Page images

this disposition he offers himeself as a cook to the rector of the jesuits, he is taken upon tryal, and at length admitted a novice; here his deportment is so extremely recommendatory, that the society send him to Saragosa, where they appoint him their steward, and so remarkable is his æconomy, that he soon gains the confidence of all his superiors.

Never were the revenues of the house, as they imagined, so well conducted, while he, in the mean time, indulged himfelf in pleasure, and gratified every irregular appetite. In the different excursions which he made, under pretence of procuring provisions at the cheapest rate, he became acquainted with Victoria Fortieri, a young Spanish girl living at Huesca, with whom he fell deeply in love : he devised many methods to obtain her hand, without abandoning his order, and at length, by deceit and imposture, compassed his intention. - His often repeated journeys and being frequently absent, rendered his superiors suspicious of his conduct, so that they ordered him to one of their houses forty leagues distant from Saragola. There was no resisting the command, he was obliged to abandon Victoria. About this time some of the order were setting out for America upon a mission, and these he begged leave to accompany, fearing that his iniquities might át one time or other come to light to his confufion; and his request was granted.

It was now that a treaty was concluded between Spain and Portugal, whereby the former was to cede the latter the island of St. Gabriel, in consideration of some provinces bordering upon Brazil: a guilty conscience making Nicholas very uncafy at Buenos Aires, where he feared that justice might purfue him from Europe, he stole away in a disguise to St. Gabriel. Here he mixed himself among the natives, soon became an excellent proficient in their language, and what with his artful insinuating address, and the help of some strong liquors which he carried with him, he gained their confidence and friendship: a very powerful acquisition, if we consider they by far outnumbered the Portuguese, whom he spirited them up to massacre ; at the same time painting to them in the strongest colours the cruelty of the Spaniards ; thus confirming their averfion to those barbarous conquerors. His orations have the desired effect; he sets himself at the head of an army of the natives, and soon makes himself master of those civilized colonies which the jesuits governed, numbers of whom were put to death. Rapid in success and wonderful in conquest, he is proclaimed king of Paraguay, and defeats every endeavour to overthrow him. The * Mamalukes, informed of his fame and power, offer him their imperial crown and their chief town to live in. These he accepts of,with great pleasure ; his coronation is performed July 27, 1754, and our author leaves him labouring for the good of his subjects, and establishing among them equitable laws ; but promises, however, to oblige us with a sequel, as soon as ever materials come to hand.

It would be finning against the laws of Romance not to conclude the intrigue between him and Victoria : I dare say we shall hereafter find them brought together again by some means or other : king Nicholas may send to seek her in Spain, or, with very little more trouble, she may be borne by the spirit of adventure to America ; Nipwrecked in her husband's dominions, carried to his court, where he may receive her with open arms, and great rejoicings be made on account of their meeting. - Anonymous authors are sometimes the publishers of bold truths, but oftener carry with them arrows of calumny, from which the most useful, nay, the most respectable bodies have no shield. Something of this latter sort seems intended by the history of our Nicholas, which is really a romance founded upon the fabulous story of this jesuit, published not long since in the news-papers. To the authority of these, however, our author pretends to pay no manner of respect, but, on the conțrary, accuses them of gross falfities; which he takes upon him to confute. Upon the whole, we cannot say much in praise of the performance.

* Who these Mamalukes are we cannot possibly conceive, not recollecting any such nation of people in America ; or any where else, at present.

: Art. X, Foreign DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES. IN the year 1752, the royal academy of music at Paris, 1 exhibited an opera called Zoroafter, the plot of which was

tragical ;

tragical; the music composed by Raineau, the words by Mra Cahufac. It was received with some success, but the authors, in consequence of certain criticisms that appeared to them not unjust, withdrew it for correction, and have now once again fubmitted it to the judgment of the public, considerably altered and embellished. That it is an elegant entertainment is indisputable, and it is condu&ted in the following manner.

In Bactria, two deities were worshipped, that of light, a benevolent being, conferring happiness; that of darkness, the author of evil. Zoroafter priest of the god of light, falls in love with Amelita, rightful heiress to the throne of BaEtria, in consequence of the death of Phæres: but being rivaled by Abramanes, whom the princess hates, is thro' his interest banished. Abramanes conspires with Crinice to destroy these los vers, of whose mutual affections she was jealous, and the price of their infamous conjunction is their plighted faith.

Zoroaster, informed by some secret power of the misfortunes threatening his better half, prefers the safety of his country and his mistress, to the offered throne of the people amongst whom he was exiled ; and is transported in a chariot of fire to the walls of Bactria.

The inhabitants, intimidated by the inchantments of Abramanes from fiding with Zoroaster, he has recourse to heaven; and in consequence of his infocation, the walls tumbling present to him a sight of his mistress, ready to fall by the hand of Crinice, who being disarm’d by fright, quits the place with precipitation, and the two lovers are once more happily united. While, together with the Bactrians, they are employed in rejoicing at their felicity, a thick vapour rises from the bosom of the earth, Abramanes inspires' the people with dread, who abandon them in this extremity ; Zoroafter again invokes the Gods; they send hiin a magical wand, by aerial spirits ; thus armed he flies to combat his antagonist.

Abramanes is next discovered in a subteranean temple enlightened with lamps, where he celebrates some horrible mysteries, and here, a prey to rage and grief, he is informed that his rival is befriended by heaven : the news is confirmed to him by Grinick ; he makes an infernal facrifice, many evil

fpirits and thus is virtuous love


is due reward.

fpirits obey his call, and he is promised success by a lying'ora. cle.

Zoroafter, followed by the Ba&trians, imparts the news of his prosperity to the tender Amelita ; the ceremony of their coronation is broken in upon by Abramanes, whom the earth opens and swallows, while the lovers mount the throrie of Baštria.

Thus are the wicked punished, and thus is virtuous love crowned with its due reward.

This is the fübftance of a piece finely devised, and nobly conducted : and whether 'we confider it with respect to the music or poetical composition, we shall find it the offspring of reál genius ; yet we are forry to fay, that it has not been received so well as it deserves ; nor is it the public taste of England alone that seems to be vitiated.

The opera of Bertholdus at court, is not yet forgotten in London; a comedy of three acts founded thereupon, was formerly presented on the stage of the Italian opera house at Paris, which has been lately reduced to two, great part of it being curtail'd ; in consequence of which alteration it appears more lively, is more interesting, and the approbation of the public confirms our opinion.


There appeared on the German theatre of Vienna, during the carnival, a burlesque tragedy of two acts, in verse, write ten by Sieur Kurz, known by the name of Bernardon, who is an actor on the fame ftage. It is intitled the Princess Pouma phia ; or, the faithful Persian, and has for plot the amours of Kouli Khan king of the Tartars. One would imagine that, by this piece, Bernardon seriously intended to create a digust for tragedy in the public, which is already too much inclined to favour extravagant farces.

The author, who played the part of the princess, falling ill the sixth night of the representation, put a stop to the run of the piece, which was very great. Two other novelties fucceeded on the same stage ; one intitled Le Carnaval intere. rompu; tragi comedie; the other La fin du Carnaval.


All the characters in Poumphia were played by men; those in Le Carnaval interrompu by women; and in La fin du Carnaval the women's parts were performed by men ; those of the men by women.

There was also exhibited on the same stage a German tragi-comedy in two acts, called The Fortunate Isand; and another, intitled The Enchanted Shipwreck, taken from LAnglois magnanime, which is to be found in the Theatre Italien. A German farce of one act was also presented at the same time, called The Carnival of. Pluts, which was followed by a sort of tragedy taken from the Phedra of Racine, but the catastrophe totally changed.

We hope in our next number to be able to give some account of a comedy, called La Coquette corrigèe, The reform'd coquet, which has had a great run at Paris.

Art. XI. Clarissimis viris eruditionis ecclefiafticæ fudiofis

Fauftus Ämidei bibliopola Romanus S. P.D. M U LTOS multa de sanctorum faftis, deque ecclefia

IV univerfæ annalibus scripsisse, innumera pene clarissimorum virorum quæ hactenus lucem viderunt opera teftantur. De Slavis etiam, five Græco-moschis, five Dalmatis & Illyriis, non defuere, qui spissos commentarios ediderunt; sic tamen, ut de Slavica hujusmodi historia illud usurpari posle crediderim, quod de Æthiopica Job Ludolfus pronunciavit in hæc verba : Vix ulla peregrina historia corruptior, ut quæ de Æthiopia dicuntur, de Utopia dieta putes : multa in majus aucta, multa fecus ac res eft, tradita fuerunt : quædam ftudio, aut odio depravata : pleraque non re&le intelleta : denique quovis modo audita, pro compertis relata. Quamobrem, dum Illmus præsul Joseph Simonius Allemanus, bibliothecæ vaticanæ præfectus, vir editis jam pluribus omnigenæ eruditionis operibus fatis clarus, pervetustas Capponianas Slavicas Ephemerides illustrandas suscepit, operæ pretium duxit, præmittere ecclefiafticas Slavorum omnium origines, tum eorum nempe, qui Latinum ritum in Polonia, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Illyrico, & alibi sequuntur ; tum aliorum, qui Græcas cerimonias in Russia, Bulgaria, Servia, Valachia observant : omnia è puris fontibus, ideft ex coævis


« PreviousContinue »