ePub 版


[blocks in formation]

NO, I.
SATURDAY, JAN. 25, 1817.

PRELIMINARY ADDRESS. its objects may claim, and the diligence of its conductors

shall be found to deserve. AMIDST the difficulties resulting from a state of arduous Though at the commencement of a Periodical Publicaand protracted warfare, it is gratifying to reflect, that the tion, altogether new in its construction, and which from its cause of Literature has suffered no declension. On the very nature must be susceptible of continual improvement, contrary, it is matter of exultation, that while the Conti- it would be premature to lay down any determinate mode nent was wasted for the purposes of ambition, England of arrangement, or to limit the subjects within any prewas not less respected for her pre-eminence in science, scribed class; the following may be submitted as the than for her superiority in commerce, the firmness of her general distribution of the contents, and the particulars of councils, and the vigour of her arms; whilst the interrup- those parts adapted to prominent attention and minute tion of scientific correspondence with · Britain was as

detail: deeply lamented by the learned, as that of commercial 1. ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE; Foreigu and intercourse was regretted by the mercantile, world. Domestic.

Whatever may be the weight of public burthens, or the II. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF NEW PUBLICAseverity of individual trials, it cannot be denied, that a TIONS; English and Foreign. rapid advance has been made in every department of practi III. VARIETIES on all Subjects connected with cal science, which in a great degree countervails the sacri- POLITE LITERATURE--Discoveries and Improvefices we have endured. Of such a position in the scale of ments-Phänomena of Nature and Mind-Philosophical moral and intellectual excellence, the inhabitants of these Researches---Rural Economy--Scientific Inventions--realms may well be proud; but it behoves them also to Sketches of Society, Manners and Morals---Proceedings maintain this elevation for their own security, and the of Universities, Public Societies, &c. &c. edification of posterity, for the advantage of the com IV. BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS of Persons dismon-wealth of letters, and the general benefit of man- tinguished by their talents and public merits. kind.

V. ORIGINAL LETTERS and ANECDOTES of A spirit of research has been excited, which has enlarged remarkable Personages. the boundaries of knowledge beyond the expectations of

VI. ESSAYS on the FINE ARTS, which shall be the most sanguine labourers in this extensive field; and the conducted with due regard to Science and Liberality. effects have spread to such a degree as to render the capital VII. REVIEW of BŘITISH and FOREIGN DRAMA; of the British Empire the centre of literary information, as including the Italian Opera, with NEW MUSIC, &c. well as the emporium of commercial speculation,

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES of LITERWben these circumstances are considered, it is surpris- ARY INTELLIGENCE: Notices of Works projected, ing that, among the number of Journals issued from the and in a state of forwardness; Announcements of New metropolitan press, none has hitherto appeared exclusively Publications, and New Editions; Works of Art, &c. devoted to the progressive state of Literature, and the Such is the general outline of this Weekly Paper, which, subjects to which it bears an immediate relation. The by communicating the earliest Intelligence on all Literary periodical works, already in existence, uniformly embrace subjects, must prove of the greatest importance to men of such a variety of particulars as to be precluded from ex- letters; to those who are interested in the Commerce of hibiting any thing like a detailed view of Literary History: Books, or the encouragement of Inventions; and proporand though some of them devote a few pages to this in- tionably so to the public at large, as exhibiting a clear and teresting object, in none will be found an exact account of instructive picture of the Moral and Literary Improvement the state of knowledge in other countries. The British of the Times

, forming at the end of each year a complete public still remain very imperfectly acquainted with the and authentic Chronological Literary Register for general progress made by their neighbours in discoveries which reference. enrich, and refinements which embellish society; notwith For the faithful execution of the various departments, standing the facilities now afforded for this important the Proprietors can safely pledge themselves, having taken species of inforination, so esseutial to the commerce of dae care to secure the very best assistance; and they have genius, by the opening of the Continent, and the restor- also received promises of encouragement, with contributions, ation of that intercourse which was so long susperded from persons who adorn the highest walks of society by among the Nations of Europe.

their literary taste, and by their zeal in the promotion of To supply this desideratum, and to improve upon the works of utility. examples which have been set by Foreign Nations in the The patronage already conceded to them is beyond their establishment of Journals appropriated solely to the record most sanguine hopes; more especially as they have been of matters relating to the state of general knowledge, is graciously favoured with the Illustrious name of His the particular objeci of the Proprietors of the LITERARY ROYAL Highness the Prince Regent as their First Gazetre, who now venture to lay their plan before the SUBSCRIBER. public, soliciting only such patronage as the importance of To obtain the earliest and best intelligence from Fo

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

REIGN CAPITALS, a Correspondence has been instituted | who have triumphed before them. The ancients they are with men of the first literary eminence; besides which, accustomed to sweep away at one stroke, to damn with a all the Foreign Journals, &c. will be regularly procured, word, to dismiss in a single sentence. Next in the order and their literary contents extracted, in order that the state of proscription comes every thing English, and then the of science, morals, and letters, abroad as well as at home, literature of every other nation. Adam Smith is far from may be fairly brought onder review. Thus the labours of being free from this imputation :-it is well known that the studious will be materially aided, and the infinitely his idol was the originality of his own speculations, and diversified ideas and pursuits of the ingenious will be con- bis jealousy upon this point was susceptible in the extreme. centrated into a common focus for their mutual advantage, His publishing his great and most valuable work of the as well as that of the public in general.

Wealth of Nations, without any references to former With such qualifications, all of them favorable to human authors, and without the slightest acknowledgment of enjoyment, and essential to the advancement of know-obligation, is in our opinion more than suspicious; espeledge, the LITERARY Gazette cannot, it is presumed, cially when it can be shown that he borrowed, most profail to be acceptable to the higher classes of society. As perly and most justifiably, not only the matter of much of a family companion, ibis Journal will prove not only a that work, but the allusions and illustrations, from all source of delighful entertainment from the variety and quarters, from the right and from the left. But in the value of its contents, but of the greatest consequence in works of Mr. Hume this spirit breaks out on all sides with the office of Education, by enlarging the views of youth, far more openness. As a philosopher he found Locke, quickening a spirit of virtuous emulation, and facilitating as he thought, in his way, and did all he could to remove the labours of the instructor.

bim—as an historian and a politician, there is a note in To the LITERARY WORLD in general, to PUBLIC his History which speaks of Rapin, Burnet, and again of INSTITUTIONS and READING SOCIETIES, it must become Locke, in a tone of contempt, which not only his abilities, an indispensable acquisition; while to Booksellers it great as they were, did not justify him in assuming, but presents the greatest advantages ever afforded for giving which no human abilities can justify one writer in adopting effectual publicity to their new undertakiugs.

towards another. The same work is full of the most unfair At the end of ihe year an Index of Contents, with Title, and insufficient criticisms upon all the earlier writers of &c. will be given; including a list of the New Publications, England; particularly upon Clarendon, whose History, forming a complete Annual Catalogue.

though he was himself an actor in the events of which he

treats, is a model of impartiality compared with his own; ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.

and upon Raleigh, in whose essay entitled “the Sceptic,

he might have found, and perhaps did find, many of his AUGUSTAN WRITERS AND EDINBURGH

own philosophical opinions. In his essays' he says that the REVIEWERS.

first polite English prose was written by a man then alive, “ Wuen we were at our studies, some twenty-five years ago, (Dr. Swift) and thus in one sweeping sentence condemns, we can perfectly remember that every young man was set to as far as he is able, all who preceded that writer, to obread Pope, Swift, and ADDISON. All this, however, we take livion and neglect. is, is now pretty well altered. Their names, indeed, are still The above observations have been irresistibly drawn familiar to our ears; but their writings no longer solicit our from us by the perusal of a criticism upon the works of habitual notice. “ Speaking generally of that generation of Authors, it may tember. In all that is said of the moral and political cha

Swift, published in the Edinburgh Review for last Sepbe said that as Poets, they had no force or greatness of fancy; -20 pathos and no enthusiasm; and, as Philosophers, no racter of that remarkable man, we have only to express cornprehensiveness, depth, or originality."-Edinburgh Reviex. our concurrence ; but

the judgment which is passed upon Art. I. No. 53.

his literary talents sufficiently proves that the feelings of No persons can be less disposed than ourselves to the founders of the Scotch School of Literature, have dewithhold their due share of praise and gratitude from the scended in their full force upon their successors. The numerous valuable works, which huve, during the last object, however, is somewhat changed. It was not long sixty or seventy years, been produced by the writers of ago the tone of the Universities of Scotland to decry and Scotland. We feel the greatest admiration for the abili-undervalue poetry and all works of imagination, particuties of many of them; and for the success, with which larly all which were formed upon the English raiber than those abilities have been exerted. But it is impossible not upon the French model. This was when they had no poet to observe also the extreme jealousy of all foreign merit, of their own. Some of them indeed would at times make which characterises them all, with very few exceptions, an effort to elevate Allan Ramsay, John Home, and from the first of them to the last, from the most eminent Smollet, into that character-some, with better reason, to the most obscure. They seem to be utterly discon- relied upon Thomson, and one gallant attempt was made tented with any distinction, unless they acquire it alone to establish a rival to Homer in the person of Ossian. But and without a rival; and they pant after the praise of the more judicious ainongst them perceived, that it was far complete originality, which is the only praise that the more feasible to persuade the world that poetry was, in order of nature renders it impossible they should obtain. itself, a poor thing, than that these were great and superior Whether in mathematics or in history, in political eco-poets. But the case is altéréd now. They have poets of nomy or in moral philosophy,--this is one of the uova- undoubted success in their own day. Therefore the Edinrving characteristics of the school. A clear stage appears bargh Review is of opinion, that “ the writers who adorned to be their object, and they are unwilling to enter the lists, the beginning of the last century, have been eclipsed by uyless they can erase from the roll of fame the names of all those of our own time." Now, by whom have they been

[ocr errors]

umphed before them. The ancients they are to sweep away at one stroke, to damn with a miss in a single sentence. Next in the order -n comes every thing English, and then the very other nation. Adam Smith is far from om this imputation :-it is well known that The originality of his owo speculations, and on this point was susceptible in the extreme.

his great and most valuable work of the tions, without any references to former without the slightest acknowledgment of n our opinion more than suspicious; espean be shown that he borrowed, most projustifiably, not only the matter of much of

the allusions and illustrations, from all the right and from the left. But in the ame this spirit breaks out on all sides with ess. As a philosopher be found Locke, bis way,

and did all he could to renove Fian and a politician, there is a note in

speaks of Rapin, Burnet, and again of -f contempt, which not only his abilities

, did not justify him in assuming, but bilities can justify one writer in adopting he same work is full of the most unfair Eicisms

upon all the earlier writers of arly upon Clarendon, whose History,

an actor in the events of which he impartiality compared with his own; n whose essay entitled “the Sceptic," , and perhaps did find, many of his pinions. In his essays he says that the ose was written by a man then alive, in one sweeping sentence conderons, Il who preceded that writer, to obElions have been irresistibly drame

of a criticism upon the works of e Edinburgh Review for last Sepsaid of the moral and political chable man, we have only to express he judgment which is passed upon



3 eclipsed ? Not by Mr. Southey, Mr. Coleridge, &c. whose viewer appears to us to bave been far from selecting the works have been, often very justly, criticised, and almost most favorable examples. The Legion Club and other uniformly in a great degree condemned, by the Edinburgh satirical pieces, which he wrote after his retirement to Review-but by Mr. Walter Scott, Mr. Campbell, and Ireland, have always appeared to us in many parts to outLord Byron, whose productions alone have received warm Herod Herod. They are violent and outrageous, and commendation in that work. To celebrate this grand seem to indulge in filth and beastliness, for their own triumph of the New School, not only Swift, Pope, and sake, without any witty or fair application. But what Addison, but all the poets who have fourished front their can equal the verses upon bis own death ? and many of time down to that of Cowper, are thrown in to make up his small occasional political pieces, such as the Bundle the hecatomb_" Gray, with the talents rather of a critic, of Sticks, and the fable of Midas, are in every point of than a poet”

Goldsmith wrote with perfect elegance view admirable. Cadenus and Vanessa may be termed, at and beauty." Now we must say, that large and volum- it is in the Edinburgh Review, cold. It certainly is not

Some inous as are already the productions of Mr. Scott and Lord the language of love, por was it intended to be so. Byron, and little inclined as we are to deny their merit, we expressions are become obsolete; some, a usual fate of are not prepared to admit that they have as yet surpassed phraseology, are now no longer used in the higher circles, the small contents of the very thin volumes, which have and therefore sound vulgar: but, making allowance for the been left us by Mr. Gray and Dr. Goldsmith. If there be effects of time, the wit and grace of the work must always in the compass of literature an example of the rare union please. So far from thinking, with the Edinburgh Review, of genius and learning, and of the assistance which, under that, “ of his poetry there is not much to be said,” we the guidance of taste, the oue may receive from the other, could expatiate upon its many and various excellences, it is to be found in the two Pindaric Odes of Gray; and but we must content ourselves with observing one beauty for an affecting situation, for that mixture of personal of it, which as far as we know, in our language, is pecufeelings and philosophical reflection, which forms so much liarly his own. He does not share it with Butler nor with of the charm of serious poetry, for ideas moral and sub- Prior, nor with any other. His expressions are always the lime, clothed in the happiest expressions, and for a versi- most appropriate, his metre the most exact, his rhymes fication smooth and flowing, without being elaborate, lau- the most perfect, and yet his verses always flow in the guid, or monotonous, we must own we know not where most easy manner, without effort, without inversion, and in the works of more modern authors to look for any thing generally in the order into which his words would naturally more felicitous than the Traveller of Goldsmith.

fall, if he were writing prose or speaking in common conWith respect to the writers of Queen Anne's day, who versation. are the great objects of this attack, our limits will not allow us to enter into any general discussion of their

To the Editor of the Literary Gazette. merits. To the assertion, that was philosophers they SIR,_DURING my residence at Paris, in the summer of had no comprehensiveness, depth, or originality,” it may the last year, it was my good fortune to make the acquaintbe replied, ihat Pope in his earlier and better works laid ance of the Abbé Gregoire, Ex-Bishop of Blois, to whose no claim to that title, and to the statement, that “as urbanity and confidential frankness of communication I poets, they had no force or greatness of fancy, no pathos, stand largely indebted. Our conversations having more and no enthusiasm,” we can only answer by asking, is than once turned upon the progress and actual condition this really meant to include the author of Abelard and of Civilization in Europe, and upon the means of increasEloisa! “No force or greatness of fancy, bo pathes, and no ing and disseminating knowledge, the Abbé confided to enthusiasm !" For leaven's sake real that work once more ! my care a series of observations on the possibility and We do not advert to the coarser allusions it contaius, which, expediency of establishing a general Congress of literati in our opinion, blenish it and greatly liurt the general and men of science, without distinction of nation, seet or effect of the poem. With respect to the immediate sub-colour, for the purpose of giving greater vigour and comject in question, naniely, the writings of Dr. Swift, we bination to their common labours. are rearly to admit, that many of the remarks, such as those upon the poverty of his prose style,

My original intention was to have inserted this interest-
without foundation ; but still, when all that is just is al- but the redundancy of her materials compels her to ex,

are not ing paper in Lady Morgan's forthcoming work on France;
lowed, tbe writer remains unequalled, inimitable, and clude from that publication every thing merely episodical.
superior. But if in this examination some faults are The medium also of your Literary Gazette will perhaps
found, many merits are omitted, and we do not think an give the Abbé's remarks a circulation more congenial to
essay upon the works of Swift does much credit to the ju their nature and object.
dustry and accuracy of its author, which considers him as The project developed in these “ Remarks," has already

politician without noticing his opinions upon the national been announced in a discourse (extracted from an unpub-
debt, and as a poet, without observing the very peculiar lished work) read at the institute of France, at a public
excellence of his style and versification. Upon the fund- sitting held in the year 1796, and printed in the first vo-
ing system all may not perhajis exactly agree with his lune of the memoirs of the class of mural and political
opinion, but he has undoubtedly the praise of having seen science, p. 552, &c.

During the domination of the very clearly and distiuctly into iis valure at a very early National Convention, the Abbé maintained a frequent period, as may be found by a reference to his painphlet intercourse with the principal literary and scientific meu upon the conduct of the allies; and of having expressed then existing in France, for the purpose of averting the himself upon it with a precision and perspicuity certaiuly persecution under which that class of society laboured ; never since surpassed. Of his poetry, the Edinburgh Re- and of rescuing from destruction the monuinents of art.


[ocr errors]

fently proves that the feelings of -h School of Literature, have de rce upon their successors. The Ewhat changed. It was not long ersities of Scotland to decry and

works of imagination, particud upon the English raibier than This was when they had no poet en indeed would at times make - Ramsay, John Honie, and er-some, with better reason, -ne gallant attempt was made r in the person of Ossian. But hem perceived, that it was far e world that poetry was, in these were great and superior

now. They have poets of in day. Therefore the Edint" the writers who adorned' ry, have been eclipsed by by whom have they beer


With the present project in coutemplation, he, at the same to amusement than to integrity, decrees to genius, degraded time, formed connexions with several writers of even dis-by abuse, those honors which it refuses to probity and respectant nations. The consular and diplomatic agents of the tability, and crowns the brows of a licentious poet with laurels French government seconded these intentions: and, by gathered from the very sinks of infamy and of vice.

If the people deemed civilized exhibit some virtues, or pertheir means, he was enabled to renew the epistolary con- haps the exterior of virtues, which are wanting among barbavexion, which had formerly subsisted between the Sama- rians, these last too frequently betray qualities for which we ritans of Naplouse (the ancient Sychem) and Joseph Scali- may in vain look, amongst more polished nations. But when ger, Ludolphe, Marshall, and Huntingdon; and which had Rousseau maintained that the sciences were injurious to hubecn interrupted for 119 years. The details and first manity, he rested bis doctrine upon facts which were far from transactions of this correspondence have been published incontrovertible. Instead, however, of attacking bim on his in the second vol. of M. Gregoire's Histoire des Sectes," ) that there is no necessary connexion between illumination and

own grounds, the majority of his antagonists opposed the theory, and also in a journal printed at Vienna under the title of vice; a proposition by no means difficult to prove. Formey, Fundgruben des Orients.The importance of the sub- in modifying the opinions of the philosopher of Geneva, con ject has been felt by many persons of the highest literary sidered the relations of virtue and the sciences as accidental, eminence; but it was, I believe, at the suggestion of Sir holding that the latter have neither a goori nor an evil tendency John Sinclair, that the Abbé's paper was thrown into its in themselves, but offer an infinity of sources of amelioration present form. In translating the French MS. I have taken for those who choose to profit by them." the liberty of omitting some few passages, not immediately remedy; and the remedy in the present case is to obtain pos

To point out the evils which afflict humanity is to invoke the relative to the subject, and a little perhaps discordant with session of the rising generation, and to give them a direction the present state of our press;—for the rest, it is as literal calculated to improve the moral character in all its relations. and faithful as I am able to render it. I am, Sir,

If, in the mean time, the illuminated part of mankind can conYour obedient servant,

spire to the accomplishment of this otject, or remedy the evils 35, Kildare-street, Dublin, T. CHARLES MORGAN. resulting from its failure, by the establishment of wise instituJan. 14, 1817.

tions, it becomes a paramount duty with them to make the

attempt; and a Congress would materially contribute to their capaPlan of a general Association of Lcarned and Scientific Men, mankind apply to the cultivation of reason; and engage in the

bilities in this respect. The republic of letters exists wherever and of Artists of all Nations, for accelerating the Progress of study of nature to explore its mysteries and to venerate its auCivilization, of Morals, and of Illumination. By the Abbé Gre- thor. Inventions of all kinds, the riches of the imagination, golre, Ex-Bishop of Blois. Translated und arranged by Sir T. the energy of sentiment, all that is profound in thoughi, or vast Charles Morgan, M. D.

and hardy in conception, belong to the demesne of this repub

lic; which embraces every age, every place, every being; a PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS.— The common acceptation republic, born doubtless with the commencement of the world, of the word “ Civilization” indicates the progress of a nation in and destined to partake, without limit, in the extent of its du Science, Letters, and the Fine Arts. This progress is indeed ration. ordinarily adopted as the standard for judging of the degree of The republic of letters allows of a gradation of rank, detercivilization, to which any nation has arrived. The notion, mined by admiration, by esteem, anıl by gratitude; but, without however, if not false, is, at least, defective; for if Illumination is admitting anarchy, it is, and ever must be in the strictest ely, useful, Virtue is essential; :-s0 essential that no other endow. mology of the word, acephalous,” and it excludes all idea of ments can supply its place.

domination. A French writer of the last century, whose supeIn a society totally depraved, the sciences and belles lettres rior talents and extensive acquirements placed him at the head may, it is true, subsist for some short time : but when sound of his cotemporaries, while he reigned in Parnassus, attemplo knowledge is unassociated with purity of sentiment, the conta- ed to extend his sceptre over every branch of human knowgion of morals will speedily introduce a corruption of taste, ledge, supported on one side by those who saw in him the An epoch like this is most imminently dangerous to public Coryphæis of their party, and on the other, by an host of infeorder, which must inevitably decompose and dissolve under the rior writers, who crowded round him to court his approbation, operation of such causes.“ To carry to its highest point the and to beg his protection. But, in the midst of his triumphal purity of morals, and to develope to the utternost the intellectual fa- course, Voltaire had to encounter incessantly with irritated selfculties," seems then, the true definition of the word,“ to civilize." I love contesting his superiority, and with truth revealing his

The false policy, which too universally influences govern-mistakes.? With him fell that ephemeral dictatorship, which ments, has taughi them to forget that, of all riches, morality is the independence of the human mind should for ever repel. the most precious; and if Europe be less advanced in virtue Without, however, controverting the independence of the than in illumination, it is because public attention has been too republic of letters, it may be demanded, whether it be not susmuch occupied with the latter, and too little engaged with the ceptible of an organization, which would concentrate its efforis former. The radical vice in all countries, but more especially and direct its labours to a common object, thereby ensuring the in France, is the exclusive cultivation of the understanding, at success of its operations, and hastening the progress of general the expense of the heart, the neglect of conducting the moral illumination. Is such an organization possible? would it be aud intellectual faculties in a parallel march, and of rendering useful? and if so, what is the proper plan to follow? what the them, by their equal developement, a reciprocal balance to means of execution? Such are the questions which it is proeach other.

posed to treat in the following observations. (To be continued.) The affections, exclusively cultivated, in ignorant and unenlightened minds, engender a fanatical exaltation of feeling; while the intellect, developed without due attention to morals,

1 Memoirs de l'Academie de Berlin, T, iii, p. 304. calls forth in the infant breast a precocity of passions, against 2 Voltaire ruled over the writers of his day, rather as a genea which there exists no principle of opposition or control. Thus ral conducting an army, than as a despot constraining a people. thosc endowments which are created to second and support He gave in some measure the tone which discussion took, but inorality, become converted into the engines of its destruction. never imposed dogmas by, an authoritative ipse dixit. Dr. Ilenee the frequency of witty, but depraved characters; and the Johnson may much more justly be deemed the tyrant of litecxistchce of that prejudice which, aitaching more importance rature. T.

« 上一頁繼續 »