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ceeded the bounds of truth * His abilities were not of that nature which would have qualified him for the chief direction of the affairs of a nation. His mind was more adapted to periy, trivial, and narrow considerations, than to the comprehension of great objects. His principles were adverse to the true spirit of the constitution, and to the maximns of genuine liberty. He was haughly, yet mean ; obstimate, yet timid ; fond of profession, yet faithless and ungenerous. His manners were those of a pedant, rather than those of a gentle.
He affected a taste for science and a love of virtù; but did not possess any great portion of learning or knowledge : he was, however, an encourager of those attainments in others.'
On the expulsion of Mr. Wilkes from the House of Commons, on the question of general Warrants, on the application for a repeal of the test and corporation acts, and on those questions and measures which eventually separated the colonies from Great Britain, Dr. Cocte has uniformly espoused the cause of liberty, and has maintained liberal sentiments with moderation, and good sense. On the most important of these subjects, we find the following remarks':
• The expence of protecting the American colonies being considered by the ministry as burthensome to Great Britain, it was resolved, that the inhabitants of those flourishing settlements should be compelled, by the authority of parliament, to contribute more consider able supplies to the relief of the parent state, than had yet been exacted from them. The only duties to which they had been hitherto subjected related to imports and exports : but it was now proposed, that internal taxes should be levied upon them, at the discretion of the British legislature. This scheme has been generally attributed to Grenville ; but he probably reccired iristructions on the subject from the earl of Bite, and, as a financier, completed a plan which the favorite had previously concerted with those courtiers who, while they were styled the friends of the king, did not always act as the friends of the people, though the true interests of both are undivided. When the cominors, in the last session, voted the exaction of new commercial duties from the colonisis, it was intimated, in a distinct resolution, that it might be proper to subject them to stamp-duties. This scheme of taxation was so far froin being approved, that loud clamors immediately arose ; and the discontent which was produced by the endeavours of the ministry (oppressively exerted) for the pro. vention of illicit trade, was highly inflamed by the prospect of severe burthens, imposed by le pislators irho were not constitutionally justified in the exercise of such authority.
"* Of this class is Dr. Smollett's panegyric. “ He was (says that writer) a nobleman of such probity as no temptation could warp; of such spirit as no adversity could humble; severely just in all his transactions ; learned, liberal, courteous, and candid ; an enthusiast in patriotism ; a noble example of public, an amiable pattern of domestic virtue." It
may be observed, that the Doctor had alisht reasons for thus fatturing his countryman.'
• The provincials, thus irritated, anxiously waited the result of the alarming intimation of the commons. It was apprehended by many, that they would not submit to the new scheme ; but this cona, sideration did not deter the court from persisting in it. The king, when he had re-assembled the parliament, did not make express mention of the affair, but alluded to it, by signifying his reliance on the wisdom and firmness of the two houses, in the promotion of a due “ respect to the legislative authority of this kingdom," and in the establishment of such regulations as might “ best connect and strengthen every part of his dominions.”_
• A series of resolutions, imposing a variety of stamp.duties on the king's American subjects, were at length proposed to the house by Grenville. The colonial petitions against the scheme, and the argu. ments of the senators by whom it was reprobated, were entirely disregarded; and the bill which contained the resolutions became a law.
• In support of this bill, Grenville argued, that the colonists as completely subject to the jurisdiction of the parliament, as were the inhabitants of Great Britain ; that their chartered rights did not exempt them from that authority; that the very nature of their situation implied a subjection to the control of the grand legislative body of the empire ; that nothing could be more reasonable than the demand of contributions from the provincials for the exoneration of the mother-country from the expence attendant on the protection of her children ; that the sums which would thus be raised would be solely applied to the defence and security of the provinces ; and that the new taxes were in themselves light and equitable. Charles Townshend was also an advocate for the bill ; and he condemned the ingratitude of the colonists, in refusing to make returns of submission and duty for the fostering care and generous indulgence of Great Britain, and in opposing the just claims of the legislature, the authority of which, over every part of the empire, could not fairly be controverted. Lieutenant-general Conway (who had been deprived of a post in the household, and of the command of a regiment, for voting against the court in the question of general warrants,) strongly denied the right of the parliament to tax the Americans. They were enti: led, he said, to all the privileges of Britons; one of which involved an exemption from all taxes, except such as should be decreed by their representatives. No impost, therefore, could constitutionally be levied in the colonies without the sanction of the assemblies, except for the purposes of commercial regulation. Other speakers, while they admitted the right, disputed the expediency of the measure, and recommended an acquiescence in such grants as the provincials, at the desire of the crown, might be disposed to make. By some of the members, the taxes in question were affirmed to be unreasonable and oppressive, without regard to the authority which imposed them; and Colonel Barré ventured to predict, that the provincials, who were known to be jealous of their liberties, would firmly and even in flexibly oppose the views of the court.
That this bill was unconstitutional, and consequently unjustifiable, is an opinion which we are ready to adopt. The colonists, with an exception of the case of commercial duties, might claim a right of
being solely subject to the pecuniary demands of their assemblies, on the principle of the close connection between taxation and represeniation; and the denial of such a right was an instance of tyranny from which a British parliament might have been expected to refrain. The provincials might justly have alleged, that if even the enjoyment of parliamentary representation did not shield the community from a course of wanton pillage, they could have had no security against the exercise of the most flagrant rapacity and oppression, by senators who would themselves be free from the burthens which they would impose.'
The concluding book of this history reaches from the rupture between Great Britain and the colonies, to the peace of 1783; and throughout the whole of it, the author shews a marked disapprobation of the measures and counsels in which the war originated and was conducted :--but his account of this unfor. tunate difference between the mother-country and her provinces is not so circumstantial, nor so detailed, as the importa ance of the subject demanded, and the variety of materials admitted.
The objection of being too concise is also applicable to the account of the riots in London in 1780; which were as disgraceful to the police of the city, as they were destructive to the lives and properties of numerous individuals.-- The author's short statement of so remarkable an occurrence is inadequate to the purposes of information, and seems to proceed on the idea of the reader's previous acquaintance with the subject.
The topic of the American war, and, indeed the narrative part of the history, are concluded by very candid observations on the peace of 1783.
A short view of ecclesiastical affairs,' a catalogue (for it scarcely amounts to more) of eminent literary characters who have distinguished the different periods of our history, and a concise account of the progress of the arts, will also be found in these volumes.
After the ample extracts which we have made, and the ob. servations which we have ventured to suggest on different portions of the history, it is scarcely necessary to characterise the general merits of the work. We cannot, however, conclude the article without declaring that, in our opinion, Dr. Coote deserves high rank among cur historians for correctness and impartiality; that his information is accurate ; that his senti. ments are liberal and moderate ; and that his style is in general easy, perspicuous, and occasionally elegant.
Forty-five engravings, chiefly from the hand of Heath, and five maps, decorate and illustrate these volumes.
Art. VIII. A Voyage round the World, performed in the Tears
1785–1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the Command of J. F. G. de la Pérouse : published by Order of the National Assembly, under the Superintendence of L. A. MiletMureau, Brigadier-General in the Corps of Engineers, &c. &c. Translated from the French. 4to. 2 Vols. pp. 600 in each, With a folio Atlas of Plates and Charts. 51. 55. Boards. Ro. binsons, &c. 1799. n the preface to the first English edition of this work, the public were apprised that other translations were in
preparation ; and indeed it was reasonably to be expected, that the just celebrity of this enterprising but unfortunate navigator should encourage such competition. As we have already given an account of the voyage, and of the former translation, in our Appendix to vol. xxvi. p. 517. and in vol. xxvii. p. 292 and 399, there remains little room for remark; except to notice the particular merits of the version now offered to the public.
In each, it has been endeavoured to render the copy faithful; and (except some of the plates, which were left out in the evo edition already noticed) to omit nothing which the original contained.
The present translation is on a more enlarged scale, has occupied more time, and has been executed at greater expence, than the former. It is handsomely printed on royal quarto ; and the separate volume of plates contains the whole of the charts and drawings that were given in the Paris edition. The charts are engraved by Neele, and the plates chiefly by Heath.
We shall avail ourselves of this opportunity, to give our Teaders the character of M. de la Pérouse, as drawn by the French editor ; which we did not quote in our former account, and now copy from the volumes before us, as an interesting addition to preceding extracis, and a specimen of the present translator's abilities:
Hitherto I have considered La Pérouse only in his military and naval capacity ; but he deserves equally to be known for his personal qualities : for he was not less fitted to gain the friendship or respect of men of all countries, than to foresee and overcome every obstacle which it is within the power of human wisdom to surmount.
With the vivacity common to the people of the South, he united a pleasing wit, and an evenness of temper. The gentleness of his dispozition, and his agreeable gaiety, rendered his company always desired with avidity: on the other hand, his judgment having been matured by long experience, he joined to singular prudence that firmness of character, which is the lot of a strong mind, and which, increased by the laborious life of a mariner, rendered him capable of attempt. ing the greatest enterprizes, and conducting them to success.
« From the combination of these different qualities, the reader, ob. serving his invincible patience under toils enjoined by circumstances, the rigorous counsels dictated by his foresight, the precautionary steps he took with different people, will be little astonished at the beneficent and temperate yet circumspect conduct of La Pérouse towards them, at the confidence he reposed, and the deference he sometimes paid to his officers, and at the paternal care he exhibited towards his crews. Nothing that could concern them, either in preventing their hardships, or promoting their welfare, escaped his watchfulness and care. Unwilling to convert a scientific enterprize into a mercantile speculation, and leaving the profit of all the articles of trade to the crew alone, he reserved for himself the satisfaction of having been useful to his country and to science. Ably seconded in his cares for the preservation of their health, no navigator has made so long a toyage, accomplished such an extensive course, and been exposed to such incessant change of climate, with such healthy crews; since, on their arrival at New Holland, after a voyage of thirty months duration, in which they had sailed more than sixteen thousand leagues, they were in as good health as on their departure from Brest.
• Master of himself, and never suffering himself to be carried away by the first impression, he was capable of practising, particularly in this expedition, the precepts of a sound and humane philosophy. Were I more desirous of composing his eulogy, necessarily isolated and incomplete, than of allowing the reader the pleasure of forming his own judgment of him from facts, with all their concomitant circumstances, and from the whole of what he has written, I should quote a number of passages in his journal, the character and turn of which, scrupulously preserved by me, faithfully depict the man: I should exhibit him particularly careful to follow that article of his instructions, deeply imprinted on his heart, by which he was enjoined to avoid spilling a drop of blood; adhering to it constantly during a long voyage, with a success owing to his principles; and when, in consequence of an attack from a barbarous horde of savages, he had lost his second in command, a naturalist, and ten men of the two crews, not with. standing the powerful means of vengeance in his hands, and so many excusable motives for employing them, restraining the rage of his people, and fearing to destroy a single innocent victim among thousands of the guilty.
• Not less modest and equitable than he was enlightened, it will be seen with what respect he mentions the immortal Cook, and how he endeavoured to do justice to those great men who had pursued the same career.
• Equally just towards all, La Pérousc, in his journal and in his letters, equitably dispenses the praise to which his companions had a claim. Nor is he less mindful of those strangers who reccived him with friendship, and afforded him assistance, in different parts of the world. If government, of which there can be no doubt, wish to full the intentions of La Pérouse, it owes to these a testimonial of the public gratitude,
• Justly esteemed by those English Mariners who had opportunities of knowing him, they have unequivocally testified their respect for. him in their writings.'