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has an eye to seize and a hand to copy the wild and fleeting appearances of nature.

The lines which commence the second letter are so much to our taste, and go so far toward making some degree of atonement for the moral blemishes of the poem already noticed, that we willingly introduce them.

««What is a Church?”-le: Truth and Reason speak,
They would reply, The Faithful, Pure and Meek;
• From Christian folds, the one selected race,

Of all professions, and in every place.'' p. 17.
This letter includes an indifferent description of the church
and monuments, with a well told and pathetic story,

. In the third letter, which describes the Vicar and Curate,
we should be at no loss to find room for censure. The
terms in which the frigidity of the former is adverted to,
and the address to 'male lilies, produce an impression more
conformable to the strain of sentiment Mr. C. has too often
pursued, than to that sober and subdued state of the pas-
sions which it would be in character for him to recommend.
The strength of the sensual appetites is surely an adequate
competitor to the rational and spiritual powers of our na-
ture, without being made the subject of poetical panegyric
by a Christian moralist. This is another of the numerous
instances, in which Mr. Crabbe bas certainly not been
prompted by an anxiety to employ his influence with the
public in assisting the cause of virtue. We have said enough
on the subject of religion and religious parties, to take no
farther notice of the fourth letter : the following lines, on
the fulllment of prophecy exhibited in the present state of
the Jewish people, will shew what reason we have to regret
the manner in which the author's talents have been hitherto

What said their Prophet ? Should'st thou disobey,
• The Lord shall take thee from thy Land away ;
“Thou shalt a bye-word and a proverb be,
“ And all shall wonder at thy woes and thee;
« Daughter and Son shalt thou, while captive, have
6 And see them made the Bond-maid and the Slave;
“ He, whom thou leav’st, the Lord thy God, shall bring
“War to thy Country on an eagle-wing:
“A People strong and dreadful to behold,
“ Stern to the Young, remorseless to the Old ;
“ Masters whose speech thou can’st not understand,
“ By cruel signs shall give the harsh command ;
- Doubtful of Life shalt thou by night, by day,
".For grief and dread and trouble pipe away ;

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P. 53.

« Thy evening wish;-would God! I saw the Sup;

Thy morning sigh,--would God! the Day were done. « Thus shalt thou suffer, and to distant times

Regret thy Misery and lament thy Crimes.” The characters of Archer, the honest but stern and suspicious attorney, and that of the cunning and unprincipled Swallow, are well drawn ; but in the latter, Mr. C. takes care to throw in some sarcasms on the zealots,' who were too ready to claim him as a convert and trust him as a treasurer.

We must pass bastily over several of the succeeding letters, which contain some pleasing sketches of scenery and manners, but

upon the whole rather tire than encourage the attention. The tenth letter affords a good specimen of Mr. C.'s manner; it is a card-table scene, which some of our readers may find no difficulty in realizing.

Meantime Discretion bids the Tongue be still,
And mild Good-humour strives with strong Ill-will;
Till Prudence fails ; when, all impatient grown,
They make their Grief, by tbeir Suspicions, known.

“ Sir, I protest, were Job himself at play,
í He'd rave to see you


away ;-
« Not that I care a button_not a pin
“ For what I lose ; but we had Cards to win :
" A Sain Heaven would grieve to see such Hand
“ Cut up by one who will not understand.”

• Complain of me! and so you might indeed,
• If I had ventur'd on that foolish Lead,
• That fatal Heart--but I forgot your Play
• Some Folk have ever thrown their Hearts away.'

“ Yes, and their Diamonds : I have heard of one
“Who made a Beggar of an only Son.".

• Better a Beggar, than to see him tied
"To Art and Spite, to Insolence and Pride.'
6 Sir, were


I'd strive to be polite,
« Against my Nature, for a single Night.”

Against their Nature they might show their Skill
With small Success, who're Maids against their will."
Is this too much ? alas !


bashful Muse
Cannot with half their Virulence abuse.
And hark ! at other Tables Discord reigns,
With feign'd Contempt for Losses and for Gains ;
Passions awhile are bridled; then they rage,
In waspish Youth, and in resentful Age;

of Insult Sir, when next you play, « Reflect whose Money 'tis you throw away. “ No one on Earth can less such things regard, » But when one's partner does’nt know a Card

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• I scorn Suspicion, Ma'am, but while you stand usipi • Behind that Lady, pray keep down your hand.'

• Good Heav'n, revoke! remember, if the Set
• Be lost, in honour you should pay the Debt.'

“ There, there's your Money; but, while I have life,
“ I'll never more sit down with Man and Wife;
“ They snap and snarl indeed, but in the heat
• Of all their Spleen, their Understandings meet ;
“ They are Free-Masons, and have many a Sign,
6. That

we, poor devils ! never can divine :
“ May it be told, do divide th' Amount,

“Or goes it all to Family Account?”' pp. 138, 139, There are some happy observations in the same letter, on the quarrels and reconciliations of what is called a convivial party.

• Till Wine, that rais’d the Tempest makes it cease,
And maudlin Love insists on instant Peace ;
He, noisy Mirth and roaring Song commands,
Gives idle Toasts, and joins unfriendly Hands;
Till fuddled Friendship vows Esteem and weeps,

And jovial Folly drinks and sings and sleeps.' p. 141. In this and the following extract, there is an air of truth and a vein of humour, which recal and perhaps excel many of the passages we admire in Cowper.

« A Club there is of Smokers-Dare you come
To that close, clouded, hot, narcotic Room?
When Midnight past, the very Candles seem
Dying for Air and give a ghastly gleam;
When curling Fumes in lazy Wreaths arise,
And prosing Topers rub their winking Eyes ;
When the long Tale, renew'd when last they met,
Is splic'd anew and is unfinished yet ;
When but a few are left the House to tire,
And they half-sleeping by the sleepy Fire ;
Ev'n the poor ventilating Vane that few

Of late so fast, is now grown drowsy too.' p. 141, Much of a similar kind will be found in the amusing letter on Inns : but the mode of introducing the signs, is rather forced and affected. The story of James and Juliet exposes the author to the same kind of censure we have already intimated; his lenity and sprightliness on the subject of “frailty,' is a fine contrast to his bitterness on that of

enthusiasm. The story of Frederic, in the letter on Stroll. ing Players, is curious, but not told with the author's usual felicity.

The character of Sir Denys Brand, governor of the almshouse, is a fine portrait of a very original and peculiar subject. It is needless to observe, how well Mr. Crabbe suc. ceeds in this sort of delineation. He chooses his character well: his strokes are masterly, and his likenesses striking.

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We cannot particularize the distinguishing merits of those of Blaney the profligate, Clelia the vicious and worn-out coquette, Benbow the “boon companion,' (the least interesting of all except for the memoir of a Squire Asgill which he is made to relate,) Jachin already alluded to, and Ellen Orford a signal example of patience under a complication of distress. In this last story, a horrible incident is introduced, like a ghastly corpse or frightful spectre in the back ground of a picture, not very obvious, but which the moment it is discerned chills the blood: it even surpasses the unnatural outrage related in his poem, iutitled the Hall of Justice.' The art with which this discovery is intimated, would on any other occasion deserve praise. But we question the wisdom of familiarizing the mind with brutal profligacy and portentous crimes.

The story of Abcl k'eene is very singular. He is described as a quiet simple man, who grew oid in the lowest rank of pedagogues, and at length became clerk in a counting. house, where he was persuaded to turn infidel, beau, and debauchee. Our first extract contains part of his confessions, when worn out with age, and struggling, half-insane, between fear and presumption, remorse and intidelity.

The master-picce of the volume, however, for energy of conception and effect, is the story of Peter Grimes, a ruffian from his very infancy, a ferocious tyrart and suspected murderer, who finally became a madman, tormented with the most gloomy visions, and self-convicted of the most atrocious crimes. We have been exceedingly struck with the peculiar and unrivalled skill, with which Mr. Crabbe paints the 'horrors of a disordered imagination ; a pre-eminence which we can only account for, by supposing it may 1 have been his mourutul privilege, for a considerable length of time, to watch the emotions and hear the ravings of the insane.

Our extracts must conclude with a view of low life, in Mr. Crabbe's own manner. It represents the interior of a large building, inhabited by a promiscuous and vile assemblage of all the shapes of physical and moral evil. It is a companionpicture to the smuggler's haunt in his Village.

- Where'er the Floor allows an even space,
Chalking and Marks of various Games have place ;
Boys, without foresight, pleased in Halters swing;
On fixed Hook Men cast a flying Ring;
While Gin and Snuff their female Neighbours share,
And the black Beverage in the fractur'd Ware.

• Here by a Curtain, by a Blanket there,
Are various Beds conceald, buť none with care;
Where some by Day and some by Night, as best
Suit their Employments, seek uncertain Rest;

The drowsy Children at their pleasure creep
To the known Crib, and there securely sleep.

• Each end contains a Grate, and there beside
Are hung Utensils for their boild and fry'd
All used at any hour, by Night, by Day,

As suit the Purse, the Person, or the Prey.' p. 250. If we had not trespassed too far, we should add our author's character of the excellent Eusebius. We have left, however, too little room for a few general remarks. On the whole, we must say this is not a very pleasing poem, and we question whether its popularity will ever bear a due proportion to the talent which in many passages it displays. There is no unity in it, no subject on which the interest excited may

be concentrated and fixed. Of the borough, we know and care as Jitle at the last page as at the first; perhaps less, because the title raises a curiosity which the volume disappoints. The admirable descriptions of scenery and sketches of character have scarcely any connection and dependence, either mutual or common; and would lose no interest if detached. There is also a great sameness in the subjects; they are specifically different, but generically alike. As the poem is too long, this fault is peculiarly unfortunate. Moral reflections are interspersed, of which, generally, however, it were better to be silent; for what could we say in behalf of such lines as these?

· Vice, dreadful habit! when assum'd so long,
Becomes at length inveterately strong;
As more indulg'd, it gains the Strength we lose,
Maintains its Conquests and extends its Views;
Till the whole Soul submitting to its Chains,

It takes possession, and for ever reigns." p. 172. There is often a point and an edge in the expression, when there is not much strength or temper in the thought. There is little to delight the fancy, and less to captivate the heart. The versification also is monotonous; the perpetual, snappish recurrence of antitheses is tiresome'; there are many very dull paragraphs, and numberless feeble lines. Several couplets are patched up with expletive clauses; and as the rhymes are generally very good, the consequence is that they are sometimes better than the diction. On one occasion, Mr. C. mentions the singular phænomenon of a young woman's terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;' and in the following couplet, the devnavayun of rhyme is but loo tyraanical.

• These drew him back, till Juliet's hut appeared,

Where love had draws him when he should have feared.? It is quite needless to add any recommendation to our readers, to examine the poem for themselves. VOL. VI.


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