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The Mutual Deception, a Comedy, as it was performed at the Theatre-Royal, Dublin. Svo. 15. 6d. Dilly.
This mode of deception has been fo common on the stage, that we can scarcely expect a new fituation; but we have neither new characters, nor new language. The author is however ingenuous, for he tells us his fource; a piece of honesty the more commendable as it is unufual. The story is fhortly this a young gentleman returned from his travels, is engaged to marry a lady, whom he has never feen. Anxious to know fomething of his defined bride, without the constraint neceffary to his fituation, he exchanges characters with his fervant. The lady, from the fame motive, takes the drefs and place of her fuivante. As may be expected, the new fervants fall in love with each other, and both fear to defcend from their dignity by fuch low connexions. This embarraffment is not very interefting, because it is not well managed. The pretended lady and gentleman, on the other hand, are eager to deceive each other by a fecret marriage, and they fucceed. In their courtship there is fome humour, but no great novelty. The epifode is very trifling, and is the invention of the author. The dialogue is feldom fprightly, and never witty; fo that, on the whole, we fear it would prove a very infipid performance. It fucceeded on the Dublin ftage; but there are many local circumftances, which might have contributed to this diftinction we would not advise the managers of either house to repeat the experiment.
The Genius of Ireland, a Mafque, in Three Acts. By John Ma caulay, Efq. 8vo. 15. Dilly.
This little poem poffeffes merit, both in a political and dramatic view it is not strictly a mafque, but perhaps fomething better, for the only part which may deferve this title, is the appearance of the Genius of Ireland. The ftory of Sylvia and Pat Ploughfhare is fimple and paftoral; and the fongs are pleafing and poetical, though the greater number are of the humorous kind.
The description of the Genius is a ftrain of higher mood." We shall select it, but must add, that the bright zone' fhould not have outfhone the luftre of her eyes, which it must have done if it pierced the darkness of the fhade. This leffens the idea, and may perhaps be ftyled an Hybernicifm: but, on the whole, there is dignity in the image, and propriety in the defcription.
Yes: laft night
Juft at this fober hour of ferious thought,
Stole on my ravish'd fenfe: fweeter it feem'd
I ftopp'd and liften'd. Then, methought I heard
Dorilas. Was it of manly form, or fofter fex?
Thyrfis. Of female fhape. Around her graceful waist The bright zone glitt'ring pierc'd, with fudden glance, The darkness of the fhade; and from her eyes Beam'd forth fuch heav'nly rays, yet temper'd fo Their radiant luftre, as might mingle love And awful rev'rence. On her head fhe wore The fhamrock green, and in her hand fhe held A filver wand, which as fhe wav'd around Th' obedient choir with more harmonious found Fill'd all the air, and quite entranc'd my foul.'
Dr. Watts's Hymns and Moral Songs for the Ufe of Children, revifed and altered. To which are added, Prayers for the Ufe of Children. 12m0. 6d. Marshall.
Dr. Watts's Divine Songs, as revifed and altered by the prefent editor, are now rendered more fuitable than formerly for the inftruction of young children. That they are unexceptionable in point of doctrine, and may answer the purpose intended, is fufficient to recommend them; for, as mere compofitions, we do not confider them as objects of criticifm. A few prayers are fubjoined to the poetry; and to render the work more pleasing to young minds, every hymn and fong is ornamented at the beginning with a cut.
Primitive Candour: or the Moderation of the earlier Fathers towards the Unitarians, the necessary Confequence of the Circumflance of the Times. 8vo. 15. Buckland.
This author obferves that the teftimonics of the earlier fathers in confirmation of the divinity of Chrift, are not fo numerous and ftrong as might have been expected from men of their acknowledged principles. But he afcribes this conduct to prudential reafons; alledging, that had they openly afferted the divinity of Chrift, they might have feemed to countenance the herefy of the Gnoftics, who denied the fupreme power of the God of Abraham. Whatever probability there may be in this conjecture, the author's defign in investigating the fubject appears to us a little problematical. If, on the one hand, he really favours the Gnoftic herefy, he betrays extravagance of theological fpeculation; and if, on the other, he believes the
Trinitarian doctrine, he difcovers a levity not very compatible with the difpofition, and utterly repugnant to the duty, of an orthodox writer.
Letters to a Young Planter; or, Obfervations on the Management of a Sugar Plantation. 8vo. Is. 6d. Strachan.
These Letters are very trifling in every respect: in fome inftances, they are certainly erroneous. The greater part of the directions may have been eafily written without having feen the Weft India islands, and the reft may have been collected from books; for there really are books on the fubject, though the author feems not to have known them. An effay on the management of the fugar cane, in particular, appeared fome years fince, in the Philofophical Tranfactions. It is not neceffary to dwell on the errors of the author, both in philofophy and common husbandry; for this work will never attain a high rank in the lift of fcientific productions.
A candid and impartial Sketch of the Life and Government of Pope
Of the former volume of this work we gave an account in our Review for November laft. The prefent volume traces the public conduct of Ganganelli after he had mounted the papal throne. This being an event which places his character in a more confpicuous point of view, we henceforth behold him in the capacity of a fovereign, adminiftering the affairs, and directing the councils of a powerful ftate. With regard to the Catholic courts, he appears to have conducted himself in general upon the principles of good policy. He faw the expediency of pursuing peaceful meafures, and feems to have followed the most prudent means for that purpose. In respect of his domestic government, particularly the choice of proper minifters, we cannot confider him as equally entitled to approbation. He was more the patron of fome profligate men than was confiftent with the character of a good prince; and entrusted the administration of the state too much to thofe who were not qualified either by virtue or education for fuch offices. This is the more furprifing in a perfon who, though educated a Romith ecclefiaftic, appears to have been well acquainted with mankind. But he knew that the paffive difpofition of the papal fubjects could not eafily be provoked to refiftance. The liberality of Ganganelli with regard to religious diftinctions, is the moft confpicuous virtue in his character; though it expofes him, more than any real blemish, to the odium of bigotted catholics.
English Claffics abridged; being Select Works of Addison, Pope, and Milton, adapted to the Perufal of Youth, of both Sexes, at School. To which are prefixed, Obfervations on the feveral Authors, addreed to Parents and Preceptors. By J. Walker, Author of Elements of Elocution, Rhetorical Grammar, &c. Sva. 35. 6d. Robinfon.
Mr. Walker is well known to the world not only for his accarate acquaintance with the English language, but for teaching the pronunciation of it with propriety; and it is owing, we prefume, to his employment in the latter of thefe capacities, that he has turned his thoughts towards executing the abridgement now before us. We find that he has been induced to this undertaking from an opinion, that the writings even of the beft authors are unfuitable to the purposes of early education becaufe, being addreffed to mature age, they prefent fuch pictures of human life as, though both inftructive and agreeable to the parent and philofopher, may be highly improper for the perufal of pupils of the younger clafs, whofe imaginations ought to be carefully guarded against whatever is indelicate.
We cannot but fincerely approve of a plan, the object of which is to preferve the imaginations of youth from the intrufion of improper ideas; and it affords us additional fatisfaction to find that Mr. Walker has fo abridged the moft confpicuous English writers, as to furnish a compendium which may form the taste of youth, without the danger of fullying their minds. The felection he has made for this purpose affords fufficient proof of his own tafte and judgment; which are farther confirmed by his fenfible obfervations on the authors whofe works he has abridged. We would, therefore, recommend this volume as a valuable production for the perufal of youth, whom it may inftruct and entertain by the pureft fentiments, in language the mott elegant and chafte.
A Trip to Holland. Containing Sketches of Characters: together with Curfory Obfervations on the Manners and Customs of the Dutch. Small 8vo. 2s. 6d. Becket.
If this was not fo pointed an imitation of the Sentimental Journey, it might be entitled to confiderable praife; but we hate e'en Garrick, thus at fecond hand.' The defcriptions, however, though flight, are appropriated, the narrative lively, and the fentiment entirely Shandean.
"Obfervations made in a Trip to Holland-Ha! ha! ha!" And why that laugh, good Mr. Critic? You imagine, perhaps, that a Belgic sky has fomething particularly baneful in its infuence; and that the man who has refided for any little time in Holland muft neceffarily become as dull and phlegmatic as many of its inhabitants?" I do." You imagine, likewise, that a Dutchman is totally devoid of fentiment; and that a Dutchwoman is an utter ftranger to thofe finer affections of the
foul which fo eminently characterize our lovely countrywomen? Undoubtedly." Why, then, you are undoubtedly mistaken.'" The language is not always elegant; occafionally a vulgar word, like Shakspeare's blanket of the night,' will obfcure and debafe the fentiment: fometimes our expectations are raised without an adequate gratification; but, on the whole, our author may be literally styled an agreeable companion in a post-chaise.'
The Defcription and Ufe of the new invented patent Univerfal Sowing Machine, for broad-cafting or drilling every Kind of Grain, Pulfe, and Seed. By John Horn. 8vo. 1s. 6d. Johnfon.
This machine is very clearly defcribed, and feems really to be fold at an inconfiderable price. In this the patentee has acted with difcretion; for the very dear rate at which many patent machines are fold, is the ftrongest incentive to other workmen to evade the exclufive right. It encourages no peculiar method of husbandry, but is equally adapted to drilling and broad-cast, and seems, fo far as we can judge from the defcription and plate, to be highly ufefal. We have not feen the machine at work, and we know that apparently the beft contrivances fail in practice; but the author feems well acquainted with his fubject, and we have much reason to confide in his promifes. It is not eafy to give a particular account of his invention, without the affiftance of a plate.
Genuine Memoirs of Jane Elizabeth Moore, late of Bermondsey, in the County of Surry; written by herself. 3 Vols. 12mo. gs. ferved. Bew.
Mrs. Moore, by a concurrence of misfortunes, chiefly accidental, feems to have been reduced from a ftate of affluence to poverty and diftrefs. Though we cannot recommend the work; yet the feeling heart will pity, and the liberal one affift her. The Rotchfords; or, the Friendly Counsellor: defigned for the Inftruction and Amusement of the Youth of both Sexes. By M. P. In Two Vols. 8vo. 3. 4d. Marshall.
This work contains fome useful precepts, but we cannot commend it highly on account of the exceptionable language, which we reprehended in a fimilar work of the fame editor. Improper words fhould be very fparingly ufed, even when they are intended to be expofed, and should be carefully pointed out as mean, vulgar, and inelegant. The parents ufe ugly' and valtly' on many occafions, when they are not properly applicable; and the editor fpells lilach layluc,' which leads to a vulgar ungraceful mode of pronunciation. The language of the children is alfo exceptionable: we are enemies to a stiff, formal phrafeology; but it is not impoffible to blend the greateft eafe with correctnefs, and the most polifhed elegance with precifion. While we watch over the foud of young minds, we