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ready had, or been threatened with? How many more are to come, still more complete and on newer plans, it is not easy to guess. Mr. Wiseman sets out, in his preface, like most other writers on these subjects, expatiating on the great utility of grammatical learning, the unsuccessful attempts of others, and the superior advantages attained, or discoveries made, by him. self. On a very attentive and impartial perusal, however, of his performance, we find him not only proceeding on the old plan, but advancing hardly any thing new on the subject. A very considerable part of his work, relates to pronunciation, an object of the greatest importance in the present state of our language; as it is owing principally to the amazing uncertainty and irregularity prevailing in our orthoepy, that foreigners do not attempt to learn a language which is so greatly deserving their acquisition. But the common rules are so vague, and the number of anomalies and exceptions so great, that the perseve. rance of an Hercules and the patience of a Job seem insufficient to surmount fuch difficulties. It will be imagined strange, that, amidst such a multiplicity of attempts as have lately been made, the public should not reap fome emolument, as each succeeding writer must have the opportunity of seeing and avoiding the mis takes of his predecessors. But the truth is, that few, or none, have gone deep enough to trace the source of that fundamental errour, which is common to grammarians, of all nations*. Add to this, that most of these writers are particularly interested in the pecuniary success, or sale, of their books; writing more for their own emolument and that of their respective schools, than for the public in general. As they have a temporary purpose to answer, it is no wonder, therefore, they should precipi. tate the execution of their performances, and content themselves with borrowing liberally from each other : in which case, as they adopt their manner, it is almost impossible not to adopt their errours. That Mr. Wiseman is no more to be exempted from this cenfure than his competitors, will be evident to the Reader who shall turn over only a few pages of his book. In his list of words, exemplifying the use of the final e silent; which he says Terves to lengthen and soften the word, which would otherwise be short and hard, he hath got are, done, one, finge, &c. Among his examples also of similar sounds, he adduces manywords very dissimilar, according to the pronunciarion of good speakers. It is impossible, says he, for the nicest ear to diftinguish between the sound of the word noose and neu's, of and off, &c. Now it is well known that noojė is sounded by polite
* This is the cutom of imputing articula e sounds so letters, in tead of Silla' les, and of attempting to teach the sound oi one le:ter by that of another equally mule or equivocal. C3
fpeckers Speakers as loose, goose, &c. and news like muse, hews, &c. Ofi in conversation or reading also is founded as if written ov. Thus we say a man ov war, a man ov wit, &c.-Again this Author adopts the errours of the most gross and vulgar dialect, as the practical method of pronouncing English. But we might appeal to any tolerable speaker of our tongue against the custom of saying amost for almost, alablastur for alabaster, scutcheneal for cochineal, conftur for construe, loveyers for lovers, moral for model, nabel for navel, ingons for onions, continential for continental, figary for vagary, vardy for verdiet, winfcutting for wainscotting, &c. Of what use can such examples be, either to foreigners or provincials, unless to acquaint them how falsely they may venture to speak, and yet be understood by the vulgar.
This Writer tells us farther, that the nicest ear cannot diftinguish between the sounds of the following words, when pronounced one after another in conversation, more air and more rare, more ice and more rice, fome eat and some meat, fome ice and some mice, the little ox and the little locks, in either and in neither, &c. This Mr. Wiseman must be a stranger speaker sure than he is a writer, if he puts these his own rules into practice. As a writer, however, we have an intimation from himself of his uncommon abilities. The Reader of this grammar, says he, while he seeks after the dryness of precept, may be agreeably surprised with the rallies of imagination, as I have taken care at proper intervals to insert pleasant lessons, which like spots of verdure in an Afiatic wild, may serve at once to afford the weary traveller rest and refreshment.' It may be thought injurious in us to omit a specimen or two of these extraordinary beauties; as it is certain, a man may sometimes shine as a poet or historian, without excelling greatly as an orator or grammarian.
A Praxis on Nassals (as he writes it] ending in ing.
Now opens the spring, and the birds on the wing.
Nasals ending in ung.
So much for poetry; now for a tale in prose, serving to illuitrate the nature and use of the letter b; another pleasant spot of verdure in this Asiatic wild! An English gentleman once ordered his servant to heat some broth, but in his manner of pronoucing it left out the b; whereupon the fervant naturally concluding he was bid to eat it, he did so; when his master had waited a considerable time expecting his broth, he called his servant and enquired where it was? to which he answered, Sir, if you remember, you ordered me to eat the broth, which I have accordingly done ; to whom the master replied, Why, how's that! perhaps you did not hear me pronounce the h; I bid you beat the broth, I could have ate it myself; but Sir, says the servant, I have often heard you infist upon it, that H non eft litera.' Thus, concludes our Author, we find the gentleman very justly lost his broth for not considering h as a letter.
The Judgment of Paris : A Poem. By James Beattie, M. A.
4to. 1 s. 6d. Becket,
THIS Poem has a moral tendency, and the end of it is to
prove that virtue alone is capable of affording us a gratification adequate to our whole nature; the pursuits of ambition, sensual pleasure, &c. promising only partial happiness, as being adapted not to our whole constitution, but only to a part of it. Mr. Beattie writes from strong powers of imagination, and a brilliant fancy. His expression is at the same time bold and elegant, and his imagery various and rich ; but his verse is sometimes too artificially laboured, and a pursuit of prettin:ss appears too visibly.- At other times his expreffion wants sufficient ease and perspicuity, and is rendered stiff by the formality of compound epíthets. The fpeech of Venus we shall select as a specimen, as well for the entertainment of our Readers, as because that, in our opinion, omitting two or three stanzas, it contains, though contrary to the Poet's intention, the wisest arguments of any that were offered by the celestial triumvirate' three celestial
When thus the Queen of soul-dissolving smiles : 1. Candidates:
“ Let gentler fates my darling Prince attend.
Dreary the path stern Virtue's sons ascend.
And the dread verge still gains upon the fight;
Scans the faint dream of unapproach'd delight;
Till every sprightly hour, and blooming scene
Of life's gay morn, unheeded, glides away,
And storm and ruin close the troublous day.
Thine be the boon that comes unearn'd by toil ;
No flattering hope thy longing hours beguile!
For ever luring, yet for ever coy?
That melts elusive from the wondering boy!
If hung loose-tottering o'er th' unfathom'd tomb?
Display th’imperial wreathe, and glittering plume?
Redeemn, from unrelenting Fate, the brave?
T'alarm th' eternal midnight of the grave ?
Of expectation linger as it flies,
Each moment's flight how precious to the wise!
That haunt with zealous turbulence the Great.
And sneaks secure in insolence of Itate :
And in grim silence gnaws the festering wound;
And Censure spreads the viperous hiss around.
Though Truth and Bounty prompt each generous aim,
The muse's rapture, and the patriot's Aame; .
All that endears the good exalt thy praise,
At fairest worth still point their deadly rays.
Can ought of virtue, truth, or beauty charm?
Repentance melt, or Gratitude difarm?
Ah no. Where Winter Scythia's waite enchains,
And monstrous shapes growl to the ruthle's storm,
Or foil accurs’d with balmy life inform.
When mourns Benevolence his baffled fcheme;
And loud Diffention's livid firebrands gleam;
From poison'd maw when Treason weaves his line,
Grovels, low-muttering at Sedition's hrine.
The whispering grove, the fountain, and the plain ;
Pants for simplicity and ease in vain.
But frantic Mirth soon leaves the heart forlorn ;
Far different scenes her lucid paths adorn, She loves to wander on th' untrodden lawn,
Or the green boíom of reclining hill, Sooth'd by the careless warbler of the dawn,
Or the lone plaint of ever-murmuring rill. Or, from the mountain-glade's aereal brow,
While to her song a thousand echoes call, Marks the wild woodland wave remote below,
Where shepherds pipe unseen, and waters fall. Her influence oft the festive hamlet proves,
Where the high carol chears th' exulting ring; And oft the roams the maze of wildering groves,
Listening the unnumber'd melodies of spring: Or to the long and lonely shore retires;
What time, loose-glimmering to the lunar beam, Paint heaves the slumberous wave, and starry fires
Gild the blue deep with many a lengthening gleam: Then, to the balmly bower of rapture born,
While strings, self-warbling, breath elysian rest, Melts in delicious vision, till the Morn
Spangle with twinkling dew the flowery waste,
Around, and scatter roles as they play ;
Where, with her lov'd Compeers, the deigns to stray :