« ZurückWeiter »
now at the mercy of the world, and cannot be recalled. They stand before the impartial reader with all their imperfections; and from them will the Author's humble capacity for Essay-writing be judged, in spite of all he can say. Some woader at his rashness; some sneer at his stupidity; and many, who never tried themselves what it is to proceed in so perilous a task, are surprised at the utter failure of his attempts.
The Auther, morbidly alive as his first feelings are to disappointment or neglect, has learned to endure, with tolerable fortitude, the consequences of committing himself to the public view, and if he cannot always sufficiently moderate his emotions at insult or neglect, nor suddenly recover from the blight of ungenereus discouragement, he has taught his mind to subside gradually into a calmness which can abide the results of his adventrous love of fame. Some friends he has the satisfaction of knowing that he has secured by these Essays, and of some noble minds he has had the good fortune to acquire the praise, whose approbation replaces him in humour with himself, and makes him amends for many mortifications.
To Mr. Löfft The RUMINATOR is indebted for some pieces of valuable poetry. One other friend only has he to thank for aid in these Essays. To the nephew and biographer of a lady of celebraied learning and genius lately deceased he is obliged for several papers composed at his desire, which, if not the most numerous, are the most valuable of the series.
For the fate of those which remain, the writer cannot suppress his solicitude; for from them it will probably hereafter be determined, whether he has justly aspired to some qualities of the mind, of which the deficiency
will hereafter cloud the recollection of him which he is so anxious should survive the grave.
May 21, 1809.
ART. XVI. Literary Obituary.
1809. Feb. 15. Mr. James Smith Barr, translator of Buf. fon's Natural History.
March 5. In Patrick-Square, Edinburgh, Mr. William Browne, projector and Editor of “ The Edinburgh Weekly Journal."
March 11. Mrs. Cowley, at Tiverton, Devon, an eminent dramatic writer.
March 23. At his house in Clipstone-street, London, after a lingering and painful illness, Mr. Thomas Holcroft, author of “ Hugh Trevor," “ The Road to Ruin,” and a number of other works. He was in his 61st year.
March 25. “At the Episcopal Palace of Lichfield, in her sixty-sixth year, Miss Anna Seward, author of Louisa, of A Monody on Major André, of a Life of Dr. Darwin, and of various other productions. Few exhibited more strength of intellect or more delicacy of taste. Her poetry is particularly distinguished by beauty of imagery and vigour of sentiment. She has sometimes been thought affectedly elaborate; but her pictures are never indistinct, and the whole is exquisitely finished. In critical acumen she was always unrivalled; and no latent excellence nor defect could escape her observation. She had the poet's taste and the poet's eye. In her moral temperament there was no ill-nature, no malignity; notbing selfish, nothing base. She was generous without ostentation; but she was generous in the extreme. She was fond of praise; but she was liberal in bestowing it. Her friends were very numerous; and they composed no small part of the virtue and genius of the times. Taste so refined, sentiments so elevated, affections 50 glowing with kindness, and worth so void of guile, have seldom been conveyed, in the person of the same individual, to the silent tomb." Such is the character given of her genius in one of the Newspapers; but there may be some reasonable difference of opinion on the style of her poetry, and the purity of her taste. She was sometimes happy in her efforts, but generally laboured, and often affected. She loved cumbrous ornament; and surely indulged too frequently in the artifices and tricks of composition, which have marked mo. dern versifiers. Whenever her feelings rose above her rules she did well, but her judgment in the art of writing may be fairly suspected to have been very faulty. Her fancy was strong; and her powers of description original and splendid. Her first publications were her best ; and indeed so much superior to her last, as to form a subject of rational wonder. But neither space nor time will allow me to discuss these points any farther at present.
Feb. 20. At Perth, in Scotland, Mr. James Morison, æt. 47, author of the “ Billiotheca Sacra," a Di&ionary of the Bible, &c. &c.
March 28. John Goldie, Esq. aged 84, at Kilmarnock, Scotland, author of a voluminous work, entitled The Gospel Recovered, and of A Treatise upon the Evidences of a Deity, published a few months before his death.
May 14. Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, aged about seventy-nine, author of several well known works. Few men have enjoyed so very long and so very justly an equal portion of the public esteem and affe&ion as the late Bishop of London. His rare merits as a scholar, a teacher, an individual in the circles of social life, and a poet, gifted with the finest attributes of fancy and taste, were acknowledged and admired for more than half a century. As a politician he uniformly rallied round the throne, without, however, VOL. X.
ever departing from that moderation which should form the chief ornament of a Christian Prelate. As a preacher, he was deservedly popular; his manner was siinple and impressive, his style elegant and chaste, and his do&rine sound without undue severity, or still more reprehensible indulgence to the follies and vices of the age. He oftener mounted the pulpit than any of his mitred brethren; as not satisfied with preaching on the Sabbath-day, he commenced, in 1797, on Fridays, a course of lectures at St. James's Church, on the truth of the Gospel, and the Divinity of Christ's Mission, which being delivered in tones of the most simple and persuasive elegance, attracted a vast concourse of auditors. As an author, be published, besides his University prize-works, and the Sermon on the Character of David, a letter, written while Bishop of Chester, addressed to the parishioner's of Lambeth, exhorting them to observe Good Friday religiously, two volumes of Sermons, the aforesaid Lectures, and several charges and small religious tracts. As a private character, he was mild and unostentatious, gifted with the most conciliating and amiable qualities, of a cheerful disposition, and ever ready to listen to and relieve the wants and afflictions of his fellow-creatures. His religious moderation, the benevolence of his nature, and his universal philanthropy, procured him the good will of every class, of every sect, of every party, and of every rank and denomination.
May 16. In the seventy-eighth year of her age, Mrs, Anna Maria Smart, of Reading, relict of Christopher Smart, M.A. of Pembroke-Hall, Cambridge, sister to the late Mr. Thomas Carnan, and upwards of forty years principal proprietor of the Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazette. A woman,'the virtues of whose heart, in all relations of life, whether to her kindred or her friends, proved her to be a friend to the friendless.
Blackstone, Sir Willaim, 84
Bloomfield, noble lines by him on hio
Mother's spindle, 91
Brand, Rev. John, ob. 223
Brathwait's Nursery for Gentry, 138
Brian, Alex, 59
New Testament into Latin Hexame-
Brooke, Christopher, praised by Browne,
Browne, praised by Drayton, 214
Browne, William, his praifes of old
Butler's Remains, 328
Jones, 274 ; exitacts, 275
Byrd's Collection, Songs from, 187
Psalıns, Sonnets, and Songs, 281 ;
extracts, 282 to 290
Camden, Earl, 84
L.D. ob. 331
Campion, Mr. report of the death and
Cardigan, Robert Earl of, 195
Careies, John, praise of, 100
Carew, Bumpfield Moore, 337
Carol, an old, 187
Casaubon, Dr. 307