صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

than it would do if applied to the present state of things in Ireland ; as that kingdom is, in every respect (notwithstanding the many oppreffions and hardships under which it has groaned) greatly improved, within these last thirty years.

7. . The Substance of what was said by the Dean of St. Patrick's, to the Lord Mayor and some of the Aldermen, when his Lordfhip came to present him with his Freedom, in a Gold Box. Here the Dean took occasion to vindicate his character from the afpersions of those who had represented him, as a Tory, a Jacobite, an enemy to King George, and a libeller of the government.

8. Thoughts on Religion.' In these thoughts the Dean, who, in many parts of his writings, appears to be a bigot, dira covers a more generous and catholic turn of mind than we heretofore imagined him to be poffefsed of. On the whole, it is perhaps not uncharitable to suppose, that he consider'd modes of religion merely as engines of the state, and that he never was over-burthened with genuine piety, or had any great zeal for christianity in particular, farther than as it happend to be the establish'd religion of his country. But, to the thoughts.

• To say a man is bound to believe, is neither truth nor sense. You may force men, by interest, or punishment, to say or swear they believe, and to act as if they believed : you can go no further.

• Violent zeal for truth, hath an hundred to one odds to be either petulancy, ambition, or pride.

« The christian religion, in the most early times, was proposed to the Jews and Heathens, without the article of Christ's Divinity; which Erasmus accounts for, by its being too strong a meat for babes. Perhaps if it were now softened by the Chic nese missionaries, the conversion of those infidels would be less difficult and we find by the Alcoran, it is the great stumbling block of the Mahometans. But in a country already christian, to bring fo fundamental a point of faith into debate, can have no consequences that are not pernicious to morals and public peace."

The two first of the foregoing remarks are uncontrovertible ; but the last is a glaring proof of the truth of what we have intimated, that the Dean's christianity was merely political. Was he not, in himself, a notable instance of the threwdness of his own observation, that men may be influenced to say, and swear, and even act as if they believed ?-But there are several more of these thoughts that deserve to be felected.

• I have often been offended to find St. Paul's allegories, and other figures of Grecian eloquence, converted by divines into

articles of faith :'- Why did not the Dean point out some of those misinterpreted figures ? He seems to think it a less crime to condemn in the lump, than to controvert doctrines.—The

follow.

following sentiment may be more easily understood; and will do its author more credit :

· God's mercy is over all his works; but divines, of all forts, Jessen that mercy too much !'-We know not what authority they have to leffen it at all. The next remark is fingular enough, and perfectly characteristic of its author :

+ I never saw, heard, nor read, that the clergy were beloved in any nation where chrißianity was the religion of the country. Nothing can render them popular, but some degree of persecution.'

• It is impossible that any thing so natural, so necessary, and fo universal as death, should ever have been defigned by Providence as an evil to mankind *.' The last observation in the series of thoughts now before us, we submit to the judgment of our female readers : It is this:

• Although reason were intended by Providence to govern our actions, yet it seems that, in two points of the greatest moment to the being and continuance of the world, God bath intended our passions to prevail over reason. The firft is, the propagation of our species, since no wise man ever married, from the dictates of reason. The other is, the love of life, which, from the dictates of reason, every man would despise, and with it at an end, or that it never had a being.'-With regard to the matrimonial clause, in this paragraph, it is already 1ubmitted to another jurisdiction, but as to the dislike here expresled, with respect to our very existence, it is evidently the Tesult of a splenetic fit, and a proof that the Dean was not a very wise man, at that moment, whatever he was, throughout the general tenor of his conduct, before the powers of his mind were totally subdued by the fatal disorder which seized him in bis latter days.

8 and 9. ' Further thoughts on Religion,' and a Prayer for Stella ;' neither of these deserve particular notice.

10. A Sermon from 1 Cor. iii. 19. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. In this discourse, the Dean attacks the heathen philosophy and wisdom, in order to prove the great superiority of the christian religion. He first mentions

certain points, wherein the wisdom and virtue of all unrevealed philosophy, in general, fell short, and was very imperfect. Secondly, he shews, in a few instances, where some of the most renowned philosophers have been grosly defective in their lessons on morality.' Thirdly, he endeavours to prove the perfection of christian wisdom, from the proper characters and marks of it.' And lastly, he undertakes to thew, that

the

• This, by mistake is, in the quarto edition, incorporated in the e paragraph with another thought, with which it has no connection, the great examples of wisdom and virtue among the heathen wite men, were produced by personal merit, and not insuz

enced by the doctrine of any fect ; whereas, in christianity, it ' is quite the contrary.' Most of these points, especially the laft, are very superficially treated ; and, on the whole, this discourse will only serve to strengthen th- opinion of those who, from former fecimens of our Author's pulpit compositions, have hitherto consider'd him as but an indifferent fermonizer.

11 and 12. Upon giving Badges to the Poor,' and Confi. derations about maintaining the Poor.' The Beggars of Ireland have long been, and ftill continue to be, the curts and scandal of that kingdom. Our patriotic Author often employed his thoughts and utmolt endeavours towards redressing, in fome measure, this grievance; but experience hath fully thewn that nothing but an unlimited freedom, and full encouragement of trade, will effect a reformation of this kind: and when the Irih are to be indulged with so great a blessing, no man can tell, without the gift of prophecy.

13. · The humble Representation of the Clergy of Dublin, to their Archbishop-setting forth the Hardship laid upon them by a certain Brief issued for the Relief of one M.Carthy, a School-Master, whofe House, on College-Green, was destroyed by Fire.' There is nothing in this paper, that is likely to engage the reader's attention.

14. “An Answer to Bickerstaff;'-by a Person of Quality. Not quite fo jocular as the Dean's predictions and controversy with Partridge, under the assumed name of Isaac Bickerstaff, Elą.

15. Hints on good Manners.' These hints may be considered as fupplemental to the Author's short Treatise on good Manners, printed in the 14th volume of the octavo edition, and the feventh of the quarto. . See allo Review, vol. 27. p. 275.

16. • RESOLUTIONS when I come to be Old.' Written in M,DC,XC,IX. Had the Dean been permitted to try the experiment, it is probable he would have failed in the observance of most of these Relolutions; which are seventeen in number, and ranged in the following crder. • Not to marry a young woman.'

Not to keep young company, unless they really desire it.' · Not to be peevish, morose, or suspicious.'

Not to scorn present ways, or wits, or fashions, or, &c.'
Not to be fond of children.'

Not to tell the same story over and over to the same people." • Not to be covetous.'-The hardest of all, to be kept.

Not to neglect deceney or cleanliness, for fear of falling into nastiness,

• Not to be over severe with young people, but to make al• lowances for their youthful follies and weakneses.' Rev. Aug. 1765.

M

. Not

• Not to be influenced by, or give car to knavish, tattling • servants, or others.'

Not to be too free of advice, nor trouble any but those who defire it.'

"To defire fome good friends to inform me which of these refolutions I break or neglect; and to reform accordingly.' ". Not to talk much, nor of myself.' Very hard, again!

· Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favou • with ladies.'

• Not to hearken to flatteries, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman ; et eos qui hæreditatem captant, odisse at ( vitare.'

Not to be positive or opinionative.'

Not to set up for observing all these rules, for fear I should i observe none.'

17. · Laws for the Dean's Servants, 1733.'—No master ever understood the management of servants, or was better served than, Dean Swift; chiefly owing, perhaps, to the severity of his discipline; of which the present set of laws affords a striking instance. Not but that his severity was sufficiently tempered with kindness; but the latter, singly, might have proved ruinous to both parties :- there is an excellent remark, on this fubject, in Gordon's account of the life of Mr. Trenchard, in his preface to Cato's Letters. As many of our readers may not be poflefted of the book, they will not be displeased to see the pastage inserted here.—To his servants he [Mr. T.] was a just and merciful master. Under him they had good usage and plenty; and the worst that they had to apprehend in his fervice, was now and then a passionate expreffion. He loved to fee chearful faces about him. He was particularly tender of them in their fickness, and often paid large bills for their cure.--For this his compassion and bounty, he had almost always ill returns. They thought that every kindness done to them, was done for their own fake; that they were of such importance to him, that he could not live without them; and that, therefore, they were entitled to more wages. He used to observe, that this ingratitude was inseparable from inferior servants ; and that they always founded some fresh claim upon every kindness which he did them. From hence he was wont to make many fine observations on human nature, and particularly on the nature of the common herd of mankind. Pref. p. xlvi. edit. 12mo. We return now to our Review of the collection before us. 18. Character of Mrs. H*' 1727.

1727. We have here à pleasing picture of this female court-favourite; who was juftly admired for her beauty, wit, and many private virtues. What • Afterwards Lady Suffolk.

he

he says of the religious part of her character, is not incurious, • In religion she is at least a Latitudinarian, being not an enemy to books written by the Free-thinkers; and herein she is the more blameable, because she hath too much morality to stand'in need of them, requiring only a due degree of faith for putting her in the road to falvation. I speak this of her as a private lady, not as a court-favourite ; for, in the latter capacity, the can fhew neither faith nor works. If she had never seen a court, it is not impossible that the might have been a friend.'-Our Author never misses an opportunity for a good stroke at the court; and his strokes are the more to be regarded, as his knowledge of and aversion to courts was not gathered from the perufal of satires, or from common-place raillery ; but from a personal acquaintance with courtiers and great people.

19. Character of Dr. Thomas Sheridan. 1738. From this paper we learn, that Dr. Sheridan (who died in 1738) had, beside his skill in the Greek and German languages, a very fruitful invention, and a talent for poetry; that his English verses were full of wit and humour, though neither his verse nor prosé was sufficiently correct; and that he left behind him a very great collection, in several volumes, of stories, humorous, witty, wise, or some way useful, gathered from a vaft number of Greek, Roman, Italian, Spanish, French, and English writers* His chief shining quality, adds our Author, was that of a schoolmaster : here he Nione in his proper element. He had so much skill and practice, in the phyfiognomy of boys, that he rarely mistook, at the first view. His scholars loved and feared him. He rather chose to shame the stupid, but punished the idle, and exposed them to all the lads, which was more severe than lashing.-Our Author, in this paper, gives the following account of Dr. Sheridan's son, who has since made so disinguished a figure as an actor, manager, and orator. --- · He [the doctor] had one son, whom he sent to Westminster-school, although he could ill afford it. The boy was there immediately taken notice of, upon examination. Although a mere stranger, he was by pure merit elected a King's scholar. It is true their maintenance falls fomething short ;-the Dr. was then so poor that he could not add fourteen pounds a year, to enable the boy to finish the year; which, if he had done, he would have been removed to an higher class, and, in another year, would have been sped off (that is the phrase) to a fellowship in Oxford or Cambridge. But the doctor was forced to recall him to Dublin, and had friends in our University to send him there, where he

If Dr. Sheridan's collection were as valuable as his friend the Dean bere intimates, it is ftrange that his son, the celebrated actus, hath never yet committed them to the press.

hath

M 2

« السابقةمتابعة »