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Though some of Mr. Mason's poems are too highly ornamented, whoever has read his Elfrida and Caractacus muli have felt that his numbers will reach the heart. lie thould not have been represented as a candidate for Johnson's laurel, whose own is of fo superior a verdure. The Pious Incendiaries: or, Fanaticism Displayed, a Poem.
Ву a Lady. 4to. 55. Hooper. We doubt not of the good intentions of the fair author, in this performance, and cannot but approve the diffidence the expresles, and seems to feel in offering it to the public. The poem is written in the style and manner of Hudibras. A well known, we may add, a too well known character, is the principal object of the fatire it contains. To imitate Hudibras is an ardu. ous undertaking; and if the public should decide that this lady has not succeeded in her attempt, she may justly console herself with the reflection, that she has only failed in an enterprize where few would have come off with honour.-Magnis excidit aufis ! The Adventures of Telemachus, the Son of Ulyses. In English Verse.
8vo. 35. Od. Jewed. Becket. The encomiums bestowed on the French Telemachus are in general just: towards the conclusion our author observes that,
Notwithstanding the indisputable merit of Monf. Fenelon's performance in the original (to which the numerous tranfo lations in our own tongue are sufficient vouchers) a poetical version seems still wanting, to accommodate the taste of an Enge lish reader with one of its usual gratifications in an Epic Poem, which title justly belongs to these volumes, though devoid of an ornament not susceptible of dignity in the French language.'
We will allow that French verse is ill-adapted to an epic composition; and that in many effential points, verse excepted, Telemachus is entitled to that appellation; yet still we cannot see the utility of its being versified in our language. The fuccess of numerous prose-translators vouch for the propriety of that method. The original, even when literally rendered, ftrikes naturally into our language in periods easy and harmonious. What more have we to expect? The time of an able writer would surely be mispent, in endeavouring to improve by rhyme what appears to the utmost advantage in flowing profe; and the labours of an inferior one would undoubtedly be excelled by the most literal version. The style of the present author in his advertisement is, though sometimes a litile inclining to the bombatt, easy and fpirited; had he attempted the original in that manner, we do not think he would have proved unsuccessful; but his poetry is flat, diffuse, and som etimes ridiculous. In a storm, raised by Neptune to sink Telemachus's vessel, he gives the following account of Mentor's behaviour.
• He takes an axe, and cuts the breaking mast,
From noftrils, mouth, and ears, it gain'd a vent.' An unsuccessful attempt of the fame kind was made by a Mr. Bagnal, in the year 1756. From the title we were led to expect an entire translation of Teleinachus: this performance however only consists of the first six books, and here we suppose the undertaking will end. Poems on feveral Occasions. By Ann rearsley, a Milk-woman
of Bristol. 4to. 6s. Cadell. These poems are uiered into the world by a prefatory letter from Miss Hannah More to Mrs. Montague, giving some account of this self-infructed votary of the Muses. It resembles the well-drawn relation of Stephen Duck, written by Mr. Spence, and prefixed to his poems. A parallel might indeed be drawn between him and the present writer, but not much to the advantage of the former. Stephen was merely a rhym.
: the protection he obtained proceeded from the peculiarity of a thresher's writing verses, not on account of the verses themselves. As Pope says of straw and grubs in amber,
• We know these things are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they came there.' The poems before us are entitled to a superior degree of praise ; there are evident traces to be found in them of a strong and fervid imagination, as the following passage will sufficients ly testify:
• My soul is out of tone,
Drear, joylefs, vacant, as my wasted soul,
Officious Truth! unwelcome guest to most,
Or hate thee, tho' we never meet again.' Correctness and precision cannot be expected from one who does not know a single rule of grammar, and who has never even seen a dictionary ;' but we can affure the reader many passages, in no respect inferior to the preceding, might be selected. We will not anticipate his curiofily any farther, but recommend to hin the book itself. He will receive the double fatisfaction of being amused by its perusal, and contributing to the relief of depressed genius. A large list of subscribers is annexed; which does honour to the author's protectress, by whose means, we apprehend, so many respectable names were procured for promoting her benevolent intention. More Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians. By a distant Relation
to the Poet of Thebes, and Laureate to the Academy. 4to. Hookham,
This is a very successful imitator of the same humorous, ingenious gentleman, who has twice before · had a stroke' at the Royal Academicians. It is as impoflible to prevent laughing at his oddity, as being offended at his grossness : nothing but the brilliancy of tis genius could bear him through the abuse he so liberally bestows on the late exhibitions,
· The want of ev'ry lib'ral grace
Disgrace to the art, a vulgar crew-
To fir Joshua Reynolds, as usual, he is by turns ironical an! civil; to Mr. Welt not very complaisant. Speaking of the want of distinction in the public, he says with infinite drollery,
« For me, tho' blest with Phæbus' lyre,
And born on Fancy's strongest wing-
Did I of gods and heroes sing.
'Tis buying fame by far too dear,
If when one's gut with hunger twiches,
Nor feel one stiver in one's breeches.
And with your lords get sav'ry dinners;
And crouch to publicans and sinners.' His ninth ode is less personal than the rest. After having declared that the works are rather the objects of his fatire than the men, he proceeds,
• My cousin Pindar's firains, as well as mine,
But with obstrep’rous envy Itrove to drown :
And on their efforts look'd contemptuous down.
Whem ye would fain see like the lion fick:
There's not an ass among you but would kick !!
We cannot help exprefling a with that this gentleman would chuse an object of imitation where his wit and genius may fhine, undebased with vulgarity and personal abuse. Lyric Oiles, for the Year 1985: by Peter Pindar, Esq. a diftant
Relation of the Poet of Thebes, and Laureat to the Royal Aca. demy. 4to. 25. 6d, Kearsley.
Two publications, with titles nearly fimilar, might lead us to suspect the authenticity of one or the other; but we have reason to suppose that both are the production of the facetious gentleman whose genius and vivacity we have often commended. It is now time, however, to employ the reira, rather than the spur; to hint that, though spirited satire is sometimes amuling, yet, when it degenerates into licentiousness, it loses the charm, apd disgusts the reader more than it has ever pleased him. A little wholesome chastisement may be necessary when we observe
faults; but when the lalh is so often repeated, and so feverely laid we are apt to suspect a deeper cause for it than profei. fional errors.
As we hope this is the last time we shall review any odes on this subject, we will extract a part of one before us, as a specimen of his manner. It is an Ode which he properly addresses to himself.
• A thousand frogs upon a summer's day,
They show'd their gold-Jac'd cloaths with pride,
In harmless fallies, frequent vied,
• It happen'd that a band of boys,
Observant of their harmless joys,
One frenzy seiz'd both great and Imall,
On the poor frogs the rogues began to fall,
* As Milton quaintly fings," the stones 'gan pour,"
Indeed, an Otaheite show'r !
One's eye was beat out of his head,
This limp'd away, that lay for dead, -
Amongst the smitten it was found
And drew a tear from ev'ry eye :-
And so they might be to us frogs,
You damn'd, young, good-for-nothing dogs !
Peter! thou mark'st the meaning of this fable-
Mad, Jehu-like, o'er harmleis people ride.' If the author wants farther advice on this subject we recommend the following.
• Build not, alas ! your popularity