« ForrigeFortsett »
Taught, amid Athenian schools,
“ Bright was Swift's meridian pride,
Tributes of ecstatic praise.” The concluding lines of the poem, in which, with true parental solicitude, the directs the attention of her child to the grand fource of true knowledge, the scriptures, exhibit the author in a most fa. vourable point of view, and entitle her to more than critical con. mendation.
Art. XIII: Nelson Triumphant: or, The Battle of the Nil, «
Poem. By William Thomas Fitzgerald, Esq. 4to. Pp. 16. Price is. Stockdale, London.
OF Mr. Fitzgerald's poetical talents and political principles, and of his constant readiness to apply the former to the best of purposes, we have before had occasion to speak in terms of praise, not more warm than merited. The Battle of the Nile was an event that coun noc fail to draw forth those talents to advantage ; and although it had already been celebrated in a masterly manner by Mr. Sotheby 25d Mr. Bowles, it is here so managed as to excite undiminished inte.
reft. Of the capture of Malta, the bard thus speaks, in most appropriate terms :
“ To that proud rock, for deeds heroic known,
--Was Tuch their conduct ? Truth, alas! records,
Tarnish'd the plumed creft of chivalry.” The farther progress of the Gallic marauder is described until his arrival at Alexandria, when his victorious career was checked by the hero of this poem.
" As long as Egypt's pyramids shall stand,
Shall add to England's glory, Nelson's name." There is a frequent transition from the paft to the present tense in the descriptive parts of this poem, which we have not remarked in the former productions of the same author, and which, when his attention has once been directed to it, he will, we are persuaded, see the propriety of avoiding in future. The Mort extracis which we have given will suffice to shew that the bard has loft no portion of his wonted animation and spirit.
ART XIV, Britannia Triumphant over the French Fleet, by Admin
ral Lord Nelson, off the Mouth of the Nile, a Poem, By William King. 8vo. Pp. 34. Price is. Easton. Salisbury. Second Edition, THE same event is here celebrated by a bard of inferior note, but of equal zeal. The poem before us is the production of a village. inuse, in other weris, a humble peasant. Instead of being surprized that the performance is not better, we only wonder that it is so good as it is. What is wanting in the spirit of poetry is well supplied by the spirit of patriotism, and ftill better by the spirit of piety that per. vades the whole book. Prefixed to the book is the Gazette account of the victory of the Nile, and it is followed by a numerous and re. fpectable lift of fubscribers.
Art. XV. Extraets from Poems, on Naval and Military Subje&ts,
By the Rev. W. Tasker. 8vo. Pp. 15. Price is. Meyler.
1799. IT is impossible not to laud the spirit which dietated the verses contained in this little book; nor will the author, we trust, be dis. pleased with the charition, that we rate his patriotism much higher than his
poetry. To the former he was, probably, indebted for the extensive circulation of the “ Ouc to the warlike Genius of Great Britain ;" which, we are told, “ has gone through many editions ;" and, if our wunca hui e any cfect, his “ extracts” will be equally successful.
Art. XVI. The Revolution ; or, the Bluffings of French Liberty.
A true Story, in Verse. Addressed to the People of Great Britaiz. I zmo. Pp. 11. Price zd, or is. 60. per dozen. Harchard. London. 1799, LITTLE tracts of this description, which blend rational amusement with wholefome instruction, and are written in a style suitable to the capacities of those for whose perufal they are more immediately intended, are calculated to answer a very beneficial purpose, and, therefore, deserve universal encouragement. After a brief display of the prominent evils which have resulted from the French revolution, the book concludes with the two following admonitory Addreties to the French and the English :
“ Frenchmen, these ills affli&t your land,
By change of constitucion ;
Your fatal revolution.
To rain, affuming sages,
The grumbler and the fretter,
Is restless to be better.
And constitution jobbers,
To murderers and robbers.
The wise man feels averse;
So often find a curse."
« Britons, of flatt'ring friends beware,
Of boasting innovators ;
Of corresponding traitors.
Your ancestors have rear'd ;
In diftant realms rever'd.
To guard and blefs mankind;
To guide, protect, and bind,
And fence from miscreants wild
Beneficent and mild.
Your bliss : moft free from harms;
Nor fear the world in arms.'
Kotzebue's VIRGIN OF THE SUN, PERUVIAN ROLLA, and Sheridan's
PIZARRO. N reviewing these works we propose first to consider the Virgin
of the Sun ; secondly, Kotzebue's Rolla, with the three different translations, by Miss Plumptre, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Dutton; thirdly, Pizarrro, formed upon Rolla, altered by Mr. Sheridan, represented at Drury Lane, and since published.
Art. XVII. The Virgin of the Sun. A Play, in Five Aes. By
Augustus Von Kotzebue. Translated from the genuine German Edition, by Anne Plumptre. Svo. Pp. 96. Price 2s. 6d. Phillips. London. 1799.
WE have frequently and strongly expressed our opinion concerning the tendency of German literature, nor have our sentiments been changed by the perusal of Kotzebue's works. We think his moral principles unfound, as well as his political. In holding up to esteem and respect, women who have deviated from the paths of virtue ; and in rendering the characters of rank vicious, and in confining goodness to low stations, he is very culpable. He mistakes fact ; for loose women are not in real life beld in tbat eftimation wbich
Kotzebue represents tbem to enjoy ; VIRTUE IS NOT EXCLUDID PROX THE HIGHER RANKS, and confined to the lower. Thus, that author, professing to exhibit likenesses of human nature and sentiments, gives to the public what is not a likeness of human nature and sentiments; and, in so doing, Is AN INACCURATE PAINTER. But his pictures are not only not taken from existing originals ; they are calculated to encourage immorality and insubordination. His notions of the motives to virtuous conduct are very incorrect ; his characters are guided by the impulse of feeling, and not by the impulse of rectitude ; feeling is pleaded as an excuse for deviations from the moit sacred duties of religion and virtue. His personages are, befides, extravagant and excessive in their qualities; they display little of that discrimination which marks the shades of good and evil, and distinguishes them in all the intermixture which they ex. hibit of life.
The author's dedication to a German lady gives the following account of the origin of the play:
“ It has frequently been said, that poetry, like love, cannot be commanded. This, my very amiable friend must now acknowledge to be an error ; înce, if her memory be accurate with regard to trifles, she will recollect, that this drama owes its origin folely and entirely to her commands. One evening at Pyrmont, the weather being ino wet and melancholy to permit of her enjoying the charms of nature, to which her pure soul is so closely allied, she had recourle to the Temple of Thalia, where Nauinann's opera of Cora happened to be represented. The perfur:nero were of a very inferior kind, and the only thing that pleased me during the evening was, that I had the good fortune to fit behind my friend, who foma imes condeicended to favour her huinble servant with a little conversation. Ainong other semarks which the occasion called forth, she observed once, when the concluñon of an ál? gave us a short respite from being merely auditors, that the opera, at which we were present, contained excellent ground-work for a drama."
After a number of compliments to the lady, in a very florid style, he declared that he would not write unless the said lady commanded it. She accordingly did so. The author made a low bow; and, in obedience to her orders, produced the Virgin of the Sun.
Miss Plumptre selected the Virgin of the Sun as the third of her proposed series of Kotzebue's plays. The great reputation this drama has acquired in its native country, gives her hopes that it will not be found less interesting to the Englith reader under its present form.
In reviewing these works of Kotzebue, it will make no part of our confideration whether they were or were not applauded in his owo country, or any where else, but whether they really repreient human life, character, and sentiments, and inculcate principles, doctrines, and conduct agrecable to mora.ity, and beneficial to fociety.
The following are the outlines of the fable: Cora, a daughter of a noble Peruvian, and beloved by Rolla, the chief General of Peru, had been appointed a Virgin of the Sun; an honour or punishment equivalent to that of the Roman vestals, with a similar injunction and employment; to preserve her own virginity, and the holy fire under fimilar penalties. Don Alonzo, a refugee from the army of