« PreviousContinue »
I thank you for Thomson's Epitaph,* on which I hare only to remark (and J am sure that I do it not in a captious spirit) that since the poet is himself the speaker, I cannot but question a Iittle the propriety of the quotation subjoined. It is a prayer, and when the man is buried, the time of prayer is over. I know it may be answered, that it is placed there merely for the benefit of the reader; but all readers of tombstones are not wise enough to be trusted for such an interpretation.
I was well pleased with your poem on * *> and equally well pleased with your intention not to publish it. It proves two points of consequence to an author. Both that you have an exuberant fancy, and discretion enough to know how to deal with it. The man is as focmidable for bis ludicrous talent as he has made himself contemptible by his use of it. To despise him therefore is natural, but it is wise to do it in secret.
Since the juvenile poems of Milton were edited by Warton, You need not trouble yourself to send them. I have them of hi« edition already.
I am. dear Sir,
* The epitaph on Thomson, transmitted to Mr. Cowper, was. drawn up by Lord
Buchan, and (after some slight alterations) engraved on a brass tablet, and placed
over the poet's grave in Richmond church. The following is a copy: and it deserve*
to be remembered, as the fact is not recorded, that the vestry dispensed with the
customary fee of ten guineas, in testimony of respect for the departed bard.
"In the earth below this tablet
Are the remains of
Author of the beautiful poems entitled
•The Seasons* 'Castle of Indolence* &c. &c.
Who died at Richmond on the 27th day of Aueust.
And was buried here on the Cgth fold stite) 1748.
The Earl of Buchan, unwilling that so good a man
And sweet a poet should be without a memorial.
Has denoted the place of his interment
For the satisfaction of his admirers;
In the year of our Lord 1792.
'Father of light and life! thou good supreme?
HINDOO MANUAL AND CREED.
(Continued from Vol. XV. p. Xfi.)
"if aDewtah should be bold enough to free himself, by selfviolence, from a body in which I shall have inclosed him, you, Seeb, shall plunge him in darkness, there to remain for ever: he shall no longer possess the power of purifying himself and expiating his crime in the fifteen bonbons. I will distinguish by classes, and kinds the mortal bodies in which I destine to punish the guilty Dewtahs. I will give them divers forms, qualities, and faculties, and they shall live and multiply each its own kind and species, through a natural instinct which I will implant in them; and by this natural union there shall be a succession of forms in each tribe and species, so that the transmigration of the guilty spirits shall never cease. Should any of the guilty Dewtahs have, connection with any other species than his own tribe, I order you, Seeb, to confine him in the regions of darkness for the space of a certain time, and that he pass through eighty-nine transmigrations, whatever rank he may have attained to at the time of committing this crime. Should any Dewtah resist the natural instinct which I shall implant in him for the forms he ought to love, and dare unite himself in any manner which obstructs the propagation of his cast and species; I enjoin you, Seeb, to confine him for ever in the regions of darkness: he shall no longer have permission to purify himself in the fifteen bonbons. I grant to the guilty Dewtahs, to soften and alleviate their pains and punishment, through the good offices which they may mutually render each other, that they love and help one another; to encourage each other to repent of the crime of disobedience, which they have committed, I will strengthen their good dispositions and be favourable to them : but if, on the contrary, they persecute each other, I will take the part of the injured, and the persecutors shall never enter into the nine bonbons; no, not even in the first which is set a part for their purification. If the Dewtahs avail themselves of the grace I am willing to show them, in their eighty-nine transmigrations of Mhorde, by repentence and good works; you, Vistnou, shall receive them in thy bosom, and conduct them to the second bonbon of punishment and purgation, and you shall act in this manner, until they have passed progressively through eight bonbons of purgation arid punishment; when their punishment shall cease, and you shall conduct them to the ninth, that is the first bonbon of purification. But if the rebellious Dewtahs do not avail themselves of my favour, in passing through the eighty-nine bonbons of transmigmtions in a manner proportionate to the capacity I will give them; yon, Seeb, must return for a time into the regions of darkness, and after itsexpiration, Vistnou shall come and replace yon. In the lowest abyss of the bonbon of punishment and purgation, shall they undergo a second trial, and they shall continue to suffer there, until, by their repentance and perseverance in good deeds, durmg eightynine transmigrations, they shall attain to the ninth; that is, to the first of the seven bonbons of purification. For it is my decree that the rebellious Dewtahs no more enter into Maha Surgo; nor any more see my countenance, till they have passed through the eight bonbons of punishment, and the seven bonbons of purification." The faithful Dewtahs, hearing what the Eternal had said and ordered, relative to the guilty Dewtahs, sang his praises, and celebrated his power and his justice. When they ceased, the Eternal spoke to them in the following terms—" I will continue my favour to the guilty Dewtahs for a certain period, which I divide into four Iogues. In the first, I will that the period of their probation in the eighty-nine transmigrations of Mhorde be one hundred thousand years. In the second, the term of their probation shall be reduced to ten thousand years. In the third, to one thousand years; and in the fourth, to one hundred years."* And the faithful Dewtahs, with shouts of joy, celebrated the mercy and indulgence of God towards them. When they ceased—the Eternal continued, —" If, after the space of time which I have fixed for the duration of the Dounea Houda, and that which my goodness has granted for the rebellious Dewtahs, shall be completed by the revolution of the four Iogues, there should be any who have not passed through the eight bonbons of punishment and probation, and shall not have entered the ninth; that is, the first of purification: do you, Seeb, armed with my power, precipitate them for ever into the regions of darkness. You shall then destroy the eight bonbons of punishment and purgation, and they shall never more exist. But you, Vistnou, shall preserve for a time the seven bonbons of purification, until the Dewtahs, who have availed themselves of my grace and mercy, may be purified from their sins. When they shall be purified, and shall have been established in their former state, and admitted to my presence; you, Seeb, must destroy the seven bonbons of purification, and they shall never more exist." [To be continued.]
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MONTHLY MIRROR.
Sin, July 6.
Amid many sneers oblique, against the veracity of our poetical historian, in Ritson's recently-published "Uibliographia Poetica," I observe a sinister insinuation at p. 299, which I am, very accidentally, enabled to repel.
"W. Phist, (says the bibliographer) according to Warton, translateed from the Italian, * The welspring of wittie conceights:' printed for R. Jones, lo84, 4to. b. 1. which, however, no one else appears eter to have met uith."
Now it so happens, that this very volume, which has eluded the keen research of Mister Ritson, lies open before me; and in order to purge his mental vision from the mote of incredulity, or the film of prepossession, I will present him with a few sprinklings of moral truth from this ancient well-spring of wisdom.
"Like as some venemous heibe when it is mingled with other thinges, doth make a holesome drincke; so the health of the bodye without the health of the minde, is hurtfull; wheras beeing accompanied therwith, it is very great helpe."
"Forasmuch, as there is nothing more convenient to a good man, nor more worthie to a good cittizen, then to live peaceably: I pray God, that he will lighten your minde with cyvill passions, and that he will plant in you such peace and rest, as every one desireth, and as fewe do know how to procure."
"He that hath cause to feare every man, cannot, neither ought he, assure himselfe of any."
"Dee circumspect and warve in talking; rather applying'too much modestie, then too much libertie; for there is no man of such a crooked disposition, which can not be pleased with the humanitie of wordes."
"Bee warie, and as circumspect in writing as ye can, for the rommoditie of printing hath caused that men are growen to such a passe, as many will comment uppon, not onely writings and wordes, but also the thoughtes and secretes of a mans minde."
"That order of living which some doe use, serveth to nothing else, but to weaken the body, and to make it subject to every danger; and to make feeble the understanding."
"like as some men, by reason of some maladie that they have, .and through dulnesse of their senses, doe not taste the sweetenes of meatcs; so those men have no tasting of true prayse." «—voL. xvi.
■ ■ n
"I am bound to hate the vices of those, that through their little religion, and great pertinacitie, would carry me headlong with them into evill."
"To passe a man's life joyfully with his frends, is a thing full of consolation: and on the contrarie, not to use conversation with them, either for hatred, or for the little regard that they have, cannot be without perturbation of minde."
"Too much nyceness ingendreth dispraise, and maketh a man little esteemed."
"Even, as smoke troubling the eyes, doth let us that we cannot see those things which be afore our feete, so wrath assaulting the understanding, dimmeth and blindeth our reason."
"Some men, envying the praise of others, doo (like the pestilence) infect and spoile our frendship."
"Man is none other thing but an example of infirmitie, an image of inconstancie, and a ballance of fleagme and choler."
"This our life is like unto wine, whereof a little being left in the bottom of the barrell, doth become vineger."
"I exhort you as earnestly as I can, that ye would begin a new habyt of living, and use such manners as tende unto vertue, which may make the minde more capable of felicitie!"
JTJNIUS'S LETTERS. Mr. Editor,
Having lately met with a volume, published by Mr. Chalmers, called "A Supplemental Apology for the Believers," I beg leave "ito oifer a few remarks, which the perusal of it has Suggested. How far the believers of Mr. Ireland's clumsy forgery are deserving of apology, or what the measure of their gratitude may be to this their gallant champion, I shall not enquire, nor should the question have been called from its repose, even in this bare reference, if Mr. Chalmers had not thought fit to wander into a new field of discussion, and to attack, with furious severity, the author of Junius's Letters. Condemning not only the political principles, but the language and diction delivered in those celebrated papers, he cxultingly proceeds to dissect, with his philological knife, the opening of the famous letter to the King; and this he does, as we are told, "for the benefit of our liberal youth." Junius