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and publishing these Tales ; but we can safely aver, that they are full of cbscenity, whether “ evidently designed" or not: and apparently calculated to “ infiame the passions.”
Something of this Writer's ideas of decorum may possibly be gathered from the following Stanzas, which we quote as a specimen of his Poetry; being some of thofe few verses in this collection of ribaldry, which will bear our citation.
How oft has Boccace been translated
And blunderd ;
Boccace they represent and render,
Are like the Pope and the Pretender.
Why mayn’t I imitate Bandello?
Lestow'd upon a droller fellow.
Like Tristram, a pleasant Writer;
Will be rewarded with a mitre.
But to be serious. We have no objection to innocent mirth, nor to any writings calculated with decency to promote good humour and chearfulness; holding hypocrisy in as utter detestation as our Author. But we cannot agree to call the very loose and indecent freedoms he has taken, a ludicrous liberty, neceffary to any good, or even innocent purpore. He has one advantage, however, over most other Writers that fall under the censure of our Review, and that is, we are generally able to bring proofs, from their Writings, of the truth of what we aflert; whereas we must, in the present case, desire our own word to be impliciily taken, in juftification of our censure, being absolutely too much ashamed for the Writer, and having too much respect for our Readers, to stain our paper with the necessary procfs to support it.
Our Author has thought proper to give this paultry Publication a pompous form, and to usurp the negligent and selfsufficient air and style of a master, in talking about critics and their censures. But if it be true that want of decency argues want of sense, and we see no reason in this performance to think the contrary, these airs of fuperiority and importance are all affectation. We know not, indeed, any Itronger characteristic of unmanliness and folly, than a person's indulging himself in obscenity, either in writing or conversation.
Those of our Readers, who may ever happen to read these abominable Tales, will not be surprized that we have been led to treat the Writer with severity, and his Work with the indignation and contempt it deserves.
The first Volume of a new Translation of Homer's liiad, adapted
to the Capacity of honest English Roast Beef and Pudding Eat-
word; a star of the first magnitude in the Shandean Constellation. If we may credit his own story, he was formerly an Apothecary, but had too much honesty and humanity to thrive by the Gally-pot; and consequently broke. In these fad circumstances, remembering how kind the stars had been to Tristram, he determines to dig in the bottom of the
A Real Name. 13 nidges.
Shandean mine ; and, in the same manner, to try whether by throwing up dirt he could not come at gold. Sore afraid we are, however, on the account of poor Mr. Barebones, that this mine is now exhausted; or, if not, that it is difficult for a new adventurer to hit upon the right vein. Nay, it would be inhuman not to sympathize with this unhappy Skeleton, when we have his own unquestionable word for it, that he was ruined by the integrity and fimplicity of his heart. None of tho e arts did he practise by which his brethren of the mortar thrive; no mixture of chalk and water did he vend for pearl-julep, nor fought he to be in emlonpoint himself, by emaciating his patients. Long did he struggle to live upon these generous principles, but alas !
-What could Cato do against a world,
A base degenerate world ? At last he fell, pitiably fell, and was reduced to beggaryWhat now was to be done? To live with every virtue in a depraved age, was imposible; and yet to eat, was absolutely neceffary: Mr. Barebones therefore determines to give up the inferior virtues, and accordingly Modesty and Decency are here sacrificed at the shrine of Hunger. O cruel dilemma! O ever to be lamented sacrifice! Our hearts bleed within us while we think of this good, this virtuous man, bringing with reluctance those beautiful victims to the altar of that voracious Savage. Behold the danger of once deviating from the path of virtue! The honest, the worthy Mr. Barebones is now become the lowest and moft obscene of all human creatures. The Gods and Heroes of Homer, in the language of this Apothecary, might teach fcurrility to Water-men; and the dialect of his mortal and immortal Ladies, would raise a blush on the boldest cheek in Covent-Garden.
If we mistake not, this Author has before now smarted under our critical rod; with such low virulence has he bespattered us in the account of his life.- No abuse, however, from Mr. Barebones shall change our pity into resentment. We most sincerely wish him that dinner which he declares he wants; and that we may help him to one or two more than he could otherwise procure, we shall make the following favourable quotations from his book.
The interposition of Pallas between Agamemnon and Achilles, in the first book, is thus comically translated :
but seen Achilles fret it,
A fight fo dreadful ne'er was seen,
be another day:
Then answers he who rolls the thunder,
But get you gone, left the should fee;
Dives under water like a goose. As Jupiter guessed, so it happened ; Juno falls upon him with all the virulence of tongue, and roafts him in the language of a genuine modern spouse.
'Tis mighty civil, on my life,
Tho you are Jove, I still am Juno! Thus Mr. Barebones improves upon the fimilies of his Author :
As when a bonfire, with a noise,
Thus num'rous and confus'd they seem,