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he wrote his whole works without any such aid, excepting the Ode to Wisdom by Mrs Carter, and a number of Latin quotations, furnished by a learned friend to bedizen the epistle of Elias Brand.
The power of Richardson's painting in his deeper scenes of tragedy, never has been, and probably never will be, excelled. Those of distressed innocence, as in the history of Clarissa and Clementina, rend the very heart; and few, jealous of manly equanimity, should read them for the first time in presence of society. In others, where the same heroines, and particularly Clarissa, display a noble elevation of soul, rising above earthly considerations and earthly oppression, the reader is perhaps as much elevated towards a pure sympathy with virtue and religion, as uninspired composition can raise him. His scenes of unmixed horror, as the deaths of Belton and of the infamous Sinclair, are as dreadful as the former are elevating ; and they are directed to the same noble purpose, increasing our fear and hatred of vice, as the former are qua
lified to augment our love and veneration of virtue. zies kausi In this respect Fielding, might have paid to Rich
ardson's genius the just 'tribute, which, after much depreciation of his talents in other respects, Dryden rendered to Otway—“ Yet he succeeds in moving the passions, which I cannot do."
The lighter qualities of the novelist were less proper to this distinguished author than those which are allied to tragedy. Yet not even in these was Richardson deficient; and his sketches of this kind display the same accurate knowledge of humanity manifested in his higher efforts. His comedy
is not overstrained; he never steps beyond the bounds of nature, and never sacrifices truth and probability to brilliancy of effect. Without what is properly termed wit, the author possessed liveliness and gaiety sufficient to colour those comic scenes ; and though he is never, like his rival Fielding, irresistibly ludicrous, nor indeed ever essays to be so, there is a fund of quaint drollery pervades his lighter sketches, which renders them very agreeable to the reader.
Without a complete copy of the Works of this distinguished and truly English classic, a collection would be deplorably deficient ; yet the change of taste and of fashion, from the causes we have freely stated, has thrown a temporary shade over Richardson's popularity. Or, perhaps, he may, in the
?[“ The elegant and fascinating productions which honoured the name of novel, those which Richardson, Mackenzie, and Burney gave to the public; of which it was the object to exalt virtue and degrade vice; to which no fault could be objected, unless that they unfitted here and there a romantic mind for the common intercourse of life, while they refined perhaps a thousand whose faculties could better bear the fair ideal which they presented—these have entirely vanished from the shelves of the circulating library. It may indeed be fairly alleged in defence of those who decline attempting this higher and more refined species of composition, that the soil was in some degree exhausted by over-cropping—that the multitude of base and tawdry imitations obscured the merit of the few which are tolerable, as the overwhelming blaze of blue, red, green, and yellow, at the exhibition, vitiates our taste for the few good paintings which show their modest hues upon its walls. The public was indeed weary of the protracted embarrassments of lords and ladies who spoke such language as was never spoken, and still more so of the see-saw correspondence between the sentimental Lady Lucretia and
present generation, be only paying, by comparative neglect, the price of the very high reputation which he enjoyed during his own age. For if immortality, or any thing approaching to it, is granted to authors, and to their works, it seems only to be on the conditions assigned to that of Nourjahad, in the beautiful Eastern tale, that they shall be liable to occasional intervals of slumber and comparative oblivion. Yet under all these disadvantages, the genius of Richardson must be ever acknowledged to have done honour to the language in which he wrote, and his manly and virtuous application of his talents to have been of service to morality, and to human nature in general.
the witty Miss Caroline, who battledored it in the pathetic and the lively, like Morton and Reynolds on the stage." Quarterly Review, May, 1810, p. 340.]
Of all the works of imagination, to which English genius has given origin, the writings of Henry Fielding are, perhaps, most decidedly and exclusively her own. They are not only altogether beyond the reach of translation, in the proper sense and spirit of the word, but we even question, whether they can be fully understood, or relished to the highest extent, by such natives of Scotland and Ireland, as are not habitually and intimately acquainted with the characters and manners of Old England. Parson Adams, Towwouse, Partridge, above all, Squire Western, are personages as peculiar to England, as they are unknown to other countries. Nay, the actors, whose characters are of a more general cast, as Allworthy, Mrs Miller, Tom Jones himself, and almost all the subordinate agents in the narrative, have the same cast of nationality, which adds not a little to the verisimilitude of the tale. The persons of the story live in England, travel in England, quarrel and fight in England; and scarce an incident occurs, without its being marked by something which could not well have happened in any other country. This nationality may be ascribed to the author's own habits of life, which rendered him conversant, at different periods, with all the various classes of English society, specimens of which he has selected with inimitable spirit of choice and description, for the amusement of his readers. Like many other men of talent, Fielding was unfortunate,his life was a life of imprudence and uncertainty; but it was while passing from the high society to which he was born, to that of the lowest and most miscellaneous kind to which his fortune condemned him, that he acquired the extended familiarity with the English character, in every rank and aspect, which has made his name immortal as a painter of national manners.
HENRY FIELDING, born 22d April, 1707, was of noble descent, the third son of General Edmund Fielding, himself the third son of the Hon. John Fielding, who was the fifth son of William, Earl of Denbigh, who died in 1655. Our author was nearly connected with the ducal family of Kingston, which boasted a brighter ornament than rank or titles could bestow, in the wit and beauty of the celebrated Lady Mary Wortley Montague. The mother of Henry Fielding was a daughter of Judge Gold, the first wife of his father the General. Henry was the only son of this marriage; but he had four sisters of the full blood, of whom Sarah, the third, was distinguished as an authoress by the history of David Simple, and other literary attempts. General Fielding married a second time, after the death of his first lady, and had a numerous family, one of whom is well remembered as a judge of police, by the title of Sir John Fielding. It is