Imágenes de página

ment, it was to borrow the image the first number of his Journal des of a friend-ike the elephant, who Sçavar.s. What is remarkable, he pubsometimes gives a fhock to armies, lithu Jhis E Tay in the name it the Sur and fometimes permits himself to be de Hédouville, who was his foorran. led by a naked infant.

One is led to suppose by this circum

stance, that he entertained but a tint THE ORIGIN OF LITERARY JOURNALS.

hope of its succefs; or, perhaps, he If we abound with a multitude of miglii be fanclioned by its fuppof-o au.

thought that the fourr lity or criticism scribblers, what an infinite number thor, The work, however, met with mult there be of critics, fince, ac so favourable a recepiin, thai Sllo cording to the computation of one of bad the fatisfa&in fiecing ii, in he the first

next year, imitared through, ur Lu. Ten cenfure wrong, for one who writes rope; and his Journal, at the fime amiis!

time, trar flared iritu various languages. In the last century, it was a confo. But, as moit authors lay then clics too lation, at least, for the unfuccessful open to the fivere critii, ihe aniraad. writer, that he fell insensibly into versions of Sallo were givin with oblivion. If he committed the pri- such malignity of wit and afperity of vate folly of printing what no one

one criticilin, that the Journal excited would purchase, he had only to fertle loud murmurs, and the most beartthe matter with his publisher : he was moving complaints poffible. Sallo, uor arraigned at the public tribunal, after having publish_d only his third as if he had' committed a crime of Jourral, felt the irritated wasps of magnitude. But, in those times, the liter ture thronging fo thick ahout hin, pation was little addicted to the cul- that he very gladily abdicated the tivation of letters : the writers were ihrone of Criticism then few, and the readers were not The reign of his succeffor, Abbé many. When, at length, a talte fur Gailoys--intimidated by the faie of literature spread itself through the Sallo -was of a mider kind. He body of the people, vanity induced contented bimself with only giving the inexperienced and the ignorant to

the titles of books, accompanied with aspire to literary honours. To oppose extracts. Such a cor:duct was not of. these inroads into the haunts of the fensive to their authors, and yet was Muses, Periodical Criticifm brandith. not unuseful to the public. I do noi, ed its formidable weapon; and it was howerer, mean to favour the idea, by the fall of others that our greatest that this simple manner of noticing geniuses have been taught to rise. books is equal to found and candid Multifarious writings produced multi- criticism. , farious Arictures ; and if the rays of On the model of ihe Jurnal des criticism were not always of the throng. Sçavans were formed our Philofophiest kind, yet so many continually islù- cal Transactions ; with this difference, irg, formed a focus, which has en- however, that they only notice objects lightened those whose occupations had of science, such as Physics and Maotherwise never permitted them to thematics. The Journal of Leipsic, judge on literary compofitions.

entitled Ala Eruditorum, appeared The origin of so many Literary in 1682, under the conduct of the Journals takes its birth in France. erudite Menkenius, Professor in the Denis de Sallo, Ecclefiaftical Counsellor University of that city. The famous in the Parliament of Paris, invented Bayle' undertook, for Holland, a simi. the scheme of a work of this kind. lar work, in 1684 ; and his NouvelOn the 30th of May 1665 appeared les de la Republique de Lettres ap


[ocr errors]

peared the first of May in that year.

THE SCALIGERS. This new Journal was every where The Man of Letters must confess will rece ved, and deserved to be fo ; -reluctantly, perhaps---that the litefor never were crisicisms given with rature which stores the head with fo greater force. He pofseffed the art many ingenious reflections, and so of c nprising, in fhört extracts, the much admirable intelligence, muy at jufteft notion of a book, without ad. the same time have little or no intiuding any thing irrelevant or imperti- ence over the virtues of the heart

Bayle difcontinued this work The same vices, and i he same follies, in 1687, after having giv:n thirty-six disgrace the literate and the illiterate yolum s in 120v. Others continued it Who poffelled a profounder knowiedge to 1710, when it was finally clofed.

of the Grecian learning, or was a more A Mr de la Roche fornicd an En- erudite critic, than Burman? Yet glish Journal, catitled Memoirs of Lithis man lived unubf-rvant of every terature, about the cominencement of ordinary decency and moral duty. this century, which is w-il spoken of Who displayed more acutenets of in the Bibliotheque Raisonnée. It mind, and a wider circle of litera. was afterwards continued by Mr Riit, ture, than the Scal gers? Yet, frin under the tile of The Prefere State the anecdores and characters I colleet of the Republic of Letters. He fuc. of them, let the reader contemplace ceeded very well; but, being oblized the men. lo'make a voyage to China, it inter The two S aligers, father and son, rupted bis ufelul labours. He was were two prodigies of learning and fucceeded by Mellieurs Campbeil of vanity. Schioppius has tore the and Webster ; but the laft, for reasons mark of that pricipality with which of which I am ignorant, being dismil- the father had adorned himself; for fed, it was again resumed by M. Camp- the elder Scaliger mainta ned that he bell. This Journal does by no means was descended from the Princes of rival oor modern Reviens. I do not Verona. Schioppius says, and he is perceive that the criticism is more vz. now credited, that he was originally luable ; and certainly the critertain- named Jus Burden ; that he was ment is inferior. Our elder Journals born in the shop of a gilter; had palfeem only to notice a few of the best fed some part of his site with a lurpublications; and this not with great g on; and then became a cordelien animation of sentiment, or elegance of The elevation of his mind made hint diction.

aspire to h nours grea&er than tbele: he Of our modern Journals it becomes the w ust his frick, and took the degree me to speak with caution. It is of Doctor in Phylic at Paris: In this not treading on ashes till glowing character he appeared at Venice, and with latent fire, as Horace express sit, in Pidmont. He there attached himbut it is rushing through confaming feif to a Prelate of the noble House of Aames. Let it be fufficient, that from Rovezz??, and followed him to Agen, their pages I acknowledge to have ac. of which his patron was made Bithop. quired a rich fund of critical observa. He there married the daughter of an tion; and, if I have been animated apothecary. Such were the parents by their eulogiums, 1 ascribe this ho- of Juleph Scaliger ; who, finding this nour, not so much to the confined abi- chimerical principality in his family, lities nature bas bestowed on me, as pálled himself for a prince; and to rento th: ir ítrictures, which have taught der the impositions of his father more me something of the delicacy of taite, credible, die added many of his own. and something of the ardour of Ge. Naudé speaks thus concerning thema nius.

They say, in Italy, that Scoliger's



father married, at Agen, the daughter equal för bad composition, con Giderof an apothecary; though others affirm, ing them as the protections of a man of the battard of a bishop; probably, of letters. Of a great number of epigrams, the orclate he followed. His con there are bur tour or five which are in Scaliger was visited in the character the leaft tolerable. of a prince at Leyden.'

Huet ihinks that his son composed By this, I think, it appears that these letters which pass under his name; Naudé gives him credit for the prin- and, as he is an exquisite judge of flyle, cipality ; for he seenis not in the least we should credit his opinion. But, ibu? to simile at the honour.

bis poetry is so dettiture of fpirit or • The Duke de Nevers, having paid grace, his profe, it must be allowed, him a vifii, othered him a colli derable is excellent: nosh ng can be more nofrelent, which Scaliger cisilly retured.' ble, higher polished, or more happij

The pride of this fuppofi:itius turned. Prince, who was but a puor studeni,

The fon poffeffed a finer tafte : his mult lave run tigh !

style is more flowing and casy, and Schioppius,' adds Naudé, must yét is not the less noble.

His writ. have been under the influence of fime ings, like those of the father, brearbe demon when he wrote so bad a book fingular haughtiness and malignity, againsi Scaliger :' yet Menage observes The Scaligerana will convince his of this work, ihat Jofeph Scaliger died that he was incapable of thinking or of the chagria he felt on the occasion speaking favourably of any person. Alof Schioppius's book being published, though he bas reflected honour on his entitled, Scaliger Hypob lywąus. age by the extensiveness of bis leare

' Yet we may,' obferves Huer, ing, we must con/ess that he has • fay, with Lipsius, that if the two not seldom fallen into grufs errorig Scaligers were not actually Princes, even on thore subjects to which he had they richly mcrised a principality for most applied. As for infance, Chrothe beanty of their genius and the nology, which was his fafourite itd. extent of their erudition; but we can dy; and although he imagined that he offer no apology for 'heir ridiculous ftretched the scepire over the realms and fingular haughtiness.

of criticism, no one has treated this • When a friend was delineating his topic with less felicicy. It was the character, the father wrote to him in rcform of the Calendar then pending these terms-a“ Endeavour to collect at Rome which engaged him in this whatever is most beautiful in the pages 1tudy. He withed to thew the world of Molinilla, of Xenophon, and of that he was more capable than all thale Plato, and you may then form a por: who had been employed. If the luctrait which, however, will resemble cess of this labour had depended en nie but imperfealy."

the extent and variety of erudition, he Yet this man pofieffed little delica. had eminertly farpaffed all those who cy of taste, as he evinces by the falfe had applied to this talk; but he was their judgments he passes on Homer and inferior in the folidity of his judgment, Mulæus; and, above all, by those in the exactness of his arguments, and unfo, med and rude poems with which the profundity of his speculations. he has dishonoured Parnaffus. I have When he fondly bleved that read somewhere a French sonnet by he had found the Quadrature of this man, which is beneath criticisri. the Circle, he was corrected, and Menage says, that the collection of turned into ridicule; by an obscure Scaliger's poems, which forms a thick schoolmater; who, having clearly odavo volume, will hardly find its pointed out the paralogism which de


Geived him, made his cyclometrics va- they' were constrained to remove nish at his touch.

themselves from that spot, and they " Scaliger, the father, was,' says then fixed their residence at Port RoyPatin,an illustrious importor. He al des Champs. There again the had never been at any war, nor at any court disturbed them, after a residence court of the Emperor Maximilian, as of little more than two moatlis; but, he pretended. He passed the first about a year afterwards, they agaia thirty years of his life in one continu- returned. With these illustrious Reod study. Afterwards, he threw off cluses many persons of distinguished his monk's frock, and palmed on all merit now retired ; and it was this Europe the fingular importion of his community which has been fince being a descendant of the Princes of called the Society of Port Royal. Verona, who bore the name of Scali Amongst the members, was the gcr.

celebrated Arnauld, and others, whose Julius Scaliger had this peculiarity names would reflect a lustre on any in his manner of composition : he society. wrote with such accuracy, that his Here were no rules, no vows, no manuscript and the printed copy al- conftitution, and no cells formed. ways corresponded page for page, and Prayer and fudy were their only ocline for line. This may appear trif- cupations. They applied themselves ling information ; but I am persuaded to the education of young men, and that a habit of correctness in the lef- initiated the rising generation into ser parts of compolition allifts the high- science and into virtue. er.

Racine here received his education ; and, on his death-bed, desired

to be buried in the cemetery of the Port THE PORT ROYAL SOCIETY.

Royal, at the feet of M. Hamon. Every lover of letters must have An amiable instance, this, of the heard of the Port Royal Society, and Poet's sensibility! probably has benefited by the labours Anne de Bourbon, a Princess of of these learned men: but, perhaps, the blood-royal, erected a house near few have attended to their origin, and the Port Royal, and was, during her to their diffolution,

life, the powerful patroness of these The Society of the Port Royal des folitary and religious men: but her Champs—that was the original title death happening in 1679, gave the -took this name from a valley about fatal stroke which dispersed them for fix leagues from Paris. In the year 1637, Le Maitre, a The envy

and the fears of the Je. celebrated advocate, renounced the suits, and their ra:cour against Are bar, and resigned the honour of being nauid, who with such ability had ex. Conseiller d'Etat, which his uncom- posed their designs, occasioned the delmon merit had obtained him, though truction of the Port Royal Society. then only twenty-eight years of age. His brother, De Sericourt, IMPOSITIONS OF AUTHORS. who had followed the military profes THERE have been fome Authors fion, quitted it at the fime time. who have practised fingular impofi. Both confecrating themselves to the tions on the public. Vasillas, the service of God, they retired into a French Historian enjoyed for fome little house near the Purt Royal oi Pa- time a great reputation in his own ris. Their brothers, De Sacy, De country for his Historic Compositions. St Elme, and De Valmont, joined When they became more known, the them. For some political reason, scholars of other countrics deit:oyed


[ocr errors]


the reputation he had unjustly acquir. whom only they could have received ed. • His conuinual professions of those relations which we fee accumuSincerity prejudiced many in his fa- lated with such undiscerning crcdulity. vour, and made him pass for a writer who had penetrated into the inmost recefles of the cabinet : but the public

oy THE EDITIONS OF THE CLASSICS, IN were at length undeceived, and were,

USUM DELPHINI. convinced that the Historical Anec.

The Scholiafts, or the Interpreters dotes, which Varillas put off for au- of the Dauphin, in usum Sereniffimi thentic facts, had no foundation, be. Delphini, were undertaken under the ing wholly bis own inventing !- conduct of Messieurs de Montauger, though he endeavoured io make them Bossuet, and Huet. To a correct text, pass for -- calities, by affected citations they have added a clear and concise of titles, instructions, letters, memoirs, paraphrase of the text, with notes. and relations, all of them imaginary! The disinilarity of the genius, and Melchisedec Thevenot, Librarian the peculiar, characters, of

of all these to the French King, was never out of authors, have been one great cause Europe ; yet he has composed fome that they have not all been treated folio volumes of his " Voyages and with the same ability, and with equal

Trasels, by information and me- felicity: but still, it must be allowed, moirs, which he collected from those they form the molt beautiful body is who had trayelleal. Travels,' ybserves literature that the public has ever been the Compiler of the Biographical graşified with.. Dictionary,' related at fecond-band, Another critic prefedts us with a can never be of any great authority or

more fatiafactory account of this ce? moment. Assuredly noi;


lebrated edition of the Classics. The may be pregnant nå errors of all greater part of these interpreters, have kinds.

but indifferently executed their emGemelli Carreri, a Ncapolitan gen- ployment: they have followed, in tleman, wiwo, for many ycars, never their text, the inferious editions, inquitted his chamber, being confined stead of making use of the best : and by a tedious indil olition, amused they have left in the rotes those fame himself with writing a xəyage round faults which were so much cenfured the world; giving characters of men, in the Dutch editions, with the Nates and defcriptions of countries, as if he a VariorumThere is, however, one

e liy visited them. Do Halde, thing valuable in the Paris editions who lias wriiten so voluminous an ac a Veibal Index, by which any palcount of Cora, con piled it from the fage may be found on recollecting a Memoirs of the Missionaries, and never few words. However, it cuft be traveled ten Jeagues from Paris in confefled, the munificent patronage of bis lie; though he appears, by his a great monarch has por produced the writing to be very familiar with the adequate effects

. The project was exChinc scenery.

cellent, but the performance was bad. This is an excellent observation of I cannot conclude this article with. an anonymous Author. "Writers

out obferving what benefits the student who never visited foreign countries, derives from Verbal Indexes. He not and travell is who have run through only lives a great expence of time, imment: regrous with fleeting pace, which is squandered in the examinahave given us long accounts of various tion for pafíayes; but he may morc eruntries and people ; evidently col- easily trace the imitations of others, Joctub nthe idle reports and absurd, when they bappen to catch the wurds traditions of the ignorant vulgar, from of the original.


« AnteriorContinuar »