« PreviousContinue »
hanc cum laude gestam congratularer, et hisce meis ad te testatum facerem literis, cum sensu gaudii memorisque animi me legisse laudes abs te in opusculum meum Theocriteum, per festinationem effusum magis quam meditatione atque mora maturatum, collatas. Raro à me discedis, aut ubi tamen in alia discedis, sedulo cavisti humanitatem ne qua læderes, dissimillimus hac in re Toupio, homini truculento et maledico, cujus literas majoris sim facturus, si humanius alios tractare, et ipse sibi parcere, suæque famæ consulere melius didicisset. Injuriis tot et tam atrocibus, quibus in me grassatus est, nullis meis provocatus, aliud vihit reponam, quam ut meliorem ei mentem apprecer, Probra enim jactare, et in alios rerum suarum satagentes furiose bac. chari, neque didici, neque juvat, neque vacat. Tu vero, mi Wartone, perge hac, quam inisti, via, et bene bonis de literis mereri, et famam meam ad cives tuos tưeri, et commendatione tua cæptum meum Demosthe: picum secundare. Bene vale. Scripsi Lipsiæ d. 22. Octobr. 1770.
“ Viro clarissimo Wartono.
" Oxonium.” After having enumerated all the literary pursuits in which Mr. Warton had been engaged, Mr. Mant informs his readers that his author died at Oxford in May 1790, and presents them with the following sketch of his character, furnished by Dr.Huntingford, Warden of Winchester, and the present Bishop of Gloucester:
“ As in the time of his vacation and residence at Winchester he was free from all restraint of academical life, Mr. Warton's rcal charạcter could no where be better known than at this place.
“ Unaffected as he was in all his sentiments manners, he was pleased with the native simplicity of the young people educated by his brother, and frequently shewed them instances of kind condescension, which endeared him to the community of Winchester scholars
" It is said Men of genius are melancholy ;' omnes ingeniosos melancholicos. (Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 33:). There certainly was in our Author a serious cast of mind, which makes him speak with particu. lar delight of cloysters pale;' of the ruin'd abhey's moss-grown piles ;' of the taper'd choir;' and sequestei’d ísles of the deep dome :' yet in his general intercourse there was nothing gloomy, but every thing cheerful. Indeed before the fastidious and disputatious he would sit reserved: but when in company with persons, who themselves were easy in thsir manners, · Nemo unquam urbanitate, nemo lepore, neino suavitate conditior ;'as Cicero says of C. Julius . (de Cl. Orator.): No one seasoned his discourse with more wit, humour, and pleasantry.' That he could be facetivus we discern in his poems; and the versatility of his genius appears in that variety, by which they are diversified.
“ A sense of conscious worth will naturally arise in a mind, which, being itself endowed with superior talents, reflects on its own powers and exertions, and compares them with inferior abilities, and less actie endeavours. It is however the part of modesty never to let that
self-consciousness so operate, as to occasion disgust by an appearance of vanity and presumption. Such modesty was predominant in Mr. Warton. For he was so far from ever making an ostentatious display of his great attainments, that, on the contrary, he would mucha more frequently conceal than shew them.
“ He was fond of seeing and frequenting public sights. Yet those were very much mistaken in their opinion of him, who from this cir. cunstance conceived he was therefore spending his time idly. There have been few men, whose minds were always at work so much as his. He would stand indeed among spectators, and perhaps at first view be engaged for a moment by what was exhibiting : but his thoughts were soon absorbed by some subject of consideration, which was then passing within himself; and those, who were acquainted with his looks, well knew, when his attention was turned to some literary contemplation.
“ His practice was to rise at a moderate hour ; and to read and write much in the course of every day. And this practice he would continue during the greater part of his long vacation ; applying himself with a degree of industry, which far exceeded what was generally imagined, and was far more intense than what was exercised by many of those, who either in their ignorance presumed, or in their envy delighted, to depreciate his excellence.
" To the Chapel of the College he punctually resorted on stated days of public service; for, in his own language, he loved
“ The clear slow.dittied chaunt, or varied hymn; And was strongly attached to the Church of England in all the offi. ces of her Liturgy.
“ From the whole of what was known of him at Winchester, through a period of nearly forty years, he is there recollected and be, loved as a most amiable man, and considered as one of the chief literary characters of his age : equal to the best scholars in the elegant parts of classical learning ; superior to the generality in literature of the modern kind ; a Poet of fine fancy and masculine style ; and a Critic of deep information, sound judgment, and correct taste."
The reader will perceive that this narrative is not devoid of entertainment: but it has been extended to an unnecessary length, and contains minutia which might without injury have been omitted. We are by no means insensible to Mr, Warton's various merits, and recollect with gratitude the pleasure which we have derived from a perusal both of his critical and of his poetical works ; yet we cannot but think that the partiality of an editor has induced Mr. Mant to estimate his abilities too highly, when he assigns to him a more eminent situation in the Țemple of Fame than to his illustrious contemporary Gray. He allows, with several restrictions and modifications indeed, which seem to annihilate the value of the praise, that the superiority in point of poetical genius must be adjudged to Gray; and wliat reader of taste will not join in this
sentiment ? In the comparison between these two distinguished writers, it is here quaintly and not very intelligibly observed, that 'the only species of composition, in which Gray has distinguished himself to the exclusion of Warton, is epistolary correspondence; a fortuitous species of composition, requiring no great strength of mind or seriousness of application.'-
As we frequently have had occasion to consider Mr. Warton's poetry, and dwelt at considerable length in our tenth volume, N.S. on its characteristic merits, we shall refer our Teaders to that article : but we cannot satisfy ourselves without quoting a short Latin poem, which formed the basis of " The Progress of Discontent,” one of this author's most agreeable. productions, and one of the happiest imitations of Swift's manner with which we are acquainted :
« Qui fil Mæcenas, &c."
Continuo Popi premia magna petit:
Et socii lepidum munus inire cupit :
Arridetque uxor jan propriique lares ;
Atque iterum Pori tecta subire juvat.
Que petita placet, nulla potita placet.'
“ Here aged oaks uprear their branches hoar,
And form dark groves, which Druids might adore.".
“On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and Infidels adore."What can be more easy or more useless than such criticism ? The admirers of Thomson will scarcely agree with Mr. Mant, when he remarks that the Seasons are greatly incumbered by verbiage and false taste in compostion.'
Art. II. An Essay on Education; in which are particularly consi.
dered the Merits and the Defects of the Discipline and Instruction in our Academies. By the Rev. William Barrow, LL.D. & F.A.S, Author of the Bampton Lecture for 1799, and late Master of the Academy, Soho-Square, London. izmo. 2 Vols. 8s. Boards.
Rivingtons. 1802: As the science of Politics may be divided into two distinct
classes, the speculative and the practical ; and as different men, according as they happen to be more or less conversant with public affairs, form their theory either from actual observation on the state of mankind, which is the only safe clue to direct their steps, or else from abstract notions of political justice, which perhaps will prove on trial to be visionary and inapplicable ; 60, in the business of Education, systems are constructed partly by those who theorize in their closets on the powers and capacities of youth, and partly by those who have learned from their own experience the nature of those powers, and the most effectual method of imparting to thein their proper
force and expansion. In either case, however, whether in the republic of a school or a state, the prudent senator, much as he may approve the plans of the speculatist à priori, will be ready to listen with peculiar deference to those who have made the experiment, and have taken an active share in the administration of affairs. On this account,
the essay of Dr. Barrow on Education is intitled to the attention of all who consult the interests of the rising generation : since he long presided with credit and success over one of the principal academies of the metropolis, and (as he informs us in his preface) has long had it in contemplation to communicate to the world his sentiments on this subject. Having now retired from public life, he has taken the opportunity of committing his thoughts to paper; regretting that he had not formerly begun to treasure up for future use those observations which occurred to him in the busy scene of ac, tion, because he might thus have presented his readers with a more exact and copious detail, than that which memory is able to retrace. A perusal of the work, however, manifests to us that the Doctor's memory is sufficiently correct to furnish many important and valuable counsels; and it is written with correctness and precision : evidently proceeding from the peu of a scholar and a gentleman, and free from any admixture of that affectation and pedantry which almost naturally attach to those who live apart from the world, and are long accustomed to be regarded as the oracle, “quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loquendi,"
After a judicious and well-written preface, we open the Ist chapter, On the Importance and Necessity of a right Education.--Having defined the term Education, as it includes the whole system of thought and action which marks the future man, the Doctor points out its importance, in regard to both the intellectual and the moral faculties.
On the latter qualities, he thus remarks:
• One of the important advantages of discipline and instruction in early youth is the melioration of the temper. Without habitual subjection to precept and authority, every irritation irould break forth into violence and outrage, and every desire would become ungovern able; resentment of injuries, real or supposed, would exert itself in revenge; and impatience of restraint would soon ripen into disobedience and rebellion. That total disguise of sentiment, which constitutes hypocrisy; that dishonourable suppression of feeling, which is subservient only to private interest ; the passive submission of a slave, and the art ful sycophancy of a courtier; these ought to excite in the ingenuous minds of youth only contempt and abhorrence. But that decent and settled command of temper, which a good education is known to give, and habit to confirm, this is useful and creditable alike to the individual and to society. To the former it preserves tranquillity of mind, and to the latter good humour and good manners. It guards the pleasure of the lighter amusements, facili. tates the transactions of business, and adds grace to the performance of moral duties,
• There is another advantage resulting from the circumstances of a scholastic education, of more value to the future man, than will at first sight be casily supposed ; the power, by which, whatever can be done, can be done at once ; by which intellectual wealth can be im. mediately produced in current coin ; that self-possession, by which he can at all times determine and perform what the occasion requires ; that promptitude of thought and action, so essentially necessary ta eminence in any public profession; that really and spontaneous cloquence,
which is no less useful in business, than pleasing in conversa. tion ; that command over his inclinations and passions, which enables him to convert to his own purposes the passions and inclivations of others; that confidence in himself and his own strengih, which guards him against surprize, and leads him to meet difficulty or danger without dismay;--these advantages, with all their various branches and dependencies, are, not indeed universally and exclusively, but the most early, the most frequently, and the most effectually, obiained from the discipline, the studies, and ihe amusements of a large and well regulated school. It is the observation of Bacon, that "Read. ing makes a full man, conversation makes a ready inan, and writing makes an exact man.” But unless the foundation of these various excellencies be laid in the usual season of instruction, a superstructure is seldom afterwards crected of much beauty or utility.'
From these considerations on the rectitude of the understanding and the heart, as dependent on a proper education,