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But, should ye snarling o’er these fragments starve,
peace with such more dangerous is than war, Lest some cracked wretch that cannot read should
By approbation's loud unmeaning grin,
* Presumptuous as it may be deemed, I cannot but think that Johnson's genius has been overrated. He exhibits no bad specimen of the good effects of a little seasonable bullying; nor is every literary pugilist so fortunate in his bottle holders. But in addition to this, his talents were blazoned by the Church, she being, and with rea on, proud of so orthodox a Champion in a coloured coat; at a time too when Addison was no more, and when her lay defenders were not numerous. His imitation of the third and tenth Satires of Juvenal he never afterwards equalled, and it is melancholy to consider that we are indebted to his necessities for his best efforts. “Ingenii venter, largitor." It was observed by one who knew hiin well, that if fortune had thought fit to place tlie Doctor in a field of clover, he would have lain down and rolled in it.
Or prove, if for themselves they think at all,
But in the offing what strange sail appears ? Critics! and Printers ! hail her with three cheers! Fresh from the Tweed she seems, yet falls to leward Tho'steerd by skilful Scott, The Anna Seward. † Freighted with rhymes for England, and we're told Brings Constable's piled quartos in her hold! *
* An eye so acute as to perceive the motion of the hour hand of a clock, would not be able to ascertain the time of the day.
† See Anna Seward's Poetical works, edited by Walter Scott.
$ Mr. Constable is in possession of twelve quarto volumes of this Lady's correspondence, which she observed were but one twelfth part of what she had written.
Like Palinurus, * Scott foresees a wreck,
But ah, to greet them, not a Muse will rise,
That ample wreath by Sydney borne away,
* Te Palinure petens tibi tristia Somnia portans
Insonti. It will be evident to every reader of this edition of Miss Seward's works, that her Editor, Mr. Scott, foresees the fate of his Cargo, and its “alacrity ir sinking." But having imposed upon himself the task of introducing these “Magnas Nugas" to the public, he has been prudent enough not to do it "
“Magno Conatu.” Considering what the public have a right to expect from that time which such a writer as Mr. Scott may dedicate to literary exertions, I conceive every lover of the muses will exclaim "His vellem nunquam nugis tota ista dedisset tempora."
+ Phyllidas Hissipylas Vatum et plorabile si quid.
See a republication of Mrs. Cowley's Epic Poem the Siege of Acre,
In the short pause of fury, blood, and rage, ,
But lo! the living tempest sweeps the plain,
Such mighty deeds transcend a woman's pen, The rage of combat is a theme for men ;
* Addison, at the request of Lord Godolphin, and in consideration of a sum of money, manufactured into a prem the Battle of Blenheim. This poem was satirically termed a ga. zette in rhime. To say this of Mrs. Cowley's poem would be a compliment, as her hero, Sir Sydney, has evinced in his dispatches the elegance of the Scholar, attempering the fire of the most favoured knight of Chivalry. In short his whole narration is a romance, but written with the sternest pen of Truth. The Port of Acre was formerl, taken by Richard Cour de Lion, in conjunction with Philip; and on this occasion history presents us with a solitary instance of a King of France and England fighting together in defence of one common cause.
As soon her hand might rule the scythed Car,
Hail Devon, † hail each rhime re-echoing stream,
* Mrs. Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho, and her Romance of the Forest, the two mightiest efforts of a female pen!
† A Lady at Exeter lately gave a tea party to six Gentlemen; on comparing notes, it came out that
individual of this marvellous Symposium had written an Epic Poen. I shall not mention their Names, as their knuckles are still sore from the gentle rapping of some Northern Critics ;- but oa mutually condoling with each other, on this tender subject, they were heard to exclaim, Et nos ergo manum ferulæ subuximus, et nos. This covey of bards was a meeting purely accidental; miserum est cum tut ubique vatibus occurras.
I A Mill invented in Germany, to restore paper spoiled by