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like.” [The phrase is peculiar to Parr, but, I think, justifiable: the title of a book, strictly speaking, may be just as soon caught SKULKING on the shelf of a collector, as CREEP into the corner of a catalogue; the expressions are metaphorical, and the one is admirably balanced against the other; the eye, as it surveys the shelf of a collector, catches the titles only of the books on it, and any particular book from its size, or from the magnitude of its companions, may be more concealed from the view, i. e. may skulk more or less, in which case the title, or, in other words, the book itself, is caught (by the eye) skulking on the shelf:]
" Who is the best Greek scholar in England ? Porson is alluded to p. 156; at this time, (1789,) he was not Greek Professor, he had only taken his degree in 1782, and his reputation for scholarship was, it seems, not very general, for Dr. Bennet was at this time residing in College.] Better than BENTLEY too; yes, when his conjectures are verified by the discovery of fresh manuscripts, and the cleaning of old marbles. Where does he lurk ? in the Critical Review? This, my dear Doctor, is prodigality of praise. As far as my knowledge will go, no such character, the rival of Bentley, exists; aut mea sententia hic est Crassus noster, aut, si quis pari fuerit ingenio, pluraque quam tu et audierit, et lectitarit, paulum tibi aliquid poterit addere, Cic. de Orat. 1, 95.) “I value this performance of yours the more, because it has set me, and ought to let you, into a secret, viz. that your abilities in writing are never put out with more force than when you draw character. I look on those of WARBURTON and LELAND as good, but upon Jortin's as containing some of the best sentences I ever saw in my life, in point either of discriminating thought, or animated, yet chastised expression. Indeed I think that the style of the whole work, as less stiff, is more excellent than any of your other compositions; but in characters, 1 repeat it, you are almost unrivalled. And now you know your forte, I hope, as
Walsh to Pope, you will lose no opportunity of exerting yourself in it. I have received some entertainment from an extraneous circumstance. STEEVENS is concerned in the St. James's Chronicle; he hates Hund, and he is afraid of you. From the first moment, therefore, your pamphlet had appeared, that paper has lavished on it the highest praises; has exaggerated the prices, at which WARBURTON's and Hurd's pamphlets sold before the re-printing ; has observed the opportunity collectors now have of purchasing them reasonably with your excellent Dedication ; has triumphed on the sneers against the sneering Bishop; but what is very curious, he has drawn some of the paragraphs of the most bitter kind so much in SEALE's manner, that the Lambeth-Chaplain will be thrown into an agony of terror, and the Bishop, if he sees them, into an agony of rage. You will allow this to be perfectly Stephanic."
The excellent Bishop is perfectly right about Dr. Parr's consummate skill in delineating character justly, brilliantly, and fully; he was superior to Johnson in this respect, because he was more critically exact, and more philosophically profound, less subject to
prejudice, more liberal and enlightened, and more comprehensive in his views. A writer, who cannot be accused of any partiality to Parr, makes the following remarks in the London-Magazine, June 1829. p. 580.;—“ Nearly as good as his Epitaphs are some of his antithetical delineations of character,both in his Latin and English compositions. Many of these, those particularly in his famous Preface, and in the Dedication of the Tracts by WARBURTON and a WARBURTONIAN, are animated by a fine inspiration of personal or political feeling, and have accordingly that sort of nerve or power about them, which belongs to every thing, that comes warm from the heart. Yet with all their glow and sarcasm, and even occasionnal brilliancy, they are but the elaborations of talent ; and it would be a prostitution of the term, - upon any interpretation of it, that may be preferred,- to designate them as works of genius. Even these characters are but eloquent and stirring appeals, not living creations, — descriptions, not pictures. Yet we apprehend they are, as we have already said, of the highest class of Dr. Parr's performances.” To delineate character justly, brilliantly, and fully, belongs only to men of genius, like CICERO BURKE, Johnson, and PARR ; if the delineations in question“ are but the elaborations of talent,” it is the talent of genius, which Parr held in common with those men of kindred mind; we need not“ designate” the delineations“ as works of genius,” if we admit, (and few besides the Reviewer would deny,) that they have proceeded, and could only have proceeded, from a man of genius. The difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary mind in the delineation of character will clearly appear by comparing the sketch of Barrow, as fairly and well drawn by the Quarterly Reviewer of Dr. Parr's Works No. 78. April 1829. p. 289, (whose liberality of sentiment and candour of criticism are most conspicuous and most commendable,) with the sketch of the same profound theologue, as drawn by the master-pencil of Dr. Parr in the Critical Review:
“ And though it is true, (as Dr. Parr somewhere observes, and as we bare often observed for ourselves,) that in our old divines, in HOOKER for instance, in Taylor, or, above all, in BARROW, philosophical investigations not unfrequently occur, - divested indeed of technical language, even exbibiting the writers themselves as unconscious perhaps of the depth and accuracy of their own remarks, metaphysicians, as it were, upon instinct,- yet is it certain that their leading object erer was to set forth the great truths of Scripture in full, striking, expressive characters; and having thus committed them, under the favour of God, to the hearts of their hearers, they left them there to fructify they knew not how. Our meaning cannot be better illustrated than by comparing this Spital Sermon of Dr. Parr's with two of Dr. BARROW's, on the love of our neighbour. The subject is the same, charity - it was a favourite subject with them both — it is treated by both with signal ability — but with what different feelings do we rise from the perusal of the two authors, from the one with our head aching, from the other with our heart enlarged ! Never may the English student of theology be weary of the study of BarROW ! The greatest inan of our church — the express image of her doctrines and spirit — the model, (we do not hesitate to say it,) without a
fault -- a perfect master of the art of reasoning, yet aware of the limits, to which reason should be confined, now wielding it with the authority of an angel, and now again stooping it before the deep things of God with the humility of a child — alike removed from the Puritan of his own generation, and the Rationalist of the generation, which succeeded him - no Precisian, no Latitudinarian :- Full of faith, yet free from superstition, a stedfast believer in a particular Providence, in the efficacy of human prayers, in the active influence of God's spirit, but without one touch of the visionary : - Conscious of the deep corruption of our nature, though still thinking he could discover in it some traces of God's image in ruins and under a lively sense of the consequences of this corruption, casting himself altogether upon God's mercy through the sufferings of a Saviour for the consummation of that day, which he desired with a strong desire 'to attain unto, when, his mind purged and his eye clear, he should be
permitted to behold and understand without the labour and intervention of slow and successive thonght, not this our system alone, but more and of future generations. Equally instructive he is, and equally impressive, to readers of every class in society, and every sect in religion, - to the man of business, and the man of pleasure,- to the polished courtier, and the solitary recluse, to the sceptred monarch, and the humble peasant. But bis piety is never cramped by superstition, por his pbilosophy debased by refinement. Every principle of morality, every precept of religion, every ground of obligation, every motive of action, every faculty of the understanding, every emotion of the heart, every beauty in virtue, every deformity in vice, every sanction of every law, by which the conduct of moral and rational creatures ought to be regulated, every present and futare interest, by the prospect of which their fears and their hopes can be made subservient to their present or future happiness, pass in review before us, when we peruse the immortal writings of this learned, wise, and holy instructor. Whether he means to convince or to persuade,-to refute the scorner or to reform the sinner,—to elucidate a speculative difficulty, or to enforce a practical duty,-he brings with bim the same profusion of stores collected from extevsive and laborious reading,—the same habit of intense observation employed upon the properties of human natnre and the tendencies of human affairs, the same compass and precision of thought upon words and things,- the same perspicuity and accuracy of arrangement,the same rapid succession of just and vivid conceptions, the same ardor and loftiness of spirit, and the same copiousness, and vigour, and stateliness of diction. But numerous and splendid as are the excellencies of Barrow, he is not to be considered as a model of artifcial and refined composition. He seems indeed never to have paused in the choice of a phrase, nor to have made any effort for giving regularity to his sentences, and harmony to his periods. Yet the most fastidious critic would endure in the original those peculiarities, which he would condemn as defects in a writer, who professes to accommodate the matter of Barrow to the received notions and approved forms of language in a more refined age. It doubtless required great vigilance and great taste to alter the phraseology of such a writer without impairing his" (the) “sense. Mr. Fellowes had often occasion to make the perilous experiment, and he has generally made it with success. But we think it our duty as impartial critics to point out some instances, in which that phraseology might, according to our judgment, have been improved by the substitution of terms less unusual and less uncouth.' Dr. Parr, in the Crilical Review, June 1808. p. 118.
more excellent things than this.' (Te igitur vel ex hac re amare gaudeo, te suspicor, atque illum diem desiderare suspiriis fortibus, in quo purgata mente et claro oculo non hæc solum omnia absque hac successiva et laboriosa imaginandi cura, verum multo plura et majora ex tua bonitate et immensissima sanctissimaque benignitate conspicere et scire concedatur.)" The Quarterly Review p. 289. [I will just halt to remark that the Reviewer is unintentionally unjust to Parr in confounding the Notes to Dr. Parr's Sermon with the Sermon itself; he admits that PARR “ has treated his subject with singular ability," and does the Reviewer's "head ache,” because Parr has so “ treated his subject?” Then, if Parr had shewn less ability, - had infused some of the essence of dulness into his composition,—the Reviewer's “head” would have “ached” the less ! The Notes are extrinsic to the Sermon itself, as the Sermon is intelligible without the Noles. In comparing BARROW's Sermon with Parr's, the Reviewer must exclude the Notes,
because they form no part of the Sermon itself, which is the sole subject of comparison. His “head" will not “ache" with reading Parr's Sermon, and what, then, will be the fair result of the comparison, which he has suggested ?]
“In fertility and energy the eloquence of Barrow is perhaps unrivalled in the English language, and surely we should not be accused of exaggeration for applying to it the striking words, in which the immortalis ingenü beatissima uberlas of Cicero is described by Quintilian 10,1. Non pluvias, ut ait Pindarus, ( 01. xi. ) aquas colligit, sed vivo gurgite exundat, dono quodam providentiæ genitus, in quo tolas vires suos eloquentiæ experiretur. Within the grasp of his mighty and capacious mind were comprehended the broad generalities, which are discussed in science, and the minuter discriminations, which are to be learned only by familiarity with common life. At one moment he soars aloft to the great, without any visible exhaustion of his vigour, and in the next, without any diminution of his dignity he descends to the little, - he drew his materials from the richest treasures of learning, ancient and modern, sacred and profane,-he sets before us in solemn and magnificent array, the testimony of historians, the criticisms of scholars, the arguments of metaphysicians, the description of poets, the profound remarks of beathens ages, and the pious reflections of Christian fathers. Like the poet described by Johnson in Rasselas, he seems to have found
every idea useful for the decoration or enforcenient of moral or religious • truth,—to have estimated the happiness and misery of every condition, to
have observed the power of all the positions in all their combinations, to • have written as the interpreter of nature, and the legislator of mankind,• and to have considered himself as presiding over the thoughts and manners
Those, who are acquainted with Parr's style in his more elaborate and finished compositions, will perceive, from the comparative carelessness of the composition in question, that Parr had dictated the matter without effort from the abundance of his mind, and that with his usual care and polish he would have given to it the same perfection, which is manifested in the delineations alluded to by the Reviewer in the London-Magazine. I will observe by the way that this Reviewer is mistaken in declaring Dr. Southey to have written the Article in the Quarterly Review; it was written by a person of much less celebrity.
The Quarterly Reviewer makes the following remarks on Parr's treatment of HURD, p. 274.:-“We now come to the re-publication of ' The Tracts by Warburton and a Warburtonian,' with a Dedication and Preface by Dr. PARR. --- In again producing to the world two early compositions of the Bishop of Gloucester's, which their great author had set no store by, and which the discreet editor of the Bishop's works bad suppressed in his edition, there was no great harm ; – they were curious as the first-fruits of such a harvest of genius - and PARR, though not a blind, was a sincere admirer of WARBURTON, and was well aware that the author of the Divine Legation, of the Julian, and we will even add, (however objectionable in many respects, and in its spirit especially,) of the Doctrine of Grace, could amply afford to be known by productions less advantageous to his fame than these. But to be the means of reviving the Delicacy of Friendship, and the Letter to Leland, after the long lapse of time, which had ensued since their first publication, and when their author had shown himself desirous to suppress them, this was not the courtesy, which was due from one man of letters to another; it was not the respect, which an inferior clergyman owed to his Diocesan; it was not the ebarity, which should lead every Christian, and particularly every Christian minister, to extinguish, instead of prolonging the strife. We are no partizans of Bishop HURD — we scarcely regret the chastisement he received. He had volunteered, like Sir Mungo Malagrowther, to be the whipping-boy to the king, whom he had set up for himself, and he therefore could not justly complain, if he was made to smart for it. Surely if WARBURTON had thought himself seriously aggrieved, WARBURTON knew how to complain, and how to take vengeance. We compassionate Dr. HURD the less, because the suppression of his pamphlets against Jortin and LELAND appeared, after all, to be the effect of caution rather than of contrition. In the Letters between himself and an eminent Prelate, those useful scholars, (and especially the former of the two,) are still spoken of in language sufficiently offensive and contemptuous. It is true that this shows itself chiefly in WARBURTON's share of the correspondence; and, on the other hand, it is true that some allowance is to be made for WARBURTON, who had reason to complain of a want of generosity, at least, in Jortin's dealings towards him; — but by deliberately causing these Letters to be published (a thing on many accounts so objectionable,) Dr. Hurd identified himself here as elsewhere with his master — while, by making that publication posthumous, he denies to his character, (that which no right-minded man would wilfully violate,) the sanctuary of the grave; and puts it out of our power to contemplate him, (as we fain would do,) in the respectable light of one, who had lived to refuse the highest reward, to which ecclesiastical ambition can aspire, content to spend the evening of life in the peaceful retirement of Hartlebury, in oblivion of all that had given him offence, in sorrow for all whereby be had offended, and in humble hope of a better translation than that, which he so magnanimously had declined. Still this does not justify Parr. Dr. Hurd was in the wrong, but Dr. Parr was not therefore in the right. Again, bad Bishop Lowth, his illustrious patron, at that time suffered under the faint praise of the Bishop of Worcester, something might have been allowed to Parr's gratitude and indignation; but the Life of WARBURTON,' wherein that commendation is bestowed, was still, under the bands of its author, to be subjected again and again to the critical retort, till all its spirit should have evaporated before exposure to the world. Or further, had the controversy been of any recent date, Parr might have found some excuse in the excitement of the moment, and the inquietude of conscious talent; but it had been long laid to sleep : both the parties aggrieved were already beyond the reach of censure or of praise, quietly reposing in the grave, and the aggressor, now old and stricken in years, was following them apace. What then could impel Parr to an attack so furions, so uncalled for, so unjustifiable ? in which he stings with the venom of a hornet, animamque in vulnere ponit. It needs little observation of mankind to