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left it, it was too argumentative and declamatory for the stage, and fitted rather to give pleasure in the perufal, than in theatrical reprefentation. As the prefent judicious Editor obferves, Divine as the arguments on temperance and chastity, and the defcriptive paffages are, the most accomplished declaimers have been embarraffed in the recitation of them. The fpeaker vainly laboured to prevent a coldnefs and languor in the audience; and it cannot, he adds, be diffembled, that the Mafque of Comus, with all its poetical beauties, not only maintained its place on the theatre, chiefly by the affiftance of mufict, but the mufic itself, as if overwhelmed by the weight of the drama, almost funk with it, and became in a manner loft to the flage. That mufic, formerly heard and applauded with rapture, is now restored; and the Mafque, on the above confiderations, is curtailed.'
As a further argument in favour of the prefent alteration, the Editor very justly urges, that the feftivity of the character of Comus is heightened by his affiling in the vocal parts, as well as in the dialogue; and that theatrical propriety is no longer violated in the character of the Lady, who now invokes the Echo in her own perfon, without abfurdly leaving the fcene vacant, as heretofore [an abfurdity which we have frequently remarked, with the greatest difguft] while another voice warbled out the fong which the Lady was to be fuppofed to execute.-On the whole we apprehend that this admired drama, in its prefent improved form, bids fair for maintaining a lasting poffeffion of the flage.
Art. 22. The Irish Widow. In Two Acts. As it is performed at the Theatre in Drury-Lane. 8vo. 1 s. Becket. 1772. There is more of the Vis Comica in this farce, than in most of our late pieces of the fame kind. The part of the Widow has afforded the town uncommon entertainment; and, great as it was before, has justly extended Mrs. Barry's theatrical reputation: or, to ufe the words of our unknown Author (in his DEDICATION 1) this piece hath happily procured her the opportunity of gaining the additional merit of transforming the Grecian Daughter into the Irish Widow, that is, of finking to the lowest note, from the top of the compass.'
The fong, by way of Epilogue, in the Irish firain, was a good hit; and its fuccefs was anfwerable.
Art. 23. Poetical Bloffoms; or, a Collection of Poems, Odes, and Tranflations. By a young GENTLEMAN of the Royal Grammar School, Guildford. 4to. 2 s. 6 d. Hawes, Clarke, and Collins. 1772.
Bloffoms which appear too early in the fpring, feldom produce good fruit. That this young GENTLEMAN, as he ftyles himself, is
This piece underwent great alterations about 30 years ago, and was then much better adapted to the ftage than it was in the form in which its great Author left it.
+ Referring, we fuppofe, more particularly, to the alterations al luded to in the foregoing note.
To Mrs. Barry.
too forward a genius, is a truth, of which time may convince him, notwithstanding his prefent defiance of the nipping froft of criticism,' and his notable argument that it is an envious froft which nips the blooms in their bud, and that it is a ridiculous abfurdity to defpife the moon and the stars, because the fun fhines brighter.'
There is fomething extremely engaging in the modefty of youth, which all men are ready to reward with approbation and encouragement; while they are equally inclined to check the prefumptive fallies of juvenile vanity, and over-weening confidence.
If the young Gentleman (who is totally unknown to us*) has temper and penetration enough to avail himself of this impartial and just rebuke, he will become fenfible that the Reviewers are more truly his friends than any who might induce him to over-rate his unfledged abilities; which, as he feems to hint, in his Preface, may have been the cafe,-if we mistake not the following paffage :
Nature, fays he, has implanted in us a kind of ambition, which, Sometimes affifted by the importunities of friends, as foon as our thoughts are enlarged from the bounds of the mind, fuggefts to us a most prevailing inclination of ushering them into the world, though they are not always decorated with the most engaging dress.”
Whatever these importuners may think of the young Gentleman's 'Infant Muse,' it is furely impoffible that any person, endued with fenfe, could ever approve of fuch profe, or be fo bafely complaifant as to encourage the Writer to fap the foundation of his future fame by offering fuch crudities to the public.
In justice, however, to the young Gentleman's Muse, we must obferve, that his verfes do not prefent us with so many ridiculous abfurdities' as we obferve in his Dedication and Preface. The following lines which will please many Readers, and offend none, we fhall transcribe as a specimen of his poetry: they form the conclufion of his defcription of the Seafous:
While free, my friend, from baneful ftrife,
+ In his Dedication, where he revives the exploded nonfenfe of the patron's approbation being a fecure protection from the cenfure of critics.
In his Preface; where he repeats this obfervation, as having been conveyed in the words of a celebrated poet. The eelebrity of the poet, we muft fuppofe, proceeded from fomething more than the mere profundity of this remark.
The Author figns his name (Richard Palty) to the Dedication Of thete poems,-To Mr. Onilow, member for Surry.
There are fome imitations of Horace and Anacreon, which feem to promife that when the bloffoms are matured, the fruit will not be defpicable; provided the tree be not spoilt for want of pruning: of which there will be some room for apprehenfion, if the knife is held in too much contempt.
Art. 24. An Efay on Woman; a Poem *. 4to. 2 s. 6 d.
We refpect too much the champion of the Fair, to criticife, with feverity, his generous and manly efforts to do justice to those graces and virtues which distinguish the lovelieft part of the creation.
The Author, who appears, from fome paffages in this poem, to be a married clergyman, writes fomewhat in Churchill's manner; i. e. with more fpirit than correctness, more energy than harmony.
He has made reprizals on Wilkes, the defamer of the fex. He has made free with the title of an infamous performance, and confecrated it to better purpose: as the Chriftians of old ferved the Heathen deities, by defpoiling them of their temples, and dedicating them to faints.
The following juft encomium on Shakespeare, for the noble justice which he has done to female beauty and virtue, in the amiable characters of his heroines, may serve as one specimen of this Author's poetry:
Oh, matchless SHAKESPEARE! thine it was to know
Another fpecimen may be taken from his general advice to the Fair, in the conclufion of the poem :
Pant not for general fway ;-she rules the best,
The Author's name is not in the title-page; but S. Johnson appears in the advertisements.
If we mistake not, this performance is the production of the fame pen to which we are indebted for a poem on Education: fee Rev. vol. xlv. p. 412.
Art. 25. The Kenrickad; a Poem. 4to. I S. Griffin. 1772. Abufes Kenrick for abufing Rofcius: a 'poor defign, and poorly
Art. 26. The Memoirs of an American. With a Defcription of the Kingdom of Pruffia, and the Island of St. Domingo. Tranflated from the French. 12m0, 2 Vols. 5 s. fewed. Noble. These volumes are intitled to rank immediately above the common class of novels. But though they poffefs, in fome degree, the power of interesting the Reader, they are confufed in their manner, and furnish an imperfect entertainment. The hiftorical parts of them, though feemingly relative to matters of fact, are trifling, and want precision.
Art. 27. The Egg; or, the Memoirs of Gregory Giddy, Efq; with the Lucubrations of Meffrs. Francis Flimfy, Frederic Florid, and Ben. Bombaft. To which are added, the private Opinions of Patty Pout, Lucy Luscious, and Prifcilla Pofitive. Alfo the Memoirs of a Right Hon. Puppy, or the Bon Ton difplayed. Together with the Anecdotes of a Right Hon. Scoundrel. Conceived a celebrated Hen, and laid bfore the Public by a famous Cockfeeder. 12mo. 35. Smith. The title page is enough.
Art. 28. The Genuine Minutes of the Select Committee appointed by the H. of Commons, to enquire into the Eaft-India Affairs. 8vo. 3 s. 6d. Evans. 1772.
Re-printed from the London Packet.
Art. 29. The Minutes of the Select Committee, &c. 4to. 2s. Bladon. 1772.
Thefe Minutes are faid, in the title, to be compared with the original in the H. of Commons. We fuppofe that both this and the foregoing publication are of equal authenticity. Art. 30. The Genuine Report of the Select Committee appointed to enquire into the Eaft-India Affairs. Containing the original Papers referred to in the Genuine Minutes. 8vo. Is. Evans. 1772.
These are faid to be taken verbatim from the original on the table of the Houfe of Commons.
Art. 31. The Report made to the Houfe by the Select Committee, &c.
Containing every Particular relative to the Petition of Gregore Cojamaul, in Behalf of himfelf and other Armenian Merchants; together with Copies of the original Papers referred to in the Minutes of the Select Committee. 4to. is. Bladon. 1772.
This edition is also faid to have been carefully printed from the copy compared with that on the table of the H. of C. All thefe papers are certainly of great importance, and very interefting in their nature, on account of the true light which they reflect on our affairs in the Eaft-Indies.
Art. 32. A Letter to Sir George Colebrooke, Bart. on the Subjects of Supervifion and Dividend. By an Old Proprietor, and former Servant of the Eat-India Company. 8vo. I's. 6d. Kearly.
We can learn from this Letter that the Author is exceedingly angry, and that he has fome talents for abufe. We in vain, however, look for argument and reafoning. When his paffion abates, we may hope that he will have the merit of blushing at the imperfections of this illiberal publication.
Art. 33. A practical Introduflim to English Grammar and Rhetoric. By Abraham Crocker, School mafter at Ilminster. borne printed; fold by Robinfon in London.
This little introduction to grammar recommends itself, by giving a concise view of the principles of our native tongue, fufficient for the direction and affiftance of the fcholar. The Author has thrown a part of it into a catechetical form, he has added examples of bad English, and examples to illuftrate the definitions and rules which are laid down; all of which may be ufefully employed by an inftructor for the benefit of his pupils. To thefe are joined a short account of the principal figures in rhetoric, with obfervations on reading, and directions concerning it, together with a brief explication e. the ftops, marks, notes, accent, emphafis, &c. all of which is comprized in a very small compafs, and we think is, on the whole, very well adapted to answer the end propofed.
We obferve that in the definition of adjectives, Mr. Crocker fays, They are words placed before nouns, to denote the manners, proper ties, &c, of fuch nouns: Now, being placed before a noun does not appear at all neceffarily to enter into the definition of an adjective, it may and often does come after, as, this fruit is good, that wine is become four; the words good and jour follow the nouns at a little dif tance, but are as truly adjectives as though they preceded. The obfervation may not be very material in itself; but it is certainly of importance to be exad in rules and directions defigned for the affiftance of children: and this Author feems to write with modesty, and to be well difpofed to receive properly any hints that may be candidly offered.
HE Obstetrical tract recommended to our animadverfion, in the Letter figned MONITOR, hath not yet fallen in our way; owing, we fuppofe, to its being printed in the country, and never, that we have heard of, being advertifcd in the London papers. If our Correfpondent can inform us what bookfeller fells it in town, or will be kind enough to fend a copy of it to our publisher, Mr. Becket, he may depend upon feeing it impartially noticed in fome future number of our Review.
Errata in our laft, in the Account of Dr. Prieftley's Book, viz. P. 306, 1.9 from the bottom, for Aphrodifcenfis, read Apbrodif cienfis.
P. 33, 1. 14 from the bottom, for M. du Foy, read M. du Fay.