Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

N O V E L S, &c. Selina, a Novel, founded on Facts. By a Lady. 3 Vols. 12 mda

105. 6d. Jewed. Law. 1800. In'a preface of much modesty and feeling, the authoress of this dove discloses her hopes and fears relative to its success, joftly oba ferving that

"To aim at excellence, which few who read are able to appreciate, and fewer willing to admit;—to talk the imagination to supply incidents, and character, and sentiment, and the judgment to form from thiese a work, to be read perhaps with listless apathy, and throw'n aside with mortifying indifference, are not the least among the discouraging circumstances that a novel-writer, unaided and un, known; mult encounter.'

We wish that the writers of novels would more frequently confider these obstacles, and refrain from publication, when they are conscious of not producing to the public either strength of character, or originality of sentiment. The present performance is not entirely free from these deficiencies, but will, upon the whole, be found sufficiently interesting to recompense the attention of the reader. The Neighbourhood, a Tale. .. Vols. 12mo, 75. fewed. Black

and Parry. 1800. In this work we have rather a collection of characters than a regular narrative, or a tale abounding with incidents. The most prominent character is that of Purfling, a vulgar and illiterate, but opulent tradesman, who retires from business, and becomes a provin. cial magistrate. Some of the features of this and other characters in the work are sketched in Smollett's manner, but not with the ability which that writer usually displayed. Under the ludicrous name of Spavin, a clerical jockey is represented, who at length renounces his follies, and ably superintends a school which had been kept for fome years by an ignorant adventurer, called Dr. Syllabus. The family of the Tonics are humorously characterised, though the in. delicacy of miss Tonic may disgust some readers. Captain Can. vass has no original or striking traits alligrred to him: he is merely a respectable seainan. We do not see the necessity of giving him for a wife the girl who had been reduced under a promise of mar. riage by Purling, or of making him adopt her illegitimate child as his son: it was not necessary fo far to degrade the captain, though, perhaps, it may be argued that he evinces his humanity as well as judgement in rescuing a worthy woman from a state of diflionour into which the had unguardedly fallen.

Upon the whole, this is an amusing, but not an interesting novel. We sinile at various parts of it; but our hearts are not influenced, our feelings are not rouled. The style, we may add, is fometimes

affected, and frequently inaccurate. The work seems to have been
fabricated in hafte; but this, we apprehend, is a very common
case with regard to novels, which are too often written currents
calamı, and sent to the press without revision.
The Force of Prejudice, a Moral Taie. 2 Vols. 12mo. mise

Boards. Sold by the Author, No 18, West-Street, Soho. Many of the readers of this novel may be inclined to dispute the applicability of the term moral, as a designation of the tale. They will not perhaps allow that a tale is strictly moral, which seems to give encouragement to illicit love, by holding out a seduced female as worthy of general respect and esteem. The loss of chaitity, indeed, is not the loss of every virtue ; and a woman who, in an uri. guarded moment, has yielded to the force of pashon, may sincerely repent of her weakness, and become a respectable and virtuous member of society. But it is not prudent to propagate such a doctrine, as it may render the fair less cautious in their conduct, and less strenuous in repelling the attacks of diffonourable lovers.

The narrative does not abound with striking incidents; nor is it couched in pure or accurate diction : but, with the exception before stated, it inculcares virtuous sentiments and correct manners : and, as it was written in the hope of augmenting the provision for the support of an aged and distressed mother, we recommend it to the notice of our charitable readers.

De Valcourt. 2 Voks. 12 mo. 75. sewed. Dutton. This production is a mixture of history and romance, which may be palatable to the taste of subscription readers, but which is not sufficiently stimulant to overcome the critic's disgust at so illegitimate a species of composition.

MISCELLANEOUS LIST, .
Hints for History, respecting the Attempo on the King's Life, isih

May, 1800. Published in the Hopes of increasing the Fund for the
Erection of the Naval Pillar. By the Rev. Sir Herbert Croft,
Bart. 8vo. 35. 68. Wright. 1800.

« The merit of such a publication as this (for nothing can be more impudent than to appear before the public without some idea of merit) depends on what is of more consequence than the number · of words it contains.' So says our author ; but we wilh he had told us in what the merit of this publication conäfts. Every thing that he says of the king has been better said already; and the feelings of the nation would not, if they required any incitement, be moved by so feeble a pen. We are at a loss to discover the intent of chis publication, whether it be really to tell the people what they knew before on the attempt against the king's life, or what they did not know, and perhaps did not deGre to know, that the king of Sweden made the author a present of a medal, ihat Sir W. Scott

was his tutor at the university; that lord Eldon, though the manner of conferring the title is assuredly a bad omen for his lordship, is to be a great man; and to conclude, after a wretched specimen of versification, that

This friend to marriage - I'll speak out, in spite
Of what he wishes, though whole Grubstreets write;
Of Kes republican and atheist tales,
Spawn'd in the jakes and vomited from jails
The marriage-friend I mean is Britain's prince of Wales.'

P. 31. Not having been able to find out the nerits of this publication, we are sorry to remark that the words, for their number, are unreasonably expensive. Thirty-two pages, in which the title and a blank page are included, are presumed to be worth one Milling and sixpence. Selections from the Correspondence of General Washington and James

Anderson, LL. D. &c. in which the Causes of the prefent Scarcity are fully investigatei. Svo. 25. Cumming. 1800.

Whatever may be the sentiments of pofterity respecting the political and military character of general Washington, in private life he must be pronounced unexceptionable : and his calm dignified retirement proves that his mind was truly great and good. In these felecions one letter only is of the general's writing, and relates to the conduct of the French republicans in America, which is reprobated in a manner which no good or well-informied man can dis. approve. Dr. Anderson's reply is, in part, political, and, on the whole, judicious; but he adds to it, what is of much more im. portance, fome excellent and valuable remarks on the present system of agriculture, and the too great neglect of arable husbandry. This is truly alarming, especially when we are told from the highest authority, that more than four millions are spent annually in the purchase of foreign corn. A Letter to the Right Hon. Lord Somerville, one of the Lords of his

Majesty's Bedchamber, and late President of the Board of Agriculture, with a view to them the Inutility of the Plans and Researches of that Inftitution, and how it might be employed in others more beneficial. With Remarks on the recent Communications of the Board, and a Review of the Pamphlets of Arthur Young and William Brooke, Esqrs. upon the present high Price of Provisions, By a Society of Practical Farmers. 8vo. 35. Cawthorn. 1800.

6 Were these things so, so were they uttered.' The practical farmers,' who we at first suspected were ironical critics in difguise, really deserve the name, and many of their remarks are truly judicious. We particularly approve of their observations on the management of crown lands, the high price of provisions, and various fancied improvements of the new husbandry ; but their spirit of opposition occasionally carries them 100 far, and they fall into the fault of which they accule some of the objects of their criticism, viz. resting too much on local observation and experience. On the whule, we would recommend this letter to the dispaflionate atten, tion of the president and the board, who might profit by some of their advice. On the other hand, we cannot associare the writers with ourselves, in their review of the communications of agricul. ture. Their criticism is too obviously partial, and too plainly ran. corous. Recreations in Agriculture, Natural History, Arts, and Miscella.

neous Literature. By James Anderson, LL. D. &c. Vol. l. 8vo. gs. Boards. Wallis.

Dr. Anderson's former periodical work, •The Bee,' has enjoyed a very favourable reception from the judicious and intelligent reader.

It seems to be continued in the present volume; and, though a re: gularly returning journal is scarcely the object of our review, we cannot refuse that attention to Dr. Anderson, which we have freely paid to Dr. Duncan, Mr. Nicholson, and other editors of medical and philosophical observations. Indeed, where the works are original, the form of publication can be no objection.

There amenitates (for Recreations is only a translation of the foreign termn so often employed as the title of similar collections) are both scientific and miscellaneous. In each department we are in. structed and informed. The introductions to agriculture and natu. ra! history, continued through the greater part of this volunie, judi. ciously display the views and objects of each science; and the dif. ferent papers on the latter subject, for the introduction to agriculture is concluded only in the sixth number, the last of the volume; are well calculated to relieve our necellities, and add to our comforts. ,(Economical regulations are particularly attended to; and the methods of cooling the apartinents in hot climates are useful, We read with pleature the account of Mr. Forlyth's plan of renovating ihe active spirit of trees, when decayed in consequence of wounds and old age; the investigation of the causes of staggers in horses; the method of extirpating some kinds of caterpillars; and the elay on the varieties of animals. While we mention these para ticularly, we arean not to exclude many others, which equally merit our attention and praise.

The niiscellaneous parts are elegant and huniorous. We perceived, or we thought that we perceived, a fimilarity of style through the whole, with two or abree exceptions. It seemed to be the licn playing with the kid, rather than roarning the forelt with solemn disa city. If we mistake, the error is of no consequence; and Dr. Anderson cannot conlider as a disgrace what Addison has often confefedly done. On the whole, we are highly pleased with this col: lection, and mean to continue our account of its progress, when we CRIT. Rey. VOL. XXX, Bilober, 1800.

R

may occasionally enlarge on some parts, as the author, from his extensive connections, will be enabled to render them more interefting. We have forborne to give a fuller statement, as our object is to excite curiosity, not to gravity it; and we have little hentation in saying, that, in the perulal of this collection, the intelligent reader will not be disappointed Reflections on the relative Situations of Nafter aud Servont, historia

cally and politically considered; the Irregularities of Servants; the Employment of Foreigners; and the general Inconveniences resulting

from the Want of proper Regulations. 8vo. Is. 6d. Miller. 1800. . It is said of an old and very respectable prelate, that he was afraid to go home after any visit from the constant uncaliness to which he was subjected in endeavouring to put an end to the quarrels between his old builer and his old housekeeper. The ren.cdy indeed was easy. He might have dismifled one or boib; but he had not the courage to send either away. With regard to the mutual con:plaints of matters and servan's, it may be said, that there are good and bad of both parties; and the atiempts of the legislature to correct the evils may in fome instances do more injury than good! The connexion is a civil contract; and the breach of it can be punished only as in other cases. The matter has as much power as ought to be allowed to him. He can dismiss bis fervant at pleasure ; amil, when fervants have really behaved ill, the want of a character is a fufficient puniliment for the crinie. In another point we do not agree with the author. He says that it is a scandal for ladies who have great allemblies to be under the neceflity of engaging conflables to attend at their doors :' but the real fcandalis in peravitting thete ladies to have such arfemblies, which in fact tend to corruit lervants, and injure the morals, talte, and domestic happiness of the country. A fex Observatiuns on the Syfic122 of Tagicks, laid docen in the Re.

Gulations for the For nations, &c. of his lllujallig's I'cocese 870. 01. Belle : The art of war has undergone a considerable change in the course of the present (the eighteenth) century; and the rapidiiy of the movements, as well as the extensive line on arhich they are conducted towards üs clore, form a striking contrast to the preciti. n and regularity which in the carly part of the century diftinguilled the campaigns of the duke of Marlborough. The great Fitueric brought the old fyften to its ur moit perfeétion; the luftrians adapied it, and have bien compelled to change it by the French, wido have made as great a revolution in their art of war as in their politics.

The Engling are not very easily persuaded to adopt any improvement; but, when it is once adopted, they carry it forward in general to greater perfection. The writer of these observations willes to accelerate their motions. He pays due respect to the regulations of

« ZurückWeiter »