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should rather say since Prior, who need not to be ir debted for any part of his praise to a charitable consideration of his origin, and the disadvantages under which he has laboured. It will be a pity if he should not hereafter divest himself of barbarism, and content himself with writing pure English, in which he appears perfectly qualified to excel. He who can command admira. tion, dishonours himself if he aims no higher than to raise a laugh.
Poor Burns loses much of his deserved praise in England, through the ignorance of his language. His candle is bright, but shut up in a dark lantern.
BARCLAY's Agenis is a most amusing romance of an old date. It is interesting in a high degree, richer in incidents that can be imagined, full of surprises which the reader never forestalls, and yet free from all entanglement and confusion. The style is such as would not dishonour Tacitus himself.
A LEBCH in a bottle foretels all the prodigies and convulsions in nature. Not by articulate utterance of oracular notices, but by a variety of gesticulations. No change of weather surprises him, and, in point of the earliest and most accurate intelligence, he is worth all the barometers in the world.
To exhibit the majesty of Homer in a modern language, is a task that no man can estimate the difficulty of till he attempts it. To paraphrase him loosely, to gre, and hang him with trappings that do not belong to him, all animda this is comparatively easy. But to represent him with monteres only his own ornaments, and still to preserve his digesti parica nity, is a labour that can only be achieved by the most de la sema assiduous and most unremitting attention.
They say of Poets that they must be born such; 90 must mathematicians, so must great generals, so must lawyers, and so indeed must men of all denomi. nations, or it is not possible that they should excel. But with whatever faculties we are born, and to whatever studies our genius may direct us, studies they must still be. Milton did not write his Paradise Lost, nor Homer his Iliad, nor Newton his Principia, without immense labour. Nature gave them a bias to their respective pursuits, and that strong propensity is what we mean by Genius; the rest they gave themselves.
Some of Lavater's Aphorisms appear wise; many whimsical; a few false; and not a few extravagant. Nil illi medium.-- If he finds in a man the feature or quality that he approves, he deifies him; if the contrary, he is a devil. His verdict, it may be supposed, is in neither case a just one.
What one reads under a hedge, or at the side of a pond, that pond and that hedge will always bring to one's remembrance; and this is a sort of memoria tecla nica which may be recommended.
There are, undoubtedly, in Sir John Hawkins' book some awkwardnesses of phrase, and, which is worse, here and there, some unequivocal indications of a vanity not easily pardonable in a man of his years; but, on the whole, it is amusing, and replete with information. It gives a great insight into the history of modern literature, and modern' men of letters. Fifty years hence, perhaps, the world will feel itself obliged to him.
Boswell's Tour is amusing. There is indeed much trash in it, as there must always be in every narrative that relates indiscriminately all that passed. But now and then the doctor speaks like an oracle, and that makes amends for all. Sir John was a coxcomb, and Boswell is not less a coxcomb, though of another kind. I fancy Johnson made coxcombs of all his friends, and they, in return, made him a coxcomb; for, with reves rence be it spoken, such he certainly was; and, flattered as he was, he was sure to be so.
. ...... Wę, who make books ourselves, are merciful to bookmakers. I would that every fastidious judge of authors were, himself, obliged to write; there goes more to the composition of a volume than many critics imagine. I have often wondered, that the same poet who wrote the Dunciad, should have written these lines :
“ The mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me."
Alas! for Pope, if the mercy he showed to others was the measure of the mercy he received!
In writing, perspicuity is always more than half the battle. The want of it is the ruin of more than half the poetry that is published. A meaning that does not stare you in the face is as bad as no meaning; because nobody will take the pains to poke-for it.
It is useful to every man to be well grounded in the principles of jurisprudence. It is a branch of science that bids much fairer to enlarge the mind, and give an accuracy of reasoning than all the mathema'ties in the world..
MISCARRIAGBS, in authorship, are as often to be ascribed to want of pains-taking as to want of ability.
The great author of the Rambler (intimately acquainted with all the troubles that are too apt to attend the votaries of literature) has said, “ that a Bookseller is the only Mæcenas of the modern world.” Without assenting to all the eulogy and all the satire implied in this remarkable sentiment, we may take a pleasure in ob'serving, that in the class of men so magnificently and sportively commended, there are several individuals, each of whom, a writer of the most delicate manners and exalted mind, may justly esteem as a pleasing associate and as a liberal friend.
........ Let genius, true genius, conceal itself where it may, we may say of it, as the young man in Terence of his beautiful mistress, Diu latere non potest.
CHARACTER OF THE MALAY SLAVES.
-Duris genuit te cantibus horrens Caucasus, Hircanæque admorunt ubera tigres.-VIRG.
-Thy parent was a rock, And fierce Hircanian tigers gave thee suck.
To The Dutch, at the Cape of Good Hope, import
many slaves, both from Asia and Africa; those from the Malay Isles are particularly ferocious and vindic
tive. The slaves of the Malay race are tolerably nun to merous, and employed in many kinds of laborious work, abuz such as gardening and attending the grounds belongo
ing to the pleasure-houses round the town, and in the kitchens, and the drudgery-work belonging to them. They are also often employed in fishing and procuring fuel. This class of people are extremely vindictive, treacherous, and ferocious, implacable in their revenge, and, on the slightest provocation or imaginary insult, will commit murder. They are indeed a scourge to the people they come among Many shocking murders have been committed by the Malay slaves on their masters and mistresses; not for the purpose of robbing, but merely to gratify their thirst of revenge, which nothing but the blood of their object cansatisfy, though at the certain loss of their own lives. When a Malay has determined on revenge, he takes a quantity of opium, to work himself up to a state of madness, when he rushes out with a knife, ör dagger, which is called a kreese ; and, after putting to death the original object of his infernal passion, he next rushes at every one he meets, till he is at length overpowered and taken;