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Poems on various occafions: In which is a most beautiful and novel
Description of his Majesty's Review of the Kentifh Volunteers, August the forf, 1799. By William Pinn. Svo. Pp. 120.
IT T is hardly possible to resist the strong temptation to a quibble.
which is offered by the name of this author; and, therefore, we hope our readers will excuse our saying, that this Pin shews no point
and a very little head, and we are afraid the public will not care a pin for any of his works. He states in the first of his
poems, that he does not write to please the critic, but himself; and he has truly described his own poetical merits in the following elegant Aanza :
* No Muse invoke, but little quote,
No education mine ;
No grammar tò refine." When we tell our readers that he gives the following words as rhymes, they will, we conceive, feel no great anxiety for any larger citation, viz. wars, cause', year, care ; ftore, poor ; fun, turn; Noah, beforé large, George ; learn’d, confonant ; &c. &c. &ca
The Holy Land: A Poem. By Francis Wrangham, M. A. Miem.
ber of Trinity College, Cambridge. 4to. Pp. 14. Mawman. London, 1800. THIS poem obtained the reward left by M1, SEATON'S will, and was alligned to the author last year by the Vice Chancellor of the University, and the Master of Clare-Hall. The author is a great admirer of the late Mr. COWPRR, and seems to have formed his. blank-verle on the model of that excellent poet. What JOHNSON said of sacred poetry, in general, is applicable to the work before
It touches upon thole subjeets that are too lofty for the Muse. There is vigour in the compolition but not much warmth. The author, however, possesses a poetical mind, and the following ex. tract will, doubtlels, gratify readers of taste as well as those of a more, serious turn..
“Whence was that star, which through the blue profound
Strong beyond kuman ken. In thickest cloud
"Those deeds, high-favour'd Land, 'twas thine to see
* Ah! deeds--the pride of ISRAEL, and bis shame!
And ftretch'd his own Messiah on the crois,'! We were surprised to find such a pleonajm in the following line exhibited by a writer who is otherwise correct with furtive Itep the fated hour seals on"--and the word furtive, which has always a bad meaning, is particularly exceptionable, as it relates to the progress of the time when the Saviour or MANKIND shall again defcend to testify his glory upon earth.
Poems : To which is annexed, Lord Mayor's Day: a Mock Heroic
Poem. By David Rivers, Author of “ Letters on the Political Conduct of the Diffenters."-Editor of the Abridgement of Park's Travels.--Beauties of Saurin, &c. &c. &c. 8vo. Pr. 32. Rivingtons. London. 1800. IT is difficult to say whether this author deserves molt praise as a poet or a politician ; but, perhaps, our readers would, at once, de
; cide upon perusing his works, that his claim to either title is equally Arong. For a specimen of his poetical merits take the following couplet, which concludes with some lines in favour of Mr. PyBus, to whom, speaking of the capricious Emperor of Russia, our Bard fays
“ His name shall be erased from glory's fane,
While deathless honours deck thy Sovereign." As a politician, our author proves his judgment by a zealous admiration of the late LORD MAYOR. But as this passage exhibim * curious fpecimen of poctical numbers, we fall indulge our readers with an extract.
nor will the
The Fate of Bertha: A Poem. By William Lucas. Small 4to.
Pp. 32. Westley. London1800 THIS is a simple, and not uninteresting, story, related in smooth and ealy versification, though not much
animated by poetical energy. The author makes his heroine fall a victim to the violent defires of a perfidious lover not to the arts of gradual fedu&tion. This circumItance does not afford a moral likely to be generally useful. Few men of gallantry, at present, find it neceffary to accomplish their aims by a crime that may bring them to the scaffold, and when, too, the licentiousness of the times, and the prevalence of falle philofophy, render female honour too ealy a conqueft. But this is the age of horrors, and the author, probably, thought that a rape would strike from its rarity. There are several passages of pathos and description in this poem creditable to the author's talents.
#Letter to the Right Honourable William Pitt, on the influence of
the Stoppage of Ijues in. Specie at the Bank of England; on the Prices of Provifions, and other Commodities. By Walter Boyd, ,
Esq. M. P. 8vo. Pp. 112. 38. 6d. Wright. London. 1801. WHEN
HEN Thomas Paine, some few years ago stood forth as
Legislator General for all the nations of the earth, the inquiries of mankind were very naturally directed to his birth, education, and connections, as the best means of ascertaining the extent of his qualifications for the office which he had affumed, and the nature of the motives which had led him to assume it. The fame disposition will probably be felt by the public, respecting the author of the Pamphlet before us, who, thinking himself qualified to speak on matters of finance with the same tone of decision which Paine em. ployed on the subject of political constitutions, arraigns, with equal modesty and decorum, the wisdom of the Minister, and the integrity of the bank directors, proclaiming himself the only financial Solomon in the united kingdoms. But, before we repose implicit confidence in a man, who asserts the superiority of his own pretentions, and betrays an anxiety to dictate the mode of conducting the fiscal concerns of this great commercial nation, it becomes us, at least, to enquire what prudence and ability he has displayed in the management
But, without tracing the origin and progress of Mr. Boyd, without marking his rise and prosperity, his decline and fall; without following him, from his departure from the humble shed of his induitrious parents in Scotland, * to his modest habitation at Oftend; from thence to his hotel at Paris where he so narrowly escaped the guillotine ; and to his subsequent establishment in England, where his splendour was unrivalled and his expences unbounded; and, finally, to his closing scene in the Irish chamber † at Guildhall; one circumftance of his life will sufice to fix our opinion of his prudence and ability. When Mr. Boyd had the good fortune, fome six years ago, to aí. sociate hireself with Mr. Benfield, the latter was worth 480,000l.;. Now, he is an uncertificated bankrupt!!! This one fact is worth a volume of cominents. We mall only add, that when such has been the result of a man's speculations, we would much rather that he mould (peculate on his own account than on that of the public..
The grand olject of this tract is to persuade the public, that the
of his own.
* Mr, Boyd is not the only fiscal empiric which Scotland has prc. duced; the celebrated John LAW was a North Briton; and the cynical obfervation of Voltaire respecting that adventurer, is not inapplicable to one of his successors~" il n'avait d'autre métier que d'être grand joueur et grand calculateur."
† A room in which the commillioners of bankrupts frequently hold
No. XXX1. VOL. VIII.
high price of every article of use and consumption is imputable to the ftoppage of payments in specie at the bank; and to the increase of bank notes which the author presumes to have been the consequence of that measure. And, in the performance of this task, the author takes every possible opportunity of holding up the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the governor and directors of the bank, to public con. tempt or indignation. In the outset of his argument, he thus ex. plains the sense in which he uses one of his principal terms.
“ By the words' Means of Circulation, Circulating Medium' and Currency, which are used almost as synonymous terms in this letter, I understand always ready money, whether consisting of Bank Notes or specie, in contradiftin&tion to Bills of Exchange, Navy Bills, Exchequer Bills, or any other negotiable paper, which form no part of the circulating medium, as I have always underftood that term. The latter is the Circulator; the former are merely objects of circulation."
This definition is not ftrialy accurate ; for every species of paper which may be negotiated forms, at times, part of the circulating medium, and, therefore ought to be comprehended under that denomination.
Mr. Boyd is particularly angry with the bank; but we think we descry the motive of his indignation, in his remark, “ that the embarrassed circulation of the metropolis and the consequent distress all over the country, which began in 1796, and became so alarming in 1797, proceeded solely from the particular line of conduct which the bank of England had thought proper to pursue, from the month of December 1795 to the end of February 1797." The conduct thus censured, was the attempt to check a growing spirit of speculation, which had then risen to an alarming height, by a limitation of difcount; but we are wholly at a los co reconcile this censure of the bank“ for the calamities produced by a starved circulation," with the feverer censure which he pafles on it for an opposite line of conduct, In producing the “ increase in the prices of almost all articles of ne. ceflity, convenience and luxury” by an “ addition to the circulating mediumu" By this curious mode of argument, it would appear that a confined circulation diit resses the merchants and speculators, and that an increased circulation diftreffes the whole community. Between this Scylla and Charybdis of Finance, how the fiscal pilot is to steer clear of danger we cannot tell. But Mr. Boyd, it seems, in his own estimation, at least, is the Palinurus who can steer the vessel of the ftate with safety, between these rocks and whirlpools of partial and general distress ; although he has contrived to wreck his own bark.
There is scarcely a page of this pamphlet but presents one or more instances of fallacious, contradictory, or absurd reasoning, such as that which we have just noticed. To comment on each of these would be an endless talk, but the subject itself is of too much importince, and the author himself too conspicuous a character, to súffer them all to pass without proper exposure and reprehenfion. Before, however, we proceed to do this, we shall make some brief obfervationson the leading topic of the book,