blend with it a little more of the leniter in modo. But we must not expect inconsistencies; and perhaps gentleness is a quality inconsistent with the active and daring fpirit of a reformer.

[ocr errors]

ART. V. The World as it goes; a Poem. By the Author of the

Diaboliad. Dedicated to one of the best Men in his Majesty's Do. minions, &c. 4to.

2 s. 6 d. Bew. 1779. UNDER the fimilitude of a dream this manly satirift describes

the Muse, to whom he particularly devotes himself, as exhibiting a picture of the world as it goes. The more prominent parts of the piece are, The Temple of Friendship, the Palace of Self-intereft, The Den of Adultery, and the Castle of Freedom. As a specimen of this Writer's powers of description, we · thall present our Readers with a view of the Den of Adultery.

• Methought, in one short moment there arose
A rugged Den, whose threat'ning jaws disclose
Such loathsome shapes, so horrid to the fight,
That all my nerves were stiffend with affright.
No montirous shapes, that, erring from her plan,
Nature brings forth to be the scourge of man,-
No pois’nous reptile, whose envenom'd bane
Can stop the life blood coursing through the vein,
And bring on instant death, but there were seen, -
The blue, the grey, the speckled, and the green.
-No stupefying leaf, -no deadly flower,
Planted by fate for man's despairing hour,
But, with an intermingled foliage, wave

Their baneful tendrils round the dismal Cave.'
The groupe, which is introduced as paying a shameless hos

mage, where

in loathsome state The luftfal Regent of the dungeon fate, is drawn with great vigour and spirit, and the colours are laid on with a strength and boldness that evidently speak the hand of a mafter.

The attendants at the Palace of Self-interest are of equal merit, and are equally numerous. Not so, alas, the votaries of Friendship! Into Her temple one only demands admittance :

• Deep in the shady bosom of a wood,
Metbought a large and ancient temple food :
Upon the folid trength of arches rear'd,
In rev'rend dignity, the fane appear'd.
Around the dome luxuriant ivy crawls,
And deadly serpents hiss within the walls.:
In mould'ring fculprure croaking ravens reft,
· And daws discordant find a fecret nest:
Brambles and weeds, with pois nous blossoms crown'd,
Weave their rank tendrils and infeft the ground;
While the surrounding growth of thicken'd trees
Collects the vapour and obstructs the breeze.



-Its ancient form remain'd ;--but ev'ry grace,
Which deck'd the building and adorn’d the places
Had long been left to moulder and decay,
To Time's relentless fangs a yielding prey.
Imperfect characters of fa ed gold,
High in the front, its ancient goddess told.
Belide the gate, with broken sculpture grac'd,
'Mid Itoried urns, by cank'ring Age defac'd,
Orestes nood, in mutilated pride,
And Pylades was mould'ring by hi: fide.
There was a time when ev'ry labour'd part
Bore the oice touches of ambitious Art:
When the rich altars blaz'd with sacred flame,
And Friendthip was a dear and honour'd name:
When heart fick vot'ries, drooping with despair,
Found a sure refuge and asylum there ;
Where, from oppression safe and worldly ftrife,
They pass'd in peace the closing years of life.
There injur'd Virtue turn'd its willing feet,
And found a welcome and secure retreat:
There the bold youth, with love of arms inspir'd,
Felt his young foul with heighten'd ardor fir'd;
Preferr'd his pray'r, and, big with promis'd fame,
Sprung to the war and gain'd an hero's name.

But now no more on Friendship’s altars blaze
Th' ascending flames;- no more the song of praise,
In grateful chauntings, echoes through the dome:-
Exil'd by int'relt from her native home,
She wanders all forlorn; the daily sport
Of ev'ry fool that cringes in a court,
Of ev'ry knave, and all the endless train
Of those who sweat beneath the luft of gain.
-Among the rich, the noble, and the great,
Who hears her cry,- who mourns her hapless fate?
To her deserted temple who repair ?

PORTLAND alone demands admiitance there.' The complement at the close is well introduced, and, if public fame, which feldom errs on the favourable side, may be credited, it has the additional merit of being just.

Success is too apt to beget indolence and inattention : this, however, is not the case with our present Author. The poem before us is certainly equal, if not superior, to any thing he has hitherto published.

In the structure of his verse there a blemilh which we wilh could have been avoided. It seems to have arisen from his taking Churchill's manner, which undoubtedly was not a good one, for his model : we mean the running one couplet into the other, which, except in occasional instances, is seldom done but at the expence of either strength or harmony.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ART. VI. Sketches from Nature ; taken, and coloured, in a Journey to

Margate. Published from the original Designs. By George Keate, Esq. 2 Vols. Small 8vo. 5 s. fewed. Dodfley. .1770.

ORICK left many natural children, or, in more familiar

phrase, bye-blows, but Mr. Keate is the legitimate offspring of that fingular and celebrated writer; and it is with peculiar satisfaction we recognise the father's features in the son.

In this pleasing sentimental journey, many things occur to entertain us, and nothing that will offend either our taste or our judgment; we are, in fine, presented with a variety of scenes chat interest our affections, and none that can any way tend to injure our morals :-on the contrary, we may affirm, that the reader, who can peruse these pages, without feeling himself the better for it, must be poffeffed of a mind either too exalted, or too much depraved for improvement by this mode of instruction.

Mr. Keate is not one of your geographical travellers, nor is he a hunter, after antiquities or pictures. His aim is not to gratify the inquisitive with the descriptions of rare things; his butia ness is rather with the HEART; and your feelings will be touched, though your curiofity be unsatisfied.

Readers in general, as well as Reviewers by profeffion, are ready enough to give their opinion of every book they peruse. It is but fair, that Authors should be allowed the same freedom with their Readers. Mr. Keate has, accordingly, taken leave to indulge in a pleasant description of the various characters and complexions of Readers *, dividing them into the following classes :

The Superficial Reader, The Peevith Reader,
The Idle Reader,

The Candid Reader, The Sleepy Reader, The Conjectural Reader. • I may pofiibly,' says he, 'not escape censure for having omitted the LEARNED reader, to whom so many prefaces and dedications have formerly been addressed, --but this was in the times when learning was possessed by few.--In this age, so enriched by the inundations of the press, every author is to presume that all his readers are learned,- no one being willing to dispute a title which may call in ques. tion the validity of his own.

• The SUPERFICIAL reader is one who finds not leisure, or incli. nation, for more literature than he can take in over a loitering breakfast, or whilst his hair dresser is adjusting his person. He contents himself with extracts from news-papers, magazines, and reviews kims over title-pages and indexes, and adding to them the smuggled opinions of thole who look deeper into books, passes at routs and tea tables for a well-read gentleman.

* In a chapter which he entitles 'The Reader's Looking-glass.'


"The sole reader is the reverse of the former.-He is a great peruser of little volumes, but reads without method, or pursuit, not making knowledge, but amusement, his object.

- He is in one sense of the happiest clais, for he is in no danger of ever reading himself out ; so many persons being daily employed to perpetuate his pleasures, by feducing novels-little hiftories, which familiarize the arts of intriguing-Memoirs of Prostitutes--Anecdotes of Women of Quality--and Lives of Highwaymen..

• The SLEEPY Reader is ever å man of a dull languid temperament, both of body and mind.-He takes up a book when he can do nothing else, and pores over it, till it drops from his hand;-or if by repeated attacks he fairly arrives at the Finis of a volume, he has waded through it so between fleeping and waking, that it is often a doubt with himself whether he has read it at all.

• No works of genius are ever seen on his shelves, they are of too Simulating a nature, and would defeat his purpole, -but a plenty of Toporific treatises, under the varied titles of Journals, Annotations, Books of Controversy, and Metaphysical Disertations.

• An old relation of mine, who died a martyr to the gout, used, as he fat in his study, to estimate his books dot from the pleasure, bac from the good naps they had afforded him.-This, confin, faid he (pointing round the room with his crutch)—this is a compofer--this a dozer--every twenty pages of this excellent author is as comfortable as a glass of poppy water.-I believe I was near three months sleeping through yonder large volume ;-and to this worthy little gentleman on the middle shelf, I was indebted for two admirable nights rest, when a chalk-stone was forming in my toe. But my most valuable friend is this set of books by the side of my couch.- I call them my grand opiate, and as a mark of distinction, my flannel night.cap generally lies upon them.

Now I am well aware that when these Sketches from Nature shall appear, half my readers will be on the tiptoe of curiosity to know. how the last mentioned books were lettered; but as I have not I hope a spice of ill-nature in my composition, I pablicly declare the secret fhall die with me.-

· The Peevish reader is made up of conceit and ill-humour - He cavils with the defign, the colouring, or the finishing, of every piece that comes before him.-Few have sufficient merit to extort his approbarion-he had rather even be filent, than commend, and finds his highest satisfaction in discovering faults.

• A man of this cast is an object of compaffion; for in the imperfe?? tate of human labours, he must pals his time very miserably!

1-But let us leave him to the severe destiny of never being pleased : --To counter poise his fpleen, behold the CANDID reader appears.Amiable spirit!--in thee I contemplate the gentleman--che scholar, -the true critic-low to cenfure-eager to applaud !--convinced by what arduous steps fuperior excellence is attained, thy liberal mind cherisheth every effort of genius, and unwillingly condemns what thy correst judgment cannot approve.

But CANDID reader! thy character hath been more happily delineated by a long-admired writer ; in quoting whose lines I cannot 3


relift this occasion to say, that they are as strongly descriptive of the amiableness of his own.

" Yes ; they whom candor and true taste inspire,
" Blame not with half the passion they admire ;
" Each little blemish with regrer descry,

" But mark the beauties with a raptur'd eye.” · The Conjectural reader brings up the rear ;-in speaking of whom I defire to be understood as confining my remarks solely to conje&ural criticism. He is, or should be, a man of parts, who exercises his ingenuity on deceased writers, by clearing up passages he fupposes they left obfcure, and interpreting them by his own conceptions_discovering beauties where the author perhaps intended 'none, and tracing out meanings he might never have in view.--'

• RODOLPHUS Gander GUYICHE, the famous professor at the university of Hall, in his preface to the three supplemental volumes of his commentaries, printed in folio at Leipsic, mentions that it was his constant custom, while engaged in that elaborate work, to ruminate on his subject in his great chair, till he infenfibly fell asleep:

" During which time, says he, I always found that my thoughts digested themselves into matter and method, and on 'awaking, I was able the more successfully to prosecute my labours.”.

• I wish the example of this valuable critic ‘may not have too much influenced succeeding commentators ; some of whom adopting the prosessor's napping chair, without poffelling his art of rising from it with a clear head, have not always sufficiently separated their dream from their subjekt.'-

Several strokes, in the preceding extract, approach, very closely, to Sterne's best manner and to does the following sentiment, on crossing Boughton Hill, near Canterbury :

• There are certain happy "moments in one's existence when the blood flows neither too quick, nor too low; when every nerve and artery is faithful to its function, and the whole frame is so nicely harmonized, that every agreeable object which just then Arikes on any of the organs of sense, awakens the soul to pleasure.

• I was at this inftant in one of those delicious moods.—The fun was declining in its gayet colours--the air was pure and serene, and Nature seemed perfeâly at peace ;-on my right hand, corn fields, hop grounds, and wide extended inclosures of varied forms, wore the face of plenty and security ;-on, my left, the Ine of Shepey, and the rich vale of FEVERSHAM, contrasted the landscape; and the opening of the channel, which was covered as far as the fight could ftretch with innumerable fails, carrying on an intercourse with the diftant parts of the world, comple:ed a scene which my eyes were unwilling to quit.

.-And here, says I, pinching the lady's hand as the leant on my arm (for I told you I was in excellent spirits)

Margate, with all its delightful surrounding scenery of land and fea, could not fail of furnilhing much employment for the active mind of this very reflecting travellers; among other striking thoughts, the following, on Time-killing, may be selected as a farther specimen : Rev. Avg. 1779.



« VorigeDoorgaan »