صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ethellwida, Then thou are not so wise, as would appear,
From thy white head, and grave habiliments.

(Walks afide in great emotion, Returns )
If shou art fond and weak, and foolish coo;
Why, fo am I. We may confort together,

Aud build trong castles.


Thy harp shall move
The trees and rocks. In order they shall rise,

As high as Babel's tower.

Forthwith thev shall.
Eibelfwida. Are all thy fongs of melancholy train?
Alfr.d. The greater part.

Then thou hart loit thy love;
E!fe ihou could'it ne'er have felt true melancholy.
I will not hear thee now. I'm poor in spirit,
And have not force so bear a strong affection.
I choose a garland song, a lighter train.

There liv'a'a youth, by filver Tunies,

Who lovid the maidens furr;
Biticole, at large, the rover rang’d,

Nor felt a lover's care.
We must not with one cenfure level all.
Sime men are truc of heart, but very few,
Those live not long, they die before their time.
'Tis pity of them. Oh!

{walks afde. Hinguar.

A show'r of tears
Falt falling calms the tempelt of her mind.
Alfred. 'Tis a deep-rooted malady.

We perfectly agree with the ingenious Writer, that preserve ing ancient foundations, as the piers of his bridge, the Author may bend his arches, and finish the fabric, according to his taste and fancy.' His taste however may be censured as faulty, or inelegant; and his fancy may be too incorrect or eccentric. In the prelent instance, notwithstanding the folidity of the main piers, we cannot, without reserve, praise the bridge we go over. The centre arch, turned on the disguise of Alfred, and the collateral arches, resting on the loves of Alfred and Ethelswida, are tolerably regular and beautiful; and the language is carved out into an elegant and ornamental ballustrade ; but the jealousy of the Danish Queen-confort, Ronex, and the intrigues of the attendant, Edda, form a clumsy abutment that calls off the eye from the beauties of the rest of the pile. To drop the metaphor, we think that a better fable might have been raised on the received and popular circumstance of Alfred's venturing into the Danish camp in the habit of a minitrel. The drama, as it now lt:nds, requires much more improvement than can posibly have been effecied by the alteration of one seene. The whole Caracter and episode of Ronex is unplealing, and the chamber

maid conduct of Edda is ridiculous. There is also here and there an infelicity of expression in the language, though the diction is, on the whole, much above the ordinary style of modern tragedy. We are inclined to believe that the fable was hastily put together, and the dialogue as hastily written; but the story is so well calculated to receive further embellishment, and the Poet fo capable of bestowing it, that we should rejoice to see a drama on the subject of Alfred, built by the same hand, on a more correct plan, and formed of materials more durable. With such an alteration, the tragedy might be resumed and revived ;' for such an alteration would moft powerfully contribute to heighten its effect.'

C. Art. XIII. Review of the Canadian Freeholder. Concluded. See

Review for December.
N argument strongly insisted upon by the Americans, to


want of representation in the British senate. But this unluckily proves nothing, or proves too much. For as there are not above three hundred thousand voters in the whole kingdom of England, by whose fuffrage the representatives of the people are nominated, it would follow upon these principles, that the English nation itself not being adequately represented, ought not to submit to be taxed. The Americans are sensible of the force of this observation, and endeavour to elude it, by saying that however unequally the House of Commons is constitúted, yet, that every portion of land in England to the value of forty shillings, qualifying an elector, the representation always bears a certain proportion to the poffeffion of property; and contequently, that justice, and the spirit of the constitution, require that these privileges should be extended upon the same terms to America, to place it upon an equal footing with the mother country. But this diftinction is, according to our author, more specious than just; since the Question is not an enquiry into the abstract speculative nature of government, but must be'. decided by an historical examination of the conditions, upon which the first settlers in America emigrated from their own country. But as these original settlers claimed neither right nor property, except by the permission of the crown, and as the crown was by no means obliged to model the American, by the pattern of English tenure, it is very evident that there is, in this respect, no analogy between the two countries, and consequently that this argument is defective.

Another objection made by the Americans, is their distance from the seat of government, and their having no methods of reftraint upon the legislators; from which reasons they conclude, that they should be perpetually exposed to see their interest neglected or facrificed, But when it is considered, that the in


[ocr errors]

terest of one country is so intimately blended with that of the other, that it can never either suffer or prosper alone, the intercourse which the two nations have by means of commerce, and the difficulty, which a British government could not be ignorant it would meet with, to enforce any oppressive act in the colonies, the fears arising from these considerations will appear visionary. Experience has evinced, that nothing is to difficult as for the different houses of assembly which govern the colonies, to concur in any general project of imposing a tax, even from the most important motives; and as juitice and

reason require, that every part of an extensive empire, should . Contribute to the common defence, our Author thinks, that the

power of raising the necessary contributions, can no where be lo utefally and fecurely deposited, as in a British parliament.

How far these arguments may be conclusive upon the subject, or how far the acquie cence of one country under à government, which has evidently departed from its original principles, by confining to a small part of the people, that power of chuting its own governors, which the whole nition has an indisputable right to share, ought to be a precedent for another, it is not our business to determine. But although, we wish rather to add additional force to tie arguments which are alleged in favour of our country, than diminith their efficacy, our reipect for truth obliges us to observe, that the right which nature has given to every portion of mankind, to judge for themselves, and repel oppression, can neither be destroyed nor limited by precedent. Should there ever arrive a time, when government being corrupted at its very sources, the liberties of this nation fhould be infamously exposed to a feptennial auction; should the representatives of this people, openly become the pensioners and lycophants of the crown, instead of the afferters of the people's rights ; should the public magistrates of every rank, instituted to explain and defend the laws, basely league themselves to undermine their authority; in such a state of things, should it ever arrive, it may be the interest of a nation, which retains neither courage, honour, nor patriotism, to submit, but such an example ought never to be urged, and never can be imitated by a wife and uncorrupted people.

Our Author then proceeds to examine the scheme which has been proposed, by many friends to the two countries, for compofing the pretent unnatural conteft, that of admitting American representatives into the British fenate. This, he thinks so just a request, that it would not have been refused, even, by those ministers who first adopted the plan of taxing the colonics. He vindicates it from all the objections, which have been made to it, from the difficulty of execution, as well as from the ridicule with which it has been treated by Mr. Burke, in his


pamphlet, called, “ Observations on a late State of the Na- . tion.” Upon the whole, he thinks it equally just and feasible, calculated to silence the most factious part of the Americans, and to gain those who with a less determined hatred to the government, are apprehenfive for their country, libertics, and interest, although, from the present hoftile difpofitions of the two contending nations, there appears little probability, that such conciliatory measures will be proposed by the one side, or accepted by the other.

The next inquiry is, how far it is eligible to attempt to fubdue, and when subdued, to retain America by violence. And here we cannot but lament that our Author, though he wrote before the mutual jealousies had terminated in fo fatal a manner, seems to be inspired with a prophetic spirit. After deciding that nothing can be more inconfiftent, with the generous spirit of a free country, than to govern by a mercenary ftanding army, that fatal init. ument of cvery tyrant, that eremy of human nature, and the common rights of all the species, he foretels that such an attempt would prove ineffectuai from a variety of causes which he enumerates; and that even could it fucceed, it must end in the ruin and flavery of the conquerors.

Nec lex eft juftior ulla, Quam necis artifices arte perire fuâ. Ite ensuing pages contain the history of the stamp-act; the repeal of that act; the im polition of new duties by the present ministry, and the notable stratagem of surprising the Americans into compliance, by landing teas in their respective ports, and an irreconcileable hatred lighted up between the tuo kindred nations, for the honourable purpose of supplying the deficiencies which the East India company met with in their fales. The conduct of the Americans upon this occasion, is too well known to need illustration, as well as of the government, who equally unfortunate both in their compliances, and in their firmneis, foftered the fpirit of oppofition and revolt, at a time when it might have been effectually crushed, by their wavering and pulillanimous councils; and when it was become irresistible, wisely chose to exasperate instead of foothing, to unite the dif cordant colonies in the cominon purpose of self-defence, by fhewing them that a British parliament effem.cd nothing ico facred to be facrificed to their revenge, and 10 fever the vast continent of America from its parent state. Our Author's reflexions upon these subjects, as well as upon the Bofion port and Quebec acts, are equally juit and liberal; and prove, that it he is a candid exaniner of the claims.of the revolted colonies, he is no tool of power, nor enemy to human liberty.

Here follow many judicious obfervations, upon the mischic, vous consequences of the Quebec and Beiton port acis, in alienating the minds even of that party among the Americans, wbo were supposed to be in the interest of the government. He then fets forth the necessity of repealing these obnoxious acts, as a foundation for reconciliation, and either giving up the article of taxation, or admitting American representatives into the British house of commons.

The conclusion of this work, contains an history of the 41 per cent. duty, which was attempted to be levied upon some of the West-India islands, by the authority of the crown. The Author here assembles every circumstance which can elucidate this claim, in respect to each of the islands separately, and adds some proposals of his own, for the future regulation of this branch of the royal revenue, in such a manner as may put an end to the complaints, which have hitherto been made against it. But as we have allotted a larger space thail usual to this publication, we shall refer our Readers to the work itself, for the particulars of this important disquisition. Upon the whole, we recommend this book to fuch of our Readers, as are yet unsated with American controversy, as a work full of useful information, written in a perspicuous style, and directed by a spirit of candour and impartiality. And here we shall take our leave of the Author, with the hope that he will fulfil his promise, and present us with a second part of the Canadian Freeholder, not inferior to the first.


[ocr errors]

Art. XIV. Choix des Memoires de L'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles. Lettres, en trois Tomes. 4to. 31. 3 s.

Becket, &c. 1777. HE labours of philosophical and literary societies open

an extensive field for judicious selection. These pero formances are extremely voluminous; and the articles which they contain, are not more various in kind, than different in merit. It is expected, that each Academician should not only offer to his associates some fruit of his studies, but should exhibit to the public fome proofs of his abilities. These duties, which all are alike called to perform, a part only are capable to fulfil. The productions of a few learned and ingenious men, throw luftre on the body to which they belong. While they acquire the respect of their associates, they excite the admiration of their countrymen. They please and interest by the novelty of their ideas, the depth of their researches, the elegance of their diction, and the force of their expression. It is useful therefore, to collect in one work those scattered rays, which brighten the natural gloom of philofophical and literary memoirs; and, when this task is executed with the judgment and taste, con spicuous in the present selection, it is difficult to offer a more valuable present to the public.


« السابقةمتابعة »