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Agamemnon's Prayer, in the third Book, is yet more humorous than any thing we have quoted.
O Jupiter! who, every Friday,
And trudge it home with all our heart. The Reader will perceive from these quotations, that this work is by no means destitute of humour; and with thofe who are fond of this kind of versification, it might have pafled off very well, had not the bounds of decency been, in many places, so insufferably transgressed.
We remember to have seen a burlesque translation of part of the Iliad, printed about 130 years ago; before Cotton's Virgil travestie appeared. It was done with as much humour and drollery as Mr. Cotton's, or the present performance; and, if we remember rightly, with more decency than either of them.
The House of Superftition, a Poem. By the Rev. Mr. Denton.
4to. 6 d. Hinxman.
THE Muses are the handmaids of Truth, and are never T more happily employed than when they are adding new ornaments to her person, or bringing new votaries to her temple It was in consideration of this their high office that they were said to descend from heaven, and to derive their origin from Jove. To discover and expose the mazes of fraud and error, to exhibit the clear images of things in their ideal mirror, and to direct mankind in the paths of truth and nature, were essential parts of their sublime commission. It is therefore with great propriety that Mr. Denton, one of their Priests, but neither of the highest nor of the lowest order,
has invoked their asistance to describe the House of Superfti-
Thus the House of Superstition makes its appearance to the
As when fair Morning dries her pearly tcars,
The Vountain lifts o'er milts its lofty head;
With the grey ruft of rolling years o'erspread.
And her lip-labour'd orisons the plies
Or evening skirts with gold the western kies;
And many a C:oss she makes, and many a Bead lets fall.
the the House of Superstition is here described with no more propriety than the city of London would be, were a number of houfes and spires thrown together in perspective, without either the Monument or St. Paul's. : Near to the Dome a magic Pair refide,
Prompt to deceive, and practis'd to confound; These two beings are Ignorance and Error. Ignorance is represented as a stupid, liftless wretch, that lies in a dark cave without exerting any of his faculties. The picture of Error is as follows: Where boughs entwining form an artful shade,
And in faint glimmerings just admit the light,
And in TRUTH's form deceives the transient sight.
Her beaming lustre when fair Truth imparts;
And cheat th' unpractis'd mind with mimic arts. She cleaves with magic wand the liquià skies, Bids airy forms appear, and scenes fantastic rife. Error is properly enough described as affecting the appearance and qualities of Truth; and this is certainly a more agreeable image of her than that in the Fairy-Queen, which is enough to make a delicate Reader do a very indelicate thing.
The Porter that is here provided for the House of Superftition is Prejudice, a very proper person indeed; but though the Author has rightly enough represented him as blind, we do not see any propriety in calling him decrepid : perhaps it might not be amiss to change that epithet for one that thould describe his obstinate and untractable temper. The bowl of infatuating liquor which he offers to every traveller, and by that means makes them fee objects in false lights, is a proper fymbol.
The sovereign Pontiff is honoured with a place in this House, and is thus described :
The first appear’d in pomp of purple pride,
With triple crown erect, and :hroned high;
To lock or ope the portals of the sky:
Heaven's gracious gift to light the wandering mind,
To lift fall’n man, and light him to the skies !
And’mazed mortals blindly must obey ;
And near him loathsome heaps of reliques lay.
Penance and Indulgence are the personages next described as inhabitants of the House of Superstition, and then follows this juft description of a Monk.
With shaven crown, in a sequester’d cell,
A lazy Lubbard there was seen to lay; . .
And indolently (nore the hours away..
The mystic rites of Hymen's hallow'd die
No social hopes hath he, no social fears,
If we mistake not, devout lethargy is an expression that has been made use of by some of our Divines, but it seems to want propriety; for Lethargy and Devotion must be totally incompatible.
The most detefable person that we find in the family of Superstition, is PERSECUTION. This inonster is her eldeft. born, and the most diabolical of all her offspring. No colours can be too horrible to paint him. With what detestation must every liberal mind reflect on those dreadful scenes of massacre and ruin which he produced among mankind, when affecting the authority of the benevolent author of Christianity, he trampled on his humane precepts; and, like the Thief in the Gospel, came only to sleal, to kill, and to doStroy. Happy, could we boast that this enlightened age were free from all marks of his impious violence! but while Suo perstition retains the least influence among mankind, PERSECUTION can never die. It must however seem strange, if, in a free country, from which the errors of Popery are banished, Religion should at any time think it necessary to call in the aid of the Civil Power, when only her truth is called in question, or she is attacked by the Telum imbelle of Ridicule ! Such proceedings would certainly be inconsistent with the true spirit of CHRISTIANITY, which professes only to pray for its Persecutors.
Mr. Denton's description of Persecution is as follows:
Fierce PERSECUTION late, and with ftrong breath
And feasts on Murders, Massacres, and Death.
To stretch or mangle to a certain fize;
To hear their doleful frieks and piercing cries:
After these quotations, it will scarce be necessary to inform the Reader that this is a tolerable Poem. But there is nothing striking or uncommon in the thoughts; the verfitication is not always elegant, nor the language correct. The Author's principles however are noble, free, and manly; and cannot be too much applauded.
Refignation. In two Parts, and a Postscript to Mrs. B--,
4to. 2s. Owen. TL Ambition de la emprenta es una Colpa que no bafia arte
pentirse *, says an antient Spanish Writer ; and the truth of his remark we have frequently occasion to observe and lament. It is not, however, to be wondered at; for Fame is a mistress whose favours we never cease to court, from the vigour of youth to the impotence of age. The candidates for literary reputation in particular are rarely satisfied wich the portion of fame they have acquired; while they behold others Itraining for those laurels with which they have been already crowned, they are ready to conclude that it could only happen through their own inactivity, that new competitors have ventured into the field. Forgetting that the Aonian tree affords an eternal supply of branches, they seem apprehensive left every new garland that is provided for the brow of merit, Mould take something from their own t- forgetting too that
the • The ambition of appearing in print is a fault paft repentance.
+ These reflections were partly occasioned by the following Stanza in this Poem.
And since of Genias in our Sex,
O ADDISON! with thee