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Burke's Speeches at his Election at Bristol, and Speech on Conciliation with America, to p. 99, vol. ij. of his works. The speech on the conciliation with America is in Burke's purest strain of eloquence.
April 10. Read book iii. to chap. vii. of the Memorabilia.
11. Finished book iii. of the Memorabilia. 12. Read book iv. to chap. iii. of the Memorabilia.
13. Concluded the Memorabilia. Continued Herodotus, and read Urania to s. 98, with Jane.
14 to 18. Finished Urania, and read Plain Sense, an interesting novel, with Jane.
22. Read the last book of Herodotus, and began Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, with Jane.
23. Concluded Rasselas, with Jane.
24. Began L'Esprit des Loix, and read to book iv., with Jane.
25. Continued L'Esprit des Loix to book v. chap. viž., with Jane.
26. Continued L'Esprit des Loix to book vi. with Jane; and read Eloge de M. de Montesquieu par M. D'Alembert, a pleasing picture of the talents and virtues of a great and good man.
Began Ramsay's Travels of Cyrus, and read book i., with Jane.
May 4. Read Travels of Cyrus book ii., with Jane. May 13. Continued Travels of Cyrus to p. 198, with Jane. Continued Edipus Tyrannus to line 1129.
5 to 11. Continued Travels of Cyrus with Jane, and read books iii. and iv. Concluded the Rambler.
12. Continued Travels of Cyrus to p. 167 with Jane. Began Edipus Tyrannus and read to line 324.
14. Concluded Edipus Tyrannus.
15 to June 3. At Cannock. Concluded Travels of Cyrus. Read Ward's Origin and History of the Law of Nations, from the time of the Greeks and Romans to the Age of Grotius. The author endeavours to confute the notion of a moral principle existing in the human mind, and founds the basis of the law of nations on the influence of Christianity. The work is chiefly estimable for information it contains of curious customs in the middle ages. Read Wood's Life of Homer; an attempt to assign the reasons of Homer's superiority over all other poets, in which much learning and ingenuity are displayed, though some of the arguments appear fanciful. The style is quaint and affected. Read The Italian, a new novel by Mrs. Radcliffe, and Julia de Roubigné. These two tales are of a very different cast. The former raises an unmixed sensation of horror, the latter affects the mind with pity and terror. Taste must give the preference to Julia de Roubigné.
June 6. Read book i., canto i., of the Fairy Queen, with Jane.
7. Read the three first acts of The Cid, with Jane.
8. Finished The Cid, with Jane. Began Smith's Thucydides, with Jane, and read to p. 68 of the first volume.
May 9. Read Barrow, Sermons ii. and iii., vol. i. Read Cowper's Retirement, and Conversation, with Jane.
10. Read Cowper's Charity, and Hope, with Jane.
11. Read Cowper's Table-talk, Progress of Error, Truth, and Expostulation.
13. Read Puffendorf on the History of Poland, and Martini Cromeri Descriptio Poloniæ; and began an Ode to General Kosciusko.
14. Continued the Ode. 15. Finished the Ode.
16. Continued Thucydides to end of book i., with Jane.
19. Began the third book of Apollonius Rhodius.
20. Finished book üï. of Apollonius Rhodius. The two former books I read long since. The third book contains a beautiful description of Medea's passion, more interesting than the passion of Dido in Virgil, who has borrowed copiously from Apollonius.
21. Began book iv. of Apollonius. Began book ii. of Thucydides, with Jane.
25. Continued Apollonius.
June 28 to December 20.-Read Klopstock's Messiah, and Schiller's Ghost-Seer in English, and Disobedience, a new novel, with Jane and Mrs. Ormsby. Read Favole di Pignotti; Rabaut de St. Etienne's Account of the French Revolution ; Conjuration contre Venice, by the Abbé de St. Paul; a volume of Mr. Fox's Speeches; Bolingbroke's Patriot King; or History; Exile, &c.; and Dante's Inferno, in the edition of Venturi. Continued Thucydides to the Embarkation of the Athenian Fleet for Sicily, book vi.; and read Julia, a novel, by Miss Williams; and an Account of the European Settlements in America, with Jane.
The Account of the Settlements in America is said to be written by Burke, and indeed bears evident marks of its author in the depth of the political remarks, and the rapid energy of the style. Read Horace's Art of Poetry, with the Commentary of Hurd. The ingenious critic discovers or invents a plan in the judicious, but apparently unconnected remarks of Horace, addressed to the Pisos.
December 20. Continued Thucydides, book ii., with Jane. Read Il Tratto delle Virtù Morali di Roberto Re di Gerusalemme. This is a short tractate, without much poetical merit, on love or friendship, the four cardinal virtues, and the vices and defects of human life: it contains, however, just and deep reflections on the topics which it treats. P.S. - The authenticity of this poem is denied by Tiraboschi. Petrarch says that Robert, in his latter days, regretted that he had not given greater attention to poetry.
21. Read Il Tesoretto di Ser Brunetto Latini, and Quattro Canzoni di Bindo Bonichi da Siena.
The latter is a short work, and consists of moral reflections. Made an abstract of the Tesoretto. These poems of Roberto, Brunetto, and Bindo Bonichi, together with some of Petrarch's verses from an original manuscript, with his own alterations, are printed at Turin, 1750.
December 22. Continued Thucydides, book vi., with Jane.
23. Concluded book vi. of Thucydides, with Jane. Began the second book of Macchiavelli's History of Florence, in Italian.
24. Continued Macchiavelli. Began book vii. of Thucydides, with Jane.
26. Read canto vi. and vii. of Dante's Purgatorio.
From the month of June in this
to December my father's regular habits of reading had been agreeably interrupted by a visit from his wife's mother : and during this period he took an excursion into Derbyshire with one of his wife's brothers, who had escorted Mrs. Ormsby from Ireland. From Ashbourne he wrote as follows :
TO HIS WIFE.
Monday, Half-past 1 o'Clock. MY DEAR JANE, Nous voici à Ashbourne. We have had a pleasant ride without any accident, and may expect to see