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thing was due to public decorum, and that an example of feverity was requifite in point of policy, that other foreign minifters might be affured of the fafety of their perfons and property. The ftricteft fearch was, therefore, made, to discover the individuals who were guilty of the particular perfonal infults and indignities to the ambaffador, and to the ladies, but without effect: but the heads of 300 perfons, Janiffaries and others concerned in the riot, were cut off, and information of this bloody execution was fent to the ambaffador, with a request to know if it would fatisfy him; to which he replied, that fo far as refpected his own perfon and his family he was content; but that having fent difpatches to Vienna upon the fubject, he could fay no more till the answer arrived. The courier impatiently expected on both
fides at length arrived, and brought. fuch an anfwer as might well be expected from fo difcerning and equitable a prince as the Emperor. It contained no complaints against the Porte, for there were none to make; bat an order of recall to the minifter, couched in terms that ftruck him to the heart, for he inftantly fell fick, and either died by his own hands, or a natural death, in a few days. His wife and daughters foon after returned in a private manner to Vienna, where the ftory of the young ladies had arrived long before them, and represented in fuch a light to the Emprefs Dowager, who was ftill living, and abforbed in devout exercifes, that they were or dered to retire to a convent, as parlour boarders, for the remainder of their days.
LONDON MAGAZINE. AN ESSAY ON MISANTHROPY. RY PERCIVAL STOCKDALE.
(Concluded from Vol. III. page 445.)
Hon the a ELVETIUS, in his famous work on the mind; a work which is, at once, his glory and his fhame, draws pictures of the generality of mankind, in the deepest colours. He tells us, that we defpife and exterminate weak and indigent, but that we admire and deify powerful and splendid villains; that we must be prepared to meet the fhafts of calumny and perfecution, poifoned and vindictive, in proportion to the eminence of the union of genius with virtue; that we are fo barbaroufly unreafonable, as to require of the diftreffed, that they fhould come recommended to us by perfection of conduct before we think them entitled to relief; and that the heart of man, at the fight of extreme and horrible mifery, grows quite petrified and adanantine; hardens from infenfibility to flone.
Such are the fentiments of Helvetius, in almost every fection of his celebrated book. And yet these fentiments were by no means the effects of an unfortunate deftiny; nor of a
naturally morofe and rough temper. They were propofitions that flowed with a mathematical precifion from his fevere but juft and mafterly knowledge of human nature. No man's lot fell in a fairer ground than that of Helvetius, with regard to his own qualities, endowments, and accomplishments; with regard to fortune, and all his connexions. In his commerce with the world, his virtue was focial and gay; his humanity was tender and fincere, for it produced active and univerfal benevolence.
To exhibit to the reader all the hideous portraits of the human fpecies which were drawn by the bold and ftriking pencil of the Duke de Rochefoucault, would be to tranfcribe his maxims.
Fontenelle lived to the age of a hundred years, esteemed, admired, and loved by France and by Europe. His knowledge was various and extenfive; his talents were bright; his manners were amiable. He well knew what bafe qualities rioted in the human
heart; but, on account of thofe qualities, he never quarrelled with mankind, he was not their foe; he was their zealous friend. To the afperities of an intemperate and acrimonious Mifanthrope, he ufed calmly to reply, that vice was a part "de l'enchainement univerfel."
Let us hear a fhort moral lecture, from the defcriptive, the accurate, and the elegant La Bruyere.
"Ne nous emportons point contre les Hommes; en voyant leur dureté, leur ingratitude, leur injuftice, leur fierte, l'amour d'euxmêmes, et l'oubli des autres. Ils font ainfi faits; c'eft leur nature: c'eft ne pouvoir fupporter que la pierre tombe, ou que le feu s'eleve.". De L'Homme.
Let us not (fays that great philofopher) be enraged againft mankind, when we fee their obduracy, their ingratitude, their injustice; their love of themselves, and their neglect of others; fuch is their frame; fuch is their nature. We may as well revolt against the established and unconquerable laws of the material world. We may, with as much propriety, violently refent the fall of the ftone, or the afcent of the flame."
I was not more strongly induced to offer thefe thoughts to the reader, in fupport of my own theory of man, and of the fentiments which I may have published, correfpondent with that theory, than from my ambition to defend one of the most illuftrious characters that have adorned modern times. I was furprised and mortified to fee the venerable, the facred memory of Swift moft unfairly and moft invidioufly attacked, in the philological inquiries of Mr. Harris; a gentleman whom I have long been accustomed as highly to efteem for the benevolent ftrain of his writings, as for his learning and abilities. The Mifanthropy of Swift was naturally, was neceffarily formed in a moft penetrating and obferving mind; in a mind thoroughly acquainted with literature and philofophy; habituated to profound and accurate reflection, and converfant with all claffes and characters of men. And if, with a quick and ardent fenfibility,
his Mifanthropy was fometimes à traitor to his magnanimity, and deferted the poft of moral fortitude and firmnefs, the fault fhould have been venial in the eye of an author of Mr. Harris's candour and equity; for he ought to have confidered, that Swift formed an intimate acquaintance, very early in life, with illuftrious and powerful perfons, from whom he met with the moft unworthy and perfidious treatment; and that, after a long feries of the most eminent fervices to fociety, his extraordinary merit was neglected or difcouraged, and depreffed through the folly or malignity of those by whom it fhould have been magnificently rewarded.
Mifanthropy (fays Mr. Harris) is fo dangerous a thing, and goes fo far in fapping the very foundations of morality and religion, that I efteem the laft part of Swift's Gulliver (that I mean relative to his huynhnms and yahoos) to be a worse book to peruse than those which we forbid as the most flagitious and obfcene.
One abfurdity in this author (a wretched philofopher though a great wit) is well worth remarking. In order to render the nature of man odious, and the nature of beafts amiable, he is compelled to give human characters to his beafts, and beaftly characters to his men. So that we are to admire the beafts, not for being beafts, but amiable men; and to deteit the men, not for being men, but deteftable beafts."
"Whoever has been reading this unnatural filth, let him turn for a moment to a Spectator of Addison, and obferve the philanthropy of that claffical writer; I may add, the fuperiour purity of his diction and his wit.” Philological Inquiries, p. 538.
Whoever can penetrate from the furface through the fubftance of an argument; whoever hath ftrength of mind enough net to be amused with the quaint antithefis, nor with the ringing of changes upon words; whoever is not fo weak as to fuffer his underftanding to be feduced with the delufive epithet amiable, nor to be fhocked with the ungenerous and in
vidious appellation of beafts, will find this contemptuous criticifm on Swift's Gulliver's Travels in the very extreme of errour, injuftice, and futility. I fhall, in vindication of truth and of a great genius, examine and refute this paffage of Mr. Harris; not with the little rhetorical art and involution of ideas, of which my author in this inftance condefcends to be fo ftudious, but plainly and perfpicuoufly, and correfpondently with the order in which his fophiftry proceeds.
I flatter myself I have demonftrated that the rational and juft Mifanthropy, the Mifanthropy qualified and governed by the principles and habits, the character and effects of which I have been endeavouring to defcribe, is fo far from fapping the very foundations of morality and religion, that it vigorously and diffufively promotes true morality and true religion. A right view and a right apprehenfion of important objects can never be prejudicial to the caufe of genuine virtue and piety; they may, indeed, be hoftile and deftructive to the fervile gloom of fuperftition, and to the wild and dangerous chimeras of enthufiafm. Our Saviour was a model of practical morality and religion, which I am fure the excellent Mr. Harris revered; and yet, though his conduct to finners was fraught with the most compaffionate humanity, with the largest philanthropy, he often difplays to us his intimate and unequivocal knowledge of the human heart, and of the prevailing human character. He ftigmatizes the avarice, the hypocrify, the malice, and the fenfuality of his countrymen and of mankind, in terms as general and poignant as the feverest cenfure of a Rochefoucault or a Swift.
How Swift's account of the huynhnms and yahoos fhould be more dangerous to morals than the most flagitious and obfcene productions; how the great and almost unparalleled efforts of a virtuous and fevere author, to fubdue the violence of the fenfual paffions, by painting their grofs concomitants and effects, in all their difgufting deformity (perhaps a more powerful and efficacious moral catholicon than the more
pleafing and elegant prefcriptions and lenitives of Addifon)-how works, in which fancy is moft laudably employed to gain thefe beneficial and falutary ends, by thefe direct and cogent means, fhould have a ftronger tendency to corrupt the heart and manhers, than thofe baneful compofitions which are elaborately and artfully calculated to ftimulate the fenfes, to fpread vice and profligacy through a nation, to make virtue contemptible and ridiculous, and criminal pleasure the chief, the most attractive, and alluring good; how thefe jarring and contradictory ideas can be reconciled, is a problem which I leave as totally unintelligible, as abhorrent from all inveftigation and folution.
He is fo juft to the merit of Swift, as to allow him to have been a great wit; but he is fo boldly and furprizingly unjust to the established and facred fame of this illuftrious man, as to pronounce him a wretched philofopher. His writings fhow that he was a confummate mafter of human
nature. No moral author ever contributed more to deter us from the practice of vice, by painting it in all its dreadful deformity. His political knowledge was as liberal and profound as his ethical fyftem. That the effects of that knowledge were of as much fervice to mankind, as the plans and the conduct of many celebrated fatefmen and legiflators, Ireland and the world can witnefs. Therefore, to pronounce of Swift, that he was a wretched philofopher, is too prefumptuous and abfurd an affertion to demand a particular confutation.
Whether Dr. Swift or Mr. Harris iş the more wretched philofopher, let facts, let experience determine. Mr. Harris fays, that nothing fo fatally contributes to fap the foundations of morality and religion as Mifanthropy, This propofition is by no means proved by the lives and characters of the most famous Mifanthropes. Diogenes himfelf, with all the aufterity and feverity of his cynicifm, had many private and public virtues; and he maintained through life an independent and noble mind. The indignation of Timon of
Athens was excited against vice, becaufe be rigidly practifed virtue. Fontenelle, Rochefoucault, La Bruyere, and Helvetius, merited and enjoyed the efteem and the love of their country, and of mankind.
He fays that Swift meant to render the nature of man odious. The writer who exercised his great abilities to display virtue in all its beauty, and to make vice as hideous as poffible, certainly wished to render the nature of man refpectable and amiable. To hold forth to us whatever is extremely bad and atrocious in the human character was the office of a good man and a good citizen. He made that perfect virtue, which we ought ftrenuously to imitate, refide in the generous horfes; and he gave our abandoned and fhocking properties a humiliating manfion in the odious Yahoo, with an application of the moft juft and wholefome fatire: because the most profligate of the human fpecies are fo ftupid and infolent, as to think that the mere human form gives them an effential and decided fuperiority over the inferiour beings; that it entitles them to be their selfish and unmerciful tyrants. Of feveral fpecies of the animal creation we may pronounce that they are altogether amiable; an encomium which I fear can with juftice be bestowed but on a very few men. No beaft is half fo deteftable as a licentious, unfeeling, and inhuman villain. I will not admit that Swift gives human characters to his beafts, and beastly characters to his men. The predominant and prevailing qualities and habits of men are, I apprehend, the characteristicks of the human fpecies; and whether those qualities and habits are more accurately exemplified in the Huynhnms or in the Yahoos, I fhall leave common fenfe and common obfervation to determine. If, indeed, the majority of men; if the half, if a third part of the human fpecies are really amiable, Swift hath been guilty of the moft flagrant and provoking injuftice to mankind. I hope it is now evident that thefe quibbling periods about men and beafts, and beafts and men, amount to nothing.
Some of the juft and indignant fatire of Gulliver's Travels, Mr. Harris inequitably and fqueamishly calls unnatural filth. I must own, I think the pictures to which he alludes are extremely natural, and have a great moral ufe. I am myfelf warmly attached to delicate imagination and taste; but if homely and coarse representations tend to moderate our inordinate selflove; to humble that monftrous and ridiculous arrogance which was not made for man; I fhall always be ready not only to bear but to applaud them. Truth and virtue are of infinitely more confequence than falfe politeness and refinement. Our Creator hath wifely contrafted our fublime capacities and endowments with very oppofite, with mean and miferable qualities and appendages. Man is, in his animal nature, one of the filthieft of beings. And while he is far more odious by his pride and infolence, it is the duty of a great moral writer to exert all the force of genius to make him in his own eyes a mortifying fpectacle.
Mr. Harris fays, that Addifon is fuperiour to Swift in diction and in wit. Here is another glaring injuftice to the memory of Swift: Addifon's ftyle is more metaphorical, and in that refpect more elegant and fplendid than the ftyle of Swift. But more perfpicuous and pure language than that of Swift, perhaps, has not yet been written by an English author. If I have a competent and diftinct idea of wit, Addifon was in that talent very far inferior to Swift. Addifon, indeed, had not his fuperior in delicate and picturefque humour. By humour, I mean that eafy and facetious fpirit which feifes and paints in lively colours the peculiar and entertaining incidents of a common but ludicrous tranfaction; or which accurately dif criminates, forcibly and elegantly defcribes, and adorns with fome embellifhments of fancy, fingular and interefting characters. But the wit poffeffes talents of ftill more acuteness and ftrength. His genius acts with more rapidity and energy. His province is the exertion and difplay of the more powerful and inventive ima
gination. To ridicule folly, or to Rigmatize vice, he introduces characters and machinery of his own creation; characters, however, that are eafily applied to thofe which they are intended to expofe; and machinery which plays with a quick and decifive effect on the human mind. And often, to our moft agreeable furprize and lively pleafure, he unexpectedly and fuddenly gives a laconic but high encomium; or he darts a concife and
poignant fatire by a new ufe and affociation of figns and things; by raifing or finking a word from its established rank, and confequently by giving it a new import; and by approximating and uniting ideas which before had always been kept remote from each other.
If this diftinction betwixt humour and wit is juft, it will appear that Addifon, in originality and force of genius, was inferior to Swift.
FOR THE LONDON
AN ACCOUNT OF MADEMOISELLE THERESA PARADIS, OF VIENNA, THE CELEBRATED BLIND PERFORMER ON THE PIANO FORTE.
HIS young perfon, equally distinguifhed by her talents and misfortunes, is the daughter of M. Paradis, confeiller aulique in the Imperial fervice. At the age of two years and eight months fhe was fuddenly blinded during the night, as it fhould feem, by exceffive fear: for there being a dreadful outcry in her father's houfe of Fire! Thieves! and Murder! he quitted the child and her mother with whom he was in bed, in the utmoft trepidation, calling out for his fword and fire-arms, which fo terrified the infant, as inftantly and totally to deprive her of fight.
At feven years old fhe began to liften with great attention to the mufic which fhe heard in the church, which fuggefted to her parents to have her taught to play on the piano-forte, and foon after to fing. In three or four years time he was able to accompany herfelf on the organ in the Stabat mater of Pergolefi, of which the fung a part at St. Auguftin's church, in the prefence of the late Emprefs Queen, who was fo touched with her performance and misfortune, that she fettled a pention on her for life.
After learning music of feveral mafters at Vienna, fhe was placed under the care of Kozeluch, an eminent mufcian, who has compofed many admirable leffons and concertos on purpofe for her ufe, which fhe plays with the utmoft neatnefs and expreffion.
At the age of eighteen the was placed
under the care of the celebrated empyric, Dr. Mefmer, who undertook to cure every fpecies of disease by animal magnetism. He called her diforder a perfect gutta ferena, and pretended, after fhe had been placed in his houfe as a boarder for feveral months, that she was perfectly cured; yet refufing to let her parents take her away or vifit her, till, by the advice of Dr. Ingenhouze, the Barons Stoërck and Wenzel, and Profeffor Barth, the celebrated anatomist, and the affistance of the magiftrates, fhe was withdrawn from his hands by force; when it was found that he could fee no more than when he was first admitted as Mefmer's patient. However, he had the diabolical malignity to affert that she could fee very well, and only pretended blindnefs, to preferve the penfion granted to her by the Emprefs Queen, in confequence of her lofs of fight; and fince the death of her Imperial patronefs, this cruel affertion has been made an excufe for withdrawing the penfion.
Laft year Mad. Paradis quitted Vienna, in order to travel, accompanied by her mother, who treats her with extreme tenderness, and is a very amiable and interefting character. After vifiting the principal courts and cities of Germany, where her talents and misfortunes procured her great attention and patronage, fhe arrived at Paris early laft fummer, and remained there five or fix months, and likewife