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tion, that by such an hour the next day, he should be a dead The letter was then sealed, and dispatched as it had been intended; and the next day, the Captain was executed.
"Nothing is said as to the justice of the punishment itself. But
this cool barbarity to the affection both of the officer and his wife, was enough to brand his character indelibly. It proved how little the philosopher and the hero was susceptible of such an affection, or capable of sympathizing with its pains." [Foster's Essays.
To the Editors of the Panoplist. GENTLEMEN, May 18, 1807. You will probably gratify a number of your readers, by publishing the following strictures on Moore's Poems from the "Eclectic Review." The manner, in which they are written, will secure the attention of every man, possessed of learning or morals. I wish, how ever, particularly to recommend them to the attention, and to the consciences also, of those American Editors of Newspapers, who have employed their pens, so freely, in commending the effusions of this man. Should they only unlearn that silly admiration of foreigners, which prompts them to caress and flatter, indiscriminately, men who have scarcely any other claim to their respect; the benefit will not be small. I hope, however, that this will not be the only advantage; and that they will also acquire a full conviction of the extreme improprie. ty of lending their own reputation to give credit, and currency, to efforts, calculated for no other end, but to debauch the morals of mankind. He, who contributes his endeavours to spread poison through a community, is an accessary to all the guilt of his principal, and chargeable, in a secondary degree, with all the deplorable consequences, of which his principal is the X. I am yours, &c.
Epistles, Odes, and other Poems, by Thomas Moore, Esq. 4to. pp. 341. Carpenter. 1806. THOMAS MOORE, ci-devant THOMAS LITTLE, and soidisant
ANACREON, holds that strange opinion, that Reviewers "accountable beings," though he writes as if he were accountable neither to God nor man. Our readers know what a tremendous risk one of the most formidable of our brethren has incurred, by presuming to reprobate the publication of these poems,-less, indeed, as a personal crime, than as a public nuisance. Unawed, however, by so awful a warning, and neither daring, nor deprecating, Mr. Moore's displeasure, we shall speak as freely of this gay vol ume, as if the author were neither a man of honour nor a gentleman, but as sincere a coward as the writer of this article has the courage to avow himself.
When Mr. Moore tells us that he has been "tempted by the liberal offers of his bookseller," without which "seasonable inducement these poems very possibly would never have been submitted to the world," we regret, not only the poet's necessity, but the bookseller's liberality. Surely Mr. M. does not thus brand the character of his bookseller, as an apology for himself! If he degrades himself to be a literary pimp, is it any
excuse to say that he was hired? We sincerely wish that the speculation of the one may be as unprofitable, as the work of the other is immoral. Avarice is so given to over-reaching, that, perhaps for the very love of the thing, it sometimes over-reaches itself; like the miser, who was so fond of eating at other people's expense, that he used to crib the cheese out of his own mouse-traps. The price of this book, which truly is its best recommendation, because it will tempt no body to buy it, is fixed so high, in the hope of extravagant profit, as to place it beyond the reach of almost all, but those persons of rank and fortune, with whom the author would persuade us that he is in habits of friendship and familiarity. Indeed, on seeing the noble names which are so ostentatiously blazoned throughout these unhallowed pages, might imagine that Mr. M. being himself unable to blush, had resolved to blush by proxy; for he has left his patrons no alternative, but to disown him or to blush for him. Among these it is shocking to observe the names of ladies, so indicated by letters & dashes, that they may be conveniently filled up by the ingenuity of slander, and attached to persons, by whom the libertine and his song ought to be held in equal scorn and detestation. If Mr. M., as we are assured, be indeed an acceptable companion among the great and illustrious, the moral character of our highest circles must be placed on a far lower rank, than is consistent with our aristocratic prepossessions.
Among the paths of literature, there are only two short and ea
sy ones to popularity-personal satire and licentiousness. In the first, there have been many successful adventurers among recent authors. In the last, Mr. Moore out-strips all rivals, and leaves even his friend Lord Strangford at a hopeless distance behind him.
The poems of the
late Thomas Little (the first publication of the present Thomas Moore) are now in the eighth edition: the same talents more honourably employed, would probably not have produced one eighth of the reward, in fame to the poet, or money to the bookseller, which they have gained in about five years, by such shameless prostitution. To the success of that meretricious volume, may be attributed the mercenary munificence which rescued the present from oblivion. The eagerness with which Thomas Little's Juvenile Indiscretions,' were purchased at seven shillings, naturally enough induced the publisher to imagine, that Thomas Moore's manly irregularities would fetch a Guinea and a Half; for the former were only the abandoned abortions of folly without thought in a boy, while the latter are the avowed offspring of folly matured by reflection in a man. But in this golden expectation, the adventurer will probably be disappointed. This volume is too unwieldy to be a pocket companion, or a bosom friend; it cannot conveniently be secreted in the drawer of a toilette, or read by stealth behind a fire-screen; and were a second edition to reduce it from the dignity of a roy al quarto to foolscap octavo, (the rank of its predecessor) still the quantity of matter must either burst it in twain, or swell it to such
an unfashionable bulk, as would exclude it from all polite circles; for so refined is the sense of propriety among the beau mandes that even profligacy is not admitted into good company, except it be dressed a-la-mode. Besides, the very sight of so much at once of what he loves best, would sicken even to loath ing the young and impatient voluptuary; so that perhaps not one sensualist will be found, who with appetite unsated and insatiable, can riot through all the courses of this corporationfeast of indelicacies, unless it be some hoary debauchee,-the lukewarm ashes of a man, from which, though the fire of nature be extinct in them, the smoke of impurity still rises as they cool for the grave.
Yet let not virtue exult, nor Thomas Moore despair. He has shot his arrows at youth and innocence; and the young and the innocent will yet be his vic
Poison so exquisitely malignant, and prepared with such incomparable skill, can hardly fail of being as widely pernicious, as his fond imagination ever dreamed in his most sanguine moments of anticipation. Though the formidable size of this volume will equally deter the gay and the indolent from toiling tho' its labyrinths of seduction, though it cannot be named in any decent family, though none but the most undaunted can apply for it, and though no bookseller will produce it, who has the fear of the Society for the suppression of vice before his eyes, yet its most inflaming contents will be reprinted in newspapers, magazines, and miscellanies, recited and sung in
convivial companies, and circu lated in manuscript among friends; insidiously assaling the purity of the fair sex, and completing the corruption of youth, which is so auspiciously begun at our public seminaries.
Thus will the plague of this leprosy spread from individual to individual, from family to family, from circle to circle, till it mingles and assimilates with that general mass of corruption which contaminates society at large, and which eventually may be aggravated, in no small degree, by this acquisition of new snares for virtue and new stimulants to sensuality. This is no fanciful speculation. The mystery of iniquity,' here published to the world, will operate beyond the search of human reason: the wisdom of God alone can comprehend the infinite issues of evil; the power of God alone can restrict them.
It is unusual for us either to praise or condemn a publication of magnitude, without endeavouring to establish the reasons we assign by quotations from the work itself; for every author is best judged out of his own mouth. Our deviation in the present instance will be readily excused; the very passage of an impure thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it, and a momentary indulgence of it, brings guilt, condemnation, and remorse. While, therefore, we are warning our friends against straying into this forest of wild beasts, it would be madness in us to turn a few of the lions loose among them, on the open plain, to prove the ferocity of the species. But if there be one among our readers who will
not take our word for it, that this is a book of ill fame, which no modest woman would read, and which, therefore, no modest man ought to read, let him judge for himself at his perillet him remember that indelicacy cannot be admitted into the heart with impunity, for it cannot be imagined with indifference; it is always either the parent or child of unholy feelings. If then, in the perusal of these voluptuous poems, he finds himself fascinated with their beauty, let him tremble, let him fly; it is the beauty, it is the fascination of the serpent, of the Old Serpent, which ought to inspire terror and repugnance, while it is tempting, attracting, delighting him into destruction.
We shall briefly characterize the contents of this volume. It contains irregular odes, epistles, and amatory verses. The author has had the rare felicity to make the former nearly unintelligible of themselves, and utterly so, with the help of notes, The epistles are his least offensive writings in this collection, though most of them are mildewed with uncleanness. But it is in his amatory verses, that Mr. Moore unblushingly displays the cloven foot of the libidinous satyr; in these he chants his loves to a thousand nymphs, every one of whom either has had, or is welcome to have, a thousand gallants besides; for as there is no romantic constancy of passion in himself, he is not so unreasonable as to prohibit a plurality of attachments in them. His "dear ones" are all
"Bright as the sun, and common as the air."
In every page the poet is a libertine; in every song his mistress is a prostitute; and what the poet and his mistresses are, he seems determined that his readers shall be; and verily we wish that none but such may be his readers.
Let not our cautions be misconstrued, by our readers, into an unworthy suspicion of the stability of their virtue, or too high a compliment to the talents of this syren seducer. When we stand in the confidence of our own strength, the weak. est temptation will overcome us; when we fly, the strongest cannot overtake us. The danger lies in dallying with sin, and with sensual sin above all other: it works, it winds, it wins its way with imperceptible, with irresist. ible insinuation, through all the passes of the mind, into the innermost recesses of the heart; while it is softening the bosom, it is hardening the conscience; while, by its exhilaration, it seems to be spiritualizing the body, it is brutalizing the soul, and, by mingling with its eternal essence, it is giving immortality to impotent unappeasable desires; it is engendering" the worm that dieth not," it is kindling the "fire that is not quenched."
Wantonly to assail, or basel to profit by the weakness and degeneracy of his fellow creatures, Mr. Moore has lavished all the wiles of his wit, all the enchantments of his genius; but both his wit and his genius have been vitiated by the harlotry of his muse; and his pages glitter almost as much with false taste as false fire. With Darwinian smoothness of numbers, and
pictorial expression, he unites soon that they are as dangerous, the tinsel of Italian conceit, as the delusions of a calenture; and the lead of Della Crus--in which the patient, sailing uncan bombast; mingling with all a pruriency of thought, and a modesty of impudence, peculiarly his own.
If a heart rotten in sensuality, could yet feel alive to the remonstrances which indignation and pity would urge us to utter, we should warn Mr. M. how dreadful to himself, how hateful in the sight of heaven and earth, are talents thus sold to infamy; -talents that might have been employed in furnishing the sweetest aids to virtue, the noblest ornaments to literature. He knows now that his gaudy pictures of the pleasures of sin are as false, and he will know
der the vertical sun, sick of the sea, and a hundred leagues from shore, dreams that he is surrounded by green fields and woods that invite him to delicious enjoyments, and in the rapture of delirium steps from the deck
into the gulph!—Into a more perilous gulf will he fall, who, bewildered by the visions of this volume, steps into the paradise of fools, which it opens around him; for through that paradise lies the "broad road that leadeth to destruction :" and if any traveller wants an infallible guide on his journey thither, let him take his own heart,* corrupted by licentious poetry.
Review of New Publications.
The Mourning Husband, a Discourse at the funeral of Mrs. Thankful Church, late Consort of the Rev. John H. Church, Pastor of the Church in Pelham, N. H. April 15, 1806. By LEONARD WOODS, A. M. Pastor of a Church in Newbury. E. W. Allen. Newburyport. pp. 18. 8vo.
UNDER great afflictions. to feel and conduct, as we ought, is more difficult, than the inexperienced are apt to imagine. To preserve a dignified medium between stoical insensibility and repining melancholy; to feel the rod and not faint under it, requires the highest exercise of the Christian graces. For this Vol. III. No. 1.
no cautions, no directions, no exhortations are alone sufficient. Still they may be useful; and the discourse under consideration may be read with advantage by all, who mourn the loss of pious friends, especially the bereaved husband.
For his theme the author has chosen Gen. xxiii. 2. "And Sarah died in Kirjath-Arba—and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her."
In an appropriate introduction he observes ;
"The feelings of friendship are not weakened, but exalted and sanctified by religion. There are none who value a friend so highly, as the saints. There are none who know so well the
Genesis, vi. 5.-Jeremiah xvii. 9.