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Enacting laws, advising horrid war,
Or planning schemes of amity and peace.' Our author's view of the season beyond the polar circle and within the tropics, is not only new, but extremely amusive and poetical. In the second book, the prospect from the top of Ætna, and the wood-scene, are finely painted. The author here takes an opportunity of paying the deserved tribute of applause to his great exemplar, whom he has so happily imitated, in these beautiful lines :
Nor, gentle fon of Tweed, be thou unsung,
Amazing heights, by thee alone attain'd!' We recommend the whole Poem to our readers, as well worthy of their attention. If the two books were divided into three or four, and supplied with another title, we doubt not but it would meet with general approbation.
Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth ; and a Catalogue
of bis Works chronologically arranged; with occasional Remarks. 8vo.
35. Nichols. THIS may be considered as an agreeable enlargement of Mr.
Walpole's life of Hogarth: the author, who signs only the initials of his name (J. N.) seems to have been well acquainted with many of that painter's intimate friends, from whom he has occasionally collected a number of little incidents, and entertaining anecdotes, of Hogarth's private life and manners; he has likewise been able to draw, from the same source, a discovery of several prints and drawings, not taken notice of in Mr. Walpole's, or any other catalogue of this artist's ingenious performances, to arrange them in chronological order, and to trace the rise and progress of a genius so strikingly original.
The following anecdote of Hogarth's marriage is not unentertaining,
• In 1730, (says our author) Mr. Hogarth married the only daughter of Sir James Thornhill, by whom he had no child. This union, indeed, was a stolen onc, and confequently without the approbation of Sir James and his lady, who, conudering the extreme youth of their daughter, then barely eighteen, and the flender finances of her husband, as yet an obfcure artist, were not easily reconciled to the match. Soon after this period, however, , he began his Harlot's Progress; and was advised to have some of his pictures placed in the way of his father-in-law. Accordingly, one morning early, Mrs. Hogarth undertook to convey feveral of them into his dining room. When he arose, he enquired from whence they came; and being told by whoin they were introduced, he cried out, “Very well; the man who can produce representations like thesc, can also maintain a wife without a portion.” He deligned this remark as an excuse for keeping his purse-itrings close; but soon after became both reconciled and generous to the young couple. Lady Thornhill's forgiveness was but flowly obtained, though it followed at lait.'
Our author has acquainted us with a project of Hogarth's, which we believe is not generally known, and which we shall therefore lay before our readers. .
• Hogarth had projected a Happy Marriage, by way of counterpart to his Marriage à la Mode. A design for the first of his intended fix plates he had sketched out in colours ; and the following is as accurate an account of it as could be furnished by a gentleman who, long ago, enjoyed only a few minutes fight of so imperfect a curiosity.
The time fuppoted was immediately after the return of the parties froin church. The scene lay in the hall of an antiquated country mansion. On one side, the married couple were reprefented fitting. Echind them was a group of their young friends of both sexes, in the act of breaking bride-cake over their heads. In front appeared the father of the young lady, grasping a bumper, and drinking, with a feerning roar of exultation, to the future happiness of her and her husband. By his fide was a table covered with refreshments. Jollity rather than politeness was the designation of his character. Under the screen of the hall, several rustic musicians in grotesque attitudes, together with servants, . tcnants, &c. were arranged. Through the arch by which the room is entered, the eye was led along a passage into the kitchen, which afforded a glimpse of facerdotal luxury. Before the dripping-pan food a well-fed divine, in his gown and caffock, with his watch in his hand, giving directions to a cook, dreft all in white, who was employed in bafting a haunch of venison.
Among the faces of the principal figures, none but that of the young lady was completely finished. Hogarth had been often reproached for his inability to impart grace and dignity to his heroines. The bride was therefore meant to vindicate his pencil from so degrading an imputation. The effort, however, was unsuccessful. The girl was certainly pretty ; but her features, if I may use the term, were uneducated. She might have attracted notice as a chambermaid, but would have failed to extort applause as a woman of fashion. The parfon, and his culinary associate, were more laboured than any other parts of the picture. It is natural for us to dwell longest on that division of a subject which is most congenial to our private feelings. The painter sat down with a resolution to delineate beauty improved by art; but seems, as usual, to have deviated into meanness; or could not help neglecting his original purpose, to luxuriate in such ideas as his fituation in early life had fitted him to express. He found himself, in short, out of his element in the parlour, and therefore hastencd, inquest of ease and amusement, to the kitchen fire. It must be allowed, that such a painter, however excellent in his walk, was better qualified to represent the vicious parent, than the royal preserver of a foundling.
• The sketch already described was made after the appearance of Marriage à la Mode, and many years before the artist's death. Why he did not persevere in his plan, during such an interval of time, we can only guess. It is probable that his un, dertaking required a longer succession of images relative to domestic happiness, than had fallen within his notice, or courted his participation. Hogarth had no children; and though the nuptial union may be happy without them, yet such happiness will have nothing picturesque in it; and we may observe of this truly natural and faithful painter, that he rarely ventured to exhibit scenes with which he was not perfectly well'acquainted.'
In the course of this work we meet with some verses written : by Garrick, prefixed to two or three of the prints ; some ele
gant Latin poetry by Loveling; together with some fensible remarks, by the author, on Hogarth's performances : which form all together an agreeable farrago, and may afford entertainment to the admirers of Hogarth, and the lovers of virtù.
Scottish Tragic Ballads. Small 8vo. 25. 6d. feved. Nichols, To the admirers of ancient Scottish poefy, this little vo
lume will afford considerable entertainment. It contains Hardyknute; Child Maurice; Adam o Gordon ; Sir Hugh, or the Jew's Daughter ; Flodden Field ; Edward; Sir Patrick
Spence; Spence; Lady Bothwell's Lament;, Earl of Murray; Sir James the Rose; Laird of Woodhoufelie ; Lord Livingston ; Binnorie ; Death of Menteith ; Lord Airth's Complaint; and I wish I were where Helen lyes ; with two or three fragments of old tragic ballads. Most of these compofitions, as the editor acknowleges in his preface, have appeared already ; but in this edition, we are told, they are given much more correet, &c. Hardyknute, published, as some of our readers may remember, some years ago in a small volume, entitled the Union, a collection of Scotch and English poems, now appears in its original perfection, with alterations and additions ; for which the editor, as he informs us,
was indebted to the memory of a lady in Lancashire, who, we suppose, had it by tradition; to whom we are also obliged for feveral pieces exhibited in this collection. To these, the editor has added two prefatory differtations, one on the oral tradition of poetry, and the other on the old tragic ballad : in the latter of these, our editor, speaking of the cause of our pleasure in feeing a mournful event represented to us, or hearing it describeds judiciously observes that ' it seems to arise from the mingled passions--of the art of the author-curiosity to attend the termination-delight arising from reflection on our own fecurity, and the sympathetic fpirit.'-This is, we think, one of the fullest and best explanations of the pleasure above mentioned, that we have hitherto met with. What fol. lows is equally just and sensible.
It is amufing, says he, to observe how expreflive the poetry of every country is of its real manners. That of the Northern nations' is ferocious to the highest degree. 'Nor need we wonder that those, whose laws obliged them to decide the most trifling debate with the sword, delighted in a vein of poetry, which only painted deeds of blood, and objects horrible to the imagination. The ballad poetry of the Spaniards is tinged with the romantic gallantry of that nation. The hero is all complaisance; and takes off his helmet in the heat of combat, when he thinks on his mistress. That of the English is generous and brave. In their most noble ballad, Percy laments over the death of his mortal foe. That of the Scots is perhaps, like the face of their country, more various than the rest. We find in it the bravery of the English, the gallantry of the Spanish, and I am afraid in fome instances the ferocity of the Northern.'
of the few new ballads here presented to the public, the following is the best, with which we shall therefore treat our readers,
THE DEATH OF MENTEITH.
And rudelie blew the blast;
The speidy lichtning past.
Arise a deidly grane ?
Whan we sum dethe maun mane.
Ye are nae safe wi me :
Sold in my castle drie !"
safe whan wi thee;
I here wad wish to die.”
Wi wallow cheik belyve :
ye maun Alie strive."
• Thrie speirmen to your ane :
Wi speid, or ye'l be flain."
To hide your shyning mail:
Owr the braid loch to fail.”
That fough'd upon my eir?”
Whan they were bown’d to gae,
Sir John's corse on the brae.' To the Ballads the editor has subjoined some useful notes and a glossary; an article which, though of little service to a Scotchman, will be found extremely necessary to the mere English reader.
We cannot conclude this article, without remarking, that the tragic ballad called Lady Bothwell's Lament, which is re