« PreviousContinue »
tifully told in this pamphlet, to which we refer the reader of taste : our limits not allowing a quotation at length, and to abridge it, were injustice. Art. 53. The Stone-eater, an Interlude: As it is acted at the The
atre Royal, Drury Lane. By C. Stuart. 8vo. 6d. Symonds. 1788.
Aftone-eater having undertaken to divert his Majesty's subjets with the facetious operation of grinding pebbles between his teeth, it is no wonder that the theatre, ever on the watch for novelty, should lay hold of this extraordinary phenomenon. In this little piece, a father believes that his daughter is to marry a stoneeater, and is happy in the idea that he can easily provide for his fonin-law. Captain OʻThunder was born at Stoney Batter, and has lived by the Black Rock, near Dublin. This the old man fancies must be the stone-eater : but Captain Leek was born in Flintshire : this must be another stone-eater. To decide between them a collation of marble is ordered ; and with such farcical and laughable mummery, a piece is made to suit the manners, and perhaps the taste, of the times. Art. 54. Tit for Tat ; a Comedy in three Aas. Performed at
the Theatres Royal, Haymarket, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden, &c. 8vo. IS. Dilly. 1788.
This piece is taken from the French of Marivaux; the original is called Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hazard : It is not a close or servile translation, but we doubt whether, in the transfusion, some of the spirit has not evaporated. Marivaux shines in delicacy of sentiment, and his expression is elegant. The hinge, on which the fable turns, is the same in both plays. An old father is wishing to give his daughter in marriage to his friend's son, and neither he nor the daughter has ever seen the son. The match is to be concluded if the young couple like each other. To try this experiment, the daughter, with her father's consent, changes cloches with her maid, who is to personate the gentlewoman, while her mistress in disguise is to observe the lover. She accordingly prepares: the lover arrives, having taken a fimilar resolution. His man represents the gentleman, and the master passes for the servant. The incidents, that grow out of this contrivance, form the fable; and a fable of the fort which, with a variety of situations, and occasional misunderstanding between the parties, may furnish a pleasing entertainment on the stage.
NOVELS. Art. 55. The Effeets of the Passions ; or, Memoirs of Floricourt.
From the French. 12mo. 3 Vols. gs. sewed. Vernor. 1788.
Our friends and neighbours, the French (we date our friendthip from the settling of the commercial treaty), have ever, in their writings, represented the passions with a more than ordinary degree of kill. In proof of this we may refer to the romances of J. J. Rousseau, Crebillon, le Jeune, the Abbé Prevost, &c. &c. In the present performance, the wild and ungovernable impulses of youth, together with their consequences, are delineated wich considerable
fire and spirit. The writer is evidently a person of fenfibility, and a nice observer of the conduct of mankind.
The scene of this novel is frequently in one or other of the monasteries of France. Of this kind of inftitution the author appears to be a biter and implacable enemy. He has drawn a very dreadful pi&ture of the niseries to which the occupiers of these sepulchres of the living are subj-eted, at the caprice of those who are liyled superiors of the place. How far the representation may be faithful, we cannot wholly determine. We hope, however, that the colouring is heightened ; and that it is somewhat beyond the exact truth. The translation is of a superior cast. Art. 56. Heloise; or, the Siege of Rhodes. A Legendary Tale, by
the Author of Maria , or, the generous Rustic. Small 8vo. 2 Vols. 35. 6d. Boards. Elliot, &c. 1788.
Though the author of these little volumes has with-held his name, he is, notwithstanding, like the beautiful fair described by Terence,
Ubi, ubi eft, diu celari non poteft. Merit will force its way, and Mr. Berkley is now well known to be the person who has obliged the public with this most agreeable novel í very different from the train that issues from the press, under the title of CRUEL FATHERS, REPORMED RAKES, and constant Lovers. The practice of virtue is here inculcated, and the truth of imitation preserved. The scene is laid in the days of chivalry, and the adventures are such as might happen in feudal times. The incidents are contrived with art; the diction is elegant, yet natural; the sentiments are always interesting, often pathetic, and sometimes sublime If the celebrated Bilhop Berkley was, in fact, the author of Gaudentio di Lucca, it is palpable, from this work, that a consi. derable portion of ætherial fire has descended to the grandson. Mr. Berkley needed no apology for his work appearing in the form of a novel : Montesquieu, Johnson, and others of that class, have appeared before him on the same fairy ground. The following passage may serve as a specimen of the author's taste and manner : Whilft he stopped to refresh bis fteed at a small cottage, an old peasant approached him, whose hoary locks and emaciated figure pleaded Atrongly in his favour : he extended his hand to folicic charity, but knowing human nature, he extended it with doubt. A big tear glistened in his eye, uncertain whether it was to fall, as the tribute of Gratitude, or as the effufion of Disappointment. He was relieved ; the rear fell, but it was not loit; it was recorded in the presence of him, who inculcates the practice, and will reward the exertions, of charity.' These are the delicate touches, that diftinguish Mr. Berk. ley. Ex pede Herculem.
MISCELLANEOU S. Art. 57. The Country Curate , or Letters from Clericus to Benevo.
lus. 12m0. 25. sewed. Longman, &c. 1788. This Country Curate is intended to resemble the famous Yorick, of benevolent and facetious memory. Each of his letters contains • See Review, vol. Ixxi. p. 387.
some slight adventure, calculated to introduce a small tale of a pathetic turn, touched off in the evanescent manner of Sterne: and to such as never read Tristram Shandy, and the Sentimental Journey, if any such there are, they may appear more easy and natural, than to those who perceive the traces of imitation, down to the very un. meaning breaks and dashes, that begin, end, and divide every paragraph, to no better purpose than to disgust the Reader at the fervility of the Writer. If a man has any thing to offer to the public atrention, his own manner, it is to be hoped, will fic much more becomingly on him, than any affectation or mimicry whatever. Art. 58. The Affectionate Father, a Sentimental Comedy: together
with Essays on various Subjects. By James Nelson, Author of an Essay on the Government of Children *.
8vo. Dodney. 1786.
[ An accident bas delayed the appearance of this Article.] The moral of this Comedy is worthy of the pen of a writer, who has at heart the true intereft of his fellow.creatures. It teaches, in the words of the Author, that' virtuous principles produce virtuous actions ; and virtuous actions are the surest ground on which to build the happiness of society.' Mr. Nelson's scenes aim at the nobleft end, and in a moral sense are superior to the wit and brilliancy of a Congreve. Whether the plot is conducted with that dramatic artifice, which ensures success on the stage, need not be made a quertion, when the piece is only offered to the reader in his closet. This mode of conveying instruction is well chofen ; the characters are produced in action, and may therefore be attended with a better effect than in the way of effay-writing. On the other subjects, not suscepr. ible of the dramatic form, Mr. Nelson has given several differtations to and made an useful miscellaneous collection. The list of his subfcribers is numerous, and may be considered as an honourable suffrage to the character of a man, who employs his moments of relaxation from business in works that may contribute to the entertainment, and certainly will to the morals and inftruction, of his readers. Art. 59. Differtations on the Origin, Nature, and Pursuits of intelli
gent Beings; and on Divine Providence, Religion, and religious Worship: in the Course of which, the Honour and Dignity of the Supreme Being is vindicated from the absurd, if not impious Suppolition, that by a particular or partial Providence, he interferes, influences, and directs the Thoughts and Determinations of Indi. viduals, and the political Government, Changes, and Events of States and Kingdoms. To which is added, A necessary and most * See Review, vol. ix. p.
161. + The titles of these are, “Reflections on Men and Manners.' On the Danger of Copper Vessels.' · Letter to Mr. Gilpin, on the Hobby-horse.' Dialogue between a Painter and a Cheesee monger.'' Seven Letters to Mr. Nelson, relative to the high Price of Provisions. • Memoirs of Miss Anastasia Robinson, afterwards Countess of Peterborow.' Memoirs of Henry Mill, Esq. And, • An Eflay on Duelling.'
equitable Suggestion and Plan for the Relief of the present Exigencies of the State, the -Burdens of the People, and a more ho. nourable Mode for supporting the Clergy. Also an essential Sketch for a more rational Form of Worship, and a new Liturgy. By J. Z. Holwell, F. R. S. Most humbly inscribed, with all Duty, Loyalty, and Reverence, to the King (as supreme Head of the Church), and the Legislature of Great Britain and Ireland. 8vo. 25. 6d. Cadell, &c.
We should leave this fingular performance to speak for itself, in the above preamble, if the Author had not omitted to inform the Public, that the first principle on which his plans proceed is, that men are failen angels, condemned to suffer in human bodies for the fins of their former state. According to Mr. H. every man is porsessed by, or rather is, an evil spirit, and the true cause of all the corruptions and miseries we complain of is, that the devil is in us all. Perhaps the world will be disposed to give our Author the retort courteous, when they are informed, that the first proposition in his plan for the reformation of the church is, that the dignified clergy of every denomination Mall be divested of all rank, precedence, and title, in church and state, saving and except that of Doctor of Divinity, which shall be common to all the clergy.-This is levelling with a witness! We give Mr. H. much credit for his good intentions ; but we would advise him to leave the work of reformation to cooler heads. Art. 60. Memoirs of an English Misionary to the Coast of Guinea ;
who went thither for the sole Purpose of converting the Negroes to Chritianity. 8vo. Shepperson and Reynolds. 1788.
Extracted from the Rev. Mr. Thompson's Account, first published in 1758; see Rev. vol. xx. p. 81. This abridgment affords us but little information with respect to the capacity of the Negroes for mental improvement. Their extreme ignorance, and their deplorable superstitions, seem indeed almost, if not absolutely, insurmountable obstacles to the tak of religious conversion, especially in their own country. If any great good is to be done in this way, we fuppose it must be where they are held in Navery, under Christian masters and judicious instructors. But of this matter the Writer of the present article confesses himself an incompetent judge, having no personal acquaintance with the West Indies, or any other places where that species of servitude is known. Art. 61. Memoirs of the late War in Afia. With a Narrative of the
Imprisonment and Sufferings of our Officers and Soldiers. By an Officer of Colonel Baillie's Detachment. 8vo. 2 Vols. Boards, Murray. 1788. The anonymous Author of this work declares it to be the object of these Memoirs, (at the same time that they illustrate the connection of military affairs with politics, the nature and relations of different actions 'to one another, and their influence on the general result of the war ;) to describe not only our own, but the valour and address of our enemies, and to particularise the merits and the hardships of our countrymen, and others in our service; for the promotion of
their intereft, if they have survived their sufferings, for perpetuating their names if they have not; and in both cases, for the satisfaction or consolation of their anxious relations and friends.'
The volumes accordingly contain rather plain journals of events, than details of the cabinet causes of those events; and the relations are highly favourable to the Indian administration of Mr. Hastings. The miscellaneous nature of the transactions will render them especially amusing to those to whom Oriental affairs are interesting; though the language may not always exhibit them to the best advantage. The narratives of the brutal treatment of such of our countrya men as were captured by those savage tyrants, Hyder Ali, and his son Tippoo Saib, extracts from which have appeared in many of the periodical prints, will affect every heart susceptible of humane impreslions. Several characters, both European and Afiatic, are introduced, and described with great freedom ; and some Eastern customs and scenes are delineated, particularly a visit received by a Mahometan gentleman from an English officer, to whom he was under peculiar obligations, and whom he admitted into his haram, and presented to his wives and family :--a molt extraordinary instance of condescenfion, indeed!
An index to this book is wanted, for occasional consultation : No work of any consequence should be laid before the Public with this deficiency. Art. 62. Afort Account of the Prince of Wales's Island, or Polo Pee
nang, in the East Indies, given to Capt. Light by the King of Quedah. Ornamented with an elegant Engraving, representing a View of the North Point of the Prince of Wales's Island, and the Ceremony of Christening it. Taken on the Spot by Elisha Trapaud, Esq; Captain in the Engineer Corps on the Madras Etablishment. Also a Chart, including the Plan of the INand. 8vo. 25, 6d. sewed.
Stockdale. 1788. The island of Pulo Peenang came to Capt. Light as a marriage portion with a Princess of the royal house of Quedan, a kingdom on the coast of Malaya. Capt. Light had affitted
the King in quelling some troubles in his dominions, and received this distinguished reward for his services. In recommendation of the island, we understand that it affords a convenient shelter for our ships during tempestuous weather, at the shifting of the monsoons, when our ships are obliged to quit the coast of Coromandel, where there is no harbour to protect them, and go round to Bombay, particularly if they have occasion to refit in time of war: whereas, by the quantity of wood on the island, even tips of wär may winter and refit here. Many other advantages are pointed out, that invite us to settle and cultivate this spot, both of a commercial and political nature : and the East India Company, we are informed, offer encouragement for this purpose.
Among Mr. Dalrymple's valuable charts, is one of the Strait between Pulo Peenang and the adjacent coast of Quedah, which is added to the above pamphlet for those purchasers who chuse it, as the additional price of fixpence.