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by his precepts, throws aside all delicacy, disguises herself in a male dress, and enters the monastery as a noviciate. Here she insinuates herself into the favour of this virtuous monk by her attentions and flattery, before he discovers her sex and passion. At first, he is cold, alarmed, and shocked for his own fame, and for the honour of his order: but the eloquence of a beautiful woman is irresistible; "flesh and blood cannot bear it !”
In another religious house, a nunnery, one of the sisters is early discovered in correspondence with a secular lover, and planning her escape from the convent: another capital crime against religion, the established laws of the country, and of decency. Still to render the character more piquant and worthy of pity, the fair Agnes is pregnant, and, on its being discovered, her agony is so violent, as to produce the innocent witness of her guilt.'
These enormities, however, are not to be punished: but the audience is to pity and commiserate the culprits; who are to be rendered happy, while religion, laws, justice, and decency, are to be detested as tyrannical restraints, and impediments to human happiness.
When the female monk has seduced the affections of the sanctified abbot, and has awakened desires, she pretends to be squeamish, and will not hear him talk of illicit love: yet she had eloped, lost her reputation, involved the pious abbot in the sin of incontinent desires, and rendered him very lenient to human frailty :
The passions Heav'n (that is, the Supreme Being) inspires, his
His creatures all indulge them, and are happy.
Rare doctrine, for the Galleries!
The teeming vestal, however, dedicated to the severer duties of religion, secluded in a cloister from the world, and debarred by a vow from converse with men, is to be rescued. The Convent is therefore broken open by soldiers, headed by her lover; and the all virtuous Miranda aids and abets the lawless heroes who perform the deed!
Here perjury and prostitution are not only to be pardoned, but pitied. The piety of the Catholics is to be abhorred, and even the morality of the Protestants, who regard perjury and incontinence as crimes. The chaste Miranda, who was so offended at a proposition to which her own conduct had given birth, promises the unchaste Agnes not only life and liberty,' but LOVE.'
Yet Agnes talks of innocence, and Aurelio of laws!
It might be asked where our Dramatist had the information that noble birth dispenses from the monastic state?'-not only nobles, but sovereign princes, have devoted themselves to a religious life. The Emperor Charles V. ended his days in a monastery. When dispensations have been granted by the head of the Catholic church, it has been (pretended at least) to answer some great purpo.e to an illustrious family, or to the state; not to gratify caprice and concupiscence.
The moral of this jumble of improbabilities and absurdities is certainly liberal and indulgent in the extreme!
Art. 36. A Loyal Poetical Gratulation presented to his Majesty at a
When, as in the present instance, the effusions of the heart are amiable and praise-worthy, it is with reluctance that we remark any deficiency of execution: but the inspiration of poetry does not always accompany even virtuous enthusiasm, nor will the Muses smile on every loyal votary. It is pleasing to contemplate Mr. Cole's ardor in the cause of his King and country, and his admiration of the loyal and independent "Man of Kent ;" and we are sorry to see that the "Sisters of the sacred well" should have been so sparing of their favours to him on this joyful and flattering occasion.
The Pursuit of Happiness. A Poem addressed to a Friend. 4to. 25. Faulder. The author of this production has not promoted our happiness by obliging us to read his poem, which has no novelty in the subject, nor any felicity in the execution. After Juvenal, Dr. Johnson, and many others, it is not easy to paint new and striking pictures of the vanity of human pursuits. The writer abounds in scraps purloined from others, particularly from Pope; whom he imitates so far as to copy that Bard's very inelegant word punk to rhyme to drunk.
Art. 38. Fables, by the Duke of Nivernois. Translated into English Verse. Small 8vo. 5s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies.
These fables were published by the author himself, at Paris, in 1796. How he escaped the guillotine during the carly violence of the Revolution, we are unable to say; and his preservation is the more extraordinary, because, under the old government, his honours, dignities, wealth, and importance in the state, were of the highest class, and his friendships were innumerable. During his embassy in England, after the peace of 1763, he was regarded as an elegant and cultivated man; and he attached himself particularly to men of science and learning in our country. At his return to Paris, he was received in the Académie des Sciences; and during his whole life he not only patronised but cultivated literature in all its branches. His fables are well conceived and elegantly versified; though they are certainly much inferior to those of La Fontaine, of which they have neither the wit, the simplicity, nor the originality. This he wisely foresaw in composing them, and therefore he studiously avoided the least appearance of imitation.
Swift has familiarly said that "we admire a little wit in a woman, as we do a few words spoken plain by a parrot ;" and wicked democrats will perhaps apply this reflection to men of such high degree as DUKES. M. de Nivernois, however, is not the first person of high rank who has acquired a niche in the temple of fame by his literary abilities: the Duke de la Rochefoucault, who probed the human
See M. Rev. N. S. vol. xx. p. 580.*
heart deeper, perhaps, than any writer who ever existed, and of whose severity it is the interest of every reader to complain, has established a reputation by his maxims, that is likely to live as long as the language in which they are written, and as long as vices and follies continue to disgrace mankind.
Our noble author has been fortunate in a translator, who has not only transfused his genuine thoughts into our language, but (we think) has sometimes improved them.
These fables are now published with the original text and the translation facing each other; and we should not do the anonymous transla tor justice, if we did not give those of our readers, who may be able to compare the translation with the original, an opportunity of ob serving, from the commencement of one fable, the accuracy and felicity with which this version has been made:
6 LE PAYSAN DE BABYLONE.
Dans palais de Babylone
Quand on s'en aperçut! On appelle les gardes;
On vous l'assomme de nasardes,
Ne fut puni de manière plus forte. &c. &c.
6 THE PEASANT OF BABYLON.
Some bad rhymes occur in the translation, which, if the work comes to a second edition, it may be worth the translator's while to correct for, though such defects may be tolerated in a long work, yet, as every one of the fables is a detached poem, the verses of each should be as highly polished as a jewel of the first water.
An account of these fables, in their original French, was given in our xxth vol. N. S. p. 580.
We are glad to see that, in this new impression, the price of this work is moderated; and that, notwithstanding that reduction, there are very valuable additions. The treatment of diabetes is confirmed by a most satisfactory induction of facts. Much new evidence also occurs in favour of the treatment of venereal affections by acids and oxigenated muriat of potash.-We still remain unconvinced by what Dr. Rollo has added in regard to theory :-but it would be hard if an author, who has done so much to improve medicine, were not at liberty to speculate.-Mr. Cruickshank has signalized his ingenuity in the present edition.
[This article has been accidentally overlooked.]
Art. 40. Elements of Chemistry; by Joseph Francis Jacquin, Pro-
In the titles of the contents, we perceive no inaccuracies of transla-
Though Mr. Stutzer might not deem it absolutely his duty, we cannot help remarking that this publication would have been rendered more useful by introducing the additions, and making the alterations, which are obvious to every person who is acquainted with the advancements in chemistry since this work was written. We think that the order of the system of Lavoisier would have been much more luminous than, the arrangement into three classes according to the three kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, and animal. Among the acids, the editor has omitted several which have been newly discovered; viz. the Zoonic, the Laccic, the Suberic, the Chromic, &c. Among the metals, are overlooked the Tellurite, the Chromile, and Titanite ;-among the earths, the Strontian and Glucina. The oxids of azote, or of Nitrogen, are also omitted. Many neutral salts of importance are likewise unnoticed, as is the Tanning Matter. We mean only to shew that the editor might have improved the work by these and other additions.
Art. 42. Lavater's Letter to the French Directory. Translated from the German. 8vo. 1S. Hatchard. 1799.
Another translation of M. Lavater's famous remonstance, see M. R. vol. xxvii. p. 351. Probably this translator was not aware that he had been anticipated by Mr. Newman.-At the end of the present publication, the following anecdote is inserted.
Almost immediately after writing the above letter, Lavater inclosed a copy of it to his friend Monsieur M; adding, that he regarded his own destruction as inevitable, and supposed that to be the last time he should hold any intercourse with him-but that he was far from repenting what he had done, was perfectly prepared for his destiny, and indifferent to every thing it was in the power of his persecutors to inflict-he had performed what appeared to him an indispensable duty, and was insensible to every other consideration.'
Art. 43. 4 Journal of a Tour to Scarborough, in the Summer of 1798. 8vo. IS. Printed at Wisbech.
In this summerising tour from Wisbech to Scarborough, we. have not found our nameless describer an unpleasant companion. He is a man of observation. He is also a man of reading; and (like Reviewers, too,) he is a man of quotation; and so, with a disposition to be pleased, and not, like Dr. Smelfungus, ready to growl at every thing with which we met, we have jogg'd on socially to. gether. The tour being ended, we come now to speak of the pams. phlets--which opening at p. 25, we note, with interest, the following short paragraph:
Hark ye, Messrs. the Monthly Reviewers, (whose literary labours I have known and admired even from my boyish days to the very moment I now tell it,) which is the most piquant bonne bouche, the foregoing pages or Dolly's beef-steaks?
To answer a plain question honestly, as beseemeth conscientious critics, we, from our boyish days' to the present moment, never met with anything comparable to "DOLLY'S BEEF STEAKS!!”
Art. 44. The Copper Plate Perspective Itinerary; or Pocket Port Folio. Numbers I. and II. To be continued Quarterly. By T. Bonner, Engraver. Price 7s. 6d. each Number. Sold by Carey,"
The design of this elegant undertaking cannot be better explained by us than it has been by Mr. Bonner himself, in his addresses to the public:
These Numbers,' says he, are submitted to the patronage of those who respect antiquity, and are amateurs and encouragers of the fine arts, to constitute a work that may be relied upon for strict fidelity in all its representations.' The Perspective Itinerary, or Pocket Port Folio, is on an entire new plan, and will consist of views of tles, abbeys, cathedrals, places, mansions, ruins, and such other interesting subjects, drawn from the originals, as are best calculated to perpetuate approved instances of modern excellence, to gratify the scientific taste of the antiquary, and to bring forward to general admiration the most striking objects of natural beauty.