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ment is candid, and his manner agreeable. We may here, too, observe, that he all along preferves fuch an air of moderation, and decent regard to the characters and opinions of refpectable men, who entertain different fentiments, both of measures and prospects, as cannot fail of procuring for himfelf, and for his reasonings, a great degree of approbation, and deference, from all parties, where violence does not exclude candour, and prejudice fhut the door againit conviction.

In the fifth Letter, added in the prefent edition, the Author treats on POPULATION; on certain REVENUE LAWS and REGULATIONS, connected with the interets of COMMERCE; and on PUBLIC OECONOMY. On all thefe fubjects, he is the meffenger of glad tidings. His fpeculations are of a complexion very oppofite to thofe of Dr. Price, whofe fimates, and moft alarming deductions, he endeavours to refute ; while he oppofes him in a manner becoming the character of a Gentleman, and with that conciliating urbanity, from which men of letters fhould never depart.-Though Mr. Eden is confidered as a minifterial advocate, he treats Dr. P. with that politeness and refpect which are undoubtedly due not only to the Doctor's abilities, but to his truly patriotic views as a public writer: and he candidly acknowledges himfelf indebted to his reverend antagonist for that liberality of mind with which,' fays Mr. Eden, he has communicated to me the knowledge of fome of my own errors, at the fame time that he differed from me, as to the principal pofitions which I had wished to establishThis is hand fome; and it will feem not only HANDSOME but GENEROUs, if we allow that he has the advantage of the Doctor on the fubje&s of the Coinage, and of the Population of England. We cannot pretend, here, to enter into the calculations made by thefe ingenious writers, with respect to the laft mentioned fubject, nor to examine the data on which they are founded; but we hope, at least, that Mr. Eden is right in his attempt to prove, in oppofition to Dr. P. that this country is not in a decreafing slate of population.

"

Art. 26. The Syftem. Occafioned by the Speech of Leonard Smelt, Efq; late Sub-governor to their Royal Highneffes the Prince of Wales and Bishop of Ofnaburgh, at the Meeting at York, Dec. 30, 1779. 8vo. 6d. Almon.

A very good whigeith fermon, to which Mr. Smelt's fpeech * ferves for a text. The Author writes with a becoming decency of language, but his fentiments and reafonings are not the lets weighty or energetic on this account; nor is the view that he has given of our political fituation the lefs alarming for the difpaffionate terms in which he expatiates concerning the dangerous inroads that have been made on the British constitution of government; and which are all refolved into the Syfem' that (as it is affirmed) hath been adopted by the fecret couniellors of the crown.'

Sce, alfo, The Yorkshire Question,' in our laft Month's Catalogue, Art. 13.

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POETICAL.

POETICAL.

Art. 27. The Ancient English Wake; a Poem. By Mr. Jerningham. 4to. 1 s. 6d. Robfon. 1779.

That primitive fimplicity of manners, fo oppofite to the artificial refinements of polished life, and which is fuppofed to characterize our uncultivated ancestors, is not eafy to delineate. It will therefore be thought no flender compliment to the abilities of this inge. nious Writer to fay that, in this part of his prefent work, he has difplayed the fame judgment and tafte which have been remarked in fome of his former publications.

Whatever may be the difficulties that the poet encounters, who attempts to defcribe manners at a diflance fo remote from the prefent, they are, in a great meafure, counterbalanced by the advantages he will gain in the conftruction of his fable. Unrefrained by an attention to that propriety of conduct and occurrences which is expected in modern ftory, he may give a loofe to the reins of fiction, without danger of exciting either weariness or difguft. Events, which in themfelves are not only romantic but improbable, will frequently, when viewed through the medium of antiquity, aflume an air which is at once both graceful and engaging. That falfe glare of colouring, which fhocks the eye of the fpectator when brought too near, will, when placed at due diftance, acquire a mellowness which has every effect of jutt painting. This obfervation may, with peculiar propriety, be applied to the principal incident in the poem before us.

As a fpecimen of the poem, and as a juftification of the opinion we have given of it, we fhall fubjoin the following extract: The hoary paftor near the village-fane Receiv'd the honour'd chief and all his train: This holy, meek, difinterested man Had form'd his ufeful life on duty's plan: Unpractis'd in thofe arts that teach to rife, The vacant mitre ne'er allur'd his eyes. Regardless ftill of diffipation's call, He feldom tarried at the festive hall, Where all around the ftoried texture hung, Where pfaltries founded, and where minitrels fungi But to the humble cot's neglected door The facred man the balm of comfort bore: Still would he liften to the injur'd swain, For he who listens mitigates the pain: There was he feen reclining o'er the bed, Where the pale maiden bow'd her anguifh'd head; Where, reft of hope, the yielding victim lay, And like a wreath of fnow diffolv'd away: With feeling foul the pallor oft enquir'd Where the meek train of filent grief retir'd, Shame that declines her forrows to impart, The drooping fpirit, and the broken heart. He ne'er the friar's gaping wallet fed, But to the widow lent his loaf of bread:

His fee to ROME reluctantly he paid,
And call'd the Pardoner's a pilf'ring trade.
The facred Pfalter well he knew to glofs,
And on its page illuminate the Crofs:
The written Miffal on the altar feen,
Inclos'd in velvet of the richest green,
Difplay'd initials by his fancy plann'd,
Whofe brilliant colours own'd his fkilful hand,
This gaily-letter'd book his art devis'd,
The temple's only ornament compriz'd:
The hallow'd fervice of this modeft fane
(Far from the fplendour of a choral train)
Could boa no labour'd chaunt, no folemn rites,
No clouds of incenfe, and no pomp of lights,
But at the plain and lowly altar ftands

The village-prieft with pure uplifted hands,
Invoking from above, Heav'n's guardian care,
In all the meek fimplicity of pray'r.'

Art. 28. Epille from the Honourable Charles Fox, Partridge-
Shooting, to the Honourable John Townsend, cruifing. 4to. is.
Faulder. 1779.

Few poems that we have lately met with have afforded us more pleasure than the little epitle which is now before us. It is not only terfe and elegant, but replete, alfo, with a kind of pleasantry which is, in fome degree, peculiar to itfelf; a pleafantry unembittered by the gall of party or perfonal fatire: it is very rarely that true humour and good humour are fo happily blended. The Epistle opens with the following lines:

While you, dear TOWNSHEND, o'er the billows ride,
MULGRAVE in front, and HANGER by thy fide,
Me it delights the woods and wilds to court,
For ruftic feats and unambitious fport.-

"

At that dim hour when fading lamps expire,
When the laft, ling'ring clubs to bed retire,
I rife!-how should I then thy feelings fhock,
Unfhav'd, unpowder'd, in my fhooting frock!
What frock thou crieft-I'll tell thee-the old brown;
Trimm'd to a jacket, with the fkirts cut down—

Thou laugh'; I know, thou do'st; but check that fneer;
What though no fafhion'd fportíman I appear,
Yet hence thy CHARLES's voice gains fhriller force;
Ah! JACK, if DUNNING hot, he'd not be hoarfe.
Nor deem ev'n here the cares of flate forgot,
I wad with gazettes ev'ry fecond shot:
ALMON's bold fheets the intervals supply;
And fill, methinks, his charges fartheft fly.'

The company and entertainment with which he purposes to celebrate his friend's return, bear fuch evident marks of taste and good judgment, that we thould cleem ourfelves happy in having a card of invitation to be of the party:

That night, to festive wit and friendship due.
That night thy CHARLES's board hall welcome you.

Sallads,

Sallads, that fhame ragouts, fhall woo thy tafle;
Deep fhalt thou delve in WELTJIE'S motley pafte;
DERBY fhall lend, if not his plate, his cooks,
And, know, I've bought the best Champaigne from BROOKS;
From liberal BROOKS, whofe fpeculative skill,
Is hafty credit, and a diftant bill;
Who, nurs'd in clubs, difdains a vulgar trade,
Exults to truft, and blushes to be paid!

On that aufpicious night, fupremely grac'd
With chofen guefts, the pride of liberal Tafte,
Not in contentious heat, nor madd'ning ftrife,
Not with the bufy ills, nor cares of life,
We'll wafte the fleeting hours; far happier themes
Shall claim each thought, and chafe Ambition's dreams.
Each Beauty that Sublimity can boast

He beft fhall tell, who ftill unites them most.
Of Wit, of Tafle, of Fancy, we'll debate;
If SHERIDAN for once is not too late :

But fcarce a thought to minifters we'll spare,
Unless on Polith politics, with HARE:
Good-natur'd DEVON! oft fhall then appear
The cool complacence of thy friendly fneer:
Oft fhall FITZPATRICK's wit, and STANHOPE's cafe,
And BURGOYNE's manly fer.fe unite to please.
And while each guest attends our varied feats
Offcatter'd covies and retreating fleets,
Me fhall they with fome better fport to gain,
And Thee more glory, from the next campaign.'

There are a few verbal inaccuracies, too trifling indeed to be noticed in a poem of lefs excellence, which, in the ardour of compofition, have efcaped correction: one or two we have marked in italics.

We believe it is now a needlefs piece of information, that the Public are indebted for this performance to the fame elegant pen that produced the Project, and the Wreath of Fabion.

Art. 29. Ruin feize thee, ruthless King! A Pindaric Ode, not written by Mr. Gray. 4to. 1 S. Almon.

1779.

This free parody contains many lines that are humorous, fome that are unintelligible, and a few that are impudent.

DRAMATIC.

Art. 30. William and Nanny; a Ballad Farce, in Two Acts. As performed at the Theatre in Covent Garden. Evo. I S. Kearly. 1779.

Idle fing-fong, and flimfy dialogue, fuftained by hacknied characers poorly delineated, not enlivened by humour, nor rendered interesting by any circumstances of the fable.

Art. 31. The Cottagers: A Mufical Entertainment. As performed at the Theatre in Covent Garden. 8vo. 6d. Griffin.

The first draught of William and Nanny, the Author of which has thus characterifed the Cottagers. "The fact is, that this little farce was originally written ten or eleven years ago; as it flood then, a

rcal

real Baronet was in love with Nanny, who generously refigned her to William, on difcovering their attachment; this was thought FLAT AND INSIPID." Preface to William and Nanny.

We have only to echo the Author's last words, flat and infipid! Art. 32. The Critic; or, Tragedy Rehearsed: a Literary Catchpenny! by way of Prelude to a Dramatic After-piece. By R. B. Sheridan, Efq. With a Dedication, Preface, and Prologue. 8vo. 1 s. Kingsbury. 1779.

64

Many a true word fpoken in jeft. This piece exactly answers the defcription in its title page. A literary catchpenny, by way of prelude to a dramatic after-piece." Art. 33. The Critic Anticipated; or, the Humours of the GreenRoom: A Farce. As rehearfed behind the Curtain of the Theatre in Drury Lane. By R. B. S. Efq; &c. 8vo. 1 s. Bladon. 1779. Alius idem! Another theatrical mushroom, engendered by the warmth of Mr. Sheridan's reputation.

Art. 34. The Mirror; or, Harlequin everywhere. A Pantomimical Burletta. As performed at the Theatre, Covent Garden. 8vo. I S. Kearly. 1779•

This pantomimical burletta may, for aught we know, be a very diverting Spectacle on the theatre;-in the clofet it is but a poor en

tertainment.

Art. 35. The Shepherdess of the Alps; a Comic Opera, in Three Acts. As performed at the Theatre, Covent Garden.

8vo.

1 s. 6 d. Kearly. 1780.

A dramatic travefly of the elegant and affecting tale of Marmontel. The character of Count Trife is founded, if we recollect rightly, on one of the Proverbes Dramatiques. Mol of the other comic characters and incidents are mere counterparts to thofe which have been repeatedly exhibited, with more addrefs, in our late mulical dramas. LA IV.

Art. 36. Remarks on the Law of Defcent, and on the Reasons affigned by Mr. Jullice Blacktone for rejecting, in his Table of Defcent, a l'oint of Doctrine laid down in Plowden, Lord Bacon, and Hale. 4to. I s. 6d. Brooke. 1779.

The point of law here difcuffed, in 47 quarto pages, is, "Whether the heir of the Great Grandmother, on the part of the father, ought to be preferred, in the courfe of the inheritance, to the heir of the Grandmother on the fame fide; or, vice vorja?" Mr. Juftice Blackftone gives the preference to the Great Grandmother, in contradiction (as this Author contends) to the ancient doctrine. Had the learned Commentator on the Laws of England contented himself with fingly declaring his opinion on the fubject, the Public would find little difficulty in chuling between fo weighty an authority, and that of an anonymous writer; but as the reafons on which the former grounds his opinion are affigned at fome length, thofe reafons are Certainly open to the fic examination. The question is shifted from authority to argument. Our Remarker enters on the difcuffion with temper, and with decency; but with what fuccefs he hath acquitted himself, muit be left to the decifion of those who are deep in

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