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auxiliary Principle, engaged along with other Powers, in the cause of Virtue." See A DisSERTATION ON DUELLING ; &c. By RICHARD HEY, L.L.D. Part vi. Sect. ii. In the first section of this part, the author observes, that “ Honour has been distinguished, * (and, as it seems, with good reason,) into a Motive or Principle of action, and an End or Reward." " A nice sense of Honour is sometimes mentioned as synonimous to a refined sense of Virtue: and men are represented as performing noble and worthy actions from this sense of Ilonour, where the eye of the World cannot observe them, and where not even a single Friend can be admitted as a spectator. This is a noble Principle; but it is to be distinguished from a sense of Virtue, and may be traced up to the Fountain of Opinion or Reputation.
A nice sense of Virtue is that by wbich we make ready and accurate distinctions between what is virtuous and what is vicious : but this is not to be confounded with the Motive which impels us to pursue the Virtue or avoid the Vice. This Motive is in one person the Hope of Reward or Fear of Punishment in this life; in another, it is like the Hope or Fear respecting a future life;
* Adventurer, No. 61.
in a third it is Benevolence joined to a persuasion tbat what he does will contribute to the Good of Mankind; and, (not to attempt a complete enumeration,) in a fourth it is a regard to his Character in the World.”-He afterwards says 66 Attention to such points in particular cases, by frequent repetition, produces an habitual Principle, a Sensibility, which becomes a new Faculty in the mind. And such seems to be the Origin of a sense of Honour.” . These two sections are well worth the perusal of every reader; and the opinions laid down in them make me lament that any thing should be said to the disparagement of Honour as a general Principle.
To the list of profligate Songs must, I fear, be consigned “ Pursuing beauty, men descry" . (p. 243.)
The next to it, (p. 244.)
Whose heart can love without deceit,
To sigh one moment at her feet.
Shew me on earth a thing so rare,
I'll own all miracles are true :
Oh ! 'tis the utmost Heaven can do! is profane towards Heaven, and unjustly debases human nature, or rather the female sex:
debasement which may encourage deceit and falsehood, by representing them as so common, and their opposites as so difficult.
“ Stella and Flavia every hour”, (p. 244.) by Mrs. Pilkington, is at once beautiful and good.
“ Chloris, yourself you so excel,” (p. 245.) by Waller, contains a simile about “ a spirit with his spell”, as if there were such a thing.
In vain, dear Chloe, you suggest", (p. 216.) makes light of a species of inconstancy, and also is too liable to a voluptuous interpretation, though a good deal involved in obscure expressions.
“ Should some perverse malignant star (As envious stars will sometimes shine)” (p. 247.) supports the exploded doctrine of the influence of the stars, on which see before, p. 51. and 265. You end your Collection, Sir, with
Why will Florella, while I gaze”, (p. 249.) and say “ This Song, closed by a beautiful and happy simile, may be regarded as a perfect model of the ingenious class.” If the song be excellent on this account, it appears to me to be deficient in the more valuable ingredients of just sentiment and pure morality.
Towards the end of your Essay on Songwriting (p. xlix.) you say, Sir, “ If I were to
pronounce in what class of those compositions our English song-writers have displayed the greatest degree of excellence, I should say, in that which contains the tender and ardent expression of the amorous passion; and particularly in those which describe the symptoms and indications of love—a topic originally derived from Sappho's celebrated ode, but dwelt upon with much additional detail of circumstances in several of the pieces here inserted. I am mistaken if more truth and delicacy of representation can be met with in the amatory poets of any other language, ancient and modern; and it is pleasing to observe that many of the best specimens are distinguished by an air of sincerity and faithful attachment, equally remote from licentious heat and from frivolous gallantry.'
In these sentiments, Sir, I am sorry that I cannot agree with you; the object of this work is to prove the contrary, and I think that I have shewn that there is in the Songs in your
Volume little of the tender and ardent expression of the amorous passion, little truth and delicacy of representation, little of the air of sincerity and faithful attachment, but much of licentious heat and frivolous gallantry. Many of them are of that description of “ am'rous ditties”
which Milton mentions as having “ Infected Sion's daughters”. (Par. Lost, B. i. 1. 449. See also B. xi. 1. 580-627.)
Should I be so fortunate as to convince you of this, and induce you to publish a Collection of a different kind, I should be truly happy at the effect of my labours; but, if not, I hope my remarks may weigh with your readers, and prove an antidote against the poison which I conceive the present volume to contain.
With this hope, Sir, in its fullest extent, I conclude my Letter, and remain,
With great respect,