Page images
PDF
EPUB

brancer. At the fame time, he has not entirely confined himfelf to the office of a journalist. Obfervations and reflections are occafionally interfperfed; and they are fuch as discover a temperate fpirit of freedom; confiderably lowered, indeed, in its tone, fince the appearance of the first volume, and perhaps not altogether fupported with confiftency;-particularly in the account which is given of the applications to parliament for the repeal of the corporation and test acts. The work is written in a correct and manly ftyle; of which, as well as of the writer's caft of political fentiment, our readers will judge from the following reflections, with which, among others, he concludes the prefent volume:

There is little in the prefent appearance of European politics to foothe philanthropy, or to encourage expectation. The fond vifions of benevolent fpeculation are fruftrated by the depraved practice of mankind; and though changes in the civil state of men will neceffarily be wrought from the diffufion of knowledge, the inequality of property, and the funding fyftem, the experience of the prefent day affords little reafon to welcome fuch events.

• Revolutions effected by the populace, are especially to be dreaded. However right in their fentiments, or honeft in their intentions, the multitude cannot be temperate in their actions, or wife in the direction of their irrefiftible efforts. To prevent fuch evils, is always laudable; but there is only one infallible mode of preventing revolutions, and that is, by making them unneceffary. The itatefman who would preferve his country from the calamities of which he has been fo recently a witness, must be inftructed by the example: he muft, by the most rigid economy, guard against that fatal derangement of public credit, which has overwhelmed France in an abyss of mifery; and a prudent attention to the grievances of the fubject muft, in all cafes, anticipate complaint. Whatever the conftitution of modern fociety, and the improved ftate of human knowledge, has obviously rendered obfolete, ought not to be too tenaciously retained; and it should be remembered, that while reform proceeds from the govern❤ ing powers themselves, it may be conducted with prudence.

If from the more extended range of European politics, we contract our view to the narrow circuit of our domeftic concerns, the patriotic mind will fee but little caufe for exultation, and will find many things to reprove and to deplore. The war fyftem, so inimical to the peace and profperity of a commercial people, and which has been uniformly condemned by all found politicians, is ftill purfued on every frivolous occafion; an inattention to economy, the only virtue which can fave the country, is too little regarded in almost every department of government.

But we lament, with ftill deeper concern, the ftate of parties in this nation. The reformers are vifionary, violent, and exorbitant in their demands; the party of the court are tenacious of every abuse. We regard with a religious awe the great principles of the conftitution, and we fhould tremble at the innovation which fhook one fingle pillar of it in church or ftate. But practical reforms endanger no

thing;

thing; and thofe which would contribute moft to the ease and happiness of the people, are the leaft formidable to the government. The peace eftablishment of the country ought undoubtedly to be greatly reduced; war, and every caufe that can operate to increase the public debt, ought most cautiously to be avoided, as the first and greatest of evils. Even in the levying and collecting of the taxes, many improvements might be fuggefted for the ease of the fubject and the relief of the poor. The administration of justice fhould be burdened with as little expence as poffible; and the fyftem of the law ought to be simplified, amended, and explained.'

Thefe fenfible obfervations are followed by feveral just remarks on the state of literature, fcience, education, and morals; and we recommend the whole performance to the attention of the public, particularly to the rifing generation.

-

A late advertisement of this work mentions the author's name, Robert McFarlane, Efq.

ART. XVI. A Sketch of the Campaign of 1793; a Poem. Part I.
Letters from an Officer of the Guards, on the Continent, to a
Friend in Devonshire. 4to. PP 70. 4s. fewed. Cadell and
Davies. 1795.

Style of ANSTY's tit-uping tale in poetic horfemanship brought the

ambling nags of Parnaffus into great vogue, about thirty years ago; and fome tolerable feats, in imitation of that truly original performance, have fince been achieved: but Anfty himself is a riding MASTER, of excellence hitherto unequalled. No man bestrides Pegafus with more eafe and grace. The prefent performance, however, will at least rank with that of the far-fam'd SIMKIN, the correfpondent of "his dear brother in Wales."

This poetical sketch of the fhare which the British troops, (but more particularly the brigade of Guards,) under the command of the Duke of York, had in the memorable campaign of the year ninety-three, is introduced by a preface; in which the writer obferves that he has endeavoured to defcribe, as accurately as poffible, the fcenes to which he was himself an eye-witnefs; and events hitherto unnoticed, except in the public papers, will not, he trufts, be deemed uninterefting to his countrymen.'

Little verfed infcholaftic rules,' he hopes that criticism will animadvert, if neceffary, with good humour, fo as to correct, not to crush, an unpractifed and unprefuming adventurer.'

As a fhort fpecimen of the fuccefs with which this humble fervant of Mefdames CLIO and THALIA has affumed the manner of the celebrated " Bath Guide," we fhall give a few lines from his defcription of the march of the brigade from London

E.

to Greenwich, in order to embark for the Continent, Feb. 25,
1793; which, as the poet juftly intimates, will bring to the
reader's recollection Hogarth's celebrated march to Finchley:
Of my fupper, fo lately in Devonshire trick'd,
Torn away from my friends, and my pullet half pick'd;
Scarce fuffer'd to bid them a parting adieu * !
By the help of four horfes to London I flew,
And haften'd to join the brigade in the Park,
Affembling tow'rds Greenwich to march and embark.
Had you witness'd the fcene, you'd have thought, I am fure,,
Of Hogarth's, this march was a caricature.

Prim'd with Whitbread's entire, and their bofom-friend gin,
A long time elaps'd ere they form'd to fall in.

*

All fmoothly went on in the front of our line,

But the rear, O ye gods! who on earth could define?
Not a fingle pot-alehoufe efcap'd an affault,

And they drain'd to the dregs ev'ry barrel of malt.
Supported between two battalion-men, here,
Hiffing hot from the bung, reel'd a tall grenadier.
Two damfels attending, his armour to bear,
As drunk as the staggering hero were there;
His crofs belts and pouch the fair Phillada bore,
While his cap Amaryllis triumphantly wore!
Our march was retarded by whiskies and gigs;
Mad oxen, mad drivers, and obftinate pigs,
Men boxing, dogs barking, and women in tears,
And noifes that near crack'd the drums of our ears:
Carts follow'd to pick up all ftragglers they found,
Who, unable to move, had repos'd on the ground.

Midft a buftle, to which I can nothing compare,
At length we arriv'd at the Hofpital fquare t;
Our Sov'reign, God bless him! belov'd and rever'd,
Benignantly fmiling, amongst us appear'd.

Around him thofe patterns of excellence fhone,

Thofe jewels, that luftre reflect on his throne.

*The orders for the embarkation of the first three battalions of Guards were fo fuddenly iffued, that many officers who were employed on the recruiting fervice, with difficulty reached London in time, to march with the brigade to Greenwich."

+ Greenwich.

The affability and condefcenfion, which fo peculiarly diftinguish our Royal Family, were never more confpicuous than on this occafion; and as we paffed in review, every foldier's countenance was exhilarated. The Queen and the Princeffes, who were at Sir Hugh Pallifer's during the embarkation, waved their handkerchiefs as the boats put off; and in return, after repeated hearty huzzas, our men ftruck up a roaring chorus of GOD SAVE THE KING; in which they were joined by the royal groupe.'

[blocks in formation]

A grenadier drunk from the centre rank reel'd,
And hiccuping, up to his Majefty wheel'd.
"Never mind all thefe Jacobins, George, but be quiet
We'll quell them as quick as we'd quell you a riot."
The King was delighted, and laugh'd out aloud;
And the fellow receiv'd three huzzas from the crowd.
The tranfports in readiness waited in fight,

And we faw ev'ry foldier embark'd before night.'

We cannot fay that the author's fubfequent details, and defcriptive sketches of marches and countermarches, battles, fkirmishes, fieges, encampments, and good or ill accommodations in quarters, are equally entertaining and farcastic with the foregoing extract. The bulk of the publication is, indeed, little more than "a Gazette in Rhime," as was faid of Addifon's "CAMPAIGN:"-but, the subject confidered, with the character and fituation of the loyal and zealous writer, could it have been otherwife? Without intending to burlesque the events of the campaign of 1793, it could not: but fo abfurd a defign was neither in the author's plan nor in his principles. No one who reads thefe letters, with the notes accompanying them, can poffibly fuppofe him capable of indulging his difpofition to pleafantry at the expence of the fmallest particle of his loyalty, or of his zeal for the fervice in which he is fo laudably engaged.

6

We have spoken of this work as the production of one pen: but it appears that the public are obliged to two diftinct writers, (both officers,) for the entertainment which this poetical correfpondence will afford; for after p. 41, we turn to a fecond part, the proper title-page of which informs us that its author was one of his Royal Highnefs the Commander in Chief's Aid-de-Camps on the Continent,' and it is addreffed to Mifs Lucy Lovegrove, in England.' The two parts seem to be very fimilar in point of style and general merit. The notes in the latter, added by the author of Part I., are numerous, and certainly neceffary for the illuftration of events, and of the frequent notices of perfons, places, and fituations, occurring and recurring in the verfes. Many entertaining and not un important particulars are included in the notes, throughout.

Should this firft effay,' (fays the "officer of the Guards," in his preface,) meet with encouragement, the author may be induced to follow it up with a fimilar narrative of the campaign of 1794; which will, at leaft, have equal hiftorical accuracy and truth to recommend it.'-We fhall be glad if the ingenious writer fhould be led to fulfil this conditional engagement.

MONTHLY

G.

MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For MAY, 1795.

POLITICS, &c.

Art. 17. A fecond* Letter to H, Duncombe, Efq. M. P. for the County of York. By the Rev. W. Lipfcomb, Rector of Welbury in Yorkfhire. 8vo. IS. Debrett. 1795.

MANY good remarks occur in this pamphlet. The author, though

a minifter of peace, rather inclines to a continuance of the war; although in his first letter the profecution of hoftilities appeared to him. unadvifable: but he affigns his reafons for this change of opinion.

[ocr errors]

Among the paffages which we moft approve, is that part of his letter in which he recommends our attention to the increafe of our naval ftrength, in preference to our dependence on the army. What he fays on this fubject deferves our beft attention. The transferring the expences of a part at least of so vaft an establishment, as the prefent army eftimates provides for, to the increase of the navy, will be not only a more conftitutional alteration, but will caufe all the expence incurred for that purpofe to be productive of lafting and continued good. Seamen, whenever a peace fhall leffen the war eftablishment, are ftill not only useful for the extenfion of our commerce, but are to be found in the habit of their ufual occupation, ready trained against the day on which the state may again want them; but an army, when disbanded, is turned loose upon a country; it requires a long time for men of that class to return to their former habits; and whenever an emergence calls again for their fervices, they have become fo mixed with the mafs of the community, that the labour, the difcipline, the time, the expence, requifite to call them forth, is all to be begun

anew.'

As to our prefent enmity with France, Mr. L. is not fparing of the language of invective at prefent fo much in fashion, and which muft be ascribed to the rage of the day: but, at the clofe of his pamphlet, he candidly obferves that we know too well the value of liberty ourfelves to be an enemy to her [France] because she afpires to it. Let her no longer glory in bold and open impiety, let her cultivate the milder virtues, and the people of England will then fhew themselves as ready to advance towards her, and to greet her with affurances of firm and fteady friendship, as they now fhrink back from her with decided horror, and prefer the expences of war, before the dangers of pollution.'

Art. 18. Reasons why Terms of Peace fhould be offered to the French
Nation. Addreffed to the Inhabitants of Great Britain, through
the Medium of their Reprefentatives in Parliament. 8vo.
Allen and Weft. 1795.

25.

This writer argues very feriously, but not without occafional ftrokes of warmth and pathos, against the farther continuance of the war. He traces this calamity, in the prefent inftance, to its fource, and totally

• See "Cafe of the War confidered." Rev. New Series, vol. xiii.

P. 216.

condemns

« EelmineJätka »