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that work has been the origin of letters from all the different perfonages thofe from Albert were only wanting to fill up the number. The prefent work is, like the others, interesting and palliative. The character of Albert is well fupported, and he ifes a little above the harth unfeeling monster which the jealousy rather than the judgment of Werter described.

Painting Perfonified; or, the Caricature and Sentimental Pictures of the principal Artifs of the prefent Times fancifully explained. By Alex. Bicknell, Efq. 2 Vols. 1210. 6s. Baldwin, The author follows Sterne, who tranflated with fome fuccefs, with humour, with fenfibility, and pleafintry: he tranflated not from other languages, but from looks, words, and attitudes. Mr. Bicknell looking at a print-fhop, thought he could do the fame, forgetting that it was the bow of Ulyffes, and that he was only a Hylas. Indeed he made one miftake in the threshold:

picture reprefents only the tranfactions of a moment; yet he not only relates from this moment, the eventful history of each life, but even traces Caffio's kiffes on the lips' of his Defdemona. The artifice is too glaring to be for an inftant endured. We shall leave him to collect his portion of fame, his laurel wreath from his esteemed publication;' for we are obliged to remark, that we perceive only an affectation of fentiment, the femblance of reflection occafionally appearing through many infipid pages.

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An Hiftorical Sketch of Prerogative and Influence. In a Letter to a Friend. Small 8vo. 15. Robinsons.

The author of this little tract, after stating the power which is neceffarily annexed to the executive part of government, proceeds to examine in what degree it has hitherto exifted in this country, under the form either of prerogative or influ ence. He clearly evinces from hiftorical documents, that, except under princes of flender capacity, or fuch as were restrained by aristocratical combinations, the prerogative continued ftretched to a moft dangerous extent, from the time of William the Conqueror to the Revolution in 1688. From the latter of thefe periods, which defined, and reduced the prerogative within much narrower bounds than formerly, he dates the com. mencement of influence; and this likewife, though, from its nature, it cannot be fo eafily traced, he feems inclined to think has been ever fince in a state of progreffion. Influence, however, being naturally attached to the executive power, under every form of government, cannot justly be confidered as prejudicial, unless when exerted to the diminution of public liberty. It is even eafy to fuppofe cafes, in which the interpofition of influence may be neceffary for preferving the balance of the conftitution. We with that the author, who has, in general, treated his fubject with much difcernment and just observation, had extended his reflections to occurrences of this kind, as he might thence have been enabled to define the respective limits

of undue and conflitutional influence, which, at present, he has left not only undetermined, but unnoticed.

Impartial Thoughts upon the beneficial Confequences of Inrolling all Deeds, Wills, and Codicils, affecting Lands, throughout England and Wales. By Francis Plowden, Efq. 8vo. 25. Brooke.

In this very judicious and learned performance the author points out the inconveniencies arifing from the prefent regifering acts for the counties of York and Middlefex, and strongly recommends an univerfal inrolment of deeds and wills affecting land throughout the kingdom. The prefent acts require only the heads or particulars of a deed to be registered in thote counties. But our author contends, and we think fuccessfully, that the whole of every conveyance thould be inrolled in every county, and become a matter of public notoriety. The late judge Blackflone, fpeaking of the regiftering acts, obferves, that however plaufible thefe provifions may appear in theory, it hath been doubted by very competent judges, whether more disputes have not arilen in thofe counties by the inattention and omiffions of parties, than prevented by the ufe of registers. Had the learned judge lived to perufe the performance before us, pointing out the fource of the inconveniencies, and recommending an inrolment of the entire deed, we think he would have seen reason to alter his opinion. Our author introduces into this work a variety of mifcellaneous, but found law-icarn-, ing, arifing incidentally out of his main fubject. We shall not enter into a detail of thefe points, but strongly recommend the whole to the perusal of every student of the law and every member of the legislature; indeed to every other person who wishes to become a competent judge of the fubject. Mr. Plowden fays that before he published this plan, he laid it before all our judges and law-officers, most of whom exprefied their strongest approbation of it, and a wifh to fee it carried into execution. In the courfe of the performance he introduces a draught of a bill, fuch as he would wish to have passed.

After what we have faid, we truft our author will excufe us if we fuggeft one objection, to which he has not adverted, or which at least he has not obviated. The welfare of a commercial country muft depend entirely on the profperity of its manufac tures and trade. Whatever, therefore, has the least tendency to throw impediments in the way of new attempts, either in commerce or manufactures, ought to be critically examined and attended to. As the law now ftands, a manufacturer or merchant, poffeffed of landed property, will take up a fum of money on his eftates, because he can do it fecretly, and employ it in any promifing scheme that may prefent itself to his view; with a reliance on being able to pay off the incumbrance in a fhort time. But fhould every deed become neceffarily public, he would be deterred from the defign through a regard to his commercial character and credit. This reafoning applies at this time, when we are become so peculiarly a commercial people.


though it did not formerly, when Mr. Plowden fo much in fits that all deeds effecting landed property were publicly known. We do not advance this argument as fufficiently firong to overthrow the whole mafs of our author's reafoning, but at least to draw his attention to an objection which we think of some importance.

The Principles of Moral Philofophy inveftigated, and briefly applied to the Conftitution of Civil Society, together with Remarks on the Principle affumed by Mr. Paley as the Bafis of all Moral Conclufions, and on the other Pofitions of the fame Author. By Thomas Gisborne, M. A. 8vo. 35. 6d. Boards. White and Son.

We have perufed with pleasure this fenfible treatise, which, as the author informs us in the preface, was occafioned by an appointment which he understood to have taken place in the univerfity of Cambridge, that candidates for the degree of ba chelor of arts fhould be examined in the elements of moral and political philofophy. It is of the utmost importance to fociety, as well as to the peace of individuals, that thefe principles, which are marked out as the criterion of moral duty, should be fair, undifputed, and unobjectionable. Mr. Paley's performance has acquired to much celebrity, that if it contained any errors, or inculcared any falfe principles on the mind, the evil would be incurable, when tolerated by public ignorance, and countenanced by partiality. It was this very laudable zeal in the di cuffion of truth which induced Mr. Gisborne to publish his Remarks on the Principle, which the author of Elements of Morai and Political Philofophy wished to establish as the foundation of all the conclufions of morality. He has examined the doctrine of general expediency with that impartiality and can dour which becomes a fober enquirer after truth, and the diffidence with which he enters the field against the chancellor of Carlile may be alledged as a very flattering proof of his fincerity and of his good intentions. To thofe who have read the work of Mr. Paley, this treatife can be no unfuitable companion. It is neceflary to proceed with caution, and reflect with impartiality, without allowing the weight of a name to have any other influence than to guard against drawing conclufions with too much precipitation.

Refletions on the prefent State of the Slaves in the British Plantations, and the Slave Trade from Africa. 8vo. 1s. Baldwin.

The author reviews the various arguments which have been employed in favour of and against the abolition of the flavetrade. His language rifes a little too often beyond humble profe; but his remarks on the propriety of instructing the flaves in the tenets of Chriftianity, by properly educating a few of their most promifing children, is benevolent and truly pious. We hope it will obtain fome attention.




For APRIL, 1790.

An Enquiry into the Hiftory of Scotland preceding the Reign of . Malcolm III. in the Year 1056. By John Pinkerton. 2 Vols. Svo. 145. Boards. Nicol.


UR adventurous author, after having followed the Scythians from the fouth and the east of the Euxine in their various emigrations weftward, till he found them preffing on the aboriginal Celts of Britain, and driving them to the fhores of the Atlantic, now examines the hiftory of the northern parts of this island; where the Goths, joining a hord of Celts, in turn emigrating from the north of Ireland to the western Highlands, formed two diftin&t races, ufually confounded by geographers and hiftorians. If our readers turn to the Review of the author's Differtation on the Origin and Progrefs of the Scythians or Goths, in vol. LXIV. p. 167. they will fee the most pointed marks of antipathy to the Highlanders, an antipathy which has not yet fubfided. With their former demerits, they are ftyled refugees of a late æra, fubfervient to Norwegian kings, without a history of their own, without annals, and without the leaft notice in Scottish history, except as rioters, thieves, and freebooters. The origin of this violent anger feems to have been their monopolifing the whole hiftory of Scotland, while the minds of literary men were agitated by the difcovery of the beautiful poems attributed to Offian, and who were ready to believe not only that these were productions of the third or fourth century, but that the nation who could have produced them was the first and wifest in the world. It was another Iliad and fomething greater than the Iliad.' This delufion of the moment had another unexpected effect; for, when the poems of Offian were found to be productions of Ireland, the former fyftem of the early civilization of that kingdom was revived with increafed force, and the vihions of a lefs enlightened period were almost realised. This fyftem, however, brought once more within our reach by a late publication of Dr. Campbell, and at a time when our limits will enable us to purfue it by means of works formerly omitted, must be referved for another Number.

VOL. LXIX. April, 1799.



Mr. Pinkerton examines the hiftory of Scotland from the earliest records to the time of Malcolm III. in 1056, because, probably, from that period, we were conducted through the darker ages by the diligence and ability of lord Hailes, who published his annals in 1776. Thefe volumes defigned, therefore, as the criteria of our author's accuracy in the most difficult parts of the Scottish hiftory, are preludes to a future work, where the narrative will be continued to the time of Mary. The difficulty arifes from the want of Scottish hiftorians, for the authors of that country are faid to have possessed neither erudition, wealth, or public libraries; while their impetuofity prevented them from cool examination, and their remote fituation from other means of information. They did not, in Mr. Pinkerton's opinion, want materials, fince the chronicles published by Innes, he thinks, were as much as they had a right to expect from the fize and the importance of their coun try. Our author, however, adds another circumstance, the ferments occafioned by religious innovations, at a time when the human mind was expanding in the Weft; to which we may fubjoin the contant wars previous to that era, wars in which the Lowlanders, from whom any literary exertions could be expected, were particularly engaged. Thefe, we believe, were the principal caufes, for Scotland is not fo remote from the countries where fcience dawned, as Denmark and Iceland; and it is not fo poor as either Sweden or Denmark. Dempfter's notes on Rofinus and Blackwell's Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer are, however, only excepted from the general cenfure of a want of erudition. Their impetuofity we will in part allow; but Napier, whofe invention was of the first importance, the two Gregories, and, in a later period, Maclaurin, fhow that there are exceptions to this character. The reft of the preface chiefly confifts of our author's defence of his acrimonious flyle, the declaration of his intentions to decline controverfy in future, an account of his projected history, and a fhort notice of the refources which may fill the chafm occafioned by the deftruction of fabulous hiftory. The occasional force of our author's language may be defended by an admir able remark which he makes on Dr. James Macpherson's Differtations, a work, he obferves, which bears in every page that languid expreffion which attends obfcure and misty notions.' But while we are on this fubject, let us afk what will apologife for fuch metaphors as a diaphragm in the mind, which feparates truth from falfhood, and fenfe from nonfenfe?' fuch puerile conceits as his work, facred to Vulcan, is not only hot but lame,' fuch words as antiquift, condefcend on, &c. &c. In Mr. Pinkerton's writings, a brilliant word will


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