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and a house of representatives, elected by the people. The general system of laws concides with that of Lngland, with such exceptions and modifications as are suited to the circumstances of an infant colony. All the taxes, which have been hitherto imposed, are a licence-duty on retailers of wines ana spirituous liquors,—an excise-duty of ten-pence per gallon, payable on the importation of all wines and spirits,—and twopence per gallon on the importation of all porter, ale, or strong beer. The only Common-Law Court is the Supreme Court of judicature, which is at once a Court of Common Pleas, King's Bench, and Exc hequer.
The system of the Church of England is the religion of the Island, established by law: but the tree exercise of every other is tolerated, and dissenters of nil descriptions may elect pastors according to their own opinions, and build meeting-houses for public worship.
We" cannot conclude without srongly recommending several of the author's statements to the 6erious consideration of his Majesty's ministers.
A»t. IV. Memorial* of Nature and Art, collected on a Journey In Great Britain during the Yeats tbo2 and 1803, by Christian Augustus Gottlieb Goede Translated from the original German by Thomas Home. ?Vols. 12020. i6s. Sd. Boards. Mawraan.
Tt is not improbable that our readers may, like ourselves, be 1
led to expect from the title of this work, that it contains a full description of all the beautiful and curious objects which are presented to the obsen-ation of a traveller in England. The natural wonders of Cornwall and Derbyshire,— the lovely scenery of the Lakes,—the various monuments of human ingenuity,—the mighty mystery of Stonehenge,—our castles, cathedrals, colleges, and villas,—all the specimens of our manifold orders of architecture, from the rude British Cromlech to the distinguished Grecian edifices of our own days,—fall as properly under the promise held forth in the title page, as they are inconsistent with the taste and the powers of Mr. Gccde. Although he informs us that his materials were collected in a journey through the country, we scarcely find a single allusion to any object out of London; and not the least notice is taken of any town besides the metropolis, except what might have been easily gathered from a hasty visit paid in a stage coach. The interesting, form of a journal is not indeed affected, so that we are deprived of the usefu}
pleasure of observing the first impression made on the mini of a foreigner; who has here contented himself with writing aa essay oh English manners, of which he ceuld know but little, instead of conveying a clear idea of what he witnessed, which could scarcely fail of being both instructive and entertaining.
As the value of every man's opinion on such a subject depends essentially on hi3 character and previous habits, we should have been glad to learn Mr. G's situation at home, the motives of his journey, and the son of company into which he was likely to be thrown : but his name is given in the title-page without any addition; and we find no preface to explain his particular views,—at which we cannot give a nearer guess from internal evidence, than by observing that the strictures on our theatres are more extended than those on any other subject, and are placed, as the most important topics frequently are, at the conclusion of his volumes. He closes them by stating, with a sly irony, that the actresses of London (of whom he entertains but a mean opinion) possess such grace and elegance, that he was absolutely too much dazzled by their perfection minutely to observe them. Mrs. Jordan and Miss Pope are particularly exposed to his satire: but ha appears to render ample justice to the heroes of the stage, and , admits that Suett was extremely well cut out for sublime comedy! Yet perhaps it would be going too far to infer from these remarks that our traveller is more than an amateur of th« dramatic art.
. Mr. G. is a great admirer of the English character in the abstract: but, on every occasion on which he descends to particulars, his praise is less liberally bestowed. On our political genius, and the excellence of our constitution, he descants in the general language of enthusiastic applause, and both our late great statesmen are panegyrized con amore: but, on a nearer inspection, he discovers much of disgrace and danger in the state of our parties; condemns the continental politics of Mr. Pitt as a matchless memorial of human folly; and alleges that the new Whigs, of whom he considers Mr. Fox to be the leader, entertain the most pernicious designs against the tranquillity of their country. In the House of Commons, he was surprised at the want of eloquence among the speakers: but then he withdrew from the debate before either of our distinguished leaders delivered his sentiments. Again, he pays high compliments to the pure and <> expeditious administration of the law by our Courts of Justice: but he points out many things which strike him as remarkably defective, and apptars shocked at the licence assumed by counsel in cross anamination. His remarks/ on these and
1 other subjects connected with the law ar« not destitute of good sense ; though we must s?.y of them, as of various other parts of his work, that they are precisely such as have occured to most reflecting Englishmen, and have little of the originality that might be expected from a stranger.
In truth, it appears to us that this gentleman has neither seen nor thought a great deal for himself; though we must allow him the merit of having entered into many minutiae of our domestic history with considerable accuracy. It is extremely difficult for a foreigner to comprehend the diversified traits of English character; and we have not forgotten the philosophic Frenchman, who accounted for the thickness of the ballustrades on Westminster bridge, from the anxiety of Government to prevent suicide by concealing the river, which, it seems, would have afforded an irresistible temptation to that truly English propensity. The same observer described the effect of fine weather cn our feelings, and our mode of enjoying it, in the following sentence: "En Angleterre, quand le soleil luit, ce qui y arrive tres-rarement, d'abord tout le mende prend la plume en main, et ecrit, gloriose day !".—The correctness of Mr. GccJe's English friends, and the readiness with which he has taken their hints, prevent him from falling into many such mistakes: but we trust that those of our fair readers, who are implicated in the following passage, will unanimously authorise us to assert that it must have arisen from the hoax of some antiquated bachelor:
1 Great inequality is observable in the fashionable air of that class of citizens, which occupies an intermediate station; between the affluent and the indigent; but along with it, an uniform endeavour to imitate the manners of the higher ranks, which I have noticed ia a foregoing chapter. Among these, the ruinous consequences of the defective education of English females are more particularly obvious. The manners of the men are far more natural than those of the ladies, who are precipitated into many extravagant follies, from affecting to rival the fashionable females of more elevated life. It will scarcely appear credible, that the abominable custom of painting the face is peculiar to this class. No sooner do their misses return from a board' ing-school, than they begin to make familiar use of washes; nay, even the ancient dames study to improve their beauty by an artificial red and white, stain their eye-brows, &c. This paint is sold by the English perfumers in small boxes, marked with numbers according to its different hues. It is therefore not unusual to hear this class of ladies accost one another in the following manner: "You look charmingly to-day, my dear; pray what number do you use?". To such an intolerable length does this absurd and odious fashion proceed, that they even manifest their displeasure at those who will not follow it, and assert their pretensions to the artificial graces of a highlycoloured complexion ; frequently exclaiming ; " What a horrid figure that woman makes! It is just for all the world as if she had not a •ingle shilling to buy paint with!"
^ In one instance,; we meet with so singular a misapprehension of a character pretty generally known to the public, that we cannot withhold it:
« Mr. Erskine enjoys, as an orator, a reputation far greater than lie really deserves. His party, by whom he is caressed, have been the instruments of his elevation. His exterior is noble and expressive: his voice strong and melodious. These natural advantages, added to a commendable industry and a lofty ambition, would alone suffice to raise even ordinary talents above mediocrity. But this is the highest species of merit, that we can reasonably ascribe to Erskine. Without Striking partiality, we cannot acquit him of the character of pedantry, chained down by the fetters of scholastic oratory, which oppresses his ideas under a farrago of pompous phrases; of affectation, displayed in absurd and unreasonable pathos; and of a stately and disgusting coldness of manner, arising from the defect of a diligent culture of the powers of imagination. He appears to stand on the same level with Lord Belgrave, to whom he was opposed during the present debate.'
Such mistakes, however, are certainly not so common as those readers, who look principally for amusement, may possibly detire; and we will only add the writer's strange description of some of our learned and literary characters :—he does not ihention in what part of the Island he encountered them:
« From the solitary lives of English scholars, we may explain the leading features of their learned transactions and critical controversies, which form a striking contrast with the fashionable style formerly prevalent in the flourishing mra of their literature: with the exception <>f what regards theology and politics, their manner is cold, reserved, and ceremonious.
'They preserve, inviolably, the boundaries of decorum: they approach each other with measured steps; they, affect a dignified gravity, nay, even their smile of approbation is accurately studied and made up. But nothing is more whimsical, than the usual kind of compliment adopted by their more ordinary authors. It reminds a German of that sera of gallantry and chivalry, when Gottsched and his lady were dictators of the literary world. The gentlemen never mention their colleagues without some titular epithet, like those of Homer's heroes, «« the ingenious/' " the learned," "the acute," *' the celebrated;" &c. &c. These and many such honours are indiscriminately distributed with quaint liberality, and are the more apt to excite merriment on account of the specious solemnity with which they are pronounced. It is not less entertaining, to behold them enter the lists with looks full of importance, and with tardy and measured strides. Here they vie with each other in sedatcness, and decorum of demeanor. They would fain appear dispassionate as Cato, and magaanimous as Caesar; but after exchanging some high-flown
compliments and a few low bows, they change their note and their civilities for less gentle tones and expressions. Our humane German brethren, who complain of their own reciprocations of acrimony, as if nothing less would satisfy them than the complete destruction of their rivals, are accustomed to extol the good breeding of English authors,. But they Ought to consider, that no whirlwind rages on a narrow surface, and that shallow waters are little liable to be ruffled by the turbulence of waves.'
Mr. Goede's remarks on the state of letters are not much distinguished either by depth or justice. His censure of ouf authors for fluttering one another sounds oddly from a German, the literature of whose countrymen is principally known among us by their editions of the classics; whose expressions in respect to their brethren are full of the most unbounded eulogies; and who have not a note-maker, nor an excursor, nor an amanuensis, that is not juvenis ornatissitnus, vir egregiui, &c. &c. We should rather have expected a sarcasm on the tameness of our compliments. If, indeed, we were disposed to follow the example of a certain great assembly in substituting recrimination for defence, we might perhaps return his aggressions on the British press (which are grossly and ignorantly unjust) by an equally strong and more merited attack on that of Germany.'
Much must be .forgiven, however, in these representations to our disadvantage, where the desire to praise and respect our countrymen is in general so conspicuous. The definition, of our phrase "a gentleman," which has puzzled almost all foreigners, is creditable to the author's liberality:
* The term « gentleman,' in a limited sense, designates a polished individual; and the epithet ♦ genteel' is applied to every thing, which conveys the idea of beauty and propriety in manners and externals. Among all ranks of society, the mob only excepted, a general emulation to appear 'genteel' is conspicuous. Every one is -acquainted with the constituent parts of this character; all readily recognize and reverence a 'gentleman;' and we may confidently assume* that the theory of polite manners is nowhere else so universal. Even the indigent mechanic will infallibly pass sentence upon the nobility according to this criterion, and will not hesitate to degrade an unmannerly and illiberal nobleman by the coarse epithet of 'a'vulgar fellow.' It is generally presumed that elegant manners place the commonalty upon a level with the grandees, and that * a, gentleman' is in every rank* of life equally respected.'
It may naturally be imagined that the assiduity of a stranger would discover many things which have been concealed from the indolence of natives; and no complaint is more common in conversation, than that the constant opportunity of seeing objects worthy of notice extinguishes the desire. Thus,
Rev. May, 1808. IX Mr.