Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

* Ôur perceptions, we confess, are not fufficiently acútë tô discover the depreciation contended for. Bank-notes, it has been judiciously remarked, in an answer to him, are circulated at par. He says, that remark is a trite reason : so would it be deemed trite to call attention to a windmill, merely as a windmill ; but if Don Quixote mistakes a windmill for a giant, plain reason may be permitted to remind him that it is ftill a windmill. The Quixotic author of the Letter fancies, (and fancy goes a great way in weak or heated minds,) that there is a depreciation of the circulating medium; a depreciation of an extraordinary nature, which exifts without being seen, and which does not resemble any depreciation in America, France, Spain, Italy, or elsewhere; a depreciation accompanied with this fingularity, that no man can permit himself to say to his neighbour that Bank-notes are worth less than the value they seem to indicate, yet every man is to rate them in his own mind at a great deal lefs, and still be able to part with them, under this depreciating opinion, with all the advantages of their full value.

« Plain trite reason does not understand this kind of depreciation. Reason thinks that a depreciation of Bank-notes, if it exifted, would not be an equivocal thing, perceptible only to wild speculators, in consequence of some res trograde conceits deduced from inferences of suspicion. Reason says it would have originated in her own strong feelings of disfatisfaction againit the quantity or the quality of Bank.notes, which would have produced the immediate consequences of depreciating them, by an evident comparison with something or other of daily interchange. Reason would have fought to have gotten rid of her Bank.notes, by allowing to the first comer a discount which me could calculate ; and her neighbours, in their turn, would soon have offered others to her, and bargained in order to lessen their growing loss. She cannot but smile, therefore, in looking around her, when the hears that Bank-notes have been forced or insinuated into circulation to so great an amount that they have depreciated themselves!”

The author goes on with this comparison between reason and speculation, and attacks, and in our opinion completely overturns, all the favourite poli. tions of his opponent. He ridicules, with great success, the idea of deducing from the relief afforded by Mr. Boyd to the contracted resources of the French Caisse D'Efcompte, or to the still more limited resources of mercantile houses in this country, the ability of that speculator to regulate the mighty commercial and financial concerns of this opulent empire; and supplies some very seasonable checks to his arrogance and egotism.' Of these not the least fora tunate is to be found in the concluding pages of the pamplet, immediately following an extract from Mr. B.'s book, in which Sir Francis Baring is represented “as contemptible in abilities, and ignorant of the common rules of grammar."

“ The public will now, from what we have remarked, form their own conclusions of the merit of his work, as well as of the generous ideas he entertains respecting perfonal abuse: they will, too, have perceived from his adopta ed

anony mous lucubrations, what is his ftandard of correct language and liberal argument. On our parts, we must appeal to stronger terms than our own to tell him, that even-handed Justice returns the ingredients of the poisoned chalice to his own lips !' and we leave him to the cenfure of his own mind at his own exposure.

“ The author of the Letter, who claims Horace as his friend, tells us, that 'a certain hero fays, or rather angs,

My wound is great, because it is so small :)

6

Ff 4

s To

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

To which it is immediately replied,

" Then 't would be greater, were it not at all!' Abftaining from remarks on his application of these lines, we cite them as one instance, out of those which occur in almoft every page of his pamphlet, of provincial expression, and ignorance of topics. It is well known that the witty Duke of Buckingham made the reply which is here so poorly conveyed: when present at a representation wherein a character in a play had said,

• My wound is great, because it is so small;' He started up, and exclaimed in derision,

• Theri 't would be greater, were there none at all!! and the play was damned! The author of the Letter may make his quotation with better effect on some other occasion ; and the public, perhaps, may apply it in condemnation of his own pamphlet.

“ His friends will perceive and acknowledge, that had we indeed been disposed to descend to personalities, we might have taken up the gauntlet he has thrown down, and attacked him in his own defiance. i It would not be a difficult task,' he says, 'to sew how much the misfortunes which have befallen me in this country have been connected with the great interests of the public.'

"Can he attribute any of the causes to that connexion? We enter our solemn dissent, and withdraw."

[ocr errors]

A candid Appeal to the Nation, upon the present Crisis, and the recent Change

of Ministers. 8vo. Pp. 24. Lackington, Chappel, 1801. THE author, while he does justice to the talents of the late Ministers, compliments the King on his firmness in remaining true to his conscience, and faithful to his cath. He considers the claims of the Irish to Catholic emancia pation, shows their futility, and contends that they are very little underitood by the great mass of the people.

« The great mass of the western Irish, who instinctively and devoutly understand themselves to be what they were born to be, predestined members of the Catholic Communion, and who, without the actual occupancy of a foot of soil can record their claims to possession of the whole, were not pro. bably very sensitive to the disabilities of the Corporation Ad, as it only barred their being elected to offices, from which nature itself, and the small requisites of reading and writing, had imperiously excluded them : in like manner we may suppose the consideration of the Tejt Axt to have been a subject rather too metaphysical to have come within the compass of their studies; and, therefore, I prisume to conclude it was quite sufficient for them to know they were asking for something, and altogether superfluous to inform them what it was. When men are to be acted upon by paffion, there seems no room to call in reason. These gentlemen therefore may be very easily made to resent their disappointment, though it would be extremely difficult to make them comprehend what it is they are disappointed of. The higher orders of their perfuafion are however neither dull in perceiving their advantages, nor Buggish in pursuing them. To then the barriers, which the founders and amenders of our conftitution have nied before the church established, would, like the

own stone walls, be in the career of their ambition nothing more than an enly leap, whereby to pluck bright honour, not from the pale.faced moor perhaps, but certainly from the pale faced heretics,

66 And

[ocr errors]

« And now, if such was to have been the purchase of our union with İreland, if this was to have been the price we were to pay for Catholic acquiefcence in the measure ; great as the object of it is, I must felicitate my fellow Protestants, on the providence of our forefathers, who, to secure posterity against those dangers they had in their own time' experienced, devised and imposed that solemn oath to be for ever taken by every monarch in succession, wherehy he binds himself to maintain, to the utmost of his power, the laws of God, the true profeffion of the Gospel, and the Proteftant reformed religion established by law, and mark the words, not as it shall be established by law, but as it is.'

The author reasons not only like a good subject, but like a good Christian.

« If I could bring myself to treat the question as some men do, who never looking for danger to religion, never see danger, I would leave the measure to its policy only. If I did this, I should be in a great majority : a general relaxation of morals, a levity of manner in discoursing of things serious, and a cold indifference towards the interests of religion, is the lamentable characteriftic of the time we live in. It can give a man no alarm, if only that is in danger, upon which he puts no value : secure that he cannot lose what he

has not goi

" Cantabit vacuus." ". Men of this cast live merrily with men of all casts, who share in their disipation and subscribe to their amusements; they laugh a man to naught, who makes the religious, or anti-religious, opinions of their companions an objection to their society; there is but one species of non-conformity, whichi they would quarrel with, and that respects neither religion nor morality ; be that fits at their table, may swagger in their senate, for any thing they care about it.-But what are these, that we should listen to their frivolous opinions, or concern ourselves about their comtemptible indifference?

“ But declamation is a finer thing than dulness by more than half, and higha founding words, though they carry no sense, ought to be respected for the noise they make in our ears. Now there are many gentlemien in this great world, whose liberality of sentiment is extremely loud ; it is also full as much like patriotism, as Pistols pig worts at the pridge, which Fluellen heard, were like courage-Let us'unite,' they cry, every subject of the empire in our common cause!'-Tis great, 'tis glorious-'ris granted, and they imme. diately proceed to point us out the means. Away with all diftinctions be. tween man and man! The common enemy is at our door; let us not be found disputing about religion, when he that invades us, has renounced it altogether.'

-Excellent reasoning, if the rule of his conduct ought to be the model for our's: forward as they can with us to be for the promotion of unanimity, we only beg leave to doubt if complete emancipation of all non-conformists would be the ready road to it; what they assert we do not deny, but what they infer we are not ready to grant. Those gentlemen, who handle a question without understanding it, are indeed less insignificant, but considerably more troublefome than those, who neither give the pains to comprehend it, nor think it worth their while to' talk about it : unless both descriptions of men could be made sensible, what a piry it is only one of them is filent.

• But there are men of more profundity, who take the question as a matter of calculation, and having found out that nineteen paris in twenty of the property of Ireland is in the hands of the Protestants, would persuade us to think lightly of the risque of Catholic emancipation, inafmuch as property is te

govern

govern representation, and then where is the danger ? To this we might answer, that the danger is in their very statement of the case.

If their computation of comparative property is near the truth, and our computation of comparative numbers is not far from the truth, the very inference, that puts them at their ease as to consequences, is in our view of it the very circumstance most serionfly to be apprehended. When nineteen parts in twenty as to number poilets only one part in twenty as to property, and both parties are admitted to equal rights of office and administration, and that poor unbeneficed majority is composed of Roman Catholics, where is the man bold enough to underwrite the tranquillity of either church or state Were I sure, that by holding them at their present dittance I should make them my enemies, despairing, as I do, to make them my friends by admitting them into partnership, as a Protestant I would prefer to stand the confequences of open hostility, rather than incur the dangers of pretended friendihip."

He concludes with some spirited exhortations to the new Ministers, to whose virtues and whose abilities he pays a tribute of justice.

Reffections on the present State of Things in thrle Nations. By the late excel

lent Dissenting Divine Jolin Leland, D. D. and now republithed by a lay-member of the Church of England. 12mo. Pp. 24. 4d. or 3s. per Dozen. Hatchard. 1801.

ALL the writings of this able assailant of the Deists, this vigorous champion of Christianity, are too well known for any one of them to require a comment from us. We have only, therefore, to bear testimony to the good and pious intentions of the Editor of this Tract, whose motives for republishing it, as explained in a “ prefatory note," are such as do him great honour.

The Opinion of an Old Englishman: in which National Honour, and National

Gratitude, are principally considered. Tlumbly offered to bis Countrymen and Fellow-Citizens, on the Refignation of the late Ministry. Svo. Pp. 20. Hatchard. 1801. FROM a brief and cursory review of the conduct of the late Ministers, and of the eminent services which they rendered to their country, the Author takes a fair occasion to pay them a well-earned tribute of thanks and gratitude. In impreflive and animated language, which evidently flows from the heart, his sentiments are communicated; he passes over the cause of the feceffion of Mr. Pitt, and limits his attention to his previous and his subsequent conduct. In the justice of his observations, the truth of his premises, and the accuracy of his conclufions, we heartily concur. Upon one fingular circumstance which diftinguishes the late change of Ministry from all others, we meet with the following apposite remarks.

vs Circumstances of a delicate nature having induced Mr. Pitt to resign the situation of Prime Minister, we have now to comtemplate him in a new character. If we consult our history, we fall find that the removal of a Minister has almost invariably been produced by some public calamity, or a want of contidence on the part of the sovereign, or the people: foured, disgusted, and venal, we find many of them lanienting their fiuations, and undergoing a revolution of sentiment and principle as sudden as it is dittowant from what they before beld. Thus Tories became Whigs, and Whigs

aristocratical,

aristocratical, till parties were so jumbled, that it became a matter of no small difficulty to distinguish the one from the other.

“ Is this the case now? Does the petulance of disappointment, or the chagrin of resigned greatness, drive the late Minister into the bosom of an opposition to condemn measures which he himself recommended, to insult his Sovereign because no longer in his service, or degrade a Government because he ceases to be a component part of it? Does he even in sullen filence retire from the world, and vent his spleen in seclusion ? No! He finds men who succeed him, chosen by his King, worthy and competent to bear the responsibility of their situations. He approves and supports them, and his great mind, superior to all narrow feelings of selfishness, looks to the same end (the good of the commonweal) when out of place, as he did when Minister of the country.

1801.

The Dark Cloud in the Political Hemispbere broken, and a Bright Beam of Conte

solation issuing therefrom, in favor of his Majesty's Ministers and depressed Stockholders; with a few Words of Advice to Growlers, and the Disatisfied of every Description : also a Metbod prescribed, founded on Reason and Experience, for removing their Discontent, and rendering their Minds easy under the present State of Public Affairs. Respectfully addressed to the Rigbt Hon. William Pitt, First Lord Commissioner of his Majesty's Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer, &c. &c. &c. By an Old Naval Officer. 8vo. Pp. 28. Scott. London.

THIS naval officer feels as a British officer ought to feel. He disdains to be dismayed at the success of our enemies; and seeks to inspire his countrynien

with courage and confidence. We agree with him, that we have a right to infift upon safe and honourable terms of peace, and we trust that no other terms will ever be submitted to by our Government.

The author boasts of being possessed of a very valuable secret, by means of which, he assures us, he “ can make ash or elm timber endure much longer in the fabric of a ship, than the beart of oak of any of the Northern Nations can be made (by any method of reasoning timber now in practice) to endure in the frames of their thips.”- Surely this is a secret worth knowing.

POETRY.

[ocr errors]

The Annual Anthology. 8vo. Pp. 308. Vol. II. Longman and Rees.

London. 1800. AS S the industry and artifice of JACOBINISM are perpetually at work to

corrupt the imagination, as well as to reduce the paffions, of mankind, it is no wonder that it should have listed the Muses in its cause. There are a set of writers in this country who have usurped the name of Peets, and who endeavour, by giving an importance to the most triling and familiar objects, and by an appeal to the pity of the vulgar and unenlightened, to bring odium upon every political

, moral, and religious establishment, and consequently to prepare the way for the new Bfter introduced by republican France. This ipecies of Poets was admirably ridiculed by the ANTI-JACOBIN EXAMINER, in his excellent parody, entitled, he needy Knife Grinder, but ridicule has

no

« ZurückWeiter »