Page images
PDF
EPUB

Art. 16. Fashionable Infidelity; or, The Triumph of Patience. 12mo.

3 vols. gs. sewed. Hook ham. London, 1789. The business of these volumes is uncommonly deep and complicated. The author seems intimately acquainted with the vices and fèibles of fashionable life, and copies them with correctness. His characters have great variety, are touched by the hand of a master, and, in some initances, perhaps betray too palpably the particular features they were meant to exhibit. The obvious intention of the performance is to expose that profusion of indiscriminate flander which malignity invents and propagates, and which itupidity believes, and has rendered mischievous in this country. Here such wickedness is properly exposed. The language of the work is elegant and sprightly, the observations are just and moral, and the story is so well told that fe:v novels will, upon the whole, better repay the reader's perufal. Art. 17. The Relapse, or Myrtle Bank; a Novel. 12mo. 2 vols. 55.

fewed. Stalker. London, 1789. The profligacy which, under the faireft disguise, is delineated as practised in these volumes, we regard, as we trust every honest mind will, with real abhorrence. Our only confolation in the perusal was, that the tale is totally improbable, and that the whole of this monstrous and impure fabrication has no existence but in the polluted imagination of the author. Art. 18. The Mental Triumph; a sentimental Novel. 12mo. 3 vols.

7s. 60. fewed. Walter. London, 1789. These volumes are written by a lady who, in her own opinion, as we learn from the title page, is the plainest of her sex.” And they are intended to shew the triumph of a well-cultivated understanding, under an exterior thus unfashionable, over the most finished beauty deftitute of such accomplishments. There is something new in the idea; and the moral is certainly praiseworthy. However plain in 'person our authoress may think herself, she has her share of goodsense, and can write well. May these qualifications render her more lovely in the eyes of some worthy young man than she seems to be in her own! Art. 19. The Fair Hibernian.

2 vols. 6s. fewed. Robinsons. London, 1789. These volumes are by no means deftitute of business or interest. They contain

more plots than one, and exhibit a great variety of characters. Those of Mrs. Wentworth and Miss O Bryen are well fupported. These ladies are often in situations peculiarly affecting. They are formed perhaps with too much fenfibility for real life. And yet that dash of Romance which colours all their actions is the chief circumstance which heightens our concern in whatever affects them.

12mo.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ART. 20. Norman Tales. Translated from the French of Mr. Le

Grand. 12mo. 35. sewed. Egertons, London, 1789. These are interesting tales, and well translated. They have beauty, brevity, and fimplicity, in their favour; and we know 'few books of light reading calculated to produce more real entertainment. They border, however, upon the dark ages, and are a counterpart in prose to Chaucer's Tales in verse, ART. 21. Lines on a late Refignation at the Royal Academy. 4to. 6d.

Robson,

London, 1790. A well-meant compliment to Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose merits as an artist and a man every one, who is capable of appreciating his worth, is ready to acknowledge. The caufe which produced the · Lines' is now removed, the president has resumed the chair, and we hope that the late fracas will be entirely forgotten. • Erother, brother, we were both in the wrong.'

As to the lines themselves, they fall under Horace's well-known condemnation, for they do not rise above mediocri'y. Art. 22. The Abbey of Ambresbury, a Poem. Part II. By Samuel

Birch, Author of Convilia, &c. 4to. 29. Cadell. London, 1789.

The first part of the Abbey of Ambresbury appeared in our Review for September 1788. To that we could not give our approbation ; and we find nothing in the second part to induce us to give a more favourable decision. Amidst the languid uniformity of the whole, a happy expression fometimes appears ; but it is only a momentary gleam, which is soon lost in the general obscurity. Art. 23. Le Paradis reconquis; Poem imité de Milton. Par L. R.

Lafaye, gradué en l'Université de Paris, et Maitre de Langue Fran

çoise. 12mo. 35. J. Bell. Londres, 1789. ART. 23. Paradise Regained, imitated from Milton, &c.

The translation of poetry is always a work of the utmost difficulty, which many men of genius have tried without success. It is therefore far from surprising that Mr. Lafaye should have failed in his translation or imitation of Milton, whose extraordinary or sublime ideas seem to forbid their being expressed in any language but his own. We cannot think that the translator, or rather imitator, has succeeded in giving dignity to his blank verse. The Marotic style he has adopted seems the opposite to dignity. It was a hardy at. tempt too of Mr. Lafaye to mix so much of his own with the original ore of our British Homer; we cannot flatter him with being successful in this attempt.

Too much cannot be said in favour of the paper and letter-press; both do great justice to the publisher.

[blocks in formation]

ART. 24. Thoughts, in the Form of Maxims, addressed to young Ladies

on their first Establishment in the World. By the Countess Dowager of Carlisle. 8vo. 2s. 6d. sewed. Cornell. London, 1789.

We have perused these maxims with much pleasure ; they are the production of a well-informed and benevolent mind, and are well suited to the purpose for which they were intended. Without that epigrammatic point which most writers of maxims are so fond of, the author has with plainness and perfpicuity given directions to young ladies for their conduct in every situation of life. We have only to add, that we hope our young countrywomen will profit by the good sense and experience of their amiable teacher. ART. 25. Strictures on Duelling, selected from the most authentic Au.

thors; with Additions by a Gentleman, late of tbe University of Oxford. 8vo. is. Ed. Walter. London, 1789.

Every day affords fresh instances of the melancholy effects resulting to fociety from the crime which is the subject of this pamphlet. The author exposes, with much force of argument, the false pretences of honour on which this barbarous practice is founded; and makes many just observations, both on its political and moral criminality. We wish that his well-meant and laudable endeavours for restraining so fagrant an outrage may not prove entirely abortive. Art. 26. The Life of the late John Elwes, Elg. Member in three fuc

celive Parliaments for Berkshire. By Edward Topham, Esq. Svo. 35. Ridgeway. London, 1790.

Mr. Elwes, whose life is republished in this pamphlet, was, we may safely say, without exception, the most extraordinary character of the age. With a fortune of upwards of half a million sterling, he rigorously denied himself the comforts, and almost even the necessaries, of life. A frequenter of the most fashionable resorts of gaming, he punctually paid all his losses at play; but of those from whom he gained any lum, however considerable, if they did not of themselves make him payment, he religiously abstained from demanding it. In short, he appears to have been such a compound of penuriousness and generosity, of honour and avarice, as almost exceeds credibility. His life is written by Mr. Topham, from perfonal knowledge, as well as much information; and, on account of the curious anecdotes it contains, cannot fail to prove interesting.

MEDICAL.

ART. 27. A Review of the Medical Department in the British Navy,

with a Method of Reform proposed. In a Letter to the Right Hon. the Earl of Chatham. By Thomas Trottir, M. D. 8vo. is. 6d. Bew. London, 1790.

The author of this pamphlet offers several objections to the mode in which the business relative to the surgical department in the pavy is at present conducted. In the first place, he disapproves of navy furgeons being examined by a board of the surgeons corporation in London. Among the rules which have been adopted by this board, there is, it seems, one which compels every person to officiate for fix months as a mate, before he can become a candidate for a surgeon's qualification. This restriction, the author observes, is a severe check on every young man aspiring at promotion. He admits it may be proper to give candidates an opportunity of learning forms of service; but to suppose that, in the time abovementioned, and fituated in the cockpit of a man of war, they can much increase their professional knowledge, is, he thinks, ridiculous to an extreme. After painting, in strong colours, the bad effects of this institution, he proposes that mates should be allowed to pass at once for surgeons, if found duly qualified; and fix months of actual service may

there

then be imposed before they can be promoted. Many other obje&tions, and those too, it must be acknowledged, of great weight, are made by the author against the present mode of examination ; but we cannot afford room for detailing them.

The next objection urged by the author relates to the supply of medicines, which, according to the regulation at present in force, are furnished by the company of apothecaries hall in London. He affirms that the supply of niedicines from this quarter has been attended not only with inconvenience, but the most hazardous consequences, on distant stations. Surgeons, he observes, mult be often ignorant, and unable to foresee the exigencies of service. A ship ordered to prepare in a few hours for a foreign voyage, cannot expect the necessary supplies from Apothecaries Hall on this sudden emergency; and must therefore fail without them. When abroad it has often happened that orders from home have miscarried ; and, to the loss of surgeons, vessels bringing them out have fallen into the enemies hands, while the ships that wanted them were in the most fickly fitu. ations. The author, after endeavouring to fhew the absurdity, as well as impolicy, of the present method of furnishing his majesty's hips with medicines, proceeds to offer a plan for remedying those inconveniencies; and, as nearly as poslible, consistent with the forms and constitution of naval service.

Dr. Trotter afterwards considers additional articles necessary for the sick on board of ships, with the regulations relative to venereal patients, and some other important objects of attention. On the whole, we think he fully evinces the expediency of a reform in the surgical department in the navy; and the observations which he suggests have a very strong claim to attention.

DIVINITY, Art. 28. A Vindication of the Doktrines and Liturgy of the Church

of England; in Answer to a Pamphlet entitled Hints to the New Ajociation, &c. 8vo. Is. 6. Debrett. London, 1790.

It often happens in controversy that a cause is benefited even by the violence of an opponent; and this remark seems to be likewise exemplified in the present dispute. The author of " Hints to the New Association,' by endeavouring to expose the doctrines and liturgy of the Church of England to reprehenfion, had ascribed to them very improbable effects on the general manners of the times.

The

U 3

The writer now before us vindicates them from this injurious asperfion; and imputes the immorality of the age to very different, and certainly far more probable sources. On this principle he recommends to the legislature to promote a law for the complete suppression of all public gaming-houses, and for the restriction of luxury in general. We doubt not, however, that by many he will be thought as violent in the reformation he proposes, as his antagonist is in the charge which he brings against the doctrines and liturgy of the church. Art. 29. A Letter to the Rev. Dr.White, containing Remarks upon

certain Pasages in the Notes fubjoined 10 bis Bampton Lectures. Ву Philalethes. Dedicated to the Uje of Dr. White's Admirers.

8vo. is. Johnson. London, 1789.

In a note on a passage of the Bampton lectures it is said, 'The objections of both Mahometans and Socinians to the sublime mystery of the Trinity proceed on the same presumptions—an appeal to reason.' Philalethes contends that this is not true with respect to the Socinians, for that they appeal to fcripture explained by reason. Setting out from this point, the letter-writer endeavours to prove that the doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ's mediation and satisfaction are not fcripture doctrines. The pamphlet is written with sufficient acuteness, but contains nothing which has not been repeatedly urged upon the subject. How long, forgetting the mild spirit of the gospel, will men combat with heat and acrimony about the metaphysics of Christianity? Both the orthodox and their opponents agree that there is but one God, whom they worship; that he is just, good, and merciful; and that he has promised happiness to those who sincerely endeavour to obey his commands. So far both agree; and if in all things they cannot think alike, why should this be a cause of bitter contention, and disturb the peace of society? True Christianity is not shewn by the subtlety of dialectics ; our great Lawgiver has taught us better'; · By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' Art. 30. Maxims of Piety and of Christianity. By the late Right Rev.

Thomas Wilson, D.D. Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man. 12mo. 2s.6d. Cruttwell, Bath; Dilly, London. 1789.

These maxims have been before printed in the quarto edition of Dr. Wilson's works. With a view of extending their falutary infuence they are now printed separately, that being within the reach of readers of every description they may be more generally perused.

We need hardly observe that they contain all that piety for which the writings of his lordship are so eminently distinguished. Buc maxims, though they strike the mind for a moment with much force, seem to do it rather by a correspondence of sentiment between the reader and author than by their informing us of any thing not known before. Thus the impression is lively, but not lasting; for neither is the reason convinced of any new proposition, nor are the passions

engaged

« PreviousContinue »