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The original Editors of thefe academical labours, were fenfible of the neceffity, for making a diftinction between articles of different degrees of merit. Those which are moft interefting, they give at full length in the words of their authors; while they are fatisfied, with offering an analyfis of fuch productions as appeared lefs curious and important, and this analysis is contained in what is called the hiftorical part of the work. Although they have thus lopped off many fuperfluities, the greater part of the difcourfes which they have publifhed, are still very little adapted to the purposes of general entertainment or instruction. They relate to national antiquities, infcriptions, medals, and other fubjects, which, while they intereft the Frenchman or the antiquary, are deemed extremely unimportant by the public at large. The learned and judicious Edi tor of the prefent work, has, with great propriety, intirely omit ted all fuch matters; and by publishing thofe articles only, which explain the general principles of tafte and literature, or illuftrate the claffical writings of Greece and Rome, which will ever be the ftandards of both,-he comprehends in three volumes all that is material, or interesting to the bulk of readers, in the formidable feries of thirty-feven.
The French philofophy has been obliged to yield the prize to that of a neighbouring nation. The French poets, hiftorians, and moralifts, are equalled at leaft by thofe of Italy and Eng land. In works of original genius and invention, France has no juft claim to fuperiority; but in matters of taste and criti cifm, her fame is unrivalled. The prefent publication contains the combined labours of the most ingenious men in that kingdom, on thofe fubjects in which the French chiefly excel; and thus offers the most complete and elegant collection of critical and mifcellaneous knowledge, that is to be found in any language. G...S.
For FEBRUARY, 1778.
Art. 15. The R-1 Register; with Annotations by another Hand.
T has been confidently afferted," fays the Editor (we most not, on this occafion; fay Author) in the Introduction, and generally believed, that a perfon in the highest rank does amufe himself with noting down his opinions of thote, whom he employs in the $, or meets in the Dr-g R-m;--that he minutes the particular tranfactions of internal and external government, with regular accounts of fuch intelligence as he procures from thofe officially employed, or by other means; and that he commits to paper his obfer vations and opinions on public affaire and private concerns, with his Rev Feb, 1778. M
diffatisfactions, approbation, hopes, fears, predictions, &c.-How far this idea may be founded in truth, I cannot pretend to determine; I can only declare that I have in my poffeffion a large col-, lection of manufcripts, which answer in every particular to this. defcription; all of which fhall, as my leifure ferves me, be faithfully published.'
This will intimate the nature of the fcheme. How far the Public may be, or have been, ftruck with the thought, is unknown to us; but there is novelty in the defign, and the execution is neither contemptible in itself, nor (on the whole) difhonourable to the fuppofed R--y--1 Register-keeper. But a specimen will best speak the character, and exhibit the manner, of the performance:-Take, then, the E of S.
The art of robbing vice of its difguft, and throwing around it the mantle of convivial pleasure, belongs in a very peculiar manner, to this nobleman. I understand, that from his youth to the prefent time, he has proceeded in one uniform, unblufhing courfe of debauchery and diffipation. His converfation is chiefly tinctured with unchafte expreffions and indecent allufions; and fome have affured me, that if these were to be omitted by him, much of his wit, or, at leaft, what is called his wit, would be loft.
It was, most certainly, a very ferious bufinefs, and yet I could not help fmiling at being informed of this nobleman's rifing in the of, and making a grave, laboured fpeech against a blafphemous production of Mr. W- Surely it was very mal-à-propos, as the whole kingdom muft fufpect his fincerity in the bufinefs, and even his friends could not but feel the ridiculoufness of his fituation t. He is, however, an able and an active minifter; his abilities are universally acknowledged; and although I have, at times, been not quite fatisfied with him; (for an immoral character will never poffels my entire confidence ;) yet, on due examination, I have found him deferving the high ftation he poffeffes. If he was to quit the ———, I know not where I fhould find fuch an able fucceffor.'
**** who is
is a great imperfection in government, that a
influence of religion, and feels the comforts and neceffity
*The book has been published about a month.
They did indeed!-Nay, I will venture to affert, that however the folemnity of the fubject and the affembly might chain down gravity upon the faces of his audience, the folemnity of the speaker did not leave a ferious mind among them. Every one will, I believe, agree with me in this opinion, who reads the exordium of the oration, which was to the following purport:'
"I have a paper in my hand, * whofe contents are of fuch a horrid and deteftable nature, that I almost wonder it did not draw down the immediate vengeance of heaven (here he lifted up his pious eyes) upon this nation.*, this fhocking compofition may be faid to contain two parts; a blasphemous and a bawdy part. I fhall not fhock the many Right Reverend --s who are present with a recital of the former;-to fave their facred blushes, I fhall confine myself to the latter,"-&c,'
of it, fhould be prevented from making a fenfe of it and its fanctions a neceffary qualification in his fervants t. The friends of this noble perfon, who partake the mirth and good humour of his jovial hours, have, no doubt, a great regard for him; but he is an unpopular character with the nation in general.'
I have been informed that he was feriously affected at the treatment he met with from the young men at C, when he was candidate for the office of H-S- to that university. It muft, indeed, be extremely mortifying to a man, who means to be young as long as he lives, that the whole youth of a large univerfity fhould not only treat his name with contempt, and harass his friends with an unpopular cry, but mark his perfonal appearance with the most confirmed and open difapprobation.-I am forry for these things,but he is certainly a good minifter!
Art. 16. Two Tracts on CIVIL LIBERTY, the War with Amerita, and the Finances of the Kingdom. By Richard Price, D. D. F. R. S. A new Edition, with Corrections and Additions.
5 s. Sewed. Cadell. 1778.
For the Additions now made to Dr. Price's two celebrated tracts, fee the next enfuing article.
Art. 17. The Introduction and Supplement to the two Tracts on Cadell. Civil Liberty, &c. By Dr. Price. 8vo. I ́s. 6d.
Thefe Additions, &c. are fold feparately, to accommodate the purchasers of the former editions of the Tracts.
The Introduction contains a brief hiftory of bills for examining public accounts,-remarks on the origin of government,-the political principles of the Diffenters, and the Archbishop of York's fermon before the fociety for propagating the gofpel in foreign parts, Feb. 21. 1777. His Grace's political principles are here treated with a degree of feverity, for which the Doctor feems to have had fufficient provocation, as he conceives himself to have been obviously glanced at in the faid fermon. The Doctor particularly falls upon the favourite high-church fcheme of fending bishops to America. A wag reading this paffage in a coffee house, expreffed
If this fhould be owing to an imperfection in our government, which I cannot think, it must be in a very shattered condition, indeed. The tide of corruption, it is true, bears ftrongly against it j and Virtue seems to shrink back from the torrent.'
I will endeavour to recal this fingular circumftance to the remembrance of the Reader!-When this nobleman was candidate for the abovementioned honours of the university of -in oppofition to Lord H, the whole body of ftudents, a very few excepted, exerted their utmoft oppofition to him, and treated his Tupporters with the moft avowed infults.In T—- college, particularly, when a fumptuous, public entertainment was provided by the head of it for the unpopular candidate; as foon as grace was pronounced, all the fcholars, &c. to the number of forty, immediately quitted the hall.-This dignified mark of contempt made, I believe, the foup of that day and fome fucceeding ones, very bitter to his Lordship.'
his aftonishment at the Doctor's oppofition to this plan: "I with," faid he, the bishops were all fent to America.'
In animadverting on the Archbishop's difcourfe, Doctor Price has the following obfervation, with refpect to his Grace's feelings on the fubject of America; for which the good Doctor thus expreffes his kind concern :'
I cannot help thinking,' fays he, with concern of the learned Prelate's feelings. After a profpect long dark, he had difcovered a ray of brightnefs, fhewing him America reduced, and the church triumphant; but lately that ray of brightness has vanished, and defeat has taken place of victory and conqueft.-And what do we now fee?-What a different profpect, mortifying to the learned Prelate, prefents itself? A great people likely to be formed, in spite of all our efforts, into free communities, under governments which have no religious telts and establishments!-A new era in future annals, and a new opening in human affairs, beginning among the defcendents of Englishmen, in a new world!-A rifing empire, extended over an immenfe continent, without BISHOPS, without NOBLES, -and without KINGS.'
With regard, however, to a freedom from religious tefts, under the new government in America, the Doctor candidly mentions one exception to the fact. The new conftitution,' fays he, for Penfylvania (in other refpects wife and liberal), is difhonoured by a religious teft. It requires an acknowledgment of the divine infpiration of the Old and New Teflament, as a condition of being admitted to a feat in the houfe of reprefentatives; directing, however, at the fame time, that no other religious teft fhall for ever hereafter be required of any civil officer!--This, the Doctor adds, has been, probably, an accommodation to the prejudices of fome of the nar rower fects in the province; to which the more liberal part have, for the prefent, thought fit to yield!"
The Supplement contains Dr. Price's additional obfervations on fchemes for raising money by public loans; with a fummary view and comparison of the different fchemes. This, confidering the prefent ftate of our finances, is a very important addition, and highly interefting to the public.
Art. 18. The Cafe ftated on philofophical Ground between Great Britain and her Colonies, &c. 8vo. zs. Kearsley. 1778.
This philofophical, poetical, rhapfodical politician is a vehement advocate for the independency of the colonies: he abounds in hard words and unintelligible expreffions;-but, in our apprehenfion, he is totally deficient in the qualifications neceffary to the ftating the very important and interesting cafe between Great Britain and her colonies.
Art. 19. Thoughts on the prefent State of Affairs with America and the Means of Conciliation. By William Pulteney, Efq. 8vo. z's. Dodfley, &c. 1778.
This very candid thinker appears to have written on purpose to prepare our minds for a plan of reconciliation; which it is much to
• Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury.
be apprehended, will, nevertheless, come too late to prevent the lofs
Mr. P. ftates the principal points in difpute, very fully and impartially;-he fhews clearly that the Americans in general had no ideas of independence before our plan of taxation; that they had very good reasons to dread the confequences of the mode of taxing them without reprefentatives †, which was adopted here, and that upon the whole they have behaved like men of fpirit; and as they do not chufe to be beaten, we ought to shake hands, and make a lasting alliance with them, upon as good terms as we can.-On the other hand he says, our miniflry are good fort of people too; that they meant well; but unhappily expreffed their good meaning in very ambiguous phrafes.-He makes the best apology in his power for their violent measures; and endeavours to heal our deep and agonizing wounds with the balfam of favourable reprefentations, and apparent impartiality.
In the appendix to this pamphlet there are fome letters written by Dr. Franklin to Governor Shirley, fo long fince as in the year 1754 % in which the objections of the Americans to their being taxed in the British Parliament are fo fully, ably, and clearly stated, that, as our Author fays, those who read them with attention, will probably think that hardly any thing new has fince been fuggefted upon the fab. ject. And we will venture to add, that if the early and repeated reprefentations of this truly great and enlightened mind had been attended to as they ought to have been, we should not now have been lamenting the lofs of thousands of men, and millions of wealth; and trembling with apprehenfions of the approaching diffolution of the British empire.
Art. 20. Plan of Re-union between Great Britain and her Colonies.
This outrageous minifterial politician is bleffed with a lively imagination, strong paffions, and a plentiful lack of wildom. He fays,
Price fhews himself a traitor against fociety, virtue, and religion, in every line; yet could find people to circulate fourteen editions of the dull poison in three months.'-And after this modeft cenfure in his preface, our Author has the affurance, in the first paragraph of his book, to claim a right to indulgence and candour! The day for his wild ideas of parliamentary fupremacy, and abuse of the Ame
+ This gentleman has, particularly, explained the difference be tween taxing an unreprefented Briton, and an unreprefented American, more fully and clearly than most of the many writers who have undertaken to difcufs this generally mistaken point.