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perpetuate his own renown—yet, though the peer in question not only laboured by daily precepts to educate his heir, but drew up for his use a code of institution, in which no secret of his doctrine was withheld, he was not only so unfortunate as to behold a total mis. carriage of his lectures, but the system itself appeared so superficial, 80 trilling, and so illaudable, that mankind began to wonder at what they had admired in the preceptor, and to question whether the dictator of such tinsel injunctions had really possessed those brilliant Qualifications which had so long maintained him unrivalled on the throne of wit and fashion. Still will the impartial examiner do justice, and distinguish between the legislator of that little fantastic aristocracy which calls itself the great world, and the intrinsic genius of a nobleman who was an ornament to his order, an elegant orator, an useful statesman, a perfect but no servile courtier, and an author whose writings, when separated from his impertinent institutes of education, deserve, for the delicacy of their wit and Horatian irony, to be ranged with the purest classics of the courts of Augustus and Louis quatorze. His papers in Common Sense and The World might have given jealousy to the sensitive Addison ; and though they do not rival that original writer's fund of natural hu. mour, they must be allowed to touch with consummate knowledge the affected manners of high life. They are short scenes of gen. teel comedy, which, when perfect, is the most rare of all pro. ductions.
• His papers in recommendation of Johnson's Dictionary were models of that polished elegance which the pedagogue was pretending to ascertain, and which his own style was always heaving to overload with tautology and the barbarous confusion of tongues,
The friendly patronage was returned with ungrateful rudeness by 'the proud pedant; and men smiled, without being surprised, at seeing a bear worry his dancing-master.
Ëven lord Chesterfield's poetical trifles, of which a few specia mens remain in some songs and epigrams, were marked by his idolized graces, and with his acknowledged wit. His speeches courted the former, and the latter never forsook him to his latest hours. His entrance into the world was announced by his bon-mots, and his closing lips dropped repartees that sparkled with his juvenile fire.
Such native parts deserved higher application. Lord Chesterfield took no less pains to be the phænix of fine gentlemen, than Tully did to qualify himself for shining as the first orator, magistrate, and Philosopher of Rome. Both succeeded : Tully immortalized his name; lord Chesterfield's reign lasted a little longer than that of a fashionable beauty. His son, like Cromwell's, was content to return to the plough, without authority, and without fame.
• Besides luis works collected and published by doctor Maty, his lordship had begun “ Memoirs of his own time.”—How far he pro. ceeded on such a work I cannot say; nor whether farther than a few characters of some eminent persons, which have since been printed, and which are no shining proof that lord Chesterfield was an excellent historic painter. From his private familiar letters one
should expect much entertainment, if most of those published by Maty did not damp such hopes. Some few at the end of his correspondence with his son justly deserve admiration.
« Lord Chesterfield's writings that are known, were,
« Miscellaneous works, with memoirs of his life, by M. Maty, M. D.” published in two large volumes in quarto, 1777. In those volumes are omitted the following journals, which may be found in the several original publications : « Common Sense, for May 21, and 28; October 15; Nov. 5 ; 1737: and January 21; 1738.” The last was probably omitted in the edition of his lordship's works for its indecency. Lady Hervey, an intimate friend of lord Chester, field, allowed me to mark lord Chesterfield's papers from her copy of Common Sense.
“ His Letters to his natural son Philip Stanhope;" published in two large volumes in quarto, 1774.
“ A Supplement" of some letters that were wanting to that cor. respondence, was published in quarto, by Dodsey, 1787.
6. The art of pleasing;" being letters to his successor in the title ; published in The Edinburgh magazine, 1774, No 4, 5, 6, 7.
“ Letters from lord Chesterfield to alderman George Faulkener, doctor Madden, Mr. Sexton, Mr. Derrick, and the earl of Arran.” London, quarto, 1777.
Other works of lord Chesterfield, not included in Maty's edition : * Characters of eminent personages of his own time.” Duod. printed by W. Flexney, 1777.
* A petition of humour to the king for a pension ;” 1757: reprinted with his letters.
“ Letter to marshal Belleisle, on his letter to marshal Contades ordering him to lay waste the electorate of Hanover ;" 1759 : pubLished in English and French.
“ A letter signed Bayes, on the marriage of the king and queen;" published in The London Chronicle, August 25, 1761.
• Poetry.—In Dodsley's Collection of miscellaneous poems, 2d edition, “ the five last poems” in vol. i. are by lord Chesterfield...
. Epigrams, “ on Esau and Jacob," published in The sports of the Muses ; “ on lord Hervey, As nature Hervey's clay, &c.” “ on lady Thanet, Physic and cards, &c.” in The foundling-hospital for wit, and other miscellanies: and in the third part of The foundling-hospital, “ Verses on Sarah duchess of Richmond going to supper;" commonly, but wrongly, entitled, On the duchess of Rutland.
“ Truth at Court,” in the name of a dean, published in The London Chronicle for April 1761, and in The annual register for the same year.
“ Some lines, to be placed in the parlour of his brother sir Wil. liam Stanhope, in the house that was Mr. Pope's at Twickenham.
“ A dialogue, in prose, on his own going to court, 1762;" MS.'
We cannot pass unnoticed the contemptuous harshness of the author's expressions in speaking of the greatest moral writer, critic, and philologer, combined, that existed in this, or perhaps in any age or nation. Pedagogue always heaving to overload
with tautology and the most barbarous confusion of tongues the polished eloquence which he pretended to ascertain- ungrates ful rudeness of the proud pedant-methe Bear worrying his dancingmaster,' Yet much as we dislike the parallel of Johnson and the Bear, we readily allow that the late Lord Chesterfield's Code of Education may be aptly and happily compared to that of a dancing master,
The noble author, however, was not satisfied by these severe strokes at the great lexicographer, as we perceive by a glance at the third vol.-- of which more hereafter: but with respect to the present attack, we must remind those of our readers who had no personal acquaintance with the late Earl of Orford, nor with Dr. Johnson, that the Peer hated Johnson because he was rough in manners and conversation, unwieldy and uncouh in his figure, a Jacobite, and a Christian Johnson had a natural antipathy to the noble Lord as being a Whig, the son of a Whig minister, effeminate and unmanly in his appearance, dainty and affected in his taste, a Cantabridgian, and a philosopher à la Voltaire. The elements of fire and water cannot be more hostile to each other than this pair. Yet such was the intrinsic merit of both, in different ways, that all who lean towards manly pursuits and eloquence, refined moTality, and deep thinking, will bow to the shrine of the one ;while the votaries of lively and quaint wit, fancy, and knowlege of the world, who delight in the records of Gothic manners and antiquities, and in the relation of curious and queer incidents before unnoticed, will be captivated by the writings of the other, · Few readers perhaps will be found so just as to allow a due portion of merit to both: yet there is something worthy of admiration by the candid of all parties, in the works of each, however dissimilar.
Among the additional Irish peers, the articles concerning Lord Barrington, the second Earl of Egmont, Lord Clive, and Earl Nugent, are piquant, and written with peculiar attention.
In the PostSCRIPT to “ Noble Authors,” the writer discusses, in his best strain, the validity of claims to poetical merit set up from the authority of Christina de Pisan, by Mademoiselle de Keralio, editor of Bibliotheque des Romans, in favour of John MONTACUTE, Earl of SALISBURY, in the xivth century.
After this we are presented with an entertaining appendix to the Royal and Noble Authors, in which we have the history of Charles Duke of Crieans, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, and detained during 25 years. He was nephew of Charles VI. of France, and soothed his heavy hours of captivity by the study of our language and poetry, of which a specimen is inserted.—The first vol. of the work before us concludes with the following period :
s N. B. This addition 'was written before the revolution in France in 1789; since when the follies * of that nation have soured and plunged into the most exccrable barbarity, immorality, injustice, usurpation, and tyranny ; have rejected God himself and deified human monsters, and have dared to call this mass of unhcard-of crimes “ giving liberty to mankind”—by atheism and massacres!'
· Vol. II. The first article in this volume is the CASTLE OF OTRANTO; an old acquaintance, and for which we had formed a friendship long before we knew whence it came, or were certain that the title did not speak truth, when it pretended that the story was translated by William Marshal, Gent. from the original Italian of Onufrio Muralto, canon of the church of St. Nicholas, at Otranto +. To the 2d edition, in the same year, with the initials of the real author's name, we were not quite so civil; as we could not but lament that a writer " of a refined and polished genius should be an advocate for re-establishing the barbarous superstitions of Gothic devilism ! Incredulus odi is, or ought to be, a charm against all such infatuation.” In 1791, this romance had the honour of being re-princed, at the beautiful press of Bodoni, at Parma ; not in an Italian translation, but in its mother tongue.
The next production in this volume is a piece of pleasantry on the marvellous accounts in circulation (1766) concerning the gigantic stature of the inhabitants of Patagonia, under the title of An Account of the Giants lately discovered. These have since so much degenerated, that, from 9 to 11 feet, which Commodore Biron's people made them, late voyagers have cut them down to 5 feet 11, and 6 feet. There are many strokes of humour in this piece, and allusions to the state of Europe and the absurdities of the times.
This playful tract is followed by one more serious and important : Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third. We have already paid our tribute of praise to the acuteness of these Doubts, and to the able manner in which they were supported. The ingenious author had indeed the address to teach us how to doubt, and to disturb the public mind on the occasion : but, as he did not pretend to tell us how to solve these doubts satisfactorily, the ideas of men seem to have gradually crept into their former channel; and Shakspeare's character of Richard, founded on the information of the virtuous and conscientious Sir Thomas More, who sacrificed his own life for conscience sake, together with the testimony of the
* A very gentle term.
generality of historians, (though flatterers of the Lancaster party,) fortified by tradition, soon reconciled mankind to the old established opinions, from the belief of which neither good nor harın could accrue to the present age ; and indolence, perhaps indifference, has contributed to prevent further inquiry concerning the comeliness of Richard's person, or the goodness of his heart. He is now an established stage tyrant, and the frequenters of our theatres would be equally unwilling to part with the deformity of his person, or the atrocity of his crimes.
During the discussion of these Doubts, an open war broke out between our author and Guthrie, Hume, and other writers. Thrown out at first in seeming sport and indifference, the
Doubts, when opposed, instantly became certainties in the • opinion of the author; and it must be owned that the contempt with which he treats every one who thinks differently from himself, on a speculative question of little consequence to any of the great interests of society, is very aristocratic. The Rev. Dr. Miller, Dean of Exeter, and President of the Society of Antiquaries, and the Rev. Mr. Masters, are treated with peculiar asperity. Neatness and wit, but still more spite and petulance, are displayed in the defence made by the noble peer; more, indeed, than could be expected by those who latterly partook of his general urbanity.
All interest concerning this controversy being superseded by more recent subjects, the author's defence seems long and tedious; and after all this heavy coil in “ fending and proving" for nearly 30 years, the noble author, in February 1793, for the honour of his heart, wrote the following PostSCRIPT to his Historic Doubts.
• It is affictive to have lived to find, in an age called not only civilized but enlightened, in this eighteenth century, that such horrors, such unparalleled crimes have been displayed on the most conspicuous theatre in Europe, in Paris the rival of Athens and Rome, that I am forced to allow that a multiplicity of crimes, which I had weakly supposed were too manifold and too absurd to have been perpetrated even in a very dark age, and in a northern island not only not commencing to be polished, but enured to barbarous manners, and hardened by long and barbarous civil wars amongst princes and nobility strictly related-Yes, I must now believe that any atrocity may have been attempted or practised by an ambitious prince of the blood aiming at the crown in the fifteenth century. I can believe (I do not say I do) that Richard duke of Gloucester dipped his hand in the blood of the saint-like Henry the sixth, though so revolting and injudicious an act as to excite the indignation of mankind against him. I can now believe that he contrived the death of his own brother Clarence-and I can think it possible, inconceivable as it was, that he aspersed the chastity of his own mother, in order to bastardize the offspring of his eldest brother; for all these extra