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peace, this excitement fubfided, their fanguine hopes vanifhed, and the Americans began to feel languor and difcontent. It required fome years to heal the breaches of civil difcord, and to establish a general conftitution calculated to fecure the fruits of industry. From the period of the adoption of the federal government, the United States have advanced with firm and rapid fteps. This progrefs has likewife been accelerated by the circumstances of Europe. That gigantic war which already has raged for years on the continent, by enhancing the price of grain and creating an uncommon demand of provifions, has occafioned a proportional influx of wealth into America.

Notwithstanding the air of paradox, we regard it as a misforfune to the Americans that they poffefs fuch unbounded terrifory. Where land is too eafily obtained, it is never managed with due attention. The incentives to the exercife of kill are taken away. After having exhaufted one fpot, the farmer removes to another; grounds, which once carried hiccory and oak, abandoned in their impoverished ftate, return to nature, and bear fecondary forefts of pine.-Hufbandry was formerly at this low pafs in Great Britain. The attentive obferver will ftill perceive veftiges of the plough, in fequeftered parts which are now judged unfit or unprofitable for tillage. Under fuch circumftances, population may increafe, but it does not condenfe. Local attachments are diffolved, and a vagabond life becomes familiar to the inhabitants. Fifty thousand people, on a moderate computation, from fituations near the fea-coaft, remove annually into the interior of America. Hence, perhaps, the unfteady indolent caft which, in fome degree, pervades almost every clafs of Americans. It is chiefly amid the fermentation of frequent fociety that ingenuity is fharpened, and that the human faculties, fometimes overftretched, are always maintained in vigorous action. In America, a moderate portion. of knowlege is widely diffufed, but few have reached the heights of fcience. Its legiflators, with the best intentions, have, through want of philofophy, committed fome glaring folecilms in politics. Though effentially an agricultural country, America has already imbibed the prejudices of the mercantile Tyftem, and appears folicitous to fecure in its favour the ridiculous balance of trade. Cold and narrow principle as if a nation could attain to opulence only by over-reaching its neighbours! That the trading fyftem of the Americans is yet in a ftate of infancy is, indeed, an extenuation; and there is room to hope that they will grow wifer before it becomes too arduous

to retract.

The perplexity of the legal code is a grievous incumbrance to the Americans. They retain moft of the English laws, unREV. JULY, 1795. fortunately

fortunately fo voluminous, fo intricate, and fo often contra dictory the greater part of the motley colonial laws; and all thofe laws, already numerous, which have been enacted during the existence of the ftates. Litigation, that curfe of civilized fociety, is accordingly frequent, efpecially in the northern and fouthern states. This embarrafiment cannot, however, be of long duration, fince a fimple and uniform fyftem of jurifprudence will certainly be compiled.

The ardent genius of their republican government is alone capable of refifting the allurements to floth, and of diffufing, through the bulk of the Amer cans, vigour and animation. Beftowing character and confequence on each individual, it creates a keen fenfibility to the public deliberations, which extends itself into the common affairs of life. Hence the Americans have attempted poetry and oratory with tolerable fuccefs. Their tafte, however, is not yet chafte nor correct; and, like a people commencing their literary career, they fhew an inclination to adopt the florid Afiatic ftyle.


The Congrefs of the Federal Union has wifely retrenched the powers of the municipal affemblies, which were apt to abufe them by paffing ignorant or partial laws. This ftep will perhaps lead the way to a more intimate connexion of interefts,to an incorporate union of the feveral ftates; which unquestionably would be the moft falutary and efficient.


ART. XIII. Ariftotelis de Poetica liber Grace & Latine. Lectionem
conflituit, verfionem refinxit, animadverfionibus illuftravit, Thomas
Tyrwhitt. 4to. 21. 2s. 8vo.
5s. and 45. Boards.
Clarendon Prefs. London. Elmsley. 1794.


AMONG the literary remains of antient genius, few writings

have more generally engaged the notice of the learned than the celebrated POETIC of Ariftotle. The interefting nature of the subject, as an illuftration of the principles of the finest compofitions of the Grecian mufe, and the truth and philofophical difplay of precept and remark, have juftly entitled it to particular attention; and, as the copies have come down to us in a very corrupt state, through the accidents of time and the inaccuracy of tranfcription, (befides the difficulties inherent in the brevity and concifenefs of the Stagirite's ftyle of compofition,) the utmost exertions of critical skill have been called forth to repair the mutilated fentence and to elicit the obliterated meaning-nor did the virtuofo ever take more pains to bring out the defaced beauties of a Raphael, than fcholars have done by every aid of philology and criticism to explain this obfcure relic, and to restore its correctnefs and purity.


Of thofe whofe attention was first directed to the fubject, the Italian commentators have the principal claim to praife and dif tinction. The labours of Beni, of Caftelvetro, and of Piccolomini, will ever be refpected for accurate elucidation and judicious comment; and, notwithstanding their frequent minutenefs and fubtlety of paraphrafe, they will always be confulted by those who wish to form a clear and comprehenfive idea of thefe antient rules of dramatic compofition.

French critics have beftowed equal pains and ingenuity on the explanation of this poetic code: but, with the characteristic vivacity of their nation, they have rather diftinguifhed themfelves by the fancifulness and refinement of their remarks, than by folidity of erudition or correctness of criticifin. It is not till within a later period, that we find the genius of the English employing itfelf on this interefting tract. Except the names of Goulfton and Upton, we recollect none who, either as editors or commentators, deferve to be mentioned with particular refpect; and the work feems rather to have been known to our dramatic writers through the medium of French tranflation, than through any comment or verfion in our vernacular idiom. Whatever want of attention, however, Ariftotle has experienced from our older critics, their fucceffors of the prefent day have made ample amends for it. The very accurate and creditable edition of the Poetic by Mr. Winftanley, in 1780, from the Clarendon prefs, was followed in 1785 by an edition from Cambridge; and the two excellent tranflations, with copious. annotations and comments, by Mr. Twining and Mr. Pye, fully evince the zeal and application of the later English critics in illuftrating this difficult treatife :-nor do we think that we pay any exaggerated compliment to our own nation, when we fay that Ariftotle may rank among his happiest interpreters fome of our countrymen of the prefent time. We will alfo add that it is a mark of the improvement of the taste and critical judgment of the age, that the Poetic fhould have attracted fo large a fhare of public attention; for we are convinced that the more its precepts are illuftrated, the more will they contribute to a general accuracy of thinking, and to the advancement of philofophical criticifm.

We have entered thus into the merits of this curious work, and of the labours beftowed on it by former annotators, as introductory to our remarks on the valuable edition now before us. At the conclufion of our review of Mr. Twining's tranflation, (M. Rev. for July 1793,) we apprized our readers of the expected appearance of Mr. Tyrwhitt's papers: we are now happy in being called to give a more particular account of their learned contents.

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That a wish to correct the text, and to elucidate the ob fcurities, of this mutilated fragment, fhould arife in the mind of that excellent critic, was naturally to be expected from his very eminent emendatory fkill and conjectural fagacity. It is only to be regretted that his other multifarious avocations fhould have interrupted his attention to his literary pursuits, and that his valuable life fhould have been clofed before he had brought his labours on the Poetic to their utmost perfection :—but it was pleafing to hear that they were fo far advanced (fee Burgess Mufei Oxon. confpectus, p. 9.) as to afford materials for nearly a complete edition, and only wanted the cura pofteriores of their acute and learned author. Nor was it lefs fortunate and gratifying that his papers fhould have been committed to the care of Mr. Burgers: who, from feelings of friendship, as well as from a love of literature, would be zealously attentive to their arrangement and completion.

This edition is printed in three forms-an octavo of fine and another of common paper, (an ufeful and ready manual)—a very handsome quarto and the fame type on a folio page, which forms one of the most beautiful and superb books that we ever faw. Of this last we believe only about 30 copies were taken for presentation, either to learned focieties, or to Royal and eminent perfonages.

The octavo is introduced by a preface from Mr. Burgess, explaining the progrefs which had been made in the work by Mr. Tyrwhitt, and the manner in which his papers came into the publisher's hands. Among these papers appears a curious document, which Mr. T. feems to have sketched out by way of preface to his work; and which, as it contains an account of his original defign, and of the time during which the subject had engaged his thoughts, we prefent to our readers as an interesting transcript:

"Anni funt triginta et quinque, ut memini, ex quo ad decantatum búnt libellum accuratius paulo recenfendum ftudia mea converti, eoque confilie editiones veteres, quarum præcipuæ ad manum erant, omnes contuli: doctorum virorum emendationes, quæ fcilicet fpeciem aliquam veritatis præ fe ferrent, fedulo notavi; meas qualefcunque animadverfiones fubinde inferai ; adeo ut intra tempus non longum fpes mihi effuljerit editionem novam aliquando emittendi tironibus faltem utiliorem, quam eæ, quæ ad illam diem in publicum prodierant. Has autem cogitationes disjecerunt, dicam? an diftulerunt nova confilia, et mutata prorfus vitæ ratio, dum per annos duodecim*, non rerum publicarum tractationi admotus, (ut olim magnifice nimis de me prædicabat vir amiciffimus†), fed minifteriis quibufdam civilibus implicitus et irretitus, effugium mihi munivi ad ea, quæ votorum

"Scilicet ab A. D. 1756, ad A. D. 1768."

+ MUSGRAVIUS Exercitat. Euripid.'


meorum prima femper fuerant, libertatem et otium fine dignitate. Ex illo tempore quanquam ne manus operi huic ferio admoverem multa obftiterint, que referre nibil attinet, confilium tamen ejus aliquando perficiendi ex animo nunquam ita dimifi, ut non quicquid legendo addifcere, quicquid meditando extundere potuerim, id omne in chartas meas in ufum futuræ editionis contulerim.?

Mr. Burgess then mentions his own labour in the fuperintendance and care of the prefs,-his attention in filling up fome imperfections in the Latin tranflation, which was not fo exactly prepared for publication as the text,-and his general endeavours to complete the edition; and in conclufion he acquaints us with the collations which he procured from a Venice a Leyden, and a Wolfenbuttle MS. and from four Paris MSS.

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The quarto copies appear with a different preface, written with confiderable claffic elegance, which contains a very accurate character of Mr. Tyrwhitt's eminent critical talents, and bestows a proper tribute of praise on his exquifite learning. We have then an account of the design of this more fplendid edition : Nec vero nobis videbamur vel præftantia operis, vel auctoris dignitati, vel editioris nomini fatis confuluiffe, neque reliquias bafce defideratiffimi viri fatis cohoneftaviffe, nifi alteram etiam impreffionem in publicum emitteremus, priore illa elegantiorem, & apparatu typographico quantum in nobis erat, ex omni parte fpectabilem. P. 5. We have alfo the account of the papers as in Mr. Burgefs's preface. That our readers may judge how nearly ready. for the prefs thefe were left by Mr. T., we extract the following tatement:

Imo. Græcum textum, exemplari ufus Editionis Oxonienfis anni 1780, per omnia caftigaverat TYRWHITTUS, iis quæ vel in lectione, vel in interpunctione, immutari aut emendari voluit, ita diligenter vel in ipfo textu vel in margine calamo notatis, ut typographus, qui in iis baferit, vix culpam effugeret. Sublatis etiam antiquis capitum divifionibus nova commatum ferie totum opus diftinxerat. Ab ipfo etiam defcripta funt horum commatum argumenta que in hoc opere primum locum occupant.

*Cum boc loco non inutile nec injucundum erit conferre paucas vita Tyrwhitti, quæ fequuntur, notas fua ipfius manu præter ultimam jcriptas, quas e libro defcripfi, qui bumaniffimum ejus nepotem penes eft.

T. Tyrwhitt

Natus Mar. 29, 1730.

Miffus ad Scholam apud Kenfington Jun, 1736.
ad Etonam Jan. 1741.

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ad Coll. Reg. Oxon. 1747.
Electus in Coll. Mert. Aug. 1755.
Subjecretarius ad R. B. Dec, 1756.
Cler. Dom. Com. Aug. 1762.
Liber factus, Jan. 1768.

Obiit Jul. 1786.'

· 2do.


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