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swer, which appeared accordingly in the review for Fe. bruary, and in which every insinuation or accusation is introduced that could tend to lessen Dr. Grainger in the eyes of the public, both as a writer and as a man. But the objections which Grainger took are by no means satis: factorily answered, and the review is still liable to the suspicion of partiality. No reader of candour or of taste can peruse the Translation, without allowing that the author deserved praise, not only for the attempt, but for the elegant manner in which he has in general transmitted the tender sentiments of Tibullus into our language. But this the Reviewer has wholly overlooked, confining himself to the censure of a few defects, part of which he has not proved to be so, and part were typographical errors.
It has been supposed that some personal animosity prompted Smollett to such hostility, but of what nature, or excited by what provocation, is not known. All we can learn from the Letter and the Answer is, that the parties were once upon friendly terms, but that mutual respect had now ceased. One circumstance, indeed, we find, which may account for much of Smollett's animosity: he supposed Grainger to be one of the Monthly Reviewers, and this was provocation enough to the mind of a man, who from the commencement of the Critical Review took every opportunity, whether in his way or not, of reviling the proprietor and writers of that journal. As the latter seldom deigned to notice these attacks, no better reason, we are afraid, can be assigned for Smollett's conduct than the jealousy of rival merit and success, in both which respects the Monthly Review had a decided superiority. Whether Grainger was a Monthly Reviewer is not an unimportant question, in collecting the materials of his literary life; yet his biographers have hastily subscribed to Smollett's assertion, without examining the Review in question. The. article of his Tibullus in the Monthly Review may convince any person that Grainger could have little or no interest or influence with the proprietors. Although written with decency and urbanity, it has nothing of partiality or kindness; the reader is left to judge from the specimens extracted, and what praise we find is bestowed with that faint reluctance, which is more blasting to the hopes of an author than open hostility. --- Even the opinion of the Monthly Reviewer on Grainger's letter to Smollett, is ex
lliam Brady, warrivals to her paly
pressed with the brevity of one who wishes not to interfere, in the contest.
Soon after the publication of Tibullus, Dr. Grainger embraced the offer of an advantageous settlement as physician on the island of St. Christopher's. During his pas- : sage, a lady on board of one of the merchant-men bound for the same place, was seized with the small-pox, attended with some alarming symptoms. He was sent for, and not only prescribed with success, but took the remainder of his passage in the same ship, partly to promote the recovery of his patient, but principally to have an opportunity of paying his addresses to her daughter, whom he married soon after their arrival at St. Christopher's. By his union with this lady, whose name was Burt, daughter to Matthew William Burt, esq. governor of St. Christopher's, he became connected with some of the principal families on the island, and was enabled to commence the practice of physic with the greatest hopes of success. It is probable, however, that this was not his first attachment. In his preface to the translation of Tibullus, he insinuates that his acquaintance with the passion of love gives him a preference over Dart, who had attempted to transfuse the tender sentiments of that poet into English without the same advantage.
The transition from London to a West India island must have been very striking to a reflecting mind. The scenery and socieiy of St. Christopher's was new in every respect, and Grainger seems to have studied it with those mixed and not very coherent feelings of the poet and the planter, which at length produced his principal work, “ The Sugar Cane.” On his return to England, at the conclusion of the war, he submitted this poem to his literary friends, and having obtained their opinion and approbation, published . it in a handsome quarto volume, in 1764. To the astonishment of all who remembered his dispute with Smollett, the “ Sugar Cane" was honoured with the highest praise in the “ Critical Review." But Smollett was now on his travels, and the Review was under the care of Mr. Hamil. ton, the proprietor and printer, a man who took no pleasure in perpetuating animosities, and who, with great respect for Dr. Smollett's memory, did not deny that his vindictive teinper was of no great service to the Review.
Mr. Boswell, in his life of Johnson, informs us that when the Sugar Cane “ was read in manuscript at sir Joshua
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Reynolds's, the assembled wits burst out into a laugh, when, after much blank-verse pomp, the poet began a new paragraph thus:
Now Muse, let's sing of rats.' And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company, who slyly overlooked the reader, perceived that the word bad originally been mice, and had been altered to rais as more dignified.”. “ This passage,” adds Mr. Boswell, “ does not appear in the printed work. Dr. Grainger, or some of his friends, it should seem; having become sensible that introducing even rats, in a grave poem, might be liable to banter. He, however, could not bring himself to relinquish the idea; for they are thus, in a still more ludicrous manner, paraphrastically exhibited in his poem as it now stands :
• Nor with less waste the whiskered vermin race,
A countless clan, despoil the lowland cane'.” Of this incident, Dr. Percy furnished Mr. Boswell with the following explanation. “The passage in question was not originally liable to such a perversion; for the author having occasion in that part of his work to mention the havoc made by rats and mice, had introduced the subject in a kind of mock heroic, and a parody of Homer's battle of the frogs and mice, invoking the muse of the old Grecian bard in an elegant and well-turned manner. In that state I had seen it; but afterwards, unknown to me and other friends, he had been persuaded, contrary to his better judgment, to alter it so as to produce the unlucky effect above mentioned.” Mr. Boswell tells us that Dr. Percy had not the poem to refer to, when he wrote this explana. tion; and it is equally evident that Mr. Boswell had not read the whole passage with attention, or considered the nature of the poem, when he objected to the introduction of rats. If we once allow that a manufacture may be sung in heroics, we must no longer be choice in our subjects; as to the alteration of mice to rats, the former was probably an error of the pen, for mice are not the animals in question, nor once mentioned by the poet. But it is somewhat strange that Grainger should have ever thought it prudent to introduce an episode of the mock-heroic kind in a poem which his utmost care can scarcely elevate to 80lemnity.
In the same year (1764) Dr. Grainger published “ An · Essay on the more common West India Diseases; and the
poees as a physicl by one of tndia isla
remedies which that country itself produces. To which are added, some hints on the management of Negroes." To this pamphlet he did not asfix his name. Many of the remarks it contains, particularly those which concern the choice and treatment of the vegroes, may be found in "The Sugar Cane.” After a short residence in England, he returned to St. Christopher's, to which, it appears by his poem, he became much attacbed; and continued his practice as a physician until his death, Dec. 24, 1767, which was occasioned by one of those epidemic fevers that frequently rage in the West India islands.
Although it is impossible to deny Grainger the credit of poetical genius, it must ever be regretted that where he wished most to excel, he was most unfortunate in the choice of a subject. The effect of his “ Sugar Cane," either as to pleasure or utility, must be local. Connected as an English merchant may be with the produce of the West Indies, it will not be easy to persuade the reader of English poetry to study the cultivation of the sugar plant merely that he may add some new imagery to the more ample stores which he can contemplate -without study or trouble. In the West Indies this poem might have charms, if readers could be found ; but what poetical fancy can dwell on the æconomy of canes and copper-boilers, or find interest in the transactions of planters and sugar-brokers? His invocations to his muse are so frequent and abrupt, that " the assembled wits at sir Joshua Reynolds's" might have found many passages as ludicrous as that which excited their mirth. The solemnity of these invocations excites expectation, which generally ends in disappointment, and at best the reader's attention is bespoke without being rewarded. He is induced to look for something grand, and is told of a contrivance for destroying monkies, or a recipe to poison rats. He smiles to find the slaves called by the happy poetical name of swains, and the planters urged to devotion! The images in this poem are in general low, and the allusions, where tbe poet would be minutely descriptive, descend to things little and familiar. Yet this is in some measure forced upon him. His muse sings of matters so new and uncouth to her, that it is impossible “ her heavenly plumes” should escape being “soiled.” What muse, indeed, could give a receipt for a compost of "weeds, mould, dung, and stale,” or a lively description of the symptoms and cure of the yaws; and preserve her elegance or purity? Where, however, he quits the plain track of mechanical instructions, we have many of those effusions of fancy which will yet preserve this poem in our collections. The description of the hurricane, and of the earthquake, are truly grand, and heightened by circumstances of horror that are new to Europeans. The episode of Montano in the first book arrests the attention very forcibly, and many of the occasional reflections are elegant and pathetic, nor ought the tale of Junio and Theana to be omitted in a list of the beauties of this poem. The “Ode to Solitude,” already noticed, and the ballad of Bryan and Pereene,” are sufficient to attest our author's claim to poetical honours; and the translation of Tibullus gives proofs of classical taste and learning.'
GRAMAYE (John BAPTIST), an eminent antiquary, was a native of Antwerp, and born in the end of the sixteenth century. He studied at Louvain, where he took his master's degree in 1596, and became professor of rhetoric and law in that university. He was afterwards historiographer to the Low Countries, and for three years employed himself in examining their records. He then travelled through the greater part of Germany and Italy, but, while proceeding from the latter country to Spain, he was unfortunately made captive by an Algerine corsair, and carried to Africa. How he obtained his release does not appear, but upon his return to his native land he was preferred by the archduke Albert to be dean of the collegiate church of Leusa, in Heinault, and afterwards by the same patronage was made president of the college at Louvain. Some years after he travelled into Moravia and Silesia, and in the latter province he was, by eardinal Dietrichstein, placed at the head of a college. He died at Lubec in 1635. He published many Latin poems, and theses on a variety of subjects; but his historical and topographical works have been found of most value. These are, 1.“ Asia, sive his. toria universalis Asiaticarum gentium, &c.” Antwerp, 1604, 4to. 2..“ Bruxella cum suo comitatu,” Brux.. 1606, 4to. 3. “ Arscotum Ducatus cum suis Baronatibus,” ibid. 1606, 4to. 4. “ Thenæ et Brabantiæ ultra Velpem, quæ olim Hasbaniæ pars," ibid. 1606, 4to. 5.“ Gallo-Brabantia," 3 parts or vols. ibid. 1606. 6.“ Antwerpiæ Antiquitates," ibid. 1610. 7. “ Antiquitates ducatus Brabantiæ," ibid.
? Johnson and Chalmers’s English Poets, 1810.