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The slain, yet warm, by social footsteps trod,
O'er the red moat supplied a panting road;
O'er the red moat, our conquering thunders flew,
And loftier still the grisly rampire grew.
While proudly glow'd above the rescu' d tower
The wavy cross that mark'd Britannia's power, p. 26.
Although we do not remark any novelty of epithet or imagery in this composition, yet the advantage with which Mr. H. has evidently perused the poets, reflects much credit on his taste and discernment. We might object to his too frequent use of alliteration, as in the verse:
No robber rage the ripening harvest knows; v. 77. and perhaps the verb in the plural number in this line would be an improvement:
But lawless might, and meagre want is t'ere; v. 13. however these are spots which, if they do not grace, certainly tend very little to blemish such a performance as the Palestine of Mr. Heber.
A Vindication of the Cause of Great Britain; with Strictures on the insolent and perfidious Conduct of France, since the Signature of the Preliminaries of Peace. To which is added a Postscript, on the Situation of the Continent, and the projected Invasion of this country. By William Hunter, Esq. of the Inner Temple. Second Edition. 2s. 8vo. Stockdale. 1803. The publication of the second edition of this admirable pamphlet, at this important crisis, is calculated to inspirit and rouse the country to a sense of its danger. The tyranny of France is depicted with energy and with truth. We recommend the work to every class in society.
Leopold; or, the Bastard. In two Volumes. \1mo. 8s. Highly. 1803. In the midst of wars and rumours of wars, it is no ungrateful task with the critic to have his sternness unbent, and his toil relieved, by productions similar to Leopold, where there is much fancy, and abundance of good writing. To the female world this novel must be most acceptable. The moral is chaste, and the heroic actions of " Leopold, or the Bastard," will endear the fugitive to every reader of taste and feeling.
A Rap for the P. R. A. By Peter Canvas. Price 6d. Maopherson. 1803. A contemptible catch-penny.
Estelle, a Pastoral Romance. By M. de Florian. Embellished with seven Plates. Translated by Mr. Maxey. 12mo. 6s. Boosey. 1803.
This popular romance of Florian is published in a very elegant form; the engravings are well executed, and the poetry it contains is far more harmonious than the previous English edition.
Reflections on the Causes of the present Rupture with France. By John Adolphus, Esq. 8r>o. 3s. Hatchard. 1803.
It was hardly to be expected, that the accurate, and indeed eloquent historian of our country, whose ardour for the preservation of the constitution of England is manifested in his former splendid work, could see, with indifference, the tyrannizing menace of an implacable foe. Hence he felt it his duty, calmly and dispassionately to investigate the causes and consequences which have led to the present momentous crisis, founded upon the papers which the confidential servants of the crown felt it their duty to lay before parliament. A more clear elucidation of the whole we never read, unmixed with any other spirit of party, than that which genuine patriotism, and a true love for his country, and for the preservation of its honour, could inspire.
Glasgow, a Poem,. By John Mayne, 12mo. pp. 51. Cadell and Davies. 1803.
We remember to have read, with considerable pleasure, an outline of these verses, in the Glasgow Magazine, for December 1802; they are, however, here much improved; experience hath strengthened the author's judgment, and in a very essential degree polished his taste.
Augustus and Mary, or the Maid of Buttermere. A Domestic Tale, by William Mudford. 12mo. 3s. Jones. 1803. Our indignation is roused by the cruel and unfeeling introduction of the name of this unfortunate female into tragedy, comedy, farce, pantomime, interlude, and novel. The story before us is ill-managed, and possesses neither interest nor even tolerable writing.
The good Effects of sincere and constant Prayer, exemplified in the History of the Dobson Family. 12mi>. pp. 87. Rivington. 1803. This pleasing "manual of devotion" recommends itself to our notice by the genuine spirit of piety which it so forcibly breathes and inculcates.
The Times considered; or a brief View of the general Cause if the Decline of Empires. Humbly inscribed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Moira. By Henry White. 8vo. Is. 6d. Ridgway. 1803.
It is impossible there can be more than one opinion with regard to the present momentous period; and, luckily for Englishmen, one soul seems to animate the body politic. The country, we flatter ourselves, will not' perish, even should the changes in the government, which Mr. White recommends for its preservation, not be adopted.
The noble personage to whom this pamphlet is dedicated has merited, and continues to merit, the gratitude of his country, for his patriotic and philanthropic exertions; but we rather question the policy of those true friends who are perpetually exhibiting his name to public notice, until it absolutely creates satiety.
Lucy Osmond. A Story. 12mo. 3s. 6d. Robinsons. 1803.
This novel will be found a salutary antidote for those who are, like poor Darby, "wrapt up in love." This passion hath its comforts and its sorrows, and can only be productive of good where minds and dispositions are united. The story of "Lucy Osmond" clearly demonstrates this point.
Correspondence between Great Britain and France, SfC. SfC. 2s. 6d.
For a clear and comprehensive view of those curious documents,
we refer our readers to a most able and argumentative pamphlet,
written by John Adolphus, Esq. and noticed in our present number.
The Voice of Nature, a Play, in three Acts; as performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. By James Boaden. 2s. Ridgway. 1803.
We entered at considerable length into the merits of this affecting drama, soon after its appearance on the stage. The commendation it then received from us we have no reason to retract, now that it is presented to our notice without the allurements of scenic decoration. It is an interesting subject, managed with much taste, and infinite dramatic skill. The dedication is to Mr. Colman.
THE BRITISH STAGE.
Imitotio vita, tpecutum consuetudvtn, imago veritatit. Cicero.
The Imitation of Life—The Mirror of Manners—The Representation of Truth.
THE DRAMATIC ESSAYIST.
ME. HUMES ESSAY ON TRAGEDY CONCLUDED.
Difficulties increase passions of every kind, and by rousing our attention, and exciting our active powers, they produce an emotion which nourishes the prevailing affection.
Parents commonly love that child most, whose sickly infirm frame of body has occasioned them the greatest pains, trouble, and anxiety in rearing him. The agreeable sentiment of affection here acquires force from sentiments of uneasiness.
Nothing endears so much a friend as sorrow for his death. The pleasure of his company has not so powerful an influence.
Jealousy is a painful passion; yet, without some share of it, the agreeable affection of love has difficulty to subsist in its full force and violence. Absence is also a great source of complaint amongst lovers, and gives them the greatest uneasiness: yet nothing is more favourable to their mutual passion than short intervals of that kind. And if long intervals be pernicious, it is only because, through time, men are accustomed to them, and they cease to give uneasiness. Jealousy and absence in love compose the dolce piccante of the Italians, which they suppose so essential to all pleasure.
There is a fine observation of the elder Pliny, which illustrates the principle here insisted on. It is very remarkable, says he, that the last works of celebrated artists, which they left imperfect, are always the most prized, such as the Iris of Aristides, the Tyndarides of Nicomachus, the Medea of Timomachus, and the Venus of Apelles. These are valued even above their finished productions: the broken lineaments of the piece, and the half formed idea of the painter are carefully studied; and our very grief for that curious hand, which had been stopped by death, is an additional increase to our pleasure*.
* Mud vero perquam rarum ac memoria dignum, etiam suprema opera artificum, imperfectasque tabulas, skut, Jrin Aristides, Tyndarides Nicomachi, Mcdeam
These instances (apd many more might be collected) are sufficient to afford us some insight into the analogy of nature, and to shew us that the pleasure which poets, orators, and musicians give us, by exciting grief, sorrow, indignation, compassion, is not so extraordinary nor paradoxical as it may at first sight appear. The force of imagination, the energy of expression, the power of numbers, the charms of imitation; all these are naturally, of themselves, delightful to the mind: and when the object presented lays also hold of some affection, the pleasure still rises upon us, by the conversion of this subordinate movement into that which is predominant. The passion, though perhaps naturally, and when excited by the simple appearance of a real object, it may be painful; yet is so smoothed, and softened, and mollified, when raised by the finer arts, that it affords the highest entertainment.
To confirm this reasoning, we may observe, that if the movements of the imagination be not predominant above those of the passion, a contrary effect follows: and the former, being now subordinate, is converted into the latter, and still farther increases the pain and affliction of the sufferer.
Who could ever think of it as a good expedient for comforting an afflicted parent, to exaggerate, with all the force of oratory, the irreparable loss which he has met with by the death of a favourite child? The more power of imagination and expression you here employ, the more you increase his despair and affliction.
The shame, confusion, and terror of Verres, no doubt rose in proportion to the noble eloquence and vehemence of Cicero: so also did his pain and uneasiness. These former passions were too strong for the pleasure arising from the beauties of elocution; and operated, though from the same principle, yet in a contrary manner, to the sympathy, compassion, and indignation of the audience.
Lord Clarendon, when he approaches the catastrophe of the royal party, supposes that his narration must then become infinitely disagreeable; and he hurries over the king's death without giving us one circumstance of it. He considers it as too horrid a scene to be contemplated with any satisfaction, or even without the utmost pain and aversion. He himself, as well as the readers of that age, were too deeply concerned in the events, and felt a pain from subjects which an historian and a reader of another age would regard as
Timomachi, et quam diximus Venerem Adellii, in majori admiratione esse quam pcrfecta. Quippe in its lineaments reliqua, ipsteque cogitationes artincum spectantur, atque in lenocinio commendationia dolor eit manus, cum id ageret, cxtinctte. Lib. axxv. cap. u.