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One Chrišian againft Six Jews
A fingular political Essay, in which is proposed a Partition of Turkey in Europe "ib.
Herkenroth's Differtation on the Nature of Cold
Gebelin's Natural Hiftory of Speech
A New-Year's Present from Parnassus
SUPPLEMENT OF ENGLISH BOOKS.
Heroic Epiftic to Mr. Twiss
English's Elegy on the Death of Sir Charles Saunders
..FOR JANUARY, 1777.
Elays, on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, in Opposition to
Sophistry and Scepticism; on Poetry and Music, as they affect the Mind; on Laughter, and Ludicrous Composition ; on the Utility of Classical Learning. By James Beattie, LL.D. Professor of Moral Philosophy and Logic in the Marischal College and University of Aberdeen. 4to. Dilly.
To these Efsays is prefixed the following advertisement, which the author modestly thought necessary, to apologize, in some measure, for their publication, in their present form.
“ This Publication has been attended with some peculiar circum. stances, which may be misunderstood, and which, therefore, I beg leave to explain.
“ About three years ago, fome persons of distinction in England, who had honoured me with their friendship, were pleased to express a desire, that the ESSAY ON TRUTH should be printed in a more Splendid form than that in which it had hitherto appeared ; and so as to ensure profit, as well as honour, to the au:hor. And the proprietors of ihe copv-right, being as the same time applied to, declared their willingness to permit an Edition to be printed for his advantage, . on his agreeing to certain terms, which were thought reasonable.
" It was then proposed, that a new Edirion of the Ejay should be printed in quarto, by subscription. To this the Author had some objections. "He was appreheniive, that the size of that work might be inadequate to such a purpose. Belides, to publish in this manner a book, which had alieady gone through two or three Edicions, seemed hazardous, because unprecedented; and might, to those who were uoinformed of the atfair, give ground to suspect the Author of an infirmity, which no person who knows him will ever lay to his charge, an excessive love of money.
" li was answered, That the volume might be extended to a sufficiency of size, by printing, along with that on Truth, some other Eday'só which, though not originally deligned for the press, his Friends, who had seen thein, were ple.fed to think not unworthy of it; and that the Proposed Subfcription, being of a peculiar kin!, should be conducted in a peculiar manner, " It Mall never,” said the promoters of this undertaking, “ be committed to Buukfellers,
“ nor made public by advertisements ; nobody fhall be folicited to “ join in it; we, by ourselves and our friends, shall carry it on, “ without giving you any further trouble, than just to fignify your 4 consent, and prepare your materials: --and if there be, as we have “.reason to think there are, many persons of worth and fortune, who “ wish for such an opportunity, as this will afford them, to testify " their approbarion of you and your writinys, it would scem capri. “ cinus in you to deprive them of that fatisfaction, and your self of " so great an honour."
"To a Proposal so uncommonly generous the Author could not refuse his confent, without giving himself airs, which would not have become him. He therefore thankfully acquiesced. And the business went on; and has now terminated in a way that does him much honour, and demands bis molt grateful acknowledgmenrs to those Noble and Learned Persons who conducted and encouraged it."
It appears, from the list of subscribers, that it is indeed a substantial as well as honourable compliment, which our author's noble and Icarned friends have here paid him; a compliment, however, by no means superior to his desert. We only with that every writer of nierit were equally fortunate in meeting with his due reward.-After frankly avowing this, we must not suffer our partiality for Dr. Beattie's literary or personal character, and still less his infiuence with the public, to have any bias over our regard to justice and truth, as impartial Reviewers. The vox populi is, with us, of still lefs importance in literature than it is in politics : it is, also, of just as little consequence to us, whether it be trumpeted forth by the great vulgar or the small; the latter, including even such as cannot read at all, being almost as good judges of books as the former; among which we may reckon the judges who do not read at all; by no means the least numerous or decisive. It is owing, we conceive, in a great degree, to the authority and influence of the latter, that our author's celebrated Elay on Truth is indeed become fo celebrated; the chief object of admiration, it presents to a competent judge, being that of so rational and ingenious a writer's adopting fo irrational and absurd a principle as Dr. Reid's notion of a sentimental Common- Senfe. But of this defect, and of the real merit of Dr. Beattie's famous treatise on Truth, we shall treat hereafter; presenting the reader, at present, with subjects of greater novelty and entertainment; the tracts annexed, and now first published, in the volume before us.
These are, ist, An Essay on Poetry and Music, as they affect the Mind, in two parts—2dly, An Essay on Laughter and Ludicrous Composition--zdly, Rencarks on the Utility of Clallical Learning
adoptingudes being thobject of a
In part the first of the Essay on Poetry and Music, the author considers poetry with respect to its matter or subject ; treating separately of the end of poetical composition of the standard of poetical invention-of the difference between the poetical exhibition and reality of things--of poetical characters, and of poçtical arrangement. The reader will not expect every thing advanced on these heads to be quite new; the subjects, however, are so judiciously arranged and so happily disposed for each other's illustration, that they assume an air of novelty, and strike with equal force and propriety. Our ingenious author proceeds next to make his remarks on music; in which there is something more new and original. Music has been generally regarded as an imitative art. Dr. Beattie objects to this opinion of it, though with a proper salvo, a due deference to fashionable authority.
“ But while I thus infinuare, that Music is not an imitative art, I mean no disrespect to Aristoile, who seems in the beginning of his Poetics to declare the contrary. It is not the whole, but the greater part of mulic, which that philosopher calls Imitative ; and I agree with him so far as to allow this property to fome music, though not to all. But he speaks of the ancient inufic, and I of the modern ; and to one who conliders how very little we know of the former, it will nor appear a contradiction to say, that the one inight have beeri imitative, though ihe other is not.
“ Nor do I mean any disrespect to inusic, when I would strike it off the list of imitative aris. I allow it to be a fine art, and to have great influence on the human suul: I grant, that by its power of railing a variery of agreeable emotions in the hearer, ii proves its relation to poetry, and that is never appears to the best advantage but with poetry for its interpreter: and I am fatisfied, that, though musical genius may subsist without poetical taste, and poetical genius without musical taste; yet these two talents united might accomplish nobler effects, than either could do fingly. I acknowledge too, that the principles and essential rules of this art are as really founded in nature, as those of poetry and painting. But when I am asked, What part of nature is initated in any good picture or pocm, I find I can give a definite answer: whereas, when I am alk:d, What part of nature is imitated in Handel's Water-music, for instance, or in Corelli's eighth concerto, or in any particular English fong or Scorch tune, I find I can give no definite answer:---Though no doube I might say some plaulible things; er perhaps, after much refinement, be able to show, iha: Mufic inay, by one thift or other, be made an imitative art, provided you allow me to give any meaning I please to the word imitative.
* We must here except fome passages, in which Dr. Beattie has moft flagrantly facrificed the opinion of the truly judicious (and we might almost venture to say hia •wa) to that of fafition, the idol of folly.