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might not have occurred to a writer whose knowledge had been collected merely from books. We say not this, however, as passing an indiscriminate censure on his performance. It certainly has merit; but not of that kind which we expected. The versification is elegant and harmonious, and the sentiments are sensible and just.
The eclogues are four in number: the title of the first is Alexis : or, The Traveller. Scene, the Ruins of Alexandria. Of the second, Selima: or, The Fair Greek. Scene, a Seraglio in Arabia Felix. In this eclogue the Writer has made confiderable use of Lady M. W. Montague's description of the amusements of the Haram. The title of the third eclogue is Ramah: or, The Bramin. Scene, the Pagoda of Conjeveram. It opens with some degree of fublimity.
• High on the top of that religious fane,
“ Ye Gods! protectors of the Indian race,
Defil'd, where Mahomet ne'er trod before !"
Perez began. A virgin was his theme,
• O thou! to whom my youthful vows belong,
Who oft my chivalry with smiles haft paid,
Let Marcia then her Perez' claim approve,
Sebaftian then. Him fills a dearer name,
“ And will co thee Sebastian be restor'd,
Those children now may weep their orphan ftate!" Had all the descriptive parts of these Eclogues been equal to the concluding lines of this, the censure that was past at the beginning of this article had been unneceffary.
He said; and saw the object in his reach:
While all their country ruses on their mind!
The bark drops filent with the ebbing tidethat is uncommonly descriptive.
We are rather disposed to think, that where this Writer has failed, it has been owing more to that diffidence which young poets sometimes feel in going out of a beaten track, than to any want of poetical ability: and in this opinion, we are will
ing to hope our Readers will concur with us, especially when they have read, what is certainly a model of tenderness and elegance, his Dedication
To Mrs. IR.WIN.
See, on our bliss the nuptial year decline,
Tho' human joys are ever on the wing,
ART. VII. Political Conferences between several Great Men of the
last and present Century. With Notes by the Editor. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Cadell, 1780.
HIS sensible tract consists of dialogues between men who
once acted an important part, and thone with diftinguished lustre on the political theatre of this country. In order to give the Reader, who has made a particular study of English history, an idea of the subjects to which the conferences relate, it is sufficient barely to mention the names of the persons introduced in them. The first is between Lord Strafford and Mr. Pym; the second introduces Sir Harry Vane and Mr. Whitlock; the third, Oliver Cromwell and Waller the poet ; the fourth, William Lenthal, Speaker of the Long Parliament, and Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon ; the fifth, Lord Danby, Lord Devonshire and Lord Delamere; the fixth, Robert Earl of Oxford and Mathew Prior; the seventh, Sir Robert Walpole and Mr. Pelham. These great men are made, in the work before us, to speak like themselves; their characters are described with equal impartiality and discernment. As specimen of the style, which is easy and agreeable, we shall
insert some observations put in the mouth of Sir Robert Walpole.
• England is a popular government, and the honour of the nation is to be gratified even in turning out a Minister, when they are taught so loudly to aik for it. le was foretold me by some of my friends, before the last general election, that I should lose, in the course of a few sellions, my usual majorities. Even though my Maf. ter should be willing to flipulate to prolong my political exiitence to the next Parliament, yet the malevolence of party would pursue me, and would overtake me, in the long run. I mean, by the appear. ance of a voluntary resignation, to prevent the disgrace of being turned out, in consequence of a rude address to the Throne. The King's service must not be obtructed. I, who had the honour to make up a difference between the present King and his father, will not be the cause of a breach between the Prince and my Royal Mar. ter. I have been permitted to take the lead in the affairs of Great Britain for twenty years. Let me see who will have such good fortune, and stand his ground so long, without incurring more of the public hatred or contempt. I was not kept down by the furious Sunderland. I have been able to keep out the cankered Bolingbroke from his seat in Parliament and the Council. He is now consulted as the oracle of the Party, and his tongue and pen are venomously employed against me, if I have loved power, I have not injured my country whilft in possession of it. I have not offended again it any krown law of the land. I have lulled the nation into tranquillity, and enlarged its commerce. I saved off the Merchant's war as long as I could. The oratory of Caprain Jenkins, at our bar, bore dowa like a torrent all ministerial objections to hoftilities againit Spain. When the nation was resolved, I gave into warlike measures, and I leave my antagonists to get out as well as they can. I hope, hercafter, when the popular madness has fubfided, that your mode. ration and capacity will raise you to the highest employments. If my recommendation at this juncture can have weight, it Mould be, to place Lord Wilmington, who is not considered as a party man, at the head of the Treasury when I am withdrawn.'
• Corruption is a frightful word; yet, under the lefs profligate one of influence, you will be obliged to practise it. There is no carrying on government without it. To expect to bring over to unanimity of opinion a whole House of Commons, and to carry an important question by the dint of reason alone, would be folly in the extreme. But if the influence of money should ceale, I should dread as much as my friend Sherlock would do, to see an independent House of Commons, as an independent King, or an independent House of Lords. I have been called the Father of Corruption; but I have done no more than my predecessors in my station have been obliged to do. When prerogative ended, influence in Parliament began, and became a neceflary engine of every Adminiftration. I have converted many a bigotred Jacobite into a moderate man; and have really checked the forwardness of some, who came into my measures with so much pliability, that it has made even a Walpole blush. I have found it necessary to consult the pulse of many a wa• vering senator ; and I conclude, from my extenfive experience, that almost every man has his price. Sir John Barnard wants popularity; and that is a reward no English Minister has to spare. When 1 observed any one blazing like a meteor into glaring obfervation, and likely to make a figure against me or my Master, I have thought him the Cæsar against whom Cato would have allowed me to bribe. Whatever may be laid to my charge, of profufion or inadvertency, I have not heard that a single Member, who has voted with me, has complained he has voted againit his conscience. When the Revolution made the people less afraid of their sovereigns, the milier management of men, through their passions and their interests, and even their amusements, has taken place. The gratifications of the Court are become necessary to win gentlemen to attend, even to make a House, and to act in their legislative capacities. I fall carry with me the consolatory reflection, that I have kept within bounds the malignity of Whig and Tory; that I have saved the nation from the extravagance of war; that I have not rendered my sovereign unpopu. lar; that I have countermined the views of the Pretender; and that I have, at the right time, formed an intention of giving up my places, like a good citizen, to prevent any possible convullion in the State. Consider me no longer as a Member of the Lower House. I shall be safe, as a Lord, among the Lords. Argyle, Carterer, and Chelterfield know better than to become Tribunes of the Penple. Their ardour for a continental war will make Hanover more odious than I have done, and themselves more ungracious. I wish they may not make its Elector so at laft,'
We are to consider that the Author is here speaking not his own, but Sir Robert's sentiments; and indeed there is no reason to accuse this work of intentional partiality to any political party among us. The Author is evidently a man of sense and moderation, who has acquired such a degree of historical knowledge as is commonly attended with a gentle scepticism as to speculative principles of government. In some passages, however, he speaks of the undue influence of the Crown with too little indignation; and his perfect acquaintance, obtained by habitual familiarity, with the most elaborate English histories, which are little better than apologies for the prerogative, has perhaps given a light bias, unperceived by himself, to a few of his po• litical tenets.
In the course of the work, the Author alludes to various in. teresting anecdotes scattered in the writings of Clarendon, White lock, D'Ewes, and other careful collectors of secret history ; but as many of these are but little known, we wilh, for the Yake of the Reader, that he had been lets sparing of his notes, whether illustrations or authorities.