Imatges de pàgina





Review.-Mr. G. Penn on the Iliad. might turn the scale of war; and Ho- of the Marquis Wellesley in the Semer might have regarded Achilles as

nate, where we see very able arguthe Philistines did Goliath, or the mentators, but no classics, all speaking Israelites Sampson. Mr. Penn allows in mere muscular English energy, with the accordance between the ideas of no Greek &Qedesą, no fineness of point, Homer's age, and that of the patriarchs. no subtlety and æther of sentiment, We cannot, therefore, say that he had such as distinguishes the Anthologia,

further view than what Alexander no whole sentence in meaning merged ascribed to him (not Wolfe only, as in a single word, no resemblance to Mr. Penn, p. 42), viz. celebration of the South American rivers, exceedthe glory of Achilles, as a compatriot, a ingly deep, but transparent to the very Grecian Arthur. Under this uncer. bottom. "We could mention successtainty, therefore, we feel ourselves in ful imitators of the Aristotelian style, the situation of women who are anxi- but they are stiff and scholastic. The ous to know the Freemasons' secret, Marquis Wellesley and Mr. Penn are and are obliged to confess, in the lan- however genuine Greek classics ; and guage of Mr. Penn, that it is “a no- though they are not without frequent dus which they cannot disembroil.” Anglicisms, they possess and often ex

But, notwithstanding the reserve, hibit that very rare and enviable litewhich with medical stateliness we rary felicity, the exquisite style and think fit to observe, concerning this manner of Xenophon. morbus Iliacus (a bad pun we fear), this sermon without a text, most un- Mason's History of the Cathedral of seigned is our respect for the manner,

St. Patrick's, Dublin. the matter, and the scholarship, dis

(Concluded from p. 147.) played in this work. But as learned WE have often thought that Bosdisquisitions would be less acceptable well's Life of Johnson is the best and to our readers than acute and judicious only mode of conveying to the mind observations, we shall select the fol- an accurate idea of the real character, lowing specimen :

if we wish to know the man, as india “It is surprising that men of tutored viduated and picked out from the rest minds should be ready to regard rule as

of his species. A mere history of acts something opposed to nature; for where do and incidents is, in point of fact, we see rule so admirably marked and ob- simply a tomb-stone memorial; but a served as in the operations of what we de- record, kept minutely of speeches and Dominate nature? We see this to be the case deeds, for a considerable time, must in the material world, and we are conscious

infallibly show the habits, temper, and of it in the intellectual. The fact is, that

mind of the person; as, however, all we are too apt to consider nothing as nature

do not declaim and instruct like Johnin poetry, but the unregulated sallies of the imagination. Whereas to render every men

son, such a diary, with respect to a tal operation perfect in its kind, the presid

reserved and cautious man, of plain ing power of reason must exercise a perpe- manners (and such have been many tral government over the motions of the great men), would soon become insimind, and regulate them by principles of pid, and we must after all content truth and propriety, which in effect are rules. ourselves with Biography in its usual This it did in Homer; and those principles form, aided by letters and anecdotes, detected and declared, constituted the rules and, if practicable, dialogues. of Aristotle." (P. 38.)

But Swift was one of those characWe shall not ungratefully disregard ters, who, by his wit and eccentricity pleasure conferred. Whatever may be alone, would have amply repaid such a ihe real address of this Homeric letter, biographer as Boswell, but whether which has no direction, it is a matter

he would have endured a similar spy of premises only. The chain of rea- is dubious. Fortunately bis works, yoning is precise and masterly; the more than those of any other writer, quotations appropriate and happy. But exhibit the man. Swift was a comet, there is a greater merit. The struc- with a fiery train of genius, capable of ture of the thoughts and language bas, most seriously influencing the human in numerous passages, all that beauti- orbs that moved in planetary regularity; fal delicacy which distinguishes the but though he had an idiosyncrasy of maceral form of the finest Greek style. character, he is far from indefinable. When we read these passages, Mr. He knew the Mammoth bulk of his Penin reminds us in the literary world mind, and the eighty-horse power of a




Review.-Mason's St. Patrick's Cathedral. [March, blow from his monstrous paw. His he was influenced by noble motives. taste for humour was sucked in with As a private man, he was not liberal, his mother's milk, for she was face- just, or amiable; and his acrimonious tious (p. 229, n. d.); he saw the folly habits turned him, like Lot's wife, of mankind with a microscopical eye; into a pillar of salt. El contra, says and because Providence, in aid of his Mr. Mason, talents, had thrown him into situa

“ His virtues and talents were an honour tions suited to such an exhibition of

to his fellow-creatures, but to his fellowhis powers, he became a writer, for

citizens a blessing. The news of his deevery man must have action, and will

cease roused the dormant zeal of his counnaturally choose that which best serves

trymen. It was then, says Sir Walter Scott, his leading passion,—that in Swift was

that the gratitude of the Irish shewed itself ambition. As to his filthiness, he was in the full glow of national enthusiasm. The not a man of dirty or vulgar habits; interval was forgotten, during which their and therefore may be presumed to have great patriot had been dead to the world; written in beastly language, because he and he was wept and mourned as if he had wrote anonymously, and well knew been called away in the full career of his that the singularity


public services. Young and old of all ranks readers, augment the effect, and the surrounded the house to pay the last triribaldries be sunk in the wit.

bute of sorrow and affection. Locks of his With regard, in short, to behaviour hair were so eagerly sought after, that Mr.

Sheridan happily and manner, he acted

plies to the enthusiasm upon the prin- of the citizens of Dublin the lines of Shaksciples of a pirate, who disregards the

peare : laws of civilized life and warfare. Determined to carry his point, he cared Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, not whether he used in his battles a

And dying mention it within your wills, lawful weapon, or an illicit poisoned Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

Unto arrow. That he was a misanthrope,

issue'.” (Pp. 409, 410.) may most accurately be denied, for he Though Swift was not a man with exhibited his philanthropy by his pa- whom, in our opinion, it would have triotism and his charities. His acer- been desirable to live, or be intimate ; bity of feeling, proceeding from intui- yet he certainly was a great and glotive penetration of weakness and dis- rious public character; and to expose appointed views, produced the cynical and calumniate such a character, is, snarl of Diogenes, and he could not we think, injurious, because it incul. endure habitual neglect of high reason. cates littleness of mind, produces cal. What Jeremy Bentham is in political lous indifference to the merit of high projects, Swift was in intellectual and services, and partakes of the meanmoral qualities. He could not be sa- thinking of the gossip and female vul. tisfied without perfection in both; gar, in whose eyes no men are great though the state of the world may con- but fanatical preachers and quack vince any thinking person that circum- doctors. Ve shall, therefore, as the stances in almost all situations will not Life of Swift is not novel, dwell on permit the free exercise of abstract rea- the passages in which Mr. Mason has son. Society, like law proceedings, is vindicated him from cruel aspersions. mostly regulated by forms, precedents, 1. Swift was not a bastard of Sir and measures, which will not permit William Temple's, nor was the Baroeven men of the strongest sense to play net very generous to him. P. 230. the Quaker and defy them. Of the 2. He neglected his University stuworks of Swift, his political pamphlets dies, because they consisted of the display a clearness of perception, and scholastic trash of Aristotelism. P.231. depth of vision, which show the tele- 3. He did not commence author bescopic reach of his wonderful mind. fore he left the University, and did His Gulliver is a work which no man not write the Tripos, ascribed to Jones. but himself could have executed; and P. 233. in irony he never had his equal. But 4. He did not take holy orders still he was a comet, only an object of against his inclination. P. 234, 5. grandeur when his train was visible, 5. The considerable legacy of the only when his public acts and writings Edinburgh Review, left him by Sir are included in the view of him. He William Temple (to whom he is was a philosopher, for his views were charged with behaving ungratefully), abstract; and, as a public character, and who made him give up a living, ,1829.) REVIEW, Mason's St. Patrick's Cathedral.



249 that he might detain him at Moor at the tale, and no very intimate friend Park, was 1001.! The Baronet left of Swift's, except Dr. Delany and Mrs. him unprovided both of a patron and Whiteway, did believe it. Mr. Maliving; P. 236.

son contends that opinion and suspi6. He was never in love with Stella. cion were the sole foundations upon “To that passion, during his whole which it ever rested; and each of its life, he was remarkably insensible.” defenders he says and shows in a masP. 237.

terly form, 7. He did write the Tale of a Tub, and did not borrow the Battle of the

“ Maintain their point by a subversion of

all those rules of evidence which ought to Books from Courtray. Pp. 338, 9. 8. Miss Waryng (or Vanessa) be- regulate our assent; hearsay and tradition,

no matter how far removed from original came first indifferent to him, not he lo testimony, are deemed sufficient proofs of her. "P. 241.

the most improbable acts, for which no 9. The story of dearly-beloved Ro- motive that ever actuated the heart of man ger, and the race with Dr. Raymond, is urged; for none of these writers allege and the anecdotes in the Swiftiana, are that sensual gratification was the cause of not to be accredited. P. 242.

this pretended union; it is manifest, that to 10. Mrs. Johnson came to Ireland silence the tongue of slander could not be to take possession of a small estate, and the intention of a marriage which was never live cheaply, not to be married to

avowed; no arrangement of a pecuniary naSwift. P. 243.

ture was compassed; what then was the 11. Not Swist's rivalry, but a stinke Scott, the mind of Stella from all scru

object? • It relieved,' says Sir Walter ing breath occasioned Tisdall to be rejected by Stella. P. 244.

ples on the impropriety of the connexion'.

These words, apparently significant, are, 12. He did not beg in a base and nevertheless, without meaning: what scruabject manner a recommendation from ples could she have concerning the proLord Somers to Lord Wharton, to be priety of a connexion founded in mutual Chaplain to the latter, as Dr. Salter disinterested friendship? Her conscience villainously reported. P. 247.

must have acquitted her in the presence of 13. In opposition to the Edinburgh that God who seeth in secret as well before, Review, Mr. Mason says,

if not better, than after such an inefficient “ It was thus in patronizing literary me

ceremony, better surely than after such a rit, and in advocating the cause of unpro P. 297, 8.

vile profanation of a sacred religious rite." tected indigence, that Swift expended his stock of credit with the Ministry. When Now we peremptorily affirm thit I had credit for some years at court,' he biographers have no right to state, as says, in his Letter of 5th May, 1735, to facts, matters which could not be Lady Betty Germain, 'I provided for above proved to have that character in a fifty people in both kingdoms, of which not

Court of Justice. Dr. John Lyon very ons was a relation'." P. 260.

judiciously observes, 14. It is not true that Swift's companions, after he resided at his Deanery, “ Is it not probable but that two gentlemen were, according to Lord Orrery, fools, of honour and fortune, still living, and who sycophants, &c. They were men of knew them both intimately, and who were fortune, scholars, men of talent, men

her executors, would have known of a mar

And yet they al. of humour, men of wit, and men of riage, if there was one ? virtue. Greater companions Swift Ways did, and do positively declare, they never

had cause to suspect they were married, almight have conversed with, but better though they were in company with both, he neither did nor could. P. 297, 8. one thousand times.

Such (says Mr. 16. We now come to the giant lio Mason) are the sentiments of Dr. John bel, the marriage story, which Mr. Lyon, who had the chief care of this great Mason supposes was either originally man, in the state of debility to which in invented by the malice of Lord Orrery his latter years he was reduced. How a (p. 297), or, what is more probable, secret of such importance should remain was a mere gossip's calumny, founded unravelled during that period of mental deupon the intimacy of the parties; for rangement, is not easy to be conceived: one no two unmarried persons of opposite been unwilling to profit by any involuntary

at least of his attendants would not have sexes can associate together without a

declaration." P. 306. story of intended matrimony (p. 297). Mrs. Dingley and Mrs. Brent laughed Mr. Mason (p. 3.19) attributes the GENT. Mac, March, 1922.



REVIEW. Mason's St. Patrick's Cathedral. [March, Dean's celibacy to a consciousness of liar branch of literature. In the prehis constitutional malady, for he als sent day, Swift's works will only be ways apprehended that he should out- condemned for their indelicacy. We live his intellects. Mr. Mason then are not to do evil that good may come; proceeds to his other love affair with and against this rule there might parMiss Vanhomrigh, alias Vanessa, who, tially be a patriotic intention on the to us, appears to have been an indeli- part of Swift, even in this most discate "forward Miss, who teazed the gustful deviation from propriety. We Dean to death with her advances, as have another excuse to offer. They many others of that description are in chiefly appeared in his later days, when the habits of doing. The story of his his insanity had probably made further rude visit and throwing down a letter, inroads upon his judgınent. Mr. Maas well as the communication of Sir son's apology is this, but it is an apoWalter Scott's correspondent con- logy for the acts of a lunatick : cerning this lady and the Dean, Mr. “ Of these fugitive pieces, there is one Mason pronounces

“ fabrications." class which turns upon subjects of a filthy For our parts we find the account in- and disgusting nature, in the publication volved in such obscurity, as to be ob- of which the Dean regarded, as he has done liged to call it, in the word of Lipsius, upon other occasions, the public service, cænum et lutum quod non purgamus. and the exigencies of the times, more than We only know that lovers do quarrel his own permanent credit, as a man of liteand make it up, agree to marry and

rature. Swift's office of censor called for break off, from causes which nobody the exercise of his talents in reforming er knows or thinks of but themselves, be

rors of a private, as well as those of a pub

lic nature : his own habitual cleanliness cause no person else takes an interest

rendered him sensible of the smallest transin the matter. Mr. Mason next goes on with the gressions against it; with characteristie

eagerness he hastened to correct the offensive Drapier's Letters, and other political error, and by the forcible measure of drawacts of Swift, which have obtained ing disgusting representations, effected, with him the following high and just eulo

& rapidity, which doubtless was proportioned gium:

to the violence of the means, the projected

reform. « The experience of modern times has

It is true, those pieces do no verified the truth of all his arguments ; so

longer serve to any purpose, but to fill the that, as to Swift we are chiefly indebted for

mind of the reader with disgust; we behold

them the preservation of our civil and commer

like nauseous drugs, without any cial advantages ; the prosperity likewise of regard to their sanative qualities, although our church establishment is in a great mea

to them we are perhaps indebted, in a great sure to be attributed to him."

measure, for the present soundness of our

constitution. They are,' says Dr. Delany, Into these political matters we shall alluding to these poems, the prescriptions not enter, because a full account is to

of an able physician, who had, in truth, the be found in Swift's works, and other health of his patients at heart, but laboured writers.

to attain that end, not only by strong emeIn what we have thus given from ticks, but also by the most nauseous and ofMr. Mason, we are far from wishing fensive drugs and potions that could be to represent the Dean as a faultless administered."' pp. 381, 2. character, only to join in a huinane This we only believe in part, for vindication of him, because insanity Swist, in his earlier life, made this inlurked in his constitution. No man delicacy a vehicle of personal satire ; can come before the publick, let his and such is an invincible propensity, character be what it may, without en- that it has become proverbial, in recountering calumny and misrepresen- gard to Wits, that they would sooner tation ; but the boldness and originality lose a friend than a joke. In many of of Swift provoked enemies, as well as these pieces, satire and revenge only raised friends-Johnson's test of a high could possibly be his object His acricharacter. Lying may be momentarily monious feelings then absolutely unuseful (at least it is thought so, and christianized him. practised) for temporary and political With the unqualified culogiums of purposes. A cunning tradesman said, Mr. Mason, for the Dean had serious it was a pity that it was a sin, it was failings, we cannot, in conscience, so necessary in business; but de mortuis coincide, though we heartily applaud wil risi verum, and let the party news. his motives. We agree with Sir Walter papers keep to themselves their pecu. Scott in his observation, that there are



p. 392.

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1822 ]
Review.- Rivington's Annual Register.

251 three peculiarities remarkable in the the Proprietors, have little, unless in their literary character of Swift: 1, origi- effects, which can interest the Public. The ginality; 2, indifference to literary Conductors of the work have the satisfaction fame; 3. his not undertaking any

to believe that it is scarcely possible such cirstyle of coniposition, in which he did cumstances should again occur. The three vonot obtain a distinguished pitch of lumes which bring to a close the remainder of excellence. But the highest token

the eighteenth century are already in a state

of considerable forwardness; and the arof the genius of Swift is this; rangements which have been made during that he rendered Literature the power the suspension of the work, afford the Proof a magician; that it never be, prietors a confident hope, that they will fore had such mighty influence, and be ready for delivery in such quickness of never has had it since. If it be not succession as will be satisfactory to the geneprofane to make the comparison, and rality of purchasers. we make it reluctantly, merely because " In compiling the Annals of the year it is apposite, we may say, that he 1797, much pains have been taken to mark wielded the rod of Moses, and led the the progress of Revolution in Italy: and the Irish as the Legislator did the Israelites, history of the changes, both in the Venetian from the Egypt of unwise commercial and the Genoese States, has been traced at oppression, towards a free and equal made to continue the narrative of the French

considerable length. Preparations had been Canaan ; but could only view it, by anti- Royalist war, which, in the volume for 1796, cipation, from the Pisgah of permanent had been brought down to the death of Stofuniversal feeling. We would only say to let and Charette: but it is doubtful whether future Editors of his works, Requiescat the sources from which our information on in pace. His patriotism will always this subject hitherto has been derived, may save him. Let his reputation be sa- be any longer open to us; and we are unvagely consigned to the fames; it will willing to rely upon any documents, but only rise, like a phænix from the ashes, such for the assured authenticity of which in a renovated youth of glory.

we can unhesitatingly offer the most distinct We have now to return our cordial pledge. The relation which in our former thanks to Mr. Mason ; and say, that volumes we have had the good fortune, erwe expect with impatience the con

clusively, to present, embraces by far the tinuation of his elaborate and excellent

most interesting portion of the events which book.

occurred in Britanny and Poitou : and in the absence of its continuation, it may be

satisfactory to state, that the remaining 37. Rivington's Annual Register for the transactions are of much less importance. Years 1797, and 1820.

« The domestic events of 1797 were of unIT is always with the most sincere usual magnitude and interest : and they have pleasure that we meet with a new vo

therefore demanded a more than customary lume of this valuable Continuation of share of our pages. From this cause we Dodsley; and it is an agreeable sur

have been induced to reserve, till the sucprize to find, after a long interval, two

ceeding volumes, our narrative of the dis

contents which led to the Rebellion in Irebulky volumes appearing at the same time,

land; and of the various internal changes

in the French Government, and its epheThe volume for 1797, as it apologizes meral Constitutions. One advantage, and for the unavoidable delay, shall first be that not a slight one, gained by the necessity noticed in the unvarnished tale of the of these arrangements, is, that our Readers Editor :

will be put in possession of a connected His“ The circumstances from which the de- cory, instead of broken and disjointed fraglay in the publication of this volume have arisen, however distressing they may be to “ Promises which have, from unavoidable

necessity, been repeatedly violated, are not “ In 1665 the importation of Irish cat- likely to be frequently credited. How far. tle was prohibited. This drove them into want of punctuality may be the most crying manufactures. In 1698 their woollen trade sin of publications of this kind, it does not was also prohibited by statute. This forced become us, who must plead guilty to the the staplers “ into a sumggling trade with charge, to take upon ourselves to decide. Frasce, by which the Irish wool was ex- But there is one assurance, which we have ported to that country, to the great pre- held out from the beginning of our compijudice of the oppressors themselves, and the lation, for the fulfilment of which we great benefit of their rivals the French ma- may appeal to our Readers with the most Dufacturers, who had recently established implicit confidence. We have spared neither themselves in Picardy." Mason, p. 819, seg. cime nor cost to present them with Facts:



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