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want of knowlege, or by misconception, into any mistake of any kind, as soon as it is pointed out to us, it shall be corrected with promptitude and without disguise.
To Mr. PORSON we must repeat our request, that the MS. Lexicon of Photius may not be forgotten, while he is engaged in the arduous duties attendant on an editor of Euripides. With respect to this delightful writer, we sincerely wish the Professor such a portion of vigorous health, as may empower him to pursue his researches with the same genuine spirit in which they have been begun: so that he may continue to receive the unbiassed applause of those, whose solid erudition enables them to appreciate justly the talents of a REAL CRITIC, and whose pure taste leads them to enjoy the various excellencies of the GREEK TRAGIC POETS.
MILITARY AFFAIR S.
Art. 18. Remarks on Cavalry; by the Prussian Major General of Hussars, Warnery. Translated from the Original. 4to. pp. 125, and 31 Plates. l. 1s. Boards. Egerton. 1798.
remarks of the celebrated Warnery must be highly interesting and instructive to every military man. They abound, indeed, with good sense and advantageous precepts, and they cannot be too attentively studied by an officer of cavalry,
The present work has the additional recommendation of being translated by Lieut. Col. (now Brigadier-General) Koehler, of the Royal Artillery: a gentleman of the first rank for science in the British service; and who, perhaps, has seen as great a variety of troops, and of military operations, as any officer in our army. After having been aid-de-camp to General Eliott at the siege of Gibraltar, attended the great king of Prussia in his reviews, commanded an army of patriots in Flanders against the Emperor Joseph II.—served first as Deputy and then as Quarter-Master-General at Toulon and Corsica, he is now at Constantinople, instructing the Turkish artillery, and perhaps preparing to direct it against Bonaparte. We shall be happy to see him again in print, on his return; not merely as a translator, but as an author, who will himself merit being trans lated into different languages,,,
Besides the plates illustrating the various positions, this work is em bellished by twenty-three equestrian figures; which are in general animated specimens of European, Moorish, and Turkish Cavalry: but, as these very much enhance the price of the book, we could wish that they had been published by themselves, to be either taken or not, at the option of the purchaser of the Remarks.
POETIC and DRAMATIC.
Art. 19. Self Immolation; or, the Sacrifice of Love. A Play, in
the German by Heary Neuman, Esq. 8vo. 28. Phillips.
This play has been altered for performance at the Hay-Market, under the title of Family-Distress. It is calculated to excite strong interest, and is well adapted to the modern stage: but we have still to complain that the plot is unconnected, and that the piece consists almost entirely of detached scenes. There is, also, still too much of the feeling and energy confined within crotchets, instead of being suffered to expand itself in the dialogue-of which we observe a strong instance in the scene where Maxwell is restored to his family after an attempt at suicide. The whole impassioned part evaporates in dumb shew, and the first observation made comes from a bystander, (a sentitimental porter) who recollects that Maxwell wished to turn porter in the morning!
• SCENE XII.-Enter MAXWELL, WALWYN, and HARRINGTON. • Maxwell. (Still of a death-like paleness in bis countenance,-bis bair hanging down in disorder,-his looks down-cast,—is led by Walwyn to Arabella.)
Arabella. (Attempting to rise, is unable, but sinks back, and holds out her arms.)
Maxwell. (Kneels before her, and with involuntary feebleness, lays his head in her lap.)
Arabella. (Bends sobbing over him.)
Hartopp. (Wipes his eyes with his fingers aukwardly.)
Harrington. (Stands lost in deep thought; and now and then casts a look on the re-united pair.)
Maxwell. (Lifts up his head, and looks on Arabella with an expression of anguish.
Arabella. Clasps his neck, and joins her cheek to bis.)
Walwyn. (Beholds them with strong emotion.)
Hartopp. By my soul, it is the man, who, this morning tried my load. He perhaps carried heavier than I.—
Harrington. Are you not the same person, who this morning asked my assistance in the tea-garden?
Maxwell. I am.'
Mr. Von Kotzebue's plays are so much liked in this country, with all their faults, that we wonder that none of his admirers think it worth while to divest them of those excrescences which disfigure them in the eyes of men of good taste, and the absence of which no English reader or spectator could regret.
Art. 20. Vortigern, an Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts; repre-
The Goddess Dulness, the natural and implacable enemy of Shakspeare and his fraternity, has made divers attempts to blast the laurels
of our great dramatist, by inserting some of the poppy and henbane of her own sons among them. The forgery of Theobald's Double Falsehood is perpetuated by the Dunciad; we remember a tragedy on the subject of Arden of Feversham*, which was given to the world as a lost sheep of Shakspeare; and in the present instance, we should have lost a sheep, if he had not bleated;' for verily the risible tragedy of King Vortigern had quite escaped our memory, until this publication recalled it,
Of all the impositions ever attempted on the public, this is unquestionably one of the most gross and contemptible. There is scarcely aline of ten syllables properly accented, in a play attributed to Shakspeare! Wherever any slight resemblance to our poct appears, it is the effect of a bungling and disfiguring plagiarism. Who does not perceive that the following egregious soliloquy is made up of shreds and patches from Macbeth?
Vort. Thus far, then, have my deeds a sanction found,
For still cach morn deth the resplendant sun
Dart forth its golden rays, to grace my sight.
O what an inconsistent thing is man!
There was a time when e'en the thought of murder
For ere the moon shall twice have fill'd her orb,
Death shall provide for them a crown immortal!'
It would be a waste of our pages to make many farther quotations; the reader may consult, for more parallelisms, pp. 8, 10, 11, of Vortigern, all taken from Macbeth.
At page 41, we have a dash of Lear:
And have I need of these vile rags; I'll follow thee to th' extreme point o' th' world, And naked bear the icy mountains cold, And the dread scorches o' that ball of fire 'Till I have found them i' the antipodes;
* See M. Rev. vol. xliii. p. 493.
Shou'd I not meet them there, I will rail so!
Pardon these starts! in troth I will not harm ye,
Than dying swan at ninety and nine years!
Lack, lack, a day! I'm faint! your arm, sweet maid.
There is my gage, farewell; good night, sweet! good night!'
"A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
Which when I saw rehearst, I must confess,
The unhappy fate of Vortigern, we suppose, prevented his successor, Henry the Second, from mounting the stage. There is no rea son for regretting the absence of his royal cloquence, for thus doth he declaim:
Then short mantled Harry bids ye beware!
[Is this to be said or sung?]
For as the tigress, when stirr'd from her whelp,
So is't with me, if lowering on these smiles
We presume that the elegant, impressive, and noble epithet, which we have distinguished by Italics, must have been borrowed either from the kings of Brentford or from Sir Jeffrey Dunstan, of immortal memory; and we give our decided vote for its being sent back to the place whence it came.
The Castle of Montval, a Tragedy. By the Rev. T. S.
The author of this play has very modestly and properly given the laud of its success on the stage to Mrs. Siddons. Could he have printed her countenance and gestures with his own dialogue, it might probably have passed muster with the reader: but, left to its own powers, it proves tame and spiritless, in spite of the fashionable adjuncts of secret doors, old tapestry, and rusty knives. One novelty, however, we have remarked, and it is fit that we should notice it ;-as the marginal directions of Mr. Von Kotzebue are not yet adopted by our tragic writers, the author of this play has ingeniously distinguished the emphatic words in his verses, by printing them in Italics, For example:
Teresa. Nay, nay, good friend,
If he has hitherto ne'er trusted you
To keep these keys, 'tis odds but he wou'd rather
Blaise. If not to me, entrust them to Lapont ;
Teresa. Think you Lapont is trusted like my lady!
His inmost thoughts. He loves her with such passion,
That were his life and honor both at stake,
To her, with free and fearless confidence,
Wou'd both be trusted.-Rest assur'd of this.
Blaise. Enough you ought to know their humours best. But yet my heart misgives me that some trouble
Will surely spring from these forgotten keys.'
These detestable keys form the distress of the play, during a couple of acts,
The plot, which turns on the accidental discovery of an aged father, who had been imprisoned during several years in his own castle by the cruelty of an unnatural son, is said to be founded on ‘a well-known fact, which happened, the author believes, somewhere in the south of France, and so recently as in the year eighty three.'Fert Art. 22. Poems by the Rev. Josiah Relph of Sebergham, near Carlisle. With the Life of the Author, and a Pastoral Elegy on his Death. By Thomas Sanderson. 12mo. 2s. 6d. Faulder. Whatever opinion may be formed of Mr. Relph's poetic genius, the memoirs here given of him cannot be read without exciting the most pleasing emotions; for they exhibit the picture of a man who, placed in a remote village, and little favoured by the gifts of fortune, found the means of practising the brightest virtues, and, by his precepts and examples, of effecting a reformation in the sentiments and manners of his parishioners.
We must reluctantly pass, however, from a contemplation of the moral qualities of Mr. Relph, to an examination of his works.-Of the pastorals in the Cumberland dialect, we confess ourselves not competent judges: the editor, who perhaps may be rather partial, speaks of them in the following manner:
His pastorals, if they had been less uniform in their plan and sentiments, and more diversified in local imagery, by admitting a wider range of rural life, would have presented us with a more faithful picture of pastoral manners and customs than has yet been given. The sentiments are natural and appropriate; and the language is familiar without grossness: it is never elevated above the rural character by too much refinement, nor ever depressed below it by disgusting vul garity. His swains discover their fears and their hopes, their intentions and their sentiments, like honest men, whom an intercourse with the world has not taught disguise. Their conversation, though illiterate and unpolished, is that of rational beings; it is not disgraced by absurdities, nor made ridiculous by puerilities: it often discovers ignorance, but never folly.'