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national happiness is menaced, by the present thinness of ladies' petticoats (p. 78), temerity may hope our salvation, but how can reason promise it?'
One solitary gleam of comfort, indeed, beams upon us in reading the solemn devotion of this modern Curtius to the cause of his King and country :
“My attachment to the British monarchy, and to the reigning family, is rooted in my heart's core.'-My anxiety for the British throne, pending the dangers to which, in common with every other throne, it has lately been exposed, has embittered my choicest comforts. And I'most solemnly vow, before Almighty God, to devote myself, to the end of my days, to the maintenance of that throne.”
Whether this patriotism_be original, or whether it be copied from the Upholsterer in Foote's Farces, who sits up whole nights watching over the British constitution, we shall not stop to inquire; because, when the practical effect of sentiments is good, we would not diminish their merits by investigating their origin. We seriously commend in Mr. Bowles this future dedication of his life to the service of his King and country; and consider it as a virtual promise that he will write no more in their defence. No wise or good man has ever thought of either, but with admiration and respect. That they should be exposed to that ridicule, by the forward imbecility of friendship, from which they appear to be protected by intrinsic worth, is so painful a consideration, that the very thought of it, we are persuaded, will induce Mr. Bowles to desist from writing on political subjects.
DR. LANGFORD'S SERMON.
Anniversary Sermon of the Royal Humane Society. By W. LANGFORD, D»D.
Printed for F. and C. Rivington.
this sermon, proves, in the most striking manner, the importance of this charity for restoring to life persons in whom the vital power is suspended. He was discovered, with Dr. Langford's discourse lying open before him, in a state of the most profound sleep; from which he could not, by any means, be awakened for a great length of time. By attending, however, to the rules prescribed by the Humane Society, Alinging in the smoke of tobacco, applying hot flannels, and carefully removing the discourse itself to a great distance, the critic was restored to his disconsolate brothers.
The only account he could give of himself was, that he remembers reading on, regularly, till he came to the following pathetie description of a drowned tradesman; beyond which, he recollects nothing :
“But to the individual himself, as a man, let us add the interruption to all the temporal business in which his interest was engaged." To him indeed, now apparently lost, the world is as nothing ; but it seldom happens, that man can live for himself alone : society parcels out its concerns in various connections; and from one head issue waters which run down in many channels.-The spring being suddenly cut off, what confusion must follow in the streams which have flowed from its source? It may be, that all the expectations reasonably raised of approaching prosperity, to those who have embarked in the same occupation, may at once disappear; and the important interchange of commercial faith be broken off, before it could be brought to any advantageous conclusion.”
This extract will suffice for the style of the sermon. The charity itself is above all praise.
Public Characters of 1801-1802. Richard Phillips, St. Paul's. I vol. 8vo. THE
HE design of this book appeared to us so extremely reprehensible,
and so capable, even in the hands of a blockhead, of giving pain to families and individuals, that we considered it as a fair object of literary police, and had prepared for it a very severe chastisement. Upon the perusal the book, however, we were entirely disarmed. It appears to have been written by some very innocent scribbler, who feels himself under the necessity of dining, and who preserves, throughout the whole of the work, that degree of good humour, which the terror of indictment by our Lord the King is so well calculated to inspire. It is of some importance, too, that grown up country gentlemen should be habituated to read printed books; and such may read a story book about their living friends, who would read nothing else.
We suppose the booksellers have authors at two different prices. Those who do write grammatically, and those who do not; and that they have not thought fit to put any of their best hands upon this work. Whether or not there may be any improvement on this point in the next volume, we request the biographer will at least give us some means of ascertaining when he is comical, and when serious. In the life of Dr. Rennel, we find this passage :
“ Dr. Rennel might well look forward to the highest dignities in the establishment; but, if our information be right, and we have no reason to question it, this is what he by no means either expects or courts
There is a primitive simplicity in this excellent man, which much resembles that of the first prelates of the Christian church, who were with great difficulty prevailed upon to undertake the episcopal office."
NARES'S THANKSGIVING SERMON.
A Thanksgiving for Plenty, and Warning against Avarice. A Sermon.
By the Reverend ROBERT NARES, Archdeacon of Stafford, and Canon
Rivingtons, St. Paul's Churchyard.
are principally indebted to the vanity of popular preachers, who are puffed up by female praises into a belief, that what may be delivered, with great propriety, in a chapel full of visitors and friends, is fit for the deliberate attention of the public, who cannot be influenced by the decency of a clergyman's private life, flattered by the sedulous politeness of his manners, or misled by the fallacious circumstances of voice and action. A clergyman cannot be always considered as reprehensible for preaching an indifferent sermon; because, to the active piety, and correct life, which the profession requires, many an excellent man may not unite talents for that species of composition : but every man who prints, imagines he gives to the world something which they had not before, either in matter or style ; that he has brought forth new truths, or adorned old ones; and when, in lieu of novelty and ornament, we can discover nothing but trite imbecility, the law must take its course, and the delinquent suffer that mortification from which vanity can rarely be expected to escape, when it chooses dulness for the minister of its gratifications.
The learned author, after observing that a large army praying would be a much finer spectacle than a large army fighting, and after entertaining us with the old anecdote of Xerxes, and the flood of tears, proceeds to express his sentiments on the late scarcity, and the present abundance : then, stating the manner in which the Jews were governed by the immediate interference of God, and informing us, that other people expect not, nor are taught to look for, miraculous interference, to punish or reward them, he proceeds to talk of the visitation Providence, for the purposes of trial, warning, and correction, as if it were a truth of which he had never doubted.
Still, however, he contends, though the Deity does interfere, it would be presumptuous and impious to pronounce the purposes for which he interferes; and then adds, that it has pleased God, within these few yearš, to give us a most awful lesson of the vanity of agriculture and
importation without piety, and that he has proved this to the conviction of every thinking mind.
“Though he interpose not (says Mr. Nares) by positive miracle, he influences by means unknown to all but himself, and directs the winds, the rain, and glorious beams of heaven to execute his judgment, or fulfil his merciful designs.”—Now, either the wind, the rain, and the beams, are here represented to act, as they do in the ordinary course of nature, or they are not. If they are, how can their operations be considered as a judgment on sins : and if they are not, what are their extraordinary operations, but positive miracles ? So that the Archdeacon, after denying that anybody knows when, how, and why the Creator works a miracle, proceeds to specify the time, instrument, and object of a miraculous scarcity; and then, assuring us that the elements
; were employed to execute the judgments of Providence, denies that this is any proof of a positive miracle.
Having given us this specimen of his talents for theological metaphysics, Mr. Nares commences his attack upon the farmers ; accuses them of cruelty and avarice ; raises the old cry of monopoly; and expresses some doubts, in a note, whether the better way would not be to subject their granaries to the control of an exciseman; and to levy heavy penalties upon those, in whose possession corn, beyond a certain portion to be fixed by law, should be found.—This style of reasoning is pardonable enough in those who argue from the belly rather than the brains; but in a well fed and well educated clergyman, who has never been disturbed by hunger from the free exercise of cultivated talents, it merits the severest reprehension. The farmer has it not in his power to raise the price of corn; he never has fixed, and never can fix it. He is unquestionably justified in receiving any price he can obtain : for it happens very beautifully, that the effect of his efforts to better his fortune, is as beneficial to the public, as if their motive had not been selfish. The poor are not to be supported, in time of famine, by abatement of price on the part of the farmer, but by the subscription of residentiary canons, archdeacons, and all men rich in public or private property ; and to these subscriptions the farmer should contribute according to the amount of his fortune. To insist that he should take a less price when he can obtain a greater, is to insist upon laying on that order of men the whole burden of supporting the poor : a convenient system enough in the eyes of a rich ecclesiastic; and objectionable only, because it is impracticable, pernicious, and unjust.
The question of the corn trade has divided society into two partsthose who have any talents for reasoning, and those who have not. We owe an apology to our readers, for taking any notice of errors that have been so frequently, and so unanswerably exposed ; but when they are echoed from the bench and the pulpit, the dignity of the teacher may perhaps communicate some degree of importance to the silliest and most extravagant doctrines.
No reasoning can be more radically erroneous than that upon which the whole of Mr. Nares's sermon is founded. The most benevolent, the most Christian, and the most profitable conduct the fariner can
pursue, is, to sell his commodities for the highest price he can possibly obtain. This advice, we think, is not in any great danger of being rejected; we wish we were equally sure of success in counselling the Reverend Mr. Nares to attend, in future, to practical, rather than theoretical questions about provisions. He may be a very hospitable archdeacon; but nothing short of a positive miracle can make him an acute reasoner,
LEWIS'S KING OF CASTILE.
Alfonso, King of Castile. A Tragedy in Five Acts. By M. G. LEWIS.
Price 2s. 6d.
ALFONSO, king of Castile, had, many years previous to the supposed
epoch of the play, left his minister and general Orsino to perish in prison from a false accusation of treason. Cæsario, son to Orsino (who by accident had liberated Amelrosa, daughter of Alfonso, from the Moors, and who is married to her, unknown to the father), becomes a great favourite with the King, and avails himself of the command of the armies with which he is intrusted, to gratify his revenge for his father's misfortunes, to forward his own ambitious views, and to lay a plot by which he may deprive Alfonso of his throne and his life. Marquis Guzman, poisoned by his wife Ottilia, in love with Cæsario, confesses to the King that the papers upon which the suspicion of Orsino's guilt was founded, were forged by him: and the King, learning from his daughter Amelrosa that Orsino is still alive, repairs to his retreat in the forest, is received with the most implacable hauteur and resentment, and in vain implores forgiveness of his injured minister. To the same forest, Cæsario, informed of the existence of his father, repairs, and reveals his intended plot against the King. Orsino, convinced of Alfonso's goodness to his subjects, though incapable of forgiving him for his unintentional injuries to himself, in vain dissuades his son from the conspiracy; and at last, ignorant of their marriage, acquaints Amelrosa with the plot formed by her husband against her father. Amelrosa, already poisoned by Ottilia, in vain attempts to prevent Cæsario from blowing up a mine laid under the royal palace ; information of which she had received from Ottilia, stabbed by Cæsario to avoid her importunity. In the mean time, the King had been removed from the palace by Orsino, to his ancient retreat in the forest : the people rise against the usurper Cæsario ; a battle takes place : Orsino stabs his own son, at the moment the King is in his son's power ;
falls down from the wounds he has received in battle; and dies in the usual dramatic style, repeating twenty-two hexameter verses. Mr. Lewis says in his preface :