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Speedily will be published, Cases of a Serious Morbid Affection, principally inci. dent to Females after Delivery, Abortion, &c. and arising from Uterine Hæmorrhagy, undue Venesection, Menorrhagia, protracted Luctation, Diarrhæa, Aphthæ, Con. stipation, Scy balae, or other Causes of Exhaustion and Irritation. By Marshall Hall, M. D. FR.S. E. &c.

Also, by the same Author, a Second Edition, with considerable additions. On the Mimoses; or a Descriptive, Diagnostic, and Practical Essay, on Disorders of the General Health in their simple and complicated Forms, contrasted with some Acute and Insidious Diseases ; being an attempt to prosecute the views of Dr. Hamilton and Mr. Abernethy.

Dr. Cook, Laurence Kirk, has for several years been preparing, and has now nearly ready for the Press, “ A General and Historical View of Christianity,” comprehending its origin and progress the leading

Doctrines and fornis of Ecclesiastical Polity that have been founded on it, and the effect which it has produced upon the moral and political state of Europe. The work will be comprised in three volumes octavo.

Dr. Cook also intends to submit to the Public, a Biographical Meinoir of the late Venerable Principal Hill.

A three act Melo Drama, founded on the “ Legend of Montrose,” will shortly be published.

The Rev. Alexander Stewart, author of the Lives of Dr. Blair, Dr. Robertson, and other elegant Works, has now in the press a History of Great Britain, from the Accession of George III to the present time.

In the press, and speedily will be published, a Visit to the Province of Upper Canada in 1819 By James Strachan, Bookseller, Aberdeen. The Work will contain every kind of information which an Emigrant can desire to

obtain, derived from the most authentic sources. The Monastery, a Romance. By “ The Author of Waverley." 3 vols. 12mo. Miscellaneous Poems. By Walter Scott, Esq. 1 vol. 8vo.

This Volume contains the Bridal of Triermain, Harold the Dauntless, “ Wil

liam and Helen,” imitated from the “ Lenore” of Bürger, and all the Smaller Pieces, collected for the first time in the recent edition of the Author's Poems. It is printed uniformly with the ordinary octavo editions, in order to accommodate purchasers of sets of Mr. Scott's Poetry in that size,

which this Volume will complete. An Account of the Arctic Regions, including the Natural History of Spitzbergen and the adjacent Islands, the Polar Ice, and the Greenland Seas ; with a History and Description of the Northern Whale Fishery Chiefly derived from Researches made during Seventeen Voyages to the Polar Seas. By William Scoresby, Jun. F. R. S. E. 2 vols yo With numerous Engravings.

The Edinburgh Annual Register for the Year 1816. 1 vol. 8vo.

The History of the Indian Archipelago By John Crawfuru, Esq. F. R. S. late British Resident at the Court of the Sultan of Java. 3 vols. 8vo. With Illustrative Maps and Engravings.

T'ales, by “ The Author of Bertram,” &c. 4 vols. 12mo.

A Journey in Carniola and Italy, in the Years 1817-1818. By W. A. Cadell, Esq. F. R. S. 2 vols. 8vo. With numerous Engravings.

Practical Observations on the Means of Preserving the Health of Soldiers in Camp and in Quarters. With Notes on the Medical Treatment of several of the most Important Diseases which were found to prevail in the British Army during the Late War. By Edward Thornhill Luscombe, M D. Member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh, and formerly Senior Surgeon of the 34th Regiment. 1 vol. 8vo.

Preparing for publication, the Theological Lectures of the late Rev. Principal Hill of St. Andrew's.

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THE

EDINBURGH

MONTHLY REVIEW.

APRIL, 1820.

Art. I.— The Sceptic; a Poem. By Mrs. HEMANS, author of

66 The Restoration of Works of Art to Italy;" 66 Modern Greece ;' 66 Tales and Historic Scenes ;' 66 Wallace's Invocation to Brúce.” Murray. Lond. 1820.

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W

E have, on more than one occasion, expressed the very high opinion which we entertain of the talents of this lady; and it is gratifying to find, that she gives us no reason to retract or mo. dify in any degree the applause already bestowed, and that every fresh exhibition of her powers enhances and confirms her claims upon our admiration. · Mrs. Hemans is indeed but in the infancy of her poetical career, but it is an infancy of unrivalled beauty and of very high promise. Not but that she has already performed more than has often been sufficient to win for other candidates no mean place in the roll of fame, but because what she has already done shrinks, when compared with what we consider to be her own great capacity, to mere incipient excellence—the intimation rather than the fulfilment of the high destiny of her genius.

We are aware, indeed, that this singular and gifted woman has not in every instance obtained that full share of celebrity to which her merits so justly entitle her, and that, in speaking of her in the terms which we have been accustomed to use, we may appear to many readers to have been guilty of a deviation from the hackneyed usages of criticism, by bowing to an idol not yet recognized by the throng. It is true that Mrs. Hemans stands yet trembling on the threshold of fame, and that many of the

VOL. III. NO. IV.

2 E

veteran watchmen of the temple, instead of aiding the youthful and interesting votary, have left her to unbar the portals in the energy of her own strength alone, and looked with cold and stupid indifference upon her generous struggle. There might be some apology for this, were the neglect impartial, and had no undue facilities been accorded to those who have already found their way into the sanctuary, who occupy its chief places, and attract the admiring gaze of the multitude. But when we remember what motives

of fear and favour have visibly operated upon the ephemeral distributors of fame, with what increased alacrity their more generous and perhaps least grateful functions have been performed in the case of a personal friend or noted partizan—with what bustling and tremulous haste the experience, or the apprehension of a vigorous lampoon has summoned them to the aid even of a hostile bardwhen we consider all these things, and think at once of the merit and the modesty of Mrs. Hemans, for whose gentle hands the auxiliary club of political warfare, and the sharp lash of personal satire are equally unsuited, we cannot but enter a complaint in her name, which she would not deign to make for herself, and appeal for her from the apathy of the superannuated tribunals to the living energy of general feeling upon which she may cast herself with full reliance, that her poetry requires only to be brought into contact with it, to kindle and exalt it into enthusiastic admiration.

The verses of Mrs. Hemans appear the spontaneous offspring of intense and noble feeling, governed by a clear understanding, and fashioned into elegance by an exquisite delicacy and precision of taste. With more than the force of

many

of her masculine competitors, she never ceases to be strictly feminine in the whole current of her thought and feeling, nor approaches by any chance, the verge of that free and intrepid course of speculation, of which the boldness is more conspicuous than the wisdom, but into which some of the most remarkable

the female literati of our times have freely and fearlessly plunged. She has, in the poem before us, made choice of a subject of which it would have been very difficult to have reconciled the treatment, in the hands of some female authors, to the delicacy which belongs to the sex, and the tenderness and enthusiasm which form its finest characteristic. A coarse and chilling cento of the exploded fancies of modern scepticism, done into rhyme by the hand of a woman, would have been doubly disgusting by the revival of absurdities long consigned to oblivion, and by the revolting exhibition of a female mind, shorn of all its attractions, and wrapt in darkness and defiance. But Mrs. Hemans has chosen the better and the nobler cause, and while she has left in

among

the poem before us every trace of vigorous intellect of which the subject admitted, and has far transcended in energy of thought the prosing pioneers of unbelief, she has sustained throughout a tone of warm and confiding piety, and has thus proved that the humility of hope and of faith has in it none of the weakness with which it has been charged by the arrogance of impiety, but owns a divine and mysterious vigour residing under the very aspect of gentleness and devotion.

Nothing surely can be more beautiful and attractive than such a character as this,-richly endowed with every gift which is calculated to win regard or to command esteem, yet despising all false brilliancy, and keeping every talent in sweet and modest subordination to the dignity of womanhood, -emulating the other sex in the graceful vigour of genius, but scrupulously abstaining from all that may betray unfeminine temerity or coarseness in its exhibitions, touching the dark regions of metaphysical debate, and striking upon them as with a sunbeam from her own pure and spotless spirit, and thus reinforcing the sterner champions of her country's faith with the charm of gentle but glowing sentiment, and the resistless appeal of the most impressive eloquence. It is here that we recognise the graceful and appropriate direction of the female intellect, and not in that sneering scepticism which in man is offensive-in woman, monstrous and revolting.

Mrs. Hemans, although she does not disown the touching and solemn influences of religion, is no devotee or ascetic, but has a mind profoundly alive to all that is beautiful or sublime in the creations of genius or in the fortunes of mankind. She has already hailed with fine and deep enthusiasm the rescue of the immortal monuments of Italian art from the den of Gallic plunder; she has mourned over the desolation of Greece in strains that might sooth the spirit of its departed greatness ; and she has embalmed the unpolished magnanimity of Caledonian patriotism in a rich glow of fond and admiring sympathy. Her piety is but the

perfection of that lofty spirit which, with its deep sensibility to worldly and derivative grandeur, can never forget the great eternal cause of all that is beautiful or sublime in the aspect of matter or the workings of mind, -and is the surest pledge of the presence of that poetic genius which strikes deep its roots in the sympathies and aspirations of our common nature.

It must be owned, however, that Mrs. Hemans has hitherto scarcely done full justice to her powers, nor made a fair experiment of the influence which she is capable of acquiring over the public mind. Her productions have been either of too desultory

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