« ForrigeFortsett »
pen, notwithstanding the erection of stores, provisions, and fuel to the the light-house.
light-house. This vessel is about 40 Amidst the various inauspicious register tons, and is therefore capaforebodings regarding this building, ble of carrying a boat of sufficient either prior to or about the time of its dimensions for landing on the rock in commencement, the following was moderate weather. The master of very prevalent " That no one the attending vessel acts as superinwould be found to possess so dread tendant, and has the charge of the and dreary a dwelling; and if ever building and stores kept at Arbroath. erected, its projectors would be left The expence of this undertaking themselves to pass the first winter has not yet been ascertained, but it under its roof." But the first aspect is supposed to amount to about fiftyof every thing of this kind is general. five thousand pounds sterling. Whely by much the worst ; for, as the ther, therefore, we consider the magbuilding got up, and was found to nitude of this most useful work, or withstand the storms of two succes- the success which has attended the sive winters in an incomplete state, operations, from their commencement confidence seemed to increase ; and, in 1807 till their completion in 1810, by the time it was ready for being in this work will be found to do equal habited, the applications for a keep- honour to the spirited exertions of er's birth were more numerous than the Hon. Board of Commissioners the situations; and it is no less strange for Northern Lights, to the talents, than true, that applicants on both activity, and perseverance of the ensides of the Tweed were disappoint- gineer, and to the resources of a ed in their suit. The establishment country which, while struggling with of keepers consists of a principal unparalleled difficulties in the field of light-keeper and three others. Each war, yet enjoying the most perfect keeper, at the end of six weeks, in his security at home, is able and ready to turn is relieved, and is at liberty to pursue the works of industry, and to go upon his own affairs for a fort. attend to the calls of humanity: night. Their pay is about fifty We are happy to understand that pounds per annum, with provisions a detailed account of the erection of while at the light-house. At Ar- the Bell Rock light-house, illustrated broath, each of the light-keepers has with engravings of the building in its a house provided by the commission. different stages, the apparatus, &c., ers for his family. Connected with is to be published by Mr Stevenson, these houses, there is a signal tower, engineer ; and with pleasure we have where an excellent telescope is kept, heard, that the Hon. Board of Comand a set of signals arranged with the missioners have liberally expressed a people at the light-house for the desire to preserve the particulars of attending vessel, which carries off the this memorable work,
SHENSTONE, DAVID HUME, AND JOSEPH SPENCE.
From the Poet Shenstone, to Mr ing! Dr Roebuck goes to-morrow, MacGowan, late of Edinburgh. and
you must accept of an irregular The Leasowes, Sept. 24, 1761. disjointed letter, in which I find it
my duty to acknowledge so many difDEAR SIR,I have indeed been ferent favours. guilty of the most absurd hypocrisy The Scotch press,* of which you that ever was, having suffered an ap- sent me so many agreeable specimens, pearance of neglect to rob me of has, I think, not a rival in the world, the pleasure of your correspondence, unless it be that of my neighbour when no one living could have been Baskerville. Here I find myself unmore sensible of the obligation it laid able or unwilling to decide the preme under. Sure I am that I must be ference. Amongst friends, however, greatly indebted to Mr Roebuck’s I would whisper, that Baskerville's representation for the place I still impressions are more striking to the retain in your esteem, and which I eye, either on account of his ink, bis should utterly have given up for lost, paper, or his type ; yet, at the same had not your goodness, by many ou
time, it may be much doubted whe. vert acts, lately convinced me of the ther the Scotch editions will not be contrary
deemed the best for use. Martial 'Twas indeed the view of accom- has expressed what may prove the panying my letter with something case at the close of one of his epiworthy of your acceptance, that has grams : kept me silent so long, in spite of all your friendly provocations. I want.
“ Laudant illa, sed ista legunt.” ed to transcribe one or two pieces As to correctness, the Scotch seems. of greater length than the trifles to bave bitherto the advantage ; but I inclose. Alas, that I have not, if Baskerville find encouragement to even now, an opportunity of so do- print many Latin books, he purposes,
* That of the Foulis' of Glasgow, and Murray and Cochrane of Edinburgh. The former house is now extinct; the latter still subsists, and is still honourably characterized by attention and accuracy.
I believe, to employ a Latin editor. style, seems to have been carried to There will shortly appear an Elzevir its utmost height, as may appear in Horace from the press, revised by the works of Akenside, Gray's Mr Levy, which you will probably Odes and Church-yard Verses, and like to see.
Mason's Monody and Elfrida. The As to the Erse fragments,* you public has seen all that art can do, judged very rightly, that, amidst the and they want the more striking efapplause they were sure of receiving forts of wild, original, enthusiastic from the world, they would not fail genius. It seems to exclaim aloud to afford me a very peculiar satisfac- with the chorus in Julius Cæsar, tion. I am indeed unfeignedly thank. « Oh rather than be slaves to these deep ful for the early copy, you sent me,
learned men, and for the ingenious letter which ac- Give us our wildness and our woods, our companied them. It seems, indeed,
huts and caves again !" from a former version of them by the I know not how far you will al. same translator, (which Mr Gray, the low the distinction or the principle poet, received from him, and shew. on which I build my remark, nameed my friend Percy,) that he has ly, that the taste of the present age taken pretty considerable freedoms is somewhat higher than its genius. in adapting them to the present read. This turn, you see, favours the work er. I do not in the least disapprove the translator has to publish, or has of this; knowing by experience, that published already. Here is indeed trivial amendments in these old com- pure original genius! The very positions often render them highly quintessence of poetry ; a few drops striking, which would be otherwise of which, properly managed, are quite neglected. And surely, un- enough to give a favour to quart. der all the infirmities of age, they bottles. And yet one or two of may be said to have an absolute these pieces (the first, for instance, toclaim to some indulgencies of this gether with the second) are undoubt. kind. I presume the editor follows edly as well planned as any ode we the same model of translation in whatfind in Horace. he is now going to publish. I would I have perused the Gentle Shepwish him particularly attentive to the herd with all imaginable pleasure ; melody of his cadences, when it may and here again am indebted to you, be done without impeachment of his sir, for the assistance of your glossary. fidelity. The melody of our verse 'Tis rare to find a poem of this has been perhaps carried to its utmost length, where simplicity of sentiment perfection; that of prose seems to andot language are so very well sustainhave been more neglected, and to be ed. The metre is generally musical ; capable of
greater than it has yet at. and the old Scottish words form an tained. It seems to be a very fa- admirable kind of Doric. Good vourable era for the appearance of sense, expressed naturally, in a phrase such irregular poetry. The taste of easy, perspicuous, and not wholly the age, so far as it regards plan and void of ornament, seems the talent of
* The first publications of Macpherson, entitled, “ Fragments of Ancient Poetry collected in the Highlanıls of Scotland, and translated from the Gælic or Erse language." 1760.
Ramsay, whose taste in composition ty cause such things to be neglected. was perhaps more remarkable than Accordingly he has settled a correhis genius ; and in whom greater firespondence in Wales, in the wilds of and invention would certainly have Staffordshire and Derbyshire, in the deprived his readers of the Gentle West Indies, in Ireland, and, if he Shepherd.
can obtain your assistance in ScotAnd now, having thanked you for land, hopes to draw materials from the Scotch snuff, (better than any I the whole British empire. He tells ever tasted before,) I come to ask, me there is, in the collection of Mag. whether
any old Scotch Coll. Libr. a very curious collection ballads, which you would wish pre- of antient Scottish songs and poems, served in a neat edition. I have oc. he thinks not published or known : casioned a friend of mine to publish many of Dumbar, Maitland of Letha fair collection of the best old Eng- ington, and one allegorical poem of lish and Scotch ballads ; a work I Gawain Douglas, too obsolete for his have long had much at heart. Mr collection ; and one yet more obsoPercy, the collector and publisher, is lete, called • Peebles in the Play,' a man of learning, taste, and indefa- mentioned in Christ's Kirk on the tigable industry ; is chaplain to the Green. He met Mr Gray in the Earl of Sussex. It so happens, that university library, who is going to he has himself a folio collection of write the Hist. of English Poetry. this kind of MSS. ; which has But, to put an end to this long artimany things truly curious, and from cle! his collection will be printed which he selects the best. * I am in two or three small octavos, with only afraid that his fondness for an- suitable decorations ; and if you find tiquity should tempt him to admit an opportunity of sending aught that pieces that have no other sort of me- may be proper for his insertion, I rit. However, he has offered me a think I can safely answer for his rejecting power, of which I mean to thankfulness as well as my own. make considerable use, He is en
He shewed me an old ballad in his couraged in his undertaking by Sam. folio MS., under the name of Adam Johnson, Garrick, and many persons Carr: three parts in four coincide of note, who lend him such assistance so much with your Edom of Goras is within their power. He has don, that the former name seems to brought Mr Jo. Warton (the poetry me an odd corruption of the latter. professor) to ransack the Oxford lib. His MS. will, however, tend to enraries; and has resided and employed rich Edom of Gordon with two of six amanuenses to transcribe from the prettiest stanzas I ever saw, bePepys's Collection at Cambridge, side many other improvements. He consisting of five volumes of old bal- has also a MS. of Gill Morrice, call. lads in folio. He says justly, that it ed in his copy Childe Morice. Of is in the remote parts of the king- this more another time. I must at dom that he has most reason to ex- present take my leave. Should you pect the curiosities he wants-that in see Mr (Douglas) Hume, Mr Alexthe southern parts fashion and novel- ander, or Dr Robertson, I desire my
* The proposed collection was afterwards made by Dr Percy, under the well known title of “ Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.”
best respects to them. And should after a debauch. But, as a more par. you see my good Lord Alemoor and ticular explication of that particulat Mr Professor Smith, I beg you would seems superfluous, I shall only apply please to assert how unfeignedly I to you for a renewal of your good am their servant. I hope to muster offices with your nephew, Lord Tina up sufficient assurance, even now, to wal, whose interest with Yetts and acknowledge by letter their accepta- Allan may be of service to me. There ble presents of books ; however the is no time to lose ; so that I must beg fire of gratitude was not less intense you to be speedy in writing to him for having lain concealed and produ. or speaking to him on that head. A ced no blaze. I have many more word to the wise. Even that is not Scotch friends whom I wish to par- necessary to a friend such as I have ticularize ; but these, if I am not always esteemed and found you to be. mistaken, live in the neighbourhood I live here very comfortably with of Edinburgh. I am, dear sir, your the Marquis of Annandale, who, I most obliged humble servant, suppose you have heard, sent me
Will. SHENSTONE. letter of invitation, along with a bill I will endeavour to procure and of 1001. about two months ago. send you a copy of Percy's translation Every thing is much better than I of a genuine Chinese novel, * in four expected from the accounts I heard small vols., printed months ago, but after I came to London. For the not to be published before winter. secrecy with which I stole away from To Mr MacGowan.
Edinburgh, and which I thought necessary for preserving my interest there, kept me entirely ignorant of his situation : My lord never was in
so good a way before. He has a reTo Matthew Sharpe of Hoddam, Esq. gular family, honest servants, and near Dumfries, North Britain.
every thing is managed genteelly and with
economy; he has entrusted all MY DEAR SIR-I am informed, his English affairs to a mighty honest that such a popular clamour has been friendly man, Captain Vincent, who raised against me in Edinburgh, on is cousin-german to the Marchioness. account of scepticism, heterodoxy, And, as my lord has now taken so and other hard names, which confound strong a turn to solitude and repose the ignorant, that my friends find as he formerly had to company and some difficulty in working out the agitation, 'tis to be hoped that his point of my professorship, which good parts and excellent dispositions once appeared so easy. Did I need may at last, being accompanied with a testimonial for my orthodoxy, I more health and tranquillity, render should certainly appeal to you; for him a comfort to his friends, if not you know that I always imitated an ornament to his country. As you Job's friends, and defended the cause live in the neighbourhood of the Marof Providence, when you attackt it, chioness, it may give her a pleasure on account of the headachs you felt to hear these particulars. "I am,
* Hau Kiou Choan, or, The Pleasing History, 4 vols. 1761.