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tions to it, are more numerous; thus, we spell undersell with two ls, foretel with one ; recall with two, but miscal with one.
Nor can the doubts of the inquirer be always resolved by observing the practice of celebrated writers, for, in distinguished productions, he will find inquire and enquire; negotiate and negociate ; expense and expence ; allege and alledge ; surprise and surprise; complete and compleat ; connexion and connection, &c.
That our great lexicographer should not have satisfactorily determined every difficulty; that he should have been occasionally inconsistent with himself; that he should have sometimes evidently hurried, rather than deliberated over difficulties, is far less surprising than that he should have atchieved such an incomparable monument of imperishable fame. His dictionary affords the only substitute for rule which the language admits, and, in its improved state by the Rev. Mr. Todd, presents a national standard of reference.
In conclusion, we must not forget to allow that fashion prevails in language as well, although not in so great a degree, as in dress. It is not long since it was universal in the polite world to dismiss the u from honour, favour, &c.; of late, the u has been progressively restored, from a fear of innovation, and, probably, a difference of opinion as to the precise source from which these words were transplanted into our language. And, in our own times, they has been nearly dismissed from chymist, &c., in complaisance to what Walker considers Warburton's far-fetched and fanciful etymology of the word. Would that these were the only instances of such revolutions ! They are, however, all our limits will allow us to expose. No better advice can be given to the inquirer, than that afforded by Pope in his Essay on Criticism :
“ In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold,
Alike fantastic if too new or old :
DEATH OF CAPELL LOFFT, Esq.*
O'er the dark waters of the sleepless sea,
Too oft of late the sad lament hath come;
Have past from earth, estrang'd from friends and home.
* Mr. Lofft, to whose memory the above feeble tribute of regard is inscribed, was for many years an efficient, and, we need scarcely say, able honorary and corresponding member of the Philomathic Institution. During that period, he has presented to us many valuable papers on literary, philosophical, and scientific subjects. In common with our country, we have to lament the loss of this excellent and learned man, who died at Turin in June 1824.
Mr. Lofft was born Nov. 14, 1751, in Boswell-court, Carey-street. His father was Christopber Lofft, Esq., who had, in his early years, been much in the confidence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough; his mother was Anne, the daughter of the Rev. Gamaliel Capell, of Stanton, and sister to Edward Capell, esq., editor of Shakspeare. He was the second son of the marriage; his elder brother died in infancy. His own health, in early life, was delicate, and it was with difficulty that be surmounted the diseases incidental to childhood. He passed his early years at home, and may be almost said to have taught himself to read ; being discovered, when about six years old, perusing the Fairy Queen, before it was known that he could read a sentence. This book was ever afterwards a favourite with Mr. Lofft. He was afterwards placed at Eton, and subsequently at Peterhouse, Cambridge; and at both places distinguished bimself by aptitude and ability. A family coolness, which bad subsisted between his father and his uncle, Edward Capell, was removed by the interest of Mr. Garrick; and the subject of this brief memoir was by his means established in the esteem and affection of his uncle, and ultimately in the succession to his.estates in Suffolk. In 1773, he attended assiduously as a student in the Court of King's Bench. At that time, Lord Mansfield, Sir W. de Grey, and Sir William Blackstone, were on the bench; men whom posterity can hardly hope to see equalled. He was called to the bar in 1775. Previous to that time, he had published several poetical pieces, which were followed by reports of cases in the King's Bench, and various pamphlets on the American controversy, in which lamentable affair he took a deep interest. He was through life a firm friend to constitutional free. dom, and the best interests of his country. In 1778, he was married to Miss Emlyn, daughter of Mr. Emlyn, of Windsor, architect. He was for many years an active public character, and took part in many of the debates at the Westminster Forum, and Coachmakers' Hall. He has published several works on jurisprudence and law; and two volumes of sonnets were amongst his last poetical effusions. His second wife was Miss Finch, of Cambridge, estcemed for her intellectual accomplishments. LatThe wail of sorrow, trembling o'er the wave,
Had scarcely died before it rose again ; Sweet sons of Song, alas ! could nothing save ?
And must a nation's prayers be breath'd in vain? Keats,-Shelley, - Byron,-all are snatch'd away,
On foreign fields their dying eyes were turn'd; Far from the land that gave them birth, they lay
In death,-alike by friends and strangers mourn’d.
The waters rolld their dirges to the shore,
Where once they lived their country's hope and prideWafted by winds that howl, and waves that roar,
Again the requiem floats along the tide.
And must our sons, the noblest and the blest,
Yield up their spirits under alien skies? Must thou too, Lofft, recline thy dying breast
Far, far from home, --nor hear thy country's cries? Thy country, dearer to thy patriot soul
Than all the brightest realms that earth can show! Her honour was thy pride,-her weal thy goal,
Her well-earn'd praise thy fondest hope below.
There breath'd no lips upon our favour'd isle
purer prayers than thine ; Her happiness inspir’d thy brightest smile,
When blest by fate in arts or arms to shine.
Gentle of heart, by pure affection fir'd,
Prudent in counsel, and a zealous friend; The love of human-kind thy breast inspir’d,
Aud bade thee soothe the sad, -ibe weak defend.
terly, he resided in Italy, and there he died. Some years ago, he was made recorder of Bury; a situation for which he was eminently qualified, both by his legal koowledge and his merciful disposition. In private life his character was estimable; and, as a public man, consistent and independent. He was for years a gratuitous contributor to the periodi. cal press; and many able papers bave proceeded from bis pen. A profound scholar, he was versed in the sciences, and several languages, in some of which he was self-taught. He was ever ready to assist neglected merit, and was beloved and respected by those whose talents he brought into notice, and for whom he obtained fame and emolument. His correspondence was extensive, and his letters were valuable for their information, and welcome for their kindness. Amongst bis friends he numbered many of the best and brightest characters of the country. An enemy to tyrants in every shape, the opposer of needless wars, avd the undeviating advocate of constitutional liberty; we cannot pronounce bim other than an honour to his country, and a friend to mankind.
Thy soaring mind could spurn the bounds of earth,
And roam, thought-wing’d, amidst the starry sphere ; As if thy spirit were of higher birth,
And sought congenial regions found not here.
Far as the planet wheels its circling fight,
Far as the comet speeds beyond our ken,-Thy thoughts could rise, and from the depths of night
Pour light and knowledge on the souls of men. The friend of virtue, and the foe of strife,
To bless the world thy varied lore was brought; Now stooping to the useful arts of life,
Now soaring to the proudest range of thought ! By foes respected, and by friends ador'd;
The fearless champion of the rights of all; At freedom's shrine ihine orisons were pour’d,
Whence taunts could move thee not, nor threats appal.
The muses smil'd auspicious on thy birth,
And breath'd their inspiration o'er thy mind; And gave thee, midst the favor'd of the earth,
To leave a bright and deathless name behind. Each son of genius found a friend in thee,
To lead his footsteps to the path of fanie ; And dear to many an honor'd bard shall be
The sacred memory of thy cherish'd name.
While such upon thy monumental urn
Shall drop as pure a tear as man cau shed, The prayer for him who never can return,
Shall breathe around the mansion of the dead.
Peace to tbine ashes, where soe'er they rest,
Peace to thy spirit in the realms above !
While worth or talent claim the meed of love.
CONCERNING POETIC GENIUS, ITS INSTRUMENTS, AND
“ I should call that investigation fair and philosophical, in which the critic announces and endeavours to establish the PRINCIPLES which he holds for the foundation of poetry in general, with the specification of these in their application to the different classes of poetry."
OF GENIUS IN GENERAL. Genius is the inherent law which distinguishes different individuals, species, and things. It is connate with the individual, and constitutes his separate identity. The etymon of the term defines it to be the natural qualification, the genial aptitude, and connatural disposition. A loftier import has, however, been attributed to the word. Though expressing the genial nature which exists in every man, it is thought derogatory to apply it to any, besides its intensest, habit. It has consequently been expressive of an endowment of superior faculties, and applied only to the sublimest exerters of intellectual power.
This leads at once to the most accurate definition of the term. It is as follows:
The ruling power born in the nature, and identical with the essence of the individual mind, giving law to the faculties, prescribing their operations, and directing and determining the predominant character of the intellect, temper, and habit.
Of genius thus defined, the genial aptitude is but the germ, and possessed by all men in the less intense degrees. But ambition is necessary to develope it, and education and circumstance may accelerate or prevent its unfolding or expansion. If never developed, it is the same thing to the world, and its possessor, as if it never existed. There is, nevertheless, the latent spark, the dormant power.
Genius, in the abstract, is a prefiguration, by the hand of Nature, of all the faculties and functions of ihe intellect. Let it, however, be understood, we distinguish, not divide, the mind into faculties. Spirit is indivisible, and cannot be composed of parts. It is possessed at once of ubiquity and unity. The analysis made of the mind into faculties is not in mind, but in our idea of mind. The necessities of language demand it; which, being a material instrument, will reduce every thing to the nature of its own constitution, and the elements of its own nature. Alas! that all ideas of spirit may not be rendered audible by a spiritual language only! But in all things we are subject to material media.