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character, as a respectable country-gentleman, and an independent Member of Parliament, to sink himself to a level with factious de. magogues, by lavishing indiscriminate abule on all the allies of his country, while he never mentioned her most inveterate and unprincipled enemy, but as the destroyer of Jacobinism, and the pacificator of Europe ?

We could not but smile at reading that part of Mr. J.'s proposed address which states the present to be a 16 calamitous war," when, in the speech, by which it was preceded, we found the country represented, as in a state of unexampled prosperity, her sovereignty over the seas established, the fleets of her enemies cooped up in port, their captive banners floating in the cathedral of her metropolis ; when we read, that she had " monopolized almost the commerce of the whole world,” that her 66 ports were crouded with the ships of all the nations of the earth ;' and that her foreign possesfions were “ in a state of solid and permanent security." We could not but ask ourselves, if these be symptoms of calamity, what will Mr. Jones consider as proofs of prosperity ? :

" ENGLAND," we are told, - has not tried the faith of REPUBLICAN FRANCE" so said Mr. SHERIDAN in the year 1794. Let those who wish to ascertain the nature of that faith, read the history of the French Republic, in her transactions with foreign powers, from the moment of her birth to the present time; and if, having read it, they can recommend this country to try that faith, they muft either be the boldest, the weakest, or the most treacherous, of her friends.

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ADULTERY.

TF we had not been prevented by illness from giving, in our last
I number, our usual sketch of public affairs, we should have entered
somewhat at large into the momentous question which was then under
discussion in Parliament, relating to the sin of adultery, and the means
proposed for checking its progress. Considering this question as one
which materially involves not only the present happiness but the
future salvation of the people of this country; as a question which
affects them not merely as members of civil society, but as Christians,
as creatures placed here in a state of probation, accountable for their
actions to a supreme Being, and destined for another and a better life,
we think it deserving something more than a fugitive attention, a
temporary confideration, a transient importance; we are decidedly of
opinion that it calls for the earnest investigation, the most zealous exer-
tions, and the most unremitting perseverance of all who value the cha.
racter of a Christian, and who think with us, that every human law
fhould be founded on the immutable basis of the Divine will, wherever
that will has been made manifest to man, either by direct revelation ;
from the Creator himself, from the blessed Redeemer of the human
race, or by the communication of inspired writers. Deeply impressed

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with this idea, and fully aware of the marked profligacy of the age
we saw, with infinite pleasure, a Bill introduced into the Upper House,
calculated to repress the destructive vice; the crying fin, of adultery. -
And though we could have wished that this Bill had been more efficient
in its provisions, yet, in its meliorated state, we considered it as emi-
neatly fitted to produce the desired effect. We, therefore, imagined
that it must pass with unanimity. Our surprize, then; at feeing it
attacked with all the virulence of party, at witnessing a determined,
an inveterate opposition to it, may be more easily conceived than ex.
pressed. But even this surprize was exceeded by our concern on per-
ceiving, in the published lists of the division in the House of Lords,
the heir apparent and three or (according to a list now before us) four.'
of his brothers opposed to the Primate and the whole bench of Bishops,
whose opinions, on such a subject, were certainly entitled to particular
respect. We weighed, with all the attention of which we were cacer
pable, every argument adduced in opposition to the measure, as dee:
tailed in the public prints, but we found them woefully deficient in
the balance. We could, indeed, perceive much worldly wisdom, but
little religious knowledge; much liberality of sentiment, but little
integrity of principle; much zeal for the worthlefs part of the faire
sex, but little regard for the preservation of public morals. This,'
however, was doubtless owing to the inaccuracy of the reporters, who
ignorantly misconceived, or maliciously misrepresented, the arguments,
of the speakers. Be that as it may, we as heartily rejoiced in the
triumph of the two first estates, the Lords Spiritual and Lords Tema
poral, as we deeply lamented the failure of the third estate, of the
Realm. It was not merely the rejection of the Bill by the Commons,
but the circumstances attending its rejection, and the speech which
was supposed to influence it, that made us consider it as a public cala-
mity, as a fatal wound to the religious and moral character of the
nation.

In the course of the debates on this subject it was said, falsely no
doubt, to have been asserted by fome one, that the Bishops and Judges
were not competent to decide on such a Bill, as not being possessed of
that worldly knowledge which was indispensibly necessary to appre-
ciate its merits.

" If knowledge of the world makes man immoral,

May Juba ever live in ignorance.” But if men bred up to the liberal profession of the law, and who are almost in the daily habit of trying causes of every denomination, arising out of the practices, the pursuits, the passions, and the propend fities of mankind, are not adequate judges of the best means of reftraining their vices, how the knowledge requisite to form such judges is to be acquired, it is difficult to conceive. No one will have the audacity to contend, that it is to be collected at the stews, at the gaming-table, or at any other of those detestable haunts, at which fashionable profligacy rides triumphant, bidding defiance alike to the mandates of God, and the laws of the realm. Such knowledge can. not be possessed by titled or untitled adulterers, by titled or untitled - P2

pandars,

pandars, by titled or untitled fornićators, by titled or untitled minis. ters to the illicit pleasures of those whom they are bound by every principle that man should hold sacred, to defend from all contaminan tion ; nor yet by the titled or untitled profligates who are the partakers of such pleasures, and the partners of such guilt. No men, we contend on the other hand, are better qualified to form an accur. e' opinion on this subject than our lawyers. We witnessed, with infinite satisfaction, the manly firmness of the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, in vindicating the character of the profession from the aspetfions which were supposed to have been caft upon it. This vigilant guardian of the laws, this intrepid champion of the morals of his country, would, no doubt, have extended that firmnefs beyond the precincts of his Court, had there been occasion for its exertion eise. where; he would, we are persuaded, have nobly defended the dignifred independence of a British Judge from every encroachment'; and he would have disdained to account for his conduct, in his judicial capacity, to any individual or assembly of men, however respectable, unless he had been legally called upon by the justice of his country. We congratulate the Bench and the Bar on the spirit displayed on the memorable occasion to which we allude ; we trust they will ever preserve it undiminished; with their independence the independence of the nation is intimately connected ; and our feeble support shall ever be chearfully and early afforded to secure them both against every attack.

It does not appear to us that the comparative state of the fin of adultery, and of other public vices, at this, and at any former period, could supply just grounds for deciding on the expediency or necessity of a Bill of restraint. The only fair criterion by which the question could be tried was this-- Whether or not the fin of adultery prevailed at the present moment to such a degree as to justify the interpofition of the Legislature for the purpose of reftraining its progress by addi. tional punishments ? No positive evidence can be adduced to prove the affirmative of this question ; its decision, therefore, must depend on the personal obfervation and knowledge of individuals, as to the ftate of public manners and morals..

In the course of the debate it was strenuously contended, by fome, that immorality had not encreased of late years. That Mr. Sheridan, who fome three years ago pronounced a panegyric on the manners of the age, (in the House of Commons) which he represented as diftin. guished for gentleness and amiability; or that a noble Lord, in the other House, who, in an essay that was published foon after, improved upon that panegyric, should strenuously maintain this point, think no reform neceffary, and regulate their votes by such opinion, was naturally to be expected. But never, we infift, was an opinion worse founded, and never were men less competent to decide on such a queso tion, as it relates to the community at large, than the higher classes of society. Of the increased prevalence of immoral and vicious habits," the public theatres exhibit a damning proof. Twenty years ago a prostitute did not dare to Thew her face in the lower parts of the house;

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and if in the upper boxes, to which this description of unfortunate
svomen were confined, any tumult or noise were heard, the indignation
of the audience, decisively manifested, either, produced instantaneous
quiet, or the expulsion of the offenders. Now, alas ! how different
is the scene! the front boxes of the theatres are almost exclusively
devoted to women of the town; the lobbies (warm with them; they
occupy every part of the house, with the solitary exception of the side
boxes and the first circle; the rooms intended for the purposes of re-
freshment are like the show-rooms of a bagnio; and it is next to im,
possible for a virtuous woman to walk from her box to her carriage

without having her eyes offended, and her ears shocked, by the most
- indecent gestures, and the most obscene language. And in this moft

profligate exhibition the young men are as bad as, if not worse than,
the women. At a summer theatre, we have seen the performance ab-
solutely stopped by the noise of these male and female prostitutes, and
the front boxes rendered the scene of actions fit only for a brothel.
When such gross violations of decency and decorum are publicly to-
lerated, woeful, indeed, must be the depravity of public manners!

If another instance be wanted let us turn our eyes to the streets of ·
the metropolis in an evening. We will not say that the number of
prostitutes which parade them is greater now than at any former period,
but certain it is that they are greatly increased in impudence, in de
pravity, and in wickedness. When a modest woman cannot pass

through the streets, under the protection of a brother or a husband,
· without having her ears affailed with the most horrid blasphemy and

obscenity, without being subject to the moit gross and abominable ina
sults, we may fairly conclude that the morals of the nation are at a
very low ebb indeed. These atrocious circumstances, it is evident,
cannot much affect the higher classes of society, whose carriages screen
them from insult; but they are dreadfully felt by the middle claffes,
and must have a terrible effect indeed on the lower classes,* .

Let us, then, hear no more of the wretched jargon of modern libe..
rality, unless, indeed, gentleness is to be accepted as a substitute for
religion, and amiability as the lawful successor of virtue. And if the
Itate of public morals be really such as we have stated them to be, have
we not too great reason to conclude, (without having recourse to the
records of Doctors' Commons, or to the statute-books, though these,
we are convinced, would justify our conclufion) that the fin of adule
tery has kept pace with other vices In short, to us it appears evident, ..
that unless some strong and decisive measures be speedily adopted for
the more effectual repression of vice and immorality, unless our legis.
·lators feel the full force of the wise observation, Quid valeant leges fine
moribus ! and regulate their public and their private conduct according.
ly; unless our magistrates be invested with the power, and supplied with
the means, of putting an immediate stop to the flagitious practices that

We refer our readers, for some excellent reflections on the man.
ners of the age, to a Letter figned CATQ, which appeared in the Antia
Jacobin or Weekly Examiner,

P 3

· pollute

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pollute our streets ; and the proprietors and frequenters of our places of public resort be made to enforce an observance of decency and de. corum ; unless, in short, a general reform take place in the morals and manners of every description of people, we can see not the smallest reason to hope for our escape from the same dreadful fate, which the juft vengeance of an offended God has, at different times, inflicted on various nations of the earth, not more degenerate, not more profligate, than our own.

The serious reflections naturally suggested by these important con, fiderations would lead us far to tranfgress our bounds; but we must limit ourselves to one other remark on the sin of adultery, and then proceed briefly to notice the different pamphlets which have appeared on the subject. That adultery is a fin of ihe deepest dye, the divine prohibition in the decalogue would alone suffice to demonstrate ; but we have further divine authority for afferting that adulterers (if they do not repent, will even be excluded from the kingdom of heaven. Is it not moft ftrange, then, that this sin, which, it is acknowledged by all, strikes at the root of domestic happiness, and consequently Thakes the whole fabric of civil society, should not be found on the long list of those crimes which swell oar penal code to an enormous bulk? Is it not most extraordinary that, while the man who steals a rabbit from a warrén, or a fish from a pond, incurs the penalty of death, that fin against which the Almighty judge of the world has denounced no less a punishment than eternal damnation--and who shall dare to ques. tion the justice of his dispensations ?-is deemed, by some of our légif. Jators, not of sufficient magnitude to constitute a misdemeanor! We now resume our capacity of critics, and proceed to the examination of the pamphlets before us i

ART XXII. Substance of the Speeches of his Royal Highness the - Duke of Clarence, in the House of Lords, on April 5, May 16,

21, and 23, 1800, againg the Divorce Bill. 8vo. Pp. 54. Ridgway. ÎN reviewing such pamphlets as profess to contain the substance of fpeeches delivered in either House of Parliament, the critic labours under peculiar difficulties. Every one knows that there are standing orders of both Houses which prohibit the printing or publishing of any such speeches, and subject the printer and publisher to such punishment as it may be the will of the House whole orders have been violated to inflict ; and yet every one knows, that persons regularly attend both Houses for the express and avowed purpose of taking the debates with a view to publication. Thus both Houses not only tolerate but encourage the commission of an offence, while the offender is not allowed to plead such toleration and encouragement in bar of punishment. Hence, as matters now stand, a risk is incurred by commenting on speeches as such, the extent of which is scarcely defineable. If we have, at any time, a doubt, respecting the common or statute

law

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