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the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. But Giovanni Boccacio, who has given celebrity to the place of his birth, (Certaldo, in Tuscany) and who flourished in the year 1313, may be considered as the father of modern Romance ; and to that author's Decameron, a varied and elegant ten days entertainment, Shakespeare and other writers are indebted for the bases of some of their best superstructures.

· As Novel is nearly allied to Ro. mance,

it may not be improper, briefly to notice the virtues and failings of the last mentioned species of literature. The feudal system gave birth to Romance. She was beautiful, animated, lovely, often humorous, but generally serious, and was very well informed. At length she became vitiated. Her followers, no longer able or willing to check or re

At

dress outrageous grievances beyond the law, began themselves to act the parts of peedy out-laws. Thus did these dishonourable and wandering prodigals no longer follow her virgin footsteps. Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, gave Romance a death-blow; and after that spirited attack, abashed and routed, she drooped her head, absconded, and since that æra has not been seen among men. She, however, who had been an acknowledged favourite for such a number of years, did not die in obscurity without leaving an heir ; a Phoenix arose from her ashes. This was her youthful daughter, ycleped the Novel. As long as the Novelist writes from sound principles, there are hopes ; but " excessive sensibility," or terrific chimeras, may be the cause of untimely decay. It were pity, that the delicate . Novel should die from supernatural terrors.

Although the present state of civilized society has set bounds to the fancy of the Novel writer, he may, while he serves the cause of virtue, and makes fiction approximate to truth, address himself successfully to the passions, and use the licence which poets and painters claim ; so that, in addition to heroism and sentiment, the reader may be amused with refinement and correct

While the French can boast the writings of Le Sage, (if revolutionary prepossession will permit them to bestow praises on works written while kings were on their thrones) we can produce the stories of Fielding, Smollet, Goldsmith, Moore; and the pleasing novels of the fair writer of Evelina, Cecilia, and Camilla.

ness.

It has always been my humble opinion, that the pathetic Fielding knew best the doctrine of the passions; and the witty Smollet that of human action. Both, however, knew men and manners well; and it is universally agrecd, .that from the works of the intelligent scholar, and the acute historian, much instruction and entertainment may be derived.' But here this truth forces itself

upon my observation; that the well known characters of Tom Jones and Peregrine Pickle may do mischief. Were any man to interrogate me as to which lesson I thought the most useful in one of those excellent novels, I should answer, “ It is to be found in that chapter in which Pickle is thrown into prison,as the natural consequence of extravagance.

extravagance. I do heartily wish, that every young man

would pause, and prudently take leisure to consider, cre he plunges into ungoverned and unprincipled excesses. To be noticed in the columns of a public print, or to fill the mouths of artful and tricking gamesters, will be but a poor compensation for an arrest, the horrors of a prison, mental and bodily suffering, ineffectual remorse, and the neglect of friends.

I have endeavoured to depict in the following pages, a young man of good sense, and large fortune, as misusing the former, and squandering the latter; which, as well as good natural faculties, is a most valuable talent, if reasonably used. Such a man acts the character of the patriotic Brutus, with this material difference, that he assumes his folly, without sharing his praise, on account of such disguise. There is no tyranny to

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