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POETRY.
Art. 25. Alonzo and Cora, with other original Poems, principally

elegiac. By Elizabeth Scot, a Native of Edinburgh To which
are added, Letters in Verse, by Blacklock and Burns. 8ro.
108. 6d. Boards. Rivingtons. 1801.

From the short history of this lady, prefixed to her poems, and from the amiable spirit disclosed in her productions, we can entertain no doubt that Mrs. Scot was an interesting object to her friends : but the virtues of domestic life do not constitute the merit of a writer ; and the slight verses now brought before the Public would have been more respectably stationed, had they still dwelt in a private bureau.

To prevent an unfavourable impression, which might otherwise be occasioned by the title-page, we ought to observe that the story of Alonzo and Cora was versified from Marmontel, long before it was burlesqued by Kotzebue, or his translators.

The editor of this volume, moved undoubtedly by friendly zeal for the author, has anticipated the labours of the critic, by character. izing almost every composition in a note. We shall quote a few stanzas from the piece called Edwin and Edith, because he says that the -author's talents no-where shew themselves to greater advantage than in this little poem.' We are of the same opinion, and shall Icave the reader to judge of her powers from this example:

• Adown yon fair sequester'd vale

A silver stream meandering flows ;
Thick on its banks the primrose pale,

And sweet the azure violet blows.
· Around yon rock's high pointed side

Its arms the fragrant woodbine twines;
The briar-rose in blushing pride

To paint the fairy scene combines.
• Fierce Boreas' rage was all unknown,

That blasts the hope of infant spring;
Far to less favour'd regions flown,
He spreads not here

his dusky wing.
• A simple, but a spacious dome

The traveller's eye delighted view'd ; 'Twas oft the weary wanderer's home,

Whom want and wretchedness pursu'd.
• 'Twas guarded by an ancient wood,

That stately rais'd it's rev'rend head;
The boast of ages long had stood,

And wide its friendly shelter spread
• An aged chieftain there abode,

Safe from the storms of public strife :
He long had left ambition's road,

To taste the sweets of rural life.

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« His • His youth, for gallant feats renown'd,

Had earn'd sweet peace to gild his age ;
And wove the victor's wreath, that crown'd

The hoary temples of the sage.
• As the young blossom's roseate hue

Adorns the apple's wither'd arms,
Thus by his side a daughter shew,

Fair as the dawn, her opening charms,
• Ah! wherefore was thy polish'd cheek

Ting'd with the rose's softest die ?
Why shone in beams so heavenly meek

The star of morning in thine eye?"
The third line in the last stanza but one,

• Thus by his side a daughter shew,' is not intelligible in point of grammar, and is totally indefensible as a rhyme to hue. Had such a passage occurred in a work that required emcndatory criticism, we should have restored it as follows:

“ Thus by his side his daughter's shoe

Display'd it's ribband's purple charms." It is surely incumbent on those who attempt poetical composition, to understand the leading principles of style in the language which they design to immortalize. Art. 26. Poems, by the Rev. Wm. Lisie Bowles. Vol. II.

Small 8vo. 6s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1801. Having repeatedly paid our compliments to Mr. Bowles, we shall hope to be excused if, pleading the privilege of old acquaintance, we treat him less ceremoniously on the present occasion than we should do on a first introduction. Some of the pieces, comprized in the elegant little volume which he here presents to us, have demanded our notice as separate publications; and to those accounts we beg leave to refer our readers. Our remarks on the Song of the Battle of the Nile, the first poem in this collection, will be found in M. R. vol. xxviii. p. 110. N. S., and those on the other principal poems, intitled St. Michael's Mount and Coombe Ellen, in M. R. vol. xxix. p. 237. and 239. N. S. Here, as in other places of our journal, we have so fully appreciated Mr. Bowles's rank as a poet, that little more is requisite for us now than to announce this second volume of his works; and to assure the many lovers of his Muse that they will find in it those specimens, sometimes of bold description and at others of elegant simplicity, which their knowlege of the powers of his mind and the character of his genius will have taught them to expect.

Besides the poems already named, this volume includes, Inscriptive Pieces, Calpe Obsessa, On an Unfortunate Woman, Hymn to Woden, Gilimer, Summer Evening at Home, Winter Evening at Home, the Spirit of Navigation Discovery, Water Party on Beaulieu River, Fairy Sketch, the Snow Drop, and Monody on the Death of Dr. Warton. We shall copy Gilimer. Ff3

• Gilimer

«Gilimer was the last of the Vandal kings of Africa, conquered by BELISARIUS ; he retired to the heights of Pappua, when his army was entirely beaten.--His answer to the message sent to him there by Belisarius is well known. He desired the conqueror to send him a Loaf of Bread, a Sponge, and a Lute : this request was thus ex. plained that the king had not tasted any baked bread since his arrival on that mountain, and earnestly longed to eat a morsel of it before he died; the sponge he wanted to allay a tumour that was fallen upon one of his eyes ;" and the lute, on which he had learnt to play, was to assist him in setting some elegiac verses he had composed on the subject of his misfortunes.

“ Hence, soldier, to thy plumed chief;

Tell him that Afric's king,
Broken by years, and bow'd with grief,

Asks but a lute, that he may sing
His sorrows to the moon; or (if he weep)

A sponge, which he in tears may steep;
And let his pity spare a little bread!"

Such, Gilimer, was thy last pray'r
To him, who o'er thy realm his gay host led,

When thou forlorn, and frozen with despair,
Did'st sit on Pappua's heights alone,
Mourning thy fortune lost, thy crown, thy kingdom gone
• When 'twas still night, and on the mountain vast
'1 he moon her tranquil glimmer cast,
From tent to tent, remotely spread around,
He heard the murm'ring army's hostile sound,
And swell'd from his sad lute a solemn tone,
Whilst the lone vallits echo'd-“All is gone!”

The sun from darkness rose,
Illumining the landscape wide,
"The tents, the far-off ships, and the pale morning tidc:

Now the prophetick song indignant flows

“ Thine, Roman, is the victory -
Roman, the wide world is thine-

In every clime thy eagles fly,
And the gay squadron’s length’ning line,

That flashes far and near,
Its flouting banners as in scorn displays,-
Trump answers trump, to war-horse war-horse neighs.

" I sink forsaken here-
This rugged rock my empire, and this seat
Of solitude, my glory's last retreat!

Yet boast not thou,

Soldicr, the laurels on thy victor brow;
They shall wither, and thy fate,
I eave thee, like me, despairing, desolate !

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« With haggard beard, and bleeding eyes,

The conqueror of Afric lies
Where now his glory's crested helm ?

Where now his marshall’d legions thronging bright,

His steeds, his trumpets, clanging to the fight,
That spread dismay through Persia's bleeding realm?

« Now see him poorly led,

Begging in age his scanty bread!
Proud victor, do our fates agree?
Dost thou now REMEMBER ME-
Me, of every hope bereft ;

Me, to scorn and ruin left ?
So may despair thy last lone hours attend !

That thou too, in thy turn, may'st know,

How doubly sharp the woe-
When from fortune's summit hurl'd,
We
gaze

around on all the world,
And find in all the world NO FRIEND!”
This volume is embellished with neat engravings.
Art. 27. Elegy to the Memory of Francis late Duke of Bedford. By

H. Steers, Gent. 4to. 6d. Printed at Driffield. We do not perceive the necessity which Mr. S. states to have impelled his Muse to leave 'its humble scene and artless lay,' in or. der to engage in the sublime employment of embalming in gorgeous verse the memory of the late Duke of Bedford: but, if the Fates have urged him to the attempt, we can only say that it is unfortunate that they did not at the same time equip him with adequate powers. We transcribe one stanza, as an evidence of his poetic abilities:

* Nor unlamented shall such goodness fall,
All wail his loss, it is the loss of all;
For other's use he stor'd his gen'rous mind,

His study was the welfare of mankind.'
Art. 28. The Conflagration, and Soliloquy. A Poem. Second
Edition ; with Notes. By T. Wood. 8vo. Pp. 32. White,
1802.

About two or three years ago, we perused two small publications în prose, by this writer ; whom we commended for his good sense. Had we seen only his verses, we could not have expressed ourselves so much in favour of his literary abilities. Indeed, we cannot honestly encourage hím to persist in the culture of this branch of study.

As Mr. W. seems, as far as we may conclude from bis writings, to be a respectable character, we hope that his feelings will not be too sensibly impressed by our non-admiration of his poetry; and that he will bear in mind the common quotation of Non omnia possumus

omnes,

" • Alluding to the supposed miserable state of Belisarius in his old age.

Ff4

MATHI.

MATHEMATICS. Art. 29. Reflections on the Theory of the Infinitesimal Calculus (the

Method of Fluxions.) "By C. Carnot, Ex-director of the French Republic, Minister of War, &c. Translated from the French, and illustrated with Notes, by William Dickson, LL.D. 8vo. 28. Richardsons. 1801.

The original of this work possessed so much merit, in our opinion, that we made it the subject of an ample discussion *. One or two points, indeed, appeared to us objectionable : but its general character is that of perspicuity; and previously to the attempt of Dr. Dickson, we should have thought it difficult to misunderstand the meaning of the author. Nothing, however, is impossible to a commeritator; especially to such an one as the present, who, with a success beyond calculation, has explained away the meaning of his author, and has involved in deep gloom and obscurity, by the power of his illustrations, that which before was sufficiently evident.

The preface and notes of Dr. D. are not composed with very conspicuous modesty: 'He trusts he understands something of Newton's fluxionary theory;'-—' he decidedly prefers the fuxional notation,' &c. He has not condescended, however, to bring proof of his assertions, and we must doubt whether he could make them good: but, reduced to an alternative, we would rather grant that he understande what he has not than what he has expressed.

It would be a misapplication of time to note all the defective rea. sonings and errors which strike our apprehension in this pamphlet : but we must remark that it is rather curious that Dr. D. has ventured to make a petty attack on Leibnitz for his mode of explanation, and afterward adopts that mode in its most faulty parts. He explains the delicate theory of the infinitesimal calculus, by saying that dx-dy, dx", &c. may be safely neglected relatively to x, dx, &c. for the same reason that ..00000i &c. may be neglected relatively to 1. Surely the commentator was determined to shew the world how com. pletely he could misunderstand the meaning of his author, and offend against reason.

Criticis haud paucis mos est, (says Lord Bacon,) ubi incidunt is quidpiam quod non intelligunt, vitium statim in exemplari supponere.So Dr. Dickson, in an unlucky moment, supposed an expression of Carnot to be erroneous, and in a long note has attempted to correct it, but has thus in reality vitiated the text. Our mathematical readers will be astonished when they learn that Dr. D, and his friend Mons. Buée were led to expose themselves, the one in a note and the other in a letter, purely from ignorance that two expressions, such as, btcod

b

d

+ are equivalent ! Dr. D., however, needs not want such consolation as example and precedent afford him. He is one of a numerous host of commentators who have mistaken the meaning of their authors ; and, as to the multitude of books by which truth has been obscured, the present pamphlet must bear a very small proportion to that enormous mass. * See M. R. Vol. xxxiv. N. S. p. 463, Appendix.

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