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philosophy that is not benevolent is false and destructive. It is impossible for man to know the truth : but it is of no importe ance whether his felicity be founded on truth, or on delufion.'
The next subject is on the Causes of Tasso's Madness, taken from Manso’s Life of the Italian Poet. It is fyftematically described; but Taffo's own account, in his letters, is the most curious part: he was certainly mad, ratione modoque.' Mr. Heron's reflections are worth transcribing.
· The high things, which Manso heard, doubtless originated from Taffo's warm attachment to the Platonic philofophy; that fublime tissue of dreams and visions. I would remark, upon the whole subject of this letter, that it is a woeful proof of the weakness of the most exalted mind, when it lays the rein upon the neck of imagination. A man of genius cannot take too much care to prevent his supernatural fancy from assuming any power over common life. The effect of imagination upon the mind is like that of lime upon a fruit-tree ; a little buried at the root, will make it healihy and flourishing ; but too much will totally destroy it.'
The forty-fourth Letter is on Literary Forgery ; but the author takes no notice of that species of it which consists in publishing under borrowed names. But we believe it to be as innocent as the ascribing modern productions to an ancient authors and we have fully examined the subject, in our review of Chatterton's productions, ascribed to Rowley : Mr. Heron agrees with us in this opinion.
He then considers which of the Roman authors were really originals. In his opinion, Plautus has some pretensions to this quality : Lucretius is in the middle rank between an original and an imitator : Horace is a copyist, except in his satires and epistles; and this · Sabine puppy' of the two hundred and thirtieth
is in the three hundred and ninetieth " ginal and exquisite writer :' Ovid is an original in his Fafti and Metamorphoses, two works of inferior value : and Celsus, the most servile of copyists, is said to deserve the same title : Phædrus, Juvenal, Persius, Lucan, Pliny, Boethius, and above all, « velut inter ignes Luna minores,' Tacitus, are accounted originals. On the whole, these decisions are juft: Celsus, Pliny, and Lucan, are the only flagrant exceptions; and these were owing probably to his not understanding the subjects of the two former authors, and not having read the last. It is not the first instance, in which Mr. Heron has decided on the merits of an author, with which it is pretty certain he is little acquainted.
The forty-fixth Letter contains some very just Remarks on the Distinction between Reading and Learning, and the Impropriety of calling a Man, who has only read much, with
out Reflection, learned. The next Letter is intended as a supplement to the former analysis of science from Bacon. It contains some additional remarks on moral philosophy, and social science.
The forty-eighth Letter is on Taffo's Language, and contains a good apology for some of his too figurative expressions in the Gierusalemme liberata.
The forty-ninth Letter is an Examination of Addison's Cri. ticisms; and, as Mr. Heron has often spoken in the mot disrespectful style of this author's decisions, we shall select a specimen of his remarks.
• Spect. No. 5. Addison hath given more proofs than one of his very slight acquaintance with the Italian language. Armida is, in the opera of Rinaldo, called an Amazonian enchantress, or more properly an enchanting Amazon (taking enchanting in rather an uncommon acceptation), not from her being of the nation of the Amazons, as Addison ftrangely misunderstands it; but from her being an enchantress and virago. The remark on the Christian magician is equally absurd. The magician doth not deal with the devil, as Addison misrepresents it much in the spirit of an old woman, but with angels, the damons of Platonism ; who were thought the servants of good men, and none but the good. Before such criticisms no work can stand. The critic totally misrepresents the meaning, and then writes criticisms upon his own misrepresentations. The noted attack on Tafso, which follows these odd blunders, is dismissed in pity and filent contempt. Taffo it innocent of the charge, and must be honourably acquitted. The English of Mr. Addison's vioJent hatred of the opera is, that he wrote for the English theatre, and was mortified to see it neglected for the Italian.'
The other hypercriticisms are, as usual, a strange mixture of petulance and good sense ; of a decisive manner, and in. correct reasoning.
The following Letter, fent with the Confessions of Rousseau, only contains a parallel between him and Cardan. They were both their own bicgraphers; both egotists; and both, some. times, sublime.-The fifty-firft Letter contains some of Sadi's apologues, translated from the French. They are of unequa! merit: none of them deserve to be very particularly 'diftine guished.
The fifty-second Letter contains some farther Remarks on Tasio. They relate to the conduct of the poet; for his lane guage had been already considered. We cannot follow the critic in this path ; but all select a passage, which seems to deserve attention.
• With regard to the faulty characters in the Gerusalemme, I think that there are far too many female warriors in it. We
are obliged to Virgil for the first personage of this fort; the very sense of Homer admitted no such dreams. Dacier hath well observed that a circumstance that is positive fact in real life, might yet be much too improbable for poetry. We know from history that Vermina, the daughter of Syphax, was in the field fighting in affiftance of Hannibal, when he received his laft defeat from Scipio ; a circumstance, which, being so recent, probably fuggetted Camilla to Virgil. We know from history the martial spirit of Bonduca, of many Scandinavian ladies, and the like; yet all these will not vindicate the admiffion of female warriors into poetry, where the grand truth of nature is the object, not the paltry truth of fact. Talso hath, however, a very strong apology to offer for his sometimes making the word warrior of the feminine gender, and that is the coincidence of his story with the times and manners of chivalry: times and manners which presented so many instances of this folecism in costume, as almost to elevate truth of fact into truth of nature.'
The remarks in this Letter, frequently display both taste and judgment.
The next subject is Literary Hyprocrify, or rather the affected modesty which fears, or would be thought afraid, to decide. Our author laments the loss of the confidentia fui," which he thinks is unknown. It may perhaps be one of his merits, that he has endeavoured to recall it.
While these Letters remain, this quality cannot be forgotten. The following is a picture from nature.
• A yet more glaring literary hypocrisy is that by which an ignorant man assumes the garb of science; as the worst hypocrily in the moral world is that by which a vicious man asumes the mask of religion. In the latter, a hypocrite may often be discovered by palhing his simulation too far; and in the like manner a literary impoitor is apt, not to display too much learn. ing, for he hath got none; but, to use the character of a learned man in the extreme. He shakes his head at the most trivial question, and, with many hems and ha's, fays it is a difficult point, a very difficult point indeed, and would require very mature examination. When any person present says the point is very easy, takes it in hand, and solves it to the fatiffaction of every body, the hypocrite of learning shakes his head, says that solution is trivial; and perhaps is polite enough to hint that it equals the understanding of the audience ; but that he, upon proper occasion, and to a learned company, could have given a much more profound account of the matter.'
The fifty-fourth Letter is on false Fame, and the Difficulty of acquiring solid Reputation. There is some merit in this Letter ; and we may safely trust the diâates of an author, who has shifted his shape so often, with this view.
The following Letter is on the Character, the Language, and the particular Beauties of Talo's Jerusalem delivered ;
and concludes a criticism on this poem, which though gene. rally too favourable, is, on the whole, very valuable.The next subject is the Degrees of Scientific Fame. We believe the sciences are arranged according to general opinion, but by no means correctly. The inventor of the forty-seventh Proposition of the first book of Euclid, deserves more of mankind than all the epic writers who have ever flourished; yet epic poetry is in the first, and geometry the last part of the scale.
The lat Letter is on Criticism and Critics, in which we fhall not follow Mr. Heron, because he again descends to ribaldry and impertinence. It is furprising, that an author who possesses fome fair pretensions to fame, should debase them with such a contemptible alloy.
We have freely followed our author, and impartially awarded him his due praises and censure. We shall ņot, therefore, give any general character of his work, for its merits and its faults are so nicely blended, that it would delay us too long again to review them : but we must add a word or two at part, ing.--At first sight of the book, we were ftruck with a great similarity between it and the Thirty Letters of Mr. Jackson : each seemed to have left the beaten tracks for the more retired shades of science : each has illustrated Shakspeare, and endeavoured to draw. some valuable author from obscurity. In the progress of our perosal, this similarity was more striking ; and we found many passages so much alike, that we could not be ignorant of their source. But here the parallel fails. Mr. Heron cannot contend with Mr. Jackson in ingenuity, in propriety, or decorum. We differed, in one instance, from the latter; but we continued to read and to esteem him : we some. times admire the talents of the former, but we wish to remember him no more.
Observations on the Diseases incident to Seamen. 'By Gilbert
Blane, M. D. F. R. S. 8vo. 65. Murray. IT.
T must be pleasing to humanity, to see war despoiled of
some of its horrors, and that the advantages arising from navigation are not purchased by the health of a hardy, laborious, and useful race. Captain Cook carried his fhips from arctic to antarctic regions with fo little lofs, that he seemed almost under the protection of a preserving providence, to teach mankind how much may be attained by a careful attention to the means in their power. The hurry attendant on the equiping a numerous fleet, the services in which they are engaged during a war, and the very different arrangement necessary in a fhip of force, will, in a great degree, pievent the fuccefsful plans from being followed with any very minute exactness.
Yet great attention seems to have been paid in every department; and, after the crews had been for fome time together, after old infections had been crushed, or worn out, the fleet in the Weft Indies seems to have enjoyed an unexampled state of good health. After it had refitted at New York, in 1782, a squadron under lord Hood kept at sea, in a high latitude, near twelve weeks, without any appearance of scurvy. Commanders have indeed been lately more attentive to this part of their duty; and, though marine discipline is faid to be on the decline, the management of the seamen in this respect is much improved ; and, through the whole hiftory, we find the best regulated ships the most healthy. More care is now taken of the clothes and births; provisions are better prepared, an. tiscorbutic diet more freely intermixed with salted meat, and the first approaches of disease more carefully guarded against.
We do not find any thing very new in this work; but many important improvements are brought together, delivered under the fanâion of an able and intelligent author, and enforced, through his representations, by the orders of the admiralty. It is our duty to observe, that the regulations proposed in his memorials were not unknown or uncommon in the fleet; many commanders had observed and enjoined them ; but it re. ffects no little credit on Dr. Blane, that he has rendered them more general, and established them by the highest authority.
The first part of this work is historical: it is a clear, exact, and unvarnihed relation of facts, frequently illustrated by useful tables. We cannot give any regular analysis, but shall fubjoin an abstract of some striking particulars. In the early periods of the war, the fleet was very sickly, but less unhealthy than the French fleet, where discipline is less regarded. In the progress, each fleet grew more healthy, for which one cause may be assigned, viz. familiarity with contagion. In the French ships, for instance, taken in 1782, the dirt was so offensive, as to produce a contagious fever in those men sent on board, while no fever was found among their own men : and, in our own fleet, different crews, when joined in one fhip, though each were healthy before, foon ficken. Our author seems to overlook this cause, though the facts which have been mentioned are taken from him; he attributes it to the men knowing each other, and their commander better ; to superior discipline ; to the infection, brought by pressed men, having been exhausted. Somewhat may be, perhaps, allowed to each of these causes, though very little ; yet the great and conținued health of the crew of the Formidable may, in some degree, be attributed to them. The chief disorders in the early part of a war, are fevers; these disappear in the tropical climates, and become fluxes ; in low latitudes, fevers lose