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For SEPTEMBER, 1816.
ART. I. Remains of the late John Tweddell, Fellow of Trinity
College, Cambridge, being a Selection of his Letters written from various parts of the Continent, together with a Re-publication of his Prolusiones Juveniles. To which is adjoined an Appendix containing some Account of the Author's Journals, MSS. Collections, Drawings, &c. and of their extraordinary Disappearance. Prefixed is a brief Biographical Memoir by the Editor, the Rev. Robert Tweddell, A. M. Illustrated with Portraits, Picturesque Views, and Maps. 4to. pp. 652. 31. 35.
Boards. Mawman. 1815. OUR UR readers may possibly have felt some surprise that we
have hitherto omitted to take notice of this publication, about which so much has been said and so much written, and some portions of which are likely to afford more food to the curious before they are ultimately developed: but many reasons have conspired to render such a delay accordant to our views on the present occasion. We have a decided aversion to become arbitrators in literary disputes; and this aversion is greatly increased when moral as well as literary worth is deeply implicated in the question. It was also our anxious hope that, long before this time, the discussions between Mr. Robert Tweddell, the Editor of this book, and the Earl of Elgin, as well as those of their respective partizans, (we do not use the word disrespectfully,) would have been compromised by the additional light which the very publicity of these disputes was likely to cast on the subject. It was moreover possible that the agitation of the question in so very open a manner might have roused the recollections of others besides those immediately concerned in these transactions; by which supplemental means the fate of those papers, of the loss of which the Editor of the volume now before us complains, might have been finally ascertained. Such, however, has not been the case; and the batteries of accusation and defence have become less active rather from the want of some suc. cedaneum, now that the regular supplies have been exhausted, than from satisfactory explanation or amicable adjustment. VOL. LXXXI. B
It will not, consequently, be possible for us, with our view of our public duty, wholly to omit all mention of the discussions to which we have alluded: but we propose to notice them as briefly as the nature of the circumstances will permit; and to postpone that notice, as the most irksome part of our task, until we have taken a view of the more important, and certainly the
far more gratifying, contents of the volume.
The work may be divided under four heads : 1. A short biographical memoir of the late Mr. John Tweddell, by his brother the Editor. 2. The correspondence of Mr. John Tweddell while abroad, containing remarks, &c. which occurred to him in his travels, and an occasional view of his own occupations. 3. A long appendix of nearly one hundred and fifty pages, mostly consisting of correspondence, inquiries, and discussions relative to the greater portion of the late Mr. J. Tweddell's literary property, which has been missing since his death; and, lastly, à republication of his “ Prolusiones Juveniles," compositions already known to the learned world, from which the classical fame of the writer and the interest of the public respecting him took their rise. We propose to follow the order which the Editor has prescribed to himself; and, for the information of the few who may not hitherto have interested themselves concerning his brother, we will commence with a brief outline of his short but distinguished career.
John Tweddell was born June 1. 1769, at Threepwood, near Hexham in Northumberland, being the eldest son of Francis Tweddell, Esq. a magistrate in that county. He was educated at a school in Yorkshire under the Reverend Matthew Raine, father of the late learned master of the Charter-house; and, on leaving this school, he had the good fortune to be placed under the celebrated Dr. Parr, during an intermediate period before he resided at the University. That the labours of the instructor were rewarded by the extraordinary acquisitions of the pupil, and that Mr. Tweddell's academical career was unusually brilliant, his“ Prolusiones Juveniles," published in 1793, one year" subsequent to his election as Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, amply testify; and on this occasion he received the compliments of some of the greatest scholars of the age, with several very elegant and classical poetical tributes from his own temporaries, especially from Mr. Abraham Moore, at that time of King's College in the same University. Shortly after his election at Trinity College, he entered as a student of the Middle Temple, London: but to the science of the law he was by no means naturally inclined; though his brother states st
that, from respect to his father's wishes, he paid, notwithstanding this distaste, considerable attention to his professional studies. His private plans, which seem shortly afterward to have been sanctioned by the assent of his family, and the melancholy catastrophe which deprived the world of a young scholar of whom extraordinary expectations were justly entertained, will be found briefly detailed in the annexed quotation :
It appears, both from the records of his private sentiments, as well as from his large and constant intercourse with the best sources of English history, and his predilection for political economy, that he would have wished to employ his talents and culti. vated address in diplomacy at the courts of foreign powers.
It was not without a view to this object that Mr. Tweddell determined to travel, and employ a few years in acquiring a know, ledge of the manners, policy, and characters of the principal courts and most interesting countries of Europe, which were not yet become inaccessible to an Englishman, through the overwhelming dominion of republican France. He, accordingly, embarked on the 24th of September, 1795, for Hamburg; where that correspondence commences which is presented in part by the following pages; and which may serve to illustrate, though' very imperfectly, the progress, pursuits, and indefatigable researches of this traveller in Switzerland, the North of Europe, and various parts of the East, until the period of his arrival in the provinces of Greece: here after visiting several of the islands in the Archipelago, he fixed his residence for four months in Athens ; exploring with restless ardor and faithfully delineating the remains of art and science discoverable amidst her sacred ruins. The hand of a wise but mysterious Providence suddenly arrested his career on the twenty-fifth of July 1799.'
The body of Mr. Tweddell was deposited in the centre of the temple of Theseus at Athens; the most perfect remnant of antiquity, as we learn from Dr. Clarke and other travellers, that is now to be found in Greece, and which is at present used as a place of Christian worship. The original interment was conducted with great simplicity; and a mere mound of earth distinguished for a few years the spot which contained the remains of this accomplished scholar. The Earl of Elgin furnished a Latin inscription, and committed it to the care of Mr. Lusieri an Italian artist then residing at Athens, and otherwise a well-known person to all the British visitants of that place, for the purpose of having it engraved: but Lusieri was anticipated in his design by some countrymen of the deceased ; and by the activity of Lord Byron, Mr. Fiott, and others, a slab was placed over the grave in 1811, bearing the following elegant inscription from the pen of the Rev. R. Walpole, A. M. We reduce it from the capitals in which it is printed, and of course engraved also, to a more convenient form for the eye of the reader:
“Ευδεις έν φθίμενoισι; μάθην Σοφίας πο7 έδρεψας
'Ανθεα, και σε νεον Μούσ’ έφιλησε μάτην.
Τύμβος, την ψυχην ουρανός αιπυς έχει.
Μνήμα φιλοφροσύνης χλωρον, οδυρομεθα,
“Ως συ, βρεθαννος έων, κείσαι ένα σπoδιη. Without entering, at present, into other questions between the Editor of this volume and Lord Elgin, we have no hesitation in saying that we do not think that his Lordship has been by any means handsomely treated on the score of the epitaph which he prepared. We do not mean by the preference given to Mr. Walpole’s inscription, because this latter deserved that preference, and Mr. R. Tweddell could have had no influence on that occasion, but by the manner in which he now speaks of Lord Elgin's attempt to do honour to the memory of his brother. He introduces an anonymous letter from a gentleman at Athens (a gentleman of some eminence as a scholar, we believe,) to Mr. Walpole, relative to the completion of the inscription above quoted, which contains the following sentence: “ It appears that when Lord Elgin was at Athens he manufactured a long Latin inscription in honour of himself and of Tweddell, which was left with Lusieri,” &c. This inscription has been handed about, has appeared in print, and we have seen it; and we are wholly at a loss to discover what it contains which can justify the criticism inflicted on it. That Lord Elgin's name is inserted in it is true: but who can be ignorant that, in Latin inscriptions, the mention of the person who places the marble is according to the strictest and most approved precedent? It does indeed appear that Lord Elgin's original epitaph was more diffuse, and was abridged by some friend of Lusieri: but this does not in any way alter the case, because the gentleman who criticises it distinctly states that he had seen it only after these curtailments. - It may not be amiss to quote the translation of Mr. Walpole's inscription. • Sleep'st thou among the dead ? then hast thou culld
In vain fair learning's flowers, the muse in vain
Hides this dark tomb; thy soul the heav'ns contain.
O'er thee, pale friend! the tears of mem'ry shed,
Mr. Tweddell had just completed his thirtieth year when he was thus arrested by an untimely death. We cannot better conclude this brief notice of his life than by referring the reader to the beautiful lines of Mr. Haygarth, in his poem intitled « Greece.”
on the tomb of him who sleeps within :
Of youths and virgins to his silent grave." Our own regrets on this melancholy catastrophe quickly succeeded our knowlege of the event *; and neither then nor now is our tribute that of vain compliment, but of real and unadorned sorrow, for disappointment greatly magnified by the loss of almost all the literary relics of this departed scholar.
• Enfin nous voici à Hambourg,' says Mr. Tweddell in his first letter t, and thither we will now follow him. On his arrival, he found the society so much superior to his anticipation of it, that he resolved to extend the time which he had originally devoted to a residence in that city. His circle comprized the Comtesse de Flahaut, known as the author of
* See our Review of Stephanopoli's Travels in Greece, Appendix to Vol. xxxii. N. S.
+ Addressed to James Losh, Esq., barrister, of Newcastleupon-Tyne, apparently one of the most intimate friends that the writer ever had. The other persons to whom these letters are addressed, independently of Mr. T.'s own family, are the Hon. Stephen Digby, Thomas Bigge, Esq., J. Spencer Smythe, Esq., the predecessor of Lord Elgin at the Porte, Mrs. Warde, &c. The members of his own family whom he addresses are his father, mother, sister, and his brother the Editor of these · Re. mains.' B 3