rays strike the glass obliquely readers of Mr. Loudon's paper have inwhen the sun is near the horizon, yet verted the cups and basins on the breakthe effect is still uniform throughout the fast-table to represent “ the sections of house; whereas, the spherical hot- spherical bodies;" but this plan would house can never receive the full effect of give them a very imperfect idea of the the sun, nor be uniformly heated in any matter. A hemispherical bird - cage part of the day. Your readers may would suit the purpose better, where easily try the effect by holding a piece the wires would represent the sash-bars; of window-glass so that the sun may indeed, only suppose it glazed between shine through it and fall on white paper; the wires and it becomes a perfect model when it will be found that the quantity of a curvilinear hot-house. of light thrown upon the paper will vary Now picture to yourself an elegant with the angle which the glass forms mansion with a pair of immense birdwith the rays of the sun.
cages spreading wide their bases upon It may be said, that a greater propor- the lawn at either end. Would such an tion of the light diffused through the at- assemblage be expressive of substantial mosphere will enter a spherical hot- grandeur, or that firm solidity which house. Granting this—will not the same ought to characterize an Englishman's surface be exposed to the chilling effect residence ? Too large and uniform to of the night air ?
be picturesque, too mean and paltry to It is singular that Mr. Loudon should be beautiful, even if Messrs. of have quoted any thing so directly op- High Holborn, had invented a new and posed to the scheme of spherical hot- peculiar machine to bend each bar exhouses as the judicious observations of actly into the form of Hogarth's line of Mr. Knight, whose mode of improving beauty. hot-houses is certainly much more likely London, June 13, 1818. to be of use than the curvilinear ones. If a house be intended for fruit, the surface for training ought to be the largest MR. EDITOR, possible, at the same time the space to be SO many accounts of William Cobbett heated should be the smallest possible. in America have been given to the pubIn a sphere, however, it is just the re- lic, not one of which can be relied upon, verse; for it is of all bodies that which that I shall feel obliged by your insertcontains the greatest space under the ing the little I know of him, for the inleast superficies.
formation of both his friends and eneThe expense of curvilinear houses will mies. Many weeks have not elapsed be nearly double that of houses of the since I saw him personally at New common form, and of the best kind; for York; and as I had the honour of an inthere are many other parts besides sash- troduction to him some years ago in bars to consider in the erection of a cur London, in the zenith of his popularity, vilinear hot-house.
when the publication of the Irish In respect to the beauty of hot-houses, Judge Fox's letters in his Register were if it had arisen wholly from association, both serving and annoying him, I exeven the most common forms ought to pected at least that he would have noticed have appeared beautiful, being always con me when my name was announced at the nected with objects of the most pleasing table of a club in Third-strect, of which kind; and were there no beauty of form he is a member. However I was deindependent of association, I do not see ceived; the mighty man's recollection any reason why an useful shed should did not recognize me; and as my name not be a beautiful one. Mr. Loudon is no doubt reminded him of transactions extremely unhappy in his quotations, he thought best to leave unknown to his even on the subject of beauty, as he American acquaintance, a slight bow ranks spheres, and Eastern domes, and was all I received in return for mine, globular projections, &c. among forms and all that I wished from him. The
See Hort. Trans, vol. i, p. 99. newspapers either place Cobbett in New MONTHLY MAG-No, 55,
ANECDOTES OF COBBETT.