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Porson, or perhaps Parr. His memory too was stored abundantly with many of the finest passages of antiquity, which he introduced with propriety and grace. We do not know, after all, that we should not prefer his limited scholarship to Parr's, for all purposes of utility, because a very recondite erudition must be purchased at a vast expense and by sacrifices perhaps too great. Johnson's learning was in his purse as well as his chest, it was always available: suitable to his other attainments. It was used by him for ornament, for illustration, for example. It added the weight of its authority to a moral sentence; and it adorned, by the elegance of its illustration, a critical opinion. In what is called modern literature, Johnson was rich almost beyond the aspirations of rivalry; but we do not estimate highly the delicacy or discrimination of his taste. It is not always easy in his critical opinions to determine between what is erroneous in his judgment, and defective and capricious in his temper; to know whether he was illiberal and perverse, or whether he was too indolent to form correct opinions, or had not the taste to rise into the higher regions of excellence. He disliked Gray's poetry, and he called his prose poor stuff -was this a prejudice of temper, or a deficiency of taste? perhaps they cannot be entirely separated: and so we shall conclude with expressing our full agreement in the sentiments of a writer who always accompanies his philosophical investigations with the most indulgent spirit of criticism, when he says, "To myself (much as I admire his great and various merits, both as a critic and a writer) human nature never appears in a more humiliating form than when I read his Lives of the Poets, a performance which exhibits a more faithful, expressive, and curious picture of the author, than all the portraits attempted by his biographers; and which in this point of view compensates fully by the moral lessons it may suggest, for the critical errors which it sanctions. The errors, alas! are not such as any one who has perused his imitations of Juvenal, can place to the account of a bad taste, but such as had their root in weaknesses, which a noble mind would be still more unwilling to acknowledge." *

It is our intention in the next and some following numbers, to follow the volumes of this work; and to make those remarks on the circumstances mentioned in Boswell's narrative, that we may consider useful either in correcting any errors of the Commentators, or supplying any additional information.

(Continued from p. 238.)


Oct. 26. The remarks in the Edinburgh Review on the Penal Code of China, are excellent. They justly ridicule the attempted, exact, previous adaptation of pains to offences in the Chinese Code, and which some modern philosophers have wished to introduce in our own; and they observe, that to determine the point at which the danger of committing something to the discretion of the judge, becomes less than that of tying him down by directions altogether inflexible, is one of the most difficult problems in the science of legislation; and which can only be determined in every particular country by a thorough consideration of the

* See Professor D. Stewart's Philosophical Essays, 4to. p. 491.

character of the people, and the habits of its law-officers. The peculiar and capital defect in the Chinese, they maintain at the close, is the total want of the principle of honour, which renders a Code that would be intolerably burdensome from its minute busy interference anywhere else, expedient as a suppletory regimen there.

Oct. 31. Pursued Rees's Cyclopædia. The superlative praises bestowed upon Fox, do not appear to me borne out by the achievements of his life. The opening and the close of his political career were both unhappy for his fame, and perhaps he owes much of that fame to his having been so long in opposition, and so little in power.-Began Scott's 'Lady of the Lake; and could not resist reading the three first Cantos; carried delightfully along by the interest of the story, the beauty and freshness of the images, and the touching sweetness, delicacy, and pathos of the sentiments, diffusing over the whole an exquisite, delicious, and entrancing charm, beyond any thing, I think, in any descriptive poetry :-to instance only in the third Canto, what touches are there! Speaking of the mountain reflections on Loch Katrine:

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"The sickening pang of Hope deferr'd,' is from Sterne; and I am afraid that an eagle pois'd in mid-heaven, cannot throw a 'broad shadow o'er the lake,' though she may silence the warblers round it. My knowledge of the exquisite scenery of Loch Katrine, adds greatly to the interest of the Poem.

Nov. 2. Finished Pt. 1. Vol. 15. of Rees's Cyclopædia. The expression'French School of Engraving,' quoted from a French author respecting Baudet's style of engraving, which, though neat, was cold and mechanical

that the manner accuses the metal,' is uncommonly and eminently happy. Under 'Fresco' it is happily observed that the oil painter gradually and progressively illuminates his objects, and vivifies his colours, like nature with the rising-sun; but that a painter in fresco, must rush at once into broad daylight.-Read Erskine's Speeches in defence of Captain Baillie, and against the Monopoly of Almanacks, at the Bar of the House of Commons; and was less struck in both instances with the vigour of his argumentation, and the fervid glow of his empassioned eloquence, than with the tone of manly independence and determined resistance to oppression, which thus early distinguished his forensic career. There is a little of the rhetorical divisions of a young orator in the first speech; but they vanish in the blaze of his declamation. Read his Speeches on the Dean of St. Asaph's Case for boldness of spirit and vigour of reasoning, un

rivalled, I should suppose, by any effusions from the Bar. I cannot help thinking his argument for the rights of Juries in cases of Libel, absolutely conclusive and unanswerable; their function in such cases would otherwise be quite anomalous; and obviously see the motive for such an attempted restriction on their ordinary rights-to favour the Crown and State prosecutions; judges may be safely trusted, but not juries.

Nov. 5. Read Lord Mansfield's Speech on discharging the Rule for a new Trial in this case. With all this juris consulti, artful preparations and plausible glozings, it is impossible to get over with tolerable smoothness the objections which Erskine has so distinctly, vividly, and forcibly urged against the doctrine which the Lord-Chief-Justice maintains. Lord Mansfield's alarm at the consequences, if the Law was what the Statute has ɛince rendered it, now appears ridiculous.

Nov. 7. Read the fourth and fifth Cantos of the Lady of the Lake.' The narrative in the former is feebly and languishingly conducted, and the space is poorly eked out by the ballad of Alice Brand. It is a great pity that the story could not have been managed without a second visit from Fitzjames to Loch Katrine-a most clumsy expedient in a main incident. In the combat betwixt Fitzjames and Roderick Dhu

Each look'd to sun, and stream, and plain,
As what they ne'er might see again,

is happily conceived and expressed; and the whole combat is forcibly and vividly described.-Read the sixth and last Canto: The excellent and admirable denouement, so unexpectedly, so delightful, so touchingly exhibited, redeems much of the tame, and languid, that precedes it; but the Poem, I think, betrays strong symptoms of having been eked out; and however superior it may be deemed in correctness of outline, is truly greatly inferior in true poetic genius and prolific fancy, to either Marmion or the Lay of the Last Minstrel.

Nov. 10. In the Cyclopædia under Gelée (Claude Loraine), they remark that his skies appear to possess an inherent light, reflecting and dispersing it upon the eyes of the spectators, as well as the objects in the pictures. His paintings, they observe, are extremely difficult to copy, as is his colouring, which is of the most subtle nature, being the result of one tint laid on another.

Nov. 15. Read Erskine's Speech in crimination of Paine's Age of Reason; which shows that men are liberal enough while they remain indifferent; but that the most liberal become intolerant when opinions are attacked which they warmly espouse. Controversial points of the Christian religion, he allows that every man has a right to investigate; but maintains that no man, consistently with a law which only exists under its sanction, has a right to deny its existence. He repeatedly insists that the whole of our law is founded upon the Christian religion. Erskine is fond of quoting Burke, though he intimates in a preceding speech, that Burke entertained but a mean opinion of his talents.

Nov. 23. Read Lucian's Dialogue of Timon and Halcyon.' He seems the only one of the ancients who possessed true and genuine humour. Much of his wit, no doubt, is lost, with the allusions; but many admirable

Mr. Green's scanty knowledge of Greek, prevented him from understanding the rich vein of wit, the incomparable festivity of Aristophanes: and Mr. Mitchell's clover translations did not exist.-ED.

strokes of raillery remain and flourish. Socrates, in the latter dialogue, harangues like a modern pious divine removing the scruples of sceptics.Looked over again the novel of Nourjahad,' and thought full as well of it as what I had expressed in my extracts.

Nov. 26. Humboldt maintains that the darkness of complexion in America-the deposition of carbonated hydrogen in the corpus mucosum or riticulosum-bears no proportion to the heat of, and exposure to the sun; he regards it as indigenous and unalterable. While Humboldt was at Lima, an Indian died aged 143 years; he had been married to a woman 90 years, who died aged 117; at 130, he went daily three or four leagues on foot. The human species, Humboldt considers as varying in height from 2 feet 4, to 7 ft. 8.

Nov. 30. Looked in D. Stewart's Essays. H. Tooke's design, he conceives to be, to reduce all the objects of human knowledge to the images dimly transmitted by the senses; and in his philological support of this doctrine, that Tooke proceeds throughout on the false assumption that the primitive meaning of any term must be its philosophical one; the tenuity of the substances, from which the mind has derived its name, indicates, Stewart acutely remarks, that the applyers of these terms regarded it as immaterial.


Dec. 4. Read D. Stewart's Essays on Beauty.' Beauty, he conceives, to have been a term applied at first only to objects of sight; and of these, first to colours, then to forms, then to motion; and that this enlargement in its application arose not from any common quality discoverable between them, but from their undistinguishable co-operation in producing the same agreeable effects, in consequence of their being perceived by the same organ and at the same instant. Our love of regular forms and uniform arrangements, he ascribes to the "sufficient reason" of Leibnitz. To there being an obvious and assignable motive for that disposition, which we explore in vain in one, which, without any apparent cause, is capriciously disorderly.

Dec. 6. Stewart distinguishes between what is intrinsically, and what is only relatively, beautiful; between what is beautiful in itself, and beautiful only in combination; and considers much of what Mr. Price has said of the PICTURESQUE as applicable to the latter species of Beauty. Picturesque, he thinks, is not properly contrasted with Beauty, but operates with greater propriety as a qualifying epithet to limit the meaning of the general term Beauty: and Sublime, he thinks, may be employed in the same way with equal propriety. He proceeds to show in the next chapter, how Beauty has been transferred from its proper theme-the objects of sight, to moral qualities; and to the objects of the sense of hearing, by means of association; and seems disposed to regard this tralatitious enlargement of meaning as philosophically just; but I must still think that it is only by restricting Beauty to its primitive and distinctive meaning, that we can ever hope to explore its causes with success. Stewart objects to Buffiere's and Reynolds's account of Beauty-"that it is the most customary form in each species of objects," that it does not explain the beauty of the species itself, nor why a pleasing effect should be connected with those qualities which are most commonly to be observed in nature.

Dec. 8. Read Middleton's Controversy respecting Dr. Waterland's Vindication of Scripture. Encouraged by the "Immunities of Invisibility Middleton had certainly been led to go too far in defence of Deism, he abandons indefensible positions with a dignity and grace, and mai

the tenable ground with an ability and candour, which does equal credit to his head and heart; a noble spirit shines through him, and breaks out finely at the close of one of his Letters: "If to live strictly," he says, "and thrink freely-to practise what is moral, and to believe what is rational-be consistent with the sincere profession of Christianity, then I shall always acquit myself like one of its truest professors." There can be little doubt, however, that at the bottom the Doctor was a complete sceptic as to revealed religion. It appears from a passage quoted from one of Tillotson's sermons, that he (Middleton) completely abandoned the inspiration of the Evangelists.

Dec. 13. Read the three first of Bolingbroke's Letters on the Use of History. None but Mr. Burke would be entitled to call him shallow; though I admit that in the treatment of ancient history, which he affects to despise, there is an affectation of greater depth than the writer really possesses. Read Sir T. Roe's Journal of his Embassy from James the First to the Great Mogul ;-interesting, from the admirable simplicity of the narrative, and the scene of barbarous splendour which it unfolds. India must have improved nearly as much as Europe in government and manners since this period. The drunken Emperor with his maudlin humours, is very amusing.

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Dec. 16. Read Bernier's description of his Journey in 1664, in the train of Aurengzebe from Delhi to Kashmere. The apparatus and magnificence of this moving campaign, including not less than 400,000 persons, is most strikingly depicted; and the intolerable heats in ascending the slope of the mountains which form the barrier of Kashmere, affectingly exhibited. Kashmere itself is described, just as it has been since represented, as an insulated terrestrial Paradise, containing every gratification that nature can afford to the senses. The Ethiopian Ambassadors described to Bernier the source and first course of the Nile, much as Bruce has done ; and the periodical swelling of that river is ascribed to the periodical falls of rain in Æthiopia.

The Pipe Roll of 31st Henry I.

(Concluded from p. 360.)

THE accounts rendered by private persons are so numerous, and embrace such a variety of subjects, that we cannot do more than present our readers with such a selection from them as will tend to give some idea of the whole. We shall at the same time be amassing materials for that which is to be the last subject for our consideration, the manner, namely, in which these Records tend to illustrate the general condition of society.

Accounts were rendered of fines for the purchase of offices and privileges. We have already instanced the purchase of the Shrievalty; the following are purchases of offices in the King's Household.

Humphrey de Bohun accounts for 400 marks of silver that he may be Steward of the King's Household.'-p. 18.

John Marshal owes 40 marks of silver for the office of Master of the Prebends in the King's Court."-ibid.*

The words are pro magisterio in Curia Regis de libat' Prebende.' 'Prebendaries' were pensioners;' persons who received allowances, whether in money, clothes, or any thing else. The duty of this officer was to see to the delivery of these prebends' or allowances.'

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