« AnteriorContinuar »
be taken, or should fail of fuccefs, our ruin would then become vifible.
A brief view of our prefent ftate, both abroad and at home, with an eye both to profpects and retrofpects, is the bufinefs of his next fection; and the great inference deduced from all, is, the expedience of a Parliamentary Enquiry, for which, he pronounces, there is fufficient foundation,
IV. A Dutiful Address to the Throne, upon the prefent State of Great Britain. 8vo. 6d. Scott.
A thing which ought to have been called, A Leffon to the Throne for tho' the Dictator of it is but in the Horn-book even of modern politics, he has had the temerity, or fimplicity, or both, to take greater liberties in it, with his royal Pupil, than any of the Grand Juries or Corporations, not excepting the city of London, or county of York, have prefumed to do which, in one sense, is the leaft that can be faid, and, in another, is the moft that needs be said, of fuch a performance.
V. An Addrefs to the Electors of England. 8vo. Is. Cooper.
The Electors of Scotland, it feems, were not worthy the confideration of fo great a man as the Addreffer.-And how great a man he is, we may collect, not only from the fanction he beftows on the Fourth Letter to the People of England, in which he tells us, all our prefent miferies and mifcarriages are exhibited with all the power of thought and language; but from what he afterwards writes of himself, page 37, as follows. I doubt not, Gentlemen, but many of you, as well as myself, have read every thing that either ancient or modern Authors have written upon Government. And again, p. 41, I do affure you, upon the word of a Gentleman (and tho' I do not fet my name to this pamphlet, it may, notwithstanding all the precautions I can take, be known that I am the Author of it; in which case, if the affurance I now give you, is not true, I fhall be looked upon as the worst of men) I do affure you then, that I never have received, nor ever expect to receive, any favour from any Ministry. Now the fubject which has thus employed the mafterly pen of this very important Egotift, is a recommendation of two points to the public, (for the thing cannot be called a difcuffion of either of them) as all that is neceffary to our political Regeneration Thefe two laws, I am perfuaded,' fays he, would ftrike the Court of Verfailles with greater terror, than millions granted every feffions of parliament; and all the royal Navy of Great Britain commanded by parliamentary Admirals and Captains.'-Change, then your Petitions for Enquiries; which, as things are now circumstanced, will end in nothing, into petitions for a general Militia-Bill, and for annual Parliaments.'
This exactly resembles the language of other Quacks. The manufacturers
manufacturers of a Noftrum, for inftance, called the Popular Pill, will tell you, it is a fovereign remedy for all maladies, past, prefent, and to come; or as Teague might otherwise chufe to exprefs himself, a Salve for every Sore. But the true Phyfician, who knows exactly the state of your conftitution, and the power of the drugs he is to make use of, will tell you fairly, first, That there are none in the Materia Medica of fuch universal efficacy; and, fecondly, That the more force and virtue there is in the dofe, the more danger will arife from an undue application.
And whereas, alío, this very modeft Writer, has thought fit to rank himself, p. 52, among the firft advisers of these falutary Measures, it may not be improper to intimate, that no man was ever feduced by his vanity into a more flagrant mistake: it being notorious to any one, ever fo little converfant in our national story, that no two points relating to it, have been more ably and more warmly difcuffed, or more frequently refumed, than thefe. Some pieces, on both fubjects, he might have found in Darby's Collection of Tracts, relating to the reign of King William; and feveral more of the fame period, are still to be produced out of private Collections. And if we defcend nearer the present day, over and above the noble plan, of the noble Lord, cited in this abortive piece, p. 18, another, calculated for the whole British Empire, by a Gentleman of great eminence in the Weft-Indies, was printed for A. Millar, in the year 1745, about which time Annual Parliaments were also ftrenuously contended for, in another fpirited performance, now lying before us. But the very name of this political Mushroom had not been fo much as heard of, at this time; and if we now find him, not only crowding in among his betters, (as he, or fuch another as he, if there is, or can be fuch another, was once obferved to do, on the floor of the H -s) but infifting alfo, on going halves with them in Merit and Reputation,—a charitable reference to the famous Fable of the Apples and the Horfe- Dung, may teach him to be lefs affuming, and more difcreet, for the time to come.
VI. Britain's Glory Displayed: or Ways and Means found out, whereby to raise Men and Money, towards the Support of the prefent War, without affecting the induftrious Subject, &c. Defigned for the good of thefe Kingdoms. By J. C. G. 8vo.rs. 6d. Corbet.
This appears to be the work of an honeft, intelligent, confcientious, romantic man. He knows a good deal, expreffes himfelf always fenfibly, often fhrewdly; and doubtless means, what he profeffes, The good of Mankind: but then he does not feem to be aware of a flight objection which lies against most of his Propofitions,That they are impracticable.
Raifing men for the war,-Raifing money to maintain them,→→ and, Recovering from France and Spain, wherewithal to repair
the damages, we have fuftained from either, or both, are the chief topics he treats of.
Under the first, he would have our levies made out of the poorer Jews, the French Refugees, pettifoging Lawyers, Bailiffs and their Followers-worthlefs, immoral, and cureless Clergymen, Quacks, Hireling Witneffes, Bullies, and Gamblers, Gentlemen's Servants, and idle, lazy, fottish, fpendthrift, Handycraftsmen.
For levies of Money, he refers us to the richer Jews; the beneficed Clergy, of every fect and denomination; Gentlemen of the Law; Ladies, [by voluntary fubfcription]; Phyficians; Public Officers, 10 per cent. with an exception to their indigent and miferable underlings: and defcending to Pawn-Brokers, he recommends, very rationally, the vefting that whole bufinefs in the Government, by erecting a new office, by way of appendage to the Treafury; that the wants of individuals might be fupplied at 10 per cent, instead of 30, at least.
Laftly, For the reparation of our national damages, from France and Spain, on a fuppofition, to be hoped groundless, that the latter, taking advantage of our misfortunes, fhould break with us, like the former; he revives the old plan of reducing Buenos Ayres, and annexing it to the Crown: and the giving new life and vigour to our African Trade, (now in a perishing condition) in order to deprive the French of the benefits they at prefent derive from it.
VII. A Letter to the Right Hon. William Pitt, Efq; Being an impartial Vindication of the Conduct of the Ministry, from the prefent War to this Time: In answer to the Afperfions caft upon them by Admiral Byng, and his Advocates. 8vo. 1s. Philip Hodges.
VIII. The Refignation: or, the Fox out of the Pit, and the Geefe in, with B-g at the Bottom, 8vo. 6d. Scott.
The pamphlet which hath this bundle of conceits for its title, is writ by one of thofe new fangled Patriots, that can difcourfe by the hour of the misfortunes and miferies of his country, with all the facetioufnefs and pleafantry imaginable; for which he affigns no better reafon than is to be gathered from his first paragraph; namely, That as the period he writes at, is not to be paralleled in any hiftory, fo our writings fhould keep pace with our actions.
A fmart, but fuperficial, fketch of our public conduct, from our first unamicable collufions with France, about our Colonies, to the time of Mr. F's refignation,fo biaffed all the way, as to make the whole appear as crooked as poffible, and yet maintained to be critically true,-takes up full three parts in four of his performance; and then, having taken it into his head, to
fancy Mr. F was either the fole, or the fole-directing Minister for almost twelve months of this time, confequently accountable for whatsoever has been done amifs, or left undone, in that interval, he proceeds to amuse himself, and bewilder his Readers, with a maze of conjectures, to account for that Gentleman's difmiffion; most of them at war with his firft propofition, if not with one another; and all terminating with this caution: Let not Refignations, my countrymen, ferve the place of Enquiry; -nor malverfation, tho' coloured over with the falfe fmeer of Patriotifm, pass unexamined.Our Minifters may have been honest, let them prove themselves fo.'
IX. The Conduct of the Miniftry impartially examined. In a Letter to the Merchants of London. 8vo. Is. Bladon.
Of all the pamphlets which either the paffions or interefts of men have lately given rife to, (and it is reaionable to think, that a greater number, in the fame space of time, never before cloyed the curiofity of the public) this is, on many accounts, moft worthy our ferious confideration. The Author, a very able one, not only acknowleges, that the prefent fituation of our affairs is extremely critical, "but that it calls loudly upon us, to examine how we have been brought into it? and tho' he propofes to make that examination himself, without prejudice or affection, it is plain, that he is the chofen advocate of one part, at least, of the adminiftration. As, therefore, he reafons very fairly of the neceffity of fubordination, and the decency to be obferved in our deportment towards our fuperiors, fo every plea fet forth in their name, merits a proportionable degree of refpect and obfervance This Gentleman, moreover, avows a perfect indifference as to the rank that may be affigned him as a writer, fets Grub-street, and all its powers, at open defiance, infuch terms of contempt, as fhews he neither intends to give or take quarter from them; and what is of abundantly more confequence to the public, declares, that he intends neither panegyric nor abufe; that he has no caufe to ferve, but that of Truth and his Country; that if he any where impofes on his readers, he has first been impofed upon himself; that he has, however, left nothing undone to avoid fuch a misfortune, but, on the contrary, has exerted his best endeavours to procure every light, every information, which a private man could, by the molt deliberate refearch, arrive at the knowlege of: the refult of which enquiry he promises to lay fairly before the Gentlemen he addreftes.-All the information, therefore, to be expected from our fuperiors, is to be expected through this conveyance.-And as the matter is thus momentous, fo the manner is the moft artful imaginable.Condefcention, infinuation, and every fpecies of plaufibility, are inwoven through the whole web. So that if fatisfaction is not to be procured by fo much intelligence, and fo much addrefs, it is not to be procured at all.
Having felected fome half-informed author, whom he does not
condefcend to name, and who has fuffered his pen to run riot on the popular fide, without once thinking of a maxim he ought never to have loft fight of, That Oppofition must never be in the wrong; he detects, and expofes, both the ignorance and maligmity of that writer, in the strongest colours he can lay on; and, on the credit of his victory and triumph, over this flight adverfary, he establishes his own character and confideration. The point thus litigated, relates to our first fettlements on the Ohio; the encroachments of the French, the confifcating the goods of our traders there, the making the owners prifoners, and fending them as fuch, to Rochelle, in France: One party affirming, in the most pofitive and dogmatical terms, that, inftead of reclaiming these men as British fubjects, unjustly feized and detained, and demanding reparation for the wrongs they had received, our Ambaffador at Paris, was ordered by the Miniftry, to folicit their discharge as a favour, acknowleging their offence; and the other proving, from papers of the higheft authority, laid before the House of Lords, not only, that the men were reclaimed as fubjects, that a reftitution of their effects was demanded, together with ample fatisfaction for the wrongs and loffes they had fuffered, but, that a merchant at Rochelle, was alfo empowered by the Secretary of State, to fupply them with money, to defray the expence of their journey home, in cafe they were not already departed; all which was accompanied with ftrong complaints of proceedings fo unjuft, and as ftrong a requifition, that the French Commander in America, fhould be obliged, both to dedefift, for the time to come, and immediately to raze the fort he had caufed to be built on the Niagara.-Our Author's introductiion; his invective against writers of incendiary letters; and the difcuffion of this affair, take up about a third of his pamphlet.
He then employs a paragraph in placing the prefent war to the account of the people; who, it must be owned, did call for it, as the only means left them, to keep an encroaching, inveterate enemy, within due bounds: tho' they have appeared diffatified with the conduct of it.
His next fection gives an account of our Marine proceedings; the fquadrons employed; number of fhips, guns, &c. by whom commanded; when they failed, and returned; on what expeditions; and all but their inftructions and exploits. The former, the laws of prudence would not fuffer him to expofe; and if, with refpect to the latter, we meet with nothing but difappointments, turbulent weather,-latitude of feas,-dexterity in improving every advantage on the enemy's fide-and fome unaccountable fatality on our own,--thefe, it feems, must answer for it: the fame plan which had fucceeded fo well in the laft war, was purfued in this; and the fame Officers who had diftinguished themselves then, were employed now.
To prevent, and intercept, the enemy, was the great object in view, tho' we failed in both: and that the administration might leave nothing undone on their part, it was refolved to flop all