Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

See, yonder see he comes ! he waves his hand,
His form appears once more to bless the land!
Forward he italks, methought I heard him cry,
What fpirit is it, Sherwood comecome nigh !
Let me, oh let me, with these arms embrace,
And joyful view my Sherwood's well-known face?
See, fee it flies--alas! 'tis fancy all!

I deem'd 'twas him, and thought he heard my call." Gentle reader ! are not your eyes overflowing with tears? What ! laughing ! “ Most admirable indeed!". we hear you cry,

Why, Mr. Critic, these are some of the best nonsense verses I have heard this great while." “ Think you fo, friend Reader? then prithee purchase the book : you will there find an abundance of the same kind. This is only his pathetic nonsense ; if you with to see his sublime, look for his Ode to Vengeance,' written not quite in the spirit of Pindar."- Mr. Dibdin sometimes borrows a line to which he forgets to affix the inverted commas, and sometimes imitates, but never amends the thought or expression of what he imitates. He seems to have imagined, also, that the person who sat down with an intention of writing poetry, was completely emancipated from the slavery of attending to such confiderations as grammar and punctuation. If he had not thought so, he certainly would not have disregarded them both in the manner he has done. Ignorance it cannot arise from! for Mr. Dibdin addreffes his Preface from St. John's College, Oxon, and is particularly careful to tell us how frequently he has there cnjoyed his poetic moods.

To conclude. When Mr. Dibdin attempts the pathetic, he is ridiculous; 'when the descriptive and na. rural, weak and childish ; when the sublime, bombas. tic: indeed we have been able to find in his book only one thing which we could applaud--and that one thing is, an oblique promise not to write any more, if he is not praised for what he has alreally written.

ARI.

[ocr errors]

Art. II. Fugitive Pieces: By Frances Greenfied.

Maidstone. Printed for the Author, by D. Chalmers. Sold by Messrs. Wilkie, and H. D. Symonds, Paternofter Row, London; Hazard, Bath; Harold, Marl. borough; Coveney, Faversham; Etherington, Chat

ham; and Bristow, Canterbury. THE HESE poems are the production of a servant-maid,

who has had so little education, that the cannot commit to paper her own compositions ; and who has not received, in the publication of her poems, the smalleft literary assistance from any person. We will give her " Address to the Public," and a specimen or two from her poems, that the public may judge of her pretensions to patronage.

ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC. IT being more than probable that many of those whose names grace this work, may be unacquainted with the design of the publication, and, consequently, ignorant that whilst they only promise themselves the amusement of an hour, they are sacrificing to charity; the author thinks it a duty incumbent on her to give them that heart-felt satisfaction, which ever attends the exercise of beneficence, by informing them, that her situation in life is that of a servant, the duties of which ftation she has endeavoured to fulfil in the best manner a precarious state of health would permit. In this capacity the has lived more than twenty years in one family, now resident in Maidstone, where many of the following pieces were written at different times, without the least intention of their appearance in public.

Some of these productions were thewn by a friend to a respectable and worthy clergyman, in the county of Wilts, who enquiring into the circumstances of the writer, and being informed that she had an infirm and

revered

23

revered parent, upwards of eighty-two years of age, to whom she wished to render some assistance, instantly formed the benevolent design of publishing them by subscription ; beginning the subscription himself, and foliciting the names and interests of his friends.

With the deepest sensations of gratitude to a gene. rous public, who have completed a number far beyond either her moit fanguine hopes or expectations, the begs leave to assure them, that her future ftudy shall be ever to deserve the farours thus byunteously conferred on her

Such is the account of herself and her wishes, given by the writer of these poems; and to a suppliant fo unassuming, even were her faults numerous, (which they are not) the stern voice of criticisin must be fof. tened into a milder tone. Mrs. Greensted is some. times too diffuse in her description, and sometimes de. fective in her manner of expreffing her ideas; but while she is never contemptible or extravagant, she is often pleasing and elegant. Her versification is harmonious, and the knowledge and observation displayed in her poems, considering her disadvantageous situation, is very extensive. We shall give an extract or two from her volume, not chosen on account of their being the best, but the shortest.

EPITAPH ON A PROMISING CHILD.
“ Early remov'd from bleak misfortune's pow'r,
Secure from storms, here refts a tender flow'r;
Short though its bloom, the opening bud began
To promise fair when ripen'd into man.
Sleep on, sweet babe, high heaven's all gracious King
Hath io cternal luminer chang'd thy spring.

[ocr errors]

ON THE RAGE FOR BLUE AND BUFF, So indiscriminately worn during a certain Election.

“ In days of yore, when beasts could speak,

And councils held in Rocks;
Amongst the lion's numerous court,

The wifest was the Fox.
But mark how strange the times now go!

(To tell the truth's no sin)
* Many the Fox's outside thew,

Who asses proye within." To this volume appear the names of several hundred Subscribers, and the authorefs announces her intention of publishing a second volume in a short time. We respect the motives which actuare her conduct, the gratitude and modesty of her behaviour, and therefore moft cordially with her the success which we think she de. ferves.

ART. III. The Italian Monk, a Play, in Three Acts;

written by James Boaden, Esq., and first performed at the Theatre Royal Hay Market, on Tuesday, Aug.

15, 1797. pp. 78. 25. Robinsons. SURELY it was not the fear of piracy that precipi

tated the publication of the ITALIAN MONK. Some indeed, not fo charitable as they ought to be, have confidently affirmed to us that Mr. Boaden, from a strange forefight of that general neglect, which might betide this bantling of his pen, was resolved “to take time by the forelock,” and also to gratify the town with a better understanding of his performance,

It is not our purpose, after what we have observed in the Drama of last month, to notice all the "odd quirks" of Mifter Paullo : we shall in this department

of

[graphic]

of our work, more immediately confine ourselves to a literary examination of the play.

It must be confessed, that there is nothing uncommon in the usage of prose and blank verse by turns, in dramatic composition : but we cannot fully admit one of Shakespeare's defects in exculpation of the present writer. He is far from content with a moderate licence in this respect. We will instance Vivaldi-When dir. courfing with Paullo, he is quite intelligible and plain ; but no sooner does he perceive the monk of Paluzzi, than he as instantly perceives the necessity of addressing him in blank-verse. Hence it is clear, as Vivaldi thought the monk “ supernal,” that all who are visited by fuch' messengers, may take a comfortable hint, and avoid many mishaps by speaking to them in lines duly measured. Yet, when informed in a most folemn tone

“ Fate speaks by death !" fpw think you, reader, that he replies to the monk ? This thus T

“ Stay, riddler! child of darkness, stop!”' The meanness of this phraseology can be no riddle to a poetical mind. He then, we quote the words of the author, “ rushes after him (the monk) sword in hand,” in hopes, for he believed him such, to pierce a spirit!

Would a fisherman's daughter, we ask, fet about this subtle comparison ? -" There is something treache“ rous,” says Fiorefca, “ in the fisherman's art. Like “ the courtier, he proportions his bait to the palate of “ his prey, and spreads his deception with the moft fuc“ cess, when his victim is under a cloud.”- Again : when Ellena enters the convent, she talks in a reasonable way to the nun, of whom the enquires concerning Olivia ; but this lady appears, and Ellena has recourte to “ blank verse." If Spalatro were ten times the villain he is, would he thus terrify Ellena on her en

tering

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »