« PreviousContinue »
perceive by the following fpecimen, from the description of the mi-
Amid the horrors of tormenting pain
Till death restores himn'. --&c. Perhaps fell would have been a happier epithet than low; but we leave the choice to the good sense and taste of this promising young writer ;
-as we likewise do the amendment of what seems a litile ob. fcure in that part of the quotation which we have diftinguifhed by 11clics, --To her lifter, also, we would recommend the disuse of that vile contraction 'neath, for beneath. It is true, that she has seen it in other poetic writers ; but not in any whole example the should deign to follow, Art. 48. An Oide on the popular Superftitions of the Highlands of Score
land, confidered as the Subjet of Poetry. By Mr. William Cole lins. Dedicated to the Wartons. 4to.
16. 6d. Bell. 1788. This is offered to the Public as a perfect copy of Mr. Collins's beautiful Ode. If it is, indeed, complete, it is to be lamented that the evidence of its authenticity is with-held from the Public. Surely the gentleman, who found it in the drawers of a bureau,' should allow his name to be published, and give us the satisfaction of knowing whether it was in the hand writing of Mr. Collins; which is, certainly, a material question. The lines that supply the charm in the whole of the 5th and half of the 6th ftanza, introduce the execution of Charles the First, the rebellion in 1745, the battles of PrestonPans, Falkirk, and Culloden ; but the style does not seem, to us, to be in the manner of Collins. For some obiervations on the Ode itself, we refer our Readers to our account of this poem as printed in the Edinburgh Transactions : See page 532. Art. 49. Peter's Prophecy; or, The President and Poet; or, An im.
portant Epifle 10 Sir 7. Banks, on the approaching Election of a President of the Royal Society. With an Etching by an eminenc Artist. By Peter Pindar, Esq. 4to. 39. Kearfley. 1788.
P. P. has declared that his muse must have kings for his theme; and that kings must be had. It now appears that having no longer a suPERIOR monarch to attack, in this country, at least, he has turned his poetic artillery against the King of the Royal Society.
What this philosophical Porentate hath done to offend 'Squire Pindar, we know not; but we observe that the mighty bard baih let loose on him all the united force of his satire, humour, wit, rancour, and abuse; and against such an host of affailants, led on by fuch a General as Peter, what king, prince, potentate, or philosopher can Hand? Oo 2
We are sorry, however, to see Peter raking in the cold embers of that difieofon which broke out in the R. S. a few years paft, and endeavouring to re-kindle the flame of discord in that learned and truly respectable body ; but whatever may be the satirist's view in recurring to that forgotten quarrel, we hope that the peace which hath so happily taken place among the Sons of Science will remain undisturbed.
Peter taxes the President with being an encourager of triling pursuits, and an enemy to the sublime Studies of mathematics, astronomy, &c. We believe this charge to be ill founded ; and if such it be, all the superstructure of railing and invective which he bath raised on this sandy base, must fall to the ground: but we do not mean to stand forth as the champions of Sir
Joseph Banks : what he hath done, and is daily doing, for science, will prove his best vindication.
Other characters, friends of Sir Joseph, are here introduced and ridiculed; as Dr. Blagden, Sir W. Hamilton, Dr. Herschell, Mr. John Hunter, Mr. Aubert, Mr. Daines Barrington, and other respectable names.
The title of this poem, Peter's Prophecy,' refers to the late St. Andrew's Day, previously to which it was published.
« To CÆSAR, who th' advice with scorn repaid,
“ Beware the Ides of March,” a conj'ror said. More reverenc'd, let a greater Conj'ror fay,
“Beware, Sir JOSEPH BANKS, St. Andrew's day.” If the poet meant to foretell that Sir J. B. would not be re-elected, as usual, on that day, the R. S, took care to vote him a false prophet.
But though we cannot, in this instance, applaud the fatirist's choice of a subject, we must admit, that there are in this, as in all his productions, many pleasant strokes and lucky hits of wit and humour. As an instance, we may transcribe the following smile, which we can detach from the poem without giving our circulation to one line of fatire on any character introduced into the work:
• Thus when an host of grafs-hoppers and rats,
** This,' fays Peter, is actually done in Roman Catholic countries by order of the church. In some places two attorneys are employed in the affair of the grass-hoppers; one for the grass-hoppers, the other for the people : but it is the fate of the grass-hoppers to have the worst of it, as they are always anathematized, and ordered to be excommunicated if they do not quit the place within a certain number of days.'-The days, we fuppose, are alwaye calculated with tolerable accuracy.
2 s. 6 d.
Whenever this ingenious writer chuses to make vices, mischievous follies, and errors, not men, the subjects of his poetical Aagellations, we will venture to prophecy that his works will stand a fairer chance of being transmitted to pofterity, with the plaudits of every reader who has a taste for this species of comic poetry. Churchill is already forgotten : the reason is fufficiently obvious. His satires were personal ; and the common lot of mortality hath swept away the very foundations on which they were raised. Art. 5o. Birch for Peter Pindar, Esq. A Burlesque Poem. By Pin
daromaftix. 4to. 25. 6d. Robinsons. 1788. With many unpoetical lines, and execrable rhimes, this Mr. Px has some invention, and not a littie drollery. He has diverted us with Peter's trial for high treason before the privy council; and it is impossible not to laugh at his description of the wreck of the ship which was carrying Peter to Botany Bay. To give humour to a catastrophe of that kind, certainly requires fome genius. Had we wanted matter to fill up with, we should have been tempted to extract this last mentioned paffage; but this is a month of business, and we have before us many objects of much higher importance. For a former poem by this writer, entitled " Sop in the Pan for Peter Pindar," &c. see Rev. for October, p. 368. Art. 51. Royal Magnificence; or the Effusions of Ten Days : a De
scriptive and Satirical Poem, in Three Cantos. 410. Bew, &c. 1788.
With some gcod, and many inferior lines, with a little wit, a little humour, and a multitude of explanatory notes, this Writer has contrived to eke out a very tedious satire on the festivity produced by the King's late visit to Worcester, and on the innocent and very natural curiosity of the multitude assembled on that novel occasion. The gentry, the magistracy, and the mob, are all subjected to the lash of ridicule, but happily the Great Personage himself, from whose wellmeant excursion all the hurly-burly sprang, hath not found a Peter Pindar in this Worcestershire bard,
NOVELS. Art. 52. The New Sylph, or Guardian Angel. A Story, · 12mo.
25. 6d. sewed. Lane. 1788. This little story displays a tolerable share of invention; but the denouement is much too easily and too early foreseen. Ars eft celare artem : the business of art is to conceal art; an observation that holds with respect to every work of fancy, though very rarely attended to. Art. '53. The Adventures of a Speculif; or, a. Journey through
London. Compiled from Papers written by George Alexander Stevens (Author of a Lecture upon Heads). With his Life, &c. by the Editor. 12mo. 2 Vols. 7s. sewed. Bladon. 1788.
If it be true, that “ Vice, to be hated, needs but to be seen,” the present volumes may go far toward rendering it generally deteftable. They exhibic nature in some of her ugliest and most unseemly shapes : in the persons of highwaymen, gamblers, female prostitutes, and bawds. We can scarcely accede, however, to the poet's propo
fition respecting the hideousness of vice. Its operation on the sensible mind is,' no doubt, certain : but with the weaker it may have a different effect. Deformity may be concealed by a splendid dress, and may even put on the appearance of beauty. We mean not, by this; to infinuate that Mr. S. has at any time endeavoured to render the monster ariable; on the contrary, from the reflections which ac. company his narrative, it is evidectly composed on Mr. Pope's principle. But, still, we are of opinion that such publications are attended with danger; and that the writer, while thinking to wara by grecept, may encourage by the example which he exhibits.
MISCELLANEOUS. Art. 54. Curious Particulars and genuine Anecdotes, respecting the
late Lord Chesterfield and David Hume, Esq. with a Parallel between those celebrated Personages, &c. 8vo.
These curious particulars, and genuine anecdotes' are chiefly collected from magazines and other periodical prints. The pamphlet may, however, answer the editor's purpose, fince it serves for the vehicle of abuse both general and particular. General, as it respects the great, the fathionable part of mankind, who, we are here informed, but too commonly the least of all God's little atoms;' and particular, as it affects Mr. M- (a very ingenious writer and relpectable character), who is represenied in the present pages as 'an hungry editor; a man who has sacrificed his parron's reputation at the fordid altar of Plucus.'
A copy of David Hume's last will and testament, and Lord Cherterfield's speech again ft licenficg the stage, are among our editor's curiofities. The parallel' announts to nothing: and how could it be otherwise ? Art. 55. A Review of the Affairs of the Austrian Netherlands, in tbe
Year 1787. 8vo. 25. Murray. 1788. The late disturbances in Flanders, occasioned by the attempt of the Emperor to subvert the ancient and free order of government in that country, are too well known to require, at this time, any particular detail. But with the measures which created those disturbances, many, we prelume, are unacquainted. We have therefore to observe that the present writer, after having particularly described the forns of administration in Brabant, and other principal provinces of the empire in the Netherlands, has stated those measures with truth and accuracy, and in a very correct and pleasing style. He praises the moderation of Joseph in yielding to the opposition which was made to his authority ; but we think with no great fhew of rea.. fon. His Imperial Majetty may rather be laid, in this his moderation, to have made a virtue of necesity. The Brabanters of the present day, are not the characters represented by Erasmus in his morise en
* This excellent piece of oratory is not uncommon. Theophilus Cibber republished it, in 1756, at the end of his Two Differtations on tbe Theatres; together with fundry other papers againn licensing the itage. See General Index to the Monthly Review, vol. ii.
comium. They boldly and virtuously maintained their rights; and Joseph in his conflict with the brave and warlike Turks, is perhaps better employed than in coercing his subjects. Every idea of such proceedings, we, as Englishmen, have realon to reprobate and contemn.
We cannot take leave of this intelligent writer without remarking, that, in one particular, we think him somewhat deficient: namely, the not having stated to the world the probable motive of the Emperor for his projected change in the consticution of the Netherlands. It should be remembered that this monarch, in the year 1785, proposed to the Elector-palatine, to cede to him the dominion of the Low Countries, with the title of king, in exchange for the Durchy of Bavaria and its appendages, and which had devolved to the said Elector on the death of Maximilian Joseph: but this was ftrenuously opposed by the King of Prussia, on the plea of support. ing the laws and constitution of the German Empire. Frederick, however, being dead, it was apparently the intention of Joseph, by an abolition of the power of the states of Brabant, and by placing it in the hands of his ministers, to pave the way for a revival of his fcheme, notwithftanding the confederacy fo lately entered into by the Princes of Germany to preserve inviolate the established order and government of their respective states. But whatever the de.. figns of the Emperor might be, the execution of them is suspended. He is now engaged in an expensive war, and in such a situation, fubfidies are agreeable things. Art. 56. A Letter to the Right Honourable the Lord High Chancellor of
Great Britain, on the Sunject of a Petition (now before him) relative to the Proof of a Bill of Exchange, under one of the late Bankrupicies. 410.
Richardson. 1788. This pamphlet is evidently not written by a professional man; it relates to a subject very interesting to the commercial world, and the Chancellor's decision is waited for with confiderable anxiety.
The question now before him (which is never stated in this let. ter) is Morily this; Whether the holder of an accepted bill of exchange ought to prove the hand-writing of the first indorfer by direct evidence, before he can compel the acceptor to pay it.
The Court of King's Bench, in the case of SMITH v. Chester, has decided this question in the affirmative ; but the consequences of this determination are by most commercial men supposed to be so exceedingly injurious to the interests of trade, that it has been thought advisable, in a cafe that lately happened, to petition the Chancellor for leave to prove a bill under a commission of banke ruptcy, the hand-writing of the first indorser not being proved. The Author of this letter controverts the decision of the Court of King's Bench, by instancing a number of cases frequently, or rather conitantly, occurring in regular business, wherein the existence of such a law would be productive of much mischief. The following extract contains an account of one of the most material inconveni, ences, which would arise from the principle in question becoming a settled maxim of law :.
( When post bills are iflued at the Bank of England, they are very frequently made payable to the order of one person, when the