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very many of the pamphlets, which ar has had many followers, who tread.
continually issuing from the press, ap- close in his steps. The Connoisseur, pear to deserve equal credit : --we will the World, the Adventurer, the Essays Dame only the letters of Junius, and of Goldsmith, the Mirror, the Idler, the Vindiciæ Gallicæ of Mackintosh., and the Rambler, have had, perhaps, The force and spirit of Swift's wit was equal effect in combating, by wit or of the highest rank; but our day has reason, the reigning follies and vices of produced geniuses as original in the the nation. We may acknowledge the walks of humour; and, since it is im- exquisite powers of Addison in describpoffible to define wit, or to estimate it. ing life and manners : but the delicate by any rules of composition, we have humour with which he has drawn a few no right to condemn the taste of those characters, cannot be placed in comwho prefer the humour of Sterne, or petition with the truth of expression, Walcot, to the Tale of a Tub, or the and force of colouring, with which mothe Adventures of a Gulliver.
dern manners are painted in the novels We will readily grant Addison his of Goldsmith, Smollet, and Fielding. full praise--that he enchants us with It must not be ranked with the sublimi. all the polite and elegant graces of wit, ty and pathos of Richardson, who has and all the attractions of moral beauty created a new species of fiction, and, -that his papers, in that celebrated in scenes fully worthy of Shakespeare, work the Spectator, are eminently has exhibited the deformity of vice, aud beautiful. In this mode of writing hé the beauty of virtue.
K. ON THE LITERARY CHARACTER. THE modes of life of a man of ge- making a great fortune. We sympanius are often tinctured with eccentrici- thise with the merchant when he comty and enthusiasm. These are in an ex- municates melancholy to the social circle ternal conflict with the usages of com- in consequence of a bankruptcy, or when moo life. His occupations, his amuse- he feels the elation of prosperity at the ments, and his ardour, are discordant: success of a valt Speculation. The author to daily pursuits, and prudential habits. is not less immersed in cares, or agitaIt is the characteristic of genius to dif- ted by success ; for literature has its bankplay no talent to ordinary men ; and it ruptcies and its speculations. is unjust to censure the latter, when they The anxieties and disappointments of consider him as born for no human pur- an author, even of the most successful, pose. Their pleasures and their for- are incalculable. If he is learned, learnsows are not his pleasures and his for. ing is the torment of unquenchable Tows : He often appears to Number in thirst, and his elaborate work is expodishonourable ease, while his days are sed to the accidental recollection of an paffed in labours, more constant and inferior mind, as well as the fatal omisa more painful than those of the manu- sions of wearied vigilance. If he exfacturer. The world is not always a- cels in the magic of diction, and the ware, that to meditate, to compose, and graces of fancy, his path is strewed even to converse with some, are great with roses, but his feet bleed on invi. labours : and, as Hawkesworth ob- fible yet piercing thorns. Rousseau has ferves, “'that weariness may be con- given a glowing description of the ceafetracted in an arm chair.”
less inquietudes by which he acquired Such men are also censured for an skill in the arts of composition; and has irritability of difpofition. Many reasons faid, that with whatever talent a man might apologize for these unhappy vari. may be born, the art of writing is not ations of humour. The occupation of easily obtained. making a great name is, perhaps, more It is observed by M. La Harpe (an anxious and precarious than that of author by profession) that as it has been VOL. LVIII.
proved there are some maladies peculiar price of nature. A curious lift
A curious lift may be to artists, there are also sorrows which formed of are peculiar to them; and which the Fears of the brave and follies of the wise. world can neither pity nor soften, be
Fobnon. cause it cannot have their conceptions. In the note underneath, I have thrown We read not without a melancholy e together a few facts which may be pasmotion, the queralous expressions of fed over by those who have no taste for men of genius. We have a little cata- literary anecdotes *. logue de calamitate Literatorum ; we
But it is also necessary to acknowmight add a volume by the addilion of ledge, that men of genius are often unmost of our own authors.
justly reproached with foibles. The The votaries of the arts and sciences sports of a vacant mind are misunderare called by Cicero, Heroes of Peace ; ftood as follies. The simplicity of truth their labours, their dangers, and their may appear vanity, and the consciousintrepidity, make them heroes ; but ners of fuperiority, envy. Nothing is peace is rarely the ornament of their fe
more usual than our surprise at some verish existence.
great writer or artist contemning the laSome are now only agreeable, who bours of another, whom the public chemight have been great writers, had their rish wich equal approbation. We place application to study, and the modes of it to the account of his envy, but per, their life, been different. lo Mr Greaves'
haps this opinion is erroneous, and lively recollections of his friend Mr claims a concise investigation. Shenstone, are some judicious observa
Every superior writer has a manner tions on this subject. He has drawn a of his own, with which he has been comparison between the elevated abili- long conversant, and too often inclines ties of Gray, and the humble talents of to judge of the merit of a performance Shenstone : and he has essayed to shew, that it was the accidental circumstan- * Voiture was the son of a vintner, and, ces of Gray's place of birth, education, like our Prior, was so mortified whenever rehis admittance into some of the best minded of his original occupation, that it
was said of him, that wine which cheared the circles, and his assiduous application to
heart of all men, fickened that of Voiture. science, which gave him that superiori- Rousseau, the poet, was the son of a cobler ; ty over the indolence, the retirement, and when his honest parent waited at the and the inertion of a want of patronage, door of the theatre, to embrace his fon on which made Shenstone, as Gray fami- the success of his first piece, the inhuman poet liarly said, “ hop round his walks” like repulsed the venerable father with insult and
Akenside ever considered his a bird in a string.
an unsupportable misfortune, Men of genius are often reverenced since it continually reminded him of his orie only where they are known by their gin,, being occasioned by the fall of a cleaver writings . In the romance of life, they butcher. Milton delighted in contemplacing
from one of his father's blocks, a refpeciable are divinities ; in its history, they are his own person, and the engraver not having
From errors of the mind, and read; ed our fublime bard's “ idcal grace," derelictions of the heart, they may not he has pointed his indignation in four iambe exempt; these are perceived by their bics. Among the complaints of Pope, is that acquaintance, who can often discern on
of " the pi&tured shape.” Even the strong
minded Johnson would not be painted ly these qualities. The defects of great
blinking Sam.” Mr Boswell tells us, that men are the confolation of the dunces. Goldsmith attempted to thew his agility to
For their foibles it seems more diffi- be superior to the dancing of an ape, whose cult to account than for their vices; for praise had occasioned him a fit of jealousy, à violent passion depends on its direc- but he failed in imitating his rival. The intion to become either excellence or de- his character with lavish panegyric, and a
fcription under Boileau's portrait, describing pravity ; but why their exalted mind preference to Juvenal and Horace, is unfortushould not preserve them from the im- nately known to have been written by himself. becilities of fools, appears a mere ca.
by the degree it attains of his favourite how more sensibly alive to a variety of manner. He errs, because impartial exquisite strokes which the other has men of taste are addicted to no manner,
not yet perceived ? the author is familiar but love whatever is exquisite. We with every part, and the reader has but often see readers draw their degree of a vague notion of the whole. How comparative merit, from the manner of many noble conceptions of Rousseau are their favourite author; an author does not yet mastered ? How many profound the same, that is, he draws it from him- reflections of Montesquieu are not yet self
. Such a partial standard of taste understood ? How many subtile leffons is erroneous ; but it is more excusable are yet in Locke, which no preceptor in the author than the reader.
can teach! This observation will serve to explain Such, among others, are the reasons several curious phenomena in literature. which may induce an author to exThe witty Cowley despised the natural press himself in language which may Chaucer; the classical Boileau, the sound like vanity. To be admired, is rough sublimity 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 expressing with the artificial Gray, the simple Shen- ardour the consciousness of genius. We stone. Each alike judged by that pe- are not more displeased 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, those he purposes to do.
Modern mowho had listened without taste or under- desty might, perhaps, to some be more standing, if he had been a haberdasher engaging, if it were modesty ; but our in anecdotes, would have hastened to artificial blushes are like the ladies' temreposit in his warehouse of literary falli- porary rouge, ever ready to colour the ties, a long declamation on the vanity face on any occasion. Some will not and envy of these great men.
place their names to their books, yet. It has long been acknowledged, that prefix it to their advertisements; others every work of merit, the more it is ex- pretend to be the editors of their own amined, the greater the merit will ap- works ; fome compliment themselves pear. The most masterly touches, and in the third person ; and many, conthe reserved graces, which form the cealed under the shive of anonymus pride of the artist, are not observable till criticism, form panegyrics, as elaborate after a familiar and constant meditation, and long as Pliny's on Trajan, of their What is most refined is least obvious; works and themselves; yet, in a conand to some mut remain unperceived versation, start at a compliment and
quarrel at a quotation. Such modelt But ascending from these elaborate authors resemble certain ladies, who in strokes in composition, to the views and public are equally celebrated for the designs of an author, the more profound coldest chastity. and extensive these are, the more they
Consciousness of merit characterises clude the reader's apprehension. I re. men of genius ; but it is to be lamented, line not too much when I say, that the that the illusions of self-love are not die author is conscious of beauties, that are tinguishable from the realities of convot in his composition. The happiest sciousness
. Yet if we were to take from writers are compelled to see some of fome their pride of exultation, we antheir most magnificent ideas float along nihilate the germ of their excellence. the immensity of mind, beyond the The persuasion of a just posterity smoothfeeble grasp of expresfion. Compare ed the fleepless pillow, and spread a the state of the author with that of the sunshine in the folitude of Bacon, Monreader; how copious and overflowing tesquieu, and Newton; of Cervantes, is the mind of the one to the other :
D 2 Gray,
Gray, and Milton. Men of genius an- for encouragement, when he first finds ticipate their contemporaries, and know the notice of a person of fome eminence, they are such, long before the tardy has expressed himself in language which consent of the public.
gratitude, a finer reafon than reason itThey have also been accused of the felf, inspired.
inspired. Strongly has Milton meanest adulations ; it is certain that expressed the sensations of this paffion, many have had the weakness to praise “ the debt immense of endless gratiunworthy men, and some the courage tude.” Who ever pays an“ immense to erase what they have written. A debt" in small sums? young writer unknown, yet languishing
From D'Ifraeli's Efay.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF
FROM MURPHY'S TRAVELS IN PORTUGAL. THE inhabitants of Lisbon may be feminary at Lisbon is deficient in all : ranked under four classes, riz. the no- these points. It appears, therefore, bility, the clergy, the traders, and the that the nobility have made a bad exlabouring people. The observations I change. There is a wide difference beam about to offer on each class, con- tween a college of nobles and a noble tain
very little more than may be col. college. lected by every one in the streets or the The nobility, comparatively speaking, a roads, in markets or cottages. To pro. are not very rich ; for though their paceed in the most natural order, we should trimonies are large, their rents are small. begin with the pedestals of the state; I doubt if any of them has ever seen but, for once, we shall reverse the or. map of his estate, or exactly knows its der of the structure, and commence boundaries. "If ever they design to turn with what is called “ the Corinthian their attention toward the constructing capitals of polished society.”
of roads and canals, and not consider The nobility may be considered as a agriculture a pursuit unworthy of gentlebody entirely distinct from the other men, they will become the richest nothree ; the principal affairs of the state bility in Europe, on account of the vast are committed to their trust; they re- extent of their landed possessions. fide in the capital, or its environs, and In the distribution of their fortunes, feldom visit their estates in the provin- they shew great prudence without the ces. They esteem it an honour to be appearance of parlimony. A country born in the capital, and also to dwell wherein there are no race-horses, licenthere. They are educated likewise at fed gambling houses, or expensive misLisbon, in a college founded for the tresses, a gentleman may live splendid. purpose by King Joseph. Hence it is ly upon a moderate income ; fortunatecalled the Collegio dos Nobres, the ly these allurements to diflipation are College of Nobles. Prior to the esta- unknown to them. Nor do they exblishment of this college, they were e. cite the envy of the poor by midnight ducated at Coimbra, a place apparently orgies or gilded chariots. Their time much better adapted for that purpose, is spent between their duty at court, as it possesses many advantages not to and the social enjoyments of private par. be found in a commercial city. The tics. fragrance of the air, the stillness of the The fine arts, which, to the superior country, and the delightful prospects classes of every nation of Europe, are with which Coimbra abounds, are great sources of the most refined pleasure, are incitements to study; besides, it is en- almost entirely neglected by the nobiliriched with immense literary treasures, ty of this country; neither do they apthe accumulation of ages; and its build. pear to take much pleasure in the cultiings are very magnificent. Now, the vation of the sciences, though they pos
sess moft excellent capacity for both. through this laudable channel, and the
with the foreign traders, who refide
There are several other men of emi- playing at cards. Dent talents among the clergy, but con- To visit any one above the rank of a cealed in gloomy cells; and what is ex. tradesman, it is necessary to wear a sword traordinary, the greater are their talents, and chapeau; if the family you visit be the more careful are they in fecluding in mourning, you must also wear black ; themselves from all communication with the servants would not consider a visitant the world. It may be asked then, why as a gentleman unless he came in a they do not oblige the world with some coach; to visit in boots would be an of their acquirements ? The reason is unpardonable offence, unless you wear very obvious; the Portuguese language fpurs at the same time. The master of is so little known, that there is little or the house precedes the visitant on his no sale for books written in that lan- going out, the contrary order takes guage out of the country, and in it, place in coming in. . reading is very far from being general ; The common people of Lisbon and very few books, therefore, will defray its environs are a laborious and hardy the expence of printing and paper, el-race ; many of them, by frugal living, pecially if they treat on scientific sub- lay up a decent competence for old age; jects. Thus are men of letters deter. it is painful to behold the trouble they red from making themselves known are obliged to take for want of proper