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Extracts from the Portfolio of a Man of Letters:

subdivide those which convened too ARL Philip Moritz, a Gerinan writer inany, books. un mental derangement, reckonis

PROPORTION OĖ TALENT: anong the causes of the increase of in.

Shenstone says, that if the public were sanity the diminished use of bleeding, divided into one hundred parts, the rela. and the diminished use of tobacco, both tive distribution of intellect might be which he considers as of sedative and estimated thus: calming tendency.


15 Persons of common sense

40 One of our periodical writers pretends, Wits

15 that a pack of cards was originally a per. Pedants petual almanack, used in Hindostan, and Persons of wild taste brought to Europe by the Portuguese. Persons of improved taste

5 The individual cards represent the fifty

Shenstone, who piqued himself on the two weeks, the four suits are the four refinement of his taste, manifestly enseasons, the twelve court-cards are the deavours here to represent as the most twelve months. The oriental astrologers, select ciass, that in which he excelled. or jugglers, he says, would find a man's An accomplished taste is a gift of edu. birth day on the cards, and affect to cal. cation rather than of nature: in rich culate his luck.

luxurious communities it is more comFather Menestrier, on the contrary,

mon than in poorer; in old countries, maintains, that cards were invented in more common than in newer; in pacific 1392, for the amusement of the Emperor ages, more common than in turbulent Charles, who became insane: but he times. But the proportion of wits and thinks that tarocco cards were in use fools, being a gift of nature, 'not of cirbefore the abridged pack, and that the cunstance, remains invariably the same; Germans, who made these, first invented and is surely not so considerable as Shenthe art of prioting, by copying the card- stone assumes. Pedantry is one form maker's process.

of taste; the pedants are of those who LUNATIC.

pursue accomplishments of mind, with. The word lunatic, being derived from

out being under the guidance of a strong luna the moon, signifies moon-struck. judgınent. Common sense is necessaNow that the theory is abandoned of the rily the lot of a majority of every civilized moon's having any influence over diseases society; because men call common sense of the brain, this word is become im- that way of thinking and acting, in which proper. It is a superstitious expression, the majority are agreed. which inculcates error, and tends to per

The list then should be reformed some petuate credulity.

what thus:
Persons of common sense


Fools Disputes have often arisen among the Wits learned, respecting the neatest subdivi- Tasters

25 sion of heads in a catalogue of books. Among persons of this last description, Lambecius, Mattaire, and Maichaud, a majoriiy must always fall short of good followed distinct systems. Martin, the taste; because men are agreed to call by Jibrarian of Paris, prefixed to his cata- the name refinement, or good taste, that Ingue an original plan of distribution which meets the approbation of the sehis five chief heads are, Theology, Juris- lect few, of the picked critics in man. prudence, Arts and Sciences, Fine Li- ners, literature, and art. terature, and History. His subdivisions are numerous and indistinct, as well as his main divisions.

Menage praises this epigram on a stara All these schemes of distribution seem

gazer, who stumbled and fell: to have been made a priori: a surer road

Qui fuit astrologus, tunc geometra fuit. to convenient arrangement would be, to begin a posteriori with a number of heads J. P. Driess was born about the year proportioned to the mass of books to be 1740, and educated at the celebrated arranged, and then to throw together the seminary of Joachims-thral. His relaRopics which produced too few, and to tions destined hiin for the ecclesiastical



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profession, and he made a progress in to destroy himself with a pen-knife; but, classical acquirements, commensurate not succeeding, he determined on the with their solicitude. But his curiosity slower process of voluntarily starving strayed into bolder investigations than hinıself. were suited to his intended employment; Mendelsohn, Hagen, Nicolai, and and by the study of Brucker's History of other humane men, visited him, and Philosophy, Bayle's Dictionary, and endeavoured to awaken the love of life. Spinoza's works, he attained a state of Independence, or insanity, gave a franko mind which indisposed him to ness to his discourse, which enabled them formity.

to succeed. They induced prince Henry When the time for decision arrived, he of Prussia to leave his card, and carried declined stooping to ordination. His word to poor Driess, that he might be family, who could with difficulty afford appointed lecturer to his royal Highness. the expense of his education, progres- Driess now accepted nourishment, and sively withdrew their assistance; but recovered. Prince Henry allotted him a confident in his intellectual resources, stipend; and indicated certain days for he expected a liberal maintenance by his attendance in the library. Life had writing for the booksellers at Berlin. again charins, while the dream of ambį. His earlier literary efforts were anony- tion could endure.

He went in new mous, and concealed in various perio- clothes to thank Mendelsohn for his kind. dical publications; at length he adver- ness, and to consult him about winning tised a dissertation on the propriety of further trophies from superstition. abolishing public prayer.

He con- The humanity of the prince had given tended, that it was absurd to suppose an audience, but intended no acquainthe laws of nature would be suspended tance. The next work of Driess, which for the contradictory requests of men; defended suicide, was as unpopular as and that if prayer was notoriously fruit- the last. Another attack of hypochonless, there was little, sense in continuing driasis came on, which necessitated his. the symphony. The book was reviewed, removal to a public mad-house, where he abused as atheistical, and the poor au- beat out his brains against the wall for thor, out of employ, fell into extreme want of any implement of destruction, want.

Free-thinking has its martyrs as well On the 14th of January, 1774, being as superstition, and this was one of them, then about five and thirty, he attempted



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NRS. MONTAGUE to LORD KAIMES. confidence in you has had time to take Sandleford, October 27th, 1773.

A long winter cannot blast, dreary MY LORD,

seasons cannot wither, it.

Under its ITH' the history of man, I dare shadow I am protected from any appre.

say, your lordship has written hensions from your genius and learning, the history of woman. I beg that, in spe. You appear to me in no character but cifying their characters, you would take that of my friend, and in the sacred cha. notice, that time and separation do not racter of my old friend. The years of operate on the female heart as they do absence, the months of vacation, in our on that of the inale. We need not go correspondence come into the account, back so far as the time of Ulysses and for I remembered you when I did not Penelope, co prove this. We may pass hear from you, I thought of, when I did over the instances of his dalliance with

not see, you. Esteem, nursed by faiththe sole suitor that addressed him, the ful remembrance, grew up without interlovely Calypso, and the constant Pene- mission. lope's continued disdain of the whole I am most sincerely rejoiced that your train of pertinacious wooers.

lordship has completed your great work. The more near and recent an example May you long enjoy the fame, and may is the better; so my lord we will take our you see mankind derive advantage as own times. You feel, you say, when well as pleasure from your labour. The you take up your pen to write to me, the more man understands himself, the less same formality as on our first acquain- averse will he be to those divive and buCance. - 1 on the contrary find, that my man laws that restrain iis licentious apMONTHLI MAQ, No, 206,



petites. It is froin ignorance of his na- I agree with your lordship, that I ought ture that he misapprehends bis interest: not to lament the death of lord Lyttleton not comprehending how he is made, he on his own account. His virtue could disputes the will of his Maker.

not have been more perfect in this mortal i am impatient for the publication of state, nor his character greater than it your book, and hope your printer will was, with all whose praise could be an make all possible haste to indulge us with object to a wise and worthy man. He it. I rejoice that it has pleased God to now reaps the full reward of those vir.. give you life and health to finish this tues, which, when here, though they , work; and I flatter myself, though you gave him a tranquil cheerfulness amidst may not again embark in so great an un- many vexations, and the sufferings of dertaking, that so able a pen will not be sickness, yet could not produce a perfect consigned to indolent repose. As to my calm to the wounds inflicted on his pa. poor goose-quill, it is not much to be

ternal affection. When I consider how regretted that, very probably, it will unhappy his former, how blessed his pre. scribble no more. I have neither the sent, state, I am ashamed to lament him. force of good health, nor the presumption The world has lost the best example, of good spirits, left to animate me, and modest merit the best protector, mankind without thie energy of great talents, these its gentlest friend. My loss is unspeakare necessary to the task of undertaking able ; but as the friendship of such a man something for the public.

is the best gift of God, and I am sensible I have been for many months teazed that I was never deserving of so great a with a slow fever; and the loss of my ex- blessing, I ought rather to offer thanks cellent friend lord Lyttelton, has cast a that it was so long bestowed, than to recloud over iny mind. I remember, sir pine that it was taken away. I ought William Temple says, in one of his cs. also to beg that, by the remembrance of says, that " when he recollects how many his precepts and example, I may derive excellent men and amiable women have the same helps to doing my duty in all died before him, he is ashamed of being relations of life, and in all social engagealive.” With much more reason than

ments, that I did from his advice.

But sir William (whose merit was equal to virtue never speaks with such persuasion that of any of the friends he survived) I as when she borrows the accents of a feel this very strongly. I have lived in

friend; moreover, my time in this world the most intimate connexion with some

will probably be very short, and if it were of the highest characters of the age. long, I could never cease to admire so They are gone, and I remain: all that

perfect a pattern of goodness. adorned me is taken away, and only a

I am ever,
Gypress wreath is left.
I used to borrow

My lord, &c. &c. lustre from them, but now I seem respec.

ELIZABETH MONTAGUE, table, even in my own eyes, only as the xiourner of departed merit.

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want LINES,

And then within my bosom glow

The mingled throbs of joy and woe,


Of triumph, and of grief;

For then I glory in the hour

That check'd usurping France's pow'r,
I'VE long, dear lady, try'd in vain
To write you in poetic strain,

And offer'd Spain relief.
In lieu of common prose;

And then, I long for deathless lays
But let me woo her as I will,

To sound our gallant Wellesley's praises
The truant Muse eludes me still,

And deeds of wonder tell;
And scarce a stanza flows.

And then, I feel a soldier's pride
Sometimes I seize the pe! 10 write

In having fought by Sherbrooke's side,
The tale of Talavera's fight,

And where Mackenzie fell!
Where France and England bled:
To tell how British valour shone,

Fond dream: another moment's thought
Reriod the dying soldier's groan,

Is with the mighty slaughter fraught, And celebrate the dead,

And all my ardour dies;

For feel;



For, of Great Britain's gallant train

Go weigh the charger's fate with thine,
Five thousand bled, and bled in vain,

Drest and caparison'd so fine ;
For cowardly allies !!!

Now to martial music dancing,
Thus changing still, to nothing fixt,

Snorting, rearing, bounding, prancing,
Of veering themes my song is mixt,

Now che field of glory treading,
Of glory, and of grief :

Lame and legless, fainting, bleeding.
One hour I feel a poet's fire,

Ah! I have seen him borne beyond the main, The nexi, I drop the listless lyre,

Each toil forgotten and each danger brav’d, And burn the scribbled leaf.

On foreign shores by free-born Britons slain, Yet, though thus wayward be the lay,

Starv'd and destroy'd by those his valour

Hope, ever steady, ever gay,
Pictures a prospect fair ;

Yes, where yon tow'ring Cape divides the

wave, She homewards paints a wish'd-for rest,

Where bled the noblest host of loyal Gauls, (By many a social circle blest,)

And where yon tides two humbler islands And whispers.“ Peace is there."


Inglorious there, the English charger falls.* THE ASS: AN ODE

Then curse with me this age of steel, ON THE MELIORATION OF THE SPECIES.

Till w

-'s heart shall own and
poor ass! it joys me much to see thee glad,

And should one sigh his bosom pass,
And with that saddle new upon thy back; Go thank thy stars that thou wert doom'd an
No longer dost thou look demure and sad,
For thou hast been of late a fav’rite hack.

Yet humbly still thou tread'st the ground, Once I beheld thee by the stable door,
Thy modest front with riband bound, And down thy face the showers of hunger
Shaking thy silver bit along :

Smooth is thy hide as any down,

While the stall'd horse had oats and hay in Noc cudgel'd now by lusty clown,

store, Or by a dusky tinker's thong.

A thistle's top was all thou hadst to chew. Poor brute! so lately doom'd to fag,

Harsh was the bite, the prickles stinging, To toil and sweat from day to day ;

The blood at every gnash was springing ; Thy life near-Famine's hut to drag,

There thou like Laz'rus, he like Dives On stones thy wearied trunk to lay.

What lucky star has chang'd thy lot? Cramming his pamper'd maw with dainty
Are all those rugged times forgot?

From mis’ry's rub!
Nor trudging down the dusty street,

But cease thuu gentle ass to fret and whine,
Nibbling each dirty weed you meet,

Nor envious be to view the well-fed
In pools or dub.
Oft have I met thee waddling on the road,

Though grooms attend him clad in liv’ries
Bending beneath thy panniers, stuff'd and

fine, tied,

And man records with pride his noble

breed ;
Of rags and rusty iron, a monstrous load,
And eke a beggar's brat on either side ;

Go turn to Talavera's plain,
Forth from a greasy bag their long necks

And see the mighty warrior slain,

Cover'd with dust and blood on lite's last throwing, Just like two well-fed geese to market

brink, going;

He calls a Spanish ass to bring him drink. Gabbling and gulping down from wooden

So Dives laid in Hell, 'midst tormenis dire, dish,

Cried so Water, Laz'rus, for I burn with
Sour curds and leeks, or mess of stinking Then tell thy kind, their case might still be

Vet meek wert thou beneath the load,
Gentie as when you bore a God,

Nor glory seek beside the slaughter'd horse,
While all around Hosannas loud did ring,
And bade the impious Jew's behold their King. A short time after the massacre of the
But though despis’d of man, and mock'

army of French loyalists at Cape Quiberon, scorn,

in 1795, a body of cavalry amounting to Just like thy master, he of Bethlehem born.

1200, were sent out, but witb only three Stiil bounteous Nature had a mind, months' provender in the transports.

Nor Thy fortune was not all unkind,

being able to affect a function with the royal Some cause you had to be content.

army, the greater part died of hunger on Thou ne'er hast heard the dis, of arms,

board : and 300 were carried on shore to the Thy breast no trumpet's sound alarms, little islands Hedic and Houat, where they A peaceful drudge thy days were spent. were killed off by musketry,

steed ;


But while I hail thee on this glad promotion, Can they, to Him and to themselves unjust's

Still let me just advise thee as a friend; Tempt His dread anger by unmeet distrust! Perhaps you donkies have not learn'd the Ah no! If God inspel me to the field, notion,

Where Virtue's foes Death's flaming falchiong That happy hours and flow'sing seasons

He, sure, will arm me for the fearful strife

i We mortals find while skies are smiling, His hand omnipotent will guard my life; Some sullen cloud our hopes beguiling;

Teach me to vanquish wheresoe'er I tread, Above our heads the thunders hurst,

And bind the wreath of Conquest round my That lay us level with the dust.

head. What if they tax thy bit and saddle,

Then, Fear, farewell ! Let fiercest fiende Thou must again with beggars waddle; Their threats I scorn, their prowess I defy;

draw nigh;
Be beat till every rib is sore,
And beg thy scrip from door to door.

Nay, if that Pow'r who bids the tempeso Alas! thou oft may'st want a bit of grass,

reign, Nor pity find from any human ass.

And turns to mountains ocean's liquid plaing

If His all-potent arm my vessel guide, Yes, trust me, I delight to see thee gay, Unterrified I'll brave the boist'rous tide,

And lovely Laura seated on thy back; Unterrified I'll meet the loudest storm, She, like the forest's queen in Aowery May, And challenge Death in ev'ry dreadful form. The envy thou of every other hack.

Yes, let the tempest roar, the whirlwind And while you pace to Laura's song,

rise, Or drag your little car along,

And the fork'd light'ning dim my aching May fear and shame o'erspread the face

eyes ; That dares t’insult thy honest race : Let dire Destruction ride the gath’ring ware ; Erskine himself shall nobly rise,

Th' Almighty still my shatter'd bark can Again a list'ning senate charm,

save; Teach mankind how to sympathise,

Still, at His word, the furious storm shall And half creation's wrath disarm :*

cease, Thou too, shall rise in being's scale,

And ev'ry raging billow sink to peace. And pity for the ass o’er all the world prevail. Then, whatsoe'er His will, let us obey,

And tho' with sharpest thorns he plants our I OWE YOU ONE.

way, CHLOE, whene’er her spouse his wit be. Tho' Falsehood's venom'd breath our fame gan,

destroy, Was wont to say, My dear, I owe you Tho'rank Disease empoison ev'ry joy ; one :"

Nay, tho' that keenest of all pangs we prove, Begetting twins, and to his rib's text true; The loss of those whom, next to Heav'n, we Strephon replied, " My love, I owe you two."

love, Let us remember still who wields the rod,

And meekly bow before that chast’ning God,

Who never but in mercy sends distress;

Whose first delight is to amend and bless.

How dire his lot who slights that love die HERE high suspended on a gibbet hangs

vine, A youth to ev'ry vice and plunder prone, Tl'effects of which thro' all creation shine; Till caught at length by Law's resistless fangs, And, madly chasing Heav'n-born Hope He found his thieving occupation gone.

away, Bad were his sentiments, his actions worse, To fell Despair submits, a willing prey; And when he mounted Newgate's fatal Questions the grace to contrite sinners giv'n, drop,

And thus offends the Majesty of Heav'n. He gave the hangman a most hearty curse, In that dread hour when Death's relentless From him he got, what he deserv'd, a rope.

dart J. B. Is fiercely level'd at the shrinking heart;

When human care and human skill are vain, ODE

T'exempt the spirit, or the flesh, from pain; ON THE GOODNESS OF PROVIDENCE. In that dread hour, ah! whither shall he PEACE, throbbing heart! repress the ri- turn ? sing sigh!

Where can his soul a ray of light discern, Hence, thou big tear-drop, trembling in my To gild her passage thro' the dreary tomb eye!

To the dark confines of a world to come ? Can Christians doubt the goodness of that But can we 'gainst conviction veil our eyes ? Pow'r,

Can we contemplate ocean, earth, and skies, Whose shield protects them from their natal Nor view in all that pow'r whose guardian

hour? * Alluding to his bill in the peers, to pre. Shields both the monarch and the mite from vent cruelty to domestic animals.

J. B.





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