Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

RALPH ERSKINE.THOMAS TICKELL.

155

luxury of the present age would make it a beloved; and the intimation sets them a very expensive fashion. There is no ques. | wondering and praising: Sometimes he tion but the beaux would soon provide them- communicates his mind and his secrets to selves with falso ones of the lightest colours them, The secret of the Lord is with them and the most immoderate lengths. A fair that fear him, and he will shew unto them beard of the tapestry size, which Sir Roger bis covenant: Sometimes the secrets of his seems to approve, could not come under providence: he will tell them what he hath twenty guineas. The famous golden beard à mind to do with themselves, and what he of Æsculapius would hardly be more valu hath a mind to do with such a friend, and able than one made in the extravagance such a child, and such a land or church : of the fashion.

Shall I hide from Abraham that which I Besides, we are not certain that the ladies do? Sometimes he communicates himself would not come into the mode when they to them, saying I am thy God, I am thy take the air on horseback. They already shield; Fear not, for I am with thee: appear in hats and feathers, coats and peri Sometimes such intimations and communiwigs : and I see no reason why we may not cations are given as make all their bones to suppose that they would have their riding say, Who is like unto thee? beards on the same occasion. I may give There are merciful visits after desertion, ne moral of this discourse in another paper. and after backsliding, that they sometimes

X. get, to make them sing of mercy, when they The Spectator, No. 331, Thursday, March | have been heaping up mountains of sin and 20, 1711-12.

provocation betwixt them and him: yet, after all, he hath come and given them oc

casion to say, “ The voice of my beloved ! RALPH ERSKINE,

behold he cometh, leaping upon the moun

tains, skipping upon the hills," Cant. ii. 8. born 1685, minister at Dunfermline, 1711, The voice of my Beloved ! O an exceedjoined the Seceders, 1734, died 1752, pub ing sweet and powerful voice! It had a lished a number of Sermons, Theological sound of heaven; I thought the mountains Treatises, Scripture Songs, Gospel Songs, would have kept him away, but I heard the etc., 1738-52, and several of his works were sound of his feet upon the mountains, that published after his death. Works: Glasg., made my heart warm toward him again; I 1764-66, 2 vols. fol. ; Glasg., 1777, 10 vols. had departed from him by an evil heart of 8vo; Lond., 1821, 10 vols. 8vo; Gospel | unbelief, and I thought he would never Sonnets, new edit., 1844, 24.no; Sermons return; but, o he restored iny soul, and of Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine, Selected, helped me anew to wrestle with him: We with a Preface, by the Rev. Thomas Brad- found him in Bethel, and there he spake bury, 1738, 3 vols. ; 1757, 3 vols. 8vo; Ser- with us. inons by Rev. Ralph Erskine, A.M., Selected! There are merciful accomplishments of from the British Editions of 1777 and 1821 ; promises that they sometimes get, to make with a Preface by the Rev. Stephen H. them sing of mercy. The Lord sometimes Tyng, D.D., Leighton Publications, Phila., lets in a promise with life and power, and 1863, 2 vols. 8vo.

gives them a word on which he causes them to

hope. It may be he will give them a promise “The works of Ralph Erskine are highly evan

for themselves, and it may be a promise for gelical; the productions of minds very strongly attached to truth, devotional and zealous."-WIL

their children; such as that, I will be thy LIAMS's Christian Preacher.

God, and the God of thy seed; and some"The two Erskines Cecil calls the best Scotch times a promise for the church; such as divines, but speaks of them as dry and laboured. that, Upon all the glory there shall be a He did not at this moment recollect Leighton, Ruth-| defence; and sometimes he gives a wondererford, Maclaurin, etc."-BICKERSTETI's Christian

ful accomplishment of promises, like that of Student.

IIezekiah : What shall I say? he hath both

spoken, and himself hath done it: He hath Tue Mercy of God.

come to my soul, and made me see that he There are some merciful intimations and is as good as his word ; and that faithfulness communications that they sometimes get to is the girdle of his loins. make them sing of mercy. Sometimes he Sermon XXII. The Militant's Song. intimates his love, saving, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Sometimes he intimates pardon, saying, I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, and will

THOMAS TICKELL, remember thy sins no more : Sometimes he born 1686, Fellow of Queen's College, Oxintimates acceptance, saying, O man, greatly ford, 1710, was introduced to literary circles

[blocks in formation]

and public employment by Addison, who in self on the banks of little rivulets, or lose 1717, when he became Secretary of State, myself in the woods. I spent a day or two made Tickell Under-Secretary; was ap this spring at a country gentleman's seat, pointed Secretary to the Lords Justices of where I feasted my imagination erery mornIreland in 1724, and held this post until hising with the most luxurious prospect I ever death, 1740. He published The First Book saw. I usually took my stand by the wall of Homer's Iliad, translated into English of an old castle built upon a high hill. A Verse by Thomas Tickell, Esq., Lond., 1715, noble river ran at the foot of it, which, after 4to (supposed by Pope to be really trans being broken by a heap of misshapen stones, lated by Addison for the purpose of injur glided away in a clear stream, and wandering his translation), contributed papers to ing through two woods on each side of it in The Spectator and The Guardian, and pub- many windings, shone here and there at a lished a number of poems, of which his great distance through the trees. I could Elegy to Addison, prefixed to his edition of trace the mazes for some miles, until my that poet's Works, Lond., 1721, 4 vols. 4to, eye was led through two ridges of hills, and is the best known.

terminated by a vast mountain in another

county. “ The Elegy by Mr. Tickell is one of the finest I hope the reader will pardon me for in our language. There is so little new that can

taking his eye from our present subject be said upon the death of a friend, after the counplaints of Ovid and the Latin Italians, in this

of the spring by this landscape, since it is way, that one is surprised to see so much novelty

at this time of the year only that prospects in this to strike us, and so much interest to affect.” excel in beauty. But if the eye is delighted, -GOLDSMITH.

the ear bath likewise its proper entertain“ Many tributes were paid to the memory of ment. The music of the birds at this time Addison ; but one alone is now remembered. Tick

of the year hath something in it so wildly ell bewailed his friend in an elegy which would

sweet as makes me less relish the most do honour to the greatest name in our literature. and which unites the energy and magnificence of

elaborate compositions of Italy. ... The Dryden to the tenderness and purity of Cowper.” sight that gave me the most satisfaction was -- LORD MACAULAY: Life and Writings of Addison, a flight of young birds, under the conduct Edin. Rev., July, 1843, and in his Essays.

of the father, and indulgent directions and

assistance of the dam. I took particular PLEASURES OF SPRING—Music or Birds.

notice of a beau goldfinch, who was pick

ing his plumes, pruning his wings, and with Men of my age receive a greater pleasure great diligence adjusting all his gaudy fur from fine weather than from any other niture. When he had equipped himself sensual enjoyment of life. In spite of the with great trimness and nicety, he stretebed auxiliary bottle, or any artificial heat, we his painted neck, which seemed to brighten are apt to droop under a gloomy sky; and with new glowings, and strained his throat taste no luxury like a blue firmament, and into many wild notes and patural melody. sunshine. I have often, in a splenetic fit, He then flew about the nest in several cirwished myself a dormouse during the winter; cles and windings, and invited his wife and and I never see one of those snug animals, children into open air. It was very entertainwrapt up close in his fur, and compactly ing to see the trembling and the fluttering happy in himself, but I contemplate him little strangers at their first appearance in with envy beneath the dignity of a philos- the world, and the different care of the male opher. If the art of flying were brought to | and female parent, as suitable to their serperfection, the use that I should make of it eral sexes. I conld not take my ere quickly would be to attend the sun round the world, from so entertaining an objeet; nor could I and pursue the spring through every sign of help wishing that creatures of a superior the Zodiac. His love of warmth makes my rank would so manifest their mutual atfeeheart glad at the return of the spring. How tion, and so cheerfully concur in providing amazing is the change in the face of nature, for their offspring. when the earth from being bound with frost, The Guardian, No. 125, Tuesday, August or covered with snow, begins to put forth 4, 1713. her plants and flowers, to be clothed with green, diversified with ten thousand various dyes; and to exhale such fresh and charm

ALEXANDER POPE, ing odours as fill every living creature with delight!

born in London, 1688, died at Twickenham, Full of thoughts like these, I make it a 1744, famous as a poet, has also claims to rule to lose as little as I can of that blessed be reckoned among prose writers from bis season; and accordingly rise with the sun, Prefaces to his works, and his letters: see and wander through the fields, throw my. | Pope's Literary Correspondence fur Thirty

[blocks in formation]

Years, from 1704 to 1734, Lond., 1735-37, Homer, what principally strikes us is his 5 vols. small 8vo, and other volumes enu Invention. It is that which forms the charmerated in Bohn's Lowndes's Bibliogra acter of each part of his work; and accordpher's Manual, vol. iv., 1916, and especially ingly we find it to have made his fable more Rev. Mr. Elwin's edition of Pope's Works, , extensive and copious than any other, his now (1879) in course of publication. manners more lively and strongly marked,

“Pope seems to have thought that unless a sen- his speeches more affecting and transported, tence was well turned, and every period pointed his sentiments more warm and sublime, with some conceit, it was not worth the carriage. his images and descriptions more full and Accordingly, he is to me, except in a very few in animated, his expression more raised and stances, the most disagreeable maker of epistles that I ever met with."--Cowper to Unwin, June 8,

daring, and his numbers more rapid and 1780.

various. I hope, in what has been said of “It is a mercy to have no character to maintain. Virgil, with regard to any of these heads, Your predecessor, Mr. Pope, laboured his letters I have in no way derogated from his charas much as the Essay on Man;' and as they were acter. Nothing is more absurd and endless written to every body, they do not look as if they

than the common method of comparing emihad been written to any body."--Horace WALPOLE

nent writers by an opposition of particular TO Rev. WM. Mason, Mar. 13, 1777: Lettera, edit. 1861, vi. 422.

passages in them, and forming a judgment “ Pope's letters and prose writings neither take

from thence of their merit upon the whole. away from, nor add to, his poetical reputation. We ought to have a certain knowledge of There is occasionally a littleness of manner and an the principal character and distinguishing unnecessary degree of caution. He appears anx excellence of each: it is in that we are to ious to say a good thing in every word as well as

consider him, and in proportion to his deevery sentence. They, however, give a very fa

gree in that we are to admire him. No vourable idea of his moral character in all respects; and his letters to Atterbury in disgrace

author or man ever excelled all the world and exile do equal honour to both."--Hazlitr : in more than one faculty; and as Homer Lects, on the English Poets, Lect. IV.

has done this in Invention, Virgil has in

Judgment. Not that we are to think Ilo. On Homer AND VIRGIL..

mer wanted Judgment, because Virgil has The beauty of his (IIomer's) numbers is it in a more eminent degree, or that Virgil allowed by the critics to be copied but faintly wanted Invention, because Ilomer possessed by Virgil himself, though they are so just a larger share of it: each of these great as to ascribe it to the nature of the Latin authors had more of both than perhaps any tongue : indeed, the Greek has some advan- man besides, and are only said to have less

ages, both from the natural sound of its in comparison with one another. Homer words, and the turn and cadence of its verse, was the greater genius, Virgil the better which agree with the genius of no other artist. In one we most admire the man, in language. Virgil was very sensible of this, the other the work: Ilomer hurries and and used the utmost diligence in working transports us with a commanding impetuup a more intractable language to whatso osity, Virgil leads us with an attractive ever graces it was capable of; and in par majesty: Homer scatters with a generous ticular never failed to bring the sound of his profusion, Virgil bestows with a careful line to a beautiful agreement with its sense. magnificence: lomer, like the Nile, pours If the Grecian poet has not been so fre-out his riches with a boundless overflow, quently celebrated on this account as the Virgil, like a river in its banks, with a genRoman, the only reason is, that fewer critics tle and constant stream. When we behold have understood one language than the other. | their battles, methinks the two poets resemDionysius of IIalicarnassus has pointed out ble the heroes they celebrate: Homer, boundmany of our author's beauties in this kind, less and irresistible as Achilles, bears all in his treatise of the Composition of Words. I before him, and shines more and more as It suffices at present to observe of his num-/ the tumult increases ; Virgil, calmly daring bers, that they flow with so much ease as to | like Æneas, appears undisturbed in the make one imagine Homer had no other care | midst of the action ; disposes all about him, than to transcribe as fast as the Muses dic- and conquers with tranquillity. And when tated; and at the same time with so much we look upon their machines, llomer seems force and aspiring vigour that they awaken like his own Jupiter in his terrors, shaking and raise us like the sound of a trumpet. Olympus, scattering the lightnings, and firing They roll along as a plentiful river, always the heavens; Virgil, like the same power in in motion, and always full; while we are his benevolence, counselling with the gods, borne away by a tide of verse, the most laying plans for empires, and regularly orrapid and yet the most smooth imaginable. | | dering his whole creation.

Thus, on whatever side we contemplate Preface to the Translation of Homer.

158

SAMUEL RICHARDSON.

Pope To Bishop Atterbury, IN THE Tower of the latter, will infallibly influence men BEFORE HIS EXILE.

whose thoughts and whose hearts are en

May 17, 1723. | larged, and cause them to prefer the whole Once more I write to you, as I promised, to any part of mankind, especially to 80 and this once, I fear, will be the last! The small a part as one's single self. curtain will soon be drawn between my friend

Believe me, my lord, I look upon you as and me, and nothing left but to wish you a a spirit entered into another life, as one just long good-night. May you enjoy a state of upon the edge of immortality, where the repose in this life not unlike that sleep of passions and affections must be much more the soul which some have believed is to-suc- exalted, and where you ought to despise all ceed it, where we lie utterly forgetful of little views and all mean retrospects. Nothat world from which we are gone, and

thing is worth your looking back: and, ripening for that to which we are to go.

therefore, look forward, and make (as you If you retain any memory of the past, let

can) the world look after you. But take it only image to you what has pleased you

care that it be not with pity, but with esteem best; sometimes present a dream of an ab

and admiration. sent friend, or bring you back an agreeable

creenble

.

I am, with the greatest sincerity and pasconversation. But, upon the whole. I hope sion for your fame as well as happiness, you will think less of the time past than of your, dc. the future, as the former has been less kind to you than the latter infallibly will be. Do not envy the world your studies; they

SAMUEL RICHARDSON, will tend to the benefit of men against whom you can have no complaint; I mean of all “The inventor of the English novel," the posterity: and perhaps at your time of life author of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, nothing else is worth your care. What is Lond., 1741, 2 vols. 12mo, Clarissa llarlowe, every year of a wise man's life but a cen- | Lond., 1751, 7 vols. 8vo, and the History of sure or critic on the past? Those whose Sir Charles Grandison, Lond., 1754, 6 vols. date is the shortest live long enough to 8vo, was born in Derbyshire, 1689, comlaugh at one-half of it; the boy despises menced master printer in Fleet Street, 1719, the infant, the man the boy, the philosopher and died, after a prosperous career, in 1761. hoth and the Christian all. You may now "Richardson, with the mere advantages of nsbegin to think your manhood was too much

ture, improved by a very moderate progress in a puerility, and you will never suffer your

education, struck out at once, and of his own ac. age to be but a second infancy. The toys cord, into a new province of writing, in which he and baubles of your childhood are hardly succeeded to admiration; and, what is more re now more below you than those toys of our markable, he not only began, but finished, the plan riper and our declining years, the drums

on which he set out, leaving no room for any one

after him to render it more complete ; and not one and rattles of ambition, and the dirt and

of the various writers that hare ever since attempted bubbles of avarice. At this time, when you to imitate him has in any respect or at all ap. are cut off from a little society, and made a pronched near him. This kind of romance is citizen of the world at large, you should peculiarly bis own: and I consider him as a truly bend your talents, not to serve a party or a grent natural genius; as great and super-eminent few, but all mankind. Your genius should in his way as Shakspeare and Milton were in mount above that mist in which its partici

theirs," - DR. YOUNG, Author of the Night Thoughie.

"The great excellence of Richardson's novels pation and neighbourhood with earth long consists, we think, in the unparalleled minuteness involved it: to shine abroad, and to heaven, and copiousness of his descriptions, and in the ought to be the business and the glory of pains he takes to make us thoroughly acquainted your present situation. Remember it was with every particular in the character and sitan. at such a time that the greatest lights of tion of the personages with whom we are occupied. antiquity dazzled and blazed the most, in

the most in ... In this art Richardson is undoubtedly with

: : : In this art their retreat, in their exile, or in their death.

| out an equal, and, if we except De Foe, without a

competitor, we believe, in the whole history of But why do I talk of dazzling or blazing? literature."-LORD JEPFREY: Edin, Ner., 7. 43, -it was then that they did good, that they and in his Contrib. to Edin, Rev., edit. 1853, 151. gave light, and that they became guides to mankind.

ADVICE TO UNMARRIED LADIES. Those aims alone are worthy of spirits truly great, and such I therefore hope will! The reader is indebted for this day's enter be yours. Resentment, indeed, may remain, tainment to an author from whom the age perhaps cannot be quite extinguished in the has received greater favours, who has ennoblest minds; but revenge never will har- larged the knowledge of human nature, and bour there. IIigher principles than those taught the passions to move at the command of the first, and better principles than those of virtue (Dr. Johnson).

SAMUEL RICHARDSON.

153

TO THE RAMBLER.

ful perturbations, and hopes, and a few

lovers' fears, fill up the tedious space, till an Sir, When the Spectator was first pub- interview is granted: for the young lady had lished in single papers, it gave me so much not made herself cheap at public places. pleasure that it is one of the favourite The time of interview arrives. She is amusements of my age to recollect it; and modestly reserved; he is not confident. He when I reflect on the foibles of those times, declares his passion: the consciousness of as described in that useful work, and com- her own worth, and his application to her pare them with the vices now reigning aniong parents, take from her any doubt of his us, I cannot but wish that you would oftener sincerity, and she owns herself obliged to take cognizance of the manners of the bet- him for his good opinion. The inquiries of ter half of the human species, that if your her friends into his character have taught precepts and observations be carried down her that his good opinion deserves to be to posterity, the Spectators may shew to the valued. rising generation what were the fashionable She tacitly allows of his future visits; he follies of their grandmothers, the Rambler renews thein; the regard of each for the of their mothers, and that from both they other is confirmed; and when he presses for may draw instruction and warning. ... the favour of her hand, he receives a declara

In the time of the Spectator, excepting tion of an entire acquiescence with her duty, sometimes an appearance in the ring, some- and a modest acknowledgment of esteem for times at a good and chosen play, sometimes him. on a visit at the house of a grave relation, He applies to her parents, therefore, for a the young ladies contented themselves to be near day; and thinks himself under obligafound employed in domestic duties; for then tion to them for the cheerful and affectionate routs, drums, balls, assemblies, and such like manner in which they receive his agreeable markets for women, were not known.

application: Modesty and diffidence, gentleness and With this prospect of future happiness meekness, were looked upon as the appro- the marriage is celebrated. Gratulations priate virtues and characteristic graces of the pour in from every quarter. Parents and sex. And if a forward spirit pushed itself relations on both sides, brought acquainted into notice, it was exposed in print as it de- in the course of the courtship, can receive served.

the happy couple with countenances illuThe churches were almost the only places mined, and joyful hearts. where single women were to be seen by | The brothers, the sisters, the friends of strangers. Men went thither expecting to one family are the brothers, the sisters, the see them, and perhaps too much for that friends of the other. Their two families, only purpose. ...

thus made one, are the world to the young Every inquiry he made into the lady's couple. domestic excellence, which, when a wife is Their home is the place of their principal to be chosen, will surely not be neglected, delight, nor do they ever occasionally quit confirmed him in his choice. He opens his it but they find the pleasure of returning to heart to a common friend, and honestly dis-it augmented in proportion to the time of covers the state of his fortune. His friend their absence from it. applies to those of the young lady, whose Ah, Mr. Rambler! forgive the talkativeparents, if they approve his proposals, dis-ness of an old man! When I courted and close them to their daughter.

married my Lætitia, then a blooming beauty, She, perhaps, is not an absolute stranger every thing passed just so! But how is the to the passion of the young gentleman. Ilis case now? The ladies, maidens, wives, and eyes, his assiduities, his constant attendance widows are engrossed by places of open at a church whither, till of late, he used resort and general entertainment, which fill seldom to come, and a thousand little obsery every quarter of the metropolis, and being ances that he paid her, had very probably constantly frequented, make home irksome. first forced her to regard, and then inclined Breakfasting-places, dining-places; routs, her to favour him..

| drums, concerts, balls, plays, operas, masThat a young lady should be in love, and querades for the evening, and even for all the love of the young gentleman undeclared, night; and, lately, public sales of the goods is a heterodoxy which prudence, and even of broken housekeepers, which the general policy, must not allow. But thus applied to dissoluteness of manners has contributed to she is all resignation to her parents, Charm- make very frequent, come in as another ing resignation, which inclination opposes seasonable relief to those modern timenot.

killers. ... ler relations applaud her for her duty; Two thousand pounds in the last age, with friends meet; points are adjusted ; delight a domestic wife, would go farther than ten

« ForrigeFortsett »