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soning. But we shall be much disappointed, if we open these volumes with a hope of enjoying the calm result of an impartial judgment; or if we expect to find in them a just and connected code of poetical criticism, founded on enlarged principles, and accompanied with a candid and liberal investigation of the merits of those writers who

pass

in review before him; and we shall probably agree in the opinion of a writer, (who always accompanies his philosophical investigations with the most indulgent spirit of criticism,) when he says: “To myself (much as I admire his great and various merits both as a critic and a writer) human nature never appears in a more humiliating form than when I read his Lives of the Poets, a performance which exhibits a more faithful, expressive, and curious picture of the author, than all the portraits attempted by his biographers; and which in this point of view compensates fully by the moral lessons it may suggest, for the critical errors which it sanctions. The errors, alas ! are not such as any one who has perused his imitations of Juvenal can place to the account of a bad taste, but such as had their root in weaknesses, which a noble mind would be still more unwilling to acknowledge.*"

See Professor D. Stewart's Philosophical Essays, 4to.

p. 491.

GRAY'S LETTERS.

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You use me very cruelly: you have sent me but one letter since I have been at Oxford, and that too agreeable not to make me sensible how great my

loss is in not having more. Next to seeing you is the pleasure of seeing your hand-writing ; next to hearing you is the pleasure of hearing from you. Really and sincerely I wonder at you, that you thought it not worth while to answer my last letter. I hope this will have better success in behalf of your quondam school-fellow ; in behalf of one who has walked hand in hand with you, like the two children in the wood,

Thro' many a flow'ry path and shelly grot,
Where learning lulld us in her private* maze.

The very thought, you see, tips my pen with poetry, and brings Eton to my view. Consider

This expression prettily distinguishes their studies when out of the public school, which would naturally, at their age, be vague and desultory.—Mason.

VOL. II.

B

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