« PreviousContinue »
gooi fortune has been made by the fiction of crim. con, but now , plaintiff can scarce recover a shilling.
Frank. And is this law, Sir?
Præ. Yes, it is law; but nothing to what they do at the Admiralty, where me whole ocean's broughe upon dry land-It was but the other day a p'rate was tried for teloniously robbing the good thip St. Jo. feph, on the high seas, four leagues off Cape St. Vincent, in the county of Norfolk.
Frank. Now you joke indeed, Mr. Præcipe!
Precipe Joke! the devil a joke! Why man it has been proved to the satisfaction of ibe civilians and the bar, that the Thirteen Colonies of America are ftuate in, and part of the county of, Keni.
N O V E L S.
a series of Letters. By the late Miis Palmer. 12mo. 5 Vols.
If praise were not fo frequently and so shamelessly prostituted to ignorance or intereft, as we daily lee it is in the present age, this novel might be presumed, from the very high encomiums betowed on it in the public prints, to be worthy of general attention. Com. plaisance, too, might spare the fair fex, and humanity veil the errors of the dead. Truth however dictates a conduct the very opposite to partial ffattery: and while our tribunal is respected by the Public, justice forbids us to mislead their opi-ions.
With these sentimenis we cannot pay any diftinguished compliment to the work before us. As a composition it is defective ; and as a picture of real life it is erroneous. It is in its morality alone that it is unexceptionable. The eager visitors of a circulating library will however find an amufing, if not an highly interelling story : and per. haps che tender-hearted female will be beguiled of her fears, by the sufferings of Adeline a d the feelings of Louisa. Except in the conduct of the heroine, “ female ftability” is not the virsue of many of the ladies of the tale; a: leait it is so imperfectly observed, that the who records their fory is obliged to acknowledge their imperfection. This novel abunds with weddings, and like Mrs. Centlivie's comedis, leaves värv few of ira personages in “ single blessedness." · Art. 32. The loung Philosopber; or the Natural Son. A dra
maric Novel. 1 2mo. 2 vol:. 65. Buwen. 1782. This seems to be a traillacion from the French; as there are some ero's in grammar not very consistent with the lively and acote ar. gunents observed in other parts of the performance. The young philofopher, like many of his trihe, falls a victim to the arts of a de. huning woman: but, unlike too many who have once fallen, he recovers from his e rors and is happy with the object of his more virtuous wiles. There are some characters in this novel that are drawn with a lively, though careless hand
They are discriminated likenesses, as if reai personages had far to the painter. But they are mere outlines, with one or two excepijons; and they captivate, rather from their fingularity than their merit. The conversations are animated and sensible ; and the fituations interesting. We should recommend it more warmly, it we were not an are, that when pleasure is adorned with feducing colours, the best reasonings of philosophy lose their ef
fe&t: and frequently the moft awful fanctions of religion find their influence but weak, when opposed to the delusions of wit and the force of paffion. Art. 33. Fashionable Follies. A Novel, containing the History of a Parisian Family.
2 Vols. os. Dodley. 1781. The number of follies recorded in this work is 301! one more might have been added to the cacalogue, and that is, the folly of a sensible author in recording the most detestable crimes under lo gentle a title; and in relating with gaiety what oughe never to be thought of without abhorrence. But as Solomon truly observes~" Fools make a mock of fin!" Art. 34. The Adventures of a Rupee : wherein are interspersed
various Anecdotes, Asiatic and European 8vo. Murray. 1782.
This performance is ushered into the world by a preface of a very fingular cast, which begins in this manner. "Ye modern writers of novels who excite filly paffions in filly people by wretched language'
It may be fo. And what then? Why, undoubredly, this novel is written to thew how a wise man can excite wifi passions by excellent Janguage! And yet-for modesty and wisdom are inseparable !--the writer protests that the present performance is in his own opinion so insignificant, shar he should blush to affix his name to it, if he did not think it might bear some rank, among the performances of the same species which every hour engenders.' My work, says he, is barren of incident: and whac incident it has may not be, in its kind, of importance : być my observations from human nature are neither so frequent nor so great as the insignificant and ignorant imitators of Sterne and other novelists daily exhibit in their affected and foolish productions.' To this we fully assent: but that a man so deeply conscious of his inability thould publish this work, only becaule others have exhibited productions more affected and more foolish than his own, would appear somewhat extraordinary, if the author bad not declaredi that he would not permit • criticism' to decide on his deferes! This precaution was a wise step in a conscious author; because a four critic might otherwise bave parodied the apology by remarking, that with equal propriety a thief may juftify his picking a pocke:, by the more daring example of those who rob and murder on the highway! • Thele Adventures of a Rupee are somewhat formed on the model of the Adventures of a Guinea : but they have neither the miewd reflections nor the varied entertainment of the lat:er.
The rupee passes through several hands, and is made to sympathize very cordially, with the joys and forrows of ihe poffeffor. Ac Miss Melville's meeting her lover after a long ablence, our rupee seems particularly affected, and artfully th:ows, like the painter of antiquiiy, a veil over scenes coo tender to be expressed. “The mode that mortals have adopted of expresling ideas by words now fails me (lays Rupee) entirely: tor
" Who can paint the lovers as they food?" However, they did not long continue in this attitude. Rupee had the inexpressible satisfaction to see the young pair united by Hymen, while Pleasure fas smiling on the work.
After several Asiatic and European adventures, our Rapee becomes the propery of a certain 'good man, who though not a rich man, had been Governor of a rich island; and what is more surpriang, this Governor of a rich island, who is not a sich man, is a soldier and yet a scholar.' This gentleman (says Rupee) happening to see me, resolved to purchase me of my crooked master; for I think I have before observed, that gold never before improved itself to the degree that I have done.' A very modest compliment ! But Rupee had seen a deal of good company: and conscious merit will inspire a sort of moaest affurance. However Rupee is to wander no longer abroad. He hath feen enough of the world; and the world hath seen enough of him. I am lays he) safely laid up in a storehouse of a fociety of antiquarians, where with medals, busts, inscriptions, and other of my Jearned brethren, I spend my hours in separating Truth from the ashes of Time ! A curious kind of employment for Rupee and his bretbren! And as curious an account he gives of it too! · Our eyes can penetrate, with the fame ease, the frade of antiquity, and the prejudices that surround the present day. We say, without fear of punishment, that Alexander the Great was a man; and that Julius Cæsar was a bold man.' Courageous Rupee! Who can match thee and thy brethren for freedom of speech? However, as Rupee, by his own account, is like to pass a number of years' in the cabinet, we hope he will suffer none of iis secrets to transpire, through a foolish ambition of discovering his own importance; but rest in peace amidst ' the opies of Time!
The Sky-Rocket; or Thoughts during the Easter Recess of Parliamini, on several very important Subjects, and on feveral recent events. By
, Esq. Member for the County of
I S. Matthews. The Sky-Rocket! And why, in the names of all polible tropes and figures, a ky-rocket? Perhaps, for we are really at a loss, because a ky-rocket is inclosed in paper, and these thoughts are alfo contained in paper; but (we do not mention it to alarm the honour. able writer's apprchenfions on what is possible to happen) so fometimes is a pound of butter. Again, a paper case is no sky-rocket, unless it is filled wiil a due mixture of combustibles; and we can assure our readers, that the contents of these sheets are perfe&ly inoffentive. Once more, a sky-rocket, when fired, rises in a uniform direction, whereas these thoughts go off in such a zig-zag mander, tba: if we must compare the pamphlet to any species of fireworks, we will call it a cracker. First, the author is ill.natured enough, being holiday-time by confession, to fing it among the legs of the discarded Ministers, to make them jump. Then it bounces into the old caft. off ministerial budget, where it finges some of the proposed taxes; particularly one that was rumoured on servant-maids. Įi springs nexi into the playhouse, where it makes a furious explosion to alarm both the actors and the auditors. 'Atlant it bounces back again into the House of Commons, ainong the irreligious part of the Members :but we must now dismiss the metaphor suggested by the author ; for, in short, after various rambles, his conclution is quite a fermon, on the dispersion of the Jews, on the propagation of the gospel, on the ne.
gleet of the Members in attending the stated prayers of the House, and
10 s. 6 d. Dociley, &c. In our 58ch vol. p. 466. (No, for June, 1778) we gave an account of the firft volume of these Biographical Sketches; the second vol. of the set now before us bears date 1780; and the third was printed in 1781.
With respect to the literary merit of this work, we must repeat what we have already faid, in the article above referred io, chat though the language of these Sketches is not every where correct, yet they abound with traits of bistory, and with entertaining anecdores of the principal ladies, which cannot fail to procure them a confiderable number of readers-especially among ihe fair sex. Our prina cipal objection to Mrs. Thicknesse's performance is, that (as mentioned before) several crifiing articles, relating to persons of whom little is said, and who merit fill less, are inserted in it. We readily, however, subicribe to the justness of the fair writer's own apology for the imperfections of her publication ; which is as follows the intreats the candid reader to overlook the many errors of the Editor (the lady modestly declining the superior title of AUTHOR], and to remember, that the extracts from the female writers of France are only given as crude ketches : ' but we have endeavoured, adds the, to omit every thing that could awaken vice, and to select only the moral sentiments, and the interesting anecdotes which we have found among a vast pro-; fusion of inflaminatory love-tales.' Mrs. T. concludes her apology, with expressing, very properly, her concern to observe, that such tales seem to be ' che rage of this kingdom, as well as in France.' This, the fears, has been the cause' [ic may have been one cause] • of that levity of behaviour among us, which was, till of late years, characteristic of French women only.' Art. 37. The Chester Guide; or, an Account of the ancient and
present State of that City. 8vo. Lowndes. 1781. Chelter is a very singular, as well as a very confiderable city. Our Readers had an ample account of it in our Extracts from Mr. Pennapi's Tours. See, particularly, Rev. vol. ix. p. 34. Art. 38. The Southampton Guide; or, an Account of the anciene
and present State of that Town. A new Edition, enlarged. 8vo.. Is. Law. 1781.
Southampton is a most agreeable place; and this account of it will be useful and entertaining to those who repair thithes for busia ness or amusement. Art. 39. The Lives of the most eminent English Poets; with cri
tical Observations on their Works. By Samuel Johnson. 8vo. 4 Vols. 1. 1 s. Boards. Cadell, &c.
1781. i his large oitavo edition comprehends all the Biographical Prefaces of Dr. Johnson, detached from the ten volumes of the original small dudecimo edition, wbich was lately given to the Public, in connection with the elegant impression, in fixty-eight volumes, of the works of the molt eminent Engliih poets, with heads by Bartolozzi, Sherwin, &c.
-Or that edition we have given an ample account, in several de tached articles. Art. 40. Essays on the History of Mankind, in rude and in culti
vated Ages. By James Dunbar, LL.D. Profeffor of Philosophy in the King's College and University of Aberdeen. The second Edition, with Additions. 8vo. 6 s. bound. Cadell. 1782. In our Review for Dec. 1780, we gave an account of the first edition of these ingenious Erays; and we are happy to find our opinion of their merit confirmed by that of the Publit in general. Among the additions made to the work, in this new impression, we observe a very extraordinary character of Dean Tucker --For the honour of human nature, we hope the picture bears very little resemblance to the original.—There has been a literary quarrel berween these Geatlemen; they have put each other out of humour; and we must not mind what people say when they are in a passion.
MEDICAL Art. 41. The Works of Alexander Monro, M. D. F. R. S, Fellow
of the Royal College of Physicians, and late Professor of Medicine and Anatomy in the UniverQty of Edinburgh, Published by his Son, Alexander Monro, M. D. &c. &c. To which is prefixed, the Life of the Author. Illuftrated with Copper-plates. 4to. il. 5s. Robinson. 1781.
We cannot better announce this valuable publication, than by copying the Advertisement prefixed by the Editor, the juftly cele brated successor of his father in the profesional chair.
• I fatter myself, shat this collection of the works of my father, will prove not only acceptable to his pupils and friends, but ufeful to the Public, as many of them treat expressly on practical subjects, and that in all of them fome application to practice is pointed out.
• To the works printed under his own inspection, I have added two pieces.
• The first is an Oration De Cuticula Humana, delivered by him above 40 years ago in the Common Hall of this University, in which many curious circumstances are described which had escaped the observation of former Anatomilts, particularly the appearance of the fibres that connect the Cuticula to the Cutis Vera, which fince that time has been annually demonstrated in the Anatomical Theatre of this place.
• The other piece is an Elay on Comparative Anatomy, composed from nores taken at his Ledures, and published at London in 1744.
• But as this Elay was published without his consent or knowledge, and that of courie many errors had crept into it, I have endeavoured to correct there, and made a few additions to it, from observacions collected by himself with a view to a larger work on that subje&; but which, by various avocations, he was prevented from profecuring
• To the whole are prefixed an engraving, executed by Mr. Bå. fore, from an excellent Portrait of my Father by Allan Ramsay, Esq; and an Account of his Lite, composed by my brother Dr. Donald, Physician at London.'
L A w. Art. 42. The Decree of the Barons of the Exchequer, delivered before Sir James Eyré, Nov. 17, 1777, in the great Cause of