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P: Schcemakers. *]
Henry Cheere. J
«. M. S>.
Illustration! of the Life and Errors ofDvsTOttf continued from p. 5l 5.
P. 592. A voider is a basket in which broken meat is carried from the table.
P. 594. The Bishop of was probably the Bp. of Ossory, Dr. John Hartstonge, who had been the Duke of Orni,mil's Chaplain.
P. 595. Of Dunmorehouse few vestiges remain at this day.
P. 601. "The most excellent Morals of Epictetus made English, in a poetical paraphrase by Ellis Walker" were published in 1692.
P. 601. A Dr. John Ellwood was afterwards Vice-Provost of Trinity College, Dublin.—Whether young Falstaff became Vice Provost, it would now be curious to investigate.—Bp. Warburton, it is well known, was fond of that character, and occasionally sported a speech from it.
P. 606.- Earthquake can move them.] This ingenious observation is taken from the "Trip to Ireland;" as are several others that follow, and are marked with commas.
P. 606. Swine and Poultry.-) "Being obliged to seek shelter during a violent shower, I retreated into a cabin, where the cocks and hens familiarly perched on my knees to be fed; I afterwards found the ducks, geese, and other poultry equally familiar throughout the whole country."—Twist's Tour in Ireland, 1775.
P. 607. Upwards of 3000 acres are occupied by the Curragh.—It is, says Dr. Beaufort, in his memoir of the Map of Ireland, generally allowed to exceed the English race-ground in elasticity of turf, and in characteristic beauty.
P. 613. Then to proceed. Here Dun
ton begins to quote plentifully from the "Trip to Ireland."
P.613. "Theclimateoflrelandis more moist than that of any other part of Europe; it generally rains four or five days in the week for a few hours at a time ; thus rainbows are seen almost daily." 7'wiss.
P. 615. A late Author.] The author alluded to by Dunton, and whose account of the people of Ireland he has in many places adopted in his own, was either afraid or ashamed to put his name to his caricature account of the country: he calls it A Trip to Ireland, which he wrote for the express purpose of vilifying the people; for in the preface to the same, he says, that the people of Ireland have the cruelty of a Spanish inouuitor, tbe letcliery of an Italian, the levity of a Frenchuian, the cowardice of a Savoyard, the perfidiousness of a Scotchman, the ignorance of a Muscovite, the rebellious; temper of a Dutchman, and the pride of themselves. Now what could be expected from such a prejudiced writer? Exactly tbe description he has given; which is one unvaried tissue of ignorance and impudence, and which seems to have originated from the publication of Dr. Mulyneiix's " Case of Ireland," the year before, in which, says our tripping author, " tbe Doctor hat insinuated that Ireland was independent on England, though reduced by force of arms to acknowledge her conquest!" This was the lethalis arundo, which struck and festered in the side of England, till it w,as drawn out by the Union.—The Trip lo Ireland was printed in 1699, «itlimit the name of place or printer.
P. 616. They are so lazy.] Their la. ziness, says Sir William Petty, seems to proceed rather from want of employment, and encouragement to work, than from the constitution of their bodies.—Ireland has so great plenty of natural commodities, that a man by two days hard labour can get enough to maintain him a week; this is, says Mr. Granger, perhaps the reason of the laziness of the people.
P. 616. Howling.] "Here," says Twiss, in his impudent account of Irelard, " 1 first heard the Irish howl, which was made by the bellowing of a herd of men, women, and children, who attended the burial of one of their fellows."—The custom of lamenting the dead is very ancient, and has been practised by Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans; among the latter, women, called PraJica were hired to lament and sing tbe funeral song, or tbe praises of the deceased. This is a custom of which a gentleman and a scholar should not have been ignorant.
P. 61C. Lamentations.} The praises lavished upon the dead amongst the; ancient Romans were often so unmerited and frivolous, that the word nug<et which signifies trifles, is put for ncenia, the funeral dirge.
P. 617. Vengeance.'] "Ireland, at present the land of Ire, or Heaven's wrath." Trip to Ireland. — What does Churchill say of National reflections? What every unprejudiced man says, 'that they are always illiberal and unjust:'
"Long from a country ever hardly used, At random censur'd, and by most abused; Have Britons drawn their sport with no
kind view, •
And judg'd the many by the rascal few!"
P. 617. Ingenious Author.] Rather he should have said, " whose lying, impudent Author.'.'
P. .622. Bird talking. I never read nor heard of an instance of the Robin Red-breast speaking, before this one of our author.
P. 623. College of Dublin] "They have but one College here; but yet it bears the title of an University, like a certain Peer in the same kingdom, who has the sonorous title of an Earl of ten worlds (Desmond), when his Lordship has scarce a foot of land; and I think it well deserves the name of University, if universal ignorance, pride, and poverty, which have taken lodgings here, may deserve the name."—Trip to Ireland. —The name of Usher, who was bred in Dublin College, should have even then saved it from such a flippant stupid aspersion.
P. 624. The Countess of Bath was probably the widow of Henry Boureliier Earl of Bath, who died s. p. In 1654. There is half a shelf in Trinity College library, occupied by Blair's Geography, in 24 vols, folio, which are said to have been given hy the aforesaid Lady. Besides these books having the Earl of Bath's arms on them, there are several others scattered up and down, in several parts of the Library, with the same arms. .
P. 625. 30007.] In the "Trip to Ireland," the author says, "The Irish Parliament is contriving ways and means for a Library for them, which some think will be built about the time as the students who are designed to make use of it shall arrive to the knowledge requisite for such studies—and that is never." This saucy observation would scarcely have been omitted by Dunton, had be not been sensible how unfounded it was.—What would the author have said had he lived to see erected one of the ftnesl Libraries in Europe?
P., 627. Dr Ashe.] A Sermon was
preached Jan. 9, 1693-4, "heingthefirst secular day since its foundation hy Queen Elizabeth; published by (he Lord Justice's command; printed by Joseph Ray, in College-green, for William Norman, Bookseller, in Damestreet, Dublin, 1694."
P. 631. Lazy-hill.] The ground from the lower part of Lazer's-Hill to Ring's End has been recovered from the sea; it was called in that year Lazy-hill in the Journals of the House of Commons.
P. 632. Thomas Quin was Lord Mayor in 1698.
P. 697. Dr. Samuel Annesley, a celebrafed Nonconformist, was first cousin to the Earl of Anglesey.' The Doctor was a man of great learning and piety. The gross irreligion of the Royal party in the time of the Civil War attached him (as it did many other good men, who lamented those unhappy discordsj to the side of the Parliament. He was one of the Preachers at Whitehall. But. after the death of the King, he would have nothing to do with those in power, applying himself solely to his pastoral charge. He was ejected from the Vicarage of St. Giles, Cripplegate, in 1662. Several excellent Tracts were written by him: among which a Sermon on Universal Conscientiousness has been deservedly esteemed.—His youngest daughter, the wife of Mr. Samuel Wesley, was remarkable, not only for the graces of her own sex, but also for the wisdom and fortitude of the other. She was indeed a help meet for her pious and laborious husband. She bore him 19 children: and though she charged herself with the early education of them all, and was most of the time in very straitened circumstances, yet several of her Letters abundantly prove that she did not neglect the improvement of her mind. See an account of her death (which happened July 30, 1742,) by ber son, the Rev. John Wesley, in Coke's Life of Wesley, p. 240. The death of her husband, in April 1735, is described in the same Volume by his son Charles'.
P. 757- Mr. Samuel Wesley was a man of considerable learning and great ingenuity. He was also of eminent usefulness as the minister of a large parish, the inhabitants of which in general neither feared God nor regarded man when he came to reside among them. His Paraphrase of the Book of Job incontestably proves the extent and depth of his erudition *.' He wrote also many things in verse, "With Vida's piety, though not his fire,"
* Mr. Pope, in a letter to Dean Swift, in which he requests the Dean to get subscriptions for that work, observes,
"I call as his eldest son remarks. His poetry indeed is not generally admired. Yet there is one performance wliich abundantly compensated for all those in which he failed—Lis Translation of Eupulis's " Hymn to the Creator."
Dr. Sacheverell's famous Speech before the House of Lords, in the reign of Queen Anne, was composed by Mr. Samuel Wesley, as his son John informs us in his "History of England." Caradoc.
Mr. UnBAN, Melksham,June 15.
IF the following reflections upon the danger to which authors, in this age of the world, are perpetually exposed, of unconsciously using the same ideas or sentiments which their predecessors had previously declared, contribute to the amusement of any of your readers, or be deemed worthy a place in your Miscellany, they are at your service.
Yours, &c. E. P.
On Literary Similitudes.
It has been said of Shakspeare, and justly, that he rose at once to the top of his profession — that he established in his own writings an sera more splendid than any which has succeeded it. The same, with equal truth, has been remarked of Homer, and may, perhaps, with similar propriety, be affirmed of two or three others, both in the various departments of science and in elegant literature. By far the greater part, however, of all ages and nations, who have first struck out a path in subjects before unknown and untried, (.including men of original minds, and habits of deep thinking) have merely formed the general outlines of the respective spheres in which they have lucubrated: they have done little more than removed the surface of that ground under which deep mines ■were hereafter to be successfully explored; and drawn premises, which were soon to be enlarged and diversified by the active zeal of their posterity.
The infant efforts of the Muse, gaining strength through years, have at length been taught to speak a lan
"I call bim what he is, a learned man,
and I engage you will approve his prose,
more than formerly you did his poetry."
Gest. Mao Suppi. LXXXVHF. Part I.
guage of energy and of sentimcntwholly unknown to our ancestors; whilst every species of our prose composition, ripened to a depth and expression at once speaking to the imagination, and to the judgment, has shewn that by experience alone is man brought to comprehend in the productions of his genius every thing that ran delight, instruct, or reform its species.
It is, perhaps, fortunate for socieiy, that such islhegeneral orderof mental improvement or skill. If the thousand springs from which flow the varied pleasures of literary recreation had been at once opened and explored, posterity would have been deprived of that grand stimulant to mental exeition—'the anticipated pleasure of some new discovery, or of placing in a varied or more imposing aspect those sentiments which genius and re» flection have inspired.' But although it be admitted that speculation of every possible description has gathered strength with age, it will at the same time he remembered, that the opportunities of shining in purely native and original colours are diminished with every returning sun, and are incomparably less at an advanced period of national refinement and intellectual growth than at its commencement.
When, taking a wide survey of the literature of ail ages, we review the innumerable theories, t h c ace u inula led thought, and the various and diversified controversies, which have distinguished the world, and engrossed the labours and faculties of men from the earliest records of intellectual history! whilst contemplating the infinite combinations of ideas and of similitudes, in almost every possible shape, which accumulated and protracted criticism presents in all 'the different subjects of human attainment which can strike the eye or till the imagination)—confident must be the mind who will, without hesitation, lay claim to originality! The well-known aphorism of a celebrated character of antiquity —that all his knowledge only enabled him to perceive that he knew nothing —may serve at least to shew that a species of modesty, cautious of too highly appreciating individual attainments, is generally characteristic of the greatest miud. This modesty or
caution caution may, two and twenty centuries afterwards, be applied to the man of deep reflection, well read in the ancients, and alike extensively conversant with the literature of modern ages: living in an advanced period of human ingenuity and skill, he thinks it more than possible that nil the numerous suggestions which rise in pictured variety on his fancy, may have occurred to other minds, and been the ohjecls of previous contemplation and deliberate inquiry in multiplied instances.
Not, then, the novice only (if there be any reality or grounds for the fears of authors), whose short career has scarcely familiarized him with the most prominent stars of the literary hemisphere; but the veteran, long inured to habits of intellectual pursuit, and grown old amidst the laurels of Parnassus, whose reiterated experience teaches him to avoid the beaten tracks of a thousand travellers -—must share the difficulty which will accompany a search after absolute Original invention.
The difficulty here pointed at, as necessarily occurring in an advanced state of literature, has been seen and acknowledged by various writers, eminent for their discrimination and judgment.—" We are come into the world," exclaims Le Bruyere, "too late to produce any thiug new; nature and life are pre-occupied, description and sentiment have been long exhausted. Johnson, an authority of distinguished weight, speaks the same sentiments—" A writer," says he, " in this age of the world can scarcely expect to produce novelty f if a just or a.beautiful thought chance to escape him, he will most probably find it has in some shape been announced to the world long before: if, therefore, his sentiment be of genuine and real worth, he must expect it to have been pre-occupied, and by this test he may judge of its lustre or importance." It was likewise a remark of Mr. Addiion, that, whenever he had been speculating, it was his method to consider which of the ancient authors had treated upon the same subject—" in the chance," says he, "of meeting with some celebrated thought upon it, or a thought of my own hotter expressed, or some similitude for the illustration of my subject." If, as it would appear, Addison was,
a century ago, impressed with the idea that many of his conceptions were both anticipated and illustrated in a happier manner by writers of former times; how much more may it now be said that ideas have been pre-occupied by modern investigators.' How much, in the interval which has since elapsed, have the difficulties of striking into paths entirely new been augmented! The past century comprehends a portion of time in which genius and the arts, both in our own country and those of our Continental neighbours, in their various departments have risen to very distinguished eminence,—an eminence before unprecedented: — never before was there a period, perhaps, of equal extent, in which science and polite learning in their various branches have been so widely disseminated, or so successfully prosecuted. These considerations — considerations which must of necessity strike every reflecting mind with an impression unfavourable to the real and genuine production of novelty, could not have operated in the infancy of intellectual attainments, or even at the first revival of letters in Europe.
It is true that within the limits of possibility an illimitable scope for speculation may be said to be comprehended. The whole material world may have been ransacked — its productions may at various times have been made the basis of description — objects which come within the range of our grosser senses, may all previously have been appropriated — hut here a held of boundless extent opens to the view—things as they certainly exist, or which, lor any thing we know, may exist, may flow in ten thousand different shapes from the pen, and at the call of genius. Absolute originality, however, in this last case, can only be pronounced, with any degree of certitude or propriety, after a minute survey has heen taken of the whole literary empire in order to be assured that the same ideas, under any shape, have not previously been declared — a task, in its veryprospect or contemplation as appalling to the mind, as in its performance it would he impossible.
These considerations may he thought, in a certain degree, to extenuate the conduct of writers against wholn the charge of plagiarism has, sometimes, perhaps unjustly, been brought. brought. Clothed in a new dress, although their ideas arc apparently to be traced to former archetypes, such wrileTs may by no means have been aware of their infringement uptwi the property of others. Pope, as is well known to the readers of English criticism, has laboured under the heavy accusations of Dr. Warton for having drawn so freely, without acknowledgment, on the productions of anterior writers;—his rigid and unsparing commentator seems occasionally to consider him merely as the tool for polishing things of which the genius of others had presented him with the first rude sketch. With all allowances, however, for the too great facility with which he appropriated the matter of previous lucubralors, is he the only individual who stands chargeable with thus profiting from the advanced state of the literary world in which he lived? Would it be doing outrage to truth, or to their memory to say, that Dryden, Addison, Cowley, even Spenser (whose boasted originality and faculty of invention have contributed, in the estimation of most critics, to place him among the Shakespears and the Miltons), together with others of more modern notoriety,— owe much to their predecessors? If their respective worUs were examined and collated with sufficient care; were hypercriticism to point ber weapons of criticism against these authors, much doubtless, that now appears the result of their own creative intellect, would be found to owe an equal origin to extrinsic assistance. The undertaking, however, would be too arduous, and, even if abundantly successful, such as would but ill repay the generous mind ; who, content with admiring and appreciating their various beauties, would never trouble itself concerning the precise source from whence they flow. Our minds, as may be gathered from experience, as well as from metaphysical authorities, are by nature uninformed, though endowed, oftentimes, with extensive capacities: as they advance towards maturity they imperceptibly imbibe, through a thousand different channels, the principles of knowledge, which we digest, assimilate, and in a degree make our own. These ideas are, at length, so naturalized by time that we forget the archetypes from whence we derived them, and, un
grateful to our masters, ascribe solely to our own powers, what we have only delivered with accumulated force. When, however, on the other hand, the same theories, the same ideas, or the same mode of expression are found to occur in authors between whose existence many centuries have elapsed, it may often rationally be concluded that the existence of the last does actually imply an ignorance of the first; but were it not always so, the charge of plagiarism ought to he cautiously bestowed upon a writer for having borrowed from the observation or the invention of another, provided the idea borrowed be illustrated or diversified. "There is" (as has been justly and pertinently remarked) "a common stock of images, a settled mode of arrangement, and a beaten track of transition which all suppose themselves at liberty to use—which produces that resemblance which is oftentimes observable in authors:"— "and the writer" (as the same authority further observes) " who imitate) his predecessors only by furnishing himself with thoughts and elegancies out of the same magazine of literature, can with little more propriety be reproached as a plagiary, than the architect can be censured as a mean copyist of Angelo or Wren, because he digs his marble from the same quarry, squares his stones by the same arts, and unites them in columns of the same order." After the illustrious succession of writers, endowed by nature with comprehensive mind*, possessing alike the means and the capacity for accurate and extensive observation; the sphere of the modern investigator would indeed be narrowed were he denied these privileges. If, therefore, it may he assumed, few subjects remain which have not, in some shape or another, attracted the notice of prior inquisitors; if few ideas can strike the mind which fiave not already occurred to some understandings, it does not by any means imply that an author is no longer capable of conveying fresh accessions of delight to the mind of his reader; although, from the protracted state of human attainments, and of human discovery, a liability is often involved of imbibing the same ideas, and disseminating the same principles.
The sentiments of the elegant Dr.
Young may here be appropriately
■ • .' cited: