Page images
PDF
EPUB

Then bid the haughty fair one still gaze on

Thy rapid stream, and thence her fate discern:
Her charms are on the wane—her lover gone

Like thy waves, never, never to return.

Paul Jones. This personage has lately been made the hero of two novels—one by Cooper, the other by Cunningham. When the papers mentioned in the following extract are published, something more respecting the real personage may be expected to be known:

The history of some private manuscripts has already been curious. Our readers will recollect, that two or three years ago, a large bundle of letters was brought to light in a baker's shop in New York, which proved to be the private correspondence of Paul Jones. When Paul Jones left America for the last time, he committed to the care of his friend, John Ross, of Philadelphia, several packages of manuscript papers, consisting of letters, journals, and vouchers of his landed and other property in America. A power of attorney was afterwards sent to Mr. Robert Hyslop, merchant of New York, to receive these packages in trust, for the heirs of Paul Jones. An agent came to this country, and settled the pecuniary affairs; but the papers, on being examined, were allowed to remain in the hands of Mr. Hyslop, in trust, as undivided property, belonging equally to all the heirs of Paul Jones. At length Robert Hyslop died, and the papers then fell into the hands of bis executor, John Hyslop, baker, in New York. This is a brief explanation of the somewhat singular circumstance, of papers of this sort having been discovered in a baker's shop. They were valuable, as containing the correspondence of some of the most eminent leaders of the Revolution.

Another remark we may add respecting the papers of Paul Jones. By his will he left all his effects to his two sisters, who resided at or near Dumfries, in Scotland, to be divided equally between them and their children, in as many shares as there were individuals in the two families, constituting his two sisters guardians of their respective children during their minority. In 1793, one of the sisters and the husband of the other went to Paris, to recover a debt due from the French government to Paul Jones, and took with them to Scotland, among other things, all the papers left by him. A division of the effects and papers was immediately made by a gentleman appointed for the purpose, with the mutual consent of the parties, who bound themselves to abide by his decision; and this gentleman pursued an extraordinary course, in regard to the papers. He portioned them out in two parcels, by weight and measure, just as they happened to come to hand, without regard to their value or connexion. The two families resided for some time in Scotland ; and when Mr. Duncan, eight or nine years ago, prepared the short biographical sketch of Paul Jones, for the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, he appears to have had access to all the papers. Since that time a branch of one of the families has removed to America, and brought bither a part of the papers; all, it is presumed, which this branch had in its possession.

A few years ago a piece of Paul Jones, who inherited from her mother the portion of papers that fell to her lot, made an overture to the Historical Society of New York to publish them. The negotiation was not successful; but the manuscripts were sent out to New York for inspection, where they now remain in the hands of an individual in trust for the owner. They are fair copies, collected into four volumes, the three first of which relate chiefly to the part the author took in the American Revolution. The last volume is written in French, and is devoted wholly to bis services in Russia, The contents of all the volumes are chiefly letters and official papers, some of which have been published. To the first volume is prefixed a memoir of his life, but by what hand we know not. There is also a short narrative of the transactions in which he was engaged during the American war, but the substance of this is nearly the same as that which he presented to the King of France. It is a mistake, however, which some way or other crept into the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, that Paul Jones has left any thing which can be properly called a memoir of his own life by himself. What is to be the destiny of these papers we are not informed, but they are obviously essential to any correct delineation of the life and character of Paul Jones.-North American Review, No. 43.

Dr. Parr.-We have been favoured by a gentleman of literary eminence with a copy of the following letter by Dr. Parr on the choice of a college :

Sept. 1789. Dear Sir-Whether the choice of your father be ultimately fixed upon Ch. Ch., or upon St. John's, you will be placed in a situation very proper for you as a gentleman, and very useful to you as a scholar. If you were entered as a pensioner, my immediate decision would be in favour of St. John's; for in that society you would have the most efficacious assistance, and the most animating encouragement to excel in philosophical as well as classical knowledge ; to gain in the one more than Oxford can supply from the general course of its studies, and to gain in the other not less than Ch. Ch. itself is able to afford. I believe the aggregate learning of St. John's to surpass that of any other academical society in England. It has always been governed by eminent tutors, and always distinguished by an active spirit of emulation. You are told that Euclid prevails; you should also be told that Sophocles and Thucydides are not unknown to the seniors, or neglected by the young men; and that this college has for many years borne away a full and splendid portion of the prizes which are assigned to the bachelors, either at a viva voce examination in the ancient writers during the first year, or for Latin composition during the second and third years. The literature of this country has been indebted to St. John's for the best productions in classical erudition, in ethicks, in mathematicks, in theology. Every young man may, if he pleases, distinguish bimself for classical attainments in the yearly examinations ; and you may be assured that the largest stock of learning which any man ever carried with him from the publick schools, will find in this college opportunities for improvement, and incitement from reward. Mr. Whitemore and Mr. Smith are tutors of great and deserved celebrity, one of them, I know, has gained the classical medal, and the other is justly considered a man of solid sense, elegant taste, and extensive learnivg. I should, without hesitation, pronounce a young man defective in correctness of judgment and liberality of spirit should he presume to speak disrespectfully of such instructors. You have heard from your gay and wrong-headed correspondent, that it is a fashionable college; and so will conclude from his testimony that no man of the greatest family or greatest wealth can be disgraced by becoming a member of St. John's. I am obliged, however, to confess that the most solid advantages of the college are not always of use to young men of fortune. There and every where else in Cambridge they are dissipated in their manners, vain of their distinctions, less restrained by discipline, and less attentive to study. A fellow commoner may not, therefore, avail himself of those circumstances which give the college its marked and indisputable superiority. But remember, good sir, that every defect of this kind originates in the indolence, conceit, and levity of the student himself; and depend upon it if you were to enter the society with a fixed determination to observe its rules, and to profit by its lectures, you would find your attention applauded, your exertions assisted, and your attainments rewarded in the very best manner, and with the very best effect.- -Of Ch. Ch. I canrot speak without the sincerest approbation of that plan which Dr. Bagot introduced, and which Dr. Jackson preserved and compleated. At no other college in Oxford so few invidious and mischievous distinctions are assigned to men of rank and opulence; all the members are compelled to attend the lectures, to produce compositions, and to bring their talents and their attainments to an open and bonorable test at examinations, which are frequent, public, and impartial. I do not lay much stress upon the mathematical studies of this college, and yet I believe them to be sufficient for the common purposes of young men who are intended for the bar or for the senate; but their classical lectures deserve more unqualified and higher praise : they are given by very good scholars ; they are attended by men of all ranks; they are pursued with a noble emulation ; they are encouraged by public honors; and in all respects they promote learning, and are entitled to the approbation of all learned men. I have the happiness to know both the master of St. John's and the dean of Cb, Ch. Dr. Craven gained both mathematical and classical honors at Cambridge ; bis mind is stored with a wonderful variety of knowledge, both in science and in languages; he writes both Latin and English, not, perhaps, with much splendor, but with uncommon correctness and perspicuity. He is very well versed in Hebrew, Persic, and Arabic. His life, and he is now fifty years old, his whole life, I say, has been steadily and uniformly devoted to the most unwearied study. His temper is amiable, bis morals most exemplarily pure, and in all his habits, and in all his opinions, there is a charming mixture of patriarchal simplicity and philosophical dignity. My

[ocr errors]

observations upon men have been pretty large, and I believe exact. But I tell you with great sincerity and great confidence that I never knew a scholar so much without affectation, or a man so much without guile as Dr. Craven. Of the share which he takes in the government of the college i have heard little ; but his behaviour is perfectly free from childish pedantry and official arrogance, and his principles will not permit him to beconie a party in base intrigue and wanton oppression. The dean of Ch. Ch. is a man of very different, but of most respectable character ; his attainments in mathematics would not disgrace him even among the rigours of a Cambridge examination, and his classical knowledge is very extensive and very profound. To the best acquisitions of a scholar, he has added the finest manners of a gentleman. He has a large and accurate knowledge of the world. He has a most ardent zeal for the cause of learning, especially in his own society, in the government of which he is vigilant without officiousness, and firm without austerity. Perhaps there is no head of a college in either university who takes so active and successful a share in enforcing the discipline of the society, and superintending both the studies and the morals of the young men. This is a prominent and most illustrious part of Dr. Jackson's character, and gives him a right, not only to obedience and admiration from every member of Ch. Ch., but to reverence and gratitude from every man living who is able to calculate the importance of virtue and learning. I have now stated to you my opinion of the colleges mentioned in your letter, and am sure that you will lead a bappy and an honorable life in either of them, if you go to the university with that spirit of docility and obedience, with that earnest desire of improvement, and that just respect for the experience, wisdom, and authority of those by whom you are to be improved, without which the best institution will be quite unavailing, and with which you will have reason to bless the hour that put you under the auspices of a Craven or a Jackson. Weigh the matter seriously; and, above all things, be upon your guard against the petulant and groundless representations of superficial and conceited young men. I heartily wish you well. Your humble servant.

PARR. Dr. Parr to S. Abney, Esq. upon Ch. Church and St. John's.

Septemb. 1789.

CHAUCER.-A modernization of Chaucer's Tales, and some of his other poems, we have long considered a desideratum. It is in part done by Dryden; admirably in some instances has he reconceived the ideas of the author ; but he in general departs too much from his text, and at any rate has left much to be done. We consider the following a very fair specimen of what is wanted.

THE FRIAR,
Of one of the Mendicant Orders.
Next was a wanton and a jovịal friar,
As wanton as fair saint could well desire.
So fair of speech was this accomplished brother,
All the four orders had not such another :
All ease, and smiles, and complaisance was he;
A noble prop of his fraternity.

His company by all the 'squires * was sought,
For ever some new jest or song he brought :
Great was his favour with good women, too,
And their confessions found him much to do;
For sweetly did he hear them, while detailing
Each graver error and each venal failing;
And sweetly did he use his elocution,
In giving them a pleasant absolution-

In the original, frankeleins, nearly corresponding to our modern term "country gentlemen.”

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

+ These were certain days appointed for the amicable settling of differences among the country people, by the mediation (we suppose) of such pacific spirits as our friar; whose unction seems to have had great virtue on such cases. For a more particular explanation, see Tyrwhitt's edition of the Canterbury Tales.

NEAPOLITAN Prety.–From a little work just published at Bath, called Transalpine Memoirs, we extract the following a good thing." We wish the rest of the volumes were as amusing :

An Italian, not a Neapolitan, and on that account desirous of turning into ridicule whatever is Neapolitan, told me that he had just been hearing a panegyric on St. Januarius. Having brought the saint into beaven, the preacher had begun to consider what place he should there assign to him. “Where shall we put him,” he said ; “ not on the right hand of Almighty God, for there is our Saviour Jesus Christ; not on the left hand, for there is the Blessed Virgin ; not on the right of our Saviour, for there is St. Peter-/" Padre," exclaimed a lazzaroni, rising from his seat, Padre, ecco, poteli metterlo quì, che mene vado.”—“Look, father, you may put him here," pointing to his seat, " for I am going away."

SERIOUS POETRY.—Under this title, a very well selected volume of poetry has just been published. It is a thick well-printed volume, and contains much good verse, and very little trash. As a specimen, we give an affecting poem by Wolfe, the author of the celebrated Elegy on Sir John Moore:

VERSES.

If I had thought thou couldst have died,

I might not weep for thee ;
But I forgot, when by thy side,

That thou couldst mortal be:
It never through my mind had past

The time would e'er be o'er,
And I on thee should look my last !

And thou shouldst smile no more !
And still upon that face I look,

And think 'twill smile again;
And still the thought I will not brook,

That I must look in vain !
But when I speakthou dost not say,

What thou ne'er left'st unsaid;
And now I feel, as well I may,

Sweet Mary! thou art dead!
If thou wouldst stay, e'en as thou art,

All cold and all serene
I still might press thy silent heart,

And where thy smiles have been !
While e'en thy chill, bleak corse I have,

Thou seemest still my own ;
But there I lay thee in thy grave

And I am now alone !
I do not think, who e'er thou art,

Thou hast forgotten me;
And I, perhaps, may sooth this heart,

In thinking too of thee;
Yet there was round thee such a dawn

Of light ne'er seen before,
As fancy never could have drawn,

And never can restore!

The inexorable shears of our printer have cut off the fairest and largest portion of our Magasiniana. Many of our Correspondents, who must lie in the press for a month, would have found themselves honourably commemorated.---Ed.

« PreviousContinue »