Billeder på siden

word-Not proper to be read by masters and miffes juft entered into their Teens.'



Art. 29. Louifa Forrefter; or, Characters drawn from Real Life. 3 Vols. 7s. 6d. fewed. Lane. 1789. The tales of benevolence and tenderness, which are crowded together in these three bufy volumes, are, on the whole, pleafing: but there is too little unity of plan, and the characters pafs before the reader's fancy in too rapid a fucceffion, to produce any great effect. The gentle fluctuations of fentiment, which are excited by the various incidents of the piece, all terminate, as ufual, in joy on the happy union of a worthy pair. D: Art. 30. A Sicilian Romance. By the Authorefs of the Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne. 12mo. 2 Vols. 5s. fewed. Hook


In this tale, we meet with fomething more than the alternate tears and rapture of tender lovers. The writer poffeffes a happy vein of invention, and a correctness of tafte, which enable her to rife above the level of mediocrity. Romantic fcenes, and furprizing events, are exhibited in elegant and animated language. De POETRY and DRAMATIC,

Art. 31. Verfes on the benevolent Inftitution of the Philanthropic Society, for protecting and educating the Children of Vagrants and Criminals. By the Rev. W. Lifle Bowles. 4to. pp. 27. 25. Dilly. 1790.

In thefe verfes, Mr. Bowles confirms our opinion of his merit as a pleafing writer. There are, however, fome trifling defects,

which we notice, only becaufe we wish them to be avoided in future. The fenfe is too frequently carried on through two or more lines, and is closed in the middle of the following one; thus admitting no paufe, where paufes are naturally fought at the end of the line,

Yet much I fear me, left that cherub look
May foon forfake thee, doom'd ere while to brook
Mockery, and cruel wrong;'

That for life's blooming hopes, remorfe and care
Should harrow his young heart, till fell defpair
Came like a fiend, and ruthlefs closed the gate
Of mercy, on the forrows of his fate.'

We fay that this mode of writing too frequently prevails in this poem; for its occafional ufe may be unavoidable, and is, indeed, beautiful.-Another defect, which, however, does not often occur, is that the fenfe is fometimes obfcured by fuperabundance of words; particularly by ufelefs epithets. We will juft remark also, that it is not neceffary to the character of a good poet, that he fhould employ words, which are not in common ufe. Such are the following:

Deform and loft,-his nobleft boaft deftroy'd:'
Who filent mourn around this vafty ball,'


Lorn' too, which, in our opinion, is at best but a disagreeable word, is here fo often repeated as to difguft us.

In his rhymes, Mr. Bowles is fometimes defective:

Fair Friendship! hail, and all thofe facred ties
That bind the world in mutual charities!'
To join the gleamy battle's proud array,
Where flash'd the long file to the orient ray.'

Thefe are not rhymes.-It has been obferved, if our recollection is right, by Dr. Johnfon, that when the words rhyme imperfectly, the imperfection is lefs perceived, when the defect is in the clofe of the last line, than when it arifes from the weakness in the first. Thus, to give an inftance from the poem before us;

[ocr errors]

They look for comfort-but behold the cry

Of fainting age, and orphan'd infancy.'

The weakness of this rhyme does not fhock us: it is different with refpect to the following:

When want long bowed with hopeless mifery,
Retires forfaken to her cell to die ;'

The reafon of this difference appears to be this: in each of thefe rhymes, there is one word which admits a change in its pronunciation, and one which does not admit a change: Now, when the fixed word is in the first line, we can vary the found af the changeable word in the fecond, fo as to produce a rhyme: but when we have already pronounced the changeable word according to the common method, we have then no power of varying the fixed word in order to caufe a fimilarity of found.

One other remark, and we have done.-It may fometimes appear graceful to introduce imitations of the ftandard poets: but it is very poffible that thefe imitations may be too frequent; and we are not certain whether this is not the cafe in the poem under confideration. We are for ever reminded of Shakespeare, Milton, and Gray. We will finish our review by extracting a fhort paffage, which, while it proves our affertion, will give the reader a fpecimen of Mr. Bowles's poetry:

Oh CHARITY! my very heart has figh'd
To think how many thus have helpless cried!
To earn their bread in peace, with skill to ply
The unwearied loom of patient industry;
'Mid merry villagers, at morning's gleam
Jocund to drive afield their plodding team;
To join the gleamy battle's proud array,
Where flash'd the long file to the orient ray;
High on the giddy mall to watch the clouds,
And carol their quaint ditty in the shrouds,
Their lot forbad-and thus the struggling fire
Of many a latent virtue might expire,
And many an opening grace, its fragrance loft,
Might shrink and die before the untimely froft!

Blow, blow, thon bitter wind! and dark along
The cheerless defert howl thy dreary fong;


Or when some profpect, flattering as the spring
Hope has pourtray'd, as with defpair's dark wing
Sweep her poor bafelefs fabrick, and deftroy
Each fhort-liv'd image of ideal joy;

I blame thee not, though doom'd in youth to moura
From me my fweetest hopes thy blaft has torn :
But thee, O POVERTY! I call unkind,
Whofe iron grafp bends low the aspiring mind;
I call thee pitilefs, whofe ruthlefs doom
Forbids the poor unfhelter'd flower to bloom!

Thou, like a wizard, waveft thy pale wand,
And ftraight the Good, the Bad, a mingled band,
Appear like fpectres on the blasted heath,
The troop of Pain, the family of Death!
They look for pity-but no hand is found
To lead them from that defert's cheerlefs bound;
They look for comfort-but behold the cry

Of fainting age, and orphan'd infancy."

Art. 32. The Blunders of Loyalty, and other Miscellaneous Poems; being a felection of certain ancient Poems, partly on Subje&s of local History. Together with the original Notes and 11luftrations, &c. The Poems modernized by Ferdinando Fungus, Gent. 4to. PP. 44. 2s. Murray. 1790.

Ferdinando Fungus has contrived to hide his wit under a heap of antiquated phrafes and obfolete words; and fo cleverly has the cunning rogue done it, that we cannot poffibly find it out.However, omne ignotum pro magnifico `eft-and, therefore, we dare fay that, to others who have fharper eyes than we can boaft, these pages may exhibit many good things!

Is. 6d.

Art. 33. Suicide; infcribed, by Permiffion, to Richard Cofway, Efq; R. A. By Mary Dawes Blackett. 4to. pp. 18. Rebinfons. 1789.


Mrs. Blackett enumerates feveral melancholy inftances of fuicide, which have happened to perfons, with whom he had fome degree of connexion; and the contrafts their unhappy fate with the mild refignations of a young lady, whom the calls Eliza The defign is good; and the verfes, though very unequal, occafionally deferve fome praife.

Art. 34.


Sonnets to Eliza, by her Friend. 4to. pp. 63. 2s.
Murray. 1790.

[ocr errors]

I know thy foul was form'd in claffic mould'- fays the fonnetteer to his miftrefs; and, perhaps, this may be true of Eliza, but we fear it is not applicable to her friend.

0. Art. 35. Poetical Effays, by a young Gentleman of Hertford College, Oxford. 4to. pp. 45. 25. 6d. Rivingtons. 1789.

We fee no reafon why thefe trifles fhould have been publifhed, but we could give many which fhould have caufed them to be with-held. As a palliative for their puerilities, the author offers the confideration of his youth; and this, to his private tutor,


might have been a fufficient apology but it is not a fufficient ex cule to the public.

0. Art. 36. An Appeal to England, on Behalf of the abufed Africans. A Poem. By T. Wilkinfon. 4to. pp. 34. IS. Phillips. We have often been called hard-hearted and unfeeling Reviewers: but be affured, gentle reader, that it is with no little reluctance and pain that we notice the defects of thofe writers who, in affuming the pen, are actuated by the pure motives of pity and benevolence. Such a writer we conceive Mr. Wilkinfon to be. Bribed by the fufferings of the Africans, he appeals to his country in their behalf. He fpeaks with great modefty of his performance, profeffes himself a stranger to the walks of literature, and pleads hafte as an apology for the defects of his poem. If the public will allow this apology, we fhall certainly make no objection: but we must not pafs it through our critical court, without obferving that foul and call, drawn and known, age and awe, are not rhimes; and that thou lies, thou authorize, and thou came, are not grammatical expreffions.

We give the following four lines from p. 17, as a specimen of the poetry:

Would it not fpoil the flavour of the tea

Mingled with tears and blood the cup to fee?

From blood and tears thy fweeten'd cups are drawn ;


Still drink they fweet, thefe circumftances known? Moo-y. Art. 37. Jack and Martin; a poetical Dialogue, on the propofed Repeal of the Teft A&t. To which is added, (by the fame Author) a paftoral Song, on his Majefty's late happy Recovery. 4to. PP. 39. 1s. 3d. Argument and wit, profe and poetry, are employed on this prolific fubject. One writer attacks the adverfary with the heavy horfe of grave difcuffion, another skirmishes with the light troops of pleafantry and humour. The author of this poetical dialogue belongs to the latter Squad. He fplashes the Diffenters, but in a good humoured way.

The account of the speakers in this dialogue, is as follows:
MARTIN, a grocer of renown

Had ferv'd as Bailiff of the town;
While JACK, a man of equal hope,

For candles largely fam'd, and foap.

Jack and Martin meeting in the, morning, before breakfast, in the ftreet, enter into a difcourfe on the Teft A&t. Jack, the Diffenter, laments the hardship of being excluded from public offices; Martin, the Churchman, reafons with him. Jack is convinced; and inflead of going to join the Diffenters in applying for the repeal of the obnoxious teft, accepts his neighbour Martin's invitation to break fait with him on hot rolls. As this did not happen in July, we will not exclaim with Lord Ogilby, vulgar dogs!

Of the paftoral, we fhall only obferve that "Great George our king" is dwindled into Good Palemon.



Art. 38. Poems; confifting of Odes, Songs, Paftorals, Satyrs,
&c. and a Defcriptive Poem, in four Books, called Profpects.
By the Rev. George Sackville Cotter, A. M. of Trinity College,
Cambridge. In 2 Vols. each Vol. pp. 224.
Small 8vo. 75.

bound. Printed at Cork; and fold in London by Wallis.
The reader may reasonably expect, among fuch a variety as
thefe volumes contain, to find fomething fuited to his tafte; nor
will we prefume to fay that this may not be the cafe with fome,
whofe mental appetites are not fo nice, nor fo often cloyed, as
thofe of The Reviewers,-who cannot digeft profaic verfe, nor even
fwallow doggrel rhimes. We have tafted all that is now fet before
us, odes, longs, paftorals, fatires, &c. but we have not been able
to diftinguish that flavour, or that feafoning, fo neceffary to make
poetry palatable and relishing. The Aonian maids are here, as we
have frequently found them, extremely tenacious of their treafures.
Mr. Cotter calls loudly on them to exalt his ftrains, but like the
apparitions in Macbeth, "They will not be intreated."

We fhould be happy to pay every compliment to the poets of our fifter ifle: but we should forfeit our reputation, and leffen the value of our praife, were we to allow to fuch poetry as the following, the fanction of our applaufe:



• Thro' my heart,
Pleasures fteal,
Love, thy gladness
Copious deal.


Give me blifs
Happiest known,

With my true love

Kinder grown.'

Together bear the weight of worldly hour

Crown'd with fuch joys, as ne'er to with for more.'

• Form'd for content, or love, or prattling talk, At th' end of yonder gravelly fhining walk.' But not that manfion folely fing the verses,

Vol. I. p. 105

P. 107,

For thoufands fimilar one Song rehearses.

Well then let's haflen-O 'tis tedious, tiring,

This reg'lar hedge-row for an hour admiring!
Boots, do your office-office foul, 'tis true!

Save me from dirt, my ftrength fhall struggle through."

P. 134.

Aye, do, ftruggle along,-fplash away, Mr. Cotter: but you will excufe us if we decline the trouble of following you any farther through the mire.

* Mr. C. does not mean the dancing gentry with cloven feet,, but Satires.



« ForrigeFortsæt »