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probability, operated against the piece on the fucceffive nights. We, who were not at the theatre on the first night of its performance, think it now incumbent upon us to hold the balance fairly between Mrs. Cowley and her cenfurers.
The lady, in her preface, gives her word, that, whatever her fins were, her play is published with all its imperfections on its head. Taking this to be the fact, the comedy has been perufed with a ftrict and a jealous eye; and as far as relates to the language and dialogue, Mrs. Cowley must be acquitted of the charge of indecency. The expreffion which it feems gave umbrage to delicate ears, has nothing grofs: the bridegroom fays, he will provide a dark chamber for his new-married wife. The wit, if there be any in the phrafe, is not of much value: but he must be faftidious indeed, who, on that account, condemns the play as offenfive to modeft ears. How far the performance before us can be received as a proof of true comic genius, may be doubtful; on this head, however, we shall hazard a few reflections, which, perhaps, Mrs. Cowley will not find unworthy of notice.
In the first place, fhe has not chofen her fubject with taste and judgment. Spanish plots and Spanish manners will not furnish true comedy. The trick of an embarraffed fable and perplexed incidents is worn threadbare. To fee the perfons of the drama merely the fport of chance, of accidents, and of mistakes, may divert in pantomime, but fomething of more value is expected in comedy. We go to the theatre to fee manners as they exift in fociety. When the fcene is laid in Spain or Portugal, a fure difappointment follows: of English characters we can judge, and when thofe are not offered, we lofe the opportunity of comparing the copy with the life: in short we Do longer expect the pleasure arifing from the truth of imitation. We would therefore recommend to Mrs. Cowley, in her future compofitions, to look for characters at home; the may then give a faithful draught of the manners, and that fpirit of dialogue which the feems to poffefs will not be wafted on an ungrateful fubject.
Before we close this article, it must be admitted, that the leffon intended for grey beards is not the moft delicate for the pen of a lady. To Mrs. Behn, the writer of the last century, Mrs. Cowley d fhould owe no obligation. Had the fcene lain in England, perhaps there would not have been fo much of exaggerated character. Seraphina would not then tell her aged hufband, that he reprefented the old fhrivelled grey pated TIME;' that he will fit at her balcony, to attract admiration;' that he could not be at reft in her bed, if she thought` ber lover fept quietly:' that when gay women marry grey-beards, it is their pious defign to have their own way in every thing;' and that'
when old men are fifted, they are found to be chaff and all this borders upon improbability; the infolence is too grofs. In English manners there would be more art, and perhaps lefs virtue; but it would, in that cafe, be a copy from life, and therefore more enter taining.
On the whole, Mrs. Cowley has employed her talents upon an illchofen fubject. In her next piece we hope to fee a felection of better tafte; and then her abilities will probably enfure fuccefs. M NOVELS.
REV. Jan. 1787.
Art. 54. Juliana. By the Author of Francis the Philanthropift. 12mo. 3 Vols. 7s. 6d. fewed. Lane. 1786.
Juliana Monteville, the heroine of this novel, is a young lady of great beauty; and, as the reader may eafily imagine, fhe is deeply in love. The inamorato, Mr. W. Falconer, folicits her hand, but he is rejected by her parents with contempt: they have a fpice of hereditary dignity about them, and will marry her to nothing below a lord. In confequence of this rejection, the lover refolves on a voyage to India, in order to divert his melancholy, and, if poffible, to forget the object of his choice. Some time after his departure from England the father of Juliana informs her that Mr. F. died on his paflage to the Eaft, and that she must look out for another fwain *. The lady is peftered with numerous admirers; but her delicacy is fo very great, that fhe cannot admit a fecond paffion to her breaft: and the hero of the tale, after having experienced the greateft diftreffes and hardships, returns, and (Juliana's father being dead) is made the happiest of men.'
Such is the outline of the ftory. Various episodes are introduced, by which the writer evidently intended to arrest attention; but his Jabours have a totally different effect. By a multiplicity of incidents and characters the interest is broken and divided, and the hero and heroine are loft in the crowd.
As to the ftyle of this performance, it is for the most part-so, so. We mean not, however, that it has any relation to Touchstone's fo, fo. which he interprets to be good, very excellent good.' A.B. Art. 55. Lane's Annual Nivelift. A Collection of Moral Tales, Hiftories, and Adventures, felected from the Magazines, and other periodical Publications for the Year. 12mo. 2 Vols. 5s.
fewed. Lane. 1786.
We are here prefented with feveral pleafing tales. Some of them are even excellent, particularly thofe which are taken from Mr. Hayley's Effay on Old Maids; but how far the Editor is to be juftified in thus ftripping a garden of its flowers, and placing them in his own parterre, we will not pretend to fay. Do Art. 56. The Happy Releafe: or the Hiftory of Charles Wharton and Sophia Harley. In a Series of Letters. 12mo. 7s. 6d. fewed. Noble. 1787.
Contains fome excellent inftructions for feducing females from the bofoms of their parents, or for carrying them off by force, and deferting them at a proper time t. Such kind of productions must no doubt be highly pleafing to the would-be Jupiters of the day; the little Joves without a beard,' as the Satirist has it; and to their per
* And yet you will find bye and bye, perhaps, that he is not dead neither.' Bayes in the Rehearsal.
+ We do not mean, however, to charge the Author with intentional mifchief, or any meaning injurious to morality. It is more probable that his defign was, to guard the unfufpecting female reader againft the arts of feduction, by exposing them. It will be happy fhould his book answer this good end in but a fingle instance!
bfal the performance now before us will probably be chiefly con
Art. 57. The Adventures of Anthony Varnish; or a Peep at the Manners of Society. By an Adept. 12mo. 3 Vols. 7s. 6d. fewed. Lane.
Made up entirely of fcenes in low-life. And it must be acknowledged that the Author, in defcribing them, appears to be perfectly at home. A celebrated novelift has obferved
In former times this taftelefs, filly town,
Too fondly prais'd Tom Durfey and Tom Brown.'
But what would he fay were he now living, and requested to give his opinion of Anthony Varnish? In a word, if Mr. Varnish thinks to pafs for a Durfey or a Brown, we can affure him he will be difappointed. De
Art. 58. Victoria. The Characters taken from real Life, and calculated to improve the Morals of the female Sex, by impreffing them with a juft Senfe of the Merits of filial Piety. By Sufannal Hafwell. 12mo. 2 Vols. 55. fewed. Bew. 1786.
Mifs Victoria, by eloping from her parents with a libertine young Baronet, embitters the latter part of her life; for her lover deceives her by a mock marriage, and afterwards forfakes her, in order to marry a wicked dame of quality, of whom he, at length, in his turn; becomes the dupe; but his treachery occafions the death of Victoria's mother, and of our heroine herself. The work is interfperfed with various little hiftories, verfes, &c. It is fo far to be commended, that it exhibits the ill effects of filial difobedience and thoughtless libertinifm, in striking colours: the language is neither good nor bad; it is too much in the common ftyle of modern novels to deferve great commendation, though, when ranked in that numerous clafs of productions, the lowest place muft not be affigned to this firft-born of a young writer's brain.
G.r.G. Art. 59. Characters of the Kings and Queens of England, felected from different Hiftories; with Obfervations and Reflections, chiefly adapted to common Life; and particularly intended for the Instruction of Youth. To which are added, Notes Historical. J. Holt. Vol. I. 12mo. 2s. 6d. fewed. Robinfons. 1786. Our Author introduces this publication by a preface, from which we shall select the following paffages: The characters of our English kings were collected for a school exercife in a private feminary, to ferve as a fpecimen of good writing, and to convey fome useful information. Obfervations were made upon the refpective characters, at the time they were first selected; which have been fomething enlarged, and which might be yet greatly and profitably extended. The hiftorical notes were added as facts more likely to engage the attention of young minds, and as proper to treasure up in their memories, as military operations or political details: thofe fubjects being the principal contents of the abridged hiftories ufually put into the hands of youth.'
The characters are taken from Hume and from Smollett, commencing with that of Alfred, and concluding with Edward the Third. The observations are juft, pertinent, and ingenious; and G 2
the hiftorical facts are entertaining and curious; for most of which the Editor acknowledges himfelf indebted to Anderfon's Hiftorical and Chronological Deductions. We fuppofe that Mr. Holt intends to bring down his work nearer to the prefent time, as this publication is marked Vol. I. though there is nothing faid concerning a future volume either in the preface or any other part of the book. G.2.G. Art. 60. The Journal of William Dowfing, of Stratford, parlia mentary Vifitor, for demolishing the fuperftitious Pictures and Ornaments of Churches, &c. within the County of Suffolk, in the Years 1643 and 1644. 4to. IS. Nichols. 1786.
Mr. Dowing acted under a warrant from the Earl of Manchester. There feems to be an air of humour in fome of his details-as-- At
Sunbury, we brake down 10 mighty great angels in glafs.' At
In this manner, breaking down, tearing up, and demolishing the fe trappings of the Whore of Babylon, did Mr. Dowing and his deputies proceed through about 150 parishes; but, in their rage for reformation, they, with more zeal than knowledge, deftroyed many innocent things, particularly funeral monuments and infcriptions, which, had antiquaries only been employed in the bufinefs, would certainly have been spared. R-in Art. 61. Pogenologia; or a philofophical and hiftorical Effay on Beards. Tranflated from the French. Exeter printed, London fold by Cadell. 8vo. 2s. 6d. 1786.
We were much entertained in perufing this work. The Author has collected every thing that hiftory could afford him concerning the fashion of wearing beards or no beards. In many places he investi
Poffibly this gentleman's name gave rife to the common term among fchool-boys and others, I'll give him a dowfing!'
gates the caufes of the changes of thefe fashions, and introduces a number of anecdotes, which, if they do not much inftruft, can fcarcely fail of diverting the reader. D.0 Art. 62. Letters from Monf. Racine the Elder, to his Son M. Racine the Younger, when a Youth; containing Rules and Inftructions for his Conduct through Life; Anecdotes of feveral Perfons, and Sketches of hiftorical Events in the Court of France in the Reign of Lewis XIV. To which is added, a fhort Account of the Abbey of Port Royal. 12mo. 2s. Boards. Wilkins.
From this title-page, and the name of the Author, the reader may be led to entertain great expectations; but he will, upon the perufal of the book, be much difappointed. The letters, though evidently written by a very good man, and doubtlefs of great value to his family, are, for the moft part, fuch as we apprehend will prove un interefting to the Public.
Art. 63. The Philofophical Dictionary: or the Opinions of modern Philofophers on metaphyfical, moral, and political Subjects. 12mo. 4 Vols. 12s. fewed. Robinfons. 1786.
This publication refembles thofe compilements which lately thickened upon us under the name of Beauties; and inftead of calling it The philofophical Dictionary,' it fhould have been denominated The Beauties of modern Infidelity.
Infidelity, like an epic poem or a tragedy, hath its beginning, middle, and end. There is a regular gradation in it from its loweft ftages to its higheft confummation; and when it begins with carping at miracles, it feldom leaves off till it hath robbed man of an immortal foul, and confoled him for the lofs by telling him his remedy is at band, either in the piftol, the cup, or the cord.
If any one needs inftruction or encouragement in thofe glorious ftudies which have a progrefs and termination fo devoutly to be wifhed, he may be amply furnished in these volumes; where the names of Bolingbroke, Voltaire, Hume, Helvetius, Rousseau, &c. appear, like stars of the firft magnitude, to throw a luftre on the page, and gladden the heart of the bewildered travellers in the dark, B and dreary wilderness of metaphyfics! Art. 64. The Hiftory of Count Gleichen, a German Nobleman, who received Permiffion from Pope Gregory IX. to have two Wives at the fame Time. Tranflated from the French of Arnaud. 12mo. 2s. 6d. Hookham.
A fentimental Tale, likely to do more than even Thelyphthora itself, to convince our young people (for whofe benefit, no doubt, it was written), that the Turkish plan of love and matrimony is much better than the Chriftian. & Art. 65. Sawney Mackintosh's Travels through Ireland. Containing a particular Account of the Manners, Laws, Customs, &c. of that Kingdom; with a great Number of curious Anecdotes. 12mo, Is. 6d. Adlard. Vulgar trash.
Art. 66. The Art of converfing on moral, religious, and entertaining Subjects, in Profe and Verfe, adapted to the Capacities, and defigned for the Improvement of young Ladies and Gentlemen.