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Ty. Far be it from us to charge him with any affectation of this kind. The power of genius is absolute ; and we rejoice, that there is found in our country one man, who to the endowments of nature superadds the weight of experience ; who boldly claims the homage, due to talents, by constituting his own taste an authority for determining in the last rem sort; and who generously prescribes models for imitation, and standards of excellence. . . .
We trust the following period will gratify those readers, who have not been so fortunate, as to peruse. the whole of this inimitable performance. Speaking of the “ patronage “ of genius,” he says,
“ In our land, merely as a man of literature and genius, “ it is impossible to find maintenance ; nor are there in any " of our colleges, establishments for the support of those, “who may be willing to devete their time to studious exer“ tion ; and the contemptible state of the literature of our " country is to be attributed to the consequent want of leisure “ in those, who might cultivate it, unless we are indeed that “ degenerate race, which some Europeans have been willing “to believe.” [! ! ! !]
We have seldom seen so much knowledge contained in the narrow limits of one period ; a period, which ordinary stomachs cannot easily digest. Although our candor may expose us to the charge of ignorance, yet we hope it will strengthen nur claims for mercy, when we honestly confess, we do not readily perceive, how a want, of leisure, can be a conses quence of the contemptible state of the literature of our coun. try. This may be owing to our, ignorance of logic ; and, when we have learned how an effect is to be attributed to its consequence, we shall willingly acknowledge the force of his reasoning. At present we shall rest satisfied in the belief, that we are not less wise on account of our inability to comprehend the author's meaning. We cannot however omit expressing a hope, that there will shortly be establishments for the support of those, who may be " willing to devote “their time to studious exertion," and that he may have an
opportunity of enjoying their advantages. Perhaps he will be induced to favor the public with a new and improved system of Logic.
« The reviews," says the writer, “ which conclude the « prose of this number, are in general well written.” We regret, that he has not given us his opinion a little more parricularly, and we should have been highly gratified with a few observations on the merits of a review of Mr. W's sera mon. Here he would have had ample scope for the exercise of his abilities for criticism. Perhaps his silence is more expressive, than the language of his pen could have been..
Speaking of the review of “ Letters from London” he adds, “ we perceive, that its author [the reviewer] has prea “ occupied one of our foregoing remarks," &c. Whether the writer claims this remark, as his legitimate offspring, or as hiş by adoption, we know not. However he has just reason to complain, that any writer should be so ungenerous as to occupy one of his. remarks, without even giving him time to originate it.
We now conclude our remarks on the “ observations on s the Miscellany ;" and hope the author will do us the justice to believe, they were not made with any design to injure his reputation as a writer. Far be it from us even to wish to deprive a man of that, which he seemeth to have. Although it has been said, that the praises of a friend are sometimes more dangerous, than the. attack of an enemy, yet we trust it will not be found so in the present instance. Our motives are good. Our remarks were written“ with “the most sincere desire” to, gratify our beneuolent friend, " and to promote his future respectability.”
his by adomplainei remarksa
ADVICE TO A STUDENT OF HARVARD UNI,
VERSITY IN A SERIES OF LETTERS.
LETTER V. DEAR FRIEND, A T College you behold the world in miniature. You may observe the same passions as far, as they have scope, which are displayed in society at large. Of these passions none is more predominant, than love of applause. Within certain limits it is a virtuous principle of action ; but, transgressing these limits, it becomes injurious in its consequences.
. It may not therefore be an unnecessary subject of caution, to warn you against excessive desire of College 'popularity. By this however I do not intend the approbation of the upright and the discerning. The good opinion of such you will be ambitious to attain, while you have a true regard to virtue. But the popularity, which I would dissuade you from seeking, is that, which consists in the indiscriminate applauses of the students, which is gained by mean or vicious compliances, and which may be lost without ill desert, and even by conscientious adherence to duty.
Excessive desire of College popularity will, in the first place, have an unhappy influence over your studies.
You have been long enough at the University to find, that it is unpopular to pay great attention to stated exercises. By a large portion of students they are much neglected, and by many are treated with pointed contempt. One branch of study is represented as too abstruse ; another, as obsolete. This author is considered too dry; and that, as insignificant.
If one resolve from the best motives to attend closely to the studies assigned, an outcry is raised against him. His genius is called in question. He is considered, as fit only for the labor of the dray horse. Or else he is said to be actuated solely by the ambition of gaining the good opinion of government, and of acquiring College honors.
The studies most popular are history and works of English criticism ; the attainment the most celebrated and coveted, to write in a popular style. .. .
Hence, if a student have collected a mass of historical facts, which he can retail on all occasions, he is celebrated,
as a fine scholar. His reputation is increased, if he be fa: miliar with Boswell's life of Johnson, with this great man's
lives of the poets, and works of this stamp.. But, if he can write in Johnsonian couplets and triplets, no matter with what sentiments, if he can lug in passages from Shakespeare, though entirely without application, or, if his thoughts and expressions have an unquestionable title to novelty, however deficient in justness, he is exalted to the very pinnacle of scientific eminence. He is encouraged to sally forth, a literary Quixote, in quest of adventures. · He has the vanity to believe, that whatever he attacks must fall before him. He encounters without provocation those, who refuse obedience to his arbitrary laws ; and his imaginary prowess is complete, when extolled by admirers, as the wonder of his age.
But be entreated, my young friend, to shun such vain and delusive examples. Regard rather the propriety, than the novelty of your thoughts. Seek rather a clear and appropriate, than a measured style. Such a style will answer every valuable purpose, though it be not a servile imitation of any great master ; and though it meet the frowns of squeamish or dictatorial criticism. Be not too ready to conclude, that every forward stripling, though he have some pretensions to talents, can prescribe a better system of study, than that, which has stood the test of long experience. : | Immoderate fondness for popularity at College will, next, involve you in errors, if not vices of conduct.
This most usually displays itself in the silly ambition to be distinguished, as a genius. You must have observed, that genius is the idol, at whose shrine the most profuse sacrifices are daily offered. You have proof of it in almost every conversation with fellow students, in which literary worth is discussed. You have proof of it at public exhibitions, where genius is commonly celebrated with the most extravagant praises ; and where its defect is a's bitterly censured, as if it were some ignominious vice. You have also proof of the estimation, in which genius is holden, in the copious applauses, which those persons receive, who are supposed to possess it, however negligeat in their studies, however vi cious their characters..
As geniu's is therefore so populat än éndowthent, no wonder, that even its imaginary possession is so highly tálu: ed. No wonder, that they, who really possess it, should be inflated with some degree of pride. Nor can we Won: der, that many, who have no pretensions to this tich boon of heaven, should practisé disingenuous arts to acquire its reputation.
But real greatness of mind disdains all such arts and such triumphs. Lord Teignmouth inforins ús in his life of Sit William Jonés, that this eminent scholar, so far from boasting of genius, declared himself less indebted to it, than to diligent application, for the knowledge, he had acquired. That prou digy of science, Sir Isaac Newton, is known to have made a similar declaration. If credit be due to Middlétán, we must also believe, that Cicero, the greatest orator and philosopher of antiquity, placed no reliance on his genius separate from the most intense and painful application.
Forever discarded then be those sentiments, which coun. tenance idleness, where genius is possessed, and which lead to unworthy means of gaining its reputation, where it is wanting. Ever bear it in mind, as a constant stimulus to industry, that merit does not depend on the faculties, heaven has given us ; but on the manner, in which we improve them. . But the most dangerous effect, which love of popularity produces on the minds of students is, when it leads them to comply with fashionable vices.
It cannot be denied, that a student, determined always to act from conscientious motives, is doomed to mučk opposition. His conduct being a tacit reproach of his coñipanions,