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I confess I should very much doubt the fact. The letter itself, as printed in Louis Racine's works, is very suspicious. Pope is made to conclude with saying that his sentiments are perfectly conformable to those of Paschal and Fenelon, and that he shall always place his glory in imitating the docility of the latter in submitting all his particular opinions to the decisions of the church." This sentence alone, in my opinion, is a sufficient evidence of the fabrication.
It extremely well suits Ramsay, who was a disciple of Fenelon, and a kind of jansenist-quietist; but is altogether unsuitable to Pope, who was not at all the man to receive the extravagancies of Paschal and the mysticism of Fenelon, as articles of faith, or to regard it as a glory to submit to the decisions of a church, of which he was, at most, only half a member. For although Ramsay, in his letter to Racine, assures him that his friend Pope is “ tres boni catholique,” the assertion is belied by the whole tenour of his writings. Even on his deathbed he expressed indifference as to the ceremonies enjoined by the catholic church, and only submitted to them in compliance with a zealous friend. Ramsay further affirms, that Pope was offered by queen Caroline some considerable places if he would merely dissemble as to the religion of his fathers, and that he should be dispensed from taking the accustomed oaths; but that he steadily declined the offer—which is surely a groundless story.
That Ramsay was capable of what might seem to him a pious fraud, is manifested by his assertion in the same letter to Racine that Dr. Clarke, a short time before his death, expressed to him his compunction for having written his work on the Trinity; an assertion, the falsehood of which is indisputably proved by the declarations of the Doctor's friends and family. (See Dr. Kippis's edition of the Biograph. Britan.) If any of your
readers can throw further light on the question agitated in this letter, I shall probably not be the only person gratified by the communication. I remain, Sir, yours, &c.
CASE OF MR. GRIGNION.
To the Editor of the Athenæun. Sir,
IT is my custom, after reading the principal articles in your valuable Magazine, to give my mind a repose by casting a vacant eye
papers that envelope it. It is a kind of nap after the gratification of an exquisite repast.
Yesterday. I was pleasing myself with this harmless indulgence, when my languid attention was suddenly and forcibly arouzed by the name of Grignion, that met my eye in its careless wanderings-a name that I had never heard repeated, nor which had ever passed my lips, but with sentiments of respect and admiration; and with which I had been in the habit of associating whatever was excellent and interesting in the wonderful art which he has so long, and so honourably professed. Imagine, Sir, my surprize (which could be only equalled by my regret) when, on reading through the advertisement, * I found him, in the last stage of his meritorious journey, in the progress of which he had so greatly contributed to the amusement of his fellow-travellers, to the enlargement of their ideas, and to the refinement of their minds.- Imagine, Sir, my surprize, when I found him now reduced to the necessity of soliciting from charity that aid which I felt he was entitled to from the independent and exalted claims of justice and gratitude! The tear of pity that glistened in my eye was in voluntarily checked by a glow of indignation swelling my heart ; and I could not help exclaiming with the poet of Scotland,
Curse on upgrateful man, that can be pleas'd
starve the Author of the pleasure !
But ye happy favourites of fortune! there is yet time for you to save this venerable Son of Sciencet from the iron gripe of poverty : there is yet time to smooth the rugged path he has been destined to tread—not indeed alone-but, alas his companions are ill able to support him—they are the companions of sympathy, not of succour. To whatever side he turns his now languid eye, an object of the most tender solicitude presents itself—an aged wife, or a child afflicted by blindness! Parents ! ye who look on a promising offspring with smiling hope and sanguine anticipation-ah! think what must be the reflections of this good old man, who feels the pressure of want hastening his dissolution, and thus rendering him less able to sustain his unfortunate child. How must the genial current of parental affection (the latest that flows from the human heart) be mingled in its course by the melancholy forebodings of her future fate-how bitter must her regret be, that she is totally unable to contribute to his support; nay, even deprived of the power of administering those little services so consoling to the filial heart. No charity, indeed, can remove her calamity, or prolong his usefulness--but it may soften the one, and render the concluding scene of a life that has been devoted 10 the cultivation of an elegant art, less gloomy and less appalling.
The appeal of Grignion cannot be urged in vain! On those who can relish the charms of his art who can admire the wisdom of its system, he has a particular claim; and to the truly benevolent, misery itself is sufficiently attractive to secure the attentive ear and the liberal donation.
R. H. C
K. London, Newman-street, August 1808.
* This advertisement appeared on the cover of the last month's Athenæum + Mr. Grignion is upwards of 90 years old.
EXTRACTS FROM A MANUSCRIPT TOUR THROUGH THE
COUNTIES OF GLOUCESTER, WORCESTER, SALOP, HERE-
By a Gentleman of Literary Eminence-continued.
The county of Hereford is famed for picturesque beauty, to which the part bounding Shropshire has fewer pretensions than most others. On either side the road are square areas planted with hops, or orchards ploughed as corn-fields; mere plenty, however, is not always picturesque. Philips's didactic poem on Cider, the best imitation of Virgil's Georgics in any language, and of Milton's style in our own, has rendered this district classic ground.* For this species of wine (if wine it can be called) England is peculiarly famous, though not exclusively, as cider is produced in the northern parts of France and the Netherlands, and even in Biscay, a province of Spain.
These formal inclosures are unusually fertile, and interesting for their consequences rather than their present appearance.
The farms in the flat country between Florence and Leghorn afforded me a similar gratification, where the same plot of ground furnishes corn, wine, and oil. The olives, planted upon a mound, form the inclosure and support the vines, whilst the area is left free for the growth of any kind of grain. In Herefordshire the arable lands are regular groves of ugly trees.
Before we reached Berrington Park, which Mr. Harley has embellished according to the principles of the modern landscape-gardeners, we had a first view of the Holy Mount in Radnorshire, which is cloven at the summit, and has many traditions belonging to it. Singular as may be its form, it is but a miniature resemblance of many under which I passed, or viewed at a distance, in the Tyrol, where the mountains take a more capricious outline than amongst
Appennines. In the exact front is Leominster tower, deeply embosomed, to which town our road was conducted through an avenue of lofty elms, continued for the space of a mile. The church and priory, originally appendant on the abbey of Reading, we passed at a small distance on the right hand.
Leominster is a very old and badly-built town, which has been from time immemorial a crowded mart for wool, of a quality more excellent than that of many kinds imported from Spain. Upon this account it has deserved the poetic praises both of Drayton and Philips. It was very anciently celebrated in Barclay's Eclogues, 1550.
England lrath clothe, and Bordeus hath store of wine,
Soon after its publication it was translated into Italian by Count Magalotti, in a poem, entitled, “II Sidro," and published at Florence. The late
Poly-Olb. Song vi.
-Can Tmolus' head
Cider B. i. 581.
Two miles from Leominster led us through level hop-grounds and orchards, till the sweet rural glade at the bottom of Dinmore hill made us ample amends. At the bridge over the Lugg we were inwited to visit the curious old mansion at Hampton Court, now the residence of the Earl of Essex. It lies in a lawn, surrounded by easy acclivities and wood-lands. The facade of the house has one central square tower; its deeply-embattled parapet projects upon brackets, and interstices are opened, through which assailants might be annoyed, such as are invariably frequent in Tuscany and other parts of the continent. There are likewise two smaller at each end, and connected with one of them is the gothic window of the chapel. Opposite the great entrance, after passing a court, is a porch, and the surrounding parapet is very deeply embattled; but the effects of the whole is spoiled by the number of modern square-headed sashes by which the place of the original lattices has been usurped. Campbell, the architect, was first employed to give these venerable walls a modern air, and succeeded to a certain degree. He has published the plan in the Vitruvius Britannicus. In the apartments nothing of ancient English architecture is to be discovered, for the internal alterations have been so injudicious and frequent, as to have left no characteristic vestige of what the rooms once were.
Sir Rowland Lenthall, a courtier and favourite of Henry IV. having obtained large grants of land from him in this neighbourhood, commenced this building under his immediate auspices, for he is said to have laid the first stone. Another tradition relates, that he was enabled to complete this house by the ransoms of the prisoners he had taken in the battle of Agincourt. In front only any appearance of the original building remains, which may be considered as a fine specimen of a structure of such antiquity.
The scenery around this mansion is beautiful in a high degree. It was, perhaps, more characteristic before the grand avenues of limetrees were sacrificed to modern taste, for the central tower with the principal gateway formed at that time a bold termination to the vista.
We now ascended Dinmore-hill, which offers a very rich and extensive prospect, and having reached the other side, we had on our right Burghope-house, the former seat of the Goodyere's, an instance
edition of Philips's Cyder, by the Rev. C. Dunstan, is accompanied with an able commentary and entertaining notes.
of the peculiarities of the style of Elizabeth and James I. with bay windows and pediments. In front were seen the villages of Wellington, Marden, and Holmer; but the weather proving unfavourable, we could not judge accurately of any object till we reached Hereford.
The cities and great towns in this district have all nearly the same kind and advantage of situation. A regular descent from abrupt ground above the winding river seems to have directed the choice of the first founders. Of such a site the city of Hereford is possessed, yet, from high antiquity and want of space in the streets, it needs in a great degree the aid of modern improvement. The castle walks are formed upon the bulwarks, and hang very pleasantly over the Wye, commanding the adjacent country, but especially a side-view of the cathedral. The boulevards, so frequent in Germany and the Low Countries, are so similar to each other, that it would be difficult to give to any of them the preference. They are always spacious and planted with double rows of trees, incircling the town of which the bird's-eye view is extremely curious. To a traveller restricted for time, to walk round the boulevards or to ascend the highest tower will give a more accurate idea than traversing the narrow streets for a :ponth. English towns have a general superiority over those on the continent, but the boulevards are a luxury in which we are deficient; the city walls at Chester are those only which can claim any comparison,
The cathedral is of the improved Norman in its chief parts, by which is understood the more ornamented sort of that architecture in its second æra. Mr. Bentham, in the able sketch prefixed to his account of Ely (supposed to have been written by Gray, whose knowledge of antiquities was not the least of his eminent talents) cites the outside of the central tower as a complete specimen of the nail-head moulding, which, having been lately made to look as if new, has acquired a glaring and false effect. In 1786, the tower finishing the western front, which Dugdale thought of sufficient merit to delineate in his Monasticon, suddenly fell to the ground, destroying the greater part of the nave. Mr. Wyatt is the architect of the new fabric, who had two circumstances to contend with equally unfavourable to the credit of an architect. The first was the limitation of the sun to be expended, and the other the impracticability of the subject, not lessened, certainly, by the opinions of others, by which his own was over-ruled. The ancient fabric was of what is now generally termed Saxon architecture.
To those who are in search of sepulchral monuments, this cathedral still offers an ample display; and the shrines of numerous bishops in succession afford proofs of the progress and variety of ancient art. These are of effigies only; for the brasses, though of so trifling a value, were torn from the slabs when the rebuilding took place, and were sold by order of the chapter.
In the library, formerly our Lady's chapel behind the choir, are some fresco paintings of the age of the building, which at of the Edwards, when it is known that Italian artists were encouraged in this