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ç ON T E N T 8.

220

XXX. Account of Gravina's celebrated treatis. Della Ragion Poetica

205 XXXI. On Truth of Fałt and Truth of Nature,

213 XXXII. Superiority of the modern stage and

drama to those of the ancients XXXIII. On the tinsel of Virgil

232 XXXIV, Notices on the English tongue. Prop

posal for a reform of it, and of the Greek characters

237 XXXV. Beauties of The GRAVE, a Poem 276 XXXVI. How far a poet who draws bis subject

from antiquity qught to be an antiquary 285 XXXVII. On modern Latin poetry. Praise of

the Basia. -Extracts from Casimir.--Translation of Gray's Alcaic Ode

290 XXXVIII

. Conclusion of the remarks on the laft edition of Shakspere 1778

301 XXXIX. The connection of luxury with litera

316 XL. A succinɛt view of the progress of science' fince the publication of Lord Bacon's work On the Advancement of Learning

324 XLI. On Imitation XLII. Discussion of Mr. Gray's character of Hume. Cenfure of popular sceptic writers 365 7

XLIII,

ture

356

L E T T E R S

OF

L I T E R A T U R E.

L'E T T E R I

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DEAR SIR,

17 O&t. 17820 OU ask me by what means it comes to

pass that a rude poetical production of a barbarous age always affects, and pleases, the heart more than the most finished and artificial effort of a refined composer ?

To examine this matter thoroughly might employ much philosophical research. I shall only beg leave to lay before you a few remarks, which may not perhaps have offered themselves to your enquiries.

B

In the first place, what do you call a barbarous age, or country? To what period of society may this denomination be properly limited ? The Greeks gave this denomination to the Persians; tho the latter were arrived at more refinement of manners than themselves. We give it to the Chinese: the Chinese with equal propriety to us.

BARBARISM, like every other human acci. dent and quality, must be allowed to be merely comparative. If any one said that most of the European kingdoms had not yet emerged from barbarity, nay, that the most polished of them are yet but barbarous, every beau of the æra of George I. would stroke his chin and smile. Yet were an ancient Roman to revisit this globe, and make a tour to Paris, I have no doubt but he would with great justice affirm that the French were very little improved since his own days; that their customs, their dress, their luxuries, were barbarous au dernier point. I say with justice, because, from a comparative view of the Roman manners, every one must allow that they were, in the days of their glory, as much superior to the French in luxury, which

is

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