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on each bar. The boyars and other noblemen of his suite wera obliged to blow the bellows, to stir the fire, to carry coals and
pers form all the other offices of journeymen blacksmiths.
• Some days after, on his return to Moscow, he went to see Verner Muller, bestowed great praise on his establishment, and asked him how much he gave per pood for iron in bar, furnished by a mafter blacksmith. “ Three copecs or an altin,” answered Muller. “ Well then,” said the Czar, “ I have earned eighteen altins, and am come to be paid.” Muller immediately opened his bureau, took out eighteen ducars, and counting them before the prince, “ It is the least,” said he, “ that can be given to such a workman as your Majesty." But the emperor refused them : " Take again your ducats," said he, “and pay me the usual price; I have worked no better than another blacksmith ; and this will serve to buy me a pair of shoes, of which I am in great want.” At the same time his majesty shewed him those he wore, which had already been soled, and stood in need of another repair. He took the eighteen altins, went directly to a shop, bought a pair of shoes, and took great pleasure in showing them on his feet, saying to those who were present; “ I have earned them well, by the sweat of my brow, with hammer and anvil."
• One of these bars forged by Peter the Great, and authenticated by his mark, is still to be seen at Istia, in the same forge of Muller. Another, forged also with his own hand, is shewn in the cabinet of the Academy of Sciences at Petersburgh: but this lat. ter was forgéd at a later period at Olonetz, on the lake of Ladoga.'
His familiarity with common life gave him a diftafte for the forms and parade of state ; his aim was to be free and easy.
• When Peter and his consort dined or fupped alone, which often happened, they had only a very young page, and favourite chambermaid of the Empress, to wait on them. And when he had seve. ral of his ministers or general officers at his table, he was only attended by his chief cook, Velten, a denchtchick *, and two very young pages, and they had orders to retire as soon as the desiert was put on the table, and a bottle of wine had been set before each
No lacquey ever made his appearance during his repasts, except when he ate in public. "I have no occasion for them,” he ofien repeated, “ to make their observations on me when I give 4 loose to my conversation.”
• He said one day at table, to the old Baron of Mardfeldt, envoy from the court of Prufia: “ Hirelings and lacqueys never lose fight of their master's mouth : they are spies on all he says, misconftrue every thing, and consequently repeat every thing erroneously.”
To indulge our readers farther with these anecdotes, would incroach too much upon our limits. Mr. Siæblin informs us, that, by order of the empress Elzabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, abundance of materials were put into the hands of
** A Denchtchick is a soldier appointed to wait on an officer; the Empress allows officers to a certain number, according to their refpective ranks." 13
M. de Voltaire, that he might write the life of her father ; and that no expence was spared to induce him to undertake the task. The court were, however, greatly surprised and diffatisfied with Voltaire's performance: in which, ic is said, the desire of gain prevented his making use of half the MSS, he received ; and which he afterward applied to other works. In several parts of this “ Thapeless abortion,” he is affirmed to have fubftituted his own thoughts for those of his hero, and circumftances the very reverse of thole contained in his authorities. To some expoftulations which he received on these points, he replied, that it was not his custom to copy implicitly the MSS. sent to him, but to give his thoughts according to the best information he could procure; and that though he was senfible of the merit of the anecdotes communicated to him, they did not come within the limits of his plan. To a question, why he unnecessarily omitted the names of several great persons and places, and so disfigured those which he had been pleased to name, that they were scarcely known ? he replied, “ As far as relates to the disfiguring of proper names, I suppose it is a German who reproaches me with it: I wish him more wit, and fewer consonants."
These anecdotes are all authenticated by the names of the several relaters; and at the end is an alphabetical account of them, shewing che opportunities which they had of knowing wbac they affirmed.
Art. VIII. The Olla Podrida, a periodical Work, complete in forty
four Numbers. 8vo. 6s. Boards. Dilly. 1788. ΕΓΑ βιβλιον μεγα κακον, is a maxim which was perhaps
never more universally afsented to than at present. With all the fondness for reading, now so observable in every class of the community, few are to be met with who will enter on laborious discussions, or perufe voluminous performances. · Unambitious of possefling those genuine pearls of science, which must be sought by diving to the bottom of the ocean which produces them, the generality of readers content themselves with the hells that are to be gathered from its sands and its shallows, The great art, therefore, of fashionable book-making is to be brief, gaudy and superficial. Many writers now employ themfelves in dealing out learning, as innkeepers do their liquors, in small quantities
In the rank of these literary retailers, we may properly place the authors of periodical papers, who endeavour to instruct and amuse the public in short miscellaneous effays. This has been found an agreeable method of holding the mirrour up to nature, and of jbewing the very age and body of the time, its form and *" Punch, in small quantities.” Ashley.
pressure: hereby the moral observer has an opportunity of expoting many foibles and follies, which lie out of the reach of gjore serious animadverfion. ?. The trade, indeed, of periodical effay-writing is now grown old, and has been continued through so many hands, that it is become exceedingly difficult to give it the charms of novelty; but, nevertheless, in the hands of persons of genius, it will not fail of yielding, ftill, fome amusement.
The OLLA PODRIDA comes to us with this recommendation : it is the joint labour of some tolerable literary cooks, and of course will be expected to have some relish. The names of these providers of food for the mind are, for the most part, given in the preface, by Thomas Monro, A. B. of St. M. Magdalen's College, Oxford, who holds himself out to the public as head cook, or, to use his own words, as the original projector and promoter of the Olla Podrida.' This Gentleman (from the multitude of periodical essayists who have preceded him) might be supposed to have been puzzled to find a new title for his work; and considering the difficulty, he has been rather fortunate. A collection of miscellaneous papers might not improperly be compared to a hodge podge, or Olla Podrida; but then, surely, a gentleman who ters before his guests such a dish, should pro-vide them with a fork or spoon, to pick out what they respecrively like from the heterogeneous mass. It muft therefore, to drop the metaphor, be contidered as a great delect in the volume before us, that it is furnished neither with an index, nar table of contents. Mr. M. has servilely followed his predecessors in other things; and what could be his reason for not imitating ihem in giving an index, or a short table of contents, is a malter concerning which we are unable to form any guess, unless it be, that this would have given him a litile more trouble.
The utility of such helps to the reader, in a work like this, must be so obvious, that we could not avoid thus noticing the omiflion.
The merit of this colletion is various. Different writers muft necessarily have different abilities. Ms. Monro, though the conductor of the Olia Podrida, has produced several papers that are agreeably written; but when he attempts to delineate certain characters, he often caricatures, to such a degree of extravagance, as totally to destroy the intended effe&t. That the progress of a poem might be known by the state and size of a goury person's chalkitones; thai an epic poem has been foretold by the shooting of a corn, and an ode to peace prophesied from a pain in the shoulder, are but sorry conceits (and these are in the first Number), and so totally out of nature, that they feale to be wit.
We were concerned likewise to see this volume, the produce tion of ingenious men, disgraced by a pitiful imitation of Bob Sbort's letter in the Speclator. Such a squib might once be admitted in a periodical paper; but the facility with which it might be imitated, ought to keep a man of genius from even attempt. ing it.
But these are little defects, which the reader will easily pardon. Mr. M. has, in his second paper, shewn himself a good critic, in oppofition to the Adventurer; and his delineation of the characters of Ulysses and Achilles, as drawn by Homer in the Odyffey and the Iliad, appears to be just :
From the contemplation of the character of Ulysses and Achilles very different sentiments arise.—When we are observing the former, the mind is rapt in unwearied admiration, it is scarce awakened to obiervation from a continued series of praise-worthy actions, but flumbers in the fulsomeness of perpetual panegyric.- If we would examine thoroughly the character of the latter, the mind must be ever at work: there is much to praise, and much to condemn; through a variety of good and bad circumstances, we must “ pick our nice way." His well-placed affection, his warm friendship, will create love; his revenge odium, and his cruelty abhorrence. Doubts will arise, and enquiry must be made, whether the ope is more to be approved, or the other more to be avoided. Thus are we kept for ever on the watch ; if our vigilance be for a moment abated, we have passed over some leading feature in the character of the hero or loit the recital of some circumstance, by which we might determine whether the virtues or the vices of Achilles preponderate. When Ulysses comes forward, the mind is already prepared, and knows what to expect : he is either the cont pusles doos Odvoogus, the wise and divine Ulsles, or the 9:06; eranoyxons aufry, Ulydes godlike in voice, But upon the appearance of Achilles, we are uncertain whether he has broken his resolution of not going out to battle, or whether he is medicating the destruction of the Trojan bulwark.'
As a further specimen of Mr. Monro's agreeable manner of writing, we fhall extract what he advances in Number 31. on the subject of Sunday schools.
• An attempt has lately been made to rescue the lower orders of people from their extreme of ignorance, by the appropriating one day in the week to the initilling of religious knowledge into the minds of the young, and exciting in them a desire of intellectual improvement. For the prosecution of this plan, sermons have been preached, and subscriptions opened, and every mode of persuasion and encouragement been adopted, that wealth, learning, and benevolence could suggest. Yet to these laudable designs there have been found many enemies. Armed with the fallacies of logic, they have with sufficient ingenuity demonstrated to us, that the ignorance of the multitude is a public good : that to the “ hewers of wood, and drawers of water, learning is injurious, or unprofitable; and that the husbandman and the mechanic have other objects on which their attention is more properly engaged than wisdom and science.
All the arguments which were first produced to restrain the arrow gance of the overwise, are made use of to reconcile ignorance to its darkness, and to hide the light from those who, having never enjoyed it, are little solicitous to acquire what they have so long been able to live without. Many of these reasoners have answered some private end. Some have discovered the skill with which they can argue in a bad cause; and others, under the sanction of such reafoning, have indulged their avarice, by sparing their money. But let bim who would prove, that ignorance is either a blessing or a vir. sue, remember, that he advances the position of a wicked man, which he must support with the arguments of a fool.'
Some of Mr. Kect's papers have considerable merit, especially Number 39, on epitaphs. The Reverend Mr. Graves, the author of Columella, The Spiritual Quixote, and oiher works; the Jate Mr. Headley of Norwich, the publither of Select Beauties of ancient English Poetry; and Francis Grore, Esquire, F.A.S. and other gentlemen, have contributed to this collection ; but those to whom it stands most indebted, are Mr. Berkeley, who communicated the Vicar's Tale in Number 32, 37, and 38; and the author of those papers, figned z. The Vicar's Tale, the only one in the volume, is moft affecting, and would not disgrace the Adventurer: and as to those numbers which bear the fignature of Z, we must acknowlege, that they have in general pleased us more than any others in the work.
From politics, the author bas cautiously abstained; and as to interference in religion, he thought he should do little good; for he remarks, that it fares with this as with a shuttle.cock, which is ftruck from one to another, and refts with none.'
On the whole, the Olla Podrida is an amusing miscellany; and though it has some defects, the reader will have no occafion to reproach the author with having made his correspondence with the public the vehicle of private calumnies, or with having ministered by his pen to the gratification of vice. M00. Art. IX. A Series of Letters. Addressed to Sir William Fordyce,
M. D. F. R. S. Containing a Voyage and Journey from England to Smyrna, from thence to Conftantinople, and from that Place over Land to England; likewise an Account, &c. of the Cities, Towns, and Villages, through which the Author passed, &c. &c. 8vo. 2 Vols. 125. Boards. Payne, 1788. HE writer of the work before us, whose name is Lufig.
nan, and who styles himself KOTUOMON1775, or, a citizen of the world, fays, in his preface, ' The following letters, containing the observations which I made in my voyages and travels,
Our readers are not unacquainted with this traveller. In the 68th vol. of our Review, p. 529, we gave an account of his History of the Jare celebrated but unfortunate Ali Bey; to whom, as we understand, Ms. Lusignan was secretary.