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dancing, and prose upon the origin of evil; yet he was a very indifferent metaphysician, and a worse dancer: ill-nature and personality, with the single exception of his lines upon Johnson, I never heard fall from his lips: Those lines I have forgotten, though I believe I was the first person to whom he recited them; they were very bad, but he had been told that Johnson ridiculed his metaphysics, and some of us had just then been making extemporary epitaphs upon each other. Though his wit was harmless, yet the general cast of it was ironical; there was a terseness in his repartees, that had a play of words as well as of thought; as, when speaking of the difference between laying out money upon land, or purchasing into the funds, he said, 'One was principal without interest, and the other interest without principal.' Certain it is he had a brevity of expression, that never hung upon the ear, and you felt the point in the very moment that he made the push." —pp. 247–249.

Of Goldsmith he says,

"That he was fantastically and whimsically vain, all the world knows; but there was no malice in his heart. He was tenacious to a ridiculous extreme of certain pretensions that did not, and by nature could not, belong to him, and at the same time he was inexcusably careless of the fame which he had powers to command. What foibles he had he took no pains to conceal; and the good qualities of his heart were too frequently obscured by the carelessness of his conduct, and the frivolity of his manners. Sir Joshua Reynolds was very good to him, and would have drilled him into better trim and order for society, if he would have been amenable; for Reynolds was a perfect gentleman, had good sense, great propriety, with all the social attributes, and all the graces of hospitality, equal to any man.

"Distress drove Goldsmith upon undertakings neither congenial with his studies nor worthy of his talents. I remember him, when in his chambers in the Temple, he shewed me the beginning of his Animated Nature; it was with a sigh, such as genius draws, when hard necessity diverts it from its bent to drudge for bread, and talk of birds and beasts and creeping things, which Pidcock's showman would have done as well. Poor fellow, he hardly knew an ass from a mule, nor a turkey from a goose, but when he saw it on the table."—pp. 257 -259.

"I have heard Dr. Johnson relate with infinite humour the circumstance of his rescuing Goldsmith from a ridiculous dilemma, by the purchase-money of his Vicar of Wakefield, which he sold on his behalf to Dodsley, and, as I think, for the sum of ten pounds only. He had run up a debt with his landlady, for board and lodging, of some few pounds, and was at his wits end how to wipe off the score, and keep a roof over his head, except by closing with a very staggering proposal on her part, and taking his creditor to wife, whose charms were very far from alluring, whilst her demands were extremely urgent. In this crisis of his fate he was found by Johnson, in the act of meditating on the melancholy alternative before him. He shewed Johnson his manuscript of the Vicar of Wakefield, but seemed to be without



any plan, or even hope, of raising money upon the disposal of it; when Johnson cast his eye upon it, he discovered something that gave him hope, and immediately took it to Dodsley, who paid down the price above mentioned in ready money, and added an eventual condition upon its future sale. Johnson described the precautions he took in concealing the amount of the sum he had in hand, which he prudently administered to him by a guinea at a time. In the event he paid off the landlady's score, and redeemed the person of his friend from her embraces."―p. 273.

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We will pronounce no general judgment on the literary merits of Mr. Cumberland; but our opinion of them certainly has not been raised by the perusal of these memoirs. There is no depth of thought, nor dignity of sentiment about him; he is too frisky for an old man, and too gossipping for an historian. His style is too negligent even for the most familiar composition; and though he has proved himself, upon other occasions, to be a great master of good English, he has admitted a number of phrases into this work, which, we are inclined to think, would scarcely pass current even in conversation. “I declare to truth"-" with the greatest pleasure in life" "she would lead off in her best manner," &c. are expressions which we should not expect to hear in the society to which Mr. Cumberland belongs;-"laid," for lay, is still more insufferable from the antagonist of Lowth and the descendant of Bentley;-"querulential" strikes our ear as exotic;-"locate, location, and locality," for situation simply, seem also to be bad; and "intuition" for observation sounds very pedantic, to say the least of it. Upon the whole, however, this volume is not the work of an ordinary writer; and we should probably have been more indulgent to its faults, if the excellence of some of the author's former productions had not sent us to its perusal with expectations perhaps somewhat extravagant.



(JULY, 1803.)

The Works of the Right Honourable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Including her Correspondence, Poems, and Essays. Published by permission, from her Original Papers. 5 vols. 8vo. London: 1803.

THESE volumes are so very entertaining that we ran them all through immediately upon their coming into our possession; and at the same time contain so little that is either difficult or profound, that we may venture to give some account of them to our readers without farther deliberation.

The only thing that disappointed us was the memoir of the writer's life, prefixed by the editor to her correspondence. In point of composition it is very tame and inelegant; and rather excites than gratifies the curiosity of the reader, by the imperfect manner in which the facts are narrated. As the letters themselves, however, are arranged in a chronological order, and commonly contain very distinct notices of the writer's situation at their dates, we shall be enabled, by our extracts from them, to give a pretty clear idea of her Ladyship's life and adventures, with very little assistance from the meagre narrative of Mr. Dallaway.

Lady Mary Pierrepoint, eldest daughter of the Duke of Kingston, was born in 1690; and gave, in her early youth, such indications of a studious disposition, that she was initiated into the rudiments of the learned lan

guages along with her brother. Her first years appear to have been spent in retirement; and yet the very first series of letters with which we are presented, indicates a great deal of that talent for ridicule, and power of observation, by which she afterwards became so famous, and so formidable. These letters (about a dozen in number) are addressed to Mrs. Wortley, the mother of her future husband; and, along with a good


deal of girlish flattery and affectation, display such a degree of easy humour and sound penetration, as is not often to be met with in a damsel of nineteen, even in this age of precocity. The following letter, in 1709, is written upon the misbehaviour of one of her female favourites.


"My knight errantry is at an end; and I believe I shall henceforward think freeing of galley-slaves and knocking down windmills, more laudable undertakings than the defence of any woman's reputation whatever. To say truth, I have never had any great esteem for the generality of the fair sex; and my only consolation for being of that gender, has been the assurance it gave me of never being married to any one among them! But I own, at present, I am so much out of humour with the actions of Lady H ***, that I never was so heartily ashamed of my petticoats before. My only refuge is, the sincere hope that she is out of her senses; and taking herself for the Queen of Sheba, and Mr. Mildmay for King Solomon, I do not think it quite so ridiculous: But the men, you may well imagine, are not so charitable; and they agree in the kind reflection, that nothing hinders women from playing the fool, but not having it in their power."-Vol. i. pp. 180, 181.

In the course of this correspondence with the mother, Lady Mary appears to have conceived a very favourable opinion of the son; and the next series of letters contains her antenuptial correspondence with that gentleman, from 1710 to 1712. Though this corrrespondence has interested and entertained us as much at least as any thing in the book, we are afraid that it will afford but little gratification to the common admirers of love letters. Her Ladyship, though endowed with a very lively imagination, seems not to have been very susceptible of . violent or tender emotions, and to have imbibed a very decided contempt for sentimental and romantic nonsense, at an age which is commonly more indulgent. There are no raptures nor ecstasies, therefore, in these letters; no flights of fondness, nor vows of constancy, nor upbraidings of capricious affection. To say the truth, her Ladyship acts a part in the correspondence that is not often allotted to a female performer. Mr. Wortley, though captivated by her beauty and her vivacity, seems evidently to have been a little alarmed at her love of distinction, her propensity to satire, and the apparent inconstancy of her attachments. Such a woman, he


was afraid, and not very unreasonably, would make rather an uneasy and extravagant companion to a man of plain understanding and moderate fortune; and he had sense enough to foresee, and generosity enough to explain to her, the risk to which their mutual happiness might be exposed by a rash and indissoluble union. Lady Mary, who probably saw her own character in a different light, and was at any rate biassed by her inclinations, appears to have addressed a great number of letters to him upon this occasion; and to have been at considerable pains to relieve him of his scruples, and restore his confidence in the substantial excellences of her character. These letters, which are written with a great deal of female spirit and masculine sense, impress us with a very favourable notion of the talents and dispositions of the writer; and as they exhibit her in a point of view altogether different from any in which she has hitherto been presented to the public, we shall venture upon a pretty long extract.


"I will state the case to you as plainly as I can, and then ask yourself if you use me well. I have showed, in every action of my life, an esteem for you, that at least challenges a grateful regard. I have even trusted my reputation in your hands; for I have made no scruple of giving you, under my own hand, an assurance of my friendship. After all this, I exact nothing from you: If you find it inconvenient for your affairs to take so small a fortune, I desire you to sacrifice nothing to me: I pretend no tie upon your honour; but, in recompence for so clear and so disinterested a proceeding, must I ever receive injuries and ill usage?

"Perhaps I have been indiscreet: I came young into the hurry of the world; a great innocence, and an undesigning gaiety, may possibly have been construed coquetry, and a desire of being followed, though never meant by me. I cannot answer for the observations that may be made on me. All who are malicious attack the careless and defenceless: I own myself to be both. I know not any thing I can say more to show my perfect desire of pleasing you, and making you easy, than to proffer to be confined with you in what manner you please. Would any woman but me renounce all the world for one? or would any man but you be insensible of such a proof of sincerity?”—Vol. i. pp. 208-210.

"One part of my character is not so good, nor t'other so bad, as you fancy it. Should we ever live together, you would be disappointed both ways; you would find an easy equality of temper you do not expect, and a thousand faults you do not imagine. You think, if you married me, I should be passionately fond of you one month, and of

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