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6 The sofa suits
Though on a sofa, may I never feel.' This leads him to give an account of his truant rambles when a boy ; and to inform us, that the rural walks which delighted him when young, ftill afford equal pleasure at a more ad. vanced stage of life. He proceeds to describe an ambulatory excursion. The reflections he makes in it naturally arise from the objects which present themselves to his view ; and the fcenery is depictured in chalte and exact colouring. We meet with no meretricious ornaments ; no superfluity of epithets and crouded figures, which often throw an indistinct glare over modern poetic landscapes, instead of representing their objects in a clear and proper light. His vindication of the long colonnade of correspondent trees against the encroachments of the present taste, and wilh to
The obsolete prolixity of shade,' will doubtless be reprobated by the votaries of Brown, and modern improvement. We, however, question whether they do not impress the mind with more sublime and awful ideas, than they could effect by any other mode of arrangement. Though people may vary as to their opinion, in this respect, they will certainly concur in admiring the following animated apostrophe. The image in the seventh line is equally new, juft, and beautiful.
6 Ye fallen avenues ! once more I mourn
yet a remnant of your race survive.
Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot.' The author now contemplates the thresher at his work; and deduces some pertinent remarks on the utility of exercise, and the pernicious effects of laziness and indulgence.
· Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted most, Fartheft retires--an idol, at whose shrine
Who oft'neft sacrifice are favour'd leaft.' The superiority of nature's works to the imitations of art is next pointed out, and the wearisomeness of what is com.
monly called a life of pleasure, much in the manner of Young, itrongly delineated,
• Whom call we gay? that honor has been long
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.' Our innate defire of novelty is then considered, and the expediency of changing the scene proved, as objects, though not so beautiful in themselves as those we have been long accustomed to, will please by being less familiar. The inclosures of the valley ; the rock that “ hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts ;' the 'common overgrown with fern ;' the haunt of a melancholy maiden crazed with love, are next exhibited. An affembly of gypsies is introduced, and their manners described. This leads the author to pass fome encomiums on a civilized ftate, which he looks upon as equally conducive to happiness and virtue. He expresses his compassion for the islanders in the South Sea, particularly Omiah, whose fituation, as it appears to the author, when restored to his own country, is well imagined. But, though he allows a civilized ftate to promote virtue, he remarks that great cities are inimical to it. He bestows some encomiums on London ; but concludes the book with arraigning its effeminacy of manners, its feve. rity in punishing petty offenders, and lhameful lenity towards those of superior rank.
From the sketch we have given of the first book, an idea may be formed of the manner in which the others are conducted. The subject-matter is sometimes serious, and sometimes comic. The transitions are in many places happily con. trived : in others, too abrupt and desultory. Sometimes our author lhews himself rather too much the laudatur temporis aéti. Our follies and vices are sufficiently numerous, but those of our forefathers, if we judge from the writers of their days, were little or nothing inferior. We are censured for wearing • habits coftlier than Lucullus wore.'
Our mutability in fashions is juftly ridiculed; but our modes of dress are not, in general, remarkably costly. Our ances: tors flowing wigs, in the reign of good queen Anne, was probably a more expensive and absurd fashion than
in modern days. In another place, our author having expressed his strong attachment to his native country, his participation of its joys and forrows, observes,
. And I can feel
And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.'
• But hark-the doctor's voice-fast wedg'd between
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Grand caterer and dry. nurse of the church.' Our author's excellency, in faithfully delineating the scenes of nature, has been already mentioned. A striking instance of it is to be found in his description of a winter's morning. The objects are brought immediately before our view: and the village cur, with which we shall close our extract, is peculiarly excellent, and painted from the life.
• 'Tis morning; and the sun with ruddy orb
Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad
Then shakes his powder'd coat and barks for joy.' What follows, for several pages of the same kind, possesses equal merit; but we refrain from transcribing any farther. It is but justice, however, to observe, before we conclude our review of this poem, that the religious and moral reflections with which it abounds, though sometimes the diction is not sufficiently elevated, in general pofiel the acuteness and depth of Young, and are often expressed with the energy of Shakspeare. The Epistle to Mr. Hill exposes the false pretenders to friendship, and concludes with a handsome compliment to that gentle
In the poem entitled Tirocinium, we meet with some fevere strictures on the mode of education in our public schools ; and we fear the author's censure is too juftly found. ed. The facerious ballad of John Gilpin, concludes the volume, and is too well-known to need our recommendation.
A General Synopsis of Birds. Vol. III. 480. 21. 125. 6d. ir
Boards. Leigh and Sotheby. OUR attentive and induftrious author has now completed
his design, viz. of giving a concise account of all the birds hitherto known ;' yet, as information constantly accu