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under this head, full of sharp quips at the Utilitarians. They overdo the matter of fact: and we think our author overdoes the matter of fancy, in devising motives and limits for them,-a hard blow from one who gives up the Arabian Nights. It is idle in the Utilitarians to set their faces, or pretend to set them, against poetry, and ornament, and delight; as if delight itself were not part of utility; but there is no fear that they can do harm with an absurdity so opposed to men's natures and inclinations; and in the meantime their exertions are calculated to do a great deal of good. They are wanted; but they can only work out a proper amount of counteraction to that which is found unfit for doing their work.
Application to Study.-An excellent and encouraging remark, in reference to voluminous writers and painters, that the more people do, the more they can do. People wonder at Shakspeare, at Walter Scott, Raphael and others; and well they may, but not on this account. "He who does nothing," says Mr Hazlitt, "renders himself incapable of doing anything; but while we are executing any work, we are preparing and qualifying ourselves to undertake another." There is a happy criticism on Shakspeare at p. 135, and on painters, p. 137. The observation on early rising is not so philosophical. "The stress laid upon early rising," according to Mr Hazlitt," is preposterous. If we have anything to do," he says, when we get up, we shall not lie in bed to a certainty. Thomson, the poet, was found late in bed by Dr Burney, and asked why he had not risen earlier. The Scotchman wisely answered, 'I had no motive, young man ! What indeed had he to do after writing the Seasons, but to dream out the rest of his existence, unless it were to write the Castle of Indolence!" Why, he had to get up early in the morning, and by that infallible rule for health and long life, double his existence and its enjoyment; for want of which he died of fat and a bad stomach. Mr Hazlitt may say he did not mean that, but was merely talking of industry and works to be done; but it is dangerous in good writers to talk in this wilful and partial manner.
The Spirit of Obligations is an admirable set of hints, none the worse for a little personal soreness, to a vast body of persons usurping the sacred name of friends. It has fallen to the lot of
none perhaps to have been more happy in realizing true friends, or more disappointed in discovering imaginary ones, than ourselves: and some of the passages in this essay gave us an ache to the very core. Here is another, very edifying: "I like real good-nature and good-will, better than I do any offers of patronage or plausible rules for my conduct in life. I may suspect the soundness of the last, and I may not be quite sure of the motives of the first. People complain of ingratitude for benefits, and of the neglect of wholesome advice. In the first place, we pay little attention to advice, because we are seldom thought of in it. The person who gives it either contents himself to lay down (ex cathedrâ) certain vague, general maxims, and wise saws,' which we knew before; or, instead of considering what we ought to do, recommends what he himself would do. He merely substitutes his own will, caprice, and prejudices, for ours, and expects us to be guided by them. Instead of changing places with us (to see what is best to be done in the given circumstances), he insists on our looking at the question from his point of view, and acting in such a manner as to please him. I have observed, that those who are the most inclined to assist others, are the least forward or peremptory with their advice." Mr Hazlitt might have added, that the greatest complainers of ingratitude (for an obvious reason) are those who treat others the worst, particularly their own servants and assistants. And he might have added further, that those who are fondest of giving their advice, or assuming the right of settling a question, are, of all persons, the worst in being advised or reasoned with, the same self-importance leading to both the consequences. A startling doubt of Mr Hazlitt's, whether "those are always the best-natured or best-conditioned men, who busy themselves most with the distresses of their fellow-creatures," we have met with before, though not on paper. Elia, that discovery was thine, if we mistake not: and no harm can it do, discovered and made manifest by such as thou! Mr Hazlitt, like his friend, does not dispute the virtue of philanthropists of this class: he doubts their sensibility, and suspects, from some instances he has seen of their mechanical and formal cut, that it might be "a mere turn of a feather, whether such people should become a Granville Sharp, or a Hubert in
King John;' a Howard, or a Sir Hudson Lowe!" The query is alarming, but we need not be afraid of it. Such persons, in either case, will not be "hindered" by Mr Hazlitt; and if it is frightful to think what Mr Granville Sharp might have been made by circumstances, it is consoling to reflect what might have been done for Hubert in King John.' What we lose on one side, we gain on the other; and a large humanity is a gainer at all events. The interests of real virtue lose nothing by concessions, that diminish the belief in a fiendish hostility to her. Mr Hazlitt makes an exception, with regard to men of a sensitive temperament, like Mr Wilberforce. Of two things we may rest certain; 1st. that the love of doing good is a noble principle of action, and capable of setting to work and occupying the most masculine spirits: 2d. that they who can unite an active and unequivocal beneficence (patronizing airs apart) with a real and suffering sensibility, have in their nature something divine, and are only" a little lower than the angels."
Old Age of Artists.-Fine tact and portrait-painting in his description of Mr Nollekens and Mr Northcote at page 210; and a good specimen of what the author can see in things. "He and Northcote" (Nollekens, who was then blind)" made a remarkable pair. He sat down on a low stool (from being rather fatigued), rested with both hands on a stick, as if he clung to the solid and tangible, had an habitual twitch in his motions and gait, as if catching himself in the act of going too far in chiselling a lip, or a dimple in a chin; was bolt upright, with features hard and square, but finely cut, a hooked nose, thin lips, indented forehead; and the defect in his sight, completed his resemblance to one of his own masterly busts. He seemed, by time and labour, to have wrought himself to stone.' Northcote stood by his side-all air and spirits, stooping down to speak to him. The painter was in a loose morning-gown, with his back to the light; his face was like a pale fine piece of colouring; and his eye came out and glanced through the twilight of the past, like an old eagle looking from its eyrie in the clouds. In a moment they had lighted from the top of Mount Cenis in the Vatican
'As when a vulture on Imaus bred
Flies towards the springs
Of Ganges and Hydaspes, Indian streams,'
these two fine old men lighted with winged thoughts on the banks of the Tiber, and there bathed and drank of the spirit of their youth. They talked of Titian and Bernini; and Northcote mentioned, that when Roubiliac came back from Rome, after seeing the works of the latter, and went to look at his own in Westminster Abbey, he said, By G-d, they looked like tobacco-pipes." The familiarity of this termination does not put one out. It is a part of the humanity of which Mr. Hazlitt never loses sight, in his highest flights. For the rest, it is not extravagance; it is not mysticism, of which he is sometimes inclined to suspect himself: it is but the doing justice to that real and interior spirit of things, which modifies and enlivens the mystery of existence all about us, and which is only hidden from us by the sordid crust of our common places. There are some curious observations in this essay on the natural longevity of Royal Academicians, as opposed to the life of artists less in the receipt of custom and honour. Fuseli, by the way, is not like Ariosto. The charm of Ariosto consists in his being a natural painter, who could put on wild wings when he chose, but still took his nature with him. Fuseli was never any thing but the caricature of a man of genius.
On Envy. A curious dialogue, real or imaginary, between the author and Mr Northcote, in which he discusses the nature of that passion, and debates whether he has felt it or not himself. Mr Hazlitt says he had a theory about Envy at one time, which he has partly given up; viz. "that there was no such feeling, or that what is usually considered as envy or dislike of real merit is, more properly speaking, jealousy of false pretensions to it." As an instance, Mr Hazlitt tells us that he hates the sight of a certain personage for his "foolish face," as much as for anything else. "I cannot believe that a great general is contained under such a pasteboard vizor of a man. This, you'll say, is party-spite, and rage at his good fortune. I deny it. I always liked Lord Castlereagh for the gallant spirit that shone through his appearance; and his fine bust surmounted and crushed fifty orders that glittered beneath it. Nature seemed to have meant him for something better than he was. But in the other instance, Fortune has evidently played Nature a trick,
To throw a cruel sunshine on a fool."
"N. The truth is, you were reconciled to Lord Castlereagh's face, and patronised his person, because you felt a sort of advantage over him in point of style. His blunders qualified his success; and you fancied you could take his speeches in pieces, whereas you could not undo the battles which the other had won." Mr Hazlitt thinks he has felt very little envy, and that he is out of the way of it; the only pretension, of which he is tenacious, being that of a metaphysician. "If I have ever felt this passion at all," he says, "it has been where some very paltry fellow has by trick and management contrived to obtain much more credit than he was entitled to. There was to whom I had a perfect antipathy. He was the antithesis of a man of genius; and yet he did better, by mere dint of dulness, than many men of genius. This was intolerable. There was something in the man and in his manner, with which you could not possibly connect the idea of admiration, or of anything that was not merely mechanical
'His look made the still air cold.'
He repelled all sympathy and cordiality. What he did (though amounting only to mediocrity) was an insult on the understanding. It seemed that he should be able to do nothing, for he was nothing either in himself or in other people's idea of him!" This is very tiresome; but it is not envy that we feel for such a man. When we envy, it is either some unattainable amount of qualities or powers we ourselves possess, or something that we desire to possess, especially when we witness the effects of it. A diligent reader of Mr Hazlitt may easily discover what it is that our man of letters, while he professes to be totus in illis, condescends to be envious of; and why he bestows so many alternate cuffs and plaisters on heads that are his hearty admirers. As to envy itself, what has been said of it in another periodical work is perhaps as near the truth as anything; and at any rate the view of it is good-natured, and not the less likely to be sound for that. "Even in envy," says the work in question, "may be discerned something of an instinct of justice; something of a wish to see universal fair play, and things on a level." We have only to regulate it, like the other passions, and see that it does not get a-head. A generous man will hasten