« TrướcTiếp tục »
manner which is so becoming for an aged person, it is as if a matron of three score were ornamented with flowers, and in the gaudy girlish frippery of fifteen, hobbling and stammering in aukward imitation of the childish levities of youth. Can any thing be more ridiculous or absurd! Equally absurd and ridiculous are those affected modes of writing, where the author by departing from nature endeavours to substitute artificial ornament in place of chaste propriety of expression. And though fashion may for a time render these conceits so familiar to the votaries of that capricious goddefs, as to appear to them not only not absurd, but even highly beautiful; yet in a short while when the fashion changes, they then appear like the dresses of our grandmothers, ridiculous and disgusting; while those compositions which deviate not from nature, like the statue of Apollo or Antinuous, continue to be admired as long as they exist.
On these accounts, and many others on which I will not now enlarge, I warmly recommend the frequent perusal of the sacred volume to your attention. I may perhaps take another opportunity of developing more fully my ideas on the many other benefits you will derive from the study of the Bible, which the facility alone with which it can be obtained makes young men too much disregard. I have often amused myself with endeavouring to form an idea of the surprise, the admiration, the extacy that would have been excited among literary men, had that volume been, by some accident, first introduced among them. No power of thought can
reach, as I should imagine, the universal interest it must have excited amongst mankind.
Many persons have exprefsed a wish to have a new translation of the Bible, for the purpose of modernising the language; but you will easily believe I cannot concur in this opinion. Indeed I know of no innovation in philological literature I fhould more deplore. I have no objection to as many new translations as you please, and critical commentaries tending to remove ambiguities and correct mistakes; these are proper exercises for the man of letters and the divine, and may be of much utility for illustrating the sacred text; but let them continue as they have hitherto been, the private exertions of free men and nothing more. Let each of them bear that influence their intrinsic merit fhall command, unaided by authority. If we may judge from thẻ specimens we have already seen of these, we may well say of our old translation, that take it for all and all we never fhall see its like again. In regard to our language in particular, it serves like ballast in a vefsel, to keep it firm and steady in the midst of those storms which so frequently assail it, and which, without this aid, would long ere now have been torn in pieces *.
* In publishing this just eulogium on the language of the Bible, the Editor wishes the ingenious writer had taken more pains to guard against misapprehension of his real meaning. It is pretty obvious he means to recommend the natural construction of the language and the plain sense in which the words are so carefully employed as objects of imitation, without confounding these with the eastern manner; borrowed from the original writers, in which the narrative is conducted; such as, "And it came to pass," and so on; to imitate which
In my fast I had occasion to bestow a just tribute of praise on the classical remains of antiquity. There is no reason to believe that the writers of antiquity, however, were lefs capricious in their taste than those of modern times; and we may therefore suppose that many works were then penned which abounded with affectation and unnatural conceits, just as at present. But when the fashion of the day changed, these writings would of course become antiquated and despised; no one would take the trouble to transcribe them; and as few copies of them would be made, these would decay and be finally lost. It is those writings alone which possefsed a more than an ordinary fhare of merit, particularly with respect to simplicity and unaffected ornaments, that have been preserved; and to this circumstance alone I am convinced we must ascribe that superior elegance which the remains of antiquity confefsedly pofsefs above the mafs of modern compositions. The same circumstance will tend to preserve the chaste writings of modern times to a remote antiquity; for purity of language, and natural ease of manner have a much greater chance of insuring this kind of immortality, than the greatest profundity of thought, or talent for accurate obser
manner of writing would produce an affectation very disgusting, and directly the reverse of what he so strongly recommends. It cannot be supposed neither that he means to recommend the now antiquated phrase," which was," as applied to animated beings. The writer has evidently thought his pupil was here in no danger of mistaking him; but when a critique of this sort is published to the world at large, there cannot be too much care taken to guard against mistakes.
vation. Just thoughts, where the mode of expression is faulty, may be moulded into a more elegant form by succeeding writers; and then the original authors who suggested these will fall into oblivion. Hence then, my dear if you fhall ever have an ambition to become an author, and to have your name revered in future times, study to acquire that simplicity of stile which alone can continue long to please; and avoid, as you would do poison, those singularities of stile, and quaint conceits, which fafhion for a time blazens as the quintessence of excellence; for arsenic will not more certainly put a termination to the natural life of the body, than these will speedily put a period to the literary existence of those writings in which they abound. To be continued.
ACCOUNT OF A SCHOOL INSTITUTED AT MADRAS, And supported by the voluntary SuBSCRIPTION OF THE INHABITANTS OF THAT Settlement.
For the Bee.
THE plan was given and the superintendance of it undertaken by the reverend Dr Andrew Bell of St Andrews, one of the chaplains there. We hope this laudable example will soon be followed by all our other settlements in the east.
The particulars of the plan are more fully developed in the following extract of a letter from Egmore, Madras, September 13. 1792.
"THE conduct of the school, which is entirely in my hands, is particular. Every boy is either a master or a scholar, one to another; and often both. He teaches one boy, while another teaches him. It has a double advantage in forwarding their education, and saving the expence and incumberance of many ufhers. I do little more in school than enact and enforce general rules and principles, teach the school master and ushers, and watch with a strict eye over their conduct.
"When the institution was founded, and I first took up my residence here, the native women, who had orders to bring their sons to be placed upon the foundation, considered them as committed to hard tafk masters, given up to slavery, or immolated to an unknown and foreign deity, and went through all the ceremony of mourning for the sacrifice they had made. Now, they ply us with every species of importunity to have their younger sons admitted in
to the school.
"A temporary provision is made for the admifsion of the sons of living officers as boarders, on their paying about twenty fhillings a-month. The institution is so popular, that we have already more than thirty boys, white and blue, of this description; though they are subjected to the same drefs, diet, and treatment as the poor objects of the charity. And this I consider as the great recommendation and panegyric of the system.
"The boys on the foundation, when educated, are bound out to any profession, art, or trade, by which they may become useful to themselves and to the