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reform in this department, and in some others, within their own sphere and within their own knowledge, than by senseless declamations and inflammatory harangues on subjects beyond their knowledge.

We plainly descry in some of these tumultuous meetings, and in several of the publications of the day, a lurking design to renew those scenes which had nearly brought this country to the brink of ruin, or at least of a civil war, in the early periods of the French revolution. The arsembling of delegates from different parts of England, so pompously announced at the Middlesex meeting, proves the existence of a settled plan for effecting some revolution in our political system. These persons are to meet at the Crown and Anchor, and though they had been properly styled delegates by one of their number, it was afterwards deeme. I expedient to call them only stewards; yet, in the extraordinary advertisement which proclaimed their names to the public, the counties Ortown's which these stezyards represented, were mentioned, evidently to show the motive of the meeting, and to induce other places to send their delegates to attend it. The professed object of this assembly is à Parliamentary Reform ; but when we recollect that the same object was avowed by all the seditious societies in every part of the kingdom at the period before alluded to, and that it afterwards appeared that Reform was only sought for as a step gained on the road to Revolution ; We cannot but exhort all ibe friends of the constitution to watch the prom ceedings of these new sacicties with a jealous and a vigilant eye.

The committees of the House of Commons have presented some voluminous reports, containing much curious and some interesting matter on various topics. But, wé confess, that, in some of those reports, it seems to us, that a great deal has been sacrificed to a paltry desire of earning popularity at the expence of others. It is vot our intention, at prezent, to enter upon an analysis of such dow cuments, or even to extend our general observations on the subject, We cannot refrain, hoiveter, from expressing our apprehensions, that this spirit of investigation, where it has not à direct and spe: cific object in view, if not subjected to the control of saber judga ment and sound discretion, may lead to consequences which the members do not foresee, productive of great public ineonvenience and mischief. If there be any specific abuse charged upon any department, or op any individual--if there be any "defaulter of

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unaccounted millions," let the most rigid scrutiny be instituted, with
a view to the detection of the offence, and the punishment of the
offender. But to suffer a committee to exercise inquisitorial powers
and to extend their inquiries to an undefined extent, without any
of these legitimate objects in view, is to establish tribunals of an
extraordinary nature, calculated to keep the publis mind in a state.
of constant irritation, highly unfavourable to that accuracy and
steadiness of conduct which are essential to the existence of social :
order. We cannot, for instance, conceive that a committee of the
House of Commons was either properly or beneficially employed in
investigating the distribution of patronage vested in the East-India
directors. This body of traders have a law of their own, and a
jurisdiction peculiar to themselves; and with the disposal of their
patronage the public appear to us to have no concern. A great
outcry has been raised, by the report of the committee on this sub-
ject, on the sale of writerships, and of the appointment of cadets in.
the Company's service. But, in the first place, a writer's appoint-
ment has as long as we can recollect been as marketable a commodity,
and as publicly sold, as a balę of silk or a chest of tea. A cadetship,
indeed, was never sold formerly, because it was not considered as
worth purchasing. Admitting, however, the propriety of a similar
inquiry for the sake of the argument, where, let us ask, is the
injury sustained by the public in these reprobated transactions?,
Not

any has been proved, nor is there the smallest reason to think that any has been sustained; and therefore all the noise which has been made on this subject has been verba et voces prætereaque nihil. For our part, we confess, that we see nothing extraordinary. in the sale of places by a company of traders, who solicit patronage for the sake of disposing of it to advantage. And whether they provide for a relation or friend by giving him 3000 guineas, or by. appointing him to a place worth 3000 guineas, the advantage is the same, and, in a moral point of view, we can see no difference. As to any private regulations of their own, with those the public have nothing to do, as far at least as respects this question. And the notion of depriving cadets and writers, who have been long in India, of their situations, for an unintentional violation of any. such ruies, is so monstrously iniquitous and unjust, so outrageously tyrannical, and so utterly subversive of the first principles of justice, that it should meet with public execration. We have,

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indeed, radical objections to the present system of government in India, which, we hope, will have due weight whenever the question of renewing the Company's charter shall be submitted to discussion. But they relate to very different objects from the distribution of patronage, and the sale of places. These are minor considerations-inere tubs to the whale-traps for the multitude, and unworthy, in our opinion, of legislative cognizance. Indeed, when some judicial offices and all military commissions are sold in Great Britain, it seems passing strange that the sale of similar appointments, in India, should be deemed a fit subject for public animadversion,

We trust, however, ibat, if any such scandalous project of dismission is seriously in contemplation by the legislative, executive, and judicial sages in Leadenhall-street, the Board of Control will interpose their authority to prevent so glaring an act of injustice, the-comimission of which would interrupt the peace of numerous families, and be ruinous to a number of deserving individuals. One word more upon the sale of writers' appointments. We have stated, that the practice of selling them has uniformly prevailed for a very long period of time; and it has been so public and so notorious, that the Committee of the Commons would have had as much claim to praise for their discovery, if they had gravely reported, for the information of the House, that a former chief magistrate of the city of London, and a member of the Whig-Club, had been implicated in an usurious transaction, at a gaming-bouse in St. James's Street; and had accurately stated the specific sum paid, to avert the effects of a threatened prosecution. Indeed, the publicity of such sales is evident from the circumstanee of a secretary of state and his secretary having given two writerships to one individual, as a reward for services rendered to the government. Had they not been intended for sale, they could vot have been given for such a purpose, as one man could not hold two of them, nor could they have been considered as a reward.

The debates which have taken place on the military events of last summer have only strengthened the conviction of all unprejudiced minds, that the opposition have provoked the discussion for no other purpose than that of rendering ministers unpopular, with a view to their removal, and in or to succeed to their oilia them. selves. The line of debate adopted by these partizans clearly de

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monstrates their object. They purposely overlook the most obvious causes of the occurrences which they deplore, and bestow the most indiscriminate praises on the generals who commanded the expeditions, in order to attach the blaine of their miscarriage to the cabinet, or to the ministers by 'whom they were projected. Not the smallest censure is cast on either Burrard or Dalrymple, though the first refused to embrace an advantage over the enemy, which was manifest to a child; and though the last signed that disgraceful Convention which defeated the first expectations of the country. This may be party-spirit, or may be faction, but certainly is any thing but patriotism, Although we are very far from thinking that no blame attaches to the minister who regulated the details of the operations in Spain; yet it is impossible to read the letters of General Moore without lamenting most deeply that he ever was employed on a service, from which he appears always to have anticipated an unfortunate result. Confidence of success is one great means of obtaining it; and a general whose mind is constantly bent on defeat, will most frequently sustain it. At all events, it is most impolitic to employ a man who thinks the object he is sent to attain, unattainable. The officious zeal of Sir John Moore's friends has produced a letter which ought never to have been published; for, whatever inferences their partiality may lead them to draw from it, in the eyes of impartial men it will do no credit to the memory of that general. We paid a just tribute to the valour of Sir John Moore; and having died the death of a hero on the field of glory, we wished the tears of patriotism to water his grave, and his asbes to remain uudisturbed, But if a discussion be provoked of the merits of his conduct in Spain, by the untempered ardour of his friends, and by the interested animadversions of the opposition (who see in General Muore nothing but the whig associate, who shared in their feelings and concurred with their sentiments), whatever may be the result, they, will have only themselves to blame for it. In such case, regardless of all inferior considerations, we shall discharge our public duty, by delivering our candid opinion on the subjectiu

The brilliant victory attained over the cowardly fleet of France, in Basque Rouds, adds another glorious page to the annals of British gale Jantry, Lord Cochrane by his conduct on various occasions has proved himself the worthy successor and companion of those naval heroes whose achievements will continue to be contemplated with

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gratitude and delight by our latest posterity. At once intrepid, daring, judicious, and skilful, with a mind fertile in resources adequate to every exigency, he seems born to command, and doomed to conquer. We feel so much pleasure in the contemplation of such a character, and of such an event, that we cannot stoop to notice some unpleasant circumstances attending the transaction which taas been whispered in our ear.

APRÍL 24th, 1809.

MISCELLANIES.

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On the Reverence to be paid to a solemn Oath, adininistered

according to Luw in Ireland, as taught and inculcated by the Rev. Dr. Milner, Vicar Apostolic of the holy Roman See.

IT is well known how little the popish peasantry in Ireland regard our English translation of the New Testament, as published by authority, and therefore it is usual, when an oath is administered to any of them in the courts of justice there, to do it with a golden cross stamped on the cover of the book, to be kissed by him who swears; as it is well known, that he venerates it much more than the contents within.

To this cause may, perhaps, be attributed the contradice tory evidence, which is too often given in the most direct and positive terms in the Irish courts, and the disregard of an oath which the English ascribe to tlte inferior natives of Ireland, when they have crossed the channel: What respect, then, in future, will ever be paid in Ireland to an oath administered according to law, by simply kissing the New Testament, when a person of high authority in the Romish church has not scrupled to publish, and declare, that he who takes such an oath there, is forced, with uncovered head, to boru down and kiss the leather and paper of which the book consists." Whence he cannot but infet, that it ought to have no other force upon his conscience, than what is due tā such a solemn piece of mockery.

Yet this is the opinion most impressively inculcated by Dr. Milner, an Engliál Roman Catholic bishop, und a vicar apostolic of the holy Roman see, in a late publication, intitled, " An Enquiry into certain vulgar Opinions concerning the Catholic Inhabitants, and the Antiquities of Ireland, in a Series of Letters from thence, &c. by mie Rev. J. Milner, D.D. F.S.A. &c. London, published by Keating, Brown, and Co. Duke-street, Grosvenor-square, &c. 8vo. 1808.”

This book, though printed in London, was chiefly intended for Ireland, where it has been most industriously circüdateu; and that it might attract sach persons as read for amusement, it is lettered on the back, " Dr. Milner's Your through Ireland." In this volume,

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