Imatges de pàgina

are by the first efforts advanced to any considerable perfeâion ; for invention of every kind is a signal proof of Genius. The first inventor of a watch, an orrery, or even a common mill, however simple it may now appear in its machinery and struc. ture, was unquestionably a man of an extraordinary mechanical Geniùs. The improvement of these inventions is likewise a certain criterion of a Genius for them ; the degree of which talent is always justly rated in proportion to the inprovements made by it, considered in connection with the art in which they are made.

• We fhall not here inquire into the compurative utility and importance of the several arts, whether liberal or mechanical, in order to determine the particular degree of Genius requisite to an excellence in each of them. Let it suffice to observe in general, that as in the former iinagination hath a wider range, so a greater degree of Genius may be displayed in these than in the other. Hence we infer their superior dignity, though perhaps not their superior utility. In the latter indeed, imagination is very intensely exercised ; but it is more confined in its operation : instead of rambling from one theme to another, it dwells on a single object, till it has contemplated it fully and at leisure ; whereas in the others, it forms a less particular, but more comprehensive view of the objects submitted to its cognisance : it takes them in at one glance, though it does not mark their features fo minutely. A larger compass of imagination therefore is requisite to con

itute excellence in the one, and a greater compression of this faculty (if we may use the term) to produce eminence in the other.'

The first section of the second book treats of that degree of genius which is properly denominated original. The author next considers philofophic genius in that light, and mentions Plato, lord Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Berkley, bishop of Cloyne, and Dr. Burnett, author of the Theory of the Earth, as examples of original philofophic genius. He proceeds in the third section to original genius in poetry; and in characterizing the bards who shone in this fublime sphere, he shews a very considerable degree of critical knowledge in poetry. We by no means think the writer equally qualified for the subject of his fourth section, we mean original genius in the other fine arts. His ideas of eloquence are confined, and sometimes mis. taken; and his quotations from modern orators, either French or English, seldom, if ever, agree with the examples or the precepts laid down by the great masters of that art. He is, like. wise, very unhappy in his translations from Cicero; witness his tranflating that beautiful characteristical stroke of Cicero, when applied to Clodius, substructionum infanis molibus, those impious


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piles.” His lait section, which is the best executed of any in the volume, is intended to fhew, That original poetic genius will in general be displayed in its utmost vigour in the early and uncultivated periods of society, which are peculiarly favourable to it; and that it will seldom appear in a very high degree in cultivated life.

To conclude : Though we cannot approve of all this author's opinions and inferences, yet we must acknowlege, that his perforinance contains many useful and spirited remarks upon compofitions of genius ; and that it may be perused with great improvement as well as amusement by those readers who want to acquiie a knowledge of what is commonly called polite literature.



VIII. Remarks on the Writings and Conduct of J. J. Rousseau,

8vo. Price 2 s. 6d. Cadell. *HIS Remarker upon the writings and conduct of Rousseau

is of those raræ aves whom it is difficult to define ; of a character which it is hard to fix.

He is evidenily a gentleman, a scholar, a philosopher, a genius, and a man of wit ; though, by some of his readers, his pretensions to either will be called in question ; and by others, his character, in a summary way, will be funk into that of a downright sceptic (perhaps atheist) and libertine.

For, fay the first, will a gentleman labour to disturb the public tranquility ? a scholar revile the schools ? a philosopher damn all fecs ? a genius despise all restraint ? and a inan of wit blaspheme facred things ? -Nevertheless he may be

Here the candid and benevolent will pause a while; and regret, that the gentleman in private life should affront the publiç in a body, whom as individuals he would be far from offend. ing; that the scholar should depart from his first principles, and become ungrateful to his teachers ; that the philosopher should only wear a gown to cover his lewdness ; that true gerius should o'er-,fep the wodesiy of nature, and the decorum of ha: tit; and that sparkling wit, not contented with such flesh as the market affords in the public stews, should profanely wish to wanton itself with the Word made fie! Nevertheless, he may be

What ? cry the zealots! Can he be less a wretch than he appears to be ? Çan fophiftry itself find any pretext in his be. half? Is he not a blasphemer of God, and a reviler of men ? Order with him is chaos, and chaos order !--Heaven! church! bishops! seminaries ! sciences ! all fall before him !---Confu

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fion on his head ! away with him !--Pincers, fire, and faggot were made for such miscreants !

But we cannot give him up so eafily to the tormentors, since we profefs candor and moderation, and having balanced his beauties against his blemishes, we find that the foriner greatly preponderate.

A staunch advocate for Rousseau must needs be displeasing to many fober-minded people, who conform to present modes, and readily subscribe, without farther inquiry, to adopted systems :

--but the merit of the Remarker does not consist in being a mere epitomizer of his author ;---hc has opinions of his own, fo singular, so novel, and, like a true critic, so independent of his author, that we are sorry to quote a verse of severe condem'nation against him. How Van wants grace, who never wanted wit !"

Pope, v. Vanbrugh. The Reinarker has been said to be a copy, in a great measure, of the inimitable Tristram ; tho' we must own, that in one or two places excepted, we cannot find out the resemblance ; but that he is a great admirer of Shakespeare, will be very evident to every critic in the works of that child of nature, whose phrase and language he introduces with a certain aptness, that we don't remember to have met with elsewhere.

Upon the whole, we recommend this little work to fuch only of our readers as are capable of separating the metal from the drofs, and can difcern the true orient, notwithstanding the foul incrustations which fully and deform it. - At the same time we beg leave to recommend more decency and propriety to the accomplished author in his next effay, as he values the general favour and approbation of the public.

To this work is prefixed an ingenious, well-designed, and fa.. tyrical frontispice, in which Voltaire is introduced, in a fine flowing peruke, with a pair of jack boots and spurs, and a whip in his hand, bestriding a monster which he has bridled, faddled, and brought to the ground. Over his head, pendent by their necks upon a gibbet, are Justice and Liberty, upon the beam of which is feen all that remains of the temple of Liberty. On the sight side of the piece, in front, upon a little eminence, stands an arch shrugging figure, representing Rousseau, in a furr'ú gown and

cap, pointing with his right hand to the beast and his burthen, and with the pluminet of Truth in his left, founding, ás we may suppose, the fincerity and real estimation of the tider.

We own that we are much affected at the aukward situation of our darling principles Juftice and Liberty ; and are entirely


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ignorant of what they have done to deserve to be gibbetted:

If the little gentleman in fur, by virtue of his pluinmet and line, has found out, as he seems to infinuate, that Voltaire has been their executioner, we are of opinion that he ought to be hanged up in their stead.


IX. Familiar Letters which paffed between Abraham Hill, Esq;

Fellow and Treasurer of the Royal Society, one of the Lords of Trade, and Comptroller to his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury; and several eminent and ingenious Persons of the last Century. Transcribed from the Original Letters. 8vo. Pr. 45. Johnston. HE character of this Mr. Hill mentioned in the title-page,

seems to bear a strong resemblance to that of the Roman Atticus. He was the son of a merchant and alderman of London, who was employed as treasurer for the parliamentary party from the summer of the year 1642, the time the parliament began their war against king Charles I. until the year 1649, During that period, and afterwards, he was niuch courted and employed by the chief managers of the state, and in particular by the protector Cromwell himself, as appears from their inany letters to him, now in the hands of the editor. The reader from these circumstances may easily conceive in what kind of principles Mr. Abraham Hill (who was born in the year 1633) was educated. He was early in life inaster of the Greek, Latin, French, Dutch, and Italian languages; a proficient in natural and moral philosophy; and when but twenty-two years

age, he was a favourite with the English literati. Upon his father's death, he became master of an ample fortune. His residence was in Gresham College, where he conversed with learned men, studied history and antiquity, and cultivated his favourite pursuit of natural philosophy. He was one of the first encouragers of the Royal Society, of which he was a fellow, and treasurer; and, though no author himself, nor affecting any rank in life or literature, he was loved and efteenied all over the polite parts of Europe. He was twice married, and in 1665 purchased the extensive manor of St. John's in Sutton, at Hone, in the county of Kent, once the possessions and residence of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem; an estate of no inconsiderable account, either for its size, or the rank its antient poffeffors held in life. To this retreat he devoted himfelf, and lived a quiet subject during the reigns of Charles and James II. Upon the Revolution he was made one of the commillioners of trade, where he contracted an acquaintance and 4



friendship with some of the highest as well as worthiest men in England, ainongst whom was reckoned the celebrated Mr. Locke.

The Tory system which prevailed at the beginning of queen Anne's reign drove him, when near seventy years of age, back, to his beloved retirement, where he lived philosophically and focially till the fifth of February 1721, when he died.

As to the letters before us, they are highly worthy the attention of the public. The effusions of sensible friends at a distance from each other exhibit the best pictures of their perTonal characters; those of their literary and political are known from their actions and publications. For the entertainment of our readers we shall exhibit specimens of these letters. The first is letter 19th, from Dr.'Williain Aglionby to Mr. Hill, by which we see that complaints of French travelling are of no very modern date.

Paris, Sept. 5, 1685. - My Dear FRIEND, • I would have thanked you from Calais for your many civilities in London, but my short stay there would not permit, me to do it. We got five days by the coach. It was, a most tedious journey by a new road, viz. St. Omer's, Aire, and Amiens, and though hard beds, much nastiness, and not above three hours fleep of a night, with a continual plague from, custom-house officers, were great grievances to me, yet good, air, and good bread and wine, with merry company, have al. tered my health much for the better. Now for news.-Yera terday the king went for Chambort-the day before arrived kere the two young princes of Conti and La Roche. They have been presented to the king by the prince of Conde, to whose intercession, and their brave behaviour shewn at the battle of the Gran in Hungary, the king has granted the return of his favour, but has commanded the young prince of Turenne, who was in their company, to depart the kingdom immediately. I suppose by this time you have our two English princes; they passed at Calais a little before we arrived there, and I am informed here, by a person I can confide in, that they came dire&tly from the Jesuits college at la Fleche, where they have been bred all this while. My lord Preston went away yesterday; he has not been able to obtain leave for his Protestant French servants to go with him, except he would give security for their return into this kingdom in three months, which he has refused to do; nevertheless he has taken them with him to Dieppe, being resolved to put them to the trial of stopping them by force. There is a new ediet published, by which all people are forbid


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