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AMoNG the periodical publications of the day, there has been wanting one, which, without regard to sect, should consult the edification of christians in general. To encourage a work of this sort, we learn that a society was formed in the course of the year past, which has presented to the publick its incipient efforts in the little book before us. It consists of exhortations, prayers, and meditations suited to persons of various conditions in various circumstances. The sectary who loves nothing which does not breathe a spirit of party will find nothing here either savoury to his taste or provoking his malevolence. Equally remote from bigotry as from enthusiasm the Christian Monitor, we are told, numbers among its supporters and friends believers of diverse theological tenets. It has no features of a controversial character. It designs to strengthen that faith. which is the pillar of morals, to brighten that hope which gilds the prospect of futurity, and to animate the labours of that love, which is the beginning and end of the gospel. It inspires the feeble convert with courage, and pours grace from its lips into the ear of penitence. It especially calls the young to the work of religion in the morning of life, that they may be saved the pangs of a bitter repentance, and the unavailing tears of those who, though they repent,
are yet never made whole. It implores a plentiful stream for the thirsty, and a guide for the mourning pilgrim. It prays for the generations of men which are passing away, and for the children of God who are hastening to the grave. f
Whilst we thus applaud the purpose and spirit of the work, we dare not give our unqualified approbation of the present number. The matter is good ; but the manner is in numerous instances defective. The thoughts are important and striking ; but in the expression and in the style there is an air of negligence and abruptness. The prayers are often begun and closed as though the author was in haste. Its worth has gratified its friends, and pleased the publick ; but its excellence is not so conspicuously manifest as to silence the opposition of its enemies, or the clamours of criticism. We are satisfactorily informed that this valuable tract is undergoing some desireable amendments, that it will shortly appear from the press of Munroe and Francis in an improved form, and that the Society under whose patronage it is published will proceed with alacrity in their pious design.
The foetical works of Richard
Savage. With the life of the author. New-York : Wm. A. Davis. 1805.
PERHAPs no poet of equal pretensions is so little read as Richard Savage : many remember his misfortunes,but few mention his verses. Why it has so fallen out it is difficult to say. Pope commended his muse and Johnson pronounced, him a genius, and one would sup
pose the suffrages of such men were a sure indication of his durable renown. But, if the Bastard be excepted, there is little now that he is recalled by beside the Epigram on Dennis and the Biography of his Friend. Among the wits of his day he was as brilliant and ragged as Apollo could wish, and, though his life was irregular, his muse was correct. Poor Savage in the melancholy records of that description of gentlemen denominated bards, thy history is mournfully pre-eminent, and, though thy song may be neglected, thy errors will be remembered for a humiliation to genius. This edition, enriched withJohnson's life of the author, is correctly put out of hand, but its typography is so diminutive, that it appears to have issued from the press of the Pigmies.
Poems from the Portuguese of Lues . De Camoens, with remarks on his
- life, &c. By Lord Viscount Strangford. 1 vol. 12mo. Philadelphia. Maxwell.
THE life of Camoens was a life of continual hardship and danger; yet he was encouraged by the inspiration of the Muses, and he was bften blessed either by the gentle smiles or the pensive remembrance of the fairest ladies of his love. Like Ovid he was driven into exile for love, but sonnets and canzonets cheered and delighted him. He was shipwrecked in the East Indies, but, like Caesar in Egypt, he saved his life by swimming with one hand, while with a noble spirit of literature he bore up his “ Lusiad” with the other. His epick poem is known to the English reader by the translation of Mickle, who has made us acquainted with a variety of beauties,
which are not to be found in the original, even by the patriotick researches of the Portuguese. The
minor poems of Camoens now attract admiration and applause, which they never before received.
We have not read the originals, and therefore cannot ascertain their value, but report says, that in Lisbon those only are highly esteemed for their simplicity, tenaciousness, and dehicacy, which have for
their subject the beauties of nature, or the feelings of love. Lord
Strangford's poems, if we may
judge from the Portuguese coup
lets, which are interspersed thro’ the volume, are themselves original, for they bear no resemblance to the pretended architypes.
Grace and elegance are the characteristicks of these canzons and
sonnets. They are written by a
nobleman, who, with the polish and ease of a Court, has evidently united the strength and dignity of literature. They are on a variety of subjects, such as are easily suggested to a lover, a poet, and a wanderer; and most are composed with theardour of passion, wrought into refinement, and with the sentiments of nature, polished into elegance. The noble lord however frequently offends against purity and delicacy. We
often admire the charms of his love songs, and we often lament that such poetry was written. This
little volume is intended to be read, during the intervals of other pleasures and pursuits; and when the
ladies rise from the harpsichord, or return from their walk, they
are often attracted by the sonnets of lord Stangford, which lie on the easy sofa or the pleasant parlour window. We know not what remedy to offer; for when impropriety is decorated by the charms of delightful poetry; when indelicacy of allusion is almost evanescent in the refinement of elegant phraseology ; and, when the criminality of passion is superficially concealed by the fashionable embroidery or delicate needle work of fancy or sentiment, who will regard any interdiction of perusal ; who will receive any counsel for discrimination : If therefore licentious poetry is read, moral poetry must be read also ; indelicacy must be mansully opposed by purity ; the contagion of Little must be neutralized by Thomson ; and where we are attracted into false sentiments, vicious feelings, and impure thoughts by the refined fascinations of Strangford, we must be recalled to truth, to sobriety, to virtue, and
religion by the authority of Cowper. These remarks chiefly apply to the poems on love, its operations, and analogies. The sonnets on other subjects are full of chaste nature and true sentiment. Strangford certainly will receive the sonnet wreath of English poetry from the youngest of the Graces. He has made us a most beautiful present of early leaves and vernal flowers ; and though the spring fly has often corroded the green leaf, and the worm lurks in the musk rose, yet purity may throw these away, and accept only the tender sprigs and new flowers, which grow in the valley or by the running waters.
== MONTHLY CATALOGUE
OF NEw Public Ations 1N THE U. STATEs, FoR APRIL, 1806.
The New Univerfal Letter Writer containing letters on every usesul subject. To which are added, Rochefoucault's moral Maxims and Reflectious,and a very copious and valuable English Dictionary. By the Rev. Thomas Cooke, A. M. 1 vol. 12mo, I dol. fine woven paper. S. Etheridge, Charlestown, and Thomas & Whipple, Newburyport.
The English Nun, or the Sorrows of Edward and Louisa, a novel. New-York.
Human Prudence ; or the art by which a man or woman may be advanced to fortune, to permanent honour, and to real grandeur. Adapted to the genins of the citizens, and designed for the use of schools in the United States. First American from the 8th London edition. With many corrections, traflations, and additions. By Herman Mann, 12no. 75 cents bound. Dedham Herman Mann. 1806.