Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

for his exertions in the public caufe, would have betrayed that cause, had he suffered any personal obligations to warp his judgment, on so important a subject as the Catholic Quettion. . . . .

[ocr errors]

ART. 33. George Buchanan's Dialogue, concerning the Rights of the

Crown of Scotland. Translated into English ; with Two Differtations fr. fixed : One Archeological, inquiring into the pretended Idintity of the Geies and Scythians, of ihe Geles and Goths, and of the Goths and Scots and the other Historical, vindicating the Chara&ter of Buchanan as an Hiflorian; and containing fome Specimens of his Poetry, in English Verse. By Robert Macfarlan, A. M. 8vo.. 205 pp. Cadell and Davies.

The merits of Buchanan's well-known Dialogue it is not necessary, here to discuss. It undoubtedly displays acuteness of investigation, and lays down fome well-founded principles of government. That author is far from despising Kings, or, like some of our modern reformers, con, fidering their office as pernicious or useless. But, on the other hand, his doctrine, that they should be made personally responsible for the errors of their government, and indeed for all offences, and brought to trial before the people, or before judges appointed by the people, is pregnant with mischief, and seems to have supplied a pretext to the regicides of subsequent periods, both in England and France. It is not, we hope, necessary to combat such a doctrine in this age, and country. But in the time of Buchanan, the excellent principle of the British Conftitution, which at once secures the inviolability of the Sovereign, and the liberties of the people (namely, that “ihe King can do no wrong") seems not to have been known. The translation of this Dialogue is spirited and perspicuous; but as the chief princi. ple of the Dialogue itself is of a dangerous tendency, and is certainly adverse to the Constitution as now established, we cannot conŲder this as a well-timed publication. · The Vindication of Buchanan immediately prefixed, is chiefly apo' plied to his charges against the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots; who, the reader hardly need be told, has been ably (and some think successfully) defended by several modern writers. Mr. Macfarlan contends for the authenticity of the Letters imputed to that Princess; but also insists that, setting aside that proof, the whole tenor of her conduct gave ground for the severeft imputations. An apology is allo offered for some fabulous stories adopted by Buchanan in the eady parts of his history. Liule need be remarked on the Archäologieal Differtation prefixed to the whole; as it is upon a subject of curiosity father than real importance. An inquiry into the origin of nations, conducted upon enlarged principles, and illustrating their manners and history, may afford much amusement, and fome ufe. But Mr. M. has · confined himlelf almost entirely to the questions, wheiher the Geres and Goths, and whether the Geies and Scythians, were the same people? And whether the Scots are of Gothic or Celtic origin? In op pfition to Mr. Pinkerton, he contends against the identity of those : ancient nations, and maintains, according to the general opinion, the

. .iss Cellie

Celtic origin of the Scots. His authorities are ample, and the argaments deduced from them appear to us to be justo

MISCELLANIES,

[ocr errors]

ART. 34. The Controversy between Mrs. Hannah More and the Cita

rate of Blagdan, relative to the Conduet of ber Teacher of the Sunday School in that Parish; with the original Letters and explanatory Notes. By Thamas Bere, M. A. Rectar of Butcombe, near Bristol, 8vo zs. Jordan. 1801.

There is a fallacy in the title-page of this fingular production. The reader will be induced to consider the Curate of Blagdun and Mr. Bere as two diftinct persons, whereas they are one and the fame, Whoever shall peruse the pamplet will, perhaps, at first fight, be impressed with the instances produced in the Letters, of the schoolmaster's fanaticism, and the depositions of the witnesses produced to prove them, He may also possibly think, that Mrs. More did not interpose foon enough to check his indiscretions; but, on the other hand, he will consider that this is Mr. Bere's own story ; and that he must in justice fufpend his decision till he hears the other fide of the question. It may also be observed, that Mr. Bere's witnesses are several of them old women, who cannot write their names; and that string objections have been made to the character of the principal witness. (See P. 57.) It appears again, from Sir Abraham Elton's Letter, (XXIX. p. 81) that these depositions wire politively contradicted and inpeached, by the counter-evidence of very credible witnesses in favour of the schoolmaster, to which very little attention seems to have been paid by the Blagdon tribunal, and which they did not even condescend to take down in writing ; so that, in fact, the man was condemned on ex parte evidence,

On our part, it is a matter of justice to add, that it is a fact well known, and confirmed by the testimony of all the clergy men refident in the parishes where Mrs. More has established schools, that the inva. riably places them under the direction and controul of the officiating ministers; that she does nothing without their approbation ; that the guards her schools with the greatest vigilance against the appearance of enthusiasm; that, where they have continued for any length of time, the Methodists have lost all their influence, and have been in, duced to leave the place; and, finally, that they have always increased the congregations, as well as the number of communicants, in the pa, rish churches where they have been encouraged,

It is therefore highly probable, that the same good effects were pro: auced, and the same discreet management observed, at Biagdon,

We should probably have never heard a word of the schoolmalter's enthusiasm from Mr. Bere, if he had not conceived himself to bave been perfonally ill treated by him, See Letter II. pp. 16, 17.

But the most complete and decisive answer to this pamphlet is this plain and undeniable fact; that Dr. Crossman, the rector; the. Bishop

of Bath and Wells, the diocesan; and Dr. Moss, the chancellor, though they at first entertained a favourable opinion of Mr. Bere, and, of his conduct with relpect to the schoolmaster and school at Blagdon;' yet afterwards, upon the fullett inveltigac:or of the question, and the most folemn and mature deliberation, they entirely changed their opinion, and all concurred in removing him from the curacy.

· Art. 35. Eriologia; or, an Answer to the Question, When does ibe

Nineteenib Century Commence . 8vo. 43 pp. 15. Johnson. . 1800.

Whether this pamphlet has, or has not, had much influence in settling the great dispute on the topic mentioned in its tille, we know, not; but it seems to us to place it, in many instances, in a very good light. We should object chiefly, if we ohjected at all, that more is raid about it, not perhaps than, to some minds, the subject might demand, but rather than clearness allowed ; since a subject is liable to be obscured by being handled 100 ininutely. One observation seems to us to place the whole in a very plain light. hu is this : that the difficully belonging to the Qaeftion, has arisen solely from the inaccuracy of our idiom, in using the cardinal number for the ordinal. We say the year eighteen hundred, or 1,800, when we mean, and should say, the eighteen-hundredih year. Trantlace this into any language of more scrupulous conftruction, and all doubt is removed. Thus in Larin, " Anno Millefimo oétingenteflimo," literally, “the one thousandth and eight hundredth year," (which would be the language of every scholar, from the invention of the date till now) immediately makes it. clear, that the hundredth year was not then completed. ,* Ang

The title should be Eteologia, if taken from stas.

Art. 36. A Proposal on Behalf of the Married Poor. 8vo. 52 pp.

15. 6d. Arch. 1801. After cursorily going through the system of our poor laws, touching on its principal detects, and representing in trong, and we fear juit terms, the diitress to which induitrious married labourers are liable, this author proposes “ a con million of fix respectable persons, in every parish or district, who contribuie largest to the assessed taxes, three of them to form a quorum, for the care and relief of the poor who have families therein ;' and he suggests, that " it be useful to arm them with some power and controul, at lealt by way of appeal, over the overseers and sucla parish officers, who may have the direction and management of the poor, in order to attain the most beneficial effects from the mode of relief proposed."

These inspectors, he proposes, should act as 8 permanent board " for apportioning relief to be administered at the houses of the poor faving children, and allowing to every labourer and poor artizan, whose wages do not exceed 155. per week, if within twenty miles of the metropolis, išą per week, at least, for every child born in lawful wedlock,

ard

and the like allowance to such as shall reside more than twenty miles, from the metropolis, whose wages shall not exceed 12s. per week, until their respective children shall attain the age of seven or eight years, and for every lawful child of a widow is. 6d. per week."

Some eftablishment, or some authority, fimilar to that above proposed, might probably be attended with beneficial effects; but we doubt whether a fufficient number of persons qualified to form such a board.could be found in many of the smaller parishes, or less opulent distries of the kingdom; and we suspect that an appeal from the over feers to such a board would often be ab eodem ad eundem. Perhaps the object might be better answered by increasing the power of the magistrates, and establishing more regular and frequent meetings of juftices for this particular purpose. .

ART. 37. The Contemplative Philosopher; 07, foort Efays on the va,

rious Objedts of Nature throughout the lear; with poétical Illustrations

and moral Reflections on each Subject. Two Volumes. 12mo. 85. · Rivingtons. 1800.

« These Essays appeared originally in the Universal Magazine, be. tween the years. 1785 and 1792; the subject of each paper fuitable to the month in which it was inserted." This is the substance of the Advertisement prefixed to this work. They appear highly deserving of republication ; and may be recommended strongly, and particularly to young persons. ART. 38. Ce que nous avons été, ce que nous sommes, et ce que nous der

viendrons. Par Pierre Fournié, Clerc Tonsuré. Svo. 6s. Dulau, 1801.

We entertain not the smalleft doubt but that Monf. Pierre Fournie, Clerc Tonsuré, as he calls himself, is a good sort of a well-meaning man; but such an incomprehensible jargon of enthusiasm and fanati. cism was hardly ever put together. The Deity, Jesus Christ, Saran, and the World, are, among other absurdities, represented in the form of planets (p. 240) acting upon each other, and moving in different orbits, like Saturn, Jupiter, &c. &c.

Art. 39. Iwo Biographical Tracts. 1. Observations on Mr. Helli

day's Life of William late Earl of Mansfield. 2. Thoughts on the

Tudicial and Political Life and Chara&ter of the said Lord Chief Info rice of the Court of King's Bench. Illustrated with a Variety of Notes

and References. By an ancient Member of the Inner Temple. 'Vol. 1. · Part 1. 8vo. 216 pp.' 45. Murray and Highley. :

This unfinished fragment of a book is more strange in its construccion, even than the work against which it is aimed. The intention of the author is professedly to prepare the way for a new life of Lord Chief Justice Mansfield; but he scems to have a more unbiographical prejadice upon his mind than the former writer--a prejudice against the

fubjcat

subject of his work. Under such circumstances, we mhould be very forry to see a Life of Lord M. undertaken. But the crude farraga here presented to the public, is little likely to excite a wish in a single mind, for a life written by such a pen.

Art. 40. Traité des Sons de la Langue Françoise, fuivie du traite de

l'orthographe, et de celui de la Pon&tuation. Par M. L'Abbe Lévifac. : 8vo. 107 pp. 35. Dulau and Co. 1800.

The talents and qualifications of the Abbé de Levisac, for illustrat: ing his native language, have been so fully evinced by prior publications, that the students of French will hear with pleafare of a work from him, on the subjects here mentioned. Thele treacises, on the sounds, orthography, and punctuation of that language, complete his work, entitled “ L'Art de parler et d'ecrire correctement la langue Françoise,”

Art. 41. The Elements of a polite Education ; carefully feleted from

ibe Letters of the late Righi Hon. Phillip Dormer Sranbope, Earl of Chesterfield, in his Son. By G. Gregory, D. D. Author of Ejays, historical and moral; of the Economy of Nature, & c. 12mo. 452 pp: 45. 6d. Phillips, &c. 1800.

That the utility of these famous Letters, for the inftruction of · youth, might not be lost to the public, from the disgust attached to

some part of their contents, Dr. Gregory has condescended to extract from them all the marter that he deemed valuable. “ I believe,” says he, " that I have preserved in this volume all that is really useful in the four volumes of Lord Chesterfield's Letters ; I have omitted only what was exceptionable, or what was mere repetition." His Lord. Thip's Letters thus compressed, may certainly be put into the hands of youth as models of epistolary Ityle, and as containing much practical knowledge of mankind.

Art. 42. A concise English Grammar for the Use of Schools. By the

Rev. B. Willis. 12mo. 158 pp. 35. 6d. Mawman, &c. 1801.

This compilation is intended as a school-book, and being well ar. ranged, seems calculated to be useful for that purpose. English Grammars have been so multiplied within a few years past, that, with out a very minute and laborious examination, their respective merits cannot be appreciated. Few are so deficient as not to answer the pur. pore reasonably well ; and, in the present case, experience has been bad by the author of the use of his work

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »