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table, or foffil, but what are common in other places. There is neither wood nor wafte ground in the parish; and we know, that where man has completely fubdued the foil to his own ufe, he permits nothing to feed or profper, but what is ferviceable to his private interest.
'The air here is dry and healthy; fogs are not frequent, and clear off early when they happen. The inhabitants are happy, and many of them live to a good old age.
Their fuel here is pitcoal, which they have chiefly brought from Derbyshire and fome from lord Middleton's coal-pits near Nottingham. The carriage being heavy, and the roads bad, it used to coft them 15d. or 16d. per hundred weight: but, fince the navigation has been completed to Loughborough, they get it for 10d. or 11d. per hundred.
'No great road leads through the parish; but the turnpike road from Oakham to Melton paffes within a mile by Leefthorp, and they come upon it in going to Melton, at about the fame diftance before they come to Burton.
There is not any river that runs through the parith, or comes near it; and only one inconfiderable brook, which is fometimes dry. This joins another, more confiderable, that comes from Somerby by Leefthorp, and both, proceeding jointly by Burton Lazars, fall into the river Eye, between Brentingby and Melton.
"There is no papift in this parish, nor one diffenter of any denomination.
The parochial feaft follows St. James; to whom the church is dedicated.
There have been no perambulations time immemorial,
'The rent of the whole parish is 14221. 55.
The number of houfes is 21; families 22; and inhabitants 123; three teams kept.
'The land tax at 4s. raises 1641. 14s. 2d.
Labourers have is. 2d. per day in fummer, and is. in the winter; in harvest 1s. 6d. and their victuals. Land lets at 15s. an acre.
The nett expence of the poor in 1776 was 271. 16s.
Medium of three years, 17831785, 451. 8s. 4d.'
Thefe volumes are illuftrated by a very liberal provifion of engravings, in which a view is given of every individual parifh-church, as well as of feats, monuments, antiquities, and other remarkable objects. An appendix to the fecond volume contains a number of deeds, charters and other papers relative to each hundred; which addition will doubtless be repeated in the future volumes.
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Abbate Metaftafio. In which are incorporated Tranflations of his principal Letters. By Charles Burney, Muf. D. F. R. S. 8vo. 3 Vols. 1796.
THE name of Metaftafio has long been affociated in every European metropolis with the exquifitepleasures of the noble, the opulent, and the polifhed. The euphony of his lines and the fitness of his fentiments have been impreffed on our recollection, in concert with the most vivid and brilliant difplays of all the arts of delight. Melodies of the moft fafcinating composers, affifted by punctual or
cheftras, by fingers the most compaffing and fmooth toned, have concurred in winging the fhafts of his fong to our inmott fenfibility. The painter's magnificent perfpectives, the dazzling pageants of the decorator, the easy floating motions of groupes of graceful dancers, and all the magic glories of realized mythology, have mingled at the theatre their influence with that of the poet, and have affifted in ftirring up within us that luxurious irritation and tumult of feeling, which form the highest scope of the artift and the pureft enjoyment of the connoiffeur. Stript, however, of all these circumstances of effect, Metaftafio has acquired a reputation for genius and abilities, which the philofopher who perufes his writings in the clofet will not, probably, hefitate to ratify. Yet how often does it happen that, removed from within the glare of theatric illumination, the god of the operahouse has withered into an ordinary man; and that the liquid language of the fkies had lent an oracular folemnity to fimple thoughts, or a bewitching harmony to infignificant infipidities? Be this, however, as it may, and even fuppofing that the literary character of Metaftafio himself thould be fated to fuffer depreciation by time and revolutions in tafte; - fhould his dramatic writings even become a mere fchool-book for the learner of Italian; yet he has refided fo much at courts, and has been the darling of fo many artifts, that his life can never be an object of indifference to thofe whofe gentle eye preferably fixes on thofe places and periods, in which the pleasures of man have been the chief occupation of his rulers; and in which
factions have confined their bloodlefs ftruggles to the establishment of a theory of mufic, and have never extended their profcriptions beyond the condemnation of a tragedy.
To the inherent fashion of the fubject of thefe volumes, is fuperadded the ftronger recommendation which they derive from the celebrity of the author. The hiftorian of mufic is accustomed to convene and to fatisfy an elegant audience; and, whether he touches the harp or the monochord, he difplays.a mafterly hand. His materials have been industriously collected at Vienna and in Italy, and comprehend, befides the wellknown biographies of Retzer and of Chriftini, many works of inferior note, as well as the pofthumous edition of the poet's letters. The bulk of this publication confifts indeed of a translation of those letters, connected by the requifite interstices of narrative; all which form a very amufing whole.
Metaftafio was born at Rome in 1698, where his father had settled as a confectioner. At fchool he difplayed early talents as an improvijatore, and before eleven years of age could fing extemporaneous verses. Gravina, the civilian, known by having written tragedies on the Greek model, heard, adniired, and adopted the young bard; to whom he gave a literary education, getting him admitted to the bar, and to deacon's orders, that civil and ecclefiaftical preferment might be alike open to him. When 22 years of age, Metaftafio vifited Naples, having inherited the property of Gravina, and attached himself as cicifbeo to the female finger Romanina. He there wrote an opera, which fucceeded,
and from this time he applied wholly to theatric poetry. In 1729 he was invited to Vienna as the Imperial Laureate, and continued to furnish fuch dramas as his patron befpoke, until his death in 1782. Dr. Burney well obferves that it is poffible for a man of learning, study, and natural acumen, to be a good critic on the works of others without genius for producing original works himself, fimilar to thofe which he is able to cenfure. The opinion of Metaftafio, therefore, may have its weight even when he criticises the great operawriters of antiquity: for the modern opera is the only faithful imitation of the antient tragedy. From his practice it appears, however, that he entertained one fundamental error in theory, and had not difcovered that, in the opera, the means of imitation being peculiarly apparent, the diftrefs fhould be more harraffing and the crimes more atrocious, in order to excite an equal degree of tragic emotion with these representations which approach more nearly to real and common life. We had felected
fome paffages in order to give an idea of the fpirit of his criticism: but, finding them too long for our infertion, we muft refer our readers to the 3d vol. in which they occur, p. 356-379.
Let it not be a reproach our eftimable biographer, that he has defcribed, with the voluminous gravity of history, a groupe of poets, fingers, actors, and muticians. It is well that a work of this kind should make its appearance. We are scarcely accustomed as yet to affign, in human ftory, a place to each proportioned to the extent of his influence on human happiness. The crowned and the titled have their peculiarities immortalized, although they may have never added to the enjoyments of a nation ten evenings of glowing delight. The amufers of our leifure, the artists of our pleafures, may juftly be ranked among the benefactors of fociety. Let it belong, then, to the muse of fame to elevate monuments (ver their remains, and to ftrew flowers on their grave, in token of our grate. ful remembrance!
Printed by J. Crowder, Warwick-Square.
HISTORY OF EUROPE,
CHA P. I.
CHA P. II.
In the Houfe of Commons, Regulations refpelling the Sale of Flour, and the