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very many of the pamphlets, which ar
We will readily grant Addison his full praise—that he enchants us with all the polite and elegant graces of wit, and all the attractions of moral beauty -that his papers, in that celebrated work the Spectator, are eminently beautiful. In this mode of writing he
has had many followers, who tread clofe in his fteps. The Connoiffeur, the World, the Adventurer, the Essays of Goldfmith, the Mirror, the Idler, and the Rambler, have had, perhaps, equal effect in combating, by wit or reason, the reigning follies and vices of the nation. We may acknowledge the exquifite powers of Addison in describing life and manners: but the delicate humour with which he has drawn a few characters, cannot be placed in competition with the truth of expreffion, and force of colouring, with which modern manners are painted in the novels of Goldfmith, Smollet, and Fielding. It must not be ranked with the fublimity and pathos of Richardfon, who has created a new fpecies of fiction, and, in fcenes fully worthy of Shakespeare, has exhibited the deformity of vice, aud the beauty of virtue. K.
ON THE LITERARY CHARACTER.
Such men are also cenfured for an irritability of difpofition. Many reafons might apologize for thefe unhappy variations of humour. The occupation of making a great name is, perhaps, more anxious and precarious than that of VOL. LVIII.
making a great fortune. We fympathife with the merchant when he communicates melancholy to the focial circle in confequence of a bankruptcy, or when he feels the elation of profperity at the fuccefs of a vaft fpeculation. The author is not lefs immerfed in cares, or agitated by fuccefs; for literature has its bankruptcies and its fpeculations.
The anxieties and difappointments of an author, even of the most successful, are incalculable. If he is learned, learning is the torment of unquenchable thirst, and his elaborate work is expofed to the accidental recollection of an inferior mind, as well as the fatal omif fions of wearied vigilance. If he excels in the magic of diction, and the graces of fancy, his path is ftrewed with rofes, but his feet bleed on invi fible yet piercing thorns. Rouffeau has given a glowing defcription of the ceafelefs inquietudes by which he acquired skill in the arts of compofition; and has faid, that with whatever talent a man may be born, the art of writing is not eafily obtained.
It is obferved by M. La Harpe (an author by profeffion) that as it has been D prove
proved there are fome maladies peculiar to artifts, there are also forrows which are peculiar to them; and which the world can neither pity nor foften, because it cannot have their conceptions. We read not without a melancholy emotion, the querulous expreffions of men of genius. We have a little catalogue de calamitate Literatorum; we might add a volume by the addition of
moft of our own authors.
The votaries of the arts and fciences are called by Cicero, Heroes of Peace; their labours, their dangers, and their intrepidity, make them heroes; but peace is rarely the ornament of their feverish exiftence.
Some are now only agreeable, who might have been great writers, had their application to ftudy, and the modes of their life, been different. In Mr Greaves' lively recollections of his friend Mr Shenstone, are fome judicious obfervations on this fubject. He has drawn a comparison between the elevated abilities of Gray, and the humble talents of Shenftone and he has effayed to shew, that it was the accidental circumftances of Gray's place of birth, education, his admittance into fome of the belt circles, and his affiduous application to fcience, which gave him that fuperiority over the indolence, the retirement, and the inertion of a want of patronage, which made Shenftone, as Gray familiarly faid, "hop round his walks" like a bird in a string.
Men of genius are often reverenced only where they are known by their writings. In the romance of life, they are divinities; in its hiftory, they are From errors of the mind, and derelictions of the heart, they may not be exempt; these are perceived by their acquaintance, who can often difcern only thefe qualities. The defects of great men are the confolation of the dunces.
For their foibles it feems more difficult to account than for their vices; for à violent paffion depends on its direction to become either excellence or depravity; but why their exalted mind fhould not preferve them from the imbecilities of fools, appears a mere ca
Fears of the brave and follies of the wife.
But it is alfo neceffary to acknowledge, that men of genius are often unjustly reproached with foibles. fports of a vacant mind are misunderftood as follies. The fimplicity of truth may appear vanity, and the conscioufnefs of fuperiority, envy. Nothing is more ufual than our furprise at some great writer or artist contemning the labours of another, whom the public cherifh with equal approbation. We place it to the account of his envy, but perhaps this opinion is erroneous, and claims a concife investigation.
Every fuperior writer has a manner of his own, with which he has been long converfant, and too often inclines to judge of the merit of a performance
* Voiture was the fon of a vintner, and, like our Prior, was fo mortified whenever reminded of his original occupation, that it was faid of him, that wine which cheared the heart of all men, fickened that of Voiture. Rouffeau, the poet, was the fon of a cobler; and when his honeft parent waited at the door of the theatre, to embrace his fon on the fuccefs of his firft piece, the inhuman poet repulfed the venerable father with infult and contempt. Akenfide ever confidered his lamenefs as an unfupportable misfortune, fince it continually reminded him of his origin,, being occafioned by the fall of a cleaver. butcher. Milton delighted in contemplacing from one of his father's blocks, a refpectable his own perfon, and the engraver not having reached our fublime bard's "ideal grace,' he has pointed his indignation in four iambics. Among the complaints of Pope, is that of " the pictured fhape." Even the ftrongminded Johnson would not be painted
blinking Sam." Mr Bofwell tells us, that Goldfmith attempted to fhew his agility to be fuperior to the dancing of an ape, whose praife had occafioned him a fit of jealousy, but he failed in imitating his rival. The inhis character with lavish panegyric, and a fcription under Boileau's portrait, defcribing preference to Juvenal and Horace, is unfortunately known to have been written by himself.
by the degree it attains of his favourite how more fenfibly alive to a variety of
manner. He errs, because impartial
This observation will ferve to explain
Such, among others, are the reafons which may induce an author to exprefs himfelf in language which found like vanity. To be admired, is rough fublimity of Crebillon; the for- the noble fimplicity of the ancients, cible Corneille, the tender Racine; the, (imitated by a few elevated minds aaffected Marivaux, the familiar Moliere; mong the moderns,) in expreffing with the artificial Gray, the fimple Shen- ardour the confcioufnefs of genius. We ftone. Each alike judged by that pe- are not more difpleased with Dryden culiar manner he had long formed. In than with Cicero, when he acquaints a free conversation, they might have us of the great things he has done, and contemned each other; and a dunce, thofe he purposes to do. Modern mowho had liftened without taste or under- defty might, perhaps, to fome be more ftanding, if he had been a haberdafher engaging, if it were modefty; but our in anecdotes, would have haftened to artificial blushes are like the ladies' temrepofit in his warehouse of literary falfi- porary rouge, ever ready to colour the ties, a long declamation on the vanity face on any occafion. Some will not and envy of these great men. place their names to their books, yet prefix it to their advertisements; others pretend to be the editors of their own works; fome compliment themselves in the third perfon; and many, concealed under the fhade of anonym jus criticifm, form panegyrics, as elaborate and long as Pliny's on Trajan, of their works and themselves; yet, in a converfation, ftart at a compliment and quarrel at a quotation. Such modeft authors refemble certain ladies, who in public are equally celebrated for the coldest chastity.
It has long been acknowledged, that every work of merit, the more it is examined, the greater the merit will appear. The most masterly touches, and the referved graces, which form the pride of the artist, are not observable till after a familiar and conftant meditation. What is most refined is least obvious; and to fome must remain unperceived for ever.
But ascending from these elaborate ftrokes in compofition, to the views and defigns of an author, the more profound and extenfive thefe are, the more they elude the reader's apprehenfion. I re, Eine not too much when I fay, that the author is conscious of beauties, that are not in his compofition. The happieft writers are compelled to fee fome of their most magnificent ideas float along the immenfity of mind, beyond the feeble grafp of expreffion. Compare the ftate of the author with that of the reader; how copious and overflowing is the mind of the one to the other?
Confcioufnefs of merit characterises men of genius; but it is to be lamented, that the illufions of felf-love are not dif tinguishable from the realities of confcioufnefs. Yet if we were to take from fome their pride of exultation, we annihilate the germ of their excellence. The perfuafion of a juft pofterity smoothed the fleeplefs pillow, and spread a fubfhine in the folitude of Bacon, Montefquieu, and Newton; of Cervantes, D 2 Grays
Gray, and Milton. Men of genius anticipate their contemporaries, and know they are fuch, long before the tardy confent of the public.
They have also been accused of the meaneft adulations; it is certain that many have had the weakness to praise unworthy men, and fome the courage to crafe what they have written. A young writer unknown, yet languishing
for encouragement, when he firft finds
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF
THE inhabitants of Lisbon may be ranked under four claffes, viz. the nobility, the clergy, the traders, and the labouring people. The obfervations I am about to offer on each clafs, contain very little more than may be collected by every one in the streets or the roads, in markets or cottages. To proceed in the most natural order, we should begin with the pedestals of the ftate; but, for once, we shall reverse the order of the structure, and commence with what is called "the Corinthian capitals of polished fociety."
The nobility may be confidered as a body entirely diftin&t from the other three; the principal affairs of the state are committed to their truft; they refide in the capital, or its environs, and feldom visit their eftates in the provinces. They esteem it an honour to be born in the capital, and also to dwell there. They are educated likewise at Lifbon, in a college founded for the purpose by King Jofeph. Hence it is called the Collegio dos Nobres, the College of Nobles. Prior to the eftablishment of this college, they were educated at Coimbra, a place apparently much better adapted for that purpose, as it poffeffes many advantages not to be found in a commercial city. The fragrance of the air, the stillness of the country, and the delightful profpects with which Coimbra abounds, are great incitements to study; befides, it is enriched with immenfe literary treasures, the accumulation of ages; and its build ings are very magnificent. Now, the
feminary at Lifbon is deficient in all these points. It appears, therefore, that the nobility have made a bad exchange. There is a wide difference between a college of nobles and a noble college.
The nobility, comparatively fpeaking, a are not very rich; for though their pa- 1 trimonies are large, their rents are small. I doubt if any of them has ever feen a map of his eftate, or exactly knows its boundaries. If ever they defign to turn their attention toward the conftructing of roads and canals, and not confider agriculture a purfuit unworthy of gentlemen, they will become the richest nobility in Europe, on account of the vast extent of their landed poffeffions.
In the diftribution of their fortunes, they fhew great prudence without the appearance of parfimony. A country wherein there are no tace-horses, licenfed gambling houfes, or expenfive miftreffes, a gentleman may live fplendidly upon a moderate income; fortunately thefe allurements to diffipation are unknown to them. Nor do they excite the envy of the poor by midnight orgies or gilded chariots. Their time is spent between their duty at court, and the focial enjoyments of private partics.
The fine arts, which, to the fuperior claffes of every nation of Europe, are fources of the moft refined pleasure, are almoft entirely neglected by the nobility of this country; neither do they appear to take much pleasure in the cultivation of the fciences, though they pof
fess molt excellent capacity for both. through this laudable channel, and the
With respect to the clergy, I was not furnished with information fufficient to form an accurate eftimate of their true character, and I fhall not prefume to fpeak from report of fo refpectable a body. Among those with whom I had the honour to be acquainted, I found fome poffcffed of great liberality and talents; in proof of this, I need only mention his grace the Bishop of Beja, whofe piety and learning would do honour to the Apoftolic or Auguftan ages. I might alfo inftance the Abbé Corrêa, chaplain to his Grace the Duke de Alafoens, and Father de Souza, author of feveral pieces on the Arabic language.
There are feveral other men of eminent talents among the clergy, but concealed in gloomy cells; and what is extraordinary, the greater are their talents, the more careful are they in fecluding themfelves from all communication with the world. It may be asked then, why they do not oblige the world with fome of their acquirements? The reafon is very obvious; the Portuguese language is fo little known, that there is little or no fale for books written in that language out of the country, and in it, reading is very far from being general; very few books, therefore, will defray the expence of printing and paper, efpecially if they treat on fcientific fubjects. Thus are men of letters deterred from making themselves known
It is true, that in all the learned profeffions, men will be found who would render more fervice to the community in an humbler sphere, and among the clergy there are, I am forry to add, but too many of this description, who are better calculated by nature and education to follow the tail of the plough, than to discharge the important ties of that facred profeffion.
The merchants are remarkably attentive to business; and, as far as I could learn, juft and punctual in their dealings: they live on a friendly footing with the foreign traders, who refide here, particularly the English. Bankruptcies are feldom known among them, and they are careful in avoiding litigations; for it is a well known fact, that the gentlemen of the long robe in Portugal, are not to be furpaffed even by their brethren of the English court of Chancery, in the art of protracting a fuit.
A Lisbon merchant paffes his hours in the following manner: he goes to prayers at eight o'clock, to change at eleven, dines at one, fleeps till three, eats fruit at four, and fups at nine: the intermediate hours are employed in the counting-house, in paying visits, or playing at cards.
To vifit any one above the rank of a tradefman, it is neceffary to wear a sword and chapeau; if the family you vifit be in mourning, you must also wear black; the fervants would not confider a vifitant as a gentleman unless he came in a coach; to vifit in boots would be an unpardonable offence, unless you wear fpurs at the same time. The master of the house precedes the vifitant on his going out, the contrary order takes place in coming in..
The common people of Lifbon and its environs are a laborious and hardy race; many of them, by frugal living, lay up a decent competence for old age; it is painful to behold the trouble they are obliged to take for want of proper