Billeder på siden

There is likewife, by way of addition, a lift of British European fubjects residing in India, not in the Company's fervice.


Art. 28. The Life of Daniel De Foe. By George Chalmers, Efq. 8vo. pp. 86. 3s. fewed. Stockdale. 1790.

It would be a curious fubject of inveftigation for any acute obferver, (who is not too much hurt himself, to be able to trace the dark policies of human conduct with coolness;) to inquire why it should be the cruel fate of moft of those whofe pens have been employed in the service of the public, to have juftice ftudiously withheld from their characters, till they are beyond receiving any benefit from it; and when the men have funk under anxieties, neglect, and injurious treatment, perhaps their memory, fome time or other, receives the full payment of applaufe, with all the intereft due on it! Threefcore years after the death of the ingenious and well-informed Daniel De Foe, a gentleman, during a period of convalefcence,' amufes himself in writing his life; and has taken laudable, and we think fuccefsful pains, to refcue his memory from undeferved obloquy. All this is fo far well; and Mr. Chalmers, we doubt not, enjoys the confcious pleasure peculiar to good minds, in performing a generous act: but living merit can derive very little comfort from the inftance.

De Foe, with great abilities, extenfive knowlege, and a ready pen, living in troublesome times, became a bufy controverfial writer: he fteadily fupported the Whig intereft, but could not (and what confiderate honeft man can ?) go all lengths with his party : therefore, while he provoked the hatred of the Tories, he could not gain the entire love of the Whigs; and between both, his character has been tranfmitted to us under various mifreprefentations. Mr. Chalmers has, with induftrious and commendable zeal, traced every circumftance, as well as the distance of time would permit, to fet his character and conduct in a true light; which, as we have obferved above, he has happily effected; and, in particular, has fatisfactorily vindicated his Robinfon Crufoe from being a piracy of Alexander Selkirk's papers. At the close, is given a lift of De Foe's numerous and undoubted writings, and also a list of other publications imputed to him.

This Life was prefixed, a few years fince, to the quarto edition of De Foe's Hiftory of the Union, for which fee our Rev. vol. lxxvii. P. 459.; and this octavo publication, though it is fold feparately, is handfomely printed, to be prefixed to Mr. Stockdale's new fplen

did edition of Robinson Crufoe: of which further mention will be made in a future article.

N. Art. 29. Anecdotes of the Life and Character of John Howard, Efq. F. R. S. Written by a Gentleman, whole Acquaintance with that celebrated Philanthropist gave him the mott favourable Opportunity of learning Particulars not generally known. 8vo.

PP. 41.

2 S. Hookham.

The first wish, when great and celebrated characters die, is to know how they have lived. Every little circumftance interefts. We


[ocr errors]

are defirous of learning wherein they have refembled, and wherein they have differed from, the rest of mankind. To gratify the public curiofity refpecting the late Mr. Howard, this gentleman, to ufe his own words, expofes his unfkilful pen to the eye of unfeeling criticifm.' His intention in doing this is fimply to give the world a few facts relative to the life of this patriot of the world," not generally known.

Criticiim will not be fo unfeeling as to call in question his claim to our belief: but we must remind him, that anonymous evidence is no evidence and that to diftinguifh his pans phlet from catchpenny productions, he ought to have affixed his real name. An effay or differtation does not abfolutely require a name; if the reafoning be good, it matters not who was the author: but a work containing a relation of facts, derives all its value from the credi bility of the relator; and therefore the name of the author is indif. penfible.

Thefe anonymous anecdotes relate that Mr. Howard's first marriage arofe from gratitude rather than from love, with a maiden lady. turned of forty years of age, with whom he lodged, and who tenderly nurfed him during a violent fever.-It is further added, that, as a remembrance of this lady, he even carried about with him, and always ufed when alone, a defert-fpoon that had belong

ed to her.

It was by a fecond marriage, we find, that Mr. Howard had that unhappy fon, his treatment of whom has been supposed to be open to much cenfure. From one who was an acquaintance of Mr. Howard, we expected to find more on this part of his private life, than is contained in these anecdotes; efpecially as his most intimate friends have endeavoured to clear his character from the afperfion of a want of parental tenderness. Mr. Howard's public efforts in the cause of humanity are very briefly noticed: but feveral little particulars are mentioned of the life of this fingularly benevolent man, who has acquired immortal fame from vifiting the regions of infamy. Mo-y

Art. 30. The Life of the late John Howard, Esq.; with a Review of his Travels. To the above Work, as confirming Mr. Howard's Ideas of the Effects of folitary Imprifonment, is annexed the Letter which appeared in the Paper of the World, on the Cafe of Saville, tried at Chelmsford for Murder. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Ridgway.

PP. 83.

The greater part of this pamphlet being an account of Mr. Howard's public life, requires no other evidence of its truth than is own writings, from which it appears to be faithfully taken. Thefe fpecimens of biography are entitled to fome praife: but we muft wait for a complete Life of Mr. Howard.

The account of Saville, in Mr. Topham's letter, clearly evinces the good enes of folitary confinement on malefactors; and we moft fincerely with that all our prifons (thofe defigned merely for debtors excepted) could be conftructed on this principle. Di Pa


Art. 31. A Letter to W. Wilberforce, Efq. by Philo-Africanus. 8vo. pp. 62. I s. 6d. Debrett. 1790.

This writer, whatever his fignature may imply, is no friend to Mr. Wilberforce's project for the abolition of the flave trade. He puts his arguments into the mouth of a West Indian, who contends, that the miseries of the Africans are not augmented by this trade; and that it is neither the fource of war among thefe barbarians, nor the cause of its continuance. When he afterward remarks, that flaves are an univerfal merchandice of Africa, he forces us to hefitate in admitting his former pofition: for it is natural to fuppofe, that the defire of making prifoners, operates, with other causes, to keep alive the flames of war among the Negroe potentates. PhiloAfricanus cannot perfuade us that the flave trade is the fource of no mifery to the Africans. It is furely an evil. The difficulty confifts in applying a remedy. Mo-y


Art. 32. The Art of Pronouncing the French Language with Propriety. By Mr. Du Frefnoy, Teacher to his Royal Highness Prince William Frederick, and Succeffor to M. La Butte, in the University of Cambridge. 8vo. pp. 240. 5s. Boards. Gardner. 1789. Though we cannot think it practicable to learn the pronunciation of any language by written rules, without oral inftruction, we agree with the author of this work, that an accurate arrangement of the various combinations of written characters, by which the fame founds, fimple or complex, are expreffed, muft be of great ufe to the fcholar, if accompanied with the inftructions of a judicious mafter. Mr. Du Frefnoy has taken very laudable pains on this fubject; and his rules, though perhaps too numerous and minute, may give the learner a theoretical acquaintance with the principles of the French pronunciation; and ferve as a guide, to which he may recur in cafes of uncertainty. The author does not appear to be completely mafter of the English pronunciation; for he fometimes reprefents French founds by English founds, to which they bear a very imperfect refemblance. This circumftance does not, however, materially affect the general utility of the work. E. Art. 33. Strictures on Modern Languages: fhewing their Usefulness to Individuals, to Nations, and particularly to the Fair Sex. To which is added, An Effay on the prefent Modes of Teaching; and alfo, the Plan of an original Work, now in great Forwardnefs, clearly pointing out the Facility with which the Fluency of Speech may be acquired. By J. E, Parifot de St. Marie. 8vo. pp. 64. 1s. 6d. Sael. 1790.

When we have faid that Monf. de St. Marie here depreciates the prefent modes of teaching French, with a view of exalting one of his own, we fancy we fhall have faid every thing material that the reader can learn, or that the author wishes to tell, in this pamphlet. Fluency of speech, in oppofition to grammatical nicety, is the profeffed aim of this mafter of languages; and it must be owned, that his example comes powerfully in aid of his precept, on the prefent occafion.

REV. DEC. 1790.

K k




Art. 34. Edinburgh: a Poem, in two Parts. Alfo, The Weeping Bard: a Poem, in fixteen Cantos. By Robert Alves, A. M. 8vo. pp. 198. Printed at Edinburgh. 1789.

The author of these poems appears to be one of those unfortunate verfifiers, who, miftaking the talent of ftringing rhymes for poetical genius, have spent that precious time in making verfes, which might have been employed in fome more profitable occupations, and then complain of the ingratitude of the world in neglecting to reward their labours. The greater part of this volume is filled with a piteous tale of difappointment and poverty, told in irregular, profaic ftanzas, of which the following lines are fair fpecimens:

• What tho' Seven Languages I mafter right,
What tho' my foul in various Art hath fhin'd,
And foar'd thro' Nature's works a boundless flight,
Spying thro' all one great Eternal mind!

Such knowledge fure to me is vain and light,
If I, who long fuch Science bore,
With modeft mind and fpirit meek,

With all my bright Humanity and Greek,
Shall perish in the midst of all their flore!
If I, who long thefe Arts have taught,
To the young pliant mind of Infancy,
Shall now no more impart,

What more than ever's woven into my heart,
In firm and maffy woof to part no more!

Yea, ufelefs all to me and empty-void,

Such arts unus'd! Such learning unemploy'd!

-Shall these not now their friend beftead!

All in a learned land!

Shall these not earn his daily bread!

Or fhall he die for want as caft on barb'rous strand!'

As we cannot honeftly beftow any praife on thefe poems, we know not how to reconcile the claims of justice and thofe of humanity, better than by recommending the WEEPING BARD to the patronage of the beautiful and virtuous Fair of Edinburgh, w whom,

In beauty as in goodness all complete,
He dedicates these mourning ditties fweet.'
Art. 35. Happiness, a Poem. 4to. pp. 19.



Is. 6d. Ridgway.

The author of this pamphlet begins with an apology:-He has not had a liberal education: this is a firft attempt; if cenfured, it may be the laft; he is willing to fink with it into obfcurity, and, with a natural anxiety, expects his fentence.-What is to be done in this cafe? It grieves us to wound a young man's feelings: but our judgment must not be biaffed by any plea whatfoever. Why will men apply for our opinions, when they know that we cannot be filent, and that we will not lie!


If, however, it will be any gratification to the author, we can honestly compliment him on two points: one is his love of truth, which will be evident from a fingle quotation:

Happiest are they who taste the least of woe;

Moft wretched they who leaft of pleasure know.'

The other point is the affecting and fimple picture, which he has drawn, of what he esteems to be happiness, and which we hope he may realize in his own perfon:

Such, O Lothario! is your happy lot,

Bleft with your Mira and paternal cot!'



Art. 36. Louifa; or, The Reward of an affectionate Daughter. 12mo. 2 Vols. 5s. fewed. Hookham. 1790.

We are here amufed by fome natural incidents, in the courfe of which an amiable young woman, who poftpones an agreeable connection, from a due regard to a kind father, has her profpect of happiness interrupted by the revengeful machinations of a difappointed libertine. Thefe particulars are here related in correct and unaffected language. The tale is pleafing, and the moral is good. E. Art. 37. Lucretia; or, Virtue the beft Dowry. 12mo. 2 Vols. 5s. fewed. Vernor. 1790.

Low, miferable trash! on which it is fcarcely worth while to waste a line-even of cenfure.



Art. 38. Official Papers, relative to the Difpute between the Courts of Great Britain and Spain, on the Subject of the Ships captured at Nootka Sound, &c. 8vo. pp. 100. 2s. 6d. Debrett.


If the expected compromife between the two courts, plaintiff and defendant, fhail have blunted the edge of prefent curiofity, thefe official papers will, nevertheless, ftill remain acceptable, and useful, to our future statesmen, politicians, and hiftorians.

Art. 39. Letters lately published in the Diary, on the Subject of the prefent Difputes with Spain: under the Signature of Verus. 8vo. PP. 101. Is. 6d. Kearsley. 1790.

In reading these letters, our attention is diverted from the intrinfic merits of the difpute between Great Britain and Spain, and brought down to a difpute between two unknown writers in the London newspapers; who chofe to trace a parallel between the conteft about Falkland Islands, and that refpecting Nootka Sound: but both thefe difputes being now, we hope, compromifed, Verus and his antagonist may shake hands over a bottle and a bird, to which they may be justly intitled for paft fervices, from the two printers in whofe papers they refpectively wrote.



Art. 40. Bibliotheca Parifiana. A Catalogue of a Collection of Books, formed by a Gentleman in France, not lefs confpicuous for his Tafte in diftinguifhing, than for his Zeal in acquiring, whatever, of this Kind, was most perfect, curious, or scarce. It

K k 2


« ForrigeFortsæt »