Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

energetic, as the Latin. One monsieur le Perrier managed the controversy between him and Laboureur, who appears to have been a kind of enthusiast for the excellency of the French. The whole controversy is extremely uninteresting to the public of England at present, but may afford many curious particulars to those who are fond of the French language and learning. 31. The Tragedies of Sophocles, translated from the Greek ;' (with

a Differtation on Ancient Tragedy) by the Rev. Thomas Francklin, M. A. A new Edition, carefully revised and corrected. Svi. Pr. 1os. bound. Davies.

We are pleased to find, from this new edition of Mi. Francklin's ingenious tranflation of Sophocles, that the public voice has approved our recoinmendation of the work *, which is now neatly printed in a inore convenient fize, and may be purchased at a considerable less expence than the former edition in quarto. 32. The Eafief Introduction to Dr. Lowth's English Grammar, de

Signed for the Use of Children under ren Years of Age, to lead them into a clear Knowledge of the first Principles of the English Language. By the Rev. John An, of Pershore ist Worcestershire. With an Appendix, containing, I. Some Short Objervations on the various sounds of the Vowels. II. Easy Parfing Exercises on the English Language. III.. A Select Collection of Books for Boys and Girls, to fhorten the Path to Knowledge. . 19. Select Lelons to infiil just Sentiments of Virtue.

Dilly: This is a plain, easy, compendious fyftein of English gram. mar, properly calculated for children.

In the title-page the reader has a full account of all its contents. 33. A Summary of the Souls Perceptive Faculties ; and also of

Diale&tic or Logic: introductory to the Theory of Mind. By the Editor of Letters on Mind. '8vo. Pri 15. Rivington.

Cardan in his treatise de subtilitate relates, that one of our countrymen, a subtle doctor, was such a deep logician, that only one of his arguments was enough to puzzle all pofterity'; and that when he grew old, he wept because he could not understand his own books.—This writer without dispute is one of his descendants : for what can be more subtle than the following argumentation ?

Let any two things be taken : and they are either both the same with that which is the same in both, or is common to them both; or one of them only is the same with that which is the jame in both, or common to both; or they are both different from that which is the same in both, or common to both.'

I 2mo.

Pr. is.

* See Crit. Rev. vol. vii. p. 512:

The

The reader who has an inclination to exercise his reason in such speculations as these, may have recourse to this learned tract. 34. A second Vindication of the Right of Protefiant Churches to re

quire the Clergy to subscribe to an eli ablished Confession of Faith and Doctrines, in a Letter to the Examiner of the First. By T. Rutherforth, D.D. F. R. S. 8vo. Pr.0d. Robinfon and Roberts.

In this letter the author endeavours to vindicate the tendency and force of his argunent, respecting the right of protestant churches, &c. against the obje&tions of the Examiner*. 35. An Appeal to the Public, from the malicious Misrepresentations,

impudent Falsifications, and unjust Decisions, of the anonymous Fabricalors of the Critical Review. By George Canning, of the Middle Temple, Ejq; 8.vo. Pr. 6d. Dodíley.

When we reviewed Mr. Canning's trantlation of Anti-Lucretius we were influenced by no kind of prejudice, no malevolence of heart. We even selected those pallages in which the translator seemed to have imitated the spirit and elegance of the original with the greatest success. Our criticisms were the result of impartial examination : and it is remarkable that not one of them is objected to in this Appeal.

The author has attempted to vindicate his observation on the. length of the Latin hexameter and the English heroic line ; but what he has urged in his defence is nothing to the purpose. We are still convinced, that the controversy is to be determined by calculating the number of words, and not the fyllables, of which these lines respectively confift. That an English heroic verse generally contains as many words as a Latin hexameter, is an indisputable fact. In Mr. Canning's translation of three books of Polignac there are, we will venture to affirm, more lines consisting of ten words, than there are in the whole /Eneid of Virgil. It Latin words in general contain a greater number of vowels, and consequently more syllables than English words, as they certainly do, it does not follow from thence that they convey, in the Jame proportion, a greater number of ideas, which is the point Mr. Canning, upon his principles, ought to have proved. Four English words, he says, are absolutely requisite to express the meaning of dorebor. --Granted. But this is not owing to the number of syilables of which the word confifts, but to the genius of the language; a very different reason from that which Mr. Canning alligns. In mort, when he alledges, that a faithful English translation, in heroic measure, mujt ever contain more lines, by one-third, than the original, if composed

* See vol. xxii. P. 317.

of Latin hexameters, because the Latin line usually consists of fifteen fyllables and the English of ten, he argues upon this principle, that words of three syllables must be more expreflive than those of one, and those of six more expreslive than those of two, by one-third ; which is evidently false and absurd.

He acknowledges that his performance is considerably longer than the original : and he asigns the reason we have now considered. This we said was an apology for the length of his tranflation. But he exclaims against the word apology, and on that account charges us with a falsification. I account, says he, for the length of my translation.'--As accounting for a real or a seeming fault is generally stiled an apology, this expreflion might have passed without censure, if this fagacious Templar had not been a notable proficient in quirks and quibbles.

Mr. Canning, we confess, has detected an inaccurate expreffion * ; but it is on the cover of our Review, in the department of our compositor ; and therefore the author of this Appeal is extremely welcome to applaud his own fagacity, and enjoy the triumph.

We cited four lines from his translation, in which he speaks of the muse fighting for fiction. But he supposes, that we did not choose to quote the whole paragraph for this admirable reafon : ' I fancy there was something in the preceding lines which went too much against their grain to be pleasing in the repetition.' To what the author might allude we could not conceive, till we observed, that prefumptuous rebels were mentioned in those preceding lines, and that we were charged with having hearts bigotted to clanship and jacobitism.' His reader therefore is to suppose, that we are North Britons, and were concerned in the late rebellion. But suppositions are sometimes very distant from the truth ; and that is really the case at prefent ; for the author of the article which has excited this dudgeon in the breast of the poet, abhors Jacobitisin as much as he defpises a stupid or an abusive composition ; and he can absolutely avèr, that he was never out of England,

The reader will perccive some indecent allusions in this perfora mance ; but as we do not concern ourselves with ribaldry, we leave Mr. G C-g, if he is pleased with the idea of **** and an “under petticoat,' to divert himself in his own way.

We have here enumerated all the articles of this impeachment; and as we have not been able to discover either learning or taste, reason or wit, in this performance, the best advice we can give the author, is, for his own fake, to recal the iinpression, and apply the remaining copies (which perhaps are ninety-nine in a hundred) to a ufe on which we do not choose to expatiate.'

* The three first books.

THE

CRITICAL REVIEW.

For the Month of February, 1767.

ARTICLE I.

THE

The History of England from the Accession of James I to the Eleva

tion of the House of Hanover. By Catharine Macaulay. Vol. Ill. 4to. Pr. 155.

Cadell.
HE most sensible argument urged by the advocates for

the Stuart family is, that their stretches of power never exceeded those of the Tudor race, their immediate predecessors. We shall admit the fact, but what is the consequence? It is saying, in other words, that a sceptre ought to descend from tyrant to tyrant; and that upon the revival of science, the knowledge of liberty, its faireft fruit, should be the only do&rine uncultivated and unimproved. But let us consider this argument in a different light.

If the reigns of the Tudor family were arbitrary, they were beneficent, at the same time. Henry VII. broke the feudal chains of his country, encouraged the spirit of enterprize, improved agriculture, and laid the foundation of those arts which gave England weight and dignity among her neighbours. To Henry Vls, bloody and capricious as he was, we owe the reformation, and our emancipation from religious flavery. If queen

Elizabeth sometimes ruled with a rod of iron, she knew how to convert it into a golden sceptre; and her subjects in the glories of her reign forgot the invasions of their own birth-rights. Before we finish this remark, it may be proper to observe, that Elizabeth, towards the close of her adminiftration, relaxed the reins of government, and grew sensible of the difficulties she must encounter, had the continued to exert the sovereign power beyond its just limits.

We are ignorant of the periods of the Stuartine reigns which can equal the lystre of those abovementioned ; and yet nothing Vol. XXIII. February, 1767.

G

is

is more incredible than the attachment of the votaries of that family to the persons of its princes. We hazard nothing in saying, that it has more than once risen to blasphemy; and that the admitting the Office of Healing into the public Liturgy, was an attempt to clothe the Stewart family with attributes due to Omnipotence alone.

The female Galileo in history, whose work now lies before us, was born within the coinpass of that century which adopted this miraculous gift into its religious worship; and she writes with the profesied design of recalling her readers to the exercise of fense and reafon, without respect to sounds and prepofiefions. We by no means profefs ourselves Mrs. Macaulay's panegyrists. We have formerly observed, that her history must speak for itfelf; and it is with no small degree of surprize we have perceived it hitherto not only unantwered, but unattacked ; a circumstance the more mortifying to us, as we are thereby deprived of an opportunity to fhew our impartiality, by giving full weight to the fafts and arguments which may be urged in behalf of doctrines once deemed almost national,

The volume we are now to review opens with the happy omer of the spirit of liberty abolishing the courts of arbitrary power, particularly the star-chamber, another term for tyranny itself. We think it needless to trace our author through the arguments urged by the popular members in both houses against bishops fitting in parliament; especially as we are so far from embracing the do&rine she seems to espouse on that fubje&, that we shall quote from her own history the very weighty opinion of a moft reverend father in God, archbishop Williams, in favour of his brethren and himself sitting as lords of parliainent.

· Williams made a long speech on the occasion: fie pleaded that part of the coronation-oath which is relative to the church and said, “ That the king's conscience was so upright, dainty, and fcrupulous, that it ought not to be put upon swallowing Tuch gudgeons as to fill itself with doubts and difficulties ** The other arguments he inade use of were, the priestly governmeni of judea ; the great power of churchmen in all Christian commonwealths from the age of Constantine, par

[ocr errors]

* It would have been a happy thing for Charles and his family, if his “ upright, dainty, and scrupulous conscience,” had restrained him from infringing that part of his coronationoath which was relative to the liberties and privileges of the laity'

ticularly

« AnteriorContinua »