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The mind communicates its infirm utility, and form a kind of rejuvenesa dispositions to the book, and an au cence of our early studies. Monthor has not only his own defects taigne placed at the end of a book to account for, but also those of his which he iutended not to re-peruse, reader. There is something in the time he had read it, with a concomposition like the game of shut- cise decision on its merits; that, tlecock, where, if the reader does says he, it may thus represent to not quickly rebound the feathered me, the air and general idea I had cork to the author, the game is de conceived of the author, in reading stroyed, and the whole spirit of the the work. He has obliged us with work becomes extinct.
giving several of these annotations. A frequent impediment in read. Of Young the poet it is told, that ing is a disinclination in the mind whenever he came to a striking to settle on the subject; agitated by passage, he folded the leaf; and incongruous and dissimilar ideas, it that at his death, books have been is with pain that we admit those of found in his library, which had long the author. But on applying our resisted the power of closing : a selves, with gentle violence, to the mode more easy than useful; for, persual of an interesting work, the after a length of time, they must be mind soon congenealizes with the again read to know why they were subject; the disioclination is no folded. This difficulty is avoided by more, and like Homer's chariot those who note in a blank leaf the wheels, we kindle as we roll. The pages to be referred to, with a word ancient rabbins advised their stue of criticism. Nor let us consider dents to apply themselves to read- these minute directions as unworthy ing, whether they felt an inclination the most enlarged minds ; by these or not, because, as they proceeded, petty exertions at the most distant they would find their inclination periods, may learning obtain its auand their curiosity awakened. We thorities, and fancy combine its ideas. can easily account for this ; it is so Seneca, in sending some volumes to certain, and acts with such power, his friend Lucilius, accompanies that even indifferent works are fre- them with notes of particular pas. quently finished, merely to gratify sages, that, he observes, you who that curiosity which their early only aim at the useful, may be spapages have communicated. The red the trouble of examining the ravenous appetite of Johnson for whole. Books are still preserved reading is expressed in a strong noted by Voltaire with a word of metaphor, by Mrs. Knowles, who censure or approbation on the page said, “ he knows how to read better itself, which was his usual practice. than any one; he gets at the sub. Formey complained that the books he stance of a book directly ; he tears lent Voltaire were returned always out the heart of it."
disfigured by his remarks; but he We should hesitate to pronounce was a true German writer of the old on a work of some merit, on the class, first persual, for that is rarely at A professional student should ditended by a proper relish. It is vide his readings into a uniform with reading as with wine ; for reading which is useful, and into a connoisseurs have observed, that diversified reading which is plea. the first glass is insufficient to de- sant. Guy Patin, an eminent phycicle on its quality ; it is necessary sician and a man of letters, had a to imbue the palate, to give it that just notion of this manner.
He raciness of relish, which communi. says, “ I daily read Hippocrates, cates every latent quality, and ena- Galen, Fernel, and other illustribles us to judge as keenly as the ous masters of my profession; this two uncles of Sancho.
I call my profitable readings. I There are some mechanical aids frequently read Ovid, Juvenal, Hoin reading, which may prove of great race, Seneca, Tacitus, and others,
and these are my recreations." We for Rutilius, persons eminent for must observe these distinctions, for their science, but for the Tarentines, it frequently happens that a lawyer the Consentines, and the Sicilians. or a physician, with great industry Montaigne has complained that he and love of study, by giving too found his readers too learned, or much to diversified reading, may ut- too ignorant, and that he could only terly neglect what should be his please a middle class, who have uniform studies.
just learning enough to comprehend An author is often cruelly morti. him. Congreve says, there is in fied to find his work reposing on a true beauty something which vulgar harpsichord or a table, with its souls cannot admire. Balzac comvirgin pages.
It was among the plains bitterly of readers; a period, mortifications of Mickle, that the he cries, shall have cost us the la. lord to whom he had dedicated his bour of a day; we shall have disyersion of the Lusiad, had it long in tilled into an essay the essence of our his possession, in the state he had re. minds; it may be a finished piece ceived it! How often also are au- of art; and they think they are inthors mortified to perceive, that ge- dulgent when they pronounce it to nerally the first volume of their contain some pretty things, and work is fouler than its brother! that the style is not bad! There It is, therefore, an advantage to is something in exquisite composicompose in single volumes; for then tion which ordinary readers cản they flatter themselves, a second never understand. would be acceptable; but most books Some will only read old books, as are more read for curiosity than if there were no valuable truths to for pleasure ; and are often looked be discovered in modern ones, while into, but rarely resumed. Authors others will only read new books, as are yain, but readers are caprici. if some valuable truths are not ous.
among the old. Some will not read Readers may be classed into an a book, because they are acquainted infinite number of divisions; but an with the author ; by which the read. author is a solitary being, who, for er may be more injured than the the same reason he pleases one, author ; others not only read the must consequently displease another. book, but would also read the man; To have too exalted a genius is more by which the most ingenious author prejudicial for his celebrity, than may be injured by the most imper. to have a moderate one; for we tinent reader. shall find that the most popular An author would write with reworks are not of the highest value, finement and delicacy; the reader but of the greatest usefulness. I has neither; if the author does not could mention some esteemed wri. succeed he may be an intelligible, but ters, whose works have attained a still an indifferent writer; if he sucgreat number of editions, but whose ceeds that reader will reject him as minds were never yet inflamed by an obscure writer; yet the author an accidental fervour of original will then be a highly finished writer. genius. They instruct those who Some readers complain of the obrequire instruction, and they please scurity of an author, and often they those, who are yet sufficiently igno- are right; but there are some eyes rant to discover novelty in their to which almost every thing appears strictures; in a word they form misty; for a picture may be hung taste, rather than impart genius. in its proper light, though for some A Carlo Marat is a Raphael to it may be raised too high. One those who have not studied a Ra- ought not to see every thing disphael. They may apply to them. tinctly, but only certain parts of it ; selves the same observation Lucilius, the imagination properly supplies the satirist, has made, that he did the intermediate links. Hence are not write for Persius, for Scipio, and derived what some consider the ob.
THE ANCIENT ROMANCE.
scurities of genius, which indeed are deity. It is thus that Pauradas reonly the obvious parts which it presents a conversation between the wishes to conceal.
nymph and the god :
Move! For the Literary Magazine.
What makes Corisca render scorn for love?
What, gentle Echo, may Corisca bribe ? THE ancients had certainly no
A bribe. ideas of any composition approach. Wilt thou to her my painful toil deing to the form of the modern ro scribe? mance. The first regular tale
I'll describe. which was formed on the subject of I seek occasion, but she flies me still love is, I believe, acknowledged to
Be still. be that of Theagenes and Chariclea, And can you promise that she'll grant written by a christian bishop, Helio
I will. dorus. Yet their popular traditions were probably as full of amorous
The following story in Pausanias incidents as those of any modern na
is as romantic in its circumstances, tion; and tales of cruel nymphs and and, if worked-up in the pastoral “ despised love” were as frequently style of the writers of later days, recorded by Grecian as by British might make as interesting an Arcapeasants. Even the roughest and dian drama as the Aminta of Tasso most uncouth of men were repre- or the Pastor Fido of Guarini. sented as subdued by the power of
Among the priests of Bacchus, love, and suffering those tortures while the city of Calydon yet stood, which are usually considered as the was one named Coræsus, who loved lot of softer and more refined spirits the beautiful virgin Callirhoe with alone. We are sickened with the the most ardent passion. He long sameness of imagery accompanying wooed her with unremitting persethe pictures of love-sick shepherds verance; he employed every art of and complaining boys, and turn from persuasion, he exhausted every effort them with wonder and awe to the of fancy, to win her heart; but the gloomy figure of the fierce and gi. more violent his attachment grew, gantic Cyclops pouring out to the the more averse was she to listen tó wild rocks and caverns of his native his prayers; and the more earnest Ætna the deep groans and lamenta: the solicitations he used, the more tions of a savage love.
cruel and determined was her re
pulse. In vain did he pursue her Yet will I go beside the sounding main, day and night like a shadow. In And to yon solitary crags complain ;
vain did he renew every art that And, onward sorrowing by the sandy had failed him before. His prayshore,
ers, his tears, his pursuit, all were The scorn of Galatæa's brow deplore : in vain. At length he poured out But sweetest Hope shall ever fill my his soul in prayer to the deity whom heart,
he served to turn the heart of his Nor with my latest, feeblest age depart, cruel tyrant, to make her at length
feel the force of his passion, and see
the barbarity of her own neglect. The ludicrous introduction of the The god heard him, and to grant fictitious nymph Echo, with her the request of his beloved servant courteous replies to the questions of did all that Bacchus could do. The despairing swains, is of very anci. people of Calydon were suddenly ent fabrication, and suits well with seized with an epidemic phrenzy the grotesque image of the sylvan which raged among them, and res
sembled in its effects the most vio- drowned herself in a neighbouring lent. paroxysms of drunkenness. spring, which received its name Numbers perished daily in raving from her. fits. No cure could be found for the disease, which increased continually both in violence and extent. In this extremity, such among'the For the Literary Magazine. citizens as yet retained the use of their reason consulted the oracle by THE REFLECTOR. means of their holy doves which they kept in their temple, and which were the constant messengers between them and the Divinity. The
To the Reflector. winged embassadors began their SIR, journey through the air, nor rested NOTWITHSTANDING I made, till they perched on the tall oaks of and you accepted, a promise to write Dodona. They delivered faithfully something of a more lively nature the object of their mission, and soon for your paper than the last number, returned to Calydon with the an on the subject you have chosen, yet, swer of Jove, which required that a since I saw you last, I have become noble virgin should be sacrificed to somewhat grave myself, and am appease the offended deities. The therefore less able to fulfil my proloveliest maids of the city were as mise. I believe the only character sembled in the temple, and the fatal I can support with decency is that lot fell on the loveliest of them all, of a narrator : I will therefore give the cruel Callirhoe. The appointed you some part of the history of my day arrived The devoted victim life, and show you, by my example, was led before the altar of Bacchus. how you ought to feel, and conseAs yet it was unknown to all, but quently to write, on the first mornthose in whose presence the lots had ing of the year. been cast, who was the unhappy În the earliest part of my life I virgin destined to propitiate the of- lived, as children frequently do, fended heavens. It fell to the lot with my parents. They inhabited of Corcesus to immolate the victim ; a neat farm-house near
I but when he approached the altar think I can still see my brothers a sudden trembling seized on all his sitting in the large recess of a counframe; he hastily tore off the white try fire-place, in company with your veil which yet concealed the face of humble servant, enjoying ourselves his Callirhoe. But the die was in the best manner we could, while cast, and what had been done was winter stormed without, and gave now irrevocable. He lifted the fa- us a truer relish of the comforts of tal knife to strike, but found it im a good fire-side.
This was frepossible to execute his purpose. At quently our station. Here many a length with one desperate effort he new year's morning have I drank a plunged it, not into the bosom of his full glass of my mother's best homeCallirhoe, but his own, and died in- made wine, and wished her and my stantly at the feet of her he loved. father a happy new year. My fa. His tragical end produced the effect ther was one of those good old men which all the exertions of his life who, notwithstanding their own age, had failed to accomplish. The are willing to see their children act heart of the virgin was turned, and as they once did themselves. He the object of the God being accomo possessed solid sense ; yet he loved plished, his anger ceased. But Cal « fun,” even when he grew old, and lirhoe did not long survive her un- he did not forget that he was once happy lover; she fell into a deep young himself; and, though his melancholy for his death, and thence children extended the definition of into madness, and soon afterwards the word “ fun” farther than he did,
yet, because he possessed more gra- seen a bird, which has just made its vity, he did not blame them for pos- escape from the cage of its keeper, sessing less.
Accordingly, every where it had been long confined? new year's morning he permitted With what transport it yields itself us to amuse ourselves as we thought to the enjoyment of all the delights proper, provided it was consistent of liberty!' how gaily it sings from with decency and innocence. Fre. the top of some sheltering tree, calquently he would permit us to shoot, ling the feathered inhabitants of the but it was always at a mark in one forest, as if to say, “ behold, I am of the adjoining fields. By this ma. also free! I will traverse with you næuvre we were insensibly improv- the unbounded fields of air ; I will ed in the art of handling a gun with seek my food, my enjoyments, where dexterity, and using it with effect; Nature herself has placed them." for I must observe, as I go on, that Such was my situation! My bosom he was always desirous that our swelled with inexpressible transport; amusements should be conducive to Istrutted about with an air of haughour improvement.
tiness and defiance; my feet disdain. But I am going, as my father used ed the ground; I seemed to tread to say, “round Robin Hood's barn." the air. “ Who," said my heart, I promised to write, in order to show « who is greater, who is better than you there may be good reasons for I am?” I am a man; who is more? celebrating the end of an old year. These reflections were connected or the beginning of a new one. with the joy I commonly felt on a During my childhood I generally new year's morning. I therefore celebrated it, as you observed in your celebrated it with transport as the last paper, because it was the cus- first year of my life; as the time tom; but, since I am grown up, I when, at last, I commenced a new have always had my reasons: whe- kind of existence. I suffered no unther good or not, you or your read- pleasant récollections to intrude on ers are at liberty to determine. my mind. The past was gone, the
I suppose you know I came into future was before me, and, whatever this world the last day of the year, joys reason could not expect, hope A. D. 17**. Consequently, the day promised. on which I became free from the The first year of my freedom was service of a not very good master, passed, as human life frequently is, with whom I learned my trade, pre- sometimes in the enjoyment of good, ceded new year's day but a very at others, in the endurance of evil, little time. This circumstance made in the recollection of the past, the me celebrate it with a joyful heart. improvement of the present, and I gave myself up to all the joys planning schemes for the future. which a sense of freedom, hope, Futurity, at that period of life, afconfidence, health, and youth could fords to almost all men a most fruit. inspire. I penetrated, that is, as ful source of pleasure; the mind is far as I was able, the gloom of futu- then elated by hope; she dresses rity ; I rejoiced that the days of every prospect in the brightest coservitude were passed ; that I was lours; she suffers not disappointno longer compelled to work with ment to blot the ideal picture ; she (rit recompence, as I thought, for a raises desires in the mind which man who undervalued my services; soon ripen into expectations; these that I was now no longer a boy, but a she represents as probabilities, and man, an independent being, who at last induces us to believe they “ would not call the king his uncle;" will become realities. that I was now about commencing a At the beginning of the next year new career, to act as I pleased, I rejoiced at the prosperity of my without controul or contradiction. professional affairs, and the prospect. These thoughts naturally arose out of its continuance. This year was of my situation. Have you ever rendered dear to my remembrance