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when imagination and tranquillity shed land," gives a distinguished place to
plary. As a husband, a father, and The Death of Abel, which is already a friend, his virtnes were equally conwell known to the Englith reader, by spicuous. His calt of mind was pen. the translation of Mrs. Collyer, made live, and even melancholy; his manits first appearance in 1758. Its recep- ners gentle. In converfation he was tion was still more Aattering. Three mild and affable, and, where the subeditions of it were published at Zurich ject admitted of it, often highly aniin the course of a single year, and it mated, rising into great elevation of was soon tranflated into all the Eun sentiment and beauty of expression. ropean languages. In most of these But in every part of his deportment, it has gone through various editions; there was that unaffected 'lincerity; and there are few of the productions that limplicity and modelty, by which of the century that has jutt elapsed true genius is so generally diftin. which have been so generally popular. guished. With qualities such as there, After this he published several of bis Geliner could not fail to be loved and leffer poems, among which was the respected ; and uniting to talte and First Navigator, which is perhaps the literature the talents requilte for active most beautiful of his works. He made life, he was raised by the fuffrages of some attempts likewise in the pastoral the citizens of Zurich to the first ollices drama, of which his Evander and in the Republic. In 1765 he was called Alcimna is the chief. His Eraftus, a to the great Council ; in 1767 to the drama of one act, was represented with lesser. `In 1768 he was appointed Bai. some applause in several societies, both liff of Eilibach ; that of the four at Leiplick and Vienna.
gaurds in 1776; and in 1781, super, The poems of Gessner were almost intendant of waters ; all" offices of all given to the world before he had trust and respongibility, the duties of completed his thirtieth year. About which he discharged with fcrupulous this period he married, and, as he him. fidelity. self informs us, his father-in-law, Mr. Thé fame of the accomplished and Heidigger, having a beautiful collec. virtuous Magistrate of Zurich spread tion of paintings, confiiting chiety of to the remotest parts of Europe. The the works of the great maiters of the Empress of Russia, Catherine II. sent Flemith school, he devoted his leisure him a gold medal as a mark of her to the study of their beauties, and esteem ; and strangers from all counbecame deeply enamoured of their art. tries, visiting Switzerland, courted his Geffner, who in his youth had received society, and give him the molt flatterCome lessons in drawing, resumed the ing proofs of their respect and acmirapencil, but with a timid hand. At tion. In the heighth of his reputation firit ne ventured only to delineate de- he was cut off by the Atroke of a palls, corations for curious books printed at on the 2d of March 1788, in the fiftyhis office, but by degrees he rose to fixth year of his age. bolder attempts. In 1765 he published Pastoral poetry, to which he was ten landscapes, etched and engraved by chiefly devoted,' has been congdered himself. Twelve other pieces of the as one of the earliest forms of this fame nature appeared in 1769; and be delightful art. In the more simple afterwards executed ornaments for ages, when the wealth of men condicd many publications that itsued from his chiefly of locks and herds, the condipress, among which were his own tion of a thepherd was respectable in works, a translation into German of the community, and his life a state of the works of Swift, and various others. ease and abundance. In the pollession The reputation which he acquired by of these blessings, palling his days in his pencil was scarcely inferior to that the open air, and having in view the arising from his pen. He was reckoned most beautiful scenery of nature, the among the belt artists of Germany; emotions of the heart would sometimes and Mr. Fatelin, his countryman, in be excited, and the voice of untutored his “ Historical Essay on the Painters, genius make itself heard. Hence those Engravers, Architects, and Sculptors, artless strains of rural poetry in which who have done honour to Switzer. are breathed the firit accents of the
pastoral mure. Though deficient in do not regret nature; nor at my age ata harmony and delicacy, these ruder I alame i of lofing myself in the Arcaefforts would often be true to nature dian walks of a Pastor Fido and Aminta. and passion; and the shepherds and **** Alas ! we know tou well that no cowherds of Sicily doubtless furnished Arcadia exists upon modern ground, the models on which the Idyis of Theo and that vice and wretchedness prevail critus were formed. It is the peculiar in the hamlet as well as in the city. But praise of Theocritus, and constitutes a why may we not for a time be indulged considerable part of the charm of his in forgetting it *?" writings, that he departed but little It is not, however, to be disputed, from his models, that his scenery is that where we depart so far from na. evidently copied from nature, and that ture, the intereit of the scene is apt to his characters and manners appear to be languish. We are creatures more of nearly such as the peasantry of Sicily feeling than of imagination, and can presented to his observation. Virgil deeply sympathize only with beings copied Theocritus, and departed far- of our own species, and in sorrows ther from real life ; and since the rea which we ourselves may participate, vival of letrers, the greater part of the In the lives of the pure inhabitants of pastoral poets of modern Europe, par. thele Arcadian landscapes, fuch as they ticularly those of Italy, have indulged are usually represented by the prede still more in the imagery of fancy , cessors of Gellner, there is too little with landscapes, composed indeed of incident, in their sufferings there is to the most beautiful features of nature, little of real pathos, to fix the curio. for the imagination can paint nothing sty, or agitate the heart. The mon fairer, they have given us manners and dern writers of pastoral have resorted characters in a great measure ideal. Yet little to invention; they have in genepastoral poetry of this description has ral contented themselves with imitating its charms. In the mixed condition of the descriptions and sentiments of the our existence, the forms of beauty, in: ancient poets ; and hence, of all the pocence, and happiness, rise at times, varieties of poetry, this is commonly and fade on our view. Imperfect and the most mcagre in its subject, and the fleeting as they are, they arford such leat diversified in its strain. It is not, furniture to the imagination as ferves however, to be doubted, that this sameto decorate those creations of fancy, ness and insipidity are more to be which, while they excite, tend in some ascribed to the Navih imitation of the degree to gratify the natural “longing ancient paltoral characters and topics, after a happier age."
than to the confined nature of the subThis gratification seems, indeed, in ject. Ramsay, Burns, and Macneill, the opinion of the first of our living poets of the northern division of the critics, to be the true end and design idand, who have not copied Theoof pastoral poetry. “ Its nature and critus, but followed his example in design," says Dr. Aikin, “ have been drawing the scenery and the manners differently represented. I have no of rural life in their own age and doubt, however, that the true secret country, have enlarged and beautified of the pleasure derived from pastoral this department of poetry. It were is to be found in an universal longing perhaps to have been wished, that Gestafter a certain imagined state of society, ner had taken a hmilar course, but his which though it never did exist, may learning and fancy carried bim back to readily be conceived, and by its inno- the æra of ancient Greece. In his pafcence, tranquillity, and simple delights, torals, the rough fimplicity of the Swiss sweetly contrasts with the turbulence peasant, the awful sublimity of the Hel. and evils of the real world. It is no vetian scenery, are not to be found. new opinion that this poetry has a Amidst the softness of a Sicilian land. reference to the golden age ; but by scape, he calls into life the fabled perthis age I would not understand any fonages of the classic mythology, and period recorded by tradition, but ra revives that pure and virtuous race of ther a kind of Eutopia, in which the mortals, who are supposed to have lived wounded and wearied spirit of man in the golden age. But though he has ever delighted to take refuge. takes Theocritus as his model, unlike Amid such a fairy people I confess I his other imitators, he has chofen his See “ Letters from a Father to a Son," Vol. I. p. 77, &c.
subjects for himself, and given to pasto. but without any excess of reinement. ral poetry a range, of which it was not What forms the chief merit of this before known to be susceptible. What poet is, that he wrote to the beast and ever incidents, sorrows, or affections, has enriched the subjects of his idyls may be supposed to be within the rural with incidents that gave rise to much sphere, Gessner has considered as pro- tender sentiment. Scenes of domestic per subjects for his muse. “Of all the felicity are beautifully painted. The moderns," says Dr. Blair, “ Gessner, mutual affection of husbands and wives, a poet of Switzerland, has been the of parents and children, of brothers most successful in his pastoral compofi. and liters, as well as of lovers, are tions. He has introduced into his Idyls displayed in a pleasing and touching (as he entitles them) many new ideas. manner. Not underltanding his lanHis rural scenery is often itriking, and guage, J can be no judge of the poetry his descriptions' lively. He presents of his style, but in the subject and conpastoral life to us with all the embel. duct of his pastorals, he appears to me limments of which it is susceptible, to bave outdone all the moderns.”
ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE.BOAT.
[From WARNER'S “TOUR THROUGH THE NORTHERN COUNTIES OF ENGLAND.") THE.
Castle stands is peculiarly dan. ly affected with astonishment and ecgerous ; a constant watch is on the Atasy, beheld the glorious life-boat look out, and signals appointed to (never was
more happily describe the fituation in which the imagined, nor more appropriately distressed are. A life-boat, constructed beltowed) along-side of their thatby Mr. Henry Greathead, thip.car- tered vefsel, and offering refuge from penter of Shields, is also always ready the tremendous abyss that was openfor use, and is found to answer the ing to swallow them up for ever. valuable purpose for which it was Restored to hope and life, they were designed. Its form is that of a long removed into the friendly boat, and spheroid, thirty feet in length by twelve brought to land, to the unspeakable feet over ; either end pointed, and joy of the benevolent projectors of thus calculated to row both ways, an the plan, who had thus the double oar serving the purpose of the helm. gratification of seeing that the veifel About eighteen inches below the was calculated to answer its intention gunwale a strong lining of cork co- in the completelt manner, and of vers the whole of the infide, which rescuing at the same time several felgives the boat such a buoyancy as low-creatures from inevitable deftruc. enables it to live in any water. The tion. Since this first trial, repeated crew usually consists of about twenty desperate voyages have been made for men, and the capacity of the boat similar purposes, and with the liko enables it to receive about ten more. fuccess, to the salvation of many hunOn the 30th of January 1790, the dred distresed sailors; and so confident life boat of South Shields first put to are the seamen of the safety of the sea in a horrible gale of wind, for the boat, and the impossibility of its being glorious purpose of rescuing some liable to casualty, that it is now become unfortunate mariners who were the a matter of fatistaction to be employed Sport of the tempeft in the othing, in this service of saving the shipwrecked, a number of cork jackets being pro a service that well deserves the civic vided for the crew, in cale their vef crown. The inventor, naturally enough sel disappointed the expectations of supposing that an object of such imthe inventor, and failed in its pur- portance to the State as faving its pole. But the precaution was unne. citizens from perilhing would be encellary ; floating like a feather upon couraged by Government, submirted the water, it rode triumphantly over his pian, and offered his service to every raging surge, and Siniled at the the Ministry a few years since for horrors of the itorm. The wreck the construction and eltablishment of was approached in spite of the ele. life-boats all along the coasts of the
kingdon; but the attention of the the blessings resulting from its adop. public as then unfortunately direct. tion. In consequence of this, another ed to bélier.cbeats than the econo- person has built vessels of the fame inizing of humán exiftérice, and his kind, and their number has thus been offers were unattended to. In the multiplied in the manner before men. true fpirit of philanthropy, however, tioned. The pecuniary remuneration, Mr. Henry Greathead, waving the idea which the crew of the life buat reof exclusive profit, instead of taking out ceive, is what the generosity of the a patent for the admirable invention, affluent, saved by their exertions, may and thus confining its advantages to bestow upon them ; “ the blessing of himself, generously offered to commu. him that was ready to perith" is the nicate to others every information in only, but rich reward, when the poor his power on the subject of the con mariner is rescued from destruction by struction of the life-boat, and to diffuse their means. by these means, as much as possible,
LETTER FROM THE HON. HORACE WALPOLE TO THE EARL OF
Perhaps I am ftill a greater
heretic THOUGH my fingers, lamed anew by a in my indifference to Camden's Bri
fit of the gout, make it not very tannia. The work was very merito: pleasant to me to write, I must thank rious in the author as the firit thing of your Lordship for the honour of your the kind performed among us, and a letter, and for the description of your vast undertaking for a single man; but Abbey, which, as far as words can con- really it is so lean a work, and of many vey an idea of the situation, feems to counties we have now such ample de. me to be a most pleasing one ; and, to scriptions, that, except gratitude to me, it is very natural to admire your Camden as the beginner of the work, Lord thip's piety in adhering to the excites in me no other sensation, nor ancient Ityle of the religious manfion. do I conceive why it is still so admired,
Cunningham's History I have not as I see no merit in it but that of inseen advertised yet, and consequently dustry. It is one of those hooks which have it not. I fear there are caitra. I would allow an honourable place in tions which will destroy the chief satis. my library, and none at all in my head. faction in it ; and as for the Latin text, I must own I am not eager, as I
I ain, my Lord, by no means like either modern Latin, Your Lordship's obedient humble Ser. or modern history written in Latin,
vant, and should most certainly prefer the
HOR. WALPOLE. translation.
Berkeley-Square, Feb. 11, 1787.
ESSAYS AFTER THE MANNER OF GOLDSMITH,
(Concluded from Page 8.) IT
should feem," replied Moredius, amusement, and whispers unceasingly
" that the same fate which gives in his ears, “ Thou thalt not enjoy. honours and riches takes care to sub. This seeming enemy to his happiness tract every thing else from the distin- is his best friend : it is Reflection, it guilhed owners, and leaves them with. is Truth, it is Conscience, that has a out capabilities to enjoy the luxuries duty to perform to man, and which is of fortune."-" Alas!" answered the an enemy only to what is false, and Itranger, “the man of pleasure has a againit his real welfare. The mind of conftant, though invisible, attendant, Famion is an heterogeneous mass of who accompanies him to every place of pleasures, pains, good tense, and non
fense; a motley mixture of the shreds ferved, and the fancied advantages of the understanding, something re- of equality be dreaded as a curse. sembling a Harlequin's jacket, fo fan “ I had a melancholy picture of this cifully patched as to make the owner unhappy change of times and manners," ridiculous and contemptible to every faid Moredius, “as I was taking my man of real sente. But the chief cause accustomed ride one morning last week. of want of happiness among the Great The clouds had gathered together, and (continued the itranger) proceeds from despoiled the beauty of the distant prof. their to:al neglect of the means of finde pect; the sun, whose beams had just ing it like other people ; they use the gladdened the scene, was withdrawn ; power they have to be happy to pur- a long bridle path, inclosed by a hedge chale uneasiness only ; and Dilipation on each side, led to an opening of ex. (miles at the downfall of those whom tensive country ; the rain descended Fortune raises."-" I dined,” replied in now drops ; the husbandman had Moredius, “a few days since with a left the field ; all was hush and still, Lady of high fashion, who afforded a cheerless and forlorn : a large mansion itriking example of splendid mifery: presented itself to my view on the she was seated at the head of her table, right, to appearance uninhabited ; its and did the honours with superior gates were torn down, and the windows grace and dignity ; her face wore a closely boarded up; the garden, where constant smile; but the exterior which probably the role had once diffused its the manners of the world had taught Tweetness, was a wilderness of weeds ; her could not altogether conceal the several fallen fragments of ancient agonies of a diftretied mind; at some sculpture were scattered on the ground; inttants the mark dropped off, and be- and a stagnant pool of water comtrayed the secrets of a heart ill at ease : pleted the scene of defolation. Hapthe table was covered with the choicest pily a ftranger of decent demeanor dellert, pines, melons, peaches, and approached me; he appeared to be an nectarines. I could not help refle&ting, old farmer. “This is a weary wet day," that most probably there was not a said I, as he drew near me. "Not lo, mouthful of what I eat paid for : I Sir,' replied he; 'I am used to the iinagined to myself a long fruiterer's variety and changes of the weather, bill Ipread over the board like a table and my heart does not ficken because cloth, and a confectioner in miniature it is not always fair ; this rain will do in his one horse chair driving among much good : there is nothing, Sir, that the blanc manges and raspberry ice. does harm but vice ; vice turns every The holtess, instead of that hilarity thing out of its course, and spreads which marks the features of the good desolation through the world. " But and happy, presented a thin haggard yonder mansion,” faid I, pointing to it visage, with such strong lines of anxiety as I turned my horse's head to the ipot written upon it as no paint could hide; • That house,' answered the Itranger, one could discover her ideas during the with a heavy ligh, 'was once the leac repast admirably complexed between of worth and hospitality : its owner the prospect of a superb gala or an was the good and wealthy Argirus ; execution in lier house the next day. plain ness and simplicity marked his Let it not be imagined that I mean character, and the smiles of his beneto libel the Grear, or that there is volence were known for miles around; asperity in thele remarks : ask thein- his lady was as good as himself ; it was selves as to the fact, and let their expe- the happieit family in the country; rience determine. I would rejoice to many a want has been satisäed at that see them as they formerly were in this door, and many a hungry stranger country, Superb in their mansions, has there received the comforts of fplendid in their equipage, hospitable refreshment : fifty covers of malfy plate in their homes, and liberal in their went every day to that table, and the travels; the boalt and pride of the hospitable sirloin always smoked upon community, and the friends of the his board : there, tuo, all the neric poor; not squandering away their own and talent of the country met for sablefings, nor robbing others of their tional entertainment : his equipage share, but improving the gifts of for was grand, his domestics numerous ; tune to the happineis of their country everything was sumptuous, every and themselves: then would the re. thing was liberal.' " I am afraid," said ciprocities of society be better pre. I, she has been too much 10." You