« ПредишнаНапред »
The public characters of the United States are sketched with ability and great fairness. That of the President is not favourable, but we do not controvert its correctness, since the account which the author gives of that gentleman's views seems to be borne out by facts; and we agree with him in the tributes which he pays to Washington, Jay, and Munroe.—Much advice is here given to the Americans, which merits attentive consideration on their part.—fimong other remarks, the writer recommends that' The national language should bo sedulously cultivated; and this is to be accomplished by means of schools. This circumstance demands particular attention, for the language of conversation is becoming incorrect; and even in America authors are to be found who make use of new or obsolete words, ■which no good writer in this country would employ; and were it not for my destitution of leisure, which obliges me to hasten to the occlusion of these pages, as I progress I should bottom my assertion on instances frbm authors of the first grade; but were I to render my sketch lengthy, I should ily answer the purpose which I have in view.'
Art. 27. ' j4n "Examination of the Causes which led to the late Expedition against Copenhagen. By an Observer. 8vo. pp. 47. is. 6d. Hatchard. 1808.
According to this writer, we have had a most narrow esrape. Had not our armament arrived at Copenhagen at the critical moment, mighty Britain would inevitably have become the prey of her gigantic foe. * Never, (says he,) perhaps did war present to this country so fearful a combination of dangers: never did the interposition of Divine Power seem so necessary in an instance where the common precautions of human foresight and defence hardly gave hopes of safety. Two months of cold and timid deliberation on the part of England, of debate and irresolution as to what was most expedient to be done in this fearful crisis, and all was Iof:! Two months of tardy and inadequate preparation, treacherous to its object and fatal to its accomplishment, and nothing was left to her but her courage, her internal energy, her means of defence on her own shores. For, all preventive foreign exertions, if indeed any foreign exertion could have been expected in her behalf, would have become useless or impracticable.
'After the month of September, not a ship, not a soldier, could have been sent, —in common prudence could*have been sent—to the shorts of the Baltic. No great and permanent object would have then been attainable : yet the fleet of Russia might have been brought from CronstaYlt to Copenhagen at a still later period; that of Sweden, her generous sovereign subdued, rather than intimidated, might have been equipped at Carlscrona, and have joined before the frost in the »ame roads; and the ensuing spring would have seen arrayed in the Sound, along the coast of Norway, at theTexel, at the Scheld, the vastest combination which even fear can conceive, of military and naval means, prepared in the perfect security of the four winter, months, and bending towards, the comparatively defenceless shores of Grreait Britahi, with every concurrence of fayouiable circumstance. of wind and weather, that could render her means of defence yet more feeble.'
To us tin's seems very much a creation of fancy. Could not the presence of a small squadron in the Baltic have prevented this forcing of the King of Sweden? At all events, how was he to be forced thus instantaneously? Might not the junction of the Danes and Russians have also been prevented by the same means? and is it so clear that Russia would have declared war without the pretence afforded by the attack on Denmark? Let us, however, suppose the three fleets to be united; would they have faced a British fleet of half the stresgth? We are confident that they would not. As we have not been convinced of the justice and policy of this attack on an independent power, by the papers and speeches of our Foreign Secretary, we shall, also acknowlege that our objections are not removed by this able and sensible tract; though it is much more in the style and manner of a statesman, than the productions to which we have referred.
Art. 28. Address on the Maritime Rights of Great Britain. By Sir Frederic Morton Eden, Bart. 2d Edition. Svo. pp. 139. 58. Richardson. 1808.
Of the first part of this tract we have taken notice in our No. for October last, p. 216. The measures of Government, which have been so' much controverted in and out of Parliament, are here assumed as being not only proper and expedient, but in the highest degree deserving of commendation. On the part of the authors of them, Sir Fred. Eden promises that, when they shall have disposed of the splendid subjects of . the Copenhagen expedition and the Orders of Council, attention will be paid to measures of internal improvement. Glad should we be to have it proved that this promise will be fulfilled; and we wish the Ministers better success in regard to these humble subjects, than that which has attended the more splendid acts of which the author •peaks.
Sir Frederic argues ably and fairly in favour of the rule of the war of 1756: but the question now is, not whether that was in itself a just and expedient rule, but whether we have not by our own conduct precluded ourselves from asserting it. This matter is admirably illustrated by Mr. Baring in his celebrated pamphlet, in a view of the subject which is not at all contemplated by the present author. The latter paints in strong colours the inconveniences which our orders of council will inflict on France and its dependencies: but we regard these as very much magnified; and the most important inquiry is not whether the enemy will suffer, but whether our own measures will not recoil on ourselves in a far higher degree. All this is overlooked by the Baronet, though it is the very hinge on which the question turns. He speaks with great indifference of an American war, and places in a strong light the evils which it will occasion to that country : but those which Britain must inevitably experience are kept out of view. The strange tvents of these awful times have unquestionably blunted the feelings of the present generation,; and it would seem, from many specimens of political reasoning which come before us, as if the intellectual faculties had also received a shock.
Art. 29. Emancipation i:i Disguise, cr-the True Crisis of the Colonies. To which are added, Considerations upon Measures proposed for their temporary Rel'"cf. and Observations upon Colonial Monopoly. Sliewinjj the different Effects of its Enforcement and Relaxation, exposing the Advantages derived by America from Louisiana; and, lastly, suggestions tor a permanent Plan to supply our Colonies with l'roviiions, and pur Navy with certain Naval Stores independent of Foreign Supplies. 8vo. pp.220. 5s. Ridgway. 1807.
A large mas9 of valuable information 13 here communicated to ua, with respect to our West India Colonies, by a person who says that lie has long resided in them. If, however, we approve the author's reasons in favour of a relaxation of our coluuial monopoly, and if lie indisposes us to negroc emancipation in our islands, by such means as he thinks are likely to bring it about, we cannot help regarding his apprehensions fiom negroe sovereignty in St. Domingo as in a hi^h degree chimerical. We are of opinion that, in its present state, that colony is much less alarming to our power in the Antilles, than it would be if it were subject to Fiance. Let our negroes be well treated, let the planters learn their real situation, let them act conformably to that knowlege and cause prosperity again to return among them, and we are convinced that we shall have nothing to fear from the neighbouring Black government.
Art. 1,0. Ten Letter} addressed to the Landholders and Merchants of the United Empire, upon the present alarming and critical State of Public Affairs. By an Englishman. 8vo. pp. 62. 28. 6d.
The writer of these Letters, which first appeared in the Morning Chronicle, is a professed advocate of the late ministers, and in course a zealous opponent of those by whom they were supplanted. He supports 1 he side which he espouses with address and ability: but he is mote successful in his attacks on his adversaries, than in the defence of some of the measures of his friends. The inhabitants of Buenos Ayres, it is said, would have received us with open arms, had we offered them independence. Why was not this eourse adopted? If we rcg.nrd the obloquy heaped on the late Ministers by a venal and abandoned press as a disgrace to thejage, we both regret and censure this departure in their conduct from the liberal principles which they professed ; and however we may respect the genius of the head of the War Department., still in his appointment of a General we cannot hold him to be innocent.
Art. 11, A Key to the recent Conduct of the Emperor of Russia. 8vo. pp. 68. 2s. Cd. Jordan and Maxwell. 1^07. The conduct here considered is the act of his Imperial Majesty in signing the treaty of peace with France; and the key to this proceeding, according to the present writer, was not ihe necessity of the Russian Monarch's situation, as was asserted by Lord Hutchinson, who was an eye-witness of his situation, and who, we should suppose, was qualified to form a judgment of it. His Lordship spoke, also, in the face of Europe, and he has a reputation to be affected by hat he staged. The pamphleteer, however, is of a different opinion; if we believe him, Alexander might have continued hostility without risk, miy, with a fan prospect of success; and it was Napoleon who would have been in danger, if the war had been protracted. How happened ii, then, that peace wa', made between these two potentates, on terms so disadvantageous to the foimer? « It was because Alexander fully e :pected, and vv« warranted to expect assistance from U3.' This might be a rc .sen for inducing him to overlook our interests in his pacific arrangements with his enemy, but why should he on this account submit tu the fate of a vanquished foe, and allow his adversary to reap the fruits of a triumph ?—The late Ministers are bitterly censured by this writer, because they did not lend to Russia the Jive millions (the sum was six) for which she applied ; and he insists that, bad the subsidy beeu g inted, a complete reverse would have taken place. Analogy, however, does not favour this notion of the mighty efficacy of money. A subsidy of five millions did not ward off the disasters at Ulm and Austerlitz ; and why should it have a more potent effect at Tilsit? When Bonaparte had weathered the severity of the Polish winter, (a much more formidable enemy than a British subsidy,) sober calculation augured nothing favourable to Russia; and hope was little cheiished, except by those silly sanguine people who are swayed by the delusions and impostures of party newspapers and pamphlets/and who deem it patriotic to indulge in flattering visions.
The present author represents the Russian Emperor as extremely displeased with the late Ministers: but the superior attention paid by him to Lord Hutchinson, and the little notice taken by him of the Ambassador of the present Ministers, does not well agiee with this notion. We do not join with him in arraigning the late government in respect to this part of their conduct. They sent to the scene of action a distinguished military officer, by whose suggestions and communications they wereto be guided ; and we cannot imagine any better course which could have been taken.
Art. 32. Memoir of the Case of St. John Mason, Esq Barrister at Law, who was confined as a State-Prisoner in Ktimainham, for more than Two Years. Containing Addresses and Letters to the Earl of Hardwicke, the Duke of Bedfoid, Mr. Wickham, Judge Daly, Sir Evan Nepean, Judge Day, Lord Henry Petty, tic. &c. and Letters from some of the above Personages. . Most respectfully submitted to the Consideration of the Commons, in Parliament assembled 1 8vo. pp. 129. 4s. sewed. Johnson. 1807. Every reader who possesses any share of feeling will peruse this Memoir with exquisite pain; he will here learn how much more easy it is to commit than to repair an injury; he will become acquainted with the grievous mischiefs which are inseparable from lawless rule; and he will behold an example of the cruel and inhuman manner, in which petty oppression plays with the feelings and sports with the sufferings of its victims. The narrative shews that the writer of it is an able and accomplished person; and it appears that he is also a member of a liberal and honourable profession. We are informed that he was arrested under a charge of high treason, and . . imprisoned imprisoned for two years, for no other offence than that of being related to the unfoitunate and insane young man who was the cause »f the deplorable tragedy of 1803 in Dublin. After this term of what the author calls ' intombed existence,' and usage during part of that time w hich the basest nature could alone inflict, he waa at length, after repeated fruitless pollicitations to be informed of his delinquency, and to be brought to trial, liberated without the shadow of guilt being imputed to him. He acts the part of manliness and conscious innocence in, demanding reparation from the authors of his sufferings; but the mild administration of Lord Hardwicfce, which had inflicted the blow, evaded the application ; and the benignant government of the Duke of Bedford resisted it, and gave the sufferer no hope.
Men of weak and 6»ckly minds expected from the late Ministers many things which were preposterous and extravagant: but we own that we do not see how they are to be exculpated rrom the charge of neglecting Ireland. Peace was the achievement first in the mind of the illustrious person, whose loss proved so inauspicious to this country: but could not the emancipation of Ireland have gone on at the same time with this desirable object; and when the one failed, why was a day suffered to pass without prosecuting the other? We give a noble Lord all due credit for his labours with respect to Scotland: but surely to redress the ills of Ireland was a service which, if it promised less eclat, was more urgently demanded by humanity and sound policy. To sympathize with negroe suffering was popular in this country; and it required little virtue to support and patronize the cause of the Africans. We feel in the highest degree grateful to the government which abolished that system, for its magnanimous and benignant conduct: but we ascribe little merit to its partisans out of office. * If their humanity had been as susceptible, and their beneficence as prominent, as they would have had us believe, how is it that they sit down tranquil spectators of the wretchedness and oppression of the sister island! To this subject, let all public men who pretend to worth and patriotism direct their exertions J
Art. 33. Historical Review of the Moral, Religious, Literary, and
Political Chjracter of the English Nation, from the earliest Periods.
By J. Andrews, L.L.D. 8vo. pp. 410. 7s. Boards. Barr.
The observations made by this author on the early part of our history are those of a seusible and intelligent person, who had derived his information from the ordinary sources. The work affects no depth of research, nor nicety of criticism; so that it it difficult to imagine what lessons of instruction the author proposed to communicate, which were not to be found in other writers who had treated of our national affairs.
We perceive not that Dr. A.'spages disclose any thing that is omiu ted in those of Rapin, Hume, Henry, and the generality of our popular compilers'. In the latter part of the volume, moreover, we have not merely to complain that the information is ordinary, but must add that it is grossly erroneous. The author copies, and even exaggerates, the misrepresentations of Hume on the subject of the » grand