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as the characteristical mark of a gentleman: For let a man's birth be ever so high, his station ever so exalted, or his fortune ever so large, yet if he is not free from national, and all other prejudices, I fhould be bold to tell him that he had a low and vulgar mind, and had no just claim to the character of a gentleman. And, in fact, you will always find that those are most apt to boast of national merit, who have little or no merit of their own to depend on; than which, to be sure, nothing is more natural: The slender vine twists around the sturdy oak, for no other reason in the world but because it has not strength sufficient to support itself.
Should it be alleged, in defence of national prejudice, that it is the natural and necefsary growth of love to our country; and that therefore the former cannot be destroyed without hurting the latter: I answer, that this is a grofs fallacy and delusion. That it is the growth of love to our country I will allow ; but that it is the natural and necessary growth of it, I absolutely deny. Superstition and enthusiasm are the growth of religion; but who ever took it in his head to affirm that they are the necessary growth of this noble principle? They are, if you will, the bastard sprouts of this heavenly plant; but not its natural and genuine branches, and may safely enough be lopped off, without doing any harm to the parent stock: Nay, perhaps, till once they are lopped off, this goodly tree can never flourish in perfect health and vigour.
Is it not very possible that I may love my own country, without hating the natives of other countries? That I may exert the most heroic bravery,
the most undaunted resolution, in defending its laws and liberty, without despising all the rest of the world as cowards and poltroons? Most certainly it is. And, if it were not, I must own I fhould prefer the title of the ancient philosopher, viz. A Citizen of the world,' to that of a Scotchman, Spaniard, German, or to any other appellation whatever. With all due respect, I am,
The world, }
Feb. 22. 1792.
A CITIZEN OF THE WORLD.
CRITICISM BY ARCTICUS,
To the Editor of the Bee.
HOPE the interdiction you appeared to lay on the discussion of the merits of Dr Young's Night Thoughts, in your fourth volume, p. 24. was only applicable to some peculiar circumstance of that subject alone, and not to others of the same kind; for although pointed severity on living authors ought not to be admitted into any periodical publication, of the nature of the Bee, still the works of dead authors always were, and will be, the lawful game of criticism, to the great advantage of literature, and instruction of the public, the bulk of whom must have their judgements directed, or never can a chaste and clafsical. taste generally prevail; whilst no sort of danger is to be apprehended from such discufsions, if carried on with liberality and temper, as truth, like water, will: always find its level. However, I do not mean to extend my remark to critics. ad commentators, who fasten on a book like a leech, and which you are:
obliged to buy with it. I mean only that general species, which a man may answer without writing a folio on purpose, and finding some enterprising or good natured bookseller to print.
I highly admire the judicious memorandums and strictures on men and things, of your sensible laconic Traveller, (see vols. 4th and 5th,) who furnishes another honourable proof of a just and excellent remark, that Britain, from the freedom of its constitution, is a country of characters, which contrast curiously, in the eyes of the philosopher, with the uniformity of manners and modes of thinking in a despotic country, where the government seems to think for the public at large.
Brydone, Boswell, Cox, Wraxal, Randolph, Shairp, Smollet, &c. &c. &c. are only so many varieties of the British character, modified by youth, age, studies, gout, bile, or hypocondria, which I must own amuse me exceedingly; and have much the same effect as so many pictures by different masters, who seldom either see or treat a subject in the same point of view, or even in the same light and fhade; so that, although the observations and strictures of your entertaining and instructive Traveller are of a superior cast, and possibly better calculated to please us square toed fellows, on mature reflection, than the more light and lively travellers he is so severe on, still I would be sorry we were confined to such; or, in other words, that to enjoy the mature, clear, and logical discussions of the bench, we were to be deprived of the flowery, variegated, and amusing oratory of the bar, which I believe is nearly the case at issue, and may serve as
some answer to the more pointed strictures of your able judge. Permit me, however, to add one other observation, which probably may likewise have its weight, that although a publication like yours offers a convenient vehicle for wisdom, yet, as books in general must make their own way, and booksellers their bread, it is pofsible the seria mixta jocis, may answer these two purposes better than either of them singly; especially the first, in this degenerate age, where a little laughing puts us in good humour to receive graver precepts and observations, which may be blended with its cause. I shall never forget Brydone's painted snow ball in the mouth of the honest seaman, (tour to Sicily and Malta,) nor the good humour with which I accompanied him afterwards to see the wonders of mount Etna; and I do not care a farthing whether the tar spit it out or not, and attacked Sir William's valet for the supposed trick; the story was excellent and I give him credit for it.
Possibly the same reasoning may be applied to abate the patriotic exertions of another of your correspondents, Bombardinion, (see vol. iv. page 283.) who is giving himself no little trouble to sift our libraries of all those gentlemen who are called great travellers, from the great events they have witnessed or heard, from Herodotus down to the thane of Fife. Now, Mr Editor, with humble submifsion to your correspondent's better judgement, and much commendation of his just rage, it appears to me that captain Bobadil's ancient pistol, Sir John Falstaff, and other great swaggerers of old, are not without their use on the little stage; why then may not a few such gentry be
permitted to amuse on the great theatre those who like it? For my own part I never am indisposed, without calling in with the doctor one of those gentlemen; and I really cannot take upon me to say, which of the two has the greatest hand in the cure; so that I entreat you, Mr Editor, to join your influence with mine, to deprecate the gentleman in favour of, at least, a few of the great travellers, if you have any regard for the health of your correspondent,
Imperial cadet corps,
To the Editor of the Bee..
HEARTILY joined with the majority of parliament in their refusal to pafs a censure on the minister relative to the war with Russia ;—a war undertaken for the best of all purposes, to prevent the balance of power, which has cost this nation so much blood, and so much treasure, from being completely overturned..
I am only afraid that even our present minister does not sufficiently guard that balance, nor does he always interfere in its support when that may seem necefsary. I need not go about to prove that there are various ways in which the power of a nation may be increased beyond that of her neighbours, besides the mere acquisition of a barren, or even of a fertile territory. Improvements of every kind do, in fact, more substantially add to the strength and importance of a nation, than any enlargement of territory whatever. By clearing her waste grounds, encouraging manufactures, and increasing her trade,,