Page images
PDF
EPUB

In youthful prime with ardour glows,
And sweetens Life's serener clofe.
Benignant pow'r! in this retreat,
O deign to fix thy tranquil feat;
Where rais'd above the dufky vale,
Thy favourites brighter suns shall hail;
And, from life's busy scenes remote,
To thee their cheerful hours devote,
Nor waste a traphient thought to know

What cares disturb the crowd below.” These lines are, it seems, inscribed in a Temple on St. Anne's Hill, dedicated to Friendthip, and they deserve this public notice.

Art. 19. Sir Hubert, an Heroic Ballad. By John Weftbrooke Cband

ler. 12mo. 7s.6d. Vernor and Hood. 1800. A romantic story, versified to the extent of eight sections, and 228 pages. The tale is tedious enough, but the versification is often · animated and harmonious; and the writer's mind seems well stored with poetical images, which may perhaps hereafter be exhibited in a form more likely to attract the public observation.

Art. 20. Poems: to which is added, Lord-Mayor's Day, a mock hee

roick Poem. By David Rivers, Author of Letters on the political Conduet of the Dilsenters, Editor of the Abridgment of Park's Travels, Beauties of Saurin, &c. &c. 8vo. 1S. Rivingtons. 1800.

The first thing which caught our eye in this collection, was a consolatory address to Mr. Pybus, occafioned by some critiques on his Poem, in which these lines occur.

“ The wise ne'er heed the snarling critic's rules,
Or ever wish to gain the paradise of fools.
Tho' Paul has treach'rous prov'd to his allies,

Couldlt thou foresee th' apoftate in disguise ?" It is plain that Mr. Rivers does not heed the “ snarling critic's fules ;” but we hope he will, before he obtrudes another poetical pub. Jication on the notice of the world. We are afraid the Poem on Lord-Mayor's Day will not procure the writer an invitation to fit with the honourable names he has introduced in his Poem, on the gth of Nivember.

ART. 21. Fugitive Pieces, in Prose and Verle, çonfisting of Fables, &c.

moral and sentimental. By William Hart. 8vo. 135 pp. Richard. fon, &c. 18oi.

Mercy on us! a poetical Preface of 54 pages, closely printed! We have entered upon, and must go fairly through it; and we shall tempt our readers to do the same, by extracting the very best lines we can find in it. Thus it opens :

“ As is a cart preceded by a horse,
So a preface precedęs a work of course :

Pardon

Pardon the fimile, I own its low,
But to my purpose is just apropos ;
For, howe'er richly laden ihe machine,
Howe'er sweet and fair the goods plac'd therein,
It could not of itself move from the ground,
To which it sticks by depth of mire fatt bound,
But requires the strength of beast, th’art of man,
Ere, to dispense its blessings, move it can.
Thus my poor lines howe'er with beau'y fraught,
Of which, alas ! I fear they possess nought,
Unless by some apology prefacd,
Would stick i'the nough in which by dulness plac'd," P.il.
« Oh, that I could clap Pegasus to the fasts;
He the heavy-laden muse so swiftly wafts
To fam'd Parnassus' bleft abode on high;
Al! had I him, I should not be drawn, but fy;
Fly, nor then to breathe forth numbers sweet despair,
Since then I Would enhale th’empyreal air.
Alas! that generous steed you may invoke in vain,
The tempting food you offer him he doth disdain;
The herhangi juu;icia is not flowers, but grass,

And that lo quity, 'tis not good e'en for an ass." P. xii.
So much for what Mr. Hart calls his poetry; now for his prose.

" When Aurora, gently svaring on the dappled wings of the morn, opes, to the bright solar regent, the burnished portals of heaven, swift and metereous its rays electric shoot across the grand azure concave. At his glad some apprach, adown the vast ethercal expanse, opaque, night's roriferous thadows glide ; all nature, doft of his dark maniling gloom, once more puts on the chequered trim of vernal beauty, which light and heat, grand source of lite and joy, affords: then the drooping floweret once more raises its roscid head, and smilingly exfoliates its long-bidden beauties to the amorous glance of nature's most lovely paramour." P.2.

Will any of our readers condemn us, for withholding a further account of this book ? If they should, we mult endeavour to pacify them by an acceptable piece of information,

li appears from the “ Subscribers' Names", (pe 59) that moft of the author's patrons are of Lynn-Regis in Norfolk. This circumfance is peculiarly satisfactory. For it happened that, together with the list of subscribers to this book, another lilt was seen by us, of fubscribers for the relief of the families of our brave seamen, killed or wounded in the late gallant action off Copenhagen. This latter subscriprion, which does so much honour to our countrymen, cannot fail of meeting with universal encouragement in a very opulent town, deeply interested in the event of that action; and we shall look with high expectation, and doubtless with equal gratification, at the amount of subscriprions from that quarter, If the * fugitive Pieces” of Mr. William Hart have experienced so liberal a bounty in Nusfolk, what

may

may not be expected on behalf of the brave fellows commanded by Lord Nelson (nimself a man of Norfolk) who never were, and, as many of them as survive, never will be, fugitives?

ART. 22. Favole Scelte degli autori piu celebri. Raccolte da Leonarda

Nardini, ad uso degli studiosi della Lingua Italiana. 12 mo. 251 PP: 38. 6d. Dulau, &c. 1800.

The students in Italian literature have already received from the hands of Signior Nardini, several useful, and some elegant publications, calculated to assist and encourage their progies. To these work, the present judicious collection of Italian Fables makes a very tuiiable and pleasing addition. They who have collected the productions of fabu. liits, who have written in Latin and French, will be pleased also to poflefs a selection from the best Italian writers of that class. The authors whose fables are here printed, are arranged in the following order : Dante, Zucco, Arioito, Pignotti, De Roffi, Bertola, Grillo, Pafleroni, Roberti, Rilli-Orfini, Ricci, Crudeli, Tulli, Clalio. Several of these writers this editor thus characterizes in his Preface. “ Chi potrà ricusare al Pignotti l'amenità, al De Rosli la gentileisa, al Bertola la grazia, spesso al Grillo la naturalezza, la ingenuirà al Palleroni, la lindura al Roberti, e al Rilli.Orrini la femplicità, come distintivo loro, benchi tutte sovente in queste qualià si riconoscano?!" An original Fable, composed by himself, is inserted by S. Nardini by way of Dedication, to the Ladies Alicia Gordon, Elizabeth Drunmond, and Isabella Strange.

DRAMATIC.

ART. 23. Life: a Comedy, in Five Afts; as performed at the Theatre

Royal, Covent Garden. By Frederick Reynolds. 8vo. 80 pp. 25. Longman and Rees. 1800.

We have so often given our fentiments on dramatic productions (far we cannot call them comedies) of the claís to which this belongs, chat further observations on the subject may appear invidious, and are manifeftly useless. When experience has shown, that consistency in the plot, probability in the several incidents, cruth and nature in the cha. jaciers, and even wit and humour in the dialogue, may be set at paught by a dramatic writer, provided he can keep the stage in a bustle throughout the earlier scenes of his piece, and produce (whether naty. rally or not) a striking licuation at the close, why Thould we blame an author (who, if he “lives to please, must please to live") for adopting the easiest means of securing applause and profit?-Of the play now before us, though we have read it wih attention, we feel unable to give a clar and intelligible account. There are indeed incidents in abundance ; but fcarcely one of them such as could, in our opinion, have cccurred in real life. In the dialogue, we look in vain for wit and humour, or even (in any great degree) that Alippancy which used to supply their place. We mult, however, do jutiicc to the concluding scene; which contains an interesting and well-managed discovery.

NOVELS.

NOVELS.

ART. 24. Ernestina. A Novel, Dedicated, by Permission, to her Royal

Highness the Duchess of Tork. By Either Holsten. In Two Volumes, 490 pp. 75. Crosby and Letterman. 1801.

Very infipid, yet highly absurd. There does not seem to be any : ill intention in the writer ; but to propose her heroine as an example, after having related such excravagances in her conduct as amount nearly to mac nels, is, to say the least of it injudicious. It is, however, useless to cri cize what probably few but reviewers will read. Prefixed to this Novel is a relpectable list of subscribers; who, we presume, must have been influenced by esteem for the author rather than the work.

ART. 25. The Myfterious Penitent; or, the Norman Chateau. 8 Romance. Two Volumes. 12mo. 392 pp. 65Crosby and Letter man. 1800.

The story of this Romance is interesting, and not ill-told; but some of the most important discoveries are made too soon; and, in the catastrophe, the worst character, and, so far as intention goes, the most criminal, is rather rewarded than punished. Upon the whole, however, few modern Romances, those of Mrs. Radcliffe excepted, display more talents, or may be read with more satisfaction.

MEDICINE.

Art. 26. Three Lectures upon Animal Life, delivered in the University,

of Pennsylvania. By Benjamin Ruh, M. D. Prof.lor of the Infio tutes of Medicine, & c. 8vo. 84. PP. 25. 6. Philadelphia printed; sold by Mawman, London. 1799.

Thele Lectures contain an exemplication of the doctrine of life, as explained by Brown and Darwin, whom the author calls, “ two of the most diftinguished master-builders in medicine of the 18th century; for whom, he has done little more," he says, “ than carry the hod, to allift in completing part of the fabric; the great and original conception, and foundation, being entirely theirs." Pref. p. l. But as this foundation is laid in air, the labour of carrying materials, to complete the fabric, cannot have been great; neither will its duration, we trust, be of very long continuance. We will, however, quit this netaphor, which the author unluckily introduced, and lay before our readers some of the principles of the doctrine he is endeavouring to inculcate.

“ Every part of the human body, the nails and hair excepted,” he fays, Lecture 1. “ is endowed with sensibility, or excitability, cr with both of them. By sensibility is meant the power of having sensation excired by the action of impressions. Excitability denotes," he says,

that property in the human body by which motion is excited by means of impressions.” But as sensation implies motion, or can be only ma

nifelted nifefted by motion, we see no distinction here made between those two powers. Sensation, before the introduction of the new philosophy, was fupposed to be a power inherent in mind, and was thence eafily dis. tinguishable from irritability, a property in the living fibre; but our new philosophers, arguing upon a supposition that we have no minds, or at least attempting to explain every thing without the admission of one, have fallen into the error of confounding sen Gibility and irritability, It is of no consequence,” the author goes on to say, “ to our prefent inquiry, whether this excitability, be a quality of animal matter, or a substance,” that is, a being. * The latter opinion,” that it is a being, “ has been maintained by Dr. Girtanner, and has some proba. bility in its favour.” Into such absurdities do men fall, when at. tempting to explain what is beyond their capacity to comprehend !

The author defines life, see p. 27, “ to be the effect of certain ftimuli, acting upon the fenfibility and excitability, which are extended, in different degrees, over every external and internal part of the body,

Thefe ftimuli," he says, “ are as necessary to its existence, as air is to fame;" and in another place, p. 73, “ life is as much an effect of impressions upon a peculiar species of matter, as found is of the stroke of a hammer upon a bell, or music, of the motion of a bow upon the strings of a violin." The stimuli that are found efficacious in kindling life, are, it seems, see p. 8, “ lighe, found, odors, air, heat, exercise, the pleasures of the senses, food, drinks, chyle, the blood, a certain tension of the glands, which contain secreted liquors, and the exercile of the faculties of the mind," that is, we suppose, thought. But it is evident, the greater part of these stimuli, as founds, odours, the pleasures of the senses, &c. can only be perceived by a living being, consequently life cannot be the effect of those stimuli; and that life may be supported without the aid of many of them, we know; as the fætus in utero neither fees, hears, tastes, smells, or breathes, and yet i continues to live. On the whole, we fee nothing in this new doctrine tending to render our knowledge of the nature of life more precise and accurate, or that will teach us to support is with more vigour, or for a longer period, than in that with which we were afore acquainted.

ART. 27. A Compendious Medical Dictionary, containing an Explana.

fion of the Terms in Anatomy, Physiology, Surgery, Prattice of Phyfic, Materia Medica, Chemistry, Gi." By Robert Hooper, M. D. Second Edition. 12mo. 78. Murray and Highley. 1800.

The first edition of this work was published in the year 1798, and was mentioned by us, in our Review for January in the following year, with commendation. Though the author takes no notice, either in the title or Preface to this edition, of any improvement or alteration that might be expected by the readers, yet the additions are so confi, derable as to amount to one fifth or fixth part of the volume. These confitt not only in the insertion of numerous terms that had been before omitted, but in amplifications of the descriptions of the various parts of the body, of the substances used in the materia medica, and of ibe chemical and echer procefics by which they are rendiçcd fit fox

use.

« PreviousContinue »