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use of to induce them to do it, but the only feeling one that ever can be made use of, their own intereit?'
He then shews the inconveniencies under which agriculture would labour, if there was no other market for the produce of the fields than what was obtained by means of commerce at à distance. And although he confiders commerce, when under proper regulations, as highly beneficial, and worthy of encouragement, yet he fhews, at great length, that unless it is viewed in this subservient capacity, the fate may be reduced to the lowest degree of debility, while its commerce continues to flourish :
• Suill, however, the merchants, by pushing on trade to a great degree; by importing and re exporting, might continue to bring vait fums of money into the nation, and accumulate riches to an atonishing degreee, - while the people,--the only true riches of the itate, were reduced to milery.
• Such, in all probability, was the state of ancient Tyre. Such for certain was the state of Carthage, which, from this mistaken idea, that riches could confticute the itrength of a flate, suffered her merchants to be exalted to the highest degree, while her people were iniserable flavcs. But when the trying hour of danger came, --when she was surrounded with difficulties on every fide,- she felt her infernal weakness :-her own people deserted their oppressors, and allifted the vil.rious foe; -her mercenaries forsook her and fed ;and the felt, when too late, that'she had trusted to a pointed rod, which, when he was obliged to lean upon it for support, pierced her to the heart, and made her fall like a mighty monument erected by folly upon the unitable fand, which, when it was fiercely assailed, tuinbled headlong a stupendous ruin, the wonder and aftonishment of all furrounding nations.
• Let us not therefore deceive ourselves by faise appearances.-A nation may carry on a gainful trade, while its strength and vigour are declining.--íts merchants may be enriched, while the state'be. comes nerveless and exhausted.--Its great men may be wallowing in luxury, while slavery approaches with haily itriles; or may be incoxicated in the giúdy whirl of varied amusements and refined delights, when it flands to:tering on the very brink of duftrudion.
Manufactures too, as contributing to the advancement of agriculture, when properly conducted, and as furnishing a basis for commerce, he commends as highly beneficial. But when, from want of attention or want of knowledge, they are so ime properly conducied as to retard the improvements of agricuiture, the apparent prosperity which they for a time produce he compares to the glowing lustre of a brilliant metcor, that for a time delights the fancy with the most agreeable ideas, but when it disappears, leaves nothing but darkness and gloomy defolation bchind.
Such are the general principles established in the publication before us. The work itself comprehends a number of particular cases relating to the internal police of Scotland, by attending to which, it is thewn, the prosperity of that state might be greatly augmented. The reasoning is, throughout the whole, illustrated by apposite examples, drawn from history, ancient and modern ; and these details are frequently curious and interesting. In our next we shall take a general view of the subjects discussed in this performance, in the order wherein they occur ; and give some idea of the chain of reasoning by which they are connected.
Buricola ART. III. Scea Letters between the late Duchess of Somerset, Lady
Luxborough. Miss Dolman, Mr. Whipler, Mr. R. Dodsley, William Shenjtone, Esq; and others; including a Sketch of the Manners, Laws, &c. of the Republic of Venice, and some Poetical Pieces ; the whole now first published from original Copies, by Mr. Hull. 2 Vols. 8vo. 12 s. bound. Dudley. 1778. TOTWITHSTANDING that some“ trifles, light as air," may
be found in these volumes, many of the Letters are so far worthy of the public attention, as to afford an ample compensation for the inferiority of their unimportant companions : on the whole, therefore, the lovers of this species of literary entertainment, are obliged to Mr. Hull * for the collection. Some agreeable picces of poetry are interspersed ; among which, The Diamond, an original poem, in two cantos, by Mr. Shenitone, merits distinction. One of the Editor's ingenious female correspondents prefers it to Pope's Rape of the Lock, as pofseffing, in particular, greater delicacy of sentiment.--The Rape of the Lock, however, with deference to the Lady's judgment, is, yet, an unrivalled performance.
Among the Letters, those of the late Duchess of Somerset seem to claim the preference. They truly deserve the character prefixed to them by Mr. Shenstone, in his transcript, viz.
Copies of Letters from her Grace the Duchess Dowager of SOMERSET (formerly Countess of Hertford) in which is difcernible a perfect rectitude of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and a truly claffic ease and elegance of style. There are many of them tinged with an air of melancholy, through the loss of her only son, Lord Beauchamp."
Several of the younger ladies, too, make a pleasing appearance in this literary group: a Miss F. is sprightly and humourous ; and a Miss N. is equally sensible and entertaining.
Some of Mr. Shenstone's Letters are, likewise, worthy the regard of the Public, as they truly mark the writer's character, by that mixed air of chearfulness and pensiveness which is obfervable in those parts of his epistolary correspondence, printed in former collections of his works.- Poor Shenstone does not • Of Covent Garden theatre ; author of feveral dramatic pieces.
appear to have been altogether an happy man. Perhaps his retired life was not quite suitable to his natural disposition. His rural scenery was pleasant in the summer, and while enlivened with company; but in the gloom of winter, and in folitude, he was subject to the spleen ;-and the limits of his fortune would not allow him to seek relief in the amusements of the town.
The Editor takes notice of a common objection to publications of this kind,“ that private letters should not be made public wishout le consent of the writers,” &c. Mr. Hull, in his preface, observes, that this general rule, like many others, may'admit of an exception, in particular instances; and these inItances are, where a proper mode of introducing them to the world is inviolably attended to. It is a well-known, and equally uncontrovertible, maxim, that persons of the highest excellence (especially in the literary walk) are possessed of the greatest reserve and diffidence. Were the private sentiments of such to be with-held from the Public, till their individual consent were obtained, what a loss would it be to the republic of letters, and what an injury to moral improvement! Any person's general principles and ideas may be seen, perhaps, in the respective public profesion and situation of life, and their general intercourse with mankind; but the innate sensations, the more refined emanations of the mind, are alone discoverable in the private communications of friendlip. There can therefore be no unpardonable liberty in decoying, or even gently-compelling such deservers into public notice ; nor is it, by any means, uneharitable to suppose, there may be many, who would not be violently displeased to see their sentiments in print, however reluctant they might, and, perhaps, ought to appear, if their particular per million were applied for.
• To illustrate and enforce this position, let me be permitted to ak, if the Duchess of SOMERSET had been requested to have suffered her Letters to be made public, whether the would have consented ? Probably not-Yet what an advocate would moral virtue, pious refignation, and genuine piecy have been deprived of, if those exqui. fite transcripts of her mind had been concealed from public view !It is, moreover, matter of great doubt, whether we mould have been so well acquainted with the talents of a SHENSTONE, had Providence indulged the wishes of his most intimate friends and acquaintances, in prolonging so valuable a life.
Thus it has been, is, and will be, with most people of diftinguished abilicies ; their excellencies must, in a manner, be forced into day light, or we should lose the benefit of their precepts; they : might otherwise be said, like misers, to have a valuable treasure boried with them, which ought, in common justice, to be left behind for the advantage of survivors.'
There is, no doubt, with respect to the Public, fome weight in what Mr. Hull hath observed; but there is another reason to be urged in proof of the particular utility of such collections : two lightly octavos, with such inviting names in the title-page, might chance to produce, to the Editor, no ungrateful returns
for the trouble and attention bestowed, in providing for the entertainment or instruction of his readers. - This is a reason which, we apprehend, has had its weight with the Editors of many similar publications ; as it notoriously had with the Lady who gave to the world those Letters which the late Lord Chelterfield intended only for his son.
As we have, especially, cümmended the Duchess of Somer. set's Letters, a specimen of them will, we are persuaded, be acceptable to the generality of our Readers : Duchess of SOMERSET to Lady LUXBOROUGH.
Piercy-Lodge, Nov. 23, 1753. • I did indeed, dear Madam, begin to despair of having the honour, and (what I felt more sensibly) the pleasure of hearing from you again. I am so subject to fall into errors, that I was afraid some unguarded expression in my last letter might have given you offence, and yet my heart bore witness, how far I had been from intending it.
. I have been extremely ill the whole fummér, and for some weeks believed in great danger ; but, by the blessing of God upon Dr. Shaw's prescriptions, I am at present, though lean and ill-favoured, much better ; yet still obliged to be carried up and down stairs, for want of strength and breath to carry myself: but I have great reafon to bless God for the ease I now enjoy, When one comes to the last broken arches of Mirza's bridge, rest from pain must bound our ambition, for pleasure is not to be expected in this world ; where I have no more a notion of laying schemes to be executed fix months, than I have six years hence; which, I believe, helps to keep my spirits in an even ftare of chearfulness to enjoy the fatisfactions which present themselves, without anxious folicitude about their duration. We have lived to an age that necessarily thews us the earth crumbling under our feet, and as our journey seems approaching towards the verge of life, is it not more natural to cast our eyes to the prospect beyond it, than by a retrospective view, to recal the troublesome trifles that ever made our road difficult or dangerous ? Methinks it would be imitating Lot's wife (whose history is not recorded as an example for us to follow) to want to look back to che miserable scene we are so near escaping from.
• I have spent the last three weeks molt agreeably: The first of them, the Bishop of Oxford and Mr. TALBOT, passed with us, and had the goodness to leave Miss Talbot (whose character I think you must have heard) when they went away. She is all the world has said of her, as to an uncommon share of understanding: but she has other charms, which I imagine you will join with me in giving the preference even to that; a mild and equal temper, an unaffected pious heart, and the most universal good-will to her fellow.creatures, that I ever knew. She censures nobody, the despises Dobody, and whilft her own life is a pattern of goodness, she does not exclaim with bitterness against vice. We spent a good deal of our time in our own rooms, except in the mornings, but our time is a good deal broken in upon. Soon after nine we meet in the chapel; as soon as prayers are over, we go to breakfast, and after
that we work, during which, Mr. Cows J. AD, or my chaplain t, read aloud ; at eleven we go, if the weather is tolerable, to take the air for two hours at least, which Dr. Shaw insists upon my doing. The moment we get out of the coach, we see no more of one another till three, when the dinner is puntually upon the table. Dinner and tea are both over by five, when we retire till cight, and then go to prayers ; after which we adjourn into the little library, where we work, and the gentlemen read, as in the morning, till supper, a quarter before ien, and it is a rule to be in all our rooms a quarter before eleven.'
This, to the fine world, as her Grace elsewhere observes, may seem to be a melancholy, monastic life. She could not, however, be supposed, as the herself remarks, to have chosen it from an ignorance of the splendour and gaiety of a court, but from a thorough experience that they can give no solid happiness. I find myself, she adds, more calmly pleased, in my present way of living, and more truly contented, than I ever was in the bloom and pomp of my youth. I am no longer dubious what point to pursue. There is but one proper for the decline of life, and indeed the only one worth the anxiety of a rational creature at any age: but how do the fire of youth and flattery of the world, blind our eyes, and mislead our fancies, after a thousand imaginary pleasures which are sure to disappoint us in the end !'
The Duchess having justly praised Miss Talbot, in the foregoing extract of her letter to Lady L. we shall here copy the following further mention of that amiable person *, from her Grace's letter to Mr. Shenstone, written about a month after the letter to Lady Luxborough:
The kind offer you made me, of sending me any thing you .ogs casionally happened to write, I look upon as the highest obligation ; and you will greatly add to it, if you will permit me to shew them to a very ingenious friend of mine, whose ingenuity is her least praise, since the even chearfulness of her temper, the candour and integrity of her heart, joined with the most unaffected and honourable picty, must claim the esteem of all lovers of virtue, who have the happiness of being acquainted with her. You may possibly have
† In another letter, the Duchess thus expresses the fatisfaction which she took in the company and conversation—not of red coats and beaux, the usual favourites of ladies, but of such men as the learned Dr. Courayer, and her worthy chaplain ; the latter of whom the ftyles “ a modest, fenable, and truly pious young man."- This gentleman, it appears, from authentic information, was the Rev. Mr. Lindsey, now well known to the world by his writings, and by his conscientious resignation of his church-preferments.
Our Readers will find some account of this Lady and her family, in the 42d volume of our Review, p. 464. In the same volume, at. P: 478, is announced the publication of her Reflections on the Seven Days of the Week. And in our 45th volume, p. 389, we gave an account of her valuable Ejays on various Subjects.