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ture,* that the author of Junius was a Mr. Lloyd, brother of the late Dean of Worcester.” Lord Chedworth mentions having heard that Lord Oxford, on being asked respecting Atterbury's guilt, replied, “Why, I am afraid my friend Frank has been dabbling.”—These notes evince his Lordship to have been a sincere , believer in Christianity, and a sound Whig. In his critical remarks, I observe that cautious timidity which formed a prominent feature in his Lordship's character. To be judicious was his highest aim ; and to have been so, forms his highest literary praise.Lord Chedworth, in a note in Walpoliana, thinks that Swift strongly marked his character by the inscription which he desired to be placed on his tomb, “ Ubi sæva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit.”
1806. Jan. 9. Finished the Life of Fox. There is a good account of his style of eloquence. Its characteristic I take to be a happy adaptation to the auditory he addresses. His arguments never soar above, or fall short of, or spread wide of his object. They hit it precisely, and are then urged with such a restless succession, as overpowers all resistance, and establish him beyond all rivalry the great master of popular debate.
Jan. 15. Dined at Mr. Layton's. Dr. Thompson mentioned a pun of Jekyll's. He said that he had an infallible argument to prove that Ireland must soon become enormously rich. 6. What is it?" " Its capital is always doubling.”
March 23. Read Goldsmith's Deserted Village. The sentiments and imagery are highly natural and beautiful, and in some parts exquisitely touching; but he has stated, in his Dedication to Sir Joshua Reynolds, the fatal objection to the whole poem,—that it is founded on a false hypothesis !
May 24. Read Millar on the Origin of Ranks, in which he considers with great ability the influence of the progress of society on the condition of women.
He has a very just critical stricture on Spenser's Faery Queen. The author, he observes, has covered his fable with a veil of allegory, which is too dark to have much beauty of its own, and which, notwithstanding the strength of imagery displayed, destroys the appearance of reality, necessary in works of imagination, to interest the affections. Certain it is, the discovery of this allegory has greatly impaired my enjoyment of the
poem. May 28. I read Timon of Athens, with Lord Chedworth and Seymour's notes. I am pleased to find that Burke remarked to Johnson, what forcibly struck me, the shades of discrimination by which Shakspeare has distinguished the character of Timon from that of Apemantus. Seymour states that he heard Burke say to Hickey the sculptor, “You, Sir, live by the dead, and the dead live by you.”
June 2. Went to the Tower Church, and heard a sermon from Mr. Kilderbee, and the primary charge of Dr. Bathurst, Bishop of Norwich. The former showed his teeth. Nothing could be more temperate, enlightened, and judicious, than the address of the Bishop. The difference in
* This person was Dr. Parr. See Mr. Barker's interesting Letters on the Author of Junius. In a passage in another part of this Diary, Mr. Green says, “ Though H. Tooke affects to know the author, in his dispute with him, he told me himself that he never could discorer who he was.''-ED.
the tone of the two discourses, though on the same subject, was very striking:
July 2. Walked to Opie's, and viewed his pictures. Opie said he wrote Sir J. Reynolds' Life in Pilkington's Account of Painters. Alderson said he had met Sheridun at Wilson's,-rather too fond of making speeches, but possessing the happy art * of conciliating the good will of others, by making them pleased with themselves.
July 5. Attended the trial on Lord Chadworth's Will. Garrow opened with great spirit. Lords Dartmouth, Suffolk, Moira, and Eldon, Sir C. Banbury, Col. Stisted, Wilson, Muir, Alderson, and Miles, were all establishing his Lordship's sanity and superior intellectual powers, gratifying to his friends. Lord Eldon's testimony too much of a prepared speech ;called his Lordship shy and inapproachable. A paltry case on the part of the heirs-at-law, introduced in a very neat, eloquent, and gentlemanly speech of Dallas. The counsel did not reply, nor Lord Ellenborough sum ap. Legatees excluded from giving evidence, by being inade parties in the cause ; deeply interested in the whole trial, and much affected in different parts of it.—Saw Wilson at his house, showed me Dr. Parr's Letter to Fonblanque respecting Lord Chedworth, a most extraordinary mixture of high praise, and strange insinuation.
Sept. 24. Had much chat with R. Wilson. Said that Fox's last words were, “I die happy." Then looking at his wife, “ I pity you.” Retained his perfect judgment till within a quarter of an hour of his death. His mind then vacillated. Wilson mentioned that Sheridan said to him,“ That old fool, Parr, applied to me by saying, 'I hope I shall have a distinguished place allotted to me in the funeral procession.”
Oct. 19. Beattie, in a letter to Sir W. Forbes, considers "poetry as almost incompatible with philosophy; poetry exhibits the general qualities of a species ; philosophy the particular qualities of individuals." This is surely an erroneous view of the subject. Poetry would be thus more abstract than philosophy. Lord Holland considers the chief objects of poetry to be, to delineate strongly the character and passions of mankind, to paint the appearances of nature, and to describe their effects on the sensations ; the probability of the story, the connexion of the tale, the regularity of the design, are beauties rather ornamental than necessary, which have often been attained by those who had no poetical genius, and neglected by those who had.
Oct. 28.. Walked with Wilson to Pearson's. Showed me a letter from the Prince to him, of three sides, written in a bold free hand, but rather loose, and light and perplexed in style; perfectly easy, beginning “ Dear Wilson,” and ending “Yours most sincerely.” The object to get Wilson to use his interest with the Duke of Northumberland to have his secretary Macmahon elected for some borough where there would be no opposition or difficulty, as his health, for which he expresses great solicitude, is very precarious.f The feelings expressed in this very gentlemanly letter do high honour to the Prince's heart. He precedes his letter“most private and important !" and would not for the world that his young friend (Macmahon) should know its contents.
Oct. 29. Finished Gentz's State of Europe. He displays very just and enlarged views of the position and relative interests of States; and
A very true observation; but the art was unfortunately a little too visible, or rather it was not quite disinterested in its application.-Ep.
+ He was elected for Aldborough, Suffolk.
lengthened, and tuned, the true accents of our mother tongue, those notes of passion which an Englishman would naturally breathe, and enforced those indigenous tones, by a modulation bold, affecting, sublime in the accent, passion, and expression of English words, he' considers his vocal music as far superior to Handel's as an original poem to a 'translation. “From rosie bowers," he thinks his masterpiece this way. T. Salmon proposes a scheme, which has often occurred to me, of abolishing the plague of cliffs, by marking all unisons alike, and distinguishing octaves !. On Stradella's unintentionally causing two assassins, hired to murder him, to relent by the charms of his composition, Burney observes, that it is a miraculous power of modern music, superior perhaps to any that can be. well authenticated of the ancients. He considers Handel's “ He was despised and rejected of men,” in the Messiah, as the first English air for pathetic expression. He observes of Handel's music, that it requires a more powerful agency. in the orchestra to develope and display it, than that of any other composer. Nothing can express his conceptions, but an Omnipotent hand. His pauses, he remarks, often “catch loquacity in the fact."
Dec. 30. Read the first part of Bentley's remarks on Collins. In the assumed and well-sustained part of a Leipsic scholar, he wields the weapons of controversy with matchless dexterity and vigour ; and he particularly luxuriates, when he evinces how little the various lections in the New Testament affect the integrity of the text. He positively affirms what I cannot believe, “ That no man in his senses ever fell from Christianity to Atbeism, who did not, from ill conduct, look on Christianity with fear and terror.”
1805. June 12. Read several of Gay's Fables. The thoughts are often neatly and sweetly expressed, but the moral sometimes is by no means clear in itself, nor clearly deduced from the fiction, an essential failing : it ought to stand forth in the brightest evidence. The happiest of all seems to be the 42d of the first set, exhibiting the contention between Vice and, a Juggler, in which there is infinite wit and playfulness.
Jan. 15. Read Hurd's Lectures, in which he contends, with much subtlety of discrimination and refinement of reasoning, but with too curious and too captious a show of both, that the evidence of prophecy cannot properly be examined either by believers or unbelievers, without considering it as being what it professes to be, of divine suggestion, and having its ultimate accomplishment in the history and dispensation of Christ. In other lights, we attack or defend a phantom. Hurd's subtle preparative discriminations are very ensnaring, and would require infinite exertion in his antagonist. The paltry, provoking vulgarisms with which his style is. polluted, are relieved by sentences and by passages of excelling majesty and captivating grace.
Read H. Tooke's defence on the Lexington libel. Exquisite discernment and penetration, perversely and mischievously misapplied. His future biographer may glean much information from passages in these speeches.
Jan. 17. Finished Johnson's Letters to Mr. Thrale. They raise him, if possible, still higher than ever in my esteem and veneration. His wonderful insight into the real springs of human actions, is often apparent where he trifles most; and when he summons his powers, he pours new and unexpected lights even on the clearest and most obvious topics. See
his letter on Old Friendships. His fertility of logical invention is probably unrivalled.
Jan. 30. Read the Life of Sir William Jones. Burke mentions in a letter, that he had been long disused to Greek literature ; that the orators had fared worse from the translators than the poets; that he could never bear to read a translation of Cicero; that Demosthenes suffers less, but that the English reader must still marvel whence he acquired his transcendant fame. Sir William Jones was a man who, without anything strikingly original or profound in his genius, appears to have possessed greater attainments, a more extensive and mixed erudition, and more personal accomplishments, than any man perhaps in the records of biography. His belief (not very deep rooted, perhaps) in Christianity, appears to have been founded on the prophecies in the Old Testament.
March 19. Read Twining's Preface to his Aristotle, and his first Dissertation. I am charmed with his masculine sense and good taste, transferred in an original and nervous style, defective in nothing but facility. Of Aristotle, he observes in his preface, that, austere and cold as his philosophy appears, it has not encroached on his taste; that he has not indeed expressed that taste, but has discovered it in his principles, which are truly poetical, never losing sight of the end of poetry—“ Pleasure”-and allowing every means for the attainment of that end. Good and original criticisin, he maintains, depends on a combination of taste and philosophy, strength of feeling, and strength of thought. In the Dissertation, he examines how far poetry is or is not an imitative art, as Aristotle considers it:
: a perplexing discussion, as the two terms seem neither co-extensive nor commensurable, but his treatment of it renders it agreeable. I have heard Kilburne speak with rapture of bis (Twining's) thrilling expression on the violin-he exalts the expressive powers of Pergolesi, above those of Handel and Purcell.
March 24. Finished Lord Melcombe's Diary. He exhibits in his own person, a finished portrait of the thorough-paced, unprincipled, political courtier, to which nothing but his own representation of his overtures, soundings, professions, insinuations, smooth menaces, reflections, in his own ineffable language, can do justice. He carries the courtier with him to his closet, and even his very scoldings are in that character.
What a despicable and detestable scene does he open, enough to sicken one of Courts and Kings for ever. The education of the Prince (George III.) appears to have been a wretched one. Shut
from all liberal acquaintance and liberal knowledge, his mother represents him as shy, backward, good-natured, cheerful, but with a serious cast of mind; not quick, but to those whom he knew, intelligent.
May 8. The Memoires de Bailly exhibit a most masterly view of the errors in the early part of the French Revolution. To be secure and respectable, the authority of a Representative Assembly (the Edinburgh Review of the book, p. 17, justly observes) should be made up of the separate authority of the individuals who compose it, not artificially derived from delegation. The men should confer dignity and weight on the office, not the office on the men. They should not operate as on a foreign substance, but be consubstantiated with the people for whom they legislate. Is not this article by Mackintosh, aided by Burke's conversation ?
May 8. Walked with Mr. Prentice round the Park. Had much interesting conversation with him on religious subjects. Opened his mind very freely, and a little surprised me by some of his statements. Said GENT. MAG. VOL. I.
that, though impressed with a deep and firm conviction of the truth of revelation, he was sometimes staggered by the nature of the dispensation itself. He was much impressed with the failures of the promises of Christ in his own person ; he could say, he never had a prayer answered: and often was in a state of alienation from religion. He heard with much temper my free declaration. The description of his feelings on the repeated rejection of his prayers, reminded me of the conduct of the people who flog their idols when disappointed of their petitions them.
June 25. Dined at Ellis's. Tooke said, that Erskine affirmed to him, that the man whom for his abilities he least liked to have opposed to him, was Law.
June 26. After dinner, went with Ellis to tea at Shee's. Opie called in. He possesses, I think, but a very ordinary mind. Had much political discussion. It is remarkable that all artists and literati have a tendency, more or less, to revolutionary principles. Talleyrand few into a passion when asked by an Englishman whether he might remain in safety after the desertion of our ambassador. “ Prenez-vous nous pour des barbares ?” he cried :—the day but one after they were all seized.
July 21. Read Marmontel's romantic account of his life. The French appear to have a wonderful deal of feeling in the domestic relations,* to which we are utter strangers in this country. He says that he soon found that the study of languages is also that of distinguishing the shades of ideas, of decomposing and seizing with precision their characteristic rela
that it forms in truth a rich sense of elementary philosophy. There is truth and depth in this remark. He affirms that the practice of monthly confession—that modest, chaste, and humble avowal of our most secret faults, perhaps prevented a greater number of them than all the most holy motives put together : I can readily believe him. He described Rousseau precisely as Burke has done, as actuated by consuming vanity, destroying all the better parts of his character, and inflaming his mind to insane suspicions and distrust of all around him--loving mankind at a distance, but hating all who approached him. How accurate all Burke's information appears to have been! He neatly observes, that Voltaire had rather insects to brush, than serpents to strangle.
Aug. 13. Read Hume's Essay on Miracles. The longer I live, and the more I read and reflect, the higher I estimate Hume's merits. I never however could admit the principle he assumes in this essay : that we believe in testimony solely because we observe the connection that exists between testimony and truth. There can be no doubt, I think, that we are disposed to believe in testimony, antecedently to the observation of any such connection. He admits that we are naturally inclined to speak truth. Why should he not have admitted that we are naturally inclined to believe what is asserted ? And it appears to me that he might have ac
* A true, though to us a most melancholy remark, which Mr. Green might have extended beyond France. There is no Christian country which I ever visited, or with which I am acquainted, where the domestic charities are so cold, and the ties of kindred so weak, as in the most moral country of the world ; they are more alive and more plainly to be seen, I think, in the higher and the lower classes of the communi. ties, which will lead perhaps to the cause why they are so weakened and impaired in the intermediate stations of society, and will suggest some salutary reflections. The Apostle tells us that “ the love of money is the root of all evil!" Would it be very difficult then, when we know that the “root is evil,” to agree also with the deduction of the Gospel, " that a corrupt tree bringeth not forth good fruit," and that the possessions of men are indeed snares to them.--Edit.