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the Spiritual Quixote, Columella, Euphrosyne, and some other publications of fancy and good-humour: nor are the Anecdotes of Eugenius of less importance; for to smooth the wrinkled brow of care, to beguile the heavy hours of fufpence, or feduce the restless soul for a moment from its anxious solicitudes, is an important task, and one in which humanity would wish to be employed.
The chief opinion which the author endeavours to incul. cate is, that the present age improves in many respects ; and that the manners of our cotemporaries are, at leait, not al. tered for the worse. We have lately inclined to the same opinion, in subjects of literature; and perhaps, if the vices and foilies of the last age are compared, in cumulo, with those of the present, they may present a more shocking picture than we can now furnish.
Avarice and hypocrisy are certainly not among the latter.
But let us hear our author : we can only find room for some parts of his argument. « Reason has certainly gained ground, though deep learn.
upon the decline ; many prejudices are worn off, and many absurd customs laid aside ; cur manners are evidently more polished, and I think not more corrupt, than in the days of our youth. If we have fewer foxhunters, we have fewer 'hard drinkers ; if our country gentlemen live more in public places, they drink lefs in private parties, than heretofore. As to our statesmen, orators, and poets, if we must descend to particulars, without regard to party-though we have no Walpoles, Pulteneys, or Bolingbrokes, we have men not less honest, not less able: we have a Th-low, C-md-n, a N-th, a Charles F-x, and a second William P-tt.
• If we have not a Swift, an Addison, or a Pope, we have an H---rd, the W-stons, and an H--yley; with many others not inferior to them; not to mention many female writers, superior to those of any age, ancient cr’modern.
* In point of taste and skill in the polite arts, you will hardly dispute our fuperiority to the last age ; nor put even Pope's hero, Jervas, in competition with Reynolds or Gainsborough ; or Hogarth himself with Harry B-nbury.
• Even our fair ladies, though some few, with a noble contempt of the laws of decency as well as of chastity, have diftinguished themselves in the annals of gallantry ; and though they have too generally adopted the high ton of a bold malculine air and ambiguous dress ; yet I question whether we have not in high lịfe as many, or more examples of conjugal fidelity, maternal tenderness, and domestic economy, as in
the former part of this, or in the latter part of the lak century.'
He opposes the arguments drawn from the licentiousness of some modern fashionable females, in the following manner.
· The Peerage of Great Britain, continues he, in conjunc. tion with the Irish nobility, many of whom refide in England, amount, I believe, to near five hundred families : and our commoners of high rank, and possessed of capital fortunes, and who also figure in high life, are almost innumerable.
• Now aniongst these people of distinction, who exhibit themselves on the theatre of the polite world, we hear of two or three ladies, in two or three years, perhaps, who from mere wantonness and love of variety, or from being unsuitably matched by their parents--and sometimes, I fear, from the ill usage of their tyrannical masters-violate their conjugal engagements, separate from their husbands, become the subject of public speculation, and fill every news-paper with licentious anecdotes, criminal adventures, and trials for incontinency.
"But we hear nothing all this while, of the hundreds and thousands of virtuous wives, tender mothers, or dutiful daughters, who, in the sequeitered paths of life, discharge their duty in their several relations and departments without noise or oftentation,
• Neither are the trials of these few fair culprits, in this age, stained with the guilt of poisoning or assassinations ; crimes shocking to humanity, with which history abounds; and which have furnished the subjects of tragedy, in earlier periods, in our own country, as well as in other parts of Europe, and amongst the ancient celebrated commonwealths of Greece and Rome.'
Perhaps it is not difficult to draw the balance; but it will be augmented or diminished by the mind of the accomptant. Those who país cheerily through the vale of life, without feeling its diftreffes or bearing its burthens, will increase the favourable fum : while those who fink under disease, whose pain, either of body or mind, casts a gloomy shade on their profpects, and separates their minutes by imaginary hours, will form a different opinion. Truth, as usual, must lie between ; and when we weigh the facts in that balance, we think, with our author, that we have feen worse times ; but he must allow us to add, that we wish for better.
The story, in general, is simple, pleasing, and tender. The author calls it an embellished narrative; it is not above truth; it is not ornamented with splendid imagery, or refined by an affected delicacy; it seems to contain real facts in disguise.
We have read the anecdotes with pleasure: they speak to the heart; and the heart which can feel will applaud them.
Many judicious remarks are interspersed in the narrative, with which we generally agree; but we cannot take them from their proper place. The Power which ornaments a bouquet, from the combination or contrast of its colours with those which surround it, may not be particularly striking, when separated. Yet we cannot help transcribing our author's sentiments with respect to the poetical Milk-woman; we transcribe, because we wish strongly to enforce them.
• A scene of this kind discovered lately to the benevolent Mr. B. and that soul of sensibility Mrs. H. M-re, the ingenious and virtuous Bristol milk-woman'; whom they have nobly relieved, and placed above want, by the assistance of lady B
-, Mrs. M-t-gue, and other friends ; and have left her in a situation to court the muses at her leisure. But as “ Apollo himself does not always string his bow,”-and as verse, in this tasteless age, is not always a marketable commodity, it would not be amiss, if Mrs. Yearsly had two ftrings to her bow, and (I speak it seriously) were instructed to make cheesecakes and custards with her milk, as well as to make verses ; in which case, any productions of her muse, which lay upon her hands, might be usefully employed in protecting the more lucrative productions of her oven:
These volumes of our author are ornamented, like his other works, by the elegant pencil of Mr. Bampfylde,-'arcades ambo :' a kindred taste seems to have united them; and the labours of each reflect a luftre on the other.
Paley's Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. (Concluded,
from p. 37:) AF FTER having examined the relative duties both deter
minate and indeterminate, our very candid and intelligent' author considers the dusies to ourselves; that is, those duties which have our well-being for their object, and which unfortunately we are least attentive to. The regard to be paid to them is also of consequence to society in general, yet in some instances they may not do any great injury to our fellow-creatures, though in all they are hurtful to ourselves. Under this head Mr. Paley examines the Rights of Self-defence, Drunkenness, and Suicide. The Rights of Selfdefence are properly ftated, and no exigence is supposed by our author to justify a person in taking another's life, but when life and perbaps chastity are in danger, and every method of flight, or procuring aslistance, is taken away. Drunkenness has often exercised the pen of the moralist, and it is no imputation to an author's ingenuity to have suggested nothing new on the subject ; but Mr. Paley places the usual arguments, both from reason and Scripture, in a very striking light. The arguments in defence of suicide are delivered with a force, which even a ftrenuous assertor of its lawfulness would approve, This is an instance of our author's candour; but we fear the answer will not appear fufficiently strong: we mean not that he betrays the cause which he should defend ; but that the arguments are not such as will affect the determined suicide. In the cooler moments, the reason and the feelings oppose it with violence; but in the hour of murder, reason is asleep; infalted pride, disappointed ambition, or fullen despair, are only awake. The man who would oppose suicide with fucceis must speak to these : he must pique the pride, rouse the remaining fpark of ambition, and add force to the resolution. This is a disease of the passions ; the reason and the judgment are already vanquished enemies.
Of the duties towards God, the first is prayer. The arguments from the light of nature, Mr. Paley owns, are only negative; and do not positively enforce the duty and efficacy of prayer. This part of his subject he has examined with candour; the infidel and deist can go on with him cordially. In this way, though we have applauded his candour, we think too that he has acted with the most consummate policy. To state the argument weakly, or to reply to it injudiciously, the most common method (we are sorry to be obliged to remark it) of ading, either disgusts the opponent, or adds to his tri. umph. The cause, in our author's hands, loses nothing : his arguments do not weaken the faith of the believer; and they conduct, with great address, the opponent to other arguments derived from revelation. If these are denied, the force of evidence, from reason alone, inclines the balance in favour of prayer ;
and the antagonist is left in a more proper state than that in which he probably commenced the enquiry. The next chapter, which contains the comparative advantages of public and private prayer, is very just and valuable. Mr. Paley proceeds to forms of prayer. In this chapter he enumerates the advantages of a Liturgy with great propriety. He is probably not equally accurate in his defence of the amplification of our present forms. The composer cannot expect that the devotion will be cqually kept up in an extensive service, and it is evident that, in an animated concise prayer, the attention will be more alive than in the more laboured repetitions of former ages. There are undoubtedly many trong cbjections to the present forms; and these can be only evaded by alledging, what is ftrially true, that every other mode of public prayer is liable to more numerous and important ones.
The Use of Sabbatical Institutions is our author's next object; and he explains the inftitution, and its reasons, in 2 scriptural and moral view. We cannot resist transcribing the following very intelligent and judicious answers to some obvious queftions.
• If it be asked, as it often has been, whe:ein consists the difference between walking out with your stick or with your gund between spending the evening at home, or in a tavern? between passing the Sunday afternoon at a game of cards, or in conversation not more edifying, nor always so inoffensive!
To these, and to the fame question under a variety of forms, and in a multitude of similar examples, we return the following answer :-That the religious observation of Sunday, if it ought to be retained at all, muft be upheld by some public and visible distinctions: that draw the line of distinction where you will, many actions which are situated on the confines of the line, will differ very little, yet lie on opposite sides of itthat every trespass upon that reserve, which public decency has established, breaks down the fencé, by which the day is separated to the service of religion - that it is unsafe to trifle with fcruples and habits that have a beneficial tendency, though founded in mere custom-that these liberties, however intend. ed, will certainly be considered by those who observe them, not only as disrespectful to the day and institution, but as proceeding from a secret contempt of the Christian faith-that confequently they diminish a reverence for religion in others, fo far as the authority of our opinion, or the efficacy of our example Teaches ; or rather, so far as either will serve for an excuse of negligence to those who are glad of anythat as to cards and dice, which put in their claim to be considered amongst the harmless occupations of a vacant hour, it may be observed, that few find any difficulty in refraining from play on Sunday, except they who fit down to it with the views and eagerness of gamesters :--that gaming is feldom innocent-that the anxiety and perturbations, however, which it excites, are inconfittent with the tranquillity and frame of temper, in which the duties and thoughts of religion should always both find, and leave us and lastly, we shall remark, that the example of other countries, where the same or greater licence is allowed, affords no apology for irregularities in our own ; because a practice which is tolerated by public order and usage, neither receives the fame construction, nor gives the same offence, as where it is discouraged and censured by both.'
The moral part of this work is concluded by a consideration of the reverence due to the Deity, and includes remarks on profane swearing, and every impropriety of speech and man