Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Few things have occafioned so great a variety of claling opinions, or have had so wide an influence on the tempers, the morals, and the customs of mankind, as the sentiments entertained respeding this quality called Courage.

« The world, who has been a blockhead from the beginning, and is not likely to grow a whit wiser to the end, the world, I fay, has, almost universally, he'd Courage to confilt in action and prowess; in the wrathfulness and de. th doing hand of an Achilles; or in the kindling spirit of those, who will not bear the smallest appearance of an infult, who will burst through all the bands of frienthip and bumanity, rather than allow the fightelt word or look of imagined diftespect to pais unrevenged or unblooded. Wherefore, as truth and nature lie buried under such an accumulation of customs and prejudices, it may be necesary to set up fuch criterions and land-marks, as shall save us from straying in our difquifition and search after this so highly respected virtue.

. All are clearly agreed in their ideas of this pofition, that Courage and Fear are in their natures incompatinle; that whereever Courage is, so far as it prevails, it caits alive Fear; and that wberever Fear is, fo far as it provails, it cafts alde Courage.

• Now, one of the funeft symptoms of Fear, is anger; for, what fhould provoke us to anger against that from which we have nothing to apprehend ? I once taw a huge mastiff walking peaceably through a country village, when a little wretch of a cur rushed from one of the hamlets and made a furious assault : he sprung up toward the throat of the patient creature; but not being able to reach it, he exercised his inveteracy by bicing at his heels. The noble brute, being thus teized and pestered by his despicable adversary, fet a monitrous fore-paw upon him and prefied him to the earth, while, listing a hind leg, he poured upon him the loweft mark of contempt; and then permitted the impotent animal to rise, who ran all dismayed and yelping away. I question if th-s prince of dogs, in aļl his conquests and engagements with his equals in combat, had ever given so incontestable a proof of the truth of his courage as he did at this period.

• The laid little anecdote may serve to illustrate an approved observation, that cowards are cruel, but that the brave delight in forbearance and mercy. The reason of this is deeply founded in nature.

• Cowardice has no concern or interest in any thing save Self. Provided that Self is safe and unhurt, it carès not what calamities may fall or be poured upon the rest of mankind. When it feels an apprehenfon of danger, however diftant, it conceives an implacable hatred against the point or party from whence the danger may proceed : wrath and revenge anticipate Rev. Jan. 1774

с

the

The dreaded damage in its bosom ; and it is studious and solicitous, by all, by any means, however treacherous or deadly, to prevent the nearer approach of the hurt apprehended.

• Let us now enquire, what portion of genuine Courage the heroes of the applauded cutiom of duelling can bcast.

: The man who, purposely and deliberately, thirsts after the blooil and life of his fellow, is poflefied by as dark and inhuman a dæmon, as he who dwelt among the tombs. But, duellifts are not wholly of this malignant nature ; it is not cruelty, but cowardice, that compels them to engage. The world, dispar, sionately, halloos them at each other, as it would set mastiffs or game.cocks at variance for the diverfion of the speclators. It says to these combatants, “ For shame, gentlemen, be juft to your own honour; respect yourselves above God and mankind ! better to bleed, to perish, than to live with reproach.” And thus, frequently, without resentment or ill-will to their opponents, men plunge their reluctant weapons into the boroms of each other, being scared and impelled thereto by the spectre called Censure, which they dread even worse than death or futurity.

Courage may well be supported in time of action or con: teft ; it has not leisure to fink or droop during an agitation of spirits. But, when thefe stays are removed, when calamity or death comes to meet us in all the filent apparatus and black pomp of impending destruction, the Courage that can give it an undismayed and calm welcome muft be from above.

« The most indubitable, the most divine species of courage, fubfifts in PATIENCE-when the foul is divested and stript of all external affistances; when the assaults are all on one side, and no kind of action offensive or defensive is admitted on the other, to maintain the flame of life, or support failing existence; but where all the concerns of Self are submitred, without reluctance, to the worst extremes, to all that the world can infiet, or that time can bring to pass; such a PATIENCE opens the gates of the soul upon eternity, and lends it wings to issue forth in beatified benevolence upon God and all his creatures.'

How rare a quality is consistency either in conduct or fentiment! Who would imagine, after reading the foregoing disquisition concerning Courage, and the Writer's warm and pious encomium on the virtue of Patience, that this very Christian phi. losopher, in the next volume, involves one of his worthieft characters in a tavern-duel ! the circumstances of which are related wholly to the duellift's praise, without one word of censure for his giving way to that anger which Mr. B. has set down

one of the furest symptoms of fear;' or for his total want of the moft divine species of courage,' which subsists in PATIENCE !

as

In vol. iji. we have a juft remark on Mr. Richardson's celebrated PAMELA, which we do not remember to have before met with. Lady Cranfield observing Miss Grenville with Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded,' in her hand, asks her opinion of that book. I think, Madam,' replied the young lady,

that the author has much of nature in him; and touches the paflions, at times, with a tender and happy effect : but then, I blush at the manner in which he undresles our sex. Indeed his ideas are much too frequently and unnecessarily wanton. Neither can I wholly approve the title of the book : 'Can virtue be rewarded, by being united to vice ? Her master was a ravilher, a tyrant, a dissolute, a barbarian in manners and principle. ! admit it, the author may say ; but then he was superior in riches and station. Indeed, Mr. Richardson never fails in due respect to such matters; he always gives the full value to title and fortune.'

The foregoing censure of this great master of novel-writing, the SHAKESPEARE of romance, is justly due to the defects of that otherwise admirable genius; who was certainly reprehenfible for indulging his imagination, as he frequently did, in the luxury of undressing his ladies : an indulgence by no means becoming the character of a moral writer,

In the same volume we meet with a good story of a fishers man, which is introduced in a conversation on the venality of servants, especially those of the nobility, &c.

When I was at the Marquis della Scala's, in Italy,' said Mr. Thomason, he once invited the neighbouring gentry to a grand entertainment, and all the delicacies of the season were accordingly provided.

• Some of the company had already arrived, in order to pay their very early respects to his excellency, when the major domo, all in a hurry, came into the dining room.

. My lord, said he, here is a most wonderful fisherman be. low, who has brought one of the finest fish I believe in all Italy; but then he demands such a price for it! Regard not his price, cried the Marquis, pay it him down directly. So I would, please your highness, but he refuses to take money. Why, what would the fellow have? A hundred strukes of the strappado on his bare shoulders, my lord; he fays he will not bace of a fingle blow.

• Here, we all ran down, to have a view of this tarity of a fitherman. A fine fish, a most exquisite fine filh, cried the Marquis ! What is your demand, my friend ? you shall be paid on the instant. Not a quatrini, my lord; I will not take mo. ney. If you would have my fish, you must order me a hun. dred lashes of the strappado upon my naked back; if not, í thall go and apply elsewhere.

6 Rather

C 2

* Rather than lose our fish, faid his highness, let the fellow have his humour. Here! he cried to one of his

grooms,

dilcharge this honest man's demand; but don't lay on over hard, don't hurt the poor devil very much.

· The filhmonger then stripped, and the groom prepared to put his lord's orders in execution. Now, my friend, cried the fitnmonger, keep good account I befeech you, for I am not covetous of a single stroke beyond my due. :. We all stood suspended in amaze, while this operation was carrying on. At length, on the instant that the executioner had given the fiftieth Tash, Hold I cried the fisherman, I have already received my full fhare of the price. Your share ? queltioned the Marquis, what can you mean by that?

Why, my lord, you must know I have a partner in this bufiness. My honour is engaged to let him have the half of whatever I should get; and I fancy that your highness will acknowledge, by and by, that it would be a thousand pities to defraud him of a single stroke. And pray, my friend, who is this fame partner of yours? It is the porter, my lord, whe guards the out-gate of your highness's palace. He refused to admit me, but on the condition of promising him the half of what I should get for my fish.

Oho!-exclaimed the Marquis, breaking out into a laugh, by the bleffing of heaven, he shall have' his demand doubled to him in full tale.

• Here, the porter was sent for and stripped to the skin, when two grooms laid upon him with might and main, till they rendered him fit to be fainted for a second Bartholomew..

• The Marquis then ordered his major domo to pay the filherman twenty sequins; and desired him to call yearly for the like fum, in recompence of the friendly office he had rendered him.'

We cannot take leave of this Author without obferving, to our Readers, that in perufing Mr. Brooke's novels, we have been frequently reminded of the wild, the romantic, the enthufiaftic, the visionary John Buncle. There seems, indeed, a great fimilitude between these two original geniuses. They are both seligious champions, though they fight under different banners. Mr. Buncle's zeal for the Unitarian scheme is well known to bis readers; and, in like manner, our Author's attachment to the Trinitarian hypothesis, is equally (though less frequently) avowed and manifested, even in a novel. Of this a notable instance occurs, in vol. ii. p. 48, of the present work: to which, however, we must refer our Readers, as we have already extended this article to its proper length,

ART.

INC

ART. VI. State Papers colleated by Edward Earl of Clarendon. Vo

lome the Second.' Folio. Large Paper il. 155. in Sheets. Small Paper il. gs. 6d. Oxford printed, and sold by T. Payne in London. 1773. N the accounts we gave of the former part of this great

collection, we blamed the Editors for not always paying a due attention to the order of time in which the papers ought to be inserted ; and we mentioned two instances in particular, wherein it appeared to us that letters had been introduced in an improper place. It hath since been suggested to us, that we were too halty in our censure; and that, if we had compared the letters in question, with the rule and its exceptions laid down in the preface, we should have found no juft cause for complaint. Not having, at present, that edition of the Clarendon papers by us to which we then referred, we cannot say how far this stricture upon our, conduct is well founded. But we intimated, at the time, that it might be deemed too minure criticism, to enlarge on the inadvertencies which had, as we thought, occurred to us; and it must be acknowledged, that a fagacious and diligent editor may occafionally have good reasons for the transposition of his materials, which may not immediately be perceived, even by an attentive reader.

The Reverend Dr. Richard Scrope, of Magdalen College, Oxford, is the sole publisher of the volume before us. The difficulties attending the undertaking, and which have occafioned the progress of it to be lower than could otherwise have been defired, are ftated by him in the preface; from which we learn, with pleafure, that the trustees of the late Lord Hyde have indulged the Editor with much fuller powers of selection than were formerly given to bim, in conjunction with his colleague.

It was mentioned in the first volume, that this entire collection of manuscripts consisted of two parts, viz. of such papers as were given to the University by the noble descendants of the firft Earl of Clarendon, and of such as were communicated by the late Richard Powney, LL. D. in order to be published jointly with the former, of which they were originally a part. But since that time there has been transmitted to the University a third and very material portion of the collection, which was in the passeffion of Joseph Radcliffe, Esq; one of the executors to Edward Earl of Clarendon, who was grandson to the first Earl, and died in the year 1723.

Same other material accesions have also been made to the collection ; for much the greater part of which the Public is indebocd to the unwearięd zeal and induftry of the very worthy

and

с 3

« ПретходнаНастави »