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ART. XXV. POEMS. By
N advertisement prefixed to this volume, informs the public, that most of the following pieces having been published at different times, feparately, haftily, and fome of them incorrectly; it is now thought proper to collect them together, revised and amended, with the addition of feveral others, by the fame hand.
The greatest part of these poems are to be found in the the third volume of Dodfley's mifcellanies; where they are faid to be written by S. 7. efq; Among the principal of the pieces is, The art of dancing, an excellent poem, in two cantos; written in the year 17 30. An essay on virtue; to the hon. Philip Yorke, efq; The first epistle of the feventh book of Horace imitated; written in 1748, and addrefs'd to the lord chancellor. Some humorous verfes, entitled, The Squire and the Parfon (fee Review, vol. 2. p. 112.) are likewise in this collection. Mr. 7 is alfo the author of a fatyrical piece, entitled, The modern fine Lady; publifhed feparate laft winter, and now here join'd to another performance of the fame kind, called, The modern fine Gentleman.
The public is already fo well acquainted with the poetical abilities of this very ingenious gentleman, that it cannot be thought neceffary for us to give any other than a short fpecimen of the present collection; and that only for the fake of fuch of our readers as have not feen Mr. DodЛley's three volumes. The fingle piece we shall felect for this purpose, is a tranflation of fome Latin verfes on the camera obfcura; which we do not remember to have seen before.
The various powers of blended shade and light,
Firft chufe a window that convenient lies,
A thousand forms shall in a moment rise,
And magic landfkips charm our wand'ring eyes:
If EPICURUs' doctrine teaches true,
See then what forms with various colours stain
Now bright and gay, as fhines the heavenly bow,
Here gardens deckt with flowers of various dies,
But all with tops inverted downward bend;
And wonder much how they securely go,
On all we seize that comes within our reach,
But the short vifit caufes no delay.
Again behold what lovely prospects rise !
To view upon her head a beauteous maid:
Coy to the lover's touch, and of his hard afraid.
Thus when ftill night her gloomy mantle spreads,
MISCELLANIES in Profe and Verfe. By Mary Jones. 8vo. 5s. Dodfley.
O the applauded names of the ingenious Molly Leapor, and the truly admirable Mrs. Cockburn, (See Review, the preceding volumes) we have now the pleasure to add that of Mrs. Jones; whofe name will not be less an honour to her country, and to the republic of letters, than her amiable. life and manners are to her own fex: to that fex whofe natural charms alone are found fufficient to attract our tendereft regards; but which, when joined to thofe uncommon accomplishments and virtues this lady is miftrefs of, fo juftly command our highest admiration, and most ardent esteem.
An advertisement introduces this volume to the reader with a modeft apology for its publication; intimating that the pieces it contains being the produce of pure nature only, and most of them wrote at a very early age, ftand fo much
in need of apology for their appearance in the world, that the author affures her readers, they would scarce have been troubled with them upon any confideration of her own Her friends had often defired her to collect fomething of this fort for the prefs; but the difficulties, or more properly, the dread of fuch an undertaking, together with the respect she had for them, the world, and herfelf, always kept fuch a thought at the greateft diftance imaginable. Nor had the at length prevailed with herfelf to fet about fo difagreeable a tafk, but for the fake of a relation, grown old and helpless, thro' a series of misfortunes; and whom fhe had no other method of effectually affifting. This, her numerous and generous fubfcribers, have put it in her power to do; and therefore fhe took this public opportunity of giving them their fhare of the fatisfaction; as well as of acknowledging the favour done to herself.
The author does not feem to be at all vain of her own performances. Her poetry fhe mentions with a very flight regard, as the meerly accidental ramblings of her thoughts into rhyme. 'As to the letters, fays fhe, the ladies to whom they are addreffed having thought proper to preferve them, is the best apology I can make for them.'-We must however do this lady's poetical abilities the juftice to observe, that her compofitions in verfe are fuperior to thofe of any other female writer fince the days of Mrs. Catherine Phillips. She feems to have read Mr. Pope clofely, to have peculiarly followed his manner, and indeed often to have prefer'd the ufing his very words and fentiments, to her own. In fine, the has evidently made great ufe of her reading, without appearing to have been under the leaft neceffity of borrowing from others, from any infertility of genius in herself. Whether this is to be attributed to her difregard of fame, or to an averfion to ftudious and laborious writing, or to whatever caufe, we leave thofe to determine who have the happiness of a more intimate acquaintance with our author than we can boaft.
Mrs. Jones's profe writings, particularly her letters, are perhaps fuperior to any pieces of the kind that our own country has produced, from the pen of a woman. She is mistress of a perpetual fund of wit, which fhe always expreffes with a freedom and negligence peculiar to herfelf; ever fprightly, good humoured, gay, yet never trifling, affected, nor injudicious; her reflections are fenfible, folid, and truly moral; her ftile clear, natural, animated and flowing; and her language enriched by an
extenfive reading, from whence it borrows the graces of learning, at the fame time that fhe preferves all the freedom of her native humour, and eafy elegance of expreffion.
Among this lady's poetical Works, the moft confiderable in point of length, is an ethic epiftle on PATIENCE; addresfed to Lord Maham; which abounds with just and striking obfervations, and excellent moral conclufions: the reft of her pieces, of which the number is not fmall, are more confiderable for their goodness than their length. It is remarkable that among them all, there is but one fong; and that is the well known Lafs of the bill: the only fpecimen the has given us of her genius for paftoral poetry. Her epiftle to lady Bowyer is an attempt in the Horatian ftile, and exhibits fuch a lively picture of the author's difpofition and turn of fentiments, as cannot fail of entertaining fuch of our readers as are yet unacquainted with this lady's works.
An EPISTLE to Lady BOWYER.
How much of paper's fpoil'd! what floods of ink!
With wit well cultur'd, and with learning wife.
To mend a candle when the fnuff's too fhort?
No, but you'd have me write.
to get a name.
Alas! I'd live unknown, unenvy'd too;