« ZurückWeiter »
sophers; and their system should be termed infidelity, from what it rejected, rather than philosophy, from what it maintained.
The corrupt principles of human nature need no stimulus from a new code of pernicious principles; they only ask freedom from restraint. Thus disenthralled, they are fully competent to the production of whatever was nefarious and horrible, in the revolutionary annals of France. It is not surprising, therefore, if these abominations surpassed any example of the heathen, world; because infidelity breaks away every species of moral habit, and every impediment to the wildest abuse of the faculties. It is not paganism, for its theory is fairer, and its operation considerably worse.
We have not room to add any other remark on this subject, than that infidelity was far from being the only cause of the revolution in France; many other circumstances operated to produce this amazing convulsion; at the same time, we believe that this occasioned it to exceed, in its ruinous influence, any similar catastrophe. The state of manners and principles in England, in the seventeenth century, was exceedingly different; and so was the progress of its political commotions. The disturbances of England were an earthquake of small extent and force, which threw some parts into a better position, prepared others for improvement, and established the whole on a safer basis ; that of France was the overthrow of a mountain of accumulated grievances and oppressions, whose resistance produced the more aggravated ruin, and from whose centre burst forth a torrent of furious and infernal principles, assailing the heavens in defiance, and spreading the earth with devastation.
On quitting this separate tract, we feel pleasure in express. ing our warm approbation of its plan, and of its general execution ; while it must gratify every sensible reader, its brevity and simplicity adapt it for the perusal of youth, especially of those who are inclined to abandon revelation and experience, for sophistry and scepticism. The appendix contains a number of pertinent and pleasing illustrations.
The first tract in the Collection, is the Memoir of Archbishop Secker, (1770)---one of the most instructive pieces of biography that we know, and worthy of particular attention from every member of the Established Church, from the cure to the primacy.
2. An earnest exhortation to the religious observance of Good Friday, addressed to the inhabitants of Lambeth. (1776)
3. A letter to the inhabitants of Manchester, on occasion of the earthquake, (1777). A seasonable and serious exhortation; the following sentence it may be lawful to use, but considering its liability to abuse, we doubt its expediency. 56 Your first business is to render yourselves worthy (by a boly life and reliance on the merits cf your Redeemer) of the Divine protection.”
4. An Essay towards a plan for the more effectual civilization and conversion of the Negroe Slaves on the Trust Estate in Barbadoes, belonging to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts. (1784) The ill success of the previous system is mentioned, and the probable impediments enumerated ; we should think a reference to the successful progress of the Moravians in the Danish Islands, would suggest other causes of failure, and more effectual measures for the future. Whether any improvement has appeared, since the composition of this memoir, we are not informed.
5. A primary charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of London (1790) recommending Sunday Schools, provision for curates, and residence.
6. A charge to the Clergy of the same Diocese (1794). Guarding them against the infidel philosophy.
7. A Letter to the Clergy of the same Diocese, on the profanation of the Lord's day. (1797)
8. A charge to the Clergy of the same Diocese (1803. Cautioning them against itinerants, (whose preferring deserted or neglected parishes, as the scene of their labours, is not imputed to any other motive, than the chance of gasning a footing ;) and congratulating them on the advantages of an establishment. In the Appendix to this charge, the Calvinistic tenets are classed among the erroneous doctrines of self-appointed teachers, and are said to have been attended with fatal consequences. It is said also, that they are clearly proved to be neither consonant to Scripture, nor to the genuine doctrines of the Church of England. If this be exactly right, the late learned Bishop of St. Asaph was certainly wrong. See E. R. Vol. III. p. 258.
9. A Letter to the Clergy of the same Diocese, on the neglect of kneeling at Church, when the liturgy requires it. (1804)
10. Beneficial Effects of Christianity. (See above.)
11. A Summary of the principal evidences for the truth and Divine origin of the Christian Revelation. This argumentative and perspicuous tract is, we doubt not, well known to our readers ; it has deservedly attained great popularity, as well on the Continent, as in the British dominions.
The reader will now form his estimate of this volume, and decide whether to procure its particular contents in their separate form, or to complete his set of the venerable author's writings, by purchasing this uniform collection.
Art. IX. The Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus, translated into English
Verse; with the Latin Text and Notes. 8vo. pp. 232. Price
7s.6d. boards--hp. 10s. 6d. boards. Johnson, London. 1806. IT is extremely irregular, as our readers well know, for a
translator to begin his preface by vilifying his author; it is contrary to the most respected examples, and indicates a cold calculating judgement that will not be warped by the friendly influence of consuetude. But such a writer is the gentleman before us, whose name he has not put it in our power to mention, and who, slighting such models and sentiments, has treated his original with very little deference. We copy a few of the boldest strokes in this extravagant caricature of Persius.
• His anxious compression tires and disgusts.--His phrases are cropped and intricate, confused in grammatical construction, and inartificial in verbal arrangement. The transitions are broken and unconnected. Their abruptness weakens and obscures the force of his reasonings, and at times makes them utterly incomprehensible. Persius too nearly resembles his own trama figura. The outline of the figures upon his canvass is too prominent. We behold a coarse, bold, and powerful sketch, without the necessary filling up, and softening of contour. The robust bones and sinews of the skeleton are indeed abundantly visible; but no brilliancy of colouring conceals their unseemly nakedness from the eye, and makes them pleasurable to the imagination!' Pref. p. xi.
This is certainly too high colouring, to give any semblance of the original. _Persius is in verse, we say it with little qualification, what Tacitus is in prose, They have both their acknowledged peculiarities, and perhaps their faults. The poet in one, and the historian in the other, are often lost in the philosopher. Their studied brevity and abruptness of style too frequently ocoasion perplexity; at the same time that every period teems with thought, and frequently astonishes by its simplicity and magnificence. The ear, indeed, is commonly denied its entertainment; but the mind, though sometimes bewildered in the ruins of time and the blunders of commentators, finds a continual variety of employment, and enjoys the unostentatious and unexpected profusion of images and sentiments.
A comparison between Tacitus and Persius, by no means disadvantageous to the latter, might be carried much farther; yet no one has ever ventured to bestow such ungentle epithets on the Prince of Roman historians. Our author, however, in the character he has given of his original, hås certainly shewn the necessity of a translation : and if he can also shew that his surpasses preceding versions, he may have gained his principal object. His criticisms and quotations are those of a scholar, generally apposite, and not unfrequently judicious. The parallel which he institutes between Persius, Horace, and Juvę. nal, is a farther proof that his acquisitions as a critic and a man of taste, are far from inconsiderable,
This long preface is followed by a short life of Persius. The life of this amiable Heathen was itself short. He did not see the conclusion of his twenty-eighth year.
We now proceed to the translation ; which, as the best way of estimating its merits, we shall give the reader an opportunity of comparing with the similar attempts of other writers.
In order to avoid inconvenient prolixity, we shall confine ourselves to the fifth Satire, which has been justly termed the master-piece of Persius. Of the first extract we shall subjoin Dryden's version, and of the second, that of Howes*.
Than as we please without controul to live.'
Persius loquitur. · Ye senseless dolts, in whom these fancies grow, That one turn round true freedom can bestow.
* Vide Ecl. Rev. Vol. II. p. 912.
See Dama there! a low-bred, drunken slave,
What noble blessings do our caps procure !' p. 174.
Just before this passage, the comparison of an idler, always behind hand with his good resolutions, is very inadequately rendered;
• Nam, quamvis prope te, quamvis temone sub uno
You still pursue, without o’ertaking roll.'
We shall now produce a few lines from Mr. Howes, that the reader may more conveniently estimate the merits of our anonymous bard.
PERSIUS. (Luxuria loquitur.)
Quo deinde, insane, ruis? quo?