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THERE is no part of history more

agreeable in itself, nor more improving to
the mind, than the lives of those who have
distinguished themselves from the herd of
mankind, and set themselves up to public re-
gard. A particular tribute of admiration is
always due, and is generally paid, to the
hero, the philosopher, and the scholar. It
requires, indeed, a strength of understanding
and a solidity of judgment, to distinguish
those actions which are truly great, from
such as have only the show and appearance
of it. The noise of victories and the

pomp of
triumphs are apt to make deeper impressions
on cominon minds, than the calm and even
labours of men of a studious and philosophi-
cal turn, though the latter are, for the most

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part, more commendable in themselves and more useful to the world. The imagination of the bulk of mankind is more alive than tþeir judgment; hence Cæsar is more admired for the part he acted in the plains of Pharsalia, than for the recollection of his mind the night after the victory, by which he armed himself against the insolence of success, and formed resolutions of forgiving his enemies, and triumphing more by clemency and mildness, than he had before by his courage and his arms. Deeds which we can only admire, are not so fit for sedate contemplation, as those which we may also imiţate. We may not be able to plan or execute a victory with the Scipios and Cæsars, but we may improve and fortify our understandings, by inspecting their scenes of study and reflection; we may apply the contemplations of the wise to private use, so as to make our passions obedient to our reason, our reason productive of inward tranquillity, and sometimes of real and substantial advantage to all our fellow-creatures.

Such remarks as the preceding can be no improper introduction to whatever may be collected concerning the life of our Author. It will turn out at best but dark and imper

fect, yet open into two principal views, which may prove of double use to a thoughtful and considerate reader. As a Writer of a refined and polished taste, of a sound and penetrating judgment, it will lead him to such methods of thinking, as are the innocent and embellishing amusements of life; as a Philosopher of enlarged and generous sentiments, a friend to virtue, a steady champion, and an intrepid martyr for liberty, it will teach him, that nothing can be great and glorious, which is not just and good; and that the dignity of what we utter, and what we act, depends entirely on the dignity of our thoughts, and the inward grandeur and elevation of the soul.

Searching for the particular passages and incidents of the life of Longinus; is like travelling now-a-days through those countries in which it was spent. We meet with nothing but continual scenes of devastation and ruin. In one place, a beautiful spot smiling through the bounty of nature, yet overrun with weeds and thorns for want of culture, presents itself to view ; in another, a pile of stones lying in the same confusion in which they fell, with here and there a nodding wall; and sometimes a curious pillar still erect, excites the

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sorrowful remembrance of what noble edifices and how fine a city once crowned the place. Tyrants and barbarians are not less pernicious to learning and improvement, than to cities and nations. Bare names are preserved and handed down to us, but little more. Who were the destroyers of all the rest, we know with regret, but the value of what is destroyed, we can only guess and deplore.

What countryman Longinus Suidas. J. Jonsius.

was, cannot certainly be discoDr.Pearce.

vered. Some fancy him a Sy

rian, and that he was born at Emisa, because an uncle of his, one Fronto, a rhetorician, is called by Suidas an Emisenian. But others, with greater probability, suppose him an Athenian. That he was a Grecian, is plain from two passages in the following Treatise; in one of which he uses this ex.pression, “ If we Grecians;" and in the other he expressly calls Demosthenes his countryman. His name was Dionysius Longinus, to which Suidas makes the addition of Cassius; but that of his father is entirely unknown; a: point (it is true) of small importance, since

a son of excellence and worth, reflects a glory upon, instead of receiving any from, his father. By his mother Frontonis he was allied, after two or three removes, to the celebrated Plutarch. We are also at a loss for the employmentof his parents, their station in life, andthe beginning of his education; but a * remnant of his own writings informs us, that his youth was spent in travelling with them, which gave bim an opportunity to increase his knowledge, and open his mind with that generous enlargement, which men of sense and judgment will unavoidably receive, from variety of objects and diversity of conversation. The improvement of his mind was always uppermost in his thoughts, and his thirst after knowledge led him to those channels by which it is conveyed. Wherever men of learning were to be found, he was present, and lost no opportunity of forming a familiarity and intimacy with them. Ammonius and Origen, philosophers of no small reputation in that age, were two of those whom he visited and heard with the greatest attention. As he was not deficient in vivacity of parts, quickness of apprehension, and strength of understanding, the pro

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• Fragment, quintum.

* See Sect. xü,

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