Page images

and Norwich, are nearly the mean decrements between those in great towns and in country parishes and villages; consequently, as the society assures town and country lives indiscriminately, these are the observations by which it should be guided. Perhaps the Doctor ought to have added if the number of lives which it affures in country parishes be equal, or nearly so, to the number of lives which it assures in town; for if this be not the case, the refults of calculations made from those tables may be

very favourable or very detrimental to the interests of the society

What follows must be understood with the same restriction.

But, says our Author, observations more proper for the use of this society than even those above mentioned may now be obtained. I mean those furnished by the Register of mortality established a few years ago at Chester, under the direction of the ingenious Dr. Haygarth.-Chester is an old and very healthy town, of moderate fize, which has continued much the same as to populousness for a long course of years; and these are circumstances which render it a fituation particularly fitted for Thewing the true law that governs the waste of human life in all its ftages. The register which has been established there is more minute and correct than any other; and is, perhaps, the only one which gives the difference between the chances of living among males and females, and from which it is possible to compute, with any degree of precision, the values of lives before five and after seventy years of age. Tables, therefore, of the values of life annuities, assurances, and reverfions, calculated from this register, would be a valuable acquisition, not only to the society more immediately under consideration, but also to the public in general.

Dr. Price goes on to observe, that it would greatly aslift and expedite the business of the society, and at the same time do considerable service to this branch of science, if tables of the values of two, and also three joint lives were computed, agreeable to the best observations, true io three decimal places at leas : for without such tables it is impossible to find, in many cases, the true values of assurances, and particularly of assurances on survivorships for terms. He observes, that there are now no such tables extant. Mr.Simpson's table in the Select Exercises, p. 266, is adapted only to London; and gives the values only to one place of decimals. And the table in his own Treatise on Reversionary Payments, p. 328, is calculated from M. De Moivre's hypothesis, which, although it agrees nearly with the Breslaw and Northampton observations in the middle stages of life, differs so widely from all real observations before twenty and after seventy years of age, as to be totally improper for use. He therefore earnestly recommends it to the society to direct that such tables as are here Rev. June, 1780.

described, described, may be calculated ; and observes, that the expence of such calculations can be no object to them, notwithstanding in doing it they will not only contribute greatly towards the speedy and accurate execution of their own business, but confer also a very great obligation on the Public at large. He adds some other observations, but which, though they are of very confiderable importance to the interests and well-being of the society, as they in no wise relate to the Public, we shall forbear to mention.

We should next have proceeded to give some account of the very curious and interesting Esay on the present State of Population in England and Wales, which is annexed to this performance, had we not observed that the Doctor has announced the reprinting of it with some additions in a separate publication. We thall therefore take some future opportunity of laying an account of it before our Readers; and conclude what we have to say at present with observing, that Mr. Morgan's performance is one of those many laudable, and we inay add, successful attempts which have been lately made towards stripping the more useful parts of learning and science of their terrifying and disgusting appearance, caused chiefly by the use of technical terms, and profeffional phrases; which have hitherto deterred so many from attempting them.

Art. VI. Eastern Eclogues : Written during a Tour through Arabia,

Egypt, &c, in 1777. 410. 2 s. 6 d. Dodfley. 1780. PEREANT qui ante nos noftra dixerum! was an exclama.

tion of one who could find no image in the storehouse of imagination, but what had been pre-occupied by some former writer. Indeed, while a writer confines himself to subjects that have been treated before, or describes scenes already known, it will be difficult to introduce sentiment or imagery that shall be totally original. In poetry, this difficulty is peculiarly obvious. It too frequently happens that poets attempt to paint what they never faw, and to describe what they never felt. Hence they are in a great measure confined to general ideas, such as will in some degree occur to every one. When, therefore, we found • it had been the fortune of our Traveller to be tempted, by a near approach to the scenes which he has described, to sketch from the life,' we formed expectations very different from what generally accompany the fight of a new publication. Sorry are we to say, that our expectations have by no means been gratified. There is nothing either in the sentiments or imagery which seems peculiar or appropriate to the characters or scenes which he has described. Nor do we meet with any things if the opening of the third eclogue be excepted, which might not have occurred to a writer whose knowledge had been collected merely from books. We say not this, however, as paffing an indiscriminate censure on his performance. It certainly has merit; but not of that kind which we expected. The verfiscation is elegant and harmonious, and the sentiments are sensible and just.

The eclogues are four in number : the title of the first is Alexis: or, The Traveller. Scene, the Ruins of Alexandria. Of the second, Selima: or, The Fair Greek. Scene, a Seraglio in Arabia Felix. In this eclogue the Writer has made confiderable use of Lady M. W. Montague's description of the amusements of the Haram. The title of the third eclogue is Ramah : or, The Bramin. Scene, the Pagoda of Conjeveram. It opens with some degree of fublimity.

• High on the top of that religious fane,
Whose spires from far attract the zealoi-train,
Pride of Gentoos! mid superstition's night
Which shines a beacon to the Pagan's fighty
A Bramin ftood-expos'd to ev'ry eye,
The roof his bed, his canopy the sky;
For three long days he here the clime defyd,
Revenge his study, and distress his pride.
O'er woes impending runs his lab’ring mind,
And omens thicken in the coming wind !'-

“ Ye Gods ! protectors of the Indian race,
Now trembles not your empire to its base?
Say, on what spot your altars shall be found,
While mad Ambition walks his guilty round?
Lo! by the Ganges' confecrated food
The sacred Cow diftains the earth with blood ;
Selected form of purity divine !
Mute intercessor at your holy shrine !
I fee! I fee! the fated ruin spread,
The stream polluted at the fountain-bead!
Religion changing thro' the land her vow;
The Mosque aspiring o'er the Pagod's brow:
But chief the holy temples of Tanjore

Defil'd, where Mahomet ne'er trod before !"
The remaining part of the eclogue is not so spirited or striking.
Ramah, towards the conclusion, harangues more like an Euro-
pean politician than an Asiatic devotee. The last eclogue is,
The Escape : or, The Captives. Scene, the suburbs of Tunis.
Time, Midnight. If we were to give the preference to any of
these pieces, it should be this. The characters are Sebastian and
Perez, two Spanilh captives.

Perez began. A virgin was his theme,
Bright as her orb, yet cold as Cynthia's beam !

• O thou! to whom my youthful vows belong
Strength of my sword; and goddess of my song!


G g 2

[ocr errors]

Who oft my chivalry with smiles haft paid,
And deign'd to grace the midnight serenade:
Be thou propitious to this teeming hour,
Which gives a captive to thy boundless pow'r.
Love, more than freedom, tempts him o'er the wave,
To owo his tyrant, and resume the slave:
To him all thoughts of liberty were vain,
Who, scap'd from bondage, seeks a stronger chain !

Let Marcia then her Perez' claim approve,
His truth persuade her, and his fuff'rings move,
And you, my rivals! who that claim disdain'd,
Scoff'd at my lot, and by my absence reign'd;
Or in the lifts, or in your am'rous fuit,
For love and honour Perez will dispute.
In vain you poize the lance, or breathe the vow-
The fair-one twines the wreath for Perez' brow !"

Sebastian then. Him fills a dearer name,
Soft as her light, and chafte as Dian's fame!

“ And will to thee Sebastian be restor’d,
With smiles be welcom'd, as with fighs deplor'd !
Will love o'erpay thee with a late embrace,
Wife of my choice! and guardian of my race !
See, if the thought dissolve me not to tears,
My manhocd Make, and waken all my fears.
No babes, perhaps, may lisp a fire's reture-
The mother's truft transmitted to an urn!
Or if so hopeless, so severe my fate,

Those children now may weep their orphan state!"
Had all the descriptive parts of these Eclogues been equal to
the concluding lines of this, the censure that was past at the
beginning of this article had been unnecessary.

He said; and faw the object in his reach:
The friendly galley strikes upon the beach,
Swift by the cord the Captives downward glide-
The bark drops flent with the ebbing tide.
Now, unobserv'd, the lower fort they gain,
Now shoot the narrow outlet to the main.
To crown their hopes the wind from Tunis blows !
They pass the Cape where ancient Carthage rose :
Onward their course with toil unceasing ply,
'Till Murcia's mountains faintly ringe the sky.
Touch'd at the fight they cast their cares behind,

While all their country rushes on their mind!
There is something in the fourth line,

The bark drops filent with the ebbing tidethat is uncommonly descriptive.

We are rather disposed to think, that where this Writer has failed, it has been owing more to that diffidence which young poets sometimes feel in going out of a beaten track, than to any want of poetical ability : and in this opinion, we are will

ing to hope our. Readers will concur with us, especially when they have read, what is certainly a model of tenderness and elegance, his Dedication

To Mrs. IRWIN.
Lamp of my life! and summit of my praise !
The bright reward of all my toilsome days!
After unnumber'd storms and perils brav'd,
The port in which my shipwreck'd hopes were fav'd ;
Who, when my youth had pleasure's round enjoy'd,
Came to my craving foul, and fill'd the void.
To thee, whose feeling heart and judgment chafte,
Give thee of fancy's luxuries to taste;
To thee I dedicate these rambling lays,
And hold thy smiles beyond a monarch's bays!

See, on our bliss the nuptial year decline,
And still the fun which lit it, feems to shine!
Crown'd is our union with a smiling boy,
And thou still courted like a virgin coy.
Ye fhades of lovers! witness what we feel
To modern couples vain were the appeal!

Tho' human joys are ever on the wing,
Tho' small the scope of life's enchanted ring;
'Tho' Time advances with a courser's pace,
And fill mult rob thee of some charm or grace ;
No fights ungrateful can salute our eyes,
Who use no optics but what love fupplies !
Who but in this betray a partial side,
Still each to each, the bridegroom and the bride!

Art. VII. Political Conferences between several Great Men of the

laft and present Century. With Notes by the Editor. 8vo. Cadell, 1780.

HIS sensible tract confifts of dialogues between men who

I s. 6d.

guished lustre on the political theatre of this country. In order to give the Reader, who has made a particular study of English history, an idea of the subjects to which the conferences relate, it is sufficient barely to mention the names of the persons introduced in them. The first is between Lord Strafford and Mr. Pym; the second introduces Sir Harry Vane and Mr. Whitlock; the third, Oliver Cromwell and Waller the poet ; the fourth, William Lenthal, Speaker of the Long Parliament, and Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon; the fifth, Lord Danby, Lord Devonshire and Lord Delamere ; the fixth, Robert Earl of Oxford and Mathew Prior; the seventh, Sir Robert Walpole and Mr, Pelham. These great men are made, in the work before us, to speak like themselves; their characters are described with equal impartiality and discernment. As a specimen of the style, which is easy and agreeable, we shall Gg3


« PreviousContinue »