Page images

POETRY. Art. 45. An Elegiac Ode to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds, lata

President of the Royal Academy. By the Rev. John White. house, Curate of Houghton-Conquest, Bedfordshire. 4to. 25. Cadell,

Considering the peculiarly intimate connection now fublifting between painting and poetry, it was to be expected that Sir Joshua Reynolds would soon obtain the meed of fome melodious ftrain. Mr. Whitehouse's elegiac tribute to the memory of this most celebrated painter, is written in a manner which evinces the aslistance that Poetry and her sister art can render to each other. With confiderable spirit, feveral of Sir Joshua's principal pi&tures are des scribed ; after which, the painter is thus apoftrophized:

• Hail, Reynolds, to thy just design,
The grace, the grandeur of thy lina!
Whose daring energy of soul,
Just glanc'd on parts, to catch the whole.
The many-coloured Mufe whose power
Presided o'er thy natal hour,
On thee, with partial fondoers smiled;
And laid thee oft in holy trance,
And bade Perfection's train advance,
And breathed around thy head her visions wild,
Thy rapt ear drank the lore the caught,
Her hues divine thy pencil caught,
With her thou oft with muling step haft ftrayed,

Or with the shadowy tribes of fairy fi&tion played.' His distinguished genius as a portrait-painter is chus jusly dea lineated :

• In Nature's living semblance fair,
As if her very self was there,
The faithful PORTRAIT long shall stand
A witness of the Master's hand;
Who knew, with kill sublime, to trace
Expresfion's soul, and Beauty's grace;
The undaunted Warrior's fix'd regard,
The Sage, the Patriot, and the Bard,
Youth's vivid blush, impassion'd, warm,
And Innocence in Childhood's form.
Pasing the common bounds of Art,
Each Character his pencil took;
Delineated the air, the look,
And imaged to the eye the language of the heart;
To distant times transmitting down
Those whom moft Albion boasts to own,
'The honoured sons of Science, Valour, Worth,

Patrons of human kind, and ornaments of earth.'
To the dead, could they hear it, such well-deserved praise would,
Do doubt, be highly grateful.


Art. 46. Poetical Thoughts, and Views, on the Banks of the Wear, By Percival Stockdale.

4to. 25, 6d. Clarke, Bond-street. 1792.

Supremely bleft the poet in his Muse!-So Mr. Percival Stockdale seems to be. Under the various misfortunes and discouraging circumstances which have marked his life, he derives folace from the (miles of the Mufe, and deems nothing on earth more glorious than poetical genius, except the virtues of a Socrates and a Cato.' We congratulate him on being able to say,

• A feeling mind, though oft depress'd with pains,
Hach seiz'd bright moments for poetic Itrains;
Shut out a world, diftreffing and ciftress'd,

In it's own orb, it's own Elyfium, bleit.' He complains that poverty should so generally attach itself to poetry: but, according to his account of the poetic race, they are (urely much better qualified for enduring poverty, than any of the un privileged and unendowed multitude;

• And did not Bards peculiar transports know,
How “ could” they " suffer being here below!"
To them a strange mysterious frame is giv'n,
Too fine for earth, not pure enough for heav'n;
Plac'd betwixt angels, in the middle way,
And common masses of enlivened clay;
The crue, the ardent votaries of the Muse,

To mind from master sublimate their views.' Mr. Stockdale, whom we must rank among the semi-angelic votaries of the Nine, pours forth his song beneath the clasic WEAR's romantic shades,' and exbibits, in easy verse, his thougbts, and views, and encomiums *. His poetry derives a sombre cart from his misfortunes; and we, who admire his independent spirit, the manliness with which he acknowleges his errors, and his persevering exertions, hope that every part of the following prayer will be anIwered:

• Maker of heaven, and earth!-of human kind!
Of Universe the Parent, Source of Mind!
Henee may my eye expunge the faults of youth,
Devoted firmly to the cause of truth!
Nor to thole truths alone, which lead to fame,
'To write trong verse; to argue; to declaim;
But to that truth, by which, in life we shew
Thy beauteous moral government, below.

* These are lavished on several persons, but Lord - is not one of the praised. P. Pindar would not have been more severe on chis nobleman chan is Mr. Stockdale. He says,

• For, fure, Omniscient Heaven the life approves

Of him, whom L- haces,' Fye, fye, Mr. Stockdale! Calomny is not satire. Lord Lmay have his failings, but he has his virtues too.


That government, by whose benign controul,
We keep the body subject to the soul;
Beneath whofe power, our happiness is wrought
By virtuous action and exalted chought.

• May I, by temp'rance live exempt from pain,
And health, vivacity and glory gain.
And while the Muse's pure, ethereal ray,
My night illumines and adorns my day;
And while the social hour, propitious, blends
A few select and literary friends,
Or by the influence of the virtuous fair,
Breaches through my verses a diviner air,

Content shall foothe me.'We must object to the omission of the smallest word for the fake of the poetry; we cannot therefore approve Of Universe, for Of the Universe, which is not the way to write strong verle. This poem is not correctly printed ; and we request Mr. Stockdale to consider whether he could not have chosen a better title. Art. 47. An Epifle of Condolence and Exhortation, addrefred to

General Gunning. By Benjamin Banter, Esq. To which is added, An Elegy written before the Ruins of the Pantheon, shortly after the Burning of that ftately Edifice. 4to. pp. 26. 25. Stalker, &c. 1792.

Why will B. Banter condescend to be a poetical scavenger and night-man, to rake in the dirty kennel, and to make the car of the Moses a vehicle for filth and indecency? Surely, Benjamin, thou couldAt have employed thyself better than in doing into verse a crim. con. trial, and in tracing Gen. Gunning's sportive footsteps to a taylor's bed. Because “ an hoary lecher" has won co his palfied arms a blooming dame, thou'rakest occafion to say,

« Such is the taste in this enlighten'd age-
Such now in love is the prevailing rage,
That in each sex the old attract the young;
The darts of Cupid from grey hairs have sprung;
The leering fnuffy dame, almost threescore,
Enchants the gallant youth of twenty-four.
While old debilitated debauchees

The youthful sprightly nymphs can charm and please.' For the honour of the ladies and gentlemen of Great Britain, we pronounce this a libel. They continue to make diftintions where there are differences.

If in the epiftle, B. B. gives to the age a bad taste,–in the Elegy on the Ruins of the Pantheon, he, for the sake of obtaining a shime to roof, gives Veftris a hoof. Art. 48. A New Translation of Telemachus, in English Verse. By

Gibbons Bagnal, A. M. Vicar of Home-Lacy, Herefordshire. Svo. 2 Vols. 125. sewed. Printed at Hereford ; and sold by Stalker, London. 1791.

This work has been published in periodical numbers; and of the farft number some account appeared in the 15th vol, of our Review, 4

P. 82, p. 82, &c.

As nothing seems necessary to be now added to the account there given, let it suffice that we here inform the public, that Mr. Bagnal has at length completed his undertaking. Art. 49. Winter, or Howard in the Shades; an Elegy, addressed to

Humanity. To which is added, an Ode to Eternity. By George Pasmore, Schoolmaster at Kensington. 8vo. pp. 23. 60. Bourne. 1792:

Mr. Pasmore's intentions appear to be good: but we can say little in favour of his poetry. Art. 50. The Female Geniad, a Poem, inscribed to Mrs. Crespigny.

By Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger, of Portsmouth, written at the Age of Thirteen. 4to. pp. 55. 38. Hookham. 1791.

Forbid it, all ye powers presiding over polite criticism, that we should attempt to crush a female bard juft burfling from the shell, by applying, to so juvenile a poem, the strictures of a severe and corrected taste. The poem before us is a proof of genius in the author, and evinces what the celebrated Dr. Johnson would have called " the fatent posibilities of excellence:" but Miss Benger's friends, by whom it is said to have been corrected, thould have known that it was not sufficiently finished for publication. She will allow us to inform her, chat, though Nature bestows genius, art and diligence muft give perfection; that poetry should always, by transposition, make good prose; and that a poem, like a statue, should, co give exquifite pleasure, be finished to a hair.

IRELAND. Art. 51. A short Account of the Affairs of Ireland, during the Years

1783, 1784, and Part of 1785. In a Letter from a Clergyman in Ireland io his friend in America. 8vo. pp.82. 25. Debrett, 1792.

The political state of Ireland, during the period of this narrative, was pregnant with interesting events: the principal circumstances of which are here related with every appearance of impartiality, Among other public transactions, of which an account is given in this letter, are, the quarrel between Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood; the military assembly at Dungannon ; the grand nacional conven tion of volunteer delegates held in Dublin; the subsequent national congress, the struggles of the Irish nation in these meetings to obtain a reformation in parliament; and the endeavours of certain persons to procure for the Irish catholics the right of voting at elections. The writer of this account appears to be capable of continuing an agreeable sketch of Irish affairs to the present time.

POLITICS and POLICE. Art. 52. A Protest against T. Paine's Rigbts of Man; addressed to

the Members of the Book Society of in consequence of the Vote of their Committee for including the above Work in a List of new Publications resolved to be purchased for the Use of the Society. 8vo. Pp. 37.

IS. Longman. 1792. Mere declamation! written, however, in fimpler and better language, and in rather more civil terms, than declamation sometimes isi-mbut whatever tone, or appearance of argument, may be af. fumed, there never can be any real argument where there is to much prepoffeffion in favour of our own opinions. This writer would not, if he could have had his will, have suffered the Members of his Book Club to judge as well as himself, and to form their own sentiments of Mr. Paine's work. They must take his ipfe dixit ; and yet he calls himself a real friend to fair and candid discusion!


Oh! 'but the disquisitions of Mr. Paine are by no means of a speculative kind. Under the mask of disculion, they really point to action- they lead to turbulence and general commotion-they are the efforts of an incendiary aiming at conflagrarion-chey are grossly and deftructively vicious and immoral, tending to withdraw the respect which both reason and religion prescribe as due to the ruling powers.'

That is, this gentleman thinks fo: but is it therefore fo abrolutely certain, that nobody must examine nor inquire any farther? It cannot be denied, that many persons of fair character and good abilities have warmly praised Mr. Paine's book; and the majority of this very committee, (who, we are told, would spurn at the idea of introducing an immoral and diffolute work to the Society, and would scorn to assist in propagating the detestable schemes of an incendiary,) have given their votes for purchasing the Rights of Man. From all this, a modest man would have in ferred that he might possibly be mistaken ; and that the work might not be fo very bad and immoral as he supposed. If, after reviewing his sentiments, he still continued in the same mind, and thought himself obliged to defend his opinion, he would probably deem it more decent to de. fcend to particulars, and calmly to investigate some specific point, than to deal thus in vague and general terms, and peremptory affertions.

We have said thus much on this Proteft, not because we think it deserving of any great notice, nor for the sake of the protester merely, but rather for the use of declamatory authors in general, who are a numerous class. We wish them to recollect, praktically, what few of them are hardy enough to deny in theory, that a man may think differently from themselves, on any point of politics or religion, without being, for that reason, a scoundrel. Why may not an American prefer a republic, or a Turk like despotism bet. ter than a mixed monarchy ? or why may not either of them recommend to other nations what he himself thinks right and good, without being ftigmatized as a vicious and immoral incendiary? Art. 53. Cursary Remarks on Paine's Rights of Man. 8vo. 6d. .


1792. A plague take them! Why will these scribblers force us to read what is never read by any body but ourselves? Art. 54 An Answer to the Second Part of Rights of Man. In Two

Letters to the Author. 8vo. pp. 60. 15.. Rivingtons. 1792.

What is here said on the general principles of goveroment does not appear to us to be of any great importance. The author's obfervations on commerce and finance seem more deserving of notice, These last are at least equal in value to Mr. Paine's remarks on the


« PreviousContinue »