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Tir'd with unmeaning sounds and painted shows,
m n Grove,
And fancy wanders o'er'Elfian ground.
Ye gales, which sweet o'er new-blown roses blow,
To match the temper of Berbia's mind? The following verses, which we may suppose to have been written in some calm evening, on the sea fhore, present the imagination with a most folemnly pleasing scene..
How sweet the calm of this fequefter'd shore,
Where ebbing waters masically roll;
The philosophic temper of the soul.
The busy tumult of declining day,
And every wild emotion dies away.
Your task be ended with the setting fun :
While o'er yon wave akends the peaceful moon. We shall present our readers with the charming elegiac epistle addrest to Mrs. — and with that take leave of our excellent Poetess, whose works will be admired while taste and learning exist in Britain.
Where are those hours, on rosy pinions borne,
Which brought to every guiltless with success?
And every evening clos'd in calms of peace.
Thro'flowery paths we wander'd unconfind;
And left the bustling empty world behind.
The noon-day sky in brighter colours Mone;
The peaceful radiance of the filent moon,
And dark December clouds the Summer scene :
Yet not like those by thoughtless folly drown'd,
In blank oblivion's sullen stagnant deep,
The ruins of neglected Being Neep.
Which active zeal in life's great task employs :
Or various fancy gratefully enjoys.
Which Friendship doubly to the heart endears:
And claim the promise of eternal years. Amiable Moralist! what sublime simplicity of sentiment, what melodious sweetness of expression do we find in this, and almost all her Poems ! which, in short, may be styled the HARMONY of PHILOSOPHY.
The Death of Abel. In five Books. Attempted from the Ger
man of Mr. Geffner.* 12mo. 35. Dodsley. A MONG the many disadvantages to which Authors are A exposed, there is none which more frequently injures their reputation, than a comparison between their productions and those of some celebrated writer, who has highly distinguished himself on subjects of a similar nature. We are greatly mistaken, if the Death of Abel would not have been more pleasing to the English reader, did it not remind him of one of the noblest efforts of genius, in Milton's Paradise Loft. That the poem before us must suffer greatly by this circumstance, will hardly be douted : as we may rather wish than expect, ever to see a production which would not be injured by such a comparison.
We mention not this, however, to detract from the merit of Mr. Gessner; being too sensible of the talents necessary to accomplish works of this superior kind, not to acknowlege the justice of that applause which has been so liberally beftowed on this performance by his own countrymen.
It has been cbjected to this poem, indeed, by some foreign critics, that the last book is superfluous; the murder of Abel being perpetrated in the preceding one; and that the
* Of Zurich, in Switzerland.
† A work which, it is easy to see, Mr. Gessner has perused with attention and advantage.
poem should have ended with the story of its action. The Author has been also censured for having taken too great a liberty with sacred history, in representing the death of Abel as the effect of sudden passion in Cain, whereas it appears in reality to have been premeditated. We leave the Author himself, however, tò obviate these criticisms; chusing rather to point out some of the beauties in a work of merit, than to dwell on the cenfures which may have been passed on its imperfections. From among the many striking and pathetic pasfages, with which this work abounds, we shall, therefore, select that part of the second book, wherein Adam, at the request of his son Abel; relates what had happened to him and Eve, from the time of their leaving Paradise.
Having described, in this relation, the first day of their departure from that seat of innocence and bliss, he proceeds.
“ Sleep, the relief of the weary, at length came; but it was unaccompany'd with that soft ease, that sweet delight which blest our flumbers while innocent : our imagination then presented none but smiling aud agreeable images. Inquietude, fear, and remorse did not then keep us waking the tedious hours of darkness, nor mingle in our dreams with fantastic phantoms. · The heavens were however calm, and our reft was undisturb’d: but Oh how different from that delicious night when I led thee, my spouse, for the first time to the nuptial hower! The flowers and odoriferous shrubs charm'd with new sweetness. Never was the warbling of the nightingale fo harmonious : never did the pale moon thine with such radiance: But why do I dwell on images that awaken my grief, now hush'd to filence ?
“ We Nept till the morning sun had exhald the limpid dew. When we awoke we found ourselves refreth'd and fitted for labour, and enjoy'd with delight and gratitude the harinony of the birds, who were celebrating with their sweeteft notes the renewed light: their number was yet but small; for there were then no other animals on this earth but those, who, instructed by divine instinct, had, after the fall, fled from Paradise, that the garden of the Lord might not be defild by death.
“ We offered up our adorations at the entrance of the grotto, after which I said to Eve, We will, my love, go farther and view this immense country: our all-merciful God has given us liberty of choice. We may fix our abode where the earth is inost fertile; where nature is most profuse of her
L" We Were walk towards zh my con
beauties. Seest thou, Eve, that river, which, like a huge ferpent, winds in bright Nopes through the meadows. The bill on its bank, seems at this distance like a garden full of trees, and its top is cover'd with verdure. My dear spouse, return'd Eve, pressing my hand to her bosom, I shall follow with delight the steps of thee, my conductor and guard. We will pursue our walk towards the hill.
* We were going on when we saw just above our heads a bird fly with feeble wing : its feathers were rough and disorder'd: it cast forth plaintive cries, and having flutter'd a little in the air, funk down without strength among the bushes. Eve went to seek it, and beheld another lie without motion on the grass, which that we had before seen seem'd to lament. My spouse stooping over it, examin'd it with great attention, and in vain try'd to rouse it from what she believ'd to be sleep. It will not wake, said she to me, in a fearful voice, laying the bird from her trembling hand, It will not wake. It will never wake more! She then burst ino tears, and speaking to the lifeless bird, faid, Alas! the poor bird who pierc'd my ears with his cries, was perhaps thy mate. It is me!- It is me! unhappy that I am, who have brought misery and grief on every creature! For my sin these pretty harmless animals are punished. Her tears redoubled. What an evenc ! said the, turning to me. How ftiff and cold it is! It has neither voice'nor motion. Its joints no longer bend. Its limbs refuse their office. Speak, Adam, is this death? Ah it is. How I tremble! An icy cold runs thro' my bones. If the death with which we are threaten'd is like this, how terrible ! What, dearest Adamn! would become of me, if, like the feather'd mate of this poor bird, I am left behind to mourn? Or what of thee; if death tear me from thy fond arms ? Should God create another Eve to all my forfeit place in thy lov'd bosom, she will not- cannot love like me, thy partner in distress and banishment. Unable to fay more, the wept, she fobb’d, and her expressive eyes tenderly fix'd on mine, made my feeling heart partake her anguish. I press'd her to my breast : I kiss'd her cheek, and mix'd my tears with her's. Cease, dearest Eve, I cry’d, these fond complaints. Dry up thy tears. Have confidenca in the Supreme Being, who governs all his creatures by his infinite wisdom. Though we cannot penetrate into the designs of his providence : though his majestic tribunal is surrounded by darkness, we may rest assur’d, that mercy and love remain near his throne. Why, my love, should wearticipate misfortunes ? Why should wz, guided by a gloomy
imagination, seek for them in futurity? Was our reason given us only to make us wretched ? Shall we ungratefully turn our eyes from the repeated instances of his loving-kindness and tender mercy, at the hazard of plunging ourselves in misery by our blindness. It is his wisdom, and his goodness, that regulate and appoint what shall befal us. Let us with humble confidence proceed under his direction, and devoutly acquiesce in his appointments, without seeking to know what he hath not condescended to reveal.”
With respect to the merits of the translation, it is but juftice to acknowlege, that Mrs. Collyer, to whom the public are indebted for it, has acquitted herself extremely well of a very nice and difficult undertaking. This work, as she observes in her Preface, is the first of Mr. Gessner's productions that has been translated into English ; the original is written in a kind of loose Poetry, unshackled, as she expresses it, by the tagging of Rhymes, or counting of Syllables: a middle species between Verse and Profe.
The History of the Travels and Adventures of the Chevalier John
Taylor, Opthalmiater Pontifical, Imperial and Royal, &c. Written by himself. 8vo. 3 Vols. 7 s. 6 d. Williams.
TN our Review for August laft, we gave an account of la spurious history of this famous pontifical and imperial Opthalmiater, and now we have the genuine story, written by the Opthalmiater himself. This strange rambling mortal, always appeared to the world as a most consummate coxcomb, but a coxcomb of parts; and he is still as much a coxcomb as ever : a rattling braggadocio, a conceited fop, an eternal chatter-box! Never, fure, had any tale such a hero; never was hero celebrated in such a tale! Indeed none kut Taylor himself, was worthy of being the Historian of Taylor. - But we cannot apply to him what was said of Cæfar, that he only possesied the happy art of speaking in a becoming manner, concerning himself; for never have we known, or heard of, so egregious, so surfeiting, fo nauseous an egotist : and as to the truth of all his wonderful stories, who ever doubted the veracity of a traveller or a mountebank? From his own most unquestionoble account, then, it appears, that this flying physician, this here-and-thereian oculist, has seen a thousand times more towns, and more changes of manners, than ever the wandering son of Anchises faw; and has cured more blind Popes, Emperors, Kings,