Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

themselves; and it will greatly. derogate from the dig: nity of true religion in the eyes of your children. Suffer me also to caution you against the most unjust and illi, beral practice, of exercising your wit in humourous strokes upon your servants before company, or while they . wait at table. I do not know any thing so evidently mean that is at the same time so common. It is, I think, just such a cowardly thing as to beat a man who is bound; because the servant, however happy a repartee might occur to him, is not at liberty to answer but at . the risk of having his bones broken. In this, as in inany. other particulars, reason, refinement, and liberal mans ners, teach exactly the same thing with religion; and I am happy in being able to add, that religion is generally the most powerful as well as the most uniform principle of decent conduct.

I shall have done with this particular when I have observed, that those who are engaged in public, or what I may call political life, have an excellent opportunity of making religion appear truly respectable. What I mean

showing themselves firm and incorruptible in sup porting those measures that appear beft calculated for promoting the interest of religion, and the good of man. kind. In all these cafes, I admire that man who has principles, whose principles are known, and whom every body despairs of being able to seduce, or bring over to the opposite intereft, I do not commend furious and intemperate zeal. Steadiness is a much better, and quite a different thing. I would contend with any man who should speak most calmly, bụt I would also contend with him who should act inost firmly. As for your placebo's, your prudent, courtly, compliant gentlemen, : whose vote in assembly will tell you where they dined the day before, I hold them very cheap indeed, as you very well know. I do not enter further into this argument, but conclude at this time, by obferving, that public measures are always ernbraced under pretence of principle; and therefore, an uniform uncorrupted public character is one of the best evidences of real principle.

is; b.

The freethinking gentry tell us, upon this subject, that “ every man has his price." It lies out of my way to attempt refuting them at present, but it is to be hoped there are many whose price is far above their reach. If some of my near relations, who took so much pains to attach mę to the interest of evangelical truth, had been governed by court influence in their political conduct, ithad not been in my power to have esteemed their characters, or perhaps to have adhered to their instructions, But as things now stand, I have done both from the beginning, and I hope God will enable me by his grace, to continue to do so to the end of life.

. .. Sir, yours, &c.

[The publisher presumes that the following accoụnt of Miss

HANNAH MORE will be interesting and acceptable to most of his readers. The distinguisħed talents of this lady, her eminent piety, her laudable exertions for pro- . moting moral and religious truth, and the just celebrity She has acquired by her various excellent works, chiefly addressed to the female sex, entitle her to the respeet and the thanks of every friend of human happiness. It is highly satisfactory to observe, that her writings are ber ginning to be more known and read in the United States. , Nor would it be easy to select publications better calculated. to refine and elevate the female character. .

d elevate the fert publications berinted States.

MEMOIRS OF MISS HANNAH MORE. THE controversy respecting the intellectual talents

T of women, as compared with those of men, is hearly brought to an issue, and greatly to the credit of the fair sex. The present age has produced a most bril: liant constellation of female worthies, who have not only displayed eminent powers in works of fancy, but have greatly diftinguished themselves in the higher branches of composition. Great-Britain has the honour of enrolling among its literary ornaments many females, to whom the interests of poetry, morality, and the sciences, are

[ocr errors]

greatly indebted. Among celebrated living ladies, may, with justice, be mentioned the names of Barbauld, Robinson, Cowley, Smith, Radcliffe, Farren, Piozzi, Seward, Lee, Hays, Inchbald, Cappe, Plumptree, Trimmer, Yearsley, Williams, D'Arblay, Bennet, Linwood, Colway, Kauffman, and Siddons.. i ;

The female who is the subject of the present notice is well known to the literary world, by several elegant, ingenious, and useful publications. A few particulars respecting her, therefore, will not only be amusing to those who have read her works, but will also be instructive to young persons in the way of example.

Mifs Hannah More is the youngest of four maiden Gisters, the daughters of a clergyman, distinguished for his classical knowledge, and goodness of heart. - Hannah, who, at an early period of life, discovered a taste for literature, improved her inind during her leisure hoors by reading; and soon perused not only the little paternal library, but all the books the could borrow from her friends, in the village of Hanham, near Bristol. The first that fell in her way was the Pamela of Richardfon, the humble source of an innumerable offspring; and happy it would have been for the interests of virtue and literature, had the progeny been but as innocent as the parent. 5 The modesty and attainments of Hannah More were spoken of with general respect in her native pace, and at length acquired her the patronage of many respectable perfons. In the mean time her fifters, who, being also clever and amiable women, had conducted a little school with great success, were now enabled, in consequence of an increasing reputation, to undertake the education of young persons above the situation of those to whose improvement their attention had hitherto been directed. So great, at length, was their celebrity, that several ladies of fortune and discernment prevailed upon them to remove to Bristol, about the year 1765, where they opened a boarding-school in Park-street., This seminary, in a thort time, became the most respectable of its kind in

thie West of England, and many females of rank received their education there.

Among others who had the advantage of profiting by the instruction of the Miss Mores, was the celebrated Mrs. Robinson, well known for her various elegant publications in prose and verse.

Miss H. More, who had removed with the family, had the good fortune of having for a next door neighbour the. Reverend Dr. Stonehouse; who perceiving her merits, distinguished her by his friendship, which he manifested by his instructions and recommendation. Both of these were of the most effential service to her in the cultivation of her literary taste. The Doctor was a man of extensive acquaintance, general knowledge, and elegant manners. He condescended not only to examine the occasional esfusions of her pen, but also to correct them, and through his hands all her early efforts passed to the press. The first of these was entitled, “ The Search after Happiness; a Poem,” which was printed at Bristol under the Doctor's eye; and on its publication in London was so favourably received, as to encourage the author to further exertions of her powers. She next published “Sir Eldred of the Bower, and the Bleeding Rock; a legendary Tale;" which style of wiiting was become fashionable, through the success. of Dr. Goldsmith's sweet story of Edwin and Angelina.

Miss More now turned her attention to dramatic poetry, and produced a tragedy, entitled FATAL FALSEHOOD; which was tolerably well received; but not foi much as her Percy, a tragedy, which met with univerfal applause. She also wrote another tragedy, called the INFLEXIBLE CAPTIVE; which fell short of the merit: of her other dramatic pieces. The success she met with, in this way, was owing, in a great measure, to the immediate and commanding patronage of Garrick, who entered warmly into her interests, through the recommendation of Dr. Stonehouse, with whom he was very intimate. * .

* The Doctor was one of the most correct and elegant preachers in the kingdom. When he entered into holy orders, he took occasion to profit by his acquaintance with Garrick, in order to procure from

· She afterwards printed a small volume of “ Eftays for Young Ladies,” in which she has recommended to them a variety of ingenious and excellent observations upon the most important subjects, expreffed in elegant language. In 1782 she published a work, perhaps the most popular of all her pieces, entitled “ Sacred Dramas; to which is added, “ Sensibility, a poetical Epiftle." In this volume she has dramatized, in a very natural and feeling manner, some of the most affecting and inftructive narratives in the facred history. Many of these had been previously performed by her sisters' pupils, and given to much satisfaction to those who had seen the performances, or read the pieces, as to occafion numerous solicitations that they might be printed. The voice of the public accorded with the fentiments of private friendship, and these dramas have not only gone through several large editions, but we believe they have been, and are now, frequently performed in respectable boarding-schools.

Her next production was in a different style of coinposition; it was entitled “ Bas Bleu, with the Tale of Florio," 1985. This poem is somewhat in the manner of Fontaine, and hits off the prevailing follies with great finaftness and taste. The foundacion of it was the Blue Stocking club, instituted by Mrs. Montague.

In 1788 appeared a small volume, called “ Thoughts

him some valuable instructions in elocution. Being once engaged to read prayers, and to preach at a church in the city, lie prevailed open Garrick to go with him. After the service, the British Roscius asked the Doctor what particular business he had to do when the duty was over : “ None," said the other. “ I thought you had," said Garrick, * on seeing you enter the reading-desk in such a hurry." " Nothing," added he, can be more indecent, than to see a clergyman set about sacred business as if he were a tradesman, and go into the church as if he wanted to get out of it as soon as possible."

He next asked the Doctor, “ What books he had in the desk before him?"-" Only the bible and prayer-book."-" Only the bible and prayer-book,” replied the player;why you tossed them backwards and forwards, and turned the leaves as carelessly as if they were those of a day-book and ledger.”

The Doctor was wise enough to see the force of these observations and in future he avoided the faults they were designed to reprove.

« AnteriorContinuar »