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The four last chapters of that part of our learned Author's valuable collection which is now before us, are thort ones, and contain an account of Lucian of Samofata, Ariftides the Sophitt, Dion Chrysostom, and Galen, together with fome anecdotes concerning diverse Heathen governours of provinces, who persecuted the Christians, or were favourable to them; and remarks concerning the number of ancient heathen Writers; who have mentioned the Christians.
The Council in the Moon. 4to. I 8. Cambridge printed. Sold
in London by Wilson and Fell.
HE Author of this humourous and spirited Pamphlet
chuses, like Gallus in Virgil, to shoot Cretan arrows out of a Parthian buw. The scene and drama he describes are transferred from a learned University, to the Moon, where he introduces a convocation disputing very gravely whether they fhould eat checfe with their bread? By this he alludes either to a real or a supposed debate whether Fellows of Colleges should be permitted to marry! The characters of the Anticheenians in the Moon, that is, of the Antimatrimonians in the University, are humourously drawn, and probably have their Archetypes beneath the Moon. Some of their different characteristics and speeches will not be unentertaining to our Readersa
The gentleman; who spoke next, was Mr. Christopher Crab, a man not deftitute of wit and humour. He esteem ed a great critic, because there was nothing he would not find fault with. He was a man of unlimited conjecture ; which often led him to fhew his invention at the expence of his judge menti He did not want knowlege, especially that of mankind; but he was not always happy in his application of it. It was too common with him, to form general conclusions and establish maxims upon cases merely poisible. He had fome fluency of words, but more vivacity than elegance. Heat him
" Gentlemen ! I am of opinion, that under no restrictions whatsoever, ought this new scheme to be admitted, I shall chiefly draw my arguments from the nature of cheese in general, and some particular confequences that are found to arise from eating it. In the first place then, cheese is absolutely prejudicial to many constitutions : there are many people (likely, enough to be met with among the more recluse lunaties) who bear such an antipathy to cheese, that they avoid being in the fame room with it. Then cheese, though confefiedly effica.
tious in digesting other things, does not easily digest itself, and will often lie so long at a man's fomach, as to give him infinite plague and vexation. Besides cheese is generally too hard, or too loft, too tough, or too pliant, too strong, or quite infipid. Then there's your maggoty cheese, your rotten cheese, your cheefe that every body has tafted, and your Slip-coat cheese. very dangerous fort of cheese this last ! for being apt to run beyond its prescribed limits, it is often impoñible for the proprietor, though he loves it ever so well, to secure it entirely to his
In short, gentlemen! I cannot help concluding, from the course of my observations, that there is no such thing as a good cheele in the world ; and therefore, I think it would argue the highest degree of insanity to apply to the legillature, for removing an obitacle, that happily prevents our coming at it.'
* An ingenuous young inan, who sat near Mr. Crab, fo highly resented the acrimony of his speech, that he rose up; and, bowing to the chief magistrate, faid, " That though he apprehended his design in calling the present council, was rather to hear what objections could be produced to the scheme, than for any other purpose, yet, as he was convinced Mr. Crab had gone very unwarrantable lengths in some of his observations and conclusions, he could not help asking permission to offer a Jemonstrance or two. Which being granted him, he desired the orator to recollect, “ That there was such a thing as Sage cheese : and that being green cheele (a circumstance that would prejudice many men in its favour) and consequently of the same kind that forms the materials of which the Moon was made, he thought it very unworthy a man in the Moon, to suppose that species was not to be found there in great abundance.” He next observed, “ that toasted cheese was held in high estimation by men of the best taste. And indeed when cheese has passed unhurt and unsullied through that fiery trial, it is impoflible to say too much in its commendation.” He added, “ that always having professed himself a great admirer of cheese in general, he had paid so much attention to that useful commodity, that he could with confidence assert, that there was much more good cheese, than bad, in the world :” and concluded with saying,
he could not help suspecting, that Mr. Crab, in spite of all Restraints, might have made some experiments in his time that had proved unfortunate.”
I think I have hitherto given no intimation to my Readers that this republic was established principally for the cultivation of the understanding. But there are some people in it, who do not cultivate their understandings, and others, who have no understandings to cultivate. Of this last class was Simon Shallow, who next feized the ears of this respectable audience with
a speech. Simon never doubted the truth of any story he had heard in his life. He had no clear ideas of any thing in the world. He would swallow you half a dozen impoffibilities in a breath, without making a face. He could not be said to think, in any true sense of that word, and seemed to have no property in his own ideas. He voided them just as he received them, as children do cherry-stones. He lisped in his speech, and sputtered like a roasting pippin. But with all these disadvantages, he was not proscribed the pale of common-sense, according to the definition some people give of it; for Simon had a good deal to say for himself. What he said upon this occasion, I will now lay before you.
“ Gentlemen ! I have been told that there is nothing in nature more pernicious than cheese. And I can produce such inItances of its ill effects, as will leave no reason to doubt the truth of this assertion. I remember having heard from my nurse, who thought she had heard it from my grandmother, that cheese would give a man the rheumatism and the ear-ach : and a very fensible country apothecary, a cousin of mine, says, that he can attribute a sore throat, or a fever on the spirits, to nothing but cheefe. For my own part, I never fee a cheese, but it puts me in mind of the dropsy, yellow jaundice, and king's evil; and I am certain, were the new scheme admitted, we should all be afflicted with those disorders. Nay, such a terrible notion have I of this baneful commodity, that I should not at all wonder to hear a man had got a leprosy, a wry neck, or a fit of the gout, by eating it : Dixi.”
Though the liberty of Fellows of Colleges to marry, or rather the opposition made to that liberty is here the subject of humour and raillery, it is by no means unworthy of a serious consideration. The restriction of it is certainly one of the pernicious remains of Popery. It may not be so convenient as it is easy to say what moral and political evils it produces ; but it is obvious to every liberal and unbiassed understanding, that it must be equally prejudicial to the community, as it is the cause of dissatisfaction to many of the individuals who are obliged to Jabour under it.
A celebrated French Writer has observed what we hope will in time come to pass. “ Peut-être aujourd'hui que l'esprit philoJophique a fait tant de progrès, un concile ferait des loix plus favorables à l'humanite que le concile de Trente.”
A Defence of Mr. Kenrick’s Review of Dr. Johnson's Shakespeare ;
containing a Number of curious and ludicrous Anecdotes of Literary Biography. By a Friend. 8vo. Is. Bladon. .
HOSE who are the most ready to give offence, by too un
guarded a freedom of behaviour, are ever the most impatient of rebuke; and therefore we are not at all surprized to find Mr. K. or his fanguine friend Mr. R. R. (whoever may be the real Author of this pamphlet) warmly resenting our mild reprehension of Mr. K's rough attack on the editor of Shakerpeare. But it were not wonderful if he thould appear to be nettled; for he has been stung by a whole nest of literary hor
He has been attacked, in his turn, by an army * of scribblers'; and he may, possibly, have enough to do, to rout them all, notwithstanding his boasted prowess, and his avowed contempt for “a miriad of cockle-shell + critics':-.e. Reviewers 1, Magaziners, Chroniclers,-versemen & profemen,all armed and ranged under the standard of General Johnson. The general, indeed, hath not yet vouchsafed to ftir out of his camp; but seems content, for the present, at least, with detaching his light troops' to harass the enemy.
The contents of this pamphlet are divided into 9 sections ; in which the spirited Author assigns reasons for the Reviewer's (Mr. Kenrick's) having a less exalted opinion of Dr. Johnson's abilities than has hitherto been entertained by the public in general; questions are offered to Dr. J's friends, respecting some curious anecdotes of the life and literary conduct of that gentleman ;-whether Dr. J. deserves better treatment than he has received, -and how far Mr. K. is excusable in having so treated him? Specimens are given of the literary abilities, candour, and urbanity 1l of the hypercritics on Mr. K. Together with an entire section on the Modesty of men of letters ; and another on literary knowlege ; with some remarks on IGNORANCE and INATTENTION. To all which is added, a Poffcript, addressed to the Monthly Reviewers.
In bis second section, the Author enters into a detail of the grounds of Mr. K's first diflent from the general public opinion of Mr. Johnson's literary abilities; viz. the numerous defects
See Kenrick's Review; or the passage here referred to as transcribed in our last, p. 467.
+ If, by a cockle-shell critic, Mr. K. only means, a critic in cocklea pells, there is nothing extraordinary in his defying whole armies of ibem : but what have these submarine animals to do with the contefts about Shakespeare ?
| Among these, however, the Montbly Reviewers are not to be in. cluded; they being perfectly neuter; and chusing to act only as a corps of observation,
He has employed a particular fe&tion, in animadverting on the ingenuousness, impartiality, and urbanity of Sylvanus Urban, Gent. regarding the writings of Mr. K.'
and imperfections wbich he says Mr. K. observed, (during hiş residence abroad) in that gentleman's grand English dictionary so numerous, indeed, and lo important, in the Reviewer's estimation, that he thought the honour of literature, and of his country called upon him to take every proper occasion of speaking of them as they deserved."
Having, says our Author, been so egregiously disappointed, as to the philological abilities of Dr. J. the Reviewer's expectations were greatly lowered from the height to which they had been raised, with regard to his proposed edition of our incomparable poet. His enthusiastic veneration for Shakespeare, however, it is added, could not be restrained within the bounds of filence, on finding this Editor had taken every opportunity to depreciate the merit of that incomparable bard; on whom Dr. J. hath, in repeated instances, "(as is' fhewn in Mr. Kenrick's Review) endeavoured to fix the charge of in! capacity, folly, vulgarity, immorality, and impiety.'
To aggravate all this, adds Mr. R. R. Dr. J. falls with equal violence on the only commentator on Shakespeare, that, by his own confeffion, hath acquitted himself with reputation; charging him with weakness, ignorance, meanness, faithiefness, petulance and oftentation.'
Here our Author would have us draw the parallel. « Those, says he, who complain of Mr. K's severity, and charge him with scurrility, ill-manners, and abuse, would do well to look through his work, and see if they can find any passage wherein he hath called Dr. Johnson mean, faithless, immoral, or impious."
In his third section, the attack on Dr. J. is carried farther than it was in Mr. K's Review ; for here is an implied charge, from which he would seem to have it inferred, that the Editor of Shakespeare had formerly taken fome invidious steps, toward depreciating the merit of other great poets, the ornamen:s of English literature : particularly with regard to Lauder's infamous attempt to defame the excellent Author 'of PARADISE Lost. Dr. J. is here represented as the encourager of that execrable attempt ; and a query is put, in which it is demanded, who actually wrote Lauder's pamphlet against Milton? The Dr. is likewise taxed with endeavouring to leßen the poetical reputation of Mr. Pope, by carping criticisms on some of the most admired passages of his writings. From these charges it is hoped, Dr. J. will be fully vindicated, by himself, or by such of his friends to whom it may be best known whether there is any foundation for them, or not.
In his fourth section, wherein this queftion is difcuffed, whether Dr. J. deserves the treatment he hath received, and how far Mr. K. is excusable in having so treated him? We have