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times; and they shrink back from amending any part of our jurisprudence, whether criminal or economical, though the universal experience of mankind, the plainest principles of justice and humanity, combined with the most obvious dictates of common sense, may imperiously demand it. In one word, abuse of every description finds in them protection and palliation. But the state of the country—the progress of the age-the intelligence of the people require a set of rulers who will strenuously set themselves to investigate, expose, and correct all abuses, by whomsoever committed, and by whatever length of practice sanctioned. This ought to be the only pledge demanded by the country from a new ministry. The details must, in fairness and in prudence, also be left to theniselves. If they can carry the Catholic Question, and effect a moderate and wholesome Reform of Parliament, the country will gain so much the more. But no such point should ever be thought of as a condition sine qua non ; retrenchment and reformation of abuses, at home and abroad, ought alone to be reckoned the master-principle of the party.
On the other hand, the termination of the war, and the removal of all apprehensions that any respectable party in the country entertained designs hostile to the established Government, have deprived the Court of its principal argument against the Whigs. No man will now seriously maintain that the independence of the Empire or the stability of the Throne would be endangered by their accession to power. They are known to be jealous of their country's honour with regard to foreign powers, and as hostile to the mad or wicked designs of traitors at home, as those courtiers themselves who so long contrived to keep their places by propagating the most scandalous calumnies against the popular party. But there is this remarkable difference between them :-The Whigs would bring to any contest, for the honour of the Crown, in which the country might unfortunately be engaged, an united and zealous people; and they would oppose the schemes of disaffection by a real and constitutional vigour, which would first destroy half its force by removing its causes or pretexts, and then combat what remained by the strong arm of the law in its utmost purity.
We have offered these strictures to all the parties which divide the country at this period, and especially to the people at large, whose interest as well as duty it is to chuse, and to support the one most likely to serve their cause. Before concluding, we must address a few words to the popular leaders of the party to which we look for restoring the prosperity of the State, and effecting the improvements in its condition, which the return of peace gives us a right to expect. Let them continue to make head against the pernicious and extravagant doctrines which have of late been propagated to distract the community; but let them beware of relaxing, on account of those follies, in their endeavours to promote a rational amendment in those branches of the Constitution which time has impaired. Above all, let them cordially unite with the sounder parts of the publick, forgetting the differences which, for a time, have separated them; and, by mutual forbearance and concessions, that most desirable end will be attained, of reestablishing a powerful party in the Senate, to maintain the cause of the country against corruption and oppression-a party which, through the honest and zealous support of the people, must speedily triumph. *
Art. VIII. Anecdotes of the Life of Richard Watson, Bishop
of Landaff; written by Himself at different intervals, and revised in 1814. Published by his Son, RICHARD WATSON, LL. B. Prebendary of Landaff and Wells. 4to. pp. 551. London. Cadell, 1817.
Few works have, of late years, excited greater attention than I the one now before us. The high academical reputation of Bishop Watson, sustained by his valuable literary performances, extended by the firm and manly independence of his character as a politician, and his liberal and tolerant principles as a churchman, naturally fixed the eyes of the publick upon any thing from his pen in the shape of Memoirs of himself, and of his own times. If the perusal of this volume should disappoint the curiosity of those who chiefly prize such books for the secret history which they develop, or the particulars which they detail of private life and conversation, the philosopher will nevertheless be deeply interested in tracing the progress to wellearned fame and eminence, of a man who won every honour by
* There were in the last Parliament about 150 members of the regu. lar Opposition; and of this number 130 were at one time in London, and able to attend. But from accidental circumstances, and chiefly from the want of an acknowledged leader, they never attended in any thing like this force. Nearly thirty have, by the General Election, been added to this number—forming a party wbich, under proper management, and with the support out of doors which it may expect to receive, will assuredly render the continuance of the present system of abuse and imbecility a matter of some difficulty,
the force of his own talents and industry, and never suffered himself for a moment to be spoilt by his advancement, or to relas in his endeavours to instruct and improve mankind, long after those exertions had ceased to be subservient to his own interests. But men of enlightened minds will prize this work still more highly, because it abounds with lessons of liberality and tolerance-because it exhibits a picture, too rare we fear in these times, of a dignitary of the Church despising the road to preferment which lies through sycophancy and servility to courts because it displays the progress of a powerful mind, among all the temptations fatal to so many virtues, yet unseduced, through a long life, from the steady course of constitutional principles first pointed out by reason and sober reflection. We lament to add, that these are the very reasons why, from one part of the community, this publication has called forth the most extravagant vituperation. It has been bitterly attacked, and the character of its venerable author shamelessly traduced by the venal pens of those whom the government of the day patronizes, and probably employs in other than the literary parts of the publick service. An outcry has been raised against Bishop Watson, as violent as if the most enlightened defender of the national religion had been an infidel prelate. The courteous allies of Talleyrand have shown far less regard for the brightest ornament of the English Episcopal bench, than they probably would have displayed had he abjured his faith, and joined in persecuting Catholics and Dissenters. The narrow-minded politicians, who suffered Paley to descend unnoticed to the grave, and pretended to forget all his mighty services to the cause of Religion, natural and revealed, as soon as they descried a prejudice against him in a certain quarter, consistently enough alloved all favours to pass by the Champion of the Gospel, who had triumphantly defended it against Gibbon and Paine. Still hating him whom they had feared, and unable to forgive him for their own injustice, they now vent their malice against his memory; and seek, in lessening a reputation far above their spiteful attempts, to gain some pitiful extenuation of their conduct, in neglecting to strengthen, by its accession, the cause they affect to serve. We gladly turn from such ephemeral topics to the man himself, and his book.
Richard Watson was born at Heversham, a village in Westmoreland, in the year 1737, and was the son of a respectable schoolmaster, whose family had long been settled at Shap, in the same county. They were of the class usually known in those parts by the name of Statesmen, that is, small proprietors, who cultivate their own land, and lead, ut prisca gens mortolium, a frugal and industrious life among their children and husbandry servants, if indeed their estate should be considerable enough to require any hands in addition to their own. In the north of England this race of honest yeomanry is exceedingly numerous; and as they are well educated, independent in their circumstances, and simple in their habits, the vices attendant upon luxury in other parts of the country, have not yet tainted their charac- * ter, which is that of resolute and uncorrupted freemen. The elder Watson had the honour of educating Ephraim Chambers, the author of the Encyclopædia, but he had been compelled, by declining health, to abandon the useful and honourable profession of a schoolmaster before his son was born; and as an inferior teacher succeeded him, the latter complained that he never was thoroughly grounded in the art of prosody, by the habit of making verses an exercise which he speaks of with very great good sense, allowing its usefulness, but without the exaggerated estimate of its value, which our English neighbours are apt to form,
In 1754, he was sent to Cambridge, and admitted a Sizar of Trinity College. He now began that life of hard labour, which he persisted in as long as his health permitted, and long after its decline had seemed to demand relaxation. Unlike the young men of the present day, who either confine their exertions to the University term, or even to those who, though willing to work, yet disdain residing at the place best adapted to their studies, and move off in all directions, to read at the greatest distance from alma mater, as if there were something incompatible with intellectual labour in her atmosphere; he began by a residence of two years and seven months, during which period he had never been out of College for one whole day. Having thus purchased a right to some relaxation, he went down to Westmoreland, to pass his third long vacation; but he tired of this idle plan long before the summer was over, and returned to College early in September, to resume his academical habits. With hard work he mingled the pleasures of society, for which he always had a keen relish. The following interesting passage conveys some idea of the life which he led.
When I used to be returning to my room at one or two in the morning, after spending a jolly evening, I often observed a light in the chamber of one of the same standing with myself; this never failed to excite my jealousy. and the next day was always a day of hard study. I have gone wibont my dinner a hundred times on suche L
e ter entirely understood a proposition
philosophy, till I was able in
rrecto labello, to draw the
scheme in my head, and go through every step of the demonstration without book or pen and paper. I found this was a very difficult task, especially in some of the perplexed schemes and long demonstrations of the Twelfth Book of Euclid, and in L'Hopital's Conic Sections, and in Newton's Principia. My walks for this purpose were 80 frequent, that my tutor, not knowing what I was about, once reproached me for being a lounger. I never gave up a difficult point in a demonstration till I had made it out proprio Marte; I have been stopped at a single step for three days. This perseverance in accomplishing whatever I undertook, was, during the whole of my active life, a striking feature in my character, so much so that Dr Powell, the Master of St John's College, said to a young man, a pupil of mine, for whom I was prosecuting an appeal which I had lodged with the visiter against the College, -" Take my advice, sir, and go back to your curacy, for your tutor is a man of perseverance, not to say obstinacy." After a perseverance however of nearly three years, the appeal was determined against the College ; the young man (Mr Russel) was put in possession of the Furness Fell Fellowship, which I had claimed for him, as a propriety-fellowship; and the College was fined 501. for having elected another into it. It would be for the public good if all propriety-fellowships, in both Universities, were laid open ; and Dr Powell (for whose memory I have great veneration) was, I doubt not, influenced by the same opinion, when he attempted to set aside this propriety ; Dr Kipling, whom he had elected into it, being in ability far superior to Mr Russel : But the Legislature alone is competent to make such a change ; and till it is made by proper authority, the will of every founder ought to be attended to.' p. 11, 12.
It is impossible to contemplate this picture of academical habits, without observing how great and how pure are the gratifications of intellectual appetites. A life of study is, of all others, the least chequered with reverses of fortune, and least stamped with satiety, or any of the other attendants upon excess. Nor are its pleasures confined to the stage when we have gained the suminit, and can freely exert ourselves in enlarging the bounds of human knowledge. The ascent is as grateful, from the pleasurable nature of the efforts which it requires, and the new views to which it leads at each step, as the enjoyment of the level and lofty eminence itself, with all its more extensive range of prospect, and the greater ease in which it is possessed. These are truths never to be lost sight of, and which ought perpetually to be kept in the recollection of youth, who are too apt to regard all the efforts required of them as beyond the necessity of the occasion, and to ally them with feelings of pain rather than gratification. The irksomeness is but at the beginning. We will venture to affirm, that at no per
VOL. Xxx. NO. 59.