Further Remarks on Sterne

  Early  Journal  Content  on  JSTOR,  Free  to  Anyone  in  the  World   This  article  is  one  of  nearly  500,000  scholarly  works  digitized  ...

0 Downloads 21 Views
 

Early  Journal  Content  on  JSTOR,  Free  to  Anyone  in  the  World   This  article  is  one  of  nearly  500,000  scholarly  works  digitized  and  made  freely  available  to  everyone  in   the  world  by  JSTOR.     Known  as  the  Early  Journal  Content,  this  set  of  works  include  research  articles,  news,  letters,  and  other   writings  published  in  more  than  200  of  the  oldest  leading  academic  journals.  The  works  date  from  the   mid-­‐seventeenth  to  the  early  twentieth  centuries.      We  encourage  people  to  read  and  share  the  Early  Journal  Content  openly  and  to  tell  others  that  this   resource  exists.    People  may  post  this  content  online  or  redistribute  in  any  way  for  non-­‐commercial   purposes.   Read  more  about  Early  Journal  Content  at  http://about.jstor.org/participate-­‐jstor/individuals/early-­‐ journal-­‐content.                     JSTOR  is  a  digital  library  of  academic  journals,  books,  and  primary  source  objects.  JSTOR  helps  people   discover,  use,  and  build  upon  a  wide  range  of  content  through  a  powerful  research  and  teaching   platform,  and  preserves  this  content  for  future  generations.  JSTOR  is  part  of  ITHAKA,  a  not-­‐for-­‐profit   organization  that  also  includes  Ithaka  S+R  and  Portico.  For  more  information  about  JSTOR,  please   contact  [email protected]  

246

Further Remarks on Sterne.

[April.

To the Editorof the Bdlfst Magazine. among the well chosen authors there. It is, indeed, a little book, and little SIR,

HAVE read with much pleasure

and interest, two papers lately

puUished in your Magazine, signed "1A Reader." His sentiments entirely coincide with mine in respect to Sterne, whose affected sensibility 1 coutd never read, without thinking of the many unfeeJing acts he has been guilty of; beside5 his whole writings are so very exceptionable that they cannot be read without feeling hurt that human nature is so depraved as to admire a book which is so u.nfit to be read. I have lately been reading a book etititled, " JThe Correspondence of Samuel Rlichardson, autdlor of Pamela, Clarissa, Sir Charles Grandison, &c. by Barbauld," and was much Anna Lotitia to ad iny opinion of Sterne's giratified s conbrmed by an extract writings from a letter of Mr. Richardson's, to the lev.Mr. Hildestey, Bishop of Sodor and Maim, including the sentiments of a youpg lady, part of which I shall take the Iib&rtyof extracting: t"Who is this Yorick ? you are pleased to ask me. You cannot, I imagine, have looked into his books;; execrable I cannot but call them, for 1 am told are that the third and fourth volumpes two first, worse, if possible, than the which only I have had the patience to One extenuating cirrun through: cumstance attends his works, that they are too gross to be inflaming. My daughter transcribe for me the of a young lady, as written sentimentsshall, to another liAdy, her triend in the country, on the publicat on of the two first volumes only: are you in your retirement, "'Happy where you read what books you choose) either for instruction or entertaiunent; but in this foolish town, we are oibliged to read every foolish book that fashion renders prevalent in conversation, and am horribly out of humlour with the preseint taste, which mtkes peopie ashamed to owin they have n4ot read, what, if fashion did 1not anthorise, blush they, would with more rea--on soime to say they had readI! Perhaps polite person from London, may have fored this piece iito your hands, but give it not a place in your library; be ranked let not Tristram ;Shlaa ;.v

are its merits, 'though great has been the writer's reward ! Unaccountable wildness; whimsical digressions: comical ihcoherencies; uncommon indecencies; all with an air of novelty, has ecught the reader's attention, and applause has flown from one to another, till it is almost singular to disapprove; even the bishops admire, and recompense his wit, though his own character as a clergyman seems much impeached by prnting such gross and vulgar tales, as no decent minid can endure without extreme disgust! Yet I will do him justice, and, if forced by friends, or led by curiosity, you have read, and laughed, and ahfirost cried at Tristram, I will agree with you that there is subject for mirth, and some affecting strokes. Yorick, Uncle Toby, and 'trim are admirably characterised, and very-interesting, and an excellent sermon of a peculiar kind, on conscience, is introduced; and I most admire the author for his judgment in seeing the town's folly in the extravagant praises and favour's heaped on hnn; forTie says, he passed unnoticed by the world till he put on a fool's coat, and since that every body admires him! "lBut mark my prophecy, that by another season, this performance will be as much decried, as 'it is now extolled ; for it has not intrinsic merit sufficient to prevent its sinking, when no, longer upheld by the short lived breath of fashion: and yet another prophecy I utter, that this ridiculious compound will be the cause of many more lJroductions, witless and bhumoturless, perhaps, but inilecent and absurd, till the town will be punished for undue: encouragemeint, by being poisoned with digustitftilnonsense." While I aml on this subject, I .beg you will also allow me to remark how much irjury has been done to society from some of Miss Owenson's works, lrish particularly the " Lay of an I larp," n whic]hI am sorry to say she has departet from that delicacy of feeling, which ought so peculiarly to mark the female character. Her late novel, Woman, or Ida of Athens," was so "" excellently criticized in your Magazine, I wish the Reviewer had

On Mllorality, &c.

1809.]

mentioned with disapprobation, as a most objectionable part, the coquetry and studying of attitudes, of which all Mliss Owenson's heroines are so fond, as I hope that some of the female sex are superior to such things. A LOVER OF SIMPLICITY OF CHARACTER.

For the 3Belfa.tMonthly Mlfagazine. ON MORALITY.

Say, Reason, say, ------." When shall thy long minority expire ? Wheti shall thy dilatory kingdom come ? Weak ale tpe outwardchecks, that would supply, Thy bridle'splace, within the secret heart. The pigmy JRapine,whose invasionsvex, Th'eprivatescene, that hides his head nminute,

From humanjustice, it is thine to end:

And thine, the Tilan-crimes,

that lift to

heaveun, Their blushless fronts, and laugh at laws." FAWCETT'S CIVILIZED WAR.

N writingon the subject of morals,

it will be unavoidable not to bring into view how far they are influenced by the political institutions which exist among us, or not to express. a wish that mnore of the exertions of legislators were turned towards introducing a correct morality, through the means of an enlightened system of legislation, especially directed to this Good laws would do much, point. good examples in the. higher and middling classes would do more towards introducing this correct systent thfrough all the various classes of the community, beginning at the higher ranks, and extending through all the Dr. Johnson, gradations of society in an advanced period of his life, on being asked whether he had found mankind better or worse than he had fornmed his expectations on entering into the world, answered, "hbe had found them less just, but more benevolent." We tre frequently the creatures of surrounding circumstances, and many from the pressure of adversity, have had their t" My moral pribciple undermined. poverty, but not my will consents," is not a valid plea for the errors of the poor, but yet it may be allowed to go in mitigation of a rigorous condemnation. I have often with heart-

fet

satisfatiou.oWtvedthelatter'-at

247

of Dr. Johnson'sremark exemplified, in perceiving that benevolence is a quality more firequently found in human nature than the misanthrope may be willing to allow. It may be sometimes nearly smothered, but it often revives, and few hearts are insensible to its delicate touches. A very great error lies in laying too much stress on the ceremonials of religion, while the es-enice of religion, that great principle, which according to the radical meaning of the wo'rd (from the L4tin verb religare to bind or fasten) binds man to man, is too much neglected. Morality, that duty which man owes to himself, and his neighbour niust be inseparably linked with the duty he owes to his God. 'l'he importance of morality must be acknowledged by all classes. It forms the principal secdrity for our comfortable enjoyment of life, 'as miuch of the unhappiness existing in the world proceeds from a relaxed system of morals. In this state interests clash, and the passions of ourselves and others disturb our quiet. One erson, or a few departing from the dictates of a correct morality, produce similar actions in others. Vice has a tendency to introduce are-action. If I am injured by my neighbour, and irritation succeeds, or retaliation follows; at everystep, in this race of error, we get fartiher from the course of rectitude, until from the invasions of pigmy rapine, great crimes follow as the certain conseqiuence. Moralit) is the very essence of religion, it is the practical exemplificatiou of our duty to God and man, and affords the legislator the the best sanction for the scrupulous fulfilment of the laws of jumtice. K.

For the Belfast MonhldyMagazine. ON SIR IRANCIS BURDETT, AND PARTIES.

F-PROM the notice often taken of

your work, and particularly of your Political .' Retrospect, I find you offend the timid arid time-serving. Butperse-

vere and probablythevoice of the Peo.

ple will soon be with you. '1he late investigation in the House of Commons has done much to open the eyes of the people of England, as evinced by the proceedings of the cities of London, Westminstet, and other places.

1809-04-30
English