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And, even if I was to forfeit your friendship, which is dearer to me than all the world, I can tell you nothing.
“For, I go out-[if] I see the enemy, and can get at them, it is my duty : and you would saturally hate me if I kept back one moment.
“ I long to pay them, for their tricks t'other day, the debt of a drubbiog, which, surely, I'll pay: but when, where, or how, it is impossible, your own good sense must tell you, for me or mortal man to say."-pp. 51, 52
Our readers will perhaps be surprised to find Lord Nelson a poet: the following verses are curious, as being his; but they are at once irregular and tame, except the third stanza, which possesses something of strength and character.
" I send you a few lines, wrote in the late gale; which, I think, you will not disapprove.
“ Though 's polish'd verse superior shine,
Deign to receive, though unadorn'd
By the poetic art,
A sailor's untaught heart!
A heart susceptible, sincere, and true;
Sooner sball Britain's sons resign
The empire of the sea,
AND PLIGHTED VOWS TO THEE!
And waves on waves shall cease to roll,
And tides forget to flow,
Or ebb, or change, shall know."-pp. 29, 30.
In one or two passages there is something of more ease and pleasantry than his style usually affords.
“To tell you how dreary and uncomfortable the Vanguard appears, is only telling you what it is to go from the pleasantest society to a solitary cell; or from the dearest friends to no friends. I am now perfectly the great man--not a creature near me. From my heart I wish myself the little man again !"--Pp. 9, 10.
" The Countess Montmorris, lady this, that, and i'other, came along side, a Mr. Lubbock with them to desire they might come in. I sent word, I was so busy that no persons could be admitted, as my time was employed in the king's service. Then they sent their names, which I cared not for: and seot Captain Gore to say it was impossible; and that if they wanted to see a ship they had better go to the veryssel (a sixty-four in the Dowos.) They said no; they wanted to see me. However, I was stout, and will not be shown about like a beast ! and away they went."-pp. 55, 56.
Pray, as you are going to buy a ticket for the Pigot diamond, buy the right number, or it will be money thrown away."---p. 38.
In a letter begun the 18th of October, 1803, and ended on the 22d, is the following passage :
“ I shall endeavour to do what is right in every situation; and some ball may soon close all my accounts with this world of care and vexation !"----p. 164.
This sentence may have been written on the 21st of October, 1803, on board the Victory; and on board the Victory, on the 21st of October, 1805, a ball terminated the life of this great and, (but for one frailty which the present book endeavours to keep alive beyond the grave,) we should add, good man.
Of the letters written by other persons we have not much to say; they are all better than Lord Nelson's; they have not, even when addressed to Lady Hamilton by her husband or her other admirers, any of that mawkish, morbid, love sickness, with which her ladyship seems to glory in having inspired Lord Nelson.
Two letters from his lordship's father to Lady Hamilton are published, we suppose, to prove that the Rev. Mr. Nelson corresponded with her ladyship: but the early date of these two letters, August, 1801, and January, 1802, and the tone of distant respect and dignified piety which they possess, prove that the good man had no suspicion of the equivocal relation which the per. son he was addressing might bear to his son. Indeed, it appears that his son feared to communicate to him the circumstances of bis rupture with Lady Nelson; and the attention of Mr. Nelson to this injured lady is mentioned in this correspondence with a kind of dissatisfaction and blame that does his memory, at least, infinite honour.
Some letters of Lord St. Vincent and Sir Alexander Ball contain a few fine compliments to Lady Hamilton, and are, for this reason, and to swell the book, inserted; at least we can see no other motive for their appearing.
But much the most respectable, or, to speak more truly, the only tolerable part of the publication, are some letters from Sir William Hamilton to his then young wife, in 1792, during a shooting excursion which he made with the king, while his lady remained at Naples. They are written in a style vastly superior to all the others, (except a few trifling notes of Lord Bristols ;) with the most perfect admiration for her beauty and talents, they mingle a gentle and polite tone of husbandly advice; and though the facts relate only to the shooting of wild boars and stags, they are related with that gentlemanly ease, and those good manners, which make even such trifles amusing. They throw, indeed, into a lamentable shade all that precedes them, and leave us to regret either that Sir William did not continue his kind-hearted and prudent suggestions to his lady, or that they have produced so little fruit that she should be guilty of such monstrous want of taste and delicacy as to have permitted, if she has not conducted, this unhappy publication.
The work is preceded by an advertisement, which talks of more than one editor, and seems meant as a kind of apology for not dedicating this trash to the people of England. Whoever the editors are, we can assure them that the people of England will excuse them for not dedicating, till they shall have learned a better style of expression and reasoning than their advertisement exhibits. It is neither grammar nor sense ; its meaning is as obscure as its construction is barbarous. Would that we could persuade ourselves would that the public would consent to believe that the greater part of the letters attributed to Lord Nelson are forgeries, and really written by the profound authors of the advertisement!
Sermons, by the late Rev. Walter Blake Kirwan, Dean of Killala. With a Sketch of his Life. 8vo. Dublin and London. 1814.
(From the Quarterly Review.] PROFUSE admiration can bardly be allowed as a criterion of the real merits of popular preaching. An energetic manner, and an eloquent expression, on subjects of prevailing interest, while they seldom fail to captivate the imagination, too easily elude the scrutiny of severer judgment. In the irritation which disputed opinions necessarily create, the mind, biassed by passion, is less equal to the exercise of discretion; a favourite doctrine is of itself a sufficient title to our regard, and positive defects are countenanced by congenial feelings. But independent of this illusion, even in common topics that pass without controversy, we cannot always
VOL. IV. Nero Series.
decide with accuracy; the flowing phrase and the balanced period assail the judgment through the ear, and it is only in the perusal that we can devest ourselves of partiality, and that taste and sober reason become the final arbiters.
That this liability to imposition should be wrought upon in the common concerns of life, and that we should be deceived into opinions prejudicial to our temporary welfare, is, doubtless, a consequence of our infirmity ; it is an attempt, however, unworthy of a Christian minister ; in the cause of truth artifice is unnecessary, and when applied to the diffusion of heretical opinions, it is no light offence. But, supposing the pulpit to be confined to its proper uses the interests of religion-we must still object to the modern qualifications of popular preaching. If faith should be the growth of our unprejudiced judgment, if religious practice should originate from the knowledge of our duty, from a conviction of its necessity to our happiness, there is no farther requisite than a close adherence to the gospel. Let the truth be soberly demonstrated, let the obligation of scripture morality be simply expounded, and while the preacher instructs with earnestness, let him temper bis zeal with humility, and every effect will follow which should form the object of sermons. It is true that this path conducts not to that admiration which the candidate for popular favour proposes to himself. If his voice is mellifluous to the ear, if his gesture is graceful to the eye'; if, in short, he can attract to himself the idola. try of his audience, his purpose is accomplished; his morality, recommended by pomp of language, and aspiring to the flights of fancy, scarcely wishes to reform the mind; it surprises, it delights, it rivets the attention, not to the lesson it inculcates, but to its adventitious attractions, and it is remembered, not to strengthen virtue in its retirement, but to charm in the display of conversation. It is fortunate for the thinking part of the world that this admiration does not always correspond with the cravings of its votary, and that present praise ministers to the ambition of posthumous celebrity : the press dissolves the spell, and the senses are left to the operation of natural agency. The imposing confidence that supplies the deficiency of knowledge, the graceful utterance that imparts to languor the air of beauty, and, above all, the reputation of a name, which, to the generality, is the criterion of every ex. cellence, cease to influence beyond the title-page; the public grows ashamed of a partiality which it cannot justify, and the auihor returns to that obscurity which is the ultimate destiny of all empiricism.
Amidst this censure, however, it is far from our wish to see theology stripped of its ornaments, or morality without the allurements of studied composition. We well know that the close reasoning of Hooker comes recommended by the chastised richness
of his language, and we acknowledge in Sherlock and Atterbury the highest powers of the mind, and the most unaffected eloquence: from the study of such models in our own time we have borne testimony to the success of Horsley; and some are still live ing of whom we may boast as the followers of such masters. If we have been led into these remarks by the volume before us, it is because we are of opinion that it is composed in a vitiated style, with attractions to seduce, and with inducements from extraordinary success to recommend the same path of perishable renown; we are farther apprehensive of the same captivating eloquence with other views and on other subjects, when Christian benevo. lence may be the least distinguished of an author's principles, and the passions of a generous people be inflamed to enthusiasm with a far different purpose than the establishment of a national charity.
From the memoir which is prefixed to this volume, and which is as scanty in matter as overloaded in expression, we learn that the late Dean Kirwan was born in 1754, became a convert from the Roman Catholic to the Established Church in 1787, and was successively preferred by the Archbishop of Dublin to the prebend of Howth in 1788, and to the parish of St. Nicholas Without in 1789, of which the joint income amounted to 400l. a year, and lastly, by Lord Cornwallis, in 1800, to the Deanery of Kilula, worth about the same sum; at wbich time he resigned the pebend of Howth. He was married in 1798, and died in 1805 "leaving (beside sons) a widow and two daughters without any adequate maintenance. A pension of 3001. a year was granted to the mother, with a reversion to the daughters; but or the sons no provision has been made beyond the profits of ne present volume.
Such a conversion from a faith so bigreed to its tenets, and at an age when the mind is in full possessin of its faculties, necessarily forces itself on our attention. To se superior to those prejudices which have been engrafted on our infancy, and nurtured by subsequent education, discovers - most dispassionate exercise of reason; but to break from the grasp of a superstition of which the reverential observance has been associated with our eternal salvation, must belong to the intrepidity of truth; farther, to renounce a profession, and, as a consequence, to estrange from us the endearments of relative affection, is a sacrifice which nature can make only to principle. This important determination, after two years of deliberation, was publicly announced in 1787. But although the conversion of such a proselyte might naturally be accounted anongst the triumphs of the Established Church, it was unattendod with any irritated feelings against the communion which he had relinquished. No exposition of abjured errors, no indecent controversy, interrupted the true humility of a Christian convert. He acted, it was evident, from the conviction of conscience, and he