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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
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,
“ My Muse shall ne'er with bigot rage exult
If Attic elegance e'er charmed thy ear,
« Or, if a tale of pity move thy breast
« * 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 *.
“ But not to ENGLAND's isle alone confin'd
Thrust from her cloister'd home, undaunted braves
“ The exil'd priests forsake their native land;
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,
"* 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.
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
Upon the branches of the willows grey,
“ What though the vintage, with its purple pride,
Pursue our gambols, and partake our joy!”
“ With partial fondness we retain
A sense of pleasures past,
To think how short they last.
* With the bard's permission, we must except the late Mr. Fox, Mrs. Armstead—we beg pardon, Mrs. Fox we mean and Mr. (now the Right Honourable Lord) Erskine.--Rev.
Yet all mankind past pleasures prize;
Would pluck him from the skies.
That pleasures fly so fast?
Or sorrow for the past?
We should rejoice that in our youth
Nor from the line of truth.
Or calm’d to holy rest;
And thus we spend our day:
And tread ourselves the way.”.
© Near the side of the road, on the bleak wild heath,
To show us how wickedness ends,
Amidst the distress of his friends.
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.
Was heard in the villages near,
And deaf to compassion his ear.