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THE scenery and subjects then of the fol. lowing eclogues alone are Oriental; the style and colouring are purely European ; and, for this reason, the author's preface, in which he intimates that he had the originals from a merchant who traded to the East, is omitted, as being now altogether superfluous.
With regard to the merit of these Eclogues, it may justly be asserted, that in fimplicity of description and expression, in delicacy and softrtess of numbers, and in natural and unaffected tenderness, they are not to be equalled by any thing of the pastoral kind in the English language.
Tihe shepherd's Moral
, as there is
HIS eclogue, which is entitled Selim, or
the Shepherd's Moral, as there is nothing dramatic in the subject, may be thought the least entertaining of the four : but it is, by no means, the least valuable. The moral precepts which the intelligent shepherd delivers to his fellow-swains and the virgins, their companions, are such as would infallibly promote the happiness of the pastotal life.
In impersonating the private virtues, the poet has observed great propriety, and has formed their genealogy with the most perfect judgment, when he represents them as the daughters of truth and wisdom.
The characteristics of modesty and chaflity are extremely happy and peinturesque :
Come thou, whose thoughts as limpid springs
The two fimiles borrowed from rural objects are not only much in character, but perfectly natural and expreffive. There is, notwithftanding, this defect in the former, that it wants a peculiar propriety ; for purity of thought may as well be applied to chasliry as to modesły; and from this instance, as well as from a thousand more, we may see the necef
sity of diftinguishing, in characteristic poetry, every object by marks and attributes peculiarly its own.
It cannot be objected to this eclogue that it wants both those essential Criteria of the paftoral, love and the drama; for though it partakes not of the latter, the former still retains an interest in it, and that too very material, as it profeffedly consults the virtue and happiness of the lover, while it informs what are the qualities
that must lead to love.
LL the advantages that any species of
poetry can derive from the novelty of the subject and scenery, this eclogue possesses. The rout of a camel-driver is a scene that scarce could exist in the imagination of an European, and of its attendant diftreffes he could have no idea.-These are very happily and minutely painted by our descriptive poet. What sublime simplicity of expression! what nervous plainness in the opening of the
In filent horror o'er the boundless waste
The driver Hassan with his camels past.
The magic pencil of the poet brings the whole scene before us at once, as it were by en. chantment, and in this fingle couplet we feel