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    1799, Poetry & Science


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    Mr. Clarke's poetical claims have been already examined: but though there are here very moderate pretensions, he was every way equal to the office assigned him at the Conference of 1799, in connection with others, implied in the following rule:-- "Dr. Coke, brother Story, brother Moor, and brother Clarke, are appointed to reduce the large Hymn-book to its primitive simplicity, as published in the second edition; with liberty to add a word now and then, in the way of note, to explain a difficult passage for the sake of the unlearned; and a discretionary power is given them, in respect to the additional hymns." Poetic composition was here out of the question; and the ability with which the brethren performed their task, may be seen by the edition which was subsequently published.

    There certainly was manifold opportunity for alteration, retrenchment, and improvement in the previous edition: but in reference to the present one, there does not exist a finer collection of hymns, or one surpassing it, in elegance and purity of diction, and in all the desiderata of sacred poetry and church psalmody.

    In the course of 1800, the press was employed in the publication of two pamphlets, -- one of them probably the one referred to in a letter of March 4th. In reference to the first, he observed to a friend, (May 26,) -- "I would have answered your letter sooner, but have waited every day for the issue of my pamphlet from the press, that I might send it to you. It went off from hence the 24th, under charge of a friend, who was proceeding to Manchester; -- he was to forward it immediately to Liverpool. You will find on the last page, an answer to your inquiries concerning the comment. I have no doubt but the pamphlet will, in general, meet with your approbation and it will please me much to have your opinion of it when you have read it." The other, which appeared at the close of the year, -- a little more remote from theology and literary dignity, was on "Witchcraft," to which he prefixed some introductory remarks. To the same friend, he observes in reference to this, at a subsequent period -- "I hope soon to send you a little curious matter, which is now in the press." But he was engaged at this time on a work by which he was more likely to live, than by anything he produced on the pamphlet scale of publication; and which he announced as forthcoming to the public. "You will see also," he remarks to the above friend, in reference to the first publication, "by the last page of the pamphlet, that I have another more important and weighty work in hand, which I trust will do everlasting good. I mean, Sturm's Philosophical Reflections. You will be able to procure me many subscribers."

    It may be remarked in passing, that it was to this same gentleman, that Mr. Clarke reprobated "subscriptions;" but his distinction is important and creditable: it was the act of receiving money, in the way of subscription, prior to publication, which met his decided disapprobation. Two editions of these Reflections had been given to the public in an English dress, by different hands, -- one professing to be an abridgment, in one volume, 12mo., -- the other in three volumes, but with several omissions. The imperfection of both of these, as well as the importance of the work, influenced Mr. Clarke in giving a new and correct translation to the public. He sought in vain for the first German edition of the work, "judging," as he observed, "that the stream must be purest at the fountain-head;" but he had to satisfy himself with the third. On finding, however, that the French translator had retained the whole of the first edition, and perceiving, from collating it with the third German edition, that it was a correct and faithful version of the original text, he selected it for the foundation of his own.

    Though the work was sent to press in 1800, it was not till the summer of 1801, that it was finished. He remarks, June 27, 1801, -- "I have finished the last proof of Sturm this day. I bless God, I am safely through it at last; after having spent much time, and lost much health in the work. But it will live when I am dead; and do good, when only the title-page shall remember me more."

    [8] Mr. Clarke, in addressing his readers, observes, -- Fidelity in the translation has been scrupulously studied; and this, probably, has produced too great a stiffness in some parts; but the translator indulges the hope that, in general, the style will be found easy and perspicuous, and that the work carries no extra load of error and imperfection." Less than this, could scarcely be said, and yet he steers clear of "voluntary humility." Very different from a translation of the works of the Greek or Roman poets or orators, where the spirit and style of the authors are of prime importance, he had chiefly to attend to the sense of the original, and to communicate the writer's meaning to his unlettered readers, in a plain and familiar dress. Translation has been compared, by Dryden, to a kind of drawing after the life, in which each acknowledges a sort of double likeness, -- a good and a bad one. Fortunately, in this case, no small praise was awarded to Mr. Clarke, by the reviews of the day, for the manner in which he discharged his duty as a translator; -- thus escaping the censure conveyed in the caustic lines of [Mr.] Marvell on those who "do into English," or other languages, the works of others, without the proper prerequisites for the task they impose upon themselves.

    Having discovered many inaccuracies in the astronomical papers, and in those on natural history, Mr. Clarke states, that he considered it incumbent upon him to supply these defects in the best manner he was able. The planet Herschel, or Georgium Sidus, was not mentioned in the original, though discovered March 13, 1781, -- three years before the date of Sturm's last preface. Saturn had still only five satellites. The distances and periodical revolutions of the planets were not corrected according to subsequent and accurate observations. Platina was still ranked among the imperfect metals; and the increased catalogue of these last, well known to all the German and French chemists, was not once noticed. The edition published by Mr. Tegg, in 1836, was rendered still more valuable by the last corrections of Mr. Clarke, and by the addition of sixteen entirely new pieces, under the titles, -- The Universe, -- The Solar System, -- The Causes of Planetary Motion, -- Comets, -- -- Light, -- Heat, or Cabric, -- Combustion, or Burning, -- Atoms, or Elements, -- Crystallization, -- Different kinds of Air or Gases, -- Metals, -- Electricity, -- Finding the Distances of the Heavenly Bodies, -- The Starry Heavens, -- Lines and Planes in Astronomy, -

    The Meridians; the whole showing Mr. Clarke's thorough knowledge of the different subjects introduced, and that he was not inferior to Sturm himself as a philosopher.

    But in the midst of that "study," which "is a weariness to the flesh," he was often relieved by lighter subjects, when he mingled with society. He observed, that while in Bristol, he met with an admirable and amusing parallel. The burying-ground, belonging to the Methodists in the city, was much crowded, and some ground contiguous to it being on sale, it was thought advisable by a trustee, to secure it; that they might not be always turning up the dead, and heaping dead upon dead. Mr. Thomas Roberts stated, that he would purchase the ground, and make a present of it to the Society. This was done; and the gift gratefully acknowledged. Some of the people thought it would be well to use the old ground a little longer; assigning as a reason, that all would be coming to the new. It was at length agreed to take no notice of the purchase, but quietly to run a division between the new and the old, in order to prevent encroachment. Mr. Lancaster, one of the trust, proposed a breast-height wall: Mr. Hartland, another friend, thought it was unnecessary to go to such expense, and suggested a paling-fence Mr. Baskerville, a third official, dissented from both, and preferred a quickset hedge, as superior to either, and much cheaper. The good men, perfectly unconscious of the bearing the propositions had on their separate trades, sat before Mr. Clarke, who stated, that he seemed to see each man's trade in his looks; -- the first was a mason, calm and demure, with his "breast-height" wall; -- the second, a carpenter, skimming his eye along the plane, with his fence of "paling;" -- the third, a gardener, sharp, and nipping up the shoots, with his "quickset hedge." Mr. Clarke said, he was reminded of a piece in the "Universal Spelling-Book," in which the different trades ended with, -- "There is nothing like leather."

    Mr. Clarke had now fulfilled the usual term of two years, in the Bristol circuit, but the people were extremely anxious for an extention of his valuable ministry among them, to the utmost period consistent with this part of the Methodist economy; and for this purpose, a petition was forwarded to the Conference sitting in London, requesting that he might be appointed a third year among his old friends. His own judgment was uniformly against what he called the three years' appointments, and in writing to his friend Mr. Dutton of Liverpool, upon the subject of the return, he says, "Against my own mind, I am stationed a third year in Bristol. I write in Conference, and have no time to enter into particulars: but we go on well, though, I think, slowly; the preachers are in a good spirit, and I trust the pleasure of the Lord prospers in our hands. The Conference voted an address to the king. I shall be grieved if I have not the pleasure of seeing my good Liverpool friends; and happy if my next appointment shall be among them."

    Eight years had elapsed between the commencement of the present appointment at Bristol, and the close of the first one, and only eight from the death of Mr. Wesley: many vivid recollections were consequently awakened by his associations with different persons and places, -- having sat with the venerable man in the house of God, walked the streets by his side, enjoyed in company with him the hospitable board and enlightened conversation of the more respectable members of society, and visited with him the abodes of the poor; Mr. Clarke's reminiscences elicited remarks and communications from those who had enjoyed the society and friendship with which he himself had been delighted; and a sprinkling of such notices may be here presented to the reader, after having furnished their quota of instruction and amusement in Bristol or elsewhere at the time.

    It having been observed, that the "Battle of the Sexes," by Samuel Wesley, was an excellent poem, Mr. Clarke stated, that it had been principally borrowed from Spencer, and that there was no escaping the Red-cross Knight, and the story of Una, in its perusal. This led to a conversation on the merits of Spencer as a poet, and brought to his recollection, a remark of Mr. Wesley.

    "You are partial to Spencer, Sir," said Mr. Clarke.

    "I am, Adam," he replied; "and I consider his description of Mammon, superior to anything that either Homer or Virgil ever wrote."

    Then followed other observations on that son of song, who has been justly characterized, not only as one of the glories of the reign of Elizabeth, but, in classification with Chaucer, Milton, and Dryden, one of the "great landmarks" of our poetry. [9] The conversation then turned on the poetry of the Fletchers, and particularly the "Purple Island," by Phineas, who was a professed follower and admirer of Spencer, and in whose "Isle" Mr. Clarke saw beauties, (as noticed in an earlier part of our Memoir,) which others were slow to admit, the poem being generally adjudged to contain no sunny spot "amid the melancholy plain," but an elaborate and anatomical description of the body and mind of man. [10]

    A friend having brought out a spurious copy of the Bible, taken from Field's edition, which had been printed in Holland, Mr. Clarke stated that he had Pasham's, which was also taken from Field, but was the genuine one. This he carried in his pocket, and afterwards gave it a place in the case of his traveling library. "Pasham's," he said, "is on thinner and better paper than the Holland edition. Mr. Wesley pointed it out to me. Pasham's edition has the four first Psalms on one page; the spurious one, printed in Holland, carries a verse and a half over to the other side of the leaf. I detected Mr. Wesley in a mistake once, on this subject, while hearing him preach on -- 'Ye cannot serve God and Mammon,' -- having stated, that in Field's edition, it stood -- 'Ye can serve God and Mammon.' This, I was satisfied, was incorrect, and told him that it was printed, 'Ye cannot serve -and Mammon,' GOD being omitted. He was sensible of an omission, but had forgotten for the moment what it was. He observed to me at the same time, that Field was the king's printer, -- that he was amerced in a fine of a thousand pounds, by government, for the mistake, -- that it might possibly be commuted afterwards, -- and that the sheet was either canceled in most of the copies, or a new edition was thrown off."

    Mr. Wesley abridged and published, "The History of Henry Earl of Moreland." In company, on one occasion, with several of the preachers, among whom were Mr. John Easton, and Mr. Clarke -- John, who was the least lettered, was vituperating [reviling, abusing] Mr. Wesley's conduct in thus giving circulation to a novel. Having delivered his sentiments, the following interrogatories were put to Mr. Easton:-

    Mr. Wesley.-- "Did you read Vindex, John?"

    Mr. Easton. -- "Yes, Sir."

    Mr. W. -- "Did you laugh, John?"

    Mr. E. -- "No, Sir."

    Mr. W. -- "Did you read Damon and Pythias, John?"

    Mr. E. -- "Yes, Sir."

    Mr. W. -- "Did you cry, John?"

    Mr. E. -- "No, Sir."

    Mr. W. -- Lifting up his eyes, and clasping his hands, exclaimed, "O earth -- earth -- earth!"

    [11] John was not one of those sensitive creatures, tremblingly alive all over, and rendered capable of receiving impressions, pleasant or unpleasant, from every object that addresses the senses. Nature was too inert to put forth any corresponding passion or affection on the occasion; and besides, the odious light in which he beheld the work, shut out those feelings which might otherwise have been in operation. Mr. Wesley published his opinion of the work, and assigned his reasons to the public in an abridged form, in his preface to it; and certainly, if we consider the odd notions of men and things -- (notions by which sober Englishmen are at once amused and puzzled) -- entertained by the imaginative countrymen of Mr. Brooke, we can scarcely conceive of any work of that class better adapted to rouse their attention, than the "Fool of Quality." The ready retort, the mixture of cunning, with apparent simplicity, and the complete thoughtlessness, combined with shrewdness, so frequently found in Ireland, could not but receive correction and instruction from its pages.

    Utility, general and particular, was one of Mr. Wesley's constant aims. Mr. Clarke observed, that he accompanied him in one of his voyages to the Norman Isles; and seeing some of the men standing on another part of the vessel unemployed, he said, "Adam, go and speak to those sailors, and endeavor to do them good." Mr. Clarke went, and after a friendly introduction, wound his way to religious subjects; telling them that some men were only an inch from death, as the plank alone was their preservation, &c., -- that a preparation was necessary, -- and that we should address ourselves to God in prayer, as he only could effect a divine change. One of the sailors, in perfect sincerity, said, "Aye, He can do it if anybody can!" This at once disturbed Mr. Clarke's gravity, and prevented further remark. On returning to Mr. Wesley the latter said, "Well, Adam, you would find them reasonable men." This was elicited by some remarks made on the openness of British seamen to conviction, and their readiness to lend an attentive ear to any appeal made either to the head or heart. "On this voyage," he added, "we had a heavy gale, but I was free from sickness, and lent the sailors my assistance, whenever it was needed. In the bustle, I lost my seal, which had the emblem of HOPE upon it. Such a seal I never had again, having a prejudice against such as have those uttermost emblems upon them; nor do I think it is well to encourage them; they may sometimes prove a source of temptation; a person may have that of FAITH -- he may lose a little -- persuade himself that he has lost more -- and may lose all through satanic influence, The loss of mine, was a short trial to me; I say, short, for I am not very superstitious; but my Mary and I were painfully circumstanced; and the more trivial the occasion of a temptation may be, the less is it suspected to be one."* It was his attention to subjects, and even sometimes to apparently trifling things, which escaped the observation of others, that gave an interest to Mr. Clarke's conversations.

    [*I cannot discern Clarke's meaning in the foregoing paragraph about losing his "seal, which had the emblem of HOPE upon it" -- viz., whether he refers to the loss of a spiritual seal, or to the loss of a material seal which then leads him without explanation into comments on spiritual seals. To me, his meaning here is inscrutable. -- DVM]

    A letter of Mr. Clarke's, to his friend and relative Mr. Butterworth, is too curious and too characteristic to render an apology for its introduction at all necessary; for whatever opinion may be taken as to the sentiments expressed at its close, it must at least be valued as a beautiful specimen of the warm benevolence and great tenderness of feeling of the writer, and in further illustration of which, many fine examples might be adduced.

    As respects the theory of the future existence of the brute creation, those who are unacquainted with the arguments advanced in its support, by many eminent men, may be excused though scarcely commended, for deeming its positions absurd and untenable; and perhaps its introduction here, unadvised. On all subjects not divinely revealed, or attributable to the common and natural product of discernible causes, it becomes us to employ great seriousness and reserve, and to be very modest in advancing criticisms upon the opinions which may be entertained concerning them. Irrespective of the body of proof contained in this letter, favoring the above named theory, and which the quotation of scripture authority, by a critical and learned commentator, might be supposed fairly to support, it certainly is not difficult to imagine, that the germs of a future existence are implanted in the animal organization of the brute, just as they are, in the generic organization of man. The limited capabilities of the irrational being, not only for unwearied labor, but also for the development of instinctive properties, may perhaps bear some analogy to the inadaptation of the rational being, to any continuously energetic mental process; or if we allege, that the physical conformation of man is adapted to, and therefore intended for, a far greater display of mere exertion than it can at present endure, why should it be strange to suppose, that the case may be similar as it affects the inferior animal: thus we deduce an inference in favor of a future existence of the latter, without the aid of arguments founded on the comparative qualities, and immortal tendencies of reason and instinct.

    Dr. Pye Smith, in one of his interesting Lectures, observes, "What becomes of the principle of intelligence in the inferior animals, we presume not to conjecture; but yet if there be mind, (and who can doubt it,) we can find no ground for believing in its annihilation; for no man who thinks seriously upon the infinite perfections of God, can imagine any difficulty to be in the path of his operations; or that there is not space enough in the universe to contain such assemblages of beings, and to furnish them with the fullest scope for a happy existence." Charles Bonnet, the great Genevan naturalist, maintained the reality of a future life for all sentient natures. We have no reason indeed for supposing, that anything which God has created shall be destroyed: we do not discover anything like the annihilation even of matter: we may behold it changed in form, -- disintegrated or decomposed, -- but then it enters into new combinations, and assumes new appearances; and the contemplation is pleasing to a benevolent mind, that the creature which has been made subject to pain, not willingly, but on account of man, should, at some future time, enjoy that state of ease and happiness which, doubtless, was its original destination. As a general proposition, it might not be going too far to say, that nothing which God has created shall ever be annihilated.

    In keeping with the theory which has elicited the above remarks, Mr. Clarke, while one day passing a fellow in the street, who was unmercifully beating his poor half-starved horse, exclaimed, "Ah! my man, that horse will be on the better side of you one day, if you do not alter your manners, and you will be glad to exchange states with him." The man looked at him in stupid surprise, -- not able to comprehend the ominous prophecy; but he laid aside the whip -- half afraid of the speech of which he had not been able to find out the real meaning.

    Bristol, Aug. 13th, 1800.

    My very dear Brother,-

    ...I am rather low-spirited today, on a subject which some might pity me for attaching any consequence to. Last night, our nice mare died in her stable. Many a mile has she carried me to proclaim salvation to sinners; and, like her master, has been often hungry in her work. I never rode her with a spur, and seldom struck her with a whip, and the few times I did so, she deserved it, and yet I grieve, when I reflect, that I ever struck her. Poor thing! she is gone! she had sore labor, and never more than food for her work, and not enough often, even of that. However, she is not lost; she is one of the creatures of the Most High, and she must be gathered, and enjoy that felicity for which she was originally designed, but which she never enjoyed, and yet did nothing to forfeit her title to it. The purpose of God must be accomplished, and she, with the rest of the unoffending creatures, shall be redeemed from the bondage of her corruption, and brought into the glorious liberty, (an exemption from pain and death,) of the sons of God. See Romans viii. 19-23. I wish you would inquire a little more about the Shah--nameh. Is it complete? Is there any work joined with it? Really and truly, I wish to have it; even at twenty-five guineas, it is no hard bargain.

    God was greatly with me last night, while preaching at Bedminster. His service, is a blessed service. Oh! may God keep me faithful. -- Yours in Christ,

    A. CLARKE. About this time, Mr. Clarke began to make some inquiries concerning a poem, said to have been composed by Eupolis, a comic poet of Athens, who flourished about 430 years before Christ. It was entitled, "Eupolis' Hymn to the Creator." He prosecuted the inquiry, at intervals, for many years, seeking in vain for the original Greek copy. The result was, that he perfectly satisfied his own mind that no such composition was extant in Greek. When he was in London, he mentioned the subject to the late learned Professor Porson, who answered, -- "Eupolis, from the character we have of him, was the last man among the Greek poets from whom we could expect anything pious or sublime, concerning the Divine nature; and you may rest assured there is no poem in the Greek language of which that is a copy." Of this, as we have seen, Mr. Clarke was already well persuaded, but he wished to have the testimony of this ablest of Greek scholars, that the question might be forever at rest.

    Referring to the "Athenian Oracle," in which Mr. Wesley's father took such a share, he said, "It is impossible for an attentive reader to peruse that work without profit; for though the authors submitted to answer questions of minor importance, there are many things of great value. When only a boy, a friend put an odd volume into my hand, which proved a source of improvement and delight; and now that I know the well-nerved hand by which at least one-third of it was composed, I consult its pages with double interest."

    One circumstance which extended Mr. C's fame -- (already considerable, as a preacher and expounder of the word of God,) -- beyond the more immediate sphere of his personal labors, was the publication of a sermon, entitled, "The Christian Prophet and his Work," which appeared in the Methodist Magazine for 1800, and which was read with unusual interest. His manner of handling a subject was altogether novel in Methodism, and the Wesleyans in the more remote parts of the Connection, not only hailed the dawn of a brighter literary era, but deemed the societies highly privileged that were favored with his ministry. Yet such was either his timidity, or his more humbling view of the composition, that it lay by him in MS. for a period of two years -- bearing the date of "August 12, 1798."

    Towards the close of 1800, and beginning of 1801, (the present period of the narrative,) the political horizon of England was deeply beclouded. "These," said Mr. Clarke to a friend, "are troublous times, and we need to watch and pray always, that we may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are apparently coming upon us, and to stand at last before the Son of Man." But what tended to increase his own gloom, was a serious inroad made upon his friendships. To the brother of a particular friend, he observed, "I felt, and do feel, more than it is possible for me to describe, on the death of your blessed brother John. I felt for him the affection of a fond parent, and, as such a father must keenly and distressingly feel the stroke that for ever separates him from his child, so have I felt that stroke, which, though it opened the gate of bliss to him, thinned the number of my friends, I might say, lessened that of my children. My poor Mary has taken his death to heart more than you can well conceive. But what can our sorrow be in comparison of yours! I feel almost tempted to curse that land of death, which has been fatal to so many. Think not, I entreat you, for God's sake, of going thither. You probably may find it necessary, in order to settle your affairs: but oh! risk not your life. Death lives there; the living are the food which supports him. John's death has deeply affected me -- I cannot account for it: however, had I been consulted, and my advice received, he would never have seen Jamaica. You are aware, that Mr. Atmore is publishing an account of all the preachers who have died in the work: I intend to draw up an account of John. Will you furnish me with a few memoranda? -- when born, -- where, and of what he died, &c. This must be done speedily, or it will be too late. If you know any interesting incidents, note them also." Mr. C's. sensibilities, connected with his friendships, have been already alluded to. To one who concluded herself forgotten by him, he said, "I never, in my life, forgot a friend, or was ever ungrateful for kindnesses received." Then, to show the religious character of the friendship possessed, he urged upon his fair friend, the necessity of personal piety, and the abiding witness of the Spirit, saying, in reference to the latter, "This is solid comfort; this shores up the soul, while the iron hand of death is plucking, through the medium of disease, every pin out of the mortal tabernacle."

    Having suffered materially in his health, from severe application to study and great physical exertion, Mr. Clarke was recommended to make a tour into Cornwall: here he met with many old and valued friends, and visited, with deep interest, scenes upon which he had formerly looked with delight. On one occasion, a friend wishing him to descend into one of the mines, he excused himself, by saying, "I have no providential call to enter such places, and therefore do not feel it right to do so; besides, if any accident happen to me, and I be hastened into another world, the question might be asked, Who sent for you here?" Though not deficient either in courage or curiosity, and possessing no extraordinary share, generally speaking, of that "sly slow thing, with circumspective eye," called worldly prudence, yet he would not adventure himself where he was not able distinctly to perceive his providential path. Both before and after this time, a peculiar influence attended his ministry. Mrs. Mortimer, who had spent the spring of 1801 in Bristol, adverts to this, in a letter to a friend:-- "I have had some cheering views," she remarks, "as well as happy experiences of the nature and power of faith: some valuable sermons of Mr. Adam Clarke, have helped me in this respect; he is an excellent preacher, and much beloved by all who hear him."

    Speaking of his studies, he observed to a friend, "I have generally more on hand than I can do comfortably; and though perhaps never much perplexed by any work, yet I often serve hard bondage to it. My Testament I have long mourned over. The commentary, which I thought least of in the beginning, I now think most of. Seeing the bad success which all translators have met with, and the little attention that has been paid to their labors, I am almost afraid to risk myself on an ocean of opinion and prejudice, where so much must be hazarded, and so little can be gained. I seriously believe, that the whole book of God stands much in need of being correctly translated. But, in this behalf, no man's private labors will avail anything at present. While the common translation is authorized by law, and has alone dictated salvation for nearly two thousand years, [the Vulgate? -- DVM] the majority of the people will not readily admit that it can be easily mended: nor would an attempt to do this be wholly destitute of danger to the cause of Divine revelation. The mass of the people can seldom be brought to consider that there is an essential difference between making and mending. If you attempt to alter anything in the Bible, you are considered as pretending to mend the revelation of God: for it is impossible to convince some persons that God never spake in English to any of the prophets, evangelists, or apostles. I have nearly fixed my opinion on this business -- the public shall have their venerable and comparatively excellent translation, accompanied with the best notes I can possibly subjoin -- at the same time, I will reserve to myself the liberty of translating every portion of the original, in these notes, which I am satisfied I can make appear, more to the honor of its glorious Author, and the advantage of both the learned and unlearned reader. By this means, without giving any shock to the prejudice of total [believers], or semi-believers, I can still accomplish the end I before designed; and give the essence of my version in these notes to the public. I have as yet, gone no farther than the four gospels; the second volume of Griesbach is not yet out, and the first comprehends only the evangelists. As soon as that arrives, I hope to recommence my labors, if it shall please God to give me a little health. In the mean time, I am very far from being idle: I am now transcribing for the press, a most curious and important MS. of the New Testament, in English; a widely different version from that of Wicliffe, and I have reason to believe, much older. I think this work will both surprise and edify the public. I shall print it verbatim and literatim as it is in the MS., and in it, you will have a very extensive specimen of what our language and orthography were four hundred years ago. This curious MS. contains the whole of the New Testament, and the Old from the beginning of Proverbs to the end of the Prophets, together with Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Wisdom, and the two books of Maccabees. It is an immense folio, about eighteen inches long, and twelve wide, written very fair, on excellent vellum; and in the beginnings of all the books, highly illuminated in gold and colors. The initials also, through the whole book, are illuminated, and highly ornamented. I shall add a glossary, to explain all the difficult and obsolete words."

    [In the following lengthy paragraph, Everett seems to say that after Adam Clarke became disenchanted with the bickerings in the Methodist Societies, he joined, or rejoined, the Anglican Church. If this is so, I have never before read of such. -- DVM]

    Few could equal Mr. Clarke in habitual cheerfulness of temper, and happy versatility of mind, while at the same time, benevolence was a characteristic of his nature: thus he was one of the most social, the most pleasing, and the most profitable of companions. "Never," says a writer, "was love, or bounty, or gratitude, exercised, but with increasing joy:" so he was ever the life, and light, and spirit, of the friendly circle. Leaving the study, and coming forth from the strong holds of intellect and thought, he would delight in recreating himself with general conversation, in which might be mingled, recollections of the old ballad, or the tale of legendary lore. He knew the secret of making happy; -- and it is no wonder that friends flocked around him, and that among these were found men of worth and talent. In Bristol, especially, he seems to have met with some kindred spirits, and his recollection of associations formed in that city, gilded many an hour of later life. Among these, stood pre-eminently high in his love and his good opinion, Mr. S____ -- a man of a high order of intellect; he was, at the period of which we now speak, a member of the Methodist Society, and within it he had received much of light, and life, and holy influence. The pure rays of its early sunshine, had found their way into the interior of his noble mind; but he must have felt, that he was quite in advance of all his religious associates; -- for "when he stood among the people, he was (in intellect) far higher than any of them," a very Saul in their midst! He was a man of sensitive feelings, and the ignorance and coarseness by which he was occasionally met, first annoyed, and finally disgusted him; and the somewhat democratic form of ecclesiastical economy, which Methodism seemed to assume now and then, occasioned by disputes -- of which Bristol had its share, was little to his taste. He bore it, however, for awhile; but when the fervor of the "first love," had become sobered and chastened by time, and the view had expanded before and around him, and experience had been added to impulse; -- he took leave to look about him, and finally, his penetrating eye rested with complacency upon "those ancient spires which lift themselves towards heaven," and connect the thoughtful mind in sacred and holy feeling, with that solemn and impressive form of worship, "around which have gathered the deepening shadows of more than a thousand years." The contrast was sadly to the disparagement of the sect only emerging from the odium of being "every where spoken against;" and so, upon the recurrence of some occasion which wounded his sensitive and aristocratic spirit, he made one bound from the humble threshold of the Conventicle, to the solemn portal of the Anglican Church! In that time of our reason, when "the morning was" scarcely "spread upon the mountains," we wondered at this step; but clearer light, and longer communing with men and manners, have taught us not to marvel, that a man of taste, and lofty feeling, and strong intellect -- capable of high discourse, -- courted both by the world and the church, should make his bow, and bid his final adieu to Methodism, such as it was fifty years ago! though a doubt may be entertained whether he improved his real spiritual advantages by the change.

    Friendship, however, between kindred minds, is not easily dissevered; and in this case, the only interruption it suffered, was made by the interposition of that veil which separates between "the life that now is, and that which is to come."

    Another interesting notice, closes our sojourn with the subject of this memoir, in the Bristol circuit. Mr. Butterworth wrote to Mr. Clarke, telling him of a contemplated change of residence, and further making request, that, as he considered the house upon which he was now entering, was in a peculiar manner indicated to him by Divine providence, Mr. Clarke would "help him to dedicate every apartment to God." We introduce the result of this request, unattended by any observations of our own. The apologetic part of the following (if indeed apology be needed) speaks all we would say.

    Bristol, April 27th, 1801.

    My very dear Brother, -- In your last letter to me, in which you gave an account of the providential manner in which God gave you your house, you say, "Help me to dedicate every apartment to God." The following, little better than plain prose, (for I do not pretend to have any poetic talent,) may assist you a little. Take these lilies in the good-will in which they were written.

    In ancient times, when God conversed with men; E'er temples to his praise had rear'd their heads, Or sacerdotal orders were ordained To kindle incense, and His altars stain With sacrificial blood of bulls and lambs; Guided by heavenly wisdom, Earth's first sons, Devoted each, his house to the Supreme. Jehovah, then was deemed the source of good; And from that ever-during fount alone, The streams of bliss were noticed to descend. Among the most enlightened sons of men, Who graced the annals of the ancient world; Among most barbarous hordes of dreariest wilds, This custom still bore unremitting rule.

    The ancient Syrians had their Teraphim, [12] Icons, [13] expressive of the healing power Of heaven's high king; like to Cherubic [14] forms, By which, in following ages, Jacob's sons Expressed the majesty of Israel's God.

    In Persia's fertile plains, e'er tyrant sway Had spread destruction with his iron mace; Chreeshna, [15] the shepherd god and conquering king Of peaceful Hindu, kept the house and flock. And still the painted walls, as travelers tell, [16] Show forth two emblems of the incarnate god: In this, the serpent bites his sacred heel; In that, the conqueror breaks the serpent's head

    The Gueber, [17] galled to madness and despair, By Moslem persecution, keeps his creed; And ever on his own domestic hearth, Beholds the emblem of his deity,-That subtle, active, pure, almighty spirit, Which earth and heaven, by its diffusive rays, Illumes, invigorates, and still upholds; Educing life in all those varied forms, With which the great Creator has endued Plants, animals, and intellectual beings. Pity a perseverance like the Sabeans [18] Had not a better taste, and better faith

    But not to Asia's realms, the sentiment That God himself will condescend to dwell With wretched man:-- was ever yet confined. The conquering sons of Ancient Rome, secur'd Themselves and offspring, under fancied aid Of Lares [19] and Penates, [20] household gods: Those saved their persons; these their dwelling-place; For without God's protection, all agreed, Nor happiness nor safety could be found.

    Behold the servile progeny of Ham, And view their hideous tutelary god. The Juju, monstrous snake! of wrath Divine, The uncouth emblem, is by each assigned The choicest place in the tripartite [21] a house And his good graces and protection sought, By frequent sacrifice, and fervent prayer.

    Ye Christless Christians! who for sordid gain, Traffic in human blood, make souls your commerce; Expose the offspring of the God supreme, In fairs and markets, to be bought and sold, Like beasts of burden! Should you not repay The toils of brothers, (whom by lawless might Ye hold in unrelenting iron bonds,) By sending far and wide, that glorious light, With which your sacred books are richly stored, But hearts uninfluenced; as your conduct proves.

    Descending on the rapid wing of time, From simple manners of primeval days:-Behold the tokens of this glorious truth, Through every part of the terraqueous globe.

    In those auspicious times, when gospel light Diffused its mildest beams, and healing pow'r, O'er Palestine and Greece; when God himself, Enrobed in human flesh, to man confest, By acts of power and goodness infinite; Proclaimed to sinners his eternal love!-Full thirty years he dwelt with man below: Was father, brother, friend, to his disciples And by his sacrifice, at last the priest Of all that lived, since time itself began, Or shall stand up, till time shall be no more. When he had conquered death, he soon prepar'd To give the proof of immortality, By his ascension to the realms of bliss, To place our nature by his Father's side. Yet in departing from his followers, said; "Lo! I am with you to the end of time:-Where two or three, assemble in my name, Their fervent prayers to heaven for succor send, There am I present; to direct, support, Quicken, and save, and with bright mercy crown."

    Trusting the promise of their gracious Lord, The Christian converts, influenced by heaven, Their houses to their God did consecrate: And Kuriou oikoi, [22] were those buildings named. Hence our words kirk and church:-- pity that terms Of blessed import, should be e'er applied To buildings, where nor God nor angel dwells!

    Under the sacred name of Mother Church,-Terms, which convey ideas of great kindness, Love, mercy, peace, and spotless holiness,-Our popish ancestors have fed the flames With living bodies of the saints of God! Ruthless religion! bane, and curse of man! Reproach to heaven's high King! which still proceeds To sanction superstition, grace its crimes, And varnish o'er long lists of cruelties, By church catholic's prostituted name!

    But God, in mercy to these favor'd isles, Has chased this chaos darkness far away; And caused the Sun of Righteousness t'arise, Dispensing heav'nly health, from outstretched wings.

    In these first days of God's refreshing power, Temples arose to Jesu's saving name But not to temples was his praise confin'd:-The private house became his hallow'd shrine; And Jesus was the tutelary God Of every Christian house, and family. Oh! may those halcyon days of gospel love, Of pure and unaffected piety, Be soon restored, and last till time's no more!

    Finish the apostate race, ye sluggish years! And let the glorious era now commence!-' Tis done. -- Celestial droppings now descend, The glorious harbingers of future showers! The crystal ports of heaven are opened wide, Salvation's self, with blood-stained vest descends, And faith, with starry robe, crowned with the sun; Who, underneath her feet of burnish'd brass, Treads down terrestrial things to rise no more.

    O righteous God! the harlot thou hast judg'd: The veil withdrawn, clouded with murkiest hues; Deep dyed by foulest night, in blackest hell, Which on the face of numerous nations lay;-Eclipsing every light, that sprang from heav'n.

    Heralds of peace! go forth. -- Proclaim your God. Say Christ is born. -- Say Christ is crucified:-Has broke the empire of usurping death:-And in his rising, pav'd a splendid road Of light and life, to the eternal throne! Say, He has suffer'd for the great offense, And purchas'd pardon for a guilty world! Ye heavens rejoice! Thou earth be glad, and sing, Utter loud paeons to the Eternal King!

    Anointed to perform your Maker's will, And be the priest of heaven's Almighty Lord; Lo! God himself proposes to inhabit The house His Providence so strangely gives. JOSEPH! obey the call: the rites begin.-In your Beth-El let altars to his praise Be rear'd in each apartment; on whose tops The morning and the evening sacrifice, Duly performed, shall still acceptance find. Let ANNA be your Beth-El's prophetess: And all your servants Nethenims around The sacred fane. [temple] May each in godly fear His tributary incense duly bring! From holy souls, with pure uplifted hands, Pour out libations of heart-melting praise, And all conjoin in sacrificial prayer. Keep yourselves pure, and let the holy place Be worthy of the residence Divine. So shall the august Shekinah ever rest Above, beneath, and round your tents and souls.

    Let the profane, the hollow formalist, The uncircumcised, the white-wash'd hypocrite, The lazy drone, with the time-serving saint, Be driven for ever from the sacred pale. Thus shall yourselves and habitation rest Secure from light'ning's blast, and thunder's shock, From thieves rapacious, and consuming fire, Nightly alarms, demoniac influence, And all the horrors of untimely death.

    Hail blessed pair! pursue the glorious way, That leads from darkness to eternal day!-

    Through God's mercy, we are all in a middling state of health -- because the Lord liveth we live also, and hope to live for ever. It is impossible for us to tell you how much we love you.

    Yours, most affectionately, -- A. CLARKE.

    It might be as dry and profitless to offer the reader a page in the attempt to explain the new solution given to the quadrature of the circle, as to engage his meditations upon the complex divisions and arrangements of the great circle of the Wesleyan itinerancy; and nearly as thankless a task to oppose or defend the frequently argued advantages and disadvantages of the continuous change of ministers which such a system introduces. There is one point, however, in the circle, where the principles of those who dislike the plan, will find the usual obstacle to the general good-will removed; and this occurs in the renewal of a minister's appointment over the people among whom he had already dispensed the gospel of the grace of God. So far as himself is concerned, the "labor actus in orbem" must return with deep satisfaction: the renewal of old friendships; the congregation of familiar faces; the growth observable in the piety and devotion of many; the young members of the church rising up with a double measure of the spirit of their fathers, to occupy their places, and perpetuate their faith and good works; -- all must afford grateful and tender emotions to the heart of the servant of God, in renewing the oversight of this portion of Christ's inheritance, he enters again upon the onerous charge with improved plans, founded upon a higher and deeper experience of the human heart generally; he profits by the remembrance of his own former errors and comparative failures on difficult occasions -- weighing opportunities wherein he might have seized favorable advantages, with those he actually improved while laboring among that same people before; and thus he appears this second time among them, with all the advantage gained from a past experience, and a rich increase of spiritual gifts, -- the result of intervening years of diligent labor in other parts of the Lord's heritage. He can also make a stronger appeal than another, in preaching, from the changes and chances of life, in urging the design of God's chastisements, and the lessons of earnest practical piety and prompt decision of character, to be drawn from the great uncertainty of life, and the hope or despair which was well known to have heralded in the approach of death in particular instances; he has vividly portrayed before his own eyes, the bright example which a now departed member of a congregation was wont to display to those around him, and he is able to exhibit this for the imitation of his late fellow worshippers, his family, and his friends; and thus, while trials and bereavements would be common, and generally applicable topics in the discourse of a stranger, they become personally applicable and peculiarly appropriate under his teaching: even absence itself lending all advantage over a continued intimacy with his flock, by presenting the events which have occurred among them with a freshness, and novelty, and keenness to his mind, of which the progress of time has lessened the pungency, as regards them; and thus he comes among them, enriched with intense emotion; and the affectionate and searching appeals he addresses, have increased effect -- as warnings, instructions, and consolations to his people.

    Our readers are by this time sufficiently acquainted with the subject of this portraiture, to feel that he was endued with all the skill and susceptibility which would turn to the best account the advantages offered by the renewal of his ministry in the Liverpool society, touching all the points to which reference has been made. Mr. Clarke was, perhaps, deficient in that exquisite taste, which characterizes the sermons of some of our divines; but he stood in the foremost rank, in respect of strength and clearness, and the whole course of his ministry, was marked by that deep sensibility of heart, which enabled him to pour forth the effusions of his mind with resistless effect. Whatsoever might be the thought or expression of a subject, as presented to the people, it received a particular mold and cast, in passing through his mind, which gave it a perfectly distinctive character. He loved to roam rather than to nestle, and thus was variety furnished for that creature, designated by a heathen, "An animal fond of novelty;" but the whole of the pursuit might be resolved into a "Search after Truth." He clung with jealous tenacity to the great verities of religion, and the realities of life, and never wandered, in respect of his hearers, from the instruction of their minds, and the improvement of their hearts. In all his sermons might be perceived, the cultivated growth of a strong and original mind, and not the labored eliminations of one of an ordinary character; and though he rarely indulged in the imaginative in the pulpit, yet, in conversation, the sallies of the sprightly son of Erin [Ireland] would often break forth. But his grand aim was, to discharge all the duties of a Christian minister; and of him it might be said, as of the worthies in the "olden-time," -- "He taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with him, and went about throughout all the cities, and taught the people."

    In long removals, Wesleyan ministers are often subjected to great inconvenience by a change of servants, being unable, in many instances, to take them from circuit to circuit; and, as much of the comfort of the family depends on its being well-suited in this respect, there are few masters and mistresses who will not subscribe to the truth of the quaint remarks of Dr. Fuller, when he says, that "Many servants, as if they had learned the nature of the besoms they use, are good for a few days, and afterwards grow unserviceable;" and that "those who found their obedience on some external thing, with engines, will go no longer than they are wound or weighed up." Though Mr. Clarke had no occasion to look into this department, he felt his share of the discomfort of being dependent on that class of menials generally afloat on society. "Mr. P." said he one day, "can you recommend to us a good servant?" -- subjoining, "I have been praying for a good one the last four months; and I am sure if the Lord had one, he would have sent her: there are plenty of bad ones -- as many as would thatch all the houses of Liverpool; -- good servants are scarce; -people value them, and they remain stationary."

    In a strait of this kind, and seeing the broom standing in a corner, he took it up, and swept the yard: a friend entering at the time, and accosting him with a little surprise, to find him thus engaged, "Oh!" said he, "I am willing to work for anybody, and engage in anything in which I can be useful." Another case allied to this, is rather more amusing. Either through whim or necessity, he commenced cleaning his shoes on a Saturday evening. Just as one was finished, the clock struck twelve, when he instantly dropped the brush, and suspended operations. On rising the next morning, he found the shoes in the state in which he had left them, one dirty and the other clean; in this condition he put them on; and the first thing he did, on going out, was to step into a puddle with the clean one, in order to make them both alike. Whether the suspension of labor is to be placed to the credit of conscience, or to be considered in the light of an example to servants, to use expedition, and guard against any infringement on the sanctity of the sabbath, is of very little importance, as it is equally creditable to the piety and condescension of Mr. Clarke; while the very act of performing such an office -- even on the supposition of a temporary necessity, reminds us of a remark of one of our British poets, that "The trouble occasioned by want of a servant, is so much less than the plague of a bad one, as it is less painful to clean a pair of shoes than undergo an excess of anger."

    The same providence which had called him to mourn over the death of his father, now summoned him to attend the remains of his mother to their restingplace; as was subsequently the case, in reference to his only brother, Mr. Tracy Clarke, who practiced as a surgeon, at Maghull, near Liverpool, where he was held in high esteem both in his profession and as a man. The subject of this memoir observed to Mrs. P., -- not in the way of ostentation, but from a feeling of gratitude to God, "I have had the everlasting honor of helping my mother at the close of life;" a sentiment to which the writer wishes to give currency to the "everlasting honor" of his subject. What does not tend a little to mark the unostentatious and thoughtful character of Mr. Clarke's mother is, that "on looking," as he observed, "through the things which she had left, a certain sum of money was found folded in a piece of paper, stating, that it was intended to defray the expenses of her funeral, with a strict injunction that the cost should not exceed it." Adverting to the dissolution of the body, Mr. Clarke observed, that it was not so much death itself, as its immediate act or stroke, that was clothed with terror to the mind; at least that was the light in which he viewed it.

    This feeling, combined with a sense of duty, and an ardent love to the soul, led him frequently to the chambers of the sick, to soothe and to encourage the perturbed spirit. A friend, ill of a nervous fever, was visited by him, every day, except Sunday, and was waited on by him as a nurse; for he examined the medicine, -- took the shoes from off the feet to relieve them, -- and when unusually low, in addition to religious consolation, he would innocently divert the mind by calling it away from itself. This friend, now in a state of convalescence, was one day in his study; -- "There," said Mr. Clarke, -- placing a valuable folio edition of the Scriptures upon the knee, "I will load you with the Word of God; it has cost me many a meal: but I would rather live on bread and water with Margaret P. and Mary W., (two pious females,) and be banded with them, and their religion, than live in all the splendor of Mr. _____, with his carriage." Nor did he wait barely to be sent for, but sought out objects of distress; and when he had not time to do this, to the full extent of his wishes, he engaged others in the work. To an excellent young lady, Miss Burton, of Manchester, who was an example of diligence in searching out objects of distress, -- (for he carried out the practice in other places besides Liverpool,) -- he said, "You find the money, and I will find the prayers." He manifested equal solicitude for the health of his fair companion, for having got her feet wet one day, -- (all weathers being deemed alike by her in these errands of mercy,) -- he requested her, when he brought her home, to change her shoes, to get her feet well dried with a coarse towel, and then rubbed with brandy.

    In one of his lone visits, he entered the chamber of a man, whose family he knew, who had led a dissipated life, and taken refuge in infidel principles to shield himself from the assaults of conscience, and was then suffering exquisitely under bodily affliction. Mr. Clarke was aware, from the little knowledge he had acquired of him, that there was only one mode of assailing him, and he unceremoniously asked:

    "Well, what do you think of God and eternity now? Would you like to take a leap into the invisible world in your present state?"

    "O, yes," he replied, "I want to be away."

    "You are not ready," returned Mr. Clarke.

    "I care not," answered the sufferer, "I wish I were dead."

    To bring him more closely to the test, Mr. Clarke said, "If a good and bad angel were to come to your bedside, each in order to receive you, and take you to his own place, which would you prefer?"

    "I would ask," replied the interrogated, "which could fly the fastest; and if the devil were to say, 'I am swiftest of wing,' then, I would say, Devil take me; for I want to be away from this pain as quick as possible." Mr. Clarke having elicited some of his views, and ascertained his real state of feeling, in this somewhat singular way, then bore down upon him with the evidence connected with the realities of an eternal state, and the folly of looking for a transit from pain of body to ease of mind, in another world, without the preparation stated, proposed, and enforced, in the Bible. It is pleasing to be able to add, that the person in question was restored to health, and not only reclaimed from error, but renovated in spirit by the grace of God.

    Of persons of this class, taken from Christian society, nominally considered, Mr. Clarke entertained a stronger hope of successful effort to reclaim them, than of infidels mixed up with Judaism; -- his fear was, that many of the Jews were deeply tinctured with the infidel spirit of the times, and no longer received the writings of the Old Testament as divinely inspired. In this he was confirmed by a conversation which he had with a Jewish Rabbi about this time, a man of extensive information and of considerable learning, who observed to him, that "as Moses had to deal with a grossly ignorant, stupid, and headstrong people, he was obliged to have recourse to a pious fraud, and pretend that the laws he gave them were sent to him by the Creator of all things; and that all the ancient legislators and formers of new states, who had a barbarous people to govern, were obliged to act in the same way, such as Menu, Numa, Lycurgus, Mohammed, &c., and that the time was very near at hand, when all the inhabitants of the civilized world would be of one religion, viz., deism, which," continued he, "was a system of truth, compounded of Judaism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, and the writings of the ancient heathen philosophers!"

    On Mr. Clarke asking him whether any of his brethren were of the same opinion, he replied with considerable emotion, "Yes, every intelligent Jew in Europe, who reflects on the subject, is of the same mind." [23] Mr. Clarke observed, "If this Rabbi's testimony be true, the children of Jacob are deplorably fallen indeed! And from the manner in which they conduct what they call the worship of God, who would suppose they either credit His Word, or believe in his existence?"

    It requires very little mental effort to fall into the opinion of Mr. Clarke; nor is the fact unaccountable. The ground on which the Jews maintain their disbelief of the New Testament, is equally subversive of all evidence of revelation. Partial research and reflection must tend to make them deists. Viewing the general conduct of the Jews, Mr. Clarke said to a friend with whom he was conversing on the subject, "When the Divine Being began with the Jews, he began with the worst part of human nature first; and not being able, humanly speaking, to make anything of them, he turned to the Gentiles -- leaving the former as he found them, a stubborn, and a stiff-necked people. They have a great deal to say of their father Abraham, and it is proper they should, for they can say nothing for themselves."

    Anxious to diffuse useful knowledge in every form, Mr. Clarke, soon after his arrival in Liverpool, collected together a few of the most intelligent of his friends, and proposed to them the establishment of a society for the promotion of literary and scientific research. The proposition met with unanimous acceptance, and he forthwith embodied the design in a series of rules, to which further reference will be made in his next station. We have been favored with a sight of some of the discussions which took place in this society, and they are alike creditable to the general intelligence of the parties who produced them, and gratifying to the feelings of the truly enlightened, and highly gifted president, to whose untiring zeal and energy all were owing; and who, previously to the opening of the debates, delivered a luminous and appropriate inaugural speech.

    Writing himself to one of the corresponding members of this literary association, he says, "Our society works well; we have some interesting and excellent papers, and I trust good will be eventually done to the hearts and intellects of the members. Your paper was read, and caused a great deal of discussion. My own view is, that your chief point is untenable, though you have defended it very well; but it is all "logomachia": the reasons for my opinion you have already gathered from my Essay."

    "A word spoken in season how good is it!" exclaimed the philosophic king of Israel, and the very converse will appear from a curious incident connected with the proceedings of this society, at the time of which we are now speaking. Whether an apology be necessary for the introduction of the "ower true tale" in this locality, shall be decided by the general taste for illustration (by given facts) of any peculiar operation of the human mind.

    Mr. F____l was an artist by profession, and had for a series of years maintained himself respectably and honorably under favor of the public, by portraying "the human face divine" upon canvass and ivory, to the perfect satisfaction of all who patronized him. Being an intelligent man, he was proposed as a member of the Philological Society, and in his turn, was called upon to furnish his quota to the general good. In "a luckless hour," governed rather by the impulse of vanity than the genius of his fortunes, he handed in a Paper, the heading of which ran thus:-

    "Is woman, in intellectual capacity, inferior to man?"

    Poor F. in a long and elaborate treatise, backed by examples cited from ancient and modern history, stood boldly forth, in the maintenance of the question, in favor of the "lords of the creation." It will readily be supposed, the subject excited much pleasantry, and some more serious observation, and well-intended argument. The members retired, however, much amused with the literary curiosity that evening exhibited, and in the unsuspecting gaiety of their hearts, rallied their wives and daughters upon the subject. "The good women," as Mr. Clarke pleasantly observed, "instantly took the alarm;" -- the fire of their indignation spread far and wide; -- F. and his Essay, were denounced at every tea-table; -- husbands, sons, brothers, and suitors, were alike forbidden to enter the studio of the unfortunate artist; -- while ladies of course, kept him, (in connection with his Essay,) at the furthest point of observation.

    The man, so far as his profession was concerned, was, from that fatal hour, an excommunicated being. The pencil lay idle at his side, -- the half finished portrait was unclaimed at his hand: in the lapse of a few short months, he saw himself a deserted man, -- proving, by bitter experience, how foolish it was to trench upon a delicate "debateable ground." He was under the necessity of closing his once prosperous studio, of leaving his comfortable house, and, finally, the town of Liverpool itself; and after some years of life, "bound in shallows and in miseries," he died in great mental distress, and abject poverty, a victim to the dangerous test he had braved; -- a sad proof, that, whether right or wrong -- so far as the delicate question propounded was concerned -there was at any rate an influence, to which the lordly superiority of his sex yielded a willing homage, and which demonstrated its triumph of power, by bearing down before it, to the vortex of ruin, his own lordly superiority; -- thus proving, that, while a word fitly spoken, may be a very good thing, an Essay unfitly written, is a very bad thing.

    * * * * * * *


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