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der imaginary persons, is shadowed some real action, or in.
Inspir'd by him, the great paternal God (a),
And arı'd her eyes with more refiftless flame.
No faithless fhepherd then was known to feign,
The love her anxious bosom own'd conceal'd. But Gods and Men did not long enjoy this supreme felicity, Hermaphroditus was the unhappy occasion of a sad reverse of fate. All the Nymphs and Naids loved him; but he, infenfible to their charms, betook himself to shady groves, and purling streams. In the course, however, of his peregrinations, he came to Salmacis, a river of Lycia, which flowing between embow'ring fhades, and being dimpled by a gentle breeze, the coolness and transparency invited him to bathe. Here the guardian Goddess of the silver flood,
Herself, unseen, beheld the youth, admir'd
She Arc'd her way, and feiz'd the struggling boy,
Nor chance, nor time itself dissolve the chain. All this description is borrowed from Ovid; but our Au. thor has over-looked some of the most striking beauties in that pleasing poet. What follows is, however, an improvement on the original :
So pray'd the nymph, neglecting in her prayer
Which cherish love.
The female o'er the motley union reigns ;
Joyless the bed, and barren be the womb (6).
The nymph (c) produc'd a song
Sign of his fource, and emblem of his power. For Jove and the Fates had decreed, that the son should avenge the fire, by binding the youths and virgins in chains which nothing but death could loofe.
But no sooner was Hymen known on earth, than the Fair, continues the Bard, either misled by pride, or affecting no
(6) In Ovid. when Hermaphroditus faw himself transformed into a monfter, neither woman nor boy, he prayed to his parents,
Sed jam non voce virili
Quisquis in hos fontes vir venerit; exeat inde
Semivir : et tactis fubito mollescat in undis. Accordingly the antients believed that this river had a wonderful effect in enervating a man.
(c) Is theię ngt some impropriety in calling a double-sex'd monster 4 Nymph?
(d) We see no connection between Hymen and this fupposed manper of his birth. Hymen is derived from the Greek word verta', celebro. The antients more juilly supposed Hymen to be the fon of Apollo and of Vragia,
velty, deserted the God of Love, and placing Hymen in his Atead, paid their adorations to him only,
And tho' the favour'd youth to love invite,
Entails a life of miseries and pains. Nor are the Fair, says this perspicacious Bard, who fall in love, in a better situation, for the hard-hearted (wains will not fatisfy their desires,
Till Hymen bids the bliss, and binds the chain. Which if they refused, the consequence was, solitary virginity to the maids, or promiscuous love to the males.
Or if either sex yielded to marriage, as that God was wholly regardless of those tender sympathies which love requires,
He join'd as chance, or wayward fancy guides,
Indifferent bridegrooms, or reluctant brides. But as Hymen was endowed with a brazen front, he tells his votaries, that if they loved before,
His chains would only bind their love the more,
And Arifes and jars distract the nuptial state. At the sight of this change on earth, Cupid, with indignation, followed Aftrea to Heaven; Venus, however, remained below, and
Enchants the forpherd still, and charms the wains.
Far from her wonted haunts her course she bore,
Kind Nature starts, and sickens at the sight. (e) Of all faults in writing, there are few less pardonable than the giving the same idea in different words. Our Author has many pleonasms.
(f) Had promiscuous love been the parent of the lues veneria, the antients had not been unacquainted with that direful malady: The truth is, the p— is an endemic disease, in the new world, and came to Europe by infection,
The two laft lines are the beft in the poem; but the picture that follows of the Dæmon, is not önly disgustful beyond sufferance, but false in some of its colourings. Nor are we much more entertained with the description of those ills which the p- produces in the world. And if Longinus (8) blames Hefiod for the odiousness of the following image, in that poet's personification of darkness, (axaus)
Της εκ μεν ρινων μυξάι ρεαν what would that delicate critic have said of this part of the present poem? Fracaftorius was aware of this objection, and has with great dexterity avoided it, tho' his subject (i) most naturally led him into an enumeration of the symptoms of the venereal disease. His portraiture of a youth languishing under the effects of this disorder, excites our pity for the melancholy fufferer, but raises not our averfion to the cause (A). These things discover the genuine poet. But to proceed.
· The amicted immediately apply for assistance, to the professors of physic, who addressed Apollo and Æsculapius to teach them the method of cure :: but the Gods of medicine could afford them no aid : the disorder baffled their science. Cyllenus laughed, and alarmed Apollo by calling him a wretched quack, and his art a jeft.
And gain the privilege (7 by art to kill.
a lor all the Doctors own, The Dæmon yields to Mercury alone. Parturiunt montes! What a wretched pun is this ! Nor is it true; for tho' Mercury is the grand antisiphylic, yet are there other remedies more effectual than even'that mineral, in some of the symptoms of this disease.
At this place, however, the allegory, such as it is, should have ended, but the Author drags on through twenty-eight lines more, at the end of which we have an impertinent conclufion to a most impertinent poem: the worthy moral of which is, If you live single, the p- is your destiny; and, if you marry, there is an end of all felicity!
However, as the Author is not entirely destitute of poetical merit, we hope, the next time he publishes, that he will be more attentive to his plan, as well as more careful of his numbers.
(g) Sect. 7. (b) The shield of Hercules, 1. 267. (i) Syphilis. (A) Sub. finem, lib. prim. (1) Do these two lines agree? What an impotent satyr is this, upon physic!
For. A U GUST, 1756.
MISCELLANEOU.S. 1. M R. Archibald Bower's Affidavit in Answer to the false
Accusations brought against him by Papists. Το which are added, 1. A circumstantial Narrative of what hath since passed between Mr. Bower and Sir Henry Bedingfield in relation thereto. 2. Copies of the said pretended Letters sent him by Sir Henry Bedingfield, and of a subsequent Affidavit made by Mr. Bower of their not being wrote by him, or with his Privity. With some short Observations on those pretended Letters, proving them to be spurious. 8vo. 1S. Sandby:
In this finall pamphlet we have, first, Mr. Bower's Affidavic sworn in the court of King's-Bench, May 31, 1756, before co. pies of the Letters mentioned in our laft Number were delivered to him by Sir Henry Bedingfield. In this Affidavit Mr. Bower maketh oath, That he came into England in or about the month of June or July, 1726, and that for upwards of twenty-nine years Jaft paft, he hath not been present at any religious worship or ceremony of the Romifh religion; or praaised, repeated, or used any of the ceremonies, offices, prayers, or devotions, peculiar to that church, either in public or privare; or been in any manner, or by any act whatsoever, reconciled to, or expressed his approbation of, the Popish religion, or any of the errors or tenets of that church condemned by Proteltants ; but doth now believe, and for upwards of twenty-nine years last palt hath believed and esteemed, the principal tenets maintained by the church of Rome, in opposition to the Protestants, to be impious and heretical ;-that he hath for upwards of twenty-four years last joined with the church of England as by law enablished in this kingdom, and, during that time, used his utmost endeavours to convince several of his relations, and others, who were eduBated in the Romilh religion, of the errors thereof ; and that the contents of the Letters are entirely false, scandalous, and groundless, and a wicked contrivance and forgery of the Papists to blacken his good name, and hurt the Proteltant cause, &c.
What weight Mr. Bower's Affidavit may have with the public, we know not. As to the Letters being a contrivance of the Pas pists to blacken his name, there feems to be little, if any, foundation for such a pretence. It is well known to those who have been at pains to enquire into this matter, that the Papists have endeavoured to throw obitructions in the way of fuch enquiry, instead of being defirous to promote it. And for this conduct of theirs, a very obvious reason may ibe assigned. They are very fenfible that a fuil and impartial enquiry into this affair, would bring to light a great many circumstances, which it is their un. doubted interest to corccal. But we must noi enlarge.