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monly the effect of novels) will laugh, and grow wiser, as they read ; the experienced mother will derive pleasure and happiness from being present at its reading; even the sons of the family will forego the diversions of the town or the field to pursue the entertainment of Evelina's acquaintance, who will imperceptibly lead them, as well as their sisters, to improvement and to virtue.

If the author of this amusing and instructive novel poffels any of Richardson's merits, he labours also under one of his principal faults. The gold is in some places beat out confiderably too fine. The second volume deserves few of the solid praises which we with pleasure bestow on the first and the third. The Roman fibyl, after she had burnt part of her work, still persisted in demanding the same price for what remained ; we should fet a higher value upon this performance had the writer made it shorter---but perhaps, as Swift said of a long letter, he had not time.

The outline of Evelina's story is this. -The child of a mother who gave her existence at the expence of her own life; and of a brutal father who occasioned that mother's death, and refused, as it was supposed, to acknowledge her daughter ; the is educated under the paternal care of Mr. Villars, a worthy clergyman. The novel opens when Evelina is of the age at which young ladies are, as the phrase is, introduced into the world. Mr. Villars trufts his accomplished ward with a family of fashion and fortune, that she may be brought upon the public stage in that great theatre of the world, London. Her fimplicity, good sense, and inexperience, are productive of useful humour and diverting fatire. The characters of her newly-discovered grandmother Madame Du Val, and of a captain Mirvan, the latter an honest English sailor, the former a frenchified English waiting-woman, whose good stars had made her the widow of a man of rank and fortune, are well supported, finely drawn, and in a great measure ori. ginal. During the few months which Evelina spends at a distance from Mr. Villars, the commences an acquaintance, that ripens into love, with lord Orville. His lord ship's rivals are painted from nature, the progress of the amour is traced by the hand of an artist. The winding up of the story is ob. vious-.-Evelina gets a husband, and discovers a father.--- We could with her husband had not been a lord, and that her fa. ther had been less rich. Lords and ladies cannot afford to spend their precious time in reading novels; and, if they could, they bear no proportion to the commonalty of the literary wor!d. . The purchasers of novels, the subscribers to circulating libraries, are feldom in more elevated situations than

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the middle ranks of life.... The subjects of novels are, with a dangerous uniformity, almost always taken from superior life....

The fațirists complain with injustice of the want of virtue in our modern nobility; when the hero and the heroine of every novel hardly ever fail, sooner or later, to turn out a lady or a lord. What effea has this upon the readers? They are convinced that happiness is not to be found in the chilling climate of low life, nor even, where one of our poets so truly fixed it, in the temperate zone of middle life---Rank alone contains this unknown good, wealth alone can below this coveted joy -The title of Sir Charles Grandison, the fortune of Miss Byron, are the least with which our young novel readers are determined to sit down satisfied. What is the consequence ? Their fates have perhaps destined them to be a peity attorney or a filversmith's daughter, a grocer's son or a clergyman's heiress; fortune positively refuses to realize any of their romantic dreams; and a quarter of an hour's perusal of an unnatural novel has embittered all their lives.

We have heard of an advertisement for a house with a N.B. that it must not be within a mile of a lord; we wish, to see one novel in which there is no lord,

To the well written performance now before us is prefixed this poetical and affectionate dedication.

• Oh author of my being !-- far more dear

To me than light, than nourishment, or reft,
Hygeia's blessings, Rapture's burning tear,

Or the life blood that mantles in my breast !
• If in my heart the love of virtue glows,

'Twas planted there by an unerring rule; From thy example the pure flame arose,

Thy life, my precept--thy good works, my school,
• Could my weak pow'rs thy num'rous virtues trace,

By filial love each fear fhould be repress'd ;
The blush of incapacity I'd chace,

And stand, recorder of thy worth, confess'd :
• But fince my niggard ftars that gift refuse,

Concealment is the only boon I claim;
Obscure be ftill th' unsuccessful muse,

Who cannot raise, but would not sink, your fame,
• Ob! of my life at once the source and joy!

If e'er thy eyes these feeble lines survey,
Let not their folly tbeir intent destroy ;

Accept the tribute-but forget the lay.'

4 portical

A Poelical Epistle to an Eminent Painter. 4to. 35. 6d. Sowed. Payne, He age in which we live is certainly, with regard to Eng

land, not the age of poets. Whether a country mould rejoice at this, or not, is a different question ; we only speak of the fact. No writer has yet succeeded to the honours of Goldsmith, or of Gray; the chair of Churchill is still vacant, and likely to continue fo. The present seems to be the age of history and paliticks. Our American troubles have made us a nation of politicians. Poetry is frightened away from us; or, if she deign to lift her voice, seldom rises higher than an epiJogue, or an heroic epistle, the scandal of the week, or the lie of the day. Even Poetry is now taken up as a vagabond, and preffed into the service of Politicks.

Our present author has employed her more agreeably, in composing the panegyric of her favourite fifter, Painting. The public are under no common obligations to him for his elegant performance. The worst we can say of the gentleman is, that he seems to be rather unnaturally well with two fifters at the Same time.

This poem is addrefied to Mr. George Romney, and reflects equal honour upon its author as a friend, and as a poet. It is divided into two parts. The firft opens with an introduction to the subject, and proceeds 'to describe the flourihing state of the art of painting in this country. Our bard next notices, with true humour and poetry, the disadvantages attending the modern painter of portraits, bestows a short encomium on this branch of the art, and gives a masterly account of its origin in the story of the Maid of Corinth. Some of the ills which a'wait the portrait painter are thus enumeratede

• Nor is it pride, or folly's vain command,
That only fetters his creative hand;
At fashion's nod he copies as they pass
Each quaint reflection from her crowded glass.
The formal coat, with intersecting line,
Mars the free graces of his fair design;
The towering cap he marks with like distress,
And all the motley mass of female dress.
The hoop extended with enormous size,
The corks that like a promontory rise.
The stays of deadly steel, in whose embrace

The tyrant fashion tortures injur'd grace. I'he last couplet is fingularly happy-fts elegant allusion to the well-known anecdote of the iron bed of Procrustes, cannot fail to please every reader of true taste.

Pora

Portrait-painting is thus beautifully traced to the Maid of Corinth ; or higher still, to Love itself.

• Oh! Love, it was thy glory to impart
Its infant being to this fweetest art!
Inspir'd by thee, the soft Corinthian maid,
Her graceful lover's sleeping form portray'd :

Her boding heart his near departure knew, · Yet long'd to keep his image in her view.

Pleas'a The beheld the steady shadow fall,
By the clear lamp upon the even wall.
The line the trac'd, with fond precision trae,
And, drawing, doated on the form the drew:
Nor, as the glow'd with no forbidden fire,
Conceal'd the fimple picture from her fire;
His kindred fancy, fill to nature just,
Copied her line, and form'd the mimic buft.
Thus from thy inspiration, Love, we trace

The modell'd image, and the pencil'd face.' We could with art had been associated with a less general epithet than sweetest, in the second line of this extract ; and we should not have been forry had the last line but one been rather more musical-a point in which this author feldom fails.

Our poet then proceeds to maintain the superiority of hifto. "rical painting, to enumerate the Grecians who chiefly excelled in it, to account for the failure of the Romans, and for its revival in Italy; when he takes occasion to speak, in the language both of poetry and painting, of the Italian, Flemish, and French painters. The first part concludes with these lines, not less just than elegant, upon the French school.

• Tho' Fresnoy teaches, in Horatian song,
The laws and limits that to art belong ;
In vain he strives, with Attic judgment chaste,
To crush the monsters of corrupted taste;
With ineffectual fire the poet fings,
Prolific fill the wounded hydra springs :
Gods rolld on gods encumber every hall,
And saints, convulsive, o'er the chapel sprawl.
Bombast is grandeur, affe&ation grace,
Beauty's soft smile is turo'd to pert grimace ;
Loaded with dress, fupremely fine advance
Old Homer's heroes, with the airs of France.
Indignant Art disclaim'd the motley crew,

Resign'd their empire, and to Britain few.' The second part of the poem describes the birth of painting in England, and accounts for her late appearance among us; mentions the rapidity of her growth; weighs the ditterent merits of her most eminent living favourites, and expresses the poet's wish to see his friend among the number, and his reafons for hoping it. Our elegant writer then justly observes how much the painter's reputation depends upon a happy choice of subjects, some good ones are recommended from events in our own history, as well as from Milton and Shake speare ; and the performance concludes with its author's poetical prayers for his friend's success, which we sincerely hope no evil dæmon will disperse in air.

One of the subjects recommended is the affecting story of Margaret, daughter of the famous fir Thomas More.

Shall Roman charity for ever share
Thro' every various school each painter's care ?
And Britain fill her bright examples hide
of female glory, and of filial pride ?
Instruct our eyes, my Romney, to adore
Th'heroic daughter of the virtuous More,
Refolu'd to save, or in th' attempt expire,
The precious relicts of her martyr'd fire :
Before the cruel council let her stand,
Press the dear ghaftly head with pitying hand,
And plead, while bigotry itself grows mild,

The sacred duties of a grateful child.”
The concluding lines of the poem are these.

** May health and joy, in happiest union join'd,
Breathe their

warm spirit o'er thy fruitsul mind!
To noblest efforts raise thy glowing heart,
And string thy finews to the toils of art!
May Independance, bursting Fashion's chain,
To eager genius give the flowing rein,
And o'er thy epic canvas smile to see
Thy judgment active, and thy fancy free!
May thy just country, while thy bold design
Recalls the heroes of her ancient line,
Gaze on the martial group with dear delight,
May youth and valour, kindling at the fight,
O'er the bright tints with admiration lean,
And catch new virtue from the moral scene.
May time himself a fond reluctance feel,
Nor from thy aged hand the pencil steal,
But grant it still to gain increasing praise,
In the late period of thy lengthen'd days,
While faireit fortune thy long life endears,

With Raphael's glory join'd to Titian's years.' To this highly-finished performance are fubjoined fome en. tertaining notes, upon which we mould bestow more praise had they contained leis apparent affectation of the knowledge

of

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