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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.
VIEW OF THE CONTROVERSY
MONS. CROUSAZ AND MR. WARBURTON,
ON THE SUBJECT OF
MR. POPE'S ESSAY ON MAN,
IN A LETTER TO THE
EDITOR of the GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, vol. xiii.
would not be found useless in the learned world, if in written controversies as in oral disputations, 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 assume the province of deciding the question, might at least exhibit it in its true state.
This reflection arose in my mind upon the consideration of Mr. Crousaz's Commentary on the Essay on Man, and Mr. Warburton's Answer to it. The importance of the subject, the reputation and abilities of the controvertists, and perhaps the ardour with which each has endeavoured to support
his 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 moderátor, I have men.' tioned that of recalling the disputants to the subject, and cutting off the excrescences of a debaté, which Mr. Crousaż will not suffer to be long unem. ployed, 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 nécessary to exhibit some specimens of Mr. Crousaz's sentiments, by which it will probably be shewn, that he is far from deserving either indignation or contempt; that his notions are just, though they are sometimes introduced without necessity; and defended when they are not opposed; and that his abilities and parts are such as may entitle him to reverence from those who think his criticisms superfluous.
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 ob
taiping a complete victory over their ruling pas
sion, 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 conversation ⚫ of men of merit, are destroyed in a few moments 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 inflamed; in this ⚫ resolution he persists a few days, but soon yields to an invitation, which will give his prevailing 'inclination an opportunity of reviving in all its 'force. The case 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 to impertinent solici'tations?'.
On the means recommended for the attainment of happiness, he observes, 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 ⚫ other animals. To disregard any of these gifts 'would be ingratitude; but to neglect those of greater excellence, to go no farther than the gross 'satisfactions of sense, and the functions of mere 'animal life, would be a far greater crime. We are formed by our Creator capable of acquiring know'ledge, and regulating our conduct by reasonable rules; it is therefore our duty to cultivate our
' understandings, and exalt our virtues. We need but make the experiment to find, that the greatest pleasures will arise from such endeavours.
It is trifling to allege, in opposition to this truth, that knowledge cannot be acquired, nor 'virtue pursued, without toil and efforts, and that 'all efforts produce fatigue. God requires nothing disproportioned to the powers he has given, and ' in the exercise of those powers consists the highest 'satisfaction.
Toil and weariness are the effects of vanity: when a man has formed a design of excelling ⚫ others in merit, he is disquieted by their advances, and leaves nothing unattempted, that he may ⚫ step before them: this occasions a thousand un'reasonable emotions, which justly bring their pu'nishment along with them.
⚫ But let a man study and labour to cultivate and 'improve his abilities in the eye of his Maker, and ⚫ with the prospect of his approbation; let him at'tentively reflect on the infinite value of that approbation, and the highest encomiums that men 'can bestow will vanish into nothing at the comparison. When we live in this manner, we find 'that we live for a great and glorious end.:
When this is our frame of mind, we find it no ' longer difficult to restrain ourselves in the gratifi'cations of eating and drinking, the most gross enjoyments of sense. We take what is necessary to preserve health and vigour, but are not to give ourselves up to pleasures that weaken the at'tention, and dull the understanding.'