I have this week been reading Cecilia,1
a novel of some reputation; it was written by a Lady, and does not exhibit that knowledge
of human nature, which is the greatest excellency, perhaps of novels. Some of the
characters however are well drawn; they are generally exaggerated, and appear rather
too strongly marked for perfect imitations of nature. The characters of Miss Larolles
and of Meadows, appear to me, original, and true: that of Lady Pemberton, is pleasing,
but merely an imitation. The story in general is well told, and the interest is preserved;
but in many places probability is not sufficiently consulted, and the repetitions
of the mistakes at Belfield's lodgings, become tedious, and wearisome; the catastrophe
is not just as I should wish it, yet perhaps it is more judicious than it would have
been to have preserved her fortune. If the book, was made shorter by two volumes,
I think it would be much better than it is; but even now it is infinitely superior
to the common herd of novels, which are mere nusances to Literature.
I passed the evening quite in a solitary way at my own lodgings. The weather has this
week been extremely cold.