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And haply rescu'd from the abyss of time
Some precious relics of the Grecian muse,
Which else had perish'd : these were pleasing toils,
For these some learned men, who knew how deep
I delv’d to fetch them up, have giv'n me praise,
And I am largely paid; of this po court,
No craft can rob me, and I boldly trust
The treasure will not perish at my

death." An opportunity, so fairly presented, of commenting on the advantages of literary pursuits, is not lost on Mr. M., who continues the subject in prose, offering remarks which are at once pertinent and well expressed:

“ One part of the preceding extract (that where he commemorates the many hours of upalloyed happiness which he derived from bis books) will be read by every literary man with a plı asing conscious ness of its truth. How few reflections upon the employment of time, indeed, can equal those which a scholar feels when he retraces in his imagination the hours he has devoted to voluntary and secluded study! The remembrance of past actions, on which virtue has fixed her approving stamp, may equal

, but certainly cannot surpass thein. In a mind tinctured with the love of knowledge, every pleasing idea is as sociated, as it contemplates those moments of placid enjoyment when instruction was silently insinuating itself, and when every day opened new stores of intellectual wealth, which the eager pripil of wisdom panted to possess. Inanimate objects become connected with our progress, and we remember, with delight, the shady walk, the silent grove, or the beauteous landscape, where we first opened some favourite volume, or first dwelt upon some matchless effusion of the muse still cherished by the memory. These are emotions familiar to the bosom of every student, and they are such as ever come with welcome, for they revive the recollection of a period which is endeared to him by the most pleasing images of past felicity. Our advancement in knowledge, or our completion of what we wish to know, is attended by few of those gay and inspiriting sensations which accompany our initiation, when all before us is new and untried, and hope promises, with flattering delusion, all that we wish, and more than we find.

“ Books are companions wbich accommodate themselves, with unreproaching willingness, to all our humours. If we are jocund, or if we are sad, if we are studious to learn, or desirous only to be amused, he that has a relish for reading, will find the ready means of supplying all his intellectual wants in the silence of his library. They are friends whom no estimation can overvalue; they are always at our call, and ready to offer their aid and consolation; nor need we overstrain our desires by courtesy, for the moment they cease to be wele me we may dismiss them from our society without fear of reproach or offence. Of what other friends can we say as much ?”

Having been led, in the course of this critical narrative, to notice the appearance of Cumberland's comedy of the Walloons, in 1782, in which the character of Father Sullivan was written for Henderson, Mr. Mudford takes occasion to reprobate the practice current among dramatic writers, of drawing characters for particular actors. In the succeeding chapter, he speaks, and properly, with greater displeasure, of a hint thrown out in one of the papers of Mr. C.'s Observer, viz. that “the right of publishing parliamentary debates is replete with mischief.” Mr. M. combats this idea with the boldness of a true constitutionalist :

“ In my opinion, whenever the day comes that the British legislature deliberates with closed doors, that day will be the signal for the extinction of British liberty. The great moral engine of public opinion, that tribunal to which every public man should be amenable, will be destroyed, and on its ruins will be erected a mysterious tyranny which will bow down the necks of my countrymen to the dust, without, perhaps, perpetrating any overt act of despotism flagrant enough to rouse them to resistance. The most dangerous, indeed, of all attacks on freedom, are those which imperceptibly sap its foundations; where nothing is seen to fall till the last support is silently undermined, and the whole fabric rushes to justantaneous destruction.”

Of all Mr. C.'s publications, the Observer has been, and will, perhaps, continue to be, most read and approved. We, therefore, select some parts of Mr. Mudford's criticisms on that work, as interesting exemplifications of his reviewing powers:

“ Johnson produced his Ramblers with very little assistance from contemporary wits; but Cumberland wrote his Observer without any. The different powers of the two writers, however, may be easily ascertained from a very slight inspection of their topics. Johnson drew solely from the stores his own mind. His imagination quickened into perpetual growth objects of discussion; he seized upoo an ordinary subject, and by the energy of his language, the richness of his fancy, the fertility of his allusions, and, above all, by the deep insight into human nature which he possessed, he so decorated and enforced it, that had novelty lent her aid, she could scarcely have added another attraction. He derived little help from books, and seldom extended his essays by quotation. They were short, also, and it did not often happen that the topic was pursued through successive numbers, for the quickness of his invention was such that he seldom needed to protract a disquisition by a lauguid iteration of ideas. His Rambler consists of two hundred and eight papers, and he discharges all the favours he received by the ackuowledgement of six out of this number.

6 Cumberland's Observer contains as great, if not a greater, quantity of matter, and it comprises only one hundred and fifty-two papers. of these more than one third is compiled from other books. They consist of critical researches into ancient writers, accompanied with copious extracts; of brief accouots of philosophers and poeis, derived from sources familiar to the learned; and of historical relations which require little other labour than that of writing down the facts retained in the memory. Those papers which are original are expanded iuto unusual copiousness, and are sometimes pursued through several successive essays. They were written, too, at distant lotervals of time, while Johuson's were produced by the necessity of stated and periodieal labour within the space of two years.

“ From this comparison, (honourable, indeed, to Cumberland, for with him alone can it be made, all our other essayists having been associated together in their respective labours,) two conclusions may be inferred; one, that Johnson possessed an extraordinary rapidity of conception, accompanied with a rapidity of execution as extraordinary: the other, that Cumberland, though he had, perhaps, no less rapidity of execution than Johnson, was far beneath him in that intellectual fruitfulness by which topics are not only elicited, but afterwards pursued and embellished with all the brightest oroaments of fancy, or enforced with all the weightiest arguments of reason.

“ The most conspicuous part of these papers, and that which Cumberland seems to have regarded as his happiest effort, is the inquiry instituted into the history of the Greek writers, particularly of the comic poets now lost. I am vain enough,' says he, to believe no such collection of the scattered extracts, anecdotes, and remains of those dramatists is any where else to be found;' and in another part of bis Memoirs he quotes, with manifest exultation, the following panegyric from the pen of Mr. Walpole, of Triuity College, Cambridge:

" Aliunde quoque haud exiguum ornamentum huic volumini accessit, siquidem Cumberlan lius nostras amicè benevolèque permisit, ut verşiones suas quorundam fragmentorum, exquisitas sane illas, mirâque elegantiâ conditas et commendatas huc transferrem.'

" In writing these erudite papers, he was greatly assisted by the marginal annotations upon the authors by his grandfather Bentley, some of whose books he received from his uncle, (Dr. Richard Bentley,) and among them many of the writers whose works he afterwards illustrated in the Observer. That these essays, indeed, deserve every praise which so much diligence, learning, and skilful criticism can obtain, I will not deny; but they will oftener be commended than read.

“ It is deemed unlucky to stumble on the threshold, hut Cumberland has done so. I do not believe, indeed, that it would be possible to produce, from any writer of the last century, a paragraph so feebly involved as that with which the first number of the Observer com

The reader wanders through it as in a maze; he finds himself at the end, at last, but wonders how he came there; he attempts to look back and disentangle the path he pursued, and beholds ouły inextricable confusion. I know nothiog that resembles this initial


paragraph, except it be some of the prolixly concatenated sentences of Gauden; but his involutions are amply redeemed by a richness of imagination which 'scatters the brightest flowers over the palpable confusion.

“ The purport of his undertaking was, as he informs us, “ to tell his readers what he had observed of men and books in the most amusing manner he was able.” This, indeed, was an unambitious claim, and to which, I think, he established a sufficient right in the progress of his labours."

“ If the Observer be considered as a body of Essays, upon life, upon manners, and upon literature, it will shrink in comparison with those produced by Steele, by Addison, and by Johoson. Cumberland was capable of injagining characters; but he does not seem to have had much power of observing those qualities in individuals of which character is compounded. That which was obtrusively visible in a man, he could seize and portray; but the less obvious modes of thought, the secret bias, the prevailing but obscure motives to conduct, were seldom within' his reach. He could invent, and give the invention am air of reality ; upon a slender basis of truth he could engraft an agreeable fiction, in which, however, the traces of- faucy would still be so discervible that the reader never mistook them.

" In this respect, therefore, he was greatly inferior to either Steele, Addison, or Johnson. They had a quick perception of the follies of mankind, and exhibited, without exaggeration, such a picture of them as “pone could mistake, and pone could view without conviction of its truth. They looked abroad upon lise,' and observed all its various combinations: they studied man, and knew tire artifices by which his conduct was obscured. They penetrated through that veil which necessity sometimes, and custom always, impels us to throw round our actions, and they disclosed those hidden qualities which escape the 10tice of ordinary observation, but which are recognized with instantaneous #cquiescence when displayed.

“ The want of this power in Cumberland is greatly felt by him who reads his essays consecutively; for, being restricted in the limits of his excursions, by inability to avail himself of what wider research would have offered, he is too diffuse upoa single incidents and characters, as a man who has not many guiucas applies one to its uimost variety of purposes.

" In his literary disquisitions, though always inferior to Johnson as a critic, he is often very pleasing, and often equal to Addison. His learning, perhaps, sometimes degenerates into pedantry, but he who is rich is apt to display his wealth. His critical papers are among the most amusing, and he has instituted an ingenious comparison be. tween Massinger's Fatal Dowry and Rowe's Fair Penitent, in which the brief opinions of Mr. M. Masou (Massinger's editor) are enforced by examples pertinently selected. I wish, however, that his admiration of Cowper had not excited him to aa imitation of that nervous and original writer.

“ In his characters he sometimes exhibited living individuals. I have already alluded to his introduction of Johoson; and in the same

VOL. IV. New Series. 48

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number, I imagine his actress to be Mrs. Siddons. Gorgon, the selfconceited painter of the deformed and terrible, (No 98.) was probably meant for Fuseli : but if so, there is more willingness to wound than power.

There is nothing in these papers by which the most delicate reader can be displeased, which is a praise that cannot be wholly given either to the Spectator or Guardian, whose zeal to reform certain exposures of the female person often led them to illustrations not exactly within the limits of deceney: This commendation I bestow the more willingly upon Cumberland, because the practice of such decorum was not habitual in bim, for in some of his writings he only needed to employ a corresponding licentiousuess of expression to rank with the corrupters of public morals."

We shall not quote this writer's strictures on the Society for the Suppression of Vice, at p. 450. et seq. : but we recommend them to the consideration of its zealous members.

A arge portion of these pages is dedicated to the drama ; and the author will not be said to have gone out of his way by animadverting on the extreme folly of the town in its idolatry of the talents of Master Betty. At the zenith of his popularity, we endeavoured to correct this mania, by suggesting the impossibility of those perfections which the public voice attributed to that youth, and has itself since refused to recognize.

Of the novels of his bero, Mr. M. speaks in terms of moral disapprobation; and of his scheme to establish a Review, with no applause. The following is his short account of Mr. C.'s death and character.

“ Cumberland's death was not preceded by any tedious or painful illness. The uniform temperance of his life was such that he might justly hope a calm and gentle dismission to another state; that euthanasia for which Arbuthnot so, tenderly sigheil, for which every man must devoutly wish, and which, indeed, as I have heard, was vouchsafed to Cumberland. He was iudisposed only a few days previously, and quietly resigned his soul to its Maker at the house of his friend, Mr. Henry Fry, in Bedford Place, Russel Square, a gentleman whom he mentions with great kindness in bis Memoirs. This melancholy event took place on the 7th of May, 1811.

“ When his death was known, it excited a very general sensation in the literary world. He had, indeed, lived through so long a period, had written so much, bad acquired so general a reputation as an elegant scholar and author, and had been connected so intimately with the most eminent men of the last half century, that his loss seemed to dissever from us the only remaining link of that illustrious circle by which the individuals who composed it were still held to us.

“ He was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 14th of May. His remains were interred in Poet's Corner, near the shrine of his friend Garrick. The funeral was attended by a numerous procession, which

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