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SKETCHES AND REPORTS OF PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, HISTORY,
ARTS AND MANNERS.
EDITED BY A SOCIETY OF GENTLEMEN.
Omnes undique flosculos earpam atque delibem.
PROPRIETORS, STATE STREET.
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY
[We are much gratified in being able to present to our readers the following
eloquent pages ; which we are enabled to do by the kindness of a friend who lent us the original pamphlet in French, which he had just received from Paris. The observations of a foreigner on our publications have always a certain degree of interest, which is greatly increased in the present instance by the distinguished character of the writer, and because the work on which he remarks is an object of publick attention at the moment. The feelings of a partisan will be frequently remarked, and we think the boldness with which he occasionally writes will excite surprise. He is most known to the world by his very eloquent report to the convention, which was the first effort to stop the Vandalism of the revolution. We have seen, in some of our newspapers, an anonymous criticism on the same poem, extracted from the English Monthly Magazine ; but this is less interesting, since so many unworthy tricks have been practised on that Miscellany, by writing articles in this country on American works, sending them to be published there, and then quoting them here as the opinions of Englishmen.]
Critical Observations on the Poem of Mr. Joel Barlow, the Columbiad,
in 4to. Philadelphia, 1807 ; by M. Gregoire, formerly Bishop of Blois, Senator, Member of the National Institute, &c. &c. Paris,
1809. MY DEAR FRIEND,
I HAVE received with gratitude, and read with interest, your mag nificent work, the Columbiad. This monument of genius and typography will immortalize the author and give fame to the American press; this alone would be sufficient to destroy the assertion of Pauw and other writers, that there is a want of talents in America, if your country did not already offer a list of great men, who will go down with eclat to posterity.
When a book is published, it enters the domains of criticism ; you yourself solicit it in the letter which accompanies your present ; you solicit it with the frankness which is natural to you. Thus I exercise a right as well as perform a duty, not in addressing literary observations to you, but in repelling an insult to christianity, an insult on which I should be silent, if Barlow was a common writer, or his poem an inferiour work, because the book and its author would soon sink together into the stream of oblivion.