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-will I, to repair my former losses, what I adrance in this description « Consent to break his limbs in your " (which in duty I humbly dedicate
to your Lordship,) not from hearThe father seems to have died,
and second hand, but from o. between the Revolution and the end
"cular inspection, and proper know. of the seventeenth century. After “ ledge: Having made so frequent this, the son's attachment to the
surveys through all the hills and country continued to the close of
" valleys of that country, both on his life. In another series of smooth or horse and foot, and made a nice and agreeable verses, in the epistola- “ scrutiny into all things I found rery form, To my Friend, inviting him " markable, especially as to plants, to the Country," he again launches it several whereof are naturally proout in praises of its comforts, and “ duced here, which I have not obkindly endeavours to allure his cor- " served in my herbalizing through respondent to his mansion, by the " other shires of the kingdom." entertainments his situation affords. Archbishop Nicholson, in his Score
When relieved from the more im- tish Historical Library, takes notice portant attendance upon his nume- of the Description of Tweeddale, as the rous patients, upon the different de- joint production of Dr Pennecuick partments of rural economy, and the and Mr Forbes. His works were management of his two estates, he published in 1915, (and have never amused himself with the society of since been reprinted, although a copy his neighbours; with his favourite now is scarcely to be obtained) with study of botany, on which he cor- an address in verse, To the ingenious, responded with his friend the cele- and worthy author of the follonuing De brated Mr James Sutherland, the su- scription and Poems, from a younger perindant of the first botanic gar- brother poet of nearly the same den of Edinburgh; with collecting name, Alexander Pencook of Edin. materials for the very accurate des. burgh, in which he calls him “ the cription of Tweeddale, which he af. British Ovid,” and congratulates the terwards published, in concert with inhabitants of his district, on having his successor in the eatate of New.
one in it so deeply skilled in - Na. Hall, Mr Forbes the patron of Al. ture's Secrets," and who could elan Ramsay the poet ; and with rea- qually contribute to their healths ding, and translating from the learn. and their pleasures. At this time, ed, and from the Italian and French he was sixty-three years of age, and, language, probably acquired by it would seem, had not resided in the him on the Continent. Among his country, at least in a settled state, as poems, we have a translation from having succeeded to his father's interOvid, at the age of eighteen, As a ests in it, till about his thirtieth physician, his aid seems to have been year. An Epitaph, on the tomb: in high request. At the beginning stone of the minister of Lintoun, is of his dedication to the Earl of dated anno 1682 ; a poetical adMarch, Viscount of Peebles, &c:; dress is written to the Prince of he mentions his having made choice Orange ; another to Queen Anne, on of the subject of his Description" in the Union; a third to George the gratitude to Tweeddale, where," says First; and an Elegy on Mr Douglas, he, “ I have had residence, and some who died in 1795.
interest, for thirty years and a During these last thirty years and " bove. My employment, as physi- above," besides writing his descrip'cs
cian, obliged me to know, and ob. tion in prose, he had, occasionally, serve every corner thereof; sketched in verse, the manners, and
foibles, and incidents, of his own time spicuous, among many names, aud under his immediate observation, as initials, left by the covenanters,
who they occurred ; in which light chiefly took refuge about it after the battle his poems are worthy of being pre- of Rullion Green on Pentland Hills, served, as faithful representations of and occasionally during the whole of the rustic manners of that age near the religious persecutions of Charles the metropolis of Scotland. Like the Second; though some of the Teniers, or Ostade, taking nature as dates mark it out, as having been an he found her, he entertained himself interesting object, long before the with designing, humorous pictures, formation, and the introduction, of from the lairds, portioners, and in presbytery in Scotland. habitants, vf " the famous town of In The Lintoun Cabal, portioner Lintoun,” and from the ministers of Giffard is again introduced, as the this “ Submetropolitan," and of
most prominent character, at the jo. Newlands, both in I'weeddale. The vial Smith's invitation, and meeting poor ministers of Newlands, and Lin- of “his Club, to their Morning's toun, seem to have been rather un
Draught." fortunate in their names, schemes, and
(To be continued.) tempers. Peter, and Hay, and Tory, all
Erratum.-P. 250. col. 1. for Penne. suggested puns; and Peter's Pass produced an excellent ryhme in case of
cook, read Pennycook ; and passim
read Pennecuik for Pennecuick. need for Newland's Ass. Lintoun on the one hand, with its small lairds and portioners, with its little conceited parson ; and Newlands on the
REMARKS on a few Select AUTHORS, other, with its succession of gip
From Heaven descends sics and jack-asses, afforded a The flame of genius to the human breast, ver failing fund of laughter and ridi. And love and beauty, and poetic joy
And inspiration. cule, for the entertainment and ex
Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination. ercise of his jocular muse.
In “ The humble address and sup. It has been already endeavoured, plication of the portioners and inha- on a former occasion, to point out hitants of the famous town of Lintoun, some of the most striking beauties, Sub-metropolitan of Tweeddale, to bis and defects in that species of lighter Highness the Prince of Orange,"
literature which is classed under the " James Giffart, and the Lintvun lairds”
two heads of Romances and Novels.
In the course of these former reoccupy one of the lines, which rhymes marks, the author has been natural
ly led to the consideration of some the title of William Younger, who,
works of a higher order, which it
may be thought more worth while " In name of all the Lintoun lairds," to criticise. signs the address.
History stands first in this order. T. Giffard appears in large cha- Though it may be argued by some racters, rudely carved, on a remark- who insist on the degeneration of able rock at the north boundary of taste and genius, that the ancients Peebles-shire in the estate of Carlops, have far surpassed the moderns in now united to New Hall. It is cal- this species of writiog, the considerled the Harbour Craig, and a view ation of the several merits of Livy, and description of it is given in the Sallust, Thucydides Polybius, and Edinburgh Magazine for April 1801. Tacitus, is not now intended. Most Besides numberless dates, his is con- of these have been blamed for giving
more attention to the elegancies of subject, and by the idea which he narration, than to the importance of probably indulged, of astonishing instruction : and though there be and overawing the world, he seems much beauty in their style, neither to have set out with all those flatterthat knowledge of policy and go ing prospects smiling around him, vernment, nor those views of customs which so frequently allure the ambiand manners, are, consequently, to
tious. Like the ambitious man, be drawn from their compilations, however, he, after a little while, diswhich we
are to expect from the covers the illusion ; and is often seen perfect historian. While, if we return labouring to support himself in that fron past, to latter times, where is lofty sphere to which his vanity had there a wider field for admiration raised him. Consequently, instead than the histories of Hume and Ro. of cver awing, he is often in danger bertson afford? In their works, we of entertaining in no trifling degree, find all the usefulness of knowledge, by the force of his metaphors, and the united to every elegance of language. singularity of his phrases. Still Mr And, provided the reader of them Gibbon is intitled to a considerable be not bigotted to the “ Tales of porzien of the praise which is due to other times, and be just enough to everyone wbo base endeavoured well,” allow that something better than and who has exposed himself to much those musty volumes contain may be labour and anxiety for the benest of found, he may perhaps be lojo others. It is also to be remembered, think that, both in design and exe- that ihe subject of the “ Decline and cution, these authors of modern daie Fall of the Roman Empire” might excel his adored classics. It cannot have lost much of its importance and be denied that the deficiencies of the interest, by being treated in a comm. ancients are supplied by the fullness mron siylc.--In his idea of the dignity of these moderns. The accounts of of his subject, he seems, therefore, the manners, customs, and policy of to have been right. And the faults the people, and of the arts and ele- of his style have probably arisen. gancies of life, which were omitted from a wish to be invested with in the pages of Livy and Sallust, the purple,” when the simplicity of are comprehended in the productions the “ Consular Rebes" no longer exof Hume and Robertson And we acted that respect they had once should oot hesitate to allow them the claimed. laurels due to perfect historians, did Without attempting to make a we not reluctantly remark in the comment on the felicity and honour former, the occasional effusions of which other countries, for instance prejudice against the most unques.. France, Spain, and Italy, have derived lionable and the most happy truths ; from tlie various historians, philosoand, in the other, spite of all his pro- phers, and poets, which have done so fessed regard for impartiality, the much credit to these several soils, and coolness of the historian, now and whose merits, genius and learning then lost in the feelings of the mnan. have so ably defined ; it shall be at
Gibbon cannot justly be put on a tempted here to offer a few remarks par with either Hume or Robertson. only on such authors as have done It is true that the subject of the" De honour to the British annals. cline and Fall” of such an empire as Among the modern poets, we have that of the Romans, not only admit- none so sublime as Milton. Any ted, but required dignity of style ; encomiums offered here upon a ge. though by no means such a style as 'nius so distinguished, may be mere his. Elated by the greatness of his waste of words. There are a numAugust 1806.
ber of other poets who may more in a very superior degree, the graces properly be called Modern, such as
of Poesy. His metaphors are very Pope, Parnell, Congreve, Otway, beautiful; his arguments well con. and others, all of whom are eminently trived, and withal well supported; and universally admired to ihis day. and his divisions just, and clearly But Milton, who was before them, shown. all in the periods of time, comes bem The · Minstrel' of Dr Beattie fore them all in the annals of litera. claims a particular share of admirature. He excels them alike in dig. tion, and cannot but afford the utmity of subject, in sublimity of expres- most delight to a mind susceptible sion, in native genius, in profound of the charms of poetry. His verse ness of thought, and in excellence of is uncommon, but well calculated for design.
his subject. His description of the Of later years, there have been emanations of infant genius, and of many poets justly distinguished for its rise into maturity, is probably excelience of design, for eminence quite unequalled. All the charm of of genins, and for beauty and sub. Originality, he has all the grace of limity of expression. First of these true poesy and all the advantages comes Thomson ; a poet who speaks of natural genius and taste. And at once to the heart and understand yet 'tis to be regretted that he is raing; who conveys instruction while ther unequal, though that inequality he inspires delight, and who will ever only serves to render his beauties be the favourite of virtue and of more striking: taste.
The · Lay of the Last Minstrel' Akenside, who is thought by is also a very fine production, and Mrs Barbauld to excel Thorson in one which has also the charm of Oris respect of equality, may be thought ginality. The plan is uncommon : highly praised in being called equal the subject very interesting : and the to him. Akenside is certainly a
venerable and neglected bard, who charming poet. His verse is smooth, thus pours forth the “ Song of me. flowing, sweet. And when he rises lody," and strains his eports to please into the sublime, (which, however, his amiable and benevolent'auditors, he too often attempts) he frequently never ceases to retain a place in the claims admiration from every reader, imagination, which is calculated, so
has judgment to appreciate far from diminishing, to heighten the merit, and liberality to bestow praise. effect of the poem. But though they who accuse Thom- The “ Pleasures of Hope" is son of imitating Milton are justly most beautiful production, and ex. contradicted by Dr Johnson, who in- hibits fully as much genius as any sists that Thomson's poetry is origi- late poet has evinced; especially when nal, and quite peculiar to himself, it the youth, and consequent inexperimust be allowed that the same asser. ence of the author, are taken into tion cannot hold with regard to A- consideration. It is, however, to be kenside. For, with all possible res regretted, that in the enthusiasm of pect of his powers, and with every his passion for liberty, the imagina- . relish of his beauties, it may be al. tion of the poet seenis, now and then, ledged that he is more obliged to his to have carried away the more cool talents for the “ imitative arts," reflection of the man.
But even than to the gifts of natural genius.-- with this fault, if it be a fault in a But still, though the greater portion poet to disregard the colder rules of of admiration be due to Thomson, prudence, the poem- has an infinite Akenside must be allowed to possess, degree of merit. Ii will be read by
the old, with wonder that the imagi. the composition of Mr Alison, ennation of youih, though “ warm, titled “ Essays on the Nature and is yet so pure, and so beautiful :- Principles of Tasté ” a composition and, by the young, with emotiods of so extremely beautiful and clear, that pride and triumph, that youth, with while the reader is delighted with all its faults, can be so faultless ; and the style, he must be also highly inthat the season which is said to be so structed by the matter. Allmust agree inexperienced, should be so“ rich in with the editors of the London Lithe experience of benevolence, of terary Journal, in regretting that such sympathy and virtue, and every no. a superior work as this should be bler feeling of the heart !
out of print: and in wishing, anxi-
Have now read Fingal; but I Dr Blair's System of “ Rhetorick am at a loss to know whether I and Belles Lettres," seem to deserve should give you my opinion of it or every praise which is due to the most not. My humble tribute of praise finished work of this kind. Equally (were I disposed to praise it) would judicious and benevolent in the plan ; be lost amidst that universal deluge equally clear and masterly in the exe.' of approbation poured upon it, both cution ; this performance stands unri. from the critics of London and of valled, as the most excellent of its Scotland. And, were I inclined to nature that has ever appeared, and censure it, my suffrage would be as indeed is superior to his sermons, al- little regarded as the loitering javelin though they be every where read which palsied Priam threw against with delight and admiration, and are the heaven-tempered shield of Pyrevery where extolled as the first mo. rhus--telum imbelle sine ictu. The dels, in point both of style and mat. particular beauties of this wonderful ter, of this species of composition. work are irresistibly striking, and I
With respect to the treatises which flatter myself that I am as sensible of have been given to the world on the them as another. But to that part subject of 'TASTE, that superior facul. its merit which exalts it, considered ty of the mind, which enables us to as a whole, above the Iliad or Æneid, relish the beauties in the natural and and its author above Homer or Vira moral morld ; and to perceive the gil, I am insensible. Yet I underfaults of the composition, while we stand, that of crirjes not a few aver admire the lustre of the genius ; Ossian to have been a greater geni. there appears to have been only one us than either of these poets. Yet work on the subject, written in that a little while, and I doubt not, the very superior style of elegance and world will be of a different opinion. perspicuity, which it deserves. It is Homer was as much admired about almost unnecessary to add, that it is three months ago I speak not of