Imágenes de página

Dramatic Bardolph in his nuptial noose ;
And wiser Perry, * from his prison loose,
Starts at the Diligence, that tells the tale
How blithe French Printerst to Guiana sail :
There reeling Morris, and his bestial songs ;
Blaspheming Monks; and Godwin's female wrongs;
The Lawyer's strumpet, and disputed draft;
And Darwin, fest'ring from the Horatian (haft;
Blossoms of love descend in roseate show'rs,

And laft, Democracy exhales in flow'rs. I” Pp. 57---70. In the just praise bestowed by the bard on the talents of Mr. Porson, we heartily coincide ; and we sincerely join him in deploring, that a man so eminently endowed with knowledge and abilities of a superior cast should have devoted fo large a portion of his time to pursuits fo wholly unworthy of him. It is with pleasure, however, we learn, that he is, at length, weaned from these pursuits, and that the public are likely to receive from his pen some, at least, of those masterly productions which they have a right to expect from it.

This poem has, like the “ Pursuits of Literature,” to which, however, it is greatly inferior, an appearance of affectation arising from the multiplicity of quotations from classical authors. A tranflation of the passages from the Greek and Roman writers is fubjoined. But why this oftentatious display of reading ? For learned readers the translation is useless; and, for unlearned readers, the original pas{ages are worse than useless. Both could not be neceffary. The translation, with a reference to the original, would surely have sufficed.

“ Perry, the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, was imprisoned three months in Newgate, for a libel on the House of Lords.''

+ “ The example of the Caravan of Deportation, or, as it is called from the place of banishment, the Guiana Diligence, in Paris, hould be a warning to the editors and printers of such papers as the Courier, Morning Chronicle, the Star, &c. &c. how they abuse the patience and forbearance of the mild and lenient Government of England.

“ Under the blessings of French freedom and emancipation, what is the liberty of thinking, speaking, and writing? The authors, the printers, and the booksellers, are crushed at once and equally, and either chained in dungeons, or feized and swept away from their native country, without hope and without judgement, unheard, unpitied, and unknown. Pro lege voluntas !

“ But we have yet a Nation to save ; we have millions of loyal men who never bowed the knee to the Baal of Jacobinism ; and we have also many who have drawn back froin the bloody idol, and turned unto righteousness to the preservation of their souls, their bodies, and estates, and the general deliverance of their country.” # “ See Dr. Darwin's Botanic Garden and Loves of the Plants,”



Art. XI. The Patriot : A Poem. By a Citizen of the World.

vo. Pp. 55. Price 18. Ridgeway, London. 1798. THIS THIS production of “ A Citizer of the Worldis dedicated,

with peculiar propriety, to Earl STANHOPE, who is well known to be a zealous disciple of the universal Philanthropists, who charitably extend their hatred to all who have not the good fortune to be so enlightened as themselves. The noble Earl is the subject of “his morning and his evening's song.” The book opens and closes with a description of his patriotic and civic virtues. If his Lordship can be pleased with such lines as the following, which are not the worst in the book, he will have a rich treat.--

“My countrymen ! the hoary bard began,
I see our fame ascend like rising dawn;
I fee progressive arts our island grace,

And population, wealth, and joy, increase." Perhaps the tribute, in the last page, to his Lordship’s patriarchal virtues, may afford a more pleasing specimen of the author's abilities in this line of composition :--

« There STANHOPE rules, with patriarchal love,
While all with grateful hearts obedient move :
Thus circling planets round the central suri,
With smoothest order in their orbits run.
Long may he live! belov'd and honour'd here,
Enjoying pleafures permanent, sincere ;
The friend of freedom, and each useful art,
That can new happiness to man impart.
Long live the patriot, honour'd and belov'd,

Suitain'd by virtue, and by truth approvid."
N. B. The author has been guilty of a misnomer, in calling

his book " A Parm."

ART. XII. The Irish Boy : A Ballad. 410. Pp. 16. Price is.

Kearsley, London. 1799. As a poetical composition this ballad

has confiderable merit: fimple, harmonious, and pathetic, it gratifies the taste, and strongly affects the feelings. But, in another point of view, it is highly objectionable ; for it has a tendency to propagate prejudices injurious to the peace of society, and destructive of that concord which it profelles to inculcate. It is dedicated to the subscribers to a fund for the « Relief of the Widows and Orphans of those Men who have perished during the Rebellion in Ireland,” without distinction of party. That the purpose is benevolent no one can deny, and we heartily wish success to the scheme ; but, surely, in such a publication, all partyallusions, all strictures that can tend to excite animosity, and to increase discontent, are peculiarly improper. That the following stanzas are


[ocr errors]

calculated to produce the effect which we deprecate, will easily be
allowed :---
“ And will you then fave me? O, gen’rous and kind !

Save from starving a Catholic boy !
How the great ones will murmur, how rail, when they find,

You preserve whom you ought to destroy !
" I ought to destroy! whose religion says so ?

Mine teaches sweet mercy and love ;
With resentmnt and vengeance hell's regions may glow,

But they ne'er were taught them from above."
Art. XIII. The Equality of Mankind: A Poem. By Michael

Wodhull, Esq. Revised and corrected, with Additions. Lon

don. 1798. THIS is the fourth time that this poem has been printed; though,

excepting, perhaps, when it was reprinted in Pearch's Col. lection, we do not know that it can with propriety be said ever to have been published ; having, as it would seem, been printed, as now, only to be presented to the friends of the author. However liberal this may be deemed, we cannot help noticing one peculiarity attending it, which seems to prove, that though, as he says, “over. fhadowing age may have damped his poetic fire,” it has not abated his zeal and ardour in the cause of what he calls Liberty. As far as, our observation has reached, his copies appear to have been distributed, chiefly, among the ladies ; and, we add, among young ladies ; no doubt, from the hope of finding in their ductile minds a more ready acquiescence than he could hope for from those who, in general, may be supposed to have been trained to systems of severer ratiocination than are to be looked for in poets.

This poem, as well as moft of Mr. Wodhull's other compofitions, is written in so high and rampant a strain of philosophy and demo. cracy, that taking, as it does, a cursory review of the English hiftory, we could almost have persuaded ourselves that the congenial spirit, whose historical investigations were noticed in our last Number, and who, like this poet, had run through the history of this kingdom., as it were, on purpose to find occasion for abusing priests and Kings, had made this poem his model. A man with more violent prejudices against both than Mr. Wodhull has, we have never known ; and it is impossible not to regret, that a man, with such respectable talents, should have prostituted them to the defence of fo unworthy a cause. If, however, the credit which the author might have derived from good verses be much diminished by their being employed to set off and recommend bad principles, he is, in our efti. mation, still more inexcusable for having, again and unsolicited, brought them forward, when the world is smarting so severely from their having already been but too successfully propagated in it.

As heretofore published, the poem consisted of 526 lines; whereas, at present, it contains 532 ; with a postscript of 16. The alterations


[ocr errors]

it has undergone, confift both of omissions and additions. The first fix lines, in the edition of 1772, in which it is acknowledged that, at first, the author was both a Tory and a Jacobite, have now been left out; from an apprehension, we suppose, that, as those days are now o'er, and he is no longer “pinion'd," but a complete son of Liberty, it might be observed of hin, as it has been of others so cir. cumstanced, that apostates are almost always prone to run into extremes, as none are so likely to become infidels and libertines as enthusiasts and devotees. Whatever truth there may be in the observation in general, Mr. Wodhull, at least, furnishes no exception to it.

We are surprized to find in a writer, whose lines are, in general, harmonious, many that are prosaic and lame :- Thus,

" Suddenly from the rock's impending fide."-1. 73.

“ Eagerly rulh'd to fnatch the gilded toy."--. 236. There are many such in the poem ; but, as a fair specimen of it as a whole, we will now extract the character which he gives of the people of this nation, and which, though far enough from being 4 flattering picture, is probably drawn from the life :

“ Born in a changeful clime, beneath a sky,
Whence storms descend, and hovering vapours Aly;
Stung with the fever, tortur'd with the spleen,
Boisterously merry, or churlishly serene :
By each vague blaft dejected, or elate;
Dupes in their love, immoderate in their hate;
With starch'd formality, or bearish ease,
The most disguftful when they strive to please ;
No happy mean the fons of Albion know,
Their wavering tempers ever ebb and flow
Rank contraries, in nothing they agree;

Too proud to serve, too abject to be free." P. 23--1. 477 We cannot close our review of this article, without first repro, bating this author's unmanly, though impotent, attack, on the great and good Lord Clarendon, one of the prime ornaments of our nation, both as a gentleman, a scholar, a Christian, a patriot, and an histo. rian. The insinuation that he meant to encourage affaslination is a forced inference from a casual expression, which will more naturally, and more juitly, bear another, and a very different, interpretation. It is as little to his credit as an impartial reader of our national history, to infer from a puffage or two from Buchanan, an acknow. ledged party.writer, that the Presbyterian form of church-government is not an innovation,

We believe it is now pretty generally agreed hy writers, on both sides, that Presbyterianism, at least, as a national institute, was not known before the time of Calvin. We deem this violent opponent to our constitution, both in church and state, itill more reprehensible for the gross misreprefentation he gives of a wellknown, and not unimportant, matter, of fact. He speaks of the consecration of Dr. Scabury, the late learned, pioas, and venerable Bithop


of Connecticut, as "sa pretended consecration by a junto of non-juring Scotch ecclesiastics, assuming to themselves the episcopal office.” (p.28.) Let it suffice to inform this prejudiced dealer in random affertions, that Bishop Seabury's consecration was as real and genuine as that of any English or Irish Bishop whatever ; and the three Bishops who consecrated him, far from being merely a junto, or auming to themselves the epifcopal office, derive their authority from as authentic and regular an efpiscopal succession as any other Bishops in the Chriftian world have to produce. See Skinner's Ecclefiaftical Hiftory of Scotland, VOL. II, p.683.

In the collection of this author's poems, printed in 1772, there is an epistle on the “ Abuse of Poetry," which seems to be obscure, and, in no respect, very interesting. The present collection, in like manner, closes with a poem on the “ Use of Poetry ;” which, like the former, says but little of poetry as poetry, but indulges, at great length, in his favourite terin Liberty, a vague word, which, as he uses it, is best adapted to orators and poets, and the “ Sovereign People.” Accordingly, the persons and things here celebrated, are Æsop's two fables of the Suppliant, and the Children of Hercules by Euripides ; Lucan, Milton, Akenside, Mason, Darwin, Voltaire, the French Revolution, Washington, La Fayette, and Kosciusko. It is a motley groupe :

"O my soul, come not thou into their fecret ; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united." Gen. XLIX. v, 6.


Art. XIV. The Present State of Ireland, and the only means of

Preserving her to the Empire confidered, in a Letter to the Mar. quis Cornwallis. By James Gerahty, Esq. Barrister at Law.

Svo. Pp. 84. Price is. 6d. Stockdale, London. . 1799. THE "HE author of this Tract displays an intimate knowledge of the

political history of his country, and employs that knowledge, with the wisdom of an intelligent statesman, for the purpose of de. riving advantage from past errors with a view to future improvement, and thus promoting the great ends of society, the good and happiness of all its members. From his historical view it clearly appears, that the people of the Sister Kingdom were, previous to their connection with this country, involved in a state of favage barbarisın, and that from that connection have resulted all the advantages, in point of commercial prosperity, and national improvement, which they enjoy in their present state of comparative consequence. But Mr. G. also demonstrates, by the faireft deductions from past events, and by a reference to established facts, that there exists in Ireland that strong disposition to effect a separation of the two countries, which renders it impracticable to preserve the connection by means of subsifting ties, Union or Separation he describes as our only alterna


« AnteriorContinuar »