« PreviousContinue »
undertake; for we agree not in opinion with those who, as taxes become heavier, believe that the ability to bear taxation is increased. Many of the remarks in these essays, however, merit much attention. The tax on income, the writer argues, ought to have been extended to incomes considerably under 60l.; and that the scale of gradation should have been continued in some degree of proportionable increase on incomes beyond 200/.—We shall conclude this article with the fol lowing extract, containing the author's ideas on the benefits which might be derived to the country, from a more general use of com mittees of members of parliament:
The most important advantages have been derived from the exer tions of every committee that has yet been appointed for the investi gation of political matters; and the reason is obvious: in the election of committees, men of abilities only are fixed on; chiefly those, indeed, who, from their situation in life, their pursuits, and other circumstances, are supposed to be peculiarly fitted for the purpose for which they are chosen; and who, therefore, with only one ob ject in view, very commonly obtain all the information with regard to it which it is possible to procure: by which they are enabled to elucidate, in the best possible manner, every subject with which they are entrusted. Now, why may not similar advantages be obtained in the management of every object of equal national importance? Might not permanent committees be established, at the beginning of every parliament, each consisting of a few select members? and to every committee some important national object being entrusted, such views would soon be obtained of all of them as we are never likely to possess from any other plan.
In these committees, the nation would enjoy this important advantage, of having men of the first abilities and knowledge in business brought into action, who, from not being enabled to deliver their sentiments as public speakers, are often entirely lost, or never heard of in the full meetings of parliament; but who might often be well fitted for giving the clearest and best views on every point in which they should have occasion to act with more confined numbers.
In this manner, many of the most able men in the nation might at all times be employed, and with no expence to government, in giving the utmost possible perfection to every scheme of public utility.'
Art. 46. Necessity of destroying the French Republic, proved by Facts and Arguments. Translated from the French by the Au thor, with Additions. 8vo. 18. 6d. Debrett, &c. 1799. A review is here taken of the actual state of each European power, and of the designs of Republican France; from which it is inferred that there can be no reliance on treaties of peace with her, since her present circumstances command and oblige her to make a jest of any covenant which she may form with sovereigns. There is, consequently, the most urgent necessity for crushing this alldevouring Hydra.
The powers of Europe not only seem to be of this opinion, but appear to be rapidly advancing to the completion of their object.
Art. 47. Neutrality of Prussia. Translated from the German. 8vo. Is. Wright.
We are told that this pamphlet has been read with avidity on the continent. Its object is to reprobate neutrality, and to stimulate Prussia to re-join the coalition against France. It takes a view of the relative situation of all the states of Europe towards France, points out what they are to expect from its present government, and undertakes to delineate the real interests of Prussia, and her means of safety. The author notices the jealousy existing between the courts of Vienna and Berlin as the cause of the Neutrality of Prussia but he calls on the latter to reflect that the fall of Austria would be a sure prelude of her own destruction. He fears, however, that the favourable moment for the deliverance of Europe is past: but, before this time, he has probably altered his opinion. The victories of the allies in Italy have happily changed the face of European politics; yet it may be proper for Prussia to consider whether a co-operation with Austria be not preferable to a treacherous peace with the French Directory. The powers of Europe are exhorted not to temporize, but to act with union and firmness.
Art. 48. An Inquiry into the Truth of the two Positions of the French Oeconomists, that Labour employed in Manufactures is unproductive, and that all Taxes ultimately fall on Land. By Daniel Wakefield. 8vo. Is. Rivingtons. 1799.
The French œconomists are among the first writers in modern times, who applied analysis to the important subject of national pro sperity. The various details into which they entered, supplied an abundance of materials for enabling succeeding authors to correct their errors, and to improve their system. Mr. Hume, in his political essays, and after him, more fully and more elaborately, Dr. Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, in opposition to the French ceconomists, who refer national wealth to one only source, prove that it results from many sources; and when they conjoin land and labour, they mean by the latter not merely labour bestowed on the ground, but all other kinds of profitable industry. In doing this, they have recurred to the doctrine of one of the first, and by far the greatest, of all political economists; who taught that labour was the only just measure of the value of all possessions, and clearly explained the distinction between labour in a political sense productive, and labour merely useful.
In returning to this antient system, however, Dr. Smith is still so far influenced by the French economists, that he considers landholders as a productive class; whereas, in strictness of language, land-holders are mere receivers of rents; and, instead of being Labourers and producers, are the veriest idlers and the greatest con sumers in society. The exigency of the present crisis has indeed turned them to their proper employment, the defence of their country; a kind of labour certainly highly useful and honourable, but not in the political sense productive †.
* See Aristotle, Gillies's translation, vol. i. p.271. and vol. ii. p. 38. + See our Review of Dr. Gray's pamphlet, entitled Essential Principles of the Wealth of Nations, &c. vol. xxiv. p. 31.
In Mr. D. Wakefield's pamphlet now before us, the doctrines of the French œconomists are attacked with force of argument, and ingenuity of illustration; and some of Dr. Smith's strictures on their system are placed in a new and striking light: but our limits will not permit us to enter into any satisfactory detail on the subject; and we can only recommend the pamphlet to the attention of those who interest themselves in the discussion.
Art. 49. A Country Parson's Address to his Flock, to caution them against being misled by the Wolf in Sheep's Cloathing, or receiving Jacobin Teachers of Sedition, who intrude themselves under the specious Pretense of instructing Youth and preaching Christianity. By Francis Wollaston, Rector of Chislehurst, Kent. 8vo. Is. Wilkie. 1799.
From this laudable display of the abominable principles and dangerous practices (in most parts of Europe) of what is called the Jacobin party,' we shall extract a passage which may afford new information to many of our readers, respecting the origin of that denomination;-although we have somewhere noticed it before:
The court of France, surrounded and besieged as it was, with the false philosophers of Voltaire, the followers of Rousseau in his ideal scheme, and the enlightened of Weishaupt, having had many of the adepts belonging to each sect introduced imperceptibly into every department, and become leading men at the head of affairs in that nation, was ripe for an explosion when the signal should be given. The time for that signal was now arrived. The distress in the finances of that court, and the disposition of the last king of France to relieve the burthens of his people, and to consult their wishes, gave rise to a meeting of the nobles for that purpose; a meeting secretly instigated by those who wished for a new scene of things.
At the head of the free-masons in France, and grand master of their order, was that infamous wretch the last duke of Orleans, (who afterwards took the name of Egalité, or Equality; though it is well known that the obtaining of the crown itself was the real object at the bottom of his heart,) having under him little short of 300 regular lodges of free-masons, dispersed in as many towns in that nation, subject with implicit obedience to his nod. A general meeting of them was summoned at Paris; and did meet in the church of the Jacobins; one of the religious orders at that time. To this very numerous meeting of the free-masons, some leading disciples from Weishaupt were sent as delegates: delegates from other clubs and other societies to inflame these with the farther designs of the enlightened or illuminated followers of Weishaupt. In that they succeeded too well. To the liberty and equality of original free-masonry; to the fierce rancor of Voltaire and his self-called philosophers against Jesus Christ and his religion; to the democratic principles of Rousseau, and his visionary schemes about the origin of all government; these delegates added, the rage of Weishaupt and his pretended more enlightened followers, against all kings, or rather against all who under any title bear any rule among men. The fiery spirit of the French kindled at once into a flame. The names of free-mason, of philosophers, of friends to a social compact, of illuminé or enlight
ened, were from that instant all absorbed in the one name of Jacobin. The others are heard no more. Jacobin became the name; liberty and equality the watchword; while a rancorous hatred against all good order and all good faith among men, was the object, openly pursued from that day by a most numerous Horde; which had been training up gradually during 60 years to a most stupendous highth, to become the scourge of the earth.'
We understand that the intrusion of certain sectarists, into the author's parish, gave rise to this Address; which, though designed for his own Flock, he thinks may have its use, in cautioning others against a practice of the Jacobin Societies, of which few are sufficiently aware. It were to be wished, that the Law gave to the Minister of a Parish the Power of proceeding, in a summary Way, against such as intrude unasked into the Fold committed to his Care.'
Mr. Wollaston, we apprehend, is the respectable writer of whom, as a man of SCIENCE, we have more than once taken honorable notice, in the course of our literary labours: we have now had the pleasure of beholding him in the still more revered character of an active and zealous Christian minister.
Art. 50. Proposals for forming by Subscription, in the Metropolis of the British Empire, a Public Institution for diffusing the Knowlege and facilitating the general Introduction of useful Mechanical In ventions and Improvements, and for teaching, by Courses of Philosophical Lectures and Experiments, the Application of Science to the common Purposes of Life. By Benjamin Count of Rum. ford, F. R. S. &c. 8vo. 6d. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1799. In this pamphlet are explained the reasons which render it desirable to create an institution, such as is described in the title-page. The writer likewise gives the circumstances of the origin and progress of the institution; the terms of subscription; the present subscribers; the managers; and the regulations, laws, &c. which are proposed to be adopted.
The union of art, of science, of speculative truth, and of prac tical utility, which formerly was indolently desired rather than actively attempted, has of late years and in many instances been accomplished. To promote such an union, no one has laboured with greater zeal or more success than the author of the present proposals. With unceasing activity, he has exerted himself to increase the conveniencies of life, and to enlarge the stock of human happiness. In founding the present institution, he seems desirous of perpetuating his benevolence, and of ensuring a continuance of that activity which labours to attain what Bacon calls the true and legitimate goal of Science; the endowment of life with new inventions, and new sources of abundance. May success continue to crown his laudable endeavours!
Art. 51. Biographical Anecdotes of the Founders of the French Republic, and of other eminent Characters who have distinguished themselves in the Progress of the Revolution. Vol. II. 12mo. PP. 470. 55. Boards. Johnson, &c.
The first volume of these anecdotes was noticed in our Number for December 1797; the second differs not materially in character. Its contents are also very amusing: but they may also require occasional correction. A less sparing citation of authorities would better have enabled the critical reader to estimate the authenticity of the facts related. A collection so various in style is probably the work of various pens. Many articles, as those respecting Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau, Roland, &c. are drawn up with superior information and ability but too many personages are introduced. Where the public importance of a character is small, and where individual peculiarities are not prominent, as in the case of Poggé, Chalier, Cochan, &c. it is most convenient in a foreign country wholly to forget them.
Art. 52. Provincial Copper Coins, or Tokens, issued between the Years 1787 and 1796, engraved by Charles Pye of Birmingham, from the Originals in his own Possession. 8vo. Is. each Plate.
These engravings are offered to the public as a substitute for a collection, or complete series, of the coins above mentioned, which many have been desirous of attaining, but have failed in the attempt. The number of plates is thirty-six, each plate containing five coins, with the obverse and reverse. Those which have been best executed the engraver has endeavoured to keep by themselves. We have no doubt that they will all be deemed fair representations of their originals. Some of the later coins, we are told, were struck not for circulation, but merely for the collectors; so that several were unknown at the places whence they derive their names. The greater part of them are to be considered as half-pennies.-An index is added, which gives, (as far as they could be obtained,) with the names of places, those also of the persons by whom the dies were executed. Art. 53. Copies of original Letters from the Army of General Bonaparte in Egypt, intercepted by the Fleet under the Command of Admiral Nelson. PART THE SECOND. With an English Translation. 8vo. 4s. 6d. sewed. Wright. 1799.
In our Review for February last, p. 231, we gave some account of the former part of the publication of these intercepted letters. This second collection is made by the editor of Part I. which circumstance will be considered as a sufficient recommendation with respect to the great article of AUTHENTICITY.-These truly curious letters, which never reached the hands of those to whom they were directed, (and to whom, no doubt, they would have proved highly interesting,) are chiefly written by Bonaparte himself, and by his officers; and they are introduced, as was the preceding set, by the animated, sarcastic, but pertinent observations of the loyal and exulting. editor. There is likewise given, by way of appendix, a very curious letter [both in the original Greek and in an English translation] from the Metropolitan, the Archbishop, of Constantinople, addressed to the Most dear and honoured Nobility, and all ye Christians of Corfou, Cephalonia, Zante, Cerigo, Ithaca, St. Maure, &c. our beloved Children in the Lord, &c. &c." earnestly and pious exhorting them to persevere in their loyalty to the Otton.an Porte; and to cooperate with the allied powers in resisting the invasion of the impious