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without them. Her good sense readily instructed her, that a silent example and an easy unrepining behaviour, will always be more persuasive than the severity of lectures and admonitions; and that there is so much pride interwoven into the make of human nature, that an obstinate man must only take the hint from another, and then be left to advise and correct himself. Thus by an artful train of management and unseen persuasions, having at first brought him not to dislike, and at length to be pleased with that which otherwise he would not have bore to hear of, she then knew how to press and secure this advantage, by approving it as his thought, and seconding it as his proposal. By this means she has gained an interest in some of his leading passions, and made them accessary to his reformation."
To the praise of utility and moral precept, which this paper by Dr. Brome deservedly merits, I wish we could add an eulogium upon the elegance and correctness of its style; it is, however, in these respects, deficient, and even the extract we have given, will, in more than one or two instances, evince the truth of our accusation.
19. FRANCHAM, MR. It is greatly to be regretted, that of many of the contributors to the
Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, we can now collect little that is likely to gratify curiosity. All that we are able to ascertain with regard to Mr. Francham, for instance, is, that he was an inhabitant of Norwich, and that he wrote N° 520 of the Spectator on the death of his own wife. This is a paper, however, of so much excellence, that every person who peruses it will naturally wish that his contributions had been more numerous; may be pronounced, indeed, one of the most pathetic of the series of essays to which it belongs; and of impenetrable materials must that heart be constructed which can refuse to sympathize with feelings and sufferings described with so much touching simplicity, with tenderness so truly unaffected.
20. DUNLOP, MR. Greek Professor in the University of Glasgow, is reported upon the authority of the annotators, to be the author, in conjunction with a Mr. Montgomery, of Spectator, N° 524. It had, prior to this ascription, been given to Professor Simpson of Glasgow; but what were the circumstances which induced the alteration are not specified. Mr. Dunlop is the author of a Greek grammar of some celebrity in Scotland; and Mr. Montgomery was a merchant of high credit and reputation, of a very amiable charac
ter, and possessed of very considerable abilities. "He traded," relates the annotator, "to Sweden; and his business carrying him there, it is said, that in consequence of something between him and queen Christina, he was obliged to leave that kingdom abruptly. This event was supposed to have affected his intellects, much in the same manner as Sir Roger de Coverley is represented in these papers to have been injured by his passion for a beautiful widow *.”
The essay which these gentlemen united to compose consists of a Vision, typical of the effects of heavenly and worldly wisdom. It displays no small portion of invention; and, as Steele justly observes, is written much in the spirit of John Bunyan, though, it should be added, in diction of much greater purity and dignity. This, however, is no mean praise, for few books have been more popular than the Pilgrim's Progress; it has gone through more than fifty editions, and has been translated into most of the European languages. Though treated with contempt by the learned on its first appearance, and for many years afterwards, owing chiefly to the coarseness and vulgarity of its language, it has lately received the applause to which it is enti tled for strength and fertility of imagination.
* Spectator, vol. vii. p. 234note, 8vo. 1797.
Mr. Granger, Mr. Merrick, Dr. Roberts, and Lord Kaims, have spoken strongly in its favour; the latter remarking, that "the Pilgrim's Progress and Robinson Crusoe, great favourites of the vulgar, are composed in a style enlivened, like that of Homer, by a proper mixture of the dramatic and the narrative*." To these we may add the encomium of Cowper, who has immortalized the inventive enthusiasm of Bunyan by the following emphatic lines:
Oh thou, whom, borne on fancy's eager wing,
* Sketches of the History of Man, vol. i. p. 250, 251.Note, 2d edition.
Tirocinnium: or, a Review of Schools; Poems, vol. ii. p. 300, 4th edit. 1788.
21. Thomas BIRCH, D. D. Chancellor of Wor◄ cester, and Prebendary of that cathedral, is now only known as the author of No 36, in the Guardian. This paper is ascribed to him on the authority of Dr. Zachary Pearce, Bishop of Rochester, and contains, to adopt the author's own title, a Modest Apology for Punning.
If it be true, as Addison has asserted in the Spectator, N° 61, that" the seeds of punning are in the minds of all men,” the endeavour to limit this play upon words to its proper field will be esteemed no useless task. Dr. Birch defends punning merely for its tendency to excite mirth and good humour in conversation, and without any wish for its propagation from the press, or its introduction into composition of any kind.
There was a period in our literature when punning infested almost every department of learning; when the prelate and the poet, the historian and the philosopher, alike considered the pun as one of the greatest ornaments of fine writing; and when even the monarch countenanced the absurdity, and was desirous of being esteemed the best punster of the age. This frivolous fashion existed during the entire reign of James the First, and for several subsequent years;