Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

has been Ateeped all night, the next The hardships and uncommon difficul. morning it is fit for use. During the ties of this traveller--with the frequent time the patient is taking the cusso, he loss of his papers, &c.'which must have makes a point of being invisible to all lèft much to memory-will furely apohis friends, and continues at home from logize for many of the faults. morning till night. Such too was the Respecting the fituation of the source cuftom of the Egyptians upon taking a of the Nile, we gave, in a former numparticular medicine. It is alledged ber, the opinion of a critic whom nie that the want of this drug is the realon considered as not under the influence of why the Abyssinians do not travel, or intereft, and who read the whole before if they do, most of them are short. he decided on a part. lived."

“ This extraordinary work,” says The teff, one of the cerealia, which he, “ will doubtless procure its author chiefly supplies this country with bread, a very conspicuous rank in the repubcloses the vegetable list. The bread lic of letters, though, from the various is made by moistening the teff four nature of the work itself, we cannot with water; the mass is placed at some easily ascertain what that rank will be. distance from a fire, till it ferments; To the learned reader, the historical it is then baked in cakes two feet in and geographical travels of Mr. Bruce diameter. The raw felh is wrapped will naturally recal the work of Heroup in this bread, with salt and Cayenne dotus, part of which is written conpepper. At a fealt many of these cakes cerning the same countries, and which are placed one upon another, the whitelt is divided into nearly the same number uppermost ; different sets of people of books; but a writer who disdains, dine, one after another, and “each, as much as Mr. Bruce, the graces of when he has done, wipes his fingers on elegant compotition (which, perhaps, the bread he is to leave for his successor.” he would not have found it a very easy The bouza or beer, is said to be made matter to attain), forms an unworthy of teff bread, toalted and digested in parallel with the ancient historian, whole warm water till it ferments.

harmonious and captivating diction deThe article rhinoceros is too long served and perpetuated, for his aine for our limits. Mr. Bruce is of opi.. books, the names of the nine muses. nion that the behemoth of scripture is Instead of confusion, exaggeration, inthe elephant, and the unicorn ihe rhi- consistency, and sometimes contradic

tion, had Mr. Bruce set an example of Although the extracts we have made perfpicuity, accuracy, and energy of from the volumes of Mr. Bruce, are description, his literary and military very copious, fome concluding opinion talents, his discoveries and his battles, on its merits will probably be expected his philosophy and his horsemanship, by the reader. Most of the monthly his piety and his raillery, and above vehicles of criticisin began, without all, his relating to his countrymen a reading the work, to beitow on it the long series of transactions in a difiant highett eulogiums ;-"independent of land, in which he himself bore fo conthe discovery whose honours it claims, fiderable a part, would bring to mind it tcms with observations equally in-, the celebrated Athenian, who travelled terelting to science and commerce, en- through nearly the same extent of barriches, turprises, invigorates the natu- barous and unknown country, fighting ral historian, the philosopher, and the and discoursing alternately; who enman of poetic fancy, and abounds with tered, like Mr. Bruce, into the fervice novel entertainment for every class of, of an unfortunate prince; and who, in readers.” On investigation, however, his return home, was exposed to the innumerable inconsistencies were disco- fame dangers, and delivered by fimilar vered, but few beauties. For ourselves, address :--the composition of Xenowe have been more solicitous to extract phon, so interesting and fo porsuafive, entertainment and information than to insures credit to his report, perhaps, point out errors and contradictions. when it is falfe ; and the narration of

* For the next article of consequence, Mr. Bruce, so harsh, so exaggerated, and the Hyæna, see p. 402.

to repullive, makes us doubt the reality






of his adventures, even perhaps when whether the books fo charitably cita they are true. Besides these lines of culated, were ever as charitably read, is discrimination between the ancient and more than I know. Poffibly several of the modern traveller, the latter often them have been exported to France; appears in the character of a phyfician, and, like goods not in request here, may which, as far as we know, the former with you have found a market. I have never once assumed; and this circum- heard much talk of the lights to be ftance, there is reason to suspect, may drawn from hooks that are sent from suggeit to the malignity of criticism, that hence. What improvements they have Mr. Bruce is not the Xenophon, but the had in their paffage (as it is said some Ctefias of his age. Yet Ctefias, lying liquors are meliorated by crossing the physician as he was called, had his par- sea) I cannot tell : but I never heard a tizans and his admirers. We too ad- man of common judgment, or the least mire the boldness, the perseverance, the degree of information, speak a word in dexterity, and the fagacity, of the hifo praise of the greater part of the publitorian of Abyffinia; we'lament that, cations circulated by that fociety ; nor with all his variety of accomplishments, have their proceedings been accounted, he possessed not the talent of writing a except by some of themfelves; as of any more agreeable book : but the man, we serious consequence. fancy, is greatly superior to the work ; “ Your National Affembly seems to his faults are faults of carelessness, not entertain much the same opinion that I of incapacity; nor does he appear defi- do of this poor charitable club. As a cient in learning, but wanting in dili- nation, you reserved the whole stock of gence.”

your eloquent acknowledgments for the Revolution Society; when their fel

lows in the Constitutional were, in REFLECTIONS ON

èquity, entitled to fome fare. Since TION IN FRANCE, AND ON THE PROCEEDINGS OF CERTAIN SO- ciety, as the great object of your nati

you have selected the Revolution So

onal thanks and praises, you will think TO THAT EVENT. BY THE RIGHT

me excuseable in making its late conHONOURABLE EDMUND BURKE.

duct the subject of my observations. 5S. DODSLEY. 1790.

The National Assembly of France has THESE Reflections, the author in- given importance to these gentlemen by forms us, had their origin in a corres- adopting them; and they return the pondence between him and a very young favour, by acting as a fort of sub-comgentleman at Paris, who defired his mittee in England for extending the opinion upon the important transactions principles of the National Assembly. which then, and ever since, have fo Henceforward we must consider them much occupied the attention of all as a kind of privileged persons; as no

inconsiderable members in the diplomaMr. Burke begins with a description tic body. This is one among the revoof the Constitutional and Revolution So- lutions which have given splendour to cieties; from which he takes away obfcurity, and distinction to undiscerned much of their popularity.

merit. Until very lately I do not re“ The first, calling itself the Consti- collect to have heard of this club. I tutional Society, or Society for Confti- am quite sure that it never occupied a tutional Information, or by some fuch moment of my thoughts ; nor, I betitle, is, I believe, of seven or eight lieve, those of any person out of their years ftanding. The inftitution of this own set. I find, upon enquiry, that society appears to be of a charitable, and on the anniversary of the Revolution in so far of a laudable nature': it was in 1688, a club of diffenters, but of what tended for the circulation, at the ex- denomination I know not, have long had pence of the members, of many books, the custom of hearing a sermon in one which few others would be at the ex- of their churches; and that afterwards pence of buying; and which might lie they spent the day cheerfully, as other on the hands of the booksellers, to the clubs do, at the tavern. But I never great loss of an useful body of men. heard that any public measure, or poli.


[ocr errors]

tical system, much less that the merits National Assembly, through earl Stana of the constitution of any foreign na. hope, as originating in the principles of tion, had been the subject of a forinal the fermon, and as a corollary from proceeding at their festivals; until, to them. It was moved by the preacher my inexprellible furprite, I found them of that discourse. It was pailed by in a sort of public capacity, by a con- those who came reeking from the effect gratulatory address, giving an authorita. of the fermon, without any centure or tive fan&tion to the proceedings of the qualification, exprefled or implied. If, National Assembly in France.

however, any of the gentlemen con" In the antient principles and con. cerned shall wish to separate the sermon duct of the club, so far at least as they from the resolution, they know how to were declared, I see nothing to which i, acknowledge the one, and to disavow or any sober man, could possibly take the other. They may do it: I canexception. I think it very probable not. that, for some purpose, new members' “ For my part, I looked on that ser. may have entered among them; and mon as the public declaration of a man that some truly christian politicians, much connected with literary caballers, who love to dispense benefits, but are and intriguing philosophers; with pocareful to conceal the hand which difa litical theologians, and theological potributes the dole, may have made them liticians, both at home and abroad. I the instruments of their pious designs. know they let him up as a sort of oracle; Whatever I may have reason to lulpect because, with the best intentions in the concerning private management, 1 hall world, he naturally philippiżes, and speak of nothing as of a certainty, but chaunts his prophetic song in exact uniwhat is public.

fon with their designs.". For one, I could be sorry to be In refuting the pernicions opinions of thought, directly or indirectly, con- Dr. Price, our author, with considerable cerned in their proceedings. I cer- ability, takes a concise, but clear view tainly take my full dhare, along with the of the British constitution; the whole of rest of the world, in my individual and which we shall extract, for the informaprivate capacity, in fpeculating on what tion, the amusement, and the instruction has been done, or is doing, on the pubof our readers. lic stage ; in any place antient or mo- “ His [Dr. Price's) doctrines affect dern; in the republic of Rome, or the our constitution in its vital parts. He republic of Paris : but having no ge- tells the Revolution Society, in this neral apostolical million, being a citizen political sermon, that his majesty • is alof a particular state, and being bound up most the only lawful king in the world, in a considerable degree, by its public because the only one who owes his crown will, I thould think it, at least improper to the choice of his people. As to the and irregular, for me to open a formal kings of the world, all of whom (except public correspondence with the actual one) this archpontiff of the rights of government of a foreign nation, without men, with all the plenitude, and with the express authority of the govern. more than the boldness of the papal dement under which I live.

posing power in its meridian fervour of “ On the forenoon of the 4th of No- the twelfth century, puts into one sweep: vember last, Dr. Richard Price, a ing clause of ban and anathema, and non-conforming minister of eminence, proclaims usurpers by circles of longipreached, at the diffenting meeting- tude and latitude, over the whole globe, house of the Old Jewry, to his club or it behoves then to consider how they fociety, a very extraordinary miscet- admit into their territories these apoftolaneous sermon, in which there are some lic missionaries, who are to tell their subgood moral and religious sentiments, jects they are not lawful kings. That and not ill expressed, mixed up in a fort is their concern. It is ours, as a doof porridge of various political opinions mestic interest of some moment, seriously and reflections : but the revolution in to consider the solidity of the only prinFrance is the grand ingredient in the ciple upon which these gentlemen accauldron. I conlider the address tranf. knowledge a king of Great Britain to be mitted by the Revolution Society to the entitled to their allegiance. VOL. II.

34 G

* This dom, genuine principles of jurisprudence to “ This Declaration of Right (the draw a principle from a law made in aft of the ift of William and Mary, a special case, and regarding an indivi. felf. 2. ch. 2.) is the corner-flone of dual perfon. Privilegium non transit our constitution, as reinforced, explain- in exemplum. If ever there was a time çd, improved, and in its fundamental favourable for establishing the princi. principles for ever settled. It is called ple, that a king of popular choice was * An act for declaring the rights and ihe only legal king, without all doubt

“ This doctrine, as applied to the people. Thus, by a miserable fuč. prince now, on the British throne, either terfuge, they hope to render their pro• is nonsenfe, and therefore neither true position safe, by rendering it bugatory. nor falle, or it affirms a molt unfound. They are welcome to the alylum they ed, dangerous, illegal, and unconsti- siek for ibeir offence, fince they take re. tutional position. According to this fuge in their folly. For, if you admit fpiritual doctor of politics, if his ma- this interpretation, how does their idea jesty does not owe his crown to the of election differ from our idea of inhe. choice of his people, he is rio lawful ritance ? And how does the settlement king. Now nothing can be more un- of the crown in the Brunswick line de true than that the crown of this king rived from James the Fift, come to ledom is fo held by his majelty. There. galize our monarchy, rather than that of fore if you follow their rule, the king any of the neighbouring countries ! of Great Britain, who most certainly At some time or other, to be sure, all does not owe his high office to any form the beguiners of dynasties were chosen of popular election, is in no refpect beto by those who called them to govern. ter than the reft of the gang of ulurpers, There is ground enough for the opinion who reign, or rather rob, all over the that all the kingdoms of Europe were, fage of this our miserable world, with- at a remote period, elective, with more out any sort of right or title to the or fewer limitations in the objects of allegiance of their people. The policy choice; but whatever kings might have of this general doctrine, so qualified, is been here or elsewhere, a thou find years evident enough. The propagators of ago, or in whatever manner the ruling this political gospel are in hopes their dynasties of England or France may abstract principle (their principle that a have begun, the king of Great Britain popular choice is necessary to the legal is at this day king by a fixed rule of existence of the sovereign magistracy)succession, according to the laws of his would be overlooked, whilst the king of country'; and while the legal conditions Great Britain was pot affected by it. of the compact of sovereignty are perIn the mean time, the ears of their con- formed by him (as they are performed) gregations would be gradually habitua. be holds his crown in contempt of the fcd to it, as if it were a first principle choice of the Revolution Society, who admitted without dispute. For the pre- have not a single vote for a king amongst sent it would only operate as a theory, them, either individually or collectively; pickled in the preserving juices of pul- though I make no doubt they would pit eloquence, and laid by for future foon ere&t themselves into an electoral use. Condo et componi quæ mox de cullege, if things were ripe to give effromere polim. By this policy, whilltfect to their claim. His majesty's heirš our government is soothed with a re- and successors, each in his time and orfervation in its favour, to which it has der, will come to the crown with the no claim, the security, which it has in fame contempt of their choice with which common with all governments, so far as his majelly has succeeded to that he opinion is security, is taken anay.

Thus thele politicians proceed, • Whatever may be the fuccess of whilft little notice is taken of their docu' evalon in explaining away the gross er. trines ; but when they come to be ex. ror of fact, which supposes that his maamined upon the plain meaning of their jelly (though he holds it in concurrence words and the direct tendency of their with the wishes) owes bis crown to the doctrines, then equivocations and dipe, choice of his people, yet nothing can pery constructions come into play. When evade their full explicit declaration, they say the king owes his crown to the concerning the principle of a right in the choice of his people, and is therefore the people to choole, which right is directly only lawful sovereign in the world, they inaintained, and tenaciouły adhered to. will perhaps tell us they mean to say no All the oblique infinuations concerning more than that some of the kirg's pre- election bottom in this propofition, and deceffors have been called to the throne are referable to it. Left the foundation by some sort of choice; and therefore of the king's exclufive legal title should he owes his crown to the choice of his pals tur a mere rant of adulatory free.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

dom, the political Divine proceeds dog. liberties of the subject, and for settling
matically to affert *, that by the princi. the fucceffion of the crown.' You
ples of the Revolution, the people of will onserve, that these rights and this
England have acquired three fundae fuccesfion are declared in one body, and
mental rights, all which, with him, bound indissolubly together.
compose one system, and lie together in “ A few years after this period, a se.
one short sentence; namely, that we cond opportunity offered for affcrting
have acquired a right

a right of election to the crown. On 1.' To choose our own governors.' the prospect of a total failure of issue 2. •To cashier them for misconduct.' from king William, and from the 3. To frame a government for our. Princess, afterwards queen Anne, the felves.

confideration of the settlement of the This new, and hitherto unheard-of crown, and of a further security for bill of rights, though made in the name the liberties of the people, again came of the whole people, belongs to those before the legislature.' Did they this gentlemen and their faction only. The ficond time inake any provision for lebody of the people of England have no galizing the crown on the spurious Res Share in it. They utterly disclaim it. volution principles of the Old Jewry?

They will resist the practical affertion of No. They followed the principles it with their lives and fortunes. They which prevailed in the Declaration of are bound to do so by the laws of their Right; indicating with more precision country, made at the tiine of that very · the persons who were to inherit in the Revolution, which is appealed to in Protestant line. This act allo incor. favour of the fi&tious rights claimed by porated, by the fame policy, our liber. the society which abuses its nanie. ties, and an hereditary succession in the

“ These gentlemen of the Old Jewry, same act. Instead of a right to choose in all their reasonings on the Revolution our own governors, they declared that of 1688, have a revolution which hap- the succesion in that line (the protettant pened in England about 40 years before, line drawn from James the First) was and the late French revolution, so much absolutely necessary for the peace, before their eyes, and in their hearts, quiet, and security of the realm, and that they are constantly confounding all that it was equally, urgent on thein the three together. It is necessary that to maintain a certainty in the fucceffion we should separate what they confound. thereof, to which the subjects may We inust recall their erring fancies to safely have recourse for their protection.. to the acts of the Revolution which we. Both these acts, in which are heard the revere, for the discovery of its true unerring, unambiguous oracles of Reprinciples. If the principles of the volution policy, instead of countenan. Revolucion of 1688 are any where to be cing the delusive, gypsey predictions of found, it is in the statute called the • right to choose our governors,' Declaration of Right. In that moft prove to a demonstration how totally wise, lober, and contiderate declaration, adverse the wildom of the nation was drawn up by great lawyers and great from turning a case of neceffity into a statesmen, and nor by warm and inex. rule of law. perienced enthufialts, not one word is Unquestionabiy there was at the said, nor one suggestion made, of a ge. Revolution, in the perfon of king Wile neral right to choose our own gover. liai, a finall and a temporary deviation nors; to cashier them for misconduct; from the stuit order of a regular hereand to form a government for our: ditary fucceffion : but it is against all selves.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* P. 84, Discourse on the love of our it was at the Revolution. Its not being country, by Ds. Price,

done at that time is a proof that the


3 G 2

« PreviousContinue »