« AnteriorContinuar »
moral art, is itself too, in every instant, consummate and complete; is neither heightened nor diminished by the quantity of its duration, but is the fame to its enjoyers, for a moment or a century.
Upon this I fmiled. He asked me the reason. It is only to observe, said I, the course of our inquiries. A new hy. pothesis has been advanced : appearing somewhat strange, it is desired to be explained. You comply with the request, and in pursuit of the explanation, make it ten times more obscure and unintelligible, than before. It is but too often the fate, said he, of us commentators. But you know in such cafes what is ufually done. When the comment will not explain the text, we try whether the text will not explain itself. This method, it is posible, may aflift us here. The hypothesis, which we would have illustrated, was no more than this: That the Sovereign Good lay in rectitude of Conduct; and that this Good corresponded to all our pre-conceptions. Let us examine then, whether, upon trial, this correspondence will appear to hold; and, for all that we have advanced fince, suffer it to pass, and not perplex us. Agreed, said I, willingly, for now I hope to comprehend you.
Recollect then, faid he. Do you not remember that one pre-conception of the Sovereign Good was, to be accommodated to all times and places ? I remember it. And is there any time, or any place, whence Rectitude of Conduct may be excluded ? Is there not a right action in prosperity, a right action in adversity.. May there not be a decent, generous, and laudable behaviour, not only in peace, in power, and in health, but in war, in oppreslion, in fickness, and in death? There may..
And what shall we say to those other pre-conceptions; to being durable, self-derived, and indeprivable? Can there be any Good fo durable, as the power of always doing right? Is there any Good conceivable, fo entirely beyond the power of others ? Or, if you hesitate, and are doubtful, I would willingly be informed, in to what circumstances may fortune throw a brave and honest man, where it shall not be in his power to act bravely and honestly? If there be no such, then Rectitude of Conduct, if a Good, is a Good indeprivable. I confefs, faid I, it appears fo.
But farther, said he; Another pre-conception of the Sovereign Good was, to be agreeable to nature. It was. And can any thing be more agreeable to a rational and focial animal, than rational and social conduct ? Nothing. But rectitude of Conduct is with us Rational and Social Conduct. It is.
Once more, continued he; Another pre-conception of this Good was, to be conducive not to mere-being, but to well-being. Admit it. And can any thing, believe you, conduce so probably to the well-being of a rational social animal, as the right exercise of that reason, and of those fo. cial affections ? Nothing. And what is this fame exercise, but the highest Rectitude of Conduct ?. Certainly.
ND how did Garrick speak the soliloquy last night?
Oh, against all rule, my lord, most ungrammatically! betwixt the substantive and the adjective, which fhould agree together in number, case and gender, he made a breach K 6
thus, - toppingas if the point wanted settling ;-and be. twixt the nominative case, which your lordship knows should govern the verb, he suspended his voice in the epilogue a dozen times, three seconds and three fifths by a stop-watch, my lord, each time.--Admirable grammarian !-But in sufpending his voice -- was the sense suspended likewise? did no expression of attitude or countenance fill up the chasm?
filent? Did you narrowly look? - I look'd only at the stop-watch, my lord.— Excellent obferver.
And what of this new book the whole world makes such a rout about ?-Oh! 'tis out of all plumb, my lord,-quite an irregular thing! not one of the angles at the four corners was a right angle.—I had my rule and compasses, &c. my lord, in my pocket. - Excellent critic.
-AND for the epic poem your lordship bid me look at; - upon taking the length, breadth, height, and depth of it, and trying them at home upon an exact scale of Boffu's'tis out, my lord, in every one of its dimensions.--Admirabie connoisseur !
-And did you step in, to take a look at the grand picture in your way back ? — 'Tis a melancholy daub! my lord ; not one principle of the pyramid in any one group!
and what a price! for there is nothing of the car. louring of Titian the expression of Rubens the grace of Raphael the purity of Dominiching the corregies. city of Corregio-the learning of Pouffin-the airs of. Guido- the taste of the Carrachi's - the grand contour of Angelo.
GRANT me patience, juft Heaven! - Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world. -- though the cant of hypocrites may be the worit-- the cant of criticism is the mot tormenting!
I WOULD go fifty miles on foot, to kiss the hand of that man, whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into his author's hands-be pleased he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.
HEN Tom, an' please your honour, got to the shop,
a bunch of white feathers slightly tied to the end of a long cane, flapping away flies not killing them. pretty picture ! said my uncle Toby—he had suffered persecution, Trim, and had learnt mercy
She was good, an' please your honour, from nature as well as from hardships ; and there are circumstances in the story of that poor friendless flut that would melt a heart of stone, said Trim ; and some dismal winter's evening, when your honour is in the humour, they shall be told you with the rest of Trim's story, for it makes a part of it
THEN do not forget, Trim, said my uncle Toby.
A NEGRO has a soul, an? please your honour, said the corporal (doubtingly).
I am not much versed, corporal, quoth my uncle Toby, in things of that kind; but I suppose, God would not leave him without one, any more than thee or me.,
Ir would be putting one fadly over the head of another, quoth the corporal.
It would so; said my uncle Toby. Why then, an' please your honour, is a black, wench to be used worse than a white one?
I can give no reason, said my uncle Toby
-ONLY, cried the corporal, shaking his head, because fhe has no one to stand up for her
'TI's that very thing, Trim, quoth, my uncle Toby, which recommends her to protection, and her brethren with her; 'tis the fortune of war which has put the whip into our hands now where it may be hereafter, Heaven knows but be it where it will, the brave, Trim, will not use it unkindly.
God forbid, said the corporal. AMEN, responded my uncle Toby, laying his hand upon his heart.
с Н. АР:
SIR HAR. YOLONEL, your most obedient: I am come
the old business; for unless I am allowed to entertain hopes of Miss Rivers, I shall be the most miserable of all human beings..
Riv. Sir Harry, I have already told you by letter, and I now tell you personally, I cannot listen to your proposals.
Sir Har. No, Sir ?
Riv. No, Sir, I have promised my daughter to Mr. Sidney; do you know that, Sir?
Sır Har. I do; but what then ! Engagements of this kind, you know
Riv. So then, you do know I have promised her to Mr. Sidney?
Sir Har. I do; but I also know that matters are not finally settled between Mr. Sidney and you; and I moreover