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by which the horrible inquisition is turned to a necessary evil, and to a sacred bridle for defpotic power.'
What a pretty use this writer hath found for the horrible inquisition! A very falutary institution truly; by the abolition of which, the Spaniards and Portuguese would doubtless be great sufferers ! Is it pofsible our Civilian can be fo ignorant of hiftory, or so blind to the operations of the human heart, as not to know that the fpirit of liberty in any people, is a greater bulwark against despotic power than all the religious orders in the world? Can he be ignorant that the political sanctity, he contends for, hath been almost always the tool of tyranny! History affords us hardly one instance in which the Clergy have opposed the Prince, merely for the good of the people. The church and state have contended, indeed, frequently for the rod of power ; but whereever the former hath got the better, the people have profited only by obtaining twenty tyrants instead of one. It is well our Author tells us, from whence he derives his system of politics: the Turks are undoubtedly first-rate politicians, and their political creed as worthy of adoption as their religious one! Mr. Mofer, indeed, seems a little aware of the insufficiency of his political arguments; and endeavours therefore to enforce them by philofophical reasoning. He is here, however, in our opinion, no better a philosopher than politician.
• There is a ftrange disposition in men towards wonderful and extraordinary things, such as apparitions, spectres, forebodings, secret operations of nature, and all these things which force even philosophers to confess, we don't yet know every thing.--Those great men who have apgued and written against this superftitious disposition of mind have fucceeded well enough, fo far as at lcast to prevent it from being dangerous; but however they could not radically extirpate it, and many people are now afhamed to confess publickly, what in their private thoughts they confefs to themselves.-But may not this propensity of mind be accounted for from some higher reasons ? Horses have a tender mouth in order that a bridle may the better rule them; and perhaps this disposition has been implanted in us, in order that we may the better be carried by it to execute the wise purposes of nature. Do but imagine to yourself that we had not such à disposition of mind, and suppose that our brain was so conftituted that it could not be affected by any thing but mathemati, cal demonstrations, thould we then be pofTefled of that tender sensibility, that eafy credulity, which so much contributes to our pleasure? We must then either look into the very bottom of every thing, (which pretension is however very absuru) or we are now a great deal happier, because we are sooner and more easily satisfied. It is true enough, this disposition is very ape to Kindle the - fire of fuperftition ; but good-nature, kindness,
and generosity, are not less liable to be misled. This you know yourself, and have not censured such qualities neither. Indeed man is a curious, wonderful, and incomprehensible being; he is both the master and the fool of all his fellow-creatures. We have conjectures and systems concerning the end and design of his existence, but viewing him only as he stands in relation to this life, and the rank he here holds, I find by experience that it is necessary for him to be led and tamed by various ways and means.'
It is with some indignation we see even the language of philofophy employed, in attempts to enslave the persons, and blind the understandings, of mankind : we shall, therefore, take the above curious piece of fophiftry to pieces, for the entertainment or information of the Reader.
Our Author sets out, with adopting the supposition of many other superficial reasoners, viz. that superstition is a natural paflion originally implanted, and so deeply rooted in the human heart, as never to be eradicated.' But fuperftition is not a pafsion originally inherent in, or inseparably attached to human nature: it is only an habitual and factitious disposition, compounded of the joint operations of admiration and fear. These indeed are original inherent pasions, and, when properly cultivated or directed, produce curiofity and veneration; whence knowledge and religion: but, when neglected or improperly turned, are productive of ignorant wonder and timid fuperftition. Our Author pays a fine compliment to human nature, in supposing our minds to have been made purposely feeble, that we might be the better ruled ; nor do we think even that noble animal the horse, hath any thing to thank him for: as we conceive a free and independent Houyhnhnm would dispute the right of bridling him merely because he might have a tender mouth. As to that easy credulity, which so much contributes to our pleasure,' we do not envy our Author any share of it that nature or education may have bestowed on him. "We agree with him that Man is a curious, wonderful and incomprehensible Being, and that individuals are the masters and the fools of their fellow-creatures. But here lies the rub: the dispute is, who are to be the masters and who the fools? Mr. Moser says, he finds by experience, that it is necessary man should be led and tamed. What? Man, in the abstract ? All mankind ? -No, surely : for, if so, by whom are we to be thus led and tamed? It is only a certain
part of mankind, the simple and ignorant, the poor subjects and the laity that are to be bridled, led and tamed by the ingenious and learned, the magistrates and the clergy. But have not even the fimple and ignorant multitude, the canaille, the mob, or whatever opprobrious term we please to give them; have not they the common privileges of man? Who hath promoted and elevated there guides and rulers into angels and demigods, to bridle and goad their fellow-creatures like brutes ? What natural right doth fuperiot cunning give one man over the liberty and independency of another? Is it not a right of the same kind as that which fuperior strength may give one to his property? Doubtless it is : nor can any better reason be given, why a wiser man should enJave him, than why a stronger man should rob him. In Socia ety, mutual fagacity, like mutual strength, is united for the common good; but the social compact gives the cunning no greater right to oppress the simple than it gives the strong to oppress the weak. Add to this that the stupid father may have an ingenious son; and it would be the greatest act of injustice to shut the gates of knowledge against those who may not as yet have acquired information. How should we exclaim against the tyranny of a design, to prevent the Poor from acquiring property, and for perpetuating wealth in the families of those who are now rich! But this would be neither more unjust, nor more cruel, than the design of entailing on the generation of the fimple and unlearned a constant state of stupidity and ignorance; for to such a state, that of flavery is inseparably annexed. We cannot help, therefore, expressing our disapprobation of such doctrines as this Author inculcates. The rulers of the people, indeed, may insinuate, as much as they please, that the multitude are happier in their ignorance, than they would be made by their enquiries after knowledge: but men are never happy unless they are permitted to be happy their own way; nor do they enjoy the common privileges of human nature, if they are prea vented from exerting those faculties, whether of imagination or reason, with which God hath endowed them.
ít is with a very ill grace, the translator takes upon him to censure the inabilities of others: nor can we allow the juftice of any of his reasons for engaging in a talk, to which his own acquisitions are so evidently, and, indeed, confessedly inadequate. The ill-fuccess of preceeding translators from the German, is by no means, a sufficient plea for his adding to the number of wretched translations. The Messiah of Klopstock, and the Satires of Rabener, may be miserable versions, without conferring any degree of merit on that of the letter before us. Mr. Warnecke, indeed, seems to impute the deficiency of those translations to the circumstance of their being made by Englishnien: but we do not see why an Englishman, who does not understand German, may not translate from that language as well as a German who does not understand English. Is it easier to write a larguage than to read it? The contrary is generally, and indeed very justly, conceived to be the case. We would advise him, therefore, to study the English language two years longer, before he ventures to translate again; for we can aflure him that all the wit, humour, and Attic salt, with which, he says, the original of this Letter abounds, and which he doubts not may be easily discovered in this feeble tranflation, are totally evaporated.
The Pofthumous Works of Dean Swift, concladed: See Review
for September, p. 230.
E are now arrived at that part of this Collection, which
contains the Letters to and from several persons. They are seventy-five in number; and the principal names that appear in this correspondence, are, the Earl of Peterborough, Lord Bolingbroke, the Duke and Duchels of Ormond, the Duke of Argyle, Lord Chancellor Harcourt, Lord Oxford, Lady Male ham, Lord. Carieret, Countess of Suffolk, Lord Chesterfield, Lady Betty Germaine, Duke of Dorset, Duke of Chandois, Meírs. Addison, Steele, Pope, Lyttelton, &c. &c. Some of these are, of small import; but others are more worthy both of the Dean and of the illustrious persons with whom he had the honour to correspond. Their dates begin with the year 1710, and are continued to 1739. There is no doubt of their genuineness; for most of these letters do indeed, as the editor observed, carry with them their own internal marks of authenticity : Swift is still Swift.; even to the very last, when his infirmities had got such hold of him, that, when writing to his friends, the decay of his faculties became the principal though plaintive subject.
A letter to Lord Carteret, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, dated in 1724, affords the following particulars, which do honour to the memory of the celebrated Dr. Berkeley, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne. These particulars, indeed, are not wholly unknown to the public; but we deem it not impertinent to infert them here ; because they may serve as a supplement to the account given of that great genius, in a late volume of our Review,
In the course of this letter, Swift takes occasion to inform his noble correspondent, that Dr. George Berkeley, who was then just set out on a journey to England, was at that time Dean of Derry,--the best preferment in that kingdom, (we suppose he means, exclusive of the bishopricks] being worth 11001. a year. He takes the Bath in his way to London, says the Dean of St. Patrick's, and will, of course, attend your Excellency, and be presented, I suppose, by his friend my Lord Burlington. And, because I believe you will chuse out some very idle minutes to read this letter, perhaps you may not be ill entertained with fome account of the man, and his errand, He was a Fellow in
the Univerfity here ; and, going to England very young, about thirteen years ago, he became the founder of a lećt there called the Immaterialists, by the force of a very curious book upon that subject. Doctor Smallridge, and many other eminent persons were his profelytes. I sent him secretary and chaplain, to Sicily, with my Lord Peterborow; and, upon his Lordship’s return, Doctor Berkeley spent above seven years in travelling over most parts of Europe, but chiefly through every corner of Italy, Sicily, and other inlands. When he came back to England, he found so many friends, that he was effectually recommended to the Duke of Grafton, by whom he was lately made Dean of Derry. Your Excellency will be frighted, when I tell you all this is but an introduction: for I am now to mention his errand. He is an absolute philofopher, with regard to money, titles, and power; and, for three years past, hath been struck with a notion of founding an university at Bermudas, by a charter from the crown. He hath seduced several of the hopefullest young clergymen and others here, many of them well provided for, and all of them in the fairest way of preferment: But, in England, his conquests are greater ; and, I doubt, will spread very far this winter. He thewed me a little tract, which he defigns to publith ; and there your Excellency will see his whole scheme of a life academico-philosophical, (I shall make you remember what you were) of a college founded for Indian scholars and miffionaries; where he, moft exorbitantly, proposeth a whole hundred pounds a year for himself; forty pounds for a fellow, and 'ten for a student. His heart will break if his deanary be not taken from him, and left to your Excellency's difpalal. I discourage him by the coldness of courts and miniiters, who will interpret all this as impoffible, and a vision ; but nothing will do. . And, therefore, I do humbly entreat your Excellency, either to use such persuasions as will keep one of the first men of this kingdom, for learning and virtue, quiet at home, or affist him, by your credit, to compass his romantic defign; which, however, is very noble and generous, and directly proper for a great person of your cxcellent education to encourage.'
It is no úncommon thing with Swift, who was a warm friend and a bitter foe, to exaggerate, greatly, the virtues of those whom he designed to commend, as well as the faults of such as had the misfortune to be number'd among his enemies; but in this sketch of Dr. Berkeley's character, he seems, according to all the accounts we have met with of that worthy prelate, to have kept striály within bounds, and to have given us a very just likeness of the original.
Most of our Readers, no doubt, have heard of the Dean's famous affair with Counsellor Betterworth ; occasioned by his fcRev. D&. 1965