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Vol. V.] Retrospect of Domestic Literature.-Metaphysics....Poetry. 505 illuftrations of that writer, or who feel year, has thirteen cottagers on his farm: themselves entangled by the sophistry of seven other tenants, each of whom pol. his arguments, we earnestly recommend selles about three acres of arable land, and the perusal and the re-perusal of these fome moorish ground for pasture, pay his two pamphlets. Dr. GEORGE Croft's lordship twelve shillings an acre for the “Short Commentary, &c. on the Moral former, and nothing for the latter. “I am Writings of Paley and Gisborne,” is persuaded,” says he, - I could more than written in fo haughty and dictatorial à double the rent by letting it off to one. style, that the majority of his readers will tenant; but I should be sorry to increase laugh at his airs, and despise his arro. my rent by depopulating any part of the gance.
country.' On a number of small farms, From the subjects of Theology and the rental of which, united, is under 100l. Morals, we proceed to that of jear, his lordship has contrived to settle
and make comfortable 200 inbabitants. The venerable and learned Lord Mon. “ There are many proprietors," says he, BODDO has published a fifth volume of " who think that the number of cottagers his “ Ancient Metaphysics, containing on their land is a grievance, and they de. the History of Man in the Civilized fire to be quit of them ; but, for my part, State." His lordship, it is well known, I am fond of them, and call them my considers society in a state of such regu. people, and have a pleasure in numbering lar, rapid, and progreflive degeneracy, them and seeing them increase, and am that a total extinction of the human race forry when any of them leave my land.” must be the speedy and inevitable confe. Venerable and beloved old man ! may quence : money he regards as one of the you live many years in the enjoyment principal causes of this deplorable corrup of this pleasure, and the additional one of tion; and England, as it contains more observing, that your own most excellent wealth than any country in Europe, is example is followed by thousands. proportionately afflicted with its conco A translation has appeared, in four mitant calamities, vice, disease, and indi- volumes, of the “ Système de la Nature." gence ! “ As to crimes,” says his lordihip, This simple annunciation is sufficient.
they abound so much, that our gaols The learned Dr. Willich has pubcannot hold our convies ; and we are lished the “ Elements of Critical Phi. obliged to send our colonies, such as no losophy, &c.”; the object of this public nation ever sent out before, to a very cation appears to be somewhat similar to diftant country, till of late quite un a work, for which we are indebted to known; to which they are transported Mr. Nitsch, intitled, “An elementary at a great expence, and maintained, when View of Professor Kant's Philosophy; there, at a dill grea!er: these crimes, it every one who is, in any degree, aware is observed, and the observation is un. of the almost impenetrable tenebrity of questionably juft, are almost all the effects this system, and the almost unfathomable of wealth. According to Lord M. and profundity of its principles, will readily here we heartily agree with him, the exonerate us from the necessity of entera Britith nation, whose humanity and ge- ing at large on the subject.
We proceed nerosity are so arroga:tly vaunted-by to a more fascinating subject, itself! is not nierely degenerating at home, but is the cause of degeneracy and The luftre which taite and learning depopulation abroad. “We have destroy thed over the “ Efsay on the Genius and ed," says he, five millions of human Writings of Pope," naturally raises our beings in the East-Indies; our colonies expectations concerning the merits of in North America, from Hudson's Bay Dr. WARTON's edition of the “ Works" to Florida, have exterminated the natives of that most polished poet. Dr. W. has by war and massacre, by vice and by presented the public with a valuable
perdisease, leaving no vestiges of them to be formance, which, however, contains less feen--except their burial places!” original matter than was generally antici.
Ie is inconsistent with the plan of our pated : the forced and far-fought interretrospect, or it would give us the greatest pretations of Warburton" are omitted, pleasure, to extract a few paragraphs re while the notes and illustrations which lative to his lord hip's management of accompany this edition are fufficiently his private eftate. Suffice it to say, that, numerous. The voice of the muses has as in days of yore, many of his tenants of late, we think, been less than usually are served by cottagers alone ; one of the melodious: our recollection furnishes us former, who pays no more than 3el. a' with very few poctical publications of MONTHLY MAG. No. XXXIII.
506 Retrospex of Domestic Literature.-Poetry. (Sup. merit. It is almost unnecessary to say, cess. Dr. B.'s versification is easy and that the “ Epistle to a Friend," by Mr. elegant, but not fufficiently animated. SAMUEL Rogers, author of the Plea. The Rev. James MOORE, master of the sures of Memory, is beautiful, intereft. free grammar-school in Hertford, has ing, and very highly polished. The five written, during his leisure hours, an epic concluding cantus of the “ Henriade" poem, in twelve books, called “The are published : we know not to whom Columbiad; or, the Discovery of Amewe are indebted for this English transla. rica and the Weft-Indies, by Columbus :" tion, which we are strongly disposed to a dearer and a duller book never issued prefer, in point of elegance, and har- from the press. Mr. Pye's “ Naucra. mony of versification, to the original of tia, or Naval Dominion,” is written with Voltaire. Mr. GISBORNE's “Vales of considerable animation ; Mr. P. long Wever" is a loco.descriptive poem, evi- fince accepted an office which imposes on dently imitated, in regard to style, from him the most gross and fulsome adulation ; DARWIN's Botanic Garden : some parts that the poet-laureat should have volunof it are beautiful.' Mr. FosBROOKE's teered a few passages of similar import in “ Economy of Monastic Life, as it existed his present production, is not wonderful. in England,” is a poem of considerable The design and execution of the 'Nau. merit in itself, and has, moreover, the cratia are creditable to the poetical taextrinsic value of philosophical and archai. lents of its author. Mr. Hull, of ological illuftrations from . Lyndwood, Covent-garden Theatre, has written Dugdale, Selden, Wilkins, &c. &c. to- some “Moral Tales,” founded on real gether with copious extracts from origi, events : the versification is fimple, aninal MSS. : it is written in the stanza of mated, and easy; the matter is excellent. Spencer. Mr. COTTLE, of Cambridge, The errors of this work are trifling, and has made a valuable addition to the lite- it would be an acceptable and a valuable rature of his country, in a volume of present to young persons in particular. “ Icelandic Poetry : this gentleman The “Critical, Poetical, and Dramatic has translated into English verle the Works” of Mr. John PENN, are pube Edda of Sæmund. When the Edda of lifhed in two octavo volumes; the first Snorro Sturleston was published in the contains a translation of Calsabigi's letter " Northern Antiquities,” about thirty to Count Alfieri, on tragedy, with various years ago, the compilation of Sæmund and learned notes; the poetical miscellawas supposed to be loft ; a MS. collec. nies are of unequal merit: in the seco tion, however, in the king of Denmark's volume is an art of English poetry, imi. library of mythological odes from this tated from Horace's epinle to the Pisos; Edda, was published at Copenhagen, in an abridgment succeeds, of Milton's 1787. It is this collection which Mr. Samson Agonistes, Jonson's Silent WoCottle has translated: it consists of man, and Voltaire's Semiramis ; all of twelve poems, all of which abound with which Mr. P. has endeavoured to adapt imagery, the most romantic, novel, and for the theatre. Many beauties are sublime. Mr. HAYLEY's edition of pruned away, from Samfón Agonistes in Milton is completed in three volumes; particular. Mr. SOUTHEY's “ Joan of the price of it is fifteen guineas. This Arc,” which, considered under all its at. magnificent work is adorned with the tendant circumstances, is a wonderful typographical beauties of Bulmer, and effort of genius, has undergone a severe with engravings from the designs of and scrutinizing revision by its author, Romney and Weltal. Dr. BOOKER's who has published a new edition of it in “ Malvern” is a descriptive poem of octavo. The “ Oberon” of WJELAND Some merit: the Doctor's talent for this has been translated by Mr. SOTHEBY: fpecies of composition has been evinced the spirit of the poem is said to have, in on foriner occasions, and he appears to some degree, suffered by the too rigid have cultivated it with considerable suc- fidelity* of the translation; this, how
ever, will probably be regarded as a * Some few readers may require to be in- venial error, and the English public will, formed, that an Edda fignifies a compilation of doubtless, consider itself under obligation the system of Runic mythology; in thele com to Mr. S. for introducing it to acquaint. pilations were incorporated numerous particu- ance with one of the most polished epic lars of Scandinavian manners and philosophy. Mr. MALLET supposes the object of them to have been, the instruction of those young Icelanders, principally, who intended to devote * The merit of fidelity is, however, disputed themselves to the profession of the scald, or by Dr. Willich.-See Monthly Magazine, poet, as they contain a fyftem of poetics. page 39%, Part d. 1798.
Vol. V.] Retrospect of Domestic Literature. The Drama. poems of modern production*. The execution ; which latter, however, though Rev. Mr. PolWHELE has published a not adequate to the occasion, is by no second edition of “The Influence of means despicable. When the memories Local Attachment,” much improved; of Homer, Ovid, Lucan, Dante, Peto which a second volume is added of trarch, Camoens, Tasso, Corneille, Spenmiscellaneous poetry. The same author ser, Otway, and Chatterton, are to be has published the third part of an un celebrated, we require the loftieft strain finished poem, intitled, “The Old Eng. that elegy admits. lith Gentleman :" the object is to display A great deal of pamphlet poetry has the manners and amusements of our fore- appeared of late ; among which are fathers. Several characters of this fort “The Grove," by the author of the Purhave been drawn by other hands, such as suits of Literature, who in this, as in his novel-writers and essayists, &c. : so far as former work, displays the pedantry of a we may judge from the fpecimen, it does schoolmaster, the vulgarity of a poiffard, not appear that Mr. P. is likely to excel 'and the malevolence of a
The his precursors. The childish sorrows “ Druriad,"containing strictures on the of Mr. CHARLES LLOYD and Mr. principal performers of Drury-lane; CHARLES LAMB, in their volume of "Effufions of Fancy;"Mr. SMITH's “Blank Verse," are truly ludicrous. “ Scath of France ;" &c. &c. &c. almost The " Vision,” a poem, on the union of ad infinitum. Before we conclude this Russia and Pruffia against Poland, with article, we must not omit to notice Mr. other pieces, are the effusions of a young Jones's “Hobby Horses,” a poem which mind. Their merit, in general, is that contains a good-humoured and lively saof mediocrity; the Vision is written in a tire on the fashionable follies of the day. strain of laudable indignation, at the infamous partition of Poland. Mr. Eu. We are happy to announce the comSTACE'S “ Elegy to the Memory of the mencement of " A Series of Plays," in Right Hon. Edmund Burke” is solemn which it is attempted to delineate the and appropriate ; the fame may be said stronger passions of the mind; each palof Mrs. West's " Elegy” on the same fion being the subject of a tragedy and a occasion, which, of the twc, is perhaps comedy. The first volume only of this superior. The “ Poems” by Mr. work has yet appeared : it contains three HUCKS, of Cambridge, display, much plays; love is the groundwork of the two fancy, feeling, and true taste. The lover of first, and in this respect they differ not Scotch ballad will be gratified with a col. from the generality of tragedies and lection which lately appeared, of “ Sangs comedies which come before us. of the Lowlands of Scotland :", they are I have endeavoured in both,” says 'the ftated in the title-page to have been author, “ to give an unbroken view of carefully compared with the original the passion from its beginning, and to editions, and are embellished with spirited mark it as I went along, with those pecuand characteristic designs of the ingenious liar traits which distinguish its different DAVID ALLEN; the readings of these stages of progression.' In general, our • fangs, however, are not always correct, dramatic authors exhibit only what may and the orthography is sometimes faulty. be denominated the climacteric of the If Mr. ATKINSON has failed in doing paffion; they expose it when it is renjustice to the scenery of “ Killarney,” it dered furious by some exasperating cir. is perhaps, in some measure, because the cumstances; and the character who disIcenery of Killarney would baffle any plays it diverts our attention from its opepowers of defcription. The attempt of ration, to the courage and ingenuity which Mr. A. does him credit. Several random are exersed in conquering the difficulties arrows bave been aimed at the unknown which oppose its indulgence. In the aiithor of the “ Pursuits of Literature,' present dramas, however, the plot is re. who has prudently hidden his ignoble markably simple, and the incidents are head in obscurity: The author of the few-purposely few, in order that the in* Progress of Satire” has drawn his bow tereft may not be divided, and the atten. with the most vigorous and manly arm. tion diverted, from character, to the subMr. HUNTER'S ** Tribute to the mares ordinate agents, imagery, sentiment, and of unfortunate Poets” is interesting, ra adventure. We know not to whom the ther on account of the subject than the public is indebted for these plays, which
contain many beautiful touches of nature, * An excellent and very entertaining review and many delicate delineations of passion. of the original poem appeared in the appendix to The author has introduced them by an Vol. XXIII. of the Monthly Review, elaborate and ingenious discoarse, where
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NOVELS AND ROMANCES.
508 Retrospect of Domestic Literature.-Novels and Romances. (Sup. in he has communicated “ those ideas re- trah of the theatres is very easily acgarding human nature, as they, in some counted før. “ The Castle Spectre” is degree, affect almost every species of mo.. the popular production of Mr. LEWIS, ral writings, but particularly the dramatic, which, with the Myfierious Marriage, 'which induced him to attempt it.” The “ Blue-Beard," Honest Thieves," and subject of the third play is hatred. “Na a few others, complete the barren cata. talia and Menzikoff," is translated from logue of dramatical productions. the German of M. KRATTER. It is an historical play, where many characters This department of literature is culwell known in the Rullian annals are tivated with usual assiduity. · Emily de introduced: the drama is founded on the Varmone" is a translation from the conspiracy into which Menzikoff was se- French of Louvet. It is said to have duced against his friend and emperor, had considerable influence in producing Peter the Great. 16 The Maid of Ma. two memorable decrees of the national rienburg," written by the same author, is convention ; the one authorizing divorce, a counterpart to the preceding play: the the other allowing priests to marry! subject of it is the elevation of Carharine The characters are somewhat extrava. I. to the throne of Rutia. Mr. K. has gant, and the fiction is fomewhat improtaken considerable liberiy with historical bable. The inours of Father Se. truth, in the character of his heroine, vin,” which are aided to it, display the who, in order to excite our interest in cruelty of compulsory celibacy, and are the fuctuation of her fortunes, is reprů- far more interesting and natural. Mrs. sented as inflexibly virtuous, accom SUSANNA CUMMINS, a lady of eighplished, and .chafte as the icicle! The teen, laudabiy desirous of living with anonymous author of “ He's much to that independence which her own exblame,” acknowledges himself to be, in ertions can alone secure her, has transsome measure, indebted to Le Complaisant, lated in an elegant and easy manner, a a French comedy, and to Goethe's beautitul little pastoral of Florian, “ Ef. tragedy of Clavigo. This is much lupe- telle,” together with an essay upon that rior to the ordinary run of dramatic com- species of compofition. Eftelle will not positions : the dialogue is lively, the sen- detract from the reputation which M. iiments are delicate, and the characters FLORIAN has long since earned by his are supported with spirit and consistency. writings. Mr. Moser's
“ Moral Mr. WALDRON's name is in the recol. Tales, if not distinguished by much lection of most of us; his continuation originality of conception or purity of of Bun Jonfun's Sad Shepherd, display- style, are highly respectable from their ed no vulgar talent for poetical imitation. object, which is to promote the cause of He has lately undertaken a task of uncom- virtue. His ideas concerning filial obemon temerity ; namely, to write a sequel dience are not strictly accordant with to Shakspeare's Tempest. Mr. W. has the principles of modern morality. Mr. called his drama the 6 Virgin Queen;” M. Thould reflect that where the father in which he has shewn himfölf much is a deípot, the child will generally be a better qualified, if not to impose on the Nave. Mrs. ROBINSON'S «
Walfing public, at least to imitate Shakspeare, ham” is, by no means, a happy perthan the impudent author' of Vortigern formance : relying on a deceiving popu. and Rowena. Mr. CUMBERLand's larity, Mrs. R. has, in this instance, paid “ False Impressions,” like all his other little or no respect to the judginent of productions, has the high merit of moral those whose approbation is alone worth tendency; so far as character, sentiment, fecking; her characters are incongruous, and dialogue are concerned, his comedy her events incredible, her dig effions has no claim to extraordinary commend tiresume, insipid, and often totally imation. Mr. REYNOLD's “ Cheap Liv- pertinent. Nrs. R. has considerable taing,” like the greater part of modern lents, which it is to be lamented are not plays, is written in accommodation to the myre judiciously regimened: she can netalents of soine favorite performer: it ver wiite well, so long as to fill pages may be observed, however, that a come is the principal object: her poetry is dy whole existence depends on attı13, is, highly beautiful and delicate. of neceffity, short-lived. The preva. Knights, or Sketches of the heroic Age,” lence of party-fpirit has been able to im. is a tale of chivalry, wherein 'squires and pede the success which Mr. HOLCROFT's damsels, combats and captivities, with « Knave or not" very richly merited. all the paraphernalia of roinance, are As politics fix the standard of tafe, the abundantly distributed, On the whole,
Vol. V.). Retrospect of Domestic Literature. Education. 509 it is a respectable performance. Mrs. WAY, though written incorrectly, conBennet has displayed confiderable ta- tains many spirited and sensible observalent for the diffuse, in her “Beggar Girl," tions. The author appears in no very a novel, which the has happily lucceeded amiable point of view, when the indulges in spinning through reven volumes ! herself in fome splenetic, invidious ailu" Count Donomar" is a translation from fions to contemporary writers, several of the German: it is, in every respect but one, whom are certainly far superior to her. entitled to the highest encomium: the self. A second volume has appeared of story is original, the characters natural, Miss LEE's" Canterbury Tales," which, the language rich, the imagery fplendid, like the first, are lively, elegant, and inand the sentiments fine; but the tenden: genious. We could enumerate a great cy of the work is immoral; its scenery is many more novels and romances, but the famefully voluptuous. Mr. J. Fox's catalogue would be tiresome and totally “ Santa Maria" is a romance which be- uprofitable. trays unusual imbecility, and unusual It affords us the greatest pleasure to licentivuiness.
“ The Midnight Bell” observe, that fo important an object as is the production of Mr. FRANCIS LA- moral and scientific THAM, a gentleman who has before em.. ployed himse f' in this species of compo. meets with merited attention. Mr. Dowa sition. Mr. L. has a talent for invention, LING's “ Elements and Theory of the which, however, is not under sufficiently. Hebrew Language, &c." intended to faftrict discipline : were the delineation of cilitate the Itudy of it: but so long as character an object of greater attention the dispute continues, fub judice, concern. with him, he would avoid that intricacy ing the importance or inutility of the of plot, that hurry and confusion of in- points, it can never be a book of gecident, which rather perplex than inte. neral circulation. Mr. D. rejects the rest his readers. The Midnight Bell is use of them. Mr. WALKER'S said to be a German story; if yo, Mr. L. to the classical Pronunciation of Greek is, of course, exonerated from any error and Latin Proper Names, &c. &c.” is a which may attach to the original. • The work, the plan of which is good. Mr. Rector's Son,” by Miss ANNE PLUMP- W. however, is somewhat dogmatical in TREE, is a work of moral tendency; a his opinions, and particularly on a submerit which places it in a higher station ject where diffidence would have been than many, which, in other respects, much more becoming, namely, the acwould, perhaps, be considered superior. centuation of proper names.
This work, *" The History of Vanillo Gonzales" is a though by no means invariably correct, translation from the French of Le Sage, and consequently very far from perfect, the well-known author of Gil Blas, may be of confiderable use to many perwhich, in many respects, it resembles, sons, and probably may serve as
the but to which it is so much inferior, not foundation of some valuable superstrucwithstanding, the originality of some ture. Mr. SALMON, the ingenious author charaéters, that its authenticity has been of Stemmata Latinitatis, has published “ A suspected. The author of « Ammor. Comparison of Englith Grammar with vin and Zallida" has chosen for the hero the French,” in which the principles and of his novel an emperor of China ! idiomatic expressions of the two fanThis work is not deftitute of ingenuity, guages are discussed and illustrated : this 2nd allows us to believe that the writer work is designed, and is extremely well of it is capable of producing a work of calculated, to facilitate the study of the fiction less expofed to critical objections English language to foreigners : it fure than the present. “ The History of Sir nishes our own youth, moreover, with a George Warrington" is written by the grammatical knowledge of their own author of the Female Quixote, whose re. tongue, at the same time that they are putation will not fuffer by his last pro- improving themselves in French. Mr. duction. Mr. WALKER'S « Cinthelia, HORNSEY's “ Short Grammar of the or a Woman of Ten Thousand," dir. English Language, &c.” is a compilation plays original invention, but the style is from the writings of Lowth, Wood, very contemptible, the language fo gross, Johnson, Blair, &c. &c. and simplified to ly ungrammatical, that we are sorry the the capacities of children. The rules are author, who is certainly a man of talents, short and perspicuous. An anonymous did not solicit fome literary friend to writer has published some “ Thoughts on revise the manuscript. “ Ellinor, or the Elocution ;" he appears to have studied World as it is,” by Mary Ann Han. his subject with attention, as he writes