« السابقةمتابعة »
Though Cellini was so blind to his own imperfections as to commit the most unjustifiable actions, with a full persuasion of the goodness of his cause and the rectitude of his intention, yet no man was a keener and more accurate observer of the blemishes of others; hence his book abounds with sarcastick wit and satirical expression. Yet though his portraits are fometimes grotesque and over-charged, from misinformation, from melancholy, from infirmity, and from peculiarity of humour; in general it must be allowed that they are drawn from the life, and conformable to the idea given by cotemporary writers. His characters of pope Clement the leventh, Paul the third, and his baftard fon Pier Luigi; Francis the first, and his favourite mistress madain d'I staipes, Cofino duke of Florence, and his duchers, with many others, are touched by the hand of a master.
General history cannot descend to minute details of the domestick life and private transactions, the passions and foibles of great personages; but these give truer representations of their characters than all the elegant and laboured compositions of poets and historians.
To fome a register of the actions of a statuary may fem a heap of uninteresting occurrences; but the discerning will not diftain the efforts of a poserful mini, becaule the writer is not ennobled bi birtli, or dignised by station.
The man who raises himself by consummate merit La nis profeflion to the notice of princes, who conreits with them in a language dictated by honest firmo!!!, who fcruples not to tell them those truths
which they must despair to hear from courtiers and favourites, from minions and parasites, is a bold leveller of distinctions in the courts of powerful monarchs. Genius is the parent of truth and courage
and these, united, dread no opposition. The Tuscan language is greatly admired for its elegance, and the meanest inhabitants of Florence speak a dialect which the rest of Italy are proud to imitate. The style of Cellini, though plain and familiar, is vigorous and energetick. He possesses, to an uncommon degree, strength of expression, and rapidity of fancy. Dr. Nugent seems to have carefully studied his author, and to have translated him with ease and freedom, as well as truth and fidelity
EDITOR of the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, vol. xill,
if in written controversies as in oral difputations, a moderator could be selected, who might in some degree superintend the debate, restrain all needless excursions, repress all personal reflections, and at last recapitulate the arguments on each side; and who, though he should not allume the province of deciding the question, might at least exhibit it in its true state.
This reflection arose in my mind upon the confideration of Mr.Crousaz's Commentary on the Essay on Man, and Mr. Warburton's Answer to it. The inportance of the subject, the reputation and abilities of the controvertists, and perhaps the ardour with which each has endeavoured to support his 6
Cause, have made an attempt of this kind necessary for the information of the greatest number of Mr. Pope's readers.
Among the duties of a moderacor, I have mentioned that of recalling the disputants to the subject, and cutting off the excrescences of a debate, which Mr. Crousaz will not suffer to be long unemployed, and the repression of personal invectives which have not been very carefully avoided on either part; and are less excusable, because it has not been proved, that either the poet, or his commentator, wrote with any other design than that of promoting happiness by cultivating reason and piety.
Mr. Warburton has indeed so much depressed the character of his adversary, that before I consider the controversy between them, I think it necessary to exhibit some specimens of Mr. Crousaz's sentiments, by which it will probably be Thewn, that he is far from deserving either indignation or contempt; that his notions are just, though they are sometimes introduced without neceffity, and defended when they are not opposed; and that his abilities and parts are such as may entitle him to rea verence from those who think his criticisms fuperfluous.
In page 35 of the English translation, he exhibits an observation which every writer ought to impress upon his mind, and which may afford a sufficient apology for his commentary.
On the notion of a ruling passion he offers this remark : · Nothing so much hinders men from obtaining a complete victory over their ruling
paffion, as that all the advantages gained in their days of retreat, by just and sober reflections, whether struck out by their own minds, or bor
rowed from good books, or from the conversa<tion of men of merit, are destroyed in a few mo
ments by a free intercourse and acquaintance (with libertines; and thus the work is always to 'be begun anew. A gamester resolves to leave off 'play, by which he finds his health impaired, his
family ruined, and his passions infamed; in this resolution he persists a few days, but soon yields to an invitation, which will give his prevailing
inclination an opportlinity of reviving in all its <force.
The cafe is the same with other men; but is reason to be charged with these calamities and
follies, or rather the man who refuses to listen to its voice in opposition tu impertinent solicitastions?'
On the means recommended for the attainment of happiness, he obferves, that the abilities which our Maker has given us, and the internal and
external advantages with which he has invested us, are of two very different kinds; those of one
kind are bestowed in common upon us and the <brute creation, but the other exalt us far above rother animals. To ditregard any of these gifts . would be ingratitude ; but to neglect those of
greater excellence, to go no farther than the
gross satisfactions of fenfe, and the functions of ' mere animal life, would be a far • We are formed by our Creator capable of ac
quiring knowledge, and regulating our conduct by reasonable rules; it is therefore our duty to