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Since he that can read all her feats without snoring,
(z) The novels of Mr. Cumberland, like his dramatic productions, display an elegant and easy flow of language; he is peculiarly happy in eliciting the sentimental or the moral, but his attempts at wit are very feeble. If any particular fault be attachable to a publication of this writer's, şuch reprehension must attend the perusal of his John de Lancaster, which is what may be termed a dull prosing composition; however, notwithstanding his faults, this gentleman must always command admirers, if it were only on account of his chaste style
, and the celebrity attached to most of his theatrical compositions.
Come, sensitive Pratt, (a) be thy foes who they may,
A volume no writer need e'er have disown'd,
Since in breast of Mackenzie true pathos was thron'd.
(a) Having spoken at large of Mr. Pratt in the early part of the present volume, I shall merely echo the panegyric of Sir Noodle, by stating, that the melancholy pleasure I experienced in the perusal of Emma Corbbet was equal to that which actuated my breast when first Mackenzie's Man of Feeling met my regard; and, such being the case, I must again repeat, that, let Mr. Pratt's defects, as a writer, be what
he has, nevertheless, found a key to the human heart which many authors accredited of higher repute than this gentleman, have never yet been able to discover.
(6) Dr. Moore's Zeluco, though classed as a novel, is written in a masterly style, that would not disgrace a work of
Zeluco with damnable strides chills the heart,
Zeluco, who acts foulest murderer's part;
the first literary consequence. It has been said, that the character of his hero was composed in order to pourtray the mental qualifications of a distinguished personage, with whom he had been in such close habits of intimacy, that it impossible for a gentleman of the doctor's acute discernment not to read the inmost secrets of the heart. The author now under consideration was for many years the tutor to a nobleman of the highest rank, whose appetites were much more addicted to worldly gratifications than the cultivation of the mind; wherefore, as a specimen of this nobleman's epistolary powers may not be uninteresting to the public, I have annexed the
copy of an original letter, now in my possession, being a challenge to a sporting personage, with whom, on the preceding evening, he had had a trifling altercation.
Epistolary style of the late D- of H-, the pupil of inde
Sir, You have acted in a manner very unbecoming the character of a gentleman with regard to me. I ask satisfaction; and, as we can neither course nor hunt to-morrow, that day will be the
If such be man's nature, the scene let us close,
most convenient. I will meet you any where, at any hour, and with what weapons you please. I shall bring another gentleman with me. I am, sir, your obedient servant, &c.
Aberford, March 15, 1777.
(c) Leonora, and Popular Tales, from the pen of Miss Edgeworth, are of that superior stamp which must class her name among the number of the happiest essayists in this range of literature: her style is particularly chaste, and the moral tendency of her labours has justly endeared her to every female whose mind is attuned to the dictates of morality and social refinement,
(d) If the literary acquirements of Mrs. Parsons are not, strictly speaking, worthy of high encomium, they are of that class which will never offend the ears of delicacy; and when it
Lo! Bennet with Beggar Girl (e) now clews the
And Ghost of my Father discerns in the clouds;
is remembered that her ceaseless assiduity as a writer
sprang from the most praiseworthy of principles-the honourable struggle for the support of a family wholly dependant upon her mental efforts—we must allow, that what may be deficient on the score of perfect ability as a writer, is, in a great measure, compensated for by the meritorious cause that actuated her endeavours.
(e) Multum in parvo will not, altogether, apply to the works of Mrs. Bennet, who seems to have studied more the profits likely to accrue to the circulating librarians by the production of quantity, than to have considered what was due to her character as a literary personage. Notwithstanding this, the Beggar Girl is far from a mediocre production, and the language is tolerably perspicuous; but the story of the Ghost of my Father is very deficient on the score of interest, as the major part of the volumes present nothing but events which transpired during the French revolution, all of which had previously met the eye in different publications relating to that eventful epoch.