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Literary Memoir of Dr. Percy, might devote himself to literary
lute Bishop of Dromore. composition, from motives of pria Thomas Percy, the late Bish. De
Bich dence, as well as inclination. This op of Dromore, was born at Bridg.
inclination would be fostered, in north, in the county of Salop,
no slight degree, by his early corin 1729. Of his family we
nection with Johnson, and his have no account, except that he
e literary associates, of whom he descended from the antient line of was the last survivor. Percy, of the house of North. An established church, which umberland. This circumstance enjo)
diance enjoins a creed on ber clergy, in. might have acquired for him that stead of encouraging them to powerful patronage, which after.
cbuse their own, can offer but wards contributed more, proba.
slender inducements to theological bly, than even his real merits,
cils enquiry. A young clergymnan, is bis high advancement in the
provided with a liturgy for his church.
desk, anot satisfied wild a stile of
moral suasion for the pulpi:, will Who'd starve upon a dog-ear’d Pentaleuch:
rarely yield 10, if he should teel, He surely knows enough who knows a the temptation of becoming wiser Dike,
than his teachers, the venerable We are as uninformed, concern. councils of former age's Nor ing Mr, Percy's course of educa. will be easily forget that unless he tion, as of the history of his fami. has the effrontery to dare think one ly, till he entered at Christchurch thing and another tell, it might College, Oxford, where he com. cloud his fairest prospects, and menced Master of Arts, in 1753. darken all the colour of remaining On leaving the University, in life, to arrive at the unwilcoine 1750, his first promotion was to "
on was to discovery, that the scriptures, a college living in Northampton. critically investigated, are at vilo shire, beld with another. the gitt riance with the creed, to which of the Earl of Sussex. These he has, er anno, subscribed his benefices were not, probably, what assent and consent. It is therefore are technically denominated fat no proper subject of surprise, that, litings; and our young divine notwithstanding some splendid ex.
ceptions, so many among the are added, The Argument or highest dignitaries of the Church Story of a Chinese Plav; a Cola of England, have appeared before lection of Chinese Proveròs: Frag. the public in any character, ra. ments of Chinese Poetry. With ther than that of theologians. Notes, 12 mo. 4 vol. (M. Rev.
The late Bishop of Dromore xxv. 427.) was, by no means, an exception We are informed 6 that the to this remark. From the series translation was found, in manu. of his publications, of which, in script, among the papers of a the want of other maierials, the gentleman, who had large con. present memoir must almost en. cerns in the East India Company, tirely consist, it will appear that, and occasionally resided much at excepting one offering to theology, Canton.- As the version was the his pen was devoted to other work of a gentleman whose pro. objects, though neither useless vince was trade, and who probably nor unimportant. To refine the never designed it for the public, classical taste of his contempora. nothing could be expected from ries, and, at the same time, to in. him but fidelity to the originalculcate the purest morality, ap. the Editor, therefore, was obliged pear to have been the worthy so far to revise the whole as to objects of his attention. He will runder the language somewhat be found, we believe, in his lil- more grammatical and correct, merous selections, to have rigor. retaining the imagery, the allusiously rejected, however veiled in ons, the reflections, the proverobsolete language, every expres. bial sayings, any uncommon sen. sion, which as Walls complains, timent or mode of expression, and even of the Spectator, “ might as much of the Chinese idiom in raise a blush in the face of strict general, as was not uiterly incon. virtue ;" a caution not always rc- sisient with the purity of our own." garded by antiquarian editors, The authenticity of this work though in their own conduci cor. as a translation, amidst not a few rectly moral,
venial literary impostures, re. It will appear, in the course of ceived the following support from this memoir, that it became an the journalist to whom alone we early object of Mr. Percy's atten. are indebted for our account of it. tion, to trace modern literature “ These four thin folios of Chifrom its rude commencements, nese paper, on which the origi. and especially: to investigate the nal rough translation of this novel literary antiquities of the northern was written (the fourth in Portunations. The first publication, guese,) happened some years ago, however, ascribed to him, was a to be shewn to some of the gen. translation from the Chinese. tlemen concerned in this Review,
This publication was anony- who had then an opportunity of mous, though immediately al. perusing the work, before it had tributed to his pen. It appeared received the polish and improve. in 1961, under the following title. ments of the learned and ingeni. NAU KIOU CHOAAV; or, The Plea- ous Editor, and so far they can sing History: a translation from bear testimony to the authentithe Chinese Language. To which city of the book; but to those who have the pleasure of knowing this faults he proceeds to ascribe to an worthy gentleman, all sich testi: “ abjectness of genius in the Chi. mony will appear quite superflu. nese, accounted for from that ous. The credit of his name and servile submission and dread of character being suflicient to secure novelty, which enslaves their minds, the public from imposition, in re- and while it promotes the peace gard to any publication, in which and quiet of their empiro, duils he may be concerned.”—“The their spirit and cramps their ima. · scheme and conduct of the Novel,” gination.” is thus described by the same The Chinese Play is said to have Journalist. " A young Chinese been “ acted at Canton, in 1719, man of quality, of great virtue found among the papers of the genand uncommon bravery, has an tleman who first translated the Chiattachment to a lady every way nose Novel, and the second specia worthy of so accomplished a hero. men, in any European language, i Circumstances, however, are ad- of the talents of the Chinese for verse. A powerful rival, with dramatic composition ; the Or. other great obstacles, intervene, phan of the House of Chao, puband interesting adventures and lished by Du Halde, being the vicissitudes follow. But love and first.” It might have been added, virtue at length triumph over all that the latter piece was critical. opposition.”
ly analized by the late Bishop Describing the value of this Hurd, in his Discourse on Poetical publication, as presenting " a Composition, annexed to his forfaithful picture of Chinese man. ace, 1753 ; [vol, 2d. p. 180.] ners, wherein the domestic and though, for what reason, does political economy of that vast peo, not appear, omitted in the later ple is displayed,” the editor adds editions of that Discourse. A transa the following happy illustration. lation from Du Hald, was, howe -" There is not a greater differ. ever, in the following year, pub. ence between the man who is lished in a publication attributed sitting for his portrait, stiffened to Mr. Percy. into a studied composure, with from the Collection of Chinese every feature and limb under Proverbs, the following will sbew; constraint, and the same person as the reviewer expresses it, “ that upreserved, acting in his cuinion good sense is the same in all coun. sphere of life, with every passion tries,” in play, and every part of him in “D, not entertain a man who motion, than there is between a has just recived a disappointment people methodically described in with an account of your own suc : a formal account, and painted cess. out in the lively narrative of some " If one doch not pluck off the domestic history.” Avoiding 01- branches of a tree, while they are qualified praise of his adopted yet tender, they cannot afterwards work, he acknowledges, ihat, be cut off, without the axe. « examined by the laws of Euro. " In company, set a guard upon pean criticism, he believes it your tongue; in solitude, upon liable to many objections." The your heart.
" The more haste a man makes the publication of this Chinese to unravel a skain of thread, the Novel, was followed, in 1762, by more he entangles it.
" Miscellaneous Pieces, relating 6. The misi ignorant have know. to the Chinese." Of these, the ledge enough to discern the faults only one original was “a Disserof others: the most clear.si zhred tation on the language and write are blind to their ou ."
ings of the Chinese." Among On the fragments of Chinese the Pieces, is a translation, as we Poetry, the Editor remarks, much have mentioned from Du Halde, in the manner of Dr. Hurd, in of The Orphan of the House of the Discourse before mentioned, Chan, with Dr. Hurd's criticism that " the on!y kinds of Poetry, on that drama. that are cultivated much among In 1763 appeared the first the Chinese, are either shorter fruits of Mr. Percy's researches picccs, resembling the epigram“, in another quarter. " This little rondeaus and mailsigals of the last traict was drawn up for the press age, or else collections of moral in the year 1761." It is entitled apothegms, which are their only “ Five Pieces of Runic Poetry: essays of any lengib,”
Tran-lated [in prose] from the The account of this publica. Islandic Language," the originals tion has been extended, perhaps, being annexed, *6 as vouchers for excusably, from the translation the authenticity of his version." and the review of it having now “ This attempt is described as the antiquity and rareness produced « owing to the success of the. by the lapse of half a century. Erse fragments," the authenticity We shall conclude this part of our of which Mr. Percy, is inclined to Memoir, with the following speo disputo, os till the translator of Os. cimen of Mr. Percy's versitication, sian's poems thinks proper to proin a translation of verscs, extracted duce his originals." from a Chinese Romance, and one, in his preface, our translator titled an Eulgium on the Willow has the following ingenious ree Tree, which it seems, has among marks on the contrarieties in the the Chinese “ a prime place in character of “ the ancient inhatheir gardens," where it is culii. bitants of the northern parts of vated " with as much care as the Europe.” “ If we sometimes most delicate flower,”
revere them for that generous plan Scarce dawns the genial year : its yel- of government, which they every low sprays
where established, we cannot belp The sprightly willow cloaths in robes lamenting that they raised the
of green ; Blushing with shame, the gaudy fabric upon the ruins of literature peach is seen ;
and the fine arts. Yet they had She sheds her blossoms and with an amazing fondness for poetry,
spleen decays. Soft harbinger of spring! what glow., and it will be thought a paradox. ing rays,
that the same people, whose furiWhat colours with thy modlest charms fous ravages destroyed the last poor may vie ?
remains of expiring genius among No silkworm decks thy shade ; nir the Romans, should cherish it
cou d supply The velvet down thy shining leaf dis- with all possible care, among their plays:
own countrymen." These trans