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o its leader by the still stronger ties of personal interest, gratitude, and affection. We, therefore, should be justified upon his own principle, in suspecting the accuracy. of Mr. Rose's statements and the justness of his reflections, and in questioning his capacity, though not his intentions of ) forming impartial opinions. Mr. Rose is perfectly sensible of the justness of this remark, and therefore obviates it by assuring us, that, on this account, he is particularly jealous “ of his own judgment” and had been more scrupulous of his authorities and his own opinions than he might have been in commenting upon the work of any other author*.” He therefore cannot be displeased at his readers being doubtful of his judgment, and investigating with some degree of minuteness, the weight of his authorities, and the propriety of his opinions. If professions of impartiality and candour, would make a man candid and impartial, Mr. Rose would certainly be entitled to that character. And we will not deprive him of the credit of intending to fulfil, and even thinking he has fulfilled those professions; but we lament that his good intentions have not been proof against the contagious atmosphere of politics, in which he has so long breathed. He cannot be impartial, the spirit of opposition to Mr. Fox, which actuated the Secretary to the Treasury under his political opponent, still reigns in the
* Mr. Rose's Introduction, p, xxxiii.
bosom of the Treasurer of the Navy, and is every where visible, notwithstanding his good resolutions. It may be traced in the numerous incorrect quotations, and groundless objections found in every part of Mr. Rose's publication, in his attacking without cause Mr. Fox's arguments and conduct, and charging him with dangerous political principles, neither advanced in his work, nor to be deduced from it. Mr. Rose observes that particular circumstances in the private situation of an author rarely afford a satisfactory apology for a failure in argument*, and yet alledges with some confidence, as an excuse for his own deficiencies, that he had not been many more weeks in composing his Observations, than Mr. Fox had been years in writing his Historical Work. That work was the produce of his occasional labours for about four years, and Mr. Rose therefore must have completed his Observations in the short period of not many more than four weeks, in the midst too, of almost unremitting attention to official duties. But the truth of the assertion is not meant to be disputed here; almost every page of the Observations corroborates the statement.
To the baneful effects of the political atmosphere before alluded to, and the hurry in which Mr. Rose has written the Observations may be owing his unfortunate failure in accuracy. For allowing, most willingly, that he felt an honest anxiety upon the subject, his authorities are very frequently not correctly quoted, and generally either fail to prove, or directly contradict the propositions they are intended to support. These charges are not light ones, but the ensuing pages will exhibit abundant proofs of their being well founded. In the mean time it may be proper, . in illustration of these remarks, to call the attention of the reader to some particular passages in Mr. Rose's Introduction.
* Mr. Rose's Introduction, p. XXXV.
To prove that Mr. Fox was misled by a propensity to apply every historical incident to the defence of those political principles, on which he had himself acted, Mr. Rose charges him with having translated incorrectly a passage in a letter of Mr. Barillon. The alledged inistranslation is admitted to have been made without intention, and therefore the propensity is to be inferred merely from the mistake itself. This would be a rather harsh rule to lay down for Authors, and Mr. Rose might find some difficulty to vindicate either himself, or Sir John Dalrymple from the charge of an improper bias having operated upon their minds, inferred from the numerous errors of this description, into
which they have both fallen, and some of which will be noticed hereafter.
Upon the disputed meaning of the original it might be dangerous for an Englishman, and one not confident in his critical knowledge of the French language to offer an opinion. And such is the complicated construction of the passage that its satisfactory discussion must necessarily run into considerable length. I shall therefore leave the grammatical merits, and the real meaning of it, due regard being had to the general style of epistolary correspondence, and of Barillon's letters in particular, to Mr. Rose and the Critics. In which ever way they may decide, the fact related is equally favourable to the political principles of Mr. Fox, and consequently the construction, which he put upon the words, could not have arisen from any propensity influencing him to distort historical incident to the purpose of defending his political principles and conduct. To make out the charge alledged by Mr. Rose it would not be sufficient to prove that Mr. Fox had mistaken the meaning of the words, it must be shewn either that he had given them a meaning more favourable to his general view of politics, or was so deficient in mental powers as not to perceive that their real meaning was as well, or better, suited to his
purpose and would equally serve to introduce the observations he makes upon them.
- The quotation in question is from Barillon's letter of the 7th of December 1684*, and Mr. Fox says, all the other Ministers“ maintained, that his Majesty could, and " ought to govern countries so distant, in the manner that "" should appear to him most suitable for preserving or “ augmenting the strength and riches of the mother coun“ tryt.”. Mr. Rose would strike out the words“ mother "s-country," and substitute the word “ colony," we will therefore suppose the correction to be made, and consider the effect of it. The proceeding, of which Barillon is giving an account to his master, took place in Council, where the Marquis of Halifax argued strongly for modeling the Charters of the British Colonies of America upon principles analogous to those of the British Constitution, and the passage in dispute contains the substance of the answers made to his arguments by the other Ministers. "This opinion of Halifax was made use of to the King, as a proof of his dangerous principles, by the Duke of York and the French interest, in order to accomplish his removal