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my own." The consistency of these propofitions we are not at present to examine; the veracity of the author appears ex-, trerely ambiguous; and we have reason to believe that Dr. Gillies has borrowed largely from Mr. Mitford, without consulting the authorities to which he refers, and without making the leaft acknowledgment. We fhall proceed to illura trate this affertion.
The Cretan policy is known, to political philosophers, to have been the firft experiment in Greece of an attempt to: wards a regular government. What Dr. Gillies writes concerning it (p. 21, 2, &c.) is visibly transcribed from Mr. Mit ford, p. 13 and 19 of his History. The idea of Theseus having introduced improvements into the Athenian government from the model of Crete, is fuggested by Mr. Mitford, p. 14 and 48 ; and is transcribed by Dr. Gillies, p. 24. Dr. Gillies's description of Greece, p. 26, is borrowed from Mr. Mitford, p.9 and 29. The weftern coast of Asia Minor, the feat of Priam's kingdom, is classically described by Mr. Mitford, p. 51 and 52, with the philofophical observation, that it owed its fuperiority to the petty kingdoms of Greece, not, merely from a higher degree of civilization in the people, but also to the extent of the Asiatic plains, less cut, by mountains and seas, into small portions of difficult access, than the die Itricts of Greece. This ingenious and just observation Dr. Gillies has expanded and weakened, p. 28, to juvenile redundancy, so as to lose the meaning. But the most curious, and moft risible circumstance of all, is, that Dr. Gillies follows Mr. Mitford even in his errors. On the occasion of the voluntary and patriotic death of Codrus, and the subsequent decree of the Athenians, “ That none but Jupiter should henceforth reign " in Athens,” Mr. Mitford quotes the authority of Pausanias, Lib. vii. Chap. 2. The credulous and obsequious Dr. Gillies mentions the same fact, and quotes the same authority, though no such paflage is to be found in Pausanias. The real authority for this incident is found in the Scholia on Ariflophanes in Nubib; and it is not a little remarkable, that the same portion of cloud has hung both on the original and the imitator
* If the reader wishes further to trace and detect this literary theft, let him compare Mr. Mitford, p. 30, with Dr. Gillies, p. 7 (in the note); Mr. Mitford, p. 52 and 53, with Dr. Gillies, p. 29; Mr. Mit. ford, p. 59 and 123, with Dr. Gillies, p. 66; Mr. Mitford, p. 124, with Dr. Gillies, p. 69; Mr. Mitford, p. 233 and 236, with Dr. Gil. lies, p. 74 ; Mr. Mitford, p. 128 and 140, with Dr. Gillies, p. 78; Mr. Mjtford, p. 130, giving the origin of the Grecian oracles, literally
There are some historical mistakes in Dr. Gillies's Hiftory of Greece. He tells us, p. II, “ that the inflexible rigour of
despotism prevailed in Egypt in all ages.” On the contrary, Egypt, both in ancient and in modern times, has been under an aristocratical or oligarchical government. He appeals to Scripture for his account of the Egyptian government; but, if he had ever read the well-known story of Joseph and Poriphar’s wife, he would have found that the maxims of govern- / ment were by no means despotic. If the bishops of England succeeded to their office by hereditary right, like the Egyptian priests ; if they had the power of judging the sovereign, and naming to the fucceffion; and if religion had as much inAuence in England as in Egypt; it is easy to see where the power of government would center. In p. 30 Dr. Gillies relates the infult offered to the beautiful Ganymede, and expressly contradicts it in the note. In p. 66 and 67 he destroys the panegyric he had pronounced on the Grecian manners in the heroic ages. In p. 68 he mistakes an effect for a cause. It was not the unsettled tenure of landed property that compelled the Grecian tribes to migrate, but the spirit of migrating, common to all barbarous tribes, that prevented them from acquiring the idea of a permanent and separate property in land.' Barbarians, according to Tacitus, are more profufe of their blood than their sweat. In p. 75 he tells us, that, after the Ionic migration, " the Athenians, ingenious and fond of s novelty, made such alterations in their writing and pronoun" ciation, as distinguished them from their lonian brethren.” If he had read Strabo, whom he sometimes pretends to quote, he would have found, that “ the Ionians made the changes ; " and that the Athenians retained the original purity of their “ language.” In p. 204 he talks of “ the transcendent me“ rit of the Pindaric style; that it is so natural, free, and un" constrained, as to bear less resemblance to poetry, than to “ a beautiful and harmonious profe.” This applies very well to the English Pindaric od s at the end of the last, and the beginning of the present ceritury. Our author feems never to have read the Greek Pindar. Whenever he talks of military or naval affairs, he displays a profound and amusing ignorance. He calls the Grecian ships, (p. 153) long-boats. In p. 273 mentions separate brigades in the Persian army; and in p: 372
transcribed by Dr. Gillies, p. 8); Mr. Mitford, p. 132 and 134, with Dr. Gillies, p. 81 and 82 ; Mr. Mitford, p. 146 and 148, with Dr. Gillies, p. 86; Mr. Mitford, p. 150 and 184, with Dr. Gillies, p. 89; Mr. Mitford, p. 193, with Dr. Gillies, p. 103 ; Mr. Mitford, p. 213, with Dr. Gillies, p. 129.
he says, " the Lacedemonians thickened their ranks ;" we suppose he means “deepened their files.” He informs us, p. 516, " that the Corcyreans landed in the Peloponnesus, and fet
fire to the barbour of Cyllene.” Is not this idea taken from an Irish newipaper, during the last war, “ that the combined “ fleets of France and Spain had burned and destroyed the envi
rons of Gibraltar ?” He says, p. 272, “ the flames of Sar“ dis brought the inhabitants from all parts of Lydia to their “ assistance.” Did they come in air-balloons? He tells us, P. 413, " that, in the maritime provinces of Thrace, the “ climate vies with the delightful softness of the Asiatic
Does Ovid fay fo? Concerning the temple of Olympian Jupiter, he says, p.441, “ that it was covered with " Pentelican marble, cut in the form of brick tiles.” Bricktiles ! -We are informed, p. 278, that, in ancient times, the success of a naval engagement principally depended on the activity of the rowers, and the skill of the pilots. In p. 307 he mentions the muster-roll of Xerxes' army. At the battle of Thermopylæ, he says, “ the Greeks four times dispelled the
thickest zlokes of Persians.” Query, What was a globe of Persians ? and how thick were the thickest globes ? After a tempest, he cells us, p. 332,
" that the nearest vessels were saved by “hauling them under the shore.” This method of saving versels we recommend to the confideration of lee-Shore admirals.
In this New Hifiory of Greece the antiquarian and the philosopher will meet with little instruction or entertainment. The inerit of the work is of the rhetorical and declamatory kind; and when the author attempts to think and to speculate, to inquire and discover, he goes beyond his depth. There is a facility and a flow in the stile; and, along with this, the verbosity of one who has been bred up to the trade of writing, and accustomed to compose with more celerity than correctness ; and with more diffufion than energy. The manner of Mr. Gibbon is sometimes imitated ;- by which means the stile abounds with inequalities; and there are grammatical improprieties to be found almost in every page, the title page not excepted. The dedication contains some of the groffest vio. lations of truth we remeniber ever to have read, even in a de-. dication.
In p. ift he says, “ the victories of barbarous nations are “ celebrated in the artless song, and commemorated by the “ rude monument ;” and adds, in the next sentence,
as their “ adventures, which thus pass unremembered by themselves :" In the following sentence he continues, “ one people became " an object of attention to another, only as they became con“ fiderable." Separate property in land is thus described, p. 8: “ The idea of an exclusive and permanent right to all
the uses of a piece of land." In p. 29 he calls “Dardarius, Ane cestor fifth in degree to Priam ; " Mr. Mitford had called him * Ancestor in the sixth degree to Hector.” Dr. Gillies has made nonsense of the phrase. In p. 67 he begins to ufe the abstract for the concrete in imitation of Mr. Gibbon, but not in his manner. “ The patient fortitude of Ulysses regained Ithaca, but not without wading through the blood of his subjects.” And in the following page : “ The avarice of individuals is unwilling 'to relinquish the fields which it has been the object of their induftry to cultivate.” In p. 273 he uses “ future occafion” for following occasion, and does so through the whole work. In P: 350 he says “the Athenians skillfully encircled their enemies around." li required some skill, indeed, for the fmaller number to encircle the greater ; but “ to encircle them around" -still more marvellous! In p. 351 he says, “ The victors disdained to pursue the vanquished”- kind of disdain which was unknown to Julius Cesar. In p: 373 be tells us, “ Fear hindered them to fight; the wall hindered them to Ay." In p. 421 he einploys a ftrange phraseology. “ This revolution had important effects, which we shall proceed to explain when we have punished and dismissed Pausanias.” This mode of writing was unknown to the ancients, and in modern times has been appropriated to kings and reviewers.
We do not recollect any literary work that has been ushered into the world with such pomp of panegyric as the present *. Perhaps, on a subject of antiquity, the author thought that he might adopt the itile of the ancients.
Sum pius Eneas, famå super Ethera notus. But unmerited encomim defeats itself, and, instead of being a tribute to the living, becomes an epitaph on the deado
(To be continued.)
ART. II. Anecdotes of the late Dr. Johnson, during the left Twenty Years of
his Life, by, Hefiber Lynch Piozzi. Small 8vo. 45. fewed. Cadell, London:
or rather appetites, of the present age. In the gratification of this desire, it must be confessed, the public discovers more votacity than taste. Whatever hands men up to fame, or down
* Dr. Gillies's Hiftory of Greece was noticed in four monthly journals, and two newspapers, with high encomiums of praise, within
seven days after its publication. Could this, without example in the annals of our literature, have happened spontaneously or by accident? or had the author himself drawn up the articles in readiness for the purpose before his book was in general circulation?
to infamy, becomes indiscriminately the object of the biographer; the memoirs of Charles Price, or the Brighton taylor, furnish a morning meal to the literary glutton, equally well as the life of Samuel Johnson, or the history of John Duke of Marlborough.
Of the nine lives of this giant in learning, as he is called, which have been promised to the public, Mrs. Piozzi's is the fifth that has been published, and in our judgment the best. This lady enjoyed the best opportunity of being acquainted with her hero, as he lived chiefly with her and her family for eighteen years ; fhe had a profound reverence for his person and abilities; and, as she is a woman of learning and accomplifhments, is fully equal to the subject she has undertaken.
She begins by giving some anecdotes of his birth, figure, and education, which serve as a key to his future character. His father Michael was a bookseller at Litchfield. He was a man of great corporeal strength and size; extremely pious; addicted to melancholy; subject to madness; and always on the point of beggary. Our hero had also an uncle Cornelius, who could leap as far in his boots as any other man in his fhoes, and another uncle Andrew, who kept the ring in Smithfield for & whole year, and was the best boxer and wrestler of his age. Under his uncle Andrew he studied the art of boxing, at which he was very expert. Thus by hereditary sight he possessed that robustness of body and muscular merit, which is generally connected with vulgarity of mind. His father and mother were both well Itricken in
when he was born ; and, as he was the son of their grey hairs, he was immediately looked upon as a prodigy, and became the plaything of their dotage. By the initruction of his mother, he could pronounce the words little natty at three years of age; and, having given such a wonderful specimen of his uncommon abilities, he was ever called upon to perform his tricks and antics, and exhibit before company; though he was fometimes fo averse to be produced as a few, that he used to run up a tree and hide himself-perhaps in order to be found. From this early education he probably contracted the habit of exhibiting himself as a fhew, which he carried into all companies. and retained to the last hour of his life.
From his father he inherited the principles of Jacobitism and attachment to Episcopacy; which were so much improved by his education at the university of Oxford, that through ait his future life he held a whig, a presbyterian, and an atheift, in an equal degree of abhorrence.
For some time he exercised the office of a pedagogue or fchoolmatter, in which he learned to domineer over boys, and to employ those magnificent polyfyllables, and sesquipedalia verba, which not only gave the oracular dignity of darkness to what