We are highly indebted to Alopex for his report of Mr Bakewell’s third lecture, which if we have not misplaced his memoranda is full as deficient in method as those we have already laid before our auditory. Much indeed may be attributed to the unhappy state of poor Alopex for all of us know that “when love is in, the wit is out”, a proverb if not as old as Father Adam’s time, might have been so, as our common Papa would be compelled to acknowledge if he ventured to show his reverend face in our Society. Mr Bakewell however cannot be entirely exonerated from the charge of abrupt transition as he frequently exhibits a partiality for this Pindaric manner of discoursing, and in some instances we think he has exceeded the antient bard we allude to in poetic exaggeration, but notwithstanding this, his lectures contain much valuable information.
We are sorry our worthy correspondent (who has not furnished us with a signature by which we may distinguish him) did not send us his versified recipe for a cold before the wind changed and the weather became warm. However as winter will return and coughs and colds will again be in fashion we hope his labours will not be lost. The antients of whom we must always speak reverently took this method of preserving for posterity their most sublime and useful discoveries. Truth in this condensed and musical form sunk into the mind and remained in the memory always ready for use. And if our friends will treasure up these lines in like manner when they are attacked by a cold they will know the means by which the enemy is to be repelled and where to find the necessary weapons.
Of the other short poems selected for this evening’s reading we shall make no particular remarks. We believe that some of them have been written by the author of the Pleasures of Human Life, a poem not yet published; but of which we venture to say that it will be difficult to find a series of nearly twelve hundred lines that can rival it in pathos and every poetic excellence. The little pieces that are now to be read compared with the Pleasures of Human Life are like the labels on apothecaries’ boxes painted by Raphael when set besides his transfiguration. But they display the hand of a Master that can do little things with grace.
The readings will conclude with the four First Cantos of the Sylphiad, a poem on the same subject as the Restoration. It was begun last year but those who remember what was then written will perceive great improvement and we doubt not but the conclusion will equal in spirit and poetry such a promising commencement.