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orders of the King. Our Author bad, confessedly, many enemies, and it is natural to suppose, that they rejoiced at having him in their power. The chains and mortifications might therefore have originated with them. Let it be remembered too, in extenuation, or justification of the proceedings of the great Frederic, that Baron Trenck, at the time of his being committed a prisoner to the fortress of Magdeburg, was actually a captain in the service of the Empress Queen. He went over to the enemies of his country, and yet he is continually talking of his honour. 'Absurd! The honour of a soldier can only be compared with that of a woman.-It muft be free from the smallest blemish, the moft inconsiderable spot or fain. But he will answer, that he was particularly aggrieved. Admitting, for argument, that it were really so, he thould then have remained entirely neutral.—But to engage himself to fight against bis King and country! Such a crime must naturally have appeared unpardonable, in the eyes of any prince or potentate on the face of the earth.
We have not leisure to enter into a detail of the various grievances set forth by Baron T. in the course of his narrative, any more than to give an account of his actual miseries when in confinement, and of his very many endeavours to effect his escape. For these, as well as for the several anecdotes,
political and personal,' which are scattered through his pages, we must refer our Readers to the work. But whatever opinion may be entertained of the Writer as a man, bis hiftory will furnith an agreeable and instructive lesson to the world.' The impetuous and the daring will be taught to bridle their inclina. tions. They will learn too, that the man who offends his Sovereign-the Sovereign, especially, who is showering favours on him -and who, after having offended, pertinaciously refuses to ask that pardon which the Monarch may be ready to grant him, is, whatever wretchedness he thall have entailed on himself, less an object of pity than
But we forbear; the Baron has received his punishment, and it is not our desire to add to his pain. With respect to the preceding remarks, we have been influenced by nothing but a strict and inviolable regard to truth, -or what, as such, presents itself to our judgment.
Notwithstanding the remarks we have made on the Baron's conduct, it is but justice to acknowlege, that in perusing his Memoirs, we found ourselves much interested, and entertained, by many of his details and anecdotes. He is, certainly, a very extraordinary man, and a most intrepid officer.
ART. XII. Recolle&tion of fome Particulars in the Life of the late
William Shenjtone, Esq. in a Series of Letters from an intimate Friend of his to - --, Esq. F. R. S. 8vo. 35. fewed. Dodfley. 1788.
HE man of eminence (says the celebrated Montaigne)
will at all times command our attention : even his domestic occupations, his petty habits, will be contemplated by us with pleasure." The observation is certainly juft; and the prefent ingenious Writer has evidently entertained the same idea with respect to Mr. Shenstone. In our opinion, however, he comes not fully under such description. -As a poet, his little peculiarities are seldom interesting to us; yet, as the creator of the Lealowes, we generally follow him with fatisfaction and delight.-To the amenities of the place we must give large and unqualified praise.
The Gentleman * who now presents us with some particulars in the life of Mr. S. carried on an occasional correspondence with him for the space of thirty years. He was consequently well acquainted with his manners, character, &c. and has here delineated them with a skilful hand. Vellem in amicitiâ fic erraremus is the motto to this performance. Much is undoubeedly allowable on the score of friend thip : yet still we must repeat with the Philosopher- Plato we love, and Socrates we love, but Truth we love in preference to either. We do not mean by this to infinuate that the Recollector has at any time misrepresented facts, but only that we fear he has frequently exaggerated on the subject of Mr. S.'s poetry t. When, for example, he speaks of his favourite as a man, we readily give him credit for every circumstance that he has advanced in his praise; but when he places him, as a writer, on a level with Mr. Gray , we think we perceive a want of knowlege of the poetical character, It may farther be remarked, that there is not a fingle instance in which the comparison will hold. The former is remarkable for simplicity, the latter for fublimity in his expression.
* The Rev. Mr. Graves, Author of the Spiritual Quixote, Euphrofyne, Peter of Pomfret, &c.
+ of this, indeed, he appears himself to be somewhat fenfible, fince, in another place, he has observed - My friendship for Mr. Shenstone may probably have made me partial to his abilities. I must shelter myself under my motto from Horace,
• In friendship I would wish to be
Accused of partiality.' But this is an apology which impartiality can never admit; as far as it regards the literary qualities of one's friend.
1 Mr. Shenstone might dispute the prize of genius with Mr. Gray, though he is far surpassed by him in learning.
In a word, the mens divinior, the fire of genius, is frequently to be seen in Gray, but not a spark of it in Shenstone; and as to our being able to “track bim in the snow of the Ancients," as Dryden has fo elegantly observed of Ben Jonson, the examples are extremely rare. If, therefore, we rank the late proprietor of the Leafowes a little above the Dorsets and Hallifaxes of former days (the “ mob of Gentlemen who wrote with ease,”? and next below, in point of merit, to the natural and elegant Prior, his dearest friends, we hope, will be contented.
This publication is principally occafioned by the observations of Dr. Johnson on the life and writings of Mr.
S. With the extract of a page or two, in reply to those observations, we thall clore our remarks.
"I think (says Mr. Graves) I have a right to question the Doctor's intelligence on some few occasions, and even the juftness of some of his remarks.' He has said of Mr. Shenftone, “ His mind was not comprehensive, nor his curiosity active : hę had no value for those parts of knowledge which he had not himself cultivated."--Now, in answer to this, I can only oppose my own opinion, who knew Mr. Shenstone in:imately, to that of Dr. Johnson, who confessedly was a ftranger to him.-I will venture to say then, that no one had a quicker comprehension of any subject io which he applied his mind; and no one had a mind more capahle of comprehending a variety of subjects, though, from various circumstances, he might not have cultivated or furnished it with learning and knowledge to the extent of which it was capable. Few people wrote better upon bufiners when the occafion required it. In politics I am convinced he would have made no inconsiderable figure, it he had had a sufficient motive for applying his mind to political studies ; as, I think, might appear from the letters written during the rebellion in 1745, and from others which I received about the year 1762, on the face of public affairs at that critical period.
. As to his curiosity, it was so active in his youth, that, on whatever interesting subject he was employed, no regard to health or exercise, nor even to the hours of refreshment, could divert his attention. This irregular indulgence of his curiofity, indeed, was one cause perhaps of that languid ftate of health, under which he afterwards laboured, and which brought on, by degrees, an habitual indolence and inactivity, rather prejudicial to his future progress; and which prevented his acquiring that extensive knowledge, and penetrating so far into the deeper fecefses of learning and science, as his mind was naturally can pable of doing.–Neither did Mr. Shenitone undervalue any branch of science, and had fomne knowledge of most. He knew iomething of mathematics, and all the liberal sciences taught in
the university: he was well read in history and travels; but polite literature was his principal ftudy, and classical learning his forte.In short, I will conclude with Dr. Johnson's own words, though with a slight, but what I think, a necessary alteration :-“ Had Mr. Shenstone's mind been better stored with knowledge, he certainly would have been great; with his pre. sent store, he is universally allowed to be agreeable
This alteration should not be terined fight. It departs too far from the sentiments of Johnson, as the Reader will perceive by the following transcript:-" Had his mind been better ftored with knowledge, whether he could have been great, I know not: he could certainly have been agreeable.”
Μ Ο Ν Τ Η LY CATALOGUE,
For SEPTEMBER, 1788.
HISTORY. Uni-verfal History, commencing with the Creation, and - ending 536 years before the Christian Æra. In Letters from a Fa. ther to a Son. By Francis Dobbs, Esq. Vol. I.
35. sewed. Kearsley. 1787. HSS writer, speaking of his work, observes, that it can
be of little use to men of literature, unless I should for. tunately throw some new lights on the order of Providence, and the vaft design of this terrestrial creation.' But, he adds, '
to those whose occupations do not admit of deep researches, I trust, it will give a general view of the world, that they have not at present the means of obtaining: and I fiatter myself the youth of both sexes will find, in the following sheets, amusement blended with instruction.'
We think that the above is on the whole a juft account of the present performance. Those who peruse it with attention (and at. tention works of this kind particularly require) will no doubt find it beneficial. The author makes use of Sir Isaac Newton's chronology; and perhaps, on a subject fo intricate, he could not have chosen a better guide; and as he has in no inftance ventured to de.' part from it, he hopes to escape the censure of the learned. Three farther volumes are to carry up the history of the world to the time of the death of Chrift: after which it is intended to pursue it to the present day.-Mr. Dobbs has taken considerable pains (as the phrase is) with this epitome; and we hope he will meet with en. couragement in the prosecution of his design.
NATURAL HISTORY. Art. 14. The Natural History of Birds; containing a Variety of
Facts selected from several Writers, and intended for the Amuse. ment and Instruction of Children. With Copper-plates. Part I. 12mo. 15. 6d. Johnson.
It is certainly right to draw the early attention of children to the more conspicuous objects of nature. The present performance seems
well calculated for this end. The two first orders of birds are defcribed in a plain and intelligible style; the substance is chiefly taken from Buffon, though the Linnéan order is preferred.
Only the first part of this work is yet published.
GEOGRAPHY. Art. 15. A Short and Easy Introduktion to the Science of Geography.
Designed for the Use of Schools. By Thomas Keith. I 200. is. 6d. bound. Law. 1787.
This little publication, though not materially different from other introductions to geography, is concise and accurate. It contains, as usual, the situation, extent, boundaries, divisions, &c. of the several countries in the world, and the description and use of the ter. restrial globe.
-- POLICE. Art. 16. A Letter to the Patrons, Trustees, &c. of the Charity
Schools, recommending a more efficacious Mode of educating the Children of the Poor. 8vo. 6d. Turner. 1788.
The Writer of this well-intended Letter thews the insufficiency of the Charity Schools, in their present state, to answer those valuable purposes which the founders of them designed, viz. to educate the children of the poor so as to make them useful members of society, by instructing them in the religious and moral duties, and by teaching them to read and write. He proposes, as a more effectual means of accomplishing these laudable defigns, that the children should be taken into the house, and be employed in some useful easy work, during those intervals when they are not engaged in mental improvement, &c.
The Author is aware of the objections that may be made to his scheme. His aim, however, is to promote the reformation of a cone fiderable branch of our police; and, whether his plan be carried into execution or not, he certainly merits the thanks of the Public.What he says, in regard to the apprenticing of pariih children de. serves particular consideration.
INLAND NAVIGATION. Art. 17. A Short Reply to a Pamphlet entitled “ Observations on a
Design for improving the Navigation of the River SEVERN, in the Counties of Salop, Stafford, Worcester, and Glocefter.” 8vo. is, Cadell. 1788.
Of the Observations, &c." some account was given in our Review for May, p. 432. That publication is here Imartly attacked; but it is imposible for a literary journalist, as such, to judge, with decision, on a subject so inveloped in local circumstances. The author of the present tract confines his arguments, chiefly, to the confideration of the injury that may accrue to landed property from the ofe of locks and weirs; but he hints, likewise, at other very material inconveniences that, in his apprehenfion, would arise, were the scheme for improving the navigation of the Severn to be carried into effect: for these, however, we muit refer to the pamphlet: which is well written,