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ODE TO SILENCE. Written at 10 Years old
Or by fome lonely tower's fide?
Or fitt'st thou on the rocky fhore
While Zephyrs calm the billows' roar?
Or doft thou midft the tombs now wand'ring tread,
Struck with the groans proceeding from the dead * ?
And thine, O Peace, a life divine I lead.'
To this we fhall add the following part of the 4th Ode of
Horace, B. 1.
Solvitur acris hyems gratâ vice veris et Favoni;
Ac neque jam ftabulis gaudet pecus, aut arator igni,
Jam Cytherea choros ducit Venus, imminente Lunâ,
Alterno terram quatiunt pede; dum graves Cyclopum
Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto
ODE TO SPRING.
· Now tepid Spring diffolves the fnow fevere,
Of kid, or lamb, beneath the fhady wood.'
The Reader is defired to pardon this daring expreffion, and to understand by it" the groans proceeding from the Juxar Os peħsuv, the wretched Ghoft," a fiction legal in poetry, and which may, perhaps, be juftified by the following line from Thomfon's Winter,
"Mix'd with foul Shades and frighted Ghofts they howl."
We have obferved, in feveral places, a freedom of tranflation, and an expanfion of thought, rarely to be met with in fo young a writer; and which we should have afcribed to Mr. Afhe's touching up the MSS. had he not affured us (and we do not queftion his veracity) that they are the genuine productions of Mafter John Browne, a youth but 12 years old!!!
ART. XVI. An Effay on the Depravity of the Nation, with a View to the Promotion of Sunday Schools, &c. of which a more extended Plan is propofed. By the Rev. Jofeph Berington. Svo. Robinsons. 1788.
HIS writer, after ftating, with much good fenfe and energy, the natural progrefs of national depravity, and deJineating, perhaps with too fombre a pencil, the prefent manners, expreffes his warm approbation of the inftitution of Sunday fchools, as the most probable means of drying up the fources of that torrent, which feems ready to overwhelm the nation.
The expectation (fays our Author) is not too fanguine. For if children be taken early to the fchools, where it cannot be but good impreffions must be made, they will grow up with the happy bias. The fubordination in which their exercises must be performed, will habituate them to difcipline. The Sunday they will learn to keep holy. If their parents, fortunately, fhould be induced to co-operate, then may themselves be in part reformed, and in their houses, during the week, will be strengthened, by good example and advice, the fcheme of inftruction which began in the fchools. Perverse and obftinate, fhould they continue to neglect their children, still something will have been learned, which may ferve to refift the influence of bad example. In our days fhould the good be but partial, we know that the next generation will experience more happy effects, in a fucceffion of parents, on whofe mind's had been fown the feeds of early virtue. This alone will more than compenfate every exertion.
Already these schools are become very general, and great good has been experienced from them. This is a full anfwer to all objections. It has been objected, that learning in the lower ranks of life is feldom of any use, and is fometimes hurtful.-Is religious inAtruction then of no avail? Or can inftruction be effectually conveyed, where the ordinary talent of being able to read, has not been first acquired? More than this is not neceffary.-It has been objected, that all focieties of Chriftians are careful to inftil into their children the elements at least of religion, and that it is the duty of their refpective minifters to attend to it. This being done, Sunday schools are unneceffary.The existence of the evil we complain of fhews too evidently with what incaution the objection has been made. Blame I mean not to caft on any order of men, because it is my wish to conciliate, and not to irritate the minds of any. The evil exifts; let us unite to reprefs it, for the cause is common.'
Mr. Berington, however, is of opinion, that the present method of conducting Sunday fchools is capable of one material
improvement. From a conviction that religious animofity is of all affections the worft, and has more than once been the occafion of the greatest political evils, he propofes that thefe inftitutions fhould be rendered fubfervient to the deftruction of this fpirit, by opening them on a more extended plan, than has hitherto been done, and admitting to them children of all religious profeffions. In this bufinefs let us,' fays he, for once forget that we are Church of England-men, Prefbyterians, Baptifts, Roman Catholics, or Quakers. This is to afk much, I know; but let the experiment be tried.-Let elementary books of inAruction be prepared, which fhall contain nothing contrary to the peculiar tenets of any Chriftian fociety: let these be taught in the schools; and let children attend their respective places of worship, agreeable to the mode of faith in which they are bred. The confequence will be, that from often hearing of God, and of a future fate, impreffions will mechanically be made; and they will operate in due time. They will create a reverence for religion, and for its general dictates; and a foundation for the principle of confcience will be laid, that will always act as a check upon vice and immorality.
Now let us fee, whether we have not gained, with thefe treafures of moral instruction, the other grand point I mentioned, that is, in the minds which this plan has tutored, a privation of all religious animofity, and a fund of general benevolence and liberality? I am fure we have. Our elementary books have ever inculcated thefe virtues; they have never alluded to party-names, or difcriminating opinions; but they have invariably faid, that all mankind were brothers, and that it was their firft duty to love one another. They spoke of diffenfions, of quarrels, and of rancour as inimical to the fpirit of Christianity, and as debafing to the heart of man. Their instructors, by word and conduct, were careful to strengthen the fame impreffions: while the fight of the vifitors, men of different religious perfuafions, but all co-operating in the fame plan, wouldmoft effectually promote the important work. The last circumstance,, in every point of view, is interefting. Here I only wish to mention, that as children are always much moved by the conduct of their fuperiors, the effect on their minds must be pleafing, when they begin to reflect, that they who from pure benevolence became their benefactors, were men of different perfuafions.'
The propofal is truly liberal, and promises much public benefit; and it is not furely the lefs deferving of attention because it comes from a Roman Catholic clergyman.
For OCTOBER, 1788.
Art. 17. The Choice. 4to. 1s. 6d. Creech, Edinburgh; Murray, London. 1788.
ARD indeed would be the fate of this devoted fervant of the
H Nine, after having refifted, as he feelingly defcribes, the en
ticements of ambition and avarice, and fixed his Choice on facred Poesy, as
Joy's fweet companion and the friend of grief,'
fhould he fail of obtaining the only meed after which he afpires. Could a grey-headed band of Critics have any influence in the Court of the Mufes, we fhould certainly folicit for his honourable reception, in return for the pleasure we have received from the natural fentiments and the flowing numbers of his poem, and particularly from the following verfes:
Yes, thine I am, Seraphic Maid,
And as more of Life I knew,
Thine is the eye of daring Roll,
Which space can ne'er confine,
Thine is the Trumpet's lofty found,
Thine is the Wing that fpurns the ground,
Before thofe fhades of colour'd Light
The Phantoms fair of elegant Defire,
Each Pleasure bland, and each enchanting Love,
On thee their choiceft gifts the Graces fhow'r,
The various Paffions too are all thy own,
Nor thine alone the mimic Art
The poem confifts of three Cantos, chiefly written in blank verfe, but interfperfed with different kinds of rhime.
Art. 18. Letters from Simpkin the Second to his dear Brother in Wales; containing an humble Defcription of the Trial of Warren Haftings, Efq. with Simon's Anfwers. 4to. 2s. 6d. Bell. 1788.
The many witty paffages, and excellent ftrokes of irony and parody contained in thefe Epiftles, would incline us to afcribe them to Mr. Anfly; whofe Bath-Guide ftyle is tolerably well-preferved throughout; but, on the other hand, the defective lines which we frequently meet with, incline us to give the performance to some other writer.
Thefe Letters appeared originally in the daily paper entitled The World; and their defign was to burlefque the proceedings and orations of the managers of the profecution of Mr. Haftings.-Of the wit and the poetry, take the following fpecimen :
'One man had, it feems, the prefumption to ftate,