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and indulce treated in the
exception encepe an admaint country
much more dangerous to a Protestant government, than those of the Proteftants are to a Popith one *) are treated in the ..., United Provinces with more lenity and indulgence than they . are in any other Protestant country: they enjoy all the rights of çitizens, except an admiflion to civil employments; and in this : exception they are not distinguished from several other Protestant communities, whose members are excellent subjects, such as the Lutherans, Arminians, and Anabaptists. And yet our declamatory Author represents the Papists in Holland, as rea. Arained, tormented, and sacrificed, in his high-swollen phraseology. What would he lay, if they were tormented as the Protestants are in France; i. e. if their pastors were sent to the gallows or the gallies-their marriages considered as acts of fornication, and their children declared, by law, bastards ? We thall not continue this odious enumeration. Every one knows the tenderness and humanity of the French government, and the French tribunals, to the professors of the reform. ed religion in that country, fince the revocation of the edict of Nantes. Everyone knows the infernal persee cution of the Calas and the Sirvens, perpetrated openly, in the midst of the eighteenth century; and therefore our zealous Count would do well to apply the first efforts of his reforming spirit at home, and then he would display, with a better grace, his zeal for the correction of his neighbours. Take the beam out of your own eye, &c.
His accounts of the Dutch commerce are the best part of this speckled discourse; and his observations on Belgic man,' ners, industry, æconomy, and luxury are, for the most part; . sensible, judicious, and well expressed : more especially, what he says of the past state of literature and arts in the United Provinces, is much more elegant, ample, and impartial, than what we find in some other modern travellers. It is not fuo .. perficial, considering the compass of the work; and it must be confeffed that the lift he presents of the literati and artists .. that have Aourished in the United Provinces, is highly respect. able, and does singular honour to a country, so limited in its extent, and so little favoured by the liberality of nature. . . At the end of this splendid lift, he tells us, that the sciences have their flow and ebb, and that the most brilliant period of their prosperity is the forerunner of their downfal, or at least, of their retrogradation to a state of mediocrity. Accordingly, . he looks upon Dutch literature as, at prefent, under a total. eclipse; and here again he exaggerates more or less : for though
* The religious principles of Protestants are dangerous to no go. vernment; and the King of France has no better subjects in his king. dom than those of that persuasion.
we perceive no more above the literary horizon of the United Provinces, stars of the first magnitude, such as a Grotius, a Gronovius, a Schultens, a Boerhaave, an Albinus, a Nieuwentyt, a Huygens, a s'Gravesande, and a Mufschenbroek; yet there are itill many learned men'; and the spirit of literary improvement and philofophical inquiry is very far from being extinguished in the United Provinces, as appears from the numerous academies Bately erected in that country for the improvement of experimental philofophy, natural history, useful arts, and Dutch poetry; and from various testamentary foundations left for prize disa courses on metaphysical, moral, and theological fubjects. We know not whether this fpirit of improvement and inquiry be owing to the disinterested zeal of individuals, or to the fortering protection and encouragement of government, and therefore we tball neither affirm nor refute what our Author says of the state of obscurity and nullity (as he calls it) in which the learned in Holland are at present sunk.
Our Author's description of Switzerland, in the fourth Difa course, is picturesque and interesting; and his poetical style is often happily employed in painting the somantic and ftupendous fcenes that nature exhibits in that country. It is more particuJarly in reading this last Discourse, that we regret Count D’Albon's prostitution of his pen to national prejudices, and narrow views, in the other parts of his work.
ITALY. . II. Consiglio ad un Giované Poeta, &c. i. e.. Counsel to a Foung Poet. By MARTIN SHERLOCK. 8vo. Naples. 1779. This piece contains an ingenious investigation of Italian poetry, and comes from the pen of an Hibernian, who writes in the Janguage of the country whose bards he criticises. Mr. Shere LOCK is a lively writer, and seems to possess a rich portion of taite and imagination. Farther, he discovers marks of judge ment and folidity, when he speaks of objects which he has obferved with a deliberate assiduity and attention ;--but he feems rather apt, sometimes, to take a part for the whole, and to be led a fairy dance after falle or ambiguous lights: as the reader will see in the following article. In the work before us, he appears to advantage ; and though both the work and the language in which it is written, render it peculiarly intereft. ing to Italian readers, yet it is worthy of a much more universal reception.
Mr. SHERLOCK observes, that harmony and colouring (by which last, no doubt, hc means style and expression) are the · parts of the poetic art, in which the Italians more especially Thine; while nature, truh, the simple, and the pathetic, which characterise the great poet, are more or less neglected. Their productions are generally addressed to the imagination,
com trub, the more or less model imaginaties
rarely to reason or to the heart. It is a just and judicious remark of Mr. Sherlock's, that the very noblest productions of the Italian poets have contributed to perpetuate this deviation from simplicity and nature, by the admiration they have excited through succeeding ages; an admiration that renders their very defects respectable, and objects of imitation. The young Italian poeis, accustomed to consider Dante, Pefrarcb, Arioso, and others approaching to that class, as models of perfection, beyond which the poetic art can make no farther progress, confine their imitation to these dangerous guides, and walk with a servile admiration in the paths which they have opened. Mr. SHERLCCK combats with good sense, taste, and spirit, this way of proceeding: he estimates the respective merits of these immortal bards; but though he does this, for the most part, in a masterly manner, there is, nevertheless, sometimes more wit than truth in his decisions. For example, after having described Petrarch with accuracy, taste, and fenfibility, as an inventive genius, who created a new kind of poetry, who from a harp, which had but few strings, drew celestial sounds, and whole tender heart spoke to hearts of the same mold the language of nature,-he adds, that • Petrarch exhausted the species of poetry which he had invented, and therefore could not form successors.' _We question much, whether Petrarch invented this kind of poetry : but we are sure he did not exhaust it, for true love and genuine nature are inexhaustible.
Mr. SHERLOCK is severe on Ariosto : he considers him, nota withstanding his beautiful descriptions, brilliant thoughts, and striking comparisons, as the great corrupter of cafte in Italy: because beauty is inseparable from truth, and nothing is more inconsistent with the latter, than the abiurd relations, the fantastic prodigies, and the gigantic ideas and images, that are ever, proceeding, like the explosions of a Volcano, from the fermenting brain of Ariosto. We subscribe to this judgment of Mr. SHERLOCK's, but we are somewhat surprised to see him drawing a para:lel between two such writers as Ariosto and Me. taitafio. He will justify the comparison, perhaps, by observing that he only meant to express the preference which he gives to the kind of poetry cultivated by the latter, above that which distinguishes the former. In this case, however, he ought not to have said, at the end of his parallel, that Metaftafio is superior to Ariosto, but that he liked the one better than the other : Su.. periority and Inferiority are gradations of diversity that belong to objects of the same kind.
After pointing out the imperfection of the models which are imitated in Italy, our Author advises the young poet to turn his enthusiastic eye from these fallacious guides, and to raise them
withstanding bicons, as the second truth, and
Ariking beauty is ine patter, thar ideas a
like thihans, without a placed therrench as more per boundation
to the Greeks, Latins, and French. We think it liberal in Mr. SHERLOCK, to throw off the Thackles of political restraint in his literary judgments; and we are perfectly disposed to render justice to the considerable number of eminent writers in literature and philosophy, that do honour to the French nation at this day; but we think he overshot the proper bounds of civility, when he held out the French as models in poetryand above all, when he placed them immediately after the Greeks and Romans, without drawing between them an horizontal line like this
as who would say-pray keep your distance. The French themselves (we mean the founder part of them) acknowledge, that, however harmonious their language may be in prose (and such we ourselves think it to be, in a high degree); yet it has not that kind of harmony which is adapted to music and poetry."
G E N E V A. . III. Lettres d'un Voyageur Anglois, i. ė. Letters of an English Traveller. Geneva. 1779.-Here we have again Mr. SherLOCK, who, from a great number of letters written during his travels, has selected twenty-seven of the best, to regale the pub. lic. He has written two hundred-of which, we suppose, these are the quintessence: they are dedicated (as is the preceding work) to the present Bishop of Derry, in whom are united all the qualities and powers of an elegant a nd learned Mæcenas; and they are published in French, that the connoisseurs on the Continent might not be deprived of the pleasure of perusing them.
The first of these letters, which is dated from Berlin, còn. tains a very magnificent eulogy of the King of Prussia, and from the two first pages the reader will form fome notion of the tone and manner that reign in these letters.
The King of Prussia is universally known as a great prince, a great warrior, and a gieat politician ;-but he is less generally known as a great poet, and a good-natured man Marcus Antoninus, Machiavel, (well paired, Mr. Sherlock !) Horace, and Cæfar, have been his models; and he has almost surpassed them all. I never heard of a human being who was perfect; but in a general point of view, the King of Prussia is the greatest man that ever existed..
In the early part of his life, he published his Anti-Machiavel; and this was one of the most dextrous strokes of Machiavelian policy that he ever exhibited. It was a letter of re:
* Mr. SHERLOCK's expreflion is ben homme, which, in French, fignifies a filly, open hearted, good natured man. How the French came to associate the idea of filly with the term good, we shall not 'enquire : che affociation does them little honour. But as Mr. Sherlock could not apply the word good in this complex sense to the King of Proflia, we have taken the liberty to translate it as above.
people to matter of cats, he is the molt danger the latter.
commendation, which he wrote in favour of him felf, to all the powers and people of Europe, while he was forming the project of making himself mafter of Silesia. .. !
"With respect to his fubjects, he is the jufteit of monarchs; but in the eye of his neighbours, he is the most dangerous hero: he excites adoration in the former, and strikes terror into the latter, The Pruffians are proud of their Frederic the Great, as they al. ways call bim. They speak of him with the utmost freedom: and while they keenly censure his taste with respect to certain objects, they bestow upon him the greatest encomiums.-
. There is no character in modern times, concerning which men are so much deceived, as that of this monarch; and the reason of this mistake is, their not considering feparately two parts of his character, which require each a distinët estimation, but of which, nevertheless, they judge in the lump.' (Let us bear Mr. SHERLOCK out, för he is really a curious casuist) The King of Prussia has caused the destruction of thousands of men.
-The King of Prusia is, at the same time, tender-hearted, humane, and full of clemency:--This appears a contradiction. Nevertheless, it is a certain truth.' (Hero now comes the proof) « We must first consider him (continues Mr. SHERLOCK) as a conqueror, in which character, it is not allowable to listen to the voice of humanity :' (No indeed?) . But when heroism is out of the question, we must examine the man. This, perhaps, (says our Author) will be called a subtilty :' &c. No, Mr. SHERLOCK, for our part, we will give it no such apa pellation; for it is the very groffest and most palpable paralogilim that could enter into the head of a sensible man, or into the imagination of a humane man. . If you separate the hero from the man, the former becomes an affaslin, and the latter loses much of his dignity, more especially if he be à prince. Befide it is not using the word hero in the sense it commonly bears, to make it express the character of a bloody conqueror. Your separation of the blood-breathing hero from the good-natured man, puts us in mind of a Curate in Ireland, who affirmed, subtly, over a bowl of punch, that Judas Iscariot, though a bad man, was a good clergyman. The distinction dazzled a great part of the company, when a plain sensible man, who fat at table, addrefled to the Curate this puzzling question. When the bad man goes to bell; Mr. Curate, where will the good clergyman go?"
Beside what is a mere conqueror, a character which Mr. SHERLOCK so injudiciously confounds with that of a hero? A mere conqueror is a man who robs and murders, and is above the reach of human laws; we do not, then; think, that our Author could have paid a worse compliment to the King of Pruffia, than to call hith a 'conqueror. ii .