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20. The Deserter : a Poem. 410. Pr. 15. Robson. Few of our readers are unacquainted with the taste and abilities of Mr. Jerningham. With respect to this little poem, it will therefore be sufficient to observe, that in delicacy of stile and sentiment, it is not inferior to any of his former compofitions.
21. A Birth-day Offering to a Yonng Lady from ber Lover. 4to.
Pr. 6d. Dodsley. The Jews upon certain occasions were ordered by the Levitical law to bring a lainb for a burnt-offering : but when they could not afford a lamb, to offer a pair of turtles. This birthday offering is an offering of the turtles.
22. Female Friendship, or the Innocent Sufferer, a moral Novel.
Two Vols. Pr. 55. Jewed. Bell. This work, if work it may be called, may be read with fafety, if not with pleasure, for there is no immorality in it. The Innocent Sufferer is, indeed, extremely entitled to our compassion ; but she is not sufficiently discriminated from many other characters with whom she has either near or remote connections. In short, the characters in these volumes are so loosely marked, the adventures are so tiresome from the commonness of them, and the language is so inelegant, that we cannot venture to recommend them to readers of sentiment or taste. Those who devour books of this kind, without digesting them, may possibly be of another opinion : they may fall to with a good appetite to dishes which would turn our stomach. Such feeders have ideas too gross for a literary entertainment.
23. The Prince of Salermo. Pr. 35. Robson. The author of this novel seems to have heated his brain by the perusal of old Italian romances. The prince and! cess of Salermo, brother and sister, are both going to ried to persons for whom they feel no inclination. - corfairs landing near the castle, while preparations are making for the princess's marriage, carry her oíf. Her brother is dangerously wounded in her defence. They meet at last, however, after some fighting, in the feraglio of a Turkish bashaw. This · bashaw falls in love with the princess, and the prince becomes enamoured with the sultana. After several clandestine interviews, and ingenious stratagems, the bamaw and his wife are divorced. They then, all four, embark for Italy : the Turks renounce the Koran, and a double marriage brings the history to a conclusion.
24. The Hiftory of Miss Harriot Montague. In Tro Vols,
Pr. 6s. Robson. We are strongly tempted to animadvert upon these volumes with some acrimony ; but, on second thoughts, we are of opinion, that by transcribing a few lines from the opening of the History of Miss Harriot Montague, we shall sufficiently acquaint the gentle reader with its real merit, without any critical efforts of our own to guide his judgment.
The history under consideration openeth in the following curious, but not uncommon manner :
• In that delightful season of the year, when nature throws forth all her hoard of charms, and puts to fame the weak efforts of art; when the groves were adorned with verdure, the meads and gardens enamelled with flowers; when the little warbling choiristers of the woods begin to make their nests in the thickest branches of the shady bowers ; in the reign of our late sovereign George I. there came to settle at a small village near Plymouth, a French gentleman and his lady, whole names were Le Montague : they left France, their native country, on account of their religion.'
Ex pede Herculem— Reader, whoever thou art, if thou canst, after the perusal of the above transcribed lines, bring thyself to proceed through the whole history, thou wilt tind-many, many passages, equally elegant and expresive, moral and entertaining
25. The Portrait of human Life. Tavo Vols. Pr. 55. fewed. Bell.
These volumes contain several stories which have been already published in Magazines, and other periodical productions, and therefore cannot be entitled to much attention. There are, indeed, some books of this kind which may be admitted into the politest library without disgracing it ; but we do not think that the compiler of the sheets before us has made a happy selection; a fair selection he certainly has not ; for he has taken the liberty to re-publish fome of Marmontel's Moral Tales, which have been read over and over by every reader of sentiment and taste.
26. The fortunate Blue-Coat Boy. I wo Vols. Pr. 6s. Cook,
Mr. Benjamin Templeman, the hero of this history, is, very fortunately for him, indeed, distinguished among his brosher crugs for singing anthems at Christ Church, by the widow
L 3 :
of a rich old wine-merchant, who had left her three hundred Thousand pounds. That pretty fortune, (a jointure of fifty thousand pounds excepted) she bestows upon this youth of eighteen, who, after having had an affair with his nurse's daughter, promises to make the best of husbands from gratitude to the person who has made so discreet a choice. As this extraordinary history contains chiefy the insignificant transactions of the hospital, and the empty, very often illiberal, con: versation of the nurse, the steward, the porter, the boys, the widow Getąll's servants, Jack the vintner, &c. &c. it cannot afford any entertainment to readers of a higher claís. 27. The History of Duelling. In two l'aris. Containing the Ori
gin, Progress, and present State of Duelling in France and Eng. land. Including many curious bifiorical Anecdotes, Evo. Pre 34. Dilly.
Nothing but national vanity could suffer this apology for the moit villainous of all barbarous customs to be published with impunity, especially if, as the editor says, the author serves in a respectable military corps in the present French king's household, called Mousquetaires, which, were we not afraid of the martinet critics, we would translate, gentlemen of the lifeguards. An opportunity, however, to display the valour of the French nation at a time like the present, when it is so very questionable, was not to be relisted. . According to this writer, a fencing-school ought to be the feat of legislation, and its master the umpire of all differences in matters of honour, where no positive proofs of either side can be adduced, nothing being lelt to probability, examination, character, circumstances, or such evidences as are often decisive in a court of justice. The worthiest and bravest man in the kingdom must submit to have his throat cut by an expert affaffin, his memory declared infamous by a common hangman, and his posterity divested of his estate and honours by barbarous laws, if his arm is not so strong, and his eye not fo quick, as those of the butcher who attacks him. What exceeds all belief is, that those quarrels often sprung from the comparative ngliness of two little drabs, whom these heroes called their ladies or mistresies; and this savage custom is hy this author dubbed the inirror of honour.
He brings the trial by combat or duel with the Francs out of Germany; but as the institution itself was but too well known in England, and is sufficiently explained in our histories, we shall not here shock the reader with any repetition of its particulars; only we are to observe, in general, that it is not of English original. Mention is made indeed in the Eng.
lish history of a duel between two princes ; but it was a duel of a generous humane kind; for it was intended to save an ocean of blood from being med, by each venturing his own person against the other ; and it was productive of a pacifica. tion, though neither was killed.
We must be of opinion, that some of the examples of du. e'ling brought by our author have a very apocryphal cast. That between Gontram and Ingelger seems to be little more than the story of the famous Gunhilda, the Englih princess, who was married to the emperor Henry IV. and saved by her little page Minikin. Juvenal des Ursins differs from Froissart and Monstrelet, as to the event of the duel between Carrouges and Le Gris; and we have seen the combat between Aubry and the Greyhound related among English adventures.
The practice of duelling, however laudable it was, accord. ing to this writer, received some modifications, and indeed checks; but our author gives us the canons of this practice of murder in the following words, which must serve to excite in the reader sentiments, at once, of contempt and horror.
• The herald at arms proceeded on horseback to the door of the lifts, summoned the challenger to appear before him, and then ordered the challenged to present himself; when he thus addressed them :
“ Now listen, gentlemen, and all here present attend, to what our king commands should be striatly observed on these solemn occasions.
“ 1. It is forbidden all persons whatsoever, excepting those who are appointed guards of the lists, on the penalty of forfeiting life and fortune, to be armed.
" Il. It is forbidden to appear on horseback ; to gentlemen, on the penalty of losing the horse; to plebeians, under that of losing an ear.
“ III, It is forbidden to all persons whatsoever, excepting those especially appointed, to obtrude themselves into the lifts, on the penalty of losing life and fortune.
“ Jy. It is forbidden to sit on any bench, form, or even on the ground, on the penalty of loting a hand.
“ V. It is forbidden to cough, spit, speak, or make any sigo whatsoever on pain of death.”
• After the recital of these prohibitions, the combatants were to swear that they had no charms or witchcraft about them.'
One of the chief inducements of this writer in this publica. tion is, to thew that the French were more expert in this barbarous exercise than the English; and among other instances hc gives us one of a national duel between French and English L4
nobility, in which the latter were defeated. He does not, however, consider that of the thirty English noblemen here mentioned, four and twenty of them at least were Frenchmen, though subjects to the king of England. The like may be said of his other Englishmen whom the French worsted in combats. There, however, were not the men who drew the long-bows in the fields of Crefly, Poitiers, and Agincourt, and with the odds of four Frenchmen against one Englishman gained those glorious battles.
The rest of the historical part of this publication is to be found in the common place histories of the times; and the author's conclusive reflections in praise of duelling entitle him to the discipline of Bedlam, rather than of criticisin. An extract in favour of duelling from Mandeville, who was profefsedly a paradoxical writer ; the well known combat between Bruce and Sackville ; and the dueliing scene in the Conscious Lovers, close this fiinry, yet amusing entertainment, the lat. ter part of which seems to have been dished up by the edi. tor. 28. Clio : or, a Discourse on Tafe. Addrejed 10 a young Lady.
By I. U. 9 he second Edition, with large Additions. 8vo. Pr. 25. 6d. Jewed. Davies.
We have reviewed the first edition of this work * ; and after animadverting upon a few absurdities both of expression and sentiment, which have been faithfully preserved in this édition, we gave the work, with all its imperfe&lions, a gentle dismission. To this edition is added a dialogue containing reflections on the influence the Christian religion naturally has on the fine arts, the result of which is as follows : « There are (lays the author) in the soul original sentiments, which, when man has leisure to turn his attention to them, form his dila tinguishing character, his genuine taste and judgment: these sentiments, together with the elegant arts they give rise to, and his obstinate affectation of worth and dignity, all discover illustrious marks of regal grandeur in the soul : this beloved grandeur we would fain assume in this life, for present paffion naturally seeks present enjoyment ; and while we are delighted with the sublime idea of human nature, we fondly defire that Jiberty which is the birthright of innocence: but to confound and humble us, human corruption attends forever, and scourges man back into vile subjection, with the terrors of anarchy, confusion, murders, and insecurity. Society and laws are not the effects of choice, but of bitter neceility, that never suf
* See Vol. XXIII, p. 422.