Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

a country where literature and composition may be regarded as in their infancy. In such a country, and in such an age, appeared a man, who in the vigour of all his glorious faculties, without affittance, without example, gave to the world a work which has been the admiration and model of all succeeding poets. What conjecture, what reason fhall we ever be able to assign, why Homer, who, as far as tradition reaches, had no guide, no precursor, should at once, instantaneously burft forth in all the united splendor of poetic excellence?'-A Writer who is capable of supposing this, is prepared to be the dupe of any impofition. Because no models, which might have affifted Homer in the perfe&ting of the poetic art, do not at present exist, is that an argument that none ever did exist? The ancients were convinced that Homer had some models to guide him ; and it is highly reasonable to suppose it. It is all idle declamation to talk of his bursting forth INSTANTANEOUSLY AT ONCE inta all the united Splendour of poetic excellence. We might combat the assertion by this simple but unanswerable question-" How doth the Author know this? How can he prove it?” But we think the judgment of Tully much better to be trusted in a matwhich is more to be decided by internal evidence than by external facts. “Nothing (said that great man) becomes perfect of a sudden. There is no doubt but there were poets before Homer." The case of Rowley and Homer is exceedingly different. We have real ground to proceed on when speaking of the poetry of Rowley's age : but nothing better than imaginary, when speaking of the age of Homer. On the one we can institute a comparison with certainty; on the other, our reasonings being arbitrary, cur conclusions must be uncertain, vague, and presumptuous.

TH

ART. VIII. An Analysis of the principal Duties of social Life; in a

Series of Letters to a young Gentleman on his Entrance into the
World. By John Andrews, LL. D. Smali 8vo. 3 s. Boards.
Robinson, &c. 1783.
HIS performance is by no means destitute of merit. If it

discovers no uncommon stretch of thought, nor any original acuteness of discernment, yet it Thews the Author to be a man of found judgment and mature experience. His remarks, though sometimes trite, are generally just: and though several maxims only contain the very same idea under a different form of expression, yet there is a novelty, a propriety, and an elegance in the whole, that entitle it to our recommendation. Its tendency is strictly moral; and a youth formed on the principles it inculcates bids fair to be useful to society, and happy in himself,

The

in the Saxon time, and fince the Conquest; which used to be chained on the high' altar, and opened with a lock and key on folemn occasions. This book, in respect of the charters and privileges contained in it, was subscribed by many of the Kings of England, as also by many Popes and Cardinals, and on those occasions been frequently sent to Rome.' It is said to be now in the Vatican, or some of the other public libraries at Rome. This article is finithed by, ' An account of all the records of the leveral courts of the County Palatine of Durham, which are kept in the Chancery office there, by John Richardson, Esq; an.

1618.' We must not dismiss this number without some notice of Boldon Book, an ancient record, in the nature of Doomsday Book, containing an account of the customs and revenues of the whole bishoprick. It was written by Hugo Bilbop of Durham, in 1183.' An ancient transcript of it is extant in the Bodleian library, written in a fmall neat hand, about the age of King Henry IV.

The three next numbers are, Of the books used in churches and monafteries, &c. here in England, before the Reformation. Of the vestments in use in the church of England before the Reformation Church utensils or ornaments. All written by J. Lewis, Minifter of Margate, and taken from MSS. in the Bodleian library, Oxford.' These papers ferve, among many others, to reveal and expose the absurdity and impofitions of the Romish church. It was indeed with great justice, as here observed, that Dr. Wicliff called their legends, fermons, &c. a serving of fables, chronicles, and lefings, a preaching fables and flattering lesings, to deceive the people in faith and good life, and rob them of their worldly goods, &c. Thus then, it is added, they entertained the people with the most trilling tales and infipid stories : “Four men stale an Abbot's ox to their larder (flaughter-house). The Abbot did a sentence, and cursed them : lo three of them were thriven, and asked mercy: the fourth died, and was not affoiled (freed from excommunication), and had not forgiveness. So, when he was dead, the spirit went by night, and scared all the people by night, that none durft walk after fun-down. Then as the parish-priest went on a night with

God's body to housel (give the facrament) to a fick man, this spirit went with him, and told him what he was, and why he went, and prayed the priest to go to his wife, that they mould go both to the Abbot and make him amends for his trespass, and io to affoil him, for he might have no rest. And anon the Abbot affoiled him, and he went to rest and joy for evermore.”

Thus much for their books; and as to their vestments, what an awkward, and ridiculous figure must a man make, dressed up in four or five garments, hanging over one another, beside bits of linen and filk wrapped round or flowing loose here and there,

Some of the comparisons are natural and striking; but there are too many that weaken and obicure the maxims they were designed to illustrate. The following is affected and far-fetched: • As generosity is the source of disinterestedness, it is no less the tomb of unlawful ambition.'-' Liberality of mind is a school wherein those lessons of divinity are taught, from which no sect ever diflented. The dictates of this school are truly orthodox and celestial; by listening to them human nature is sublimed, as metals through fire are disencumbered of the dross, and attain their highest degree of purity.' Such allusions rather confuse the mind, than enforce or exemplify the subject. The comparison begins with a school, and ends with an elaboratory !

TH

Art. IX. Collectanea Curiosa, &c. Concluded. See our laft Month's

Review,
HE second volume of this work, including the articles in

the Supplement, contains forty-nine numbers, collected, for the greater part, from the archives of Oxford University. The two firit numbers may afford some amusement, as they acquaint us with the provisions of ancient times for the table, with the prices, &c.

• The charges of my Lord of Leiyster (Chancellor of the Univer fity of Oxford) his dinner, the 5th day of September, 1570 (at Oxford). Among many other articles are such as follow: For ij kyldeskynes of dowble beere, to Mr. Reddinge,

vj s. iiij d. For vij gallandes and iij qz. of claratte wine, to Mr. Noble,

X s. iij d. For xxviij ib. of butter, to Mrs. Cogene, at jij d. ob. the pownde,

viijs. ij d. For a brest of mutton to be rosted, and to be kept

cowlde for my Lord, to Mr. Ladiman, For iiij fingnetes (fwans), to Mr. Hegges at vj s. viij d. a pelle,

xxvj s. viij d. For vj chickens, to Goodwyfe Toveye, at iij d.

ob. a pesie, For a $. of finemonde comfats,

ij s. viij d. For the lonne of xiv dozen of pewter dyches, iij s. viij di' We observe also two dozen of trenchers mentioned, but the price not specified. Among the fruits, we find xij pippines, charged at xij d. which shews them to be more scarce at that time than at present. The whole expence of this sumptuous entertainment, of which a very long detail is given, attended, we may be certain, by a very large company, is xix l. ij so vj d.

* No. 3. The cry in Sturbridge fair.' It confifts of various inftructions and orders refpe&ting bakers, butchers, innkeepers,

carriers,

viij de

xxjd. carriers, &c. , also respecting the members of the University, all proper and necessary for the preservation of peace and regularity, at a time likely to be tumukuous and riotous. It appears to be ancient, but is without a date.

No. 4. contains a few extracts from some MS. papers of Bishop Cofins. No. 5. confifts of extracts from the will of Bishop Andrews, 1626.

No. 6. A letter from a friend of the Universities, in reference to the new proje&t for riding the great horse.' This paper, like some others, has no date. For our better understanding it, we are referred to No. 21. of the first volume, which relates briefly the proje& for an Academy Royal in England; we are there also informed, how far King James I, had proceeded towards it, and bere are added propofitions advanced concerning it by his son, Prince Henry. It appears from hence, that beside Janguage, mathematics, &c. horsemanship, and exercises of that kind were to be taught in this school, for which purpose, it is faid, the Prince would persuade his Majesty to furnish some horses from his stables, and that he himself would do the same from his own. From this last part of the design, the Author of the present number takes his hint to expose and ridicule it. He apprehends that some great man (probably Sir Balthazar Gerbier, the projector) has

a great bouse near London, unoccupied, and thinks that his scheme for a great horse will render it very profitable. Zealous for the honour of the Universities this writer inlifts that other branches of learning are or may be well taught and attained in them, and the great house and great horse , very conveniently spared.

Having been thus led back to the twenty-first number of the former volume, we may farther here observe, that it was proposed there should be a common seal for the intended Academy, on the face of which should be the effigies of his Majesty, James the First, in a chair of state ; and on the reverse, King Solomon on a throne, visited by the Queen of Sheba: King James, it is said, approved the first side, but could not as then allow of the reverse, out of a princely fear, left his modesty might fuffer, as ascribing Solomon's parts to himself.'

No. 7. An abstract of divers privileges and rights of the University of Oxford: by Dr. Wallis.' No date. Among other remarks, it is said, “We had not anciently, as we now have, colleges for the habitation of scholars; but scholars lived in hired houses, among those of the town. And when a Mafter or Tutor bired a house for the use of himself and scholars, such house was wont to be called a Hall, and he the Principal of that Hall. We would hope that it does not admit of a query, whether more real and useful attention was given to the improvement, the manners and qualifications of the scholars, when Rev. March 1783.

they

[ocr errors]

year 1698, and sent without a name to Bishop Stillingfleet, at whose disposal it was then said Sir Thomas Winford Cook's 10,000 l. was left.' Each of these articles contain somewhat worthy of attention; the last confifts of hints for founding a college for the sons of the clergy.

No. 10, 11, Extract from Dr. Brady's Historical Treatise of Cities and Boroughs.-De Viginti, &c. Concerning twentyeight British cities, &c. By Abp. Usher.' These are curious; but they have been before published.

' A Letter relating to the last behaviour of Sir Walter Rawleigh *, written by Dr. Robert Tounson, Dean of Westminster, and afterwards Bishop of Sarum, to Sir John Iam.'-' Iter. Carolinum ; being a succinct relation of the necessitated marches, retreats, and sufferings of his Majesty Charles the First, from January 10, 1641, till the time of his death, 1648; collected by a daily attendant upon his sacred Majesty, during all the faid time ;'-and an · Extract from an Account of King Charles the First's escape, or departure from Oxford, in 1646. By Dr. Michael Hudson ;'--there subjects furnish the materials of No. 13, 14, and 15, which, with the Index, conclude the Collection,

We briefly hinted our opinion of the general value and importance of this publication, in our account of the first volume. See our last month's Review.-Mr. Gutch, the Editor, bas prefixed to the second volume, an advertisement of his design of publishing Wood's English manuscript of the “ History and Antiquities of Oxford,” provided he can be assured of sufficient encouragement to defray the expence of printing.

• He was, says the Doctor, che moft fearless of death that ever was known, and the most resolute and confident, yet with reverence and conscience.

[ocr errors]

ART. X. Continuation of the Account of Bishop Newton's Works. See

last Review. E have already with freedom, and, we hope, with im

partiality, delivered our sentiments of the general merit of the Bishop's character and writings; though we ingenu. oufly acknowledge, that we were not wholly divested of bias and preposseflion :- but it was in the Bishop's favour. We have made every apology, for some instances of misguided and precipitate zeal, which candour Could suggest. We were sorry to see fo much goodness made the sport of credulity. We lamented, that the milk of human kindness should be soured by the fpirit of party; and our love of the man anxiously sought out excuses for the zeal of the priest.

The present publication consists of the Account of the Author and his Friends, from whence we made fuch copious extracts in our last Journal. This is succeeded by the Differta

Prophecies, already too well known to the world to

« AnteriorContinuar »