« НазадПродовжити »
much labour and refinement, and Thus instructing and amusing the which arises also from the want of public, and improving the minds of those flights of fancy, and blazes of youth, did Mr Richardson pass the feeling, by which the soul is enrap- greatest and most important part of tureel and its attention sustained. T his life. Very rarely was this che
In 1812, Mr Richardson produced quered by any remarkable incident. his great work, that for which he Occasionally, indeed, he relieved its is most esteemed at the present day, uniformity by a visit to England, and on which his claims to future where he was known to the learned. fame must chiefly rest, the last edi- As a member, too, of the General tion of his Essays on Shakespeare, Assembly of our National Church, he containing, besides those separate por- frequently had occasion to be in Edintions already mentioned, an “ Essay burgh. In this intellectual city he on Shakespeare's Representation of found congenial society, particularly National Characters, illustrated in that that of his friends, Lord Craig and of Fluellen; together with Two Ori- Mr Henry Mackenzie, with the latginal Letters from Mr Burke, consist- ter of whom he generally on those ing of Observations on Shakespeare, occasions " spent at least one day, and other Literary Subjects.” His when their conversation chiefly turnintention in this work is to make poet- ed on subjects of literature and critiry subservient to philosophy, and to cism." His extensive correspondence, employ it in tracing the principles of also, afforded him a variation of emhuman conduct. Yet he does not, ployment. Among the number of his with this view, like his predeces- correspondents were the author of the sor in the same path, Lord Kames Man of Feeling ; Grettin, Dean of
cify Shakespeare, or bestow on Hereford; Samuel Rose, the friend him papat infallibility. He does not of Cowper; Dr Charters, minister of from this poet collect certain im- Wilton, and one of his most particumutable principles of truth, to which lar friends; and Dr Anderson of Edinour conduct must be conformed; burgh. Respeeting the occasion of but he evinces, from personal oh his connection with one of these gervation, and by illustrations from friends, Hayley, in his Life of Cowhuinan life, how natural the charac- per, says, “ Samuel Rose was sent in ters, incidents, and circumstances, are 1784 to Glasgow; there he resided in in the works of our great dramatist. the house of Professor Richarelson, a The ideas and language of the poet lead philosopher and a poet-amiable in him, by association, into fertile fields every character, and so just to the of philosophical discussion. When we merits of youth, that a friendship and add, that Mr Richardson's work tends correspondence commeneed between to enlarge our acquaintance with the the tutor and his pupil, which termifaculties and principles of the human nated only with the life of the latter." mind, --with the laws of writing and But this long, elegant, and useful taste, with the import and merits of life, was now approaching its close. a great and popular author,---and with In 1814, Mr Richardson had comthe theory and practice of morality, menced, as usual, the business of the we must be convinced of the utility Session, had taught his class for some of his plan, and of the importance of weeks, and appeared to enjoy better the service which he has performed. * health than for a long time before.
During the latter part of his life he
had been much subject to the gout, * Besides the more prominent produc- the fits of which at last, recurring tions of Mr Richardson's pen which have more frequently, and with greater sebeen considered, the following may be verity, greatly weakened him. In his merely mentioned: “ Memoir of the Rev. Dr Craig,” in the Biographia Britannica. " Essay on the Origin of Superstition, il. the method observed by himself in teaching lustrated in the Mythology of the Poems of Latin. He has left a work on Figurative Ossian,” which was read in the Literary Language, prepared for the press, of which Society, and afterwards appended to Dr there is reason to think that the publication Graham's Essay on the Authenticity of the cannot diminish his reputation, but will Poems of Ossian. Some Reviews, Essays, rather exhibit, to more advantage than any &c. in the Edinburgh Magazine and Re- of his former writings, his extensive readview. A small posthumous publication on ing and research.
usual state of health, however, he at- and engaging in an employment more tended a meeting of the Faculty on dignified, rational, intellectual, and Wednesday the 26th of October ; but congenial, he could expand himself, on the following day he was attacked to meet the capacities of his auditory, by his habitual distemper, which, in- in the freedom of disquisition and ils creasing soon to a degree of excessive lustration in which he delighted and painfulness, disclosed symptoms of excelled. It was in this province of his coming dissolution. Through the office that he frequently charmed his whole attack he exhibited great forti- audience by his beautiful theories, by tude, uttering not a murmur or com- the admirable manner in which he unplaint. When near his end, the in- folded, and transfused into his native tensity of his sufferings seemed to re- language, the beauties of Latin story, lax, and he was able to see and con- sentiment, and idiom, by eloquent verse with his relations, and to ar- and pleasing illustrations, by a sprightrange his secular affairs. He expres- ly humour, an understanding finely sed, about this time, his firm belief cultivated, and a taste which was nice in the truths of our holy religion, and ly chastened ; and by the elegancies an earnest desire of obtaining the fa- of a choice phraseology, and of a vour of God, and the happiness of graceful elocution. heaven, blessings, for the enjoyment in private society, he displayell of which he rested his prayers and himself to great advantage. Though hopes on the infinite merits and me- in companies of a mixed kind, or diation of the Divine Redeemer. On where the persons were not so famiThursday morning, the 3d of Novem- liar to him, he was easy and elegant ber, about two o'clock, he exchanged in conversation, yet he was especially this life for another, and, it is hoped, so in his own house, where, freed a better. "His passage into the other from restraint, he poured forth a world,” to use the words of an inti- stream of rich, fluent, and correct dicmate acquaintance,“ was placid, and tion, in which close reasoning, ingemight, in respect of his hopes, as ex- nious remark, and beautiful illustrapressed to one of his friends, be com- tion, were uniformly conveyed to the pared to one retiring from a scene, in delighted listener. When he indulwhich he had completed his part, into ged in sallies of humour, they were another, where he trusted he would divested of satirical poignancy, were enjoy the favour of an all-gracious seasoned with good-nature, and might God, through the merits of that Sa- in fact be termed pleasantry. Nemo viour with whom he had early and unquum urbanitate, nemo lepore, nelong been acquainted."
mo suavitate conditior. He had a in delineating the character of Mr double advantage in conversation. Richardson, we shall consider it only He was a philosopher, and therefore in a personal and professional point of sensible and judicious; being a poet, view, as the observations already made he was consequently fanciful and eloon his separate works may suffice to quent. In no person's conversation shew what he was as an author. perhaps, have these two characters
As a teacher, Mr Richardson un- been more happily united to produce doubtedly possessed no inconsiderable an excellent converser. His convermerit. In the public class, where strict sational talents produced no rapture, discipline was requisite, he was severe indeed, nor sublimity of emotion; without sternness, dignified, and im- but they delighted, they charmed. partial. The plan which he followed There was a simplicity and chastity, has been questioned, but it appeared to a propriety and grace in his expreshim, no doubt, to be the best, and it sions, which made his manner of saycertainly was faithfully, ably, and pro- ing, like his way of doing, anything, fitably followed up. In the private irresistibly fascinating. These, with class, however, he was more in his his politeness of address and extensive element. He took peculiar delight, knowledge of the world, contributed it is said, in this department of his to render him, perhaps, one of the duty, and it was here unquestionably most polished men, one of the comthat he shone. Feeling, probably, the pletest gentlemen of his age. He had consciousness of his merit being here nothing of the pedant about him. He properly appreciated, disengaged from was superior in his manners to those the drudgery of drilling mere boys, who excelled him in general know
ledge, and he surpassed the mere man tation. Should many not have it in of the world both in graceful and their power to be useful to young men . in more substantial qualifications. . in pecuniary matters, or should the
His taste was exquisite. . It was latter, from a principle of independcomposed of a most correct judgment, ence, and from feelings of delicacy, and refined sensibility. He was acute not choose to accept of such assistance, and ready, almost intuitively so, in there are a thousand other ways in discerning what was faulty or not which aid can be afforded to those pleasing in writing or conduct. This who, though possessing high merit, quality was improved by his study of are struggling with difficulties. Even those authors who have successively the notice and approbation of an older given law to men in matters of fine man, eminent in the walks of literature, writing. By their rules he was per- and in a superior station of life, is haps too much trammelled, especially most grateful and encouraging to the in his poetry, in which every thing is young beginner in the course of learnsometimes so much refined, that the ing; imparting to him a rapture and sense is frittered away, or suspended an impulse, which surmount difficul. on the smallest modification of a term. ties, which gladden his heart, which The constant endeavour to square one's gild his otherwise gloomy prospects. productions by other rules than those Admitting young men, too, to society which are suggested by nature and superior either by learning or rank to experience, must prevent that free un- that in which they were accustomed fettered exercise of the intellectual formerly to mix, has the effect of exo powers, which is necessary to original tending their views and improving thinking, to the production of works their manners, while it often warms of genius, and to great and, splendid the heart, and exhibits a standard of achievements in science or art. This estimation which they are ambitious may partly account for the fact, that of reaching, and which they will not Mr Richardson's essays are superior suffer themselves to fall below by subto his poems. In the former, he sea- sequent misconduct or relaxation of sonably manifested his extensive and effort. But it is impossible to enuintimate acquaintance with the prin. merate all the beneficial results of the ciples of the human mind, and with species of kindness to which we have the laws of writing; while, in the late referred, and which usually appears ter, he had to be regulated and re- on the aspect of the literature and son strained by that very strict observ- ciety, not only of one period, but also ance of these, which proceeded from of many ages. Few of the acts even his particular knowledge of them. of Mr Richardson's beneficence are
Mr Richardson was benevolent, to known to us, because many of them a great extent, to his relations and were studiously concealed from the to young students of talent, who were world ; and few, therefore, of their in circumstances of comparative penu- effects can be traced. Like the noisery. Many persons, now high in the less dew, they have fallen in the world, are the living monuments and night, and unheeded; or, like the evidences of his pecuniary liberality; hidden streamlet, they have refreshed while others, who fill eminent situa- and fructified the places through tions in the learned professions, will which they have passed, while their .confess, that they owe their prosperi- source is unexplored, and while, in ty, in a great measure, to his early pa- their progress, they have been blendtronage and kind encouragements. ed in the confluence of many currents Many students have been stimulated of benevolence. There is a period, by the notice of the Professor, when however, yet to be evolved, when the they had discovered abilities such as number and nature of all such deeds to excite expectations of future emin shall be most exactly ascertained, and nence. Others has he benefited by most equitably rewarded. : :: admitting them gratuitously to his With the following traits in the lectures, by getting them situations character of Mr Richardson, by the -as tutors in families, or by recom- pencil of one who had the best oppor. mending them to those who had it in tunities of knowing him, we shall contheir power to be of assistance to clude this iinperfect sketch. “ Mr them. The example of Mr Richard, Richardson possessed an intimate acson in this respect is worthy of imi- quaintance with the great doctrines
of Christianity, the result of diligent those deep feelings, and that peculiar
est sollicité par le sentiment de son existence
de ses organes : Comment au milieu de tant ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN de chanteurs l'homme seroit il resté dans POETRY AND MUSIC.
le silence ?
ENCYCLOPEDIE, Art. Poeme Lyrique, HITHERTO we have spoken of poe
At liquidas avium voces imitarier ore, try * in its simplest form, as the off
Ante fuit multo, quam levia carmina cantu
Concelebrare homines possent, aurisque spring of that ardent imagination,
- Et Zephyri, cava per calamorum, sibila ** See Essay on the Causes of the Excel. primum lence of Early Poetry, p. 3 of the present Agrestis docuere cavas inflare cicutas. . volume.
· LUCRÉTIUS, B. V. v. 1382.,"
their infant ingenuity. The music of tle, we are certain that the tones of the North American Indians appears the voice with which these would be to confirm this conjecture. Travellers accompanied, would be expressive have given us an account of it in that and imitative of the feelings they instate which appears to have been al- volve ; would, therefore, in the one most immediately subsequent to its case, be deep and solemn, in the other invention. Its only instruments were soft and plaintive. then the drum and the flate, and in This seems to be the first and naplaying upon this species of flute, the tural approach to the music of song, performer could accomplish nothing and we see this opinion every day like a regular tune. Unconnected, verified by children, who, in the soft but not unharmonious notes, as chance tones of their voice when they wish to led their fingers to one stop or to ano- please, or the plaintive notes they utter ther, was all which they ever attempt- in distress, or the harsh accent they ed. They could not even elicit from assume when their passions are rousthe instrument any thing like the ed, exactly suit their voices to the feel. songs which they sung, and yet such ings they experience at the moment. seems to have been their fondness for According to this idea, the earliest vocal this art, that we are told they would inusic would at first be nothing more sit for hours together beside the cabin perfect than a few disjointed but exfire, playing over a few wild melan- pressive notes, thrown together withcholy notes, * and that every one who out any regular order, but as they could direct his fingers to the stops, were drawn forth by the poetical lanand produce a sound by breathing in- guage which they accompanied. It to it, imagined himself master of the would therefore have little of what instrument.
we are accustomed to admire in mo. Such is the origin of the music of dern music, a regular song or burden, instruments, and as it owed its in- but would approach nearer to the bold vention to an imitation of the melo- and expressive style of Italian recitadies of nature, so vocal music, it is tive, and it is from this great irregulaprobable, was also entirely an imi- rity of structure, and from being subtative art, and was employed at first ject to no precise or definite rules, that to give an additional effect by the those who have accompanied travellers variety of tone and modulation, to the to savage nations have found it so exlanguage of passion. We mean it was tremely difficult to acquire any knowimitative, because men not only in the ledge, or convey any idea of their musavage state, but in all situations, at- sical compositions. tempt to modulate the tones of the Every thing, however, which we voice to the feelings which they are have learnt of the vocal music of saanxious to inspire, whether in com- vage tribes, confirms this idea of its mon discourse or in recited poetical origin. It is never sung without composition, by the sounds with words, and its greatest efforts are gewhich they accompany them. It is nerally when it accompanies the most in this manner that every passion has solemn language on the gravest occaits own particular note, and that so sions. In offering up praises, or in universal is this feeling, that even conciliating the favour of the Great those utterly ignorant of the science Spirit, in the solemn burial of their of music adapt these notes to the dead, at the hour of death, in going to feelings which they mean to convey, battle, or rejoicing after a victory, nearly as skilfully as the most learned these are the occasions on which this performer. If the subject was a war earliest species of vocal music was harangue, and the words were expres- first employed. We are told by Adair, sive of the feelings of determination in his History of the North American or revenge, the sounds would be loud, Indians, that an Indian captive, even harsh, and discordant. If the subject amidst all the horrors of that cruel of the poem or harangue was devo- death to which he is doomed, is “ netional, in praise of the Great Spirit, ver dismayed, but with an insulting or if it was melancholy, as a lamenta- manly voice, sings his war song."* In tion for those who had fallen in bat
* See Adair's History of the North Ame* Weld's Travels, p. 359.
rican Nations, p. 46.