« PreviousContinue »
well-digested treatise; not chusing to suppose this Knight of Christ to militate on the side of fiction, nor to hold that tenet, of keeping no faith with Heretics, especially if rich Heretics: yet, on the other hand, we must presume this Officer, now, or very lately, at Bareges, to be a Gentleman of probity and honour. He writes like a man of sense, and must certainly be full as little interested in depreciating the springs, or the place*, as Dr. Meighan can be in extolling them. In this dilemma, our duty to the public, and our utmost candour to the Author and to the Officer, induce us to lay the whole evidence before our Readers, for their determination, and for the guidance of such as might be inclined to experience the properties of these baths. For though we would not willingly contribute to the present rage or fashion of travelling into France, whose inhabitants practise the maxim of not enriching their King's enemies; yet if health in fome accidents, and particularly in the consequences of wounds, is not as readily attainable elsewhere, persons in adequate circumItances can never hesitate about the purchase of it,
* Indeed, this Gentleman observęs, that, abstracted from his wounds, he enjoys very good health there.
The Times, a Poem, By C. Churchill. 4to. 25. 6d.
HEN we consider the amazing rapidity of this Writer's
publications ; with what facility and expedition hc crowds poem upon poem, we can no longer wonder at the geperal imperfection and lameness of his productions. We are even surprized to find them distinguished by those beamings of genius, and forcible powers of expression, which one might expect to have been disregarded in the precipitancy of execution, to have been weakened by exertion, or exhausted by use : for, undoubtedly, it is with the mental as with the corporeal faculties; in a state of absolute inactivity they languish ; exerçise, if moderatę, invigorates, and, if violent, destroys them. Mr. Churchill's genius, nevertheless, naturally vigorous, secnas, hitherto, not to have been debilitated by the excess of its labours; and The TỊmes, however exceptionable, however enormous, is not without a very considerable share of poetical merit. At first the Author seems to have had his Master, Juvenal in his eye ; for the poem opens with a close imitation of
Credo Pudicitiam, Salurna Rege, moralam
We no sooner enter than we are presented with the following group of follies and vices, which distinguish and disgrace the prelent age:
Time was, ere Temperance had fled the realın;
the die, and bid the Sun look on;
T'ime was, that men had conscience, that they made
Scruples to owe, what never could be paid. The character of FABER follows; and however severe, is fo odious, that, if it be drawn with justice, we can hardly blame the Satirist. MEANNESS is marked with striking features, and a masterly force :
More to increase the horrour of our State,
Ordains the standing mark of this vile age. Vile, in some respects, no doubt, this-age may be; and many instances of baseness and of villainy in individuals may be ad5
duced in support of the assertion; but that this age is, either generally, or comparatively considered, a vile age, could only be afferted by a person who was either ignorant of former ages, or unacquainted with the present.
It is impossible to accompany the Satirift without all his indignation, when he strikes at the base and illiberal traffic which parents make of their children:
Worn out with luft, her day of letchery o'er,
That they have play'd the whore and rogue fo well. The crimes and follies we borrow from foreign nations, are pursued with the same vengeance as those which are more peculiarly the product of our own climate. The characters of France, Spain, and Italy, are strongly marked, the laft, in particular, is an admirable picture :
France, in return for peace and pow's restorid,
Spain gives us pride—which Spain to all the earth,
Italia, nurse of
Whó, when retir'd from the day's piercing liglıt,
To view their monstrous lufts, deem Sappho chaste ;
Of fame, of virtue, talle, and common sense.
On this consideration, indeed, the enormity alluded to, called more immediately for the scourge of satire; but, at the same time, the stroke ought only to have been levelled at the particular miscreants who practice this horrid vice-To make the charge national, as - Mr. c. has most unscrupulously done, was at once injurious, and ungrateful to a people from whom this Poet has received the most essential favours ! " What muft they think of us abroad?" is the general voice-Every man who reads this satire, thus exclaims, “ Is the whole indiscriminately to suffer for a few? Is the reputation of a great and glorious nation, a nation distinguished by every liberal vir
tue, to be stabbed by this mean, this unnatural affafin, whom She has cloathed and fed?” The justice and propriety of these exclamations, we shall not enquire into; but as hope, and believe, there are no real grounds for the generality of this horrid imputation of y, so we cannot but condemn the Satirist for making it general. We are fenfible, at the fame time, that the satire acquired more force and confequence by this means, than if it had been confined to individuals; but we apprehend that this advantage is more than over-balanced by the inconveniencies arising from that security which guilt ever feels when it finds numbers involved in the same infamy. The Times, therefore is, upon the whole, equally injudicious and injurious, equally obnoxious to delicacy, to propriety, and to justice.
Yet to leave the Reader as little diffatisfied with it as possible, we Mall close our account of it with the following nervous and elegant compliment to Lady Caroline Hervey :
That sense, with more than manly vigour fraught,
Philosophical Transactions, giving some Account of the present Un
dertakings, Studies, and Labours of the Ingenious, in many confiderable Parts of the World. Vol. LIII. For the Year 1763. 400. 145. in Sheets. Davis and Reymers.
E cannot help thinking it would greatly redound to the
honour of the Royal Society, if, instead of persevering in their resolution, “ Never to give their opinion, as a body, on any subject either of nature or art that comes before them,”! they would alter their conduct, and imitate some of the foreign Academies in this particular. If the several discoveries, projects, and inventions, which are inserted in the Philosophical Transactions, icceive no fanction from the imprimatur of the