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Marshall by a Brahman. Were an illiterate Englishman to explain to a foreigner, who was imperfectly acquainted with our language, the beauties of Milton, his fine epic poem would . scarcely excel this version of the Baghavat, when transfused by the latter into his native dialect.
We are informed that it is not proposed to continue the publication of this work by subscription, but that the numbers will be sold at the price of half a guinea each.
ART. VII. Biographiana. By the Compiler of “ Anecdotes of dis
tinguished Persons :" (the late William Seward, Esq. F.R.S.)
2 Vols. 8vo. 1os. Boards. Johnson. 1799. IT is obvious that the duty of Reviewers should be exercised
with strict impartiality ; and that, though as men they will have their friendships and their aversions, they should be actuated by neither in the execution of their oísce as critics. They may be permitted, however, occasionally to proclaim their acquaintance with an estimable character ; especially when his removal from the world must obviate all suspicion of personal adulation. When, therefore, we presume to mention that we long knew and long esteemed the lamented compiler of the volumes now before us, we are persuaded that the public will not only permit the avowal, but will envy the pleasure which we enjoyed, and condole with us on the loss which we have sustained.
No man, indeed, ever more merited the regret of his friends than Mr. Seward, for perhaps no man was ever more ardently devoted to their service. Yet not to his friends alone was his beneficence confined; whoever wanted assistance was sure of his hand; whoever was in distress had the command of his purse; and while nothing was either too difficult or too costly for his indefatigable efforts to do good, he thought nothing unbecoming, nor beneath him, that could conduce to oblige. His conduct was still more courageous and disinterested than his sentiments were elevated and kind; for, in the service of others, he held no one too high for exhortation, and no one too mean for entreaty. It seemed, indeed, whether for friends or for strangers,-whether for those in whom he delighted, or for those of whom he knew nothing but their wants,-to be the very necessity of his existence to be active in good offices. -Such a man must not die without a tribute to his memory! Such a man cannot die without still living in the memory of his surviving friends!
In these volumes, which appeared so shortly before the event thus to be regretted, the indefatigable compiler once more
furnished the public with fresh proofs of his spirit of research, and of his taste in the selection of curious and interesting pas. sages concerning celebrated persons, from books, many of which are become scarce and never likely to be reprinted-but, besides the extracts from these, and the reflections to which they give birth, many original articles appear, some of which have been expressly produced for the embellishment of this publication. Though we formerly observed that this kind of Olio, composed of ingredients culled from old books, is an indulgence to surperficial and lazy readers, yet we must add that it not only saves them time, but mckey; for the contents of these two volumes, exclusively of the original articles, include the most piquant and striking passages of more than 200 volumes; and, as most of them have been long out of print, this extraction of their essence can injure neither authors nor.. printers.
It seems to have been the editor's intention to compress the present anecdotes into a single volume, as the pages of the second run on in continuation of the first :-but, as the two volumes contain more than 600 pages, if united in one, it would have been of a cubical form, and too ponderous and unwieldly for the fair hands of his female realers. We are sorry, however, that the work was not more correctly printed, and that more attention was not paid to chronology in the arrangement of the articles into classes. In the first volume, painters, from Michael Angelo of the Italian school to Watteau of the French, follow in succession, to the number of seventeen. Kings, Generals, and Fathers of the church, never succeed each other to any considerable number, without interruption. Indeed, it is only in the first volume that anything like regular arrangement is perceptible: for in the second the readers are tossed backwards and forwards in a manner which, to many, may prove somewhat fatiguing.
We shall select a few articles, as specimens of the entertainment which the purchasers of this work are likely to find. The choice, however, from the wide range of the editor's reading, will be difficult. We commence with a pleasing little original poem, addressed by the compiler to his nieces, on the virtues and hospitality of the noble inhabitants of Arundel Castle.
• An Uncle to his Protestant Nieces, on their visiting Wardour Castle in Wilts, the Seat of LORD ARUNDEL,, on St. Peter's Day.
< "Tis not the splendid House of Prayer,
The burnish'd gold's well-order'd glare,
The clouds of incense that arise,
and beauteous band
This sacred site can bring to view;
(Those common tempters of the great); •* The attendants on the priests at the altar, so called.' + •Spagnolet, so called.
Their charity, that knows no bound
Their ruffian country's jest and scorn :
S. The anecdotes concerning Mr. Martin are too pleasant to be omitted :
• Henry Martin, Esq.—having one day in the House of Commons made a long invective against Sir Harry Vane the elder, he continued, “ But as for young Sir Harry~" and sat down. Severad persons
what have you to say to young Sir •* Domestic chaplain to Lord Arundel.'
• + Dr. John Douglas; whom if the virtuous Lord Falkland had known, he would not have said that Bishop Juxon was the only prelate that a pair of lawn sleeves could not spoil.'
• Bemerton, near Salisbury. Its incumbents have been occasionally very distinguished persons, as Mr. Herbert the Poet, the Ideal Norris, the learned Mr. Hawes, and the celebrated Traveller Mr. Coxe.
Harry ?"_" Why, if young Sir Harry lives long enough, he will be old Sir Harry, that is all ;” and then sat down again. Oliver Cromwell, one day in the House of Commons, called him in a scoffing manner Sir Henry Martin ; Mr. Martin rises and hows to Cromwell, adding, “ I thank your majesty ; I always thought that when you were king, I should be knighted.”
“ I have lived,” said he one day to Mr. Speaker, “ long enough to see the scripture saying fulfilled. “ Thou hast exalted the humble and meck; thou hast filled the hungry with good things, and the rich thou hast sent empty away:
• He was wont to sleep in the House. Alderman Atkins made a motion, that such scandalous members as slept, and did not attend to the business of the House, should be expelled. Martin starts up directly, and
says, “ Mr. Sneaker, a motion has been just made to turn the nodders out of the House ; I desire that the noddees may be included."
The following extracts from a British worthy of the first class for learning and wisdom, during the last century, will probably be acceptable to our readers :
• John Selden. • This learned man, the glory of the English nation according to Grotius, thus describes his countrymen :
“ The people are of a middle temper, according to their climate ; the northern melancholy, and southern choler, meeting in their general constitution, doth render them ingenious and active; which, nourished also under the wings of liberty, inspires a courage generous, and not soon out of breath. Active they are; and so nigh to pure act, that nothing hurts them more than pure quiet.
“ Their ingenuity will not allow them to be excellent at the cheat, but they are rather subject in that kind to take than to give ; and, zupposing others as open hearted as themselves, are many times in treaties overmatched by those whom they overmatch in arms. Upon the same account, they are neither ungenerous over those that are beneath, nor stubborn against them that are above them. Man, woman, or child, is all one with them, they will honour majesty wherever they see it, and of the twain, tender it more when they see it set upon infirmity, as if they knew how to command themselves only in order to the public good.
“ Nevertheless, they love much to be free f. When they were under awe of the Pope's curse, they bore off designs by the head
and • * Abbé Sieyes being one day asked, when he thought the French revolution would end, said, '“ When a particular part of the Magnificat is fulfilled;" those verses of it which Mr. Martin quoted.'
“ + Liberty above all things," was the motto of this learned and excellent man; not that abstract liberty, the notion of which, at present, threatens the destruction of every government in Europe ; but that tempered and useful liberty, for which Selden exerted him