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1784. various tribes of animals which he has tamed and res a duced to subjection. The Tartar follows his prey Ætat. 75,
'on the horse which he has reared, or tends his numerous herds which furnish him both with food and clothing; the Arab has rendered the camel docile, and avails himself of its persevering strength; the Laplander has formed the reindeer to be subservient to his will; and even the people of Kamschatka have trained their dogs to labour. This command over the inferiour creatures is one of the noblest prerogatives of man, and among the greatest efforts of his wisdom and power. Without this, his dominion is incomplete. He is a monarch who has no subjects; a master without servants; and must perform every operation by the strength of his own arm."
EDWARD GIBBON, ESQ.
“ Of all our passions and appetites, the love of power is of the most imperious and unsociable nature, since the pride of one man requires the submission of the inultitude. In the tumult of civil discord the laws of Society lose their force, and their place is seldom supplied by those of humanity. The ardour of contention, the pride of victory, the despair of success, the memory of past injuries, and the fear of future dangers, all contribute to infiame the mind, and to silence the voice of pity."3
Miss BURNEY. " My family, mistaking ambition for honour, and rank for dignity, have long planned a splendid con
9 - History of America:” Vol. I. quarto, p. 332.
nection for me, to which, though my invariable re- 1784. pugnance has stopped any advances, their wishes and their views immoveably adhere. I am but too certain they will now listen to no other. I dread, therefore, to make a trial where I despair of success; I know not how to risk a prayer with those who may silence me by a cominand.”4
Reverend Mr. NARES." « In an enlightened and improving age, much perhaps is not to be apprehended from the inroads of mere caprice; at such a period it will generally be perceived, that needless irregularity is the worst of all deformities, and that nothing is so truly elegant in language as the simplicity of unviolated analogy.
Rules will, therefore, be observed, so far as they are known and acknowledged: but, at the same time, the desire of improvement having been once excited will not remain inactive; and its efforts, unless assisted by knowledge, as much as they are prompted by zeal, will not unfrequently be found pernicious ; so that the very persons whose intention it is to perfect the instrument of reason, will deprave and disorder it unknowingly. At such a time, then, it becomes peculiarly necessary that the analogy of
4 “ Cecilia,” Book VII. Chap. I.
5 The passages which I quote is taken from that gentleman's " ELEMENTS OP ORTHOPY; containing a distinct View of the whole Analogy of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE, so far as relates to Pronunciation, Accent, and Quantity,” London, 1781. I beg leave to offer my particular acknowledgements to the authour of a work of uncommon merit and great utility. I know no book which contains, in the same compass, more learning, polite literature, sound sense, accuracy of arrangement, and perspicuity of express sion.
1784. language should be fully examined and understood;
that its rules should be carefully laid down; and Ætat. 75.9
that it should be clearly known how much it contains, which being already right should be defended from change and violation; how much it has that demands amendment; and how much that, for fear of greater inconveniencies, must, perhaps, be left, unaltered, though irregular."
A distinguished authour in “ THE MIRROR," a periodical paper, published at Edinburgh, has imitated Johnson very closely. Thus, in No. 16.-" The effects of the return of spring have been frequently remarked as well in relation to the human mind as to the animal and vegetable world. The reviving power of this season has been traced from the fields to the herds that inhabit them, and from the lower classes of beings up to man.: Gladness and joy are described as prevailing through universal Nature, animating the low of the cattle, the carol of the birds, and the pipe of the shepherd.”
The Reverend Dr. Knox, master of Tunbridge school, appears to have the imitari aveo of Johnson's style perpetually in his mind; and to his assiduous, though not servile, study of it, we may partly ascribe the extensive popularity of his writings.?
That collection was presented to Dr. Johnson, I believe by its authours; and I heard him speak very well of it.
? It were to be wished, that he had imitated that great man in every respect, and had not followed the example of Dr. Adam Smith, in ungraciously attacking his venerable Alma Mater, Oxford. It must, however, be observed, that he is much less to blame than Smith: he only objects to certain particulars; Smith to the whole institution; though indebted for much of his learn
- In his “ Essays, Moral and Literary," No. 3, we 1784: find the following passage :-" The polish of external grace may indeed be deferred till the approach of manhood. When solidity is obtained by pursuing the modes prescribed by our fore-fathers, then may. the file be used. The firm substance will bear attrition, and the lustre then acquired will be durable.”
There is, however, one in No. 11, which is blown up into such tumidity, as to be truly ludicrous. The writer means to tell us, that Members of Parliament, who have run in debt by extravagaince, will sell their votes to avoid an arrest, which he thus expresses ; -" They who build houses and collect costly pictures and furnitures, with the money of an honest artisan or mechanick, will be very glad of emancipat tion from the hands of a bailiff, by a sale of their senatorial suffrage.”
ing to an exhibition which he enjoyed, for many years at Balliol College. Neither of them, however, will do any hurt to the noblest university in the world. While I animadvert on what appears to me, exceptionable in some of the works of Dr. Knox, I cannot refuse due praise to others of his productions; particularly his sermons, and to the spirit with which he maintains, against presumptuous hereticks, the consolatory doctrines peculiar to the Christian Revelation. This he has done in a manner equally strenuous and conciliating. Neither ought I to omit mentioning a remarkable instance of his candour : Notwithstanding the wide difference of our opinions, upon the important subject of University education, in a letter to me concerning this Work, he thus expresses himself: “ I thank you for the very great entertainment your Life of Johnson gives me. It is a most valuable work. Yours is a new species of biography. Happy for Johnson, that he had so able a recorder of his wit and wisdom.”
« 8 Dr. Knox, in his “ Moral and Literary'' abstraction, may be excused for not knowing the political regulations of his country, No senator can be in the hands of a bailiff.
1784. But I think the most perfect imitation of Johnson
is a professed one, entitled “ A Criticism on Gray's Etat. 75.
Elegy in a Country Church-Yard,” said to be written by Mr. YOUNG, Professor of Greek, at Glasgow, and of which let him have the credit, unless a better title can be shewn. It has not only the particularities of Johnson's style, but that very species of literary discussion and illustration for which he was eminent. Having already quoted so much from others, I shall refer the curious to this performance, with an assurance of much entertainment.
Yet whatever merit there may be in any imitations of Johnson's style, every good judge must see that they are obviously different from the originial; for all of them are either deficient in its force, or overloaded with its peculiarities; and the powerful sentiment to which it is suited is not to be found.
· Johnson's affection for his departed relations seem.. ed to grow warmer as he approached nearer to the time when he might hope to see them again. It probably appeared to him that he should upbraid bimself with unkind inattention, were he to leave the world without having paid a tribute of respect to their memory.
“ TO MR. GREEN, APOTHECARY, AT LICHFIELD.' " DEAR SIR,
“ I have enclosed the Epitaph for my Father, Mother, and Brother, to be all engraved on the large size, and laid in the middle aisle in St. Michael's church, which I request the clergyman and churchwardens to permit.
9 See Vol. II. p. 485.