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ELEGY ON THE BURYINGPLACE
[From a Poetical Tour in the Years 1784, 1785, and 1786.]
N that bleft ifle, by heaven's high favor born,
Oft as thro' other climes I muling tray,
Beneath the yoke how fad Florentia bends!
E'en then fell Tyranny his rod extends
That waves new horrors o'er the realms of death.
Lo! where amid the dreary Appennines,
Bow their weak heads beneath the fighing gale;
After the ufual rites being performed in the churches, the bodies remain in a houfe near the gate of the city till midnight, when they are carried on mules, in boxes made for that purpose, to this place of interment, where they are depofited. three in a grave, without coffins or any further ceremony. There is no distinction of perfons, nor are the nobility fes, their difcontent may be conceived, but all remonallowed private vaults, or even the privilege of being
buried at their country
arances are in vain; and whatever may be the pretence of its expediency to prevent diftempers, many people will be apt to impute this tyrannical proceeding to the levelFing principles of the Auftrian family. A number of beautiful villas near the road are deferted on account of the horror it occafions."
When night's dark wings the mournful scene enfold,
And with funereal torches gild the gloom.
By fome rude hireling's ruffian hands defil'd.
Shall the meek virgin's pure untafted charms,
Or niggard hands which never gave relief?.
The wretched widow, and the orphan fly;
To mark the spot where their protectors lie.
Allure to Glory's path admiring youth.
Drew frequent tears upon the ftoried urn.
Ev'n the rude natives of the late-found ifles,
Sooth'd by the honours of the known morai.
Thus might rebellious fons be taught to fly
Of the Year 1787.
In this clafs, the "Remarks on felect Paffages in the Old Teftament; to which are added, Eight Sermons, by the late Benjamin Kennicott, D. D." will be refpectfully received by the learned world, as the last expiring efforts of that truly great inan in the fervice of Divine Revelation. This work was undertaken by him, foon after he had complet ed his grand object, the collation of the Hebrew MSS. and continued with his ufual attention and care, while his faculties were capable of exertion. It is to be lamented, however, that at the time of his death, only a fmall part of his ufeful defign had been perfected by him. To this part the editors have added, according to the author's inftructions in his will, whatever they found among his papers evidently defigned for this work; and fuch of his hints and imperfect sketches as may be useful to future commentators. Thefe remarks begin with the book of Genefis, and are continued to the Palms. They are accompanied likewife, with obfervations on different paffages of the prophet Hofea; and fome fhort, unfinished notes. The obfervations on the
book of Job will be found particucularly valuable to the Biblical scholar. Of the Sermons which are added, fome afford difplays of Dr. Kennicott's critical powers; and the reft are on practical and uferul fubjects. With the friends of divine truth, thefe valuable remains of the moft diftinguished Hebrew fcholar and induftrious fcripture critic whom the prefent times have produced, will be fecure of a proper and liberal reception. They will not expect to find them recommended by elegancies of language, or the dif plays of a brilliant fancy; but by the fame marks of learning, and fuccefsful endeavours to restore the purity of the facred pages, which have distinguished the former works of this author. And in this expect ation they will not be disappointed.
Dr. Henry Owen, to whofe abilities for Scripture criticifm we have on a former occafion paid our tribute of refpect, hath published “A brief Account, Hiftorical and Critical, of the Septuagint Verfion of the Old Teftament. To which is added, a Differtation of the comparative Excellency of the Hebrew and Samaritan Pentateuch." This treatife is divided into feven fections. The first is employed in enquiries refpecting the time when and the perfons by whom the Septuagint Verfion was made. The object of the fe cond fection is, to fhew, that the
verfion was made from Samaritan, and not from Hebrew copies. The third fection treats of the manner in which this verfion was made, and the methods which the tranflators probably followed in elucidating the original, from their acquaintance with other eastern languages. In the fourth fection the accuracy and fidelity of this version is infifted on: and in the fifth and fixth we have a history of the general eftimation in which it was held for a long period of years; of the tranflations which have been made from it; and of the caufes of the alterations which, at different times, have been made in it by the rulers of the fynagogues. The last fection is on a fubject which had before employed the pen of our author, the celebrated Hexapla of Origen, and on the injuries which our author conceives to be done by it to this verfion. The established character which Dr. Owen hath already acquired in the field of facred literature, renders it unneceffary for us to fay, that his learned readers may promise themselves much pleafure and information from his valua ble little work. His obfervations are equally acute, fenfible, and important; and will add confiderably to his well earned fame in the fervice of Revelation.
"The Sixth and Eleven following Chapters of Genefis, tranflated from the original Hebrew; with marginal Illuftrations and Notes, by Abraham Dawfon, M. A. &c." is a publication which fuggefts many just and proper variations from the language of our common verfion, and which the author hath fupported with no fmall hare of critical fkill. Those particularly, which are introduced into the accounts of Melchizedeck's meeting with Abraham, Noah's prophecy refpecting Canaan, and the dispersion of man.
kind, together with the notes and illuftrations by which they are con firmed, give a favourable teftimony to the author's attention, and liberal way of thinking; and are adapted to free the facred records from fome of the wild conjectures and extravagant abfurdities by which commen tators have obfcured their fimpli city. In many other parts, where Mr. Dawfon hath not enlarged fo much as might be wifhed, he hath, nevertheless, offered fuch hints and general obfervations as will be ac ceptable and useful to the student in facred philology.
Mr. Harmer's "Obfervations on divers paffages of Scripture, &c." in two volumes, are a continuation of an entertaining and ufeful work, which he began to publish in 1765, and which he republished, with additions, in two volumes, in 1777. The object of our author is to i luftrate different parts of Scripture "more amply than has been yet done, by means of Circumstances incidentally mentioned in Books of Voyages and Travels into the East." The obfervations in the prefent volumes relate to the weather of Ju dæa; the manner of living in tents in that country; the houfes and cities of its inhabitants; their man. ner of travelling; the eastern man¬ ner of doing homage; their books; and the natural, civil, and military ftate of Judæa. To thefe he has added remarks on Egypt; its adjoining wilderness; the Red Sea; together with feveral mifcellaneous matters; and prefixed to the whole, a fpecimen of illuftrating the Greek and Roman claffics from the fame fources. Notwithstanding that we think our author fometimes needlefsly employed, in eftablishing im material facts, and difcuffing unim pertant objections, we cannot but fpeak in high terms of his ingenious