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The following is an Extract of a Letter from the Honourable
Capel Loft, on the Progress of the Comet lately discovered.
Monday night, at ten o'clock.--" The comnet, which was ad. vancing last night to the triangle of stars, in the left hand of Hercules, has now reached a of those stars, and was nearly in apparent contact with it eight minutes before ten this night. It had about then advanced four degrees since last night, and about 23 degrees since its first observation here.
“ Its nebulosity seems now more oblong and irregular.”
The following article also appears in one of the last Paris papers respecting it.
* Citizen Bouvard, astronomer to the observatory, discovered on the 27th Thermidor, (Aug. 14), at 10 P. M, a comet between the head of the Coachman and neck of the Lynx; it is round, ill defined, and without a tail, and is hardly perceptible to the naked eye. He continued to observe it till three in the morning, when it was 95 degrees and a half ascen. reet. and at 57 degrees declin. bor. It is advancing rapidly towards the north.”
The above comet is supposed to be that predicted by fir Ifaac Newton. Its approach to the earth has probably been the cause of the many tempefts, and the otherwise remarkable weather of the present summer.
Died on the 24th of August, at Paris, the celebrated Love vet. He had scarcely expired, when his wife poisoned herself with opium. She was, however, persuaded to take a coun. ter-poison, and there are hopes of her recovery. He was the author of several works, most of them written with much energy and eloquence. All of them Thew marks of genius, some of them are models of sound reasoning and strong argu
The following is a list of his works : the Chevalier de Faublas ; Emilie de Varmont; Paris justifie contre Mounier; three petitions to the national assembly; two speeches in the jacobin club against Robespierre and the war; the Sentinelle; Accusation against Robespierre; Reply to Robespierre's Answer; Journal of the Debates, from the roth of Auguft, 1792, tu joth March, 1793; on the Conspiracy of the josh of March, and the Faction of Orleans; and Recital of his Peils since the 31st of May, 1793.
In a German journal, the origin of the English and American practice of tarring and feathering, is traced to the boisterous Bishop of Halberstadt, who being at war with the elector Palatine, in 1623, caused all the nuns and friars of two monastries, to be turned into a large hall naked, their bodies being oiled and pitched; and in this situation they were obliged to tumble promiscuously among a vatt quantity of feathers, from beds ripped for the purpose, and thus decorated, were turned out for the amusement of the multitude.
There has been discovered a blanching lixivium, with which, when linen or woollen is prepared, and afterwards foaked with a diffolution of Indian rubber, by means of spirits of turpentine, it will relift rain, water, or damp, of any description.
On the 24th of August, at about eleven o'clock at night, the inhabitants of the western diftrict of Argyleshire, to the extent of upwards of fixty miles, were alarmed by a shock of an earthquake, fo violent in several houses, as to overturn many weighty articles of household furniture. Its duration was about a minute.
An oftler watering some horses in the river at Leeds, being by some accident thrown from his seat, was in danger of being drowned; when a large dog, belonging to the Golden Lion inn, caught him by the shoulder, and brought him senseless to the bank, and remained by him, till by a continued barking he ağıracted alittance, by which the man was reitored
The following phenomena in nature, have lately occurred at Mr. Knill's, a' refpectable farmer near Bromyard:-a suw lately farrowed 11 pigs, among which was one without a head, only the ears appearing, and a small hole between them, but neither eyes or mouth; "it had life for a considerable time, and ran about, but died for want of sustenance. It is equally remarkable, that last year Mr. Knill had an ewe which yeaned a lamb without the least resemblance of wool.
Art. I. Poems by T. F. Dibdin. London: Printed
for the Author. Sold by Booker, Bond Street, Murray and Co. Fleet Street; and J. Bliss, Oxford, 1797: THESE poems are introduced to the reader by a
« Preface in a Letter to *****," in which the author first informs his * Dear friend," that he has, in consequence of his applause and advice, been induced " to commit himself, in a sort of precipitate way, before " the formidable tribunal of the literary world;" next ftates, very circumftantially, the age which he was when he wrote the poems; then--flourishes a little upon that happy period “ when nothing shall fare a “man but integrity and intellect.” After this excurfion, he returns again to the poems, and declares, that “ what he principally aimed at was a smoothness of
metre, and a fimplicity of incident ; that, unambiti"ous of aspiring to the sublime, and undefirous of de“ scending to the trivial, he has endeavoured to walk in “the plain practical path of the muses." He then concludes with a rhapsody, which, reduced into plain English, says nothing more, than that the most durable things are the most laiting, that some things are taller than others; and, that though a thing may be little, it may, nevertheless, be goud. To the truth of these propoficions we give our hearty assent. We have long been satisfied of their justice; and we are much inclined to believe, that the world also was so well convinced of their truth before the publication of these poems, that VOL. II.
Mr. Dibdin might have withheld his information, with. out its suffering any great or irreparable lois.
If any thing would have deterred an author from using the old and stale excule for printing, urged in the opening of this preface; we should have thought the fevere sarcasm of Pope might. But this gentleman ap. pears not to have leen, or not to have regarded, that poet's often-quoted line
" Compelled by hunger, and request of friends." We do not mean to infinuate, that the first part of the line was this author's real reason for publishing; but we must say, that the last part of it is no excuse for his “ precipitate" publication of the verses before us, from which, in our judgment, the world will derive very little either of instruction or amusement. With respect to his youth, which this gentleman urges in extenuation of his faults, we shall only reply, that though it might excuse his attempting to write verse, it does not lessen the folly of obtruding those attempts on the public. He is now, by his own confession, arrived at a maturer age, and ought to have made use of his judg. ment, if judgment he has. But we will leave these trilling points, and proceed to investigate this author's claim to notice, as stated in one part of his preface. From what the author has there said, our readers will, no doubt, be induced to think, that the poems are polished to the very perfection of elegance. By no means. The Thymes are through the whole of the poems extremely faulty: we meet with plenty of such as--" morn,
lawn' -“fame, theme"-" plac'd, last”" car, air;" and he makes " song, alone,” and “i flown," rhyme to “gone." The versification, instead of being correct and animated, never rises to harmony; but finks, every instant, into hobbling distorted profe. proof, we will present from a plentiful flock the fol. lowing lines :
« Monument of Sherwood's fame.'
"And bless you with a Montague, a husband's sway.” The two last lines are, we suppose, intended for Alexandrines; to the use of which Mr. Dibdin seems to be as partial as he is ignorant of their structure. His Alexandrines do, indeed,
« Like a wounded snake drag their slow length along."
So much for the smoothness of metre in these verses.. With respect to the “ fimplicity of incident" claimed by the author, we shall just observe, that it would have been, more proper had he written "absence, instead of “ fimplicity."
The following we produce as a specimen of Mr. Dibdin's manner of walking in “ the plain practical path of the muses.”
fresh butter and brown bread,
And stalk, undaunted, with their clubs before." These passages, and an infinity more of the fame ftamp, as we suppose, the author intended for natural and graceful: we think them glaringly inelegant and vulgar. We will now give an illustrious instance of our author's pathetic powers, from Pastoral the Second.
« 'Tis here he lies--ah! Sherwood, thou no more: