Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Another "sly" Gilpin allusion
Written by JulieW
(5/11/2007 10:02 a.m.)
"If I," said Mr. Collins, "were so fortunate as to be able to sing, I should have great pleasure, I am sure, in obliging the company with an air; for I consider music as a very innocent diversion, and perfectly compatible with the profession of a clergyman.
May I invite you to compare Mr Collins style with this extract from the Reverend William Gilpin's Preface to his Observations on Cumberland and Westmoreland:
The author fears too, he may be called on to apologize for the many digressions he hath made. But if in this point he hath erred; he hath erred with his best judgment. Whether his work be confidered as didactic, or descriptive (as in fact it is intended to be a species between both) he thought it wanted some little occasional relief. Travelling continually among rocks, and mountains; hills, and values; and remarking upon them, he feared might be tedious: and therefore, when any observations, anecdote, or history, grew naturally from his subjet, he was glad to take the advantage of it; and draw the reader a little aside, that he might return to the principal object with less satiety.
This too is poetic licence. What in argument would be absurd; in works of amusement may be necessary. If any of these digressions however tsould appear forced-out of place-or unconnected with the subject; for them he wishes to apologize.
The author hopes no one will be so severe, as to think a work of this kind (tho' a work only of amusement) inconsistent with the profession of a clergyman. He means not to address himself to tile lax notions of the age; to which he is no way apprehensive of giving offence: but he should be sorry to hurt the feelings of the most serious. How far field sports, and a variety of other diversions, which may be proper in some stations, are quite agreeable to the clerical one, is a subjet he means not to discuss: Yet surely the study of nature, in every shape, is allowable; and affords amusement, which the fseverest cannot well reprehend-the study of the heavens-of the earth-of the field-of the garden, it's productions,fruits and flowers- of the bowels of the earth, containing such amazing stores of curiostiy- and of animal life, through all its astonishing varieties,even to the shell and the insect.Among these objects of rational mausement, may we not enumerate also the beautiful appearances of the face of nature?
( page XX-XXii)
I can't help but think that JA might have been enamoured of "Gilpin on the Picturesque" for ever so slightly naughty reasons: she probably,IMHO ,found his pompous writing style irresistible ;-)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.