페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

posed to serious meditation? We are not inclined to con. cede either, to our transatlantic brethren; but we ought in justice to acknowledge, that the rapid circulation of such a book, is presumptive evidence in favour of their moral character, and reminds us of “the masculine moralitythe sober and rational piety which are found in all classes," ascribed to this nation by Mr. Walsh, in one of the most eloquent passages that ever fell from his pen.

From the specimens we have given, our readers must be satisfied with the language of “No Fiction :" but we beg leave to enter our protest against an innovation, which this writer has adopted, and which we have very lately observed to be creeping in amongst ourselves—“Lefevre made a motion to leave.”—This phraseology occurs several times. To leave what? To leave whom? We no friends to innovation in our language—especially if its effect should be to leave the speaker's meaning uncertain. A LETTER TO THE REV. JOHN BLAIR LINN.

e are

DEAR SIR,

I CANNOT help expressing to you the strong sensibility excited by reading your very pathetic discourse, which I have done again and again with increased approbation since its publication. My whole soul subscribes to the truth and justice of the praises you have bestowed on my dear lamented parent, but my affectionate gratitude is due to you, sir, for the many tender expressions of your personal regard and veneration for him—h unassuming merit deserved them all! The character which you have so judiciously interwoven into every part of your eulogium, is drawn with an accuracy that I could not have expected from any one, who had never known my father until the powers of his mind had been considerably impaired. You have not ascribed to him one quality or excellence which he did not fully possess, especially those of his social and domestic life; they are deeply imprinted on the remembrance of all his connexions.

His remarkable fondness for children (which you have mentioned) was not confined to his own family—it was an universal kindness to all, and it animated him as long as he had life. A few days before his death, I went to see him, and although I found him, to my unutterable distress, too far gone to have any distinct recollection of me, yet he held out his hand and endeavoured to speak to the little boy whom I held in my arms !

You see, sir, I am not sending you a criticism on your discourse, but only giving expression to the “full heart” of a daughter, whose chief pride it ever was, that she belonged to your “late venerable colleague,” to whose memory you have raised an affectionate monument, ho nourable to yourself, and highly grateful to the feelings of his weeping children. My sincerest prayers attend you to that station which he has left-may you succeed him in a long and useful ministry!

My best compliments to Mrs. Linn. Believe me, sir, with much respect, Your friend and humble servant,

SARAH HALL. Lamberton, Dec. 1802.

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.

As to Mrs. Chapone, I thought, too, I liked her best until I turned back to Mrs. Carter, and then I could find no reason for my preference. I like them both very much, and wish I could read their biography. In the extracts given to us, perhaps, Mrs. Chapone may seem to have the most sprightliness, and a warmer heart. For the love affair,

says it is all fallal; there is no such thing as tranquillity in love. The “state of content” spoken of by Mrs. Chapone's biographer, has no reference to her feelings, it can only mean an exemption from any distressing or vexatious incidents, arising from her family or her lover. She saw him, remember, with the approbation of her father, and there is every reason to suppose that his character and conversation afforded her continual delight, she might therefore call herself contented and happy; but, for my part, I have no knowledge of such a sort of union as love and tranquillity.

A woman like Mrs. Chapone might be contented, and yet experience some of those bitter sweets,” and that

delightful misery,” which is no poetic fiction, but absolutely inseparable from love. I have many more remarks in store for you, but the “limits of this publication” will not admit of them: indeed, I never read without wishing to talk to you.

Reading is said to possess that advantage, that we can enjoy it independent of society. So we can indeed: but I am sure its pleasures are greatly heightened by having companions of tastes similar to our own.

[blocks in formation]

I should like to see every thing that Mrs. West writes, because no body writes so much to my mind as she does— but particularly these letters after what you have said about them. I hope you will mark the passages that contain my sentiments that I inay sometime or other see them. If any were to say that I wrote like Mrs. West, I might truly disclaim the flattery, but I do not know that I am flattered by having sentiments in common with her. Moral sentiments ought to be common to every one- -yet it is gratifying to be said to think with an author, who is perhaps, always correct-certainly always, in her abstract notions of virtue and vice—but in some of her modifications—I can only say that I could point out a thousand places in her “Tale of the Times,” especially, where she says what I have felt and thought in similar circumstances before I read her book. If ever I grow young again I shall set out to be a star in the republic of letters. My ambition is to be like one of these glorious English women!

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

SURELY you were not surprised that the “Girls” could not labour through Beattie! Genius is not the question with them, but political principle. No man who admired the government of England, in church and state, could possibly write to please them, though he held the pen of an angel. Indeed, I am myself not quite satisfied with his

« 이전계속 »