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Cæfar's felicity: and the gratification of grovelling appetites gave delight to Vitellius. It has alfo been obferved, that fome one paffion generally affumes a pre eminence in the mind, and not only predominates over other appetites and defires; but contends with reafon, and is often victorious. In proportion as one paffion gains ftrength, the reft languifh and are enfeebled. They are feldom exercifed; their gratifications yield tranfient pleafure; become of flight importance, are difpirited, and decay. Thus our happiness is attached to one ruling and ardent paffion. But our reasonings, concerning future events, are weak and fhort fighted. We form fchemes of felicity that can never be realized, and cherifh affections that can never be gratified.
If, therefore, the difappointed paffion has been long encouraged, if the gay vifions of hope and imagination have long adminiftred to its violence, if it is confirmed by habit in the temper and conftitution, if it has fuperfeded the operations of other active principles, and fo enervated their ftrength, its difapointment will be embittered; and forrow, prevented by no other paffion, will prey, unabating, on the defolate abandoned fpirit.
We may also observe, that none are more liable to afflictions of this fort, than those to whom nature hath given extreme fenfibility. Alive to every impreffion, their feelings are exquifite: they are eager in every purfuit: their imaginations are vigorous, and well adapted to fire them. They live, for a time, in a state of anarchy, expofed to the inroads of every paffion, and, though poffeffed of fingular abilities, their conduct will be capricious. Glowing with the warmest affections, open, generous, and candid; yet, prone to inconftancy, they are incapable of lafting friendship. At length, by force of repeated indulgence, fome one paffion becomes habitual, occupies the heart, feizes the understanding, and impatient of refiftance or contioul, weakens or extirpates every oppofing principle: difappointment enfues: no paffion remains to adminifter comfort: and the original fenfibility which promoted this difpofition, will render the mind more fufceptible of anguifh, and yield it a prey to despondency. We ought, therefore, to beware of limiting our felicity to the gratification of any individual paffion. Nature, ever wife and provident, hath endowed us with capacities for various pleasures, and hath opened to us many fountains of happiness: let no tyrannous paffion, let no rigid doctrine deter thee; drink of the ftreams, be moderate, and be grateful.'
We have thus given, we hope, an adequate view of the defign and merit of this ingenious analyfis. We moft fincerely with the Author may obtain all the honour and advantage from his work which he can hope for. We are however apprehenfive that this method of criticism, while it is the only one that can please the philofopher and man of tafte, will be deemed refinement, and unintelligible, by the common tribe of readers.
ART. III. A Political Survey of Britain: Being a Series of Reflec tions on the Situation, Lands, Inhabitants, Revenues, Colonies, and Commerce of this Ifland. Intended to fhew that we have not as yet approached near the Summit of Improvement, but that it will afford Employment to many Generations before they push to their utmoft Extent the natural Advantages of Great Britain. By John Campbell, LL. D. 4to. 2 Vols. 21. 2 s. unbound. Richardfon and Urquhart. 1774
E have not had, for many years, a many years, a defign in the republic of letters better conceived, more important in every view of it, and on the whole better executed, than Dr. Campbell's Political Survey. We are really astonished at the compafs of the Author's knowledge, as well as pleased with the ufefulness and good nefs of his views.
Dr. Campbell gives, in his preface, a fhort account of the nature of his undertaking; and he befpeaks the candour of the Public in a manner which cannot fail of well fecuring it from every confiderate and fenfible reader.
In a work which, from its nature, fays he, required the investigation and difcuffion of fuch a variety of arduous and difficult fubjects, it would be very great prefumption to suppose that the Author, in spite of all his care and attention, hath not committed a multitude of miftakes, which, no doubt, will appear to fuch as are better acquainted with particular fubjects, than he is or pretends to be; this put him under the neceffity of applying to the candour of the judicious reader, and this flatters him with the expectation, that his appeal will not be vain. In proportion as men are judicious, they are ufually impartial and compaffionate, difpofed to excufe involuntary errors, and those mistakes that arife without any ill defign. The truth is, that such an attempt was almost beyond the reach of any one man's abilities, of which none could be more confcious than himfelf. If it fhould be afked, Why then did you undertake it, or perfift in your undertaking? To this it is ingenuously answered, from a full conviction, that a work of this kind might be of the greatest public utility, and that it had better be imperfectly performed than not performed at all. The fenfe of this he expreffed when he offered his propofals to the Public, and the kind reception they met with leaves him no room to doubt that his imperfections, whatever they may be, will not cancel the only merit to which he pretends, that of having a ftudious regard to truth, and, as far as his understanding could direct him, to the public good.'
He begins the Political Survey, by a general eftimate of the nature and value of any country, and of the principles on which the celebrated empires of antiquity were founded. He then fhews, in a variety of inftances, that the fituation of a coun
try is a matter of the greatest importance to the happiness of the people. It may be pleafing to British readers to know what are the principal reafons which he offers for preferring an island to a continental fituation.
An infular fituation, fays Dr. Campbell, amongst those recommended by the ableft and moft capable judges, has been represented as preferable to any, as enjoying fome benefits infeparably peculiar thereto, and being at the fame time free from many inconveniences to which countries feated on the continent are, from that very fituation, neceffarily expofed. The foil of iflands, more efpecially if of any great extent, is commonly rich and fertile, and the climate rather milder than, under the fame parallel of latitude, upon the main land. The fea being the fafest and most natural boundary, affords the inhabitants great fecurity in fettling, cultivating, and improving their country; and a good government being once established, the inhabitants of an island muft, for these reasons, thrive quicker than their neighbours, and, being naturally prone to navigation, fupply their wants, export their own commodities, establish an extenfive communication with the countries round them, and thereby attain an influence over their neighbours, ftrengthen themselves at home, augment their riches by trade, and, in confequence of that naval power, of which commerce only is the natural bafis, commonly enjoy a greater proportion of freedom, affluence, and grandeur, than can well be attained, or, if attained, be for any length of time preferved, by inhabitants of countries of the fame extent on the continent. As thefe are points of fact, they are best established from history; and the reader, when he carefully reflects on thofe instances that may and fhall be produced from thence, will find himleif much better enabled, than by any other method he could have been, to judge of the propriety of the reafons and remarks that will occur in a particular application. Befides, he will also fee, and be convinced, that many things which he might have otherwife mistaken for the bold flights of a luxuriant fancy, or the chimerical and delufive inventions of a fertile imagination, are really fober and folid truths, fuggefted from the writings of men of found judgment, and which may at any time, in any like place, be certainly reduced to practice, becaufe the light of experience fhews us that they have been actually practifed already. A manner of writing in refpect to the utility of which we may cite the authority of the celebrated John de Witt, than whom, in things of this nature, a better cannot be mentioned, whether ancient or modern.'
We think his introductory obfervations, in the next chapter, are very important; for example:
The love of our country, like all other natural paffions, is in itself not only innocent, but laudable; though it may also, for want of being kept within due bounds, become the fource of error, and, in confequence of that, subject us to ridicule. We are offended when we find the Greeks and Romans, at every turn, calling all other nations barbarians. We treat contemptibly fuch kind of distinctions, when introduced by the moderns; and very justly blame a mixture of pride and prejudice, that ferves to maintain caufelefs animofities, without fo much as having one good effect. That a man ought to love his country merely because it is fo, is out of difpute; but he ought not to magnify it beyond the truth, fince if this proceeds from an over-weening fondness, it is downright folly; if from a defign of impofing on others, it is falfehood. But, on the other hand, we are affuredly at full liberty to maintain the honour of our country against the prejudices, mistakes, and misinformations, that may have misled others; and fo long and fo far as we have veracity on our fide, we need be under no apprehenfions of tranfgreffing the bounds of decency. It is highly commendable to examine this point minutely, and to understand it exactly, that we may be at all times in a condition to speak pertinently on a fubject fo frequently brought upon the carpet, and in respect to which, in a free country efpecially, every member of society has fuch an immediate intereft, that he ought intimately to know his country, from the fame principles that lead him to know his own eftate. With this view, and that we may be the more able to render service to the Public, and know what may turn to her detriment, what to her advantage, after having made the previous inquiries we judged the most requifite, in order to ftrengthen our judgment, we will addrefs ourselves to the taking a candid furvey of this ifland.'
His account of the fituation, extent, climate, and inhabitants of the British islands is very full, minute, and yet entertaining. He defcribes at large our peculiar felicity in the diftribution of water; and gives a general and philofophical account of our most celebrated springs and baths. What he says of meers and lakes might be very useful if attended to. He has fuggefted a method of improving them by ftocking them with fifh, and fupports it in the following manner:
But i fhould be wanting to myself, and to the fatisfa&ion of the inquifitive reader, fhould I neglect to inform him, that this method of improving is already practifed in China, where their pedlars carry jars of fpawn about from one province to another through the whole empire, for this very purpose of ftocking every lake with all the different kinds of lake fish. A circunftance that certainly demands the notice of an age and
nation that seem so much difpofed to do the fubjects of this em pire justice in every other refpect. We already imitate the Chinese in a multitude of things; why not in this? We adopt their grotefque paintings; we are proud of imitating their porcelain; we are daily quitting our own principles of architecture, in order to follow theirs; why not copy them in a matter of such apparent benefit? We might then have all the lake fifh of this ifland in every lake, with as much eafe as they tranfport them from this province of their empire to that. We might then procure the streamling, which is the prime fifh, in the Swedish lake Maeler; the Rheinlacker, or Rhine falmon, which are two ells long, and forty pounds weight, from the lake of Conftance; and those enormous trouts, that are the glory of the Geneva lake, with as little trouble, without queftion, as the Chinese carry their jars even from the remoteft diftricts of their extenfive empire. We might imitate them alfo, when our lakes were thus ftocked (for that of courfe would bring us waterfowl of every kind) in making ufe of birds of prey to fish for us, before they were permitted to feed themfelves. And thus employment and fubfiftence too being found for an accession of people, every little lake would quickly have its village; every larger one, in procefs of time, would have its town, as well in the rough parts of Britain, as in Switzerland. In order to effect many things of this kind, there is nothing more requifite than to convert that reftlefs paffion of curiofity, which is the characteristic of the prefent age, into a laudable view to utility; which, by a few exalted and confpicuous examples, might certainly be done. We had heard that gold and filver fish served to amuse the idle in China. We longed for them here. Experience has fhewn that this longing might be gratified; and the fame experience has fhewn us that this is a mere piece of amusement. Surely the trouble would not have been, greater, or the acquifition lefs fatisfactory, if it had produced us fish that were fit to eat. We very readily admit that this, as it stands, was a very innocent experiment; and on the other hand, we hope it will be allowed that our propofal is more useful, and that there is not the smallest room to doubt that it may be attended with as much fuccefs.'
Dr. Campbell proceeds to enumerate and defcribe our rivers and ports, and fuggefts to us feveral improvements which deferve the public attention. He has fome ftriking, and, we think, new obfervations on the benefits arifing from the particular form and great extent of our coaft. He then retires into the midland provinces, and gives the materials of a complete differtation on each of the following fubjects,-meadows, arable lands, mountains, and metals. He next proceeds to the leffer iflands depending on Britain; and he gives an affecting account of their prefent ftate: particularly of the Shetland ifles. It is REV. July, 1774. с