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Verses written in the Vicinity of Stoke Park, in the Summer and
Autumn of 1801. By Henry James Pye. 12mo. London. 1802.
Our Laureat ranges through every department of literature, with no common success. Whatever be the theme, his genius seems adequate to the task. His fancy and his learning give ornament to trifles. We regret our engagements and want of space in this our very confined department have hitherto prevented our review of the Laureat's “ Alfred.” We hope, however, shortly to acquit ourselves to our readers on this head, and, in the mean time, recommend to them Mr. Pye’s “ Verses written in the vicinity of Stoke Park.” A Sermon, preached before the Honourable House of Commons, at
the Church of St. Margaret, Westminster, on Tuesday, June 1, 1802, being the Day appointed for a general Thanksgiving. By William Vincent, D. D. Sub- Almoner to His Majesty, and Prebendary of Westminster. London. 1802.
“ DOUBTLESS there is a God that judgeth the earth." From this passage of the Royal Psalmist, Dr. Vincent has selected the foundation of one of the most eloquent discourses of modern times. The propagation of the spirit of atheism in France, during various periods of the revolution, seems to have stimulated the learned and pious author to a candid and fair examination of this most impor. tant truth: “ Doubtless there is a God." And the august personages to whom the discourse was delivered is a proof of the sincerity and ar lent desire of the author that this momentous question should be at rest for ever. Nothing can exceed the masterly skill with which the various branches of this subject are illustrated. The language is nervous, and well suited to the dignity of the subject; the arguments are simple and conclusive ; and the sentiments highly exalted. Sketches and Observations, taken on a Tour through a Part of the
South of Europe. By Jens Wolff. 4to. London. 1801.
The author of this very agreeable Book of Travels we understand to be the Danish Consul, a gentleman extensively engaged in active scenes of commerce. We preface our observations with these particulars, because this work, under the circumstances with which it must have been composed, is a monument of honour to the author. Trade trammels the mind, absorbs its fine faculties, and unnerves the energy of liberal sentiment : its essence being gain, to attain that object means not the most honourable are often resorted to: thus, by a repetition of this traffic, man becomes habituated to a narrow and confined mode of thinking, unless a more than usual portion of philosophy be exercised. Mr. Wolff thinks like a scholar and a gentleman. The rich man's god has not wholly possessed him. He is liberal in his observations on others, and affe&tionately attached to those who, by misfortune, have fallen into decay. His descriptions of places, if not new, have at least much liveliness to recommend them. Man seems to have been his study; and his style of communication is easy and unaffected.
There are now and then inaccuracies in grammar, evidently resulting from inattention to the press, and perhaps from inexperience in composition. These, however, are overbalanced by an unusual flow of good humour in the narrative, and a variety of amusing anecdote. One in particular, with which we were greatly affected, is given in the miscellaneous department of this number, Elegy to the Memory of Francis, late Duke of Bedford. By H. Steers,
Gentleman. 4to. 8 pp. Driffield. 1802. We take the word of the author, that he is a gentlemar; we express our own sentiments when we assert he is no poet.
From storms a shelter, and from heats a shade.
lond, Esq. 12mo. Tunbridge and London. 1802. The elegant specimen Mr. Cumberland has here presented to us, occasions a regret that he did not give us a regular and completo version after his own manner. The Infidel and Christian Philosophers; or the last Hours of Vol
taire and Addison contrasted. A Poem. Kingston upon Hull and London. 1302.
The death of Voltaire, as related by the Abbé Barruel, in his Memoirs of Jacobinism, and by others, was attended with so many affecting circumstances, and made such a deep impression upon the mind of the author of this poem, as to determine him to contrast the last moments of the philosopher with the sublime death of Addicon. The opportunity was fair, and the author has succeeded in no common degree. The beautiful vignette of the death of Addi. son, from a design by the lamented Kirk, has been copied from Vernor and Hood's Zimmerman, we understand by permission. Epistle to Bennet Langton, Esq. in his Retirement. By Bryan
Waller, A. M. 4to. 9 pp. Lancaster. 1802. Bennet Langton, the friend of Johnson, Garrick, Goldsmith, Burke, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, was a man not meanly gifted. The best history of his talents and his virtues appear in Boswell's Life of Johnson. Mr. Waller, whose distinguished Muse has before cheered us, laments the retirement of his patron, in very harmonious verse. We should be pleased to have a more frequent opportunity of perusing this gentleman's productions. A Sketch of the Life and Character of Lord Kenyon, late Lord Chief
Justice of the Court of King's Bench. 8 vo. 40 pp. London, 1802.
When we took up this sketch, we expected some satisfactory account of a character so eminently distinguished, not only in the profession to which his great talents exalted him from an obscure origin, but also for his constant and uniform support of religion and virtue. We have, however, been disappointed, and must therefore wait patiently until a more able pen, with better authenticated materials, produces so valuable a desideratum. On the Improvement of poor Soils, read in the Holderness. Agricul.
tural Society, June 6, 1796, in Answer to the following Question :.“\Vhat is the best method of cultivating and improving Poor Soils, where Lime and Manure cannot be had?" With an Appendix and Notes. By J. Alderson, M. D.
800. 34. PP. Hull. 1802.
Ar a time when the spirit of enclosure is so general throughout the united kingdom, this tract must be very serviceable. Soil is investigated through all its ramifications and bearings, and we have no doubt the question propounded is fairly answered. A Letter (interesting to every Lottery Department, and particularly
to Lottery Adventurers) addressed to the Right Hon. Henry Addington ; containing a Critical Examination of the Plan, Scheme, &c. of the new Lottery Systen. By R. Moulton, A. M. 8vo. London. 1802.
The author seems to have bestowed much time and labour on the subject. We are of opinion his arguments mèrit the consideration of the right honourable personage to whom they are addressed.
The History of England, from the Accession of King George the
Third, to the Conclusion of Peace in the Year 1783. By John Adlophus, Esq. F. S. A. 3 Vols. 8vo. 1802. Concluded from
The first volume, which embraces a period of nearly twelve years, possesses peculiar claims to notice, from the ability with which the origin of political party is traced, and the views of the different leaders laid open. The plan formed by the earl of Bute for rescuing the crown, by a moderate exertion of the constitutional prerogative, from the overbearing influence of a few distinguished families, is described in a masterly manner, and the merits and faults of each successive administration and opposition are impartially discussed.
The second, which is chiefly occupied with the affairs of America, leaves the reader nothing to wish for on that important subject. ‘The rise and progress of the war, to the convention concluded at Saratoga, are related with perspicuity and candour, and there is not a single event of moment, during that unfortunate contest, to which the author has not assigned its proper place.
In the third volume, certainly the most important of the three, he evinces a profound knowledge of the true interests of his country, as well as of the powers with whom she was at war, and we have seldom read or heard a more just or nobler panegyric on our admirable constitution, than that which we extract, and with which Mr. Adol. phus terminates his work.
« Reviewing the period comprized in the present narrative, we find the kingdom involved in difficulties of the utmost magnitude. A combination of talent and influence, forming an opposition to the court, which drove from the kelm, in eight years, five lists of ministers, besides occasioning subordinate changes; the populace impelled to the extremes of violence, and the verge of insurrection, while the administration of the laws appeared too feeble to restrain their excesses; the stability of government scarcely restored, when the passions of the nation were engaged by a rebellion in the American colonies, aided in its progress by those who are called the natural enemies, and those who ought to be the natural allies of Great Britain; the contentions of party maintained during this conflict with increased fervour, and the conduct of the revolters justified and applauded by able and resolute parliamentary advocates ; the war unsuccessful, the peace censured as inglorious ; yet the occupations of commerce, the calls of justice, the duties of the subject, and the cares of vernment, pursued with unabated vigour and philosophic temperance. What could produce these astonishing effects ? what ensure, in such a crisis, the safety both of government and liberty, but the spirit of the British constie cution, so admirably adapted to the preservation of both? Protected by that constitution, all classes concurred in their endeavours to heal the wounds ing
nicted by war in the bosom of their country, and soon found their cares repaid with success beyond their hopes. Hostile confederacies may again menace, and internal dissensions may again plant, inveteracy between leaders of political par. ties; but the great interests of the state, the stability of law, and the full en. joyment of freedom, can never be impaired, while Great Britain preserves invi. olate that source of greatness, spring of happiness,-her inestimable constitution."
Of the author's spirit and skill in the delineation of eminent characters, we shall content ourselves with giving one instance, in that which he has drawn of the celebrated Mr. Charles Townshend.
« Charles Townshend, from whose splendid abilities government was exe pected to receive a new impulse, and whose talents were employed in an attempt to rescue the administration from the feebleness of fluctuating councils, was descended from Charles Viscount Townshend, the able and apright minister of the house of Brunswick. He passed through the schools with distinguished reputation, and was celebrated for that pointed and finished wit which rendere ed him the delight and ornament of parliament, and the charm of private society. In his speeches he brought together in a short compass all that was necessary to establish, to illustrate, and to decorate that side of the question which he supported. He stated his matter skilfully and powerfully; his style of argument was neither trite and vulgar, nor subtle and abstruse. He excelled in a most luminous explanation, and display of his subje&.* His defects arose from his lively talents and exquisite penetration : he readily perceived and decried the errors of his co-adjutors, and from the versatility of his political conduct acquired the nick-name of the weather-cock. He sat in parliament twenty years, and successively filled the places of lord of trade, and of the ad. miralty, secretary at war, paymaster of the forces, and chancellor of the exche. quer, in which offices he executed business with such accuracy and dispatch, as demonstrated that genius and industry are not incompatible. He was carried off in the meridian of life, at the age of forty-two, at a time when it might be hoped his lively talents were matured by experience, and the irregular sallies of his versatile temper, subjected to the restraints of judgment.”
Upon the whole, Mr. Adolphus has executed his work in a manner so very able, as to induce us to express our earnest hope that he will extend his history to the conclusion of the treaty of Amiens.He had, unquestionably, many difficulties to surmount, arising, in particular, from the proximity of the times of which he writes. The modern history of England is a subject which might have deterred the most resolute mind; and it has been happily observed by Gibbon, that it is one “ where every character is a problem, and every reader a friend or an enemy; where a writer is supposed to hoist a flag of party, and is devoted to damnation by the adverse faction.” Upon this ground, however, Mr. Adolphus has nothing to apprehend.
* Burke's Works, vol. X. p. 566.