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liberal patronage, fired by emulation, proudly determined to maintain the post we have gained, and supported by the aid of many eminent literary characters, we have no apprehensions of failure, when we state our determination to persevere in the same course which we have hitherto trodden, being only constantly watchful for every opportunity of improvement. The same strict impartiality in judging the merits of our contributors; the same independence of censure or praise in our literary criticisms; and the same excellence and variety in our miscellaneous articles, shall be zealously maintained:—and, being maintained, we have little reason to doubt that we shall possess the same support, and the same eminence as hitherto. To the fair pretensions of honorable exertion, public patronage has seldom, perhaps never, been denied ; and though effrontery and lofty professions may snatch a premature wreath of renown from the hands of fashion and folly, yet its bloom and lustre wither before the potent rays of unerring truth; while the laurels that are slowly awarded, spring up in the soil of patient judgement, and have in them a principle of vigour and of beauty which no transitory dereliction can destroy.
“We shall never envy the honours which wit and learning obtain in any other cause, if we can be numbered among the writers who have given ardour to virtue, and confidence to truth.”—DR. Johnson.
Five of IGINAL LETTERs, addressed to a LADY, upon the PLEAsures and IMpoRTANCE of INTELLEcTUAL CULTIVATIon.
ing or ability; I have hitherto been more conversant with my own speculations, and the solitary contempla– tions of my own thoughts, than with men or books; and, in general, I have drawn my notions of life purely from speculation. Yet perhaps I shall not be the less accurate: a spectator of events often knows more about them
g than they who mingle in the crowd
and have a share in their production.
The topics which I shall discuss in the following letters, I leave entirely to chance. They will be as various as possible; for my design will be to entice your mind, by an alluring variety, into the walks of literature; and what so poor and humble a guide as myself can do, towards directing your attention to the most interesting objects, you well know you can command. Be not, however, surprised, if I sometimes o literature, science, and knowledge, and unfold myself to you in the prevailing colours of the moment; tell you my feelings, my hopes, my plans, my schemes, my desires; detail my studies, make you participate in all my joys and sorrows, in my hours of rapture and in my moments of despondency. Often shall I, my dear Eliza, sit down to write to you, as to one who can bear with patience my querulousness, endure the mournful anticipations I may sometimes indulge in, and pardon the ungrounded fears which a morbid o may excite.— How frequently, when I have laboured under these impressions, have I cast my eye upon the wide world, and shuddered to think, that in its ample space not, a human being breathed in whose bosom I could repose my feelings I have had acquaintance : yes, many; light, super
ficial, vivacious, amusing beings, who lave fluttered around me while basking in the sun; but when the clouds began to obscure the horizon, when a lowring aspect began to breathe around, they–fied: and yet such, Eliza, such is the intercourse of society' Could I ever rest my mind upon such an intercourse 2 No. I heard them: I disbelieved: I received them, but did not esteem ; I endured their caresses, but knew they were false and hollow; I mingled with them, because I was unable to quit them. But my heart was unsatisfied. I despaired of ever realising pictures which solitude had impressed my mind:— I began to think I had formed visionary ideas of man and manners; and that, in this corrupt and degenerate age, it was in vain to look for noble sentiments, or generous sensibility. You, Eliza, and your beloved husband, have undeceived me, and convinced me I was not wrong. Judge, then, with what feelings I commence this correspondence; and how tenaciously I shall maintain it, when it is the very thing which, for many years, I have sighed for. But here I must stop. —This is merely an introductory letter; a sort of catalogue of what you are to expect: however, such as it is, I expect you will reply to it; for, be it well understood, that I shall never allow ou to be a single letter in arrears. n my next, I intend, as a very proper subject, to offer some remarks upon the importance of a regular appropriation of Time, and the advantages, pleasures, and necessity of intellectual cultivation. Farewell Believe me to be, with the warmest sentiments of regard,
Your's, most affectionately,
MY DEAR ELIZA,
Having once fairly entered upon the career, it is to be hoped that nothing now can impede our progress. I confess I had fears lest timidity would have prevented you from replying to my last; but I rejoice that your good sense has overcome that imatural bashfulness which you possess, in regard to your own powers, and induced you to make an effort
which I hope will be attended with advantage. Your last letter pleased me much ; it had, however, one fault, —it was too short: I mention this, not only because I shall receive more }leasure from long ones, but because deem it necessary toJ". improvement that they should be more elaborate. Bear constantly in mind, that nothing valuable can ever be effected without labour; and though you may attain, in o short letters, a certain point of perfection, yet you will moré assuredly attain the same } |. in ten long and labored ones. know this by experience. Whatever requires repetition as a means of success, must have each repetition extensive; if it be not so, the immediate effects of your present exertions, which are just beginning to dawn in the mind, are lost, and require to be renewed by subsequent labours; while, on the contrary, if you persevere, and give a sort of permanëncy to those nascent impressions, they are fixed for ever. It is certainly a great art to know where to stop; ut is less dangerous, in given circumstances, to undergo supererogatory labour, than to rest indolently satisfied with imperfect exertions. From these remarks, it is a natural transition to what are to be the immediate objects of this letter; viz.— “The importance of a regular ap“ propriation of Time, and the advan“tages, pleasures, and necessity of “intellectual cultivation.” It was said by an Italian writer, that “Time was his estate:” and though this may not apply to you in the same way in which he meant it, yet it applies to every, human being in a moral point of view. Time is every man's moral estate, and happy is he, who has early learned not to squander his patrimony! A just and correct knowledge of the importance of Time, I look upon to be one of the greatest marks of a sound head. A man who suffers moments to glide away imperceptibly, unemployed, except in listless, indolent inactivity, or in trifling and irrational amusements, fails in the great duty he owes himself and his fellow creatures: he fails in the duty he owes to himself, for he neglects to strengthen the virtuous principles of his character by to: exercise, without which they me corrupted and inert; and he fails in the duty which he owes to his fellow creatures, because no man should live for himself alone: actuon is his spehre: he should do something towards the general stock, or else he is to be regarded as an intruder upon the labours of his brethren :
“Man, like the generous vine, supported
He who has not learnt to appreciate the value of moments, will very seldom employ hours to advantage. Remember what an infinite deal may be done by a persevering and perpetual application; small portions of time, when viewed in the aggregate, amount to a mass that will astonish you: as a stone may be worn away by the constant friction of a single drop of water, so the greatest labours may be overcome by continued repetition. Consider that some of those works which now obtain the admiration of posterity were prosecuted and completed amid the toils and bustle of public and active life. It has not been the lot of every man to repose under academic bowers, or to recline in the shades of solitude.— Cicero wrote many of his finest orations during the most active part of his life; Hugo Grotius and Puffendorf, two of the greatest civilians of modern times, produced their invaluableworks in very arduous situations: Machietelli is also another instance of this: Dryden wrote most of his pieces distracted by various avocations, and, most of all, by straitened circumsances; and Johnson compiled his Dictionary, certainly a most astonishto proof of the powers of the human und, amid the distractions of povery
and the glooms of sickness, when it
a letter in six months from me, and then the reflection that I have got to write it, makes mé miserable a whole week, before hand. But now, not only do I contrive to scribble three a week, but each of them is as long as five ordinary ones. Surely, Eliza, you have used some witchcraft in making me thus active, and contented at an occupation which hitherto has always been most irksome. Well, well, the sin, if there be any, shall be upon your head. When you go to the next world, you may expect to have a fine clatter about your ears: Cicero, and Virgil, and Sallust, and Livy, and a whole host of modern writers, will all assemble round you, and demand back all that time which (they will say) ought to have been devoted to them. And when I make my appearance among them, methinks how downcast and self-condemned I shall look How ridiculous I shall appear ! ... What, in the name of Mercy, shall I say, when they exclaim—“Empty triflér! what “object in the world could be suf“ficiently attractive to draw you “away from the sublime beauties of “our productions which have been “ celebrated by the world Could “ there be anything superior in plea“sure to the reading and studying our “works? Could there be any thing “ that could compensate for quitting “the pages of our immortal volumes?” —“Alas! Gentlemen,” I shall say, “I am unable to tell how it was my“self; but if you would have the ‘goodness to look at that lady, and “ above all if you would have the condescension to sit in her company for half an hour, I think you ‘will discover the reason. I am “sure, for my part, I always loved “books better than company; but “ she, that ghost, Gentlemen, that “stands laughing at me, contrived, “ by the help of her tongue and eyes, “ to draw me from them : and the “ only justification I can make is, to “beg that you will let her try their “ power upon you; and, unless she “ is altered since her death, I think “ you will have as little cause to boast “ as myself.” Such, my dear Eliza, will be my excuse to these illustrious shades in the other world; and, indeed, I am, forced sometimes to make
some such excuse to a few persons in this world. But now, to pass from
“Grave to gay, from lively to severe;”
I have finished my aerial accusation and defence, and shall descend to the mundane occupation of these nether. regions.
The subject of this letter will be a more pleasing one than that of the last. We are now to consider the human mind in a state of cultivation; rising above the mist of error that in its infancy surrounds it, and beaming forth with resplendent lustre. Surely nothing can be so pleasing as to view the intellectual part of human nature adorned with every grace of which it is susceptible, and uniting at once the loveliness of ornament with the strength and vigour of perfection. To treat, first, of the advantages of intellectual cultivation :It was sententiously observed by Lord Bacon, “ that knowledge is power,” and never a truer aphorism fell from the pen of man. The superiotity of mind over body has been felt and acknowledged by every person; except a few mad enthusiasts, who, in endeavouring to advance the savage state of human nature over the civilized, have at the same time tacitly placed corporeal power over mental. Rational men, however, who have taken more sober views of life, have universally conceded the superiority of the latter; and poets have dignified its attributes with some of the finest flowers of imagination. It is beautifully observed by Sallust, (forgive my quoting Latin to a Lady, but you have one at your elbow who will explain it to you) — “Nostra “omnis vis in animo et corpore sita; “ animi imperio, corporis servitio, “magis utimur. Alterum nobis cum “dis, alterum cum belluis, commune “est. Quo mihi rectius vide tur “ ingenii quam virium opibus gloriam “quarrere, et, quontam vita ipsa qua “fruimur brevis est, memoriam nos“tri quam maxime longam efficere. “Nain divitiarum et formae gloria “fluxa atque fragilis; virtus clara “aetermaque habetur.” A very superficial view of life will serve to convince you, that mankind are prized in proportion to their