Sidor som bilder

Dr. Johnson's travelling wardrobe without them. Besides, the
bills of a washerwoman, at this period, might have thrown much
fight on the orthography, the commerce, and the political economy
of the country. Neither has Mr. Duppa ever hinted what Dr.
Johnson gave the post-boys. These are financial deficiencies
which imperiously demand the interference of Citizen Hunt, or
a Common-ball. If Mr. Duppa really and bona fide has not
the bills, why did he not immediately take a post-chaise and four
to Chester to discover them. We should be slow at all times to
listen to any story which might make against the credit of an
L. L. B. particularly of Mr. Duppa ; but we have heard it wbis-
pered, that these very bills are now actually in existence, and
that fac-similies of the same are printing under the imme-
diate patronage of the Roxburgh Club, and other literati of the
country. Now, as we know that the copies of any publication
under the auspices of this learned society, never exceed twenty-
five, we do protest against this literary monopoly; a monopoly
of much more valuable materials than that sapient body has
ever yet been tempted to exercise.
· Proceed we now to the next page.

« I did not read.
" I saw to day more of the outhouses of Lleweney. It

is in the whole a very spacious house. .
57. I was at church at Bodfari. There was a service

used for a sick woman, not canonically, but such as I have heard, I think, formerly at Lichfield, taken

out of the visitation service. Kal natpws. “ The church is mean, but has a square tower for the

bells, rather stately for the church." Such are the contents of one full and entire page. We rather wonder not to find a note explanatory of the mysterious Greek. Many interesting conjectures might have been formed on the state of the Doctor's interior, which, if they answered no other purpose, would have at least filled a couple of pages.

We have often heard of a grain of wheat concealed in a bushel of chaff, but we never till now saw the chaff served up with such economical precision, and with such a space intervening between each separate husk. Between two of these, however, we actually do find the aforesaid graiu, which we haste to present as an offering to the longing appetite of the impatient reader.

« We saw Hawkestone, the seat of Sir Rowland Hill, and were conducted by Miss Hill over a large tract of rocks and woods; a region abounding with striking scenes and terrific grandeur. We were always on the brink of a precipice, or at the foot

of of a lofty rock; but the steeps were seldom naked: in many places, oaks of uncommon magnitude shot up from the crannies of stone ; and where there were no trees, there were underwoods and bushes.

“ Round the rocks is a narrow path cut upon the stone, which is frequently hewn into steps; but art has proceeded no fur. ther than to make the succession of wonders safely accessible. The whole circuit is somewhat laborious; it is terminated by a grotto cut in the rock to a great extent, with many windings, and supported by pillars, not hewn into regularity, but such as imitate the spots of nature, by asperities and protuberances.

“ The place is without any dampness, and would afford an habitation not uncomfortable. There were from space to space seats cut out in the rock. Though it wants water, it excels Dovedale by the extent of its prospects, the awfulness of its shades, the horrors of its precipices, the verdure of its hollows, and the loftiness of its rocks : the ideas which it forces upon the mind are, the sublime, the dreadful, and the vast. Above is inaccessible al. titude, below is horrible profundity. But it excels the garden of Ilam only in extent.

“ Ilam has gran,leur, tempered with softness; the walker congratulates his own arrival at the place, and is grieved to think he must ever leave it. As he looks up to the rocks, his thoughts are elevated; as he turns his eyes on the yallies, he is composed and soothed.

• He that mounts the precipices at Hawkestone, wonders how he came thither, and doubts how he shall return. His walk is an adventure, and his departure an escape. He has not the tranquillity, but the horrors, of solitude; a kind of turbulent pleasure, between fright and admiration.

« Ilam is the fit abode of pastoral virtue, and might properly diffuse its shades over Nymphs and Swains. Hawkestone can have no fitter inhabitants than giants of mighty bone and bold emprise ; men of lawless courage and heroic violence. Hawkestone should be described by Milton, and Ilam by Parnel.” P. 38.

To this description is subjoined a note from Boswell.

“ Dr. Johnson obligingly proposed to carry me to see Ilam, a romantic scene, pow belonging to a family of the name of Porte, but formerly the seat of the Congreves. Johnson described it distinctly and vividly, at which I could not but express to him my wonder ; because, though my eyes, as he observed, were better than his, I could not by any means equal him in representing visible objects. I said, the difference between us in this respect was as that between a man who has a bad instrument, but plays well on it, and a man who has a good instrument, on which he can play very imperfectly." P.43. Our readers are now in possession of the only morsel of nutriment on this neglected boue, which Mr. Duppa has, with so much ceremony, presented to the public. The remainder, as has been seen, is really nothing more than any ordinary man would entrust to the blank leaves of a Kearsley's Pocket-book, or a Gentleman's Diary. Even the little memoranda which the de. licacy of Johnson had clothed in the obscurity of Greek, are dragged out into day, as fit subjects for the entertainment of the wise, or the discussion of the curious.

We do not often condescend to quarrel with the price of a book, but we must confess, that nine shillings for 226 duodecimo pages of any matter, does seem an enormous charge. Out of these 150 alone profess to be filled with the Doctor's tour; the remainder are taken up with an itinerary, extracted from Cary's last Road-book, with a few notes, nothing to the purpose, and with seventeen observations communicated by Mrs. Piozzi, to which we conceive that lady to bave much more title than the poor Doctor, on whom they are so unipercifully fathered. With the inanner in which the pages are filled the reader has been already acquainted; in some pages there are not more than nine lines, containing not above fifty words. We would be answerable to print the whole tour (as it is called) in six of our own common pages. The public have now seen what cheer they are to expect from Mr. Duppa's ordinary, for which they are modestly invited to pay the sum of vine shillings.

We much regret that a gentleman of Mr. Duppa's literary character should lend his name to the ransacking of an old pocketbook, the contents of which, let it have belonged to whom it may, were little worthy of being made public, and the less so, because it belonged to Johnson. The memory of the great should be spared from insult; nor should the colossal remains of our great English moralist be made a perching place for sparrows.

[ocr errors]

Art. X. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St.

Mary, Leicester; on Thursday the 19th October, 1815, at the Annirersary Meeting of the Leicester District Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. By the Rer. John Morres, M. A., Rector of Nether Broughton,

Leicestershire. 8vo. 30 pp. Rivingtons. AMIDST the variety of publications now lying before us, it is with no inconsiderable delight that we meet with a Sermon advocating the cause of our venerable Church Society, and considered by the District Committee before whom it was preached,


of such merit, that in consequence of their request alone, and at their charge, the publication of it follorred. The exertions used by the Parochial Clergy to “ advance the glory of God, and the present and future welfare of mankind," should in justice meet with respect and attention from us at all times : but we own that it is with a feeling of increased pleasure that we notice an attempt, where the cause pleaded in an especial manner, dignifies the pleader, and renders his exertions doubly important. Such, we conceive, to be the case on the present occasion : for no cause surely can be conceived more unobjectionable, either in itself, or in the means by which it is pursue t, than that of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. To use Mr. Morres's words:

« There is no doctrine of the Christian faith which it does not explain, and guard from the errors which most easily beset it, no Christian virtue which it does not urge and enforce with the most persuasive arguments, and recommend to the practice of men; DO vice from which it does not attempt to deter them, by exhibiting its deformity and danger: it provides strong meat,' for those • that are of full age,' and mature understanding: and to the • babes in Christ,' it opens its arms with a parental tenderness, and is anxious to offer such instruction as may “train them up in the way in which they should go,' and educate them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

In the Sermon before us, the merits of the Society are ably set forth, the claims which it has to support from all Members of the Church firmly but temperately enforced, and the right use that should be made of so great an auxiliar to an holy life plainly pointed out. The stile, though to some it may perhaps appear not sufficiently animated, in our judgment is peculiarly adapted to the subject; without any attempt to work upon the passions or amuse the imagination, either of which would, we think, be very unseasonable on such an occasion, it is always serious and dignified, always rising in strength of expression as the subject rises, and never sinking so low as to merit the designation of tame and languid. The author's text is the ninth Yerse of the eleventh chapter of Isaiah. “The earth shall be full of the kuowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea :" from which, after shewing that the various predictions of the universal dispersion of Christian kuowledge are to be accomplished through the agency of Christ's Holy Catholic Church, of which our establishment is a pure and apostolical branch. He proceeds to remark that the Society, of which he is an advocate, cooperates most effectually with the Church, and is her most useful and powerful coadjutor. Temperate, yet firm; pious, but not enthusiastic, and withal wholly free from that intole


rance of spirit so directly opposite to the spirit of the Gospel. Her Tracts speak the same language with the Liturgy and publick services of the Church, as these latter do with the word of God. The design of Christianity is “to purity a peculiar people zealous of good works;" the design of this Society is to proinote Christian knowledge, with a view to Christian practice : Christ left a ministry invested with full powers to establish a Church, as the best mean for advancing his merciful intentious to mankind. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge is a firm supporter of that Churcir; and labours in her cause with earnestness, tempered by Evangelical charity. But let the author speak for himself: .

- In subserviency to this great design, and under the auspices of the Established Church, there hath, further also been collected out of it a venerable Association, which hath subsisted upwards of a century, whose laudable endeavour it has been, and is to carry into effect the purpose and will of God, declared by his Prophet, as far as human agents may be allowed that honour, and to promote the Divine glory, by the diffusion of Christian knowledge. This is surely a design most worthy of universal approbation and encouragement; which this Society commiserating the spiritual wants of men, and cooperating with the Established Church, to whose service it is devoted, pursues with an invariable and steady course; by establishing and supporting missions in foreign countries dependant on this, to which the knowledge of Christianity has not reached. By the translation of the Holy Scriptures into the various languages of those countries; by the dispersion of those Scriptures both at home and abroad; and by the dispersion also of the excellent Liturgy of our Church, and a great variety of religious treatises, admirably adapted to instruct mankind in the true faith of Christ, and in the knowledge and duties of their religion, in perfect conformity with those Scriptures. Sensible that the knowledge of the Lord, which it has in view to promote, is to be promoted through the medium of his own inspired word, this Society is built and rests upon the foundation of Holy Scripture; and by the dispersion of true Scriptural knowledge, it seeks to edify all within its influence: but fully sensible also, that to impart the saving knowledge of these Holy Scriptures in their genuine truth and purity, requires much learning; that the right interpretation of them is a work of much labour and difficulty, to be discharged only with success by a previous acquaintance with the languages in which they were written, with the histories of the countries from which they issued, and of the customs, opinions, and errors that prevailed at their first origin, with the particular designs of the writers of the different books, with the objections they encounter, with their varied stile of composition, and mode of argumentation ; sensible how much is required to give the word of God its genuine interpretation, and how likewise every heresy, schism, and error

« FöregåendeFortsätt »