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controversy, we regard the latter as an indifferent person, since the question of infidelity is little affected which ever way it is decided. Mr. Cockbum displays his zeal, but throws no new lighten this hacknied question, which divides episcopalians an*1 presbyterians. The more we advance in antiquity, the mare nice dues the shade of distinction between the two orders seem to grow. Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of the bishop's superiority is that which the appellation itself implies; vi termini, he is to overlook of superintend. Be this as it may, if we are unable to enter into th* sanguine feelings of success whkh Mr. Cockburn seems to cherish, we sincerely thank him for a candid, liberal, and neat disquisition. We wisli that it may serve to direct the attention of younger divine* to studies which are very generally, and we think improperly neglected
Art. 24. Au Essay on the Character, immoral and ansi-ehristian Ten* dency of the Stage. By John Styles, nmo, 3s. Gd. Boards. Williams and Smith.
From the days of Thespis, who "carried his vagrant players in a cart," to the present period, when magnificent theatres are the appendages of all largecicies, the drama has been the delight of mankind. It has been considered as the first branch of polite literature, and, delectando fariterque monendo, as possessing an advantage even over the pulpit in conveying certain moral lessons. The praises, hdwever, of its professed admirers find a counterpoise in the condemnations of its enemies; who regard this mode of " holding the mirror up to nature" as the most glaring proof of human folly and degeneracy, and who pronounce the stage to be 1 the enchanted ground of iniquity,' the place by which the devil is most gratified, and in which he is most triumphant. A more vehement anti-dramatist Cannot be' found than Mr. Styles. Recollecting, probably, that St. Paul was a reader of Menander, he dots not condemn dramatic writings, btii the play-house. He is perhaps tolerably correct in reckoning wealth, luxury, and idleness among the causes of the success and influence of the stage: but might it not with equal propriety be stated that, when 4 civilization has advanced beyond its zenith,' and the effects, of wealth and dissipation are evident among all classes, the theatre, which is visited as a source of amusement, affords a specks of admonition peculiar to itself, by which the follies and extravagances of the fashionable world are kept in check? Every human institution must be imperfect; and where multitudes, living in an artificial state of society, are assembled, those who make a trade of viae will be found: but, if this circumstance ought to abolish the theatre, it ought also to shut the doors of Rowland Hill's chapel, especially after the sun goes to bed.
Mr. Styles may be suspected of inverting the order of things, when he contemplates the influence of the stage on the morals and happiness of mankind. The stage is rather an index, than a Cause of the state of morals. Populous capitals are not rendered dissipated by theatres, but theatres are the result of their dissipation. As amusements are necessary in such eases, the drama is among the least
exceptionable ; and it is not impossible that, under proper regulations, jts operation may be more beneficial than injurious.
Much as we applaud Mr. Styles's virtuous feelings and sentiments, we cannot regard his essay as a proof of his knowjege of the world, nor of his ability to legislate, for man a/ he it. To a person of his high-toned morality and christian principles, the Stage must certainly appear in a very odious light, and no doubt it is open to great objections: but we question whether the entire abolition of it, in the present state of society, is practicable; and whether, instead of taking the course of Collier and this writer in reprobating it in toio, it would not be preferable to attempt to correct its abuses, so as to render its amusements more in unison with good taste and virtuous sentiment. It is not so gross as it formerly was, and there is room for farther reformation.
Art 15. An Appeal to the Public; by James Tandy, Esq containing a Statement of his unjust and severe Imprisonment, the different Examinations which took place before the Privy Council, with va. rious Memorials, and letters to Government, &c. and in which several distinguished Characters are deeply involved hvo. pp. 138. 38. Printed at Dublin, and sold in'London by Syznonds.
Lord Redesdale, we have always understood, held a conspicuous rank in the circle of Chancery lawyers, since he was a.superior draughtsman, and his opinions on points of equity were much esteem-; ed. The figure, then, which he is here represented as making in the Irish privy council, induces a belief that little affinity subsists between the pursuits of a practising lawyer and those of a statcman. Readers of this tract will not be surprised at the circumstances which attended his recall from the sister island; nor will they be at much loss to guess the reasons which induced the present minister to ap. point a person of inferior professional qualifications, to hold the.Irish seal* in preference to the learned Lord, who is his own brother-in-taw.
If the doctrine of retribution applies to states, awful is the visitation to which England has to look forwards. History scarcely presents us with acts of oppression jr.ore galling and odious, than those which have been exercised in Ireland under English rule. Our other duties will not admit of our abridging this heart-rending tale, whichmust fill every reader with indignation und horror: but, if the times in which we live have rendered any of the friends of liberty lukewarm inits cause, and indifferent to its fate, let them learn from the facts which these pages disclose, how cruel, wanton, puerile, and mischievous are the proceedings of lawless sway!
Mention is here made of a Dr. Trevor, a member of the liberal profession of medicine,—a profession which we see in this island Sq generally giaced by virtues and accomplishments; This person superintended the state prisoners at Kilmainham gaol; and if the account of his conduct given in these pages, and in those of Mr. St. John Mason, • be correct, the term inhuman is far too feeble to design nate it. To behold a member of a profession which is devoted to reSee oar kit Number, p. it7
ttove or alleviate the Sis of* humanity, abetting and .sanctioning a treatment of fellow-men to which we should have thought the most degraded of human beings would have scorned to lend himself, and practising severities which in their kind the Inquisition could not exceed, is a spectacle most painful and humiliating! Such was the treatment which the writer of this tract alleges he has suffered, and of which he accuses his persecutors at the bar of the public, while he dares them to state a single transaction of his. life which affords the slightest ground evtn for suspicion. We could wish that every honest and liberal Briton would peruse^this harrowing but instructive tale.
Art. 26. Rouge rt Nolr de Musique; or Harmonic Pastimes ; being Games ot Cards constructed on the Principles of Music. By Thomas Danvers Worgan. lima. is. 6d Harris. Nothing can be more easily granted than that music is a difficult art, and requires considerable application: — but it is equally well known that many helps are provided for the musical student, which, may carry him successfully forwards through the greatest difficulties, and make his future road smooth and delightful. Various are the treatises, and many the practical lessons, that have been prepared for him, with all the skill and genius of the most eminent masters in the art ; by which the slowest understandings may receive light, and the dullest ears may be gradually opened. Of late, however, a new method has been found for overcoming difficulties and facilitating progress. Games at dice and cards, laboriously constructed on the principles of music, have been devised; which, it is said, convey in an amusing manner, and in a sufficiently appropriate form, all the necessary knowlege.
We are not enemies to pastime; and we should like it still better, if we could be convinced that here it was a more eligible way than any other, for putting us in possession of the arcana of a very difficult art: but this we have not as yet been able to see. The new exercises to which we allude are in general difficult and involved; and we may safely say that these games and pastimes turn out to be no sport. As in writing we occasionally rind paraphrases more daik than the words which they profess to explain ; and as translations aie sometimes so perplexed as necessarily to send us to the original to know their meaning; so it may be said of many of the musical games that we have perused, that they themselves are more dark than the very principles which they would unfold, and require a most skilful instructor. It is rather inconvenient that, in an art in which the great crowd of terms are already a burden to the mind, new names and new characters (some of them sufficiently barbarous) are to be added; and this not to bring us directly to the knowlege which we need, but indirectly and circuitously. A man does not become a carpenter by spending his time, at setting out, in cutting leather: nor a smith by inuring himself to the cutting of wooden blocks. Besides,, it is to be noticed that every different master has his own games: one uses dice, another prefers cards. The ideal ana ogies are altogether arbitrary throughout, and this species of knowlege proceeds on no common principle.
Mr. Worgan makes this very small publication tolerahly comprehensive, for he instructs in bolo games, Duet games, Trio games, Quartett games, and, at he calls it, the Chorus or round game. We do not deny that he shews ingenuity in the contrivance, though surely too little is effected for full elucidation, or precise application and rcBult. We readily therefore receive the account which he gives of his tract, < that it is a simplification and abridgment of a systematic work; original in its design, copious in its materials, and elaborate jn the composition.*
It may be very convenient that, at the close of a few games of cards or dice, we should make the pleasing discovery that we ar« knowing musicians; and that an object which the ear should appreciate, the tyes, with the aid of numeration, have already ascertained end established. Yet we mutt still suppose that the ear should habitually hear that which is to be addressed to it; and that in teaching the principles of harmony, a master, after all, could not do better than set his pupil down to the harpsichord or piano forte, and lay before him the lewons of Pasquali, or Lampe, or Shield. This is placing him suitably within the influr-nce of the art, where be cannot fail to receive precise knowltgr, and legitimate pleasure.
Art. 17. Report of the Committee of the African Inttitvtion, read to the General Meeting on the 15th July 1807, together with the Rules and Regulations which were then adopted for the Government of the Society. Jivo. Pamphlet. Printed by Phillip6, George-yard, Lombard Street.
The civilization of Africa, which is the objeet of this Institution, !« indeed a vast undertaking; and if the means should be considered as inadequate to the end, the benevolent and truly christian principle which animates the projectors and supporters must still be a matter of the highest commendation. We mean not to insinuate that we regard the negroe race as incapable of receiving the improvements •of civilized society: but we suspect that the field is too extensive for any impression to be made on it by the labour intended to be employed. It is very justly remarked by the writer of this report, that ' polished nations have been too selfish to send the plough and the loom till they have first sent the sword and the sceptre:' but, in the course of providence, good comes out of evil; the aword and the sceptre have generally introduced among savage and uncultivated nations the arts of social life; and it may be questioned whether, without conquest, or colonization, (which is a mild sort of conquest,) smy material change Csh be produced in the character and habits of a numerous people. The instance of the humane and clearsighted Quakers in America (see M.R. Vol. liii. N. S. p. will not, we 'apprehend, apply to the case of this institution with regard to the African savages, though the society may wish to follow the example of the Friends as closely as possible; for the American Indians, surrounded by an agricultural people, and perceiving the comforts which social industry conferred, could more easily be induced to listen to the pel suasions and to embrace the assistance afforded them •by the Quakers, than the'Africans will be to adopt the advice and copy the improvements of Europeans, till example on a large scale is obtruded on them. This institution, however, purposes neither to colonize nor to trade; and prudently abstaining from religious missions, it confines its exertions towards the diffusion of useful know* lego, to the excitement of industry, (especially in the cultivation of the soil,} and to the promotion of an intercourse wi<h the interior of Africa. We can only add tha;, though our hopes aie not sanguine, we ardently wish success to such humane endeavours.
Art. 28. Hjtnni, Elegies, and Miscellaneous P'ucet, in Poetic Prose; written originally in French, by the Abbe de Rcyrac, Censor Regius, Correspondent of the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres of Paris, Translated by F. B. Wright. 12mo. pp 241. 4s. Boards. Vidltr, &c. 1807. This work is written in a style somewhat similar to the wellknown "Death of Abel," and those who admire that performance will be pleased with the present compositions. The Hymn to the Sun, with which the volume commences, was originally published as a translation of an old Greek manuscript j and the allusions to Heathen Mythology, which in consequence it frequently contains, render it lees pleasing than the pieces which follow it. In general, M. de R.'s style is too turgid to suit the taste of English readers: but to some persons the boldness of the imagery will be gratifying; and they will find their minds elevated by the dignity of the sentiment* and the grandeur of the language.
SINGLE SER MO N 8.
Art. 29. Human Laws lest supported by the Gospel, preached in the Cathedral church of St. Peter, York, before the Hon. Sir Soulden
• Lawrence, Knight, one of the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, March 6, 1808. By the Rev. Francis Wrangham, M. A. F.R.S. 4to. 2«. 6d. Mawmsn, &c.
'The embassador of Christ (observes Mr. W.) is certainly fulfilling one of his numerous offices, when he inculcates reverence for the institutions and respect for the magistracy of his country, and enforces whatever of human or of divine appointment may prove subsidiary t« the accomplishment of those important ends.' With his usual eloquence, the preacher executes this part of his duty, and illustrates with great perspicuity the operation of religious principles in the formation of obedient and loyal subjects. Mr. W., however, does not confine himself to the inculcation of the Gospel on the governed, but extends his exhortations to governors, and strenuously controverts the modern doctrine (a doctrine against which the learned antients protest) that in politics morality must be disregarded.
Art. %0. On Singularity and Excess in Philological Speculation; preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, April 19,1807. By Richard Laurence, LL.D , Rector of Mersham, Keat. 8vo. 'is. 6&. Rivingtons.
Deep reading associated with weak judgment, and childish fancies embellished with much learning, are not unusual phenomena in the Ifterary world. We do not instance Dr Laurence and his writings as exemplifications of our remark: bot the subject which he here dfs. cusses