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Pope, v. iv. p. 379. Irvine's Lives of Scotch Poets, v. i. p. 170. This book has been ascribed to Thomas Gordon; see Green's MS. Diary. was translated into French by M. Q. de Roissy, Paris, an 7, 8vo. and Beattie's Essays, p. 756, 4to.
P. 190. To the extract from M. Suard, made by the Quarterly Review, as quoted by Mr. Milman, on Gibbon's manners, I will add one by the same author on the impression made by Gibbon's person.
"Paris avait trop de séduction pour lui, et il parait qu'il avait aussi de sa personne une opinion assez avantageuse pour être persuadé que les seducteurs devaient le chercher. Un mari qui alla se coucher tranquillement en le laissant seul avec sa femme, lui parait un fou et un insolent; il prit cette securité pour une injure. Un coup d'oeil jété sur le portrait en décousure d' Edouard Gibbon, et fait par Madame Browne, prouve assez bien que les femmes ne le voyaient pas d'un autre œil que les maris. Cette caricature est si ingénieusement saisie, et si ressemblante qu'elle est un chef-d'œuvre dans le genre des portraits." "L'auteur de la grande et superbe Histoire de l'Empire Romain avait à peine quatre pieds sept à huit pouces, le tronc immense de son corps à gros ventre de Silène était
posé sur cette espèce de jambes grêles qu' on appelle flutes. Ses pieds assez en dedans pour que la pointe du droit pût embrasser souvent la pointe du gauche, étaient assez longs, et assez large pour servir de socle à une statue de cinq pieds six pouces. Au milieu de son visage, pas plus gros que le poing, la racine de son nez s'enfermait dans le crane plus profondement que celle du nez d'un Kalmuck; et ses yeux, très vifs mais très petits, se perdaient dans les mêmes profondeurs. Sa voix, que n'avait que des accens aigus, ne pouvoit avoir d'autre moyen d'arriver au coeur que de percer les oreilles. M. Suard, qui aimait si peu et a voir et a faire surtout des caricatures, peignait souvent M. Gibbon, et toujours comme Madame Brown."-v. Mem. de Suard, v. ii. p. 191.
P. 190. "Le M. de Mirabeau. Cet homme est singulier; il a assez d'imagination pour dix autres, et pas assez de sens rassis pour lui seul." The eccentric father of a more eccentric son. The father was a mixture of the political œconomist and the speculative reformer, the high aristocratic noble and the despotic master. His memoirs and letters have been published and translated, and present some curious family pictures.
P. 194. "Se trouve moyen de lire les lettres de Busbequius, &c." He was the son of Giles Ghislier, Lord of Boesbec in Flanders. He was employed as ambassador from Ferdinand the First to Solyman the Second. He added more than an hundred Greek manuscripts to the Imperial Library. He also brought the first lilac from Constantinople in 1562. See Matheola on Dioscorides. In the Catal. Bibl. Harl. No. 8788, "Ces lettres qui venaient d'un habile ministre, homme d'un grand sens, et d'un grande penetration, font connoitre l'etat de la cour de France sous Henri III. depuis 1570 jusque 1586. Il mourut l'an 1592, en retournant de France à Bruxelles, après avoir été éxtremement maltraité par un parti de la Ligue."-See Ed. Clarke's Travels, P. iii. vol. ii. p. 465.
P. 206. The unfavourable portrait of L. whom Gibbon met at Florence with Lord Palmerston, we suppose is that of the younger Lord Lyttelton. P. 218. "Mémoires Litéraires de la Grande Bretagne, 2 vols. 1768." Gibbon's own copy of this book is now on our table. We should think,
that besides the review of Lyttelton's history,* which Gibbon has owned, that also of Ferguson's History of Civil Society and Lardner's Récueil were by him; and in the second volume the review of Boswell's Corsica, the sly hits at Johnson, and the parallel between Milton and Paoli, must have received some amusing touches from his pen. The account of the spectacles and beaux arts is at this time not unentertaining: when the * On the accuracy of Gibbon's French style, see Class. Journal, No. xxii. p. 356, and No. xxviii. p. 356.
town was divided between Johnson's Irene, and the Agis of Douglas: when Aaron Hill's Merope and Alzira were in vogue; and Mr. Murphy's Orphan of China made a deep sensation : when in pictures the contest lay between Mr. Hayman and Mr. Penny, and a Mr. Dawes was a formidable rival to a Mr. Collet. We will transcribe an anecdote from the first
intercession que cette révocation et ce pardon ont lieu.' George I. sourit alors de l'art du ministre, qui, auteur du mal dont on se plaignait, derobait à son mâitre le merite de la réparation, et se tournant vers le prince de Galles-' Vous voyez, George,' lui dit-il, 'ce que vous avez à attendre un jour.'-Ce Roi donnâit un bel example."
George I. assistait à la réprésentation d'Henri VIII. tragédie de Shakspear. Henry VIII. ordonnant à sur ministre Wolsey d'envoyer des lettres circulaires d'indemnité dans les provinces où on aváit refuse de payer certains imposts fort onereux, le Cardinal dit bas à Cromwell, Les provinces sont irrités contre moi; faites publier, que c'est par notre P. 223. Of Warburton's Divine Legation, Sir J. Mackintosh says; It delighted me more than any book I had yet read: and which perhaps tainted my mind with a fondness for the twilight of historical hypothesis; but which certainly inspired me with that passion for investigating the history of opinions which has influenced my reading through life. The luminous theory of hieroglyphics, as a stage in the progress of society between picture writing and alphabetic characters, is perhaps the only addition made to the stock of knowledge in this extraordinary work."-v. Life, i. p. 10. There was an answer to it, among others, by a Rev. T. Bell, whose strictures on the quotations from the ancients are deserving of notice, as illustrating how much may be achieved by slight alterations and omissions in the text of an author who is not in every one's hands.-See Russell's Con. of Sacr. and Prof. History, vol. iii p. 537.
P. 236. To Mr. Milman's quotations from Colman's Random Records, on Gibbon, add the following from Sismondi's Travels in Switzerland, vol. i. p. 280. "Gibbon has not left here a pleasing remembrance of himself. Whimsically particular about his hours, very selfish, disgusting in his appearance. An English traveller published an account of him and his mode of life, absurd and offensive; yet a gross mistake he had committed, was so gratifying to Gibbon, that he forgave all the rest. He said that the historian rode on horseback every morning!"
P. 248. From the correspondence of Mr. Whitaker, as given here, if we turn to his book, we find it written with great coarseness and vulgarity; but containing many critical observations and censures of importance. one instance, however," the woodcock is caught in his own springe." * We will give the passage, as it gave rise to the blunder of more than one scholar:- "Mr. Gibbon speaks of that asserted repetition of Archimedes' burning-glasses by Proclus in these terms' a machine was fixed on the walls of the city consisting of an hexagon mirror of polished brass.' And the note annexed tells us that Tzetzes describes the artifice of these glasses. Mr. Gibbon therefore refers to Tzetzes for his account of them; but an unlucky blunder in his real author detects his delusive reference to the nominal one. The words of Tzetzes are these
‘Ως Μαρκελλος δ' απέστησε βολην εκείνας τοξου
which translated runs thus :
* We have never seen Mr. Milman's edition of Gibbon's History, therefore do not know if he has observed Whitaker's mistake: if he has, we resign to him the credit of the discovery with pleasure.
When Marcellus removed the ships a bow-shot off,
Old Archimedes actually brought out a mirror and fixed it.
But where is this mirror said to be, as Mr. Gibbon denominates it, an hexagon? in these very lines, as Mr. Gibbon renders them, the word εξαγων, he considers as εξαγωνοs, and the production of the mirror he interprets into the sexangular nature of it. Nor is this all. The blunder is not his own; he derives it from the hand of another, Buffon, v. Dutens' "Discoveries attributed to the Moderns," p. 325; who says, "Buffon mistook etaywv for etayovos." But what if Buffon and Gibbon are right, and the two learned critics Dutens and Whitaker under a ludicrous mistake, with their miserable translation-actually brought! The line should be read thus-Εξαγωνον τι κατοπτρον--the two letters or had escaped from the elayov, and were joined to the Tɩ.*
P. 255. The mention of Sir D. Dalrymple suggests to the author of these notes, that it might not be obtrusive if he ventured to bring again to public criticism an emendation he made on a passage in Sir D. Dalrymple's account of the martyrs in Smyrna, where twenty pages (from 132 to 152) are exhausted in canvassing the circumstances connected with the history of the miracle attending Polycarp's death of the Dove. The text is ἐξῆλθε περίστερα καὶ πλῆθος ἅιματος—“ there went from him a Dove and much blood." A strange and improbable construction! We think that the insertion of a single letter will restore the passage to its integrity, and remove at once the ancient legend from its insecure pedestal. Read ἐξηλθε περι στερνα καὶ πληθος ἁιματος--“ Much blood flowed from his stomach or breast." Jortin suspected the text was wrong, but his correction was proposed with no confidence in its truth. See Remarks on Eccl. Hist. i. p. 356.
P. 274. For an account of the fabrication of White's Bampton Lectures (a most disgraceful transaction in literature), consult Monthly Review, vol. lxxiii. 1785, p. 53, and Dr. S. Parr's Correspondence, vol. i. p. 553, 572, 587, 593, 637, &c. See also Johnstone's Life of Parr, vol. i. p. 205.
P. 286. In his tour to Switzerland, Sept. 1788, Mr. Fox gave me two days of free and private society," &c. We do not know whether the following lines by Mr. Fox on Gibbon are familiar to our readers.
UPON THE PROMOTION OF MR. GIBBON TO THE BOARD OF TRADE.
BY C. J. FOX, ESQ.
King George, in a fright,
Lest Gibbon should write
The story of Britain's disgrace,
Thought no means more sure
His pen to secure
Than to give the Historian a place.
But his caution is vain,
"Tis the curse of his reign
That his projects should never succeed;
Tho' he write not a line,
Yet a cause of Decline
In the author's example we read.
His book well describes
How corruption and bribes
Overthrew the great empire of Rome;
And his writings declare
A degen'racy there,
Which his conduct exhibits at home.
* In looking at the Basil edition of the Chiliads of Tzetzes, 1546, fol. we find that
the text is corrected in the margin, as we have given it..
P. 319. "It is remarkable," says Mr. Milman, "that Mr. George Ellis should have originated the two perhaps most successful collections of satirical poetry in our language. The Rolliad and the poetry of the Antijacobin," &c. The plan of the Rolliad was arranged at a club at Beckett's. The chief writers, Tickell, Fitzpatrick, Lord John Townshend, Richardson, G. Ellis, Dr. Laurence, some contributions from Bate Dudley, Mr. O'Beirne (Bishop of Meath), and Sheridan's friend Read. The prose was chiefly by Dr. Laurence. Mr. Rolle provoked this satirical warfare by the part he took in interrupting by coughing, laughing, and other noises, the speeches of Burke. Mr. G. Ellis was dining with Pitt, and some of his brother wits asked him various questions as to the authors of this work; Pitt, overhearing from the upper end of the table, kindly leaned towards Ellis, and said
"Immo age, et a prima dici hospes origine nobis."
The word " hospes" applied to the new convert was happy, and the - See erroresque tuas" that follows was perhaps left to be implied. Moore's Life of Sheridan, vol. i. p. 420, and Pursuits of Literature, p. 122. G. Ellis was the author of a small poetical volume, called Poetical Tales, by Sir Gregory Gander, Knight, 1778, 12mo.
P. 344. The account Gibbon gives of Necker in his recent retirement, is curious and interesting. See on this subject the Memoirs of the Princess de Lamballe, vol. i. p. 343; vol. ii. p. 183. Necker always attributed his dismissal to the influence of the Polignacs: his retirement was sudden and secret. See Mém. de Segur, vol. i. p. 183. Necker wrote the Eloge of Colbert. See Palissot, Mémoires.
P. 402. "The terrace is shaded with the new acacias and plantains." It is singular that such a vulgarism (though found in Mrs. Radcliffe's Novels) should have escaped Gibbon, as plantains for platanes or plane-trees.
And now it is but fair to Mr. Milman, before we conclude, to afford our readers a specimen of the exact and elegant criticism with which this volume is enriched by him: nor can we do better than select his well drawn and elegant character of Hume :
"The sketch of his own life by David Hume is singularly interesting as the key to his opinions and even to his style. Hume seems to have been endowed with the most remarkable coolness of temperament, both in body and in mind. He glided through life without having experienced, except on one occasion, a profound emotion, or known the power of strong sensation. To this inborn calmness, or almost torpidity of his nature, may be traced both the amiable and philosophic serenity of his life and manners, and the sceptical tendency of his opinions. He was superior to, or at least exempt from, the ordinary disquietudes and anxieties which harass the man of letters. Failure did not depress, nor success elevate him above the usual equable line of his mind. As a writer, he was, as near as possible, a creation of pure intellect. The disturbing forces of the imagination and the passions never for an instant interfered with the piercing sagacity of his judgments, or the microscopic precision of his investigations. He
had just fancy enough to give an agreeable vividness to his style, and to elevate him at times into even a master in historic painting.
Like an unruffled sheet of water, his mind reflected everything that passed over it, with the most clear and exquisite distinctness. At the same time he was disqualified by this innate placidity for justly appreciating the force of those more violent emotions and loftier sentiments which agitate mankind in general. He viewed human nature, not as a man of like passions, but as an inquiring metaphysician. Though with singular judgment he rarely intrudes the philosopher into the department of the historian; yet the same cast of mind and even the same tone of language prevail throughout his historical and philosophical writings. Hume's philosophy seems to delight in the process of inquiry without caring whether it arrives at any definite or satisfactory conclusion. Suspense of mind on those points on which doubt and uncertainty work up more sensitive and high-strung minds to insanity, did not
incurious and unapprehensive patience the solution of the great mystery of all: and in this singular man, incredulity for once almost rivalled the self-command of Christian resignation to the divine will."
cause to him the slightest uneasiness. He reposed as peaceably upon his doubts, as the most ardent enthusiast upon his faith. Even the approach of death did not affright his mind from its smooth propriety. He was content to await with This character does honour both to Mr. Milman's candour and penetration and those who remember how Hume was described in the days of Hurd* and Johnson, will listen with pleasure to the more philosophic and discriminating judgments of the present age, which can make a generous allowance to the merits of so great a writer, without palliating his offences, or being blind to his defects. In a page or two afterwards, Mr. Milman has given us a very interesting note on the Confessions of Rousseau, but we have unfortunately no further space for quotation.
MR. URBAN, Brit. Mus. Aug. 20. I CERTAINLY understood Mr. FORBES's expressions to imply, that a great proportion of the words common to Welsh and Gaelic are not essential to the latter language; and that half, or even the whole of them, might be surrendered, without detriment to his cause. It appears now that the converse proposition is the more legitimate one, viz. that the terms in question are no original portion of the Welsh language, having been borrowed by the Cymro from the Gael; and that they are not even now essential to its integrity. This will enable us to place the matter on a more clear and intelligible footing, and I am perfectly willing to discuss it on this ground.
I readily admit that a multitude of substantives and adjectives are borrowedt in many languages, but it is usually very easy to distinguish between them and vernacular terms. The English have adopted many Greek, Latin, and French words, but do our peasantry employ them in ordinary discourse, to denote common and fa
miliar objects? Yet we are to suppose that the names used by every Welsh farmer for body, head, hair, skin, ear, cheek, lip, tooth, back, elbow, hand, knee, foot, bull, cow, calf, pig, lamb, right, left, black, white, with thousands of similar terms, have been borrowed from a foreign language, and that the ancestors of the Cymro carried this "appropriation principle" so far as to take twenty names for hill and mountain which did not belong to them. If this did really happen, I can only say that I do not know of a parallel case in any other language. In fact, any one who takes the trouble to examine the Latinized words introduced into our own tongue, will find that the bulk of them are abstract and scientific terms, adopted, for the most part, since the fourteenth century; and though very convenient in a refined period of society, by no means necessary in a ruder one.
The terms common to Welsh and Gaelic, stand, I conceive, on a very different footing. Two strong points in my argument, overlooked by Mr. FORBES, were, 1. The simple words
* One of Hurd's expressions was, speaking of Hume, "a puny dialectician from the north, who came to the attack with a beggarly troop of routed sophisms.' "He was the philosophic head of a philosophic gang who dealt in mere pedlar's wares of matter and of motion." See Hurd's Remarks, p. 7-11. Tracts by a Warburtonian, p. 161. Scarcely less arrogant and unbecoming is the language of Dr. Beattie in his Essay on Truth; where questions on the most abstruse theories, as on Liberty and Necessity, the existence of Matter, &c. are treated in the spirit of a political pamphlet, or a party question. It was not by such a hand, or in such a warfare, that Hume was doomed to fall. Dr. Hurd boasted that a "vacant hour was fully sufficient to expose to the laughter of every man who could read, the futility, license, and vanity of Mr. David Hume." Compare with this language the temperate and discriminating view of Hume's merits as a philosopher, in D. Steuart's Pref. to the Encyclopædia, P. 1. p. 171, &c.
† It must be remembered that my argument did not turn on the mere co-existence of corresponding terms, but on the fact of there being so many in a number of words taken at random,