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ders of it. The prefatory epifle, which is intended as a general vindication of the Pursuits of Literature, is folely employed in repelling the attacks, which are made by the author of the Progress of Satire: two or three times, indeed, are noticed the “ Impartial Strictures on the poem called the Pursuits of Literature,” &c. We have already given our opinion on each of these replies, and on the work which provoked them; we feel no disposition, and perceive no necellity, to be diffuse on the present occasion. The perusal of this. prefatory epistle, for which we think it not improbable, that we are indebted to the author himself of the Pursuits of Literature, has atforded us much entertainment; it is written with a great deal of vivacity; a vein of sarcastic humour pervades it; and it is enriched with quite as much poetical imagery as the satire, which he attempts to vindicate.
ART.xv. A Day at Rome : a Mnfical Entertainment, in two Afts, as it
was damned at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, on Thursday, Oa. 11, 1798. 8vo. 32 pages. Price is. Symonds. 1798.
Mr. Charles Smith is a little angry at the damnation of his farce : and, considering the terms of contempt, in which it has been spoken of by some of the public prints, he is · inclined to hope, that by publishing it, no farther loss of reputation can be sustained. We are fomewhat surprized, that this “ dramatic trifle” should have been visited so rudely, for it seems to us fraught with every requisite for securing a tumultuous approbation; a highlander talks broad scotch, an irishman makes a plenty of bulls, and a city-brewer's wife favours the audience with a specimen of the London dialect, all executed in the happiest style of extravagance and buffoonery. What a capricious animal is that many-headed monster, the Public! How are we to account for the rough treatment of Mr. C. S.’s farce? It has neither a harlequin, nor a ghost.
ART. XVI. Arthur Fitz-Albini, A Novel. In Two Volumes.
12mo. 567 pages. Price 75. sewed. White. 1798. UNDER the form of a novel, we are here presented with the effufions of a gloomy and misanthropic imagination, a caricature of he human species and of society. The author, disdaining established ustoms, though in matters indifferent, in a prefatory address to the eader, prefixed to the second volume, describes himlelf as poffeffing
no talents for popularity, no manners of general conciliation, no iiancy to the affectations of fashion, no fubmiflion in sentiment to ne cant of the day.'
P.11.- As ' too proud to solicit a seat as the dependent of miisters, or great men ; too poor to carry on expenfive and uncertain ontefts, against indian extortion, or the usurious plenty of loanOntracting bankers, he fees the most stupidl, the moft ignorant, cid the most profligate of mankind, while they can bribe thousands f drunken voters, and pay, without ruin, the prodigality and L 12
fraudulent charges of tavern-keepers, and interested agents, flep over his head with brutal insolence, while he is left in the shades of a fiient retreat to soothe his indignation by the flashes of, imagery and sentiment that now and then break in upon its darkness.
• Dark indeed is the scenery around him; or worse than dark:a wide waste of mental sterility, in which no literature, no resned intelligence, no intellectual stores even feebly flourish.—But a fet of beings,
« nati consumere fruges," conceited in proportion to their ignorance, and self-important in proportion to their infignificance, meet to disgrace wealth, and be a satire upon education; while, if there be one, whom his unhappy lot has placed among them, addicted to more worthy pursuits, him they mark out for the object of their unceasing persecution; atitmpt, by the clamour of numbers, what they cannot effect, by reason; watch his foibles; exaggerate his faults; and with the low buffoonery of chimney-sweeps, cover with dirt him whom they cannot overcome.'
We hould be sorry to aggravate the sorrows of disappointed expectation, but we are inclined to fuspect, generally speaking, that he, against whom every man's hand is raised,
, by raising his hand against every man, have previously provoked this universal animofity. By him who practises no manners of conciliation,' who bends neither to custom nor falhion, little sympathy or affe&ion can be expected. Singularity, whether real or affected, in things unimportant, the faftidious assumption of rigid superiority to the modes and manners of those, with whom we are destined to act a part on the fame itage, betrays an overweening self-estimation, a want of judg. ment, and a superficial acquaintance with the human mind. A fteady course of principle is perfe&tly consistent, except on extraordinary occasions, with suavity of manner, and a graceful conformity to the claims and customs of society, in the common occurrences and intercourses of polished lite. By cultivating the sympathetic rather than the selfish sensibilities, by turning our eyes outward, and çeasing to brood over our own imaginary importance, we shall ac. quire jufter views and form less partial conclusions. He who habitually contemplates the dark fide of every obje&, who values himself upon being poetically miserable, who confiders discontent as a mark of peculiar refinement, will never want occasions of distress. The truly superiour mind modifies circumstances, studies the art of bapps ness, and learns to extract good even from the soul of evil.” The general complexion of the production before us, which is a highly distorted representation of human character and society, has betrayed us into the preceding reflections. The reader, who is led by the title-page, to expect the combinations and intricacies of a novel, will experience some disappointment on finding himfell plunged into tedious difquifitions on the dignity and advantages of aristocracy, on the merits of our political constitucion, on finance and taxation, on the vulgarity and degradation acquired by commercial pursuits and occupations. To which is added a panegyric on the virtues and talents of administration, with animadverfions on the character and conduct of one of the most illustrious and dil.
tinguished tinguished leaders of opposition, concluding with the following pathetic apostrophe.
P. 48.-—- Wherever I turn my eyes, the prospect is involved in impenetrable gloom and horror. Proscription, desolation, murder,
famine! (that my fate could be like that of the incomparable lord Falkland!”
Our author, upon the whole, evinces in his performance fome powers of thinking, though he appears to have considered objects through a partial or imperfect medium, and refects them with little interest or imagination : his work is rather a collection of desultory
eslays and reflections, than a novel; the fory by which they are connected has but few incidents, and these few are tinctured with the same dark and gloomy hue. We perceive no marks of those extraor dinary powers, either in the writer or his hero, to which they seem to lay claim, and they might with equal propriety be admonished in the words of one of the characters introduced. • As all brilliant parts (i. e. their poffeffors, or those who fancy themselves poffefied of brilliant parts) are too apt to be led astray by romantic views, you must excuse me for telling you, that you seem sometimes to indulge in a few impracticable notions, which experience will not justify.'
ART. XVII. Oktavia. By Anna Maria Porter. 3 vols. Izmo.
750 pages. Price 1os. 6d. in boards. Longman. 1798.
Miss Porter's novel, if it do not rank with the highest class of similar productions, possesses much interest and vivacity. In portraying the manners of fashionable life, she seems to have had Mrs. D'Arblay in view: her miss Arabin appears to us a design from the animated portrait of Mrs. Arberry, in Camilla. If, in the execution, considerable inferiority to a novelist, unrivalled in the display of dramatic and fashionable character, appear, it does not greatly detract from the merit of a younger and less experienced writer. We would hint to our fair and sprightly author, that she has been injudiciously lavish, particularly in the first volume, of the cant phrases, the ephemera of a day, of the modifh vulgar, and which, when no longer current, will appear equally disgusting and unintelligible. A writer, while he « catches the living manners as they rise,” should know how to difcriminate and aim at extending his reputation beyond the present moment. What sensations, a few years hence, will be excited in the refined reader, when expressions like the following are described as proceeding from the lips of beauty and elegance? “ Othey're cut, fir," says the lovely Antonia, alluding to a quarrel and separation between a beloved brother and uncle. “ A piece of fun, from beginning to end,” exclaims the more delicate and sentimental Octavia. Again, Antonia, expressing her approbation of military men, " bang their bravery, if it was not clothed in fcarlet, I would not pick it off the Areets.' On the same occasion, “ the town will look a little lively again; there will be fine picking for us girls.” “Lord, where's the fun of listening to a man one hears every day?” “Your copper-plate writing is voted a bore now a-days." Giving the waistband of his breeches a hawl up.”
“ Like him! echoed Oétavia, his very ditto!” “ Men have no right to take affronts; its vaftly impertinent in Ar
lingham, and I'll row him for it." “ The elegant sproul of her figure."
Octavia, the amiable heroine, quits the room, leaving her friend Adelaide " to quiz the old people,” i. e. a respectable uncle and aunt. It is, perhaps, difficult. in aiming at a familiar and colloquial style, always to avoid meanness: yet familiarity is very diftinct from vulgarity. We recommend to the good sense aud taste of Mifs P.a future confideration of this subject. A litile too much stress is Laid, throughout her production, upon beauty, fashion, and high descent, a common fault with novelists, but productive of pernicious effects on the minds of youth. Merit sometimes may appear, undignified by titles, and beneath a homely garb. ART. XVIII. The Mountain Cotiager, or Worder upon Wender. From
the German of c. H. Spiess, 12mo, 296 pages. Price 35. od. fewed. Lane. 1798. A PLEASANT and ingenious tale, lively, fanciful, and well writ
Miss Anne Plumptre is, we understand, the translator of the interesting little novel.
Art. XIX. General Observations on the Power of Individuals to fri fcribe, by teftamentary Difpofitions, the particular future Ufes to be made of their Property; occasioned by the last Will of the late Mr. Per Thelluffon, of London. By John Lewis de Lolme, LL.D.' Author of the Book on the “Conftitution of England.” 4to. 37 pages. Price is.
Richardson. 1798. The late Mr. Thellusion, third son of Mr. Ifaac Thelluffon, and citizen of Geneva, after residing some time in the capacity of a banker in Paris, repaired to London, acquired an immense torture, (upwards of 700,000l. sterling), and laid it out in trust for certain uses, by will. -Mr. De Lolme, his countryman, who has repeatedly diftinguished himself as a man of letters, here contends, that the investing of money in this inanner is conuary to the usual policy of states, and the limitations of law.
The following quotation exhibits a summary of his reasoning on this point:
P. 26.-? By way of resigning the subject of the above digrefiion, and returning to the subject of those rrufts described in forme: pages, I Mall repeat what has been observed in those former page; which is, That the business of such trufts is a course of prepared disobedience, defance, call for submission, and threat, put upon the legislature (see page 19). It is, moreover, a course of resolution never to sew any return for services performed by other individuals, and of declaration of such resolution, abetted by threats.-And the intent of the previously engaged or bonded course of proceeding, is, in the case of the trust left by the Mr. Peter Thellulson, confeffedly to collect, exact, raise and enlarge the trufted property, and ever defend it againlt being diminished from its preler:
increased state, and also against being confined from being farther increased: this plainly-appearing intent of the scheme and bufiness makes it scarcely posible that the case of such a scheme might be flighted or despised.
It may be observed that that trust just mentioned is conjoined with other additional circumstances of such a nature as make it still less possible that the case of such a scheme and business might be flighted or despised.
In the first place, the business of the trust is entered upon, in the very first instance and outset, with a beginning stock of property which, in lands and money together, has been ascertained to amount to more than seven hundred thousand pounds. The scheme being entered upon with such fubftantial means, the effect must be, that the bad example of the defiance, and the threatening authoritative call for submision, which are to continue to be put upon the legislature throughout the continued buliness of the trust, muft become a very conspicuous bad example, and a subject of general observation; which must needs prove highly injurious to the credit of the legislature.
Nor is this all: the whole of this great property is to be realized into landed property by purchases. To which add, that those lands fo purchased, are to have afterwards other lands continually added and united to them, by means of succeeding progressive purchases, continued to be succesively made with the whole of the progressively increasing masses of the rents and profits of all the lands progretlively purchased and upited before. And, as the scheme of these progressive purchases is to be carried on during a space of eighty, or perhaps a hundred years, or more, it must follow, that the extent of the progreslively, united lands will, at length, prove equal to several english counties, Out of this extent the authority of the british legislature will be excluded by the superior efficiency and authority of the unmodifiable trust. A distinct administration will, of course, be formed within the compass of that extent; which administration will be on a different establishment from those of the counties palatine of Chetter, Lancaster, and Durham, and the itannaries of Cornwall, inasmuch as the authority of the legislature will have no access to the department; heing excluded, as just said, by the superior efficiency and authority of the trust. That administration will be in the nature of an american congress (as it stands at present), in the middle of Great Britain ; with this difference too, that as the managers of the trust will have engrossed the rights of voting for the counties and for the boroughs purchased by them, they will be able to influence the measure of the british legislature :- which they will continue to do till such time as it will suit them entirely to give up that part of the scheme, and to become wholly unconnečted as well as independent
Other ambitious schemers will also be induced, by the brilliancy of the undertaking, to set up fimilar powerful frufts and landuniting managements; by means of which the british legislature will be turned out of other english counties, in the same manner and upon the fame plan as just described.'