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up woods. Of taking up ground in a hilly country. Of taking
At the end of the first volume, are four sets of tables, with
Table first and second give the proportions, which the feet and
Of Captain Tke's original treatise, it will be unnecellary
From what has been said above, it is evident that the translator has spared no pains to understand his author : it is also but jurtice to observe, that he seems conversant with the subject on which he writes. The letter press is very handsomely periormed, and the plates are neatly engraved.
* With respect to the translator's language, it is, in general, very correct, and unexceptionable; and we have only to add, thas we sometimes meet with a word not commonly used in the sense to which Mr. Hewgill has applied it: among these are retrenchment, and theorism.
ART. XI. The Observer : Being a Collection of moral, literary,
and familiar Efays. Vol. IV. Svo. 314 Pages. 35. 6d. bound. Dilly. 1788. PRE'S l'esprit de difiernement, ce qu'il y a au monde de plus
rare ce sont les diamans et les perles," says an eminent French writer. Mr. Cumberland, the author of the volume before us, possesses this faculty (discernment), generally speaking, in so eminent a degree, that it is unnecessary for us, after the above quoted declaration, to state the particular estimation in which he must consequently be held.
This eagle eyed Observer, whom we have often had occasion to notice *, proceeds in his examination into the properties and affections of that wondrous microcosm, man: that “chaos of thought and paflion :” that "infant of a larger growth,''- with all his wonted ability and skill.
Mr. C. bas here continued his account of the literature of the Gieeks, particularly that portion of it which comprehends the writers of the middle comedy : among whom we find the names of Alexis, Antiphanes, Aristophon, Diodorus, Euphron, Theophilus, &c. &c. with translations of some fragments of their works. These will, no doubt, be confidered as curious. But he was not favoured us with the originals of those fragments, nor even referred to his authorities; which omission is to be regretted, because it is posible that he may, by fome, be suspected of giving a copy of verses as the production of the 920 or 93d Olympiad, which may actually have had their origin at a very different point of time. Some of the representations, indeed, are so consonant to the manners of the present age, that we almoft half incline to that opinion ourselves. However this may be, the following lines are well entitled to our regard. They are ascribed by Mr. C. to Sotades, a native Athenian, and in confiderable favour with the stage: • Is there a man, just, honest, nobly born?
Malice shall hunt him down. Does wealth attend him?
* See Rev. vol. 73, p. 126, and vol. 75, p. 205.
I fow died Diogenes ? - As a dog dies,
'Thus life, blind life, teems with perpetual woes.' Mr. Cumberland has entered into a particular examination of the Fox of Ben Jonson. He is lavish in his commendations of it: but in this he only echoes the public voice, the long-received opinion, that it is a perfect and finished piece. “ The Fox, the Alchymist, and the Silent Woman,
Wrote by Ben Jonson, are outdone by no man;" Said somebody long ago. And this we have feldom heard difputed: for though the comedy in question is not original, either in its manners or its incidents, the principal characters (Hæredia petæ, or legacy.hunters) were, at the time of writing it, entirely new to the Englih stage. These legacy-hunters, who are reprefented under the title of birds of prey, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, are, as Mr. C. has well remarked, warmly coloured, bappily contrasted, and faithfully supported from the outset to the end.'
We now proceed to the less agreeable part of our business, namely, to “ blame where we must." The inith number of this Collection of Papers presents us with a critique on the SamJon Agonistes of Milton, in which the opinions of Dr. Samuel
Jobnion on that celebrated drama are examined and opposed : but certainly with little success. The following observation seems, to us, to be founded in a palpable mistake :
• The author of the Rambler professes to examine the Sampson Agonistes according to the rule laid down by Aristotle for the difposition and perfection of a Tragedy, and this rule he informs us is, that it should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And is this the mighty purpose for which the authority of Aristotle is appealed to ? If it be thus the author of the Rambler has read the Poetics, and this be the best rule he can collect from that treatise, I am afraid he will find it too short a measure for the Poet he is examining, or the Critic he is quoting. Aristotle had said, that every whole bath not amplitude enough for the construction of a tragic fable : now by a whole, (adds he in the way of illustration) I mean that, which hath beginning, middle, and end. This and no more is what he says on beginning, middle, and end; and this, which the author of the Rambler conceives to be a rule for tragedy, turns out to be merely an explanation of the word whole, which is only one term among many employed by the Critic in his professed and complete definition of Tragedy.'
Mr.Cumberland's attempt to explain away the expression used by Ariftotle, respecting the perfections of a tragic fable; that it Ee 2
should have a “ beginning, a middle, and an end"-at the same time applying that expression, and as if in the way of contradistinction, to the word whole; is at once extravagant and unprofitable. Has he never attended to what eminent critics have observed on that matter : or is he ignorant that every dramatis fable is, or Tould be, a perfect 'whole * ?-Now if this be actually the case, if every fable must be a whole; and if every wholé must have a beginning, a middle, and an end (which he readily admits), the table of a tragedy will necessarily bave the fame. His oblervation on the expression in question can therefore be considered as nothing better than a verbal contention ; an ill-supported argument, which muft inevitably fall to the ground.
Part of this publication is taken up with remarks on the religious opinions of David Levi. Mr. C. will never be able to turn the heart of David, however greatly he may labour at it. We forbear to enter into any examination of these opinions, or of the answers to them: for, of such “ vain conteits,” we see no end.
We do not perceive any other objectionable passages in the present volume; and we are sorry to find a writer of so much merit as Mr. Cumberland remarking on the very little favour that he has received from his contemporaries. But, notwithstanding the abuse which has been so plenteously poured on him, he has always maintained his ground, and conducted himself, at the same time, with the spirit and temper of a gentleman. His enemies have retired, abashed and confounded, from the field; and he now enjoys the triumph which he fo well deserves, the praises of every good and virtuous man.
The writer's reficctions on the education of princes are such as few of our readers, we imagine, will be displeased to fee :
• If there is a trust in life, which calls upon the conscience of the man who undertakes it more strongly than any other, it is that of the education of an heir-apparent to a crown. The training of such a pupil is a task indeed; how to open his mind to a proper knowledge of mankind without letting in that knowledge which inclines to evil; how to hoid off Hattery and yet admit familiarity; how to give the lights of information and hut out the false colours of seduction, demands a judgment for distinguishing, and an authority for controul. ing, which few governors in that delicate sicuation ever possess, or can long retain. To educate a prince, born to reign over an enlightened people, upon the narrow scale of secret and sequestered cuition, would be an abuse of common sente: to let him loose upon the world is no less hazardous in the other extreme, and each would probably devote him to an inglorious destiny. That he should know the leading characters in the country he is to govern, be familiar with its history, its conftitution, manners, laws and liberties; and correctly comprehend the duties and distinctions of his own hereditary * See Arift. Poeti chap. 7. together with Dacier's Remarks.
office, are points that no one will dispute. That he should travel through his kingdom I can hardly doubt, but whether those excursions should reach into other states, politically connected with, or opposed to, his own, is more than I will presume to lay down as a general rule, being aware that it must depend upon personal circumstances. Splendor he may be indulged in, but excels in that, as in every thing else, must be avoided, for the mischiefs cannot be numbered which it will entail upon him., Excess in expence will subject him to obligations of a degrading fort : excess in courtesy will lay him open to the forward and assuming, raise mountains of expectation about him, and all of them undermined by disappointment, ready charged for explofion, when the hand of presumption shall set fire to the train ; excess in pleasure will lower him in character, destroy health, respect, and that becoming dignity of mind, that conscious rectitude, which is to direct and support him, when he becomes the dispenser of juftice to his subjects, the protector and defender of their religion, the model for their imitation, and the sovereign arbiter of life and death in the execution of every legal condemnation. To court popularity is both derogatory and dangerous, nor should be who is destined to rule over the whole, condescend to put himself in the league of a party. To be a protector of learning and a patron of the arts, is worthy of a prince, but let him beware how he finks bimself into a pedant or a virtuoso. It is a mean talent which excels in trifles: the fine arts are more likely to flourish under a prince, whose ignorance of them is qualified by general and impartial good-will towards their profeffors, than by one who is himself a dabbler; for such will always have their favourites, and favouritism never fails to irritate the minds of men of genius, concerned in the same studies, and turns the spirit of emulation into the gall of acrimony.
Above all things let it be his inviolable maxim to distinguish strongly and pointedly in his attentions between men of virtuous morals and men of vicious [inclinations]. There is nothing so glorious and at the same time nothing so easy ; if his countenance is turned to men of principle and character, if he belows his smile upon the worthy only, he need be at little pains to frown upon the profligate : all such vermin will crawl out of his path and shrink away from his presence. Glittering talents will be no passport for disfolute morals, and ambition will then be retained in another cause than that of virtue. Men will not choose crooked passages and byealleys to preferment, when the broad highway of honesty is laid open and straight before them. A prince, though he gives a good example in his own person, what does he profit the world, if he draws it back again by the bad examples of those whom he employs and favours ? Bercer might it be for a nation to see a libertine on its throne furrounded by virtuous counsellors, than to contemplate a virtuous sovereign delegating his authority to unprincipled and licentious servants. -- The king, who declares his resolution of coun. tenancing the virtuous only among his fubjects, speaks the language of an honest man': if he makes good his declaration, he per forms the functions of one, and earns the blessings of a righcous king ;a life of glory in this world, and an immortality of happiness in the world to come.'