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fund of information, from which a judicious Reader can so well form his ideas of the general History and complexion of the Times, or of the Cuftoms and Manners of a People: nay, we will not scruple to affirm, that a discerning foreigner will become better acquainted with the Genius and Manners of a Nation, by a regular perusal of their public Prints for some few months, than by rambling from one end of the country to the other, and holding an imperfect conuerfation within a narrow circle of acquaintance for as many years. There is one observation, however, it may not be here improper to make, by way of advice to those ingenious Writers, who occasionally exercise their pens in ridicule of the fingularities, foibles, or follies, of their cotemporaries; and who, by an error they are too apt to fall into, defeat in a great measure the end of their design, as well as the useful purposes above hinted. This error lies in their mismanagement of that beautiful figure, which they are nevertheless so fond of assuming, the srony; either swelling it out of all propriety, with prepoßerous hyperbole on the one hand, or, on the other, leaving it fo feeble and equivocal, that the Reader is at a loss to know whether the Writer is in jett or earnest. We could point out some pieces wherein this error is Aagrant, in the Miscellany before us; which, on the whole, however, is not injudiciously compiled, but affords an agreeable fund of recollection and amusement. In justice to the St. James's Chronicle we may also add, that no other Paper of intelligence, now fublifting, could have afforded such a variety of sprightly and entertaining materials; for most of which, we are informed, the Public is obliged to che very ingenious Authors of the CONNOISSEUR.
Konk Art. 15. A familiar Explanation of the Poetical Works of Milton.
To which is prefixed, Mr. Addison's Criticism on Paradise Loft. With a Preface, by the Rev. Mr. Dodd. 12mo, 25. 6 d.. Tonson.
May do well enough for children! Alas! poor Milton! Who knows but thou mayeit yet be transformed into a Spelling-book?
RELIGIOUS. Art. 16. An Address to the Deists. Being a Proof of Revealed
Religion, from Miracles ard Prophecies. In which the principal Objections against the Christian Revelation, and especially against tbe Resurrection of Jesus, are considered and confuted. In Answer to a Moral Philosopher. The second Edition, with large Additions; and a Preface, fhewing the Folly and Danger of Deifm. By John Jackson, Rector of Rossington in the County of York, and Master of Wigston's Hospital in Leicester. 8vo. 2s. 6 d. Whilton.
The Additions to this well-known and justly-approved Work, are very considerable; and we cannot too carnestly recommend it to che confideration of those who have any scruples concerning the Evidence
of the Christian Religion, which may be drawn from the Prophecies
pendix, containing Reflections on Deism and Christianity. By
The moderate and ingenious Writer of the Pamphle: now before us, publishes it with a solemn affirmation of its being a true narrative: whatever opinion therefore, may be formed of the hero of the piece, affects not the Editor; who is only answerable in point of veracity. Matter of fact is to be related, not contrived.
This Deist was born in a remote country place, of fanatical parents, in whose narrow tenets he was assiduously educated; and he was particularly grounded in the doctrines of election, reprobation, juftification by imputed righteousness, fanctification, &c. It must be owned, that in the various particulars related concerning this family, a very just picture is drawn of those narrow-minded, gloomy christians, who too much abound in country places, where knowledge cannot penetrate to correct the prejudices of education : as the peafants are wise in their ignorance; and like the deaf adder that poppeth her ear ;-- will not bearken to tbe voice of charmers, charming ever go wisely.
One incident in this narrative is so humorous, and withal so na. tural, that we are induced to treat our Readers with it, as well as ourselves.
• The following incident may lead the Reader to judge of the strange temper of this man, and into what monsters of ferocity and uncharitableness, an itch for 'controversy, and a passionate zeal for some opinions, that are once thought fundamental, are capable of transforming men. A neighbour, with whom the old man* had held many a long and warm conference, and who, as it always happens in disputes, could neither convince nor be convinced, was desirous to see Dr. TAYLOR's Book on Original Sin, which then made a a great noise in that country, in order to furnish him with some heavy artillery against the strong-holds of his opponents. A gentle. man in the town had purchafed this Book, and the young Man † was desired by his neighbour to borrow it of him, and bring it home in his pocket, but not to acquaint his father. He accordingly spoke to the gentleman, received the Book, brought it home, and being tired, laid it carelesly upon a table, and went to Bed. The old man opened it-It was the book, he had heard so much of-He knew not whether to read it, or to burn it Down he fat, at eleven at night, and read, and fumed, and raged, in all the Variety of Palfions, that bigotted fury can throw a Person into. He read and read, till he actually thought, as he said afterwards, that the earth would open under his feet, and sink him to hell. His principles, he said, were so unsettled, and such blasphemous thoughts suggested
+ The future Deift.
The Deitt's Father,
themselves to his debauched mind, as he phrased it, that he was forced to fetch his beloved Owen on in-dwelling Sin, to restore Peace and comfort to his soul. But what should he do with this heretical, foul-deluding book? He durit not let it stay in his house 'till the morning, for fear of fetting it on fire. He took it up in a violent rag?, uttering execrations upon it as he went, laid it at the foot of an oak that grew before the door, and thought he did a wonderful act of Christian charity, in laying a cold ftone upon it, to save it from the rain and dew of heaven. The night he spent without closing his eyes, full of racking cares, and most tormenting inquietude, lelt his lon should have been infected with its principles; but was comforted in the morning, when he was affured, that the youth had never opened it, nor read a line in it.'
This young man, in process of time came to London ; where, by conversation with persons of different persuasions, his principles began to waver ; and by frequenting the Robin Hood Society, became entirely changed: in brief, he grew an infidel with respect to Revelation, and a votary to sensual pleasures. Excesses destroyed his health, to recover which, he returned to the place of his nativity. Here one of his sister's children coming from school, and being questioned concerning her proficiency in reading, he opened her teftament at random, and happened to read Heb. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4. the words ftruck him, and occafioned a serious recollection; when a reperusal of the scriptures, and Dr. Benson's vindication of the Christian Religion, made a fourth believer of him.
It is imposible to avoid remarking in general, that this instance is not perhaps so happy a one in all its circumstances, as were to be wilhed, for the credit of the worthy cause it is published to serve. People frequently ruth from one extreme to the opposite ; there is nothing therefore extraordinary, that a youth of vivacity, bred in fanatical principles, should be argued into scepticism, by the licentious discourses in a mug-house, where all religious topics are so familiarly debated. As little is it to be wondered at, that a person enfeebled with disorder, and returned to the place where he received his firft impressions, should, by an accidental impulse, find a returning propensity towards the principles he there imbibed in his youth.
To conclude our observations on this story, the conversion of an infidel member of any of the disputing societies, however much to be wished, is undeserving the triumph of a public declaration ; unIcfs the motive to converlion had been more worthy insisting on, and likely to be generally useful in the conversion of others.
In the Appendix containing Reflections on Deism and Christianity, which, in our estimation, is by far the best portion of the Pamphlet, Mr. Harwood appears as a rational and candid advocate for the Christian fyftem. These Reflections we wbuld seriously recommend, on the one hand, to the perulal of all arbitrary bigoes to an establishment and religion they evidently do not understand ; and on the other, to all ignorant bigots to scepticism and opposition ; who, if they are but dilposed to read, will assuredly profit by them.
N The Remainder of the Catilogue will be inforted in our APPEN
The Quarto and Oitavo Editions of the Works of Henry Field
ing, E/?; with the Life of tbe Author, by Mr. Murphy,
material circumstances in the earliest part of Mr. Fielding's life, mentioned some of his dramatic writings, and given an abstract of Mr. Murphy's disquisition concerning genius, we shall here resume this entertaining essay on the life and genius of Mr. Fielding.
Our entertaining Biographer, pursuing his enquiry into the nature and properties of genius, observes, “ That he may be truly said to be a GENIUS, who possesses the leading faculties of the mind in their vigour, and can exercise them with warmth and spirit upon whatever subject he chuses; that the imagination must be very quick and fusceptible, in order to receive the strongest impressions either from the objects of nature, the works of art, or the actions and manners of men ; that the judgment also must be clear and strong, to select the proper parts of a story or description, to dispose the various members of a work, so as to give a lucid order to the whole, and to use such expression as Thall not only ferve to convey the intended ideas, but to convey them forcibly, and with that decorum of stile, which the art of composition requires; that invention must also concur, that new scenery may be opened to the fancy, new lights thrown upon the prospects of nature, and the sphere of our ideas be enlarged, Vol. XXVI.
or a new assemblage be formed of them, either in the way oí fable or illustration. The power of the mind, adds 'he, which exerts itself in what Mr. Locke calls the association of ideas, must be quick, vigorous, and warm, because it is from thence that language receives its animated figures, its bold translation of phrases from one idea to ano her, the Verbum ardens, the glowing metaphorical expression, which constitutes the richness and boldness of his imagery; and from thence likewise springs the readiness of ennobling a sentiment or description with the pomp of sublime comparison, or striking it deeper on the mind by the aptness of witty allufion. Mr. Murphy fupposes, that what we call genius; might be still more minutely analysed; but these, he concludes, are its principal efficient qualities; and in proportion as these, or any of these, shall be found deficient in an au many degrees shall he be removed from the first rank and character of a Writer,
To bring these remarks home to the late Mr. Fielding, an estimate of him, says our Biographer, may be justly formed, “ by enquiring how far these various talents may be attributed to him; or if he failed in any, what that faculty was, and what discount he must suffer for it. But though ic will appear, perhaps, that when he attained that period of life, in which his mind was come to its full growth, he enjoyed every one of these qualifications, in great strength and vigour; yet in order to give the true character of his talents, to mark the distinguishing specific qualities of his genius, we must look into the temper of the man, and see what byas it gave to his understanding; for when abilities are pofleffed in an eminent degree by several men, it is the peculiarity of habit that must discriminate them from each other.
" A Love of imitation, continues our Author, very soon prevailed in Mr. Fielding's mind. By imitation the reader will not understand that illegitimate kind, which consists in mimicking fingularities of person, feature, voice, or manner; but that higher species of representation, which delights in just and faithful copies of human life. So early as when he was at Leyden, a propensity this way began to exert its emotions, and even made some efforts towards a comedy in the sketch of Don Quixote in England. When he left that place, and settled in London, a variety of characters could not fail to attract his notice, and of course to strengthen his favourite inclination. It has been already observed, that distress and disappointinents betrayed him into occasional fits