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a lady of quality on certain conjugal infelicities. The diction is such that it might have been written now, if we could find any one combining so thoughtful a head with so tender a heart and so exquisite a taste.
Barrow often debased his language merely to evidence his loyalty. It was, indeed, no easy task for a man of so much genius, and such a precise mathematical mode of thinking, to adopt even for a moment the slang of L'Estrange and Tom Brown; but he succeeded in doing so sometimes. With the exception of such parts, Barrow must be considered as closing the first great period of the English language. Dryden began the second. Of course there are numerous subdivisions.
Peter Wilkins is to my mind a work of uncommon beauty ; and yet Stothard's illustrations have added beauties to it. If it were not for a certain tendency to affect
ation, scarcely any praise could be too high for Stothard's designs. They give me great pleasure. What an exquisite image is that of Peter's Glum fluttering over the ship, and trying her strength in lifting the stores ! I believe that Robinson Crusoe and Peter Wilkins could only have been written by islanders. No continentalist could have conceived either tale. Davis's story is an imitation of Peter Wilkins; but there are many beautiful things in it; especially his finding his wife crouching by the fireside — she having, in his absence, plucked out all her feathers -- to be like him !
It would require a very peculiar genius to add another tale, ejusdem generis, to Robinson Crusoe and Peter Wilkins. I once projected such a thing; but the difficulty of a preoccupied ground stopped me. Perhaps La Motte Fouqué might effect something; but I should fear that neither he, nor any other German, could entirely understand what may be called the “ desert island” feeling. I would try the marvellous line of Peter Wilkins, if I
attempted it, rather than the real fiction of Robinson Crusoe.
What a master of composition Fielding was! Upon my word, I think the Edipus Tyrannus, the Alchemist, and Tom Jones the three most perfect plots ever planned. And how charming, how wholesome, Fielding always is! To take him up after Richardson, is like emerging from a sick room heated by stoves, into an open lawn, on a breezy day in May.
I have been very deeply interested in the account of Bishop Sandford's life, published by his son. He seems to have been a thorough gentleman upon the model of St. Paul, whose manners were the finest of any man's upon record.
I think I could have conformed to the then dominant Church before the Reformation. The errors existed, but they had not been riveted into peremptory articles of faith before the Council of Trent. If a Romanist were to ask me the question put to Sir Henry Wotton *, I should content myself by answering, that I could not exactly say when my religion, as he was pleased to call it, began
– but that it was certainly some sixty or seventy years before his, at all events - which began at the Council of Trent.
* “ Having, at his being in Rome, made acquaintance with a pleasant priest, who invited him, one evening, to hear their vesper music at church; the priest, seeing Sir Henry stand obscurely in a corner, sends to him by a boy of the choir this question, writ in a small piece of paper ;-'Where was your religion to be found before Luther ?' To which question Sir Henry presently underwrit;—My religion was to be found then, where yours is not to be found now — in the written word of God.”— Izaak Walton's Life of Sir Henry Wotton.
July 10. 1834.
I Am dying, but without expectation of a speedy release. Is it not strange that very recently by-gone images, and scenes of early life, have stolen into my mind, like breezes blown from the spice-islands of Youth and Hope — those two realities of this phantom world! I do not add Love, — for what is Love but Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen as one? I say realities ; for reality is a thing of degrees, from the Iliad to a dream; xai yáp t? ővap éx Alos érti. Yet, in a strict sense, reality is not predicable at all of aught below Heaven. “ Es enim in cælis, Pater noster, qui tu vere es!” Hooker wished to live to finish his Ecclesiastical Polity; — so I own I wish life and strength had been spared to me to complete my Philosophy. For, as God hears me, the originating, continuing, and sustaining wish and design in