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will owe us as little as we owe it. Ah, if G. Mr. Johnson is no mere translator, I one could only rise from the grave in 1839, promise you. His poem is rather a transfuand search the booksellers' shops to see sion of Juvenalian vis vitae into modern whether anything of Walpole or Gray be veins; such a satire as the old Roman bimstill on sale! To poor aspiring authors, pos- self would have written had he been a subterity is what eternity is to Addison's Cato ject of his most sacred majesty the second -a "pleasing, dreadful thought!" I won-George. der what our great-grandchildren will think W Why, child, you've discovered anof Pope and Arbuthnot, of Brooke's trage other star in the heavens. dies and Coventry's dialogues. Unless they're G. A fixed one, depend on't; and one greater fools than I suppose they'll be—one that you may see with the naked
without may speak disrespectfully of one's juniors, telescope or glasses. who are not even going to be born for so con- W. Your vision is perhaps too keen. Some siderable a time to come-they will cancel eyes, you know, see in the dark; but we're many a literary verdict of our day ; raising not all gifted after that feline fashion; and the beggar from the dungbill, where we leave meanwhile, Mr. -a-a-a—Johnson—is it? him, to be a companion of princes, and low---must try and wait. If he be no falling ering some of our great Apollos to silent star he need not be in a hurry, but can go contempt.
on shining till we have time to look at him. W. Why, plenty of authors have come to G. His light won't go out yet, never fear. this pass in our own experience, whom Pope's As for seeing stars in the dark, I don't suppose “ Dunciad” has at once stripped of immor- that faculty is peculiar to me. When else tality and immortalized. Every generation should we notice them? This one will probproduces plenty more--people who make a ably be gazetted in the astronomical tables noise and pother for a few brief moons, and of Parnassus a hundred years hence. then either die a violent death, like Mr. W. In that case the year 1839 ought to Pope's victims, by a sort of justifiable homi- have a record of Mr. Gray's prediction as cide, or else perish from natural causes, the well as Mr. Johnson's sign in the zodiac. most natural in the world.
How would “ London” go down here at G. There's rather a dearth at present in Paris ? Is it smart enough to take with the our home-literature. Poetry seems to have readers of Messieurs Boileau and Voltaire ? sunk with the Jacobites
Mr. Pope is already a prodigious favorite W. Heaven forbid they should rise again here, and the French are capital judges of together!
satire. G. Spoken like thy father's son. The best G. Mr. Johnson is too smart for them thing I have seen lately is a satire called “Lon that is, against them: he rails quite angrily don," said to be by a young fellow named against the "supple Gaul,” declaring that Johnson, who writes for the magazines. It was published last year, and ought to be bet- Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay, ter known than it is, being very terse and
On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can ’scapeenergetic; every line in it is well-loaded,
They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or and goes off with a sharp report that you must listen to.
W. Child, child ! c'est effroyable ! ReW. The satire's a sort of translation from member the Bastile. Surely you believe in Juvenal—isn't it? I've had it in my hands exempts ? And if stone walls have ears, without reading it.
mercy on us ! what must they have ?
POWERFUL EFFECT OF IMAGINATION. several bottles of water, which had such an When the waters of Glastonbury were at the effect, that she soon laid aside one crutch, height of their reputation, in 1751, the follow- and not long after the other. This was exing story was told by a gentleman of charac- tolled as a most miraculous cure, but the man ter:-An old woman of the workhouse at protested to his friends that he had imposed Yeoril, who had long been a cripple and upon her, and fetched water from an ordimade use of crutches, was strongly inclined nary spring. I need not inform my reader, to drink of the Glastonbury waters, which that the force of imagination had spent itself, she was assured would cure her lameness. and she relapsed into her former infirmity.-The master of the workhouse procured her Blackwood's Magazine.
"From Fraser's Ma ga zine.
Some years have now elapsed since our , Arran Quay, in the metropolis of Ireland ; readers were gratified by the publication of but his health being very delicate, and a tenthe Correspondence of the Right Honorable dency to consumption having shown itself, Edmund Burke, between the years 1744 and he was after some years removed to his the period of his decease in 1797. The let- grandfather's residence at Castle Town ters have now taken their place among the Roche. As of nearly all young geniuses, literary treasures that we owe to the distintales have been related about his love of guished man by whom they were written ; | learning, and his superiority to the children and they form an excellent supplement to among whom he was placed. His brother his great works. They were edited without Richard always declared that Edmund had the least affectation by Earl Fitzwilliam and monopolized all the talent of the family; and Sir Richard Bourke, and the public were that while the other children were always told, for the first time, the reason why the playing, he was always reading. The boy manuscripts which Burke was known to have was father of the man; seldom, indeed, it left had not sooner been given to the was when the statesman was not busy. How world.
long he remained at Castle Town is not very Executors, like other men, must pay the well known, but it seems probable that five tribute of mortality. Dr. Lawrence and the years was the period. He then returned to Bishop of Rochester both died before they Dublin, and shortly afterwards was sent to had finished their labor of love. The manu- Ballitore. Here his acquaintance with the scripts were then taken into the care of the Shackletons commenced. Nothing is more late Earl Fitzwilliam; but he, too, died ; and honorable to Burke than the manner in which it was not until Burke had been sleeping he preserved, during all the brilliant scenes peacefully for almost fifty years in the of his life, the sacred remembrance of his church of Beaconsfield, that his letters saw school-days and of his boyish friendships. the light.
When the whole world was ringing with It is needless to say that they confirmed the fame of the great orator, his heart still the impression of his character that all judi. yearned towards the places and the compancious readers of his works must have enter- ions of his early days. Proud and unbendtained. They had, however, scarcely been | ing to some of the great political leaders of well read and considered before the world his time, he never was otherwise than kind, was astonished by another French revolu- frank, and unassuming to the humble Richtion. From France this democratic spirit ard Shackleton, the old steward, and his spread with the rapidity of electricity over poor relations. all Europe, and no country was free from its After spending some years at Ballitore, he effects. "It turned the minds of all thinkers entered Trinity College, at the age of fifteen. back upon the history of the last seventy of his college life not much is known, alyears, and kindled a fresh interest in the though some of his admirers will have it writings of Edmund Burke. To some peo- that his academical career was highly disple it might seem that the value of his spec- tinguished. He certainly was elected a ulations had diminished, while to others it scholar in 1746; but it does not appear that might appear that his wisdom was more and he was considered anything more than an more proved. It cannot, therefore, be ordinary, clever young man,
steady in dispodeemed unnecessary, or of little consequence, sition, and ardent in the pursuit of knowif after the lapse of many years, we endeavor ledge. to give an impartial consideration to the He was of course a dabbler in poetry; and writings of this great man.
his biographer, Mr. Prior, as usual with bioEdmund Burke was born in a house on graphers, thinks that his verses have great merit. His translation of the conclusion of there was a theatre as noble as any that the second " Georgic” is much better done Greece and Rome offered in their proudest than most of our college prize translations ; days. William Pitt was at that time the but it is ridiculous to consider his poetical most brilliant orator; and all that he was he effusions as anything more than good aca
had made himself by his eloquence and demical verses. Every year such rhymes patriotism. The political world, indeed, was are abundantly poured out; and every year, not very stirring. The reign of the Pelhams after being read by admiring friends and re- was undisturbed. The very name of opposilations, they are forgotten, or are only brought tion appeared to be forgotten. Garrick had out on family anniversaries from the treasu- just become manager of Drury Lane ; Reyries of kind aunts or of exulting grand nolds was busy at his easel ; Fielding strugmammas.
gling with a broken constitution, and a not He seems to have acquired a good stock very honorable name ; and brave Samuel of miscellaneous knowledge; but he did not Johnson residing in a humble dwelling in differ much from his fellow-students. We Gough-square, and writing the Rambler for are told of his great love for English authors, his daily bread. and it is not our intention to question the All the young stranger's enthusiasm for sincerity of his love. It is certain, however, the living did not prevent him from paying that his learning was too much the learning more than one visit to the resting-place of of colleges ; that for a thinker so great and the illustrious dead. He stood among the original he showed not much discrimination. monuments in Westminster Abbey, and unThis even was characteristic of his later utterable thoughts flashed across his mind. years. Burke often quoted Shakspeare, and After life's fitful fever, the statesman and often praised him; but he never showed author sleep well! The struggles, the enmuch reverence for the greatest of all dra- mities, the heart-breakings, the rivalries, matists. His favorite author was Milton, the aspirations influence no longer; poverty, whom he placed at the head of English liter- misery, abasement are at length vanquished, ature. With him, however, he classed an and a peaceful halo of glory is resting on author of very inferior merit. He loved their graves. Young so much, that he is said to have been On describing some of his sensations to his able to repeat nearly all the Nighi Thoughts early correspondent, two or three sentences, by heart. Nay, he went even further than exquisitely characteristic of Burke's habits this in his admiration. On a fly-leaf of the and feelings, fell from bis pen. Even then, volume which he used to carry about with with all his ambition and enthusiasm, he had him, he wrote :
no desire to sleep in the great Abbey; and
this love for a more humble grave continued “ Jove claimed the verse old Homer sung,
during the whole of his long, arduous, and But God himself inspired Young."
glorious career. He was always a lover of
his household gods and family fireside ; and On the 23d of April, 1747, bis name was declared that the prospect of a quiet grave entered at the Middle Temple; and in 1750 among his kinsmen, in a little country churchhe left Ireland, with the ostensible purpose yard, was to him more pleasing than the of keeping his law terms in London.
proud mausoleum of a Capulet. A very interesting letter to one of his Little is known about his proceedings duryoung friends is in existence, and from it we ing the first year of bis residence in London. learn his first impressions of England. His declared object, of course, was the study
The young adventurer soon found, how of the law; and, perhaps, for some time, he ever, that learning and genius were little may have thought that he was fulfilling his patronized, and that he must work his own father's wishes by acquiring a good stock of way. In rather bombastic language we find legal knowledge; but, as is the case with him declaring, that the fine arts still flour many imaginative minds, the charms of ished; that poetry raised her enchanting literature proved too seductive; and his voice to heaven ; that history arrested the heart, never much attached to the less enwings of Time; that philosophy, the queen gaging mistress, soon forsook her for her of arts and daughter of heaven, daily ex- more attractive rival. His health, too, was tended her empire; that fancy was sporting not so robust as it afterwards became; and on airy wings ; and that metaphysics spun this, perhaps, might appear to him a sufher cobwebs. The House of Commons raised ficient excuse for allowing many a legal folio strong emotions in his breast. He felt that I to gather dust upon his shelves. His vaca
tions were generally spent in excursions | Yet Burke was more enthusiastic, more about the country. His terms fast succeeded chivalrous, more imaginative, more impaseach other; but whatever may have been sioned at seventy than at twenty-five. All the reason, and however much his poor father the splendid visions of youth played round may have been disappointed, it is certain, the death-bed of the gray-haired old man. that after passing the usual time at his legal To him the world was still beautiful, life was studies, he was not called to the bar, and noble drama, love and truth were not that law was soon afterwards abandoned. mere names. At all times he was open, Burke became a man without a profession. straightforward, and manly; but it was only He cut every cable that bound him to the as years rolled on, and time marked the moorings of his youth ; and leaving the com- wrinkles on the philosopher's brow, that his mon track, by which a safe and sure voyage sterling qualities were richly decorated with might be effected, the young adventurer the graces of humanity. At twenty-five, he launched out alone, on an unknown sea, with had to fight his way to power and glory; out any guidance but his own brave heart, at seventy, honor and fame were his in an and his ardent and enterprising soul. abundant measure.
He had had rather an It is not known what were the subjects earnest game to play, yet he had played it that first employed his pen. They were, like a man : he had seen much of baseness, doubtless, of little consequence, or they cowardice, and perfidy, yet his heart had not would not have been suffered to pass into become cold, his sympathies for his fellowoblivion. We hasten to his first important man were not languid. Around the bed on publication.
which he was dying, the echoes of a mighty In the year 1756, the Vindication of earthquake were heard, a great change was Natural Society was published. This work, coming upon the nations, and each man the first of Burke's acknowledged produc- seemed determined to do that which was tions, deserves a more attentive consideration right in his own eyes. The fire of the old than it has generally received. It has often statesman glowed in its ashes. Over the been said that the fruits of his mind ripened whole world his voice resounded, and all before the blossoms appeared, that his early ears were turned to listen, some in wonder, works were cold and unimpassioned, while, some in fear, some in admiration at the brilas he grew older, his style became more liant death-notes of that “ old man elodeclamatory, and his eloquence more gor-quent." geous. This is, undoubtedly, in some re- Circumstances undoubtedly have a great spects true; although this imitation of effect
upon A minute's delay at a railBoling broke proves it not to be so unre-way station may permanently influence the servedly true as it has been asserted. Burke history of years. It would be a great error did not resemble Bacon so much in this men- to imagine that Burke's eloquence, passion, tal characteristic, as in others of much more and declamation were the effect of some importance.
mental growth, that only attained perfection If we look only at the Essay on the during his later years. This Vindication of Sublime and Beautiful, and compare it with Natural Society is not, in many passages, the Reflections on the French Revolution, different from the Letters on a Regicide there is, indeed, a most striking difference in Peace, so far as mere style is considered. the style of the two celebrated works. The It would seem to indicate that Burke had first was written in the author's youth, the several styles which he could wield at will; latter in his old age: how strange, then, it and that he sometimes adopted one, and has been said, is the mental phenomenon sometimes another, as he thought it might that is here exhibited ! Youth is generally best answer his present purpose. No author the time of imagination, of passion, of love, could ever write with more fervid eloquence, of poetry, of eloquence; old age the period no author could ever write with more purity when the judgment is matured, when the and simplicity. Of his simple style, the passions have subsided, when poetry, rheto- Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our ric, enthusiasm, and all the glittering dreams Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, written, of early days, charm us no longer, when the it has been said, about the age of twenty, world has lost its attractions, when the fresh- and the Observations on a late State of the ness of its colors has passed away, when one Nation, written about the age of thirty-nine, illusion after another has left us, and we are examples. The Vindication of Natural smile bitterly and sadly at many things that Society, written at twenty-five, and the Letonce appeared noble, beautiful, and true. I ter to a Noble Lord, written at sixty-six, are
specimens of his more brilliant and rhetorical authors have been born, grown to maturity, composition.
died, been wept, and been nearly forgotten. No man better understood the art of writ- The golden balls have been tossed from ing. He on one occasion said, that “ without hand to hand, yet the angels may weep and much pretension to literature himself, he had the fiends chuckle, to see us still playing at aspired to the love of letters.” The reason our little game. of this humility was obvious. Burke had a Burke has been often accused of incon fine sense of the becoming ; but he was, insistency. The principles of his youth and deed, a master of style. Whoever wants to of bis manhood have been considered directly know the various capabilities of the English opposed to those of his old age. Some of language, should study Swift and Burke. ( his admirers themselves, while admitting this, They are both great English writers, per- have endeavored to justify him for standing haps the only authors of whom we can say aghast at the spectacle that France presented with truth, that their prose is perfect. For as the snows of age were falling upon his Addison, with all his idiomatic graces, seldom head. As far as it relates to his political has much vigor; and Johnson, though for- opinions, this inconsistency will be afterwards cible enough, has his dignified strut every considered, but the Vindication of Natural where intruding upon the scene, and disturb- Society is itself sufficient to show that the ing the emotions he would excite. Hume philosophy and metaphysics of the young loved Frenchmen and French literature so writer were the same as those of the old much, that while he attained in his own statesman. This pamphlet breathes the writing much of the precision and polish of same spirit as the Letter to a Member of the Voltaire, he never stirs the blood with true Nationul Assembly, and, indeed, of all the English eloquence; and Gibbon, with more most brilliant writings of his later years. real English feeling than Hume, has all the It is true, that the deistical opinions of the pomposity of Johnson, and all the Frenchi- French philosophers were not so prevalent fied affectation of his brother historian and in 1756 as they were in 1794, that the Conskeptic. True English writing is really a trat Social and the Nouvelle Héloise had not very scarce article; and, what with orators yet borne fruit; but the state of nature that and German philosophers, it seems every Rousseau panegyrized, and the evils of civday getting scarcer than ever. Oh, for the ilization that he exaggerated, are ridiculed in English of Shakspeare, and of our good old this masterly essay with as much sincerity, Bible!
if not with the same passionate energy, as But it is not the style alone that makes when his mind was full of frightful presentithis little piece of philosophical irony so pe- ments, at the sin, misery, and bloodshed that culiarly interesting. Burke appears here seemed destined to devastate the world. very much in the same light as he does in As an imitation, too, the essay is perfect; his Reflections on the French Revolution. it is the very mind of Bolingbroke. It is When he thus in bis youth ridiculed the well known, that it was for some time beparadoxes of Boling broke, he little knew lieved to be the production of the versatile what was fermenting in men's minds, what peer, and that Mallet, the editor of his terrible events were approaching, what a works, went to Dodsley's shop, at a time hideous shape this miscalled philosophical when it was crowded with literary men, to spirit would assume. The old saw tells us disavow it as the authorship of his patron. that the playthings of children are neglected A few months after the publication of this in boyhood, and laughed at in manhood; essay, an unpretending little volume, at the but the philosophic toy of Burke's youth price of three shillings, was advertised. This waxed great, and became the bloody monster was the famous Enquiry into the Origin of that made him tremble as he descended in a our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful. It green old age to the tomb. How little we did much to advance his reputation as a know what the revolution of seasons may writer. In his own times, it was considered mature ! how little cause we have to put even by such men as Johnson as a model of faith in our boasted reason! Fifty years! philosophical criticism ; while in ours, it has fifty years! where shall we all be—where been often spoken of with contempt, as quite shall the world be in fifty years ? What a unworthy of the great political philosopher. spectacle Europe presented when this nine- Yet it is still published in collections of teenth century commenced ! A different English classics, and uneducated people who drama, and yet the same, is now in progress. have never heard anything of the Reflections Monarchs, dynasties, statesmen, generals, I on the French Revolvtion, at least know that