« PreviousContinue »
hibited on the ftage naked, and converfing about their nakedness: this very pertinently introduces the next fcene, in which they have coverings of fig-leaves. This extraordinary fpectacle was beheld by a numerous affembly of both fexes with great compofure: they had the authority of Scripture for fuch a reprefentation, and they gave matters just as they found them in the third chapter of Genefis. It would have been abfolute herefy to have departed from the facred text in perfonating the primitive appearance of our first parents, whom the fpectators fo nearly refembled in fimplicity: and if this had not been the cafe, the dramatists were ignorant what to reject and what to retain.'
For a very curious and elaborate account of the famous Chaucer and his poetry, as well as for very great variety of particulars arifing from inquiries that have hitherto been little purfued, the Reader is neceffarily referred to the work.
the Fishmongers. Antechrift by the Clothiers. Day of Judgment by the Websters, The reader will perhaps fmile at fome of thefe CoMBINATIONS. This is the fubftance and order of the former part of the play. God enters ereating the world: he breathes life into Adam, leads him into Paradife, and opens his fide while fleeping. Adam and Eve appear naked and not afbamed, and the old ferpent enters lamenting his fall. He converfes with Eve. She eats of the forbidden fruit, and gives part to Adam. They propofe, according to the ftage-direction, to make themselves fubligetula a foliis quibus segamus Pudenda. Cover their nakednefs with leaves, and converfe with God. God's curfe. The ferpent exit hiling. They are driven from Paradife by four angels and the cherubim with a flaming fword. Adam appears digging the ground, and Eve fpinning. Their children Cain and Abel enter: the former kills his brother. Adam's lamentation. Cain is banished, &c.
ART. XII. An Appendix to the "Effays on Public Worship, Patriotifm, and Projects of Reformation." 12mo. Is. Payne, &c.
N our Review for March, 1773, we gave an account of the Effays, to the fecond edition of which the tract now before us is given as a Supplement.
This free fpirited Writer has here offered an apologetical account of himself, his effays, and his zeal for reformation, with refpect to certain externals in the religion of his country:
I have been rather uncommonly circumftanced fince the publi cation of these Effays: On their first appearance they were fo favorably spoken of by fome perfons of the first understanding and learning of the age, as not only excellent in point of compofition, but moral and useful in their tendency, that I had great fatisfaction in having published them They have however been fo wretchedly misunder food, and fo wickedly mifreprefented by others, that I have fometimes regretted the pains I took to affift in what might be of fervice to fuch people. I have felt the remonstrances of my prudent friends, who wished me to be limited to the common bounds and concerns of the world; and to get as much as I could from its mistakes and pre judices; instead of attempting to rectify or remove them. People would admire if not thank me for over-reaching them; they will not forgive an attempt to make them wifer and better. But I never could
keep myself long in the cultivated vale. My haunts are among the mountains; and I love the terrific and fublime among the works of God. In moral as well as natural scenes, my delight has ever been in climbing rocks and tempting dangers. Fortune has often offered to enrich me; and I am now and probably ever fhall be what the world would call poor. Prudence has pointed to me a variety of paths, where I might have gone on to the end of life in great quietnefs and ease; and I am almost every moment lofing myself and perplexing my friends, by roving in unfrequented places; where beafts of prey lay [lie] in wait for me, where invenomed vipers aim at me as I pafs, and where every ftep I take is traced by infidious crocodiles. These places however have fome enchantment which fafcinate me to them; and I fhall probably break my neck at laft from fome precipice which the whole world will agree I had no business to approach. This I mean as an answer to thofe who call my prudence in queftion in publishing the Effays.'
The Author proceeds to animadvert on the objections which have been made to his Effays, by a certain fpecies of Critics whom he ftyles "Saints ;" and on whom he recriminates with feverity.
He then informs us of the following circumstances:
Having, fays he, fuftained a public character, and continuing to fuftain it, I owe to the world fome kind of fatisfaction on a point where I am daily and maliciously traduced. I had the care of a small congregation in the neighbourhood of London, and was happy in its friendship and kindness. I had however for many years been in habits of fociability and expence which could not have been indulged in that fituation, and by means of my clerical income I was not fond of cards, and had no great skill in the management of them. I had no relish for the expedient of tying myself up to a difagreeable woman for the fake of her fortune. I had recourfe to my industry, and took a few gentlemen under my care. This employment, which I first undertook as an acceffary to the other, I found likely to turn out more advantageous, if it obtained my principal attention. And as it was an employment equally good, and holy, and ufeful, with my former one, at leaft in my opinion, I had no confcientious fcruples in renouncing the less profitable for that which was more fo. This was my only motive for refigning my congregation. And when I gave the people notice, I had no more notion that I was declaring war against Christianity than against Mahometanifm.
Some good folks have in this cafe lied for God; they have faid I preached a farewel fermon, and declared that I quitted my profeffion, because I had not for fome time believed the Gospel. I never preached any thing like a farewel fermon; but there is fome ground for this mifreprefentation. I prepared a fermon for that purpose, but I was confined to fo fhort a time in compofing it, (the interval between the two fervices) that being called upon by a gentleman, I was obliged to finish it in a hurry, and had no time to look it over. I did not therefore preach it. I have lent it however to feveral perfons, and this I fuppofe has given rife to the report which I complain of. To put an end to this matter, here follows the Sermon, verbatim et litteratim, as it was intended to be delivered.'
For this fermon we must refer our Readers to the Tract itself; in which, as the Author obferves, we believe they will find nothing like a declaration of war against christianity; but they will find in it things which, we are pretty fure, were never before delivered in the ears of a Diffenting, or, perhaps, any other Congregation. It contains, not the fentiments of a little pettifogging teacher (as our Author would fay), but of a truly independent and philofophical mind: Superior to all prejudices, and regardless of all prudence ;-that freaking virtue, as fome writer has ftyled it.
The Tract contains alfo a Letter or two relating to the Effeys; and concludes with an excellent ftory of a dervife, which the intelligent Reader will be at no lofs to apply; but it is too long to be here recited.
MONTHLY CATALOGUE, For JULY,
Art. 13. The Cub; a Satire. Dedicated to Lord Holland. 4tos
I s. 6d. Allen.
TT would have been ftrange, indeed, if the notorious object of
had led him to oppofe their intereft. The Writer belabours him with might and main, and wields his weapons, fuch as they are, with his utmoft fpirit and vigour.
A printer's devil is thus reprafented, alarming the delinquent at a fpirit-ftirring hour of the night:
The clock ftruck Twelve-of night the noon,
Thick clouds obfeur'd the rolling moon,
Sobriety was gone to bed,
Darkness o'er all her mantle fpread,
And on his head a cap he wore
'Twas crown'd with th' Public Advertiser;
Rev. July, 1774
Around his neck, with comely tye,
Play'd hell with th' bones of master Nick,
At which a blow the footman fped,
who lay half dead with fear,
And grateful to his wishes, found
All hail, he cries-the roofs around,
Th' acclamation back refound.
Riding upon the NORTH wind came,
The devil's dress is droll enough, and new, at leaft, for any thing we know. But the culprit amply deferved flagellation, and the merit of the beadle is not very material.
Art. 14. The Druid's Monument; a Tribute to the Memory of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith. By the Author of The Cave of Morar. 4to. 6d. Davies. 1774.
As this is probably the fincere tribute of friendship, were criticifm to interfere on the occafion, it might be deemed a kind of facrie lege.