Imatges de pàgina
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also partly taken from a French farce of one act, written by Marivaux, entitled, Arlequin poli par Amour, ' Harlequin polished by Love:' but we will venture to pronounce, even from memory of the French piece, that the Englih author has in several initances improved on his original ; and in no instance more evidently, than in the circumftance of the nosegays, which is poor, nay eren buffoon and unnatural in the French, but is rendered extremely elegant in the English imitation.

The airs are characteristic and poetical. Perhaps it were to be wished, that the author had indulged the vein ftill further, and bad attempted dialogue in the style of Shakespeare's Tempest and the Midsummer Night's Dream, and of the Faithful Shepherdess of Beaumont and Fletcher ; a manner which the peculiar nature of the subject would very properly have admitted.

1. The School for Guardians. A Comedy. As it is Performed at

the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden. 8vo. Price Is. 6d. Vaillant.

Our readers, we apprehend, will be able to form a proper idea of this comedy, from the account given by the author, in an advertisement prefixed.--To which we shall only add,

In every work regard the writer's end;

For none can compass more than they intend.-Pope. • The following play was written above three years ago, and was foon after fewn to some of the principal performers of both houses. It took its rise from Miss Elliot's being advised to revive The Country Wife for her benefit the first season of her engagement at Covent-Garden theatre. That play, upon a review of it, appeared inadmissible on account of the obscenity which discolours the whole. The author, or rather the compiler of the ensuing scenes, undertook to alter Wycherley's play for Miss Elliot against the following winter ; but hearing, in the mean time, that Mr. Bickerítaff had employed himself upon one of Wycherley's pieces, he made it his business to fce that gentleman, left this writer should interfere with a plan already pre-occupied. He found that the Plain Dealer had been Mr. Bickerstaff's object, and that there was no danger of clashing with the scheme of any other author. Upon a closer examination, therefore, of The Country Wise, it was thought proper to defert it intirely, and to resort to Moliere, the original master whom Wycherley copied. The celebrated comedy of L'Ecole des Femmes appeared too thin of business, .consisting mostly in narrative. To supply that deficiency the design occurred of making Moliere himseli supply the requisite mate

rials ; and for this purpose L.'Etourdi and I.'Ecole des Maris were called in as auxiliaries. Upon this idea the play was soon finished, and it consists of characters, fituations, and business, from those three plays, interwoven into one fable, with as much skill as a little leisure in the summer time would permit.

« The author of The School for Guardians composed it with the most disinterested principle ; and, if it prove in any degree conducive to the service of a young actress' or the public entertainment, he has all the reward he ever proposed to himself.'

12. Thespis : or, a Critical Examination into the Merits of all

the Principal Performers belonging to Drury-Lane Theatre. The Second Edition, with Corrections and Additions. 4to. Pr. 25. 6d. Kearsley.

The author of this poem has not only followed Mr. Churchbill in the choice of his subject, but has also endeavoured to catch the style and manner of that writer. Imitations neceffarily fall short of their originals; and accordingly, after all the labour of the author, Thespis is, in every sense, a production much inferior to the Rosciad. It contains less pleasantry, less acuteness of critical observation, fewer flights of poetry, and more frequent deviations into prose. It must indeed be confessed, that a comparison between this writer and Churchill, is not the most favourable way of judging of his poem : which, nevertheless, is not without a considerable share of merit. 13. The Rational Rofciad.

On a more extensive Plan than any Thing of the kind hitherto published. In Two Parts. Viz. I. On the Stage in general and particular, and the Merits of the most celebrated Dramatic Writers.

II. On the Merits of the principal Performers of both Theatres. By F-B

B L

4to. Pr., Is. 6d. Wilkie.

Another, though less successful imitator of Mr. Churchill than the writer of the preceding article. The author's observations upon English dramatic poets, as well as upon the actors, are trite, and frequently unjust. In short, his performance is, in every respect, inferior to Thelpis.

14. Anti-Thespis : er, a Vindication of tbe Principal Performers at Drury-Lane Theatre from the False Criticisms, Illiberal Abuse, and Gross Misrepresentations of the Author of a Poem lately published, entitled Thespis. 410. Pr. Is. 6d.

Bladon, Priam against Pyrrhus.--The poetry of this piece falls even below the level of the Rational Rofciad.

15. The

1

15. The Kellyad: or, a Critical Examination into the Merits of Thespis. By Louis Stamma. 410. Pr. 25. Williams.

Facies non omnibus una Nec diverfa tamen. The fame important trilling, the same insipid pertness, and the same horse-niill round of observation so conspicuous in the two laft articles, are rt peated in this, with the illiberal addition of fome personal reflections upon the author of Thespis.

16. The Snarlers. A Poem. 4to. Pr. Is. 6d. Moran,

This author informs us, that he sent a humorous advertisement (a piece of obscenity) to be inserted in the Gazetter : but it was rejected. Exasperated at this affront, as he was a man of spirit and a poet, he publishes this satirical performance; in which he lashes the printers of the news papers, exposes the character of Hircus, and inveighs against the venality of statesmen, and the barbarity of the reviewers ;

Who scalp poor authors with an envious spite.' What a notable poet and satirist he is, the following paragraph will evince.

• Too many characters of putrid note,
A very shock to nature but to quote,
Are here dispers’d about this bustling town,
For like the cormorant sea, here all

go

down ;
Such men there are, whose vile abandon's ways,
Furnish fit fuel for a satire’s blaze;
Some too I've shrewdly noted, but ’bove all,
A certain one, whom we will Hircus call.”

Pr. is.

17. Fordyce delineated, a Satire : occafioneit by his Sermons to Young Women, 410.

Dixwell. Great merit is often distinguished in a very singular manner; and sometimes we can hardly perceive any difference between the ensigns of honour and the marks of contempt. If the bravery of general Wolfe had not been universally celebrated, his effigy would not have been delineated on wood, and difplayed at the door of an ale-house in a country village. The fame observation is applicable in the present instance. If the author whose caricatura is here exhibited, had not gained a reputation by his late performance, this contemptible delineation had never existed.

18. Ser

18. Sermons to Young Men. In two Volumes. By Jonathan

Mayhew, D. D. Svo. Pr. 6s. Becket. This writer assures us, that these discourses were written entirely from the scriptures, and from his own heart; and that they are not imitations of the superficial, insipid, empty harangues of any frivolous, conceited declaimer.

He has given the reader, he says, a comprehensive idea of true religion, with its advantages and importance. From these words of St. Paul, -Young, men exhort to be fober- minded, - he has deduced alınost all the precepts of Christianity ; but he has only treated them in a general way. • For, says he, if I had handled them with accuracy and precision, each sermon would have swelled to a folio; and they must have employed more years than I was days in composing them.'

What number of days the author employed in this work we are not informed; but by several circumitances we are convinced, that it is not the result of much application. We have heard of a poet who made no difficulty of inditing two hundred verses, “ while he stood upon one leg;” and this writer, we suppose, has dispatched his fermons with the same facility. We do not perceive, throughout the whole, any appearance of study or refinement: every thing seems to be perfectly extemporane

The author writes, as we may imagine a perfin of toleiable elocution might speak without premeditation. He generally discourses in a strain which may probably induce his reader, as Dr. F. advises, to “ close the book," and fall asleep. Yet he sometimes assumes a more lively air, and addresses his readers in that alert and familiar manner which is usual with the most popular of all popular preachers, the renowned Mr. Whitfield:

• Whenever, says he, any person, old or young, repents and returns to God, the Devil is enraged at the thoughts of losing a subject; he confiders such a one as a rebel and traitor to himself, and is forely vexed at having the prey which he was on the point of devouring, snatched as it were out of his jaws.

• But what has Satan ever done for you, that you should be desirous or willing to please him ? Is he your maker? No. Does he preserve and take care of you? No. Did he die for you? No; but is even angry to rage, that Another did. Has he laid you under any sort of obligation to please him? No. encouragement to give you for pleasing him? No. He will af terwards only upbraid and torment you for your folly therein. Did he ever intend you the least good in any one respect ? No; nothing but mischief. Will you then gratify your inveterate adverfary, “ that old ferpent called the Devil, and Satan," or his angels ? - especially when you consider that, by doing so,

you

Ous.

Has he any

you will displease the God that made and loves you ; Jesus Christ who died for you; and grieve the good Spirit of God, as well as those holy angels that “ kept their first eftate,” and are daily employed in offices of kindnefs for you!'

If our readers should have an inclination to fee any more of this kind of writing, we must refer them to these discourses.

19. The Snare Broken. A Thanksgiving Discourse, preached at the

Defire of the West Church, in Boston, N. E. Friday, May 23, 1766. Oicasioned by ihe Repeal of the Stamp-Ait. By Jonathan Mayhew, D. D. Pafior of the said Church. 8vo. Price Is. Kearsly.

This American preacher represents the stamp-act as an execrable design,' which affected the liberty of his country in the most essential manner. Under this persuasion, he breaks out into some intemperate invectives. In other respects this is a sensible discourse, and was very properly adapted to the occafion on which it was preached.

-20. The Humble Attempt of a Layman towards a Confutation of Mr.

Henry Mayo's Pamphlet, cali'd the Scripture Doctrine of Baprism, 83 c.

And a vindication of Dr. Gill from the Perfinal Abuse, Falle Charges, and Misrepresentations of that Author; And, through the whole, his Ignorance, Impertinence, bad ReaJoning, and Perversion of Scripture, are exposed. By Philalethes. 800. Pr. Is. Blyth,

This is a finart defence of the mode of administering baptisin by immersion.

21. Jephthah's Vore confidered. A Sermon preached before the Univerfity

of Oxford, at St. Mary's, on Sunday, June 8, 1766. With an Appendix, containing a Differtation on Lev. xxvi. 28, 29, and on the Nature and Kinds of vows under the Mosaical Law. By Thomas Randolph, D. D. President of C.C.C. Oxford. 8vo. Pr. Is. Fletcher,

Interpreters have been greatly divided about the sense of Jephthah's vow, and the manner in which it was perforined. The Septuagint version, and other ancient translations, the primitive fathers, and the generality of the Jewish writers, agree, that Jephthah really sacrificed his daughter. But upon this supposition, as Dr. Randolph observes, it is not eafy to make sense of the vow itself. Jephthah, who in all the rest of his conduct acts like a man of good sense and understanding, is here supposed to vow that he would offer up for a burnt. offering whatsoever frould come forth of the doors of his house to

meet

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