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MONTHLY CATALOGUE.
[For FEBRUARY 1785.)

MISCELLANEOU.S.
Art. 54. Fleurettes, containing an Ode on Solitude : written

in the Mountains of Auvergne ; by Monf. de la Motte Fenelon. On the Pleasures of Retirement. An Epistle from Mons, Boileau to Monf. Lamoignon. The Origin of Sculpture. An Epittle from a young Lady to her Lover. From Mons. Fontenelle, &c. &c. &c. Translated from the French. London, crown 8vo. Is. 6d. Dodíley. 1784. THE anonymous translator has stepped beyond his province,

and we think beyond his reach in the preface to this publication, when he tells us that: “ Reason”. was a cultivated in France, “ in the reign of Lewis XIV. and in England in that of Queen “ Anne, as far as it is capable of being advantageously cultivated,

or as far as its province naturally extends.” The variety of our discoveries which regard the properties of different kinds of air, and of the electrical fluid, as well as the re-animation of persons apparently dead, he considers as useless and ridiculous attainments. We

may fly in the air (he tells us) controul and play tricks with the

lightning, raise the dead, and, like the magicians of old, mimic “ some few acts of omnipotence ; but for any really useful know“ ledge, Newton and Locke seem to have fixed the boundaries of “ human knowledge: and our philosophers must pass the straits of

mortality, before they can make further discoveries.' But, leav. ing him in the full possession of his own opinion, we proceed to exas mine his poetical labours.

His translation of Fenelon's Ode to Solitude does not run above mediocrity. Indeed the original itself may, without injustice, be placed in the same class. As a youthful production, it may be ena.' titled to fome praise, but it is too diffuse, and abounds with repetitions of the same idea. The two first stanzas will serve as a specimen of the translation, and at the fame time confirm our opinion of the original :

I.
"Ye mountains ! whose tremendous brows,
Crown'd with everlasting snows,
Above the clouds majestic rise,
And prop the mansions of the skies-
Whilit here, beneath your hoary heads,
Each vernal flow'r that Nature spreads
I faunt'ring pluck, from pole to pole

I hear the growling thunders roll
Beneath my feet; while from your wat'ry store
A thousand rapid torrents rushing roar.

II.
Like the tow'ring hills of Thrace,
Which th' audacious giant-race,
To scale the heavens with dire intent,
Heap'd up, from other mountains rent-
Your summits forin a folid plain,
And mountains loftier yet suitain;

fame page :

Still rising, till by due degrees,

Your misty heads the pealant lees,
With stately pride exalted to the sky,

Each formy wind and tempeft's, rage defy.' In the firit Stanza Mr. Fenelon informs us that the “ brows', of his Mountains " rise above the clouds, and prop “the manfions of “ the skies," and that while he faunters“ beneath their hoary heads, “ he hears the thunders roll beneath his feet.”. In the second he tells us that these brows, these “ fumınits fuftain moun. “ tains yet loftier,” but which, after all, are not a bit more lofty-than the former ; for he has represented them as exactly in the fame degree of exaltation : Their

“ mitty heads “ With stately pride exalted to the ky,

“ Each foriny wind, and tempest's rage defy". We

agree with the author, that there is a comic vivacity in the gallopping verse which the author of the Bath Guide and Mr. Hayley have to happily employed; but we think it falls below the dige nity of the higher species of latire. It may be remarked that the author has not always succeeded in this kind of verse. As a proof of this, we shall give the two following lines, which occur in the

“That Apollo ftill deigns to inspire my song

" Whofe rank, and whose merit, and bright eloquence." Daphne and Apollo is well tranflated from Fontenelle. The idea conveyed by the dash between her" and " face” in the concluding line might have been spared. If the translator mould alledge that it is essential to the tale, we fee no reason why the tale itself should not have been suppressed, as an idea of the kind appears with the higheit impropriety in a publication dedicated to Mrs. Montague. Art. 15. Odes. By the Rev. F. Hoyland. Edinb. C. Elliot.

1783. 410. Is. This publication confifts of four Odes. The first is á translation of Mr. Fenelon's Ode on Solitude, which we have noticed in the preceding article, and is superior to the translation given by the aua thor of Fleurettes. The other pieces are original There is a vein of fentimental' melancholy, as well as poetry, which runs through these odes. We shall lay the fourth before our readers, as it is fort, and has, in our opinion, considerable merito

.1.
** And art thou come, ere Zephyr mild

Has wak'd the blackbird's vernal strain ?
sis Alas! thou com'ft, my beauteous child,
" Where Poverty her iron reign

Extends, more bleak and cruel far
* Than winter, or the northern Itar :
56 Yet cease those cries that all my pity move;
* Tho' cold the hearth, my bosom burns with love.

II.
" Soon will the icy brooks renew
“ Their liquid sports, and, murm'ring, flow;
“Pale primroses and violets blue

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“Beneath yon fpangled hawthorns blow;
" And soon, perchance, the inighty Queen,
" Who governs this terrestrial Icenen
“Will bend, propitiousy to my plaintive lyre;
“ 'And bless-with patronage thy hapless dre:

111.
While thus an hesitating tear
Glitter'd with hope and lively thoughty
The Goddess with the wheel drew near,
And, laughing, gave the boon I fought.
O fatal boon indeed! Farewell
The rural comforts, not the cells

The sweets of Liberty, that never cloy;
Bright Hope, domestic Peace, and friendly Joy i

IV.
Once more, dread Deity! behold
My inçense op thy altar laid;
Not for promotion, fame or gold,
I now invoke thy pow'rful aid.

Abt.give me back the honest frown,
: The eye, the accent, all my own,

My dear, my long-loft liberty restore ;

Ah give me back myself; I ask no more." In the third itanza we think " laugbing" applied to the Goddess Fortune in a prapitious mood, might be exchanged with advantage for smiling. A patrons in the act of donation, may be said to smile; but, without impropriety; cannot be said to laughi In the same ftanza;

" The rural comforts, not the cell” Is a harsh line. If the author intended to fay, that he remained in his cell, though all his comforts were fled, the exprefsion is aukward, and does not clearly convey his meaning:

We were particularly pleased with the last stanza, and consider, 6 Ah! give me back mydelf” as a singularly happy exprellion. Art. 16. The Looking-Glass containing Selen Fables of la

Fontainer Imitated in English: with additional thoughts. 12mo. 35. Walter. 1764:

La Fontaine is of all authors perhaps the most extjuisite in the peculiarities of his style, and of all authors the most difficult to be translated. It is easy indeed to perceive the finplicity of his manher, and that his compofition is the very reverse of the fublime and dignified; and these particulars it is eafy to imitate. But that unaffected eloquence that accompanies his minutenefles; that unrialled pathos that he blends with his huinoursüdet multum

The following fpecimens are extracted from the incomparable
Animaux de la pefte.

Ni loups; ni renards n'epioient
La douce l'innocente proie.
Poor Pufs (scarce willing it) escapes

Ditemper'd dogs let loole;
The fev'rith fox still longs for grapes,

But loaths the lingering goofe."
Ene. Rev. Feb. 1785. VOL. V. K

Ne

Ne nous flattons donc point, voyons sans indulgence

L'état de notre conscience.
Pour moi, satisfaisant mes appétits gloutons

Y'ai devoré force noutons.

Que m'avoient-ils fait? Nælle offenfe.
“ If consciences at crimes revolt,

Confeffions must: prevail.
In what have sheep offended?

Yet I, voracious glutton!
My greedy guts

. diftender, When I could dine on mutton." If any of our readers be long fighted enough to discover Fontaine in these imitations of him, we would recommend him with all dili* gence to peruse the whole volume, from every part of which we will pledge ourfelves for his deriving equal satisfaction.

But we are not in anger with the ingenious translator. He has printed La Fontaine at the bottom of his page, and this would have expiated for personal offences, had they been thirty-fold greater than they are, He is an author that can never be read too often, or admired too deeply. With the utmost justice may 'we apply to his works, what Cicero has said. of polite letters in general i Adolescentian alunt, senectutem oble&tan, secundas res ornant, adverfis perfugium ac folatiúm prebent, delectant domi, non impediunt foris, pernoce jant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur. Art. 17. The History of the Rise and Progress of Geography.

By the Rev. John Blair, L.L.D. late Prebendary of Westminitér.
Cadell.

In this little treatise the origin and gradual advancement of geography are traced out with inuch learning and ingenuity. Art. 18. An Account of the first aerial Voyage in England. By

Vincent Lunardi, E14. Second edition. 8vo. 58. Bell.

A few minutes conversation with Mr. Lunardi will convince any one that he did not write à lingle page of this narrative of his aerial excursion. It is a juinble of letters, advertisemests and depositions, expressed in very pompous, but in very poor language. · Art. 19. Hints of important Uses to be derived from Aerostatic

Globes. By Thomas Martyn. 25. White.

The utility which may result from the invention of balloons is ingeniously investigated in this pamphlet. The author thinks, and fupports his opinion by able reasoning, that they inay be rendered serviceable to beficged cities, by conveying signals more effectually than" by any method' hitherto know11. He is of opinion that they “may be, in the same manner, of the highett use to fleets and armies; that they may farniflı facts to meteorology, and much facilitate astronomical observations. The author may be thought by fome to be too fanguine in his expectations; but we think, with him, that time will exhibit this invention, not merely as inatter of curiosity, but as a subject of real utility to mankind. Art. 20. A Dialogue between a Justice of the Peace and a

Farmer. By Thomas Day, 'Esq.

The taxes, the ministry and juries, are the chief topies canvasfed in this dialogue. Mr. Day is a ftrenuous affertor of liberty; and, in

general,

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general, we subscribe to his sentiments. On fome occasions, however, it is observable that he yields to a turbulent spirit ; and that he is intoxicated by the demon of faction. Writers, notwithstanding, of this fort have their use. They are eager to take the aların : and their easy speculations are suited to the people. When they are in the right, they contribute to excite a jealousy against the crown, that is attended with the best effect. When they are in the wrong they are disregarded. But åt all times their intentions are laudable : and the liberty of this country is at an end, when the pamphleteer Thall tremble to send forth his fquib. When the press is filent, we --may be assured, that the gloomy period of despotism is arrived.

We respect very much the fincerity and patriotisin of Mr. Day : - and we must commend the spirit which induces him to give his name.

to his publications. In the present instance, we are lorry that he
- shas assumed for his sentiments the form of a dialogue. · They would

have come with more efficacy and point in his own person.
Art. 21. Thoughts on Executive Justice. With respect to our

Criminal Laws, particularly on the Circuits. Dedicated to the
judges of afsize ; and recommended to the perusal of all magif-

trates}"and to all persons who are liable to serve on crown juries. - By a fineere Well-wisher to the Truth. 12mo. 2s. 61. Dodfleys London.

This performance is not composed by any professed writer. The author belongs probably to the class of gentlemen who write with ease. The polite verbofity of his style corresponds with the vacane emptiness of his matter. He is filly, vain and opinionative. His underitanding is placid, and incapable of any effort. His imagination is inert and stupid. His conteinpt of the rights of hunanity is hor. rid. His advices, to judges, with regard to the execution of criminals, are ferocious, and will be despised. A more unhappy per

formance has seldomi undergone our scrutiny. The author is en-
titled to condemnation from every literary tribunal. His sentiments
are either childish or fetid ; his manner is fluttering and meretricious ;
and his diction, while it is disgraced by puerilities and affectation, is
in opposition to all the rules of grammar.
Art. 22. A Review of Locke's Denial of Innate Ideas, Secon-
darn Qualițies&c. 1 2mo. 25. Law.

If he be not talking of things, but words ; I say, he is a defpicable quibbler, though his name is Locke. And if all science were such as our author would teach as the foundation of his system, happy them unperplexed therewith ;' I can searcely believe that his fear of my criticism was the cause of his quaker-preface, a pal{age only of which I will animadvert ; him having been endowed with little of the fervour of the vates'. An idcot himself knows that be iss. if he be riot bothered with I think, therefore I am.' It is true, that these censures were not to be expected from his first letter, whether he had not then considered the doctrines, or however.'

He (Lord. Shaftesbury) inculcated sentiments liberal and noble, bold and cool, penetrative and phlegmatic. If any of our readers be not disposed imiņediately to admit the opinions, maintained in the above quotations, we trust, however, the following decision respecting Mr. Locke's style will not be disputed. I do not think his

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