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include nothing more than marking down upon paper, by different figns or notations, the refpective paufes, which actually were, or ought to be made in pronouncing the words, written or printed, together with like hints for a different modulation of the voice, where a juft pronunciation would require it.'
The general idea of pointing, however, does not include fo much; it includes only three hints for a different modulation of the voice, admiration, interrogation, and parenthefis: but a jut pronunciation requires many more; there is a modulation or indection of voice peculiar to expoftulation, pity, reprehenfion, grief, anger, interceffion, and many other difpofitions, paffions, and occafions, for which no hint has hitherto been devifed, and for which none is fuggefted by this Author. To multiply marks of punctuation, either for paufes or modulation, feems indeed not to be defireable, for, as the learned Dr. Lowth has obferved in his Introduction to English grammar, if marks were invented to exprefs even all the paufes of pronunciation, the doctrine of them would be very perplexed and difficult, and the ufe of them would rather embarrass than affift the Reader.
The Author obferves very juftly, that it is unneceflary to fpend time in defining or explaining the four diftinétions, called Period, Colon, Semicolon, and Comma: it feems alfo unneceflary to spend time, as he has done, in defining and explaining the Parenthefis (), the Parathefis [ ], the Hyphen the double Hyphen, the mark of quotation or interlocution"". Thefe marks are univerfally ufed and understood, being taught to children among the first rudiments of their native tongue.
The only fentiment peculiar to this work is, that pointing fhould not be regulated by a common ftandard, nor confined to the mere grammatical divifion of fentences, but that every man fhould point fo as to exprefs his own manner of pronunciation: but if the principal ufe of pointing be to increafe perfpicuity, this licence would render it of very little value: while punctuation is known univerfally to mark the grammatical divifion of fentences, fuch divifion, and confequently the fenfe, is known from the punctuation, but who can find fuch a clue to the fenfe in a punctuation, continually varying to exprefs every man's method of pronunciation, however whimfical or absurd? At the beginning of thefe pages of inanity' the Author fays he had no view but to enforce punctuation; at the end, he fays, he had no view but to apologize for his own manner of pointing; and did not pretend to prefcribe rules to any other perfon.
Whether his manner of pointing is right or wrong, is certairly a quefion, which it is worth no man's while to buy his book to determine; and as it tea hes nothing, the best thing that can be faid of it is, that nothing is profchied to be taught. Friendship
Friendship: a Poem infcribed to a Friend: to which is added, an Ode. 4to. 2s. 6d. Kearfly. 1769.
HE Author, in his preface, tells us that the fubject of the poem is of fo delicate a nature, that an apology is neceffary even for the undertaking, much more for the execution of the defign.' For the undertaking, poffibly, an apology might be neceflary; but, furely, there could be no reafon to apologize for the execution of what he had undertaken.
He fays, he began to confider the fubject, that, though he fhould not experience true friendship, he might be able to affirm that true friendship exifted; and that he might enjoy fome fecret satisfaction, if he fhould ever come within the influence of mercenary contentions and illiberal paffions. It is not, however, very easy to conceive, how, by confidering abftractedly the nature of friendship, as it exifts in the imagination, he could fatisfy himself or others that it is to be found among the realities of life; or what comfort he could derive from an enquiry whether a difinterefted friendship was poffible, if, upon coming un-der the influence of mercenary contention or illiberal paffion, he fhould find himself without a difinterested friend. Of friendfhip, indeed, he fays many other strange things; he fays, when we handle it in a dogmatical way, it is fpoken handfomely of; that we wear it in common, and feldom wear it at all; and then confidering it as a perfon, he adds, that, after giving her celeftial ornaments, we fuffer her to degenerate into a terreftrial form.
The poem is in blank verfe; it confifts of near 900 lines, without a fingle incident as a vehicle for the fentiment, or any neceffary relation of part to part, fo that if the paragraphs were tranfpofed, they would ftand juft as well as in their prefent order.
It contains little poetry, and few grofs faults; it is rather tirefome than difgufting: it neither gives pleafure nor excites hope; no paffage captivates either the fancy or the car, fufficiently to produce a defire to proceed to the next: there is no reafoning to engage the understanding, nor any event to raife curiofity.
The expreffion is fometimes turgid, the verfe defective, and the images incongruous.
A thick fence is faid to be drawn by Innocence:
The thickeft fence that Innocence can draw.'
A brow is faid to be deck't with the chaftisement of a frown:
Ye whole brows
Ne'er deck't with chafifement of honeft frowns,'
One being is faid to pour the foul of a second into the bofors of a third:
See Sympathy and Silence onward move
the former pours
Into her breaft capacious, Friendship's foul.'
The pronoun ber has, befides, no regular antecedent.
Faint words are faid to rob the foul: this is an incongruous image, because faint words leave behind the fentiment they fhould exprefs or carry out:
· Words are faint,
They rob the urgent foul.'
Philanthropy, that fpecies of love whofe charms are difcavered neither by fenfe nor fex, is faid to lead to all the charities of life. Milton was of another opinion.
"Hail wedded love-by thee
Relations dear and all the charities
Of father, fon, and brother, first were known."
In the fame fentence Virtue is said to be born of Heaven, and to fpring from a stock:
When from her genuine fock of Virtue pure
Springs Heav'n born Friendship.'
The word genuine alfo produces another abfurdity, by reprefenting a stock of one fpecies to produce, naturally, fhoots of another. Virtue, which is here the ftock, is, within the compafs of two lines, faid to be the vegetative vigour which the roots derive from the dew:
When from her genuine ftock of Virtue pure
Springs Heav'n-born Friendship, ftrongly shoot the roots ♬
The following verfe is defective:
And emulate his fire-thus furvive,'
Several others, though they have the proper number of fyllables, have neither the paufe nor the accent, which change profe into poetry.
The following apoftrophe to Friendship perfonified is extracted to gratify the Reader's curiofity, and to justify our
O! Friendship, guest divine! best gift of heav'n!
Where'er thou deign'ft to fmile, and lift thy torch,
Through life's rough journey to the land unknown.
Free from thy pregnant fource flow all the streams
Through all the various modes of focial blifs.
With thee too comes Contentment—in thy train,
Mirth with chafte fmiles, and Innocence with brow
Serene and open as a Summer's morn,
With Peace, Truft, Honour, Faith, and Hope divine,
Befide the inaccuracy that has been already remarked in this paffage, Friendship, in the firft line, is faid to be a guest and a gift. And Joy, though reprefented as a perfon reclining on the bofom of Friendship, is, in the fame breath, unperfonified by the epithet heart-felt.
The ode is addreffed to Apollo, as the god of medicine, on occafion of the fickness of a lady. An extract from this is not neceffary.
Ideal Beauty in Painting and Sculpture illuftrated by Remarks on the Antique, and the Works of Raphael and other great Mafters. By Lambert Hermanfon Ten Kate. Tranflated from the French. 8vo. Is. Bathurst. 1769.
HIS Author fays, that those who treat of the fublime
TH and ideal part of the art of painting, commonly use the
name of beautiful; or a thing well proportioned, natural, fublime, and of an high tafte: terms that in my opinion might be more illuftrated than they have been. I am determined therefore to publifh this treatife of ideal beauty, with a view to
enrich the art, and to facilitate the understanding of the best authors.'
For how many of the faults that appear in this extract the Tranflator is to answer, we pretend not to know; that writers fhould ufe a thing as well as a name to exprefs ideal beauty, is certainly very ftrange; it is fearce lefs ftrange that juftness of proportion, naturalnefs, fublimity, and correfpondence to high tafte, fhould be used as fynonimous terms. That may furely be natural, which is not fublime; and that may be well proportioned which is not in high tafte. It is certain that these terms may be better illuftrated than they have been, but how does the Reader imagine this gentleman has attempted the illuftratration with a view to enrich the art, and facilitate the underftanding of the beft authors? He will probably recollect the definition of a deed that is given in one of our comedies by a lawyer to his clerk: A deed, fays he, is, as it were, an act, a thing done; it is, emphatically-a deed. Juft fuch a definition does this Writer give of Ideal Beauty. It is, fays he, a REAL je ne fai quoi, an unaccountable fomething to most people, and the most important part to all connoiffeurs: I fhall call it an barmonicus propriety, which is a touching unity, or a pathetic agreement of parts; it is alfo an infinite variety of parts, conformable to a fubject; briefly, it is a due decorum, a bienfance, or a congruent difpofition of ideas.' Thus has the ingenious Hermanfon Ten Kate enriched the art of painting, and facilitated the underftanding of the beft authors. In order, however, better to fhew the difference between ideal beauty and common beauty, he proceeds to confider man in all shapes. One of the fhapes in which he confiders man, is that of his foul. We muft, fays he, confider man in all shapes; firft as a corporeal being, and next as a being endowed with a rational foul. Concerning the foul, however, he fays very little; and what he fays of the body is fo myfterious, that we dare not venture to change his terms, left our own should not include the fame fenfe. He fays, that in the affair of painting we may contemplate man in three different views, with refpect to what he has in common, and what he has peculiar; and next we may confider him as having something in common, and fomething alfo particular.-All of one nation may .have a certain refemblance that makes them differ from those of another nation: thus a painter's good fight and fharp attention is not fufficient; for he muft alfo have great vivacity of imagination and difcernment, becanfe that partakes of the ideal.'
An attempt to explain myfteries is always dangerous, yet we will venture to fuggeft what we think may poflibly be veiled under this oracular obfcurity.
All men have fomething in common as a fpecies; they have alfo fomething particular as natives of different countries, and