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there is little in verse, and that entirely, I think, consisting of translations. The abstract he made of Plato's works, or at least great part of them, has revived my recollection of them very pleasantly. Even his remarks on Aristophanes, though few and sometimes rather trivial, are valuable, as the observations of any great mind, however slight, would be in passing through an interesting country. His view of the "Opvibes I defy you to read without a lively curiosity to read the original, which I believe you have not done; but which we are perhaps now growing old enough to be allowed without much hazard.
I have lately heard from Bullock on the subject of a young man whose father wishes to put him with a private preceptor. Price, who had declined taking pupils, seems disposed to break through his determination. He has (as I find you had not heard) got a Minor Canonry of Worcester, chiefly through the kindness of Digby. Mrs. C. desires her kind regards.
I am, dear Birch,
H. F. C.
LITERARY JOURNAL, 1814.
January 29 and 30. Read cursorily the eighth volume of Asiatic Researches.
To February. Finished Mickle's Lusiad. Read the lepinynors of Dionysius (Hill's edit. 1688), to which I have been led by the opinion declared by Gilbert Wakefield, in his Letters to Mr. Fox, of his being the most easy and flowing Greek poet next to Homer. Theocritus might perhaps have been properly excepted. There are some sweet lines in this poem; but it is too much a mere catalogue of the names of places, without any poetical plan.
Began Bacon on the Advancement of Learning. “ It may truly be affirmed that there was never any philosophy, religion, or other discipline, which did so plainly and highly exalt the good which is communicative, and depress the good which is private and particular, as the holy faith ; well declaring that it was the same God that gave the Christian law to who gave
those laws to inanimate nature which we spake of before : for we read that the elected saints of God have wished themselves anathematised and razed out of the book of life, in an extasy of charity, and infinite feeling of communion.” I think he certainly understands St. Paul rightly,—“Wherefore we will conclude with that last point which is of all other means the most compendious and summary; and again the most noble and effectual to the reducing of the mind unto virtue and good estate; which is the electing and propounding unto a man's self good and virtuous ends of his life, such as may be in a reasonable sort within his compass to attain. For if there be two things supposed, that a man set before him honest and good ends, and again that he be resolute, constant and true unto them; it will follow, that he shall mould himself unto all virtue at once. And this is indeed like the work of nature, whereas the other course is like the work of the hand; for as when a carver makes an image, he shapes only that part whereupon he worketh, as if he be upon the face, that part which shall be the body is but a rude stone still, till such time as he comes to it; but, contrariwise, when nature makes a flower or living creature, she formeth rudiments of all the parts at one time: so in obtaining virtue by habit, when a man practiseth temperance, he doth not profit much to fortitude, nor the like; but when he dedicateth and applieth himself to goodness, look, what virtue soever the pursuit and passage towards those ends doth commend unto him, he is invested of a precedent disposition to conform himself thereunto,” &c. Adv. of Learning, book i.- This is admirable. It
may be compared with the latter part of the Abyos 'Epwtikos which goes under the name of Demosthenes.
“ Like as waters do take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though they proceed from the same fountain :" -a remarkable instance of confused metaphor.
Sin, in the matter and subject thereof, is divided according to the commandments; in the form thereof, it referreth to the three persons in Deity. Sins of
infirmity against the Father, whose special attribute is power ; sins of ignorance against the Son, whose attribute is wisdom; and sins of malice against the Holy Ghost, whose attribute is grace or love.”—I do not remember to have met with this distinction before.
This work of Bacon was afterwards enlarged by him in his Latin Treatise De Augm. Scient. Might it not be useful to translate his Latin work, so augmented, into English, taking as much of Bacon's language as may be, and conforming what is added to the same style as nearly as may be, and giving the quotations in the original Greek which he translates into Latin ?
Bacon appears to me rather too fond of illustrations by similitudes, a method of explaining which he himself attempts to justify in the course of this essay
He divides his subject into three parts; Learning, first as it regards Memory, next Imagination, and thirdly Reason. With the two former he is very perspicuous; but not so much so in the former part of the third. His frequent flattery of James the First is somewhat nauseous.
Began the Araucana of Ercilla with Jane Sophia. I think Colocolo's speech in the second canto much overrated by Voltaire and Mr. Hayley. The description of Lincoza and Caupolican poising the beam, in the same canto, is very spirited, and the best part, I have yet met with. The particular delineation of Araurco in the first canto appears rather unpoetical : and yet, so should we perhaps reckon Homer's Catalogue, if it were not for the authority of Homer.
To February 24. Finished Lord Bacon's History of Henry the Seventh, a delightful piece of history; and begun Lord Herbert's Life of Henry the Eighth. Continued Ηermogenes Περί Ιδέων. Ρart of the tenth chapter, book i., concerning the druñs, is very difficult, and so Gaspar Laurentius, in his commentary on it, confesses. Milton, in his Tractate on Education, and Bacon, in his Letter to Sir Henry Savile on the same subject, recommend the reading of Hermogenes. Read the third canto, part i., of Ercilla : very animated, particularly the conduct and speeches of Lautaro, the young Araucan who betrays Valdivia, in the midst of the battle, to his barbarian countrymen. Read Selden's Table Talk. Mr. S. T. Coleridge has written in the first page, “There is more weighty bullion sense in this book, than I ever found in the same number of pages of any uninspired writer.” There are several observations in the margin by the same gentleman. On the article, Opinion 1.he remarks, “Good! This is the true difference betwixt the Beautiful and the Agreeable, which Knight and the rest of that πλήθος άθεον have so beneficially confounded-meretricibus videlicet et Plutoni.” On the same article, 3.--" what an insight into a wise man's heart ! who has been compelled to act with the Many, as one of the Many !