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ART. XVI. Memoirs of the celebrated Dwarf, JOSEPH BORUWLASKI, a Polish Gentleman; containing a faithful and curious Account of his Birth, Education, Marriage, Travels, and Voyages. Written by Himself. 8vo. 7s. 6d. Boards. Becket, &c. 1788. [To be bad likewife of the Author, N° 162, Strand. ]
E fhall extract, from the book, fome account of this gentleman; for fuch 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 Ruffia, in November 1739. My parents were of the middle fize; they had five fons and one daughter; and by one of those freaks of nature, which it is impoffible to account for, or perhaps to find another inftance of in the annals of the human fpecies, three of thefe children grew to above the middle ftature, whilft 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 aftonishing family. My eldest brother, who at this time is about fixty, is near three inches taller than I am; he has conftantly enjoyed a robust conftitution, and has ftill ftrength and vigour much above his fize and age; he has lived a long time with the Caftelane Inowloska, who honours him with her esteem and bounty; and finding in him ability and fenfe enough, has entrusted him with the stewardship and management of her affairs.
My fecond 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 fhort: among them was a female who died of the fmall-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 fhape.
It was eafy to judge from the very inftant of my birth, that I fhould be extremely fhort, being at that time only eight inches; yet notwithstanding this diminutive proportion, I was neither weak nor puny: on the contrary, my mother, who fuckled me, has often declared that none of her children gave her lefs trouble. I walked, and was able to speak, at about the age common to other infants, and my growth was progreffively as follows:
At one year
At fifteen 2 feet i
• 3 - 3
This is the fize at which I remained fixed, without having afterwards increafed half a quarter of an inch; by which the affertion of fome naturalifts proves falfe, viz. that Dwarfs grow during all their lifetime. If this inftance were infufficient, I could cite that of my brother, who, like me, grew till thirty; and like me, at that age, ceafed to grow taller.'
The hiftory and adventures of this extraordinary perfonage are almost as uncommon as his figure and diminutive ftature. His family having been ruined, and he being a sprightly, fenfible,
and pleafing little mortal, was taken into the protection of some perfons of the first rank in his own country; but whose favour he unfortunately loft, 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 fome years after his marriage, he was chiefly supported by prefents from his illuftrious friends and patrons, together with an annuity given him by the King of Poland. He alfo received confiderable emolument from the concerts which were set on foot, for his benefit, at feveral courts in Germany, &c.; but thefe refources proving rather precarious, he liftened to the joint advice of Sir R. Murray Keith, then and now British ambaffador at Vienna, the Prince de Kaunitz, and the Baron de Breteuil, to pay a vifit to England, where they affured him he was likely to meet with the most generous reception; and he was promifed letters of recommendation to the greateft perfonages 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, thofe directed to the Duke and Duchefs of Devonshire procured him their very kind and powerful patronage. He was likewife introduced to the Royal Family, from whom he received feveral diftinguished favours. Prefents 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 fentiments took fuch poffeffion of his mind, that he at length followed the advice of those who propofed his exhibiting himfelf, firft at one guinea, then at five fhillings, and then at half a
Thus has our little hero been decently fupported, as he very properly expreffes it, during the fix years that he has lived in England; but we fear, from his account, that, by this time, the edge of curiofity being blunted, his income has fuffered a confiderable diminution. Among other unfortunate events, a difhoneft fervant eloped with trinkets and valuables to a large amount; and, which proved ftill worfe, a falfe report of his accumulating a fortune in this country having reached the cars of the King of Poland, he discontinued Mr. B.'s penfion.
This well-written narrative is concluded by the following painful reflections,' and pathetic addrefs 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 expect?-Am I doomed to be for ever the fport of neceffity, the flave of the moment?-Though I fhould fubmit to this humiliating idea, would it lead to the hope of fecuring, in future, a decent maintenance for my wife and children? I have but a weak conftitution; the weight of years grows every day more preffing; fhould I be fnatched away from my family, what will become of them?
Whose affiftance can they claim? Am I deftined to have, on my last day, nothing in view, but the mifery and woe of all that is dear to me? Thefe are the pains and inquietudes which affail my heart, and dafh 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 fubfifted by industry and labour; but my ftature has irrevocably excluded me from the common circle of fociety: nay, but few people only feem to take notice of my being a man, an honeft man, a man of feeling. How painful are thefe reflections!
O beneficent and generous nation!-fhould I fink 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 muft repair to other climates, where, yielding to my deftiny, I will fubmit to that fate which feems to await me; but I will take with me every where, will cherish, and carefully keep in the inmost receffes of my heart, the grateful fentiments which your repeated favours have excited in me."
Mr. Boruwlafki has written this work in French, in which language 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 fcene.
We have not yet had the fatisfaction of seeing Mr. B. but we are informed that this print affords a good resemblance of his perfon. Of his pleafing manners and agreeable converfation (of which we have heard a moft advantageous account) a judgment can only be formed by paying him a vifit; and that we have refolved to do, at the first convenient opportunity: meantime, we thank him for the pleasure he has afforded us by a perufal of his Memoirs, which, from the number of agreeable anecdotes of eminent perfons, of both fexes*, have many of the graces of a well-told tale, with all the advantages and merit of truth:for we have not the leaft diftruft of his veracity, in any circumstance of the narrative.
* The pretty love-letters, which paffed, during their courtship, between Mr. B. and his fair Ifalina, will, to young readers efpecially, prove a very acceptable part of the entertainment which they will find in the perufal of this volume.
For JULY, 1788.
Art. 17. Confiderations on the War with the Turks. Tranflated from the French of M. de Volney. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Debrett. 1788.
De Volney, whom we lately introduced to the acquaintance
M. of our Readers, by the review which we gave of his Travels
through Syria and Egypt, here inveftigates and states the probable confequences of the prefent war between the Turks, the Auftrians, and the Ruffians, with the profundity of an acute politician, but with rather too much of the fpirit of prophecy. He has bufied himfelf in difpofing of the bear's fkin before the bear is killed +. He, however, offers many pertinent confiderations on the subject, which will much amufe, if not completely fatisfy, the political fpeculatift.M. de Volney is, certainly, a very fenfible man, and an ingenious writer.
Art. 18. Anecdotes of Junius: to which is prefixed The King's Reply. 8vo. 1s. 6d. 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 affure 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 fuppofed 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 refpecting the hero of this questionable tale, they chiefly confift of a detail of Mr. B.'s well known publications,-in which we meet with nothing new except a flight fketch of a parallel between Junius and Lord Bolingbroke, as writers ;-and here we have the honour to agree pretty nearly with the Author.
Art. 19 The Speeches of Mr. Wilkes in the Houfe of Commons. Large 8vo. 6s. fewed. 1786. No Bookfeller's Name.
It was but lately that this hand fome edition of Mr. Wilkes's Speeches came to our hands. It contains, as the Preface affures us, a faithful tranfcript of the three volumes which the fame editor formerly printed in 12mo. with the addition of feveral fpeeches, fince the period of the last publication, drawn from the fame fources 1, with equal diligence and attention.'
* See the Appendix to Vol. lxxvii. of the Review, p. 589.
He predicts the total overthrow of the Ottomans, and very gravely proceeds to the difmemberment and partition of their empire; in which, particular care is taken, that the interefts of France fhall not be overlooked.
From the public prints, and oral tradition.
The additional orations contain a confiderable quantity of new matter, on the moft interefting fubjects. Among others, we have Mr. W.'s excellent fpeech on the Bill for the further Relief of Proteftant Diffenting Minifters and School-mafters; which is both argumentative and entertaining. The Diffenters were, indeed, greatly obliged to their witty and fenfible advocate on this occafion.
The Editor has added Notes, where he deemed fome explanation neceffary. An Index would be a farther improvement.
Art. 20. A Review of the Government and Grievances of the Province of Quebec, fince the Conqueft of it by the British Arms. To which is added, an Appendix, containing Extracts from authentic Papers. 1 s. 6d. Stockdale. 1788
The province of Quebec having, fince its conqueft, been ceded to the British empire, the government of the French inhabitants there, together with fuch British fettlers as have mingled among them, became a difficult operation. The French wished to hold, and convey their poffeffions, according to French tenures and ufages, while they preferred our commercial laws; the British required to be governed altogether by their own laws, and to that end wanted an elective houfe of affembly. 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: fyftems forced upon them in the aggregate, never defined, and of courfe never underflood. At length the old and new fubjects were obliged to unite in the fame petitions and the fame prayers. Time and experience had convinced them, that as members of the fame province, their interefts were infeparable; they now perceived the invidious policy of thofe who had kept them fo long dif united, in the view to difappoint both parties: they faw they were left without any effective, any fixed or permanent laws, or at beft, fo loofe, indigefted, and frequently unintelligible, that eventually they were worse than none, producing jealoufies, public and private difagreements, and creating a general fpirit of difcontent.' To remedy thefe evils, the writer recommends a conftitution of a mixed kind, fo as to accommodate both parties, by felecting fuch parts of either fyftem, as would fuit the fituation of the province; which being British, its conflitution fhould of course be that of the parent ftate, and the laws by which it is governed British alfo; with a skilful engrafting of fuch parts of the Canadian laws as had reference to thofe favourite and neceffary points, where policy might fafely indulge prejudices, viz. landed property, inheritance, dower, and family affairs.'
Education under defpotifm debilitates the mind; and if we perfift in forcing new laws upon a people under which they remain uneafy, the excellence of those laws will not hinder them from being oppreffive a perfon recovered from blindness cannot fuddenly bear the full light of the day.
Art. 21. The Trial of Warren Haflings, Efq. late Governor General of Bengal, before the Court of Peers, in Westminster Hall. In which the Speeches of Meff. Adam, Pelham, Anftruther, Sheri