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Affection; with other Poems. By Henry Smithers; of the Adelphi. Large 8vo. Plates, 11. 1s. Miller; 1807.
The plan and execution of the poem of Affection are entitled to the highest commendation. The subject, in itself so interesting, and so fitted for poetical expansion and illustration, is treated with no less judgment than taste; and the author frequently succeeds in awakening and soothing the niost delicate feelings of our nature. The poem thus
When worlds shall burn, and time shall cease to roll. The poet then proceeds to trace the intluence of affection through the vegetable and animal world. The loves of the plants are delicately alluded to; we say delicately, for this subject has not always been so treated. He instances the woodbine twining round every neighbouring shoot; the ivy enfolding the oak; the coinplaints of the nightingale
Robb'd of her mate, and of her unfledg’d brood; the horse, the dog, the elephant, the white bear of Greenland, one of the most ferocious of the savage race, of whose fondness for their offspring an interesting anecdote is furnished from Bewick.
“ The white bear proves a ferocious and dangerous enemy to those who approach the inclement shores of Greenland; and both from its rude appearance,
and from the inhospitable climate which it inhabits, should conclude it to be among the most hardened of the savage race.
Yet even in this animal some remarkable traits of instinctive tenderness have been observed. Sorne sailors belonging to a Greenlandman, in putting off from the shore, observed a bear, with her cub, stealing away from the place where she had been lurking for them. They fired, and the cub fell. Next day, as they approached the shore in the same place, they were surprised to discover the hear at the very spot where they had fired upon her. By the help of a glass, they could
perceive her crouched by the side of her dead cub, licking it with her tongue, and occasionally employing her paw to move it towards her dug, as if she would have tempted it to take its usual nourishment. As they advanced, she made no effort to escape; and when they fired, her writhing and groans gave symptoms of her having received a severe wound; yet still she did not stir from the place where her dead cub lay. A second shot put an end to the sufferings of this savage animal, which had displayed a maternal tendern ess that would have been admired in the human race.”
But most in man, Affection doth qufold
Have kindled towards some well remember'd baunt. The story of Prince Lee Boo is here very naturally introduced, and the affectionate anxiety of his father, Abba Thullé, for the prince's return, at the expiration of the time limitted for his absence, pathetically described. Man's natural affection for his home, a subject so beautifully exemplified at large by Polwhele in his Influence of Local Attachment, occupies a few interesting pages. The fondness with which we recur to pleasures long past, and to friends beloved separated by death, the affection of a patriot towards his country, the national regard for distinguished public characters, and its grief for their loss, are touched upon with uucommon felicity. The author's Address to England, p. 15, beginning “My country, O my country!” is animated and poetical in a degree beyond the usual standard of the composition; and his apprehension arising from the increase of luxury, strengthened by the experience of history, cannot be considered as groundless. We have long felt the same fears as the author that
So shall it be
Some distant day and fervently echo his prayer
but be it distant far That England's foes shall triumph o'er her fate, And hail her tallev.
Mr. Smithers then traces the progress of affection among relatives ; he notices the early display of it by children :
(See with what eager, with what fond embrace
In strong affection-) sexual affection in its purity, 'whence 'arises the conjugal, paternal, filial, and fraternal.. The consequences of misplaced affection are described in an episode, which we shall give at length. It closes the first part of the poem.
See! yon poor Maniac! shivering in her cell,
Mark her, ye gay seducers ! mark her well!
Go, bid imagination's magic power
Great was the conflict in her struggling frame
Affrighted reasou fled and all was void. The second part is of a religious nature. observes the author, “ on Affection would be incomplete, which did not attempt to express the benevolence of the Deity, which shines so conspicuously through all existence.”
Our remarks on this part of the poem we shall reserve till next month.
“ A poem'
REVIEW OF MUSIC.
La Giorgiana, an Andante and Rondo, for the Piano Forte, composed
and dedicated to the Hon. Miss G. Smith, by P. A. Corri. Birchall. Price. 28.
Although this sonata must be reckoned among the minor productions of Mr. Corri's pen, it is by no means destitute of merit. The subject of the first movement is good, and is well kept up; it leads into an animated rondo, in which many brilliant passages occur. The modulation is throughout masterly..
A Cancerto for the Organ, with accompaniments for a full band, com
posed by William Crotch, Mus. Doc. Professor of Music, Oxford. No. 2. Birchall, price 6s.
Dr. Crotch in this concerto has evinced powers of composition as well as of execution in the highest degree masterly. It opens with a movement at once animated and majestic, the subject which is started at the commencement is pursued and sustained both by the organ and the band in a most powerful and impressive manner; the tutti passages in the third page are introduced with an unusually striking effect. The opening of the andante is well calculated to display the richest parts of the organ; the subject, in itself interesting, is most pleasingly as well as ingeniously varied, after the manner of some of Handel's exquisite andantes. In his fugue Dr. Crotch has called forth all the grandeur of the organ: the point led off is admirable, and is sustained throughout with consummate skill: the interest of the hearer is not suffered to flag for an instant, but on the contrary is increased to the end. We are confident that we speak the sentiments of all lovers of good music when we return Dr. Crotch our hearty thanks for the production of this most masterly concerto. By some persons we kuow it has been objected that he has not made sufficient use of the lighter parts of the organ; we on the contrary think Dr. Crotch entitled to no small degree of commendation for having so powerfully spported the Handelian stile of concerto playing, a style so eminently calculated to display the grandeur and sublimity of the instrument. In Dr. Crotch's compositions, as well as in his playing, we trace the most correct and classical ideas of the nature and character of the organ, which he has never degraded in order to tickle the ears of the multitude.
« See the Chariot at hand here of Love,” A favourite Glee, sung by Mrs. Vaughan, Messers Harrison Goss and Bartleman, at the Vocal Concerts, composed by William Horsley, Mus. Bac. Oxon. Birchall, price 28.
Seldom have we been more delighted with a glee than with that before us.
It first appeared in a collection which was published some time before the commencement of the Cabinet; it is now printed separately, and we willingly avail ourselves of this opportunity to pay Mr. Horsley that tribute of praise which he so justly merits. His former productions had established his character as a glee writer, but none of them have contained such powerful claims to general popularity as the present. It combines the richness of the old, with the lightness and ease of the new school, it possesses a degree of finished excellence which cannot fail to charm the multitude, while it must satisfy the most fastidious hearers.
A Concerto for the German Flute or Oboe, in which is introduced the
favourite air of Queen Mary's Lamentation, with accompaniments for two Violins, tuo French horns, tenor and bass, composed by William Fish, and performed by him at the Anacreontic and Subscription Concerts, Chapel Field House, Norwich. Broderip and Wilkinson, price 5s.
We see nothing in this concerto but what is very common, and, to say the truth, scarcely worth publication. Mr. Fish may have received such applause from a Norwich audience as to induce him