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no longer able to contend with the tranfports of my rage. Such effufions would foften the folicitudes I am weary of sustaining.'
The laft letter is dated at Plymouth Sound, Nov. 30, 1787, in which we find Mr. R. difcharged from his ftation as furgeon on board the Druid frigate. He is now, if we are not mifinformed, engaged in fome branch of the medical profeffion, at Berwick on Tweed: where we heartily with him the fuccefs to which he feems juftly entitled by his abilities, and his earnest defire to be useful to the Public, as well as to provide for a family entirely dependent on his laudable exertions.
ART. XIII. An Introduction to the Hiftory of the Dutch Republic, for the last ten Years, reckoning from the Year 1777. 8vo. 5 S. Boards. Kearsley. 1788.
HERE is no particular branch in any of the established modes of government, however perfect, however excellent it may appear when confidered in itself, which will not, from its neceffary connection with the other, even the leffer and fubordinate, parts of the great machine, be subject to something like corruption and decay, whenever thofe parts fhall become diseased; and in this the political body may very fairly be compared with the natural one.
"Let our finger ache, and it induces
A fenfe of pain e'en to our healthful members."
The bafis, the foundation of the ftate-eftablishment among the Dutch, is political freedom or liberty; and for this they have ever fhewn a kind of enthufiaftic fondness, without having been fufficiently attentive to the means of preferving it. They have repeatedly experienced the neceffity of having a Stadtholder at the head of the government, as the revolutions of 1672 and 1747 abundantly teftify; when, after a temporary ejection or fufpenfion of that magiftrate, they were again obliged to call him in :-but they have never adopted the just and proper methods for fixing him firmly and permanently in his place. Hence the origin of party, and hence the divifions and diftractions in the Belgic ftate. For though the prefcriptive rights of the Princes of Orange are thoroughly understood and admitted in feveral of the provinces; and though they have obtained beyond the period (ultra tritavum) when cuftom becomes a law; yet, as the most valuable part of the prerogative of these princes, that of nominating or recommending the perfons to be chofen members of the affemblies of the States, has never been formally acknowleged by the people, they have at all times been fubject to oppofition from the factious in the exercife of this power, though justice be taken for their guide. But that our Readers may judge of the
extent of the power in queftion, and of the confequences immediately refulting from it, we will extract from the performance before us, the Author's clear and accurate defcription of this very important branch of authority; which, though it may only be established by coustefy, has ftill perhaps, from long and continued ufage, become an undoubted and indefeafible right.
Though he (the Prince) is no conftituent part of the fupreme legiflative power, and has neither a fest in the affemblies, nor a voice in the deliberations of either the provincial States or their High Mightineffes (except when, on fome particular occafions, he makes fpecific propofitions to them on urgent and important points, which are not however confidered or debated, ftill lefs determined, in his prefence), yet he exercifes the right of nominating, or recommending most of the members of the fmaller affemblies, or vrootschaps, in whom this power is ultimately lodged, according to the legal forms of the Dutch Republic, but he exercifes this power of not only nominating and recommending whom he thinks proper, but also that of rejecting or disapproving whoever he thinks improper to become members or magiftrates in thefe legislatures. The mode of doing this is different in various cities and provinces. In fome, the electors, in cafe of an accidental or conftitutional vacancy, prefent him with three perfons whom they think qualified to fill it, and of thefe three he approves of one, who is on fuch approval invested in office. In other places he, by miffive letters, nominates or recommends three perfons to fill up any vacancy that happens, and of thefe three the electors chufe one, ufually the firit in the Stadtholder's lift, who on fuch election is vefted with authority. In the firit of thefe modes, it is obvious that he acts in much the fame manner as the King does with us, in appointing the theriffs of counties. And in the fecond, as our Sovereign does in promoting by recommendatory letters, and a congé d'elire, the prelates and other dignitaries of our church. But in both modes it is equally plain how vluable this part of the Stadtholder's prerogative is, for by it he is enabled, in a great measure, to newmodel the whole fenates of the feveral towns in the courfe of fome years, and the whole magistracy of them in a much shorter time. The misfortune however is, that it has been never formally acknowledged, or exprefsly allowed by the fundamental laws, or the conftitution of the commonwealth, and hence the right to exercife it hath 'been at certain feafons, as it is at this prefent time, difputed in fome places, and denied abfolutely in others. This great defect in the conititution, and the confequent principle of weakness in the authority of the Stadtholder, a principle of weakness entirely arising from the undefined state of his prerogative on this head, is owing to the want of fpirit and ability in William IV. Had he been an abler man himfelf, or better advited by others, he might have availed himself much more folicly than he did of the affection of the people in the year 1749, when they tumultuously made him Stadtholder. But he did not perceive the value and importance of thofe glowing moments, in which he might have clenched his authority, and he left this valuable prerogative in the fame state of indecifin in which he found it. Thus through want of understanding, or perhaps through an affected mo
deration, he loft the decifive period, or at leaft neglected to reap from it all the great advantages which it was capable of affording, and on his death, in 1751, tranfmitted the government in a loose disjointed ftate, with a difputed jurifdiction, and an undefined prerogative, to his
From the very particular information contained in this wor refpecting the fources of the recent troubles in the Republic of Holland, we are naturally led to imagine that it is the produc tion of a foreign pen. An Englishman, we think, could fcarcely have become acquainted with fo many of the fubtilties and intrigues of state. To a Dutchman or a Frenchman, fuch acquirement was more eafy. Be this as it may, the form of government in Holland, together with the relative fituation of the Prince of Orange, as hereditary Stadtholder, are nicely and accurately stated *. Of the established mode of rule, however, the Author entertains a very contemptible opinion, as the following extracts will particularly fhew:
All thefe caufes of weaknefs and diffenfion, which originated in the measures of minifters, the temper of the Stadtholder, the fituation of the commonwealth, and the fpirit of faction, might have been removed, or at least controlled in their effects, as fimilar causes have often been in other ftates, were it not for the fingular and anhappy conftitution of the republic.'
Of all the political conftitutions that have been framed by legiflators, or described by hiftorians, or defined by lawyers, none appears to have been fo weak and illiberal, fo irregular and inaccurate, fo prepofterous and undefined, as that of the Dutch. And in the
*Notwithstanding the general opinion which we, on this fide of the water, have conceived as to the merit of this work, we have converfed with fenfible and honeft men, natives of Holland, and of eminence in their own country, who have spoken of the book as being calculated to mislead its readers in fome important refpects. In particular they fay, that it has " a tendency to infpire unjust prejudices against the Princefs of Orange, a lady of the moft refpectable character and (on the other hand) to excite a degree of esteem for the late Grand Penfionary Bleifwyk, to which he is not in the least entitled." That" in his portrait also of Mr. Van Berkel, every line and feature are in flat contradiction with the most palpable truth!" The like hath been obferved in regard to fome other portraits, though it is, by the fame gentlemen, candidly allowed, that "nothing, with fome few exceptions, can be better reprefented than the characters of the Stadtholder, and the Duke of Brunfwic, his former confident and minifter."-On fome of these points we confefs ourfelves incompetent to the task of a full and complete decifion; but, on the whole, we abide by the idea which we at firft formed of the general character of the work, viz. that it abounds with irrefragable truths, acute obfervations, and good reafoning,-which, all together, announce a writer who poffeffes real merit.
nature of it may be found many causes that aggravated and extended the malignant fymptoms, with which, through a weak adminiftration, an ill government, and other caufes that have been already mentioned, their commonwealth has been for fome years affected.'
The fentiments here exhibited are fo diametrically oppofite to thofe of our first-rate politicians and civilians, who have reprefented the state of Holland as a republic able to support itself by reafon of its confederacy, without any internal corruption *, that they will probably be thought by many to have been too haftily, dogmatically, and pofitively delivered +.
When, however, we attend to the late commotions in this famed confederacy, and when we confider how various are the fprings which actuate and move this ponderous body, we muft acknowlege the force of the writer's argument in the main, though he is fomewhat mistaken in the principle on which he founds it for there is every reafon to believe that Montefquieu, when he talked of the excellence and perfection of this government, must have understood it as having always a Stadtholder, and in full poffeffion of his privileges, at the head; otherwise it would bear too particular a refemblance to an aristocracy ever to be commended by fo able and intelligent a writer. We muft therefore observe, that, the Prince of Orange's authority admitted, our Author appears to be wrong.
It is to be hoped, from the manner in which the late disputes have terminated, that the Ariftocratical party are at length convinced of their error: that they will not again attempt to arrest or even question the power of a ruler, whofe right to the Stadtholdership must now be confidered as thoroughly eftablished by every unprejudiced perfon in Europe. It is to be hoped, moreover, whatever may be their fentiments with refpect to the abilities of that ruler, that they will reflect on the temper and difpofition of the Dutch as it was feen in the recent ftruggle, and uniformly bear in mind, that imperium in imperio will never be endured by a fpirited people like the Hollanders: a people who, in afferting their Prince's privileges, know that they are maintaining their rights.
*See L'Esprit des Loix.
The Hague (fays the Author in another part of his book) is the place of meeting of the provincial ftates of Holland, as well as of the States General; but the one, no more than the other, can conclude or determine no affair of importance without confulting their constituents.' Where then is the grand objection to the confti
ART. XIV. The Poetry of the World. Crown 8vo. 2 Vols. 75. fewed. Bell.. 1788.
N opening thefe volumes, the firft thing which muft ftrike the reader, will be their great typographical elegance. Each poem is printed in fo beautiful a manner as to be literally (which is more than Horace's maxim, ut pictura piefis erit, requires)-a picture. This we mention to the credit of the Bookfeller, who appears laudably ambitious of acquiring the title of the Baskerville of the prefent day. All that typographical tafte could do, he has evidently done to recommend the poems before us; and though it should be recollected, fronti nulla fides, the beauty of the paper and type will probably excite fome little prepoffeffion in their favour, notwithstanding the title-page announces them to be collected from a news-paper. Nor will thofe who take them up with this prepoffeffion meet with any great difappointment; for many of them highly merit the external elegance in which they appear, and we cannot but congratulate the Public in their being thus refcued from the perishing pages of a daily print, which, after being read, are commonly destined hefterna occurrere cœnæ, Who are the real authors of the feveral pieces bearing the fignatures of Della Crufca, Anna Matilda, Arley, Benedict, the Bard, and Edwin, THE WORLD has not feen fit to inform us; and as we have not the omniscient Jackson, nor any other omnifcient gentleman in our corps, it cannot be expected that we should difcover them. Thus much, however, we have been fortunate enough to have traced out, that Della Grufca is fuppofed to be Mr. Merry, that Arley is certainly Mr. M. P. Andrews, and that the Bard is thought to be a Mr. Berkley. Time, who is celebrated for blabbing the profounde ft fecrets, will probably, if we exercife a little patience, acquaint us with the real name of Anna Matilda, which is now, we find, carefully concealed; and of all the reft, at present, we muft content ourselves with reading their verses. By these it appears that none of them are vulgar writers. Della Crufca, who, we must confefs, has pleafed us moft, appears to be a gentleman, a fcholar, and a poet; and feveral of his pieces claim a diftinguished place in the clafs of modern poetry. Our readers will, no doubt, efteem themfelves obliged to us for affigning a page or two of our Review to the beautiful ELEGY written on the PLAIN OF FONTENOY:
Chill blows the blaft, and Twilight's dewy hand
A deeper fhadow fteals along the land,
REV. Nov. 188.