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practice, (for war and hunting appear from the most early period of time to have been the sole study and occupation of their lives,) and by foine other equally absurd and unaccountable transitions, have thereby forgotten, and, at this day, have lost every trace thereof.'
Where Mr. Smith rises above such flatness, we are disgufted with that swell which distinguishes the writings of the untutored, and that propensity to the marvellous, which, besides that it marks the same state of mind, tends in some measure to detract from the credibility of his narrative. If indeed he underwent such hardships, and performed such journies, in a state as is alledged, of feverishness and extreme debility, Mr. Smith must have an iron constitution. It is evident after all, that his mind is naturally fitted by its sensibility to observe, as far as his knowledge, which is not extensive, will enable hiin, the most striking appearances, whether of nature or art. The field he has traversed with such immenfe rapidity is most ample: and he has brought to light many new and interesting facts. He would have been a more agreeable and instructive traveller, if his descriptions had been more chaste, and agreeable to the fimplicity of nature. When travellers like Mr. Smith determine to become authors, they ought by all means to put their materials into the hands of some person versed in composition. By this means their works would appear not only in a more agreeaable but in reality in a more respectable liglit. We should give more credit to the testimony and pay greater deference to the observations of one who should give proofs of having enjoyed, than to one who thould appear to be deficient in a learned and liberal education.
Art. XI. The Nature and Extent of the Apoftolical Commission. A
Sermon preached at the Confecration of the Right Rev. Dr. Samuel Seabury, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. By a Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. 400. 15. Ric vington. London. 1785.
HAT Connecticut should liave a bishop so soon after the
late convulsion, and that he should be confecrated by members of the non-juring hierarchy of Scotland, may per. haps seem extraordinary. The state of the case as we are informed, is as follows. Dr. Seabury is a man of address, learning and amiable manners, these procured him the affection and esteem of his acquaintance. When the colonies were disjoined from the parent realin, many respectable per fons in Connecticut, attached to the episcopal form of church government, wished to preserve it from that extinction they dreaded, by the presence of a bishop, who should exercise his functions amongst them, and thus give as it were ENG, Rey, vol. V. Ap. 1785. S consistence
confiftence and visibility to their church. Dr. Seabury, from what we have already faid, was the general choice. He was dispatched for England to obtain that consecration they lo much desired. Our two archbishops it is reported, declined the office, because they had received no official requisition from the state to which he belonged. Whether fuch a requisition had not been applied for, or whether it could not be obtained, is what we are not warranted to say ; but without it there was not much probability of fucceeding in the application to the heads of our church. Disappointed here, Dr. S. cast his eyes towards the almost forgotten Scottish hierarchy; there, as was to be expected, he met with no repulse. Happy to be considered as a ftill existing church, and eager to give a bishop to the western continent, the northern nonconformifts met him with open arms, and made him, as they say 'a regular successor of the apostles. They exult upon the occasion, and tell us that their church had been preserved
without any of the boasted props of civil establishment, yea, often depressed by the hand of insulting power-by its own almighty head perhaps to afford through God's
providence, the means of conveying to others a more li• beral share of those fpiritual blessings which we enjoy un• der some restraint.' And they pray that the difpen
sation of the grace and knowledge of the gospel, by a valid and truly apoftolic ministry, may-go out from
the east • to the utmoft boundary of the western world. The expressions a regular successor of the apostles; a valid and
truly apoftolic ininiftry,' with several others which appear in the fermon, shew that the old leaven still ferments, that liberality of sentiment is by no means a characteristic of the piscopal church of Scotland. Her alluinption of being the only true church, and the anathemas which the consequently pronounces against all diffenters from her immaculate purity inake us rejoice at her enfeebled state. How dreadful for the world, were her power equal to the blindness and fury of her Zeal!
ART. XII. Modern Times, or, the Adventures of Gabriel Outcast
Supposed to be written by Himself. In Imitation of Gil Blas, 12o. 3 Vols. <s. fewed. Murray.
COARSE daubing after an exquisite original. With
regard to many of the incidents, it is indeed a servile initation; Gabriel Outcast, like Gil Blas, is a fervant, an affociate with banditti, and an adventurer in a variety of ways; intrigues with a stroling actress, marries, buries his wife ; marries a second time, &c. &c. But the delicate pencil of Le Sage is no where discoverable. Instead of the
narveté of the French author, we meet with grossness and rufticity; that admirable detail and felicity of expression which almost realize the objects in the original, are totally wanting in the copy,
In their stead we have a slovenlinefs and vulgarity of phraseology, that strongly marks the author's intimate acquaintance with the scenes of low life which he delineates, while his defcription of the higher orders of men as convincingly informs us, that he is defcribing what he has feen only at a distance, and therefore very imperfectly. In one thing however we must confefs, that Gabriel outdoes his prototype. Gil Blas was fatisfied with being the confident of Prime Ministers, but our Gabriel never reited till he was at the Head of the Treasury” ! but, should he have been fo explicit as to the era of his premiership? Does he think that fixing the date so clearly, adds to the probability of his ttory? Or does he not imagine that it would have been niore prudent, (while it would equal. ly have given him an opportunity of painting the characters of the great,) to have placed himself in some fnug, confidential office, which he might have enjoyed without having kis right to it called in question?
The author, in his advertisement, says, “ It may be neceffary in this age of Nander and detraétion, for the writer of the following novel to declare, that, in the characters here drawn, he has pointed at no particular person.” We leave the public to judge, after reading the following extract, whether much credit is to given to this declaration.
“ Dr. Pomposo was formerly a political writer, violent against “ the ministry ; and as he wrote with a keenness and severity, that “ would have placed some men in the pillory; to stop his mouth, “ the minister, who was a Scotchman, thought proper to penfion “ him: but this did not abate his animosity to the Scottish nation, to 66 which he was an avowed enemy.
A friend of his has since told me, that he accompanied him once to receive his penfion.” Our • conversation,' says he, all the way, was on the iniquity of em
ploying Scotchmen in affairs of state ; and Pomposo was so warm
upon the subject, that he kept it up all the way we went; nay, he o continued it even whilst he was counting his money:'
One, two,-five,ten,--twenty.--The North Briton,' says he, has
been, however, of some use:---Twenty-five,--twenty-eight ;--it • has turned one d-mn'd Scotchman out of place: (this was the
man that penlioned him)- Thirty,--thirty-five, ---forty,--forty• five. These rascals, I fear will be the ruin of this country at
" And at this rate did he proceed, railing at, and abusing * the people, to whom he was most indebted. He had once been “ in the pay of the booksellers, but being at fingło man, whose
wants were but few, he soon deterinined that a hireling writer * is at best but a prostitute, and when they would employ him no
loager, he dropped the profeffion.”
This writer fecms to feel exceedingly fore on the fubject of Booksellers and Reviewers. How much he has suffered under their hands we pretend not to say; but Reviewers we know, muft ever be obnoxious to unsuccessful authors, who are ready to attribute their failure to any thing but their own want of merit. He informs us that "booksellers are too timid adventurers to risk much money on any one publication, yet, though he means this as a reproach, he, in the same sentence, has furnished them with the most ample apology for their conduct. “ The misfortune is," says he, "a manuscript never announces its success.” Would he have a bookseller, or any sensible merchant to risk his money in an adventure of which the success is very doubtful ? Would he himself have acted wisely had he intrafted the publication of his work to a Bookseller, who, according to the city phrase, was not considered as a good man? A little farther on he acknowledges that “great sums of money have occafionally been given for copy right, but this has been upon the reputation of the author;" a convincing proof that these men are not such timid adventurers; indeed they are, in that case, so much the contrary, that we believe the warehouses of most of them will evince rather too much confidence in auftorial reputation. The “ bookselling tribe,” is likewife accused of depreciating those works “ in which the trade is not concerned.” Works of real merit they can never ftifle, and as to those of a different complexion, their fate is of no importance. Many writers have united the character of bookseller with that of author, without having their works crushed by the overbearing combination of the bookfelling tribe. Of this the late Judge Blackstone is a confpicuous inftance. Doctors Cullen, Leake, and Simmons have pursued the same plan with a similar success; and the very miscellaneous and volumnious productions of Dr. Truller, have been ushered into the world in the same way, not unprofitable to himself, as we are given to understand.
We cannot take our leave of this publication, without observing that, in point of style, it is much inferior to many of the indifferent novels which every day appear. We every where meet with vulgarisms and incorrect expreffions, a few of which we shall lay before the reader. “I and the pedlar might lay together.”-“If I could dispense with laying at the top of the house."---" make free with my purse, which laid in my breeches pocket.”---" by a little extra attention to those boys, as were the children of wealthy parents.”---" by having him before a magiftrate.”—“ unkindly as he may have acted by me.”---“ to do a handsome thing by my friend the vicar."---The prime minister said, “ of all
things, he should be happy if I would accept the secretary.. Thip to the treatury," &c.
Amidit the roughness and inelegance of this performance, there is a degree of entertainment, and something like a talent for strong though homely delineation of character, We mean the author a compliment, when we call him the Hemskirk of novellifts,
Art. XIII. The Natural Son: A Comedy, Performed at the Thea.
tre Royal, Drury-lane. By Richard Cumberland, Esq. 8vo, is, 6d. Dilly. 1785.
E had lately the misfortune, for such we are disposed
to account it, of being called upon by our office of critics, to treat the author of this performance with some degree of harshness and severity. We feel ourselves therefore peculiarly happy in this opportunity of returning upon our steps, and compensating unwilling censure with merited applaufe. We are happy in the opportunity afforded us of paying the tribute fo juftly due to manly fense and genuine invention ; but which we offer with double alacrity, where these qualities unite themselves with blameless manners and a benevolent heart.
The title of this drama is the same with that of a comedy of M. Diderot, which met with confiderable success in France. But it has no farther resemblance to the piece we have mentioned, than what the title implies. Diderot's play is of the species of the comédie lurmoyante, and has not an atom of mirth or gaiety, in its compofition. In that of Mr. Cumberland, though the principal story be serious, the comic are the prominent features. We will pursue the parallel no farther, than to deliver our opinion, that the English play is in no respect whatever inferior to that of our neigh, bours.
The hero of the piece before us refides at the villa of an old-fashioned baronet, who, unknown to. Mr. Blushenly, is the brother of his mother. The rest of Sir Jeffery's family consists of a maiden fifter, and an only daughter, the widow of lord Paragon. In this situation Bļushenly is cxtremely distressed by a growing attachment he feels for the amiable daughter of his patron. To create however a mu, tual and spontaneous passion in their breasts had been the immediate purpose of Sir Jeffery. Having effected this, he removes every difficulty by disclosing to the young man the secret of bis birth.
The heroine of the comic division of the drama is Mrs. Phäbe Latimer, the maiden fifter of the baronet. She is most