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The Ifland of St. Marguerite: an O-
St. Mark's Day:
or King John's
Freemen, &c. 4to.
Marshall's Rural Economy of Glou-
ceftershire, 2 vols. concluded. 248
Martin's Marriage-Law of Scotland,
Memoire pour le Peuple François. 2d Edit.
Memoirs and Travels of Mauritius
Auguftus, Count of Benyowski,
2 vols. 4to.
aud Opinions of Mr. Blen-
field, 2 vols. 12mo.
of Prince William Henry,
Duke of Gloucester, fon of Queen
of the Life of Robert Adair,
Memorial containing every particu-
lar refpecting the Capture of the
Veffels in Nootka-Sound, 8vo. 594
Milton's Civil Power in Ecclefiaftical
De Montmorency. A Novel: with
an Original Manufcript found in
the Baftile, 2 vols. 12mo.
General Hiflory of Mufic. By Charles
State of the NATION with refpect to
OATHS, in respect to Perjury: By the
rev. R. P. Finch, D. D. 8vo. 355
Obfervation of the Christian Sabbath,
by a Clergyman, 8vo.
Obfervations on Mr. Dundas's India
on the City's Petition in
favour of the Tobacconifts, 8vo.
made in Regard to the
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Common Pleas, 8vo.
on Scrophula, Scurvy,
Leprofy, &c. by J. Rymer, Sur-
-on Gangrenes and Mor-
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F. R. S.
on the Homilies of the
Church of England, 8vo. 712
Ode to Hope, 4to.
on the diftant View of France,
from Dover Cliff, 4to.
on the Duke of Dorfet's Mar-
riage with Mifs Arabella Diana
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PAUL and Mary, an Indian Story,
2 vols. 12mo.
The English Peerage, from the Nor
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The Critical Period, 8vo.
Governor Phillip's Voyage to Botany-
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Philofophical Tranfactions, vol. Ixxix.
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W. Pickett, Efqr.'s Public Improve-
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Pinkerton's Inquiry into the Hiftory.
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Poems by Sufanna, 4to.
Poctical Epistle to John Walcot, com-
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Popular Commotions confidered as
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liam Jones, M. A. F. R. S. 4to. 75
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Les Premices de ma Jeunese, c. 8vo.
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Principles of Moral Philofophy invef-
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Progreffes and public Proceffions of
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Prophecy of Ifaiah vii. 14, 15, 16,
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thew i. 18-23. By
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Proteftant Catechifm, tranflated from
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RADZIVIL, a Romance, tranflated
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Rayusford Park; a Novel, vols. 357
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The Death, c. of Mrs. Regency, 8vo.
Remarks by G. Wakefield on Dr.
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SAFFORY upon Scirrhous Tumours
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Dr. Sayer's Dramatic Sketches of an-
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Voyage du Feune Anacharfis en Grace.
Biographia Britannica: or, the Lives of the moft eminent Perfons who have flourished in Great Britain and Ireland, from the Earliest Ages to the prefent Times: collected from the beft Authorities, printed and Manufcript, and digefted in the Manner of Mr. Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary. The Second Edition, with Corrections, Enlargements, and the Additon of new Lives. By Andrew Kippis, D. D. F. R. S. and S. A. with the Affifiance of the Rev. Jofeph Torvers, LL. D. and other Gentlemen. Volume the Fourth. Folio. 17. 135. in Boards. Rivingtons.
IT T is pleafing to reflect that the British Biography, in this new edition, exceeds fo far in bulk and in importance what occurred in the last impreffion, The English foil continues to rear its sturdy oaks in almost every department of literature; and, to examine the merits of thefe monarchs of the literary world, as well as to detail the events of their lives, conftitute a task at once arduous, neceffary, and important. Biography, as we have often had occafion to remark, is neither an ignoble, nor an easy task: each man has his distinguishing features, which must not only be faithfully pourtrayed, but accurately arranged, and the compofition of the whole picture must be equally exact and confiftent. But it is not the character only of the individual which the author of a general fyftem of biography must confider. The mind of a literary man is developed and expanded in his works. Thefe are the bloffoms which engage more general attention, and are either attractive from their beauty, or interesting from their utility. The exertions of his mind will throw additional light on his character; and his opinions must be collected with care, and examined with impartiality. They must be brought into one fyftem; and again diftinguished as they are connected or contrafted with opinions and fyftems already known. If, in the publication of thefe opinions, difputes fhould have arifen, they must be confidered not with the diffuseness of the man, who would conceal nothing, but with the fagacity and precision of a philofopher, who can feleft the points of importance; the hinges on which the con VOL. LXIX. Jan. 1790.
troverfy hangs. In every part of this tafk, the biographer muft contend with contradictory reports, with ftudied fallacy, or accidental mifreprefentation. To discover truth, he must examine every material evidence, mult combine diftant events, and often, in the end, depend on probabilities, becaufe, at a distance from the period, thefe alone are left for his information. We have given only fpecimens of the difficulties which he must frequently meet with: they will be found often complicated with adventitious ones, or rendered more formidable by the total abfence of a clue. We have enlarged a little on them, as we hear with regret that the editor means to retire, not only from his oftenfible office, but from his very active share in the work; and, as we not only wish to apprife his fucceffors of the difficulty of their task, but to establish the foundation on which works of this kind fhould be appreciated.
The former volumes of the Biographia Britannica we noticed in our XLVIIth volume, p. 25; in the XLIXth, p. 185, and in the LVIIIth, p. 44, refpectively. To thefe articles we mult refer for information concerning the former work, and the conduct propofed for this edition: it is now our more immediate bufinefs to examine the fourth volume of this refpectable collection.
The circumftances, more immediately relative to this volume, are mentioned at fome length in the preface. The lives of Chatterton and Cook are, perhaps, of a difproportionate extent; but the editor apologises for this fault with unequal effect. We allow that works of this kind are deftined for a future age, when the fources from whence the information is drawn are become fcarce, or are forgotten; and an abridgment of the Voyages of captain Cook was a proper appendage to his Life. Perhaps, and the editor feems to allow it, the abridgment is too minute for a biographical dictionary only; but, while there is fo much original information to be conveyed, we forget the fault in the entertainment. The extent of Chatterton's Life is not fo well fupported: the difpute concerning Rowley was between bigotry, refinement, and error on one fide; and a genuine knowledge of antiquity, judgment, and difcernment on the other. It might have been difcuffed in two pages. Chatterton was no doubt an extraordinary young man ; but his dextrous imitations rendered him more corfpicuous than the extent of his knowledge, which, though much celebrated, will not be found greatly fuperior to what a lad of quick comprehenfion might have attained with the fame advantages. We muft continue to think that the Life of Chatterton, as it is written, is no pinament to the work. Dr. Kippis juftly obferves, that from the accumulation of new books, and the prejudices of fashion,