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fication. His subject is gay and varied, and he treats it with the ease and good breeding of a gentleman, and occasionally not without the imagination of a poet--and yet it is on the whole heavy ; so much so, indeed, that though we have read it all, we cannot boast of having been able to read it through: we have read it by fits and starts, and here and there, with great satisfaction ; but whenever we endeavoured to proceed right on with a regular perusal it fatigued us--like a French avenue or a Dutch canal, which is pretty to look at from an occasional crossing, but which becomes exceedingly wearisome when you are obliged to travel on it for leagues.

The causes of this tediousness appear to us to be, first, the didactic and narrative style to which the author's original design restricted him.-Three thousand lines of uninterrupted advice, even though it be the advice of a dandy to a dolly, are very appalling ; and a whole poetic novel with but a single character, affords the prospect of no very enlivening lête-à-tête :--and secondly, the bad taste shewn by him in selecting a woman of that style as the object of a literary tribute : it throws a sameness of vulgarity and fulsomeness over the whole work, and though the author's language and his scenes are always decent, nay though they often rise into high life, our feelings are shocked in every page with the appearance of a connexion which would degrade its hero in the eyes even of the partners of such follies.

The author seems to have anticipated this last objection; and urges, in his defence, that he copies Horace; for that, to the Eighth Ode of the First Book,

• Lydia, dic, per omnes

Te Deos oro, Sybarin cur properas amando

Perdere ?' he is indebted for his idea : but in the first place, Horace's ode is a pleasantry of only sixteen lines ; and, secondly, there is not a word in it which obtrudes Lydia upon us as a courtezan. The Scholiast thinks she was one, and we think so too ; because from the state of manners in ancient Rome, no other kind of female society was likely to have drawn Sybaris from his usual exercises or amusements ; but the ode itself conveys no idea which might not, according to our manners, be applied to a legitimate love, nay even to domestic and conjugal happiness : and we cannot but think, that if the adviser had jocularly complained that a happy marriage had domesticated his friend, and drawn him from the gayer pleasures of his former society, it would have been a much more agreeable hypothesis ; though even that would have wanted truth and nature, since marriage does not now-a-days remove å man from scenes of decent amusement, such as the author describes. In short, we cannot praise the plan of the work. It proceeds on principles altogether false, both in point of fact and in point of taste; and the author's powers of fancy and of language are incapable of giving any lasting interest to so indelicate and so ungrateful a subject. That these powers are considerable a few extracts will shew. Our readers cannot but admit that there is much pleasantry and spirit in some of the following portraits, and a lively, accurate and ori. ginal view of nature in some of the following landscapes. His description of the dandy's conversation, though not perhaps in his best manner, is characteristic and clever.


• How much at home was Charles in all
The talk aforesaid-picknamed small !
Seldom embarrassed, never slow,
His maxim always" touch and go ;"
From grave to gay he ran with ease,
Secure alike in both to please.
Chanced he to falter ? A grimace
Was ready in the proper place ;
Or a chased snuff-box, with its gems
And gold, to mask his ha's and heins,
Was offered round, and duly rapp'd,
Till a fresh topic could be tapp'd.
What if his envious rivals swore
'Twas jargon all, and he a bore ?
The surly sentence was outvoted,
His jokes retail'd, bis jargon quoted ;
And while he sneered or quizzed or flirted,

The world, half angry, was diverted'-pp 22, 23. The following passages of autumnal London are extracted from a too long and too minute description ; yet are they, in themselves, sprightly and amusing.

“'Tis August. Rays of fiercer heat
Full on the scorching pavement beat,
As o’er it, the faint breeze, by fits
Alternate, blows and intermits.
For short-lived green, a russet brown
Stains every withering shrub in town.
Darkening the air, in clouds arise
Tb' Egyptian plagues of dust and flies;
At rest, in motion-forced to roam
Abroad, or to remain at home,
Nature proclaims one common lot
For all conditions-“ Be ye hot !"
Day is intolerable-Night
As close and suffocating quite ;


And still the Mercury mounts bigher,
'Till London seems again on fire.'--pp. 149, 150.

See, how beneath the cloudless beams
Of a hot sun the river steams !
The breeze is hushed ; a dazzling glare,
Shot from the water, fires the air.
And since, alas ! in sultry weather
Few are the amateurs who feather
And pull, like watermen, together,
Long ere the destined voyage is ended,
Full many a dashing oar's suspended,
Till, checked awhile, beneath the awoing
Breaks out, at length, a general yawning ;
As melting in “ day's garish eye,”
Becalmed and motionless they lie.
Or worse befalls. For oft a raw gust
Broods o'er the burning brow of August,
And “hushed, expects" throughout the day,
“ In grim repose, its evening prey.”
Bursting at last, a sudden squall
Drenches the ladies near Black-wall:
Or the vext waters make a breach
Clean over them in Chelsea reach.'--pp. 152–154.
Now cloudless skies their heat redouble ;
The “ Swart Star”' rages o'er the stubble.
Now, half dried up, the river shrinks,
And the parched common yawns in chinks ;
Dogs in the fancied chase grow hot,
And birds impatient to be shot.
These signs, and more-but 'twould encumber
My verse to reckon up their number,
The earth, in short, the air, the sun,

Proclaim The Capital undone.'—pp. 162, 163. The trip to Margate in the steam-boat is excellent in its way: and our readers will not fail to observe here and there, amid the broad and accurate humour of the description, touches of a finer pleasantry.

• Now many a city-wife and daughter
Feels that the dipping rage has caught her.
Scarce can they rest upon their pillows,
For musing on machines and billows;
Or, should they slomber, 'tis to dream
All night of Margate and of Steam ;
of Steam, which stronger than a giant,
Duly invoked, is more compliant.
At half-past eight, propitious hour!
He's at their service, at the Tower,


Embarked, they catch the sound, and feel
The thumping motion of his wbeel.
Lashed into foam by ceaseless strokes,
The river roars, the funnel smokes,
As onward, like an arrow, shoots
The giant, with his seven-league boots ;
Spite of their crowded sails, outstripping
With ease the speed of all the shipping
Through every reach-nast following mast
Descried, approached, o'ertaken, past.
Look where you will, you find no traces
Of qualm-anticipating faces
From shifting helm or laught lee braces,
Ills with which fate the bliss alloys,
Else perfect, of the Margate-boys.
No calm, so dead that nothing stirs,
Baffles the sea-sick passengers.
With ecstacy no tongue can utter,
They take to tea and bread and butter.
On the smooth deck some stretch their legs,
Some feast below on toast and eggs,
As, cheered by clarinet and song,
T'en knots an hour, they spank along,
(Sure at their destined post to sup,
Unless, perchance, they're all blown up,)
By Graves-end, South-end, through the Nore,
Till the boat land them all at four,

Exulting, on the Margate shore !'-pp. 156—158. There is something in the following illustration of that gentle violence with which political favours are thrust upon us,' which savours of Swift.

" 'Tis thus that peerages are proffered,
And ribbons pressed, and mitres offered.
There's no protection, no defence
Against this gentle violence.
Some receive pensions, others places,
As from the hands of all the Graces.
They never had the slightest notion,-
“ 'Twas all the minister's own motion ;
“ They fight, 'tis true, beneath his banner ;
“ But-given in such a handsome manner--
“ Never solicited or troubled-
“ They feel the obligation doubled.”
Ask not the meaning, or the force
Of words like these--they're words of course;
Sounds which, however strange to utter,

Add relish to men's bread and butter.—p. 197.
These airy and clever passages, and these are not the only ones


of this description in the poem,) shew the author to more advantage than the whole work; for he is never satisfied to sketch his scene-he labours it with the care, but without the effect, of a Dutch painter; and rarely intermits his pains, till he has confused and flattened his first design by the cruel luxuriance of his illustration.

If this redundancy of rhyme be attributable to copiousness, to the errors of taste, and the inexperience of a young author, we entertain great hopes of his future success; but if, on the other hand, as we see some reason to suspect, the Letter to Julia is the vehicle of the hoarded facetiousness of a practised dealer in jeux d'esprits, we can expect not merely nothing better, but perhaps even nothing more of this kind from the same pen. The accumu. lated pleasantries of years have apparently been lavished in an incautious fortnight on the extravagant Julia. '

Art. XI.--Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq. Begun

by himself and concluded by his Daughter, Maria Edgeworth.

2 vols. 8vo. London. 1820. W E have been so much amused with the writings of Mr. Edge

worth and his daughter, and their style seems so particularly adapted to domestic biography, that we found it impossible to open this book without certain anticipations of pleasure. But it too often happens that those who exhibit the shrewdest good sense in measuring or describing the qualities of others, are woefully deficient in appreciating their own. To speak of one's self with moral truth is difficult; with absolute truth perhaps impossible. Endless indeed are the forms which vanity takes; but it may gene. rally be said that the two most frequent, and yet most intolerable faults are, on the one hand, long-winded explanations of minute and trivial facts, and on the other, pompous declamations, in which the facts are overlaid by a verbose and unwearied panegyric. We are afraid that our readers will find these observations not altogether inapplicable to the present volumes.

Richard Lovell Edgeworth was born at Bath, in the year 1744, of a family which had been settled in Ireland since the time of Queen Elizabeth, but which he says had been, God knows how long, established at • Edgeworth, in Middlesex, now erroneously called Edgeware.'

Mr. Edgeworth favours us with some memoranda of his immediate ancestors, which it required no little exertion of candour to give, and which are only curious as showing that some of the most absurd scenes of his Castle Rack-rent were copied from the traditions of his own family. And here, perhaps, we may be allowed to observe as the literary reputation of the Edgeworths is mainly

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