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sunk into the settled gloom and long melancholy of despair.
This is one of the many instances in which a little forethought, and a small share of prudence, would have prevented much serious evil, and irretrievable calamity. As it was impossible that Madame Viliacerfe's relations could be entirely strangers to the partiality of Monsieur Festeau, they should industriously have prevented all intercourse between the young people.
The agitated frame and deranged appearance of her lover, observed previous to the catastrosphe, by a gentleman nearly related to the lady, and from whose letter I derive the materials of my narrative, pointed him out as the most improper man for medical or surgical assistance, which requires coolness, dexterity, a steady hand, and a collected mind.
In the sudden and disastrous accidents to which human life is, on every side, and at every moment, exposed, it will frequently be found, that those connected to us by the nearest and dearest ties of blood, friendship, or affection, are often, by those very circumstances, disqualified from affording us prompt and effectual relief.
The fond mother, whose infant is a constant source of toil, which only a mother would willingly submit to, and of delight, which all must envy, on seeing it suddenly spring from her arms into a deep and rapid stream, would probably sink to the ground in a fainting it, or an Hysteric convulsion; thus would she be rendered, by the ardor of atlection and the violence of her feelings, wholly unable to snatch her child from death.
A by-stander, perhaps a reprobate and a soundrel, uninfluenced by philanthropy, love, or a sense of duty, and umply repaid by half a crown, would, with all his senses about him, directly plunge in, and, a stranger to the unmanageable ecstacies of a mother, restore the darling to her arms.
C. P. B.
QUOTATIONS FROM OTHER WRITERS.
ESPECIALLY THE ANCIENT GREEK AND LATIN.
In quotations, as in all other things, men have run into extremes. Some writers have quoted most abundantly, in order (as should seem) to make an ostentation of learning; with one of whom La Mothe le Vayer, though him self a great quoter, appears to have been much fatigued : • God grant you,” cries he, “ to become less learned”. Dieu vous fasse la grace de devenir moins scavant. Others have scarcely quoted at all, as Locke and Hoadley, with some of an inferior kind, who perhaps have hence affected to pass for original writers, that needed no extraneous helps : and indeed, in books of mere reasoning, all quotation to many may seem impertinent.
La Bruyere has animadverted upon the former extreme: he complaius of books being crowded so with quotations, as to be hardly any thing else ; of citing Ovid and Tibullus at the bar, Horace and Lucretius in the pulpit: where, says he, “ Latin and sometimes Greek are the languages chosen to entertain the women and churchwardens with*. And, doubtless, nothing can be more absurd and ridiculous than this: by this an author's sense, if peradventure he has any, is almost oppressed and sin othered under his learning; and, as Ovid said of a girl overloaded with dress and ornament, he is so garnished out with foreign materials, as to be, in truth, the least part of himself. Mean while, as Bayley observes upon Bruyere, “it is to be feared, that the very opposite custom of not citing at all, into which we are fallen, will make learning too much despised, as a piece of furniture entirely useless t:" and he has elsewhere mentioned, as “one principal cause of neglect in the study of the Belles Lettres, that a great many wits, real or pretended, have, with an air of disdain, run down the custom of citing Greek authors, and making learned remarks, as so inuch pedantry, and fit only for a college I.”.
It is however certain, that many pleasing as well as useful purposes may be served by quotations, judiciously made and aptly applied. It is pleasing to know, while contemplating any subject, what other writers, men of name and abilities, have thought and said upon it: and then the variety, which the frequent introduction of new personages (as I may call them) creates, will greatly con, tribute to enliven attention, and thereby keep off weariness and disgust. With the Greek and Latin authors the classical reader is always entertained : “ Mr. Clarke's book of coins is much above my pitch," said the learned
* Charact. De la Chaire. + Dict. BOUCHIN. Note B.
| MEZIRIAC, Note C.
Markland to his friend; “but I read it with pleasure as his, and because of the quotations from the ancients, which are numerous
But quotation is useful, as well as pleasing, to confirm and illustrate the sentiments of a writer ; and especially in works, where the great object is, not so much to teach men things of which they are ignorant, by descanting in detail and at large, as to remind them of what they know; not so much to make men read, to borrow Montesa quieu's expression, as to make them think. For this the citing of authorities, and dealing in personal anecdotes and apophthegms, seem perfectly well calculated : for, however it be, men frequently pause and dwell upon names, who would hastily and inadvertently skim over things. Nay, let the reasoning be ever so close and sound, it shail often pass for little more than declamation ; while the name of some admired author, especially if he be dead, shall arrest the imagination, and make all the im. pression which is necessary to produce conviction t.
Again, the practice of quoting from other writers, and especially the Greek and Roman authors of antiquity, is useful, inasınuch (as above hinted) it must give some countenance and sanction even to letters themselves : letters ! neglected, declining letters ! and with them decliving all that is wise, and excellent, and beautiful, and polished. How would an astonished macaroni stare, to be assured, that the civilization of kingdoms is founded upon letters; and that in proportion as these are cultivated, so is nearly the progress of mankind from their most rude and savage state, up to that perfection of elegance and refinement, which beameth forth from his allfinished and refulgent person! I speak according to the gentleman's own idea of himself.
Lastly, were the practice of quoting once received and established, this great advantage would farther accrue to letters, viz. it would reduce the bulk of scribblers, with which they are disgraced. Nothing is more common in these days, than for men to begin to write, and affect to be authors, not only before they understand Greek and Latin, but before they have any real or accu
* Bowyers Miscell. Tracts, p. 524.
# L' authorité peut seule envers les communs entendemens, says MORtaigne, et poise plus en langage peregrin. Essais, III, 13. VOL. IV.
rate knowledge of English. It is enough for them if they can spell with tolerable exactness: for this accomplishment, joined with such materials as magazines, reviews, and other public prints supply, is usually the stock in trade, with which authors now as well as critics set up. In short, writing is become a mere manual operation; and books are made every day by men without genius, without letters, who are but barely sufficient to transcribe, at the most to compile. Upon which account it might well be wished, that every one who presumes to write, especially upon matters of religion and government, (for in romance and moral painting it is not necessary) should be obliged to support his meaning, once at least, with some Greek, and once with some Latin, citation; and should produce at the same time a true and well authenticated testimonial, that these citations were not furnished by another, but bonâ fide his own act and deed. A test of this sort would have a mighty check to scribbling * ; and save reams of paper, which are every moment going to perish--perituræ parcere charte
Upon the whole, therefore, let us not condemn, apd effectually avoid, the citation of authors; falsely delicate, falsely fastidious. Let us recollect, that the greatest and most respectable writers have done this : that Cicero, Plutarch, Seneca, Bacon, Montaigne, and Montesquieu, left nothing unborrowed from others, which might serve to embellish their own writings ; and that the things thus borrowed may, if skilfully applied, have not only all the energy of their old situation, but all the graces of invention in their new one. And why should they not? there being no less wit in justly applying the thought of another, than in being the first author of that thought. At least so says Mr. Bayle; whom I have quoted the more freely upon this topic, because he was a very great wit, as well as a very great scholar.
MARRIAGE. Though the making the marriage contract liable to be annulled frequently, and on slight occasions, would be
“ The world has got such an appetite for reading," says our learned printer, “that it swallows every thing which is offered to it. Careless readers have made careless writers; and, amidst a multiplicity of books, I every day see barbarity creeping in." Bowyer's Misc. Tracts, p. 281.
attended with serious evils to society ; yet surely the rendering it so irrevocable, as never on any occasion to be set aside, seems contrary both to justice and common sense. To compel a man and woman who have a rooted dislike to each other, to continue together for life, because they have inconsiderately engaged to do it under certain specific forms, is a most unjust and cruel law, inficting the severest punishment on the unhappy sufferers, and exactly counteracting the purpose for which matrimony was instituted. A divorce, I allow, should never be hastily permitted, nor when it is adverse to the inclination or the interest of either putty; for he who hath sworo to his neighbour ought not disappoint him, though it be to his own hindrance; bøt when both parties, after long deliberation, earnestly desire to be separated, it does not appear that the evil of granting their wish would counterbalance that which must arise from the refusal of it. Neither would serious applications to separate be very frequent; as mutual interests, mutual affection to children, and the force of habit, are stronger bonds of union
which human legislators can frame. And so far from a person acquiring a large fortune who had the sole right of dissolving marriages, as is often suggested in conversation, I rather think he would not be called on to exercise his function twenty times in a year, if the same time only for deliberation was necessary in untying the knot, that our laws enjoin for the tying it. But this infrequency affords no argument against the necessity of it. A person does not suffer the less from a disorder, because few are afflicted with it. Is no disease to be cured but the pestilence ?
This system of irrevocable vows is said to be founded on the words of our Saviour; but those words, and especially the text of St Matthew, chap. v. ver. 32; and chap. xix. ver. 9, relate to a man putting away his wife, making a man thus at once the complainant and the judge; and not to a separation by mutual consent. The Jews we know had a law, which authorised them to put away their wives by giving them a bill of divorcement; and a learned writer on this subject observes, that • some of the Jews extended this liberty so far as to fancy they might, without any reason at all, for their mere pleasure, part with their wives; and their doctors, after the captivity, grew strangely loose on this subject *' * Lewis's Hebrew Republic, lib. vi. chap. 35.