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and fifty horses, and let it feed one thousand fouls: now if, for the present, we allow only two acres of oats and two of hay for each of the horses, the amount will be fix hundred productive acres, which will be more than fufficient to feed the given number of inhabitants. But the fact is, that a horse, to be fully fed, requires five ton of hay, and from thirteen to three-and-twenty quarters of oats, per annum, according to his work. Some farmers allow the former, and the latter is given by the great carriers on the public roads, which would bring the computation to about eight acres each for horses used in husbandry; but then few farmers fuffer their horfes to be highly fed, If we allow three acres of pasture for each ox of cow, and confider, that in calculating the quantity of land fufficient to maintain a team of horses, the needful fallows must be carried to account, we shall not be at a lofs for food, when we have fubftituted two oxen, and one family of five perfons, in the place of every horse.

It must be confeffed, that the tax on horfes would be apparently a tax on husbandry, but in reality it would only be a tax on pride and prejudice. Neither would it be a tax for the purpose of revenue, which would certainly be moft impolitic; but it would be a tax for the regulation of trade, beneficial to the public, and highly advantageous to the farmer. In China. they ufe few cattle in the cultivation of the foil, and therefore. they are able to support a more abundant population. By reverting to the ancient practice of ploughing with oxen instead of horses, we should enjoy the fame advantage; and till the population of our country had found its utmost limits, we hould rejoice in affluence.

With the fame intentions, the legislature fhould facilitate, the laying common fields in severalty, leaving the inclosure of thefe lands to every man's discretion. Wherever these allotments have been carried into execution, the value of land has been nearly doubled. Yet, independent of the exertion, the time, and the fatigue, requifite to procure a private act of parliament for this purpofe, the expence of the act itself, and of the confequent inclosure, is more than many are willing to incur. That the improvers of land fhould be fubject to this expence is not juft, and that men fhould be obliged to inclofe thefe lands is neither juft nor wife; because hedge-rows confume much land, ftint the growth of corn, caufe it to lodge, prevent its drying, and harbour birds. If men are left at liberty, without reftraint, when they find it for their intereft. to inclofe, they will inclofe.'

That the enormous amount of the poor's rate, in fome parts of the kingdom, is become oppreffive to many of the inha


bitants, and that the dependence on an eleemofynary provifion eftablished by law, has likewise a bad effect on the morals of the lower class of the people, are facts which cannot be queftioned. But to attempt to remedy the evil by a fudden abolition of the accustomed method of providing for the poor, would be an experiment which might prove dangerous to humanity. Even under the prefent imperfect ftate of the poor laws, a due adminiftration of them, by men properly qualified for the task, would greatly palliate the bad confequences which are chiefly complained of; though a new act of the legislature is indifpenfably neceffary towards rendering the legal fyftem more beneficial in its operation, and more compatible with the good of the public.

Mifcellanies, by Mr. Pratt, in Four Volumes. Small 8vo. 145. Becket.


the two first volumes are Mr. Pratt's poetical labours, and a comedy entitled the School for Vanity,' which was exhibited, one night only, at the Theatre-Royal, DruryLane. A gentleman's valet opens the piece, receiving letters from other fervants, whom he thus addreffes. Walk in, gentlemen-not yet day with us when vifible, shall deli ver your tenders. Any of you for refreshment?-Eyery thing in the next room, from chocolate and affes milk, to cocoa,. curds, and hung beef.'. One would fuppofe that this mode of phrafeology, in which the introductory words of every sentence are omitted, was intended to mark a peculiarity of character, like that of Briggs, in Cecilia. But no fuch thing.-The master, at his first appearance, expreffes himfelf in the fame abrupt and unconnected manner. Heigho! fairly done up-Play'd at vifiting all day yesterday-The misfortune to be let in by every body-Well-bred manslaughter committed upon me from morning till night. This kind of language, ufed more or lefs by every character, is affected, ungraceful, and unnatural. But, without entering minutely into the merits or defects of this performance, our opinion, in few words is, that it poffeffes fome wit and more humour; but the humour is coarfe, the characters hackneyed, and the plot improbable and improperly conducted. Its ill fuccefs, therefore, may undoubtedly be accounted for by other reasons than those to which the au. thor, in his preface; choofes to attribute it.

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As a poet, Mr. Pratt certainly poffeffes a fertility of ima gination, and a facility of expreffing his fentiments; but the effufions of his fancy feldom difplay any ftrength of genius; they are more glittering than folid; more dazzling than bright. VOL. LXI. Jan. 1786. His


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His diction is generally florid, and fometimes finical. When he aims at fublimity, he too frequently reprefents an Ixion purfuing a Juno, and embracing a cloud. Instead of the efforts. of a vigorous mind, clothed in nervous or dignified phrase, we commonly meet with a lamentable poverty of ideas, half-hid beneath the veil of obfcure metaphors, or embellished with the delufive luftre of glaring epithets, and encumbered with unmeaning ornaments. In proof of our affertion, we refer the reader to the Shadows of Shakspeare,' and ' Ode to the Sun.' Mr. Pratt, however, though he has no pretenfions to be ranked in the first clafs of poets, is often entitled to our approbation. His ftyle is commonly neat, fmooth, and harmonious. If his defcriptions are fometimes too ornamental, they are at others pleasingly picturesque; and he is not unfrequently natural, tender, and affecting. We chiefly allude to


Sympathy,' and the Tears of Genius.'-Some of the leffer poems deferve the fame commendation: others, particularly thofe taken from Emma Corbet (a novel of our author's), which we fuppofe were intended to give a ftriking idea of the delicacy and tenderness of that lady and her lover, are mawkifh and naufeous to the laft degree. Witness the following lines fent with a prefent of fome pens to Emma.”

Go, ingenious artist, to her
All ambitious to be preft;
Dear disclosures of fenfation;
Agents of the gentle breast.

Whiter than your whiteft feather,
Is the hand which you'll embrace;
Yet more white the fair affection,
Whofe emotions you fhall trace.'


The first line leads us to fuppofe that the pen-maker, not the pens, was fent to be preft' by the lady; and the second stanza informs us, that they will embrace,' or hold her hand, not be held in it. But what is more extraordinary, and furely a very difficult office for pens and ink to execute, they are to delineate the whiteness of affection.'


• Go, and take a charge upon you,
Paffing tender, paffing dear;
Oh, the truft you bear is wond'rous!
Gentle agents, be fincere.

Every facred fecret marking,
Gods! how precious ye will prove!
Softeft fympathies imparting,
Are ye not the plumes of love?

When firft floating on the river,
Lovely was your limpid way;
Lovely was your filver furface,

Lovely was your wat'ry play:
· But for paftime still more lovely,
Your fweet feathers now I fend;
What fo lovely, prithee tell me,

As the fervice of a friend.

Faithful to the fair depofits,

Your leaft ftroke shall reach my heart;
In its elegant receffes

Shall be fix'd, what you impart."

The first of thefe ftanzas is repeated again at the end of the poem, which contains ten more equally puerile, or rather infantine, as thefe we have quoted. If Mr. Pratt had kept such tuneable nonfenfe, which may not improperly be ftyled the Mufe's Lullaby, in the elegant receffes of his own heart,' it would have been more to his credit, How a man of our au-' thor's abilities fhould commit fo many errors as deform thefe two volumes, is truly amazing. We might felect a long lift,


of incongruous ideas and abfurd figures; 2. incorrect numbers; 3. vulgarifms; 4. defective rhymes; and, 5. inexplica

ble nonfenfe.

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Left we should fatigue the reader too much, we will confine our first divifion of faults to the Shadows of Shakspeare,' a Monody occafioned by the death of Mr. Garrick,' for which the author obtained the myrtle wreath, at the villa of BathEafton. It certainly may be supposed to deserve peculiar attention, as ⚫ it was recited among the ceremonies of the vase, and met the approbation of numerous and brilliant auditors, on the mornings of the vase: as it has been introduced by

ay of interlude on the Bath theatre; and an immortalizing Mufe (mifs Seward), has celebrated our author, with other illuftrious votaries of the vase, with whom to be affociated is fame.-Thefe extracts from the Proemium were calculated to raise our expectations very high, and our disappointment of course was proportionably great. It begins thus:

Soon as the breath of Rumour blew
This folemn theme into the general ear,
To holy Solitude I flew,

And bade the Mufe her fympathy prepare!
There clofeted with Thought,

The brain its fhapeless travail wrought!'

The idea of breath blowing a theme,' and the brain clofeted with thought producing a fhapeless travail,' are cir


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eumftances paffing ftrange indeed! The latter phrafe, particularly, may be juftly denominated a falfe conception.

• The season to the subject folemnly did fuit:
Day's dazzling orb was wholly down :
Pale Cynthia fat upon her filver throne ;
Th' obtrufions of the light were clos'da "no`k
It feem'd,'-

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How could it feem' fo, if the moon was up, as we are told in the preceding line?


as Silence felf repos'd,

For with the Air, the Earth and all her fons were mute.' That the Earth fhould be filent, though Silence herself had not been asleep, as we are told was the cafe in this extraordinary night, cannot be confidered as very remarkable; for we apprehend it always is fo, except in the peculiar convulfions of nature. The greatest wonder is to find all mankind mute in one line, and fome of them freed from their dumbness in the next.



All but the wretched, who, like me,;
The gentle vigils kept of fympathy,

With cordial awe I hailed the fhading night,
And kif'd her dufky robe which muffled thus the night."

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Night,' in the last line, may be an error of the prefs, but

if we read light inftead of it, there is an error in the fenfe, as we are told just before that its obtrufions were closed.' Base busy world, begone, begone, I faid, th To mighty Garrick yield the ferious mind, This awful Now be facred to the dead,

And turn the cautious key on human kind.”

Here the poet feems to have forgot in his anger what he told us in fober sadness just before, that the world, with a few ex · ceptions, was extremely quiet. But to proceed; mankind being thus locked out of doors, the awful Now fuggefts the following reflection.

13 11

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The dead-ah, me! what dead? Here it began
The florid poet felt himself a man.'

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What a furprising difcovery! what a pity that we cannot fay in return, we have found the man a poet. We are soon after told, for we shall here ceafe following our author step by stepy that Garrick

often fore, and touch'd, and tun'd the heart.'


Poffibly a comma fhould have been placed after clos'd,', and omitted after 'feem'd:' but even then the sense would be contradictory.


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