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very frequent, is not a very necessary or constant attendant on fever. The term encephalitis, as implying 'merely inflammation of the contents of the cranium, he thinks more appropriate, and sufficiently comprehensive to embrace every variety of the disease.

(To be continued.).

Bidcombe Hill, with other rural Poems. Plates. "By the Rev. Francis · Skurray, A. M. Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. Crown 8vo. pp. 162. 10s. 6d. Miller. 1808. THE principal poem, in this elegant and instructive little volume, is Bidcombe Hill, which occupies more than one third of the book. The hill, which is here celebrated in no unworthy strains, forms the western termination of Salisbury plain, and commands, of course, a view of various interesting objects highly favourable to the descriptive poet. We are not very fond of blank verse; and, early in life, we adopted Johnson's opinion of it, as declared in his remarks on “ The Splendid Shilling” of Phillips--an opimon in which reading and reflexion have produced little alteration. Many, indeed, of the writers of blank verse, seek to supply. the loss of rhyme by unnatural sentiment, distorted imagery, and inflated diction; or else fall intó the opposite extreme, and, by labouring to be simple, become puerile and ridiculous. It is only by observing a due medium between these extremes, almost equally disgusting to sober judgment and classical taste, that a poet can expect either to amuse or to inform his readers. To this medium, it is but justice to say Mr. Skurray has strictly adhered. His sentiments are elevated and pure; his descriptions are animated and natural; and his language is simple, chaste, and classical. He suffers no opportunity to escape for communicating salutary admonitionis, for impressing useful lessons, or for enforcing important truths. He is an ardent admirer of the works of nature, but he never fails to elevate the mind from nature to natures God. In short, the book before us is evidently tlie production of a good man, considering every thing around him as conveying some moral precept to the mind, and as tending to enlarge his views of the bounty and wisdom of Providence. In performance of our duty, we shall now exhibit some extracts from the poems, to justify the


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opinion which we have given of their merit; and our readers will please to observe, that we have not selected the passages which we shall lay before them, on account of any superiority which they enjoy over the rest, but because they can be more easily detached without injury to the sense; and because, also, they show the principles and opinion of the author. - In the first

In the first extract, the poet alludes to the Abbey of Gastonbury.

• Rous'd by the thunder of the deep-ton'd bell,
The monks no more reluctantly shall start,
From broken rest, to matins or to laudst;
Nor shall the pealing organ's sacred voice
Again wake raptures in the good man's heart,
And charm his soul to ecstacy. The dome,
Which once resounded with Messiah's praise
And chanted hallelujahs, is no more.

My Muse shall ne'er with bigot rage exult
O'er ancient greatness, prostrate in decay.
What though corruption with its morbid look
Had scar'd the pious from their ancient pale
Of Christian fellowship; yet let not man
Contemn its grandeur, humbled to the dust,
And break the bruised reed. Are there no ties
To bind our gratitude to cloister'ı..cells?
Can we forget the day, when Vandal rage
Against the Sciences wag'd brutal war?
When to these seats secure, Wisdom retir'd
(A friendless outcast!) with her learned train,
And hid the treasure which had 'scap'd the wreck
Of hands barbarian, ’midst these holy walls?

If Attic elegance e'er charmed thy ear,
Or Grecian story fir'd thy ardent mind,
Think that, perhaps, to these retreats we owe
That Plato still instructs, and Homer sings!

« Or, if a tale of pity move thy breast
To thoughts of charity and deeds of love,
Think how benighted travellers on the road,
Led by the taper's hospitable light,
Here sought a resting place for wearied limbs,
And never sought in vain. Think on the crowd
Who, at the convent-gate, with crumbs were fed,

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« * The ancient canons considered the monks as an order between the laymen and ecclesiástics, forbidding their interference in secular and ecclesiastical concerns, and confining them to quietness, prayer, and fasting." --See Fosbrooke's Economy of a Monastic Life.

" + Matins was a midnight service: Lauds followed about three o'clock."-See the same.

The welcome relics of the plenteous board *.
The scanty pittance of the parish pay
Was then unknown. The soul-disheart'ning badge
Of vile dependence never yet had mark'd
The poor man's back, to tell the flaunting world
He fed his wasting lamp with borrow'd oil.

“ But not to ENGLAND's isle alone confin'd
The batter'd dome, the convent's vacant walls.
Lo! frantic zeal, in Gallia's proud domains,
Levels to the dust the sanctity of cells.--
The vestal, who had pledy'd her faith to God,

Thrust from her cloister'd home, undaunted braves
The perils of th' inexorable deep,
To 'scape the dangers from more cruel man.

The exil'd priests forsake their native land;
From their homes driv'n, their kindred, and their flocks,
They crave protection 'inid a host of foes.
Our generous-hearted countrymen forget
Their hostile land and superstitious rites,
And with Samaritan benevolence

Assuage the pain, and staunch the bleeding wounds." Here are no marks of bigotry, but a spirit of true Christian benevolence, justly distinguishing between the use and abuse of an institution, which had much in it that was praiseworthy, and which was particularly useful in the early periods of civilised society, when the intercourse between the different parts of a country was difficult, and before rates were established for the relief of the poor, Certain it is, that monks were always the best masters and the best landlords; and, with all the abuses which had, unfortunately, crept into monastic establishments, there is every reason to lament their abolition in France and the adjacent countries. But we must finish our quotation, which ends with a sentiment in perfect unison with our own feelings and opinions.

" Although the Muse rejoices in the day,
When the Church burst the bands of papal Rome,
And Reformation made Religion free;
Yet when she views the ruin'd piles around,
Whose vaulted roofs once echoed with God's praise;
Or when she sees the sacred exiles roam
Without a country, and apart from friends,
She cannot check th' involuntary sigh,


"* An almoner, who was 'styled Eleemosynarius,' distributed the alms and broken victuals every day, at the conventgate, to the poor.

Fosbrooke's Economy of a Monastic Life.

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In describing the rural sports of the country, Mr. Skurray, very naturally, refers to that which give to them, at once, their zest and security—that equal liberty, and those equal laws, which bless this happy isle, and this alone.

“ Where is the heart, that every blessing shares
Which law, and liberty, and rest can give,
But throbs with pity for their harder lot,
Who, led by curiosity to view
The pillag'd honours of Italian states,
Or who, perhaps, had roam'd in quest of health
To Gallia's balmy clime and mineral springs,
(For surely none e'er crossed the waves to bow
At Usurpation's footstool *) now are held
Uowilling captives in a hostile land,
By the harsh mandates of a tyrant's will.

Upon the branches of the willows grey,
Which o'er the MEUSE's silver current nod,
Their harps suspended hang. From their mute tongues
No sounds are heard of gratulating joy.
For how shall they attune their harps to mirth?
How from their lips shall joyous accents flow,
Lost to their king, their country, and their friends?

“ What though the vintage, with its purple pride,
Twine round the elm, or glitter on the rock;
Yet who would not our northern clime prefer,
Where scarce a grape ere ripens in the sun,
(But where true liberty has rear’d her throne.)
To Gallia's sunny hills, and fruitful vales,
Where tyrants scowl, and lawless men bear'sway?
Unhappy hostages on Verdun's plain!
May ye revisit soon your native hills;
Safe at a distance from Ambition's frown,

Pursue our gambols, and partake our joy!”
The lighter pieces embrace a variety of subjects, chiefly
rural, and display a correct taste and a chastened judg-
ment, The following stanzas of an Ode to the Isis have
something better than poetic beauty to recommend them.

With partial fondness we retain

A sense of pleasures past,
Mingled, however, with some pain,

To think how short they last.
'Tis vain, we know, for man to mourn
Pastimes that never can return,

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* With the bard's permission, we must except the late Mr. Fox, Mrs. Armsteadwe beg pardon, Mrs. Fox we mean and Mr. (now the Right Honourable Lord) Erskine.--Rev.

Yet all mankind past pleasures prize;
The mother placing all her joy
Upon her dead and darling boy,

Would pluck him from the skies.
“ But áh! my friend, why should we mourn

That pleasures fly so fast?
Why sigh for days that can't return,

Or sorrow for the past?
Youth's dangerous stage of life is run,
In which so many are undone;

We should rejoice that in our youth
We never wantonly did stray.
Far from the paths of wisdom's way,

Nor from the line of truth.
" If airy projects now be fled,
Which once inflamed our breast;

If ardent impulses he dead,

Or calm’d to holy rest;
The high pursuits of solid truth
Transcend the short-liv'd joys of youth,

And thus we spend our day:
To us the heavenly task is given
To point the sacred road to heaven,

And tread ourselves the way.”.
Where example and precept unite, the lesson can
scarcely fail to produce the desired effect. We shall ex-
tract one more piece, and then consign our poet' to the
judgment of our readers, without the smallest fear of having
our own sentence reversed by them.


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© Near the side of the road, on the bleak wild heath,

To show us how wickedness ends,
A gibbet is seen (sad memorial of death)
Where a poor hapless criminal yielded his breath,

Amidst the distress of his friends.
" The neighbours still say he was greatly carest;

In high estimation he stood; He

sung very sweetly, genteelly he drest, Till a mąd wish for riches sprung up in his breast,

Though purchas’d with rapine and blood.
« When the barbarous deed in which he had join'd

Was heard in the villages near,
Compunction arose in his agonis'd mind,
To think that his eye could to pity be blind,

And deaf to compassion his ear.

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