« AnteriorContinuar »
senate, and it soon became subservient to his will: public liberty was swallowed up by private profligacy. The first Lord Chatham was a Cato when he declared that Ilanover was a millstone about the neck of Great Britain ; but he became a supple courtier when he boasted of having conquered America in Germany; and he forfeited the esteem of good men when he attempted to adorn the sepulchre of his patriotism by a pension and a peerage. Since his time, for one Cato, one Rochingham, one Saville, one Chatham (in his honourable days), we have had, and have, and probably always shall have (as long as we remain an opulent and luxurious nation) hundreds resembling him in the decline of his political virtue.' p. 459–461.
Our general opinion of the value of this work may be gathered from the foregoing pages. As a mere literary performance, it ranks very high, from the excellence of the language. It is good, pure, elegant English; free from affectation of every sort, and always adapted to the subject. To the specimens which we have already given, may now be aulded a letter to Mr Harley, on a variety of topics, of a miscellaneous nature, and written with peculiar ease and gracefulness.
• I sit down to account to you for a long seeming neglect, and to beg you to accept the narration as an excuse for it. When your letter (I am ashamed to look at the date) of June the 23d arrived at Calgarth Park, I was visiting my diocese ; after my return. a good deal of business, and an incessant flux of Lakers (such is the denomination by which we distinguish tlrose who come to see our country, intimating thereby not only that they are persons of taste, who wish to view our lakes, but idle persons who love laking-the old Saxon word to lake, or play, being of common use among schoolboys in these parts), left me for several weeks no time to think of any thing but hospitality; and your letter lay hidden among a mass of papers which overspread my table. When I discovered it about a month ago, I was labouring with hands and knees to get rid of the gout which had seized both another guest, you will suppose, of my hospitality. This is the first fit that I have had ; it has not yet quite left me. I am not conscious of having deserved it by any intemperance, yet I blush for having introduced so great a malady into my family.
• I think Cowper's works are his best monument, and most of the subscribers will probably be of the same opinion. But as you desire me to speak frankly, I must say, that I think many of them will not be pleased with your change of purpose. Your intention of doing something for Mr Rose's family is highly laudable, and of a piece with your general philanthropy ; but a subscriber may justly say, If my subscription is to go in charity, I myself have many objects as deserving, and more connected with me than any godson of Mr Cowper. As to my own subscription, I beg it may go, should you print no part of Milton, to the orphans you so kindly protect,
· I return my best thanks for the present of your Ballads ; the subjects are well chosen, and the tales are sweetly told. On one of our highest mountains (Helvellyn) a man was lost last year: two months after his disappearance his body was found, and his faithful dog sitting by it; a part of the body was eaten, but whether hunger had compelled the dog to the deed is not known. I remember the late Duke of Northumberland having told me, that a young antelope of his had by accident been killed by a fall from the top of his house at Sion, to which it had ascended by a trap-door being left open at the head of a staircase, and that its mother, which was feeding in the pasture, refusing to quit the body, died of grief and hunger.
• A book concerning the habitudes of animals, by Mr Bindley, was lately advertised: I have not yet seen it. The subject is curious, but difficult : it requires long and patient attention to come to any certain conclusion respecting the manners and perhaps the nascent morals of animals; for a well-trained pointer, and other domesticated and well-educated animals, seem to have a knowledge of what may be called their duty to their master. I leave this hint to your philosophy concerning the gradation of beings.
* I do not know of any book giving an account of institutions for the support of orphans : you probably may meet with something to your purpose in Justinian's Institutes, or in some of the Roman writers after the empire became Christian ; for it is to Christianity, principally, that the world is indebted for charitable institutions. Widows indeed, and orphans, were at an early period of the Roman history exempted from taxation, to which all other persons were subjected: this curious fact is mentioned by Plutarch in his life of Publicola.
• Persius (Sat. iv. lib. 3.) calls Alcibiades the pupil of Pericles ; but whether the term pupillus always means an orphan, I am not certain: perhaps the time of the death of his father Clinius, may be mentioned by Plutarch or Nepos. Coriolanus's father died when he was an infant. Alcibiades and Coriolanus would, with Demosthenes, make as noble a trio of orphans as all antiquity could furnish. If you wish for a partie quarré, and have no objection to the man, Mahomet is at your service.
• The ophthalmia, I hope, has left you. Without doubt this complaint has been occasioned in yourself from the too great use you have made of your eyes; but a similar one, which afflicted our troops in Egypt, proceeded, I think, from a too great glare of light. My reason for this conjecture is founded on what happens to sheep : When our mountains continue for a long time covered with snow, a great many sheep become blind, and gradually receive their sight on the melting of the snow.' p. 439–442,
We see, on the other hand, very little to reprove or complain of in this publication, if it be not that, perhaps, too querulous a strain is indnlged in, upon the subject of the injustice he experienced. We may also regret a plan which he pursues of senate, and it soon became sul swallowed up by private prof! Cato when he declared that I of Great Britain ; but he beci. of having conquered America teem of good men when he a patriotism by a pension and a one Rockingham, one Saville, we have had, and have, and we remain an opulent and li him in the decline of his politi
Our general opinion of t} ed from the foregoing page: it ranks very high, from th good, pure, elegant English and always adapted to the we have already given, may ley, on a variety of topics, ten with peculiar ease and
• I sit down to account to beg you to accept the narr letter (I am ashamed to look a Calgarth Park, I was visiting deal of business, and an ince mination by which we disting try, intimating thereby not on wish to view our lakes, but i Saxon word to lake, or play, boys in these parts), left me fo thing but hospitality; and y papers which overspread my month ago, I was labouring gout which had seized bothhospitality. This is the first t
I am not conscious ance, yet I blush for having i family.
. I think Cowper's works ai subscribers will probably be of me to speak frankly, I must s be pleased with your change something for Mr Rose's fam with your general philanthro my subscription is to go in c deserving, and more connect Cowper. As to my own sub: print no part of Milton, to th
Sete uzené srasos el precios me the courses of home! IN:22 AM si respectful attentin of the
Vers se stoorledged author of Bertraun, is a derTRACT close establishment, emplored chieds, i ne 22 AL :- hanourable task of assisting your persons durre e amcal studies at Trinity College, Pula H. to be restr a wanderer in the field of fiction and is the
ke the House of Nontorio, a romance in the street Vins Ricc, she will Irish Bor, and other tals. The present su franed upon a different and more interesantes, por
to the merit of describing the emotions of the human ther than that of astonishing the reader by the accu
of imaginary horrors, or the singular combinations of us and perilous adventures. Accordingly, we think erceive marks of greater care than Mr Maturin has trouble to bestow upon. his former works of fiction; which is a favourite with the author himself, is certainkely to become so with the public and with the critic.
former works, the author has, in his preface, passed ng severe sentence.
f my former prose works have been popular. The strong-
popularity of circulating libraries : it deserved no bette of that style of writing was out when I was a boy, and Bowers to revive it. When I look over those books now,
all surprised at their failure ; for, independent of their rnal interest, (the strongest interest that books can have, reading age), they seem to me to want reality, vraisemcharacters, situations, and language, are drawn merely ution ; my limited acquaintance with life denied me any
ce. In the Tale which I now offer to the public, pervay be recognised some characters which experience will Some resemblance to common life may be traced in his I rest for the most part the interest of the narrative. of characters and incidents (the absence of all that coninterest of fictitious biography in general) excludes the work possessing any other interest.
ace concludes with an assurance, that the author will ass again in this kind;-a promise or threat which
made and as often broken as lovers' vows, and reader has no reason to desire should in the present pre scrupulously adhered to, than by other authors and modern celebrity. Let us only sce, what the
deserves, a favourable reception from the public; ist Mr Maturin may be moved once more to reecies of composition so easy to a writer of rich fancy powers, so delightful to the numerous class of readave Gray's authority for supposing it no bad emblem le to lie all day on a couch and read new novels. yzing · Wonien,' we are tempted to hesitate which
tale we should begin with. It is the business of the wrap up his narrative in mystery during its progress,
giving very few letters written to himself, by the many eminent persons with whom he was in correspondence. Almost all the letters are his own. We should have expected, too, a good many more striking anecdotes of the remarkable men whom he associated with; and a greater portion of information touching the bistory of the times, from so many of the chief actors in it, whose conversation he enjoyed. Of this there is very little indeed in the work. But, of that little, we must not pass over a curious fact, rather staggering from its import, and from the high nature of the evidence by which it is supported.-- On • the day,' says Bishop Watson, speaking of Lord Shelburne,
in which the peace was to be debated in the two Houses of • Parliament, I happened to stand next him in the House of • Lords, and asked him, whether he was to be turned out by • the disapprobation of the Commons; he replied, that he could . not certainly tell what would be the temper of that House, • but he could say that he had not expended a shilling of the • public money to procure its approbation, though he well • knew that above sixty thousand pounds had been expended • in procuring an approbation of the peace in 1763.'
Art. IX. Women ; or Pour et Contre: A Tale. By the Au
thor of Bertram, &c. Edinburgh and London. 1818.
of the dramatic art which marks our age, a good right to assume that distinction in his title-page, and claim the attention due to superior and acknowledged talent. The faults of Bertram are those of an ardent and inexperienced author; but its beauties are undeniably of an high order; and the dramatist who has been successful in exciting pity and terror in audiences assembled to gape and stare at shows and processions, rather than to weep or tremble at the convulsions of human passion, has a title to the early and respectful attention of the critic.
Mr Maturin, the acknowledged author of Bertram, is a clergyman on the Irish establishment, employed chiefly, if we mistake not, in the honourable task of assisting young persons during their classical studies at Trinity College, Dublin. He has been already a wanderer in the field of fiction, and is the author of the House of Montorio, a romance in the style of Mrs Ratcliffe, the Wild Irish Boy, and other tales. The
The present work is framed upon a different and more interesting model, pre