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Northern Tour, or Poetical Epistles. 4to. 25. Wilkie,
Such is the race of man"; ? ...
Shall and where they began. This may be an apology for your creeping geniuses ; among whom we may reckon this writer ; but it will recommend him but* little to those who are accustomed to the flights of such as are capable of soaring to the loftier heights of Parnassus. And yet so little does our Epiftolizer seem to know his own talents, that he appears to be suspicious that he has foar'd too high, tho', like a fittle boy's kite, his Mufe's tail has trailed upon the ground for the whole fix hundred miles of his tour.
“ If my aspiring Muse has foar'd too high, soit
And far beyond herself has aim'd to fly,... is , Beyond herself! That had beçn a flight indeed! almost as good as Harlequin's attempt to leap out of his skin. in
“ She shall offend no more-P'll chp her wing'. . ' How ! one wing ! By no means; that will make her hore and hobble ten times worse than the dogs. :. ;.,
.." And teach her in more bumble notes to fing." ?? ; · That we defy you, Mr. Traveller.If you are for making
any more tours with her, for Heaven's fake clip both her wings, and let her go gently on foot; for, as you juftly observe, it amounts to the same thing, whether she creeps or flies: she can but fet-out-again from London July 6th, and return back by the 6th of the next month ; ending where the began ini: 1. .
The Champion of Virtue. A Gothic Story. By the Editor of
the Phoenix, a Translation of Barclay's Argenis. 12mo. 35. Keymer, Colchester.--Robinson, London.
This Novel cannot be better characterized than in the words of the Editor's preface, as an attempt to unite the various merits of the ancient romance and modern novel : to attain which end, there is required a fufficient degree of the marvellous to excite attention-enough of the inanners of real life to give an air of probability to the work-and enough of the pathetic to engage the heart in its behalf.—This was the professed purpose of the Romance, entitled, TheCastle of Otranto ; in which, however, the Editor of the present work thinks, the author failed in the point of probability. How far the author of The Champion of Virtue has succeeded better, he modestly submits to the judgment of the reader; who, we will venture to say, will be at least as agreeably as morally entertained by its perusal. ,
* * *
4 Letter to George Hardinge, Esquire, on the Subject of a Passage in Mr. Steevens's Preface to his Impresion of Shakespeare. 4to. 2s. 6d. Kearsley. It is observed, by the Poet,
“ That each bad writer hath as bad a friend.”. It is, indeed, hardly possible for the vilest scribbler not to find an admirer. If this may be said of writers in general, it may with peculiar propriety be said of critics; want of tafte being full as congenial as the want of talents. Thus Mr. Capell, the fainous fcholiaft on Shakespeare, hath here found a brother-, critic, who attempts to raise the réputation of his notes and text of that poet, above those of Mr. Steevens ; with what success time will thew, if Time Dhall deign to trouble his bald pate about it.
rainous scholiaft' as the want of tactitics; wa
To our CORRESPONDENTS. - ****
The several Letters and Replies, that were intended to be inserted this Month, will be given in our Appendix.
Ρ Ρ Ε Ν D I . 10 THE FIFTH VOLUME
LONDON R EVİEW.
prinverse, whichays he, that thertied in numberier een matter
De la Nature, &C. Traduit du Latin-A Dissertation on the Nature of Things, with Reinarks on their Energy and A&tion. Translated from the Latin. 12mo. Frankfort. On the Science of Ontology, or the nature of things in general, this writer observes, that philosophers mistake in denying existence to modes, and confining it to substances : and that because it is in many cases impossible for physical experiment to make the distinction; as for instance, between matter and motion, as might be exeinplified in numberless instances. It is presumed, says he, that there are certain things in the Universe, which are in their nature unchangeable, such as the primary elements of bodies : but, granting this, these elements are too minute to be the objects of physical experiment and palpable examination. All other ohjects, viz. such as come under experimental investigation, or are palpable objects of sense, are, says he, confessedly compound. No matter, therefore, what is the simple nature of the primary elements of which they are composed. So far as they differ from each other, they, the compounds, are of a different nature, and it is, in their distinguishing composition, that their nature conTifts. Thus the original component parts or substance of any compound form are not the characteristical Essence of such compound, but the mode in which those parts or substances are combined or compounded.
Every thing in the material Universe may, therefore, according to this profound and ingenious investigator, be arVol. V, R99
and palpable sperimental confeffedly com the primary from
ranged under three general classes ; viz. Physical, Mathematical, and Moral : which three divisions comprehend every object in nature.
Physical things he calls the palpable objects of sense, such as may be seen, felt, heard, smelt, and tasted: including the various productions of the fossile, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, the phenomena of the sidereal system, and the productions of human art.
Mathematical things, he calls objects purely intellectual, or such as may be conceived, imagined, and understood. Such are all abstract ideas, the figures, and even primary elements of bodies, the specific forms of plants and animals, and the artificial forms of all works of Art. • Moral things are a mixt species, compounded of the two former, and partaking the nature of both; their cssence being partly physical and partly mathematical, the objects both of the sense and of the imagination or understanding. They are not, says he, merely entia rationis, as mathematical things are, because they cannot sublift without a physical being; and yet they are not physical beings, because they are constituted jointly of physical qualities and moral relations. Such are human personages and characters, kings, fathers, husbands, citizens, &c. as also civil and political inftitutions, such as families, corporations, states, kingdoms, and empires.
The existence of all these three kinds of Beings, says our philosopher, is equally certain and real, though not equally durable. While they subfift, or their coinbination of parts continues, their existence is incontrovertible, and their essence is that very combination : every thing being truly defined by those circumstances which distinguish it from every thing else. Speaking of the definition of physical objects, he remarks that there is no difference between the qualities of things and the things themselves, except as a part differs from the whole ; every perceptible object consisting of, or being a mere afsemblage of, the qualities by which its existence is known. For, if these qualities were annihilated, the thing itself would no longer exist; there being no substractions without qualities, as fome suppose, in which such qualities reside. Thus, the ef·fence of the germs of vegetables and animals consists in the mode of structure, or organization of their parts; which organization, when expanded enough to be perceptible, becomes a physical object, though, while concentrated and too minute to be perceived, it is only a inathematical or (as our author sometimes calls it) a metaphysical one. The same argument is extended to works of art. Nobody calls in question,
says he, the existence of his house, while it is kept watertight and tenantable ; nor of the wind or water-mill in his neighbourhood, while it continues to grind his corn. And yet the duration of mills and houses is short and precarious. If either were shattered to pieces by lightning, or washed away by an inundation, there is no doubt, alio, that they would inake as little question of their annihilation; notwithstanding every single article of the materials, of which they were built, might be still in being. The owners would yet have no house to live in, no mill to grind their meal.
In this manner our author proceeds through his three diftinctions; in which, with all due deference, however, he does not appear to be sufficiently distinct. Had he divided all the objects, of whole nature we are inquisitive, when we enquire into the nature of things, into material and mental, that is, objects of sense, objects of the imagination, and objects mixed of both, he had been equally and perhaps more inteiligible.Indeed alınost all objects rank under the latter class, which go under the popular and equivocal term of things ; so that it is possible that our own division might not be sufficiently accurate, without more illustration than we can at present bestow on it. There are, notwithstanding ihe objections to be made to the general plan of this treatise, a number of ingenious, and not less profound, reflections on suljects of great curiosity to fuch as attenu more to the solid than the superficial parts of natural philofop'y.-We shall extract a few, of which, alr.cft unnoticed, notice was taken on the publication of this ingenious treatile in the orig nal Latin. - In speaking of that tentation of Force (so much laboured by Mr. Maupertuis), which we experience and exert in resisting any subtance impelling or obtruded on the org. ns of tenie, he observes, that from this fensation it is that we derive the simple idea of Power But, as we cannot express or define this idea any otherwise than by cal ing it a capacity of exer ing a force in fome certain direction, nor have any other name, or can assign any other immediate cause, for our exerting it in any direction, than that of the will, to will, or delign, is evidently the eilence of all metaphysical Beings. It may seemn strange, says he, to impute will to the primary elements of bodies ; but every object which refifts, or exerts force, muit ner sarily do it in some one direction exclusive of all others; how then shall we denominate a tendency to that particular direction, but by the ferm we give to the like capacity of exerting force in ourselves? But give this tendency whatever name we pleate, it is plain, that the most simple of all metaphysical Beings, or Q_992
jeet which to the primangs. It may be