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able degree of precifion :-but it requires nice obfervations and fome laborious calculations, which, notwithstanding the affiftance of the Nautical Almanac, provided by the enlightened zeal of the prefent aftronomer royal, may deter many navigators from practising the lunar method. The application of time-keepers or chronometers to the discovery of longitude is moft ready, and demands not more skill than the captains of trading veffels are prefumed to poffefs. Unfor tunately, thefe machines, from their extreme delicacy, are liable to numerous accidents and derangements, which forbid the cautious obferver to repofe entire confidence in their indications. The chronometer ought, therefore, to be regarded only as the fecondary method of finding longitude, and as beneficial chiefly by affording the fimple means of filling up chafms in the lunar obfervations. Preeluding the disturbance which may arife from variable treatment, anomalies in the motion of that machine muft proceed from changes in the temperature and ftate of the air, which will neceffarily alter the friction of the wheels and the force of the fprings; and, fince the atmofphere paffes into different conditions ufually by gradations, the chronometer will fuffer periodical accelerations and retardations, though the duration, the quantity, and the alteration of thefe are subject to much variety. To afcertain the rate of going is, therefore, the effential point, and is what conftitutes the only difficulty, (fmall as it is,) in ufing time-keepers. This determination ought to be made repeatedly and at fhort intervals; because thefe machines will feldom maintain an uniform progreffion for any length of time. An oppofite doctrine, however, has been induftriously propagated by the friends of Mr. Mudge. The unhappy difpute occafioned by his time-keepers gave rife to various doubts and fufpicions with regard to finding the rate of going, countenanced, too, by the authority of the Committee of the House of Commons, which advanced the immediate interest of the artist, but really tend to bring those valuable machines into general difcredit.

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To remove the ftigma fo unjustly fixed on the chronometer, and to direct ordinary navigators in the beft mode of applying it, are the objects propofed by Mr. Wales in the tract before us. He has thus rendered an undoubted fervice to the public: for the performance is eafy, luminous, practical, and popular; the definitions are perfpicuous, the precepts clear and circumftantial, and the examples appofite and copious. Mr. Wales likewife explains fuch parts of practical aftronomy as are applicable to his main defign. He defcribes the portable tranfit inftrument, lately adopted, with much benefit, by fome of the captains in the East India Company's fervice, for the purpofe of examining their watches in India previously to their return home; he details its feveral adjustments; and he gives directions for the mode of obferving with it. Equal altitudes of the fun afford another method of afcertaining the motion of a chronometer. With that view, our author has added Tables of Equations to equal altitudes, to correct the fmall errors proceeding from the variation of the fun's de clination during the interval between the two correfponding obfervations. Thefe tables were computed by the author, chiefly to amufe. the many dreary hours which he paffed on the coaft of Hudfon's Bay

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in 1768 and 1769, and were published in the Nautical Almanac for the year 1773. Their form is now improved; and the feparate computations of the boys at Chrift's Hofpital, under his direction, have confirmed their accuracy.-An engraving for illuftration is annexed to this useful pamphlet.

HISTORY.

Les.

Art. 37. An Epitome of History: or, a concife View of the moft important Revolutions and Events, which are recorded in the Hiftories of the principal Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Republics, now fubfifting in the World: Alfo their Forms of Government; accompanied with fhort Accounts of the different Religions. In Two Volumes. By John Payne. Vol. II. 8vo. PP. 536. 75. Boards. Johnfon. 1795.

The nature of Mr. Payne's undertaking, and our ideas of its merit, were fufficiently explained in our account of the first volume of the work: fee New Series, vol. xiv. p. 353. We have now only to add that this fecond volume bears equal marks of industry and fidelity, and contains a great variety of curious matter compiled from the writings of late travellers in the Eaft, refpecting the hiftory and prefent ftate of the Oriental nations, as well as a tolerable abstract of the hiftory of America. The work, in which much information is brought within a narrow compafs, will be very acceptable to those who wish to gain ufeful knowlege at an eafy rate.

POETRY, &c.

Art. 38. The War-Elegies of Tyrtæus imitated: and addreffed to the People of Great Britain. With fome Obfervations on the Life and Poems of Tyrtæus. By Henry James Pye. 8vo.

dell jun. and Davies. 1795.

1s. 6d. Ca.

E.

The poems of Tyrtæus were first printed in 1532, apud Froben. in a collection, and were first edited apart at Bremen in 1764 by Klotzius. The French poffefs a tranflation by Sivry, the English by Polwhele*, and the Germans by Weiffe; from all which the original war-fongs are amply known. They are here modernized, and adapted to the circumstances of the prefent war; and, as many ideas occur in them which are fitted to excite martial emotions in every age and clime, it may be expected that they will not wholly be inoperative, even in circumftances fo fingularly unfavourable to the poet, as the prefent combination of seven nations against one to coerce its most obvious rights. The verfification is very fmooth: but the long-drawn elegiac quatrain has furely been injudiciously preferred to Gray's more animating

"Ere the ruddy fun be fet,

Pikes muft hiver, javelins fing,
Blade with clattering buckler meet,
Hauberk crash, and helmet ring."

The fecond elegy, which abounds with traits peculiar to Greek manners, has naturally fuffered most abridgment in the transfufon. We fhall exemplify the ftyle of these imitations by three ftanzas from the third:

Alfo an anonymous one. See Rev. vol. xxvi. p. 57.

• You

You well have prov'd each dread extreme of war,
Have felt the ruthlefs god's terrific ire,
When you have chaced the timid foe afar,

Or*« measur'd back your ground in faint retire.”
• Ye know how few of those who bravely stand

A living bulwark to the croud behind,
And face with dauntless breafts the adverfe band,
Have e'er in honor's field their breath refign'd.
• But words are weak to paint the foul difgrace,
The scenes of horrid carnage that await
The trembling fteps of that unmanly race
Who fly inglorious from the field of fate.'

The remarks on the life and poems of Tyrtæus require no particular notice.

Art. 39. The Siege of Meaux: a Tragedy in Three Acts; as acted at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. By Henry James Pye. 8vo. Is. 6d. Nicol.

1794.

Those who beft understand the theory of art are often the leaft fuccessful in applying its rules to practice. Some allufions, which would now pass for ungenerous, may have fecured to this tragedy a favourable hearing in a paroxyfm of national bigotry: but its poetic merit will not obtain for it a permanent favour from auditors of judgment. The fable is this:-Meaux is befieged by a revolted peafantry. Matilda, daughter to the Governor, is beloved by Douglas, a foldier of fortune, whofe paffion fhe returns; by Dubois, a factious citizen; and by St. Pol, a nobleman; who, after having been rejected by Ma tilda, joins with Dubois to admit the peafantry into the town, and forcibly takes poffeffion of her and her lover. Dubois wrefts them from St. Pol, and threatens to execute Douglas, if Matilda will not gratify his wishes. While fhe is refufing him, St. Pol has betrayed his new friends, has found and admitted fome English foldiers, (who liberate Douglas and Matilda,) kills Dubois, and then dies of his wounds, P. 49. The fimile occurs :

And fwifter than the driving rack is forc'd

Before the raging ftorm, I fly, &c.

If the ingenious writer inquires among fea-faring people, he will find that the fuperior ftratum of clouds is called the rack, and that the inferior ftratum of clouds is called the fcud; now, as the latter neceffarily appears to move with the greater rapidity of the two, it would be more natural to talk of the flowness than of the fwiftness of the rack.

The first scene of the third act is a favourable specimen of the Style:

• Enter Duke and Duchefs of Orleans, and Attendants. Duch. Undone, undone, my lov'd my loft Matilda ; What doft thou fuffer now ?-perhaps beyond

What even my fears can picture.

Tay.

• * King John,'

REV. JULY, 1795.

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• Duke.

• Duke. Do not thus

Give way to useless forrow.

Duch. That's the fting

That tortures me-I know my tears are ufelefs-
I know they flow in vain-I know they cannot
Restore my murder'd child.

Duke Recall your firmness

Bear up against the conflict-am not I
A parent too?

Duch. You are-you are a father-
You cannot feel the agonizing pangs

That tear a mother's breaft.-A thousand cares,
A thousand tender offices, which, trifling
In wildom's eye-touch every finer spring
Of fondness and of love, crowd on my memory,
Once my foul's dearest joy, now its despair,
And fill my breaft with woe unutterable.-
Thofe arms which oft around my neck were thrown
In playful tenderness, are gall'd by chains;
That breaft, the foft abode of filial kindnefs,
Now pours, perhaps, the gufhing tide of life.-
Yet you're a parent.-Had I been a man,

I would have rush'd on fwords and pointed fpears-
This bofom fhould have stream'd one bleeding wound
Ere thus abandon her.-

Duke. O dry those tears—

What could I do-hemm'd in by warring thousands,
Compell'd by duty to confult the fafety

Of thofe given to my charge,-to guard thee too.

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Duch Perifh fuch duty! perifh too my fafety!
Can I furvive my daughter's death, or, worse,
Her foul difhonour-for this public duty,
'Tis a fine word ambition has invented
To cheat mankind, to skreen its selfish views
Beneath the fpecious mask of patriot zeal,
And blunt the feelings of humanity.

But he whofe ftubborn breaft is fteel'd against
The focial charities of love and friendship,
Whatever knaves pretend, or fools believe,
Can never love his country.

Duke Peace, and hear me.
Duch. I will not, cannot.-

O, I am deaf to every found but forrow's !-
Matilda! O my child! my bleeding daughter!'

[Exit.'

Art. 40. Poems: containing the Retrofpect, Odes, Elegies, Sonnets, Tay.

&c. By Robert Lovell and Robert Southey, of Baliol College, Oxford. 8vo. pp. 131. 3s. 6d. fewed. Dilly. 1795

It has frequently been faid that in England the age of poetry is paft. Unfounded as we hope and believe this affertion to be, yet it must be allowed that good poems are of flow and difficult birth; and that the poets of the prefent æra are much too cafily fatisfied, with verfes

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verfes that may more properly be called the effufions of hafte than the productions of a mind felect in its fubjects, fertile in imagination, and mature in judgment. A trifling aptnefs for alliteration, a prettyness of phrafe, a fmooth verfification, and a correct list of rhymes, are the general characteristics of our prefent poets. There are, however, exceptions: but they are few.

Of thefe faults, and fome others, the prefent poems are too frequently guilty. We particularly object to a certain woe-begone and debilitating affectation of fine feeling. We are confcious of perhaps a culpable degree of regret at thus exercifing our duty, because the poems bear internal evidence of the virtuous intentions of the authors: but a propenfity to bewail inftead of to remedy misfortune has too long been fuppofed the teft of fuperiority of mind, and of uncommon delicacy of fentiment; and, both as critics and moralifts, we think ourfelves bound to combat the error, and to endeavour to turn the tide in favour of fortitude: to which men in general have been fo little accuftomed that, in their admiration, whenever they have met with it, even when exercised for vicious purposes, they have called it heroism. We are the more defirous of producing that effect, and the more encouraged to attempt it, in the present inftance, because we are perfuaded that the defects of these poems are much more to be attributed to the youth and immaturity of the writers than to any want of poetic genius. We muft in justice add that the vice of defpondency is the most prevalent in the verses of Mr. S. and that Mr. L. more frequently diftinguishes which and what are the true fources of happiness. Of this the VIIth, VIIIth, and Xth, fonnets are ftrong proofs. The XIIIth, indeed, which is likewife by Mr. L., has more poetry than truth: it teaches that it is rather delightful for human beings to faunter in the fields, and to be very fad, than to be actively engaged in removing the caufe of forrow. We hope that this maukish and pernicious doctrine will foon not have a fingle advocate. The XIth fonnet, by Mr. S, has, we think, as much poetic merit as any poem in the book: this therefore we fhall cite: " SONNET XI.

TO THE FIRE.

My friendly fire, thou blazeft clear and bright,
Nor smoke nor ashes foil thy grateful flame;
Thy temperate fplendor cheers the gloom of night,
Thy genial heat enlivens the chill'd flame.
I love to mufe me o'er the evening hearth,

I love to paufe in meditation's faway;
And, whilft each object gives reflection birth,
Mark thy brifk rife, and fee thy flow decay:
And I would wish, like thee, to fhine ferene;
Like thee, within mine influence all to cheer;
And wish at last in life's declining scene,

As I had beam'd as bright, to fade as clear:
So might my children ponder o'er my shrine,

And o'er my afhes mufe, as I will mufe o'er thine.'

Of this fhort poem it may be remarked that, in the beginning, the thought or subject is pleasingly opened; that the fourth verfe is in

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harmonious;

Trame?

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