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In many emergencies, as manifeft, as it was necessary; and it fits him with a most awful sense of God's power and majesty, that he fhould in an especial manner prefide upon such terrible occasions, and direct the blind fury of man to the accomplishment of his own wife and benevolent purposes. From a well-grounded conviction, that he thus rules the world, and decides every enterprize in it, arises the purest and most humble piety, and sweet peace of mind; be our situation, however arduous. Let the preparations of our enemies be the most gigantic, we know that they may imagine a vain thing; and we know, that if we adopt intercession, and say, wilt not ihou, O God, go forth with our hearts we are confederate with an invincible ally. Yet has Dr. Toulmin asserted, that we are not encouraged to look up to God as the patron of war, as a being who is to be rendered propitious by facrifices and fakts. Let us recommend to the doctor closer attention to his bible, and dismiss him and his discourse with an arcb obfervation to his Reviewer ; what an excellent critic!
Had not Dr. Toulmin's excellerrt discourse drawn ine unawares into a more copious discussion than I at first intended, it was my design, Mr. Editor, to have entered largely into the merits of Bishop Pretty man and Professor Hurdis, in 'opposition to this hero of the Monthly Review, But I am apprehensive that I have already engroffed more room in your truly patriotic journal, than you can conveniently fpare. I will, therefore, leave
the merits of the Cambridge Bishop to plead for themlelves, or to be vindicated by some member of his own university; while I bestow a stricture two on the Monthly Review of the Oxford profeffor. And first, 3 observe, that in order to demonstrate the inferiority of the profesfor, in a passage which is unquestionably original, the critic has epá posed to him a paffage of Thomson, which is not eriginal, but in a great degree copied from Virgil. Í refer your readers to the critique, and beg them to take notice of the following imitations.
The stars obtufe emit a fhiver'd ray,*
Ibid. 375. * Stellis acies obtufa videtur. Ibid. 395.
Even as the matron, at her nightly task,
But chief, the plumy race,
¿ paftu decedens agmine magno
- feros exercet noctua cantus,
The cormorant on high
Ibid. 356 Here are more than twenty fucceffive lines of the passage quoted by the Monthly Reviewer from Thomson, for which he is manifestly indebted to the Mantuan bard. It might be thewn also, that the very beginning of the passage is borrowed from the Roman poet; if we except only the strange blunder of the imitator, in making the moon rise horned, in the east, at funfet ; an event which never occurred in nature. But of this enough,
Now, Sir, did the Monthly Reviewer know, or did he not know, that these padages were borrowed, by the author of the Seasons, from the Georgics of Virgil ? If he did not know it, he will appear to be deficient in critical qualifications, and his criticism will
, of course, be contemptible: if he did know it, he is guilty of deliberate injuítice, ia instituting a comparilon where comparison ought not to have G2
been made. I am inclined, Sir, to the charitable fide, and verily believe that he did not know it: for there are not wanting other proofs of his incapacity. For instance; the following line, lays he, contains a violation of accent, which could not have paffed unnoticed even in a more finished poem :
• The sight of Winter's superb ocean left-
On his shoulder and his ; her face on fire
l'inter's Tale, Act IV. sc. ii.
Ditto, Ad V. sc. iii.
Be thy intents wicked or charitable
Hamlet, Ad 1. sc. iv.
In quantity equals not one of your's-
Henry IV. Act III. fc. i.
Macbeth, Act IV. sc. i. These are the first instances which occur; and it is needless to feek for more in Shakespear, or in any other poet. I recommend them to the study of the Monthly Reviewers, and also of the Britisha Critics; for the latter were, not long since, extraineły erroneous in their observations on English rythm, and stand in need of correction and improvement. And if I may be so bold as, to chide even an Anti-Jacobin Reviewer, I will add, Mr. Editor, that even your own remark, fupporied by three blue berns in a blue bladder, has more of wantonnels ihan of truth. Judge for yourself, whether that proverb might not have been applied, with as much propriety, to the blood-boltered Banquo of Shakelpear, as to the pallage from Hurdis, Yet will no Critic maintain that the great dramatic poet fought Italianifms and affeEted alliterations. He has even ridiculed the prac. tice, as we well know from his bloody blameful blade that brauely broach'd, &c. for which, see The Midsummer Night's Dream. The bholboltered Banquo, therefore, was accidental ; and being manifestly zot øffe&cd, ought to be tolerated. Verbar Satnam
To waste no more time in dwelling upon these hypercritical minutiæ, I shall finally observe that the Monthly Reviewer of Dr. Hurdis has manifested his want of ability, in a more important refpect, by ascribing delicious melody to Thomson and Akenfide. We may safely affert, Sir, that delicious melody is not strictly the attribute of either of those poets. Thomson had no ear for mufic. His metre is generally difficult and embarralled. Take the first sample that occurs.
Earth's universal face, deep hid and chill
Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries widem Such.verse disdains to amble. We may say, in the words of Shakespear,
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag. That line is, indeed, admirably characteristic of the hard unmusic cal manner, in which Thomson delights to express himself. As much as he laboured to be tardy, so much did Akenlide give himlelf over to velocity. He runs, he gallops, he thies. Delicious melody is not expreflive of the motion of either. If I may draw comparison from an overture of Handel, I Mould say of the first movement, which is by turns harsh, abrupt, harmonious, heavy, full of wild starts and pauses; ibis is the style of Thomjon : I should lay of the fugue which rapidly follows, and hurries us through the richest combinations of tone, till the ear is confounded and the understanding left far behind; this is the style of Akenfide: I should say of the delicate and sweet air which succeeds this peal of enthusiam ; this is delicious melody, the style of Milton, of Addison, of Rowe.
I have commended Bishop Prettyman to Cantabrigian vindication. I cannot, however, clole this letter, without acquainting the Critical Reviewers to whom nothing is more clear than that fome degree of CHANGE (in our Liturgy) is PEREMPTORILY called for,* chat I am far from being of the fame way of thinking. If any men are peremptory on this head they must be Disenters. Were the epifcopal bench to unite in promoting such change, I do not believe they would acquire much credit in the view of the NATION AT LARGE : they would undoubtedly gratify the Diffenters; but let them not vainly imagine that they are the nation at large. Neither let Critical Reviewers be too forward in asserting, that the greater
, part of the members of the bench (or church) wish to liberate themselves from a thraldom, which cannot but be occasionally felt in the more serious moments of retirement ; to wit, the thraldom of orthodox doctrines and articles, which Critical Reviewers (alias Difenters) wish to bend to their own more liberal (alias loose creed. The thraldom here complained of, Mr. Editor, I have never felt'; though accustomed to hear the petulant cavils of Diflenters from my childhood. Whenever their invectives have made an impression upon me, I have referred to books, and especially to the Scriptures, for better instruc
* See their Review of Frend's Letters,
tion. The more I have read, and the more I read, the more I draw near to perfect coincidence with that church to which I belong. Her Liturgy is admirable. I do not commend it, because I am bound to use it, but because I know it to be admirable. I have dilia gently compared it with every improved Liturgy which has been put into my hands; and I think it highly deserving of preference. Nothing disgusts me more than that young puppies in divinity should, at any time, dare to foift their high-flown periods, into that simple, humble, and expressive train of prayer, which runs through it. The American form did not amend itself by departing from the letter of it; and I have since had the satisfaction to see many
fancied improvements in that Liturgy, blotted out by the Americans themfelves. Nevertheless, I will not maintain that it is a compofition free from every defect. The compilers of it were not divine, but human ; they were learned, devout, and sensible, but not inspireda They produced, therefore, a work of man; and what work of man have we ever seen, which (like the works of God) would bear the Ariat fcrutiny of the microscope ? But the fpecks and blemishes, which appear in it, are of no great importance. Perhaps fome few chapters might be, with propriety, banished from the series of Sunday lessons, and others substituted in their places ; for though the former may always be moral and instructive, they are not always decent. For the same reason, the matrimonial service might be revised and corre&ted. But he who thinks he can improve our Litany, or our Communion and Burial services (the latter of which I well remember to have been made the subject of inve&ive in a Presbyterian pulpit) has the vanity to believe he can atchieve impoflibilities. Indeed the manual of Common Prayer, of the Church of England, viewed with a proper respect to its general merits, whether can. vassed as to its consonance with the Scriptures, or brought to the test as expresive of the duties and wants of mankind, is incomparable. If the Monthly and Critical Reviewers have such confidence in their fuperior discernment, as to imagine that they can draw up a form of greater excellence, and liable to fewer exceptions, I candidly promise them, Mr. Editor, that I will be one of the first to adopt it. That they may not fail in their enterprize, I will allow them to call to their aslistance the whole Kirk of Scotland, and the whole host of extempore prayer-Spinners, wherever dispersed.
TO THE EDITOR.
J. Malham, l'icar of Helton, Dorset, you have very properly reproved the author, for having spoken of barley-bread, in a manner which clearly implies that it is an unwholesome diet. A Clergyman ought to be better acquainted with the Scriptures, than to advance a doctrine so contrary to truth; especially at a time when an evil