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and bravery, &c. separately personified, and attempted to be brought to the eye in one group
: hence also, the uncongenial epithet, the colloquial vulgarism, and frequent anti-climax.
I wrote to Longinus the morning after otir breakfast-consultations, in which we endeavoured to improve and elevate this ill-executed work against a subsequent edition. In this letter to L., I stated some of my purposed alterations ; but there was no making a fine poem from such crude materials. At least, however, my proud heart swelled to convince him, that no haste could have betrayed me into suffering such lines to pass the press, as I had tried to mend.
Dr W. is excessively desirous, that this composition should be made as good as the stock of ideas on which it is written will permit. I desired his permission to repeat to him your ode to Howard, since no degree of familiarity with its beauties can pall the delight of reconsidering them in a heart like his. The sensibility he shewed as I read, recompensed the fatigue of criticising, and of trying to bring into shape that abortive work, which presumes to take the same ground.
What a beautiful idea is yours of a lamp, which should shed around the statue of Howard a splendid and perpetual light! I should like to have
the office of guarding it from extinction.-Priestess to the lamp of benevolence! Such an appointment might exalt, to some degree of dignity, the derided state of stale maidenhood.
No, indeed, not mine, the very able Johnsonian Analysis in the European Magazine. Pray inform Longinus of my disavowal.
I am glad you so warmly admire my favourite Caroline de Lichfield ; that work, which abounds in situations which make curiosity gasp, admiration kindle, and pity dissolve. This novel is a unique of its kind, and neither imitates or resembles any other. We shall see plenty written in imitation of it, but they will be worthless.
I knew nothing of the publication of those sweet lines you sent me on the card inclosed in the pocket-book Mrs Hayley worked for me. It is true they have been shewn with pride and pleasure, whenever that pocket-book was noticed and admired; but I do not recollect having ever given any copy; nor would I, without their author's leave, have consented to their publication, however I might wish to shelter myself from the abuse of my writings in the European Magazine, and English Review, beneath the bright and invulnerable armour of Mr Hayley's praise.
Giovanni and I often execrate together the malicious author of that invective in the Gentleman's Magazine for June, upon a certain work, which, however we might, in some respects, have wished otherwise, no more deserves such censure, than the lightnings which dart in our hemisphere, and which are not without their danger, deserve to be classed as an evil with the baneful explosions of Mount Etna..
Mrs Knowles brought hither her admirable stage-coach manuscript. The adventure was fortunately ludicrous for the amusement of her friends; but most unfortunately so, for the selfconsequence of Dr * Bamble-Bee. What admirable fun has she made of his epicurism, his spleen, and his cullibility! Adieu !
THE REV. DR WARNER.
Lichfield, Oct. 13, 1786. The suspicion of being blandished into vanity, has more colour on my side than on yours;
since, in a friendship between an unlearned female and a man of education, knowledge, and science, it is easy to see on which side the honour lies :—but of such a design, I trust we are neither of us seriously disposed to suspect each other. There are circumstances and situations in which the minds of two people become more completely unveiled in a few hours, than they would perhaps be in more than as many years of ordinary intercourse.'. The thrice amiable and noble design, which you pursue with so much ardour, proves to me, that your heart is ingenuous, warm, and affectionate. It is to such that mine feels affianced.
Too justly does Mr Selwyn call this the marble age, so polished ! so cold! It is sick of the disease of not admiring; and that morbid ennui is epidemic amongst us; but I think you and I are not infected. We may be subject to other maladies ; but that indurated plague-spot is not upon us.
Nothing was ever more absurd, than opposing the inferior virtues of Hanway to those of Howard. I hope I am not uncharitable; but I can scarcely think the man genuinely good, who seemed to fancy his own comparatively feeble exertions, had equal right to public gratitude with those of the matchless philanthrophic hero. Han
way was too surely jealous of the expanding fame of him, whose excellence seems the most powerful emanation of deity that was ever shed on the human spirit. We must take care, that the wit of
friend about the monument and the statue running a race, does not transpire. Ennui would take up the fancy with a cold smile, saunter with it to her sister Caricature, and mischief would ensue; for blighting is the effect of ridicule upon public sensibility
Fanatics have almost always cold hearts. Mr Cowper, whose poetic talents have such glowing and creative powers, professes himself, in the Task, a contemner of all praise, which has not Deity for its exclusive object. The plain meaning of what he says on the subject is just this ; “ You fools, with your jubilee for your Shakespeare, and your commemoration for your Handel! What is it to you, that one was the first poet, the other the first musician in the world? What is it to you, if one employed his talents in promoting the moral virtues, and the other in exciting the spirit of devotion ? Neither of them can get you a better place in Heaven. Away, then, with your idle disinterested encomiums and ho
Praise only Him who can permanently reward your praises." These are the maxims of