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REVIEW.-Owen Feltham's Resolves.
elucidation of the subject, or satisfactory impression, but professional information.
We have made these remarks, from knowing that old Authors are best explained by the writings of their contemporaries, and that Casuistry was a favourite study of the age.
The book before us is a Cabinet in the fashion of the day; full of gorgeous ornaments of mother of pearl and shells; and is curiously carved, braced, and hinged. Of the singularity and richness of the work, we shall now give some specimens.
"Of Contentment. Those who preach contentment to all, do but teach some how to dwell in misery; unless you will grant Content desire, and chide her but for murmuring. Let not man so sleep in Content as to neglect the means of making himself more happy and blessed; nor yet, when the contrary of what he looked for comes, let him murmur at that Providence which disposed it to cross his expectation. I like the man who is never content with what he does enjoy; but by a calm and fair course, has a mind still rising to a higher happiness. But I like
not him who is so dissatisfied as to repine
at any thing that does befal him.
Now we seriously believe, that no man can be contented with the sent, who has not hopes of better for the future; and that the stationary satisfaction, which we commonly preach up under the name of contentment, is an absurd impossibility. The following passage is both curious and excellent:
"Of Memory. Of all that belongs to Man, you cannot find a greater wonder than memory. What a treasury of all things! what a record, what a journal of all! As if provident Nature, because she would have man circumspect, had provided him an account-book to carry always with him; yet it neither burthens nor takes up room. To myself it is insensible. I feel no weight it presses with. To others, it is invisible; for when I carry all with me, they can see nothing that I have. Is it not a miracle, that a man, from a grain of sand to the full and glorious sun, should Jay up the world in his brain; and may, at his pleasure, bring out what part he lists, yet never empty the place that con
tained it, nor crowd it, though he should add more ?" P. 248.
From these premises, he then draws, upon the principles of comparative anatomy, the following very ingenious inference:
"If putrefactive man can, undiscerned and unburthened, bear so much about him; if so little a point as the least tertia of the brain, the cerebellum, can hold in itself the notions of such an immeasurable extent of things, we may rationally allow omniscience to the great Creator of this and all things else. For, doubtless, we know what we do remember; and, indeed, what we remember not, we do not know." P. 250.
But the principal characteristick of Feltham's writing, is the singular poetical ingenuity which he uses to illustrate his ideas. The imagination of Lord Byron has been justly elevated to admiration; and modern writers, in general, are very short of stock and variety in this kind of goods. Not so Feltham. His similitude and allusions are inexhaustible; very rarely common-place, and generally as a-propos and felicitous, as they ingeniously dovetail with the other matter. Take the following specimen, out of numbers. He is speaking of an envious man.
"As a desert-beast, the day's brightness drives him to the dulness of a melancholy cave, while darkness only presents him with the prey that pleases him. a negro born of white parents; it is a sordid sadness, begot at another man's joy." P. 339.
As Cocknies may not know, that Cattle resort to the shade when oppressed by heat and flies, it is necessary to make this observation, or they would lose the beauty of the figure, in which an envious man is finely assimilated to a beast, feeding in a forest, who cannot bear the glory of the day, through being harassed with insects.
We shall conclude our remarks with the following excellent ideas upon Libelling.
"Certainly it is an ungenerous thing to publish that to all, which we dare not own to any. It is a serpent, that bites a man by the heel, and then glides into a hole. A libel is filius populi; having no certain father, it ought not to inherit belief." P. 327.
The Editor has got up the book very well, con amore.
REVIEW.-Elton's Poems.-Spence's Poems.
11. The Brothers; a Monody, and other Poems. By Charles A. Elton. Foolscap Svo, pp. 118. Baldwin, Cradock, &c. WE are of opinion that Rhyme, understanding by the term a jingle of similar sounds at the end of lines, is so far from being an essential to real Poetry, that it is quite the contrary, injurious; i. e. powdering a fine bead of hair.
There are two evils attached inevitably to Rhyme. It compels, generally, a close of sense with the line, and an expletory and feeble phrase. ology. How it can, in any sense, be consistent with the Epick, must only be the feeling of those, who think that it would not be bad taste for Hercules to appear in the costume of a Dancing Master! that a Hero is not to march, but to spring upon the toe. Now, in the true style of blank verse, there is a fine poetical inflexion of language, accompanied with a masculine character of features, which not only exhibits the idea with superior effect, but shows, that Rhyme would destroy the charm. The misfortune is, that few people read Poetry with any feeling of impropriety, if they pause at the end of the line; whereas, if they were to read the verses as blank-verse ought to be read, by placing the pauses only where the stops and sense required, they would soon see, that the jingle adds nothing to the effect; on the contrary, may be injurious, and that metre is requisite. We must, however be considered, as confining these remarks to our English Decasylla. bicks, in chiming couplets, a measure, not only in the best making a minuet of a march, but a bastard sort of production in se, a puerile trick played with the gamut, to substitute an echo for harmony.
Our Odes and lighter pieces are never written in this measure; and could not, it is plain, without palpable injury.
We have made these remarks, because we have been much pleased with the following blank verse. Elton is depicting a Lover's dream: "reality itself Scarcely equals that dear moment, when be grasps [saft The hand so long withheld, that trembles Within his trembling pressure; when his
GENT. MAG, January, 1821.
Drink in the lucid languishment of look, i
Avowing all unutterable things,
Unwelcome Sun! for never shall he know
First felt and heard in credulous ectasy;
The tumult of amazement." P. 59.
We apprehend, that no rhymes could improve these lines.
Mr. Elton's Translations of Hesiod, and Specimens of the Classic Poets, have heen deemed worthy notice in the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews: and the paraphrase of the 19th Psalm in p. 84, is very good.
12. Poems and a Meditation. By S. Spence. (Widow of the late George Spence, sen.) Author of a Musical Catechism, a Fragment on Prophecy, &c. Baldwin, &c. pp. 19.
"SOME suppose that the desirable change alluded to in Isaiah ii. 2, 4, is to be
produced by political revolutions, or the increasing wisdom of the human race. Others are of opinion, that the universal spread of the Gospel will be the means of subduing unruly passions, and leading men in every part of the globe, to pursue the paths of peace, holiness, and virtue.
"The Millenarian takes a still more extensive view of this glorious event; to him the effect appears great, but not greater than the cause which produces it; since he believes, that Christ shall visibly descend, and with elect Saints, reign a thousand years on the earth; under whose government, War, Injustice, Cruelty, Oppression, and all kinds of wickedness shall be driven from among men, or completely subdued.
"The perusal of Lectures on this grand subject, occasioned the lines on the Millennium to be written, and during the years that they have been consigned to oblivion, the dawn of the predicted Event seems to have shed a benign twilight on the distant, horizon. That its meridian splendor may make the most rapid progress, is the sincere wish of the Writer, SARAH SPENCE."
58 REVIEW--Tour of Africa,-Sharpshooter's Stratagem, &c. [Jan.
13. The Tour of Africa, containing a concise Account of all the Countries in that Quarter of the Globe, hitherto visited by Europeans; with the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants. Selected from the best Authors, and arranged by Catherine Hutton. Baldwin, 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 458, 531.
IN a well-digested plan, Miss Hutton offers to the publick a Tour in Africa, very ingeniously selected from the Works of Travellers of note, who have visited those parts. So that in two octavo volumes, the Reader may glean the substance of many elaborate publications, by Authors whose names are given in proof of the veracity of
remarks here introduced. In order to encrease the interest of such re
marks, the whole is given as the rela. tion of an enterprising Tourist; which fiction we can readily pardon for the amusement derived from the Work. The First volume contains an account of Egypt, Fezzan, Dar Fur, Abyssinia, and Sennaar. The First volume met with so favourable a reception as to encourage Miss Hutton to proceed with a Second, containing an account of a part of Abyssinia, Mozambique, South Africa, Benguela, Angola, Congo, Cacongo, Loanga, Benin, Dahomy, Ashantee, The Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, and Foota Jallon, prefaced by the following observations:
"In pursuance of my plan, I now offer to the Public a continuation of The Tour of Africa; and I here repeat my former affirmation, that, though the Traveller be imaginary, all he relates is strictly true, as far as the most accredited Authors can be relied on."
A third volume, we rejoice to hear, is in some forwardness, which will complete the Tour.
Volunteer corps of Gentlemen Sharpshooters; who will doubtless be pleased (as we were) with its sprightly wit and loyalty.
The Characters are,
"Old Boroughmend, a disappointed Deacon, turned Radical Reformer-Henry Thomson, a Merchant's Clerk, betrothed to Eliza; and member of the Corps of Glasgow Gentlemen Sharpshooters-Tom Funlove, Jack Pullicate, Sam Sample, and David Doublentry, brotherClerks, and Sharpshooters-Eliza, Boroughmend's Daughter -Grizzy Girnanglour, Boroughmend's Duenna-Katty Carryclaver, Eliza's Maid.
Scene, Glasgow.-Time, Twelve hours."
15. John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. An Historic Play, in Five Acts. 8vo. pp. 65. Longman and Co.
TO those who are conversant in the events of the last years of the reign of Queen Anne, this "Historic Drama" will bring back many recollections of facts which actually ocCurred and to the attentive observer of our own times, the parallel of the Heroes of Blenheim and Waterloo will not be uninteresting. The characters are all of eminence,
"The Queen-Duchess of Marlborough -Mrs. Masham.-Marlborough-Shrewsbury-Harley-St. John-Atterbury.”
A few lines from Marlborough on his landing at Greenwich will shew the language:
"Safe am I landed on my native soil, If England's safe for me; For thee, my country, have I toil'd and Advancing still thy glory.--Gracious counfought, [try! Haply not ungrateful.
The monster peril, glory has subdu'd, Glory! the sister-born of safety, The bright Bellona of the god of war! Two hideous monsters has she then subdued, [growth.Envy and Faction-of still crescent Sweet is this scene, how welcome to my eyes!
Here peace should dwell, estranged from camps and courts. (looks around him.) O favour'd isle! if well thou estimat❜st
heav'n's grace: [cious influence, Nor less under heav'n, and heav'n's auspiThe tenant of thy soil, high fam'd for Others by arms have much achiev'd, enterprize; Advancing still thy welfare, state pre-emi
REVIEW.-Wortley, and the Exile of Scotland.
But treachery domestic, hast done thy country service,
Not by arms alone,
By counsels more,
Counsels and arms, so heav'n will'd, successful."
There is some humour in the Dialogue of the Mob, who were waiting
the Duke's arrival:
"1st Mob. They say this is the day Elizabeth was born in this town.
2nd Mob. Aye, in this town, where I was born myself. (looks big.) The old Queen hated the Pope and the Spaniard. 3d Mob. The Spaniard! I hate the French.
1st Mob. Who was Elizabeth? Was she the mother of King Charles the second, and James the old dragon?
2nd Mob. No, man; Elizabeth was not the mother of King or Queen; she was a great Queen, who detested the Pope, and scorned the Spanish Dons who came over the seas to enslave us to the Pope."
16. Wortley and the Exile of Scotland; in three vols. cr. 8vo. Lond. Whiteley 1819.
The useful bearing of this Novel is the exhibition of two excellent young people in the Hero and Heroing; and of valuable hints, how the condition of the poor may be improved, at a very trifling expence, by wise and benevolent country gentlemen.
We shall not, however, enter into the usual details of love-stories, however pleasing. Our Readers, we presume, had rather have a dinner than a dessert; and rather take the former at a tavern than at a pastry-cook's or a fruit-shop. We shall, therefore, proceed to more solid diet. The work contains a very savoury dish of America, and we shall give from it an account of the infamous frauds practised concerning the sale of lands, as a luminous explanation of Mr. Birkbeck's auctioneeral puff.
"This iniquitous traffic (land-jobbing) is not confined to sharpers only, but men of exalted situations in society, and who presume to value their reputation, are concerned in it. Specious titles have been made out, and fanciful maps wrought, of 'portions of lands, described as the most fertile, abounding with large timber-trees, the indices of a good soil, intersected with gentle rivers and creeks, with excellent waterfalls for mills of every description, and in the midst of flourishing settlements: though, on examination, they will be found
to be raw pine sand, that will bear no other crop, or the rocky sides of hills in a North-western aspect, whose tornadoes sweep from their surfaces every fragment of vegetation."
"Oftentimes these estates offered for sale, are of the terra incognita, mapped by the land-jobber's imagination from the mist of a mountain, or vapour of a river,
and which never existed upon earth.
"It frequently has occurred, that lands of a good title have been sold three or four times to different persons; and, through the dread of litigation, have been lost to all the purchasers, leaving the prize to the enjoyment of the triumphant villain." Vol. I. p. 215.
Our Author thus describes the oratory of Mr. Maddison:
"His voice was low and hoarse, disagreeably so; his gestures very ungraceful, and confined to his right hand, which he constantly twitched, shaking his shoulders and head. He was a little yellow man, rather muscular; he was brought up to the bar, a class of men that monopolize all the honours of America." Vol. i. p. 236.
We should have supposed the following Lady's Latin to have been mere typographical errata, if the mistake had not twice occurred. felt the singular barbarism, somewhat like spraining an intellectual ancle. In p. 262, we have Euloguim for Eulogium; and p. 308, Elysuim for Elysium.
We will, however, give the Author an Euloguim for the following ingenious appellations:
"Ostler-Knight of the Straw and Oats.
To our utter astonishment we find (vol. ii. p. 267) that the vicar was a Pyrotechnist." Now this said vicar was a fellow of a College, generally a stiff and dignified sort of person, not apt to meddle with squibs and skyrockets. This is like a mythological confusion of Saturn with Mercury.
Upon the whole, this is a pleasing Novel, inculcating good example; and besides the interesting account of American manners, before alluded to, contains some curious descriptions of various natural phænomena, attendant upon a voyage in certain latitudes.
OXFORD, Dec. 30.
The following subjects are proposed for the Chancellor's Prizes, for the ensuing year, viz. :-For Latin Verses, "Eleusis." -For an English Essay, "The Study of Modern History."-For a Latin Essay, "De Auguriis et Auspiciis apud Antiquos."-The first of the above subjects is intended for those gentlemen of the University who have not exceeded four years from the time of their matriculation; and the other two for such as have exceeded four, but not completed seven years.
Sir Roger Newdigate's, Prize: For the best Composition in English Verse, not containing either more or fewer than fifty lines, by any Under Graduate who has not exceeded four years from the time of his matriculation-" Pæstum."
Welsh Literature. The members of Jesus College, Oxford, have offered the under-mentioned Prizes, for compositions on the following subjects:-For the best Essay in the Welsh language, on "the advantages likely to accrue to the principality from a national Biography," 201.For the best Translation into the Welsh language of the first of the Sermons on the Sacrament, by the Rev. John Jones, M. A. of Jesus College, Archdeacon of Merioneth, Bampton Lecturer for the present year, 104-For the best six Englynion on the words of Taliesin, "Cymru fu, Cymru fydd," 21.-To the best Welsh reader in Jesus College Chapel, 6l.-To the second best Welsh reader, 41.
CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 5.
The Norrisian Prize is adjudged to Mr. Kenelm Digby, B. A. of Trinity -College, for an Essay, showing from a review of the civil, moral, and religious state of mankind at the time when Christ came into the world, how far the reception which his Religion met with is a proof of its Divine origin.
The Hulsean Prize is adjudged to the Rev. Robert Brough, B. A. of Bene't College, for a Dissertation on "The import ance of Natural Religion."-The subject of the Hulsean Prize Dissertation for the present year is, "The expedients to which the Gentile Philosophers resorted, in opposing the progress of the Gospel described, and applied in illustration of the Truth of the Christian Religion."-The Rev. C. Benson, M.A. Fellow of Magdalen College, is continued Hulsean Lecturer for the present year.
Jan. 11.-SIR WILLIAM BROWNE'S MEDALS. Subjects for the present year:
For the Greek Ode-Ωκεανος ὁ Ὑπερβο GEOS.
For the Latin Ode-Maria Scotorum Regina.
For the Epigrams. Έπαιζεν άμα σπου δαζων.
PORSON PRIZE. The passage fixed upon for the present year is from Shakspeare's Othello, Act 1, Scene III. Othello's Apology, beginning with
"And till she comes, as truly as to Heaven."
And ending with
"Here comes the lady, let her witness it." The metre to be Tragicum Iambicum Trimetrum Acatalecticum.
Ready for Publication.
Discoveries of the North-West ExpediBy Capt. PARRY.
A new Edition of Mr. HARRIS'S Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Institution, considerably enlarged and improved.
Two Sermons; I. On the Duty and Reasonableness of Loyalty. II. On the Duty and Reasonableness of that Medium in respect to Christian Faith and Practice, which lies between the extremes of apathy and enthusiasm. By the Rev. RICHARD PEarson.
A new Method of solving Equations with ease and expedition; by which the unknown quantity is found without previous reduction; and a Supplement of two other Methods from the same concise principle. By THEOPHILUS HOLDRED.
Italy and the Italians in the Nineteenth Century; or Letters on the Civil, Political, and Moral state of that Country, written in 1818 and 1819; with an Appendix containing extracts from modern Italian Literature. By a foreign Officer in the British service.
Letters from the Havanna, containing a Statistical Account of the Island of Cuba, Climate, Manners, Customs, Trade, Amusements, present state of the Slave Trade, progress made in its Abolition, &c. By an official British Resident.
A Letter addressed to the Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Gloucester, on the subject of the Queen. By PAUL HARTFORD, Esq.
Memoirs of the Life of Anne Boleyn, Queen of Henry VIII. By Miss BENGER, Author of "Memoirs of Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton," &c.
What is Life? and other Poems. By THOMAS BAILEY.
Metrical Legends of exalted Characters.