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Rervous and manly writer; one who seems more desirous of exploring truth, than ambitious of embellishing it with unnecessary ornament. Of the facts on which his arguments are founded he appears to be fully informed, and his mode of arguing is close and convincing.
We have only to regret that Lord A. in treating a subject in which every Englishman is so deeply interested, has fallen into the error of those politicians who have imagined that property (not the people) is the object of parliamentary representation ; a doctrine so absurd, that we want words to express our astonishment at its existence in a country wbere the invaluable rights of the lowest citizen, whose only property is his FREEDOM, CIVIL and RELIGIOUS, are surely as much the objects of conftitutional protection, which implies representation, as the dirty acres and money-bags of the opulent, but less numerous and less useful, part of the community!
ART, XIV. A Poetical Epifle to his Excellency GEORGE WASHING
TON, Esq; Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, from an Inhabitant of the State of Maryland. To which is added, a Sketch of the Life and Character of General Walhington. 410. 2 s. 6 d. Annapolis printed, 1779; London reprinted for Dilly, &c. 1780.
LTHOUGH America is, or lately was, like all rising
countries, in a general state of improvement, yet poetry, in particular, does not yet seem to have been highly cultivated in that foil. But great events will produce great poets. Homer, perhaps, had never immortalized himself in song, had the siege of Troy never taken place. The specimens of American poetry which we have hitherto met with, are, probably, the dawnings of that brighter day which may, ere long, shine forth in full splendor.
The little poem here republished, from the original American edition, is chiefly intended by its Author (a native of America *) as a compliment to his celebrated countryman, the Commander in chief of the Congress' troops.
Having paid due respect to the merits of the hero to whom this Epiitle is immediately addressed, and reprobated the hostile
• Say, where along yon venerable wood,
My native Aream swells thy Potomack's flood,
Fann'd by fair Liberty's inspiring gale?' By bis native ftream, the Author means the river Wiccomico, which empties itself into the great river Potomack.
conduct of Great Britain towards his native country, with a warmth of resentment which was to be expected in a poem of this kind, the Western Muse thus contraits the bloody picture with a prophetic delineation of the ftate of America, happily settled in the enjoyment of that freedom for which the is now struggling :
Great without pomp, without ambition brave,
Such be my country; what her sons Tould be,
And learn to shudder at opprefion's name! It is the custom of some painters to draw flattering resemblances; and we fear that this artist is of their number. We apprehend that the world pever yet faw, and never will see, human fociety in the high state of perfečtion which he bas so fondly imagined
The memoirs of the life, and the sketch of the character of Mr WASHINGTON, reen to contain the most authentic, as well as moft circumstantial, account of this modern FABIUS, that hath yet appeared. The half-length portrait, given by way of frontispiece, is engraved from an original painting; and it is said to bear a just resemblance of the General's person,
* This pamphlet is publiihed for the benefit of the American prisoners in England. - It is true, as the benevolent Editor observes, in his prefatory advertisement, the pains of captivity cannot be much lightened by this small mite of an obscure individual ;' but, as he justly adds, such munificent donations as have been made by Englilamen toward the relief of the Ame
rican prisoners, confined in this country, 'must stamp a lesson on the minds of those unfortunate captives, and our American brethren in general, that they should not withdraw all national affection from a country, the bulk of whose inhabitants have not withdrawn all national affection from them.”
f ART. XV. Poems and Miscellaneous Pieces, with free Translation o
the Oedipus Tyrannus of Sophocles. By the Rev. Thomas Maurice'
appeared in print, and have been noticed in our Review. We observed in them a genuine poetical fpirit, and melodious versification, with a mixture of inequality and incorrectness, We remember to have remarked, on one occasion, that as the Author was of inexperienced age, we might hope for better things; and, accordingly, several of the original pieces in this collection demonstrate that our hopes were not without foundation. The Great have been too frequently addressed, even by good poets, in strains of servile adulation. Mr. Maurice's verses to the Marquis of Blandford, after having seen Blenheim-house, afford a manly, decent compliment.
After a natural introduction of the great Marlborough's triumphs, the poet thus proceeds :
• Here BLANDFORD, oft, as to thy wond'ring eyes
Protect the orphan, and the wretch befriend.' The situation of Blenheim affording occasion, he mentions the story of Henry II, and Rolamond; which not inelegantly finishes the piece :
But short the bliss unholy joys afford,
The sweets of social life, and spotless love!' Hinda, an Eastern elegy, is not, as the Author informs us, a particular imitation of any Asiatic poet, but was written when
• See Hagley, a descriptive poem, Monthly Review, vol. Ivi. p. 156.
his imagination bad been animated with the perusal of those beautiful specimens of Eastern poetry given to the world by Mr. Jones and Mr. Richardson. This elegy is the complaint of an Arabian lover, for the loss of his deceased bride. The Oriental character is, in general, well sustained, most of the images are local, and the language is marked by dignity and ease ;
• Led by the star of evening's guiding fires,
And thus discharg'd the torrent of his grief,'
“ HINDA, once fairest of the virgin train,
“ To that dear fpot, when day's declining beam
“ Kiss the cold shrine, and clasp the mould'ring clay." Reflecting on past pleasures, he then episodically introduces a kind of epithalamium:
« Prepare, I cried, prepare the nuptial feast,
“ Where mirth Mall be the guest, and love preside." Then expatiating on his own poffeffions, and describing the person of his beloved, his digreffion concludes with the following passage, in which the luxuriant pictures of Eastern poetry are happily imitated :
t • Aden and Saba are both cities of Arabia Felix, celebrated for the gardens and spicy woods with which they are furrounded.'
“ A bower
“ A bower I have, where branching almonds spread, • Where all the seasons all their bouncies shed; “ The gales of life amidit the branches play, • And music bursts from ev'ry vocal (pray, « Ics verdant foot a stream of amber laves, " And o'er it Love his guardian banner waves : “ There hall our days, our nights in pleasure glide, “ Friendship shall live, when paflion's joys sublide; “ Increasing years improve our mutual truth,
“ And age give fanction to the choice of youth." His complaint is thus beautifully resumed :
". Thus fondly I of fancied raptures fung,
“ Beyond the price of empires to restore." There appears to be something exceptionable in the termi. nation of this little poem. That an act of suicide should be produced by such a permanent, mellowed grief as the general tenor of the poem points out, is, we think, 'improbable. have also a doubt whether the practice is consistent with Arabian manners. Considered in a moral light, perhaps even fictitious examples of suicide, in general, are not favourable to virtue. They may tend to familiarize the human mind to an act which the severe pressure of misfortune too often induces men to commit.
The Prospect of Life, an ode, paints the dark side of things strongly, and juftly. Perhaps it might have been improved by contraction, and a different arrangement. We hould, also, have approved it more, had it been written in regular stanzas. Cowley's mis-titled Pindaric, in which he was followed by every rhimer, is now, in general, properly discarded, and we are sorry whenever we see attempts made to revive the use of it, by any who merit the name of poet.
The following picture of some of the miseries of life, is well drawn, and highly coloured :
• Ah! why the catalogue of ills prolong,
When all the passions, fierce and unconfin'd,
Rush with the tempest's fury on the mind,
Adds her keen edge-presents an infant train,
Who with imploring eyes around thee hang,