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an infinite deal of pains to prove some Did these worthy gentlemen, however, hypothefis, which, when it is proved, consider, that poetry is to the full as cadoes not signify a sixpence to the world, pable of improving the mind as of amusthan where I lie a writer setting out to ing the imagination, perhaps they would gain some point which will be really ad. endeavour to give us fome gleams of vantageous to mankind, but failing, common sense in their productions. Did through an obvious want of abilities, in they consider, that the principal numthe attaininent of his end.
ber of our celebrated poets, while they There is, however, no part of lite- entertained us with the fineit ebullitions rature in which men of genius are fuapt of genius, have given us also the foundest to vifle, or in which blockheads are lo lesions of morality; and did they conapt to be insufferable, as in poetry. sider, that the harmony of nuinbers is Who, for instance, that reads Mr. Pope's almost entirely calculated to enforce the Rape of the Lock, can forbear lamenting sentiments of virtue more itrongly on to find so much sterling fancy and ex- our bosoms; they might be kindly led quifite versification thrown away upon a
to mix a little reason now and then with fubje&t which cannot possibly be uf the their rhyme, and induced to believe, that smalleit benefit to the reader? Perhaps, the most polithed versification is but a of all the pieces which this great man poor apology for dullness and infipidity. ever published, the Rape of the Lock is The herd of modern verfifiers untor. the niost finished and poetical; yet, must tunately copy nothing but the defects of it not grieve a considerate mind to re- our celebrated writers. Instead of encollect that the Rape of the Lock is at deavouring to imitate the exaltei Hights best but a glittering toy, an elevated of a Pope, they only follow him where gewgaw, merely capable of amusing thè he evidently descends; and because he, fancy, but no way calculated to enlarge or because other great men, like Scipio the understanding? Muit it not grieve and Laelius, have employed theinfelves a considerate niind to fee those attonith. in skimıning fome little poetical pebbles ing abilities prodigally squandered on on the turface of genius, they claim an fuch despicable objects, when the choice everlaiting privilege to trifle also, and run of subjects suited to their natural dignity continually into their faults, without would have afforded the world a still once ípiritedly attempting to reach the greater degree of entertainment, and leait of their perfections. given it besides the most ample and fa- It is in reality surprising, when the luiary: sources of intruction
main end of literature is to make man. It is a very abfurd opinion which a kind wifer and betier, that the press is great many people adopt in regard to the unceasingly teeming with productions end of poetiy. So it amules the fancy, which often want even the negative they imagine it may neglect the heart; merit of having ro harm to countenance and so it tickles the ear in an agreeable the groffneis of their itupidity. Whio. manner, they never once trouble them- ever is defiious of being an author should selves about the effect which it is likely always carefully attend to this material to have
upon the underítanding: thus circumitance, the inttruction of his read they conclude, that the most exalted er; he should judiciously confider with walk of all literature is to be the least himlilf, whether the publication which uleful to the world, and let down men he is about to make is fuch as can either of inferior talents only as the proper in- he serviceable to the judgment or the Atructors of society. Absurd as this heart; advantageous to the cause of opinion is, it has nevertheleis a prodi- good sense, or beneficial to the intereits gious number of advocates; and the go. of inorality: unlets it anrivers one of nerality of our modern poets seem to be these ends, he never can promite himfelf fo perfectly satisfied of it's justice, that either protit or reputation; and it will be one half of our compolitions are nothing much more for his credit to continue in more than elegies on linnets or black his usual itate of obscurity, than to call birds---defcriprions of a river or a mea- for the attention of the word to thew dow-verses to the spring-and ballads himself a weak or a worthlels meinber abcut millinersgirls and inautua makers of the community. apprentices.
N° CXVI. SATURDAY, APRIL 16.
make the most dangerous deviations without theller and without bread. Old from the laws of society and the prin- Mr. Leeton, finding his health very ciples of virtue, in a great measure owe much impaired, and conceiving a dirtheir crimes to the very benevolence of guit, moreover, at the part in which he their hearts; and that, in the midst of all rehded, because his friends had not fortheir guilt, we find a dignity of soul merly been fo ready to adlift him in his which coinmands our highelt admira- neceflities as he had reason to expect; re. tion.
folved, with the concurrence of his fon, Frank Leeson was the son of a coun- to dispose of his estate, and to make an try gentleman in Ireland, who possessed adequate purchase in the neighbourhood a little estate of about three hundred of Dublin, where he might have an cppounds a year; but who, with that libe. portunity of consulting the best phytirality of sentiment to particularly the cians, and establishing a more agreeable characteristic of his nation, gave into an circle of acquaintance. Pursuant to this hospitality rather beyond the power of plan, he fold every acre he possessed; had His circumitances, and in promoting the the purchase-money home in bills; and happiness of his friends, too frequently was preparing to let off for another part forgot a necellary attention to his own. of the kingdom in a day or two, when The consequence may be easily foreseen an accidental fire reduced his habitation by the intelligent reader. Old Mr. to an heap of alhes, destroyed all bis Leefon was involved in perpetual difti. effects, and gave him scarcely a moment culties, and was upon the eve of being more than was absolutely necessary for thrown into prison, when he was saved the preservation of his family. Frank, from a diigrace of that nature by the whole whole property was also in bills, extraordinary piety of his son. Frank, and packed up ready for the intended to a very excellent understanding, joined departure, lott all in the general calami. a very amiable person; on which ac- ty; and was obliged, together with his count, a young lady with an independ. father, his mother, and his wife, to take ent fortune of 8oool. had long beheld refuge at a neighbouring gentleman's him with a favourable eye : but Frank, for a few days, fill they were in a capa. being attached to another, whose beauty city of reaching the metropolis; where and merit were her only recommenda- Frank expected, from fome letters which tions, had hitherto declined to profit by he obtained to the lord lieutenart, to this lady's partiality; however, when he procure a little establishment either in law there was no other method of saving the army or the public offices. an infirm father and mother from po- On the arrival of our unfortunate fa. verty and bondage, the force of his filial mily in town, young Mr. Leeson ap. affection got the better of his love. He plied himfelf induftriously to profit by tore himself from the woman of his soul, his recommendations; but, alas! though and married the eight thousand pounds. he met with civility, lie could obtain no With this money he paid off all the old relief. Every freth application gave gentleman's debts, andentered the world hiin nothing but freth occafion ro lawith a degree of reputation considerably ment the miserable profpect before him; fuperior to the generality of his ac- and while he was cuntinually cheering quaintance.
everv bofom at home with the speedy As nothing could feparate Frank and expetation of halcyon days, he had no his father, the old couple and the young thing but despair in his own. At lived for some time in the most perfect lengin, okeituction became too evident to Hate of harmony under the fame roof; be concealed: his father, who was now and the deverity of llieir former situation confined to his bed, had been a whole producing a necellary regulation in their way without suitenance; and young Mrs. expier.ces, they were every day riling Leelon w23 every hour trembling, left Biuluis in opulence than in felicity; when the pains of parturiency thould oblige caexposted misfortune left them, ia her to folicit the charitable abistance of
the public. Thus situated, torn with í You see before you, my lord, an a thousand pangs for a wife who por- unhappy young man, who once little fered his highett esteem; for a father, thought of violating the laws of his whom he almost worshipped, and a mo- country, and who wished rather to be ther, whom he tenderly loved; Frank • the friend than the enemy of society: Sallied out one evening into the streets, " but who knows to what he may beurged and stopping a gentleman, whose ap- ' in the hour of a piercing calamity;
to pearance indicated opulence, he de- ' what he may be wrought when deftimanded his money with such a wildner's "tute of friends, and deititute of bread! of accent, that the gentleman, terrified I, my lord, was born a gentleman, and out of his wits, immediately gave him a • bred one. Six months ago I was mapurse of fifty guineas, and Frank ea- 'fter of an easy fortune, but an accigerly retreated to his lodgings, depofit- • dental fire in a moment reduced me ing the money with his father, and tel- to beggary; and, what ftill more difling him he had received it from the lord tressed me, reduced also an infirin and lieutenant's order, as an earnest only of 'excellent father, an aged and tender future obligations. The family at home ' mother, together with the best of wonot doubting the truth of this relation, men and the best of wives, to the same poured out their whole fouls in acknow- Jamentable situation. Encouraged by ledgment of the viceroy's goodness, and
fome recommendations to the great, once more refreshed themselves with a we came up to town, and expected a comfortable repaít.
• decent means of procuring a sublistNext morning, however, the robbery ence: but, alas! my lord, those who became noised abroad; and, to the great want compassion most, are those who surprize of every body, a merchant of the are most commonly disregarded. Infirst character and fortune was appre- • stead of alluitance, we received com-'. hended for the fact, and lodged in New- pliinents, and met with the bow of gate. On the earliest knowledge of this frigid politeness where we looked for circumstance, Frank immediately wrote " the bounteous hand of relief; fo that to the innocent gentleman, defiring him ' in a little time our all was totally exto be under no apprehension; for if hausted, and my unhappy father, with he was not honourably acquitted, the • the venerable partner of his youth, person actually guilty would, on the day were above a day without any sulteof trial, appear in court, acknowledge nance whatsoever; when, tinable to his crime, and suriender himielf to the • see them expiring for food, I rushed violated laws of his country.
• forth, and committed the robbery for tleman naturally read his letter to every r which this gentleman, now prisoner at body; but though such as were his " the bar, has been condemned. friends talked of it as a most extraor. " This was not the whole of my afdinary affair, the generality of people ' fiction: a fond deferving wife, who considered it as a despicable artifice, cal- had brought me a plentiful fortune, culated to impose on the credulity of 'lay also perishing with hunger, and the public. However, the day of trial " that too in a fivation which demandat lait came; and notwithitanding the "ed the tenderelt attention, and the most merchant's characier appeared irre- • immediate regaril. Such, my lord, proachable before this unfortunate Stain; were my motives for that unjuitifiable notwithstan ling several personages of " action. Had the gentleman condamnthe highest figure proved him a inan • cd been happily acquitted, ! Ind not remarkably nice in his principles, and • made ihis public acknowledgment of opulent in his circumitances; the profe- my guilt, Heaven only knows what cutor was fo positive in his charge, and I have suffered during his confine. a number of circumstances fo surprising- ment; but the empire of the universe Jy concurred, that he was actually con- I would not bribe nie to injure him farvicted, and the judge proceeding to ther; nor tempt me, by an infamous sentence; when a loud noile of Make " sacrifice of his life, to consult the fafeway ran through the court; and young ty of my own. Here, then, my lord, Mr. Leefon, with a manly yet inodleft "I claim his sentence, and demand his countenance, rushing forward, demand. bonds. Providence will, I doubt not, ed to be heard, and delivered himself to now take care of my innocent family, the following effcc
• who are equally ignorant of my crime,