« PreviousContinue »
communicate, as well as receive, was always welcome, and that few men came into company, better qualified to please, or co ioftruet.--Buc
“ Great men use a wit as a rake does a whore,
and Ruffet, with all his talents, endearing qualities, and correctness of taste, was josled out of his friend's memory, by horsejockies, valets, and gamblers, before my lord reached Dover, on bis way to the continent.
• But the memories of Oxford tradesmen, the cellar-man, and the attendants of the junior common room, were more retentive, and my reader will hear with concern, that after much anxiety, and much trouble, this amiable man died of a broken heart. The writer of this article cannot but drop a tear to the memory of one, with whom he has passed many a useful, and many an agreeable hour, (hours, alas! to return no more,) in the mutual, but unloccessful effort, of alleviating anguish, which can cease only with lịfe, palliating evils and softening prospects, over which the strong hand of death alone is able to throw a veil.
• I cannot mention the university, without suggesting a wih, that parents would not be so eager to educate their
sons in those se. minaries, without a perfe&t knowledge of the necessary expence, and the dangerous situation of a young man on his first entering a col. lege. And it were well if heads of houses, unless they will to see their walls deserted, it were well, if they would not leave the newcomers, who have been long, and ardently panting for liberty, a prey to rapacious tradesmen, or to what is ftill worse, the licen. rious excesses of their own paflions : furely it becomes them to eaforce compliance, or reform abuse, and to guard the rising generation, for whose fate they are answerable, against the bewitching snares of vice and dilipation, which every where surround, and invite them. We may then venture to ferind our fons, without a certainty of their morals, health, and fortune, being irretrievably detroyed.
• In a declamatory, but not ill-written pamphlet, which a disappointed candidate for a fellowship once thewed me in manuscript, called, “ Oxford diffecled, or that university displayed in its proper colours," I remember his saying, that to a certain college, every member was a benefactor, for that he brought with him mo. ney, good sense, learning, morals, and a constitution; but was sure to bring nothing away with him. As I could not with propriety subscribe to the affertion, I advised him from friendship for The man, or from reverence to Alma Mater, to suppress the work, which, a few months afier, with its author, was swallowed up by a storm in crofing the Atlantic.
• This ariicle cannot conclude more properly, than with the emphatic words of Dr. Johnson, which I wish were written in leto ters of adamant on the heari of every man of genius in the world:
“ Those, who in confidence of superior capacities, or attaiaments, affect to despite the common rules of life, should remember, that nothing can alone for the want of prudence; that regligence,
and irregularity long continued, render wit absurd, genius useless, and talents contemptible.”
“ I am aware," says a declaimer at my elbow, who defends well-regulated Atews; “ I am aware of the prudent regulations, and cautious police eftablished by proctors and vice-chancellors, but while they will not suffer iniquity, or carnal indulgence, to appear in any decent lape, they forget that Oxford is furrounded by the lowest and vileft sies of illicit passion, where filthy vulgarity robs sensuality of refinement, its only bad excuse, and where a loathsome disease poisons the springs of life."
• My satirical friend, with whom, (however I may value his abi. lities) I do not always feel disposed to agree in opinion, concluded his harangue, by observing, that he divided the young men of the present day into cwo classes ; first, your pleasant, accomplished, senfible, undone bon-vivants, without morals, health, or fortune, admired, pitied, and neglected by every body :-The fecond, are your trange, eccentric, out-of-the-way mortals, who are dull and unfashionable enough to preserve their eftates, characters, and conftitations unimpaired, but think themselves perfe&tly at liberty to indulge in odd whims, unaccountable fancies, and strange fingelarities; “ to conclude," continued my friend, “I prefer the latter, with all his imperfections on his head :"-a sentence from which perhaps many of my readers will dissent. He might have added, that the rare, the desirable character in the present age, is: the man of plain good sense and education, of uncorrupted man-. ners, whose sensibility is not too delicate, or feelings too refined for the common, the useful, and the necessary duties of a son, a husband, a father, or a friend, who does not from affectation, or cowardice, quit the post allotted to him by Providence, nor wander from the beaten turnpike-road of life, through dread of the bustle of competition, the inares of ill-design, or the arrow of him who shooteth in the dark : dangers from which no man has a right to claim exemption, as every one has sufficient resolution to oppose these chimeras of human life, if he will but call it forth. From the scarcity of such characters in the common transactions of mankind, the first and most sacred duties of society too often fall into the hands of coxcombs, rascals, and fools.
“ Take a knife with a common edge, and it will do your business better,” said Swift to his friend Lewis the under-secretary, who was attempting to divide paper in a very awkward manner, with a fine delicate edged expensive pen-knife.'
• SACKVILLE, Viscount, originally Lord George Sackville, an appellation which he exchanged for the name and estate of his paternal aunt, a baronet's widow, of Drayton, in Northamptonthire, an acquaintance, and, as appears from several of her letters, published in his works, a sensible correspondent of Dr. Swift: he was created a peer by George III. an elevation, productive of no Smali surprize at the time, and the subject of much severe alterca. tion between certain distinguished characters.
• This favourite of the present king, but never of the people, iş accused, by his enemies, of having facrificed, on the plaios of
Minden, several thousand men, to a mistaken principle of national etiquette, or the misconception of orders, clearly and explicitly given, owing to the agitations of fear. After indulging himself on his defence, in vehement inveđives agaioft party malice, to which he imputed his disgrace, he ftili in Sted on the orders not being intelligibly delivered, and as soon as he knew what he had to do, and a regiment which impeded his marching had moved; that he attacked in front with all poflible speed: but a court mar. sial, by which his lord ship was tried, differed from him in opinion, and he was declared incapable of serving in any military capacity whatever. His conduct very much exasperated the late good old king, who with his own hand struck his name from the list of privy counsellors; and was heard to declare with emotion, and his ufoal warmth of temper, (a generous, but quickly subsiding warmth) that if he had not been a king, and the offender his subject, he would certainly have pulled him by the nose. Colonel Sloper re. marked on the field of bacile, his lord fhip's embarrassed and confused appearance ; yet I can scarcely im pute his conduct to cowardice, which, though in a soldier an unpardonable failing, is not a crime, (for we have not all, the nerves and intrepidity of a hero) besides, in a duel with the late governor Johnsou, he appears to have acted with fufficient calmness and composure.
• One path to fame being thus for ever closed against him, with a resolution, perhaps a magnanimity, which few men in fimilar circumstances would have poffesfed, he plunged into the formy sea of government and politics; where, notwithstanding royal smiles, and the friendly, elaborate, but unsuccessful panegyric of Mr. Cumberland, he experienced defeat and disappointment: he was fecretary for the colonies, during the American war, and is said to have prognosticated success, with a lively emphasis, not common in his method of speaking ;-~his adversaries, of whom I think he had a greater portion than falls to the lot of most men, cried out with exultation, that Minden and Saratoga would be everlasting monuments of his courage as a general, and his abilities as a states. mao.
• During the unfortunate interval of this nobleman's presiding over the American department, certain national debates were conducted with a violence, heat, and perseverance, which a convi&ion of their high importance, and a sense of national calamity, could alone inspire: the same period was also remarkable for a war, which, from choice or necesity, was conducted by men, who, as senators, had earnestly argued, and regularly voted against it: ! could not help remarking the dramatic general, who a few years before, had conducted himself in a manner not firialy confticocional at Preston, harangving the House of Commons at the moment he was a prisoner of the enemies of his country, and against whom he should not have accepted a command, if he disapproved coercive measures ; this parliamentary phænomenon, did not bring to my mind Regulus, when he quitted the senate of Rome, on his return to Carthage, the “corvus humi pofuiffe vultum,” would bave been wholly inapplicable.
We must add, that there are many articles of far inferior worth, compared with those above cited; for the volume is loaded with many a heavy stale story, copied from well-known histories and monthly chronicles. Thus we have the long narra. tive of Gowry’s .conspiracy against James VI. of Scotland, without the author betraying the least consciousness that the truth, of it had ever been questioned, and another turn given to the adventure. The long story of Elizabeth Canning is also retailed to as little purpose. In short, he sometimes relects and copies, without judgment, or evident intention :---yet, whatever may be the defects of this publication, it would be injustice to its author, as well as to our readers, Thould we conceal from them this truth-that the perusal of many of the anecdotes, characters, and sketches, with which the volume abounds, has yielded us considerable amusement, and some information.
ART. VIII. A New Medical Dizionary, or General Repository of
Physic; containing an Explanation of the Terms, and a Description of the various Particulars relating to Anatomy, Physiology, Physic, Surgery, Materia Medica, Chemistry, &c. &c. &c.; each Article, according to its Importance, being considered in every Relation to which its Usefulness extends in the Healing Art. By G. Motherby, M. D. C. M.S. The Third Edition, revised and corrected, with considerable Additions, by George Wallis, M. D. S. M. S. Lecturer on the Theory and Practice of Physic, London. Folio. pp. 738. Plates 30. 21. 1os. bound.
Johnson, Robinsons, &c. 1791. We have already spoken our sentiments concerning the two
former editions of Dr. Motherby's dictionary* : of course, we shall at present confine ourselves to the additions made by Dr. Wallis.
The present editor laments that ill-health should have taken the superintendance of this book from the hands of his predeceffor; and he observes, with great modesty, that he stands in a delicate predicament, attempring to correct and improve the work of a living author, and that author his friend :-he adds,
• To obliterate, therefore, any of his fixed principles, upon which he has founded a number of his theories and reasoning, though perhaps not totally according with my own modes of thinking, might be thought repaying friendship with cruelty, and sacrificing confidence to vanity ; - I have therefore let such doctrines as he has adopted stand unaltered ; only, here and there, endeavouring, where it appeared necessary, to elucidate and place them in a clearer point of view; and pursued such plans throughout the whole, as
• See Review, vol. lvii. p. 318. and vol. lxxv. p. 76. REV, Aug. 1792.
might co-operate with his wishes, centered in rendering himself nog an unprofitable member to the community.'
Reasoning justly, that the plan of a dictionary should be confined to points of practical knowlege, rather than extended to queftions of controversy and speculation, Dr. W. has sought more earnestly to render bis reader a good practitioner, than an able disputant.--For similar reasons, he has rejected such parts of the former editions, as were not closely connected with medical utility, substituting other remarks more intimately united with the subject. Hence he has rescinded many things, which belonged rather to arts, manufactories, and commerce, than to medicine ; as well as the biographical part, which, while it was too concise and vague to be of any service, occupied space which was wanting for matters of more importance.-Much information bas been added respecting the powers and virtues of medicines, and many authors have been consulted on this head: the nature and composition of the several medicinal waters have received particular attention; the doses are ascertained; and the mode of administering them is specified, as likewise is the season of the year when they are most efficacious.With regard to diseases, we meet with many valuable additions; and the principal authors, who have written on the several complaints, are enumerated : nor has the editor confined himself entirely to the authorities of others, but has occafionally presented us with opinions and reasoning of his own.
A very necessary part of this performance, and one attended with great convenience, is an index ; in which every article may be found, by whatever appellation it is distinguished-On the whole, though we cannot say that there are no defects, ftill, with respect to the general intent of the work, they appear of too little consequence to particularize ; and we have no fear in pronouncing this publication well worthy of the attention of that class of medical practitioners for whose use it is principally designed.
To this edition are added four plates of the gravid uterus : these, and the improved state of the others, shew that the proprietors have not been sparing of expence.
Art. IX. The History of Political Tranfa&tions, and of Parties, from the Restoration of King Charles the Second, to the Death of King William. By Thomas Somerville, D. D. 410. PP. 595, il. 15.
Boards. Cadell. 1792. H Н
ISTORY is certainly the best school of instruction, both to
those who govern and to those who are governed; teaching by the only sure teft, experience, the value of the several poI