Page images
PDF
EPUB

• At other times, by way of insult and derision. Thus, when he would represent the forces of Cataline as mean and contemptible, he says,

“O terrible war! in which this band of profigates are to march under Cataline. Draw out all your garrisons againk this formidable body!”

• And at other times, in order to give the greater foree to his argument, he seems, as it were, by this figure to recall and corred what he had said before : as in his oration for Milo:

“But it is foolish in us to compare Drusus, Africanus, and ourselves, with Clodius; all our other calamities were tolerable, but no one can patiently bear the death of Clodius.”

In pronouncing the hrst of these pasages, we should affume an over-acted approbation, and such a tone of voice as, seems to exclude all doubt of the integrity of the person we sneer at : this tone is low and drawling, and must be accompanied by a lifting-up of the hands, as if it were a crime to think otherwise than we speak.

* In the second paffage, we must assume a fear, as if occae fioned by the most terrible danger. The voice must be in a high tremulous tone, and the hands lifted up, with the palms and fingers open, as if to defend us from approaching ruin.

• In the third paftage, we muft affume a disapprobation approaching to contempt: the voice must be in a low tone, and the right-hand with the palm and fingers open, waved from the left to the right, as if to set aside something too insignificant to be attended to ; but the last member must have the cone of approbation, as if the object of it were something very noble and sacred.

"Satan beheld their plight,
And to his mates thus in derifion call'd.
O friends, why come not on those victors proud ?
Erewhile they fierce were coming, and when we
To entertain them fair with open front
And breast (what could we more?) propounded terms
Of composition, straight they chang’d their minds,
Flew off, and into strange vagaries tell
As they would dance; yet for a dance they seem'd.
Somewhat extravagant and wild : perhaps
For joy of offer'd peace ; but I suppose
If our proposals once again were heard,
We should compel them to a quick result."

Milton's Paradise Loft, b. vi. v. 609. • This passage, as Mr. Addison observes, is nothing but a tring of puns, and those very bad ones too: but whatever may be its merits in other respects, it affords an excellent opportu. pity of practising the pronunciation of irony. It must begin by an affected surprize, and proceed with a seriousness and seeming fincerity till the seventh line, when the word for is to have an emphasis with the rising inflexion, and to be proaounced with an air of uncertainty, whether it were a dance or not. A sneer commences at perhaps, which must be pronounced with a fly arch tone, as if perfectly secure of the consequences of another onset."

nounced

The author concludes with a praxis, adapted to the foregoing rules, and containing a great variety of examples in prose and verse.

On this occasion, we cannot refuse our sincerelt tribute of applause to the industrious, ingenious, and worthy author, for this laudable attempt to facilitate the acquisition of one of the most pleasing and important accomplishments, which the youth of either lex can possible acquire.

The New Rofciad, in the Manner of Churchill, containing a ju

dicious, bumerous, and critical Description of sur present

Dramatic Characters. 410.. 25. 6d. Macklew. THIS HIS judicious, humorous, and critical description, is fo to

tally void of judgment, humour, and criticism, chat, were it not for the malevolence of its contents, it would be unworthy even of censure. The mind is offended to behold ignorance aflume an authoritative tone, and deliver dogmas in ungrammatical and unintelligible language; but our disguft is increased when it attacks the reputation of persons whose abilities have justly acquired them fame in their profesion. Fortanately, however, the malice of the writer is so effectually counteracted by his dulness, that little attention can be paid either to his panegyric or his fatire. - He professes to write in the manner of a poet of acknowleged merit, whom he resembles in nothing more than ill-nature, the size of the page, and the enormous price of the pamphlet ; for it will never be alJowed, that the art of imitating Churchill confifts in plagiarisms of thoughts, words, and even rhymes, with a servile imitation of the plan and machinery of the Rosciad, which, in the hands of this imitator, are incongruous and absurd. The following quotation affords an uncommon confusion of ideas.

• As yet uncertain was the gen’ral voice,
As yet 'twas doubtful where to fix the choice ;
When, frange to tell! yet stranger to behold!
Earth open'd ! lightnings Aalh'd! and thunders roll'd!
Forth from the gap a lofty dome appear'd,
Its bead a vifionary fabric rear'd.
No stately columns in set order plac'd,
No colly paintings here the building gracid;
L 3

But

But all dispos'd with decency was seen,
Irregularly grand, and simply plain;
High in the midit, in thrones devoid of state,

By mighty Shakspeare's side, great Johnson fate.' Strange to tell indeed! and yet stranger to behold! Earth opening, a lofty dome appearing from the gap, and the head of this dome turning builder, and rearing a visionary fabric, which fabric, or lofty dome, was without columns, and in which were thrones without ftate; in, not on, these thrones sate great Johnson ; but how many of them he contrived to fit in at the same time, we must leave to the conjecture and sagacity of our readers.Need we be at farther pains to describe what the powers of discrimination are in a mind capable of conceiving such a jumble of incoherences ! The talk is de. grading; but, left it should be fuppofed we have anjuftly seJected a fingle weak passage, we will cite another or two equally absurd (they offer themselves in every page), that no doubt may remain in the mind of a candid reader in what estimation to hold this strange farrago, which the author has attempted to impose upon the world for the dictates of unpre, judiced and found criticism.

• In folemn march the low procession came,
All sorts and sizes burrying to fame ;
The deaf, the blind, the lame, all join the throng;
The young ones led rike old, the old the young ;

Thus bravely match’d, a mighty troop appear’d.'Here is a solemn proceflion of a mighty troop of the deaf, blind, and lame, of all forts and fixes, bravely match'd, flowly burrying to fame, in which the young ones led the old, and the old ones led the young.

« In dark oblivion buried be his name,

Consign'd by sense to everlasting shame.' Confgning a person to everlajiing thame by forgetting him, is a mode well worthy of our author,

An ignis fatuus would have prov'd his fire
Without thy light, which warm’d his soul with fame

That now he calls his own-true Humour's claim.' Here we have ligist warming a foul with fame, which fame he (Mr. O'Keefe, the person in question) calls his own, and which we should imagine the author meant to allow him, did be not infcrm vs, in the latter part of the line, that it is the claim of True-humour. As to the light, which turned an ignia fatuus into fire, it was emitted by Mr. Colman ; and, were Me inclined to enter into a research so deep, we hould never

be

[ocr errors]

be able to determine whether the fame that followed belongs to Mr. Colman, Mr. O'Keeffe, or the said Mr. True-humour.

• Applaufe he gains, nor can the critic find

A fault that age might not excuse behind.' Mr. Macklin, we are told, is so perfect, that he has no faults behind, which age might not excuse ; but whether a critic could or could not discover a fault before, of this unfortunately we are left in total ignorance.

To notice all the false rhymes, halting verses, and errors in language and construction, in the present performance, would be endless. · We shall therefore conclude with a quo. tation from this judicious, humorous, and critical description of our present dramatic characters (the author means of our present actors), and which he has dedicated to George Col. man, efq.--without that gentleman's permission, we may fairly presume.

• What! does he mean to give the playhouse rules?
Direct the actors ?-He's the worst of fools !!!

[ocr errors]

MONTHLY CATALOGUE.

POLITICA L. England's Alarm on the prevailing Doctrine of Libels, as laid down

by the Earl of Mansfield. By M. Dawes, Esq. 8vo. Is. 6d. Stockdale. 'N fome pamphlets lately published on the doctrine of libels,

it was contended that juries have a right to judge of the law as well as the fact; and that this right has been invariably. exercised from the beginning of the English monarchy. But, however confiftent with the spirit of the Englih conftitution such a doctrine may appear to be, the allegation of ancient and invariable usage with respect to the exercise of this supposed right, though countenanced by the opinion of some law. yers, loosely delivered, is not supported by history. This is doubtless a strong objection to the validity of the popular claim as an ancient right. But to supply the deficiency, the present author has recourse to the conftitution of the Athenian government; insisting, that as Socrates appears to have been condemned by a jury of his countrymen, 'English juries are entitled to the same right of trial in the case of libels. The author, apparently apprehensive of the weakness of this ar. gument, ventures yet a step farther in support of his favourite doctrine, and infifts, by more than implication, that the judicial right for which he contends is actually inherent in mankind. This, though a fhort, is not a very satisfactory mode of reasoning: nbr indeed is there any thing throughout the pamphlet that deserves to be considered as found argument. The doc14

trine,

trine, in stead of being proved, is from the beginning taken for granted, and though founded only in hypothefis, is urged in a strain of the molt petulant expoftulation with a noble and learned lord; whose unblemished integrity, however, no less than his great abilities, the author acknowleges. A Cleam of Comfort to this diftracted Empire, 8vo. 25. Debrett.

Poor Britannia ! how much is the persecuted by the cruelty of her own ungrateful children! at one time her tranquillity is difturbed with ideal apprehensions ; at another, her miseries are insulted with ironical consolation. This author is to Brie tain what the comforters of old were to job; and to strengthen the allusion, that great example of patience was not more overwhelmed with calamity than, according to the modern com-, forter, is tow the British constitution, under the guidance of the prefent minifters. The author informs us, in the conclusion of the pamphlet, that if a change of the adminiftration should be attributed to his efforts, he would exclaim in the words of the poet, • fublimi feriam lidera vercice.' It is pity that che dark. ness of the political atmosphere cannot afford fo much-as a gleam of comfort to gratify his ambition. A Plan for finally settling the Government of Ireland upon Confti

tutional Principles. 8vo.' is. 6d. Stockdale. When in the course of our periodical examinations we meet with any political theorem which appears paradoxical, we think proper to recite it in the author's own words, left it should be imagined that we had misrepresented his meaning. For this reason we have extracted the following paragraph in the present pamphlet.

· Whoever will analyse a civil society into its effential mem. bers, will find, that all those members are reducible to three classes, or, in other words, that a civil state requires only three things as neceffary for its existence; the first, food; the second, clothing and houling; and the third, defence. On the suppofition of a paix perpetuelle, or perpetual peace, the article of defence might be omitted ; but as the nature of man renders such a system altogether ideal, this article of defence becomes as efentially necessary as the two former. Beyond thofe three articles then, all expences that people in focial communities incur, are neither more nor less than taxes ; nay, ftri&ly speaking, are more taxes and burdens than those paid to government; for these last are absolutely necessary for the being of a ftate, but the others are only requifice to its well-being.' . We wuft acknowlege we should be of opinion, that the proposition with which this paragraph concludes is directly the reverse of the truth, nor could we heftate a inoinent to fuppose that the author was jocular, were we not convinced, -on farther perusal, that he is serious, But though we unfortunately difer from him with respect to the principle which is the bahis

of

« PreviousContinue »