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listened to, and scarcely writes a letter without some notice of his nervous tremors, his giddiness and catchings. "I had originally a good constitution," he says, in one place, "and hurt it by no intemperance, but that of application."

in question, will be at no loss to comprehend the reasons of the unqualified reprehension we are inclined to bestow on their publication. For the information of those who have not had an opportunity of seeing them, we may observe that, so far from containing any view of the literature, the politics, or manners of the times-any anecdotes of the eminent and extraordinary personages to whom the author had access or any pieces of elegant composition, refined criticism, or interesting

In presenting our readers with this imperfect summary of Mrs. Barbauld's biographical dissertation, we have discharged by far the most pleasing part of our task; and proceed to the consideration of the correspondence which it introduces, with considerable heavi- narrative, they consist almost entirely of comness of spirit, and the most unfeigned reluct-pliments and minute criticisms on his novels, ance. The letters are certainly authentic; a detail of his ailments and domestic conand they were bought, we have no doubt, for cerns, and some tedious prattling disputations a fair price from the legal proprietors: but with his female correspondents, upon the their publication, we think, was both im- duties of wives and children; the whole so proper and injudicious, as it can only tend to loaded with gross and reciprocal flattery, as lower a very respectable character, without to be ridiculous at the outset, and disgusting communicating any gratification or instruction in the repetition. Compliments and the novels to others. We are told, indeed, in the pre-form indeed the staples of the whole corresface, that it was the employment of Mr. pondence: we meet with the divine Clarissa, Richardson's declining years, to select and and the more divine Sir Charles, in every arrange the collection from which this publi- page, and are absolutely stunned with the cation has been made; and that he always clamorous raptures and supplications with looked forward to their publication at some which the female train demand the converdistant period;" nay, "that he was not with- sion of Lovelace, and the death or restoration out thoughts of publishing them in his life- of Clementina. Even when the charming time; and that, after his death, they remain- books are not the direct subject of the corresed in the hands of his last surviving daughter, pondence, they appear in eternal allusions, apon whose decease they became the property and settle most of the arguments by an auof his grandchildren, and were purchased thoritative quotation. In short, the Clarissa from them at a very liberal price by Mr. Phil- and Grandison are the scriptures of this conlips." We have no doubt that what Mrs. gregation; and the members of it stick as Barbauld has here stated to the public, was close to their language upon all occasions, as stated to her by her employers: But we can- any of our sectaries ever did to that of the not read any one volume of the letters, with- Bible. The praises and compliments, again, out being satisfied that the idea of such a which are interchanged among all the parties, publication could only come into the mind of are so extremely hyperbolical as to be ludiRichardson, after his judgment was impaired crous, and so incessant as to be excessively by the infirmities of "declining years;" and fatiguing. We shall trouble our readers with we have observed some passages in those but a very few specimens. which are now published, that seem to prove sufficiently his own consciousness of the impropriety of such an exposure, and the absence of any idea of giving them to the world. In the year 1755, when nine-tenths of the whole collection must have been completed, we find him expressing himself in these words to his friend Mr. Edwards:

The first series of letters is from Aaron Hill, a poet some notoriety, it seems, in his day; but, if we may judge from these epistles, a very bad composer in prose. The only amusing things we have met with in this volume of his inditing, are his prediction of his own great fame, and the speedy downfal of Pope's; and his scheme for making English wine of a Of Pope he says, that he died "in the wane superior quality to any that can be imported. of his popularity; and that it arose originally only from meditated little personal assiduities, and a certain bladdery swell of management." And a little after

"I am employing myself at present in looking over and sorting and classing my correspondences and other papers. This, when done, will amuse me, by reading over again a very ample correspondence, and in comparing the sentiments of my correspondents, at the time, with the present, and improving from both. The many letters and papers I shall destroy will make an executor's work the easier; and if any of my friends desire their letters to be returned, they will be readily come at for that purpose. Otherwise they will amuse and direct my children, and teach them to honour their father's friends in their closets for the favours done him." Vol. iii. pp. 113, 114. Accordingly, they remained in the closet till the death of the last of his children; and then the whole collection is purchased by a bookseller, and put into the hands of an editor, who finds it expedient to suppress twothirds of it! Those who have looked into the volumes

"But rest his memory in peace! It will very rarely be disturbed by that time he himself is ashes. It is pleasant to observe the justice of forced fame; she lets down those, at once, who got themselves pushed upward; and lifts none above the fear of falling, but a few who never teased her.

"What she intends to do with me, the Lord knows!"-Vol. i. p. 107.

In another place he adds, "For my part, I am afraid to be popular; I see so many who write to the living, and deserve not to live, that I content myself with a resurrection when dead:" And after lamenting the unpopularity of some of his writings, he says

"But there will arise a time in which they no sort of relation to Richardson or his writwill be seen in a far different light. I know ings), and sets off in this manner : at on a surer hope than that of vanity." The wine project, which is detailed in many pages, requires no notice. As a specimen of the adulation with which Richardson was incensed by all his correspondents, we may add the following sentences.

"Where will your wonders end? or how could I be able to express the joy it gives me to discern your genius rising with the grace and boldness of a pillar! &c. Go on, dear sir (I see you will and

must), to charm and captivate the world, and force

a scribbling race to learn and practise one rare virtue to be pleased with what disgraces them." "There is a manner (so beyond the matter, extraordinary too as that is) in whatever you say or do, that makes it an impossibility to speak those sentiments which it is equally impossible not to conceive in reverence and affection for your good

19

ness.

In allusion to the promise of Sir Charles,

he says

"I am greatly pleased at the hint you gave of a design to raise another Alps upon this Appenine: we can never see too many of his works who has no equal in his labours."

These passages, we believe, will satisfy most readers; but those who have any desire to see more, may turn up any page in the volume: It may be of some use, perhaps, as a great commonplace for the materials of "soft dedication."

The next series of letters is from Miss

Fielding, who wrote David Simple, and Miss Collier, who assisted in writing The Cry. What modern reader knows any thing about the Cry, or David Simple? And if the elaborate performances of these ladies have not been thought worthy of public remembrance, what likelihood is there that their private and confidential letters should be entitled to any notice? They contain nothing, indeed, that can be interesting to any description of readers; and only prove that Richardson was indulgent and charitable to them, and that their gratitude was a little too apt to degenerate into flattery.

"Thou frolicsome farce of fortune! What! Is

there another act of you to come then? I was afraid, some time ago, you had made your last exit. Well! but without wit or compliment, I am glad to hear you are so tolerably alive," &c.

We can scarcely conceive that this pitiful slang could appear to Mrs. Barbauld like the pleasantry of man of fashion. His letters to Richardson are, if any thing, rather more despicable. After reading some of the proof sheets of Sir Charles, he writes,

"Z-ds! I have not patience, till I know what has become of her. Why, you-I do not know what to call you!-Ah! ah! you may laugh if you please: but how will you be able to look me in the face, if the lady should ever be able to show hers again? What piteous, dd, disgraceful pickle have you plunged her in? For God's sake send me the sequel; or-I dont know what to say !—" The following is an entire letter:

"The delicious meal I made of Miss Byron on Sunday last has given me an appetite for another slice of her, off from the spit, before she is served up to the public table. If about five o'clock tomorrow afternoon will not be inconvenient, Mrs. Brown and I will come and piddle upon a bit more Richardson at the head of them, come in for their of her but pray let your whole family, with Mrs. share. This, sir, will make me more and more yours," &c.

After these polite effusions, we have a corof the Canons of Criticism, a good deal of respondence with Mr. Edwards, the author which is occupied as usual with flattery and mutual compliments, and the rest with consultations about their different publications. Richardson exclaims, "O that you could resolve to publish your pieces in two pretty volumes!" And Mr. Edwards sends him long epistles in exaltation of Sir Charles and Clarissa. It is in this correspondence that we meet with the first symptom of that most absurd and illiberal prejudice which Richardson indulged against all the writings of Fielding. He writes to Mr. Edwards—

The letters of Mrs. Pilkington and of Colley Cibber appear to us to be still less worthy of publication. The former seems to have been a profligate, silly actress, reduced to beggary in her old age, and distressed by the misconduct of her ill-educated children. The compassionate heart of Richardson led him to pity and relieve her; and she repays him with paltry adulation, interlarded, in the bombastic style of the green room, with dramatic misquotations misapplied. Of the letters of Cibber, Mrs. B. says that "they show in This, however, is but a small specimen of every line the man of wit and the man of the his antipathy. He says to his French transworld." We are sorry to dissent from so re-lator, "Tom Jones is a dissolute book. Its run spectable an opinion; but the letters appear is over, even with us. Is it true that France to us in every respect contemptible and dis-had virtue enough to refuse to license such a gusting; without one spark of wit or genius profligate performance?" of any sort, and bearing all the traces of all is the followingvanity, impudence, affectation, and superannuated debauchery, which might have been expected from the author. His first epistle is to Mrs. Pilkington (for the editor has more than once favoured us with letters that have

But the worst of

"Mr. Fielding has met with the disapprobation He is, in every paper he publishes under the tile you foresaw he would meet with, of his Amelia. of the Common Garden, contributing to his own overthrow. He has been overmatched in his own way by people whom he had despised, and whom he thought he had vogue enough, from the success his spurious brat Tom Jones so unaccountably met with, to write down, but who have turned his own artillery against him, and beat him out of the field, and made him even poorly in his Court of Criticism give up his Amelia, and promise to write no more on the like subjects."-Vol. iii. pp. 33-34.

".

I have not been able to read any more than the first volume of Amelia. Poor Fielding! I could prised at, and concerned for, his continued lowness. not help telling his sister, that I was equally surHad your brother, said I, been born in a stable, or

been a runner at a sponging house, we should have thought him a genius, and wished he had had the advantage of a liberal education, and of being admitted into good company; but it is beyond my conception, that a man of family, and who had some learning, and who really is a writer, should descend so excessively low in all his pieces. Who can care for any of his people? A person of honour asked me, the other day, what he could mean, by saying, in his Covent Garden Journal, that he had followed Homer and Virgil in his Amelia? I answered, that he was justified in saying so, because he must mean Cotton's Virgil Travestied, where the women are drabs, and the men Scoundrels."-Vol. vi. pp. 154, 155.

It is lamentable that such things should have been written confidentially; it was surely unnecessary to make them public.

happy as I am in love, so happy am I in friendship, in my mother, two elder sisters, and five other women. How rich I am!"-Vol. iii. pp. 146-149.

One of the best letters is dated from Tunbridge in 1751. We shall venture on an extract.

"But here, to change the scene, to see Mr. Walsh at eighty (Mr. Cibber calls him papa), and Mr. Cibber at seventy-seven, hunting after new faces; and thinking themselves happy if they can obtain the notice and familiarity of a fine woman!-How ridiculous!

"Mr. Cibber was over head and ears in love with Miss Chudleigh. Her admirers (such was his happiness!) were not jealous of him; but, pleased with that wit in him which they had not, were always for calling him to her. She said pretty things-for she was Miss Chudleigh. He said pretty things— for he was Mr. Cibber; and all the company, men After the dismissal of Mr. Edwards, we and women, seemed to think they had an interest meet with two or three very beautiful and in what was said, and were half as well pleased as interesting letters from Mrs. Klopstock, the if they had said the sprightly things themselves; first wife of the celebrated German poet. hand repeaters of the pretty things. But once I and mighty well contented were they to be secondThey have pleased us infinitely beyond any faced the laureate squatted upon one of the benches, thing else in the collection; but how far they with a face more wrinkled than ordinary with dis are indebted for the charm we have found in appointment. I thought,' said I, you were of the them to the lisping innocence of the broken party at the tea treats-Miss Chudleigh gone into English in which they are written, or to their the tea-room.'- Pshaw!' said he, there is no intrinsic merit, we cannot pretend to deter-coming at her, she is so surrounded by the toupets. -And I left him upon the fret-But he was called mine. We insert the following account of to soon after; and in he flew, and his face shone her courtship and marriage. again, and looked smooth.

44

that persuasion) to gay people, who, if they have white teeth, hear him with open mouths, though perhaps shut hearts; and after his lecture is over, not a bit the wiser, run from him the more eagerly to C-r and W-sh, and to flutter among the loudlaughing young fellows upon the walks, like boys and girls at a breaking up."-Vol. iii. p. 316-319.

"After having seen him two hours, I was obliged here, but of a very different turn; the noted Mr. Another extraordinary old man we have had to pass the evening in a company, which never had Whiston, showing eclipses, and explaining other been so wearisome to me. I could not speak, I could not play; I thought I saw nothing but Klop-nium and anabaptism (for he is now, it seems, of phenomena of the stars, and preaching the millenstock. I saw him the next day, and the following, and we were very seriously friends. But the fourth day he departed. It was an strong hour the hour of his departure! He wrote soon after, and from that time our correspondence began to be a very diligent one. I sincerely believed my love to be friendship. I spoke with my friends of nothing but Klopstock, and showed his letters. They raillied at me, and said I was in love. I raillied them again, and said that they must have a very friendshipless heart, if they had no idea of friendship to a man as well as to a woman. Thus it continued eight months, in which time my friends found as much love in Klopstock's letters as in me. I perceived it likewise, but I would not believe it. At the last Klopstock said plainly that he loved; and I startled as for a wrong thing. I answered, that it was no love, but friendship, as it was what I felt for him; we had not seen one another enough to love (as if love must have more time than friendship!) This was sincerely my meaning, and I had this meaning till Klopstock came again to Hamburg. This he did a year after we had seen one another the first time. We saw, we were friends. we loved; and we believed that we loved: and, a short time after, I could even tell Klopstock that loved. But we were obliged to part again, and wait two years for our wedding. My mother would not let me marry a stranger. I could marry then without her consentment, as by the dea of my father my fortune depended not on her; but A melancholy truth, elegantly expressed! I have this was an horrible idea for me; and thank Hea-only perused a small part of this divine piece, and ven that I have prevailed by prayers! At this am greatly delighted with what I have read. I am also very fond time knowing Klopstock, she loves him as her Surely he is a heavenly man. lifely son, and thanks God that she has not per- of Dr. Clark: and excellent good Seed! I thank We married, and I am the happiest wife you, sir, for introducing another wise charmer, not in the world. In some few months it will be four less worthy of every body's regard. He merits attention, and religiously commands it."-Vol. v. p. 40. years that I am so happy, and still I dote upon Klopstock as if he was my bridegroom.

I

"I heartily wish every Christain would read and wisely consider Mr. Skelton's fine and pious lessons. I admire the warmth of this learned gentleman's zeal; it is laudable and necessary, especially in an age like this, which, for its coldness (he ob serves) may be called the winter of Christianity.'

sisted.

"If you knew my husband, you would not wonder. If you knew his poem, I could describe him very briefly, in saying he is in all respects what he is as a poet. This I can say with all wifely modesty . . . . . . But I dare not to speak of my husband; I am all raptures when I do it. And as

As Richardson was in the habit of flattering his female correspondents, by asking their advice (though he never followed it) as to the conduct of his works, he prevailed on a certain Lady Echlin to communicate a new catastrophe which she had devised for his Clarissa. She had reformed Lovelace, by means of a Dr. Christian, and made him die of remorse, though the last outrage is not How far Lady supposed to be committed. Echlin's epistles are likely to meet with readers, in this fastidious age, may be conjectured, from the following specimen.

Next come several letters from the Reverend Mr. Skelton, mostly on the subject of the Dublin piracy, and the publication of some works of his own. He seems to have been a man of strong, coarse sense, but extremely irritable. Some delay in the publication of

his sermons draws from him the following | art Richardson is undoubtedly without an amusing piece of fretfulness. equal, and, if we except De Foe, without a of literature. competitor, we believe, in the whole history We are often fatigued, as we listen to his prolix descriptions, and the repetitions of those rambling and inconclusive conversations, in which so many pages are consumed, without any apparent progress in the story; but, by means of all this, we get so intimately acquainted with the characters, and so impressed with a persuasion of their reality, that when any thing really disastrous or important occurs to them, we feel as for old friends and companions, and are irresistibly led to as lively a conception of their sensations, as if we had been spectators of a real transaction. This we certainly think the chief merit of Richardson's productions: For, great as his knowledge of the human heart, and his powers of pathetic description, must be admitted to be, we are of opinion that he might have been equalled in those particulars by many, whose productions are infinitely less interesting.

"Johnston kept them a month on the way Wilson kept them three, and does nothing, only hints a sort of contemptuous censure of them to you, and huffs them out of his hands. The booksellers despise them, and I am forced to print them, when the season for sale is over, or burn them. God's will be done! If I had wrote against my Saviour, or his religion, my work would long ago have been bought, and reprinted, and bought again. Millar would have now been far advanced in his third edition of it! But why do I make these weak complaints? I know my work is calculated to serve the cause of God and truth, and by no means contemptibly executed. I am confident also, I shall, if God spares me life to give it the necessary introduction, sell it to advantage, and receive the thanks of every good man for it. I will therefore be in the hands of God, and not of Mr. Millar, whose indifference to my performances invite me not to any overtures."-Vol. v. p. 234, 235.

Although Richardson is not responsible for more than one fifth part of the dulness exhibited in this collection, still the share of it that may be justly imputed to him is so considerable, and the whole is so closely associated with his name, that it would be a sort of injustice to take our final leave of his works, without casting one glance back to those original and meritorious performances, upon which his reputation is so firmly established. The great excellence of Richardson's novels consists, we think, in the unparalleled minuteness and copiousness of his descriptions, and in the pains he takes to make us thoroughly and intimately acquainted with every particular in the character and situation of the personages with whom we are occupied. It has been the policy of other writers to avoid all details that are not necessary or impressive, to hurry over all the preparatory scenes, and to reserve the whole of the reader's attention for those momentous passages in which some decisive measure is adopted, or some great passion brought into action. The consequence is, that we are only acquainted with their characters in their dress of ceremony, and that, as we never see them except in those critical circumstances, and those moments of strong emotion, which are but of rare occurrence in real life, we are never deceived into any belief of their reality, and contemplate the whole as an exaggerated and dazzling illusion. With such authors we merely make a visit by appointment, and see and hear only what we know has been prepared for our reception. With Richardson, we slip, invisible, into the domestic privacy of his characters, and hear and see every thing that is said and done among them, whether it be interesting or otherwise, and whether it gratify our curiosity or disappoint it. We sympathise with the former, therefore, only as we sympathise with the monarchs and statesmen of history, of whose condition as individuals we have but a very imperfect conception. We feel for the latter, as for our private friends and acquaintance, with whose whole situation we are familiar, and as to whom we can conceive exactly the effects that will be produced by every thing that may befal them. In th's

That his pieces were all intended to be strictly moral, is indisputable; but it is not quite so clear, that they will uniformly be found to have this tendency. We have already quoted some observations of Mrs. Barbauld's on this subject, and shall only add, in general, that there is a certain air of irksome regularity, gloominess, and pedantry, attached to most of his virtuous characters, which is apt to encourage more unfortunate associations than the engaging qualities with which he has invested some of his vicious ones. The mansion of the Harlowes, which, before the appearance of Lovelace, is represented as the abode of domestic felicity, is a place in which daylight can scarcely be supposed to shine; and Clarissa, with her formal devotions, her intolerably early rising, her day divided into tasks, and her quantities of needle-work and discretion, has something in" her much less winning and attractive than inferior artists have often communicated to an innocent beauty of seventeen. The solemnity and moral discourses of Sir Charles, his bows, minuets, compliments, and immovcable tranquillity, are much more likely to excite the derision than the admiration of a modern reader. Richardson's good people, in short. are too wise and too formal, ever to appear in the light of desirable companions, or to excite in a youthful mind any wish to resemble them. The gaiety of all his characters, too, is extremely girlish and silly, and is much more like the prattle of spoiled children, than the wit and pleasantry of persons acquainted with the world. The diction throughout is heavy, vulgar, and embarrassed; though the interest of the tragical scenes is too powerful to allow us to attend to any inferior consideration. The novels of Richardson, in short, though praised perhaps somewhat beyond their merits, will always be read with admiration; and certainly can never appear to greater advantage than when contrasted with the melancholy farrago which is here entitled his Correspondence.

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(July, 1813.)

Correspondance, Littéraire, Philosophique et Critique. Adressée à un Souverain d'Allemagne, depuis jusqu'à 1782. Par le BARON DE GRIMM, et par DIDEROT. 5 tomes, 8vo. pp. 2250. Paris: 1812.

THIS is certainly a very entertaining book -though a little too bulky-and, the greater part of it, not very important. We are glad to see it, however; not only because we are glad to see any thing entertaining, but also because it makes us acquainted with a person, of whom every one has heard a great deal, and most people hitherto known very little. There is no name which comes oftener across us, in the modern history of French literature, than that of Grimm; and none, perhaps, whose right to so much notoriety seemed to most people to stand upon such scanty titles. Coming from a foreign country, without rank, fortune, or exploits of any kind to recommend him, he contrived, one does not very well see how, to make himself conspicuous for forty years in the best company of Paris; and at the same time to acquire great influence and authority among literary men of all descriptions, without publishing any thing himself, but a few slight observations upon French and Italian music.

The volumes before us help, in part, to explain this enigma; and not only give proof of talents and accomplishments quite sufficient to justify the reputation the author enjoyed among his contemporaries, but also of such a degree of industry and exertion, as entitle him, we think, to a reasonable reversion of fame from posterity. Before laying before our readers any part of this miscellaneous chronicle, we shall endeavour to give them a general idea of its construction-and to tell them all that we have been able to discover about its author.

upon his sitting down one evening in a seat which he had previously fixed upon for himself; but with Voltaire and D'Alembert, and all the rest of that illustrious society, both male and female, he continued always on the most cordial footing; and, while he is reproached with a certain degree of obsequiousness toward the rich and powerful, must be allowed to have used less flattery toward his literary associates than was usual in the intercourse of those jealous and artificial beings.

When the Duke of Saxe-Gotha left Paris, Grimm undertook to send him regularly an account of every thing remarkable that occured in the literary, political, and scandalous chronicle of that great city; and acquitted himself in this delicate office so much to the satisfaction of his noble correspondent, that he nominated him, in 1776, his resident at the court of France, and raised him at the same time to the rank and dignity of a Baron. The volumes before us are a part of the despatches of this literary plenipotentiary; and are certainly the most amusing state papers that have ever fallen under our obversation.

The Baron de Grimm continued to exercise the functions of this philosophical diplomacy, till the gathering storm of the Revolution drove both ministers and philosophers from the territories of the new Republic. He then took refuge of course in the court of his master, where he resided till 1795; when Catharine of Russia, to whose shrine he had formerly made a pilgrimage from Paris, gave him the appointment of her minister at the court of Saxony-which he continued to hold till the end of the reign of the unfortunate Paul, when the partial loss of sight obliged him to withdraw altogether from business, and to return to the court of Saxe-Gotha, where he continued his studies in literature and the arts with unabated ardour, till he sunk at last under a load of years and infirmities in the end of 1807.-He was of an uncomely and grotesque appearance with huge projecting eyes and discordant features, which he rendered still more hideous, by daubing them profusely with white and with red paint

according to the most approved costume of petits-maîtres, in the year 1748, when he made his debût at Paris.

Melchior Grimm was born at Ratisbon in 1723, of very humble parentage; but, being tolerably well educated, took to literature at a very early period. His first essays were made in his own country-and, as we understand, in his native language-where he composed several tragedies, which were hissed upon the stage, and unme mercifully abused in the closet, by Lessing, and the other oracles of Teutonic criticism. He then came to Paris, as a sort of tutor to the children of M. de Schomberg, and was employed in the humble capacity of reader to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, when he was first brought into notice by Rousseau, who was smitten with his enthusiasm for music, and made him known to Diderot, the Baron d'Holbach, and various other persons of eminence in the literary world. His vivacity and various accomplish-page to be partly the work of Grimm, and ments soon made him generally acceptable; partly that of Diderot, but the contributions while his uniform prudence and excellent of the latter are few, and comparatively of good sense prevented him from ever losing little importance. It is written half in the any of the friends he had gained. Rousseau, style of a journal intended for the public, and indeed, chose to quarrel with him for life, half in that of private and confidential cor

The book embraces a period of about twelve years only, from 1770 to 1782, with a gap for 1775 and part of 1776. It is said in the title

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