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not, at leaft, subscribe to that fastidious criticism, which rejects every fact as fabulous, that does not square with the measure of modern maxims’and theories.'

The two preceding passages will not lead our Readers to give this writer much credit for enlarged views and liberal sentiments. We must, however, before we take leave of his work, do him the justice to quote the following observations on the subjeet of toleration :

• The persecutions, to which his[Abeillard's] do&rinal ideas exposed him, give a strong portrait of the cimes ; but it is a portrait, I fear, which, with somelittle variation, may be made to represent almost every æra of human existence. Yet we are struck when we see Abeillard before the Council of Soissons, treated with such unmerited severity, and we feel comfort in the reflection, that we do not live in so intolerant an age. Comfort we may feel; but he, I think, who with fome attention has observed the real character even of the present times, will be ready to acknowlege that, if they are less intolerant, it is not because either their principles or their passions are different, but becaufe they dare not, or are ashamed, to profess them. The philosophy of a few, the Christian moderation of others, the religious indifference of many, and the modil vices of more, have gained so much on the bigotry, the superftition, the false zeal, the fanaticism of the multitude, that he who dares to be intolerant is laughed at, and he who would persecute is ridiculed.

• Yet what are the points which, in the times I am describing, could to warm the breasts of churchmen, and which, in 1786, would perhaps communicate to the same order of men an equal portion of holy fire, were the impediments removed, which I have mentioned ? View them abftractedly, as they are generally considered, and it will be found that they regard not the important worship of our Maker, nor the great interests of religion, nor the good of society, nor moral worth, nor our own improvement in virtue, justice, and piety. It has been said, with some semblance of truth, that the holy founder of the Christian system, therefore expressed certain doctrines in ambiguous or mysterious language, that men who, he knew, from variety of character, could never adopt unity in belief, might not indeed be free to think as they pleased, (for his language is sufficiently perspicuous,) but that, when they differed from one another, they might find indulgence. If such was his intention, how much have we striven to counteract the wise arrangement? We have quarrelled, and have persecuted, and have tormented one another, with as much presumption, and with the fame stubborn acrimony, even when we owned the matters in litigation were impenetrable to human reason, as if they had been self-evident principles, or the most obvious maxims in common life.

• And what is it that can rouse this preternatural zeal? When our intereft is engaged, or the business comes home to our own feel.ings, then, I conceive, we may be ardent, we may rush into opposition, or into faction: but when the object is as remote as earth from heaven ; when it constitutes, perhaps, a part of those essential ateributes, which the Deity has pleased to conceal from us, in the dark 14

abyss abyss of his own infinitude'; when he has not constituted us his delegates, to represent his person, or to vindicate his rights : why are we arrogantly to erect a tribunal, and call our equals before it! He who made us what we are, would very willingly, I presume, dispense with the forwardness of our zeal, and be more satisfied, that we lived as men, in the improvement of our own natures, and left the things above us to that administration, the wisdom and beneficence of which are best adapted to the important work.'

Though we cannot say that we clearly understand the whole of this paffage (particularly what is said concerning an intention, in the holy founder of the Christian system, to conceal certain do&trines under ambiguous or mysterious language, which language is, nevertheless, fufficiently perspicuous), we heartily accede to the general sentiment, and concur with Mr. Berington in reprobating that acrimonious spirit which theological dispu. tants too commonly discover.

In the Advertisement prefixed to this second edition of his work, the Author announces this volume as an introduction to the history of the period from the time of Abeillard to the beginning of the fixteenth century, comprehending 350 years. He proposes to complete the whole in two additional volumes, which are to be published separately.

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ART. IV. The Microcosm, a periodical Work, by Gregory Griffin, of the College of Eton. 8vo. 75. Boards. Robinsons. 1787. R. Gregory Griffin, like his predeceffor the Spectator, and

many others of that family, is a Being, postelling a compound personality ;-in other words, the Microcosm is for the most part the joint production of some ingenious young men of Eton College. With great modesty they Tpeak of themselves as

puny authorlings who are fucking the milk of science;' had they, however, kept their own counsel, we should have concluded, from these specimens, that they were perfons who had been long feeding on its strong meat.

Hard indeed muft they have tugged at the breast of their Alma Mater, rapid muft have been their growth, and proud will the be to call them her children. By way of motto, their work is introduced with this. question, Quid vetat et nosmet? which we have ventured thus to translate, Why might not young men write a periodical Paper? So far from our having any objection, we thould lament were there. any statute of prohibition against them in the republic of letters. With pleasure we proclaim them entering the lifts, confident that some experienced knights would find it no flight atehievement to break a lance with them.

It must be confefred, that to offer observations on human life and manners has generally been considered as a province beP2

torging

longing to age and grey experience; but we are induced by this work to suppose that age and experience have been too presumptuous in expecting that so very extensive a field should be abandoned to their frigid and Aow cultivation. While Miss Caroline Herschel (See Phil. Trans. vol. lxxvii. part i.) is looking at the fiery tails of comets through her brother's telescope, why might not the sons of genius and science be allowed to trace, with the telescope of moral and critical observation, the wild Aights, the fiery paflions, and eccentric vanities and follies of mankind ? It is always, to us, an high gratification to behold the blossom of early genius, and contemplate its promising growth and vigorous expansion; nor should we deem ourselves at all worthy of that confidence with which our judgment is honoured, were we, by any harsh and ill-natured criticisms, to repress its laudable efforts. Mr. Griffin may be affured, that the higher powers (by which we conclude he means real critics and the true friends of learning) will not look with a discouraging eye upon bis attempt, nor frown on him for having dared, at an early age, to tread in the steps of those heroes of wit and literature who have preceded him as writers of periodical papers.' It is true that the field which he has chosen to enter has so often been gleaned, that there is little of any real value left to be picked up. Sensible of this, he does not profess novelty, or aim at absolute originality. His mode of creating subjects is in the usual way of periodical essayists. The papers are, in general, agreeably written; the language, for the most part, is good; many of them, more especially those signed B, possess confiderable humour, and there are none without some merit, Wei were much pleased with the burlesque critique on the poem, The Queen of Hearts, she made fome tarts, &c. and with many judicious observations, and little pleasantries, scattered up and down in the Microcosm, which we have not room particularly to point out; but we think he has failed in drawing some characters, particularly those of Narcissus and O&avius (the Diary of the one, and the Letter of the other, are both out of nature); and he thould have left dreaming of dreams to old men, for this juvenile essayist is too much awake to dream well. We must notice likewise the reflection on the London booksellers, who are said to pay for learning and potatoes with the same remorseless Nupidity. This does not come with a good grace from the mouth of an authorling, as he cannot be supposed to speak from experience. One who was much connected with them has given them a very different character : “A fubftantial bookseller," said Johnson, “ is the best Mæcenas.”

As to this many-headed gentleman's intention in writing the Microcosm, it will be fairelt, and perhaps beft, to let him give his own explanation ;

My design (says he) is to amuse, and as far as I am able, to in. ftruet. Trilling I shall endeavour as much as it is in my power to avoid ; and the least tendency to immorality or profaneness, I absolutely, and in the strongest terms, reprobate and disavow. Does any one ask from whence am I to collect the materials for such an undertaking? from whence can I have acquired a fund of knowlege, language, or observation, fufficient to pursue this arduous plan? My materials are copious; the whole range, the inexhaustible fund of topics, which every event in life, every passion, every object present, lie before me ; add to these, the stores which history, reading, and morality, or the offspring of a Muse juft struggling into notice, can supply, combined with the topics of the moment, or those which our peculiar situation can afford, together with the hints, which those, who think the correspondence of the Microcosm worth their attention, may casually contribute; furvey all these, and can I hesitate a moment, can I complain of a dearth of matter, or call my subject a barren one? Quicquid agunt pueri ; noftri farrago libelli.

-with faithful bints pourtrays The various pasions youth's warm foul displays. • Not that I mean to exclude every thing of the light or humorous kind. The mind must sometimes, be relieved from the severity of its fricter studies, and descending from the sublimer heights of speculative thought, deign to bend to inferior objects, and participate in less refined gratifications.

• I consider the scene before me as a MICROCOSM, a world in miniature, where all the passions which agitate the great original, are faithfully pourtrayed on a smaller scale; in which the endless variety of character, the different lights and shades, which the appetites, or peculiar situations throw us into, begin to discriminate, and expand themselves. The curious observer may here remark in the bud the different casts and turns of genius, which will in future strongly characterize the leading features of the mind. He may see the embryo Statesman, who hereafter may wield and direct at pleasure the mighty and complex system of European politics, now employing the whole extent of his abilities to circumvent his companions at their plays, or adjusting the important differences, which may arise beiween the contending heroes of his liccle circle; or a General, the future terror of France and Spain, now the dread only of his equals, and the undisputed Lord and President of the boxing-ring: The Grays and Wallers of the rising generation here tune their little lyres; and he, who hereafter may ling the glories of Britain, muft first celebrate at Eton the smaller glories of his College.?

There is not much poetry in the Microcosm; but as it may be expected that we should give a specimen of Mr. Gregory Griffin's verfe, as well as of his profe, we here present our Readers with the little poem, entitled, Ars Mentiendi, or The Art of Lying * :

* By Lord Henry Spencer,

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When

When fordid man by juftice unrestrain'd
Rang'd the wild woods, and food by plunder gain'd;
Yet unenlighten'd by mild reason's ray,
Coarse Nature rul'd with undisputed fway.
But when some fage's great aspiring mind
By bonds of mutual interest link'd mankind,
Then Art restrain’d her filter's wide domain,
And claim'd, with Nature, a divided reign.
Yet ftill diftruftful of her own success,
She sought to please by wearing Nature's dress.

' So that great art, whose principles and use,
Employ the pen of my unworthy Muse,
Tho' great itself, in these degenerate days
Is forced to shine with adscititious rays,
Nor ever can a lasting sceptre wield,
Unless in robes of pureit truth conceald.

• Hear then, whoe'er the arduous talk will try,
Who wish with sense, with skill, with taste to lie;
Ye patriots, plotting ministers disgrace,
Ye ministers who fear - a loss of place;
Ye tradesmen, who wish writs the fop entrap,
Ye fops, who strive those tradesmen to escape ;
Ye reverend Jews, enrich'd by Christian spoil,
Ye parsons, who for benefices toil;
No longer hope by open war to win,
Cease, cease, ye fools, to lie thro' thick and thin."
“ But know this truth, enough for rogues to know,”
Lies ne'er can please the man who thinks them so.

. Would you by flattery seek the road to wealth?
Push not too hard, but slide it in by stealth,
Mark well your cully's temper and pursuit,
And fit to every leg the pliant boot.
Tell not the spendthrift that he hoards with sense,
Tell not the miser that he scorns expence.
Nor praise the learning of a dunce profest,
Nor swear a sloven's elegantly drest.
Thus, if by chance, in harmless sport and play,
You coolly talk a character away;
Or boldly a flat perjurer appear,
Nor gallows dread, nor lacerated ear,
Still let your lies to truth near neighbours be,
And still with probability agree.
So shall you govern with unbounded reign,
Nor longer cringe, and toil, and lie in vain ;
While Truth laments her empire quite o'erthrown,

And by a form usurp'd so like her own.' That we should review a collection of Essays, by way of analysis, cannot be expected of us, nor, confidering the limits of our journal, that we hould copy the table of contents. We cannot however refilt our inclination to transcribe Mr. Griffin's Will, in which, in a method fomewhat new, the several Authors

of

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