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Dr. Pegge on the Custom of making April Fools. 507 subscribed towards its funds. The pro- formerly began as to some purposes and in tection of commerce in the Mediterra- some respects on the 25th of March, which nean by England would, however, be was supposed to be the Incarnation of our infinitely more efficient than the puny Lord; and it is certain that the commenceattempts of such an association. That ment of the new year, at whatever time that power now possesses three permanent
was supposed to be, was always esteemed a stations in that quarter, Gibraltar, Corfu, high festival, and that both amongst the and Malta; while the operations of the ancient Romans and with us. Now, Sir
, United States of the Ionian Islands are
great festivals were usually attended with an
octave—that is, they were wont to continue capable of being directed to a variety of for eight days, whereof the first and the last objects both far and near.
were the principal ; and you will find that Dresden, March 1816. C. BÖTTIGER. the ist of April is the octave of the 25th of
March, and ihe close or ending consequently MR. EDITOR,
of that feast which was both the festival of YOUR correspondent Nep RetLas the Annunciation and of the commencement wishes to know the origin of the practice of the new year. From hence, as I take it,
it became a day of extraordinary mirth and lume of Ă Selection of Curious Articles who are apt to pervert and to make a bad use of making April-fools. In the first vo
festivity, especially amongst the lower sort, from the Gentleman's Magazine, at of institutions which at first might be very page 251, I find the following letter laudable in themselves. I am, &c. upon the subject, which, as it bears the
Renascentar quæ jam cecidere. Hor.
THE tone of gentleness, of moderaMR. URBAN,
tion, and of good-breeding, that pervades It is a matter of some difficulty to account the expostulation of your correspondent for the expression an April fool, and the N. N. on the censures that I felt myself strange custom so universally prevalent bound, in the exercise of a sincere and throughout this kingdom of people making dispassionate judgment, to pass upon fools of one another on the 1st of April, by Mr. Kidd's volume, demands a respect, trying to impose upon each other, and sending one another upon that day upon frivolous, I should thiok it no humiliation, in
ful acknowledgment at my hands; and ridiculous, and absurd errands. However, something I have to offer on the subject, and the face of so fair an antagonist, to eat I shall here throw it out, if it were only to
my own words, and sing aloud my paliinduce others to give us their sentiments. nodia, if I did not discern that a misThe custom had no doubt an original, and conception runs through the whole of cne of a very general nature, and one may, bis eloquent letter; and that his red-hot therefore, reasonably hope that, though one enthusiasm both for Porson and for the person may not be so happy as to investigate foppish gleaner in the stubble-field of the meaning and occasion of it, yet another his genius, Mr. Kidd, has overmastered possibly may. But I am the more ready to and pushed aside the discreet use of his attempt a solution of this difficulty, because reasoning faculties. In reality, N. N, I find Mr. Bourne, in his Antiquitates Vulo gares, has totally omitted it, though it fell appears entirely to forget that my censo plainly within the compass of his design. fame of Porson as a scholar and
sure was pointed not against the general I observe first, Mr. Urban, that this custom and expression has no connexion at all of genius (for those claims are founded with the Festum Hypodiaconorum, Festum
and built high upon a rock of inexpug. Stultorum, Festum Fatuorum, Festum Inno- nable strength,) but against the frivolicentium, &c. mentioned in Du Fresne ; for ties, the meagre morsels, the orts and those jocular festivals were kept at a very the rags of the particular volume in different time of the year.
question; and more especially against Secondly, that I have found no traces the paltry garnish, the hash of affecta. either of the name or of the custom in oher tion, of pedantry, and of conceit, with countries, insomuch that it appears to me to which it is beset, or rather buried, by be an indigenal custom of our own. I speak the editor. Jumping, however, over this only as to myself in this ; for others perhaps may have discovered it in other parts, though * The papers with this signature, as well I have not.
as with that of PAUL GEMSEGE, were writNow, thirdly, to account for it. The ten by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Pegge. (See name undoubtedly arose from the custom, Selections from the Gentleman's Magazine, and this I think arose from hence : our year vol. i, p. 137, note.)
508 Strictures on Prof. Porson & Mr.Kidd re-asserted & vindicated. (Julyl,
distinction, N. N. weakly imagines that taste, and the punctilious and almost I wielded a broad-sword of extermina- oracular accuracy of his judgment, com tion against the intellectual eminence of bined with a memory that might have Porson; and by way of repelling this vied with ibat of Hill or Magliabecchisupposed hostility, he clubs bis battalion whilst he records these qualificatioas of authorities, and brings forward a which I never disputed, and countereigas whole armoury of accredited names, in his own opinions with the testimony of defence of his hero.* I can assure hiin several giants in literature -he is quite that these testimonia auctorum were per- unable to produce any one attestation, fectly familiar to me, and I could bare either publicly or privately giveo, in enlarged the catalogue by many other support of that “ furrago libelli" which, laudatory tributes, not only froin the and which alone, was the target whither pen of his own countrymen,t but also of my critical* arrows were directed! I. foreign scholars from the veteran Wyt. fact, the publication of the volume, and tenbach dou a to Schäffer, the last edin the intrepid effrontery of the editor, tor of Euripides on the Continent, and whose obvious purpose was to seize and whose work runs on all-fours in the Por- wrest the admiration of the world by sonian track. But it is curious to ob- climbing the back of this lordly Colosserve (and here, Mr. Editor, I must beg sus,t are quite indefensible, or the zeal you very particularly to notice how and eloquence of N. N. would unquesadroit are the polemical tactics of my tionably have attempted their vindica opponent) that while he dazzles us with lion: this gorgeous array of names in behalf
- Si Pergama dextra of the consummate powers of Porson as Defendi possent, etiam hat defensa fuissent! a Grecian, tbe keenness of his penetra
Æneid, lib, ii. 291. tion, the exquisite refinement of his
But since the expression of my opimos * Inter alia I observe that N. N. quotes
upon this “rudis indigestaque moles" part of a letter, addressed by Dr. Butler to
bas given offence to so amiable a writer Mr. Blomfield: there is another passage of as my antagonist appears to be, I will that same letter which I am surprised he did not venture, though the provocation 80 not bring forward, and print in capital let- to trespass is very strong, to add another ters, as I shall do, for its happy and perti- syllable on the subject; yet let N. X. nent application to Mr. Porson: “ A scio- be assured, that the judgment passed LAR OUGHT TO BE A GENTLEMAN; he * Nothing can be more happy and judiought to have his manners and his disposi- cious than the terms, or more elegant than tion humanized by the studies in which he the latinity, in which the late Professor Dal is engaged,” &c. (page 55.)
zel bas conveyed his opinion upon the chaof Particularly Mr. R. P. Knight and the racteristic merits of our "alnomis sapiens :" learned and accurate Professor Gaisford, in in regard to the “ subactum judicium," he his edition of Hephæstio; but in this race places him higber than Bentley. (See the of flattery Dr. Parr outstrips all competition, Preface to the ad volume of the Analecta, and, as Shakspeare says, “ crooks the preg. p, viii.)-Some few years ago, wben I visite! nant hinges of the knee" with more cbse- the Academiæ Carolinæ Gothorum, at Lund quious humility than any of the turbæ adu- in Sweden, I met with a critical iract by M. latorum. In that ocean of notes, “ vast Norberg, in which Porson was described as and deep," which flows at the back of his "simplicis animi candore inbutum, et conSpital Sermon, the doctor (for the purpose, summatissima modestia." I laughed so I imagine, of twitting those who, like my- loud, that in a fair wind N. N. might base self, have not been blest with an university heard me in England. In him intellectual education introduces a countless catalogue pride towered to the most scorpful height; of academical worthies, and annexes to the but the learned Swede, no doubt, had sualnames of a chosen few some complimentary lowed as a literal truth that addled egg of words either in Greek or Latin. The deco- false modesty which the professor had lar rative adjunct of Porson is, te qaru Caupasy. at the door of his Euripides : “Nihil hic Well done! thou Boreas of puffers! Cold reconditi aut exquisiti expectandum est ; was the hint of ancient wisdom in the ne ronum usibus hæc editio potissimum accom quid nimis! Truly nothing can be more modata est.” (See Præf. ad Hecubam, p.) shining in absurdity than such dropsical en + In feeble emulation of Bentley, whe comia. Doubtless Porson was a very extra- says: “ The wit and genius of the Heathen ordinary personage, but his merits have writers beguiled me; and as I despaired of their boundary; nor is he to be admitted
raising myself to their standard on fair into the same temple of glory with the kings ground, the only chance I had of looking and emperors of HUMAN NATURE, nor to sit over their heads was by getting on their on the same throne with SHAKSPEARE, Mic- shoulders." (Cumberland's Memois, Folie TON, PASCAL, NEWTON, and Locke, p. 20.)
816.] Strictures on Prof. Porson & Mr.Kidd re-asserted & vindicated. 509 pon it by me is pretty generally adopt- tian and sir names of that Dutch comd in the circles of literary suen, and mentator, who wrote a folio volume de hat his swii cunning method of waving particulá ys et satellitibus ejus ! ts particular defence, and, in lieu of N. N. Bollows up this gratuitous and hat his especial duiy, busying himself apsupported libel on my taste, by a de En a loose com non-place declamation on
claration that Porsou never displayed the merits of Porson, can ceither bare any mor oseness upou any cccasion whatpower in overthrow my decision as ap- soever, but that “ his good-temper was plied erciusively to that particular work, notorious, his urbanity engaging,” &c. nor to persu.de any reader of sound in- IN. N. was not too serious to be witty, tellect inat he has accomplisi.ed the pur- I should imagine that he had assumed in pose for which lois letter was written.* this place what Popt calls “irony's trans
Having thus gently deinolis ei my op- parent veil,” and intend d in that thin ponent in so far as this Kiddio Porsoniana disguise. to plant a dayger at one of the Congeries is concerne i, I shall briefly most vulnerable parts of his bero's cha- ' touch on one or two to ics suggested by racter. But the simplicity and earnesthis pertormance. In the sarcasın whicis ness of his whole manner rescue him he has been pleased to pass op my pro- from such an imputation: I cannot doubt fession, (thouglı be has not quite ventured but that he wishes to be believed acto call me av Oebilius,) and in the un- cording to the strict import of his words, handsome assertion that I am “one of and truly his compliments are the more those men who measu.e the merit of an generous in proportion as the object of author by the bulk of his works,” I see his panegyric is less deserving of them, something like a departure from the or. The truth I believe to have been as foldinary tove of his gentleness and urba- lows: Porson required a full stretch of nity. I must assure N.N. that this im- admiring hoinage* from all those with putation is wholly unmerited; and though whom he associated, and to such as conperhaps my feelings do not quite accord descended to propitiate bis good-humour with ihat Foi latitude of idolatry which by habitual deference, he was sufficieatly induced Scaliger to declare be would affable and accessible. 1 fully and freely rather have written an ode in Horace admit, too, his crapulous jollity, and bis than be King of Arragon, vet I can duly eternal strings of merry quo:ations over
appreciate the massy ingots of Porson's " the sparkling food;" but it is worse is intellectual wealth, ihough they lie in a
than idle to extend bis praises in this narrow compass; and am perfectly well respect any farther. I have no delight, aware that a very small portion of that however, in dragging into open day the well-compacted treasure would have blemishes of genius. The spots upon the been hammered out by the head of an
sun's disk should be hidden in the glory ordinary editor or commentator into a of his beams;t but yet the pit of error superficies of inmeasurable extent and
* “ With flattery, the food of courts, they comparative worihlessness. Believe me,
rock'd him, Sir, I had rather be the author of any
And lull'd him in the down of his deone of the critical articles in Porson's
sires." " Adden saria," than bear both the chris
BEAUMONT and FLETCHER. * N. N., propped up by his little band of of Nothing, however, in my judgment, Porsonnuletts, speaks in big and burly terms can be more niistaken, and, generally speakof his idol's morality-he, however, reluc- ing, more mischievous, than to employ the tantly confesses his tipsy fits:
coarse white-washing brush of panegyric, “ Silenum pueri Somno videre jacentem, instead of the discrimir.ating pencil of truth, Inflatum hesterno venas, UT SEMPER lace in the portraiture of any characters of high cho!”
Virgil's Ecl. o. renown, and of influence as exemplars for But I wish to know er cathed & whether he the formation of rising minds. The faults was really the author of the licentious pa- of such men should be distinctly marked, rody of Pope's poem, entitled Eloisa er and an emphatic seal of reprobation set upon dishabille, and published in 1781 by Faul- them. Above all, it should be shown that der; we all know that he had it by heart: their vices have no sort of necessary conindeed he was fond of parodies, and I am netion with their merits, and that they are told was wont to exclaim again and again the morbid excrescences, and not the ge
nuine and healtı y fruits of the tree. For When port and claret are gone and spent, want of this moral discernment many a
Then small beer is most excellent ! scatter-brained nincompoop has fancied himHas want of decency, according to the ca. self more than half a Charles Fox, because nons of the Porsonian school, ceased to be he has been able to imitate his prototype in want of sense?
his gambling and other irregularities. The NEW MONTHLY MAG.NO. 30.
con amore :
Cruelty of Experiments on Animals.
[July 1, should be closed whenever we are able
- - SITOS PRET" Esiane to do it; and pressed on either hand by A6:105 ' aver Ges, 0515 65 R2X5* these conflicting sensations, I shall con Πεσων ακειται, μηδ' ακινητες πελει. tent myself with observing, that N. N.
Sop, Antig. v. 118. will instantly discover how complete and I am, Mr. Editor, very respecifully yours, radical has been his mistake, 11 investing
A PROVINCIAL SCHOOL MASTE2. his hero's character with the apostolical June 6, 1816. attributes of meekness, placability, for- P. S. As N. N. is a worshipper of bearance, and undeviating gentleness, Porson's sacred attachment to truth, le when he shall bave learned (as he may himself ought to keep a guardian ne in almost every circle) the aviform cast over its interests: but he tells me, that of his language when speaking upon the “ it has been truly said of Porsoncompositions and the characters of Her- pauca quidem ingenii sui pignora religait, man, Gilbert Wakefield,* Taylor, Travis, sed egregia, sed admiranda." Now it llorne Tooke, Parr, &c.
happens that these words form a part, I will now, Sir, conclude as I com- not of Porson's but of Roger Cotes's epimex.ced with making a bow of respect taph, written by the fainous Bentley, and to my antagonist, whose simplicity of to be seen on a tablet in Trinity College mind is so apparent, that I feel assured Chapel, Cambridge. - Pallit le incarbis errors are those of the understanding, tum, pietas tua!'" (Ln. lib. x, 812.) and not of the beart.t Ile will, therefore, take in good part the advice that
"If a few inferior joys I have given him; and I cherish, too, an
Be all of life they share, eager hope, that he will not only retract
Let pity plead within our breasts his erroneous impressions, but also pos
That little all to spare." sess magnanimity enough to thank me for the delicate forbearance with which
MR. EDITOR, I have ministered to the correction of AS a friend to humanity, I have been
an attentive observer of the discussicas
that have been inserted in your pages os same also in regard to l'orson, as a spirited the cruelty of making experiments e living poet has well expressed it :
living animals; and I must freely own, The fool uncomb'd, and wash'd but once a that nothing which has been argued
week, Thinks Porson's lice can give him Porson's
affords to my mind the slightest justifi
gation of even the policy of a practice Greek.
so abhorrent from every principle of * Mr. Wakefield, in a most accurate deli- humanized feeling. neation of Porson's character, says of him :
What possible good let me ask, can at “ he is a most extraordinary person, but in
all events he pleaded for the repetition all respects unamaille," &c. (See his Corre
of any experiments, where the fact the spondence with Mr. Fox.) I differ from this “ Septembrizing Gronovius," as he has been
have io illustrate had been once clearly well called, in regard to almost every prin
ascertained? For after all, it is but ? ciple advanced by him in his triple character the root of some requer act that the of critic, politician, and divine: nothing, policy of the practice, even in a physical however, was at any time more truly co. view, is in any shape attempted io be loured from the life than the portrait of Por- justified; in a moral view not a word son in the letter from which I have borrowed can be alleged in its bebalf, this extract; but N. N. I am aware, will To argue in the words of a sceling not admit the resemblance into the articles reviewer of the writings of that disgustof his faith ; for rasli, enthusiastic admira- ing experimentalist, Spallanzani-" when tion is more than purblind, and her hood. an investigation cannot be pursued with winked eye holds no communion with the out juflicting torinents on Sensitive he. light of truth.
ings, and where there is no apparent like+ Mr. Kidd tells us, and N.N. quotes the litiood of producing benefit either to passage with rapture, that Person “ pos
ourselves or to them by be proceeding, sessed a heart filled with sensibility." Will either of these gentlemen tell us in what
that Christian benevolence, whici mogli chapter of his ireatment of Mr. Wakefield
to extend to all the creatures of God,
to extend to that sensibility was displayed? It is notori- will surely restrain our bands, and direct ous that he uniforinly thought and spoke of us 10 studies inore consonant with its hini with cynical asperity and the most bitter benign spirit." derision: and his conduct was the more Let men of science, then, rest satisfied cruel, because, as he well knew, Wakefield with the facts which have beca already telt the agony of it at his heart's core. established let them be content with
511 se known results which the discoveries being possible by an overcharge or efflux f the heartless and cold blooded expe- of the terrestrial rientral fluid upon the part mentalists that have gone before them in the volcanic orterræ-motus inode, it may i the path of philosophical inquiry have more properly perhaps be denominated 1 hundled-told repetition drawn, with a flatus. The sheet'iu question, by its ut wishing to ascertain what has been brushing shrubs in its passage, scemed to bundantly provedl, or to repeat the have passed along from four to more feet iseless trial of their cruel and heart- high, and must have rode upon the fluid ecoiling operations-leaving to the un as a bird in air does; and ihey afford ffending victims of their tortures the mutual illustration of each other's acts - little all" of enjoyment which their and causes. bumble link in the scale of creation This and former effects give an insiglio affords thein.
SCRUTATOR. into the cause and law of gravity in naBerkshire, June 5th.
ture at large, viz. malter's connexion P.S. That in the terms I have used with, and motion by, a certain fluid; in this letter, in speaking of the cruel and the law of it is, that it moves sponpractice which it deprecates, I am not taneously to the region where the fluid it applying too harsh designations, I nced wants is presented. If that fluid be esonly appeal to the revoliing statements sential to the cohesion, and indeed status by Spallanzani, Pistorini, Bonnet, and ens of matter, as the analysis of bodies other foreign physiologists, of their own solid and liquid readily demonstrate; and abominable experiments; sincerely wish- if there be a reservoir of the fluid central ing at the same time such a charge impli- to the earth, from whence it returns excated foreigners only! The circumstance, hausted at last in the form of magnetic bowever, recorded (in your Magazine of fluid continually flowing, then must the May, p. 307) so much to the honour of earth and all bodies be tributary to this the Royal Society, will, it is to be dea central collection, and supply it; convoutly hoped, tend to the effectual dis- sequently they must constantly imbibe couragement of animal experiments in and transinit fluid from their systems, future in England.
and the want of it and waste will be
continued. On Gravity. By the Rev. T.CORMOULS.
Solution of Gravity. (Conc'uded from p. 413.) A CERTAIN natural effect that has All the spontaneous motion of matter, been very common in the volcanic coun of which common or statistic gravity is tries, and not without instance in Eng- only one case or variety, arises from the land, supplies a collateral proof of the mutual aflections of all matter with a existence of a lifting fluid as its cause, certain fluid which is determinable to be and perhaps that in air, but it may be the neutral or mother electric.* There from earth, to which large portions of is a general attractive effect of solar land will attach and forsake their very light, indecd, besides, and a particular bases when disorder or excitement in a one of magnetic fluid, But these will portion reverses the order of attraction. appear to be related Auids. Light, a If the portion rise to the fluid in air, it part of the origin of the neutral magnemay be called the lift or transfer of it. tic, the returning exhausted state of Thus sheets of soil have been repeatedly the same, need not be considered in lifted froin the sides of the Appenines statistic gravity, by which, with the neuand Ætna, and it inay be Vesuvius, bar tral fluid motor, all the phenomena, diried off and laid one upon another at rect and reversed near the earth, are of great distances, which is a natural cause easy solution. The reversed have been of many of the amazing repetitions of explained in projected bodies and birds' soils and Javas. Such an instance of a powers. The direct are equally plain sheet of soil, some feet thick and an acre on analogies which present electric knowexpanse, being lifted and transferred 400 ledge supplics, asor 500 yards, occurred near Richmond, Firstly: a very little difference of cirin Yorkshire, about 60 years ago. This cumstance, and disposal of particle, was not done by any of the known gases: makes substances prefer and attract the some would have by explosion blown rarer vitreous eleciric; or refuse it, and the sheet to pieces; others transuded attract the denser resinous. Thus smooth through ii; therefore, there being nu glass attracis the rarer vitreous electric, lifting fuid of requisite qualities and and rough glass the denser resinous. powers for the effect but the neutral, that Or the two common electrics neutrait must be ascribed to; but the same effect lized by caloric.