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With brails refix'd, another foon prepared,
Taught aft the Meer, they tally, and belay. If some of our Readers should find in this description too much of the Sailor, they cannot fail of being pleased with the following, wherein they will find no less of the Poet. After taking a cursory notice of the most remarkable countries of Greece, he proceeds to the following description of Parnassus.
Contiguous here, with hallow'd woods o'erspread
To raging elements, and scenes of woe. Our Poet wishes for the powers of a Maro, to describe the horrors of the raging seas, and the fate of those,
Who, on the verge of death, in vain deplore
Impervious dangers on a lee-ward shore. Yet many of his descriptions are, in our opinion, not at all in erior to any thing of the kind we meet with in the Æneid; many passages in the third and fifth books of which, we conceive, nevertheless, our Author has had in view. They have not suffered, however, by his imitation ; and his Pilot appears to much greater advantage than the Palinurus of Viryil.
The splitting of the Ship on the Rocks is thus represented in glowing and lively colours.
Lifted on gath'ring billows, up she flies,
She loosens, parts, and spreads in ruins o'er the side. Nor is the Poet's talent confined to the description of inanimate scenes; he relates and bewails the untimely fate of his companions, in the most animated and pathetic strains. The close of the Pilot's address to the sea-men, in the time of their greatest danger, is noble and philosophical. After having given them such orders as were necessary in their distressful lituation, he proceeds ;
Tho' great the danger, and the talk severe,
With whom, * Whatever is, is ever juft." It is imposible to read the circumstantial account of the unfortunate end of the ship's crew, without being deeply af
fected by the tale, and charmed with the manner of the rela-
Rous'd by the tempeft, and the bluft'ring night,
And lead them trembling, from the fatal shore. We have only to add, that the ingenious Author of this performance, whose name is Falconer, has inscribed it to the Duke of York, and has prefixed a Chart of the Ship’s way, and a section of the Ship itself, in order to render this curious poem compleatly intelligible.
A Course of Lectures on Elocution : Together with Two Diserta
tions on Language ; and some other Trails relative to those Subje£ts. By Thomas Sheridan, A. M. 4to. 1os. 68. sewed. Dodsley, Henderson, &c.
AVING, more than once, had occasion to declare our
sentiments concerning the writings of Mr. Sheridan, and the usefulness of that plan which he prosecutes with so much affiduity; we shall, without any farther introduction, proceed to lay before our Readers an account of what is contained in the Lectures now before us. The general fatisfaction they gave when they were delivered, is a Itrong presumption that they will meet with a favourable reception from the public; the subjects of them are both useful and entertaining, and the Author's abilities well known.
We are sorry, however, to find Mr. Sheridan ftill expressing himself in the most extravagant terms concerning the powers of ORATORY. A very moderate acquaintance with mankind, we imagine, would be sufficient to convince any perfon, that such romantic strains only serve to expose an Author to the ridicule of discerning Readers.
In his introductory Discourse, our Lecturer, fets out with observing, that there has been no maxim more frequently inculcated, or more generally aflented to, than that human Nature, ought to be the chief study of human kind; and yet, of all subjects, about which the busy mind of man has been employed, it is that, he says, which has been least attended to; or with regard to which, the fewest discoveries have been made, founded upon any certain knowlege.
“ Is it not amazing to reflect, continues he, that from the creation of the world, there was no part of the human mind clearly delineated, till within the last fixty years ? When Mr. Locke arose, to give us a just view of one part of our internal frame, the Underflanding, upon principles of philosophy founded on reason and experience.”
He observes, that little or no benefit in point of pra&ice, has resulted from a display in theory, of the only part of the human mind which has hitherto been laid open with accuracy, upon principles of true philofophy. The reason he afligns for this is, the neglect of studying our mother-tongue; and nothing effectual, he says, can be done in this study, without making it a distinct branch of education, and encouraging proper Masters to follow it as their fole employment, in the same way as the several Masters in the other branches do:
“ But still, continues he, there are two other parts of the human mind, with regard to which the world is at this day as much in the dark, as they were with respect to the whole, previous to the publication of Mr. Locke's Effay : the one, the seat of the passions ; for which we have no name as existing in the mind, unphilosophically referring it to the organ of sensation, the heart: the other, the seat of the fancy; which is called the imagination.
“ Upon a right regulation of these parts of the mind, and the faculties belonging to tliem, all that is noble and praifeworthy, all that is elegant and delightful, in man, comidered as a social Being, chiefly depends. Yet so far are we froin having any just view presented to us of those important parts. of our internal frame; or any well-founded knowlege of the principles by which the faculties belonging to them ought to be regulated; that every day we fee fome new hypothesis advanced upon that subjeći, designed to overturn all that went before, and laying in the fame claim, which all that preceded it had done, that of being the only right one.
" — It will be allowed by all persons of reflection, that there is no speculative point more ardently to be wished for, than to have it in our power to contemplate those parts of the human mind which are still concealed from us, or fallly viewed through the mists of error, with the same clear satisfaction that we find in examining Mr. Locke's view of the Understanding. But, at the same time, if the means were pointed out, of rendering both these views practically useful, by shewing how a general spirit of good sense, and clearness of reason, might be propagated thro' the natives of this country; by sewing how the passions hurtful or dangerous to fociety may be fuppressed, and those of the nobler and social kind, calculated to promote the general good, may be brought forward, invigorated, and carried into due exertion ; by shewing how the powers of the imagination may be so regulated as to diffuse a general good taste thro' the nation ; a point effentially neceflary to promote fome of the noblest ends that can be answered by the two other powers, those I mean of a refined understanding, and delicate sensibility: it must be allowed, that the execution of such a plan would tend more to the real benefit of this realm, than all the uninspired books that have been written from the creation of the world to this hour.”
Undoubtedly; nay, Mr. Sheridan might have said, more than all the INSPIRED books that have been written from the creation of the world to this hour. It is difficult to determine, whether vanity or absurdity is most conspicuous in what he advances on this 'head. To suppose, that the paffions hurtful or dangerous to fociety may be fupprefjed, and that those of the nobler and social kind may be brought forward, invigorated, and carried into dre exertion, by any thing that language or Oratory can perform, while human nature continues in its present circumstances, is, certainly, one of the wildest notions that can possibly enter into the thoughts of the wildest enthusiast. 1 What he says concerning those two other important parts of our internal frame, with regard to which the world is at this day, as much in the dark, as they were with respect to