« ZurückWeiter »
riety of those characters who have fretted and strutted their hour” on that stage of bustle and confufion. Mr. Adolphus, the author, is by no means favourably disposed towards them, and, therefore, having dragged them forth to the eye of his readers, treats them with an unmerciful severity,
POETRY We shall begin with Mr. SOUTHEY's Second Volume of Poems, which is not, by any means, injurious to the reputation which he has already gained for elegance and sensibility. The first part of the volume indeed is occupied by the Vision of the Maid of Orleans, which stands expunged from the second edition of the epic poem, and is here given in a form more chastened, and corrected.
Roscoe's Nurse, from the Italian, is truly beautiful; and British mothers will do well to regard its admonitory strains. The unnatural practice of refusing to nurse their own infants, is here warmly reprobated, and its evils properly delineated. We notice this subject the more particularly, because we know it is connected with the welfare and happiness of the rising generation.
Miss Daye's Poems, on various subjects, we have read with pleasure ; they are the offspring of taste and sensibility.
CHEETHAM's Odes and Sonnets, particularly the latter, evince ability, and are no unpromising specimens of that young gentleman's genius for poetry.
The poems of Anderson, Smith, Campbell, and Good. win, are the productions young poets; but are nevertheless poliessed of merit, and may be read with advantage. The same remarks may be extended also to Amatory Odes, Epistles and Sonnets, the Productions of an uneducated Youth.
Mrs. Moody's Poetic Trifles exhibit a cultivated imagination and a benevolent heart. VOL. VIII,
Theodora ;. or, the Gamepler's Progress, had it been less prosaic, would receive from us a larger portion of our approbation. The purport of the tale is highly meritorious, and pregnant with moral instruction. Nor must we quit this department without mentioning MR. HEPTINSTALL's edition in two volumes of the Sacred Oratorios, as set 10 Music by George F. Handell. This is a neat and cheap compilation, accompanied by em. bellishments, which enhance its utility.
It is not our purpose, under this head, to heap together all the tralh which issues from the press, under this denomination. We shall confine ourselves only to the most popular of these too popular productions.
Mrs. ROBINSON's False Friend, though not deftitute of her usual ability, is a strange story, and of du. bious morality. Such performances ought not to be sanctioned by the public; we are sorry to perceive talents so perverted.
Miss Hay's Vistim of Prejudice, is liable to the same objections, ard, however we may be disposed to praise this lady's ingenuity, we must, from a sense of duty to our readers, withhold our commendation, Writers of this stamp conjure up, in their imagination, all the possible evils that can afflict humanity, and then charge them upon the present constituted state of society. That many things want amendment we readily allow; but we are not sufficiently sensible of the blessings of civilization. These novelists fall violently in love with their own notions ; and then, forsooth ! brand every other sentiment with an execrable de. formity.
LAMB's Tale of Rofamond Gray and Old Blind Mar. garet, poffefses considerable pathos; we felt much interest in the perusal of it, and can speak of it in terms of unreserved approbation. Canterbury Tales, by the Miss Lees, are pleasing
and recommend themselves by variety. The third and last volume is now published. The tales are told by seven different persons, arrived in two stage coaches, in the depth of a severe winter, at an inn at Canterbury. The characters are-a Superstitious old Lady-a Sentimental young Lady-a French Abbé-a queer fort of an English Traveller-an old Officer, and the Author. The cales are told to relieve the rediousness of their detainment at an inn; the whole concludes in this sprightly manner-" The voice of my most favourite companion,” says the author, meaning the clergyman, “ suddenly ceased, and I awoke; yes, reader, courteous or uncourteous, I really awoke from a species of day dreams to which I have all my life been luhjeet, and if you should find this as pleasant as I have done, why we may henceforth recite tales without going to Canter. bury, and travel half the world over without quitring our own dear fire-fides." From this sketch, the reader will perceive that they are persuaded on the plan of old Chaucer, of whose tales we gave an account in the last volume of our Miscellany,
Mrs. West's Tale of the Times is, on the whole, an engaging compofition.
The Aristocrat, by the Author of the Democrat, is afcribed to MR. Pye, the Poet Laureat, and is, in many respects, worthy of his reputation. It is interspersed with some lively poetry. The following lines struck us as a natural delineation of grief in a person who revisits his native country,
“ The woods as green, the skies as blue,
This department may include many fingular productions of very various merit and utilicy. It would be inexcusable in us not to place in the front Pizarro, of universal fame ! We have, indeed, so fully explained ourselves in our Dramatic Register, that here we fall only add, that it does both its author and translator, or rather emendator, great credit. Whatever faults may be found with certain parts of it ; its sentiment, its language, and its tendency in general, claim high approbation.
When examining this part of our survey, we cannot help expressing our astonishment at the barrenness of our own authors. The rage is for translations from the Germàn; and Kotzebue seems destined to supply all our defects.
One curious tragedy has been sent us from America, that on the Death of Major Andre. The story is affecting, but the play disappointed us. The East Indian, by Lewis-the Castle of Montval, by WHALLEY-First Faults—What is She?-Aurelio and Mi. randa-Votary of Wealth— The Secret-Five ThouYand a Year, and Is it he or his Brother ? have been brought forward within this last half year. Their merits are by no means equal; and in our Dramatic Register we have already given a sufficient detail of them. The stage might be much improved, and made more subservient to the real welfare of the community.
EDUCATION. Mavor’s British Nepos is a good school book, containing the lives of the more distinguilhed characters of British history in an abridged form. We were sorry in the perusai of it, to meet with so many cramp words, which we hope will be banished from a future edition.
COLLARD's Praxis of Logic, is very useful to young persons to aid them in the important tak of discrimination.
Miss More on Education, contains many ingenious remarks, and seems to have been written with the best intentions ; but sorry we are to remark. passages which will tend to prejudice every rational mind against the work. We however are of opinion, that her observations on the fashionable vices and follies of the age, are deserving of attention. We trust, indeed, that all ranks will soon be brought back to a manly recollection of their duties, the discharge of which forms the only true basis for present and future felicity.
The Rev. MR. ARMSTRONG's Elements of the Latin Tongue, should be put into the hands of every youth whole time is occupied in the attainment of that language. Its ingenious compiler has rejected incumbrances, stated the most essential parts of grammatical knowledge with accuracy; and by placing the rules of syntax in English, made them much more intelligible to the classical student. We wish these Elements every success.
Thus have we rapidly glanced at some of the most popular performances which, for this last half year, have been presented to the public. We have been severe only where severity became absolutely necessary. We have inclined more to praise than censure; persuaded that few books are so entirely bad as not to contain something which is calculated to enlighten the mind and meliorate the heart. We can pafs by many faults in a performance, when its perusal secures the main obj.
INTELLECTUAL and MORAL IMPROVEMENT.