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Charged to be sure not to forget to bring home Peregrine Pickle's Adventures ; and when Dolly is sent to market to sell her eggs, The is commissioned to purchase The History of Pamela Andrews. In short, al ranks and degrees now read. But the moft rapid increase of the sale of books has been since the termination of the Jate war.
• A number of book-clubs are also formed in every part of England, where each member subscribes a certain suni quarterly to purchase books: in some of these clubs the books, after they have been read by all the subscribers, are sold among them to the higheft bidders, and the money produced by such sale is expended in fresh purchases ; by which prudent and judicious mode, each member has it in his power to become possessed of the work of any particular author he may judge deserving a superior degree of attention ; and the members at large enjoy the advantage of a continual succession of different publications, instead of being re." ftricted to a repeated perusal of the same authors; which must have been the case, if so rational a plan had not been adopted.
The Sunday schools are spreading fast ir most parts of England, which will accelerate the diffusion of knowledge among the lower classes of the community, and in a very few years exceedingly increase the sale of books.'
We shall not follow Mr. L. in his travels to Edinburgh and other places; nor in his details of his business and private life. His book is so open to a charge of vanity, that we could not wield a weapon against a man wholly unarmed, especially'as his vanity is seldom offensive ; but the following instance extorts a smile : ' At Weymouth we had the honour of walking the Esplanade, with their majesties, and the four princesses,'—and every one who came. Could Mr. L. read French, he might have met with an antidote. A young nobleman said to his uncle, I have been at the levee, and the king said many good things to me:-and I, answered the uncle, have been at a sermon of Bourdaloue's, who said many wise things to me.
To the book, which seems an honest faithful narrative, is prefixed a portrait so flattering as to bear little refemblance; a defect common to most English portraits : we prefer honest Dutch painters and engravers, who never venture to improve the works of nature.
Miscellaneous Poems, and a Tragedy. By Mrs. Weft. 8vo.
45. Faulder. 1791. M RS. West's poetical abilities are not of an inferior cast.
1. She mentions her having laboured under the disadvantages of a confined education, and that the duties of domestic life have allowed her but little leisure for literary pursuits.
That time, however, has not been idly spent. The four odes which occur first in this performance evidently owe their birth to a reflecting and cultivated mind. A text of scripture is prefixed to the two former, which serves as a thesis for the subsequent poems. The second is on the following subject :
What is man that thou art mindful of him!' Psal. viii. 5. It concludes thus : • Turn then, ye erring pilgrims ! turn,
Who perfect bliss on earth pursue :
To Heav'n the radiant cherub few,
And Charity's directing light.
Faith wafts your wilhes to the sky,
Suppress the false repining lay:
The sorrows of life's little day?
And nerveless drops his murd'rous hand.
Fenc'd by Devotion's facred shield,
Along the pilgrimage of life
He feels not pallion's restless woe.
And trew'd it with some casual flowers;
And cultivates chole plants with care,
With dangers fraught, his journey lies,
An intellectual calm supplies ;
Still to the virtuous fufferer given.
These sublunary scenes bestow ;
The third, to Independence, displays likewise both thought and imagination : it concludes with very proper advice to the sons of affluence and fame,' which all must allow to be very good, and few will practise. The fourth, for the year 1789, exhibits Mrs. West's political opinions; in which the avows her zeal for freedom and the rights of man. Her sentiments, however, are neither illiberal nor improper. She is no wild enthusiast, who, in pursuit of those rights, would trample on ail salutary laws and ordinances. She is indeed a votary of freedom, but of freedom with Aftræa join'd.' The other poems are in general nót inferior to the odes. They are of various kinds ; eiegies, characters, pastorals, &c. The latter are evidently written after the manner of Shenstone, and it is not unsuccessfully copied. The paltoral in which the scene is laid in the Highlands, poffefses most originality; and the imagery is picturesque and appropriate.
• My temper is ardent and warm,
I was bred on the mountain's rough side ;
With courage my bosom supply'd.
That boasts no improvement from art s
They glow with full force in my heart.
When it brought the thick tempeft of snow :
When the forests have Ihrunk from the blow.
The loud mountain torrent I've brav'd :
But the tremblers I happily fav’d.
Whose summit bends far o'er the main,
Of the fisher, beneath me, in vain.
Their young ones the penguins will rear;
There the eggs of the sea-fowl I sought,
And the samphire that redolent blooms;
The feathers that form thy light plumesa
Rose like mifts o'er the rocks at my feet,
Şeem'd with clamour to guard their retreat,
When the West hạch look”d dulky and red,
Seem'd to call to the feast of the dead.
The firs thund'ring fell down the steep i
And horribly roar'd the vex'd deep,
I rose on the salt surge up-born ; .
And waited the coming of morn.
And drench'd by the pitiless rain,
But the night never heard me complain,
Its summit in regions divine,
Tipp'd with silver the arrowy pinę.
It pass'd me in Madowy glare ;
Then melted illusive in air.' . Some slight errors might be pointed out, besides that relae tive to the penguins; the most unfortunate birds, that could have been introduced, as, instead of broad pinions, they can scarcely be said to have any at all except what assist them in running or swimming. It is equally impossible for them to fly, and for us to account for their visit to the Hebrides, or what to understand by the feathers that form thy light plumes."
-We have no inclination, however, to dwell on faults, where the beauties are so much more numerous and prominent. The Tragedy will not bear a very critical examination; but it may be read with pleasure.
Poems on various Occasions. By Lawrence Hynes Halloran.
410. 55. sewed. Trewman, Exeter. 1791. An Ode on the proposed Vifit of their Majesties to the City of
Exeter. By Lawrence Hynes Halloran. 410. 15. fewed.
Brice, Exeter. 1791. THE author of these miscellaneous poems, as far as we
1 can judge from the compositions themselves, writes with much facility. We commonly meet with a clearness of expresfion and an easy flow of diction, which is seldom compatible with laborious study and severe application. We are therefore induced to pay credit to his assertion, that they were for the greater part written in the evening (the only interval of relaxation from severer studies which his employ allows), when both body and mind were already fatigued with the business of the day. We however greatly question how far they may answer the motive he has thought proper to assign for his present as well as his former publication :- prodelle et delecture ; – the former for himself, the latter for his read. ers. The subjects are either too hacknied, or too little interesting to the public, for an author, unless poffeffing very superior talents, to entertain any well-grounded expectation of an extensive sale. Mr. Halloran would probably be more successful in obtaining the utile for himself, and the dulce for his readers, were he to exercise his talents on some well-chosen subject, and to dedicate a greater portion of his time to the revising, correcting, and improving it. From such a work he might acquire more reputation than from a hundred poetical essays like the present, which are of such a nature as most people of poetical taste and cultivated minds could easily write. The Elegy under a gallows is not the worst of these poems. The reader will not be displeased with an extract from it. A trayeller is supposed to be bewildered in a stormy night,
• In vain his anxious eye some Çot explores,
Around his head the ruthless tempest pours,
• And now a blaze of lightning Aathing bright,
And Nowly rising from the neighb'ring height,
• In airy circles while around they fit,
Lo! ftill Attention on yon hillock fit,