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necessary; but, I doubt, you would not find the matter much mended here; our presses, as they improve in beauty, declining daily in accuracy: besides, you would find the expense very considerable, and the sale in no proportion to it, as, in reality, it is but few people in England that read currently and with pleasure the Italian tongue, and the fine old editions of their capital writers are sold at London for a lower price than they bear in Italy. An English translation I can by no means advise : the justness of thought and good sense might remain, but the graces of elocution (which make a great part of Algarotti's merit) would be entirely lost, and that merely from the very different genius and complexion of the two languages.
Doubtless there can be no impropriety in your making the same present to the University that you
have done to your own college. You need not at all to fear for the reputation of your friend; he has merit enough to recommend him in any country. A tincture of various sorts of knowledge, an acquaintance with all the beautiful arts, an easy command, a precision, warmth, and richness of expression, and a judgment that is rarely mistaken on any subject to which he applies it. I had read the Congresso di Citéra before, and was excessively pleased with it, in spite of prejudice; for I am naturally no friend to allegory, nor to poetical prose. “The Giudicio d' Amore” is an addition rather inferior to it. What gives me the least pleasure of any of his writings is the Newtonianism; it is so direct an imitation of Fontenelle, a writer not easy to imitate, and least of all in the Italian tongue, whose character and graces are of a higher style, and never adapt themselves easily to the elegant badinage and legereté of conversation that sit so well on the French. The essays and letters (many of them entirely new to me) on the Arts, are curious and entertaining: those on other subjects (even where
draw from this axiom for your use (not for my own), but I will leave you the merit of doing it for yourself. Pray tell me how your health is : I conclude it perfect, as I hear you offered yourself as a guide to Mr. Palgrave into the Sierra-Morena of Yorkshire. For me, I passed the end of May and all June in Kent, not disagreeably. In the west part of it, from every eminence, the eye. catches some long reach of the Thames or Medway, with all their shipping : in the east the sea breaks in upon you, and mixes its white transient sails and glittering blue expanse with the deeper and brighter greens of the woods and corn. This sentence is so fine I am quite ashamed ; but no matter! You must translate it into prose. Palgrave, if he heard it, would cover his face with his pudding sleeve. I do not tell you of the great and small beasts, and creeping things innumerable, that I met with, because you do not suspect that this world is inhabited by any thing but men, and women, , and clergy, and such two-legged cattle. Now I am here again very disconsolate, and all alone, for Mr. Brown is gone, and the cares of this world are coming thick upon me : you, I hope, are better off, riding and walking in the woods of Studley, &c. &c. I must not wish for you here ; besides, I am going to town at Michaelmas, by no means for amusement.
Pembroke-hall, Jan. 26, 1771. I REJOICE you have met with Froissart, he is the Herodotus of a barbarous age; had he but had the luck of writing in as good a language, he might have been immortal! His locomotive disposition (for then there was no other way of learning things); his simple curiosity, his religious credulity, were much like those of the old
have tant chevauché, as to get to the end of him, there is Monstrelet waits to take you up, and will set you down at Philip de Comines; but previous to all these, you should have read Villehardouin and Joinville. I do not think myself bound to defend the character of even the best of kings:t pray slash them all, and spare not.
It would be strange too if I should blame your Greek studies, or find fault with you for reading Isocrates: 1 did so myself twenty years ago, and in an edition at least as bad as yours. The Panegyric, the de Pace, Areopagitic, and Advice to Philip, are by far the noblest remains we have of this writer, and equal to most things extant in the Greek tongue; but it depends on your judgment to distinguish between his real and occasional opinion of things, as he directly contradicts in one place what he has advanced in another: for example, in the Panathenaic, and the de Pace, &c. on the naval of Athens ; the latter of the two is undoubtedly his own undisguised sentiment.
I would by all means wish you to comply with your friend's request, and write the letter he desires. I trust to the cause and to the warmth of your own kindness for inspiration. Write eloquently, that is from your heart, in such expressions as that will furnish.I Men sometimes catch that feeling from a stranger which should have originally sprung from their own heart.
* See more of his opinion of this author, Sect. IV. Letter X.XXVI.
+ I suppose his correspondent had made some strictures on the character of Henry Iỹ. of France. See Sect. IV. Letter XXII.
$-This short sentence contains a complete definition of natural eloquence; when it becomes an art it requires one more prolix, and our Author seems to have begun to sketch it on a detached paper. “ Its province (says he) is to reign over minds of slow perception and little imagination, to set things in lights they never saw them in; to engage their attention by details and circumstances gradually unfolded, to adorn and heighten them with images and colours unknown to them, and to raise and engage their rude passions to the point to which the speaker wishes to bring them.'
MR. GRAY TO DR. WHARTON.
May 24, 1771. y last summer's tour was through Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire, five of the most beautiful counties in the kingdom. The very principal light and capital feature of
my journey was the river Wye, which I descended in a boat for near forty miles from Ross to Chepstow. Its banks are a succession of nameless beauties; one out of many you may see not ill described by Mr. Whately, in his Observations on Gardening, under the name of the New Weir: he has also touched upon two others, Tinterne Abbey and Persfield, both of them famous scenes, and both on the Wye. Monmouth, a town I never heard mentioned, lies on the same river, in 'a vale that is the delight of my eyes, and the very seat of plea
The vale of Abergavenny, Ragland, and Chepstow castles ; Ludlow, Malvern-hills, Hampton Court, near Lemster; the Leasows, Hagley, the three cities and their cathedrals; and lastly, Oxford (where I passed two days on my return with great satisfaction), were the rest of my acquisitions, and no bad harvest in my opinion; but I made no journal myself, else you should have had it: I have indeed a short one written by the companion of my travels,* that serves to recal and fix the fleeting images of these things.
I have had a cough upon me these three months, which is incurable. The approaching summer I have sometimes had thoughts of spending on the Continent; but I have now dropped that intention, and believe my expeditions will terminate in Old Park: but I make no promise, and can answer for nothing; my own employment so sticks in my stomach, and troubles my con
* Mr. Nicholls.