« PreviousContinue »
ably deficient. The author should have described the men, and their striking characteristics, instead of aiming at their foibles. The best part of the work is the selection of the mottos, and their translations ; in which he discovers fancy and ingenuity. The motto to the marquis of B's arms is CLAM.; but often, in his choice of these, he sinks into puns and false wit, The Reviewers corrected: or False Criticism analysed. By W. Eda
monstone, Surgeon. 8vo. 6d. Richardson.
Speratum meritis.' This complaint was a very ancient one, and complaints of this kind will always continue. Mr. Edmonstone's animadvers fions were excited by the criticism on his . Effay on the Prevention of an Evil injurious to Health, and inimical to Enjoyment,' in the Monthly Review. Adventures of a Pincushion, designed chiefly for the Use of Young
Ladies. 24to. 6d. Marshall. This is an instructive and amusing little book : the lessons are inculcated with great address, and they are strictly moral and juft. It is a favourable prospect for the succeeding age, that the little books for children are so much improved in every respect. Esay to prove the Insufficiency of Subalterns Pay in the Army, &c.
Small 8vo. 25. 6d. in Boards. Stockdale. Nothing is more generally acknowledged than that the pay, of a fubaltern officer is really inadequate to his station. Accord ing to a calculation made by this writer, and which we think is far from being exaggerated, the almost unavoidable yearly expences of a subaltern officer exceed his income by a fum nearly equal to his pay. · The author pleads the cause of the military officers with modefty; and has subjoined some fenfible hints for more effectually recruiting the army.
Practical Benevolence, 8vo. 15. Murray. A well-written letter, addressed to the public by a universal friend, who offers his advice to persons of all denominations, in the most delicate circumstances of life. The conspicuous philanthropy of the author merits our warmest praise; and we heartily with success to a plan so singular, benevolent, and gratuitous. Elements of Nature ; or, Free Opinions sported in the interior Cabinet of Venus. By Montaigne.
25. 6d. Peacock. According to the compiler, this pamphlet includes the beauties of Montaigne; but he would have acted more ingenuously, to have called these extracts the Deformities of that agreeable author.
Eleven additional Letters from Rufia, in the Reign of Peter 11.
By the late Mrs. Vigor. Never before published, With a Preface and Notes. Small 8vo. 15. 6d. “Dodsley.
The Letters formerly published by this lady commenced with the year 1730, and terminated in 1739
; but all in the prefent collection bear the dates of one or other of the two years preceding the first of thofe periods. The late Mrs. Vigor was the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Goodwin, a clergyman of large fortune in Yorkshire, which, after her brother's death, de. volved to her. She was married successively to three husbands; the firit of whom was conful-general to Russia, and the fecond was resident at that court. She died at Windsor in September last, aged eighty-four. Her understanding, which was strong by nature, she had cultivated both by books and an extenfive commerce with the world; and her vivacity was the delight of all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance. With these talents, she was eminently qualified for observation, as well as for communicating her ideas either by oral or literal intercourse. Her Letters, therefore, contain many curious particulars relative to persons of distinction at Petersburgh; and they are written with that agreeable ease which ought to be the chief characteristic of epistolary compofition. Lectiones SeleEle; or Select Latin Lessons in Morality, History, and Biography. By the Rev. John Adams.
8d. Law. From the extreme facility of these Lessons, they are not calculated to convey the idioms of the Latin ; but they may be used with advantage by boys who are just beginning the fudy of that language.
The Tec-Purchaser's Guide. Small 8vo. IS. Kearsley. The author of this pamphlet delivers the common obferva. tions relative to the judging of teas ; and likewise the methods of qualifying any sort of tea, by mixing it with another. According to his information, great quantities of bad prize-teas are at this time in London, and are said to be the cause of the complaint so prevalent with respect to this commodity.
* See Crit. Rev. vol. xl. p. 165.
For AUGUST, 1785.
Travels in the Two Sicilies, by Henry Swinburne, Esg, in the
Years 1717, 1778, 1779, and 1780. Vol. II. 4to. il. is.
in Boards. Elmsly. WE
E have now the pleasure to resume the narrative of this
agreeable traveller, who, after his return from Puglia, devoted the cooler days of summer and autumn to excursions in the neighbourhood of Naples. This is a scene which has often been described by other authors; but every object receives freth beauty from the imitative pencil of Mr. Swinburne. His first voyage was to the island of Capri, anciently called Capreæ, about eighteen miles south of Naples, at the entrance of the gulf. Steep cliffs and grand masses of rock, he observes, gave it a wildness of feature which, as he approached, was gradually foftened by patches of verdure, and clusters of white-houses.
* The landscape round the place of debarking, says he, is composed of various trees rich in luxuriant foliage, cottages raised on terraces, a smooth ftrand with busy groups of mariners, painted boats drawn on More, or dancing on the furgo, villas peeping through the grove, and, to complete the scene, bold rocks projecting into the bofom of the deep. On a ridge between two rugged eminences, which form the extremities of the island, and rear their shaggy summits to a tremendous height, I discovered the cupolas and buildings of the episcopal city; at a distance it had the appearance of a considerable place, on a nearer view it dwindled to a village.
From the town I followed an ancient causeway to the eastern fummit of Capri, where cliffs of ftupendous attitude overhang the channel that separates the island from Cape Campanella. Though my eyes had long been accustomed to vait, as (well as charming prospects, yet the view from hence is fo extensive, grand, and beautiful, that it was impossible to behold it without emotions of surprise and rapture : at one glance I took in a range of coast exceeding one hundred miles in length, VOL. LX. Augufl, 1785.
reaching from Mondragone to Cape della Licofa. Within these bounds is comprised an assemblage of objects that few countries can boast of; before me lay several rich and populous islands; Naples, with all its hills and swarming suburbs, backed by the towering Appenine; Vesuvius pouring forth volames of smoke; at its feet innumerable villages and verdant plains contrafted with purple lavas; immediately under me Minerva's Promontory advancing towards Capri, and dividing the Neapolitan bay from the semicircular bason of Salerno, at the bottom of which the fun-beams pointed out the white ruins of Pæftum.'
This island was polluted with the infamous pleasures of Tiberius Cæsar, who built upon it twelve villas, the ruins of some of which are yet to be seen. Vast numbers of stockdoves and quails are here intercepted in their annual fights, by means of nets laid across every break in the woods, or chasm in the hills. We are informed that eight years ago, in the month of May, forty-five thousand were taken in the course of one day.
Our author concludes his account of Capri with the following remark.
• This ifle reunites such a variety of beauties and advantages, that it is a matter of wonder to me, why so few of our myfanthropic countrymen refort to it; a man of an indolent philofophical caft would here be suited with a scene for meditation and solitary enjoyments; the temperature of the air, and the excellence of the fruits, would secure his health ; and the delightful scenery around him would dispel his cares, and give an even chearful flow to his spirits. An English gentleman of the name of Thorold, spent many years of his life here, at a charming retreat, which he had formed with every convenience the climate required, in one of the most agreeable situations upon
the island. If i am not misinformed, he breathed his last, and was interred in this his favourite refidence.'
The island of Ischia, formerly known by the names of Inarime, Arime, and Pithecusa, is likewise described by our author as a most desirable retreat. He observes, that for richness of soil, abundance of products, and beauty of situation, it may vie with the most celebrated spots on the face of the globe.
On the shore of Patria are some heaps of stones, the ruins of Liternum. This place was rendered venerable by the voluntary exile of Cornelius Scipio Africanus. About six miles eallward is the insulated rock, where stood the citadel of Cuma; the capital of a state which, as the traveller observes, ruled the seas before either Rome or Carthage were heard of.
• This rocky hill, says Mr. Swinburne, is the produce of an eruption, and hollowed into many spacious caverns, amongst which we look in vain for the grotto where the Cumean sybil pronounced her oracles; that sanctuary was destroyed in the Gothic war, Agathias informs us, that it was scooped into the form of a temple, the roof of which served as a foundation for one of the principal towers of the fortress. When Narses invelted the citadel, he caused this rocky cover to be cut through in several directions, and then propped up with beams; as soon - as every thing was in readiness for the assault, the wood was set
on fire. Upon the props being consumed, the rocks gave way, and brought the walls down headlong with them into the temple; and on these accumulated ruins the imperial troops entered the breach.'
On landing at the canal by which the lake Fusaro discharges its fuperfluous waters into the sea of Ischia, the traveller was shown some ruins, said to be those of the tomb of Caius Marius. At the foot of the shelving promontory of Miseno, are also the scattered ruins of a city of that name ; and the remains of a theatre are very apparent. A fine fragment of the marble cornice is yet left, to bear testimony to the elegance with which it was decorated in the rich luxuriancy of the composite order. The channel where the fleet of Agrippa moored, has now, as Mr. Swinburne remarks, but one crazy cobble, ftationed to ferry over travellers. He pasied it to the Elysian fields, which are bounded on the north fide by a small eminence covered with vines. The surface of the bank is hol. lowed into numberless caves and places of sepulture ; and an ancient
way leads from the ferry towards Capua, between rows of monumental buildings, which, from being filled with the alhes of the dead, are now occupied by living peasants.
Under the lofty headlands of the celebrated Baiæ, the sands abound with fragments rolled from the ruins; and some men employ themselves in the summer in dragging the bottom of the fea with small baskets. They wash the sand in several waters, and seldom fail of bringing up a cornelian or medal that repays them for their time and labour. Near the foot of Monte Nuovo, we are informed that the fubterraneous fires act with such immediate power, that even the sand at the bottom of the sea is intolerably heated.
This entertaining traveller afterwards conducts us to the lake of Avernus, which he describes both in its ancient and present state. He justly observes that the change of fortune in this and the Lucrine lake is fingular.
• In the splendid days of imperial Rome, the Lucrine was the chosen spot for the brilliant parties of pleasure of a voluptuous court; they are described by Seneca as the highest refinemeut of extravagance and luxury; now a flimy bed of rushes covers the scattered pools of this once beautiful sheet of water,