« AnteriorContinuar »
used. Part of his employment was to drive his master in a one horse chaise to some academies where he taught, in the neighbourhood of London, and to feed and rub down the horse, on his return to town,
• During his stay with Fournier he made a pen and ink drawing from a print of a fisherman smoking his pipe, with sundry accompaniments in the file of Teniers. This, as the production of a boy under fourteen years of age, obtained him the honour of the second premium from the society for the encouragement of arts, and the style in which it was executed ihews an accuracy of eye, and power of imitation, very rarely the lot of one so young.
As this boyish production was higher in my estimation than his own, in the infancy of our friendship he gave it me, but as it was the only specimen of his drawing, I presented it to Mrs. Henderson on her marriage, and am informed it is now in the collection of Sir John Elliot.
Soon after this time he came to live with Mr. Cripps, a working Silversmith in St. James's-street, to whom his mother was related, and her intention was that he should learn that trade, but the death of Mr. Cripps put an end to this scheme, and he was left at about twenty years of age with very few connections, and without any determinate pursuit.
" His only resource seemed to be that of becoming an aff.ftant in a silversmith's shop, but even this filuation, humble as it may seem, was not very easy to obtain; for, on application to a person of the trade, the higheit terms offered were twenty-five pounds a year. A proposal was soon after made him to become out-door clerk to a banker, upon a salary liccle better than the foregoing. Both these offers he communicated to a friend, who warmly opposed his accepting terms so wery inferior to what his abilities ought to command, and advised him to turn his attention to the stage, for which he thought him eminently qualified; but Henderson hefirated at this advice, declaring his circumstances did not enable him to wait the tedious delays of managers. Being, however, assured, that he might consider the house, interest, and purse of his friend, at his service, until he was situated to his own fatisfaction, he directed his endeavours to an introduction amongst the Dramatis Perfonae ; endeavours in which he encountered difficulties, delays, and mortifications, which cannot be conceived by those who have not been in similar fituations; which would have abated the vigour of pursuit, and cooled the ardour of expectation in almost any other man; but he seems to have poffefled, even at that time, a consciousness of talents that when seen would force themselves into notice, and when noticed must be encouraged.
• He however passed his time easily and cheerfully, in the society of a family where he was treated with all the attention that friendfhip could prompt, by whom his interest was considered as connected with their own, who sincerely esteemed him, were pleased with his talenis, and gratified by his pleasantry; and perhaps it would not have been easy to point out a man who pofie-fled such convivial powers as he did in the younger part of his life. His observation was quick, his comprehension ample, his manners most lively and conciliating; but the ludicrous light in which he saw and frequently exhibited any
objet object that presented itself, created him enemies, who, though they were pleased with his wit, had no great relish for his facire, when exercised upon themselves.'
Art. VII. Poems on feveral Occasions, written in Pennsylvania. By William More Smith, Esq. 8vo. 25. 60. sewed. Philadelphia
printed; London reprinted, by Dilly. 1786. VT E have been much pleased with many passages in these
American poems, although most of them turn upon a subject which
• Old as we are, for lady's love unfit*,' hath no longer the power of compelling our judgment to submit to our feelings. Love-verses, therefore, are not, of all others, the most likely to warp the integrity of the snowy-headed critic.
With Dryden, however, we can with pleasure add, that the subject which once inspir'd our souls' ftill inspires our wit ;' so that we can yet read a tender tale with sympathy, and melt at the sufferings and complaints of an unfortunate lover, if de. scribed in such strains as nature dictates to the pen of elegance : such as those by which an Ovid, a TIBULLUS, a PETRARCH, and a Pope, have so successfully made their way to the hearts of their readers!
If these productions of the western mure cannot rank with those of the admired bards juft named, we think that the Author, if encouraged to cultivate his genius, and give the utmost polish and perfection to his compositions, may take his seat with HAMMOND, SHENSTONE, and GOLDSMITH. At present, however, it seems as though his modesty would with-hold him from coming so forward. He does not appear to have formed too high an opinion of his own literary merit; for he speaks, in his very short preface, with becoming diffidence of the poems here given to the Public. “They are thrown,' says he,' into the world by way of experiment. If they are favourably received, they will possibly be followed by others; if they perilh, the Au. thor will not be disappointed.'
We shall give a short specimen, extracted from the poem, en. tled, The Man of Sorrow.
An aged American laments the death of his son, which happened during the late bloody contests in that country; and thus describes the aggravating circumstances that actended his loss :
• I had a Son!-Oh pierc'd reflection spare,
A Parent's breast!-ah! parent now no more!
* * * * *
But soft, he slumbers in yon balmy grove;
But soon, to scenes of never-ending rest, · From its weak tenement her spirit Hed.'The poem entitled, “ The Wizard of the Rock,” has confia derable beauties; but it is too long for our insertion, and incapable of abridgment. There are other pieces in the collection, the merits of which will be duly appreciated by the distinguish, ing and discerning Reader,
ART. VIII. The History of Sandford and Merton, a Work intended
for the Use of Children, VolII. 12mo, 3s. 6d. bound,
Stockdale. 1786. CANDFORD and Merton are already well known by many a
fire-fide, and have afforded many an hour's instructive entertainment to young people. It is with pleasure we announce to them the continuation of this agreeable tale, and, at the same time, assure them, that, if it be not their own fault, they will receive more improvement from this volume than they have done from the former. The sensible and ingenious Author (Mr. Day) possesses in great perfection the happy art of conveying useful information, juft and manly sentiments, and important precepts, in the form of dialogue and story. Excellent lessons of hardy temperance, activity, bumanity, generosity, and piety; rational views of society; and, withal, many articles of instruction in science, are, in this little volume, agreeably wrought up into the form of narration.
The following story is an excellent lesson upon good manners :
• It happened that, while Harry was at Mr. Merton's, there was a troop of strolling players at a neighbouring town. In order to divert the young gentry, Mr. Merton contrived that they should make a party to see a play. They went accordingly, and Harry with the rest. Tommy, who now no longer condescended to take any notice of his friend, was seated between his two inseparable companions. These young gentlemen first began to give specimens of their politeness by throwing nuts and orange-peel upon the stage, and Tommy, who was resolved to profit by such excellent example, threw nuts and orange-peel with infinite satisfaction. As soon as the curtain drew up and the actors appeared, all the rest of the audience observed a decent filence ; but Mash and Compton, who were now determined to prove the superiority of their manners, began to talk so loud and make so much noise, that it was imposible for any one near them to hear a word of the play. This also seemed amaz. ingly fine to Tommy; and he too talked and laughed as loud as the
ręk, rest. The subject of their conversation was the audience and the performers ; neither of which these polite young gentlemen found bearable. The company was chiefly composed of the tradesmen of the town and the inhabitants of the neighbouring country; this was a fofficient reason for these refined young gentlemen to speak of them with the most insufferable contempt. Every circumstance of their dress and appearance was criticized with such a minuteness of attention, that Harry, who fat near, and very much against his inclina
tions was witness to all that passed, began to imagine that his com· panions, instead of being brought up like the sons of gentlemen, had only studied under barbers and taylors; such amazing knowledge did they display in the history of buckles, buttons, and dresling of hair. As to the poor performers, they found them totally undeserving mercy; they were so shockingly awkward, ro ill-drest, so low-lived, and such detestable creatures, that it was imposible to bear them .with any patience. Master Mash, who prided himself upon being a 'young gentleman of great spirit, was of opinion that they Mould kick up a riot and demolish all the scenery. Tommy, indeed, did not very well underitand what the expression meaned, but he was so intimately persuaded of the merit and genius of his companions, that he agreed that it would be the properest thing in the world, and the proposal was accordingly made to the rest of the young gentlemen. But Harry, who had been silent all the time, could not help remonstrating at what appeared to him the greatest cruelty and injustice. These poor people, said he, are doing all they can to entertain us ; is it not very unkind to treat them in return with scorn and contempt? If they could act better, even as well as those fine people you talk of in London, would they not willingly do it; and there, fore why should we be angry at them for what they cannot help? And as to cutting the scenes to pieces, or doing the house any damage, have we any more right to attempt it, than they would have to come into your father's dining room and break the dishes to pieces, because they did not like the dinner?-While we are here let us behave with good manners; and if we do not like their acting, it is our own faults if ever we come to see them again. This method of reasoning was not much relished by those to whom it was addressed, and it is uncertain how far they might have proceeded, had not a decent, plainJooking man, who had been long disturbed with the noise of these young gentry, at length taken the liberty of expostulating with them upon the subject. This freedom, or impertinence, as it was termed by Master Mash, was answered by him with so much rudeness, that the man, who was a neighbouring farmer, was obliged to reply in an higher strain. Thus did the altercation increase every minute, till Master Mash, who thought it an unpardonable affront that any one in an inferior stacion should presume to think or feel for himself, So far lost all command of his temper as to call the man a blackguard and strike him upon the face. But the farmer, who pofleffed great strength and equal resolution, very deliberately laid hold of the young gentleman who had offered him the insuls, and without the smallest exertion, laid him sprawling upon the ground, at his full length under the benches, and setting his feet upon his body, told him that since he did not know how to fit quiet at a play, he would have