Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

West of England. The respective histories of these accomplished female Worthies, with their motives for retiring from the world, and forming this delightful connection; together with a particular description of their residence; an account of the rules, and orders of the society; and a view of the very laudable manner in which the amiable Recluses employed their time and their fortunes ;-these are the outlines of a work well calculated, as the title justly professes, to inspire the Reader with proper sentiments of humanity, and the love of virtue. We have perused it with pleasure; and heartily recommend it, as a very entertaining as well as a truly moral and sensible performance.

POETICAL.

Art. 22. The Poetical Miscellany; consisting of select Pieces from

the IVorks of the following Poets, viz. Milton, Dryden, Pope, Addison, Gay, Parnel, Young, Thomson, Akenside, Philips, Gray, Watts, &c.

For the Use of Schools. 12mo. 35. Becket.

Nothing, savs the Editor, can be more absurd than the common practice of making such young Gentlemen as are not designed for any of the learned protefiions, drudge for leven or eight years, in order to acquire a (mattering in two dead languages. Part of the time, he adds, which is thus wasted, might be more profitably employed in making them acquainted with our best Englith Poets. The Collection which is here offered to the public, was made with this view. Such Matters, continues he, as think proper to use it, may make it sub. fervient to several important purposes of education. They will have an opportunity of pointing out to their Pupils, the peculiar beauties of our most eminent Poets, of making them acquainted with the force and beauty of our language, and of impressing many noble sentiments upon their minds. Young persons are, in general, fond of poetry; and when the language of the Poet is easy and familiar to them, they readily enter into his sentiments. And the Editor farther prefumes, that every senfible and unprejudiced Parent will be better plealed to hear his son repeat fifty lines of Milton, Pope, or Thomfon, than five hundred of Ovid or Virgil.- - To these juft obser: • vations we cannot refuse our suffrage. We must likewise add, chat, in our opinion, the extracts here made, are, in general, tho’ not all, judiciously selected, and the Authors well chofen, both in regard to their poctical merit, and the moral and useful tendency of their compositions. Art. 23. The Minisler of State. Satire. 4to.

Is. 6d, Wilson and Fell. The Author erects an altar to our new Secretary, Lord Hallifax, and thereon facrifices the characters of all our Prime Ministers, from Burleigh down to B~ The poetical flowers with which it is de. curaici, are only those produced by the necules and weeds of

Parnassus.

Parnaffus. The sentiments are hackney'd and infipid, and the versification very indifferent.

As the practice of puffing is now arrived at the utmost height of ofurance, it will not be improper for the Reviewers occasionally to mark some of the grosser instances that may occur of this kind. The present pamphlet was introduced to the notice of the public, by the following lying paragraph in the news papers.

“ A noble Peer has absolutely given directions to his Sollicitor, to commence a prosecution against the Author of the poem called, The Minister of Siate, a Satire, as a most licentious and libellous compofition. The Writer, no doubt, merits a severer censure of the law than any of his brethren, because instead of employing those great talents for poetry and satire, for which he is so deservedly celebrated" (what does he not deserve for his effrontery?] " in the service of vir. tue and his country, he has bafely[basely enough!) “ prostituted them to the unworthy purposes of defaming, lampooning, .and abusing some of the greatest characters in this kingdom.” (all a puff to excite curiosity.) “ We think this literary LUMINARY of the age" [thịs illiterate farthing candle !! " should pay a greater deference to the words of his predeceffor Mr, Pope

Curs'd be the verse, how smooth fie'er it flow&c" We doubt, however, if any of this honest Gentleman's Readers will think his verses worth a curse; whatever they may think he deserves for his impudence.

* One of the papers, however, had the discretion to print it as an Advertisement; thereby fufficiently indicating what quarter ic came from.

Art. 24. The Wedding Day. In three Parts. By a Citizen

of London. 8vo. IS. Keith.
That the Citizens of London are the greatest Politicians in the
world, will hardly be disputed in any coffee-room or porter-house be-
tween Temple-bar and Whitechappel : that they should bear away
the palm in poetry too, may be thought, however, a little more than
comes to their Mare. Yet what have not your Covent-Garden Wits,
and St. James's Poetasters to fear from the present phenomenon ? So
extraordinary a Genius, we will venture to say, never before made
his appearance in the republic of letters.

Pallida mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
Regumque turres, o beate Sexti!

Vitæ fumma brevis fpem nos vetat inchoare longam.
Hey! what is all this? Why, Sir, it is the motto to the Wedding
Day, a poem. You probably would think it better adapted to a Dya
ing Day !-But this it is to want genius; you would keep plodding
on in the dull tract of propriety! ten to one if you do not imagine
too, that our Poet gives a description of the matrimonial ceremony,

the

[ocr errors]

a

3:1

the nuptial feast, and connubial conflict. Alas! how little do you know of the sublimity and excentricity of a city Genius!" Would you have the Mufe tack a young couple together, call the fiddles, and fall

' to singing a wedding and a bedding, with as little formality as the Sailors used to make matchès at May-fair and the Fleet?' What a prostitution of poetic talents! No, Reader, our London Citizen is as much a Philolopher as a Poet, and behaves himself in a very different and discreet manner. It is true, he acquaints us there wedding, that' the Bride is à Maid, and that her name is Phæbe. The Bridegroom probably was a stranger, and therefore is nameless. The Poet calls the company together, however, Tom, and Will, and Jack, and Dick, and Hal, and Jen, with their respective Laffes, sets them to dancing, and then introduces the fage Sophionius (some Common-courcil man no doubt) to read them a fermon ; a philofophical, philological, satirical, and moral sermon. A pretty entertainment for a wedding day! and fo you will fay, Reader, if you fhould ever peruse it.

As to our Poet's philosophy, he does' M:,'Pope the honour " of 'adopting some of his principles, às also some of his lines ; but how far he rises superior to his model, let the world judge.

« Cease then, nor order imperfection name," says Mr. Pope, to which our Author, elegantlý, smoothly, and fignificantly adds,

Chriftianity and Reason's perfection are the same.
How much superior also to the Twickenham Poci's are our Au.
thor's talents for satire. This may be gathered from the following
Atrictures on the vice of gaming, and the afembly at Haberdashers
Hall.

Cits grasp a vịce expelled the Court;
The great reject, the little court her sway,
Promote her growth on evens of Thursday.
With human heads if brainless blockheads bawl,
Who finds them gaming in a thread-man's hall ?
Who finds them not? sure not a City's King !
Patterns how great some Magistrales can bring!
So Cits refuse their Sovereign to aid,
And study arts that rascals make a trade.
Conduct how worthy of a trading town!
(So graceful a tajle, records! write it down.)
If humble verse io future day descends,
Judge ye, pronounce, pocrity, my friends!
This came to pats, (and be it known to you)

The year one thousand seven hundred fixty-two. As this second 'Squire Prynne hath already made pofterity his friends, he 'may probably think himself entitled to throw up the Poet's trade, which notwithstanding his great talents, he desfiles so much, that he had

Rather

Rather become of shoes a dirty fcraper,

Him foot who sweeps, or beft, a mouse-trap maker. For the honour of the city, however, we surely canņot help withing he would consider this matter better; or that the Aldermen and Common-council would cake fome measures to prevail on him to change his resolution.

Art. 25. The Spring. A Paftoral. As it is now performing at

the Theatre-royal in Drury-Lane. The Music by Mr. Han del, and other eminent Masters. 4to. Is. Davies.

To say that we owe this elegant little Drama to the very learned and ingenious Author of the Essays on Music, Painting, and Poetry, and of Hermes, is saying enough to excite the curiosity of our Readers; but they can' form no adequate idea of the entertainment from a mere perutal of the printed copy. Those who saw and heard it performed on the stage, by Mr. Norris, Mr. Vernon, Mrs Vincent, and Miss Young, could belt judge with how much success some of the most admired airs and choruiles of Handel, and other eminent MaIters, are here introduced, and connected with a recitative, composed by a Gentleman, whose taste and knowlege in music (as the Publisher observes in his Advertisement) are, perhaps, his leaft merit.

Art. 26. Select Poems from Mr. Gefner's Paftorals. By the

Vertifier of Anningait and Ajutt. 4to. is. Newbery.

We mentioned this Lady's ve:fion of Mr. Johnson's Greenland Tale, of Anningait and Ajutt

, in Review, vol. XXIV. page 315. Her verse flows in an easy and harmonious ftrain ; but not alway's correctly, nor is fhe very exact in her rhymes. The following couplet is a remarkable instance of the last mentioned defect,

A chaplet for her brow I yet can form,

Myrtle and ivy shall the wreath adorn.Of inaccuracy, take the following specimen;

What a rich shade of flowers are here display'd ! But not to dwell on the flight imperfections of a female pen, we Mail only add our friendly advice to this ingenious Poetcis, to finish her future productions with greater care; as we really believe her capable of more correctness and elegance than she has manifelted on the prefent occafion.

Art. 27. A Mirrcur for the Crities. Written in the Yiar 1759.

By an Oxfordshire Ploughman, &c. &c. 8vo. 6d. Whitridge.

This Oxfordshire Wise-acre seems to have put himself to the expence of printing twenty-four pages of wretched verses, chiefly with intent to abuse the Reviewers : some of whom, nevertheless, ill-natured as he deems them, are really sorry for the loss the poor man will probably fuftain on this idle occasion. Pity it is, that when he put his hand to the plough, he could not keep it employed to fome useful purpose. His Sister too, who composed the fine Varses annexed to this brightest of Mirrours, had better amuse herself at the churn and the cheese-tub, than in teizing “ fad Melpomene so unmercifully about the untimely death of General Wolfe, and the advanced price of Strong Beer.

• Two of her poems, one of them immediately following the other, begin with Come fad Melpomene - - This reminds us of an old disa mal ditty, which we have heard the dish-walhing damsels melodiously chant forth, in the strain of

Mournful Melpomene,

Aflift my quill,
Guide thou my hands to write,

My senses to indite, &c.
Our Authoress, however, had better invoke fome good old School-
mistress to teach her to spell,

[ocr errors]

Art. 28. The Visions of Farcy. In Four Elegies. By J. Langa

horne. 4to. Is. Payne and Cropley. We have frequently introduced this ingenious young Writer to the acquaintance of our Readers'; and given so many and such va.. rious specimens of his poetic abilities, that we think it unnecessary to enlarge on the present publication. Suffice it therefore to add, that in these natural, easy, and flowing Elegies, he has not disgraced his former productions. We refer to our accounts of his Hymn to Hope, Tears of Music (an the death of Handel) Translation of Bion's Elegy, on the Death of Adonis, and some other pieces.

Art. 29. Providence : or Arandus and Emilec. A Poem. 4to.

2 s. Becket and De Hondt. Had the Author of this piece continued to maintain his first plea, in making pretensions to no greater merit than that of an humble imitation of Parnell's Hermit, we should have been sorry to deprive him of that piitance of fame which he might hope for, as the reward of his labours: but we do not think this plea at all consistent with his immediately disclaiming the name of an Imitator, and threwdly intimating, that if Parnell may be compared to an Æschylus, he is himself equal to a Sophocles or an Euripides. Indeed, we can by no means reconcile that indifferent estimation in which fome Authors affect to hold their own productions, with their actual resolution of obtruding them on the public. A Writer who admires his performances, and conceives they will afford instruction or amusement to his

Readers,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »