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XXI. Spring. An Ode to Neriffa. By Stephen Cæfar Lemaitre. Folio, 6d. Cooper.
The fpring has always been a favourite topic with the poets. That thofe of Greece, Sicilly, Italy and Provence fhould be fo rapturous in their approbation of that prime feafon, is no ways furprizing, if we confider the happiness of their climates; but that we, who, inftead of being fanned with foft genial breezes, are fhuddering with the bleak north-eaft; who, instead of being regaled in February with all the breathing infants of the fpring, have fcarce a lelac blowing in April; that we should be fo fond of that feafon is really aftonishing.
The fact, indeed, is, that most of our poets who invoke
the foft zephyrs through a broken pane,
have borrowed all their rural images from the Antient and Provençal Bards. They know no more of the country than those defcribe; and the confequence is, that they reprefent not a British, but a claffic fpring; not nature, but fancy. But tho' moft of our eminent poets have been guilty of this impropriety, we fee fomething like a British spring in Mr. Lemaitre's poem (a).
Warm with the praises of a fylvan life, fo enthufiaftically defcribed by the bards of Greece and Italy, our poetical folks are apt to imagine, that thole who inhabit the country, must, from that circumftance, be happy. But one muft look very little abroad, not to discover, that mifery more frequently refides in the hutt, than in the palace; and that care as commonly haunts the labourer, as the citizen. Afk the husbandman, when fatigued with the toils of the day, if he feels (b) Pleasures unknown to Palaces and Kings, he will answer, No. Afk him, if he does not envy the 'Squire, he will reply, Yes. Befides, as no contemptible poet philofophically expreffes it,
The heart can ne'er a transport know,
That never feels a pain.
However, as our Author wanted his mistress to come to the country, we cannot blame him for painting the life led there, in every attractive colour.
The ode confifts of fourteen regular ftanzas, each of ten lines; and difcovers the feeds of a poetical imagination; which more years, and the fmiles of Neriffa, may probably ripen to the production of no unpleafing fruit.
As a fpecimen of the poem, take the following ftanza.
But fee yon moffy tow'rs through age decay,
(a) Stanza 5th, 6th, and 9th.
(b) Stanza 3d.
That foftly whifp'ring forward feems to fay,
Where hoarse-mouth'd daws oft fcream their doleful yells,
Come quick, my fair, for all must waste,
E'en blooming beauties fade,
And time that ftately tow'rs can blast
With equal rigour ftrikes the fairest maid.
XXII. Hymn to the Supreme Being, on recovery from a dangerous fit of illness. By Chriftopher Smart, M. A. 4to. 6d. Newbery.
As this poem feems to have been the genuine effufion of gratitude, it would be cruel, and invidious, to make it the subject of criticism; tho', otherwise, not the least exceptionable of this gentleman's performances. It is an inftance, however, of the goodnefs of his heart, if not of the fidelity of his mufe.
XXIII. Turncoat. A parody of the tragedy of Athelftan. In one act. 8vo. 1s. Vaillant.
This is a very trifling parody of a very indifferent play.
XXIV. A Poem, on the Countefs of Pomfret's Benefaction to the University of Oxford. 4to. 6d. Rivington.
We are informed in an advertisement, that this poem was wrote with the view of being spoken in the theatre, at the late commemoration. It was well for the auditors that it was, not spoken, as it must have been then, what it ftill is, unintelligible; and we could have wifhed, for the honour of the Univerfity, that fo ftiff, obfcure, and out-of-the-way a poem had never been published. We fhall not therefore perpetuate its fame by a fpecimen. It confifts of 197 lines, Sed in tam magno corpore non una mica Salis.
XXV. Efays Paftoral and Elegiac. Containing, Morning; or, the Complaint. Noon; or the Conteft. Evening; or the Exclamation. Night; or the Wanderer. Addreffed to the Right Hon. the Earl of Chesterfield. By a Gentleman late of the Inner-Temble. 8vo. Is. Cooper.
As thefe paftorals are but essays (to ufe the Author's own expreffion) we fhall not enter into a minute difcuffion of them but only observe, that the numbers are in general inharmonious, and the language often mean and incorrect; that there is a vicious mixture of antient and British ideas; the pieces being neither Arcadian nor English; that they give us few rural images, and scarce any of the Author's own invention : yet are not these pieces, fo very contemptible as fome have repre
fented them; the following extract from the Contest will prove
One Morn (now fome Moons paft) by custom led
I heard her cries, I faw the fleeting fair,
Now whether aided by unusual force,
For the I fav'd was lovely Collinet.
Upon the whole, as the Poet has neither copied the best paftoral or elegiac models, nor given us better of his own in their ftead, we may conclude with the words of S. J. Efq; in his famous epiftle from the country, to Lord Lovelace in town. Afflict us not, ye Gods, tho' finners, With many days (a) like this.
XXVI. A feasonable Call upon all English Sailors, by an enquiry into the causes of our naval mifcarriages. With some thoughts on the intereft of the nation, as to a naval war, and of the only true way of manning the fleet. Dedicated to the parliament of Great Britain. From the fecond edition in quarto, printed in 1707. Now reprinted at this important crifis, for the candid perufal of all true lovers of their country. 8vo. Is. Robinfon.
This reprinted tract hath also been lately advertised under the title of, An Enquiry into the causes of our Naval Miscarriage (4) Vide the title: Morning, Noon, &c.
⚫ &c.' leaving out the words, A feasonable call upon all English • Sailors. We mention this circumftance for the fake of our country readers, to fatisfy them, that if they fend for it under either title, they will have the intended pamphlet, tho' the titlepage and the advertisement may be fomewhat different.
XXVII. The Use of Sea Voyages in Medicine. By Ebenezer Gilchrift, M. D. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Millar.
The exuberance of the MateriaMedica,and a too great attention to thelucrative improvements of pharmacy, it is apprehended, has been a principal occafion of the little regard the moderns feem to have paid to fome of the most useful remedies employed by the primitive phyficians Pharmacopoeias have been added to Pharmacopoeias, and there is fcarce a difeafe that, at prefent, has not its pretended fpecific. But should it be asked, whether the health of the patient has been of late better fecured, or the honour of the profeffion hereby further promoted? it is much to be feared, that candour would anfwer in the negative. Hence we cannot help applauding Dr. Gilchrift for his endeavours to reinftate failing in the clafs of medicines.
This exercise has been much recommended by the antients, for many falutary purposes. Our Author, indeed, has not confidered his fubject merely as an exercife, but is alfo at fome pains to fhew, that the fea air is endued with fanative qualities, not common to that we breathe on shore. However, he does not rely only on reasoning. If experience is the best recommendation of any medicine, he inftances twenty-two hiftories, mostly confumptive, and fome far advanced in the disease, whereby the utility of this practice appears inconteftible. He points out other disorders, in which he judges it useful; obviates the objections to it; and shews its particular accommodations to the dif tempers of Great Britain: and this in a ftyle, which, tho' far from elegant, is plain to almost every comprehenfion. fubjoined an Appendix, containing fome inftances that ferve to demonftrate the advantages accruing from the use of warm baths in critical diseases; another practice likewife familiar with the antients, the revival of which has also been attempted by fome modern phyficians, particularly the late Dr. Clifton, and the ingenious Dr. Glafs,t of Exeter. Upon the whole, we cannot but think, the delicate Valetudinarian will, in many cafes, find benefit from the directions in this treatise.
* In his State of Phyfic.
+ See Review, vol. VI. p. 319.
An Effay on Waters. In three Parts. Treating, 1. Of Simple Waters.-2. Of Cold, Medicated Waters.-3. Of Natural Baths. By C. Lucas, M. D. 8vo. 3 Volumes. 10s. 6d.
F industry may be admitted any part of a Writer's merit, Dr. Lucas feems to have a fair claim to the favour of the public. The fubject, whether confidered for its oeconomical or medical ufes, is particularly interesting; and is here treated, tho' diffufely, with accuracy equal to its importance. Our Author generally supports his opinions by authorities and experiments; and in the number of the latter few have exceeded him. A feparate volume is appropriated to each feparate part in the firft, the nature, properties, combinations, and affinities of Salts, acid, alcaline, and neutral, are treated of; the elementary and accidental qualities of Simple Water, in all its various modes of existence, are minutely described and diftinguifhed; the particular Waters generally employed in this metropolis for domeftic purposes, as the Thames, New-River, Hampstead, Rathbone-Place, St. Paul's and the Savoy Pumps, Crowder's Well, and Lamb's Conduit, are severally analysed, and their proportionate degree of utility affigned to each: the medicinal efficacy of common Water, ufed either internally or externally, is fully and clearly explained, and fome judicious obfervations are added, relative to cold and warm bathing, as they were occafionally made ufe of by the ancient Phyficians.
In his fecond volume, our Author enquires into the contents of thofe Waters commonly termed faline or mineral: wherein, after fome remarks on falt Waters in general, he proceeds to an examen of particulars. Of thefe, the first that comes under his confideration is Sea-Water; to which near fifty pages are devoted: the Doctor's principal defign is to fhew, that Sea-Water is impregnated with only a calcarious earth, a muriatic falt, bittern, and the oily matter common to all Waters; without any fulphur, bitumen, nitre, or unctious fubftance, afcribed to it by other Writers, particularly by Dr. Ruffel*, upon whom are beftowed several fharp cenfures, which, with fome as high compliments to the proprietors of the Harwich and Liverpool baths, and an attempt to fhew the futility of the endeavours that have
*See Review, vol. IX. p. 188.