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because indiscriminately and immeasurably lauded on the one hand, he has been very ignocantly and flippantly depreciated on the other. For the latter circumstance, however, he may thank chiefly himself, and, next to himself, his friends, who have taught him to despise the warning voice of public opinion, which, however wayward and arbitrary in its first decisions, is sure to be mainly just at last. Had his judgement but been as correct as his imagination is powerful, bad the purity of his taste been equal to the simplicity of his feelings, had his understanding been as sound as his beart, we hope, is warm—though we have a deeply rooted distrust of all sentimentalists and sensationists in this respect,--the critic's task would have been far more easy, and, to our feelings, far more pleasant. We should not then have been disposed to acquiesce in thinking that he bad written enough ; too much, indeed, for his permanent reputation, unless he adopts our suggestion, namely, to entrust to some competent friend the reducing of his writings, by a rigid selection, to the due compass of Sybilline leaves, and to make a bonfire of the refuse-his potters, waggoners, and ideots, on the top of Skiddaw. The present volume ought, however, to do him at least this service with the public; it should be accepted as an ample atonement for his last offence, for there is a weight of sterling good poetry in it far more than adequate to turn the

scale in his favour. From this time forth, therefore, it ought to be held a breach of courtesy and kindness, to say one word more of Benjainin the Waggoner or of Peter Bell. Art. VII. A Sermon, preached at Endless Street Meeting, Salisbury,

before the Wilts Association of Independent Ministers, and published at their Request ; on the Death of their late Member and esteemed Friend, the Rev. John Sibree, of Frome, including a brief Memoir of his Life. By W. Priestley. The Profits to be detoted to the Family. 8vo. pp. 47. Price is. 6d. 1820. THE brief, plain discourse which

occupies about one-third of these pages, in the form of reflections on the death of Aaron, written in a strain of perfectly unaffected piety and sensibility, was meant chiefly as introductory to the meinoir of a most excellent man and useful preacher, to whose memory Mr.P. was peculiarly qualified to render this tribute, in consequence of an intimate and affectionate friendship maintained with bim from early life. It can very rarely happen, we fear, that the writer of a memoir, even of a good man, can, with entire consciențiousness, employ throughout a language of so unqualified com. placency in all but the infelicities of the life he records. Mr. Sibree drew, or constrained, the testimony of all the very pumperous persons that knew him, to his singular amiableness and Christian spirit, in every capacity in which he could be known ;


and no man was less guarded by reserve: his natural ingenuousness and his conscious uprightness of intention, exposed him undisguised to every inspector.

As a preacher, he must have been known to a considerable proportion of our readers. And whoever knew him in that capacity, will infallibly retain a strong recollection of his spirit and

Very many will retain and cherish it with a happy consciousness of having received inestimable benefit by means of his ministry. He was a remarkable example (in this respect resembling Whitfield) of an eloquence created by genuine, unquenchable fervour of feeling. This feeling, at the same time, varied and fluctuated with the change of topics and circumstances; and the effect was, to give a great diversity to his elocution. His powerful voice would pass through all manner of tones and inflections in the course of one sermon, and without his ever thinking one moment about the manner in which he was speaking. The modifications of address and language were not less varied, nor less perfectly free from all artificial management. He would be declamatory, colloquial, indignant, com ipiserating, all within one quarter of an hour. Nor was there any thing wayward or fantastic in all this. A pervading sincerity, a simplicity of intention, an earnest benevolence, and a zealous piety, gave a consecrated character and a powerfully serious tendency to the whole. There were defects and faults in point of taste, from bis mind not having undergone a rigorous intellectual and literary discipline. But these were little offensive to such cultivated hearers as were at all in sympathy with his earnestness about religion ; and by the greater part of a congregation they were not perceived. That which all sorts of hearers did perceive, (for it was quite impossible to help it,) was, that he was ardently and continually intent on promoting the cause of God, and the eternal welfare of men.

His friends had to number it among the inexplicable appointments of the Divine Wisdom, that, with all this piety, and this zeal to live to the noblest purpose, he was doomed to a very extraordinary measure of suffering, both in body and mind. During a large portion of his life, and with severe aggravation toward the latter end, he was the victim of a cruel and hopeless bodily malady. And partly, it is probable, from this cause, and partly from constitutional tendency, his mind was at some seasons, for a considerable length of time, oppressed with an insupportable gloom, which disabled him for public service, and embittered every thing in life. But the ever-living principle of piety was conspicuous at all seasons, and under all forms of suffering; and it rose with energy toward the wonted activity of ministerial service whenever the pressure was in any degree lightened. The very worthy Author of this Sermon and Memoir VOL. XIV. N.S.


was peculiarly assiduous in the endeavour to sosten his afflictions, and nothing can be more kind and affectionate than the spirit which breathes through this pious and interesting account of bis departed friend. Art. VIII. Essays and Sketches of Life and Character. By a Gentle

man who has left his Lodgings. Sm. 8vo. pp. 248. London. 1820. IT T is exceedingly agreeable to bave our graver lucubrations

broken in upon by a lively, voluble, well-dressed young fellow like this late lodger of Mister Joseph Skillett. We can compare it to nothing better than to a brisk glass of Champagne;---we forget ourselves : as if Reviewers knew anything of such Jordly liquor! Besides, the comparison would imply too much of the work before us, in point of flavour and rarity. To nothing better, we mean, can we compare it, than to a brisk glass of gooseberry wine, well bottled,—for that is every thing : it is the spirit, not the body; it is its being up, just opened, and drunk off at a breath, in which consists all its value :—to nothing better than a poignant draught of English Champagne, after we have been for some time occupied with the more serious business which precedes the hour of digestion. It is agreeable because it is a light work in point of specific gravity, and easy reading. None but Reviewers know Reviewers' pains. Nobody else can tell what an honest Reviewer feels at first taking the dimensions of a bulky quarto, through which he is doomed, and he alone, to toil, for the purpose of telling the good people in the country who are waiting for his critical guage, what it is about, and of extracting something very amusing out of a mass of what is perhaps very dull; or, at sitting down, with the best intentions to be pleased, to a volume-load of poetry. No; when the half-crown Number makes its due appearance on that day of the month so eagerly anticipated by freshmen authors, none but those who are in the secret, can guess how much task-work, and self-denying drudgery, and patient cramming, have been submitted to in order to furnish the requisite literary olio. We said, no one could tell, but solicitors and conveyancers, perhaps, may: what they have to wade through is scarcely less voluminous, and not much more entertaining, than the bulky brief of a Reviewer; but their reading is better paid for, as Mr. Brougham well knows.

The Author of the present work is a mysterious incognito. * About a year ago,' says Mr. Joseph Skillett, of Sackville-street,

a gentleman, without a servant, took an apartment on the first *loor of my house.'

• He was, apparently, a young man; but his look was not diffident and unpractised, like that of most young men, but bold and decided, like the countenance of a lieutenant of hussars, who has served a campaign or two, and as piercing as that of an Qld Bailey lawyer. He wore long black hair over his forehead, and used some words in his language, which I never saw anywhere but in the Bible and Common Prayer, and which, 1 suppose, are now out of use. He took two servants, and began to frequent the world. I observed he went to Almack's, and the French play; was admitted into the Travellers' club, wore stays, and used much starch in his neckcloth. Notwithstanding this, his life was not so regular as that of most young men of fashion. He did not always go out to dinner at a quarter before eight, nor always come home at five in the morning, nor always get up at half-past two in the afternoon. I thought this extraordinary, because I had observed, that those who pretend to any fashion, and claim merit from their want of punctuality, are generally the most exact people possible to be always twenty minutes too late wherever they go.

My lodger, on the contrary, very often went out riding upon his return from a ball, and then came and dined by himself, or with my family, at four or five o'clock: nor was he of the usual placid, indifferent humour, that men of the world generally are. Sometimes a darkness would come over his face, and he would sit frowning at the chimney-piece in his own room for a fortnight together. Every now and then too he would go away for a few days to Dublin or to Edinburgh, without any apparent reason. But, on the 5th of February last, he set out from my house, about twelve at night, saying, he should return in a few days. Since that time I have heard nothing of him; and being in great want of money to pay my taxes, I went to search, to see if there were anything I could sell for rent, of which I had not received one farthing. I found a few old clothes, a dozen pair of boots, and a large number of manuscripts: these were written in all kinds of languages, ancient and modern, more than I had ever heard of; some few were in English; and one called, “ On the State of the Constitution," in a totally different hand. I suspect it was written by the gentleman, for there was only one, who used sometimes to pay my lodger a visit. With these papers in my hand, I went off directly to Mr. Longman; and he has given me some hopes that I may recover a part of my rent by their means.

Who the author may be, I do not pretend to say; or whether the last paper relates at all to himself: I leave that to the courteous reader; and I beg him to recollect, that I am not answerable for the opinions of a gentleman who has left his lodgings. Joseph Skillett.'

The last paper' alluded to, is a fragment written in the character of the Wandering Jew; but we have several good reasons for believing that he is not the Author of this volume : first, we doubt whether the whole of its contents be the production of one author, and it is not likely that that individual would deign to connect himself with any literary coadjutor, unless it were Lord Byron ; secondly, that illustrious octodecingenarian would bave known better than to talk about the prescience of the Deity being general and not particular;" he could not have lived so long to so little purpose as to deal in theological crudities; thirdly, he would not have kept a journal.

There are many better papers in the voluine; otherwise, we should set down the Author as more a Jew than a conjuror. We select as a specimen the following lively remarks on Society in London.

• What is meant by an agreeable man?'

• In Spain an agreeable man is he who is possessed of a good person, and an incessant flow of talk. The science of conversation is there in its infancy, and no distinction is made between him who talks much and him who talks well. The leading topic of a bel esprit is women ; and the language itself is so formed as to confine praise or blame entirely to their bodily qualities. Es buena moza, literally she is a good girl,” means she is a pretty girl. Tiene merito, “she has merit,” means she has some good points in her face or figure. Besides being able to decide the proper degree of merit which every woman possesses, the Spanish agreeable man is able to cover obscenity with the veil which is just thick enough to make it admissible in good company, though even that is sometimes thrown aside like those which are worn on the Alameda. From this source he derives the principal fund of his conversation, and makes amends for a total ignorance on every kind of literature and politics. But then, he also knows the plays which are to be acted for the next month, and can tell, to a tiitle, if a single indecent posture has been omitted in the fandango.

• The agreeable man in Germany is quite a different sort of person. He is a gentleman who endeavours to make wit and gallantry after the most approved models of the age of Louis XIV. But his specific gravity being much greater than that of the French nation, he is, in fact, as little like M. de Coulanges or St. Evremont as can well be imagined. His little anecdotes are drawn from the Roman history, or, at best, from the Seven Years' War; his remarks and observations are conscientiously sincere, but insufferably dull; and his wit always disposes to melancholy.

• In Italy an agreeable man is a much pleasanter person: his man. ners are particularly civil; he often has a good taste in the fine arts and in polite literature, and, perhaps, an agreeable talent for music ; but there is a feebleness and effeminacy in his tone of thinking, which finally wearies; and his conversation is the pace of a manège horse, trained till he has lost all freedom of action.

Yet, it must be owned, that there are a great many young men who are exceptions to this rule; it is easy to see, however, that they are exceptions. Their long dishevelled hair, their wild rolling eyes, their vehement action, their loud harangues in society, their unusual language, and more unusual opinions, show at once that they are not formed after the general rule of national character.

• If we go from Italy to England we shall find that the agreeable man gets more reputation, more eating, and more drinking, in return for his talk than anywhere else. He is perpetually invited to dinner, where from ten to five-and-twenty people are invited expressly to meet him; and, after all, it often happens that he is sullen or unwell, and will not speak a word from the beginning of dinner till the end. But if he should happen to be in spirits, he often talks so loud, or so


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