Imatges de pàgina

We are forty. our limits will not permit us to indulge our readers with farther extracts from the entertaining parts of this work; however, we fhould think ourselves unpardonable, were we to omit the following.

* But there is one thing which is the moft fingular of all, that they even decide their quarrels by singing and dancing, and call this a finging.combat. If one Greenlander imagines himself injured by another, he betrays not the least trace of vexation of wrath, much less revenge, but he compofes a faty. rical poem; this he repeats fo often with singing and dancing in the presence of his domestics, and especially the women, till they have all got it in their memory. Then he publishes a challenge every where, that he will fight a duel with his antagonist, not with a sword but a song. The respondent bea takes himself to the appointed place, and presents himself in the encircled theatre. Then the accuser begins to sing his fatyre to the beat of the drum, and his party in the auditory, back every line with the repeated Amna'aiah, and also fing every fentence with him ; and all this while he discharges fo many taunting truths at his adverfary, that the audience have their fill of laughing. When he has fung out all his gall, the defondant steps forth, answers the accusation againlt him, and ridicules his antagonist in the same manner, all which is corroborated with the united chorus of his party, and fo the daugh changes fides. The plaintiff renews the affault, and tries to baffle him a second time; in short, he that maintains the last word wins the process, and acquires a name. At such opportunities they can tell one another the truth very roundly and cuttingly, only there must be no mixture of rudeness or palfion. The whole body of beholders conititute the jury, and bestow the laurel, and afterwards the two parties are the belt friends.

• It is seldom any thing unbecoming occurs at any of their sports; (except perhaps that a man, who has good feconds, carries off a woman by violence, whom he has a mind to marry :) but as for this sport, it is more than a mere diversion, they take this opportunity to excite one another to better morals by exposing the flame of the contrary ; to admonish debtors to pay what they owe; to discountenance lying and detraction; and to execute revenge on every fort of fraud or injustice in their dealings, and also on adultery, for there is nothing that keeps a Greenlander in good order fo much as dread of publick defamation. Nay this merry revenge keeps back many a one from wreaking his malice in making reprisals, or even committing murder. Yet after all it is difcernible, that the chief ingredient in the whole affair is a voluble tongue ;


therefore it is common among the Greenlanders, that the more celebrated fatyrifts, and moral philosophers, behave the worst.' Great part of what follows relative to the moral and perfonal character of the Greenlanders, especially concerning their religion, conjurations, and divinations, is either trifling, or shocking to humanity. According to our editor, many of them have been converted from a religion which he calls gross paganism to Christianity ; but with what juftice lot the reader who perufes the second volume determine.

V. A Series of Genuine Letters, between Henry and Frances.

Vols. III. and IV. 12mo. Price 6 so bound. Johnston."
HIS publication, containing the sequel of the correspon-

dence between Henry and Frances, confirms the favourable opinion we: formerly expresied of the writers of the two first volumes of this series of letters *. We here meet with the fame warmth of tender affection, and the fame moral and religious strains, which recommended the former letters though we think with a greater and more agreeable variety of subjects. The following epistles present us with a proof of the ease with which this correspondence is carried on.

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My dear FANNY, • I send you a parcel of French famplers, as a present for our friend Mrs.

While I was rolling them up, this morning, a thought struck me : upon which I immediately wrote the inclosed extempore, which I desire you to present to her, along with the traced canvas.

To Mrs. ---, with a prefent of French famplers.

Our natures, like these famplers, just are trac'd
By lines which ne'er by art can be surpass’d;
Each figure has its form and limits, here,
As the designer will'd they should appear :
So nature marks the outlines of a man,
To fill, and colour, is the most we can.
Happy exception to the world you fbine,
Trac'd, fill'd, and colour'd, by the hand divine;

. See Crit. Rev. vol. III. p. 428.


At once made perfect, in the moral part,
Without the flow and feeble aid of art;
Struck at a heat, like the first fatal fair,
While heaven, its former error to repair,
Virtue to beauty join'd, in fraining thee,
Thou Milton's Eve, without her frailty !

• Mr. C brought a great number of them from France, when he was there last, and designed them for his daughter ; but they quarrelled soon after, and he has sent them all as a present to you. I have taken a poetic licence with these few, and Thall carry you the reinainder, in plain prose.

“ You know he is a woman, in every thing, except beauty, and gentleness of manners, and is perfect mistress of the needle. He would force me to take a leffon, upon the manner of work. ing these samplers : All I remember of which, is, that the several worsteds, with which the figures are traced, mark the outermoft fhade of that colour that each is to be filled, up with.

• He has made me a present of an empty purse, alo, of his own working; and, if he paid me half what he owes me, he might have filled it; but he pleads poverty to that, and all other deinands. The plea is true, in effect ; but 'tis his own perverseness, that makes it fo. If he would but give, and take, a little, he might soon render himself perfectly easy; but he seems to have a passion for difficulties, and distress, and creates them to himself, most industrioully, every day..

Adieu !

HENRY My deareft HARRY,

• I received your prefent, with the very pretty lines you sent along with it." I delivered thein both, without the least grudging, I assure you, 'till I saw the manner in which they were both received. She looked over the pieces of canvas carelessly, just run her eye through the poem, and then, with her usual coldness, laid them on her toilet, as she would have done a pair of shoes, with the receipt. Go to, go to, thou art a very Spendthrift in wit, to squander it away, upon such subje&ts. Were there merit to deserve the compliment, or taste to relish the wit of it, I could excuse you.

• We are all to go to the aflizes-- They begin next Tuerday-Mr.

begs the favour of you to meet him there, time enough to be put upon the grand-jury, for he wants your assistance toward his new road. -Do, lay on tax upon tax To load a country is one way of making it thrive ; because it doubles industry. Among the few advantages which our sex has over your's, surely theíc ought to be highly prized, that



we can never be obliged to kill, to condemn, or even to tax a God help your poor souls !

Adieu !

© Mr.

called to fee me, this morning, and seems ta be but slowly recovering from his fever. He has left his lovely wife, at her mother's, in the county of Wicklow, to lye in, that is, to give birth to'a fourth grace.

• He was not in his usual fpirits, but extremely agreeable, and polite. He sat with me, for an hour ; and seems to have our Series of Letters all by heart ; för I think that he quoted, or alluded to, above a dozen paffages in them, as the turn of our converfation happened to supply the occasions.

• He entertained me with a conversation he lately had with Mr. -i, about these writings. He said he was surprized how these letters had obtained such a character--For his part, he could perceive no merit in them-That hiftory, or treatises, were works of labour and science; and poetry, or novels, of wit, or invention, but, that letters were the easiest things in the world, as they required neither study, genius, or science.

6. Our friend replied, that letter writing was indeed a very common thing, but an uncoinmon talent, at the fame time; for, that therë was a great difference between writing letters for the peft, and for the prefi'; that the great excellence of these, is, that they were designed only for the former ; and that he differed much in his opinion of literary works ; for he thought it ån higher inftance of talents, to be able to write agreeably, without study, or matter, than where one has facts, science, or invention, to support them. "...

• The critic, however, was brought to allow them the merit of stile, and language ; and to confess that his objections lay not particularly to the Series, but against all letters, in print, which were neither historical, or narrative.

• Pray make my affectionate compliments to our friend's where you are, and tell Mrs. that I shall write to her as foon I have picked up incidents enough, in this town, to ens fertain het-Not that I imagine the would judge like Mr. of my letter, though I should write ħer one upon nothing,

FRANCES. • Dear PANNY, I know the character of Mr.

the critic you méntion. He is a man of labour,' and study, without taste, or genius. He published a collection of poems, many years ago,


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which he gave the conceited title of the Nolegay to, and they were ill received.

• A mediocrity in writing is quicker perceived in poetiý; than in any thing else; and I wonder he did not find it out himself, for he is really a fensible man, but rather too folid, which is often a disadvantage. I should rather buoy on the surface sometimes, than always anchor in the mud.

• This critic lives too much in his study; and the difference between such a person, and those who converse familiarly in the world, may be compared to the upper fod, and the under Spit, of the earth-The latter may have, intrinsically, the saine powers of vegetation, but wants the action and impregnation of the atmosphere, to set its fixed falts at liberty to exert themselves.

• I do not suppose he spoke against the Series, from the envy or malevolence of a disappointed author ; but persons of his ftamp must always have some matter, for their subject, and consequently feel no manner of relish for the finer arts, as their Beauty rests merely, in idea, and is not extended to folid use.

I agree with him, in his opinion about the merits of such writings as he is inclined to reprehend, that wit is not a merit, but an excellence. 'Tis a natural gift, and can no more be acquired, than beauty.

* This puts me in mind of a story I heard once of colonel who was an acquaintance of lord T He had frequently heard his lordship, who was himself a man of lively parts, repeat and commend the bons mots he had heard thrown out among his jovial companions; which mortifying the stupid colonel, he one day remarked, that he saw no inanner of me. rit, in all this — A good thing happened to come into their heads, and they said it; and I should have done the same, added he, if it had occurred to me:

I shall conclude this letter with an epigram, which the subject of your letter has made occur to me, this inftant.

You fay that Macro reads our works with scorn,
Just nods affent, and cries, they may be born:
To envy, or to malice, ne'er impute
His faint applaudings; for the point is moot-
May not that coldness, which gives you surprize,
As well from want of taste, as candour, rise ?

Adieu !


The editor admits, that there is not to be expected much connection among his letters’: This we regret the less, because Vol. XXIII. January, 1767.


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