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itself for them. They were suffered to march the whole length of Scotland, and take possession of the capital, without a man appearing against them. Then two thousand sailed to them, to run from them. Till the flight of Cope's army, Wade was not sent. Two roads still lay into England, and till they had chosen that which Wade had not taken, no army was thought of being sent to secure the other. Now Ligonier, with seven old regiments, and six of the new, is ordered to Lancashire; before this first division of the army could get to Coventry, they are forced to order it to halt, for fear the enemy should be up with it before it was all assembled. It is uncertain if the rebels will march to the north of Wales, to Bristol, or towards London. If to the latter, Ligonier must fight them; if to either of the other, which I hope, the two armies may join and drive them into a corner, where they must all perish. They cannot subsist in Wales, but by being supplied by the Papists in Ireland. The best is, that we are in no fear from France; there is no preparation for invasions in any of their ports. Lord Clantary, a Scotchman [Irishman] of great parts, but mad and drunken, and whose family forfeited £90.000 a year for King James, is made vice-admiral at Brest. The Duke of Bedford goes in his little round person with his regiment; he now takes to the land, and says he is tired of being a penand-ink-man. Lord Gower insisted, too, upon going with his regiment, but is laid up with the gout.
With the rebels in England you may imagine we have no private news, nor think of foreign. From this account you may judge that our case is far from desperate, though disagreeable. The prince [Ferdinand of Wales], while the princess lies-in, has taken to give dinners, to which he asks two of the ladies of the bed-chamber, two of the maids of honour, &c., by turns, and five or six others.
To Sir Horace Mann, Nov. 15, 1745.
LONDON EARTHQUAKES, ETC. "Portents and prodigies are grown so frequent That they have lost their name."-DRYDEN. My text is not literally true; but as far as earthquakes go towards lowering the price of wonderful commodities, to be sure we are overstocked. We have had a second, much more violent than the first; and you must not be surprised if, by next post, you hear of a burning mountain sprung up in Smithfield. In the night between Wednesday and Thursday last (exactly a month since the first shock), the earth had a shivering fit between one and two, but so slight
that, if no more had followed, I don't believe it would have been noticed. I had been awake, and had scarce dozed again— on a sudden I felt my bolster lift up my head: I thought somebody was getting from under my bed, but soon found it was a strong earthquake that lasted near half a minute, with a violent vibration and great roaring. I rang my bell; my servant came in, frightened out of his senses; in an instant we heard all the windows in the neighbourhood flung up. I got up and found people running into the streets, but saw no mischief done: there has been some: two old houses flung down, several chimneys, and much china - ware. The bells rung in several houses. Admiral Knowles, who has lived long in Jamaica, and felt seven there, says this was more violent than any of them: Francesco prefers it to the dreadful one at Leghorn. The wise say, that if we have not rain soon, we shall certainly have more. Several people are going out of town, for it has nowhere reached above ten miles from London.... A parson who came into White's the morning of earthquake the first, and heard bets laid on whether it was an earthquake or the blowing up of powder-mills, went away exceedingly scandalized, and said, "I protest they are such an impious set of people, that I believe if the last trumpet was to sound they would bet puppet-show against Judgment." If we get any nearer still to the torrid zone, I shall pique myself on sending you a present of cedrati and orangeflower water. I am already planning a terreno for Strawberry Hill.... I will jump to another topic; I find all this letter will be detached scraps; I can't at all contrive to hide the seams. But I don't care. I began my letter merely to tell you of the earthquake, and I don't pique myself upon doing any more than telling you what you would be glad to have told you. I told you, too, how pleased I was with the triumphs of another old beauty, our friend the princess [Craon]. Do you know, I have found a history that has great resemblance to hers; that is, that will be very like hers, if hers is but like it. I will tell it you in as few words as I can. Madame la Marechale de l'Hôpital [Mary Mignot] was the daughter of a sempstress; a young gentleman fell in love with her, and was going to be married to her, but the match was broken off. An old fermier-general, who had retired into the province where this happened, hearing the story, had a curiosity to see the victim; he liked her, married her, died, and left her enough not to care for her inconstant. She came to Paris, where the Marechal de l'Hôpital married her for her riches. After the Marechal's death, Casimir, the abdicated king of
Poland, who was retired into France, fell in love with the Marechale, and privately married her. If the event ever happens, I shall certainly travel to Nancy, to hear her talk of ma belle fille la Reine de France. To Sir Horace Mann, March 11, 1750.
HUGH BLAIR, D.D.,
born in Edinburgh, 1718, minister of Colessie, Fifeshire, 1742-1743, of the Canongate of Edinburgh, 1743-1754, and of the High Church of Edinburgh, 1758 until his death in 1800, was the author of some famous Sermons, Edin. and Lond., 1788-1801, 5 vols. 8vo, many editions, and of Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres, Lond., 1783, 2 vols. 4to; again, Lond., 1798, 3 vols. 8vo, and later.
"Dr. Blair's sermons are now universally commended, but let him think that I had the honour of first finding and first praising his excellencies. I did not stay to add my voice to that of the public."-DR. JOHNSON TO BOSWELL, 1777: Boswell's Johnson; where see Johnson and Boswell on Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres.
ON THE CULTIVATION OF TASTE. Such studies have this peculiar advantage, that they exercise our reason without fatiguing it. They lead to inquiries acute, but not painful; profound, but not dry or abstruse. They strew flowers in the path of science, and while they keep the mind bent in some degree and active, they relieve it at the same time from that more toilsome labour to which it must submit in the acquisition of necessary erudition or the investigation of abstract truth.
The cultivation of taste is further recommended by the happy effects which it naturally tends to produce on human life. The most busy man in the most active sphere cannot be always occupied by business. Men of serious professions cannot always be on the stretch of anxious thought. Neither can the most gay and flourishing situations of fortune afford any man the power of filling all his hours with pleasure. Life must always languish in the hands of the idle. It will frequently languish even in the hands of the busy, if they have not some employment subsidiary to that which forms their main pursuit. How, then, shall these vacant spaces, those unemployed intervals, which more or less occur in the life of every one, be filled up? How can we contrive to dispose of them in any way that shall be more agreeable in itself, or more consonant to the dignity of the human mind, than in the entertainments of taste, and the study
of polite literature? He who is so happy as to have acquired a relish for these, has always at hand an innocent and irreproachable amusement for his leisure hours, to save him from the danger of many a pernicious passion. He is not in hazard of being a burden to himself. He is not obliged to fly to low company, or to court the riot of loose pleasures, in order to cure the tediousness of existence.
Providence seems plainly to have pointed out this useful purpose to which the pleasures of taste may be applied, by interposing them in a middle station between the pleasures of sense and those of pure intellect. We were not designed to grovel always among objects so low as the former; nor are we capable of dwelling constantly in so high a region as the latter. The pleasures of taste refresh the mind after the toils of the intellect and the labours of abstract study; and they gradually raise it above the attachments of sense, and prepare it for the enjoyments of virtue.
So consonant is this to experience, that in the education of youth no object has in every age appeared more important to wise men than to tincture them early with a relish for the entertainments of taste. The transition is commonly made with ease from these to the discharge of the higher and more important duties of life. Good hopes may be entertained of those whose minds have this liberal and elegant turn. It is favourable to many virtues. Whereas, to be entirely devoid of relish for eloquence, poetry, or any of the fine arts, is justly construed to be an unpromising symptom of earth; and raises suspicions of their being prone to low gratifications, or destined to drudge in the more vulgar and illiberal pursuits of life.
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres.
It is not easy to give a precise idea of what is meant by Style. The best definition I can give of it is, the peculiar manner in which a man expresses his conceptions, by means of language. It is different from mere language or words. The words which an author employs may be proper and faultless; and his Style may, nevertheless, have great faults; it may be dry, or stiff, or feeble, or affected. Style has always some reference to an author's manner of thinking. It is a picture of the ideas which rise in his mind, and of the manner in which they rise there; and hence, when we are examining an author's composition, it is, in many cases, extremely difficult to separate the Style from the sentiment. No wonder these two should be so intimately connected, as Style is nothing else than that sort of ex
pression which our thoughts most readily assume. Hence different countries have been noted for peculiarities of Style suited to their different temper and genius. The eastern nations animated their style with the most strong and hyperbolical figures. The Athenians, a polished and acute people, formed a Style accurate, clear, and neat. The Asiatics, gay, and loose in their manners, affected a Style florid and diffuse. The like sort of characteristical differences are commonly remarked in the Style of the French, the English, and the Spaniards. In giving the general characters of Style it is usual to talk of a nervous, a feeble, or a spirited Style; which are plainly the characters of a writer's manner of thinking, as well as of expressing himself: so difficult it is to separate these two things from one another. Of the general characters of Style I am afterwards to discourse, but it will be necessary to begin with examining the more simple qualities of it; from the assemblage of which its more complex denominations, in a great measure, result. All the qualities of a good Style may be ranged under two heads, Perspicuity and Ornament. For all that can possibly be required of Language is, to convey our ideas clearly to the minds of others, and at the same time in such address as, by pleasing and interesting them, shall most effectually strengthen the impressions which we seek to make. When both these ends are answered, we certainly accomplish every purpose for which we use Writing and Discourse.
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres.
ON PURITY AND PROPRIETY.
Purity and Propriety of Language are often used indiscriminately for each other; and, indeed, they are very nearly allied. A distinction, however, obtains between them. Purity is the use of such words, and such constructions, as belong to the idiom of the Language which we speak, in opposition to words and phrases that are imported from other Languages, or that are obsolete or new coined or used without proper authority. Propriety is the selection of such words in the Language as the best and most established usage has appropriated to those ideas which we intend to express by them. It implies the correct and happy application of them, according to that usage, in opposition to vulgarisms, or low expressions; and to words and phrases which would be less significant of the ideas that we mean to convey. Style may be pure, that is, it may all be strictly English, without Scotticisms or Gallicisms, or ungrammatical, irregular expressions of any kind, and may, nevertheless, be defi
cient in propriety. The words may be illchosen; not adapted to the subject, nor fully expressive of the author's sense. He has taken all his words and phrases from the general mass of English language; but he has made his selection among these words unhappily. Whereas Style cannot be proper without being also pure; and where both Purity and Propriety meet, besides making Style perspicuous, they also render it graceful. There is no standard, either of Purity or of Propriety, but the practice of the best writers and speakers in the country.
When I mentioned obsolete or new-coined words as incongruous with Purity of Style, it will be easily understood that some exceptions are to be made. On certain occasions they may have grace. Poetry admits of greater latitude than prose, with respect to coining or, at least, new-compounding words; yet, even here, this liberty should be used with a sparing hand. In prose, such innovations are more hazardous, and have a worse effect. They are apt to give Style an affected and conceited air; and should never be ventured upon except by such whose established reputation gives them some degree of dictatorial power over Language. The introduction of foreign and learned words, unless where necessity requires them, should always be avoided. Barren Languages may need such assistances; but ours is not one of these. Dean Swift, one of our most correct writers, valued himself much on using no words but such as were of native growth: and his Language may, indeed, be considered as a standard of the strictest Purity and Propriety in the choice of words. At present, we seem to be departing from this standard. A multitude of Latin words have, of late, been poured in upon us. On some occasions, they give an appearance of elevation and dignity to Style. But often, also, they render it stiff and forced: and, in general, a plain native Style, as it is more intelligible to all readers, so, by a proper management of words, it may be made equally strong and expressive with this latinized English.
Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres.
born 1720, was married in 1742 to Edward Montagu, cousin of Edward Wortley Montagu, the husband of Lady Mary. Left a widow of fortune in 1775, she became famous for her hospitalities to the leaders of fashion and letters. Died 1800.
"Mrs. Montagu had built a superb new house [Portman Square, London], which was magnifi.
cently fitted up, and appeared to be rather appropriate for princes, nobles, and courtiers than for poets, philosophers, and blue-stocking votaries." -MADAME D'ARBLAY: Diary.
"These were the members of that brilliant society which quoted, criticised, and exchanged repartees under the rich peacockhangings of Mrs. Montagu." She was the author of Three Dialogues of the Dead, in the 4th edition of Lord Lyttelton's New Dialogues of the Dead, Lond., 1765, 8vo; An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear, etc., 1769, 8vo. See The Letters of Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, Lond., 1809-13, 4 vols. 8vo.
ALLERTHORPE, Nov. 19, 1742.
MADAM,-What prophets are my fears! they whispered to me your grace was not well, and I find their suggestions were true. Hard state of things, that one may believe one's fears, but cannot rely upon one's hopes! I imagined concern would have an ill effect on your constitution: I know you have many pledges in the hands of fate, and I feared for you, and every thing that was near and dear to you. I am sensible your regard and tenderness for Lady Oxford will make you suffer extremely when you see her ill: she has therefore a double portion of my good wishes, on her own and your grace's account. When sensibility of heart and head makes you feel all the outrages that fortune and folly offer, why do you not envy the thoughtless giggle and unmeaning smile? "In Folly's cup still laughs the bubble Joy." Wisdom's cup is often dashed with sorrow, but the nepenthe of stupidity is the only medicine of life: fools neither are troubled with fear nor doubt. What did the wisdom of the wisest man teach him? Verily, that all was vanity and vexation of spirit! A painful lesson fools will never learn, for they are of all vanities most vain. And there is not so sweet a companion as that same vanity: when we go into the world it leads us by the hand; if we retire from it, it follows us; it meets us at court, and finds us in the country; commends the hero that gains the world, and the philosopher that forsakes it; praises the luxury of the prodigal, and the prudence of the penurious; feasts with the voluptuous, fasts with the abstemious, sits on the pen of the author, and visits the paper of the critic; reads dedications, and writes them makes court to superiors, receives homage of inferiors: in short, it is useful, it is agreeable, and the very thing needful to happiness. Had Solomon felt some inward vanity, sweet sounds had been ever in his ears without the voices of men-singers, or women-singers: he had not then said of
laughter, What is it? and of mirth, What doeth it? Vanity and a good set of teeth would have taught him the ends and purposes of laughing, that fame may be acquired by it, where, like the proposal for the grinning wager,
"The frightfulest grinner Is the winner."
Did not we think Lady C― would get nothing by that broad grin but the toothache? But vanity, profitable vanity, was her better counsellor; and as she always imagined the heart of a lover was caught between her teeth, I cannot say his delay is an argument of her charms, or his gallantry, but she has him secure by an old proverb, that what is bred in the bone will never out
of the flesh, and no doubt but this love was bred in the bone, even in the jaw-bone. No wonder if tame weak man is subdued by that weapon with which Samson killed the mighty To the Duchess of Portland.
RICHARD HURD, D.D.,
born 1720, Preacher of Lincoln's Inn, 1765, Archdeacon of Gloucester, 1767, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, 1775, and of Worcester, 1781, declined the Archbishopric of Canterbury, 1783, died 1808. He published: Commentary on Horace's Ars Poetica, 1749, 4th edit., 1763, 3 vols. 8vo; Commentary on Horace's Epistola ad Augustum, etc., 1751, new edit., Lond., 1776, 3 vols. cr. 8vo; Dialogues on Sincerity, Retirement, etc., 1759, 8vo; with his Letters on Chivalry and Romance (1762, 8vo), and Dialogues on Foreign Travel (1764, 8vo), under the title of Dialogues, Moral and Political, 1765, 3 vols. 8vo, 3d edit., 1771, 3 vols. sm. 8vo; again, 1788, 3 vols. 8vo; Select Works of Cowley, 1769, 2 vols. 8vo; An Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies, 1772, 8vo, 1778, 2 vols. 8vo; Sermons Preached at Lincoln's Inn, 1776-1780, 3 vols. 8vo, 1785, 3 vols. 8vo; Sermons Preached before the Lords, 1777, 4to; Works of Bishop Warburton, 1788, 7 vols. 4to, new edit., 1811, 12 vols. 8vo, and Life of Warburton, 1794, 4to; Addison's Works, 1810, 6 vols. 8vo.
"Hurd has, perhaps, the merit of being the first who, in this country, aimed at philosophical criticism: he had great ingenuity, a good deal of reading, and a felicity in applying it; but he did not feel very deeply, was somewhat of a coxcomb, and having always before his eyes a model neither good in itself, nor made for him to emulate, he assumes a dogmatic arrogance, which, as it always offends the reader, so for the most part stands in the way of the author's own search for truth."HALLAM: Lit. Hist. of Europe, 4th ed., iii. 475, n.
TRUE AND FALSE POLITENESS.
It is evident enough that the moral and Christian duty of preferring one another in honour respects only social peace and charity, and terminates in the good and edification of our Christian brother. Its use is to soften the minds of men, and to draw them from that savage rusticity which engenders many vices, and discredits the virtuous them selves. But when men had experienced the benefit of this complying temper, and further saw the ends, not of charity only, but of self-interest, that might be answered by it, they considered no longer its just purpose and application, but stretched it to that of ficious sedulity and extreme servility of adulation which we too often observe and lament in polished life.
Hence that infinite attention and consideration, which is so rigidly exacted and so duly paid, in the commerce of the world: hence that prostitution of mind, which leaves a man no will, no sentiment, no principle, no character; all which disappear under the uniform exhibition of good manners: hence those insidious arts, those studied disguises, those obsequious flatteries, nay, those multiplied and nicely-varied forms of insinuation and address, the direct aim of which may be to acquire the fame of politeness and good-breeding, but the certain effect, to corrupt every virtue, to soothe every vanity, and to inflame every vice, of the human heart.
These fatal mischiefs introduce themselves under the pretence and semblance of that humanity which the Scriptures encourage and enjoin: but the genuine virtue is easily distinguished from the counterfeit, and by the following plain signs.
True politeness is modest, unpretending, and generous. It appears as little as may be; and when it does, a courtesy would willingly conceal it. It chooses silently to forego its own claims, not officiously to withdraw them. It engages a man to prefer his neighbour to himself, because he really esteems him; because he is tender of his reputation; because he thinks it more manly, more Christian, to descend a little himself than to degrade another. It respects, in a word, the credit and estimation of his neighbour.
The mimic of this amiable virtue, false politeness, is, on the other hand, ambitious, servile, timorous. It affects popularity: is solicitous to please, and to be taken notice of. The man of this character does not offer, but obtrudes, his civilities; because he would merit by his assiduity; because in despair of winning regard by any worthier qualities, he would be sure to make the most of this;
and lastly, because of all things he would dread, by the omission of any punctilious observance, to give offence. In a word, this sort of politeness respects, for its immediate object, the favour and consideration of our neighbour.
Again: the man who governs himself by the spirit of the Apostle's precept, expresses his preference of another in such a way as is worthy of himself: in all innocent compliances, in all honest civilities, in all decent and manly condescensions.
On the contrary, the man of the world, who rests in the letter of this command, is regardless of the means by which he conducts himself. He respects neither his own dignity, nor that of human nature. Truth, reason, virtue, are all equally betrayed by this supple impostor. He assents to the errors, though the most pernicious; he applauds the follies, though the most ridiculous; he soothes the vices, though the most flagrant, of other men. He never contradicts, though in the softest form of insinuation; he never disapproves, though by a respectful silence; he never condemns, though it be only by a good example. In short, he is solicitous for nothing but by some studied devices to hide from others, and, if possible, to palliate to himself, the grossness of his illiberal adulation.
Lastly we may be sure that the ultimate ends for which these different objects are pursued, and by so different means, must also lie wide of each other.
Accordingly, the true polite man would, by all proper testimonies of respect, promote the credit and estimation of his neighbour; because he sees that, by this generous consideration of each other, the peace of the world is, in a good degree, preserved; because he knows that these mutual attentions prevent animosities, soften the fierceness of men's manners, and dispose them to all the offices of benevolence and charity; because, in a word, the interests of society are best served by this conduct; and because he understands it to be his duty to love his neighbour.
The falsely polite, on the contrary, are anxious, by all means whatever to procure the favour and consideration of those they converse with; because they regard, ultimately, nothing more than their private interest: because they perceive that their own selfish designs are best carried on by such practices; in a word, because they love themselves.
Thus we see that genuine virtue consults the honour of others by worthy means, and for the noblest purposes; the counterfeit solicits their favour by dishonest compliances, and for the basest end.