Page images

If this work should be favourably received, two other volumes of the same kind will soon make their appearance. That the defired success will attend so useful a publication, we have little doubt.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Blank Verle, by Charles Lloyd and Charles Lamb. 12mo.

Arch. 1798. It is not likely that a collection of verses, all in the same metre, and with little variety of subject, should become popular. By the mob of readers, therefore, these poems will be little regarded; but they will become dear to such as have felt the evils of life and known the consolations of Christianity; and they will be treasured in the memory of those who are capable of understanding the excellence of poetry..

The characteristics of Mr. Lloyd's poems are well expressed in his motto.

• To paint the finest features of the mind,
And to most fubtle and mysterious things

Give colour, ftrength, and motion.' AKE'NSIDE. Of his Melancholy Man and of his Sonnets, this is the grand merit; and this is one of the excellencies of his Edmund Oliver. In the present volume we discover the fame powers; and they appear with particular advantage in the lines descriptive of a milanthrope.

• Scarce arriv'd
At manhood, soon as he began to feel,
He felt what injury and injustice are,
And bitter disappointment. He no friend
Poffefs'd; yet had a bosom that might own
All the varieties of social joy,
From meekest pity, to the expansive swell
Of warm benevolence; from paffion's throe,
To the holier interchange of kindred fouls !
How has he struggled with the instinctive love
That led him to embrace his fellow men,
And bind them to his breaft! I only knew
The ruins of his mind; yet have I seen
The fmother'd tear for passing wretchedness !
I've seen the faint flush, and the pulse of pity,
Working on his poor cheek, e'en while he forc'd
The unnatural laugh of hard indifferenice
To cope with nature's pleadings! Oh, my God!
I have e'en heard him, with moft ftrange perversion,
Brag that weak man was fashion'd by his Maker
To live a lonely, uncompanion'd thing;

That he was self-sufficient; that the smile
Of sweet affection was a very cheat,
And love's best energies impertinence :
While ever on his favourite household dog
He look'd such meanings of a hollow heart,
His rebel eye exprefs'd such sad misgivings,
That all he spake fell Alat upon the ear

Self-contradicted.' P. 43. The lines to the memory of Mrs. Godwin are a high tribute of respect, as the author avows a complete dissent from her, with regard to almost all her moral speculations. We are far from approving her opinions respecting marriage; and we do not agree with Mr. Lloyd when he aflerts that her posthumous works, far from convincing him that the misery and oppression peculiar to women arise out of the partial laws and institutions of society,' appear little less throughout than an indirect panegyric on the inftitutions which she wishes to abolih.

We could have withed that both these authors had paid more attention to harınony. A feebleness of phrase, and a laxity of versification, are frequently discoverable. Mr. Lamb describes no longer, as in his first productions,

Vain loves and wanderings with a fair-hair'd maid.' His present pieces imply past sufferings and present reîgnation.

The following extract is by no means faultless : it would have been better without the lines printed in Italics; but we should pity the man who could read the passage, and not share the feels ings that pervade it.

• A heavy lot hath he, most wretched man!
Who lives the last of all his family.
He looks around him, and his eye discerns
The face of the stranger, and his heart is sick.
Man of the world, what canst thou do for him?
Wealth is a burden, which he could not bear;
Mirth a strange crime, the which he dares not act;
And wine no cordial, but a bitter cup.
For wounds like his Christ is the only cure,
And gospel promises are his by right,
For these were given to the poor in heart.
Go, preach thou to him of a world to come,
Where friends shall meet, and know each other's face.

Say less than this, and say it to the winds.' P. 85. These poets have done wisely in explaining their religious opinions, left, as they retain the phraseology of Calvinism, they might be supposed to have imbibed its tenets. To those who read for Crit. Rev. VOL. XXIV. 08, 1798.


mere amusement we do not recommend this little volume; but we recommend it to those who can derive delight froin contemplating • the finest features of the mind,' and from feeing the best feelings of our nature expressed with earneftness and ardour. Sentimental Poems, on the most remarkable and interesting Events of

the French Revolution. Dedicated to his Serene Highness the Prince of Condé, by a foreign Officer, and transated by an English Nobleman. 8vo. Hookham. 1798.

We know what we may expect when an' emigrant officer sentimentalises upon the French revolution. The following extract, will show that he is at least a better poet than prophet.

"Ye brave warriors ! whose oft-tried heroifm ennobles the tranfport which fires my breast! Magnanimous defenders of Gallia's throne! haste to display your awful banners ! A Condé is to command !-Hear it, ye traitors, and tremble !--A Condé!.... He hath said, it, and sacred is his word !---A king and queen, betrayed!... infulted!... enslaved !-Fired is the hero's soul to release the royal captives ! to restore the censer, the sceptre, and the sword, to the sacred hands that held them!

• Ardent art thou, O generous prince, to run the great career of glory !. Soon wilt thou give the signal for exterminating those miscreants, who seize on the treasures of king and of subject ! let loose on France the fury Discord ; thed the blood of the best of its nobles; and fill its most distant dominions with terror, devastation, and death!

Now, while they riot in successful guilt, let mourning and death surprise them! Let them know, if an outraged Bourbon defer the vengeful blow, it is only to render it more dreadfully fatal ! Suffer not a mistaken patriotism to arrest thy uplifted arm. Strike thy enemies, and thou wilt fave thy country! The dastard shuns his foe; the hero encounters and conquers ! Behold, on a raging sea, the gallant companions of thy former toils ! How fearlessly they brave the roaring waves! Ah, let them not perish; but generoully aslift their noble efforts !

• As the immortal gods, around the walls of Troy, ruled the headlong fury of conflicting hosts ; so wilt thou, illuftrious prince, guide the impetuous valour of the peers of France ! Fired by thy ardent spirit, as heroes they will triumph, or as heroes they will fall !

• Dangers intimidate little minds, but embolden great ones. The wicked dread death; the miserable invoke it ; but the brave dety it! Thy intrepid followers, O prince ! led on by thee and giory, will strew the field with death! The nobles of France are itrangers to fear. From the bosom of pleasure they fly into the midst of peril; the favourites, by turns, of Venus and of Mars !

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Come thou also, bright ornament of the Bourbon race.! Graceful-as Adonis, yet dauntless as the god of war!.... Come, gallant prince !... draw thy sword, and point the way to glory!

.. King. .. Country... Religion call us! One spirit animates every heart, and nerves every arm !--Tremble, ye rebels; your reign is no more!

Behold, now, ye illustrious descendants of mighty monarchs ! ... Behold those infidel parricides proftrate in the dust!... Behold the deluded people returning to their former allegiance ; and liberty with monarchy dispensing to France the blessings of protection, plenty, and joy !'. P.99. Elegies and other small Poems, by Matilda Betham. 12m0. 35, 6d.


Forgive me, if I wound your ear,

By calling of you Nancy,
Which is the nanie of my sweet friend,

The other's but her fancy.
Ah dearest girl! how could your

The strange distinction frame?
The whimfical, unjust caprice,

Which robs you of your name,
Nancy agrees with what we see,

A being wild and airy;
Gay as a nymph of Flora's train,

Fantastic as a fairy.
But Anna's of a different kind,

A melancholy maid;
Boasting a sentimental soul,

In solemn pomp array'd.
Oh ne'er will I forsake the found,

So artless and so free!
Be what you will with all mankind,

But Nancy still with me.' These lines may serve as a specimen of this little volume. The vulgarism in the first stanza occurs again in p. 35. Shunning of -the dawn.' Miss Betham succeeds better in these light pieces than in more serious poems.

She has the common fault of young poets triteness of epithet,

P. 22.

Extracts from the Works of the most celebrated Italian Poets. With

Translations by ailmired English Authors. 8vo. 8s. Boards.
Rivingtons. 1798.

This volume will be useful to those who are studying the Italian language. The selections are, in general, such as may be approved.

12 mo.

[ocr errors]

NOVELS, &C. More Ghosts! By the Wife of an Officer, Author of the Irish

Heiress. : 3 Vols. 10.5. 6. Jewed. Lane, 1798.

More Ghosts would have been superfluous in the present state of novel-writing, had not the author of this work conjured up her ghofts with a view of dissipating the horrors, lately excited in the tender breast of many a boarding-school miss, by the more artful and terrific dealers in the article. The ghosts in this piece are rather cunning than terrible; and they add considerably to our entertainment. The characters are more analogous to those of real life, than the faultless monsters which are indebted to imagination only for a temporary existence; and their adventures lead, by easy and natural mears, to many just reflections on the errors of education and the irregularity of the paffions. As this production is offered to the public by a widow, who hopes to render her pen subfervient to the support of herself and her offspring, those who are in quest of the amusement which novels afford, will not, we hope, be inattentive to a claim thàt will yield them a gratification of a superior kind. Dulleldorf; or, the Fratricide.

the Fratricide. A Romance, By Anna Maria Mackenzie.

3 Vols, 10s. 63. fewed. Lane. 1798. With regard to the incidents of this romance, the writer imitates those of Mrs. Radcliffe ; but she is far from being equal to that lady in this branch of composition. It seems to be agreed that those who write on the horrific plan must employ the same instru:

-cruel German counts, each with two wives--old castles private doorsmaling pannels--banditti--assassins--ghosts, &c.

We have often had occasion to çensure the absurd and incorrect language of novels in general ; and from such censure this romance is not exempt. Palmira and Ermance. 4 Novel. By Mrs. Mecke, Author of Count St. Blancard. 3 Vols. 1200. 105. 6d. Jewed. Lane. 1797.,

Innocent entertainment, without any fixed purpose of the moral kind, appears to be the obje&t of this novel. The characters, principally those of France under the old government, are drawn with spirit. The dialogue is lively; and the incidents of the first and second volumes are interesting. The character of a fop, partly on the English and partiy on the French plan, is well sustained, and is expered to just contempt. In the third volune, the story is unne

I 2mo.


« PreviousContinue »