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should stop without beginning a new game or party. Along with the dram, is presented on a waiter, little square piece* of cheese, •lice* of cold tongue, and dried toast, accompanied with fresh caviar, *c.r
A few pages are next devoted to the subject of intoxica* tion; in which it is debated, whether it be less injurious to the constitution to get completely drunk occasionally, and at Other times to live soberly, or to* use every day a large quantity of wine, but to avoid going to the length of absolute intoxication. Great authorities are adduced on both sides: but the most mighty arguments seem to be in favour of the occasional debauch.
We ha^ve as yet gone through only two of the six chapters ©f which th second part of the work consists; and we have Still a chapter on solid food, another on digestion and its effects, another on exercise, and another on sleep; which are, as nearly as possible, in the same style with the two that we have been examining. We meet with the same minute divisions and subdivisions, the same assemblage of common-pUce observations, and the same method of entering into long arguments on points that are either in themselves of little consequence, or respecting which the author has after all nothing important to communicate. The only part of the volume which we can except from this general censure |s that in which Sir John gives an account of the method employed in training men for running or boxing: on which subject, a considerable body of information was obtained from the professors of the pugilistic art, by procuring written answers to a set of queries that were some time ago circulated in a separate pamphlet. On the whole, there appears to be Jess mystery in the art of training than we might previously have been disposed to imagine; and the secret seems to consist in giving the most digestible and nutritive diet, iit keeping up a system of constant but not very violent exercise, in avoiding excesses of all kinds, and in occasionally administering a purgative. The effect produced by this regimes is to reduce corporeal bulk by removing the fat and at the same time to increase the firmness of the muscular parts, to render the respiration more free, and to augment the energy of both mind and body. We may also inform our medical readers that this system of training appears to produce some changes in the constitution, which might be successfully applied to the removal of disease. It is stated, and we are inclined to credit the statement, that the skin, in all cases, becomes smooth and free from cutaneous affections; that the digestion js always improved; and that no person under these circumstances. stances has ever been known to suffer from gout, apoplexy, o^
It will not be necessary for us to detain our readers wirh any long analysis of the remaining three volumes of this Code. Never, perhaps, was the system of book-making more palpably displayed. They consist of little else than extracts from, or transcripts of, different treatises on the subject of health; many of which are neither in themselves particularly meritorious, nor have been rendered accidentally valuable by their rarity. Wc have, for instance, Cornaro's essay reprinted entire; a complete translation of Sanctorius's aphorisms ; a whole article of 200 pages taken from the Encyclopedic Methodtqut t and nearly the whole of the fourth volume is occupied by Lord Bacon's history of life and death, with some of Boyle's whimsical and superannuated essays, such as " the reconcileableness of specific medicines to the corpuscular philosophy."
This, then, is the result of Sir John Sinclair's 'attempt to prove the practicability of condensing knowlege into a narrow compass.' In the whole course of our critical labours, we have seldom, if ever, met with a publication which so little corresponded with its professed object; and with respect to his experiment., therefore, the author has indeed completelyfailed. We are sorry, moreover, that we cannot speak highly of the merits of the production in other respects. It affords* no doubt, abundance of matter collected together from all quarters: but it is so badly arranged, is rendered so tedious by endless divisions and subdivisions, is so interwoven with laboured discussions on subjects of the most trifling nature, (on which, after all, we come to no conclusion,) and abounds so much with those sage remarks of which no one ever thought of doubting the truth,—with stories, probable and improbable, and jumbled together without discrimination,— that we toil through the volumes without interest, and have every other feeling absorbed in the desire of arriving at the end of our task. Indeed* we apprehend that few persons, who do not like ourselves read ex officio, will have the perseverance to go through the whole even of the essential part of the work.
Art, VI. Poems, by the Rev. George Crabbe, LL.B. 8vo. pp. 256. 8s. <5d. Boards. Hatchard. 1807.
Come years have elapsed since we were called, in the exercise "of our duty, to appreciate the poetical claims of this
respectable writer; whose early adventures were, encouraged by the applause and indeed assisted by the contributions of Johnson. The biographer* of that great critic took the opportunity of displaying at once his heio's powers of correct versification, and his benevolent regard to rising geniu6, in the case of Mr. Crabbe; and, in our judgment, rather unfairly at the expence of that gentleman, whose foul copy of some portions of " The Village" Mr. Boswell inserted, accompanied by the corrections and improvement of the Doctor. Though this act is not blamed by the person who may be considered as the sufferer by it, we believe that the greater number of authors would consider it as a violation of a most delicate and important trust. If we mistake not, however, the poem which had undergone the emendation of that powerful pen did not obtain so large a portion of public favour as some others f, in th? composition of which the writer was compelled to rely on his own unaided talents. At least it was our own opinion, at the time of th-ir respective publication, that it was not intitled tp so much praise; and that opinion has undergone no alteration by a re-perusal of them all in the present collection: from which the author has judged wisely in excluding "The Skull %" the least fortunate of his productions. 1
Nevertheless, when Mr. Crabbe contemplated a general edition of his scattered works, enriched with a sufficient number of new poems to form a considerable volume, his modesty still prompted him to seek counsel from the judgment of another; arrd we suspect, too, that a long residence in the country might make it desirable to consult some literary friend, who had lived in the world, and observed the changes of the public taste, with, regard to his probabilities, of success. The great friends and patrons of his youth, Burke, Reynolds, and Johnson, were no more: but he had the good fortune to meet with a critic endowed with equal powers, and perhaps a still warmer sensibility to merit, and uniting the most discerning taste with the most indulgent disposition. Alas! he knew not how soon Mr. Fox would be surn* **
* A singular mistake is committed by Mr. Crabbe, in speaking •f Boswell—Mr. Boswell (since Lord Auchinkxk)"—(pref. xi.) Mr. Boswell's father was called Lord Aucliinleck, from his country seat, which always gives a title to the Lords of S-_siu_i in Scotland: but that title is personal, not hereditary; and the companion of Johnson died, as he lived, plain James Boswell.
+ For «' the Village/' see M. R. Vol. lxix. p. 418. For " the Library," M. R. Vol lxv. p 423. For " the Newspaper," M R. VoL l___.iii. p. 374. J See M R. Vol. lxix. p. jo..
mened moncd to join the illustrious dead whose liberal pursuits he lored, and to whose kind office on this occasion he succeeded:
* I had been honoured by an introduction to the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, some years before, at the seat of Mr. Burke; and being again with him, 1 received a promise that he would peruse any work I might send to him previous to its publication, and would give me his opinion. At that time, I did not think myself sufficiently prepared; and when, afterwards, I had collected some Poems for his inspection, I found my Right Honourable Friend engaged by the affairs of a great empire, and struggling with the inveteracy of a fatal disease: at such time, upon such a mind, ever disposed to oblige as that mind was,. I could not obtrude the petty business of criticising verses; but he remembered the promise he had kindly gives, and repeated an offer, which though I had not presumed to expect, I was happy to receive. A copy of the Poems, now first published, was immediately sent to him, and (as I have the information from Lord Holland, and his Lordship's permission to inform my Readers) the Poem which I have named Th-e Parish Reci^tir, was heard by Mr- Fox, and it excited interest enough, fcy some of its parts, to gain for me the benefit of his judgment upon the whole: whatever he approved, the Reader will readily believe, I have carefully retained; the parts he disliked are totally expunged, and others are substituted, which I hope resemble those, more conformable to the taste of so admirable a judge; nor can I deny myself the melancholy satisfaction of adding, that this Poem, (and more especially the story of Pkabe Dawson, with some parts of the second hook,) were the last compositions of their kind, that engaged and amused the capacious, the candid, the benevolent mind of this great Man.'
We confess that the circumstance stated in the above citation would, in our minds, communicate a high degree of interest to compositions very inferior in quality to those which now lie before us. It is no mean panegyric on' a literary effort, that it could, at any period of his life, command the applause of Mr. Fox: but to have amused and occupied the painful leisure of his last illness is as honourable to the powers, as it must be delightful to the feelings of Mr. Crabbe. If the beautiful dramas of Terence derive an additional power of pleasing from our knowlege that they were sanctioned by the approbation and assistance of Scipio and Lselius, Englishmen will feel a similar predilection for works that have received praise and improvement from the "mitts tapientia" of the most amiable among the great men recorded in their history.
The « Parish Register,' which is the most considerable poem in this volume, and indeed occupies nearly a third part of it, may be characterised as a more expanded continuation ef " ihe Village." It is stated to be «an endeavour wet mr« to describe village Manners, not by adopting the notion of pastoral simplicity, or assuming ideas of rustic barbarity, but by more natural views of the peasantry, considered as a mixed body of persons sober or profligate, and from hence, in a great measure, contented or miserable. To this more general description are added the various characters, which occur in the three parts of a register: Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials/ The poem accordingly consists of three divisions, in which the pastor takes a review of these interesting events, as they have happened to his parishioners, and of course is led into extensive and minute details of parish-biography. He has presented us with a great variety of characters, which are discriminated with skill and spirit: while his incidents are in general judiciously selected, and told with peculiar felicity of narration, displaying occasionally much natural pathos, and uncommon powers of satire. It would be easy to justify the last of these assertions, by extracts out of every page in the * poem. We think that the clandestine christening of the illegitimate offspring of the miller's daughter can hardly be read without emotion. When the unfortunate truth was become too obvious for concealment,
'Then came the days of shame, the grievous night.
* First, whispering gossip: were in parties seen;
And busy Malice dropt it at the Mill.'
The purse-proud father then chased his dishonoured child from her home to a miserable cottage, where «the days of her sorrow were fulfilled
• Day after day were past in grief and pain,
Bore the young Christian, roaring through the crowd;
In a small chamber was my office done,
Where blinks through paper'd panes, the setting Sun; .
Where noisy sparrows, perch'd on penthouse near.
Chirp tuneless joy and mock the frequent tear;
Bats on their webby wings in darkness move,
And feebly shriek their melancholy love.