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pher of much greater ingenuity than folidity; but nil nisi bonam de mortuis.
In the fourth, and last class of this work, viz. the Belles Lettres, we have a dissertation on Jodutha, the ancient idol of Saxony and the March of Brandenbourg, by Mr. Kuster : to which' succeed several academical discourses and eulogies ;, for · which we have no place of infertion.
La Physique de l'Histoire, &c. The natural History of Nations. Or Considerations on the
elementary Principles of the temperament and characters of different People. 12mo. Amsterdam. 1765.
T HE office of a literary Reviewer is perhaps one of the most
T ungrateful upon carth ; for, whether he find occasion for · approbation or blame; or whether he thinks it incumbent on him, in the case of mediocrity, and in justice to the public, to bestow neither ; he is himself morally certain of becoming the object of the severest censure. It were indeed a stale subject of complaint, to mention the vanity of Authors, the partiality of their friends, or the malice of their enemies : we shall not take up our Reader's time, therefore, with remarks on either of these topics. There is a very serious and plausible objection, however, that hath been of late repeatedly made to the conduct of literary journalists, and particularly to the English Reviewers. They are said to be much too severe, and sarcastical in their treatment of those Authors, whose Writings are submitted to their consideration : as a proof of which are brought the more candid and favourable examples of those ingenious and learned foreigners, who first engaged in works of this kind. Le Clerc and 's Gravesande, we are told, pointed out the errors of mistaken writers with candour, reprehended even the petulant with tenderness, and spoke of all with politeness and urbanity. We shall not enter into a strict examination of the truth of this affertion ; there were doubtless among the primitive Reviewers many gentlemen of the most candid and amiable dispositions : but we cannot help thinking that their tenderness for individuals much too often clashed with that justice and impartiality they owed to the public. Add to this, that even the more deserving of the former must be prejudiced, by that indiscriminate mode of treating the most contemptible Writers with the same cerëmony as the most respectable. But, be all this as it may, the ingenious Authors of the above objection's should consider that, there hath been a great revolution in the world of letters fince · 0 0 2 .'**
bree of encourageure, may be ned beyond the ri
ncy of couragement, anged with the lournals. The ci
the first institution of modern literary journals. The circumstances of things are changed with the times, and the same degree of encouragement, necessary to be given to writers in the infancy of literature, may be no longer expedient; nay, may éien be prejudicial, if continued beyond the time of its exigence. We do not pretend that any of the arts and sciences are brought to that degree of perfection, as to stand no longer in need of farther cultivation; or that works of imagination are fo numerous and excellent, as to make it needless to foster the tender plant and cherith the opening bud of rising Genius. Certain, however, it is, that long after the revival of letters in Europe, the number of good books in the capital branches of scientific and literary knowlege, was by no means great; the modern languages themselves indeed were hardly arrived to a re effary degree of precision and perfection. The state of the literary world resembled that of an infant colony, whose peofle required various grants and concessions ; to which in a more Fourishing and stable situation, they could support neither claim rior pretenfions.
"How different is the state of this republic at the present juncture! The writings of the ancients are not only made our own, by valuable and accurate translations; but a new temple of science hath been erected on a basis far more extensive than the Juins of the old. In the mean tiine, encouragement is so far from being wanting to induce men of genius to prosecute farther discoveries and improvements in science and literature, that such pursuits are almost inseparably attended with evident gaia. An Author is no longer a Being dependent for precarious fubfistence on the favour or caprice of individuals; literary pro. perty, a thing almuft unheard of till the present century, is become an object of importance in our courts of law, and one of the most considerable articles both of our domestic and foreign commerce. What is the consequence? What, indeed, but that of being over-run with mercenary pretenders to genius and learning; who not only prostitute iheir petty talents for gain, but use a thousand little arts, and enter into as many illiberal schemes and partial combinations to raise a literary reputation; in order only to fell that also to the best bidder! Were there any of these arts practised, these combinations entered into, in the days of Le Clerc? Did Writers at that time of day make an open traffic of their fame as well as their genius? The latter, indeed, may have been prostituted in all ages; but it was referved for this pecuniary-minded age, to arsive at that highest species of mercenary refinement, the making the most of a literary good name. . : At such a time and in such circumstances, therefore, ought not the tone of a literary Reviewer to be changed? Ought ic not to be very different to what it was an hundred years ago, when the conduct of Writers and their motives for becoming fuch, were so totally different? When Authors were inspired only by Minerva, Apollo and the Muses ; when their obedience to that inspiration was purely disinterested; it was expedient, it was laudible, to cherish with all imaginable tenderness, and give all possible encouragement to such as employed their ta. lents in the service of mankind; contenting themselves with the reward conferred by Fame. But when solid pudding hath obtained so great a superiority over empty praise; when open plagiarism is no longer a crime, and Fame is only made the procuress of fortune, ought not both the seducer and the bawd, when discovered, to be brought to condign punishment? To act otherways, would, in many cases, be to convert a tenderness for some into cruelty toward others; and mercy. in general into injustice.
"We have been led involuntarily into the above reflections, partly by some infinuations thrown out in the foreign as well as domestic prints, relative to this subject ; and partly by the perufal of the work before us, with the recommendation that aca companied it. We are ever ready to do justice, and to shew mercy, particularly where the latter may not tend to increafe the offence; but we cannot agree to fet mere book-makers upon the same footing as original and genuine writers. It is for this reason we must run the hazard of offending a valuable correspondent, by declining to give our suffrage in behalf of the per: formance before us; which, though it contain many shrewd and ingenious remarks, on the effects of physical causes on the characters and manners of mankind, appears to us, in a great meafure, to be taken from a work published long since entitled L'Esprit des Nations, and some other performances of a similar nature ; the real design of which this Author doth not appear very well to comprehend.
Recueil des Pieces relatives à la perfecution fuscitée a Motier-Tra
vers, contre M. J. J. Rouileau. A Collection of the molt interesting Pieces that have been pub. lished, relative to the Perfecution of Mr. Rousseau, at Motier. Travers in Switzerland. 8vo. 1765.
T HE first piece contained in this collection, came feparately
I to hand, sometime before the arrival of the publication before us; and we have given a pretty ample account of it in a former article *. See Page 595 of this Appendix. . 003
The second piece in this miscellany is entitled a Refutation of the preceeding libel; and is written by Professor de Montmollin, pastor of the churches of Motier-Travers and Boveresse. In altercations that depend so much on inatters of fact, as at present, it would be hypercritical to stand upon the punctilius of fțile, or to expect many of the graces of fine writing, Perhaps Mr. Rousseau himself hath been sometimes deceived in supposing that deference paid to his judgment and opinions, which in fact proceeded only from the admiration excited by his method of delivering them. Certain it is that the pastor de Mont-mollin has greatly the disadvantage of Mr. Rousseau, and even of the letter-writer his friend, in point of diction What he wants in abilities, however, he seems determined to make up in acrimony. Not that be affects a sarcastical mode of expression, .so much as a malicious turn of sentiment; plainly endeavouring to throw a false or contemptible light on the most ingenuous and unexceptionable actions of his antagonist. As he does not invalidate however any material point of fact, advanced in Mr. Rousseau's favour, we pass on to the next piece; being a second letter, by the Author of the first; who hath subscribed his name Du Peyrou, and hath addressed it to Lord, Wemyss, Baron Elcho. In this letter, the invidious reflections and malicious misrepresentations of the above-mentioned pastor, are pointed out; and their Author represented with no little severity. But, as we doubt not our Readers will be better pleased to hear what Mr. Rousseau himself hath to say on the occasion; we shall proceed therefore to make a few extracts from one of his own letters, contained among the pieces entitled justificatives ; and of which we have here no less than thirteen ; consisting of rescripts from the King, arrets of council, declarations of the elders, and requests of the community that appeared during the course of this persecution. It being represented that Mr. Rousseau had greatly regretted his having bestowed a public encomium on his persecutor, he begins his letter with taking notice of that circumstance,
Motiers-Trayers, Aug. 8. 1765. No, Sir, neyer, whateyer you may have heard, Dall'I rez pent of having commended M. de Montmollin. I praised him for the merit I had experienced in him, his truly pastoral behayour towards me. I never commended his character, as I knew nothing of it. I never praised his veracity, his candour or his fobriety." I must even confefs that his person, looks, and behaviour were extremely disgusting to me; and I was astonish, ed 10 ihink fuch seeming kindness, humanity and virtue should be concealed under lo gloomy and forbidding an aspect. But checked this rising antipathy; thinking it unjust to judge of
a man a man by those exterior figns, which his moral conduct so pafpably contradicted. Who could maliciously suspect the secret principle of that toleration to which he pretended ? For my part, I detest that cruel subtilty which thus sullies the good actions of men ; nor can I even entertain an idea of de. ducing such actions from evil motives. Hence the greater dirgust I felt for Mr. de Montmollin, the more I endeavoured to conquer it, by reflecting on the obligations he had conferred on me. At length this pastor hath thrown off the mask, and displays himself to be what he is; his former conduct being explained by his present behaviour. Nothing can be more evis dent than that the pretended toleration, which he gave up at a time when it was the most juftifiable, arose from the same fource as the cruel zeal which he so suddenly assumed or affected. What could be his motive then, or what it is now, I know not, but certainly it cannot be a good one. It was with the greatest honour he admitted and even pressed, my partaking of the Holy Communion ; on every occasion solicita ing my company, applauding, and appearing particularly pleased when I dropped any thing in conversation that seemed to be levelled at Christianity. And yet no sooner did I undertake to prove that I never really attacked Christianity, or at least that I had never such a design, than he himself immediately attacks me with the utmost violence ; endeavours to excommunicate me, to proscribe me, inflames his parish against me, and pursues me with a degree of virulence bordering on madness. Can such inconsistent behaviour be consistent with his duty ? No. Charity is not inconstant ; virtue never contradicts itself; and there is no duplicity in the dictates of conscience. After having Thewn himself thus intolerant, it was too late for him to reassume the garb of toleration ; the affectation was too gross, and as it was impossible for it to pass on the world, he has done well
to appear again in his natural form and disposition. In deftroy:ing his own work, and doing me more harm than he ever did
me good, he hath effectually obliterated all obligation : all I owe him at present, is veracity; this I also owe to myself; and, fince he hath forced me to speak, I certainly shall speak the truth.
You desire, Sir, to know the real circumstances of this affair, Mr. de M. has published a narration quite in character, as an ecclesiastic, artful enough to take all the advantages annexed to his profession. For my part, Sir, I shall give you a 'fimple relation of the matter, in the common stile of honour and probity. I am none of those persons, thank heaven! to whoin the world make their court while it despises them. On the contrary, I have the honour to be one of those who are esteemed and persecuted. When' I first took refuge in this Oo4