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From the Sonnet on the Sea.
To gain Hygeia's gifts-I fought the briny wave
The ocean's ftorms, or 'tempt the mountains height.
On gentle streams a little bark to fleer.'
The praife of the critic is feldom unallayed; and, by the mind which is defirous of improvement, indifcriminate commendation is not to be wished. We confider the mind of the prefent writer as of this defcription. Regarding our court rather as a phyfical college than as an inquifitorial tribunal, fhe may look for fome falutary advice; and, as thofe who lay their cafe before the faculty are extremely diffatisfied if they refufe to prefcribe for them, hence concluding either that their cafe is defperate, or that they are deemed unworthy of attention, we fhall, in our phyfico-critical capacity, recommend to the mufe a few gentle alteratives, as all that her cafe requires.
In the 3d ftanza of the fonnet entitled the CHANGE OF FORTUNE claim is made to rhime to gain. In that entitled MORNING, the last line of the 3d ftanza is profaic and inelegant :
And chearful steal thro' life thy gifts without.
As we have before obferved that it is required of the fonnet to close with a peculiar grace, we must point out the conclufion to the fonnet on the pain of unpleasant converfation as very defective, as well as ungrammatical:
For reason ever must our fouls attach,
Thefe imperfections, however, not being of fufficient number and magnitude to affect materially the general merit, we would prefent the fair writer with a fprig of laurel, and apply to her penfive and pathetic trains Milton's defcription of the nightingale's fongMoft mufical,-moft melancholy."
Art. 36. Ode fur la Guerre. Par B. Frere Cherenfi, Auteur du Heros Moderne, &c.+ 8vo.
The ode-writers of the French nation feem never to have studied any other mafter than Horace, and accordingly they have excelled in the frelicfome but never in the fublime ode. Allegorical perfonifications, with their regular claffical emblems, gods and goddeffes, from the Roman mythology, Victory and Mars, Peace and Ceres,parade in unvarying procefion through their ftanzas; which indeed esten contain moral maxims neatly expreffed, and ingenious allufions. We by no means with to impute to the author before us an exceflive leaning to the hacknied manner of his nation: on the contrary, we have perufed his ode with as much gratification as we have ever re
This line is too long.
See Rev. vol. vii. p. 107. and x. p. 346.
ceived from the fimilar compofitions of J. B. Rouffeau; and we have no doubt that it would be admired in Paris. The four lines
D'un pole à l'autre que la foudre
Et que fur les foleils en poudre
contain imagery highly fublime: and many others will be found of great beauty. The poem is neatly printed, and is dedicated to Earl Stanhope.
Art. 37: The Adventures of Timothy Twig, Efq. in a Series of Poetical Epiftles. By Jofeph Mofer, Author of Lucifer and Mammon, Turkish Tales, &c. 12mo. 2 Vols. 7s. Boards. Williams. 1794.
Mr. Anftey fucceeded fo well in the application of the cantering kind of verfe, called by Grammarians Anapestic, to the humorous exhibition of manners, that he has fince had a numerous train of imitators :-but it is much easier to copy the verfification of the Bath Guide, than to borrow the lively vein of humour and pleasantry to which that poem has been chiefly indebted for its fuccefs. We cannot compliment Mr. Mofer with the praife of being a fuccessful rival of Mr. Anftey but he writes fomething like Anfteyan verse, with eafe, and executes his defign of sketching the varieties of fashion and manner in dress, diet, public amusement, gaming, &c. with tolerable fuccefs. The hero, Tim. Twig, comes up to town, a raw and ftaring lad, and, after a courfe of experiments in the science of life, returns to his Welsh mountains, a goofe stripped of his feathers.
Timothy, though the hero, is not the only person who figures in this tale; befides his man John, who is a very honeft fellow, we are introduced to Tim.'s mother, fifter, uncle, and coufin, and a pretty long ftring of friends and acquaintance. Some of the party talk fentimentally, and carry on a tender tale, in different kinds of verse :-but, in proportion as the author becomes grave, the story is dull, and the reader haftens to return to his friend Tim,
Art. 38. The Necromancer: or the Tale of the Black Forest: founded on Facts. Tranflated from the German of Lawrence Flammenberg, by Peter Teuthold. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6s. fewed.
In the mind of man there is a predifpofition to credulity, which too often renders the very means adopted as a remedy, a proximate caufe of new disease. The Platonic idea of influencing dæmons or difembodied fpirits by human rites and adjurations, of learning fecret phanomena from their revelation, and of accomplishing by their intervention important purposes of this world, had fcarcely been mentioned, much lefs credited, fince the time of the old Alchemists and Roficrufians, until fome modern novelifts chofe once more to familiarize the fuperftition; partly in order to expofe it, and partly in order to extract from it new fources of the terrible. The opinion it
felf now feems again creeping into repute; it is mentioned even by philofophers without a fneer; and it is becoming the corner-ftone of a fpreading fect of vifionaries, whofe favoured or impudent profelytes are faid to behold by day, and in the very ftreets of this metropolis, the wandering fouls of holy men of other times. It requires perhaps fome leaning towards thefe and the like notions, or at least a fufficient refpect for them not to laugh at but to fympathize with the curi efity and apprehenfions of thofe imbued with them, in order to be pleased with this novel. In Germany, no doubt, fuch doctrines have made a wider impreflion and progress than in our country; fince raifing ghosts is an operation of frequent recurrence in The Necromancer; although the fcene of adventure be laid in a frequented part of the country in our own half-century, and among the informed claffes of the people. The prevailing fpirit of the fable would best be manifefted by extracts: but for thefe we cannot fpare roo
The extraordinary events, which occupy the first volume, are, in the fecond, not very dexterously unravelled. They chiefly refult from a confederacy of banditti; the leaders of which are feized, tried, and executed for their crimes, and die becomingly penitent; leaving behind them the neceflary confeffions.
Of the ftyle of this novel, we have only to obferve that it is not improperly adapted to a work which, we doubt not, will eagerly be perufed by thofe who are ever on the watch for fomething new and strange.
Art. 39. The Parifian; or Genuine Anecdotes of diftinguished and noble Characters. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6s. fewed. Lane. 1794. Whether the promife of this title-page, to entertain the public with genuine anecdotes of diftinguished and noble characters, be made good in the volumes, or whether it be nothing more than a lure thrown out to meet the fashionable humour of the day, we fhall not determine. In perufing the ftory, we have been led to recollect a celebrated French preceptrefs, whofe writings have defervedly obtained a confiderable thare of reputation, and who fome time ago refided in England with fome of the younger part of the family of a nobleman whofe memory is configned to infamy: but we cannot affert that any of the particulars of the ftory are grounded on fact. We can only treat the work as an ordinary novel; and under that character we find little, either in the fable, fentiments, or language, to entitle it to any high degree of commendation. Its chief merit 'confifts in the lively exhibition of fome of the frivolities of high life. Several of the characters are ftrongly marked with the negligent gaiety of fashionable manners. The flory, confidered as an entire plot, produces little effect: but fome of the incidents are not unamuting, and the piece, all together, may afford a tolerable lounge. Art. 40. Count Roderic's Caftle: or Gothic Times. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6s. fewed. Lane. 1794.
In works of fiction, fertility of invention is unquestionably the first excellence; and this excellence the author of the romantic tale now before us certainly pofieffes. The flory at its firft opening feizes irrefillibly on the reader's fancy, and through the whole of the
firft volume rivets his attention to a crowded fucceffion of incidents full of furprize and terror; and though, in the fecond volume, the mind is fomewhat relieved from the uninterrupted fufpenfe and agitation in which it has been kept, its interesting emotions are never fuffered to flag; they are only turned into a different channel, in which curiofity and fympathy unite to afford him new pleasure.
Of a performance of this kind, which is throughout narrative, and the effect of which almost entirely depends on novelty, the least that can be faid, in the way of information, or of fuch particular criticism as fuppofes an acquaintance with the ftory, we dare fay our readers will be of opinion will be faying enough. We fhall therefore only remark that this tale is conceived with originality, and elegantly written, and that thofe readers who can find pleasure in things new, ftrange, and terrible, will be much gratified by a vifit to Count Roderic's Caftle.
Art. 41. The Age of Prophecy! or further Teftimony of the Miffion of Richard Brothers. By a Convert. 8vo. IS. Parfons, &c. This pretended convert attacks Mr. Brothers in fo thin a mask, that he who runs may fee through it, He does not at all, like most other writers on the fubject, confider the Prophet as (most probably) a lunatic. He regards him merely as an impoftor, but not as one skilled in the bufinefs: he rather treats him as a bungler at foothsaying.
Although we have not much commendation to bestow on this pamphlet, yet, on the author's fuppofition of difhonefty and mif chievous intention in Brothers, we cannot pronounce it to be altogether a bad publication.
Art. 42. Further Teftimonies on the Authenticity of the Prophecies of Richard Brothers, aftrologically accounted for, &c. 8vo. 6d. Pugh, &c.
Nonfenfe, collected from the aftrological jargon of the old almanacs, with additions from the proper ftock of the author ;-who styles himfelf divine, capromancer, augurer, foothfayer, chiromancer, and cozen of Richard Brothers. If, however, there really be, at this time, or has lately been, a demand for this fort of nonfenfe, who can blame the pamphlet-manufacturers, or other dealers in fuch commodities, for carrying their wares to market? and if, (as Pope expreffes it,) hence the poor are cloath'd-the hungry fed," what good-natured reader can object to it?
Art. 43. Recent and remarkable Predictions, of many great and aftonishing Events that are to happen before, and at the Close of the prefent Century, relative to the Revolution in France, the Fall of Popery and Mahometifm, the approaching general Converfion to Chriftianity, and the glorious Effects that will arife to the whole World, from the prefent moft eventful and important Period. By a Gentleman of known Piety and Veracity. 8vo. 6d. Chapman. Brothers is here out-done, in his myftic occupation, as far as numbers have the odds against one. There are, it feems, feven or eight inspired men at Avignon, French, English, German, Italian, &c. and more, affociated under like impreflions, in different parts of Europe,
to the number of feventy; who know that they fhall be inftrumental in the great events which they foretell. Among these wonderous events, is the deftruction of the Turkish empire, by the inftrumentality of a boy now at Rome. The prophets declare that they are not difciples of E. Swedenburg.' It may be of no confequence whofe difciples the feventy are, provided they do not themfelves, in these diftracted times, gain difciples enough to become formidable to the nations of Europe, by attempting to act on their own predictions.
Art. 44. Another Witness! or a further Teftimony in favour of Richard Brothers: with a few modeft Hints to modern Pharifees, and Reverend Unbelievers. By S. Whitchurch. 8vo. 6d. Wright, &c.
Mr. S. Whitchurch, like the reft of the fautors of the prophet of Paddington, is violent in his difapprobation of the French war, and in his cenfures of the clergy, thofe pretended minifters of the PRINCE OF PEACE,' who fo frequently found the war-whoop from the pulpit,' and like the lying prophets of Ahab fay "Go up to battle and profper:" p. 14.-Whence this remarkable connection of modern prophecy with modern politics? Let the curious inquirer into the nature and fpecies of enthufiafm determine.
Art. 45. The Lying Prophet examined, and his falfe Predictions dif covered; being a Diffection of the Prophecies of Richard Brothers. By William Huntington, S. S. Minifter of the Gospel at Providence Chapel, Little Titchfield-ftreet, and at Monkwell-ftreet Meeting. 8vo. Is. 6d. Terry, &c.
Mr. Huntington feems to be a plain, uneducated man*, who has ftudied the Scripture prophecies with attention fufficient to justify his exhortation to his readers, Pay no regard to the dreams nor to the pretended revelations of Mr. Brothers; for the whole of them contradict the word of God, and are nothing but lying vanities.' Art. 46. The Age of Credulity: in a Letter to N. B. Halhed, Efq. M. P. in Answer to his Teftimony in favour of Richard Brothers; with an Appendix in Vindication of the Scripture Prophecies. By the Author of "The Age of Infidelity." 8vo. 1s. Button. 1795It feems rather hard on the prefent age that its general character hould be affected by every new occurrence which happens to engage the public attention, and that a fresh name fhould be impofed on it, whenever the writer of a pamphlet inclines to treat the public with a new touch on the times. Thus, Thomas Paine fits down to manufacture a few pages of infidelity, and, concluding that he shall make
*He fays of himself, in his dedication to Mr. Halhed, I am no gentleman, fir, nor fcholar; I never had learning enough to qualify me to read a chapter in the Bible with propriety. In my younger days I was feverely exercifed with much internal diftrefs, through a consciousness of fin, the perpetual fears of death, and the dreadful apprehenfions of divine judgments to come.' This pamphlet, however, is not ill-written; and we cannot but admire the uncommon humility of the author.