« 上一頁繼續 »
Sir Ifaac Newton himself was not at all confidered, till fome foreign mathematician, I think Huygens, had read his book long after it was printed; and difcovered to the world the treasures it contained; these were men of the greatest genius,
AT the fame time, Mr. Addison who wanted taste in all things, as his remarks on Bologna in Italy may convince you; where he fays, the three most curious things in that city, are ftair-cafe, a medal, and a St. Cecilia, painted by Raphael; preferring the two firft, and not once. mentioning those inimitable paintings of the Carrachi and their difciples; he appears a baby in his pretenfions to knowledge of a fuperior kind, that of defending chriftianity, and explain-: ing the powers and pleasures of imagination; and a fchool-boy in fublime poetry; this man received applaufe beyond all other writers during his life; as did Mr. Pope, who tho' an excellent poet, was in the nature of his writings infinitely inferior to Shakespeare and Milton.
THE understanding and productions of these. modern poets of this ifland, are fuch as are adap ted
adapted to the capacities of the number, and thus pleasing every where, bequeathed their authors an encomium much beyond their defert.
TIME however is doing juftice to these men; the former grow yet more and more adored, the rock is immoveable on which they stand; whilft the hill of fand which fupported the other, is mouldering away beneath the feet of their reputation, and deserting them every mi
To this incapacity of comprehending that which belongs to true genius, I imagine it is, that the most able minifters are feldom employed in a ftate. Those who should choose, cannot penetrate into those intuitive truths which they lay before them: what is not understood by their capacities appears like fcheming, nonsense, fairy land, or vision; and thus the most able heads are prevented from faving their country, whilft fuch fpecious and fertile capacities as the late Lord Bolingbroke's, catch every ear and give their poffeffors place and power; like fly-traps, round which the infects hum, and ftick at last. The only man of late years, that could ferve
this kingdom as a minifter, has been but little
SUCH is the fate of fuperior genius; It is my wifh and ambition, ut fit mens fana in corpore fano, and a heart warmed with gratitude for your goodness.
To the Reverend Father DIODATO
FRANZONI, at Rome.
NOT long fince on a journey into that part of
this kingdom, which is called Wales, from whence the eldeft fons of the kings of GreatBritain take their titles, I found more remains of ancient vaffalage amongst the common people, and a greater fimplicity of manners, than is to be met with in England.
THE language is yet spoken by the prefent. people, which was in ufe in the time of Ca far's invasion; and, if you believe the natives, as it was by our firft parents in paradife; it has not an ill found when put into verfe, as it was repeated to my ears by a gentleman of the country; yet I believe, it would be difficult for a stranger to acquire it; particularly an Italian. Nothing can be more different than the pronunciation of these two languages; the words in our tongue terminating in vowels, and thofe in this having fcarce
any in use in their alphabet. For this reafon ftrength makes the excellence in the Welch, as sweetness does in the prefent Roman; and it feems impoffible for a stranger to obtain a true pronunciation, without practifing with fomething boiling hot in his mouth. There is a fingular custom amongst the people of this part of the island, which is extremely useful, and worthy imitation: Whenever two fervants have an inclination to marry, they make it known to their mafters, and. he to his friends, who all fend them fomething to: begin housekeeping; befides this, there are in different parts, perfons who are called bidders,: from the use they make of them, who are fent round from houfe to houfe to their whole acquaintance.
WHEN a couple is to be wedded, there is one chosen on each fide; they are dreft in their best apparel, and with a long ftaff to which are tyed knots of ribbands, their hats being decorated with the fame finery, are fent out as ambaffadors. These are the public orators, and chofen from the best speakers amongst the common people, which office they always preferve, Deck'd out in this pomp they proceed two diffe