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“ Like you a father's grief I know,
Í loft a son,
“ He will not break the bruised reed,
“O then, whate'er we feel or fear,
God cannot be unjust.*” There is a respectable list of Subscribers prefixed to the book, but, from some hints which the author has thrown out in the publication, noticed in the following article, we fear, that many who put down their names, did not put down their money.
Art. VIII. Critical Trifles, in a Familiar Epiftle to John
Fisher, Esq. LL. D. By the Rev. Charles Edward Stewart. 12mo. Pp. 25. Price is. 6d. Bickerstaff, Essex Street, London, 1797
N this poetical epistle to a friend, composed in the style and
manner of the New Bath Guide, the author humorously reviews the different sentences pronounced on his “ Collection of Trifles” by critics convivial and profesional. In answer to
** Mr. Burke, in answer to these lines and some observations upon his invaluable works, condescended to honour me with a letter, which gratitude for 1o fattering a testimony from such a man will not suffer me to suppress.
“SIR, " I receive a very real consolation from the verses you are so good Lo send me. They are animated with an high spirit of poetry and piety. I am happy to find, that any thing I have done in favour of a cause (to which I am the more attached in finding that I have it in common with you) has obtained the suffrage of to able a judge. Your zeal for that cause may perhaps a little have warped your judgement. One naturally thinks with favour of thote performances which are exerted in favour of principles to which we with well, Whatever be your motives, I ought to be highly flattered with a justice to intentions, which has so large a measure of kindness and indulgence to the execution.
" I have the honour to be, Beconsfield,
EDMUND BURKE." Viarch 21, 1790.
a charge a charge of want of delicacy, preferred against him by some female critics, he offers the following plea. P. 14, 15.
" Will the ladies permit me to offer before 'em
“When *Salisbury's fam'd countess was dancing with glee,
“ Fair critics, whenever to propagate scandal
Ill to her who thinks ill,' be the motto of each." He thus comments on the decision of a critic of a different description.
“ A PROFESSIONAL Critic,† of exquisite taste,
iny verse is unequal, my rhymes are not chaste,
“ Tie ir gin of the order of the garter, every schoolboy and tehoolgirl knox, ils owing to this dreaiful calamity, that befel the Countess of Salisbury in Edward the Third's time."
+ “ The BRITISH CRITIC. “These verses are unequal, yet, trat the author is not deftitute of the talents of a poet will completely appear by some lines, though founded on a pun. The Epigram on the thirtieb of Janary, being the birth-day of some blockhead, is neat enough. Sich fubftiities for rhymes as Sarrage and disparue are not allowable even in the lowest burlesque ; and there are a few more tich faults, but, altogether, the Trifies have merit."
1 “ This unfortunate no-rhyme did certainly escape observation, till it was too late to amend it; but I did not lippote that a fingle error would be so ieverely reprehended by any critic.”
Yet in spite of this fault and some moret of the kind,
“ If the critic speak out in a fair manly strain,
Where I am led by the Guide and the Poet of Bath." The bard consoles himself for such censures with the approbation of friends, whose worth, genius, and merit, stamp a sterling value on their applause. There are some elegant lines, in p. 21, fent hiin by a Mr. WADDINGTON; and the following Jen d'Esprit from Sir CHARLES BUNBURY, accompanying his subscription, which deserve notice:
“ For the Trifles in verse, give me leave to propose
Art. IX. The Battle of the Nile, a Poem. By William
Sotheby, Esq. 4to. Pp. 27. Price 2s. 6d, Hatchard,
T "HE Hero of the Nile has found, in Mr. Sotheby,
judgement to appreciate, and genius to celebrate, his exploits ;-a bard, in thort, worthy of himself. The poem opens with a description of the French fleet laying, in fancied fecurity, in the bay of Aboukir, the officers and men rioting in mirth and revelry, and exulting in the spoils of plundered Egypt and the promised subjugation of the East. The approach of the British fleet affords a fair opportunity for paying à tribute of justice to the gallant TROWBRIDGE, whose Tip struck before the could be brought into action.
† “ An author never knows his own deficiencies; if the Trifles have any merit, I thought, and still think, it is in the accuracy of the rhymes, and with the exception of the above and, perhaps, one or two others, I do not believe a fourth instance can be produced in thirteen hundred lines."
# "Pope's Prologue to his Satires."
" Ah, gallant chief ! who led'st th' adventurous hoft,
mid Tips on flame
.-4. The battle is next described with true poetic fire, and soon as the din of arms had ceased
" — Nelson, bleeding on his victor prow,
“ Bold hero! grac'd by many a glorious scar...
And smites the spoiler that blafphem'd his God!" P. 7, 8. The bard proceeds to recapitulate the vain-boasting threats of the French to destroy the British power in the East, and exclaims
• How art thou fall’n! gaunt famine, day by day,
" The Arab war-horse has thy strength subdu'd,
And, wildly neighing to the brazen roar,
Arch'd his proud crelt thy flaming phalanx o'er !" The destructive progress of French liberty, at home and abroad, is admirably depicted in the following animated lines:
« Gaul! in whose foul, through ev'ry thirsty vein,
“ Ah! had thy soul to soothing peace inclin'd,
“ Though howling furies urge thee on to war,
“ Where marble temples wav'd their vanes on high,
" Ah! from that hour, when, in th' abyss below,
“Oh, thou! that, by the Loire's forsaken fide,
Heav'd back the dead upon their native shore, NO. VIII, VOL. 11. х