« ZurückWeiter »
Poems on various Occafions: In which is a most beautiful and novel
Description of his Majesty's Review of the Kentifh Volunteers, August ihe firft, 1799. By William Pinn. Svo. Pp. 120.
IT T is hardly possible to resist the strong temptation to a quibble.
which is offered by the name of this author; and, therefore, we hope our readers will excuse our saying, that this Pin shews no point and a very little head, and we are afraid the public will not care a pin for any of his works. He states in the firit of his
poems, that he does not write to please the critic, but himself; and he has truly described his own poetical merits in the following elegant Aanza :
* No Muse invoke, but little quote,
No education mine ;
No grammar tò reline.” When we tell our readers that he gives the following words as rhymes, they will, we conceive, feel no great anxiety for any larger citation, viz. wars, caufe ; year, care ; ftore, poor; fun, turn: Noah, before ; large, Gorge ; learn'd, confonant &c. &c. &c.
The Holy Land; A Poem. By Francis Wrangham, M.A. Mjem.
ber of Trinity College, Cambridge. 4to. Pp. 14. Mawman. London,
1800. THIS poem obtained the reward left by. Mr. SEATON's wiltz
. and was assigned to the author last year by the Vice Chancellor of the University, and the Master of Clare-Hall, The author is a great admirer of the late Mr. COWP&R, and seems to have formed his. blank-verle on the model of that excellent poet. What JOHNSON said of sacred poetry, in general, is applicable to the work before
It touches upon thole subjects that are too lofty for the Muse. There is vigour in the compolítion but not much warmth. The author, however, poffeffes a poetical mind, and the following extract will, doubtless, gratify readers of taste as well as those of a more serious turn..
“Whence was that star, which through the blue profound,
Strong beyond human ken. In thicket cloud
“Those deeds, high-favour'd Land, 'twas thine to see
6. Ah! deeds--the pride of ISRAEL, and bis shame!
unconvinced; nay, to this accurled lice's
And Itretch'd his own MESSIAH on the crois,'' We were luurprised to find such a pleonajın in the following line exhibited by a writer who is otherwise correct with furtive step the fated hour seals oni"--and the word furtive, which has always
a bad meaning, is particularly exceptionable, as it relates to the progress of the time when the SAVIOUR OF MANKIND shall again defcend to testify his glory upon earth.
Poems : To which is annexed, Lord Mayor's Day: a Mock Heroic
Poem. By David Rivers, Author of " Letters on the Political Conduct of the Disfenters."-Editor of the Abridgement of Park's Travels.-Beauties of Saurin, &c. &c. &c. Svo. Pr. 32. Rivingtons. London. 1800. IT is difficult to say whether this author deserves most praise as a poct or a politician ; but, perhaps, our readers would, at once, de. cide upon perusing his works, that his claim to either title is equally Arong. For a specimen of his poetical merits take the following couplet, which concludes with some lines in favour of Mr. PYBUS, to whom, speaking of the capricious Emperor of Russia, our Bard fays
“ His name shall be erased from glory's fane,
While deathless honours deck thy Sovereign." As a politician, our author proves his judgment by a zealous admiration of the late Lord MAYOR. But as this passage exhibim * curious specimen of poetical numbers, we shall indulge our readers with an extract.
nor will the
In dangerous times of
The Fate of Bertha : A Poem. By William Lucas. Small 4to.
Pp. 32. Westley. London. 1800 . THIS is a simple, and not uninteresting, story, related in smooth and eafy verfification, though not much animated by poetical energy. The author makes his heroine fall a victim to the violent depres of a perfidious lover not to the arts of gradual fedu&tion. This circumItance does not afford a moral likely to be generally useful. Few men of gallantry, at present, find it necessary to accomplish their aims by a crime that may bring them to the scaffold, and when, 100, the licentiousness of the times, and the prevalence of false philosophy, render female honour too ealy a conquest. But this is the age of horrors, and the author, probably, thought that a rape would strike from its rarity. There are several passages of pathos and description in this poem creditable to the author's talents.
Leiter to the Right Honourable William Pitt, on the influence of
the Stoppage of 1 Gues in Specie at the Bank of England; on the Prices of Provisions, and other Commodities. By Walter Boyd,
Esq. M. P. 8vo. Pp. 112. 35. 6d. Wright. London. 1801. WHEN
THEN Thomas Paine, some few years ago stood forth as
Legislator General for all the nations of the earth, the in. quiries of mankind were very naturally directed to his birth, educasion, and connections, as the best means of ascertaining the extent of his qualifications for the office which he had affumed, and the nature of the motives which had led him to assume it. The same disposia tảon will probably be felt by the public, respecting the author of the Pamphlet before us, who, thinking himself qualified to speak on matters of finance with the same tone of decision which Paine em. ployed on the subject of political constitutions, arraigns, with equal modefty and decorum, the wisdom of the Minister, and the integrity of the bank directors, proclaiming himself the only financial Solomon in the united kingdoms. But, before we repose implicit confidence in a man, who alserts the superioriiy of his own pretentions, and betrays an anxiety to dictate the mode of conducting the fiscal concerns of this great commercial nation, it becomes us, at least, to enquire what prudence and ability he has displayed in the management
But, without tracing the origin and progress of Mr. Boyd, without marking his rise and prosperity, his decline and fall; without following him,
from his departure from the humble shed of his industrious parents in Scotland, * to his modest habitation at Oftend; from thence to his hotel at Paris where he so narrowly escaped the guillotine ; and to his subsequent establishment in England, where his Splendour was unrivalled and his expences unbounded; and, finally, to his closing scene in the Irish chamber † at Guildhall; one circumftance of his life will sufiice to fix our opinion of his prudence and ability. When Mr. Boyd had the good fortune, soine fix years ago, to aisociate himself with Mr. Benfield, the latter was worth 480,000l.; naw, he is an uncertificated bankrupt !!! This one fact is worth a volume of cominents. We shall only add, that when such has been the result of a man's speculations, we would much rather that he mouid speculate on his own account than on that of the public..
The grand olject of this tract is to persuade the public, that the
of his own.
* Mr, Boyd is not the only fiscal empiric wlich-Scotland has
prca the celebrated John Law was a North Briton ; and the cynical observation of Voltaire respecting that adventurer, is not inapplicable to one of his successors il n'avait d'autre métier que d'être grand joueur et grand calcnlateur."
† A room in which the commissioners of bankrupts frequently hold
No. XXXI, VOL. VIII.
high price of every article of use and consumption is imputable to the ftoppage of payments in specie at the bank; and to the increase of bank notes which the author presumes to have been the consequence of that measure. And, in the performance of this task, the author takes every possible opportunity of holding up the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the governor and directors of the bank, to public con. tempt or indignation. In the outset of his argument, he thus explains the sense in which he uses one of his principal terms.
“ By the words. Means of Circulation," · Circulating Medium' and. Currency,' which are used almost as synonymous terms in this letter, I understand always ready money, whether confisting of Bank Notes or specie, in contradiftin&ion to Bills of Exchange, Navy Bills, Exchequer Bills, or any other negotiable paper, which form no part of the circulating medium, as I have always underftood that term. The latter is the Circulator; the former are merely objects of circulation.”
This definition is not ftri&tly accurate ; for every species of paper which may be negotiated forms, at times, part of the circulating medium, and, therefore ought to be comprehended under that denoInination.
Mr. Boyd is particularly angry with the bank; but we think we descry the motive of his indignation, in his remark, “ that the embarrassed circulation of the metropolis and the consequent distress all over the country, which began in 1796, and became so alarming in 1797, proceeded solely from the particular line of conduct which the bank of England had thought proper to pursue, from the month of December 1795 to the end of February 1797.". The conduct thus censured, was che attempt to check a growing spirit of speculation, which had then risen to an alarming height, by a limitation of discount; but we are wholly at a lots co reconcile this censure of the bank“ for the calamities produced by a farved circulation," with the feverer censure which he passes on it for an opposite line of conduct, In producing the “ increase in the prices of almost all articles of ne. ceflity, convenience and luxury" by an " addition to the circulating medium.” By this curious mode of argument, it would appear
that a confined circulation diitreffes the merchants and speculators, and that an increased circulation diftrefes the whole community. Between this Scylla and Charybdis of Finance, how the fiscal pilot is to steer clear of danger we cannot tell. But Mr. Boyd, it seems, in his own estimation, at least, is the Palinurus who can steer the vessel of the ftate with fafety, between these racks and whirlpools of partial and general distress ; although he has contrived to wreck his own bark.
There is scarcely a page of this pamphlet but presents one or more instances of fallacious, contradictory, or absurd reasoning, such as that which we have just noticed. To comment on each of these would be an endless talk, but the subject itself is of too much importance, and the author himself too conspicuous a character, to suffer them all to pass without proper exposure and reprehension. Before, however, we proceed to do this, we thall make some brief observations on the leading topic of the book.