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furnished several suggestions likewise, to the writer, for which he is obliged.” This is not very fairly stated by Mr. P., who having applied to Doctor Strean for information respecting Goldsmith, the Doctor put into his hand a copy of the Essay, published in 1808, observing that it contained all he had to tell. The author of this life of the poet has employed much of what he found in the Essay, without having the courtesy to use marks of quotation.
DIBDIN'S BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TOUR.
In vol. ii. second edition, page 97, Doctor D. writes : “We have next a grand rencontre of the Knights attendant, carried on beneath a balcony of Ladies
Whose bright eyes
The Doctor must have some very peculiar notion of English versification, and the meaning of English words! Milton, whom he imagines he quotes, writes
“Rain influence and judge the prize.”.
Page 127, vol. ii. Doctor D. says in a note, speaking of Lascaris Grammatica Græca, 1476, “to the best of my recollection and belief, the finest copy of this most estimable book, is that in the library of the Right Hon. Thomas Grenville.” P. Lockhart Gordon, in the second volume of his
Memoirs, gives an account of his having purchased at Ferrara, a copy of Lascaris Gram. Græc. 1476, for thirty pounds; of a beauteous Greek type; and, though not the princeps, printed in the same year with it”!
Page 206, vol. ii. note. “For never did a kinder heart animate a well-stored head.” It were greatly to be desired that Doctor D. would please to tell his reader the meaning of this sentence!
Page 249, vol. ii. note. “In the poetical epistle which concludes the preface, he tells us that he had almost observed the Horatian precept; his poem having cost eight years labour.” Now, assuredly, the precept of Horace has in it nothing of the foregoing. The Roman poet, as every schoolboy knows, does not advise a writer to employ eight or nine years in the composition of any one work,—but, to lay aside what he
have written until the ninth year after he has finished the performance; and then, having examined it dispassionately, publish it or not, as he likes. He may write nine, or ninety, other works in the interim! The passage in the note referred to, is an amazing instance of ignorance or carelessness on the part of Doctor D., or of M. Lesne, whom he quotes.
Page 271, vol. ii. note. Doctor D. transcribes from M. Millin's description of a literary festival : “ Selon l'adage antique, les convivès étoient plus que trois, et moins que neuf.” It is to be hoped that Doctor Dibdin knew this to be a precious example of French prettiness and foolishness! The antique precept as to the guests, &c. at an entertainment,
was, that they should not be less in number than the Graces, nor more than the Muses.
Page 332, vol. ii. Speaking of Laugier the engraver, and his prints, the Doctor says, “Colour and feeling are their chief merit.” But the Doctor should have explained, for the benefit of “country gentlemen," and persons not familiar with the cant of artists, that when engravings only are mentioned, colour signifies the fine effect produced by a soft and graceful union of lights and shades.
The Doctor is fond of what ordinary readers and writers call hard words. Page 137, vol. iii. “ Only seven leaves, but pasted together; so that the work is an opistographised production.” And in the same page he speaks of “ a generally unknown xylographic performance.” The meaning of these tremendous adjectives may be discovered by the aid of a Greek Lexicon, and found to imply-leaves written upon both sides—and a work printed on blocks of wood. On the whole, Doctor D. writes—at least carelessly. Page 393, vol. iii. “ there wants only a few wiser heads.” Page 443, “ from which collection has been regularly published those livraisons,” &c.
THE FABLE OF THE BEES.
Bernard Mandeville, the author of “ The Fable of the Bees,” &c. was born in Holland, towards the latter part of the reign of Charles II. He had a coarse taste, but prodigious force of mind; and
scorned affectation of all sorts. He used to say of Addison, whose refinement disgusted him, that he was a parson in a tie-wig. Addison was undoubtedly in all respects the very reverse of Mandeville : in his writings, all piety and sweetness and softness; in fact, to use the pet phrase of modern reviewers, a twaddler ; and, if Lord Orford is to be believed, was not only habitually a tippler and a canter in his day of life, but talked sentiment, and religious sentiment too, under the influence of brandy, when dying ! Nothing, of its class, can be finer than Mandeville's
He sometimes argues dishonestly, but oftener with unanswerable acuteness; and his sneer is like what we may suppose the sneer of Satan. Page 189, vol. i. second ed n, London, 1723.
-“ for this reason, our English law, out of a most affectionate regard to the lives of the subjects, allows them (surgeons) not to be of any jury upon life and death ; as supposing that their practice itself is sufficient to harden and extinguish in them that tenderness, without which no man is capable of setting a true value upon the lives of his fellow creatures." This is ridiculous : surgeons are excused from attending on juries, because their assistance may be required professionally, and that their time may not be taken up with other affairs.
As to the hard-heartedness of surgeons, I can aver, from my long acquaintance with many, that the charge against them is infinitely unjust. They are in general, probably, men of peculiar sensibility
where human sufferings are concerned; and it is but reasonable to conclude that this is the case ; they, from science and reflection, best of all people, knowing what bodily pain is. Of course, an able operator does not allow his sensibility to appear, while employed in his important office, when tremors, exclamations of pity, &c. would be productive of additional misery to his patient. He is then, as I have many a time seen an eminent practitioner, cool, collected, decided; his eye firmly fixed, his lips compressed, his brow meditative; and his words, should he speak to give directions, few, and to the point. He is, in all he does, rapid indeed, but not hurried; aware that haste generates mistakes, and consequently increases torture.
One of the most thoroughly good-natured men I ever knew, a surgeon, who had been in the army, was proverbial for kindness of disposition, tranquillity of manner, and personal courage. He was seen by hundreds, quietly and scientifically employed in the field, dressing the wounded, in the presence of the enemy, and exposed to a fire of cannon and small
I knew another, the surgeon of a line-of-battle ship, and who nearly fainted from the excess of his feelings, and with the fatigue he underwent on the dreadful day of Trafalgar. Of this man, and this bloody day, I have a story to tell, the truth of which he himself confirmed to me, as far as manly pride would let him. During the heat of conflict, a seaman