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Art. 24. A Letter to Dr. Hawker, on his pretended Reply to Mr.
Porter's Defence of Unitarianism, by the Author of that Defence, 8vo. 18. Johnson. 1793.
Mr. Porter attacks Dr. Hawker on the new ground which he has chofen, without abandoning the old. To Dr. Doddridge's account of inspiration, he opposes fome extracts more luminous and more directly to the point, from Grotius and Tillotson; and he then resumes the sub. ject of his former pamphlet; properly repelling those unfair inanu, ations which Dr. H. has done him the honour of employing instead of arguments.
Mooy POLITICAL and COMMERCIAL. . Art. 25. The Case of the War considered, in a Letter to Henry Dún.
combe, Esq. Member of Parliament for the County of York. 8vo. pp. 24. 15. Debrett. 1794.
If the anonymous writer of this letter Aattered himself that he fhould conciliate the good will of any one description of politicians in this kingdom, he most probably will find himself mistaken. Those who think that the war was unnecessary, and unprovoked, will not coalesce with a politician who is ' ready to allow that the assistance we fent to Holland, in the moment of her danger, was not only a wise ftep, but a measure of neceflity :' while those, who are of opinion that the existing circumstances call for a vigorous prosecution of hofti: lities, cannot agree with the writer who would not consent to follow up the successes of the Allies, by pursuing the fugitive French into their own territory, when they were driven out of the Netherlands. If we understand him right, he would have advised ntinifters to halt our army on the borders of the French territory, but not to recall it. Now of all the systems which have been suggested since the rupture - with France, this appears to us to be the least fit for England to adopt, because it would entail on the country, for an indefinite time, that species of war which ought most to be avoided,-a defensive war: a war at. tended with an expence that exhausts the public strength, without cheering the nation with the atchievements of brilliant exploits, which excite ardour, and give the idea of glory, at least, to the people, in return for their money. If our troops were recalled when the French were driven home, what would have prevented the enemy from re. newing the attack on Flanders and Holland ? Indeed we find that, even with the assistance of 30,000 men in the pay of Great Britain, the allies are scarcely able to cover the Netherlands. What then would be the case if this force were withdrawn? The conquest of Holland, which this writer thinks we ought to exert all our itrength to prevent, would most probably be the consequence. If, then, it would be proper to retain our troops on the borders of France, would he keep them, and for what length of time, lying on their arms, doing nothing; or, which is much worse than nothing, exhausting the resources of England ?
The writer, by wishing to concede something to every party, encangles himself in labyrinths of inconsistencies. Had he condemned the war from the beginning, or approved the general principle of it, without minding what were the opinions of the great leaders of par. ties in and out of parliament, he would have freed himfelf from those
embarrassments : but, by endeavouring to please all sides, we will venture to say that he has pleased none. At the same time, we are ready to allow that the composition is not without merit; the style is. easy and bespeaks the gentleman; and the sentiments are those of candor and moderation.
Sh. Art. 26. War with France the only Security of Britain at the present momentous Crisis: set forth in an earnest Address to his fellow Subjects. By an old Englishman. 8vo. pp. 39. 15. Nicol. 1794.
The perural of this little address has afforded us some pleasure. The author, unlike to Mr. Playfair, (see Art. 27.) is not for eternal war; he thinks war necessary at this crisis; he knows it to be an evil, and engages in it not from hatred and resentment, but from a conviction in his own mind, which must be a law to him, that, by avoiding this evil, he should be sure of bringing on himself a greater. His object, in framing this address, is to unite the people in defence of their country, and to spirit them up to a manly resistance in case of a French invasion. The inducements to union he draws from the conduct of the Convention, one part of whose ways and means of carry. ing on the war is the confiscation of private property, acquired by the condemnation of individuals. He treats these topics in an able man. ner; and, though he sometimes endeavours to interest the passions of his readers, he more frequently appeals to their understanding, evinc. ing that he possesses the happy talent of blending a clearnels of expression, suited to the comprehension of the lower orders of society, with the language of the scholar.
It is our sincere with that his labour may not be loft, nor his object de. feated; for whatever may be our opinion on the question whether the war might or might not have been avoided, there surely can be but one line of conduct for Englishmen to pursue when their country is invaded: THEY MUST DEFEND IT. On such an occasion, there can be but one mind through the whole nation. Let the invaders be who they may, Naves or freemen, civilized or barbarians, humane or cruel, they must be opposed, they must be repelled. We wish to see Frenchmen free; we wish to see all mankind free: but we ardently hope that the day may never come when any but Englishmen shall own the soil, or give the law to the people, of England. We want not to monopolize liberty: but, as Englishmen, we trust that the present inhabitants will monopolize the possession of the land of this country, and entail it on their latest poiterity.
D.O Art. 27. Peace with the Jacobins impossible. By William Playfair.
8vo. 15. Stockdale. 1794 What a strange little animal is man! his body fills but a small space; his life is but as a moment; and yet his enmity or his resenta ment is to be unbounded, bidding defiance to all limits of time and place. If the unqualified proposition of Mr. Playfair be well founded, chat ' peace with the Jacobins is impossible', then must our war with them last not only during our own lives, but be handed down to our children as an inheritance; unless we should have previoufly succeeded in exterminating the whole race of these enemies, No man can execrate more strongly than we do the crimes and excesses of the Jacobins : but still we would not be so absurd as to wage eternal war Rev. FEB. 1794,
with them. We might say, we will try the success of a campaign er two, and be determined by the event whether it would be more advilable for us then to go on, or to propose a termination of hostilities:--but we could never think of saying, without any qualification whatever of the expression, that'peace with the Jacobins is imporsible'. It might not be expedient at one time; it might become necessary at another; and therefore we would never bar the door against it. Every civilized country detests the principles and system of the ftates of Barbary, which live by piracy; yet every civilized nation in Europe not only treats with them, but is glad even to purchase, if not their friendship, at least their forbearance from plunder. No man of sense ought to lay down a proposition amounting in effect to this --that at no time, under no circumstances, should peace be made with the Jacobins; and we rejoice that such a doctrine has not been broached by any man either in parliament or in the cabinet, however forward he might be, at present, to go on with the war.
A passage in page 10 of this pamphlet would lead us to fear, if there were not strong proof to the contrary, that Mr. Play fair had himself a little dash of the Jacobin in his composition; that is to say, that he was a little tainted with their humanity. “Our allies (says he) were attacked abroad, and the basis of our government at home; to those who dispute this last, I can but answer, that none are so deaf as those that will not hear; and it is only a matter of regret, that those who undermine our government cannot be treated a la Françoisi, since it is the French system that they have taken for their model.''
A powerful stream of the milk of human kindness flows through this sentiment of regret that the guillotine cannot be set to work, in this country, on those who do—what? Betray their country? No, for they are already liable to the penalties of treafon, and to a death infinitely more painful than that which is produced by the guillotine. Who adhere to the king's enemies ? No, for they are in the same predicament. Who by overt acts attempt to overturn our government? No, for that also is treason. Whose heads then are those which the national razor should shave in England, if the pious wish of Mr. Playfair could have effect? The heads of those who undermine our government :-an expression not known to our law, and of course not to be found in the index of the criminal code. We may presume, then, that the persons here meant are those who believe that peace might be made with the Jacobins; who approved the French revolution; and who think that some sentences, which have lately been pronounced, do not err on the side of mildness and humanity. Would it remove the cause of Mr. Playfair's regret, if, for the punishment of such perfons, we were to have in every town a permanent guillotine, and an ambulatory one for lowering heads in every village ? No, we are sure that his humanity would revolt at the idea which could be agreeable only to a Jacobin,
We mean to take up but little more of the time of our readers with remarks on this production, which resembles most of the loyal pamphlets of the day, as much as one regimental coat does another belonging to the same corps : but we cannot overlook one part of it, which is certainly original, and meets with our most cordial appro. bation. Mr.P. calls on the rich to contribute largely to the support of a war which has for one of its main objects the preservation of property. We will here quote his owo words, and then take leave of him; wishing at the same time that his call may be attended with the desired effect, and that the rich will advance their money fo liberally, as that there may be little occasion for laying on taxes which principally affect the poor, – Thus it is that Mr. P. treats this subject :
As upon the event of this dispute depends the happiness of all Europe, and the present order of things, and although the day-labourer, . who is not a proprietor, would greatly loie by the change; yet it is certain, that the proprietor and the rich man has more to fear than the poor, because he is at present better in his affairs. It is then at this time that the rich should contribute largely to support a war so just in itself, and upon which the existence of their fortunes depends. Patriotism Thould be spurred on by private intereit, and the representatives of the nation should distribute the new burthens necessary in such a manner, as to make riches and luxury contribute moit.
Proprietors of lands, nobles, merchants, and monied men of all descriptions, consider, that though you have the same right to enjoy your thousands that the poor man hach to his fmall earnings, yet you play a deeper game-you profit most by the present order, and should pay the most to preserve it!
Sh. Art. 28. Peace and Reform against War and Corruption; in Answer to
a Pamphler written by Arthur Young, Esq. entitled “ The Example of France a Warning to Britain,” 8vo. Pp. 160. 25, 6d. By niel, Ridgeway. 1794.
Sewards! It is said of an once eminent Barrister, not very famous for reading his briefs, and who was afterward raised to the peerage, that, being engaged in a cause in Westminster-hall, he had proceeded for some time to enforce with very great cloquence and ability the case of A, when the attorney who had given him his bricf, pulling him by the sleeve, whispered to him- Sir, you will undo us! you are retained for B against A, and you are pleading the cause of the latter.” The lawyer, with surprising fang froid, went on a little longer in the same ityle, and then addressed the Judge in the following manner : “ My Lord, I think I have thus anticipated all that ingenuity could oppose to me in favour of A; I shall now pray your Lordship's attention, while I prove that every argumant which I have anticipated is fallacious, and that my client B is entitled to your Lordship's judgment." - The confifient lawyer then dexterously changed sides, and refuted all his former reasonings.
Mr. Arthur Young is exhibited to the public by the writer of this pamphlet in a character similar to that of the lawyer ; he is opposed to himself; and the refutation of the political tenets, which he sup. ported for twenty years, is extracted from his own work, his late celebrated Palinodia, “ The Example of France a Warning to Britain *:' Who pulled Mr. Young by the sleeve, and told him that he had mistaken his fide; whether it was Pan, who creates alarms and scares men out of their wits; or Plutus, who inspires them with a due sense
of the value of property ; it is not for us to say : but any person, who will bestow half an hour's consideration on the performance now be. fore us, must be convinced that the charge of inconsistency is irrevocably fastened on this gentleman; who, as the experimental agriculturist, is made to appear as different a person from the secretary to the board of agriculture, as Mr. Burke in his Reflections on the French Revolution is from Mr. Burke in his doctrines respecting the American war, and in his bill for regulating the civil lift and curtailing the expences of the King's household.
When Mr. Y. undertook to defend the Constitution, he ought to have been aware that his political recantation would draw on him a host of enemies, who would not fail to charge him with inconsistency.
Among those enemies, the author of the present pamphlet is the most formidable that we have yet seen. It is impossible for us, limited as we are in point of room, to go much at large into an account of a work which embraces many objects, and treats each somewhat diffusely; we must therefore content ourselves with a short analysis of it.
It Thews that Mr. Young is at variance with himself when he deems Aix months a sufficient time for trying by the test of experiment the French Constitution, and allows that eighteen years are too short a period for experiment, when applied to the Constitution of America :—when he condemns the French for dealing so much in theory and speculation, and yet speaks of America merely as a theorist and speculator, predicting what will happen there, not pointing out what has happened in when he asserts that « if the House of Commons of England were such representatives (as in France) they would be guided by the folly, madness, and passions of the people ;” and, seven pages farther on, overturns this assertion by a counter declaration that “ Representation destroys itself, and generates with infallible certainty an oligarchy of mobbish demagogues, till of all other voices, that leas? beard is the real will of the people:" - When he insists that “a para liament constituted on personal representation can act no otherwise than by the immediate impulse of the people,” and afterward contradicts this very position in the following passage :" A word, however, might be said on the point of perional representation, rendering tbe will of the people fupreme. The futility of the idea is demonstrated, in the assemblies fo chofen in France ; their first merit, on Jacobin principles, is, that of speaking the sovereign will of the people, by which expression, is always understood the majority : but, so truly abominable is this system of Government, that there has not been a single instance of great and marked importance, in which the minority, and commonly, a very small minority, has not, by means of terror, carried all before them.”—Thus, he at one time affirms that the will of the people “ would guide” personal representatives, and yet, that among such representatives, the will of the people would be “ leaf heard.”—That personal representatives “ can act no otherwise, than by the immediate impulse of the people,” and that every instance, of great and marked importance, in France, has, by means of tersor, been carried by the will of a very small minority !-- These contradictions are fatal to all that Mr. Young has written, and are a juft ilJultration of the whole fairness of his book.'