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West of England. The respective histories of these accomplished female Worthies, with their motives for retiring from the world, and forming this delightful connection; together with a particular description of their residence; an account of the rules, and orders of the society; and a view of the very laudable manner in which the amiable Recluses em. ployed their time and their fortunes;-these are the outlines of a work well calculated, as the title justly professes, to inspire the Reader with proper sentiments of humanity, and the love of virtue. We have perused it with pleasure ; and heartily recommend it, as a very entertaining as well as a truly moral and sensible performance.
POETICAL. . Art. 22. The Poetical Miscellany; consisting of felett Pieces from
the IVorks of the following Poets, viz. Milton, Dryden, Pope,
Addison, Gay, Parnel, Young, Thomson, Akenfide, Philips, Gray, Watts, &c. For the Use of Schools. 12mo. 35. Becket.
Nothing, says the Editor, can be more absurd than the common practice of making such young Gentlemen as are not designed for any of the learned profesijons, drudge for seven or eight years, in order to acquire a mattering in two dead languages. Part of the time, he adds, which is thus wasted, might be more profitably employed in making them acquainted with our best English Poets. The Collection which is here offered to the public, was made with this view. Such Mallers, continues he, as think proper to use it, may make it fub. fervient to several important purposes of education. They will have an opportunity of pointing out to their Pupils, the peculiar beauties of our most eminent Poets, of making them acquainted with the force and beauty of our language, and of impressing many noble sentiments upon their minds. Young persons are, in general, fond of poetry; and when the language of the Poet is easy and familiar to them, they readily enter into his sentiments. And the Editor farther prefumes, that every sensible and unprejudiced Parent will be better plealed to hear his son repeat fifty lines of Milton, Pope, or Thomfon, than five hundred of Ovid or Virgil. To these juft obfer.. vations we cannot refuse our fuffrage. We must likewise add, that, in our opinion, the extracts here made, are, in general, tho' not all, judiciouily selected, and the Authors well chofen, both in regard to their poctical merit, and the moral and useful tendency of their compositions.
Art. 23. The Minifier of State. A Satire. 4to. Is. 6d.
Wilson and Fell. The Author erects an altar to our new Secretary, Lord Hallifax, and thereon facrifices the characters of all our Prime Ministers, from Burleigh down to B . The poetical flowers with which it is de. curaici, are only those produced by the netules and weeds of
Parnassus. The sentiments are hackney'd and infipid, and the verfia fication very indifferent. '
As the practice of puffing is now arrived at the utmost height of ofurance, it will not be improper for the Reviewers occasionally to mark some of the grosser instances that may occur of this kind. The present pamphlet was introduced to the notice of the public, by the following lying paragraph* in the news papers.
“ A noble Peer has absolutely given directions to his Sollicitor, to commence a prosecution against the Author of the poem called, The Minister of Siate, a Satire, as a moft licentious and libellous composition.-The Writer, no doubt, merits a severer censure of the law than any of his brethren, because instead of employing those great talents for poetry and satire, for which he is so deservedly celebrated" (what does he not deserve for his effrontery?] “ in the service of vir. tue and his country, he has bafely” [basely enough!) “ prostituted them to the unworthy purposes of defaming, lampooning, and abusing some of the greatest characters in this kingdom.” (all a puff to excite curiosity:] “ We think this literary LUMINARY of the age (this illiterate farthing candle !) “ should pay a greater deference to the words of his predecessor Mr, Pope
• Curs'd be the verse, how smooth fie'er it flor &c ;
We doubt, however, if any of this honeft Gentleman's Readers will think his verses worth a curse; whatever they may think he deserves for his impudence.
* One of the papers, however, had the discretion to print it as an Advertisement; thereby fufficiently indicating what quarter ic came from.
Art. 24. The Wedding Day. In three Parts. By a Citizen
of London. 8vo. Is. Keith. That the Citizens of London are the greatest Politicians in the world, will hardly be disputed in any coffee-room or porter-house between Temple-bar and Whitechappel :' that they fhould bear away the palm in poetry too, may be thought, however, a little more than comes to their hare. Yet what have not your Covent-Garden Wits, and St. James's Poetasters to fear from the present phenomenon? So extraordinary a Genius, we will venture to say, never before made his appearance in the republic of letters.
Pallida mors aquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
Vitæ fumma brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam. . Hey! what is all this? Why, Sir, it is the motto to the Wedding Day, a poem. You probably would think it better adapted to a Dye ing Day ! -But this it is to want genius; you would keep plodding on in the dull tract of propriety ! ten to one if you do not imagine too, that our Poet gives a defcription of the matrimonial ceremony,
the nuptial feast, and connubial conflia. Alas! how little do you know of the sublimity and excentricity of a city Genius! Would you have the Muse tack a young couple together, call the hiddles, and fall to singing a wedding and a bedding, with as little formality as the Sailors used to make matches at May-fair and the Fleet? What a prostitution of poétic talents! No, Reader, our London Citizen is as much a Philosopher as a Poet, and behaves himself in a very dif ferent and discreet manner. It is true, he acquaints us there is a wedding, that the Bride is a Maid, and that her name is Phoebe. The Bridegroom probably was a stranger, and therefore is nameless. The Poet calls the company together, however, Tom, and Will, and Jack, and Dick, and Hal, and Jem, with their respective Laffes, fets them to dancing, and then introduces the fage Sophronius (some Common-council-man no doubt) to read them a fermon; a philofophical, philological, satirical, and moral fermon. A pretty entertainment for a wedding day! and fo you will say, Reader, if you should ever peruse it.
As to our Poet's philosophy, he does M. Pope the honour of a. dopting fome of his principles, as also some of his lines; but how far he rises fuperior to his model, let the world judge!!
« Cease then, nor order imperfe&tion name, "*** says Mr. Pope, to which our Author, elegantly, smoothly, and fignificantly adds,
Christianity and Real'n's perfection are the same. . How much fuperior also to the Twickenham Poets are our Author's talents for satire. This may be gathered from the following ftrictures on the vice of gaming, and the assembly at Haberdashers Hall.
Cits grasp a vice expelled the Court;
The year one thousand seven hundred fixty-two. As this second 'Squire Prynne hath already made pofterity his friends, he 'may probably think himself entitled to throw up the Poet's trade, which notwithstanding his great talents, he despises so much, that he had
Rather become of shoes a dirty scraper,' .
Him foot who sweeps, or beft, à mouse-trap-maker. For the honour of the city, however, we surely cannot help with ing he would consider this matter better; or that the Aldermen and Common-council would take some measures to prevail on him to change his resolution.
Art. 25. The Spring. A Paftoral. As it is now performing at
the Theatre-royal in Drury-Lane. · The Music by Mr. Han
To say that we owe this elegant little Drama to the very learned and ingenious Author of the Essays on Music, Painting, and Poetry, and of Hermes, is saying enough to excite the curiosity of our Readers; but they can form no adequate idea of the entertainment from a mere perufal of the printed copy. Those who saw and heard it pera formed on the stage; by Mr. Norris, Mr. Vernon, Mrs Vincent, and Miss Young, could belt judge with how much success some of the most admired airs and choruiles of Handel, and other eminent Ma-' fters, are here introduced, and connected with a recitative, composed' by a Gentleman, whose taste and knowlege in music (as the Publisher observes in his Advertisement) are, perhaps, his leaft merit."
Art. 26. Select Poems from Mr. Gefner's Pastorals., By the
Vertifier of Anningait and Ajutt. 4to. is. Newbery. We mentioned this Lady's ve: fion of Mr. Johnson's Greenland? Tale, of Anningait and Ajutt, in Review, vol. XXIV. page 315. Her verse flows in an easy and harmonious strain ; but not always correctly, nor is the very exact in her rhymes. The following couplet is a remarkable instance of the last mentioned defect,
A chaplet for her brow I yet can form,
Myrtle and ivy shall the wreath adorn.
What a rich made of flowers are here display'd! But not to dwell on the Night imperfections of a female pen, we fhail only add our friendly advice to this ingenious Poetcis, to finih her future productions with greater care; as we really believe her ca. pable of more correctnels and elegance than she has manifested on the present occasion.
Art. 27. A Mirrcur for the Critics. Written in the Year 1759.
By an Oxfordshire Ploughman, &c. &c. 8vo. 6d.
This Oxfordshire Wise-acre seems to have put himself to the expence of printing (wenty-four pages of wretched verses, chiefly with
intent to abuse the Reviewers: some of whom, nevertheless, ill-natured as he deems them, are really forry for the loss the poor man will probably fuftain on this idle occasion. Pity it is, that when he put his hand to the plough, he could not keep it employed to fome useful purpose. His Sister too, who composed the fine Varfes annexed to this brightest of Mirrours, had better amuse herself at the churn and the cheese-tub, than in teizing “ fad Melpo. mene * so unmercifully about the untimely death of General Wolfe, and the advanced price of Strong Beer.
• Two of her poems, one of them immediately following the other, begin with Come Jad Melpomene This reminds us of an old dirmal ditty, which we have heard the dish-walhing damsels melodiously chant forth, in the strain of
Aslift my quill,
My senses to indite, &c. Our Authoress, however, had better invoke some good old Schoolmistress to teach her to spell,
Art. 28. The Visions of Farcy. In Four Elegies. By J. Langa
horne. 4to. Is. Payne and Cropley. We have frequently introduced this ingenious young Writer to the acquaintance of our Readers' ; and given so many and such va.. rious specimens of his poetic abilities, that we think it unnecessary to enlarge on the present publication. Suffice it, therefore to add, that in these natural, easy, and Aowing Elegies, he has not disgraced his former productions. We refer to our accounts of his Hymn to Hope, Tears of Music (on the death of Handel) Translation of Bion's Elegy, on the Death of Adonis, and some other pieces.
Art. 29. Providence: or Arandus and Emilec. A Poem. 4to.
2 s. Becket and De Hondt. Had the Author of this piece continued to maintain his first plea, in making pretensions to no greater merit than that of an humble imitation of Parnell's Hermit, we should have been forry to deprive him of that pirtance of fame which he might hope for, as the reward of his labours : but we do not think this plea at all consistent with his immediately disclaiming the name of an Imitator, and shrewdly intimating, that if Parnell may be compared to an Æschylus, he is himself equal to a Sophocles or an Euripides. Indeed, we can by no means reconcile that indifferent estimation in which some Authors affect to hold their own productions, with their actual resolution of obtruding them on the public. A Writer who admires his performances, and conceives they will afford instruction or amusement to his