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coup. Literary excellence is not the effect of an accidental ray of genius, nor of a momentary glow of enthusiasm ; the former must be tempered by industry, the latter by judgment. The mind must struggle with her new ideas, and, by reiterated efforts, reduce them to order and arrange them with taste. Man is born with an unwrought mine within him ; and, while he extracts the golden ore and refines the precious metal, he gives acumen to the very instruments, with which he works. No maxim perhaps has done more injury to the cause of letters, than that, by which a writer is directed to feel his subject, before he attempts its expression. We are led to believe, that if the sacred flame can once be produced, the whole composition will glow with an equal warmth, and that this excitement of mind will naturally be followed by a correct view of the subject, a just arrangement of parts, and a perspicuous and elegant language. Instead therefore of suffering the mind tranquilly to pursue her train of ideas, and by patience and perseverance to arrange them in a lucid order and clothe them in a just expression, an artificial warmth is excited, by which they are expanded into bombast, or dissipated into “thin air.” The mind of a writer must ever be at ease and, like the Alps, tower sublime and unmoved amid the conflict of the passions. No modern writer perhaps discovers more warmth of imagination or rapidity of conception than Rousseau. His success in letters however was the consequence of the unwearied exertion of a superiour mind. Je les consacrais, says he in speaking of his works, les insomnies de mes nuits. Je meditais dans mon lit, a yeux fermés et je tournois et rétournois mespe

riodes, dans ma tête,avec des peines incroyables. His works are composed with such spirit and enthusiasm, that we are disposed to imagine he never took up the pen, but when he glowed with those transports, with which he agitates the bosoms of his readers. It was, however, only by preserving a free and tranquil mind, that he was able so successfully to combine in his works every circumstance, which could add strength to his ideas, or elegance to his composition. In the imitative and mechanical arts we find that, independent of peculiar talents, success is generally proportional to the degree of labour bestowed on their objects; and may not the observation be extended to the art of writing 2 Is the exertion of mind in the latter less, because its powers are differently directed? or does it require less genius and industry to perfect a literary work, than is developed in the production of a painting, or a statue : A genius like Raphael, before he commits his images to the canvas, selects from the materials, which his imagination had collected from the works of nature ; he contrasts, . combines, disposes of his light and shade ; he varies with judgment and groups with taste, till having breath’d over the whole the charm of ideal beauty, he seizes the pencil and with patient industry gradually gives to the fleeting visions of his imagination the permanence of real existence. But this is not the effect of mere impulse. It is the creation of genius, aided by study and developed by industry. Hence also the writer, ambitious of literary fame, is convinced with Pope, that True ease in writing comes from art, not chance.

Like the painter, he attends to what may be termed the mechanical part

of composition. After the acquisition of ideas, which have been strengthened by reflection and chastened by purity of taste, he submits them to a correct arrangement and embodies them in a perspicuous and harmonious expression. From their continued attention to these three constituents, thoughts, arrangement, and style, results the interest with which the works of some authors are read. We are hurried along by a pleasing violence, and mistake the effect of the taste, the judgment, and the profound exertions of the writer, for the unaffected, spontaneous flow of nature. We seize the pen with a desire to imitate, but soon resign it in despair, convinced how near the perfection of art and the effusions of nature approach each other. These are the authors one delights to read. These are the sublime souls, that seem to have caught a ray of inspiration from heaven to conduct their fellow, mortals through mazes of errous, to the sacred bowers of eternal truth and happiness. The ancients, more honest than the moderns, acknowledged the difficulty of acquiring the art of writing well. They never imagined, that tardiness of composition necessarily implied poverty of ideas, nor that application damped the mental flame. They preferred the steady blaze of intellect to a meteorous brilliancy, which expires in the effort that gave it birth. For examples we might mention the poet Euripides, who was employed three days in the composition of as many verses ; and the orator Isocrates,whose Attick taste found exercise for ten yearson a single oration. The illustrious Cicero could not pen even a familiar epistle, without bestowing on it a degree of labour, which the economy of our modern writers

would hardly expend on an octavo. The author of the AEneid was twenty-seven years in perfecting that beautiful mental fabrick, which, like the Grecian temples, happily combines simplicity with grandeur, and dignity with taste. Even some of the moderns have been convinced of this truth. The celebrated author of “Les Lettres Provinciales” records, that he was agitated ten whole days in fixing the signification of a single word. The whole life of the musing Gray afforded the world, but a small bouquet of intellectual flowers, and even some of these were culled from the rich fields of ancient literature. These examples are sufficient to prove, that by those, who have most excelled in literary composition, fine writing has been considered an art, the acquirement of which depended on a profound and continued exertion of intellect. Ideas undoubtedly form the first object of attention, but language, though a subordinate, is still an essential part. Indeed the effect of the former results,in a great degree, from the character of the latter. It is by the union of these, that the Ciaraptured soul is fired by

“Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.”

We cannot but admire, therefore, the pains that our authors take to send forth to the world their imbecile productions, which survive but a day, and then lie dusty and neglected on the bookbinder’s shelf, till they are transported, with other literary trash, to the pastry cook's or the trunkmaker's. To these writers, thus infected with the cacoethes scribendi, we would recommend the observation of an ancient painter, who, when he was accused of tardiness of execution, replied, Diu pingo,guum in atternum pingo, PHILAUTHOS.

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*Widi, eheu ! miseros, Lucifero duce,
, Privatim numerantes gravis annulos
Fulgentisque catenae; venientis ab
- Pallentesque pedis métu.
Juli, in hoc numerari grege sordido,
Musis perpetuo, visne, rejectus abo
Dic, tantum unde venit, dic, capiti tuo,
Hoc desiderium opum 2
Merces, virgilii, judice Julio,
Apparet melior versibus optimist-
Vasto in gurgite avarām i, puertebrius,
Vestrim oblivius ac tui. Lucius.


For the Months, Anthology.

o fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint,
*Agricolas ! quibus ipsa, procul discordibus armis .
Fundit humo facilem victum justissima tellus.-VIRGIL.

---- -
BETWEEN those sister elms with ivy boar
Peeps out the simple cottage of the poor;
How green before the door that clover-lawn .
How sweet the hedges smell of fragrant thorn
How pure that brook limps o'er its pebbly' bed,
'Tween banks of thyme where willows hang the head,
And linnets build, and fly from spray to spray,
And warble wild their song the livelong day.

On yonder hills, that skirt the eastern sky,
When morn begins to peer with prudish eye,
Scarce gilds the mists, that cloud the fuming rill,
Or tips the foam, that breaks beside the mill,
Forth from this dwelling hies the early swain,
And, whistling, field-ward drives his lagging wain.
No wants are his by restless greatness felt,
No studious lids his little taper melt,
Regardless he, howe'er the world may fare,
So timely crops repay his honest care.
Oft have I view’d in still and suitry hours,
All loosely spread beneath his native bowers,
While herds around the flowery pasture took,
This vacant shepherd, sleeping on his crook.
How lightly here methought his moments flew,
Remov’d from noisy fame and publick view ;

No seeming friend beside his bosom laid,
But faithful WATch who guards the checker'd shade ;
No fawning slave who waits Ambition’s word,
With crimson hand to flesh the murderous sword.
His tuneful groves that gratulate the dawn,
The flocks that wander o'er the peaceful lawn,
And smiling Spring, her hair with cowslips bound,
From rosy fingers strewing fragrance round;
While cooling Zephyr sports on gelid wings,
Skims o'er the plain and through the greenwood sings,
Shakes liquid pearl from off the nodding sheaf,
Or whispering plays on aspen's twinkling leaf.
When Day retiring fires the glowing west
With broken clouds, that round his forehead rest,
When moping owlets quit the mouldering tower,
And widow'd turtles moan in lonely"bower,
When hill and tree a lengthen’d shadow throw,
And mournful Evening comes in weeds of wo,
Returning home the 'swain with pleasure eyes,
In wreaths fantastick climbing through the skies,
The smoke from out his little cabin creep,
Which trees imbowering veil in umbrage deep.
In kerchief clean and speckl'd apron gay,
His Mary speeds to meet him on the way :
While round in breathless haste his children press,
And fondly struggle for the first caress.

And through the naked woods when cold winds blow,
And chirping sparrows-nestle in the snow,
While on the bush the slender 'cicles hang,
And bitter Winter bites with icy fang, .
Beside the cleanly hearth, where faggots sing,
And through the room a social brightness fling,
Amid the group he sits with marvelling gaze,
Listening the fearful tales of gothick days ;
How spectres groaning stalk'd their dusky round
With saucer eyes, in charnel garments wound ;
How once in ruin’d castle, strange to tell,
At waste of midnight toll'd the northern bell ;
Where none at evening e'er so stout durst stray,
Lest gliding ghost should cross his blasted way.
If chance with passing breeze the casement jar,
All trembling huddle round the speaker's chair.

Thus flow his hours harmonious, tranquil, clear,
While pleasures vary with the varying year.....
• Here would I kose the world without a sigh,
And wish my humbler bones inturf"d to lie.

To the Editors, of the Monthly Anthology.

Gr. NT LEMEN, If the following be too trifling for insertion in the Anthology, it is requested, that it may be laid by without notice.

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Thou canst not now drink dew from flowers,
Nor sport along the traveller's path,
But through the winter's weary hours,
Shall warm thee at my lonely hearth ;

And when my lamp's decaying beam,
But dimly shews the letter'd page,
Rich with some ancient poet's dream;
Or wisdom of a purer age,

Then will I listen to thy sound,
And musing o'er the embers pale,
With whitening ashes strewed around,
The forms of memory unveil ;

Recal the many-coloured dreams,
That fancy fondly weaves for youth,
When all the bright illusion seems
The pictured promises of truth.

Perchance, observe the faithful light
Send its faint flashes round the room,
And think some pleasures feebly bright.
May lighten thus life's varied gloom.

I love the quiet midnight hour,
When care and hope and passion sleep,
And reason with untroubled power
Can her late vigils duly keep ;

I love the night ; and sooth to say,
Before the merry birds, that sing
In all the glare and noise of day,
Prefer the cricket's grating wing.

But see pale Autumn strews her leaves,
Her withered leaves, o'er nature's grave,
While giant Winter she perceives
Dark rushing from his icy cave ;

And in his train the sleety showers,
That beat upon the barren earth ;
Thou, cricket, through these weary hours
Shall warm thee at my lonely hearth.


For the Monthly Anthology. GENTLEMEN, Several susceptible youths of your city having been lately employed in making woeful ballads to their mistress' eye-brow, it entered my noddle to attempt something after their manner upon the interesting object of my tenderest


FROM the dark gulf of comfortless despair
Oh suffer me, thou Empress of my soul,
With trembling hand and gizzard" titillating,
And heart that beats in unison with yours,
Like some twin cherry, by sweet zephyr mov’d,
Jostling in concert with its ruby brother,
To write to you, your sex's nonpareil.

* Lately discovered.

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