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cold and shallow mediocrity was incapable either of sympathizing with his sensibilities, or of fathoming his deductions, made his greatness a reproach to him, and ridiculed his intellect for being superior to their own. Some philosophers, also, of that malignant school which affects the absence of feeling to disguise its perversion, joined in a league of abusive controversy; and madness and despotism were themes of invective, against one of the wisest and the best of men.
Upon the whole, we must impute to Mr. Burke some of the evils we have suffered, but posterity may reap unmixed advantage from his works. He combined the greatest talents of the greatest men, and his judgment was overmatched, not by the abilites of others, but by his own. He roused, by a wound, the sleeping tyger of Democracy, and provoked, and almost justified, his devastations. Had he lived in the most despicable age, his genius would have exalted it; had he lived in the most tranquil age, his conduct might have disturbed it. He has left a space that will not soon be filled. He described a grand, but irregular course ; his meridian was more tolerable than his descending ray; but the heat with which he scorched us will soon be no longer felt, while the light which he diffuser will shine upon us forever.
THE LITERARY WORLD FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Dobson's PETRARCH-Philadelphia Edition, 2 vols. 12mo.
Many years have elapsed since the indefatigable Abbe de Sade, in the fervour of his zeal for one of the restorers of literature, published three huge quartos, as a sort of Life of Petrarch, the wellknown hermit of Vaucluse, and the romantic lover of Laura. On the appearance of this overgrown work, all the Learned agreed that its laborious author deserved well of the literary commonwealth ; but that either the magnitude of his collections, or the copiousness, not to say the prolixity of his style, would terrify cvery indolent reader. The enormous size of these volumes, so obviously rebellious against the common code of biographical coinposition, did, indeed, dleter many from the purchase and perusal of a book, in which it was apprehended there would be found inore flagrant proofs of the garrulity of a Frenchman, than of the accuracy of a compiler. Moreover, doubts were started with respect to the genuineness of some of the manuscripts,
There was a clamorous
evidently open, and though
to which the Abbe pretended he had access.
. The guarded silence of the prudent Abbe, and the cunning crafiiness of a venal bookseller contributed, very essentially, to corroborate the incredulity of Criticism.
But while the Indolence of some, and the Scepticism of others thus powerfully operated to check the sale, and retard the popularity of this cumbrous performance, elegant scholars on the continent, togethe er with the whole choir of Phabus in Great Britain, plainly perceived that though the Abbe's field was vast, it did not follow that it was barren; and that although some of its ornaments might be artificial, yet it was probable the curious eye might discover many flowers of a perennial character. In a life, checkered by romantic vicissitudes, at an epoch, memorable in the annals of Literature, men might find both instruction and delight. A gold mine was the first discoverer produced but huge masses of the crude ore, some more adroit artificer miglit fashion it for use, and polish it for beauty.
About the commencement of the American revolution, Mrs. DoeSON, a literary lady of Liverpool, instead of indulging herself in libels against crowns, or eulogies upon colonists, like Mrs. Macauley, and of Faction for the bowers of Literature, and read Poetry much more other viragoes of a similar stamp, wisely relinquished the bickerings devoutly than Petitions. Soame Jenyns, a inost elegant scholar,
a diligent inquirer, and a gentleman of the old Court, probably exhorted this Lady to attempt an abridgment of the Abbe's Memoires. elegant epitome, executed with sufficient spirit, was, in fact, dedicawith his honoured name, a work dubious in its principles, or slovenly ted, by permission, to Mr. Jenynis, who never would have sanctioned in its execution. In this animated address to her Patron, the learned Lady abundantly testifies her high sense of the honour of his indulgence, and pays a perfectly well-deserved compliment to the captivating conversation and elegant and philosophical writings of one, whose style was as sweet as ADDISON’s, although his politics and his party were directly the reverse of those of the awkward secretary of the First Dutch George.
MONTAIGNE, in one of his desultory chapters, wishes that his work might become a parlour window book. Few productions of a light and desultory character have been more popular than Mrs. Dobson's ingenious summary, which it may be said emphatically is a of this Lady's style, the great power of enchantment, which leads a toilet table book. Independently of the sweetness and attractiveness vast multitude of women, and men soft, idle, and luxurious like women, is the marvellous pleasant love story of the fining Petrarch, and the
languishing Laura. In this best of all possible worlds, while lightning smiles and downcast looks, sunny locks and radiant smiles, looks expressive, and sighs suppressed, thoughts that breathe and words that burn constitute a section in the vocabulary of love, so long will the description of anything in the shape of an intrigue witch the imagination of young men and maidens. We must confess that, in our deliberate opinion, whatever relates to Petrarch and Laura, those amorous Signs, whether in opposition or conjunction, is, to the last degree, idle, insipid, and insignificant. We are excessively incredulous even of the existence of such an attachment, as has been so nauseously, so tiresomely, and so everlastingly described. Taking this romantic story for granted, the fond admirers of the lovesick Italian will place their favourite in a very awkward dilemma. If his passion was merely metaphysical and sentimental, a very darling idea which prigs like Sam Richardson, or prudes like his Miss Howe, dwell upon with rapture, then Petrarch was a fool. If his ardour were so ungovernable that he was seriously in love with his neighbour's svife, we need not go very far, nor run knocking at the door of the Decalogue, to discover that he was a roguc. In the first case, the learned Petrarch, witle all the absurdity of Don Quixote, passes whole days and nights in the enjoyment of an ideal mistress, and consequently is as crazy and contemptible as the knight of the rueful face; and, upon the second supposition, he is not a very proper person to be led into a modest woman's drawing-room, or to be introduced by Mrs. Dobson, or any other literary lady, Mrs. Clarke always excepted.
Turning aside, with all possible contempt, from these phantoms of Gallantry, we fix our whole regards upon Petrarch, the hermit, the poet, the historian, and the philosopher; upon Petrarch, sequestered and studious at Vaucluse, and caressed and crowned at Rome; upon the adventurous scholar, piercing through the gloom of the fourteenth century, and boldly exploring his way with the Classical Lamp in his hand. It is in this capacity that we delight to behold him ; and when we remember that he gave unremitted attention to the whole circle of the Sciences, that he was assiduous in all the offices of Christian devotion, and one of the most indefatigable students of the age; that he was a man of business, and a man of the world, occupied with ecclesiastical engagements and by court cares, familiar with cardinals, legates, popes, and all the literati, his contemporaries, that moreover, in a life of no uncommon duration he found time to compose. folios upon a vast variety of learned and intricate topics, besides keeping up an extensive correspondence with most of the great men of his time, it is very improbable that he was long or desperately in love with Laura, or any other Italiau gipsy, chaste; or unchaste:
In Life's visit, he has
The legitimate pretensions of these little volumes to the favour of the rational reader are the softness, sweetness, and simplicity of Our Lady of Liverpool's style, and above all, the pious, the philosophical, and the literary character of Petrarch, who, like ERASMUS, amid innumerable cares and perplexities in sickness and in sorrow, always found time to do his duty and to do it well. left his name ; and his Italian and Latin works, in despite of the sneers of Gibbon, are a perennial monument not merely of his invincible Industry, but of the fertility of his Genius, the variety of his Learning, and the dexterity of his Wit.
From the last and seventh edition of this fascinating work, Messrs, Finley and Hopkins, two young gentlemen of literary taste in this city, have printed a very neat and commodious edition. ness of its circulation we have no doubt, as it is a book both cheap and popular, and as it exhibits a very graceful portrait of a learned, a good, and a great man, who acted a much more important part on the Stage half a dozen of his fourteen-stringed verses may be read, and, perhaps, of Life, than that of a whining Amoroso, or a woful Sonnetteer. admired by a genuine disciple of the Concetti school, but most of Petrarch's compositions of this character, as well as the fanatic sonnets of John Milton, are scarcely looked at now, except by the old women of Literature. Petrarch's copious literature, and not his unmanly Muse, when drudging over rugged sonnets to a sectary, is certainly wailing has given him a rank among eminent authors; and Milton's as awkwardly employed as Queen Elizabeth or the Empress of Rug
stooping over a wash-tub:
Of the extensive
sia, discovered darning stockings, or
a clear head.
THE SENTENTIOUS, OR SERIOUS WORLD.
(Continued from page 133.) Do not attempt to be a public speaker unless you have a clear voice and
During a fit of musical ecstasy, every nerve of the human body is in mo. tion, and this may account for the power of Music over
However astonishing it may appear, it is certain that a mite in cheese is as regularly organized as an elephant.
Do not accustom yourself to swear.
There are words enough in the
Riding the managed horse and fencing are noble and manly exercises. They give an elevation of mind that only belongs to a polished gentleman.
Be abstemious two days in a week. This is a good catholic doctrine, and most useful in a country where animal food is abundant.
Men who are prodigal of their promises are mostly misers of their formance.
Never attempt to execute anything in public, unless you can well in private.
Out of a great number of bare elbows, not above one pair in ten ought to make their appearance in public.
When you are in doubt about a thing, sleep one night upon it, and probably you will awake with a clear determination.
When you are disposed to be serious, you will often find disturbed by an Invisible Power.
Repel that Power, and, in time, you will gain a victory.
When you have seen other countries, you will then know what value to affix to your own.
When you find yourself out of humour, drink three glasses of wine ; but, if y
your bad humour be occasioned by wine, then drink as many draughts of cold water.
A young man who has gamed a way his fortune is not without his use; he stands as a guide.post, that with an extended finger directs the road to ruin.
Take away your expensive follies, and you will have little reason to coni. plajn of hard times.
Of all men a lounger is least to be envied. His mind has lost all activity, and he is never happy but when he goes to bed.
A woman should never take a lover without the consent of her heart, or husband without the approbation of her reason.
Long habits reconcile us to every thing. A criminal, when liberated, finds it difficult to sleep without his fetters.
Apostates are anxious to prove the sincerity of their conversion by the violence of their conduct.
A wise man, who marries a fool, dines alone all the days of his life.
Nothing can be so truly uncomfortable as an old bachelor, who has not a maiden sister to take care of him.
When you have the misfortune to get drunk, go quietly to bed, and do not venture into sober company, to show how sober you are.
Forget nothing but the injuries done to you.
Never borrow money to pay the expenses of a country escursion. If you have not the cash, stay at home.
"Mind what I say, and not what I do,” is not the doctrine of an apostle. If Solomon had meant his song as a representation of the church of Christ,
he would have sung a more decent one.
Green and blue are the two colours that are the most pleasant to the eye of man.