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persons and dress, most lively and agreeable in conversation ; except that Mr. Gray was apt to be too satirical, and both of them full of affectation. In Gil Blas, the print of Scipio in the arbour, beginning to tell his own adventures to Gil Blas, Antonia, and Beatrix, was so like the countenance of Mr. Gray, that if he sat for it, it could not be more so. It is in a duodecimo edition in four volumes, printed at Amsterdam, 1735. It is ten times more like him than his print before Mason's Life of him, which is horrible, and makes him a fury.”
We do not recognize the justness of this comparison: the portrait in question does not resemble the interesting and probably poetical likeness which Mr. Mitford has prefixed to his second volume, but neither does it resemble Tisiphone; it represents merely a priggish-looking man in a long-tailed peruque.
“ It must have been about the year 1770 that Dr. Farmer and Mr. Gray ever met to be acquainted together ; as about that time I met them at Mr. Oldham's chambers, in Peter-house, to dinner. Before, they had been shy of each other; and though Mr. Farmer was then esteemed one of the most ingenious men in the University, yet Mr. Gray's singular niceness in the choice of his acquaintance made him appear fastidious, to a great degree, to all who were not acquainted with his manner. Indeed there did not seem to be any probability of any great intimacy from the style and manner of each of them. The one a cheerful, companionable, hearty, open, downright man, of no great regard to dress or common forms of behaviour ; the other of a most fastidious and recluse distance of carriage, rather averse to sociability, but of the graver turn; nice and elegant in his person, dress, and behaviour, even to a degree of finicalness and effeminacy. So that nothing but their extensive learning and abilities could ever have coalesced two such different men, and both of great value in their own line and walk.”
“ What was the real ground of the quarrel between Gray and Walpole when abroad, I do not know; but have reason to believe that it was of too deep a nature ever to be eradicated from Gray's bosom ; which I gather from certain expressions half dropped to Mr. Robinson. Mr. R. thought Gray not only a great poet, but an exemplary, amiable, and virtuous man.”
Of this quarrel Walpole himself speaks in a loose and perhaps evasive manner. (Walpoliana, vol. i. p. 95, art. cx.)"The quarrel between Gray and me arose from his being too serious a companion. I had just broke loose from the restraint of the University, with as much money as I could spend, and I was willing to indulge myself. Gray was for antiquities, &c. whilst I was for perpetual balls and plays: the fault was mine.”
Mr. Mitford observes that in a letter from Gray to Walpole, in 1751, is a sentence which seems to point towards this quarrel. 66 It is a secret with me,” he says, a simple one you
perhaps say, that if two people who love one another come to break
ing, it is for want of a timely eclaircissement, a full and precise one, without witnesses or mediators, and without reserving one disagreeable circumstance for the mind to brood upon in silence. Walpole's Works, vol. v. p. 389.
An incident related by Gray in a letter to Mr. Wharton, singularly coincides with this passage. .
“ Next morning I breakfasted alone with Mr. Walpole ; when we had all the eclaircissement I ever expected, and I left him far better satisfied than I have been hitherto. When I return I shall see him again.” Vol. ii. p. 145.
The relation of Mr. Cole does not exactly correspond with this account, unless it refer to the commencement of the interview merely: “ When matters were made up between Gray and Walpole, and the latter asked Gray to Strawberry Hill, when he came, he without any ceremony told Walpole that he came to wait on him as civility required; but by no means would he ever be there on the terms of his former friendship, which he had totally cancelled.”
Mr. Mitford remarks on the letter to Mr. Wharton, that “the reconciliation which is mentioned as having taken place between Gray and Walpole was (as far at least as the former was concerned) rather an act of civility and good manners, than the reestablishment of a cordial and sincere attachment.” We know not whether cordial attachment can be re-established in a moment; but it appears to us that the language of Gray, the being “far better satisfied,” and the “intention to see him again,” exceeds the bare açt of civility and good manners. The editor, however, is enabled to gratify the curiosity of his readers by unravelling the mystery of this quarrel; and we regret that its solution must oblige us in future to think of the ingenious and entertaining author of the Castle of Otranto, of the Reminiscences, and The Historic Doubts, with diminished esteem.
"I am now," says Mr. Mitford, " by the kindness of a gentleman to whom I have been more than once obliged, enabled to lay before the public the real cause of their separation on the authority of the late Mr. Isaac Reed; in whose hand writing, in Wakefield's Life of Gray, is the following note: “Mr. Roberts of the Pell-office, who was likely to be well informed, told me at Mr. Deacon's, 19th April, 1799, that the quarrel between Gray and Walpole was occasioned by a suspicion Mr. Walpole entertained, that Mr. Gray had spoken ill of him to some friends in England. To ascertain this, he clandestinely opened a letter and resealed it, which Mr. Gray with great propriety resented: there seems to have been but little cordiality afterwards between them.”
The additional letters supplied by Mr. Mitford are certainly of less importance than the valuable materials recovered by Mr. Mathias from the manuscript .seclusion in which they had been condemned to sleep. Mr. Mathias's edition is however, froín its costliness, equally inaccessible to general readers as if its discovered treasures were still reposited in the library of Pembroke Hall; and Mr. Mitford's is not only more copious than that of Mason, but is illustrated with annotations on the poems. These notes, while they exemplify the editor's taste and reading, by no means add weight to his preconceived opinion of Gray's highly original genius. We extract the commentary on a noted stanza of the “ Progress of Poesy.”
“ Ver. 36. Slow melting.) Compare the following stanza of a poem by Barton Booth (the famous actor) in his Life, written in 1718, published 1733.
• Now to a slow and melting air shę moves;
Strange force of motion that subdues the soul.” We are aware that Mr. Mathias lays it down as a principle, that borrowing is a sign of genius : “ Spenser, Shakspeare, and Milton, were to Gray, and should be so to his successors, what Dante and Petrarch were to Ariosto and Tasso. It will be no injury to true criticism to adopt the liberal spirit of Italy in this matter :” and Mr. Mitford, as we have before hinted, thinks diction lawful plunder. But we are not dazzled by the effulgence of vellum paper, and must take leave to protest against this “ cheap and easy method” of making a great poet.
“ We hate ev’n Milton thus at second-hand.” Unfortunately Gray's plagiarisms, we beg pardon, his imitations, his adoptions, his curious and happy coincidences, or whatever his commentators please to call them, make up nearly the whole sum of what are considered as his
peculiar felicities of diction and sentiment: unfortunately, also, Gray did not merely pluck the plumes from the eagle and the swan, but condescended to strip the wren. Even the admired sentiment of Gray, “ And leave us leisure to be good,” is transplanted from Oldham. Let it be understood once for all, that originality is not the less the test of genius because Virgil or because Tasso were not original. Notwithstanding the dictum of Mr. Mathias, that our poets ought to borrow from the fathers of our poetry, we exhort them to think
for themselves. We wish to see the liberal spirit” of plagiarism chastized by severer rules than the critical canons of Mr. Mathias and Mr. Mitford.
ART. V.-The Inquisition Unmasked: being an Historical and
Philosophical Account of that Tremendous Tribunal, founded on Authentic Documents; and exhibiting the Necessity of its Suppression, as a Means of Reform and Regeneration. Written and published at a Time when the National Congress of Spain was about to deliberate on this Imporlant Measure. By D. Antonio Puigblanch. Translated from the Author's enlarged Copy, by W. Walton, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 918. With Plates.
Baldwin and Co. London, 1816. BY
a strange revolution in politics the Inquisition of Spain has now become one of the domestic evils of England; and its reestablishment ranks among the assigned causes of the increase of our taxes and the diminution of our resources, the dearth of subsistence and the extension of pauperism. Its existence is reckoned a sufficient proof of the disastrous termination of the late war, as well as of the profligate views of government in undertaking it; and because a bigoted and contemptible tyrant on the south of the Pyrennees has not yet laid aside his aversion to the heretics and freemasons among his subjects, therefore England is to be considered as ruined, and the victory of Waterloo as won in vain.
Now, although we are ready to join the most noisy in expressing our abhorrence of this iniquitous tribunal-though we are ready to mingle our voice with the deep execrations of ages and nations against it—though we consider it, along with our patriotic countrymen, as an atrocious engine of bigotry and despotism-a system of organised injustice, a monument of the 6 cursed ungodliness of barbarous zeal” the indelible reproach of the human understanding, and the darkest blot on the civilization of the nineteenth century, we can by no means think that its evils outweigh the benefits resulting from all our sacrifices, we cannot accuse ourselves of being accessary to its re-establishment, and we believe our ministers are as innocent of this crime as they are of the spots on the sun.
Neither are we disposed to believe that, in their present prostrate condition, the Spanish people themselves feel the weight of the holy office with any peculiar pressure, or that their situation would have been much ameliorated by the continuance of the act for abolishing it. Looking only at the spirit of enlightened diseussion which was displayed in the speeches of some members of the national congress, and in the works of some of the public writers of Spain during the revolution, and identifying the liberality of these distinguished individuals with the general improvement of their countrymen, the inquisition is apt to be regarded as an enormity in legislation no less foreign to the genius of the Spanish people, than the star chamber would be to that of our own countrymen. Nothing, however, can be more wide of reality than such a representation. The inquisition had ceased to be an object of terror with the great mass of the people long before its abolition; and its existence was so far from being viewed with abhorrence or aversion, that its re-establishment was celebrated with bonfires and other demonstrations of joy as the only bulwark of the Catholic faith. It was so old an appendage to the religion of the nation, that it had begun to be considered as an essential part of it, and its destruction appeared ominous to the cause it was intended to support. The great body of the people had no desire to think freely on disputed doctrines, and believed those who told them that the privilege of doing so might be a dangerous thing. The inquisition had perpetuated the bigotry and darkness out of which it arose, while it added to that bigotry and ignorance a belief in the necessity of its own existence. The principles of toleration were never in Spain either understood or acted upon; liberty of conscience and freedom of dissent were never claimed in practice, or defended in discussion; and hence the voice of the people was either not raised when the fate of this despotic tribunal was under deliberation, or joined with the priests and bishops in clamouring for its continuance. The immense swarms and unlimited influence of the religious orders, the power and wealth of the secular clergy, the spirit of the government as influenced by the habits and the example of three centuries of intolerance, and the narrow bigotry of the present possessor of the throne, would have rendered the abolition of the tribunal in question a matter of little consequence for some time to come. The people almost universally regard every man as a heretic, who differs from a Spanish monk or churchman, and every heretic as a person deserving of punishment or restraint. Their favourite model for a king is the relentless and persecuting Philip, and their favourite saint the fanatic and furious St. Dominic. Even in the august assembly of the Cortes, where a great portion of the liberal and enlightened ornaments of the nation were arrayed against fanatics and bigots, we find a constitution framed, one of the fundamental