Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

of languages. To understand them, it is neceffary.to underftand French, Italian, Latin, Greek, Spanish. The language of Otaheite is almost the only one which does not grace these notes, and puzzle the gentle reader. In the republic of letters, there is the quoter of unknown authors, as well as the ufer of hard and uncommon words. Both are equally affected; and fhould know, that to confuse women and children, with the affiftance of a dictionary and a common-place book, is far from being difficult.

At the fame time that the notes take fo much pains to prove to us their author's acquaintance with foreign writers, the poem itself convinces us how thoroughly he is intimate with English authors, and how carefully he has formed himself upon the best models in our language. Of Goldfmith, Pope, and even Dryden we were more than once reminded; elegant fimplicity, correct imagination, real poetry, pleafed us in more than one paffage of this epiftle. When ancient Genius charms,

with fpell fublime,

The scythe of Ruin from the hand of Time,
And moves the mighty Leveller to fpare
Models of grace fo exquifitely fair,'

we are in doubt which to admire more, the poet or the painter. But to extract all the paffages we approve, were to copy more than half the performance.

1

The faults we have to mark it, befides the affectation of the notes, are these. Senfe is fometimes cruelly tortured and lengthened out, in order to fit the iron bed of found, on which are unnaturally engendered a few, and but a few, dull and drawling lines.

• I with inadequate defcription, wrong'

• And, with glee, marks them on her cankered feroll'with another, or two of the fame kind, ftrike the ear more unmufically because all the rest of the poem is so uniformly har monious.

Rome fhould not rhyme to affume-rather, it does not rhyme to it. We should pronounce it like the Latin Rom-a, not like the English room.—In the article of rhymes this writer is as correct as in almost every other refpe&t. Hearth is very properly coupled with mirth, and verfed with nurfed. Common converfation pronounces these words in too flovenly a manner, nuffed and barth. He who writes in rhyme fhould be able, like this author, to spell, as well as to count his fingers.

Of the elegant lines which compare the painters of modern Italy to their brother poets of ancient Italy and Greece,

We

[ocr errors]

we would juft afk whether the comparifon be not run rather too far? Is there not, after all, more prettiness than truth in it?

We must now quit this pleasing publication. If the author do not prove that we have fome capital painters among us, he makes it evident that we poffefs at least one good poet.

Mifcellaneous Poems; confifting of Elegies, Odes, Paftorals, &c. together with Calypfo, a Mafque. 8vo. 3. Newbery. THIS volume contains four elegies, ten odes, four pastorals, fix cantatas or fongs, and Calypfo, a mafque. These pieces are not diftinguished by brilliancy of language, elaborate descriptions, or the ftrokes of a bold and vivid imagination. They are not the productions of an enthufiaft, either in religion, politics, or poetry; but a perfon of a calm, ferious, loyal, philofophical difpofition.

Minuentur atræ

• Carmine curæ,'

fays the motto; by which we may understand, that Care, in the shape of an old black witch, frequently haunts the poet, and cafts a gloom around him. But, upon her approach, he generally flies to a more agreeable lady, one of the nymphs of Caftaly, who expels the old beldam with the harmony of her lyre. That the hag is no agreeable vifitor is intimated in the following line:

·

No witches gave me gold."

And in his first ode he confeffes, that he loved

To wanton in the muses train,

And in their bowers refide.'

This tête-à-tête, this dalliance with his favorite mufe, has it feems, been frequently repeated; for we have now before us many proofs of their correfpondence.

Numa pretended, that he met the goddess Ægeria in the night: fimulavit fibi cum deâ Ægeriâ congreffus nocturnos effe.' But he did not choose to discover the place, where this gallantry was carried on. Our poet more ingenuously points

out the bower.

-In á grot from vulgar eye,
Conceal'd, amidst the fhady grove,
That brows the top of Mona high,

Haunt only of the woodland dove.

Here we leave him and the mufe, retired from vulgar eyes, in a fequeftered grotto, with the doves cooing on every fide, to give our readers a little fpecimen of their amusement.

VOL. XLVI. Sept. 1778.

P

NIGHT.

NIGHT. In Imitation of CUNNINGHAM,

• Softly stealing from the weft,

Over cottage, hill and plain; Night, in fable garments drest,

Now begins her awful reign. From the gloomy defart vale,

Rifing o'er the mountain's brow, Mifty vapours thick exhale,

Bred in dewy damps below. Now like tapers feen from far,

O'er the moor or marfhy fen, Dancing meteors oft appear,

And mislead th' unwary fwain. Not a gleam of luftre peeps,

Thro' the foreft's dreary fhade; To direct the trav❜ller's fteps,

Save the glow-worm's glimm'ring aid. "Till the moon, with afpe&t bright,

Pleas'd her empire to refume,
Lends her kind enliv'ning light,

To difpel the fullen gloom.
See, the spreads her lucid beams,
O'er yon ivy twifted tower;
Where the blink-ey'd howlet fcreams,
Nightly from her fecret bower.
Where a mild refplendent ray,

Silvers o'er that aged thorn,
Philomel, with plaintive lay,

Warbles till th' approach of morn. Not a found is heard, nor ftir

Thro' the village hamlet known ; Saving where the fhepherd's cur,

Loudly bays th' inconftant moon: • Where in filken fetters bound,

Swains oppreft with toil are laid; Fancy flutters all around,

In her airy vestments clad. Colin in his humble lot,

Happier than a monarch feems; Stretch'd beneath his ftraw thatch'd cot,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

This is no mean imitatun of Cunningham; but as we have not the works of that poet immediately at hand, we cannot fay how far our author has extended his imitation, by copying his thoughts and expreffions, as well as his manner.

The Mafque is taken from Fenelon's Telemachus, with fome fmall variations. For example, at the con lufion, when Mentor and Telemachus are fitting on the rock, and perceive their ship in flames, the goddefs of wifdom affumes her proper form, gives her inftructions to the young hero, and leaves him to swim alone to the Phoenician fhip,

The author has not made all the advantage he might have done of Calypfo's foliloquy, in the feventh book, in which the various and contending paffions of love, jealousy, rage, and defpair, are admirably defcribed by Fenelon.

There is a paffage in Minerva's laft fpeech, which is inconfiftent with her fupernatural wisdom and penetration. She fays -In Time's deep womb

An hour is rip'ning, when this earthly globe,

In all its pageantry and gorgeous pride,

Shall to the centre shake.'

[ocr errors]

That fage goddess should have recollected that gaffer Time, an old bald-headed fellow, has no WOMB!

The Sportsman's Dictionary; or the Gentleman's Companion: for Town and Country, 4to. 18s. boards. Fielding and Walker. THOUGH this Dictionary cannot claim the merit of being

entirely new, it is at least a much improved edition of an entertaining and useful miscellany, which has been fome years out of print. In many articles we meet with confiderable enlargements, and among them an abstract of the game laws. But the nature and usefulness of the work will beft appear from the Preface, which we shall therefore insert.

The mind of man is incapable of a conftant application, either to study or bufinefs; it is therefore highly neceffary to relieve it, at convenient feafons, by fuch relaxations as may refresh its faculties, and recruit the animal fpirits that have been diffipated by laborious pursuits, or a length of strict attention. And when the amufements to which we have recourfe, on fuch occafions, are friendly to health, delightful to the fenfes, and perfectly confiftent with innocence, they have all the recommendations we can poffibly defire.

The diverfions that are the fubject of these sheets, are entirely of this nature, and are fo peculiarly adapted to scenes of rural life, that a just knowledge of them is confidered as a neceffary accomplishment in gentlemen, who devote their vacant hours to the country,

[ocr errors]

It would be needlefs to enlarge on the fatisfactions and advantages they are capable of affording us. No profpect of nature can awake more pleafing ideas in the imagination, than a landskip, diftributed into verdant woods, and opening lawns, with the diverfity of extended plains, flowery meadows, and clear ftreams: the heart of a contemplative beholder melts into

et raptures at the inchanting view, and he is immediately prompted to hail the Great Benefactor who fheds fuch a profufion of beauties around him. But when he likewise regards them as fo many rich magazines, intended for the accommodation of his table, as well as for the improvement of his health, and the folace of his mind, he begins to think it a reproach to him to be unacquainted with the manner of acquiring these enjoyments that were created for his ufe with fo much liberality; and he is then convinced that hunting, fowling, fishing, and riding, are more neceffary to his welfare than at firft he might imagine.

In order therefore to render thefe, and other rural recreations, as intelligible and familiar as poffible, we have carefully collected the beft obfervations that have been made on each article; we have confulted all authors on this occafion, and have selected every particular from them, that we thought would contribute to pleasure and improvement; and, as we were defirous to render this work as complete as poffible, we have prevailed upon feveral gentlemen of diftinguished abilities and experience, to favour us with a great number of interefting paffages, that we are perfuaded will be very acceptable and inftruc tive to those who have an inclination to gain a competent knowledge of these agreeable fubjects.

As our intention was to make this performance equally per fpicuous and regular, we have digefted it into the form of a dictionary, in which we have been careful to range under each head every particular peculiar to it, fo as to illuftrate the articles in the most effectual manner; by which means we have rendered the whole fo methodical and familiar, even to a common comprehenfion, that we flatter ourselves we shall not be taxed with obfcurity in any material circumftance neceffary to be underflood. We may likewife venture to add, that the plan we have purfued, through the whole course of these fheets, will eafe the curious of the expence and trouble of confulting a number of books written on thefe fubjects, fince, as we have already intimated, all imaginable care has been taken to extract from the most approved authors, whatever observations may be. neceffary to give our readers a clear and expeditious knowledge of all the different branches of thefe pleafing recreations; as well as receipts from the different authors of established repu-, tation for the cure of moft complaints incident to horfes, dogs, &c. with proper inftructions for the most ignorant to prevent their being impofed on in purchafing horfes, by defigning dealers in those valuable animals.”

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »