« السابقةمتابعة »
The Dean has some other observations, of this kind; but we must proceed with the volume. And, next in order, we come now to (No. 10.) • Short Remarks on Bishop Burnet's Hiftory.'
Our Readers will remember how severely the bishop was treated, in the humourous · Memoirs of P. P. Clerk of this parish,' printed in the Miscellanies published by our Author and Mr. Pope. In this paper, the great historian of the whigs is attacked in a different straint;-with ill-nature, and with outrage :- had he been the historian of the tories, he would have escaped all this abuse. There may, however, amidst so much fcurrility, be some truth. Hear what this inveétive Remarker says :
· This Author is, in most particulars, the worst qualified for an historian, that ever I met with. His style is rough, full of improprieties, in expressions often Scotch, and often such as are ufed by the meanest of the people.- His observations are mean, and trite, and very often false. His secret history is generally made up of coffee house scandals, or, at beft, from reports at the 3d, 4th, or 5th hand. The account of the pretender's birth,' (aye ! there lay the poor bishop's unpardonable fin !) would only become an old woman in a chimney-corner. His vanity runs intolerably through the whole book, affecting to have been of confequence at nineteen years old, and while he was a little Scotch parson of 40 pounds a-year.-His characters are miserably wrought, in many things mistaken, and all of them detracting, except of those who were friends to the presbyterians. That early love of liberty he boasts of, is absolutely false; for the first book that I believe he ever published, is an entire treatise in favour of paffive obedience and absolute power; so that his reflections on the clergy, for asserting, and then changing those principles, come very improperly from him*. His work may be more properly called a History of Scotland during the Author's Time, with some Digressions relating to England, rather than deserve the title he gives it : for I believe two thirds of it relate only to that beggarly nation, and their infignificant brangles and factions. In his last ten years, he was absolute party-mad, and fancied he saw popery under every bush.--He never gives a good character without one essential point, that the person was tender to dissenters, and thought many things in the church ought to be amended.'- And does not every moderate churchman, now living, think the same? We have omitted several passages in these remarks, for want of room to insert the whole; but we must not forget to observe, that he
+ See also the Dean's Preface to the Bishop of Sarum's Introduclion.
* This anecdote deserves to have been better authenticated ; and we are forry the Pean did not expressly refer to the tract here mentioned.
The Pofthumous Works of Dean Swift. makes fome conceffions in favour of the bishop's private character; and one or two in favour even of his book'; which, after all, it is pretty apparent, the Dean would have thought a very tolerable sort of a book, if he had not perused it with partyspectacles.
11. • An Abstract of the History of England, from the In-, vasion of it by Julius Cæfar, to William the Conqueror.'--Not worth mentioning; and most certainly, as well as some other fcraps in this publication, was not worth printing.
12. - A Letter to a Member of Parliament, in Ireland, upon chusing a new Speaker there : 1708.'-This letter relates to the great question, about that time much agitated, concerning a sepeal of the Sacramental Teit. Few of our Readers need be told what a zealous advocate the Dean was for that act.-At this jun&ure, it seems, there was great reason to apprehend that the choice of a speaker of the Irish house of commons would light on a gentleman who was no friend to the test-act, He therefore wrote this letter, as a diffuafive against chusing such a person; and among other arguments, he has the following very remarkable one :- I will put the case: if the person to whom you have promised your vote be one of whom you have the least apprehension that he will promote or afsent to the repealing of that clause, whether it be decent of proper he should be the mouth of an assembly, whereof a great majority pretend to abhor his opinion? Can a body, whose mouth and heart muft go fo contrary ways, ever act with sincerity, or with consistence? Such a man is no proper vehicle to retain or convey the sense of the house, which, in so many points of the greatest moment, will be directly contrary to his. It is full as absurd, as to prefer a man to a bishopric whe denies revealed religion. But it may possibly be a great deal worse.'--Can any thing be a stronger proof that the pious Dean thought presbyterianism worfe than downright infidelity?
12.Some few Thoughts concerning the Repeal of the Tefti'- Few indeed; the whole making but a page: which was, probably, no more than the beginning of a paper on this subject. What is here offered, is not very material to the point.
• Maxims Controlled in Ireland.'The Dean here examins the truth of some maxims in state and government, with Feference to Ireland, which, he says, generally pass for uncontrolled in the world, and he considers how far they suit with the condition of that kingdom. This, which is not a party, but a truly patriotic, paper, contains a shrewd, sensible, and affecting representation of the distressed state of our fifter kingdom, at the time when this tract was written : we hope, and believe, matters are not quite so bad there at present—although it is most
certain, that we do treat our fellow-subjects of Ireland very tyrannically, in many respects. We are now arrived at the end of she Political Tracts; and must close the book, for the present.
[To be continued.]
A Portrait of Oratory. By J. Garner, M. D. 8vo. 2 s. Sandby.
tic writers, in laying down the theory of an art, to betray their incapacity to reduce their rules to practice. How different was the case with the great Longinus,
Whose own example ftrengthens all his laws,
While he's himself the great sublime he draws ! In like manner, the Limner of the present Portrait of Oratory, does by no means content himself, with giving us a bare unfinished sketch, the mere outlines of elocution; but hath finished his piece with the highest glow and richest pomp of colouring. • What is here exhibited to the public eye, says he, is the child of a few leisure hours, which, Aying, swift, on golden wings, it was presumed, would, not unprofitable, be expended, in canvassing the subject of sacred oratory.' And if any one ' in drinking the rill of this production, reap even, the smallest draught of benefit, the labor, labor! no, pleasure, of some hours will not be uncrowned.'
Our Readers may already discover some traces of that happy talent, which our Author possesses, of adapting his style to his subject. We are not to learn, indeed, that, among the present numerous competitors for oratorial excellence, there have been Critics invidious enough to represent the dazzling, blazing, heart-infiaining, terrific style of this Writer, as merely imitative. Dologodelmo's Oratory's high encomiums upon the mighty Soaretherial*,' fay they, have furnished Dr. Garner with his best figures, his most sounding epithets, his most lublime flights
• Oh Death, thou long-lived Mortal,' Says the genius of Hurlothrombo. Had our Author, say these critics, been to address this longeval skeleton of mortality, he would have called him,
Oh Death! thou speechless Orator! But, how do they know this? How can they prove this sugger -tion not to be the child of malice? Truly thus. The following
• See the immortal Hurlothrombo, ift Ed. page 9.
passages, they pretend, have too great a fimilitude not to justify the fufpicion of imitation. Dr. Garner supposes an affectionate father, exprelling his pungent exultation of heart, to address a reformed ion in the subsequent terms :
my son ! my son! What a sea of intense satisfaction overflows this breast.-Oh! transporting ! transporting !-Oh! cease not, cease not, my beloved ! to travel the delightful ftreets of virtue, that rapture may warm a fond father's breast, beginning to bend under the rising mountain of years ; that, at the setting of life's sun, the confideration of leaving behind me a virtuous child, may shoot a refulgent, golden, ray of comfort through my soul, taking wing into a shoreless futurity.'
This. speech is supposed to be only an improvement on the following of King Soar-ethereal to his mistress :
• Oh! my Cadamore! that I might die always to live with thee; for when the fetters of Number have linked these limbs and the ground together, when the chains of sleep have bound this body to the earth ; when these eyes, these ears are insensible, I have other eyes that see, other ears that hear, and myself rejoices when myself is dead.'
Now, not to infift on the wide difference there is, between • a man's breast bending under a rising mountain,' and his body being bound to the earth,' we do insist, in opposition to these critics, that the above passages are totally dissimilar. They yet persist in carrying on the parallel farther. The rejoicing father above-instanced withes, that in the dread, the joyous, all remunerating, day, he and his son, may meet, with ravished hearts, with faces, clad in smiles--that, O rapturous reflection! they may spend, together, an eternity, in laughing, heavenly, groves, plucking golden, ever-ripening, fruit off Aourishing trees of blis, extatic!!
The joyous meeting here projected, it is said, is evidently taken from the following speech of Hurlothrombo: . Let us go, my Lord, we'll this moment mount her upon
the back of the sun; in the mean while, you get a straddle upon the moon, there you'll be mounted aloft and ride after her, spar and whip, whip and spur, and you'll be sure to overtake her in the eclipses; there you'll be clapped together, face to face, one upon another; and all the world will Mout and say, he has her, he has her! Huzza.'
The malevolence of these critics, leads them ftill greater lengths, even lo far as to cavil at almost all our Author's tropes and figures. But, we should be glad to know, what is oratory, without tropes and figures ? and as to the propriety of them, the best writers might be quoted to prove it problematical. Whatever tenet is espoused, says our Author, that opens a door to a torrent of licentiousness, be the sharp axe of solid argument applied to its very root.' How hypercritical is it to object here a rooted tenet's opening a door to a torrent ! How captious to oppose the keen edge of ridicule against the sharp axe of folid argument! Solidity, say they, betokens weight and strength; its effects bearing a greater fimilitude to the stroke of a mallet, the crush of a rammer, or, the fillip of a three-man beetle,' than to the keen severity of an edge-tool.
Again, when our Author thus calls out to the Aouncing tagstof Agious controversy, Rust thou sharp-edged sword? eternal, in thy scabbard !' these critics affect to sneer; pretending that it is impossible for a sword to keep growing rusty for ever; for that some time or other it must be fairly rufted through and can grow rusty no longer. But, who doth not plainly see, that such remarks are the mere effects of ignorance or envy*? Away with such contemptible correctness, the frigid suggestions of cold-blooded critics, estranged to the captivating, soul-enchanting, heaven-vivifying powers of oratory! Let us throw aside therefore such invidious criticisms, and with our Author, turn the feet of thought into the tract of themes, meriting sedate, reiterated contemplation.' Hear part of our Author's address to Oratory and to Orators,
Hail! Hail! O Oratory ! Queen of the heart ! Permit an affectionate son to employ his pencil, in attempting to heighten the amiable
grace of thy features, &c.'-With regard to the Orator, he thus beautifully queries, replies, apostrophizes, and exclaims. • Shall he groping, tread the dark, but fiery paths of religious controversy ? Or shall he feed his flock with the food of pathetic discourses or practical subjects? With the food of pathetic discourses or practical subjects. The duties, the influencing principles of religion, which reason's beams, which revelation's radiant sunshine, ope; these, these, ye sons of Eloquence! are what? the precious pearls you are to work upon ;' not upon speculative controverted points, which · feed with fresh fuel, the fire of party-zeal. Party-zeal! Devouring vulture ! that has long, long,'o Christianity! been gnawing thy very vitals ; that, yet, wounds thee, with her tharp, envenomed tooth t. . O the scenes ! the scenes ! scenes ! Humanity cannot contemplate, without heart-convulsing horror, that have, hence, derived their birth. O benevolence ! benevolence! how, how hast thou
Besides, there is possibly, after all, a slight error of the press, and the word ruft should have been printed reff. Where then would be the impropriety? And what would become of their criticisms ?
+ The pitiful critics' above mentioned object also to this passage; telling us that a vulture has no teeth. But what of that? every body knows it has confounded talons, and that's as bad.