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Where hapless Afric ENGLISH Thieves assails
The thriving villainies of future time
Yet I, to whom the Nine no boon impart,
F. Write, but, to scape the ruthless grasp of law,
A. Yet, though, should living culprits keenly smart, A jail reward the whirl of Satire's dart; And Scott exult, whilst prison's Wakefield grieves For preaching Jesus in a den of thieves: 1
k See i Kings, xiii, 18. W. i Sve" the Case of Kydd Wake," who was confined for five years in a solitary cell, in Gloucester Gaol. Sce Ann. Reg. m Matt. xxi. 13.
What bolts of law can thunder at this head,
Some Remarks on the literary Character of
Mr. WAKEFIELD, in a Letter from the
HATSOEVER traces of irritability, and sometimes even pertinacity, may occur in the publications of our excellent friend, Mr.Wakefield, I know, from my private correspondence with him, that, when treated with the respect due to his talents and attainments, he was patient under opposition, was grateful for information, and would honestly abandon some of those opinions and conjectures, which, previously to our discussions, he had believed to be well founded.
“ Conjectural criticism,” says Johnson, in his preface to Shakspeare, “ has been of great use in the learned world; nor is it my intention to depreciate a study, that has exercised so many mighty minds from the revival of learning to our own age, from [John Andreas] the bishop of Aleria to English Bentley;" and I shall myself add, as Johnson would have added, to Richard Porson.-" It is not easy,”
ations of a passage, seem ratches small occasions; or that all comtraril o opinion, even in those that can
: often found in commentaries a sponmore cager and venomous than is vented by the most furious controvertist in politics against
those whom he is hired to defame.”
What bolts of law can thunder at this
miast can naturally Some grisly Cyclops, smear' Must some proud prelate
readings of copies, Write LAUD at length, Name SAUL and FLA might exercise the wit, No hint at B**f*,
Cthe passions. But, whether For K**n, Jeff things make mean men proud,” And Rome's S
longer, makes proud men angry; strain of invective and contempt, Though the temper, or at least the language, of verbal critics, has been, in our own days, much improved by the examples of Markland, Wesseling, Hemsterhusius, Valkenaer, Ruhnken, Heyne, and other illustrious scholars, too many traces may yet be found of that spirit which is so extremely offensive to every well-regulated mind.
The Vannus Critica of D'Orville abounds with recondite criticism; and the severity of the writer has been sometimes excused, on the plea of retaliation, against Pauw, whose coarseness and petulance are quite intolerable. But Í must confess that the perpetual recurrence
detenia there is ancous
liberal and savage reproach in that celeI work is wearisome to me, and I rep with pleasure that, in his notes upon
D'Orville has not fallen into this odi
of writing vo man admires more sincerely than I do ue genius and learning of Herman. But I can never read without indignation the arrogant and contemptuous terms in which he speaks of the late Mr. Heath-a man, whose good sense, good manners, and most meritorious labours ought to have protected him from such indignities. Vid. Herman. Obser. Crit. pag. 59, and his note on verse 1002 of the Hecuba, pag. 153.
The manner in which Mr. Brunck speaks of Vauvilliers is by no means warranted by Brunck's great and indisputable superiority; and I suppose that other readers, as well as myself, have observed numerous instances, in which Brunck has slyly stolen the emendations of his insulted predecessor, and meanly endeavoured to disguise his plagiarism.
Perhaps the great erudition, the wonderful sagacity, and the useful discoveries of such men as Joseph Scaliger, Bentley, and Salmasius, may now and then induce us to forgive the insolence of their temper, and the asperity of their invectives. But, when better exam