Images de page

are said to be scarce a foot in height. This ceremony is in. tended to impress every individual with hatred of the Christian doctrine, and the Portugueze, who attempted to introduce it there ; and also to discover whether there is any remnant of it left among the Japanese. It is performed in the places where the Christians chiefly resided. In Nogasaki it lasts four days ; then the images are conveyed to the circumjacent places, and afterwards are laid aside against the next year. Every person, except the Japanese governor and his attendants, even the finallest child, must be present; but it is not true, as some have pretended, that the Dutch are also obliged to trample on the image. Overseers are appointed in every place, which as. semble the people in companies, in certain houses, call over the name of every one in his turn, and take care that every thing goes on properly. The children, not yet able to walk, have their feet placed upon it; older persons pass over it from one side of the room to the other.

( To be concluded in our next. ]


[ For APRIL, 1786. ]


Art. 14. Johnson's Laurel: or Contest of the Poets. A Poem. 4to.

is. Hooper. 1785. London.

F all men the most adroit is he who eloquently exposes his own

follies. We honour the petulant man who declaims againft illa humour ; the covetous, when he exposes the folly of avarice ; and above all the hackney fcribbler, who ridicules such as are ever on the warcha for temporary subjects. The manner in which our author character. ises his poets is curious.

• Next Tickel came, whose elegiac flow

Melts every heart to pleasure and to woe Pray, how came our author acquainted with Tickel's elegiac flow? Has he not unluckily mistaken the author of Anticipation and the friend of Addison for the same person? Next Coleman comes.

• He mounts on Pegasus and Ay afar,

Like man when riding furious to the war.' Coleman is however rejected.

Apollo pleas'd, exclaim'd, . You've gain'd a name,

And want no laure to secure your fame.'
The same cogent reply recurs in bar to the claims of Mr. Sheridan,

• What! cries Apollo; and shall Brindley aim
To gain the wreath, who ne'er Shall want a name?"

· If we were to form our judgment from Johnson's Laurel, and some
other rhyming productions which have lately passed under our examin-
ation, we should say, that an indispensable requisite in a good poet
was to violate the most known rules of grammar in every page.
Art. 15. Lubin, a Poem. Founded on a true Story. 4to. is. Debrett,

1785. London.
This is a very melancholy story indeed. A young shepherd tells
his tale of love to a shepherdess with many strokes of the pathetic.
For instance,

• His ruddy cheeks swelled up to bear

The tender, sympathetic tear.' Phillis is however deaf to his entreaties. Nor is he more successful in moving the general compaffion.

• For those too old to dance regale

With oaten cakes and nut-brown ale.'
For a moment, however, he imagines himself cured.

• No more on Phillis fix'd his eye,

His heart's divorc'd, unknit love's tie.' He travels. He comes home again ; and his eye is struck with the fight of a funeral procession.

• With flow-pac'd steps the shepherds tread,

Exclaiming loud, our beauty's dead.
Phillis I thought the only onė.

Yes Lubin, but alas she's gone !
The consequences are fatal.

• Slow beating pulse, falt flowing heart,

The spirit trembling to depart.
All, all declare the moment nigh

That wafts him 'yond th' etherial ky.'
The poem it seems was written at Brighthelmstone: and if we might
venture a conjecture at its author, we should give it to the tender and
celebrated taylor, who, as it appears by the advertisements in the pa-
pers, is a veteran brother of the quill.
ART. 16. A Poem on the Happiness of America, addressed to the Citizens

of the United States. By David Humphreys, Esquire. 4to. 2s. Newbury.

Had this performance, which contains near 1 200 lines, been in prose, it might have induced us to have gone through it; for the subje&t is 'not a bad 'one; but such is the misfortune of the


every man who can write in rhyme and make verses conceives himself a poet ; whereas true poetry is a gift, and possesses a glow of imagination which the poetafters of the present time have not an idea of.

After this censure, it would be unpardonable not to give the reader a fpecimen of 'squire Humphreys' poetical abilities. The following then is part of General Washington's farewell, on quitting the army.

• Farewell to public life, to public care,
Now I with peace to happier scenes repair.
And, oh, my country, may'ft thou ne'er forget
Thy bands victorious, and thy honeft debt!

[ocr errors]

If aught which proves thy rights to me are dear,
Gives me a claim to speak thy fons to hear
On them I call. Compatriots dear and brave,
These warning truths deep in your bosoms grave,
To guard your facred rights-be juft! be wife!
There all your bliss ; there all your glory lies.'


Art. 17. A Political Sermon ; preached before a R-Hble H-fe

on the firs Day of the present Meeting of P-t. By the reviving Shade of Patriotism and Public'Virtue. 4to. 1s. Hookham. Lon. don, 1786.

It is very remarkable that men of infinite dullness should so often attempt to diftinguish themselves by jeux d'esprits, and to illuftrate truth, not in the sober paths of plain reason, best suited to the flownefs of their capacities, but by the playful fallies of imagination. If there be a subject which, more than any other, requires genuine wit and he mour, it is that of making religious indifference and scepticism, which is the aim of this sermon, an object of ridicule. We shall only add. that our author does not inherit the talents of Swift.


Art. 18. Letters from Monf. Racine, the elder, to bis Son M. Racine,

the younger, when a Youth, &c. Stockdale, 1785.

These letters breathe a spirit of parental tenderness and piety, and tend to improve the heart by touching it nearly. They are calculated for the perusal of children, and as such we are not to expect them to display genius or originality. There are a few particulars in them iclative to the death of M. Racine, the elder, noi generally known. Art. 19. Bibliotheca Universalis Seleeta. A Catalogue of Books, ar

cient and modern, in various Languages aud Faculties, and upon almolt every

Branch of Science and Polite Literature ; including an extenfive Collection of Classical, Critical, and Philological Learning ; collected, for the most part, in Germany and the Netherlands : Methodically dia gested, with a View to render it useful to Students, Collectors, and Librarians : To which is added, an Index of Authors, Interpreters, and Editors. Which will be fold by Auction, by Samuel Paterfon, at his Great Room, in King-Street, Covent-Garden, London, on Monday, May 8, 1986, and the Thirty-five following Days. 8vo. 55. 6d. bound and lettered. Sold by the Author.

A catalogue of the kind with that before us has been long wanted. But few men are in possession of abilities equal to such a task; and ftill fewer of the patience necessary for completing it. Mr. Paterson's love of literature, and his opinion of the utility of the plan, has induced him to undertake this drudgery, and to execute it; and we think successfully; and the present work will be of important use to the diligent student and curious inquirer. The proper arrangement of letters is now before them; and, to render the present catalogue


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

more useful to students, collectors, and librarians, is fubjoined an index of authors, interpreters, and editors. We could have wilhed that the author's labours, in this way, had met with better encouragement, than, we are informed by his sensible preface, they have done.




For APRIL, 1786.



T is remarked by strangers as well as natives, that, for more than

a year past, a profound silence with regard to the affairs of government, and a cool acquiescence in the measures of the ministry, except in one instance (the shop-tax) has prevailed in England. What is commonly called politics, unless perfonal fatire be blended with speculation, has become an indifferent subject both in converfation and in reading. Periodical pamphlets, the common vehicles of faction, are circulated with difficulty, and read with negligence; many of the most zealous tribunes of the people have submitted the fafces to the sceptre; the city of London, formerly the centre and the foul of opposition, warmly supports the court ; even the coffee-houses, once the receptacles of malecontents or the shops of sedition, are only frequented by men of pleasure, who prefer the joys of the table and convivial hilarity, to eager and warm disputations concerning minifterialists and the opposition.

Such political tameness, acquiescence, or itapor, is the more extraordinary, when we consider the warm and zealous temper of the English nation, and review the expressions of it in the former pe. riods of our history. Ever since the ministry of Sir Robert Wal. pole, some short intervals excepted, the tide of popularity has run against the court. The press, the theatre, and even the pulpit, breathed the language of disloyalty ; the wit, genius, and knowledge of the nation were directed against the ministry ; and writings on the fide of liberty or faction were read with avidity, and procured applause to authors who never could have expected fame on any other Tubject.

Perhaps some events have happened of late years which may serve to account for this phenomenon. The two political parties which formerly divided Great Britain, and attached all the inhabitants co one side or another, are now completely diffolved, The effect of their struggle and collision (though ambition was the object of both) has been the establishment of our excellent and happy conftitution.


[ocr errors]

* While party

From natural as well as accidental caufes, these parties continued
after that fortunate event, though not with their former regular and
lystematic spirit ; they have now entirely ceased to operate, and whig
and tory are become merely nominal diftinctions.
distinctions of whig and tory,' said the Hon. Mr. Greenville, « higha
church and low church fubfifted, the nation was indeed divided, but
each side held an opinion for which they would have hazarded
every thing; for both acted from principle : If there were some who
sought to alter the constitution, there were others who would have
Mhed their blood to preserve it from violation : if divine heredi-
tary right had its partisans, there were multitudes to stand


for the superior fanctity of a title founded on an act of parliament, and the consent of a free people. But now all public principles, as well as the party names by which they were distinguished, are destroyed. In the British government at present we have not parties, but factions ; principle has been sacrificed to personal attachment; and inviolate fidelity to a particular combination, substituted as the test of a fair public character.

A bond of political or moral union, though reared on flender foundations, is respectable, and may be useful : it directs the current of passions and pursuits to a certain point: And, by preserving an uniformity of conduct, the leaders of a nation may draw the multitude along with them. But the late American war, and the changes which have followed it, have broke this charm, and laid open the secret of statesmen and politicians to the public eye. The frequent defertions from party to party, merely for the sake of in. terelt; the coalitions of the fiercest foes to divide the spoils, and plunder the commonwealth ; the public avowal of some men, feconded by the correspondent practice of others, “ that they would bear a part in any administration ;" have led the people to believe that the honours and emoluments of office were the object of all parties, and leftened or destroyed their wonted zeal in public affairs. The victory too acquired by the monarchical branch of the conftitution, by the diffolution of the last, and the election of the prefent parliament; the growing posperity of the nation ever since the peace; the popularity of a minister, who, though not very vigorous or efficient in his measures, is well informed in his plans, and tractble in his conduct; and, above all, the rise of the stocks, that great barometer of the nation; have produced such a profound internal calm, that England is at present more free from political murmurings and machinations than the despotic kingdom of France,

Nothing, however, can be permanent in this country. Varium et mutabile femper Anglia. Though in some periods dead to their g!ory, the English have been always alive to their interest. Notwithstand.. ing the advantages which English manufacturers and traders at present enjoy over foreign nations, by their being in possession of

greater capitals, by the minute divisions of labour, and from their being accustomed to habits of industry ; it is evident that a national debt of 280 millions must operate in the long run, must be felt through. every vein of the ftate, and preponderate over all these advantages. If Mr. Pitt wishes, therefore, to erect a, monument to his memory,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


« PrécédentContinuer »