Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Argument. . General reflexion-Description of a prison-Confinement for debt, or on suspicion-Inhumanity of detaining debtors for the goalers fee-A guardian, or the family of a suicide confined on fuipicion-Injustice of indiscriminate confinement-Defcription of the prisoners—The ruffian-The woman for the murder of her illegicimate infant-The young offender-The episode of Misello- The maniac and the idiot-Reflexion thereon-Address to Sir G. a Paul on his entering a prison-The goal fever-Treatise on flagrant abuses--Feats of chivalry compared

to those of real humanity, and the inefficacy of the theory without an exertion of it-Conclusion.!

Such are the outlines of the piece; but to fill up the canvass was
beyond the powers of the poet: his finishing is dry and meagre; and the
effect of the whole falls infinitely befow what we had expected from
the argument.
Art. 3o. 'Billy Brass; a Political Hudibrastic. 410. 13. 6d.

Kearsley. 1785. London.
Sam House's pot-boy gone rhyming mad-Hear him:

66 And now our hero, Brafly Billy,
The cat's-paw of a junto filly,
Knowing all Britain's trade can't be
Grasp'd by the India Company,
The rest gives Ireland !--patriot thought!
And all our toil reduc'd to nought!

But more in future we'll fing truly-;

Rouse all from Land's end to Bleak Thule.“ We recommend the author to the care of his friends. Art. 31. A Dialogae between the Earl of

Cd and Mr. Garrick, in the Elysian Shades. Sóld by Cadell. 4to. is 6d. 1785

We cannot agree with the author, when he says, in his dedication to Sir J. Reynolds, " Surely, if it (the Dialogue) were to be published, the publication of it should not be deferred till I might have leisure to make it more worthy of the respectable person to whom I have taken the liberty of addressing it, with every sentiment of refpect." It is, on the contrary, our decided opinion, that his respect both for Sir J. and the public, should have induced him to defer the publication till he had endeavoured to render it as worthy as he could of the patronage of the one, and the inspection of the other. Nothing but absolute want can justify an oppofite conduct in any writer, however temporary the subject of his labours may be. The present dialogue bears evident marks of being hurried into existence before its time. It is involved, embarrassed, disjointed, abscure. This laft fault is in many places fo glaring, that you are obliged to read with all the attention you would give to the moft subtil metaphysics, and sometimes without being certain that you have discovered the author's meaning As a specimen we fhall give part of Lord Chefterfield's address to Mr. Garrick, with which the dialogue com

• Thou quintescence of pure ethereal fire!
Why, Garrick, when but now with Avon's band

18g

mences.

' I saw thee fitting in his laurld bower-
• Never on earth, on some triumphant night,
• When thousands hung enraptur'd on thy voice,
• And with a thrilling blence t'ward thine eye
* Bent theirs, and all its master-movements felt,
• Felt them a pow'r refiftless and belov'd-
• Never on earth beheld I thee so wrought
• To give thy inward foul of mounting fire
• The cleareit comment of thine outward pow'rsam
• As when but now (whatever were thy theme)
* Thy Shakespeare all attention till as night
Leaning

and list'ning-
The praise of Dr. Johnson is the object of the poem. Mr. G.
is the panegyrist, while Lord Co endeavours, feebly enough, to raise
objections to his moral and literary reputation ; till at lait, hearing
that J. is making his triumphant entry into Elyfium, he retires to
the deepest shades, ashamed thiougb all his “soul," and leaves Mr.
G. to receive his old friend.
Art. 32. A Sermon preached in Greenwich Church, on Thurs-

day July 29, 1784, the Day appointed for a general Thanktgiving: and printed at the Defire of several of the most respectable inhabitants of the Place. By the Rev. Andrew Burnaby, D. D. 4to. Is. Payne. 1784.

The idea of this discourse is founded in liberal sentiments, and its character, like Tom Brown's epitaph, would have been so lo, were it not for the strange affectation of its style; by means of which, perhaps, a more copious vocabulary of synonimous words might be formed, than the incomparable one annexed to Dilworth's Spelling Book. Let us try: Preinised and laid down antecedently ; implicated and concerned ; improve and profit; divide ard separate; convivial and delightful; preclude or prohibit ; bartering and exchanging ; occasions and exigencies; similar and analogous; spread and communicate; surmounted and overcome; keep and oblerve ; effect and accomplish ; want and deficiency; losses and disasters ; terimination and event.' We know that some persons cultivate this kind of expression in aid of the callous and hebetated intellects of their rural auditors ; but we cannot help regarding it, as the most impotent, as well as uncouth, “Shove for heavy-3- Christians, that was ever devised. Art. 33. Two Sermons preached in the Parish Church of Lay

cock, Wilts: The former on February 8, 1982; being the Day appointed by Proclamation, for a public Fast : The latter on July 29, 1784 ; being the Day appointed by Proclamation, for a General Thanksgiving for the Peace. By Edward Popham, D.D. Rector of Chilton-Folliat. and Vicar of Laycock, Wilts, &vo. 25. Dodfley. 1784.

The real talents of the writer in these discourses are so entirely concealed under texts of fcripture, chosen without selection, and tagged together without symmetry, that we do not chuse to say any shing respecting them. And if we were to actempt to strip them of

these from

[ocr errors]

U 3

[ocr errors]

these foreign ornaments, and present them to our readers in puris 1.0turalibus, we are afraid they ivould make no better figure, than Lord Peters's coat did, when it had undergone the operation, that Jack employed for its purification. Art. 34. A Sermon preached at the opening of the General Infirmary at Hull, on Wednefdry, ihe 1jt of September, 1784. By the Rev. James Stillingfleet, N. A. Rector of Hothamn, Yorkshire Published by Request of the Governors of the Infirmary for the Benefit of the Charity. 4to. is. Dilly. London.

A plain discour e, suited to the occasion. Had the author adverted to the following expresion, it would not have appeared in the fermon. “ This is the voice both of nature and revelation. In the " former indeed, it is now so obfcured and weakened, that we fre

qently see it (the voice) too fceble to be heard through the inter

posing clouds of interest and gratification.” Nr. Stillingfect must knw that a Voice is never seen. Art. 35. A Sermon preached upon the Occasion of the General

Thanksgiving for the late Prace, July 29, 1784. By the Rev. Wm. Keate, M.A. formerly Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and Rector of Piddle-Hinton, Dorietthire. 4to. 15. Payne. 1787. "I wish not to aggravate the dittrefies of my country, nor to lower us in our own estimation, or in the opinion of other nations." Mr. Keate might have whispered all he had upon his mind; without fear of being overheard. By the way, is it not a little extraordinary, that so learned a man as the rector of Piddle Hinton, should be guilty' of the most flagrant and uncouth brcaches of grammar in every page. Art. 36. Three Discourses; addressed to the Congregation at

Maze-pond, Southwark, on their public Declaration of having chosen Mr. James Dore their Pailor, March 25, Cambridge printed, fold by C. Dilly. 12mo. 1S. 1784. In this publication we have a full account of the proceedings at Maze-pond, on the reception of Mr. James Dore as pafior of that congregation. The feit-governing principles of the independents are, first of all, enumerated, illu trated and defended, by Mr. Robinfon. Mr. Keene then acquaints the affembly with every step that had been taken relative to the invitation, and final eftablishment of Mr. Dore; who, in his turn, makes his confeífion of faith in the face of the congregation. Mr. William Dore then addresses the new-elected miniller on the duties of his office, in a fentible discourie from 1 Epi. Theff. ch. ii. v.4. " But as we were allowed of God “ to be put in trust with the gospel, even fo we speak, not as pleasing

men, but God, which tricth our hearts." And, laily, Mr, Clark endeavours to impress the congregation with a sense of the reciprocal duties they one to their Miniiter. The expofition and defence of the independent doctrines by Mr. Robinson, are what please us most in this publication, though we are far from subscribing to the infallibility of his reałuning. But there is a plain and honest warmth in his manner that must give pleasure to every liberal and ingenuous mind. From his various sources of tyranny over science we 'fhail felect his lait, as a specimen of the publication ! L' The last pretence to tyrannize is taken from piety, and often

con

from pretended piety. A man who only pretends to religion, and who is really a hypocrite hath the aflurance to build one pretence on another, and to direct :1 practice, of which he knows nothing but the name, and to which he is a perpetual diigrace. There are others, who in a judgment of charity inay be good men (I do not say wise men) and who make their own religion a continual fource of iorrow to their fellow christians. Little louis! they think themselves privy counsellors of the King of kings, and in his name start difficultics, make childish distinctions, place religion in trifles, and turn the whole practice of piety into a strife of worils to no profit but to the subverting of the hearers. No men more zealous than thefe for their own lentiments: but no men lo inimical to the liberty of others, Could such people reason, they would perceive that the iame arguinents which vindicate their own liberty establish that of all mana kind: but they either cannot or will not reason, and always mistake zeal for justice, heat for right. It is remarkable that Jesus Christ, the most eminent for piety, discovered nothing of this bitterness, but was the most gentle and liberal of mankind, the express image of his heavenly Father. How unaccountabl.! but there is no accounting for some people! that a man fhould presume to exercife that fpirit of persecution after he becomes a good man, to which before he durit not have discovered the least' disposition, for the whole chrislian world would have refitted him, yea God would have said unto the wicked man, what hast thou to do to declare my flatutes, or that thou shouldet take my covenant in thy mouth? Is piety then a patent for perfecution, and eminence ot faith a ground of dominion ? Far froin us be a thought fo abfurd!

All this is very well, and far unlike the independent doctrines of former times. What a pity that such doctrines should find a refuge only in the bofom of political impotency. We say no more, let history tell the rest. Art. 37. A Letter to the Hon. and Right Rev: Shute, Lord

Bilbop of Sarum, containing /cme gentle frictures on bis Lordbip's charge, delivered to the clergy of that diocese, in the year 1783. From a lay-member of the church of England. Bath, printed by S. Hazard, and sold by several booksellers in town and country. 8vo. Is. 1784.

The Bishop of Sarum, in his charge at his primary vifitation, had mentioned methodittical preachers with disapprobation. This letter contains an answer to his Lordship equally violent and uncandid. As a specimen of the spirit and inanner of thesc“ gentle ftrictures," we fhall present our readers with part of the far-member's answer to the Bishop's 5th charge. His Lordship says, " That, in an authoritative “ tone, they excite groundless fears and groundless hopes.” To this the lay-member replies,

• As to the "authority," with which these clergymen speak, it is a recommendation of them to me, as it is one proof at lealt, that they tread in their master's steps, and imitate his mode of preaching : for, it was remarked of him in the days of his fesh, “that he taught

as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” I suppose that thele scribes, when they mounted the rostrum to read and expound the law, mumbled it over in such a low, careless, or drowsy man

ner,

[ocr errors]

28.

mer, that they rather lulled their hearers to sleep, than rouzed them to a sense of their duty. But we read “that our Lord opened his mouth, when he taught the multitude," that he might pour forth his words with an energy, becoming the nature and importance of his work. And it is not unlikely, that some of the grand Sanhedrim might be displeased with him for his boldness, and represent him in some of their triennial ts, if such visits were common in Judea,

as teaching the people in an authoritative tone."

We pass by the very candid manner in which the scribes, the grand Sanhedrim, and triennial visitations are brought forward, and only beg leave to admire the letter-writer's peculiar dexterity in his management of fcriptural quotations. Are methodist teachers accused of stepping beyond the modesty of nature in the tone and exaltation of their voice? he replies, that in this, as in every other thing, they imitate their great Exemplar, for "we read," says he, “that our “ Lord opened his mouth, when he taught the multitude;" which being interpreted, means, that he preached just as we methodists do, The Bible, says a certain popish writer, is a nose of wax,

which

men twist and mould into every thape at their pleasure. Art. 38. A Poem, addressed to the Armies of the United

States of America. By David Humphries, Esq. Colonel in the Service of the United States, and Aid-de-Camp to his Excellency the Commander in Chief. New Haven. Printed for T. and S. Green, 1784. Paris, reprinted, 1785. And London, for G, Kearsley. 4to.

This Poem, we are informed, was re-printed at Paris under the auspices of Dr. Franklin. That veteran in politics does nothing in vain; the publication seems intended to fofter American rancour, to flatter the king of France and the Irish, and to injure the character and interests of Great Britain. That an Aid-de-Camp to the American commander in chief, writing as he says, when the army was in the field,” should exceed in warmth of expression, and overcharge his colouring, is not at all surprizing. But why should the ambassador of the United States at Paris, endeavour by a republication to excite the expiring flame? Why, now the contest is over, why, endeavour to persuade the world that a war, which the Americans say commenced with injustice, was carried on with inhuman barbarity? Till this transatlantic accusation, Britain had ever been considered as a noble and generous foe; but the rhymes of Mr. Humphries have degraded Britons into 6 fierce ruffans," whole “ alafhin hands” « wielded the lurking dagger” against the life of General Washington." Not contented with this, the author also accuses us of starving our prisoners to death.

• Why. Britain ! rag'd thine infolence and scorn?
Why burst thy vengeance on the wretch forlorn ?
The cheerless captive to flow death consign'd,
Chillid with keen frost, in prison glooms confin'd;
Of hope bereft, by thy vile minions curs’d,
With hunger famíth'd and contum'd with thirst,
Without one friend, --when death's last horror stung,
Roll'd the wild eye, and gnaw'd the anguil'd tongue !

Ireland 3

« ForrigeFortsæt »