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delicacy of painting, to exprefs and to blend with confiftency all the fe veral properties which are afcribed to him. That of Richard is marked by more carelefs ftrokes, but they are, notwithstanding, perfectly juft. Much bad compofition may indeed be found in the part; it is a fault from which the best of Shakespeare's plays are not exempt, and with which this play particular abounds; and the taste of the age in which he wrote, though it may afford fome excufe, yet cannot entirely vindicate the exceptionable
paffages. Afier every reasonable allowance, they muft ftil remain blemishes ever to be lamented; but happily, for the most part, they only obfcure, they do not disfigure his draughts from nature. Through whole fpeeches and fcenes, character is often wanting; but in the worst inftances of this kind, Shakefpeare is but infipid: he is not inconfiftent, and in his peculiar excellence of drawing characters, though he often neglects to exert his talents, he is very rarely guilty of perverting them."
Of LOGIC, or the ART of REASONING. [From SYLVA, or the Woop; being a Collection of Anecdotes, Differtations, &c.]
OGIC, or (as it may truly inftinct
does her beft, is
"Lbe called) (he art of dif- fure to attain thofe feveral object,
puting fophiftically, makes a confider.ble part of our academical education yet Gaffendus, who was a very great reafoner, has attempted to prove, that it is, in truth, neither neceffary nor uieful. He thinks, that reafon, or innate force and energy of understanding, is fufficient of itfelf; that its own natural movements, without any difcipline from art, are equal to the investigation and fettling of truth; that it no more wants the affiftance of Logic to conduct to this, than the eye wants a lanthorn to enable it to fee the fun and, however he might admit as curious, he would doublefs have rejected as ufclefs, all fuch productions, as Quillet's Callipada, Thevenot on the Art of Swimming, or Borelli de Motu Animalium; upon the firmed perfuntion that the innate force and energy of nature, when
without any didactic rules or precepts.
"If Logic therefore be not neceffary, it is probably of no great ufe: and indeed it has been deemed not only an impertinent but a pernicious fcience. "Logic," fays Lord Bacon, "is ufually taught too early in life. That minds, raw and unfurnished with matter, fhould begin their cultivation from fuch a fcience, is just like learning to weigh or measure the wind. Hence, what in young men should be manly reafoning, often degenerates into ridiculous affectations and childifh fophiftry." Certainly, where materials are wanting, the difpute must turn altogether upon words; and the whole will be conducted with the fleight and legerdemain of fophiftry.
ftanding, difciplined with Logic, is not fo competent for the inveftigation of truth, as if left to its natural operations.
"A man of wit," fays Bayle, "who applies himfelf long and clofely to logic, feldom fails of becoming a caviller; and by his fophiftical fubtleties perplexes and embroils the very thefes he hath defended. He chufes to destroy his own works rather than forbear difputing; and he starts fuch objections against his own opinions, that his whole art cannot folve them. Such is the fate of thofe who apply themfelves too much to the fubtleties of dialectics." This is the opinion of Bayle, who probably knew from feeling and experience the truth of what he faid; for he was as very great logician, as well as a very great fceptic.
"Our memorable Chillingworth is another inftance to prove, that logic, instead of affifting, may poffibly obftruct and hurt the understanding. Chillingworth, fays Lord Clarendon, who knew him well, was a man of great fubtlety
of understanding, and had spent all his younger time in difputa tion; of which he arrived to fo great a mastery, as not to be inferior to any man, in those skirmifhes: but he had, with his notable perfection in this exercise, contracted fuch an irrefolution and habit of doubting, that by degrees he grew confident in nothing, and a fceptic at least in the greatest mysteries of faith. All his doubts grew out of himflf, when he affifted his fcruples with the ftrength of his own reafon, and was then too hard for himself."
"To conclude-What was the meaning of that ftricture upon Seneca, Verborum minutiis rerum frangit pondera, which, according to lord Bacon, may thus be applied to the fchoolmen, Quæftionum minutiis fcientiarum frangunt foliditatem? Why, that by their litigiofa fubtilitas, as he calls it, by their logical refinements and diftinctions, they had chopped truth fo down into mince-ineat, as to leave it not only without proportion or form, but almoft without fubftance."
any thing elfe; of citing Ovid and Tibullus at the bar, Horace and Lucretius in the pulpit: where, fays, he, "Latin and fometimes Greek are the languages chofen to entertain the women and churchwardens with." And doubtlefs, nothing can be more abfurd and ridiculous than this; by this an author's fenfe, if peradventure he had any, is almoft fuppreffed and fmothered under his learning; and, as Ovid faid of a girl overloaded with dress and ornament, he is fo garnished out with foreign materials, as to be, in truth, the leaft part of himfelf. Mean while, as Bayle obferves upon Bruyere, "it is to be feared, that the very oppofite custom of not citing at all, into which we are falien, will make learning too much defpifed, as a piece of furniture entirely ufelefs." And he has elsewhere mentioned, as one principal caufe of neglect in the study of the Belles Lettres, that a great many wits, real or pretended, have, with an air of difdain, run down the custom of citing Greek authors, and making learned remarks, as fo much pedantry, and fit only for a college.
"It is however certain, that many pleafing as well as ufeful purpofes may be ferved by quotations, judiciously made and aptly applied. It is pleafing to know, while contemplating any fubject, what other writers, men of name and abilities, have thought and faid upon it: and then the variety, which the frequent introduction of new perfonages (as I may call them) creates, wil greatly contribute to enliven attention, and thereby keep off weariness and difgut. With the Greek and Latin authors the claffical reader is ways entertained: "Mr. Clarke's book of coins is much above my
my pitch," faid the learned Markland to his friends; but I read it with pleasure as his, and because of the quotations from the ancients, which are numerous."
"But quotation is ufeful, as well as pleafing, to confirm and illuftrate the fentiments of a writer; and efpecially in works like this of ours: where the great object is, not fo much to teach men things of which they are ignorant, by def canting in detail and at large, as to remind them of what they know ; not fo much to make men read, to borrow Montefquieu's expreffion, as to make them think. For this, the citing of authorities, and dealing in perfonal anecdotes and apophthegms, fcem perfectly well caculated: for, however it be, men frequently paufe and dwell upon names, who would haftily and inadvertently fkim over things. Nay, let the reafoning be ever fo clofe and found, it fhall often pafs for little more than declamation; while the name of fome admired author, efpecially if he be dead, fhall arreft the imagination, and make all the impreffion which is neceffary to produce conviction.
"Again, the practice of quoting from other writers, and efpecially from the Greek and Roman authors of antiquity, is ufeful, in as much (as above hinted) it muft give fome countenance and fanction even to letters themfelves: letters! neglected, declining letters! and with them declining all that is wife, and excellent, and beautiful, and pofled. How would an aftonifhed macaroni ftare, to be affured, that the civilization of kingdoms is founded upon letters; and that, in proportion as thefe are cultivated, fo is nearly the progrefs of mankind from their mot rude and favage fate, up to that perfection of ele
gance and refinement, which beameth forth from his all-finished and refulgent perfon! I fpeak according to the gentleman's own idea of himself.
"Laftly, were the practice of quoting once received and established, this great advantage would farther accrue to letters, viz. That it would reduce the bulk of fcribblers, with which they are difgraced. Nothing is more common in these days, than for men to begin to write, and affect to be authors, not only before they understand Greek and Latin, but before they have any real or accurate knowledge of English. it is enough for them, if they can fpell with tolerable exactnefs for this accomplishment joined with fuch materials as Magazines, Reviews and other public prints fupply, is ufually the flock in trade with which authors now, as well as critics, fet up. In fhort, writing is become a mere manual operation; and books are made every day by men without genius, without letters, who are but barely fufficient to tranfcribe, at the most to compile. Upon which account it might well be wifhed, that every one who prefumes to write, efpecially upon matters of religion and government (for in romance and moral painting it is not neceffary), fhould be obliged to fupport his
meaning, once at least with some Greek, and once with fome Latin, citation; and fhould produce at the fame time a true and well authenticated teftimonial, that these citations were not furnished by another, but bona fide his own act and deed. A teft of this fort would give a mighty check to fcribbling; and fave reams of paper, which are every moment going to perishperituræ parcere charta.
"Upon the whole, therefore, let us not condemn, and affectedly avoid, the citation of authors; falfely delicate, falfely faftidious. Let us recollect, that the greatest and most refpectable writers have done this: that Cicero, Plutarch, Seneca, Bacon, Montaigne, and Montefquieu, left nothing unborrowed from others, which might ferve to embellifh their own writings; and that the things thus borrowed may, if fkilfully applied, have not only all the energy of their old fituation, but all the graces of invention in their new one. And why fhould
they not? there being no less avit in justly applying the thought of another, than in being the first author of that thought. At least, fo fays Mr. Bayle; whom I have quoted the more freely upon this topic, becaufe he was a very great wit, as well as a very great icholar."
Of the ECCENTRICITIES of IMAGINATION. [From the fame Work.]
Certain writer, apologizing for the irregularities of great genii, delivers himfelf thus: The gifts of imagination bring the heaviest tafk upon the vigilance of reafon; and to bear thofe faculties with unerring rectitude or
invariable propriety, requires a degree of firmnefs and of cool attention, which doth not always attend the higher gifts of the mind. Yet, difficult as nature herfelf feems to have reduced the talk of regularity to genius, it is the fupreme F 2
confolation of dulnefs to feize upon those exceffes, which are the overflowings of faculties they never enjoyed. Are not the gifts of imagination here mistaken for the ftrength of paffions? Doubtlefs, where frong paffions accompany great parts, as perhaps they often do, there imagination may increase their force and activity: but where paffions are calm and gentle, imagination of itself fhould feem to have no conflict but fpeculatively with reafon. There indeed it wages an eternal war; and, if not controuled and ftrictly regulated, will carry the patient into endless extravagancies. I ufe with propriety the term patient; becaufe men, under the influence of ima gination, are most truly distempered. The degree of this diftemper will be in proportion to the prevalence of imagination over reafon, and, according to this proportion, amount to more or lefs of the whimsical; but when reafon fhall become as it were extinct, and imagination govern alone, then the dilemper will be madnets under the wildest and most fantastic modes. Thus one of thefe invalids, perhaps, fhall be all forrow for having been moft unjustly deprived of the crown; though his vocation, poor man! be that of a fchoolmafter. Another is all joy, like Horace's madman; and it may feem even cruelty to cure him. A third all fear; and dares not make water, left he should cause a deluge.
might moft fuccefsfully be oppofed to the delufions of imagination, as being proof to the fenfes, and carrying conviction unavoidably to the understanding: but I fufpect, that the understanding, or reafoning faculty, hath little to do in all thefe cafes: at least so it should feem from the two following, which are very remarkable, and well attested.
"Fienus, in his curious little book De Viribus Imaginationis, records from Donatus the cafe of a man, who fancied his body increased to fuch a fize, that he durft not attempt to pafs through the door of his chamber. The phyfician, believing that nothing could more ef fectually cure this error of imagination than to fhew that the thing could actually be done, caufed the patient to be thruft forcibly through it: who, ftruck with horror, and falling fuddenly into agonies, complained of being crufhed to pieces, and expired foon after.--Reason, certainly, was not concerned here.
"The other cafe, as related by Van Swieten, in his Commentaries upon Boerhaave, is that of a learned man, who had ftudied till he fancied his legs to be of glafs; in confequence of which he durft not attempt to ftir, but was conftantly under anxiety about them. His maid, bringing fome wood to the fire, threw it carelessly down; and was feverely reprimanded by her mafter, who was terrified not a little for his legs of glafs. The furly wench, out of all patience with his megrims, as fhe called them, gave him a blow with a log upon the parts affected: which fo enrag
"The operations and caprices of imagination are various and endlefs; and, as they cannot be reduced ed to regularity or fyftem, fo it is highly improbable that any certain method of cure fould ever be found out for them. It hath generally Leen thought, that matter of fact
him, that he inftantly rofe up, and from that moment recovered the ue of his legs.-Was reafon concerned any more here? or, was it not rather one blind impulfe acting against another?”