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No!-the black word's irrevocable doom,
This, to be fure, is very wonderful! but not half so wonderful as four lines confifting entirely of afterifms in her fubfequent fpeech; which the author calls, and gives us Thomson's authority for it, expreffive filence!
Verfes on the Benevolent Infiitution of the Philanthropic Society. By the rev. W. Lifle Bowles. 4to. 25. Dilly.
The benevolent and poetical encomiast of Mr. Howard has here stepped forth in the praife of an institution whofe defign must forcibly ftrike every lover of humanity. The philanthropic fociety was inftituted in 1788, for the prevention of crimes, by fecking out, and training up to virtue and industry, the children of the most abject and criminal among the vagrant and profligate poor. To fnatch from deftruction those unhappy infants, who by their birth feem_marked out for infamy and wretchedness; and who, fottered by poverty and ignorance, contract an early infenfibility to every duty and affection of life: to impress their minds with fentiments of virtue and religion; to teach them a refpect for themfelves, a reverence for their Maker, and a fenfe of the mutual offices and obligations of mankind; to make them honeft, obedient, and ufeful members of fociety; to hold out to them fairer views and profpects in this life, and to fet before them the hopes and promifes of another; is a defign of fuch exalted benevolence, as well deferves the nobleft panegyric. These objects the reader will find described in the following lines, which the author has put in the mouth of Charity:
Come hapless orphans, to defpair allied,
Shall ye be left unpitied on the earth,
+ She pleaded a maternal concern.'
Children like olive-branches,' &c. Pfalm cxxviii.
It could fave her but a fhort time."
The jury allowed not her plea.'
VOL. LXIX. March, 1799.
Children, beneath a ruffian father bred,
The author, in this poem, as well as in the one addressed to Mr. Howard, has ventured to deviate from the established rules of his predeceffors, or making the fenfe end with the fecond line of every couplet, and we think, with fuccefs. What is here loft in harmony, is compenfated by variety of paufes, and by ftrength and manlinefs of diction. The structure of the verfification and the combinations of the words, in many places, reminds us of the beft parts of Milton's fonnets. Here are fome paffages rather obfcure, and frequent faults of inaccuracy; but, on the whole, Mr. Bowles appears to poffefs every effential requifite of a poet. Poetical Effays. By a Young Gentleman of Hertford College, Oxford. 4to. 2s. 6d. Rivingtons.
The reader will not be led to expect any thing extraordinary in poems announced to the world as the amufements of leisure hours, taken up merely as a relaxation from feverer studies;' and he will not find himself mistaken. The author expreffes fome fufpicion that they probably abound with many puerilities; and his conjecture is likewife true. He pleads his youth as a palliation for them; an excufe, we fear, fcarcely fufficient to vindicate his prefenting them to public notice. We are not, however, difpofed to act with feverity, but to foften the frowns of criticifm.' Several marks of genius are difcernible: when time fhall have matured the writer's judgment, we doubt not but that in fome future performance he will merit and acquire approbation,
Epifle in Verfe, to his moft Serene Highness the Duke of Orleans. 4to. 13. Walter.
We will not apply to the noble perfonage who is the fubject of this poem, the well-known maxim, that
• Praise undeferv'd is cenfure in disguise :'
yet we hesitate not to affirm that exaggerated encomiums and indifcriminate praise is no praise at all, at least as bad as none. We have heard, that by means of a chemical procefs, a mixture compofed of different liquids of the most brilliant tints, will, when fhaken together, appear a pale difcoloured mafs. An accumulation
cumulation of encomiums, injudicioufly blended together in a
The humour of the fe poems is of fo fubtile a nature, as to eva-porate without leaving a trace behind; or, perhaps, like that very volatile poison mentioned by the fanciful writers on fympathy, is attracted only by congenial fpirits. In truth, we have not been able to discover it; but we would not deter any more adventurous knight from endeavouring to atchieye the adventure. We may fay with more confidence, that the feigned antiquity of the poems is not fkilfully managed; for while they are allowed to belong to the eighteenth century (the author writes for pofterity), the annotations, if they are in the language of any given æra, muft at least be that of the fourteenth century.
Confiderations upon the Ufe and Abuse of Oaths judicially taken; particularly in respect of Perjury. By the Rev. R. P. Finch, D. D. 8vo. 6. Rivingtons.
The rev. author of thefe Confiderations infifts, with great judgment, on the importance of adminiftering oaths with folemnity, towards establishing their influence on the mind. He very juttly imputes the crime of perjury to the frequency of common (wearing, which deftroys all reverence for a folemn appeal to the great Author of nature; and it is not to be doubted, that the judicial mode of adminiftering oaths is far from being well calculated to enforce thefe facred obligations. Dr. Finch thinks that perjury, on account of its atrociousness and fatal confequences, ought to be punished with death.
Annotations upon Genefis, with Observations doctrinal and practical. By the Rev. Thomas Harwood, late of University Col lege, Oxford. 8vo. 55. Boards. Leigh.
The smallest attempt to elucidate what is obfcure, or to difplay with more luftre the beauties of the fublime, will ever meet with approbation; and from the useful labours of the annota tor, literature has often received more benefit than from theponderous volumes and infipid compofitions of dullness and ignorance. In the work now before us, we find the quinteffence of whatever has been written by ancient as well as by more mo Bb 2
dern commentators, on the first book of the Pentateuch; and the judgment and laudable induftry of Mr. Harwood have reduced, within the compafs of a few pages, explanations which the more laborious theologists find difcuffed with prolixity. The quotations of fimilar paffages and collateral expreffions, with which our author has enriched his Annotations, are pretty numerous, and it is not the smallest part of his merit, that they are not only judicioufly chofen, and extremely appofite, but that they are drawn with great fidelity and correctnefs. It may, however, be worth while to mention, that it would in fome imall degree have added to the value of the Annotations, if Mr. Harwood had been more full in his comparison of manners and customs. A wide field is open for the diligent enquirer; and when he has viewed the primitive ages of mankind, as described by the pen of Mofes in the book of Genetis, he naturally turns his eye towards the rites and ceremonies of heathenifm, and calls for farther information from the hiftorical records of uninfpired writers.
S. Julius; or, the Natural Son, tranflated from the French. 2 Vols. 12mo. 55. Ridgway.
Julius is the victim of fenfibility: it feems to be his lot to be always in agonies or in raptures, and each are excited by causes which we think (but perhaps we are cold fpeculators) are unéqual to the effect. He is a natural fon, and in fearch of his mother and a twin-fifter. In his peregrinations he falls in love with his mother before he difcovers his relationship; and in the course of the events has a child by his fifter. A monaftery of Carthufians is reprefented alfo as fo near to a nunnery that Julius can feale the wall and even bring his fifter to his cell without difcovery, till the crying of the child reveals to a neighbouring monk, through a thin partition, the fecret. All this may be natural, but it is foreign to our nature and inconsistent with probability. In other refpects the novel is amusing, and the author feems to have had Werter in his eye, though he does not proceed to fuicide.
De Montmorency. A Novel founded on a recent Fa, interfperfed with a Tranflation of an Original Manufcript found in the Baftile. 2 Vols. 12mo. 55. Barr.
This is a pleafing little ftory, and, unlike the ufual novels, the hero and the heroine are left in poffeffion of their mutual affections with only a competency. The conduct of the governor to prifoners in the Baftile is defcribed with accuracy, and the treatment of the prifoners in that fortress well related. The author feems to have drawn his ftores from faithful fources. That the manufcript was found there, or that De Montmorency was really confined, the credulous only will believe: frequent ftories of that kind have rendered us a little fceptical. In the
conduct of the narrative, we could with that his deliverance had been owing to the faithful generous affection of Elife; or that the whimsical old gentleman, whom he met at his pretended patron's, had been brought more forward as his benefactor. If the author wished to defcribe the feelings of prifoners at the moment when they were unexpectedly delivered by the deftruction of the fortrefs, his powers were too weak to render it striking :
Arulia; or, the Victim of Senfibility. A Novel. By a Young Lady. 2 Vols. 12mo. 5. Lane.
An amusing little love-ftory, where the heroine dies from excefs of fenfibility; but the who could bear a feparation from her lover on account of a fcruple of honour, and fee the friend to whom he facrificed his pretenfions die, would not probably have felt fo much from the diftrefs of a brother. Perhaps the conftitution, weakened by former trials, might want little additional force to yield entirely. But befides this and a few other improbable circumitances, there are fome patlages, we allude particularly to the ftory of Jennet, that we should not have suspected from the pen of a young lady.'
Blanfay; a Novel taken from the French. By the Author of Victorina, Louis and Nina, c. 2 Vols. 12mo, 55. Lane.
The tale is interefting, and in the obfervations there is fomething fingularly naivé and amufing. Perhaps the characters and the manners, copied from nature in a different country, may render this work lefs generally pleafing. If the proper allow ances are, however, made, we think Blanfay will stand high in our catalogue of novels. Victorina, mentioned in the title-page, we fufpect to be a later work; we do not recollect having feen it in an English drefs.
Raynford Park. A Novel. 4 Vols. 12mo. 125. Kearsley.
We felt ourselves occafionally interested in this ftory, which, though written with more elegance than ufual, is drawn out too far, and extended to a tirefome length. When we reflected on it, however, we found nothing artful in the feries of adventures, no new characters, nicely difcriminated perfonages, or uncommon fituations. If it be, therefore, interefting, it must be owing to its general merit, and we fear it will be difficult to raise it higher in the fcale of excellence.
The Confidential Letters of Albert, from his firft Attachment to Charlotte to her Death. From the Sorrows of Werter. 12110. 35. Robinsons.
Albert was the husband of Charlotte in the feducing, but pernicious, novel of the Sorrows of Werter.' The popularity of