« PreviousContinue »
Art. 64. A Statement of Facts, occasional of, and relative to the
Jate Disturbances at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. By James Fennel. 8vo. Bell. 1788. Mr. Fennel appeared, some time ago, as a young actor, under a feigned name, at one of our London theatres, and was not wholly unsuccessful. Removing to Edinburgh, he there, in July lait, performed some capital characters; but had the misfortune to incur the displeasure of certain persons, who, forming a party against him, excited disturbances in the play-house ; till, at last, the manager was threatened with unpleasant consequences, which he could only prevent by discharging Mr. Fennel. The final result was, that Mr. F. who had too much spirit to submit to such treatment as appeared to him both oppressive and unjust, hath bidden a final adieu to the ftage; but hath, at the same time, thought it expedient to publish this narrative of the whole transaction ; and, as far as we, at this distance, can pretend to judge of his conduct, he appears to have been arbitrarily and cruelly created. Formerly our players styled themselves “ His Majesty's Servants ;” but it has appeared, from feveral in tances, at different periods of Itage-history, that they are the slaves of the Audience. We are sorry for it! Does it seem realonable, or just, that any class of people among us, should for-, feit their natural rights and privileges, as Free B'ritons, merely because they employ their talents in contributing to our rational amusement Art. 65. Observations on the three last Volumes of the Roman History,
by Edward Gibbon, Esq. 12 mo. is, 68. Stockdale. 1788. 3.This anonymous Observer criticises Mr. Gibbon's work with re
verity, but not without some degree of candour. Many of his strictures are undoubtedly just; though a few of them have rather an appearance of illiberality. He charges the celebrated writer with a want of that lucidis ordo which distinguifres the historian from the mere relaror of facts; with a want of perspicuity of language, and a neglect of grammatical accuracy; with the unnecessary and wanton-introduction of indecent and profane pallages ; and even with a display of ridiculous buffoonery, more worthy of a jeft-book than of serious history. In some instances, these charges are prele ty well supported; in others, we think the objetions are frivolous and trilling. He allows, however, the genius and abilities of Mr. Gibbon : of which, he expressly affirms, there can be but one opinion.' Ast. 66. The Naval Atalantis: or, a Dispřay of the Characters of
such Flag Officers as were distinguished during the last War. By Nauticus Junior. 8vo. 45. Boards. Ridgway. 788.
Naucicus Junior is much difatisfied with the conduct of the noble Lord late at the head of the Admiralty board. He particularly accuses him of partiality in the late promotion of officers; and he has accordingly pourtrayed the characters of those who are advanced to the pinnacle of naval ambition. It is wholly impoflible for us to speak to the several maritime facts which are here brought forward to the public view. Profesional men can alone determine on them; and yet profellional men are scarcely to be trusted; they cannot di
tek themselves of prejudices : for in the work before us, which pretends to the strictest' impartiality, we find opinion continually obtruding itself, and Sporting with the reputation of those who bave unfortunately given offence to the Author; while, on the other hand, he is equally fulsome in commendation of his favourites and friends. In a word, we cannot better characterize the present Writer than in the language of Dryden:
Railing and praising are his usual themes,
That every one, with him, is god or devil.” A.B. Art. 67. Characteristic Anecdotes, &c. of Frederic II. late King of
Pruffia. With Explanatory Notes and Observations, by B. H. La Trobe. 8vo. 6 s. Boards. Stockdale. 1788.
We agree with Mr. La Trobe that the Anecdotes with which he has here presented the world, are charaéteristic of the great Prince with whom he has made us intimately acquainted. His readers will be willing to allow the author of the preiene publication no inconfiderable portion of praise for having related in an agreeable manner the most important and the most interesting circumstances in the life of the King of Prasia; and for having in his notes given that information which ably illustrates the nature of the Prufian government, and thereby difpels the obscurity in which many of the transactions would otherwise be involved. This work is compiled from one of much greater bulk, written originally in the German language; and the selection of Anecdotes contained in it does credit to the judgment of the editor. We have perused the book with satisfaction, and most willingly recommend it to the attention of others.
& Art. 68. Anecdotes and Characteristics of Frederic the Great, late King
of Prussia: selected and translated from eight original Volumes in the German language. By F. A. W. 12mo. 2 Vols. 6 s. fewed. Richardson, &c. 1738.
It is out of our power to give so great a degree of praise to the present as to the preceding publication, becaule, from its perusal, we have derived neither the same pleasure, nor equal information, This work, like the forme:, is a compilation from other books on the same subject; but less judgment is thewn in the selection, and there is an inferiority in the manner of relating the sayings and the actions of the great Frederic. When we turned over the last page of the former work, we felt a fenfible regret; to read the present volumes was a tak.
DO Art. 69. The Speech of M. Necker, Director General of the Finances, at
the Meeting of the Allembly of the Notables, held at Versailles, Nov. 6, 1788. To which is added, the King's and the Keeper's Speeches. 8vo. is. 6d. Debrett.
An assembly of the Notabies having been called, preparatory to that of the States General, to settle the formation and mode of af. sembling the different orders of which it is to be composed, under the varioos alterations that have taken place since their last convocation in 1614; M, Necker explains the points submitted to their de
liberation, with great clearness and precision. From the novelty of a popular aflem bly in France, composed of deputies from the different orders of the nation, reluctantly called together, after an interval of nearly two centuries, in an age when the rights of human nature are so well understood; and especially after that government has take ro recent and active a part in favour of American liberty; we are justified in forming high expectations.
N. Art. 70. The Beauties of Rousseau, selected by a Lady. 12mo. 2 Vols,
55. sewed." Hookham. 1788. The lady * to whom we are obliged for this agreeable and moral felection, had no occasion, in this instance, to plead her sex, in order to obtain the indulgence of the public. Her merit entitles her to their approbation and encouragement. She has shewn much judg. ment in the sele&tion, and faithfulness in the trandation of the various passages which compose these volumes. S.R. Art. 71. Vacuzalia: Consisting of Effays in Verse, on various Sub
jects; with some Translations. By the Rev. Edward Davies, Lecturer of Sodbury. 8vo. 45. sewed. Robinsons. 1788.
As far as natural conceptions, easy diction, harmonious versification, and moderate powers of description, can go toward forming the puet, this writer has some claim to the appellation. His pieces being chiefy of the pastoral kind, great originality will not be expected by those who are sensible of the narrow limits of this species of poetry.
Ainong the pieces contained in this volume, are a tolerably fuccessful versification of the Temora of Osian; an Ode to the Mufen which, in language, is a pretty clole imitation of Milton's Il Pen. derolo; and an original description of the Comforts of a Jail. Mr. Davies, however, is not deftitute of descriptive powers. E. Art. 72. Report from the Committee appointed to examine the Phyfici
ans who have attended his Majesty, during his Illnefs, touching the the present State of his Majesty's Health. 8vo.
35. Stockdale. Another Edition of the fame Report, printed on a smaller Letter, but containing the same Matier, 8vo.
Our readers will not expect that we should review this publication. They will be satisfied if we inform them, that it appears to be an exact copy of the account printed in folio, by authority, Two or three other editions, published by different booksellers, have appeared; but we had not seen them, at the time when we were obliged to transmit this little article to the press. Art. 73. Arabian Letters, from Abdalla, a Native of Arabia, to his Friend at Moca.
Bladon. 1788. “ Rei bone vel vestigia delectane" is the Author's motto. With the truth of the sentiment we agree, but we cannot discover what connection it has with the present performance, in which we see little, if any thing, worthy of publication. It is out of our power to select any part of this thread-bare, worn-out mode of fi&titious correspond
* In her preface, le informs us that her game is Eliza Robarts.
eace, that would prove (to the Author) a letter of recommendation to the public.
S.R. Art. 74. A Tour to the Ife of Love; written by the Author of The Calli*thote
16, &c. 12mo. *25. Thornton, in Southampton Street. 1783.
We are informed, in the preface, that the prefent work was prodaced by the Author on a most diftreffing occafion,--the death of his friend's wife. The circumstance that rendered this event lefs tolerable, was, that it was sudden and unexpected, and took place but a very few months after their union.
Instead of its being a melancholy recital of the feelings of the hufband after this misfortune, as we were prepared to expect, it proves au ingenious account of the hopes and the fears which alternately occupied the mind of the lover, and the various stages through which he passed before he obtained the undivided affections of his mistress. This writer has made an happy use of allegory and personification, by the allistance of which figures, he has rendered his work not a little entertainiog. The verses, which are interspersed in the course of the narrative, are so sprightly and easy, as to induce us to with that the whole had been poecical. We think, in this way of treating it, the subject would have been capable of receiving embellishments that would, indeed, be improper in its present mixed and motley form. For our account of the Caffina, fee Review, vol. Ixxvi. p. 178
D.O Art. 75. Catalogue of Five Hundred celebrated * Authors of Great
Britain, now living; the whole arranged in Alphabetical Order; and including a complete List of their Publications, with occa.. fional Stri&tures, and Anecdotes of their Lives. 8vo. 55. Boards. Faulder. 1788.
Had this design been ably executed, it is probable that the work would have been well received; but such crude and imperfe& sketches as these, ought not to have been obtruded on the public. Some of the anecdotes, however, are confiderably superior to the majority of those nothings that make up the bulk of the volume : wbich, moreover, seems to contain as many mistakes as there are articles : and perhaps the omillions are not fewer in number. Should the Author think of publishing another edition, he ought to take a great deal more pains than he appears to have done in compiling this: elpe. cially in the grand article of information.
written by herself. 12mo. 2 s. 6 d. Scaccherd and Co. 1788.
In this short narrative, which, whether real or fictitious, is naturally told, there is enough to give any female mind, capable of reaSoning to consequences, sufficient caution against the first deviations from moral recitude: the only misfortune is, that in doing wrong, we oftener act from the impulse of the moment than from reflection ;
* As to celebrity, we must remark, that many of the authors introduced into this work, are people whose names were searcely ever before heard of. G4
By Polling nove flor
when from the latter, the heart must be radically bad. Miss Julia Frank describes herself as the undutiful daughter of a northern cler. gyman, who ran away with an officer; and after the usual viciffitudes in such cases, was reduced to walk the streets of London for subfiftence. Here she was at length picked up by her own brother; to whom making herself known, he took her back; and her parents having died of grief for her conduct, she was placed under the protection of a sister who was comfortably married.
Though the subject of this tale may not be the most delicate to put into a young lady's hand, a novel-reading lady may peruse it with more profit than many of those tha exhibit vices in too favourable a point of view.
N. Art. 77. The Exile; or Memoirs of the Count de Cronstadt. By
Clara Reeve. imo. 3 Vols. 9 s. fewed. Hookham. 1783.
An interesting and well conducted fory. The fatal effects of indulging the tender paflions, at the expence of reason, and in op: pofition to every worldly confideration and advantage, are set in a particularly striking point of view. The principal incidents appear to be borrowed from a novel of the juftly admired M. D'Arnaud.
AB. Art. 78. Sophia; or, the embarrassed Wife, &c. 12mo. 2 Vols.
5 s. sewed. Allen. 1788. Noli me tangere :
Touch me not-I shall be nothing the better for + handling. Criticism, too, should be otherwise employed.
DO Art. 79. The Adventures of a Watch. 12mo. 35. sewed. Kearlley.
1788. Finding it impossible to convey to our Readers any idea of this very clumsy piece of workmanship, we take the liberty of presenting them with the repetition of a well-known anecdote:
A scribbling French Abbé being asked by Counc d'Argenson, why he had published a certain book which had given offence, attempted to judify himself by the following answer,- Monfeur, il faut que je vive.' On which the Count immediately observed, je n'en vois pas la neceffité*.
The Writer of the work before us, having a similar question put to him, would probably make a fimilar kind of reply. Supposing this to be really the case, we will not be so cruel as to adopt the rejoinder of the witty Frenchman, but rather say to him, in the spirit of Christian charity, Live and mend.
DO Art. 80. The Twin Sisters; or the Effcêts of Education. A Novel. By a Lady. Izmo. 3
sewed. Hookham. 1788. 4. The production of some young woman fresh from the perusal of Pamela, and Clarissa. There is a good deal of fancy, and many indications of real abilities both in the conduct of the fable and in the drawing of the characters. We are sorry to observe, however, the little attention which is paid to the sentiment and the expression.
• What the devil's become of you ? Did you
neck on your way to town i' says one of the heroes in his letter to another :A mighty curious question !
* See our last Appendix, in D'Alembert's article.