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regard to it infallible.' Of a truth, if the world continue any longer to treat Mr. Stewart's pretensions with neglect, he may at least console himself with the reflection, that he does not owe his obscurity to any faint-heartedness he has shewn in sounding the trumpet of his own praises.
We take the liberty of passing over, without comment, the paper from the Spectator, on Dreams, and the ten or twelve pages on the same subject from Mr. Green's Diary of a Lover of Literature,' as well as the Extracts from the Birmingham Chronicle,' the Monthly Repository of Theology,' the 'Sunday Times,' the 'Lady's Magazine,' the Catalogue of Five Hundred celebrated Authors,' and a great variety of similar important records and works of authority, which occupy considerably above a hundred pages in this part of Mr. Barker's book-and only stop for a moment at his 17th article, entitled 'Recollections of Dr. Parr, by a Pupil,' to remark that the writer, notwithstanding his zeal as to some points of theological belief, about which he sermonizes at rather too much length, is upon the whole a person of talent and good sense; and although not altogether uninfected by that spirit of absurd exaggeration, in reference to the merits of the Reverend Doctor, which pervades the communications of most of his associates, does not offend us by any thing like the same imbecile idolatry to which they are so incessantly in the habit of descending. He details, too, the few anecdotes he has to communicate, in an easy, gentlemanly, and spirited style, and occasionally with a good deal of point and humour. The next of our author's anonymous contributors, however, is a person of a very different sort-and with regard to his reminiscences we must speak a little more at length.
This Reverend gentleman, whatever he may be called, is one of the most poetical story-tellers we have ever chanced to encounter in prose or verse. As Doctor Johnson said of poor Goldsmith, nihil tetigit quod non ornavit. What the phrenologists would call, we suppose, the bump of hyperbolism, must in him have truly a gigantic development. Like Hudibras himself,
"he cannot ope
His mouth, but out there flies a trope."
Every person he has occasion to mention is, in his phraseology, a non-pareil. His rector, for example, was 'the most fascinating preacher that ever entered a pulpit.' Then nothing can be more authoritative or prononcé than the style in which he discusses, also like that celebrated authority, all sorts of subjects that present themselves. Thus, he does not profess to be conversant with the writings of Warburton, but he does not think that he will long continue to be much read; he has had his day-his Letters are poor, meagre stuff.' But the subject upon which he heaps his superlatives most lavishly, is the towering genius of Dr. Parr. In one of the Doctor's printed works, he assures us, are to be found, and that not here and there, thinly scattered, but blazing
excellences, such a rich display of splendid eloquence, and such profound reasoning on political subjects, as have no equal from any other pen. In another place he becomes so enthusiastic in his declamation, that he absolutely forgets to finish the sentence he had begun, telling us that, in a particular sermon he (Dr. Parr) described in the finest style of eloquence that ever flowed from mortal pen;' but what might be the subject of the description the deponent sayeth not. But we must give at full length, for the edification of our readers, the comparison drawn by this consummate critic between the style of Johnson and that of Parr :
I have studied,' says he, with some degree of attention, the genius and gradual history of the English language, and do not hesitate to say, that by Johnson and Parr it has been brought to its present high state of perfection. Johnson at times astounds by his awful solemnity; Parr captivates, delights, enraptures his reader, by sudden bursts of heavenly splendour, never before beheld by mortal eye. In the style of Parr there is a greater variety and originality; he has twisted our language into an endless variety of fascinating allusions; he has made it express more than ever Johnson did. General utility predominates in the Johnsonian scale; he balances his sentences with the nicest accuracy. So also does our Grecian sage; but he often makes one scale kick the beam by his sudden coruscations of wit, his matchless union of Athenian elegance with English manliness, of Spartan simplicity, with English policy and English liberty'!!!-vol. i. pp. 372, 373.
Our friend, Mr. Stewart himself, could have written nothing better than this, which indeed as a display of self-conceited, pompous, and precipitate ignorance, it would not, we verily believe, be easy to parallel in any language. After such an effusion we fear any other extract must seem tame and common-place; but the compositions of this anonymous scribbler are singularly rich in the absurd, and we shall venture therefore to submit one specimen more. We may give for this purpose his rhetorical description of the Doctor's personal appearance:
In speaking of the prints of him, that had been published, he observed, "All the artists, to whom I have sat, fail in one feature-none of them give me my peculiar ferocity." O that an artist had taken him, when he had assumed the ferocious in S. P.'s pulpit! M. G. and W. D., two young bankers, were quizzing him, as he mounted the pulpit-his figure, his wig, the fulness of his dress, &c.; they still kept playing the fool, after they were discovered. The Doctor set them like a pointer; but still they were undismayed. At length the singing is ended, there is silence, no preacher's voice is heard, all eyes are directed to the pulpit, there stands the Doctor; he turned direct to the offenders, ferocious as a lion ready to dart at his prey. The poor puppies are soon abashed, chop-fallen, and have no courage to lift up their heads during the remainder of the service. Here was his ferocity in all its wildest grandeur. An artist could not express it, while it was dormant. To express it properly, he must have seen it, as when excited into full action in S. P.'s pulpit.
'To me he never appeared more striking than when some emotion in
duced him to throw up his eye-brows, and exhibit his eyes. Thus have I seen him sometimes fascinate with a bewitching smile-sometimes you gazed in amaze, while he laughed outright-his whole frame then shook in convulsive motion-he did not, as somebody observed of Johnson, "laugh like a rhinoceros;" no, it was all good-humour without any sarcastic sneer. Sometimes when thus with brows elevated, he appeared
absorbed in some secret admiration-the sentiment, which he then inspired, was awe-it forbade a word, or a breath-but the flash of his anger was inexpressibly terrific.'-vol. i. pp. 354, 355.
But would any of our readers like to peruse a composition which, for the matchless ability which it evinces, would do honour, as we are here assured, to the pen of the Devil himself? Our anonymous letter-writer had frequently alluded in his previous epistles to a certain testimonial to his character and talents, which had been drawn up by Dr. Parr, but which at the same time he seemed to consider as a document almost too precious and too sacred for general perusal. At last, however, he is prevailed upon to trust Mr. Barker with a copy of the invaluable lines, the communication being prefaced after the following fashion :- Imprimis,' says he, the Testimonial from the great Doctor in my favour. As a composition it possesses such superlative excellence, and so great is my own interest in the preservation of so highly flattering a paper, that I cannot prevail upon myself to trust a document, to me of infinite value, to the precarious mode of conveyance by coach, or through the medium of friends. I therefore, to satisfy my own fears, and to ensure its security, shall in this sheet send you an exact and literal copy. Our readers are by this time, we dare say, burning with impatience to behold this prodigy of a certificate, and we shall not longer torture their natural anxiety. Here is the inimitable effusion:
Gentlemen, Though I have not the honour to be personally acquainted with you, yet I trust that you will excuse the liberty I take in bearing my sincere and decided testimony to the character of Mr. who is now a candidate for the vacant Chapel of H. I am happy and proud to call him my friend; for I have heard his public instructions,-I have been pleased by his private conversation; therefore I know the purity of his principles upon subjects the most interesting to the honour of the Established Church, and to the influence of religion upon the understandings and the hearts of those, by whom it is reverentially considered as the rule of their actions, and the foundation of their hopes.
With unfeigned and serious approbation I have long observed his diligence and zeal in the discharge of his clerical duties. They have impressed me more strongly, because they were unaccompanied with selfish views, or ostentatious display; because they were uniformly directed to the improvement both of the rich and of the poor; and, above all, because they were enforced by the authority of virtuous example.
'Few clergymen have more deservedly and more extensively obtained the esteem of their hearers, and the confidence of their friends; and sure I am, that if Mr.. should be thought worthy of your support, his
good sense, his good manners, the uprightness of his intentions, and the activity of his exertions, will amply justify your choice, as well as my own recommendation.
'I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, with great respect,
To the Trustees of the Chapel of H. S.'-vol. i. p. 370.
We cannot for the life of us, we confess, see any thing extraordinary in these plain sentences. But There, sir,' exclaims the delighted possessor of the treasure, though it be only a transcript, its internal evidence testifies its authenticity. For the author must be aut Parr aut Diabolus!'
Seeing the sort of character we have here to deal with, we must take his anecdotes of course, cum grano salis. With regard to his principal one, indeed-that, we mean, about the well known case of Oliver-which he calls a glorious historical anecdote,' and professes to give as he heard it from the lips of Dr. Parr himself, we have abundance of evidence to prove that his version is very nearly a fiction from beginning to end. It is quite impossible, in fact, that Dr. Parr could have told him the story which he pretends to have heard from him, and which he repeats in so very fluent a style. For any thing that we know, his imagination may have played him the same trick in other cases which it has done in this; but the character described in the following paragraph is at the same time so new and so ludicrous, that, whether it be delineated from nature or from fancy, our readers, we think, will thank us for giving it.
Kett was my tutor, a strange compound, his Classical Lectures excellent, his Bampton Lectures of the first order. His gravity was unnatural for his years. When not thirty years of age, he was called "Father Kett." He was industrious, and very persevering in his study. Thus far all was well. But, as he advanced in years, he advanced in folly; he affected to be a man of the world, the gay Lothario, and to dance attendance upon the ladies. We were amused at beholding trophies of gallantry suspended about his paintings and prints-here a piece of green, there blue, and there a piece of pink ribband. To add to the ludicrous, he put himself in London under the tuition of a dancing-master. You may trace the same graduation of folly; for, after his Bampton and other Lectures, and his three Volumes on Prophecies, he published Juvenile Poems, his Novel of Emily, and his Flowers of Wit. He lost his former character, was an object of general ridicule, despised in his own College. He was senior fellow. Twice the headship became vacant, and twice he lost his election. This mortification was too much for his mind: for some time he was under the care of a medical friend; but he was miserable in the head and heart. At length he married. I never knew why he had not a College living, for he rejected many. He had no preferment, and no fortune but what he had saved and got from his works. He had not been married long, when he destroyed himself. This I was told by a bookseller in Paternoster-row. Poor man vanity and the world gained an undue ascendancy-at length reason tottered, and the
anchor of the soul was lost! Alas, poor Kett! I often think of him with amazement and pity.'-vol. i. pp. 424, 425.
But we must conclude. We have not entered into any detail respecting the life and character of Dr. Parr, in examining Mr. Barker's pages, both because his rambling and declamatory correspondents do, in fact, supply us with very little matter of any novelty or interest in illustration of these topics, and because they have already occupied our attention at considerable length in a recent number. Dr. Parr was a great scholar, but had little or no pretension to any other species of greatness. His extraordinary memory and command of language, aided by certain tricks of manner and deportment, enabled him to show off as a man of splendid genius in the eyes of the very shallow persons by whom he was generally surrounded, and whose admiration, too, he took pains to bribe by requiting them abundantly in kind for the flatteries they lavished on him. That he was, in truth, nothing more than we have thus described him, is evident to all the world, except Mr. Barker and his association, who would make a god of one who was only a very ordinary mortal. As for the present volume, it will be merely read, laughed at, and forgotten. The only portion of its contents that can be considered as of any real value or importance, is the account furnished by Mr. Fearn of his correspondence with the late Professor Dugald Stewart, which might certainly, however, have been laid before the world through the medium of any other publication of the season, with quite as much appropriateness as through that of the present. We shall be glad, however, if even this rather awkward proclamation of his existence should have the effect of calling any measure of public attention to the speculations of a philosopher, who has shown at least as high powers and as much originality as any other metaphysical inquirer of the age, while he has had to prosecute his investigations under the discouragement of a neglect that is any thing but creditable to the taste and discrimination of his countrymen. This is not the place to enter into any discussion of Mr. Fearn's peculiar opinions; but we cannot help saying, that the treatment he experienced from Mr. Stewart, as here detailed, reflects no honour upon the memory of that distinguished writer. His claim to originality, in regard to the particular position which Mr. Stewart affected to consider as having so little merit in point either of novelty or importance, was long ago maintained in this Journal, and is put beyond the reach of controversy by the statements here published.
ART. VIII.-Duranti ou la Ligue en Province. Par M. Baour-Lormian, Membre de l'Academie Française. 4 vols. 12mo. Paris: Delangle. 1828. BAOUR-LORMIAN is the poet-laureat of France. Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, peace, war, and congresses, are all by turns