« PreviousContinue »
Sequence was that as his earnings did not ing them of the honest dear-bought reward aolwer his subsistance, he was perpetually of their literary labours, was rather Hattergetting in debt. He was arrested, but at ing than feasible. Literary fame alone will last discharged by his creditors, after fix not purchase a shoulder of muttoo, or premonths close confinement, because they yail with sordid butchers and bakers to 2found they could get nothing of him. bate one farthing in the pound of the exor
After this, writing a tolerable hand, he bitant price which bread and meat at this was retained for some time by a gentleman time bear. An empty stomach is a bad at. as his amanuensis; this gentleman perceive tendant on spleen and melancholy; and ing he had some abilities in the literary the best means of relieving a friend, opway, recommended him to some booksels pressed with the two great evils of hunger lers, and advised him to turn author and sorrow, is to refresh his spirits with he did so, and while his patron lived made proper nutriment for the body, before a good sublittance, and even began to pay you attempt the administering that balsam fome of his creditors; but this step only of confolation intended for the relief of brought the relt upon him-however, as his mind. his patron had given him leave to address
Pope was so far from feasting upon litehis daughter, supposed to be worth 1000l. rary fame, that he boafted of the happy in. that circumstance kept them quiet for some dependance he had obtained by the sale of sime; but she was a minor; her father dy- his literary publications. ing, guardians were appointed; they gave The names of Bacon, Newton, Milton, consent to her marrying Camillo immedi. and Locke, and the player Shakespeare too, ately, but when she come of age, brought have been brought to prove that first-rate in a scandalous account wherein they made geniuses have laboured in the literary way her debtor. - In the mean time, since her from the sole motive of delighting and iofather's death, the booksellers had declin- ftructing mankind. That Shakespeare was ed employing Camillo, who thought to set not one of those sublime characters who up in his trade, but now his hopes were had no view to gain in his works, is obvi. blasted. He had but one chance more ous, Mrs. Macaulay thinks, from that s.
Mr. Sm, an old gentleman of bundance of low ribaldry to please a barbagreat generosity, employed him to trans- rous audience, which lead and disgrace fcribe fome litele things for him. He in the most excellent of his dramatic pieces; terested himself in his affairs, and would and though he did not fell or bequeathe have settled his debis for bim; but a sud- his works, he never took the pains to coro den death removed him. Camillo had by rect a page of them for the benefit of the this time three children by his wife, for public. whom he entertaioed che molt tender af. The honours the philosopherBacon acquire fection.
ed, were not in consequence of his superior
genius, but as the reward of prostituting ACCOUNT of a Modest Pues for the his talents to the interests of an arbitrary,
Property of Copy Right. By' Catha- ill-designing court.
Locke did not go without his reward,
Newton was gracified with a place and "HIS hasty performance, the author pension,
assures us, was written under a heavy But Milton, indeed, Mrs. Macaulay ac. oppression of sickness and languor of body, knowledges, when his fortune was ruined ai a great distance from the capital, deprive in the crush of his party, amused his dised of the advantage of seeing all the argu. tressed imagination with forming, for the ments adduced by council on this important delight and instruction of mankind, a poem, fubject, or, indeed, any other argument whose merit is of such magnitude, that it but what she got from the news papers. is impoffible for a genius inferior to his
Her first pofition is, that booksellers own co do judice to the description. claim an equal privilege with the rest of
Mrs. Macaulay, after some threwd re• their fellow citizens engaged in trade, to marks eo lhe arguments against the perpeeat and drink, and, if in the good graces tuity of literary property, proceeds more of dame Fortune, to leave estates to their feriously to consider the subject in view. families; and the remarks, that, if it is so she begins with combating chose popular very obvious as a-noble Lord has endea vour- complaints, which whether on true or false ed io make it appear, that no common-la w grounds, she says, “ have at various times, right exists for securing copy-right, the by authors and the public, been made agranting injunctions could only tend to gainst the booksellers. The public de not deny in one party what the law entitled fufficiently respect and love learning, to be them to, and amuse the other to cheir easily satisfied with the price of books, and
it is impofible for a bookseller to satisfy She thinks the high compliment paid to the expectations of an unsuccessful author. authors with the intention only of depriv
But however a varice (for ivarice more or less governs all bodies of men) may former AN ESSAY ON NOVELTY. ly have occafioned booksellers to impofe on the wants of a neceffitous author in the Here is no pasion more strongly purchase of a copy, or on the public in the sale of a literary work, there are at present of Novelty; which, from the beginning to too many in the trade for an author to be the end of life, is that endless principle reduced to the neceffity of disposing of a that keeps the mind in a continual gadding, faleable copy for less than it is worth. and which, when not under the govern. Booksellers also, in these times, understand ment of a found judgment, is as much their interest better than to give very bad delighted with the newness of a triling editions of authors. We have in general fashion, as with the most useful discovery better paper, better priat, and more ele- in nature. gant editions of English authors, than I be In every stage of life, a certain degree liere were ever known Gince literature fou. of this paflion is highly necessary; but in rihed in England; and, in regard to mode. no other part lo intense and requisite as in rateness of price, books in these times, when our infancy. The fickleness in young every commodity, every material in the minds; the continual shifting from one way of trade, pay such a high tax to the thing to another; the ardent longings after government; books I say, are the cheapest new play-things, wbich no sooner attainarticle fold. This is so notorious a cruch ed, but grown familiar, are loathed and to those enlightened, generous individuals, thrown alide; is all the effect of this pafliwho understand the use of literature, and on, and stores the mind with that variety respect learned and ingenious persons, that of ideas it so quickly acquires in the first chey lament the frivolous talte, which is years of life. These ideas would come in so generally prevailing, as to occasion but nowly, were the likings of children both sexes to give with pleasure, to see a steady, and were they not hurried by their farcical representation on the stage, or to curiosity from object to object. revel ac a masquerade, double, treble, and, I have been
often amused in considering, in the last instance, often above ten times thé how the neceflicies of one stage of life are fun which they grudge to bestow on an in- frequently che vices of another; and have ftru&tive book.
been pleased to see a child fall out with his These enlightened, generous individuals, coral, and cry for a new play-thing, when do, I say, lament that those debauchers of I have blushed to see maturer years give inthe good sense and morals of the people, dications of this giddiness of defire, which, those dealers in (not to give them a hariher however necessary in children to store che Dame) triling amusements, with dancers imagination, and to prevent too strong an and fingers, should be supported in all the attachment to particular things, yet at the high luxuries of pampered sense, and at the age of manhood is the result of an untutorsame time enabled to pocket thousands ob ed disposition. The acquisition of original tained from the giddy, unthinking multi ideas is the business of childhood; to comtude, whilst those who are fit to instruct pound and arrange them, the work of riper and delight the intellectual sense of man years; and that eagerness after Noveley, kind, are driven to the greatest straits to and consequently fick leness, which at first obtain the necessaries and decencies of served to enrich the faacy, now only dillife.”
turbs the judgment. After lamenting the want of national ge Hence the passion for Novelty, altho' nerosity for the encouragement of learning, never intirely destroyed, yet naturally de• Mrs. Macaulay concludes her remarks with @ays; or if in due time it does not abate, the solucion of this important question : Is it becomes a foible in the character, and the rendering literary property common,
should be brought under proper discipline. advantageous er disadvantageous to the Whenever this buly principle so ont-lives ftate of literature in this country? This, she its occasions so as to remain vigorous in old thinks, is eafily answered, that it will not age, it is generally confined to a certain fet only be disadvantageous, but ruinous, to of objects; and from hence arise the varithe state of literature.
If literary pro ous tribes of Novelty-hunters with which perty becomes common, adds the, we Society swarms; such as news-mongers, can have but two kinds of authors; men thell-gatherers,butter-Ay-catchers, in short, in opulence, and men in dependence : most of the buly enquirers into Nature, and as in our days genius and learning, without the abilities to arrange, or invenare too humble and too modeft to fre. tion to investigate her laws. quent the places of the great, she is afraid, When mere curiosity is the motive of a that it is from dependent writers alone person's enquiries into the productions of that we mult expect all our future in Nature, however he may be dignified by ftru&tion,
the specious name of a Naturalist, he is ir
quisitive to no purpose; his search is mere portance, to render the means confiderable; Ty after Novelty, not after improvement; and where newness merely is the end of our for not distinguishing the great and useful pursuits, the labour of the means only works of Nature from the plays the affects heightens the ridicule. in varrying the colour of a butterfly or a What is more ridiculous than to see . tulip, every discovery is of equal impor. Florist, at four every morning, hanging otance to him; and though he may be ac. ver a tulip with as much anxiety as an Alquainted with the external appearance of chymist waits the happy moment of projecall Nature, he knows no one part of her tion? Why all this affiduity to catch the intimately, but is as a traveller who rides instant of its blowing, merely to observe post thro' a country.
whether it opens with a streak more or less The man who in this manner heaps up than he had yet feen? He who thus grows knowledge, if with the least degree of pro. over a Rower, leads a life of very little priety it can be termed Knowledge, is nei- higher vegetation thaa the flower itself. iher better oor wiser than he who, to an The contemplation of the relation each extreme old age, spent a life in purchasing part of the universe bears to the whole ; furniture, which, no sooner bought than how mere vegetation through various depacked up into garrets, served neither for grees rises almost to life, and seems of kin. ule nor ornament. Indeed the heads of dred to the lowest sensation; the gradation, these “ children of a larger growth" may again, of sensative beings, from the Insect juftly be deemed as lumber-rooms, where to the Man himself, and regarding every the refuse of understanding and knowledge thing as part of an infinite scale ; is uoare indiscriminately jumbled together, and doubtedly worthy of a Philosopher. A where it soon loses its value even to the puro Aower, i worm, a butterfly, may afford sessor, as it loses its novelty.
matter of enquiry to the wiseft man, if, To consider the ardor, vehemence, and enlarging his views, he does not rest chere; toil that men employ in their pursuits, one and if from the curious structure of a gnat would judge the enquiries to be of the he is carried to the contemplation of a Su. greatest importance ; but if we turn to the preme Being, and an admiration of that objects of these pursuits, we see them as Almighty Wildom which, stretching itself they are, serious crifles; an infect; a mus- from the smallest atom through infinite vae sel-Thell; a weed, or a flower.
riety, actuates, impels, and orders the It is not long since I met with an oration whole system of things.' In this light he which, upon looking into, I imagined had will see the uniform operations of Nature, been a panegyric upon Hercules or These and that the cementing power which keeps us, or some such monter-killer of antiquity. the great planets in their orbs, Ilkewise The Hero's traversing the globe from east combines the smallest particles of matter ; to west, from north to fouch, through heats, and that a Cæsar grew from an egg, 18 and colds, and storms, was emphatically well as the most inconfiderable insect. His described, and the dangers he was exposed enquiries in this view will render him the to worked up in the highest colours; some wiser and the better man; and from contimes scorched on the burning plains of lidering how each clats of lower animals Africa, fometimes almost perished with the conftantly operate in their proper Iphere, piercing cold of Lapland, sometimes im he will learn, that to do good to his fel. pending from the brow of a steep rock, low-creatures, and to direct all his toil and which nodded horrid over the swelling ocean, study to the preservation of society, is the the winds, and rains, and waves burting only way of answering the great end of upon him; sometimes in the deep caverns Creation. of the earth, dismal in gloom! From all this pomp I expected to hear of the Nemean A MOST SINGULAR CHARACTER. lion, the Hydra, the Eyrmanthean boar,
very ancient , and of a little further, I found the Hero was a estate of a thousand pounds a year. In Botanist, and his coils Simrling.
his youth he was bred to the law; and he This Simpler for aught I know, might be possessed sufficient abilities to have made a useful enough in his particular way, and progress in it. Being once put into moti. ftand the foremost amongst his own vegeta on, he was extremely apt to continue fo; live tribes; yet surely his Panegyrist could and when at reft, he hated moring. By not have taken a more effectual way to this disposition, when he was prevailed on by render both himself and his friend ridicu his companions to pass an evening in gaiety, lous. The toils and labour of a Botanist he never desired to change the manner of or Butterfly-catcher will hardly admit of living, and would have persisted in it for oratory or Panegyric; lo necessary is it in ever, if he could have prevailed on them our actions, that the end hould be of ing. to conciouc with him; being then as eccen.
nothing like that occurred: upon reading M: Serckhair was 2. Gentleman of
tric and an inclined to motion as a comet. lover of money; for, during this whole la like manner, when he had once become time, he had never received nor asked for sedentary by two or three days tarrying at any rent from any of his tenants; and his chambers, he hated the thoughts of those who brought him money he would ofbeing put into action again, and was al len keep at an inn more than a week, pay ways with difficulty brought abroad; like all their expences, and send them back a a heavy None which has fain some time in gain without receiving a shilling. one place on the ground, and formed ita He lived well in his house, and freself a bed, out of which it is not eaglyle quently gave to the poor; always eat from inoved,
large joints of meat, and never saw any When he left London, he retired into thing i wice at his table; and at Christmas the country, filled with the project of per- he divided a certain sum of money amongst fecting the perpetual motion. This natu the neceflilous of the town. rally kept him much at home in pursuit of He seemed to be afraid of two things onthis audy: and as ao one in the town had ly, one, being killed for his riches; the oresolution enough to reason with him on ther, being infected with a disease ; for the affair, or was of importance enough to which reason he would send his maid someinake him change his design, that habit of times to borrow a half crown from his perlifting in one way kept him at home ena neighbours, to hint he was poor; and al. tirely. During the course of more than
ways received the money which was paid thirty years, he never came abroad but once, bird, in a bason of water, to prevent taking which was, when he was obliged to take infection from those who paid him. the oaths of allegiance to King George the He never kept his money under lock and First. That was the only time he changed key, but piled it up on the shelves, before his shirt, garments, or laved himself, the the plates in his kitchen. In his chamwhole time of his retirement. He was a ber, into which no fervant had entrance very little man, and at once the most nafty during the time of his tarrying at home, and cleanlieft person alive; washing his he had iwo thousand guineas on the top of hands twenty times a day, and negle&ting a low chest of drawers, covered with every other part. During this confinement, duft, and five hundred lying on the foor he never had his bed made. After he had where it lay five-and-twenty years. This given over all hopes of success in the pere last sum a child had thrown down, which petual motion, he took pleasure in observe he was food of playing with, by over-set. ing the work and policy of ants, and rock ting a table that stood upon one foot; the ed the whole town so plentifully with that table continued in the same situation also. infect, that the fruits in the gardens äere Thro this money he had made two paths, devoored by them.
by kicking the pieces w pon one side ; one During the reign of the imamortal Queen of which led from the door to the winAnne, whenever the Duke of Marlborough dow; the other frum the window to the opened the trenches against any city in bed. Flanders, he broke ground at the extremi. When he quitted the Temple in London, ty of a door in the house, and made his he left ao old portmanteau over the portal approaches regularly with his pick-axe, of the ance-chamber, where it had conti gaining work after work, which he had nued many years, during which time the chalked out on the ground, according to chambers had passed through many hands, the town in the middle of his foor at when, at last, the Gentleman who poster B-defod, the same day his Grace was sed them ordering his servants to pull it mafter of it in Floders; and every city down, broke by being rotten, and out coft him a new floor.
fell four or five hundred pieces of gold, During his time of this stay within doors, wbich were found to belong to him from he never fat on a chair; and when he chose the inclosed papers : this he had never exto warm himself, he had made a pit before amined after. It is generally supposed, the fire, into which he leapt, and thus sai also, that he had put some thousands of on the Hoor.
pounds into the hands of a Bonker, or lent He suffered no one to see him but the them to some Tradesman in London, with beir of his estate, his brother and fifter; the out taking any memorandum from the perErst never but when he feat for him, and fon; and which are loft to his heirs, as he that very rarely; the other sometimes once would never say to whom he lent them, a year, and sometimes seldomer—when he through feas, perhaps, Jen he should heas wis chestful, talkative, and a lover of the ic was lost; which some minds can bear to tattle of the town.
suspect, cho'not to know positively. Afte's His family confifted of ewo servant-maids; more than thirty years living a recluse, ke one of them sept in the house the other was at last found dead in his bed, covered not. Nothwithitanding, this fingularity and with lice. And thus ended the life of this apparent avarice, he was by no means a whimsical Being April, 1774.
nate, by reviving an inveation of conveniLAND-SAILINC.
ence and utility beyond conception. To
keep you no longer in suspence, my scheme S the last century was eminently dif is this, to accommodate my countrymen great genius in natural philosophy, I con every part of the kingdom which lies flac gratulate my country on the many useful and level. The mode of travelling, though discoveries made of late both at home and now absurdly disused, was practised in the abroad, which contribute to raise the inte last century with prodigious success. We rest and credit of the nation to an higher are told, that Stephinus travelled in a fydegree of perfection. Sir. Isaac Newton, ing chariot, at the rate of 20 or 30 Gerand others, were men of extenkve fpecu. man miles in the space of a few hours. But lation in the upper world, and their names Piereikius is more particular and precise in will ever be revered by the Sons of science; bis account of the expedition used in thefe but what emolument has the lower world carriages, asserting, that he passed from received from their discoveries or what Scheveling to Puiten, which are distant are is it to know the distance of the pla more than 42 miles from each other, in the nets from the sun, or whether the earth space of two hours. turns round its own axis, or stands ftill ? The body of these carriages, like SteThe great object of England, as a trading phinus's, will be of the shape of a boat, Dation, is the extension of commerce up- moving upon four wheets, with one or on it, and the enriching of the merchants more lails co it like those in a ship, with a in London, by imports and exports through- rudder placed between the two hind-moft out the globe; and in this respect, how im wheels, and is to be itopped either by leto mense is the advantage derived to the pub- ting down the sail or turning it from the liç, from the amasing genius of the present wind. But here it will be asked, how I age, whether we consider the discoveries shall perform my journey, if the wind be lately made in the southern world, or the contrary? That mort superlative speculauncommon improvements in mechanical tor of all speculators that ever existed, philosophy at home. The great point to Bishop Wilkins, will answer you, who be carried in all other profeffions, as well improves upon Stephinus's original plan, as in poetry, the happy mixture of the by propofing to have moveable fails, whose utile dulci; and how completely are these force may be impreffed from their motion, ends áttempered together by.our intercourse equivalent to those in a wind-mill, and with the Otaheites, where the national that the fails thall be lo contrived, that trade is ealarged by the copious difpofał the wind from any coalt will have a force of wiokets, and dolls, and the votaries of upon them to turn them about, and conVenus are satiated to the full in she fond fequently carry on the chariot itself to any embraces of Oberea and her maids of bo- place, though fully against the wind.
The success of my scheme being thus en Thus again a fürprizing genius has efsured upon episcopal authority, 1 propose tablished some new principals to mechanical with all convenient speed to fation a small operations, which had escaped the pene. Beet of chariots at Houndown for the ac. trating sagacity of Sir Faac Newton, and commodation of travellers on the two greas proves to demonstration, that the lower the westera roads, and to carry four passengers wheels of carriages are, the easier is the on the ealy terms of nine-pence per mile. draft of the hories. · The utility of this I Aatter myself with the hopes of food gentleman's Scheme is not, like that of ma raising a fortune, as I Thall Tave the endny others, merely limple, but complex and less expence of keeping hurses, and have two-fold; for while his waggons do at only to pay the original cost and repairs every corn bring two tons of provisions of my chariots, che mending my Sails, sad more than usual co the all devouring capi: the pilot's wages, and shall apply to para tal, they at the same time, by rolling a fura liament for the privilege of sailing toll-free face of 16 inches, communicate a pleasure through the curnpikes. From the greatenexperimentally felt by every traveller in couragement they gave latt feftion to a landau, chariot, coach, or chaise ; for in- scheme for improving the roads by rolling Atead of being jolted and joltled, as our carriages, and the more easy pasage of tragrandfathers were, by the roughness of the vellers, l'allure myself of success in my apa roads, he may now sleep.on sweetly to his plication, and more especially, when it is journey's end. My particular thanks are considered, chat, by superseding the use of due to this gentleinan for thus improving horses, one great nacional object, the reihe roads, as it has suggested a thought to duction of the price of provisions (which me of attempting to merit the esteem of the of late has puzzled the wifest heads both traveller, a premium from the Society of in and out of parliament) will partly be Arts, and the highest applause of whe Sc. ebtained; for the price of oats must une