Sayfadaki görseller

Art. 20.

are bound in justice to observe that it is less in the statements of facts, than in the reflections with which these are accompanied ; reflections which, however, making due allowances, are equally creditable to the head and heart of the writer. The scenes of carnage which he so well paints; and the skill and activity employed to destroy life, never before equalled, which he so ably describes; are in his hands powerful arguments to induce contending parties to repress their mischievous ambition, to lay aside their implacable resentments, and to bend their minds to conciliation.

Po'etic, and DRAMATIC.
The Enchanted Plants. Fables in Verse. 8vo. PP. 93.

55. Boards. Evans, Pall Mall. 1800. After the highly finished works which have of late years been given to the world by Dr. Langhorne and Dr. Darwin, on subjects similar to the present, it must not be regarded as matter of surprize if we took up this book with more than our usual fastidiousness. Poetry indeed, and perhaps especially that branch of it which relates to the vegetable kingdom, presents a wide field for fancy, as well as ample scope for the luxuriance of a glowing imagination : but we must repeat, and we repeat it with regret, that we have been so long accustomed to dwell with rapture on the beauties of the two exquisite masters whom we have just mentioned, that we are not altogether able to form a judgment totally unbiassed on this subject.

The present composition, though published anonymously, is generally understood to proceed from the pen of a lady (Mrs. Montolicu) of whose taste and poetical powers the public have already formed a favourable judgment; and we may venture to say that this opinion will not be changed by a perusal of the volume now before us. It is ornamented with an elegant frontispiece engraved by Bartolozzi, and is printed in the same style in which every thing proceeds from the hands of Bensley: but, in stating these circumstances, we mention the most subordinate qualities, and shall proceed immediately to a consideration of the work itself.

The introduction to the fables is very pleasing ; and the idea which it contains, of making the Genius of flowers appear, and endow a mortal with the power of hearing them converse, if not entirely new, must at least be allowed to be extremely striking.-The fables, 22 in number, are caeh appropriat:d to some passion or affection of the mind, which they for the most part aptly illustrate, considered both as to the execution and the flowers that are choses. The versi. tication is throughout the whole elegant and harmonious: but the fables are too long to allow us to extract any one for the perusal of our readers. We imagine, however, that they will consider them. selves obliged to us for laying before them a few lines taken from the beginning of the last :

Once on a rock reclined I lay

That o'er the ocean frowned,
Tempests obscured the face of day,
And lightnings glared around:

Sad Sad sighed the spirit of the storm,

Congenial with my soul;
Like passing hours of various form

I marked the billows roll :
Some heaved like woes with mighty swell,

And broke with hideous roar,
Some lightly foaming, curled and fell

Like pleasures quickly o’er.
• Between loud peals, by vivid light,

Or when the horizon cleared,
Th’unbounded water; to my sight

Eternity appeared.' The nature of our language does not appear to us to admit of the word: real being contracted to a monosyllable, as in the 16th Fable, page 64,

• Who real insignificance feel, especially in our anapæstic lines, with which English poets are apt to take inadmissible liberties. They should never forget that 10 « slide glibly off the tongue” is the chief merit of this measure ; which, though perhaps one of the most easy to write, is of all the most difficult to write well.-- We must also remark that the point or moral of these fables is not always so neatly and tersely expressed as we could wish. There is in this respect a happy elegance in the works of the unfortunate Pignotti, which we freely confess we never yet found çqualled; and we would recommend to the author of the Enchanted Plants an attentive perusal of them, and especially the two fables of La rosa e lo spinoand “ Narciso al fonti.Art: 21. Epistle in Rhyme to M. G. Lewis, Esq. M.P. Author of

the Monk, &c. With other Verses, including Stanzas addressed to Mrs. Jordan. By ----Soame, Esq. late of Trinity College, Cambridge. 8vo. pp. 24. 6d. Lunn.

The epistle, which occupies the greater part of this small pamphlet, is written much' in the style of Mr. Lewis's own poetry. It is sometimes lively, and contains a few good lines, but is on the whole languid and incorrect. The same terror also of the Devil, with his horns and tail, prevails in it ; and the author is a sturdy defender both of the indecency, and the ghosts of Mr. Lewis's productions. We shall extract the apology for apparitions, as a favourable specimen of the Foctry:

• Say, oft as Night and Silence o'er the earth
Draw their close veil, and give reflection birth,
Is not a spirit, good or ill confest,
In ev'ry: virtuous, ev'ry guilty breast ?
Does not a voice, that will be heard, pervade
The inmost soul in deep retirement's shade?
Does it not calm of innocence the fear?
Does it not yell to prosp'rous vice, “Despair !!
Why then forbid the poet's art to give
Corporeal shape to what all feel who live?


[ocr errors]

No mind so firm but oft recurs in thought,
To all the priest and all the nurse bave taught ;
Mem’ry acknowłeges the forms of air,
And ev'ry goblin tids acquaintance there.
Not so the monstrous brood that shock belief,
Palın'd on the town by Morton and O'Keeffe ;
Who, still with nature and good sense at sivife,
Profanely stile their figures drawn from life :
Ev'n Boaden's ghost is surely full as good,
As Holcroft's characters of flesh and blood,
To which, throughout the year, no day goes by,
But gives in ev'ry lineament the lie.
Soon shall some wag, to set opinions right,
Describe the nymphs of Billing-gate-polite,
Soft sentiment from lips of bu chers roll,
Or with a tender turnkey melt the soul!
Since valiant taylors, on the stage let loose,
Rouse all the lion rampant-in the goose!
And gen’rous Jews unsparingly dispense

Pure christianity and vital pence!'
Of the other short poems, the less that is said the better.
Art. 22. Poems on various Occasions; with Translations from Au.

thors in different Languages. By the Rev. W. Colljer, Senior Fellow. of Trinity College, Cambridge. Two Vols. 8vo. sewed. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1800.

The author of these poems, which are published by subscription, informs us in his preface that they were written in times of affluence and happiness, but are published in those of a far different condition: of the originals, there are very few which were not composed on real and particular occasions ; and, had not difficulties in life appeared, these efforts of a private and unfeigning muse would, most likely, never have been exposed to public view: the author, therefore, more than indifferent as to the applause or censure of those who know him only by these printed poems, is without anxiety as to the judgment which they may deserve; and has little wish as to their dispersion, but as far as the profits may tend to alleviate the burthens which were the causes of their having been committed to the press.'

Under these circumstances, the reader will excuse us from entering into a strict examination of the contents of the volumes. We shall merely extract one or two poems, as specimeus.

[ocr errors]

Cease for a while thy strain,
Sweet Bird of Eve! To Sorrow's languid ear

Thy warblings may be dear,
While they of wrongs and cruel deeds complain :

But in Rosalba's breast,

By Love, by Truth possest,
Sleep now would fix his reign, and reigning there be blest.

• All

[ocr errors]

"All nature sinks around
In stillest calm ; upon the mountain-trecs

Expires the nightly breeze,
Nor streams to Echo give the faintest sound;

Amid the blue serene

The silent Moon is seen, And stars, with noiseless train, accompany their Queen.

• Now, Sleep! exert thy pow'r,
And as thy phantoms in bright order rise,

On wings of various dyes,
Thy choicest charms on my Rosalba show'r!

Do thou her eye-lids close,

While kindled in repose,
Fancy, Love's secret friend, within her bosom glows.

• Sweet Bird of Eve! O keep
Respectful silence; and thou, nightly breeze,

Wave not the mountain trees;
Nor, Echo! thou disturb the reign of Sleep:

you, ye Stars, that move

In noiseless train above,
Oshed your kindest beams, and guard my sleeping love!'

• Levities. The THREE PHALS. • A Bon-vivant, some say t'was Quin,

It matters not a single pin,
For all the who, the where, and when,
I leave to those grave learned men,
Who cannot laugh, and will not cry,
Unless they know the reason why;
Mine is, by far, a better plan,
Cry when I must, laugh when I can.

• This Bon-vivant one morning found
His sleep had not been quite so sound,
His head was muzzy, pulse was full,
His stomach queer, his spirits dul :
Jerry, says he, to Bolus go,
And tell himn, I am but so-so ;
Did him send something spicy, warmi
Such as he knows will do no harm;
I'll stay at home, and try at night
What rest will do to set me right.
Away went Jerry: hardly gone,
When soinc compauions of the ton,
Just made a call, propos'd a scheme,
Which put to fight the drowsy dream
Of home and rest'; with them he went,
And past the time in full content.
Jerry came back, three phials brought,
With sov'reign pow'rs of healing fraught
But where's his master? gone astray,
Το try
for health a better way.-


The day was past, the night was come,
Or rather morning peep'd, when home
The master came, his spirits light,
His pulse was cheery, eye was bright, -
When on the table, in a row,
He saw the phials-goodly show,
Each with a label trimly deck’d,
The time and purpose to direct.
He read the first-This please to take
Immediately the cheerful rake
Obey'd the order,-down it goes, –
And then he read the second dose ;
What's here ! - Take this at going to rest.
Why, aye, says he, it is confest,
I'm going to bed without a frown,
He fairly chucks the second down :
When lo! the third in sight appear'd;
What, am I never to be clear'd
Of all this stuff? in angry phrase
He spoke-but, let's see what it says,
This, Sir, you will be pleas'd to take
Tomorrow morning ;--please to shake
The phial well: this droll advice
Calm'd all his anger in a trice ;
His watch declar'd, beyond denial,
'I'was four o'clock; he shook the phial,
And with the first and second, he
Pops down the third for company.
This tale, a lucky proof supplies,
How to be merry, and be wise ;
And how we may, on same condition,

Please both ourselves, and our physician.' If these compositions prove agreeable to the reader's taste, he may promise himself much amusement from the present 'collection.

The second volume consists chiefly of translations, froin Latin, French, and Italian poets. Some of the notes evince considerable erudition, particularly that on the Engubine tablet.

"We are glad to observe that Mr. Collier has obtained a numerous and most respectable list of subscribers. Art. 23. The Birth-Day: A Comedy, in Three Acts. As per

formed at the Theatre-Royal, Covent. Garden. Altered from the German of Kotzebue, and adapted to the English Stage. By, Thomas Dibdin, Author of the Jew and the Doctor, &c. 8vo. 2s. Longman and Rees. 1800.

This is a play altered from Kotzebue's Reconciliation, of which we have already given an account. Mr. Dibdin has judiciously omitted many sentimental passages, and has softened much of the absurdity of his original. He has even occasionally introduced a little humour, instead of the Teutonic insipidity which palled us in the unaltered play; and he has contrived, by several ingenious turns, to give some


« ÖncekiDevam »