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Than lily pale, or blushing rofe,
"Tell me, voluptuous Grecian! tell
"And tell me, thou whofe trembling hand
• Here beauteous Hero fears no more
In myrtle-grove's delicious bower,
The laft piece is on the fubject of Poetry; but of this we shall give no fpecimen, because it has not, in our opinion, equal merit with the two preceding poems. It is deficient in two very capital objects, perfpicuity and eafe. The Author, indeed, has no pretentions to the character of a finifhed writer. Of genius and fenfibility he has no contemptible portion, but in tafte and judgment he appears to be defective. Yet, if thefe
be juvenile productions, thofe are deficiencies which time will fupply.
He has greatly hurt his defcriptive poems by too frequently omitting the prepofitive article, which throws upon them a burlefque, Hudibraftic air. He is too often redundant in the epithetical part:
How wide the vast horizon round!
If vaftnefs does not abfolutely imply the idea of widenefs, blue and azure is certainly a redundancy.
In the notes to Elyfium, he fhews that he has misunderstood (and the mistake is not peculiar to himself) the following paffage in Virgil:
Quale per incertam lunam, fub luce maligna,
This he profeffes to have imitated in the following line:
But maligna in the Roman poet does not fignify malignant. It has the fenfe of parca, fparing, penurious, and in this fenfe it is the oppofite of benigna, which does not fignify kind merely, but bountiful.
ART. IV. Political Difquifitions; or, an Enquiry into public Errors, Defects, and Abuses. Illuftrated by, and established on Facts and Remarks, extracted from a Variety of Authors, ancient and modern. Calculated to draw the timely Attention of Government and People to a due Confideration of the Neceflity, and the Means, of reforming thofe Errors, Defects, and Abufes; of restoring the Conftitution, and faving the State. 8vo. Vol. II. 6 s. Boards. Dilly. 1774.
'To O mend the world's a vaft defign'-fo faith the poet, and it is true; nevertheless the attempt is noble, and fhould it fucceed, but in a small degree, the effect is important and valuable and happy were it, if this Writer's benevolent labours fhould awaken a timely folicitude in our own country, by wife and prudent measures, to reform thofe errors and abuses, which are become fo glaring; which fo evidently prognosticate, and muft eventually produce public ruin! It is to be wifhed that people of all ranks fhould pay a fober regard to these subjects. The evils enumerated in this and the former volume * are fuch as even illiterate perfons, of plain common fenfe, may easily comprehend; and their inconfiftency with our free conftitution, their dangerous tendency, &c. are here explained and illuftrated in the most ample and fatisfactory manner.
* Vid. Review for February last, p. 109.
This volume is divided into three books; the first treats of Places and Penfions, and confifts of nine chapters under the following tiles Idea of a Parliament uninfluenced by Places and Penfions-Placemen and Penfioners unfit for Members of Parliament, becaufe not likely to be uninfluenced-That Placemen often hold a Plurality of employments, incompatible with one another-Places and Penfions not given according to Merit -Profufion in Places and Penfions-That Places, Penfions, Bribes, and all the Arts of Corruption, are but falfe Policy, being endless and infufficient-Bills, Statutes, Refolutions, &c. fhewing the Senfe of Mankind on the Evil of Placemen, &c. in Parliament-Speeches on the Danger of Placemen and Penfioners in Parliament-Of Qualifications for Members.
The fecond book is appropriated to a very interefting fubject, viz. Taxing the Colonies: it is intended to illuftrate and maintain the following propofitions: That the object our minifters had in view, in taxing the colonies, was, enlarging the power of the court, by increafing the number of places and penfions for their dependants'- That our colonies are of great advantage, and therefore deferved better treatment' That the colonies, though fo valuable to Britain, have been greatly oppreffed by the mother country.'-To the difcuffion of thefe topics are added, Precedents refpecting colonies;'-and a chapter Of Taxation without Reprefentation.'
The third book treats Of the Army, in four chapters; comprehending • General Reflections on ftanding Armies in free Countries in Times of Peace ;-Facts relating to the Army;A Militia, with the Navy, the only proper Security of a free People in an infular Situation, both against foreign_Invafion and domeftic Tyranny ;-Parliamentary Tranfactions, Speeches, &c. relating to the Army.'
We fhould conclude from the Writer's preface that the former volume of this work has found a quick fale, fince he speaks of the favourable reception given to it by the Public as having the appearance of a good omen, that the people will at last direct their attention to the important fubjects treated in them, and to the fearful and alarming condition, into which the vilJanous arts of a fucceffion of wicked minifters have brought this great empire; and that they will no longer be abused by thofe at the helm; but will infift on fuch a change of measures as may fave our country, if our fins have not unchangeably pointed against us the vengeance of the Supreme Governor of ftates and kingdoms.'
The first extract we fhall lay before our Readers is taken from B. I. Chap. ii. where the Author obferves, that One of the oldeft, if not abfolutely the oldeft writer in the world, REV. Nov. 1774. threatens
threatens" a fire to confume the tabernacles of bribery +." A parliament filled with placemen and penfioners is literally a tabernacle of bribery. For it is impoffible to give an boneft reafon for any number of placemen's or penfioners having fuffrage in parliament. The Houfe of Commons ought to be the people in one room. And why muft the people be bribed to confult their own intereft? If indeed the court has fchemes to carry, directly oppofite to the people's intereft, it may be convenient for the court, that many placemen crowd the Houfe of Commons. It is not easy to imagine, even ftretching charity till it cracks, that any one ever feriously thought the admiffion of placemen, penfioners, and officers, into the Houfe of Commons fafe or decent; that any man of common fenfe can think of it otherwife than as an open and impudent defiance of the fenfe of the whole independent people of England. Our court advocates, however, fometimes divert themfelves (on a too fatally serious fubject) by treating the independent people like children, when they tell us it is good policy to drop fome douceurs among the members of both houses, to attach them more closely to their country's good: as if it were neceffary to bribe mankind to confult their own intereft.-Suppose I give out, that I will not eat or drink, unless the court bribes me. Would the court think it neceffary to fettle an annual penfion on me, to make me eat a dinner every day? or would it be thought proper to give me a place-any where, but in Bedlam? The court knows full well, that the direct contrary of their fcandalous pretence is the truth; and that the members of the legiflature would naturally confult, but too well for their iniquitous purposes, their own intereft, in confulting that of their country, did not they bias them by throwing another intereft and advantage in their way; which for that reason they accordingly do, at an immense expence to the nation. He knew human nature well, who faid, The love of money is the root of all evil. He who can refift the love of money may be faid to be tried as gold in the
Quifquis ingentes oculo retorte Spectat acervos. HOR. But as we know the number of men capable of standing this fiery trial, is very fmall, we ought to be the more cautious of laying temptations in the way of thofe whofe failure is to be apprehended, and whofe failure may be of fuch ruinous confequence to the Public. To truft our all without account, to a fet of frail men, and then put those men in fuch circumstances as are likely to lead them to betray us-what can be imagined
↑ Job xv. 34.
more contrary to wifdom? Several millions a year laid out in fupporting the power of the court! And this not fufficient; of fuch a growing nature is corruption! Nothing of this boundlefs unaccountable wafte could have place in a republic. I do - not mention this as any reflection on our kings. It is but a fmall part of this immenfe fum, that is confumed by them in their propria perfona, or that is laid out on their families. But in a republic, judge Blackstone * would not have wrote as follows: "It is impoffible to fupport that dignity, which a king of Great Britain fhould maintain, with an income in any degree lefs, than what is now established by parliament." According to the learned judge whatever is, is right. But, furely, with all due fubmiffion, the dignity of a British monarch does not confift in his pending large fums of his poor people's money; but rather in his paring their purfes, and fetting them an example of frugality. With the learned Judge's good leave, it is the dignity (if dignity it may be called) of the ministry, and their crew, much more than the king's, that devours the civil lift. So that the plain English of what the learned Judge has written, will be what follows, "It is impoffible to fupport that influence which a British miniftry should maintain, with an income in any degree less than feveral millions per annum.” · Than which I cannot conceive a more ruinous political doctrine.The courtiers argue, that excluding placemen and penfioners from parliament, would feem to eftablish an oppofition between the crown and people; as if thofe, who were -employed by the one, could not be entrusted by the other. But indeed there seems to be no occafion for mincing the matter. Let us fairly own, that we do not think the fame perfons, who have the laying out, ought likewife to have the laying on of Since it is eafy to imagine, that a member, who has a place, will be under little concern how heavily the people are taxed, as his income indemnifies him, and the heavier the taxes, the more money there will be for the court blood-fuckers. -It is a maxim in Richlieu's Teftam. Polit. That a king, that is, a minifter, fhould never part with a tax he has once got established, even though he has no ufe for the money; because by giving up the tax, he lofes the officers employed in collecting it. And thefe officers in parliament are fure cards.Hen. IV. of France gave the Marshal d'Ornano a staff to turn Papist, and afterwards asked him which of the two religions he thought the best. "The Proteftant, undoubtedly, replies the Marthal; elfe your Majefty would not have given me a Marfhal's ftaff to boot, to engage me to quit it."A British minifter gives places and penfions to those who vote for him.
Comm. i. 333.
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