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madverting upon Dr. Goldsmith's opinion that the complexion of the present times is unfavourable to literary merit.
The author, in his dedication to Sir Jofhua Reynolds, makes a very singular confession, not much to the honour either of the painter, or the poet. He says “ I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel."-If a poet, and a poet who chiefly excels in the picturesque, has no taste for fine painting, we must think him a phænomenon.-" I would not give a farthing,' says Voltaire, “ for those specimens of the fine arts, which only engage the attention of artists."
Dr. Goldsmith deserves the highest applause for employing his poetical talents in the support of humanity and virtue, in an age when sentimental instruction will have more powerful influence upon our conduct than any other ; when abftruse systems of morality, and dry exhortations from the pulpit, if attended to for a while, make no durable impression.
VI. The Female Advocate, a Poem. By W. Woty, 4to. Pr. 25,
W ERE this poem as nervous and striking as the sixth fatire
of Juvenal, our modern ladies would have the less need to regret the severe treatment which their sex met with from one of the greatest of poets in the reign of Domitian. However, it is not without its merit. Parnafsus hath its pretty thrubs as well as its towering and majestick oaks.
So contracted and illiberal are the hearts of men, that it is to be questioned whether so long a poem was ever written in defence of women as The Female Advocate. Women indeed have often been the subject of poetical praise; but rather from flashes of imagination, and gaiety of humour, than from a deliberate, and grateful determination to do honour to their merit. Yet they have a most indefeasible right to the homage of the poet ; for to them we owe the sweetest pleasures, the highest raptures of life ; and poets, of all others, are most sensible to their charms. Mr. Woty, however, goes beyond the bounds of reason in his admiration of the fair sex, and is quite a French idolater of the ladies; for he makes them more innocent and benign beings than we generaly find them,
His verses are easy, and Aowing; and his characters are drawn with a pleasantry peculiar to himself.
He supposes the females taking the field against their adversaries, the men ; with himself, as their champion, at their head. The description of this mock-heroick engagement contains many humorous circumstances.
• In thought already I survey the fair,
And down the dagger and the champion fell.' In the following verses he attributes the greatest faults of the women to the bad treatment which they receive from the men. There is more of compliment than of truth in these lines. Undoubtedly women are often driven to their most enormous profligacies by the perfidy of their seducers. But in fact they and men are made of the same frail materials : both the sexes are apt to fall into great misconduct, without any rebarkable provocations to impatience or despair.
• Woman's my theme_from her I'll not depart,
Yet own he must) proceed from him alone.'
The hardy atchievements of the modern military hero, when · lifted under the banners of love are wittily enumerated.
• Favour'd by whom, the soldier takes up arms, And dares his perfon ro a thousand harms,
His narrow feet with narrower shoes adorns,
. For thee he buckles on the fatal blade,
A round house when the constable's not by.' The poein is closed with a poetical imitation of the third, and part of the fourth chapter of the first book of Efdras, in which three young men support their three sentences before king Darius. The sentence of the first was, “ wine is the strongeft;" the sentence of the second, "the king is the firongeft;' the sentence of the third, “ women are strongest ; but above all things truth beareth away the villory." The palm was adjudged to the third young man, who gave truth the preference to all things, and who for his sentiments on truth was most applauded by the king and his courtiers. But the second part of the young man's sentence did not make for Mr. Woty's purpose ; and therefore he, prudently, takes no notice of it. A poet is much more warmly at:ached to woman than to truth.
on the capture;
He makes the speech of the third young man to conclude with the praise of woman, the audience join their acclamations in the same strain, and the roofs resound with the praise of woman.
• He ceas'd--the roofs resounded with applause;
And woman, charming woman, won the cause.' We wish that Mr. Woty would avoid the low double entendre, and pun, which are disgraceful to poetry, and strong marks of a vitiated taste. Many inftances of punning are to be met with in this poem.
• What groves, ye grovekings, do ye deign to tread? Woman he says, is,
• In fondness equal to the fawning fawn." Darius, in the following insipid line, seems to sink from a king to a lap-dog : the third young orator, speaking of Darius, and his mistress, Apame, says,
• Even now the pats him with her barmless hand.'
VII. Poems, and Translations by a young Gentleman of Oxford. 410.
Pr. 25. Robinson and Roberts. THIS pamphlet contains lively description, virtuous senti
ment, and harmonious verse. The author's imitation of the last Chorus of the second act of Troades is extremely animated, and much fuperior to the original.
The changeable and transient life of man is forcibly exhibited in the following beautiful lines:
• As round the sun the splendent planets roll,
"Till at the northern blast the shadows fly,
Is dooni'd to blossom, and is doom'd to fade," There are in this Chorus some philosophical principles on the love of life, and the fear of death, which, on account of their own importance, and the elegant dress with which they are cloathed, deserve to be transcribed. Whenever they are heartily adopted, they certainly preclude much imaginary distress : though they cannot well be reduced to practice without two auxiliaries, which one man can feldom boast, an easy, happy constitution, and a mind free from prejudice. • No real joys from wealth or fortune flow,
Nay length of life is but protracted woe.
Sure life and death are but an anxious dream.' His Elegy is very flowing and tender ; we fhall extract a fpecimen from it. • How vain the pageantry of worldly things !
And what is grandeur but an empty name?
Tho'llaughter'd nations raise their ill-got fame. • Where is, alas ! the pride of Persia flown?
The pomp of Rome, with all her empires o'er;