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ART. XVI. Memoirs of the celebrated Dwarf, Joseph Boruw
LASKI, a Polish Gentleman ; containing a faithful and curious Account of his Birth, Education, Marriage, Travels, and Voyages. Written by Himself. 8vo. 79. 6d. Boards. Becket, &c. 1788.
[ To be had likewise of the Author, No 162, Strand. ] E shall extract, from the book, fome account of this
gentleman; for such he evidently appears to be, both from his birth, education, and accomplishments :
· I was born in the environs of Chaliez, the capital of Pekucia, in Polish Russia, in November 1739. My parents were of the middle size; they had five sons and one daughter; and by one of those freaks of nature, which it is impoflble to account for, or perhaps to find another instance of in the annals of the human species, three of these children grew to above the middle stature, whilst the two others, like myself, reached only that of children in general at the age of four or five years.
I am the third of this astonishing family. My eldest brother, who at this time is about sixty, is near three inches taller than I am ; he has constantly enjoyed a robust conftitution, and has still strength and vigour much above his fize and age; he has lived a long time with the Castelane Inowloska, who honours him with her esteem and bounty ; and finding in him ability and sense enough, has entrusted him with the stewardship and management of her affairs.
• My second brother was of a weak and delicate frame; he died at twenty-fix, being at that time five feet ten inches high. Those who came into the world after me, were alternately tall and short : among them was a female who died of the small-pox at the age
of twenty-two. She was at that time only two feet two inches high, and to a lovely figure united an admirably well proportioned shape.
• It was easy to judge from the very instant of my birth, that I should be extremely short, being at that time only eight inches; yet notwithstanding this diminutive proportion, I was neither weak nor puny: on the contrary, my mother, who suckled me, has often de. clared that none of her children gave her less trouble. I walked, and was able to speak, at about the age common to other infants, and my growth was progressively as follows:
I was 11 inches high, English measure. At three I foot 2 inches.
inches. At fix
At twenty-five 2 - 11
3 3 At fifteen 2 feet i This is the size at which I remained fixed, without having afterwards increased half a quarter of an inch; by which the affertion of some naturalists proves false, viz. that Dwarfs grow during all their lifetime. If this inftance were insufficient, I could cite that of my brother, who, like me, grew till thirty; and like me, at that age, ceased to grow taller.
The history and adventures of this extraordinary personage are almost as uncommon as his figure and diminutive stature. His family having been ruined, and he being a sprightly, lenfible,
At one year
and pleasing little mortal, was taken into the protection of some persons of the first rank in his own country; bue whose favour he unfortunately lost, at about the age of twenty, by falling in love with, and marrying, a young lady of beauty and merit; by whom he has had two children.
For some years after his marriage, he was chiefly supported by presents from his illustrious friends and patrons, together with an annuity given him by the King of Poland. He also received considerable emolument from the concerts which were set on foot, for his benefit, at several courts in Germany, &c. ; but these resources proving rather precarious, he listened to the joint advice of Sir R. Murray Keith, then and now British ambassador at Vienna, the Prince de Kaunitz, and the Baron de Breteuil, to pay a vifit to England, where they assured him he was likely to meet with the most generous reception; and he was promised letters of recommendation to the greatest personages at the British court. Accordingly he and his family arrived in London, by the way of France, &c. in March 1782. Among his recommendatory letters, those directed to the Duke and Duchess of Devonthire procured him their very kind and powerful patronage. He was likewise introduced to the Royal Family, from whom he received several diftinguished favours. Presents and benefactions, however, being no certain provision for the permanent and comfortable maintenance of a family, Mr. B. very naturally grew anxious, and the most humiliating sentiments took such pofleffion of his mind, that he at length followed the advice of those who proposed his exhibiting himfelf, firft at one guinea, then at five shillings, and then at half a crown.
Thus has our little hero been decently supported, as he very properly expresses it, during the fix years that he has lived in England; but we fear, from his account, that, by this time, the edge of curioficy being blunted, his income has suffered a confiderable diminution. Among other unfortunate events, a dishoneft servant eloped with trinkets and valuables to a large amount; and, which proved ftill worse, a false report of his accumulating a fortune in this country having reached the cars of the King of Poland, he discontinued Mr. B.'s pension.
This well-written narrative is concluded by the following painful reflections,' and pathetic address to England:
• Such is the picture of what is paft : it is easy to see how pains are mingled with pleasures, fears with hopes; but what is the fate I am to expe&t ?--Am I doomed to be for ever the sport of necessity, the flave of the moment?-Though I fould submit to this humiliating idea, would it lead to the hope of securing, in future, a decent maintenance for my wife and children? I have but a weak constitution; the weight of years grows every day more presling; should I be fnacched away from my family, what will become of them?
Whose asistance can they claim ? Am I destined to have, on my last day, nothing in view, but the misery and woe of all that is dear to me? These are the pains and inquietudes which affail my heart, and dash with bitterness the moments of joy that I derive from my family. Had I been formed like other mortals, I could, like most of them, have subsisted by industry and labour; but my stature has irrevocably excluded me from the common circle of society : nay, but few people only seem to take notice of my being a man, an honest man, a man of feeling. How painful are these reflections !
• O beneficent and generous nation !- should I sink under my griefs, I recommend to you my wife and children,-my children, who came into life among you ! - if I am not at the end of my career, then I must repair to other climates, where, yielding to my destiny, I will submit to that fate which seems to await me; but I will cake with me every where, will cherish, and carefully keep in the in most recesses of my heart, the grateful sentiments which your repeated favours have excited in me.
Mr. Boruwlaski bas written this work in French, in which lana guage it is here printed, with an English translation, on the oppofite pages, by Mr. Des Carrieres. A copper-plate frontispiece is given, representing our amiable hero, with his lady, and one of their children, in a family scene.
We have not yet had the satisfaction of seeing Mr. B. but we are informed that this print affords a good resemblance of his person. Of his pleasing manners and agreeable conversation (of which we have heard a most advantageous account) a judge ment can only be formed by paying him a visit; and that we have resolved to do, at the first convenient opportunity : meantime, we thank him for the pleasure he has afforded us by a perusal of his Memoirs, which, from the number of agreeable anecdotes of eminent persons, of both sexes *, have many of the graces of a well-told tale, with all the advantages and merit of truth :-for we have not the least distrust of his veracity, in any circumstance of the narrative.
* The pretty love-letters, which passed, during their courtship, between Mr. B. and his fair Isalina, will, to young readers especially, prove a very acceptable part of the entertainment which they will find in the perusal of this volume.
For JULY, 1788.
POLITICAL. Art. 17. Confiderations on the War with the Turks. Translated from the French of M. de Volney. 8vo. 2. 6d. Debrett. 1788.
De Volney, whom we lately introduced to the acquaintance
of our Readers, by the review which we gave of his Travels through Syria and Egypto*, here investigates and states the probable conseqüences of the present war between the Turks, the Austrians, and the Ruflians, with the profundity of an acute politician, but with rather too much of the spirit of prophecy. He has busied himself in disposing of the bear's skin before the bear is killed +. He, however, offers many pertinent confiderations on the subject, which will much amuse, if not completely fatisfy, the political speculatift.M. de Volney is, certainly, a very sensible man, and an ingenious writer, Art. 18. Anecdotes of Junius: to which is prefixed The King's Reply.
8vo. 1 s. 6 do Bew. 1788. If this gentleman's information, with respect to the identity of Junius, be no better than that to which he has been obliged for his lift of Reviewers, we may venture to assure both him and the Public, that he knows very little of the matter.
The Reply which he has manufactured for the King, is a piece of good writing, and contains a well imagined vindication for the fuppored royal writer, in regard to the errors charged on his government by Junius :- that Junius, whom this Author declares to be Mr. Burke. As for the Anecdotes respecting the hero of this questionable tale, they chiefly confitt of a detail of Mr. B.'s well known publications,- in which we meet with nothing new : except a slight sketch of a parallel between Junius and Lord Boling broke, as writers ;-and here we have the honour to agree pretty nearly with the Author. Art. 19. The Speeches of Mr. Wilkes in the House of Commons.
Large 8vo. 6s. sewed. 1786. No Bookseller's Name. It was but lately that this handsome edition of Mr. Wilkes's Speeches came to our hands. It contains, as the Preface assures us, • a faithful transcript of the three volumes which the same editor formerly printed in 12mo. with the addition of several speeches, since the period of the last publication, drawn from the same sources I, with equal diligence and attention.'
* See the Appendix to Vol. Ixxvii. of the Review, p. 589.
+ He predicts the total overthrow of the Ottomans, and very gravely proceeds to the dismemberment and partition of their emp're; in which, particular care is taken, thac the interests of France thall not be overlooked. | From the public prints, and oral tradition.
The additional orations contain a considerable quantity of new matter, on the most interesting subjects. Among others, we have Mr. W.'s excellent speech on the Bill for the further Relief of Proteftant Diffenting Ministers and School-masters; which is both argumentative and entertaining. The Dissenters were, indeed, greatly obliged to their witty and sensible advocate on this occasion.
The Editor has added Notes, where he deemed some explanation neceffary. An Index would be a farther improvement. Art. 20. A Review of the Government and Grievances of the Province
of Quebec, since the Conquest of ic by the British Arms. To which is added, an Appendix, containing Extracts from authentic Papers. 8vo. 1 s. 6d. Stockdale. 1788:
The province of Quebec having, fince its conquest, been ceded to the British empire, the government of the French inhabitants there, together with such British settlers as have mingled among them, became a difficult operation. The French wished to hold, and convey their possessions, according to French tenures and usages, while they preferred our commercial laws; the British required to be governed altogether by their own laws, and to that end wanted an elective house of assembly. It is pleaded, that in the space of twenty-eight years, the inhabitants have been obliged to conform to three different systems of laws, all improper, and at variance with each other : systems forced upon them in the aggregate, never defined, and of course never understood. At length. the old and new fubjects were obliged to unite in the same petitions and the same prayers. Time and experience had convinced them, that as members of the same province, their interests were inseparable; they now perceived the invidious policy of those who had kept them so long disunited, in the view to disappoint both parties : they saw they were left without any effective, any fixed or permanent laws, or at best, so loose, indigested, and frequently unintelligible, that eventually they were worse than none, producing jealousies, public and private disagreements, and creating a general spirit of discontent.' To remedy these evils, the writer recommends : a constitution of a mixed kind, so as to accommodate both parties, by selecting such parts of either System, as would suit the situation of the province; which being British, its conftitution should of course be that of the parent state, and the laws by which it is governed British also; with a skilful engrafting of such parts of the Canadian laws as had reference to those favourite and necessary points, where policy might safely indulge prejudices, viz. landed property, inheritance, dower, and family affairs.'
Education under despotism debilitates the mind; and if we persist in forcing new laws upon a people under which they remain uneasy, the excellence of those laws will not hinder them from being oppresfive : a person recovered from blindness cannot suddenly bear the full light of the day.
EAST INDIE S. Art. 21. The Trial of Warren Hastings, Esq. late Governor General
of Bengal, before the Court of Peers, in Westminster Hall. In: which the Speeches of Meff. Adam, Pelham, Anftruther, Sheri