Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Geometrician, and it was only chance that made me a disciple of Newton. Your last work must certainly do honour to France. It is impoffible the Englith fhould have said every thing. Newton partly founded his laws upon those of Kepler, and you have improved upon those of Newton. 'Tis certainly an admirable discovery, to be able * to determine the anomalies caused by the large Planets in the course of the Comets. Our fathers, the Greeks, only knew those stars by their quality of being hairy, according to the etymology of their name, and mischievous, as we know Clodion the hairy; but you have subjected them to calculation equally with the other Planets of the solar system. However, a man must be very hard to please, who would infist upon the return of a Comet being predicted to a minute, in the fame manner as a folar or lunar eclipse. In those immense distances, and in the complication of causes by which the return of a Comet may be accelerated or retarded, we must content ourselves with fome,

thing near the truth. Besides, can we know precisely the quancity of • matter in Jupiter and Saturn? To me it appears impossible. I should

think, if you were allowed a month's dance on the return of a

comet, as is allowed on bills of Exchange that come from very · remote countries, the favour would not be very great. But when it

is acknowledged, that you do honour to France and to human nature, .. you receive no more than whar is strictly your due. Would to heaven

that our friend Moreau Maupertuis had cultivated his art like you; ..that he had confined himself to predict the return of Comets, instead

of clevating his soul to prophecy, diflecting the brains of giants m

investigate the nature of the foul, incrusting people with rofin, in · order to cure them of all diseases, persecuting Kænig, and dying in

the arms of two Capuchins • " To conclude this subject, I am forry that you diftinguish by the

name of Newtonians, those who have seen the truths of Newton's

discoveries: Geometricians might, with as great propriety, be called .Euclidians. Truth has on party name; error may admit epithets of · raillery: We say Janfenifts, Molinifts, Quietifts, Anabaptifts, to de.

fignate the different forts of the blind. Sects have names, and truth is Truth.

* Heaven bless the Printer, who put the altercations of the Comét, instead of the alteracions ! He was more in the right thad he was aware: every truth produces altercations.

" I too, in my turn, have good reason to complain of those who have charged me with being an enemy to my country, because I was the first Frenchman that made a fair transcript of the system of New ton, now Newton was an Englifliman.-But I have received so many favours of the same kind from other hands, that this escaped me in the croud.

* At laft I have given over measuring any curves, except those described by my newly invented 'lowing inachines, at the extreinity of their Radi: the result isomma little wheat.'. But while I was sweating · blood and water at Paris, in composing Epic Poems, Tragedies, and : Histories, I reaped only tares. The culture of lands is more pleafing

than the cultivation of letters: I find more good 'sense, and much more honelty; in my labourers and vine-drellers, than in the literaty *** pedlars.

« I cul.

[ocr errors][merged small]

*I cultivate the earth, to that we must return at last. I have produced fome plenty in the most pleasant, and the pooreft country I ever beheld. It is a pretty experiment in the philofophy of nature, to make four ears of corn grow where the gave only two. The academies of Ceres and Pomona are well worth the others. .

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas

Fortunatus et ille Deos qui novit agrestes." We cile the sixth Letter as a specimen of the poetical abi. lities of the translator *. “ Answer to the Duke de Bouillon, who wrote a letter in verse to him,

on the edition of Corneille's works, published for the benefit of that great man's granddaughter. .

“ I lee, my Lord, that you stand exactly in the predicament of the Marquis de la Fare, who nearly at your age began to feel his. genius for poetry rouse from its slumber"; a time of life when some more valuable talents were on the point of suffering a little decay, and putting him in mind that there were pleasures different from those he had hitherto enjoyed.

"The theme of his first poem was Love; the Abbé Chalieu was
the subject of the second. Your first verses are addressed to me; you,
was wrong, but I am the more indebted to you. You tell me that I
have triumphed over my enemies; but 'tis you that make me triumph.
. Aux pieds de mes rochers, aux creux de mes vallons, I

Pourrais-je regretter les rives de la Seine , we' .
La fille de Corneille écoute mes leçons; ..

.
Je suis chanté par un Turenne..
J'ai pour mois deux grandes nailonis .
Chez Bellone & chez Melpomene:
A l'abri de ces deux beaux noms, * .
On peut negliger les Frérons,
Ou rire tout haut de leur haine.

C'est quelque chose d'etre heureux; ;
Mais c'est un grand plaisir de le dire a l'envie, ".. ,
De l'abattre à nos pieds, & d'en rire a ses yeux, B .

Qu'un souper est delicieux,
Quand on brave, en buvant, les griffes de l'harp
Que des frères Berthier les cris injurieux .**

Font une plaisante harmonie!
Que c'est pour un amant un passe-tenis bien dous

D'embrasser la beauté qui fubjugue son ame!"
• Et d'affabler encor du fel de l'epigramme

Un rival facheux & jaloux!
... Cela n'est pas chrétien; j'en conviens avec vous ;

Mais les gens le sont-ils? Le monde est une guare: ,,

[ocr errors]

* We do not mean by this to commend him, however, as an elegant or correct writer of prose. And yet it is possible the inaccuracies and inclegancies of language, with which this piece abounds, may be in a great mneafure owing to the hatte, in which most wanilations of popular productions are made. Rrv.

On a des ennemis en tout genre, en tout lieux; :
wards *** Tout mortel combat sur la terre: i wa
..., Lie Diable avec Michel combatrit dans le Cieur .
- On cabale à la cour,' a l'èglife, a l'armée::..

"3"Au Parnaffe on combat pour un pipe de fumée,
is *** Pour un noin, puur du vent: & je conclus au bout.

Qu'il faut jouir en paix ; & se moquer de tout.
- At the foot of my rocks where my deep valleys bend,

Should I figh for the banks of the Seine?.. Di
See Corneille's descendant my Icffons 'attend,

Hark, I'm sung by a noble Turenne.
. While shelter'd by names fo defervedly dear, i

To Bellona and Tragedy's Queen, si:
**74 I may view spiteful Frerons cabal without fear, and
...1.. Or laugh at their malice and fpleen. **. .
. : Wiseft fages have said, and right plain is the case, .
nose To be happy is more than a dream ; !
- 16. But to sell it to envy, and laugh in her face, ** "

a . That certainly's bliss in extreme. ' *
: : To quaff off our cups while che fout 'harpies grime r is

Gives our fupper additional zest:
... The twin brother Berthiers vile clamours and din ;.

Are music that heightens our feaft.
How sweet for a lover the nymph to caress, ..
Who has ravish'd his soul with her charms! ;

.
. Of a rival she hates then to nock the diftrefs, . ,
i . And jeft at his jealous alarms.. .
The proceeding, I grarli cannot ftri&tly be lauar'd and

ara.. i
.:-By the rules our religion has given ;
But on carth all are foes, and e'en war was declar'd" ..

Twixt the Devil and Michael in heaven. E en
They intrigue in the army, the church, and the coure,

Ac Parnassus all concord is broke,
Not for riches or “grandew, but what makes the sport,

7. Far a name, breath, a: vile puff of smoke.
wim Thus then I conclude chat in peace we enjoy . .

Those Blessings that fortune has lent;: na ... Nor let fpleen, fpite, or passion, our pleasure destroy,

- But freely, to laughter give' vent.

We shall take leave of this article for the present t, with ,..one short letter more, written to the late Earl of Chesterfield. ..Binti:

To the Earl of Chesterfield. . som

**** Ferney, 24 September, 177..

* * * * * * * * * * *
of the five senses which fall to our lot, my Lord Huntington tells
:: me that you have lost only one, and that you have a good stomach,

which is well worth a pair of ears.
• Intending, however, to refume it hereafter, these letters being toe
entertaining and interesting to be so soon dilmitsed, if we could afford
soom.

* Perhaps

Tof Chesterfield.

[ocr errors]

· Perhaps I am the properest person for deciding whether deafness, blindness, or want of digestion is the greatest calamity. From a knowledge of the case, I can judge of all the three, but it is a long time since I have presumed to decide upon trifles, and therefore have the stronger reasons for not attempting to decide on matters which are fo important, I am content with believing, that if you have plenty of sunshine in the handfome house which you have built, there will be tolerable moments. That is all which can be hoped for at our time of life, or indeed at any time of life. Cicero wrote a very fine treatise upon old age, but he did not prove by facts what he had advanced in his writings, for the last years of his life were very ua. fortunate.

You have lived much longer and happier than he did. You had nothing to do with either perpetual dictators or triumvirs. Your lot has been, and is still, one of the most enviable in the great loto tery of life, where the good prizes are so few, and where the great prize of coprinual happiness has never yet been gained by any one.

" Your philosophy has never been distracted by chimeras, which have now and then perplexed some brains that were otherwise tolerably good. You have never been in any sense a Quack yourself; nor a dupe to Quacks, which I esteem as no common degree of merit, and contributes much to the shadow of happiness that we can taste of in this fhort life, &c. &c."

We may fee, from the above letter, how little the shrewdest and moft sagacious of mankind know either themselves or others.. Nothing appears more evident, from Lord Chesterfield's own letters, than that he was himself the greatest of Empirics; an arrant moral quack, constantly inaking a dupe of the simplicity and sincerity of others, while he was no less imposed on by that vanity, with which he fo egregiously made a dupe of himself..

Carattacus. A Dramatic Poem. Written on the Model of the

ancient Greek Tragedy: First published in the Year 1759, and

now altered for Theatrical Representation. By W. Mafon, · M, H 8vo. Is. td. Dodsley. . .; The Lyric Part of the Drama of Caraltacus, as altered by the

Author, and as spoken and sung. 8vo. 6d. Dodfley. .

The reputation, which this piece hath obtained, from the. pleasure it afforded in reading, added to the favourable reception which the Elfrida of the fame author lately met with on the stage; feems to have induced the manager to bring this forward likewise in representation. In doing this he appears also to have acted on a more liberal and gentleman-like plan, than did his predecessor in the management of the same theatre with regard to Elfrida. · We must confels, nevertheless, that,

not

potwithstanding the judicious alterations of the author, and the splendid embellishments of mufic and scenery that were furnished by the managers, the performance seemed to flag. !! the exhibition. To say the truth, it wants the life and spirit of business, necessary to please a modern English audience : for whom the antique and the exotic appear to have no very seductive charms. This edition is dedicated to Bishop Hurd in the following sonnet, a fpecies of poetical manufacture equally foreign to an English taste. : i . io . fo

"S O N N E T... '.*** Still lęc my. Hurd a smile, of candour, lend ... :

To scenes, that dar'd on Grecian pennons tower, * When, “ in low Thurcafton's sequester'd bower," • He prais'd the itrain, because he lov'd the friend:,,! 1 There goiden leisure did his iteps attend,

. Nor had the rare, yet well,weigh'd, call of power !! To those high cares decreed his watchful hour, v On which fair Albion's future hopes depend.

A fare unlook'd for waits my friend and me; He pays to duty what was learning's claim,

Resigning classic eafe -for dignity; I yield my inuse to fathion's praise or blame: ; Yet fill our hearts in this great truth agree, • That peace alone is bliss, and virtue fame."

*« Peace alone is bliss !"-- Peace. to such meek souls who are fatisfied with such bliss. --- Virtue, fame !"--of course, we fuppofe, famie is virtue : and then how defireable at moft would that mart be where “a cominodity of good names were to 6. be bought."-In good sooth, this said Sonnet is sad stuff: with as little philosophy in it as poetry, -What if we should adopt Addison's plan of representing its imagery on canvass !

" To Scenes that dar'd on Grecian pennons tower!" . : Does the Sonneteer: here mean to personify his own wrilten scenes or the painted scenes at the playhouse? The first would be the most extravagant profopopoeia that ever the muse foggested ; and as to the painted scenes towering upon pennons, we leave the fcene-painters to make the best of them. Not but that your scene-Shifting criticks' might stand up for the pro-. priety of the image, by infifting that the scenes are always furnished with one or two pair of wings !"

. . . Letters on Female Education, addressed to a Married Lady. By :

Mrs. Cartwright. 12mo. 34. Dilly. • It is beyond a dispute that the present age is eminently disa tinguished for female writers. A Carter, a Barbauld, a Moas

tague,

be the or the painted fient mean to performins tower!"

poeia chate upon Ben Nor bu

« FöregåendeFortsätt »