Abbildungen der Seite


keepers and men-milliners, and of the panders of brothels and club-houses:" &c. &c. (Vol. 8, P. 182-188.)

Then “ the reputed abilities of Mr. Fox" are said to have been

greatly over-rated in every capacity but that of an orator," and o the distinction with which he was treated in France was not,” we are told, “owing to his churacter, but (who ever doubted it?) to a plan proposed by Talleyrand and adopted with enthusiasm by Buonaparte to FOSTER AT ANY EXPENSE A CONSIDERABLE PARTY IN THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT AGAINST THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT.Then « the slow and very limited capacity of Lord Grenville always followed the events of the French revolution at a great distance.

All his measures were therefore misjudged, and all his emissaries injudiciously selected.” . . . Because, as it is remarked, while Genius discerns merit, petty knavery employs its proper representatives, and ignorance and folly are always ignorantly und foolishly served.And, it is added, "the late minister devised a melancholy · legacy to the public, if it be true that he made it his dying request to his majesty to be advised by Lord Grenville in the choice of his ministry.Then the conceits, and jokes, and contrivances of a Windham, are not worth the paper on which they are printed: and there are not ten men in Britain, left to their choice, who would entrust themselves to such conceits.” Then it is sarcastically said, that when the names and appointments of this ministry were submitted to his majesty, he archly observed, “ Would not this list of clever fellows be improved by the intermixture of more men of character?" and was answered, “The French ministers and agents are not distinguished by their good characters." Then, in this critic's judgment, “ the circumstance of the worst omen and the greatest astonishment is, that a prince of real genius, of extensive knowledge, and the highest accomplishments, should commit all his future hopes to such men.Then we were solemnly forewarned, that if some fitter characters, persons of real and practicable wisdom, some acknowledged and popular minds, should not soon be employed, to engage the hearts of the people, the past evils of French outrages will be comparative happiness to those which may be inflicted on Britain: and the misery of ages will be the certain consequence." &c. &c. (Vol. 8, P. 184 -- 190.)

These extracts might suffice abundantly to show, 'that however outrageously this reviewer reviles his majesty's present ministers, he has at least abused with equal virulence every other administration which is the subject of his notice. Perhaps it will not be recollected, that, in the greatest overflowings of his malignity, he has never charged the present gentlemen with receiving favours from Talleyrand and Buonaparte for promoting their views in the English parliament against the English government. The above extracts might also serve abundantly to show the unparallelled effrontery of this critic, who can now in the same publication so highly extol the discarded ministers; who can now gravely tell us, that "the character of the late ministry, their intellectual ability, their patriotic exertions, and their moral worth, may for ever defy” the most

[ocr errors]

" some

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

hostile attacks upon it! (Vol. 11, p. 324.) As, however, he would now be thought to admire equally their talents and their virtue, and is indignant at all persons who think differently of these gentlemen, behold him, astonished reader, at another time scoffing at the idea that such“ heroes of wisdom and integrity” are to save us, and that corruption is to expire uunder " their strong and pure hands;"even when aided by " the vigilant eyes of their relations, creditors, and dependents." "Behold these päragons of wisdom, virtue, and disinterestedness

, representer in this same work, as “ rotaries of dissipation, luxury, and yofligacy,” calling in vain "on the numerous classes of oppressed labour and industry, for union and patriotic energy;" as men bursting in hungry crowds into the abandoned places of their predecessors, and proclaiming with indecent folly their long and gormandising festivities; : . continuing and increasing the shameful burthens of sinecures, extravagant pensions, and fraudulent superanuuations;" as, besides adopting the absurd principles and conduct of former ministers, guilty of the enormous folly of rousing the courage and uniting the enthusiasm of the people by oppressive taxation in furour of profligate rapacity, and the waste and profusion of random and ill-concerted measures. Learn, from this same source, that under their domination, boyswere enabled “ to sport with the burdens of an industrious people, and the locusts karboured in the train of oratorical adventurers to thrive by theipo miseries;” that they committed “the adjustment of those galling evils to a young and inexperienced minister who adopts ONLY THE PAILINGS OF HIS UNFEELING PREDECESSOR;

that additions to the property tax were made by them, “by its extension to small incomes,” which "are the wanton cruelties of inexperienced igno. rance," and "wring every equitable and compassionate heurt." (Vol. 8, p. 184. - 190, 430.) &c. &c. &c.

Such was this critic's description of those ministers, when in office, whose recal to their places be now represents as the only hope of the empire! Sach, as it hath been quoted above, is his description of his majesty's present ministers! And sứch is his account of the present state of our admired constitution, and of our general state of bondage and oppression! What idiots then they are, who have so long been dreaming that this is a land of unexampled liberty and happiness! How incapable are such persons of contemplatiug political institutions, and human perfectibility, in the new and resplendent light of the Tuilleries!

But is it not hence plain, that the damning sin, in this writer's estimate of our public characters, is the being in office ? Tories and wbigs, Pittites and Foxites, buffoons and cynics, his angels in opposition, are all, we see, equally devils the moment they become the servants of his majesty, and a branch of the government. - And what must not be the mischiefs occasioned by such writers? For my own part, Sir, I do seriously consider the avowed partisans of Buonaparte as friends, and their efforts as harmless, when compared with these vipers in our bosom, and the constant emission of their subtle poison. Under the pretence of rousing our indignation against weak and wicked ministers, they disembogue their jaco

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

binical malignity, and incesantly pour fourth a torrent of the vilest falsehoods, and most atrocious calumnies, against the whole body of those who occupy stations of authority; and thus teach men to "despise dominion, and speak evilof dignities;” and destroy in them all suitable ideas of subordination and of respect for their rulers and superiors. Under the pretence of reforming abuses, and introducing some chimerical state of things, which, as all experience has shown, is wholly incompatible with human infirmity,' they rail against the agents of government, and advance charges so as to bring into contempt the government itself. After all the awful warnings against such a conduct which the present age has furnished, they persist in teaching men to impute their greatest hardships to the faults of their governors; and thus fill them with discontent and murmurings, make them critics on every man's conduct but their own, and prepare them for faction and rebellion. If, therefore, to adopt a language which these reviewers know, the same dreadful consequences which followed this licentious abuse of the press in France, do not take place here, “it will not be owing to the rant of efforts in those imps of darkness, anonymous zoriters” and Critical Reviewers,

Let not this inference be thought too strong. In times like the present of unesampled difficulty, when, not through the faults of our governors, but, as it is far more becoming in us to believe, through the just judgment of heaven for our own sins, we have so long, been involved in war with a most gigantic and ferocious foe, who is infuriate for our destruction, and has already overwhelmed every other neighbouring nation; when, if angels were our governors they might frequently be in perplexity, or appear guilty of mistakes; and when, although still happy, superlatively happy, in comparison with the condition of every other people, our privations and burdens are necessarily very great; under such circumstances, is it possible to be more mischievously employed than this critic is? What could the " Father of lies”himself desire his most faithfulagents to do more? How could they, under these circumstances, better promote his diabolical and mischievous purposes than by continually telling the people, as these critics do, that such is the corrupt state of our constitution, that.“ almost every act of the governmentis un infamous barter of morul principle for the wages of sin;" that it does not reward the old and laborious servants of the people, but the profligate and unprincipled of every age and description, who are willing to truckle their patriotism for gold, and sell their conscience for a job:” that in the selection and appointment of its agents, "the influence of private and party views” outweighs all considerations of merit and qualification, and that " imbecility, vice, and folly, are the best passports to regard;" that

VICE, IGNORANCE, AND IMPORTUNITY ARE REWARDED AND CARESSED, BECAUSE THEY ARE FOUND THE FITTEST INSTRUMENTS FOP DOING THE DIRTY WORK OF THEIR SUPERIORS:" that our foolish and wicked ministers, selected for such purposes and on account of such qualifications, have been guilty of crimes wbich

never yet exceeded in the annals of 'iniquity;" and have prosecuted measures at once so impolitic and unjust, that they have


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

not only brought upon us the most grievous sufferings at home, but have reduced us to the "extremity of disgrace," and rendered our country“ the scorn, the hatred, and the bye-zuord of the world:that our governors reckon "for little or nothing" either our comforts or our lives when "compared with the qualifications of avarice or ambition;" that if these ends could be better answered by it, they would reward the suppression instead of the promulgation of any newly-discovered means for the preservation of our health and lives; and, that "no dog ever experienced from the most savage master such a complication of cruelties as the Irish,one very considerable

part of his majesty's subjects, have suffered from the English goverriment:" that the war, with all its horrors and calamities, is unnecessarily and wantonly continued by “cultures who fatten on the carrion of it:" that the burdensome taxes which are exacted from us are the wanton cruelties of inexperienced ignorance," and in many cases the forced offering of slaves," and "

and "zring every equitable
and compassionate heart;" and that this "oppressire turation is in
fuvour of profligate rapacity;" that these hard earnings of " oppressed
labour and industryare squandered away by the votaries of
dissipation, luxury, and profligucy;" by men who "proclaim with
indecent folly their long and gormandising festivities : » &c. &c. &c.
(see above.) Mast not the industrious circulation* and constant
repetition of such calumnies have the most pernicious effects? If
the subjects of his Britannic majesty still cheerfully pay taxes and
comply with the requisitions of government, if they have too much
good sense and too much virtue to be excited by these representa-
tions to sedition and insurrection, certainly no thanks are due to
their authors. Othat all such spirits breathed the air of another
country, to enjoy, at the fountain head, under the immediate
smiles of Buonaparte, those blessings of which they are so ena-

Reign they in hell their kingdom-let us serve
In heay'n:

Yet chains in hell, not realms, must they expect.”
Such are the Critical Reviewer's efforts on subjects connected
with politics and government. Of an equally pernicious, if possible
still worse, tendency are his exertions in respect to the church and
religion. But that the painful and indignant feeling of your readers
at present may have a respite, the exhibition of these shall be
deferred to another opportunity. In the mean time, with the most
cordial wishes for the success of your Antijacobin labours,
I am, Sir, with due respect,



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

* It will be some consolation to the friends of virtue and truth to know, that the circulation of such a publication is rapidly decreasing every month, and that although its existence may be lamented, the actual number of two or three hundred is not such as to create any serious alarm for its mischievous influence.



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

To the Editor of the Antijacobin Review.

Great Marlow, Bucks, Dec. 16th, 1808.
I shall look upon it as a particular favour, if you will have
the goodness to insert, as soon as convenient, in one of the numbers
of your so-justly-admired Review, the following answer to the critical
observations on my Aperçu général et raisonné sur la Fortification de
Place, &c. given in the Appendix of the Monthly Review for
September last. Did I know of a more respectable channel for con-
veying them to the British public, I would not have troubled you
with the present application.

I shall not employ myself in combating the doubt expressed by my anonymous critic, in regard to my rank of captain in the royal corps of French engineers: the fact is sufficiently notorious, and so easy to be ascertained, that an insinuation to the contrary is rather malicious than injurious. I will only observe, that this corps having been designated by the appellation of national and imperial, under the revolutionary governments, I have prevented any ambiguity in regard to myself by using the word royal. I think even that the candid and judicious will see, in my solicitude to preserve this ancient denomination, the indication of a laudable attachment to the rights of my legitimate sovereign, and an allowable protest against the enterprises of usurpers.

I leave my critic to plume himself on the discovery that the reputation of the French engineers is ill founded. If it will add to his satisfaction on this head, I will even declare that I have drawn all my assertions froin our true masters of fortification ; and that I could point out such distinctly in the writings of Vauban, Clairac, Cormontaigne, &c.; so that my ideas on this science are strictly conformable to those of the corps to which I esteem it an honour to belong.

It would be improper to praise my own style of writing; but, on such a subject as I have treated, perspicuity must be the principal merit; and I am justified in asserting, that many natives of Eng. land, as well as a number of my own countrymen, have proved that they perfectly comprehend my work, by favouring me with flattering approbation, as well as judicious remarks. Besides, I am not surprised that my critic should find my style totally unintelligible ; for in his citations he shows himself so little acquainted with the French language, as' to mistake the sense of the most obvious phrases : for example, after having read, p. 13 of the Preface * cette marche précieuse consiste à comparer perpétuellement, dans toute leur étendue, les moyens de l'attaque et les précautions de la défense,” &c. -- he absurdly supposes that I make it consist in fixing the profils of the different works of fortification, before the plans are laid down.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »