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effect as what has been termed the of Shakspeare, yet are they equally Gothic. Even in the present polished folemn and striking.
The abrupt period of society, there are thousands and rapid fervor of 'imagination, who are aliveto all the horrors of witch- the vivid touches of enthufiafm, craft, to all the folemn and terrible mark his composition, and bis specgraces of the appalling spectre. The tres rush upon the eye with all the ftumolt enlightened mind, the mind, frée pendous vigour of wild and momenfrom all taint of superstition involun- tary creatio:. So deep and uniform tarily acknowledges the power of a melancholy pervades the poetry of Gothic agency; and the late favour. this author, that, whether from 'naable reception which two or three tural difpofition, or the preffure of publications in this style haye met misfortune, from the face of the with, is a convincing proof of the af- country which he inhabited, or the fertion. The enchanted forest of Tal- insulated fate of society, he seems fo, the spectre of Camoens, and the ever to have avoided imagery of a apparitions of Shakspeare, are to this, light and airy kind; otherwise, from day highly plealing, striking, and the origin-lity of his genius, much in sublime features in these delightful this way might have been expected. compositions.
As to the superstition of ihe LowAnd although this kind of super- lands, it differs so little from the itition be able to arrest every faculty lighter Gothic, that I know not wheof the human mind, and to shake, as ther I am warranted in drawing any it were, alt nature with horror, yet distinction between them. It is not, does it also delight in the most [por- however, peculiar to this district of tive and elegant imagery. The tra- Scotland, the Highlanders in many ditionary tales of elves and fairies ftill parts, especially in their beautiful convey to a warm imagination an in- little vales, being still enthusiastic in exhausted source of invention, fup- their belief of it. plying all those wild, romantic, and These are then the two species of varied ideas with which a wayward superstition which seem molt capfancy loves to sport. The Provencalable of invigorating the powers of bards, and the neglected Chaucer imagination : how feeble, cold, and and Spenser, are the originals from infipid are the mythological fables of whence this exquisite mythology has the classic bard, compared to the bold been drawn, improved, and applied and daring fictions of the Gothic with so much inventive elegance by Muse. Shakspeare. The flower and the It has been, however, too much leaf of Chaucer is replete with the the fashion among critical writers, to most luxuriant description of these condemn the introduction of this kind præternatural beings.
of imagery, as puerile and abfurd; Next to the Gothic in point of sub- but, whilft it is thus formed to inaulimi:y and imagination comes the ence mankind, to surprize, elevate, Celtic, which, if the superstition of and delight, with a willing admiration, the Lowlands be esteemed a part of every faculty of the human mind, how it, may, with equal propriety be di. shall criticism with impunity dare to vided into the terrible and the spor- expunge it? Genius has ever had a tive; the former, as displayed in the predilection for it, and
: has prer songs and ballads of tbe Low Coun- been the favourite superstition of the iry. Offian has opened a new field poets. I may venture, I think, to for invention, be has coloured a predict, that if at any time this spefet of beings unknown to Gothic cies of fabling be totally laid alide, fiction ; his ghosts are not the ghosts our national poetry will degencrale VOL. XII, NO 72.
Review of New Publications. into mere morality, criticism, and of Mr Hole's Arthur, of the Norfa:ire; and that the fublime and ter- thern Enchantment, will agaie call rible, and fanciful in poetry, will no the attention of the public to those longer exist. The recent publication fertile sources of invention, for it is
In scenes like thele, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to nature true,
Th'heroic muse employ'd her Tasso's art!
To hear his harp, by British Fairfax strung,
Belier'd the magic wonders which he sung!
Collias. The poet from whose, works the a- frequently classed him with a Tickell bove quotation has been taken, pof- and a Hammond, yet with the dif feffed all that fervor of enthusiasm, all cerning few will be ever hold an esthat warmth of imagination charac- alted rank in the regions of paibes teristic of true genius; and althoug'i and invention. ignorance and bad talte have not un
By fairy hands his knell is rung;
To dwell a weeping “Votrels” there. But to return to our subject.-Al. Barbauld, under the title of Sir Berthough fo great a disparity evidently trand, the transition is unmaliately obrains between the two species of Gó- from the deep Gothic to the Arabic thic fuperftition, the terrible and the or Saracenic fuperftition; which slfportive; yet no author, that I am though calculated to forprize, would acquainted with, has availed himself have given more pleafure, and would of this circumstance, and thrown have rendered the preceding scenes them into immediate conuaft. In a of horror more striking, kad it beca fragment lately publithed by Mrs of a light and contrafted kind.
Review of Nero Pablications. A defcriptive Account of the Wind of Jamaica : By William Beckford, Eg
Author of Remarks on the Situation of Negrses in Jamaica. In Tavs to dumnes. 80. . . PP. 464. P. II. pp. 405. 125. Boards. Eger tors. 1790.
years ia Jamaica, and largely fic, must be able to afford the pubbc
* just account of this important part hope, that if neither' abolition nor e. of the British dominions; especially mancipation shall take place, a full if, to natural capacity, he adds, as and efficient reformation
66 and Mr Beckford appears to do, the im- under this idea, (he adds,) there canprovements of reading, scientific in- not be a doubt but that the Negroes quiry, and observation. The volumes may be made as contented and hapbefore us, accordingly, contain much py, as their ideas of contentment information, and cannot fail of afford- and happiness can possibly extend.' ing amufement and pleasure to the We find that Mr Beckford canreader, though they do not form a not really vindicate the practice of perfect production.
flavery; the injustice and cruelty in It would be easy to point out feve. which it originates, are charges that ral blemishes ; some of which, at least, ftill cleave to it, amid all arguments might have been corrected, or pre- that can be offered in its favour; vented, with but little trouble to the and which alone, whatever might be writer ; there are instances in which faid to palliate fubsequent evils, prore the style is inacurate, or awkward and that it is criminal, and ought by fome obscure; at other times it appears in- means, though gradually, to be supflated or affected ; occafionally, the pressed. It does not appear that mer digreffions are tiresome, and the pro- thus degraded and oppressed, so far lixity is unpleasant; repetitions fre- from meriting punishment, can be quently occur; and the descriptions, juftly censured for contriving and though interesting and expreslive, may employing measures to regain that liconsilt too much of poetical profe for berry of which they have been robfome ears, or approach too near to bed. Mr Beckford, as we have hint. bombalt :-on such accounts, the ed, at one time mourns over their dis. work lies open to censure, and may tresses, and at another describes their poffibly try the patience of the reader; state as easy: though he appears, in who will yet, if good-oatured, be in this respect, to be rather perplexed. clined to make considerable allowan, Descriptive writing is frequently ces for an author, who evidently attempted by this author, and frewrites under deep depression of fpi- quently with some succeis. He finds rits and perturbation of mind. many piéturesque views for the pur
Mr Beckford is an advocate for the pose, in the land, the ocean, the heaNaves; he laments their fufferings ; vens, and the different kinds of emcomplains of the injustice to which ployments which are here prosecuted : they are subje&ted; and points out Llome of the scenes are of a pleafing particular initances of the ill-treate and cntcrt-ining nature,~some are ment that they receive from inhuman grand, awful, and terrific: ihe author and avaricious matters. He is at wishes for the band of an artist, who the same time, an avowed adversary could make them glow on the canvas; to an abolition of the trade, or eman. and faiters himself that, in some fucipation of the Negroe: he also talks ture period. such a desire will be gramuch of the peace and comfort which tifed : he affures tha reader, that the this people obtain in Jamaica, and observations which he hath made on would persuade the reader that it is she scenery of Jamaica are the faithsuperior to what is known to the ge- ful consequences of a long and minerality of the lower orders of society nute investigation of its beacties; in Great Britain : but indeed there • por,” says he, am I conscious appears to be a degree of inconsisten- that I have introduced one fingle obcy in his observations at different ject of nature that I have not frequentzimes. He, however, declares his ly had before my eyes, and have not
3 H 2
Review of New Publications. contemplated with perseverance and other writers, Jamaica is, in several delight."-We shall here insert a respeits, a most desirable situation : pali.ge, because it is short, and be- * It is the best poor man's councause it furnishes some ideas concern- try in the world, and that country ing one of the principal products of must surely be good, that can convert this island.
poverty into independence, can smooth • A field of canes, when standing, the brow of sorrow and despair, and in the month of November, when it occafion the heavy heart to leap for is in arrow, (or full blossom,) is one joy : and where a man can acquire a of the most beautiful productions that competent fortune by perfevering inthe pen or pencil can possibly des- dustry and honest gain; the liberal cribe. It in common rises from three mind will be less willing to envy, to eight feet, or more, in height; a than it will be desirous to applaud.' difference of growth that very Itrong. As every human enjoyment, howly marks the difference of soil, or ever, has fome evil or danger attachthe varieties of culture. It is, when ed, so it is with this pleasant fpot ; ripe, of a bright and golden yellow; it has many disadvantages, and fome and, where obvious to the sun, is, in direful enemies :-to ule this writer's many paits, very beautifully streaked language, the hurricane muft, from with red: the top is of a darkish its destructive pre-eminence, be deemgreen; but the more dry it becomes, ed the most formidable adversary the from either an excess of ripeness, or sugar cane bas to encounter, and the a continuance of drought, of a ruffet principal dread of the latitude in yellow, with long and narrow leaves which it grows.? depending; ftom the centre of which It is not wonderful that this author Moots up an arrow, like a filver writes feelingly, and is disposed to exa wand, from two to six feet in height; patiate, on luch a scene of horror as and from the summits of which grows that of the hurricane 1780, to which out a plume of white feathers, which he was a witness, and in which be are delicately fringed with a lilac was a sufferer : but it is possible that dye; and indeed is, in its appearance, the reader of these volumes may, on
much unlike the tụft that a- lome occasions, think that he launchdorns this particular and elegantes out into opoecessary subjects, or tree.'
detains him by refections which are The management of the sugar-cane, not requisite for a history of Jamaicaa from the first preparations and cul- The panegyric on the King and ture, to its deposit in the hoglhead, Queen, (vol. i. p. 193.) to which two and then in the vessel for exportation, or three pages are devoted, is very forms a very principal part of these allowable, elpecially when it is convolumes; which, as it affords some a- fidered as written about the time of musing particulars for general readers, his Majesty's recovery from the difalso exhibits many observations that order lo generally and so juftly demay
be very profitably considered by p'ored.-The . praises op Dr Johnthose who are engaged in this branch ston, (p. 281.) are too laboured, and of business ; for the remarks are appear rather affected; that gigantic founded on experiments, and some prodigy of literary perseverance and times arise from the mistakes which suciefs, as Mr Beckford terms him, the author acknowleges he made, and may receive all due re pect, without which served to afford him caution employing such swelling expresions, and improvement, as they may also Dr Burnet also receives a share of do to others.
encomiums from this writer; they From the accounts of this and of are introduced naturally enough,
when mention is made of some mu- quently not capable of motion,' (or, as fical instruments used by the Negroes, we should rather suppose he means, particularly one who is called the cannot turn without great difficulty.) Bender, being formed of a bent stick; Of one which he had in his posseson, and others which are denominated he tells us, ‘he could scarcely touch Caramenteer flutes, being made from its tail with a stick, before it inapped the porous branches of the trumpet it with its mouth.' tree.
We have thus presented our reaAmong the productions of this ders with a cursory view of this pubiland, the plantaintree obtains a place, lication, of which it was the less easy in the judgment of Mr Beckford, at to give an account, as it does not least next to the sugar-cane, and is, proceed on any express plan, and is in fome respects, regarded as its supe- not divided into chapters. That the rior. He describes through several mention which we have made of impages, the tree, the fruit, the method perfections and mistakes, is not wholof cultivation, and the use to which ly groundless, will probably be perit serves : indeed he supposes it the ceived by the few short extracts that finest vegetable in the world; and we have inserted : yer, whatever are from the partiality, he adds, with their faults, we think that these vowhich it has been always mentiooed lumes may be read by the public, as by circumnavigators, and even in they have been by us, with enterthose regions in which the bread-fruit tainment and information. Beside abounds, it is natural to suppose that the useful observations of other kinds it has the preference of this highly which the author presents, he not unboasted and Gingular production. frequently introduces religious and
In the account which is here given moral reflections, and thus aslapts his of the land and water animals, we work, in different respects, to the imobserve a paragraph concerning the provement of the generality of his alligator, which, as it is furt, we readers. shall insert :
· The make of this creature, that Transactions during the reign of Queen seems 'coated for firength, and whose Ann, from the Union to the death of scales and colour may deceive, con- that Princefs ; by CHARLES HAMIL. veys with the idea of danger the lures TON, Elg. of deceit ; and only flous an apparent log on the surface of the water, to CARDINAL de Retz, when mensurprize its prey, and hurry it, unfuf- tioning foine transactions of the Fronde, pecting danger, to the depths below. of which he had never been able to It is amazing how bold and adroit divulge the cause, obi:rves how little some Negroes are in the capture of able historians, living at distant periods this filh. We are told thar the Af from that of the ačtions they record, ricans will attack the crocodile with and writing from very imperfect maknives, and prove victorious in the terials, mult be, to account for many combat. The Negroes in Jamaica events, when he, a principal actor in will take the alligator without a wea- the scenes he describes, and living in pon, will inclose it in their arms, the most intimate habits with the oand force it on fhore, without fear and ther parties concerned in them, was without alhistance. Vol. i. p. 370.
so often at a loss to allign a cause'or Mr Beckford contradicts the opi- motive for their actions. pion ihat the body of the ani. This wife ob crvation of the Carmal, on account of the contraction of dinal's, the historians of the present the scales, is not pliable, and conse, day seem very litue to regard. With