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lime, when, in fact, it is pathetic. People are tired of the sublime, and the comparison with Milton is ruination to me. I will defy you or any one else to find a single passage which might be mistaken for Milton's. You call it harmonious, when it is meant to be abrupt and impassioned throughout. You call the conclusions to the story moral and editying, when nothing can be more the reverse. In short, you have played the deuce with all its greatest beauties, and the consequence is that nobody will read it.
My friend Mr. the artist, is with me, and begs that you will not mention his picture again, having put him to great inconvenience in conu adicting all that you have said. It is not like Claude, or Nature, or any thing else, but is entirely original. The colouring is upon a new principle, and is not transparent, but opake throughout. The figures are not well drawn, but are touched off with a graceful negligence, and, instead of an evening scene, it is intended to be sun-rise.
“ I remain, &c My next epistle is from a young spark who was one of five hundred recommendations which came pouring in from my friends in all parts of the globe. The youth was described as the younger son of a country squire, a fine young man who was thought by his mother to possess great talents, which, of course, I should have abundant pleasure and advantage in bringing forward. He had never, it appeared, scribbled a line in his life, and was sent to me like a block, fresh from the timberyard, to be hewn which way I pleased. What could I say in such a case? I asked him to dinner, and told him that I would apply to him when I had occasion. In a fortnight after, came the cursed twopenny postman with
“Dear Sir, I have been waiting impatiently to hear from you, according to promise, being anxious to set to work. I have been staying all this time at a hotel, doing nothing, and at a great expense upon the score of the Magazine, and my friends in the country are anxious to see some of my works. Pray let me know what I am to write, for it is all one to me, by return of past, and believe me, &c."
I wrote immediately, and regretted exceedingly that I had been the means of detaining him in London, assuring him at the same time that the press of matter would not possibly permit me to avail myself of his talents for some months at least. In about ten minutes, came the following answer.
“Sir,– This is what I won't stand. I have been staying in London at your particular desire, and now I'm to be told you don't want me. I shall send you my bill at the hotel as soon as it is made out, and if you don't pay it bo'll see the reason why. Yours, &c.”
The foregoing are a mere taste of my treasures. I have complaints, and revilings, and expostulations, and challenges, and all sorts of entertaining things, on every subject and in every style imaginable; but what I have already given is quite enough to maintain my opinion of editorial comfort. I will only add one communication from my publisher, by way of a climax.
“ My dear Sir,—Here is the devil to pay! It is absolutely necessary that you should give up the editorship of the Magazine. I am
aware that no one else can possibly conduct it so well, but the hue and cry which is raised against you by our correspondents, and the consequeni falling off in our sale, are not to be withstood. Pray see the reason of this, and give me the pleasure of your company at dinner on Sunday, to meet a party of your predecessors, who have each in turn been unfortunate enough to give similar dissatisfaction. Believe me, very truly, yours,
"P. S. You had better not come to me on a week-day, as there are several persons waiting for you in the shop, who had better not be suffered to catch you
THE BIRTH OF GENIUS.
And o'er the dark and slumb'ring deep
And new born nature woke from sleep :
The veil of mist that wrapp'd the world
As never man again shall be,
Both fresh for immortality,
And forms celestial stoop'd and gazed,
And seeing, marvell’d, worshipp'd, praised,
One mighty boon to be bestow'd,
And being teem'd, and all was good
Far too ethereal in the sight
Bask in his uncreated light-
And man a savage of the wild,
With feeling, downcast as a child;
To clothe in beauty thoughts of light;
To pierce the starry infinite ;
MEMOIRS OF SAMUEL PEPYS. * We had recently occasion to remark that the prejudices and opinions, the talents and mental qualities of memoir-writers have very little to do with the instruction which their labours may afford; for, provided they do but indulge freely in detail, sufficient must transpire of the real condition of things, to enable a reader of ordinary penetration to see beyond the false surface, which party zeal or sell-interest may be inclined to put upon them. Particular facts may indeed he misrepresented, and direct falsehoods palined on the public concerning the secret passages of intrigue and state policy; but the complexion of the age, ihe character of factions and parties, the state of opinions, manners, habits, feelings, and the like generalities, betray themselves in so many unlooked for particulars, that it is impossible for the most guarded narrator of a long series of events, wholly to disguise the truth. To the work before us this remark is peculiarly applicable. Pepys, both by inclination and by place, was a staunch advocate of Royalty ; and strove hard to deceive himself into the belief that the restoration of Charles the Second was a happy event for his country. But in the simplicity of his gossiping disposition, he puts down so many traits of the vice and the profligacy, the feebleness and falsehood of the monarch, the extravagance of the court, the capacity of the favourites, the monstrous arrogance and ambition of the clergy, and the absence of any fixed and enlightened opinion among the people, as would suffice to sink the most prosperous nation into the abyss of misery and political nullity, if the course of events had not been cut short by the glorious Revolution, which deprived the Stuarts of that sceptre they were every way incapable of wielding. In this point of view, we hold the volumes before us of extraordinary value. An effort has long been making by a party in this country, to turn the current of popular opinion in favour of despotic institutions, to conceal the iron scourge of power beneath a specious wreath of powers, and to inspire a sickly and effeminate alarm at innovation, with a horror of past temporary disturbances of public tranquillity, however valuable the object attained by the movement. Numerous and insidious attempts have been made, by falsifying history, by giving a political colour to romance, by emasculating such dramatic writers as have wished to make the stage a vehicle for liberal sentiment, and by encouraging corrupt authors to propagate slavish doctrines, through the same channels, to debauch the rising generation into a love of mawkish loyalty, and the gewgaws of aristocratic forms. The exiled family of the Stuarts have been brought forward with affectation before the public, as objects of tender compassion and fond regret, and the great event by which they were excluded,—that event to which the world is indebted for nearly all the truth, liberty, and morality existing in Europe, and in America—has been studiously represented, as necessary indeed in the particular instance which eventually placed the
Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, Esq. F. R. S. Secretary to the Admiralty in the reigns of Charles II. and James II. comprising his Diary from 1659 to 1669, deciphered by the Rev. John Smith, A. B. of St. John's College, Cambridge, from the original short-hand MSS. in the Pepysian Library; and a selection from his Private Correspondence. Edited by Richard Lord Braybrooke. London, Henry Colburn. Vol X. No, 56.-1826.
house of Hanover on the throne, but as otherwise malum in se, and never again to be called into precedent, or spoken of but with trembling and delicacy. To dissipate this dangerous illusion, the Memoirs of Mr. Pepys are singularly adapted. Bred up in the strictness of religious and moral feeling, which the Puritans, with all their acknowledged cant, had rooted into the generation they educated, Pepys was not able to shut his eyes against the infamy by which he was surrounded ; and all his love and devotion to the monarchy could not falsify his conscience, even when his own conduct was not in consonance with its dictates. Fortunately, too, he wrote in a species of cypher, and with no intent to publish ; and thus was encouraged to indulge in disclosures of fact, and in reflections, which neither his fears nor his principles would have permitted him to hazard in general circulation. The picture which he has afforded of the times in which he lived, has many other points of intense interest. As the contemporary of Antoine Hamilton, and living in the same reign, he affords many illustrations and confirmations of the story of that incomparably witty writer; while the plainness of his narrative forms a striking contrast in literary and intellectual qualifications, with the elegant and lively pages of the Memoirs de Grammont. Pepys was, according to that day, an educated gentleman, and had received all the refinement which home-bred instruction, an English university, and an English court, could give; yet not only in style and in composition, but in philosophy and in powers of reflection, he is centuries behind his French rival, and the comparison exhibits in a pregnant light the vast superiority which the French court had then attained in politeness and civilization-a superiority which amply accounts for the political supremacy it held over its humble imitators at Whitehall and Hampton-court.
The principal part of the volumes under consideration consists of a diary commenced in the year 1659, and kept with great assiduity during ten years of official life. In the original MS. this diary occupies six volumes closely written in short-hand, part of the library bequeathed by the author to Magdalen College, Cambridge. From the minuteness and the trifling nature of much of the details (says the editor) the MS. has been considerably abridged; and we readily believe with great advantage to the sale of the work ; yet from the light which is thrown upon the manners and customs of the age, by the “ prattle” which has been suffered to find its way into print, we cannot but think that the antiquary and the philosopher may yet glean valuable instruction from that which has been suppressed. A disposition to idle gossip is an essential ingredient in a memoir-writer. A man of graver turn would preserve in his journal only what is interesting at the moment; whereas, in a memoir, we look for instruction on those points to which time has given importanci: we seek for traces, wore especially, of the external forms of society, of the domesticity and the interior of those great personages who have figured upon the public stage of life, and for recollections of those evanescent shades of opinion, which are disregarded in the more “sad and learned" narratives of professed historians. The indiscriminating Dangeau has supplied us abundantly with matter of this nature, regarding the court of Louis XIV.; and the information which Pepys lets transpire in his pages respecting Charles II. is not of inferior curiosity. Samuel Pepys was born in the year 1632 of a good and ancient family : and it is a singular fact in the history of our national manners, that his father should have followed no more dignified calling than that of "a tailor by trade.” Pepys was educated at St. Paul's and at Cambridge ; and his acquaintance with ancient and modern languages enabled him to avail himself of the patronage of his cousin Sir Edward Montagu, afterwards Earl of Sandwich, and to fill with credit to himself and utility to the public, several official situations, more especially connected with the navy ; to the amelioration of which he largely contributed, in many instances, of which James II. when Duke of York had obtained the exclusive merit. Through his connexion with Montagu, Pepys was employed on board the Naseby which brought Charles II. to England, on the restoration, about the time when his diary first begins, which has afforded him the occasion of commemorating many curious particulars of that memorable event. From his official connexion with the Duke of York, he was afterwards strongly, though unjustly, suspected of Popery ; and when elected to serve in parliament, an attempt was made to supersede him, as “a papist, and one popishly inclined,” on the alleged ground of a crucifix having been seen in his house. From the internal evidence of his diary, he seems in theology rather to have leant to the Presbyterians, as the most prudent, moderate, and godly-minded party ; but he was deeply infected with a childish love of the more imposing ceremonies of the episcopal service, to which his passion for music still further inclined him.' It appears, however, from the same authority, that, like a good placeman as he was, he was not insensible to the infuence of court opinion. In page 83 he says, “In Paul's church-yard, I called at Kirton's, and there they had got a masse-book for me, which I bought, and cost me twelve shillings ; and when I came home, sat up late, and read it with great pleasure to my wife, to hear that she was long ago acquainted with it.” And in gage 96 he records a serious though ineffectual effort, he made to fast in Lent after the Catholic fashion ; so that it seems not improbable, that he had really coquetted to some extent with the religion which had become fashionable with his employers. Of the persecution on this account raised against him, his noble editor speaks as of “a striking and most disg-ting picture of the spirit of those times." The spirit of those times was indeed pregnant with the grossest bigotry, and with a puerile alarm at every der monstration of “a popish inclination;" and the zeal or the ambition of the Shaftesburys and the Bank's of that day led them into acts of perfidy and cruelty, which were truly “of a most disgusting character." But in censuring those times," it must be remembered that the alliance of popery and despotism was then a pressing and a paramount evil; and that a question really was at issue between civil and religious liberty, and a base and groveling slavery both of mind and body. Other times have succeeded, in which, fortunately for mankind, these dangers have become but the airy shadowings of a diseased imagination : yet the Eldons and the Bank's of 1825 are by no means behindhand with the Shaftesburys and Bank's of the olden times, in doing the work of persecution and bigotry : and it may fairly be doubted whether that party, the proceedings of which have recently passed into matter of history, was a whit inferior in political dishonesty, superstitious imbecil. ity, and a narrow persecuting spirit, to the body which disgraced the