« EelmineJätka »
similarities are the necessary consequences of being both founded on the same historic fact.
Should the reader meet with thoughts, expressions, or even a line, which is not new, I hope he will acquit me of any intention to impose on him; and consider it rather as the effect of a treacherous memory.'
This liberty-play is well calculated for the soil into which it has been transplanted.
1:| རྒྱ མ ཙ ཨ
Opera in Three
Art. 37. Edwin and Angelina, or the Banditti; an Acts. By E. H. Smith. 8vo. New-York, 1797. Although this production is highly romantic and unnatural, as most operas are, it has had the power of interesting us in the perusal and we doubt not that it has been performed with good stage-effect in America. The author has duly acknowleged his obligations to Goldsmith's Edwin and Angelina.
Art. 38. Pursuits of Literature, a Satirical Poem in Dialogue. With Notes. Part IV. and last *. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Becket.
Mr. Burke had pre-occupied the avenue of political, and Mr. Wilberforce that of spiritual terrorism: it was reserved for this very ingenious and learned writer to distinguish himself as a literary alarmist. If a titular bishop of Waterford publishes an obscure pastoral letter, the apprehensions of our frightful satirist immediately behold the inquisition already re-established at Dublin, and on the brink of occupying the Tower in London. If a young senator amuses himself with writing a loose novel †, national morals are at an end, public turpitude is patronized by the lawgiver, and the worship of the Lingam at least is about to be established in St. Paul's. By this obvious trick of hyperbole, our literary Mesmer very successfully magnetizes his readers into a perpetual hysteric, and convulses them with the titillatory spasms of ever-varying fears. Mr. Lewis and Dr. Geddes are, in this subdivi sion of the work, the most prominent figures whom our ghost-scer would describe as goblins: ere long, perhaps, this craft and iny stery of alarm will be caught by the republican heretics, the Trinity be described as a chimera, and the constitution as a harpy. We prefer this author's Greek to his poetry.
In p. 71. note (a), Professor Richardson, of Glasgow, is con founded with Mr. Richardson the dramatic writer.
Art. 39. A comprehensive View of some existing Cases of probable Misapplication in the Distribution of contingent Allowances, particularly in the Militia of Great-Britain; shewing the Wisdom and Propriety of a more general Consolidation than has hitherto taken place, &c. &c. Addressed to the Earl of Moira. By Charles James, late Captain in the Western Regiment of Middlesex Militia, and now Captain in the North York, Author of several Tracts. 8vo. PP. 143. 2s. 6d. Egerton. 1797.
* See Rev. N. S. vol. xv. p. 211. and vol. xxi. The Monk, by Mr. Lewis.
The late regulation that has been adopted with respect to the pay of the privates and non-commissioned officers of the army has provided, in some degree, against the confusion of which Capt. James complains. There is, doubtless, room for farther consolidation of pay and allowances; and from what has come to the knowlege of the world concerning the conduct of some Militia Colonels, we are inclined to think it would be for the advantage both of the public and the militia soldier, if all the present contingent allowances were made certain and invariable; if the off-reckonings were abolished, and the clothing provided by government in a word, if Colonels were deprived of all possibility of defrauding either their men or their country. Capt. James is by no means a contemptible writer, but he appears to be much too fond of writing. The 143 pages now before us might be compressed into fourteen, and with great advantage to the pamphlet.
Art. 40. An Address to the County of Kent, on their Petition to the King for removing from the Councils of his Majesty his present Ministers, and for adopting proper Means to procure a speedy and happy Peace; together with a Postscript concerning the Treaty between the Emperor of Germany and France, and concerning our domestic Situation in Time to come. By Lord Rokeby. 12mo. pp. 83. 18. Debrett. 1797.
This pamphlet consists chiefly of lamentations on the magnitude of the national debt, and the calamities of the war. The venerable au thor endeavours to trace these evils to their source, and to provide a remedy for them; and his good intentions are certainly deserving of applause.
Art. 41. Vindicia Regia; or, A Defence of the Kingly Office. In Two Letters to Earl Stanhope. 8vo. pp. 79. 2s. Wright.
This pamphlet, we are informed, was written by a clergyman for the purpose of reclaiming, from political heterodoxy, one of his parishioners; who had become a proselyte to the doctrines of Lord Stanhope, and had been converted by reading, in one of his Lordship's speeches, the celebrated passage from Samuel, in which the prophet endeavours to dissuade the Jews from establishing a kingly government. We would humbly recommend this author to study his bible for some other purpose than political controversy. In this age, the constitutional monarchy of England can dispense with the services of those friends, and may despise the efforts of those enemies, who draw their arguments of support or hostility from what happened in Judea some thousands of years ago. We do not hesitate to say that, in our opinion, the kingly office is not very powerfully defended by Vindicia Regia.
Art. 42. The Iniquity of Banking: 2d Part. Containing a further - Illustration of the Injustice of the Paper System, an Inquiry into the Nature and probable Consequences of the Bank Indemnity Bill, and a Plan for removing (or at least alleviating) the Evils produced by, the Circulation of Bank-Notes. 810. Jordan.
Of the first part of this work an account was given in our 22d volume, p. 224. We remain convinced not merely of the equity, but of the utility of banking, although the author has consecrated a long note (p. 35) to our better information.
The effects (says he, p. 6) produced by circulating bank-notes are the same both with respect to the banker and the public, as if he had cut a guinea into five parts, and by skilfully mixing the gold with some other metal, made each of the parts pass for a guinea Very true: but, as these counters are at all times exchanged by the issuer for solid and pure guineas, at the pleasure of the holder, there is no fraud in the transaction, no robbery, (as it is called by our rough phrased author, p. 10,) but a saving of the wear and tear of specie.
We have already argued, that the circulation of bankers' notes is an efficient cause of cheapness (vol. 22, p. 224 and 480): we add that the profits of bankers, (so far as these are derived from the interest of a capital not their own,) are made at no one's expence, and ought as little to be an object of social jealousy to their customers, as to a farmer the honey gathered from his fields into the hives of a neighbouring bee-master. A short analysis will make this manifest. Were there no bankers, every trader would be obliged to keep constantly in his coffer (as still happens on the Continent) a sum of money adequate to the occasional calls of payment to which he is liable. Not hav ing the resource of borrowing for a time, in all emergencies, at his banker's, he must be habitually armed against possible applications. He requires therefore perpetually an additional dead capital to conduct his peculiar trade, equal to the average advance obtainable at the bank. This wholly unproductive additional capital costs, however, to the trader, an annual interest; and this he must assess in the form of higher profits on all his commodities, which are thus made more expensive to the consumer. In consequence of the institution of banking, these unproductive hoards, these capitals in coffers, are all brought into active circulation, and rendered perpetually productive; and, as the corn-merchant requires an advance at one season, and the coal-merchant at another, the want of one trade comes to be supplied from the overflow of another, through the mediation of the banker; and thus the greatest possible quantity of return is made with a given capital by the collective customers of a bank, who are thereby enabled to supply the consumer more cheaply. The banker, therefore, who by the offer of a small interest invites the deposit of a capital which would else be hoarded in a state of inaction, and who re-lends to the useful trader, at a high interest, this same deposit, makes his gains out of a portion of income created by himself, and wholly superadded to the previously extant mass of national wealth. This is still more evidently true of the capital created by his notes. The charges of commission made by certain bankers are indeed taxes on the industry of others, and ought by a greater competition to be much reduced many operations used to be performed by a Dutch banker for per cent. commission, for which an English banker now expects per cent.
The author concludes with the following huge and alarming praject, p. 59: Let a law be made to suppress all the promissory notes now in circulation.' Let commissioners be appointed to exchange for national paper that part of the property which consists of stock.' They should be obliged by law to take it at a certain price, which might be fixed at 60 for the 3 per cents.'-He then proceeds to detail his plan for converting the whole national debt into circulable paper currency, and for substituting it in all trans ctions for the notes, of bankers. And thus (he continues, p. 61) national paper might, without the least inconveniency, be substituted in the room of the paper now in circulation.' This gigantic scheme of commutation is so likely to appear convenient to an embarrassed minister, and so big with ruin to the commercial interest, as to deserve the pointed reflections of monied men. We stated (vol 21. p. 538) our own ideas of the probable progress of the national bankruptcy,
Art. 43. The British Lion: or, Britain's Value asserted at the present Juncture.. 8vo. Is. Becket. 1797. The purpose of this pamphlet, which is not destitute of energy, is to animate the country to resist with firmness the ambition of the French government.
Art. 44. A Mirror for Princes, in a Letter to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. By Hampden. Svo. pp. 61. Is. 6d. Jordan. 1797.
The subjects which this author has chosen for his acrimonious discussion have repeatedly disturbed the tranquillity of the public mind. As friends to our country and to all well-meaning parties, we shall not draw them from the oblivion to which we hope they are for ever consigned. As critics, however, we are bound to say that the present Letter is highly distinguished for cloquence and animation. Art. 45. Observations on the Debates of the American Congress on the Addresses to General Washington on his Resignation, &c. By Peter Porcupine, Author of the Bone to gnaw for Democrats, &c. 8vo. pp. 38. 15. Ogilvy and Son.
This pithy and sometimes humourous and whimsical writer displays in strong colours the insolence of France to the American States, and the abject meanness of some American Senators, who were willing to sacrifice the dignity, and even surrender the independence of their country. The writer's zeal, however, often leads him too far. He is inclined to ax the crimes of one republic as a stigma on republicanism itself; and be entirely loses sight of the vices and oppression of the old aristocracy of France in the vices and oppression of Jacobin persecutors.
Art. 46. Who were the Aggressors? Addressed to J. Gifford, Esq. in consequence of his Letter to the Hon. Thomas Erskine. By Christopher Saunders, LL.D. Svo. pp. 31. Is. Symonds.
w. Dr. Saunders is a warm advocate for peace and liberty. On the question of aggression between France and the Allies, he answers Mr. Gifford's assertion with an extract from the Treaty of Pavia,
by which the Allied Powers agreed to make partition of a considerable part of the French dominions. How far the answer is decisive, will not be a question of much difficulty with the honest and intelligent reader,
Art. 47. French Aggression, proved from Mr. Erskine's "View of
the Causes of the War;" with Reflections on the original Character of the French Revolution, and on the supposed Durability of the French Republic. By John Bowles, Esq. 8vo. pp. 168. 38. Wright. 1797
This is a fair, dispassionate, and sensible reply to Mr. Erskine's pamphlet.
Art. 48. Constitution of the French Republic, Aug. 22, 1795, &c. &c. Translated from the Paris Edition. 8vo. pp. 65. 2s. Ridgeway. 1797.
This translation is for the most part correct: but, in some instances, terms are generalized improperly. The first passage of the Declaration of Rights is translated thus: The French people proclaim, &c. the following declaration of the rights and duties of man and of citizen. A few similar instances of incorrectness are to be found in other parts of the translation. We are glad, however, to see this declaration made in "the presence of the Supreme Being !". May we hear no more of any national profession of Atheism !
Art. 49. The Origin of Government compatible avith, and founded on, the Rights of Man; with a few Words on the Constitutional Object of the Corresponding Society. The whole addressed to the Common Sense of every Englishman. By S. Perry, late Editor of the Argus. 8vo. pp. 32. 6d. Jordan. 1797.
This author is equally hostile to Whigs and Tories. He asserts the rights of man according to the most comprehensive acceptation of the terms. In maintaining his arguments, he uses not a little jargon concerning rights essential and rights inalienable; particular wills concurring to form a general will; the necessity of the general will being imperative, and therefore of being the sovereign, &c. &c. This sort of reasoning has had its day. We trust that, before men will now be induced to seek for change, they must be shewn the solid and substantial advantages likely to attend it, and that they will not subscribe to any theory except on the sound principles of utility and expediency. Mr. Perry concludes with observing, that there is no room to despair that a benevolent, intelligent, and philosophical legion of writers may not at length drive from the country, threatened with slavery, a horde of scribbling sycophants, who are at once the pest of society and the dishonour of the age. Instead of philosophical legion,' would not the expres sion have been more correct, if the writer had said, A legion of philosophical writers?'
Art. 50. A few Words of Plain Truth, on the Subject of the present Negotiation for Peace. By a Member of the University of Cambridge. 8vo. pp. 38. IS. Robinsons. 1797.
Among a number of very hackneyed and some not very wise observations on the politics of the day, this author makes one remark