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coup. Literary excellence is not riodes, dans ma tête,avec des peines the effect of an accidental ray of incroyables. His works are comgenius, nor of a momentary glow posed with such spirit and enthuof enthusiasm ; the former must siasm, that we are disposed to imbe tempered by industry, the latter agine he never took up the pen, by judgment. The mind must but when he glowed with those struggle with her new ideas, and, transports, with which he agitates by reiterated efforts, reduce them the bosoms of his readers. It to order and arrange them with was, however, only by preserving taste. Man is born with an un- a free and tranquil mind, that he wrought mine within him ; and, was able so successfully to comwhile he extracts the golden ore bine in his works every circumand refines the precious metal, he stance, which could add strength gives acumen to the very instru- to his ideas, or elegance to his ments, with which he works. composition. In the imitative No maxim perhaps has done
and mechanical arts we find that, more injury to the cause of letters, independent of peculiar talents, than that, by which a writer is di- success is generally proportional rected to feel his subject, before he to the degree of labour bestowed attempts its expression. We are on their objects; and may not the led to believe, that if the sacred observation be extended to the art flame can once be produced, the of writing?
of writing? Is the exertion of whole composition will glow with mind in the latter less, because its an equal warmth, and that this ex- powers are differently directed? citement of mind will naturally be or does it require less genius and followed by a correct view of the industry to perfect a literary work, subject, a just arrangement of than is developed in the production parts, and a perspicuous and ele- of a painting, or a statue? A gegant language. Instead therefore vius like Raphael, before he comof suffering the mind tranquilly to mits his images to the canvas, pursue her train of ideas, and by selects from the materials, which patience and perseverance to ar- his imagination had collected from range them in a lucid order and the works of nature ; he contrasts, . clothe them in a just expression, combines, disposes of his light and an artificial warmth is excited, by shade ; he varies with judgment which they are expanded into and groups with taste, till having bombast, or dissipated into “thin breath'd over the whole the charm air.” The mind of a writer must of ideal beauty, he seizes the penever be at ease and, like the Alps, cil and with patient industry tower sublime and unmoved amid gradually gives to the fleeting vithe conflict of the passions. No sions of his imagination the permodern writer perhaps discovers manence of real existence. But more warmth of imagination or this is not the effect of mere imrapidity of conception than Rous- pulse. It is the creation of genius, seau. His success in letters how- aided by study and developed by ever was the consequence of the industry. Hence also the writer, unwearied exertion of a superiour ambitious of literary fame, is conmind. Je les consacrais, says vinced with Pope, that he in speaking of his works, les True ease in writing comes from art, insomnies de mes nuits. Je me- not chance. ditais dans mon lit, à yeux fermés Like the painter, he attends to what et je tournois et rétournois mes pe- may be termed the mechanical part
of composition. After the acqui- would hardly expend on an octavo. sition of ideas, which have been The author of the Æneid was twenstrengthened by reflection and ty-seven years in perfecting that chastened by purity of taste, he beautiful mental fabrick, which,like submits them to a correct arrange the Grecian temples, happily comment and embodies them in a per- bines simplicity with grandeur, and spicuous and harmonious expres- dignity with taste. Even some of the sion. From their continued atten- moderns have been convinced of tion to these three constituents, this truth. The celebrated author thoughts, arrangement, and style, of « Les Lettres Provinciales” reresults the interest with which the cords, that he was agit::ted ten works of some authors are read. whole days in fixing the significaWe are hurried along by a pleas- tion of a single word. The whole ing violence, and mistake the effect life of the musing Gray afforded of the taste, the judgment, and the the world, but a small bouquet of profound exertions of the writer, intellectual flowers, and even some for the unaffected, spontaneous of these were culled from the rich flow of nature. We seize the pen fields of ancient literature. These with a desire to imitate, but soon examples are sufficient to prove, resign it in despair, convinced how that by those, who have most exnear the perfection of art and the celled in literary composition, fine effusions of nature approach each writing has been considered an other. These are the authors .one art, the acquirement of which dedelights to read. These are the pended on a profound and continsublime souls, that seem to have ued exertion of intellect. Ideas caught a ray of inspiration from undoubtedly form the first object heaven to conduct their fellow, of attention, but language, though mortals through mazes of erroui, a subordinate, is still an essential to the sacred bowers of eternal part. Indeed the effect of the fortruth and happiness.
mer results,in a great degree, from The ancients, more honest than the character of the latter. It is by the moderns, acknowledged the the union of these, that the enrapdifficulty of acquiring the art of tured soul is fired by writing well. They never imag
Thoughts that breathe, and words ined, that tardiness of composition that burn." necessarily implied poverty of ideas, nor that application damped We cannot but admire, therefore, , the mental flame. They prefer the pains that our authors take to red the steady blaze of intellect to
send forth to the world their ima meteorous brilliancy, which ex
becile productions, which survive pires in the effort that gave it but a day, and then lie dusty and birth. For examples we might neglected on the bookbinder's shelf, mention the poet Euripides, who till they are transported, with other was employed three days in the literary trash, to the pastry cook's composition of as many verses ;
or the trunkmaker's. To these and the orator Isocrates, whose At: writers, thus infected with the catick taste found exercise for ten
coethes scribendi, we would recomyears on a single oration. The illus- mend the observation of an ancient trious Cicero could not pen even a
painter, who, when he was accused familiar epistle, without bestowing of tardiness of execution, replied, on it a degree of labour, which the Diu pingo,quum in æternum pingo, fcopomy of our modern writers
For the Monthly Anthology. HOMINE,
Si hic fiósculus, in vestrâ Anthologiâ ipositus, boni aliquid vel naribitus vel oculis haberet, inserite, ac alios mittam,
Pallentesque pedis metu.
Hoc desiderium opům ?
For the Monthl; Anthology.
o fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint,
Fundit humo facilém victum justissima tellus. - VIRGIL.
On yonder hills, that skirt the eastern sky,
Oft have I view'd in still and sultry hours,
No seeming friend beside his bosom laid,
When Day retiring fires the glowing west
And through the naked woods when cold winds blow,
Thus Aow his hours harmonious, tranquil, clear,
To the Editors, of the Monthly Anthology. GENTLEMEN,
If the following be too trifling for insertion in the Anthology, it is requested, that it may be laid by without notice.
Thou canst not now drink dew from flowers,
For the Monthly Anthology. GENTLEMEN,
Several susceptible youths of your city having been lately employed in making woeful ballads to their mistress' eye-brow, it entered my noddle to attempt something after their manner upon the interesting object of my tenderest attachments..... Dolly.
EPISTLE TO DOLLY.
FROM the dark gulf of comfortless despair
* Lately discovered