« ZurückWeiter »
The advancement of Literature has at all times been the prominent object of regard with those who have conducted the publication, or promoted the interests, of the present Work ; sometimes by curious investigations into the merits of others, and sometimes by original opinions and judgments of their own. In the former case they trust that no disgraceful prejudices have arisen to injure the impartiality of their decisions; and in the latter that no becoming labour has been spared, which could tend to elucidate what was difficult, to remove what was objectionable, or to recommend what was valuable and attractive.
In some of the finer speculations of thought, or in the abstruse and remoter branches of knowledge, it may have happened that their opinions or inquiries have not been equally interesting to all; and they are not unwilling to own, that they have occasionally penetrated into the deeper recesses of antiquity, where the general reader was unwilling to follow; that the obscure legend, and mutilated inscription, have been the objects of their regard; that they have cleared the moss from many a forgotten marble, and rescued from oblivion many an obliterated name. But it must be recollected, that the very basis upon which their Magazine has so long and so firmly stood, has been that of solid and substantial information; and he who is desirous of obtaining knowledge which will be permanently useful, must be content to follow, even when the first impulse of inquiry begins to languish, and curiosity has lost the keenness of its original impressions. Truth, it must be remembered, is sometimes slowly and sometimes unexpectedly brought to light. A casual hint, or fortuitous conjecture, has been successful, when the most laborious investigations have failed ; and an oblique light, accidentally thrown, has not seldom reflected the concealed image of pursuit. It must also not be forgotten that the true measure of the value of discoveries lies often far beyond their insulated importance; a single line recovered, or a single letter restored, may dissipate at once the darkness that has enveloped the genealogy of an individual, the period of an event, or the history of a people ; and the largest and brightest masses of erudition have been formed of particulars, which, separately observed, would appear dull, minute, and unimportant.
In the Miscellaneous Collections which fill the pages of the Magazine, much diversity of design, as well as variety of matter, may be observed. In some cases the communications may be considered as finished and complete in their outline; in others they are intended only to form the rude material which is to be worked up by the industry of future inquirers, or to be enriched by the addition of new discoveries.
The pages allotted to the Review of New Publications, will not allow the same latitude for discursive reasoning, or original conjecture, which may be found in those works that are confined to that one department of criticism; but it will be the duty of the Reviewer to make his decisions the result of careful observation, and to convey by his selections a judicious estimate of the Work. Those authors, whose volumes are too brief or unimportant to engage the immediate notice of the professed critic, or to attract the general approbation of the public, may be assured that the attention bestowed on them, though it may be concisely expressed, will not the less be candidly and seriously formed.
The Original Communications will discuss such subjects as rely on their intrinsic and permanent value, or which are recommended by those accidental circumstances, that invest objects of inferior value with occasional importance in the feelings of their contemporaries.
To secure ample materials for the Biography of persons ennobled by their advancement in learning, or eminent in public life, so that the portrait of the individual may present its distinguishing features and its lineaments of correct resemblance, the contributions of those persons acquainted with the character, or interested in the fortunes or reputation of the deceased, are earnestly requested; and the Publishers trust, that with such assistance their Obituary will continue to merit the favour of the public, by the accuracy of its outline and the fullness of its details, by the fidelity of its statements and the impartiality of its decisions.
It is hardly necessary for us to assure our readers that our principles and opinions on subjects connected with Religion and Government, are the same which we always professed; and that in all that tends to support the necessary Supremacy of Law, and the stability of our Constitution; in all that regards the preservation of order and peace, and the maintenance of our venerable and Apostolic Church, they are unchanged, and and we believe we may add unchangeable.
DIARY OF A LOVER OF LITERATURE.
BY THOMAS GREEN, ESQ. Tuomas GreeŅ, Esq. the author of the Diary published under this title in 1810, and of a continuation from which we hope to extract some articles that will not be uninteresting to the Public, was born at Monmouth, on the 12th September, 1769. He was the son of Thomas Green, whose family had been long settled at Wilby, in Suffolk, and possessed considerable landed property in that and the adjoining parishes. On the paternal side, he was related to Dr. Thomas Green, the amiable and accomplished Bishop of Ely; and on the maternal to Archbishop Sancroft, and to that laborious and well-known antiquary, honest Tom. Martin of Palgrave.
Mr. Green received his education at the grammar-school at Ipswich, and, in 1786, was admitted of Caius college, Cambridge ; but a very severe and dangerous attack of illness prevented his residence, and on his recovery he was admitted a member of the Inner Temple, where he resided for some time. In October 1795 he married Catharine, daughter of General Hartcup, and for some time attended professionally the Norfolk Circuit; but on his father's death, finding himself .placed in easy circumstances, he was induced to relinquish his profession : perhaps his quiet, unambitious disposition was glad to take shelter (as he informs us in his Diary, p. 56) under the remark of Quinctilian : “Vix enim bonæ fidei viro convenit, auxilium in publicum pollicere, quod in præstantissimis quibusque periculis desit." For many years he devoted himself to the delights of a literary life, and to social intercourse; and a summer excursion into Wales, or the more picturesque provinces of our Island, sent him back to his books and studies with renewed ardour. In June 1824, he visited the Continent a second time, and reached Florence, where he staid to indulge in the delights which its rich Galleries of Art and its different Museums afforded. He returned to England in the autumn of the year; and the friend from whose pen this humble Memoir of him proceeds, was delighted to obey a call to meet him at his house at Ipswich. He found him, as he expected, full of all his delightful recollections, and enthusiastically rejoicing in the treasures of knowledge which he had accumulated, and the magnificent scenes which he had beheld; but he complained of not being in health. The heat of the climate had greatly affected him. A cough attacked him on his return through Switzerland ; and this illness (which appeared like what medical men call a general breaking up of the constitution), in spite of all care and skilful advice, steadily increased upon him, and gradually undermined his strength and health, until, on the 6th of January, 1825, it terminated fatally. He left an only son, Thomas, born in April 1811, who married Miss Mordaunt, and who resides in the paternal mansion at Ipswich; a gentleman of great talents and scientific accomplishments in music.
In the very small space that can be allotted to this Memoir, it can only be remarked that Mr. Green was a person of acquirements and knowledge more than usually extensive. His curiosity extended widely over many departments of study not attractive to the generality of students. He was partial to works of philosophy and metaphysics; disquisitions on the theory of morals formed a favourite branch of reading ; and, in a work which he published, and which received the high commendation of Dr. Parr in the Spital Sermon, he weighed and examined the different hypotheses which had been advanced from the time of Cudworth and Clarke to Adam Smith and Hume. His theological views were, perhaps, neither so clear nor so profound as might have been expected; but he was never anxious to bring them into public notice. The arts of painting, sculpture, and music he had enthusiastically loved and studied : he formed a very pleasing collection of pictures of the old masters, to which he added all those possessed by the late Lord Chedworth. Voyages and Travels, which afforded him new views of society, and enlarged observation of mankind under institutions, climates, and habits so different from his own, he much delighted in : and every thing connected with the grandeur of nature-its romantic and picturesque scenery, its sublimity and beauty, were to him subjects of ever-growing interest. The present writer remembers a striking instance of this. When Mr. Green first crossed the mountains of the Jura, in his way from France to Geneva, and when he came in the morning, at La Vattaye, to the first magnificent burst of the plain and lake of Geneva below, and Mont Blanc beyond, he sate down on the brow of the hill, at first lost in amazement, and afterwards drinking in the glories of the scenery with an untired eye; nor did he leave the spot till night shut the landscape from his view. In his habits of life Mr. Green was quiet, retired, and unobtrusive, but most generous and warmhearted to his friends and companions : his manners were peculiarly refined and elegant; and his conversation abounding in most of those qualities which realize the language of the Poet
“ With thee conversing I forget all time." His Diary was kept with undeviating exactness. In 1810 a portion of