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adultery remains, of which Cromwell is thought to be clear; and, according to Mr. Harris, it should seem that, compared with this crime," Diffimulation, hypocrify, ingratitude, and murder, are light as air."-We fay murder, becaufe nothing can juftify the killing of our fellow creature, but immediate felf-prefervation, or the good of fociety. And though it may not deserve that name in those who acted upon principle, and from a perfuafion that the death of the King was neceffary for the fecurity of public liberty, it was the most atrocious kind of murder in Cromwell, who was fo far from having the good of fociety in view, that he proved a more oppreffive tyrant, than his fovereign whofe blood he spilt. Yet, Mr. Harris concludes, that "he left behind him a neverdying fame; and if he cannot be ranked among the best, he undoubtedly is to be placed among the greatest of princes."
Certainly if bold and fuccefsful villany intitles a man to be called Great, Cromwell has a right to the appellation. But if goodness is infeparable from true greatness, no man ever had worfe pretenfions to that character. His public conduct, as has been seen, was fuch as muft render his memory odious to every friend to juftice and liberty. In his private capacity, he appears to have been by no means amiable. Tools he had many, but no friends; his familiarity was rudenefs, and his pleafantry buffoonery.
Upon the whole, we think Mr. Harris's fentiments with regard to Cromwell's character, are narrow, partial, and injudicious. And as to his manner of writing, which we have heretofore had occafion to cenfure, it is by no means improved; for it is as ufual, though not incorrect, yet extremely heavy, quaint, and inelegant.---Thus much we have thought ourselves obliged to observe, in juftice to the Public, and to our credit as impartial Reviewers. But forry we are to difapprove the work of a perfon of Mr. Harris's worthy character, as a hearty friend to liberty, both civil and religious, and a truly honest man and who likewife had acquitted himself fo much more to our fatisfaction, in his former compilations.
Poems on feveral Occafions. 8vo. 2 s. Rivington.
T the defire of the Earl of Bath, the ingenious Mrs. Carter has favoured the Public with a Collection of her Poems; and it is with pleafure we congratulate our Readers on the occafion. We can affure them that through the whole
of this collection, they will be entertained with the fame attic wit, the fame chafte philofophic fancy, and the fame harmony of numbers, which diftinguished the long admired Ode to Wijdom. The elegant Mufe, which fo early introduced this lady to the Groves of Academus, and the Lycian Walks, has never forfaken her. The rigid doctrines of the ftoic school, in which fhe has been fo much converfant, feem not in the least to have restrained her fancy, or to have communicated any thing of their rigour to her heart; and, though fhe is the tranflator of Epictetus, fhe is evidently the difciple of Plato. In all her Poems there is that fine fenfibility, ferene dignity, and lofty imagination, which characterize the writings of that divine philofopher. Her ftyle is perfectly Horatian, elegantly polifhed, and harmonioufly cafy. The curiofa felicitas dicendi, which genius alone, and the ear that nature has harmonized, can produce, is frequently to be found in these beautiful Poems, Some few, fome very few faults, quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum caveat natura, might perhaps be pointed out; but we have little inclination to look at thefe, while the eye is continually attracted by new beauties. We muft, however, complain, that our Poetefs has been too negligent about her Rhymes, which are often inconfonant; for we cannot help thinking that bad Rhymes are much worfe than no Rhymes at all. Poffibly fhe might imagine herfelf justified in this by the French and Italian Poets; but the perfection of English Poetry, and the delicacy of an English ear, will not bear even fo flight a defect. Mr. Pope could never endure an ill-match'd rhyme; and his imitator, Mrs. Jones, that other English Sappho, has also avoided this fault.
Prefixed to this little Volume is a fhort Encomium on the Authorefs, and her Works, by Lord Lyttelton, which reminds us of the ftyle and manner of Mr. Langhorne's Poem to the memory of Handel. [See Review, Vol. XXII. p. 261.]
On reading Mrs.'s Poems in Manufcript.
Such were the notes that ftruck the wondering ear
Of bold Impiety--Greece fhall no more
The first Poem in this collection was written by our Poetess on her own birth-day, before fhe was eighteen years of age, and it scarce does greater honour to herself, than to that worthy parent who fuperintended her education, In what an uncommon degree muft that mind have been enlarged, which in fuch early years could produce the following beautiful and fentimental lines!
Through each event of this inconftant state,
The Verfes on hearing a Lady fing, are as mufical and melodious as the tuneful voice they celebrate could poffibly be; and nothing can be more elegant than the compliment with which they conclude.
Sweet Echo, vocal Nymph, whofe mimic Tongue
Yet, if too foon this tranfient pleasure fly,
Alike her Singing and her Silence move,
⚫ An inftance of the defect in Rhyme, which we have hinted at.
In the Poem which fhe devotes to the Memory of her Sifter Poetefs, the late Mrs. Rowe, we know not which to admire moft, her ingenious Fancy or her friendly Heart. It may perhaps be objected that the compliments here paid to Mrs. Rowe, are too high, and that she had more Enthufiafm than Tafe; but who, notwithstanding, can be displeased with the following Lines?
Transported echoes bore the founds along,
Where, rapt in joys to mortal sense unknown,
In a Poetical Epiftle to one of her female friends, the thus elegantly expreffes the tender and affectionate wishes of Friendhip:
May angels guard thee with diftinguish'd care,
In another Epiftle to the fame Lady, fhe confiders Friend
ship in a more fublime and philosophical fenfe.
But long ere Paphos rofe, or Poet fung,
Friendship her foft harmonious touch affords,
By this elevated train of thinking, our Poetic Philofopher was naturally led to her beloved Plato. By the magic power of fympathy, his fpirit rifes before her; and, in the raptures of imagination, the thus expreffes herself:
By Heaven's enthufiaftic impulfe taught
How admirably chafte and fimple is the ftyle of the above Verfes, even while the imagination is tranfported to extasy!
The fweet defcriptive Mufe which delights in the profufion of rural imagery, and tunes her harmonious lays to the beautiful works of Nature, the pleafing Erato, is not lefs kind to the Kentish Poetefs than the fublime Urania. In her Verfes addreffed to Bethia, the fame Lady, if we miftake not, whose Ode is prefixed to her Tranflation of Epictetus, we have the following beautifully defcriptive lines.
Ilyfus, a River near Athens, dedicated to the Mufes. On the banks of this river, under a platane, Plato lays the fcene of fome of his Dialogues on Love and Beauty.