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"Of sentiments purely religious, it will be found that the most fin:ple expreflion is ihe most sublime. Poetry loses its lustre and its. power, because it is applied to the decoration of something more excellent than itself. All that verse can do is to help the memory, and delight the ear, and for these purposes it may be very useful; but it supplies nothing to the mind. The ideas of Christian Theo, logy are too simple for eloquence, too facred for fiction, and too majestic for ornament; to recommend them by tropes and figures, is to magnify by a concave mirror the fidereal hemisphere.'
It is thus that he very properly accounts for the failure of Waller in his facred poems, and not their being written, as his former Editor fupposes, after his genius had paffed the zenith.
! That natural jealousy which makes every man unwilling to allow much excellence in another, always produces a disposition to beLieve that the mind grows old with the body; and that he, whom we are now forced to confess superior, is hasiening daily to a level with ourselves. By delighting to think this of the living, we learn to think it of the dead ; and Fenton, with all his kindness for Waller, has he luck to mark the exact time when his genius passed the zenith, which he places ac his fifty-fifth year. This is to allot the mine but a small portion. Intellectual decay is doubtless nor uncomnon ; but it seenis not to be universal. Newton was in his eighty-fifth year improving his Chronclogy, a few days before his dean; and Waller appears not, in my opinion, to have lot at eighty, two any part of his poetical powers.'
Some writers carry this fanciful idea of Fenton's still farther, affe ting that, though judgment may retain its vigour to a more disant period, imagination gradually decays at thirty-fix. Were arguments wanting to confute such groundless assertions, we ned only adduce the instance of the learned and ingenious Citic whose observations are now before us. He, certainly, ha passed the zenith allotted to imagination, and probably the father term which Fenton allign's to the genius of Waller, and ye his writings betray no abatement of intellectual abilities : hi imagination still retains the full vigour of youth.- But enugh of this trifling; let us return to Waller.
The general character of his poetry, says his biographer, is ele. gace and gaiety. He is never pathetic, and very rarely sublime. H seems neither to have had a mind much elevated by nature, nor aplified by learning. His thoughts are such as a liberal conversatio and large acquaintance with life would easily supply. They be however, then perhaps, that grace of novelty, which they are nø often supposed to want by those who, having already found. than in later books, do not know or enquire who produced them firit. Tis treatment is unjuft. - Let not the original author lose by his inators.
į But of the praise of Waller, though much may be taken away, meh will remain ; for it cannot be denied that he added something too ur elegance of diction, and something to our propriety of thaght; and to him may be applied.what Taffo faid, with equal fps and justice, of himself and Guarini, when, having perused the
Paftor Fido, he cried out, “ If he had not read Aminta, he had not excelled it."
[The other Lives in our next.)
Art, II, The Antiquarian Repertory. 2 Vols. 4to. Continued. UR Readers have learned from the former Article * rela
tive to this work, that the Editor did not propose to exhibit subjects wholly new, but chiefly intended his volumes as a depository for such antiquities, &c. as, though known, yet through neglect, or length of time, may sink into obscurity, or of which little knowledge can be obtained without difficulty. Some of the first kind, we apprehend, may be here interspersed, but the latter form the principal part of this publication.
A remarkable anecdote of Judge Jefferys is said never before to have appeared in print :
• Ac a contefted election for a member to serve in parliament for the town of Arundel, in Sussex, government ftrenuously interfered, and that so openly as to send Jefferys, then Lord Chancellor, with instructions to use every method to procure the return of the Court candidate. On the day of election, in order to intimidate the electors, he placed himself on the huftings close by the retursing officer, the mayor, who had been an attorney, but was retired from bufiness, with an ample fortune and fair character. This oficer well knew the Chancellor, but for prudential reasons acted as if he was a franger both to his person and rank.
• In the course of the poll, thac magiftrate, who scrutinized every man before he admitted him to vote, rejected one of the court pary; at which Jefferys rising in a heat, after several indecent reflections, declared the man should poll, adding, “ I am the Lord Chancelor of this realm.'' The mayor, regarding him with a look of the highest contempt, replied," Your ungentlemanlike behaviour convinces me, it is imposible you should be the person you pretend; was you the Chancellor, you would know that you have nothing to do here, where I alone preside ;" then turning to the crier, “ Oficer,” said he, turn that fellow out of court. " His commands were obeyed without hesitation; the Chancellor retired to his inn, in great confusion, and the election terminated in favour of the
• In the evening, the mayor, to his great surprise, received a message from Jefferys, defiring the favour of his company at the inn; which he declining, the Chancellor came to his house, and being troduced to him, made the following compliment: “Sir, notwithfaoding we are in different interefts, I cannot help revering one who fo well knows, and dares ro nobly exécute, the law; and thougl F myself was somewhat degraded thereby, you did but your duty. Yo, as I have learned, are independent, but you may have some relation who is not so well provided for ; if you bave, let me have the pla
Review for April.
fure of presenting him with a confiderable place in my gift, just now vacant." Such an offer, and so handsomely made, could not fail of drawing the acknowledgments of the party to whom it was made; he having a nephew in no very afflueat circumstances, named him to the Chancellor, who immediately figned the necessary in. Itrument for his appoinıment to a very lucrative and honourable employment.'
The Writer's remark on the above narration is, that no character is completely consistent ; as appears in the conduct of this judge, who seems to have approved the virtue which he did not practise : however, we may learn from it that a bullying, tyrannical tool of a party may sometimes at least be pretty easily humbled and confounded by a man of sense, integrity, and honour: it is perhaps to be wilhed that this worthy magirtrate had yet carried his firmness a degree farther, by declining any connection with an arbitrary and corrupt administration.
Pont Y Prid bridge cannot fail to attract the notice of the traveller in Wales. It is built over the river Taafe in Glamorganshire, fix miles from Cardiff, in a most romantic country. For lightness, and the width of its (pan, it is said to stand unrivalled, not only by any bridge in England, but even in Europe, and perhaps the whole world ; exceeding the arch of the Rialto at Venice by 50 feet, and that of the centre of Blackfriars by
• This bridge, says the writer, is a proof that extraordinary genius will rise superior to every impediment or disadvantage. Both the mason who designed and executed it, and the workman who formed the centre, were common country artificers, un patronized by the great, and neither graduated in any university, nor fellows of any academy; and so far were they from having visited Italy, in order to avail themselves of the knowledge of the ancients, or to yiew the works of the moderns, that they probably were hardly ever out of their native country, were perhaps Itrangers to the names of Vitruvius and Palladio, and never heard of the Rialto. However, in compensation for these deficiencies, they possessed good sense, which, as Mr. Pope observes, “ although no science, is fairly worth the seven,"
• The name of the mason is William Edward; he contracted with the county for a certain sum of money to build them a bridge which should tand at least six years, and accordingly built one of three arches ; but a food happening, which is no uncommon event in this moậntainous country, it was carried away by the impetuoficy of the river.
• He next conceived the design of constructing his bridge of one single arch, and accordingly completed it; but here he was again foiled; for the pressure of the abutment not being in equilibrio with that of the crown of the arch, squeezed it out at the top. Not dir. heartened at this, he fet about contriving how that fault might be avoided, and hit on the present method, by making three cylindrical apertures through each lide, thereby not only considerably Jeffening the weight of lateral pressure, but adding greatly to the picturesque form and elegance of the bridge, which bids fair to transmit his fame 10 future generations. The name of the artist, who formed the centre, is Thomas Williams, by trade a millwright.'
We think it a neglect in the Editor not to have informed his readers, at least, of the year when this bridge was finished. The plate, which is a very pretty one, is engraved, he tells us, from a drawing, made anno 1774.
'We have been diverted by reading, “ A Description of England and Scotland,” written in French by one Stephen Perlin, an ecclefiaftic, and published at Paris, anno 1558.' The imperfect, or erroneous, account which he often gives, and the imall accidental circumstances from whence, in some instances, he forms his judgment, made us recollect a much superior author, M. Grolley, who, a few years ago, published, “ A Tour to London *, &c.” A very indifferent and sometimes greatly offensive picture is drawn of the English by Stephen Perlin, the ecclesiastic. To the Scotch he is more favourable : fpeaking of the latter he says, ' This country, although it is in a bad neighbourhood, being near a haughty, treacherous, and proud enemy, has nevertheless sustained itself in a manly fort by the means and assistance of the most noble king of France, who has many times let the Englith know what were the confequences of the anger of so great a monarch and emperor, But thanks to God, the affairs of this country have been regulated, and every thing goes on well, and for their benefit and that of their kingdom. How happy oughtest thou to esteem thyself, O kingdom of Scotland, to be favoured, fed, and maintained, like an infant, on the breast of the most puiffant and magnanimous king of France, the greatest lord in the whole world, and future monarch of that round machine, for without him thou wouldest have been laid in alhes, thy country wasted and ruined by the English, utterly accursed of God.' So much for Master Perlin!
The English are treated with greater respect by the Sieur de la Serre, Historiographer of France. His . History of the Entry of Mary de Medicis, the Queen-mother of France, into England, Anno 1638,' is here translated from the French. The original was published in 1639. La Serre's subject leads him to speak the more honourably of the English, that he may magnify the Queen-mother and royal family of France : and this, Frenchman-like, he does with the most disgustful fervility and flattery.
Among other prints, a view of Old London, from Blackheath, is very pleasing :
• Vid. Review, vol. xlvii. p. 165.
• The many picturesque beauties with which Blackheath abounds, it is observed, will render this print as respectable an acquisition to she connoisseur as to the antiquary. The richness of the foreground, the freep ascent of the hills, which gradually rise above each other, and the view of the river, give a triking idea of that noble fimplicity of nature, which are has in vain actem pred to reach. London is feen in the distance, where the eye may didinctly trace St. Paul's, the Tower, Wettmintter-abbey, and many parish churches, forming a most picturesque group of buildings, and exhibiting to the spectator the extent and dignity of the Old City, in its chen contracted ftate, compared with its present fplendor. Tnis drawing was made by Thomas Wyck, who died anno 108 2. His works are well known, and this view may be numbered among the most capital of his performances. It was communicated by Paul Sandby, Etq; in whose poffeßion it now is.'
A view of St. James's palace and Westminster-abbey from the village of Charing, ' is said to have been engraved from an ancient view fuppofed to be drawn by Hollar; and appears to have been taken somewhere about what is now the East side of St. James's street.' The Writer gives a short account of St. James's palace, and we are rather surprised that he should add nothing concerning the village of Charing. Entertaining as these volumes are, we find a defect of attention to some things by which they might have been improved. The massacre at Stonehenge, by Hengift, the History of King Leyr, and his Three Daughters, are said to be extracted from the ancient History of Great Britain ;' but this is hardly sufficient to satisfy the generality of readers, who will naturally wish to know from whence the accounts are taken, or what dependence is to be placed on them.--In fome articles, too, we have thought there has not been all the exactness as to dates, which a work of this kind requires.
To the account of plates in the first volume which we have already given, we are now to add, The Scowls in the Woods of Thomas Bathurft, Esq; in Gloucestershire; A View, Plan, and Section of the Roman Bath, at Lidney Park, Gloucestershire; Edward the Black Prince, from the original Picture in the Poffeffion of the Hon. George Onslow; Another View of Tintern Abbey, from an original; The Font in Orford Chapel, Suffolk; Thomas De Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, from the original Picture in the Possession of Mr. George Onslow; The. Bridge of Bridgenorth, Shropshire ; Weston in Warwickshire, the Seat of William Sheldon, Efq; Long Meg and her Daughters; John Evans, the ill-favoured Astrologer of Wales (ille favoured indeed !) from the original Drawing in the Collection of Lord Cardiff; Netley Abbey, Hampshire; The Tomb of Henry the Fifth, Earl of Westmoreland, and his Wives; Dr. Simon Forman, Astrologer, from the original Drawing in the