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"Sometimes, like apes, They moe and charter at me
he sought to drown his chagrin, or liban, speaking of the various torthat he really did not mind his ill tures that he suffers from the spirits luck, he was so rich and full in dis- of Prospero, says, course, lavished forth wit with such a prodigal hand, and excited such general delight, that one of the actors sprung up, and embracing him, exclaimed, Ah, my friend! why do I you not keep some of your wit for your plays?"
TEMPEST, Act II. Scene 2.
I quote from memory, nor have just now any edition of Shakspeare by me to ascertain whether this have It is recorded of this truly original Premising the same uncertainty as to been noticed by his commentators. poet, that he composed his pieces its originality, I will also trouble you without writing them; and that he did with another Shaksperian remark. not read, but recited from memory, to the actors, his comedy of the beth has been the source of much The following passage in MacFils Ingrats, which was therefore contention among the black letter performed ere the author had written gentlemen:
a line of it.
"My May of life Piron had been engaged for some Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf, &c.” time in an altercation with the celebrated tragic writer Crebillon, but doubt the possibility of such intellecSober minds are often tempted to he never lost his esteem for him; he tual blindness, as is sometimes to be sent him his Fils Ingrats, with the found in commentators.
"Tout de moi vous pèse et vous choque:
A more beautiful, natural, and pathetic passage is scarcely to be found in English poetry, than this; and yet blun dering editors would alter it! Warburton confidently says it should be
way of life," that is, my course or progress:- does not the context pronounce this emendation absurd? "My May of life Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf."
That is, the spring of existence has passed away, and its autumn approaches fast: but another passage from Shakspeare himself seems to proclaim the propriety of this reading: Leonato, in Much Ado about Nothing, when accusing Claudio of the wrongs which he has done fair Hero, exclaims,
"My lord, my lord, "I'll prove it on his body, if he dare; "Despite his nice fence, and his active practice,
" His May of youth, and bloom of lusty
Act V. Sc. 1.
THE HE letter of your correspondent, in your last number, who has given some observations upon Johnson's dictionary, induces me to send you the following additional error, or rather omission, in this work. meaning of the former passage after No person can surely doubt the The word moe is not to be found in reading this last; but, independently it, though I should conjecture, from of all authority, do not the nature the ensuing lines of Shakspeare's, and pathetic tone of Macbeth's exthat it signifies to make faces. Capressions sufficiently declare its pro
We would thank any of our correspondents for a translation of these lines,
I remain, &c.
ON THE WEAKNESS OF MEN OF GE- conceived himself entitled; and this NIUS, AND AUTHENTIC ANECDOTES independence he certainly did possess. It is not so generally known, however, that, to a becoming confidence in his own talents, he united a more than ordinary share of modesty; and
Edinburgh, Jan. 11, 1808.
HERE is a discovery we often
men of genius, not unattended with
σε Αυτος Φεύγει παλιν μαχήσεται "He who fights, and runs away, "Lives to fight another day." That the poet who sung so sweetly Dulce et decorum pro patria mori, left his shield behind him at the battle of Philippi? And that the father of Roman eloquence and philosophy, wept like a child in that exile which ought to have been to him a source of pride and exultation?
duct betrayed their unjust estimate of his merits, whom he was disposed to humble. He was always the first to discover merit, and to call forth its exertions in every one around him. His mind was of too elevated a cast for envy to find the smallest entrance, and he was too conscious of the intrinsic force of his own talents to stand in need of crooked auxiliaries, or the depression of another as a foil for his own exaltation.
But this independent bard, the bard who sung the charge to the troops of the patriotic Bruce, and the sublime song of Death,-will it be believed, that he was notwithstanding an arrant coward? It happened, one day, that he was present in a pretty numerous company in Dumfries, along with an exciseman of the name of Hewit, with whom he had formerly quarrelled, and to whom, naturally enough, he bore no great good will. This Hewit chose to speak of some extraordinary feats of drinking he had performed. Burns expressed his sentiments, by request. ing the attention of the company to a story. "I was lately invited to a party," said he, "where, after dinner, the landlord put before each A poet of our own country, who guest a glass large enough to contain will yield to none, antient or modern, the contents of a bottle, which, havin fire and native genius, will also ing filled with wine, he begged might yield to none of them in irregularity, be drunk off in a bumper. I immeand sometimes depravity, of conduct. diately answered, By G-, that's Peace, however, to the memory of more than I can swallow.' As this Burns: I wish not sacrilegiously to was giving Hewit the lie in a pretty rake up his ashes. But the considera- pointed manner, he rose up in a tion that the character of eminent passion, and made towards Burns, men belongs to posterity, and that who, pale and trembling, sheltered the world has a right to be fully in himself behind the ladies, and would possession of that character, has in- not quit his situation, till he prevailed duced me to give some traits, that on a party of them to escort him will shew him in a light in which he home. Hewit followed him to his is not generally seen. It is usually house, and made use of all sorts of understood, that he possessed uncom outrageous expressions, to induce mon independence of mind, and that him to venture out, but all to no no rank or elevation screened him purpose.--On another occasion, he from his indignation, who infringed was called out, along with the rest on the share of respect to which he of the Dumfries volunteers, in a
threatened insurrection occasioned by commits to utter ruin and destruction the hopes and happiness of the man whom he had pledged himself to restore to comfort and society. A man so acting, would act disgracefully, and would merit universal execration; and yet to do this, Cicero considers as right, because it is wrong not to sacrifice small to great evils (contra officium est, majus non anteponi minori), that is, we must place SELF in the first rank of consideration, and to that mercenary deity sacrifice all that is manly, generous,
the bigh price of provisions. The
ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF CICERO.
While upon this subject, I will advert to another passage of the same author, which shews as great a want of acuteness, as the other does of justice.
HE philosophy of Cicero has its admirers, and many are there Nihil enim est tam angusti animi who regard his morality as pure; tamque parvi, quàm amare divitias: yet, in the course of an attentive pe- nihil honestius magnificentiu que, rusal of his Officiis, I have often quàm pecuniam contemnere, si non thought that I saw a certain accom- habeas."-Ibid. c. 20. modating spirit, a pliant submission to events (as they may affect our interest) inculcated. It does not partake of that noble steadiness, that firm undaunted rectitude which should be the aim of every man on the contrary, it counsels a certain prevarication of conduct, which I would term duplicity. Of this character is the following, in my opi
"Contra officium est, majus non anteponi minori; ut, si constitueris te cuipiam advocatum in rem præsentem esse venturum, atque interim
graviter ægrotare filius cœperit, non sit contra officium, non facere quod dixeris."-Off. lib. I. c. 10.
To despise what we have not, is often an effect of envy; and a poor man's contempt of wealth would be very suspicious. It might, indeed, argue greatness of mind, to contemn riches when in our possession, for it would be an active virtue, and therefore a real one. I remain, &c. A. B. Cambridge, Jan. 1, 1808.
THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE
COMMERCE OF FRANCE WITH HOL
HE Dutch and the French were
united by a treaty of commerce in the 13th century; and about the end of the 14th, the States of HolNow, Sir, in my opinion, this is a land addressed some petitions to false and despicable maxim, and un- Charles V. wherein they requested worthy a high and generous mind. permission to trade with France, Let us suppose an advocate engages stating the benefits which would to plead a cause of the utmost im- accrue to them, in being able to portance to his client,-a cause on provide themselves with the salt, which depends his happiness, cha- wines, cloths, and other merchanracter, perhaps his life: he rests se- dises of that country. These people cure in the confidence he has of his (the Dutch) have always had sufficounsel, and commits unhesitatingly cient policy to support their demands to his hands the most precious deposit for a commercial intercourse with be has. On the very morning, per- France by the demonstration of facts. chance, that the trial comes on, the In the year 1558, Boreel, the amson or daughter of this advocate is bassador to France from Holland, in taken suddenly and dangerously ill soliciting a renewal of the ancient (graviter ægrotare cœperit), and he alliance between the two countries, therefore declines his attendance, and presented to the French government
a detailed statement of the merchan- burg, leagued with all Europe against dises carried off by the Dutch from France. The prohibitions with rethe ports of France, and hence it spect to Dutch produce and manuappears, that, at the said epoch, the factures were re-issued in 1688, and exports for Holland amounted in va- the Dutch retaliated, by excluding lue to 72,000,000 francs, viz. manu- from Holland French wines and factured articles 52,000,000, raw brandy. These hostile proceedings commodities 3,000,000; wines, eata were retarded, in 1699, by the peace bles,animals,and minerals,17,000,000 of Ryswick, when a decree very fafrancs. vourable to the produce and manuThis commerce, considering the factures of Holland was issued, and time in which it was carried on, will which was a happy medium between appear immense, the more so, if those of 1664 and 1667.
compared with the French exports The war of the Spanish succession for Holland at the present day, which again broke the intercourse, which do not amount to more to 46,000,000 was not renewed till the peace of francs; but it must be observed, that Utrecht, 1713. So many detriments the Dutch, in 1558, were almost the to the commerce of the two nations, sole navigators to France, whose pro- in the space of half a century, neductions, &c. they distributed through- cessarily tended to weaken the ties out Germany and most of the north- which existed between France and ern countries; whereas, since that Holland. In fact, at the end of the period, those very nations have them- reign of Louis XIV. the amount of selves found the way to carry on a the French exports for Holland apdirect traffic with France. In conse- peared to have decreased more than quence, therefore, of its commercial one half what they were previously dependence upon Holland, France to the administration of Colbert. found herself obliged, in 1662, to This, on the whole, was not so injurenew the alliance with that country, rious to France as may be imagined; which Colbert favoured, by his ad- for, in proportion as her connexion justment of the customs in 1664. with Holland decayed, that with the In 1667, however, he raised the du- other northern nations increased. ties upon all such Dutch merchandises The amount of the exports for Holas he thought France did not stand in land, at the period just mentioned, absolute need of. In 1671, the was 30,700,000 francs, viz. manuDutch prohibited, under pain of con- factures 2,300,000, raw commodi fiscation, the importation of the wines ties 6,000,000; wine, West India and manufactures of France into their sugar, and Levant coffee, 22,400,000. ports. Hereupon, Colbert adopted At the time of the revolution, the measures to counteract the pernicious exports amounted to 46,000,000 tendency which this sudden cessation francs. The imports at the end of of intercourse between the two na- Louis XIV's. reign amounted to the tions might have, in regard to France, sum of 12 million, and at the epoch at a time when the latter had not of the revolution to 33,100,000 sufficient merchant ships of her own francs. From these statements it to export her commodities. The will appear, that the commerce bemeasures alluded to consisted in an tween France and Holland has expeinvitation and promise of encourage- rienced a sensible increase within the ment to such Hamburghese, Danes, last seventy years; but, at the same and Swedes, as would frequent the time it is to be remarked, that the French ports; but by the peace of purchases made by the French in Nimeguen, every thing returned to Holland are nearly three times as its original channel, and the Dutch great as they were at the end of regained their superiority in respect Louis XIV.'s reign. The commodito the commerce of France. The ties sent by the Dutch to France are, feuds of William III. and Louis XIV. linens, raw and spun cotton, spices of overwhelmed the industry of both all sorts, sugar-candy, drugs, fine nations with calamity. The pride of wools, horse hair, horns, dyes, writ Louis was in no wise inferior to the ing pens, diamonds, pearls, madder, hatred of William, who, at Augs- gall nuts, gums, alum, vitriol, pew,
ter, lead, tin, copper, steel, iron, pots have been, and am when I am under and other utensils of iron, stoves for any Incertainty of your Condition, distilleries and for the colonial sugar- while it continues so doubtful. It houses, brass wire, quicksilver, sul- was a Concern to me not to See you phur, tanned hides, Russian skins, the day before I left Bath, tho I flax, hemp, flax seed, cables, cordage, should have felt Pain in taking leave sail-cloth, masts, yards, beans, rosin, of you. I thank your Son for your pitch, tar, tallow, candles, chcese, Letter he sent me, which gives me butter, salted and smoked salmon and more and more hopes. I beg to hear herrings, whale oil and fins, linseed weekly at least how you advance. oil, musk, ambergris, coral, pun- Every one who knows you shews cheons, pipes, ashes, bees and white great Interest in your Welfare, and wax, wax candles and tapers, starch, solicitude for it. It will be a kinddecanters, fine and coarse thread, ness to them all to give me the opporcelain, tea, chocolate, cowries, portunity of telling them any good all sorts of mercery for the Guinea news of you. Dear Sir, be assured trade, tapestries, fire-arms, gunpow- I desire nothing so much, and that der, bullets, shells, and other military no man can be more your faithful stores. In return, Holland procures or with more esteem from the different parts of France,
viz. from Paris, gold, silver, and
Ever affectionate Servant,
land's in Bath.
silken stuffs, damasks, table linen, To John Brinsden, Esq. at Mr. Clemillinery, ribbons, gloves, fans, toys, and books; from Rouen, linen cloth, laces, woollen and silken hosiery, mercery, hardware, woad, cards for I SHOULD often wish to enquire clothiers, drinking glasses, apples, of your Father's and my Friend's pears, cyder, and confectionary; state, but that I constantly know it from Dieppe, laces, glass, mercery, from the accounts sent to the Family ironmongery, combs and snuff-boxes in town, where I diligently call myof horn; from Caen, paper; from self when in London, and send, when Orleans, wines, brandy, saffron, and out of it. And your own kind letters camlets; from St. Malo, paper, calf- give me yet a more satisfactory acskins, millstones, honey, grain, raw count. The last both from Them, sugar, and several Indian and Spanish and from you, almost rid me of the merchandises; from Nantes, cloths, fears I confess I could not but enterhoney, saffron, wines, brandy, plums, tain all along; for if the Surgeons, sugar, indigo, &c.; from Rochelle, after so much Experience as they wines, brandy, salt, cork, wood, and have had of the process of his Case, paper; from Cognac, brandy; from do now think him in a fairer way than Bourdeaux, wines, brandy, vinegar, ever (as you tell me) I can lay a chesnuts, plums, cork wood, honey, greater stress upon their opinion than saffron, turpentine, &c.; from va- I could upon that of any Doctor rious other parts of France, feathers, whose helps in such a case are of a laces, taffetas, olives, capers, ancho- slower and therefore more uncertain vies, Levant merchandises, Italian operation. Pray let my dear friend ditto, Angora goats, and camels' hair, know, there is no man whose Welfare at this time gives me half the Concern that his does, and that there is no one
The balance of trade is generally about 12,000,000 francs in favour of Scheme of my future life, which France.
TWO ORIGINAL LETTERS
would be a Greater Joy to me, than to take that Journey with him abroad, FROM if it please God to enable him to make it. I desire him to write word so to our Great Friend, whose health I hear just now is not so good as I wish it, I'm told he has had his Bilcous
ALEXANDER POPE (never before published).
London, Jan. 21, 1741. It is impossible for me to tell you how warmly I wish your amendment and Recovery; and how anxious I