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The observations on morals are followed by three short and very miscellaneous sections, under the titles, -genius and study requisite to great undertakings, objections to learning answered, remarks on reading. These, like every other division of the book, contain sensible observations and learned allusions ; but nothing particularly new; and the composition is so disconnected, that we are reminded of the description mentioned by Mr. Ensor as having been applied to the composition of Seneca, “ sand without lime.” Here, and in several places, he inculcates the favourite principle of Rousseau, that the value of individuals is in their being component parts of the community. A man's own happiness is to be made a secondary thing, as it should seem, to the welfare and glory of his friends and his country:
The part on 'which we enter next, is to be considered as a course of study for the Independent Man, and it is extended, including the notes belonging to it, to the length of about six hundred pages.
But if the reader should come with the expectation of instructions relative to methods and rules of study, estimates of the importance of various sciences, or illustrations of the manner of adapting studies to the practical utility of life, he would be confounded to find that this larger part of a large book is purely a critical list of authors, who are made to pass before us in a train so extended, as to become at last quite prodigious. Mr. Ensor is the Xerxes of literature ; and while his almost endless host is passing, we stand and gaze with still increasing wonder, like the good people that happened to live near the Hellespont, when the Persian sent over his bridge the interminable succession of soldiers, of so many nations, appearances, and languages. Considering the attention with which our author appears to have examined many of the writers in his enumeration, the compass of his reading is really amazing. It comprehends all the ancient classics, with many of whom he evinces a perfect familiarity ; and almost all the writers of note,
many of no note, in the modern languages of Europe, excepting those of the northern states. We should feel as much regret as Mr. Ensor, that such immense reading should be useless to the public, and therefore are not much disposed to censure him for having, as we suspect, planned the work before us, on purpose to give himself an opportunity of exhibiting this splendid catalogue, with its furniture of remarks and illustrations. On many of the authors the observations are necessarily few and rapid ; but on some of the principal ones he dwells at considerable length, occasionally ina terspersing thoughts on the subjects on which they wrote. In the course of this ample enumeration, we think there is a great deal of just and able criticism. His observations on the principal'epic poets, (though we think he undervalues the merit of.
Lucan and Tasso, are written with spirit and discrimination; as also many of those on the historians and orators, including an animated vindication of the character of Demosthenes. As a short specimen, we will transcribe a passage on the style of Gibbon.
• His style, though animated and exalted, is liable to great objections ; nor can the richness of his matter, the dexterity with which he interweaves his various knowledge, and the beauty and exuberance of his classical allusions, overcome some striking defects. He could display great matters with admiration and emphasis ; but he could not speak of small things with ease, nor of common ones with moderation. Ambitious to uphold a bril. liant tone, and perpetually to surprise, he touches some points so wittily that the reader can only guess his meaning, or so metaphysically that his meaning escapes in the subtlety of its expression, or so paraphrastically that the sense is lost in a multitude of words. p. 471.
We need not remark that Mr.E.'s characteristic qualities faithfully follow him; the freedom with which he judges for himself, permits not a shadow of deference to critics of a different opinion ; his decisions are in the tone of infallibility: and he is careful not to lose the opportunities, which such a review of literature could not fail to afford, of asserting the cause of reason and phiJosophy against the follies of " superstition.” One sample of the manner in which this last duty is performed, will dispose our readers to admire the modesty of Mr. Ensor, whatever they may think of his judgement.
• Many have objected to Milton's subject. The story seems to have been invented by some ingenious Hebrew, to shew the origin of sin. This
, which was perhaps an acknowledged fiction in one age, was received as history in another. The consequence is not uncommon.
One would sup pose that the tree of knowledge explained beyond question the allegorical nature of the tale. Besides this, the serpent is called the subtlest beast of the field ; that is, its lithe and insinuating form is transferred to the disposition of its mind. The assertion, that from its stately posture it was condemned pronely to vermiculate, (because the devil in its shape trepanned the first man and woman,) is so grossly fabulous, that no metamorphosis in Ovid more directly determines its fantastic origin. Considering it in this respect, the story is not deficient in merit; but reading it literally and with its sequel, according to superadding wonder-workers, nothing can be conceived more ungodlike, contradictory, and monstrous : in effect, it seems to have been fabricated by some loud scoffer, to burlesque all those who, under the mask of religion, liave travestied common sense. pp. 254. 255.'
The prescribed course of study, will comprise a much shorter list of authors, than those that Mr. Ę. enumerates and transiently criticises ; because he informs his pupil that a considerable proportion are hardly worth his attention. But the number of those either wholly or partially recommended, will impose such a labour, as we fear not one young man of fortune in a thousand will ever choose to undergo, or even undertake. And.indeed our author's supposed pupil, who is to be a candida e for offices in the state, might very fairly ask
him, since when it is, that all this solitary labour of study has become the most hopeful method of obtaining political distinction, place, and emolument. That there is no royal road to learning or mathematics, has been repeated often enough, we suppose, to be admitted now as an axiom; but our young Telemachus is not a boy of much shrewdness, if he do not begin to surmise that there is some other and perhaps shorter way, to the honours of the senate and the state, when he sees by what kind of persons they are most commonly obtained. And he is a vastly discreet and well-behaved youth, (which we are sorry to say our young gentlemen in general are not) if he does not begin to look waggish in old Mentor's face, while the worthy sage continues to descant so gravely on books, and study, and philosophy, as being the king's high road to dignity and influence. It is incumbent on our benevolence, to save our good friend Mentor from the vexation of a protracted and useless effort, by warning him that this young gentleman is no longer his man, the moment he becomes politically ambitious; and that the least trouble will be to let him go at once, where he certainly will go very soon, to finish his education in certain societies, where learned books, and philosophy, and morals, are the last things thought of-except to be turned into ridicule.--If the ambition sets toward literary honours, the learned preceptor has a much better chance of retaining his importance with the pupil.
Wemust briefly notice the remaining part of the book. Foreigi travel is prescribed as the consummation of the accomplishments acquired in the schools of literature. The residence in France and Italy recommended in the early part of the work, was merely for the advantages of education for the boy or youth; this latter visit to foreign countries is to finish the man of taste, the gentleman, the philosopher, and the politician, At his return he is to enter on his public career.
It is strongly recommended to him to servethe common-wealth; but, observe, not at the expense of depressing one quarter of an inch the dignity of his high-toned virtue; he is to continue invariably, in every sense, an independent man. And in this character he is to make his way into the house of commons, where, according to our author, he will find every thing to fortify his best principles, and every thing to animate the virtuous exertion of his talents; the prevalence of public spirit, the impartiality of deliberation, and the strict dependence of the decia sion on the justness of the argument, will be all in his favour : For the author says,
• The house of commons will principally attract your notice. This is the grand mart where official appointments, and nominal honours are disposed of by wholesale ; for here the representative provides for himself, his family, his partisans, and their relations and dependents. In this assembly you will hear sentiments that would do honour to Cato, and uttered with such
passion, that they would mislead almost the experienced in the design of the orator : you would think he was interested in the success of the motion he supports: no such thing ; his interest in the debate is but to raise the price of his apostacy: you might suppose that he hoped to convert some to his opinion; this betrays also your ignorance ; he knows that no one here would change his determination to vote by the most ravishing eloquence: if the speeches in parliament influence its members, it is after they have been dispersed through the nation by the press, and excited a popular sensation which recoils on its representatives ; for, in the house of commons, all who vote are ranged under leaders ; every man's opinions are reduced to those of the minister and his opponent; sometimes there are minuter factions, as the exterminating cabal which defended bull-baiting, the slave trade, and endless war.' pp. 297. 298.
A short and spirited section on eloquence, contains, a brief comparison of the late orators, Burke, Pitt, and Fox, In regard to delivery, our author recommends an imitation of the ancient ardour of manner, even so far almost as the percussio frontis et femoris, and the supplosio pedis.
“Conduct in a ministerial capacity" is the title of the next division. In censuring a dishonourable acquisition of the ministerial office, he cites the following noble anecdote.
• Henry the Second of France offered to Henri de Mesmes the place of advocate-general. De Meşmes excused his acceptance of it, answering, The place is not vacant, apologizing at the same time to the king, for him who had displeased his majesty. The king at length was persuaded to continue his minister, who came the next day to thank his benefactor. is undeserved,” said Henri de Mesmes; “what I did was my indispensa. ble dutypp. 317, 318.
This part of the book contains important truth, dictated and illustrated by knowledge of the world and of history. There iş. however, here and there, a flourish sufficiently juvenile. As for. instance, speaking against too yielding a conduct toward a foreign enemy, he exclaims, "What are property and life compared to honour !". We are humbly of opinion that a guinea, a loaf, a wheat-rick, and the life by which we can use and enjoy these possessions, and a hundred others, are of much the same worth under the calamity which politicians call national disgrace, (guilt is never their meaning) as under the blessing which they term national glory.
On the supposition that the pupil's ambition should take a literary direction, the writer suggests a variety of judicious thoughts on authorship, under the heads,-prefatory remarks on authorship--observations on composition -remarks on rhetoric-and hints to authors. The final recompense of intellectual labours is clearly specified; “You should design ạ literary work, which if you accomplish, your fame will be uni, versal, and your reward immortality.”
The last section is on marriage, of which, and of the female sex, he is a warm panegyrist. He gives some pertinent cau
tions as to the choice, and as to the propriety of conduct in the relation; but perhaps employs a language somewhat beyond the philosophic tone, when he says, “ Marriage is immeasurably happy when wisely conducted, but perdition has no tortures more excruciating than when this indissoluble union has been improvidently formed."
At the end of each volume there are more than a thousand notes of reference or illustration, which would have been better for the reader's convenience at the bottom of the pages, if the author had not thought this might look rather too pedantic.
The language of the work is neither vulgar nor classical. Occasionally it is really forcible ; but very often it is unsuccessfully attempted to be made so, by a short snapped kind of sentences, which continually remind us of the crackers bouncing about the streets, with so much friskiness, and petty explosion, on the evening of the fifth of November. There is often an incorrectness of construction, a quaintness of phrase, a crudeness in the enunciation of the thought, which we wouder so much familiarity with so many classical authors should not have prevented or reformed. The figurative illustrations now and then appear to have been brought into their places by main force, but in other instances are natural, expressive, and happy.
The most obvious feature of the composition, is a surprising frequency of proper names. A considerable number of this privileged order, this aristocratical class of words, has an enlive ening effect, and helps to catch the attention of a person that máy happen carelessly to open the book. But here they are crowded on the page, as plentifully as tin spangles on the robe of a strolling actress ; or, to borrow a more classical illustration by way of parting civility to Mr. Ensor,
Thick as autumnal·leaves that strow the brooks
High over-arch'd embower.
AVING already quoted Mr. C.'s representation of the doc
trine held by Quakers concerning the Holy Spirit, it will be unnecessary for us to enlarge on his next topic, which is, the possibility of redemption for all mankind. This sentiment the author undertakes to vindicate, in opposition to that of the election of individuals to salvation, on which the Christian church has been for so many centuries divided. Mr. C.'sarguments will certainly not lay the question to rest: and we doubt the propriety of their introduction into his work. The opinion which he supports, can no farther be regarded as peculiar to the Quakers, than as it is connected with their distinguishing views of the influence of the Holy Spirit. In any other respect, we