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lizes his readers with the mention of a short History of the whark of this Poland, of which he thought so highly as more than forty is a grem ferromat years ago to translate and present it to his Majesty. He kestito allack of does not give us the title of this model of perfection, but con- Rose - Paraguay Perda soles us with the information that the MS. is probably still betite else remaining in the royal library. He was so well pleased with this performance, that he had even then in contemplation to write the History of his own country upon the same plan, but modestly gave it up from a sense of his own incompetency. In short we might be led to believe that, thinking and having always thought as Mr. Fox did upon the subject of history, he is better qualified than others to examine the facts, arguments, and opinions of a person, who entertained sentiments so nearly similar to his own. In imposing upon himself this task, Mr. Rose seems fully aware of its difficulty, for he says in one place, Mr. Fox was a man of “ splendid,” in another, of “ transcendant," in a third, of “ eminent” talents. He speaks of his most excellent natural memory, and of his possessing a powerful mind bent to political, and historical subjects. He acknowledges that he is not equal to Mr. Fox in argument, and, when they differ, wishes the point in dispute may be decided by the authorities produced. In the ensuing pages however, it cannot escape observation that he is not more successful in his appeal to authorities, than he must have been in argument with Mr. Fox.
After having mentioned his having long lamented the want of a work, which would illustrate the most interesting periods of our history, he states in the style of complaint against Mr. Fox, that this desideratum he had it not even in contemplation to supply, but confined himself to what is however stiled, “ undoubtedly the most interesting event “ in our history.” It seems here to be forgotten that Mr. Fox, out of the most important events of our history, had selected for the object of his literary labours that, which Mr. Rose himself admits to be undoubtedly the most interesting. And, as it would have been impossible to select and write upon them all at once, we might have expected Mr. Fox's conduct, in this particular, would have met with the most unqualified approbation. But the next objection is to the manner in which the design has been executed, and here no mercy is shewn: it is stated that Mr. Fox had employed some years of his valuable time in writing the history of a short period only, concerning which, though eventful in itself, former writers had produced every thing essential, and then Mr. Rose undertakes to demonstrate that the transcendant talents " of the one now under consideration, assisted by the “ industry of himself and his friends, did not enable him “ to bring into view one new historical fact of any impor“ tance, or to throw an additional gleam of light on any “ constitutional point whatever.” But the remainder of the sentence shews that the writer felt the position he was laying down was not tenable in its full extent, for it is added not very consistently, “ but that on the contrary he has “ stated with confidence some facts which are at least “ extremely doubtful, on which some of his reasoning is “ founded.” Mr. Fox then has brought into view, and has stated some facts, which, being extremely doubtful, had not before probably, as applied to the subjects alluded to, been under the consideration of Mr. Rose. But never was an assertion more rashly hazarded ; first of all it must be remarked that Mr. Fox himself in a private letter says, as to the introductory chapter to his work, “ that it was rather “ a discussion alluding to known facts, than a minute “ enquiry into disputed points.” The design of his work, therefore, did not make it necessary for him to bring into public notice any new facts previous to the reign of James the Second, when his history, in truth, commences. Even in that reign, the period, comprehended within the small fragınent which has been published, is so short, and the topics treated of so few, that it would not be reasonable to expect that he should have made any very important additions to the facts, which had been already communicated to the public. But in Mr. Rose's Introduction, we have already
pointed out an instance of Mr. Fox having brought into notice one historical fact of considerable importance*. For in Barillon's letter of the 7th December, 1684, an interesting and novel view is exhibited of the principles, on which our American colonies were then governed, especially if Mr. Rose's emendation of the translation be adopted.
The imputations, cast upon Mr. Fox in the Introduction to the Observations, are certainly of a very serious nature, deeply affecting his fidelity and accuracy, as a historian. Mr. Rose, it seems, had a sort of general indeterminate feeling impressed upon his mind that facts were sometimes mistaken or misstated, and deductions formed on very insufficient grounds, before he had a stronger and more painful conviction of Mr. Fox's failure in point of accuracy of representation in his account of the conduct of Sir Patrick Hume. His injustice in this respect forcibly struck Mr. Rose, nay, so strongly did it affect him," that it was his sole mot ve at first for deciding to publish on the subject. This was his first inducement to examine attentively the Narrative of Mr. Fox. That Mr. Rose really experienced the general indeterminate feeling, which he describes, there is no reason to doubt. But it arose before he had perused that part of Mr. Fox's Narrative which relates to Sir Patrick Hume, and even before he had perused attentively any part of it*. We may, therefore, fairly doubt, whether that feeling was to be attributed to the perusal of the work itself, or to a predisposition to find fault, arising, unknown to himself, from his still breathing that pestilential atmosphere of politics, which he supposes to have clouded the understanding and perverted the mind of Mr. Fox. Viewing the Historical Work through this medium, nothing could be right, nothing could be seen in proper order, and thus may we account not only for the unfounded complaint of injustice having been done to Sir Patrick Hume's character, but for the avowal of its being, at first, “ the sole “ motive” for his publication.
* Fox, App. p. viji.
Upon Mr. Rose's attentive perusal, which must have been his second, he made that discovery, which, while he supposes it accounts for the defects in Mr. Fox's work, most clearly gives the clue to his own conduct. A certain political bias seemed to pervade the whole, and to be an uniform leading cause of partiality both in the Narrative, and the reflections, which made him doubt, whether the history was not
* Mr. Rose's Introduction), p. jij and vii.