صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

port, is worse than filly and uncandid, -it is 'insolent! But as this Correspondent is a ftranger to the Monthly Reviewers, "he may be pardonable.

What is said, as 'above, may serve as an acknowledgment of another Letter, on the same fubject, and of a similar import, figned OBSERVATOR :-o whom we cordially return his own advice, “- set a double watch on yourself, when remarking on the labours 4 of a person whom you either esteem or dislike." This has ever been oor maxim.

It is astonishing to see how unmindful mankind are of that good old precept which enjoins us to give even the Devil his due! Be this, however, the critic's invariable rule; and may the Monthly Reviewers never depart from its honest principle !

We would recommend to all the bigotted sons of sectaries and part ties, the laudable example of the late amiable Mr. Pope; who, though he utterly despised the Laureat, was invincibly fuperior to that narrowness of mind which would have prompted little souls to “ deny the CARELESS HUSBAND praise." He knew that this play was written by Cibber, but he knew, too, that it was the best co. medy of the age : and he spoke of it accordingly.

[ocr errors]

*** If our rough Correspondent, A. B. had pointed out the instances in which we have confounded the Abbé with the Abbot, we , Mould have been fill more obliged to him. Perbaps' he may yet do us that favour. No circumftances, however minute, that may tend toward rendering the Monthly Review the most correct, as well as the most useful of our periodical publications, will be difregarded by


+++ The continuation of Mrs. Macaulay's Hiftory of England, from the Revolution to the present Time, has been unavoidably de. ferred this month; but we propose to resume that Article in our


ERRATA in the Review for February. P. 93, par. 3, 1. 7, for of Peter, r. to Peter,

96, par. 4, 5, for former, r. latter.

101, 1. 3 from bottom, for require half, to require but half. - 119, par. 3, 1.5, for fall, r. Jeet.

121, in the second note, for Review, vol, lvi. ri vol. xlvi. -159, par. 2, l. ult. for precure, r. precure.

Vur respectable Correspondent S. M. S. is very right in his remark on " the crepuscles of twilight," in the extract, p. 140, of our last Month's Review. The expresion, certainly, ought not to have escaped, without, at 'léait, the filent' criticism of italics ; be.. cause, as the Gentleman very properly observes, such zonlenfe, 'une! censured, and coming from an author justly praised, on the whole, may tend to mislead young readers, and poflibly young writers 100., -The Reviewer of that Article, however, hoheitly contefas, thiar he did not take particular notice of the paffage, till's M. S pointed it out to him, in his obliging letters

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Aet, I. WILLIAMS's History of the Rife, Progress and present State

of the Northern Governments, continued : See our lait Month's Review. R. Williams's long residence * abroad, and his extensive.

acquaintance with people in public life, and especially in several of the northern courts, having given him peculiar advantages for a work of this kind, -we, accordingly, meet with fome curious details of notable and recent transactions, the circumstances of which have, hitherto, been little known in this country.

The following narration of one of the most remarkable events of the present age, will be acceptable, we are persuaded, to many of our Readers :

. In the month of January 1772, it was resolved, by a party, which was formed at Copenhagen, at the head of whom was the Queen-mother and the Prince Frederic, with several of the firit nobility of Denmark, to accuse the Counts Struensee and Brandt, the former minister of the cabinet, and the latter the King's particular favourite, together with the King's physician,

• His settled abode, as we learn from those to whom the ingenious Doctor is well known, has been, for some years past, át Aix la Chapelle, where he practised phyfic with success and reputation We are informed that he is now declining practice; which accounts for the alteration made in the addition to his name, as it lands in the title-page of the present work. We have, formerly, reviewed feveral of this Author's Medical publications, particularly his very fensible and judicious Treatise on the Medicinal Virtues of the Waters of Aix la Chapelle and Borfet : fee Review, vol. xlvii. p. 464, Dec. 1772. See, also, his Treatise on the Gout (in which he disents, in some points, from Dr. Cadogan) Review, vol.li. Sept. 1774, p. 239. Likewise his Sela Cafes in Phyfic, which have been triated at the Waters of Aix la Chapelle, &c. Review, vol, lii. p. 276. VOL. LVIII.



and a great number of their friends, with having formed a defign to render the King incapable of governing; and of course, according to the royal law before-mentioned, to declare the Queen-confort regent of the kingdom during the minority of his fucceffor. This was what was declared to the Public to be the cause of all the violent measures that were taken by the before-mentioned party during this whole transaction ; but as those Counts were supported by the Queen-confort, and had moreover the ear of the King, it was at the same time resolved to make the former a party in the plot, and to surprize the King to sign an order for their being all confined in separate prisons. The danger which the execution of this great plan might be attended with, at firft gave much uneasiness to the whole party, but at length the Queen-mother and Prince Frederic undertook to surprize the King, and to make him sign the order, which had been prepared for several days before, for confining his Queen and the other persons before-mentioned; whilst some of their friends undertook to execute it with the utmost rigour. Between three and four o'clock in the morning the Queen-mother, with Prince Frederic, entered the King's apartment, waked his Majesty out of his sleep, accused his Queen and the Counts StruenTee and Brandt, with several others, of having formed a design to dethrone him, and with having otherwise made a bad use of his favour, and desired him to sign the order, while he was in safety, for their being confined. Surprized at this message, and believing it to be strictly true, the King immediately signed the order, which was executed with the utmoft dispatch. The Queen was taken out of her bed and sent to the castle of Cronenburg, and all the rest of the accused were sent to different prisons, and loaded with irons. A thousand false reports were spread to blacken the characters of the accused, which the King was made to believe were as true as the gospel, so that he now thought his Queen, and all his former friends, were so many enemies, who were endeavouring to destroy him. An extraordinary commission was granted to try these supposed criminals, and every method was employed to procure witnesses to condemn them upon the first accusation ; but when it was found that no proofs could be procured to thew that the accused had ever any such intention, this grand affair was dropped ; the Queen was accused of having had a criminal conversation with Struensee; the latter of having abused his authority, as minister of the cabinet, and of having applied a great part of the public money to his own use; the Count Brandt was charged with having given the King a blow, and other ways ill treating him; and others were charged with being accomplices. But, unlucky for the Queen-mother and her friends, no legal proofs could be procured to condemn the prisoners upon these charges


any 5


any more than upon the former. However as they had carried things so far, either the Queen-confort, together with Struensee and Brandt, must be destroyed or banished the kingdom for ever ; or otherwise, if ever they came to see the King again, their accusers must suffer the punishment which so violent a meafure might juftly merit. The integrity and humanity of the members of the high-commissioned court were now extolled to the skies by all the friends of the Queen-mother and her party, and perhaps with much reason on their part, as they were all appointed by them, and ready to obey their commands; fo that in fact the judges and accusers were in the same interest, and consequently very little formalities were necessary towards giving sentence against the accused.

* To destroy the Queen-confort, or at least to separate her from the King, was the firft and great object of the deliberations of this court; for while she had any access to the King the other party must have been in the greatest danger; and therefore as they could procure no legal proofs to support their accusation, they resolved to bring Struenfee before the court, and by violence to make him confess as much as was necessary to condemn the Queen, or at least to procure a separation between her and the King for ever.

• I have already shewn, that by the laws of Denmark, which had existed for many centuries in that kingdom, no person ought to be forced to accuse himself by the torture, or, as it is called, by the question : however, Struensee was brought before the court for this purpose ; and for two or three days answered all their interrogatories with great candour, and with the appearance of truth, accusing himself of many faults which he had committed in the course of his administration ; but when he was asked about his having any connection with the Queen, he abfolutely denied having any criminal intercourse with her; and although he was given to understand, that if he would make a thorough confeffion of that affair, his punishment might be mitigated, he again declared that he was entirely innocent of what he was accused respecting his royal mistress. 'Hereupon he was taken into another apartment, and shewn all kinds of inftruments of torture, and told, that if he did not confess every thing that was demanded of him respecting the Queen, he must immediately prepare to undergo the torture; the executioner and others being ready to receive their orders : upon which Struensee fell upon his knees, and burst into tears, begged that they would not put bim to the torture, and he would say any thing that they would have him to say, or make any declaration they thought proper. This was all they wanted ; and it is said, that he afterwards confessed his having been intimate with the Queen. Moreover, other witnesses came before the court, and S 2


declared that they had seen the Count Struensee drive the Queen in a sledge over the snow, and that she had often spoke to him in public, with other things of the like nature.

The practice of driving the princeffes and ladies of the court over the snow in sledges is very common in all the North, though it was upon this particular, joined to Struensee's conferfion, after he was threatened to be put to the torture, that these upright judges declared the Queen and the Count Struensee to be guilty of what they were accused; and the former was hereupon separated in form from the King; and if she had not been powerfully protected, would have fallen a sacrifice 'for having brought a Prince into the world, who obftrućts in some measure the ambitious views of her envious rival.

The Counts Struenfee and Brandt, after having undergone a formal examination which lasted near two months, at length received sentence. All mankind were eager to see this sentence, and to hear the proofs which had been given to support the accufations before mentioned: but how much were they surprised, at least all those who knew the present state of Denmark, when they saw this sentence composed of notorious falsehoods, contradictory to the laws then established in this kingdom, and glaring with every absurdity!

• The sentence which was passed upon Struensee begins with fetting forth, “ that he had been first convicted, and even con. feffed his having been guilty of a great crime which comprehends the crime of treason in the highest degree, and which, according to the first article of the fourth chapter of the sixth book of the code, merited to be punished with death.” But the fact was not fo; Struensee was never convicted of any such crime, according to the laws then established in this kingdom. Undoubtedly the King could change the old, or make new, laws for the punishment of any crime every hour : and it is certain that new laws were made for convicting the Queen and Struensee, even some time after they were imprisoned: but I believe every impartial person will join with me in saying, that this is a species of tyranny which is unworthy of any christian Prince in this enlightened age. Struensee first denied what he was accused of, with respečt to the Queen, with such an air of candour and veracity, and corroborated his affertions with so many reasons, that many of the commissioners believed that he spoke the truth; but when this poor wretch, who was now half dead, by being chained to the wall in a cold dungeon, was threatened also with the torture, nature could not support it, and he immediately cried out in this manner, “ Tell me what I must confess and I am ready to do it, but do not put me to the torture." And will those judges, or their, I had almost said infamous, protectors dare to infult mankind so much as to tell them that

« السابقةمتابعة »