« PreviousContinue »
Near this bleak Wafte no friendly manfion rears
While Horror treads the scatter'd bones around.
Wet with the drizling fhow'r; I figh fincere, I caft a fond look tow'rds my native home,
And think what valiant BRITONS perish'd here.
When carnage here her crimson toil began ;
For thousands ev'ry age in fight to fall;
That as produc'd by CHYMIC art refin'd;-
Extracts a GEN'RAL POISON for Mankind. Here let him wander at the midnight hour,
These morbid rains, thefe gelid gales to meet; And mourn like me, the ravages of Pow'r!
And feel like me, that Victory is defeat!
Nor deem, ye vain! that e'er I mean to fwell
And call fuch dreary desolation, Fame.
The genuine Muse removes the thin disguise,
That cheats the World, whene'er fhe deigns to fing And full as meritorious to her eyes
Seems the Poor Soldier, as the Mighty King! Alike I fhun in labour'd ftrain to show,
How BRITAIN more than triumph'd, tho' fhe fled, Where LOUIS stood, where stalk'd the column flow; I turn from thefe, and DWELL UPON THE DEAD. Yet much my beating breaft refpects the brave;
Too well I love them, not to mourn their fate, Why should they feek for greatnefs in the Grave? Their hearts are noble-and in life they're great. Nor think 'tis but in War the Brave excel,
TO VALOUR EV'RY VIRTUE IS ALLIED! Here faithful Friendship 'mid the battle fell, And Love, true Love, in bitter anguish died.
Alas! the folemn flaughter I retrace,
That checks life's current circling thro' my veins;
Absorbs my fenfes, and my mind fubdues,
But lo! thro' yonder op'ning clouds afar
(Wherever chance my courfe compels) to find
We particularly admire the 7th ftanza as containing a thought both new and juft.
• When far off the night ftorm flies,
His Mufe is generally plaintive, and fometimes philofophical, Thus, to Anna Matilda:
Tells it what mandate to obey,
Let not the ftudious Seer reply,
: *This imperfect mode of expreffion can never be allowed. We are left to fuppofe that "millions of ftars" is meant ; but though this be inferable, it is not said.
Ah! quit thy toil, prefumptuous Sage,
The concealed Lady is not equal to her unfeen admirer, either as a philofopher or poet, yet we lament that her book is clos'd her lyre is broke. Arley's poetry is entitled to the praise of being eafy and elegant;-the Invitation to Delia we would particularly refer to, in juftification of this encomium; Benedict's Sonnets certainly have merit, and the fame might be faid of the African Boy and the Ode to Prudence; the former by the Bard, and the latter by Edwin; but not a merit equal to the Sonnets. Our opinion of the pieces entitled Ancient Mufie, we fhall neither fay nor fing.
As verbal critics, we might be induced to notice the words literate, ifolated, fenfate, &c. which occur in thefe volumes, but we are not difpofed at present to exercise our talents in this way. We fhall rather obferve that fome of the poems, defigned to be pathetic, tire by too much paftoral description; and that in thofe of Della Crufca, we feveral times meet with Shades among and groves among, which, when often used by a modern poet of eminence, will excite fome difapprobation. We, however, are infinitely more diffatisfied with the indecent lines on Lady T-rc-l's Ring, which certainly should not have been allowed a place in a collection of the chafte, plaintive, and elegant productions of ANNA MATILDA, and DELLA CRUSCA.
A Tragic Drama, by Della Crufca, entitled Ambitious Vengeance, concludes Vol. I. On this we shall obferve that it is indeed tragic, that the plot feems to have been fuggefted by Shakefpeare's Macbeth, and his Romeo and Juliet ; and that the outlines of the characters are for the most part derived from the fame fource. As a Drama it is defective, but the dialogue is not unworthy the elegant pen to which it is afcribed.
For NOVEMBER, 1788.
Art. 15. Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland. Etched by Adam de Cardonnel. 8vo. 2 Vols. 18s. Boards. Edwards. 1788.
HE reception which a former publication* met with, has encouraged Mr. de Cardonnel to continue his labours in preferving from oblivion the ancient remains of Caledonian fplendor, once fo con
*Numifmata Scotia. See Rev. vol. lxxv. p. 114.
fpicuous in the churches, religious houfes, and castles, now moftly in ruins.
The volumes before us contain neat engravings of feveral ruins, fomewhat fimilar to thofe of Capt. Grofe, with a fhort description in letter-prefs under the plate.
The first volume, which is appropriated to religious houfes, has an introduction defcribing the different orders of Monks, with their inftitutions in Scotland; and the fecond, in which are the ruins of fortifications, has a prefatory difcourfe on ancient fortification, part of which is abridged from that of Capt. Grofe in his Preface to the English antiquities.
Mr. de Cardonnel has bestowed no fmall labour in collecting the materials for this publication, and he feems to have executed his plan with judgment, in the hiftorical part, and with elegance, in the engravings. The small fcale on which the ruins are drawn may be objected to by those who are accustomed to larger plates: the author was fenfible of this objection; but he wished to accommodate travellers with a pocket companion, that might give a concife account of fome of the principal circumftances relative to Scottish ruins and this purpose will be well anfwered by the prefent publi
Art. 16. A Letter to Sir Francis Blake, Bart. Wherein his Arguments for the Abolition of Tithes, and the Reform of the Church Revenue †, are candidly confidered, and their Futility expofed. Being a concife, but rational, Defence of the prefent Syftem of Tithes. 8vo. Is. 6d. Stalker. 1788.
When Sir Francis Blake's Propofal for the Liquidation of the National Debt was first published, we were rather difpofed to pass over his ideas for the extinction of tithes, in a ludicrous way, than to avail ourfelves of the opportunity of officioufly touching on fo tender a fubject; and the prefent writer alfo might fafely have let them alone: for there are no indications that his fchemes are going to be put in execution. Nevertheless we are now very loudly called back to the fubject of tithes; and are warned of the danger of attempting to meddle with ecclefiaflical affairs, in a manner truly alarming:
The alliance between Church and State is fo facred and inviolate, that few inftances can be produced, where the property of the former has been invaded, and its interefts betrayed, without a manifeft injury being done to the latter: the dependencies and relations of the one and the other being fo minutely interwoven, that it certainly requires the niceft difcrimination to determine how far the fuperior power may invade, or alienate the long-established rights of the inferior, without manifeftly incurring the imputation of injuftice. The many dreadful convulfions which have rent afunder, nay even overturned the most powerful empires, which have rifen to the most tre
See his Propofal for the Liquidation of the National Debt, &c. Rev. vol. Ixviii. p. 444.
mendous heights, from very fmall beginnings, are warnings that Speak in thunder to the inconfiderate and precipitate, who thoughtlefsly advise, or haftily incite others to execute, what may not only produce a temporary diforder, but overwhelm thousands in inevitable perdition.'
What, cannot we wish to alter the mode of providing for one order of men in the nation, from a way that proves difagreeable to others, to a way more eafy to themselves, without apprehending the ruin of the whole? A fat pluralift would "fpeak in thunder,' even to a mild propofal to reduce the inequalities of benefices, and enjoin refidence: yet no thunder either from heaven or earth punished the daring refumption of abbey lands * !
To Sir Francis Blake's propofal for abolishing what he deems unneceffary dignities in the church, our Author replies,
Is not this doctrine of yours directly applicable to every rank in life, to the Peerage and Baronetage, as well as to the Clergy? Can' you advance one fingle argument for the abolition of the different diftinctions in the Church, that will not militate with a double force against all the higher diftinguishing ranks in life, and recoil upon your own head with fuch perfevering fury, that I believe all your ingenuity will be found infufficient to extricate yourself from the impending blow? Detroy diftinction, and you deftroy fubordination, order, and decorum. If it be abfolutely neceffary amongst one clafs of mankind, it is in another, for the rule holds good through the whole, and is invariably fo in the time paft, the prefent, and the future.'
This does not appear prima facie, and is mere local argument. For, were the question to be decided at Edinburgh, Amfterdam, or Geneva, they might at either of thofe places argue, that as Chrift's kingdom is not of this world, it is not fufficiently clear that his fervants have any profeffional claim to a participation in worldly offices and dignities; nor why a hierarchy fhould be erected, rifing from the confeffedly useful ftation of a parish priest, through feveral ex penfive degrees, until it reaches, and unites with, the highest poli
The above inflance is full in point, confidering the fcornful indifcriminate reproach which the writer cafts on ALL attempts at reformation. Referring to the fale of Sir Francis Blake's pamphlet, he obferves, 'The third edition is, no doubt, fufficient evidence of its favourable reception with the Public, who is ever anxious to patronize the wildest chimeras, and the moft improbable inconfiftencies, if they be only fanctioned by the palatable word, Reform. This has been an ignis fatuus to mislead the credulous, from the earliest accounts of time, even to the prefent day. It favours their humours, and accords with their ill-grounded prejudices, by promising a speedy exemption from all their burthens, real or imaginary. This propofition, however improbable in the execution, or delufive in the event, readily finds a number of votaries, by indulging their hopes, and flattering their prepoffeffions. But how far the final iffues of thefe ill-concerted reformations, have quadrated with their expectations, the biftories of paft ages inform us. Here is a leffon for the credulous, and a warning for the precipitate!'