Page images
PDF
EPUB

ber of the Middle Temple Society. 4to. 1 s. 6d. Bro-.

therton.

The Author of this little Effay premifes, that our (as he is pleased to term them) fenfible reflections in our review of Hooke's Roman Hiftory, fift excited his curiofity to attempt an Enquiry into the doctrine of a Tenure, which keeps fo many thousand of our fellow fubjects, male and female, not only in real indigence, but, what is worfe, a moft abject and fervile dependance on the caprice, vanity, or folly, of an elder brother. We are glad to have been the occafion of raising an attention to a subject which deferves the most serious confideration of the public: and if this Writer had knowlege and judgment, equal to his learning and vivacity, the indigent younger brethren and deflitute females, need not have an abler Advocate. But if we may judge from the flyle and i manner of this piece, it is a juvenile attempt, and most young Authors make a profufe difplay of their reading,

And think they grow immortal as they quote.

Thus our Author has overcharged every paragraph with fcraps of Latin, which ferve no other purpose, but to expofe an unfashionable pedantry. * We would not, however, have this Writer difcouraged; as, when his luxuriance is pruned, he may make a refpectable figure: for it is but just to acknowlege, that his reflections are always fpirited, and frequently ingenious and pertinent. Defcribing the confequences of an elder brother's fucceeding to a father dying inteftate, poffeffed of a freehold eftate, without perfonal affets, or marriage fettlement, he very justly and pleafantly remarks, that- Upon feizing and taking poffel-, fion of this freehold land, (the whole eftate) the firft ftep he is advised to by his Counsel, is to dock the entail. By this he cuts off, from the children of his own father and mother, the contingent chance of fucceffion, in order to make them wholly dependent on his good graces, during the time he remains unmarried.-Defunt cætera.- -At length he marries a fole Heirefs, and, by a Smithfield bargain, doubles his eftate, fettles in the manfion-houfe of the family, and refiding there, his country enjoys the benefit of an upright Magiftrate, and the neighbours, that of his generofity and diffufed hofpitality. Thus are twenty-five or thirty thousand acres of English freehold held, agreeable to the fpirit of the Sword, that is to fay, fucceffion in primo geniture. A portion of inheritance vefted in one, which would make five hundred Freehold- . ers happy, can be deemed no other than held in Mortmain, because Leafeholders feldom form projects of any improvements, having nothing but their leases to depend upon.

Neglectis urenda Filix innafcitur Agris.

Thus much for the advantages accruing to the State from the prefent Tenure, where the other part of this family, namely, the younger brother, can never attain a competency; and as to the fifters, they may mourn their virginity, like Jephtha's daughter, becaufe what becomes of either, remains a fecret to this day.'

POETICA L.

J

Art. 3. An Epithalamium on the Nuptials of Lord Warkworth and Lady Sufan Stuart, Infcribed to the Right Honourable the Coun

L 4

tess

tefs of Northumberland. 6d. Marth.

By Timoleon Brecknock. Folio.

Nothing, certainly, could be more laudable, or more benevolent, than Mr. Brecknock's defign in this Epithalamium. There is fomething kind and attentive to the happiness of the noble Pair in the very motto, wherein he cordially advifes them, not to forget the great duty of propagation, but to beget children, as their parents had done before them;Brevi Liberos Date, fays he; and furely fage was the advice; for we are naturally frail and forgetful creatures; very inattentive, and apt to overlook the most important duties. From thefe confiderations, no doubt, it was that the Author, in the very firft line of his poem, reminds the noble family to whom he addreffes it, that Poets used formerly to be well paid for their labours.

Great their deserts, great their rewards!

Nothing could be more prudent, or more to the purpose.

The Poet does every thing with the utmoft order and decorum. On the morning of the wedding day, he calls upon Hymen, and having twice given him orders to make hafte, and look about him, fets him regularly to work. Then comes the Bride, who, like Byblis, undergoes pae of Ovid's metamorphofes :

The Bride, adorn'd with every grace,
Inherent in the Stuart race,

From Bute (the fountain) fprings.

Pretty and furprizing! but, for the miraculous, give us the subsequent part of the flanza!

Whofe House enlarg'd with Brunswick's blood,
A confluent fream of great and good,
Excels all earthly Kings.

Bute, in the preceding verfe was a fountain. Behold here then, the houfe of a fountain enlarged with blood, and more excellent than all the Kings upon earth! This is the wonderful, the mysterious, or the ftriking, which has fo fine an effect in poetry!

Hymen, being fomewhat flow, is again called upon, in the next ftanza, to mend his pace, and to mind what he is about. And now the Bridegroom makes his appearance

With fresh perfumes
Fragrant, the jocund Bridegroom comes,
Northumberland's rich Heir.

Obferve the elegant turn of the compliment! My Lord has dreffed his hair with pomatum, has fprinkled his handerchief with orange-flower water, and is Heir to a large eltate:

Northumberland's RICH Heir!

This is fpeaking to the purpofe. It would have been unpardonable in the Poet to have forgotten this circumftance.

Hymen being ftill tardy, is a third time called upon to make hafte; and, in order to render him a little more expeditious, is told, almost in plain terms, that his Lordship and Lady Sufan are in a violent hurry about fomething

[ocr errors][merged small]

The Lovers glance a mutual fire,
And scarce conceal their fond defire
To mingle foul with foul.

Euge! great Talieffin! why fhould you mince the matter? And now, gentle Reader, now we are going to ftrip the Bride-yes, ftrip her to the very puris naturalibus, and throw her ftark-naked into the arms of her Lord:

I

Ye Nymphs, attendant on the Bride,
Throw, throw her gems, her robes afide,
Her filken lace untye:

And give her in her NATIVE CHARMS,
To her own Warkworth's eager arms,
A Paradife of joy.

Poets have always a right to prophecy, but Mr. Brecknock must have had a moral certainty of what he foretells in the following ftanza, fince he had taken all proper measures towards producing fuch an effect;

Methinks already I foresee

The Prattler fondling on the knee,
And lifping after Fame:
Cry" How I long to far outfhine
"The Percy, Seymour, Stuart line,
In Smithfon's loftier name!"

In compliment to the Poet, we would advife the noble Pair to call the child Timoleon, as that would render its name ftill more fonorous.

THEATRICAL.

Art. 4. The Patron, a Comedy, in three Acts. As it is performed at the Theatre in the Hay-market. By Samuel Foote, Efq; 8vo. Is. Kearfly.

Not greatly inferior to any of Mr. Foote's former humourous productions; altho' it cannot be ranked with his Mayor of Garret. The character of the Patron is that of a fuperficial coxcombly pretender to wit and learning; who, being a man of fortune and fashion, affords his countenance and protection to a fet of contemptible witlings, for the fake of the incenfe offered by them to his vanity. There are fome other ridiculous characters in the piece, particularly Mr. Ruft the Antiquarian, who falls in love with a fine young Lady, because he thought. the tip of her nose resembled that of the Princess Poppaa. Sir Peter Pepper-pot, the rich Weft-Indian, is likewife brought in, to divert the audience with his account of barbecues and turtle-feafts: and Dactyl the Ppet, with Mr. Puff the Bibliopolian, have a pleafant quarrel, in order to expofe the art and myftery of book-making and publishing.

Art, 5. The Liar, a Comedy, in three Acts. As it is performed at the Theatre in the Hay-market, By Samuel Foote, Efq; 8vo. 1s. 6d. Kearly,

The

The unmanly vice of Lying, is here attacked with the vivacity and humour which diftinguish the comic writings of Mr. Foote. The Reviewers also, who had offended this droll Genius, by fome ftrictures on one or two of his pieces, (which he doubtless looked upon as a fort of lying too, as nothing could poffibly be true which was faid to the difadvantage, in any degree, of Mr. Foote's productions) come in for a ftroke or two by the bye.

J

As fuch little attacks are fometimes made upon us, which very few of our Readers, perhaps, ever fee, or even hear of; and as this is one of the fmarteft of them all, (tho' we have not greatly smarted by it) we fhall extract this part of the work, as the most candid fpecimen that could be given.

Young Wilding, a Rake, having eloped from Oxford, in company with a fly Adventurer, who attends him as a fort of private Tutor, the latter, among other particulars, gives the following account of himself: r. Wild. Why this difguife? why renounce your country?

6

Papillion. There, Sir, you make a little mistake; it was my country that renounced me.

r. Wild. Explain.

• Pap. In an inftant, upon quitting the school, and firft coming to town, I got recommended to the Compiler of the Monthly Review.

Y. Wild. What, an Author too?

Pap. Oh, a voluminous one: the whole region of the belles lettres fell under my inspection; phyfic, divinity, and the mathematics, my Mistress managed herself, There, Sir, like another Ariftarch, I dealt out fame and damnation at pleafure. In obedience to the caprice and commands of my Mafter, I have condemned books I never read, and applauded the fidelity of a tranflation, without understanding one fyllable of the original.

"

r. Wild. Ay! why I thought acuteness of difcernment, and depth of knowlege,, were neceffary to accomplish a Critic.

Pap. Yes, Sir; but not a monthly one. [Well hit, Mr. F. !] Our method was very concife: We copy the title-page of a new book; we never go any farther: if we are ordered to praise it, we have at hand about ten words, which, fcattered through as many periods, effectually does the bufinefs; as, laudable defign, happy arrangement, fpirited language, nervous fentiment, elevation of thought, conclufive argument; if we are to decry, then we have," anconnected, flat, false, illiberal flricture, reprehenfible, unnatural" and thus, Sir, we pepper the Author, and foon rid our hands of his work.

r. Wild. A thort recipe.

Pap. And yet, Sir, you have all the materials that are neceffary thefe are the arms with which we engage Authors of every kind. To us all fubjects are equal; plays or fermons, poetry or politics, mufic or midwifry, it is the fame thing.

r. Wild. How came you to refign this eafy employment?

Pap. It would not answer. Notwithstanding what we fay, people will judge for themselves; our work hung upon hand, and all I could get from the Publisher was four fillings, a-week, and my fmall beer. Poor pittance!

Y. Wild Poor indeed.

Pap. Oh, half-flarv'd me!'

Half

Half-ftarved, indeed! and yet to be impartial, notwithstanding our fellow-feeling for brother Papillion, it must be owned, that four fhillings. a week and fmall beer, was confideration enough for fuch reviewing as. he fpeaks of. For us, it is plain we better earn our fmall beer than he did; for the extract we have just made from the Liar, is a proof that we sometimes, at least, go a little farther than the title-page.

POLITICA L.

Art. 6. The Counter-Address to the Public, on the late Difmiffion. of a General Officer, 8vo. Is. Almon.

In our Review for June laft, page 489, we gave an account of the Addrefs which occafioned the prefent counter-performance; in which the Author enters warmly on the defence of General Conway's character, in oppofition to the attacks of the Author of the first Address.-How far the. public are concerned in the event which gave rife to this dispute, we will not pretend to determine; but thofe who incline to pay due at tention to the arguments on both fides of the question, will find, we apprehend, thofe of the prefent Writer worthy the serious confideration of the candid Reader. Our limits will not allow us to enter minutely. into particulars; nor does the nature of the subject require it;-but the ingenious Author's own fummary of what he has offered by way of anfwer to the former Addrefs, will give fome idea of the fpirit and tem per with which he writes:

The late difmiffion is prejudicial, fays he, to the army, to the General, to the public, for thefe reasons.

1. It must flacken the zeal of Officers, when they fee that after a life. fpent in the fervice, they are liable to be turned adrift, to fatisfy the vengeance of Minifters, and for caufes no way connected with the profeffion. It affects the honour of Officers, who are by this Author declared the Tools of a Minister; it makes their fortune precarious and defperate, if they obey their confcience; and inclines men with out doors to question the honour of those who vote with the Court, as a rod is held over their heads, and it is known that they act under fear of lofing their employments. It indifpofes their countrymen to chafe them into Parliament, as an Officer can no longer be supposed a free Agent.

2. The General is hurt in his fortune; he is deprived of the rewards of long and painful fervices, and he is treated with the fame difgrace, as men are treated in all countries, who have proved themselves unworthy of their profeflion.

3. The public is hurt, if the rights of Parliament are violated; and if punishment, which is only due to crimes, is inflicted on incorruptible honesty, and confcientious virtue. It is hurt, if Minifters revenge their own animofities on the Servants of the King and the na tion, and if they, in effect, declare, that to defend the Liberties of the people, fubjects the Guardians of thofe Liberties to profcription.'

1.

Art. 7. The Queftion, on fome late Difmiffions, truly fated. By a Friend to the Army and the Conftitution. In Answer to An Addrefs to the Public. 8vo. Is. Wilkie...

·

Another

« PreviousContinue »