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Paradife loft; and in very unqualified terms, condemns Pope, Young, Gray, and many other celebrated British Poets", for "dreffing them felves in his borrowed robes, without the finalleft acknowledgement." That Milton might have a perfect recollection of fome of his beauties while penning his own immortal poem, will readily be allowed; but that he is indebted for any part of his fame to an unjustifiable ufe of this author, will hardly be fufpected by any perfon who candidly compares their refpective works. How far his charge a gainst Pope is to be received, in its fullest extent, the impartial will be able to determine from the praise which the latter freely beitows upon Crafhaw's epitaph upon Mr. Afhton. If Mr. Phillips had been careful to mark the particular paffages in his author, on which he founded the charges of plagiarifin against the other British poets, their admirers would have confidered themselves obliged, either to vindicate them from the afperfion, or to acknowledge the justice of it. In Boyd's Tranflation of the Inferno of Dante Alighieri," we are presented with the whole of that extraordinary poem, in English verfe. It is not eafy to conceive of the difficulty of preferving the fenfe and spirit of the father of Italian poetry, in this production. Our tranflator, however, appears, on the whole, to have executed his talk with fidelity and correctness. Not that he is always free from obfcurity; or exprefies all the force and animation of the original. Some few grammatical errors might likewife be pointed out, and a harfhnefs in fome of his verfes and rhymes, which an attentive revifion will enable him to correct. The life of Dante, tranf
lated from Leonardo Bruni, and the "Hiftorical Effay on the State of Affairs in the thirteenth and fourteenth Centuries, with refpect to the Hiftory of Florence," will be found entertaining and interefting to the reader.
Mr. Potter hath published a liberal poetical tranflation of "The Oracle concerning Babylon, and the Song of Exultation, from Ifaiah, chap. xiii. and xiv." Our author's well known and established fame, as a poet, will fuffer no diminution from the prefent performance. A confiderable fhare of the beauty and fpirit of the original is transfufed throughout both thefe pieces. But we do not think it an eafy matter to equal the grandeur and fublimity of the prophet, as he appears in the fimple and unadorned language of our common vertion.
Mr. Butt's "Ifaiah verfified," is a very unequal production, which, in its beft paffages, hath no very high claim on our commendation. Some of the most interesting parts of the prophecy, the fenfe of which is clear and obvious in the original, lofe all their fpirit in his hands, and become obfcure and perplexed. Since our author confiders poetry as "the highest energy of human intellect, the laft perfection of human language, and the furet embalmer of wifdom for all ages," we hope that, in his future compofitions, he will correct his fondness for pompous and fwelling expreffions; and that he will confider it as one of the chief excellencies of good writing, to be connected and intelligible.
"The Tafk, a Poem in fix Books, by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Efq." is a work abounding in originality of thought, pathetic reprefentations, and poignancy of fatire. We have feldom met
Garrick; but the editor is deferving of our thanks for his diligence, and the entertainment which he hath afforded his readers. The merits of Mr. Garrick, in his fongs, prologues, and epilogues, and the occational fugitive pieces which he produced, are too well known, to render our praise of them, in the leaft degree, neceflary.
with a publication of this kind, from which we have derived to much improvement and pleafure. The author informs us, that the following circumitance was the reafon of its being called the Tafk. "A lady, fond of blank verle, demanded a poem of that kind from him, and gave him the fofa for a fubject. He obeyed; and having much leifure, connected another fubject with it; and purfuing the train of thought to which his fituation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he first intended, a ferious affaira volume." After devoting a finall part of the first book to reflections, which carry in them fome allution to the fofa, our poet gives full fcope to his lively and fertile imagination. It is not poffible to accompany him, without being inftructed and entertained by his ftriking and useful moral reflections; his generous and noble fentiments; the wit and humour which he fuccefsfully employs against vice and folly; and the great variety of beautiful defcription and scenery which he prefents to us. We do not pronounce the Talk to be a faultlefs poem; but its irregularity and trifling blemishes, are abundantly overbalanced by its numerous beauties. This volume contains, alfo, an epistle to Mr. Hill, which expofes the falfe pretenders to friendship; a poem, called Tirocinium, in which we meet with fevere ftrictures on the mode of education in our public schools and the facetious and much admired ballad of John Gilpin.
"The poetical Works of David Garrick, Efq. in two volumes," appear to contain a faithful collection of the fugitive pieces of our Englifh Rofcius. Thefe volumes, indeed, are not published under the fanction of his executors, or of Mrs.
Among the Poems on feveral Occafions, by the late Edward Lo vibond, Efq." we meet with a few which poffefs confiderable merit. The Tears of Old May Day, originally published in one of the numbers of the World, and the Mulberry-Tree, are particularly pleating and elegant. But the au thor was not poffeffed of that variety and poetic fire, which give, lafting reputation.
The Poems on fereral Occafions, by Ann Yearfley, a milkwoman of Bristol," are entitled to a confiderable fhare of praife, whether we confider them as the productions of an unlettered mufe, or judge of them by their intrinfic worth. They carry in them evident marks of a firong and fervid imagination; and convince us, that the author's powers, had they enjoyed the benefit of cultivation, would have been equal to productions, that would have given her no fmall degree of credit in the poetical world. Thefe poems are prefaced by a letter from mifs Hannah Moore to Mrs. Montague, in which we have a curious account of the author, as well as fome fenfible and ingenious obfervations on her compofitions.
We may confider Mr. Pratt's "Mifcellanies" to be entitled to our notice in this place, as the two first volumes confift chiefly of poetry. This author writes with ease, and gives many proofs of a lively
imagination, and poetic energy. His "Sympathy," and the "Tears of Genius," are diftinguished by many picturefque beauties, and inftances of genuine pathos. But in none of his pieces do we meet with any ftrength of genius. His ideas appear exceedingly confufed; and his language, befides being a perpetual offence against correctness and grammar, is rendered finical and unmeaning by an affectation of meretricious ornaments. In addition to his poems, these volumes confift of "The School for Vanity," a comedy; and Moral Tales, and Effays on various fubjects. The comedy, if we confider its comparative mcrits, deferved a fairer trial from the public than one night's hearing could give it; and the Tales and Effays, if they difplay no great vigour of fentiment, may, neverthelefs, be perufed with advantage by his younger readers. The Elegies and Sonnets" of an anonymous author, afforded us confiderable pleafure, during our perufal of them. They are written, profeffedly, after the manner of Hammond; and poffefs that tendernefs and fimplicity, which fo powerfully recommend his productions. The fentiments are natural and eafy; the language chafte and elegant, and in no one respect deferving of critical cenfure.
The "Probationary Odes, by the various Candidates for the Of fice of Poet-Laureat to his Majefty," &c. are written with the fame fpirit and humour, which diftinguifled the criticisms on the Rolliad; and are of the fame political complexion. We have joined heartily in the laugh which the author's power of ridicule continually excite; while we regretted that fo much ingenuity should be proffituted
to gratify the illiberality and fpleen of party.
In the "Lyric Odes for the Year 1785," Peter Pindar, with more than his ufual pleafantry, beftows his praife and cenfure on the royal academicians. We have been highly diverted with the peculiar oddities of this writer; and, did not his fatire degenerate into perfonal abufes we fhould be happy in the frequent returns of that entertainment, which his brilliant genius is capable of affording.
Among the other poetical productions of the year, into the charac ters of which we cannot diftinctly enter, we may mention "The Exodus, a Poem, by the rev. Samuel Hayes; "The Wanderer;" "An Invocation to Melancholy;" "The Obfequies of Demetrius Poliorcetes, by Anne Francis;" Sonnets, and other Poems, with a Verfification of the fix Bards of Offian;" Colls's "Poet, a Poem, infcribed to Mr. Jerningham;" "The Veteran ;"
Poetical Trifles, by Edward Trapp Pilgrim, Efq."; Carwithin's "Seasons of Life;" "Pictures from Nature, in twelve Sonnets;" and "Picturefque Poetry," &c. by the rev. J. Teafdale.
With refpect to the very few Dramatic publications which we have to mention, we fhall follow our ufual practice, and content ourselves with little more than barely announcing their names. In tragedy, "The Patriot," pretendedly publifhed from a manufcript of the late Dr. Johnfon, corrected by himfelf, was a literary impofition, which was detected and configned to oblivion, at the moment of its birth. The comedies of the year were, Mr. Cumberland's Natural Son," which continues in poffeffion of the public favour; and "Fashionable
Levities," by Leonard Macnally, efq. It may be proper to mention, aifo, that Mr. Murphy has publifhed a new and improved edition of his favourite comedy, "The Way to keep Him." The comic operas were," The Fair American," by Mr. Pillon; "The Choleric Fathers," by Mr. Holcroft;
endeavours of Mr. Ramfay, to meliorate the condition of the Negro flaves in our plantations; and our hopes that fuch benevolent endeavours would not prove wholly uselefs. His pamphlet, of which we then gave an account, has been warmly attacked by Mr. Tobin, of Bristol, in his "Curfory Remarks upon the rev. Mr. Ramfay's Effay on the Treatment and Converfion of African Slaves in the Sugar Colonies." The defign of this remarker is to fhew, that Mr. Ramfay's defcriptions of the hardships of the Negroes belonging to British fubjects, and their comparative happinefs in the French islands, are not founded in truth; that his motives in writing his Effay, were not those of humanity, but the effects of an irritable difpofition, and perfonal pique; and that many parts of his plan are impolitical, inconfiftent, and impracticable. We are ready to acknowledge that this author writes with great fhrewdnefs and plaufibility. But he has not been able to leffen our detestation of the inhuman cultom of enslaving our fellow-creatures, which received a keener edge from the reprefentations of Mr. Ramfay; nor can what he fays of the peevishness of his temper, of his cruel treatment of his flaves, of his avarice, and of his neglect of duty as a clergyman, be confidered as tending, in the leaft degree, to invalidate the principles for which he contends. To these "Remarks," Mr. Ramfay hath published a "Reply," in which, after quoting and anfwe-ing many pailages from Mr. Tobin's performance, he indulges to the fame kind of perfonal invective, which we obferved in the compofition of his opponent. We wish to lofe fight, ch. tirely, of the afperities which have been very improperly admitted into
Liberty Hall;" and "The Nunnery." In farce, Mrs. Inchbald's pen produced "Appearance is against them."
Under the head of Mifcellaneous Productions, the first place is due to Mr. Nichols's "Collection of Mifcellaneous Tracts, by the late William Bowyer, Printer," &c. which the editor hath illuftrated by occafional notes. Mr. Nichols applies himfelf with indefatigable industry, in collecting and preferving the remains of fuch valuable men as have been distinguished, either by their literary abilities, or their ufetulnets to mankind. We fincerely applaud the fpirit which engages him in fuch an undertaking; and we view, with pleasure, fuch fcattered features of their fentiments and characters, as may be collected from their epiftolary correfpondence.
In the volume before us, Mr. Bowyer's Remarks on Kennett's Roman Antiquities; Bladen's Tranflation of Cæfar; on the Roman Hiftory, Commerce, and Coin; on Middleton's Life of Cicero; and his abridgement of a very curious work, called Pictor Errans, are an additional testimony to his literary abilities and tafte, and will afford much entertainment to his readers. The letters, likewise, of his friends, particularly of Gale, Clarke, and Maitland, will not be an unacceptable prefent to the public.
In our Register of last year, we expreffed great fatisfaction at the
this controverfy; and to exprefs our hopes, that the various efforts made in favour of the interefts of huma. nity, will ultimately prove fuccefsful, in abolishing a practice inconfittent with the genuine fpirit of the Britif conititution, and difgraceful to the improvement and liberality of the age.
In the next place we fhall take notice of fuch mifcellaneous publications as are intended to affift in the formation and improvement of young minds. In this clafs we may place Williams's "Letters on Education;" Birch's 66 Confilia; or Thoughts upon feveral Subjects," &c.; 66 Dialogues concerning the Ladies ;" and " Moral and Senti mental Eflays, on mifcellaneous Subjects, written in Retirement," &c. Williams's "Letters on Education," contain fuch kind of information as may be found ufeful and agreeable to young minds. He has made frequent ufe of the thoughts of Bacon, Milton, Locke, Harris, and others, who have written on the fame fubject. His treatife, however, would have been more accept able if it had not been loaded with fuch a number of quotations from the claffics; in many inttances they will be thought unneceflary, in others oftentatious and pedantic. Birch's "Confilia" appear to have been published from the best of motives, that of engaging the hearts of the young to the love of virtue and religion. On this account the author is deferving of commendation; and his labours, if they are not diftinguished by any marks of novelty or literary excellence, may, nevertheless, prove an ufeful prefervative against the vices and tollies of the age. In the "Dialogues concerning the Ladies," we have a variety of fubjects difcuffed, with a peculiar reference to the informa
tion and improvement of the female mind. The fubjects are, female drefs, and the importance of fome attention in the ladies to intellectual acquifitions; female literary characters and talents, and the diiferent reprefentations that have been given of them; marriage, and collateral topics; female politenefs, gentlenefs, and meeknefs. Thefe dialogues are interfperfed with amufing anecdotes and obfervations from different authors; and are followed by an hiftorical etlay on the ancient Amazons. We recommend
this little volume on account of the valuable and inftructive fentiments conveyed in it, which are clothed in neat and perfpicuous language. The Moral and Sentimental Effays, on mitcellaneous Subjects," &c. are likewife deferving our at tention, on account of the many just fentiments to be met with in them, and the fpirit with which they expofe the levities and vices of the fafhionable world.
The Novels and Romances of the year have been exceedingly numerous. But as it would be inconfiftent with our plan to enter into their refpective merits, we fhall mention the titles only of fuch as have fallen under our eye. Thefe are, “The History of Sir Henry Clarendon ;" "The Conquests of the Heart, by a Lady; "The Nabob;" "The Aeroftatic Spy;" "Anna, or Memoirs of a Welch Heirefs; ftance;' "Moreton Abbey;" "The Quaker," and "The Gamefters." The following are fpoken of, by thofe who have read them, in terms of approbation: Walwyn's "Love in a Cottage," Potter's "Favourites of Felicity,' "The Vale of Glendour, or Memoirs of Emily Westbrook," << Modern Times;" and more particularly fo,