Page images
PDF
EPUB

ing to hope our Readers will concur with us, especially when they have read, what is certainly a model of tenderness and elegance, his Dedication

To Mrs. IR.WIN.

Lamp of my life! and fummit of my praife!
The bright reward of all my toilfome days!
After unnumber'd ftorms and perils brav'd,
The port in which my shipwreck'd hopes were fav'd;
Who, when my youth had pleafure's round enjoy'd,
Came to my craving foul, and fill'd the void.
To thee, whose feeling heart and judgment chafte,
Give thee of fancy's luxuries to tafte;
To thee I dedicate these rambling lays,
And hold thy fmiles beyond a monarch's bays!
See, on our blifs the nuptial year decline,
And fill the fun which lit it, feems to fhine!
Crown'd is our union with a smiling boy,
And thou ftill courted like a virgin coy.
Ye fhades of lovers! witness what we feel-
To modern couples vain were the appeal!

Tho' human joys are ever on the wing,
Tho' fmall the fcope of life's enchanted ring;
Tho' Time advances with a courfer's pace,
And ftill muft rob thee of fome charm or grace;
No fights ungrateful can falute our eyes,

Who ufe no optics but what love fupplies!
Who but in this betray a partial fide,

Still each to each, the bridegroom and the bride!

ART. VII. Political Conferences between feveral Great Men of the laft and prefent Century. With Notes by the Editor. 8vo. Cadell, 1780.

Is. 6d.

TH

HIS fenfible tract confifts of dialogues between men who once acted an important part, and fhone with diftinguished luftre on the political theatre of this country. In order to give the Reader, who has made a particular ftudy of English hiftory, an idea of the subjects to which the conferences relate, it is fufficient barely to mention the names of the perfons introduced in them. The first is between Lord Strafford and Mr. Pym; the second introduces Sir Harry Vane and Mr. Whitlock; the third, Oliver Cromwell and Waller the poet; the fourth, William Lenthal, Speaker of the Long Parliament, and Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon; the fifth, Lord Danby, Lord Devonshire and Lord Delamere; the fixth, Robert Earl of Oxford and Mathew Prior; the seventh, Sir Robert Walpole and Mr. Pelham. Thefe great men are made, in the work before us, to speak like themfelves; their characters are described with equal impartiality and difcernment. As a fpecimen of the ftyle, which is eafy and agreeable, we fhall iniert

Gg 3

infert fome obfervations put in the mouth of Sir Robert Walpole.

·

England is a popular government, and the honour of the nation is to be gratified even in turning out a Minifter, when they are taught fo loudly to ask for it. It was foretold me by fome of my friends, before the last general eleation, that I fhould lofe, in the courfe of a few feflions, my ufual majorities. Even though my Mafter fhould be willing to flipulate to prolong my political exilence to the next Parliament, yet the malevolence of party would purfue me, and would overtake me, in the long run. I mean, by the appearance of a voluntary refignation, to prevent the difgrace of being turned out, in confequence of a rude addrefs to the Throne. The King's fervice must not be obstructed. I, who had the honour to make up a difference between the prefent King and his Father, will not be the caufe of a breach between the Prince and my Royal Mafter. I have been permitted to take the lead in the affairs of Great Britain for twenty years. Let me fee who will have fuch good fortune, and ftand his ground fo long, without incurring more of the public hatred or contempt. I was not kept down by the furious Sunderland. I have been able to keep out the cankered Bolingbroke from his feat in Parliament and the Council. He is now confulted as the oracle of the Party, and his tongue and pen are venomously employed against me. If I have loved power, I have not injured my country whilft in poffeffion of it. I have not offended against any known law of the land. I have lulled the nation into tranquillity, and enlarged its commerce. I flaved off the Merchant's war as long as I could. The oratory of Captain Jenkins, at our bar, bore down like a torrent all minifterial objections to hoftilities against Spain. When the nation was refolved, I gave into warlike meafures, and I leave my antagonists to get out as well as they can, I hope, hereafter, when the popular madness has fubfided, that your moderation and capacity will raife you to the highest employments. If my recommendation at this juncture can have weight, it should be, to place Lord Wilmington, who is not confidered as a party man, at the head of the Treasury when I am withdrawn.'

Corruption is a frightful word; yet, under the lefs profligate one of influence, you will be obliged to practife it. There is no carrying on government without it. To expect to bring over to unanimity of opinion a whole Houfe of Commons, and to carry an important queftion by the dint of reafon alone, would be folly in the extreme. But if the influence of money fhould ceafe, I should dread as much as my friend Sherlock would do, to fee an independent Houfe of Commons, as an independent King, or an independent Houfe of Lords. I have been called the Father of Corruption; but I have done no more than my predeceffors in my station have been obliged to do. When prerogative ended, influence in Parliament began, and became a neceffary engine of every Adminiftration. I have converted many a bigotted Jacobite into a moderate man; and have really checked the forwardness of fome, who came into my meafures with fo much pliability, that it has made even a Walpole blufh. I have found it neceffary to confult the pulfe of many a wa vering fenator; and I conclude, from my extenfive experience, that

almoft

almost every man has his price. Sir John Barnard wants popularity; and that is a reward no English Minifter has to fpare. When 1 obferved any one blazing like a meteor into glaring obfervation, and likely to make a figure against me or my Master, I have thought him the Cæfar against whom Cato would have allowed me to bribe. Whatever may be laid to my charge, of profufion or inadvertency, I have not heard that a fingle Member, who has voted with me, has complained he has voted against his confcience. When the Revolution made the people lefs afraid of their fovereigns, the miler management of men, through their paffions and their interefts, and even their amufements, has taken place. The gratifications of the Court are become neceffary to win gentlemen to attend, even to make a House, and to act in their legiflative capacities. I fhall carry with me the confolatory reflection, that I have kept within bounds the malignity of Whig and Tory; that I have faved the nation from the extravagance of war; that I have not rendered my fovereign unpopu lar; that I have countermined the views of the Pretender; and that I have, at the right time, formed an intention of giving up my places, like a good citizen, to prevent any poffible convulfion in the State. Confider me no longer as a Member of the Lower Houfe. I fhall be fafe, as a Lord, among the Lords. Argyle, Carteret, and Chesterfield know better than to become Tribunes of the People. Their ardour for a continental war will make Hanover more odious than I have done, and themselves more ungracious. I wish they may not make its Elector fo at laft.'

We are to confider that the Author is here fpeaking not his own, but Sir Robert's fentiments; and indeed there is no rea fon to accuse this work of intentional partiality to any political party among us. The Author is evidently a man of fenfe and moderation, who has acquired fuch a degree of historical knowledge as is commonly attended with a gentle fcepticism as to fpeculative principles of government. In fome paffages, however, he speaks of the undue influence of the Crown with too little indignation; and his perfect acquaintance, obtained by habitual familiarity, with the most elaborate English histories, which are little better than apologies for the prerogative, has perhaps given a flight bias, unperceived by himself, to a few of his po litical tenets.

In the course of the work, the Author alludes to various interesting anecdotes fcattered in the writings of Clarendon, Whit lock, D'Ewes, and other careful collectors of fecret hiftory; but as many of these are but little known, we wish, for the Yake of the Reader, that he had been lets fparing of his notes, whether illuftrations or authorities.

[blocks in formation]

ART. VIII. A Treatise on Watering Meadows. Wherein are shewn fome of the many Advantages arifing from that Mode of Practice, particularly on coarfe, boggy, or barren Lands. With Four Copper-plates. 8vo. 2 s. 6d. Printed for the Author, and fold by Almon. 1780.

HE practice of making water-meadows, one of the most beneficial and lafting improvements, where the fituation of the ground will admit of it, that can poffibly be adopted, is at prefent chiefly confined to the Weft of England. Of late years, indeed, it has been extended, in fome few inftances, to other parts of the kingdom; particularly to Halifax in Yorkfhire, where land, that in its uncultivated state was of very trifling value, has been improved by this method fo as to fetch a higher rent than any other grounds in that neighbourhood. It is much to be lamented that a practice, replete with fo many advantages, fhould not be more general. There are few diftricts in the kingdom that might not in fome degree or other be benefited by it. One circumftance, which poffibly may have retarded its progrefs, has been the want of fome intelligent guide to direct the procefs, and to explain the principles upon which the neceffary works are to be conftructed. This excufe, however, can now no longer be pleaded. Whatever information may be neceffary in this bufinefs, feems to be amply fupplied in the work before us. The Author, Mr. George Bofwell, appears to be a fenfible understanding man, who writes, which cannot be faid of all our de re rufticâ authors, about what he really is acquainted with. Whoever has land capable of being converted into water-meadows, though it were but a fingle acre, will do well to read the prefent treatise. That our Readers may know what lands will admit of the improvement here recommended, we fhall give them an extract from that part of the work which treats of lands capable of being watered. All lands, which lie low and near the banks of rivulets. brooks and fprings, are capable of being watered, wherever the water is already higher than the lands, and kept within its courfe by the banks. If the rivulet, &c, have a very quick defcent, the improvement by watering will be very great, and the expences fmall, for the greater the defcent, the quicker the improvement. In all level lands the water runs flowly, which in general is the cafe alfo in large rivers; therefore but little land can be flooded by them, in comparison of what may be by fmaller ftreams. But whenever large rivers run rapidly, are capable of being controuled, and can be brought over the adjacent lands, the advantage is far greater than can be obtained from rivulets.

The water in large rivers is generally the most fruitful, for more land floods falling into them, they are fatter, and confequently more enriching to the meadows; but in many parts of the kingdom, where

the

the great rivers are navigable, or have mills erected upon them, these are capital objections to the perfect improvement of the contiguous lands. By fmall rivulets and fprings ufually the moft land may be watered, and certainly with the least expence.

The various forts of foils to be found near the banks of rivers, brooks, &c. may all be reduced under the three following heads: Firft, A gravelly, or found, warm, firm, fandy foil, or, which often happens, a mixture of fuch, or indeed almost any foil that partakes of fuch qualities.

Thefe foils, when there happens to be a descent from the river, make an almost inftantaneous improvement; the fafter the water runs over these foils the better. "Should there happen, Says Blythe, to be a quantity of land that comes under this defcription, not one moment's hesitation fhould be made about the fuccefs, for the advantage is the greatest that can be obtained by any mode of husbandry, with the least expence, and the greatest degree of certainty."

Second, Boggy, miry, and rufhy foils (which always are found by the banks of rivers, where the land lies pretty level) are certainly to be greatly improved; perhaps equally fo with the other already defcribed, when the value of each in their unimproved flate is confidered; for this fort of land is fcarcely worth any thing in that ftate; but by being properly watered, may be made to produce a large quantity of hay that will winter, and greatly forward horned cattle; although in its uncultivated form, it would not maintain any kind of flock all the winter, and but very little in the fummer months. It must be obferved, that to bring this fort of land into a proper ftate, much more expence and judgment is necessary, than in the former.

Third, Strong, wet, cold, clay foils are the most difficult to be improved, as well from their fituation, which is mostly a dead level, as from their tenacity, which will not admit of draining, but with great expence, much care and attention, and even then, unless a ftrong body of water can be procured to throw over them, and that from a river, whofe water is fruitful, little advantage will be reaped; but whenever thofe advantages can be had in the winter, and a warm fpring fucceeds, the crops of grass upon these lands are immenfe,

• Rivulets and brooks are the freams that can be used to the greatest advantage, because the expence of erecting wares across them, will not be great, neither are there any of those objections to which large rivers are liable; befides, if they run through a cultivated country, the land floods, occafioned by violent rains, bring a very large quantity of manure, fuch as chalk water, fheeps dung, and the training of the arable fields, as well as the fcourings of the roads and ditches, the runnings of the farm-yards, the drains and finks from the towns and villages; all of which are otherwife carried, by the rains, into the leffer, and from thence into the larger ftreams, and are totally loft to the farmer.'

After pointing out fome very important advantages to be derived from water-meadows, fuch as increafing the quantity of winter-food, and confequently the quantity of manure for the

ufes

« PreviousContinue »