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absurdly overprizing a single art, or a single science, and from treating all the rest with a sort of insolent contempt; advantages so little to be expected from any knowledge less extensive, that, on the contrary, the more deeply knowing men may be in a single subject alone, the more likely are they to fall into such narrow and illiberal sentiments.
It is indeed no wonder in such case, that mistakes should arise, since those who reason thus, be they as accurate as may be in their own particular science, will be found to reason about one thing which they know, and about many of which they are ignorant; and how from reasoners such as these, so inadequately prepared, can we expect either an exact or an impartial estimate?
And thus much at present for the speculation concerning predicaments, or Philosophical Arrangements;n in the treating of which, we have considered, in the beginning, such matters as were necessarily previous; in the middle, we have considered the arrangements themselves; and, in the end, various matters, naturally arising out of them, or which have incidentally occurred during the time of their being discussed.
And thus this part of logical speculation appears to be finished.
• Many learned and ingenious observa- or to judge with accuracy and elegance. tions on this subject, as well as on several The author of these Arrangements might other parts of ancient philosophy, (the have availed himself of many citations from Peripatetic in particular,) have been given this work, highly tending to illustrate and to the world in a tract lately published, to confirm his opinions, but unfortunately styled, On the Origin and Progress of for him, the greater part of his own treatise Language, in two volumes, 8vo.
was printed off, before the second volume There may be found, too, in the second of this work appeared. volume, many judicious and curious remarks • See chap. i. and ii. on style, composition, language, particularly p See from chap. iii. to xiv. inclusive. the English ; observations of the last con- 9 See from chap. xv. to the conclusion. sequence to those who wish either to write
ADDRESSED TO MY MUCH ESTEEMED RELATION AND FRIEND,
EDWARD HOOPER, ESQ.
DEAR Sir,--Being yourself advanced in years, you will the more easily forgive me, if I claim a privilege of age, and pass from Philosophy to Philology.
You may compare me, if you please, to some weary traveller, who, having long wandered over craggy heights, descends at length to the plains below, and hopes, at his journey's end, to find a smooth and easy road.
For my writings, (such as they are,) they have answered a purpose I always wished, if they have led men to inspect authors far superior to myself, many of whose works (like hidden treasures) have lain for years out of sight.
Be that, however, as it may, I shall at least enjoy the pleasure of thus recording our mutual friendship; a friendship which has lasted for more than fifty years, and which I think so much for my honour to have merited so long. But I proceed to my subject.
As the great events of nature a led mankind to admiration; so curiosity to learn the cause whence such events should arise, was that which by due degrees formed Natural Philosophy.
What happened in the natural world, happened also in the literary. Exquisite productions, both in prose and verse, induced men here likewise to seek the cause ; and such inquiries, often repeated, gave birth to Philology.
Philology should hence appear to be of a most comprehensive character, and to include, not only all accounts both of criticism and critics, but of every thing connected with letters, be it speculative or historical.
The treatise which follows is of this philological kind, and will consist of three parts, properly distinct from each other.
The first will be an investigation of the rise and different species of criticism and critics.
a Some of these great events are enu- the quick return of night in winter, and merated by Virgil-the course of the hea- the slow return of it in summer. Virg. vens- eclipses of the sun and moon-earth- Georg. ii. 475, &c. quakes—the flux and reflux of the seama
The second will be an illustration of critical doctrines and principles, as they appear in distinguished authors, as well ancient as modern.
The third and last part will be rather historical than critical, being an essay on the taste and literature of the middle age.
These subjects of speculation being despatched, we shall here conclude these Philological Inquiries.
First therefore for the first, the rise and different species of criticism and critics.
CONCERNING THE RISE OF CRITICISM IN ITS FIRST SPECIES, THE PHILO
SOPHICAL. EMINENT PERSONS, GREEKS AND ROMANS, BY WHOM THIS SPECIES WAS CULTIVATED.
Those who can imagine that the rules of writing were first established, and that men then wrote in conformity to them, as they make conserves and comfits by referring to receipt-books, know nothing of criticism, either as to its origin or progress. The truth is, they were authors who made the first good critics, and not critics who made the first good authors, however writers of later date may have profited by critical precepts.
If this appear strange, we may refer to other subjects. Can we doubt that men had music, such, indeed, as it was, before the principles of harmony were established into a science ? that diseases were healed, and buildings erected, before medicine and architecture were systematized into arts ? that men reasoned and harangued upon matters of speculation and practice, long before there were professed teachers either of logic or of rhetoric? To return therefore to our subject, the rise and progress of criticism.
Ancient Greece in its happy days was the seat of liberty, of sciences, and of arts. In this fair region, fertile of wit, the epic writers came first; then the lyric; then the tragic; and lastly the historians, the comic writers, and the orators; each in their turns delighting whole multitudes, and commanding the attention and admiration of all. Now when wise and thinking men, the subtle investigators of principles and causes, observed the wonderful effect of these works upon the human mind, they were prompted to inquire whence this should proceed; for that it should happen merely from chance, they could not well believe.