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he fill turns his regards to the public, lo:es, may be willing to give audience and employs his genius, his induftry, to my Muse, and his foriune, in profecuting and perfesting those diicriveries, which tend
Namque Tu solebas moit to the general henefit of mankind: Mecs effe aliquid putare nugas. CATUL. in a v'ord, that whilst others of his order can the hope to find favour likewise in are contending for the ambitious prizes the light of the public? Let me, then, of ecclefiattical dignites, it is his glori- rather content myself with the silent ad. ous pr.he.ninence 10 merit the highest, miration of thosé virtues, which I am without enjoying or foliciting even the not worthy to celebrate; and leave it to lowelt. This, and yet more than this, others to place the good works of Eufethe world should hear of your friend, if bes where they may spine forib before the world were inclined to listen to my men. I am, &c. voice. But though you, perhaps, Phi
TO THE SAME.
DECEMBER 7, 1737: HE vifits of a friend, like those of tisfaction of a preferit enjoyment, with
a dilpolition prepared at the same time iy enliyerug. In fure at least they to yield it up without reluctance, is hard. wouid borli e particularly acceptable ly, I doubi, reconcileable to humanity: to me at prelent, when my mind is as pain in being di'united from those we much overcast as th-heavens. I hope, love, is a tax we must be contented to therefore, you will not drop the design pay, if we would enjoy the pleasures of your letter intim tes, of punding few the faci) ail étions. One would not days with me in your way to ***. with, indeert, to he wholly insensible Your
com; wi!' Tearly contribute to.': quietudes of this kind; and we must to difperie there clouds of inelanchtoly renovace the most refined reifh of our when the lol of a very valuable friend being, if we would up n all occanons has hung over me. There is toreihing, porus our 1ou's in a Stoical tranquility, indead, in the first möinents of fepara- That anirent phuolopher, whole pretion from those, win a daily com- ceps it was to converte with our friends merce and ong habitude of friendship as if they might one day prove our enebas gi fied upon the healt, that ditor. mies, has been juttiy censured as ad. ders our whole frame of thought, and vancing a very onger erous 02xiin. To dilcoleurs all ce's eno;ments.
Let temeiber, however, that we muft one Pluilofophy allist with the immut of her day most certainly iseciivided from them, vaunted Itrength, the mind cannot im- is a refuetius, inethinkis, that hould mechiar y recover the firmness of it's enter witnes into our icnder connections porture, when the anic lle props up, of every kind. Fom the present diron which is uiid oreli, üle korally re. Ci sl.; kure, trtiefore, ofry own breast, inntil the road in Freni oba and from that hare nich I take in jerls with wiich weren lur bren fa. whacker may iffee? the repose of yours, millar, take tom kid of root ir our I cannot bid you adieu, without rehunts; ach 'Inde bly care, as minu.ng you at the fame time of the use. a celiteet
ful cauvon of one of your poetical acp.: nature, visirli ie bovie iis aid quaintance:
pris pultert ind i rernberd beve? since i wvils a chill.'
Quicquid amas, cupias non placuifje nimis. Tuknow how to receive the full fa. I am, &e.
FEBRUARY 13, 1741. Fone would rate any particular merit fons at once, or to take them by re
according to it's true valuation, it bound from others, as best suiting with may be neceilury, perhaps, to consider their vanity or their lazireis. Accorda how far it can be jurtly claimed by man. ingly Mr. Locke obiures, thit thure are kind in general. I am tuli, at leatt, not to in any erors and wrong opinions when I read the very unconinon lenti. in the world, as is generally imagined. ments of your last létter, I found their Not that he tinks mankiní are by any judicious author ride in my atteem, hy mians unitum in embracing truth; but reflecting, that there is not a more iin- because the majority of them, he maingular character in the work than the tails, have no thought or opinion at all of a thinking mar.. It is not merely about i wote cioctrines concerning which - having a fi.ccellion of ideas, which light. they saite the grearett clamour. Like ly skim over the mind, that can with any the common folliers in an ariny, they propriety be ttiled by that denomination. follow where their lealers direct, withIt is observing thein separatcly and di- out knowing, or even aquinn?, into tinctly, and ranging them under their the cause for which they lo warmly conrespective clases; it is calmly and steadi. tend. ly viewing our opinions on every fide, This will account for the flow steps and resolutely tracing them through all by which truth has auvanced in the their coniequences and connections, that world, on one side; and for those ablid conftitutes the man of reflection, and fyftems which, at different periods, have diftinguithes reason from fancy. Pro. had an universal currency on the other. vi'ience, indeed, does not seem to have For there is a Itrange dispotition in hua formed any very considerable number of man naure, either blindly to tread the our fpecies for an extensive exercile of fame paths that have been traversed by this higher faculty; as the thoughts of others, or to strike out into the most des the far greater part of mankind are ne- vious extrivagancies: the grea! y part ceffanly refsained within the ordinary of the world will either total y trounce purposes of animal life. But even if we their region, or reaion only from the look up to those wlio move in much fu- wild suggeitions of an heated imaginaperior orbits, and who have opportunitior. ties to improve, as well as leituie to From the fanie fource may be derived exercise their understandings i we mall ticis divifions and arımolities, which find, that thinking is one of the last break the i nion both of , blic and prie exerted privileges of cuitivated huma- vile locieties, and turn the peace and bitv.
harmony of luman intercourie into dilo Iris, indeed, an operation of the mind fonar ce and contention. For while men which meets with many obitructions to judge and act by meatures as have check it's just and free direction; but not been proved by the standard of dif21.ere are two principies which prevail palionate reason, they must equally be more or less in the conttitutions of most miitaken in their estimates both of their nien, that particularly contribute to keep our conduct and that of others. this faculty of the foul ununployed: I If we turn our view from active to mean pride and indolence. To descend conemplative life, we may bave occato truth throrgh the tedions progression fion, perhaps, to remark, that thinking of well-examined deductions, is confia is no less uncommon in the literary than dered as a reproach to the quickreis of the civil world. The number of those underitanding; as it is much too labori- writers who can with any juitness of ous a method for any but those who are expreffion be ter nied thinking authors, pofseffeii of a vigorous and resolute ac. would not form a very copious library, tivity of mind. For this reason the though one were to take in all of that greater part of our species generally kind which both antient and modern caule either to seize upon their concius times have produced. NeceíTariy, I
imagine, mluit one exclude from a col. Thus Epicurus, we are told, left behind lection of this fort, all critics, commen- himn three hundred volumes of his own tators, modern Laun poets, translators, works, wherein he had not inserted a and, in short, all that numerous under single quotation; and we have it upon tribe in the commonwealth of literature the authority of Varro's own words *, that owe their existence merely to the that he himself composed four hundred thoughts of others. I should reject for and ninety books. Seneca assures is, the same reason such compilers as Va. that Didymus the Grammarian wrote lerius Maximus and Aulus Gellius : no less than four thoutand ; but Origen, though it muft be owned, indeed, their it seems, was yet more prolific, and exworks have acquired an accidental va- tended his performances even to fix thoulue, as they preferve to us leveral curious faud treatites. It is obvious to imagine traces of antiquity, which time would with what sort of materials the prodieotherwise have entirely worn out. Those 'tions of such expeditious workmen were teeming gen ufes likewise, who have wrought up: found thought and weli. propagated the fruits of their studies matured reflections could have no share, through a long teries of tra&ts, would we may be sure, in these hasty perform. have little pretence, I helieve, to be ad
Thus are books multiplied, mitted as writers of reflection. For this whilft authors are scarce; and to much reason I cannot regret the loss of those easier is it to write than to think! But incredible numbers of compositions shall I not myself, Palamedes, prove an which some of the antients are said to inttance that it is so, if I lutvend any have produced:
longer your own more important reflec. Quale fuit Calli rapido ferventius amni
tions, by interrupting you with such as Ingenium; capfis quem fama cft cf, librisque
mine? Adieu. Ambuftum propriis.
I am, &c.
I Tis with much pleasure I look back manners. The Soul, when left entirely upon that philofophical werk which
to her own folitary contemplations, is I lately enjoyed at *; as there is no infentibly drawn by a fort of conftitupart, perhaps, of social life, which af
sional bias, which generally leads her fords inore real fristetion, than thote opinions to the side of her inclinations. hours which one panis in rational and Fience it is that the contracts those peunreserved conversation. The free com- culiarities of reasoning, and little babits munication of sentiments amongit a ler of thinking, which fo often confirm her of ingenious and speculative friends, in the most fantastical errors. But nosuch as those you gave me the opportunity thing is inore likely to recover the mind of meeting, throws the mind into the from this falle bent, than the counters mnoit advantageous exercilo, anú hews
warnth of impartial debate. Converthe strength or weakness of it's opinions nation opens our views, and gives our with gitair force of conviction, tha: f culties a more vigorous play; it puts any other method we can emplos.
us upon turning our notions on every Tha: it is not $40.2 for man ta be fide, and holds them up to a light that alone, 'is true in most views of our fpe- discovers shofe latent flaws, which would cies than one; and kociety gires itiength probably have lain concealed in the to our reason, as weil as polith to cur gloon of unagitateu abftraction. Ac
* This pafiage is to be found in Aulus Gellius, who quotes it from a treatise which Varro had written concerning the wonderful eftcets of the number Seven. But the subject of this piece cannot be more ridiculous than the itie in which it appears to have been compored: for that most learned author of his times (as Cicero, if I miftake not, tomewhere Calls him) informed his readers in chat performance, je jam duodecimam anncrum bebdomadim ingreffumije, ci ad eum dier Soptuagiria bibdomadas librorum confcripfije
Aul. Cell. ii. 10
cordingly cordingly one may remark, that most appeared in our language, worthy of noof those wild doctrines which have been ' tice. My Lord Shaftesbury's dialogue, let loose upon the world, have generally intitled, The Moralifts; Mr. Addison's owed their birth to persons whose cir- upon Antient Coins; Mr. Spence's upcumstances or dispositions have given on the Odylley; together with those of them be feweit opportunities of can- my very ingenious friend Philemon to vaising their respective systems, in the Hydafpes; are, almost, the only proway of free and friendly debate. Had duftions in this way, which have hi. the authors of many an extravagant hy. therto come forth amongst us with adpothefis discussed their principles in pri- vantage. These, indeed, are all masterrate circles, ere they had given vent to pieces of the kind, and written in the them in public, the oblervation of Varro true spirit of learning and politeness. had never, perhaps, been made, (or never The conversation in each of these most at least with so much justice) that There elegant performances is conducted, not is no opinion fo abiurd, but has some in the usual absurd method of introphilosopher or other to produce in it's ducing one disputant to be tamely support.
filenced by the other; but in the more Upon this principle, I imagine, it is lively dramatic manner, where a just conthat some of the finest pieces of anti- trait' of characters is prelerved throughquity are written in the dialogue-man- out, and where the several speakers fupper. Plato and Tully, it should seem, port their respective sentiments with all thought truth could never be examined the strength and spirit of a well-bred with inore advantage, than amidit the opposition. ainicable opposition of well-regulated But of all the conversation. pieces, converse. It is probable, indeed, that whether antient or modern, either of the subjects of a serious and philosophical moral or polite kind, I know not one kind were more frequently the topics of which is more elegantly written than the Greek and Roman conversations, than little anonymous dialogue concerning they are of ours; as the circumstances the rise and decline of Eloquence among of the world had not yet given occasion the Romans. I call it anonymous, to those prudential realons which may though I am sensible it has been ascribed now, perhaps, rettrain a more free ex- not only to Tacitus and Quinctilian, but change of sentiments amongit us. There even to Suetonius. The reasons, how. was fomething, likewise, in the very ever, which the critics have respectively scenes themselves, where they usually produced, are so exceedingly precarious afeinbled, that almost unavoidably turn. and inconclusive, that one must have a ed the stream of their conversations into very extraordinary share of classical faith this useful channel. Their rooms and indeed, to receive it as the performance gardens were generally adorned, you of any of those celebrated writers. It know, with the itatues of the greatest ma- is evidenrly, however, a composition of fters of reason that had then appeared that period in which they fourished; in the world; and while Socrates or and if I were disposed to indulge a conAristotle stood in their view, it is no jecture, I should be inclined to give it wonder their discourte fell upon those to the younger Pliny. It exactly coinsubjects, which such animating repre- cides with his age; it is addresied to one fentations would naturally suggeft. It of bis particular friends and correspondis probable, therefore, that many of ents; it is marked with some similar ex. ' thole antient pieces which are drawn up pressions and sentiments. But as arguin the dialogue-manger, were no ima- mients of this kind are always more imginary conversations invented by their poling than folid, I recommend it to authors, but faithful transcripts from you as a piece, concerning the author real life. And it is this circumstance, of which nothing satisfactory can be colperhaps, as much as any other, which lected. This I may one day or other, contributes to give them that remark, perhaps, attempt to prove in forin, as able advantage over the generality of I have amused myself with giving it an modern compositions which have been English dress. In the mean time I have formed upon the fame plan. I am sure, enclosed my translation in this packet; at least, I could scarce name more than not only with a view to your sentiments, three os four of this kind which have but in return to your favour. I was
persuaded I could not make you a bet- copy is not extremely injurious to it's ter acknowledgment for the pleafiire of original) I am fure, you cannot attend that conversation which I larely purici- to without equal entertainment and ad, pated through your mans, than by in- vantage. Adieu. I am, &c. Eroducing you to one, which (if my
A DIALOGUE CONCERNING. 'ORATORY.
Y declared in favour
required me to aslign a reaton of modern eloquence. whence it has happened, that the Ora- Marcus Aper and Julius Secundus, tarical character, which spread such a two diftingu.thed geniutes of our forum, glorious lustre upon former ages, is now made a visit to Maternus the day after jo totally extinct amongst us, as scarce he had publicly recited his tragedy of to preler ve even it's name. It is the Cato; a piece which gave, it seems, antients alone, you obferved, when we great offence to those in power, and was distinguish with that appellation; while much canvalled in all convertitions. the eloquent of the prefent times are Maternus, indeed, seenied throughout ftiled only pleaders, pa rons, alvocates, that whole performance to bave contior any thing, ir. short, but ators. dered only what was suitable to the cha
Hardly, I believe, thould I have at. racter of his hero, without paying a protempted a solution of your ditñculty, or per regard to thote pruderual retiraints ventured upon the examination of a quel-, which were neceffary for his own lecution, wherein the genius of the moderns, rity. I was at that time a warm adif they cannot, or their judgment, if they mirer and constant follower of thofe will not, nse to the taine heights, muit great men; infomuch, that I not only Decellarily be given up; had I nothing attended them when they were engaged of greater authority to offir upon the in the courts of judicature; but, from fubie&t, than my own particular jenti- my fond atachment to the orts of elo. nears. But having been present, in the quence, and with a certain ardency pe. very early part of my life, at a conver- culiar to youth, I joined in all their pas. Saison borween fome persons of great ties, and was present at their moti pri. ciuquence, confidering the age in which vate conversations. Their grea: abili. they lived, vhodnicute this very point; ties, however, could not secure thein my meniory, and not my judgment, will from the critics. They alledged, thay he concemned, whilft I endeavour, in Secundus had by no means an ealy elo. theis own ftyle and manner, and ac- cution; whilst Aper, they pretended, cariling to the regular course of their owed his reputation as an orator, more debate, to lav before you the leveral to mature than to art. It is certain, ne. Tatonings of thote celebrated geniuses: vertheless, that their objections were each of them, indeeri, agreeably to the without foundation. The speeches of peculiar earn and character of the speak- the former were always delivered with er, alledging diffcrchi, though probable sufficient fluency; and his exprefsion was causes, of the ianie tact; but all of them clear, though concise; as the latter had, junporing their respective sentiments moft undoubtedly, a general tinciure of with ingenuity anal good-lense. Nor literature. The truth is, one could not wcie the orators of the present age with so properly fay, he was withoitt, as above on! an advocate in this debate : for one the antistance of learning. He imagined, of the company rook the opposite Tide, perhaps, the powers and application of and treating the ancients with much se- his genius would be so much the more
* It is neceffary to inform those realers of the following Dialogue, who may be dispored to compare it with the original, that the edition of Heumannus, printed at Gottingen, ing, has been genera.ly followed.