Графични страници
PDF файл

fortune, without an idea to what circumstance I could possibly owe it.

“ The General met me half-way on my entrance into his apartment, where he was surrounded by officers of distinction. His eyes shone with benevolent pleasure ; and he held in his hand the Monody on Major André.

“ Mr Seward," said he, “ I am glad to see you. The instant I read this poem, it occurred to me, that I had seen the name of Seward on my list of the garrison's officers. I inquired your character. It was answerable to my wishes. Are you related to the author of the Monody on Major André ?”

“ I replied, that I had the honour of being very distantly related, but had not the happiness of her acquaintance.” “ It is sufficient, Mr Seward, that you bear her name, and a fair reputation, to entitle you to the notice of every soldier, who has it in his power to serve and oblige a military brother. You will always find a cover for you at my table, and a sincere welcome; and whenever it may be in my power to serve you esseutially, I shall not want the inclination."

You will not wonder that this narration gave, me unutterable pleasure, and that individual gratitude, uniting with patriot admiration, stimulated my muse to her best efforts. O! that she had

possessed the powers of Gray, or Mason, or Hayley, to have embalmed his laurels in the bright dews of immortal celebration !

Farewell !


Miss Powys.

Lichfield, May 28, 1787. I PURPOSE venturing to forsake my household-gods, dear friend, for a few weeks, and do not like to leave your letter, unanswered, in their protection. Miss Weston has been long desirous that I should visit her at Ludlow. From year to year I have designed it, but always thought my dear father's health too precarious for the experiment. Since he has passed the last six months without actual disease, and as Ludlow will next winter cease to be the home of my friend, who removes to town, I have resolved upon the journey.

Sophia is, like myself, an enthusiast in scenery; and she has set her heart upon shewing me the sublime and luxuriant beauty of that which sur

rounds Ludlow. With all my passion for winding rivers, curtained rocks, devious vallies, and sheltering mountains, I am too indolent to search for them in distant parts of the kingdom, without the stimulus of friendship. Never did hart pant for the water-brooks more than I long for quiet exemption from intellectual as well as bodily exertions.

I was much amused by your account of Miss that being, whose brain seems,


your description, a whirlpool, the eddies of which have opposite currents, hurrying the ideas that enter it different ways; but whose virtues are as steady as her thoughts are confused and veering.

And so Mr-talks methodistically; but he was born to be what he has always been,

“ Every thing by starts, and nothing long."

Jacob's description of Reuben may be applied to him,

“ Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel."

How much the reverse of such a wandering fire. is the light of her mind whom I have now the pleasure of addressing !




Lichfield, July 15, 1787. THANK you, my dear bard, for your letter, however short; and assure yourself, that I am highly obliged by your kind present of the admirable * little volume on Chesterfield and John

A letter, lately received from Miss H. Williams, mentions it in the most glowing terms of approbation. This letter preceded the arrival of the work itself a few days. The grace, the spirit, the discriminating justice which breathe through its pages, more than fulfil her animated testimony.

Well does she observe, that it is impossible to mistake the author, though the work is nameless. You must learn to write below yourself, to veil those rays of imagination, wit, and knowledge,

Entitled “Two Dialogues, containing a comparative view of the Lives, Characters, and Writings of Philip, the late Earl of Chesterfield, and Dr Samuel Johnson.” Printed for Cadell in the Strand, 1787.-S.

which illuminate your writings, or it will always be in vain that you write anonymously.

The dialogue appears to me, in general, as just as it is eloquent. We find the author putting forth equally the full strength of argument in each disputant, alike when, in the character of the Arch-Deacon, he expresses the erroneous ideas of Johnson's nearly faultless merit as a moral and religious man; and when, in that of the Colonel, he combats and disarms the fallacy. The want of this fairness has generally disgusted me with dialogues, where one of the parties never say half that might be said in defence of their opinion, and only speak to be confuted.

The Arch-Deacon says, and finely says, every thing that can possibly be suggested to support the imaginary moral perfection of this great literary idol ; yet, perhaps, not all that might be said for him as a poet. Since it is confessed that there is poetry, though not pathos in the Irene, surely no fair conclusion can be drawn from its failure on the stage against the poetic talents of its author. We must all feel, that without the aid of music, Sampson Agonistes would,

representation, have little effect on the passions of the audience; and if any judgment may be formed from translations, the celebrated trage


« ПредишнаНапред »