« السابقةمتابعة »
rights of the subject ; whether considered as a member of the Church or of the state. An account of my actions, or moral conduct, is certainly due, at all times, to the magiftracy and to my fellow-citizens. But these, not admitting of any infallible Church, that has the authority to prescribe what their members shall believe; and as I have been once received into their cominunion, I am responsible only to God Almighty, for the particular articles of my faith.
To this let me add that, when I was admitted to the Holy Communion in this parish, after the publication of Emilius, about three years ago, I gave to Mr. de Montmollin, my pastor, a declaration in writing ; with which he seemed fully satisfied; requiring no farther explanation of me, with regard to matters of belief; but even promising he would never require any other.
* The remaining part of the letter is not very important; we Mall proceed therefore to give our Readers the substance of the déclarations above-mentioned.
so I declare to you, Sir, with all due respect, that, ever since my reunion to the Church, in which I was born, I have always made profession of the reformed religion ; a profession the less known or suspected, as in the country where I refided, nothing more was required of me than to keep silence ; even some doubt of such profeffion, indeed, was purposely suffered to remain, in order that I might continue to enjoy some political advantages, of which I should otherwise have been deprived, on account of my religion. It is to this true and holy religion that I now profess myself also fincerely attached, and shall continue so to the latest hour of my life*: I desire, therefore, to be externally united to the Church, as I am internally from the very bottom of my heart. And this, I protest to you, Sir, I desire not only from the consolation which I promise myself from a participation in the communion of the faithful; but even as much with a view to the public edification as my own private advantage, for it is by no means proper that a fincere and ingenuous reasoner should not be openly a member of the Church of Christ. -"
It appears that it was with some difficulty, the proper officer provailed to have the above letter and declaration read to the members of the Consistory t; which at last was done in a very
* Was not this going rather too far, Mr. Rousseau ? A man may answer for his present opinions; but we know not how he can be se very peremptory with regard to those he may entertain in futuro.
.+ 7 he paltor seeming determined that Mr. Rousseau should make his personal appearance or be proceeded against for contempt; notwithstanding the good.priest knew he ran in danger of his life by coming abroad, not only on account of his ill state of health ; but also from the ill will of the populace, whom he had irritated against him.
extraordinary manner, attended with as extraordinary comments, by the pastor, as president of the assembly.
Mr. President, indeed, went so far as to allume two votes, in a method altogether arbitrary and unexampled, in order to carry his point in the consistory; four members of which proa tested against such violent proceedings, and appealed to the Council of State. In consequence of this appeal, the government took Mr. Rousseau under its immediate protection, and ordered an enquiry into the legality of the proceedings against him. This perfecuted Writer, however, persevered in his intentions of leaving a country where he had met with such unchristianly treatment.
Description Historique et Critique de l'Italie, &c.
An historical and critical Description of Italy: Containing a new
and accurate Account of the present State of the Government, Manners, Commerce, Arts and Sciences, Population and natural History of that Country. · By Mr. L'Abbé Richard. 6 Vols. 12mo. Dijon and Paris, 1966.
T HE Author of this work, who declares himself to have
I seen all, or by much the greater part, of what he dercribes, sets out, in his preliminary discourse, with assuring us that the descriptions hitherto given of Italy are extremely fuperficial and imperfect. They feein to have been written, says he, by Authors who have either never seen, or have but very fightly examined, the objects described; or by such as have penned their descriptions long after they had loft fight of those objects; and retained only confused and defective ideas of them. Hence it is that their books are of so little use, when we consult them for directions; and that we find in them such a multiplicity of errors, when we compare them with the objets themselves. Our Abbé doth not except Mision from this censure; whole work he tells us hath nevertheless supported its reputation for above fixty years, as the most exact and curious description of Italy that hath yet appeared. Mision, however, took but a very cursory view of some of the principal cities ; of which he hath given a very short and trivial account. He hath said little, or nothing, also, on the government, population, commerce and produce of the several parts of Italy; and hath betrayed great want of knowlege and taste in the polite arts. Add to all this, that the very face of things is almost entirely. changed within the spare of fourfcore years. The out. APP. Vol. xxxiii. Mm
lines indeed and some of the principal features remain: but the niinuter conftituent parts of the likeness are vanilhed. Naples, Turin, Parma, Milan and many other cities are hardly known for the same. Nor are thefe defects supplied, says Me. Richard, by the occasional additions that have been made to his work; most of which serve only to render it more imperfect. And yet, he observes, this performance is still held in established reputation ; it is to be met with in every library, and is quoted as authentic in our dictionaries : a remarkable proof, says he, of our propenfity to take things upon truft, to fave ourselves the pains and trouble of enquiring into the truth. It was an observation of Montagne that ignorance and want of curiosity are easy pillows for the head to fleep on, and vegetate in tranquillity.
As to the travellers and historians of the present century, who have treated this subject, our Author observes that moft of them have contented themselves with general reflections only, or have confined their remarks and obfervations to particular parts of historical defcription : fuch is the journal of Montfaucon, respecting literature and the sciences; the descriptions of bults, ftatues and pictures by the Richardsons, and the remarks on painting and sculpture by Cochin. He mentions others, but conceives them all to be defective and exceptionable, either in point of veracity or universality ; concluding that we have no general description of Italy, wherein the feveral objects, of which it ought to confift, are duly collected and placed in a proper point of view. Our Author's design, therefore, is to remedy this defect, and to improve on the relations of those travellers, who have paffed through this fine country, without having written any thing, that may give one a just idea of what they have seen, or serve to direct thofe who may be inclined to take the same route. "
It is impossible for us to give any regular abstract of fo va. rious and voluminous a work; we thall therefore content our. felves with selecting some few passages, that may serve to give the Reader an idea of the Abbé Richard's attention and abilities, with regard to different objects of his undertaking. To begin with the most popular, that of Manners ; and with those of the capital city, Rome.
" Whatever may have been written, or reported, concern. ing the public esteem in which purity of morals is held by the modern Romans, I never saw a greater respect paid to any perfon on this account. It is rank, protection, address, and very often money that entitles one to favours, emoluments, and diftin&tions here, as in other places. I have even heard talk of the times, in which Roman ladies of the first rank, played over again the scandalous fcenes represented by the Faustinas and Meffalinas of antiquity; reproaching each other publickly, and in the grofleft terms, with their diffolute and abandoned lives. At present, whatever be their actions in private, their reproaches are not fo public; every thing being conducted with apparent decency: the purity of manners in his holiness and the Cardi. nal his nephew, setting a powerful example and laying a reftraint on the exterior behaviour of persons in high life. It is ta be lamented, says this Writer, that the nobility of Rome pique themselves so much on the distinction of birth ; as it makes them so greatly negle&t the education and improvement of their youth, For, while they are exalted with reflections on the ancient greatness and splendour of their Cæfars and their Antonines, they conceit themselves, as it were, in the rank of demi-gods, and are above troubling themselves with application or study; existing only to waste their lives in ignorance and idleness.
The Bourgeofie, or citizens of Rome, compose an order of people, entirely distinguished from the nobility; having their particular cuftoms, assemblies and manners to themselves; mov. ing in a sphere equally situated above the populace, as beneath the nobility. This rank is very numerous and respectable ; and, notwithstanding many of the tread close on the heels of the nobles, in their houses, furniture and equipages; they live in general with greater decency, and display much more intelligence and activity. I speak from experience in affirming that the society of this order of people is infinitely more agreeable, and their manners much more ingenuous and sincere, than those of their nominal superiors : to which, however, the latter pay the most profound respect ; efteeming a visit from any of the nobles, as one of the highest honours that can be done them. It is, indeed, among this rank of people only that any thing truly estimable in the manners of the modern Romans is to be found : for, as to the common people of Rome, they are a strange heterogeneous body, composed of individuals of all nations ; and bearing no other resemblance to each other than in a general stupidity which indiscriminately prevails through the whole. Among the people of Rome, however, here are not reckoned that multitude of beggars and pilgrims, which go thither from the several parts of Europe, and would swarm there to an inconvenient and dangerous degree, did not the frequent disturbances they occasion, induce the Police to banish them the city. The charitable distributions, which are daily made in Rome, and are sufficient for their maintenance, tend naturally to increase the number of this idle and useless race of people. A fpirit of charity is, indeed, so general among the Romans, and their inftitutions of this kind to numerous, that it might
well be mistaken for the general and native spirit of the people, did we not see it have little or no effect on individuals, especially those of the lower rank. These are attached to each other solely by the ties of pleasure or interest. They know not what it is, to have either love or esteem for each other, or, to afford reciprocal assistance in cases of neceffity. It is not uncommon to see unhappy wretches, taken suddenly ill, perish for want of help; without any one's being moved to comparfionate them, or even to convey them to an hospital, where they would be received and tenderly treated. They so little resemble the good Samaritan, that even a neighbour will look calmly and unconcerned on the greatest misfortune of a neighbour, nor think himself in any degree obliged to relieve him, It is indeed this want of compassion and benevolence among the populace, that hath, in some measure, increased the number of hospitals and other charitable institutions; where the distressed meet with that temporal as well as spiritual consolation, which, they would be deprived of at home." . is ." The inhabitants of Rome, as of all the ecclesiastical states in general, have a natural aversion to labour ; nothing less than absolute neceslity prevailing on them even to cultivate. their lands. There are indeed a few peasants, in the neighbourhood of Rome, who for a while will labour hard; when, tired of their miserable situation, they are desirous of speedily scraping together a fum, in order to enable them to come and setile in town. This they never fail to do, as soon as they are able ; beginning their establishment with dealing in some kind of frippery ; in which if they succeed so far as to acquire a very middling subsistence, they soon conceit themselves respectable descendants of the ancient Romans, and affect all their state and dignity. In consequence of this affectation, they will refuse to sell their commodities but just when they please, and particularly at meal-times, will turn away their customers from their shops, and order them to come at a more convenient hour. It is no wonder if such kind of traders soon fhut up Thop, and turn thieves and begrars; for they never return to work. and hence it is that the streets and churches swarm with vagabonds; while the prisons are full of criminals, and the ports of the ecclesiastical state are too few, to afford room or employment for the multitude of delinquents that are con-, stantly condemned to the Gallies.”
Our Author observes, it hath been asserted by some modern Writers that Courtezans, or common women, are publicly authorized in Rome; it having been fuid that young women inclined to give themselves up liientiously to the public, made a kind of profession to the Cardinal Vicar, by saying they were desirous far' lavorare il terreno. This story our Abbé denies