Page images
PDF
EPUB

well-digested treatise; not chusing to suppose this Knight of Christ to militate on the side of fiction, nor to hold that tenet, of keeping no faith with Heretics, especially if rich Heretics: yet, on the other hand, we must presume this Officer, now, or very lately, at Bareges, to be a Gentleman of probity and honour. He writes like a man of sense, and must certainly be full as little interested in depreciating the springs, or the place*, as Dr. Meighan can be in extolling them. In this dilemma, our duty to the public, and our utmost candour to the Author and to the Officer, induce us to lay the whole evidence before our Readers, for their determination, and for the guidance of such as might be inclined to experience the properties of these baths. For though we would not willingly contribute to the present rage or fashion of travelling into France, whose inhabitants practise the maxim of not enriching their King's enemies; yet if health in fome accidents, and particularly in the consequences of wounds, is not as readily attainable elsewhere, persons in adequate circumItances can never hesitate about the purchase of it,

* Indeed, this Gentleman observęs, that, abstracted from his wounds, he enjoys very good health there.

K-k-k.

The Times, a Poem, By C. Churchill. 4to. 25. 6d.

Coote.

WU

HEN we consider the amazing rapidity of this Writer's

publications ; with what facility and expedition hc crowds poem upon poem, we can no longer wonder at the geperal imperfection and lameness of his productions. We are even surprized to find them distinguished by those beamings of genius, and forcible powers of expression, which one might expect to have been disregarded in the precipitancy of execution, to have been weakened by exertion, or exhausted by use : for, undoubtedly, it is with the mental as with the corporeal faculties; in a state of absolute inactivity they languish ; exerçise, if moderatę, invigorates, and, if violent, destroys them. Mr. Churchill's genius, nevertheless, naturally vigorous, secnas, hitherto, not to have been debilitated by the excess of its labours; and The TỊmes, however exceptionable, however enormous, is not without a very considerable share of poetical merit. At first the Author seems to have had his Master, Juvenal in his eye ; for the poem opens with a close imitation of

Credo Pudicitiam, Salurna Rege, moralam
In terris
The Time has been, a boyish, blushing time,
When modefy was scarcely held a crime,

Wc

We no sooner enter than we are presented with the following group of follies and vices, which distinguish and disgrace the prelent age:

Time was, ere Temperance had fled the realın;
E’re. Luxury fat guttling at the helm
From meal to meal, without one moment's space
Referv'd for business, or allow'd for

grace ;
E're Vanity had so far conquerd Sense,
To make us all wild rivals in expence,
To'make one fool Atrive to ourvie another,
And ev'ry coxcomb dress against his brother ;
E're banish'd Induftry had left our shores,
And Labour was by Pride kick'd out of doors;
E're Idleness prevaild fole Queen in courts,
Or only yielded to a rage for sports ;
E're each weak mind was with externals caught,
And Dillipation held the place of Thought;
E're gambling Lords in vice so far were gone
To
cog

the die, and bid the Sun look on;
E’re a great nation, not less just than free,
Was made a beggar by @conomy;
E're rugged Honesty was out of vogue,
E’re Fahion stamp'd her sanction on the rogue ;

T'ime was, that men had conscience, that they made

Scruples to owe, what never could be paid. The character of FABER follows; and however severe, is fo odious, that, if it be drawn with justice, we can hardly blame the Satirist. MEANNESS is marked with striking features, and a masterly force :

More to increase the horrour of our State,
To make her empire lasting as 'tis great,
To make us in full-grown Perfection, feel
Curses which neither art nor time can heal.
All ihame discarded, all remains of pride,
MEANNESS fits crown'd, and triumphs by her side.
MEANNESS, who gleans out of the human mind
Those few good seeds which Vice had left behind;
Those seeds which might in time to Virtue tend,
And leaves the soul without a pow'r to mend;
MEANNESS, at sight of whom, with brave disdain
The breast of manhood swells, but swells in vain,
Before whom Honour makes a forc'd retreat,
And Freedom is compell’d to quit her feat;
Meanness which, like that mark by bloody Cain
Borne in his forehead, for a brother slain,
God, in his great and all-fubduing rage,

Ordains the standing mark of this vile age. Vile, in some respects, no doubt, this-age may be; and many instances of baseness and of villainy in individuals may be ad5

duced

duced in support of the assertion; but that this age is, either generally, or comparatively considered, a vile age, could only be afferted by a person who was either ignorant of former ages, or unacquainted with the present.

It is impossible to accompany the Satirift without all his indignation, when he strikes at the base and illiberal traffic which parents make of their children:

Worn out with luft, her day of letchery o'er,
The mother trains the daughter which she bore
In her own paths; the father aids the plan,
And, when the Innocent is ripe for man,
Sells her to some old Letcher for a wife,
And makes her an Adulteress for life,
Or in the papers bids his name appear,
And advertises for a L-

;
Husband and wife (whom Av'rice must applaud)
Agree to fave the charge of Pimp and Bawd;
Those parts they play themselves, a frugal-pair,
And share the infamy, the gain to share,
Well pleas'd to find, when they the profits tell,

That they have play'd the whore and rogue fo well. The crimes and follies we borrow from foreign nations, are pursued with the same vengeance as those which are more peculiarly the product of our own climate. The characters of France, Spain, and Italy, are strongly marked, the laft, in particular, is an admirable picture :

France, in return for peace and pow's restorid,
For all those countries, which the Heroe's sword
Unprofitably purchas 'd, idly thrown
Into her lap, and made once more her own.
France hath afforded large and rich supplies
Of vanities full-trimm'd, of polish'd lies,
Of soothing flatteries, which thro' the ears
Şteal to, and melt the heart, of Navish fears
Which break the spirit, and of abject fraud.me
For which, alas! we need not fend abroad.

Spain gives us pride—which Spain to all the earth,
May largely give, nor fear herself a dearth
Gives us that jealousy, which born of fear
And mean distrust, grows not by nature here
Gives us that fuperftition, which pretends
By the worst means to serve the best of ends-
That cruelty, which, ftranger to the brave,
Dwells only with the coward, and the slave,
That cruelty, which led her Christian bands
With more than favage rage o'er favage lands,
Bade her without remorse whole countries thin,
And hold of novght, but mercy, as a fin.

Italia,

fofter art,

1

1

Italia, nurse of

every
Who, feigning to refine, unmans the heart,
Who lays the realms of Sense and Virtue waste,
Who marrs, whilst le pretends to mend, our taste;
Italia, to compleat and crown our shame,
Sends us a Fiend, and Legion is his name.
The farce of greatness, withoat being great,
Pride without pow'r, titles without estate,
Souls without vigour, bodies without force,
Hate without cause, revenge without remorse,
Dark, mean revenge, murder without defence,
Jealousy without love, found without sense,
Mirth without humour, without wit grimace,
Faith without realon, Gospel without grace,
Zeal without knowlege, without Nature Art,
Men without manhood, women without heart,
Half-men, who, dry and pithless, are debarr'd
From man's best joys-no sooner made than marrd.
Half-men, whom many a rich and noble dame,
To serve her luft, and yet secure her fame,
Keeps on high diet, as we capons feed,
To glat our appetites at last decreed,
Women, who dance, in postures lo obscene,
They might awaken fame in Aretine,

Whó, when retir'd from the day's piercing liglıt,
: They celebrate the mysteries of night,
Might make the Muses, in a corner plac'd

To view their monstrous lufts, deem Sappho chaste ;
There, and a thousand follies rank as these,
A thousand faults, ten thousand fools, who p'ease
Our pallid and sickly tafte, ten thousand knaves,
Who serve our foes as spies, and us as slaves,
Who by degrees, and unperceiv'd prepare
Our necks for chains which they already wear,
Madly we entertain, at the expence

Of fame, of virtue, talle, and common sense.
The rest of this poem is employed in exposing the most de-
testable of all human crimesma crime which our laws have hi.
therto treated with a lenity equally unmerited and unaccount-

On this consideration, indeed, the enormity alluded to, called more immediately for the scourge of satire; but, at the same time, the stroke ought only to have been levelled at the particular miscreants who practice this horrid vice-To make the charge national, as - Mr. c. has most unscrupulously done, was at once injurious, and ungrateful to a people from whom this Poet has received the most essential favours ! " What muft they think of us abroad?" is the general voice-Every man who reads this satire, thus exclaims, “ Is the whole indiscriminately to suffer for a few? Is the reputation of a great and glorious nation, a nation distinguished by every liberal vir

!

tue, to be stabbed by this mean, this unnatural affafin, whom She has cloathed and fed?” The justice and propriety of these exclamations, we shall not enquire into; but as hope, and believe, there are no real grounds for the generality of this horrid imputation of y, so we cannot but condemn the Satirist for making it general. We are fenfible, at the fame time, that the satire acquired more force and confequence by this means, than if it had been confined to individuals; but we apprehend that this advantage is more than over-balanced by the inconveniencies arising from that security which guilt ever feels when it finds numbers involved in the same infamy. The Times, therefore is, upon the whole, equally injudicious and injurious, equally obnoxious to delicacy, to propriety, and to justice.

Yet to leave the Reader as little diffatisfied with it as possible, we Mall close our account of it with the following nervous and elegant compliment to Lady Caroline Hervey :

That sense, with more than manly vigour fraught,
That fortitude of foul, that stretch of thought,
That genius, great beyond the narrow bound
Of earth's low walk, that judgment perfect sound,
When wanted most, that purity of tate,
Which, Critics mention by the name of chaste,
Adorn'd with elegance, that easy flow
of ready wit, which never made a foe,
That face, that form, that dignity, that eafe,
Those pow'rs of pleasing with that will to please,
By which Lepel, when in her youthful days,
E'en from the currilh Pope extorted praise,
We see, transmitted, in her daughter shine,
And view a new Lepel in Caroline.

L.

Philosophical Transactions, giving some Account of the present Un

dertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious, in many confiderable Parts of the World. Vol. LIII. For the Year 1763. 400. 145. in Sheets. Davis and Reymers.

E cannot help thinking it would greatly redound to the

honour of the Royal Society, if, instead of persevering in their resolution, “ Never to give their opinion, as a body, on any subject either of nature or art that comes before them,”! they would alter their conduct, and imitate some of the foreign Academies in this particular. If the several discoveries, projects, and inventions, which are inserted in the Philosophical Transactions, icceive no fanction from the imprimatur of the

WE

Society,

« PreviousContinue »