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"nevertheless," struck out of a bill, that the young lady wished Heaven had made her a man instead of a woman, in order that she might have an opportunity of seeing the "anthropophagi, and the men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders;" which was a very natural wish, considering the curiosity of the sex. On being referred to, I incontinently decided in favour of the honourable member who spoke last; inasmuch as I think it was a very foolish, and therefore very natural, wish for a young lady to make before a man she wished to marry. moreover, an indication of the violent inclination she felt to wear the breeches, which was afterwards, in all probability, gratified, if we may judge from the title of "our Captain's Captain," given her by Cassio: a phrase which, in my opinion, indicates that Othello was, at that time, most ignominiously henpecked. I believe my arguments staggered 'Sbidlikens himself, for he looked confoundedly queer, and said not another word on the subject.

It was,

A little while after, at it he went again on another tack; and began to find fault with Cooper's manner of dying; "it was not natural," he said, for it had lately been demonstrated, by a learned doctor of physic, that when a man is mortally stabbed, he ought to take a flying leap of at least five feet, and drop down "dead as a salmon in a fishmonger's basket." Whenever a man, in the predicament above mentioned, departed from this fundamental rule, by falling flat down, like a log, and rolling about for two or three minutes, making speeches all the time, the said learned doctor maintained that it was owing to the waywardness of the human mind, which delighted in flying in the face of nature, and dying in defiance of all her established rules. I replied, "For my part, I held that every man had a right of dying in whatever position he

pleased; and that the mode of doing it depended altogether on the peculiar character of the person going to die. A Persian could not die in peace unless he had his face turned to the east; a Mahometan would always choose to have his towards Mecca; a Frenchman might prefer this mode of throwing a somerset; but Mynheer Van Brumblebottom, the Roscius of Rotterdam, always chose to thunder down on his seat of honour whenever he received a mortal wound. Being a man of ponderous dimensions, this had a most electrifying effect, for the whole theatre 'shook like Olympus at the nod of Jove."" The Philadelphian was immediately inspired with a pun, and swore that Mynheer must be great in a dying scene, since he knew how to make the most of his latter end.

It is the inveterate cry of stage-critics, that an actor does not perform the character naturally, if by chance he happens not to die exactly as they would have him. I think the exhibition of a play at Pekin would suit them exactly; and I wish, with all my heart, they would go there and see one; nature is there imitated with the most scrupulous exactness in every trifling particular. Here an unhappy lady or gentleman, who happens unluckily to be poisoned or stabbed, is left on the stage to writhe and groan, and make faces at the audience, until the poet pleases they should die; while the honest folks of the dramatis persona, bless their hearts! all crowd round and yield most potent assistance, by crying and lamenting most vociferously! The audience, tender souls, pull out their white pocket handkerchiefs, wipe their eyes, blow their noses, and swear it is natural as life, while the poor actor is left to die without common Christian comfort. In China, on the contrary, the first thing they do is to run for the doctor

and tchoouc, or notary. The audience are entertained throughout the fifth act with a learned consultation of physicians, and if the patient must die, he does it secundem artem, and always is allowed time to make his will. The celebrated Chow-Chow was the completest hand I ever saw at killing himself; he always carried under his robe a bladder of bull's blood, which, when he gave the mortal stab, spirted out, to the infinite delight of the audience. Not that the ladies of China are more fond of the sight of blood than those of our country; on the contrary, they are remarkably sensitive in this particular; and we are told by the great Linkum Fidelius, that the beautiful Ninny Consequa, one of the ladies of the emperor's seraglio, once fainted away on seeing a favourite slave's nose bleed; since which time, refinement has been carried to such a pitch, that a buskined hero is not allowed to run himself through the body in the face of the audience. The immortal Chow-Chow, in conformity to this absurd prejudice, whenever he plays the part of Othello, which is reckoned his masterpiece, always keeps a bold front, stabs himself slily behind, and is dead before any body suspects that he has given the mortal blow.

P.S.-Just as this was going to press, I was informed by Evergreen that Othello had not been performed here the Lord knows when:-no matter; I am not the first that has criticised a play without seeing it; and this critique will answer for the last performance, even though that were a dozen years since.

No. VII.-SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 1807.

LETTER

FROM MUSTAPHA RUB-A-DUB KELI KHAN,

To Asem Hacchem, principal Slave-driver to his Highness the Bashaw of Tripoli.

I PROMISED in a former letter, good Asem, that I would furnish thee with a few hints respecting the nature of the government by which I am held in durance. Though my inquiries for that purpose have been industrious, yet I am not perfectly satisfied with their results; for thou mayest easily imagine that the vision of a captive is overshadowed by the mists of illusion and prejudice, and the horizon of his speculations must be limited indeed. I find that the people of this country are strangely at a loss to determine the nature and proper character of their government: even their dervises are extremely in the dark as to this particular, and are continually indulging in the most preposterous disquisitions on the subject! Some have insisted that it savours of an aristocracy; others maintain that it is a pure democracy; and a third set of theorists declare absolutely that it is nothing more nor less than a mobocracy. The latter, I must confess, though still wide in error, have come nearest to the truth. You, of course must understand the meaning of these dif

ferent words, as they are derived from the ancient Greek language, and bespeak loudly the verbal poverty of these poor infidels, who cannot utter a learned phrase without laying the dead languages under contribution. A man, my dear Asem, who talks good sense in his native tongue, is held in tolerable estimation in this country: but a fool, who clothes his feeble ideas in a foreign or antique garb, is bowed down to as a literary prodigy. While I conversed with these people in plain English, I was but little attended to; but the moment I prosed away in Greek, every one looked up to me with veneration as an oracle.

Although the dervises differ widely in the particulars above mentioned, yet they all agree in terming their government one of the most pacific in the known world. I cannot help pitying their ignorance, and smiling, at times, to see into what ridiculous errors those nations will wander who are unenlightened by the precepts of Mahomet, our divine Prophet, and uninstructed by the five hundred and forty-nine books of wisdom of the immortal Ibrahim Hassan al Fusti. To call this nation pacific! Most preposterous! It reminds me of the title assumed by the Sheik of that murderous tribe of wild Arabs that desolates the valleys of Belsaden, who styles himself "Star of Courtesy-Beam of the Mercy Seat!"

The simple truth of the matter is, that these people are totally ignorant of their own true character; for, according to the best of my observation, they are the most warlike, and I must say, the most savage nation that I have as yet discovered among all the barbarians. They are not only at war, in their own way, with almost every nation on earth, but they are at the same time engaged in the most complicated knot of civil wars that ever infested any poor unhappy

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