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to the bulk of mankind, during those and entitles it to the admiration of periods, than is consonant with jus- successive ages. ice and due consideration. This I know no way of accounting for single circumstance may suffice to this singular inequality in the producprove with how much diffidence tions of a man of genius, without we youth should form a judgment of hu- attribute it to the prevalence of acciman character from the representae dent in regard to the original conceptions of history.
tion of his works. If we enquired of
men distinguished for the production Few particulars connected with the of classical compositions, I believe lighter departments of literature ap- we should find that a single idea of pear more curious, or interesting, peculiar richness and capability formihan the circumstance of poetical ta- ed the basis of their most important lent experiencing a period at which it publications. This individual notion is capable of a loftiness of flight and was the acorn that produced the au. felicity of combination never before gust oäk, with all its expansions of attained, and never afterwards attain- foliage and varieties of beauty. It able. If we asked the poets for the was a single idea, simple but capable, cause of this peculiarity, they would that opened to the comprehension of ascribe it, at once, to inspiration, Newton the principles of gravitation which they might with justice con- and the system founded on those tend is too great a favour to be principles. And I entertain no doubt dispensed to buman nature above of it being a single accidental idea once during the course of its mortal that caused Milton to lay the plan of peregrination. But this appears too Paradise Lost. It falls to the lot of visionary and fanciful a mode of ac- few men to experience such an accicounting for the singularity, though dent in their favour above once in it certainly is not easy to form a ra- the course of the longest life. tional opinion concerning its real It is very possible that some of your origin. Those constituent portions subscribers may find more to say on of ihe mind which fertilize and invi- this subject than proceeds from a gorate imagination, are believed by single idea. If so, I trust that they men of talent to be more genial and will oblige the numerous readers of benignant at particular seasons. One your Miscellany with the fruit of has supposed that he could write best their cogitation; and no person will in spring, when all nature unfolds feel more gratified by such a favour itsell around ; another has contended than all connected with, that his mese aspired to a more lofty
Your's, &c. flight on black and dismal winter evenings, when every extraneous ob
A LITERARY LOUNGER. ject sank and disappeared, and each Hurst, Sept. 30, 1810. wandering faculty returned home from joyous but futile excursions, and played, in a wanton exuberance of The LITERARY Life and Travels of
BARON HOLBERG. Written by strengih, about that “grand citadel" the brain. It is with the ebullitions
Himself. Extracted from the Laof genius as with the progress of cure
tin Edition of Leipsick, in 1743 in regard to nervous' disorders; the
By W. Hamilton Reid. imaginings of the patient, or subject,
(Continued from p. 201.] of the desired object; but stil, amont ANOTHER thing that hindered
me from bringing any drama ing that, from the fond persuasion of forward at Paris was the disputes that his fancy, a man may write bril- .prevailed among the performers, viz. Jiantly in spring, and compose only the French and Italian companies. vapid and imbecile lines in Novem- At Fontainbleau, the difference broke ber, it does not appear why the same out into an open war. Whenever the penman should write merely once in Italians came to Paris, the most pointthe course of his life with such a pre- ed satire and epigram was sure to meet eminent consistency of beauty as them. A comic piece, called L'Instamps his work classical at its birth, promptu de la Folie, was got ap on
purpose to mortify them by the French with, whatever may be the consecompany at Paris; this was also a quence. Sometimes the French drakind of opera. The Italians, who are matists represent him talking so long, not famous for a forgiving turn of that a servant is brought in to inform mind, avenged themselves soon after him that the opportunity he was look. by two pieces got up for the purpose 'ing for to promote the object he had of retaliating upon the French. As in view has been lost, &c. far as I understood, the French main- but, without comparing these dratain that a moral drama should consist mas to others, they are very little betof one act alone. Of course, my dra- ter than contemptible in themselves; matic pieces, that generally consist of for instance, L'Impromplu de la Folie five, or three acts at least, were quite and Les Amusemens de l'Automne out of rule. They have also an aver- were despised by every man of sense sion to bringing persons of inferior in Paris, as being beneath both the condition upon the stage, unless it be place where they were performed, a servant or a messenger, merely to and the companies who performed deliver a message, a card, &c.
them. Now, if my Political Pewterer had The Italian company are by no been divested entirely of what they means despicable, when they perform would call low characters, then I sup- in their own native tongue; but when pose all the mechanics I have intro- they speak French in character, they duced there must have been changed are considerably inferior ; for, exceptinto doctors and advocates, and of ing the wife of M. Lelius, there is not course the spirit of the play would be one of the whole company who can quite lost. 'In a word, to have given speak the language tolerably. Anothis piece a French dress, would have ther reason why none of the old been giving it the appearauce of a flat stock comedies can be performed and stupid dialogue, instead of an in- with any good effect is, because the teresting and sprightly comedy. As modern harlequins or scaramouches to the French taste in general, with are infinitely inferior to the old ones, respect to the drama, it resembles there being little difference between those
persons who, continually eating these and such as accompany the pheasants, at length get so weary of strolling players. However, the pahis kind of food, that they cannot rodies, lately introduced into the bear the smell of them. A regular French theatre, were pretty well atcomedy, in five acts, withi proper tended. I was much pleased with denouement, will never please ihe them; but, at length, they multiplied French : in short, the more regular to such a degree, that the whole city, and rational a piece may be, so much the suburbs, and the public places, as the more confused and disagreeable it well as the theatres, resounded with appears to the Parisians. Were I to parodies, till the Parisians could no enter into a criticism of most of their longer bear the name of them. In new plays, I could easily shew that fact, they seemed to knit their brows, they are not only absurd in the high- or to look grave, the moment any est degree, but that they have not the person begun to mention the name of least verisimilitude with the genuine parody. drama. While I was in Paris, two
This deviation relative to the French pieces were brought out, viz. Le Ba- stage, I make no doubt, is already bebillard and L'Indiscret. In these two come tedious. You expect that I pieces the rules of Aristotle are en- should give you some account of the tirely set aside; indeed, it seems these court. Were I writing to a young dramatists have not the least acquaint- lord, or to a courtier, I should probaance with them, and that they are ig- bly dwell pretty largely on this subnorant of the true art of comedy. The ject. I might furnish you with complot, if such it may be called, has sel- plete portraits of the king, the quien, dom any connection with the title. and the princes of the blood, the The Babillard, I speak of, is one only prime minister, &c. Lastly, I might calculated to tire the audience with perhaps entertain you with an account his continual babble; he can by no of their amusements at cout, which means retain the secret. he is entrusted I confess I have never seen. Upon
all these subjects, however, I might of their order, never pay any thing enlarge considerably, to excuse my- when travelling. As I ascended the self as much as possible from the sup- carriage, in which, as I observed be. position, that I had lived as much like fore, I had taken a place to Artois, I a hermit in France as when I was in trembled at the sight of some pretty Denmark, or that I had neglected women who were going with us, those things that generally invite other especially when I saw that two cappeople to Paris. "But as I am writing tains, passengers likewise, sat right to a friend, and, what is still more, to opposite them, whose nods and winks a philosopher, I will candidly confess seemed to intimate to me that I should 10 you, that during this journey to again be stripped of a fourth part of Paris, I have neither seen Versailles my money. I had before learned, by nor Fontainbleau, but this between experience, bow much these sort of ourselves : for if any other person goddesses are adored by military men, should enquire about the French and of course was convinced that court of me, I should probably say these noble captains would not suffer the king was very active and cheer- the ladies to pay for themselves.ful, the queen very gracious and con- Called to table, l'obsei ved they very descending, the Duke of Bourbon duly made their appearance, but when rather serious or melancholy, wbile the reckoning was called, they were the Duke of Orleans resembled his silent or absent. For two days these father. And if any one should en- were the laws observed in our little deavour to persuade me that I had republic; but, as I was induced to misrepresented the real fact, I should make'a 'narrow inspection into the likewise confess, ingenuously, that I small remains of my cash, I found had borrowed my accounts from the that I should be obligated to quit the authority of others.
society unless things were altered. I Having passed the whole of the candidly communicated the re: state wimser in the French capital, I found of 'my finances to one of these offiit liigh time to think of returning. cers, who had influence enough 10 For a whole month before this actu- bring about the necessary reformaally took place, I was equally as much tion, and set things again upon a new dejected as it I had to set out for the footing, namely, that each individual Indics. And though I might enu- should pay an equal sbare. mtrate the difficulties I had to en- Having lost my way, not far from counter, it would be scarcely worth Peronne, in consequence of getting my pains; bin, taken in the lump, down a short time from the carriage, they were not trifling, as you will I wandered till I came to Bapaume, perceive. Therefore, to proceed, where I was under the necessity of scarcely had I been ready for my de- hiring a horse to overtake my fellow. parture a few minutes, when an order travellers. The horse ) got was so was issued, forbidding any and every lean and hagged, that it seemed he person, under very severe penalties, had scarcely an hour to live. ), to take any money out of the country, however, found him so spirited, that either French or any other coin. On I looked for a fall every moment, the contrary, it was all called into the and before I could well know any royal treasury, with the loss of one- thing of the matter, imagined I might fourth of its value. By this unex- be iransformed from a respectable pected measure, the morey I had rider to a lame pedestrian. In conappropriated to bear my expenses to sequence of the agitation and the heat Amsterdam was so much reduced, I was in, I scarcely felt the keen thet, not without reason, I suspected norih wind that was blowing. At it would be too little. In the course length, I reached the best post to of February I took a carriage to con- Bapaume, where I found my comverme from Paris to Artois. A tra- pany, to whom I related all the trou'Teller in France, whose money, like bles I met with during my absence. mine, may run short, has two things Upon my arrival at Amsterdam, to be ware of, namely, women and ca- where the letters which I expected puchins. The first, on account of from Denmark had not arrived, I was ibeir sex, and the latter, on account so much reduced fur want of money,
that, during eight days, I was com: same inn to dinner. The Germans pelled to live in a very frugal manner. wished to have all the kitchen proWhen my letters really came, they duced, roasted or boiled; the French were not of the most pleasant nature; contented themselves with eggs only; for a particular friend advised me to while the Spaniard looked out of the hasten my return, as my enemies had window, as if he could live upon the availed themselves of my absence to air. Thus every man exhibits the spread various reports to my preju- genius of his nation ; for the Spaniards dice. I only mention this circum- are like spirits, which neither eat nor stance to shew that troubles, with me, drink. never came alone, but, on the con- I remained three weeks in Amstertrary, seemed ever to be connected, dam, and lived like a bermit in this as it were, in a chain. I could illus- populous city, for here the inhabitants tiate this by a multiplicity of exam. are entirely occupied with trade. And ples, and which, though ihey all had as learning is very little esteemed, a their causes, seemed nevertheless to learned man must not expect much have been something above common attention, nor promise himself any accidents. When people travel from great satisfaction. However, I, at Paris to Brussels, they generally chuse this time, visited the celebrated Le to pass through Bergen, in Hennegau, Clerc twice, whose faculties, at a very this being supposed to be the shortest advanced age, I found by no means way, and of course that money is impaired. We were, at one time, saved by it. But it is certainly much locked into an apartment by a servant more convenient, and less expensive, maid under a mistake, the most agreeto go by way of Lisle, because then able imprisonment I ever sustained, we meet with several other places of as it gave us an opportunity of talkconsequence, as Bapaume, Arras, ing upon a great variety of topics Douay, Lisle, Courtray', Menin, and whilst waiting the servant's return. Ghent, so near together that, gene- I observed that the name of this great rally speaking, they are separated by man was scarcely known in the street a very short ride. “And as variety of where he lived. Enquiring for Cormen and cities has ever been a desira- nelius the currier, Jacob the broker, ble object with me, I. preferred tra- or Ephraim the Jew, or, for some of velled through Lisle to any other. the common fishwomen, perhaps On that route one is in the constant some of the people could have pointed habit of meeting English, Spaniards, to their dwellings with their fingers ; Germans, &c. and sometimes with but it was with the greatest difficulty soldiers and scholars. For two days that I could get a direction to the I had an old man as a fellow traveller, house of the learned Mr. Le Clerc. who had been one of that sort of rob- Having obtained all I wanted from bers, or freebooters, in the West In- Copenhagen, I passed through East dies, commonly called Flibustiers or Frieseland to Hamburgh; but I shall Buccaneers. From him I learned the not say any thing particular about the complete history of these people, and disturbances in this province, especimany circumstances I believe not to ally at Lierre, because they had nobe found in books. When I ex- thing but what happens in common, pressed to him my surprise that a excepting that iny progress was very man, apparently, honest and upright much protracted. I continued my as he seemed to be, could lead ibe journey through Oldenburgh towards loose and immoral kind of life he had 'Bremen, where I remained three described, he said he had been initiated days, during which I visited some of into it whilst he was a boy, and inca- the professors at the Gymnasiun), and pable of discerning the consequences, among others, Dr. Hasaus, a very but that, after coming to riper years, deeply read man. His library, I behe had seized the first opportunity to lieve, was the most copious and bean. get out of this connection. Much tiful of any in the city. His mamie about the same time we got into ano- scripts were also of the choicest deilier carriage, in which I met with scription. The common library of tuin Gerinans, two Frenchmen, and the Gymnasium is very large, in the
Spaniard. We all went into the truest sense of the word, because al.
most all the books are in folio. I of mine uncommonly well. It was think the inhabitants of Bremen may in fact, a series of fables; though be divided into two classes, viz. stu- from the experiments tried upon the dents and citizens. The former are public at large, who look merely so numerous, that in war time a very upon the satirical part and are only considerable corps might be raised capable of judging from what immeamong them. Turn your eyes which diately strikes the eye, it did not apway you will in Bremen, you are sure pear to possess aný peculiar merit. to see a doctor; and, if no difference on the contrary, it was the cause of was to be made between doctus and the appearance of a very low and abudoctor, Bremen might be justly rec- sive satire, which some of my friends koned one of the most learned cities would have had me to answer; but in the world. At Hamburgh, among in proportion as writers descend to others, I visited the celebrated Fabri- scurrility and abuse, so I have ever cius, and John Hubner: and, at last, deemed them unworthy of notice. I arrived safe and sound at Copenhagen.
[To be contoued.] The first labour I applied myself to, after my return, was to complete a poetical performance which I began before my departure, and which i SCARCE TRACTS considered as a kind of metamorpho.
No II. sis. This piece described a society, consisting of trees, plants, and ani
WOMAN not inferior to Man, mals, under the superintendence of
(Concluded from p.191.) Pan, Sylvanus, and Bulbona. And
CHAPTER VIII. as, in Ovid, men were changed into beasts and trees, so in this piece of
Conclusion. mineramimals and trees were obanged What Deenhave highertoe said his was changed into a man, the branches stír up any of my own sex to revolt of which, instead of bearing leaves, against the men, or to invert the preproduced persons of consequence and sent order of things with regard to goquality, under whose influence and vernment and authority. No, let them protection the poor found refuge and stand as they are: I only mean to shew à dwelling A magpye, upou the my sex that they are not so despicable same principle, is changed into a bar- as the men would have them believe ber, from whence it is inferred these themselves, and that we are capable people are so talkative. A goat is of as much greatness of soul as the converted into a philosopher, from best of that haughty sex, And I am whence it happens that these gentle- fully convinced it would be to the inen love disputes; and besides, the joint interest of both to think so. ancient philosophers were all bearded. This, is plain from the ill conseA sun-flower is changed into a court quences atiending the opposite error. lady, and courtiers are known at all lhe men, by thinking us incapable of times to worship the rising sure, and improving our intellects, have entirely sometimes to disappear almost as sud- thrown us out of all the advantages of denly as this flower, when the sun education; and thereby contributed, shines upon it no longer:
as much as possible, to make us the I took vo small trouble to imitate senseless creatures they imagine us. the style of the Latin poet as far as So that, for want of education, we are my abilities would admit; but paint- rendered subject to all the follies they ers, when they copy, it is well known dislike in us, and are loaded with their very seldom come up to their origi- ill treatment for faults of their own nals. My poem, though it had the creating in us, and which we are form, still it wanted the spirit of denied the helps necessary to avoid Ovid, together with the richness and And what is the consequence of this the embellishments of the Latin lan- tyrannic treatment of 175? Why, it guage. The learned at Copenhagen, finally reverts on themselves: the kerertheless, relished this production same want of learning and education