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simplicity of his style, and the fair, candid, temperate, and liberal views, which mark the operations of his mind. As a scholar, or man of learning, his works abundantly testify that few have ranged so widely in the fields of human knowledge, or returned laden with stores so rich and abundant, notwithstanding his intense devotedness to a very absorbing and laborious profession. The following short notice of himself affords a key, by which the mystery of his great attainments is easily unlocked.

Very early rising,-a systematic division of his time,-abstinence from all company and from all diversions not likely to amuse him highly,--from reading, writing, or even thinking on modern party politics,-and, above all,—never permitting a bit or scrap of

be unimployed,-have supplied him with an abundance of literary hours. His literary acquisitions are principally owing to the rigid observance of four rules ;-to direct his attention to one literary object only at a time; to read the best book upon it, consulting others as little as possible ;– where the subject was contentious, to read the best book on each side ;-to find out men of information, and, in their society, to listen, not to talk. p. 23.

A life of fifty years thus employed could not fail to accomplish things, which might at first seem incredible. No virtue is more rare than economy in the division and use of time, and in the few instances where this has been rigidly practised, the world has seen prodigies of attainment. Seneca tells of the vigilance with which he seized on every moment of time as it passed ; not a day at its close could reproach him with idleness, and his studies were drawn out to a late hour of the night. In one of his beautiful Epistles he says; Nullus mihi per otium dies exit ; partes noctium studiis vindico ; non vaco somno, sed succumbo, et occulos vigilia fatigatos, cadentesque, in opere detineo. Sir William Jones is a remarkable example in point ; with talents of a high order, it is true, but more especially by an industry that never tired, and a methodical appropriation of every moment of bis time to some definite purpose, he made acquisitions in the midst of a busy life that astonish the mind, accustomed to observe only the ordinary results of intellectual labor. His aims were always fixed high, and he seldom fell below them; the vast schemes, which he did not live to mature, were not without their use in carrying his mind upward, and giving it the excitement of a lofty motive. It cannot be denied, that there is sometimes danger to be apprehended from this very propensity for grasping so much. By indulging in so wide a range, the mind necessarily acquires a habit of dwelling op particulars, and, without the exercise of much caution and good judgment, its energy will be lost on trifles; magno conatu magnas nugas. In the same proportion it will lose the power of developing broad principles, and of drawing from particulars, general and philosophical conclusions. This was doubtless in some degree true of Sir William Jones; not that his mind was deficient in the powers of philosophical discrimination, but his eagerness for new attainments was so great, that time was not left, nor space in his thoughts, for arrangement and combination. In many cases he reasoned and thought profoundly, but take all his labors together, we are amazed rather at what he learnt, than at what he has taught.

There is good counsel in Seneca's Second Epistle, on the subject of diversity of study, which our readers will pardon us for translating. The best proof of a well ordered mind,' says Seneca, 'is its power of remaining quiet and keeping company with itself. Be cautious that the reading of many authors, and those of all descriptions, do not produce vagueness and instability. Close application to a few writers of rare merit is necessary, if you would treasure up anything, which will settle faithfully into the mind. He, who is everywhere, is 'nowhere ; and the traveller, who is always in motion, may experience much hospitality, but make no friendships. So it will be with those, who dwell not on a particular branch of study, till they become familiar with it, but are always hurrying from one thing to another. Nothing so much impedes a restoration to health, as a frequent change of medicine ; a wound will not heal, which is irritated by repeated applications; a plant will not flourish, which is often removed to a new soil ; and in short, perpetual change is. injurious in everything. A multitude of books distracts the mind. Since, therefore, you cannot read all you can obtain, it is enough that you possess as many as you can read. “But” you reply, “I wish to look a little into this volume, and a little into that.' It is the mark of a fastidious stomach to desire to taste of many dishes, which, when of various

kinds, vitiate rather than nourish the body. Hence let your reading be confined to the most approved authors, and if at any time you seek for amusement in others, return again to the first. Sir Matthew Hale is an illustrious example of the wonders that may be wrought, by a methodical use of time; his application was unremitted, and the compass of his knowledge almost without bounds, but he knew how to estimate it rightly; he made all his acquisitions subservient to discovering the springs of society, unfolding the principles of human nature, teaching lessons of practical wisdom, and acting on the condition of man. He sought knowledge for these ends alone, and valued particulars only as they opened light into some new truth, and conducted him to useful and comprehensive results.

Our Reminiscent entertains us with a long chapter on the Letters of Junius; if forsooth we may be allowed the intimation, that anything entertaining can now be said on a subject so coinpletely exhausted. There is little new in the Reminiscent's observations, inasmuch as he has left the great mystery of the authorship of these letters as much in the dark as it was before, yet there is an interest in hearing a man describe things in which he has been personally concerned, and talk of distinguished men with whom he has been in habits of intimacy. This kind of interest will be found in the author's discussion on the Letters of Junius. The argument in favor of Sir Philip Francis having been the author of these Letters has been pursued with so much success, chiefly on the ground of resemblance in the handwriting, that Mr Butler would destroy its force by supposing Sir Philip to have been the amanuensis of Junius, and copied the Letters for the press. When it is considered, that the known writings of Sir Philip bear no comparison, in the character of style, or power of thought, with the Letters of Junius, this hypothesis is more than probable. The Reminiscent examines the evidence on which the other candidates have been brought forward as the authors of these Letters, but after going round the circle, and telling now and then an agreeable anecdote on the way, he sits down at the point from which he first set out, fain to acknowledge that he has found no clue by which to penetrate the mysterious labyrinth.

The parts of the volume, which will be perused with most delight by the greater portion of readers, are those relating to distinguished British statesmen and orators. As the Reminiscent was either personally acquainted with these men, or had often witnessed the public exhibition of their talents, and knew their characters, habits, and the estimation in which they were held by their cótemporaries, bis descriptions are doubtless to be relied on for their fidelity.

His manner, style, and spirit, will speak for themselves, in the examples quoted below. Of Lord Erskine he says,

• The eloquence of this remarkable man was an era at the bar. His addresses to juries have not been equalled; they alike captivated their understandings, their imaginations, and their passious. He often rose to the highest oratory; but it was always simple ; and even in his sublimest flights, there was much that was very familiar ; but this rather set off than clouded their splendor, rather increased than diminished their general effect. His skill in the conduct of a cause, and in the examination of witnesses, has never been surpassed; his discretion never forsook him, even in his highest forensic enthusiasm ; his manners were always most gentlemanly; at the bar he was uniformly loved and admired ; and, when he accepted the seals, no one, as lord Eldon justly remarked of him, could have a greater wish to discharge properly the office, which was conferred on him, or greater talents to qualify him for a proper discharge of it. A true friend to constitutional liberty, he was its constant and animated advocate ; but he never failed in respect to the crown, or sacrificed to the prejudices or vagaries of the populace. It is highly to the credit of the two noble lords, that, though the difference of their politics repeatedly placed them in a state of forensic conflict, neither ever said that to the other, or of the other, which it was unpleasing to him to hear. This circumstance Lord Erskine himself noticed to the Reminiscent.' pp. 61, 62. Lord Chatham is thus described.

The nature of the eloquence of this extraordinary man, it is extremely difficult to describe. No person in his external appearance was ever more bountifully gifted by nature for an orator.

In his look and his gesture, grace and dignity were combined, but dignity presided ; the “ terrors of his beak, the lightnings of his eye,” were insufferable. His voice was both full and clear; his lowest whisper was distinctly heard, his middle tones were sweet, rich, and beautifully varied; when he elevated his voice to its highest pitch, the house was completely filled with the volume of the sound. The effect was awful, except when he wished to cheer or animate; he then had spirit stirring notes, which were perfectly irresistible. He frequently rose, on a sudden, from a very low to a very high key, but it seemed to be without effort. His diction was remarkably simple, but words were never chosen with greater care ; he mentioned to a friend of the Reminiscent, that he had read twice, from beginning to end, Bailey's Dictionary; and that he had perused some of Dr Barrow's Sermons so often, as to know them by heart.

• His sentiments, too, were apparently simple; but sentiments were never adopted or uttered with greater skill; he was often familiar and even playful, but it was the familiarity and playfulness of condescension; the lion that dandled with the kid. The terrible, however, was his peculiar power. Then the whole house sunk before him. Still he was dignified; and wonderful as was his eloquence it was attended with this most important effect, that it impressed every hearer with a conviction, that there was something in him even finer than his words; that the man was infinitely greater than the orator; no impression of this kind was made by the eloquence of his son, or his son's antagonist.

Still,-- with the great man,--for great he certainly was,-manner did much. One of the fairest specimens, which we possess of his lordship’s oratory, is his speech, in 1766, for the repeal of the stamp act.

Annuit, et nutu totum tremefecit Olympum.” Most, perhaps, who read the report of this speech, in Almon's Register, will wonder at the effect, which it is known to have produced on the hearers; yet the report is tolerably exact, and exhibits, although faintly, its leading features. But they should have seen the look of ineffable contempt with which he surveyed the late Mr Grenville, who sat within one of him, and should have heard him say with that look," As to the late ministry, every capital measure they have taken, has been entirely wrong.” They should also have beheld him, when addressing himself to Mr Grenville's successors, he said, “ As to the present gentlemen,-those, at least, whom I have in my eye,”—(looking at the bench on which Mr Conway sate,)-1 have no objection; I have never been made a sacrifice by any of them. Some of them have done me the honor to ask my poor opinion, before they would engage to repeal the act; they will do me the justice to own, I did advise them to engage to do it, but notwithstanding, (for I love to be explicit) I cannot give them my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen," (bowing to them,)“confidence is a plant of slow growth.” Those, who remember the air of condescending protection, with which the bow was made, and the look given, when he spoke these words, will recollect how much they themselves, at the moment, were both delighted and awed, and what they themselves then conceived of the immeasurable superiority of the orator over every human beVOL. XX.NO. 47.


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