« PreviousContinue »
Did ye on Pindus' fteepy top refide?
Or where through Tempe Peneus rolls his tide?
Fam'd ftreams! ye play'd not, nor on Ætna's brow;
Him favage panthers in wild woods bemoan'd,
First from the mountain winged Hermes came;
Goatherds and hinds approach'd; the youth they hail'd,
And why this grief, he faid, ah! Daphnis, why?'
Begin, ye Nine, the fweet bucolic lay.
+ Some commentators fuppofe the fifteen preceding lines to be the speech of Priapus; and this verse favours that interpretation.
"Daphnis, you boafted you could Love fubdue,
Begin, ye Nine, the fweet bucolic lay.
Ah, cruel Venus! Daphnis thus began, • Abhorr'd and curs'd by all the race of man, 'My days decline, my fetting fun I know, I pass a victim to the fhades below, 'Where riots Love with infolent difdainBegin, ye Nine, the fweet bucolic ftrain. To Ida, Venus, fly, expofe your charms, • Rush to Anchifes', your old cowherd's arms; There bowering oaks will compass you around, ** 'Here low cyperus fcarcely fhades the ground, Here bees with hollow hums difturb the day. Begin, ye Nine, the fweet bucolic lay. Adonis feeds his flocks, tho' paffing fair, • With his keen darts he wounds the flying hare, And hunts the beafts of prey along the plain. Begin, ye Nine, the fweet bucolic ftrain. Say, if again arm'd Diomed you see,
"I conquer'd Daphnis, and will challenge thee; "Dar'ft thou, bold chief, with me renew the fray ?" Begin, ye Nine, the sweet bucolic lay.
Farewell, ye wolves, and bears, and lynxes dire
'I Daphnis here my lowing oxen fed,
'Where fam'd Lycaon's ftately tomb is rear'd,
Ceafe, Mufes, cease the sweet bucolic strains.
Compacted clofe with wax, and join'd with art,
Let all things Nature's contradiction wear,
Ceafe, facred Nine, that sweetly wont to play,
Come, Cif! let Thyrfis milk thee-Kids, forbear
By this fpecimen it appears that the prefent tranflator is in no respect deftitute of poetical abilities; for though he has not always preferved the fimplicity of the Sicilian poet, his language, in general, is elegant without affectation, his manner lively, and his verfification eafy and harmonious.
To this work is prefixed the life of Theocritus, and an Effay on Paftoral Poetry, by Edward Burnaby Greene, Ef. The tranflation is accompanied with learned notes calculated to point out the various imitations of fucceeding writers, and explain obfcure paffages. Yet there are difficulties ftill remaining †, which we recommend to the investigation of the learned reader.
+ See thofe paffages in particular which are marked by an afterifk in the margin.
III. An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Oeconomy: being an Effay on the Science of Domestic Policy in Free Nations. By Sir James Steuart, Bart. In two Vols. 410. Pr. 21. 2 s. in boards. Millar, and Cadell. [Concluded.]
HEN we confider the difference between the people of England and those of other countries, we cannot help thinking that the work before us has a moft falutary tendency. The English have always been remarkable for their impatience under governments, when they were ignorant of the principles by which they were ruled; while other nations, the French especially, are glad to take all political matters upon trust. If they reafon, it is upon what is paft, and they hope for the best de futuro. This work lays open every spring of political œconomy that the most curious eye can with to investigate. The whole mechanism of state is here explained, and all its Gordian knots are untied, instead of being cut afunder.
The fecond volume opens with the confequence of impofing the price of coinage, and the duty of feigniorage, upon the coin of a nation, in fo far as they affect the price of bullion, and that of all other commodities. In difcuffing this intricate fubject, our author recapitulates fome of his former principles. He obferves that gold and filver are commodities merely like other things, but that it is utterly impoffible they fhould ever become a scale or invariable measure of value. Though we own that this is a principle very different from the ideas we ourfelves, and, we believe, moft of our readers, have entertained of this fubject, yet we are fully reconciled to the rationale by which this author eftablishes his maxim. He fuppofes that coinage cofts 2 per cent. but before this impofition of z per cent. commodities are bought for grains of filver or gold. Thus after the coinage takes place, ninety-eight grains ought to pass for the fame value as a hundred did before, and every commodity given in exchange for fuch a coin muft fall 2 per cent. relatively to the grains of metal it was worth before. Our author conjectures that a wrong balance of trade raises the price of bullion to the value of coin; and all he fays upon that point, which he difcuffes very largely, carries conviction with it.
He affirms that it is far easier to make a price rife than to make it fall. At all times (continues he) a price which has may be made to rife; but it is next to impof
long stood low, fible to make a price which has long ftood high, to fall in the fame manner.' Though we do not pretend to be adepts upon this fubject, yet we apprehend the experience of every man tells him, that during the course of this and the last century, the prices of many manufactures, as well as commodities,
have increased; but has not the price of gold and filver de creased? and may not a piece of woollen or beaver manufacture, which at the beginning of this century fold for twenty fhillings, have been dearer then, than it would be now, if it fold for twenty-five?
The contents of the fecond chapter of this third book are concerning the influence which the impofing the price of coinage, and the duty of feigniorage in the English mint, will have upon the course of exchange, and trade of Great Britain. On this fubject, our author is of opinion, that where coinage is free, the price of bullion ought to be invariable; but the doctrine of the following quotation is so new, that we shall lay it before our readers, fome of whom may be immediately concerned in the subject. May we not (continues he) fay, that bullion in England is always at the higheft price it ever can be in France, fince it is at the price of the coin? Is not this the condition of France, when the balance of her trade is the most unfavourable it poffibly can be?
If therefore England, berfelf, contributes to keep the price. of her bullion higher than it is in France, is not thi, an advantage to France, fince France can buy the bullion with which she pays her English debts cheap in her own market, and can fell it dear in that of her creditor? Is there not a profit in buying an ox cheap in the country, and felling him dear in Smithfield market?
Now why is bullion fometimes cheaper in France than in England? I answer, that in France it is allowed to fall 8 per cent. below the coin, and the king only takes it at times when no body can get a better price for it; and that in England the king gives always coin for bullion, and by that keeps the price of it from ever falling lower. Let the English mint pay the pound troy standard filver at the rate of thirteen ounces of coin, the price of bullion in England will always be dearer than the coin.
• When bullion in France falls to 8 per cent. below the coin, it is carried to the mint: when it is worth more no body carries any to be coined.
No body in France(except upon a general coinage) is forced to fell their bullion at this price. Is it not, therefore, a very wife regulation, to permit the operations of trade to reduce, as low as poffible, the value of that commodity with which all they owe is paid, and this more especially, as the fall of its price is a proof of the prosperity of their trade.
If, therefore, it be suppo ed, that the effect of having a material money for a fcale of value, is, that the denominations in the coin, and not the grains of the bullion, muft measure the value of commodities for bome confumption; then it follows, that