« PreviousContinue »
cate, have the courage requisite to sustain their mutual insults, we shall probably soon hear the explosions of another kind of paper-war, after the fashion of the ever-memorable duel which the latter is said to have fought, or seemed to fight, with Little Moore' We confess there is sufficient provocation, if not in the critique, at least in the satire, to urge a man of honour' to defy his assailant to mortal combat, and perhaps to warrant a man of law to declare war in Westminster-Hall. Of this, no doubt, we shall hear more in due time. The lines we principally allude to are these ;-from the opening hemistich, which seems to have been copied from the celebrated 'Epistle to Warburton,' though the acknowledgement of the imitation is accidentally omitted, we should guess that the noble ford has been for some time under training for this attack, and has both strengthened and encouraged his stomach for fighting by a course of Churchill; and we must confess he does credit to his feeding.
• Health to immortal JEFFREY! once, in name,
And guard it sacred in his future wars,
Since authors sometimes seek the field of Mars!
That ever glorious, almost fatal fray,
When LITTLE's leadless pistol met his eye,
Dark roll'd the sympathetic waves of Forth,
*ARTHUR'S steep summit nodded to its base,
Strew'd were the streets around with milk-white reams,
The field, and sav'd him from the wrath of MOORE;
The goddess proceeds to give the rescued editor sundry ad monitions, alluding to some of the innumerable anecdotes, which circulate in literary conversazioni, relative to the authors, and the blunders, the honour and the disinterestedness, of the Edinburgh Review; explanations are duly afforded in the
The sheer folly of the author's criticisms on many of our living poets will very much defeat the effect of those strictures, in his poem, which are both spirited and just. There is so little discretion and taste in many of his decisions, such total insensibility to indisputable merit in others, such unmitigated and arrogant reprobation when there was only need for partial and judicious reproof, that he will be regarded, not as a severe and indignant Censor, but as a petulant school-boy, smarting and exasperated almost to madness with his flagella tion, blind with rage and anguish, and dealing out his indiscri minate revenge in kicks and blows preposterously excessive in malice and deficient in power. The influence of this satire will be no less diminislied by the absurdity of the praise, which the angry nobleman, for no imaginable reason, condescends in some instances to bestow. What will any considerate man care for the opinions, decrees, or censures of a writer,
who can extol Macneil as a genuine son of Poesy, while he degrades Southey and Scott to the dust, and can find nothing but vulgar ridicule to requite the sublimity of Coleridge or the pathos and vivid painting of Grahame! His premature requiem over the lost works' of Montgomery, whose genius he nevertheless acknowledges, and whose fame both lives and flourishes, is equally childish.
The utmost we can promise the noble lord is, that his wrath will be very entertaining to the public for several weeks to come; by the end of that period, the same public will perhaps be called upon to deplore his fall in the field of honour, and it may be our melancholy office to criticise elegies on his untimely fate. We will, in justice to his talents, as a humourous and spirited satirist, transcribe another short passage from this work.
Hail Sympathy! thy soft idea brings
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, dissolved in thine own melting tears,
And art thou not their Prince, harmonious BowLES!
Whether in sighing winds thou seek'st relief,
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
In every chime that jingled from Ostend?
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse's hap,
If to thy bells thou would'st but add a cap!
Delightful BowLES! still blessing, and still blest,
Dia-Tessaron: or the Gospel History, from the Text of the Four Evangelists, in a connected Series: with Notes Critical and Explanatory. By Robert Thomson, Writer in Edinburgh. 8vo. pp. 478. Price 7s. Hamilton, Ogle.
WE had thought that the age of pious frauds was past; but our hopes were too sanguine. Seldom has the condign punishment of critical reprobation fallen on a more arrant plagiarism than the one in our hands. This writer has attempted to construct a Harmony of the Gospels, borrowing the title from Dr. White's popular work, while he affects to be ignorant that any such book existed; and copying the text, with a small number of alterations, mostly for the worse, from Dr. Macknight's Translation, not only without acknowledgement, but with the audacious insinuation that the Translation is his own. Pursuing his dishonourable career,
* See BowLES's Sonnets, &c." Sonnet to Oxford," and "Stanzas an hearing the Bells of Ostend."
he has cut out a number of Dr. Campbell's notes, in a style of ignorantand barbarous mangling; subjoining to a few of the less considerable ones the name Campbell, so that the unsuspecting reader must of necessity attribute the others to the learned and conscientious Mr. Writer Thomson. In these Notes the incidental Greek words are exhibited in a manner so outrageously blundering, as to exceed all possibility of typographical error, and to authorise the suspicion that this biblical freebooter had not mastered the alphabet. Finally, the book closes with an appendix of 80 pages, containing I. Remarks on the History and Evidences of the Resurrec tion of Christ" clumsily pilfered, and still without a hint of acknowledgement, from Gilbert West's Observations: and " II. View of Christ as a Priest," professedly (alia: Leucon, alia asinus)" abridged" from the Works of the late excellent Mr. Riccaltoun.
Useful to many readers as this compilation may be, the merit of its usefulness is due to the authors from whose treasures it is derived; while the disingenuousness of the compiler strips him of all title to the praise which his mere labour might have earned.
Art, XI. An Essay on Humanity to Animals; by Thomas Young, A. M. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Abridged by Fermission of the Author. Second Edition. pp. 60. Price 1s. 6d. Arch and Co. Hatchard. 1809.
WE have been much gratified with the contents of this book: but that there should be occasion for an essay on such a subject, is certainly much to be lamented, and reflects the utmost disgrace on the persons for whom it is written. The grounds on which cruelty toward animals is. reprobated, are the following: as tending to render those who practise it cruel to their own species; as violating the rights of animals, inferred from their capability of pleasure and pain; as contrary to the combined effect of several passages of Scripture, which inculcate humanity toward brutes; as prejudicial even to our pecuniary interests; and lastly, as derogatory to our character with the best and wisest of mankind. Under the first argument it should have been urged, that the custom of inflicting pain is not only injurious to mankind, by forming cruel dispositions that may eventually affect their happiness, but injurious to the individual, by destroying the capacity for tender and delicate feelings, and precluding every social as well as solitary pleasure which is derived from refined sensibility.
It is a great recommendation of the tract, that it does. not confine itself to general declamation; but specifies, in several distinct chapters, the kinds of cruelty common in this country, against which its denunciations are directed. Several interesting and endearing anecdotes of dogs and other animals, are very properly interspersed.
Not having Mr. Young's work, (which appeared about ten years ago) within reach, we can scarcely pronounce on the ability with which this abridgement is executed: it appears to us calculated, however, to be very useful, and may be advantageously put into the hands of youth in general, and of all those to whom its momentous exhortations may unhappily appear necessary.
Art. XII. Memoirs of the late Rev. W. Heudebourck, of Taunton, written by Himself, with a Sermon occasioned by his Death, preached at Bishop's Hull, Sept. 11. 1808. By William Heudebourck. 8vo. pp. 32. Price 1s. Taunton, Norris; Williams and Co. 1808. IN reading the memoirs of a man, written by himself, we are naturally inclined to presume he will sometimes consult his reputation at the expense of his veracity; or at least, that if he have no wish to deceive others, he is yet in great danger of being deceived himself, into a loftier estimate of his character than impartial truth would dictate. There is little room, however, for apprehensions of this nature, when we peruse the lives of men, whose hopes rest on objects beyond the grave, whose reliance is not on their own merits but the divine mercy, and whose happiness does not depend on the opinion formed of their character by fallible men. We have this security for the truth of the narrative in this pamphlet. Mr. H. gives a very simple account of his youthful levities, occasional compunction, subsequent endeavours to purchase heaven by a course of duty, and the eventual rectification of his opinions and principles under the ministry of various preachers who supplied Mr. Whitefield's Tabernacle in Moorfields. He also mentions the circumstances and importunities which first prevailed on him, much against his inclination, to attempt to preach; which he afterwards continued to do above thirty years, first in various places near London, as an occasional supply, and then as an itinerant pastor of three or four congregations, of which that at Harlington was the chief, and finally at Milverton, near Taunt on. He appears to have been a worthy, pious man, who deserved to be remembered with reverence and gratitude by his friends, but whose course and character were not sufficiently extraordinary to merit much attention from the public.
The sermon on occasion of his death, which happened Aug. 30, 1808. in his 83rd year, was preached by his grandson, from 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7. In this discourse, which gives us a favourable impression of the preacher's abilities and principles, the text is considered as descriptive of holy courage, unremitting diligence, steady perseverance, and animating prospects.'
The faith of my venerable relative (says he) was manifested to have been a living principle, by his having through grace steadfastly " kept the faith” upto the end. His faith was strong, and was the unfailing source of sanctity in his soul, and holy obedience in his life. His attachment to the leading truths of the gospel was unshaken to the last. He was no bigot- he loved from his heart" all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity," though differing from him in some religious opinions; yet he would always on proper occasions, openly avow those doctrines from which he derived his comfort. He loved those truths which are usually called the doctrines of grace. Influenced by these views of gospel truth, he maintained for a long succession of years an uniform course of godliness. Nothing would have so much distressed his mind, as the idea that he might have lived to be a disgrace to religion, by departing from the faith; and God was pleased to keep him from falling, till he should present him faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. pp. 26, 27.