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be condemned, in the sense of the very author from whom censure is inferred; supposed latent in the use of this expression. This is the feebleness ! and were I to speak to the inanity imputed, I might cite the fine passage which precedes that which I have transcribed, and in which. Addison is deservedly honoured as a teacher of moral wisdom, of rational religion, in every interesting, every engaging form, which attractive fiction can lend, or the simple elegance of truth, present. Of the true, the graceful, and the virtuously conciliating in domestic life, he was not less a teacher; with a persuasive ease, a delicacy, a pathetic mildness, whose influence can never be entirely without effect on the heart of any of his readers. I would appeal to his Visions of Mirza; to his Allegory on the origin of the connexion between Pain and Pleasure extended to a noble conclusion from the idea hinted by Socrates ; to his essay on Religion and on Prayer, for the higher instances; to his character of Ruricola and the Cornelii; to the serious and sentimental part of his inimitable portrait of the good Old Knight; and a variety of his other compositions, adapted to all the social offices between individuals, for the rest. Nor, as a critic, can he ever be meanly valued : whether we regard his merit of introducing Milton to popular notice, more extensively than would otherwise have been effected even by the approbation of Sommers; or his essays on the Pleasures of Imagination, to which modern refinement of investigation may yet find itself much obliged, and modern elegance of style may be challenged to no easy competition. I might appeal again to Johnson ; but to vouch external testimony in proof of such excellence, borders on the charge of ridiculous anxiety,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
For one hint, as it is given by Johnson, I shall make no apology. “ Addison is now despised by some, who perhaps never would have seen his defects, but by the light he afforded them." Yet I hope it is by some only, and that many retain their veneration to a name to which our language, our taste, our manners, are singularly indebted; and who, first of our English writers, presented virtue to our view, introduced by cheerfulness, and attended by the graces. I am, Sir, yours most respectfully,
- To G. Griffin, Esq.
- Nec minimo sanè discrimine refert,
· DEAR SIR, · Warm as I have been in my admiration of your excellent work, there was a sentiment in a late paper of yours, which struck me more forcibly than any I had ever seen, as more perfectly according with my own ideas. “There is nothing," you say, “ however inconsiderable, from which morality may not be derived." This, Sir, is an opinion, to which from my childhood I have been particularly attached. If the stories of my nurse may be believed, I have often appeared totally wrapped up in reflections on my rattle, and sat whole hours in profound meditation on a saucepan of pap.
An ingenious friend of mine, whose opinions are remarkably congenial with my own, who exercises
the laudable profession of a tailor, called upon me a few days ago with a bundle of papers in his hand; which he informed me were tracts, poems, dissertations, tragedies, &c. of his own composition. I own I was at first preparing to rebuke my friend for quitting the more honourable employment of cutting out coats and breeches, for that of stitching together a parcel of rhimes, or cabbaging materials for a dissertation. In short I began seriously to expostulate with him on his temerity, and to recall his exertions from the pen to the needle. My good friend, smiling with a look of compassion for my ignorance, informed me, “ that these two instruments mutually assisted each other; that the same pieces of cloth furnished him with materials for a new coat, and a new composition; and that, in short, he stitched as an author, and wrote as a tailor.” I was a good deal surprised at this account, till, upon looking over my friend's manuscripts, I found among many others the following titles; “ A treatise on sewing, with a comparison between a pair of shears and a lord chancellor.” “ Tailoring considered in a moral and philosophical light.” “ The plot discovered or hell in an uproar,” a tragedy. “ View of men and manners, as taken from a tailor's board." “ Directions for cutting-out,” a didactic poem ; and a variety of others of the same nature. What a blessing, Mr. Griffin, would it be for this country, if every body would imitate the example of this gentleman; and make either their pleasures, or their business, sub- , servient to nobler pursuits. We might then expect a generation of poetical green-grocers, metaphysical çork-cutters, and philosophical tallow-chandlers. We should then all be like the gamester, who to the surprise of a large congregation, brought into church a pack of cards instead of a prayer-book ; and on being reprimanded, proved, that the cards, in the light he considered them, answered every purpose of
the liturgy. For if the haberdasher, when rolling up his small wares, would consider them in an astronomical view, and the cheesemonger, when sur. rounded by Stilton and double-Gloucester, regard his goods as subjects for philosophy; there would be nothing wanting to render the former a Newton and the latter a Socrates.
For my own part, Sir, I have not the happiness of exercising any of the trades in question, and therefore cannot myself apply them to the purposes of morality. But you must know, Sir, the chief delight of my life is good eating ; nor am I ashamed to own myself a Glutton; since I can at the same time boast that I am a moralizing one. As I swallow with remarkable expedition, I have usually done dinner before the rest of the company; and in order to fill up the vacant time, amuse myself with observing the manæuvres of some one who still continues eating. An inexperienced person can have no idea of the fund of knowledge and improvement which such speculation affords; nor can they at all conceive the many useful lessons and rules for my future conduct, which I collect, merely from obserying the knife and fork ranging from one part of the plate to the other; industriously collecting the different substances, and piling up the fat on the meat, the sallad on the fat, the gravy on the sallad, and the salt on the gravy. When I see this delicious pyramid descend the throat, it reminds me of a poet, who heaps tropes upon episodes, similies upon tropes, and catastrophes on similies; and at last sees the whole fabric destroyed by the tooth of the critic. If the unfaithful fork happens to let go his cargo just as the mouth is opening for its prey, what a melancholy picture does this accident present, of the uncertainty and vicissitude of all human affairs ! How strongly does it bring to my mind that trite but excellent maxim, of nola jayaču zɛɛe Kuleras
και χειλεος ακρου, “ many things happen between the cup and the lip?” By this means, Mr. Griffin, you perceive that my fondness for eating is of eminent advantage to my mind and morals; since the same ingredients afford wholesome food to my stomach, and wholesome reflections to my heart.
• If this letter should meet with a favourable re. ception, I will, in a short time, send you a very elaborate dissertation on carving, which was composed “ intercisiro tempore,” that is, between the first and second course. I remain, Your most devoted servant,
NOTES TO CORRESPONDENTS. Semicolon is received—I will venture to give Quintus the piece of advice which Horace gave to his namesake, ne percuncteris.
N° 37. MONDAY, JULY 23, 1787.
O! curas hominum ! O! quantum est in rebus inane.
PERSIUS. How anxious are our cares, and yet how vain.—Dayden. When philosophy, affecting to exclaim thus on the vanity of human pursuits and knowledge, and the emptiness of human glory, sings the praises of re. tirement and seclusion from society, I cannot suppress the smile which arises at the mock solemnity of the declaration; and have sufficient ill-nature to suspect, that the sentiment has been dictated by that very vanity, which it seemingly despises. I believe that none are found to be more warmly attached to that perishable frailty (as they call it) fame, than those who outwardly neglect it. They may do it